Week in review 6/18/2011

by Judith Curry

Believe it or not, a week ago today I started a draft post entitled “Is the climate blogosphere getting boring?”   I hadn’t spotted anything interesting in awhile other than extreme weather events and forest fires being caused by global warming.  I thought the summer doldrums had set in.  What a difference a week makes!

Here is a collection of items that caught my eye this past week:

Australian conversations

In Australia, some leading universities, together with governments and businesses, recently created a not-for-profit website, theconversation.edu.au, which is a daily newspaper with most of its pieces written by scientists and scholars.   There is a section on energy and environment, which includes some very good essays on climate.  Two essays that I liked:

Revkin writes about this effort here.  See also an article in the Guardian “Why Australia is vulnerable to both climate change and climate sceptics.”


The state of California has partnered with Google to develop a very impressiveweb site that is designed to explore and synthesize climate research of relevance to California and help the state adapt.  A good article describing the site can be found here.

2 from Forbes

Of relevance to topics we have been discussing this past week:

William Pentland writes an article entitled the “Self-Corruption of Climate Science,” which is about the IPCC’s inability to constructively deal with the criticism from the IAC, particularly with regards to gray literature.

Pat Michaels has a blistering editorial on “pal review.”

Spring weather recap

NCDC put together a comprehensive recap of last spring’s weather posted on their webpage.  While global warming is not mentioned in this analysis, a NYTimes article that includes an interview with Tom Karl with some sensible words:

“Looking at long-term patterns since 1980, indeed, extreme climatological and meteorological events have increased,” said Thomas R. Karl, director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. “But in the early part of the 20th century, there was also a tendency for more extreme events followed by a quiet couple of decades.”

Presenting a new NOAA report on 2011 extreme weather, Dr. Karl said that extremes of precipitation have increased as the planet warms and more water evaporates from the oceans. He also said models suggest that as carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere and heats the planet, droughts will increase in frequency and intensity.

“But it is difficult and unlikely to discern a human fingerprint, if there is one, on the drought record of the United States,” he said.

Bonn Climate Talks

It looks like the climate talks in Bonn fell far short of hopes, see this article.

Two weeks of tense global climate talks wrapped up on Friday, with countries insisting they had made progress on technical issues but accepting they were still nowhere near agreement in the three key areas of finance, greenhouse gas emission cuts and the future of the Kyoto protocol.

Sea level data

The University of Colorado has released its new sea level analyses, see their web page here.

Welcome to the new webpages from the University of Colorado sea level group! We apologize for the delay in updating our sea level releases, but the transition to these new web pages took longer than we thought. In addition, we have made many improvements to our data (new orbits, new tide model, new corrections) which ultimately had little effect on global mean sea level, but brought us up to date with the latest advances in the field.

One important change in these releases is that we are now adding a correction of 0.3 mm/year due to Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA), so you may notice that the rate of sea level rise is now 0.3 mm/year higher than earlier releases. This is a correction to account for the fact that the global ocean basins are getting slightly larger over time as mantle material moves from under the oceans into previously glaciated regions on land. Simply subtract 0.3 mm/year if you prefer to not include the GIA correction.

You may also note that rate of sea level rise over recent years has been less than the long-term average. This is believed to be due to the recent La Nina’s we have been experiencing, though research on this is continuing. We will soon add a plot to the web site illustrating this effect.

Sounds reasonable.  But some people don’t like this, see this Fox news article.  I would like to do a post on sea level, but I am no expert and it would require a lot of effort on my part.  I would be most interested in a guest post on this topic.

Feminist philosophers and climate change

From this link:

Special Issue on Climate Change
March 15, 2012 submission deadline

Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy seeks papers for a special issue on Climate Change. We welcome new feminist scholarship on the scientific, ethical, epistemological, economic, and cultural dimensions of current global climate change, as well as case studies that critically engage specific questions in local, regional, national, and/or global contexts. In addition to essays developing feminist analyses of the science, ethics, and politics of climate change, we encourage investigations of the gendered, neo-colonial, and other power-laden frameworks which shape the discourses and power flows that influence various parties’ understandings of and responses to climate change.

I am trying to think of angle for a paper on this (seriously), let me know if you have any ideas.  Maybe Martha and i can write a joint paper :)

235 responses to “Week in review 6/18/2011

  1. Martha and Judith: making a “pal” of the uncertainty monster.

    • Hm, I was thinking more along the lines of, “Add a cup of wine to a barrel of sewage, and you have a barrel of sewage. Add a cup of sewage to a barrel of wine, and you have a barrel of sewage.”

  2. It seems the cure for boredom is just to criticize the IPCC. People who haven’t been seen in ages climb out of the woodwork to rush to its defense.

  3. Moses made the sea drop and now the University of Colorado can make the sea rise. We are living in Biblical times.

  4. climate blogging is a good unique angle. Giving everyone including Martha a forum. In terms of creativity, Kim is the best. Anonymity of blogging too. Your denizens.

    • The sun sustains us
      Renewing the wind and sea.
      Under, man’s just new.

      • You are exactly right, Kim.

        Propaganda artists ignore the Sun because everyone knows that politicians and pseudo-scientists have absolutely no control over the Sun – Earth’s heat source.

        “Earth’s Heat Source – The Sun”,
        Energy and Environment 20, 131-144 (2009)

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

  5. The US House Appropriations Committee has approved its FY2012 Dept. of Energy
    funding bill. It contains the following language, which does not mandate that DOE get out of the climate business but strongly suggests it:

    “The Climate and Environmental Sciences program devotes the majority of its
    funding to areas not directly related to the core mandate of science and
    technology research leading to energy innovations. Further, climate
    research at the Department of Energy is closely related to activities
    carried out in other federal agencies and may be better carried out by
    those organizations. The Department proposes to eliminate medical research
    focused on human applications in order to direct limited funds to
    on-mission purposes, and the Department should apply the same principles to
    climate and atmospheric research.”

    DOE funds a lot of the climate modeling. Maybe not any more. It is also the home of the infamous Ben Santer.

    Other agencies may take similar hits. One can hope.

    • Thank you, thank you, David, for the encouraging news!

      I endorse the US House Appropriations Committee statement:

      “climate research at the Department of Energy is closely related to activities carried out in other federal agencies and may be better carried out by those organizations.”

      If DOE-funded scientists spent only one day studying nuclear rest mass data, they would be able to explain the unsteady operation of Earth’s heat source – the Sun!

      “Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal, in press, 19 pages (2011):


    • David L. Hagen

      Thanks David W.
      Links: Energy and Water Subcommittee Chairman Frelinghuysen Prepared Statement on FY 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Before Full Committee
      The two sides of energy policy:
      Amendments Adopted to the Energy & Water Appropriations Bill, p 99

      The Committee remains concerned about the Administration’s approach to shift funds from certain advanced fossil energy materials research activities at a time when such activities show significant potential for cleaner and more efficient fuel combustion for electric power generation. As such the Committee strongly encourages the Department to refocus its efforts on this research and apply the necessary funding to those activities.”

      06.01.11 FY 2012 Energy and Water Bill – Subcommittee Draft

    • “DOE funds a lot of the climate modeling. Maybe not any more.”

      If they could have passed binding language they would have. What you are left with is posturing by impotent House Republicans. Given that every Republican in the House voted to scrap medicare and replace it with insurance coupons, I doubt we will be troubled by this particular band of idiots very much longer.

      • Yes, Robert. That is a major problem.

        Right-wing and left-wing politicians work together – behind the scenes – to keep the world’s population scared about AGW.

        Why? AGW is a convenient “Common Enemy” to end nationalism.

        In the 1950s, a few politicians recognized the need for a “Common Enemy” to save their own lives and the world from annihilation with nuclear weapons.

        The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis energized those fears.

        In 1972 Kissinger arranged for President Nixon to visit China to avoid the threat of a world-wide nuclear exchange.

        That is when NASA started avoiding or hiding experimental data on Earth’s heat source – the Sun.

        Earlier postings – tracing the climate scandal back to fears in the 1950’s that full-scale nuclear warfare would kill everyone, including politicians – were blocked.

        If interested, please contact me by e-mail

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

        Former NASA Principal

        Investigator for Apollo


  6. Norm Kalmanovitch

    The week can be summed up by people telling me that I am wrong and that I should read Trenberth http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/TFK_bams09.pdf
    My answer to this was to show that in the energy balance diagram Trenberth shows 333watts/m^2 of forcing from greenhouse gases but makes no mention that over 90% of this is actually from clouds and water vapour so only 33.3watts/m^2 is from GHG’s and 299.7watts/m^2 is from clouds and water vapour. This does not in any way change the energy balance but it does reduce the human factor to just 10% of what is claimed.
    Essentially this simple change undermines the entire AGW hypothesis without impacting the validity of climate models, so the entire climate change issue is simply a question of why did the IPCC fail to properly appropriate the effect of clouds and water vapour as the dominant driver of the greenhouse effect.
    If this had been taken into account it would make no difference to the world whether it was changes to the greenhouse effect or changes to incoming solar radiation that caused observed global warming because the world would not be committing economic suicide and killing off thousands of people through starvation turning their food into biofuel in accordance with the Kyoto Accord which was founded on the false concept represented by the 333watts/m^2 stirctly from GHG’s as depicted in Trenberth’s energy balance diagram.

    • Norm are you saying that humans are responsible for the whole of the 10% that produces 33.3watts/m^2? I thought the vast majority of CO2 was produced by mother nature with humans adding a puny per centage?

      • AGW claims that the tiny human emissions are responsible for the entire annual increase, which is also tiny, being less than half of human emissions. Thus humans are claimed to be responsible for all of the CO2 concentration above so-called preindustrial levels. What those levels are and how much humans really have to do with the increase is of course controversial. But in no case are humans thought to be responsible for all of the CO2 in the atmosphere.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        I guess that I was a bit sloppy with my wording. The IPCC falsely claims that most of the observed increase in CO2 is due to humans and this is completely false. It can easily be demonstrated that changes in CO2 emissions have ne measuable effect on atmospheric CO2 concentration. From 1979 to 1983 there was a year to year drop in CO2 emissions resulting from the skyrocketing oil price. The CO2 concentration measured at Mauna Loa Observatory showed a steady increase in CO2 concentration with absolutely no indication of change resulting from this four year year to year decrease demonstrating just how insignificant the human contribution is.
        The point that I was trying to make was that if the contribution to the greenhouse effect from clouds and water vapour was included and the contribution from CO2 was shown in its proper proportion then the effect from CO2 even if the IPCC attributes all of it to humans would not have a significant enough effect for the world to have any concern and we would not have a human caused global warming issue.
        I wrote it in this way to show that all it would take is just this simple change in one diagram to put an end to this whole global warming fraud.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        You know, this “demonstration” which could “put an end to this whole global warming fraud” would be a lot more impressive had you bothered to provide any actual numerical analysis, or even just a graphical analysis. On the other hand, that’s impossible to provide since your claims are (laughably) wrong.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        With 6.5% of the world’s grain being used as feestock for ethanol and 8% of the world’s food oil crops being turned into biodiesel people are dying from starvation because of this idiocy and no one is laughing.
        People with actual knowledge of the physical processes involved do not need actual numerical analysis or graphical analysis to see that the attribution of the entire greenhouse effet to GHG’s and excluding the 90% contribution from clouds and water vapour is nothing more than the willful misre[presentation of fact by the IPCC to serve theiir own agenda; something that you find funny!

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I pointed out your claim has no support. You responded by not even attempting to support your claim. Indeed, you didn’t even talk about the claim I addressed.

        Could you tell me just what you expect to accomplish by making comments like this?

      • Higher global demand for biofuels, driven mainly by policies in
        industrialized countries with the stated purpose of enhancing
        energy independence and retarding climate change, has
        contributed to rising global food prices. As a consequence, more
        people in developing countries suffer from both chronic hunger
        and absolute poverty. Hunger and poverty are major
        contributors to death and disease in poorer countries. Results
        derived from World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO)
        studies suggest that for every million people living in absolute
        poverty in developing countries, there are annually at least 5,270
        deaths and 183,000 Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) lost to
        disease. Combining these estimates with estimates of the
        increase in poverty owing to growth in biofuels production over
        2004 levels leads to the conclusion that additional biofuel
        production may have resulted in at least 192,000 excess deaths
        and 6.7 million additional lost DALYs in 2010. These exceed
        WHO’s estimated annual toll of 141,000 deaths and 5.4 million
        lost DALYs attributable to global warming. Thus, policies
        intended to mitigate global warming may actually have
        increased death and disease in developing countries.


      • The addition in CO2 ppm year-to-year:

        1979 1.75
        1980 1.73
        1981 1.43
        1982 0.74
        1983 2.17



      • Isn’t it weird that Mother Nature knows exactly how much Co2 to remove so that it always removes 50% of what man produces?

        “While you have probably seen graphs of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration slowly increasing over time, the graph above shows the yearly growth RATE, as well as the estimated yearly rate of emissions by humanity. It shows a couple of interesting things. First, the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 is, on average, only about 50% of what mankind emits. This means that Mother Nature takes out about 50% of the ‘excess’ CO2 that we pump into the atmosphere every year. And it seem like it doesn’t matter how much MORE we put in each year…nature still takes out an average of 50% of that amount.”


      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        No, I am saying what you say. At current rates of 31gt/year humans are only responsible for less than 4% of the increase in CO2 which in turn can only add no more than an additional 20% to the greenhouse effect already in place from the existing CO2 concentration. Since the annual increase in CO2 concentration is 2ppmv/year the human contribution to this would be 2/390 x 0.2 x 0.04 x 33.3watts/m^2 = 0.00137watts/m^2 per year possibly attributable to humans or a total of 1.3watts/m^2 in a thousand years!
        My single point is that had clouds and water vapour been properly included for their contribution to the greenhouse effect the effect from CO2 (which is over 96% naturally sourced) would be seen in its true miniscule effect and human caused global warming as an issue of concern to the public would never have seen the light of day

      • The current rates are that man puts in 30 Gt/year, and global atmospheric CO2 is increasing 15 Gt/year. I would say that man is a significant factor in the increase, and it is only the ocean that helps absorb it. Since pre-industrial times, the 40% increase in CO2 can likewise be more than accounted for by fossil fuels. By the end of the century it will far exceed a 100% increase leading to the expected warming of 3-4 C entirely due to fossil fuels. (You may subtract 0.5 C for a Maunder Minimum effect).

      • During the last interglacial, temperature went up about 12C leading to a 100ppm rise in CO2.


        Rising temperatures = rising CO2

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        Each year about 750 gt of CO2 is added to the atmosphere and a similar amount is remopved by plant growth and various other processes. If the year to year changes are zero then a constant level od CO2 will be recorded If the year to year changes increase a greater amount of CO2 will be recorded and if the changes decrease from year to year a smaller amount of CO2 will be recorded.
        From 2006 to 2007 global CO2 emissions increased by 968mt and the concentration increased by 1.86ppmv
        From 2007 to 2008 global CO2 emissions increased by 529mt and the concentration increased by 1.75ppmv
        From 2008 to 2009 global CO2 emissions decreased by 422mt but the concentration still grew by 1.79ppmv
        If tere was a direct causal relationship the ratio of the increase to the emissions would be consistant but the ratios are 302.28, 520.40, and -235 even though there was only a 6.2% variation in the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
        Since the increase in emissions from year to year has been less than a gigatonne and the annual increase in content is 15Gt/year according to your figure humans can only be responsible for no more than 1/15 or 6.7% of the observed increase and with a reduction in emissions still resulting in an observed increase in concentration that is in line with previous increases the human contribution is likely much smaller than 6.7%.
        More to the point if there is a reduction in CO2 emissions that does not affect the increase in concentration the reduction of CO2 emissions as demanded by the Kyoto Accord will not reduce or even slow down the rate of CO2 concentration to the extent that the Kyoto Accord deems necessary to stop catastrophic global warming and sea level rise from melting ice caps. Considering that in spite of this the world has cooled for the past 9 years there has been no net ice melting from continental ice sheets (floating ice has no effect on sea level because the watter is already displaced), and there has been an overall decline in the rate of sea level rise; whether or not humans are a major contributor to the increase in observed CO2 concentration is a rather moot point

      • ” If the year to year changes are zero then a constant level od CO2 will be recorded”

        That is not a logically correct inference, Norm. Even an unchanging level of emissions can result in an increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration if the atmospheric level is not in equilibrium with the emission rate. The reason is that under rising CO2 conditions, the rate at which added CO2 is redistributed into oceanic and terrestrial sinks need not be as great as the rate of addition, and this imbalance will persist until CO2 concentrations (and therefore redistribution rates) became high enough to reestablish an equilibrium. If you want to visualize this intuitively, consider the fact that a year as a measurement unit is arbitrary. We could just as easily use an hour, a day, or a decade. Suppose we added 100 Gt CO2 to the atmosphere today. If we added another 100 Gt tomorrow, do you think the atmospheric concentration wouldn’t change simply because the amount added was 100 Gt in each case? (Actually, the answer is yes – eventually, when atmospheric CO2 became so high that 100 Gt disappeared from the atmosphere every day. But not until then).

        It’s also important to point out that we can’t use a single site, such as Mauna Loa, as an accurate guide to global emissions changes in any single years, since global inhomogeneities don’t average out until after a few years.

      • The change in atmospheric CO2 depends on how quickly the ocean and biosphere can absorb it. It seems that in warmer years, CO2 rises faster, possibly because these systems do not absorb so efficiently in those conditions. There are, for sure, more factors than emission that affect the year-to-year details, but overall fossil CO2 injection into the atmosphere-ocean-biosphere system is the driver, and these details only affect interchanges within the system.

  7. Judith seems to have missed the most exciting and controversial climate related scientific announcement of the millenium, let alone the week:


    Maybe she thinks it’s a non-event and agrees with Michael Mann that:

    “It’s a tiny blip on the radar screen if you’re looking at the driving factors behind climate change.”

    Surely the reaction from Judith Lean, who knows a good deal more about the subject is worthy of a climate etc debate though:

    [This] “cancelled part of the greenhouse gas warming of the period 2000-2008, causing the net global surface temperature to remain approximately flat — and leading to the big debate of why the Earth hadn’t (been) warming in the past decade,”

    After all, if the solar slowdown of 2003-2011 cancelled the warming effect of co2, then that begs the question of how much warming was caused by the more than averagely active Sun during the latter half of the C20th.

    Especially since the pro AGW camp fall back on the Sun to explain climate variation prior to ~1980.

    How about it Judith?

    • Oops, just spotted the solar snooze thread. That’ll teach me to shoot my mouth off when I haven’t been visiting for a while. :)

    • Paul Vaughan

      Tallbloke, be careful not to fall hook, line, & sinker for propaganda. An official announcement from a central agency dictates the timing of the “scientific announcement of the millenium”? Come on tallbloke, look at how clueless these guys are:

      ““This is highly unusual and unexpected,” Dr. Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network [...]“

      So often we see “experts” cutting their own legs right out from under themselves like this [“This is highly unusual and unexpected”] when issuing science press releases.

      Have fun on the red herring chase.

      • I see where you are coming from. The problem is, not enough people were aware that the announcement was actually made 8 years ago by someone who also successfully predicted the course of ENSO 4 years in advance.

  8. Until climate scientists stand up against the AGW social movement, things will not be boring.

  9. You may also note that rate of sea level rise over recent years has been less than the long-term average.


    Sea level rise changed from 3.8 to 2.3 mm per year.

    A decrease of about 39%.

    If this trend continues, the sea level will rise by about 21 cm, 0.21 m or 8 inches by 2100.

    A big deal!

    • Actually, if the trend continues sea level will drop.

      And it did.

    • And if the trend changes it will be some other number by 2100. Does the change in sea level tend to be variable? If so, your 2100 methodology is rubbish.

      I believe Simon Holgate is on record as saying the change in sea level has been highly variable, as in, changing by 39% not being especially surprising.

      • Seems just as likely it might start going down rather then up then doesn’t it?

      • You’re welcome to bet that way.

      • Well with the U of C adding 3mm per year to make up for the rebounding effect of the land rising (thus making the ocean basins larger), in REALITY, the sea level could actually start to drop again. And isn’t that the most relevent thing, what is the sea level compared to the land mass?

  10. Dr. Curry
    Here is something you may whish to briefly take a look at. Notice the exceptional wiggle matching (blue and red lines) top right hand graph.
    I am certain the CO2 back radiation will never beat that one.

    • Vukcevic the plots would be improved if you define NAP and state what the x and y axes are on the lower plots. A few sentences at the bottom of the plots would help explain what has been done and what conclusion we might draw from this.

      • Done.
        NAP – North Atlantic Precursor drives via Subpolar gyre the North Atlantic SSTs and atmospheric pressure system.

      • With labelling and additional explanation as suggested.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Just interannual spatiotemporal chaos. The suggestion of a 9 year lag is a serious misinterpretation of the data. You had promised a full paper by the end of May 2011 explaining your “NAP”, “PDO generator”, etc. We’ve been patient. We’re still waiting. Patience running low…

      • Hi Paul
        My memory is not what it use to be, but I think it was ‘sometime by the middle (or the end) of June, as a small birthday treat, if the year was mentioned it must have been an error.
        Since patience is, as they say, the companion of wisdom, I am sure most of you visiting these pages have plenty of it.
        Regarding delay, it is in the data (spatiotemporal: the currents move across the Atlantic and that takes few years; chaos: not the way I understand it)
        p.s just added couple of crucial sentences (in bold) since your post.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Spatiotemporal chaos differs FUNDAMENTALLY from temporal chaos, as Tomas Milanovic has eloquently & patiently explained right here at Climate Etc.

        I genuinely look forward to seeing your report.

  11. *According to Holgate and other sources, the sea level rise in the first half of the 20th Century was higher than in the second half, although the difference was statistically meaningless. (personal email)

    *The rate of sea level rise since 2005 has basically fallen right away (although its not dropping)

    * The sea levels in the MWP and Roman times were generally higher than today.

    * Isostatic depression and rise often has a much greater effect on sea levels than any increase in the actual volume of water.

    * The manipulation of tide gauges in Chapter 5 of AR4 was even more grievous than the temperature hockey stick.

    * There is absolutely nothing to demonstrate that sea levels will rise much beyond 6 or 7 inches by the end of the century -in areas where land is rising the increase will not be noticed.


  12. David L. Hagen

    Judith: Suggestion for Hypatia
    Compare the gender differences fuel investment decision making on health and longevity
    e.g. compare improved cook stoves, liquid fuels in developing countries and N. Korea, versus global warming mitigation. Initial suggestions:
    Stove Project Need

    Smoke from indoor cooking fires kills 1.6 million people per year (nearly one million of those are children). A typical indoor fire creates carbon monoxide and other noxious fumes . . . equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. The World Bank rated indoor air pollution in developing countries as one of the four most critical global environmental problems. . . .Living in a smoke-free environment increases life expectancy by 10 to 15 years.

    http://woodgas.com/ Biomass Energy Foundation (BEF) website
    Tom Reed developed this microgasifier cookstove with 40% efficiency compared to about 10%-12% efficiency for open fires.
    Imports surge as LPG rules hearth

    NOC (Nepal Oil Company) statistics show that LPG consumption has increased eight-fold over the last 14 years. . . .

    Nepal: Kathmandu hit by acute fuel shortage

    Nepal’s capital is suffering acute fuel shortages because the state-owned oil company says it cannot afford to import more fuel from India.

    Dale Allen Pfeiffer Eating Fossil Fuels: Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture

    . . . . .After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early nineties, North Korea’s access to imported fuel from the U.S.S.R. went away almost overnight. The state no longer had ready access to fuel, fertilizer, or agricultural machinery. According to North Korea’s own tally, 2.5 to 3 million people died in the subsequent famine from 1995 to March 1998.

    The Impending World Oil Mess
    Copenhagen Consensus (2008)
    Fix Climate
    Willis Eschenbach How much would you buy

  13. David L. Hagen

    William Happer The Truth About Greenhouse Gases The dubious science of the climate crusaders. First Things June/July 2011

    In our efforts to conserve the created world, we should not concentrate our efforts on CO2. We should instead focus on issues like damage to local landscapes and waterways by strip mining, inadequate cleanup, hazards to miners, and the release of real pollutants and poisons like mercury, other heavy metals, and organic carcinogens. . . .We can choose to promote investment in technology that addresses real problems and scientific research that will let us cope with real problems more efficiently. Or we can be caught up in a crusade that seeks to suppress energy use, economic growth, and the benefits that come from the creation of national wealth.

  14. “One important change in these releases is that we are now adding a correction of 0.3 mm/year due to Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA), so you may notice that the rate of sea level rise is now 0.3 mm/year higher than earlier releases. This is a correction to account for the fact that the global ocean basins are getting slightly larger over time as mantle material moves from under the oceans into previously glaciated regions on land. Simply subtract 0.3 mm/year if you prefer to not include the GIA correction.”

    The isostatic adjustment has some interesting implications.

    (1) It tells us that changes in sea height as measured by satellite and tide gauges underestimate the increase in ocean volume, because of the sinking of the basins. To the extent that true sea level rise (i.e., increase in height from the bottom) is greater than previously estimated, our estimates of the steric component (derived from warming), the eustatic effect (derived from melting of land ice), or both, must be adjusted.

    (2) On the other hand, the GIA also tells us that not all of the volume increase threatens increased flooding of coastal areas, because the land is rising to an extent that partially (0.3 mm/year) compensates for the volume increase.

    (3) The compensation primarily affects glaciated areas that have lost ice mass, and therefore have experienced a load reduction. Certain areas in warmer climates may not benefit as much if at all, and will be at risk for flooding commensurate with the ocean volume increase. This would be particularly likely for vulnerable islands in tropical or subtropical regions, which may sink at a rate similar to that of the ocean basins in their vicinity.

    • Warmists are like a broken record. What sea level rise?

      If you like to worry so much, worry about the comming sea level decline and sea ice extent rise.

    • Here is another consideration, especially for tide gauges: Subsidence. Hereabouts, an significant factor. In Japan, enormous and tragic.

      • Subsidence is a huge problem in some regions. I believe New Orleans is an example also.

      • Mitrovica’s work is fascinating stuff.

      • David L. Hagen

        So we have major “sea level rise” in New Orleans (aka “subsidence”) due to upstream flood control. Similar impacts are seen in Egypt:
        The Nile Delta’s Sinking Future

        However, contrast Bangladesh and Maldives where there is NO sea level “rise”.

        . . .I have presented novel observational facts indicating that there is no global sea level rise component present in the evolution of the Sundarban delta. This has wide implications for realistic estimates of the future of Bangladesh. . . . that the sea level story recorded in the Sundarban is almost identical to the one documented in the Maldives

        Sea Level Changes in Bangladesh New Observational Facts by Nils-Axel Mörner, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT VOLUME 21 No. 3 2010

    • David L. Hagen

      For perspective, contrast this 0.3 mm/year correction with
      . . . groundwater withdrawals for irrigation.and 2008 of about 33 cm/yr due to groundwater withdrawals for irrigation.and
      GRACE Reveals Massive Depletion of Groundwater inGRACE Reveals Massive Depletion of Groundwater in NW IndiaNW India
      Reference: Rodell, M., Velicogna, I., Famiglietti, J. S., 2009, Nature 460, 999-1002, doi:10.1038/nature08238

      See also figures at: NASA Satellites Unlock Secret to Northern India’s Vanishing Water

      “If measures are not taken to ensure sustainable groundwater usage, consequences for the 114 million residents of the region may include a collapse of agricultural output and severe shortages of potable water,” said Rodell,

      (aka “famine”) (Whats a factor of 100 between friends? Just a permanent mega famine.)

      See also:
      India’s Water Future: 2025-2050 International Water Management Institute

      Although the BAU scenario is optimistic in meeting the future food demand, its water use patterns will lead to a severe regional water crisis by 2050. Many river basins will reach closure, will be physically water-scarce and will have regions with severely overexploited groundwater resources.

    • Except, of course, that most such islands, notoriously the Maldives, are dynamic coral constructs that adjust their own height to match preferred water and sunlight availability. Yawn.

      • That is an interesting homeostatic mechanism for coral-based islands, Brian. The main problem is that the coral adjustment requires the maintenance of coral health and vigor, both of which are threatened (and in some regions already impaired), by warming to a small extent, but by CO2-driven ocean acidification to a larger extent – see Ocean Acidification 2010 and Ocean Acidification 2008.

      • So … this theoretical risk to coral. Any evidence coral are not doing well?

        “Coral species develop more tissue biomass in ocean water that contains elevated levels of carbon dioxide, reports a new study published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. The study, which contradicts alarmist assertions that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels threaten coral reefs, is summarized by Dr. Craig Idso in the current edition of NIPCC Update.

        Idso, lead author of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) publication Climate Change Reconsidered, explains that while higher carbon dioxide levels reduced coral calcification and skeletal growth in two separate coral species, the corals were able to compensate by adding more tissue biomass

        According to the Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta study itself, “tissue biomass (measured by protein concentration) was found to be higher in both species after 14 months of growth under increased CO2” and “”since calcification is an energy-consuming process … a coral polyp that spends less energy on skeletal growth can instead allocate the energy to tissue biomass.”

        As a result, the study’s authors reported, “the physiological response to higher CO2/lower pH conditions was significant, but less extreme than reported in previous experiments,” suggesting that “scleractinian coral species will be able to acclimate to a high CO2 ocean even if changes in seawater pH are faster and more dramatic than predicted.”


      • “Any evidence coral are not doing well?”

        Bruce – there is a very large body of evidence on damage to corals due to a variety of environmental insults but mainly to impaired calcification, both current and historical, published in many studies in the scientific literature, and both discussed and referenced in the articles I linked to (particularly the 2010 review, but with many references in the 2008 paper as well). This field has been studied extensively.

        Because the data are extensive, interested readers should visit the relevant articles and references for a fairly comprehensive treatment.

      • Fred, there have been many coral-destruction scare stories in Australia, and many “surprise” stories that, after damage, the Great Barrier Reef etc have recovered much faster than predicted by the doomsayers. There are frequently new discoveries of life forms in areas where no life was expected (e.g. deep oceans and sub-strata). My take on life is that it is a powerful, tenacious and adaptable force which can emerge in a great variety of circumstances and which constantly copes with allegedly catastrophic change. Alas, I cannot provide a scientifically literate document and documentary proof, but you are sufficiently learned and analytical to see that my point may have some validity.

      • But is there any evidence that ACTUAL CORAL (not modelled coral) are not doing well.?

      • Bruce – Yes, damage to current corals and historical damage have been well documented. I believe the articles I linked to and their multiple references will be a useful source of information on this point.

      • Nope. I didn’t see any evidence. Go ahead. Post 5 examples of any significant damage to coral reefs.

      • How about:

        “January’s bitter cold may have wiped out many of the shallow-water corals in the Florida Keys.”

        “Cold-water bleaching last occurred in 1977, when it snowed in Miami, killing hundreds of acres of staghorn and elkhorn corals across the Keys. Neither species has recovered, and in 2006, both became the first corals to be listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

        This year’s big chill, Causey said, shapes up worse.

        “They were exposed to temperatures much colder, that went on longer, than what they were exposed to three decades ago,” he said.

        Typical winter lows in-shore hover in the mid- to high 60s in the Keys. During this cold spell, a Key Largo reef monitor recorded 52.”


  15. Fred,
    I think the main lesson from someone seriously posting about a well defined “0.3mm per year” change in anything as vast and inhomogeneous as the ocean is that hubris knows no bounds.
    Let us do a bit of elementary math:
    100 X 0.3 = 30
    30mm’s = 3 cms.
    3 cm = ~1.2 inches
    Fred, I am going to bet you have been to the beach a few times.
    think of what you see at the beach daily and tell me what difference 1.2″ is oging to make, or even how it would be measured with any degree of accuracy or assurance at all.

    • The GIA isn’t measured, Hunter, but calculated on the basis of a variety of datasets complemented by observational confirmations. These include measurements of ice mass, water volume, and estimated values for the viscoelastic properties of the Earth’s mantle. A 2004 review by Peltier discusses the details of GIA modeling and confirmatory observational data. Since that time, I believe the GRACE measurements of changes in ice mass have provided additional evidence.

      What is interesting is that the flow of mantle content from ocean basins to deglaciating regions is a slow, and therefore long-persisting process that even today is still driven in part by loss of ice from the Last Glacial Maximum about 20,000-25,000 years ago.

      • Fred,
        The public policy imapcts of this process is zip.
        Yet the AGW promotion industry persists in making this a big deal, part of the atmosphere of apocalypse.
        Again, CO2 and the other ghg’s in the atmosphere are fascinating to study.
        the question is if we are giong to trigger a climate catastrophe from CO2.
        A breathless press release announcing a 03. mm per year adjustment in a theoretical number that might change the oceans, if it is a correct guesstimate, is not different from the idea of ‘trivial’.

  16. I am afraid if you and Martha wrote a joint paper it would be a …..disjoint paper.

    Karl asserts that there is a trend for more extreme weather. But every paper I have collected on weather extremes fails to find one. Especially where the data is decent, like the USA. I would be curious what citations he has to back that up.

    The sea level adjustment is playing with words. “sea level” is in common usage with respect to shorelines. To make it wrt the ocean bottom is a switcheroo that anyone living by the shore might not appreciate. I would further bet that if the land was sinking, they would NOT subtract from sea level to fix it.

  17. Sea level adjustment of 0.1mm/yr–are you serious? They think their data supports such a level of detail? From space?

    • Craig Loehle

      Sea level adjustment of 0.1mm/yr–are you serious? They think their data supports such a level of detail? From space?

      The guys actually doing the measurements (not the PR cats, who release these silly blurbs, like the last one) KNOW that “their data DO NOT support such a level of detail”:

      The currently accepted value is 2.5±0.5 mm/year.
      However, every few years we learn about mishaps or drifts in the altimeter instruments,
      errors in the data processing or instabilities in the ancillary data that result in rates of
      change that easily exceed the formal error estimate, if not the rate estimate itself


      It seems that the more missions are added to the melting pot, the
      more uncertain the altimetric sea level change results become.


  18. Sea Level: A non-story in my opinion. Adding 0.3 mm to each year is trivial. It is also problematic — it creates a question of ‘sea level in relation to what?’. CSU wants to equate sea level to volume of water in the oceans. Others want sea level as compared to the coasts of the land. I have lived on a boat for the last eight years, and for me, sea level is measured by how deep my keels are below the surface. 0.3 mm won’t affect my draft any.

    Feminists and Climate Change: Can anyone in here translate this sentence into English? — ‘we encourage investigations of the gendered, neo-colonial, and other power-laden frameworks which shape the discourses and power flows that influence various parties’ understandings of and responses to climate change.’

    • Pooh, Dixie


      1) Keels? I haven’t seen a boat with bilge keels for 40 years! Great for estuaries. :-)

      2) Translation: Post Normal Science “Democracy” at work.

    • Its Marxist critical-theory-speak inviting papers that investigate the impact of The Man on any number of topics, now including global warming apparently. Feminist critical theory is an offshoot of Marxist critical theory, and focuses on the impact of The Man on The Woman. I taught at an urban high school for a while and many teachers there believed the purpose of education was to help students understand and resist the sources of their oppression. No-one talks like this outside of academia and government so you can be forgiven for your ignorance.

  19. W F Lenihan


    This link provides a list of 100 + “skeptical” climate science websites per
    Ecotretas, a Portuguese website.

  20. It’s not only what you say but how you say it.

    Thomas R. Karl:
    Looking at long-term patterns since 1980, indeed, extreme climatological and meteorological events have increased. But in the early part of the 20th century, there was also a tendency for more extreme events followed by a quiet couple of decades.

    Said differently with the same meaning:
    In the early part of the 20th century, extreme climatological and meteorological events increased. We have seen the same pattern at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.

  21. The Left wanted to save the world so badly. Well, they got their wish.

  22. On a lighter note the folks over at Greenfyre have a bulldog skeptic on their leg. What a hoot! For those not familiar with Greenfyre, their philosophy is that skeptics are “delusional ignoramuses.” I only discovered them when Martha published her psycho-sexual Spice Girls attack on Dr. Curry there. Given their position, there is not much action or substance there except bitching about the latest skeptical advance.

    But a bloke named Greg House wandered in a few days ago and asked if there was a study showing that the surface temperature record is based on a representative sample of the earth’s surface? (The answer is no because it is not representative, but there is a pro-AGW literature on why this does not matter. The Greenfyrians don’t seem to know the scientific lit beyond SkepticalScience.com, the poor man’s IPCC, but I digress.)

    House’s query has spawned a heavy stream of abuse, but he won’t let go. I have thrown in a few facts, not that they matter. If anyone wants to see the show here is a recent comment by House:

    • Very entertaining, GF himself seems to have no idea this is going on

    • Personally, I found the exchange with Bob Armstrong much more entertaining.

    • “The Greenfyrians don’t seem to know the scientific lit beyond SkepticalScience.com”

      So they know more than >99% of the people here? Quite an accomplishment!

      “On a lighter note the folks over at Greenfyre have a bulldog skeptic [a "bulldog skeptic" is what normal people call a yapping chihuahua] on their leg. What a hoot!”

      Trolling is what deniers do best. Their scientific ignorance and bottomless hatred are an asset there. As a wise person wrote:

      “In the subconsciousness of haters there slumbers a perverse feeling that they alone possess the truth, that they are some kind of superhumans or even gods, and thus deserve the world’s complete recognition, even its complete submissiveness and loyalty, if not its blind obedience. They want to be the centre of the world and are constantly frustrated and irritated because the world does not accept and recognize them as such; indeed, it may not even pay any attention to them, and perhaps it even ridicules them,”

      • That’s pretty deep, Robert. Keep up the good work!

      • John Carpenter

        Robert thinks ‘deniers’ are big haters. Personally, I don’t get it. Why would ‘deniers’ hate the people that give so much vitriolic entertainment value for us all to enjoy?

      • Robert

        “In the subconsciousness of haters there slumbers a perverse feeling that they alone possess the truth….”

        Is this not entirely indicative of the CAGW argument from authority, claims of consensus, gate-keeping, labeling and character assassination of any who dare question CAGW?

        I would proffer that projection is prominent (among the other psychological defects) in haters.

      • Robert, regarding your 99% claim (which is amusing in its own right). SkepticalScience.com is a tour de force of pro-AGW argument. They present over 100 important skeptical arguments in such a way as to make skeptics look ignorant. The formula is simple. Present the skeptical argument in naive terms then answer it with a relatively sophisticated pro-AGW response, preferably citing a paper or two. They now even have three levels of response sophistication in some cases. As propaganda goes it is an impressive achievement.

        The glaring fallacy is that there are skeptical counter arguments of equal, or even superior, scientific merit, for every argument listed. There is no hint on SS.com that these even exist. But the denizens here know these counter arguments well so your 99% claim is not merely false, it is silly. There is a wealth of skeptical scientific knowledge on this blog, none of which is found on SS.com.

        The good thing about SS.com is that it makes clear just how complex the debate really is, Once you get passed their intentionally deceptive formula that is. Every one of the skeptical arguments they address is significant, once it is properly understood. Many are quite deep.

    • John Carpenter

      Those guys over there at GF… they’re not kidding around….now that’s entertainment.

      • Yeah – I spent an hour there and couldn’t find anyone that had a clue – except the skeptics.

        But they sure do have opinions.

  23. Steve Nerem, the director of the widely relied-upon research center, told FoxNews.com that his group added the 0.3 millimeters per year to the actual sea level measurements because land masses, still rebounding from the ice age, are rising and increasing the amount of water that oceans can hold.

    “We have to account for the fact that the ocean basins are actually getting slightly bigger… water volume is expanding,” he said, a phenomenon they call glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA).

    Taylor calls it tomfoolery.

    “There really is no reason to do this other than to advance a political agenda,” he said.

    Climate scientist John Christy, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said that the amount of water in the ocean and sea level were two different things.

    “To me… sea level rise is what’s measured against the actual coast,” he told FoxNews.com. “That’s what tells us the impact of rising oceans.”

    Taylor agreed.

    “Many global warming alarmists say that vast stretches of coastline are going to be swallowed up by the sea. Well, that means we should be talking about sea level, not about global water volume.”


  24. From Fox News Planet Earth …
    “The University of Colorado’s Sea Level Research Group decided in May to add 0.3 millimeters — or about the thickness of a fingernail — every year to its actual measurements of sea levels, sparking criticism from experts who called it an attempt to exaggerate the effects of global warming.”

      • From the FoxNews piece:

        “University of Colorado’s Sea Level Research Group decided in May to add 0.3 millimeters — or about the thickness of a fingernail — every year to its actual measurements of sea levels, sparking criticism from experts who called it an attempt to exaggerate the effects of global warming. “Gatekeepers of our sea level data are manufacturing a fictitious sea level rise that is not occurring,” said James M. Taylor, a lawyer ”

        The baselines against which sea level changes should be measured depend on the inferences to be drawn. For coastal flooding, the adjustment will be irrelevant in some areas, but probably significant for others, as I mentioned in my above Comment. Overall, 0.3 mm is not much, but it would certainly be wrong to judge it irrelevant to global warming, because its inclusion provides a more accurate picture of ocean volume changes. There are only two important drivers of an increase in ocean volume – ice melting and the thermal expansion of water (changes in salinity also play a role, but to a lesser extent). Both major phenomena are the consequence of warming. As a result, sea level changes give us an additional metric by which to judge warming, beyond surface temperature changes and changes in the heat content of the upper ocean as measured by the ARGO floats.

      • But Fred – even if the volume goes up and all of it is caused by global warming, it is wrong to say it will be a problem if the basin expands enough to negate the effect. I can’t believe you don’t understand that.

      • Jim – See my several comments above on this. The change in basins only applies to the 0.3 mm/yr adjustment, not to the unadjusted sea level rise. For coastal communities, the consequences will depend on location, as I mentioned. As a metric of warming, however, the adjustment to the volume change gives us a more accurate picture.

      • OK, I took a look at your posts. If UC want to put up a chart of ocean volume, let them do that and label it as such, just don’t mess with the sea level chart. The sea level chart should reflect just that – the sea level.

      • As a metric of warming, however, the adjustment to the volume change gives us a more accurate picture

        It can only be known to be more accurate if the GIA is known to be accurately quantified.

        Adjusting the metric of sea level in such a fashion is like me quoting my height with my shoes on – it becomes meaningless.

      • The FoxNews story also appearsto have misreported what the University of Colorada is doing. It is not adding 0.3 mm to sea level each year, but adding 0.3 mm to the rate of sea level rise – in other words, after one year the rise will be 0.3 mm greater than without the GIA, after two years, 0.6 mm greater, and so on. Over time, this will have a significant impact on the rate at which ocean volume is increasing, although much less impact on the relationship of sea height to the height of adjacent land.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        There is universal agreement that Everest is now 29,035 ft above sea level up from the previous value of 29,028 ft above sea level. Kilimanjaro is at 19341 ft above sea level and here in Alberta on the other side of the world Mt Temple is 11,624 ft above sea level. Death Valley is 282 ft below sea level and no one disputes any of these elevations because everyone uses the same sea level reference.
        This discussion is not about sea level; rise as much as it is about peoples perceptions of a definition of sea level.
        Over the Earth’s 4.5 billion year history sea level has risen and fallen hundreds mof metres in both global sea level changes as well as relative sea level changes. Devonian reef buildup of two hundred metres demonstrates 200metres of sea level rise over millions of years when there was no ice caps to melt at eithe pole and the global temperature was about 8°C on average warmer than today.
        The sea level did not rise because of human CO2 emissions or the greenhouse effect.
        Over its history different parts of the Earth experienced subsidence of tens of thousands of feet and uplifts and mountain building of equal amounts from tectonic movements resulting from the shifting of the continents.
        New Orleans is subsiding as part of the sediment loading of the Mississippi Delta that has continued throughout the Tertiary and is still continuing today. The Maldives are of the type that will keep pace with sea level rise but this rise takes place over geological time scales and cannot be measured in year to year terms.
        The current global sea level rise began with the mel;ting of the great ice sheets from the last glaciation. The rise in response to this was in the order of 120 metres. Since then as continents recovered from the mile of ice the isostatic rebound has raised the continents decreasing the size of the adjacent ocean basins displacing water resulting in a steady increase in global mean sea level as indicated from measuements from around the world. These are not instrument measuements but markings in the strata at different elevations as sea level rose.
        Over the past 10,000 years since the last of the Ice melted from the continental ice sheets there has been a steady decline in the rate of isiostatic rebound with a similar decline in the rate of global sea level rise.
        Sea level relative to shore line is an entirely different matter and can result from subsidence of the land mass or uplift of the ocean floor both of which can take place locally. Current movement and changes as well as uplifts and downwarping at the spreading centres can also have measurable effects.
        Against this background it does not make much sense to relate changes in sea level to ice melting from hunman sourced CO2 emissions as claimed by the IPCC.
        This entire discussion could be made quite simple if everyone was on the same page as to what they exactly meant by sea level change

      • “isostatic rebound has raised the continents decreasing the size of the adjacent ocean basins displacing water resulting in a steady increase in global mean sea level as indicated from measuements from around the world.”

        I think you have it backwards, Norm. The isostatic rebound is associated with an increase rather than a reduction in the size of the ocean basins, and a reduction rather than an increase in measured sea level rise vis-a-vis the true rise in ocean volume, so that sea level appeared to rise less than would have been observed without the rebound.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        If you squeeze in the sides of a plastic bowl half filled with water the level of water will rise. You are confused with relative sea level compared to the rise of the continent. The elevation of the average ocean surface relative to mean sea level reference the same as is used for mountain elevation shows that the overall average sea level is increasing at a continuously reducing rate because the isostatic readjustment is slowing down over the past 10000 years. The land is rising at a faster rate than sea level which is why the water area of Huidsons Bay is getting smaller but the water in Hudson’s Bay is rising but only by less than 2mm/year or 20 cm per century i.e. eight inches just like the rest od the ocean surface.

      • Norm – This is a topic you should probably read up on, because you seem to misunderstand much of it. No, the land is not rising faster than sea level, and also incorrect was the earlier assertion that the ocean basins are contracting. They are expanding. The Peltier reference I cited earlier would be a place for you to start.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Fred Moolten, could you explain how those two ideas are different? As far as I can see, adding 0.3 mm to the yearly rate will add 0.3 mm to each year so there is no misreporting.

    • Taylor calls it tomfoolery.

      “There really is no reason to do this other than to advance a political agenda,” he said.

      Climate scientist John Christy, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said that the amount of water in the ocean and sea level were two different things.

      “To me… sea level rise is what’s measured against the actual coast,” he told FoxNews.com. “That’s what tells us the impact of rising oceans.”

    • Climate scientist John Christy, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said that the amount of water in the ocean and sea level were two different things.

      “To me… sea level rise is what’s measured against the actual coast,” he told FoxNews.com. “That’s what tells us the impact of rising oceans.”

      • Measuring things accurately is important to scientists.

        People who see the science primarily through the prism of politics and do not think scientifically struggle with this. The complaints are always the same and always misguided:

        1. That difference is too small to matter! Why are scientists wasting time with it!

        Answer: Getting things right is what scientists care about, relevance in science is different from relevance to policy. Those small differences may matter to policy in the end, but the goal of the scientists is to accurately describe and ultimately understand the world. Saying the finding doesn’t affect a problem you care about is not relevant to the science.

        2. That difference is too small to measure accurately!

        Answer: Accurately measuring small things is a challenge to scientists; a lot of the technique of science is figuring out how to measure small differences and eliminate noise. You do not know how successful they have been in this case, and you cannot assume they have been unsuccessful in quantifying something small.

        3. Those lying scientists are twisting the definition of [X] (sea level rise, surface temperature, vaccine complications, whatever). [X] doesn’t mean that.

        Answer: Scientists use different terms depending on convention and what qualities of the thing they are interested in. For example, in measuring sea level rise, the scientists applying the correction are interested in sea level as it reflects the volume of the oceans. If you are interested in different things, use a different definition.Scientists are usually good, as in this case, about explaining definition they are using, why they are using it, and how to go about using the term differently (in this case by subtracting 0.3mm).

      • Latimer Alder


        Simple answer to your Point 3. Rename the institution in the Rockies ‘the volume of water in the oceans centre’.

        But do not call their revised dataset ‘sea level’. It isn’t. It is something else. It os not even a primary source.

        ‘Scientists’ really shoud have learned by now that doing dumb things that give the appearance of trying to game or mislead the public (even in the rare occasions when such a charge is untrue) is a self-defeating game. Joe Public just files away the deceit and forgets the science.

        Tough but true.

  25. M. M. said of possible solar snooze: “It’s a tiny blip on the radar screen if you’re looking at the driving factors behind climate change.”

    I find this just so full of pathology. It’s really quite dazzling, the denial, the hubris.

    • edward getty

      To be expected. After decades of fixation on proving the CO2 story combined with the orchestrated dismissal of solar factors, this ‘the sun doesn’t matter’ line is an essential element of the AGW religion. Some genuine mass denial ahead if the sun does what some are predicting.

  26. Sorry about the multiple posts. The first one didn’t show up.

  27. Dr. Curry, please feel free to delete my posts of the Fox News story after the first post of it. Again, I apologize.

  28. A desperate attempt once again to move the goalposts. “Tomfoolery”, indeed.

    Here’s a fun deconstruction: “The sea is rising but the land is rising faster.”


    • Prob’ly the land is experiencing thermal expansion, too.

      Who knew?

    • Latimer Alder

      Rejoice ye people! Your prayers to Mother Gaia have been answered. Sacrificing those virgins and abhorring all modern conveniences had a point after all.

      Just a few years before the Great AGW Flood was due to drown us all, She has cast her benedictions upon us and Saved the World. The evil well-funded denier forces hellbent on laying the planet to waste and leaving nought but a scorched earth have been outsmarted.

      By your worship and devotion to Her she has casued the land to rise faster than the sea…saving you all ..the virtuous as well as the unrepentant sinners. Their time will come for She will smite then for their unbelief. As to apostates, She reserves a special punishment!

      But for today, ‘rejoice, just rejoice’! She has shown her might and saved the world!

  29. Norm Kalmanovitch

    Since the annual increase in CO2 concentration is 2ppmv/year

    I confirm your result in the following graph.


    From this data, the increase in CO2 concentration is about 0.5% per year.

    The current concentration is about 390 ppm.

    Therefore, the annual increase is 390*0.005 = 1.95, which is about 2 ppm.

    Here is the equation for CO2 concentration estimate for the next decade

    CO2 (ppm) = 369e^(0.005*(Year-2000))

    • Norm Kalmanovitch

      There is a very interesting component to this on the argo buoy website


      The graphic shows the increase in heat content of the ocean. As the heat content increases the saturation point for CO2 decreases and since the ocean is the greatest depository of free CO2 on the planet this would result in the degassing of the ocean giving us the near linear trend of CO2 increase.

      • The oceans are not a net source of CO2 but a net sink – i.e., they absorb much more CO2 than they release, which is then distributed among the various chemical forms according to their equilibrium constants – CO2 (mainly as H2CO3), bicarbonate (HCO3-), and carbonate (CO3–), with bicarbonate the principal ionized form.

        The net uptake is confirmed by measurements of declining ocean pH and increasing DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon). Some details are provided in the references linked to in Comment 77240.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        You don’t seem to have a great understanding of geological processes that operate within the Earth and the oceans. The entire mid atlantic ridge is spewing CO2 into the oceans which under the pressure of several mpa and cold temperatures is so concentrated that it lowers the pH below 7. higher up the oceans are basic and at the, top the pH is typically around 8.2 depending on temperature which controls the equilibrium concentration level. The CO2 is taken out of the system by critters with calcium carbonate (aragonite) shells or precipitated out as carbonate mud as cold water thatn is saturated with calcium carbonate is forced to the surface and precipitates due to exceeding the saturation limits. The overall increase in energy which has raised the temperature of the oceans by a very slight amount results in excess CO2 above the saturation limit being outgassed creating most of the 2ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 content. (the 6ppmv annual variation is the result of seasonal uptake by plants due to the induced seasonal effect from the significantly larger Northern Hemisphere temperate landmass.

      • Norm,
        I think your “understanding” is pretty imaginative. But
        “being outgassed creating most of the 2ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 content”
        So where does the 30Gt or so CO2 that we create every year from fossil fuels go to?

      • Nick:

        It goes into the carbon cycle. Which is a big and poorly quantified beast. We know trees have been happily munching more co2 and getting fatter.

      • TB,
        We’ve burnt over 300 Gt C. vegetation has in total about 600 Gt. If that’s where it went, we’d notice.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        At the currenn concentration of 390 ppmv each ppmv of change converted to mass represents about 7gigatonnes of CO2. Over tha course of a year there is a cycle of CO2 that changes by about 6ppmv or 42gt due to the seasonal variation of uptake by plants resulting from the larger northern hemisphere land mass.
        On a year to year basis this is only 2ppmv as the seasonal variation cancels out and the other influences dominate. Take a close look at the CO2 over the past five years on the detailed graph at:
        If we put 300 Gt C (1100 gt CO2) into the atmosphere there would be some representation of this in the form of a 157 ppmv spike which would be seen at MLO and visible on this graph. The atmosphere contains roughly 2800 gigatonnes of CO2 and about 750 gt per year is added and about 750 gt is removed keeping this total near constant. today this 750 gt/year balance is out by approximately 14 gt per year increase which is a 1.87% change in a 750 gt value.
        This change has been more or less stable for the past decade so the only possibl;e source for this change must be very large and very stable as well. The only factor that fits this description is the ocean outgassing because it has increased in heat conntent at a long and stable rate capable of producing such a long and stable increase. We know that forest fires observed individual volcanic eruptions and any other sudden large sources of CO2 emissions have had no measrable effect on the COP2 concentration as measured at MLO. We know that humans have had no large contribution because there is no change in the observed CO2 record that matches any changes in the CO2 emissions record so the only reaonable source left for the annual atmospheric CO2 concentration increase is ocean outgassing because of the more or less linear increase in observed heat content expelling CO2 that is above the saturation point.
        Too many people with limited knowledge of the many factors involved are making comments that are out of touch with physical reality.

      • Nick Stokes

        We’ve burnt over 300 Gt C. vegetation has in total about 600 Gt. If that’s where it went, we’d notice.

        Some comments:

        Let’s start off by assuming that human CO2 emissions are essentially the only factor causing a change in an otherwise perfectly balanced carbon cycle of our planet.

        Yes, you’re right. The USEIA tells us we have burned 337 GtC from pre-industrial 1750 to 2007. Adding in another 21 GtC for 2007-2010, this equals 359 GtC total to date (1,316 GtCO2 equivalent).

        Over the same time atmospheric CO2 increased from a “guesstimated” 280 ppmv (based on ice core data) to a measured 390 ppmv today.

        In an atmosphere with a total mass of 5,140,000 Gt this equals 858 GtCO2 or 234 GtC equivalent.

        So where did the “missing” 458 GtCO2 (125 GtC equivalent) go?

        A portion undoubtedly ended up “disappearing forever” in the massive carbon sink of the deep ocean including sediments plus rocks, and some probably got dissipated out into space.

        If one includes soils plus vegetation, the terrestrial carbon sink is 2,200 GtC, so it would be hard to find there.

        Studies have shown that C3/C4 plant growth increases by an average of around 40% with a doubling of atmospheric CO2, so on a linear basis this would mean that plants grow at a 28% higher rate today than in 1750. There might also be a slight increase in plant growth rates due to the slightly higher global average temperature since 1750.

        On the other hand deforestation accounts for around 10% of human CO2 emissions today (not included in the USEIA figures above), which would work in the opposite direction.

        It’s probably anyone’s guess where the “missing” CO2 has gone, but I would not rule out that a significant portion went into soils and added terrestrial vegetation.


      • Norm,
        There’s a simple question there, and you’re not answering. If we’re burning now about 10 Gt/yr carbon, and we’ve burnt 350Gt, and the ocean is a net source to the air, then where is it all going? Where has it gone? 350Gt is a lot.

        And Max. I don’t see an answer there either, though you seem to be saying that the oceans absorbs some, while Norm says it’s a source.

        And no, it didn’t leave the planet.

      • The carbon cycle was percolating along at a relatively level ~280 ppm. Trees existed then. So did ocean vents. So did human beings.

        Suddenly it’s ~394 ppm. What changed?

      • For the total sinks to track the total sources sufficiently accurately to keep the CO2 concentration within such close limits over thousands of years, despite large changes in forest cover, desertification etc, strongly implies a very substantial negative feedback mechanism.
        So why did that negative feedback mechanism stop working around 150 years ago?
        Or, if it never existed, what kept CO2 concentrations so constant?

      • Nick

        I think you are talking about something else than I am.

        We (think we) know that atmospheric CO2 increased by a certain amount since 1750, based on rather dicey ice core data for 1750 and actual measurements today.

        This was from 280 to 390 ppmv.

        We have estimates from UDEIA on the cumulated CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion since 1750.

        These tell us that more CO2 was emitted by humans than is in the atmosphere.

        We also see this same discrepancy on a decade-to-decade basis, with currently a bit less than 50% of the total human emissions annually ending up in the atmosphere.

        So where is the “missing” CO2?

        Some may well be in the soils plus added vegetation.

        Some is undoubtedly in the upper ocean, where it remains in the “climate system” until it either gets buffered chemically or exchanged with the vast sink of the deeper ocean or gets absorbed by phytoplankton photosynthesis, possibly entering the marine food chain and maybe ending up converted to carbonates sinking to the ocean floor, etc.

        And some portion may be dissipated to outer space.

        IPCC tells us that the residence time of CO2 in our climate system is 50 to 200 years.

        At a recent Yale Forum, Zeke Hausfather presented data showing that the CO2 half-life in our climate system is 100-120 years.

        If these data are correct, then the natural annual “decay” rate would be around 0.58% of the concentration, or around 2 ppmv per year.

        This is roughly the same as the “missing” CO2 today.

        So I think we can conclude that we do not have a good estimate of precisely where the “missing” CO2 is going.

        And that was my point, Nick.


      • Nick, don’t take my word for it, read the literature. Even arch warmies like Bradley know the amount of biomass on the planet has increased by 7% or so over the last 25 years.

        I think your 600Gt figure is a guess too.


      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        There is something called limestone CaCO3 that makes up many of the world’s mountains, is a primary constituent of cement and even forms hard water scale in your kettle and it is all made from CO2
        Everything is in balance except for about 14gt per year which has no place to go and is added to the atmosphere.
        Regardless of where this comes from as long as the atmospheric concentration stays above 170 ppmv plants will not all die and we are perfectly fine with levels as high as 5000ppmv and from our current level of about 390ppmv increasing at 2ppmv per year we have no fear of excessive CO2 in the atmosphere.
        All five global temperature datasets show that the Earth has been cooling since 2002 in spite of increased CO2 emissions from fossil fuels so until the actual temperature data indicates that we are facing catastrophic global warming from increased CO2 this entire discussion about CO2 concentration has no bearing on our physical well being.
        What does have a bearing is the reaction to the fraudulent science behind the IPCC AGW conjecture resulting in the Kyoto Accord which has to date attempted to replace oil with biuofuels to stop non existant global warming but biofuels produce as much CO2 and in the case of ethanol substantially more CO2 emissions than the fuels they replace. This and every other measure intended to reduce CO2 emissions has not done so at all but in the process has doubled the power cost from inefficient and costly wind power instalations inserted into the conventional, power grid and has doubled the cost of basic food staples which are being used as feedstock for biofuels with over 50% of the US corn crop being diverted from the food supply for this purpose.

      • Nick, the 30Gt is very recent and your 350 is over what period, 100-200 years? The biomass is the obvious sink. That is about the period, for example, during which the Eastern US forests regrew. There is evidence that NA is a net sink. Then too there is the green revolution, so we ate some of it. On a geological perspective the biosphere is CO2 starved, so sucking up a few Gty is not hard to imagine.

      • David – If huge quantities of CO2 were flowing out of the ocean into the atmosphere, and from there into increasing biomass (i.e., plants), the atmospheric ratio of C13 to C12 would be increasing, due to the greater efficiency of plant uptake for C12. The reverse is happening – atmosheric CO2 is being C13-depleted – indicating that plants have been a net source rather than a net sink for CO2. Theoretically, this could occur from a mass reduction in global plant mass, but despite deforestation, that has not been observed. On the other hand, we have a good idea of the plant source, because the C14/C12 ratios have also been declining over the past hundred years or so (from tree rings and other biological carbon sources). This decline is commensurate with a CO2 source without any C14. Because C14 has a half life of about 5000 years, the plant source must be much older.

        Coal, oil, and natural gas match that description.

        There are many other pieces of evidence showing that the ocean, along with terrestrial reservoirs, are net sinks rather than sources, and that fossil fuels and deforestation are the main sources, but this is one further example.

      • Fred, no one is talking about huge outflows from the ocean, just enough to cause the annual increase, due to ocean warming. PLus there are serious problems with these isotopic ratios. C14 in particular was disrupted by atomic testing.

      • “The carbon cycle was percolating along at a relatively level ~280 ppm.”

        During the LIA. Wasn’t the 1600s/1700s so cold glaciers advanced like crazy? Cold water holds more CO2. Less plant life to die and rot too during the cold.

        The earth was percolating along at a relatively level 190ppm before the Eemian got going too … and CO2 went up 100ppm after temperature rose.


      • Bruce – in my reading, when people talk about relative stability at ~280 ppm, they’re referring to ~ 1,000 yr bp until industrial. The record indicates a precipitous drop in atmospheric CO2 starting sometime between 1550 and 1600. On the Law Dome graph, it dropped from ~284 to ~274.

        Ruddiman suggests human depopulation because of disease may have played a role. Forests grew back, reducing the atmospheric level. But this paper pushed back on that a bit.

      • The LIA started about 1570 or so according to some.

        “1460-1560: End of Medieval glaciation was followed by a century of relatively mild climate.”


        Its no surprise colder = less CO2 and warmer = more CO2.

        Looking at the Eemian, Co2 did not cause warming. Warming caused Co2.

      • Fred, taking the near surface increase as confirming an atmospheric source seems like a leap to me. If we take say a 1000 meter thick ocean layer and squeeze some CO2 out of it, by warming it, there will be an upward diffusion gradient with an increased concentration nearer the surface (and in the atmosphere which is after all just a thin film). By analogy, when you squeeze water out of a sponge you get a lot of water on the surface.

        You seem to know the lit on this issue. Is anyone modeling this kind of diffusion?

      • David – Some useful references for CO2 and the bicarbonate and carbonate ions derived from it can be found in Comment 77240.

        Maybe I’m misinterpreting your point, but I don’t understand your statement that if the upper meters of the ocean are warmed, the concentration near the surface will increase. If you warm water that contains CO2 previously in equilibrium with the overlying air, the concentration in the water will decline, not increase, until a new equilibrium is established equalizing the partial pressures in the liquid and gas phase. By the same token, if you increase the air concentration, the equilibration will occur in the downward direction.

        The articles I linked to, and their references, address CO2, carbonate, bicarbonate, and pH at a variety of ocean depths, with particular reference to the depth at which CaCO3 begins to dissolve because of a decline in carbonate concentrations below saturation, with consequent threats to calcifying organisms from corals down to the bottom of the food chain.

      • Fred, I am not warming the upper meters. I am warming the upper thousand meters, or more. Is anybody modeling this case?

  30. David L. Hagen

    Europe Braces for Serious Crop Losses and Blackouts

    “Record dry spring could drive up wheat prices, and lack of water may force nuclear reactors to shut down”. . .
    rainfall over Europe as a whole ranged from 40 to 80 percent of the long-term average from 1951 to 2000, and in many parts of western and central Europe it was even below 40 percent. . . .Springtime in Germany, it added, was the driest March-to-May period since 1893. . . Germany, which produces some 25 percent of the European Union’s oilseed rape — a major source of oil and animal feed as well as biodiesel — expects to see the drought slash output by more than 20 percent.

    Is this natural variability? Or impact of low solar cycle 24? Or “climate change”?

    • “BRITAIN will be drenched in rain for the next ten days — ending the country’s shortest drought ever after less than a week.

      Experts have predicted unsettled weather and downpours across the UK, with up to three months’ worth of rain set to fall at the start of next week.”

      The country has had almost continuous rain since Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman declared a drought last Friday, solemnly urging millions of people to do all they could to save water.


      • The same thing happened to hapless Dennis Howell in the seventies. No sooner did they make him minister for drought than the heavens opened. My dad, who was deputy director for water resources planning for the biggest county in the UK at the time was delighted.

    • G’day David,

      There are standing patterns in the atmosphere and oceans – those at the poles being the key to higher latitude changes. There are 2 ways of predicting rainfall. One is the initialised models that lose their way within a week at most. The other is to look at standing patterns in oceans and atmosphere because these persist for decades.

      The Arctic Oscillation influences the path of storm tracks spinning of the polar front in the Northern Hemisphere. The more recent trend to negative values pushing storms further to the south. .



      The variability in the AO is driven by the temperature of the stratosphere – which is the determined largely by UV warming of ozone.

      ‘During the descent into the recent ‘exceptionally’ low solar minimum, observations have revealed a larger change in solar UV emissions than seen at the same phase of previous solar cycles. This is particularly true at wavelengths responsible for stratospheric ozone production and heating. This implies that ‘top-down’ solar modulation could be a larger factor in long-term tropospheric change than previously believed, many climate models allowing only for the ‘bottom-up’ effect of the less-variable visible and infrared solar emissions. We present evidence for long-term drift in solar UV irradiance, which is not found in its commonly used proxies. In addition, we find that both stratospheric and tropospheric winds and temperatures show stronger
      regional variations with those solar indices that do show long-term trends. A top-down climate effect that shows long-term drift (and may also be out of phase with the bottom-up solar forcing) would change the spatial response patterns and would mean that climate-chemistry models that have sufficient resolution in the stratosphere would become very important for making accurate regional/seasonal climate predictions. Our results also provide a potential explanation of persistent palaeoclimate results showing solar influence on regional or local climate indicators.’

      There is a similar effect in the South Hemisphere which has an impact on cold water upwelling in the eastern Pacific – and thus the evolution of ENSO. Thus a global impact on cloud, biology, hydrology and surface temperature.

      ‘So there are natural causes of decadal, centennial and even millennial variability in hydrology (and climate) on which we clearly do not have much of a handle – and it is as a result impossible to convincingly disentangle causation. It echoes the other problem – there clearly should be some warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gases but how can you tell by how much.

      But simply because there are natural variations – doesn’t mean that there is not a problem with our emissions. Black carbon is – as you said earlier – part of the solution – and there are multiple other paths that are a lot more practical than the fixation on moving to some different and utopian social and economic milieu.

      • David L. Hagen

        And G’day to you Chief
        Thanks for the link. Nearby I see that the PDO is continuing to show a major reduction since about 1999 along the lines of Don Easterbrook’s predictions.
        Syun-Ichi Akasofu projects a similar oscillation in On the recovery from the Little Ice Age, Natural Science Vol.2, No.11, 1211-1224 (2010) doi:10.4236/ns.2010.211149

        2) The gradual recovery from 1800-1850 was ap-proximately linear, the recovery (warming) rate was about 0.5°C/100 years. The same linear change contin-ued from 1800-1850 to 2000. In this period, the solar irradiance began to recover from its low value during the LIA.
        6) The view presented in this paper predicts the temperature increase in 2100 to be 0.5°C ± 0.2 deg C, rather than 4 deg C +/- 2.0 deg C predicted by the IPCC.

        i.e., level to cooling till about 2030 before the next warming.

      • G’day David,

        Meant to include this – http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/3/034008/fulltext

        The same storms spinning off the polar fronts – and resulting in cold NH winters and changed hydrology – result in cold surface water pushing up into higher latitudes. This influences sea surface temperature in the eastern Pacific leading to more upwelling in negative phases of the AO and SAM.


        The cold upwelling disperses eastward across the central Pacific in the characteristic V of the ‘interdecadal Pacific oscillation’ (IPO).


        One of the feedbacks occurs with more low level stratiform cloud forming over the cooler water. This is significant in surface and satellite observations. See for instance both ERBE and ISCCP-FD data in the tropics – http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html – more low levels cloud increases reflected shortwave and emitted longwave at the same time. It seems very likely (>90%) to me that this is the major source of recent climate change.

        It is certainly the case that we are in a cool mode (after 1998) of the IPO – and that these tend to last for 20 to 40 years in the instrumental and proxy records. So – perhaps another decade or 3 of cooler surface temps.

        We have the advantage of Easterbrook and Syun-Ichi Akasofu however – having identified a viable control mechanism in the position of the polar fronts – as influenced by solar UV and resultant changes in stratospheric temperature and sea level pressure at the poles.

        The Sun varies little in radiance but much more strongly in UV and in magnetic intensities (and therefore cosmic rays) – they co-vary. As the Sun was at a 1000 year high last century – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3869753.stm – I am not convinced that last centuries pattern can be projected into this century as Syun-Ichi Akasofu does. I wouldn’t assume either that climate varies linearly with any control variable in the ‘spatio-temporal chaotic system’ that is climate. There is still a problem with greenhouse gas emissions – biologically on land and in the oceans – and as a quite unpredictable ‘control variable’.

        As seems fairly predictable in the affairs of humanity – the politics, economics and science seems like a total stuff up if I am not utterly mistaken – and I always include that as a possibility.


      • G’day Chief,
        I found your reply interesting and copied it onto my blog where it earned a comprehensive reply from Western Australian vine grower, winemaker and climate theorist extra-ordinaire Erl Happ. Please drop by, review, and reply if you can find the time.

      • I asked him to get to know Erl before. I think there may well be a very productive result from them thinking together.

      • Kim: yes, as soon as I saw the Chief’s comments on UV and ozone, I knew a productive conversation could ensue. Come and join the party.

      • I admit to not understanding Erl and I have a very different and narrow focus.

        The thermal evolution of ENSO occurs with more or less upwelling in the eastern Pacific – in the region of the Humboldt Current and in the north east. The question specifically is what causes the change in upwelling on multi-decadal timscales. I believe it is a simple physical mechanism involving suppression of upwelling by the warm surface layer. The simplest connection is through storms spinning off the polar fronts – pushing cold water into higher latitudes. In the south this is related to the state of the Southern Annular Mode index and in the north the Arctic Oscillation – influenced in turn by solar UV warming of ozone in the stratosphere.

        So there is a connection there – cold Southern Ocean water can be seen to pool off the coast of South America – although it is hardly a simple one. ENSO has a number of feedbacks involving clouds, winds and Kelvin and Rossby waves that introduce changes in the timing and intensity of specific events.

      • tallbloke,
        Thank you for directing Chief to the comment by Erl Happ. I have not read anything by Erl Happ before but always enjoy reading and learning from Chief.

        I was intrigued by Erl Happ’s comment about an inverse relationship between solar irradiance and temps. I’m not sure how that would square with papers by Scafetta, LeMouel and Shapiro. But I am certain we do not understand the role of the Sun well at all. It is shocking to me that something so foundational has been so long ignored by climate scientists.

      • Hi Ron,
        Erl is right that La Nina often occurs near solar max, so in the short term that works. However, over the whole solar cycle, a comparison with sst shows a positive correlation. El Nino, particularly the large ones, often takes place just after solar minimum. Along with the mixing down of excess solar energy, the overall effect is to diminish the apparent effect of the solar cycle on surface temperature. This leads to mistaken estimates of the degree to which solar variation in the long term affects the surface temperature record.

      • tallbloke,
        Thank you for the summary and assessment. I am convinced the older research on the Sun (such as AR4 was based on) does not answer the questions being asked. I’m not certain the newer research answers all of the questions either, but I think it is looking at some interesting possibilities. You are in a far better position than I to write up a summary and assessment of the research ignored by AR4 WGI or since AR4. Would you be willing o write up a longer assessment, including comments about Scafetta and West 2006, LeMouel 2008, Shapiro 2011, Vuk, Erl Happ or others you think are appropriate? I know I would enjoy reading a summary/assessment like that. I am pretty sure Anthony would allow you to publish it on WUWT. What do you say?

      • Erl has responded to CHief’s comment, I hope he can find the time to visit again, and read my reply too.

      • It’s a jigsaw puzzle party, Chief, and you gotta piece, I know, I know.

      • There are too many people out there with mad, mad theories divorced from any touchstone of reality. A narrative they relate in superficially scientific language and with a touching faith in their own perspicacity.

        ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values. Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to pretend that they are.’ Wrong trousers – radically rethinking climate policy – http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/24569/

        For my sins – I spent decades looking for sources of multi-decadal hydrological variability that appeared in the stream flow records – God help me. I keep suggesting that this is a puzzle for which we have only the pieces for one corner and a bit of an eyebrow.

      • David L. Hagen

        Chief Hydrologist
        Compliments for spending

        decades looking for sources of multi-decadal hydrological variability that appeared in the stream flow records –

        See WJR Alexander who found a strong correlation with the 22 year Hale cycle. See:

        Linkages between solar activity, climate predictability and water resource development*
        W J R Alexander, F Bailey, D B Bredenkamp, A van der Merwe and N Willemse
        Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering • Volume 49 Number 2 June 2007 pp 32-44

        Alexander has put his life work with data on CD for those wishing it.

      • Thanks David – I have seen this and I do indeed think that the Hale cycle is the proximate cause – or control variable – for much of the hydrological variability. For South Africa – the storms spinning of the polar front track further north with higher SLP at the polar region.

      • We are looking, Chief, for the beat from the sun that results in oceanic oscillations. If there is one, I believe you can help us feel it. I can’t help but believe the phenomena emanating from the sun, which vary by more than the TSI, exert control, over shorter or longer terms, and that the atmosphere and the oceans, even the biosphere, somehow dampen the hypersensitivity about which Leif so eloquently warns us.

        Somehow, we’re gonna figure it out, even in the face of temperospatial chaos.

      • Trade winds, south-easterly in the Southern Hemisphere and north-easterly in the Northern Hemisphere, pile up warm surface water against Australia and Indonesia. Water vapour rises in the western Pacific creating low pressure cells that strengthen the trade winds piling yet more warm water up in the western Pacific. Cool, subsurface water rises in the eastern Pacific and spreads westward. At some point the trade winds falter and warm water spreads out westward across the Pacific.

        I did notice some ‘sea level anomalies’ off northern Australia being questioned earlier? The changes are mostly the trade winds – the change in water level between La Nina and El Nino is less than a metre and hardly noticeable against 8m tides.

      • Yep, and the trade bones connected to the polar bones, the polar bones connected to the ozone bones, the ozone bones connected to the UV bones, and…..

      • Kim;
        lousy punctuation.
        “the trade bone’s connected to the polar bone, the polar bone’s connected to the ozone bone, the ozone bone’s connected to the UV bone, and hear ye the word of the Sol!”

      • Much improved, BH. Preview could be my friend but for its icy polar blasts. And wonderful finish; it wasn’t there for me.

      • Heh. I thought of continuing with, “Dem bones, dem bones / Dem wet bones … ” but thought it was belaboring the point. ;)

      • Thank you for your reply on my blog. I have responded, and will let you know when Erl has too. The oceans are the key to understanding climate patterns, and solar system dynamics is the key to understanding longer term oceanic variations. Since the solar system dynamics admit of a good level of predictability, there is potential benefit in oceanographers and celestial mechanics working together on the relationships.

      • Ah! Then the n-body problem for n>2 has been solved then? I hadn’t heard the news!

    • edward getty

      I guess they didn’t have enough water to wash those organic beansprouts properly.

    • David L. Hagen

      You mention Euope’s dry spring (which ended in June) and ask:

      Is this natural variability? Or impact of low solar cycle 24? Or “climate change”?

      A clue to the answer may be

      Springtime in Germany, it added, was the driest March-to-May period since 1893.

      OK. So it happened once before in 1893, during solar cycle 13, when max. sunspot no. was 82. Current solar cycle 24 is also projected to be quite inactive at 75 (Svaalgard et al. 2005).

      But the 800-lb gorilla in the room is “natural variability”, IMO.

      “(Human-induced) climate change”? Fuggidaboudit.


    • Weak SC 23, even weaker SC 24. You can also call it natural variability or climate change.

      • IIRC, natural variability covers everything from pole-to-pole ferns and flutterbys to ice walls overhanging a narrow open water strip around the equator. So that has my vote.

  31. William Pentland writes an article entitled the “Self-Correction of Climate Science,” which is about the IPCC’s inability to constructively deal with the criticism from the IAC, particularly with regards to gray literature.

    Dr. Curry, I believe the title of Pentland’s piece is “the Self-Corruption of Climate Science” – although he seemed to be commenting on the glaring lack of “self-correction” on the part of the IPCC :-)

    While some may call it “confirmation bias”, I must say that it was gratifying to see that Pentland’s observations and conclusions very closely mirror my own on this particular matter – which I began commenting on two months ago!

  32. edward getty

    Re: “Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy seeks papers for a special issue on Climate Change.”

    You asked “I am trying to think of angle for a paper on this (seriously), let me know if you have any ideas.”

    Well, seems to me that if you wanted to guarantee the acceptance of your paper it would be something on why or how ‘men cause CAGW.’ And the ‘sensitivity’ question has much comedic potential.

  33. edward getty

    A sign of the times. It seems that nobody is even paying any attention to the ongoing UN climate gong show.


    They weren’t even moved by the Bolivian delegate’s ultra-super-scientifically-certain warning that “The problem we face is that we are on a path to [warming of] 4-5C. That is the reality.”

    The EU now seems to be following the standard American line (since Kyoto) like puppies with their tails between their legs.

    • The EU is already limping badly from gunshot wounds to the feet. It’s in no condition to do more than howl at the moon. But that will never stop; it’s genetic.

  34. “The state of California has partnered with Google to develop a very impressiveweb site that is designed to explore and synthesize climate research of relevance to California and help the state adapt.”

    The only adaptation needed in California is to get used to being screwed constantly by your own state. Otherwise these is nothing to adapt to unless you want to worry about the decades of cooling we have to look forward to.

  35. Judith, you say that “I am trying to think of [an] angle for a paper on this (seriously)” for a forum whose organisers “encourage investigations of the gendered, neo-colonial, and other power-laden frameworks which shape the discourses and power flows that influence various parties’ understandings of and responses to climate change,” and ask us to let you know if we have any ideas.

    My idea: as you’ve found out with this blog, you are known by the company you keep. I can’t see any gain from contributing to a forum with such a framework and mindset, but plenty of scope for reputational abuse. Steer clear of it is my advice.

    • “Contribute”? If you think that load of bumpf and buzz-words is a “contribution”, then you must feel very generous every time you flush.

  36. The University of Colorado move to add “a correction of 0.3 mm/year due to Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA)” to sea level rise figures is IMO a clever gambit to compensate for the fact that recent satellite readings no longer show higher-than-average recent rates of rise and that the centuries-old tide gauge records never did so.

    John Christy is right in saying that what matters is sea level at the shore (where we land mammals live), not over the entire ocean (where the fish live), except portions near shorelines, which satellites cannot measure.

    This is a red herring.


    • And it’s obvious there are some who want to milk that herring for all it’s worth!

      • Jim2

        The trend now appears to be defensive rather than offensive.

        Back in the heady days of “rapid” warming and awards of Nobel Peace Prizes and an Oscar, everything was rolling along beautifully.

        But then all those thermometers, even the ones next to AC exhausts and asphalt parking lots, stated showing that the warming had stopped!

        Even worse, the newly installed comprehensive ARGO measurements showed that the ocean had cooled instead of warming since they were installed in 2003!

        At the same time satellite and radiosonde measurements have shown that the “fingerprint” of greenhouse warming, the tropospheric hot spot, is simply not there!

        Now even the extremely dicey satellite altimetry sea level measurements have shown a slowdown in the rate of rise.

        So, for the temperature, we now have “cooling from human aerosols is masking the underlying GH warming from human CO2″ (Hmm…data, please).

        In the case of the ocean cooling, there was no real explanation, except at first to say that previous measurements had a “warming bias”, which might make the ARGO measurements look like cooling (OUCH!) and then to write it off as a “speed bump”.

        The missing “hot spot” is salvaged by stating that the thermometers were off, so let’s use wind shear data to reconstruct temperatures that will again show a hot spot (HUH?).

        For the sea level readings that are no longer playing along we have this new “isostatic red herring”.

        The mind boggles at the imagination displayed by the faithful in defending their dogma against the facts.

        Is it any wonder that rational skeptics become even more skeptical?


      • Max, this is called theory saving. It is common when the anomalies start piling up.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        What satellites can measure is the change in sea level relative to the geodesic datum and whether or not the sea level rise is decreasing from the 1.9mm/year existing observation means that it won’t even cover an 8 inch stack of red herrings on the shoreline by year 2100. Instead of investing in carbon credits perhaps a better investment would be in 10 inch gum boots to protect the world population from this catastrophic sea level rise by 2100; but then again the reduction might be real and we would only need six inch gumboots.
        It is a pleasure to see that at least some people on this blog have some common sense and are in touch with reality

  37. Judith,

    An idea occurs to me for a Hypatia piece. It involves tribalism, gender and the climate debate but it might be a bit too psychological for your taste. However, you’d certainly be the one to pen it. I don’t wish to be overly secretive about it but if I outlined it publically, the results would be totally skewed. Email me if you’re interested!


  38. Dr. Curry
    Thank you for your suggestion, the webpage
    is now updated with additional information, and importantly gives an idea of possible prevailing winter weather patterns in various areas of the North Atlantic basin during the forthcoming decade.
    It is now on Tamino’s too http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/open-thread-4/#comment-51632 and that is not to be dismissed likely. It is a bit of a pity that it can’t go to WUWT, I am now banned over there.

    • I like the symmetry, a closed mind blinks a shaded eye, an open mind casts a jaundiced one.

    • Your observation correlates perfectly with LOD, as from Professor
      Leonid B. Klyashtorin of the Federal Institute for Fisheries and Oceanography, Moscow, Russian Federation (e-mail: Klyashtorin@mtu-net.ru):
      See graph at page 50
      Now, you would ask: what does the earth spin around?. This is a simple question no astronomer or astrophysicist dares to answer…..though an image worths a thousand words:

    • Anthony Watts

      You aren’t banned, just put on “always moderated” que because you’ve been hijacking threads and your constant overzealousness is causing an extra moderation load with the fights you pick with Dr. Svalgaard.

      I wrote on 6/15 here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/15/scientists-prove-existence-of-magnetic-ropes-that-cause-solar-storms/#comment-681525

      Vuk, you have earned yourself troll bin status, which means all your posts go to automatica moderation now.- Anthony

      But I think you like the idea of “banned” so you can play victim and spread that around at other websites, like you are doing here.

      Besides, you’ve already taken steps to circumvent the moderation que anyway, leaving a comment just two days ago here:


      So don’t whine dishonestly about “banned” when you take circumventive steps to keep pushing your agenda anyway.


      • Anthony,
        From my point of view, if anyone should have been point on moderation it was Leif. Just sayin.

      • Anthony Watts

        I tend to defer to Dr. Svalgaard over Vuk because he has the courage to put his name to his words. If Vuk wants to argue with Leif on equal footing, then that’s a way to make it happen.

        Anonymous rants are cheap, anyone can do it.

      • I love the notion that putting your “name to your words” is an inherent indication of “courage.”

        There are plenty of people who put sign their names to their blog posts but who lack courage. There are plenty of people who write anonymous blog posts but who are courageous people.

        Is your cause/effect linkage between signing blog posts and courage an indication of the more general veracity of your analysis, Anthony?

        I certainly hope not.

      • There are plenty of people who put sign their names to their blog posts but who lack courage. There are plenty of people who write anonymous blog posts but who are courageous people

        Those words are a generalization (or perhaps a rationalization) that has little or nothing to do with reality.

        If one has any capacity for real thought, putting one’s real name on the Internet is a calculated risk. And putting anything of real substance out there is an even greater risk. There have been some words here (in a different thread) about “climate scientists” receiving death threats. But what the left side of the dance floor overlooks (apparently deliberately) is that there are skeptics who have also been threatened for the last 20 years or more. I know that to be true because in the past I’ve received some of those threats. So… it takes either courage, carelessness or ignorance to use one’s real name on the Internet.

        It’s easier – and safer – to use a pseudonym. That says absolutely nothing about the level of courage involved in that action. There are places where pseudonyms actually have a real purpose, but few of the residents of this blog are likely to go there. And, in fact, I use a pseudonym in some forums. Just not here.

        IOW, Joshua’s “implication” is not wrong, just very incomplete.

      • Leif’s constant insults grow tiresome. I thought vukcevic was his name. At least Vuk is doing some new research. Leif is just restating old research. He has no answers for the newer work being done and he is not doing any new research himself.

      • Anthony Watts

        Well having visited the link above from Vukcevic, I learn that he’s using his last name, not an non-de plume. I’ve never visited his website before.

        May I suggest then, that when commenting on any blogs, inlcuding WUWT, that you identify yourself as

        M.A. Vukcevic

        rather that simply “vukcevic” or “Vuk etc”. That will tell any moderator who values those people who put names to their words that you are in fact using your name?

        I’ll take you off moderation status provide that you tone it down and reduce the volume a bit.


      • Yes, of course.

        I go away from keyboard for two hours and all hell breaks loose.

        Not to get into bad book with ‘Climate etc’ as well my answer to above can be found here: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/answer.htm

      • Yes of course.

        Not to abuse Dr. Curry’s hospitality rest of my comments are here:

      • Anthony Watts

        There we go, problem solved.

      • Amazing, isn’t it?

        Just by you going to his blog and seeing that in fact he does use his name, he goes from lacking courage to being courageous.

      • Anthony Watts

        I should add that vukcevic has 4193 comments on WUWT, so it has taken a long time for you to earn an “always moderated” status. That means your posts will always be put aside for inspection instead of being blanket moderated with other comments.

        Hopefully, you’ll learn to pick your battles more carefully.

    • Paul Vaughan

      vukcevic, in order to properly consider your work, we need to know how to construct NAP.

      As for the late 80s / early 90s excursion of terrestrial polar motion radius, European temperatures, northern sea ice, & all climate indices:

      That was globally synchronized (no lag):

      Both NAM & SAM synchronized with global averages:
      1. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/vaughn_npp_image12.png
      2. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/vaughn_npp_image11.png

      In short:
      It was a temporary global whirl (…that happened right after a lot of heat got pumped [western boundary current & extension] up into the North Pacific – followed by a pump outage [sharp reduction in neutron count at solar max & corresponding damping of semi-annual heat-pump for a few years]).

      I suggest studying up on EOP (Earth Orientation Parameters) and semi-annual heat-pump dynamics — makes terrestrial climate DRAMATICALLY simpler, particularly for anyone with a handle on interannual spatiotemporal chaos (NOT to be confused with temporal chaos, which differs FUNDAMENTALLY, as patiently explained here at Climate Etc. by Tomas Milanovic).

      Best Regards.

    • No, Vuc, just lagged and subject to moderation. I’ve been in that bin for a couple of years. NBD.

    • Thank you for your comments positive and otherwise. Perhaps time to go back to climate change, natural or not.

  39. Over most of the past century, the Arctic Oscillation alternated between its positive and negative phases. Starting in the 1970s, however, the oscillation has tended to stay in the positive phase, causing lower than normal arctic air pressure and higher than normal temperatures in much of the United States and northern Eurasia.


    Why do then blame this oscillating warming and cooling on CO2?

    It is just an oscillation: http://bit.ly/ePQnJj

    Be awkward if we went through a early 1940s type swing!


    Not far to go to see that!

  40. MILLOY: Supremes retreat from climate panic

    SCOTUS 2011

    Writing for an essentially unanimous court (Justice Sonia Sotomayor recused herself because she was part of a lower-court ruling on the case), the ultra-liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated, “The Court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.”

    Contrast SCOTUS 2007

    Justice Stevens wrote: “The harms associated with climate change are serious and well recognized. The Government’s own objective independent assessment of the relevant science and a strong consensus among qualified experts indicate that global warming threatens, inter alia, a precipitate rise in sea levels … severe and irreversible changes to natural ecosystems, a significant reduction in … winter snowpack … with direct and important economic consequences, and an increase in the spread of disease and the ferocity of weather events.”

    • I’m not a legal scholar, but it appears that the Court has implicitly re-endorsed the authority of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions – see SCOTUS. I’m not sure the decision has any unexpected implications.

    • The most interesting facet of this case (American Electric and Power v, Connecticut) is that it rejects the concept of nuisance law being applied to “climate change.” While the case is limited to federal common law nuisance doctrines, the ruling’s discussion of preemption appears to leave no room for state nuisance suits either. Progressive class action lawyers are mourning this decision across the U.S.

      But I think Milloy’s commentary suggesting that this case is a retreat from the Court’s 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA is mistaken. It was in Mass. v. EPA that the Supreme Court required the EPA to engage in then rule making process regarding CO2 regulation. Justice Ginsburg’s majority opinion in American Electric and Power not only does not retreat from that prior holding, but the holding in Mass. v. EPA forms the very basis of this new decision. The fact that the EPA must regulate CO2 pursuant to the court’s ruling in Mass. V. EPA is the reason that nuisance suits are not available. The Clean Air Act, and EPA regulations that must follow pursuant to Mass. v. EPA preempt that area of law.

      “We hold that the Clean Air Act and the EPA actions it authorizes displace any federal common law right to seek abatement of carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants. Massachusetts made plain that emis-sions of carbon dioxide qualify as air pollution subject to regulation under the Act. 549 U. S., at 528–529. And we think it equally plain that the Act “speaks directly” to emissions of carbon dioxide from the defendants’ plants.”

      While the language from Ginsburg quoted by David Hagen above seems a retreat, it is what is referred to as dicta, language in the opinion that is not necessary to the ruling, and therefore not legally binding. The ruling in American Electric in fact affirms that Mass. v. EPA is still good law.

      This ruling was only a very limited win for conservative free market principles. The liberals on the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy included, just ruled that the regulation of the energy economy by the progressives at the EPA preempts progressive trial lawyers from trying to do the same thing. This case is a big deal for utilities in the short term, in that they will not have to face multiple class action nuisance suits. But it does nothing to stop the EPA’s de facto takeover of the energy economy, which is intended to drive many of those same utilities out of business.

      I understand the desire to find good news in the progressive hurricane winds that are threatening the economy, but this case is at most the eye of the regulatory storm, with the worst yet to come. Unless in 2012….

  41. Re Hyaptia, how about this angle: sloppy thinking unencumbered by facts or reason is not limited to the male gender. Cheers!