Posts by category: History of global warming

The Kigali Agreement: 30-years phase-out plan for Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

The Kigali Agreement: 30-years phase-out plan for Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is a family of factory-made potent greenhouse gases, used as refrigerants in air conditioning systems in vehicles and buildings, and in aerosol propellants, solvents, fire retardants etc. HFCs were developed as replacements for Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), because these gases deplete the ozone layer. The Kigali Agreement announced mid-October, among more than 170 countries, is an extremely complicated amendment to the ozone-shielding Montreal Protocol from 1987.

HFCs, CFCs and HCFCs are all so called Fluorinated gases, or F-gases, and they are released into the atmosphere through leaks, servicing, disposal of equipment etc. The diagram below from ‘NOAA’ shows the atmospheric content since 1978 of four commonly used F-gases.

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Historic use of phrases such as Climate Change, Biodiversity, Renewable Energy, Fracking, etc. (Google Books Ngram Viewer)

Historic use of phrases such as Climate Change, Biodiversity, Renewable Energy, Fracking, etc. (Google Books Ngram Viewer)

Ngram Viewer’ is a Google search service showing graphs of historic use of words and phrases in books published in the United States (until 2008). The diagram below shows the trend of the phrases: Climate Change, Biodiversity, Global Warming, Deforestation, Renewable Energy, Greenhouse Effect, Invasive Species and Fracking. The corpus search is in “English” (case-insensitive), between 1980 and 2008. Read the comments below the diagram.

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IEA estimate: No reduction of global CO2 Emissions in 2014

IEA estimate: No reduction of global CO2 Emissions in 2014

Preliminary data from the ‘International Energy Agency (IEA)‘ suggest no reduction of global CO2 Emissions from fossil fuels in 2014 compared to 2013. Global emissions were 31.7 Billion tons in 2012 and 32.3 Billion tons in 2013 as well as in 2014 (preliminary estimate). The diagram below copied from ‘IEA Key World Energy Statistics 2014’ show the global emissions from 1971 to 2012. According to IEA 2014 was the first year in four decades with growing global economy (by 3%) without a corresponding increase of CO2 Emissions from fossil fuels. Or as IEA puts it: “for the first time, greenhouse gas emissions are decoupling from economic growth.” Since the world population is growing around 1% annually the CO2 Emissions per capita has decreased by about 1% in 2014 compared to 2013 (preliminary estimate). This good news must, however, be put into perspective before applause breaks out – read below the diagram.

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Polynomial projections of global warming 1880-2014 … 2130

Polynomial projections of global warming 1880-2014 … 2130

The global Land (air) Temperature of 2014 was the 4th warmest ever measured. Both the global Ocean (air) Temperature and the combined Ocean and Land Temperature of 2014 were the warmest ever measured (see ‘here‘).

A ‘polynomial projection’ (or polynomial interpolation) of temperature is neither a prediction nor a scientific scenario with certain assumptions. A polynomial projection reproduces data into the future in a sounder manner than a linear projection. The five diagrams below show the global Land (air) Temperature since 1880 with polynomial projections from 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2014 … projected by 2130. The red projection line start at 0°C in 1880 and the passing-years of 1°C, 2°C, 3°C etc. are marked. Read the comments below the diagrams.

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IPCC worst case scenarios from 1990 and 2014 (in comparison with the actual global warming)

IPCC worst case scenarios from 1990 and 2014 (in comparison with the actual global warming)

In October 2014 IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report 2014 was released (IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The Summary for Policymakers (40 pages), the Headline Statements (2 pages), the Presentation (PowerPoint, 26 dias) and a Longer Report (116 pages) are available ‘here’. The four sub-reports 2013-2014 (a total of 5622 pages) are available ‘here’. The presentation of the gloomy message is overwhelming and totally confusing to common people (is that really necessary?).

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Early history of global warming science and predictions

Early history of global warming science and predictions

Here are some highlights of the early history of climate change science and predictions from 300 BC until the release of the First Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report in 1990:

300 BC

The Greek philosopher ‘Theophrastus’ (a student of Aristotle) documented that human activity affects the climate. He observed that drainage of marshes cooled an area around Thessaly and that clearing of forests near Philippi warmed the climate. See this publication from 1894: “On Winds and on Weather Signs” (translated, with an introduction and notes).

1824-1827

The French mathematician and physicist ‘Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier’ (1768-1830) found that the atmosphere kept the planet warmer and he made calculations of the warming effect. He suspected that human activities could influence the climate, although he focused on land use changes. Fourier’s findings are widely recognized as the first proposal of what today is known as the greenhouse effect. Read more ‘here‘.

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