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Drying Amazon threatens to increase carbon emissions

Drought in the Amazon increases the release of carbon into the atmosphere, according to research published today in Nature…

The Amazon contains half of the world’s tropical rainforests. CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Drought in the Amazon increases the release of carbon into the atmosphere, according to research published today in Nature.

The Amazon plays a key role in the Earth’s climate system, thanks to the extent of its forests, which represent half of all the planet’s tropical rainforests. When healthy, its trees absorb CO2 through photosynthesis and store it in their wood.

Because the net result is a reduction in atmospheric carbon, rainforests such as the Amazon are known as carbon “sinks”. But when local conditions change, tropical rainforests can become a source of carbon.

The new study compared the carbon balance in the Amazon between 2010 and 2011. 2010 was an exceptionally dry year in the region, whereas 2011 was particularly wet. During drought in 2010, the rainforest lost 480 million tonnes of carbon, but was carbon-neutral during the wet year in 2011 — it absorbed just as much carbon as it released.

Fires were a significant factor in carbon release from the rainforest. By comparing the amount of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide, the researchers could calculate how much wildfires contribute to carbon release. When the effect of fires was removed from the results, the study found the rainforest was carbon-neutral even during drought, but absorbed 250 million tonnes of carbon during the wet year.

The difference between the dry and wet years without wildfire could be explained by changes in the rate of photosynthesis. During droughts, plants become stressed and the rate of photosynthesis decreases, absorbing less CO2 from the atmosphere.

To measure CO2 above the Amazon, the researchers measured air samples from sites over the rainforest. Luciana Gatti, lead author of the study from Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil, explained:

We subtract the concentration of CO2 in the air that enters the Brazilian coast from what we found in each study site and we consider the time the air mass travel between the coast and the sample site. At some sites we found absorption and others emission.

Bad news for climate change

While it’s too early to predict exactly how the Amazon will respond to climate change, experts say the study confirms that climate change will dramatically impact on the rainforest.

“Extremes are increasing in Amazonia: drought and wet years. We don’t know if this is true for the whole basin and how vegetation will react to these scenarios,” Gatti said.

Will Steffen, climate scientist at Australian National University, said the study sheds light on feedback processes in the climate system, which might exacerbate the effects of climate change.

“The main take-home message is that during very dry years, the Amazon Basin becomes a source of carbon to the atmosphere - that is, it actually loses carbon. This is what is called a "positive” (or reinforcing feedback) in that increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere further destabilise the climate system, perhaps leading to more dry spells in the Amazon."

“As humanity continues to emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the risks of nonlinear, reinforcing feedbacks — like significant losses of carbon from the Amazon — increase.”

Additional reporting by Liz de Fegly.

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61 Comments sorted by

  1. Noel McFarlane

    Cycling advocate

    During drought in 2010, the rainforest lost 480 million tonnes of carbon.

    This is 48% of a gigatonne. My understanding is that global net carbon emissions are 10 gigatonnes a year. So a very dry year in the Amazon kicked up global emissions by 4.8%. With only 27 more years of 10 gigatonnes a year net emissions before we reach the 66% likelihood of 2 degree warming, this is alarming news.
    I wonder what the percentage likelihood of democratically elected national governments achieving ZERO net emissions before we emit 270 gigatonnes more is. That is zero net emissions globally after (at current rates) 2040.
    We in Australia are still in the space where we collectively reject pricing carbon and see the coal industry as something to encourage.

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    1. Doug Hutcheson

      Poet

      In reply to Noel McFarlane

      Yep, we are crazy. The take-home message from the article is the last sentence: “As humanity continues to emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the risks of nonlinear, reinforcing feedbacks — like significant losses of carbon from the Amazon — increase.” Homo Stupidus stupidus.

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  2. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    " Fires were a significant factor in carbon release from the rainforest. By comparing the amount of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide, the researchers could calculate how much wildfires contribute to carbon release. When the effect of fires was removed from the results, the study found the rainforest was carbon-neutral even during drought, but absorbed 250 million tonnes of carbon during the wet year. "
    That's straightforward enough and the same no doubt occurs with forest fires wherever they may…

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  3. Neville Mattick

    Grazier: ALP Member at A 4th Generation Grazing Station

    It is truly sad what is happening and how limited is the view that "leads us there".

    Can't help recounting the lyrics of the mighty Neil Young "After the Garden"

    http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107858607556/

    Thank you for presenting the read above and I note Australian Trees are suffering too; today I saw a number of Red Stringybark seedlings showing moderate moisture stress - portent to follow when El Nino arrives?

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  4. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    Forests have a couple of other interesting effects also. Over on Reuters' Science Daily is a story about new research in Geophysical Research Letters, "Montane forest root growth and soil organic layer depth may have stabilized Cenozoic global change", (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205210436.htm).

    "For the first time, scientists have discovered how tree roots in the mountains may play an important role in controlling long-term global temperatures. Researchers from Oxford…

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    1. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      While Brigalow clearing in the blacksoil and filling in the melon holes may have led to a bit more runoff, David, but that's not where the basin's recharge comes from and you'll find that the wheat came in handy.

      But there is no comparison with city seal-overs. Roads, roofs and parking lots not only cause climate change all by themselves, they probably, by starving the aquifers, more than make up for any sea level reduction caused by Joh's beaut dams that we could do with more of.

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    2. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Err, there are more groundwater aquifers than just the Great Artesian Basin. Groundwater underlies lots of Q east of the GAB, and it issued.

      "Roads, roofs and parking lots not only cause climate change all by themselves," Err, they have local effects, not widespread., as determined by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project: "Influence of Urban Heating on the Global Temperature Land Average using Rural Sites Identified from MODIS Classifications", http://www.scitechnol.com/2327-4581/2327-4581-1-104.pdf

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    3. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      Yes , David, I said there were other aquifers but you were lamenting the GAB not having forest cover in the recharge areas.

      The recharge areas are mainly in wetlands where tree cover has little bearing.

      "Err, they have local effects, not widespread., as determined by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project"

      Roads, roofs and parking lots, not to mention all the other infrastructure that absorbs huge amounts of energy during the hot days and radiate it at night, are where the thermometers…

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    4. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "Yes , David, I said there were other aquifers but you were lamenting the GAB not having forest cover in the recharge areas."

      Actually, Mr Inglis, Brigalow belt does include recharge areas for GAB; anyway, my exact wording was "such as the Great Artesian Basin", which i intended to mean GAB AND other aquifers whose recharge areas have been subject to tree-clearing.

      Sure you can demonstrate an urban heat island effect, and so can i if I paint my shed black; however, that doesn't alter that…

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    5. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      "Sure you can demonstrate an urban heat island effect, and so can i if I paint my shed black; however, that doesn't alter that it is not significant on a global level"

      Don't need a black shed David, but even so, how much black is there in city and airport infrastructure?

      And a constantly cleared black runway in the Arctic ice?

      No UHIE?

      Yet you are right. If you use satellite measurement there is no UHIE and the last 17 years are cooling but if you use thermometers in cities and airports…

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    6. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      As per previous, the Koch Brothers-funded Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature established no difference between all-of-US temperature trends and all-non-urban-US temperature trends.

      Regarding the "17 years of slow atmospheric warming", we've discussed that refuted furphy previously; for more information, please revisit https://theconversation.com/is-global-warming-in-a-hiatus-18367.

      And no, coastal rivers shouldn't be damned. Rainwater tanks, urban footprint harvesting and water recycling between them pretty well suffice on East Coast Australia.

      You've heard of 'carrying capacity', haven't you? If a city still runs out of water with these measures in place, then we've established what the maximum population can be.

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    7. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      When you know most of the major weather stations throughout the world are in similar places, you have to be extremely naïve to think UHIE doesn't exist:

      "Thermal image of Melbourne showing the urban heat island effect, where built-up zones are often warmer than rural areas, particularly after dark. On a hot day, the city can be up to seven degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside. The Urban Forest cools the city and mitigates the urban heat island effect. The red and orange areas in this…

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    8. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      It's not there is no heat island effect, of course it exists. However, it is insignificant.

      What I'm wondering is whether or not our being aware of this is also insignificant.

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    9. In reply to Jim Inglis

      Comment removed by moderator.

    10. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "Never mind that stronger winds accelerate evaporation and cause cooling."

      Err, evaporative cooling is insignificant relative to the downward current of warmed water in the Western Pacific from burying most of the heat in the deep ocean, away from where it can be evaporated. If you go to http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2106.html, and click on 'Figure 3', a schematic diagram of the processes they've elucidated will be displayed for your edification.

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    11. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      " urban heat island effect makes no difference to the world, because the total area affected by urban heat just isn't big enough. You don't get this, do you?"

      David, what you just go on denying is that almost all the ground based thermometers that measure GAT are where the UHIE is greatest.

      Where the most people live and have the most effect on global average temperatures.

      It's certain that you choose not to get that !

      And Matthew England's claim that slightly increased trade winds in…

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    12. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      A bit of history on Matthew England's comments on the global warming "pause":

      "April 2012: Professor Matthew England [on the ABC’s Q&A] accuses sceptics of telling untruths when they say the planet hasn’t warmed as the IPCC predicted:

      What Nick just said is actually not true. The IPCC projections from 1990 have borne out very accurately.

      December 2012: England accuses sceptics of lying when they say the rise in global air temperatures has paused:

      And so anybody out there lying…

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    13. In reply to Jim Inglis

      Comment removed by moderator.

    14. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "David, what you just go on denying is that almost all the ground based thermometers that measure GAT are where the UHIE is greatest."

      Mr Inglis, the BEST project used those ground-based thermometers to see if the urban heat island effect is globally significant ... and found that it isn't.

      I'm not sure that you should persist in casting smears at scientists who tell you what you don't want to know.

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    15. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Err, actually, England is correct, insofar as temperature rise over the last couple of decades HAS REMAINED WITHIN THE LIMITS OF UNCERTAINTY of published estimates.

      (BTW, they are NOT IPCC estimates per se, the IPCC is simply a periodic review of all the work of all climate scientists in the world.)

      Finally, THERE IS NO HIATUS IN WARMING - it's just that the extra heat is being stored in ocean and melting ice instead of being stored in the atmosphere - that's why the thermometers don't measure its full extent. I clarified your misunderstanding of this issue in the conversation after "Scrapping EU renewable targets after 2020 makes no sense",
      http://theconversation.com/scrapping-eu-renewable-targets-after-2020-makes-no-sense-22284

      Do you need me to go through it all again?

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    16. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      David, don't be rude, be sceptical.

      When you and I both know that the majority of the world's thermometers are in areas of UHIE, you have to take Muller's paper with a pinch of salt.

      It's about on par with Mann's hockey stick.

      Pseudoscience.

      Don't be so brainwashed on peer review and understand that science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

      When the IPCC models are shown and known to be more than 95% wrong, that is because climate science has proved they have got many things wrong.

      UHIE masks that 0.7c warming over the last 150 years to the point where the GHG theory could even be negative.

      When it is known and shown that UHIE in a city like Melbourne is up to 7.0c [10 times the measured warming], not to be sceptical is just belief AGW religion.

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    17. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "Finally, THERE IS NO HIATUS IN WARMING"

      Even Matthew England has thrown you under a bus there.

      Not only a hiatus but actual cooling for the last 17 years according to NASA RSS satellite.

      When, like ol' Travesty Trenberth, you are all desperate for any alibi and you all grasp at a different straw, it makes your multiple claims an ever escalating joke.

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    18. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "Finally, THERE IS NO HIATUS IN WARMING"

      That is, of course, in reply to David Arthur.

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    19. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Mr Inglis, how do you decide if the area around a ground-based station is subject to the heat island effect or not?

      In the case of Manhattan, it's easy. Likewise, the Utah Badlands.

      But how about the semi-rural outer suburbs of Chicago, where there may be some market gardens around some stations, and a WalMart and car-park next to another?

      Answer: you look at their spectra through MODIS, and compare it to either Manhattan or Jimmy Carter's peanut farm, say,or even George Bush's ranch…

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    20. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Mr Inglis, there is no hiatus in WARMING.

      Yes, there has been a marked slowing of increase in air TEMPERAURE, but there has been NO slowing in rate of ice melting, and NO slowdown in rate of ocean warming; in fact, rate of ice melting has INCREASED, and rate of ocean warming has INCREASED - even as rate of air temperature rise has DECREASED.

      As previously pointed out, this was explained to you in the conversation after "Scrapping EU renewable targets after 2020 makes no sense",
      http://theconversation.com/scrapping-eu-renewable-targets-after-2020-makes-no-sense-22284

      Evidently, you needed me to explain it all to you once more.

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    21. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      GAT for the last 17 years is cooling according to one of the only UHIE-free temp measuring devices we have.

      Sea ice is average.

      Land ice is somewhat unknown but in the Antarctic which accounts for 90% it is probably increasing.

      In the '40s ice caps were lower than today. As much as 1000' some claim.

      SLs are stable.

      We are still not as warm as the MWP.

      These things always change and fluctuate. There is no evidence of anything other than natural variation.

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    22. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "GAT for the last 17 years is cooling according to one of the only UHIE-free temp measuring devices we have." err, no - as confirmed by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project.

      "Sea ice is average." Err, no: Arctic sea ice is undoubtedly decreasing in extent and thickness, and Antarctic sea ice has been increasing due to surface waters decreasing in salinity sufficient to freeze.

      "Land ice is somewhat unknown but in the Antarctic which accounts for 90% it is probably increasing…

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    23. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      Berkley Earth is not a measurement system. It is just some alarmist's opinion.

      Here is actual UHIE-free measurement of GAT for the last 17 years showing cooling:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1997/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997/normalise:0.5/scale:0.5/offset:0.34

      Even data that includes UHIE [hadcrut4]shows cooling for the last 13 years:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/trend:2014/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997/normalise:0.5/scale:0.5/offset:0.34

      WFT is data…

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    24. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      As previously explained, BEST is a REVIEW of meteorological data, not an observation system. It has reviewed all the data, and found the data to be beyond reproach.

      Give up on the UHIE fantasy, Mr Inglis: it does NOT explain temperature rise in the instrumental period, whereas atmospheric greenhouse gases DOES.

      That sea level is rising is beyond dispute. Matter of fact, with atmospheric temperature increase, you'd be expecting sea levels to also increase if oceans are also warming. Guess what?

      They are warming, and therefore they're expanding. But sea levels are also rising FASTER than thermal expansion, which must be due to melting of terrestrial icecaps.

      IS melting of terrestrial icecaps observed? Yes.

      No amount of rage against reality will change reality - which makes the raging kind of pointless. Relax, and enjoy the ride.

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    25. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      "No amount of rage against reality will change reality"

      Precisely !! And that's exactly what you're doing.

      And with no evidence, observation or even rational scepticism to back up your rage.

      Just religious belief and hand waving.

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    26. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Thanks Mr Inglis.

      "And with no evidence, observation or even rational scepticism to back up your rage." The irony is, I refer you to the evidence.

      That's not rational scepticism you bring to this subject, it's exceptional faith in magic.

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    27. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      "That's not rational scepticism you bring to this subject, it's exceptional faith in magic."

      But with majority support:

      "the CSIRO reported last week only 47 per cent of Australians buy its spin that the climate is changing and we’re to blame.

      Australians now rate global warming of “low importance”, the CSIRO sighed, and warmists faced “the challenge of finding the right language” to gee them up. But up bobs another Climate Change Research Centre scientist to show the warmists’ problem isn’t the “right language” but the false hype."

      If you alarmists were just a little bit more rational and a bit less religious you would do yourselves and the world less harm.

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    28. Cory Zanoni

      Community Manager at The Conversation

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Jim and David:

      This thread started off so well a few days ago but it seems to have, bit by by, drifted further from constructive discussion of the topic at hand to "has warming paused or not" while also getting increasingly personal.

      I'll leave the comments up and open for now, but please keep the subject of the article in mind when posting. These slips to cyclical arguments and personal attacks need to stop. Keep things constructive above all else.

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    29. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Cory Zanoni

      Mr Inglis's propositions regarding climate science having been either rebutted or refuted, the only remaining subject is the thinking behind said propositions.

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    30. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      That WFT plot simply confirms what I have been trying to get through to you for a long time.

      The difference between UHIE temp and non UHIE.

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    31. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      If you think there's a difference between GISTEMP (which you claim to be affected by this UHIE) and RSS (which you claim to not be affected by this UHIE), then why not compare them directly?
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1997/normalise:0.5/scale:0.5/offset:0.34/plot/gistemp/from:1997/normalise:0.5/scale:0.5/offset:0.34

      Better still, why not look at the entire period for which RSS database is available?
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1980/normalise:0.5/scale:0.5/offset:0.34/plot/gistemp/from:1980/normalise:0.5/scale:0.5/offset:0.34

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    32. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "The difference between UHIE temp and non UHIE." Err, no.

      If cities get hotter than there surrounds, is the heat going to travel into those surrounding areas, so much so that the entire non-urban US is as much affected by this heat as much as urban USA itself?

      Or rather, is that urban heat going to RISE, straight up into the lower troposphere measured by RSS?

      If RSS isn't affected by UNIE, as you claim, then all the urban heat spreads sideways and none of it spreads upwards. I don't think there's a bird, or a glider pilot, that would believe you.

      Result: RSS must be affected at least as much as surface measurements by urban heat - and BEST has shown that on a continent-wide basis, urban heat is insignificant at ground level.

      Thanks for coming.

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    33. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      David, I'm typing this very slowly so you'll maybe understand.

      Now are you paying close attention?

      When you put thermometers in cities, airports and unnaturally heated parts of the Tundra it is the same as putting a match under the thermometer bulb.

      The "match" is the UHIE.

      It reads warmer than it should.

      GEDDIT?

      When you read the TLT you lose that concentration of heat that is supplied by the "match".

      The TLT gives you the more correct land/ocean temp

      And the last 17 years shows actual cooling.

      Gistemp only shows cooling for the last 12 years:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2002/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997/normalise:0.5/scale:0.5/offset:0.34

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    34. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "When you read the TLT you lose that concentration of heat that is supplied by the "match"."

      Err, no, Mr Inglis: because heat rises, lower troposphere temperature is more affected by urban heat islands than is surrounding areas at ground level; no wonder BEST found no effect of urban heat on regions well away from urban areas.

      Simple, really - you just get it exactly the wrong way round.

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    35. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      David, when the people in those UHIE affected places feel that heat up to 7.0c warmer, the thermometers that record temp in those areas also record that rise.
      http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/ParksandActivities/Parks/Documents/UF_Art_Design_Comp_Fact_Sheet.DOC

      But because the rising heat from those relatively tiny pockets of recorded excessive heat is mixed with the huge background temperature of the global land/ocean, the TLT measured by the satellites averages out the UHIE over the globe.

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    36. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "But because the rising heat from those relatively tiny pockets of recorded excessive heat is mixed with the huge background temperature of the global land/ocean, the TLT measured by the satellites averages out the UHIE over the globe."

      EXACTLY!

      The heat from those relatively tiny pockets RISES, Mr Inglis, so it doesn't affect ground-based thermometers outside of those areas.

      When they estimate global mean temperature rise based on ground-based temperature stations, they don't just average…

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    37. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      David, when people and thermometers are both registering that 7.0c increase in cities like Melbourne, and satellite temps are consistently cooler than surface temps which is always the case, your argument is meaningless.

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    38. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "satellite temps are consistently cooler than surface temps"

      Well, there you go: between the surface and the altitude measured by the satellites, there's an increasing amount of CO2 - which is stopping the heat from leaving the surface and getting up to where the satellites can detect it.

      "satellite temps are consistently cooler than surface temps" Mr Inglis, you do realise that this is acknowlement that the anthropogenically enhanced greenhouse effect is causing global warming?

      "when people and thermometers are both registering that 7.0c increase in cities like Melbourne" then perhaps some of them will accept that anthropogenic global warming is happening.

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    39. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      "when people and thermometers are both registering that 7.0c increase in cities like Melbourne" then perhaps some of them will accept that anthropogenic global warming is happening.

      That's what I have been telling you all along.

      It's just that it hasn't got anything to do with CO2

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    40. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      So far I understand that urban heat island effect is elevating temperature at centre of Melbourne, perhaps by as much as 4 dec C on some days (http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-city-centre-a-death-trap-as-heatisland-effect-takes-its-toll-20140116-30xt8.html).

      I'm pleased you've been telling me that, and I'm also pleased that we both understand that the urban heat island effect is not a consequence of greenhouse gas-driven global warming. I am not and have not ever claimed that urban heat island effect is a consequence.

      On the other hand, I have argued and continue to argue that global average temperature rise is independent of urban heat island effect.

      That is, publicised estimates of global average temperature are not affected by urban heat island effect, so any and all claims to the effect that "there is no CO2 warming, you're just seeing urban heat islands affecting weather station" are a load of nonsense.

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    41. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      So you are saying that the thermometer is heating several degrees pretty much every day as a result of UHIE but that is not measured and is of no consequence.

      Yet when it heats 0.7 of a degree over a century or so as a result of man made CO2, that is the only increase that is recorded via a publicised estimate?

      What is it about the UHIE that is manufacturing the AGW that you don't get?

      Please explain how it cannot but increase estimates of AGW.

      To reason as you do, David, is not only totally illogical but straight-out wishful thinking.

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    42. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "So you are saying that the thermometer is heating several degrees pretty much every day as a result of UHIE but that is not measured and is of no consequence." Err, no. I'm saying that if the thermometers in cities that represent 0.6% of the earth's surface warm up by any of 0,1,2,3 and 4 deg C (take your pick) on any given day, or maybe even 5, 6 or 7 deg C, then it is not globally significant.

      At least, it isn't globally significant relative to the fact that ALL the thermometers in the world…

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    43. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      David, what you are in denial of is that the 0.6% of the earth's surface that is densely populated, UHI effected, and where most of the official thermometers are kept, is where the global average temperature is almost entirely measured.

      The rest is kriged by Cowtan and Way.

      Forget Richard Muller and think for yourself.

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    44. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      Mr Inglis, since you seem to not think enough to understand the explanation of the effect of how average temperatures across large areas are calculated, allow me to explain.

      Imagine a State of 1,000,000 sq km area, and in that state are 10 cities each of 2,500 sq km. That's a total urban area of 25,000 sq km that could potentially be affected by urban heat island effect: 2.5% of the State.

      Suppose each city has a weather observatory with a thermometer that is potentially affected by urban…

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    45. Jim Inglis

      retired

      In reply to David Arthur

      David, every station is affected by UHIE to some extent.

      There is no SS that is just placed in the bush with no other infrastructure.

      There are just varying degrees of infrastructure.

      Even if most are not affected to any measurable degree, many are, and none of them are cooled by the UHIE.

      So the net effect is warming.

      Yesterday I drove from my home 80k from the city into the city and then out to the suburbs on the other side. I have a barometer in the car which reads height above…

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    46. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Jim Inglis

      "David, every station is affected by UHIE to some extent."

      Err, no. There is no urban heat island around remote monitoring sites - they even take care to put the thermometer housing well away from pavement - and BoM doesn't even have the budget to surround a remote site with hectares of asphalt.

      As previously stated URBAN HEAT ISLAND AFFECT EFFECTS URBAN AREAS - and the air above them.

      For that reason, ground-based thermometry is less affected by heat islands than lower troposhere thermometry - and even then, it is just not GLOBALLY significant.

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  5. Jim Inglis

    retired

    I wonder how the Amazon fared during the extended drought that wiped out the Mayan civilization and left whole cities abandoned.

    Climate Change can be a problem.

    Our own drought c/w warm spring and summer has stressed our forests to the point where they have responded with the most amazing flowering.

    Every second eucalypt looks like a cauliflower ready for picking and the heady, sweet smell of the gum nuts exploding with flower is overwhelming.

    Even the wattle are doing it.

    It is enough to get all the "screechers" drunk and they cant believe their good fortune. Increasing numbers race around madly, from one tree to the next, trying to find the greatest bonanza.

    You have to watch them or they will knock you over in the rush ☺.

    It's wonderful how nature often fills the breech.

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  6. Bob Bingham

    logged in via Facebook

    Forests are burning all around the World and the Amazon is no exception. Just one of the bigger ones. Humans are putting a huge pulse of CO2 into the atmosphere even without the help of nature, If nature stops absorbing CO2 and starts emitting we will be in big trouble. http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/climate-threats.html

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