Michael Mann has an article in Scientific American about the particles from coal burning. I think he put the effect at about 0.5C. And his view is that if coal burning was stopped to reduce emissions and the lag time of about 30-40 years to reach equilibrium is included then 410 ppm, which is where we are now would be equivalent to 2C. I think the baseline is pretty accurate. The hockey stick graph shows a very slight cooling over the last 2,000 years until the industrial revolution. I don’t think there is good data for the temperature before that. So I think we are really at 1C based on measurements of temperature but the with lag we are committed to about 1.5C and if the aerosol particles from coal burning are disappear because coal is no longer buried then we are already committed to 2C. Slow positive feedbacks are likely to have a pronounced effect in a few decades so that could increase the temperature further,
Showing Paris Not Enough, Studies Find 2°C Target Won't Stop 'Destructive and Deadly' Impacts of Global Warming
There is a link here to an interview with and a paper by Ramanathan that shows present warming to be 1.9C without the aerosols (see Box 1 in the paper). That is consistent with what I remember from when the planes were all brought down in 2001 after the WTC event. They found that without the artificial clouds created by the airplanes, the amount of excess heat energy pouring into the system was twice as much.
Baseline is usually put at 280ppm. It should actually be ~265. You might look into Ruddiman’s work for that. I remember that there was some good discussion at realclimate.org
Oh, and by the way, we’re actually at about 495ppm CO2e. Taking into account, that is, other gasses such as methane, nitrous oxide, halogens etc.
Usually I would be on board with all kinds of dire comments about short term extinction of this and most other species, but at this point it is simply a …so what attitude. Looking at the almost universal condemnation of Russia, the Trump latest appointments, Iran, and the Chinese latest actions I am frankly putting my money on nuclear annihilation as the cause for STE.
Here is the discussion of Ruddiman’s work that I mentioned in the post above. It’s well worth a read, as is his book.
It was in his last book. He said the earth had 50/100 maximum 150 years left before collapse.
One thing for sure is that when you start including all the greenhouse gases and all the aerosols in the atmosphere things get very complicated. This is probably why most people seem to prefer to focus on the CO2 level which can be measured with precision. It may be an imperfect indicator of the problem but it makes discussions easier. However, ultimately scientists need to include everything to really understand what is going on and that is what the IPCC does.
This is a wrong on both fronts.
- “Humanity does not need fossil fuels”
- Based on the current technology at market scale, society does in fact require fossil fuels to provide society with certain products. We do not have substitutes at MARKET LEVEL(this being extremely important to note) for petrochemical products. Therefore our options at this level are to continue the use of fossil fuels or to decrease consumption of petrochemical products. The reason why the latter is not an option is because to do this would destroy the world economy and likely eliminate any developed society. This is not an exaggeration. Without products like ethylene, propylene, xylene, benzene, toluene etc you cannot construct any products out of polymers, rubber, cloth, some metals, and other major material groups. This issue includes millions of products and extends into literally every industry on the planet.
However there is hope…
- “here in the US there is no support nor money for innovation of alternatives to dead carbon energy”
- If you truly believe this, you have done an abysmal job of research… Actually there is a tremendous amount of research in the USA to confront these problems. To address the petrochemical issue, scientists are using different biomass samples to create chemically similar hydrocarbons from plants. For energy development, you should probably spend more of your time researching the actual federal department with energy in its name- US Department of Energy. As part of the US DOE, we have 17 National Laboratories that are committed to researching and developing technologies in their respective scientific areas (although most laboratories do pursue research into other areas besides their expertise). If you looking for research and plans for energy development then you should be going through studies made from National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Ames National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory.
In addition there are hundreds of thousands to millions of studies published from major US universities on energy development and technology. Many of these studies are paid for with grant money from the US Department of Energy, which is perhaps the reason that the US DOE and NAS is responsible for approximately 90% of all federal scientific studies (not the EPA). If you want to learn more about innovation and the future of technology reading about the EPA is complete wrong source to be looking at. Unfortunately according to the general US media, the EPA is apparently is the only scientific division in our entire government, at least based on how much coverage is given by agency and department.
“This is probably why most people seem to prefer to focus on the CO2 level which can be measured with precision.”
We can actually measure other GHGS with precision just as well as CO2. The reason why most people are concerned more with CO2 despite a lower radiative force compared with other GHGs is because:
- The concentration of CO2 is much greater than any other GHG (with the exception of H2O- but this is a special GHG). Just as a comparison from a 2016 study: CO2 @ 400 ppm. The next closest GHG is CH4 @ 1.84 ppm. This illustrates that CO2 is over 217 times greater in concentration than CH4.
- You bring up aresols, so for comparison CO2 @ 400 ppm vs CFC @ 232 ppt, so CO2 has a 1.7 million times greater concentration.
- The persistence rate for CO2 is greater than any other GHG, at about 210 years. The persistence rate is the amount of time it takes for a molecule to return to the environment from the atmosphere, and unfortunately CO2 takes an extremely long time. This means what we burn today will continue to affect energy in the atmosphere for multiple centuries even if we reduce CO2 pollution.
- To compare this with CH4: the persistence rate of CH4 is 12.5 years. So methane released in the 1990s, has returned to the environment since being released into the atmosphere. Compare this with CO2, where coal pollution from the Industrial Revolution is still in the atmosphere.
I think that it is also important to note that society is not even remotely close to meeting energy transition markers required for a 2C halt. A few weeks ago MIT Technology Review published an article and a study, which found our current transition is installing only 13% of our goals per day, and in order to meet our goals our current transition would likely take 400 years.
We are even further behind than our projections would indicate, which means we may need to take even more drastic action for transitions. A $15 carbon tax is likely insufficient to expedite the transition now, but this also means that economic activity will likely be harmed even more than previously thought.
The US military is also the worlds largest CO2 producer.
Paul Erhlich stated at a talk I attended that we were more likely to extinct ourselves by all the poisons we have released into the environment before Global Warming gets us.
There are at least 3 ways we can slow Global Warming that work with Earth systems. They are all ways to increase carbon storage. One is to switch to Regenerative Farming as practiced by Gabe Brown in Bismark, North Dakota. Restorative Farming rapidly sequesters carbon in the soil and has lots of other positive benefits. A second is to grow the biomass of ocean life by ending industrial fishing. It puts carbon into sealife. This is one of Paul Beckwiths proposals. A third is end industrial forestry and land convetsions. This is James Lovelocks proposal.
Restorative Farming is the best thought out and is being practiced.
It would be helpfull if Common Dreams also published articles about what can be done and is being done.
I agree. Just look at the rates of cancer. It is everywhere!
And the us military is the biggest ghg producer