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Sun Jan 8, 2012, 08:40 PM

The E/E pocket reference guide [View all]

Last edited Tue Feb 5, 2019, 10:20 PM - Edit history (21)

This discussion thread is pinned.
E/E invites discussion or any subject pertaining to the environment (biodiversity, pollution, GM crops, population et al); energy (fossil fuels, renewables, and the great nuclear pie-fight); and of course climate change/resource use which links the two. Peak oil related posts are also welcome, but don't forget the peak oil group.

If you've got questions about climate change feel free to ask, but if you repeatedly post denialist rubbish you are liable to be shown the door...

Updating Feb 2019 (Sorry for the wait. I've been tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk).


Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide ( CO₂ ) is the GHG that gets discussed the most, because of the sheer amount we produce (9 billion tons in 2010) and because so much of our existing energy produces it. The best guess for a sustainable level is 350 ppm, so... Yeah. Good luck with that.

Short term trend (Source: NOAA):


Long term trend (Source: NOAA):



Emissions by region (Source: EIA):



Emissions by sector (Source: OWID)


Methane

Methane ( CH₄ ) is a hundred times more potent (by mass) than CO₂ over a 20 year period: Although it does break down over time, the total amount in the atmosphere is increasing, largely due to melting clathrates in the oceans and permafront.

Short term trend (Source: NOAA)


Long term trend (Source: NOAA)


Other GHGs

Nitrous Oxide (Source: NOAA)
N₂O is mainly released from fertilizer, is about 200 times more potent than CO₂, with a lifetime of ~120 years.


Sulfur Hexafluoride (Source: NOAA)
SF₆ is used in industry, is about 36,000 times more potent than CO₂, with a lifetime of ~6,000 years.


Current(ish) Temperature Anomalies:

Surface temperature (Source: NASA)



Ocean Heat Content (Source: NOAA)








The 'Hockey stick':
Source: The OSS Foundation
There are various versions of this chart: This is the from the last IPCC report, but there are more (with comparisons) at the link.
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Realism vs Skepticism:
Source: Skeptical Science
Pwnd. Also check out Rasmus Benestad's trend-fudging masterclass at RealClimate.
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[div id="sechyd"][font size=4 ]Hydrology[/font]
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US Drought:
Source: UNL
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Arctic ice area:
Source: UIUC
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Arctic ice mass (PIOMAS):
Source: WashingtonU
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PIOMAS trends:
Source: Neven
Neven's Plot'o'Doom. Not guaranteed, but certainly food for thought.
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Arctic ice map:
Source: UIUC
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Antarctic ice map:
Source: UIUC
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[div id="secpal"][font size=4 ]Paleoclimate[/font]
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CO[sub]2[/sub] & Temp for 5 glaciations
Source: GWArt
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Milankovitch cycles
Source: GWArt
NB: Recent is on the left.
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CO[sub]2[/sub] & Temp for 4 glaciations
Source: VictoriaU
NB: Recent is on the left.
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[div id="secene"][font size=4 ]Energy[/font]
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US Energy flowchart - 2010
Source: LLNL
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Global energy production - 1985 to 2010
Source: Consumer Energy Report
NB: The figures are from BP, but I assume they're accurate.
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Energy consumption by fuel - 1990 to 2035
Source: EIA
Many more at the link.
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[div id="secres"][font size=4 ]Responses to denialist claptrap[/font]
Claim: CO[sub]2[/sub] followed warming after the last ice age.
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Details: Rather than an increase in CO[sub]2[/sub] causing increasing temperatures at the end of the last ice, the increase in CO[sub]2[/sub] was caused by increasing temperatures. Therefore, we don't need to worry about increasing CO[sub]2[/sub] now.
Response: A test of 80 temperature proxies referenced against CO[sub]2[/sub] levels (from air trapped in ice) shows that the the CO[sub]2[/sub] definitely came first. A fuller explanation can be found at http://www.livescience.com/19481-ice-age-carbon-dioxide-orbit.html, and the paper is at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v484/n7392/full/nature10915.html
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(I'll add more of these next week )

[div id="seclin"][font size=4 ]Links[/font]
RealClimate: Climate Science from climate scientists.
Skeptical Science: Examines the science and arguments of global warming skepticism.
The Oil Drum: Discussions about Energy and Our Future
Nevan's ice blog.
GliderGuider's happy fun pages.

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