New report on climate change and security

by Judith Curry

Mother Jones has an article entitled “CIA’s Weather Underground.”  Its closing sentence:

In this political climate, it’s no wonder the CIA declined to discuss its global-warming research for this article. For the time being, the climate spooks have gone underground.

Intellibriefs has an article entitled “The CIA has a Climate Program – And It Shouldn’t Be Secret.”  Some excerpts:
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Intelligence work and climate science have a lot in common. They both involve grappling with uncertainty, trying to make sense of a signal amid the noise of ambient data and preparing to fight threats to country. So it makes sense that in 2009 the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) opened the Center on Climate Change and National Security, a place where Langley analysts could look at the latest science on climate change and view it through the prism of national and international security. But as Charles Mead and Annie Snider reported in a piece for McClatchy earlier this year, having government spooks keep an eye on climate change has been politically controversial from the beginning.
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The problem is that such the CIA’s environmental intelligence gathering has little value if it’s not being shared—not a single document has been issued, and the agency insists on classifying much of its material classified. And that secrecy means the agency itself, by virtue of its isolation, is missing out on the latest science. That’s the conclusion of a new report (PDF) from the Defense Science Board, which urged the CIA to get beyond the traditional culture of secrecy and open up on its global warming assessments. The board even recommends the establishment of a new intelligence agency that can study the security impacts of climate change, but do so in an open and unclassified way, “cooperating with other domestic and international intelligence efforts.”
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The Defense Science Board has issued a new report entitled “Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and International Security.” Excerpts from the Executive Summary of the report:
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This report describes observable climate change and its consequences.  It does not attempt to address the complex and controversial set of causes, nor does it offer recommendations on the possibility of changing the pace or scope of climate change.  Instead, the focus is on the need to manage consequences.
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This report uses data and projections from a wide variety of sources to discuss trends and consequences.  While this data comes from credible sources, climate information systems and climate modeling fidelity leave room for wide variances in projections.  Hence, while the historical and recent trends seem clear, and consequences are visible in many parts of the world today, projections for future rates of change and impacts are far less clear.
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Currently no coherent, integrated climate information system capable of generating reliable, sustained, and actionable climate data and projections exists.  [T]he majority of observational assets and many of the modeling assets are intended primarily for exploratory science rather than for supporting operational, long-term climate assessments.
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The plethora of climate models present their own risk management challenges.  Some of the models purport to provide highly accurate, long-term predictions (forty to one hundred years).  For these predictions, there is a need for validation and verification standards.  Also needed are clear uncertainty bounds and attention to the unpredictable variables that impact climate in the near-term.  Few of the models purport to provide accurate predictions that cover the planning time frame typical of most government activity.
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Given the need for comprehensive global data to understand current conditions and make better predictions about future changes, there is a need for a comprehensive approach to space-based systems and systems operating in other domains.
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The long-term trends in the release of the variety of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere are complex and controversial.  Further, the prospects for significantly changing those trends are equally complex and controversial but are not central to the purpose of this report.
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Climate change is likely to have the greatest impact on security through its indrect effects on conflict and vulnerability.  Many developing countries are unable to provide basic services and improvements, much less cope with repeated, sudden onset shocks and accumulating, slow onset stresses.
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The single greatest direct driver of impact on the human habitat is water–too much or too little.
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The United States has neither the resources nor the influence for an open-ended commitment to addressing the world’s challenges related to the consequences of climate change.  The United States does have a vital interest in promoting stability in areas of strategic interest.  Adaptation will inevitably include more effective water management, population migration, changes in agricultural practices and approaches to dealing with hydrometeorological disasters resulting from extreme changes in weather patterns.  The effectiveness of adaptation will have significant national and international security implications.
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The United States will need to collaborate with the political, economic, and military leadership in these regions to develop the needed expertise in civil engineering, hyrology, energy, agriculture, land use and infrastructure planning.  The long-term stability of these regions will depend on progress in all of these activities, even with no further climate change.
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The Department of Defense has demonstrated capabilities to respond to natural disasters.  Much of this experience is applicable to dealing with the near-term effects of climate change.  Still, there is a major difference.  The traditional objective is disaster relief is a return, as quickly and as practical, to the condition of life as it existed before the disaster.  Instead, near-term solutions need to be on the path to adaptation.
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JC comment:    The members of the Task Force are from the private sector, and government agencies (DOD, State, CIA), with two members from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory:  none from universities, and no climate scientists.  Among the people that provided presentations to the Task Force, I only identify two associated with the climate science community:  Chester Koblinsky and Kenneth Verosub.  My point in highlighting this is that this assessment is rather different from the other climate impact assessment reports that have been prepared by U.S. government agencies and the NAS/NRC.   I think this assessment is particularly valuable in that it is an independent, outside look at the climate change situation.  This particular assessment considers climate change (regardless of cause) as a practical problem, rather than as a political issue.

219 responses to “New report on climate change and security

  1. I don’t take military or intelligence organization analysis of climate change consequences seriously because the large number of variables necessary for an analysis means that these types of analysis will have very low predictive accuracy or practical applications. Also, a serious analysis of climate change military effects would balance the benefits of warming against the detriments of warming. (Others can correct me if I am wrong with respect to my last comment.)

    • That will be the case for many of the impacts they’re trying to assess. But you know that they’ve done as objective a job as possible. If they’re concerned about something, it’s not a projection of any political belief. They’re just trying to know if their job will be harder down the road.

      • What is the basis for concluding that if the CIA is “concerned about something, it’s not a projection of any political belief?”

        I have not worked for the CIA but I cannot believe that agency is any more immune to politics than the US Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu, or the Science Advisor to President Obama, Dr. John Holdren.

        Both gentlemen have a responsibility to protect the US National Security. Neither is so naive as to seriously believe the AGW story [1] promoted by world leaders and the UN ‘s IPCC or the false claim [2] that the Sun is a heat steady source operating “in equilibrium.”

        But I’ll wager you cannot get any of the talented, but politically-motivated scientists that work in the CIA, EPA, DOE or OSTP to publicly confirm or deny these reports [1] and experimental observations [2].

        1.http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles_2010/Jaworowski_interview.pdf

        2. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

      • “I have not worked for the CIA but I cannot believe that agency is any more immune to politics than the US Secretary of Energy, Dr. Steven Chu, or the Science Advisor to President Obama, Dr. John Holdren.”
        NASA too. Right Oliver?

        Yes, it is the same with the intelligence agencies and the services. “So it makes sense that in 2009 the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) opened the Center on Climate Change and National Security, a place where Langley analysts could look at the latest science on climate change and view it through the prism of national and international security.” It makes sense that this happened in 2009, rather than in any of the previous eight years, because the new boss wanted it.

        The new boss wanted to get credit for gays feeling comfortable in the military, so the Generals said they were all in favor of that, despite hating the idea in the very recent past. The boss in 1967 ordered the intelligence and military communities to shut up about their belief that an ally had deliberately attacked one of our ships killing 34 sailors, and they obeyed. So it is nothing for them to set up a little climate change play group to keep the boss happy.

    • I don’t take military or intelligence organization analysis of climate change consequences seriously

      So you just go with the climate scientists’ analysis then? No? Not them either?

      Maybe you use businesses’ analysis . . . let’s see, large corporations and insurers take global warming as an established and potentially very destructive fact, so I’m guessing you don’t trust them either.

      So we’re left with . . . the voices in your head.

      Others can correct me if I am wrong with respect to my last comment.

      You’re wrong.

    • Commissioning the military / CIA to get involved in Climate Confusion is for three reasons 1: to give credibility to the propaganda machine on taxpayer’s expense 2: extra funds, to corrupt the non-believers in those organisations 3: to spread the blame for failing to deliver any GLOBAL warming. By constantly referring to it as ”Climate Change” instead of the original ”GLOBAL warming”, is admission that they know the warming was a lie. Climate is changing without any GLOBAL warming. BIG DEAL. Shame, shame, shame…!

  2. If the CIA and Pentagon are taking climate change seriously, it means the rest of us should too. Reports like this let us get past our distaste for looney left politics and look at the issue properly.

    • The most likely explanation for the CIA & Pentagon examinations of this issue is that these organizations are currying favor with their superiors for bureaucratic and economic reasons. In the Pentagon’s case, the economic angle is easy to see because if they please the President, it is much easier for it to get money for projects it desires.

      To show how impossible climate change military planning is, just imagine that the Pentagon believes that temperatures will rise 1.5 degrees centigrade in Egypt over the next 20 years. In what way can the Pentagon allocate its resources now to deal with any problems that a 1.5 degree rise in temperatures may cause in 20 years.

      • That’s just too cynical. There aren’t people in the military and intelligence just trying to do the best job they can?

        And it’s sometimes just about identifying what problems may lie ahead. The fewer surprises, the better.

      • Bob,
        You just wish it was cynical.
        They are doing the best job they can- to entertain the current POTUS and hope he does not further radically undermine our national defense.

      • Good grief.

      • Bob,
        Yes, it is sad.
        But it has happened before.

      • “There aren’t people in the military and intelligence just trying to do the best job they can?”

        Please Bob. I’ve seen enough appeals to authority (‘The Military’ and ‘Intelligence’) in this Climate Change circus to last several lifetimes, FYI.

        Andrew

      • Down there VVV. Quotes Bill Gates as a soothsayer.

      • Gates has a lot of money on his hands and time to spend it.
        He is probably surrounded in sycophants and toadies several layers thick. And of course they are all nice earnest AGW consensus believers.

      • Bob,

        I believe there are many military people trying to do their best. That is not inconsistent with military leaders playing political games. To survive in government, it is necessary to play political games.

      • It started during the Bush Administration through a budget authorization coauthored by John Warmer (Republican, former Navy Secretary) and Hilary Rodham Clinton (Democrat).

      • Warner, not Warmer (although Warner was presumably concerned about warmer climates)

      • Right: and so neither is it inconsistent that they try to survive and honestly try to identify bad things that may happen with climate change.

      • Bob “so neither is it inconsistent that they try to survive and honestly try to identify bad things that may happen with climate change.” True, but that doesn’t make it practical or worthwhile.

      • The most successful method Task Force Horn of Africa found to ‘make friends and influence people’ in the Horn of Africa was drilling water wells.

        Try making a budget justification to Congress that you need a couple of dozen well drilling machines. Oh wait..we can call it a ‘Climate Change Adaption’ study.

      • JD -

        The most likely explanation for the CIA & Pentagon examinations of this issue is that these organizations are currying favor with their superiors for bureaucratic and economic reasons.

        Just curious – since folks in these here parts are very focused on quantifying (un)certainty, would you mind sharing your verifiable data on how you estimated probability there?

      • And don’t forget to include your code. Without that, as we often see, any and all conspiracy theories are considered viable.

  3. I wonder if the NSA is keeping tabs of things. I know they would have all of the E-mails if they were deemed relevant to national security. :)

  4. YAWN

    Andrew

  5. It is interesting that little is made of the fact that the last 200 years have seen a considerable increase in average temperature and yet conflict has plummeted as pointed out by Steven Pinker and others.

    Surely that should make the default assumption that the next 100 will see a similar reduction in conflict as temperature gradually increases.

    • Temperature will not increase – they will only say that increased. That is big difference. Temperature can increase on part / parts on the planet – other parts simultaneously get colder. Climatology is not a science; unless uses the reliable science as the laws of physics. It’s all already proven. Avoiding the truth / reality, is the new science.

      Part of the atmosphere can get warmer – because the extra volume of air can go to parts where is getting colder. Otherwise, when THE WHOLE troposphere gets warmer only by 0,01 degree = the whole troposphere expands up, where the temperature is minus – 90C, intercepts extra coldness and equalizes in a jiffy. Q: if the whole atmosphere cannot get warmer by 0,01 degree for more than few minutes, how can it get warmer by whole two degrees. Guys, you have to face reality, the laws of physics regulate the overall temperature to be the same in the troposphere at all times; not the CO2 or the climatologist. Unless the lefty politicians abolish the laws of physics, by legislation… I will win with my real proofs: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com When part of the atmosphere gets warmer – they declare that the whole planet is warming; is same as saying: at lunch time the planet is warmer by 12C degrees, than before sunrise…?! Santa probably is not for real – even though is all over the literature.

  6. It would be unfair to judge this effort exclusively from the synopsized material quoted above. However, from a narrow national security perspective, its emphasis is understandable. From a longer and broader perspective, I have some doubts. Note the following passages (with my bolding):

    “The United States has neither the resources nor the influence for an open-ended commitment to addressing the world’s challenges related to the consequences of climate change. The United States does have a vital interest in promoting stability in areas of strategic interest. Adaptation will inevitably include more effective water management, population migration, changes in agricultural practices and approaches to dealing with hydrometeorological disasters resulting from extreme changes in weather patterns. The effectiveness of adaptation will have significant national and international security implications.”

    As I interpret the above, it claims because we can’t devote unlimited (“open-ended”) effort to climate change, that we should therefore ignore mitigation and focus exclusively on adaptation. This strikes me as myopic and a non-sequitur, because mitigation and adaptation are synergistic and both have national security implications in a broad sense, including amelioration of threats posed by extreme weather and population migration.

    It’s coincidental that the current (November 19) issue of Science focuses on many climate change issues, with an emphasis on technology related to electricity generation and storage at grid scales via alternative energy that includes solar power and artificial emulation of some photosynthetic mechanisms. The technology is fascinating, but I’m unqualified to judge the practical, scale-up aspects. However, the topics are preceded by an editorial by Bill Gates that perceives our national interests from a broader perspective than the CIA. It includes some rhetorical overkill, but is worth reading because the author has some power to put ideas into action. Gates writes:

    The Energy Research Imperative

    Bill Gates

    As someone now working full time in global health and development, I see firsthand how the U.S. government’s support for scientific research has improved people’s lives. That support is vital in another area—affordable, clean energy. I believe it is imperative that the government commit to clean energy innovation at a level similar to its research investments in health and defense.

    In a time of economic crisis, asking policy-makers in Washington, DC, to spend more money might not be the most popular position. But it’s essential to protect America’s national interests and ensure that the United States plays a leading role in the fast-growing global clean energy industry. There is really no other choice. Carbon-based fuels are prone to wild price gyrations and are causing the planet to overheat. The United States spends close to $1 billion a day on foreign oil, while countries such as China, Germany, Japan, and Korea are making huge investments in clean energy technologies. The creation of new energy products, services, and jobs is a good thing wherever it occurs, but it would be a serious miscalculation if America missed out on this singular opportunity.

    The United States is uniquely positioned to lead in energy innovation, with great universities and national laboratories and an abundance of entrepreneurial talent. But the government must lend a hand. Market incentives, alone, will not create enough affordable, clean energy to get the nation to near-zero CO2 emissions, the level of emissions that developed countries must achieve if we are going to keep Earth from getting even hotter.* Moreover, developing major new technologies, where the time frames necessary for true innovation stretch past the normal horizons of patent protection, requires up-front investments that are too large for venture capital and traditional energy companies.
    History has repeatedly proven that federal investments in research return huge payoffs, with incredible associated benefits for U.S. industries and the economy. Yet over the past three decades, U.S. government investment in energy innovation has dropped by more than 75%. In 2008, the United States spent less on energy R&D as a percentage of gross domestic product than China, France, Japan, or Canada.
    Last year, I joined with other business leaders in a call to increase federal investment in energy R&D from $5 billion to $16 billion a year.† (Others, including the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, have also recommended substantial increases.‡) Recently, our group, the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC), issued a second report outlining ways to ensure that government research dollars are targeted wisely to achieve optimal returns. The report also suggests ways to pay for the increased investment: reducing or eliminating current subsidies to well-established energy industries, diverting a portion of royalties from domestic energy production, collecting a small fee on electricity sales, or imposing a price on carbon. Any combination of these could provide the funds needed to increase energy innovation. Even at almost triple the current level of government investment in energy innovation, the research dollars that the AEIC is advocating would represent a small fraction of the money presently spent on renewable energy subsidies and efficiency grants.

    Energy transformations take generations. But if the United States begins in earnest today, the nation’s energy challenges can be solved in ways that truly set America on a path of energy independence and that provide affordable energy for everyone, especially the poor. The return on this kind of investment could change—perhaps even save—the world and provide generations to come with a brighter future.”

    The last sentence made me uncomfortable, but there’s enough substance in the editorial as a whole to deserve our attention if not necessarily our full agreement.

    • It’s the November 18, not November 19 issue of Science.

    • If he’s talking about computer software, I’ll take Gate’s advice any day. When it comes to managing the global energy economy…not so much.

      He can spend his billions trying to save the world any way he wants. But he (and Warren Buffet) should not be quite so free about spending other people’s money.

      • I don’t think he is talking about managing the worlds economy but developing clean practical alternative forms of energy and, Fred is right in this case, it warrants full attention. You do not need to invoke CAGW from CO2 emissions to see there is a very strong case for developing new forms of energy and moving away from fossil fuel based energy.

        The country that develops something like thorium nuclear power on an industrial scale, and or Bussard’s Polywell fusion is going to reap the rewards.

      • Agnostic,
        What Gates is proposing is, in a time of insane budget waste, to increase spending by the government (tax payers) on energy research by >300%.
        There is every reason to suspect it will be spent as poorly and with as much wastage as the last trillion+. The DoE has proven it is incapable of making sound energy research decisions, but has instead given huge amounts of money to Obama’s friends and high level democratic party insiders.
        If Gates had addressed that, his otherwise boilerplate quote would be interesting.
        If he had proposed clever ways of using tax breaks for successful energy developments, it would be interesting.
        If he had pointed out that right here and right now we have the chance to build a pipeline that would decrease our need for tanker delivered oil by nearly 1 million barrels per DAY, and that we should build it, that would be interesting. (But of course his pal Warren does not like that)
        He did none of that
        He, one of the richest guys in the world, simply called out for us tax payers to spend a lot more of our money as he sees fit on projects he himself is unwilling to bankroll.

      • Clarification: Gates is investing some of his capital in energy start ups.
        But it is his to do with. And he expects to make a profit.
        He is not facing the budget restraints of tax payers. And I very much doubt, unless he has broken his basic business discipline, that he is underwriting his pals and supporters or bailing them out.
        Unlike what Obama has done with our money.

      • “But the government must lend a hand. Market incentives, alone, will not create enough affordable, clean energy to get the nation to near-zero CO2 emissions, the level of emissions that developed countries must achieve if we are going to keep Earth from getting even hotter.”

        The government must “lend a hand” to get to “near zero emissions.” Decarbonization, by any other name, is just as lunatic an economic policy, no matter who is calling for it. He may not have “needed” to invoke CAGW, but he did.

      • Research in ”fusion” is same as research in stopping the climate of changing = laundering taxpayer’s cash. They made the hydrogen bomb by fusion, full stop.

        For fusion needs two essentials: over 21000C temperature and tremendous pressure. They can have one or the other; but not both. There is no metal / alloy on the planet to be solid at that temperature for more than few seconds. AND NEVER WILL BE. If fusion was possible at lower pressure – all the stars would have combusted in few minutes. Because very close to the surface, the necessary temperature exist to start chain reaction, minus the pressure, is not on. When the laws of physics are disregarded – you have GLOBAL warmings… hope in electricity from fusion = fleecing the Urban Sheep. .

  7. Fred, I plan to adapt to RSS and UAH being within .1C of 0 anomaly by doing nothing than I did in 1980.

    • Aliens didn’t scare the taxpayer enough, CO2 is more lucrative business. How come; when is proven to a Believer that is no such a thing as GLOBAL warming, instead of rejoicing, they get very disappointed that we are not going to boil, and no second flood…?. Same as when proven to a child in November that Santa is not for real…

  8. I had hoped that the DoD were thinking of releasing data collected during the cold war.
    We know that the DoD/NSA/CIA had plane and satellite coverage of the Arctic Ice pack; it would be nice to know if any of the radar satellites recorded ice height and the Greenland ice cover from the mid-60′s.
    They also used SSN’s to measure the ice thickness, salinity, temperature and such like.
    The SSBN used to patrol boxes, somewhere (probably in the Arctic), for up to six months, changing depth from time to time, but again recording huge amounts of data.
    If the DoD/CIA is actually interested in Climate Change, it might be possible to formally ask them to declassify at least some of the satellite/submarine data they have.
    Looks like a win-win; the ‘skeptics’ always want more data and the current administration is at least sympathetic to the CAGW case.
    As you are part of BEST, you could ask for what they have got.

    • Great idea.

      Along the same lines, the U.S. military long maintained a passive sonar network on the ocean floor. I wonder what useful information could be extracted wrt ice, water density, current flow rates, etc.

      • The amount of ice on Greenland exclusively depends on the amount of raw material, to replenish the ice every season, not on temperature. Average temperature there is colder than in your deep freezer!

        The amount of ice on Arctic ocean depends on that also, but another 3 factors are just as important. For those complex issues needs more than few paragraphs, so you can find it on my website. Have in mind that: temperature in the permafrost is 60C below water freezing point – but no ice. Laws of physics, boys; enough Paganistic / outdated believes!!!

  9. Remember that the CIA and others kept UFO information classified for decades, not because there were aliens but for reasons of methodology, sources and to keep the myth alive.
    If AGW is as it appears, a huge social movement kept alive by confabulation, then there is not really such a thing as truly independent reviews.
    If only believers were called on, then only AGW perspectives would be offered.
    GIGO, in other words.
    Fred,
    That second excerpt you offer would be meaningful if it contained a call to build the pipeline. Instead it offers what we already have a huge abundance of from those who claim to care about America and energy: Hot air.
    In the first you circle back to one of your familiar themes: The idea that mitigation of CO2 can have a meaningful impact on the climate.
    Besides the complete lack of mitigation technologies that can work, reducing CO2 is likely to have the same impact on weather that increased CO2 has: none.
    All there is and ever will be is adaptation.
    It is interesting that someone who comes across so mild and reasonable pursues such unreasonable agendas so steadfastly.
    I think another tell about how dysfunctional AGW is, besides the apocalyptic cult like beliefs it inspires, is the common assertion that somehow only suspending, ending or dramatically changing what we do can save us from the perils of CO2. Wrecking what we have today in the name of some subjectively perceived peril is a dubious call. combined with the correlation between those who believe that is the answer and those who claim they are so enlightened as to recognize this threat in the absence of evidence raises severe doubts about what is perceived as well as what is demanded.

    • It is interesting that someone who comes across so mild and reasonable pursues such unreasonable agendas so steadfastly.

      All I can say is that your opinion of Bill Gates is not shared by everyone.

      • Fred,
        Gates is the guy in starting up a virtual monopoly.
        What is his expertise in energy research, energy issues, or government research management?
        There is syndrome where people confuse their net worth with their IQ.

      • Fred,
        By the way, I was referring to your style of writing as ‘mild and reasonable’.

      • Hunter – I’ll do my best to fix that.

      • Fred,
        No need. It suits you well and gives many of a goal to reach for.

      • I’d put Gates more in the same category as Pauling and Shockley – smart guy, but outside of his “thing” he descends into crackpottery. Despite the string of abominations collectively know as Microsoft Windows, Gates and Allen wrote what may very well be the most magnificently parsimonious program in history. That was 1976. It all went downhill from there.

      • P.E.,
        If I was sitting on a few extra billion$, and had what I thought was a really good idea for some nice clean energy, I would find a way to see it happen on my own.
        All Gates is looking for is yet another tap on the tax payer wallet.
        He and his pal Warren seem really good at investing one way and telling us to spend our money another.
        And they expect us tax payers to trip over each other doing what they say, but not what they do, because they are swell rich guys and swell rich guys are the smartest guys in the room.

    • Remember that the CIA and others kept UFO information classified for decades, not because there were aliens but for reasons of methodology, sources and to keep the myth alive.
      If AGW is as it appears, a huge social movement kept alive by confabulation, then there is not really such a thing as truly independent reviews.

      Ah, the logic of conspiracy theorists everywhere. Every piece of information which contradicts your POV is further proof of the extent of the conspiracy.

      • aa,
        You could have noted I did not refer to conspiracy theory.
        You might have been well informed enough to know that the UFO myth was kept alive in no small part by some of the non-evidence for UFOs being kept classified for the good reasons I listed.
        But no, you had to demonstrate that you know nothing of what you talk about on this and go straight for a typical believer reaction.
        A church is not a conspiracy, but believers tend to interpret what they see through the lens of their belief.
        AGW is not a conspiracy, but its believers rely on calling every critique a conspiracy based accusation out of ignorance and reaction.
        As you demonstrate.

      • You could have noted I did not refer to conspiracy theory.

        You most certainly did. Why lie about it now? Is it just a reflex for you guys?

      • “Robert”,

        If only everyone was as straightforward and honest as you seem to be. What a wonderful world we would have.

        Andrew

      • Robert,
        Please show where I mentioned a conspiracy about UFO’s.
        The agencies involved kept documents secret as a matter of good policy.
        The believers, behaving much as you AGW believers, confabulated complex reasons for it, including, just as you do, the MIB offshoot myths etc. etc. etc.
        You believers are lacking in critical reading ability nearly completely- perhaps that is a price you pay for being part of the AGW movement?
        And your shallow childish default position of calling those with whom you disagree ‘liar’ is the equivalent of showing up at battle of wits, witless.
        But it seems to fit you well.

      • hunter,

        Why would the CIA and others want to keep the UFO myth alive? What good reason would they have for this?

        But anyway my point was not about UFOs, it was that your mentality is comparable to that of a conspiracy theorist. You see AGW as a huge social movement, therefore when an independent analysis is produced which doesn’t suit your views you say it can’t really be independent because those who produce it are obviously part of the huge social movement.

      • According to the history, it kept people from looking at the actual technologies and weapon systems causing the reports. It was a fun distraction.
        The habit started in 1947 with the infamous weather baloon coming down at Roswell, NM when it was misreported as a flying saucer.
        One of the best books on the UFO myth is “Watch the Skies!”

        As to my view, I would suggest that it has been justified so far by the evidence.
        As to whether or not my view is unique, I would suggest looking in a mirror.
        I am convincable that we could be facing a cliamte crisis caused by CO2.
        None of the promoters of that who claim to be scientists have yet to produce credible evidence of it. All they offer are predictions that fail and are rewritten, trends whose margins of error are greater than the trends they claim to show, and suppression and evasion of credible critical reviews.
        I would suggest that until you are willing to deal with those points, you are the one excercising confirmation bias.

      • hunter,

        About the UFO’s, fair enough, I guess that makes sense.

        I didn’t say that your view is unique – I see plenty of other examples, some of them worse. Some on the “skeptic” side are conspiracy theorists in the literal sense. But I don’t see where the evidence is that supports it – I and the people I know who accept that AGW is a threat (and as far as I can tell most of those I don’t know) have made that judgement based on our understanding of the science. That scientific case has been made clearly enough, it’s up to you whether you choose to accept it. I’m not sure what predictions you think have failed or what “credible” critical reviews have been suppressed.

      • aa,
        Thanks for taking the time to follow the examples I was tyring to use.
        Yes, some skeptics and believers are deep into conspiracy stuff- Bilderbergers, Koch brothers, 911 truthers, MIB, JFK Protocols of the Elders, etc. I have no patience for that bs.
        As to the routes we took to get to wear we are in this great disputation, exploring that will be interesting.

      • Every piece of information which contradicts your POV is further proof of the extent of the conspiracy.

        lol!

        Good observation.

      • Joshua,
        And you guys live by that rule daily here and elsewhere with your community’s continuous whine about the ‘fossil fuel industry’ and the Koch Brothers.
        You really do not see how you and Robert and so many others are making self-parodies of your believer movement do you?

  10. Independent is not the same as ignorant. It helps to know an area to evaluate it.

    • Nor is independent the same as informed or credible.

    • “…none from universities, and no climate scientists”.
      “I think this assessment is particularly valuable in that it is an independent, outside look at the climate change situation.”

      Obviously, the fewer climate scientists and people from universities on a task force, the more valuable are its reports on the effects of climate change.

      Besides which, the private sector and the military industrial complex would certainly never condone anything that might lead to the politicization of an issue or restrictions on the flow of information.

  11. The military seems to spend a lot of time on: “what if” stories. Climate change is no less a “what if” issue than what will be the military response if Iran develops a nuclear bomb. Every type of scenario is possible. Only the political imperative is missing. Ultimately our military’s mandate is to : fight and win our countries wars. So the planning stage of almost all possible eventualities is visited and described. Unfortunately, almost all our military plans are based upon the last war. Future war is highly speculative. Any resources devoted to future wars is likely to be cut in Congressional budget processes. There just isn’t data to support one speculative scenario over another.There are some very bright people in the military. The hope is that there will be time for these bright people to develop strategies to adapt to the new war paradigm while we are actually fighting it. God bless and good luck.

    • I like this part:

      “Scientists are confident that unless man is able to effectively modify the climate, the northern regions such as Canada, the Europen Part of the Soviet Union and major areas in northern China will again be covered with 100 to 200 feet of ice and snow. That this will occur within the next 2,500 years they are quite positive; that it may occur sooner is open to speculation.”

      Andrew

      • Bad Andrew,
        What is annoying is the cynical game so many play pretending that the great ice age fear was not widely supported in the science of the day.
        It would be far better to admit they were wrong and explain why they are now credible and go forward. But instead they think they can play memory hole and disappear the inconvenient past and just claim it never happened.

      • hunter,

        Not only that but these conclusions are presented with words like “confident” and “quite positive.”

        Oh my. Those poor folks living 2,500 years (or less) from now better start worrying. If we could only beam these reports to them through a wormhole in time, perhaps they can be saved.

        Andrew

      • Hunter,

        “They predicted an ice age in the 70′s” ?

        Some did. Some didn’t.
        http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/Myth-1970-Global-Cooling-BAMS-2008.pdf

      • “They predicted an ice age in the 70′s” ?

        Actually they were comparing the present “ice age” on Earth eg Sagan 1973 .

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v243/n5408/abs/243459a0.html

      • Hunter, sorry, I didn’t have the time to find the section BA was quoting. However, while predicting CAGCooling leading to an imminent ice age might have been twaddle, but I’m not sure this is an instance of such a prediction. Being confident of a return to ice age in 2,500 years doesn’t sound quite so daft, and may even be quite a sound, and suitably uncertain, assessment of the likely trajectory of the climate. It looks a lot more credible to me than “we’re all gonna fry”, surely?

      • sorry, that should read “However, while predicting CAGCooling leading to an imminent ice age might have been twaddle, I’m not sure this is an instance of such a prediction.”

      • TomFP,
        Either way, the climatocracy for decades has been making useless predictions of doom and has offered us little if anything that has actually allowed us to make good policy decisions.
        As Andrew Adams demonstrates above, the believer thought process filters out all of the useful ideas early that leaves only CO2 obsession and apocalyptic clap trap remaining.

      • “I didn’t have the time to find the section BA was quoting.”

        TomFP,

        Page 18, para. 4.

        Andrew

      • Hunter, thinking a bit more about this CIA/climate thing – it’s actually the job of agencies like the CIA to investigate SWAGs like CAGW, and to look for Black Swans. And since SWAGS are their meat-and-potatoes, and the people that pay them expect them to be spending their time and money investigating theoretically plausible but highly improbable threats (as I believe CAGW to be), one might expect them to be less prey to the Certainty Monster than climate change “scientists”, who have to feed it scary certitude to get their grants renewed.

        Compared to the sums spent on buttressing climate alarmism, the cost of the work done on climate by the CIA and its international counterparts is probably paltry – and on reflection is surely a fair measure of what it’s actually worth spending IN TOTAL to respond to the “threat” of global warming.

        Personally, I’m beginning to feel that a world in which the ONLY people spending money on climate catastrophism were the security agencies tasked with keeping tabs on theoretically plausible but highly improbable threats would be a world to which sanity had returned. Then maybe we’d get our climatologists, hydrologists and so forth back.

      • Tom FP,
        I am all for our intelligence agencies seeking to look over the horizon for bad surprises. It is their job and they manage to screw it up a lot.
        I just see the similarity between AGW and UFO’s and the research done by the same agencies on paranormal stuff as strikingly ironic.
        And to read the true beleivers like Robert, who are so reactionary as to miss the point so dependably is hilarious.
        Here is the conclusion for a UFO skeptic that I think sums up well some aspects of AGW true beleivers. Just subsititue “AGW believer” for UFO, and replace ‘climate’ for references to ET stuff:
        “It seems to me that the truth about UFOs is quite simple: it is rooted in human misperception, human self-delusion, and the quite natural human tendency to delude others. In other words, UFOs are a terrestrial phenomenon, not an extraterrestrial one. By studying UFOs we learn not about extraterrestrial life or interstellar travel but about human nature.”
        http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/ufoindex.htm

      • Climate is not modified as on Fujitsu air-conditioner. More water storages on land, more H2O in the air and in topsoil = climate improves. Provides more raw material for the polar caps to keep replenishing the ice. Less water on land / in the air = climate deteriorates. Dams are built by working people, not by manipulators in shonky climatology. Would climatologists let to be upstaged by working people – not on their free will… If ”intentional misleading for soliciting cash” becomes illegal again, would be great success.

  12. I wonder what the CIA has on climate pests such as McIntyre and Watts?

  13. The CIA is FOI proof, but I wonder if foreign operatives use FOI requests to gather non-sensitive intelligence that otherwise wouldn’t be available.

  14. Earth Orientation Parameter (EOP) experts know far more about terrestrial climate than climate scientists do.

  15. I was surprised and impressed by the comprehensiveness with which the Defense Science Board addressed both currently observed and potential future impacts of climate change and its strategic implications, with data as recent as mid-2011. I noticed a number of conclusions likely to be controversial, but in general, the assessment seemed well based on the cited evidence. It was also interesting that much attention was focused on Africa as a potentially unstable region and hence a national security concern.

    • Yes, the Defense Science Board appears to be on top of things. Unless I missed it, there was no reference to the MWP, probably because it’s irrelevant. The Medieval Warmers aren’t going to like that.

      • Say M. carey, let’s drop the big one now…

        I wonder how they were going to change flight crews?

      • Thats a good question, Tom.

        Were nuclear-powered locomotives also proposed?

        That looks like a B-36 at around 6: 27 and again a little later.

      • The good ol’ B-36

      • hunter, thanks for the video. It brings back memories of Carswell. The B-36 quickly became obsolete. It had a very short service life compared to the B-52.

      • M. Carey,
        Watching that video clip from that great movie, it is obvious why the airplane had a short service life: It was way to clunky, and had way too many engines and even types of engines.
        A crew of techs just to get it running- wow.
        But is was amazing, simply amazing.

      • You are probably very disappointed that they don’t say current changes are ‘unprecedented’ either.

        Because whether it is or isn’t is also irrelevant for practical purposes.

      • I want my MWP !

      • No worries. It’s there all right. The MWP hasn’t gone away.

        Unless the ‘Well-Funded Big Oil Denier Machine’ has secretly invented Time Travel and gone back to induce all those old scribes and farmers to plant false clues and artefacts under the ice and put it in old writings just to annoy the Warmists

        But if I had invented a Time Machine, I could think of many better and more spectacular things to do with it :-)

      • I want my MWP

        I want my MWP

  16. Judith,
    “This particular assessment considers climate change (regardless of cause) as a practical problem, rather than as a political issue.”

    Well yes of course its a practical problem. But why should including the cause make it any less of a practical problem, and any more of a political issue?

  17. Why does this remind me of when Hanson claimed the Bush administration was “gagging” his constitutional right speech- or such idiocy.

    Does anyone realize who is the most senior executive of CIA.
    Hint, same guy who is the commander in chief.
    The same guy who was going to stop the ocean from rising- the genius
    who would save us.

  18. What they didn’t say was that if a charismatic figure like Adolf Hitler was running all of the Wall Street occupiers would have their new socialist workers party hero.

  19. As a front, CIA might have a ”weather girl” but at the back rooms; CIA’s expertise will be used: 1: to monitor blogs that don’t walk the line, what IPCC expects them to do. 2: when some Skeptic discovers real proofs – to be sabotaged, or accused for subversion / sedition… Why CIA wasn’t given that job before Obama?!… No reward for guessing correctly.

    • stef, you sound a lot like Hugh Chavez. Listen to his comments about Obama during his speech at COP 15

      http://webcast.cop15.dk/kongresse/cop15/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=2720&theme=cop15

      • Me like cammarad Chavez; should I take it as a compliment? Chavez was against Bush even more… I am not interested in politics; only exposing the misleading about the essential CO2. Obama and Chavez have in common; they are both 25% made of carbon. Probably both of them don’t know about it. IPCC will not tell them… why…?

      • Chavez seems paranoid about Obama in the COP 15 speech.

      • Dr. Curry,
        I see my Chavez remark was a snide too far. Sorry about that.
        Chavez has done some things to members of my extended family and his Kleptocracy really annoys me.

    • 2: when some Skeptic discovers real proofs

      I would really like to see this proof if it exists.
      First they have to learn how to work their way out of a paper bag.

    • Stefan -

      1: to monitor blogs that don’t walk the line, what IPCC expects them to do. 2: when some Skeptic discovers real proofs – to be sabotaged, or accused for subversion / sedition…

      Be afraid. Be very, very afraid.

      I’d say that it’s most likely that they’re already monitoring Climate Etc. even as I type. Why do you think I’m making fun of “skeptics?” Deep down I know that they’re right, but I don’t want the CIA coming down on my ass.

      • Joshua –

        I’ve dropped into this thread to apologise for my ranting of a few days ago.
        I have no excuses. I’m aware that you appear to have a fairly thick skin as far as insults are concerned, but it was abusive nonetheless.
        I apologise.

      • Anteros –

        Thanks, but quite honestly, I don’t even know what you’re referring to. At least give me a link!

        No problem.

        You have made it clear that at least at times, you’re interested in engaging in respectful dialog. We all go overboard at times. It’s part of the problem, but I would also argue benefit (we can stretch our thinking beyond what even we believe is reasonable in hindsight) of internet bickering.

        I don’t take Internet insults seriously anyway. It is meaningless to me if someone who doesn’t know me at all formulates an opinion as to my character. It tells more about them – a proclivity towards facile reasoning – than it tells about me. But when they come from someone interested in dialog, they don’t even reflect an overall tendency towards facile reasoning.

      • Joshua -

        I agree with your summation. Perhaps it isn’t obvious, but I’ve been making comments on blogs for only a couple of months… My first observation was how extraordinarily rude, sarcastic and petty everyone seemed to be. I was astonished – and had no suspicion that such behaviour could emanate from me. I imagined I’d communicate in the same way I do face to face……

        Obviously my naivety is wearing off and now I’m understanding both the power and the lure of snark and unpleasantness – if that isn’t putting it too strongly. My lesson is that like bullying, it doesn’t necessarily leave a good taste.

        If it wasn’t obvious, I’m referring to the out-of-control vitriol (mostly made up) about the emotional dispositions of environmentalists. I very much got ‘carried away’ with my invention and bile – the pleasure of malevolent invention perhaps…. quite a lesson.

        I should probably have a couple of weeks of grown-up civilities with Fred Moolten to redress the balance. And then return with the knowledge that insults are always an option, but you can’t outrun karma [or some such]

        OK. Back to the fray…

      • Ah – OK. Now I remember. And I remember that your vitriol seemed out of character.

        Something for you to think about.

        A friend whom I respect deeply died the other day. An extremely kind, thoughtful, intelligent, and humorous person. Someone I truly admired:

        http://articles.boston.com/2011-11-17/bostonglobe/30410885_1_cholera-outbreak-climate-change-algae-bloom

        Now certainly some would characterize him as an environmentalist, or a “warmist,” or other such branding — used for venting vitriol born from reasoning. Now I respect that people might disagree with his (carefully researched) science, but knowing the man personally, I take the personal vindictiveness of vitriolic generalizations about environmentalists or “warmists” for what they’re worth:

        Nothing.

      • “…born from motivated reasoning…”

      • Josh,

        Bravo! A great, great comment. Also, got a chuckle out of your comment about showing the code and conspiracy theories.

      • mike –

        Anyone that gets my jokes clearly has a good sense of humor.

  20. Intelligence work and climate science have a lot in common. They both involve grappling with uncertainty, trying to make sense of a signal amid the noise of ambient data and preparing to fight threats to country.

    According to the data:

    There is no uncertainty.

    The signal is clear from the noise.

    The signal shows the following single pattern:

    http://bit.ly/sxEJpK

    This pattern shows a long-term global warming rate of 0.06 deg C per decade with an oscillation of 0.5 deg C every 30 years since 1880.
    Recent observations show the continuation of the above pattern:

    http://bit.ly/szoJf8

    As the global mean temperature data shows a single pattern since 1880, there is no evidence of change in the global mean temperature pattern with increase in human emission of carbon dioxide.

    As a result, there is no evidence for any threat to any country.

  21. Considerate thinker

    I think by far the most interesting research is that background checking and observations of the political implications and affiliations of those that find their niche in political activities masked by concerns of climate and may be less motivated to protecting American interests. Some of those interests reach back in time to the so called cold war and evaluations of warnings that the USA was vulnerable and opinion divisible on green issues to the point that its economy and political purpose could be weakened by key activist’s within those organisations. I would not expect that such research, identification and suggested counter measures could ever be made public. Then there is use of weather in warfare, or gaining advantage, probably backed by a lot of speculated and out there research, and that of course would remain highly classified.

    So what could be released, the cold hard facts, well those should be on public record anyway or filed within the open archives of the government, as you would not expect the CIA to release strategy documents that could be used adversely to attack or negate US interests.

    Just my thoughts, pondering the subject!! as an observer and outsider from another country.!!

  22. “Currently no coherent, integrated climate information system capable of generating reliable, sustained, and actionable climate data and projections exists. ”

    There are no unicorns no matter what some might believe.

    • cwon14

      There are no unicorns no matter what some might believe

      Yeah. But the reason for this is my handy, long-effect, “Miti-corn” unicorn repellant spray.

      All you need to do to protect yourself from this threat is to spray your lawn once every five years.

      I can send you a 5-year supply with spray gun for $50.00 plus handling and shipping…

      It’s known as “mitigation”.

      Max

  23. Bussard Fusion Update 11/11/11

    Up thread where Fred quoted Bill Gates R&D call for new forms of energy, this one is of great interest, not least of all because the physics involved are so simple as to be at the high school level to understand even if the engineering is beyond us for the moment.

    The history behind why the navy is funding it and why it’s funding is so low is very interesting and illuminating, but that’s not mentioned in this article. I would recommend finding out – it’s a gripping story.

  24. Well, Mother Jones better get used to it.

    The CIA has studied all sorts of (sometimes real goofy) threats and pseudo-threats to US security (while occasionally dropping the ball on the real “black swan” threats out there)..

    It’s their job.

    Today it’s “climate change” (threats from extreme warming).

    For several decades it was “UFOs” (potential invasion by extraterrestrials).

    Cover-ups? Withholding of vital info? Shutdown of urgently needed studies by political opponents?

    Sometimes these studies finally get de-funded and shut down (especially if it appears that the “threat” was only a paper tiger).

    As with the current climate change cover-up allegation, the same was said about the UFO stuff.
    http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/government.htm

    Yawn!

    Max

    • manacker,
      According to andrew adams you are just pushing conspiracy theories.
      Which is hilarious from a guy who relies on the vast fossil fuel industry conspiracy to explain away skeptics.

  25. It is always in the interests of the government (any government) to ensure that the populace is, at minimum, in a state of slight unease. Fear of an amorphous, vague foe is better still. This makes people more willing to part with taxes in the hope that the government will “do something about it”. Now that the Evil Empire is no more, the US government needs a new common enemy. It tried “global warming”, but too many people didn’t buy it – possibly because the US hasn’t been warming. It tried “climate change”, but people pointed out that the climate is always changing, so what’s new? It has tried “terror” aka terrorism, but found out that people got more enraged at the hassles at airports than grateful for government protection. Looks at the moment as though China may be the next faux bete noir.

    That’s my take on climate change and the CIA.

  26. These sentences “This report describes observable climate change and its consequences.” And “Hence, while the historical and recent trends seem clear, and consequences are visible in many parts of the world today,” stand out to me as being rather arrogant and sure. I up to this point understood that current observable “weather” events could not be conclusively linked, or attributable to AGW. If the hypothesis holds true, the predicted consequences are only projected/ prophesied to occur in the future. Where are we currently observing the consequences visible in many parts? Glacier melt? Arctic ice? Droughts? Floods? From what I understand all these phenomena have occurred in greater or smaller magnitudes since before Moses. I do not dispute that a warmer earth may exacerbate all or some of these events, but to pronounce that climate change and its consequences are currently visible implies that a) it is attributable b) it is distinct (from natural).

  27. When the CIA studied ESP and paranormal, the ESP believers got all excited also.
    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/culture/articles/030127/27stargate.htm
    There have even been several exciting TV series based on the idea.
    In the future we can have some brave FBI agent fighting against the Koch brothers and the “fossil fuel industry” thugs as he and his lovely but platonic love interest and he uncover and nearly break open the vast conspiracy every week.

    • Same realm as Star Trek, time travel and quantum dimensions?
      Mind you, Star Trek had these cool communicators that would have been great in the future….hey wait a second… :-)

  28. Judith,

    The more the planet changes, the more it makes sense to what it is trying to achieve.
    The sole purpose of an Ice age is to re-leave pressure buildup over a long period of time. This is caused by overheating.

    We have a 6mm sea surface drop in the oceans this year. That is 3 times what was rising before.
    This all deal with the surface face of evaporation.
    An example is a tall glass of water evaporation compared with a pie pan to evaporate. It is the face surface distance compared with volume with less face surface. This gets into pressure difference in a tall glass compare with the surface pie pan. Weight of water on top of each other.

    The surface volume at the poles that was melting was very small. Had a small window space of tilting time for melt and has a small face of volume compare to an ocean.
    Much of the lower latitudes salt became denser on the surface. This inhibited evaporation while the higher latitudes became fresher. This opened the face of ocean volume surface water to evaporation.

    We can expect MASSIVE precipitation events occurring this year due to the amount of ocean water our atmosphere picked up.

  29. This particular assessment considers climate change (regardless of cause) as a practical problem, rather than as a political issue.

    What does that mean? The report focuses primarily on the effect of climate change on political stability, the effect that that will have on national security, and the options available to America’s political leaders to address various threats. How is that not political?

    Seeing climate change as a practical problem rather than a political issue is how climate scientists see it — leading to proposals to slow the release of greenhouse gases, a practical solution. (Trying to cope with the impacts on a case-by-case basis as the world warms for the next several hundred years is not a practical solution.)

    Dr. Curry has previously alluded to her belief that “skeptics” are focused on science whilst climate scientists and the “convinced” are focused on politics. This is exactly backwards.

    “Skeptics” are “skeptical” primarily owing to a political orientation in which they view all practical problems through the prism of right-wing ideology — collective political action to solve problems is evil, therefore all reality must be reshaped so as to argue that such action is unnecessary and wrong. Science, which demonstrates the need for action to regulate harmful environmental degradation, becomes the enemy.

    Climate deniers are primarily responsible for politicizing a practical problem. Kowtowing to their prejudice (and ignoring prevention as a strategy) is an impractical and highly political choice.

  30. “Skeptics” are “skeptical” primarily owing to a political orientation in which they view all practical problems through the prism of right-wing ideology —”

    I’m sure you find this a comforting notion, but it’s simply not true. I’m a liberal guy and for the most part detest modern conservative politics. The current lineup of Republican presidential aspirants is to my mind, sad. And yet I’ve come to a deeply skeptical position when it comes to “climate change.”

    Political philosophy certainly provides a great deal of the subtext for many skeptics, especially with respect to what would be necessary to mitigate Co2 levels. (See Naomi Klein’s essay). But generally speaking, skepticism is primarily driven by the failure of the warmists to make their case scientifically. Were that not the case, skepticism would not be growing in the way it is.

    • The case has been made scientifically. That’s why the Nations most prestigious scientific body, the National Academy of Sciences, accepts the science. I doubt you can find a scientific society of standing that doesn’t accept it.
      But you can find many right-wing political organizations that deny the science because it’s inconsistent with their ideology.

      Science in conflict with ideology is nothing new.

      • “the Nations most prestigious scientific body, the National Academy of Sciences”

        Ooooooh, I’m impressed! Tell us more!

        Andrew

      • How do you impress a moron? Give him a ballon?

      • What worked on you? ;)

        Andrew

      • Since you asked

        http://dels.nas.edu/Report/America-Climate-Choices-2011/12781

        here is a snippet

        “The risks of continuing “business as usual” are greater than the risks associated with strong efforts to limit and adapt to climate change. Policy changes can potentially be reversed or scaled back if needed, whereas many adverse changes in the climate system would be difficult or impossible to “undo”.”

      • The reliance of believers on arguments from authority is interesting.

      • Arguments from authority are based on common sense. I don’t ask my mechanic for medical advice, and I don’t ask my doctor about car maintenance.

        When it comes to climate science, I listen to climate scientists, not ideologues who deny science because it threatens their ideology.

      • M. Carey,
        There is little of common sense in the AGW community.
        But you do let English majors like Chris Mooney or retired politicians like Gore set the AGW agenda. and you do find Hansen talking about species extinction credible when he is not a biologist.

      • hunter, I’m not an English major. I’m just an old farm boy who knows BS when he sees it. You and a few other self-identified skeptics here make me want to reach for the shovel.

      • when it comes to statistics do you listen to a statistician or some who admits they are not a statistician?

      • M. Carey: “Skeptics here make me want to reach for the shovel”

        Shovel ready science! I dig it, M. Carey! Let’s call a spade a spade–a whack in the face with a shovel is an appeal to authority that even those dug-in “deniers” , unreachable by conventional Lysenko science, can understand. I get it!

      • hunter wrote:

        But you do let English majors like Chris Mooney or retired politicians like Gore set the AGW agenda.

        To be perfectly honest – I was not aware that M. Carey was responsible for letting those people set the “AGW agenda”.
        And here I thought that climate science had something to do with all those publications full of measured data and graphs and math and other ‘science-y’ stuff.
        Your view of things makes so much more sense.

      • M. Carey,
        >sigh< I was referinfg to the AGW community.
        I wonder if a study could be done to show the apparent correlation between the lack of reading comprehension and AGw belief?
        I listen to people like Pielke, Sr., our hostess, Lindzen, Spencer, Neils-Gammon, and others. I was not aware they are anti-sicence, and I bet they are not aware they are either.
        As to ideologues, do you mean people like Hansen, or Romm, or the nobel prize winning Al Gore, or books written by their pal chris Mooney?

      • hunter -

        I wonder if a study could be done to show the apparent correlation between the lack of reading comprehension and AGw belief?

        Why not?

        No doubt, there is a strongly positive correlation – but pinning down the exact degree is an important piece of eliminating uncertainty in the climate debate.

        In fact, I’d suggest that you conduct such a study. I’d trust your objectivity implicitly. Let us know once you’ve completed the study.

        And don’t forget to provide your code.

      • Stevan Mosher said:
        “when it comes to statistics do you listen to a statistician or some who admits they are not a statistician?”
        ____

        Since statisticians are not all of the same mind, I favor statisticians who tell me what I want to hear.

        Sometimes statisticians get my curiosity up. Statistician Ed Wegman (in reference to Mann’s original Hockey Stick) said:

        “Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science”

        That got me to thinking about what’s more important, the right answer or the right method?

        I haven’t decided yet, but I am going to give it serious thought.

      • Intellectually undead. Sad.


  31. Dr. Curry has previously alluded to her belief that “skeptics” are focused on science whilst climate scientists and the “convinced” are focused on politics. This is exactly backwards.

    But Dr Curry herself is a climate scientist and this blog is overtly political.
    What more evidence do you need?

    • As someone on the outside looking in, my first reaction to the words and behavior of the climate establishment was exactly as Dr Curry has it. She is right. You are wrong

      • Well. Thank you so much for your opinion of “the words and behavior of the climate establishment” based on your first reaction.

        Does your ‘outsider’ perspective also allow you to rapidly determine the veracity of other scientific disciplines, such as, say epidemiology?

  32. Hi Fred,
    “As I interpret the above, it claims because we can’t devote unlimited (“open-ended”) effort to climate change, that we should therefore ignore mitigation and focus exclusively on adaptation”

    Not at all — although it is understandable that you interpreted it this way given how it was presented in this post.

    That is a section of the report that mostly discusses the need for more planning for adaptation and less emphasis on traditional ‘disaster relief’, since ‘returning to normal’ as quickly as possible does not make sense in this context. However, the report actually demands mitigation as well as adaptation measures from government and makes the need for both very, very clear from the perspective of not only the science, but fundamental security and human rights issues.

    Most people are able to understand that a combination of mitigation and adaptation means less future suffering and less need for future adaptation. From an economic standpoint, it’s not just about resource conflicts: it’s about how severely economic growth in both developing countries and industrial economies can be disrupted by climate change.

    In this report, the participation of the U.S. in mitigation/global emissions reduction is informed by comprehensive multi-dimensional assessments of the domestic and global economic sustainability.

    Yet Judith has frequently on ClimateEtc personally argued against mitigation measures and has tried (very unsuccessfully) to base this in the science and on economics.

    This report and many other similarly comprehensive reports around the world help explain why what she has personally argued is ill-informed not just in relation to the most current science, but also with regards to aequately understanding so many inter-related fronts (e.g. economics, agriculture, public health, security).

    • Martha,
      Please show us your best evidence of mitigation working technically or economically.

      • a) You are not Fred b) familiarize yourself with the reports that are discussed c) major analysis does not constitute ‘my’ evidence, it is what we can all read and evaluate d) it is unreasonable to expect others to repeat things just for you e) you have not read previously provided links to the work of major economists in the U.S. or to major analyses by MIT, Tufts, or e.g. OECD and UNDP or discussions of these, so it makes no sense to provide you with any more information when a lack of information is not apparent.

      • Martha,
        I can imagine how Martha would like to be dressed as she disciplines me so strongly.
        Perhaps she is going to stalk me as she has our hostess?
        It is a disturbing thought……..

      • Dear hunter,

        If you prefer, I can take Martha’s place.

        I’m not sure I will fit in the outfit you’re fantasizing about, though.

      • willard,
        yecchhh.
        You may have missed Martha’s….odd…..earlier fantasies regarding our hostess. Sorry you missed out on that.
        I am sure there are some posters here who would love to have you play Martha with them. Unfortunately for you and fortunately for me, I am not one of those people. But thanks for the kind offer. ;^)

      • Martha,
        Nice dodge- I thought you would choose to do so.
        Cheers,

  33. There were several key factually correct statements in the post:

    “Currently no coherent, integrated climate information system capable of generating reliable, sustained, and actionable climate data and projections exists. The majority of observational assets and many of the modeling assets are intended primarily for exploratory science rather than for supporting operational, long-term climate assessments.”

    DoD and CIA are tasked to perform situational analysis, threat assessments, and contingency planning from the perspective of protecting United States interests. All other major powers do the same thing, but to a much lower degree.

    What is surprising in the article? Imo nothing was a surprise, but I happen to work in this arena. Sovereign nations, in this case the USA; is analyzing the quality of the current data available and potential options for the future. The key conclusions:

    1. “Many developing countries are unable to provide basic services and improvements”
    My analysis- This is obvious, it is unfortunate, and it is not a US problem to solve.
    2. “single greatest direct driver of impact on the human habitat is water–too much or too little”
    My analysis- Again, this seems pretty obvious, which is why having models that could actually predict the annual rainfall deltas as a function of future CO2 levels is critical to understand the real impact on humanity. Unfortunately, these do not exist today.

    3. The United States has neither the resources nor the influence for an open-ended commitment to addressing the world’s challenges
    My analysis- Again, seems obvious, but I would add the US does not have any responsibility to fund the problem in other nations either.
    The main point is that no one currently knows what the consequences of a somewhat warmer world will be (positive or negative) to individual nations so it is impossible to determine who will be helped vs. harmed. Nations that continue to have unsupportable population growth that do not construct proper infrastructure to protect their citizens will have the greatest problems. This will be true even if the climate remains static.

    • Rob,
      Excellent summary.
      From your analysis, it seems reasonable to point out that the AGW community has offered a great deal of verbosity and very little useful knowledge, but has made extreme demands for money and power despite these short comings.

      • Hunter

        Thanks. It would be great if those who fear cAGW would rationally address these undeniable points. I won’t hold my breath however

  34. Why doesn’t the CIA take their report about global cooling done in the early ’70′s and change cooling to warming and save millions of dollars. The effects they will report from a changing climate are the same.

  35. Are you using more fossil fuel and enjoying it less?

    Try using less fossil fuel, and use the money you save for fun things.

    Just don’t think about how you are destroying the economy and putting people out of jobs.

  36. It’s interesting that the Defense Science Board has arrived at a comprehensive analysis of observed and potential future climate impacts, and that coincidentally, an overlapping set of findings is emerging from an IPCC Special Report on Managing the
    Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)
    . At this moment, only the SPM is available, but one reason for providing the above link to it is that some news media and blogs appear already to be engaged in cherry-picking of items that advance their respective positions, and so the SPM is probably worth reading even before the full Report becomes available..

    I didn’t find any major surprises. With varying degrees of confidence, the SPM referred to evidence for increasing warm days and nights and high temperature extremes, vulnerability to coastal flooding, extreme precipitation events, regional droughts (but reduced drought elsewhere), and vulnerability to monetary losses due to increased population density in vulnerable areas. Uncertainties were emphasized over the magnitude of future natural variability that might dominate over anthropogenic climate change during some future intervals, and the analysis of uncertainty itself received some attention as the IPCC struggles with quantifying this concept.

    • Fred,
      They simply repeated the same flawed GIGO process and came to the same pointless conclusions.
      I wonder how much tax payer money went to provide an echo chamber for yet more AGW claims?
      Would it not be better, after all of the billions, to do a critical review of the basis of the claims, instead of simply accepting the premises of the AGW movement analyzing them in the same fashion and finding out that one arrives at the same conclusion?
      But AGW, like any other pseudo-religion cannot stand to have its tents critically reviewed.
      So instead we get endless derivative reports.
      Perhaps we can come up with a general AGW template, leaving space for date and sponsoring logo to be pasted in, with a smart document software to change out a few key words?
      Then these reports could be produced even more frequently but at much less cost to the tax payers.
      But then that would miss out on the fun of paying the day rates of these consultants and their stimulus of the economy as the get their consulting fees.

  37. All you settled science guys, pay attention.

    From the IPCC’s “The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation”…

    ““Projected changes in climate extremes under different emissions scenarios generally do not strongly diverge in the coming two to three decades, but these signals are relatively small compared to natural climate variability over this time frame. Even the sign of projected changes in some climate extremes over this time frame is uncertain.

    There’s a current post at WUWT on this, from whom I took the above.

    • See my Comment just above yours (at the moment), for details of the report along with a comment on cherry-picking by blogs with an agenda.

    • I’m looking at this now, post coming soon

    • pokerguy, I’m not sure what your point is. Theories are never settled. Theories are explanations, and explanations can change with new knowledge, albeit not necessarily the way you might like.

      Perhaps you read too much into the “science is settled.”
      Science can be settled on what’s likely. Science can’t be settled on what’s certain.

    • You address a post to “you settled science guys” – and then provide a quote that shows that no one (not even the evil IPCC) considers that the science is “settled”…

  38. a.) Science is the Foundation of Real Political Power;
    b.) Political Power is the Foundation of False Science

    AGW critics will generally accept this dogma.
    AGW proponents will generally not accept it.

    CIA scientists know the outcome of WWII was decided by ability to grasp and utilize the enormous power of nuclear energy:

    A nuclear blast vaporized Hiroshima on July 6, 1945.

    Winners and losers of the AGW debate will also be decided by ability to grasp the power of the Sun and the way it controls Earth’s climate and sustains life:

    A powerful nuclear blast here five billion years (5 Gyr) ago:

    1. Made our elements;
    2. Gave birth to Earth and the Sun; and
    3. Still rocks the Earth-Sun system today.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1994RadAc..64..167K

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1994Data.htm

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1996Data.htm

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/05apr_pulsarplanets/

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/13dec_globaleruption/

    That is the reality that CIA scientists will explain to world leaders – if society survives its current widespread instabilities.

  39. Finally, a government report dared to state:

    some experts continue to assert that A1F1 paints a “non-credible” picture of future emissions: that fossil fuel use will peak early this century due to resource limitations.

    Decadal prediction is still very much in an experimental stage, and the degree of predictability of the natural variability at decadal timescales is still uncertain.

  40. The articles earlier cited in this post that state that increased CO2 in the atmosphere reflects more infrared radiation back to Earth are wrong on at least four counts:

    1. There is no way to determine whether infrared radiation coming to the Earth’s surface is reflected from above or is simply a component of solar radiation reaching Earth for the first time. The Sun emits all wavelengths of infrared, and there is nothing to distinguish the allegedly reflected infrared from that which comes from the sun. What appears to be reflection by CO2 can be attributed to changes in the mix of infrared coming from the Sun. Laboratory experiments which purport to show the reflective effect of CO2 are flawed, first and foremost, by not coming close to replicating the actual properties of the atmosphere.
    2. To the extent that temperature correlates at all with CO2 content in the atmosphere, it is now well established that increases in CO2 FOLLOW, not precede, rises in temperature – for the simple reason that the oceans and soil can hold less CO2 when they are warmed by the Sun or by heat transfer from the Earth’s interior. The alleged increase in infrared reflection ignores the simple fact that there have been many episodes, even during the last century, in which temperature has moved in the opposite direction from CO2 content in the atmosphere – most recently in the last 15 years, where atmospheric temperatures have actually slightly declined even though CO2 in the atmosphere has continued to increase.
    3. The heat retention properties of water vapor are such that H2O has dozens, if not hundreds, of times, the effect of CO2, to the point that the CO2 effect is statistically too insignificant for causation to be established.
    4. The theory of CO2 reflection of infrared does not and cannot explain previous warming periods in the Earth’s history, nor the warming of the oceans and soil by the Sun and by heat coming from the Earth’s interior, which are the real principal contributors to CO2 in the atmosphere.

    More of the same junk science and coercive politics masquerading as science.

    • Chad,
      Yes, there is away to determine if a set of photons are reflected from or re-emitted from CO2.
      It is called spectroscopy.
      But you do make some good points.

  41. It’s a little hard to understand the CIA”s involvement with climate change. Maybe they are checking out the backgrounds of “radical” thinkers for any subversive potential.

  42. M Curry wrote, in typically confused fashion: “The case has been made scientifically. That’s why the Nations most prestigious scientific body, the National Academy of Sciences, accepts the science. I doubt you can find a scientific society of standing that doesn’t accept it.”

    Just before he wrote: “pokerguy, I’m not sure what your point is. Theories are never settled. Theories are explanations, and explanations can change with new knowledge, albeit not necessarily the way you might like.”

    Either you believe, in a practical sense, that the science has been settled, or you don’t. You’re not sure what my point is, but I’m as sure as sure can be that you’ve spoken out of both sides of your mouth to suit your argument of the moment. How tiresome you folks are.

    • pokerguy, I am sorry I failed to explain it in a way you can understand. If you are a poker player, perhaps an analogy will help you understand.

      I am sure you have folded poker hands that seemed unlikely to develop into winners, even though you couldn’t eliminate the possibility of drawing out and winning. While it wasn’t settled that losing was certain if you stuck around and paid for more cards, it was settled in your mind that losing was likely.

      Similarly, with climate science, it is not settled for certain that CAGW on balance will be bad for mankind, but it is settled that it likely will be.

    • Either you believe, in a practical sense, that the science has been settled, or you don’t.

      That’s what happens when you spend all day and half the night basking in the eerie glow of an LCD display. The Boolean logic of digital computing seeps out of the machine and corrupts your very soul, until it convinces you of the truth of “either P or not P”. Very sad.

  43. Training in any and all of the fields of ‘intelligence’ — and by this I mean spying, covert information gathering, overt and covert intelligence actions, etc — causes permanent changes in thinking patterns of the trainee. I speak from personal experience. It matters little if the training is received from government agencies or the corporate world. It changes a person and their perceptions and understanding of the world around them.
    Witness the ongoing revelations of the depth of the phone hacking carried out by intelligence operatives of the News in England — they didn’t really think they were doing anything wrong and apparently still don’t — its not that they’re a bunch of crooks, its that they’re a bunch of spooks.
    That said, I wouldn’t want to read what the CIA folks have to say about the security issues raised — from their warped viewpoint — by climate change. For most of us, it would not inform us in any useful way.

  44. Dear hunter,

    Perhaps I can be a bit more explicit:

    Addressing a lady with sexual innuendos is not the way of a gentleman.

    • willard,
      That’s no lady, that’s Martha.
      Like I said, there is a context for my comment and I will leave it at that.

  45. Greenhouse effect due to MAN’s output has very little influence if none at all to the Global climate, this can be backed by science evidence and not by the mob’s opinion.
    The greatest impact is caused by the Sun’s actions and cycles short and long backed by the cycles of the Earth due to Continental Drift, shift in the Earth’s axis and Oceanic Cycles plus the position of our solar system as it moves in the spiral arm of the Milky Way (very long term).
    The important issue is to look at the science evidence and not on the emotional opinion of the MOB or the media or politics.
    The origin of our solar system from a supernova remnant may give us some understanding in the complexity of climate change.

    • Thanks, Harry. Unfortunately you are right! Society is on the verge of collapse, having lost confidence in world leaders and scientists who falsely claimed knowledge about the reasons for global climate change.

      1. The Solution: An admission of total powerlessness over the unstable energy source that powers the Sun and sustains our very lives.
      [That is almost impossible for inflated egos to do.]

      2. A Lesson from History: WWII was decided by ability of one side to grasp and utilize the enormous power of nuclear energy before the other: Atomic-bomb research was underway in many countries.

      2a. A nuclear blast vaporized Hiroshima on July 6, 1945.
      [The Japanese scientist who became my research advisor in 1960, Kazuo Kuroda, went to Hiroshima to study the explosion.]

      3. Winners and losers of the AGW debate will be decided by ability to grasp the power of the Sun and the way it controls Earth’s climate and sustains life:

      3a. By coincidence the US military brought Kazuo Kuroda to the USA after WWII, giving him the Christian name “Paul” on the journey. Professors Paul K. Kuroda and William A. Myers used the same techniques to identify a powerful nuclear blast that occurred here five billion years (5 Gyr) ago and:

      3b. Made our elements;
      3c. Gave birth to Earth and the Sun; and
      3d. Still energizes the Earth-Sun system today.

      4. Papers, Observations and Data:

      “Plutonium-244 fission xenon in the most primitive meteorites”
      http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1994RadAc..64..167K
      http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1994Data.htm
      “Nuclear fall-out particles trapped in meteorites”
      http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1996Data.htm
      http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2005/pdf/1033.pdf
      “Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda autobiography”
      http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2005/PKKAutobiography.pdf
      “Pulsar planets”
      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/05apr_pulsarplanets/
      “Eruptions rock the Sun”
      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/13dec_globaleruption/

      5. Conclusion: Society and world leaders should accept reality – Total powerlessness over the unstable energy source that powers the Sun, controls Earth’s climate, and sustains our very lives – To avoid social disruption. Society is now as unstable as the Sun.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver

  46. Thank you Oliver for your links and wisdom and I fully agree with what you say. Particularly trying to understand the full impact of the energy source from the Sun and how it affects our climate everytime it coughs.

    With the age of the NET, every Tom Dick and Harry(OOPs) wants to get into the act of directing their own information without science evidence.

    I’m just starting to learn.

  47. Hunter:

    Yes, I agree spectroscopy can identify the sources of photons by their wavelengths. My point, however, is that direct solar radiation will contain photons of the same properties as those attributable to the spectrum of a particular substance. Since the sun’s spectrum can be said to be the equivalent of white noise, because nearly every infrared wavelength can be found in it, in a wide variety of amplitudes, the observations of CO2 reflectivity in the atmosphere are necessarily distorted. Also, the total chemistry of the atmosphere affects reflectivity. You can get accurate measurements of CO2 reflectivity in the laboratory, but not in the atmosphere, with spectroscopy; it is impossible to model it accurately because ot the variability of atmospheric chemistry and the rapidity with which it changes over time. There are just too many variables involved here, and many of these variables simply can’t all be identified and included in the models. Therefore, the purported measure of CO2 reflectivity in the atmosphere on which the article is based is under suspicion of being simply the reflectivity found using an incomplete laboratory model.

    But whether or not the reflectivity is accurately measured, its effects on climate compared to other causes of change and determinants of temperatures are still negligible either way – and we should remember again that human activity plays next to no part in this, since whatever the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere happens to be is a function of these other causes.

  48. Apologies if someone else has already pointed this out, but the U.S. intelligence community has been trying to integrate climate change analyses into their analytic forecasts for some time now. See the National Intelligence Council’s Global Governance 2025 Report (2010) and Global Trends 2025 Report (2008) – http://www.dni.gov/nic/NIC_home.html.

    The National Intelligence Council (NIC) is the U.S. intelligence community’s “center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking. Its primary functions are to:

    * Support the DNI in his role as head of the Intelligence Community.
    * Provide a focal point for policymakers to task the Intelligence Community to answer their questions.
    * Reach out to nongovernment experts in academia and the private sector to broaden the Intelligence Community’s perspective.
    * Contribute to the Intelligence Community’s effort to allocate its resources in response to policymakers’ changing needs.
    * Lead the Intelligence Community’s effort to produce National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) and other NIC products.”

    I hope this is useful.

    MK

  49. Huh.

    A gem from the paper.

    Over the next few decades, AGW will be smaller than natural variability.

    I’d be very surprised if more than half of the spans of less than three decades experienced stronger AGW than natural variability.

    Natural variability is mainly cyclic (ocean oscillations, Hale Cycle), or one time short-term events (volcanic outgassing, extreme forest fire season), with the notable exception of truly large and so far unpredictable but definitely measurable solar phase changes.

    AGW is cumulative, and in any year about an order of magnitude smaller than the sum of the absolute values of all natural factors driving temperature from the mean..

    Since so many of them cancel out, on a half-century scale AGW will be an order of magnitude larger than natural variability.

    • It may be a bit off topic, but the greatest natural variation globally during timescales of less than millennia is probably seasonal – at least during recent centuries. Each year, global temperatures tend to average about 3 deg C warmer during Northern Hemisphere summer than NH winter. This is due to the greater land mass in the NH and also possibly to differences in sun/Earth geometry for the NH and SH.

      • Fred, You got snow too, huh?

      • Fred Moolten

        Not off topic at all.

        The North-South asymmetry (and even East-West asymmetry) is very important, if one ever hopes to use signal processing methods to extricate each signal in the temperature record from every other.

        Which I still expect is impossible.. but fun to try.

      • I agree as well. The analogy with signal processing is that we are trying to deal with a relatively weak audio signal that is riding on top of a significant 60 Hz hum.And that hum isn’t quite as predictable as we would imagine. That becomes a challenging demodulation problem.

      • WHT

        I once was able to do the math that explained why this would be impossible to achieve, as applied to electronics.

        And then I saw a tempest device in operation, which completely defied the equation.

        So when I say I expect it is impossible, I say this from the position of having been in an exactly parallel situation and seeing the impossible happen.

      • Even though the world and financial climates seem to support the stance that any Predictive equations will more than likely be as useful as a freezer in the north pole; its still better to have the best overviews. never the less– Every one especially AGW has an interest in the predictive nature.

        like you say, climates change. That includes the political.

        Ultimately I think GW might be losing battle.

      • Ted.

        It’s all moot.

        The JAXA IBUKI satellite has revealed that the West is a CO2 sink, and the undeveloped world a major source. So the only feasible mitigation scheme is the rapid industrialization of the under-developed nations (udn). Alternatively, if the net effects of CO2 turn out to be positive, the West will need to begin paying the udn for their output.

        Hilarious!

        When the gods make jokes, they don’t fool around!

  50. Naturally Bart.

  51. @WHT: The analogy with signal processing is that we are trying to deal with a relatively weak audio signal that is riding on top of a significant 60 Hz hum.And that hum isn’t quite as predictable as we would imagine. That becomes a challenging demodulation problem.

    WHT, I think we can all agree that seasonal fluctuations are (i) enormous, but (ii) predictable. The surviving life on Earth has adapted accordingly. Conversely, life that didn’t adapt didn’t survive.

    So let’s take the year as the atomic unit for climate. A millennium then spans ten octaves in frequency, down to the finest granularity capable of seriously threatening life on Earth today, the right hand end of Gaia’s sentries’ temporal keyboard if you will.

    How is the variance in temperature distributed across those ten octaves?

    (Recall that the 88 keys of a piano span only 7.3 octaves, and that signals concentrated in different octaves tend to be very close to orthogonal, or independent. Hence by Pythagoras it is their variances that add rather than their amplitudes, where variance is amplitude squared. With coherently related signals one adds their amplitudes, but when they are incoherently or orthogonally or independently related, one adds their variances or intensities. This is as true in physics as it is in statistics as it is in Euclidean geometry. Thus for signals from different octaves one needs to ask how their variances are distributed rather than their amplitudes.)

    Over a millennium, would you guess that the total variance in temperature during that period is equally distributed between the ten octaves? Or would you argue that certain octaves have somehow acquired more than their fair share of variance?

    And if the latter, which octaves would you finger as the variance hogs?

    All but the bottom three octaves, way down at the left end of the keyboard, will be in my AGU presentation in San Francisco next month. The missing three don’t particularly bear on the concerns currently being raised since they don’t become relevant until well into the 22nd century. I only brought them up (a) for perspective and (b) because a millennium is a nice round number for those with ten fingers who group their decimal digits in threes.

  52. OK…
    should have read your presentation comments Vaughan. Now I’m thinking I’m just an obvious idiot. Should have known I’ve really actually contributed nothing new at the level that really counts.

  53. This is not exactly on-topic but interesting none-the-less. I am a Nova Scotian grade 12 student, and, like many school boards, ours has a “school firewall” (or internet “filtering”, as some may call it. Or even just flat-out censorship. But anyways…). Ordinarily, although I do not like the concept (to say the least!), I do not mind too much the content filtered, as it has little effect on school-related topics. (It tends to be mainly webcomics, gaming sites, social networking sites, and the like – for example Youtube is blocked for students but not teachers, and Facebook is blocked for everyone including teachers.) Then I decided to visit your blog today, and noticed something. It appears that several of the individual full posts are blocked, with some recent examples being “Discussion thread: Durban, emails”, “McKitrick on the IPCC”, and “Expertise: breadth vs depth”. Does anyone have any ideas why?

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