Week in review 07/22/11

by Judith Curry

Here are a few things that caught my eye this past week:

Sea Level

Several things of interest re sea level.  John Droz at WUWT has a very interesting post entitled “The battle over sea level in JCR.”

A few months ago a widely-publicized article by Houston and Dean was published in the Journal of Coastal Research (and on your site), noting that although sea-level is rising; the tide gauge data does not show any increased rate of rise (acceleration) for the 20th and early 21st centuries. 

In the most recent volume of the Journal of Coastal Research, there is a point/counterpoint on this study. It was started by an attack on this paper by Rahmstorf & Vermeer and followed by a response to this by Houston & Dean (below).  

In the Australian, there is an interview with Phil Watson on his new paper:

ONE of Australia’s foremost experts on the relationship between climate change and sea levels has written a peer-reviewed paper concluding that rises in sea levels are “decelerating”.

The analysis, by NSW principal coastal specialist Phil Watson, calls into question one of the key criteria for large-scale inundation around the Australian coast by 2100 — the assumption of an accelerating rise in sea levels because of climate change.

Based on century-long tide gauge records at Fremantle, Western Australia (from 1897 to present), Auckland Harbour in New Zealand (1903 to present), Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour (1914 to present) and Pilot Station at Newcastle (1925 to present), the analysis finds there was a “consistent trend of weak deceleration” from 1940 to 2000.

Tamino posts on Watson’s paper, with some interesting analysis of the tide guage data.

Jim Hansen has a new paper entitled “Paleoclimate implications for human made climate change.”  From the abstract:

We suggest that ice sheet mass loss, if warming continues unabated, will be characterized better by a doubling time for mass loss rate than by a linear trend. Satellite gravity data, though too brief to be conclusive, are consistent with a doubling time of 10 years or less, implying the possibility of multi-meter sea level rise this century.

Its not the coal, its volcanoes(?)

A new study by Vernier et al. is in press at GRL, entitled “Major influence of tropical volcanic eruptions on the stratospheric aerosol layer during the last decade.”  From the abstract:

Recently, the trend, based on ground-based lidar measurements, has been tentatively attributed to an increase of SO2 entering the stratosphere associated with coal burning in Southeast Asia. However, we demonstrate with these satellite measurements that the observed trend is mainly driven by a series of moderate but increasingly intense volcanic eruptions primarily at tropical latitudes. These events injected sulfur directly to altitudes between 18 and 20 km. The resulting aerosol particles are slowly lofted into the middle stratosphere by the Brewer-Dobson circulation and are eventually transported to higher latitudes.

Well, this is a more convincing explanation then the Chinese coal burning.

Science Communication vs Soulcraft

Dan Kahan has another very interesting essay posted here (his previous essay was discussed here).   His essay starts with this:

President Obama has recently been taking heat from environmentalists, most conspicuously Al Gore in a recent Rolling Stone essay, for not using his “bully pulpit” to force the public to attend to the threat posed by climate change. “By excising ‘climate change’ from his vocabulary,” said one critic, “the president has surrendered the power that only he has to explain challenging issues and advance complex solutions for our country.”
I definitely agree that President Obama should be taking the lead to improve public comprehension of climate change science. But I suspect I have a very different opinion on what the President should be trying to communicate—also how and when. What the public needs, in my view, is not more information about climate change, but a new, more inclusive set of cultural idioms for discussing this issue.

249 responses to “Week in review 07/22/11

  1. It is not unusual for different people hold differing beliefs about something that cannot be proved one way or another. It happens all the time and is not a problem in a free society.

    However, when people are deemed justified, because of their belief in unproven AGW theory, to enforce their will upon others under color of law and backed by the power of the state—that is a big problem. That is what gives wings to liberal fascism. It is in that instance where the claimed consensus of opinion becomes the tyranny of the Left.

    • You often invoke this mythical “liberal fascism” in contrast to your own traditional right-wing fascism. Unfortunately, you have not proved it exists. Yet, you want to use this unproven concept as a justification for forcing your carbon pollution on me. You are thus, by your own definition, a liberal fascist (if there were such as thing) as well as a traditional fascists.

      Your dreams of tyranny through enforced ignorance will end in tears. :)

    • John Carpenter

      Funny… the pot calling the kettle black.

    • “Tyranny is about enforced agreement. Everyone puts down their partisan differences in North Korea, that’s one reason I don’t want to live there.” –Jonah Goldberg

    • Yes, liberal fascism is the reason the global warming debate goes on. It’s the only reason.

      AGW has long since ceased being about scientific discovery. It’s all about politics. That’s why we now see global warming playing itself out as a Democrat v. Republican issue.

      Global warming alarmism showcases the self-defeating and anti-American intolerance that is symbolic of the tyranny of the Left. Americans have many rights: some are specifically enumerated and some are acknowledged to have been granted to all of humanity by God, a Judeo/Christian God—i.e., human rights that are personal to free individuals that cannot be diminished by contractual fiat.

      Additionally, Americans have many other rights — penumbral rights emanating from the Constitution – rights that are not specifically enumerated but are nonetheless fundamental to the American experience. These rights are what the Leftist-libs would destroy from within and from without.

      The Leftist-libs would use their democratic freedom to deprive others of theirs: using the democratic process to prevent others from employing their own mental, physical and psychic vitality as their own personal and individual interest shall dictate. The Leftist-libs’ undermining of personal and individual freedom is Liberal Fascism.

    • Robert, later tonight I hope to complete and post well-documented evidence of hiding and manipulating experimental data by government research agencies and leading members of the National Academy of Sciences since 1972.

      I deeply regret the necessity of this action, but the economic and social fabric of the world are being torn asunder and others are suffering while those responsible for this state of affairs continue to bluff their way along with abundant taxpayers funds, almost two years after the Climategate files were released.


      With deep regrets,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

    • Here’s my first attempt to make a quick summary of the Historical Roots (1945-2011) of Climategate available.


      I will try to post a pdf file later today.

      What a strange, strange world we live in! Despite all of the politicians and their secret deals, I am pleased to report that

      Today all is well,
      Oliver K. Manuel

    • There is no Right-wing fascism, Robert.

      Fascism is an invention and a tool of the Left.

      Cure your ignorance – read the book – it’s available at your local library.

    • “Fascism is an invention and a tool of the Left.”

      Strongly disagree Jim. Ultimately, all these political dichotomies are false and distractions, IMO. Democracies are farces and only outright scoundrels can gain power, left or right.

      However, the term left wing derives from French revolution. The left were supporters of the Republic (against Monarchy). In the most general terms, it describes support for social change to create a more egalitarian society – are you against that?

      As long as we cling to these false dichotomies, it will not get better and people will remain confused and continue to elect scoundrels. Only scoundrels stand a chance to get elected. The system is like a sieve that only allows the most corrupted pass through, any honesty will be retained in the sieve. This has to change.

    • Jim Owen,

      “There is no Right-wing fascism” Really?

      Try telling that to the parents of murdered 80+ Norwegian schoolkids. You seem to have forgotten what happened in Oklahoma City in 1995 too.

    • That’s not fascism, tt. That’s insanity.

      You’re leaping to unwarranted conclusions.

    • “That’s not fascism, tt. That’s insanity.”

      You got spanked by the evidence, as usual, Jimmy. I didn’t even need to chime in!

      Once you’ve studied and understood the long history of right-wing extremism, including fascism, you’ll be ready to have a conversation with me about your and Breivik’s common heritage.

      In the wake of this climate denier’s mass murder at a children’s summer camp, it would probably be wise of you to shelve the whole “we don’t really exist [wink]” propaganda. How about a little respect for the victims of your fellow right-wing activist?

    • Interestingly, among his other right-wing extremist views, Breivik was a passionate denier who cited Monckton and climategate as proof the theory of global warming is an “eco-Marxist scam”: http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/2011/07/breaking-yes-anders-behring-breivik-is.html.

    • “you have not proved it exists.”

      Kinda like AGW, huh Robert.


    • Andrew,

      Your ignorance is not a superpower. Your not being able or willing to understand the science does not make the science go away, sorry!

    • tempterrain

      The term “Liberal fascism” is just a nonsense. Liberalism, historically, has been closely associated with the idea of democracy. Most developed countries worldwide have systems of universal adult democratic suffrage, independent of race and gender.

      These haven’t been won by those of extreme political opinions, of either the left or right, but generally by those who believe in the idea of what might be termed ‘liberal democracy’.

      And democracy doesn’t mean that everyone gets their own way. You might not like being told that you can’t drop litter, you have to obey the speed limits on the roads, you can’t pollute the rivers or the atmosphere etc . You might not like paying your taxes but that’s just life in all liberal democratic countries. You need to get used to the idea.

    • tt –
      The term “Liberal fascism” is just a nonsense.

      Like Robert, you also need to cure your ignorance – read the book. Then you’ll have something to talk about.

      Liberalism, historically, has been closely associated with the idea of democracy.

      Yes – Historic liberalism was what’s now called conservatism.
      Today’s liberalism is an entirely different animal.

    • Today’s liberalism = Progressivism, which is highly centralized and has no patience for individual liberty when it is inconvenient for the State.

    • Some will see the point, others may not –

      They chose the name “Falange” for their party because that had been the name of the Macedonian battle units that had destroyed democracy in ancient Greece.

      The Falange symbols were a yoke and a sheaf of arrows. The Falange philosophy was Fascist. But Fascism, which is anti-intellectual, is not so much a system of thought, not so much a definable political position, as it is an emotional disease.

      It has been different in each country. It is marked by fear, basically – the fear that breeds hatred and intolerance of whatever is different, whatever does not conform to the simplest patterns of behavior, whatever cannot be directly and completely controlled. Frightened by the problems and complexities of modern life, Fascists seek to simplify through destruction and control through force.

      Fascism is a psychological condition that can be found among people of all countries, including our own.

      From : “The Civil War in Spain” by Robert Goldston

    • I wouldn’t disagree with the contents quoted, but:
      General Franco, the Falange, and the Spanish Army defeated the Republican government in the 1930′s Spanish Civil War and no more democracy there until after Franco died in the 1970′s. That was real fascism just like in Chile 40 years later.
      And so your point is ?

    • I don’t think I need to read “Mein Kampf” to know what fascism means anymore than I need to read this latest nonsense about “liberal fascism”.

      It strikes me that the Tea Party crowd in the USA don’t really like the idea of democracy. Period. Especially as the USA isn’t what Sarah Palin would call the “Real America” any more. There are just too many poor groups and ethnic minorities who don’t have same values as you ‘regular guys’.

      They’ve already voted in one President who has brought in, as he said he would prior to his election, measures on health care reform. Well election promise, or no election promise, you guys just had to fight that every step of the way, didn’t you? And you’ve got to make darned sure it just doesn’t happen again!

      I was once asked about who had right of way an intersections, when I was in the USA. A trick question. The answer is that it is the SUV with the biggest gun! That joke could become a reality in the USA and not just at traffic intersections. If that does happen, you’ll then know what real fascism means.

    • tt,
      To make the assertion that the tea party does not like democracy in the USA puts you on the level of someone who believes in alien abductions.
      You should stick to misrepresenting climate science. You don’t look nearly as ignorant.

    • tt –
      I’m back to being a mossie in a nudist colony – it’s a target rich environment. So let’s start from the top –

      1) It’s not the sceptics but the alarmists who fear climate change. Your desperation to do something regardless of effectiveness or cost is born of fear.

      2) It’s not the sceptics but the alarmists who want to change the political and economic systems such that they would be centrally controlled, and thus destroy democracy.

      3) It’s not the sceptics but the alarmists who have proposed such measures as “Carbon cards”, carbon rationing, Carbon taxes, and carbon trading schemes that would enrich a few at the expense of the many.

      4) It’s not the sceptics but the alarmists who institute central control of the energy, and thus the activities of everyone on the planet.

      5) It’s not the sceptics but the alarmists who who preach hatred and intolerance. I believe we had a conversation about intolerance several days ago – and you were the one who defended your own intolerance.

      6) It’s not the sceptics but the alarmists who are willing to interfere with the extension of electricity generation to the poor nations of the world, thus consigning millions of people to poverty, ignorance and death.

      It strikes me that the Tea Party crowd in the USA don’t really like the idea of democracy.

      I’m not associated with the Tea Party, but I know that you know far less than I do about them and that what you think you know is wrong. And that you’re a moron wrt American politics.

      The President? Yes – with a little help from his friends and a whole lot of political chicanery, they forced that mess through – barely. It’s a sad day for the US when the Speaker of the House stands up and says of a 2000 page law that she can barely lift: “We don’t know what’s in here so we”ll just have to pass it to find out.” That’s not a “rule of law” – it’s idiocy. Which, again, makes you a moron wrt US politics.

      Ah, yes – Sarah Palin – is NOT the President – and not likely to be. She is just one more politician although in many ways she shows more common sense than the entire US Congress combined. Your agita over her is not only misplaced, but really dumb. Which, again, makes you a moron wrt US politics.

      And finally – who told you that was a joke. In Haiti, Africa, Central America and parts of Asia, it’s reality. And the Mexican drug traffickers are trying to make it reality in the American Southwest because we have a Federal government that WON’T (not can’t) control our borders. Which is reason enough to change that government. And which, again, makes you a moron wrt US politics.

    • Jim Owen,

      The Tea party, themselves, say they favour a “Representative Republic” rather than Democracy, which they equate to “mob rule”


      They are nervous about the idea of the majority voting to take away individual rights. Again this is them saying that, not me.

      “If a direct democracy is mob rule and the government carries out what a majority of the people want, no matter what the rights of the people are, I could reasonably expect an economic democracy to mean that the wealth of the nation should go where a majority of the people want it to go”

    • tt –
      Where did you ever get the idea that the US is or ever was – or was ever intended to be – a “democracy”?

      It’s not – it IS a Republic. A representative Republic as a matter of fact. And that is so because the Founders of the Republic recognized the dangers of “democracy”. They called it the “tyranny of the majority” and included specific structures in the Constitution to minimize that danger.

      I have, about two feet beyond my left hand, a book specifically titled “Foundations of the Republic”. What country would you imagine that book to be about? Nigeria, perhaps?

      I’ve said before that you’re totally ignorant wrt US politics. The best thing you could do, for your own sake, is to never, ever talk about the subject.

    • andrew adams


      It’s not – it IS a Republic. A representative Republic as a matter of fact. And that is so because the Founders of the Republic recognized the dangers of “democracy”. They called it the “tyranny of the majority” and included specific structures in the Constitution to minimize that danger.

      Sure, but much as I think the US constitution is to be admired most modern democracies also have constitutions which limit the power of the state and guard against the “tyranny of the majority”. Some of these democracies are republics, some are monarchies – I think you would have to have a pretty narow and technical view of the terms to say a country can’t be both a republic and a democracy.

    • John Carpenter


      Our form of government over here is a ‘Republic’, not a democracy. A Republic has a constitution that protects the ‘minority’ from being overrun by simple majority rule of democracy. If you google ‘democracy vs republic’ you will get plenty of information to help you understand better what the US is all about.

    • Tempterrain,

      you might want to look into some Greek history where the idea that a Democracy would last only until the majority realized it could vote money into its own pockets from the pockets of the minority. I believe our Founding Fathers in the US warned us of the same.

      Now, what gems of wonderful democracy would you like to hold up as shining examples??

      I would point out that this is a perfect time for the discussion because the corrupt politicians that pander to the populace helping to redistribute the wealth in democracies invairably run out of other peoples money and bankrupt everything in conjunction with their business buddies who learned to collaborate with the gubmint so they wouldn’t get cleaned out first or were corrupt enough themselves to see how the government could be used to pad their own income by buying influence!!

    • andrew adams

      you might want to look into some Greek history where the idea that a Democracy would last only until the majority realized it could vote money into its own pockets from the pockets of the minority. I believe our Founding Fathers in the US warned us of the same.

      Yet despite that democracy, for all its flaws, is the single most successful form of government ever devised.

      Now, what gems of wonderful democracy would you like to hold up as shining examples??

      Well assuming you are sticking to the rather silly notion that the US is not a democracy then I would offer any country in Western Europe as a n example. Or Canada, Australia or New Zealand.

      I would point out that this is a perfect time for the discussion because the corrupt politicians that pander to the populace helping to redistribute the wealth in democracies invairably run out of other peoples money and bankrupt everything in conjunction with their business buddies who learned to collaborate with the gubmint so they wouldn’t get cleaned out first or were corrupt enough themselves to see how the government could be used to pad their own income by buying influence!!

      So this has happened to every democracy? Really? Examples?

    • tempterrain

      For years, those with more leftist views than my own have argued that America wasn’t a democracy. I always argued that it was – yes, an imperfect one, like all democracies, are but still a democracy.

      It’s interesting that now those of much right wing views than my own are now coming out and saying the same thing – making that distinction between a republic and a democracy. There certainly have been many republics in history which aren’t democracies.

      I do remember the argument that the Cold war was fought for democracy – there wouldn’t have been much resonance in saying it was being fought for a “representative republic” !

      Looks like that argument may become a major theme in future US elections. Do voters want democracy?

    • What book? Fascism, like Socialism is a form of Central Planning. Central Planning = Central Authority = Central Ownership.

      If you have, assume, or usurp the responsibility to centrally plan someone else’s property or labor, then you must have the Authority. If you have the Authority to plan someone else’s property/labor then you in practice Own that property Labor.

      The only significant different between the Central Planning ISM’s is who is in charge of the Central Planning. Socialism, Fascism, Mercantilism, Corporatism, etc are not Left Right, they are all Political/Economic systems where the Few plan the resources of the many through various forms of coercion.

      I prefer Classic Liberalism over Conservatism. Conservatism is today pretty much defunct being replaced by NeoConservatism. Today’s Liberalism and Conservatism are pretty much the two sides (D’s & R’s) of the same coin. Both are seeking to Centrally Plan our lives, one seeks more control over the Economy, the other Morality. Sad thing is that neither can be centrally planned to the betterment of society, only the Rulers.

    • I haven’t noticed my life is being centrally planed.
      Do I have to be paranoid to pick up on that?

    • Have you read the Healthcare bill? ALL of it?

    • Have you read your private health insurance policy? ALL of it? Did you detect that it was centrally planned? It was.

    • JCH –
      My private health insurance policy doesn’t dictate what doctor I MUST use, or what procedures he’s ALLOWED tu use, or that the treatment MUST be approved by a governmentpanel that won’t include doctors- or my doctor can/will face huge fines and go to jail. All that and more is part of “Obamacare”.

    • Yep, and I haven’t noticed my life being centrally planned. My life was centrally planned when i was in the Army, but hasn’t been since then.

    • M.carey,

      you don’t notice that to benefit from tax exemptions you must engage in particular activities or you don’t get them?? You don’t notice that raw milk, no matter the quality is difficult to buy due to gubmint regulation? You don’t notice that particular drugs are or are not allowed based on, often, junk science and decrees from the gubmint? You don’t notice that the gubmint spends large amounts of tax dollars on regulating our food and drugs yet people are continuously dying from disease, bad drugs, contamination… You don’t notice that YOU have to show id and prove place of birth for many things like foreign travel while illegals come and go with little interference depending on the Party in office? You don’t notice that the type of insulation for you houser, type of lights, standards for electrical devices, plumbing, condoms, sex toys, childrens products, paint, virtually everything you are allowed to buy with the gubmints money is controlled and limited for you?? You don’t notice that the government can tell you what medical procedures you can and cannot have yet an underage child can have her baby aborted using government money without telling her parents? You don’t notice that the government can decide which countries you are allowed to visit and do business with? You don’t notice that the gubmint decides which schools you will be loaned or granted money to attend?

      I agree that central planning is too strong of a term for what is being done to us. I think we should say we are being HERDED!!


    • M. carey –
      Do I have to be paranoid to pick up on that?

      No – intelligent.

    • Your intelligence tells you the government is out to get you. Better move to Canada.

    • Government is not your friend – in any country.

      The Founders of this country told you so. You didn’t listen.

    • End is Far –
      Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.

    • The founders of our country also said it was OK to own slaves. I didn’t listen to that either.

    • M. carey –
      The founders of our country also said it was OK to own slaves.

      No – the most bitter, longest lasting argument of the Constitutional Convention was over slavery. Even many of those who owned slaves wanted out outlaw it in the new Nation. That it survived did not bode well for the future – as some of those men made clear after the Convention. But a compromise was necessary if the Union was to survive at all. And so the issue wasn’t settled until the Civil War aka the War of Northern Aggression in which 600,000 men and boys, mostly white, died so that slavery would also die.

      And just to add a little spice – if the Democrats had had their way, the war would have been much shorter and would have left slavery intact. To be blunt, the war interfered with their profits.

    • Jim,

      Don’t be so hard on the Democrats. They don’t try to own slaves any more. They just keep their ancestors mired in schools that don’t teach, housed in centralized slums (to make get out the vote efforts easier), located in cities with no jobs, so they can trade their votes for subsistence level government transfer payments. I mean how much more generous can you get? Instead of slaves toiling in cotton fields for days on end for the right to live in a hovel and be treated like dirt, now all their great grandchildren have to do is pull a lever once every two years and Dems promise them the same life. (Paid for with other people’s tax dollars of course.)

      The Dems went from active slave owners, to employers of essentially indentured servants, to Jim Crow and the KKK, to the maintainers of the government sponsored servitude that is the welfare/entitlement state; all without missing a beat. The tactics have changed, but the end has remained the same. Rather than exploiting slaves for their labor, the Dems now settle for exploiting their descendants for their votes. Different tune, same dance.

    • HA HA …. none of our founding fathers actually wanted slavery to continue, but somehow it continued anyway for almost a century.

    • M. carey –
      You’re innocent of history as well as science? You poor baby – your education has been sadly neglected. I’d recommend a good American History course, but NOT High School level. After all, that’s probably where you learned all the lies you seem to think of as history.

      Fact is that all those Southern gentlemen, and some of the Norterners as well, who were Founding Fathers were also slave owners. Some of them would have given up their slaves in order to establish the Constitution, but others were intransigent and not only refused, but threatened to leave the Union if the issue was forced. So there were compromises that came back to bite the nation later. And some of those Founders later freed their slaves voluntarily. In your terms, that would be like giving your business to your employees.

      Find an American history book – you need it.

    • Yes – Historic liberalism was what’s now called conservatism.Today’s liberalism is an entirely different animal.

      Has been for a very long time. When ‘Liberalism’ By Ludwig von Mises was translated to English in 1962 the preface (repeated again in 1985) stated the following:

      The term “liberalism,” from the Latin “liber” meaning “free,” referred originally to the philosophy of freedom. It still retained this meaning in Europe when this book was written (1927) so that readers who opened its covers expected an analysis of the freedom philosophy of classical liberalism. Unfortunately, however, in recent decades, “liberalism” has come to mean something very different. The word has been taken over, especially in the United States, by philosophical socialists and used by them to refer to their government intervention and “welfare state” programs.

    • After “Historic Liberalism” became outdated, Conservatives embraced it. So, it’s an obsolete philosophy for obsolete people

    • You REALLY need that history book, don’t you.

    • tt,
      No, it is well explained and well illustrated.
      You just don’t like it, so you deny its reality.

    • What part of your life is being centrally planned?

    • Ethanol is a great example.

      It is forced upon drivers. It is a crappy fuel with a very low amount of energy compared to gasoline and it drives up the price of food. And you pay for it in extra taxes as well because of the subsidy

    • Ethanol in gasoline is controlling my life? I guess that never thought about it that way.

    • Do you pay more for food because of ethanol? Yes.

    • I haven’t noticed paying more for food, but if I have been paying more, it’s probably because obesity is driving up the demand for food, and greater demand means higher prices.

    • You’re having a laugh, right?
      Obesity indeed!

    • M. carey –
      If you haven’t noticed that you’re paying more for food, then it’s because you never buy it. Wife, maybe? Servants? Slaves?

    • “Supply strains caused by rising demand for soybeans from China and corn for ethanol are fueling the rapid rise in world food prices, according to a study by Purdue University economists.”

      “Global food prices have soared 39 percent in the past year, reaching a record in February, according to U.N. data. The increased costs have contributed to the unrest in northern Africa and the Middle East that resulted in the overthrow of leaders in Tunisia and Egypt. U.S. food expenses rose 3.7 percent in the 12 months through June, government data show. During that period, rice, wheat, corn, soybean and milk futures touched the highest levels since at least 2008.”


      ““We’re driving up food prices unnecessarily,” said Ken Powell, chief executive of General Mills in an interview with the Financial Times. “If corn prices go up, wheat goes up. It’s all linked.” Powell added that last year, General Mills had to pay twice as much for wheat and 30-40 percent more for corn and oats. The rising costs were absorbed by both General Mills and the consumer.”


    • Bruce, let’s face it, gluttony can cause higher food prices, and obesity has been on the rise in our country for years.


      Food prices rise with increases in demand, and more fatties means more demand.

    • Glutton for food? No.
      Gluttony for subsidies? Yes.

      “US ethanol refiners are consuming more domestic corn than livestock and poultry farmers for the first time, underscoring how a government-supported biofuels industry has contributed to surging grain demand.

      The US Department of Agriculture estimated that in the year to August 31 ethanol producers will have consumed 5.05bn bushels of corn, or more than 40 per cent of last year’s harvest. Animal feed and residual demand accounted for 5bn bushels.”


      45 cents a gallon subsidy for ethanol as of now.
      54 cents tariff on ethanol imports.

    • M. carey –
      Food prices rise with increases in demand

      Food prices also rise with dwindling supply. Which is why ethanol raises food prices. IIRC the US now has more land in ethanol production than in corn production for food.

    • It’s funny how countries (past and present) whose names contain the word ‘Democratic’ tend to suffer under very oppressive regimes.

  2. Solar-Droughts/Floods: The GCMs do not include the impact of the 21 year Hale cycle on flood/drought as shown by WJR Alexander. see Alexander’s Crossroads, 19 July 2011. In 2008, Alexander predicted:

    my analyses showed that we could be heading for a period of global droughts from 2009 through to 2016. These could be as severe as the Great Depression Drought (called the Dustbowl Drought in the USA).

    Large run to run variations: See Fred Singer’s upcoming presentation: NIPCC vs. IPCC Addressing the Disparity between Climate Models and Observations: Testing the Hypothesis of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)

    A synthetic experiment with an unforced 1000-yr control run shows that at least 10 runs are necessary to form a stable asymptotic cumulative ensemble-mean (for a run-length of 40 years) and at least 20 runs for a run-length of 20 years. [But there are no IPCC climate models with more than five runs.]

    • Sorry but that Singer paper includes some highly erroneous claims about station drop outs. For example, he erroneously argues that dropping stations at high elevation and high latitude will lead lead to a warming. We’ve shown conclusively that this is not the case. There are many issues with the temperature record. This isnt one of them. In the same way, folks like me call on mann to correct his mistakes I’d expect you to call on Singer to correct this error. It’s really an elementary mistake

    • steven mosher
      I was raising the issue of high uncertainty because of few GCM runs. Any comments on that?

      Referring to his Fig. 15 Singer states:

      “As a result, the sampling population has changed, with the proportion of low-latitude and low-altitude stations increasing – thus introducing a warming bias. A further warming bias comes from the selection of stations, with the ”best” stations usually located at airports.”

      In The Graph of Temperature vs. Number of Stations Ross McKitrick notes:

      The graph clearly shows that there is a step up in the mean coincident with the sudden loss of over half the sampling sites around 1990. The temperature average in the above graph is unprocessed.

      I presume your comments relate to your WUWT post of August 19, 2010: The Big Valley: Altitude Bias in GHCN Of Ross McKitrick’s publications on Global Warming – Temperature Data, you cited McKitrick’s July 26, 2010 paper he subsequently posted as McKitrick, Ross R. (2010) “A Critical Review of Global Surface Temperature Data Products” SSRN Working Paper 1653928, August 2010. In that, McKitrick (1.2.4) & Fig. 1-8 shows a “Growing bias toward lowland sites” with Fig. 1-8 quantifying recent decline in GHCN mean altitude (which you acknowledge) including major drops in 1990 and 2005 – which McKitrick notes differs from your Fig. 1. Furthermore, McKitrick (1.2.2) and Figs. 1-5 & 1-6 shows a “Growing bias towards airport sources” except in the USA. McKitrick (1.2.3) & Fig. 1-7 shows a “Growing bias toward lower latitudes”. McKitrick (1.3) documents the GHCN adjustments with Fig. 1-10 showing:

      the adjustments trend upward. They are mainly negative prior to 1980 and positive most of the time thereafter, effectively “cooling” the early part of the record and “warming” the later record.

      McKitrick August 19, 2010 at 11:49 pm responded to you in detail:

      “your own numbers show that the distribution of dropped thermometers was, in fact, skewed to higher altitudes . . .you are not convincing me that the altitude distribution remained continuous across those intervals. . . .even if (high altitude vs low altitude) trends are the same, there can still be a bias in the overall average,”

      On your assertion of no effect, McKitrick cautions:

      it’s easy to fail to find an effect when you lack the data to measure it directly.

      You briefly replied emphasizing:

      the problem isnt altitude, per se, its not latitude, is not the dropping of stations. Its the land use. its UHI.

      . Note also: E.M.Smith August 19, 2010 at 11:53 pm
      It appears the issue is whether biases from latitude, altitude, and airports with time affect the weighted relative (anomaly) temperature trends, or only UHI and other anthropogenic impacts. You have argue with some evidence that the biases Singer mentions don’t affect the trends. McKitrick argues differently on your evidence. McKitrick’s evidence of the cooling to warming bias in GHCN adjustments suggests that there are serious issues that have not been redressed. In “Socioeconomic Patterns in Climate Data” Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, 35(3,4) pp. 149-175. DOI 10.3233/JEM-2010-0336. McKitrick & Nierenberg (2010)

      find that the evidence for contamination of climatic data is robust across numerous data sets, it is not undermined by controlling for spatial autocorrelation, and the patterns are not explained by climate models.

      I find your claim of “highly erroneous” to be overstated and “Not Proven”, (in Scotts legal parlance.) “Your mission Steven, should you decide to accept it” is to prove that the altitude, latitude and airport biases do NOT contribute to this GHCN adjustment warming, but that it must only be due to “land use” and “UHI”.
      I will relate this to Singer’s Singer {at} sepp {dot} org. I encourage you to write Singer directly, laying your case before him.
      PS Please provide your full paper ref & link.

    • Latitude and altitude changes do not matter. That’s been proven conclusively. Ross and I in fact had a nice little discussion about this in Lisbon. When we upped the station count to over 30K stations, the answer stays the same. When we select only high altitude stations.. same answer.. only low altitude, same answer. That’s the benefit of doing anomalies. When berkeley makes close to 40K stations available you’ll see the same thing. Pick 500 stations at random ( see zekes latest) you get… the same answer. bootstrap that, you’ll see. same answer.

    • I’ve said this before, after looking at the data before adjustments and after, if 500 random stations (adjusted ) give you the same result then the adjustments have homogenized the data and it is corrupt.

      We know GIS “adjusted” 1934 out of the top US spot, therefore all data is corrupt.

      You cannot uncorrupt climate science through R scripts.

  3. The organisation for which Phil Watson works has issued a letter to The Australian saying ‘Your article has misrepresented our Mr Phil Watson’s research paper’.


    • Wow. Thanks for hilarious read!

      “Your article has misrepresented our Mr Phil Watson’s research paper by saying that “global warming is not affecting sea levels”. This is untrue and misleading and it is not what Mr Watson told your journalist. Mr Watson’s research looked only at measurements of historical data. It specifically did not consider predicted linkages between sea level rise and global warming predicted by climate models.”

      Ignore the data … the models disagree!

    • Ummm does this mean what I think it means:

      “The research and underlying data is entirely consistent with the rate of global average sea level rise for the 20th century advised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was of the order of 17 +/- 5 cm.”

      170mm 1.7mm / year for the 20th century. Plus or minus .5mm

      How will that become 10mm/year or 1000mm for the 21st?

      Oh right … models. Not data.

    • “Ummm does this mean what I think it means”

      Based on what I’ve seen of your reading skills? Smart money says no.

      “How will that become 10mm/year or 1000mm for the 21st?”

      Start with some basic high school science, study hard, and soon it will be clear to you.

      Why is it surprising to people ignorant of science when they don’t immediately intuitively grasp a carefully researched and closely argued scientific conclusion? If lazy, ignorant, and stupid polemicists were a reliable judge of diligent, intelligent, and skilled scientific work, why would we need the latter?

    • lazy, ignorant, and stupid polemicist

      You’re projecting again, Robert.

    • The more Robert lashes out … the hard it must have stung.

      I am surprised that he did understand how much this paper demolishes AGW.

    • Nice graph by the way at Tamino’s site. Nothing to worry about.


    • That’s right. If one was born around 1900, one has nothing to worry about.

    • Just the opposite. The people in Freemantle in 1900 to 1960 had to deal with a sea level rise twice that of the post-1960 sea level rise.

    • How on earth did they cope? Oh, the humanity!

    • When an AGW believer runs out of things to say or evidence, they always talk about how skeptics will be dead before the end of the world.

    • A lot of people who identify themselves as septics are brain-dead already.

    • M. carey

      Being ”septic” (as you wrote) is, indeed, a bad condition for the brain.

      sep·tic / septik/
      Adjective: (chiefly of a wound or a part of the body) Infected with bacteria.

      I do not believe that the AGW hysteria is a bacterial infection, but rather a psychological disorder driven by emotion (fear) rather than rational scientific thinking.

      “Skeptic” (or “sceptic”) is a different story, according to Wiki:

      Scientific skepticism is the practice of questioning the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence or reproducibility


      A scientific (or empirical) skeptic is one who questions beliefs on the basis of scientific understanding. Most scientists, being scientific skeptics, test the reliability of certain kinds of claims by subjecting them to a systematic investigation using some form of the scientific method. As a result, a number of claims are considered “pseudoscience” if they are found to improperly apply or ignore the fundamental aspects of the scientific method.

      I believe you see many posters here who fall into this category, also known as “rational skeptics”.

      They are definitely NOT “brain dead”.


    • “Septic” was a Freudian slip, revealing that I believe most self-identified AGW skeptics are full of it. They aren’t true skeptics, just deniers masquerading as skeptics. Genuine skeptics despise these phonies.

    • Awww. No hockey stick. He’ll fix that!

    • “The Australasian region has four very long, continuous tide gauge records, at Fremantle (1897), Auckland (1903), Fort Denison (1914), and Newcastle (1925), which are invaluable for considering whether there is evidence that the rise in mean sea level is accelerating over the longer term at these locations in line with various global average sea level time-series reconstructions. These long records have been converted to relative 20-year moving average water level time series and fitted to second-order polynomial functions to consider trends of acceleration in mean sea level over time. The analysis reveals a consistent trend of weak deceleration at each of these gauge sites throughout Australasia over the period from 1940 to 2000. Short period trends of acceleration in mean sea level after 1990 are evident at each site, although these are not abnormal or higher than other short-term rates measured throughout the historical record.”


      Wow. That sure must hurt the chicken littles …

      “the sea is rising, the sea is rising” … less than usual.

    • The rate of sea level rise, or drop, at any location now is essentially irrelevant to the predictions of greater than 1 meter in 2100. Almost all of that is slated to happen later in this century. Thinking one could observe affirmation or disaffirmation of the prediction now is odd.

    • Almost all of that is slated to happen later in this century.

      Is this parapsychology or do you have a time machine?

    • Like I said, odd.

    • “the predictions of greater than 1 meter in 2100 is essentially irrelevant”

      Fixed it for ya.

    • Bruce

      “the predictions of greater than 1 meter in 2100 is essentially irrelevant”

      It can probably be narrowed down even more.

      Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner, Swedish professor of paleoclimatology and former head of the INQUA Commission on Sea-Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, tells us that an increase of 10 cm to 20 cm by 2100 is “possible”, and that any projection over 20 cm is “nonsense”.


    • http://i.minus.com/idAw6Y.gif
      Add Honolulu, Maasluis, Victoria (Canada), North Shields, Stavanger & San Francisco to those.
      None of them showing any signs of an increase in rate of rise.

    • Oh wait, Tamino hasn’t “eyeballed” them yet.

    • Thanks. More nails in the AGW coffin.

      “SEA LEVEL RISE IS NO DIFFERENT THAN IT WAS 100 YEAR AGO” is not a great rallying cry for the AGW cult.

  4. NOAA’s Data shows that ice accumulates rapidly during warm times and slowly during cold times. It snows more in Antarctic when the oceans are warm. The NOAA Ice Core data shows that. It snows more in Greenland when the oceans are warm. The NOAA Ice Core data shows that. It snows more in Europe and Asia and North America when the Warm Ocean Currents melt Arctic Sea Ice. For Example, this past Winter and other Winters during the past Decade.

    When Oceans are cold, it snows less and ice retreats. When Oceans are warm, it snows more and ice advances. This powerful negative feedback is the Thermostat of Earth. Pay attention to the agreement between Low Arctic Sea Ice Events and severe winters around the Northern Latitudes. Look up these events during the past Decade.

    Consensus Climate Scientists leave this powerful negative Albedo feedback effect out of their Theory and Models.

    Warm Oceans melt Arctic Sea Ice and cause it to snow more. That is when the oceans drop.

    Does anyone look at the Actual Data? Most of the Replies are not about the data. Forecasts are just forecasts, but data is data.

    • –> …but data is data

      When it becomes obvious to all that the highly accurate satellite data from the Argo array likely will continue to show a cooling trend for the foreseeable future, global warming alarmists will begin to look more like witchdoctors than scientists and that is when AGW theory finally fails, no matter how much money there is to be made keeping the hoax alive.

    • John Carpenter


      In case you aren’t aware, your post here made Roberts’ Idiot Tracker website. Your words fail him…the honor is all yours?

    • HAP –

    • John, I don’t really know who you are or what you think and I really don’t know Robert or anything about his website. Do you and Robert think we should not look at the data and the science? I believe the goal is to really learn what is correct, honest, science. State what you believe and reference supporting data and your reasons for believing what you believe.

    • John Carpenter


      I’m just a casual observer. Robert is a rock thrower. I am open to all the science available. Robert is a consensus wannabe. If you go to his website, you’ll see what I mean. IMO, you have earned a dubious honor from a cheerleader who contributes no meaningful discussion to the climate debate.

    • Making Robert’s ‘idiot tracker’ list is less impressive than being on Keith Olbermann’s ‘worst person in the world’, and that was not impressive at all.
      Robert is a neverwuzzer to Keith’s couldabeen.

  5. The only thing Tamino is good at is cherry picking and averaging averages until he finds something that confirms his bias.

  6. Climatic paradox:
    More CO2 is released into the atmosphere closer we get to the 1730’s temperatures.

    • Not a paradox.

      Actually a paradox would be if atmospheric CO2 had a warming effect, knowing that temperatures themselves have a strong effect on CO2.

      If CO2 has any significant/measurable effect, it is cooling effect that is more likely.

    • this has to win the stupidest comment of the thread award. Don’t get big headed though – the competition was tough.

    • What shifts the climate from warming to cooling and vice versa? What are the negative feedbacks, if CO2 has a warming effect.

      The shift from warming to cooling always happens at the maximum CO2 forcing (for that period of warming).

      The shift from cooling to warming always happens at the minimum CO2 forcing (for that period of cooling).

      So CO2 warming effect is either very weak (insignificant) – it is EASILY overwhelmed by whatever shifts the global climate (like now) or there are VERY strong negative feedbacks that overwhelm the CO2 effect.

      I am aware of the radiative properties of CO2, however these do not necessary mean warming effect (that would be simpleton science). The system is very complex and cooling effect of CO2 is not to be dismissed, despite its absorbing/emitting properties.

    • Yes, that is how it would appear if you ignore the Milankovitch cycles and the albedo forcing. It is easy to be fooled by this, and many are.

    • Jim,

      I don’t ignore anything, that’s why I’m sceptical.

      These shifts happen at all time scales and warming-to-cooling occur at the maximum CO2, while cooling-to-warming shifts occur at the minimum CO2.

      So, you think the albedo is the strong negative feedback, which easily overwhelms CO2 forcing and shifts the climate?

    • In the case of the ice ages, insolation is the forcing and CO2 is part of the positive feedback together with ice albedo.

  7. Soon we may see that the list of learned societies supporting the consensus opinion on AGW theory is comprised of groups like American-Australian Chemical Society of Crapulent Pale Ale Brewers and Hourglass Makers against Digital Data.

  8. Reality check for Dr. Hansen: it was warmer than today for about 2000 years during the mid-Holocene (8-10k BP) and most of the current ice caps did not melt–proof? The ice cores taken in Greenland and Antarctica go back 400,000 to 800,000 yrs. In fact, the last interglacial was even warmer than our recent one and the ice caps survived that also [maybe because it is so cold and they are so high in altitude? do ya think?] Hansen is obsessed with melting ice caps. His “doubling time” theory is simply a way to save his theory from the obvious fact that linear melting is not happening fast enough to suit him. Remember also that the AR4 report projected that antarctica would GAIN ICE in coming decades due to warmer oceans (much of antarctica is like a desert, snow-wise).

    • tempterrain


      Do you have a reference for your “it was warmer 1Ok years ago.” claim? I must say that sounds a bit surprising as sea levels were about 40 metres lower then, although they were rising fast so I do have to agree that it is possible.


      The last interglacial period. You mean the Eemian? Yes wasn’t it about 1-2 degrees warmer than the Holocene? Or about as warm as we might expect later this century. Yes, its interesting that the ice caps didn’t disappear.

      But maybe they were smaller? Could you tell us how sea levels compared, then and now, too?

    • One place I saw it recently was in Lamb’s classic book. I really hate to cite Wikipedia but they even show the Holocene Warm Period as warmer than today. Also Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist — he has a new paper reconstructing the past 10000 yrs temps and shows about a 2 deg C warmer period then.

    • Craig,
      Here is the Wiki graph:

      Its difficult to say for sure from that whether it really was warmer 8-10k BP as the resolution of the graph then was ~300 years whereas now the measurement is ~10 years.

      But yes it is still possible that it was slightly warmer then.

      At the time sea levels were rising fast at about 2 metres per century – indicating that the polar caps were also shrinking quickly.

      Is this is a “Reality check for Dr. Hansen” ? Possibly yes. He’s suggesting that we could have 5 metres over the next century and I would have to agree that it looks unlikely sea levels could respond quite this quickly to what is essentially a spike in the temperature record.


    • The paper concludes: “it is very likely that the earth experienced multi-centennial periods during the Holocene with global mean temperatures at least 1°C above the pre-industrial temperatures and possibly even more.”

      That suggests current global temperatures are approaching 100,000 year highs.

    • “1°C above the pre-industrial temperatures” mean 1C above the 1700s which was in the middle of LIA which was a lot colder than today.

      The HCO was warmer than today.

      “Of 140 sites across the western Arctic, there is clear evidence for warmer-than-present conditions at 120 sites. At 16 sites where quantitative estimates have been obtained, local HTM temperatures were on average 1.6±0.8 °C higher than present. Northwestern North America had peak warmth first, from 11,000 to 9,000 years ago, while the Laurentide ice sheet still chilled the continent. Northeastern North America experienced peak warming 4,000 years later. Along the Arctic Coastal Plain in Alaska, there are indications of summer temperatures 2–3C warmer than present.[5] Research indicates that the Arctic had substantially less sea ice during this period compared to present.[6]”


    • It probably was, but not by much. A few tenths of a degree more increase in global temperature and we’ll be asking if the HCO was as warm as present rather than vice-versa.

    • You have to account for the decline of the last Milankovitch cycle, which had a peak that brought us out of the last ice age 10k years ago, and has since been reducing the northern hemisphere summer insolation. Precession alone means 10k years ago, the northern summer was at the closest point to the sun, when now it is furthest in the northern summer.

    • 65N insolation is now 60W/m2 below the max and 40W/m2 above the min.

      Not the furthest by a lot.


  9. Jim Hansen’s latest paper (in arxiv – not peer-reviewed) recapitulates much of the material of his recent Earth’s Energy Imbalance paper. I found the former better documented, but both are provocative if not always convincing. In each case, Hansen refers to a set of different climate sensitivities dependent on timescale, with a “fast feedback” sensitivity he estimates to be about 3 C/doubled CO2, in the middle of the range of many recent other estimates. With the inclusion of a variety of slow feedbacks (some operating over many millennia), the sensitivity rises to the neighborhood of 6 C/doubling, although with doubtful relevance to the near term future of human civilization. (It should be mentioned that “fast feedback” refers to decades and not to the interannual changes reported in some recent papers relating feedbacks to changes in ENSO – Lindzen, Spencer, Dessler, etc.)

    One of the fascinating elements of Hansen’s analysis is his disagreement with Chapter 9 of IPCC AR4 regarding the need described in AR4 for modeling to estimate climate sensitivity based on paleoclimatologic data. The IPCC approach argues that we have insufficient knowledge of all forcings and responses to apply a simple model-independent method by which sensitivity is defined by the temperature change per unit forcing (e.g., in K/Wm^-2). A case in point is the nature and magnitude of changes in aerosols, with consequent direct effects on temperature and indirect effects via cloud modulation. Hansen argues that we don’t need to know any of this, because aerosols changed as a feedback response to temperature change (e.g., from changing land cover, vegetation, dust, and other responses to a changing climate). Once aerosols are removed from the “forcing” category, they don’t need to be characterized, because the forcing/temperature relationship automatically reflects the operation of feedbacks even if the latter are not specified. The remaining forcings are then the fairly well characterized changes in greenhouse gases (from ice core data), and in surface albedo due to ice melting (mainly from sea level rise), which can be matched against temperature records (from ice core and benthic foraminifera oxygen isotopes) to yield a climate sensitivity value without a need for models.

    Is this legitimate? It clearly depends on the extent to which the unknown variables, of which aerosols are a prominent feature, are not forcings in their own right independent of greenhouse gas and albedo changes. I think Hansen has a legitimate point, with the caveat that these variables may fit partially into the feedback and partially into an independent forcing category that reduces the accuracy of the calculation. It would be interesting to know what some of the Chapter 9 authors think of this possibility (e.g., Gabi Hegerl).

    A feature of the latest paper that coincides with other recent analyses relates to the changes in sea level (from ice melting) that might be expected via comparison with past interglacials. Several studies have now suggested that the most recent interglacial preceding ours was characterized by a persistent global temperature elevation of not more than about 1 deg C above the current level, with sea levels several meters higher than current levels. Hansen (as did other authors) suggests that it would not be unreasonable to expect an additional temperature rise of 1-2 C to eventually result in multi-meter sea level rises. The rate of rise is harder to estimate, and any such estimate is also complicated by uncertainties about the exact magnitude of past temperature and sea level changes, as well as other unidentified differences between the previous interglacial and our current one. At one point, however, Hansen has estimated that past temperature/trend relationships, if extended, may portend ultimately a 20 meter rise per 1 C increase in temperature, but this extrapolation to extreme values can’t be justified by any historical evidence I’m aware of.

    • Fred, 20 meters per degree looks like an extrapolation of the last ice age recovery, where there was a 140 m sea-level increase for a 7 degree temperature rise. It is not clear we can extrapolate that forwards because there is only 70 meters worth of ice left in glaciers, so that would be exhausted at 3.5 degrees. However since that would be an equilibrium temperature for CO2 levels in excess of 600 ppm, it would be consistent with paleo evidence of the kinds of CO2 levels before Antarctica formed.

    • 20m rise / degree works ok when you start with ice down to the middle of Indiana and a changing obliquity and tilt of Earth orbit, plus you get the ice albedo feedback change going on as the ice retreats and the land gets darker with vegetation. but most of the remaining ice (even Himalayan) is at very high altitude and has persisted through the last interglacials. NOT the same thing and you can’t just extrapolate. “son, I am disapoint”

    • I tend to agree with both you and Jim D about the extrapolation, although Hansen would argue that the trend was independent of total ice extent over at least a relatively large range. I cited his claim as an example of his extremist tendencies, but I take his analysis of the forcing/sensitivity relationship more seriously.

    • Hansen is so much yesterday’s apocalyptic hype and bs.
      Who actually cares what he says?

    • If you don’t care about what Hansen says, why comment on Hansen?

  10. ‘Politics is not about maximising rationality. It is about finding compromises that enough people can tolerate to allow society to take steps in the right direction. So, contrary to all our modern instincts, political progress on climate change simply cannot be solved by injecting more scientific information into politics. More information does not automatically reduce uncertainty and increase public confidence, which is the common politicians’ assumption. But, in consequence of that assumption being present and potent in this (or any) politically hot field, there is a constant temptation for experts to overstate and to oversimplify: something that is plainly revealed in the recent history of climate issues.’ (A new direction for climate policy after the crash of 2009 – London School of Economics Hartwell 2010 Paper)

    I am not sceptical of climate science – it is simply that the version insisted on by climate warriors of the blogosphere bears little resemblance to the reality of climate uncertainty and complexity. Policywise we are stuck in the no man’s land between ‘the science’ – which seems to be an activist shorthand for the need for cap and trade or worse – and ‘the sceptical discourse’ – which seems to conclude reactively that CO2 is not a problem at all.

    Between these two obsessive compulsive disorders is the view of the energy problem as one dimension of a problem involving development, agriculture, health, education, population and the environment. It recognises the need to increase massively energy resources and food supplies in this century while conserving and restoring ecosystems. And the fact is that to do this will require the availability of cheaper energy supplies. It suggests on this ground alone that great changes in energy development investments are required.

    But there are immediate ways forward for which there is broad consensus – and that are neglected in the obsession with energy and carbon dioxide. Black carbon and tropospheric ozone reduction, ecosystem conservation and restoration, economic development and consequent reduction in population pressures, restoring carbon to agricultural soils are amongst the range of cost-effective actions possible. These actions have indeed multiple benefits.

    As powerful as science is – it has become a distraction. Climate change was formulated as an environmental problem – a pollution problem to be solved by science. It is amusing to me – as an engineer and environmental scientist – that neither engineering nor environmental problems are solved outside the multi-dimensional realm of culture, economics, biology, etc. Pollution problems are not solved in simple fashion. In the same way – the real, practical and pragmatic ways of reducing carbon emissions is not the imposing of a limited, and frankly ineffective, cap. The answer is to embrace a multitude of competing and sometimes conflicting paths with multiple objectives and different timelines. My heartfelt plea is that we as a global community can move beyond the divisions to create greater resilience in human societies to the threats of famine, contagion, and disaster and to the vagaries of weather and climate.

    • But, we are learning science is not powerful. All of Western civilization can put on hairshirts and roam the desert for 40 years. All the while the BRIC countries will still be producing CO2 and the Boffins of Japan will be amazed at the self-destructive mass mania of millions whose ancestors once looked into the eyes of Zeus and the Third World will be laughing hysterically at a tragic comedy written by third grade schoolteachers.

    • ‘A cilice (pronounced /ˈsɪlɨs/) was originally a garment or undergarment made of coarse cloth or animal hair (a hairshirt) used in some religious traditions to induce some degree of discomfort or pain as a sign of repentance and atonement. In more modern religious circles, the word has come to simply mean any device worn for the same purposes.’

      Very few people will be putting on hairshirts and roaming the desert any time soon. Let’s look instead to a focus on development, technological innovation and environmental conservation.

    • Development and technological innovation is the result of doing it. Cash for clunkers and filing cabinet full of junk science is not doing it

    • I wonder why you are quibbling about words when there are many serious challenges that the world resolutely neglects. There are massive increases in energy resources and food supplies needed this century. There are great risks and promise for human civilisations this century – what emerges will depend on our vision, our dreams and our optimism for a boundless future.

    • The Left is locked in a social and a moral crisis of self-defeating hypocrisy and now blames humanity for living.

  11. ONE of Australia’s foremost experts on the relationship between climate change and sea levels has written a peer-reviewed paper concluding that rises in sea levels are “decelerating”.


  12. ALGORE:

    Admittedly, the contest over global warming is a challenge for the referee because it’s a tag-team match, a real free-for-all. In one corner of the ring are Science and Reason. In the other corner: Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues.

    Algore here is what the science from your own side says on verifying man made global warming:

    The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.


    We have zero trends for 13 years and only 2 years are left to question the whole man made global warming theory. For the record, here are the global mean temperature data since 1998.















    Cannot wait for what they would say at the beginning of 2013?

    • Nebuchadnezzar

      Hi Girma,

      You are forgetting (once again) that the temperatures need to have the effects of ENSO and COWL regressed out before the trend is calculated and compared to the Knight et al. distribution.



    • tempterrain


      You should learn to use Excel and draw graphs! Maybe like this:

      A picture is worth a 1000 words and all that.

      Mind you, some people, like Chief Hydrologist, wouldn’t agree with that statement :-)

    • tempterrain

      There you go again with your screwy “pictures”

      You cannot use 10-year trailing averages to detect a cooling trend of one decade.

      Here’s how to do it:

      Plot the annual (or monthly) values since the end of 2000 and draw a linear trend line over this period.

      You will see that it shows a trend of slight COOLING.


    • PS (tempterrain)

      If you do this, you will see that the linear trend from January 2001 to May 2011 was:
      y = -0.00041x + 0.449

      This equals a decadal rate of COOLING of -0.05C per decade

      PPS If you’d like to see the “picture” of this cooling, let me know.

    • If your cooling trend isn’t visible in a 10 year trailing average, then it’s irrelevant. When in 2030 someone puts a 10 year trailing average over all the past data will they see your cooling period at all? That’s the question.

      The period since 2000 sees a drop into a solar minimum. So we know at least some of the warming has been masked.

    • lolwot –
      When in 2030 someone puts a 10 year trailing average over all the past data will they see your cooling period at all? That’s the question.

      And you can’t answer it any more than anyone else can – unless you’ve got a time machine.

      The period since 2000 sees a drop into a solar minimum. So we know at least some of the warming has been masked.

      Masked? You can’t mask warming. It’s either there or it’s not. And at present, it’s not. Kinda like Trenberth’s pipeline.

    • “And you can’t answer it any more than anyone else can – unless you’ve got a time machine.”

      Im not the one claiming it’s some big deal

      “Masked? You can’t mask warming.”

      Yeah you can. Stop acting stupid

    • lolwot –
      Are you confused? You CANNOT answer that question – nor can anyone else. We can all guess – we can predict – we can read the entrails. ut we CANNOT definitively answer the question. And you ARE the one claiming it to be a big deal.

      I’ll repeat – “You can’t mask warming.” It can stop, it can start, it can continue but the only way to “mask” it is to not look for it and/or ignore it.
      Learn something about thermodynamics.

    • tempterrain

      Jim Owen,

      Could you take a look at the graph on the link that I posted at 7.17pm today and imagine that the graph shows anything you like, apart from world temperature. Say, the price of a company’s shares or whatever.

      Yes, there is a blip in the graph which I’ve circled in green which does show that the price of the company’s shares, on a trailing 10 year average, was slightly less in 2007 than it was a couple of years previously.

      But seriously, don’t you think it would be slightly premature to start worrying about a change in the underlying trend (which for a share price would be pretty good) and that the company was heading into bankruptcy?

      This of course would correspond to a lot of silly talk we hear about a return to an ice age being the big threat just because the graph isn’t moving upwards in a nice straight line.

    • tt –
      there is a blip in the graph which I’ve circled in green which does show that the price of the company’s shares, on a trailing 10 year average, was slightly less in 2007 than it was a couple of years previously.

      If I were the CEO, I might not be worried about bankruptcy, but I’d be looking for answers wrt why the blip. I’d look at sales, marketing, manufacturing – every operation in the company to find out what changed and why. The recent Walmart move away from “Green” comes to mind. That kind of blip doesn’t just “happen”. It’s caused by something. Whatever that “something” is needs to be quantified and corrected.

      The next part of your analgy breaks down because, as CEO, I know that like a business model, climate is not amenable to correction until it’s quantified. And that has yet to happen wrt climate. You may not believe that, but ask yourself – what are the many effects of clouds? How about GCR’s? Where is Trenberth’s missing heat? What is the climate sensitivity (assuming it has any meaning at all)? Those questions have NOT beenanswered. and until those questions are answered/quantified, any action you take is the equivalent of the introduction of rabbits to Australia. Just like the business model – you don’t mess with a good thing, and when it goes bad you still don’t mess with it without knowing WHY it went bad.

      Keep in mond that with “climate” there are shifts that we HAVE NOT foreseen, we DON’T know WHY they’ve happened and that we CANNOT predict (or even backcast). And that until we quantify those, we screw with the atmosphere at our peril.

      CO2 reduction? Would be a good idea – but it won’t happen on any time scale that will satisfy you or those on your side of the dance floor. It WILL eventually happen – because other, better, cleaner fuel sources will be invented/discovered/developed. It will also happen because eventually we WILL run out of oil, coal, gas, whatever. But that process takes time – generally a LOT of time. How long did it take from the discovery of oil till we had a viable “automobile society”? And that was kindergarden stuff compared to what would have to be done to convert the present economy to a new source without causing dislocation, famine and death for millions, perhaps billions of people.

      Oh yeah – the new Ice Age . FWIW – if it comes there’s not a thing we can do to stop it. That would become adapt or die time. And a LOT of us would die. But the human race would probably survive – in some form. After all – we survived tha last one – with far less knowledge and capability than we now possess. So if the race doesn’t survive, then it’ll be our own fault.

      So … is it coming? Yep
      When? Who knows? And do you really want to know?
      But it’s not here yet.
      So… are we warming yet? No.
      Will we? NOBODY knows.
      And if your graph starts a downward death spiral we won’t know how far/long it’ll be before the bottom either.
      Does all that worry you? I think so. I think your risk tolerance is very low and I think you don’t handle uncertainty well. But you’re not alone – few humans handle either risk or uncertainty well.

    • Max,

      Thanks for the tip. Yes I know you are good at it.

      I’ve seen you do the same thing with Arctic ice cover graphs too. You look back for a particularly low value of ice cover in a particular month in say the 90′s. Then for years afterwards when that month comes around you can tell the world that there is no problem with Arctic ice as its not as low as it was N years ago.


    • Chief Hydrologist

      When we are dealing with complex concepts with many control variables and many interacting pathways – it is a little difficult to convey much in a cartoon of climate change

      But I am always willing to try something once – http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/f/fool.asp

    • tempterrain

      Its also “a little diifficult to convey much” if you waffle on at length in an abstruse manner. You’ve not been using this gobblegook generator have you?

      Call me old -fashioned but science should be about a mixture of graphs, mathematics, and plain intelligible language.

    • tt –
      Call me old -fashioned but science should be about a mixture of graphs, mathematics, and plain intelligible language.

      You may be one of the few here who fail to understand the Chief then. Not suprising since you’ve previously had problems with reading comprehension.

    • tempterrain

      Jim Owen,

      Well I must admit I do have a problem with some of Chief’s sentences like:

      “It locks us into rigid agenda and framings such as the one that gave us the dead end of Kyoto, rather than leaving open multiple, even competing options, that allow for learning and adaptability in moving understanding forward.”

      What does that mean in plain English? I’m b******d if I know!

      Maybe, as you say, I’m just not clever enough to follow this, but I do suspect that its more a case of using meaningless, empty phrases that are chosen to give a superficial appearance of authority. That can be a good tactic if you don’t really know what you are talking about.

    • tempterrain

      Hi Judith,

      Any chance of a preview facility with posts? I must have forgotten to include an end italics Html tag in the last post.

      Also missed out a “not” in front of clever!

    • tt, unfortunately wordpress.com doesn’t have this feature, i will try to fix your message.

    • The WordPress software allows previewing based on plugins. I have that on my site. From the WordPress.com we can, however, read:

      Please note that plugins are only applicable to privately-hosted sites using the WordPress.org software. Plugins are not permitted on WordPress.com for various security reasons.

      It seems that plugins are allowed on WordPress.org hosted VIP-sites, but with a price tag of $2500/month and subject to approval to the VIP status.

    • tt –
      I read it as –
      Kyoto locked us into options that precluded the development of better solutions. It also raised the hyseria level such that it divided us into opposing tribes, screaming and throwing rocks at each other.

      That’s the simplified version that eliminates a lot of the nuances that are the product of a very fine intellect. So it’s not a complete translation, just barely sufficient.

    • Thanks for that Jim. We’re always looking for better answers. And as Chief might put it:

      The answer is to embrace a multitude of competing and sometimes conflicting paths with multiple objectives and different timelines. Our exploratory research points to synchronised transitional mobility in our quest for global third-generation alignment. Four-dimensional administrative paradigm shifts are obviously a key factor in knowledge-based monitored options – going forward with responsive logistical projections.

    • tt –
      The Chief is a good engineer/scientist. He may not ALWAYS be right, but his percentage is better than mine by a significant margin.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      G’day Jim,

      What really hurts the poet in me is the idea that I would use anything but sparse and poetic language – although I sometimes play it for laughs.

      The paragraph in fact comes from the 2010 Hartwell Paper – which I quite clearly referenced.

      ‘More fundamentally than in the realm of politics, over-stating confidence about what is known is much more likely to lead us astray in basic research than admitting ignorance. It locks us into rigid agenda and framings such as the one that gave us the dead end of Kyoto, rather than leaving open multiple, even competing options, that allow for learning and adaptability in moving understanding forward. This dynamic tension has always been the motor force in scientific revolutions.’

      I think it is a concise statement of the essential nature of the scientific zeitgeist. There I go again – confusing TT. Anything else is politics – and not terribly productive at that.


    • Jim Owen,

      The Chief is a good engineer/scientist. He may not ALWAYS be right, but his percentage is better than mine by a significant margin.

      Yes I wouldn’t argue with the last part of that. I’d just point out I did take issue with what he’d written about Maxwell and Einstein on the “Manufacturing (?) Consensus” thread. He might have missed it and might also want to leave a slightly more intelligent reply than your “learn to read” comment.

    • Chief –
      Long or short, poetic or not, I’ve always enjoyed your comments. You have a common sense approach mixed with a touch of poetry and a well seasoned sense of humor. I sometimes manage some of that, but not, I believe as well as you. I have had, for many years, a rep for being blunt, saying things others don’t dare and having little toerance for ignorance and dishonesty. It makes me unwelcome in some quarters. :-)

      If I haven’t said it before, thank you for your participation here. You’ve brightened my life – and, I’m sure, some others. Hmm – and probably darkened a few as well. But c’est la vie, c’est la guerre. :-)

    • tt –
      He might have missed it and might also want to leave a slightly more intelligent reply than your “learn to read” comment.

      Possibly. But you did fail to answer the quote you started with. But still, I’ll try to re-phrase that next time.

      You might want to read this – it’s a partial, but not nearly complete, self-description to which I’m sure you would add a few items. :-)

    • Chief Hydrologist


      Thank you for your kind words – I am especially gratified if I have made you laugh.

      TT takes a sentence out of context, mistakenly attributes it to me where in fact it was the 2010 Hartwell Paper by a dozen or so high powered academics, calls it obtuse and lauches a juvenile song and dance.

      He then comes back with Maxwell and Einstein – and links to a Wikepedia page on Maxwell. The boy has no shame at all.

      I was quoting Wikepedia on Kuhn – on paradigms and the eventual triumph of Einstein’s idea over Maxwell’s. TT insists it didn’t happen – it is all just mind control satellites and if you were a tinfoil hat you will be fine.

      Maxwell started it by inventing a unified electromagnetic theory – in that light and electromagnetic forces both travelled as a wave but was ‘imponderable’ or had no mass.

      The origins of relativity were the Michelsoon-Morley experiment. The coolest null results in history – because it lead directly to special relativity – http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module3_is_it_true.htm – very cool link.

      But it was E=MC^2 – that was the problem. In Einsteins universe – mass and energy are interchangable. The ultimate proof of Einstein’s idea?

      July 16 1945 in the New Mexico desert.

      Do you think TT will ever stop making dumb comment?


    • “I believe that I have really found the relationship between gravitation and electricity, assuming that the Miller experiments are based on a fundamental error. Otherwise, the whole relativity theory collapses like a house of cards.”

      — Albert Einstein, in a letter to Robert Millikan, June 1921 (in Clark 1971, p.328)

      “My opinion about Miller’s experiments is the following. … Should the positive result be confirmed, then the special theory of relativity and with it the general theory of relativity, in its current form, would be invalid. Experimentum summus judex. Only the equivalence of inertia and gravitation would remain, however, they would have to lead to a significantly different theory.”

      — Albert Einstein, in a letter to Edwin E. Slosson, July 1925


    • Tallbloke,

      Another science dogma, isn’t it? It’s a shame that Miller’s experiments are ignored/dismissed. And the results of M-M experiments was not null. It’s just wasn’t what they expected and they claimed null.

    • It’s important for science that all unresolved controversies are kept in mind. When they start to form a pattern, somebody may be able to interpret them in a way that improves on the preexisting understanding. This is, how science corrects its mistakes and extends its range of applicability.

      At the same time it’s true that a very great majority of results that differ of the main stream view in the way the Miller’s experiments did are indeed erroneous. Sometimes the source of the error can be found, but often it remains a mystery. In any case I find it somewhat dishonest to refer to the Noble price of Maurice Allais, when he is commenting on physics. His Noble price is in economics, not in physics, and a Nobel price (or an almost Nobel price as the economics price is) in a totally different field should not be referred to in this way. The Noble price was mentioned in a quote, not in the text of Tallbloke, but that’s a bad excuse.

      By now we have an incredible amount of additional evidence on the accuracy of the special relativity, and also on general relativity. The satellites have provided much of that evidence, and those empirical observations must by now prove conclusively that the Miller experiment could not be correct (or at least that the interpretation of its results was wrong).

    • Pekka, I agree that it is a puzzle, and that the interpretation of the result may be in error. I’m not a ‘relativity denier’. At the same time, I think it is wrong that Millers and Galaev, who in 2002 used different apparatus and got the same result should be ignored. Their data is telling us something important, although what it is, we don’t yet know.

      I suspect it might be found that there is a lot more free hydrogen in the interstellar medium than has been thought, and that the forward propogation of photons interacting with these molecules will suffer a delay. This was the conclusion of another very good physicist, who has been ignored because his ideas don’t ‘fit’ with the mainstream consensus on astrophysics – Paul Marmet http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/

      I’m sure he doesn’t have all the answers and makes mistakes, but some of his ideas are very interesting. He was a very highly qualified scientist.

      Paul Marmet (1932-2005)
      B. Sc., Ph. D. (Physics), Laval University
      O. C. (Order of Canada)
      F. R. S. C.
      Author of more than 100 papers in the field of Electron Spectroscopy.
      Professor, Physics, Laval University, Québec, Canada: 1962-83,
      Senior Research Officer, National Research Council of Canada: 1983-90,
      Visiting, Adjunct, Professor, University of Ottawa, 1990-99.

    • It’s certainly the ultimate dream of every physicist to find something that’s violates some of the well established theories – and that’s not just an erroneous result, but a real violation. Because that’s the ultimate dream, attempts are done all the time to fulfill the dream. This is also the reason that claims of observed violations pop out every now and then, but are later found to be errors. This has been going on all the time and other physicists are naturally skeptical of such new claims. The claims are taken seriously only, when strong enough evidence is give to support them.

      The main problem with revolutionary claims is that they almost invariably would change many things, not only that single one reported by the scientist making the claim. Thus the claim is likely to contradict a wide range of well established physics, The evidence against it may be so overwhelming that only repeated experiments by several independent research groups provide enough evidence to receive wider notice. If the original author can present a plausible explanation that shows such counterarguments as irrelevant or weak, his results will have a better change of getting notice.

      If you are arguing against strong earlier evidence, your evidence must be of comparable value. That’s seldom the case. Usually it’s only an unfulfilled dream.

    • Pekka,

      “At the same time it’s true that a very great majority of results that differ of the main stream view in the way the Miller’s experiments did are indeed erroneous.”

      From what I’ve read, I agree that Miller’s results are erroneous (errorbars?). However, Michelson and Morley’s result (the most famous null-result in the history of science), which is generally considered to be the first strong evidence against the theory of a luminiferous ether and in favor of SR, are erroneous as well. Furthermore, the MM’s experimental design was much less sensitive and there were much less observations. One may wonder why the scientific community accepted the negative interpretation (null-result) of the MM experiment, but rejected the positive interpretation (positive result) of Miller (and others), based on much more and better data. Why do scientists and text books still erroneously report the MM’s results?

      “By now we have an incredible amount of additional evidence on the accuracy of the special relativity, and also on general relativity.”

      That incredible amount of additional evidence on the accuracy of SR may very well suffer from confirmation bias and “paradigm-protection-at-any-price syndrome”. I know this sounds almost crazy, but it’s still not ruled out, IMO.

      Do you think the twin paradox is not paradoxical at all?

    • The Michelson – Morley experiment is not known due to it’s extraordinary quality but due to it’s role in the development of Einstein’s special relativity. The correlation between the scientific quality of empirical work and it’s value for the further development of science is not likely to be very strong at all in science. Often it’s rather a stroke of luck than great intuition that some people do an experiment that turns out to be of extraordinary value in retrospect.

      Whether their result should be called a null result or something else is a purely semantic issue. I wouldn’t call it a null result.

    • Chief H,

      You say that there was an ” the eventual triumph of Einstein’s idea over Maxwell’s”

      So, how did work then? What modification(s) are required to make Maxwell’s equations relavistically correct?

      Face it Chief, you are out of your depth, if you can’t answer this one!

    • Just to help you a bit with the above, I should also point out that the quest for a theory on Special Relativity started before Michealson and Morley did their famous experiment in 1887. It wasn’t really a null result – it is was in fact a positive confirmation that the speed of light was invariant. Maxwell (1831-1879) himself had written that his theory showed that this was in fact to be expected.

      The relation between c (speed of light) and the vacuum permittivity ε0 and vacuum permeability μ0 was established by Maxwell’s theory as c^2 = 1/(ε0μ0). The ε0=vacuum permittivity & μ0= the vacuum permeability. It was the first indication that the speed of light was invariant as neither factor is influenced by relative motion. This goes against all human intuition and caused quite a bit of consternation at the time due to its philosophical implications.

    • tt,

      I don’t know who ‘Michaelson and Morley’ are – perhaps a comedy duo?
      Could you be referring to Michelson and Morley? But should I make too much of a simple typo? Well you do – but that is not sufficient reason for me to. I have three responses – I can reply in kind, ignore or turn the other cheek. I do all three depending on what effect I am aiming for in my pale imitation of the Socratic method. With you I should ignore as a general principle – because you are a worthless wastrel arguing for the sake of it.

      However, it remains clear that the Wikipedia article I quoted on paradigms was discussing general relativity rather than special relativity – especially in referring to Eddington’s photos of light bending around the sun. It was in the context of scientific revolutions.

      But relative motion is a simple concept. Einstein explains it in terms of trains and flashlights. The essence is that the light moving towards you should in a Newtonian framework – in which we can place Maxwell – be the sum of the speed of light and the velocity of the train. Which is the Galilean transformation. That it isn’t seemed to be the case by the Michelson-Morley experiment (confirmed many times since) – which required the Lorentz transformation in special relativity. The latter revealing astonishing things about space, time, and mass.

      Maxwell’s light moved at a velocity as a wave – but was still subject to the rules of Galilean transformation. Light moved as a wave in special relativity but was by experiment invariant in respect to inertial frames moving relative to each other. Not an essential conflict on the nature of light. Maxwell’s field equations are variant under a Galilean transformation but invariant under a Lorentz transformation. But with Maxwell energy had no mass which is contradicted by E = mc^2 in general relativity. Light, for instance, is bent by gravity with Einstein (as it has mass) but not with Maxwell.

      Michelson-Morley were expecting a Galilean transformation in the speed of light. It is a matter of little import – but calling it a ‘null result’ makes a better story on the role of the serendipitous in science.

      If making a mistake were a crime – we would all be hung tomorrow. But to argue it beyond what is reasonable is… I can only recommend the mantra of all true science – have fun, make mistakes, get messy.


    • tempterrain


      Well if you are going to complain about my typo you should at least make sure that you’d got it right previously too! “Michelsoon-Morley?” and contrary to what you suggested I hadn’t commented on it.

      But no matter. The main point previously was re: your incorrect statement about the “eventual triumph of Einstein’s idea over Maxwell’s” which is just not true. If you know that Maxwell’s theory is at all incorrect, either under the modifications of Special or General relativity, you need to write it all up in detail.

      You’ll probably get a Nobel prize, if you are right about that.

      Normally I wouldn’t ram these points home, but I’m making an exception for you!

    • tempterrain


      If you are going to set yourself up as the Climate etc expert on everything you do have to get things right! What was that you were saying I that no likes a smartarse! So, I do have to admit taking a certain amount of enjoyment in pointing out your blunders. And here is another one!

      ” Light, for instance, is bent by gravity with Einstein (as it has mass) but not with Maxwell.”

      No! Light, or photons don’t have mass! Not according to Einstein. Nor Maxwell. Not according to our current understanding either. If you’ll allow a Wiki link you can read it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon#Experimental_checks_on_photon_mass

      <"The photon is currently understood to be strictly massless, but this is an experimental question…."

      But if you feel Wiki is corrupted you can find the same thing elsewhere.

      Yes, light is bent in a gravitational field but that is because the space-time continuum is warped by a gravitational field. No photon mass is required to explain it all.

      Light is bent but

    • “Photons have mass?? I didn’t even know they were Catholic!”

      ‘In our physics class we had learned that light has energy and that energy, according to Einstein’s E = mc2, is closely related to mass. Another thing we learned is that masses are attracted by the gravitational force, causing even a cloud of tiny dust particles in space to shrink and become more concentrated. But could the same thing happen to a laser beam?

      This speculation, of a light beam collapsing by gravitational attraction, seemed far-fetched and we didn’t believe it until one of us had the guts to ask Feynman. Feynman, if you haven’t heard of him, was the Yoda of physics. We were all in awe of his powers at explaining things, and I still remember his answer. He told us that indeed the energy/mass of the light would be attracted to itself but that the effect would be very small unless the power of the laser was enormous.’

      Who you going to believe? Feynmen or wikipedia? Certainly not tt. You continue to make a song and dance about how I am

    • Oh well – it is well past the point of having any point at all.

    • Maxwell’s theory was a theory of electro-magnetic radiation. Einstein’s theories did not invalidate that theory. What Einstein added was the connection between gravity and electromagnetism. He told that gravity influences also the electromagnetic field. That is an additional important result that has been validated well since, first by the results of Eddington.

      Maxwell’s equations were according to history texts the source of inspiration for Einstein. He considered the Lorentz-invariance of the equations essential and built the special relativity to be in agreement with Maxwell’s equations, not to contradict them. It’s generally claimed that the Michelson-Morley experiment was not an essential input for Einstein’s work.

      The equation E = m c^2 is just a series of symbols until the symbols are defined in full detail. In this connection the essential question is the concept of mass. It occurs in Newton’s theories both as inertial mass in the relationship between force and acceleration and as gravitational mass in the theory of gravity. When the concept is generalized in the spirit of special relativity, it’s not self-evident that the newly defined concept of inertial mass is equal to the mass influenced by gravity. This was one of the key questions in the development of the theory of general relativity, the theory of special relativity did not answer this question.

      Coming back to the origin of this side track. I think that in this case the Wikipedia is a good enough source for understanding, how pointless it is to return to the Miller’s results today. Reading the article on the Michelson-Morley experiment, it should be clear to everyone that it was just one of those erroneous experiments. Similar experiments have by now been done by really many groups and with hugely better accuracy proving that the result was an error.

    • Pakka

      The minor at which this started was that on the nature of scientific revolutions. It cannot be doubted that Albert Einstein wass a one man scientific revolution. Nonetheless there are points of historical interpretation that you raise that are by no means certain. It seemed to me to be advantageous to go back to the source rather than depend on Wikipedia. .

      ‘While I had these ideas in mind as a student, I came to know the strange result of the Michelson experiment. Then I came to realize intuitively that, if we admit this as a fact, it must be our mistake to think of the movement of the earth against the ether. That was the first route that led me to what we now call the principle of special relativity.’

      ‘The space-time theory and the kinematics of the special theory of relativity were modelled on the Maxwell-Lorentz theory of the electromagnetic field. This theory therefore satisfies the conditions of the special theory of relativity, but when viewed from the latter it acquires a novel aspect. For if K be a system of co-ordinates relatively to which the Lorentzian ether is at rest, the Maxwell-Lorentz equations are valid primarily with reference to K. But by the special theory of relativity the same equations without any change of meaning also hold in relation to any new system of co-ordinates K’ which is moving in uniform translation relatively to K. Now comes the anxious question: Why must I in the theory distinguish the K system above all K’ systems, which are physically equivalent to it in all respects, by assuming that the ether is at rest relatively to the K system? For the theoretician such an asymmetry in the theoretical structure, with no corresponding asymmetry in the system of experience, is intolerable. If we assume the ether to be at rest relatively to K, but in motion relatively to K’, the physical equivalence of K and K’ seems to me from the logical standpoint, not indeed downright incorrect, but nevertheless inacceptable. Albert Einstein

      I have no knowledge of the ‘Miller’ experiment – but I assume from the context that it contradicts the ‘principle of special relativity’.

    • The minor point at which this started was that on the nature of scientific revolutions. It cannot be doubted that Albert Einstein was…

    • Rob,

      I would never assume that Wikipedia gives a properly balanced picture, but it’s often a good source of information. In this case I noticed that it provided a list of recent experiments that study essentially the same phenomena as Michelson – Morley experiment did. Miller’s experiment was essentially the same experiment, but aiming at a better sensitivity with improved devices (Morley contributed also to Miller’s work). Miller obtained a clear signal although much smaller than predicted by simple ether theories. Later experiments have not agreed with Miller, but some of them have also given a non-zero result. Presently all most accurate experiments have contradicted all these significantly non-zero results, although it’s probably always possible to conjecture that some unknown real effect would affect experiments that give non-zero results, but are absent from the more accurate ones.

      There are many books about Einstein, and they do not agree on the history of his thinking. It’s difficult to be sure, which of the sources is most accurate. It’s fairly certain that Einstein was all his career particularly intrigued by all kind of internal inconsistencies in the theories of physics. Thus it’s plausible that the Lorentz-invariance of Maxwell’s equations and difficulties in combining that with the Galilean invariance of Newtonian mechanics was a very important issue for him as some histories also tell.

      We seem to agree that it’s difficult to be sure of the interpretation. I’m sure each of them can be supported by some evidence. Going to the sources turns rapidly to a full study of history, when the picture given by the fragmentary data is incomplete and in some places apparently contradictory, as it’s likely to be in almost always, when there is enough data to produce contradictions.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The particular sentence you quote is clearly shown as belonging to the 2010 Hartwell Paper from the London School of Economics.

      It was written by a dozen or so very clever people – and I had no problem with it. I suggest you go to the source – where there is substantial additional explanation.

      Here is something else from a precurser paper – http://www2.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/mackinder/pdf/mackinder_Wrong%20Trousers.pdf

      ‘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.’

      The post was not scientific at all – indeed it started with the idea (quoted from the 2010 Hartwell Paper) that science can’t determine policy at this stage of the game. The authors explicitly say that there is sufficient justification to act on greenhouse gas emissions – just what actions and how that might be facilitated is the question.

      When I talk science – I quote extensively from peer reviewed sources, I linked this morning to realclimate (which has a picture), I reference or link to the sources, I refer to specific graphs (for instance Figure 5 in the Tsonis et el (2009) study on ENSO and the fall of the Minoan civilisation. A luverly 11,000 year ENSO reconstruction based on red coloured sediment washed into a South American lake), I quite often link to the NASA ISCCP-FD site which is mostly graphs of radiative flux, I even quoted Albert recently on the space/time continuum.

      I try to avoid maths – but I have one formula that is fundamental to clarity of thought about how and why global warming occurs. There is one and only one reason – the planet (oceans and atmosphere) warms when energy in is greater than energy out.

      Ein/s – Eout/s = d(GES)/dt

      Ein/s and Eout/s are the average radiative flux for 1 second (unit energy) in and out at top of atmosphere respectively over a period. And d(GES)/dt is the instantaneous rate of change in global energy storage (heat and enthalpy).

      If Ein > Eout then the planet warms and vice versa. Alternatively – if the planet warms then Ein > Eout.

      But what the post says is that there are ways to address the issue that would have broad appeal – and that a broad political consensus is therefore possible. We wish to ensure in the language of the Hartwell Paper – that the ‘best’ solution is not the enemy of the politically feasible.

    • Of course academics aren’t immune from “bullshit generation” either with super-long cliche filled unintelligible sentences. We’ve all done it at times – its hard not to pick up annoying literary habits when there is just so much gobblegook about.

      I guess Judith likes this sort of stuff because it helps create an aura of uncertainty about the problem of AGW. The average person will take a look, not have a clue what it all means, think that it must be beyond their level of intellect, and go back to watching the TV.

      However, if you know how the game is played, you also know that sometimes prose is written, not to communicate an idea in the simplest and most straightforward manner possible, but to display a certain level of superiority. Or maybe it is sometimes written in pursuit of this kind of award!

      On the climate question, I would just say that the worlds’ scientists have clearly indicated that the continued build up of CO2 and GH gases is likely to change the climate in dangerous and unpredictable ways. The question is what should be done about it?

      If I understand you correctly you are saying nothing very much should be done at the moment. So why not just say that simply and clearly?

    • tempterrain | July 24, 2011 at 7:17 pm
      Does your bank let you draw funds against your ten year ago balance, rather than what is in your account today?

  13. Judith Curry

    An interesting “week”. Thanks for the links and papers.

    The tide gauge sea level record (Holgate 2007) showed no late 20th century acceleration in rate of rise, despite the IPCC AR4 claim to the contrary, which was supported by changing the method and scope of measuement (rather than comparing “apples with apples”).

    The cited Houston + Dean study confirms this.

    The Phil Watson paper showing “deceleration” in the rate of rise as measured by several tide gauge stations in the Southern Hemisphere is more surprising, but then again it is based on a relatively regional sample.

    Hansen’s paper on a “multi-meter sea level rise in this century” should not be taken as a serious scientific study but simply an attempt at fear-mongering.

    Vernier et al. is interesting (“it’s not the Chinese, it’s volcanoes”). Too bad we can’t count on the Chinese to save our planet by polluting it with SO2, etc. (along with you, I never thought that theory made much sense anyway).

    The Kahan essay “Science Communication versus Soulcraft” is also interesting. Kahan concludes that moving from Al Gore’s “struggle for the soul of America” to a more rational debate on the many yet-open scientific uncertainties (“the science is not settled, Al”) will not be easy:

    But any progress will depend indispensably on respecting the separation of science communication from soulcraft.

    A wise observation. But will it occur?

    Just my comments on an interesting “week”.


  14. As for aerosols’ impact on climate models used to estimate future global warming, according to the study, “climate model projections neglecting these changes would continue to overestimate the … global warming in coming decades if these aerosols remain present at current values or increase.”



    The projections in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report are wrong:

    For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.

    An ocean-deep and a mountain-high congratulation to all skeptics: http://bit.ly/qAXJ60

  15. OT, I accidentally posted via facebook log-in and can no longer post as Faustino. WordPress denies knowledge of both of my e-mail addresses, and when I attempt to re-register I get a warning that judithcurry.com is unsafe, if I proceed anyway I get warned that the site has been hi-jacked, stop!. Hmmm. Faustino

    • facebook put warnings on sites on the strength of reader feedback. The dirty tricks brigade is stooping low.

      Interesting that you can’t log out of the facebook account and log back in via wordpress. That needs investigation.

    • Hmmm…. hard for me to check into this over the weekend. I can have my tech person look at it on mon if it is still an issue.

    • Thanks, WP finally believed the name Faustino, said an e-mail would be sent, not received at either address. Didn’t like various attempts to re-register, but finally did so, not with my alternate nom de net, Genghis Cunn, but with a version of it, genghiscunn, and my main e-mail. Perhaps I was logging in without WP previously, the accidental clicking on facebook seemed to create problems. tallbloke, the warnings were from Firefox, I eventually overrode them. Re facebook, I was trying to log in via WP without using fb log in, don’t think the probkem was fb-related. So “No worries,” as we say in the antipodes, I’ll see if I can resurrect Faustino later. Happy Sunday.

    • Mmm, looks as if I’ll have to be myself here rather than an alter ego. At least I can now ask Bruce Cunningham if he’s my cousin.

    • Judith, confused by WordPress, I thought I was registering to post here and seem to have inadverdently set up a blog named “climateetc”. I’ll see if I can cancel it.

    • I’ve changed the WP blog title to “notablog” and the tag to “might be one one day.” Now off into the winter sun!

    • ” I get a warning that judithcurry.com is unsafe”
      Maybe they mean for the future climatic well-being of the Earth?

  16. Both satellite-based metrics (UAH and RSS) show global temperature has increased over the last 15 years. See the OLS plots at


    In 2013 when 1998 becomes the base year for the last 15 years, you might have one year where you could say there has been no increase in 15 years, but don’t pin your hopes on anything after that.

    BTW, I didn’t see anything in your cited article about confidence intervals. Where did you get that?

    • You have plotted it from the depths of the 2000 La Nina. You misunderstand the statistics. The idea is that we can have stochastic variability that includes a period of no warming – up to 10 or 15 years. But beyond that there is something else happening.

      But we know that there is something else happening as a result of thousands of studies of Pacific variability.

      ‘Pacific decadal variability (PDV) and its possible impacts on regional and global climate has been the subject of much research in recent years [Mantua et al., 1997; Deser et al., 2004; Seager et al., 2005]. The sea surface temperature (SST) structure of PDV is well known and is
      characterized by a broad triangular pattern in the tropical Pacific surrounded by opposite anomalies in the midlatitudes of the central and western Pacific Basin. Studies of century long reconstructions of SST and sea level pressure (SLP) suggest several ‘‘regime shifts’’ have occurred during the 20th century [Zhang et al., 1997; Deser et al., 2004]. While several potential mechanisms for these low-frequency changes in the tropical Pacific have been suggested [Kleeman et al., 1999; Barnett et al., 1999; Hazeleger et al., 2005;Schopf and Burgman, 2006; Burgman, 2006], the cause of PDV remains unclear.’ Although some recent studies are suggesting a solar UV link.


      The latest ‘regime shift’ happened after 1998 – and these regimes last 20 to 40 years. The peak global temperature by a lot in any record happened in February 1998.

      Now if you are going to be thoughtlessly rude to me – I will just not play any more – either that or be exceedingly caustic in response. I have been nice – so play nice.

    • Perhaps I appear to misunderstand the statistics because I inadvertently linked to the wrong plot. Obviously the 2000-2011 plot does not cover 15 years. Below is the one I intended to use:


      As you can see, both satellite-based metrics (UAH and RSS) show global temperature has increased from 1996 to 2011, which is 15 years of change.

      In 2013 the base year for the previous15 years will be 1998, and since 1998 was the peak of an El Nino and the global temperature average was extraordinarily high that year, the 1998-2013 period could show little or no rise in temperature, depending on what happens in the remainder of 2011 and in 2012 and 2013.

      In 2014, however, the base year for the previous 15 years becomes 1999, which had a relatively low average temperature, so 1999-2014 should show much more of a rise in temperature than 1998-2013.

      Since starting one year sooner or one year later in a 15-year period can give a different picture of the temperature trend, why use just 15 years?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Statistics can be misleading unless one has a long enough record or a coherent theory – which is what I said to Girma.

      We have 20 to 40 year phases in both the Pacific and Atlantic – so perhaps a 1000 years of record? Which we don’t have with any certainty at all. Someone showed me a paper from Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics – which analsyed the North Atlantic Oscillation and essentially said that there was not sufficient data to call it an oscillation – it may just be variation. Duh. We probably do have enough on ENSO to say that there is decadal, centennial and millenial variation.

      If you note Kyle Swansons post here – the theory is fine. If you exclude ENSO dragon-kings (defined as extreme events at times of bifurcation) 1976/77 and 1998 – the residual trend is about 0.1 degrees C/decade. That alone changes the picture in really fundamental ways. What caused the residual? Swanson presumes the ‘true’ CO2 signature.


      But we know there are cloud feedbacks associated with ENSO – as seen in surface, satellite and ‘Earthshine’ observations – so I think the question is very much open.

      We have what is natural climate variation that happens because – as the Royal Society says – (in principle) climate is an example of a chaotic system. In actuality as well according to the NAS committee on abrupt climate, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and even realclimate.

      We have also very little understanding of the nature and extent of natural climate variation.

      In some places it is said that we can get 15 years of non warming just by chance. Piffle.

    • If “by chance” means for no particular reason or reasons, I’m not aware of any climate scientists who are saying that. However, some deniers are saying warming is caused by nature or recovery from the LIA, which are nothing in particular.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Stochastic tools are used to determine a range of natural variability – as in this stochastic rainfall genertor – http://www.toolkit.net.au/scl

      They are used in climate models to generate data for little known factors and to model ENSO, the NAO and the PDO. These are natural variability for which underlying causes are complex and to a large degree unknown. So while they are in principle deterministic – they can only be approximated by random number generation fitted to a limited record. And a record for which there are multiple unknowns – the role of clouds and solar UV amongst them. There are many things that are in principle deterministic but practically incalculable.

      If that is the only point you really want to make on the entire post above – f… off and bother someone who merely wants to play juvenile word games.

    • 15 years is an arbitrary interval but there is a specific pattern in the warming that is not arbitrary. UAH shows no significant warming for the roughly 20 years prior to the big 1998-2001 ENSO cycle. It also shows no sig warming after that cycle, however the 2001-11 flat line is higher than the 1978-87 flat line. This is clearly a step function, where all the warming is associated with the big ENSO.

      There is literally no evidence of GHG warming in this 30+ year pattern. Not unless AGW can come up with a “heat storage” model such that GHG warming only appears during ENSO’s, which I doubt. And this is the interval which is supposed to confirm AGW, so I think AGW is pretty well falsified by this obvious pattern. (Unless UAH is wrong of course). Science is about specifics and this specific is telling.

    • Try drawing an upward trending line and then apply a 11 year cycle and ENSO like cycles to it. It will appear to step change upward.

    • Maybe so but that is just conjectural influences. I am just making a simple point about the basic data. There is no evidence of GHG warming by any known mechanism.

    • Both UAH and RSS show rises in global temperature from when these metrics started(1978) to1997:


    • Considering that the 1978/79 US winter was the coldest in the last 117 years (and it was darned cold in Europe too) a .05C to .1C recovery over 20 years is not evidence of much other than how cold it was in the late 1970s.

    • You should explain that to David, who said …

      ” UAH shows no significant warming for the roughly 20 years prior to the big 1998-2001 ENSO cycle.”

      My post was just a reply to his comment.

    • ,05C over 20 years is not significant. Considering the calibration problem satellites have had, .05C is margin of error. It could have just as easily been cooling.

    • If you plot from 1979 (which happened to be the coldest winter in NOAA US history), you see that temps are now .4C above the coldest year in the last 50 or 60.

      More importantly, 2008 got as cold as 1979.

      Its just a recover from a very, very cold period.

      In the same way the 20th century was a minor rise to recover from the LIA.

    • What kind of doctor are you? You have it backwards. The LIA was a recovery from the MWP when the earth was running a fever.

    • Is that the best you’ve got?


    • You are just envious because you did’t think of it first.

    • Latimer Alder

      What caused the fever?

    • M. carey –
      You are just envious because you did’t think of it first.

      Not likely. That line was older than dirt ten years ago.

  17. The stratospheric and tropospheric sulphur load are differentiated. Stratospheric loads are largely volcanic in origin – as suggested by the study at the top – so future changes will respond to future volcanos which are of course unpredictable. The tropospheric load falls out of the atmosphere in a matter of hours to days. Here is what the studies say and the effects are additive and not alternative explanations for the same thing.

    ‘Recent measurements demonstrate that the “background” stratospheric aerosol layer is persistently variable rather than constant, even in the absence of major volcanic eruptions. Several independent data sets show that stratospheric aerosols increased in abundance since 2000. Near-global satellite aerosol data imply a negative radiative forcing due to stratospheric aerosol changes over this period of about –0.1 W/m2, reducing the recent global warming that would otherwise have occurred. Observations from earlier periods are limited but suggest an additional negative radiative forcing of about –0.1 W/m2 from 1960 to 1990. Climate model projections neglecting these changes would continue to overestimate the radiative forcing and global warming in coming decades if these aerosols remain present at current values or increase.’

    There is an embargoed version here – http://junksciencecom.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/solomon-07-22-11.pdf

    ‘Increasing emissions and concentrations of carbon dioxide receive considerable attention, but our analyses identify an important change in another pathway for anthropogenic climate change — a rapid rise in anthropogenic sulfur emissions driven by large increases in coal consumption in Asia in general, and China in particular. Chinese coal consumption more than doubles in the 4 y from 2003 to 2007 (the previous doubling takes 22 y, 1980–2002). In this four year period, Chinese coal consumption accounts for 77% of the 26% rise in global coal consumption.

    These increases are large relative to previous growth rates. For example, global coal consumption increases only 27% in the twenty two years between 1980 and 2002 (8). Because of the resultant increase in anthropogenic sulfur emissions, there is a 0.06 W∕m2 (absolute) increase in their cooling effect since 2000.’ http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/pnas-201102467.pdf

    Nonetheless – the tropospheric study is worthless without a consideration of black carbon.

    ‘Black carbon is generated by fossil-fuel combustion and biomass burning. Black-carbon aerosols absorb solar radiation, and are probably a major source of global warming. However, the extent of black-carbon-induced warming is dependent on the concentration of sulphate and organic aerosols—which reflect solar radiation and cool the surface—and the origin of the black carbon. Here we examined the impact of
    black-carbon-to-sulphate ratios on net warming in China, using surface and aircraft measurements of aerosol plumes from Beijing, Shanghai and the Yellow Sea. The Beijing plumes had the highest ratio of black carbon to sulphate, and exerted a strong positive influence on the net warming. Compiling all the data, we show that solar-absorption efficiency was
    positively correlated with the ratio of black carbon to sulphate. Furthermore, we show that fossil-fuel-dominated black-carbon plumes were approximately 100% more efficient warming agents than biomass-burning-dominated plumes. We suggest that climate-change-mitigation policies should aim at reducing fossil-fuel black-carbon emissions, together with the atmospheric ratio of black carbon to sulphate.’ http://ramanathan.ucsd.edu/files/pr176.pdf

    Lets put this in perspective – there is nearly a 0.2 W/m2 increase in radiation out in these scenarios form 2000. Kevin Trenberth has kindly places CERES data here – http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/april-26-2010-reply-by-kevin-trenberth/

    There is about a 1.5 W/m2 increase in net (by convention the planet gaining energy) radiative flux in the period – so these effects are very minor and quite uncertain. Where did this heat go? Into the oceans to 2000m according to Karen Von Schuckmann. So the planet did warm in the period but it was mostly in the SW and probably a result of ENSO. And remember – data trumps hare brained theories every time. Unless you can challenge the analysis in a peer reviewed study or by reference to a peer reviewed study – it is a worthless hare brained theory and don’t waste my time with it. That warming has not continued with the shift to the recent and perhaps future super La Nina.

    To quote from Claus Wolter – the world’s leading ENSO expert – ‘a relapse into La Niña conditions is not at all off the table, based on the reasoning I gave in September 2010 – big La Niña events have a strong tendency to re-emerge after ‘taking time off’ during northern hemispheric summer, as last seen in 2008. I believe the odds for this are still better than 50/50.’

    We are in a cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Variation – which are associated with more frequent and intense La Nina and which started after 1998. These last for 20 to 40 years. The power is such that north eastern Australia gets 4 times the average summer rainfall in cool phases as warm phases.

    Where was I going with this? Oh – yes – Girma – read the papers and think before posting. And – while I am at it – ditch the obsession with the temperature record. We have all seen it – it is too limited to draw any conclusions from without linking to other data that allow connections to be made to causal factors. In other words – a solid theory about why it is behaving in that way and not just sorting through the entrails.

    • Chief

      …ditch the obsession with the temperature record

      I started to read about man made global warming after observing and getting scared of the hockey stick global mean “temperature record” of Mann in the late 1990s.

      Chief, here is when I would accept AGW?

      Nearly 100% of the data from 1880 to 2010 are bounded by an upper boundary red line and a lower boundary green line, with a trend of 0.6 deg C per century, as shown in the following graph.


      As nearly 100% of the global mean temperature (GMT) data lie within this boundary for 13 decades, it is most likely that in the next decade the observed GMT will also lie within this boundary.

      Note that the data from 1970 to 2010 that show a global warming rate of 1.6 deg C per century is based only 31% of the recorded data under consideration from 1880 to 2010. As 100% is more likely than 31%, it is more likely that the global warming rate for the next decade would be 0.6 than 1.6 deg C per century.

      In the next decade, if most of the observed data lie outside the upper GMT boundary line (red shaded region), then I would accept AGW.

    • Chief

      …ditch the obsession with the temperature record

      How can one talk about GLOBAL WARMING with out talking about “temperature record”?

      I will ditch my “obsession with the temperature record” when I see most GMT observations in the coming decade lie in the region shaded red the following graph.


      Or I will ditch it when I sea the following:


    • There is a clear principle here – unless you a theory of why temperature has followed a certain trajectory – what can you possibly say that has any meaning whatsoever. Repeating it a 1000 rimes does not improve the message..

    • rimes/times – whatever

    • Cheif

      How come you are tired of my “repeating it a 1000″ times when the AGW advocates tell us billion times global warming is accelerating? How can I respond to that? When they repeat their statement, I also do.

      Is it not that the main issue here?

    • Girma,

      I am challenging you to forget what others might think. It is irrelevant – it is far from the main issue. As I said yesterday – more science is not going to decrease uncertainty any time soon. So the politics are something else – and I think we should focus on a better future for humanity.

      But we want to understand in ways that make disparate connections and has explanatory power. Decadal variability? But how does that work? What are the details? Are there other explanations? It is a problem of epistemology – we may approach truth and never know if we attain it. Indeed in my religion – philosophical deflationism – we regard the notion of truth as mere semantics. Seemingly paradoxically – that is the greatest and most humbling of the sacred hydrological truths.

      Actually – I am a Jedi – only in 4 dimensions. In the 2001 Australian census – 11,000 people nominated Jedi as their religion of choice. After the 2006 census the Bureau of Statistics refused to report the numbers because it isn’t a ‘real’ religion. We are a persecuted minority.

      You understand the space/time continuum of course? As Albert said: since ‘there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent “now” objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.’

      When I first understood this – the horror of a 4 dimensional existence washed over me. Each act of torture and murder – every despair and hatred – preserved eternally and strung out across the continuum like a string of anti-Christmas lights. So I imagined the continuum as a Manichean struggle of light and darkness across all space and time – a struggle in which light has triumphed in a perfectable cosmos. It’s all I got.

      It is not about the warmists – they are really annoying but ultimately just drag their feet kicking an screaming into the new world – it is about the science. We think the world is cooling for a decade or 3 – we think that most of the warming was ultimately caused by the sun and longer term cooling is possible. We’re pretty damn sure the models might be able to predict where the next grant is coming from. But we need to recognise that we have probably missed much of the story as much as anyone else. So it is about having fun, getting messy and making mistakes. The politics as I say is a different thing.


    • It is not about the warmists – they are really annoying but ultimately just drag their feet kicking an screaming into the new world – it is about the science. We think the world is cooling for a decade or 3 – we think that most of the warming was ultimately caused by the sun and longer term cooling is possible. We’re pretty damn sure the models might be able to predict where the next grant is coming from. But we need to recognise that we have probably missed much of the story as much as anyone else. So it is about having fun, getting messy and making mistakes. The politics as I say is a different thing.

      Nice one.

      Thank you.

      However, what is worrying me is that most school kids now wrongly believe that human use of fossil fuels will cause global inundation. I also believed it when I saw Mann’s hockey stick graph about a decade ago. How do you reverse that successful fear campaign?

  18. This caught my eye this week, and it relates to the previous thread on analysts and advocates.


    Apparently Sir John Beddington is behaving as an advoicate, while pretending to be just a scientist. Shame on him!!!

    • Jim Cripwell, Sir John Beddingtod describes his role here http://www.bis.gov.uk/go-science/chief-scientific-adviser

      “As Government Chief Scientific Adviser a key part of my responsibility to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet is to ensure that the best science and engineering advice is brought to bear effectively on Government policy and decision-making.

      I am supported in this by the Government Office for Science and by the network of Chief Scientific Advisers now in place in all major science-using departments. I also work closely with the economic, statistical, social research and operational research professions.

      Another crucial part of my role is to work with Ministers, the scientific community and the media to ensure that the scientific method, risk and uncertainty are understood by the public. This is especially important at present given the misunderstandings around climate change.”

      Advice, support to decision making, communication, education, etc – I suppose the give away clue is in his job title, Chief Scientific ADVISER.

      We (or the govt) can choose to ignore his advice, if he fails to give advice he’s not doing his job properly.

    • Louise, It does not appear that you have read the article in the Spectator. I have no objection to Sir John giving the UK government advice based on sound science. But to suggest that the government use every bit of weird weather to push for the unpopular taxes on carbon, stretches the meaning of the word “advice”. If Sir John has the scientific facts to support his idea that all unusual weather events are proof of CAGW then I would agree that he is fulfilling his mandate. But where there is absolutely no science whatsoever to support his advice, then this, to me, makes him no longer acting as a scientific adviser.

    • He is a propagandist pushing unsupported alarmist twaddle.

    • simon abingdon

      Since July 22, this comment has been in moderation at his website:
      “Sir John, do you have a responsibility for exercising Due Diligence in your current role?”

    • tallbloke, I agree with you, but what about Louise? She tries to defend Sir John, and when it is pointed out that he is not behaving properly as a scientist, she simply disappears from the discussion. Where is the outrage from the supporters of CAGW to this gross violation of scientific ethics from one of the leading scientists in the UK? There is none, and that in itself, ought to raise warning flags all over the world. But it doesn ‘t.

    • tempterrain

      Maybe Sir John should get a second opinion on climate change from the Royal Society, or any of the UK’s leading universities?

      Would that satisfy you? Probably not, because they’d say exactly the same thing. So, isn’t your quarrel with mainstream science rather than Sir John personally?

  19. and if you follow the link:
    you wil se in his bio about the Sars outbreak and swine flu, volcanic ash clouds

    where the scientific advisors and the politicians got it hopelessly wrong…

    What exactly is ‘population biology’ he appears to be an economist, where is soemone much more cynical about lates scintific fads (they come and go) which politicians all to readily get caught up in.

    • Population biology relates to changes in mortality and recruitment – and how these impact on the population quantum.

      For instance – how would getting washed over a spillway in floods affect the number of lungfish in the long term?

    • No I mean the change in any population over time as a result of changing factors that influence mortality or recruitment.

      Being a delusional troll popping in to make vacuous comment is your speciality. It should not be happening here.

      Judith – you need to start culling comment that add nothing to the discourse but gratuitous insult.

  20. I am not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here goes. We get daily data from many sources on what is happening with respect to things that are of interest. Two of these relate to hurricanes and sunspots. With respect to hurricanes, I follow what is happening in the North Atlantic, partciularly as people like Al Giore claimed that the 2005 season showed that global warming was occurring. However, since then, hurricane activity in the NA, and elsewhere in the world, has significanlty declined. We get data on the number of named storms to date, namely 3, and the ACE value to date, 6. And this is nearly the end of July.

    With respect to sunspots, we get sunspot number on a daily basis, and despite the fact that SC 24 ought to be ramping up rapidly, SSN is not increasing that rapidly. However, I can find no equivalent to the ACE value. Does anyone know if solar scientists keep the score of solar flare intensity, or some such measure? The cumulative sum of solar flares that have occurred, or some such. It seems to me that such a measure would give data additional to a simple sunspot count, just like the ACE value adds to the information of the number of named storms. Anyone?

  21. Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit addresses: “Building Trust” and FOI Refusals citing Judith Curry

    Judy Curry has written many posts on “climate communications”, . . .
    Judy’s recent post linked back to an exchange between her and Willis Eschenbach in the early days of Climategate . . . Judy argued that the rebuilding trust was primarily a matter of “better communication”: . . .” To rebuild trust, climate scientists need to better communicate their ideas to the public, particularly regarding uncertainty. . ..” Willis, on the other hand, took a position that anyone in business understands: if someone is dishonest with you in business, you are never going to trust them again. . .

    I no longer “trust” anything from CRU/University of East Anglia. That doesn’t mean that I assume that it’s “wrong” – just that I don’t trust it. Moreover, I do not expect anything from them (or from obvious others) to be “full, true and plain disclosure”; I expect everything to be parsed like the fine print of a contract with an unscrupulous leasing company. Buyer beware. That’s the problem for the climate “community” with the many readers of climate blogs and, in my opinion, is at the heart of the problem with the wider community. And, as Willis observed, once trust is forfeited, it’s not easily regained. And it’s foolish to think that it can be regained merely by telling the “story” in a more forceful way,

    And if they want to “rebuild trust”, hiding their 2006 Yamal regional chronology on the grounds of “IPR” is a bad way to go about it. . . .

    Despite advice from von Storch to IPCC that they would do well not to have CRU lead authors, CRU’s Osborn is a Lead Author of the chapter where Mann (AR3) and Briffa (AR4) were previously lead authors.

    • tempterrain

      “I no longer “trust” anything from CRU/University of East Anglia”

      This implies that you did trust them at one time. I doubt very much if this is true. If I’m right about this can anyone ever trust you ever again? :-) Climategate is just used as a stick to attack those who climate sceptics/deniers have long perceived to be the enemy.

  22. If Willis fell hook, line and sinker for the hockey stick, he deserves to be upset. Most people would have not trusted tree ring data to that extent since nothing else independently confirmed it. He needed to be more skeptical in the first place. Lesson learned.

    • You should tell that to a lot of the warmists – here as well as other places. They mostly haven’t listened to me when I’ve told them they’re not sceptical enough. :-)

    • He only needed to look at the error bars to see its worth. There are many more convincing AGW arguments than that. Anyway he and JC were both upset, so I guess they believed it. Otherwise I can’t explain the reaction.

  23. An interesting post on Grist re: the impact of white roofs. Looks promising if the numbers are right.

  24. Rather than responding to my comment by identifying who says “we can get 15 years of non warming just by chance,” you chose to speculate on my point, and your imagination got you so worked up you decide to tell me to “f… off.”

    Then in an another post, you say “Judith – you need to start culling comment that add nothing to the discourse but gratuitous insult.”

    Some readers may be offended by your gratuitous insult (telling me to f…off) and your double standard, but I’m not.
    I think you are hilarious.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Ok – I am not ‘upchucking’ today and am a little more patient. All such interactions – including my own are a tedious waste of everone’s time. A warmist polemic – ‘If “by chance” means for no particular reason or reasons, I’m not aware of any climate scientists who are saying that. However, some deniers are saying warming is caused by nature or recovery from the LIA, which are nothing in particular’ – in response to a considered post – http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/22/week-in-review-072211/#comment-89951- is no substitute for reasoned discourse. From my observations – you have little knowledge and merely wish to engage in polemic.

      The Easterling study is here –

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/csi/images/GRL2009_ClimateWarming.pdf -
      probabilities are applied to the models and observations of temperature to show that no warming for a decade or two is possible – indeed ‘likely’. The no warming is due to an unsepecified ‘natural variation’ – but the analysis involves probability density functions.

      So what is this ‘natural variation’? Has the world warmed? The best data we have is from SORCE from 2003, ARGO from 2003, CERES from 2000 and satellite tropospheric temperature data from 1979. There is no observable trend in any of these from 2000 or 2003 as the case may be – although the period is of course very short.


      The planet warms or cools as a result of a radiative imbalance at top of atmosphere.

      Ein/s – Eout/s = d(GES)/dt – where Ein/s and Eout/s is the average radiative flux for 1 second (unit energy) over a period – in and out respectively and d(GES)/dt is the instantaneous rate of change of global energy storage (GES). As the planet (oceans and atmosphere) is not warming – we can postulate an approximate radiative balance – Ein = Eout. Ein varies little – E out substantially. There is an 85 W/m^2 difference in light reflected from a snowball earth and from the blue/green planet.

      What can be seen in the CERES record is the large variability associated with ENSO – short term flutuations of up to 1.5 W/m^2. So where to ENSO?

      ‘Stay tuned for the next update (by August 6th, or earlier) to see where the MEI will be heading next. La Niña conditions have at least briefly expired in the MEI sense, making ENSO-neutral conditions the safest bet for the next few months. However, a relapse into La Niña conditions is not at all off the table, based on the reasoning I gave in September 2010 – big La Niña events have a strong tendency to re-emerge after ‘taking time off’ during northern hemispheric summer, as last seen in 2008. I believe the odds for this are still better than 50/50.’ Claus Wolter

      If you look at this thermally enhanced satellite image -
      http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2011/anomnight.7.25.2011.gif – cool subsurface water is upwelling storngly in the northe-east and south east Pacific. The SH spring will see the intertropical convergence xzone pushing further north with cold water moving with it to the equatorial eastern Pacific. So – La Nina is set to return this year cooling the planet.

      Longer term the Pacific is in a cool phase. The phases can be seen clearly in Claus Wolter’s MEI – a cool phase to 1976, warm to 1998 and cool since – referring to sea surface temperatures.’


      The 20 to 40 year phases are a persistent signal in the climate record. Verdon and Franks (2006) used ‘proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the PDO and ENSO. During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’

      So we expect another 10 to 30 years of intensifying La Nina and a cooling planet. But ENSO varies over decades, centuries and millenia. See this Tsonis et al (2010) paper as an introduction – fig 5 especially. ENSO in recent times has been linked to solar UV – which changes much more than TSI – warming and cooling of the ozone layer. It seems clear that we understand very little about the nature and extent of natural variability.

  25. Unless I am misinterpreting you (which is easy to do), I believe you are saying the Easterling study is what you had in mind when you said

    “In some places it is said that we can get 15 years of non warming just by chance. Piffle.”

    Webster’s defines “chance” as “something that happens unpredictably without discernible human intention or observable cause.”

    So does the Easterling study say we can get 15 years or more of unpredictable non warming without discernible human intention or observable cause?

    Well, not exactly. While I think it’s safe to say the study would agree that the shoty-term non warming periods are unpredictable and without discernible human intention, the study refers to natural climate variability as the cause of these periods, and goes on to mention some of the natural causes.

    Some relevant quotes from the Easterling are:

    “The reality of the climate system is that, due to natural climate variability, it is entirely possible to have a period as long as a decade or two of “cooling” superimposed on the longer-term warming trend due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing. Climate scientists pay little attention to these short-term fluctuations as the short term “cooling trends” mentioned above are statistically insignificant and fitting trends to such short periods is not very meaningful in the context of long-term climate change.”

    “Climate models are often criticized for producing a more or less monotonic-type response to anthropogenic forcing in 21st century simulations. Part of this may be due to the lack of volcanic and solar forcing in the SRES scenarios of anthropogenic forcing increase for the 21st century and part could be due to the fact that large-scale oscillatory climate features, such as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation are not well simulated.”

    So I would not agree with you if you claim the Easterling study says we can get 15 years of non warming just by chance.

    • You cannot resist having a snark – ‘which is easy to do’.

      The possibility of a decade or 2 of no warming is based on probabilities estimated from statistical analysis.

      None the less – we agree. Based on physical oceanography as in this recent study – http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.full – we expect at least another 10 years of no warming. These multi-decadal and ‘large scale oscillatory climate features’ – ENSO, PDO, SAM and NAM are not well simulated.’ Indeed and again due to the shortness of the records especially in relation to multi-decadal phenomenon – there is nothing to suggest that these are oscillatory at all but may be variable over longer timescales.

      Certainly that is case the with ENSO – where the hydrological implications has allowed an 11,000 year reconstruction based on the redness of sediment in a South American lake. ENSO variability is implicated in the drying of the Sahel from 3000BC and the demise of the Minoan civilisation starting from 1450BC. An interesting article – the 11,000 year ENSO reconstruction is at Fig. 5.

      Since you liked Easterling so much – let me refer you to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute – http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455 – and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Abrupt Climate Change – http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309074347.

      I think you may be arguing a minor point – and neglect a great deal more.

  26. CH,

    I’m not sure you can complain gratuitous insults when you use terms yourself like “delusional troll”

    And also your use of the word “dykes” in ” it is really a policy for dykes but I’m working on it.” I would suggest is quite inappropriate.

    If you can’t take it yourself don’t dish it out to others.

    • You are a flaming troll. In the post (seemingly deleted) to which this was a response – I was a pompous git. That was the sole purpose of your post.

      Free motorcycle lessons for girls – as part of my interim women’s (dykes on bikes) platform for world president? I was going to call you an id..t – but I googled it and ‘dykes on bikes’ must be an Australian thing. Hey wait a sec – I got the impression you are Australian???

    • tempterrain

      CH , You’ll know if you have watched TV shows like “The Wire” that black people can use a certain word about themselves that it wouldn’t be acceptable for others to use about them. Not unless they were in say a KKK meeting or similar. So, its the same with words like “dyke”. Its OK for lesbians to use the word about themselves , but not you. Sorry about that.

    • Sanctimonious nonsense this time. There is a longer post that is an extended advertisement for the Sydney Mardi Gras – that disappeared into the aether – but this will do.

      ‘On November 13, 2006, the Dykes on Bikes won the battle to trademark the name, having struggled since 2003 to persuade the PTO that “dyke” was not offensive to the lesbian community. In 2005, after a prolonged court battle involving testimony on the word’s changing role in the lesbian community, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board permitted the group to register its name.’

  27. Chief, I agree it’s a minor point, but it was you, not I, who brought it up in the first place.

    I don’t know why you think I like Easterling “so much.” I never said I like or dislike him, but thanks for the links.

    Yes, it was snarky of me to say your post was easy to misinterpret. I could have been more direct, and said your comments are not clear to me, so I’m not sure I am interpreting them the way you want.

    • I was using sarcasm…sorry

      I read the Tsonis paper for instance and it expands the world for me to weather causing the fall of civilisations and altering the course of human culture. I read Einstein and it unfolds like a lotus flower in the mind over 30 years – I am sure I don’t understand it yet.

      It is a great shame that the great treasure of science is trampled in the squabbles of the climate warriors. Modesty, humility and an open mind are the true properties of the fields of science that are the inheritance of us all.

      Interpret as you will – but we should keep in mind that overstating confidence will lead us astray.

  28. CH and Judith,

    I’m just wondering about the use of the word “troll”? Does this mean that you consider anyone arguing for the mainstream scientific line to be unwelcome on this blog?

    I perhaps overstepped the mark calling CH a “pompous git”. So that comment gets deleted but “delusional troll” and “worthless wastrel” are acceptable terms? Or, is there one rule for one side of the argument and and another for the other?

    • No – just you. I responded in kind tt. So if you behave yourself – it won’t happen again.

      I vote for not limiting discourse – civilised is better and substantive argument is welcome. Try it sometime – ;-)

    • tempterrain

      Just on a point of information: I would say you instigated rather than responded. Or is “smart-arse” an OK term too?

    • tt
      Cut the *** and return to civilized scientific discussion or find another bridge to hide under.

  29. Verkennt gewiss nicht die technischen Kreationen des menschlichen Geistes! Ansonsten zensiert froehlich voran.

  30. Per Google “Mistakes certainly not the technical creations of the human spirit! Otherwise censored cheerful ahead.”

    Alexander Pope held: “To err is human; to forgive, divine.”

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