Climate Change 2016 – The Future Has Arrived: References
By Bruce Melton PE
Climate Change Now Initiative, 501c3

1)     Extremes…
Herring et al., Explaining Extreme Events of 2015 from a Climate Perspective, BAMS, December, 2016.

2)     Attempts at Climate Reform…
Kyoto Protocol Era emissions reductions were born of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The Clean Power Plan is 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 (1969 levels of 4007 Gt C) vs. Kyoto at 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012 (1984 levels of 4559 Gt C). CPP is 12 percent more stringent but 18 years behind. Kyoto commitments for Phase II were generally at 80 percent below 1990 by 2020. (The United States, South Sudan and Afghanistan were the only countries to not ratify Kyoto). The current UNFCCC commitment by the United States is 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, 30 years behind.  2015 Paris Climate Conference emissions reduction commitments of 80 percent by 2050 are literally 30 years later than Kyoto Protocol commitments of 80 percent by 2020.
Historical Emissions 1850 to present, World Resource Institute:  (download full data)
Clean Power Plan Fact Sheet:
Kyoto Protocol Reference Manual:
Phase II Kyoto Protocol:
United States 2050 UNFCCC commitment:
Current Policy doubles to triples warming we have already endured…  The IPCC’s new Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenario of RCP2.6, is basically the same thing as 80 percent emissions reductions by 2050 and is described by the IPCC as a “strong mitigation scenario.” RCP2.6 has CO2 peaking at about 440 ppm between 2050 and 2060 and temperature at 1.5 degree C 30 to 40 years later. The increase of 1.6 degrees C is double the current warming since the 1700s. This increase however is the average increase. The worst-case RCP2.6 warming is 2.7 degrees C or more than triple current warming. Considering the understating nature of the IPCC consensus (See Reference 7), the upper limits should be strongly considered as a distinctly plausible. Under the average RCP2.6 modeling and 1.6 degrees of warming with aggressive emissions reductions, the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere does not fall below today’s level until after 2150, and does not return to preindustrial era temperature until long after the year 3000. Under the most extreme RCP2.6 limits with 2.7 degrees of warming above preindustrial times, Earth’s temperature does not fall below our current temperature for well over a 1,000 years.
Meinshausen et al., The RCP greenhouse gas concentrations and their extensions from 1765 to 2300, Climatic Change, November 2011, figure 6.

3)     Manmade Climate Change Extends Back 8,000 Years…
Rudimann, Late Holocene climate-natural or anthropogenic?, Reviews of Geophysics, December 29, 2015.

4)     Increasing Wildfire Across Western North America…
Westerling, Increasing western US forest wildfire activity, sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, May 23, 2016.
Abatzoglou and Williams, Impact of anthropogenic climate change on wildfire in the western US, PNAS, October 16, 2016.

5)     The Amazon Continues to Emit More Carbon than it Absorbs…
Feldpausch, Amazon forest response repeated droughts, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, July 1, 2016.
Press Release:
Lewis at. al., The 2010 Amazon Drought, Science, February, 2011.
(Free subscription)

6)     Greenland Ice Sheet Aquifer Found to Enhance Melt Runoff…
Macghuth, et al., Greenland meltwater storage in firn limited by near-surface ice formation, Nature Climate Change, January 4, 2016.
Free Researchgate subscription:

7)     A  Large Increase in Methane Emissions…
Turner et al., A large increase in U.S. methane emissions over the past decade inferred from satellite data and surface observations, Geophysical Research Letters, February 6, 2016.

8)     El Nino…
Evaluation of annual data from GISTEMP global temperature data.
GISTEMP Team, 2016: GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP). NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Dataset accessed 20YY-MM-DD at
Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lo, 2010: Global surface temperature change, Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4004, doi:10.1029/2010RG000345.

9)     Psycho…
The Climate Change Counter Movement and it's purposeful deceit of the American Public.
Farrell, Corporate funding and ideological polarization about climate change, PNAS, January 5, 2016.

10) Abrupt Sea Level Rise
Hansen et al., Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 ◦C global warming could be dangerous, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, March 27, 2016.

11) NOAA's Ice Sheet Collapse Warning…
This is an "ostensible" ice sheet collapse warning. In other words:  being such in appearance:  plausible rather than demonstrably true or real. In an interview in the Insurance Journal in April, Margaret Davidson, NOAA’s senior advisor for coastal inundation and resilience science and services said "recent data that has been collected but has yet to be made official indicates sea levels could rise by roughly 3 meters or 9 feet [9.8 feet] by 2050-2060, far higher and quicker than current projections." This report was widely discounted in the press and by theoretical "experts". Davidson further explained herself in an interview in ClimateCrocks--itself with a substantially questioning title " New Sea Level Story May be a Step too Far". The words of Davidson have great meaning however and completely negate any attempt at discounting her statements. ClimateCrocks posted a text obtained from Margaret Davidson of NOAA to Eric Holthaus of Slate, of which the following quote summarizes the pertinent information: “i explained the time lag between observations/data in the field and published approved scientific consensus of peer reviewed literature can be as much as 10 years. and as before, the next approved consensus will likely see a notable uptick in slr [sea level rise] guidance (based upon field work in the period ’05-13) as it will need to have been published by 2017 when the synthesis process begins anew. I am not a scientist, but hang with them a lot. referenced recent paper by Hansen et al (which suggested 3 to 5 meters by 2100 tho Hansen has been saying 5 meters for nearly 15 years.) current work re cryosphere and mass water balance, which is a more recent area of science work. and reports regarding current field observations as mentioned and discussed by experts at various scientific mtgs on presentation rooms an corridors within past 6 months. WA [West Antarctic Ice Sheet] deteriorating rapidly… portions of shelf are now ungrounded with a lens of water underneath like Greenland but different. actually said my personal opinion was 2 to 3 meters in the next 50 years (that 2100 was not a useful frame for most people.)”
Jerger, RIMS 2016: Sea Level Rise Will Be Worse and Come Sooner, Insurance Journal, April 12, 2016., Peter Sinclair, Caution: New Sea Level Story May be a Step too Far, April 21, 2016.
One meter (three feet) sea level rise adaptation limit… “only a limited number of adaptation options are available for specific coastal areas if sea level exceeds a certain threshold (1 m) at the end of the century.”
IPCC 2013, Physical Science Basis, Chapter 5, Coastal Systems and Low-lying Areas, Adaptation opportunities, Constraints and Limits, Page 393, paragraph 10.
Evidence is Common of abrupt sea level jumps in our Ancient Past…
40 mm per year…
Deschamps et al., Ice-sheet collapse and sea-level rise at the Bolling warming 14,600 years ago, Nature, March 29, 2012.
20 feet… O’Leary – Australia, The authors say 6m (20 feet) of sea level rise at 120,000 year before present in 1,000 years. Their data show a few hundred years.
Oleary et al., Ice sheet collapse following a prolonged period of stable sea level during the last interglacial, Nature Geoscience, July 28, 2013.
20 to 29 feet… Sea level in recent interglacials  with the Eemian, MIS 5e (~129,000 to 116,000 years ago) experiencing  sea level rise of 6 to 9 meters above today and a global temperature a few degrees C above today. During MIS 11 (Mid Pleistocene, ~424,000 to 395,000 years ago) there was 6 to 13 m of sea level rise and the temperature was about the same as today.
Dutton et al., Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during warm periods, Science, July 10, 2015. 
65 feet plus sea level rise mid-Pleistocene…
Hearty, MIS 11 rocks! The “smoking gun” of a catastrophic +20 m eustatic sea-level rise, Pages, April 2007.
Hearty et al., A +20 m middle Pleistocene sea-level highstand (Bermuda and the Bahamas) due to partial collapse of Antarctic ice, Geology, 1999. (abstract only)
Hearty, The Kaena highstand on Oahu, Hawaii: Further evidence of Antarctic Ice collapse during the middle, Pacific Science, 2002.'ena_Highstand_of_O'ahu_Hawai'i_Further_Evidence_of_Antarctic_Ice_Collapse_during_the_Middle_Pleistocene
Most Extreme: Xcaret REef -- 6.5 to 10 feet of sea level rise in 12 to 24 years… Xcaret Reef, Yucatan Peninsula: During the short warm period before our last 100,000 year-long ice age, very similar to what we are experiencing today, a reef called Xcaret on the Yucatan Peninsula was suddenly drowned. Corals are very picky about the depth of water where they live and the Elkhorn coral in particular was devastated by a sea level jump of 6.5 to 10 feet about 121,000 years ago. The jump came in several pulses, the largest of which was 6.5 to 10 feet. The time frame could not be determined exactly because dating materials this old is just not that accurate. The “backstepping,” literally, the reef moving back as the authors describe the drowning event, was very evident in their work as the normal coral skeletons were replaced dramatically by algal remains, indicating that suddenly, the water became too deep for the corals to survive. Even though chemical dating is not accurate enough to determine the time period of the sea level jump, the authors say that that it took place in a time frame that was one to two life spans of elkhorn coral. Because elkhorn lives 10 to 12 years, this time period could be as short as 10 to 24 years. First Paragraph, page 884: “During those jumps, direct measurement of rise rates shows that they exceeded 36 mm per year.” (1.2 feet per decade)
Blanchon, et al., Rapid sea level rise and reef back stepping at the close of the last interglacial highstand, Nature, April 2009.

12) Antarctic Ice Shelves Deteriorating Rapidly…
Ice shelves buttressing land ice in Antarctica have seen a dramatic decline in volume due to thinning and retreat. As the shelves thin from under ice melt, their ability to cling to surrounding land and grounded ice diminishes and ice flows faster from the interior. Part of the increase in ocean temperatures doing the melting is actually caused by increased sea ice coverage in Antarctica in recent decades. The increased sea ice itself is part of a melt water feedback where less salty (less dense) melt water floats on the surface of the ocean instead of mixing with saltier denser water below. The fresh water freezes faster and is responsible for more sea ice. The combination of increased sea ice and the fresh water cap decreases wind mixing of deep ocean waters into surface waters. This wind mixing is responsible for upwelling cold deep waters so less upwelling means that more heat is trapped in upper ocean waters. It is this upper ocean water that circulates beneath the ice shelves and causes the melt that destabilizes them and increase ice discharge. Paolo et al., Volume loss from Antarctic ice shelves is accelerating, Science Express, March 25, 2016.
Up to 100 meters (328 feet) of Under Ice Melt per year…
Underice melt in excess of 100 meters per year… The Pine Island Glacier at the Amundsen Sea Embayment, often referred to as the keystone of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Collapse, is thinning from under ice melt at a rate that is up to 100 meters per year (328 feet). The thinning is caused by increased circulation of warming ocean waters because the 3,000 foot-thick glacier has melted up off of its pinning ridge. Ocean circulation can now move far back into the ice sheet feeding the glacier in an over deepened sub glacial trough 30 miles wide extending 100 miles inland.
Dutrieux et al., Pine Island glacier ice shelf melt distributed at kilometre scales, The Cryosphere, September 26, 2013.

13) Ocean Heat Content Doubles in Recent Decades…
Gleckler et al., Industrial-era global ocean heat uptake doubles in recent decades, Nature Climate Change, January 18, 2016.

14) First Tipping Point Timeline for Collapse of the WAIS…
This work out of the German National Science Institute describes marine ice sheet collapse mechanisms, and how there is a very distinct tipping point with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet where collapse becomes irreversible in about 2050 to 2060. The very important take-away from this work is that to prevent ice sheet collapse the “perturbation” that creates the warming that is responsible for ice sheet collapse, which is mostly ocean warming, must end by at the latest 2050. This means that we must return ocean temperature to its preindustrial stable temperature by 2050. The challenge here is that it is much more difficult to cool the oceans than it is the atmosphere. Figure 3 shows the model runs that define the stable state in blue.
Feldmann and Levermann, Collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet after local destabilization of the Amundsen Basin, PNAS, November 17, 2015.

15) Dynamical Ice Sheet Collapse Modeling Arrives…
The abstract from DeConto and Pollard states: “model coupling ice sheet and climate dynamics—including previously underappreciated processes linking atmospheric warming with hydrofracturing of buttressing ice shelves and structural collapse of marine-terminating ice cliffs—that is calibrated against Pliocene and Last Interglacial sea-level estimates and applied to future greenhouse gas emission scenarios. Antarctica has the potential to contribute more than a metre of sea-level rise by 2100 and more than 13 metres by 2500, if emissions continue unabated.”
DeConto and Pollard, Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea level rise, Nature, March 31, 2016.

16) Larsen Ice Shelf Collapsing…
NASA, December 1:
NASA December 16:
Collapse of the Larsen B, due to warming:

17) Alternative's and Renewable Energy…
Triple that of the U.S. or Europe: IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2016.
World Energy Investment 2016, International Energy Administration.
No New Coal for China or India:
China --
India --

18) Stratospheric Geoengineering With Chlorides, Not Sulfates
Keith et al., Stratospheric solar geoengineering without ozone loss, PNAS, December 12, 2016.

19) Sequestration Through Mineralization: Much faster than Previously Understood…
Matter et al., Rapid carbon mineralization for permanent disposal of CO2, Science, June 10, 2016.
Free Researchgate account --

20) Carbon Capture Using Fuel Cells and Coal Fired Power—Generates More Net Energy, Not Less…
Fuel Cell Energy partnering with Exxon Mobile:
White paper:   

21) Direct Air Capture Work Continues…
Shi, Xiao, Lackner and Chen, Capture CO2 from Ambient Air Using Nanoconfined Ion Hydration, Angewandte Chemie, March 16, 2016.
Press Release:

22) American Physical Society and MIT "theoretical Controversy"…
Direct Air Capture (DAC) of Carbon Dioxide—Whose Science is Correct? Reports of new DAC technologies in the 2000s gave hope for a silver bullet for climate pollution. Estimates of costs on the order $20 per ton were made based on lab experiments and small scale projects. In 2011, two reports surfaced, one from the American Physical Society (APS) and the other from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Both declared the physics behind the promising research was impossible and that costs would be $600 to $1,000 per ton or more. Because of the plausibility of a simple solution to climate pollution, these reports were widely repeated in the media. What did not make the media however, were subsequent rebuttals that showed the two negative reports only evaluated mature, WWII Era carbon capture techniques and both made fundamental errors in physics. The rebuttals used the incorrect APS and MIT work to show that the former promising research was valid.
Global Thermostat Full Scale Pilot Project: $10 per ton with waste heat… The important aspect to understand about the Global Thermostat project is that energy is the largest component of DAC and these studies used $0.07 to $0.20 per kWh, whereas today solar power is at $0.03 per kWh and continuing to fall rapidly.
Global Thermostat Graciela Chichilnisky Presentation, slide 7, $10 per ton.  
Direct air capture (DAC) costs… Goeppert et al., produced a literature summary of current DAC findings in 2012. It is important to note that considerable false propaganda has been circulated in the media about the infeasibility of DAC based on a report by the American Physical Society. Discussion of this apparent controversy is given below highlights of Geoppert 2012.
Goeppert et al., Air as the renewable carbon source of the future - CO2 Capture from the atmosphere, Energy and Environmental Science, May 1, 2012.
Abstract only:!divAbstract
$20 per ton (just over) capture and storage… Section 5.1 paragraph 2, “using the K2CO3/KHCO3 cycle is described as being able to capture CO2 from air for less than $20 per ton. The total cost including sub-surface injection was estimated to be slightly above $20 per ton.”
$49 to $80 per ton… Section 5.1 paragraph 3: “An air capture system designed by Keith et al. using a Na/Ca cycle was estimated to cost approximately $500 per ton C ($140 per ton CO2).81,98 The authors added that about a third of this cost was related to capital and maintenance cost. Further development and optimization of the system by Carbon Engineering Ltd.113 for the effective extraction of CO2 from air resulted in the decrease of the estimated cost to $49–80 per tonne CO2.”
$30 per ton long term… Section 5.1, paragraph 5: “Lackner and co-workers developed an anionic exchange resin able to release CO2 in a moisture swing process. The cost of only the energy required per ton of CO2 collected was around $15. The initial cost of air capture including manufacturing and maintenance can be estimated at about $200 per ton of CO2. However, this cost is expected to drop considerably as more collectors are built, possibly putting CO2 capture in the $30 per ton range in the long term.”
Conclusion, first paragraph... “Despite its very low concentration of only 390 ppm, the capture of CO2 directly from the air is technically feasible. Theoretically, CO2 capture from the atmosphere would only require about 2 to 4 times as much energy as capture from flue gases, which is relatively modest considering that at the same time the CO2 concentration is decreased by roughly a factor of 250–300.”

American Physical Society Study…
APS research revealed as significantly incomplete by Nature… Socolow 2011 evaluated existing WWII Era atmospheric removal techniques and not surprisingly found them economically infeasible to address climate pollution. New technologies were not evaluated. The media widely circulated the APS study and even though the third most important scientific journal in the world refuted APS claims—because they did not evaluate current new technologies—the damage was done; the media cycle has run its course. Today DAC is almost completely discredited in climate pollution mitigation strategies considered by policy makers and advocates, regardless of academic findings counter to this understanding.
Socolow et al., Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Chemicals, The American Physical Society, June 2011.

Evaluation of APS Study by Nature…
Van Norden, Sucking carbon dioxide from air too costly, say physicists, Nature, May 11, 2011.
Evaluates only mature technologies… House et al., economic and energetic analysis of capturing CO2 from ambient air, PNAS, September 2011.

Further rebuttal of APS and MIT… Holmes and Keith identifies short fallings of MIT and APS work calling out different design choices, insufficient optimization and use of higher cost processes. When new DAC technologies are evaluated, costs are at or below those of mature DAC removal technology.
Holmes and Keith, An air-liquid contactor for large-scale capture of CO2 from air, Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society A, 370, 4380-4403, 2012.

Flawed analysis of the Basic physics of enthalpy… These researchers point out a fundamental flaw in the work of APS and MIT showing direct air capture takes more energy than flue capture because of CO2 concentration: “The notion of minimum work does not apply to the capture of CO2, because the capture process is exothermic.” When CO2 is reacted with something to remove it from air or flue gas, the reaction creates heat, “is exothermic.” So instead of 400 kJ or work per mole CO2 energy required the actual energy required involves moving air over whatever process is used to remove the CO2 from the air. This is 6 kJ per mole CO2. This relationship of the actual costs of removal of CO2 from the atmosphere being 1.5 percent of the costs suggested by APS and MIT corresponds very well to the costs assumed by research evaluating new technologies of +/- $20 per ton. It is important to note that the cost of regenerating the chemicals used to capture the CO2, whether for flue gas or atmospheric capture, is identical.
Realff and Eisenberger, Flawed analysis of the possibility of air capture, June 19, 2012.

23) Clean Power Plan and US Paris Climate Talks Commitment are less stringent than the Kyoto Protocol… Kyoto Protocol Era emissions reductions were born of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The Clean Power Plan is 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 (1969 levels of 4007 Gt C) vs. Kyoto at 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012 (1984 levels of 4559 Gt C). CPP is 12 percent more stringent but 18 years behind. Kyoto commitments for Phase II were generally at 80 percent below 1990 by 2020. (The United States, South Sudan and Afghanistan were the only countries to not ratify Kyoto). The current UNFCCC commitment by the United States is 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, 30 years behind.  2015 Paris Climate Conference emissions reduction commitments of 80 percent by 2050 are literally 30 years later than Kyoto Protocol commitments of 80 percent by 2020.
Historical Emissions 1850 to present, World Resource Institute: (download full data)
Clean Power Plan Fact Sheet: 
Kyoto Protocol Reference Manual: 
Phase II Kyoto Protocol: 
United States 2050 UNFCCC commitment: