Detailed References for “The Clean Power Plan Is Barely Better Than Kyoto; IPCC Says: We Must Remove CO2 From the Atmosphere“

Detailed References for “The Clean Power Plan Is Barely Better Than Kyoto, IPCC Says: We Must Remove CO2 From the Atmosphere.”

Please note: sources for the assertions in this article are also linked to in the article, but the detailed references below spell out the full scientific reasoning behind the assertions.

Clean Power Plan requires 12 percent more emissions reductions than Kyoto … Clean Power Plan at 32 percent below 2005 levels vs. Kyoto at 7 percent below 1990 levels. Since 1978 the US has emitted as much CO2 as was emitted in the previous 228 years. Globally, since 1984 we have emitted as much CO2 as in the previous 236 years. Seven percent below 1990 is equal to 1984 levels. Thirty-two percent below 2005 is 1969 levels. Important note: These numbers do not include offshored emissions. Including offshored emissions as estimated by Davis and Caldiera 2010: Clean Power Plan is 7 percent below Kyoto or 1986 levels. Thirty two percent below 2005 considering offshoring is about 1983 levels. Note, 32 percent below 2005 is 4224 MtCO2, 1983 is the bottom of the Oil Crisis at 4392 MtCO2 or about 4 percent higher than 1983. Prior to the Oil Crisis, 4224 MT CO2 is equal to emissions in 1970.

Historical Emissions, World Resource Institute.
Offshored emissions WRI/CAIT:

Link to World Resource Institute Climate Analysis Tool (CAIT), Click on “Type of Emissions,” then “transfer” in 2013 the US transferred 442 Mt CO2.

Consumptive based estimates of offshored emissions – 520 Mt CO2 in 2008:
Davis and Caldiera, Consumptive-based accounting of CO2 emissions, PNAS, March 3 2010. Figure 2 shows 520 Megatons (0.52 Gigatons) outsourced by the US in 2008.

Strong Negative Emissions… The IPCC now says that we must remove greater than 100 percent of annual emissions in order to avoid dangerous climate change. The following quote is from the next to the last statement of fact in the SPM: “A large fraction of anthropogenic climate change resulting from CO2 emissions is irreversible on a multi-century to millennial time scale, except in the case of a large net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere over a sustained period.”

Chapter 12 repeats this statement in different language that adds more meaning and clarification to the Summary for Policymakers statement. From the summary of Chapter 12 Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility, we find: “A large fraction of climate change is largely irreversible on human time scales, unless net anthropogenic CO2 emissions were strongly negative over a sustained period.”

Large net removal … IPCC 2013, Summary for Policy Makers, E.8 “Climate Stabilization, Climate Change Commitment and Irreversibility,” p 28, second bullet.

Strongly negative … IPCC 2013, Chapter 12, “Long-term Climate Change Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility,” Executive summary, Page 1033, sixth paragraph.

Committed warming of 2.5 to 8 degrees F in the pipeline … “The observed increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) since the preindustrial era has most likely committed the world to a warming of 2.4°C (1.4°C to 4.3°C) above the preindustrial surface temperatures… The committed warming is inferred from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates of the greenhouse forcing and climate sensitivity. The estimated warming of 2.4°C is the equilibrium warming above preindustrial temperatures that the world will observe even if GHG concentrations are held fixed at their 2005 concentration levels but without any other anthropogenic forcing such as the cooling effect of aerosols.”

Ramanthan and Feng, “On avoiding dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system-Formidable challenges ahead,” PNAS, September 2008, abstract.

Climate Lag 30 years … Hansen’s quote: The lag could be as short as a decade, if climate sensitivity is as small as 0.25-C per W/m2 of forcing, but it is a century or longer if climate sensitivity is 1-C per W/m2 or larger. Evidence from Earth’s history and climate models suggests that climate sensitivity is 0.75- T 0.25-C per W/m2, implying that 25 to 50 years are needed for Earth’s surface temperature to reach 60% of its equilibrium response.” The take-away from this work is that today, our climate is basically in equilibrium with greenhouse gas concentrations in the 1970s.

Hansen et al., “Earth’s Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications,” Science, June 2005, third paragraph.

Arctic Sea Ice decline 70 years ahead of schedule … Summertime melting of Arctic sea-ice has ‘‘accelerated far beyond the expectations of climate models.” Allison 2009, p. 7; see also Stroeve et al., 2007). Using unusually vivid language, the authors note that the record for previous Arctic sea ice summer minimum extent was ‘‘shattered” in 2007, ‘‘something not predicted by climate models … This dramatic retreat has been much faster than simulated by any of the climate models assessed in the IPCC AR4 (fourth IPCC report)” – with summer sea ice now well below the IPCC worst case scenario. Allison 2009, pp. 29–30. Summer minimum sea ice was higher in subsequent years, but still fell near or below the long-term observed downward trend (which, as just noted, declines faster than the model predictions). Then, in 2012, another record minimum was set. The 70 years faster than projections statement comes from comparing IPCC AR4 projections with current data from Stroeve et al.

Allison et al., “The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Updating the World on the Latest Climate Science,” University of New South Wales Climate Change Research Center, 2009.

Stroeve et al., “The Arctic’s rapidly shrinking sea ice cover – A research synthesis,” Climatic Change, 110, 1005-1027, 2012, published online June 2011.

“IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Technical Basis,” Chapter 10 Global Climate Projections, November 2007, page 771.

Abrupt climate change 23 times in the last 100,000 years … Twenty-three times in the last 100,000 years our climate has changed 9 to 14 degrees F globally and 25 to 35 across the Arctic. The changes happened in a few generations to a few decades normally, but at the most extreme in on two to three years. In Greenland the temperature changes were 25 to 35 degrees F.

“Alley, Wally Was Right – Predictive ability of the North Atlantic Conveyor Belt Hypothesis for Abrupt Climate Change,” Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science, February 2007, Figure 1 shows the 23 abrupt climate changes.

Two to three years … As little as one to three years and the methods and techniques to determine. “The high resolution records from the NGRIP ice core reveals that polar atmospheric circulation can shift in 1-3 years resulting in decadal to centennial scale changes from cold stadials to warm interstadials/interglacials associated with astounding Greenland temperature changes of 10K.”

Steffensen et al., “High-Resolution Greenland Ice Core Data Show Abrupt Climate Change Happens in Few Years,” Science Express, June 12 2008, page three, final paragraph.

Modeling abrupt climate changes … simulating catastrophic ice sheet collapse of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (North American Ice Sheet) 30,000 to 50,000 years ago now produces viable modeling on abrupt climate change.

Menviel et al., “Simulating the Dansgaard-Oeschger Continuum-mechanisms, patterns, timing, Climate of the past,” January 14, 2014.