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Thom Hartmann’s ‘Last Hours’ video negated by IPCC AR5

By Anthony Watts | Watts Up With That? | October 13, 2013

From The End is Near department comes this video documentary from lefty talk radio guy Thom Hartmann that claims we are on the verge of a “mass extinction” due to climate change. Only one problem; the IPCC says “no” to his scenario. Ooops.

From the YouTube description, bold mine:

“Last Hours” is the first in a series of short films that explore the perils of climate change and the solutions to avert climate disaster. Each subsequent film will highlight fact-based challenges facing the human race, and offer solutions to ameliorate these crises. The initial short film series will culminate in a feature film to be presented prior to COP21, the 2015 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris.

An asset for the climate change movement, “Last Hours” will be disseminated globally to awaken modern culture worldwide about the various dangers associated with climate change.

“Last Hours” describes a science-based climate scenario where a tipping point to runaway climate change is triggered by massive releases of frozen methane. Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, has already started to percolate into the open seas and atmosphere from methane hydrate deposits beneath melting arctic ice, from the warming northern-hemisphere tundra, and from worldwide continental-shelf undersea methane clathrate pools.

Burning fossil fuels release carbon that, principally through greenhouse effect, heat the atmosphere and the seas. This is happening most rapidly at the polar extremes, and this heating has already begun the process of releasing methane. If we do not begin to significantly curtail the use of carbon-based fossil fuels, this freed methane threatens to radically accelerate the speed of global warming, potentially producing a disaster beyond the ability of the human species to adapt.

This first video is designed to awaken people to the fact that the earth has experienced five major extinctions in the deep geologic past — times when more than half of all life on earth vanished — and that we are now entering a sixth extinction. Industrial civilization with its production of greenhouse gases has the ability to trigger a mass extinction; in the extreme, it could threaten not just human civilization, but the very existence of human life on this planet.

The world community and global citizens urgently need to chart a path forward that greatly reduces green house gas emissions. To take action and follow the pathway to solutions to the climate crisis, you can explore this website and you can also sign-up for future updates. Thank you.

It’s the old “methane emergency” meme again.

But here’s the problem.

Apparently Thom never got the memo from the IPCC AR5. Note the third and fourth items in Table 12.4 from the IPCC:

IPCC_catastrophe_table

Definitions for this table can be found in the section “TFE.5: Irreversibility and Abrupt Change” in the draft report. They say:

Abrupt climate change is defined in AR5 as a large-scale change in the climate system that takes place over a few decades or less, persists (or is anticipated to persist) for at least a few decades, and causes substantial disruptions in human and natural systems.”

But alas, IPCC says Clathrate methane release is very unlikely, and they have high confidence in that assessment. Permafrost doesn’t seem to be much of a problem either, as it doesn’t seem to have the potential for abrupt climate change.

Looks like Thom Hartmann will have to rework his video.

October 13, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Nuclear Power, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Understanding The IPCC AR5 Climate Assessment

By Dr. Richard Lindzen | Watts Up With That? | October 8, 2013

Each IPCC report seems to be required to conclude that the case for an international agreement to curb carbon dioxide has grown stronger. That is to say the IPCC report (and especially the press release accompanying the summary) is a political document, and as George Orwell noted, political language “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

With respect to climate, we have had 17 years without warming; all models show greater tropical warming than has been observed since 1978; and arctic sea ice is suddenly showing surprising growth. And yet, as the discrepancies between models and observations increase, the IPCC insists that its confidence in the model predictions is greater than ever.

Referring to the 17 year ‘pause,’ the IPCC allows for two possibilities: that the sensitivity of the climate to increasing greenhouse gases is less than models project and that the heat added by increasing CO2 is ‘hiding’ in the deep ocean. Both possibilities contradict alarming claims.

With low sensitivity, economic analyses suggest that warming under 2C would likely be beneficial to the earth. Heat ‘hiding’ in the deep ocean would mean that current IPCC models fail to describe heat exchange between surface waters and the deep ocean. Such exchanges are essential features of natural climate variability, and all IPCC claims of attribution of warming to mans activities depend on the assumption that the models accurately portray this natural variability.

In attempting to convince the public to accept the need to for the environmental movement’s agenda, continual reference is made to consensus. This is dishonest not because of the absence of a consensus, but because the consensus concerning such things as the existence of irregular (and small compared to normal regional variability) net warming since about 1850, the existence of climate change (which has occurred over the earths entire existence), the fact that added greenhouse gases should have some impact (though small unless the climate system acts so as to greatly amplify this effect)over the past 60 years with little impact before then, and the fact that greenhouse gases have increased over the past 200 years or so, and that their greenhouse impact is already about 80% of what one expects from a doubling of CO2 are all perfectly consistent with there being no serious problem. Even the text of the IPCC Scientific Assessment agrees that catastrophic consequences are highly unlikely, and that connections of warming to extreme weather have not been found. The IPCC iconic statement that there is a high degree of certainty that most of the warming of the past 50 years is due to man’s emissions is, whether true or not, completely consistent with there being no problem. To say that most of a small change is due to man is hardly an argument for the likelihood of large changes.

Carbon restriction policies, to have any effect on climate, would require that the most extreme projections of dangerous climate actually be correct, and would require massive reductions in the use of energy to be universally adopted. There is little question that such reductions would have negative impacts on income, development, the environment, and food availability and cost – especially for the poor. This would clearly be immoral.

By contrast, the reasonable and moral policy would be to foster economic growth, poverty reduction and well being in order that societies be better able to deal with climate change regardless of its origin. Mitigation policies appear to have the opposite effect without significantly reducing the hypothetical risk of any changes in climate. While reducing vulnerability to climate change is a worthy goal, blind support for mitigation measures – regardless of the invalidity of the claims – constitutes what might be called bankrupt morality.

It is not sufficient for actions to artificially fulfill people’s need for transcendent aspirations in order for the actions to be considered moral. Needless to add, support of global warming alarm hardly constitutes intelligent respect for science.

~

Richard S. Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, October 5th, 2013

October 8, 2013 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , | Comments Off on Understanding The IPCC AR5 Climate Assessment

Germany: Environment minister voices doubts about energy reforms

DW | July 16, 2012

Germany’s environment minister has admitted that the government faces an uphill climb if it is to achieve the targets it has set out for reducing carbon emissions while simultaneously stopping nuclear energy production.

Germany’s environment minister raised eyebrows on Sunday by conceding that some of the targets that are part of the government’s policy of phasing out the use of nuclear energy, while at the same time cutting emissions of greenhouse gases, may not be achievable.

“It has to be questioned whether we’ll really succeed in reducing electricity use by 10 per cent by 2020,” Peter Altmaier said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“If we are going to somehow achieve this, it will take tremendous effort, ” he said.

Altmaier also admitted that the government had a long way to go in efforts to convince a large number of Germans to switch from vehicles powered by internal combustion engines to electric cars.

There may be “significantly fewer” electric cars on the road by 2020 than the government had previously assumed, the minister said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right coalition had previously said that it was on track to put a million electric cars on the road by 2020. Official figures put that number at just over 4,500 at the start of 2012.

Rising consumer costs a possibility

Altmaier also warned of the danger of rising energy costs for consumers.

“If we aren’t careful, the energy reforms could develop into a social problem,” he said, admitting that in efforts to replace nuclear energy with renewables, “the question of energy affordability had been overlooked.”

He also said that turning off a number of nuclear plants meant that power shortages could not be ruled out in the coming winter.

“Last winter there were a few critical moments, which we have learned from,” he said, adding that preparations were underway to ensure this doesn’t happened again. … Full article

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Nuclear Power | , , , , , | Comments Off on Germany: Environment minister voices doubts about energy reforms