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Global Greening verses Global Warming 
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Post Global Greening verses Global Warming
I've been going through this topic recently with a sense of cautious optimism. There's a video lecture linked below with a transcription and illustration of the entire lecture:

http://www.thegwpf.org/matt-ridley-glob ... -greening/

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Quote:
In this lecture Myneni presented ingenious analysis of data from satellites proving that much of the vegetated area of the planet was getting greener, only a little bit was getting browner, and that overall in 30 years there had been a roughly 14% increase in green vegetation on planet Earth.

In this slide he argued that this was occurring in all vegetation types – tropical rain forests, subarctic taiga, grasslands, semi-deserts, farmland, everywhere.

What is more, Myneni argued that by various means he could calculate that about half of this greening was a direct result of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, rather than the application of agricultural fertiliser, irrigation, warmer temperatures or increased rainfall.

Carbon dioxide, along with water, is the raw material that plants use to make carbohydrates, with the help of sunlight, so it stands to reason that raising its concentration should help plants grow.

I was startled by Myneni’s data. I knew that there had been thousands of so-called free-air concentration (FACE) experiments, in which levels of CO2 had been increased over crops or wild ecosystems to find out if it boosted their growth (it did), and that commercial greenhouse owners now routinely maintain CO2 levels in their greenhouses at more than double ambient levels – because it makes their tomatoes grow faster.

But the global effect of CO2 levels on the quantity of vegetation had not, as far as I could tell, been measured till now.

Other lines of evidence also pointed to this global greening:

the increased rate of growth of forest trees,
the increased amplitude of seasonal carbon dioxide variation measured in Hawaii and elsewhere,
photographic surveys of vegetation,
the increased growth rate of phytoplankton, marine plants and some corals, and so on.
I published an article in the Wall Street Journal in January 2013 on these various lines of evidence, including Myneni’s satellite analysis, pointing to the increase in green vegetation.


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
Hi Tat
Ridley massively understates the risks of global warming. Even if higher CO2 has some benefits, these are swamped by the speed of warming, which is the biggest disruption to ecosystems and biodiversity since the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
Quote:
The models
The climate models have failed to get global warming right. As the IPCC has confirmed, for the period since 1998,

“111 of the 114 available climate-model simulations show a surface warming trend larger than the observations”. [IPCC Synthesis report 2014, p 43]

Image

That is to say there is a consensus that the models are exaggerating the rate of global warming.

The warming has so far resulted in no significant or consistent change in the frequency or intensity of storms, tornadoes, floods, droughts or winter snow cover.

As two climate scientists, Richard McNider and John Christy, have put it,

“We might forgive these modelers if their forecasts had not been so consistently and spectacularly wrong. From the beginning of climate modeling in the 1980s, these forecasts have, on average, always overstated the degree to which the Earth is warming compared with what we see in the real climate.”

In 1990, the first IPCC assessment included this statement, forecasting a temperature increase of 0.3 Cº per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2 Cº to 0.5 Cº).

In fact in the two and half decades since, even though emissions have risen faster than in the business-as-usual scenario, the temperature has risen at an average rate of about 0.15 C per decade based on surface measurements, or 0.12C per decade based on satellite data; that is, less than half as fast as expected and below the bottom of the uncertainty range!

What about 2015 and 2016 both being record hot years? Well, because of the massive El Nino, the HADCRUT4 surface temperature line just about inched up briefly in early 2016 into respectable territory in among the lower half of the model runs for a few months before dropping back out again [Clive Best chart]. That’s all.


I'm very interested in Ridley showing this tendency to exaggerate warming. Further down the article:

Quote:
So, if it’s consensus that floats your boat, there is an emerging consensus from observational estimates that climate sensitivity is low.

The models are assuming too rich a feedback.

Image

What’s more, all the high estimates of warming are based on an economic and demographic scenario called RCP 8.5, which is a very, very unrealistic one.

It assumes that population growth stops decelerating and speeds up again.

It assumes that trade and innovation largely cease.

It assumes that the ability of the oceans to absorb CO2 fails.

It assumes that despite all this the income of the average person trebles.

And most absurd of all, it assumes that we go back to using coal for almost everything, including to make motor fuel, so that by 2100 we are using ten times as much coal as we are today.

In short, it is a barking mad scenario, yet whenever you hear a scientist or a politician say something like we are committed to warming of “up to” four degrees, that – and implausibly high sensitivity – is what they are assuming, often without knowing it.


The models being stacked towards the interests of alarm are very concerning to me. The more I understand about this problem the more concerned I become about political interests tainting science.


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
Perhaps too much focus is being put on the fact of the climate's change.

It isn't so much will the planet be inhabitable. Because the answer is probably yes. At least in the timeframe of your great grand kids. The problem is if the climate changes then that means change everywhere, and change is bad.

because the bread belt will move. Because rivers will dry up and start someplace else. Because coastal cities will flood. Because lakes will go away and appear elsewhere. access to fresh water will go away in one place and become available in a new place. Rain forest ecology will be disrupted. oceanic ecology will be disrupted. fishing will change, or be reduced.

All these shifting and reduced resources means widespread disruption in our cultures. Starvation for sure, and huge amounts of conflict. Destabilization will kill millions.


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
The massive impact of climate change on coral reefs is sufficient to show that Ridley's optimism is irrational, because he ignores science. My view, which is entirely scientific, is that reducing emissions will do absolutely nothing to save coral reefs, because emission reduction is too slow and indirect, rather like pushing on a string. Major rapid direct technological intervention is needed, through large scale ocean based algae systems deployed around coral reefs to reduce the heat, acidity and nutrient levels in the water to protect the biodiversity from extinction. The climate movement has not bitten this bullet and instead imagines that if only we made everyone poorer by making energy more expensive we could save the world. Imagining that emission reduction could save coral reefs is like suggesting the Poles could have stopped the Nazi invasion by revising their tax code. See this article from the New Scientist on coral extinction https://www.newscientist.com/article/21 ... urth-year/


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
Will the algae spread to the reef and grow on the coral?


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
johnson1010 wrote:
Perhaps too much focus is being put on the fact of the climate's change.

It isn't so much will the planet be inhabitable. Because the answer is probably yes. At least in the timeframe of your great grand kids. The problem is if the climate changes then that means change everywhere, and change is bad.

because the bread belt will move. Because rivers will dry up and start someplace else. Because coastal cities will flood. Because lakes will go away and appear elsewhere. access to fresh water will go away in one place and become available in a new place. Rain forest ecology will be disrupted. oceanic ecology will be disrupted. fishing will change, or be reduced.

All these shifting and reduced resources means widespread disruption in our cultures. Starvation for sure, and huge amounts of conflict. Destabilization will kill millions.


That makes me think of the Nile once running right along the Pyramids and main sites in Egypt. I was watching an aerial view on the series The Pyramid Code showing the Nile having migrated far to the east of where it once was. Now there's cities built up around the Nile and if it's moved in the past chances are it will continue move. I think people expect that things will always stay the same. Coastal building is the same situation. Change is natural and certain, our civilizing needs to take that into account. When I see news reports of houses flooded because a river spilled it's banks I ask myself, "Why is there no regulation on construction in that region?" In the Florida Keys and in many of the gulf coastal cities there's regulation on building. We live in stilt houses that have to be at least 10' off the ground. In Pine Island up in the Big Bite there's homes 15' or more high. Storm surge will literally over take the entire Island. Homes any where near the flood range of a river have no business being built any way aside from up.

I think we ought to be much more fluid about how we approach inhabiting the planet in general. We need to expect change and do our best to prepare for life on those terms. Buddhist's are probably laughing at all of this. Nothing is permanent.


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
tat tvam asi wrote:
Will the algae spread to the reef and grow on the coral?


My suggestion, building on NASA's Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (OMEGA) research, is intensive controlled industrial algae production, gradually expanding with safety the primary concern.

If there are breakages in the membrane due to lightning etc that is no problem as all the algae will be eaten by fish.

Algae production is the best way to prevent the main threats to coral reefs, which are hot water, acidity and excessive nutrient. This system is a way to stop coral being infested by bad algae, which is caused by excess nutrient runoff from fertilizer and waste water.

Without responses like this proposal, coral reefs will continue to have massive die offs. Unfortunately, many in the climate lobby think it is more important to reduce carbon emissions than to fix the climate, so we can expect ongoing loss of biodiversity.


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
This is what's going on here in Florida: https://mote.org/research/program/coral ... estoration



And he's conditioning these corals for adaptability to projected future conditions for a higher survival rates. It's really interesting. So reef restoration is probably something that will work in unison with the idea of carbon mining. Maybe you should try reaching out to Dr. Vaughan because there's a possibility that he might implement these carbon mining ideas and get the ball rolling, at least here in Florida. And from there it could potentially ride the coat tails of the coral reef restoration movement that's already in motion.


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
Thanks Tat, good work.
tat tvam asi wrote:
And he's conditioning these corals for adaptability to projected future conditions for a higher survival rates. It's really interesting. So reef restoration is probably something that will work in unison with the idea of carbon mining. Maybe you should try reaching out to Dr. Vaughan because there's a possibility that he might implement these carbon mining ideas and get the ball rolling, at least here in Florida. And from there it could potentially ride the coat tails of the coral reef restoration movement that's already in motion.

Yes, I would like to make contact with Dr Vaughan. I gave a talk at the University of Queensland back in 2015 on these ideas, but got interest more from the mining industry people than from the environmentalists, which I think says something about the politics of climate change.
I agree that conditioning coral for hotter water is a good idea, but at the same time reef managers should be examining if it is possible to stop the reef from overheating, and keeping the dangerous acid and nutrient down. Many people I talk to say that is impossible because the ocean is so big, but I think it can be done at an experimental scale, using the NASA OMEGA methods. If it proves profitable – enhancing fish stocks, tourism insurance and using algae to make sellable goods – then the market will be there to expand rapidly.


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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
tat tvam asi wrote:
That is to say there is a consensus that the models are exaggerating the rate of global warming.

The models being stacked towards the interests of alarm are very concerning to me. The more I understand about this problem the more concerned I become about political interests tainting science.

It is possible there is some political tainting of the science. But we know for a fact that the commercial interference in the policy process, including by backing smokescreen science, has been much more severe.

When it comes to science, all you have to do to displace inaccurate models is build a better model. So far no one has one which has put its finger on aspects that were poorly modeled and just fixed them, or, to the extent that they have, the implications for policy remain the same. Increased greening has been built into mainstream climate models at least since the 80s: that is not the source of the inaccuracy.

We know that some of the recent inaccuracy was a failure to take into account the capacity of the oceans for absorbing carbon, especially by acidification, and to moderate temperature rises, especially by mixing. But when you put that in the models, what you find is that we were given a grace period longer than expected, but the saturation point is going to release pent up pressures that we were lucky not to deal with yet.

Similar pent-up pressures are building up in the permafrost, where runaway methane release may result in a surge in warming. It's good that the models were wrong on the high side, but until we have better models we had better pay attention to the best guess we can make.



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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
Hi Harry, thanks for posting. I guess the optimism part is oriented to hoping that our fears don't necessarily come true. Like with the ozone ordeal. I like Robert's ideas about carbon mining.

I live an aquatic life here in Florida and am active in our natural resources, like the Gulf, Atlantic and the Floridan Aquifer springs. I've seen algae blooms come and go in Florida Bay, do to the army corp of engineers damming the natural flow of fresh water from the everglades to the bay. They're campaigning right now to try and restore flow from Lake Okeechobee to the everglades because terrible algae blooms have occurred and have been flushed out to the Gulf and Atlantic directly instead of filtering through the everglades. The natural course and flow of fresh water in south Florida has been diverted for the sake of big sugar. It's ridiculous. Also, fertilizer from the farm land gets into the tributaries and out to the central Gulf causing red tide. I've been surfing in god awful red tide conditions through the winter because of it. Coughing, eye irritation. It's been centered right around Venice for some reason. Right where most of the cold front surf is best on the Gulf Coast.

I want to believe that we can fix these things. The government has royally fucked things up by altering the natural environment down here. And we need them fixed, like pronto! The aquifer has been tainted by septic tanks. Why we allow septic tanks at all with a precious resource such as the Floridan Aquifer running below our homes and farms I do not know. We need to do better than that. We need ole Sam from quantum leap to come back here and put right where once went wrong. lol

But in each of these areas of concern you'll find leftist conservationists exaggerating and even lying to the public thinking that the end justifies the means. And I think we have to do better than that too. That discredits the authentic aim of real conservation. It cries wolf all too often, and the public turns a blind eye. And with Ridley I see how the climate change camp is doing similar. Exaggeration wrapped up with left wing political views seems a good way to sour the public when caught doing it. And it gives right wing anti-conservation attitudes ammunition in the process. And then it's more difficult to accomplish what needs to be done to reverse the damage that we are doing. It's a real mess...


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Last edited by tat tvam asi on Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
I might be setting up a straw man, but tat's post is a great example that, if we're going to talk about an environmental crisis, we're dealing with much, much more than global warming. Global warming isn't so visible on the local level (part of what makes it an insidious threat), while in the Florida situation we can see the terrible results of choices we've made that are independent of warming.



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Post Re: Global Greening verses Global Warming
tat tvam asi wrote:
I guess the optimism part is oriented to hoping that our fears don't necessarily come true. Like with the ozone ordeal.
Of course if you talk to Australians, we did not escape our fears on ozone - their skin cancer rates rose significantly, because the poles are where the ozone layer thinned the most. And if we had not done anything with the Montreal Protocol, much more damage would have been done (including, interestingly enough, to the amount of global warming, as it turns out that CFC's are much more potent greenhouse gases than CO2, although we did not know that at the time).

tat tvam asi wrote:
I like Robert's ideas about carbon mining.
I do, too, but not his perspective on government policy involvement. By insisting that it must be profitable without any government involvement, he increases the odds that the world will never see carbon mining on any scale, even though it might well be profitable if its effects on the climate were compensated monetarily.

tat tvam asi wrote:
The natural course and flow of fresh water in south Florida has been diverted for the sake of big sugar. It's ridiculous.
So, it seems you are saying that government already intervenes at the expense of the environment, if that can make some people richer. And yet some people think it is taboo for the government to intervene to help the environment. I don't understand such a mentality.

tat tvam asi wrote:
I want to believe that we can fix these things. The government has royally fucked things up by altering the natural environment down here. And we need them fixed, like pronto! The aquifer has been tainted by septic tanks. Why we allow septic tanks at all with a precious resource such as the Floridan Aquifer running below our homes and farms I do not know. We need to do better than that. We need ole Sam from quantum leap to come back here and put right where once went wrong. lol


tat tvam asi wrote:
in each of these areas of concern you'll find leftist conservationists exaggerating and even lying to the public thinking that the end justifies the means. And I think we have to do better than that too.
I agree. In general, accurate information is best, and those responsible for it have to be able to stand apart from what the government process does with the information, at most working harder to make sure the information that matters is not buried.

tat tvam asi wrote:
That discredits the authentic aim of real conservation. It cries wolf all too often, and the public turns a blind eye.
In general I am very skeptical of this narrative. It is not as though the public generally jumps whenever environmental threats are demonstrated. I have lived with the environmental debates since I grew up in Southern California in the 60s, and one could not exercise outdoors for more than 30 minutes without getting seriously short of breath. Claims of exaggeration are there whether exaggeration is present or not. If I ever saw a political process that decided objectively, I would be more willing to get excited about exaggeration by environmentalists.

tat tvam asi wrote:
And it gives right wing anti-conservation attitudes ammunition in the process. And then it's more difficult to accomplish what needs to be done to reverse the damage that we are doing. It's a real mess...
Well, the good news is that right wingers these days don't need any actual facts for ammunition, they will make it up from whole cloth if no convenient stories emerge. The difficulty is the same as it always has been, which is the combination of denial by the general public, and special interest influence behind closed doors.

I read an astounding exception to this in the New York Times yesterday.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opin ... .html?_r=0
William Ruckelshaus, the first administrator of the EPA, was asked to return by Ronald Reagan after the discrediting of Anne (mother of the SCOTUS nominee) Gorsuch, and was shocked when the chemical industry lobbyists told him they needed a properly functioning EPA so that the public would allow them to work at all. It is hard to put ourselves back into the political environment of the time, with Love Canal, a major spill in the upper Ohio River area, and Three Mile Island nuclear accident all fresh in the public mind, and the Cuyahoga River catching fire not too many years before, but that may have been one time that industry actually cared about the public interest. Or it may just have been that the Congress was in the hands of Democrats and they hoped they could get a better deal from the Republicans in the White House.



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