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.

454 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. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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”.
  58. 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.….

  59. 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.

  60. 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?

  61. 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.

  62. 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:

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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)
  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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?

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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).

  76. 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.

  77. 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???

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

  88. 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.

  89. 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?

  90. 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.

  91. 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?

  92. 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.

  93. 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.

  94. 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!

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

  96. 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?

  97. 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!

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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).

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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.

  106. 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.

  107. 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

  108. 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.

  109. 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,

  110. 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.

  111. 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!

  112. 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.

  113. Posted at WRAL TechWire on 29 Sep 2023 was a follow-up piece by Marshall Brain headlined Just how bad is climate change? It’s worse than you think, says Doomsday author. It began with:

    RALEIGH – Last week I wrote an article on the coming collapse of our ecosystem and our civilization:

    We have destroyed our ecosystem – now we await the collapse of civilization

    The article received a lot of traffic, and reactions were all over the map. Today’s article is for those people who think things aren’t that bad. They say things like:

    “Everything is going to be OK”
    “Civilization is not going to collapse”
    “We are on the road to solving climate change”

    To those on this “positive” or “hopium” end of the spectrum, here is something to consider: Things are way, way worse than you think. The reason people can believe that everything is going to be OK is because they have not taken the time to comprehend all the different things that are going wrong simultaneously, nor how seriously these things are going wrong.

    Therefore, let’s take a dive into the unfolding catastrophe that climate change is creating for humanity and the planet’s ecosystems.

    Food for your thoughts…

  114. Yep, we need to act “but what act?
    If it was a world war we would go onto a war footing where survival of the country depends on a massive effort world wideSome things are being done but efforts so far don’t look anything like a war fitting to me.
    We have to reduce the population as well as other environment action.

  115. John, on population, if a superintelligent AI entity was given the problem, as suggested towards the end of the second link I’m sure it would come up with a way of culling the population!

    A major part of the problem is that there are hundreds of things that need to be done. I’ve been reading a book Earth for All: A Survival Guide for Humanity which identifies five leverage points in there Giant Leap scenario, as against the Too Little Too Late story, which is the path we are pretty much on.

    The most succinct statement comes from a preprint:

    The 5 Turnarounds

    One ambition of the current Earth for All project was to promote a (political) program that is intended to improve the wellbeing of the working majority on a finite planet during the next 50 years. The end result of the discussion about what policies to include in the program was a focus on “5 Turnarounds” – five transformational changes that would create a better world than if the current decision-making style is continued. The five are the Poverty turnaround, the Inequality turnaround, the Empowerment turnaround, the Food turnaround, and the Energy turnaround. They
    are described in detail in the Earth for All book. In sum they constitute a “transformation of the modern economy” also described as “a full upgrade”.
    Poverty Turnaround:
    Accelerate GDP growth in countries with less than 15 k$/p/y using modern technology –debt cancellation, new development models, more industrial policy and infant industry protection

    Inequality Turnaround:
    Take from the few rich and give to the many poor – higher taxes on owners used to improve the wellbeing of the working majority

    Empowerment Turnaround:

    Improve the quality of life for women so they prefer to have few children – more education, health, contraception, and opportunity

    Food Turnaround:

    Reduce the annual crop needed to feed everyone the diet they demand – more efficiency, less
    waste, less red meat, more regenerative agriculture

    Energy Turnaround:
    Reduce the GHG emissions from the energy production that is needed to give everyone the energy supply they demand – more efficiency, more electrification, more renewables, more CCS.

    On population the approach is mainly to liberate and educate women.

    They reckon it could all be done with 2-4% of GDP.

    At this stage I’m making no comment.

  116. Brian: The turnarounds above sound like a list of nice to haves with a claim that fixing these will solve the problem. Yep all the good things for women have resulted in lower birthrates but China achieved more in a hurry with its one child policy.

  117. John, if you read the full text it’s not a nice list of things to have, rather wrestling with the issues that might take us forward, clear-eyed about the real-world fix we are in.

    The Chinese are good at seeing the opportunity in disaster. We need to do the same, and with the Chinese, for the whole planet, but without the same vertical political structure.

    There was a lot of research, thinking, talking and writing, before they wrote the book, and they are still at it.

    They are not claiming that what they are suggesting will fix everything, but are trying to give it a coherent and realistic go.

  118. Posted at WBUR on Oct 3 was a piece by Barbara Moran headlined Many scientists don’t want to tell the truth about climate change. Here’s why. It concluded with:

    Climate experts talk a lot about “cathedral thinking.” It’s the idea of working towards long term goals — like a medieval cathedral. These goals require vision, shared commitment, and decades, even centuries, of planning. The planners and builders don’t live to see the end product, but future generations reap the rewards.

    It’s an inspiring idea. Something maybe only humans could divine. But here’s the thing: cathedral thinking also requires a firm grasp of facts. A cathedral built on fantasy won’t stand for long.

    If my son and his friends think the coral reefs will be OK, the reefs are doomed. If he knows the truth, maybe he’ll become a biologist who tries to save them. When people know what they’re up against, many will be sad — I’m sad! — but then they can prepare.

    That’s the only way we’ll make it.

  119. Geoff, there is no doubt many serious scientists are worried about the way the climate is changing now. Zeke Hausfather’s tweet on the first data set to come out on the September global temperature anomaly:

    The first global temperature data is in for the full month of September. This month was, in my professional opinion as a climate scientist – absolutely gobsmackingly bananas. JRA-55 beat the prior monthly record by over 0.5C, and was around 1.8C warmer than preindustrial levels.

    Stefan Rahmstorf comments:

    „Gobsmackingly bananas“. When a sober climate scientist uses such terms, you should listen up.

    I’m looking forward to what James Hansen says.

  120. The Potsdam Institute have sent me a link to a recent paper of theirs – The South American monsoon approaches a critical transition in response to deforestation.

    In short I think they are saying that there is a lot they don’t know for certain, but looking at the data and modelling as best they can, things look bad, are definitely going to get worse. When drying and climate and fire induced warming bring the coverage down to 40% or so, they suggest the area will mostly flip to open savannah. This will have implications for rainfall and food security for the whole continent, including the fertile plains to the south.

    Here’s a bit from their email:

    The impacts of global warming, deforestation and intensified land use are pushing the South American monsoon towards a critical destabilization point, a new study published in the journal Science Advances shows. Once crossed, substantially less rainfall is to be expected in large parts of the South American continent. In turn, this would have major implications for the stability of the Amazon rainforest, as even areas not yet directly affected by land use change would be at risk of dieback.

    In their study, researchers of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the University of Tromsø (UiT) investigated how changes in forest degradation and monsoon circulation are interlinked. “It turns out that forest loss caused by direct deforestation, droughts, and fires might vastly contribute to a changing climate in South America and could drive the coupled Amazon rainforest – South American monsoon circulation system past a tipping point. The results presented here suggest an upcoming regime shift of the Amazon ecosystem if deforestation and global warming are not brought to a halt,” says Nils Bochow, lead author of the study.


    “A collapse of the coupled rainforest-monsoon system would lead to substantial rainfall reductions in large parts of South America,” explains PIK scientist and co-author Niklas Boers. Due to the complexity of this system, however, large uncertainties remain in the quantitative estimates of potential impacts of a collapse of the monsoon. Nevertheless, rainfall reductions especially in the western Amazon and further downstream of the atmospheric flow toward the subtropics would be severe. This would put the deep western Amazon rainforest at risk of a large-scale dieback, which would in turn lead to substantial additional global warming due to additional release of greenhouse gases from the degrading trees. Moreover, a South American monsoon decline would also induce potentially dramatic consequences for food security; for example in the La Plata basin with its extensive agriculture, rainfall depends crucially on the moisture supply stemming from the Amazon.

    While the study provides significant evidence that a critical threshold for the coupled rainforest-monsoon system exists and this critical transition is approaching, no inference on the precise position of the tipping point or its timing can be made at this point, the authors emphasize. “Our study puts the South American monsoon on the map of potential Earth system tipping elements. It also confirms existing concerns about the Amazon rainforest. The transition would lead to substantially drier conditions, under which the rainforest could likely not be maintained,” Niklas Boers concludes.

  121. Garnered from Facebook, here is another representation of the JRA55 (Japanese) record of the September global temperature anomaly which has gobsmacked scientists:

    I understand that no monthly record has been smashed by so much since modern records began.

  122. Brian: Hadn’t linked a rapid increase in sea level with coral not getting enough sunlight to survive.

  123. John, nor had I, at least not at levels we are likely to reach in the foreseeable future.

  124. Brian: – “The bottom line is that coral reefs are fragile and are unlikely to survive the expected pace of sea level rise.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published in Feb 2022 a report titled Global and Regional Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States: Updated Mean Projections and Extreme Water Level Probabilities Along U.S. Coastlines. It includes Table 2.3: Global mean sea level and contiguous United States scenarios, in meters, relative to a 2000 baseline.

    The outlook for global SLR at year-2050 (relative to year-2000 baseline) ranges from 0.15 m (low) to 0.43 m (high).

    The outlook for global SLR at year-2100 (relative to year-2000 baseline) ranges from 0.3 m (low) to 2.0 m (high).

    The outlook for global SLR at year-2150 (relative to year-2000 baseline) ranges from 0.4 m (low) to 3.7 m (high).

    In the YouTube video titled John Englander, Expert on Sea Level Rise, Talks with US Harbors About Changing Coastal Waters, published 6 Jul 2022, duration 0:41:42, John Englander, explains the causes of sea level rise, the various factors impacting increasing coastal flooding, and talks with Anastasia Fischer, president of US Harbors, about the need to re-engineer our coastlines for the future. John Englander discussed the 2022 NOAA report.

  125. My observation is that some coral species can survive variations in depth. It will all depend on clarity of water tolerable difference . (Coral reefs tend to have clear water) I have certainly seen quite deep slopes with what looks like the same species stretching down.)

  126. John D: – “My observation is that some coral species can survive variations in depth.

    But many corals are unlikely to survive the projected global temperature increases over the next few decades.

    The longer-term/multi-year +1.5 °C global mean warming threshold will inevitably be breached, and per Hansen et. al., likely occur within this decade.

    On our current GHG emissions trajectory, the longer-term/multi-year +2.0 °C global mean warming threshold is likely to be breached by mid-century, unless drastic measures are implemented immediately to reverse global warming.

    Per The Conversation article published on 2 Feb 2022 by Adele Dixon, Maria Beger, Peter Kalmus and Scott F. Heron, headlined Safe havens for coral reefs will be almost non-existent at 1.5°C of global warming – new study, included:

    In a 2018 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that 1.5°C of global warming would cause between 70 and 90% of the world’s coral reefs to disappear. Now, with models capable of examining temperature differences between coral reefs one kilometre apart, our team found that at 1.5°C of warming, which the world is predicted to reach in the early 2030s without drastic action to limit greenhouse gas emissions, 99% of the world’s reefs will experience heatwaves that are too frequent for them to recover.

  127. Geoff: Sounds like “Eat Drink and be Merry for tomorrow we die.”
    There is a level of disaster prediction that provides an incentive to do nothing apart from enjoying life while we can..

  128. John D: – “There is a level of disaster prediction that provides an incentive to do nothing apart from enjoying life while we can..

    I’d suggest those people who take that attitude are selfish – more interested in their own personal comforts and pleasures in the here and now, and don’t give a rats for what’s coming soon for their progeny/families, and us as a species and civilisation.

    If civilisation collapses, then I’d suggest the keeping of history and maintenance of advances/achievements/legacies will be lost and people won’t be remembered.

    Careful what you wish for, John D.

  129. Published on 11 Oct 2023 by Berkeley Earth was their latest September 2023 Temperature Update, by Robert Rohde. It included:

    The surprising recent warmth and the potential for a strong El Niño, has raised our estimates for the final 2023 annual average. We now consider there to be a 90% chance that 2023 has an annual-average temperature anomaly more than 1.5 °C/2.7 °F above the 1850-1900 average. This is a sharp increase from last month’s report, when only a 55% chance of a 1.5 °C anomaly was forecast. Prior to the start of 2023, the likelihood of a 1.5 °C annual average this year was estimated at ~1%. The fact that this forecast has shifted so greatly serves to underscore the extraordinarily progression of the last few months, whose warmth has far exceeded expectations.

    Though the IPCC has set a goal to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 °C above the pre-industrial, it must be noted that this goal refers to the long-term average temperature. A few months, or a single year, warmer than 1.5 °C does not automatically mean that the goal has been exceeded. However, breaching 1.5 °C this year would serve to emphasize how little time remains to meet this target. Unless sharp reductions in man-made greenhouse gas emissions occur soon, the long-term average is likely to pass 1.5 °C during the 2030s.


  130. Geoff:

    Careful what you wish for, John D.
    I’d suggest those people who take that attitude are selfish

    Or perhaps they are pointing out that endless bad news simply turns people off because they cannot see what will work.
    We need action plans to deal with specifics.

  131. John D: – “Or perhaps they are pointing out that endless bad news simply turns people off because they cannot see what will work.

    Would you prefer lies and fairytales instead, John? “Brightsiding”? Deceptive expectation?

    Some would say those with hope are less motivated to be activists than people with more realistic expectations. If you have hope, then you believe the problem can be solved, usually by someone else, which enables you to not deal with the problem. Hope facilitates complacency.

    John D: – “We need action plans to deal with specifics.


    Nothing less will do. The Laws of Physics are not negotiable.

  132. Geoff: “John D: – “Or perhaps they are pointing out that endless bad news simply turns people off because they cannot see what will work.”
    Would you prefer lies and fairytales instead, John? “Brightsiding”? Deceptive expectation?”
    Geoff: If you look my website you would find that I have written quite a bit on climate action issues. (The focus is solutions) Have also had a few articles published in Renew Economy.
    During my career I used my lateral, intuitive and inventive mind to improve product recovery and production from coal washeries and other mineral processing plants. Not major routes to emissions reduction and not an alternative to things like major reduction in coal mining but it does reduce emissions per tonne lifetime product.
    I am also an active member of the Greens.
    My work experience includes living in the center of WA for 10 yrs (serious dry heat) and 8 yrs on Groote Eylandt. (Serious humid heat). Makes me a bit optimistic about what can be survived to add to the things we can do to reduce global warming,

  133. John, personally I’m not attempting to persuade the masses in writing on this blog. I’m more concerned with the truth.

    I take an interest in a fair bit of sport around the world. I can report that wet bulb temperatures and the human niche is starting to manifest as a real issue.

    Recently I’ve been following Johan Rockström. As an engineer I’d appreciate your honest thoughts on Johan Rockström interview | Planetary boundaries, ‘negative emissions’, mitigation models & fairness with Kevin Anderson.

    There’s 70 minutes of goodness to ponder.

    I think Rockström and his mates have come up with the best conceptual framework yet for how we should live sustainably on this planet. Rather than lecture us about degrowth and the virtues of vegan diets he looks at the boundaries we need to live within. In essence, create a circular economy that is just and fair.

    Rockström says in the interview that he likes to not scare people too much, although I find what he is saying scary enough. He says, show them the possibilities of a better life. They feel better and are more productive if they are doing something positive – sure, sure.

    However, we need topdown realistic action from governments and corporates. Anderson is right when he says we have chosen to fail. We need to be clear-eyed about what is at stake. It looks worse than the IPCC is now saying, which is astonishingly bad.

    Plus, when you look at the Berkley temperature linked above, the whole system does appear to be tipping before our eyes.

    So is there hope? Not nearly as much as one would like. When the Rockström the scientist talks of cranking up the drawdown industry, Anderson as an engineer says it may be conceptually feasible, but not doable in the real world at the speed needed to save the planet.

    The talk a lot about the role of scientists and how they could communicate in public debate. The aim is to be a force for good on which happy note they conclude.

    Honestly, though, John, I’m finding it harder these days to offer hope with integrity.

  134. I’ve been waiting for Hansen’s commentary on the September temperature anomaly. Here it is:

    El Nino Fizzles. Planet Earth Sizzles. Why? – 13 October 2023

    He explains the yellow projection on Figure 2 thus:

    A 50% acceleration of the long-term (1970-2010) global warming rate (0.18°C per decade) is shown by the lower edge of the yellow region in Fig. 2, while the upper edge is 100% acceleration to 0.36°C per decade.

    He has long documented the increased tempo in warming in the near term. The forecast for the current El Niño, which he thinks is not very severe as a natural El Niño, looks as though it will burst through the upper line.

    Hansen repeatedly tells us that important factors at work are not even being measured. At the end, he says that what is happening around Antarctica including a lack of sea ice could be affecting the whole system.

    I suspect that tipping point elements are having an effect, such as ice sheet decay, failure of the boreal forests through heat and dryness, insect attack, burning etc, plus Amazon turning into a source rather than a sink, and we don’t even know what is happening in the Congo.

    However, as I have been saying, it looks like a major inflection point in the whole earth system, worthy of commentary on this blog.

  135. Published at John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations on 15 Oct 2023 was a piece by Peter Sainsbury headlined Environment: On track for 2 degrees of warming within 20 years. It included:

    NASA has released a high-resolution (25x25km squares) database of daily climate conditions over Earth’s entire land surface for the period 1950 to 2100. This has permitted prediction of when the global mean temperature will reach 2oC above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial level (the ‘crossing year’), and investigation of global and regional climate conditions (e.g., temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, wind speed) and their impacts (heat stress and fire weather) at the ‘crossing year’ compared with the average for 1950-1979.

    The results do not look good:

    * Depending on the level of emissions in the near future, the ‘crossing year’ will be somewhere between 2041 (high emissions) and 2044 (low emissions). Basically, we’ve done so little for so long that whatever we do with emissions over the next 20 years is going to make no real difference to when global warming exceeds 2 degrees.

  136. John, I think that link may only work for you. Is this the one you mean?

    C-Crete hailed as a planet-friendly alternative to cement

    According to some estimates, the generation of the heat used to produce traditional portland cement is responsible for 5% to 8% of all human-made CO2 emissions. A new substance known as C-Crete, however, is claimed to be a much greener – yet still practical – alternative.

  137. Geoff, yes I saw that Sainsbury article. It was I think about one of four similar prognostications I saw between watching the thoroughly depressing coverage of voting on the Voice and going to bed. Last night there was the International Energy Outlook 2023 produced by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

    There are copious graphs in the report, but one can gain a sense of it overall from the Press release:

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that global energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions will increase through 2050 (assuming the global energy system remains on its current trajectory and absent new policy). Global population growth, increased regional manufacturing, and higher living standards push growth in energy consumption beyond advances in energy efficiency, according to EIA’s projections in its International Energy Outlook 2023 (IEO2023).

    In IEO2023, EIA projects that global energy-related CO2 emissions will increase through 2050 in most of the cases modeled. Although EIA expects zero-carbon technology—renewables and nuclear—will meet the bulk of new energy demand through 2050, that growth is not sufficient to decrease global energy-related CO2 emissions in most cases under current laws and regulations, according to EIA’s projections.

    John, there is a great article in a recent edition of the New Scientist which talks about why scientists understate the situation and how policy makers are using the wrong approach.

    How can policy makers make appropriate decisions if they do not have a clear view of the risk of the worst that could happen and make appropriate contingency plans which could keep us and the planet safe.

    The EIA are simply extrapolating where existing policies and industry plans are getting us. It’s not pretty.

  138. Brian: The Davidson’s were divided on the voice with me changing my mind a number of times. Another part of me wanted to get something into the constitution with another part put off by the practicalities. (For example, there are about 1400 Groote Eylandt Warndilyagwa speakers. You would need a very large to give small groups like this representation.) Hazel agreed with the Warren Mundine line: You have to help all poor people. Helping one poor community while helping another is just divisive. (Ex: Dragline operators are very very well paid. Hazel encountered a part Aboriginal kid who was getting educational support on the grounds of Aboriginality despite being the son of a dragline operator.
    My take was that the 1967 referendum was successful because it was instructing the federal government to treat Aboriginals like the rest of the population as well as giving the federal government the power to make laws that overruled state governments that were discriminating against Aborigines.
    Given the problem’s of Howard’s elected voice it was crazy horse to put something in the constitution that would have stopped Howard getting rid of a dud voice.

  139. Posted at Climate Code Red yesterday (Oct 18) was a piece by David Spratt headlined One swallow doesn’t make a Spring, so do a few super-warm months mean global warming has really hit 1.5°C? It included a reference to Hansen’s latest communication:

    Their conclusion is straight-forward but stunning: “Thus, if this El Nino peak is as high as we project it will be, global temperature will oscillate about the yellow region. The 1.5°C global warming level will have been reached, for all practical purposes” (emphasis added).

    If this is the case, “there will be no need to ruminate for 20 years about whether the 1.5°C level has been reached, as IPCC proposes. On the contrary, Earth’s enormous energy imbalance assures that global temperature will be rising still higher for the foreseeable future.”

  140. Geoff, thanks for that. I saw the article but have been up to my navel in alligators on diverse matters.

    Nevertheless I seen plenty to worry about the state of the climate catastrophe, including these:

    We need to talk about ANTARCTICA…AGAIN!!

    Unrelenting Drought Clobbers the Amazon

    Dr Euan Nisbet – Methane Climate Termination Event – Wetlands are turning on (summary version)

    Commenting on the last, Nisbet seems the world expert on methane emissions. While it is very hard to tell where the increase is coming from in precise terms, he is worried about the tropical wetlands, pointing out that we have a cyclical feedback going on. Last time this happened big time was at the end of the Younger Dryas, when the temperature in Greenland went up by 10°C in a decade.

    We could be seeing a tipping point in action, where humans lose any chance of control.

  141. Last week saw a ‘holy shit’ moment in climate change science. A landmark report revealed that the collapse of a large part of Antarctica is now unstoppable

    Actually that wasn’t last week. It was nine years ago in 2014

    Now in the Guardian – Global warming: it’s a point of no return in West Antarctica. What happens next?

    Here’s the scientific paper – Unavoidable future increase in West Antarctic ice-shelf melting over the twenty-first century

    What is different this time is that the research has come out of the British Antarctic Survey, but uses the most new sophisticated ice sheet decay models, and scientists on X (Twitter) are agitated about it. The research says, no matter how effectively we mitigate climate change by reducing emissions, the ice sheet is on the way out.

    However, they are saying that East Antarctica can be saved.

    In terms of the paleo evidence, this is ridiculous. The Wilkes glacier area in the SE is unstable, and there are others. During the Eemian there were contributions from all three major ice sheets.

    Will this put the world on a war footing?

    Probably not.

  142. BioScience published on 24 Oct 2023 a journal article by William J Ripple et. al. (including Johan Rockström, Timothy M Lenton, Leon Simons & Sir David Anthony King) titled The 2023 state of the climate report: Entering uncharted territory. It begins with:

    Life on planet Earth is under siege. We are now in an uncharted territory. For several decades, scientists have consistently warned of a future marked by extreme climatic conditions because of escalating global temperatures caused by ongoing human activities that release harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, time is up. We are seeing the manifestation of those predictions as an alarming and unprecedented succession of climate records are broken, causing profoundly distressing scenes of suffering to unfold. We are entering an unfamiliar domain regarding our climate crisis, a situation no one has ever witnessed firsthand in the history of humanity.

    In the present report, we display a diverse set of vital signs of the planet and the potential drivers of climate change and climate-related responses first presented by Ripple and Wolf and colleagues (2020), who declared a climate emergency, now with more than 15,000 scientist signatories. The trends reveal new all-time climate-related records and deeply concerning patterns of climate-related disasters. At the same time, we report minimal progress by humanity in combating climate change. Given these distressing developments, our goal is to communicate climate facts and policy recommendations to scientists, policymakers, and the public. It is the moral duty of us scientists and our institutions to clearly alert humanity of any potential existential threat and to show leadership in taking action. This report is part of our series of concise and easily accessible yearly updates on the state of the climate crisis.

    Will this change attitudes with the elites? Probably not…

  143. The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023 was referred to the NSW Parliament Legislative Council Portfolio Committee No. 7 – Planning and Environment on 12 October 2023 for inquiry and report.

    Submissions close today (Oct 25).

    So far, 33 submissions are now publicly available to view (including mine).

    Public hearings are scheduled on 27 & 30 Oct 2023.

    A committee report is required by 17 Nov 2023.

  144. Sorry, I’ve been up to my navel in alligators.

    I’ve changed the settings so comments here remain open for another 30 days.

    That’s an outstanding report by Ripple et al, Geoff. Towards the end they tell us what we must do.

    Following the links, on the planetary boundaries stuff, they have retained 350ppm of CO2, which the Greens had held onto until they lost it in the pre-election flurry of redoing their stated climate policy.

    They also nominate < 1°C for a safe climate.

    I’d like to comment more, but meanwhile James Hansen tells us in To Understand and Protect the Home Planet that the Pipeline paper is due to be published.

    He is very clear about the approach he took, how it differs from the IPCC approach, and how his Ice Melt paper was defanged as a condition of publication.

  145. On 18 Oct 2023 in Edinburgh, Johan Rockström presented the 44th TB Macaulay Lecture. The YouTube video titled 44th TB Macaulay Lecture – In conversation with Professor Johan Rockström, published 20 Oct 2023, duration 1:37:47, includes:

    0:00:05 Welcome from Prof Colin Campbell, CEO, The James Hutton Institute
    0:04:14 Message from Prof Mathew Williams, Chief Scientific Advisor for Environment, Natural Resources & Environment, Scottish Government
    0:10:00 Introduction by Fran van Dijk, Chair, The Macaulay Development Trust
    0:13:03 44th TB Macaulay Lecture by Prof Johan Rockström, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
    1:09:55 Panel Discussion with Prof Sir Ian Boyd, Laura Young, and Prof Johan Rockström

  146. Geoff, I think that Rockström lecture is his best effort yet.

    He says he always tries to be positive, and I think he is careful to take account of where people are. So, for example, he does not attack the stupidity of ever thinking 1.5°C. In fact he supports it but only, I think, because it is there in the public mind, and limiting heating to that level is the best we can hope for.

    Before and after he nominates 1.0°C as the limit of a planet where a Holocene-like safe operating space may be found. He seems aware of risk, and of uncertainty, but is still able to tell a story that gives a path we could follow.

    Any way I’m a fan of the Planetary Boundaries concept. He seems prepared to do the scientific legwork to make it happen.

    Often the second author cited is the one who does a lot of the work. I note that in the original planetary boundaries documentation, the late Will Steffen was second author. In Earth beyond six of nine planetary boundaries by Katherine Richardson et al published in September this year, there he is again.

    In my view, the ‘planetary boundaries’ concept should be adopted as the operating framework for all government departments and entities.

  147. On 2 Nov 2023, Oxford Open Climate Change published a peer-reviewed journal article titled Global warming in the pipeline by James E Hansen et. al. It includes:

    With current policies, we expect climate forcing for a few decades post-2010 to increase 0.5–06 W/m² per decade and produce global warming of at least +0.27°C per decade. In that case, global warming will reach 1.5°C in the 2020s and 2°C before 2050 (Fig. 24). Such acceleration is dangerous in a climate system that is already far out of equilibrium and dominated by multiple amplifying feedbacks.

    Earth’s energy imbalance (EEI) is the net gain (or loss) of energy by the planet, the difference between absorbed solar energy and emitted thermal (heat) radiation. As long as EEI is positive, Earth will continue to get hotter. EEI is hard to measure, a small difference between two large quantities (Earth absorbs and emits about 240 W/m2 averaged over the entire planetary surface), but change of EEI can be well-measured from space [81]. Absolute calibration is from the change of heat in the heat reservoirs, mainly the global ocean, over a period of at least a decade, as needed to reduce error due to the finite number of places that the ocean is sampled [80]. EEI varies year-to-year (Fig. 25), largely because global cloud amount varies with weather and ocean dynamics, but averaged over several years EEI helps inform us about what is needed to stabilize climate.

    The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) published today (Nov 3) the YouTube video titled An Intimate Conversation with Leading Climate Scientists To Discuss New Research on Global Warming, duration 1:12:23. Ahead of the upcoming COP28, renowned climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, and his co-authors present their novel findings of their new paper Global Warming in the Pipeline. From time interval 0:17:03, James Hansen said:

    The 1.5 degree limit is deader than a doornail, and the 2 degree limit can be rescued only with the help of purposeful actions to effect Earth’s Energy Balance. We will need to cool off Earth to save our coastlines, coastal cities worldwide, and lowlands, while also addressing the other problems caused by global warming.

  148. Thanks, Geoff, I’ve been looking forward to the publication of this one.

    However, the link does not lead to the actual paper. Have you found it anywhere yet?

  149. Senate inquiry recommends $55-million investment into managing long-spined sea urchin

    The long-spined sea urchin (Centrostephanus rodgersii) is native to NSW, but an explosion in their numbers in recent decades has seen them transform up to half the state’s shallow reef habitat into underwater deserts as they overgraze kelp and destroy habitat for other marine life.

    According to the Win-win under our oceans: Climate-related marine invasive species report released today, rapidly warming ocean temperatures and a strengthening East Australian Current has enabled the “Pac-Man of the ocean” to infiltrate Victorian and Tasmanian coastline with devastating results.

    Spiny sea urchins are considered a delicacy in some countries.

  150. Geoff, in your first link to the Hansen paper, the link you gave is actually as follows:

    a href=”https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfclm/kgad008

    I can see it because of my editing status on the blog. That one doesn’t get the paper.

    Clearly Hansen has upset some like Michael Manne and Zeke Hausfather. I’ve long regarded Manne as unreliable, because he believes that hope can only be maintained by concealing the truth. This has led him into concealing the truth from himself.

    I’ve also been cautious about Zeke Hausfather.

    Instead of reminding Hansen of his misjudgements in the past they would do well to recall the accuracy of his prognostications. To attack him on his reputation was a low blow, which he wisely ignores, sticking to the physics, where Hansen is well aware of uncertainties.

    They should also understand that Hansen is not the sole author. I have a lot of confidence in Karina von Schuckmann, for example.

    On calling 1.5°C dead, Will Steffen did it in 2020, but as an aside in an answer to a question in a Zoom session, not as a finding in a scientific paper. As I recall, Kevin Anderson called 1.5°C absurd in 2016.

    I found Hansen’s fingering of West Antarctica and Thwaites Glacier as the most serious tipping point quite chilling. Sea level rise is routinely neglected in planning and discussion generally about the environment.

    So far only The Guardian has picked up the paper as far as I can see.

    Global heating is accelerating, warns scientist who sounded climate alarm in the 80s

  151. Brian: – “Sea level rise is routinely neglected in planning and discussion generally about the environment.

    There have been two public hearings held on Oct 27 and 30 of an inquiry into the NSW Government’s proposed Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023. It seems to me there have been some interesting exchanges at these hearings.

    Per an except from the UNCORRECTED transcript of the public hearing at the Preston Stanley Room, NSW Parliament House, Sydney, on Monday 30 October 2023 (on page 21):

    The Hon. JOHN RUDDICK: You stated:

    “Many coastal areas in Australia will experience what are now considered ‘once-in-100-years extreme-sea-level events’ at least once a year by 2100.”

    We were told 30 or 40 years ago that we would imminently face rising oceans. I don’t think that’s happened. Other people have appeared before the Committee and claimed that it has. I am pleased to see that you’re saying that it is something that will happen, but are you in agreement that we have not yet seen oceans rising as was predicted?

    PENNY SACKETT: No, I don’t agree with that point. Oceans have risen; the evidence is very clear on that. It’s also clear—and this is rather recent science—that that rate of increase in the ocean is now accelerating. That is, it’s rising faster and faster. So the oceans have already risen, and they will definitely rise further. How much further lies currently under our control, partially, by how much we limit greenhouse gases.

    The Hon. JOHN RUDDICK: How much have oceans risen in the past 100 years?

    PENNY SACKETT: I’m talking now about an average, and I would like to take this on notice, if I could, so I can get you a precise answer.

    The Hon. JOHN RUDDICK: Thank you.

    PENNY SACKETT: If you’d allow me, I’d like to take that on notice, and I will return that answer very quickly to the Committee.

    The Hon. JOHN RUDDICK: It might have gone up a centimetre or two, but it’s not having any impact. Demand for real estate on coastal properties continues to soar, so I don’t think it’s actually having any real-world impact. I mean, a one- or two-centimetre rise will be negligible for all communities.

    PENNY SACKETT: It is more than that, and I would disagree that it’s not having an impact. There are many companies, for example, that are already working, quite worried about the infrastructure that they have built next to coasts. There are already airports considering how this might affect their runways and so forth, so I would not agree that it has not had any impact. I’m not a real estate specialist, I admit.

    John Ruddick MLC, is a member of the NSW Parliament Legislative Council, declared elected on 20 Apr 2023, and is the first member of the Liberal Democratic Party to be elected to the NSW Parliament. In 2020, Ruddick started JR Mortgages, a mortgage broker house in Sydney.

    Professor Sackett is a physicist, astronomer, and was the Chief Scientist of Australia from November 2008 until March 2011. She was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board
    of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, serving a three-year term from 2017-2019. From 2015-2021, she was a Councillor of the Australian Capital Territory Climate Change Council, serving as its Deputy Chair and then Chair. Currently, she is a Distinguished Honorary Professor, Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions at the ANU.

    Also check out the submissions.

  152. Nature Communications published a paper on 7 Nov 2023 by R Millan et. al. titled Rapid disintegration and weakening of ice shelves in North Greenland. The Abstract includes:

    The glaciers of North Greenland are hosting enough ice to raise sea level by 2.1 m, and have long considered to be stable. This part of Greenland is buttressed by the last remaining ice shelves of the ice sheet. Here, we show that since 1978, ice shelves in North Greenland have lost more than 35% of their total volume, three of them collapsing completely. For the floating ice shelves that remain we observe a widespread increase in ice shelf mass losses, that are dominated by enhanced basal melting rates. Between 2000 and 2020, there was a widespread increase in basal melt rates that closely follows a rise in the ocean temperature. These glaciers are showing a direct dynamical response to ice shelf changes with retreating grounding lines and increased ice discharge. These results suggest that, under future projections of ocean thermal forcing, basal melting rates will continue to rise or remain at high level, which may have dramatic consequences for the stability of Greenlandic glaciers.

    Nature Climate Change published a paper on 23 Oct 2023 by Kaitlin A. Naughten et. al. titled Unavoidable future increase in West Antarctic ice-shelf melting over the twenty-first century. The Abstract includes:

    Ocean-driven melting of floating ice-shelves in the Amundsen Sea is currently the main process controlling Antarctica’s contribution to sea-level rise. Using a regional ocean model, we present a comprehensive suite of future projections of ice-shelf melting in the Amundsen Sea. We find that rapid ocean warming, at approximately triple the historical rate, is likely committed over the twenty-first century, with widespread increases in ice-shelf melting, including in regions crucial for ice-sheet stability. When internal climate variability is considered, there is no significant difference between mid-range emissions scenarios and the most ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement. These results suggest that mitigation of greenhouse gases now has limited power to prevent ocean warming that could lead to the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Dr Ella Gilbert talks with Dr Kaitlin Naughten in the Nov 9 YouTube video titled We can’t save the West Antarctic. So what now?, duration 0:14:28.

    I note one of the comments (by @mralekito) to the Dr Gilbert video says:

    As your friend Jason Box says, “it hasn’t really sunk in, not even in the science community, that’s we’ve effectively lost the ice sheets. It’s only a matter of time before we see many meters of sea level rise and the world has to prepare for the catastrophe of the loss of coastlines and a retreat inland. Yet we’re acting like we can negotiate our way out of this”.

    Time to be grownups.

  153. Actions of the sea are generally not covered by insurance. That would include sea level rise.

    Ms Kylie MACFARLANE, Chief Operating Officer, Insurance Council of Australia appeared as a witness at the NSW Parliament Portfolio Committee No. 7 – Planning and Environment public hearing on 30 Nov 2023, providing testimony relating to the NSW Government’s proposed Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill 2023. On page 35 of the CORRECTED transcript (bold text my emphasis):

    The Hon. JOHN RUDDICK: So you are saying this is not something that is going to happen in the future; you are saying it’s something that is happening now. You did mention that there are some areas around high flood plains where some of your insurers will not insure properties there, and I think that is their right to decide. But I’m very interested. Your members would be at the front line of these rising oceans and washing away homes, so are there any insurers which have withdrawn from the coastal market?

    KYLIE MACFARLANE: Apologies; I didn’t realise you were referring to our submission. But, yes, our submission does say that we have reached a mean temperature rise of 1.46 degrees Celsius, and that is seeing an impact on a range of different climatic conditions. Actions of the sea are rarely insured events. Most insurers would exclude actions of the sea from policies. This is quite standard and so, from an insurance perspective, actions of the sea are rarely covered in a home and contents policy, for example. What we are, however, looking at is what does government need to do to think about the pre-emptive buyback and retrieve of those communities that might be at risk of increasing rising sea levels. We would see that as we would with any other extreme weather event, whether it be flood, cyclone, bushfire or otherwise.

    The CHAIR: Does that help?

    The Hon. JOHN RUDDICK: I was interested to learn that a standard insurance policy doesn’t cover actions of the sea. Okay. Well, that’s interesting. If the sea level were to rise as we’re told it’s going to rise, by a foot or something, then those properties would not be insured. If it actually did happen that there was a rising sea, then those homes would not be protected.

    KYLIE MACFARLANE: If their policies excluded actions of the sea, those homes would be not covered for that action. They would, of course, potentially be covered for the other—they would be covered for the other components that are in their policy.

    The Hon. JOHN RUDDICK: Right.


  154. October global surface temperatures are starting to come in from the various agencies. Here’s Copernicus:

    October 2023 was the warmest October on record globally, with an average surface air temperature of 15.30°C, 0.85°C above the 1991-2020 average for October and 0.40°C above the previous warmest October, in 2019.

    The global temperature anomaly for October 2023 was the second highest across all months in the ERA5 dataset, behind September 2023.

    The month as a whole was 1.7°C warmer than an estimate of the October average for 1850-1900, the designated pre-industrial reference period.

    Also reports from the UNJ and IEA saying absolutely no new coal and gas. Yet this is from a broker report on Woodside:

    We expect once [Woodside] has more clarity on Scarborough timing it may seek to reduce 2026 spot exposure given large LNG capacity additions globally in 2025-26.

    (Emphasis added)


    If growth can be delivered smoothly, value is starting to re-emerge.

    Also, the AFR is making clear today that Origin Energy’s new owners (it is under takeover offer by foreign private equity owners) are going to aggressively pursue gas developments. They are major players in Qld’s coal seam gas, and have exploration rights which include the Cooper basin and the Chanel Country.

    “No new gas” is an easy slogan, but not easy to deliver for a country which is the third biggest fossil fuel exporter (I think) where major trading partners say they want our stuff so that they can keep the lights on.

    Yet we must.

  155. Sorry for my absence. Since last Saturday we have spent seven hours in the RBH emergency system, then a couple of days later over four hours in the Wesley.

    There are two health systems in place. At the Royal Brisbane we had egood service, you might say, being attended by an intern doctor on his second day at work.

    At the Wesley, a non-profit run by the Uniting Church, we paid a decent sum $270 for walking through the door, plus tests and stuff, but were seen by an experienced physician.

    The outcome, ie. the path forward, was substantially different.

    BTW we are OK, more or less.

  156. Two months to go, but the call is being made by scientists other than James Hansen:

    2023 is “virtually certain” to be the warmest year ever recorded, climate agency says

    Michael Manne is still brightsiding, but:

    WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas also issued another warning: “There’s a 66% chance that we would exceed 1.5 degrees during the coming five years. And there’s a 33% probability that we will see the whole coming five years exceeding that threshold.”

  157. James Hansen’s new comment:

    How We Know that Global Warming is Accelerating and that the Goal of the Paris Agreement is Dead
    (10 November 2023)

    Not just 1.5°C:

    Given global warming of 0.95C in 2010, the warming by 2030 will be about 0.95°C + 2×0.18°C + 0.4°C = 1.71°C. Global warming of 2°C will be reached by the late 2030s, i.e., within about 15 years.

    He does not spell out here what needs to be done, but I think you will find that he believes we need serious consideration of ‘solar radiation management’ plus somehow or other (planting trees won’t do it) drawdown of something like 7 gigatonnes of CO2 per annum.

    This communication may have been written by Hansen, but the list of authors includes a number from the Pipeline paper, notably Karina von Schuckmann, who I rate highly.

  158. John, new wind technology sounds good, and adds to the notion that fossil fuels will just run out of steam because they can’t compete with cleaner technology.

    The ‘human collapse’ link is also interesting in that Jem Bendell, a well-known doomster, is now telling us how to cope with it.

    He’s not the only doomster around, of course. The other day I found 10 Reasons Our Civilization Will Soon Collapse, each reason by itself being enough to provoke collapse.

    I also found a couple of Finnish guys, with a bit of help from people who work at very respected outfits, with Proposing a 1.0°C climate target for a safer future who reckoned a safe climate is doable, and should be our aim. They linked to Climate change mitigation easier than suggested by models, which say that the IPCC is always out of date and misleading.

    They recognise, however, that if we trigger tipping points, things might get more bumpy.

  159. Another Nick Breeze ClimateGenn YouTube video was published a few hours ago titled Kevin Anderson: Climate Failures and Phantasies | Full episode, duration 0:43:29. In this full ClimateGenn episode host Nick Breeze speaks with Professor Kevin Anderson from the Universities of Manchester and Uppsala about how journalists and experts have failed the public by an over dependence on reductionist thinking, as opposed to systems thinking, much needed to avert disaster.

  160. I’ve been up to my navel in alligators again!

    Geoff, one of the scientists not surprised about the elevated temperatures would be James Hansen, of course.

    But then I found this one from November 2022 – The world will likely miss 1.5 C. Why isn’t anyone saying so?

    “Individually, in private, I don’t think I know of many climate scientists that think 1.5 C is possible (I could count them on a hand),” Glen Peters, a climate policy expert and research director at the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Norway, said in an email to E&E News.

  161. I’ve had my leg stuck in a bog for a bit.

    Have just opened comments for another 30 days. The blog did not seem to want to follow, must be breaking a universal principle or something.

    Here’s Bill McKibben on A Corrupted COP.

    Honestly, it looks like game over for a livable planet!

    Sorry, John, we tried!

  162. Dr. James Hansen, former Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, joined Paul Beckwith in a discussion about his recent work, as shown in the YouTube video titled Dr. James E. Hansen in Conversation with Paul Beckwith, duration 0:43:12. This video was recorded on 13 Nov 2023, and published on 26 Nov 2023.

    James Hansen at the beginning of the video says:

    You know, we owe it to young people to explain exactly what the situation is and they need to be involved in the decision-making because it’s – they’re the ones who are inheriting the consequences. They come over decades and even of centuries, but we should be able to understand what they are going to be and make some sensible decisions, because we have to reduce this planetary energy imbalance. It’s never been this large. It’s never been driving the planet at the rate that it is now and it’s going to have consequences on the decadal time scale, which are going to be very large.

    Leon Simons tweeted on Nov 28:

    When your drug dealer starts selling meth at rehab

    COP28: UAE planned to use climate talks to make oil deals

  163. Probably the best on COP analysis I’ve seen so far. David Spratt and Ian Dunlop in COP-out: Why the petrostate-hosted climate talkfest will fail.

    The article has masses of links to research backing up what they say, some to recent reports which have flooded the internet.

    The basic thing is that UNFCCC was set up over 30 years ago to avoid dangerous climate change. We have that now. They have failed.

    Moreover the approach to risk is negligent beyond comprehension. The default prospect is now for a planet where life as we know it will not be possible in terms of our social, political, economic structures. With tipping points in play, just about anything could happen.

  164. Meanwhile, The Guardian article published less than an hour ago, headlined Net zero by 2050 and interim target of 70% emissions reduction by 2035 passed by NSW parliament, begins with:

    The New South Wales government’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets have been passed into law after the Greens and Coalition joined forces to strengthen the legislation to include interim targets.

    The state’s target of cutting emissions 70% compared with 2005 levels by 2035, and reaching net zero emissions by 2050, are now enshrined in law, and an independent advisory panel to monitor progress will be established.

    Following a raft of amendments, the targets will be able to be reviewed and increased over time, and the Net Zero Commission will be able to provide independent advice on projects and policies, including approvals of any new coal and gas projects.

  165. On 1 Dec 2023, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists published a piece by David Spratt headlined The stark choice facing climate conference: A livable climate or more oil and gas? It concludes with:

    If the COP process is to be relevant, then at the very least it needs to fundamentally change the way it works. Key changes would focus on the consensus rule that gives such extraordinary powers to petrostates, and on limits of access for the fossil fuel lobbying industry at the COPs. A proposal by the Club of Rome—endorsed by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former Ireland President Mary Robinson, among other prominent figures—emphasizes both the need for capacity to respond to our current emergency situation and to respect the goal of Paris of 1.5 degrees Celsius by holding countries to account for financing the transition. The proposal also supports a science-based approach in the COP process, with more regular updates about new developments and smaller, more frequent meetings to ensure governments are not the only voices heard during official discussions.

    If the current COP could move in this direction, there may be hope for it. But if political bluster fueled by addictions to oil and gas hold sway, the culture of failure will persist, with severe consequences for humanity’s future.

  166. Yara announces world’s first clean ammonia-powered container ship

    The ship is expected to eliminate 11,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, while giving a range of manufacturers the ability to decarbonize their international logistics chains.

    “To succeed in decarbonizing shipping, low-emission technologies must be brought to commercial scale within the next decade,”says Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, in a press release. “It is imperative that carriers are incentivized to choose low-carbon fuel.”

  167. Good one, John, but apparently limited in range, so not the whole answer.

    Geoff, David Spratt certainly gets around. I notice he links to the Club of Rome statement How to make COP fit to deliver real climate action? where inter alia we have this:

    “The COP process remains, from a climate action perspective, completely disconnected from scientific necessity,” says Johan Rockström, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “While this process inches forward with new targets and pledges, global emissions and temperatures continue to rise, and climate extremes occur more frequently and with more severity than expected. This lethargic progress is totally at odds with climate science and real-world climate damage and risks.”

  168. The Potsdam Institute have led a new modelling exercise that looks to solve the climate problem quick smart:

    Kriegler, E., Strefler, J., Gulde, R. et al. 2023. How to achieve a rapid, fair, and efficient transformation to net zero emissions – Policy findings from the NAVIGATE project.

    Their email said:

    Global warming can still be limited to 1.5°C by 2100 while ensuring that the poor are not hit hardest by climate policies and climate impacts. This is achieved by immediately introducing broad carbon pricing together with re-distributive policies using carbon pricing revenues and further measures to reduce energy consumption, accelerate technological transitions, and transform the land sector. The results from multiple integrated assessment models (IAMs) show that a combination of producer and consumer-oriented measures can work together to rapidly reduce emissions. The comprehensive results on 1.5°C pathways in line with the Paris Agreement are synthesised in a report of the European project NAVIGATE. The new report presented at COP28 provides a blueprint for achieving a rapid, fair and efficient transformation to net zero emissions.

    “Only the combination of producer- and consumer-oriented policies can realise the full emission reduction potential in all sectors,” says Elmar Kriegler from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), coordinator of the NAVIGATE project. “Their combined and immediate implementation can substantially accelerate climate action and close the gap to a pathway limiting warming to 1.5°C by 2100.” The results from NAVIGATE also show that re-distributive policies buffer the impact on poor households while allowing them to reap the benefit of avoided climate impacts in the longer term. This demonstrates that a global net zero transition done right not only safeguards the climate but also protects against worsening global inequality.

    The NAVIGATE report spells out how such transitions play out in the energy, transport, industry, buildings and agricultural sectors. For example, the modelled rapid industry transition is based on a rapid decarbonization of electricity generation, a strong electrification, an accelerated introduction of clean fuels, increased circularity in carbon intensive industries like the steel industry, and the deployment of carbon capture and storage cutting carbon emissions by 55-90 per cent until 2050. At the same time, income inequality is consistently reduced in 1.5°–2°C mitigation pathways compared to the case of unabated climate change, due to a combination of redistributive policies and the avoided increase in inequality from climate damages.

    Rapid supply-side transformation is essential for achieving emission neutrality

    “Based on the next generation of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs), this report shows that a rapid supply-side transformation is essential to decarbonise energy use and industrial production, which is crucial for achieving emission neutrality,“ author Jessica Strefler from PIK says. “However, an early transformation of energy consumption reduces emissions especially in the short term, and the lower energy demand reduces the pressure on the transformation. Advanced land use measures including technical measures as well as dietary changes and reduced food waste are crucial to reduce greenhouse gas emissions other than CO2, thus enabling net-zero emissions as well as a lower peak temperature well below 2°C.”

    The EU-funded NAVIGATE project aimed at developing the next generation of advanced IAMs that better describe transformational change and winners and losers of the transition. IAMs support climate policy making by combining energy, economy, land, water, and climate into a consistent modelling framework to analyse global climate-change-mitigation pathways. NAVIGATE critically improved the capabilities of IAMs and increased the usability and transparency of IAM results. The project was coordinated by PIK and conducted by 16 research institutions from Europe and two institutions from Brazil and China.

  169. Yes, Geoff, there is little doubt something extraordinary is happening. Hansen still seems to have the best handle on what’s going on. The first time we went to + 1.5°C was 17 November. Here’s Hansen et al on 10 November in How We Know that Global Warming is Accelerating and that the Goal of the Paris Agreement is Dead:

    Here is another illuminating impact of this increased absorption of solar radiation. As a conservative estimate let’s take 1 W/m2 as the increase of absorbed solar radiation. Also, as a round, conservative, estimate, let’s take equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) as 4°C for 2×CO2. How much added warming will this cause, over and above the 0.18°C per decade warming from GHGs? Fig. 2 tells us the answer. Within less than a decade, we must expect 0.4×0.25×4°C = 0.4°C additional warming. Given global warming of 0.95C in 2010, the warming by 2030 will be about 0.95°C + 2×0.18°C + 0.4°C = 1.71°C. Global warming of 2°C will be reached by the late 2030s, i.e., within about 15 years. The added climate forcing – presumed to be our first Faustian payment – is, indeed, a BFD.

    (Emphasis added)

    From memory, Paul Beckwith is expecting 2023 to come out as +1.54°C.

  170. I don’t like carbon pricing because it is easy to result in unproductive price increases (I prefer offset credit trading.) I might also be convinced that a carbon tax is worth having if the carbon tax income is used to do something worthwhile. For example, use tax income to improve the situation of low income people.

  171. John, James Hansen reckons there should be a carbon tax which is distributed directly to the people.

    He also says young people should create their own party, because the two big parties in the US are captured be the fossil fuel industry.

    I’m not convinced climate scientists or indeed engineers have the best insights on what to do. Nor do I!

  172. David Spratt tweeted this morning (Dec 15):

    No messing about here from James Hansen: by 2024, 1.5C #climate warming trend will be established. “The first six months of the current El Nino are 0.39°C warmer than the same six months of the 2015-16 El Nino, a global warming rate of 0.49°C/decade, consistent with expectation of a large acceleration of global warming. We expect the 12-month mean temperature by May 2024 to eliminate any doubt about global warming acceleration. Subsequent decline of the 12-month temperature below 1.5°C will likely be limited, confirming that the 1.5°C limit has already been passed.” https://mailchi.mp/caa/global-warming-acceleration-el-nino-measuring-stick-looks-good

  173. Brian: Hansen is not necessarily an expert in driving change. Taxes can be a clumsy tool in some cases. The tax may not be enough to drive the desired changes (Pay the tax but no gain) and/or higher than necessary in other cases. (specific cases could be driven with a lower tax. ) Direct action: Ex: Government invests in specific projects or bans new cola fired power.

  174. Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted Dec 18 (including a graph of global 2m surface temperature anomalies, 1940- 11 Dec 2023):

    After 96 consecutive days above the Paris limit of 1.5°C, as of December 11, the planet temporarily breached below the Paris limit, hitting a cool 1.48°C. I expect this breach to last about a week, then we’re back to total planetary f&%kery again.

    Also, another tweet from Professor Eliot Jacobson (including graph):

    Meanwhile, in the tropics, records are being broken every day.

    The October data from CERES for EEI is now available, with a new record set for the 36-month running mean, this time at 1.52 W/m², per another tweet by Prof Jacobson.

  175. The Climate Chat Club hosted a live streaming video of an interview with legendary climate scientist James Hansen, with the recording now available in the YouTube video titled Climate Change: What to Know/What to Do with Climate Scientist JAMES HANSEN, published 18 Dec 2023, duration 1:50:45.

  176. Sorry I’ve been out of action with diverse emergencies, and now a daughter and family have arrived to brighten up my life!

    The Christmas/New Year edition of New Scientist has just arrived.

    They saw climate change as the biggest issue of 2023. It does seem that it was something of a tipping point, or marker of what the onset of the Anthropocene is going to mean.

    There has been a change in the forecast for El Niño, but I think it has been over-egged a bit in the reportage, such as El Nino appears to be on verge of rapid collapse . The link to the source article they give – ENSO Forecast: December 2023 Quick Look is less dramatic:

    As of mid-Dec 2023, El Niño conditions in the central-eastern equatorial Pacific remain strong with key oceanic and atmospheric variables consistent with an ongoing El Niño event. A CPC El Niño advisory remains in place for December 2023. Almost all the models in the IRI ENSO prediction plume forecast a continuation of the El Niño event during the rest of the boreal winter and spring of 2024, which rapidly weakens thereafter. ENSO-neutral conditions become the most likely category in Apr-Jun, of 2024, and remain so during the next two seasons of the forecast period. For Jul-Sep 2024, no single category stands out as dominant, with ENSO-neutral and La Niña being equally likely. By Aug-Oct 2024, La Niña becomes the most probable category, with a likelihood of 52%.

    For more detail the real source is no doubt NOAA’s ENSO Diagnostic Discussion 14 December 2023 with lots of links to further information.

    I’ll be interested in whether James Hansen changes his prognostication for 1.7°C by 2030 and 2°C by about 2039.

  177. Berkeley Earth (BE) published on Dec 19 their November 2023 Temperature Update by Robert Rohde. It seems BE calculate a 99% chance the full year 2023 will exceed +1.5 °C. There’s also a discussion on the El Niño Outlook.

    The latest ERA5 data point for global surface temperatures (Dec 15) was +1.62 °C above the IPCC’s 1850-1900 baseline, per a tweet by Prof Eliot Jacobson.

    Planet Earth is now absorbing 2.2 W/m² more heat from the sun than it did in the first decade (i.e. 2000-2009) of this century, per CERES data to Oct 2023. Leon Simons tweeted on Dec 19:

    This is the most important graph in the world:

  178. Geoff, Leon Simons could be right. In this graph he’s essentially saying what is central to Hansen’s concern.

    Hansen’s latest is now out – Global Warming Acceleration: El Nino Measuring Stick Looks Good
    (14 December 2023):

    Global warming is accelerating because the drive for warming, Earth’s energy imbalance, has doubled in the past decade. Measurement of the acceleration is hampered by unforced tropical (El Nino/La Nina) variability, but a good measuring stick is provided by warming between successive large El Ninos. Strengthening of the current (2023-24) El Nino
    has raised it to a level similar to the 1997-98 and 2015-16 El Ninos. The first six months of the current El Nino are 0.39°C warmer than the same six months of the 2015-16 El Nino, a global warming rate of 0.49°C/decade, consistent with expectation of a large acceleration of global warming. We expect the 12-month mean temperature by May 2024 to eliminate any doubt about global warming acceleration. Subsequent decline of the 12-month temperature below 1.5°C will likely be limited, confirming that the 1.5°C limit has already been passed.

    John, Hansen’s value is in telling us how much time we have and how much CO2 we need to take out of the atmosphere etc. He plans to do another paper on this. The IPCC scenarios depend on drawdown being a major factor. I think Hansen is proposing 7 gigatonnes pa, which will only reduced CO2 concentrations be 1 ppm. Planting trees won’t do the job.

    The problem here is Hansen is making concessions here to what he sees as feasibility. On that he has no more expertise that the next climate scientist, that is, it’s simply not his field.

    He has also been the most consistent in warning about sea level rise, which still does not get enough attention by ‘policy makers’, or environmentalists, greenies and Greens. He plans to have another look at that, but warns that we had several metres within a century during the Eemian, and has consistently said that this century we are going to lose our coastlines.

  179. Copernicus Sentinel-3 proves instrumental in tracking melting land ice, article dated Dec 19.

    Sensors on Copernicus Sentinel-3 that measure snow and ice properties, have been used to develop a fast and accurate approach for monitoring the extent of land ice melt, as set out in an ESA-funded research project.

    A heatwave produced extreme low Greenland ice sheet albedo ~14 July, 2023 – see graph:

  180. Brian: – “He has also been the most consistent in warning about sea level rise, which still does not get enough attention by ‘policy makers’, or environmentalists, greenies and Greens.

    I think Prof Jason Box also does an excellent job warning about faster than forecast SLR.

    ICYMI/FYI, Prof Jason Box published a YouTube video on 11 Dec 2023 titled Arctic climate insights and low fidelity climate models, duration 0:07:35. On climate models, Prof Box says from time interval 0:03:56:

    We find that increased wildfire area, that is not only a major ecosystem disruptor and source of black carbon soot, but carbon emissions from fire combined with carbon emissions from permafrost degradation together are amplifying global warming. The more global warming, the more Arctic carbon release, and then some more global warming, in a feedback process. Increasing fire and permafrost carbon emissions are not well-captured by climate models that policy relies on as planning tools for the future. The weakness of modelling is not from lack of diligence on the part of science. It’s for reasons like the model resolution tends to be too coarse to resolve the wavy jet stream and stuck jet stream patterns that produce extremes. Furthermore, the global carbon cycle is not well accounted for yet in climate models. And it’s not the model’s fault that not all known amplifying or damping factors are yet accounted. The issue is that in a lot of cases we lack the physics and mathematical expressions to mimic how sensitive nature really is. Consequently, climate and Earth System models offer a mere facsimile of the infinite fidelity of nature. The models lack the sensitivity and detail we see when we venture to the Arctic. With model futured ice loss being reported faster each time the models are upgraded, the implication is that society likely needs to prepare for more sea level rise. Modelling the future is hard, and when we compare how well modelling captures past ice and carbon changes, we get the clear impression that future warming and ice loss can come faster than forecast.

  181. Merry Christmas Brian and crew.

    Although a don’t comment on here anymore I do drop in from time to time to checkout your offerings, which as always is very comprehensive. Thank you and all the best for 2024.

  182. Thankyou, Ootz. Greetings to you also. It appears you have survived Cyclone Jasper.

    We’ve had our moments in SEQ, with a tornado ripping through SEQ mainly Gold Coast and hinterland.

    Personally I survived three Christmas family events, which, shall we say, required a lot of attention.

    Now we have brutal heat, too hot for me to venture outside, so I hope to catch up here a bit.

  183. Will the +2.0 °C daily global 2m surface temperature anomaly be breached again before the end of 2023? Per Prof Eliot Jacobson’s tweet posted today (Dec 31):

    The latest Copernicus data showed Dec. 24th was the 3rd hottest day in the last 174 years for global surface temperatures, at 1.99°C over the 1850-1900 IPCC baseline. Maybe even the 3rd hottest in the last 125,000 years.

    And US petroleum geologist Art Berman tweeted today (Dec 31):

    U.S. tight oil production averaged 68% of U.S. output in 2023
    Conventional production has fallen from 4.5 to 4.2 mmb/d since Covid
    What will happen when tight oil begins to decline?

    Nate Hagens published a YouTube video on 14 Dec 2023 titled Arthur Berman: “Shale Oil and the Slurping Sound” | The Great Simplification #101, duration 1:30:27. The conversation was recorded on 29 Nov 2023. Art presents recent data on well productivity in US shale plays indicating we are much closer to ‘the slurping sound’.
    Show notes, links to the video, transcript, and slides are available at:

    What will 2024 bring us?

  184. Geoff, one big question for me going into 2024, is what Alan Kohler raised in September 2021, when will we hit the panic button on climate change?

    At the time I thought it might take the Thwaites Glacier to crash. That is probably still true, but to that we can now add a complete breakdown of AMOC.

    Simple bad weather doesn’t seem to count.

    However, I took a look at what Art Berman was saying. He reckons we are screwed if we keep burning oil, and are screwed if we can’t keep burning it at the same rate. Renewable, he says, are no substitute.

    For now I’ll just say with Pablo Casals:

      The situation is hopeless, we must take the next step!

  185. Brian: – “Geoff, one big question for me going into 2024, is what Alan Kohler raised in September 2021, when will we hit the panic button on climate change?

    I’d suggest the usual time to respond to dangerous circumstances is when many people have already died.

    Brian: – “Simple bad weather doesn’t seem to count.

    It seems some blame the messenger instead – for example, the BoM for recent predictions of the deadly weather events in Queensland. It seems to me there’s a concerted campaign by the ‘rabid right’ to discredit the BoM as part of their “climate change is a hoax” narrative.

    Brian: – “However, I took a look at what Art Berman was saying. He reckons we are screwed if we keep burning oil, and are screwed if we can’t keep burning it at the same rate.

    His career has been in petroleum – that’s what he knows best. I think he makes some compelling evidence-based arguments about the oil supply outlook. I think it’s too late now to avoid some serious societal pain in the not too distant future (i.e. best guess, beginning within this decade).

    Art Berman tweeted earlier today (Jan 1):

    Permian basin production accounted for 46% of U.S. domestic supply in 2023
    Conventional + offshore accounted for 32% and other tight oil for 22%
    What will happen when tight oil begins to decline?

    US ‘conventional’ + offshore oil production are declining. US tight oil (excluding the Permian) has already peaked. The US Permian basin is the only play that’s likely to show any further growth, but the key questions are:
    a) For how much longer?
    b) How steep will be the decline after the final peak?

    Art Berman also tweeted today:

    2023 and 2022 Permian production rates are already lower than 2021 rates

  186. Other potential free spaces for solar panels that provide other benefits including reducing the needs for long power lines, protection from weather etc. include:
    – Pathway cover
    – Walkway cover.
    – Carpark coverer
    – Continuous car battery charging from side of road.

  187. John, I heard on the radio today that the Dutch are setting up local power systems in crowded cities, because the network is full and can’t take any more!

    Geoff, I had the feeling Berman was not tuned in to where renewables are going. Here’s a couple of links in new battery technology:

    A Chinese EV company developed a battery with a 1,000km range — and its CEO tested it out on a 14-hour livestream

    NASA’s nickel-hydrogen battery technology could displace lithium by 2030

    The latter basically does not wear out, and will not burst into flames. Otherwise works well. Seems targetted for large-scale storage. AGL are installing one.

  188. Brian: – “If temperatures work out as Hansen et al think they will in 2024, people will die, Nate Hagen tells us in his particularly frank new year message (from about 2:25).

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’. Nate Hagens mentions an interview with Leon Simons already recorded, that’s due to be published sometime in Jan 2024 – could be worth a look/listen. There’s another ‘Frankly’ scheduled to be published Jan 5 & another on Jan 12 (see comments below the Frankly #51 video).

    Meanwhile, revisiting Climate change could take us back 50 million years, dated 12 Dec 2018, included:

    “After studying the Pliocene for the last 20 years in order to find out more about how warm climates work, it is sobering to know that, all things being equal, I will live long enough to see and recognise more and more characteristics of a climate state which has not existed for more than 3 million years” said Professor Alan Haywood.

    In the PNAS paper titled Pliocene and Eocene provide best analogs for near-future climates, published 10 Dec 2018, includes Fig. 1 showing a multi-timescale time series of global mean annual temperatures for the last 65 million years, and recent and projected warming trends out to 2200.

    The warnings are there. It seems humanity needs to find out the hard way by direct experience!

  189. John, I had forgotten about phase change materials!

    Geoff, interesting article from 2018. Of course James Hansen warned us in 2007 that we had already gone too far when CO2 was 386ppm (from memory). Of course we knew 10 or 15 years earlier than that about the Eemian Interglacial (to be continued!)

  190. ICYMI/FYI, James Hansen and colleagues have recently published 2 more communications:

    28 Dec 2023, Good News for Young People About Climate Change and a Thank You

    04 Jan 2024, Groundhog Day. Another Gobsmackingly Bananas Month. What’s Up?, beginning with:

    Abstract. December was the 7th consecutive month of record-shattering global temperature, driven by the combination of a moderately strong El Nino and a large decrease of Earth’s albedo. The El Nino will fade in the next few months, but we anticipate that the string of record monthly temperatures will continue to a total of 12 and possibly 13 months because of Earth’s unprecedented energy imbalance. By May the 12-month running-mean global temperature relative to 1880-1920 should be +1.6-1.7°C and not fall below +1.4 ± 0.1°C during the next La Nina minimum. Thus, given the planetary energy imbalance, it will be clear that the 1.5°C ceiling has been passed for all practical purposes.

    It seems there’s another few days wait to get the remaining 3 days of surface temperature data for the full year for 2023. See Prof Eliot Jacobson’s tweet yesterday (Jan 4).

    Will the +2.0 °C daily global 2m surface temperature anomaly be breached again before the end of 2023?
    Will the +1.5 °C full year average global 2m surface temperature anomaly be breached in 2023?

    We’ll see soon…

  191. Thanks, Geoff. There are as lot of graphs on display if you scroll down from the Eliot Jacobson link.

    James Hansen’s good news piece is good news. It’s great that the planet is absorbing a slightly higher percentage of human CO2 emissions when we might have expected the reverse.

    However, I think this is the graph that Greta Thunberg keeps an eye on. There was not even a pause for COVID.

  192. Bill McKibben, looking for good news to start the year, outlines the enormous growth in battery technology and production in his newsletter Fully Recharged. Eight years ago there was one gigafactory, now there are 240.

    Battery production capacity is now ahead of demand.

    He rather spoils his positive message by including a later item on the US LNG export boom which is spreading to Mexico, causing environmental concerns.

    In December, after receiving permission from the U.S. Department of Energy to export American gas from two LNG terminals in Mexico, Justin Bird, CEO of LNG developer Sempra Infrastructure, said the investments are “critical to supporting the energy needs of America’s allies.” Sempra is also behind the Cameron LNG and Port Arthur LNG export terminals on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

    “These export projects are expected to support efforts across the Indo-Pacific region to diversify energy supplies while transitioning away from coal in power production,” Bird said in a statement discussing the Mexico projects. “They are also expected to help strengthen U.S. trading relationships, as well as create new jobs and boost the U.S. and Mexico economies.”

    Energy policy seems to be more about politics than concern for the planet.

  193. Dr Robert Rohde tweeted Jan 6:

    Berkeley Earth’s Annual Temperature Report is expected to appear on January 12th.

    Embargoed copies will be available to journalists a few days beforehand.

    If any journalists would like to be added to our distribution list, please email media@berkeleyearth.org or send me a DM.

    James Hansen’s temperature update for 2022 communication was published on 12 Jan 2023, for 2021 on 13 Jan 2022, & for 2020 on 14 Jan 2021. So it would be reasonable to expect his 2023 update to become publicly available late this week.

    Meanwhile, global SSTs have exceeded 6σ for the second time in recorded history on 6 Jan 2024, per Prof Eliot Jacobson tweet.

  194. Zeke Hausfather does not give a value for 2023 actual in his predictions graph, where he said their predictions methodology completely broke down for 2023.

    However, it looks very close to 1.5°C , and high enough to create terror in the hearts of scientists, but not politicians.

  195. Published earlier today (Jan 9) at The Guardian was a piece by Oliver Milman headlined Global heating will pass 1.5C threshold this year, top ex-Nasa scientist says, included:

    “We are now in the process of moving into the 1.5C world,” Hansen told the Guardian. “You can bet $100 to a donut on this and be sure of getting a free donut, if you can find a sucker willing to take the bet.”

    In a bulletin issued with two other climate researchers, Hansen states that “the 1.5C global warming ceiling has been passed for all practical purposes because the large planetary energy imbalance assures that global temperature is heading still higher”. Hansen has promoted a view, disputed by some other climate scientists, that the rate of global heating is accelerating due to a widening gap between the amount of energy being absorbed by the Earth from the sun and the amount returning to space.

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted today (Jan 9):

    Breaking News! Code UFB!!!

    Yesterday saw a new record standard deviation for global sea surface temperatures, a full 6.10σ above the 1982-2011 mean, beating the previous record of 6.08σ set on Nov. 24, 2023.

    The Golden Globe award for ‘most overheated planet’ goes to Earth.

  196. I think James Hansen understands better than most how the moving parts of the Earth System fit together. However, in his recent ‘Pipeline’ paper there were 17 joint authors. They weren’t just along for the ride. Their work actually contributed to the paper.

    Moreover, I have seen the 82-page peer review report, where one reviewer was initially completely dismissive. Hansen, who did the writing, was respectful and responsive, achieving a recommendation to publish from all (I think there were three, from memory).

    In his January 4 communication with two of his regulars, he says:

    “Figure 4 includes our expectation that continuing record monthly temperatures will carry the 12-month temperature anomaly to +1.6-1.7°C. During subsequent La Ninas, global temperature may fall back below 1.5°C to about 1.4±0.1°C, but the El Nino/La Nina mean will have reached 1.5°C, thus revealing that the 1.5°C global warming ceiling has been passed for all practical purposes because the large planetary energy imbalance assures that global temperature is heading still higher.”

    We should be able to see where things are heading by about mid-year.

  197. Copernicus seem to be the first out of the gate:

    Copernicus: 2023 is the hottest year on record, with global temperatures close to the 1.5°C limit

    Among the highlights:

    2023 was 0.60°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average and 1.48°C warmer than the 1850-1900 pre-industrial level

    It is likely that a 12-month period ending in January or February 2024 will exceed 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level

    2023 marks the first time on record that every day within a year has exceeded 1°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial level. Close to 50% of days were more than 1.5°C warmer then the 1850-1900 level, and two days in November were, for the first time, more than 2°C warmer.

    Annual average air temperatures were the warmest on record, or close to the warmest, over sizeable parts of all ocean basins and all continents except Australia.

    In Australia the climate was remarkably benign, looking at the map.

  198. Art Berman tweeted on Jan 12:

    U.S. crude supply balance was -2.8 mmb from production, imports & refinery intakes
    There was an +87 kb addition to SPR and unaccounted-for oil was -133 kb
    resulting in stock change of -3.0 mmb for the week ending January 5

    Published on 9 Jan 2024 at The Oil Crash blog was a piece titled Peak Diesel: 2023 Edition. Rafael Fernández Díez’s piece concluded with (translated to English):

    We continue, for another year, without noticing that there is a lack of diesel in our gas stations, but unlike last year, the disturbing news in this regard no longer has to be sought in countries far from Europe but is increasingly closer, even within it. Europe.

    In recent months there has been continuous talk about sanctions and more sanctions, about limits on the price of Russian imports, which is still absurd in a global market economy. But the only certain fact is that a decade ago almost no one believed that in the near future there could be problems of diesel shortages , even in Europe, with honorable exceptions, and these, now, are already appearing. In the same way as a decade ago, the large economic establishments now appear not to see the consequences of this shortage, as well as all the other great civilizational problems that we have on the table, but it is only appearance, as we were able to see recently with the questions, sensible and accurate, asked by Queen Letizia a few weeks ago.

    The 2021 article ended by recommending that they fasten their seat belts because it seemed that the problems with diesel had only just begun and that it would not be fun. Well, we have consumed the year 2023 and the lack of diesel is already on the lips of many media outlets, something that did not happen two years ago, as a simple search in any internet search engine shows.

    Keep covering your eyes, looking away, singing in the rain so you don’t hear what you don’t like to hear. One day it’s going to blow up in our faces and we shouldn’t be able to say we didn’t know it.

    I’d suggest fuel efficiency standards are now very likely too little, too late.

  199. Berkeley Earth’s Global Temperature Report for 2023 was published several hours ago. Dr Robert Rodhe tweeted earlier this morning (Jan 13):

    For Berkeley Earth, the annual average in 2023 was 1.54 ± 0.06 °C (2.77 ± 0.11 °F) above the 1850-1900 average.

    Other datasets were a bit below 1.5 °C, but this is the first time that any of the observational products have reported above 1.5 °C.

    And James Hansen has tweeted earlier this morning (Jan 13):

    Effective climate policy requires knowledge of aerosol effects on clouds. We had better learn soon with whatever approaches work. Time is running short. Much to be done. See 2024 Projection – https://mailchi.mp/caa/global-warming-acceleration-causes-and-consequences

  200. So it appears that

    2023 was 0.60°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average and 1.48°C warmer than the 1850-1900 pre-industrial level

    The question is “So what?”
    To what extent has this change made tangible changes to:
    *The wild environment:
    *The agricultural environment?
    *The fate of individual species?
    *Political stability?
    Are there environments or species that are actually benefitting from the increase in greenhouse gases and/or increases in average world temperatures?
    Places where the Davidson’s have lived include:
    Melbourne (cold wet to hot dry)
    Whyalla (Dry cold to very hot- 47 deg C one day when I was there.)
    Newman -middle WA (very dry ranging from cold enough to get frost and temperatures over 40 deg C.
    Groote Eylandt (Humid hot most of time. Started sweating in Aug and stop sweating in April.
    1.5 deg C is insignificant compared with the range of temperatures the Davidsons have lived in.

    I appreciate
    Has it co

  201. John, honestly, this is not about your individual experience, although I imagine you may remember how in decades gone by when driving in the country how your windscreen got covered by insect splat, but now is largely clear.

    Albert Van Dijk, Professor of Water and Landscape Dynamics in the Fenner School of Environment & Society at Australian National University has noticed changes. See How 2023’s record heat worsened droughts, floods and bushfires around the world .

    Then William J Ripple and Christopher Wolf have been doing a ‘state of the climate’ report every year since 2020 to advise humanity on what scientists see happening. The 2023 version has some senior co-authors, including Johan Rockström, joint CEO of the Potsdam Institute, Tim Lenton and Sir David King, along with Leon Simon who also worked with James Hansen in his Pipeline paper. Here’s the link – The 2023 state of the climate report: Entering uncharted territory . Over the four years the perspective has changed from warning of a climate crisis to now seeing an existential crisis upon us. Selected quotes:

    As scientists, we are increasingly being asked to tell the public the truth about the crises we face in simple and direct terms. The truth is that we are shocked by the ferocity of the extreme weather events in 2023. We are afraid of the uncharted territory that we have now entered. Conditions are going to get very distressing and potentially unmanageable for large regions of the world, with the 2.6°C warming expected over the course of the century, even if the self-proposed national emissions reduction commitments of the Paris Agreement are met (UNEP 2022b). We warn of potential collapse of natural and socioeconomic systems in such a world where we will face unbearable heat, frequent extreme weather events, food and fresh water shortages, rising seas, more emerging diseases, and increased social unrest and geopolitical conflict. Massive suffering due to climate change is already here, and we have now exceeded many safe and just Earth system boundaries, imperiling stability and life-support systems (Rockström et al. 2023). As we will soon bear witness to failing to meet the Paris agreement’s aspirational 1.5°C goal, the significance of immediately curbing fossil fuel use and preventing every further 0.1°C increase in future global heating cannot be overstated. Rather than focusing only on carbon reduction and climate change, addressing the underlying issue of ecological overshoot will give us our best shot at surviving these challenges in the long run. This is our moment to make a profound difference for all life on Earth, and we must embrace it with unwavering courage and determination to create a legacy of change that will stand the test of time.(Emphasis added)


    The effects of global warming are progressively more severe, and possibilities such as a worldwide societal breakdown are feasible and dangerously underexplored (Kemp et al. 2022). By the end of this century, an estimated 3 to 6 billion individuals—approximately one-third to one-half of the global population—might find themselves confined beyond the livable region, encountering severe heat, limited food availability, and elevated mortality rates because of the effects of climate change (Lenton et al. 2023).

    As they say, big problems need big solutions. What we don’t need is US oil lobby launches eight-figure ad blitz amid record fossil fuel extraction.

  202. Brian: Some countries, businesses and people will face a massive losses climate action shuts down greenhouse gas emissions. In some cases the smart operators will change to something else that uses their expertise. For example my understanding is that coal design and construction specialists Sedgman have done smart things like divert to other minerals and the sale of expertise that is relevant to businesses that have nothing to do with coal and mineral processing.
    The US oil and gas companies running big campaigns against change might be a lot better off seeking alternatives.

  203. Brian: “John, honestly, this is not about your individual experience,” Personal experience is part of of it: How my body coped with high temperatures and/or humidity.
    However, it is also about other things that could be done. For example, at Newman people had gardens, fruit trees etc despite temperatures reaching 47 at time. The crucial thing was water supply.
    Newman had a dam to recharge the aquifer. Recharge reduces evaporation losses by taking the water out of the dam and putting it in the bellow ground aquafer that we pumped the water needed by the down, mine etc.

  204. John D: – “A lot of the people (including me) working for the dept did at least part of their job working outside during the hottest part of the day. You get used to it.

    Empirical data indicates you don’t “get used to” 35 °C wet bulb temperatures when exposed for between 15 minutes to 6 hours – you simply die.

    Recent empirical data indicates a lower moist heat threshold for where heat stress compensability ceases to exist, taken from laboratory-based measurements in young, healthy adults doing work associated with the minimal activities of daily living.

    As heatwaves become more frequent, intense, and longer-lasting due to climate change, the question of breaching thermal limits, not just for us humans, but also for plants and animals we depend upon for food, becomes more pressing.

    See the PNAS paper published 9 Oct 2023, by Daniel J. Vecellio et al. titled Greatly enhanced risk to humans as a consequence of empirically determined lower moist heat stress tolerance.

  205. Geoff: I am conscious that a wet bulb temp of 35 deg can be fatal. However, most of the time Newman had very low wet bulb temperatures. The water in shaded gorge pools is uncomfortably cold throughout the year. Groote Eylandt was much cooler than Newman but I believe the wet bulb temperature would have been much higher, (I have no figure.)
    In both places the dangers and avoidance of heat exhaustion were part of inductions and safety training.

  206. John D: – “I am conscious that a wet bulb temp of 35 deg can be fatal. However, most of the time Newman had very low wet bulb temperatures.

    Can be fatal? Nope, it’s fatal well within 6 hours of exposure time. Per the Supporting Information for the PNAS paper An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress, published 3 May 2010, included these statements:

    Heat Storage. Humans can endure negative cooling (heat storage) for brief periods by temporarily raising their core body temperature. In principle this allows survival of 35 °C wet bulb temperatures, but in practice this appears doubtful for any extended interval.

    With 100 W of heat generation (a typical resting value), body mass of 75 kg, and specific heat of 3.5 J g⁻¹ K⁻¹, body temperature would increase by about one degree every 45 minutes. It would thus increase from a normal value of 37 °C to 42 °C—a value that begins to cause permanent tissue damage—in roughly four hours, leading to the tolerance times given in the main text.

    I’d suggest biologically compromised people are likely to die at lower wet bulb temperature thresholds.

    When were you in Newman, John D? Decades (plural) ago? That was then, I’d suggest it’s worse now and will get even hotter. I’d suggest in your current biological condition you would likely be less able to tolerate being in Newman in high summer now.

  207. GM: I was in Groote Eylandt from 1972 to 1980 and Newman from 1982 to 1992. After moving to Brisbane I spent time working in the central Qld coalfields with part time work in Whyalla. The site I was working at got up to 47 deg C while I was there.
    We have retired to Ballina on the NSW Nth coast. No dramtic heat waves so far.
    My experience in Newman was that, at about 43 deg C, it becomes more comfortable to be out of the breeze.
    We had elderly friends in Sweden at the time when old people were dying from the heat. We suggested to our friends that they wet their clothes to protect them from the heat. The reply was that they couldn’t do that because their parents had taught them to avoid damp clothes in draughts.

  208. John, in your comment I could not see what your experience of the climate had to do with the news that the 2023 average global surface temperature was around 1.5°C, knowing that you knew about ‘wet bulb’ temperature, because we’ve discussed it before, no doubt more than once.

    To put livability in a climate frame, I happened upon and old 2010 post Dangerous global warming is here which summarised a piece by Elizabeth Kolbert, who, inter alia, referred to this study – Global warming: Future temperatures could exceed livable limits, researchers find – which found for the first time that:

    prolonged wet-bulb temperatures above 95 degrees would be intolerable after a matter of hours.

    “The wet-bulb limit is basically the point at which one would overheat even if they were naked in the shade, soaking wet and standing in front of a large fan,” Sherwood said. “Although we are very unlikely to reach such temperatures this century, they could happen in the next.”

    95°F equates to 35°C .

    Like many forecasts we don’t have to wait for the next century.

    Chi Xu et al found Future of the human climate niche (2020) that in the next 50 years:

    in the absence of migration, one third of the global population is projected to experience a MAT >29 °C currently found in only 0.8% of the Earth’s land surface, mostly concentrated in the Sahara.

    MAT is ‘mean average temperature’.

    This doesn’t mean that they will all die, of course.

    Now, in addition to the study quoted by Geoff, we have from Jennifer Vanos et al – A physiological approach for assessing human survivability and liveability to heat in a changing climate:

    Our physiology-based survival limits show a vast underestimation of risks by the 35 °C Tw model in hot-dry conditions. Updated survivability limits correspond to Tw~25.8–34.1 °C (young) and ~21.9–33.7 °C (old)—0.9–13.1 °C lower than Tw = 35 °C. For older female adults, estimates are ~7.2–13.1 °C lower than 35 °C in dry conditions. Liveability declines with sun exposure and humidity, yet most dramatically with age (2.5–3.0 METs lower for older adults). Reductions in safe activity for younger and older adults between the present and future indicate a stronger impact from aging than warming.

    I think this was the study Sabine Hossenfelder explained very clearly in Climate change to force people indoors earlier than expected.

    On a number of occasions weather authorities in the US issued warnings about going outside. US citizens like to make up their own minds. Here are two cases that ended badly.

    Man dies in Death Valley as California national park swelters in extreme heat (July 2023)

    California family found dead on hike killed by extreme heat, sheriff says (2021)

    They were OK until they weren’t.

    Tim Lenton et al had another go last year in Quantifying the human cost of global warming:

    By end-of-century (2080–2100), current policies leading to around 2.7 °C global warming could leave one-third (22–39%) of people outside the niche. Reducing global warming from 2.7 to 1.5 °C results in a ~5-fold decrease in the population exposed to unprecedented heat (mean annual temperature ≥29 °C).

    When I worked in the public service I found staff complained when the temperature went to 28°C or higher, and to 18°C or lower. Lenton and co say:

    Human perceptions of thermal comfort evolved to keep us near optimal conditions of 22–26 °C, with well-being declining above 28 °C. Behavioural changes include altering clothing, changing environment (including to indoor environments) and altering work patterns. These can buffer individual exposure to temperature extremes but still affect collective well-being via effects on work. Sometimes uncomfortable conditions are unavoidable. High temperatures can decrease labour productivity, cognitive performance and learning, produce adverse pregnancy outcomes, and increase mortality. Exposure to temperatures >40 °C can be lethal, and lethal temperature decreases as humidity increases. At wet-bulb temperature (WBT) >28 °C, the effectiveness of sweating in cooling the body decreases, and WBT ~35 °C can be fatal especially for more vulnerable individuals (as the body can no longer cool itself). High temperatures can also trigger conflict or migration to lower temperature locations.

    However, from physiological studies people clearly differ quite a lot.

    Where I was in the public service, the temperature of the air conditioning suited engineers walking around in suits rather than office workers at desks.

  209. John, that link on nukes is broken, but I think the LNP favour nukes as a distraction. It’s their latest way of pretending they will do something, when actually they won’t.

  210. Google said the following re Newman temperature ranges: “Newman has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh), with very hot summers and mild winters. The temperature reaches or exceeds 38 °C (100 °F) for many days in the summer. On 15 January 1998, the temperature reached an all-time recorded high of 47 °C (117 °F).” Can’t remember work being stopped for temperature reasons but people would slow their pace and drink more water to compensate for heat. For plastic pipe laid on the ground the spec was “able to handle 80deg C.”
    All I can say is that human bodies adjust, strategies adjust, population density adjusts and clothing adjusts in response to changing conditions.

  211. John D: – “All I can say is that human bodies adjust, strategies adjust, population density adjusts and clothing adjusts in response to changing conditions.

    Human bodies do not adjust to environmental conditions beyond their biological limits. Population densities then adjust to zero. Clothing won’t be required.

    That’s the trajectory the Earth System is heading towards…

    Professor Johan Rockström, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said from time interval 0:21:28 (bold text my emphasis):

    So, dear friends, what, what tends to be forgotten is that we’re in the middle of a climate crisis and that the only way to have a safe landing, to hold the 1.5 °Celsius, is a global sustainability transformation. Phasing out coal, oil and gas is actually – and I know this comes across often as a provocative statement – but that’s the easy part of the challenge. That’s the easy part of the challenge. We need to transform the food system, keep nature intact, and scale negative emission technologies in an unprecedented way. All of this has to occur, simultaneously, to have a safe landing. That’s where we are at, and this requires – which I will be kind of arguing in the continued part of this talk – a planetary boundary approach, because we have to have the checks and balances across all the systems of the planet, even if we only care about holding 1.5 °Celsius – one of the nine planetary boundaries. So, that’s where we are. And unfortunately, if you take the latest IPCC and UNFCCC assessment of the journey we’re following, even after the last stock-take on the Nationally Determined Contributions that were performed just before the New York climate week in September this year, we’re following a pathway that takes us to 2.7 °Celsius by the end of this century. And let me just be very clear from the outset, that is, without any hesitation in science, a path to disaster, That’s a path to disaster. We have no evidence, whatsoever, that we can support in a dignified and responsible way, eight, soon to be 9 billion people in the world as we know it, at anything above 2 °Celsius. Actually, we’ve not been at that point for the past 4 million years, at the 2.7 °Celsius level. So this is why we are talking about urgency – that we really need to move this around very fast. Now, is this only me standing here saying this? Well, actually no. The scientific communities now today, are very well, has a very strong consensus here.

  212. I mentioned here that Nate Hagens had recorded an interview with Leon Simons. It’s now available at Nate Hagens YouTube channel, published yesterday (Jan 18), duration 1:24:53. Highly recommended, includes links to some informative slides in the notes.

  213. We have no evidence, whatsoever, that we can support in a dignified and responsible way, eight, soon to be 9 billion people in the world as we know it, at anything above 2 °Celsius. Actually, we’ve not been at that point for the past 4 million years, at the 2.7 °Celsius level.

    There needs to be more emphasis on the need to reverse population growth.

  214. I’ve been engaged in a couple of missions. Done, for now.

    John, you say everything adjusts, but surely it is basic engineering that everything has limits.

    You may be interested in this new study by Meg Cox, Loughborough University Global food production at risk as rising temperatures threaten farmers’ physical ability to work.

    James Hansen’s Pipeline paper is published on the NASA site where you can link to individual slides, such as Figure 23 which indicates that the GHG forcing of 2022 will take us back 40 million years, when the global temperature was 10°C higher than now, if we keep it up.

    That would give us land temperatures where a lot of mammals would struggle.

    Geoff, thanks for the Leon Simons link. Have not watched it yet but definitely will.

  215. China’s population shrinks again and could more than halve — here’s what that means
    Comments include”
    We have based our assumptions on observations of actual total fertility rates in China’s region and their downward trend. In 2022 these rates hit 1.26 in Japan, 1.04 in Singapore, 0.87 in

    Taiwan, 0.8 in Hong Kong and 0.78 in South Korea.
    In none of these countries has fertility rebounded, despite government efforts. These trends point to what demographers call the “low-fertility trap” in which fertility becomes hard to lift once it falls below 1.5 or 1.4.


    At present accounting for one-sixth of the world’s population, China’s accelerated decline will bring forward the day when the world’s population peaks.
    Our updated forecast for China brings forward our forecast of when the world’s population will peak by one year to 2083, although there is much that is uncertain (including what will happen in India, now bigger than China, whose fertility rate has fallen below replacement level).

    The population shrink will have economic effects that will be damaging if not managed properly. What do you do change the economy to improve lives while driving down emissions and reductions of things like accommodation building, food production and………….?

  216. John, don’t quote me because I don’t have the source. Probably one of the ABC RN programs I listen to when I’m working.

    I recently heard that in general terms Chinese men do not treat their women well and domestic violence is a real issue.

    Chinese women are increasingly giving that marriage/child-bearing scene a miss, finding more interesting ways of living their lives.

    That in undoubtedly a huge oversimplification, but Chinese population trends are going to be a significant factor in the decades ahead.

  217. Extreme weather events are the top risk facing supply chains in 2024, according to an annual outlook report from Everstream Analytics.

    Yale Climate Connections highlights a 2023 report by insurance giant Lloyd’s explores the odds of a disruption of the global agricultural and food supply chain, leading to panic buying and price shocks. The report looked at “major,” “severe,” and “extreme” scenarios.

    The “major” case would cost the world $3 trillion over a five-year period, with their estimated 2.3% chance of happening per year. Over a 30-year period, those odds grow to about a 50% probability of occurrence, provided the risks aren’t increasing, which they are with increasing Earth System warming.

    Meanwhile, Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted Jan 26:

    Here is a polynomial curve fit for the monthly surface temperature anomaly scatter plot from 1940 to 2023. Each dot shows one month’s anomaly.

    Using this curve to forecast forward 36 months shows us breaking 1.5°C for good in 2025 and 1.6°C in 2026/27.

    Accelerated warming.

    I’d suggest further population growth will be increasingly constrained by emerging and intensifying disruptions to global food & clean water supplies.

  218. Prof Eliot Jacobsen is is a mathematician who comes up with surprising graphs, which appear to reveal the deeper meaning of the trends within the data. His polynomial curve of a 365-day running mean based on monthly temperatures provides strong support for the warming acceleration Hansen et al are pointing to.

    I’ve been looking at some YouTubes, frankly tired from the enervating heat we are having. There seem to be a lot on the population issue. I happened on this one by Two Bit da Vinci.

    The World Population Crisis NO ONE Sees Coming

    I think he is an engineer – talks like a thrashing machine, with irritating interloping ads, and completely ignorant on some dimensions relating to the issue. That is not to say that the information he provides is wrong.

    His whole shtick is that fertility is below replacement rates in the majority of countries which is going to create severe problems. Imagine China, for example, with 500 million people, sustaining an aging population and all the infrastructure they have built.

    However, he doesn’t appear to be aware of their problem of defending 27,000 km of coastline from sea level rise and the implication of the melting of the Himalayan ice cap.

  219. Brian: – “Prof Eliot Jacobsen is is a mathematician who comes up with surprising graphs, which appear to reveal the deeper meaning of the trends within the data.

    On 29 Jan 2024, Prof Jacobson posted on his blog a piece headlined How Hot is Hell? I Mean Earth? He states:

    In this post, in an attempt to regain my sanity, I will do my own computation of the current level of global surface warming above the 1850-1900 baseline.

    His analysis indicates in 2024, with the average of the previous 10 years as actually measured, together with the forecast for the next 10 years based on models, the Earth System is at +1.38 °C (relative to the 1850-1900 baseline). This is a much higher estimate than what climate scientists are stating.

    His analysis indicates the current decadal average gain is 0.30 °C, rising to 0.35 °C per decade by 2034. The +1.5 °C multi-year threshold is projected to be breached by the end of 2028.

    That looks consistent with Table 1 in the 1 Mar 2021 paper by Claudia Tebaldi et al. titled Climate model projections from the Scenario Model Intercomparison Project (ScenarioMIP) of CMIP6. They use an 11-year running mean.

  220. Geoff, it seems the mainstream IPCC scientists want to be sure before they declare 1.5 °C reached. Their very methodology means that we will be well past 1.5 °C before they can be scientifically sure. However, blind Freddy can see that there is a trend, and increasingly they are waking up to the notion that it is accelerating.

    Some should also be paying more attention the the airborne fraction of CO2 emissions, where the upward trend is accelerating and never missed a beat during COVID.

  221. Brian: – “Some should also be paying more attention the the airborne fraction of CO2 emissions…

    Some climate science deniers may ask how can such a small amount of atmospheric CO₂ have such a big influence on planetary heat flows? Leon Simons tweeted on Jan 31:

    Clouds are only 0.00003% liquid or solid (ice crystals) water.

    Much less than the amount of CO₂ (0.042%) or methane (0.00019%).

    We can see clouds because we can see visible light.

    We could see greenhouse gases if our eyes were sensitive to infrared radiation.

    It was also mentioned in Simons’ discussion with Nate Hagens, around the 29 minute mark.

    We can see clouds (that are water droplets or ice crystals at very tiny atmospheric concentrations), and understand intuitively the effects they have on energy flows. We are unable to see in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but our instruments show CO₂ has a similar impact on heat flows. A case of trusting our eyes but not the instruments.

  222. My wife and I have been banged up with Covid. Mainly just tired, very tired. We now have antivirals and hope it will settle down soon.

    Sabine Hossenfelder has caused a bit of a stir with I wasn’t worried about climate change. Now I am.

    ClimateAdam responds in Climate Scientist responds to Sabine Hossenfelder on Climate Sensitivity.

    He’s really following the standard IPCC line, which is better explained by Zeke Hausfather and Andrew Dessler in Revisiting the hot model problem. It identifies the dilemma they had and explains that they included models which provided grid patterns to show regional effects:

    To provide a resource for the community to effectively use CMIP6 models in a way consistent with AR6 assessed warming, we proposed screening CMIP6 models based on their transient climate response (TCR – effectively their shorter-term climate sensitivity), limiting the analysis to those CMIP6 models whose TCR fall within the IPCC’s “likely” range of 1.4C to 2.2C.

    To me that’s not a scientific reason.

    The comments thread is worth reading.

    Hausfather and Dressler treat the Hansen Pipeline paper as just another paper on climate sensitivity, although it does appear to give explanations for why 2023 was so startling.

    They also think 2023 was well within the range of what models predicted. I think of Gavin Schmidt as knowing as much about models as anyone. So we have How 2023 Broke Our Climate Models with Neil deGrasse Tyson & Gavin Schmidt.

    The video is a bit of a riot, but a couple of interesting points came through. From this month NASA is going to launch a satellite to measure aerosols, which Hansen had long called for.

    I don’t think that will solve the issue of changes in clouds, however.

    Schmidt also agreed that if you take CO2 out of the atmosphere, then a certain amount will out-gas from the ocean, a factor that I don’t think some scientists understand.

    All that being said, I don’t think Schmidt spends much time on thinking about mitigation.

  223. Meanwhile, more records are broken…

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted Feb 8:

    Global sea surface temperatures (average temperature over all the oceans from 60°S to 60°N) hit another record high yesterday, reaching 21.13°C for the first time in recorded history.

    More records ahead.

    And also tweeted this:

    Breaking News!

    Copernicus finally caught up through the end of January, and it’s not pretty.

    Overall January, 2024 was the hottest January on record, at 1.65°C above the pre-industrial baseline. January 31st was the hottest day of the month, at 1.93°C above pre-industrial.

    ICYMI/FYI, Andrew Glikson’s piece headlined Too late? Climate change denial and the rise of fascism, was published Feb 7 at John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations. It concludes with:

    The blood-stained history of Homo sapiens since the mastery of fire, all the way to the Anthropocene crisis, combined with the proliferation of doomsday weapons, do not bode well for the future of terrestrial species.

    Global empires east and west have become increasingly brutal. Fascism ─ the ideology of death ─ and its neo-conservative (so-called) followers are not concerned with global warming and its consequences, except where it hurts the profit motive. References to “climate change” by politicians constitute hollow words they hardly mean. There are not too many angels left except where the young like Greta Thunberg rebel.

  224. Love them both, Geoff, Eliot Jacobsen is eloquent through his graphs, Andrew Glikson does apocalyptic prose on the future of the homo sapiens and the planet like no other.

    However, he is not quite up with Hansen’s Pipeline paper which has used the Westerhold (2020) calibration of the Cenozoic temperature graph.

    Hansen et al see our 2022 forcing, if continued, as landing us back around 40 million years into the Eocene. That was a time way before before our species started its run.

  225. Brian: – “Hansen et al see our 2022 forcing, if continued, as landing us back around 40 million years into the Eocene. That was a time way before before our species started its run.

    Indeed. The ape-human split was circa 7 million years ago from genetic data, per Skeptical Science. After Mid-Miocene and before Pliocene era.

  226. Thanks Geoff. Meanwhile the Climate Council have a simple explanation for why the weather has gone crazy this summer:

    Climate Whiplash: Wild Swings Between Weather Extremes

    It has become super-energetic and chaotic, with the drivers getting into a tangle, which makes the past no guide to predicting the future.

    We’ve got a series of days coming up when the BOM say we could get 1-4mm. In practice that could mean we get nothing, or we could get 40mm, or whatever.

    Anything can happen!

  227. Copernicus is out of the blocks with the January temperature:

    January 2024 was the warmest January on record globally, with an average ERA5 surface air temperature of 13.14°C, 0.70°C above the 1991-2020 average for January and 0.12°C above the temperature of the previous warmest January, in 2020.

    This is the eighth month in a row that is the warmest on record for the respective month of the year.


    The global mean temperature for the past twelve months (Feb 2023 – Jan 2024) is the highest on record, at 0.64°C above the 1991-2020 average and 1.52°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average.

  228. Brian: – “Anything can happen!”

    Indeed. The temperature in the Tasman Sea off Coffs Harbour, on the state’s Mid North Coast, and north is currently 26.5 degrees – two to three degrees above the average for late summer, reports Weatherzone. That’s hot enough to sustain a tropical cyclone.

  229. NASA is launching a handy new satellite:

    NASA’s new climate satellite will offer ‘an unprecedented view’ of our heating planet

    It’s called PACE, which stands for Plankton, Aerosol, Climate, ocean Ecosystem:

    Pace should give better insights into how atmospheric aerosols like pollutants and volcanic ash and sea life like algae and plankton interact with each other.

    “PACE will give us another dimension” to what other satellites observe, says NASA’s director of Earth science, Karen St. Germain.

    PACE is the most advanced mission ever launched to study ocean biology.

    Current Earth-observing satellites can see in seven or eight colours, according to Werdell. PACE will see in 200 colours that will allow scientists to identify the types of algae in the sea and types of particles in the air.

    Later this year NASA will launch one in collaboration with India called Nisar, which will use radar to measure the effect of rising temperatures on glaciers and other melting icy surfaces.

  230. Bill McKibben at The Crucial Years has a piece Bank of America to World: Just Drown Already: Finance capitalism as a suicide machine.

    It seems that the big banks and asset managers like Blackrock are more afraid of Republican politicians than they are of killing the planet, so they are opening their books again to Fossil Fuel companies prepared to do whatever they like.

    The piece has about half a dozen more climate stories, ending with the news that Canadian oil sands operators are under-reporting their emissions bu 6,000 per cent!

  231. A bunch of scientists have used climate models and Atlantic Ocean circulation nearing ‘devastating’ tipping point, study finds.

    Scientists who prioritise models over paleoscience commonly thought of AMOC tipping as a theoretical possibility, unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future. Now they see us as heading in that direction, and getting close, very close:

    “What surprised us was the rate at which tipping occurs,” said the paper’s lead author, René van Westen, of Utrecht University. “It will be devastating.”

    He said there was not yet enough data to say whether this would occur in the next year or in the coming century, but when it happens, the changes are irreversible on human timescales.

    In the meantime, the direction of travel is undoubtedly in an alarming direction.

    “We are moving towards it. That is kind of scary,” van Westen said. “We need to take climate change much more seriously.”

  232. On a more positive note, WEF 6 technologies to help the world adapt to climate change.

    With great certainty, Big Tech will make heaps of money out of AI and climate change, and the help may come in handy.

    More tangibly, Quiggin reckons Labor’s fuel-efficiency standards may settle the ute dispute – but there are still hazards on the road .

    The LNP will run a scare campaign based on lies, and I’m sure the crossbench will want to leave an imprint, but it looks like overdue progress.

  233. Stefan Rahmstorf at RealClimate – Stefan Rahmstorf – New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”. He rates the authors and the approach they took:

    The new study by van Westen et al. is a major advance in AMOC stability science, coming from what I consider the world’s leading research hub for AMOC stability studies, in Utrecht/Holland. (Some of their contributions spanning the past 20 years are in the paper’s reference list, with authors Henk Dijkstra, René van Westen, Nanne Weber, Sybren Drijfhout and more.)

    He’s worried, very worried. Among the impacts:

    They show how particularly northern Europe from Britain to Scandinavia would suffer devastating impacts, such as a cooling of winter temperatures by between 10 °C and 30 °C occurring within a century, leading to a completely different climate within a decade or two, in line with paleoclimatic evidence about abrupt ocean circulation changes.

    I see you have commented there on the post, GM.

  234. Brian: – “I see you have commented there on the post, GM.

    So far technically responding to someone else’s comments at that blog post:
    10 FEB 2024 AT 6:08 PM to Victor;
    11 FEB 2024 AT 2:39 AM to Max Hartmann;
    11 FEB 2024 AT 6:23 PM to Victor.

  235. Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Feb 12:

    Big news from the latest ERA5 data.

    For the first time in recorded history, the 180-day running mean for the global surface temperature just crossed 1.70°C above the pre-industrial 1850-1900 IPCC baseline.

    The climate 8-ball says, “F&%kery ahead!”

    Leon Simons tweeted Feb 11:

    Global Sea Surface Temperatures are literally going off the chart.

    We are always hesitant to change our y-axes, but it doesn’t change the data.

    I note that Climate Reanalyzer have increased the Y-axis on their SST graph.

  236. Chris Martenson at Peak Prosperity published on 7 Feb 2024 a podcast of a discussion with Adam Rozencwajg, CFA, Managing Partner at Goehring & Rozencwajg (G&R).

    G&R projects that the one final and last mega oil basin in the US – the Permian – is set to hit peak output in 2025. And if it does, it could set off alarm bells within the US and across the world, resulting in vastly higher oil prices.

    And yet Adam Rozencwajg says from time interval 0:19:52:

    Now, of course, if we compare the world today, compared to the world of Malthus, things are infinitely better than they were. The same is true of the Club of Rome in the 1970s, that had a very strong Malthusian streak to them. And so, I think you do have to be really careful, because I, I think our brightest days lie ahead. I think that, um, we have an unbelievable amount of prosperity in growth. I think probably it’s mostly going to come from nuclear power…

    I don’t think Adam Rozencwajg understands the key premise in the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth, and the very limited time constraints imposed by the escalating climate crisis.

  237. Senator Larissa Waters tweeted on Feb 12 (including a video segment of proceedings at Senate Estimates):

    Temperature records were obliterated in 2023, with the UN warning the world is on track for a “hellish” 3C of global heating, yet our Government will base Australia’s first climate risk assessment on a scenario of 1.5 to 2C of warming by 2050!?

    David Spratt tweeted on Feb 12:

    Australian Government living in La-La land on #climate risks, Greens Senator discovers at estimates: “Climate risk assessment based on dream 1.5C scenario” rather than risks that will actually manifest by then. ⁦@CodeRedEarth @aslcg_org

  238. John, yes, I understand flow batteries have advantages for grid-scale operations.

    Geoff, Spratt and Dunlop have started the year well, and have just published three searing posts.

    Humanity’s new era of “global boiling”: Climate’s 2023 annus horribilis

    Towards an unliveable planet: Climate’s 2023 annus horribilis

    Shock as warming accelerates, 1.5°C is breached faster than forecast

    Let’s say that their view of the Government’s appreciation of the state we are in is less than flattering.

    The public servants under questioning in the Senate seemed careful to follow the official script – net zero by 2050 and 1.5°C will be sweet.

  239. John D, Martyn Goddard has a long and informative post on Defusing the population bomb.

    Phosphorus and Africa are big problems. He ends with:

    The world, finally, is taking serious action to combat climate change. But that could never have happened if the first step had not been taken: measuring and documenting what was happening to the climate. Reducing the impact of greenhouse gases on the atmosphere is the best example of improved environmental productivity. It is also one of the few.

    As we have seen, there are two reasons for optimism about why economic growth and living standards can continue, even though centuries of oblivious exploitation have pushed many of the natural resources on which that depends into deep deficit.

    One of those reasons for hope is that the population growth in most of the world’s regions is about to head downwards, or is already doing so.

    The second is that we can, if we are clever about it, use those essential resources more efficiently while maintaining and enhancing economic output. The switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy is a good example. Renewables do more than reduce greenhouse gas emissions: they will end up being far cheaper.

    Land, labour, capital. Of those three, only land really matters. It is the foundation of everything. Our whole existence depends on it. Knowing what’s happening is only the first step but, without that first step, nothing else can follow.

    If our governments and statistical agencies don’t do their job – measuring what matters – we will continue to stumble blindly towards disaster.

    Doesn’t get us all that far.

    I may have missed it, but Johan Rockström in talking about planetary boundaries has been saying that we may need to set aside 50% or more of land, including arable land, for ‘nature’ to survive, including in continuous north-south strips to provide the capacity for species to migrate. Goddard is more focussed on food.

  240. Brian: – “The public servants under questioning in the Senate seemed careful to follow the official script – net zero by 2050 and 1.5°C will be sweet.

    It seems to me they are willfully blind to reality.

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Feb 18:

    Just to put it all out there, the four day period February 8-11, 2024, saw four consecutive days with global surface temperature 2.0°C above the pre-industrial baseline.

    What was once inconceivable is now normal. Rinse and repeat.

    As Hansen stated in a communication on 4 Jan 2024:

    Thus, given the planetary energy imbalance, it will be clear that the 1.5°C ceiling has been passed for all practical purposes.

  241. Advanced geothermal drilling is 70% faster and 50% cheaper than 2022!
    In a publication announced at the Stanford Geothermal Workshop this week, Fervo said it has been able to drill a horizontal well in just 21 days. That’s a 70% reduction in drilling time over its first horizontal well, which was drilled in Nevada in 2022 as part of a Google-backed effort known as Project Red. The company says this reduction in time has led to an additional reduction of costs, with the latest well coming in at US$4.8 million, down from $9.4 million.

  242. John, interesting to see they are doing hot rocks in the USA. And I’m sure Santos and others are relishing improved drilling technology.

    Geoff, I saw the Jacobsen Tweet and now followed his graph back to the source at Tamino’s Adjusted Global Temperature Data.

    The methodology he used was developed with Stefan Rahmstorf in a peer-reviewed paper back in 2011. It takes out the non-human influences such as aerosols from volcanoes, ENSO and solar radiation variation.

    The best graph is the last one, which you can see in detail in this link.

    For Tamino this exercise confirms that global warming is accelerating. To me it also shows that there was warming in the 1950-1970 decades, which are usually shown flat.

    Kiwi blogger, presumably mathematically competent, takes this further to reveal the underlying trend in a post The underlying global warming signal. His conclusion:

    The underlying rate of warming is about 0.08 ºC per decade in the 1950s and 60s. It rises to 0.15 ºC per decade in the 1980s and 90s. In the past decade it has averaged +0.30 ºC per decade. The underlying trend value for 2023 is +1.25 ºC, meaning that if there is no further change in the trend, 1.5 ºC will be breached in 8 years.

    That’s all fine and good, but Hansen et al are dealing with the world as it is, not with bits taken out. It will probably take something like Thwaites Glacier crashing before, as Alan Kohler says, everyone starts to panic.

  243. Brian: – “For Tamino this exercise confirms that global warming is accelerating. To me it also shows that there was warming in the 1950-1970 decades, which are usually shown flat.

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Feb 21:

    Please take a moment to appreciate this excellent novel graphic by @ReesCatOphuls .

    It shows the rate at which monthly milestones in global mean surface temperatures go from their first appearance to becoming a permanent state of the global climate.

    1.75°C is next up.

    I’d suggest this is another graph that shows global warming is accelerating.

  244. A burst of optimism?: Staggering’ rise of rooftop solar to put all other power generation in the shade, report finds

    In short: The capacity of rooftop solar will soon exceed that of coal, gas and hydro combined in Australia’s main grid, a green energy report finds.
    There is already almost 20GW of rooftop solar in Australia, but this is forecast to more than triple in coming decades.
    What’s next: The report’s authors argue rooftop solar will play an outsized role in helping Australia meet its climate goals.
    The capacity of rooftop solar in Australia will eclipse the country’s entire electricity demand in coming decades, according to a report that charts the technology’s “staggering” rise.
    Almost 20 gigawatts of small-scale solar has already been installed across Australia’s biggest electricity system, but a report from Green Energy Markets predicts this will more than triple by 2054, even by conservative assumptions.

  245. On a related topic:

    Agforce raises funds to challenge Glencore Great Artesian Basin carbon capture project. Rural lobby groups and farmers have ramped up their opposition to a project that aims to store carbon dioxide in Australia’s biggest underground freshwater reservoir, the Great Artesian Basin.
    The National Farmers’ Federation and Queensland group Agforce have taken out full-page ads in several newspapers today, appealing to federal and state leaders to oppose a proposed carbon capture and storage project planned for Moonie, about 400 kilometres west of Brisbane.

  246. Massive geothermal potential found offshore, where the Earth splits

    Solar and wind can’t get us to a clean energy grid alone. Geothermal is a dream source of clean energy in many ways; the hot rocks under our feet hold more energy than humanity could use in a million years… Although just to be clear, that’s not a challenge… I’m looking at you, OpenAI and Bitcoin miners. Bring it up to the surface, and you can directly use the heat, or harvest electrical energy from it. The energy’s there 24/7, unlike solar and wind, the infrastructure costs aren’t terrible, and it’s available right underneath us, anywhere on the planet.

    Worth a read. Could be a source of cheap, abundant energy.

  247. The Nationals have turned against wind and solar in the bush, suggesting that the latter should be restricted to roof tops in the city.

    I must confess that I have been uncomfortable about seeing large installations of solar panels spreading over flat farmland.

    Then I heard the story of a NSW grazier near Wellington talking with Andy Park on ABC RN:

    Do sheep and solar mix?

    The answer is, yes, very well, to the advantage of all. The solar operators have reduced mowing to twice pa instead of the planned six times.

    Water penetration is better when it rains, the grass grows more consistently, the sheep have plenty of access to shade. The farmer is setting up an experiment, measuring the effect of the productivity of paddocks next to each other, with and without solar panels. He had many years of experience in the industry and reckons the solar panel wool clip is 20 to 30% “better” with gains in weight of wool harvested, and also in quality.

    Maybe the likes of Littleproud and Joyce should get around a bit and talk to people.

  248. Coal mine climate change case challenges the government’s use of ‘drug dealer’s defence’ on emissions

    In short: The federal government is using a “drug dealer’s defence” and a “drop in the ocean” argument in its assessment of two coal mine expansions.
    But both these arguments are in the spotlight as the number of climate cases grows.
    What’s next? The court will decide whether the government needs to factor climate change into its approval of the expansions.
    There’s a case happening at the moment that highlights the strange place we are at in the shift away from fossil fuels.
    A Queensland environmental group took federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to court over two coal mine extensions, arguing that she did not consider the impacts of the emissions released when the coal is burnt.

    Arguments used in the past re coal mine approvals are passing their use by date.

  249. Brian: – “Maybe the likes of Littleproud and Joyce should get around a bit and talk to people.”

    I don’t think they care about their constituents’ longer-term wellbeing. I’d suggest it’s all about delaying the transition to renewables to protect their fossil fuel donors.

    ICYMI/FYI, Dr Andrew Forrest said at yesterday’s (Feb 26) Australian Press Club Address (from time interval 0:31:00):

    On misinformation, let me directly address nuclear energy. I’m agnostic, but I’ve done the numbers, unlike many of the fear-spreading politicians. Who’s going to pay the nuclear electricity bill, when it’s four to five times more expensive than the renewables next door? Even ignoring the decade or two plus it takes to develop nuclear. And how hopeless is it that politicians say that they want to wait for new technology in twenty years time, that may never happen? It’s just an excuse for doing nothing. This is a straight admission that fossil fuels have to go, but their solutions risk leaving us destitute. With wind and solar, you are up-and-running, lowering energy costs, and eliminating pollution within one to three years. We’re doing it today; we’re proof. Small and declining amounts of natural gas, sourced from existing, not new, developments can act as firming power as Australia massively ramps-up green hydrogen. But as soon as there’s replacement we must go for it, because it’s not gas in the long term.

    Why is Dr Andrew Forrest doing the job Australian journalists should be doing about calling out the Coalition selling false hope with nuclear power ‘bulldust’?

    Meanwhile, Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Feb 27:

    Global sea surface temperatures are once again in record territory, yesterday at 21.11°C, a temperature not seen in any year prior to 2024.

    We live in interesting times.

  250. Geoff: Never heard a pollie suggesting nuclear in their electorate. I wouldn’t rule nuclear out but we should not be slowing climate action while we wait for progress to be made on nuclear options.

  251. Just Have a Think has just had a look at small nukes:

    Small Modular Nuclear Reactors. The Verdict

    Just not going to happen. You’d need economies of scale that no company or country will be able to achieve. And there are problems to solve.

    Meanwhile we have stuff that works, and by the time anyone got their act together on nukes, they would still be expensive and actually not needed.

    For the LNP it’s a very obvious way of putting the mockers on renewable energy development and perpetuating fossil fuels.

  252. Brian: – “For the LNP it’s a very obvious way of putting the mockers on renewable energy development and perpetuating fossil fuels.

    And Labor continues to encourage and approve more fossil fuel projects, and it seems they are looking after their political donors, instead of looking after the long-term interests of Australians.

    Adam Bandt MP was addressing this issue recently in the YouTube video titled Labor is addicted to more coal and gas, published 23 Feb 2024, duration 0:08:20. He began with:

    Coal and gas is leading the cause of the climate crisis. And Labor is addicted to more coal and gas. Last year, Labor approved five new coal and gas projects. There’s 92 coal and gas projects in the pipeline, and today, the start of 2024, Labor in Queensland just approved the country’s biggest new ‘greenfield’ coal mine. After the cyclones, and the fires, and the floods in Queensland, they’re approving new, huge coal mines that will last for ages. Labor’s kidding themselves. We can’t have a safe future if we keep opening new coal and gas mines. Labor’s far more concerned with what the coal and gas corporations want than what will keep people safe. The corporations are making billions of dollars in revenue, and many of them aren’t even paying a single cent in tax. So you have to wonder how they’re getting away with it. Well, last week we discovered how – $863,000! That’s how much money Labor took from the coal and gas corporations, and their lobby groups, in their first full year of office alone. Santos, Woodside, and the Minerals Council of Australia all coughed up big. So, what did it get them in return?

    Meanwhile, today (Feb 28) the Climate Council has published their interactive Heat Map of Australia that shows how cutting climate pollution will limit extreme heat in our neighbourhoods.

  253. Geoff, since becoming active within the ALP when Morrison was elected I’ve only met one member who advocated supporting coal and gas. His only reason was that in Qld people in the regions won’t vote for you unless you support fossil fuels.

    The vast majority would like to see the end of coal and gas ASAP.

    Hard to negotiate with people who yell at you. I’ll say more tomorrow, but Madeleine King as Resources Minister is often fingered by the press, and has been known to say the she supports all mining, including coal and gas.

    At this point I’ll just say that her ministerial statements are mostly about other things, but she did do a trip to Japan and Korea to assure them that we are not going to cut them off:

    “I will also thank the governments of Japan and the ROK, as well as industry leaders, for their engagement on Australia’s Future Gas Strategy, which is working to provide an evidence base for the future gas needs of Australia and our export partners.”

    Japan and ROK are Australia’s second and third largest export markets for resources and energy respectively. Both countries also provide major foreign investments that support thousands of jobs in Australian resources and offshore gas projects.

    Australian resources and energy exports to Japan, including LNG, iron ore and coal, were worth $99 billion in 2022-23, while total Japanese investment in Australia was worth $259 billion.

    Resources and energy exports to ROK, including iron ore, LNG and coal, was worth $47.5 billion in 2022, and ROK investment in Australia was worth $28.1 billion.

    Minister King said Australia’s critical minerals sector was well placed to support Japan and ROK as they decarbonise their economies, and to support more diverse supply chains for materials needed for the manufacture of electric vehicles and high technology devices.

    And so on. We can’t realistically tell the Japanese and the Koreans that they can’t keep their lights on while we continue to burn gas and coal to keep ours on.

    Moreover, you will find, I think, that Korean and Japanese companies are involved in doing the mining here in Oz. When you give an exploration licence you can’t then tell them they can’t make a Final Investment Decision after they have spent significant money getting the project that far.

    However, the time has come when there must be a reconsideration. I just wish the Greens would go the whole way and face up to what is required for a safe climate. Larissa Waters implied, indeed said, that if we adopt the Greens climate trigger bill then we’ll all be climate safe.

    I’ll try to give the link tomorrow.

  254. Plus Chris Bowen reckons that 80% of our trading partners have a net zero by 2050 target. Of course that is hopelessly inadequate, which I suspect he personally knows.

  255. Brian: – “We can’t realistically tell the Japanese and the Koreans that they can’t keep their lights on while we continue to burn gas and coal to keep ours on.”

    Australia will be burning less and less coal/gas.

    In the latest RenewEconomy Energy Insiders Podcast, energy analyst David Leitch said from time interval 0:39:29

    As soon as we start getting some more solar and wind supply, and I want to, you know, there are 7 gigawatts of utility wind and solar under construction right now, and that will take us over 50 per cent renewables. It’s absolutely certain within two years, ah, of today, and probably sooner, ah, depending on how quickly its commissioned. And there’s 5 gigawatts of batteries, ah, being built right now, 5 gigawatts; I don’t have the duration number in front of me, and that’s all going to compete, ah, in the price, ah, for those evening price peaks, so I think there’s a lot of signs that both volume and price are going to be coming down within a couple of years, and we saw that the futures market is showing some of indications of that already.

    Brian: – “When you give an exploration licence you can’t then tell them they can’t make a Final Investment Decision after they have spent significant money getting the project that far.”

    Tough! More fossil fuel projects are civilisation suicide! What’s more important: protecting the fossil fuel industry; or protecting our civilisation and maintaining a habitable planet?

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted Mar 1:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t this entire graphic depend on an ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity) of about 3°C?

    I would like to see this same graphic assuming that the ECS is 4.8°C (Hansen’s value).

    It’s pretty much the end of everything.

    And also this:


    “Let me just make one point very clear: 2.7°C is without any doubt a disaster. It’s a point we haven’t seen for the past 5 million years. There’s no evidence that we can support humanity as we know it on a 2.7°C planet.”

    — Johan Rockström.

  256. Has global ‘peak oil’ passed?

    It’s looking a bit like it.

    WRT the other matter (ending coal and gas) I’ll have to leave it tonight, but the situation is worse, way worse than I thought!

  257. My problem with dealing with the future of coal and gas here on this blog is that I don’t have time to write a full post on it, not sure one would be enough.

    I was interested in where the Johan Rockström quote came from. It’s clearly a comment he repeats in his many lectures, interviews and presentations.

    Had a bit of a look, and came up with the most coherent expression of his views I have yet seen:

    Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström: A safe and just Future for Humanity on Earth

    It’s a comprehensive account which takes into account the paleo history of the earth system, highlights our particular dilemma at present and then details what we need to do, including adopting a stewardship approach to our planetary home so that we can have “prosperity and equity within a stable and resilient planet”.

    The comment re 2.7°C relates to COP 28 which was supposed to include a stocktake of where the climate mitigation of intentions of countries were added up to show we we are heading if we do what we say, which we are not.

    With respect to a possible climate trigger I’m keen that Australia should adopt the planetary boundaries concept. It seems obvious and logical that we conduct our human activities in such a way to not just fit in with our planetary home, but act as stewards. As he says, the Anthropocene needs to be Holocene-like.

    Last year the ALP national conference set up the policy platform for the next electoral cycle. This was inserted into the economics chapter:

    ALP Policy Platform backs the need for the economy to work within ecological limits, with consideration of climate and biodiversity impacts.

    It fits with Rockström’s notion of “prosperity and equity within a stable and resilient planet”.

    We need to establish a planetary limits policy commitment which runs across all areas of government, all ministries, all departments, and permeating all the institutional entities we use to regulate activity (ASIC, ACCC etc).

    The revision of the environment act is currently being considered. I’m not fully informed of what is happening, but everyone needs to read two articles in the Saturday Paper, one this weekend and one a week ago.

    The most recent is Mike Seccombe – Who sets Australia’s fossil fuels policy?

    A week ago we had Royce Kurmelovs – Madeleine King set to take offshore gas approval power from Tanya Plibersek

    Probably paywalled. I have to go but here’s and extended quote from the beginning of the Seccombe paper:

    If you want to understand what is driving Australia’s headlong pursuit of new fossil fuel developments, a good place to start is with a transcript posted by the Japanese embassy in Canberra last March.

    It was a speech given at a supposedly private function hosted by Resources Minister Madeleine King in Parliament House. In the speech, Takayuki Ueda, president and chief executive of the giant Japanese resources company Inpex, laid down the law to the Australian government.

    Ueda began by expressing his displeasure with the government’s decision to cap the domestic gas price and prevent companies from diverting supplies offshore to take advantage of skyrocketing global coal and gas prices.

    Such interventions in the market, he said, risked discouraging investment and “damaging Australia’s hard-earned international reputation as a premium trading partner”.

    His complaints were far broader than just that. Ueda claimed the investment climate in Australia was “deteriorating”. He said Australia’s energy policy appeared to be driven “by ideology”. He said it threatened to “choke investment”. He demanded “certainty in policy direction and a stable regulatory framework”.

    Ueda said Australia’s “hesitancy” to embrace carbon capture and storage (CCS) – the expensive and unreliable technology of burying carbon dioxide emissions that are an inevitable byproduct of mining and burning fossil fuels – “threatens this country’s aspiration to become a clean energy superpower and sacrifices the associated jobs, investment and revenue”. He dismissed as “ideologues” the proponents of green hydrogen, which is made with renewable energy – a zero emissions source – and argued for the use of gas instead.

    He singled out the Albanese government’s planned safeguard mechanism reform, which was being debated at the time and would oblige big emitters of greenhouse gases to progressively cut them, saying it would “require all new gas fields tied to existing LNG facilities to be net zero on day one” and would be unworkable without CCS.

    He accused Australia of a “quiet quitting of the LNG business” with “potentially very sinister consequences”.

    “The question of who will replace Australian supply into the market is front and centre,” he said. “Alarmingly, the ‘inconvenient truth’ is most likely that Russia, China and Iran fill the void. I hope this point is obvious to all of you and that you appreciate that this outcome would represent a direct threat to the rules-based international order essential to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region, if not the world.”

    I knew what the Japanese attitude was, but am surprised at how explicit and ‘in your face’ they are talking. What Inpex says is being supported by their government diplomatically.

    In the Kurmelovs paper Santos is making direct demands that they effectively should not have to run the gamut of environmental and First Nations views which seem to be regarded as vexatious and trivial. Nor do they want the inconvenience of court cases – just a sign-off by the resources minister, who, we are told, is not a climate denier, but very supportive of the coal and gas industries.

    I’d like everyone to take a good look at Rockström’s planetary boundaries framework, have a think about their grandkids then sit down and talk like adults instead of yelling at people with simplistic notions.

    Just finally Tony Wood, who I rate, on The great gas conundrum.

    Gas needs to be phased out, but it won’t be easy.

    I also tend to listen to AEMO who have the responsibility of telling everyone what we need to do to keep the lights on. Other expert commenters tend to have some ideology in their perceptions.

  258. On batteries, important information, but what about this:

    Dr Best also encouraged consumers to purchase better quality products, which are less likely to catch fire compared to more cheaply-made devices.

    I don’t have any technical quals, but would ask, are there standards that could be applied by law?

    I have two Stihl batteries that I use on gardening equipment. The handbook said a bit of water splashing around is not a problem, which is just as well, because in our climate, and given the quality of hose fittings, water is hard to avoid.

    I’m hoping that Stihl’s battery management technology and battery construction is good enough to keep me out of trouble.

    On pumped hydro, I wonder whether Snowy 2.0 has inhibited private investment in smaller schemes.

  259. The Daily SST World (60°S-60°N) set another record on Mar 5, at 21.19 °C. It looks like Climate Reanalyzer will need a bigger Y-axis very soon for its SST graph.

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Mar 7:

    Code #AGH

    Here’s the latest graph on the annualized mean rate of CO₂ growth, showing a spike in the annualized growth rate, now at 3.01ppm.

    The orange line at 1.25ppm is what we need to hit by 2030 in order to stay under 1.5°C.

  260. Copernicus: February 2024 was globally the warmest on record – Global Sea Surface Temperatures at record high, dated 5 Mar 2024. Summary includes:

    – February 2024 was the warmest February on record globally, with an average ERA5 surface air temperature of 13.54°C, 0.81°C above the 1991-2020 average for February and 0.12°C above the temperature of the previous warmest February, in 2016.

    – This is the ninth month in a row that was the warmest on record for the respective month of the year.

    – The month was 1.77°C warmer than an estimate of the February average for 1850-1900, the designated pre-industrial reference period. 

    – The global-average temperature for the past twelve months (March 2023–February 2024) is the highest on record, at 0.68°C above the 1991-2020 average and 1.56°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average.

    – The daily global average temperature was exceptionally high during the first half of the month, reaching 2°C above the 1850-1900 levels on four consecutive days (8–11 February).

    – European temperatures in February 2024 were 3.30°C above the 1991-2020 average for February, with much-above average temperatures experienced in central and eastern Europe. 

    – Outside Europe, temperatures were above average over northern Siberia, central and northwest North America, the majority of South America, across Africa, and in western Australia.

    – El Niño continued to weaken in the equatorial Pacific, but marine air temperatures in general remained at an unusually high level.

    – The average global sea surface temperature (SST) for February 2024 over 60°S–60°N was 21.06°C, the highest for any month in the dataset, above the previous record of August 2023 (20.98°C). Sea surface temperature is defined over the global extrapolar ocean, from 60°S to 60°N. This is used as a standard diagnostic for climate monitoring.

    – The average daily SST reached a new absolute high of 21.09°C at the end of the month.

  261. Global sea surface temperature is literally off the chart.

    Prof Jacobsen is asked, “So my question is are we past the point of no return where even if we all just stopped it would still be too hot?”

    His answer, “Yes.”

  262. Graham Readfearn – Fifth mass coral bleaching event in eight years hits Great Barrier Reef, marine park authority confirms

    The authority, together with scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, have completed aerial surveys across 300 reefs over two-thirds of the reef, with more to come.

    “These surveys confirm a widespread, often called mass, coral bleaching event is unfolding across the Great Barrier Reef,” the authority said in an update.

    Looks as though the whole reef is affected this time.

    Widespread mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef was first seen in 1998 and happened again in 2002, 2016, 2017, 2020, 2022 and now in 2024.

    We’ve had reports on the radio all day, like this one:

    Mass coral bleaching event hits Great Barrier Reef

    Richard Leck, WWF’s Head of Oceans and Sustainable Development reckons we need 90% emissions reductions by 2035.

    Actually we need 100% reductions tomorrow, and more, if we actually want to save the reef. These experts always avoid the stark reality that overwhelmingly the odds are that the Reef will be cooked over the next few decades.

    David Spratt took a look two years ago, and found the GBR, and coral reefs generally, to be in a death spiral.

    He says that Charlie Veron told the Royal Society in London in 2009 that “The safe level of atmospheric CO2 for coral reefs is ~320 ppm.”

    Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg’s interview with Robyn Williams last July is worth a listen:

    The global fight to protect our reefs

    He’s working with seven individual reefs, each in a different country (none in Oz) with the best resilience he can find on the planet to maximize their chances.

    He says that 10 years between bleaching events is not enough – you need 50 years to regain full complexity of species.

    At the end of the interview he says that the technology now exists to save the reefs, but the interview was winding up, so we are left wondering.

  263. I don’t know who Uncle Stabby is, but he raised the issue of ocean acidification:

    Are we more worried about ocean acidification? PH 8.04 and falling. If I understand correctly, at 7.8, things get nasty. Collapse of the ocean’s food chains and what not. The last data I saw doesn’t predict 7.8 until 2100 but every future milestone seems to be occurring early

    He links to this graph.

    Seems he’s roughly right, except the forecast is for the second half of this century. Dr Katharina Fabricius warned about this in 2008. It’s a log scale:

    Models also show that seawater pH has declined by 0.1 units to 8.1. As pH is on a log -10 scale, this change in pH is equivalent to a 30% increase in the acidity of seawater.

    Calcifying organisms make up more than a third of all sea life. Corals go at 7.9. At 7.8 it’s goodnight nurse. Can humans live if plankton goes?

    Fabricius et al have another go in 2020 with Progressive seawater acidification on the Great Barrier Reef continental shelf. I made more sense of the Conclusions than the Abstract. We approach the tipping point, but the point is the acidification is happening now, with negative effects now.

    The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has a great information site which addresses the many threats to the Reef and corals generally.

  264. Matthew England et al – Abyssal ocean overturning slowdown and warming driven by Antarctic meltwater

    This is what he says on Twitter (X):

    Out today in @nature our new paper showing how meltwater increases around Antarctica are set to dramatically slowdown the Antarctic overturning circulation, with a potential collapse this century.

    On daily sea surface temperatures in the Antarctic, he said this:

    “The sea ice around the Antarctic just not growing,” said Matthew England, a professor at University of New South Wales who studies ocean currents. “The temperature’s just going off the charts. It’s like an omen of the future.”

  265. Mass extinction: our fossil study reveals which types of species are most at risk from climate change

    Despite the threat that climate change poses to biodiversity, we do not yet fully understand how it causes animals to go extinct. In our new paper, published in Science, we used the fossil record to make more precise estimates.

    The geological rock record provides critical insight on past extinctions caused by a variety of climate change events. Fossils therefore offer a rare opportunity to understand the mechanisms of extinction and investigate how climate shifts have led to extinction in the past. Understanding why species went extinct under natural, pre-human conditions is paramount, since human-induced extinction drivers are accumulating over time.

    It was concluded that :

    Our findings revealed that species inhabiting climatic extremes, such as polar or equatorial regions, were particularly susceptible to extinction. Species with a narrow thermal tolerance of approximately less than 15°C faced a significantly higher risk of extinction. We also found that smaller-bodied species are more prone to extinction due to both climatic and other changes.

    However, the most important predictor of extinction risk was geographic range size. Species with smaller ranges, occupying more geographically-confined areas, had a higher likelihood of extinction.

  266. John, interesting study, but in some ways a bit strange.

    I find this hard to believe:

    Alarmingly, our research has, for the first time, identified climate change as a significant predictor of extinction, alongside other species’ traits.


    We observed that species subjected to local climate changes of 7°C or greater across geological stages were significantly more likely to face extinction.

    Who would have thought!!

    However, it doesn’t really explain why we had such a real-time mass extinction event with only 1°C change.

    Maybe rate of change has something to do with it!

  267. World’s largest tidal barrage energy project proposed in the UK

    A plan to build a barrier across the Mersey is starting to take shape. If it goes ahead, the ambitious project would becomes the largest tidal range facility in the world, while also offering pedestrians and cyclists safe passage across the river. –
    In addition to being the first pedestrian and cycling route to join the two regions over the river, the structure will also house 28 turbines driven by the flow of water in and out of the Mersey – generating electricity “using the energy available from the difference in height of the tides, which can be up to 10 meters (33 ft) in Liverpool.” Total capacity is expected to be 700 MW, which would make this the largest tidal range scheme in the world.
    The design will include sluice gates to allow water through when needed, which could help mitigate increased risks of flooding caused by climate change, as well as marine navigation locks to help keep the busy river traffic flowing.

  268. It seems the Jonathon Porritt post has become unavailable since late yesterday morning: “509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded”. Climate Code Red has extensively quoted Porritt’s musings in the 9 Mar 2024 piece by David Spratt in Is scientific reticence the new climate denialism?

    The latest research shows that Greenland’s glaciers are shrinking at seven times the rate of just a few years ago, an average of 30 million tonnes an hour. In the YouTube video titled Greenland: Ice Loss Accelerating, published 8 Mar 2024, duration 0:25:33, Peter Wadhams, Emeritus Professor of Ocean Physics at Cambridge University and Climate Scientist, Paul Beckwith describe what is happening on this sensitive continent.

  269. Thanks for that, Geoff. I thought the ‘Bandwidth’ notice referred to my computer.

    I did see David Spratt’s piece. He’s really blown a fuse.

    I also saw the Beckwith/Wadhams piece.

    Both the above are quite shocking. NW Greenland in a muddy mess. I think Jason Box works on SW Greenland where he’s wading around in pools of trapped methane. Beckwith, whose understanding of the science I respect, says he thinks sea level rise this century may exceed 5m.

    Leon Simons’ Tweet on solar radiation absorption is one of the more important graphs we’ve seen lately.

  270. The secret to saving our reefs may lie in the sea cucumber.

    Although the humble sea cucumber may not look like much, it could soon be recruited to help save the world’s coral reefs. The bottom-dwelling animals have been found to play a vital role in protecting corals from harmful bacteria.

    Climate change is largely responsible for the mass die-off of our planet’s coral reefs, as stress caused by higher water temperatures causes corals to expel the symbiotic algae living within them. The loss of that life-giving algae isn’t the only problem, however.

    Stressed corals are also more susceptible to infection by naturally occurring bacteria. In the past, populations of those microbes were kept to manageable levels by sea cucumbers, which feed on seafloor sediment. Unfortunately, due to over-harvesting for use in the Asian seafood market, sea cucumbers are now becoming increasingly rare in many regions.

    I wonder to what extent sea cucumbers might help coral survive in warmer waters.

  271. Brian: – “Beckwith, whose understanding of the science I respect, says he thinks sea level rise this century may exceed 5m.

    In the YouTube video titled Greenland: Ice Loss Accelerating, published 8 Mar 2024, duration 0:25:33, Peter Wadhams, Emeritus Professor of Ocean Physics at Cambridge University and Climate Scientist, Paul Beckwith describe what is happening on this sensitive continent. The latest research shows that Greenland’s glaciers are shrinking at seven times the rate of just a few years ago, an average of 30 million tonnes an hour. Paul Beckwith says from time interval 0:03:58:

    We have very good data on measuring the mass of both Greenland and Antarctica; [from] the gravity anomaly satellites ah, flying in tandem, and we’ve seen melt rates at least doubling every, what, seven to ten years typically, both for Greenland and also for Antarctica. And, ah, we’re still focussed mostly on the Northern Hemisphere, but with all that missing Antarctic sea ice and warming water, people are very concerned also with the Antarctic ah, glacier melt, and they’re tied together because if melt rates greatly increase at one pole, you know, the rising sea level can lift up floating ice shelves and, and cause accelerated melting at the other pole. So, there’s a connection, of course, between them. People are going to be very surprised, I think, at the, at the accelerated growth of sea level rise, in the next ah, you know, decade, decade or two, let alone…

    With Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet melt rates apparently doubling “seven to ten years … typically”, then that suggests the current sea level rise (SLR) rate of 4.5 mm per year observed over the period 2013–2021 is likely to accelerate. I did a calculation for the rate of SLR for 7- & 10-year doubling rates with a starting point of 4.5 mm/y in 2024:

    Year _ _ _ _ 7-year _ _ 10-year
    2024 _ _ _ 4.5 mm/y _ 4.5 mm/y
    2025 _ _ _ _ 5.0 _ _ _ _ _ 4.8
    2030 _ _ _ _ 8.2 _ _ _ _ _ 6.8
    2035 _ _ _ 13.4 _ _ _ _ _ 9.6
    2040 _ _ _ 21.9 _ _ _ _ 13.6
    2045 _ _ _ 36.0 _ _ _ _ 19.3
    2050 _ _ _ 59.1 _ _ _ _ 27.3

    That suggests the global mean SL, relative to today’s (year-2024) levels, could perhaps be of the order of:

    • 39.2 to 43.2 mm higher by 2030;
    • 141 to 189.5 mm higher by 2040; and
    • 344.7 to 583.3 mm higher by 2050.

    The 7-year doubling rate model suggests by the late-2060s we may perhaps be seeing SRL rates of the order of a metre/decade. So more than 5 m SLR by 2050 is possible.

    NOAA’s Feb 2022 report on SLR projects between 0.15 to 0.43 m by 2050, relative to a year-2000 baseline (see Table 2.3).

    Are governments planning for this magnitude of SLR rate?

    So more than 5 m SLR by 2050 is possible.
    should be:
    So more than 5 m SLR by 2100 is possible.

  273. Jonathon Porritt’s post Mainstream Climate Science: the New Denialism is now available. It’s definitely worth a read all the way through.

    I have a few queries/gripes.

    First he mentions climate action “in timeframes still available to us”. I’d query whether we have any in terms of avoiding a climate catastrophe.

    Second, he rightly identifies the trend with tipping points becoming a concern at increasingly lower temperatures, “now a concern at 1.5°C. There is too much focus on the midpoints of tipping points. In terms of risk we should avoid them altogether, which means gunning for a safe climate below 0.5°C of warming.

    Third he identifies deglaciation in therms of ice shelves rather than glaciers. Recently there has been concern for the Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica.

    Finally, no mention of ocean acidification. This one has actually shocked me in looking into the latest coral bleaching event.

    It is said the acid levels have dropped from about 8.1 to about 8.0, I think about 26% as it’s on a log scale.

    Reef development is said to cease at 7.8, which could happen this century.

    The question is How much oxygen comes from the ocean? and can humans survive if phytoplankton don’t?

    I’m not a scientist. I’d like to know!

  274. John, I think coral reefs are going to need all the help they can get. Our default expectation should be that we won’t have any large-scale reefs in a few decades time. UNESCO are going to show up again this year to see whether the GBR is endangered. Can we seriously argue that it is not?

    Geoff, thanks for the maths.

    Are governments planning for this magnitude of SLR rate?

    Not that I’ve heard, apart from a few like The Netherlands and Singapore. SLR keeps chewing away at the USA. Here’s a few links:

    32 U.S. cities, including New York and San Francisco, are sinking into the ocean and face major flood risks by 2050, new study reveals

    Leonard O. Ohenhen et al – Disappearing cities on US coasts

    Swept away: $500,000 sand dune built to protect US homes disappears in days

  275. Petermann Glacier melting has tripled due to warm ocean water

    A colossal river of ice, Greenland’s Petermann Glacier, is disintegrating with shocking speed. Since the early 2000s, its melting rate has tripled. Rising tides threaten to inundate coastal cities and displace millions worldwide.

    Researchers from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have pinpointed the intrusion of warm ocean water beneath the glacier as a key factor.
    Shifting with the tides

    Scientists were initially baffled by how quickly Petermann Glacier was losing ice. That’s when they made a remarkable discovery: the glacier isn’t fixed in place. Instead, it shifts by kilometers with the changing tides.

  276. Looks crook!

    By 2050, their models show, temperatures over the Amazon Basin are expected to be 2 to 4 degrees Celsius warmer than they are today, depending on greenhouse gas emissions over the next two and a half decades. By 2050, the Amazon’s dry season may be a month longer than it is now. Wildfires are expected to increase in frequency and severity.

    As a result, they estimate nearly half the Amazon may reach a “tipping point” by 2050, when it will cease being a forest at all and transition into savannah and grassland.


    As alarmist as this might sound, Armenteras Pascual thinks the warnings of Flores and his colleagues are, if anything, understated. “It’s not like half of the Amazon will collapse and the other half will go on just fine,” she says. “The whole system might collapse—the whole system in terms of hydrology, which is probably the most important role of the Amazon globally, its role in cooling the climate.”

    Whoever thought 1.5°C was any kind of a guardrail, or indeed a point where the climate could be stabilised.

  277. This article From Talk to Action: Rethinking the Language of Climate Change is about a new megastudy looking at what motivates climate action in 63 countries.

    The bottom line according to one author, Kimberly C. Doell:

    Motivating people to act on climate may seem daunting, but Doell’s research shows that many strategies to do it exist.

    However, “It seems like there is no one universal magic bullet,” Doell says. “And as much as I would love to give one answer to this, unfortunately, human beings are incredibly complicated.”

    It depends on all manner of things, which I’m sure marketers could tell us much about.

    It seems people in Chile and China believe the science, others not so much.

    I learnt this, which did not surprise:

    The World Health Organization estimates that 99% of the world’s population breathes unhealthy levels of particulate matter, which result from widespread pollution.


    “Climate change is the biggest health issue of the twenty-first century. And a lot of people are not aware of that link,” says Remy Shergill, strategic projects director and communications manager for the Climate and Health Alliance, an organization that represents health and medical professionals in Australia.

    I’ve often thought there is no such thing as fresh air any more. Perhaps the survivors of global heating will have to wear the kind of gear worn by divers.

    There I am, becoming dystopic again, rather than telling stories full of hope!

  278. Red alert’ after key global warming records were smashed in 2023

    Not only was 2023 the hottest year ever recorded, many other key indicators of global heating, such as sea level rise, ocean heat, Antarctic sea ice loss and glacier retreat, also smashed records, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) latest State of the Global Climate report.
    “Never have we been so close – albeit on a temporary basis at the moment – to the 1.5°C lower limit of the Paris Agreement on climate change,” the secretary-general of the WMO, Celeste Saulo, said in a press release. “The WMO community is sounding the Red Alert to the world.”

    Go to the link for more bad news.

  279. Thanks, John, that was the New Scientist report, usually pay-walled. One of my obsessions is SLR:

    The rate of sea level rise has more than doubled since satellite monitoring began in 1993. The rate of global mean sea level rise between 2014 and 2023 was more than twice the rate between 1993 and 2002.


    On average, on any one day in 2023 nearly a third of the global ocean was experiencing a marine heatwave. More than 90 per cent experienced heatwave conditions during the year.

    What chance the Great Barrier Reef?

    The report, not linked by NS is the WMO State of the Global Climate in 2023

    Their press release Climate change indicators reached record levels in 2023: WMO is quite long, and acts as an executive summary.

    Figure 3 of the report shows that the climate in Australia was relatively benign. A lot of cold water seems to be shedding from Antarctica. Figure 15 actually shows Antarctica’s mass balance increasing, due to increased snow falls in the last 18 months.

    All in all the place is falling apart. The usual summation is given: the cost of action is high, but less than the cost of inaction. And we need to transform the finance system to spread it around. They link to the November 2023 report Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2023 where we are told that climate finance was only USD 1.3 trillion in 2021/2022, about 1% of world GDP. We need to crank that up to over $10 trillion each year from 2031.

    If we don’t we’ll all be rooned!

  280. Brian: – “One of my obsessions is SLR:

    Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 3761–3812, 2016, James Hansen et al., Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2°C global warming could be dangerous, included (on page 3766):

    A sea level rise of 5m in a century is about the most extreme in the paleo-record (Fairbanks, 1989; Deschamps et al., 2012), but the assumed 21st century climate forcing is also more rapidly growing than any known natural forcing.

    The current rate of CO₂ and temperature change is almost unprecedented in the entire 4.5-billion-year geological past, per the late Will Steffen.

    And the Earth Energy Imbalance has more than doubled since year 2000.

    I’d suggest SLR will be relentless for centuries, regardless of how quickly we/humanity reduce our GHG emissions.

    I think 5 m SLR by 2100 is quite possible – somewhere around the 10-year doubling rate curve seems to me to be the most likely scenario.

    The 10-year doubling curve exceeds 1 m SLR around 2064 and 2 m around 2074.

    Are any jurisdictions planning for this order of magnitude of SLR?

  281. ICYMI/FYI, Berkeley Earth published on 20 Mar 2024 its February 2024 Temperature Update by Robert Rohde.

    The following is a summary of global temperature conditions in Berkeley Earth’s analysis of February 2024.

    • Globally, February 2024 was the warmest February since records began in 1850.
    • The previous record for warmest February was broken by 0.10 °C (0.18 °F), a moderate margin.
    • The ocean-average also set new records for the warmest February.
    • The land-average was the 3rd warmest observed, behind 2020 and 2016.
    • Particularly warm conditions occurred in parts of South America, Eastern Europe, Central and Southern Africa, Central North America, large areas of the Atlantic, and parts of the Indian Ocean.
    • Unusually cold conditions were present in part of Antarctica.
    63 countries set new national monthly-average records for February.
    • A strong El Niño continues but has weakened significantly, and is likely to end by mid-2024.
    • 2024 is very likely to be either the warmest or second warmest year on record.

    Estimated Probability of 2024 Annual Average final rankings:

    • 1st – 62%
    • 2nd – 37%
    • 3rd or lower – 1%

    BE currently considers there to be a 75% chance that 2024 will have an annual-average temperature anomaly more than 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) above our 1850-1900 average.

  282. Geoff, the Atlantic surface temperature for February and the global ocean surface temperate between 60º South and 60º North seem to show a clean break from the past.

    I haven’t checked but I think forecast from Berkeley Earth for 2024 has increased from their first effort after 2023 temperatures became known. To me Zeke Hausfather seems to play too much finality to what the models tell him, and wants to choose which models matter.

    I don’t trust the way he went from being totally “gobsmacked” last September to his current position of “there is nothing to see” and James Hansen might be right, but it’s just another paper and he’s probably wrong – any way it doesn’t matter.

    If people want to start down that track, I’d suggest the following:

    Sabine Hossenfelder – I wasn’t worried about climate change. Now I am.

    Climate Scientist responds to Sabine Hossenfelder on Climate Sensitivity

    Hausfather and Dessler – Revisiting the hot model problem

    How 2023 Broke Our Climate Models with Neil deGrasse Tyson & Gavin Schmidt

    I’m with Hossenfelder!

    Gavin Schmidt, who seems to me a candidate for being the planet’s top modeller, said in the fourth link that the models were a “total failure” in forecasting 2023. He identifies clouds and aerosols as areas we don’t know enough about. Hansen, using the work of Leon Simons and others, has given it his best shot. Hansen also has Karina Von Schuckmann

    One thing that commends Hansen’s work to me is that he sees climate in the context of the Cainozoic, the last 65 million years. Will Steffen always said that what we are doing now is equivalent to the asteroid strike in terms of force, but in the other direction, that is about 8°C. And you can bet that people like the guy in the second link have not read the Pipeline paper with care. One of the factors Hansen gives is that other research has now shown that warming from the last glacial maximum to the Holocene was actually 7°C, not 6°C.

    I don’t go with Gaven Schmidt when he says if we stop emitting then the planet will stop warming. He can’t be sure of that!

  283. I’ve just posted a notice that the blog will be upgraded by our American host next Thursday 28 at 3pm our (Eastern Standard Time) or an hour later if you are south of the Queensland border and suffering daylight saving.

  284. I’ve extended comments on this thread so we should have a year to May 30. Much of the discussion on this thread has been pertinent to this thread, which included an item on Hansen’s new Pipeline paper, which was then under review.

    Here’s more on accelerated warming and the utility of models:

    FT Editorial – The world is warming faster than scientists expected

    A quality piece, with lots of links. Following some of them I found:

    Audrey Minière with Karina von Schuckmann et al – Robust acceleration of Earth system heating observed over the past six decades


    Gavin Schmidt – Climate models can’t explain 2023’s huge heat anomaly — we could be in uncharted territory

    Schmidt says:

    In general, the 2023 temperature anomaly has come out of the blue, revealing an unprecedented knowledge gap perhaps for the first time since about 40 years ago, when satellite data began offering modellers an unparalleled, real-time view of Earth’s climate system. If the anomaly does not stabilize by August — a reasonable expectation based on previous El Niño events — then the world will be in uncharted territory. It could imply that a warming planet is already fundamentally altering how the climate system operates, much sooner than scientists had anticipated. It could also mean that statistical inferences based on past events are less reliable than we thought, adding more uncertainty to seasonal predictions of droughts and rainfall patterns.

    Much of the world’s climate is driven by intricate, long-distance links — known as teleconnections — fuelled by sea and atmospheric currents. If their behaviour is in flux or markedly diverging from previous observations, we need to know about such changes in real time. We need answers for why 2023 turned out to be the warmest year in possibly the past 100,000 years. And we need them quickly.

    (Emphasis added)

    Schmidt, I think, deliberately avoids talking about his former boss, James Hansen; probably does not want to get involved in the sh*tfights that follow Hansen around. However, Schmidt worked on modelling at NASA GISS with Hansen, I think from 1996, and commented very positively on Hansen’s 1988 forecasts in his Senate testimony. See Hansen got it right.

    Schmidt now want a few more months data before he is certain we are in new climate territory. Compare Hansen last July in The Climate Dice are Loaded. Now, a New Frontier?

    Hansen too is looking to the next few months to see whether he got it right. He thinks he can see the shape of the new regime, with 95% + certainty, and he is similarly certain the IPCC crowd have got it wrong. Schmidt would seem to agree with the latter of those two.

  285. Leon Simons tweeted on Mar 20:

    4 years after the initiation of the aerosol termination shock, most people are still oblivious.

    See @chrislhayes learn about it from @dwallacewells.

    Most climate models still don’t take this into account.

    With some sulphur and Ocean Temp data visualization from me at the end.

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Mar 25:

    In case you’re keeping track, there have been five days in 2024 when the global temperature anomaly dipped below the Paris limit of 1.5°C. Most recently, March 23rd registered 1.46°C.

    The current 365-day running average is 1.57°C.

    The climate 8-ball says: “f&%kery ahead!”

    Also Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Mar 25:

    Assuming that the planet is experiencing accelerating warming (quadratic trendline), it looks like we’re passing 1.5°C in 2027 or 2028.

  286. Good to see Leon Simons speaking up.

    Eliot Jacobsen’s quadratic trendline seems a good idea. I’ve just found again an article I had lost by Betts et al Approaching 1.5 °C: how will we know we’ve reached this crucial warming mark?

    Seems the Paris Agreement did not define how to measure 1.5°C . IPCC AR6 deemed it a 20-year average from a base of 1850 to 1900, so we may recognise 1.5°C about 10 years after we get there. Their solution is to combine an average of the last 10 years with an average of the next 10 years based on the climate model projections.

    This would bring an earlier change of rhetoric. I’d like to hear more about aiming for 0.5°C for a safe climate. For me, Johan Rockström (as with Will Steffen) emphasises the Holocene as the touchstone, but then he buys into 1.5°C quite strongly as important to avoid tipping points. Yet when talking about tipping points he recognises how many are already in play, plus the fact that scientists have a trend of lowering the lower bars.

  287. Brian: – “Eliot Jacobsen’s quadratic trendline seems a good idea.”

    The Climate Emergency Forum posted a YouTube video on 24 Mar 2024 titled Chaos in the Climate Casino, duration 0:53:08. This video was recorded on 4 Mar 2024. The Climate Emergency Forum welcomes Dr Eliot Jacobson, a retired professor turned climate researcher. The discussion delves into the complexities of the 1.5 °C IPCC global average temperature goal.

    Dr Jacobson discusses his own analysis based on Copernicus data, revealing a higher rate of warming at 0.3 °C per decade compared to previous estimates. This leads him to assert that the current temperature anomaly is around 1.38 °C above the pre-industrial baseline, indicating a faster pace of warming than commonly acknowledged. He predicts that at this rate, the world is likely to surpass the 1.5 °C goal by 2028, highlighting the urgency of addressing climate change.

    Regular Panelists:
    Dr. Peter Carter – MD, Expert IPCC Reviewer and the director of the Climate Emergency Institute

    Paul Beckwith – Climate Systems Scientist. Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Paleoclimatology Laboratory as well as at Carleton University

  288. Happy Birthday Brian and all the best on your next loop around the sun. Thank you for all those years of sharing and facilitating relevant and important information exchange.

    In the last three months we have received more than two times the median annual rainfall here in Mareeba, FNQ. It is an extraordinary wet season not just for our region, enormous rainfalls are wide spread, here in the Wet Tropics, Cape and Gulf country, West Qld and more to come and that in an El Niño year. Infrastructure and house hold losses are enormous, not looking forward to insurance renewal.

  289. Thankyou Ootz. I normally don’t take much notice of my birthdays, and this one is not a significant one, apart from marking another year above ground. There was a time for a few years after I left school when no-one, including family, remembered. I may have psychologically separated from the notion of celebrating birthdays then.

    So birthdays tend to be BAU, but people have remembered and I do appreciate that.

    On rain, I don’t think the past is any guide to the future anymore. The models are broken. Here in our suburb we’ve just had double the monthly average, but almost everywhere around has had more. Grateful there are no floods.

    Thanks again Ootz. Much appreciated!

  290. Geoff, that Chaos in the Climate Casino is definitely worthwhile. Insurance industry becoming kaput, people actually moving out of Florida.

    Enough to scare the bejesus out of everyone paying attention.

    They say scientists should be advocating louder. Sabine Hossenfelder in Should we be terrified of climate change? says scientists should be telling the truth, not scaring people.

    Fair enough, but the truth is scary, and they can chose how many times and to some extent the forums in which they speak. I actually disagree with Peter Carter. Warren Howden, for example tells a scary tale, as do some others.

    I listened again to Dr. James E. Hansen in Conversation with Paul Beckwith from last November just after the Pipeline paper was released, which is excellent. I note that Hansen said the Earth’s albedo had changed, and links this with the effects of less aerosols in creating droplets, and the big gap opening up in sea ice cover in the Antarctic. He did not mention the extra green cover we are getting, especially at high latitudes. The 25% or so of emissions absorbed on land must be going somewhere.

    I thought he under-rated methane somewhat when Beckwith raised it.

    Loved the fact that he had to run off at the end because he was due to talk to the Chinese!

  291. Brian: – “Insurance industry becoming kaput, people actually moving out of Florida.

    In Australia, for property, ‘Actions of the Sea’ are normally not covered by insurance.

    The Insurance Council of Australia’s October 2021 report
    Climate Change Impact Series: Actions of the Sea and Future Risks confirms significant additional investment will be required to mitigate the risks of coastal inundation and sea level rise. On page 17 of the Insurance Council of Australia report, section 3.5.2 Considerations for the Insurance Industry includes:

    At present, the IPCC 6th Assessment Report (IPCC, 2021) and the soon to be published full report of IPCC Working Group I, provides the most appropriate reference for the insurance industry to assess sea level rise over medium-and-long-term horizons. It is not expected that sea level rise would be covered by insurance; however, sea level rise will increase the frequency and impact on insured property from all other Actions of the Sea addressed in this report. As a result of the feedback that sea level rise has on increasing inundation and coastal erosion and shoreline recession hazards, the insurance sector will need assess how vulnerability and exposure will increase in the future.

  292. The latest 14-page communication (dated 29 Mar 2024) by James Hansen, Makiko Sato and Pushker Kharecha titled Global Warming Acceleration: Hope vs Hopium, includes:

    Global warming in 2010-2023 is 0.30°C/decade, 67% faster than 0.18°C/decade in 1970-2010 (Fig. 1). The recent warming is different, peaking at 30-60°N (Fig. 2); for clarity we show the zonal-mean temperature trend both linear in latitude and area-weighted. Such an acceleration of warming does not simply “happen” – it implies an increased climate forcing (imposed change of Earth’s energy balance). Greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing growth has been steady. Solar irradiance has zero trend on decadal time scales. Forcing by volcanic eruptions has been negligible for 30 years, including water vapor from the Honga Tunga eruption.⁴ The one potentially significant change of climate forcing is change of human-made aerosols. The large warming over the North Pacific and North Atlantic (Fig. 1) coincides with regions where ship emissions dominate sulfate aerosol production (Fig. 3, from Jin et al.³).

  293. Thanks, Geoff. I was actually up last night when the Hansen missive came through, but I was very tired and had trouble concentrating on the text. This morning (Saturday) I happened on Paul Beckwith’s Crucial Update on Global Warming Acceleration by James Hansen and his pals. Basically I’m a lay person with a brain as far as science is concerned. As such I found Beckwith’s exposition helpful. He’s a bit more pessimistic the Hansen.

    There is much that is notable in Hansen’s piece. Essentially it’s about the use made by the IPCC of climate models and the significance of aerosols and cloudiness. Warming in the last decade has increased from 0.18°C per decade to 0.3°C , an increase of 67%.

    Hansen’s notion of aerosol forcing is 10 times that of the IPCC.

    From the references, the suspicion that the aerosol effect could be very big goes back a long way. Hansen cites Knutti (2008) Why are climate models reproducing the observed global surface warming so well?

    The title is a bit ironic. They are doing well because they tack on sundry amounts of aerosol effect with no scientific justification.

    Hansen himself published a piece in 2007, with over 40 joint authors: Climate simulations for 1880–2003 with GISS modelE

    Back in 2005 we had an article Strong present-day aerosol cooling implies a hot future:

    Atmospheric aerosols counteract the warming effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases by an uncertain, but potentially large, amount. This in turn leads to large uncertainties in the sensitivity of climate to human perturbations, and therefore also in carbon cycle feedbacks and projections of climate change. In the future, aerosol cooling is expected to decline relative to greenhouse gas forcing, because of the aerosols’ much shorter lifetime and the pursuit of a cleaner atmosphere. Strong aerosol cooling in the past and present would then imply that future global warming may proceed at or even above the upper extreme of the range projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Emphasis added)

    Beckwith thinks the IPCC crowd are indulging in groupthink and won’t admit they are wrong. I’d probably call it confirmation bias, but with some there seems to be a resentment of Hansen which has a personal edge to it. However, he is not alone. There’s a whole bunch of models that are in better sync with his thinking.

    Gotta leave it there.

  294. The Electric Viking puts out a new view every few hours, and the images are not always related specifically to the text. Also he frequently identifies ‘game changing’ developments. I think this one might be:

    TESLA battery maker CATL reveal 1 million miles + zero degradation battery

    I understand CATL have a research facility with 18,000 employees. This battery should get rid of range anxiety, and push hydrogen out of the large vehicle market. Seems especially suited to road transport, buses and mining machinery.

  295. Thanks, Geoff.

    I’ve spent endless hours dealing with the sudden disappearance of my entire email account. It’s a long story, but no, I wasn’t hacked.

    I now have the latest version of Outlook, the one I use. I know the Gmail is effective, but personally I can’t seem to get into how it works.

    Problem is, I now have Outlook, which I can use, except that the entire contacts list is gone. OK I’ve got some, but none that were added in the last eight years.

    Meanwhile, I must confess to being shocked and disappointed by Gavin Schmidt and Zeke Hausfather, who are saying that accelerated warming that became very obvious from about mid-2023, was very much within what their models predicted, and really there was nothing much to see in Hansen’s paper.

    I’d like to do more on this, but for now two links:

    Schmidt – Much ado about acceleration

    Hausfather – Factcheck: Why the recent ‘acceleration’ in global warming is what scientists expect

    This is actually a huge turnaround from the language they were using a few months ago.

    My main suspicion is that these senior scientists are working on their budget submissions for the next financial year, and can hardly argue the value of the work they have been doing for years by reporting that their models are broken and not fit for purpose.

    It’s relevant here to think about what Sabine Hossenfelder has been saying. She takes no prisoners:

    Sabine Hossenfelder – I Was Worried about Climate Change. Now I worry about Climate Scientists.

    Hossenfelder – My dream died, and now I’m here

  296. Leon Simons tweeted on Apr 12:

    It took the global shipping industry over 50 years to phase out coal, but they did it in the 1960s!

    Countercurrents published a piece by Robert Hunziker on Apr 13, headlined Global Warming: Uncharted Territory Dead Ahead. It began with:

    When America’s leading authority on the climate system Gavin Schmidt of NASA throws his hands up in the air, exclaiming, we’ve got a knowledge gap for the first time since satellites started tuning into the planet’s climate system, what does this imply about future conditions for the planet?

    Gavin Schmidt, Director, Goddard Institute for Space Studies: “In general, the 2023 temperature anomaly has come out of the blue, revealing an unprecedented knowledge gap perhaps for the first time since about 40 years ago, when satellite data began offering modellers an unparalleled, real-time view of Earth’s climate system.” (Source: Gavin Schmidt, Climate Models Can’t Explain 2023’s Huge Heat Anomaly – We Could be in Uncharted Territory, Nature, March 19, 2024)

    This admission by the nation’s top climate scientist, stating we may be in uncharted territory, is beyond disturbing, especially within the context of a chaotic climate system that, by all appearances, has gone haywire. Hopefully, it is only “an anomaly,” as stated by Dr. Schmidt because if it is the opposite, or a “new normal,” then big trouble is already at the doorstep. After all, 2023 was way beyond normal with an extraordinarily negative upward trajectory, but if it is now the new normal, what’s next?

    According to Schmidt, the answer to whether the Earth System has fundamentally changed and the ‘new normal’ has already arrived will be obvious by August 2024. That’s only 4 months away.

  297. Schmidt almost never refers to James Hansen, but you have to assume he knows what Hansen is saying.

    Hansen in Global Warming Acceleration: El Nino Measuring Stick Looks Good of 14 December 2023 is saying that when the current El Niño subsides, usually in the Northern summer, we’ll have confirmation that warming has kicked up a gear. However, he’s saying we’ll have a fair idea by May.

    Maenwhile the oceanographers of the world have been meeting for three days in Spain:

    Scientists at Spain meeting sound alarm over ocean warming

    They are worried:

    Over 90 percent of the world’s oceans experienced heat waves in 2023, which had a direct impact on climate and ecosystems around the world, even those located far from oceans, according to the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

    “We’re on a trajectory that has scientists wondering whether we’ve underestimated future global warming,” Jean-Pierre Gattuso, a specialist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), said at the conference.

  298. The Earth System global mean SAT is almost at +1.60 °C for 365-day running mean as at Apr 15. The next day or two may push it over the threshold. Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Apr 18:

    For those claiming that Copernicus data puts us at 1.6°C for the last 12 months, believe me, I’ll post it as “Code UFB” breaking news.

    We’re not quite there officially … but surely Apr. 17 data will get us there. And I suppose it’s okay to round up by 0.002°C.

  299. As someone said on the thread, this is the end of the beginning.

    Roger Hallam in his usual forthright style says:

    So get this: the world’s coral reefs disappear at 1.5C.
    We are past 1.5C now and heading for 2C.


    The point is not, “OMG all those lovely colourful things we see on David Attenborough are going to go …”

    No. The point is 25% of the world’s fish will disappear as well.

    And so on…

    The video of Dr Selina Ward posted by Terry Hughes is very sad.

  300. Dr Robert Rohde tweeted on Apr 19:

    As climate change progresses, there will be both economic winners & losers.

    How many of each is hotly debated, but studies like this new one in Nature tend to conclude that only current cold regions (in blue) have net benefits from high warming.


    On 19 Apr 2024, Berkeley Earth published their report titled March 2024 Temperature Update by Robert Rohde. It included:

    2024 will very likely be one of the two warmest years since instrumental measurements began. Whether it is the warmest year on record will depend on whether it can maintain its current warmth long enough to exceed the record annual average set in 2023. It is typically true that the second year after an El Niño emerges is warmer than the first, though that is not guaranteed.

    The first three months of 2024 started with large anomalies, though this is expected to cool somewhat during the latter part of 2024.

    The statistical approach that we use, looking at conditions in recent months, now believes that 2024 has a 59% chance of being warmer than 2023, slightly better than a coin flip. The ultimate outcome will depend on the evolution of the current El Niño, the possible switch to La Niña late in 2024, and variation in other regions. However, it is very unlikely that 2024 will be any colder than the second warmest year overall.

    Estimated Probability of 2024 Annual Average final rankings:
    * 1st – 59%
    * 2nd – 41%
    * 3rd or lower – less than 1%

    This forecast probability of record warmth is largely unchanged from the 62% chance estimated last month.

    We also consider there to be a 80% chance that 2024 will have an annual-average temperature anomaly more than 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) above our 1850-1900 average. The annual average in 2023 slightly exceeded the 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) threshold in our dataset, and this is likely to occur again in 2024.

  301. Geoff, Berkeley Earth’s forecast on temperature looks about right.

    The article Robert Rohde is talking about is available at NatureThe economic commitment of climate change:

    Using an empirical approach that provides a robust lower bound on the persistence of impacts on economic growth, we find that the world economy is committed to an income reduction of 19% within the next 26 years independent of future emission choices (relative to a baseline without climate impacts, likely range of 11–29% accounting for physical climate and empirical uncertainty). These damages already outweigh the mitigation costs required to limit global warming to 2 °C by sixfold over this near-term time frame and thereafter diverge strongly dependent on emission choices.

    The graph copied by Rohde reflects all climate effects, not just temperature, which raises estimates by approximately 50% and leads to stronger regional heterogeneity.

    The authors are from the Potsdam Institute and the Berlin Mercator Institute, plus peer reviewed.

    Just have a think has done a segment Europe is cooking at double speed! Are Europeans ready? based on a whopping report Europe is not prepared for rapidly growing climate risks: Press release Published 11 Mar 2024. Looks as though they will fry, unless AMOC stalls, in which case they will freeze. With either scenario it would be impossible to produce much food.

  302. Fortescue is one company that seems serious about taking the carbon out of their operations:

    Liebherr electric excavator reaches million ton milestone, scores more orders

    The diesel excavator, converted to electric by Liebherr, began operation in January, and has scooped scooped its one millionth tonne of dirt. Fortescue is planning to order two more.

    “This is such an exciting milestone for Fortescue and our decarbonisation journey. Importantly, we’ve been able to achieve this while maintaining our high safety standards,” says Fortescue Metals CEO, Dino Otranto. “We will have two additional electric excavators commissioned by the end of April. Once we decarbonize our entire fleet, around 95 million liters of diesel will be removed from our operations every year, or more than a quarter of a million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.”

  303. The Grattan Institute has just released a report Keeping the lights on: How Australia should navigate the era of coal closures and prepare for what comes next which says we are in trouble, trying to construct a fit for purpose modern electricity grid in a piece-meal fashion, subject to the vagaries of politics, whereas there should have been a complete new design of the NEM.

    The link above has links to articles by the authors published elsewhere, a media release and the report itself.

    ABC RN has an interesting interview with Tony Wood – Does the National Energy Market need to be redesigned?

    Their Media release is Prepare now to avoid blackouts in the post-coal era .

    People don’t generally realise that half or more of the price of electricity is in the poles and wires. Also as renewables approaches 100% it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure continuity of supply.

    I think this report is timely and an important piece of work.

  304. Brian: – “I think this report is timely and an important piece of work.

    I’d suggest government planning at all levels and grid connection approvals also need to be happening at a much faster pace to accelerate the decarbonisation process.

    Wang 9 & Great Western BESSs already have NSW planning approvals, yet so far appear not to be progressing further.

    One needs to ask why some of these energy projects are taking so long to get through the NSW planning approval process and continue to be delayed in becoming operational, while some others (e.g. Waratah Super) apparently progress rapidly. Are governments fair dinkum about a rapid energy transition and reducing GHG emissions?

  305. Meanwhile, I’d suggest EnergyAustralia’s Mt Piper Power Station (MPPS) may have difficulties sourcing adequate quantities of local coal supplies beyond year-2026. This may prompt a closure date significantly earlier than the currently expected year-2040.

    Below is a list of coal mines I’m aware of within the Lithgow City Council LGA with current development consents:

    Angus Place: Underground Longwall, Operator: Centennial, production consent expires on 18 Aug 2024, Maximum allowable production is 4.0 Mt/y ROM, Status: Care & Maintenance since 2015

    Invincible: Open cut, Operator: Western Mining Solutions, production consent expires on 31 Dec 2025, Maximum allowable production is 1.2 Mt/y ROM, Status: Producing in 2023 & 2024

    Cullen Valley: Open cut, Operator: Western Mining Solutions, production consent expires on 31 Dec 2025, Maximum allowable production is 1.0 Mt/y ROM, Limited production in 2022-23

    Clarence: Underground Longwall, Operator: Centennial, production consent expires on 31 Dec 2026, Maximum allowable production is 3.0 Mt/y ROM, Producing

    Springvale: Underground Longwall, Operator: Centennial, production consent expires on 31 Dec 2028, Maximum allowable production is 5.5 Mt/y ROM, Producing

    Airly: Underground Bord & Pillar, Operator: Centennial, production consent expires on 31 Jan 2037, Maximum allowable production is 1.8 Mt/y ROM, Producing

    Centennial has lodged a development application to extend the life of Angus Place Colliery, with a proposal per Centennial’s Scoping Report called Angus Place West (APW) to extract up to 2.0 Mt/y ROM until 31 Dec 2042. To date, no EIS has yet been made available on public exhibition at the NSW Government’s Major Projects portal.

    Meanwhile, the NSW Parliament passed legislation late-2023 to enshrine whole-of-government climate action to deliver net zero by 2050. The Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Act 2023 legislates emissions reduction targets for NSW:
    • 50% reduction on 2005 levels by 2030
    • 70% reduction on 2005 levels by 2035
    • Net zero by 2050.

    It will be interesting to see how much of an effect the NSW Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Act 2023 has on further coal mine approvals in NSW.

    Springvale is still having significant production problems. The maximum allowable production is 5.5 Mt/y ROM, yet saleable coal appears to be less than half that in recent years. I’d suggest saleable coal production is clearly inadequate to sustain MPPS operations from Springvale alone, and anecdotally I see likely supplementations coming from both Airly and Clarence in recent years.

  306. US petroleum geologist Art Berman tweeted on Apr 30:

    Tight oil accounted for 54% of U.S. proved reserves in 2022

    No increase from 2021 but a 22% increase from 2015
    and a 42% increase from 2011

    Art Berman also tweeted on Apr 30:

    The U.S. has added more oil than it has produced in every year since 2017 except for 2020

    Average 12 years of R/P (reserves divided by production) since 2012

    I’d suggest the day of reckoning is coming when less oil reserves are found each year to replace what’s being produced. An average R/P of 12 years is not a long time before running out.

  307. Good to see coal mines closing. Today in the AFR Chris Bowen said we are going to need more gas, which is more flexible than coal or nukes, as he says, in order to keep the lights on while we meet our targets. This is probably realistic, if undesirable.

    Today’s ABIX Roy Morgan Daily News Summary has this item:

    Kean questions need for Eraring bailout, Minns comes under fire

    The Australian Financial Review – Page 4 : 1 May 2024
    Original article by Jacob Greber

    Roy Morgan Summary

    Sources within the NSW government have confirmed that it is holding talks with Origin Energy about a potential deal to extend the operating life of the Eraring coal-fired power station. However, government insiders have downplayed suggestions that a deal is imminent. Eraring is currently slated to be shut down in 2025, but there has been speculation that the government could secure a deal to keep it open until 2029 amid concerns that the state could face power shortages. Meanwhile, former NSW treasurer Matt Kean says the Australian Energy Market Operator had advised him that projects such as the Waratah super battery would ensure that Eraring woild not be required beyond 2025.

  308. Brian: – “Today in the AFR Chris Bowen said we are going to need more gas, which is more flexible than coal or nukes, as he says, in order to keep the lights on while we meet our targets. This is probably realistic, if undesirable.

    I’d suggest Chris Bowen needs to read AEMO’s March 2024 Gas Statement of Opportunities. In particular, Figure 26: Reserves and resources reported in the 2023 GSOO and 2024 GSOO shows:

    2023 actual production: _ _ _ 1,885 PJ
    2P reserves (developed): _ _ 17,640 PJ _ R/P = 9.4 years
    2P reserves (undeveloped): 16,279 PJ _ R/P = 8.6 years
    2C resources: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 39,296 PJ

    The 2P reserves estimate reflects statistically that there should be at least a 50% probability that the quantities actually recovered will equal or exceed the sum of estimated proved plus probable reserves.

    Gas resources are defined as less certain, & potentially less commercially viable, sources of gas. When estimating these uncertain resources, the best estimate of contingent resources (2C) is used.

    And on page 49:

    The long-term production outlook represented by existing, committed and anticipated volumes for southern gas fields is in steep decline. Figure 28 shows southern annual production from committed fields is forecast to fall well below quantities produced during recent years. Forecast supply volumes from anticipated projects has increased for the 2024 GSOO but are still in decline. Substantial supply remains uncertain and is in the early stages of development. These uncertain projects reflect advice received from producers, but some are subject to extensive feasibility studies before they can be classified as firm supply.

    Amandine Denis-Ryan & Kevin Morrison stated in their RenewEconomy piece published 3 Apr 2023 headlined Australia can and should eradicate its gas supply gap – but not with more gas, beginning with:

    The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) recently published its annual Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO), which found that southern Australia was at a high risk of long-term gas supply gaps.

    While AEMO noted demand reductions could assist, much of the public commentary has inferred that bridging the gap will require new gas supply via either new gas fields, LNG import terminals, pipelines or a combination of these three.

    Our analysis finds that accelerating action to improve energy efficiency and electrification in buildings could eradicate the gas supply gaps for the next decade while also alleviating the cost of living crisis for households.

    Meanwhile, methane emissions are being vastly underreported and are damaging the nation’s credibility on climate change, economist Professor Rod Sims has warned.

    When are politicians going to heed the evidence/data?

  309. Thanks for the link from Rod Sims. I heard what he said on the radio, so good to have the link.

    I suspect that there is a problem in how gas is counted in the offsets granted under the Safeguard Mechanism. Probably they see methane as equivalent to 26 or 28 times CO2, which is vastly underestimating the effect in the next two or three decades.

    I’ve got stuff to do tonight and will comment further on gas when I can. Meanwhile I came upon these two articles on electricity pricing:

    Why are power bills more expensive, when new data shows wholesale energy prices have fallen?

    The energy regulator drafts new benchmark power prices — but what does it mean for your bill?

    Good as far as they go, but there could have been more on the role of retailers, the spot market and how the price of gas has undue influence, the difference between businesses and consumers etc.

    I tried to understand the whole thing back around 2017, and was told by an expert who made a living from knowing about gas prices that the network charges on the bill you get do not cover the full cost of transmission. He reckoned 60% was nearer the mark.

    My main point is that the cost of generation is a minor part of the bill. So I’m not sure our abundant sun and wind will be as big a natural advantage as commonly reckoned.

  310. Today, the Australian Security Leaders Climate Group (ASLCG) released a new report titled TOO HOT TO HANDLE: The scorching reality of Australia’s climate–security failure.

    Ret. Adm. Chris Barrie, former head of the ADF said:

    It appears that the government either doesn’t understand what our scientists are telling them, or they are deliberately hiding the facts from the Australian community. Facing down the climate threat will require unprecedented global cooperation, not a new arms race.

    There’s an ABC report by Jake Evans published today (May 2) headlined Climate risks ignored in National Defence Strategy, former defence chief says.

  311. Roy Morgan summary of an article in The Age about the report:

    The Australian Security Leaders Climate Group claims that the federal government’s latest defence strategy ignores the national security risks of climate change. Led by former Australian Defence Force chief Chris Barrie, the Group contends that some of the nation’s most important military bases in its north could become almost unliveable as a result of rising temperatures because of climate change, with Darwin and Katherine facing the prospect of almost 300 days a year above 35 degrees if climate change was not brought under control.

    Our politicians are not grasping the gravity of the situation.

  312. Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted today (May 3):

    Breaking News!
    Code Yikes!

    This April was the warmest on record, at 1.58°C above the pre-industrial baseline, making April, 2024 the 11-th consecutive record breaking month.

    Can we make it to a full year of record temperatures? The climate 8-ball says “f&%kery ahead!”

    Meanwhile, global mean daily SSTs remain stubbornly at record high levels.

  313. Yes, it’s looking crook! James Hansen said he would do communication in May, but it would not surprise if he missed. I imagine the publishers may be getting stroppy over his non-completion of Sophie’s Planet. He’s not a spring chicken.

    Meanwhile the legal team representing the Australian Government in the Torres Strait climate case have been particularly rude, ignorant and egregious in the Federal Court. See or hear:

    Landmark case tests whether Commonwealth has ‘duty of care’ to prevent climate harm

    Chris Bowen has been up there. He’s not an ignoramus, so what is going on?

  314. Zeke Hausfather has a comment that is I think supposed to reassure us about rising temperature, but does it? See Hausfather – Warmest April on record – but a possible return to predictability?

    Global temperatures were being set by historic margins in the second half of 2023. While September’s “absolutely gobsmackingly bananas” record margin of 0.5C stands out, every month between July and December beat the prior record by at least 0.3C.

    By contrast, 2024 so far has been a bit more “normal” – at least to the extent that anything is normal on a rapidly warming planet. Global temperature records are being set by around 0.1C compared to the prior record during the super El Nino of 2016, which is roughly in line with what we’d expect to see as a result of the 8 years of warming between 2016 and 2024 due to emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

    If 2024 continues to follow its expected trajectory, global temperatures will fall out of record territory in the next month or two and continue to fall as El Nino fades and La Nina conditions develop. Annual temperatures year as a whole will end up at around 1.5C, similar to 2023, rather than the ~1.7C that we have experienced to-date.

    (Emphasis added)

    Hansen said back in January in Groundhog Day. Another Gobsmackingly Bananas Month. What’s Up?

    Figure 4 includes our expectation that continuing record monthly temperatures will carry the 12- month temperature anomaly to +1.6-1.7°C. During subsequent La Ninas, global temperature may fall back below 1.5°C to about 1.4±0.1°C, but the El Nino/La Nina mean will have reached 1.5°C, thus revealing that the 1.5°C global warming ceiling has been passed for all practical purposes because the large planetary energy imbalance assures that global temperature is heading still higher.

    I suspect Hausfather is trying to show that what Hansen is saying is nothing special. See Hausfather – Factcheck: Why the recent ‘acceleration’ in global warming is what scientists expect.

    We see in the fourth graph, which is a collection of four, in the bottom left Hansen is shown as spot on the predictions of the CMIP6 models. Elsewhere (I’ll have to look for the link) he explains (admits) that in that graph he has included the “hot” models, which had been excluded from the IPCC. Arbitrarily excluded, I think.

    I’d like to look at this again, but as of now I don’t trust Hausfather and Dessler.

  315. The link I was referring to in the last comment was Dan Miller, interview with Zeke Hausfather from 29:00 in Climate Chat“Accelerating” Debate on Global Warming: Interview with Dr. Zeke Hausfather.

    I find Hausfather congenitally happy and optimistic, which produces some cognitive dissonance when discussing frying the planet. Dan Miller as interviewer plays a straight bat and keeps him more or less honest.

    Towards the end Hausfather says he does not have much expertise in climate sensitivity, which really excludes him from the topic of Earth System Science.His characterisation of Hansen’s Pipeline paper as a “useful thought experiment” is shall we say, a bit rich.

    Some of his statements are astonishing, eg. that CO2 emissions peaked in 2019, that 90% of the climate forcing effects come from CO2, methane is minor and he disregards NO2 and the rest of the ‘Kyoto six’ GHGs.

    Leon Simons came on near the end and warned about the regional variation in the effects of aerosols, with particular concern about how hot India is going to be if they stop polluting.

  316. I’ve just started to hear some of the comments by Dr. Gavin Schmidt in the YouTube video published by Climate Chat on 6 May 2024 titled Much Ado About Accelerating Warming with Climate Scientist Gavin Schmidt, duration 1:56:03. I thank Gavin for his comments/perspectives and his engagement with host Dan Miller, and in a Q&A including with Leon Simons.

    For example, Gavin Schmidt says from time interval 1:13:21:

    So, so, if your question is: ‘Ah, what’s the likelihood of staying underneath two degrees in the absence of any ah, climate, ah, carbon dioxide removal?’ And the answer is going to be, ah, you know, very small chance, under, under reasonable assumptions about other things.

    Meanwhile, published at RenewEconomy yesterday (May 6) was an AAP piece headlined Reef in crisis: Scientists despair – and are reduced to tears – as corals perish.

    And governments find excuses to continue to encourage and approve more fossil fuel projects. See Juice Media’s latest poke at gross hypocrisy titled Honest Government Ad | How to State Capture (EPBC Act).

  317. John, on reading your link on sodium-ion batteries, it’s a US battery targeting industrial uses, with possible design for EVs later. The CATL battery I linked to is similar but different, and designed for EVs in the first instance.

    Both appear to be welcome developments.

    Now Electric Viking (Sam Evans) tells us China says its water battery has double the energy density of lithium.

    Evans points out that it is technology under development, not yet a battery. Also it is only as dense as the best new lithium, but one to watch.

  318. John, the sea-bed air batteries look to have possibilities, but I’m not sure what “long duration” means. Will it eliminate the need for gas standby? We have rain depressions that last a week.

    Just have a think in Heating cities with sand and water tells of hot sand in Sweden and hot water in Finland for heating. Both look rather expensive.

  319. Geoff, on the Great Barrier Reef, that’s AAP, bless them. However, everyone everywhere that is interested knows what is going on. Here’s CNN in ‘Like wildfires underwater’: Worst summer on record for Great Barrier Reef as coral die-off sweeps planet .

    Today on ABC Radio National we had Government accused of down-playing coral death, which is cannily similar to the AAP piece.

    I’m not sure the Government is playing down-playing coral death, they just don’t want to talk about it in public.

    I don’t think I’ve posted these two from the Climate Council:
    Yolanda Waters – The story you’re not being told about the latest bleaching event and Dr Ove Hoegh-Guldberg – Why is no-one talking about the black summer of our oceans?

    So everyone is talking about the Government and Reef authorities not talking. Senator Nita Green is special envoy for the GBR. She need to talk to us after she comes back from UNESCO.

    Geoff I was through the Gavin Schmidt interview and Leon Simons was about to come on when I had to go out today. I’ll watch the rest and come back. Schmidt is several levels above Zeke Hausfather in my esteem in Earth Systems Science understanding.

  320. Please delete previous system-scrambled comment. Second attempt:

    Meanwhile, US petroleum geologist Art Berman tweeted on May 7:

    US Operation ‘Prosperity Guardian’ is an expensive bad joke.

    Houthis have put the Red Sea, Suez, Indian Ocean are out of bounds for Western shipping without naval escorts.

    Now, Houthis claim they can hit shipping in the eastern Mediterranean!

    And Art Berman tweeted on May 8:

    EIA expects Brent spot price to average $89 for the rest of 2024 reaching a $90 plateau in June and falling to $88 by December

    And Art Berman also tweeted on May 8:

    EIA expects WTI spot price to average $84.75 for the rest of 2024 reaching an $85.50 plateau in June and falling to $83.50 by December

    It seems expected that petroleum fuel prices are likely to stay high for the remainder of this year. Will people just except rising fuel prices, or look for cheaper alternatives?

  321. Geoff, I can’t see anything you would like me to delete. Can you clarify, pls?

    I really don’t know how the future is going to work out. Sabine Hossenfelder says I thought Electric Cars Were the Future. I Changed My Mind She looked at what had to be done in real world terms, and came to the conclusion that the most practical solution would be to hedge her bets and buy hybrid.

  322. Brian: – “Geoff, I can’t see anything you would like me to delete. Can you clarify, pls?

    The first attempt had 4 URLs, so the system said the comment was awaiting moderation. But the comment displayed wasn’t as I intended – somewhat scrambled. It seems my first attempt has been lost down the system rabbit hole.

    Brian: – “She … came to the conclusion that the most practical solution would be to hedge her bets and buy hybrid.

    I think Sabine Hossenfelder, like many people, are assuming petroleum fuels will remain ABUNDANT and AFFORDABLE for years/decades to come. Data I see suggests that’s an ill-informed assumption.

    Art Berman posted on his blog on 2 May 2024 a piece titled The Oil and Energy Macro. He concluded with:

    We are at the beginning of the end of the Oil Age. Europe’s energy crisis, the war in Ukraine, and rise of Iran as the dominant power in the Middle East are all part of a struggle to dominate remaining fossil resources as well as new energy sources.

    Many Americans including some of its leaders have the peculiar idea that the United States dominates world energy and that its military might is as formidable in global events as it was 75 years ago. I don’t think so. While some celebrate a new high in U.S. oil reserves, I worry that its 3% of remaining world supply is a drop in the bucket.

    The nations working toward a new world order have a plan. What is ours?

    I’d suggest hybrids have a very limited range on electric-only mode (around 50 km). As petroleum fuels become increasingly more expensive, and perhaps even become rationed, ICEVs, including hybrids, will likely become less desirable.

    I think if you have an ICEV already, keep it well maintained until you can afford to make a switch to a suitable EV (or buy a good second-hand ICEV). I’d suggest buying a new vehicle with an ICE (including any hybrid) no longer makes economic sense.

  323. Geoff, I looked in the blog’s works and the comment, being non-conforming with the settings, was caught in ‘Pending’ where the spam gets trapped. So I’ve moved it to ‘Trash’ where it stays unless I subsequently approve it or empty the trash.

    I take your point on oil. Actually when I give up working on acreages near here, which is likely before Christmas next year, my 2006 model Falcon will probably go to junk. My wife’s car is not much younger, so I had been foreshadowing becoming a one-car family with an EV. The way the Chinese are going at it, there could be handy ones available reasonably cheap. I’d like one with a spare tyre, or a tyre that can get you to a service station.

  324. I took a look at the Juice Media video.

    Realistically we have some problems. One was that Terri Butler who put together Labor’s environment agenda, lost her seat to Max Chandler-Mather, the bright, shiny Greens excitement machine. So Tanya Plibersek, whose heart I think was in Education, had to come from a standing start.

    Second problem is that Madeleine King, whatever her merits and limitations, is a dead set supporter of WA mining of whatever hue.

    Third is a leader who thinks the climate change is a subset of economic change.

    Apart from that the Greens have now dug in and won’t let anything through, unless Labor agrees to no new coal and gas.

    Problem is that Beetaloo is progressing nicely from Tamboran Resources POV, and NT reckons they need the gas or the lights won’t stay on. Fracking Beetaloo would be a crime against the planet.

    Santos needs Barossa as a continuation to supply the Japanese, who I think are in joint venture through Inpex in the Bayu-Undan field. Barossa is meant to be a continuation. The Japanese have been vocal in saying they are beginning to question whether Australia can be relied upon as an investment destination and as an energy supplier.

    I understand Barossa will be about the dirtiest gas field on the planet.

    Problem is that all these developments were planned, worked upon and funds spent on development when our official position was that gas was good, and was elevated by the ‘Gas-led Recovery’ policy.

    Albanese came to power on a promise that we would pump gas as mine coal as long as anyone wanted to buy it.

    I have not been working on the detail, but I understand that the existing environment legislation is a thousand pages, which is genuinely hard to move forward in one piece.

    I have no position on that, because I don’t know enough. However, time is not on our side. The planet passed 350ppm in September 1988, two months after James Hansen addressed the US Senate. There never has been burnable carbon after that time. We have the IPCC and the UNFCCC and many complicit scientists to thank for our current dilemma.

    So Juice Media is fine as satire. Giordano Nanni has better intellectual creds than most in that industry, and a genuine seriousness of purpose.

    Labor is implementing policies formulated back in 2021. The current ALP platform includes this in the Economics chapter:

    ALP Policy Platform backs the need for the economy to work within ecological limits, with consideration of climate and biodiversity impacts.

    I’m inclined to agree with Wesley Morgan – ‘It’s not game over – it’s game on’: why 2024 is an inflection point for the climate crisis and 26 years ago, Howard chose fossil fuels over the Pacific. What will Albanese choose?

    The Government has tasked the Climate Change Authority to give it advice. There is still time to make a submission to their2024 Issues paper: Targets, Pathways and Progress.

    Unfortunately I have not had time to do more than a skim. On that basis I’m impressed, except we should be talking about a safe and just climate, which 1.5°C is not and never will be.

    I think Chris Bowen is probably the smartest pollie in the house on climate, but I’m not sure he can win the day. So I don’t think we can talk in terms of state capture yet, although there have been some revolving doors, which in the end will cost Labor seats, if the charge sticks, to indies or Greens.

    No guesses as to which I would prefer.

  325. Very briefly, I’d like to return to the interview with Gavin Schmidt.

    I’m quite impressed. He is very knowledgeable, analytical and logical, has a calmness of mind, and understands the boundaries within which he works.

    I think Dan Miller and Leon Simons both lost it a bit.

    However, he is a mathematician, and a PhD studying ocean currents in the Cretaceous does not make him a paleo-climate scientist.

    Like anyone choosing a medical specialist, I think I can make some assessment of how he works. I think of him as a top draw modeller who sees climate science within the framework of models.

    Unfortunately he knows that models cannot grasp everything that is necessary to make perfect understanding.

    Hansen has always rated paleoscience information above models in his knowledge edifice. I think he has no peer in understanding how it all works over the millennia.

    I was shocked to hear that current models are based on information up to 2014. Hansen is working largely on what was different that happened after 2014.

    I also don’t see that information taken in a slither of time has to project backwards. It’s like working out what happened last year on the basis of what happened in the first few days of January this year.

    Other than that his comments as a person on how politics and how people act and relate were interesting!

    There’s more but that will have to do!

    BTW, the cutoff for IPCC was December 31, 2020. Hansen used science published well after that date.

  326. I watched this webinar Too Hot to Handle last night.

    With a bit of luck they will send me a link.

    Very confronting, but, they say, if you want to lead the conversation you have top tell the truth.

  327. The Guardian published on 8 May 2024 a piece by Damian Carrington headlined World’s top climate scientists expect global heating to blast past 1.5C target. The article began with:

    Hundreds of the world’s leading climate scientists expect global temperatures to rise to at least 2.5C (4.5F) above preindustrial levels this century, blasting past internationally agreed targets and causing catastrophic consequences for humanity and the planet, an exclusive Guardian survey has revealed.

    Almost 80% of the respondents, all from the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), foresee at least 2.5C of global heating, while almost half anticipate at least 3C (5.4F). Only 6% thought the internationally agreed 1.5C (2.7F) limit would be met.

    Many of the scientists envisage a “semi-dystopian” future, with famines, conflicts and mass migration, driven by heatwaves, wildfires, floods and storms of an intensity and frequency far beyond those that have already struck.

    Numerous experts said they had been left feeling hopeless, infuriated and scared by the failure of governments to act despite the clear scientific evidence provided.

    The survey sample size response was 380 (out of of 843 contacted).
    For the question: How high will global heating go?
    Below +1.5 °C: _ _ _ _6
    At least +1.5 °C: _ _16
    At least +2.0 °C: _ _68
    At least +2.5 °C: _132
    At least +3.0 °C: _100
    At least +3.5 °C: _ _33
    At least +4.0 °C: _ _14
    At least +4.5 °C: _ _ _7
    +5.0 °C or more: _ _ _4

    Leon Simons tweeted on May 8:

    Before 2023, there hadn’t been a single day with global Sea Surface Temperatures above 21°C (@ECMWF ERA5)

    The whole month of April was 21.04°C!

    And we’ve been running above the pre-2023 daily record (March 29, 2016: 20.95°C) for over 100 days straight!

  328. Eliot Jacobsen says:

    That’s right. Sea surface temperatures were fully 9.1 standard deviations above the 1940-1989 baseline in August, 2023.

    Last month, they were “only” 7.7σ.

    He’s saying we are at the beginning of the end of everything.

    In 2023 there was a Record-breaking increase in CO2 levels in world’s atmosphere.

    Check out CO2 and other GHGs at NOAA.

    Not encouraging. I suspect the land is not taking up as much CO2 on a net basis as it has in the last 100 years.

    Peter Carter posts:

    April 2024 Record +1.58°C 11 month record streak
    Other records as well
    Sea surface record 13 month record streak
    Youtube Copernicus video Warning Scary
    #globalwarming #climatechange

  329. On 15 May 2024, Berkeley Earth published their April 2024 Temperature Update by Robert Rohde. It began with:

    The following is a summary of global temperature conditions in Berkeley Earth’s analysis of April 2024.

    • Globally, April 2024 was the warmest April since records began in 1850.
    • The previous record for warmest April, set in 2020, was broken by a significant margin (0.14 °C / 0.25 °F).
    • The ocean-average and land-average each also set new records for the warmest April.
    • Particularly warm conditions occurred in parts of North America, South America, Central Asia, Africa, and large areas of the Atlantic Ocean.
    • Australia and parts of Antarctica exhibited unusually cold monthly averages in April.
    • 47 countries set new national monthly-average records for April.
    • The El Niño that began last year has weakened to a weak category, and is likely to end soon.
    • The 12-month moving-average sets a new record at 1.65 ± 0.07 °C (2.97 ± 0.13 °F) above the 1850-1900 average.
    • 2024 is very likely to be either the warmest or second warmest year on record.

    It also included:

    Individually, we estimate an 85% chance that 2024 has the warmest land-only average measured since 1850. Further, we estimate a 40% chance that 2024 has the warmest ocean-only average. In both cases, the current was set in 2023.

    We also consider there to be a 85% chance that 2024 will have an annual-average temperature anomaly more than 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) above our 1850-1900 average. The annual average in 2023 slightly exceeded the 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) threshold in our dataset, and this is likely to occur again in 2024.

    Leon Simons tweeted on May 16:

    We are back to daily record breaking for the North Atlantic Ocean.

    The next 3 months are when we have the strongest sunshine over the Northern Hemisphere.

    How much of this sunlight will be reflected back to space?

  330. Thanks, Geoff. Also late last night James Hansen came good with Comments on Global Warming Acceleration, Sulfur Emissions, Observations:

    Global temperature (12-month mean) is still rising at 1.56°C relative to 1880-1920 in the GISS analysis through April (Fig. 1). [Robert Rohde reports that it is 1.65°C relative to 1850-1900 in the BerkeleyEarth analysis.] Global temperature is likely to continue to rise a bit for at least a month, peak this summer, and then decline as the El Nino fades toward La Nina.

    Acceleration of global warming is now hard to deny. The GISS 12-month temperature is now 0.36°C above the 0.18°C/decade trend line, which is 3.6 times the standard deviation (0.1°C). Confidence in global warming acceleration thus exceeds 99%, but we need to see how far temperature falls with the next La Nina before evaluating the post-2010 global warming rate. Present extreme planetary energy imbalance will limit La Nina-driven temperature decline.

    Thus, El Nino/La Nina average global temperature likely is about 1.5°C, suggesting that, for all practical purposes, global temperature has already reached that milestone. Temperature is temporarily well above the 50-100 percent increase that we projected (yellow region in Fig. 1) for the post-2010 warming rate. That projected increase is based on evidence that human-made aerosols and their cooling effect are in decline. In other words, we are beginning to realize the consequences of the Faustian bargain, in which humanity partly offset greenhouse gas warming with aerosol (particulate air pollution) cooling.

    A recent comment in the social media that a decline of global temperature will signify that we are “back to normal” is right only if one considers accelerating global warming to be normal.

    However, we see no reason to believe that the jump in 2023-24 global temperature indicates we are missing some fundamental climate physics – other than good aerosol physics.

    I’d just remind folks that the IPCC had a cutoff of 31 December 2020 for their latest report on climate science, and that according to Gavin Schmidt, who would know, the climate models they are using are based on climate data inputs with a cutoff of 2014.

    Hansen is giving it his best shot at explaining what the measured increase of heating found by CERES in recent years is doing to the increased temperatures we have experienced, and broader implications for the future. He is completely aware that we need to see what happens post El Niño , and we need to measure changes in aerosols and clouds.

  331. Zeke Hausfather Tweets on June 2:

    With May 2024 coming in as the warmest May on record, global temperatures have been at 1.63C above preindustrial levels over the past 12 months in @CopernicusECMWF’s ERA5.
    A pretty sharp jump up from prior global temps we’ve seen, akin to the increase between 2010 and 2016:

  332. Leon Simons tweeted on Jun 2:

    We just experienced 11 months in a row above +1.5°C!

    Global warming is clearly accelerating.

    We need to act like our home is on fire.

    Because it is, for all intents and purposes

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on May 2:

    Well, that about does it.

    May, 2024, came in at 1.51°C above the pre-industrial baseline, making May the 11th straight month above 1.5°C and the 12th straight monthly record high.

  333. Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Jun 4:

    For those who like to make fake-wagers about the end of the world with their friends or colleagues, here are my 50-50 over/under lines for the yearly global surface temperature anomaly, 2025 – 2050.

    These fake-betting lines may change as more data comes in.

    The graph shows the Climate Casino Over/Under Lines for GMST Anomaly for years 2025-2050 (relative to 1850-1900 baseline):

    2025: +1.44 °C
    2026: +1.47 °C
    2027: +1.51 °C
    2028: +1.54 °C
    2029: +1.57 °C
    2030: +1.60 °C
    2031: +1.64 °C
    2032: +1.67 °C
    2033: +1.71 °C
    2034: +1.74 °C
    2035: +1.78 °C
    2036: +1.82 °C
    2037: +1.85 °C
    2038: +1.89 °C
    2039: +1.93 °C
    2040: +1.97 °C
    2041: +2.01 °C
    2042: +2.05 °C
    2043: +2.09 °C
    2044: +2.13 °C
    2045: +2.17 °C
    2046: +2.21 °C
    2047: +2.25 °C
    2048: +2.29 °C
    2049: +2.34 °C
    2050: +2.38 °C

  334. Thanks, Geoff.

    Prof Jacobsen says he used the methodology as per his January post How Hot is Hell? I Mean Earth? which has the rate of temperature increase constantly accelerating. So:

    From 2025 to 2030 the temperature increases at 0.32°C per decade.

    From 2030 to 2040 the increase is 037°C per decade.

    From 2040 to 2050 the increase is 0.41°C.

    So he has 2°C in 2041, which from memory is what James Hansen reckons.

  335. Prof Eliot Jacobson posted on Jun 4 a blog piece headlined Betting on the End of the World. It’s an explanation for his Over/Under graph. It concludes with:

    These numbers are the betting lines that are vaild today. Just like betting on sports or Academy Awards, as more information comes to light, these numbers will be updated. But, today, if you want to make a fake-bet on a year’s GMST with a friend, colleague, family member, Twitter idiot denier, x-porn star or climate scientist, these are the 50/50 over/under lines the Climate Casino is offering.

    And to be clear, this analysis shows the Paris limit of 1.5°C will officially be broken in 2027, and 2.0°C will be done and dusted in 2041. It shows nearly 2.4°C by 2050, with 2.0°C solidly in the rear-view mirror. These 50/50 predictions are f&%king nuts. The end of everything is no longer hyperbole. It is odds-on by 2050.

    Let this sink in: we’re betting on the end of the world and the smart money is that it really is the end of the world.

  336. John, Prof Zhang did not seem impressed. I can’t see that it’s scalable.

    I was talking to another engineer recently who mentioned the ‘Boston’ method. Said it was basically like the method used in aluminium.

    I think he meant the Boston Metal green steel solution.

    I also found this article – Boston Metal & ArcelorMittal Take Different Routes To Green Steel:

    To start, the iron ore is melted with heat produced from electricity. Then it’s placed in a cell structured almost like a giant battery. At the top, an anode provides electric charge. At the bottom, a cathode receives the electric charge. In between, the charge flows through an electrolyte, which in this case is a scalding bath of molten materials. The electrolyte contains a variety of elements bound to oxygen, including aluminum, silicon, and calcium.

    According to Boston Metal, the process works even with low grade iron ore, which is cheaper and more plentiful than higher grade ore that has fewer impurities.


    Another of the advantages of molten oxide electrolysis compared to direct reduction of iron is its efficiency. By cutting out the hydrogen step, MOE puts energy directly into steel production, removing interim stages where energy can be lost. MOE requires higher temperatures than hydrogen-based production, which eats into the benefits, but even taking that into account, MOE still winds up being more efficient.

    I notice that article is two years old.

  337. Geoff, thanks for the links. I had seen Hansen’s letter and knew Beckwith would be onto it. Will try to watch tomorrow.

    Meanwhile two article to make us worry.

    Economic damage from climate change six times worse than thought – report

    They reckon it’s the equivalent of being constantly at war, which IMO is no surprise.

    Then Joëlle Gergis is at her eloquent best in An intergenerational crime against humanity’: what will it take for political leaders to start taking climate change seriously?

    I have two queries. Firstly, she needs to get up to speed on sea level rise. Two metres by 2100 might be the about what we we’ll get, but in risk planning we should be thinking six at least. We got 6-10 metres in the Eemian, about 120kya. Hansen says there was an episode back then when we got three metres in a century. That was with 300ppm of CO2.

    Secondly, she should be stating the real task of achieving a safe climate. Both Will Steffen and Johan Rockström have said the Anthropocene must be Holocene-like, which to me means that temperatures need to be brought down to no more than 0.5°C above pre-industrial.

  338. The latest edition (Jun 2024) of Quarterly Essay has a piece by Joëlle Gergis titled Highway to Hell: Climate Change and Australia’s Future.

    Per the Hansen et al. (2023) paper Global warming in the pipeline (bold text my emphasis):

    Discussion [184] with field glaciologists¹³ 20 years ago revealed frustration with IPCC’s ice sheet assessment. One glaciologist said—about a photo [185] of a moulin (a vertical shaft that carries meltwater to the base of the Greenland ice sheet)—‘the whole ice sheet is going down that damned hole!’ Concern was based on observed ice sheet changes and paleoclimate evidence of sea level rise by several meters in a century, implying that ice sheet collapse is an exponential process. Thus, as an alternative to ice sheet models, we carried out a study described in Ice Melt [13]. In a GCM simulation, we added a growing freshwater flux to the ocean surface mixed layer around Greenland and Antarctica, with the flux in the early 21st century based on estimates from in situ glaciological studies [186] and satellite data on sea level trends near Antarctica [187]. Doubling times of 10 and 20 years were used for the growth of freshwater flux. One merit of our GCM was reduced, more realistic, small-scale ocean mixing, with a result that Antarctic Bottom Water formed close to the Antarctic coast [13], as in the real world. Growth of meltwater and GHG emissions led to shutdown of the North Atlantic and Southern Ocean overturning circulations, amplified warming at the foot of the ice shelves that buttress the ice sheets, and other feedbacks consistent with ‘nonlinearly growing sea level rise, reaching several meters in 50–150 years’ [13]. Shutdown of ocean overturning circulation occurs this century, as early as midcentury. The 50–150-year time scale for multimeter sea level rise is consistent with the 10–20-year range for ice melt doubling time. Real-world ice melt will not follow a smooth curve, but its growth rate is likely to accelerate in coming years due to increasing heat flux into the ocean (Fig. 25).

    With a SLR rate of 5 mm/year at the beginning of year-2024:
    * The 10-year doubling scenario curve exceeds 1 m SLR around 2063 and 2 m around 2072;
    * The 13-year doubling scenario curve exceeds 1 m SLR around 2070.

    The 10- & 13-year doubling curves sit within the upper end of the global mean SLR projection range 0.15 to 0.43 m by 2050 in Table 3.2 in NOAA’s Feb 2022 report on SLR.

    Real-world ice melt will not follow a smooth curve.

    The acceleration of the rate of SLR will continue while ever the energy inputs into the Earth System, and more particularly into the cryosphere and oceans, increase.

  339. Spot on Geoff.

    One of my favourites is Stefan Rahmstorf’s assessment of the IPCC treatment in Sea level in the IPCC 6th assessment report (AR6):

    The Long Term Future

    One of the headline statements of the AR6 is:

    Many changes due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions are irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level.
    IPCC AR6

    That’s because huge ice sheets take a long time to melt in a warmer climate, and the ocean waters take a long time to warm up as you go further down, away from the surface. So by what we are doing now in the next couple of decades we determine the rate and amount of sea-level rise for millennia to come, condemning many generations to continually changing coastlines and forcing them to abandon many coastal cities, large and small. That we cannot turn this back is the reason why the precautionary principle should be applied to the climate crisis.

    Just look at the ranges expected by the year 2300, in the right-hand panel of the first image above. Even in the blue mitigation scenario, which limits warming to well below 2°C, our descendants may well have to deal with 2-3 meters of sea-level rise, which would be catastrophic for the people living at the world’s coastlines. Not only would it be extremely hard and costly – if possible at all – to defend cities like New York during a storm surge with a so much higher sea level. We would see massive coastal erosion happening all around. And remember that “nuisance flooding” is already causing real problems after just 20 cm of sea-level rise, for example along the eastern seaboard of the US!

    At least with this Paris scenario and a good portion of sheer luck, we may get away with less than a meter rise. But with further unmitigated increase in emissions, a disastrous 2 meter rise is about as likely as an utterly devastating 7 meter rise. What would our descendants think we were doing?

    (Emphasis added)

  340. Was interested in alternative processes for making steel when I worked at BHP Central Research labs 50 yrs ago. One of the problems is that blast furnace based processes are seriously cheap and in those times CO2 was not being raised as an issue.
    Al production produces about 4.8 tonnes CO2 per tonne Al.
    (Google: ” much co2how is generated during aluminium smelting process?)

  341. NOAA posted on Jun 6 a piece headlined During a year of extremes, carbon dioxide levels surge faster than ever. It included:

    Levels of carbon dioxide (CO₂) measured at NOAA’s Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline Observatory by NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory surged to a seasonal peak of just under 427 parts per million (426.90 ppm) in May, when CO₂ reaches its highest level in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s an increase of 2.9 ppm over May 2023 and the 5th-largest annual growth in NOAA’s 50-year record. When combined with 2023’s increase of 3.0 ppm, the period from 2022 to 2024 has seen the largest two-year jump in the May peak in the NOAA record.

    Roger Hallam tweeted on Jun 3:

    After I found out about the Nazi concentration camps as a teenager, I was unable to understand why the Germans just let it happen.

    This week a chief scientist writes that billions will die unless we stop the elites destroying our climate.

    There’s not even a ripple of response.

    The Guardian published on 27 May 2024 an op-ed by Sir David King, founder and chair of the global Climate Crisis Advisory Group, headlined Humanity’s survival is still within our grasp – just. But only if we take these radical steps. His message included:

    Reduce emissions, build resilience, repair ecosystems, remove greenhouse gases: these are the four Rs that can save us

  342. Yes, Sir David simplifies things without being simplistic.

    Can’t say the same for this YouTube:

    Is Australia on a Highway to Climate Hell? | Joelle Gergis & Polly Hemming

    I’ve started to read Gergis’s Quarterly Essay Highway to Hell: Climate Change and Australia’s Future. She writes beautifully, does very well on the explaining what kind of a fix we are in and the urgency of action that makes a difference.

    I’ll see what she writes about solutions, but in her written piece on the science she points out that achieving net zero is not nearly enough.

    Meanwhile Sabine Hossenfelder takes a look at what Bill Gates said about planting trees..

  343. I’ve been reading the actual Future Gas Strategy.

    I’m thinking that most people who have commented on it have not read it. I haven’t seen any decent analytical commentary yet.

    Meanwhile the floods and high temperatures in Pakistan typify where we are at.

    Q&A: As Temperatures in Pakistan Top 120 Degrees, There’s Nowhere to Run

    The climate is dangerous, and some highly populated regions are becoming unlivable. The rich who caused the situation we face don’t care enough to help the poor.

  344. The ABC published on 11 Jun 2024 (updated 12 Jun 2024) an explainer by energy reporter Daniel Mercer and climate lead Tim Leslie headlined Does nuclear power have a future in Australia? These numbers will help cut through the debate. Some nitpicks include:

    Nitpick #1

    From the time the UAE decided to develop a nuclear power program, it took 13 years to deliver the first of four reactors.

    Evidence/data I see indicates initial planning began in early 2006 with an Energy Study, leading to the establishment of the UAE’s Nuclear Policy announced in 2008. I’d suggest the UAE would not have just announced their Nuclear Policy in 2008 without doing their due diligence beforehand from their earlier Energy Study.

    See slide 6 at: https://www.isoe-network.net/publications/pub-proceedings/symposia-thematic/policy-standards-and-regulation/national-regulations/3092-bilal2015-ppt-1/file.html

    Also, published on 7 Oct 2023 in the SMH was an explainer by Mike Foley headlined Is nuclear energy feasible in Australia (and how much would it cost)? It included:

    Australia’s former chief scientist, Alan Finkel, said in August it was highly unlikely Australia could open a nuclear power plant before the early 2040s, pointing out the autocratic United Arab Emirates took more than 15 years to complete its first nuclear plant using established technology.

    The UAE’s Barakah 4-reactor project has taken more than 15 years (NOT “13 years to deliver the first of four reactors” as the explainer suggests) to get the first nuclear reactor unit operational from a standing start, and more than 18 years for the fourth (so far incomplete) reactor unit.

    Per the IAEA’s Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) data (accessed today):

    Reactor Unit _ Construct Start Date _ Commence Full Ops _ Construct to Operate
    BARAKAH-1: _ _ 19 Jul 2012 _ _ _ _ _ 01 Apr 2021 _ _ _ _8 y, 08 months, 14 days
    BARAKAH-2: _ _ 15 Apr 2013 _ _ _ _ _24 Mar 2022 _ _ _ _8 y, 11 months, 10 days
    BARAKAH-3: _ _ 24 Sep 2014 _ _ _ _ _24 Feb 2023 _ _ _ 8 y, 05 months, 01 day
    BARAKAH-4: _ _ 30 Jul 2015 _ _ _ _ _ _ Pending _ _ _ _ _ 8 y, 10 months, 16 days+

    The first criticality and grid connection dates (respectively) for:
    BARAKAH-1: _ 31 Jul 2020 _ _ 19 Aug 2020
    BARAKAH-2: _ 27 Aug 2021 _ _14 Sep 2021
    BARAKAH-3: _ 22 Sep 2022 _ _ 08 Oct 2022
    BARAKAH-4: _ 01 Mar 2024 _ _ 23 Mar 2024

    BARAKAH-2 took around 6¼ months from first grid connection to full commercial operations. BARAKAH-3 took around 4½ months. I’d suggest BARAKAH-4 should therefore be commencing full operations around late Jul to early Aug 2024.

    Nitpick #2

    0 — The number of commercial small modular reactors under construction or in operation outside of China and Russia.

    The small reactors in China (i.e. the twin reactors designated SHIDAOBAY-1 (SHIDAOWAN-1) coupled to a single steam turbine) and Russia (a pair of independent reactors on a single floating barge designated AKADEMIK LOMONOSOV-1 & -2) don’t fit the ‘modular’ definition referring to serial factory production of reactor components, which could potentially (in theory) drive down costs.

    By that definition, no small modular reactors (SMRs) have ever been built and none are being built now. In all likelihood none will ever be built because of the prohibitive cost of setting up factories for mass production of reactor components.

  345. The AP article published on 11 Jun 2024 by Jennifer McDermott headlined In Wyoming, Bill Gates moves ahead with nuclear project aimed at revolutionizing power generation, included:

    The work begun Monday is aimed at having the site ready so TerraPower can build the reactor as quickly as possible if its permit is approved.

    It’s site preparatory work only. The TerraPower reactor hasn’t yet gained the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval, and faces daunting obstacles that could delay completing the reactor on time, promised in 2030 at the earliest.

    First of a kind (FOAK) reactor projects are notorious for delays and cost overruns.

  346. New nukes are interesting in that they intend to use sodium for cooling. I have a question as to how easily they can be ramped up. The newer kind are better than the old, but it seems the old are not meant to be ramped at all. The new are not that much better.

    When I searched, most of the articles were a few years old. Of interest this one:

    How the next generation of nuclear reactors could be smaller, greener and safer

    It was from 2020. Clearly the technology is experimental. A point is made that there may be unanticipated problems that arise when they get the thing actually working. So we won’t really know how good the new technology is until well into the 2030s.

    Far too late.

    Also what are we going to do with the waste? I recall Prof Barry Brooks was keen on SA being a waste dump for the world, but after an inquiry no satisfactory solution could be found. Siting waste is a bigger NIMBY problem than operating nuclear power stations.

    Remember also, Qld heavily dominates the ranks of federal LNP. Qld politics of that hue is heavily infested with climate deniers.

    It’s a distraction to pretend you want to do something about climate, when you don’t.

  347. Brian: Agree that small nuclear is, at least in the short term, a distraction being supported by those that want to continue making money from fossil fuel.
    Would also agree that the world needs the ending of fossil fuel ASAP if we are to avoid a major disaster.
    I am happy to see Gates putting a bit effort in small nuclear as long as the use of fossil carbon is being forced down quickly.
    My general approach during my career was to support parallel strategies.

  348. Two more articles worth a look.

    David Leitch at RenewEconomy – Why the AFR economics editor is wrong on GenCost, nuclear and “always on” power.

    Readers of the AFR were misinformed by John Kehoe, who is a political journalist. Leitch is illuminating about LCOE modelling. His bottom line is that nukes are designed to run flat out at around 97% capacity. At 50% they are horrendously expensive.

    So nuclear is “incredibly expensive, the potential construction delay risk is totally unacceptable and the technology is fundamentally unsuited to Australia’s generation mix.”

    Karen Barlow at Saturday Paper (pay-walled) looks at the politics in ‘What the hell is this?’: Inside the Coalition’s climate division . Bridget Archer and some others say there was no discussion involving LNP members.

    Dutton says he was merely saying Labor’s targets were unachievable and:

    Dutton said his vision for net zero emissions by 2050 would be driven by nuclear power delivered by 2040 at the earliest.

    Adding to his long-teased nuclear power policy, the opposition leader is not committing to a new Coalition 2030 climate target until after the next election. The government, under the Paris Agreement, will have to come up with a 2035 target by February, which may or may not be before the election.

    Moreover, he says people are worrying about cost of living rather than climate, including in the Teal seats. He says the independents occupying safe Liberal seats are actually Green, which of course in his language is a negative appellation.

  349. Brian: – “Moreover, he says people are worrying about cost of living rather than climate, including in the Teal seats.

    One of the most ominous risks for Europe is that of a major change in Atlantic ocean currents. If the AMOC shuts down then Europe becomes around 20 °C cooler. That makes growing food much more difficult. And the Southern Hemisphere gets warmer.

    See Prof. Rahmstorf presenting his keynote address in Vilnius in May 2024, in the YouTube video titled Tipping risk of the Atlantic Ocean’s overturning circulation, AMOC. Keynote by Prof. Rahmstorf, duration 0:34:54.

    The journal Oceanography published an open access paper by Stefan Rahmstorf on 10 Apr 2024 titled Is the Atlantic Overturning Circulation Approaching a Tipping Point? Figure 2 shows what the world would look like if the AMOC shut down. Scary stuff indeed!

  350. Sorry, I’ve been distracted by family matters, plus, frankly, the gas strategy plan from the Federal government has not been greeted with equanimity internally in the ALP, plus Dutton’s cynical push for nukes.

    I hope I can find time to address both.

    Meanwhile, Geoff, Rahmstorf’s paper on AMOC should be given more attention. Importantly (p10) he criticises directly how the IPCC treatment is misleading. The deliberate “tuning towards stability” of the models is, I think, criminal. Certainly unscientific.

    Paul Beckwith has done a video How the Rapidly Approaching AMOC Shutdown will Completely Change our Lives.

    Beckworth’s explanations are valuable. He knows his science. However, he appears to ad lib, with little planning of what he’s going to say. In this one he ends up skating over the IPCC role and problems with the models.

    Elsewhere Hansen has a new communication – The World Will Cool Off – A Bit – and Other Good News! .

    He has put in a new trend line in his graph, reflecting acceleration of warming, which he now puts at 78%.

    I’ve been thinking that Hansen actually neglects AMOC and does not pay enough attention to methane (no-one’s perfect!).

    If so, he either over-eggs aerosols a bit, or the situation is worse than he portrays.

  351. I came upon this new study via a link by Peter Carter on X (Twitter) – Caitlyn R. Witkowski et al – Continuous sterane and phytane δ13C record reveals a substantial pCO2 decline since the mid-Miocene:

    we calculate average Earth system sensitivity and equilibrium climate sensitivity, resulting in 13.9 °C and 7.2 °C per doubling of pCO2, respectively.

    Hansen et al in their Pipeline paper found Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity to be 4.8 °C and Earth System Sensitivity, which includes slow feedback over a millennium plus, to be 10°C.

    The authors were Dutch, plus Bristol.

  352. Evidence/data I see indicates Australians won’t see electrons flowing from any prospective operational nuclear powered generator units for at least 20 years.

    The IAEA produced a document as part of their Nuclear Energy Series, Technical Report No. NP-T-2.7, titled : , published Feb 2012. It includes FIG 8, which highlights the typical prerequisite time required of the order of 5 years, for planning, licensing, design, equipment procurements and site preparations that must happen before the first concrete pour milestone can even happen.

    The construction times for reactors are usually quoted—they’re easy enough to find; just look at the IAEA’s Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) data—but it seems to me the prerequisite pre-project implementation time is conveniently ignored by the Coalition, nuclear boosters, and the incurious media/commentators.

    Per the -2023, ten countries completed 66 reactors over the decade 2013–2022—of which 39 in China alone—with an average construction time of 9.4 years, slightly higher than the 9.2 years of mean construction time in the decade 2012–2021.

    Add 5 years of pre-project implementation time to the 9.4 years global average construction time, and on average, experienced civil nuclear power countries are demonstrating they are requiring much more than a decade to deploy new civilian nuclear-powered electricity generator units.

    For inexperienced Australia:

    : 20+ years for the first prospective operational nuclear generator unit;

    : In the hundreds of billions to perhaps over a trillion dollars. Is it any wonder why the Coalition won’t reveal the costs for their nuclear fantasy?

  353. Tony Barry, a former deputy state director and strategist for the Victorian Liberal Party, describes the Coalition’s decision to make nuclear power the centrepiece of its energy and climate policy as “the longest suicide note in Australian political history”.

    Some examples I see that provide a closer approximation to how long it actually takes to deploy existing nuclear technologies include:
    United Arab Emirates has demonstrated it took more than 15-years to get its first nuclear reactor unit operational from scratch, from an Energy Planning Study in 2006 through to announcement of their Nuclear Policy in 2008, to construction commencing for BARAKAH-1 on 19 Jul 2012 to full operations on 1 Apr 2021, and more than 18-years for its BARAKAH-4 (yet to be fully operational) unit;
    Finland has demonstrated it took more than 22-years to get its OLKILUOTO-3 unit operational, from a first licence application in Dec 2000, to construction commencing on 12 Aug 2005 to full operations on 1 May 2023;
    USA has demonstrated it took almost 17-years to get its VOGTLE-3 unit operational, from Southern Nuclear’s formal application for an Early Site Permit in Aug 2006, to construction commencing on 2 Mar 2013 to full operations on 31 Jul 2023;
    France has demonstrated it will take more than 18-years to get its FLAMANVILLE-3 unit operational, from preparatory site works beginning in the summer of 2006, to construction commencing on 3 Dec 2007 and fuel loading now forecast for summer 2024;
    China has demonstrated it took more than 18-years to get its twin demonstration reactors designated SHIDAOBAY-1 (SHIDAOWAN-1) operational, from initial approval in Nov 2005, to construction commencing on 9 Dec 2012 to full operations on 6 Dec 2023;
    Russia has demonstrated it took around 20-years to get its floating twin small reactors designated AKADEMIK LOMONOSOV-1 & -2 operational, from when the Ministry for Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation (Rosatom) chose Severodvinsk in Arkhangelsk Oblast as the construction site in 2000, to construction commencing on 15 Apr 2007 to full operations on 22 May 2020;
    Canada looks like it will take more than 22-years to get the first of its four new SMRs at Darlington operational, from Ontario Power Generation (OPG) submitting an application for a site preparation licence to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) in 2006, to an anticipated first SMR unit operational “late 2028, early 2029” according to Ontario Minister of Energy, Todd Smith MPP;
    UK looks like it will take at least 19-years to get the first of its twin reactors designated HINKLEY POINT C-1 &-2, from when the site was one of eight announced by the British government in 2010, to construction commencing of HINKLEY POINT C-1 on 11 Dec 2018 to the latest expected start date at least by 2029.

    Overwhelming evidence/data I see indicates nuclear technologies cannot save us!

  354. Stanwell to test and make Redflow long duration flow batteries as it prepares for life after coal. This type of flow battery .

    Queensland government owned coal-fired power generator Stanwell will partner with Brisbane-based Redflow to trial Redflow’s latest large-scale zinc bromine flow technology and lay the foundations for a battery manufacturing facility in Queensland.

    In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Tuesday, the two companies will undertake a pre-feasibility study for an initial 5 MWh project using Redflow’s new X10 battery at the Stanwell Future Energy Innovation Training Hub (FEITH) near Rockhampton, Queensland.

    The ultimate plan is to collaborate on the development and deployment of the X10 ZBM batteries in a large-scale project of up to 400 MWh, which will serve as a potential anchor order for Redflow’s planned Queensland factory.

    Founded in 2008, Redflow designs flow battery technology that offers a much longer duration, safer and longer lasting alternative to lithium ion. Its batteries use water-based electrolytes, which act as a fire retardant, making them ideal for critical infrastructure like hospitals, power stations and military bases.

    The Australian company, which currently manufactures its zine bromide flow batteries in Thailand, has made significant inroads into the US market since the introduction of the Biden government’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), including being tapped by the California Energy Committee to supply 15.4MWh of batteries for a microgrid project.
    Redflow is also in talks to supply 34MWh of battery storage to the US Department of Energy for the Valley Children’s Hospital, with final contracting set to be finalised in the first half of the 2025-26 financial year.

  355. Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Jun 2:

    Breaking News!
    Code UFB!!!

    June, 2024, marked the 13th consecutive month with record breaking global surface temperatures and the 12th consecutive month at or above 1.5°C.

    The 365-day running mean remains at a record 1.64°C.

  356. John D, I’d missed that Alan Kohler piece because the title did not alert me to the focus on climate change.

    The path ahead is daunting indeed, and as he says, looks impossible.

    It’s not rue, however, that nothing is being done. The states have active programs, as does the Federal Government. Definitely not enough urgency around, but the Climate Change Authority is said to be working on sector-specific plans beyond electricity. AEMO is not the central planning authority. Their role is to manage the NEM basically and to tell us what is needed to keep the lights on.

    Geoff M, in that Jacobson graph the light blue lines I think are from 2000 plus. The distance between shows the acceleration of global heating.

    I’ve been swatting up on Dutton’s nukes. I’ll try to get back later today, but I think he wants to stop renewables dead in their tracks, limit them to 40% or preferably lower, then top up with nukes.

    The claim is that renewables have lost their social license in the bush.

    However, nukes don’t have a social license either.

    Private enterprise won’t touch nukes here because the insurance would be too high.

    If we do decide to go down that the nuclear track ( I can’t think of a possible senate configuration that would let us) Alan Finkel says the UAE case is the best model for us, except that the planning phase here would take 5 years of more. Apparently the contract was signed in 2009 with Korean Kepco, who had an outfit fit for purpose and ready to go. I think it’s a cluster of 5 or 6 plants of one gigawatt each. The idea is that the planning is not much greater for a cluster than what it is for one.

    However, Finkel says that as a society we decided we would not do nukes. To turn that around would itself take time.

    So even if you are tolerant on nukes, we don’t have time. What we do in the next two decades is crucial to prevent the planet being cooked. So dealing with the tools we’ve got Finkel reckons 90% will have to be chaotic sun and wind, which need to be turned into AC power. Balancing will need to come from batteries, pumped hydro and some gas. His vision has 25 to 30 gigawatts of standby gas, which may only be used relatively few days in the year.

    Expensive and needs offsets, but does anyone have a better idea?

    BTW Finkel reckons our electricity prices are roughly mid-range, surprisingly close to France’s. Hard to see prices going down much, however.

  357. Perhaps the most useful things that countries and the world go on a climate saving war footing.
    Think about the second world war. The world went on to war footing where people accepted that it was do and die. The sort of do and die where countries were inspired into fighting a war that had to be fought.
    What about climate? At a personal level it may be putting on warm clothes instead of turning on the heater AND trying to reduce travel that creates green house gases and????
    Perhaps climate + might focus more on answers instead of self righteous doom and gloom?
    Perhaps JD should go back and look at what I wrote in

  358. Oh dear. Comments closed again. I’ve put another 100 days on the limit. Surely I’ll get time to do a new post in that time.

    John, I’ve been looking at what I wrote in the years gone by. I know that around 2008 I was writing about Gwynne Dyer, a correspondence with a defence background who was then a columnist syndicated in 175 papers around the world. He had just spent a few months interviewing top scientists and top defence people around the world. It resulted in several columns and a book, including this column Last exit for the Holocene.

    What we do now on a personal level has little effect directly on the planet, but could contribute to a social tipping point, where society as a whole sees the need for a quantum change in our priorities and approach.

    There’s a group of scientists who say that if we get to net zero all will be well, perhaps chief among them Michael Mann. I’ve just found his detailed explanation:

    Warming ends when carbon pollution stops

    Mann thinks it is important to preserve hope at all costs, and I think it has affected his science. There is an over reliance on models, which are anyway biassed towards stability, plus a neglect of some of the main tipping points that are clearly active, and a focus on the short term (100 years). Paul Beckwith is quite scathing about him.

    Must go now.

  359. BTW, biggest effect for the planet, apart from US presidency, will be China’s next 10-year plan, which they are currently working on.

  360. Brian: – “Alan Finkel says the UAE case is the best model for us, except that the planning phase here would take 5 years of more. Apparently the contract was signed in 2009 with Korean Kepco, who had an outfit fit for purpose and ready to go. I think it’s a cluster of 5 or 6 plants of one gigawatt each. The idea is that the planning is not much greater for a cluster than what it is for one.

    The UAE conducted an Energy Study in 2006, which I’d suggest was part of their due diligence that led to their announcement of their Nuclear Policy in 2008. See Slide 6 in this UAE Nuclear Program Update PowerPoint presentation on 14 Jan 2015. Note that the construction of each reactor was expected to take 5 years – they actually took 8+ years each.

    The IAEA’s Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) provides data on some milestones for the UAE’s Barakah project implementation progress (i.e. construction starts, dates of first criticality, grid connection dates, dates of commencement of full ops) of reactors, but does not include data on the pre-implementation phase.

    The UAE now have four reactors at Barakah – see PRIS data. Note that BARAKAH-4 was grid connected on 23 Mar 2024 but commissioning is still ongoing.

    So BARAKAH-1 took more than 15-years to get-up-and-running from scratch and BARAKAH-4 will take more than 18-years to become fully operational. And the four reactor project cost an estimated US$34 billion (AU$51 billion).

    And that’s without the impediment of a parliament, let alone a pesky Senate. No need for an EIS, or hampered by court challenges. No delays due to strikes; illegal in the UAE.

    Interesting to note that the Barakah site is at risk of inundation from SLR. A look at Climate Central’s Coastal Risk Screening Tool for the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant site suggests it’s at risk of inundation beginning from around 1.0 m of SLR. And most of the site is inundated at 3.0 m of SLR.

  361. Brian: – “BTW Finkel reckons our electricity prices are roughly mid-range, surprisingly close to France’s.

    Yep. See GlobalPetrolPrices, Electricity prices for households, December 2023, US$/kWh.

    Some nuclear boosters claim France has the cheapest electricity prices in Europe. The data indicates otherwise.

  362. Geoff, you may have seen it, but Swollen Pickles has now produced Nuclear Dutton: A fact checkers worst nightmare? Part 2 to go with Part 1.

    All up, it’s an excellent rebuttal. I note the explanation of what Bill Gates actually said. His suggestion was that Australia should wait 15 years or so to see how the technology develops. Given our situation nukes were not worth bothering with.

    Swollen Pickles made reference to Melbourne Energy Institute’s Net Zero Australia project, see also the Media release for a summary. Their conclusions were that net zero was achievable with renewables, plus transmission, storage and some gas. They specifically rejected nukes unless they became 30% cheaper and renewables were constrained. Dutton would like stop renewables dead in their tracks.

    Also AEMO’s just-released 2024 Integrated System Plan.

    It must be understood that AEMO is politically independent, and funded by the stakeholders, which includes governments and industry players. As such AEMO’s target is net zero by 2050 because that is what is legislated. Nukes are not considered because they are currently not legal.

    Nevertheless, they started which 1,000 models, winnowed those down to 25 candidate development paths, out of which they formed three scenarios, from which they derived an Optimal Development Path (ODP), very much on the same page as the Net Zero Australia findings.

    Chapter 6 is devoted to Storage and Gas. Yes, we need quite a bit of gas capacity, more than now, but will only use perhaps 5% of capacity each year. It will have a stabilisation and standby role. For standard electricity supply, CCS would be necessary, which is too expensive.

    On gas, they say we have 11.5GW of gas now, of which 9.3GW will retire. That needs to be replaced, plus 3.5GW more.

    That makes 15GW of gas to support electricity, plus they say some will be still needed still heating, and presumably more as feedstock.

    It’s time to stop shouting at each other, end the hand waving and start thinking what to do to give us the best chance of a livable planet.

  363. Thanks Brian. I did see the Swollen Pickles videos. You may find some of my comments below them. Whoever is moderating the YouTube comments seems to me to allow all manner of lies and misinformation through, yet blocks some attempts to provide factual information.

    I’m astounded by the number of comments below these videos by people who just parrot misinformation and outright lies propagated by some sections of the media. I think most Australians have no idea about the factual pros & cons about the Coalition’s nuclear fantasy. An effective democracy requires an informed populace.

  364. Geoff, I totally agree. I don’t have enough time to read long comments threads, but I do sample from time to time.

  365. In the last little while I have done myself some damage by watching the Wimbledon tennis late at night.

    For the last week I’ve been meaning to post a link to James Hansen’s latest communication Reflections on Time Scales and Butterflies (12 July 2024).

    On the GISS record we have now had 13 consecutive record months in global average surface temperature, and look likely to get two more before we drop back to around about a 1.4°C anomaly. The accelerated upward trend remains in place.

    I notice that at age 83 he’s moving back into the city so that he can do more work. He mourns the decline of the monarch butterfly, and the decline of insects and birds generally.

    We have a lovely grevillea down the back of our place which has been in flower for about a month and is normally visited by enthusiastic flocks of rosellas. This year I have not seen a single one. My wife said she saw a bunch one morning, but they have not been back.


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