Without a bucket to RCP in

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Albert Bates

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on Peak Surfer on January 15, 2017

PeakSurfer

Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner

"The only thing holding this global tsunami back is the cold depth of the deep blue sea."

  We are in a crisis of civilization but most people, by and large, have not realized it yet. It is as if we are a prizefighter in the ring with a stronger opponent and we have just been dealt a knockout punch but we are still on our feet, uncomprehending of what has just happened. It is not as though the fight can continue. We will shortly be on the floor. It is not as though we will suddenly bounce back, alert and still fighting. We are done. We just don’t know it yet. If we are lucky, our opponent will relent for the moment it takes us to go down, sparing us another, potentially lethal blow from which we would be completely defenseless.

Lets bore in on the illusion that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), having been awarded the Nobel Prize, has prescribed a rescue remedy to “avoid dangerous interference with climate” if nations are willing to take it.

Perhaps you concur with that conventional wisdom even while lamenting that national governments lack spine.

“The scientists have been the finger-pointy adults in the room on this issue,” said Andrew Revkin, former NY Times reporter and author of the dot earth blog. But the IPCC quickly learned that not only did it not have any authority to set policy, it was an object of ridicule. It came to expect that any advice it gave would be resisted and so it took measures to soften its approach. It fed governments baby food — sugar coated, easy to digest, and somewhat shy of full nutrition.

Case in point: the IPCC future scenarios (RCPs for “Representative Concentration Pathways”, and ECP’s for “Extended Concentration Pathways”).

Over the course of many years the IPCC science community produced RCP and ECP models representing a broad range of climate outcomes, based on the peer-reviewed literature. The RCPs and ECPs are defined by their total radiative forcing (cumulative measure of human emissions of atmospheric pollution from all sources expressed in Watts per square meter) starting in 2005 and accumulated change by 2100 in the case of the RCPs and 2300 in the case of the ECPs.

They are not forecasts, just a survey of known possibilities. Assessing likelihoods requires comparisons of the projections with observations in real time.

In 2011 the figure to the right appeared in the journal, Climatic Change:

 

 

 

van Vuuren et al (2011) The Representative Concentration Pathways: An Overview. Climatic Change, 109 (1-2), 5-31.

The dark grey area contained the range of estimates previously deemed to be 90% certain. The blue line — RCP 8.5 — is tracking closest to actual data at the moment, and so the light great area was added to extend the range to a 98% certainty for 2050-2100.

If you were assigning likelihoods, you would probably give RCP 8.5 a pretty high probability now, but bear in mind you are just looking at where the line begins to arc upwards in 2016 and there is no real evidence that the arc will then settle into a straight line and even bend back down a little in the 2090s. It could as easily turn straight up and shoot off the top of this chart in the 2040-2075 interval.

The other three lines were chosen in 2011 to represent a few selected RCPs that expressed the confidence range. Each RCP could result from different combinations of economic, technological, demographic, policy, and institutional futures. For example, the second-to-lowest RCP assumes technological improvements and a shift from manufacturing economies to service industries but does not make any efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions as a goal in itself. The highest line represents industrial expansion as usual, or, alternatively, industrial contraction supplanted by runaway methane releases, radical deforestation, change of arctic albedo or some other phenomenon, or combination, that keeps the rate of forcing growing even though industrial GHG emissions decline.

The scenario process then moves to translating what effect each Watts per meter change would have on the biosphere.

These scenarios have been developed by the same means humans have planned for their future since we first started keeping history: by observing past events and projecting that process of development into the future. It is entirely linear. Pattern recognition.

Granted, when you are projecting an observed exponential rate of growth into the future (such as a doubling rate for CO2 concentration, which can be taken from Keeling’s Mauna Loa data) at some point the curve turns a corner and rockets upward until the distinction between linearity and non-linearity becomes moot. Like a broken clock, even linear models will be right occasionally in a non-linear world. What the IPCC models do not do, and cannot do, is predict the geobiological results of non-linear change. That’s unknowable.

 

 

 

    [T]he present anthropogenic carbon release rate is unprecedented during the past 66 million years. We suggest that such a ‘no-analogue’ state represents a fundamental challenge in constraining future climate projections.

— Zeebe, R., A. Ridgwell, and J. Zachos. 2016. Anthropogenic Carbon Release Rate Unprecedented during the Past 66 Million Years. Nature Geoscience 9:325–29.

 

 

 

Observed decline in global sea ice to Jan 2017

A second problem is that the RCPs only look from 2005 to 2100, a little less than a century. Consequently, they do not consider what changes may occur before Earth’s systems may recover equilibrium with the new forcings, a process that can require millennia. For example, estimates of global average sea level rise were recently revised to 2 meters this century, based on observations of ice loss in Antarctica. Those studies did not include observed loss of ice in Greenland and so the revision is still too low. And yet, we know from the geologic record and the equations of thermodynamics that equilibrium for present concentrations of GHGs take global sea level to about 23 m (75 feet) higher than today and average global temperature to about 17 degrees C (30 F) warmer. (Goreau, T.J.F., 2016. Regenerative Development for Rapid Stabilization of CO2 and Climate at Safe Levels, Soil Carbon Alliance White Paper). Even applying the ECPs, the equilibrium state will not likely be achieved by 2300. It could take a few thousand years.

The only thing holding this global tsunami back is the cold depth of the deep blue sea. Deep sea holds around 95% of the heat in the climate system. It is the biosphere’s thermal battery. The deep sea is now just above freezing, but it is warming. If we stopped adding GHGs today, it would take about 1600 years for the ocean to stop warming. Additions are not slowing down however — they are speeding up.

Implicit in the failure of the IPCC to model non-linear dynamics and long-term equilibrium is the gap in information being communicated to decisionmakers regarding the potential for the unexpected. One “known unknown” is the capacity of critical failures to cascade complimentary forcings. Any sound policy response should be building resilience and antifragility to buffer against these unknowns. Employ nature as a hedge. Instead, nature is being rapidly removed and in its place we are being sold risky geoengineering schemes.


IPCC prides itself on taking the conservative approach and being non-alarmist, but it does not offer hedges. To the contrary, it makes grand speculations based on science fiction. The most recent annual reports assume that as we pass some as yet unknown threshold of political pain, presumedly around mid-Century, human civilization will implement large scale CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) and begin pulling legacy carbon back from the atmosphere.

Anyone who has seriously studied this assumption (the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK Royal Society, for instance) has concluded it is one part wishful thinking and 9 parts fairy dust.

CCS does not exist.

Experiments at putting liquefied carbon dioxide into geological storage have been both horrendously expensive and remarkably ineffective — leaking back to the atmosphere relatively quickly. The technology only holds promise for those unwilling to crunch the numbers. In that camp are most of the national delegations to the UN climate talks and much of the business world.

Technological fixes, after all, would be so much easier than systemic social change.

 

 

 

    Of the 400 scenarios that have a 50% or better chance of no more than 2°C warming . . . 344 assume the successful and large-scale uptake of negative-emission technologies. Even more worryingly, in all 56 scenarios without negative emissions, global emissions peak around 2010 . . . In plain language, the complete set of 400 IPCC scenarios for a 50% or better chance of meeting the 2°C target work on the basis of either an ability to change the past, or the successful and large-scale uptake of negative-emission technologies.

— Anderson, K. 2015. “Duality in Climate Science.” Nature Geoscience 8:898–900.

Over the next few months, this weekly blog will sketch our manifesto. We will try to set forward a multitrack approach that has a realistic chance of reversing climate change within the short window of time required. It is no secret — it does it by building resilience and letting nature do the heavy lifting.

Motivating this change is another matter. It is our view, born of our experience, that nothing short of extreme social change is capable of relieving the existential crisis of climate change and nothing short of extreme crisis will be capable of motivating that kind of extreme social change. If we learned anything from 2016, it is that people are clamoring for change.

So, buckle your seatbelts. We are going to crash. What it looks like on the other side of that crash, however, is utterly charming. It is not like being hit by Conor McGregor and going down hard in the first round. It is more like a snowboarder’s crash in powder or a kiteboarder on water. You can get back up.

We need not fear the power zone, but we should be cautious as we approach.

 

4 Responses to Without a bucket to RCP in

  • Davebee says:

    I wish you well in your future endeavours because knowing modern industrialized middle class humans as well as I have known them for the past 70 years you would be considered as 'winning' if you got just 20% of them to switch off  two lights in their homes each night or desist from stupid and totally unecessary Happy Motoring over weekends.

    The N3 highway (Joburg to Pretoria) at the bottom of my garden is nearly as busy on Saturday and Sunday as it is on week days. PLUS it carries obscenely high, as-you-travel tolls.

    Where in God's name do they all go? What is the insane need to be OUT all the time and spending, spending, spending, consumimg, consuming, consuming?

  • Pintada says:

    I will be watching your progress very closely.  I see extinction in the future – not by 2020 LOL – but it sure looks inevitable to me.  Keep it real, and good luck.

    Oh, I fell for it … you are a permaculture utopian … a farmtopian.  Right?

     

    Never mind.

  • UnhingedBecauseLucid says:

    ["So, buckle your seatbelts. We are going to crash. What it looks like on the other side of that crash, however, is utterly charming. It is not like being hit by Conor McGregor and going down hard in the first round. It is more like a snowboarder’s crash in powder or a kiteboarder on water. You can get back up."]

    My feeling is that it will rather look more like a double-decker bus hitting a low bridge at full speed — cartoonish version –where some [few] miraculously survive on the bottom deck…

    But I appreciate Albert's efforts as I do his writings. He puts his money where his mouth is, I'll give him that.

    [" It is our view, born of our experience, that nothing short of extreme social change is capable of relieving the existential crisis of climate change and nothing short of extreme crisis will be capable of motivating that kind of extreme social change."]

    We are going to need extreme "explaining" ahead of time if we are to channel a critical mass of constructive responses, IMHO.

    Very fucking extreme if you ask me…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner
Search the Diner
Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D
Archives
Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing delegates at the official opening of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) High- Level Seg...

 In San Francisco, autonomous crime-fighting robots that are used to patrol parking lots, sports arenas, and tech company campuses a...

'This is a real world analysis of what is actually happening, rather than a projection of what might happen in the future,' says author Richard Black[img]https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/styles/article_medium/public/thumbnails/image...

The climate science maverick believes catastrophe is inevitable, carbon offsetting is a joke and ethical living a scam. So what would he do? By Decca Aitkenhead [img]https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2008/02/29/ja...

Neonicotinoids, banned on flowering crops, were found in nearly all rivers tested, increasing concerns over their impact on fish and birds[img]https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/7a2ff94ee7e32a64a3a61279e16e88780284a1b5/0_0_4896_2938/master/4896.jpg...

Diner Twitter feed

Knarf’s Knewz

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing delegates at t [...]

Neonicotinoids, banned on flowering crops, were fo [...]

Diner Newz Feeds
  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

Doomstead Diner Daily 12/13[html] [...]

John Samuel Tieman: Re-enactment[html]A friend inv [...]

Doomstead Diner Daily 12/12[html] [...]

Greetings, Diners.After a hiatus, I am back with t [...]

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing delegates at t [...]

Neonicotinoids, banned on flowering crops, were fo [...]

My understanding is Ethereum is The Blockchain (pu [...]

Thanks Palloy, A topic of much current interest an [...]

QuoteGO is my friend. I can still disagree with hi [...]

Quote from: monsta666 on December 06, 2017, 07:48: [...]

I just wanted GO to know that I agree with the poi [...]

"It will collapse, they just don't know [...]

Quote from: RE on November 30, 2017, 12:49:52 PMSi [...]

Since I just returned from visiting the 500 Acre [...]

http://www.youtube.com/v/RBQ-IoHfimQ [...]

As long as he does not want to be my Fairy Home Co [...]

Alternate Perspectives
  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

The Psyops of “The Silence Breakers” Meme By Cognitive Dissonance Time magazine just named their wid [...]

Issues, Problems, (Social) Media and the Manipulation Thereof By Cognitive Dissonance   Back when I [...]

Taking a Pass on Gas – Wood Preferred - Part 2 By High Desert Homesteading   Part 1 of this article [...]

The Latest Sign of the Coming Apocalypse By Cognitive Dissonance   On occasion Mrs. Cog accuses me o [...]

Taking a Pass on Gas – Wood Preferred By High Desert Homesteading   We recently bought a 22 year old [...]

Event Update For 2017-12-11http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-12-10http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-12-09http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-12-08http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2017-12-07http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

You know things have taken a turn for the desperate when women have started to drive. Or rather, whe [...]

From Filmers to Farmers is re-launched on the astounding open source blogging platform Ghost! [...]

The blogging scene is admittedly atrocious. Is there really no option for a collapse blogger to turn [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability
  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

The Climate Bums"The US is only pledging about 20% of its fair share. The EU is pledging about 50% of its fair [...]

Causation"Physical realities are very slow to change. Minds can change instantly."Bapu's Chark [...]

The Diamond Cutter at Apache Pass, Part 4: Permaculture"There is epigenetic asynchrony in this biome." This is the fourth and last installment in [...]

The Diamond Cutter at Apache Pass, Part 3: Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā"The things that are seen are temporal; the things that are unseen are eternal. — Saul of Tarsi [...]

The Diamond Cutter at Apache Pass, Part 2: Passage to India"Blindfolded, he spoke eloquently on the nature of emptiness."This is the second installme [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

Americans are good on the "thoughts and prayers" thing. Also not so bad about digging in f [...]

In the echo-sphere of political punditry consensus forms rapidly, gels, and then, in short order…cal [...]

Discussions with figures from Noam Chomsky and Peter Senge to Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama off [...]

Lefty Greenies have some laudable ideas. Why is it then that they don't bother to really build [...]

Democracy and politics would be messy business even if all participants were saints. But America doe [...]

Top Commentariats
  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

Yes I am learning --- I have asked a series of questions --- feel free to answer them and enlighten [...]

What if EVs actually use more resources? What if the upfront energy consumption of building a wind t [...]

Humans are such ridiculous animals..... there needs to be a reality show for this sort of thing.... [...]

What's that? Encore? You want more? I give you more! https://media.giphy.com/media/NZWtySLTtEf1 [...]

And one more for good measure - because I feel so happy... so thrilled .... with WINNING... that I M [...]

http://peakoil.com/consumption/the-biggest-bubble-ever-in-three-charts I have no idea what the meani [...]

@dolph - disensus = good. The more the merrier. You are hung up on scale [...]

There's nothing we can do, we are slaves with information. Alright, not quite nothing - we can [...]

Not true. Individually we are subject to death, but the system is not. That's always been the c [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction
Useful Links
Technical Journals

The livestock sector is vulnerable to climate change and related policy in two ways. First, livestoc [...]

Climate change can have serious impacts on human health, resulting in increased healthcare utilizati [...]

Nowadays, most of the Earth’s population lives in urban areas. The replacement of vegetation by buil [...]

Follow on our http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/