Open letter from RCP8.5 to the climate science community, reprinted with permission.
Here's a highly objectionable little nugget you snuck in there: "But that was then. Today, things have changed. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) produced a tidal wave of cheap natural gas, which produces less carbon dioxide when converted to electricity." --> Are you literally being funded by Chesapeake Energy?!
This intentionally ignores the impact of methane leaked directly into the atmosphere by natural gas operations. Such methane is not being measured or monitored by the industry or government, so we truly have no idea how much there is, but citizens with infrared cameras document huge plumes of the stuff. Since they're not being measured, they're not ending up in your models. That doesn't mean that they don't exist. As the other commenter on this post points out, your models are underestimating warming by a huge amount. All these models and scenarios are tools of political obfuscation and mendacity.
But more to the point is what the fracking boom has done, politically. It caused the war in Ukraine, which resulted in the biggest single methane release in human history when the Nord Stream pipeline was blown up by the CIA. Here's how the Fracking boom caused Ukraine:
Consider the orchestration of events in 2022. Remember, as you do so, the history that orchestrated those events: the coup in the Maidan, but earlier than that, the fracking boom in America that briefly transformed the landscape of the midwest into man-camps. This turned out to be the worst petroinvestment in recent history; frackers were losing money on every unit sold. The energy section of the Stock Market became a toxic swamp of cons as dollars turned into costly objects that produced oil at a capital loss. It was a perpetual moneyhole during years when the rest of the Market was delivering big returns on the beloved FAANGS. And yet, money kept going down the moneyhole. The big guys don’t pull their money out of an investment that goes down. Rather, they intervene in the material world to turn the bet around, at least to the point where they can exit the position without embarrassing losses. The $5.4 billion that Cheniere used to build the first LNG export terminal at Sabine Pass came from people who expected that money back. The problem was, the economics made no sense at the energy prices of the day. The price of natural gas had crashed with everything else in 2008, but had never recovered as frackers like Chesapeake Energy (ticker: CHK) swamped the market with product that couldn’t really be stored or stockpiled. They had cracked the earth and the methane was spurting out; not a process over which the human agents have all that much control. For one thing, it could only be transported via pipeline. Since it is so voluminous, tanks don’t make economic sense. Therefore, unlike oil, it could only be sold in places continentally contiguous to its source. The gas market in Europe faced towards the East; the Nord Stream 1 had been online since 2011; many things America wants to control, but can’t. Chesapeake could only sell to North and South America, and they had crashed those markets with a massive influx in product, the result of a fun-sounding process of underground liquid sandbombs that destabilized the very earth to shake free the methane within. They lost more money with each cubic-foot they pumped out, and yet they could not stop. They desperately needed to reach the Asian and European markets. And not only reach, but control over, because fracking was already more expensive than conventional methane extraction, and squeezing it into a liquid only added expense. So they needed to sell it, but they needed to sell it in a market that could support much higher prices. They needed a war.
February of 2012, Blackstone and other partners committed $5.4 billion in debt financing to Cheniere Energy (Stock ticker: LNG) to build the Sabine Pass LNG export terminal. An asset that could become a liability unless Russia was shut out of the European gas market by the time the product came online, projected to be in 2016. Maidan in 2014 was just on time.
The first thing to say is that there is a huge population of Russian-speaking Ukranians. The borders have shifted and dissolved many times around people who are culturally and linguistically Russian, as opposed to those who speak Ukrainian. However inconvenient it may be for those who want war, those people exist and were being treated as second-class citizens.
Much has been written but too little read about the 2014 Maidan coup. I urge you to remember back at the time, we were keenly aware that the protestors and then the new government included Banderite fascists. Though many now profess ignorance. It looks like a textbook post-gladio operation, the type which is frequently attempted but that rarely works, except when they do. It’s been proven that the massacre at the Maidan was perpetrated by the protesters on their own unwitting numbers, and it is the post-coup government was more virulently anti-Russian than any since the end of the Soviet Union. The first act of the Poroshenko government involved marginalizing the Russian language from public spaces. If the function of a machine is its result, the function of the Maidan operation was to put everyone on a war footing, a position from which the state department leveraged more and more pressure against Russia by scheduling the inclusion of the Kiev government in NATO. If you don’t understand why that was a red line for the Russians, you need to read more history.
Sabine Pass was an export terminal without a corresponding import terminal anywhere in the world. The investors were content to play con games with the debt from Sabine Pass, but paled at the prospect of funding anything else before the cash started to flow.
When Zelensky was elected in 2019, it looked like it could get in the way of the war planning. He was elected as the peace candidate, who spoke Russian and was Jewish. It’s unclear what the Americans did to him to get him to fully commit to this, but they got him where they wanted, and finally in 2022, America gave Russia the final ultimatum: Invade Ukraine, or we’ll include it in NATO. That happened to be Putin’s red line – whatever his red line happened to be, the US would have threatened to cross it in January 2022. We wanted the war, which is exactly why we are told with such vehemence that the war is unprovoked.
Once war started just in time to cancel Nord Stream 2, deals are made fast. The European people were threatened with a cold winter of gas shortages, and so they let the EU arrange a massive public investment in LNG. Immediately, shipments that had been going to China were diverted to Europe. As was the desired outcome, Russian exports to the EU dropped by 56% and American LNG imports to the EU jumped from 2,585 million cubic metres per month to 4,562. All out of existing LNG infrastructure: Sabine Pass in Louisiana to export, Dunkirk to import. Even during that time, these facilities were being utilized at a maximum of ~80% of capacity, a peak which went down quickly. In 2022 the UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, Norway, and Portugal signed 17 long-term contracts—15 or 20 years—to buy billions of cubic meters per year, from brand-new plants. By March 2023, there were nine export terminals operating, and three more under construction, including the massive Plaquemines facility, which is visible to the naked eye from space.
From now on, LNG stands for “Leaky Natural Gas.” It is impossible to know how leaky all this infrastructure is. It could all very well be spewing vast amounts of methane into the air at every transition-point. We don’t know how much, and we don’t want to know. The input gas leaks from every pore on its way into the factory, and also it frequently explodes. Once it is liquid, it must be kept at -162ᵒC or else it evaporates (your freezer keeps stuff at -18ᵒC). An energy-intensive proposition, especially sailing across the Atlantic in unprecedented heat. One assumes that every time the tank accidentally warms up, from a power failure or just a cost-saving measure on the open sea, they outgas the evaporated methane. That could be a little, or it could be a lot, and we will likely never know.
Remember that methane retains a lot more heat than CO2. The Gotta Hear Both Sides is that it does degrade into component molecules over time. But the next ten to twenty years of warming are the ones that worry me the most. By the end of what’s coming, it may not really matter anymore.
A second point concerning the validity of models.
You have a LOT more faith in them than I do. There are so many flaws in our current models that are artifacts of how our understanding of the Climate System has evolved over time. The main thing to understand is that they are underestimating the warming effect of CO2 by about 40%.
There are huge amounts of evidence indicating this is the case.
1. The Paleoclimate data for the last 23 million years indicates this. The last time CO2 levels were this high the global mean temperature was 4C warmer than our 1950-1980 baseline. Not 1.5C, 4C.
2. How hot do you think it is now? The "observed" temperature is 1.3C over the baseline. But, we now know that as much as 0.9C of warming has been hidden by anthropogenic particulates in the atmosphere. IE, it's really about 40% hotter than we feel. If we stop acting like a "Pinatubo" and putting massive amounts of SOx particulate into the air via diesel fuels, our planet will RAPIDLY warm.
BTW this is happening"right now".
In 2020 the World Maritime Organization mandated a reduction of sulfur in all marine diesel fuels globally. From 3.5% to 0.5%. This will prevent 22 million deaths from air pollution each year. It is also causing a massive drop in SOx levels in the atmosphere as these particulates wash out of the air in about 3-5 years (see Pinatubo eruption effect).
This is a big reason this El Nino is going to be a world shaking monster. We are about to get a lot of the warming that's been masked. We are about to find out how much our models (dominated by the Moderate Faction in Climate Science) were off.
The deafening silence coming from academics when it comes to the misuse and absuse of scenarios in public communication products is concerning. Thank you for clarifying that 8.5 is merely an esoteric tool that belongs only in the lab, and that it probably should never have been splashed over the pages of major media.
Lastly, here's a link to my Climate Report. It's in multiple parts.
You should read my Climate Report 2022. At least the part on where the heat is coming from. The planetary albedo has dimmed enough to double the radiative solar forcing since around 2014 (see Goodes paper on Project Earthshine and the NASA Ceres datasets if you have doubts). Hansen confirmed this and several other researchers as well.
Here's a study that confirms the rate of warming has accelerated.
Heat stored in the Earth system 1960–2020: where does the energy go?
Pub. April 2023 Earth System Science Data
This study builds on the first internationally and multidisciplinary Earth heat inventory in 2020 (von Schuckmann et al., 2020) and provides an update on total Earth system heat accumulation, heat storage in all Earth system components (ocean, land, cryosphere, atmosphere), and the Earth energy imbalance up to the year 2020.
Moreover, this study improved earlier estimates and further extended and fostered international collaboration, allowing researchers to move towards a more complete view of where and how much heat is stored in the Earth system through the addition of new estimates such as for permafrost thawing, inland freshwater (Sect. 4), and Antarctic sea ice (Sect. 5).
Results obtained reveal a total Earth system heat gain of 381±61 ZJ over the period 1971–2020, with an associated total heating rate of 0.48±0.1 W m−2.
About 89 % of this heat is stored in the ocean, about 6 % on land, about 4 % in the cryosphere, and about 1 % in the atmosphere (Figs. 8, 9).
The analysis additionally reconfirms an increased heating rate which amounts to 0.76±0.2 W m−2 for the most recent era (2006–2020).
The drivers for this change still need to be elucidated, and they most likely reflect the interplay between natural variability and anthropogenic change (Loeb et al., 2021; Kramer et al., 2021; Liu et al., 2020); their implications for changes in the Earth system are reflected in the many record levels of change in the 2000s reported elsewhere (e.g., Cheng et al., 2022b; Forster et al., 2021; Gulev et al., 2021).
Solar forcing jumped from about 0.48W/m2 to about 0.76W/m2 around 2010.
It's getting hotter faster now. Another hard measurement indicating the models and the Moderates are wrong.
Interesting and amusing. A novel way of framing things and making an easy to follow/understand narrative. I have multiple points of disagreement but I liked what you did here.
It was interesting that you said a 1% increase in CO2 levels was unlikely. If CO2 levels are at 420ppm and go up about 4ppm per year (close to the current rate) then they are going up 1% per year. Particularly when the influence of increasing methane level has driven the de facto level of CO2 equivalent to over 460ppm levels.
Your statement that the RCP8.5 scenario is "unlikely" is flat out wrong. It is actually quite possible.