back to article Greenhouse gases break record again, says top UN weather man

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced that the amount of greenhouse gasses – including the ever-contentious CO2 – increased to record levels in 2011. "These billions of tonnes of additional carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will remain there for centuries, causing our planet to warm further and impacting on …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    FAIL

    We're putting out lots more plant food...

    Remind me again - with record amounts of CO2 output:

    - how much hotter do the models say it should get?

    - and how much hotter has it ACTUALLY got?

    1. Thought About IT
      Boffin

      Re: Remind me again ...

      Dodgy Geezer, it's unlikely that you really want to know where all the heat has gone, but just in case:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm

      "To claim global warming stopped in 1998 overlooks one simple physical reality - the land and atmosphere are just a small fraction of the Earth's climate ..."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Remind me again ...

        Shame they overlooked the fact that the sattalite data which is our most reliable source for global temperature also shows no warming.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Remind me again ...

          @AC - A few things:

          1) Which satellite data, from which datasets?

          2) How has that data been normalised and calibrated?

          3) Who normalised and calibrated the data?

          4) No warming between when and when? Are you just taking two points in time?

          All the datasets that I'm aware of do show a warming trend.

      2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Remind me again ...

        Sigh.. that's SOOO 2007!

        The general 2007 claim (that you propose here) was that the warmth was either hiding in the deep ocean, or somewhere in Antarctica where there were (conveniently) no sensors. The question of why it should hide there when AGW theory says that the tropical air column is the place that gets hot was generally ignored. The warmists just hoped that this excuse would last until the heat came back somehow.

        Anyway, it's 5 years later now. The heat hasn't come back. Even the Met Office is now agreeing that the temperature has flatlined. Briffa has jumped ship (have you seen his latest attack on Mann?). The hypothesis has collapsed.

        Just for interest - if you still believe that global warming is a danger - tell us what the danger is. By now we were going to be dying of sunstroke if you believe Hansen...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. rich2201
      Stop

      Re: We're putting out lots more plant food...

      Here's a chart comparing actual global temperature to predictions.

      They're pretty much spot on.

      For a bit more up to date view, see comment #585 here

      Also, see the Skeptical Science site, Myth #6, "Climate models are unreliable." The Intermediate tab gives a fairly detailed view of the scientific state of the art.

      (Sorry if the links are messy; maybe I haven't met the 100 post threshold yet.)

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: We're putting out lots more plant food...

        ...Here's a chart comparing actual global temperature to predictions....

        No it isn't. It uses GISS data. If you want ACTUAL global temperature you have to use a satellite feed. Like this:

        IPCC 1990 Predictions vs 2011 data

  3. Oninoshiko

    A modest proposal to solve the increased levels of greenhouse gasses

    Kill the poor.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Re: A modest proposal to solve the increased levels of greenhouse gasses

      Then kill everyone else. No witnesses!

    2. Dr Stephen Jones
      Boffin

      That isn't a joke

      It's official Green policy.

      1. Oninoshiko
        Unhappy

        Re: That isn't a joke

        Sufficiently advanced satire is indistinguishable from policy.

    3. NomNomNom

      Re: A modest proposal to solve the increased levels of greenhouse gasses

      Hitler was a green. Jimmy Savile too probably.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: A modest proposal to solve the increased levels of greenhouse gasses

        > Hitler was a green.

        This is actually correct. He was very concerned about the Aryan Gene Pool and keeping a bucolic mythical back-to-roots-and-nature lifestyle.

      2. rich2201
        FAIL

        Re: A modest proposal to solve the increased levels of greenhouse gasses

        And they both believed that crazy round Earth theory and in the heliocentric model.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hate to be pedantic but: "This sobering... assessment"

    Shouldn't a statement be sober to begin with in order to be sobering? That this is even wrapped up and presented in such a breathtaking way is enough, IMHO, to lose the title of sober.

    GHGs have increased to "new record" levels every year since 1750. Who could have guessed that they would do so again this year!?

    Hand waving might be a better way to describe it.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Hate to be pedantic but: "This sobering... assessment"

      "GHGs have increased to "new record" levels every year since 1750"

      Yeah, it's a bit like saying "The Earth has reached a record age today", except that with CO2 there were higher concentrations in dinosaurian times leading to all sorts of gigantism in plants. Of course back then the plants had millions of years to adapt to slowly rising CO2 levels, this time round they'll have a couple of hundred years.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Hate to be pedantic but: "This sobering... assessment"

        We used to be a 'developing' country and burnt and chucked down drains all sorts of stuff to achieve the status of 'empire'.

        I guess that others want a slice of this 'developed' lark now we've shown how its done.

  5. James Micallef Silver badge
    Boffin

    CH4 / N2O controls?

    So from the figures given, CH4 concentration is equivalent to 36ppm CO2 (increase of 22ppm CO2 equivalent) and N20 concentration is equivalent to 97ppm CO2 (increase of 16ppm CO2 equivalent).

    So CO2 increase is 111ppm and the other 2 together are 38ppm equivalent (a bit over a quarter of the total). Given the objections to CO2 reductions that poor countries need to burn fossil fuels for energy, can the effects be mitigated by severely restricting N20 / CH4 emissions?

    Anyone knows what the biggest sources of N20 / VH4 emissions are and the practicality of cutting these compared with cutting CO2 emissions?

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: CH4 / N2O controls?

      "Primary human-related sources of N2O are agricultural soil management, animal manure management, sewage treatment, mobile and stationary combustion of fossil fuel, adipic acid production, and nitric acid production."

      http://www.epa.gov/nitrousoxide/sources.html

      CH4 is mainly from livestock rearing, fossil fuel mining (mainly natural gas), landfills and rice farming. Interesting thing about methane is it slowly stopped rising in recent decades (as you can see from the chart), but now seems to have started rising again. I heard a theory that the methane stopped rising because of efforts to stop natural gas leaks. But then why is it rising again?

      People imagine that in 100 years time we will have tech that will solve all this. But I think the bulk of countries out there, if not all of them, still have hundreds of years of development and growth to go in which these byproduct emissions will only grow.

      1. boltar Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: CH4 / N2O controls?

        "I heard a theory that the methane stopped rising because of efforts to stop natural gas leaks. But then why is it rising again?"

        Methane isn't really as big a problem as CO2. CO2 will stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years whereas the average methane molecule has a half life of less than 10 years in the atmosphere so its a very short term issue. Once we can sort out our methane emissions/leaks the problem will go away very quickly. Personally I think HCFCs are a far more important minor GW component since they have an atmospheric half life of hundreds of years and some have up to 10K times the warming potential of CO2!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: CH4 / N2O controls?

          @Boltar: Once the methane has stopped being CH4, it degrades into C02 (plus presumably 2x H2O), so it goes form being a really powerful greenhouse gas, to merely a powerful greenhouse gas plus water vapour (I think) which is also a powerful greenhouse gas.

      2. moonrakin
        Facepalm

        Re: CH4 / N2O controls?

        Ah... The EPA

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/20/chris-horner-responds-to-the-epa-statement-today-on-the-question-of-them-running-a-black-ops-program/#more-74579

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: CH4 / N2O controls?

          @Moonrakin: Thanks for the link, like much stuff on Watt's up with that, it reads like paranoid conspiracy nonsense. I regret bothering to read it.

        2. rich2201
          Facepalm

          Re: CH4 / N2O controls?

          WTFUWT is not a particularly reliable source of information. Anthony doesn't have the qualifications.

      3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: CH4 / N2O controls?

        I think the term *agribusiness* covers the #1 source of N2O (8x bigger than the #2) and seems to be a fair chunk of CH4.

        These are about as far from "Cousin Homer and his 10 acre spread" as Wal-mart is from a corner grocery store.

        That suggests there is a *lot* of scope for reducing both at *source*.

        Ideally in a way that gives benefits to farm managers (lower costs, faster growth).

      4. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: CH4 / N2O controls?

        "CH4 is mainly from livestock rearing... and rice farming"

        So - cut down on the beef currys, then?

        1. rich2201

          Re: CH4 / N2O controls?

          Cutting down on beef consumption will have a positive impact on health, especially among men.

    2. rich2201
      Boffin

      Re: CH4 / N2O controls?

      N2O emissions are largely from fossil fuel burning and agriculture (excessive fertilization and excessive tilling).

      CH4 has many sources, the largest human contributions so far are from rice cultivation as well as raising sheep and cattle (not so much seafood, chicken, and hogs).

      There is a tipping point approaching for CH4 emissions from thawing permafrost, thawing methane hydrates/clathrates, and loss of arctic summer sea ice.

  6. Why Not?
    Unhappy

    and this is a surprise?

    All those calling for green tariffs ten years ago on developing countries so dollar store manufacturers used clean electricity were called selfish it was unfair to hamper the developing countries.

    Now surprise surprise after shipping all our waste to India for burning on the beach and chasing the cheapest manufacturers round the world first world manufacturers are undercut by child labour exploiting smog making developing country factories.

    we could have just paid 10 - 20% more and had clean air and a slower slide into globalisation.

    1. Dr Stephen Jones
      Joke

      Re: and this is a surprise?

      "Sent from my iPad"

      I presume you will now renounce the use of all cheap consumer electronics made in developing countries, or using minerals extracted in developing countries - and now communicate using drums.

      Damn globalisation - I hate it.

      But which smartphone should I buy?

      1. boltar Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: and this is a surprise?

        "I presume you will now renounce the use of all cheap consumer electronics made in developing countries,"

        i doubt many people other than the most raging technoheads would be bothered if non essentials such as smartphones cost 50% more.

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: and this is a surprise?

      I like optimists.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: and this is a surprise?

      > first world manufacturers are undercut by child labour exploiting smog making developing country factories.

      > we could have just paid 10 - 20% more and had clean air and a slower slide into globalisation.

      Retarded shit.

      Basically, the progressive fantasy of making everyone economically prosperous with no ill effects by cashing out more on the local till. As if the economy was some kind of supermarket with a "culturally sensitive / do-gooder" section that one needs to visit more and all will be well.

      Start with Henry Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson", then work upwards from there, please.

  7. ToddR

    Increasing CO2 levels makes plants grow faster. Its what happens in a greenhouse, so shouldn't matter to the plants at all.

    1. boltar Silver badge
      WTF?

      @ToddR

      "Increasing CO2 levels makes plants grow faster. Its what happens in a greenhouse, so shouldn't matter to the plants at all."

      You missed the logical fallacy in that argument - if CO2 levels are going up then by definition the plants are not managing to absorb it all.

    2. rich2201

      The other CO2 impacts are important too.

      In higher CO2 concentrations, the trees reduce the size of the stomata on their leaves. Why is this important? Trees release moisture when the stomata are open. This is an important source of moisture, especially in the rain forests. This is predicted to cause the Amazon to become a desert over the decades.

      Ocean acidification from increases in CO2 is a rather significant threat. The increased acidification will kill off the plankton that are the anchor of the food chain for the fisheries we depend on.

      The greenhouse effect is no joke either.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's no particular reason for the Co2 to remain in the atmosphere for centuries... It's probably far easier to engineer a solution to extract it then it is to pretend we'll make less of it.

    1. rich2201
      Boffin

      Developed countries are reducing their carbon intensity. Emissions reductions are more than possible.

      The natural processes that sequester carbon take an awful long time. These involve mountain making events (orogenies) that expose new basalt and granite to weathering processes that absorb carbon, as well as excess production of algae and plankton that are not consumed by other life forms, fall to the ocean floor, are covered with sediment, and become fossil fuels over a period of millenia.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes developed countries that make up about 10% of the worlds population.

        And I said engineer, not wait for nature.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Facepalm

    "additional carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will remain there for centuries"

    That sentence should end with the words "if we do *nothing* about it"

    Likewise NO2 and CH4.

    To paraphrase "If we keep on f**king up the atmosphere and do nothing about it the atmosphere (and the human race) will be f**ked"

    Not exactly revelatory is it?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: "additional carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will remain there for centuries"

      We will all transform into Moties. Several centuries of evolutionary pressure to survive on a planet awash in interesting chemicals? Hell yeah!

  10. Dropper
    FAIL

    Oh well.

    Fuck it.. I just can't be bothered any more. I'm selling my tiny car and buying a pickup truck.. and a boat for when the pickup truck floats away from the new Pacific coastline..

    (Fail - Is it ironic that given evolution is a battle for survival, the most evolved species is about to uninstall itself? Or perhaps we've decided that as we're about to successfully detroy most other species, we can declare ourselves the winner, switch off the Earth and wait for the expansion pack).

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Evolution

      One thing about evolution is that although humans are capable of making long-term projections and making long-term plans, our evolved survival-hardwiring is still very short-termist. In other words, give a human the choice between a small benefit now vs e huge benefit later, 99 times out of 100 they go for the immediate benefit.

      Thats' why stock markets etc get screwed with bubbles and busts - people in general prefer immediate reward and to hell with teh consequences later. And it's the same with industrial pollution (not just global-warming kind, any kind of pollution really) . That's why progess on environmental issues is so tough - it requires people to go against their hardwired survival instincts. Although fortunately we ARE at least capable of overriding instinct when we really want to, so there's hope yet.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    Yeah, it's getting pretty brutal down here

    We're recommending people stock up on canned food and ammunition.

    I'm sure you can guess what's in my pocket.

    1. rich2201
      Linux

      Re: Yeah, it's getting pretty brutal down here

      Three guesses:

      1) canned food

      2) a pistol

      3) you're just happy to see me

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019