Giving up on 1.5C?

One of the talking points of COP27 is giving up, or compromising, on the 1.5oC target. The main reason is simply that the remaining carbon budget is very small. Essentially, to stop global warming requires getting human emissions to (net) zero. Having a good chance of limiting warming to < 1.5oC would therefore require doing so while also staying within what is now a very small carbon budget.

Even though I understand why we should maybe accept that meeting the 1.5oC target is probably no longer possible, I’m uncomfortable with doing so. One reason is simply that the current evidence makes clear that future warming depends mostly future emissions. Since we haven’t crossed the 1.5oC threshold yet means that it is still technically possible to avoid doing so; the constraints are mostly societal/political/technological/economic etc.

You could argue that these constraints are as real as the constraints associated with the climate system itself, but I’m a physicist, so I’m biased towards seeing the latter as more fundamental than the former. Even if it would be very challenging to limit future emissions so that we have a good chance of keeping warming below 1.5oC, it’s not actually impossible to do so.

Another issue is that the emissions that will likely drive warming well past 1.5oC are probably going to be from infrastructure that is not yet in place. According to this paper by Tong et al., the best estimate of cumulative emissions, starting in 2018, from existing infrastructure is 658 GtCO2. At the same time, the carbon budget for having a 50% change of keeping warming below 1.5oC was about 580 GtCO2.

I realise that the carbon budget has been revised down somewhat and that cumulative emissions from existing infrastructure could be much higher if their actual lifetimes exceed what is planned. However, they are of a similar magnitude. This does suggest that emissions from infrastructure that is planned, but not yet in place, or not yet planned but likely to be implemented, will play a key role in determining how close we get to meeting the 1.50C target, or how badly we miss it. Maybe I’m just being a naive physicist, but this does seem to be something over which humanity has some control.

A final point I wanted to make is that carbon budgets typically give a 50%, or 66%, chance of meeting the target. Hence, not staying within the carbon budget doesn’t immediately mean that the target will be missed. It just means that it is less likely. Hence, if we try to stay within the budget and just fail, there is still a chance that the target will be met. Also, if it isn’t, it will probably be missed by a much smaller margin that if we fail to try because it was decided that it was no longer possible to meet the target.

Links:

COP27: Fears of compromise on key 1.5C global temperature issue – BBC article.
Guest post: What the tiny remaining 1.5C carbon budget means for climate policy – Carbon Brief post about the remaining carbon budget.
Committed emissions from existing energy infrastructure jeopardize 1.5 °C climate target – Nature paper by Tong et al.
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33 Responses to Giving up on 1.5C?

  1. oderb says:

    Getting to zero emissions will not stop global warming. It may stop after some period of time increases in temperature but the planet will continue to experience temperatures and impacts much higher and much worse than we experience today for many decades until the world decides it is serious about global warming, and actually removes the excess CO2 from the atmosphere.

  2. oderb,
    Our current understanding is that average global surface temperatures will stabilise soon after human emissions get to (net) zero. For example:

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-will-global-warming-stop-as-soon-as-net-zero-emissions-are-reached/

    There are, however, some caveats. Sea level rise will continue even after human emissions get to (net) zero. Also, there will be some hemispheric adjustments. Because the Southern Hemisphere has more ocean than the North, it will keep warming as the oceans continue to warm. However, the Northern Hemisphere – with more land – will probably cool slightly so that the global average stabilises soon after (net) zero is reached.

    You are, however, correct that the warming that is experience until we get to (net) zero will not reverse unless CO2 is artificially removed from the atmosphere. Similarly, the impacts associated with this warming will also persist for a very long time.

  3. I am all for realistic assessments of both what temperature (and hence, emissions) metric we should agree to target to minimize risks, and of the mitigation effort required to achieve specific targets.

    But what I *truly* don’t get is messaging like the following:

    Where it is claimed that the very act of publicly declaring the 1.5°C target missed is both a necessary first condition before moving *but also* *the* critical element that will subsequently allow us to “get serious” about emissions reduction.

    I see this connection being made over and over again.

    Just from above “to prevent global catastrophe, COP27 must admit it”, it’s “**key** to making fossil fuel companies and governments take action,” and much more similar (as far as I can tell, substance-free) hand-waving in the article itself.

    And I could point to many – *many!* – other prominent activists making almost exactly the same claim. Not that the remaining carbon budget for 1.5°C is breathtakingly small (by the way, who amongst key decision-makers *doesn’t* know that?), but that somehow by saying it is actually unattainable wiil – by unexplained mechanisms – allow us to wake up the next morning and everyone finally be able to get on with steep mitigation. And, further, “**only** if” this is done – and it must be this weekend! – (McGuire says this multiple times) can we have any hope/chance of limiting warming to some safe-ish level (having just described 1.5°C as catastrophic but now a forlorn hope.🤔)

    I don’t know what these people’s “theory of change” is, but it just seems like incoherent babble. It’s never made clear – to me, anyway – what the causal chain of events is that makes “admitting” that 1.5°C is “impossible” **key** to unlocking a global mitigation effort that as yet hasn’t been there (but which *does* show tantalizing signs that we are bending the emissions curve down – which *IS* *literally* a necessary first condition!).

    It is so reminiscent of the “Net-zero is a dangerous hoax”, etc., nonsense. (Unsurprisingly, a big overlap in those making both claims!). Net-zero CO₂ emissions is a scientifically well-established consensus *necessary condition* for halting warming. If you are campaigning to convince people it is a “dangerous hoax”, wtf is *your* alternate scenario that arrives at a state where warming stops?

  4. Rust,
    Yes, I don’t get it either. It just seems bizarre that somehow acknowledging that a target is dead will somehow lead to everyone taking action when they didn’t when it was still attainable.

    My impression is that it’s about people’s messaging preferences, or maybe about them having a more prominent role in defining a narrative. It sometimes seems that the suggestion is that some particular message/narrative has failed to be effective and therefore that some alternative will be much better. Firstly, this isn’t neccessarily the case, especially if the alternative runs the risk of validating further delays (we didn’t meet the 1.5C target, therefore we should aim for 2C). Also, it assumes that the problem is the messaging, rather than it being a highly complex communication environment with many vested interests actively opposing doing anything.

  5. Physicists may understand things in a structured manner that will reduce understanding of human behavior which does not function like newtonian physics in my opinion. Human behavior is more like quantum mechanics. It’s pretty hard to figure out what kind of messaging/situation develops or causes the next state of existence.

    I don’t think we need to think there is anything magical about 1.5 degrees of warming. It is a political goal based on expectations of impacts on the planet. Some of the expectations may not be accurate. I continue to have dreams where ECS turns out to be 1.4 degrees or less. These dreams are very comforting and help me refrain from the sort of ridiculous rabble rousing that I observe in the Guardian piece. RNS is starting to sound like the Jan 6 rioters with his blasts and anger toward the folks who don’t have sufficient understanding in these matters. I get that. It can be very irritating to watch people exaggerate and get it wrong all the time. It seems like a good thing for me to dial it back and not allow these things get under my skin.

    I do sometimes wonder if the human species is capable of rising to this kind of challenge. That can cause me to get discouraged and maybe even angry, but then I think well, what if DBB and RA succeed with their dream of explosive growth in nuclear energy supplies? That could resolve all our problems. Or maybe the luckwarmers will turn out to have been right? The planet might even lurch into a new unexpected cooling period because of unknown factors. That could definitely happen and if it does, like in the movie the world tomorrow, then we will be counting our blessings that we have gotten a headstart on keeping a new ice age in check. Maybe we just don’t what will happen next. Relax, enjoy the show if you can.

    My own level of uncertainty about the importance of the 1.5 degree magic marker is lower than the author stated here: “Even though I understand why we should maybe accept that meeting the 1.5oC is probably no longer possible, I’m uncomfortable with doing so.” That about where I am at on it as well, but I am probably really uncomfortable with maybe giving up completely on the 1.5 degree thing. I think that is where I am at on it. It certainly could still happen, who knows? We have been using 1.5 degrees for a long time and it is familiar and comforting number. Even if we were to blow past it, we could still use it as our target to return through carbon capture technology.

    I remember years ago when excited folks thought it was really important that we keep CO2 at 350 or under. We slipped by that “important” number and the sky did not fall on us. I think even today we are probably under 420 ppm and human civilization has not collapsed. The rate of increase may still be “too high” or “still increasing” but I don’t see the point on beating on that dead horse. 350 is dead. Long live 450. Maybe we just relax and let 1.5 degrees slip by without so much drama? 1.5 degrees might be something completely unlike a cliff edge that we have stumbled over. Maybe it will be like a scree slope where we can dig in and regain our footing. It think it might turn out to be just another temperature. The temp increase may actually make places like North Dakota and Minnesota more attractive.

    Things are pretty nice in the PNW now that the rains have returned. It’s a little cold, but blue skies and big trees are really wonderful. I hope everyone enjoys the fall weather. It can be really lovely.

    Cheers

    Mike

  6. russellseitz says:

    ATTP holds up the wrong mirror to the problem

    He’s right about “the suggestion is that some particular message/narrative has failed to be effective …(we didn’t meet the 1.5C target, therefore we should aim for 2C)” but the failure of the narrative owes much to a poor choice of metric. Denominating climate change in degrees divorces its effect from the radiative forcing that is its cause.

    Quantifying Carbon has made net zero the primary focus of climate communication at the expense of communicating science to the public, and deferred technical debate as to what can be done to mitigate on urban and regional scales that focus on the development of urban climate mitigation technologies including emissivity and albedo management to deal with the anthropocene demographic reality of people increasingly concentrated in coastal cities

  7. 2 other things that drive me batty about it.

    1• Again, *the same people* will publish some blistering article asserting what a completely hopeless sham holding to a 1.5°C target is… and then shortly after are reassuring their despondent twitter interlocutors that they don’t *really* mean what they wrote… actually we *could* hit a 1.5°C target, it’s just that we’re choosing not to… and the only way to choose to do so and succeed is to admit that 1.5°C is unattainable, and *that* was the real message and the need for strong language🤔… Or something like this.🙄

    2• I don’t remember the activists saying how impossible 1.5°C was after 2015 Paris (when we still didn’t quite know what the (consensus) carbon budget/mitigation pathway might be), nor after the 2018 IPCC SR1.5 (when we did).

    Rather, I remember them front and centre arguing how it was a line in the sand and we needed to everything to hold to it and it was totally achievable if only we leaned in.

    Now, it seems to me, a scant 4 years later *many of the same people* are saying that not only is it a lost cause, but we must publicly say so.

    But step back and consider what a knife’s-edge they are swinging their assessment back and forth on.

    If, *immediately* after the publication of the the IPCC SR1.5, we’d begun to reduce emissions straight-line to 2050, we would have reduced emissions from 40 GtCO₂ to (40 – 4 * (40/28)) = 35 GtCO₂. And our cumulative emissions since 2018 would have been¹ 4 * ((40 + 35)/2) = 150 GtCO₂ vs an actual¹ of ~ 4 * 40 = 160 GtCO₂. (¹ ignoring the ~2 GtCO₂ adjustment to both due to 2020 pandemic measures).

    So, an extra 10 GtCO₂ of emissions in these four years – against a cumulative historical total of ~2500 GtCO₂ – was, apparently, the pivotal make-or-break on the feasibility for 1.5°C. 🤔

    It makes one wonder how well thought-out the prior positions were.🤔

    But even if you now say (but we’re already behind by 5 GtCO₂ yr⁻¹ – *that’s* what makes it now impossible… Again, let’s do a reasonableness test on this…

    If we’d started emissions reduction straight line to zero in 2050 beginning late 2018, we would have needed to reduce by 40/32 = 1.25 GtCO₂ yr⁻¹

    Were we to start now: 40/28 = 1.43 GtCO₂ yr⁻¹
    Increasing that to account for the extra 10 GtCO₂ already emitted adds 10/28 = 0.36 GtCO₂
    So, maybe 1.80 GtCO₂ yr⁻¹ gets us to the same 2050 cumulative emissions if we start now.

    I’m not downplaying what large numbers 1.25, 1.80 or 1.80-1.25 = 0.55 GtCO₂ yr⁻¹ all are in absolute terms. But it’s the difference between decarbonizing the global economy at ~3% vs ~4%.

    And *this* is what made the difference between 1.5°C being possible or not???🤔🤔

    For what it’s worth, I think we’re heading for well above 1.5°C. And we’ll need to scrap for every fractional degree avoided. And I think that means persuading the broad public – especially from the North – that it’s *worth* it. Still much more a challenge than many people seem wanting to admit. So I am not particularly phased by the current dialogue – except that it may ultimately imply more net-negative emissions at some point if we agree that 1.5° *was* the right target in retrospect. But I don’t think much would currently change if, say, COP27 declared 1.5°C dead.

    No, wait, change that last bit. It would knock at least an additional year onto COP progress as they paused to negotiate a new target. That would be a change, though I don’t think it would necessarily accelerate emissions reductions.

  8. jai mitchell says:

    when you say, “One reason is simply that the current evidence makes clear that future warming depends mostly future emissions.”

    you are not actually using ‘current’ evidence.

    you are using SR 1.5 methodologies that were derived from AR5 that utilized model structures prior to 2014.

    Current evidence indicates that aerosol forcing parameters are stronger and that TCR is higher than previously thought.

    Current evidence indicates that we have a ZEC of greater than 2C and a reasonable mitigation commitment of 3C. This is why we have to change what we are doing and how we are doing it if we want to preserve the livelihood of future modern humans.

  9. entropicman says:

    My own back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that we passed 395ppm a decade ago and committed ourselves to 1.5C. Given the 20 year lag as the ocean heat sink catches up, that would bring us to 1.5C in the early 2030s regardless of future emissions.

    While there is a mathematical chance that we might return to 395ppm in the next few years, it is highly improbable.

    Realistically 1.5C is a lost cause and 2C is already chancy.

    The problem now is to keep people optimistic enough to keep trying without lying to them about the low probability of success.

  10. entropicman,
    Except, global surface temperatures should stabilise soon after emissions get to (net) zero, so (technically) we haven’t really yet passed 1.5C. It mostly depends on future emissions. It certainly seems that staying within the required carbon budget will be extremely challenging, but it’s not completely impossible.

  11. entropicman says:

    I used the CO2 forcing equation and climate sensitivity 3.0 to calculate the expected temperature curve. I then plotted it on a printout of the GISS global average temperature record.

    The expected graph ran 20 years ahead of the observed graph. That’s a 20 year lag between the emission and the full temperature effect. I fail to share your optimism that it we stabilise CO2 concentration then temperatures will stabilise quickly.

  12. Chubbs says:

    A communication challenge for sure. There is a big climate difference between 1.5 and 2C; but, getting from 0 to 1.5C isn’t that big a deal for most. Perhaps the message should be: buckle up, change is coming no matter what path is chosen, our journey through the climate safe zone is nearing the end.

  13. Entropicman,
    There is certainly a lag. The paper I discussed in this post suggests that it’s maybe 10 years, but it may be 20. A key point is that when emissions go to zero, atmospheric CO2 concentrations should start to drop pretty quickly and should do so in a way that global surface warming soon stabilises. There are, of course, uncertainties, so there could be some additional warming, or they could even be slight cooling. The best estimate is that global surface warming should stabilise soon after emissions get to (net) zero.

  14. Tom Fuller says:

    I don’t actually believe this, but I am waiting for all this to be painted as a titanic struggle between the large corporate entities profiting from mitigation and even larger corporate entities profiting from adaptation.

  15. Tom,
    What don’t you actually believe?

  16. Tom Fuller says:

    That scenario.

  17. Bob Loblaw says:

    Entropicman: “I used the CO2 forcing equation and climate sensitivity 3.0 to calculate the expected temperature curve. I then plotted it on a printout of the GISS global average temperature record.”

    Except that this is too simplistic, even on a “back of the envelope” scale. A similar discussion came up recently at SkepticalScience.com. The global temperature today is not just “CO2 from 20 years ago plus a 20-year time lag”. It is also 19 years of time lag from 19 years ago, 18 years of time lag from 18 years ago, 17 years of time lag from 17 years ago.., etc.

    I expanded on this in the comments at SkS (link below). Read it and the few comments preceding it. I included some graphs of temperature evolution in a zero-d model, comparing atmosphere-only, ocean mixed layer, and deep ocean time lags for an instantaneous change in CO2, plus a graph showing how a slow increase in CO2 responds somewhat differently in the short term.

    https://skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=5509#139792

  18. Bob,
    Maybe you took this into account, but something else I realised is that the ~10 years to peak warming that is discussed in the paper I mention in this post is for a pulse of emission. In other words, if I emit a pulse of emission in year 1, the warming due to that pulse will peak about 10 years later. The same will be true for a pulse of emission in year 2, 3, etc. Hence, when get to net zero, the warming due to emissions that occured in the decade prior to reaching net zero will still not have reached their maximum, and this will take ~10 years to maximise, but I think this is a relatively small effect (i.e., some additional warming due to about ~10 years of emissions).

  19. Bob Loblaw says:

    ATTP:

    In the zero-dimensional model calculations I linked to, I just looked at a change in radiative forcing. There is no carbon budget in it – and there is really no differentiation between a radiative change caused by increases in solar radiation vs. a forcing caused by changing atmospheric composition (e.g. greenhouse effect of CO2). It doesn’t really have CO2 in it at all – except via an apparent atmospheric emissivity.

    The model is basically the one described in this other SkS post of mine, where we looked at the bogosity of a paper by Ziskin and Shaviv:

    https://skepticalscience.com/from-email-bag-ziskin-shaviv.html

    With an imbalance calculated from (S/4)/(1-albedo) – emissivity*sigma*T^4, the model can’t differentiate between 4W/m^2 caused by a change in S (the solar constant), a change in albedo, or a change in atmospheric composition (emissivity). As a first approximation, this is not unreasonable.

    It’s still a pretty simple model – although it’s more reasonable than Entropicman’s even simpler approach.

    One way to look at the response to continued emissions is to add together a sequence of responses to multiple pulses. In a simple model, the commutative and distributive properties of the equations would mean that adding the inputs is equivalent to adding the outputs. (In a more complex, non-linear model such as a GCM, this would not likely be the exact answer). This is basically what I have implied in the “today includes 19 years lag from 19 years ago, 18 years lag from 18 years ago…” sequence in my earlier comment.

  20. Bob,
    Thanks. That makes sense.

    A key point about (net) zero, though, is that the change in radiative forcing should reduce slightly as the natural sinks continue to take up some of what humans have emitted. This is largely why we expect global surface temperatures to stabilise soon after (net) zero is reached.

  21. Bob Loblaw says:

    Yes. Net zero in terms of human carbon emissions still leaves natural systems to continue their uptake, which will be a function of the current atmospheric concentration. And we know that natural systems have been taking up about half of our emissions – i.e., as we have increased atmospheric CO2, natural systems have increased their uptake. That increased uptake is not going to disappear just because we reach net zero – it will only disappear when atmospheric CO2 eventually drops back to pre-industrial levels.

  22. I love this idea of net zero and how things will function after we get to that point. How soon do you think we will make that happen? I think we will have it made in the shade when we get there!
    Cheers
    Mike

  23. lerpo says:

    It’s all a little fuzzy what is meant by 1.5C. 1.5C more that what? and using what measurement? According to BEST, we were at -0.4 in the 1850’s and are now at 0.95. We’ve already had years over 1.5C, and it will be commonplace by the end of the decade.

    By CRU4 on the other hand, it will be another 15 years before we’re more often than not 1.5C above their start of measurements.

  24. lerpo,
    It is relative to some pre-defined baseline, and it will depend somewhat on the choice of baseline. However, it also has to be over some reasonable time period, rather than simply a single year.

    Also, in their 2021 report, Berkeley Earth had the global mean temperature to be 1.21C over the 1850-1900 baseline.

    https://berkeleyearth.org/global-temperature-report-for-2021/

  25. lerpo says:

    That’s fair. If we compare the first 50 years of BEST with the most recent fifty years then we’ve only warmed 0.8C and we have plenty of time to achieve 1.5C. It’s even better (0.6C) if we use CRU.

    On the other hand, if we’re really already 1.21C above on BEST then we’ll hit 1.5C within the next 25 ppm. Maybe 10 years to get to net-0? It doesn’t seem achievable, and wouldn’t really have been any more likely 5 years ago when the target was first set.

    It would be very easy to talk past each other without first agreeing on what we are measuring, and how. It’s just too fuzzy a metric to have any meaning.

    My biggest worry is that the impacts aren’t linear, so BEST will soon announce that we’ve missed our target of 1.5C – and people will shrug.

    “That wasn’t so bad really. What could another 0.5C possibly do?”

    The messaging around this target is just really poor.

  26. lerpo,
    One way to consider this is that the carbon budget that would give us something like a 50% chance of staying below 1.5C is somewhere between 300 and 400 GtCO2. So, a bit less than 10 years at current emission levels. No question that this would be very challenging to achieve. However, this doesn’t mean that if we don’t meet this budget that we will definitely fail to stay below 1.5C (uncertainties in the budget) or that we should still use this as a guide, even if it looks likely that we won’t stay within the budget.

  27. lerpo says:

    Thanks ATTP. That sounds about right.

  28. Susan Anderson says:

    Elizabeth Kolbert has a beautifully illustrated (by Wesley Allsbrook fwiw) A to Z in the new New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/11/28/climate-change-from-a-to-z
    [I believe it allows 3 free articles a month.] It’s pleasing on many levels, writing, aesthetics, and thought/choices. I put this here because imho it doesn’t fit with Revkin/Lomborg (“luckwarmers”?).

    Last time I tried to post an image I failed, but here’s another try. The item for “D” seems to me to fit here: Despair is unproductive. It is also a sin. [though I’m not inclined to be Calvinistic about it, I agree that (a) we must do what we can to make the future less bad, and (b) here we all are.

  29. Susan Anderson says:

    Hah, image a little too intense, not ideal to convey the varied and sometimes fascinating content, for example under “Hope” a factory near me that is working on batteries from rust (“if a current is applied to rust in solution, the process will run in reverse. At Form, the goal is to use this reverse-rusting trick to make a new kind of battery, one so cheap and durable it could power an entire city.”), a long piece on Arrhenius, Blah blah blah an expansion on Greta, etc. And this on Math:

    Carbon dioxide hangs around in the atmosphere for a long time. How long, exactly, is complicated; what matters in terms of the math, though, is not annual but aggregate emissions. This is where the notion of a carbon budget comes from: for every increment of warming, there’s a certain amount of CO2, in total, that can be emitted.
    The budget for warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius—almost three degrees Fahrenheit—has, for all intents and purposes, been spent; at current emissions rates, it will run out entirely by 2030. Even the budget for two degrees Celsius—more than 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit—is going fast. It could easily be exhausted within the next few decades.
    The U.S., with less than a twentieth of the globe’s population, accounts for a quarter of aggregate emissions. Europe, with about six per cent of the world’s population, is responsible for another fifth. At this point, there’s no way to shove all that CO2 back underground, so no way—or at least no safe way—for the rest of the world to catch up. This ethical challenge is as big as, or perhaps even bigger than, the technical challenge posed by climate change. But let’s try to stay positive.

  30. Ken Fabian says:

    Iron flow batteries are being built and trialled. More bulky than lithium ion but use abundant and non-toxic materials and have a long working life. It seems well suited to grid storage and is being marketed as a long storage solution. A manufacturing plant is being constructed in Australia – https://www.energy-storage.news/iron-flow-battery-factory-under-construction-in-queensland-australia/

    Until there was enough solar and wind – and expectations of strong growth – storage was never going to attract much investment. The calls for storage to precede the wind and solar and be the prerequisite to more wind and solar always looked disingenuous to me. But as I see it if some of these fail to scale up and lots of reserve gas capacity lingers it will still be lower emissions than rejecting wind and solar – and may be convertible to hydrogen, or able to be displaced by fuel cells hydrogen. The biggest impediment is the ongoing absence of firm emissions reduction requirements, ie if our energy sector has to they will but as long as they don’t have they won’t.

  31. Ben McMillan says:

    South Australia is a neat example of what is possible; a tower on the main transmission line to the rest of the grid got blown over, and they averaged about 70% wind and solar electricity for a week (which is about usual for their grid). Although they have very little storage in energy terms, the short-duration battery storage they do have was crucial in keeping the power on when the storm hit and helping to match supply and demand while the line was down.

  32. Odd story in the Guardian today: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/25/record-heat-over-great-barrier-reef-raises-fears-of-second-summer-of-coral-bleaching?CMP=usbriefing_email
    says we might be seeing a second large coral bleaching event this year. I think last year’s bleaching event was a milestone event because it was the first major bleaching event in a La Nina year. I think a lot of folks will be flying to Australia to snorkle and catch this historic event and who can blame them? I am not sure how many years the great coral reef down under really has left. I think if you want to see it, sooner is better than later.

    The article says that a well-timed cyclone might disrupt the heat that is accumulating and creating the bleaching event. See that? There is always a silver lining if you look hard. Cyclone with good timing. There was no mention of it, but I am pretty sure the same warming that is bleaching coral is also producing a more temperate climate in Minnesota and extending the growing season. It’s all connected.

    Professor Terry Hughes is quoted thusly: “According to Noaa’s predictions there’s a good chance we will see another back-to-back bleaching event. That was not supposed to be happening until the middle of this century.”

    I am always surprised that so many of these events have been scheduled through the rest of the century. Who is in charge of setting these schedules? I sometimes hear a similar thing about loss of glacier and sea ice. Lots of stuff happening now or soon instead of later this century as was scheduled. I don’t see how we can do good planning if things don’t stick to the schedule that has been laid out. I think things should happen when they are supposed to, not just willy nilly like this. Creates disorder.

    Doing great I think. We kept CO2 clamped down in October for a monthly average of 415.3 or something like that. I don’t even bother to track methane anymore. Who cares? It’s a flow gas. That’s not going to bite us in the butt.

    Weather great but a little nippy in Cascadia. Short mushroom season because of the dry spell followed by short period of rain before the nights started dropping below freezing. Not terrible, but I didn’t collect as many mushrooms to dry and put away as I was supposed to. That failure to do what we are supposed to seems to be going around along with covid, flu and rsv. Stay well and happy all.

    Cheers
    Mike

  33. This story makes me sad: The World Food Programme has said it is suspending food aid to 1.7 million people in South Sudan, as the war in Ukraine sucks funding from the world’s crisis-plagued youngest country and causes the price of staples to soar.
    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/jun/14/millions-at-risk-in-south-sudan-as-ukraine-war-forces-slashing-of-aid-world-food-programme
    I have family in South Sudan. My daughter in law Nyandeng flew from Kampala to Juba this week to straighten out more passport paperwork. My son David is teaching at the Univ in Juba and his family are there also. They won’t be starving, but it’s a little dangerous. I want him to come home and bring his beautiful babies here so that we can get acquainted, but he’s pretty committed to helping South Sudan develop into a nation. I am very proud of him and his decisions, but you want your kids to be safe and I get worried when I think about life in Juba. They don’t get terrible winters like North Dakota or Minnesota, but there are problems in sub-saharan Africa.
    Mike

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