Polar bears and sulfates

From the University of Washington  some apparent confusion about what sulfates look like.

Injecting sulfate particles into stratosphere won’t fully offset climate change

IMAGE:A polar bear walks along an expanse of open water at the edge of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba, in 2011. The bears need pack ice to hunt for…Click here for more information.

As the reality and the impact of climate warming have become clearer in the last decade, researchers have looked for possible engineering solutions – such as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or directing the sun’s heat away from Earth – to help offset rising temperatures.

New University of Washington research demonstrates that one suggested method, injecting sulfate particles into the stratosphere, would likely achieve only part of the desired effect, and could carry serious, if unintended, consequences.

The lower atmosphere already contains tiny sulfate and sea salt particles, called aerosols, that reflect energy from the sun into space. Some have suggested injecting sulfate particles directly into the stratosphere to enhance the effect, and also to reduce the rate of future warming that would result from continued increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

But a UW modeling study shows that sulfate particles in the stratosphere will not necessarily offset all the effects of future increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Additionally, there still is likely to be significant warming in regions where climate change impacts originally prompted a desire for geoengineered solutions, said Kelly McCusker, a UW doctoral student in atmospheric sciences.

The modeling study shows that significant changes would still occur because even increased aerosol levels cannot balance changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation brought on by higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

“There is no way to keep the climate the way it is now. Later this century, you would not be able to recreate present-day Earth just by adding sulfate aerosols to the atmosphere,” McCusker said.

She is lead author of a paper detailing the findings published online in December in the Journal of Climate. Coauthors are UW atmospheric sciences faculty David Battisti and Cecilia Bitz.

Using the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Community Climate System Model version 3 and working at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, the researchers found that there would, in fact, be less overall warming with a combination of increased atmospheric aerosols and increased carbon dioxide than there would be with just increased carbon dioxide.

They also found that injecting sulfate particles into the atmosphere might even suppress temperature increases in the tropics enough to prevent serious food shortages and limit negative impacts on tropical organisms in the coming decades.

But temperature changes in polar regions could still be significant. Increased winter surface temperatures in northern Eurasia could have serious ramifications for Arctic marine mammals not equipped to adapt quickly to climate change. In Antarctic winters, changes in surface winds would also bring changes in ocean circulation with potentially significant consequences for ice sheets in West Antarctica.

Even with geoengineering, there still could be climate emergencies – such as melting ice sheets or loss of polar bear habitat – in the polar regions, the scientists concluded. They added that the odds of a “climate surprise” would be high because the uncertainties about the effects of geoengineering would be added to existing uncertainties about climate change.

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The research was funded by the Tamaki Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

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James Evans

“The modeling study shows that significant changes would still occur because even increased aerosol levels cannot balance changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation brought on by higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.”
Somebody tell Hansen.

These….people….are….mad…..

Oh my aching gut. “Climate emergencies” is it now? Despite the best efforts of geo-engineering?
It’s “double-down” time, apparently.

SES

Where is the DEA when needed …?
Trying to create a volcano winter …

R. Gates

Once you perturb a complex system, no amount of band-aid after the fact tampering can set things back to where they were. Decades of climate effects from the 40% increase in CO2 is already “baked into the cake” so to speak, and trying to turn off the oven won’t undue the baking that is already underway. But, as a matter of principle, I’m opposed to geoengineering efforts anyway. Just look at the rise of super-bacteria is hospitals caused by the use of ever stronger antibacterial compounds. Unintended consequences can often be worse than the problem they hope to remedy.

oldseadog

Final para:
“……… existing uncertainties about climate change.”
But I thought the science was settled …………………… .

Are they stark staring mad.
Answers on a post card.

Jason Calley

My skills are not up to it, but I wonder whether some of WUWT readers could start a programming project. My idea is that some sceptics could make computer models of the CAGW models. They would not have to be based on real world climate or science, but would only need to be models of how the models act. For instance, feed in “world temperatures are increasing”, and the model-model would spit out “expect massive death, ecological disaster, dogs sleeping with cats!” On the other hand, feed in “world temperatures are decreasing”, and the model-model would say, “No! It is REALLY increasing, expect massive death, ecological disaster, dogs sleeping with cats, and besides, it’s our fault anyway!”
Once the model-model was available, I am sure that the CAGW proponents would quickly take advantage of it. After all, it says exactly what they want to hear, and using it would cut their outlay on computer hardware, leaving more funding for travel to highly impacted locations — like Hawaii or Tahiti.

Ged

“…such as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or directing the sun’s heat away from Earth…”
Can’t help but cringe when I read stuff like that. Direct the Sun’s heat away from the Earth (I don’t think the solar industry would approve)? The random stuff they propose is like having a blind man try to do complex surgery.

More Soylent Green!

I thought we could offset the effects of global warming if only we would all paint our roofs white.
Imagine if we covered all those asphalts roads with something more reflective, or just covered them with parasols?

R. Gates says:
“Decades of climate effects from the 40% increase in CO2 is already ‘baked into the cake’ so to speak, and trying to turn off the oven won’t undue the baking that is already underway.”
Can’t let that baseless conjecture pass without a refutation. Yes, there has been a large increase in [entirely beneficial] CO2. However, there are no measurable, testable “climate effects” that can be definitively attributed to CO2. None – as in “N-O-N-E”.
“Baked into the cake” is a nonsense analogy. It is not science, it is evidence-free belief. Come to think of it, that’s what 99.999% of climate alarmism is.

But we’ve done so well at problem-solving mankind our environment! We’ve transplanted rabbits to Australia, possums to New Zealand, nutria to the Gulf Coast wetlands…what the hell, why not have a go at the global climate?

John West

“climate emergencies”
What’s next, “rapid evolution”?
……oh…..
https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/carollee/web/Lee/CORE.html

David A. Evans

Isn’t 40% of FA still FA?
DaveE.

Rob Crawford

“My idea is that some sceptics could make computer models of the CAGW models.”
How hard is it to prorgram “y = mx + b”?

Rob Crawford

Weren’t they claiming that the lack of warming was due to sulfates? Doesn’t this mean they can’t use that excuse anymore, and have to come up with another explanation for why we haven’t seen the warming they predicted?

bladeshearer,
Don’t forget kudzu. [pics]

NetDr

So far the global warming has been mild and beneficial. Why bioengineer anything unless that changes for the worse ?
The lie is in the “catastrophe” !
Even if we use significantly more CO2 there will not be a catastrophe in the next 300 years.
After that they can move the planet if they want.

dave38

hhhmmm. Models all the way down again!

These people are bat$hit crazy! Holy crap! These people need a hearing to determine that they are of no harm to themselves!

Scott Brim

R. Gates says:
January 25, 2012 at 11:56 am
Once you perturb a complex system, no amount of band-aid after the fact tampering can set things back to where they were …
===========================
Several million years ago, Mother Nature, in an apparent fit of reckless tampering with the earth’s climate system, initiated a set of climatic perturbations which resulted in a series of ices ages, each one with a cooling and warming cycle.
You mean to tell us that through the course of these multiple cooling and warming cycles, there was no point in time where the earth’s climate was similar in character, more or less, to a corresponding point in some previous cooling-warming cycle?

Mark F

Bladeshearer: Would warmistas be the Cane Toads of the scientific world, poisoning the ponds and killing everything in sight, while breeding without limit?

C Reed

“directing the sun’s heat away from Earth – to help offset rising temperatures.”
If one didn’t know they were just using alarmism to get more money, one might conclude they are actually trying to kill us! Or, at least longing for it.
Are people that stupid to fall for this? And are they that arrogant that they think people WILL fall for it?

BrianMcL

Climate surprise?
That sounds fun. Personally I’ve got bored with the dull, boring, old fashioned predictable climate and I’m quite looking forward to some of that.

Craig

“could carry serious, if unintended, consequences.”
Exactly what liberal ideas don’t?

With a little luck, Al Gore will not see any polar bears in Antarctica
LOL LOL
Ecotretas

John F. Hultquist

As the reality and the impact of climate warming have become clearer in the last decade, . . .” [from the press release; author unknown]
The rest of the statement is true.

Frank K.

R. Gates says:
January 25, 2012 at 11:56 am
“But, as a matter of principle, I’m opposed to geoengineering efforts anyway.”
That’s good! Could you tell this to your UCAR buddy, Kevin Trenberth? Thanks!
Trenberth, K.E., 2010: Fixing the planet? Science, 26, 1178-1179, doi:10.1126/science.1197874.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in 2007 that global warming is unequivocal and very likely caused by human activities, mainly through increasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Projections suggest future climatic changes at rates that are apt to have major disruptive impacts on societies and the environment. To date, politicians around the world have failed to adequately deal with this major threat. Possible ways forward assessed by the IPCC include mitigation through slowing emissions of greenhouse gases and adaptation through taking steps that might ultimately enhance resilience or reduce vulnerability to observed or expected changes in climate (1). One proposed solution is geoengineering, and Eli Kintisch’s Hack the Planet examines the prospects of and past attempts at this tactic. Roger Pielke Jr.’s The Climate Fix proposes a different approach, one based on decarbonizing the economy and devoting greater efforts to adaptation.

JJ

R. Gates says:
Decades of climate effects from the 40% increase in CO2 is already “baked into the cake” so to speak, and trying to turn off the oven won’t undue the baking that is already underway. </i.
The atmosphere of the earth is not a cake. Your crummy (not crumby) analogy is half baked.
But, as a matter of principle, I’m opposed to geoengineering efforts anyway. Just look at the rise of super-bacteria is hospitals caused by the use of ever stronger antibacterial compounds. Unintended consequences can often be worse than the problem they hope to remedy.
So you oppose, as a matter of principle, the antiseptic revolution. You honestly believe that we would be better off if Pasteur and Lister had lost their battle against the scientific consensus of their day?
There is a very disturbing consistency in that.

nc

R. Gates how come we never boiled, fried in the past when C02 was much much higher? Is there a model for that?

Latitude

The amazing part is that they are not embarrassed in the slightest………..

Mike M

Jason Calley says: make computer models of the CAGW models.
How about starting off with an entry for “Catastrophic Man Made Global Warming” for an online version of Mad-Libs (note cheap double entendre ) called Mad-Glibs?

Neo

Not to worry. NatGeo has a solution.

Viv Evans

“Even with geoengineering, there still could be climate emergencies – such as melting ice sheets or loss of polar bear habitat – in the polar regions, the scientists concluded.”
Oh dear.
Poor climate scientists. Do geoengineering and the poley bears may drown in a ‘climate emergency’ – don’t do climate engineering and the poley bears may drown because of … ‘climate emergencies’ due to AGW.
What are they to do …!
Hint: when in doubt, do nothing. Count poley bears instead – you may be in for a surprise …

John West

R. Gates says:
“But, as a matter of principle, I’m opposed to geoengineering efforts anyway.”
Exactly what moral rule or personal belief leads you to oppose geo-engineering? Does this principle extend to other planets or just Earth? If you could go back in time and stop the first photosynthesizing organisms from geo-engineering Earth with oxygen, would you? Do you oppose the practice of agriculture?

Mydogsgotnonose

This article is polar Bearlocks.
The aerosol optical physics ion the climate models is wrong because it fails to take account of a second optical process for clouds with a bimodal droplet size distribution. The mistake was made by Sagan but he inherited part from van der Hulst.
So, the IPCC claims are wrong, as is this!

Isn’t “inject[ed] sulfates” what the ecoterrorists used to call “acid rain”?

Latitude

R. Gates says:
January 25, 2012 at 11:56 am
Once you perturb a complex system, no amount of band-aid after the fact tampering can set things back to where they were. Decades of climate effects from the 40% increase in CO2 is already “baked into the cake” so to speak, and trying to turn off the oven won’t undue the baking that is already underway.
============================================
What are your plans now that it’s over?

Rosco

Hansen calls coal trains “death trains” yet people who agree with him – Australia’s Tim Flannery for one, an owner of multiple waterfront properties – advocate performing experiments with the planet in an attempt to control a slight increase in average temperature which may or may not ever occur ??
Who are the insane ??

Rosco

“The research was funded by the Tamaki Foundation and the National Science Foundation.”
Well that’s another few million wasted !
I think even “blind freedie” could see that there are unintended consequences to almost anything.
The other thing I can never get over is the confidence alarmists express in statements like – “Decades of climate effects from the 40% increase in CO2 is already “baked into the cake” so to speak, and trying to turn off the oven won’t undue the baking that is already underway.”
There is absolutely no empirical evidence that CO2 is responsible for the 0.7, 0.8 degrees C increase in average temperature since the little ice age ended – hell there is no verifiable evidence that this “increase” is actually not an artifact of poor temperature record keeping and an increasing urban heat island effect.
Arhennius believed in the aether.
Gotta love the symbolism though – “baked into the cake” etc – I hope it doesn’t get too hot for the icing to set – can’t stand runny icing.

markus

“”They also found that injecting sulfate particles into the atmosphere might even suppress temperature increases in the tropics enough to prevent serious food shortages and limit negative impacts on tropical organisms in the coming decades””.
If ever this stupidity is technologically advanced enough for deployment, ya can expect some drones over ya head, and we won’t be putting cameras in them.

Werner Brozek

“Injecting sulfate particles into stratosphere won’t fully offset climate change”
The Chinese have been doing exactly that already!
Don’t these people read WUWT? See
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/05/pat-michaels-on-aerosols-china-coal-and-lack-of-recent-warming/
“The Current Wisdom: The Lack of Recent Warming and the State of Peer Review
by Patrick J. Michaels
Boston University’s Robert Kaufmann and colleagues recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examining the causes of the recent dearth of “global warming.” They concluded that it’s simply natural variability, augmented by increasing sulfate emissions from dramatically growing coal consumption by China.”

1DandyTroll

“The bears need pack ice to hunt for”
Maybe they should’ve learnt to hibernate during the summer month’s then instead of during the winter. Dumb as* bears or stoopid hippies?

David Jones

R. Gates says:
January 25, 2012 at 11:56 am
” Decades of climate effects from the 40% increase in CO2 is already “baked into the cake” so to speak,”
I would just point out that you have, no doubt inadvertently, ommitted to cite scientific references to support this claim.

markus

“”Rosco says:
January 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm
Arhennius believed in the aether.””
You’re up front of the pack, Rosco, congratulations.

Jeremy

R. Gates says:
January 25, 2012 at 11:56 am
“Once you perturb a complex system, no amount of band-aid after the fact tampering can set things back to where they were.”
Says the person who clearly has no idea what “complex system” means mathematically. Did it occur to you that points of stability can exist in complex systems?

clipe

Given the short shadow cast by the polar bear in the Image Das bear is in summer mode.
No ice? Churchill dumpsters, here we come!

Jeremy

R.Gates – so you state that are against hospitals and against anti-biotics, as this all breeds resistance. You also state that you are against “meddling” because of “unintended consequences”. So logically you must be against man’s invention/discovery of “fire” and ultimately the discovery of coal and other fossil fuel which can be burned to generate energy (as these activities also have “unintended consequences”).
You and Pol Pot would get along just fine.
However, I have a suspicion that, like most liberal hypocrites, when you are desperately ill with a serious bacterial infection that you will quote willing take your Doctor’s recommended prescription of anti-biotics.

DJL

So models set up with the assumption that CO2 is the main climate driver show that other inputs into these models don’t offset changes in CO2. I’m shocked

Mike M

Surviving at or near the poles in the harshest of habitats on the planet makes those species that live there among the most resilient ones on the planet. Polar bears apparently had no problem surviving through sustained past periods that were several degrees warmer than this one (prior interglacial) as well as periods that were many more degrees colder making all of their claims of ‘endangerment’ from ‘climate change’ nothing but a big pile of BS to keep grant money flowing in their direction.
I notice that these charlatans generally concentrate on pointing to ‘catastrophe’ only in places where people do not live so there will be few if any witnesses in the area to refute their stories. Glaciers, Arctic ice packs, the top of some tree in Ecuador, the bottom of the ocean, etc. – it’s never about sea level rise threatening tourism in Boston or birds in my back yard starting to nest in March.
In the last 10,000 years polar bears have enjoyed a very stable climate that has varied less than ~10% of the variation they have survived over the past 120 thousand years. If anything is actually going to endanger them it is severe cold not warmth in the next ice age when they migrate south and run into us. We’ll start eating them because we won’t be able to grow enough food with half the USA covered in ice. (Who knows, maybe the last time we ate up all the wooly mammoths and mastodons?)