More Wisdom via Solomon: Global Warming Has Passed The Point Of No Return

Solomon serves up PONR - Where's the beef?

Guest Post by Steven Goddard

Steve McIntyre points out that NOAA’s Susan Solomon saw fit to exclude a statement of measurements from IPCC WG1. With such certainty then, it’s no wonder she’s certain that our current situation is “irreversible”. Well then, let’s not worry about it if one of NOAA’s lead scientists says the effects are well nigh irreversible. What she’s serving up is pure alarmism.

NOAA has issued a warning to the occupants of (some) planet :

Global warming has reached the point of no return, a study published in the Tuesday edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a joint team of the U.S., French and Swiss researchers concludes. Even if the world reduces emissions of CO2 to the level before the industrial revolution, it will take at least 1,000 years to reverse the climate change effect that have already taken hold, AP on Sunday quoted the team as saying. Dr. Susan Solomon of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research laboratory led the study. “People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide the climate would go back to normal in 100 years, 200 years; that’s not true,” she said, adding the effects are well nigh irreversible.

That got me wondering what she meant by “back to normal.”  Perhaps it means sea ice at normal levels?  No that can’t be it, because sea ice area has already recovered to “normal.”

ssmi1-ice-area

http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/observation_images/ssmi1_ice_area.png

Perhaps she means violent weather, like strong tornadoes?  Longing for a return to the 1970s, when there were lots more of them?

http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/tornado/tornadotrend.jpg

http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/tornado/tornadotrend.jpg

In 1908, a hurricane formed on March 6,  the earliest on record.  Ah, for the good old days of  early spring hurricanes…..

File:1908 Atlantic hurricane season map.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1908_Atlantic_hurricane_season_map.png

In 1954, Hurricane Alice formed on December 30, the latest on record.  Nothing like a New Year’s hurricane to brighten up the holidays.

File:1954 Atlantic hurricane season map.png

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1954_Atlantic_hurricane_season_map.png

In 1961, Hurricane Carla made landfall in Texas.  It was the most intense hurricane to ever hit the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Carla

In 1900, a hurricane killed 8.000 people in Galveston, Texas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galveston_Hurricane

In 1780, a hurricane killed more than 27,500 people in the Carribean.

A map showing most of the Lesser Antillies in red. Puerto Rico and  Dominican Republic is also red.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Hurricane_of_1780

In 1960, 60% of the farmland in China received no rain.  Somewhere between 20 and 43 million people died due to extreme weather and mismanagement by the socialist government.

In the 1930s, the US suffered extreme heat and drought, resulting in the dust bowl.  It was the warmest decade on record in the US  (at least before USHCN cleverly adjusted it downwards.)

http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/fig1x.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_bowl

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Amabo

FFFFfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff-

Meadow.

More insanity from the National Academy of Concerned Scientists as I believe they are now calling themselves.

Sunfighter

I get the feeling that ‘back to normal’ in this case means a lot like when a political person says “the middle class” in speechs. Its a mythical talking point and nothing more.

Evil Red Scandi

“It’s irreversible!”
“Just like my raincoat!”

Mike M

Bill O’Reilly should get her on his show and ask that very question – “What exactly is it that she wants to return to? ”
Please define “normal” Susan, (or resign, your choice..)

johnythelowery

Irreversible? Because no one knows where the norm is perhaps it is in the process of reversing. This idea is non versible!!!!

Jeff L

Yep, past the point of no return. I guess we should just continue on with business as usual.
Ms. Solomon needs to learn how to pitch a deal ….

Al Gored

Good one. Was still chuckling at Willis’s Homer Simpson graphic and now this McClimatologist! Thanks for the laugh.
And thanks for this perspective. The way these folks try to ignore the reality of the past and invent a conveniently skewed image of ‘normal’ is downright Orwellian.
Then again, it is Post-Normal ‘Science’ as they call it.

Pearland Aggie

Well, then, I guess there’s no point in implementing carbon taxes or controls if the damage is irreversible. I guess we either get to adapting to the new ‘permanent’ conditions or go cower in the corner of our non-air conditioned house!

johnythelowery

So what. CO2 never caused warming in the past. CO2 lags warming by 800 years in the ice cores. A rise in CO2 before the warming might be novel, but the earth found a way to reduce CO2 before.
Can’t we just patent oxygen and then license it’s use back to AL Gore & Co.

RickA

I am pretty sure she is talking about the CO2 level returning to around 280 ppm.
That is what “normal” means (I think).
But I can tell you are talking tongue in cheek.

Ben Kellett

Steven! Let’s clear this one up once & for all. Has sea ice really “returned to normal”? Just because it has recently touched the 1979 -2000 average, does that mean it’s back to normal? And oh yes I do know the arguement about “what is normal” & that no-one really knows the true extent pre-1979. But, if you’re prepared to use this as your bench mark, then we have to assume that sea ice is far from “back to normal” if all we are actually seeing is current extreme maximums just managing to edge into what was the normal of yesteryear.
In this sense, you are as guilty as anyone of (Dr Solomon included) of misrepresenting the evidence & this alone makes me inclined to mistrust your line of reasoning.

johnythelowery

Actually: I think the leadership of AL is commendable and we should all Build a 6,000 Sq. Ft House, drive fleets of Escalades every where you go and get ourselves a couple of private aircraft each.

Gary

I live and breath. I am a human living on this planet. Been here for 41 years now. Could someone please tell me what adverse effects, what cataclysmic events have changed the world I live in? I live in the same county in which I was born. My father was born in this county. My grandfather was born her. My great-grandfather, my great-great-grandfather were both born in this same county. My great-great-great-grandfather is buried in this same county where I was born. His stone is still there in Galatia Cemetery along with the stones of all my fathers leading down. What has changed? Some say it is warmer. I certainly think that it was very cold and snowy in the 70’s. The winters (in my opinion) got warmer and milder for a stretch sometime between the 80’s and 2000. But we’ve had back-to-back record breaking winters, with storms and cold. I’m relishing in this current warm Spring!
Back to my original question. What adverse effects have changed the world I live in? The lake is still at the same levels as when I was a child. All rivers flow much like the did when my great-great-great grandfather lived here. Except, of course, they damned the White River back in the ’40’s. That was a cataclysmic change brought on by man! Indeed! The insurgent lakes swallowed towns! But concrete and steel brought that about – not CO2.
What else? What else has changed my world? We had a tornado that hurt Gassville, AR really bad. That’s in my county. But I remember tornadoes all my life. I remember my dad talking about devastating tornadoes. There are old papers here that talk about tornadoes all the way back to the 1800’s, the days of my gaffers. What’s new?
Weather isn’t climate. Okay. How about 150 years of weather? If my world is going to hell so quickly, I’d like to ask… why are all the people moving to my little hometown? Why can’t I see the cataclysm? Where is the whirlwind? I sit out on my deck and drink in the glory of my world. I see no devastation, no drought, no flood, no nothing. My world is peaceful and serene. The birds sing, the deer run, the snow comes and goes. The sun shines, the clouds roll. It rains. It shines. What’s changed? Can somebody please tell me?

hunter

How long can people claim we are experiencing an apocalypse without anything happening out of the normal?

johnythelowery (11:42:16) :
Actually: I think the leadership of AL is commendable and we should all Build a 6,000 Sq. Ft House, drive fleets of Escalades every where you go and get ourselves a couple of private aircraft each.

/signed

H.R.

Translation:
“YOU’RE all gonna’ die!
It’s worse than we thought but, hey! I’m not giving up that beachfront condo I got real cheap in the ’80’s.
We need more money for research to stop this irreversible process.”

RockyRoad

Well, heck, since they pirated the term “climate change”, and since earth’s climate has been changing for, oh, 4.5 billion years or so, it’s pretty difficult to refute that argument.
Oh, you say they’re talking about something else? Some sort of anthropomorphic thingy? Since climate has been changing since way, way, way before man arrived on this planet, how can man change climate change?
Their piracy is hard to fight–how does one stop climate from changing?

George E. Smith

Well I agree with her; the arrow of time is irreversible, and there is no going back.
But as to the CO2; we now enjoy the lowest CO2 levels that we have seen in the last 600 million years; and there’s no returning to those days either.

Steve Goddard

Ben Kellett (11:41:01) :
My statement is “sea ice area has returned to normal”
And yes it has.

mpaul

Ben! Let’s clear this one up once and for all. Sea Ice Extent is a cyclestationary stochastic process currently in a long term (since the little ice age) downward trend. There is no such thing as ‘normal’.

Chuckles

@Hunter,
Apocalypse – “lifting of the veil” or “revelation” a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception.
Works for me, perhaps not in the way intended by others however.

Steve Goddard

Al Gored (11:39:24) :
Anthony added the awesome picture.

Antonio San

Only Obama the First can reverse Global Warming…

STEPHEN PARKER

No, we cant go back to normal. It was worse than we thought back then.

harrywr2

Ben Kellett (11:41:01) :
“Let’s clear this one up once & for all. Has sea ice really “returned to normal”?”
Normal in geological terms is an Ice Age. Personally I’d rather have a 6 meter sea level rise then ‘normal’.

Pascvaks

It looks like “The Cause” has determined that it is absolutely necessary now to sacrifice one of its own to ‘Climatea’, the Great God of Global Climate. Poor Girl! What a horific way to meet your end. Well, at least we have another year of pleasent weather. Remember folks, in 2012 it’s all over. So have some fun while you can, OK?
PS: The ALa’Gorey to the story is, it never hurts to throw a girl into a volcano –or off a mountain, etc– if you’re scared about the future (or want to make your supporters think you are).

Steve Goddard

I remember when I was a kid there were tens of millions of people starving in China and India.
Thanks to consumerism, greed, capitalism, electronics, and perhaps some CO2 – the lot of billions of people has improved. The “good old days” kind of stunk.
Good thing Al Gore invented the Internet!

WillR

Well then — there is no point in worrying anymore. We don’t need new taxes. No programs — or was it pogroms. Anyway it doesn’t matter — so I’m gonna take care of the important stuff this afternoon — maybe buy a chocolate bar or get a bag of chips — maybe choose the color of my new SUV. Whatever…
This is good news if you think about it. We can shut down all the blogs, quit spending on science and maybe waste a little money developing health programs, clean water and agriculture programs — till we die in a cinder ball of flame.
The freedom is wonderful!
Nothing more required so — OK — everybody quit posting now!

George E. Smith

“”” Ben Kellett (11:41:01) :
Steven! Let’s clear this one up once & for all. Has sea ice really “returned to normal”? Just because it has recently touched the 1979 -2000 average, does that mean it’s back to normal? And oh yes I do know the arguement about “what is normal” & that no-one really knows the true extent pre-1979. But, if you’re prepared to use this as your bench mark, then we have to assume that sea ice is far from “back to normal” if all we are actually seeing is current extreme maximums just managing to edge into what was the normal of yesteryear.
In this sense, you are as guilty as anyone of (Dr Solomon included) of misrepresenting the evidence & this alone makes me inclined to mistrust your line of reasoning. “””
Maybe I just haven’t been reading Steve’s stuff close enough.
If it is ice area that is what determines the albedo component (not ice thickness) then it seems to me we are back to normal; I’m prepared to grant that multi-year ice thickness (talking strictly Arctic) is likely less.
But if anyone thinks 2007 minimum was in any way normal; or indicative of the future; I can’t support that reasoning.
We are still exiting from the last ice age; so a decline is not unexpected; but 2007 was quite unexpected.
I don’t agree with everything that Steve Goddard has said on this subject; but I don’t really think he has been deliberately misleading; as you imply.

John

Anthony, if you click on your link to Hurricane Carla above, Carla wasn’t the most intense hurricane to strike the US. It was the 2nd most intense to strike the Texas coast. If you click on the reference in footnote 1 in the Wikipedia article about Carla, and go to Table 4, you will see that Carla is tied for the 9th most intense hurricane to strike the US.
Perhaps you were thinking of Camille (1969), the second most intense to strike the US, just behind a 1935 Florida Keys hurricane that in previous years might not have been listed, leaving Camille as #!? Carla was a 4 at landfall, pressure 931 millibars, Camille was a 5 at landfall, 909 millibars.

Stu

I sometimes think that if an event like Cyclone Tracy happened today (it occured in 1974) it would automatically be heralded as some dark omen of dangerous climate change. Perhaps this is what is meant by ‘never going back’. Before, weather was just weather- doing it’s own thing, occasionally getting in our way and causing massive disasters. Now all weather is caused by humans and apparently it’s all bad weather now. We can’t make good weather. All weather used to be value free, even the weather that killed you. Now it’s all bad, even the weather which is 20 degrees Celsius and lovely and sunny, in summer. Don’t be fooled say the papers- It’s all evil human weather. We killed the good, neutral, value free weather. We can never go back.

Ben Kellett

Steve! So, if sea ice very briefly hits normal once a year or less, you accept that this constitutes a “return to normal”? I think you lie to me & to yourself if you truly believe this to be the case.

Steve Goddard
Most intense landfalling Atlantic hurricanes in the United States
based on size and intensity for total points on the Hurricane Severity Index
Rank	Hurricane	Year	Intensity	Size	Total
1	Carla	1961	17	25	42
2	Hugo	1989	16	24	40
Betsy	1965	15	25	40
4	Camille	1969	22	14	36
Katrina	2005	13	23	36
Opal	1995	11	25	36
7	Miami	1926	15	19	34
8	Audrey	1957	17	16	33
Fran	1996	11	22	33
Wilma	2005	12	21	33
Source: Hurricane Severity Index
Jim Cole

Great post, Steve and Anthony.
This is one of the funniest illustrations at WUWT – and that’s saying something.
Love the “Flame-Broiled” globe on the menu board.
Can I get a “Times Square Flood” mega-drink with my Death Spiral?
REPLY:Sure, thanks – Anthony

Pascvaks

Ref – Antonio San (11:53:00) :
“Only Obama the First can reverse Global Warming…”
_______________________________
The Noble Peace Prize Committee had an emergency meeting 3 minutes ago (after your tackie comment about one of their Greatest Recipients); they have submitted a declaration for International Approval by all Signatories of the UN Charter and are certain of passage of a resolution declaring Obama the First to henseforth and evermore be known as Obama The Great.
There’s no stopping the Chicago Mob!

Steve Goddard

Ben Kellett (12:02:54) :
Please tell me what the summer 2010 Arctic minimum is. You seem to think you know the answer already.

johnythelowery

George E. Smith (11:50:06) :
Well I agree with her; the arrow of time is irreversible, and there is no going back.
But as to the CO2; we now enjoy the lowest CO2 levels that we have seen in the last 600 million years; and there’s no returning to those days either.
————————————————————-
I’m not going to play Devil’s advocate, but i am going to play ‘AL’s Lawyer’
We can discuss the difference at a different time 🙂 :
So here goes:
Alright you people at WUWT: If the CO2 lags temperature by 800 years, and so temperature apparently initiates the mechanism(s) of CO2 level reversing. CO2 is not lagging temperature now but preceding it, it’s rise in level is before warming, therefore, we can’t wait 800 years for temperatures to rise as by then all there will be left to breath will be CO2. (although, i have my own Oxygen stash in a secret underground gas silo)???? Your honor, I rest my case (full of cash for you under the table!)

enneagram

Don’t worry, let’s apply the PNS principle of uncertainty: As we don’t know how many scientists/believers/cheaters exist, as many as a train of waves we have to count, then let’s take them all within a limited by four high walls big square while putting a meaningful banner at the entrance. They, undoubtely-no uncertainties here-will stop agitating.

I think we need to read this paper before much definitive can said. However, the press release is obviously making so rather strong statements. I suspect more in the lines of propaganda then journalism.

johnythelowery

THe arrow of time goes forward only, but no one knows why, and if we understood it better, perhaps we’ll find it goes backwards. Those quantum guys are strange dudes!

Steve Goddard

johnythelowery (12:10:29)
If you put a cart in front of a horse, does that make the horse move forwards?

Pat Moffitt

Sometimes what you don’t see happening is more important than what you do see. We have passed the tipping point, Copenhagen has failed and there is no way to stop the negative impacts of climate change. So where are the new sea walls, the new reservoirs, the flood control projects and laws to prevent any new coastal development? Why haven’t our elected leaders spent a dime of the stimulus money on projects to protect us from climate change? Don’t they care about the danger we are in?
We should start asking our elected leaders these questions and see how they answer. Framed correctly they could be very uncomfortable to answer.
The fact we see no effort to protect us from climate change may be the most compelling evidence- that this “movement” has nothing to do with climate.

johnh

Hmmm
Isn’t normal an Ice Age, there’s been more Ice Age than not Ice Age in the last 100K years.

RockyRoad

I’m old enough to observe that there are just two kinds of people on the face of the earth: Those that give, and those that take.
I find that those going around trying to control through whatever means possible (fashion, politics, cults, groupthink, egotism, despotism, post-normal logic, marxism) belong to the takers.
And those that go around spreading happiness, industry, thrift, self-reliance, education, understanding, religion, freedom, and prosperity belong to the givers.
The problem with the takers is that their modus operandi is pretty obvious if one steps back and takes a good hard look at ’em. Their cover is blown. They then resort to the most devious means possible to get others to continue with their taking. Generally they accuse their opponents of vile behavior to justify their own. (Has anybody here gotten their checks from Big Oil yet? Yeah? Well, me neither.) Takers turn out to be liars, hypocrits, and thieves. I don’t know how they can stand to live with themselves.

ZT

‘Normal’ in this context means a time when people did not have the temerity to question terrifying predictions designed to scare the masses into handing over their tax money.
As Jon Stewart pointed out – what a shame for the climatologists that Gore invented the internet – those halcyon ‘normal’ days are now long gone.

David S

Ben
1 You forgot the Antarctic Ice which has been increasing slowly. In the aggregate, ice is normal as it has been pretty much throughout.
2 How long does the Arctic ice area have to be normal not to be dismissed as “once a year”? 12 months? It’s been there 6 weeks and counting, and for those like IPCC who like fitting linear trends to clearly non-linear data, the trend in the last 3-4 years is clearly upwards. If anyone had told a CAGW proponent in 2007 that ice levels would be where they are today, they would have been dismissed as insane or in the pay of big oil.
3 The normal ice area is calculated over less than 30 years; before that global temperatures had been flat to down for 40 years, so it is reasonable to assume that there were times early in the 20th century when ice levels were far lower than those described as “normal”.

Climate Scientists need mandatory courses in history, covering at least as far back as the Roman Empire if not further.

Steve Goddard

Here is the original link for the Hurricane Severity Index, showing Carla as #1 and two of the top three in the 1960s.
http://www.impactweather.com/HSI.pdf

Bruce Cobb

Surely, this is excellent news! Even the impossible measure of restricting C02 emissions to pre-industrial levels would take a millenium to bring us back to “normal” climatic conditions. So, there is absolutely no point in trying to “cut carbon”, at great cost to the econmy, lowering living standards worlwide and threatening the lives of millions. The carbon cultists can continue with their shrieking hand-wringing cries of climate armageddon, while the sane, rational people can now get on with their lives. Just think, no more Cap n’ Trade and “carbon taxes”. Wind, solar, and other alternative energies will have to be cost-efficient, not propped up by taxpayers. Yay!
No?