How are we doing on CO2?

good piece at WAPO with excellent presentation and explanation from Peter Tans.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at the fastest rate ever recorded

“For the second year in a row, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have climbed at a record pace. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, carbon dioxide levels jumped by three parts per million in both 2015 and 2016 and now rest at about 405 parts per million

… the new NOAA measurements further indicate that carbon dioxide levels are only continuing to grow — and they’re rising at breakneck speed.

It may be a little confusing to consider this news alongside other recent reports, which suggest that global carbon emissions caused by human activity have actually remained fairly flat for the past three years. The fact is, even if emissions have remained pretty stable in recent years, humans are still pouring billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the air each year.

And even if these emission levels really are starting to plateau — and it will be years before we can say whether that’s actually the case, or whether the recent flattening is just a blip on an otherwise upward trend — they’re still evening out at an all-time high, after decades of climbing. Additionally, carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for a long time, Tans noted. This means that new carbon dioxide emissions have a cumulative effect, adding to emissions that were already there.

“So record-high CO2 emissions, even though they stay flat, translates directly into a record-high CO2 increase” in the atmosphere, he said.

Because carbon dioxide hangs around for so long, we’ll be feeling the warming effects of this year’s jump in concentration years in the future — even if we stopped all our greenhouse gas emissions today. And Tans added that it’s not only atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide that we have to worry about, but also oceanic levels as well.”

Don’t worry, be happy!

Thinking about Sea Ice and Model Predictions

My sense is that the global climate models (GCM) have generally done a poor job of projecting loss of sea ice and I think this is important because the change in albedo with loss of sea ice is a positive feedback that could trigger other positive feedback loops (like release of CO2 and CO2e gases from permafrost, ocean floor, etc.)

So, I am searching a little to see if my sense about the GCM sloppiness on sea ice is correct.  Here is what I find:

at Arctic Deeply:

“In September 2007, Arctic sea ice levels reached a dramatic and unexpected new low, tumbling to 4.154 million square kilometers (1.6 million square miles) – roughly 40 percent smaller than what it had been in the 1980s. Summer sea ice melt was far outpacing the models produced by scientists, prompting scientists to join together internationally to produce monthly reports on the anticipated state of the Arctic sea ice based on their individual assessments.”  (emphasis added).

So, the models were not doing a good job in 2007 and the scientists jumped in to improve the models and predictions.  Then I find this article in Carbon Brief from 2014:

Why aren’t climate models better at predicting Arctic sea ice loss?

Looks like they had not gotten a lot better from 2007 to 2014.

On current state of sea ice loss science, I find the following websites that may be accurate and informative:

Sea Ice Prediction Network

Arctic Sea Ice Predictions

But the bottom line still appears to be that the models can only be fairly accurate if they are initiated on a monthly basis, so I think that indicates the complexity and dynamic nature of sea ice loss is just beyond our GCM models absent a monthly reset to correct to observed conditions.  Maybe I have this wrong?

Rocket mass heater Part 5

5 Rocket Stove 2015Dec18 (14)

The burnstack is firebrick, wrapped in 1 inch unitherm ceramic insulation. The unitherm insulation is held in place by a couple of strands of wire, then I wrapped with metal mesh that is used for stucco. I think this is good to go, but need to decide if I need to clad the stack in fireclay. The fireclay mix would adhere nicely to the metal mesh and might protect the metal mesh, but I am not sure if this step is necessary.

5a Rocket Stove 2015Dec18 (12)

another look at the burn stack, this time looking down at top before I wrapped with the metal mesh.

5b Rocket Stove 2015Dec18 (8)

Cleanout at the beginning of the run back toward the burn chamber.  The fan idea is gone.

5c Rocket Stove 2015Dec18 (7)

Wrapping with left over unitherm, then moving back to build up with fireclay and cob mix.

You can see the ductwork/riser to left and behind the burnstack.  It will come out of the cob with a heavy 8 inch single wall stove pipe, then reduce down to 7 inch black stove pipe and runs about 5 feet back and slightly up before it does a 90 degree turn and into the brick chimney flue.