Why climate disasters might not increase concern about climate change

by Judith Curry

Climate change awareness is complex and strongly mediated by socially constructed attitudes.  It is important to recognise that many of the social and cultural obstacles to belief are not removed by major impacts and may, indeed, be reinforced. – George Marshall

George Marshall has a very interesting essay at the blog Climate Change Denial, entitled Reasons why Climate Disasters Might Not Increase Concern About Climate Change.

From the home page of the blog:

This blog explores the topic of the psychology of climate change denial – with observations and anecdotes about our weird and disturbed response to the problem. It seeks to answer a question that has puzzled me for years: why, when the evidence is so strong, and so many agree that this is our greatest problem, are we doing so little about climate change?

My name is George Marshall- I am the founder of a climate change charity, the Climate Outreach Information Network.

Here are some excerpts from his essay:

In the wake of extreme heat, droughts, and Hurricane Sandy, many people are assuming that, at last, there may be the critical mass of extreme weather events that will tip public opinion towards action on climate change.

However this assumption deserves to be challenged. 

Disasters can reinforce social networks (and with them established norms and worldviews)

In disasters, especially in areas with strong communities, people tend to pull together and show a remarkable and inspiring sense of collective purpose.

We know, though, that attitudes to climate change are strongly correlated with political and ideological worldviews (see for example the work of Dan Kahan and the Cultural Cognition Project ).  We can therefore anticipate that a stronger cultural cohesion could make it even harder for ideas that challenge existing worldviews to be voiced or accepted- creating even further obstacles for the acceptance of climate change in societies that are currently skeptical.

And we could anticipate that extreme events might also reinforce existing concern in places that are already disposed to accept climate change.  

Disasters can increase social confidence and certainty.
Accepting anthropogenic climate change requires a high degree of self-criticism and even self-doubt. It requires a preparedness to accept personal responsibility for collective errors and for entire societies to accept the need for major collective change. And, inevitably, this process of acceptance would generate intense debate and conflict.

Disasters may very well do the opposite and provide proof of the worth of the existing social system- including the existing worldview and lifestyle.  The spirit of pulling together and moving on generates a consensus to suppress divisive issues and support the existing society. Areas of contention or disagreement are likely to be suppressed in the interests of social cohesion or out of respect to people who have offered kindness and generosity. After all, if your current society and economic model has served you well in a crisis you are surely less willing to accept change.

Disasters encourage powerful and compelling survival narratives (that can overwhelm weaker and more complex climate change narratives).

So a complex and challenging narrative [like climate change]  will have a very hard time being accepted as social truth when it is competing against strong, appealing and highly coherent narrative.

It’s a hard one to sell at the best of times, and a disaster is the very worst condition for this narrative because it is overwhelmed by a much more attractive story: “we support each other, we are surrounded by evidence of our love and kindness, we are tough, we faced a huge challenge and we won through…and we can do it again”. This does not just speak to local pride, but the much larger mythology of frontier town Texas.

Disasters are cyclical and create escalating baselines
Human psychology is strongly prone to creating patterns and comparisons based on the ‘availability’ of comparable events. In terms of environmental issues people tend to be very poor at noticing decadal change (and certainly intergenerational change) because of a shifting baseline.

Disasters create intense but isolated events after which things go back to ‘normal’. The pain and loss of the event generates an intensified desire that there be a ‘normal’ state to which one can return, making it harder to people to accept that there are larger changes underway. The desire for stability makes people more prone to see a disaster as being at the extreme end of natural variations (that is to say part of a normal cycle).

However, any extreme event has also created a new baseline. The next event will be measured against this baseline and, if this is equivalent or lesser will reinforce the idea that it was part of a normal cycle.  There is a good chance too that the collective learning and adaptation to the previous event will ensure that future events will be more manageable and have lower human and economic impacts. This too will reinforce ideas the perception that such events are not escalating.

The critical consideration in how events are perceived is the relationship between an event and the most recent comparable events, and the time that separates them. Events that are far apart are unlikely to be noticed, whereas we could assume a greater perception of change around events that are relatively recent, memorable, and clearly escalating.

Repeated disasters generate hopelessness and powerlessness

The ‘Paradise in Hell’ communitarianism pertains to events that are relatively rare anomalies in an otherwise confident and successful society. If extreme events occur with regularity – especially if they occur too regularly for communities and economies to recover fully- they could generate a sense of despair and helplessness.

I suspect that the most likely response to regular extreme events would be for people to move or to bunker down into inwards looking family and social groups. This in turn would work against the outward looking confidence required to take action on climate change. People may, under these conditions, accept the reality of climate change but if they do so they will have to accept that actions to mitigate emissions, even across the entire world, will not prevent further more extreme and severe events.

Different kinds of extreme climate may have different impacts on public attitudes

It is important to differentiate between different kinds of climate event and suggest that they may have different outcomes in public attitudes. Droughts and heatwaves are extended conditions that encourage the perception that there is a long term change underway (a change in the ‘normal’). What is more, although they generate solidarity in suffering there is far less of the ‘pull together’ cohesion that occurs in major disaster events. We could reasonably infer that they may be more likely to generate an increase in concern about climate change.

Conclusion
The relationship between climate disasters and perceptions of climate change is complex as it is mediated by socially constructed narratives.

This means that campaigners and communicators should be very wary of charging into areas affected by extreme weather events and assuming that they have fertile ground for increased activism around change. The very opposite may be true, especially if they are perceived as outsiders who are breaking into the community (which may never have been stronger or more united) and exploiting its suffering. It would be hard to imagine anything more counterproductive than an environmental activist organisation dropping a banner in the midst of a conservative community after a major disaster.

The critical condition for affecting longer term attitudes is the extent to which events are translated into a socially held narrative that speaks to people’s sense of their own identity. And this requires a steady long term approach – waiting until the dust has settled and working with trusted local communicators who can make a case that the single event fits into a narrative pattern of longer term change.

JC comment:  The scientific support for linking Sandy to AGW is weak to missing, at best.  On the issue of linking Hurricane Sandy to AGW, pbs.org has an interesting article titled Hurricanes and Climate Change.  It is fairly well-balanced for an article on this topic.  As a reminder, here is my own essay on the topic.

However, that does not stop scientists from pushing this link, presumably motivated by thinking that such a link will spur ‘action’ on climate change.  We can only hope that Marshall’s essay will have some influence on this strategy.  Not only does it apparently not work in terms of influencing ‘action’, but it can pervert science in the process.

The shifting baseline point is an interesting one.  This remark brings to mind the recent article in timesunion.com titled The storms of New York.  These include the great blizzard of March 1888, which motivated development of NYC’s underground transit system.    Torrential rains in March 1913 spurred engineering to regulate the flow of the Hudson River.   The 1938 hurricane motivated improved organization and coordination of federal emergency relief efforts.  NYC mayor Andrew Cuomo makes this statement:

“Anyone who says there is not a change in weather patterns is denying reality,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said after Sandy. New York has had two “hundred year storms” in two years, he noted.

We really need a better way of communicating the statistics of rare events.  The frame of ‘hundred year storms’ makes sense only in a stationary climate, and climate is not stationary even in the absence of AGW.

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494 responses to “Why climate disasters might not increase concern about climate change

  1. Again an article that comes from the world view that anyone who doubts any part of the “consensus” climate change story is defective in his/her thinking. Since this underlying view is invalid, the conclusions based upon it are also invalid.

    • I disagree, GaryW. Climate disasters will force world leaders and the public to admit a distasteful, but scientifically verifiable fact:

      One neutron captured by one U-235 atom on 6 Aug 1945 triggered a chain-reaction that destroyed Hiroshima, revealing mankind’s first brief glimpse of the powerful force of destruction and creation [1] that controls Earth’s climate and our collective fate:

      http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1807

      For that I am grateful,
      - Oliver K. Manuel
      PhD Nuclear Chemistry
      Postdoc Space Physics
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

      [1] “Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron J. 19, 123-150 (2012)

      http://redshift.vif.com/JournalFiles/V19NO2pdf/V19N2MAN.pdf

      • Jeff Condon visited Nature and confirmed:

        Nature is harsh, but benevolent if treated with respect.

        http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/camp-2012/

        Scaremongers, on the other hand, are deceitful, rapidly losing public confidence, and will soon be replaced if they do not adopt a policy of rigorous honesty

        For that I am grateful,
        Oliver K. Manuel

      • After the United Nations was established on 24 Oct 1945, the UN’s illusion of control over mankind and Nature – an insidious lie – was maintained by pseudo-scientific models of SSM (Standard Solar Model), ANNI (Attractive Neutron-Neutron Interactions), OSN (Oscillating Solar Neutrinos), and AGW (Anthropologic Global Warming).

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1807

        Thanks to Climategate emails, sixty-seven years (2012 – 1945 = 67 yrs) of deceit have been exposed.

        A time for Thanksgiving !
        Oliver K. Manuel

    • Fortunately for the world, new conceptions of solar physics and climate are being explored at the UN conference in Doha this week:

      • That’s cool.
        That kind stuff is possible.
        But instead launching these things from Earth, in future they could made
        and launched from the Moon.

  2. The scientific support for linking Sandy to AGW is weak to missing, at best.

    The scientific support for linking AGW to significant warming is weak to missing, at best.

    Warming did happen many times, as much and even more than now without manmade CO2.

  3. @- Herman Alexander Pope
    “The scientific support for linking Sandy to AGW is weak to missing, at best.”

    I am not sured what is meant by a ‘link’ in this context.
    What is uncontrovertibly true is that the sea surface temperatures, sea level and jet stream position were different from that which would obtain if we had not experienced several decades of exceptional warming, sea level rise and weather variability increases. All these objective physical properties of the context in which Sandy happened must inevitably have affected the nature of the storm.
    I don’t think there is a credible arguement the changed climate had a minimising effect on the nature of storm Sandy.

    @- “The scientific support for linking AGW to significant warming is weak to missing, at best.”

    Changes in upwelling and downwelling energy from the changes in CO2 levels don’t count ?!
    There is nothing weak or missing in the objective physical observations of that change in energy flow, and no doubt it is caused by the physical properties of CO2 as measured around the time of Darwin.

    @- “Warming did happen many times, as much and even more than now without manmade CO2.”

    It is a rather crass logical fallacy to derive from this fact that the present episode of global warming is therefore not caused by rising anthropogenic CO2.
    In fact the reality of past warming and the knowledge of what caused those events rather better informs the estimates that can be made in the present about the impact of rising CO2 as it indicates the sensitivity of the climate to small influences.

    • I have to comment on your statement on the scientific support for linking Sandy to AGW: “What is uncontrovertibly true is that the sea surface temperatures, sea level and jet stream position were different from that which would obtain if we had not experienced several decades of exceptional warming, sea level rise and weather variability increases.”

      You are claiming uncontrovertibly truths for a connection between “sea surface temperature, sea level and jet stream postion” and “several decades of exceptional warming, sea level rise and weather variability increases.” I am not going to argue whether your definitions of exceptional warming and sea level rise are connected to sea surface temperature and sea level but I do think that you should explain how AGW influences specific storms. Are you saying that were it not for the changes in those parameters that you ascribe to AGW that the storm itself would not have occurred? If on the other hand you are suggesting that changes in those parameters that you ascribe to AGW are exacerbating storms like Sandy I will grant you that sea level rise increased the storm surge impacts and that warmer water increased the strength of the storm. On the other hand could you please provide references to show how “several decades of exceptional warming, sea level rise and weather variability increases” influenced the jet stream? I find that claim way beyond the bounds of uncontrovertible truth.

      With all due respect, in my opinion the biggest impacts of the storm were more the alignment of factors than something that can be ascribed to AGW. The upper air pattern determined the motion of the storm and the timing of the storm relative to the tides and full moon maximized the storm surge. The storm was steered to the west by a blocking high pressure system to the northeast which may be unusual but is not unprecedented. The New York City mean tidal range is five feet so that if Sandy hit at low tide then the effect would have been much less. Without those other factors Sandy could very well have been just another storm at sea.

    • So 8 inches of higher sea levels can be identified as the root cause of the flooding that results from Sandy?

      Folks can argue physics all they want. I’ll stick with arithmatic. When faced with a combined storm & tidal surge of 14 ft, 8 inches doesn’t sound very significant.

    • Things are different now than they were during the little ice age. Things are similar to how they were in the Medieval Warm Period. We can take this back through many cycles in the past ten thousand years. When the same thing happens, time and time again, except for CO2, which is the only thing that is different this time, it shows very strongly that it does not matter what CO2 does, we are going to have warm and cold periods just like we have had for ten thousand years.

  4. However, that does not stop scientists from pushing this link, presumably motivated by thinking that such a link will spur ‘action’ on climate change.

    Or alternatively they just disagree with your assessment on this particular question. And the fact that it may not be possible to conclusively link individual extreme events directly to climate change doesn’t necessarily mean that they have no relevance to question of climate change and its possible consequences.

    On the subject of Marshall’s piece he does make some reasonable points, but it’s not really news that there is a section of opinion on climate change which will not be persuaded however convincing some of us believe the evidence and the case for action to be. The people who need to be persuaded are the wider public who are undecided or whose views in either direction are not strongly held. And his point that turning up on someone’s doorstep during an emergency and lecturing them about action on climate change might not be the best way of persuading them is just a statement of the bleeding obvious and, unless someone can point to actual example of this happening, a strawman.

    • andrew adams

      It probably never crossed George Marshall’s mind but have you ever thought that the general public may be more intelligent and better informed than George Marshall thinks?

      Just because they do not accept the scientifically undemonstrated notion that there is a link between extreme weather events and “anthropogenic climate change” (as George puts it) does not mean they are stupid or poorly informed.

      Many people who have given this a lot of thought have concluded that there is no scientific link.

      Max

      • Has it ever crossed a. a.’s mind that after many years of Warmers pushing a PC narrative about climate that people don’t notice that they are just pushing a PC narrative?

        Andrew

      • I dunno, has it ever crossed your mind that after many years of “skeptics” pushing a narrative that warmers are just pushing a PC narrative people haven’t realised that they are just peddling BS?

      • a. a.,

        Looking forward to you producing the evidence that settles this issue. ;)

        Andrew

      • Hansen, Sato & Ruedy (2012) is a good place to start. Plenty of *empirical* evidence there that extreme hot summer events are increasing in both area and frequency:

        “Climate dice,” describing the chance of unusually warm or cool seasons, have become more and more “loaded” in the past 30 y, coincident with rapid global warming. The distribution of seasonal mean temperature anomalies has shifted toward higher temperatures and the range of anomalies has increased. An important change is the emergence of a category of summertime extremely hot outliers, more than three standard deviations (3σ) warmer than the climatology of the 1951–1980 base period. This hot extreme, which covered much less than 1% of Earth’s surface during the base period, now typically covers about 10% of the land area. It follows that we can state, with a high degree of confidence, that extreme anomalies such as those in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010 were a consequence of global warming because their likelihood in the absence of global warming was exceedingly small. We discuss practical implications of this substantial, growing, climate change.

        Perhaps instead of concocting one of your trademark flippant but empty responses you could read HSR12 instead?

      • BBD,

        Hansen is a documented criminal. Why should I believe stuff he says?

        Andrew

      • You frequently make idiotic comments, but that one is even more cross-eyed and drooling than usual. I’d take it out to the back meadow and shoot it if I were you. Kindest thing to do.

      • Bad Andrew

        Hansen wrote some good stuff as did Dr Mann and others we might not always agree with. We must not dismiss ohem out of hand or underestimate their knowledge. Which is not to say they are always going to be right but they didnt get to their elevated status by being stupid.
        tonyb

      • “Hansen wrote some good stuff as did Dr Mann and others we might not always agree with.”

        I’m going to blame Brandon for letting The Vague Genie out of the bottle. This topic has come hopelessly under its spell. ;)

        Andrew

      • Bad Andrew

        A vague genie? A metaphor for our times

        tonyb

      • The Hansen paper is based on climate statistics. Even skeptics who don’t like models should be able to understand this one and replicate what he has done. They have so far not disputed the climate shift in probabilities documented or shown their own alternative way of doing such an analysis.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Since I’m the progenitor of the metaphor, I think I should make an alt named, “Vague Genie.” It could post seemingly on-topic comments with so little information and clarity as to contribute nothing but confusion, uncertainty, and perhaps a waste of time.

        And unlike half the posters on blogs, it’d be doing it on purpose!

      • BBD

        Yeah. I read that.

        It does not cite any empirical evidence that increased extreme weather is being caused by AGW. In fact, there is no evidence that severe weather events have increased as it has warmed slightly.

        After all, BBD, the global warming since 1850 was less than 1 degC, with much of this occurring at higher latitudes, so not really a big deal, right?

        Max

        Sorry.

      • Max

        Yeah. I read that.

        It does not cite any empirical evidence that increased extreme weather is being caused by AGW.

        This is embarrassing. Either you didn’t read the study and are telling porkies, or you did read it and didn’t understand what it said.

      • Max

        If you want to challenge a scientific consensus you have to advance a scientific argument. Any kind of argument would be a start.

        Where is your refutation of HSR12? Referenced from published literature, of course. Not contrarian blogs.

      • Andrew, I kind of agree, but take a different line:

        The AGW narrative keeps changing. First it’s droughts and warm, rain and floods, then cold winters are a result of it, then the Russian heatwave Katrina,.tornadoes, Sandy every event under the sun is used to push the CAGW meme. Even a child would soon cotton on to the fact that they were being sold a line when everything under the sun proves it.

        On the question of the Hansen paper, I’d just like to make three observations:
        1. We currently have a hiatus in the warming (which the UK Met Office told us was expected, post the event, like all the accurate Met Office forecasts) and the climate science community are telling us that there are unknown natural forcings at work. So the question is:

        “If there are unknown forcings driving down temperature, or at least holding it steady, how do we know that there aren’t unknown forcings driving it up?”

        2. Question 2. If there were unknown forcings driving up temperature, would Dr. Hansen’s paper show different results? It looks suspiciously like “proof of anthropogenic global warming is warming itself.”
        3. Is everyone comfortable with the fact that the highest land temperature have been recorded in places with few, and in the case of the Arctic, none, weather stations?

      • Max,

        I don’t see where Marshall is saying the public is stupid. And there is a difference between concluding that a link between AGW and a particular extreme weather event cannot be proved and concluding that there is no link. Also, you can’t just lump different extreme events together and make a generalised claim about all of them.

      • andrew adams

        I don’t see where Marshall is saying the public is stupid.

        “Stupid or uninformed” is a better description, andrew.

        From his article it is very clear that Marshall assumes that his position (“Texas fire was caused by anthropogenic climate change”) is the only valid viewpoint, ergo those local inhabitants who have not yet grasped this “basic truth” are either stupid or simply poorly informed.

        I’d say that’s gross arrogance on the part of Marshall.

        There are a helluva lot of very intelligent, very well-informed people who have concluded that there is no scientifically supported link between events such as the Texas fires and “anthropogenic climate change” (our hostess being one).

        Max

      • Max

        There are a helluva lot of very intelligent, very well-informed people who have concluded that there is no scientifically supported link between events such as the Texas fires and “anthropogenic climate change” (our hostess being one).

        You are missing something. I thought sceptics were all for empirical evidence as opposed to all this newfangled computer malarkey.

      • BBD

        I can show you a statistical correlation between the sales of McDonald’s “Big Macs” and global temperature, but that doesn’t provide any evidence of correlation.

        Same goes for Hansen’s “loaded dice” stats.

        It’s a typical Hansen “shell and pea” game.

        Max

      • typo

        ..but that doesn’t provide any evidence of correlation causation

        Sorry

        .

      • The basic idea from Hansen was quite simple, but the so-called “skeptics” seem not to have understood (or at least not admitted to understanding). The idea was that what was the top 1/3 warm summer temperatures in 1951-1980 now occurs 2/3 of the time in 2001-2010. The factor is even greater for more extreme summers. Easily understood in terms of a shifting bell curve.

      • “Jim D | November 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm |

        The basic idea from Hansen was quite simple, but the so-called “skeptics” seem not to have understood (or at least not admitted to understanding). The idea was that what was the top 1/3 warm summer temperatures in 1951-1980 now occurs 2/3 of the time in 2001-2010. The factor is even greater for more extreme summers. Easily understood in terms of a shifting bell curve.”

        Even if you assume this true [no evidence proving this], why does this matter, globally.
        And it seems much bigger affect is due to UHI. At most one talking about an amount of about 1 degree or two, and with UHI one talking about 10 C.

      • The biggest land temperature changes have been in Siberia and the Canadian interior and Arctic areas, but skeptics probably believe that this is due to the conversion of Soviet gulags into Russian villages, and who knows how they explain Canada. Meanwhile the US warming isn’t as fast as these areas. What happened to the US city growth?

      • “Jim D | November 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm |

        The biggest land temperature changes have been in Siberia and the Canadian interior and Arctic areas, but skeptics probably believe that this is due to the conversion of Soviet gulags into Russian villages, and who knows how they explain Canada. Meanwhile the US warming isn’t as fast as these areas. What happened to the US city growth?”

        Let’s again, assume you correct. Why does it matter if Canada interior in the summer has heatwaves. Anyone living there is no doubt delighted.

        As for Soviet gulags I hope most of them have been long abandoned, and will remain as monuments to human cruelty and stupidity.

      • I mention those to show the UHI argument has no foundation. There is warming globally, some areas faster than others, and not surprisingly the Arctic ice is melting in response to this and not UHI.

      • “Jim D | November 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
        I mention those to show the UHI argument has no foundation.”

        Yes, but I was trying ignore such foolishness. It is well known and indisputable that UHI does effect how warm a city gets during the summer and would add to severity of heatwaves.

        “There is warming globally, some areas faster than others, and not surprisingly the Arctic ice is melting in response to this and not UHI.”

        Obviously UHI isn’t having any measurable affect upon the arctic- as the arctic is well known to have very sparse human population- despite the Soviet effort to correct this.

        If the heatwaves and more warmer days is mostly in northern regions, it has even less effect upon global temperatures. Because summer like affects is shorter time period is northern regions, and one talking about a small region of the world.
        A much more significant effect in the arctic regions [and global temperatures] would be a warmer average winter time temperature. And it’s possible CO2 does affect this, unlike the idea warmer summers.

      • “And it seems much bigger affect is due to UHI. At most one talking about an amount of about 1 degree or two, and with UHI one talking about 10 C.”

        UHI does not by any stretch of the imagination typically register at 10C.
        You might see 10C in very extreme conditions

        1. very large cities ( UHI goes with the log of the impervious area )
        2. On summer days with no wind and no precipitation in the prior days.

        Basically you can get rid of a huge portion of UHI in the record by just throwing out large cities. There arent that many to begin with

      • -“And it seems much bigger affect is due to UHI. At most one talking about an amount of about 1 degree or two, and with UHI one talking about 10 C.”-

        UHI does not by any stretch of the imagination typically register at 10C.
        You might see 10C in very extreme conditions”

        Or higher in very extreme conditions:
        “Heat island intensity
        Heat island intensity is a measure of the strength or magnitude of the heat island. At night, the intensity of the canopy layer heat island is typically in the range of 1° to 3°C, but under optimum conditions intensities of up to 12°C have been recorded. The BLHI tends to maintain a more constant heat island intensity both day and night (~1.5° to 2°C)”

        http://www.actionbioscience.org/environment/voogt.html

        “An examination of summer mortality rates in and around
        Shanghai yields heightened heat-related mortality in urban
        regions, and we conclude that the UHI is directly
        responsible, acting to worsen the adverse health effects.”

        http://www.as.miami.edu/geography/research/climatology/shanghai_urban_heat_island.pdf

        “As UHIs are characterized by increased temperature,
        they can potentially increase the magnitude and duration of
        heat waves within cities. Scientists have also discovered
        that the impacts of heat waves on humans vary among
        different regions within a city. As early as 1972, Buechley
        et al. (1972) investigated the relationship between the heat
        island and “death island” and found that the mortality rate
        during a heat wave increases exponentially with the
        maximum temperature, an effect that is enhanced by the
        UHI.”

        “Yet many localities aren’t prepared for this eventuality: Stone and his co-authors examined the climate plans of 50 major cities and found that only one-quarter of them even addressed this growing urban heat island effect.

        In theory, there are steps that cities can take. More plants can cool a town down — both New York City and Los Angeles are trying to plant one million trees, for instance. Cities can also try to use more reflective material for their roofs and pavements, in order to reflect more sunlight rather than absorbing it. (Rooftop solar panels could help, as well.) Improved energy efficiency could reduce the amount of waste heat from buildings and factories. On average, Stone says, an aggressive strategy could cut the urban heat island effect in half, shaving 5°F to 7°F off temperatures on a hot summer afternoon for a large city. from exposure to extreme thermal conditions.”

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/07/26/study-most-u-s-cities-are-unprepared-for-future-heat-waves/

      • “…have you ever thought that the general public may be more intelligent and better informed than George Marshall thinks?”

        No. Intelligence is what it is and we’ve had plenty of time to observe it. The public in general turns on a dime in response to an event and the last thing the people want is to be informed–they want their choices and actions to be ‘rationalized’. Politicians and opinion-makers are very astute to this. No one is totally immune. It isn’t a matter of intelligence–it is a matter of behavior, and that is wired.

  5. Many people have heard the Chicken Little story.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henny_Penny

    Every time the AGW cult runs around screaming the sky ifs falling it just reminds sane people that climate scientists are not.

  6. Why not just stop all insurance. Everyone is responsible for their own loss. Very few homes would then be built on the coasts. Towns would take pride as they rebuild together after a big storm. Charities would help fill the voids like they always have. Scientists could grow fields of stuff too, in their spare time. Think of how much safer the streets would be, everyone would be into defensive driving for real over-night. Large risk takers would have to rely on God for salvation. Win, win, win.

  7. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    This part: “The relationship between climate disasters and perceptions of climate change is complex as it is mediated by socially constructed narratives.”

    Is covered as “the narrative fallacy” in The Black Swan, though from a slightly different context. The dangers to both causing the perversion of science and loss of true rational skepticism should be obvious..

  8. They are also saying it like the weather is on steroids. The problem with that is that they don’t know what effect this “steroid” really has. Rare events gain headlines making them seem common.

  9. An increasing number of researchers are projecting natural oscillations causing reduced warming or actual cooling in the next few decades. Global cooling with another glaciation in about 1500 years would appear to have a far greater consequence than global warming. Glaciers bulldozing Toronto would have greater impact than a few feet higher in sealevel. e.g. Finland lost one third of its population from a few cold years without adequate food storage. See:
    Neumann, J.; Lindgrén, S. (1979). “Great Historical Events That Were Significantly Affected by the Weather: 4, The Great Famines in Finland and Estonia”. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 60 (7): pp 775–787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0477(1979)0602.0.CO;2

    By contrast France lost only or 0.02% (14,802) in the heat wave of 2003,of its population – primarily from most caregivers having gone on vacation and for lack of air conditioning for the elderly.

    What will it take to achieve sufficient anthroprogenic warming to ensure that we will not descend into another glaciation?

    How do we raise sufficient awareness to quantitatively evaluate both natural and anthroprogenic causes with consequent variations in cooling and/or warming?

    • David L. Hagen

      Design Especially for Peak Natural Storm Surge
      Major benefits come from prudent design that accounts for natural storm surges. Sandy was not even of hurricane strength, but came on a high tide.
      Sandy came in on a new moon high tide giving a storm peak tide of 13 ft. The Great Gale of 1821 had a peak of 11.2 ft – however that was on a low tide. Had the 1821 gale come in on a new moon high tide plus the 1 ft of sea level rise since then, it would have been 8 feet higher for peak storm tide of 19 ft – six feet higher than Sandy’s 13 ft. The rise from global warming is almost insignificant Global warming is compared to the confluence of natural forces.
      As an example of prudent design/adaptation, see:
      After Storm, Dry Floors Prove Value of Exceeding City Code

      Reviewing projections for local sea-level rise, the company and its architects decided to elevate portions of the site to heights exceeding city requirements by four feet. Using recycled glass and crushed rock discarded from projects like the Second Avenue subway line, they raised the foundation for the plant’s four buildings and a dock.
      The fill added $550,000 to the plant’s costs of around $100 million, said Thomas Outerbridge, Sims Metal’s general manager.
      But it proved more than worth it. When a 12-foot storm surge swept through nearby streets and parking lots on Oct. 29, the plant’s dock and partly completed buildings did not flood.
      “It paid for itself long before we expected it,” Mr. Outerbridge said. “

  10. George Marshall

    I did six interviews in Bastrop: with the mayor, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, the editor of the local newspaper and with three people who had lost everything they owned in the fires.

    It was very interesting that not one of them could recall any conversation about anthropogenic climate change in relation to the fires. The mayor, who said he accepted climate science, found that there was little interest or willingness among people to make this connection and it seems he felt it politic not to push it.

    George Marshall actually seems surprised that no one made the connection between the fires and anthropogenic climate change.

    Maybe that’s because there is no connection , George.

    The folks there in Texas have seen fires before. They have seen droughts before. They have seen all kinds of extreme weather before. Nothing new here. Why in the world should they link this last fire to anthropogenic climate change?

    If you can show me empirical evidence of a connection between the recent fires in Texas and anthropogenic climate change, please do so.

    Until you do, I’ll react just like he folks in Texas did. It’s common sense, George.

    Max

    • David Springer

      manacker | November 23, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply

      “The folks there in Texas have seen fires before.”

      Fire suppression tends to intensify the ones that do happen. The hill country here is choked with Mountain Juniper (locally called “Cedar”). These trees have shallow roots, fully enclosed canopies, and drop needles that few other plants below them can tolerate. They’re a virtual tinderbox. I cut down, gathered, and burned hundreds of them. They burn intensely freshly felled. The trunks are covered with a peeling paper-like bark and the lower limbs are all dead and bone dry. Any tiny spark at ground level will have the Juniper canopy ablaze in seconds.

      I’m told that centuries ago before so much fire suppression (cleared areas mostly) these Junipers were not the dominant species and when a fire did happen most of the hardwoods would be spared because the blaze wasn’t nearly as intense. Deep rooted oaks and such will shake off the effect of a fire in a single year whereas the shallow rooted Junipers are toast (literally). So there’s very likely some unintended consequences from too much fire suppression in the Bastrop blaze. This was a well known problem in Southern California when I lived there. Lack of fires allowed dry fuel to build up decade after decade so when a fire finally did happen they’d be biblical.

    • George Marshall actually seems surprised that no one made the connection between the fires and anthropogenic climate change.

      Maybe that’s because there is no connection , George.

      Can you prove that?

      See here.

      • David Springer

        He doesn’t have to prove it. The null hypothesis (no anthropogenic influence) has 4+ billion years of history behind it. It’s up to climate boffins to prove the anthropogenic factor. Good luck! :mrgreen:

      • If you want to challenge a scientific consensus you have to advance a scientific argument. All else is blog commentary.

      • David Springer

        “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”
        ― Galileo Galilei

      • BBD

        It’s not up to me to “prove” that there was no connection between “anthropogenic climate change” (as Marshall calls it) and the Texas fires.

        If George Marshall is trying to sell the idea that there IS a link, it’s up to himl to provide the scientific evidence to support this link (which he obviously cannot do, because it does not exist).

        Have you got the evidence, BBD?

        (I didn’t think so.)

        Max


      • See here.

        Empirical evidence. Your refutation of HSR12…? Referenced from published literature, of course. Not contrarian blogs.

      • Hansens piece is contributed not submitted BBD, so it is rather like a blog piece without review.The reference climate period is also the flattest 30 year period temp wise of any other 30 year period one could pick.

      • Hansens piece is contributed not submitted BBD, so it is rather like a blog piece without review.

        “Contributed by James Hansen, March 29, 2012 (sent for review March 4, 2012)”

        The reference climate period is also the flattest 30 year period temp wise of any other 30 year period one could pick.

        Classic bit of fake sceptic misdirection. If you had read HSR12 instead of relying on rubbish gleaned from contrarian blogs, you would have come across this:

        Reference Period. Although we had multiple reasons for choosing 1951–1980 as a base period to define temperature anomalies, as discussed under Materials and Methods, we must ask: Do our conclusions depend on the chosen base period? Could we just redefine climatology based on the most recent decades, perhaps leading to a conclusion that the only climate change has been a small shift of mean temperature that may be insignificant?

        The effect of alternative base periods on the temperature anomaly distribution is shown in Fig. 9. Use of a recent base period alters the appearance of the distribution. Climate variability increased in recent decades, and thus the standard deviation increased. Therefore, if we use the most recent decades as base period, we “divide out” the increased variability. Thus the distribution function using 1981–2010 as the base period (Fig. 9, Right) does not expose the change that has occurred toward increased climate variability.

        The World Meteorological Organization uses the most recent three decades to define climatology (23). This is a useful procedure when the objective is to define anomalies relative to a recent period whose climate most people will be familiar with. However, this practice tends to hide the fact that climate variability itself is changing on decadal time scales. Thus, at least for research purposes, we recommend use of a fixed base period.

        The question then becomes, what is the most appropriate base period. Our initial choice, 1951–1980, seems to be nearly optimum. It was a period of relatively stable global temperature and the earliest base period with good global coverage of meteorological stations, including Antarctica. The temperature in 1951– 1980 was also more representative of the Holocene (24) than any later period would be, which is important because it is desirable to have a base period with climate zones that plant and animal life on the planet are adapted. Hansen and Sato (7) argue that the climate of the most recent few decades is probably warmer than prior Holocene levels, based on the fact that the major ice sheets in both hemispheres are presently losing mass rapidly (9) and global sea level is rising at a rate of more than 3 m∕millennium (25), which is much greater than the slow rate of sea level change (less than 1 m∕millennium) in the latter half of the Holocene (26).

        The 30-y period 1951–1980 with relatively stable climate is sufficiently long to define a climatological temperature distribution, which is near normal (Fig. 9, Left), yet short enough that we can readily see how the distribution is changing in subsequent decades. This exposes the fact that the distribution is becoming broader and that there is a disproportionate increase of extreme hot outliers. In contrast the 60-y base period, 1951–2010, and the 1981–2010 base period, which include the years of rapidly changing climate within the base period, make it more difficult to discern the changes that are taking place.

        For a further, detailed rebuttal of the ‘biased base period’ claim, see Hansen, Sato & Ruedy’s published response to this and other misplaced criticisms of HSR12.

      • BBD,

        Hansen, Sato and Ruedy missed also in their published response the explicit error that they made in their analysis. The choice of reference period is not significant primarily for the determination of the variance as they appear to think still in their response. It’s essential because the rate of warming varies from one part of the globe to another. When the reference period is fixed for every region and the change in temperature calculated for each region based on that local reference value, that leads to spurious variability in the temperatures of the later period. That some areas warm more than others is not additional temporal variability but that effect leads to a spurious signal in the Hansen, Sato and Ruedy analysis, They made a serious technical error. They should have withdrawn the paper when the error was pointed out.

        The error was pointed out and explained by Tamino and confirmed by several others. Tamino formulated his final conclusions rather weakly but the error is not that benign. It actually destroys totally the scientific value of that paper as it means that the paper cannot tell at all whether the variability has increased or not. By this single error that whole point of the paper disappears.

        It remains true that with higher average temperature also the high tail of the temperature distribution moves to higher temperatures but this is so trivial that it’s not sufficient justification for a scientific paper. If the paper had really shown that the variability increases that would have been a new result – but it did not. The effect that they thought to have found was unbelievably strong. That should have alerted them and made them to think more carefully, but that’s not what they did.

      • I have argued with Pekka about this before, but the main point was not the variability. There were two main points that were easily shown. One is that summer temperatures that used to be in the top third in the base period, now occur 2/3 of the time (a trivial result of the shift of a Gaussian-like bell-curve). Second the area of 3-sigma events has increased by about a factor of twenty since the base period. Also easily demonstrated with examples of Russia 2010 and Texas 2011 areal events being highly improbable in 1951-1980. This is mostly again the consequence of the shift rather than a change in variability. A shift in a Gaussian has a much greater impact in probability at the tail, especially as it shifted by about a standard deviation in these regions.

      • Jim D,

        What do you mean by “three sigma events”? The point is that they may look such because the base period was at some locations colder than average.

        The analysis is really fundamentally wrong statistics. All conclusions drawn from a fundamentally wrong analysis are suspect, and all strong looking results from such an analysis are with high likelihood just plainly spurious artifacts of the wrong methodology.

        The paper is so terribly wrong that nothing in it should be taken at face value until it’s corrected.

      • Jim D, “Second the area of 3-sigma events has increased by about a factor of twenty since the base period. Also easily demonstrated with examples of Russia 2010 and Texas 2011 areal events being highly improbable in 1951-1980. ”

        One of Hansen’s own papers showed the impact of the PDO shift on temperature and precipitation in the US. His newer paper just proves that same point, a shift in the PDO produces a shift in regional climate extremes. Since the diurnal temperature range began increasing in 1985, land based extremes would be more likely, but is an increase in DTR indicative of CO2 forcing?

      • Pekka, I mean that 3-sigma extremes, defined from summer temperatures point by point in the baseline period, used to occupy about half a percent in a given year, and now occupy nearer 10 percent. Two examples of anomalously large contiguous 3-sigma areas were Russia 2010 and Texas 2011. Such areas did not occur for that threshold in the baseline period.

      • capt. d., I attach no importance to the PDO compared to CO2 in the shift, especially as we are now a full PDO cycle later than the baseline period. If there is an increase in diurnal temperature range, it implies drying out of the land, a consequence of its lower thermal inertia in a positively forced climate change.

      • JimD, ” If there is an increase in diurnal temperature range, it implies drying out of the land, a consequence of its lower thermal inertia in a positively forced climate change.”

        If?, There is and everyone is painfully aware that you place no emphasis on the role of natural variability in climate. A lack of curiosity?

        A change in precipitation patterns associated with a natural internal oscillation can produce the same impact as “positively forced climate change” only a natural internal oscillation would be recurrent, like the dust bowl period, the 50s droughts etc.. So performing a limited analysis based on preconceived notions might produce desired results, but not meaningful results.

      • I repeat the basic argument that should raise suspicion in everyone reading that paper – and in everyone I include most notably all climate scientists however strongly they do believe in AGW.

        The climate has not changed very much so far due to AGW. The signal in the average temperature is still rather small, small enough that skeptics can contest it. I personally consider it practically certain that the warming of the last 50 years is largely due to AGW, but the change is really not that great.

        The averages are almost always the variables where the signal is first clear, calculated variances are not as stable and observing signals in them requires usually much more data than the signal in the average unless the original forcing is somehow directly linked to extremes. In this case CO2 is certainly not something that’s linked directly to extremes but changes in variability are driven by the changes in the averages.

        For the above reason it’s has always been difficult to find clear signals of AGW in either variability or extreme events. That does not mean those could not change more than the averages but only that observing such changes is very difficult as statistics builds up much more slowly to required level.

        But now we have a paper where the distributions widen dramatically, the widening is hugely more visible than could be expected. Such an observation is more often than nine times out of ten due to an error in data or analysis.

        Somehow this error got into the publication and the reviewers were not either careful. The most probable reason for Tamino to pick up the error is related to my above argument. He has so much experience from statistical analysis that he probably wondered whether the result can be true. When something is too good or bad to be true, it very often is not.

      • Pekka

        Did you get as far as this Tamino post on HSR12?

        Are you perhaps (like Tamino initially) over-focussed on month to moth variability? Are you possibly being excessively vehement in your rejection of HSR? Note how Tamino has re-examined his initial criticism of HSR and re-considered the paper as a whole.

      • Jim D,

        That’s just the fundamental error in the paper.

        When we consider more local data we can expect that some of them show larger changes than do others. Looking at the extremes we are cherry picking, and by cherry picking we can always find more of the extremes than otherwise.

        In this case the error in the method is such that it does automatically the cherry picking. That’s one way of expressing what they did wrongly.

      • BBD,

        I did follow the discussion that far and beyond.

        I do really believe that I understand pretty well what they did wrongly and how such an error is likely to influence the outcome. I cannot say with absolute certainty because I don’t have access to the raw data.

        I have described a good way of verifying whether my views are right that could easily be tested with the full data. That’s essentially reversing the direction of time, i.e. using most recent period as base period at every location and calculating the variability moving backward in time doing all steps otherwise as in original analysis. If my explanation is correct the result should be that the variability is larger in early periods.

      • Pekka, the analysis should be simple enough for anyone to have repeated by now. If anything had been found wrong, it would surely be widely advertised. Widening of the distribution is expected if the current climate is changing faster than the baseline period, which is at least true for land areas. Hansen showed that taking smaller areas like the US (1.5% of the global area) cannot produce such convincing statistics due to the noise and extreme events are too sporadic to assign an area each year.

      • Pekka

        I’m afraid I’m with Jim D, and indeed with Tamino’s considered reaction to HSR12 in the post I linked previously.

        Like Jim D, I await a demonstration of error. I’m rather surprised that our sceptical friends have not so far provided one.

      • Jim D,

        Actually it’s more difficult to do the correct analysis. Putting everything together was probably dependent on the erroneous approach.

        A correct analysis should study separately the variability at each location. It’s quite possible that such an analysis turns out to lack statistical significance to the extent that it’s unpublishable.

        What would be possible is to do my reversed analysis. At least the original authors should be able to do it with little effort.

      • BBD and Jim D,

        Do you think that you understood thoroughly the description of the error that Tamino presented?

        If you do, what makes you think that it does not destroy the whole analysis?

        Should a paper that has such an error be left uncorrected?

        Should results from a scientific paper be used when a significant error has been pointed out in it but left uncorrected?

        Does the response of Hansen et al discuss this error at all?

      • Pekka, I did not follow the error discussion, but the post linked above from Tamino is basically re-emphasizing what I thought was the main point of the paper anyway, and Tamino showed the key graphs, in my mind, which he seems not to dispute. So, wherever the dispute was, it didn’t impact these points.

      • Jim D,

        As a scientific paper that paper had only those results that have been invalidated by the error.

        This paper was something else as well and that something else may have been influenced less. Is it really so important to know whether the variability has increased or not for that “something else”?

      • Pekka

        Thank you for drawing my attention back to the questions over HSR12. I have an open mind on the matter (no pun intended) and await future developments with properly sceptical interest.

        However, Jim D (and Tamino) also have valid points:

        the post linked above from Tamino is basically re-emphasizing what I thought was the main point of the paper anyway, and Tamino showed the key graphs, in my mind, which he seems not to dispute. So, wherever the dispute was, it didn’t impact these points.

        Let’s wait and see what happens next.

      • Pekka

        Apologies for asking if you had read this Tamino post. I see you in comments there now. I will read what you wrote, although not this evening. It’s Saturday and sometimes one has to go out and have a drink with friends who know little and care less about the climate debate :-)

      • I consider the graphs that show the widening temperature distributions to be the key graphs and they are the ones that are false.

        The graphs do not show absolute temperatures but deviations from base level calculated for each local data separately. Such a difference is affected by both ends and a large difference may equally well be due to large change in the local average temperature than to a large deviation from the new average. The local average temperatures vary always significantly, they did that before any AGW was affecting the climate as much as they do now. These variations add to the the width to the curve the more the longer the interval. It’s very likely that almost all of the widening is due to this effect (could be all without the ‘almost’).

        The same problem affects also the map based presentations, if they are used to discuss extremes rather than warming in general.

      • BBD

        The widening of the distribution is a Methodological artifact.
        That is beyond doubt.
        Hansen agrees.

      • Pekka,

        I raised this point with BBD some time ago on keith’s.
        Hopefully, in a bit, there will be a couple of papers to post addressing the
        ‘widening” of the distribution that show how its related to the methodology used. It’s taken a bit more time than I thought to get everything coordinated, but should not be much longer.
        Of course I suggested to BBD that he could prove it to himself by actually doing a little work ( generating sythetic data ) but i dont think he up to it, or perhaps incapable. who knows.

        Basically. In a warming world we can expect to see more extremes ( go figure, this is trivial) But there is no evidence supporting a change in the shape of the distribution. The changes in the shape of the distrubition shown by hansen are a direct consequence of taking a baseline period.
        So folks like Eli and others who argued that a “more variability” was an obvious consequence of warming, probably want to revisit their opinions.

      • Steven,

        To me this case is most of all an example of attempting to prove unprovable. The hypotheses may be correct but it’s practically certain that the data cannot tell whether they are or are not. At best some weak indication might be found but almost certainly nothing more. Earlier analyses have shown that.

        Some scientists seem to be ready to tell about apparent confirmation even when that’s just random fluctuation or there’s a risk of error in the analysis. To me this is an example of that because my first reaction looking at the graphs was that they cannot be true and I thought was that it should have been everyones first reaction. (I didn’t realize where the error was before I read about it at Tamino’s, but I hadn’t spent much effort in trying to figure that out.)

        Letting bad and potentially outright erroneous papers trough is not good for the credibility of science. Errors cannot always be prevented but this kind of errors can.

      • steven

        Hopefully, in a bit, there will be a couple of papers to post addressing the ‘widening” of the distribution that show how its related to the methodology used. It’s taken a bit more time than I thought to get everything coordinated, but should not be much longer.

        Good! Let’s see what happens next. If HSR12 is flawed, let’s see it demonstrated and we all learn something. And I will of course apologise for mistakenly suggesting that you were full of sh*t in our previous CaS exchange.

        You, however, do not help yourself by acting like a prat:

        but i dont think he up to it, or perhaps incapable. who knows.

        Childish, no?

        Despite this sort of nonsense I will still apologise *if* it is *demonstrated* that HSR12 is flawed and its conclusions substantially in error.

      • Despite this sort of nonsense I will still apologise *if* it is *demonstrated* that HSR12 is flawed and its conclusions substantially in error.

        It’s pity that you cannot see the totally obvious.

        The results are really substantially in error as everything new is unjustified. It’s bad enough for a scientific paper to lose all justification for practically all conclusions. When that has happened the authors should react promptly. As I already wrote the response paper does not address at all the substantial error.

  11. George Marshall

    Climate Outreach and Information Network (COIN) is a charity formed in 2004 to directly engage the public about climate change. COIN inspires lasting changes in attitudes and behaviour through the use of innovative action learning methods and by assisting people to communicate their own messages to their peers.

    Pretty much tells it all for me.

    COIN is a non-profit CAGW propaganda group that seeks to influence public opinion on human culpability for any bad weather event or anything else that comes along.

    Sorry, George – NO SALE!

    Max

  12. David Springer

    Severe weather events are no longer severe weather events…. no no no. Now they’re “climate disasters”.

    Gag me with a spoon.

    • David

      Over the last ten years I have carried out considerable research into weather observation from the 11th Century onwards. To do this I have physically visited a number of sources ranging from the Met Office archives, Exeter Catherdal library and the Scott polar institute. One of my articles- which attempted to trace the climate in England back to 1538- contained a considerable number of contemporary weather references

      http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/long-slow-thaw-supplementary-information.pdf

      The point is that whilst this article was concerned with weather over a calendar year, through my research for this-and other articles-it became obvious to me many years ago that the modern climate -with few exceptions -is remarkably benign. Weather events in the past were often far more extreme than they are now. I suspect they are downplayed because other events of the time-such as the plague-killed more people.

      Some of the notable events were contained in the book ‘historic storms of the North Sea, British Isles and Northwest Europe’ by Hubert Lamb.

      George Marshall is no doubt a very clever man but it is clear he knows nothing of the events of the past, in common it appears with many here who dismiss historical climatology as mere anecdotes..
      tonyb

    • Severe weather is not necessarily a disaster.
      For example, lets take heat waves.

      I believe in AGW. I believe in hansens loaded dice.

      I also understand the science of heat storms enough to know that
      adequate warning can minimize deaths.
      the mayors of 40 cities know this as well and they use a heat wave warning system that predicts excess deaths as a function of synoptic air mass classifications.
      Those mayors also know that permable pavements, white roofs, green roofs, and cooling centers for the elderly, pay for themselves.

      Global warming is a reality. more extreme weather will become the norm.
      Disasters? they depend upon how seriously we take the threat and the actions we take to adapt to them. Adaptation is local. it is smart.
      Some day the idiot believers in mitigation will actually show they care about living people as opposed to un born generations

      • Yes global warming is a reality. However the AGW (caused mainly by CO2) since ~1960 is very unlikely, according to the presented ‘science’.

      • Just like global cooling is a reality.

      • Steven Mosher

        I believe in AGW. I believe in hansens loaded dice.

        I believe in AGW as an established scientific concept whose magnitude is far from certain – it could be negligible.

        I do not believe in “Hansen’s loaded dice”.

        Agree with you that the mayors of those 40 cities were smart to put in “heat wave warning systems”, just like they certainly should also put in “cold wave warning systems” (since the death toll from cold winter weather is far greater than that from heat waves).

        Global warming is a reality. more extreme weather will become the norm.

        Umm… Global warming WAS a reality until the end of 2000 – since then it has not warmed, as you know.

        There is no empirical scientific evidence to show that “more extreme weather will be the norm”.

        Disasters? they depend upon how seriously we take the threat and the actions we take to adapt to them. Adaptation is local. it is smart.

        Agreed. The threat has always been there. In fact, studies by Indur Goklany have shown that these have been far more severe in the early 20th century than now. Part of the reason is that we have better early warning systems in place, etc. Agree with you that adaptation is local and smart.

        Some day the idiot believers in mitigation will actually show they care about living people as opposed to un born generations

        I hope you are right on this, Steven, but I’m afraid that some of these “idiot believers” are not really looking for a solution to a climate problem, because the actions they propose will have no perceptible impact on our future climate.

        Max

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | November 23, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Reply

        “Severe weather is not necessarily a disaster.”

        You’re not necessarily a pedant for saying that but the odds of it are good.

        In any case George Marshall was wrong.

        Meteorological disasters

        Meteorological disasters are caused by extreme weather, e.g. rain, drought, snow, extreme heat or cold, ice, or wind.

        Examples of weather disasters include blizzard, cyclones, droughts, hailstorms, heat waves, hurricanes, floods (caused by rain) and tornadoes.

        Happy now?

  13. David Springer

    I live near Bastrop. Limey assclown George Marshall must have lied about himself in order to obtain those interviews. Residents in these parts would have frog-marched the SOB out of town had they known he was using their loss to further his agenda.

  14. Judith Curry

    I agree with you that there is no scientific link between recent extreme weather events and AGW.

    So if George Marshall and his COIN advocacy group is trying to “sell” the general public that such a link exists, he’s just acting as a “snake oil salesman”, selling a different bill of goods. The fact that he is surprised that the general public does not share his view and writes this off to ignorance on the public’s part, is rather arrogant IMO.

    I personally believe that most folks are smart enough to realize what’s going on.

    IOW, I agree that “climate disasters will not increase concern about climate change” (because they are two separate things).

    Max

  15. @- MrE
    “They are also saying it like the weather is on steroids. The problem with that is that they don’t know what effect this “steroid” really has.”

    One objectively measurable effect of the ‘Lance Armstrong’ climate is the disproportionate increase in insurance claims for weather related damage compared to claims for damage from other causes.

    @- ” Rare events gain headlines making them seem common.”

    The increased incidence of ‘rare’ events is what makes them gain headlines.

    • David Springer

      I live on the road that is Lance Armstrong’s favorite training route. About 20 miles of winding, very hilly 2-lane country road from end-to-end with many miles of scenic lake views and many other places where it’s a tunnel carved through the trees which meet overhead and shade the surface most of the year. I have a cousin who used to train with him. Armstrong is not very well liked around here anymore. Local hero becomes local butthole.

    • That’s not an objective measure for the physical science. It’s just as much a measure of economics. Insurance companies are not only influenced by physical factors. Insurance claims are getting easier to get. You claim for the slightest thing and they will pay because they get to charge more to everyone else. Climate change disaster is good for the insurance companies. It’s funny how things work out like that.

  16. David Springer

    This drought is identical to the decade-long drought in the 1950’s. This summer I found a stone picnic table and fireplace along the lakeshore that my neighbors built 60 years ago. It has been underwater for 60 years. It was actually still underwater but only a few feet instead of the usual 50 feet deep so I was able to make it out and ask about it to someone still alive to remember it (he’s 70 now and helped build it when he was a child). He said the lake was so low for so long they thought it would never rise again higher than the picnic area.

    The problem is that living memory 60 years in the past is rare. Few people remember that the weather in south central Texas today is a repeat of what it was like 60 years ago. Interestingly enough the AMO is at the same point it was 60 years ago and so are the preponderance of La Nina events. I expect a repeat of the 1950’s drought. The lake is still 40 feet below normal for this time of year and unless it refills substantially this winter I expect to be seeing lots of old artifacts this summer that have not seen the light of day since Eisenhower was president.

  17. David, you can have some of our rainfall here in the UK with pleasure!

    • David Springer

      Not long ago we had more rain than we knew what to do with ourselves. Our droughts usually end in epic floods. In 2007 a drought-busting storm put 19 inches of rain in 24 hours about 40 miles upstream from me on the other side of a dam. Shortly thereafter my lake rose one foot per hour for the next 36 hours and then another 10 feet more over the next several days. The area’s weather is well known as being a constant state of drought punctuated by severe flooding. It’s the very southern tip of tornado alley. I’ve seen one tornado myself from about 3 miles away in the 20 years I’ve lived here. Every few years I see hail the size of walnuts and once saw a few hailstones the size of baseballs in my yard. The thunderstorms can be pretty dramatic. We have a saying “there’s nothing between us and the north pole but barbed wire fences”. When warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico 150 miles away meets an Arctic cold front coming down out of Canada all hell breaks loose. At some distance removed at night viewed from my perch on a north-facing hillside the lightning displays are breathtaking. Just inside the Texas hill-country where I’m at the uneven landscape tends to break up the winds so tornadoes are rare but flatland is within my visual horizon so I get see a lot of severe storms that tend to break up just before they reach me.

  18. Judith Curry, 11/23/12, Why climate disasters might not increase concern about climate change:

    IPCC has changed its definition of climate change, and expressly for George Marshall’s concern: the link to extreme weather.

    Climate Change: A change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use. Fn.2

    Fn. 2 This definition differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where climate change is defined as: “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.” The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and climate variability attributable to natural causes. IPCC, Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters To Advance Climate Change Adaption, (SREX) (2012), p. 5.

    The new definition was unavoidable. Extreme weather events at best have some unquantifiable link to climate, but not in any measurable way to anthropogenic global warming. Climate Change is no longer just anthropogenic.

    Now where is the parallel pop psychology/mass psychology/anthropology/sociology analysis of why people accept the invalidated, Post Modern Science model of AGW?

    Regardless, Modern Science doesn’t care.

    The anthropogenic disasters from Climate Change include the EPA, and programs like Cap & Trade and environmentalism, and their toll on a faltering US economy and on scientific illiteracy.

  19. David Springer

    Jeff Glassman | November 23, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply

    “The new definition was unavoidable. Extreme weather events Climate disasters at best have some unquantifiable link to climate, but not in any measurable way to anthropogenic global warming. Climate Change is no longer just anthropogenic.”

    Fixed that for ya!

  20. Just what we need – more ‘denial’ talk. I don’t expect to agree with Dr Curry all the time, and I’m afraid I’ll just have to put this post in the Stinker file. There is no need for climate ‘communication.’ The truth will do, thank you very much. One ‘tells’ the truth,’ and ‘communicates’ a message. The American public does not need a carefully constructed message to manipulate them – they need the truth, so that they can decide for themselves.

    When advocates search for a Leni Riefenstahl to communicate their message, you know where the problem lies.

    • I knew I would learn something from reading the JC blog today. Thanks for referencing Ms Riefenstahl and forcing me to look her up. Since WWII is of great interest to me, I am surprised the name wasnt familiar to me. Very good point.

  21. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    This blog explores the topic of the psychology of climate change denial

    Somebody needs to take seriously the topic of the psychology of climate change belief. Why in the presence of such a weak, perforated, slender, inadequate, flimsy, inaccurate scientific theory and mass of evidence is the belief in CO2-induced climate change so strong among some people? How, for example, is it different from the pessimism of the late Etruscan and Minoan societies? How is it different from the optimism (and associated beliefs) of the early Athenian and Roman societies? Or, say, different from the “pre-Fada” and “post-Fada” eras of Portugal. Is this different from any other “end of empire” catastrophism? If it is, how is it different, and how can the psychologists tell that it is different?

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      MattStat:

      Somebody needs to take seriously the topic of the psychology of climate change belief

      I disagree. I think people should stop taking it seriously. Instead, we should point and laugh at it for being so silly!

    • How is it different from the optimism (and associated beliefs) of the early Athenian and Roman societies? Or, say, different from the “pre-Fada” and “post-Fada” eras of Portugal. Is this different from any other “end of empire” catastrophism? If it is, how is it different, and how can the psychologists tell that it is different?

      Because it is supported by evidence?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        andrew adams: Because it is supported by evidence?

        that has not been shown: neither that the evidence is sufficient, nor that the evidence is the basis of the belief.

    • Say – Matt,

      Just thought that you’d like to know that the vote differential from the previous election is now down to @ 4 million – and may well get even lower. (Obama’s advantage has grown to 3.3%) Evangelicals voted at relatively high rates, which seems to dispel your notion about Romney being a Mormon lowering the vote total. I guess you saw my comments about the House popular vote numbers, the disconnect between party split in House votes and who was elected, the change in that regard from the previous election, and the impact of redistricting?

      Seems like you may need to recalibrate a lot of your analysis.

  22. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    David Springer comments  “ Lack of fires  Cheap carbon energy allowed  dry fuel  anthropogenic CO2 to build up decade after decade so when  a fire  climate changes finally did happen they’d be biblical.”

    David Springer, you sure called that right!

    Everyone recognizes the bad decision-making of short-sighted ideologues, election-minded politicians, quick-profit business folks, and improvident neighbors. \rule[-0.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\rule[2.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ \heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\rule[2.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    These short-sighted decisions can seem tolerable to us for awhile … until the inevitable day arrives when the catastrophic crown-fires rage, eh David Springer? \rule[-0.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\rule[2.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\ !!!\ \overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\rule[2.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      And also, Dave Springer, ain’t it plain common-sense, that short-sighted ideologues, election-minded politicians, quick-profit business folks, and improvident neighbors, vehemently defend their short-sighted, selfish practices?

      And they get away with their selfishness … sometimes year-after-year … until the crown-fires comes, eh?

      What can a community do about these self-serving short-sighted “ten-percenters” Dave Springer? \rule[-0.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\rule[2.65ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}\,???\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\frown}}\ \rule[-0.5ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\rule[2.65ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • I like the new emoticons.
        You have Aegyo

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I went googling hoping to learn the secret of Aegyo. Now I have – LOL

      • here chief, watch a master of Aegyo.
        FOMD needs to figure out how to do “hand motions” in print,
        but you get the idea.

        watch out if he calls you oppa

      • David Springer

        Not sure what Aegyo might have to do with LaTex but if you go look at the page source it’s leveraging WordPress support for LaTex which was announced this year.

        http://en.support.wordpress.com/latex/

        We could all just start to abuse it until Curry is forced to disable that along with the regular emoticons Sidles \copyright\bowtie\copyright was formerly using.

        \LaTeX

      • David Springer

        Or there are other ways to get attention…

        …………………./´¯/)
        ………………..,/¯../
        ………………./…./
        …………./´¯/’…’/´¯¯`·¸
        ………./’/…/…./……./¨¯\
        ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
        ………\……………..’…../
        ……….”…\………. _.·´
        …………\…………..(
        …………..\………….\…

    • fan,

      I see you’ve switched emoticon sponsors. This a result of advice from your 14 yr old peer group or simply a financal decision?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Timg56, my next-generation “hand-made” smilies are crafted so as to cheerfully convey an orthodox progressive view, that the over-arching purpose of science, politics, and economic is to provide (largely via rational fore-sighted compromises) the security, prosperity, and health that are requisite to the non-scientific, non-political, non-economic human activities that (in the long run) are genuinely of enduring importance to us all!

        One of which human activities is to convey best wishes for a happy holiday season to you, Tim56, and to all Climate Etc regulars too!   \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\ {\displaystyle\heartsuit\heartsuit\heartsuit}\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • FOMD

        Ignore the philistine carping. No sense of aesthetics, these people.

        :-)

      • David Springer

        \pS bLoWmELaTeX

      • David Springer

        \bLoWmE

      • fan,

        orthodox progressive? Right.

        But a happy and healthy holiday season to you as well.

        BBD,

        I’m tempted to refer you to Dave Springer’s post above, as there is nothing amiss with my sense of aesthetics. If there were, I might have to resort to the use of juvenile measures such as emoticons.

        But instead I’ll wish you the same holiday best wishes as fan.

    • David Springer

      Professor John Sidles, you academic reprobate at Washington State Medical School, if you change what I wrote please make sure you note the change.

      • What was your MOS again? Remind me.

      • David Springer

        Meteorlogical Equipment Technician

      • The USMC MOS is 6493 Aviation Meteorological Equipment technician and you can’t even spell it correctly.

        I really do wonder about you, Springer.

      • David Springer

        Actually I’m looking at my DD-214 section 16a. Primary Specialty Number and Title:

        2853
        AvnMETEQUIPREPAIRMAN

        Exactly how it appears.

        You can find a lot of typos in what I write. Is anonymous cowardly spelling police the best you got for me, asshat?

      • David Springer

        MOS codes changed. I’m Vietnam era veteran.

        http://www.marzone.com/7thMarines/Faq0001.htm

        I just happened to have my DD-214 on my desk because Texas beginning in 2012 will put your military service status on your driver’s license. My license expires next month and they need to see a DD-214 showing honorable discharge. Lots of businesses in Texas are offering discounts to veterans, Lowes and Home Depot 10% off all purchases for instance. Cops are given to letting vets off with a warning unless they shot somebody and then it’s still just a warning if it’s a democrat or foreigner you shot.

      • David

        Cops are given to letting vets off with a warning unless they shot somebody and then it’s still just a warning if it’s a democrat or foreigner you shot.

        Ahem.

        Love, light and peace to you too.

      • David Springer

        Don’t mess with Texas. You know those folks Obama was talking about who cling to their guns and religion? That’s us. But we also cling to a balanced a budget, a vibrant economy, and if we were a separate country we’d have the 15th largest economy in the world. Every statewide office is held by a Republican. Never argue with success. Or a man with a gun. You have to double down on stupid to diss Texas. Write that down.

      • Springer

        Never argue with success. Or a man with a gun. You have to double down on stupid to diss Texas. Write that down.

        You are insane.

        ;-)

      • BBD,

        I’m not making any judgements on the sanity or lack thereof of anyone here. However I would definitely say that arguing with someone holding a gun, if not insane, is most certainly idiotic.

      • With the secession talk, I wonder if the rest of the US can vote to drop Texas from the US. It would certainly help the Democrat majority.

      • timg56

        I’m not making any judgements on the sanity or lack thereof of anyone here. However I would definitely say that arguing with someone holding a gun, if not insane, is most certainly idiotic.

        Sarge may well be holding his service-issue M1911A1 in his hot, sweaty hand, but he is in Texas and I’m in the UK. .45 calibre rounds have a relatively short effective range.

        I think there may be a problem with your reasoning here.

      • BBD,

        As the former Small Arms petty officer for the sub I served on, I am fairly familiar with the characteristics of the Model 1911 pistol and the .45 cal ACP round it utilizes.

        I will note that distance was not a part of the discussion. Would I be as concerned about an individual with a hand gun standing 500 yards away as I would one only 5 ft away? Probably not. I still would consider it a poor idea to argue with or hurl insults at such a person, despite the distance.

        I will also note that the type of firearm was not part of the discussion.

        So, two assumptions on your part, neither of which are particularly solid and yet it is my reasoning at fault.

  23. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    The essay has interesting points, and is worth reading. I did get a chuckle out of this: And this requires a steady long term approach – waiting until the dust has settled and working with trusted local communicators who can make a case that the single event fits into a narrative pattern of longer term change.

    “Making the case that the single event fits into the narrative pattern” is what people do when they interpret The Revelation of Saint John, and many other religious texts. Each single event also “fits into” the narrative that ” things like this happen recurrently all over the world and are not evidence of CO2-induced warming”. And into the narrative that the single event is God’s punishment to the citizens of the modern Gomorrah. Single events fit into so many narrative patterns that they are not evidence of anything in particular.

    The take home message is: Events like this have happened before and they will happen again, so we should be better prepared for the next event than we were for the most recent event. In our preparations, we should consider that the events might be getting slightly more frequent or more severe, and prepare for slightly more frequent and more severe events. It certainly makes no sense for Staten Island to redirect resources from preparation toward a more rapid replacement of the coal-fired power plants that provide some of its electricity. Building better storage and distribution facilities for the fuel for backup generators and first-responders ought to be high on the list of tasks.

  24. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    After all, if your current society and economic model has served you well in a crisis you are surely less willing to accept change.

    Taking Staten Island as a teaching moment, it is hard to make the case that things worked so well that everyone is confident that no change is needed. Everyone knows that change is needed. There are countless advocates all sorts of changes, and a claim that a particular change be carried out because of the theory of AGW will have to contend with all the other claims and their advocates.

  25. Here (by example below aimed at concern for loss of respect for foundational principles based on individual liberty and personal responsibility), is the problem with the analysis (i.e., it amounts to nothing more than an a expositon of predispositoin):

    Economic disasters can increase social confidence and certainty.

    Acceptance by Leftists for deep and disastrous economic destruction requires a high degree of self-criticism and even self-doubt. It requires a preparedness to accept personal responsibility for collective errors and for entire societies to accept the need for major collective change. And, inevitably, this process of acceptance would generate intense debate and conflict.

  26. It is now common knowledge that climate change attitudes depend heavily on the worldview, as Marshall says. The worldview doesn’t just affect attitudes to possible actions in planning for climate change, but even belief in the fact that any permanent change is happening already. So we haven’t yet seen any kind of competing plan from the so-called “skeptical” community because they are stuck on thinking (or heavily believing) no change is happening in climate. Once they notice that change is happening, hopefully they can join in the planning process.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Jim D:

      So we haven’t yet seen any kind of competing plan from the so-called “skeptical” community because they are stuck on thinking (or heavily believing) no change is happening in climate.

      We haven’t even seen a plan from global warming advocates. All we’ve really seen is vague goals and pointless posturing.

      • These plans would mostly be at local levels. Planning for reduced fossil fuel usage, not building on sandbars one meter above sea-level, energy efficiency, water resource changes, agriculture and forestry changes, etc. I am fairly sure these will become concerns, and are already in some communities.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Every single one of those would be merited without global warming concerns. If you want to criticize skeptics for not producing plans, you should provide something they wouldn’t support.

        In other words, your criticisms are currently based upon you just being vague.

      • If they were supporting mitigation measures to prevent more damage later, and adaptation measures for damage already done, I don’t think there would be any argument. However, they (maybe only some) tend to favor fossil-fuel dependent lines of development.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, I said no plans are given by global warming advocates. You responded by giving plans that are supported by all sides, thus not refuting what I said. In response, you bring up something completely different. That is called a red herring.

        To put it bluntly, you’re doing nothing to demonstrate anything. You’re failing to address any point in any meaningful way. And your criticisms are based entirely upon this behavior.

        In effect, you’re proving my point.

      • You are saying things like green energy, fuel efficiency, reduction of fossil fuel dependence, not building in, or evacuating, increasingly vulnerable areas, planning for water, food and energy shortages, is agreed by everyone. I say good. Things are fine then. Ignore the people who don’t agree with the above.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Seeing as none of those depend upon global warming concerns to be promoted… yes, they are agreed upon by everyone. The problem you have is global warming advocates believe those things are more pressing than skeptics. And you can’t prove which side is right by the constant hand-waving you rely upon.

        You can offer as many empty words as you want, but all you’re accomplishing by your hand-waving vagueness is weakening your own cause.

      • One of the early adopted ‘plans’ for CO2 mitigation is using food for fuel, on track for consuming 50% of the US corn crop. This seems so counter intuitive as there is rising word food costs, poorer land management, and increased use of fertilizer and chemicals, and greater overall pollution to our rivers and lakes due to increased runoff. Plus there is now no corn reserve.

        To me this adaption seems quite silly and increases risk, not reduces risk.

    • Hard to notice something that is not happening, so maybe you are the one stuck. First we need to know who is right, so this kind of psycho analysis is pointless.

      • There are distinct measurable global changes from the mid-20th century climate already, and it has been going in one direction, as expected.

      • Did someone mention “vague”?

        Andrew

      • Oscillators do go in one direction for awhile. How about from 1000 AD?

      • In the measured record, which also includes the increase in CO2, one direction. Yes, the skeptics are a bit vague on their understanding of that, and I don’t think that they even agree with each other.

      • “the measured record”

        Which one? Don’t be so vague. ;)

        Andrew

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, in an apparent attempt not to be vague, says CO2 levels have risen due to humans. While that is unquestionable to anyone who isn’t a loon, it makes me wonder…

        Is that the best example he has?

      • Not to be vague, the temperature has risen almost a degree in a century and the unmitigated forcing change in the 21st century will be at least five times greater than in the 20th. Preparation for comparably higher warming rates is called for.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Now Jim D attempts to not be vague by saying we should be preparing for “higher warming rates.” Apparently his best examples of causes for concern are higher CO2 levels and slightly higher temperatures.

        Jim D, not being vague:

        Global warming is serious. Some people will need more air conditioning.

      • More air conditioning for the world solves everything, Brandon, right? Have you even thought this strategy through? It may not be perfect.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, it’s all one needs for the problems you’ve discussed. If there are other problems you haven’t discussed, such as ones air conditioning won’t solve, you have only yourself to blame. You specifically claimed to not being vague. Part of not being vague is talking about what you’re talking about.

        Either you’ve completely failed at doing what you claimed to be doing, looking like a fool and wasting everyone’s time in the process, or air conditioning is all we need.

      • Air conditioning does not solve water shortage, increased forest fires and droughts or rising sea levels. It increases anthropogenic warming (cool inside = warm venting outside) and energy usage. I am sure I don’t need to list the predicted negatives, which are well documented, every time in order not to be vague.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Again, with the red herrings. You didn’t discuss any of those things in this discussion. You’re referring to a different discussion to claim to have made an argument in this discussion. That doesn’t work.

        Now, if you’d like to admit you’ve completely failed to make an actual point in this discussion but argue we should look at points you’ve made in another discussion, that’s fine. You just need to first admit your comments in this fork have been utter failures.

      • You haven’t seen a connection between the accelerated warming in my original point and the consequences discussed later. Feel free. I assumed it was obvious, but for some it may be not, and they haven’t even noticed these things starting yet (as in the previous original point).

      • Jim D,

        The question for this topic of discussion is “Are any of those distinct measurable global changes “extreme weather events”?

        I believe the answer is no.

      • Jim D,

        RE: water shortages, increased forest fires and droughts.

        There is no trend for increasing forest fires and the trend for drought is decreasing. As for water shortages, can you reference anything that conclusively shows higher temperatures will directly result in water shortages? The factors having the most impact on water usage have nothing to do with climate.

        In other words, you have provided another example of vague “threats” from climate change that are either contradictory to the data available or without any proven link.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, you said there have have been “distinct measurable global changes” in “the measured record.” When people pursued this point, you referred first to CO2 changes, then to temperature changes. I emphasized the fact neither of those changes, in and of themselves, were matters of much concern. You then randomly said other things are matters of concern. Perhaps they are, but they aren’t part of “the measured record.”

        When it was pointed out your argument fails, you offered a complete non-sequitur without any explanation or justification. You now blame me for your own failure, saying the connection “was obvious.” You apparently justify this claim of obviousness with mind-reading skills, claiming I “haven’t even noticed these things starting yet.”

        You really aren’t good at this discussion thing.

      • The premise of the post is about climate disasters, which to me is, at first look, an oxymoron because individual events are not climate. Climate change is only seen in statistics. The public are not usually aware of, or capable of getting excited by, statistical trends. A climate disaster may be a second hundred-year drought in ten years because that has such low probability in a steady climate. Going with Hansen’s paper, the areal extent of extreme temperature anomalies has increased, so a large area of warming in a given year is a climate signal. That is, the statistics can be spatial rather than temporal, which is an interesting twist, so perhaps a climate disaster can be defined this way.

      • Brandon, I said originally that the climate has measurable changes that skeptics have not noticed yet. Did you dispute that or agree with it? I think you agreed, but then you said no one was planning for it, which I disputed, and so on.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, it amuses me you respond to an accusation of using a non-sequtur by using another non-sequtur. Since I’m amused, I’ll go ahead and respond to your new point anyway.

        Brandon, I said originally that the climate has measurable changes that skeptics have not noticed yet. Did you dispute that or agree with it?

        I agree the climate has measurable changes, specifically, CO2 and temperature increases. I dispute the idea that skeptics haven’t noticed those two changes. The only people who deny those two have increased due to anthropogenic activities are loons.

        I think you agreed, but then you said no one was planning for it, which I disputed, and so on.

        Wrong. You said skeptics aren’t offering a “competing plan.” I pointed out global warming advocates are not offering a plan thus it would be impossible for skeptics to offer a competing plan. They’d have nothing to compete with!

        I have no doubt people are planning for all sorts of things. That has no bearing on what you said. What you said implies there is some singular plan for global warming. There isn’t. There are lots of different people coming up with lots of different ideas that nobody really supports, but there is no plan.

      • Brandon, I listed what is considered part of the ‘plan’ by advocates, and you ended up agreeing with all of these points. You probably wanted me to list carbon tax, which several governments have started, or carbon trading, and I suspect you will have disagreed with those. I don’t think there will be agreement on how to pay for the agreed-upon parts of the plan, and those who don’t want a carbon tax probably want it to come out of income tax, sales tax, or something to be determined later (i.e. added to the deficit). But that is a whole different argument from this thread.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D:

        Brandon, I listed what is considered part of the ‘plan’ by advocates, and you ended up agreeing with all of these points.

        Your proposed plan for handling global warming is indistinguishable from a plan of general preparedness. Either you’re extremely vague, despite claiming not to be, or you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Preparedness is half the battle in policy. The other half is deciding what to be prepared for.

      • Brandon is actually right about air conditioning.

        In a warming world we will see more heat waves.
        heat waves kill, harvesting the very young and the very old.
        One simple measure that can address this is adequate air conditioning.
        Some countries have stupid laws. For example, they tax air conditioners as a luxury.

        One need not take a position on AGW to understand that air conditioning is a good adaptation, whether the weather changes or not, AC is a lifesaver. Add in proper building codes and youll save energy and lives.

      • Steven Mosher,

        Who gave you the right to say anything? Do you believe you have anything useful to say? Why do you believe you have something useful to say, but other’s don’t?

        And, anyway, how would you know if Brandon is right or wrong on airconditiong?

        Get the point now?

      • Air conditioning is an adaptation. If it is not to be just for those that can afford it, there would need to be a policy around providing it and the electricity to drive it. As I said, this only helps with a part of the problem.

      • Peter:

        “Who gave you the right to say anything? ”

        The issue isnt whether or not I have a right to speak. The issue is you dont have the power to stop me. You, still dont get the issue of power and how you have none. Get it.

        “Do you believe you have anything useful to say? ”

        Sure.

        “Why do you believe you have something useful to say, but other’s don’t?”

        I guess they have the right to be wrong. You just exercised your right to be wrong. You do have the power to be wrong. You exercise it daily.

        “And, anyway, how would you know if Brandon is right or wrong on airconditiong?”

        Well, I believe that because of the work I am doing and the folks I work with.

        berkeleyearth.org

        and a project we are doing with folks from this group

        http://heatisland.lbl.gov/

        specifically our group is looking at the 95 chicago heat wave

        http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-08/news/ct-met-heat-wave-qa-0708-20120708_1_heat-wave-eric-klinenberg-air-conditioning-today

        Hopefully, we will have some answers for policy people when they ask us the questions that they get to ask. You know, those policy people, they are the ones with the power you dont have. The power to ask questions about impacts and demand answers.

        Get it. You dont get to ask those questions. You play at asking those questions here. But you lack the power to compel an answer or reward an answer. You are only answered when people feel like it.
        Sucks to be you

      • Steven Mosher,

        You really are a a hypocritical, arrogant, twit, aren’t you.

        Heve you actually read back over the silly things you say. Cant’ you recognise that what you say to others, applies to you. What you say and direct to others, is about you, not them.

        The issue isnt whether or not I have a right to speak. The issue is you dont have the power to stop me. You, still dont get the issue of power and how you have none. Get it.

        Did I ever suggest I had the power to stop you? Did I ever try? Answer: No. But did you try to argue others don’t have the right contribute, many others, not just me? Answer: ‘yes’.

        Just look at your posts from yesterday. And look at the quotes from your book where you call others idiots, smarmers and a whole lot more. It is you that is the idiot and smarmer.

        I guess they have the right to be wrong. You just exercised your right to be wrong. You do have the power to be wrong. You exercise it daily.

        But you don’t? Of course not – because you’re a modeller!

        What a fool!. Who in their right mind would trust your advice on anything.

        Well, I believe that because of the work I am doing and the folks I work with.

        What a pathetic answer. You believe because you believe. That’s a damned good reason not to believe a modeller.

        Get it. You dont get to ask those questions. You play at asking those questions here. But you lack the power to compel an answer or reward an answer. You are only answered when people feel like it.
        Sucks to be you.

        What unbelievable arrogance. Thank god we have democracy and the US Congress and China and India to protect us from fools like you. And thank God we can still get our message through about the people like you what without a clue about the outside world want to shove your beliefs onto everyone.

        What an appalling example of a human being you are. Unbelievable!

        I actually think you are one of the most evil and repulsive people I’ve come across online.

    • Jim,

      Most likely because you are not listening.

      How about:

      A return to nuclear power – makes sense in either a CO2 driven warming scenario, an energy independence scenario or a depletion of fossil fuels scenario.

      Advancing an Adaptation strategy – particularly with regard to infrastructure and development in areas potentially prone to storms.

      A refocusing of climate modeling research away from the current line to one more focused on regional and shorter time periods, with the objective being their having some reasonable predictive ability.

      Without even trying I’ve just provided you with a better strategy than what the doomsayers and environmentalist progressives have put forth – namely pipe dreams and scary stories.

      • Perhaps surprisingly to you, I would agree with most of this as long as global impacts aren’t downplayed by the CO2-is-good-for-you promoters or the just-isn’t-happening deniers who seem to dominate the skeptical line of thinking these days. Mitigation and adaptation are both needed. Mitigation is often just adaptation in advance which relies on advanced knowledge which relies on science.

      • Jim,

        I’m not surprised at all. You come across as a reasonable person.

        I would just say that any mitigation that involves the forced reduction in CO2 emissions or their demonization in order to support heavy taxation is unacceptable in my opinion. Consider the following:

        1) FERC is on record indicating that the EPA CO2 regulations will threaten the reliability of the electrical grid.

        2) The EPA’s Inspector General is on record saying that the EPA failed to follow its own guidelines in their determinartion that CO2 was a harmful pollutent and therefore subject to EPA regulations.

        3) The President is on record saying that the cost of energy would increase significantly in order to support measures designed to reduce CO2 output.

        In short – poorly developed regulations which will likely result in higher costs and reduced reliability. If that is not idiotic, what is it?

  27. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Events that are far apart are unlikely to be noticed, whereas we could assume a greater perception of change around events that are relatively recent, memorable, and clearly escalating.

    This is why it is so important for scientists, historians and other curators of reliable knowledge to remind everyone of what has gone before, or in other regions: so that events that are unlikely to be noticed are included in the discussion It would be unfortunate if the response to Sandy were to be narrowly focused on this one memorable and recent event, in ignorance of other comparable events.

  28. Mark B (number 2)

    The UK has not suffered from any “extreme” weather/climate events this year. .Besides a lot of rain, nothing at all can be said about the weather this year:
    No strong gales causing damage, no long lasting or thick fog (which was frequent and often fatal up until the 1960s). No deep snow, no tornadoes, no heat waves. Early spring was dry, summer was wet (especially the bank holidays), but that is the way it goes here. We have just had a lot of normal weather. At least the hose pipe ban has been lifted!
    But because the USA seems to have been hit by “extreme” weather events,
    especially densely populated areas on the east coast, people are assuming that this is overriding evidences of CAGW.
    Please can we take into account that some countries haven’t experienced any “extreme” weather events this year.

    • It is true that some people expect an extreme event every year in their backyard before they see anything happening. It may be shortsighted, but it is a common attitude out there. We have to account for these views.

      • On the other hand some people look at long term data and find little evidence of change, and no evidence of human induced or predictable change. We have to account for these views.

      • By long-term data, you mean data into the foggy past where no one knows anything on a global scale with comparable certainty to the recent measured record. Solar proxies are helping with that, however, in terms of forcings, even if we don’t know the actual global temperatures.

      • We do not have a measured record on a global scale except for satellite records, if that. The satellites show no warming except for one small jump coincident with the big ENSO. Is that the direction you are referring to?

      • Huh? We have had thousands of ENSOs in the Holocene period. Why would this be the only one with a jump? You are not thinking.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D says:

        Huh? We have had thousands of ENSOs in the Holocene period. Why would this be the only one with a jump? You are not thinking.

        He has no way of knowing there haven’t been other “jumps,” unless he’s some sort of clairvoyant. I think we can take this to mean he believes he is a psychic. That, or we can take it to mean he makes bold claims without evidential basis.

        I’m not sure which is worse.

      • David,

        I’m afraid that you have in mind one of those innumerable mathematical examples of chaos that are not applicable to physical systems like the Earth system.

      • El Ninos are associated with a reduction of ocean heat content, while the ENSO-warming proponents seem to think it caused net warming somehow in 1998. ENSOs are energy-neutral since they have no direct step-wise interaction with space.

      • My answer was to another message by David in another thread, but I guess he can link it to the right message.

      • Jim,

        Memory with regard to weather can be a tricky thing. Therefore one should check the weather record. Which tells us we are not experiencing any increasing trend of “extreme” weather events.

    • I’d have called the wettest summer on record as extreme weather here in the UK

      • Louise

        Our records are somewhat patchy and until recent years didnt cover the wettest parts of the country. How far do you think the (accurate) national records go back for the UK?
        tonyb

      • Louise

        More details of 2012-the second wettest UK summer on record.

        The rainfall records onlystarted in 1910 and 1912 was the wettest.

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2012/second-wettest-summer

        tonyb

      • Mark B (number 2)

        Louise, the early part of this year was very dry and March was particularly warm. To just select summer, is being selective just to try and prove a point. I remember at the end of October, on Countryfile, the weatherman said that October had been average in terms of rainfall and sunshine. When you look at the whole year (so far) the statistical record does not show anything extreme at all.
        When a lot of rain falls in the summer, people get frustrated, and try to make a big thing about it. When we get a lot of rain in winter, it tends to be less noticed, partly because there are more dark hours and less people are aware of rain when it falls during darkness( and they are inside). This is especially true of drizzle. As I said previously, there was a hose pipe ban in place (due to a dry spell), until the wet weather arrived in the middle of spring.
        The UK is an island in the Atlantic: You should be prepared for wet weather in this country because wet weather is quiet normal. I wouldn’t describe the wet summer which we have just experienced as “extreme weather”.

      • Louise, the early part of this year was very dry and March was particularly warm. To just select summer, is being selective just to try and prove a point. I remember at the end of October, on Countryfile, the weatherman said that October had been average in terms of rainfall and sunshine. When you look at the whole year (so far) the statistical record does not show anything extreme at all.

        So we had an unusually dry spring followed by an unusually dry summer and you want to get rid of them by averaging them out? We are talking about events here, it’s perfectly legitimate to be selective.

      • Tony,

        Elsewhere you were saying that Britain had more extreme events in past centuries. It seems to me you want to have it both ways ;)

      • Andrew

        The wettest ever summer was 1912 so that IS a past century!

        More seriously it seems to me that after reading thousands of observations that the worst weather often happened during cold periods not warm ones.

        Tonyb

      • Mark B (number 2)

        Andrew, it was actually a dry early spring followed by a wet summer, However, what you are describing as events was just run of the mill weather, and just unfortunate for anyone taking holidays in the summer in this country. Rainy days are not extreme weather events in the UK. It is unrealistic to expect any random events to be spread out evenly throughout a time period. Its like goals in a football game: you might get 5 in the first half, then none in the second. Or vice versa, it doesn’t mean that the players have got tired, or aren’t trying or the game is fixed. It is just how probability works.
        Now weather can get into a rut, and seems to repeat itself for several days or weeks, but this is normal, also. This tends to happen most when weather systems are moving in from the Atlantic. As a general rule, west winds bring rain.

      • Louise- was it in fact worse than what they had under the reign of George V? Or Victoria? How about George III or Charles II or James I? What was it like during the time of Elizabeth I or Henry VIII. Even Edward I. I wonder

    • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20470728

      Flood-hit areas of the UK are braced for a fresh deluge of heavy rain and gale force winds, expected to hit on Saturday morning.

      “As the rain band pushes northwards we’re going to see the winds really pick up in strength as well with gales and severe gales. The strongest gusts probably around 70mph or thereabouts towards the coast of Sussex and Kent. We’re also going to see very strong gusts, 60mph or so, inland.

      • Of course earlier in the year we had the opposite problem with drought conditions in some areas.

      • Mark B (number 2)

        You are ignoring the fact that today was a nice sunny day. If it rains tomorrow it doesn’t mean that CAGW is true.

  29. People are smart enough to figure out the pivot from “Global Warming ! Ack! We Are All Gonna Die” that didn’t happen to the latest, greatest, bestest fear mongering “Climate Change ! Ack! We Are All Gonna Die” that is being flogged now by the International Enviro Greenie Weenie Fund Raising and Fear Mongering Complex.

    Because change is to climate as wet is to water.

    • On the other hand if it was just as warm, wet and dry 1000 years ago then there has been no change. A sine wave oscillates but it does not change. Climate may be like that. “Climate change” is an incoherent concept.

  30. The problem is that the average Joes are presented with some of the following data or has it in their collective memory. This year was below average in tornadoes. We went 7 years since the last cat 3 hurricane hit landfall in the US. We remember the 1930s as the hottest period in the 20th century. We remember the droughts and the dust bowl of the 1930s. We understand the concept of the LIA. If you are only focused on the last 30 years all these extreme weather events may seem unusual. But if you have any sense of history, then one has to be a little more sanguine.

  31. Breaking News: Everything is normal here, so far, God willing and the creek don’t rise. Please tune in same time tomorrow for a report on if anything changed.

  32. ” “Anyone who says there is not a change in weather patterns is denying reality,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said after Sandy. New York has had two “hundred year storms” in two years, he noted. ”

    Yeah, weather patterns change.
    Such brilliance must result of an excellent education.

    Where in the world would find a higher number and percentage of
    people who believe in “climate change” than in NYC?

    And this city was incapable of preparing and dealing with any “change in weather patterns”. So the brain washing of climate change, seemed to prove that it has no value in regards to governance.

    Perhaps because the campaign regarding “climate change” involves so many untruths, and mired in lies, no attention was spend on doing anything about a possibility of “a change in weather patterns”?

  33. http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20110830/james-hansen-nasa-arrested-keystone-xl-pipeline-protests-oil-sands-climate-change-obama

    “At a pre-arrest rally in the park, Hansen reminded the boisterous crowd of then-Sen. Barack Obama’s victory speech in November 2008. He and his wife listened to Obama’s inspirational words from their Pennsylvania farmhouse. Hansen recounted being so moved that he had turned his face away so his wife wouldn’t see his tears.”
    Sorry, not my kinda guy. ;)

    Andrew

  34. …why, when the evidence is so strong, and so many agree that this is our greatest problem, are we doing so little about climate change?

    The simple reason is because IPCC’s projection for a warming of 0.2 deg C per decade for the next two decades was found to be wrong.

    In 2007, IPCC reported for further warming of 0.2 deg C per decade for the next two decades.

    Before 2007, the globe had warmed at the rate of about 0.2 deg C per decade for three decades.

    The global mean temperature (GMT) has a multi-decadal oscillation that has a warming and cooling phases of 30-years duration as shown:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1900/compress:12/detrend:0.8/offset:0.615/normalise/plot/jisao-pdo/compress:12/scale:0.2/plot/jisao-pdo/scale:0.000001

    Here is a NASA’s description of the above multi-decadal oscillation called PDO:

    Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

    Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    The above result shows IPCC’s 0.2 deg C per decade warming for the next two decades is just wrong because the PDO is in its cool phase for the next two decades. The overall long term linear warming of 0.6 deg C per century is cancelled out with the cool phase of the PDO resulting in a plateau in the GMT.

    You cannot have a multi-decadal oscillation of 60 year period and IPCC’s warming of 0.2 deg C per decade for 60 years. That is just impossible.

  35. We can test how irrelevant New Yorker’s really feel about the nomimal role of the Sun by asking that if humanly possible is it okay if we remove the earth to a more distant location such as an even 150M km instead of the present 149,600,000.

  36. George paints a picture of disaster affected communities sticking together and suffering in silence, while simply adapting to woes inflicted on them by others. I doubt any such community will just take it on the chin.

    Imagine in the future that the US gets slammed by some extreme disasters that are universally accepted to be caused by…China.

    Hows that going to play out? I suppose everyone will just adapt right. No calls for China to do a thing about it.

    Kind of like how everyone just adapted to 9/11 and figured to just accept more terrorist attacks and just live with it…?

    • “Imagine in the future that the US gets slammed by some extreme disasters that are universally accepted to be caused by…China.”

      If we imagine that CO2 emission will significantly increase global CO2 levels, and that higher levels of global CO2 would cause extreme disasters, then a substantial amount blame in the future could be assigned to China.

      But we have not done and are not doing anything about China- instead there has been a deliberate policy choice to ignore Chinese CO2 emission.
      Despite the US position that China needs to be put on the table before US will consider treaty matters regarding CO2.
      Or in other words, US position is obviously correct, and it is being ignored.

      So in terms politics, the whole issue of global CO2 emission has been badly
      addressed because of extreme levels of stupidity. Or one say the policy has *never* been about lower global CO2 levels, because if this was to sole purpose, no one could be this stupid. Instead reducing global CO2 level has been only *a part* of an agenda.
      And because it’s part of agenda, we get things like vast resource wasted on wind mills, solar power, ethanol subsidies, banning light bulbs, loads of other unrelated idiocy.
      If global CO2 emission was really the issue to be addressed, everyone knows that the increased use of nuclear energy would have been be an important or critical part of the path to reduce global CO2.

      The reason why China is such a high emitter of CO2, is because China uses a lot of coal for electrical power. China’s emission would be well below the US, if it wasn’t using so much coal.

      All the tiny inefficient and stupid measures which cost enormous loss of wealth, have been shown to be even more idiotic when one is aware of vast increase to human global CO2 emission recently from China.

      So the solutions now [which should considered decades ago] should be to put nuclear energy on the table as one of major solutions to global CO2 emission [something btw, President Bush did unilaterally in regards to India and US relations vis-à-vis Nuclear energy].

      But there more then just using more nuclear energy as solution [but it should not be ignored, if you think CO2 emission is very important].

      Another aspect which would important is increasing the supply of natural gas. The greens have done nothing of any use in this regard, but improvement gas and oil technology has develop a technology which does significantly address this problem- which environmentalist have been running fear propaganda war against.

      Other than getting natural gas from using fracking technology, there other ways the world get larger and more abundant supplies of natural gas. And generally there should be a broad governmental effort to encourage the increase use of natural gas.

      In terms taxing fossil use. http://wattsupwiththat.com/
      Has interview, here:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/23/the-next-video-from-wuwt-tv-dr-ross-mckitrick/

      Which goes over the basic economic principles which explain why the efforts of controlling CO2 emission have been a failure.
      So assuming one wanted to use government policy to control CO2, again the focus has not be focused on reducing CO2.

      So if one assume that rising human CO2 emission, will in the future cause “some extreme disasters” and the Chinese will have been to cause of most CO2 emission. The blame should be not China, but rather people who claim they wish to reduce global CO2, but trying to policy which is essentially unrelated to reducing CO2, but instead is about their crazy unworkable agenda.

  37. Absurd hypothetical lolwot. There is no compelling evidence that so-called “global warming” leads to more extreme weather. Even a warmist friendly journal like “Nature” is in agreement that such a link has notyet been established. But of course that doesn’t slow you down in the slightest.

    • That’s why I said “in the future”

      George Marshall is overlooking the human capacity to blame. His ideas only make sense while disasters cannot be pinned on man. But if climate disasters increase in frequency and magnitude to such an extent that human causation is the only credible explanation then the flood gates will open.

      Once a disaster or string of disasters is accepted to be due to man, there will a lot of finger-pointing and political unrest. Affected populations will point fingers at those they deem most at blame (fossil fuel companies, governments, etc) including seeking damages using civil suits and demands for immediate global action to curb emissions, etc.

      At that moment the most serious aspect is that if another disaster happens and no-one did anything about it, the calls for negligence and damage compensation will expand.

      If these blame games cross international borders then there could be immense political tension. After-all what the moral situation when country is increasing the GHG levels of another country against their will, in full knowledge that this is causing disasters?

      Is self-defense by military means morally justifiable in that situation?

      • I think warmists will try to move the whole AGW “in the future”, as it becomes clear that it’s all natural fluctuation.

      • Berényi Péter

        @lolwot – “if climate disasters increase in frequency and magnitude to such an extent etc., etc.”

        Yep. If my auntie had a certain appendage, she would be my uncle.

  38. Chief Hydrologist

    <a href="“>

    • t has been suggested that the negative phase of the PDO favors the formation of La Niñas. According to the U. of Washington Climate Impacts Group (http://cses.washington.edu/cig/pnwc/compensopdo.shtml), there were 24 La Niñas during negative phases of the PDO and 13 during positive phases. El Niños were about even for both phases 18 during negative phases and 17 during positive phases. It does appear that La Niñas occur more frequently during negative PDO phases. So the negative phase of the PDO does seem to favor La Niñas, but there is no difference in the number of El Niños between negative and positive phases of the PDO.

      El Niños favor increased annual average global temperatures, and La Niñas favor decreased annual average global temperatures. From 1944 to 1947, the PDO transitioned from a strong positive phase to neutral, and in 1947, it shifted into a negative phase, and by 1948, it was strongly negative. These events were temporally near, but not coincident with the drop in global temperatures. Along with the shift in phase, there were La Niña years in 1943 and 1945 (see Table 1 – http://cses.washington.edu/cig/pnwc/compensopdo.shtml). In about 1976 (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/281/5374/240), there was a shift from the negative PDO back to the positive PDO. Some climatologists believe there has been another shift in 2007 from the positive to the negative phase (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-066). This could favor an increased frequency of La Niñas.

  39. Chief Hydrologist

    I guess I have to say something serious now. Anyone know how to include images in comments? FAN has switched now that his smileys have been disabled. What a relief. But it would be nice to add some serious and relevant images.

    Mere warming is immaterial. The questions are how much anthropogenic carbon emissions added to concentrations and how much warming that caused. The satellites say very little. ‘If real’ (AR4) – it could just be ‘low frequency climate variability’. I am keeping an open mind on low frequncy climate variability because we are in a totally unexpected – by some – cool Pacific mode and it seems unlikely to warm for a decade or three more at least.

    The PDO and ENSO are linked in a phenomenon sometimes called the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation. ‘This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The cool mode PDO is associated with more frequent and intense La Nina and vice verse.

    Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    Although as blah blah dum points outs they don’t actually nominate when ithe IPO augments warming and or hides it. One might assume that it hides warming when the planet is not warming and vice versa. The periods of positive PDO coincide exactly with warming and vice versa. That is – there is a precise temporal correlation between mode shifts in the PDO and warming and cooling phases. Amazing.

    It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

    Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

    ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of the size and complexity of the climate system.’ https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/aatsonis/www/2007GL030288.pdf

    ENSO is also the source of much hydrological variability across the planet and varied immensely over the Holocene.

    • CH

      The periods of positive PDO coincide exactly with warming and vice versa. That is – there is a precise temporal correlation between mode shifts in the PDO and warming and cooling phases. Amazing.

      It’s…

      Not

      The

      PDO!

      Sorry!

      ;-)

      • CH

        ENSO is also the source of much hydrological variability across the planet and varied immensely over the Holocene.

        It’s not ENSO either!

      • The PDO is a 60 year cycle (see–e.g., Scafetta)

      • Yes, Wagathon. Very good. Now look at the divergence between global average temperature and the PDO! since the early 1980s. The link is just above.

        A fun way of looking at the three graphs is to click through them in order. That’s why I put each one on a different line:

        Not

        The

        PDO!

        The links are just above. Enjoy!

      • “There is also the possibility that the Earth’s orbital parameters are directly modulated by
        the gravitational forces of Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon, and the Sun’s magnetic force in
        such a way that the length of day is modulated and/or other planetary parameters are altered.
        For example, the rotation of the Earth on its axis shows 60-year cycles that anticipate those
        of the temperature by a few years [18, 23]. Variations in the Earth’s rotation and tides
        caused by the lunar cycles can drive ocean oscillations, which in turn may alter the climate
        [19]. For example, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal
        Oscillation (PDO) present clear 60-year cycles and other faster cycles, see Figures 14 and
        15. None of these mechanisms are included in the models adopted by the IPCC.” ~Scafetta

      • Wagathon

        For example, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) present clear 60-year cycles and other faster cycles, see Figures 14 and 15. None of these mechanisms are included in the models adopted by the IPCC.” ~Scafetta

        The data are there above for all to see. No IPCC models included! Nobody disputes the apparent cyclical behaviours of the ocean oscillations (the clue is in the names). But it’s…

        Not

        The

        PDO!

        The links are still just above. Have another look!

      • …Variations in the Earth’s rotation and tides caused by the lunar cycles can drive ocean oscillations, which in turn may alter the climate…

      • Blah Blah Duh, One of the common mistakes made with the PDO index, a detrended anomaly index, is trying to compare it with a non-detrended data set without considering lags or the weighting differences between the two. Since the PDO is an ocean oscillation and Surface Air Temperature well Surface Air Temperature, The response of a Global Air temperature data set would likely be different than a region ocean temperature index.

        If you detrend the surface air temperature and normalize both data sets before comparing, you might be on you way to discovering some of the wonderful complexities of climate like lags times greater than a month or so. I believe Tsonis used a seven year window in his comparisons. But then not doing that does tend to support you desired meme, don’t it?

      • Oscillations do not trends make!

        One only has to think about it and look at the pretty pictures.

      • Blah Blah Duh, If you detrend a series to create an index all you have left is an oscillation. Since you are concerned with ocean heat uptake, if you were curious, a rare commodity it seems, you would look at SST and coastal/island surface station Tmin data to confirm and find an under lying trend beginning in circa 1900 with a dip circa 1946 that correlates rather well with AMO/PDO variations.

        If you were really curious, you would compare regional SST and find that the region 44S-64S is extremely stable but has that same under lying trend and it leads the PDO/AMO shifts, another indication of change in the rate of ocean heat uptake.

        If you were extremely curious, you could compare coastal/island Tmin data and find there was a shift in the diurnal temperature range circa 1985 that includes an ~3C step change in the North Atlantic That impacted most of higher northern Europe.

        If you were curious.

      • Blah Blah Duh, One of the common mistakes made with the PDO index, a detrended anomaly index, is trying to compare it with a non-detrended data set without considering lags or the weighting differences between the two. Since the PDO is an ocean oscillation and Surface Air Temperature well Surface Air Temperature, The response of a Global Air temperature data set would likely be different than a region ocean temperature index.

        One of the mistakes contrarians make is to ignore the obvious.

      • BBD

        It’s

        Not

        CO2

        Sorry!

        Max

      • Saying

        It

        Don’t

        Make

        It

        So

        You need to back it up!

        Sorry, Max!

      • … the rotation of the Earth on its axis shows 60-year cycles that anticipate those of the temperature by a few years [18, 23]… (Ibid.)

  40. Berényi Péter

    “The relationship between climate disasters and perceptions of climate change is complex as it is mediated by socially constructed narratives.”

    Are we supposed to assume there is a relationship between climate disasters and climate change in the first place? A relationship, which can be described by a consistent set of true propositions, a set with low Kolmogorov complexity, one should add. If such relationship does not exits, that is, the relationship is so complex it defies simple description, which means any (huge) set of propositions attempting to describe it fully is either unverifiable, contradictory or both, but incomprehensible for sure under any circumstances, then it is surely the best possible strategy for society to radically uncouple perceptions of climate change from such a murky relationship, because it is the only rational strategy under these circumstances.

    If campaigners and communicators attempt to go against reason, that’s their business, but anyone else should be aware of the fact, that their failure has nothing to do with socially constructed narratives, but everything with the lack of firm factual bases.

    • Except that it is the lack of firm factual bases that provides an avenue for prejudice, superstition and ignornce to rear its ugly head which oftentimes is what gives rise to antisocially constructed narratives as we see in the case of global warming alarmism. Dissappointingly it is academia’s ugly head we see above the crowd and the reason for that is what’s really scary.

  41. In Australia we are quite used to temoerature changes of 30C to 40C in a single day, so it is unlikely that we would notice a change of less than 1C over 10 years. Farmers who find their crops ripening earlier might notice it, buried in much larger year to year variations.

    Percepttions of the role of the UN are also important. Probably more so in the US where the UN tower is a constant reminder of its presence. There are starry-eyed individuals, disillusioned with democracy, who think world government is the way to go. The UN for its part is glad to take over the control of any problem that governments are prepared to surrender. Like all power structures it feels that it is on the way up. That governments of the world were prepared to surrender climate to this body on such scientifically flimsy evidence attests to its influence. Now their is a scramble to justify their decisions, despite the UN’s IPCC failure to recognise the fall in temoerature between 1940 and 1970 and the constant average temperature from 2000.

    • Why is it that Australians are overly represented as the most rabid commenters?
      Lang, Chief Astrologist, Girma, StephTheDenier, Beth Cooper, you all seem to have been indoctrinated to pitching wild theories as a way to argue.

      I would argue that they are just Wiggles and irrelevant anecdotes to a rational scientific discussion.

      • And who could forget Doug Cotton the commenter that can single-handedly derail any discussion into absurdity.

        An to top it off, I am almost certain that Myrrh is also an Australian as he posts frequently on blogs most conducive to his time zone, such as Jo Nova. Even climate skeptics know to keep their distance from Myrrh.

        Talking about anomalies ….

      • “I would argue that they are just Wiggles ”

        Well, let’s argue on the science. That would be great.

      • You guys are an embarrassment to your country.

        It’s impossible to discuss science with clowns like Girma Gobbles and Chief Astrologist.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are an embarassment to Minnesota – and that’s saying something.

  42. The article is bad, but you Prof. Curry are a real scientist. AGW, not climate change, that’s right.

  43. BBD

    Here is the REMARKABLE correlation between PDO and GMST since 1978!

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1978/mean:12/detrend:0.7/normalise/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1978/mean:12/normalise

    0.07 deg C per decade has been removed from the data by detrending.

    MAGIC.

  44. BBD

    The following are the facts as I see them from the following data:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/compress:12/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/derivative/normalise/from:1979.3/plot/rss/normalise/trend

    1) During El Nino, the increase in CO2 concentration depends on the strength of El Nino.
    2) During La Nina, the decrease in CO2 concentration depends on the strength of La Nina.
    3) As soon as El Nino changes to La Nina, the CO2 concentration decreases.
    4) As soon as La Nina changes to El Nino, the CO2 concentration increases.
    5) There is little lag between change in GMT and the corresponding change in CO2 concentartion.

    These results are based on satellite GMT data from Remote Sensing System and CO2 data from Mauna Loa.

    We can assume the above relationship to be valid for the whole of the 20th century, which suggest CO2 concentration was higher in the 1940’s compared to in the 1910’s because of the warming from 1910 to 1940.

    Here is the relationship between PDO and detrended GMT:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1978/mean:12/detrend:0.7/normalise/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1978/mean:12/normalise/plot/rss/scale:0.00001

    • For the third time(!!!), you fooled yourself with your own graph-play. CO2 does not decrease during La Nina. It is your normalizing that does that.

  45. BBD

    Oscillations do not trends make!

    True.

    However, when the warming phase of the oscillation is 30 years long, you will have a warming trend WINTHIN THIS 30 years PERIOD due to this oscillation. BBD, that is one generation long!

  46. Given yer lack of evidence, BBD, for you have not
    presented any, and given that only one period in the
    20th and 21st temperature record shows positive
    correlation between CO2 and rising atmospheric
    temperatures, I can’t understand yer CERTAINTY.

    http://www.climate4you.com/

    See section on global monthly temperature and CO2

  47. Girma

    BBD has a basic problem.

    If it’s not AGW it has to be insignificant.

    Cyclical changes are perceived by BBD to be “insignificant”, even if the cycle is quite long.

    The problem with his logic is that it falters when one considers that the IPCC “poster period” of 1976-2000 was not even 30 years long, and some of these cyclical changes are equally long or longer.

    He obviously cannot explain the current slight cooling – that’s not to say he cannot try to “rationalize” it away: “it’s not really happening, natural variability, solar cycle 24, Chinese aerosol emissions”, etc., etc.

    Max

  48. Interesting article–an analysis of those natural disasters best open to traditional, razzle-dazzle, swing-into-immediate-action, chicken-little agit-prop and those requiring a more nuanced, “long-term” propaganda campaign worked by “trusted local communicators” and aimed at fitting a particular natural disaster into “a narrative pattern of longer term change.”

    TRUSTED LOCAL COMMUNICATORS?!!!–What’s that all about? “TRUSTED” to do what, Mr. Marshall?

    -Trusted, perhaps, to parrot unfailingly the greenshirt party-line and keep up with its ever-morphing twists and turns as this, that, and another eco-politiburo member disappears into the memory-hole along with his/her signature, scare-booger memes and slogans?

    -Trusted, perhaps, to deliver with insectoid, Pavlovian-reflex reliability their assigned, flim-flam “narrative” in accordance with the latest in hive-approved, sales-pitch technology and mind-control research?

    Clicking the link to Mr. Marshall’s COIN charity may provide an insight into Mr. Marshall’s emphasis on “trusted” communicators–apparently COIN has been having a little problem getting good help.

    It seems that COIN is seeking a new Executive Director (notice at the top of the COIN home page, details for applicants in the notice’s “Employment and Volunteering” link). And the position is advertised for those who “fancy a new challenge”. The nature of the challenge?

    COIN informs the prospective applicant that “We have a Board of five Trustees, an interim Executive Direction, and six staff, assisted by some long-term volunteers and occasional interns.”

    -Hmmm…Might the astute, prospective applicant for COIN’s Executive Director position, reading the above and trying to read between the lines, wonder if he/she is not dealing, in COIN, with some sort of an all-Chiefs/no Indians hive-pit of Philosopher King and Queen prima donnas?

    -Could the same applicant also wonder just who at COIN empties the trash, cleans the head, waters the plants, makes the coffee (or tea), dusts the blinds, swabs the deck, runs the vacuum, files the correspondence and all that other sort of good thing? Might these be collateral duties for the Executive Director?–the applicant might further wonder. Or, maybe, the prospective applicant might speculate that everyone in COIN is just too busy with the fight against impending environmental doom to bother themselves with such trivial matters–in which case the prospective applicant might well be left pondering if he/she really wants to work in one of these noisome, bunch-‘a-losers, militant-slob, pig-sty workplaces that are such a commonplace, picturesque feature of the hive’s charitable enterprises.

    And then there is the line in COIN’s “Employment and Volunteering” page that characterizes COIN’s “talented staff” as follows: “We have some fine staff who can push the work forward, but who can be so busy planting “trees” that they could loose sight of the wood.”

    -Reading that last, might the applicant say to him/herself, “Hmm…is all that artful wording just code-language to let the prospective applicant know that the current workforce is spending a little too much time on its natural-disaster, polar-bear and Arctic sea-ice related, spastic-dork eco-hysterics and not nearly enough–by a long shot–on bringing in the dough and I’ll be, as Executive Director, expected to get a handle on all that mess?” And given that lefty, save-the-world types disproportionately suffer from massive, psychiatrist-proof, social-skill dysfunctions, might the applicant–even the most stalwart of “new challenge” fanciers–doubt their ability to handle a screwed-up, “talented staff” potentially dominated by un-cooperative, prickly, whiny-geek, creep-out “problem-employees?”

    Then the applicant is informed, generally, of their duties, which appear to prominently include: “…raise funds to pay them [the ‘talented staff’].” and “…to keep finding new sources of funding to keep the whole show on the road.” And just so the applicant knows the score with regards to what is likely to be his/her most important duty, COIN thoughtfully informs any clueless idiot that has persisted in reading their “Employment & Applicant” page to that point that, “We [COIN] are challenged by the current funding climate”. Yeah buddy! Sounds like your basic employment opportunity for someone with a “fancy” for a “new challenge”, all right!

    Finally, COIN also requires their prospective, Executive Director applicants to have in their bag-of-tricks certain sterling personal qualities: “We expect a certain measure of resilience and maturity, and an ability to step around the dangers of burnout.”

    -Note that COIN only expects “resilience and maturity” in its prospective, Executive Director applicants in “certain measure”. So might the prospective applicant, reading the above, entertain the notion that COIN’s thinking here is that the charity doesn’t want to over-emphasize the “resilience and maturity” requirement since It undoubtedly realizes that applicants for a position like “Executive Director” at a place like COIN are all drawn from a small, shallow pool and that all prospects in that pool are to greater or lesser degree gravy-train seeking, slothful, goof-offish, momma’s-boy, chronic-complaining weirdos with a sense of entitlement? And that COIN doesn’t want to scare off its whole universe of potential applicants, at the outset, with a turn-off insistence on the “resilience and maturity” business.

    -Also, might the prospective applicant, again reading between the lines, wonder if the past history of COIN’s “Executive Directorship” includes a few, problematic episodes in the “resilience and maturity” department?

    -And then there’s the “burnout” hint about the job which is about as cold-blooded and chilling as the Surgeon General’s cancer warming on a package of cigarettes.

    Lots more good stuff on COIN’s website!–check it out, guys. I mean, like, they even maintain–surprise! surprise!–a pathetic, loser blog (chock-a-block with “denier” this’s and “denier” that’s all over the place) that nobody reads (check out the number of comments), called “Talking Climate” that rivals Robert’s pathetic, loser “Idiot Tracker” blog abomination that, likewise, nobody reads.

    And, say, fellow denizens of this blog, won’t it be fun to wake up some day and find that COIN’s “talented staff” is now running our Ministry of Truth in that brave-new-gulag hive-heaven the greenshirt “trusted”-comrades have been planning for it seems like forever and is now ready to be sprung on us the moment we take our eye off our enviro-flake, hive-bozo good-buddies?

  49. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://www.agu.org/journals/abs/2006/2005GL025052.shtml

    It is both of these systems that merge in a Pacific wide multi-decadal event. Now I have a couple of questions for CE denizens.

    ‘Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”’

    Who are we going to believe – blah blah dumblebum or Josh Willis?

    ‘Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif’

    Who we going to believe – blah blah duh or Bill Patzert.

    Give it up blah blah. You just ain’t got no class, you ain’t got no smarts and you ain’t got no oceanography. All you got is some wood for dimwits graphs that don’t say what you fervidly imagine they say.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Well said Chief…nice way to put the folks who believe blah blah duh and read the wood for dimwit graphs in their place…which will be the great garbage dump of history.

    • CH

      Give it up blah blah. You just ain’t got no class, you ain’t got no smarts and you ain’t got no oceanography. All you got is some wood for dimwits graphs that don’t say what you fervidly imagine they say.

      You are fond of telling me that things don’t say what I think they say. The wonderful thing about the PDO vs GAT graphs is that they are unambiguous. They say that the following statment is wrong:

      The periods of positive PDO coincide exactly with warming and vice versa. That is – there is a precise temporal correlation between mode shifts in the PDO and warming and cooling phases. Amazing.

      I repeat: what you say here is wrong.

      Its

      Not

      The

      PDO!

      Now we’re back to the same pathology you exhibited over being caught out misrepresenting Swanson & Tsonis. Despite having the evidence of your error held up in front of you over and over again, you carry on frothing, and spewing abuse and refuse to acknowledge your very public mistake.

      It’s rather unsettling to be honest. Rational people don’t behave this way.

    • This was my attempt to find a connection between PDO (blue) and global temperature (CO2 also on there just for reference).

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/normalise/from:1960/offset:0.4/plot/best/from:1960/mean:120/mean:60/plot/jisao-pdo/from:1955/mean:120/mean:60

      Perhaps I am missing something, or not reading something into it, but it looks like a fail.

      • Jim D

        Natty!

        On the subject of CO2, Girma was wittering on about how ENSO is responsible for CO2 rise and not clever monkeys.

        I offered this. Nice muted colours, don’t you think?

        ;-)

        BTW, did our host really turn emoticons off because of FOMD? I hope not; that would be rather depressing.

      • I see FOMD is now doing some creative things with LaTeX. Can’t stop him that easily.

      • If it works, I can say things like 3 \sigma

      • I can only explain it as a blind spot, not seeing that CO2 is a better explanation than these pattern indices. They ask us to look at their Rorschach tests and believe them, and they certainly believe in each others.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Should I put this here – http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/23/why-climate-disasters-might-not-increase-concern-about-climate-change/#comment-270843

        What are the odds of you guys being right about anything? Not much as the world refuses to warm for another decade or three.

      • What are the odds of you guys being right about anything? Not much as the world refuses to warm for another decade or three.

        It’s still not the PDO! Look at the pretty pictures.

        I am laughing at you right now, as I type this.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ”Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        AS for S&T09

        ‘‘However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained. The apparent lack of a proximate cause behind the halt in warming post 2001/02 challenges our understanding of the climate system, specifically the physical reasoning and causal links between longer time-scale modes of internal climate variability and the impact of such modes upon global temperature. Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal-scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al., 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.’ S&T09

        You are so abusive but so musguided. By all means if you have any evidence at all that the Pacific Interdecadal Oscillation doesn’t ‘sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities…or have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”’ – please tell someone. Or is it simply bad faith – lies and sham.

      • CH

        As I have said many times, the PDO might be one factor behind the current warming hiatus, but it very obviously did not drive GAT up since the early 1980s. There really is no lying your way around this.

        Most people understand that short-term climate variability averages out over time. Long-term trends can only result for long-term forcings.

        Most people understand that this is in fact what S&T actually wrote:

        Finally, it is vital to note that there is no comfort to be gained by having a climate with a significant degree of internal variability, even if it results in a near-term cessation of global warming. It is straightforward to argue that a climate with significant internal variability is a climate that is very sensitive to applied anthropogenic radiative anomalies (c.f. Roe [2009]). If the role of internal variability in the climate system is as large as this analysis would seem to suggest, warming over the 21st century may well be larger than that predicted by the current generation of models, given the propensity of those models to underestimate climate internal variability [Kravtsov and Spannagle 2008].

        See also Huber & Knutti (2011):

        We find that since the mid-twentieth century, greenhouse gases contributed 0.85C of warming (5–95% uncertainty: 0.6–1.1C), about half of which was offset by the cooling effects of aerosols, with a total observed change in global temperature of about 0.56C. The observed trends are extremely unlikely (<5%) to be caused by internal variability, even if current models were found to strongly underestimate it. Our method is complementary to optimal
        fingerprinting attribution and produces fully consistent results, thus suggesting an even higher confidence that human-induced causes dominate the observed warming.

        And:

        Our results show that it is extremely likely that at least 74% (+/-12%, 1σ) of the observed warming since 1950 was caused by radiative forcings, and less than 26% (+/-12%) by unforced internal variability. Of the forced signal during that particular period, 102% (90-116%) is due to anthropogenic and 1% (-10 to 13%) due to natural forcing. The discrepancy between the total and the sum of the two contributions (14% on average) arises because the total ocean heat uptake is different from the sum of the responses to the individual forcings.

        Even you must by now haver realised just how horribly screwed you are here. But keep on blethering. It’s fun to watch!

      • Something else we need to get straight. Your amusingly pompous reiteration that you are a ‘climate catastrophist in the sense of Rene Thom’ deserves a poke in the eye.

        Sensitive climate systems don’t flip into cold states under sustained and increasing forcing unless something interesting happens. The only analogues you have pointed to are deglacial climate phenomena like the high latitude NH freshwater flux that seems to have halted the AMOC and triggered the Younger Dryas. But we are 11.5ka into the Holocene. There’s no obvious analogue for deglacial climate conditions. No Laurentide ice sheet. No Lake Agassiz. No abrupt and massive injections freshwater fluxes at high NH latitudes.

        So what mechanism do you advance for a profound cooling event? I think we should look at these previously unexamined assumptions in more detail. It could be fun!

        Even if there was some plausible mechanism for an abrupt shift to a cold climate state, would this not be just another reason for concern over the consequences of GHG emissions? Is this not the fundamental message from the NAS report that you were waving about several days ago?

        You won’t say if you think that there will be 2C or more warming this century. I’ve asked repeatedly. Your default response is to claim that the climate system is inherently unpredictable.

        So why haven’t we flipped into a slushball or a greenhouse during the Pleistocene? There have been many glacial/interglacial climate shifts under orbital forcing. You keep claiming that the forced climate system is ‘exquisitely sensitive’ just before ‘chaotic bifurcations’ occur. So, where are they in paleoclimate? We see nothing really *random* there to demonstrate all this *unpredictability* under sustained forcing change that you are so adamant about. Exactly the opposite, in fact. Orbitally paced deglaciations are all broadly similar responses to a change in forcing. The climate behaves predictably under changing orbital forcing.

        It’s not looking good for climate catastrophists in the sense of Rene Thom, is it?

      • I think it’s pretty picture time again! All together now: one, two, three!

        Its…

        Not

        The

        PDO!

        ;-)

      • JimD, A blind spot could be ignoring the other things going on in favor of a pet theory. The object should be to discover the cause of the anomalies.

        That is kinda poking fun, but the hemispheres are never in “balance”. There is too much asymmetry for that to be possible. So there will be some degree of oscillation or “hunting” in the search of “equilibrium”.

        You can make the same comparison yourself with the regional data by normalizing (anomaly divided by stan. dev. in this case). This doesn’t require any “forcing” since the regional “sensitivity” is not constant.

        If you can back out the natural variability and the amplification of that variability, you can get a little closer to the sensitivity to long wave forcing. But it is still non-linear as long as the global has asymmetric heat capacity.

      • Cap’n

        A blind spot could be ignoring the other things going on in favor of a pet theory.

        One has to smile.

        :-)

      • So far, the data are consistent with the CO2-driver theory for the forcing. No need to invent other things for that part. There is interest in understanding the internal natural variability of ocean circulations, but in the long run it is just academic, as it doesn’t change the forcing.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What S&T wrote in the preceeding paragraph was ‘as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.

        The meaning of this seems quite clear to me. We are looking at emergent properties as a new climate state emerges involving changes in cloud, dust, biologiy, ice, snow and ocean circulation.

        There are many abrupt changes in the paleorecord – no limited to the YD or the 8.2 kyr event. They are merely the most obvious in the holocene. Glacials and intergalcials themselves are abrupt events modulated by runaway ice feedbacks.

        http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309074347

        4 abrupt climate shifts (climate catastrophes in the sense of Rene Thom) were identified last century by Tsonis annd colleagues presumably involving cloud chages as they say.

        You don’t understand the ideas of complex systems theory and keep going around on a treadmill like a hamster. It is not terribly amusing to watch.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It does indeed change the cloud radiative forcing.

        And it is nonstationary and nongaussian. It varies substantially over millennnia at least.

      • CH, cloud effects are not self-sustaining, unlike sea-ice changes for example which clearly can be. They are a symptom of forcing changes, not a cause. In the case of clouds, the addition of aerosols can give them more effect, but there the forcing is aerosols, not the clouds themselves.

      • Chief, it is amusing to watch :)

      • And indeed, some like Lindzen have denied the cooling effect of aerosols too, but we don’t know where any individual skeptic stands on this effect as they never talk about it, and it is clear why.

      • CH

        There are many abrupt changes in the paleorecord – no limited to the YD or the 8.2 kyr event. They are merely the most obvious in the holocene. Glacials and intergalcials themselves are abrupt events modulated by runaway ice feedbacks.

        No late Holocene mechanism for abrupt cooling events here. Too vague. I don’t think there’s a plausible mechanism for abrupt and major cooling during the C21st under a sustained increase in GHG forcing. Wibbles, certainly, but wibbles that likely net warm on a centennial scale as S&T09 explicitly cautions. Did you miss that bit? I must give you the exact quote some time.

        And I still want to know why nothing *unpredictable* happened during glacial/interglacial transitions. This seems to me to be the best test of your claims.

        Why haven’t we flipped into a slushball or a greenhouse during the Pleistocene? There have been many glacial/interglacial climate shifts under orbital forcing. You maintain that the forced climate system is ‘exquisitely sensitive’ just before ‘chaotic bifurcations’ occur. So, why the absolutely predictable behaviour?

        We see nothing really *random* to demonstrate all this *unpredictability* under sustained forcing change that you are so adamant about. Exactly the opposite, in fact. Orbitally paced deglaciations are all broadly similar responses to a change in forcing. The climate behaves predictably under changing orbital forcing.

        How do you square this with climate catastrophism in the sense of Rene Thom?

      • JimD, “And indeed, some like Lindzen have denied the cooling effect of aerosols too,” Denied or just questioned the overuse of aerosols in tuning?

      • Lindzen effectively said we don’t understand aerosols, so we can ignore them (i.e. assume their effect is zero). Not good science. At least make an estimate if you are going to be doing energy budgets.

    • Chief

      We are arguing with environmental pseudo scientists, not with those who have background in applied science.

      • You aren’t arguing. You are cooking graphs.

      • “You are cooking graphs”

        Conspriracy Theory?

        Andrew

      • A Girma can’t be a conspiracy BA ;-) Look up the definition of conspiracy…

      • Here’s another pretty picture that I made especially for you, Girma.

        Here we see decadal means for GISTEMP, HadCRUT4 and PDO over the full extent of all three records. Very clearly.

      • The PDO believers have been waiting for the temperature to decline since 1985 according to this. Unfortunately the 90’s warmed fast instead and it is a net rise till today. How long more do we need wait for this decline, or after nearly 30 years can we give up on it?

      • Jim D

        The PDO believers have been waiting for the temperature to decline since 1985 according to this.

        It’s a b*gger, isn’t it? But they are going to have to face up to the facts: recent warming cannot be attributed to PDO phase. That said, I’m prepared to accept that PDO phase might be contributing to the warming hiatus. You can just about make that case from the data ;-)

        But then there’s Meehl et al. (2011) and Hansen & Sato (2011).

        Scientists investigate and propose hypotheses and deniers assert denial. And so it goes on.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Ya like pretty pictures blah blah duh?

        The PDO turned positive in the late 1970’s.

        http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/

        This is associated with changes in the frequency and intensity of ENSO events. A shift to more frequent and intense EL Nino followed by a shift to La Nina after 1998. The ‘Great Pacific Climate Shift’ of the 1970’s (why don’t you google it) – followed by another mysterious shift after 1998.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

        ‘One of the most important and mysterious events in recent climate history is the climate shift in the mid-1970s [Graham, 1994]. In the northern hemisphere 500-hPa atmospheric flow the shift manifested itself as a collapse of a persistent wave-3 anomaly pattern and the emergence of a strong wave-2 pattern. The shift was accompanied by sea-surface temperature (SST) cooling in the central Pacific and warming off the coast of western North America [Miller et al., 1994]. The shift brought sweeping long-range changes in the climate of northern hemisphere. Incidentally, after ‘‘the dust settled,’’ a new long era of frequent El Niño’s superimposed on a sharp global temperature increase begun. While several possible triggers for the shift have been suggested and investigated [Graham, 1994; Miller et al., 1994; Graham et al., 1994], the actual physical mechanism that led to this shift is not known. Understanding the dynamics of such phenomena is essential for our ability to make useful prediction of climate change. A major obstacle to this understanding is the extreme complexity of the climate system, which makes it difficult to disentangle causal connections leading to the observed climate behavior.’ Tsonis et al 2009 – https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/aatsonis/www/2007GL030288.pdf

        The shifts are associated with cloud cover changes – e.g. Clements et al 2009 – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Clementetal2009.png for the north east Pacific and Burgman et al in the central Pacific.

        Burgman et al (2008) use a variety of data sources to examine decadal variability of surface winds, water vapour (WV), outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and clouds. They conclude that the ‘most recent climate shift, which occurred in the 1990s during a period of continuous satellite coverage, is characterized by a ‘La Niña’ SST pattern with significant signals in the central equatorial Pacific and also in the north-eastern subtropics. There is a clear westward shift in convection on the equator, and an apparent strengthening of the Walker circulation. In the north-eastern subtropics, SST cooling coinciding with atmospheric drying appears to be induced by changes in atmospheric circulation. There is no indication in the wind speed that the changes in SST or WV are a result of changes in the surface heat flux. There is also an increase in OLR which is consistent with the drying. Finally, there is evidence for an increase in cloud fraction in the stratus regions for the 1990s transition as seen in earlier studies.’

        In a study that was widely interpreted as a demonstration of a positive global warming cloud feedback, Amy Clement and colleagues (2009) presented observational evidence of decadal change in cloud cover in surface observation of clouds from the Comprehensive Ocean Atmosphere Data Set (COADS). ‘Both COADS and adjusted ISCCP data sets show a shift toward more total cloud cover in the late 1990s, and the shift is dominated by low- level cloud cover in the adjusted ISCCP data. The longer COADS total cloud time series indicates that a similar magnitude shift toward reduced cloud cover occurred in the mid-1970s, and this earlier shift was also dominated by marine stratiform clouds. . . Our observational analysis indicates that increased SST and weaker subtropical highs will act to reduce NE Pacific cloud cover.’ As was clearly stated in the paper, the evidence was for a decadal cloud feedback. The feedbacks correspond exactly to changes in the Pacific multi-decadal pattern.

        The influence of ENSO is obvious. One needs only do what Swanson did – and which you objected to most vehemently – is subtract the large ENSO events in 1976/77/78 and 1998 by excluding these years and taking a trend from 1979 to 1997. Assume, as Swanson does, that the trend is the ‘true global warming signal’. Although the satellites do tell a different story.

        ‘The only long-term time series (1979–2001) of energy divergence in the atmosphere (Trenberth and Stepaniak, 2003b) are based on NRA, which, although not reliable for depicting trends, are reliable on interannual times scales for which they show substantial variability associated with ENSO. Analyses by Trenberth and Stepaniak (2003b) reveal more divergence of energy out of the deep tropics in the 1990s compared with the 1980s due to differences in ENSO, which may account for at least some of the changes discussed above.

        In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. ‘ AR4 3.4.4.1

        You can selectively quote all you like . ‘Warming may well be greater’ and not the preceding paragraph ‘there may well be surprises at both the warming and cooling ends of the spectrum.’ You may not understand how that can be – and there is little enough certainty on which to judge – but mere ignorance and the inability to realistically assess our depth of ignorance does not excuse your being a bombastic , foolish and abusive troll.

      • CH

        mere ignorance and the inability to realistically assess our depth of ignorance does not excuse your being a bombastic , foolish and abusive troll.

        But we are still stuck with a few intractable problems:

        – oscillations cancel out and cannot drive long-term trends

        – the PDO is an oscillation (the clue is in the name!)

        this is a long-term trend in GAT vs the PDO

        this is a divergence

        – the frequency and amplitude of climate oscillations may be influenced by a long-term forcing; they are the kittens, not the cat

        And going back a comment or two:

        – how do we square a long series of orbitally forced deglaciations with climate catastrophism in the sense of Rene Thom?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        They are not oscillations at all – a mere misnomer – if the theory of synchronous chaos is correct (and it certainly has some high powered support) – it is an abrupt shift to a new finite volume of the climate phase space topology.

        How many times does it need to be said – it is a pan Pacific phenomenon called the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation – again a misnomer. The PDO and ENSO are best seen as network nodes in a system. They are standing patterns that capture important aspects of variability in the underlying system. They are not the system itself – which is determined by the global interactions of components.

        ‘Climate is ultimately complex. Complexity begs for reductionism. With reductionism, a puzzle is studied by way of its pieces. While this approach illuminates the climate system’s components, climate’s full picture remains elusive. Understanding the pieces does not ensure understanding the collection of pieces. This conundrum motivates our study.’

        http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/guest-post-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-northern-hemisphere%E2%80%99s-climate-variability-by-marcia-glaze-wyatt-sergey-kravtsov-and-anastasios-a-tsonis/

        The frequency and intensity of these events change over millennia as climate shifts through emergent states. There are constraints on the phase space topology and it is presumed that glacials/interglacials are Quaternary phase space limits.

        With complex systems we are looking at control variables that push climate past a tipping point, there are large fluctuations as systems act and interact before climate settles into a new emergent state. This is an utterly different concept of how climate works than the one you are used to.

        The orbital cycles are insufficient in themselves to create these large glacial/interglacial changes. At some point a snow and ice feedback occurs and this causes runaway cooling. The precise interactions are unknown but – as Tsonis says – we should be careful about poking a nonlinear system.

        ‘We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point. The presence of a phase transition is crucial to learn how to diagnose in advance the symptoms associated with a coming dragon-king.’ http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

        The dragon-king is the harbinger of catastrophe (in the sense of René Thom). René Thom’s catastrophe theory is a mathematics of continuous action (such as a forcing on climate) producing a discontinuous result. It is equivalent in complex systems theory – as Didier Sornette says – to these other terms commonly used for discontinuous shifts in systems. So when I say I am a climate catastrophist – I am trying to provoke understanding of complex systems.

        You would benefit from being more a natural philosopher than a climate warrior. The world is still not warming for a decade or three more – what do you think that will do to the politics of not poking a nonlinear system?

        And just as an afterthought – Jim’s bizarre narrative of clouds not affecting the global energy budget is just that.

      • I think the PDO has some resemblance to solar forcing, so they could be connected. The time scales are similar to solar irradiance changes.

      • With complex systems we are looking at control variables that push climate past a tipping point, there are large fluctuations as systems act and interact before climate settles into a new emergent state. This is an utterly different concept of how climate works than the one you are used to.

        The orbital cycles are insufficient in themselves to create these large glacial/interglacial changes. At some point a snow and ice feedback occurs and this causes runaway cooling. The precise interactions are unknown but – as Tsonis says – we should be careful about poking a nonlinear system.

        This is not an answer to the question I asked, which was why do we not see unpredictable climate behaviour during extreme climate shifts? The obvious place to look for weirdness is the great orbitally forced climate shifts between glacial and interglacial states.

        According to your argument this is where the chaotic bifurcations and dragon-kings live. But where are they? Instead of hothouse or slushball, we get minor variations on a glacial/interglacial climate. This is evidence that climate catastrophism in the sense of Rene Thom is incorrect.

        What evidence is there for an ‘insufficiency’ of orbital cycles to create large glacial/interglacial changes? The orbital pacing is exact: 41ka before the mid-Pleistocene Transition or 2x/3x multiples of the 41ka obliquity cycle therafter (82ka – 123ka) (Huybers & Wunsch 2005):

        The 100,000-year timescale in the glacial/interglacial cycles of the late Pleistocene epoch (the past ~700,000 years) is commonly attributed to control by variations in the Earth’s orbit1. This hypothesis has inspired models that depend on the Earth’s obliquity (~ 40,000 yr; ~40 kyr), orbital eccentricity (~ 100 kyr) and precessional (~ 20 kyr) fluctuations2, 3, 4, 5, with the emphasis usually on eccentricity and precessional forcing. According to a contrasting hypothesis, the glacial cycles arise primarily because of random internal climate variability6, 7, 8. Taking these two perspectives together, there are currently more than thirty different models of the seven late-Pleistocene glacial cycles9. Here we present a statistical test of the orbital forcing hypothesis, focusing on the rapid deglaciation events known as terminations10, 11. According to our analysis, the null hypothesis that glacial terminations are independent of obliquity can be rejected at the 5% significance level, whereas the corresponding null hypotheses for eccentricity and precession cannot be rejected. The simplest inference consistent with the test results is that the ice sheets terminated every second or third obliquity cycle at times of high obliquity, similar to the original proposal by Milankovitch. We also present simple stochastic and deterministic models that describe the timing of the late-Pleistocene glacial terminations purely in terms of obliquity forcing.

        The point here is that a spatial/seasonal reorganisation of NH summer insolation during a glacial phase demonstrably trigger positive feedbacks ultimately leading to deglaciation. This is very strong evidence for a moderately sensitive climate system and unlike the Younger Dryas, something directly relevant to modern climate.

        But that is almost a distraction. What I want to know is where the chaotic bifurcations and dragon-kings live. We look at the dramatic climate instabilities of the past and see… repetitive and predictable response to orbital forcing. No hothouse or slushball. No weirdness. Just minor variations on a glacial/interglacial climate. This is strong evidence that climate catastrophism in the sense of Rene Thom is incorrect.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh for God’s sake I am not here to answer your inane and simplistic questions – and to be insulted for my efforts. The changes in insolation are not sufficient by themselves to drive the large and rapid changes in climate in the paleo record. Everyone knows this but you obviously. It is a complex dynamical system whereby the changes in insolation trigger positive feedbacks.

        ‘At this point, we know that abrupt climate change is a reality. It has happened before and will happen again. How and why it happened in the past are still open questions, as are how, why, and when it might happen in the future. The information found in natural archives of climate and environmental change such as ice cores, lake and ocean sediments, tree rings, and other proxies can be of profound benefit to society in understanding and predicting future climate change.’ http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/story1.html

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The changes in insolation are not sufficient by themselves to drive the large and rapid changes in climate in the paleo record. Everyone knows this but you obviously.’

        Oh right – you do know there are positive feedbacks that drive abrupt and nonlinear change. What then is your point?

        ‘Thus, nonlinearity gives rise to unexpected structures and events in the form of abrupt transitions across thresholds, unexpected oscillations, and chaos (Kaplan and Glass, 1995). Actually, the climate system is not only chaotic, it is also ‘complex’ (Rind, 1999), in the sense that it is composed of many parts whose interactions can, through a process still not completely understood (Cowan et al.,
        1999), provoke spontaneous self-organization and the emergence of coherent, collective phenomena that can be described only at higher levels than those of the individual parts (Goldenfeld and Kadanoff, 1999). Therefore, it is useful to establish for clarity’s sake that chaos and complexity are different aspects of nonlinear response. Chaos refers to simple systems that exhibit complicated behavior, such
        as the intricate time series produced by a dripping faucet, the unpredictable oscillations of a double pendulum, or the random behavior of populations in models of logistic growth (May, 1976). Conversely, complexity refers to complicated systems that exhibit simple, so-called emergent behavior. For instance, in the highly complex tectonic-geologic subsystem, the emergent behavior is an earthquake, in the world economy, a stock market crash, and in the biosphere, a massive extinction In the climate system, abrupt climate change is a likely example of unpredictable emergent behavior. In fact, observations indicate that the climate system is, and has been for millions of years, riddled with episodes of abrupt change, ranging
        form large, sudden global warming episodes (e.g., the end of the last ice age), to drastic and rapid regional changes in the hydroclimatic cycle, precipitation and aridity (e.g., the expansion of the Sahara).’

        http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-260.pdf

        Do you suggest that all of the factors are known and predictable? Idiot.

      • CH

        Oh for God’s sake I am not here to answer your inane and simplistic questions – and to be insulted for my efforts. The changes in insolation are not sufficient by themselves to drive the large and rapid changes in climate in the paleo record. Everyone knows this but you obviously. It is a complex dynamical system whereby the changes in insolation trigger positive feedbacks.

        From my previous comment:

        The point here is that a spatial/seasonal reorganisation of NH summer insolation during a glacial phase demonstrably trigger positive feedbacks ultimately leading to deglaciation. This is very strong evidence for a moderately sensitive climate system and unlike the Younger Dryas, something directly relevant to modern climate.

        This was not a question, nor does it contradict what you say. Are you trying to distract me?

        Again: what I want to know is where the chaotic bifurcations and dragon-kings live. We look at the dramatic climate instabilities of the past and see… repetitive and predictable response to orbital forcing. No hothouse or slushball. No weirdness. Just minor variations on a glacial/interglacial climate repeated over and over again.

        This is strong evidence that climate catastrophism in the sense of Rene Thom is incorrect.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This is not an answer to the question I asked, which was why do we not see unpredictable climate behaviour during extreme climate shifts? The obvious place to look for weirdness is the great orbitally forced climate shifts between glacial and interglacial states.

        This was not a question, nor does it contradict what you say. Are you trying to distract me?

        Distracting you off the intellectual treadmill you are on? If only I were that good. And I am still not here to answer your stupid questions. I gave you several reputable sources on abrupt climate change – I suggest you start from there.

        Here’s some more.

        There are essentially two definitions of abrupt climate change:
        • In terms of physics, it is a transition of the climate system into a different mode on a time scale that is faster than the responsible forcing.
        • In terms of impacts, “an abrupt change is one that takes place so rapidly and unexpectedly that human or natural systems have difficulty adapting to it”.

        http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/arch/definition.shtml

        Now be a good little boy and go away – do your homework and stop bothering me with repetitive inanities.

      • CH

        Distracting you off the intellectual treadmill you are on? If only I were that good. And I am still not here to answer your stupid questions. I gave you several reputable sources on abrupt climate change – I suggest you start from there.

        I see you’ve come completely unstuck on this, which isn’t surprising as the repetitive glacial/interglacial transitions under orbital forcing disprove the claim about climate catastrophism.

        Stop wriggling. Stop trying to move the discussion from the absence of dragon-king weirdness during glacial-interglacial transitions to abrupt climate change. That is tactical misdirection. This is about UNPREDICTABLY CHAOTIC CLIMATE CHANGE. Your pet – and incorrect – hypothesis, remember? There were no dragon kings. Only repetitive, similar deglacial transitions, again and again and again. I have disproved your claim.

        Now be a good little boy and go away – do your homework and stop bothering me with repetitive inanities.

        You have just been completely debunked. Time to find another crank theory. And tone down the cartoon aggression. You look misguided and crazy enough as it is.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You merely play games with words you barely understand. You are so far out of your depth that it beggars belief that you think that you can keep afloat.

        I link to a site on abrupt climate change, I link to a NAS report on abrupt climate change – I link to the WHOI on abrupt climate change – I link to numerous studies.

        Do you somehow think that abrupt climate change is different to complex systems theory – fom which comes the idea of noisy bifurcation – http://arxiv.org/abs/1007.1376 – or the more evocative but equivalent term -dragon-king – http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

        I think that I have never encountered a sillier or more dishonest person. You deserve nothing but contempt – and I have no conpunction about expressing it in the context of your quite mad quibblings and abuse. I note that I am far from alone in calling your appalling behaviour, ignorance and bad faith.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Me – Now be a good little boy and go away – do your homework and stop bothering me with repetitive inanities.

        You – You have just been completely debunked. Time to find another crank theory. And tone down the cartoon aggression. You look misguided and crazy enough as it is.

        Cartoon agression? You are a liar and a sham.

      • CH

        You merely play games with words you barely understand. You are so far out of your depth that it beggars belief that you think that you can keep afloat.

        Hmm. Let’s see. Here’s what I said:

        repetitive glacial/interglacial transitions under orbital forcing disprove the claim about climate catastrophism.

        Stop wriggling. Stop trying to move the discussion from the absence of dragon-king weirdness during glacial-interglacial transitions to abrupt climate change. That is tactical misdirection. This is about UNPREDICTABLY CHAOTIC CLIMATE CHANGE. Your pet – and incorrect – hypothesis, remember? There were no dragon kings. Only repetitive, similar deglacial transitions, again and again and again. I have disproved your claim.

        I’ve looked at your comment and the odd thing is, there isn’t a single substantive word of response to what I say in there. Just the usual foaming at the mouth and another attempt to misdirect toward abrupt change when the essence of your junk is about *unpredictable* change.

        Your over-statement of chaotic variability of climate runs slap into a wall of paleoclimate data. You have just been completely debunked!

        you are a liar and a sham

        Projection, again.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Imagine that over the course of a decade or two, the long, snowy winters of northern New England were replaced by the milder winters of a place like Washington, D.C. Or that a sharp decrease in rainfall turned the short-grass prairie of the western Great Plains into a desert landscape like you would see in Arizona. Changes of this sort would obviously have important impacts on humans, affecting the crops we grow, the availability of water, and our energy usage.

        These scenarios are not science fiction. Paleoclimate records indicate that climate changes of this size and speed have occurred at many times in the past. Past human civilizations were sometimes successful in adapting to the climate changes and at other times they were not.

        Because they occur relatively rapidly, these sorts of climate change are called abrupt climate change. Our understanding of past abrupt climate changes and their causes is still in its infancy; most of the research on this topic has been completed since the early 1990s. Scientists have made significant progress, however, in identifying and describing various abrupt events of the past and forming hypotheses about their causes. This paleo perspective will describe the evidence for past abrupt climate change and explore some of the possible causes.’ http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/index.html

        Orbital forcing doesn’t happen in a decade. There is no weirdness – just complex systems theory. Controls pushing climate past a tipping point and changes propagating through powerfull mexhanisms.

        I don’t know what else to say – other than you everything you say just seems a pointless inanity.

        ‘The climate system in the past has made large jumps between typical patterns of behavior, as in the mechanical analogy presented in Box 1.1. Especially large and abrupt climate changes have occurred repeatedly over the last 100,000 years during the slide into and climb out of the most recent global ice age. Those changes persisted into the current warm period and probably occurred during previous ice ages (Sarnthein et al., 1994; Broecker, 1995, 1997; Alley and Clark, 1999; Stocker, 2000). Our ability to understand the potential for future abrupt changes in climate is limited by our lack of understanding of the processes that control them. For example, mechanisms proposed to explain abrupt climate shifts do not fully describe the patterns of variability seen in either the paleoclimate or the historical records…

        A mechanism that might lead to abrupt climate change would need to have the following characteristics:

        – A trigger or, alternatively, a chaotic perturbation, with either one causing a threshold crossing (something that initiates the event).

        – An amplifier and globalizer to intensify and spread the influence of small or local changes.

        – A source of persistence, allowing the altered climate state to last for up to centuries or millennia.’ NAS 2002

        You seem unutterably convinced of predictability of abrupt climate change. I am afraid you are very much on your own in this. A crank and a weirdo imagining a science that doesn’t exist. Read the damn book but stop stalking me with ignorant nonsense.

      • CH

        I don’t know what else to say – other than you everything you say just seems a pointless inanity.

        You could try admitting that there is no evidence whatsoever of dragon-kings at times of maximum climate instability during deglaciation.

        You could admit that you have *grossly overstated* the unpredictability of climate under major forcing change as demonstrated by ~800ka of ice core data demonstrating repeated, self-similar deglacial events.

        You could stop cutting and pasting vast screeds of barely relevant text in an attempt to disguise the trouble you are in.

        You could cease you abusive behaviour.

        You could stop trying to redirect this discussion onto *abrupt* climate change when it is about the – falsified – claim that *all*climate change is chaotic and inherently unpredictable:

        You seem unutterably convinced of predictability of abrupt climate change.

        You can admit that everything you do is geared around denying the scientific consensus that sustained and increasing GHG forcing will result in a significant centennial warming trend.

        But cranks never admit when they have been debunked. Goes with the mental territory.

        I will ram this down your throat over and over and over again because you richly deserve lessons in logical thinking, intellectual honesty and manners.

      • Chief

        This is interesting stuff, and I’m happy to see that it’s being researched – and even happier to see that it is not being tied directly to “human greenhouse gases” or “anthropogenic climate change” (although there may be a “hidden agenda”).

        Some excerpts that caught my eye (in addition to the specific examples from the past, which were cited):

        The study of abrupt change is still in its infancy; while new data are published every month, the paleo record is still incomplete.

        Even from the proxy data that exist, one thing is relatively certain: our climate system is not always well-behaved. It can, and often does, change in surprising ways. Positive feedbacks are a key ingredient for this behavior, amplifying a small change or perturbation in the climate system.

        The logic here was a bit confusing. The “large positive feedback” presumption would have to be based on good knowledge of what and how large the initial climate forcing was. Since this knowledge is admittedly lacking, it is impossible to determine that ”positive feedbacks are a key ingredient for this behavior, amplifying a small change or perturbation in the climate system”, as the report states.

        It is important not to be fatalistic about the threats posed by abrupt climate change.
        (National Research Council, 2002)

        At this point, we know that abrupt climate change is a reality. It has happened before and will happen again. How and why it happened in the past are still open questions, as are how, why, and when it might happen in the future. The information found in natural archives of climate and environmental change such as ice cores, lake and ocean sediments, tree rings, and other proxies can be of profound benefit to society in understanding and predicting future climate change.

        The goal of the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology is to provide easy access to high quality scientific information derived from rigorous studies of past climate changes. We believe, as do most climate scientists, that the topic of abrupt climate change is worthy of further study, and needs more information before predictions can be made about future events.

        Let’s hope NOAA is able to keep this study work away from their other efforts to support IPCC’s CAGW claim or to “confirm” the Hansen doomsday hypothesis of a “climate whiplashed from extreme to extreme by very small forcings and very large positive feedbacks”.

        Max

      • manacker

        CH is leading you up the garden path. The NAS report’s discussion of abrupt paleoclimate change was in some ways alarmist! Yes, I did say that ;-)

        What you and CH would greatly benefit from is a more carefully considered view of the types and mechanisms of abrupt paleoclimate change and their *non-applicability* to late Holocene climate conditions.

        A splendid place to start would be Wunsch (2006), which discusses the nature and origin of Dansgaard-Oeschger events.

        As ever, we must pay very close attention to the actual words used or we will make colossal prats out of ourselves à la CH:

        Hypotheses and inferences concerning the nature of abrupt climate change, exemplified by the Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O) events, are reviewed. There is little concrete evidence that these events are more than a regional Greenland phenomenon.

        […]

        Connection of D–O events to the possibility of modern abrupt climate change rests on a very weak chain of assumptions.

        Now, even if we disagree with Wunsch about the spatial extent of D-O events there is no getting around his argument that they disappeared during the Holocene and their existence is therefore a glacial climate phenomenon (whatever the exact causative mechanism; again we don’t need to determine this here). Now, read the last line of the abstract in bold above again.

        D-O oscillations and Heinrich events (collectively termed the glacial Bond Cycle) and AMOC shutdowns like the Younger Dryas are all confined to glacial or deglacial climate conditions. They do not occur in interglacials. See Clement & Peterson (2008) for a comprehensive overview.

        Here, 11.5ka into the Holocene, there *is* no plausible mechanism for a significant and sustained cooling as the climate system undergoes sustained and increasing GHG forcing. Swiftly overwhelmed wibbles are all you are going to get and the forced trend will dominate on the centennial scale.

        Contrary to CH’s imaginings, climate system behaviour under forcing is *not* so chaotic as to be unpredictable. We can easily see this by looking at the repetitive, self-similar, essentially *predictable* deglaciations under orbital forcing revealed in the ice core and ocean sediment data.

        CH will fulminate himself into an advanced state of absurdity before admitting that this puts paid to his ‘new climate paradigm’ that climate is so chaotic as to be inherently unpredictable but it does, and that’s the end of that.

  50. We know, though, that attitudes to climate change are strongly correlated with political and ideological worldviews

    That is true. Why is it so?

    My answer is that the CAGW alarmists have tried to use exaggeration and scaremongering to push their political and ideological agendas. It has been adopted by the Left wing ideologies to win elections and to force through their other repulsive policies. These groups have been repeatedly lying and misleading the population. Therefore, I question everything I am told about this subject. I don’t accept, without deep reservations, anything I am told by the climate alarmists

    • The key is to start with the science itself. Forget about the ramifications or policymakers. Think of an abstract planet going through an atmospheric change. This is what the scientists do.

  51. In the wake of extreme heat, droughts, and Hurricane Sandy, many people are assuming that, at last, there may be the critical mass of extreme weather events that will tip public opinion towards action on climate change.

    What is the empirical evidence that a warmer atmosphere means more severe weather events?

    Is there evidence from paleoclimate to demonstrate that warmer means worse weather? If so, what is that evidence?

    Here are a few things that make me unconvinced that warmer means worse weather.

    1. James Hansen’s Figure 1 here and similar charts in AR4 and elsewhere, suggest the climate is more volatile when colder, not when warmer.

    2. The evidence is clear that climate was bleak, cold, dry and windy during the glacial periods. Dust concentration in ice cores is higher during cold times than warm times – meaning high winds. According to AR4, Chapter 6, the area of deserts increased when colder and decreased when warmer. Wind blown sand dunes from the last ice age are common in southern NSW (Australia). Loess (wind blown sand) is common across much of central Canada. That was blown by high winds. It is not being deposited now. Nor was loess deposited in the times warmer than now.

    3. My recollection is that the oil was deposited in warm time is calm seas. Not connection between warm and calm

    4. So what is the paleoclimate evidence that the weather was bleak when the dinosaurs were flying around during the Cretaceous?

    • “4. So what is the paleoclimate evidence that the weather was bleak when the dinosaurs were flying around during the Cretaceous?”

      It was bleak whenever a 10 km diameter space rock said, good morning.

    • gbaikie,

      Thanks. That’s given me a really good laugh!

    • The Cretaceous was steamy and only smaller mammals could lose heat fast enough in the hot, humid conditions to be viable as a warm-blooded lifeform over large areas of the planet. CO2 levels were nearly 1000 ppm back then. Larger mammals could not evolve until it cooled down a bit.

      • Jim D,

        I take your avoidance of the point I was making (i.e. about evidence of more extreme weather events when warmer), to be an indication there is no such evidence.

        I also take your ongoing repetition of alarmist mantras to be a demonstration of your “socially constructed attitudes” and “attitudes to climate change are strongly correlated with political and ideological worldviews

      • I answered your point 4. Are Cretaceous conditions dangerous or comfortable? You think we would be comfortable. Our size mammals didn’t exist back then, so we don’t know for sure. Some say AC is the answer to all the problems, so don’t worry about it.

      • “The Cretaceous was steamy and only smaller mammals could lose heat fast enough in the hot, humid conditions to be viable as a warm-blooded lifeform over large areas of the planet. ”

        This is interesting [as in strange/odd] view.
        I think that large mammals could have survived perfectly fine in the climate during the Cretaceous period. There would been different animals back then as compared to now, but difference has to with evolution and the dinosaur extinction event [mostly or entirely due to a space rock about 10 km in diameter impacting what current know the Yucatan peninsula].
        The extinction event mainly affected land animals. Land plants were less affected in terms going extinct.
        So such trees as now exist in Temperate Zones existed prior to age of Dinosaurs

        “Plant life of the Permian (248 million years ago) took on an increasingly modern “look” with the rise of a number of gymnosperm (naked seeded) plants during the late Carboniferous and their diversification during the Permian. Indeed, the late Carboniferous “extinction” is almost inapplicable to terrestrial plants.”

        http://www.bomengids.nl/uk/tree-evolution.html

        And of course the modern technological human can live in colder and warmer temperatures than any particular tree. And human with their need to keep warm in houses, are spending most of lives in environments with CO2 levels above 1000 ppm. And the modern human comes from a tropical region and quite comfortable if the climate always near 30 C.

        As far as early large mammals:
        “Pakicetids or Pakicetidae (meaning Pakistani whales) is a carnivorous mammalian family of the suborder Archaeoceti that lived during the Early Eocene to Middle Eocene (55.8 mya—40.4 mya) in Pakistan and existed for approximately 15.4 million years.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakicetids

        Evolution of elephants:
        “The earliest known ancestors to the elephant were herbivores that lived about 40 million years ago, and were roughly the sizes of pigs and cows. The direct ancestor to the modern-day elephant is unknown, but fossils of numerous evolutionary off-shoots, such as the moerithenes (40 million years ago), the barythenes (40 to 35 million years ago), paleomastodons (40 million years ago), gomphotheres such as the mastodon, the stegodon, and the mammoth have all been found and studied. ”

        http://www.ecotravel.co.za/Guides/Wildlife/Vertebrates/Mammals/Big_5/Elephant/Elephant_Evolution.htm

        “The Eocene (symbol EO) epoch, lasting from about 56 to 34 million years ago (55.8±0.2 to 33.9±0.1 Ma)…
        The Eocene Epoch contained a wide variety of different climate conditions that includes the warmest climate in the Cenozoic Era and ends in an icehouse climate. The evolution of the Eocene climate began with warming after the end of the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at 56 million years ago to a maximum during the Eocene Optimum at around 49 million years ago. During this period of time, little to no ice was present on Earth with a smaller difference in temperature from the equator to the poles. Following the maximum, was a descent into an icehouse climate from the Eocene Optimum to the Eocene-Oligocene transition at 34 million years ago. During this decrease ice began to reappear at the poles, and the Eocene-Oligocene transition is the period of time where the Antarctic ice sheet began to rapidly expand.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eocene

        So after the dinosaurs in the Eocene epoch was as warm and there were some fairly big mammals

      • Permian mass extinction is event much disputed- I think it was probably a space rock.
        But I think the most favored is volcanic eruption:
        “Two hundred and sixty million years ago the Earth experienced its worst mass extinction: 95 percent of marine life and 70 percent of terrestrial life vanished. Long a subject of dispute, researchers from the University of Leeds believe they have confirmed the reason behind the so-called Permian extinction.

        A giant volcanic eruption in what is today’s Emeishan province in China unleashed half a million cubic kilometers of lava and tossed massive quantities of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere 260 million years ago. The sulphur dioxide caused cloud formations across the entire planet. This cooled the Earth while subsequently dropping acid rain across the globe, leading to the planet’s most pervasive extinction.”
        Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0528-hance_volcanicpermian.html#CEFpj4Prc54Cv0Vi.99

        They say it took something like 10 million years for life on Earth to recover. Therefore I would say a relatively brief period of cooling [say less than a thousand of years], wouldn’t necessarily conflict with sciencedaily report about globally high temperatures.

      • The Permian-Triassic extinction was marked by a rapid rise in CO2 to several thousand ppm in a short time, probably from a volcanic release of deep carbon in favorable tectonic conditions. A meteor would not explain the CO2 change.
        The Eocene CO2 levels were half way between now and Cretaceous. We may reach those levels quite soon. The Antarctic didn’t form an ice sheet until late in the Eocene, giving some idea of its stability in this CO2 climate.
        I was speculating as to why mammals didn’t evolve larger in the hundred million years around the Cretaceous, and only did that after CO2 dropped somewhat below 1000 ppm. I suspect larger ones would have been too sluggish in those conditions due to restricted heat loss and warm-bloodedness, making them easy prey for the dinosaurs. Pure speculation, however.

      • “The Permian-Triassic extinction was marked by a rapid rise in CO2 to several thousand ppm in a short time, probably from a volcanic release of deep carbon in favorable tectonic conditions. A meteor would not explain the CO2 change.”

        There are several ways a meteor could affect global CO2 level.
        A crude example is meteor could make an entire ocean boil.
        Or turn the entire sky into a furnace like condition.
        And meteor could cause massive volcanic activity.
        And could kill everything on the planet in less than a minute.

        And meteor like the one 75 million years ago, will probably hit Earth sometime within a 100 million years- 200 million years is a near certainty.
        So they have been hitting Earth.
        And the biggest earth crossing asteroid. Wait, first:
        “In 2006, NASA gravity and subsurface radar maps revealed a 500-kilometer-wide crater that lies hidden more than a mile beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, created by a 50-kilometer wide object. The gravity measurements suggest that it could date back about 250 million years — the time of the Permian-Triassic extinction, when almost all animal life on Earth died out.”

        http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/03/did-the-planets-most-massive-asteroid-impact-ever-occur-in-antarctica-nasa-gravity-maps-point-to-yes.html

        And a 50 km diameter rock- is capable of a lot- a 100 km diameter rock would probably kill everyone on Earth. But I was googling: “biggest earth crossing asteroid”. So continue that. Here:
        “As of May 2012, 8,880 near-Earth asteroids are known, ranging in size from 1 meter up to ~32 kilometers (1036 Ganymed).”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-Earth_asteroid#Near-Earth_asteroids

        And:
        “1036 Ganymed is the largest Amor asteroid, at about 32 km in diameter. It was discovered by Walter Baade on October 23, 1924. It has a very well determined orbit, and its next pass of the Earth will be at a distance of 0.374097 AU (55,964,100 km; 34,774,500 mi) on 13 October 2024.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1036_Ganymed

        Hmm:
        “The Amor asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) named after the asteroid 1221 Amor. They have orbital semi-major axes a > 1 AU and perihelium distance 1.0167 < q < 1.3 AU. They approach the orbit of the Earth from beyond, but do not cross it. Most Amors do cross the orbit of Mars. It is estimated that 32% of the total number of NEAs are Amors."

        http://www.iau.org/public/nea/

        Hmm, it apparently doesn't intersect Earth's orbit- which was what looking for, but if given millions of years of time, it's orbit can change [they are normally unstable over such periods of time].
        But anyhow 32 km has 3 times the diameter of dino killer, this particular rock would probably hit Earth at higher velocity- it's Aphelion is 4.091 AU. The Planet Jupiter is about 5 AU, so such a rock would have velocity close to a comet's impact velocity.
        So it's massive and +30 km/sec impact velocity and if hit the ocean- it will at least vaporize the ocean to the horizons [and beyond].
        Google big impactor simulation:
        This a much bigger impactor:

        Here is calculator:

        http://impact.ese.ic.ac.uk/cgi-bin/crater.cgi?dist=1000&diam=30000&pdens=1500&pdens_select=0&vel=30&theta=90&tdens=1500&tdens_select=0

        I put in being 1000 km from impact:

        Air Blast:
        What does this mean?

        The air blast will arrive approximately 50.5 minutes after impact.
        Peak Overpressure: 1.3e+06 Pa = 13 bars = 184 psi
        Max wind velocity: 878 m/s = 1960 mph
        Sound Intensity: 122 dB (Dangerously Loud)
        Damage Description:

        Multistory wall-bearing buildings will collapse.

        Wood frame buildings will almost completely collapse.

        Multistory steel-framed office-type buildings will suffer extreme frame distortion, incipient collapse.

        Highway truss bridges will collapse.

        Highway girder bridges will collapse.

        Glass windows will shatter.

        Cars and trucks will be largely displaced and grossly distorted and will require rebuilding before use.

        Up to 90 percent of trees blown down; remainder stripped of branches and leaves.
        And:

        Thermal Radiation:
        What does this mean?

        Time for maximum radiation: 14.1 seconds after impact

        Visible fireball radius: 346 km ( = 215 miles )
        The fireball appears 78.6 times larger than the sun
        Thermal Exposure: 3.49 x 109 Joules/m2
        Duration of Irradiation: 1.53 hours
        Radiant flux (relative to the sun): 633

        Effects of Thermal Radiation:

        Clothing ignites

        Much of the body suffers third degree burns

        Newspaper ignites

        Plywood flames

        Deciduous trees ignite

        Grass ignites
        I next put in 10,000 km away:

        Thermal Radiation:
        What does this mean?

        The fireball is below the horizon. There is no direct thermal radiation.

        Seismic Effects:
        What does this mean?

        The major seismic shaking will arrive approximately 33.3 minutes after impact.
        Richter Scale Magnitude: 10.9 (This is greater than any earthquake in recorded history)
        Mercalli Scale Intensity at a distance of 10000 km:

  52. Accepting anthropogenic climate change requires a high degree of self-criticism and even self-doubt.

    No. I don’t accept that at all. My impression is that those who believe in catastrophic climate change are the same sorts of people who fall for every scaremongering scam. They always have.

  53. The Alarmists cannot produce any persuasive evidence to support their contention that ACO2 is dangerous or catastrophic. All they have to offer is innuendo, exaggeration and distortions.

    Given that they cannot answer the questions about “what are the impacts of ACO2 emissions and what are the net benefits and costs” and furthermore, they avoid, obfuscate and try to divert discussion from the question, I am becoming more and more convinced that the evidence for significantly bad impacts is weak and the costs of the policies they want to impose will be far more damaging than adaptation to what ever happens.

    Furthermore, it is mostly the young and idealistic, but gullible, people who fall for the hype and scaremongering. Those who’ve been around a bit longer have seen a few more of these scare campaigns. We’ve been through them ourselves. We fell for them too when we were younger and more gullible. We’ve grown a bit wiser and more cautious.

    Uncertainty about the problem is a given; uncertainty about the chosen solution is inexcusable.

    • I don’t think people fall for these things unless they feeling is they have something to gain or nothing to lose and someone else is getting stuck with the tab.

    • “The Alarmists cannot produce any persuasive evidence to support their contention that ACO2 is dangerous or catastrophic”

      Sure we can. Messing about with a life support machine without understanding how it works is dangerous.

      • lolwot

        “Messing about with a life support machine without understanding how it works is dangerous.”

        True.

        But:

        “The Alarmists cannot produce any persuasive evidence to support their contention that ACO2 is dangerous or catastrophic”

        is also true.

        (The two statements have nothing to do with one another).

        Max

      • So how is messing about with climate without understanding it not dangerous?

      • lolwot,

        RE your question”So how is messing about with climate without understanding it not dangerous?”

        Because a) we don’t really know how much we are messing with it and b) it exhibits the trait of being both complex and robust. You can turn on a compartment light on a Nimitz class aircraft carrier and you impact the electrical load of the ship. However even if you were to turn on every light aboard, the effective impact would be negligable – in other words the carrier would still cruise through the water and operate as expected.

        That is the sensitivity argument. We do not know if the dial we are messing with (CO2) has a little or a lot of impact. We could say “Don’t touch that dial.” and it would arguably be a sensible policy. Unfortunately there are actors who – for their own good reasons – are going to ignore it. That takes us to people saying “We have to turn the dial back (or down) on our end to counteract the people who are turning it up. And that is where you run into some real practical problems. We pretty much have to turn our dials all the way to zero to hope to have even a small impact and that is entirely unpractical. Anyone unwilling to acknowledge that simple fact is not really worth having a reasoned discussion with.

  54. This thread has caused me to ponder how far the CAGW alarmists have moved their position compared with how far the climate realists have moved (say over the past 5 years).

    Only a few years ago James Hansen was telling us that the oceans would evaporate and Earth would get an atmosphere like Venus if we didn’t stop burning coal. And others, less alarmist than James Hansen, were telling us that man’s CO2 emissions would cause the end of life on planet Earth.

    Now the scariest scenario they can come up with is “severe weather events”. That’s quite a back down!

    How much have the climate realists changed their position?

    • “James Hansen was telling us that the oceans would evaporate ”

      Quote please.

      • Michael,”James Hansen says “oceans will boil”, 2 minutes into this video:

        You could have googled it yourself if you were actually interested. But I suspect you aren’t, are you?

      • Girma,

        It seems CAGW Alarmists feel they are empowered to say whatever they believe to be true. Steven Mosher provides insight to how they think http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/23/why-climate-disasters-might-not-increase-concern-about-climate-change/#comment-270681. It’s really scary. They truly believe only they know what is right and best They feel they have the power to tell the policy advisers what to do. Implicitly they think only they have the power and are qualified to inform policy. That’s scary. Clearly people like Mosher have a very narrow filed of expertise. They have next to no understanding of the world outside their computers and the groups they associate with. They have no understanding of economics or of the real world consequences of the policies they advocate. It’s as if they are tied up in computer games and believe they are reality.

      • Thanks Peter, know the video.

        Would still like to see this quote;
        “Hansen was telling us that the oceans would evaporate and Earth would get an atmosphere like Venus if we didn’t stop burning coal”.

        …..as opposed to the video, where he is asked to explain what the ‘runaway greenhouse effect’ is, which he does with accuracy.

        And good to see the usual fools piling onto this particular bandwagon.

      • Michael,

        You said:

        as opposed to the video, where he is asked to explain what the ‘runaway greenhouse effect’ is, which he does with accuracy.

        Your statement is a misrepresentation. That’s deceptive behaviour on your part. Hansen says at about 2 mins into the video words to the effect “the oceans will evaporate, boil off”. I haven’t checked the exact words, but that is his message. He’s been saying similare for many years.

        What I find more significant than any error in the exact wording of my quotes is that you intentionally set out to deceive and mislead readers.

        That is a common characteristic of CAGW Alarmists. And that is why so many people, and increasing numbers, are recognising many of you are just a pack of liars.

        This bvehaviour is giving credibility to the statement that “CAGW is a scam’ – because many CAGW alarmists, like you, are scammers.

      • Michael, just to be clear so you cannot make up more lies (although that’s won’t stop you, you said:

        Would still like to see this quote;
        “Hansen was telling us that the oceans would evaporate and Earth would get an atmosphere like Venus if we didn’t stop burning coal”.

        So you are asking for a link to something I said. You fool. You want a a link to that quote? Here it is: http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/23/why-climate-disasters-might-not-increase-concern-about-climate-change/#comment-270682

        And you think you are smart? You want people to trust you? What a joke!

      • ” Michael | November 24, 2012 at 4:28 am |

        Peter,

        You’re a great example of the fools and scoundrels climate scientist s have to endure.

        I asked for for a quote – you couldn’t. The video isn’t it. The quote below isn’t it.

        Despite your handwaving that such a quote is ‘everywhere’ on the internet, strangely, you can’t produce it.”

        Wiki:
        “On the Earth, the IPCC states that “a ‘runaway greenhouse effect’—analogous to Venus—appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by anthropogenic activities”
        Further down page:
        “Earth’s climate has swung repeatedly between warm periods and ice ages during its history. In the current climate the gain of the positive feedback effect from increased atmospheric water vapor is well below that which is required to boil away the oceans. Climate scientist John Houghton has written that “[there] is no possibility of [Venus’s] runaway greenhouse conditions occurring on the Earth”. However, climatologist James Hansen disagrees. In his Storms of My Grandchildren he says that burning coal and mining shale oil will result in runaway greenhouse on Earth.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runaway_greenhouse_effect

      • Poor Peter;

        Writes:
        “James Hansen was telling us…”

        I ask for a quote to that effect.

        You responded with a video and a quote from that video, neither of which matched your “Hansen was telling us”.

        Quite simple really – stop making stuff up.

      • James Hansen:”….In the long run, if that really happened, as I point out in the book, over centuries, we could actually get a runaway greenhouse effect, and then that’s it for all the species on this planet. And as I try to point out, there’s no practical way to escape from this planet; we can’t even transfer one species to another planet.”
        And:
        “James Hansen: A runaway greenhouse effect means once the planet gets warmer and warmer, then the oceans begin to evaporate. And water vapor is a very strong greenhouse gas, even more powerful than carbon dioxide. So you can get to a situation where it just — the oceans will begin to boil, and the planet becomes so hot that the ocean ends up in the atmosphere. ”

        http://bigthink.com/ideas/17894

        which was linked below

        And this is guy from NASA saying we can’t leave Earth.
        Just for your information, if really needed to leave Earth, humans are quite capable of leaving Earth. If oceans are going boil, no one would care if there was some radioactive material getting into the atmosphere.
        And so: Project Orion:
        “Project Orion was a study of a spacecraft intended to be directly propelled by a series of explosions of atomic bombs behind the craft (nuclear pulse propulsion). Early versions of this vehicle were proposed to have taken off from the ground with significant associated nuclear fallout; later versions were presented for use only in space.”

        Of course this isn’t the only way to cheaply leave Earth and go to another planet. Existing rockets are quite capable of doing it. But if you in a hurry and for a lot people and animal arks you build them bigger. So something like this:
        “The Sea Dragon was a 1962 design study for a fully reusable two-stage sea-launched rocket. The project was led by Robert Truax while working at Aerojet, one of a number of designs he created that were to be launched by floating the rocket in the ocean.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Dragon_%28rocket%29

        Now Earth isn’t going to turn into Venus, it’s impossible. And beyond stupid. And if Earth isn’t approaching a Venus like condition- all the other planet are hell compared to slight warmed Earth.
        But just because other planets could worse than Earth- in sense they don’t allow one frolic around “the natural environment” without spacesuit,
        it doesn’t mean humans should not or can not go there. There some very good advantages for a modern human to go and live on these worlds- and not just because endless real estate.
        And apparently idiot NASA director Hanson has no clue about this.

      • 0.6 deg c per century

      • “James Hansen: A runaway greenhouse effect means once the planet gets warmer and warmer, then the oceans begin to evaporate. And water vapor is a very strong greenhouse gas, even more powerful than carbon dioxide. So you can get to a situation where it just — the oceans will begin to boil, and the planet becomes so hot that the ocean ends up in the atmosphere.”

        http://bigthink.com/ideas/17894

        December 18, 2009

      • Peter Lang and Michael

        Have “lurked” in on your exchange regarding James E. Hansen and the Venus runaway effect.

        Although he is paid by the US taxpayer to act as a scientist in order to provide objective and impartial information to the public, Hansen is, in fact, an advocate for his own cause: to “stop coal” and “save the planet for future generations”.

        He has followed Stephen Schneider’s advice to climate advocates to “balance truth with effectiveness” in order to get the desired message across, often throwing “truth” under the bus in the process.

        An example of this is his fear mongering invoking the specter of the Venus runaway effect, as Peter Lang has pointed out.

        Check Wiki:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runaway_climate_change

        James E. Hansen has suggested that the Earth could experience a runaway greenhouse effect and adopt a climate like that of Venus if fossil-fuel use continues until reserves are exhausted [25]

        [25] Hansen, James (2008-12-17). “Climate Threat to the Planet” (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-10.

        The cited reference is a pdf file containing a Bjerknes lecture given by Hansen before the AGU in San Francisco on December 17, 2008, entitled:
        Climate Threat to the Planet: Implications for Energy Policy and Intergenerational Justice, in which Hansen suggests that Earth could experience the runaway greenhouse effect from humans burning fossil fuels.

        Quotes from the presentation:

        ”The Venus syndrome is the greatest threat to the planet, to humanity’s continued existence.”

        ”The last snowball Earth occurred about 640 million years ago.
        Now the danger that we face is the Venus syndrome. There is no escape from the Venus Syndrome.”

        There are other examples of Hansen’s fear mongering using the absurd suggestion that Earth could experience runaway warming leading to conditions on Venus. All you have to do is search Google and you will find them.

        So I’m afraid that Peter Lang is right on this one – and Michael is wrong.

        Max

      • Manacker,

        Thank you for the contributions.

        You said:

        He has followed Stephen Schneider’s advice to climate advocates to “balance truth with effectiveness” in order to get the desired message across, often throwing “truth” under the bus in the process.

        Yep. And Michael has seen the example and thinks its perfectly acceptable.

        I am amazed at where the CAGW Alarmists have sunk to. The blatant dishonesty of people like Michael and most of the other CAGW alarmists is of serious concern. Apparently they have no ethics and no integrity.

      • Max and Peter,

        Hansen covered his statements in a range of ‘if’s, ‘could’s and ‘maybe’s, all of which are conveniently ignored.

        Peter attributed a statement to Hansen, which he hasn’t been able to support with a quote, which is all I asked for

        He could have just said – ‘well, um, there is no quote of him saying exactly that, i was just paraphrasing from memory’. Instead we get a whole bunch of nonsense.

      • Michael, stop being a dick. He’s been saying comments like this for ages. It’s all over the internet. Google it for yourself. Read “Storms of my grandchildren”, Chapter 10.

        James Hansen, (2009) “Storms of our Grandchildren“, p226

        So Venus had a runaway greenhouse effect. Could Earth? Of course we know that it could.

        Another quote attributed to Hansen:

        After the ice is gone, would Earth proceed to the Venus syndrome, a runaway greenhouse effect that would destroy all life on the planet, perhaps permanently? While that is difficult to say based on present information, I’ve come to conclude that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.

      • All you’ve done is wind yourself up with your own trolling.

        Your claim that “CAGW alarmists have moved their position” was based on an imaginary line you drew between two unrelated data points that you cherrypicked.

        Out of hundreds of datapoints you picked two:
        1) something Hansen said (in 2009! not really that long ago)
        2) the topic of this thread (severe weather events).

        Then you stuck an imaginary line between them and announced the trend showed alarmists had “backed down”.

        The fact you cherrypicked the datapoints can be gleaned from reality:

        In 2009 Hansen thinks human GHG emissions could lead to runaway warming. Hansen and others also think it could lead to severe weather events.

        In 2012 Hansen thinks human GHG emissions could lead to runaway warming. Hansen and others also think it could lead to severe weather events.

        From this lack of change in position you engineered a “backdown”.

  55. The last election should have proven to the minority part of the society that produce all of the value, that it is outnumbered by the majority part of the society–and the global warming alarmists are in this second part–that have targets on the backs of the productive.

  56. Back to the main topic here.

    George Marshall has expressed surprise that most people do not make the connect between “anthropogenic climate change” (as he calls AGW) and the recent climate disasters (e.g. Texas drought and fires).

    He goes into all kinds of psychobabble to rationalize why this is so but he misses the most obvious reason: because there is no scientifically supported connection between AGW and the recent climate disasters

    So obvious it hurts (the “Emperor’s clothes”?)..

    Max

  57. If I could add to Marshall’s thesis.

    If anyone has been watching the Dust Bowl documentary by Ken Burns, they will have learned that the response to Dust Bowl conditions was to farm the soil even harder. Whether they understood that this made things worse was a moot point when one realizes that survival and making a living was of more importance to the farmer.

    Government incentives such as hedge-row planting and other measures provided a defense to Dust Bowl processes in ensuing years. Government is people, and eventually it makes its presence felt.

    • Good point, but it gets worse–the baser human contribution was even was in play with the speculative absentee farmers…

      • Seeking out energy resources follows the same path. Declining fossil fuel reserves is rarely met with considerations of conservation or of dedicated use, but instead naturally results in even greater extraction pressure, at the expense of the environment.

        When I say this naturally results, I mean in terms of human nature.

        The base analogy is that of the Red Queen:
        “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.”

      • “Declining fossil fuel reserves is rarely met with considerations of conservation or of dedicated use”

        I never have been able to wrap my head around burning feedstock. A touch of hyperbole maybe, but a little voice in me keeps saying, “It’s stupid. It’s stupid.” As for conservation–it, or rather its adoption, is probably the most honest measure we have regarding commitment to resolving long-term energy and environmental issues. ‘Nuf said.

  58. from conclusion: “We really need a better way of communicating the statistics of rare events. The frame of ‘hundred year storms’ makes sense only in a stationary climate, and climate is not stationary even in the absence of AGW.”
    ———————————

    ‘better way communicating the statistics of rare events?’ — This is a true need, but communicating even garden variety statistics (to the public and even a significant membership in the science community) is a challenge that is more often missed than met. It of course is part of the bigger problem of risk communication–a problem that has been around for decades. Maybe things will improve a little in the technical community as resampling and computer intensive (simulation) approaches to performing and teaching statistics continue to work their way into the mainstream, but we still have to come to grips in regard to communicating risks to a general population that is and will remain limited in quantitative skills.

    ‘The frame of ‘hundred year storms’ makes sense only in a stationary climate, and climate is not stationary even in the absence of AGW.’ — the ‘statistical’ prediction of events in dynamic systems is yet another layer needed in the risk communication aspect. Opportunity for those who like to make serious toy models? (A model is just that a model, and we learn by playing–in sandboxes. ) Of course toy models do not necessarily contribute toward tenure, do they? Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral.

  59. lolwot

    Before you get your knickers all twisted, the topic here is “why the general public does not believe AGW is linked to recent extreme weather events in the USA”.

    The author of the lead post, George Marshall, comes up with several paragraphs of utter psychobabble to try to rationalize this dilemma, when the real answer is so obvious it hurts:because there is no scientific evidence to link the two

    The discussion then shifted to the Hansen “loaded dice” posit (a statistical analysis that provides no scientific evidence for a link whatsoever).

    From there it shifted to other Hansen hyperbole, including the famous “runaway Venus” gaffe.

    One uninformed CAGW “believer” denied that Hansen had ever made this gaffe and was quickly proven wrong by myself and other posters.

    That’s about where this topic ended.

    You now bring up a rather meaningless “backdown” discussion: REAL CAGW believers NEVER back down – even when there is no empirical evidence to support their fears – because “fear” is emotional, not rational.

    That’s where we need the psychoanalysis, lolwot.

    Max

  60. http://www.ambitgambit.com/2012/11/24/paedophilia-climate-science-and-the-abc/

    OK, I’m ready for Steven Mosher to tell me this doesn’t affect any conclusions.

    Andrew

  61. AGW science is simply to pray for catastrophe and point. The only community-wide consensusis is transitioning from blamin’ Bush to punishin’ free enterprise workers as if everything they do is no bettern’ the business of makin’, distributin’ and consumin’ tobacco in a casino and taxed by the state as a necesssary evil.

  62. “Disasters can increase social confidence and certainty.

    Exactly!! So if you want social confidence and certainty you just generate fear and invent disasters. Global warning for instance. That makes the herd crowd together.

    So the selection of the herd and the others is made already and those who prefer logic and demand proof stay out of that crowd. Therefore indeed additional disasters will not affect the latter and they stay out

    My recommandation is to read “Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience” by Richard Landes to understand how this fear mechanism works in relation to apocalypses, but especially showing …

    that many events typically regarded as secular–including the French Revolution, Marxism, Bolshevism, Nazism-not only contain key millennialist elements, but follow the apocalyptic curve of enthusiastic launch, disappointment and (often catastrophic) re-entry into “normal time.”

    I would extend that to global warming as well.

    http://www.richardlandes.com/.

  63. Chief Hydrologist

    Still didn’t answer my question. Who are we going to believe? Science or Blah blah the abusive and quite disingenuous troll, Webby the attack smurf or Jim D.

    Trees for knuckleheads even without derivatives and other manipulations is not a substitute for understanding. It all seems a bit pointless really – a site for amateur climatologists with a most limited range of parameters. None of it means squat as real science.

    Try this insrtead for a longer perspective on this Pacific wide – indeed global system. http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=ENSO11000.gif

    As for S&T09. The constant repetition and inaccurate characterisation of this by blah blah is really a bit odd.

    ‘However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained. The apparent lack of a proximate cause behind the halt in warming post 2001/02 challenges our understanding of the climate system, specifically the physical reasoning and causal links between longer time-scale modes of internal climate variability and the impact of such modes upon global temperature. Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal-scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al., 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.’ S&T09

    Although Palmer may be a little less sanguine about the possibilities for ‘seamless forecasting’. Contrast ‘surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum’ with if in the next paragraph ‘the role of internal variability in the climate system is as large as this analysis would seem to suggest, warming over the 21st century may well be larger than that predicted by the current generation of models, given the propensity of those models to underestimate climate internal variability [Kravtsov and Spannagle, 2008].’

    The latter is what blah blah describes as a prediction of future climate. In these 2 papers from Tsonis, Swanson and Kravtsov they identify climate shifts early last century, the mid 1940’s, the late 1970’s and in the more recent paper 1998/2001. Prediction as such is not possible with this methodology but underlying process identified – “A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts’ – implies unpredictability but a finite risk of substantial surprise at both ends of the spectrum.

    This is a much safer ‘prediction’.

    ‘This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly
    constant global mean temperature.’

    The selective quoting, the lack of understanding, the response to impaccable scientific sources with silly little graphs and handwaving. It is all a bit odd.

  64. The people that worked the hardest, and achieved the most, were punished. That’s what Ayn Rand saw growing up in Czarist Russia. That’s what we see here, now.

  65. Hey LOWOT and others. If you want a dose of the message you’ve hitched your flag to, check out FX. Their showing War of The Worlds right now. Truly amazing.

  66. I remember during the closest Mars opposition in 2003 that the planet’s atmosphere was thick with dust and the surface was all but invisible. This happened at an atmospheric pressure of around 9 millibars and average temperature of -60 degC (maximum of 20deg).

    Colder Jupiter has higher winds in its upper atmosphere and even colder Saturn has faster winds, around 1000km/h.

    During the ice ages, Earth had strong dusty winds.

    Venus, on other hand, has surface winds barely 10km/h with a surface temperature of 470 deg C!

    So, no, cooler temperatures do not mean calmer conditions. Conversely warmer temperatures do not mean higher winds.

  67. Marshall writes about himself and the tightly-knit group dedicated to his belief system. Anti-skeptics protect their corporate Self and ideology: we should be surprised? A large storm washed away houses; mere physical structures. Marshall and Co. see little hope of turning the tide: researchers accumulate, in every corner of Science, substantial evidence – Mann, Hansen and the team mis-read the scant data.
    Their arguments dissolve. More accurate descriptions replace their confections and conceits. There is work to be done; these researchers are welcome to apply skills and energy to the task.
    Stop blaming others for not agreeing.

  68. lurker passing through, laughing

    George is a religious kook obsessed with belief in CO2 apocalypse.
    He is some sort of self-tracking idiot.

  69. The climate debate in a nutshell.

  70. Remarkable correlation between ENSO and CO2 concentration in the atmosphere:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/derivative/derivative/from:1979.3/normalise/plot/rss/compress:12/derivative/normalise

    Human emission of CO2 is not required to explain the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, as it is directly related to the GMT as shown by the above data.

    • Girma,

      1. How large have the human emissions of CO2 been during the last 50 years?

      2. Where have all of the human emissions of last 50 years gone?

      3. How much has the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increased over the last 50 years?

      4. If that increase is not due to human emissions then what is the source of that increase?

      5. If human emissions are not the main source of additional CO2 in the atmosphere then the other source must be larger than human emissions – or do you have some other way of explaining the interpretation?

      6. If we have both the human emissions and the larger natural source adding CO2 to the atmosphere then where has the very large amount of CO2 gone that has not stayed in the atmosphere?

      7. Don’t you see how impossible the alternative “explanation” is.

      • You missed the important questions – Does it matter? What are the impacts? What are the costs and benefits? What are rational policy responses? What is the probability that the proposed policies will fix the climate, stop the seas rising, etc? How do you know?

      • Girma,

        No answer. Too difficult for you?

        I can help you a little.

        1. The emissions due to use of fossil fuels and cement manufacture over period 1962-2011 were 288 Gton (billion metric tons) of carbon. That’s about 35% of the amount presently in atmosphere.

        2. Emissions go to the atmosphere.

        3. The amount of carbon in atmosphere has increased by 127 Gton from 1961 to 2011. That’s only 44% of the human emissions. The net flow has been 161 Gton off from the atmosphere to other reservoirs.

        4. No idea what that could be. Various alternatives have been proposed like additional volcanism on top of the long term average that contributed to the earlier level but which has been estimated to be certainly very small in comparison (perhaps 1% of what’s needed) if present at all.

        5. The other source should have released more than 300 Gton but there are no such sources. In particular the oceans cannot be the source as they are the largest sink.

        6. Some sink should have taken more than 450 Gton, but there isn’t any such sink. The oceans take most of the 161 Gton but could not take 450 Gton with the actual atmospheric concentrations.

        7. Don’t you see how impossible the alternative “explanation” is?

      • Pekka, I am surprised you are not aware of the primary skeptical argument here. The hypothesis is that the CO2 increase is caused by ocean warming. In addition to being the largest sink the ocean is also the largest source and we have no measurements of regional changes in either. We do have paleo evidence of significant natural CO2 fluctuations during prior interglacials. Physicist Howard Hayden has been a leading advocate of this hypothesis.

      • David,

        I did answer that. I told that it’s impossible that the oceans are both the source and the sink.

        That idea is nonsense beyond comprehension.

      • Thanks Pekka

        I will answer your question after a little bit of reading.

        I have heard that human annual CO2 emission is only 4% of annual natural emission.

        I will verify if this is true.

        If it is true, it explains the little correlation of human emission in the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and GMT:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/derivative/derivative/from:1979.3/normalise/plot/rss/compress:12/derivative/normalise

      • That the oceans are both the largest source and sink is part of the standard model of the CO2 flux, with roughly 90 btpyeach way. So I guess you are a skeptic! You deny the existence of the huge natural flux, estimated at 150 to 200 btpy?

      • This is really a point where I cannot but wonder how people can get so stupid in their denial.

        There’s no way to deny credibly that humans have added a lot of carbon to the system.

        There’s no way of denying that less has stayed in the atmosphere. Thus all the rest combined has been a sink, not a source.

        I have written twice: “There’s no way to deny”. I wonder whether someone really disagrees on those two points.

        Then we get to a more demanding step. We must check are there some other processes that could really vary so much that they could influence the balance consistently for so long. That’s not only logic, that’s also data. Even so the answer is totally clear: There isn’t anything like that. No-one has proposed anything even remotely credible. The science is strong enough to tell that the issue is clear.

        What Salby has written is of zero relevance on this as that’s about short term variability, not long lasting trends.

      • I have to learn how to calculate the contribution of the annual human emission of CO2 to the increase in CO2 concentration of the atmosphere.

      • Girma

        For that you need no calculations. Humans add presently about 9 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere. That’s it.

        The rest is natural and the most important part of that is the net flux from atmosphere to the ocean.

        The third important piece is the net flux to or from the biosphere which alternates between positive and negative from year to year. That variation is what you see in your plots.

      • But what humans have added is just a tiny fraction of what nature has added, at perhaps 200 bt of C per year. Moreover the issue is causation not arithmetic. That human emissions are greater than the annual increase does not prove causation. The arguments and evidence for the increase being natural are there and your dismissal is not a counter argument. The issue and evidence is interesting.

      • Aren’t there any limits in the disregard of logic.

        You all look on short term basis where many things are possible. That’s not the way to understand the answer.

        When you remember that this has been going on for decades with little variation around the smooth increase you’ll perhaps finally realize how hopeless your approach of denial is.

        To add persistently and smoothly CO2 to the atmosphere a big reservoir is needed as source. The fossil fuels are the big reservoir that has been used. No other big reservoir has shown any sign of having been a source.

        The atmosphere and the oceans take both roughly equal amounts of the emitted CO2 while the biosphere takes also a little on average but creates also the variability we see on both seasonal level and in the little longer term variability related to ENSO.

      • Pekka

        For that you need no calculations. Humans add presently about 9 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere. That’s it.

        How do you change the above into ppm?

      • Pekka

        How do you change 9Gt into CO2 concentration in the atmosphere?

      • Divide by the mass of atmosphere 5,100,000 Gt, multiply by the average molar mass of air 28.97 g/mol and divide by the molar mass of carbon 12 g/mol or combining this all divide by 2.11 to change value in Gt carbon to a value of ppm CO2.

        Thus 9 Gt adds 4.3 ppm.

        There are still uncertainties in the rest and there’s quite a lot of variability. IPCC AR4 report tells about these gaps in knowledge in WG1 Section 7.3. The overall picture is, however, clear enough because the hundreds of billions of tons cannot go anywhere else than to the atmosphere, oceans and the biosphere.

      • Thank you Pekka

    • Lauri Heimonen

      Girma is right! See e.g. http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 :

      ”As far as I am aware the CO2 content in the atmosphere is controlled together by both all CO2 emissions from sources to atmosphere and by all CO2 absorptions from atmosphere to sinks. After any change of CO2 emissions from sources or of CO2 absorptions to sinks makes the atmospheric CO2 content strive for a new level in order to reach a new dynamic balance between the CO2 emissions and the absorptions. As to the influence of human CO2 emissions on the atmospheric CO2 content it is determined by the proportion of the human CO2 emissions to the total CO2 emissions. Nowadays when the yearly total CO2 emissions are little over 200 GtC (CO2 as carbon) and the yearly human CO2 emissions are about 8 GtC, the influence of the human CO2 emissions on the CO2 content in atmosphere is approaching 4 % at the most. For instance, when the CO2 content in the atmosphere is 390 ppm, the manmade share of it is about 16 ppm at the most.

      Being based on measurements in reality during the last three decades Lance Endersbee claims: “Oceans are the main regulators of carbon dioxide”, http://www.co2web.info/Oceans-and-CO2_EngrsAust_Apr08.pdf , and http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/10/lance-endersbee-1925-2009-civil-engineer-academic-scientific-sceptic-mentor . This means that the global mean sea surface temperature mainly controls the CO2 content in the atmosphere; when the mean sea surface temperature is rising, the CO2 content in the atmosphere is increasing.

      Bob Tisdale presents in his link http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/multidecadal-changes-in-sea-surface-temperature :

      ”Figure 15 compares annual Global SST anomalies to the average NINO3.4 SST anomalies for those three periods. Global SST anomalies rose from 1910 to 1944 because El Niño events dominated, and because the SST anomaly patterns (caused by the changes in atmospheric circulation) associated with El Niño events persisted. Because La Niña events dominated from 1945 to 1975, and because the SST anomaly patterns associated with La Niña events persisted, Global SST anomalies dropped. And Global SST anomalies rose again from 1976 to 2009 because El Niño events dominated, and because the SST anomaly patterns associated with El Niño events persisted”

      When interpreting Tisdale’s claim on Global SST anomalies and on NINO3,4 SST anomalies during 1976-2009 you can find that during the same time periode there has been no essential rising or sinking trend on the tropical sea surface temperatures. Instead, the global mean sea surface temperature has had a continuous trend of warming. What is the meaning of this? It means that the global sea surface temperatures used by Endersbee in his calculations have been controlled by warming of the sea surface waters outside the tropical sea surface i.e. mainly the warming of the sea surface waters of higher latitudes where the sea surface CO2 sinks are. As a consequence, the partial pressure of CO2 has been rising in these as sinks acting surface waters, which has been making CO2 absorption from the atmosphere to the sea surface sinks become slower. Because of that, the CO2 content in the atmosphere has been increasing. It means that more CO2 from the total CO2 emissions to the atmosphere has remained in the atmosphere to increase its CO2 content, in order to reach a new dynamic balance between CO2 emissions and absorptions. As the warming of oceans is the dominating reason for the increased content of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and as nowadays the human yearly portion ( about 8 GtC CO2) of the all yearly CO2 emissions ( little over 200 GtC CO2) to the atmosphere is about 4 %, the human role on the recent yearly increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is also about 4 %. For instance when CO2 content in the atmosphere increases 2 ppm per year, the human portion of that is only about 0.08 ppm.

      Media have introduced that during the year 2010 the yearly increase of anthropogenic CO2 emissions has rised from about 3 % to about 6 %. It means that, in the yearly human emissions of about 8 GtC, there has arisen a new yearly recordbreaking increase of about 0,5 GtC in the manmade CO2 emissions. As at the same time the increase of CO2 in atmosphere have been about 4 GtC per year, one can find that the increase of 0,5 GtC CO2 in the manmade CO2 emissions is not able to explain the rise of carbon dioxide in atmosphere, not even though all the anthropogenic CO2 increase (0,5 GtC) of emissions would remain in the atmosphere. In reality the share of manmade CO2 emissions per year remaining in the atmosphere is only about 2 % from the yearly increase of human emissions of about 0,5 GtC, as consistent with what the yearly total CO2 increase of about 4 GtC in atmosphere is in relation to the total yearly CO2 emissions of little over 200 GtC, expressed in procentages. The 2 % from the mere manmade increase of 0,5 GtC per year of CO2 emissions causes only an increase of 0.01 GtC i.e. 0.005 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere. Nowadays only the sea surface warming expressed by Endersbee seems to make higher portions of manmade CO2 in atmosphere possible, as the warming of the as sinks acting sea surfaces at the higher latitudes makes absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere become slower. For instanse, in the latest yearly increase of 4 GtC CO2 in the atmospehere there is a portion of 0.16 GtC of human CO2 i.e. 0.08 ppm CO2 as presented above.

      The same principle based on Bob Tisdale’s link above can be used to explain Ernst-Georg Beck’s claims on the rise of CO2 content during the first part of 20th century, including the drop of the CO2 content during the La Niña dominated years 1945-1975. Being direct measurements, the CO2 contents in the atmosphere used by Beck are accurate enough for those purposes. Whereas the ice core proxy values of carbon dioxide content used by IPCC are incompatible with any one of direct measured values, because they are mean values of some centuries, even at their best.”

  71. David Springer

    Mosher the imbecile talks above about air conditioners being an adaptation.

    So is a furnace, dummy.

    Got it?

    Write the down.

    Fercrisakes yer stupid Mosher. I’m guessing uneducable. And you have no balls preferring to compliment the naked emporer on his clothing in the hope that he might then give you some crumbs from his table. Have you no self respect at all? The United States is a great success story despite people like you not because of it. You disgust me.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      I was the one who first commented about air conditioning. Are you going to insult me too?

      • And you were right Brandon. As I pointed out to tamino, Heat wave related deaths are down in the US while heat related incidents are up.
        As Mcintyre pointed out in his WUWT presentation, climate extremes need not entail climate distasters.
        One of the reasons cited for the decrease in deaths is increased air conditioners. That would make sense since we know the majority of people who die in heat waves are the elderly and young who dont or cant get out of apartments that are not air conditioned.
        Interesting side note, is that male deaths exceed female deaths. This was due in part to the fact that females actually left the apartment, while elderly males tended to stay put and die.

      • “heat related incidents are up”

        Compared to when? Or do you mean in your imagination?

      • David Springer

        Actions always speak louder than words Brandon. Write that down, Mosher.

        Americans are migrating within the US in two distinct patterns. From blue states to red states and from snowbelt to sunbelt.

        This is often called “voting with your feet”. The feet don’t lie.

      • David Springer

        Data linkage for below: http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p25-1135.pdf

        Actions always speak louder than words Brandon. Write that down, Mosher.

        Americans are migrating within the US in two distinct patterns. From blue states to red states and from snowbelt to sunbelt.

        This is often called “voting with your feet”. The feet don’t lie.

      • Bruce,

        heat related incidents are up within the period of record. Now,
        you’ll note that I don’t attribute this to C02. Wonder why?
        Let’s take an example. A large city with a growing urban Heat island.
        You can take normal weather and end up with a heat wave that is spatially heterogenous and related more to the urban landscape.
        So, some large asian cities actually have warning systems that are
        neighborhood dependent. It’s unimportant whether the events are increasing or decreasing. its unimportant whether the cause is AGW or AGW plus other factors, or just ‘other factors”

        What matters is that Brandon was correct. When it comes to adaptation
        air conditioners are a proven working solution to a small part of the problem. But some people are so intent on arguing with everything that they miss simple points where rational people can agree. heat waves cause deaths. Those who die are very young and very old. Those who die tend to live in places without adequate cooling. Take AGW off the table. take the increase in heat related incidents off the table. you are left with the question. Can you improve our resilience? how?

        1, cut c02?
        2. move people out of warm places
        3. errr, use an air conditioner and work to reduce UHI.

        with more people moving to warm areas the problem might get worse, but in general those moving are not the vulnerable population.

        Still, it boggles the mind that some people are so intent on disagreeing with everything, with anything, that they if i say black, they say white without thinking.

      • Dave,

        Where people decide to move has nothing to do with the fact that in the past people have died from heat waves. Those that died are very young and very old. Those that died tended to live in places without air conditioning. Air conditioning helps you adapt to the heat, especially in an urban heat island. fact is, heat related deaths are down and part of that decrease is explained by better enviromental control in buildings.

        people vote with their feet. yup. they also vote by equiping buildings with air conditioning.
        Funny story. I have a pile of six sigma studies that have been done over the years. You’d find this one interesting. Factory in India. That had horrible productivity. Looking into the matter it was clear that there was a relationship between productivity and temperature in the plant. Huge losses on days where the building temp got above 86F.
        Problem? the government taxed air conditioning as a luxury, such that the price to cool the build to below 86F could not pay back the increase in tax.

        So, yes, people vote with their feet. they are moving to warm areas in the US, you know, places where folks have learned that brandon is correct.

      • “heat related incidents are up within the period of record.”

        Do you think people didn’t die from the heat in tenements in NY before air conditioning?

        “The 1896 Eastern North America heat wave was a 10-day heat wave in New York City, Boston, Newark, New Jersey and Chicago that killed about 1,500 people in August of 1896″

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1896_Eastern_North_America_heat_wave

        You should learn to offer data and not fantasies Mosher.

      • Steven Mosher

        Sure, all those folks moving south to get away from the cold are “voting with their feet”.

        And no wonder.

        As Goklany 2007 shows, US and Global deaths from extreme weather are declining (despite global warming) and there are twice as many deaths from extreme cold than from extreme heat.

        http://www.csccc.info/reports/report_23.pdf

        It makes sense to me.

        But it raises some serious doubts about those predictions of millions of climate refugees moving north to get away from the (human-caused) “global warming” closer to the Equator.

        Max

      • “An unusual period of heat stress blanketed St. Louis, the Midwest, and New
        York in late June and mid-July of 1966. Deaths from all causes increased by 24%
        in three Atlantic states, 17% in five North Central States, 36% in New York, and
        56% in St. Louis. Subgroups of the population were hit harder (white females in
        New York 56% nonwhite females 140% in St. Louis). Residents of certain areas
        of the cities were almost unaffected by heat-wave mortality (-18% -10%) while
        in other areas deaths were up by 140 to 260%. Poverty, crowding, poor housing,
        and age are critical factors. Diabetic deaths were up 117%. ASHD and hypertension
        were increased by 41 to 52% in New York. Homicides were up remarkably
        while suicides were down during the hot spell, Sudden heat deaths (DOA’s)
        and heat strokes were coded routinely in St. Louis but rarely by New York
        physicians.”

        http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/34139/1/0000423.pdf

        “coded routinely” … but not in NY.

        Are heat related deaths up? Or is proper coding up?

      • Bruce,

        You would probably do better to look at work after 1966. especially if you are looking for the impact of air conditioning.

        manaker you need to learn to read.

        Climate extremes not not mean climate disaster (Mcintyre)
        Heat related incidents are up ( not all related to climate)
        heat related deaths are down.
        research shows that air conditioning played a role.

        Brandon was correct
        Bruce disagrees, buts doesnt know why.
        Springer disagrees but doesnt know why.

        So bruce, springer lets keep this easy.

        1. Climate extremes do not mean disaster? agree or not
        2. The number of hot days (heat waves) is up not down
        a) This is NOT necessarily due to climate change
        3. Heat related deaths are down. agree or disagree?
        4. Air conditioning can lower the number of deaths?

        Like I said, you guys are so intent on disagreement, that you cant even think straight.

        Of the 4 statements which do you think is false and why?

      • Bruce.

        Do you even think?

        Brandon argues that air conditioning is an adaptation
        I agree and point out that heat related deaths are down and
        argue that air conditioning played a role.

        You cite a heat wave in 1896 as a counter point. TO WHAT you moron?
        to the argument about air conditioining?
        to the argument that heat related deaths are DOWN in the us?

        Moron

      • Speaking words is an action that speaks louder than words. The noisier you are, the less you think. There’s a lesson to be learned from this.

      • Mosher: “heat related incidents are up”

        I asked politely for evidence.

        Your response is to call me a moron.

        I think we know who is the moron. It is you Mosher. You are an unhinged bully.

  72. David Springer

    Pekka Pirilä | November 25, 2012 at 7:10 am |

    This is really a point where I cannot but wonder how people can get so stupid in their denial.

    There’s no way to deny credibly that humans have added a lot of carbon to the system.

    There’s no way of denying that less has stayed in the atmosphere. Thus all the rest combined has been a sink, not a source.

    I have written twice: “There’s no way to deny”. I wonder whether someone really disagrees on those two points.

    Despite the rate of anthropogenic CO2 production increasing exponentially natural carbon sinks have exponentially increased in their ability to sink it thus a rather flat rate of 50% of anthropogenic CO2 actually stays behind in the atmosphere each year.

    This is characteristic of an equilibrium system being driven further and further from equilibrium and the farther it gets away from equibrium the stronger the force becomes to restore it. There appears to be an interglacial equilibrium point for CO2 of about 280ppm, 200ppm for glacial epochs, and thousands of parts per million outside of ice ages.

    You must be in love with ice. Few other living things are. It takes a monumental kind of stupid to embrace cold and ice. You are monumentally stupid. Not just everyday stupid but monumentally so.

    • Despite the rate of anthropogenic CO2 production increasing exponentially natural carbon sinks have exponentially increased in their ability to sink it thus a rather flat rate of 50% of anthropogenic CO2 actually stays behind in the atmosphere each year.

      This is characteristic of an equilibrium system being driven further and further from equilibrium and the farther it gets away from equibrium the stronger the force becomes to restore it.

      Right. The ongoing emissions have increased continuously the imbalance between the carbon concentrations of the atmosphere and the ocean (those layers that interact with atmosphere strongly enough). That increase has been such that the ratio has stayed consistently near 50%.

      I don’t claim knowledge on all the factors that have led to the typical levels of 280 ppm and 200 ppm.

      • Pekka and David

        Don’t forget the biosphere (plants, etc.)

        There is good reason to believe that plants have increased their uptake of CO2 as its atmospheric concentration increased.

        And there is the unexplained gradual reduction of the %age CO2 emitted by humans that “remains” in the atmosphere since Mauna Loa measurements started (around 1% per decade).

        Will this gradual decrease continue as the concentration increases? If so, what is causing it?

        It is speculated that the upper ocean warmed on average over this period (although IMO data are so spotty to be worthless prior to ARGO in 2003 and inconclusive since then). This would speak against a warmer ocean being a net “sink” since 1959.

        So we have a dilemma. The “unknowns” still exceed the “knowns”.

        Max

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | November 25, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply

        “I don’t claim knowledge on all the factors that have led to the typical levels of 280 ppm and 200 ppm.”

        Of course you don’t, weasel boy. Selective knowledge is a major component of your MO.

      • David Springer

        Plants are more or less carbon neutral. Sink when living source when dead.

        Animals that produce calcium carbonate shells are major sinks. Limestone (largely CaCO3) is over 5% of the earth’s crust and most of it is seashells.

        It’s highly amusing and illustrative of the weasel mindset that Pekka doesn’t want to talk about why glacial atmospheric CO2 is 200ppm and interglacial is 280. It’s the ocean temperature of course. No more and no less.

        I’ve very little doubt that anthropogenic CO2 is responsible for the higher rate today. The farther from equilibrium scenario I outlined above which makes the accumuation rate in the atmosphere a steady 50% is because humans aren’t making a tiny dent in average ocean temperature (top to bottom) and it’s that average temperature which sets the equilibrium point for the atmosphere. So with an unchanged equilibrium point and exponentially increasing human emission we get an exponentially increasing sink rate for the excess because the excess isn’t a drop in the bucket for total oceanic capacity.

    • David Springer

      You write that a “flat rate of 50% [of the CO2 emitted by humans] stays in the atmosphere”.

      Actually this percentage bounces all over the map on an annual basis (from 15% to 90%), but on a long-term basis it has been around 50%.

      As a matter of fact, this percentage is decreasing by about 1% per decade, and has decreased by 5 percentage points since Mauna Loa measurements started in 1959.

      One reason for this steady decrease may be a higher uptake by the biosphere (plants, etc.) at higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

      Whether this %-age will continue to decrease over time is not certain, but is certainly plausible.

      Max

  73. David Springer

    Pekka Pirilä | November 25, 2012 at 6:57 am |

    “I did answer that. I told that it’s impossible that the oceans are both the source and the sink.”

    Given an equilibrium starting point and a well mixed atmosphere water that is warming becomes a source while water that is cooling becomes a sink.

    The ocean is warming in the lower latitudes and cooling the higher latitudes. Warming and cooling also occur seasonally. Thus the ocean can be both a source and sink at the same time but in different places or at different times in the same place.

    I can hardly fathom the depth of ignorance in physical processes it takes to not be aware of that and thus be able to pen something so unbelievably wrong as saying it’s impossible for the ocean to be both source and sink. Incredible. No wonder Finland is such a non-entity with nincompoops like Pekka “The Weasel” Pirila standing as testimony to the best and brightest the frozen sh!thole has to offer.

      • David Springer

        0-700 meters is about 15% of the ocean’s volume. What about the other 85%?

        Your link is broken by the way at time of this writing.

      • David Springer

        0-700 meters is about 15% of the ocean’s volume. What about the other 85%?

        Your link is broken by the way at time of this writing.

        (working now)

        What’s your point? It’s well known the error bars on OHC make it practically useless. And for what it’s worth it reinforces the idea that atmospheric CO2 increase is at least partially due to outgassing from a slightly warmer ocean.

        One day it will be widely known that atmospheric CO2 is controlled by ocean temperature not ocean temperature controlled by atmospheric CO2. In the meantime it’s fun arguing with twits who don’t know any better today.

      • Springer

        What’s your point? It’s well known the error bars on OHC make it practically useless. And for what it’s worth it reinforces the idea that atmospheric CO2 increase is at least partially due to outgassing from a slightly warmer ocean.

        – Well known by who? Deniers? Others might notice that the trend is substantially greater than the error bars…

        Now, what could possibly have caused such a truly vast accumulation in the climate system since the mid-C20th?

        Only deniers deny that RF from GHGs is the most likely answer. The clue is in the name. *Scientists* are all-but certain that it’s RF from GHGs. Once again, there’s a clue in the name.

      • David Springer

        British Bollocks Dispenser

        The ocean was cooling before it was warming.

        Can you spell “flippo floppo”?

        How about “pencil whipped”?

        It took many years of massaging ARGO data to change cooling into warming. ROFLMAO – that’s some funny stuff!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_(oceanography)#Data_results

        Data results

        It is not yet possible to use Argo data to detect global change signals, as the dataset is not yet long enough to observe global change signals.[8]

        [edit] Argo data result errors

        During 2006, the Argo Network was thought to have shown a declining trend in ocean temperatures.[9] In February 2007, the author of the paper, Josh Willis, discovered that there were problems with the data used for the analysis.[10] After eliminating incorrect data, the trend to that time remained cooling, but below the level of statistical significance.[3]

        [edit] Data results from year 2008 and after

        Takmeng Wong and Bruce A. Wielicki published a paper on the Argo data corrections in the NASA journal “The Earth Observer, 20(1), 16-19″.[11] Josh Willis, in an article published on the NASA Earth Observatory web site states that after correcting the errors in the Argo thermometer measurements, the results show that the world’s oceans have been absorbing additional energy and have been warming.[3][10]Rebecca Lindsey (November 5, 2008). “Correcting Ocean Cooling”. NASA. Archived from the original on 30 June 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.

      • David Springer

        British Bollocks Dispenser writes:

        “a truly vast accumulation”

        Don’t let that big number of joules fool you. Joules are really little units and the ocean is really big. Since 1955, if you believe the numbers you linked, the 10*10^22 joules change represents a temperature change of just 0.09C or about 0.015C per decade. Hence the panic to find Trenberth’s “missing heat” and using gazillions of joules in the global warming advertisments instead of thousandth’s degrees C.

        LOL – I admire your ability not to laugh at Climate boffins running around like the Keystone Cops. It must take a lot of discipline.

        \mathbb{IDIOT}\bowtie\mathbb{IDIOT}

      • David Springer

        Measuring all those teeny weeny joules in that big ol’ ocean is really tough, especially since all of them together would only cause a temperature increase of a few hundredths of a degree C (and the thermometers aren’t that good, even on ARGO).

        The hard truth is that before ARGO the measurements were meaningless and can be ignored: the expendable XBT devices had very spotty coverage and introduced a warming bias. After ARGO the story is even worse. The results showed (egad!) cooling instead of warming. Team leader Josh Willis called it a “speed bump”. Then they began “correcting” the ARGO data until they could show “no warming”. Now a new re-analysis with more “corrections” shows (oh joy!) slight warming. This is sloppy science at best and skullduggery at worst.

        But BBD “believes” it, because it confirms his paradigm.

        [“Blessed are those who have not seen, yet have believed…”]

        Max

      • Springer

        The ocean was cooling before it was warming.

        Can you spell “flippo floppo”?

        How about “pencil whipped”?

        It took many years of massaging ARGO data to change cooling into warming. ROFLMAO – that’s some funny stuff!

        Woo! Conspiracy theory alert!

        Conspiracy theorising is diagnostic of lunacy.

        Instead of rooting around in the rubbish heap of Wiki edit, why not go to the most recent peer-reviewed literature? See Levitus et al. (2012).

        Everything you say, including the quite funny remark about joules being little and the ocean being big, demonstrates a mixture of insanity, ignorance and terribly misplaced confidence in your beliefs.

      • manacker

        The hard truth is that before ARGO the measurements were meaningless and can be ignored: the expendable XBT devices had very spotty coverage and introduced a warming bias. After ARGO the story is even worse. The results showed (egad!) cooling instead of warming. Team leader Josh Willis called it a “speed bump”. Then they began “correcting” the ARGO data until they could show “no warming”. Now a new re-analysis with more “corrections” shows (oh joy!) slight warming. This is sloppy science at best and skullduggery at worst.

        But BBD “believes” it, because it confirms his paradigm.

        Your use of scare quotes around “correcting” once again confirms that you are not, as you claim, a rational sceptic but in fact a conspiracy theorist. Conspiracy theorists are loons.

        Here – with error bars – is the 0-2000m OHC data that you deny.

        Denialism. Conspiracy theorising.

        Waste of time.

    • David,

      I agree that some parts of the ocean may act as a sink while others act as a source. That’s not only a possibility but that also happens all the time.

      That doesn’t, however, invalidate my basic point.

      The complexity of the issues is discussed in the 1985 paper of Keeling and Revelle that JCH linked to. A lot more has been learned since 1985.

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | November 25, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply

        David,

        “I agree that some parts of the ocean may act as a sink while others act as a source. That’s not only a possibility but that also happens all the time.
        That doesn’t, however, invalidate my basic point.”

        What a lame attempt to weasel out of it. Of course it invalidates your point.

      • Springer

        If the global ocean emits more CO2 than it absorbs it is a net source. If it absorbs more than it emits, it is a net sink.

        It turns out that it is a net sink. At least for now.

      • BBD

        It’s nice that you proclaim that the “ocean is a net CO2 sink” today.

        But your proclamation is not based on any hard empirical evidence.

        Upper ocean temperature is supposed to have warmed over the 20th century, but measurements are spotty and inconclusive. But, if it has warmed, it seems unlikely that the ocean would be dissolving more CO2 as it gets warmer (but who knows?).

        Since the %-age of the CO2 emitted by humans that “remains” in the atmosphere bounces from 15% to 90% on an annual basis, and since this seems to correlate with whether global temperature has warmed or cooled (more stays in atmosphere in years that have warmed), there appears to be a short-term temperature component.

        We don’t really have any useful long-term data but the paleo data going back over 400,000 years show that temperature leads CO2 level by a few hundred years (not the other way around).

        The fact is that only around half of the CO2 emitted by humans ends up in the atmosphere and we do not know where the other half is going. Some surmise that it is being absorbed by the oceans, others that the biosphere is absorbing it, or that there is a combination of factors including both.

        The second observed fact is that this percentage has decreased by around 1% per decade (by 5 %-age points out of 50%) since Mauna Loa measurements started. No one has explained this observed fact as far as I know.

        So , while your statement may be (at least partially) correct, there are still many open questions on Earth’s CO2 cycle and the role human emissions play.

        Max

      • Max,

        By this kind of messages you have lost all the little remaining credibility for your self-declared status as a “rational skeptic” and turned to the camp of “dragon slayers” as you also indicated directly by one of your recent messages.

        That’s really incredible non-sense as has been explained very many times by many commenters.

        Picking only a negligible part of the evidence and forgetting all the rest is worse than most cherry picking we have seen here.

      • Pekka

        You have apparently misunderstood my message to BBD.

        He proclaimed that the “ocean is a CO2 sink”.

        I did not say this was wrong, only that it is not really demonstrated by empirical evidence.

        The oceans may well be absorbing more CO2, despite the general supposition that they are warming on average (IOW the higher atmospheric concentration is driving the equilibrium more than the warmer temperature), BUT the situation is far more complex than just that (as you know full well).

        And it is all these other unknown factors that may be having a greater impact.

        Pekka, I know that you are more of a theoretician while I am more of an empiricist or “rational skeptic” in the scientific sense: I want to see empirical evidence to support a hypothesis (especially in a field that is as nebulous as climate science) before I accept it as validated.

        The physical data I see may be fudged, manipulated, etc., but it’s all we have so I rely on it.

        – It tells me that there is no direct correlation on an annual basis between the amount of CO2 emitted by humans and the amount “remaining” in the atmosphere.

        – This bounces around between 15% and 90% with an apparent correlation with warming on an annual basis.

        – It also tells me that over many years, this figures out to around 50%.

        – And I also see that this %-age is gradually decreasing (by around 1% per decade) over the even longer term.

        – Over an even longer term, paleo data going back over 400,000 years show me that there is a CO2/temperature correlation, but that CO2 lagged temperature by several hundred years.

        I have seen no compelling explanation backed by empirical evidence for these five observations – have you?

        Since plant studies have shown that these absorb more CO2 at higher atmospheric concentrations, I wonder whether or not increased plant growth may be playing a role here. But, unfortunately there are no data.

        Then I read in IPCC AR4 that a “broader range of models now available now suggests stronger climate-carbon cycle feedbacks” i.e. CO2 outgassing from a warmer ocean rather than CO2 absorption.

        So I simply tell BBD that things are not quite as simple as he may think.

        And you have not brought any data to refute this, Pekka.

        Sorry ’bout that.

        Max

      • Max,
        The strong arguments that are based on reliable statistics and empirical data have been presented so many times that it’s pointless to repeat them again. I did summarize them in two recent comments directed to Girma (who continued as if nothing would have happened as he always does when shown to be wrong).

        Pretending that virtually certain facts were in doubt is not much better than claiming that they are wrong.

        It’s pity that we seem to have more and more fully crackpot material on this site. The discussion has not been going forward, rather the opposite. Perhaps it’s not quite as crazy to present doubts on the source of CO2 than to claim that SW cannot warm, but isn’t much better either.

      • Pekka

        You are definitely confused here.

        Girma is proposing a hypothesis that sounds a lot like that of Prof. Salby – namely that increased atmospheric CO2 was not directly caused by human emissions, but rather by net outgassing from a slightly warmer ocean (as appears to have been the case in the 400,000 year paleo record).

        This is not my hypothesis. It’s Girma’s.

        To BBD’s claim that the ocean is a net CO2 sink I have simply raised several unanswered questions regarding the carbon cycle (which you have NOT answered anywhere, so don’t claim you have).

        I just think it’s a lot more complex than the “consensus” wisdom and there are still many unanswered questions.

        Max

      • David Springer

        BBD | November 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm |

        “It turns out that it is a net sink. At least for now.”

        If the ocean is warmer it cannot hold as much CO2 in solution. Yet you believe it is both warmer AND it has increased the amount of CO2 it contains by absorbing anthropogenic emissions.

        Sorry, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | November 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm |

        ” Perhaps it’s not quite as crazy to present doubts on the source of CO2 than to claim that SW cannot warm, but isn’t much better either.”

        The latter violates the law of conservation of energy. The former violates a consensus opinion. You really can’t tell the difference?

        This reminds me of evolutionary biologists saying mud-to-man evolution is as well proven as the law of gravity. Funny thing is you NEVER hear a physicist claim that the law of gravity is as well proven as mud-to-man evolution.

        Apples and oranges. Well tested law vs. just-so story. You’re pitiful.

        \mathbb{WEASEL}\bowtie\mathebb{WEASEL}

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | November 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm |

        \mathbb{WEASEL}\bowtie\mathbb{WEASEL}

  74. A decade ago George Marshall and Mark Lynas put Bjorn Lomborg into the first deniers Hall of Shame.

    Just recently, on his blog, I suggested that he take down that link on his blog, if he was serious, about wanting to talk to deniers. The blog post was how to talk to a climate change denier. The link was to was to Rising Tides -Hall of Shame an organization that George founded….

    George deleted my comment and then made out he had been receiving abusive comments

    • Barry Woods,

      Thank you for that comment. That is typical of sites that promote CAGW Alarmism. Ammonite was suggesting I should read Mark Lynas’s book. What would be the point since he is an alarmists and extremists? If this is the best the CAGW alarmists can offer to justify their advocacy, then it becomes clearer to me with every such suggestion that they have no case to offer. They believe in catastrophe because they are gullible.

  75. Floods in the U.K like never before – I’m nearly 70 things have changed in the U.K, I’ve never seen the like – nothing to do with Climate Change guys ? them what the hell is happening

    • Yes it’s climate change, we have entered a natural cooling phase, last seen in 1810 and before that during the Maunder Minimum known as the Little Ice Age 1645 ish to 1715 ish.

      The sun is entering a relatively inactive state, sunspot activity has halved and is expected to decrease further. This will lead to poor summers and increasingly bitter winters.

      It will also lead to stronger storms (much to the joy of those who would blame co2 for everything that happens) and more persistent weather conditions, wet, dry, cold, and very occasionally hot (there were a few hot
      years during the LIA).

      If you live to 130 you’ll get to see it change back again to warmer conditions, unless it steps further down into the next Glaciation a full blown Ice Age.

      Enjoy.

      • J Martin

        I hope you are wrong, but I haven’t seen any convincing arguments from the “warmist” side to refute your conclusion.

        2C of global cooling would be a far bigger problem for humanity than 2C of warming.

        Max

  76. If you had no information, or misinformation, about the “world climate” or your own local climate, what would you think about it?

    That was the way it was for me until a few years ago. I never gave “climate change” any thought, either local or global. I could not say one way or another what the climate was doing where I lived. We had warmer winters and colder winters, warmer summers and colder summers. It varied. Judging from the number of occasions I did not open our swimming pool on Memorial Day, I would have to say, if anything, the local climate was getting cooler but could not think that was climate change, merely a period of summers tending to have a late start.

    When I retired 10 years ago, I moved south because I disliked the snow and ice and dealing with the cold of winter. That was a great move but now 2 of the last 3 winters here have become unusually cold. What am I to believe? I want it warmer here in my local climate. I don’t care about some theoretical global climate.

    From catastrophic global warming to climate change to extreme weather….. someone is trying hard to get me to believe something my senses tell me is either not true or of very questionable foundation.

  77. lolwot

    A “backdown” is probably too strong a term.

    But let’s say there has been a “rebranding” of the message.

    During the rapid warming of the 1980s and 1990s it was “anthropogenic global warming” and we were warned that it would get very hot indeed, unless we stopped burning fossil fuels.

    Then it stopped warming. Oops!

    So we had a “rebranding” to “anthropogenic climate change” and the “changes” expected were a bit more nebulous (but still potentially catastrophic, of course – and caused by human CO2).

    Then there were a few disastrous weather “events” (such as Katrina), a Texas drought, some floods somewhere and several very harsh winters across the northern hemisphere.

    Time for another “rebranding”: this time to “anthropogenic climate disruption”, where any bit of bad weather (hot, cold, wet or dry) is blamed on human CO2 emissions.

    It’s sort of like the old shell and pea game – now you see it, now you don’t.

    Max

  78. As the globe has not warmed in the last 15 years by 0.3 deg C as they said it would, we have got for free 15 more years to check CAGW.

    But CAGW advocates don’t want verification of their theory as it is not based on science but the ideology of environmentalism. What we can dearly hope is for the UN climate talks to fail like the world trade talks so that CAGW can be verified in the next 15 years before more money is wasted.
    They say the increase in CO2 concentration is due to human emission. However, the data shows it is due to ENSO and the warm phase of PDO as shown:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/compress:12/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/derivative/normalise/from:1979.3/plot/rss/normalise/trend

    They projected for a warming of 0.2 deg C per decade, but the observation is zero deg c per decade as shown:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/trend/detrend:0.075/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1998/detrend:0.075/plot/gistemp/from:1998/trend/detrend:0.12/offset:-0.06/plot/gistemp/from:1998/detrend:0.12/offset:-0.06

  79. Pingback: Italy's Bersani makes <b>last</b>-ditch appeal for government deal | eJumo