Global Warming Accelerates

New climate data shows that the global warming crisis is worse – and accelerating at a faster pace – than was understood as recently as last year’s climate-change conference in Paris, writes Nicholas C. Arguimbau.

By Nicholas C. Arguimbau

The participants at the Paris climate change conference saw themselves produce “an agreement hailed as ‘historic, durable and ambitious’”and “the world’s greatest diplomatic success,” according to the UK Guardian on Dec. 15, 2015.

The president of the Natural Resources Defense Council said, “A great tide has turned. Finally the world stands united against the central environmental challenge of our time.”

The image of the Earth rising over the surface of the moon, a photograph taken by the first U.S. astronauts to orbit the moon.

The image of the Earth rising over the surface of the moon, a photograph taken by the first U.S. astronauts to orbit the moon.

They were still basking in the glow of their success, when news arrived of a sudden and extreme rise in global temperature, described by climate scientists as “stunning”, “a shocker”, “a bombshell’, “hurtling at a frightening pace toward the globally agreed maximum of 2C warming over pre-industrial levels”, “a kind of climate emergency”, an event “using up all our room for manoevre.”

UK Guardian: “February breaks global temperature records by ‘shocking’ amount.” An event, in short, rendering almost obsolete everything done at the Paris conference.

The most significant aspect of the February event is probably the speed with which it happened. Spikes occur in global temperature during major El Ninos, although ordinarily not in arctic regions or the Southern Hemisphere, and this was the largest spike ever. It dwarfs the spike of the last major El Nino, 1998.

Here’s what recent history of global average monthly ocean and land surface temperature looks like.giss-loti 2016 ANOMALY-1

As you can see, the monthly global average temperature went up in the last two months approximately as much as it had in the prior 35 years. To be sure, El Nino does funny things, but just look for another comparable El Nino.

As you can see, the February temperature anomaly hit 1.35 degrees, by far the greatest in history; a few weeks before, the Paris conference had given lip service to a goal of keeping below 1.5 degrees, already apparently impossible with the temperature anomaly passing 0.8 degrees. That wasn’t supposed to happen until we passed 2 degrees, but here we are at 1.35 only two years after we were at 0.8. Hmmm.

It looks sort of as if we should have drawn the line of relative safety at 0.8 degrees or below instead of two but that’s MUCH too little information to go on because the numbers are too “noisy.”

Reading the Data

What’s really going on? We know El Ninos produce spikes, but not like this.Figure3_0301-350x270 february sea ice chart

We all know ice is melting in the arctic, which people say is bad because Miami could drown if enough ice melts. It turns out the drowning of cities is not all. Here’s a picture of the September arctic ice cover since 1979. As you can see, the ice cover has dropped most dramatically in the last decade, with the last nine years being by far the lowest nine.

There is a stunning video of the arctic ice melt if you prefer visuals. People pay much more attention to the arctic ocean ice than to the inland snow, maybe because the ice covers great oil fields (As Pete Seeger asked, “When will they ever learn?”) But the same thing is happening except on a much grander scale to the Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover.

Here’s a graph of the June snow cover anomaly. Over the same period in which the Arctic Ocean has lost 3 million square kilometers of ice, the Northern Hemisphere as a whole has lost on average an incredible 7 million square kilometers of snow cover.Figure4bsnowcoveranomaly

Miami is in trouble and so are we. The fraction of light reflected by an object is its “albedo.” The albedos of ice and snow are close to one, whereas the albedos of earth and open ocean are close to zero. So if the snow and ice melt, more light will be absorbed by the earth and its temperature will rise. That’s the albedo effect.

Warming causes the ice and snow to melt and the melting causes warming, a vicious circle which could accelerate until there is no more snow or ice to melt.

Just remember this formula: If snow or ice melts, the increase in the incoming radiant heat energy absorbed by the earth is equal to the albedo of the snow or ice minus the albedo of what it uncovers, times the intensity per unit area of the incoming radiant energy, times the area involved. This is heating independent of and additional to that caused by CO2 entering the atmosphere.

So if snow melts but just uncovers more snow there’s no change, and otherwise the change is proportional to the area of water or earth exposed.

Assessing the Albedo Effect 

Only recently have scientists discovered how powerful the albedo effect is. There were models designed in the 1960s to assess the problem, from which it was concluded that cloud cover in the arctic would prevent it from becoming serious. Actual measurements, however, were not made until two years ago, using satellite data. Why it took so long is a mystery. Did “we” not want to know?

Be that as it may, the scientists showed that over the period 1979 to 2014, warming attributable to the albedo effect in the Arctic Ocean alone had been equal to 25 percent of warming directly attributable to CO2. Pistone, Eisenman and Ramanathan, National Academy of Sciences, “Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice.” These folks should get a Nobel Prize.

This is not a small effect. It means that if we assess global warming by measuring the accumulated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we are missing 20 percent of the warming just because of a small part of the Northern Hemisphere’s ice and snow cover. That’s a lot, and it tells us at least one reason why warming is happening faster than anyone expected, in fact faster all the time.

Faster all the time because that’s what a “positive feedback loop” does. The really troublesome aspect of the positive feedback loop is that it operates as long as the temperature is above a critical level, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions may slow the warming but doesn’t reverse it.

Paris ignored the albedo effect totally. As a consequence, the nations systematically underestimated the amount of warming we need to deal with, overestimated the time we have to do so and erringly gave themselves a large “budget” of permissible increased emissions. They are set to meet in five years for progress reports, and as things are going, we’ll have gone past two degrees by then.

Bad and Getting Worse

All pretty bad but it’s worse. We have to be careful how we understand the number, 25 percent, because it is about accumulated warming from 1979 over almost four decades, not about warming here and now. As you can see from the above graph, ice-melting has become dramatically greater in the last decade, and therefore so has the Arctic Ocean’s albedo effect.

Were the last decade used as the comparison period for global albedo-warming originating in the Arctic versus for the Arctic versus global greenhouse-gas warming for the last decade, the figure could be closer to 100 percent. And things will get worse, because at this point the Arctic Ocean still retains at least one quarter of its ice-cover in the summer but this will drop to zero at a date that is unclear, reducing the average albedo substantially.

“When will the Arctic be ice-free in the summer? Maybe four years. Or 40,” Washington Post. So if the albedo effect isn’t yet as strong as the greenhouse-gas effect, it will be soon.

All of this is VERY bad news. People went to Paris and talked about reducing CO2 emissions. The goal for years had been to take such steps as would keep global warming within 2 degrees Celsius with a probability of 2/3. The oil industry had been complaining that this would cost them $30 trillion. In practice fixing the industry complaint, the planning documents for Paris “budgeted” an extra $30 trillion worth of petroleum to be burnt by reducing the probability of staying within 2 degrees to one half.

Once it gets started, the albedo effect is its own cause, and stopping CO2 emissions totally will no longer stop warming. In December, it looked as if we had a very small margin of safety that we could expend so the public could buy and the fossil fuel industry could sell another $30 trillion in carbon. [See Arguimbau’s “The International Energy Agency’s ‘Cookbook’ For Paris: A ‘Last Chance’ That Only Continues Forty Years of Failure.”]

But it doesn’t look possible any more. We can control the world’s CO2 emissions, at least in theory, and we’d damned well better, NOW (the albedo effect means the thousands of gigatonnes of extra CO2 emissions the nations are presently allowing themselves as a “budget” and giving gratis to the industry no longer exist), but heating from the melting of the arctic ice will go on, whatever we do to slow CO2 emissions.

So will heating from the melting of the Siberian and North American snow, which apparently already is twice that of the Arctic ice and because the snow occupies an area several times that of the Arctic Ocean and will therefore ultimately have an albedo effect several times larger.

Disappearing Snow

The Northern Hemisphere snow cover must be heating the earth about twice as fast as the Arctic ice melt. Then of course is the melting of the ice floating on the sea surrounding Antarctica, coming from an area comparable to the Arctic ice melt but not presently well-advanced.

Finally, warming from melting of the Greenland (and Antarctica, but the present warming may not yet be sufficient to assure that) land-based snow-and-ice cover, which is not yet happening because so far the snow and ice are too thick to be uncovering land as they melt, will begin unless for some unascertained reason positive cooling takes place elsewhere.

And then there is methane. Ouch! And remember, these are all effects we may now expect to happen because of the albedo feedback even if we stop all further greenhouse emissions today.

So it all appears to this writer, who apologizes that he isn’t a scientist but doesn’t apologize very much because the scientists should have gotten here decades ago.

There is nothing apparent to prevent a heating equal to that occurring from albedo-effect removal of all Northern Hemisphere ice and snow, PLUS the heating occurring from greenhouse-gas emissions as we may or may not control them.

This writer has an educated guess that this will be 3.5 degrees each from the albedo effect and greenhouse emissions, but will not elaborate for the sake of brevity, and perhaps the climate scientists can be coaxed out of hiding.

Large-scale heating beyond that caused directly by CO2 emissions is now inevitable without promptly beginning to reverse the EXISTING heating and/or EXISTING atmospheric CO2 contamination.

At most the rapidity of the albedo warming and perhaps whether the Antarctic land mass joins the frenzy – can be affected by the amount of CO2 we continue to dump into the atmosphere. And don’t forget – the multi-thousand gigatonne “budget” we gave ourselves no longer exists.

The scientists and the nations need to reconvene and start over. Whether they have the intestinal fortitude to do so, is something else.

There is nothing at all new about what this writer is saying except that the inevitable is now occurring and is undeniable. Things weren’t supposed to get out of hand until we exceeded 2 degrees, a figure settled upon by virtually all the governments and all the “big green” environmental groups.

But there is not and never has been any scientific justification for 2 degrees as our line of safety. Two degrees was a political compromise of the like of “We agree. We’ll only cut half the baby’s head off.” We wanted to buy the fossil fuels, and the industry wanted to sell them, for trillions per year for as long as they could. And so we made the fatal compromise.

Prophecy Ignored

NASA scientists were talking about it a decade ago. NASA scientist James Hansen was saying at the time that to “avoid the point of no return” we must “begin to roll back not only the emissions [of carbon dioxide] but also the absolute amount in the atmosphere,” and he suggested a target of 300-350 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, 300 ppm being equivalent to 1 degree of warming. Others said we had already reached the point at which the arctic ice could not be restored.

What they were saying — and the nations were ignoring — has now been proven.

How did we get here? It was our own choice. Political compromise. It’s just the way humanity makes its decisions, and always has. And our very own “big green” environmental groups joined.

Political compromise works for running a small community when the decisions aren’t earth-shattering. Decisions about climate change are earth-shattering and we aren’t a small community.

And nobody knows how to make social decisions without political compromise. It’s fine to blame corrupt politicians but we elected them. It is fine to blame capitalist thieves, but we are happy to employ them for trillions of dollars. It’s fine to call for a revolution, but how long will it take?

If we get through this mess, which we could have avoided by cutting the global warming temperature ceiling in half, maybe a little more, we have to remember something. If we survive, we need to reorganize into populations and communities that are small enough and physically powerless enough that political compromise can’t bring us close to destruction of the earth. We have learned that if we can do it, we will do it, sooner or later.

Nicholas C. Arguimbau is a retired lawyer with a physics degree from Harvard and a law degree from UCLA, who lives with a cat and a dog and 40 fruit trees in Western Massachusetts.

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43 comments for “Global Warming Accelerates

  1. May 21, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Just in case this article isn’t tongue-in-cheek — here’s an introduction to a very long story:
    Given the technical facts that beavers were playing on Ellesmere IS.,, several hundreds of miles from the Pole, approx. 2mill. yrs ago (CO2 only a whisker higher than now, if you believe boron/ocean acidity proxies) ; Waves from a largely ice-free Arctic Ocean were throwing up obviously wave-formed deposits (‘beach ridges’) north coast Greenland approx. 6,000 yrs ago (CO2 by ice-core substantially LOWER than now); fertile North Africa suddenly turned saharan desert while non-coal burning humans lived there in numbers (CO2 by ice core lower than today) —–What should an honest man say on the topic? Note, however — ice cores and ocean acidity (which boron isotopy is assumed to indicate) may not be fully reliable. So we can imagine the palaeocarbon if we wish!
    Incidentally, modern ‘climate science’, the hot potato, scarcely pre-dates the new millennium.
    Proper climate science is/was studied by geologists, geophysicists, astro-physicists, etc. etc. Most of whom would be ashamed to be associated with modern ‘climate science’. Ever heard a modern ‘climate scientist’ talking about the facts of the past, or of the facts about stellar nuclear fusion? Facts, I said, not imagination.
    The fiddling fiddles with which these “experts” are fiddling wouldn’t induce anyone with his feet on the ground to put his feet on their dance floor.
    When the alarmists produce a model of what might have happened to the Earth had there been no industrial revolution (which, some might rightly say, unfortunately) goes on unabated — when they wipe the whiteboard clean and irrespective of whether you or I approve concrete jungles, traffic snarls, and Chinese rivers more polluted than the Thames in the 19th Century — When cool, open minded inquiry in the tradition of men such as Faraday, Kelvin, or Einstein rises to the fore — then alarmists will have a case. Sorry, you have — no proper investigation,
    By the 18th Century, after putting away of the order of 12, repeat, 12, atmospheres of pure CO2 or its equivalent into the ground and the waters, our one atmosphere contained perhaps 0.0003atm. CO2. A global emergency, a global disaster about to unfold. Carbon is a non-renewable resource. CO2 starvation, famine, ocean poisoning through alkalinity, perhaps (perhaps) global freezing .. awaited Mankind. Standard geochemistry textbooks, not imaginary.
    You know, if God went to sleep, you and I would have a problem. And he gave us science. So use it.

  2. May 21, 2016 at 6:18 am

    “The only thing that will save our skins now is a quick fix:
    Increase the ATMOSPHERE’S albedo by seeding the stratosphere with 200 kilotons of powdered cocaine!” Thanks, Fergus.

    I suspect it’s already happened — evidence everywhere. What is needed is a follow-on with 300 kilotons of headache powder.

    “Nicholas C. Arguimbau is a retired lawyer with a physics degree from Harvard and a law degree from UCLA, who lives with a cat and a dog and 40 fruit trees in Western Massachusetts.”

    A bloke could be tempted to believe the cat, dog, 40 fruit trees. Sure it isn’t meant to be life in a field of unripe corn, though?

    Eh, N. C. A, check the climate segment at my website, if you didn’t write this entirely in jest — and, buck up.

  3. moe
    May 21, 2016 at 12:06 am

    Geoengineering and human activity are the two primary causes of the catastrophic climate change and decimation of the earth’s life support systems. The world around us is unraveling before out very eyes and most of the world’s population is asleep at the wheel.

    Geoengineeringwatch.org

    • Zachary Smith
      May 21, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      There is one type of geo-engineering which might work: burying the carbon as charcoal.

      http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/reforestation-biochar-two-geoengineering-methods-that-wont-cause-more-harm-than-good.html

      Perhaps requiring loads of biochar (or the raw materials) to be payment for electricity produced at the big solar or wind farm would be practical. Indiana farmers might bale some of their corn stalks. Tree farms would spring up on marginal farming land and the wood sold to city folks for immediate transfer to the charcoal factory. Reclaiming ravaged coal lands in Appalachia would provide work for the former coal miners, and tending the tree farms and biochar factories would ensure prosperity continues. Also, they’d regain their nearly-lost heritage of beautiful countryside.

  4. Fergus Hashimoto
    May 19, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    The only thing that will save our skins now is a quick fix:
    Increase the ATMOSPHERE’S albedo by seeding the stratosphere with 200 kilotons of powdered cocaine!

  5. Peter Grafström
    May 19, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    The world isnt dying. The current CO2 increase makes for more growth of plantlife.
    The uncertainty of estimates of GW is huge and this kind of alarm isnt based on sound judgement but on emotion and career aspects.
    The developing countries need cheap energy and they have been deprived of development due to evil acts over centuries from the western oligarchy which is behind these alarmist outbursts. They want to cull the herd by a large fraction as well as preventing the BRICS countries from rising.
    Some estimates suggest GW of 1-4 C for this century. The uncertainty is that big. If the lower limit is true and very substantial cuts in availability of cheap energy is effectuated that will lead to far worse problems than the 1 C.
    If it would be 4C admittedly that would be worrying although not in all regions. But as yet we have no certain info to act on.
    We have to be patient. The hurry is about maintaining western economic hegemony.

    • Fergus Hashimoto
      May 19, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      “Makes for more growth of plantlife” HA HA HA HA
      I saw photos of plants reared in greenhouses with artificially augmented CO2 levels. They grow more, but in a distorted fashion that does not usually increase production. As CO2 levels increase beyond a certain level, plants start dying off. This at less than 200% baseline CO2 level.
      In other words, you are merely spouting ideology without any knowledge of the underlying science.
      Consequently your opinion is worthless.

    • moe
      May 21, 2016 at 12:08 am

      and what about the massive amounts of ice trapped methane spewing out across the globe due to the melting arctic ice? please wake up from your slumber and look at real facts

  6. Zachary Smith
    May 19, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Odd – last night I could see the many posts here, but they’re now invisible. WTH is going on?

    Anyhow, the bad news just keeps piling up.

    <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/05/18/fundamentally-unstable-scientists-confirm-their-worries-about-east-antarcticas-biggest-glacier/Fundamentally unstable’: Scientists confirm their fears about East Antarctica’s biggest glacier

    The world we grew up in is dying before our eyes.

  7. Pesea
    May 19, 2016 at 11:45 am

    2015-16 will just give us a new baseline that global warming deniers will use next year to say there hasn’t been any warming, just look at the data. Nothing is going to happen, no one cares, there is too much money and influence in politics from the oil and gas industry. They have conned millions of people into the false sense of security that there hasn’t been any warming in the past 18(?) years, the “pause”. But, now with this last year being close to the 1.5 degrees we are worried about, that argument is toast, burned toast. Some day, our politicians are going to be held accountable. Will it be a crime against humanity? Will they go to jail? My guess is no, they will be let off the hook. Dealing with global warming is bad for business, particularly the business of lining their pockets with money. The US government is just as corrupt as any other country that we see outright corruption in, we have just made that corruption legal. They few will have the money to deal with the aftermath of the inaction, but billions will suffer. Until people start to understand that many of the elected officials in the US, both democrat and republican are corrupt, we won’t do anything. My guess is the moneyed interests will continue to hold out until it is too late, lucky I live on a hill.

    • Zachary Smith
      May 19, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Some day, our politicians are going to be held accountable. Will it be a crime against humanity? Will they go to jail? My guess is no, they will be let off the hook.

      I disagree. At some point the rage will be such that any surviving “deniers” will be lynched by random mobs. Of course this supposes that the final crash event will still have enough people around for the thing to play out at all.

    • moe
      May 21, 2016 at 4:33 am

      At this point we should not be questioning if the earth is warming or not, we should be rooting out the primary causes of the catastrophic climate change unraveling before us, climate engineering is making everything worse. Exposing and stopping climate engineering should be our number one priority, then we can move on to the other challenges from there. Anyone involved with climate engineering programs or involved with the cover up and the lies upon lies told to the people of the world should be lined up and executed without question. You cant say that is inhumane when these people have sold out humanity, and dont give a shit about the planet, the only way to rid the world of this cancer is to kill it with one swift motion.

  8. k
    May 19, 2016 at 6:54 am

    and why climate change suddenly showed up? there never was climate change issue, only global warming. and before that, there was no global warming, only global cooling.

    • MarkU
      May 20, 2016 at 6:46 am

      And global warming doesn’t imply any climate change?

  9. k
    May 19, 2016 at 6:48 am

    it was 1981 1982 when it was said that sea level increased 2cm and temperature increased 2 degree C, every year. Should that be true, there should be no life on this planet, and temperature should be over 90 degree C here in indonesia at this moment, but yet, it’s still around 25 degree C. Soon it will be cooler as the drought comes. Then temperature will be around 17 to 25 degree C.

    • MarkU
      May 20, 2016 at 6:38 am

      “it was 1981 1982 when it was said that sea level increased 2cm and temperature increased 2 degree C, every year.”

      What utter drivel! Nobody from the scientific community would ever make such a preposterous statement. It is certainly one of the most ridiculous strawman arguments I have ever heard. Perhaps you could provide a link to where you got it from?

  10. Silly Me
    May 19, 2016 at 6:03 am

    First came the military weather experiments and, along which CO2, is now melting frozen Methane. The experiments keep going on uncoordinated and the methane will spring the planet into a death spiral. Precious little time is left and by now, without the experiments, we would already experience excessive weather for decades. Sadly, a few years from now, there will be no way left to turn back.

  11. Realist
    May 19, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Not to worry, the Earth will eventually recover and reach a new steady state… after the great human die-off.

  12. May 18, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    What utter crap….
    Only recently have scientists discovered how powerful the albedo effect is…
    Any five year old sitting on a rock in a snow patch on a sunny day could have given them the answer.

    How do these guys even justify calling themselves scientists ? MacPherson the AMEG group are the only folks with a brain. What moron puts out studies about melting snow and ice with a footnote that Abeido and Methane factors are not included ? Too late now. Its over. Now that its down to a matter of Months, there is all this “surprise”. Unbelievable hell awaits us right around the corner. We need to put some of these folks in the Doc. They are guilty of crimes that dwarf Genocide, and they did it with a pen.

  13. Peter Smith
    May 18, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    This seems to be a good analysis, and it is frightening. I looked at the paper on albedo that you referenced (Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice), and it seems to make the case. Has this combined CO2 – albedo feedback effect has been picked up by the science community? Is it replicated in IPCC or other reputable models? Of course, I have heard of albedo feedback, but I had not heard before reading this that it was an imminent danger and possibly irreversable in the short term. Are there any other similar analyses?

    • Nicholas Arguimbau
      May 26, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      I could find no other paper on abledo effect,s actual current magnitude, so as I said, “These folks should get a Nobel Prize.” Of course they limited their work to the Arctic Ocean, which is only a quarter of the . The data are all available to do the same analysis on a Northern-Hemisphere-wide scale, The abledo of snow is close to 1.0, just as is the abledo of ice, and the abledo of bare earth is close to zero just as the abledo of open ocean, so the effect for snowcover is limkely much greater than that for the Arctic Ocean, but it takes more than a retired lawyer to say so convincingly, and I wish someone who gets paid for this stuff would do it ASAP. You all could help by making sure the article gets widespread circulation in the right places. I’ll know the paper is out there when Fartland Institute produces a rebuttal!

      Nicholas C. Arguimbau

  14. ltr
    May 18, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    I have a similar background and have been following the data in like manner and sadly can echo these findings and conclusions.

  15. Zachary Smith
    May 18, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    That “Paris climate change conference” was a total bad joke, or as James Hansen put it:

    “It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

    Naturally the great scientist John Kerry said Hansen was totally wrong.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35975-arctic-sea-ice-could-disappear-this-summer

    Back in mid-winter news accounts said the air temperature at the North Pole went above freezing, so an earlier-than expected “blue water” situation in the far north wouldn’t surprise me.

    The author wrote:

    And then there is methane. Ouch! And remember, these are all effects we may now expect to happen because of the albedo feedback even if we stop all further greenhouse emissions today.

    So it all appears to this writer, who apologizes that he isn’t a scientist but doesn’t apologize very much because the scientists should have gotten here decades ago.

    For some reason the real scientists are downplaying the methane. Back in 2012 I saw a thread at Real Climate where David Archer was doing this.

    hXXp://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/01/an-arctic-methane-worst-case-scenario/comment-page-1/#comments

    I don’t know what’s going on, but others have noticed as well.

    hXXp://arctic-news.blogspot.com/search/label/Arctic%20Methane%20Monster

  16. Ben Welgoed
    May 18, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    However tempting it has been for some to say that the current warming spurt is all due to another El Niño, expanding on that, one would project a second phase in that same story line that reads “same El Niño scenario again”, which would be a drop in (like right after 1998). To date such a drop has not yet even shown the slightest hint of coming to fruition: There is not yet even a modest sign of running off the “yet-another-hottest-month-ever-measured” hit parade.

    With that as a given (it’s data, you know), the question becomes: How many months (¿ years ?) of that pattern would mark the confirmation that just took off from the starting block, not to turn around anytime soon? Did we just witness something that was sort-of anticipated but never imagined to start running wild already? Let’s hope not, because there isn’t much hope for humanity to get together for the common good.

    There’s one subject area I’ve always loved to put aside, history, considering it teaches us that working as one is difficult, and exceedingly so the larger the number of people involved. Still for small groups of people it is doable, while very specific large projects have gotten off the ground and done (building roads, bridges, dams, etc.). Still that is most often within the confines of single nations. The case of AGW is significantly more daunting as it requires cooperation, coordination, determination and follow-through of many nations working together. So, the question morphs into: What will trigger nations to actually WORK on this together, targeting and developing detailed solutions, as opposed to the now familiar general guidelines, wish lists (targets) and promises for future years.

    Prior to getting carried away on that tack, imprint in your mind the fact that “we” have gotten into the current predicament because of our sheer numbers, our seemingly never ending expanding presence on Earth.

  17. May 18, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    There is nothing happening now that is either unusual, or unprecedented. Everything observed now has happened in the past, repeatedly, and to a much greater degree — and before human CO2 emissions were a factor.

    Just prior to our current Holocene, global temperatures fluctuated by tens of whole degrees, and within only a decade or two; both up and down. Now, THAT is scary!

    But over the past century, global temperatures have remained within ±º0.7C. In the entire geologic record, there has never been a similar time frame where global temperatures have been as flat and unchanging. We have been very fortunate to have lived in a true “Goldilocks” climate.

    Furthermore, for most of the 20 years preceding the current El Nino, global temperatures did not rise at all. Scientists on both sides of the debate were constantly proposing countless explanations for “the Pause” (or “hiatus”). But now that the El Nino has caused a few months’ spike in warming, the Narrative has changed: now the talking points are: ‘global warming never stopped!’ Nonsense. Both satellite and surface station data shows that global warming had stopped for many years.

    Those are facts that have been scientifically verified. They have nothing to do with capitalism, or the military, or permafrost, or Earth Day, or carbon dioxide. The planet is simply recovering from the Little Ice Age; one of the coldest events of the entire 10,700 year long Holocene. It is a reversion to the mean; if it didn’t happen, the planet would be far colder right now. And it is cold that kills; warmth is good. Just look at where most people want to live.

    The climate alarmist faction was flat wrong about their central claim: the rise in CO2 is simply not a problem. Rather, more CO2 is entirely a good thing. The rise in that tiny trace gas has been completely harmless, and very beneficial to the biosphere. The planet is measurably *greening* as a direct result of the extra CO2 — which is every bit as essential to life on earth as H2O. It is what makes plants grow.

    Finally, changes in CO2 are caused by changes in global temperature. There are no measurements showing that changes in temperature cause subsequent changes in CO2, while there are numerous measurements, on time scales from years to hundreds of millennia, showing that changes in CO2 are caused by changes in global temperature. The climate alarmist crowd got their causation backward, that’s all.

    • Ben Welgoed
      May 18, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Smokey, I’m afraid you have been smoking, and landed in some unidentified altered state.

      Past dramatic temperature variations coincided with dramatic events: Major volcanic activity, major impacts, humongous amounts of methane hydrates being expulsed by the oceans and the like. Not one such dramatic event has taken place in history to cause what is occurring at the present time.

      And btw, only the rare methane related events caused rapid warming.

      • David Smith
        May 18, 2016 at 9:23 pm

        “Smokey” is not a real person, merely a cut and paste Fartland Institute bot. Fartland Institute has software scanning the net for articles on global warming, then sends in the bots. Always the same bogus talking points in the same smarmy style. Refute the points and the bot repeats them like a yakking ventriloquist’s dummy. Despite the stupidity of the talking points, they are written by highly skilled disinformation specialists. Their strength is the very simple structure requiring complex refutation and that every point is the inverse of the facts, so they are immune to refutation by fact. Notice “Smokey’s” final talking point: “changes in temperature cause changes in CO2” the exact inverse of the truth, he even boldly and falsely claims “measurements” prove this lie. All talking points follow this same two part structure.

        • Zachary Smith
          May 18, 2016 at 10:34 pm

          Notice “Smokey’s” final talking point: “changes in temperature cause changes in CO2” the exact inverse of the truth, he even boldly and falsely claims “measurements” prove this lie.

          I noticed that bit of blatant lying too. But on another point I’m not clear – are you suggesting that this post was written by a software program? I wouldn’t have thought they were quite that advanced yet.

          • David Smith
            May 19, 2016 at 8:54 am

            To Smith& Smith, no the software detects, then displays a list of articles(I am using “bot” too loosely) a human operator in control of fake identifies(Smokey) then posts cut and paste talking points from a menu. Peter, the precedent is “Megaphone” used by the zionists. At the Guardian one fake identity was caught making hundreds of posts 24/7 on scores of comment threads on global warming, clearly not a real person.

          • Nicholas Arguimbau
            May 26, 2016 at 9:49 pm

            Lewis is right.about my referring to a graph of “arctic sea ice” as “arctic ice,” when I should have said “arctic Ocean ice” at that point in the article. So I understand John Francis Lee’s criticism and maybe you should be harsh on me rather than on him. The article’s focus was of course on abledo and not on sea level rise. Greenland will eventually cause both but is presently not causing abledo changes. whereas changes in Northern Hemisphere snow cover do cause abledo change. The snow cover is vastly greater than the area of the arctic Ocean, but to my knowledge no scientist has yet quantified the abledo effect of the former.

        • Peter Smith
          May 18, 2016 at 10:52 pm

          “Fartland Institute has software scanning the net for articles on global warming, then sends in the bots. ”

          Wow. I always thought it was Anthony Watts’ ant minions, armed with cut and paste arguments he provides. I like the bots theory, but is there any proof of it?

    • ltr
      May 18, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      The climate alarmist crowd got their causation backward, that’s all.

      [ Every significant scientist in the world is wrong, but I am right. What gibberish. ]

    • Peter Smith
      May 18, 2016 at 11:22 pm

      @smokey,

      “Both satellite and surface station data shows that global warming had stopped for many years.”

      The only “data” showing that warming had “stopped” was the Spencer and Christy RSS satellite data with the mistaken orbital decay term, and even then they had to start their graphs at the 1998 El Nino peak, from which there was nowhere to go but down. It was dishonest to rely on only one satellite data set, plotted only since 1998, and not to consider either the longer term trend or the surface temperature data.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX7aWsxe9yw&feature=youtu.be

      To prove you are not a bot, cite a peer reviewed paper in a prestigious journal, written in the last two years, that supports your notion that global warming stopped at any time, as opposed to there being a minor, short term slowdown. If you can’t find one, say “I can’t find one. You must be right.” Otherwise, I will assume that you are a bot.

      • Zachary Smith
        May 19, 2016 at 8:00 pm

        …as opposed to there being a minor, short term slowdown.

        Except for atmosphere temperature not rising for a while, there never was any kind of “slowdown”, not even a short term sort.

        It was simply a matter of the heat from the sun going somewhere else – for a while. My guess would be melting ice somewhere.

        The only way there could have been any kind of actual “pause” would have been if there had been some change in the earth’s albedo, like with a big volcano going off or a surge of atmospheric dust from some source. I’ve never heard of either of those happening.

  18. john francis lee
    May 18, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    ‘We all know ice is melting in the arctic, which people say is bad because Miami could drown if enough ice melts.’

    Melting sea ice won’t raise sealevel … you need to be more careful with your breathless assertions. I accept that the climate is changing. I accept CO2’s role in the change. I accept all the avenues along which feedback occurs once warming begins. But melting sea ice will not raise sealevel, and to make such an obviously wrong assertion destroys your credibility overall.

    • John
      May 18, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      There is a difference between artic ice and arctic sea ice. Artic ice includes the Greenland ice, as well as any other ice on land in the artic circle.

      If you wish to see lack of credibility, look no further than the mirror.

    • David Smith
      May 18, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      The author does not say “sea ice”, you do john francis lee. So we should assume your credibility is ” destroyed overall”? The Greenland Icecap, if melted, would result in 6 meter sea level rise. Antarctica melted would result in a 66 meter rise. That means 234 foot sea level rise world wide. Greenland is already melting, and the meltwater has formed a “cool pool” south of Greenland that has stalled the Gulf Stream off the US east coast, raising water temp and sea level(Atlantic City already affected). The temp differential twixt the cool pool and backed up Gulf Stream has caused the winter hurricanes that battered and flooded England. The Greenland and Antarctic glaciers are moving faster, lubricated by meltwater, threatening a massive surge event. Greenland is actually a circular chain of islands, as melting continues sea water could flow into the interior, under the icecap, accelerating collapse. Therefore, it is not neccesary for all that ice to melt to cause sea level rise, glacial surge could dump gigitons of ice into the oceans with the ice volume displacement causing sudden large sea level rise. For a forewarning of what is to come, read about the Eemian Interglacial.

      • Lewis
        May 22, 2016 at 1:04 am

        While the author used the words ‘Arctic ice’, he supported his claim using data in the figure titled: “Average Monthly Sea Ice Extent / February 1979 -2016.”

        Locations, such as Miami, would be lower than the sea level if the glacier or sheet ice of the Ant-Arctic were to melt. The rise in sea level would be the same as occurred when the glacier that covered Canada, parts of the lower 48 states down to point near Saint Louis, and a portion of northern Europe melted starting about 18,000 years ago. Since that time in history the world lost about 1000 square kilometers a year of glacier or sheet ice. The maximum rate which the glacier receded would have been much greater. The event would not fit into the climate models of the IPCC.

  19. David Smith
    May 18, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    The situation is much more dire than even this excellent article(with it’s very accurate key word “accelerates”) describes. 2015 Average Worldwide Temperature was .11 C above 2014, an unprecedented rate of increase. The Jan-April 2016 AWT ran 1.52-1.57 C above Pre-Industrial. Granted, those are El Nino numbers, but the model that has accurately predicted all past El Ninos predicts we will return to El Nino in October. This means 2016 AWT might reach 1.5 C above Pre-Industrial. If we continue to increase AWT at .11 C we could reach 2.05C in 2021. If 2016 merely reaches the optimistic prediction of 1.32C, we still reach 2.0C in 2023, a meaningless difference. But what if the yearly increases exceed .11C ? This is a very real possiblity, not to be jeered at. Prudence would counsel to expect 2.0C by 2020. There is simply very little time left, a realistic prognosis is total disaster by 2030.

    • Nicholas Arguimbau
      May 26, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      I wasn’t smart enough to use the word “accelerates.” The original article was virtually identical except for the title: “Two Degrees Was Too Much – Global Warming Is Out Of Control.” http://www.countercurrents.org/arguimbau050516.htm

  20. Ol' Hippy
    May 18, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Scientists have been talking about global warming seriously, since the first Earth Day in April 1970. This is when this(warming) should have been taken seriously and comprehensive plans and actions started. If all emissions were stopped tomorrow the warming would continue for several centuries. This of course won’t happen until there’s a collapse, which I think started in 1970, and whatever is left of humanity picks up and starts over in a new direction. Capitalism and military empire has brought humans to here and to survive will need to scrap both, which of course won’t happen. Sorry. If or when the frozen permafrost thaws, which has started already some, there will be no stopping a temperature rise past 4 degrees C which will kill most everything on the planet. This is the release of billions of tons of frozen methane, 80 times worse than CO2.
    This is nothing new, the trend has been a steady rise in temperatures for over a century and scientists have been screaming for a half century and ignored or worse, made to look like imbeciles by unscrupulous energy corps., just to fatten their wallets. Just tell your grandchildren that your generation was the one that ruined their future because a bunch of criminals wanted lots of money in the Cayman’s.

    • May 18, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Right you are, Ol’ Hippy. This is what the future will look like: today in Canada http://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-wildfire-idUSKCN0Y90YW

    • Gary Proctor
      May 18, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      I liked your candour and the sentiments, so I lifted your comment for my post of this article on FB – let me know if that’s not ok.
      Thanks, hope life is kind.
      Gary Proctor.

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