Global Warming Refresher
Short Course: Global Warming
1. It is widely considered that over 350 ppm (parts per million) is a threshold that ushers in the worse parts of global warming, ie. Ice sheets melting, extreme weather conditions (kinda like the futures market - higher highs, lower lows, when it rains it pours sorta thing)
2. Global warming does not preclude the absence of prolonged times of colder than normal weather. (We have the elements for global warming, ie Greenhouse Gases, built up in our atmosphere. However, we must remember that our star, The Sun, is what dictates all the weather on Earth. Our Sun has cycles, like seasons on Earth, but it's cylcles are in hundreds and thousands of years, and they are magnetic, not seasonal. Currently, our sun is in a cycle where the magnetism, for what ever reason, is not as strong. Because of that, it is not "putting out" as much solar radiation as it does when it is more magnetically active. You have heard me talking about this for some time. We are supposed to be at Solar Maximum, where the Sun is extremely active with sunspots and a high level of solar activity. It's not. It's one of the least active solar maximums recorded. Which is also why I've been talking about a cooler than normal summer in the Norther tier of states.)
3. Weather Extremes. Warmer global temperatures allow for more water vapor in the atmosphere, which in turn allows for more precipitation (when and where it does fall), which accounts for the number of big rain events (100 year, 500 year, even thousand year events) being recorded.
The longer course - I include excepts of some of that below. Global warming is here. Don't be fooled into thinking that because we are going though a cooler than normal time frame, that it doesn't exist. Our knowledge of the Sun and it's long term effects have come mainly from borings in the Greenland ice sheets, and observations over the last 100 or so years - a time span that is nothing in the grand scheme of things. The "Little Ice Age" in Europe took 50 years to play out. (1650 - 1700) We could be entering (or in) that phase of the Sun now. The fact is - we don't know. China has the longest written record of life on this Earth - is this part of the reason they have been on a 'buying binge'. Again, I don't know. What I do know, is the Sun is less active than I would expect, and I think it's already effecting our temperatures in the northern latitudes.
CO2 in our atmoshpere:
On March 12, 2014, NOAA MLO recorded the first daily average above 400 ppm since Spring 2013.
Atmospheric CO2 for March 2014
Preliminary monthly average as of April 2, 2014
(Mauna Loa Observatory: Scripps CO2 Program)
Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?
James Hansen*,1,2, Makiko Sato1,2, Pushker Kharecha1,2, David Beerling3, Robert Berner4,
Valerie Masson-Delmotte5, Mark Pagani4, Maureen Raymo6, Dana L. Royer7 and James C. Zachos8
1NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY 10025, USA
2Columbia University Earth Institute, New York, NY 10027, USA
3Dept. Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
4Dept. Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8109, USA
5Lab. Des Sciences du Climat et l’Environnement/Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, CEA-CNRS-Universite de
Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, CE Saclay, 91191, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
6Dept. Earth Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
7Dept. Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459-0139, USA
8Earth & Planetary Sciences Dept., University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
Abstract: Paleoclimate data show that climate sensitivity is ~3°C for doubled CO2, including only
fast feedback processes. Equilibrium sensitivity, including slower surface albedo feedbacks, is
~6°C for doubled CO2 for the range of climate states between glacial conditions and ice-free
Antarctica. Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began 50 million years ago,
the planet being nearly ice-free until CO2 fell to 450 ± 100 ppm; barring prompt policy changes,
that critical level will be passed, in the opposite direction, within decades. If humanity wishes to
preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is
adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be
reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm, but likely less than that. The largest
uncertainty in the target arises from possible changes of non-CO2 forcings. An initial 350 ppm
CO2 target may be achievable by phasing out coal use except where CO2 is captured and adopting
agricultural and forestry practices that sequester carbon. If the present overshoot of this target CO2
is not brief, there is a possibility of seeding irreversible catastrophic effects.
Keywords: climate change, climate sensitivity, global warming
Human activities are altering Earth’s atmospheric composition. Concern about global
warming due to long-lived human-made greenhouse gases (GHGs) led to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change  with the objective of stabilizing GHGs in the
atmosphere at a level preventing “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC, 2] and others  used several
“reasons for concern” to estimate that global warming of more than 2-3°C may be dangerous.
The European Union adopted 2°C above pre-industrial global temperature as a goal to limit
human-made warming . Hansen et al.  argued for a limit of 1°C global warming (relative to
2000, 1.7°C relative to pre-industrial time), aiming to avoid practically irreversible ice sheet and
species loss. This 1°C limit, with nominal climate sensitivity of ¾°C per W/m2 and plausible
control of other GHGs , implies maximum CO2 ~ 450 ppm .
Our current analysis suggests that humanity must aim for an even lower level of GHGs.
Paleoclimate data and ongoing global changes indicate that ‘slow’ climate feedback processes
not included in most climate models, such as ice sheet disintegration, vegetation migration, and
GHG release from soils, tundra or ocean sediments, may begin to come into play on time scales
*Address correspondence to this author at NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY
10025, USA; E-mail: email@example.com
Re: Global Warming Refresher
Co2 spiked because of all the fires in southern Iowa. Ma Nature responded with +3 inches of rain to wash it out of the air and stop the fires.
Global cooling will have summers with a few warmer than normal days. Followed by colder winters and snow and freezing late spring events with earlier cool falls. This will be followed by feed grain shortages and hunger. Personal resources will have to be rerouted from partying and flat screen TV's to food procurement. Much of Canada and Siberia will not melt during the summer. The "new" northern grain belt will vanish into tundra and snow fields.
The good news will be that there will be enough snow balls for everyone.
Re: Global Warming Refresher
Hobby, remember, I'm just the messenger. That part I said about China was supposed to be prefaced with "maybe" - as in Maybe this is why China....
I have to live in this world also. Even though the colder than normal weather effects me, it's not like the bulk of you anymore (ie - I get to choose when I go outside ). And , it could freeze my tomato plants to early.
You guys scoffed at me (probably still do) when I came on here talking about sunspots and solar radiation. But when it comes down to it - that's what's really important. How much solar radiation is the sun putting out? Then, how will the various weather patterns on Earth modify the radiation we are getting and distribute it over the Earth? But it all begins with how much radiation (heat) we have to begin with.
We are very probably in a decreased solar output cycle. I probably won't live to see the end of it. It could provide us on Earth a window of opportunity to get our house in order, before we return to a higher level of magnetism on the sun, and a higher level of radiation output. It'll be to late then to say - I told you so....
Re: Global Warming Refresher
Thank you Jen for standing your ground on this. I doubt we will change many minds here, but at least we can say, "I told you so." I don't know why people that don't have a scientific background think they have a better understanding of the situation than the scientists that study these things on a regular basis. As for me, I know I don't have the scientific knowledge of people that have studied, and have access to all of the information. All I know is, I don't think I should gamble with the my future, or my kids future, and possibly future generations of my progeny, it isn't prudent, and it isn't fair to them. We all worry about the deficit the government is running, and we can see the danger in that for the future, but we seem to want to ignore all of the alarm bells and sirens that are being sounded on global warming, or climate change as many refer to it as.
"Changing how we do things is gonna be a big pita, so global warming can't be true." Where is the logic in that train of thought?
I would like to leave Earth as the beautiful, fruitful place it was when I arrived-maybe better. I think that is what God had in mind when he appointed us as caretakers to His creation. I don't think He intended for us to just use it all up and leave yet another mess for Him to clean up.
Oh boy, I am gonna catch a lot of flack for this posting.
Re: Global Warming Refresher
Nothern tier, for me, is MT, ND, northeast 1/4 of SD, MN, NE 1/4 of IA, n 1/4 of Ill. WI, MI, N 1/4 of OH and IN, and New England area, and all of Canada. When I speak of the northern tier, generally, this is the area that I'm talking about. The western fringes of this area, MT, ND, SD and SW MN often times have their weather dictated more by the SW US, than by what's coming out of Canada. They are included in my Northern Tier because a large air mass from Canada will and does effect their weather, though usually not as long of a duration as we see in the Eastern areas of my Northern Tier.
Re: Global Warming Refresher
NEWS FLASH: NOT all "experts" and "educated folks" are on board this train of "global warming"
even many of the "warming" dudes and dude-ettes have their doubts. Why do you think they have renamed it "Climate change"?
Follow the money... most are public funded people with an adgenda to keep the funding (paychecks) coming. More are abandening that sinking ship of global warming and calling it climite change because there is more evidence that we are closer to global cooling than warming.
Jen you just stated that the Sun isn't putting out as the computer models showed just months ago. It doesn't put out, guess what?
If and just "if" it doesn't get hotter but instead cools just a couple of degrees hows that work out for tomatoes in Minneopolis? You think last year was bad in Wis, and central and northern Minn, cool it just a smidgen more let me know how the test wt of hominy turns out.
Oh yea let's hedge our bets and call it climite change. (might just be getting cooler as 3/8 of the educated folks suggest?)
Cooler Sun and one major volcano and wa la... unlimited ice for your drinks around the ice skating rinks.