Mainstreaming ECS ~ 2 C

by Judith Curry

Humanity has a second chance to stop dangerous climate change. Temperature data from the last decade offers an unexpected opportunity to stay below the agreed international target of 2 °C of global warming. – New Scientist

A new article is in press at Nature Geoscience [link]:

Energy budget constraints on climate response

Alexander Otto, Friederike E. L. Otto, Olivier Boucher, John Church, Gabi Hegerl, Piers M. Forster, Nathan P. Gillett, Jonathan Gregory, Gregory C. Johnson, Reto Knutti, Nicholas Lewis, Ulrike Lohmann, Jochem Marotzke, Gunnar Myhre, Drew Shindell, Bjorn Stevens & Myles R. Allen

Read the list of authors, read it carefully.  Note the presence of a number of names that are well known as IPCC lead authors and otherwise.  Also note the presence of Nicholas Lewis.

The punchline is this:

The most likely value of equilibrium climate sensitivity based on the energy budget of the most recent decade is 2.0 °C, with a 5–95% confidence interval of 1.2– 3.9 °C , compared with the 1970–2009 estimate of 1.9 °C (0.9–5.0 °C; grey, Fig. 1a). Including the period from 2000 to 2009 into the 40-year 1970–2009 period delivers a finite upper boundary, in contrast with earlier estimates calculated using the same method. The range derived from the 2000s overlaps with estimates from earlier decades and with the range of ECS values from current climate models (ECS values in the CMIP5 ensemble are 2.2–4.7 °C), although it is moved slightly towards lower values. Observations of the energy budget alone do not rule out an ECS value below 2 °C, but they do rule out an ECS below 1.2 °C with 95% confidence. 

The best estimate of TCR based on observations of the most recent decade is 1.3 °C (0.9–2.0 °C). This is lower than estimates derived from data of the 1990s (1.6 °C (0.9–3.1 °C) or for the 1970–2009 period as a whole (1.4 °C (0.7–2.5 °C); grey, Fig. 1b).  Our results match those of other observation-based studies and suggest that the TCRs of some of the models in the CMIP5 ensemble with the strongest climate response to increases in atmospheric CO2 levels may be inconsistent with recent observations — even though their ECS values are consistent and they agree well with the observed climatology. Most of the climate models of the CMIP5 ensemble are, however, consistent with the observations used here in terms of both ECS and TCR. 

Nic Lewis has a post on this at Bishop Hill, some excerpts:

The Nature Geoscience paper, although short, is in my view significant for two particular reasons. First, using what is probably the most robust method available, it establishes a well-constrained best estimate for TCR that is nearly 30% below the CMIP5 multimodel mean TCR of 1.8°C (per Forster et al. (2013), here). The 95% confidence bound for the Nature Geoscience paper’s 1.3°C TCR best estimate indicates some of the highest-response general circulation models (GCMs) have TCRs that are inconsistent with recent observed changes. Some two-thirds of the CMIP5 models analysed in Forster et. al (2013) have TCRs that lie above the top of the ‘likely’ range for that best estimate, and all the CMIP5 models analysed have an ECS that exceeds the Nature Geoscience paper’s 2.0°C best estimate of ECS. The CMIP5 GCM with the highest TCR, per the Forster et. al (2013) analysis, is the UK Met. Office’s flagship HadGEM2-ES model – see their webpage “Advanced climate modelling for policymakers” and their document “Advance: Improved advice for science mitigation advice”. The uncertainty distribution for the Nature Geoscience paper’s best TCR estimate of 1.3°C indicates that it is extremely unlikely that real-world TCR is as high as that of the HadGEM2-ES model. It has a TCR of 2.5°C, nearly double 1.3°C and 0.5°C beyond the top of the 5–95% uncertainty range. The paper obtains similar, albeit less well constrained, best estimates using data for earlier periods than 2000–09.

Secondly, the authors include fourteen climate scientists, well known in their fields, who are lead or coordinating lead authors of IPCC AR5 WG1 chapters that are relevant to estimating climate sensitivity. Two of them, professors Myles Allen and Gabi Hegerl, are lead authors for Chapter 10, which deals with estimates of ECS and TCR constrained by observational evidence. The study was principally carried out by a researcher, Alex Otto, who works in Myles Allen’s group.

The New Scientist has an article on this paper that is worth reading.

James Annan has a post that says what really struck me also:

The analysis itself is not particularly novel or exciting: what makes it newsworthy in my view is the list of authors, which includes some who had previously been trying to talk down these recent estimates. Even though this paper is too late for the IPCC AR5, I hope it reflects a change in thinking from the IPCC authors involved.

They argue that the new result for sensitivity “is in agreement with earlier estimates, within the limits of uncertainty”. The contrasting claim that the analysis of transient response gives a qualitatively different outcome (being somewhat lower than both the previous IPCC assessment, and the range obtained from GCMs) is just weird, since both their ECS and TCR results are markedly lower than the IPCC and GCM ranges.

This looks like a pretty unreasonable attempt to spin the result as nothing new for sensitivity, when it is clearly something very new indeed from these authors, and implies a marked lowering of the IPCC “likely” range. So although the analysis does depend on a few approximations and simplifications, it’s hard to see how they could continue to defend the 2-4.5C range.

JC comments:  James Annan’s blog post starts with this sentence: “At last the great and the good have spoken.”  I.e., some IPCC lead authors are paying attention to the lower sensitivity estimates.  It will be very interesting to see how the IPCC AR5 plays this.  I suspect that the uncertainty monster will become their good friend, ‘not inconsistent with.’  It will be very interesting indeed to see if the IPCC budges from the 2-4.5 C range that has remained unchanged since the 1979 Charney report.

714 responses to “Mainstreaming ECS ~ 2 C

  1. I just want to make sure now. We are excited because some folks finally saw the light. We are not excited because we can claim a bunch of experts say sensitivity is lower. After all, that would be falling back into the claim of authority trap wouldn’t it?

    • We should be excited by both – because a ‘bunch of experts’ shifting their position like this enables governments to think more sensibly about energy policy. Ain’t gonna lade the poor no more.

    • Gary authority backed up by strong data is good. Authority that is used to smooth over weaknesses in the data is bad.

      We have better measurements of more of the climate system now than ever before. That is a stronger basis on which to make these sorts of estimates. Can it be improved? Certainly. More years of this type of data should help.

      Paleo is another line of inquiry for this type of estimate. It seems like now would be a good time to reassess the weaknesses in that approach and identify the ways to strengthen that with better data.

      • HR,
        Good summary.

        It is going to be an incredible challenge to deal with the Earth’s exploding population. Having seen the World’s population increase from two billion to over 7 in my lifetime is stunning. Almost too hard an increase to believe. The brightest in all the fields and including government have a worthy challenge. People have learn to state the problem honestly.

        Where do you look and act next. Obviously energy sustainability is front and central. Getting one’s head out of focused and out of the sand is never too easy.

      • garry just imagine how Malthus would be if he was still alive. I see him blogging alongside Romm with the same level of hysteria.

        I’m relaxing in the sun, with the sound of my family in the background and no other humans in earshot, I’m thinking there’s room for a few more.

      • There is much energy in the universe, and it is not likely that man will ever use all of it.
        =========

    • David Springer

      GARRYD

      Darwinian evolution will meet the challenge if anthropogenic efforts fail. Nature is a harsh mistress when it comes to population control. Speaking personally I have faith that science and technology are up to the challenge of maintaining rising living standards for a growing global population. They haven’t failed us yet in that regard and I see no reason to believe they will fail in the future. I eschew defeatism. It’s un-American.

  2. Why so many contributors to this article? It seems more like it was written by a couple of collaborators and the others have lent their names to it as a form of peer approval.

    • They all want to jump into the life boat

    • Steven Mosher

      read who did what parts and you will understand.

    • The energy budget for the whole climate system is derived from several data sets (for the ocean, land, air and cryosphere). Several authors are credited for providing these. I agree though with Annan that this is recognition that the better data coverage of the past decade is giving us new insights.

  3. Judith, commented elsewhere on this important paper today. Tried to extend those ideas in a format compatible with your scientific blog, but failed ( old iPads have limitations that apparently the ghost of Jobs reincarnate cannot fix, or at least I cannot conjur his ghost forth)?
    I have to go about real business tomorrow early AM, will not try here twice. Suffice to say this is a litmus test of IPCC. They accepted ‘grey’ papers for AR4. Why was this one a smidgen late and so a bit grey?

    The tell is that it echoes at least seven other papers, plus my book chapter, since AR4. So if its Authors are required to ignore their own paper in the AR5 chapters they head is beyond a tell. It would be proof positive of rigged science.

    • Nic Lewis has been writing about the lower ECS and exposing the errors in the statistical analysis of ECS in papers included in AR4 for two years. So why did it take until after the AR5 deadline to get this paper accepted? Conspiracy?

      • Steven Mosher

        peter. Nic did a version of this earlier this year. In the interim he worked on another paper. coordinating all the details takes time. Why assume the worst in people.

      • Wasn’t Nic Lewis’s ECS centered on 1.6C?

        The centered number is dropping from 3C to 2C based upon recent observations. If warming resumes with a little more vigor than this study is predicting, the new observational estimate for ECS would presumably be higher, right?

      • Mosher,

        I am not assuming the worst of Nic Lewis. Why would you assume that?

        But I am wondering if unwelcome papers take longer to get through the review process (when it suits), than papers that are welcomed – c.f. Michael Mann’ hockey stick papers versus Steve McIntyre’s critiques (I presume you’ll get the point without diverting into being a pedant).

        And regarding your usual unnecessary, unpleasant, loaded comment (typical of an IT geek), it is rather hypocritical, don’t you think, for you to be making such a comment?

      • Nic Lewis comment at WUWT:

        “There seems to be a general assumption at most blogs that because the new Nature Geoscience paper has only just appeared, it is too late to be cited in AR5. That is wrong. The paper was accepted by the journal, after peer review, by the AR5 WG1 acceptance deadline (15 March 3013). It will be cited in AR5 WG1.”

      • JCH

        Yeah. And if the “lack of warming” continues for another decade or three, at will be even lower.

        Right?

        Max

      • JCH

        Yeah. And if the “lack of warming” continues for another decade or three, at will be even lower.

        Right?

        I don’t know, but my hunch would be it would depend largely on what happens in the oceans with respect to OHC and SLR.

      • About 1/3 of the global temperature anomaly is being diverted into OHC. So a TCR of 2C translates to an ECS of 3C per doubling of CO2.

      • Webster, “About 1/3 of the global temperature anomaly is being diverted into OHC. So a TCR of 2C translates to an ECS of 3C per doubling of CO2.”

        About? That stratosphere approach curve that you avoid like the plaque is an indication of the rate of change of OH uptake. The rate of OH uptake started slowing prior to the pause. The current rate of OH uptake is 0.3 Wm-2 +/- a touch, down from about 0.6 Wm-2 prior to 2000.

        ECS related to OHC*e^(-t/RC), TCR is decreasing because the rate of OH uptake is decreasing.

        Write that down :)

      • Here ya go Webster,

        https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/–Igxvx79vsQ/UZzPrY7sckI/AAAAAAAAINw/0NwzadXj53Y/s912/Oceans%2520and%2520Atmosphere.png

        I did torture that. Using the Reynold’s Oiv2 absolute temperature I converted all three to “relative” energy anomaly. That just scales there responses to the actual changes in “surface” energy flux instead of temperature anomaly. Oh, I did invert the lower stratosphere so it is easier to compare. Since the stratosphere “mirrors” the changes in the rate of Ocean Heat uptake, you can get an rough approximation to compare with the ARGO data which while short also indicates a similar “approach” curve.

        It is just like checking your battery charger Webster, it ain’t rocket science.

      • Where is the statistical noise analysis?

      • Webster, “Where is the statistical noise analysis?”

        Haven’t done one that could be called rigorous. Just using comparisons, UAH and RSS agree better with Steric sea level variation and annual CO2 variation by region, using barrow, mauna loa and south pole. The surface temperature records seem to have a problem with either polar temperature interpolation, seasonal signal removal or a combination of the two. That standard deviation plot shows something is off a touch.

        I haven’t really dug into that since Mosher was planning a comparison of surface stations with major body of water proximity. Plus there are so many other people looking at it I thought someone would have done something. So far, Wayne2 and I are the only people I know of that have quested the changes in standard deviation and first differences.

        I showed the SD issue to you over a year ago. Wayne2 picked up on the first difference shift at ~1955 a couple of months ago.

      • Cappy,
        Graeme Stephens made an estimate of 0.58 Wm^2 energy imbalance for the Earth as a whole. Divide this by the cross-section area of the ocean and we get 0.58/0.7= 0.83 W/m^2 concentrated as an OHC imbalance. This value of 0.83 W/m^2 is close to the one quoted by Trenberth of 0.85 ± 0.15 W/m^2 originally estimated by Hansen et al. in 2005.

        According to the skeptics, Stephens is in disagreement with Trenberth and Hansen. So why are they in so much agreement with 0.83 versus 0.85? Is it the error bars that they are arguing over? What kind of error bars are you contributing to the discussion?

      • Webster, “Cappy,
        Graeme Stephens made an estimate of 0.58 Wm^2 energy imbalance for the Earth as a whole. Divide this by the cross-section area of the ocean and we get 0.58/0.7= 0.83 W/m^2 concentrated as an OHC imbalance. This value of 0.83 W/m^2 is close to the one quoted by Trenberth of 0.85 ± 0.15 W/m^2 originally estimated by Hansen et al. in 2005.”

        I don’t have a problem is Stephens because he uses realistic margins of error. +/- 0.15 was not a realistic margin of error especially when that K&T Energy Budget had a glaring 18 Wm-2 error. Stephens’ margin of error at the surface is +/- 17 Wm-2 and nearly +/- 0.5 at TOA.

        Heck, I even estimated a 1Wm-2 imbalance. The question is, if and how quickly that imbalance is changing. The battery charger issue.

      • Graeme Stephens is being held up by the skeptics as an independent thinker who bucks the analysis of the climate science orthodoxy. Yet it remains a fact that Stephens agrees with Trenberth, Hansen, Levitus on the OHC uptake rate.

        Why is that, Cappy? Or are YOU the guy that the skeptics are supposed to rally around? Not Graeme Stephens, but Cappy the guy with the authoritarian title. Aye, Captain!

    • Steven Mosher

      It missed the deadline. The decision is not that hard. note, I’m on a paper that missed the deadline. rulz are rulz. no cookie.

    • I am not assuming the worst of Nic Lewis. Why would you assume that?

      But I am wondering if unwelcome papers take longer to get through the review process (when it suits), than papers that are welcomed – e.g. the Michael Mann’ hockey stick papers versus Steve McIntyre’s critiques (I presume you’ll get the point without diverting into being a pedant).

      And regarding your usual unnecessary, unpleasant, loaded comment (typical of an IT geek), its rather hypocritical don’t you think for you to be making such a comment – dope!

      • Steven Mosher

        sorry peter, when exactly do you think Nic and the others started on the letter and when do you think it got accepted and how long did the process take? I’m not suggesting that you think ill of Nic. Im talking about your conspiracy thing WRT to others. You have no idea about the timeline. You might want to consider the possibility that others do.
        Since you dont know the timeline, when they started and when they submitted, you might poor some ice water on your fevered imaginations, or Joshua might show up and pester you.

  4. I would suspect that a number of those author names were added specifically for AR5. It would be interesting to find out what names were omitted :) .

  5. Steven Mosher

    well its interesting to see more lukewarmers…

    willard, the pope of lukewarmers blesses you.

    hey look there is hope! go figure. Hope it doesnt spoil MT’s day.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23565-a-second-chance-to-save-the-climate.html

    • That is a messenger who will be shot by everybody. Even his own mother.

    • Personally I am pleased to see this paper. I think it is a step in the right direction. I also think the numbers will keep creeping down as the “hiatus” continues and as the understanding of natural variations expands and get factored in.

      So no cigar for lukewarmers just yet ;)

    • michael hart

      I have a sneaking suspicion that we are going to 3rd helpings (&more) of chances-to-save-the-planet rammed down our throats.

      There are plenty of people who don’t want the banquet to end yet. Journalists not least.

  6. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    A few general questions:

    1) TCS is fairly easy to estimate and requires far less integrations that ECS, but how can anyone have a good grasp of ECS without knowing all the feedbacks involved? Certainly we are far from understanding all the feedbacks. For example, considering how far off the models have been so far in even getting the decline of Arctic sea ice correct (which will impact ECS, certainly), how can anyone with any certainty level above about 50% say anything meaningful about ECS?

    2) Isn’t what we really care about ESS? (Earth System Sensitivity), see for example: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n1/abs/ngeo706.html

    The slower feebacks such as cryosphere and biosphere will take centuries to fully reach some kind of equilibrium response, and this is ultimately the climate humans will be forced to deal with. In this regard, love him or hate him, Hansen et al. are completely correct in looking at the paleoclimate data along side the models and coming up with an Earth System Sensitivity estimate. Recently, the paleoclimate data from Lake E has been especially helpful in this regard.

    • Agreed, see my points below. Even the tropical ocean surface hasn’t fully responded yet. Armour et al. talks about this delayed response issue in short-term sensitivity estimates.

    • TSW,

      “Certainly we are far from understanding all the feedbacks.

      …how can anyone with any certainty level above about 50% say anything meaningful about ECS?”

      Now if only you could apply this perfectly reasonable grasp of uncertainty to the other areas of CAGW dogma.

      Including your point 2. Try this variation for example:

      “Certainly we are far from understanding all the feedbacks.

      …how can anyone with any certainty level above about 50% say anything meaningful about climate model projections?”

      You can do the same thing with global average temperature, paleo proxies, sea level rise….

    • Whenever the ECS is considered as opposed to TCR it’s essential that also the removal of carbon from the atmosphere is taken fully into account. While a fraction of carbon stays very long, that’s only a small fraction. As the total amount of carbon to be released is limited, the ECS that corresponds to the maximal CO2 concentration will never be reached. TCR may be more relevant as a guideline even for the very long term considerations.

      • Pekka

        Agree fully that TCR is a more relevant parameter, if we consider centuries to reach “equilibrium”.

        This would mean that the new data are suggesting that AGW is even less of a future threat than one would estimate, based on the ECS of ~2C, rather than the TCR at ~1.3C.

        Max

  7. Unimportantly transitory paper with too much trumpet, not enough Mozart.

    By AR6, will have shrunk to insignificance, and too late for AR5, so all it has is blogplaints and bumpf.

    • Steven Mosher

      It will make for a good test of peoples principles with regard to papers that miss deadlines. thats a knuckleball in the fine sport of climateball.

      • Steven Mosher | May 20, 2013 at 12:26 am |

        I suspect it’s more a test being floated in anticipation of other outcomes, and possibly a bit of a trap.

        I’ll hold off on further comment until after AR5.

      • Steven Mosher

        ya well, for me its easy. rulz are rulz, miss the deadline, see you at Ar6. by which time I suspect the waters will be equally muddy

      • With two lead authors on the list I would expect at least a blurb mentioning some paper that just missed the deadline that increases the uncertainty monster. They did down play the results a tad for a CYA though.

      • Fair point about the deadline for AR5, but this paper makes it harder to dismiss Nic’s earlier paper

      • Steven Mosher

        looks like it made the deadline.

      • The deadline issue isn’t a curve ball. It’s a spit ball.

        The IPCC trumpeted its rules for inclusion in the AR4 as making it the “gold standard.” But it ignored the “rule” against gray literature on a wholesale basis but kept to the “deadline” rule. Why? Because the solons of CAGW smart (the consensus) controlled the review process and rushed through the papers they wanted, and stalled those they didn’t. There was no need to violate that rule, sop it was enforced.

        But there was so much good PR available in the gray literature, whioch did not meet the “rule” for AR4, but would help make th3e sale on the need for decarbonization. So they ignored the rule and picked and chose at will what pseudo science (disappearing glaciers and rain forests being just two examples) they wanted to include.

        You either are an ethical, rule obeying person, or you aren’t. If you follow one rule slavishly, but ignore another in toto, we have established what you are, and all we are doing is dickering about the price.

      • I don’t know Mosher. For one so fond of Socratic type inquiry, I’m surprised to hear you call it a simple issue. “rulz are rulz” is just too easy. Isn’t this a case where competing values must be sorted? If there’s a sign on a burning building saying “no trespassing,” aren’t you going to consider rushing in anyway to save the fair damsel?

      • It is listed as Correspondence. Does that get peer-reviewed or is it just the Editor who decides to publish it? I suspect the latter, so it may not count as peer-reviewed.

      • Steven Mosher

        Socratic inquiry? that’s a bizarre notion to throw into the mix.

        In the first place I was wrong. I thought the letter had to pass both the submitted by date and accepted by date. Looks like it only had to clear
        the accepted by date. For me it is pretty simple. The rulz are the rulz. If one wants to making burning building exceptions, then those exceptions need to be well thought out, well reasoned, and applied consistently.

        So, lets suppose that the Letter had missed the deadline. I don’t think we have a burning building exception where the good produced by breaking the rule outweighed the good of keeping the rule. Its one Letter in a sea of science. Breaking the rulz to include it would apportion a level of importance to it that is not yet justified. Folks need time to assess it, push on it and we should see how it stands. The same was true for the Jesus paper. AR4 would not have been harmed by its exclusion. Ar5 would not be harmed by the exclusion of this Letter. It would have put the authors in a tricky situation, and perhaps folks will wise up and change the silly rulz and make the AR process a living document. But until they do, rulz are rulz and exception making needs to be done with the greatest of care.

      • Mosh, Yes, you’re right on my poor choice of words. I simply meant that you’re fond of close examinations of philosophic issues…and sometimes appear to use a Socratic technique.

        This issue is to my way of thinking a philosophic question… i.e. ethics….or “moral philosophy” if you prefer. In my opinion your “rulz are rulz” though not without a folksy appeal, does not do the situation justice.

      • Steven Mosher

        pokerguy

        As one of the folks who complained about the fiddling with the dates and the crowbar applied to get the Jesus Paper in AR4, I’m certainly not going to be inconsistent and go around special pleading, even for a friend like Nic. And whats more this paper supports what I think. So, I think I show a willard of integrity.. nay two willards ( thats the official unit of measure ). Thankfully no conspiracy theorist has come along to claim that I knew it made the deadline all along

      • Anything that can help bait and switch on the Jesus paper is lukewarmingly good.

        Claiming an aura of INTEGRITY provides a nice bonus.

        INTEGRITY ™ — Bait and Switch, Sweet Jesus

    • Somebody remind me is Bart a skeptic or believer?

      Is the point that given our limited understanding and limited data that most of climate science ATM is transitory? The one thing we can start to say is we have measurements of the energy budget for most of the climate system which makes the present CS estimates more meaningful than the past.

      Bart your comment is like that of the worst sort of contrarian who wants to ignore the fact that the science is moving on.

      • I agree with your history.

        In 1981 Hansen had no ocean option. That why they built and deployed ARGO. He had a semblance of a surface temperature record. It has largely slaughtered the attacks upon it. The ocean is now coming in, and Hansen quickly agreed with the conclusion that the oceans in the models were taking up too much energy, and that would mean there is less heat in the pipeline. The orbiting stuff largely agrees with ARGO.

      • > Somebody remind me is Bart a skeptic or believer?

        Who cares. He’s a lukewarmer, like we all are, except for irrational people. Does this mean we’re rational?

        More trumpets, please.

      • Who cares. He’s a lukewarmer, like we all are, except for irrational people. Does this mean we’re rational?

        I’m not a lukewarmer, I’m an agnostic. Does that make me irrational?

      • Steven Mosher

        AK,

        you are a lukewarmer you just dont know it yet.

      • AK,

        A lukewarm baptism does not need water.
        Nor does it need blood.
        All it needs is some kind of blog presence.
        And even then, who cares, really.

      • @Steven Mosher, willard (@nevaudit)…

        you are a lukewarmer you just dont know it yet.

        Actually, both ECS and TCR are myths. Just like “forcing” they involve forcing (heh!) a very complex non-linear system into a Procrustean Bed made of unwarranted assumptions based on linear intuitions. IMO there’s really no good reason to assume either response is linear. Perhaps the TCR will suddenly jump to twice its value when the GHG forcing crosses 2.5 W/M^2. Or drop to zero. And pick your value.

        I’m also skeptical that CO2, or GHG’s in general, constitute a “control knob” anywhere close to the importance of geological features, and the ocean currents they influence. Models based on that assumption haven’t been able to explain the Pliocene Paradox, even when they’re allowed to do all sorts of “current fitting”.

        So am I really a “luke-warmer”, or an agnostic like I said?

      • Steven Mosher

        yes AK, nothing you have said is inconsistent with lukwarmerism.

        see I even used a Hansenesque double negative

      • Steven Mosher

        yes willard lukewarmerism is not unimportant

      • So why not set up new categories over whether or not somebody advocates “solutions” that involve significant increases to energy prices? You could have “warmists” who say there’ve got to be, “luke-warmists” who say do all sorts of things, but don’t raise energy prices, and “deniers” who say there clearly isn’t a problem and nothing needs to be done. That way people could argue both what and why.

      • HR | May 20, 2013 at 8:44 am |

        I’d think a criticism of a paper ought be most clear absent personal bias of any sort.

        I am most definitely a skeptic of the question-everything-always variety, not a ‘skeptic’ of the climate camp cults, and while I have beliefs, they are nothing I really care to impose on strangers on a blog, other than by my conduct.

        It is of course a silly standard to hold a paper up to, whether it is or is not included in this AR or that one. The length of time it takes to publish, and the arbitrary nature of committee rules for inclusion, and the relative unimportance of committee rules compared to the drive to get the Science right, is a patent bit of nonsense.

        It is also silly to prejudge how a paper might fit into this AR or that one, until the final publication. What AR5 looked like in leaks will hardly be what the final polished product will be, or perhaps it will, but the world it is released into will be different. If this paper is included, the increasing pace of climatology publication dictates dozens of others more important will be extant and not included. Papers ought be considered on their merits and our interest in them, not on how some committee rules.

        So why all the trumpet about this single paper that largely is consilient with the consensus of the rest of the field? There’s nothing brilliant, revolutionary or inspirational about it. It’s of solid, workmanly quality so far as it goes.. which is pretty much noplace. Unless you’re telling me you’ve worked its conclusions into a large and novel model and it has tipped your conclusions from this new unrevealed grand unification to completion explaining all we had up to now been ignorant and uncertain of. In which case, you’re likely Girma.

        Get six hundred years more data, or produce six thousand years of well-validated simulations, and apply the techniques of the paper to that, and then we’ll have something to talk about. Find an insight that lets the rigor claimed be applied in new and interesting ways that extend the field. This is mere extension of decimal points of precision, which is a practice that has had little rank in science for over a century due its overloud trumpeting as all that was left to do at the turn of the previous century.

        I’d love if the science were moving on, in this paper. That’d be something worth trumpeting. But all I see here is tribal squabble and toldjaso’s.

        willard (@nevaudit) | May 20, 2013 at 10:00 am |

        I’m most definitely no variety of lukewarmer, and would much rather be counted among the irrational, if I had to choose between lukewarm and nuts.

        Warming is absolutely happening, and will until it stops, which is a point we cannot predict and in a manner we cannot know.

        Human activity is absolutely a key, uncontrolled and net harmful factor in warming and uncounted other widespread changes. Human policy at the national, multinational and local levels are largely contrary to good sense and often unjustifiable economically or on arguments of rights, law, democracy, fairness, justice or prudence.

        This costs me money. That it costs you money, for nine out of ten of you, is not my real concern. Why it isn’t yours, I cannot fathom.

        I want my money. If you don’t want yours, that’s fine. I’m not above accepting it from you, if you’re really that eager to give it up.

        That’s my stance. That’s what I’m warm under the collar about. And believe me, when it’s about my money, it’s not lukewarm.

      • > I’m also skeptical that CO2, or GHG’s in general, constitute a “control knob” anywhere close to the importance of geological features, and the ocean currents they influence.

        This is stronger than agnosticism, AK.

        An agnostic like me would not care less about entertaining a personal belief regarding all this.

      • Steven Mosher

        Bart you believe in GHGs?
        you are lukewarmer material.
        you have to be really nutty to get outside the big tent

      • Bart R,

        You don’t understand.
        You can’t even decide to be out.
        This would be rational.
        You can’t rationally decide to be irrational.

        Only the Pope decides:

        If I choose to divide the world into 3 classes: wacked out alarmists. Wacked out skeptics; and the sane middle ground, you dont get to challenge my classification. You simply dont get to challenge it. And in the end you will see that 97% of people are
        in the middle, as I define it.

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/on-the-consensus/#comment-113304

        Enjoy your baptism,

        w

      • HR | May 20, 2013 at 8:44 am |

        *sigh*

        Reading me this long, and not nearly hard enough to know otherwise?

        GHG’s are mere detail, and too much detail.

        You miss some substance of what AK proposes, I suspect.

        Warming, cooling or standing still as far as GMT is concerned, the Forcing will out. It will arise in restructuring of climate bodies like ocean circulations and jet streams, blocking patterns and oscillations until they break out of their old attractors. It will arise in different patterns of extremes, new distributions. It will come at us sideways, because we think there is a forward and there just isn’t.

        So all the discourse in the world about temperature sensitivity to CO2E levels is liable to miss the point. The luddites who believe history has precedents for this because history has seen some of these random changes in some basins at some times are lulling themselves comfortably into a slumber, and doing it in a calculated manner to leave them slumped at the wheels with throttles on full.

        Why?

        For some, shear contrariness.

        They’ve been in charge for so long, they’re not letting anyone wrest control from them.

        Or they’ve never had any sense they’ve been in charge and now that they can do something that even feels like control, they’re not going to give it up.

        Or they really believe they’re doing right, not wanting to be convinced of some folly by people just like the last group that convinced them to do wrong.

        Or they’re right, by every measure they find right, those measures being built on considerations of other worlds than this real physical one, and they will never be convinced by those who do not share their values.

        So you’ll excuse me if I don’t fit the categories you declare me to belong to, by simple act of declaring I do not subscribe to your frame of reference. Or you won’t excuse me, and live in constant surprise as your reference frame fails to come to grips with the real world over and over again.

        Boil or freeze or remain stuck on some plateau, I simply don’t care. The Forcing is the thing that matters.

        The control knob isn’t one of temperature, but of the level of Forcing.

        It may be CO2E emission alone, or land use alone, or some combination of the two.

        It may lead to cataclysm or unbidden utopia.

        But if you’re selling unbidden utopia, I’m not buying any: it’s too much freedom to give up to the tyranny of someone else making those decisions on my behalf without my consultation and without compensation to me on my own negotiated terms. What fairness is there in someone else deciding for everyone on the planet what is right for the air they breath without paying a price? If you want to slump over the console with throttle on, you pay me for what you take from me.

        Not warmist. Not denier.

        Capitalist.

        I want my money.

    • Bart R

      Agree with you that AR5 (and AR6) “will have shrunk to insignificance” by the time of their publication, as will IPCC itself.

      We appear to agree.

      Max

      • manacker | May 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm |

        By demonstration of inability to comprehend what you read, or will to miscomprehend so purposely, we can be seen to agree that your comments on the writing of others are not worthwhile as a guide of what was originally written.

        As we can’t trust the premise of what you claim, we can never trust the conclusion.

        We agree, it’s not worth reading what you write.

  8. My question here about their linear ECR extrapolation is whether the recent trends in temperatures which are mostly over drier areas (land, polar regions) can be projected into the future, or whether the tropical ocean surface will eventually warm faster and release more of the water vapor to increase the H2O feedback and hence ECR. Their assumption that the land will continue to warm as it has been is worrying when you work it out that its recent transient sensitivity (1980-2010) is 4 C per doubling. I suspect their low ECR is because the warming has not yet affected the tropical ocean surface much, but if that continues it is not a good scenario for land and Arctic that have to warm more to compensate. Hopefully someone will address the assumptions behind linear extrapolation. I seem the recall that the Armour et al. paper was relevant to this issue, taking into account different regions warming at different rates due to their thermal inertias which indicates short-term sensitivities may be underestimated.

    • Part of the abstract from Armour et al. (2012, J. Climate)
      “Time-variation of global climate feedback arises naturally when the pattern of surface warming evolves, actuating regional feedbacks of different strengths. This result has substantial implications for our ability to constrain future climate changes from observations of past and present climate states. The regional climate feedbacks formulation reveals fundamental biases in a widely-used method for diagnosing climate feedbacks and radiative forcing—the regression of the top-of-atmosphere radiation flux on surface temperature. “

    • JimD, that was the point in the Stephens energy budget. With latent underestimated, the “potential” warming was greater. Each Wm-2 of additional latent offsets ~ .8 Wm-2 of GHG warming at the surface. With latent underestimated, precipitation was also underestimated, cloud absorption of ORL was underestimated and convection was underestimated. These new estimates are based on the Energy budget models, that is why there is such a large impact.

      The question of the oceans and “pipeline” ESC hinges on Paleo. If there is a significant amount of the warming during the past 100 years due to recovery, then ECS will be lower. That IPWP reconstruction I showed you indicates there has been substantial longer term ocean recovery from ~ 1700 AD in that region which represents a large amount of OHC. The shift in the lower stratosphere cooling preceding the 1998/99 El Nino indicates change in the rate of OH uptake contributing to the “pause” as the tropical ocean warming slows. That curve in the stratosphere cooling slope, resembling the approach to an asymptote, is lagged by a similar slope change in the surface temperatures. Each of those slope changes is an indication of a change in “sensitivity”. All the wiggles can actually mean something.

      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-yCVnY6nXIiQ/UZmVEhGt-oI/AAAAAAAAIJs/EozQSkgn614/s817/IPWP%2520spliced%2520with%2520cru4%2520shifted%2520anomaly%2520from%25200ad.png

      It great news Jim! We have a second chance to save the world.

      • But, as I pointed out, their linear extrapolation means the land will fry unless the ocean surface starts warming more quickly to take some of the response load.

      • JimD, “But, as I pointed out, their linear extrapolation means the land will fry unless the ocean surface starts warming more quickly to take some of the response load.”

        Linear exploration from what altitude? You are back to the initial “no feed back” sensitivity and a new initial condition after allowing for the recovery. All of that recovery energy “appears” as an ln(2) function amplified by the ln(cf/ci). Since the warming due to CO2 over land is greater than ocean at the new initial conditions, you have to allow for the difference in Cp with altitude. Basically, you have to start the modeling over, get rid of most of the aerosol “adjustments” and now every “other” forcing has a larger impact relative to CO2. That was Santer’s appraisal, oops!

      • Linear extrapolation in time from the recent past through the next century. Armour et al. say the evolution is nonlinear due to varying thermal inertias. Basically you get the wrong gradient with short records and accelerating forcing changes. The paper also refers to Armour et al. as a reason its ECS is a lower limit, but they make no attempt to correct for it.

      • JimD, “Armour et al. say the evolution is nonlinear due to varying thermal inertias.” Right, varying thermal inertia aka Cp or specific heat capacities. The paleo will provide some insight on the ocean inertia and you need to allow for the land altitude, specific humidity etc. and back out the natural recovery ln(2) portion of the land warming trend. That is why it is a model do over. That is the “Land Amplification” due to differences in specific heat capacity I have been talking about.

        The Team has one serious mess on their hands.

      • Paleo does give much higher ECSs (greater than 4 C), but that is only because of glaciers melting and vegetation spreading into polar regions which are longer term effects. It doesn’t have the century resolution to say how quickly this value evolves, but much of the ocean response should be delayed by less than a century, I would think.

      • JimD, “Paleo does give much higher ECSs (greater than 4 C), but that is only because of glaciers melting and vegetation spreading into polar regions which are longer term effects. It doesn’t have the century resolution to say how quickly this value evolves, but much of the ocean response should be delayed by less than a century, I would think.”

        Start with your first sentence, the greater that 4C, greater than 6 C less that 2C as low a 1.1 C. That is paleo sensitivity estimates, all over the place. Why is that? http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009PA001809/abstract

        Now how much glacial recession to you think is left relative to the different paleo eras? What is the real impact of OHT? Since the resolution is not fine enough to pick out 30 to 60 year fluctuations, you have to start at a point with less uncertainty and rely on the physics.

        That is “no feed back” sensitivity and brand new initial conditions. I am afraid that it is a do-over JimD, time for a Climate Science Mulligan.

        But life is good, I am in the cheap seats watching the largest scientific train wreck in the human history.

    • The New Scientist article focuses on the 2 C target that they say is now reachable with this new estimate if policies get enacted by 2020. I would caution that a 2 C global average rise is misleading if the land amplification is a factor of two, which is what it appears to be. The Arctic amplification is well known to be even greater, so prospects for Greenland’s glaciers look dim.

      • JimD, Land amplification is close to two because it is responding to ocean heat uptake, part natural, part “other” and CO2 forcing. So what the “final” value is depends on the percentage Natural versus the percentage “other”. That is why you end up with the 50% +/-20 or 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 splits on attribution estimates. Since CO2 is actually the best known, it can be used to estimate the ratios. Kind of ironic, but Hansen, Best and even Webster’s estimates are then “worst” case scenarios.

        As for Greenland glacier prospects looking dim, the ~150 melt “cycle” is another clue that there is longer term variability. If there is longer term natural variability or recovery in this case, there is Joy in Mudville. If there is not, we are screwed anyway, might as well do some partying.

        You should really look at that Indo-Pacific Warm Pool reconstruction, that is the hot side of the ENSO and the longer term ENSO reconstructions pretty clearly show long term variability. Once the peak is reached, then the system is near enough to equilibrium that you can make more accurate estimates. Still tons of uncertainty, but at least you will have a better idea of how much more you don’t know.

      • captd, it is a thing they have not acknowledged that there is a land amplification of the global 2 C rate. This factor of two may not be sustainable because hopefully the ocean will take up some of the Planck response burden that is building up, but that doesn’t get us out of trouble because an accelerated ocean surface warming puts more H2O into the atmosphere, and adds to the water vapor feedback as this also blocks heat from escaping. It seems no-win either way. (1) the land continues to rise by 4 C per doubling (Arctic even more) even as ECR remains near 2 C, (2) this slows down as the ocean surfaces warm faster and add H2O feedback, leading to more ECR, perhaps up to 3 C. (1) is just a linear forward extrapolation of what has been happening in the last few decades, which is what the article says it assumes.

      • JimD, “captd, it is a thing they have not acknowledged that there is a land amplification of the global 2 C rate.’

        I am not sure who “they” are, but Tsonis did acknowledge there was some “land” and other amplification, Curry acknowledges it, most everyone that is not addicted to the Koolade, acknowledges it.

        This paper can’t “acknowledge” it because the paper is based on energy flux balance. You would need some method to “tease” out the Natural impact and time frame to put a number on that part of the problem. It is a huge leap forward just having some of the authors recognize that past energy budgets were worse than useless.

        Now, if all the superseded and useless “peer reviewed” papers were culled, like would happen in a real problem solving situation, we could get down to bidness.

      • Jim D

        You are apparently not getting the message here.

        Your fear mongering no longer works.

        There is no existential threat from AGW.

        Get used to it.

        Max

      • manacker, no, the message is very clear that they think the current state can be extrapolated forwards. Consider the current state. The land has a TCR of 4 C per doubling, so they say we won’t get as much water vapor feedback, but the other areas will warm as they already are. It adds up to a 2 C global sensitivity. Given their assumptions, this is what it means.

      • I would add that the land warming twice as fast as the ocean also naturally leads to a reduction of relative humidity over land, less rain and less clouds, possibly a positive cloud feedback there too. Be cautious what you wish for with the consequences of a drier world’s 2 C sensitivity.

      • Jim D

        In AR4 the threat was from an increase in the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” due to AGW.

        Now that this threat appears to have been a paper tiger, we now have a new threat: a posited increase in “the NH land temperature” due to AGW.

        Gimme a break, Jim. You can’t simply move the goal posts and still frighten people.

        NO SALE.

        Max

      • manacker, as I mentioned above, they extrapolate current sensitivity linearly, so the logical conclusion is that the land (and Arctic) sensitivity will be maintained at its current value. I am not saying that will happen unless 2 C really is the ECS, but that sensitivity does restrict how much the ocean can do to offset the land’s role in warming. I think they made a mistake by not listening to Armour about nonlinearity in short-term estimates of ECS, which leads to an underestimation.

  9. R Gates “the slower feedbacks will take centuries”. Could you explain what the cryosphere and biosphere actually did 200 years ago to cause the temperature rise in 1970-2000 and what happened next to cause the pause. Just curious is all.

    • “The slower feedbacks will take centuries” is CAGW code for “maybe there are no slower feedbacks at all”

      Max

      • Gad, if only we could rely on the ‘slower feedbacks’ to kick in as the glaciers advance. But then, proper skepticism wonders at the existence let alone the effect.
        ==========

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      You are putting the cart before the horse here. Certainly the tropospheric temperature rise during the 1970-2000 timeframe is partly natural cycles and partly anthropogenic. It is moving forward that the anthropogenic forcing will have effects that will take centuries to fully work out. The GH forcing is waking up the sleeping ice masses in both Greenland and Antarctica. Once these start to move, as they now are, that thermal inertia will last centuries. See, for example:

      http://phys.org/news/2013-05-northern-hemisphere-region.html

  10. This one may have “missed the AR5 deadline”, but the other seven papers that average around 1.6C for 2xCO2 ECS did not.

    Let’s see how IPCC addresses these.

    Max

    • Peter Lang

      Manacker,

      I have to praise you for so consistently and diligently emphasising that recent, observation based estimates of ECS are well below the estimates in AR4 and the leaked draft AR5.

    • Alexej Buergin

      When people are climbing down (and they still have some way to go), they have to save face and keep their dignity. So they will do it slowly, and not in one giant step. They will say something like “there are some signs that…” and in AR6 they will say “as we explained in AR5…”.
      In AR7 they will confirm what Girma and DocMartyn know now.

    • Nic Lewis says the letter was accepted before the deadline.

  11. Not strictly relevant.. but not completely irrelevant:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/17/global-warming-not-stalled-climate

    If ECS is so low, and yet AGW is still chugging along normally through its low phase (which is due to end shortly, as phases do), then what does this say of the high phase?

    • Who cares. We had the science discussion. Now we can cut to the policy chase.

      Thank you for playing the lukewarm pea and thimble game.

      • willard (@nevaudit) | May 20, 2013 at 10:13 am |

        Quite welcome.

        Thank you for participating in Three Forcing Monte.

    • Steven Mosher

      Hansen

      ‘”It is not true that the temperature has not changed in the two decades.”

      haha. where’s willard

      • Sometimes, it’s politeness.
        Sometimes, it’s something else.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘”It is not true that the temperature has not changed in the two decades.”

        write that down willard, on your yumblr.

      • For now, let’s see what Hansen said:

        In the last decade it has warmed only a tenth of a degree compared to two-tenths of a degree in the preceeding decade, but that’s just natural variability. There is no reason to be surprised by that at all. If you look over a 30-40 year period the expected warming is two-tenths of a degree per decade, but that doesn’t mean each decade is going to warm two-tenths of a degree: there is too much natural variability. [...]

        Our understanding of global warming and human-made climate change has not been affected at all. It’s because the deniers [of the science] want the public to be confused. They raise these minor issues and then we forget about what the main story is. The main story is carbon dioxide is going up and it is going to produce a climate which is going to have dramatic changes if we don’t begin to reduce our emissions.

        Our first emphasis underlines the subject of a previous hurly burly at Judy’s. The second one underlines that even Hansen seems lukewarm to the idea of keeping business as usual. Speaking of which, Moshpit’s playing with someone else’s business, yet again.

        So be it.

        It might be interesting to compare this double negative with Judge Judy’s.

        So much to do, so little time.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘”It is not true that the temperature has not changed in the two decades.”

        thats pretty funny don’t you think willard.

      • Steven Mosher

        willard

        “, but that doesn’t mean each decade is going to warm two-tenths of a degree:”

        strawman. those folks who point at natural variability know that there will be ups and downs. In fact, they listened to folks when they said 10 years without warming would be rare.. no wait, 13 years. no wait 17.. and now Ray is saying as many as 25 years ( kinda like moshpit, wonder if he read me ”

        The assumption that the recent muting of warming is “just noise” or “natural variability” of course insulates folks from looking for real causes. Like TCR being too high, or aerosol forcing being wrong..
        Just noise..nothing going on here, move along.. why that was Willis’s argument about the warming being nothing surprising.
        The current observations are at the boundary of 95%.. a 1 in 20 occurance is interesting.. and one can always assume its noise.. shit happens.. but some floks are more curious

      • Steven Mosher

        “The main story is carbon dioxide is going up and it is going to produce a climate which is going to have dramatic changes if we don’t begin to reduce our emissions.”

        Well, we have begun to reduce our emissions. In fact the US met its obligations under a treaty we never signed. Go figure. While those who signed it, didn’t do so hot. That’s evidence for the weakness of treaties not evidence in favor of treaties. You have skeptics calling for reductions in black carbon: crickets on the other side. Folks calling for fracking which buys us more time: crickets. A push for nuclear: crickets. Hell it took sandy to get folks to say the word adaptation. At some point folks may own up to their misguided push for global treaties and they may own up to wasting decades of political capital. If they care about the planet its a small price to pay.

      • > thats pretty funny don’t you think willard.

        Yeah, very. But my point was not about funniness.

        It was about something else.

    • David Springer

      The low phase is 30+ years long. It’s got a long way to go. It’s basically a sine wave and we reached the apex probably in 2005 and GAT began to decline in 2010. The decline, or possibly plateau, will likely continue IMO until about 2035 when we cross through the nadir. We won’t have a complete cycle of the AMDO in the satellite record (which is the only reliable record IMO) until 2040 give or take a few years.

      This could very well be the first in a series of ECS downgrades over the next 20-30 years forced by observations diverging too far from model projections.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Your assumption seems to be that GH gas concentrations have no effect on ocean cycles? I am doubting any serious downgrades to ECS as we move forward, just as I doubt the overall accuracy of predicting ECS without the use of paleoclimate data. Too many unknown feedbacks in a very complicated chaotic system. The paleoclimate data is the only way to capture all these feedbacks, even if we don’t know exactly what they are. This kind of study seems to be the best way to move forward:

        http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.177.6584&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    • Bart R

      Yep. Not relevant at all.

      Hansen pontificates that it has warmed “over the past two decades”.

      Duh!

      Sure, it warmed more the first decade (1993-2002) than it cooled the second decade (2003-2012).

      Since this blurb, Hansen has conceded that there is a current pause in the warming (earlier thread here).

      Max

      • manacker | May 21, 2013 at 2:02 am |

        Did it?

        Warm more, I mean?

        How do you know?

        Perhaps it warmed less in the first decade (1973-2002) than it warmed in the second decade (2003-2032).

        See, the second decade’s 30-year climate hasn’t happened yet. It’s not a statistic.

        It’s a fable, a fiction, a nonsuch.

        And let’s look at David Springer | May 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm | for where the 30 year phase actually started.

        If the cooling phase is even large enough to overcome the warming in the system (a huge if, not yet established), then we must wonder when it really started?

        What’s your candidate start year? 16 years ago? 17? 25?

        And why, given the amount of new Forcing in the system, should we expect this part of the climate system to maintain its periodicity (if there even is any) while all over the climate basins other structures fall aside, or are shown to have never been?

        Are you relying on yet another thinly-disguised rehash of AMO-PDO-Solar?

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:11/mean:13/from:1900/plot/esrl-amo/mean:11/mean:13/scale:1.25/from:1900/offset:-0.2/plot/jisao-pdo/mean:11/mean:13/scale:-0.25/offset:-0.4/plot/sidc-ssn/mean:11/mean:13/scale:-0.001/from:1900/offset:-0.5

        Sure, if you manipulate enough curves enough for short spans you can make them add up to something that looks a bit like GMT. The problem is, these curves fall apart when you extend them further back, or try to apply them forward, or split GMT into hemispheres.

        The 60-year model is defunct. It was defunct when Girma was debunked on it. It’s defunct now.

    • The so-called AGW itself is just a phase, which ended around the beginning of this century.

  12. What struck is that this “marked lowering of the IPCC “likely” range”, as James Annan put it, only came about after observations started to deviate from the expected path. Climate sensitivity is a derived quantity – i.e. it cannot be measured directly but has to be derived from other observables. Hence, with every new extension of the observational record – either up or down – the climate sensitivity can/will be adjusted. It is thus observation-driven, not theory driven, even though it appears to work quite well in the numerical climate model environment. But then again, a numerical climate model is nothing more than a numerical representation of climate theory. Thus, climate sensitivity is ‘just’ a construct, and ultimately if observations deviate in unexpected directions, it is not unimaginable (although currently unlikely, given its importance) that in the end the concept of climate sensitivity will be judged unrealistic.

    The crux now is to try to figure out why climate models appear to deviate from what is happening in reality (and for the moment let’s assume that this is accepted as a fact, as I am sure not everyone will surrender so easily). If not, then when the next bunch of ‘share prices’ have materialized a new number of climate sensitivity will be determined but without advancing understanding of the climate system.

    Given the bunch of uncertainties as expressed in the Uncertainty Monster, it remains to be seen if it can be easily determined what exactly is going on.

    Interesting times.

    • Climate Theory says it snows less when oceans are warmer.
      They promised that snow would be a thing of the past.
      Climate Data shows it snows more when oceans are warmer.
      October 2012 to May 2013 is more than ample proof.
      When models are based on Theory that is Flawed they will Fail and they did.

  13. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Although climate sensitivity is usually used in the context of radiative forcing by carbon dioxide (CO2), it is thought of as a general property of the climate system: the change in surface air temperature (ΔTs) following a unit change in radiative forcing (RF), and thus is expressed in units of °C/(W/m2).’
    Wikipedia

    What do we really know about radiative forcing and how and why it changes?

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/AdvancesinUnderstandingTop-of-AtmosphereRadiationVariability-Loebetal2011.png.html?sort=3&o=30

    • David Springer

      The IPCC AR4 glossary defines ECS as response to doubling CO2 including CO2 equivalents. It DOES NOT define it as a generic response to change in power. Anyone who defines it as a generic response to change in power ignores the fact that how the power is delivered makes a difference. The frequency of electromagnetic radiation and the surface it illuminates both make a huge difference. Different surfaces respond differently to the same frequency and the same surface responds differently to different frequencies. Ignoring these differences causes erroneous answers. A critical difference being overlooked is the difference in response between water and rocks to the downwelling longwave infrared produced by greenhouse gases.

      • Steven Mosher

        David Chief is talking about LAMBDA

        write that down.

        climate sensitivity = lambda
        ECS is not lambda
        write that down.

      • David Springer

        Mosher, Ellison quoted wikipedia on definition of climate sensitivity. I pointed out the IPCC AR4 definition differs from wikipedia. I’m not sure what you think you were correcting but whatever it is it isn’t germane.

      • David Springer

        Given it was climate science and it came from wikipedia it’s probably William Canolli’s personal definition of climate sensitivity. In any case it is not the consensus definition if we presume that IPCC AR4 represents the consensus. AR4 has a glossary. I quoted the glossary. Deal with it.

      • That’s a qwarty interesting question there, Dave, re: Connolley and his peculiar manifestation of logomania.
        ============

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Although the definition of equilibrium climate sensitivity is straightforward, it applies to the special case of equilibrium climate change for doubled CO2 and requires very long simulations to evaluate with a coupled model. The effective climate sensitivity is a related measure that circumvents this requirement. The inverse of the feedback term a is evaluated from model output for evolving non-equilibrium conditions as

        1/e = T / (F – dHo/dt) = T / (F – Fo)

        and the effective climate sensitivity is calculated as

        Te = F2x/αe

        with units and magnitudes directly comparable to the equilibrium sensitivity. The effective sensitivity becomes the equilibrium sensitivity under equilibrium conditions with 2xCO2 forcing. The effective climate sensitivity is a measure of the strength of the feedbacks at a particular time and it may vary with forcing history and climate state.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/345.htm

        And still the point is what we know about TOA radiative forcing.

        ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

      • Steven Mosher

        Dont confuse Springer, Chief. he done read the IPCC.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      And the only point is what we don’t know about radiative flux and how it changes.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Was this linked by someone else before – ’cause I remember seeing it. The problem remains one of attribution. How much of the recent warming was natural? The toa radiative flux data says damn near all of it.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/WongFig2-1_zps2df93e8b.jpg.html?sort=3&o=62

      • David Springer

        TOA radiative flux data has a margin of error ten times greater than the supposed imbalance. And that’s further complicated by supposing that solar output is constant, which it isn’t.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Whoops wrong spot

        When the four ERBS error sources are combined, the total stability uncertainty (1-sigma) in the 60°N to 60°S and tropical annual mean radiation for the ERBS WFOV 15-yr dataset from all three sources combined is on the order of 0.3 to 0.4 W m2.’ http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

        You might note that these are anomalies. The anomalies show changes reflected and emitted radiation at TOA. A rising net is planetary warming by convention whereas rising LW and SW show increased emission or reflection of energy. The ERBS showed an decrease of 2.1 W/m2 in reflected SW and a decrease in emitted LW of 0.7 W/m2 between the 80′s and 90′s. Solar TSI changes are minor in comparison.

    • BartR

      R Gates posted this a few days ago to sceptical reviews…

      Here is the Pilchard Inn Devon dating from 1336

      http://www.theaa.com/pubs/bigbury-on-sea-pilchard-inn-376027

      There is also pilchard point and various other reminders of a warm era when pilchard was caught in abundance.

      We went through the cold water herring era in intervening centuries and are back to where we were 700 years ago. The 1000 year old fisheries records at nearby Plymouth illustrate the changing species as the waters warm and cool
      tonyb

    • They say shifts could have negative effects.
      The fail to say shifts could have positive effects.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘When the four ERBS error sources are combined, the total stability uncertainty (1-sigma) in the 60°N to 60°S and tropical annual mean radiation for the ERBS WFOV 15-yr dataset from all three sources combined is
      on the order of 0.3 to 0.4 W m2.’ http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

      You might note that these are anomalies. The anomalies show changes reflected and emitted radiation at TOA. A rising net is planetary warming by convention whereas rising LW and SW show increased emission or reflection of energy. The ERBS showed an decrease of 2.1 W/m2 in reflected SW and a decrease in emitted LW of 0.7 W/m2 between the 80′s and 90′s. Solar TSI changes are minor in comparison.

      • David Springer

        TOA radiative flux data has a margin of error ten times greater than the supposed imbalance. And that’s further complicated by supposing that solar output is constant, which it isn’t.

      • David Springer

        Solar constant is variously defined as either 1362W/m2 or 1366W/m2. It was recently changed and not all sources have been updated. Thus it is demonstrated that incoming solar energy is subject to a pencil whipped revisions on the order of 4 Watts. Incoming energy is the EASY measure because the sun is a point source so you only have to measure a single point. Outgoing energy from TOA is far, far more difficult to measure because it isn’t a point source and varies a great deal dirurnally and seasonally.

        The ostenble imbalance is on the order 0.5W/m2. Calling the margin of error in measurement of TOA imbalance ten times greater than the imbalance is already being charitble. The fact of the matter is the polarity of it isn’t even reliable. Deal with it. We go to war with the data quality we have not the data quality we wish we had. Pencil whipping can sometimes improve it at the margins but this isn’t the margins. The instruments we have are simply not up to the task of measuring sub-watt mean annual power changes in both incoming and outgoing energy at TOA.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The revision of the TSI absolute value is a calibration issue. What can it be compared to? The changes regardless is a little over 1 W/m2 at TOA over a solar cycle – or about a quarter Watt at the surface. Not all that significant and not much more over the longer term.

        The outgoing radiation is not reported as absolute numbers at all – so you can be assured that the problem of absolute calibration is well known. So what is important is what anomalies can tell you and how stable the instruments are over time.

        ‘This paper highlights how the emerging record of satellite observations from the Earth Observation System (EOS) and A-Train constellation are advancing our ability to more completely document and understand the underlying processes associated with variations in the Earth’s top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiation budget.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        Write that down springer.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Chief Hydrologist, thank you for the Loeb reference. Here is a quote from the abstract: CERES data show that clouds have a net radiative warming influence during La Niña conditions and a net cooling influence during El Niño, but the magnitude of the anomalies varies greatly from one ENSO event to another.

        Almost like a “thermostat”, eh?

        I look forward to reading the whole thing.

      • David Springer

        Blah blah blah Ellison babbles on.

        http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~tristan/publications/2012_EBupdate_stephens_ngeo1580.pdf

        Nature GeoScience 23 September 2012

        An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations
        Graeme L. Stephens1*, Juilin Li1, Martin Wild2, Carol Anne Clayson3, Norman Loeb4, Seiji Kato4, Tristan L’Ecuyer5, Paul W. Stackhouse Jr4, Matthew Lebsock1 and Timothy Andrews6

        For the decade considered, the average imbalance is 0.6 = 340.2 − 239.7 − 99.9 Wm–2 when these TOA fluxes are constrained to the best estimate ocean heat content (OHC) observations since 2005 (refs 13,14). This small imbalance is over two orders of magnitude smaller than the individual components that define it and smaller than the error of each individual flux. The combined uncertainty on the net TOA flux determined from CERES is ±4 Wm–2 (95% confidence) due largely to instrument calibration errors12,15. Thus the sum of current satellite-derived fluxes cannot determine the net TOA radiation imbalance with the accuracy needed to track such small imbalances associated with forced climate change11.

        Publish your rebuttal in Nature GeoScience. Oh wait. You’re a blogger not a scientist. Babble on, Garth.

      • David Springer

        Marler,

        Loeb’s an author on this recent Nature Geoscience paper which reads (my emphasis):

        For the decade considered, the average imbalance is 0.6 = 340.2 − 239.7 − 99.9 Wm–2 when these TOA fluxes are constrained to the best estimate ocean heat content (OHC) observations since 2005 (refs 13,14). This small imbalance is over two orders of magnitude smaller than the individual components that define it and smaller than the error of each individual flux. The combined uncertainty on the net TOA flux determined from CERES is ±4 Wm–2 (95% confidence) due largely to instrument calibration errors12,15. Thus the sum of current satellite-derived fluxes cannot determine the net TOA radiation imbalance with the accuracy needed to track such small imbalances associated with forced climate change.

        See if you can get Ellison to explain which part of the bolded text he doesn’t understand. I’m an electronics guy and was professionally repairing meteorological instrumentation (military) when I was 18 years old. Ellison doesn’t seem to understand data quality issues. The scientists above are painfully aware and write exactly what I’ve been trying to pound into Ellison’s thick skull for months. It’s not rocket science. Well actually it sort of is but you know what I mean.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Actually being trained in environmental science and engineering as compared to an obsolete gamer?

        Not strictly my area but I notice that the two studies – yours and mine – contain at least two authors in common.

        This might suggest that the two ideas are not mutually excusive? Tracking radiant imbalances might be difficult but the variations can enable understanding of the processes involved.

        Didn’t take you long to revert to your usual charming self – but thanks for playing. You lose as usual.

      • The Graeme Stephens article shows that a globally averaged 0.6 W/m^2 is going into the heat sink of OHC. It can’t go anywhere else unless it is a measurement error, and the Chief has utmost belief in the validity of satellite-based measurements.

        That 0.6 applied to the ocean’s 70% areal coverage explains nicely the distinction between ECS and TCR measurements. Subtract the 0.6 dicrepancy in the denominator of Mosh’s equation for ECS and you will find agreement with what Jim D has stated is a doubling of land temperature anomaly over the SST anomaly.

        Hansem, Trenberth, and all those guys could explain this just as well, but they seem to not take a keen interest in the misapprehension of skeptical commenters on some arbitrary climate science blog.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘• We calculate that during the past decade Earth has been accumulating energy at the rate 0.58±0.43 W/m2, suggesting that while warming of Earth’s surface has slowed during the 2000s, energy continues to accumulate in the subsurface ocean.

        • The apparent decline in ocean heating rate after 2004 noted in other studies is not statistically robust.

        • Our results do not support the claim that there is missing
        energy in the system.

        • Synergistic use of satellite and in‐situ ocean heat content anomaly
        measurements provide critical data for quantifying short and
        longer‐term changes in the Earth’s net TOA radiant imbalance.

        • New cloud data from satellite (MODIS, CALIPSO) key to unraveling
        role of clouds in a changing climate.’

        http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/documents/STM/2011-10/16_.Loebpptx.pdf

        As I keep saying – the ocean heat content data is consistent with changes in the TOA flux. It has nothing to do with greenhouse gases. It is an order of magnitude greater than the theoretical increase in greenhouse gas forcing. It all happened in shortwave.

        Stephens et al don’t actually calculate anything on OHC but use studies by Willis and one by Norris(? – from memory). But there is also von Schuckmann who first integrated to 2000m.

        webby and springer seem peas in a pod – superficial and abusive. One might wonders wtf is their problem if I gave a rat’s arse.

      • Webby

        a globally averaged 0.6 W/m^2 is going into the heat sink of OHC

        Never to be seen again.

        Let’s see.

        0.6 W/m^2 would warm the atmosphere by 0.16°C.

        and it would warm the upper ocean (top 700 m) by 0.0007°C

        Wow!

        Should I be frightened, Webby?

        Fuggidaboudit.

        Max

      • Matthew R Marler

        David Springer, thank you for the link to the Stephens et al paper, which I sometimes cite because Dr Curry posted it here pre-pub (as I recall). The abstract also includes: This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.

        that is not exactly the point I make (which is that increased CO2 may cause increased latent heat flux), but it does address the heat flow that is ignored by what Steven Mosher and WebHubTelescope refer to as “the science” or “the physics”.

        Thus the sum of current satellite-derived fluxes cannot determine the net TOA radiation imbalance with the accuracy needed to track such small imbalances associated with forced climate change11.

        That is one of the important “known unknowns”. It isn’t just that knowledge and models are imperfect (we acknowledge that perfection will never be obtained), but that the imperfections (aka “cavities” as some statisticians wrote) are known to be large enough that the desired effects can’t be known.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: It can’t go anywhere else unless it is a measurement error,

        Once in a while you write something truly insightful.

        The globally spatio-temporally averaged differential heat flux is not known with great accuracy in part because it is not constant in time and space, but fluctuates, and the “measurements” (besides being based on an in-built estimate of a functional relationship, which itself has some calibration error), are samples, with an imperfectly known sampling bias and sampling variability.

        The oceans are the latest, but probably not last, refuge of the true believers. Models can be modified to put the excess heat into the deep oceans, but the expected change in temperature attributable to recent CO2 increases is so slight that it can’t be detected by measurements, at least not yet. That the ocean temperature change “is compatible with” measured TOA heat fluxes is hardly surprising when neither is estimated with sufficient precision..

      • In their 2009 paper Trenberth, Fasullo, and Kiehl wrote:

        There is a TOA imbalance of 6.4 W m−2 from CERES data and this is outside of the realm of current estimates of global imbalances (Willis et al. 2004; Hansen et al. 2005; Huang 2006) that are expected from observed increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The TOA energy imbalance can probably be most accurately determined from climate models and is estimated to be 0.85 ± 0.15 W m^−2 by Hansen et al. (2005) and is supported by estimated recent changes in ocean heat content (Willis et al. 2004; Hansen et al. 2005).

        Stephens et al write

        The combined uncertainty on the net TOA flux determined from CERES is ±4 Wm^–2 (95% confidence) due largely to instrument calibration errors. Thus the sum of current satellite-derived fluxes cannot determine the net TOA radiation imbalance with the accuracy needed to track such small imbalances associated with forced climate change.

        Thus both agree that the accuracy of the measurements of the absolute TOA energy balance is far too poor for determining it’s value at the required level. The size of that imbalance is better constrained by even the most rudimentary determination of the heat content of the Earth system (dominated by the OHC). The value 0.85 presented by TH&K as well as the values presented by Stephens et al have been derived in that way rather than from observations of the energy balance.

        Stephens et all do, however, continue

        Despite this limitation, changes in the CERES net flux have been shown to track the changes in OHC data. This suggests that the
        intrinsic precision of CERES is able to resolve the small imbalances
        on interannual timescales, thus providing a basis for constraining the balance of the measured radiation fluxes to time-varying changes in OHC (Supplementary Information). The average annual excess of net TOA radiation constrained by OHC is 0.6 ± 0.4 Wm^–2 (90% confidence) since 2005 when Argo data became available, before which the OHC data are much more uncertain. The uncertainty on this estimated imbalance is based on the combination of both the Argo OHC and CERES net flux data.

        Here they argue that changes in the TOA balance can be determined much more accurately than the absolute value. I have understood that CH has made this point many times over over the last year or two.

        On the absolute imbalance we remain dependent on the accuracy of the determination of OHC changes including all depths.

      • Graeme Stephens made an estimate of 0.58 Wm^2 energy imbalance for the earth as a whole. Divide by the cross-section area of the ocean and we get 0.58/0.7= 0.83 W/m^2 concentrated as an OHC imbalance. This value of 0.83 W/m^2 is very close to the one quoted by Trenberth of 0.85 ± 0.15 W/m^2 originally estimated by Hansen et al. in 2005.

        According to the skeptics, Stephens is supposedly in violent disagreement with Trenberth and Hansen. So why are they in so much agreement with 0.83 versus 0.85?

        Is it the error bars that they are arguing over? If that is the case, we can add in Levitus as an independent estimate.

  14. David Springer

    This paper is certainluy a step in the right direction. Another step or two is yet to be made. The next surprise in store is that transient climate sensitivity may be *larger* than equilibrium sensitivity. I believe they are close to equal but that’s just me. In principle TCS can be larger than ECS. You’ve probably all seen the bumper sticker and T-Shirts and coffee mugs with the “SH!T HAPPENS” on them. Well guess what boys and girls OVERSHOOT HAPPENS too. Heat isn’t going to sequester in the deep ocean to jump out at some later date to cause additional land warming. That’s nutty. COLD that was stored in the deep ocean during 100,000 years of glaciation preceding the Holocene interglacial is going to jump out to cause additional land cooling. Brass monkeys beware. Interglaical warmth is no more than than a fleeting shallow layer of warm water floating atop a globe spanning ocean with a bone-chilling average temperature of 4C.

    • Springer, “This paper is certainly a step in the right direction. Another step or two is yet to be made. The next surprise in store is that transient climate sensitivity may be *larger* than equilibrium sensitivity.”

      That is the problem with the definition of climate sensitivity. Temperatures can over shoot a set point or rate uptake limit and it can “look like” TCR is greater than ECS, since there may not be anything close enough to an equilibrium state to be useful with the current definitions. If you allow for bistable operation, there would be a range of “sensitivities” between those bi-stable points, which looks more like reality.

      Then if you mention “bi-stable” the CAGW aficionados start blathering about some geological period that is more uncertain than today as some kind of proof of some nonsense.

      • The rapid response of temperature to day and night and to summer and winter show that the temperature has some lag but not a lot of lag. Earth is always very close to Equilibrium

      • HAP, “The rapid response of temperature to day and night and to summer and winter show that the temperature has some lag but not a lot of lag. Earth is always very close to Equilibrium”

        Very close is true, by “very” isn’t a very useful. The denser the energy storage medium the longer the delay.

        Looking a the paleo deep ocean “average” temperatures, the range of change is about 2 C with a lag of about 1700 years. It is those longer term lags that make your “when it warms it cools” theory work. The system basically just over shoots setpoint. As the energy density decreases, the lag time decreases. Since the oceans have stratification layers, you can have periods of days, years, decades, centuries and millienia, so technically there is no “equilibrium” if you need an accuracy of greater than about 2C degrees. The CAGW crew is freaking out over tenths of degrees.

      • Over shooting the set point is a natural part of the cycle.
        The temperature is still near the changing equilibrium.
        When oceans are warm it snows and builds ice volume.
        The ice advances and lowers the equilibrium temperature for a long time.
        It gets cold enough to freeze the oceans and stop the snowfall.
        Ice still advances until it hits the bottom of a Little Ice Age.
        Then the lack of snowfall lets the ice retreat. Then the equilibrium temperature rises until the sea ice melts. This starts the snowfall but there is still not enough until the Arctic Opens so warming continues until about now.

      • Ice Albedo is the key to this.

        A Little Ice Age is colder than a Medieval Warm Period because there is more ice extent.

        The ice did not happen because it got colder.

        The ice advance made it colder and ice retreat makes it warmer.

        This is very clearly shown by the actual ice core data.

      • Ice Extent does lag Ice Volume. Ice Volume reaches it min at the peak of the warm time and reaches the max during the cooling and ice volume starts to decline while ice is still advancing and more cooling is occurring. Ice melts and retreats until the oceans warm enough to open the Arctic. This is the low point for ice volume. Then it snows enough to build the ice volume and start the ice advance. I keeps snowing during the advance until the oceans get cold and freeze, cutting off the snow.

      • Consensus Climate Theory reaches max ice volume at the coldest time, but it can’t happen that way. Ice would still be advancing if it was still snowing.

      • Ice advances because of snow that fell on the top of the ice sheets and glaciers, years earlier, and not because of snow that fell at the edges and tails.

      • Snow Cover Extent does advance and retreat with the ice packs and glaciers as a powerful feedback that helps.

    • David,
      Sobering point!

      • David Springer

        Yes in the immortal words of Rick Perry, Governor of the Great State of Texas, the global ocean is one cold mofo.

        If there’s a tipping point to be afraid of its the warm shallow surface layer of the global ocean mixing with the frigid abyss at an increased pace. Fortunately for us the rapid side of interglacial/glacial transitions is the warming side which is violent in speed and environmental upheaval – glacier melt feeds on itself accelerating the whole time until only the polar ice caps remain then it stops after overshooting about 3C. This is then followed by a long slow march over tens of thousands of years of rebuilding NH glaciers until the tipping point into the next melt making for a cycle time of about 110,000 years.

        The Holocene interglacial was atypical. There was no 3C overshoot at the end of the melt and sea level stopped rising 6-9 meters lower than other interglacials. The big difference appears to be that Greenland was spared and retained its ice sheet. Pope hypothesizes that an ice dam near the US/Canadian Great Lakes broke before Greenland’s glacier had been taken out which flooded the north Atlantic with fresh water temporarily ending the melt in an event known as the Younger Dryas. The meltdown then continued after a few hundred years but it had lost its inertia and Greenland’s ice sheet remained largely intact and sea level rise was halted early.

        I’ve added some of my own detail to that scenario. The lower sea level at the end of the melt left the global ocean with less surface area. The ocean’s surface is close to black and thus absorbs almost all the solar energy that reaches it. Rocks are not as dark and reflect quite a bit more solar energy instead of absorbing it. Thus the earth’s average albedo didn’t sink as low and the overshoot failed to happen.

        Pope’s theory is that with Greenland’s glacier intact the earth is stuck in a never-ending interglacial.

        The never-ending interglacial is speculative to say the least but it’s clear after 12,000 years the long slow march of rebuilding NH glaciers hasn’t begun so it’s still a valid hypothesis as far as contrary evidence is concerned. I find it plausible after having added in the effect of a reduced global ocean surface area due to the incomplete melt. The breaking of the ice dam triggering the Younger Dryas isn’t original with Pope and other theories have been proposed to explain it but the ice dam theory appears to be the most widely accepted.

    • Yes, the transient sensitivity over land is over 4 C, so it may be true that it exceeds the ECR, even if the global TCR doesn’t.

      • Have you measured it?
        The BEST land data and Keeling’s curve from 1959 to 2010 give a climate sensitivity of 3.46 degrees, with 1.7 degrees of heating already felt, and 1.85 still to come. Without a putative cyclical component this fall to about 2.3 degrees.

      • I gave this on another thread.
        1980-2010 CO2 ppm went from 337 to 388.
        CRUTEM4 or BEST land temperature rose ~0.84 C
        Transient Sensitivity from these numbers: 4.1 C per doubling.
        The NH land trend is 15% higher.

      • For 1980-2010, with BEST and Keeling’s curve, you get a 3.9 degrees for 280 to 560 ppm, and the fit is lousy.

      • DocMartyn did his analysis wrong for BEST. From the start of carbon emission records and the entire extent of BEST, the ECS sensitivity for land is 3.1C for doubling of CO2. The BEST folks did this themselves and obtained 3 C, which my estimate substantiates.

        I suggest that DocMartyn write a post on why the BEST analysis is WORST.

    • @DS: COLD that was stored in the deep ocean during 100,000 years of glaciation preceding the Holocene interglacial is going to jump out to cause additional land cooling.

      The ocean has no temperature memory whatsoever of the last glaciation. The thermohaline circulation (THC), aka the meridional overturning circulation (MOC), aka the ocean conveyor belt (Wallace Broecker‘s term for it), refreshes the deep ocean in one to two millennia. The temperature of the deep ocean is governed by the temperature of the melt from the icecaps, which being colder and heavier sinks as the circulation carries it away from the icecaps and around the globe.

      • David Springer

        Yeah right. Nice just-so story. Did you make it up yourself or get it from someone else?

      • David Springer

        Here’s a narrative for you to construct.

        The average temperature of the ocean mixed layer today is 14C and has presumably been 14C for 10,000 years. How did the average temperature of the entire basin get to 4C without that being the average temperature of the top layer?

        A followup, how does anyone know the conveyor belt was doing say 1000 years ago, 10,000 years ago, and 50,000 years ago?

        Spin me a yarn, Pratt.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The world’s oceans, however, differ from the atmosphere in important ways.

        1.Water is most dense at 4° C. It expands when cooled below this temperature, and when heated above this temperature.

        2.The oceans are heated from above.

        These two facts have important implications for ocean circulation. Because water becomes less dense (expands) when heated above 4°C, heating from the surface will form a warm, buoyant, and stable layer at the surface. There is no tendency towards deep convection and mixing. Conversely, if water is cooled below 4° C, it becomes less dense, so a cold, buoyant and stable layer forms on the surface. Water also undergoes a dramatic expansion on freezing, increasing in volume by 9%, so pack ice also forms a stable upper layer. Thus, in many circumstances, vertical motions of the oceans are suppressed. Only where ocean surface waters with temperatures over 4° C undergo cooling can surface temperature changes cause vertical motions, and these tend not to extend to very great depths.

        However, ocean-water density is also influenced by salinity. The sea contains dissolved ions (charged molecules or atoms), mainly sodium and chlorine, and is consequently denser than fresh water (typically 1035 kilograms per cubic metre compared with 1000 kilograms per cubic metre). The salinity of sea-water is rather variable, however. Evaporation at the sea surface will increase the salinity (as water is evaporated off but dissolved ions are left behind), whereas inputs from rain or river run-off will decrease the salinity. Salinity will also be increased by the formation of sea ice. As ice forms, salt is rejected from the freezing water, so the remaining liquid water is enriched in salt.

        The density of sea-water is thus a combination of its temperature and salinity. Saline waters at around 4° C will be dense, and will tend to sink, whereas warm, less saline water will be less dense, and thus will be buoyant. This has important implications for vertical motions in the sea. Deep convection, whereby surface waters are transported to the deep oceans, is only possible where saline waters are cooled. This occurs only in a few locations in the North Atlantic off Greenland, and in the Weddell Sea, part of the Antarctic Ocean south of the Atlantic. In both of these locations, saline surface waters are cooled and sink, a process known as downwelling. The surface waters are made saline by evaporation nearer the equator in the case of the North Atlantic, and by the formation of sea-ice – which also expels salt -in the case of the Weddell Sea. Shallower downwelling, to intermediate depths in the oceans is also possible in areas of high evaporation.’

      • David Springer

        Chief Hydrologist | May 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm |

        ‘The world’s oceans, however, differ from the atmosphere in important ways.

        1.Water is most dense at 4° C. It expands when cooled below this temperature, and when heated above this temperature.

        Imbecile. Seawater reaches maximum density at -1.8C.

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v428/n6978/fig_tab/428031a_F1.html

      • David Springer

        The ocean convection lecture makes a germane point to Pratt’s prattle (I wonder if that’s where the word prattle came from?).

        Deep convection, whereby surfce waters are transported to the deep oceans, is only possible where saline waters are cooled. This occurs only in a few locations in the North Atlantic off Greenland, and in the Weddell Sea, part of the Antarctic Ocean south of the Atlantic.

        So Pratt wants us to believe that a few small locations where the ocean is AIR COOLED enough to sink to the floor and flow equatorward happens fast enough to fill nearly the entire ocean basin in 1000-2000 years. Right. AIR COOLED. Imagine the giant sucking sound at these locations as cold air rushes in from God only knows where to replace the air heated by the ocean. The water would have be sinking fast enough to cause gigantic vortexes like a huge toilet flushing. I’ll tell you what, the flushing toilet starts and ends with Pratt’s prattle. The ocean basin’s average temperature is a consequence of the average temperature of the mixed surface layer over an entire glacial/interglacial cycle. Most of the mixed layer today is simply too warm to allow the vast bulk of the ocean (90% of it’s volume) to have a temperature of 3C.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The ocean water is constantly churning underneath, bringing nutrients up to the top. The difference in density of cold water versus density of warmer water is responsible for ocean currents and upwelling. Warm seawater floats and cold (4°C), dense (1 g/cm3), seawater sinks, so ocean temperatures also vary across the surface and into the depths.

        Seawater is saturated with salts at 35 ppt and at 4°C the salinity causes the density to actually be 1.0278 g/cm3. This slightly heavier density is another contributing factor to upwelling as it causes the water molecules to roll over each other.’ http://marinebio.org/oceans/temperature.asp

        Water is densest at 4 degrees C – and at less than that salts precipitate out leaving it less dense in 2 ways. Unlike springer who is more dense in all ways.

        Salt water freezes at -1.8 degree C – but… ain’t got nothin’ to do with maximum density.

        And yes – the residence time of water in the deep ocean is said to be 1500 years give or take.

        ‘Deep water circulation is driven by density differences. Density is in turn dependent on the temperature and salinity of the water sample. Because of this dependence, deep water circulation is sometimes referred to as thermohaline circulation. Thermohaline circulation is very slow. Once water sinks from the surface, it can spend a long time away from the surface until that water rises again to become part of surface circulation. Some scientists estimate that the residence time of deep water, the time spent away from the surface, can be about 200-500 years for the Atlantic Ocean and 1,000-2,000 years for the Pacific Ocean.’ http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/deep_ocean.html&edu=high

        What else was there? Who can be really bothered with someone who makes it up from whole cloth – and is so charming at the same time. Just yesterday he was chiding me for talking about space cadets. What is this bizarre behavior? Par for the course for an intelligent design ubertwit?

      • David Springer

        Chief Kangaroo Robert “Skippy” Ellison writes that salts precipitate out of seawater when it cools below 4C.

        Still making things up as you go along? See if you can find a link to support what you just made up. Good luck. :-)

      • The 4C phenomenon is one of the more perplexing puzzles. That is the maximum density for fresh water but salt changes the density/temperature relationship. If you slowly freeze salt water more brine is expelled than if you rapidly freeze the salt water. Sea ice extent varies the volume and rate of freezing changing the mixing depths. All combined, the “average” ocean temperature range is ~2C to ~4C with approximately a 1700 year lag between surface and deep ocean temperature.

        Because of the asymmetry of the polar region ocean areas, the temperature of the subsiding NH deep water flow is warmer and more saline than the southern hemisphere.

        BTW, the freezing point of brine is approximately -18 C degrees. Coincidence?

      • @…

        Water is densest at 4 degrees C – and at less than that salts precipitate out leaving it less dense in 2 ways.

        Salt water freezes at -1.8 degree C – but… ain’t got nothin’ to do with maximum density.

        Actually, that’s not true. I’d always thought it was, but an actual look at the Salinity dependence of the freezing point of water and the temperature of maximum density shows otherwise. “The intersection of the curves, at a salinity of 0.025, represents a change in the freezing properties of salinewater.” (For reference purposes, the salinity of most ocean water is around 0.035 (3.5%)). Fresh water, and water with a salinity of less than about 0.025, actually reaches a point of maximum density at a higher temperature than the freezing temp. This means it will tend to sink, and if cooled from beneath water at the freezing temp will tend to rise to the surface, where it will freeze.

        This is not true of sea-water. Of course, if ice forms, it will be pretty much salt-free, with a lower density than the (saline) liquid, so will still float to the top. The fact that the depths of the oceans are at around 4°C, which is also about the temperature of maximum density of fresh water, may be a coincidence. In any event, there doesn’t seem to be any “hard” barrier to small changes in the temperature of the ocean depths.

        (Contrary to what I had always thought. Fortunately, I actually went an looked before posting what I thought. Always a good idea.)

      • AK, “This is not true of sea-water. Of course, if ice forms, it will be pretty much salt-free, with a lower density than the (saline) liquid, so will still float to the top.”

        “Pretty much” is one of those things that may matter. The ice of course will float, but what happens with the sinking more saline water? The rate of freezing changes the rate of brine rejection. That and density dependance on temperature and salinity changes the sink rate and temperature. Now you have the mother of all layered cocktail problems.

        The mixing of the layers depends on the rate and angle of flow relative to the density layer. This problem is no pycnic, it is diapycnal versus isopycnal mixing at a convergence layer. I believe there is one of those unclaimed million dollar prizes if you are interested.

        Changing the rate of mechanical mixing, surface winds, tides etc. changes the mixing efficiency. Since the Hemispheres are 180 out of phase seasonally and fairly well isolated by Coriolis Forces, you have long term delays in surface impact depending on the average depth of mixing. 15, 30, 60, 90,120, 150 etc. up to the length of a precessional cycle.

        It is a “travesty” that these lags where not considered at the start of the problem, but that’s what you get when you over simplify.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Seawater is saturated with salts at 35 ppt and at 4°C the salinity causes the density to actually be 1.0278 g/cm3.’

        http://marinebio.org/oceans/temperature.asp

        Supersaturated solutions will crystalize salt – but I think this is not quite what it says on reflection.

        Deep water formation is driven by salinity and temperature. At about 4 degrees C and 35 ppt salt – water in the North Atlantic sinks. The retention time of deep water is some 1000 years.

        http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~dib2/GE1001/oceans.html

    • David Springer

      Correction: “male brass monkeys beware”

      Max

  15. I suspect those hoping for some softening of the IPCC position with respect to climate sensitivity will be disappointed. They can’t climb down without admitting that they were wrong, and a bureaucracy by its nature just about never does that. Let’s no forget who’s in charge if this dog and pony show, a fraud name Pachauri who’s already demonstrated he’d rather lie than admit to being mistaken… as he did with his famous “voodoo science” smear..

    More and more Individual scientists will jump ship however in order to save their reputations and careers.

    • Rud Istvan

      That is why I suggested upthread how significant this paper is. Two of the authors are the lead on AR5 sensitivity. This paper echoes several others about significantly lower sensitivity, based on net net actual observations, not just models. So if the IPCC does not climb down on ESC, they prove their scientific dishonesty. And Nic Lewis says it made the inclusion criteria. Now we have see what changes from AR5 SOD, which was pretty much an echo of AR4. Ther is now a clear, simple test of the IPCC process. ECS best estimate remains around 3, it is scientifically unsound and dishonest. Best estimate falls to 2 or below, the process is sound but then all the policy conclusions should change significantly.

  16. I have the feeling that if the analysis was in roving 13-year chunks, 1970-1983, then 1971-1964, e.t.c. the returned value for CS would return the sinewave of heat storage/release that I and others have modeled as part of the temperature record.
    The very low CS during the 70′s indicates heat storage and 30 years later, the high CS in the naughties shows this release of accumulated heat.

  17. From New Scientist

    After heating rapidly in the late 20th century, Earth warmed only slowly in the last decade, partly as a result of natural cycles in the climate system.

    Web, who has been a denier until now?

    Are we ever going to get an apology for the abuse we received for telling the truth?

  18. Who is going to author the paper that challenges this finding?

    • The first team that finds missing heat under the ice!

      • I guess it needs something like that because given the robustness of this result over a multidecadal period it looks unlikely that adding new data to the present data sets is going to change things much for the decades to come.

      • Well, there is this persistent thing about the heat buried in the depths of the oceans going Jason on us in the future.

        So anyway, in the articles about this letter contain words of caution from a scientist named Sherwood.

  19. Barry Woods

    How times have changed – there is an audio of Prof Myles Allen at the Royal Institution, giving the BBC’s Roger Harrabin, a very hard time about how irresponsible the BBC were, even libelous to go on about ‘Hide the Decline’ – Harrabin was really on the back foot!

    Actually, I’l dig out the transcript, I’m sure there is one.

    Additionally, Myles is on the same side of a debate as Benny Peiser and David Rose next week, at the Oxford Uniion

  20. Pingback: Why the new Otto et al climate sensitivity paper is important – its a sea change for some IPCC authors | Watts Up With That?

  21. Temperature data is not following CO2.
    There in nothing in the temperature data that indicates it will ever get warmer than it was in 1998. Rutgers Snow Extent showed that 2012 had a higher Snow Cover Extent than 11 of the other years in the past. When the oceans are warm and the Arctic Opens, it snows like crazy. It snows like it has since October 2012 until May 2013. This puts a lid on temperature, no matter how much CO2 makes green things grow better.
    Does anyone ever just look at the data and just think.
    Climate Models continue to remove Snow Extent in the face of data that is clearly not supporting the Alarmism.

  22. You can use Model Output that disagrees with Actual Data, for a while.
    After a Decade, people get suspicious.
    After two Decades even some Climate Scientists get suspicious.

  23. One thing is clear: It’s becoming harder and harder to be a full on alarmist, at least for those with some integrity. As has been pointed out by WUWT and others, the Otto et all paper is critically important because it’s a climbdown for some IPPCC authors.

    Joshua and others love to sneer. but the great unwinding has begun.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua will surely diss this paper because as he will tell you Nic Lewis is no climate scientist. One wonders what the motivated reason of the other 14 was.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

      In the full scheme of things this paper will be fairly meaningless. Some authors may use it as a “climbdown” (though even that suggestion is dubious), but more importantly, the myopic focus of climate sensitivity on the troposphere will be adjusted in the light of the overwhelming energy being stored in the global oceans. We may be tropospheric dwelling creatures, but the oceans are the masters of both our climate past and climate future and will call the shots on the future warming of the troposphere which is inescapably where the energy being stored in the oceans will eventually have to pass through on its way back to space.

  24. I may need the help of David Springer or Arno Arrack on this one but is there any chance our planet may begin to extract more CO2 than we emit and what would be the consequences if this were to occur?

  25. To clarify my previous question I realize there are the natural extractions between the atmosphere, the oceans, etc. on an everyday basis. But are we in danger of first getting to equillbrium and then the extractions overwhelm our emissions to an extent where our croplands and forests are starved of the nutrition required for a healthy and vibrant planet?

    • Actually, AK and Springer are deviously devising programmable bacteria as we speak to steal atmospheric carbon dioxide in order to corner the synfuel and carbon nano-fiber market. BartR should be along shortly to include both carbon and carbon dioxide in his carbon commons legislation so that revenue neutral taxation might prevent this travesty. The fate of the world hinges on the creative tax policy of a lone British Colombian statistical super hero as he fights against the evils of big biotech.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | May 20, 2013 at 11:57 am |

        I realize satire need make no sense.

        However, if AK and Springer were to grow the Carbon Cycle synthetically by new technology, they’d arguably be recipients of double dividends, not prevented from going ahead.

        In BC, Australia or any other jurisdiction with a fee and dividend system, the new high tech jobs created by AKSpringer Inc. would thereby be paid more than elsewhere in the world.

        See how that works?

        Until AKSpringer Inc. draws down so much CO2E that the demand for lower CO2 vanishes, they’d be rolling in dough due their entrepreneurial capitalist spirit.

        And BC, or Australia, or wherever would be able to grab up massive royalties through carbon trading markets, gaining a positive trade position and bursting reserves, allowing the government to eliminate all other taxes, as well as government debt.

        As corporate headquarters and the ultra wealthy the world over migrate with their fabulous wealth and high-paying service sector jobs, Australia, or BC, or wherever would become a beacon of power, and home to secret cabals controling the lives of serfs and proles everywhere, in a carbonless utopia.

        See how satire is meant to be done?

      • As CEO of my new carbon bio-capture company, I’ll concentrate on building my carbon capture factories in regions where there are subsidies for solar power, and I can acquire carbon credits I can trade to fossil-carbon burning energy utilities. I’ll create methane plants for use in subsidized power plants, or feed-in to the consumer market, I’ll create sugar/starch plants for creating fodder for the meat trade, I’ll create feedstock plants for use making graphite and carbon nano-fibers, I’ll create biofuel plants for making liquid fuels for vehicles, and so on.

        As economies of scale and Swanson’s law bring the price of my hydrogen-fueled biosynthesis down exponentially, I’ll reinvest much of the profits from selling methane, fodder, graphite and other construction materials, and fuel into creating ever more solar-powered feedstock plants, fueling a revolution in construction, and generating an ever-growing market for my product.

        As the atmospheric CO2 reaches pre-industrial levels, I’ll ready my plan to privatize CO2 capture and release, so that the level will be maintained at a steady 280ppm, just like 1700. And then…

        The board of directors will remove me as CEO and replace me with somebody who’ll turn my company into a devouring monster that keeps dragging more CO2 out of the air and drags the world into the next ice age.

        And that’s only semi-satire. Similar things have happened.

    • But are we in danger of first getting to equillbrium and then the extractions overwhelm our emissions to an extent where our croplands and forests are starved of the nutrition required for a healthy and vibrant planet?

      Yes.

  26. Sorry Mosher…You have long ago lost any credibility with me or those who need some honest enlightenment…you need to join your friend Hansen on the picket line or anywhere else the crazies gather.

  27. Thank you Herman Pope, I also depend on people like you for an honest evaluation for my concern.

  28. I’ll offer a few tentative comments on this subject, since I recently commented here on some of the relevant principles. The material in Nature Geoscience has already provoked controversy in the blogosphere, but also within the climate science community, including a variety of criticisms. What I’ll suggest is that their reported values for equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS, range 1.2 – 3.9, best value 2C) and TCR probably underestimate the “true” values, perhaps substantially. I’ll suggest with more confidence that there is not at this point much reason to deviate from the standard ECS estimates in the IPCC reports (range 2 – 4.5, with a most probable value close to 3C). I suspect that IPCC estimates of TCR may need to be revised downward slightly, but I won’t address that issue further. Here are some points to ponder.

    1. A minor point – what appeared in Nature Geoscience is a Letter to the Editor rather than a “paper” or “article”. I imagine that it received some editorial attention, but perhaps not the level of critical review reserved for accepted papers or articles. The extensive authorship by well known figures may have hastened its publication.

    2. I think Jim D and others have referred to the hazard of estimating ECS based on data from only recent decades, energy balance calculations, and an assumption of a linear radiative response to a specified surface temperature change. Those estimates are more correctly described by the term “effective climate sensitivity”, and are likely to underestimate ECS when the intervals were characterized by significant forcing, mainly because of delayed feedbacks that over time gradually reduce the rate of radiative cooling below the initial rates. A number of recent papers follow this same pattern, and so the same reservations apply to them.

    3. The authors of the Letter appropriately caution against over-interpretation of their data in the light of many uncertainties about the magnitude of forcing (and also of ocean heat uptake, which I won’t address further here). What I suspect to be the most serious flaw in the estimates relates to the values for aerosol forcing that led to their somewhat low ECS and TCR estimates. What they did was to take multimodel estimates of aerosol negative forcing and then somewhat arbitrarily add 0.3 W/m-2 to them, making them less negative and thus increasing total positive forcing – the stronger forcing led to reduced ECS and TCR estimates. They justified the addition based on satellite observational data. I suggest that this added forcing may well have been a step in the wrong direction. Instead of making the modeled aerosol forcings less negative, it’s possible justify increasing their negativity, which would significantly increase estimated ECS and TCR values. The basis of this conclusion is a different set of observational data, not derived from satellite estimates of aerosol behavior but of observed values of the extent to which sunlight has been impeded from reaching the Earth’s surface, including values observed under clear-sky conditions (i.e., areas not covered by clouds). The relevant reference is Inferred Underestimation Of Aerosol Direct Effects Over Europe, China, Japan, and India. The degree of underestimation is striking in all regions, but particularly so over China and India “where the multi-model mean yields a decrease in clear sky proxy radiation of -1.3±0.3 and -1.2 ± 0.2 W m-2 decade-1, respectively, compared to observed decreases of -6.5 ± 0.9 and -8.2±1.3 W m-2 decade-1.” At least part of the decreases are attributed to underestimation of aerosol emissions. If underestimation of these magnitudes has been a general phenomenon, even IPCC estimates might be on the low side.

    I don’t wish to argue that to be the case although I wouldn’t exclude it. In fact, like the Nature Geoscience Letter, over-interpretation would be risky. The data come from one group (although references to earlier data are included). The data are not global, due to limited information from many other regions for the studied intervals. Equally important, these are not TOA forcings but surface changes in energy. To some extent, the surface reductions represent solar energy absorbed in the atmosphere by aerosols (particularly black carbon), and this will contribute to surface warming, although less so than if received at the surface. Certainly, caution is warranted in quantifying the significance of the reported results. At a minimum, however, it might be conservative to avoid correcting modeled aerosol forcing in either a more negative direction (Allen et al), or a more positive one (the Nature Geoscience Letter). That would leave an ECS estimated range not too different from the IPCC’s, and a “best value” of about 2.4C. We obviously haven’t heard the last word on this.

    • Lukewarm words indeed.

      The audit never ends.

    • Steven Mosher

      Fred.

      your point 1 is silly speculation.
      your point 2 is embracing the uncertainty monster.
      your point 3 is addressed in a sensitivity study

      ‘ I suggest that this added forcing may well have been a step in the wrong direction. Instead of making the modeled aerosol forcings less negative, it’s possible justify increasing their negativity, which would significantly increase estimated ECS and TCR values”

      This is covered in the SI. no need to speculate
      Sensitivity scenario D, without the aerosol adjustment TCR is 1.5 and ECS is 2.4.

      • Steve -

        In order:

        1. Silly speculation is one of my favorite activities.
        2. No, the underestimation of ECS by “effective climate sensitivity” estimates due to non-linear radiative responses has experimental support. The magnitude is uncertain.
        3. My point 3 is based in part on the SI – i.e.,the 2.4C ECS without the aerosol adjustment, but that’s the less important part of my point 3. The more important part is derived from my link to the JGR paper by Allen et al, indicating that aerosol negativity has actually been significantly underestimated. That goes beyond the SI. and could theoretically justify an ECS estimate well above 2.4 and possibly above 3C. It underscores the importance of better quantifying aerosol forcing.

      • Steven Mosher

        Fred

        ‘The more important part is derived from my link to the JGR paper by Allen et al, indicating that aerosol negativity has actually been significantly underestimated.’ over china . with no firm diagnosis of the problem I dont know how you want to conclude anything except ‘more study please.’

        It would also be nice to actually look at the GEBA data, links were busted.

    • Fred so which method for estimating CS do you favour? Because they all look like they have big holes in them.

      Is this estimate method better than Hansen’s back in 1988?

      • HR – Yes, of course they all have holes, and I don’t know enough to give a wise answer. as to which is best (or least worst). Looking at more than one method is probably a good idea. In any case, TCR may be of more practical use than any of the ECS estimates. As for the latter, my naive preference would be to take the generally well accepted value for doubled CO2 forcing of about 3.4 – 3.7 Wm-2 and then independently to try to estimate feedbacks by using model-based feedback estimates constrained by observational data on water vapor, lapse rate change, albedo change, clouds, etc. Conversely, some of the recent efforts based on simple energy balance principles strike me as quite shaky, including the new Nature Geoscience correspondence and the related blog material from Nic Lewis on WUWT..

        What I most worry about is the cherry-picking in the blogosphere that seizes on some single recent report to support preconceived positions on the subject.

        On Hansen 1988, if I remember correctly, his model generated an ECS value of about 4.2C or so for doubled CO2, which now seems too high as a most probable value. I’m not sure the current range of 2 to 4.5C is far off, though as a way of defining reasonable boundaries..

      • Heh, ‘naive’. Gotta luv ya, Fred.
        =========

      • Fred Moolten

        “A single report”?

        Well, yes, the one in the lead post is, indeed, a “single report”.

        But, in addition to this study, there have been several reports since 2011, all pointing to a 2xCO2 ECS below 2°C. Most of these have been (at least partly) based on actual physical observations rather than simply model simulations.

        Recent studies on 2xCO2 ECS
        Lewis (2013) 1.0C to 3.0C
        Berntsen (2012) 1.2C to 2.9C
        Lindzen (2011) 0.6C to 1.0C
        Schmittner (2011) 1.4C to 2.8C
        van Hateren (2012) 1.5C to 2.5C
        Schlesinger (2012) 1.45C to 2.01C
        Masters (2013)* 1.5C to 2.9C
        * not yet published

        The average range of these recent studies is 1.2°C to 2.4°C, with a mean value of 1.8°C, or about half of earlier model-based predictions cited by IPCC and very close to the Otto et al. study in the lead post.

        Max

      • The average range of these recent studies is 1.2°C to 2.4°C, with a mean value of 1.8°C, or about half of earlier model-based predictions cited by IPCC and very close to the Otto et al. study in the lead post.

        Hmmm. Calculating a mean across studies that use different methodologies. Now I know less than nothing about statistics, and apparently no one else is bothered your statistical methodology, but IMV, it is creates a statistically meaningless result.

      • Joshua, “Hmmm. Calculating a mean across studies that use different methodologies. Now I know less than nothing about statistics, and apparently no one else is bothered your statistical methodology, but IMV, it is creates a statistically meaningless result.”

        Careful now, that is exactly how the conical range was established. In the world of “leave no scientist behind” all results can be meaningful and used to determine physical elements of our biosphere.

      • Careful now, that is exactly how the conical range was established.

        Well, if it isn’t statistically valid, it doesn’t matter who’s doing it.

      • Joshua, “Well, if it isn’t statistically valid, it doesn’t matter who’s doing it.”
        That would depend on how stubbornly the ones saying that it is statistically valid defend their position.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/05/monty-hall-or-not.html

        I use Monty Hall. Dr. Curry uses the Italian Flag. Part of the uncertainty is the “robustness” of the statistics. Once you get into the “games” Monty Hall is just as statistically valid as any for decision making in the face of uncertainty. Since 3C was “picked” it is best to switch doors. Which door?

      • Steven Mosher

        Fred,

        You didnt answer the question.
        The question was “which method?”
        you answered that TCR was most relevant.
        Well, paleo doesnt give you TCR and model sensitivity is nothing
        more than an expression of the uncertainity in aerosols.
        so what method? preferably one that uses observational data

      • Steve – I partially answered the “which method” question by referring to a method that starts with no-feedback sensitivity (generally agreed on at about 1.2C, or somewhere around 3.4 – 3.7 Wm-2 forcing), and then adding feedbacks based on modeling constrained by observations on water vapor, ice-albedo, clouds, etc. (see e.g., AR4 Chapter 8). All methods involve both models and observations. The most recent tendency to use simple energy balance models makes the models less complex but the results more dependent on assumptions and the accuracy of observational data on aerosols and ocean heat uptake, neither of which are important for the method I referenced above. In fact, the energy balance estimates aren’t ECS estimates at all, but “effective climate sensitivity” estimates that probably understate ECS (see earlier discussions in the “more on the pause” thread). That’s the best I can do, because all methods are flawed.

        As for TCR, I don’t know any way around the use of observational data on aerosols, which are highly uncertain. The paper estimates TCR to be below 2C, but that’s not a new estimate – Isaac Held had a post months ago to justify 1.8C as an upper limit

    • Matthew R Marler

      Fred Moolten,

      2 & 3 are worthy comments, but 1 is irrelevant.

    • Fred -

      I’ll suggest with more confidence that there is not at this point much reason to deviate from the standard ECS estimates in the IPCC reports (range 2 – 4.5, with a most probable value close to 3C). I suspect that IPCC estimates of TCR may need to be revised downward slightly, but I won’t address that issue further.

      It isn’t clear to me how to reconcile those two statements. If there is not much reason to deviate, then why do you suspect that the estimates may need to be revised downward slightly?

      • much reason to deviate from IPCC ECS…

        may need to revise downward slightly IPCC TCR…

        Clearer?

      • Yes. Thanks.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua you might wantto inform those 14 authors that they published with a guy who is an accountant and not a climate scientist.

      • steven -

        At the point where you repeatedly mis-characterize what I do and don’t say, the question of whether it is a simple misunderstanding on your part, or deliberate, becomes relevant.

      • Oh, and despite having been corrected, btw.

  29. That is what Hansen said:

    no missing heat
    models get ocean uptake wrong
    negative aerosols underestimated

    And

    No no non-warming in last two decades.

  30. Please note. If you read the New Scientist article, you will understand that they did not publish this paper to say that the skeptics/lukewarmers were right. Their take-home message is that while previously they claimed that in order to save the planet ‘something’ would have to be done by now already, now they are saying that there’s just enough time to ‘do something’ with the next Kyoto-type agreement.

    So rather than admit that their scare stories were wrong, they’ve just moved the goalpost back a bit, and now they’re preaching the identical message – delayed. It’s like the person who predicts that the world will end on June 13th, and when the day comes and goes, re-does the math, and announces that the actual date is August 23rd.

    • When it comes to grown-up debate

      “save the planet” needs to be relegated to the same level as “just like the Nazis” and “think of the children”

      On your general point I’d see it differently. Annan, who is an insider, seems to be suggesting this offers an opportunity for some sort of break with the past. But Gravy Trains are the hardest to derail.

  31. Richard Verney has posted some good comments at Bishop Hill:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/5/20/ecs-with-otto.html#comments


    No disrespect intended to Nic Lewis, I consider all the claims regarding the ability to assess climate sensitivity disingenuous, even bordering on the dishonest.

    It may be possible to calculate how CO2 behaves in laboratory conditions and hence to calculate a theoretical warming in relation to increasing CO2 levels in laboratory conditions. But that is not the real world.

    In the real world, increased concentrations of CO2 would theoretically block a certain proportion of incoming solar insolation so that less solar radiance is absorbed by the ground and oceans, and it would also increase the rate of out going radiation at TOA. Both of these are potentially cooling factors. Thus the first issue is whether in real world conditions the theoretical laboratory ‘heat trapping’ effect of CO2 exceeds the ‘cooling’ effects of CO2 blocking incoming solar irradiance and increasing radiation at TOA and if so, by how much? The second issue is far more complex, namely the inter-relationship with other gases in the atmosphere, whether it is swamped by the hydrological cycle, and what effect it may have on the rate of convection at various altitudes and/or whether convection effectively outstrips any ‘heat trapping’ effect of CO2 carrying the warmer air away and upwards to the upper atmosphere where the ‘heat’ is radiated to space. None of those issues can be assessed in the laboratory, and can only be considered in real world conditions by way of empirical observational data.

    The problem with making an assessment based upon observational data is that it is a hapless task since the data sets are either too short and/or have been horribly bastardised by endless adjustments, siting issues, station drop outs and polluted by UHI and/or we do not have accurate data on aerosol emissions and/or upon clouds. Quite simply data sets of sufficiently high quality do not exist, and therefore as a matter of fact no worthwhile assessment can be made..

    The nub of the issue is that it is simply impossible to determine a value for climate sensitivity from observation data until absolutely everything is known and understood about natural variation, what its various constituent components are, the forcings of each and every individual component and whether the individual component concerned operates positively or negatively, and the upper and lower bounds of the forcings associated with each and every one of its constituent components.

    This is logically and necessarily the position, since until one can look at the data set (thermometer or proxy) and identify the extent of each change in the data set and say with certainty to what extent, if any, that change was (or was not) brought about by natural variation, one cannot extract the signal of climate sensitivity from the noise of natural variation.

    I seem to recall that one of the Team recognised the problem and at one time observed “”Quantifying climate sensitivity from real world data cannot even be done using present-day data, including satellite data. If you think that one
    could do better with paleo data, then you’re fooling yourself. This is
    fine, but there is no need to try to fool others by making extravagant
    claims.”

    We do not know whether at this stage of the Holocene adding more CO2 does anything, or, if it does, whether it warms or cools the atmosphere (or for that matter the oceans). Anyone who claims that they know and/or can properly assess the effect of CO2 in real world conditions is being disengenuous.

    For what it is worth, 33 years worth of satellite data (which shows that temperatures were essentially flat between 1979 and 1997 and between 1999 to date and demonstrates no correlation between CO2 and temperature) suggests that the climate sensitivity to CO2 is so low that it is indistinguishable from zero. But that observation should be viewed with caution since it is based upon a very short data set, and we do not have sufficient data on aerosols or clouds to enable a firm conclusion to be drawn.

    May 20, 2013 at 10:28 AM | richard verney
    Further to my above post, in which I suggest that it is impossible to assess climate sensitivity until we fully understand natural variation, consider a few examples from the thermometer record (Hadcrut 4) before the rapid increase in manmade CO2 emissions.

    1. Between 1877 and 1878, the temperature anomaly change is positive 1.1degC (from -0.7 to +0.4C). To produce that change requires a massive forcing. That change was not caused by increased CO2 emissions, nor by reduced aerosol emissions. May be it was an El Nino year (I have not checked but no doubt Bob may clarify) but we need to be able to explain what forcings were in play that brought about that change, because those forcings may operate at other times (to more or less extent).

    2. Between 1853 and 1862 temperatures fell by about 0.6degC. What caused this change? Presumably it was not an increase in aerosol emissions. So what natural forcings were in play? Again one can see a similar cooling trend between about 1880 and about 1890, which may to some extent have been caused by Krakatoa, but if so what would the temperature have been but for Krakatoa?

    3. Between about 1861 to 1869 there was an increase in temperatures of about 0.4degC. What caused this warming that decade. It is unlikely to be related to any significant increase in CO2 emissions and/or reduction in aerosol emissions. How do we know that the forcings that brought about that change were not in play (perhaps to an even greater level since we do not know the upper bounds of those forcings) during the late 1970s to late 1990s?

    4. Between about 1908 and 1915 again there is about 0.4degC warming. What caused this warming during this period. Are they the same forcings that were in play during the period 1861 to 1869, or are they different forcings? It is unlikely to be related to any significant increase in CO2 emissions and/or reduction in aerosol emissions. How do we know that the forcings that brought about this change were not in play (perhaps to an even greater level since we do not know the upper bounds of those forcings) during the late 1970s to late 1990s? If the forcings that were operative during the period 1908 to 1915 were different to those that were operative during 1861 to 1869 can all these forcings collectively operate at the same time, and if so How do we know that the forcings that brought about that change were not in play during the late 1970s to late 1990s?

    One could go through the entire thermometer record and make similar observations about each and every change in that record. But my point is that until one fully understands natural variability (all its forcings and the upper and lower bounds of such and their inter-relationship with one another), it is impossible to attribute any change in the record to CO2 emissions (or for that matter manmade aerosol emissions). Until one can completely eliminate natural variability, the signal of climate sensitivity to CO2 cannot be extracted from the noise of natural variation. Period!”

    May 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM | richard verney

    • curryja | May 20, 2013 at 3:49 pm |

      Well, that’s one mainly internally consistent way to go, though far more ambitious than it appears to realize.

      It appeals to the Fallacy of Impossible Perfection, of course, but that’s hardly uncommon.

      More internally consistent would be to draw the opposite conclusion from the same fact pattern, that natural variability is impossible to extract from the CO2 signal, at this point.

      Ergo, we ought dismiss any natural variability that is not strong enough to produce a compelling independent signal in the GMT record.

      Volcano-related particulates do this for spans of up to about a half-decade. The solar cycle once did this for about a century and a half reliably up to about 1955. But that one’s gone, now.

      The rest? Nonsensical supposed waves we have too little data to confirm or disconfirm, and too little grasp of the mechanics of to stand on.

      (See, one can demand possible perfection, without resorting to fallacy.)

    • Judith

      In the same thread Richard kindly said this about my CET reconstruction to 1538

      climatereason says:
      May 20, 2013 at 12:16 am
      /////////////////////////////////////////////////

      Tony

      You are undertaking an extremely worthwhile exercise with CET, I am very impressed.

      I consider that many fail to appreciate the extent of natural variability (and the underlying strength of forcings that have brought about that change).

      I have often posted to the effect that the holy grail of cliimate science is the proper appreciation and understanding of natural variability. We need to fully know and understand this and its bounds. It is only after we possess a full understanding of natural variability that we can begin to eliminate it from the various data sets and thence extract a response signal (if any) to CO2.

      ——————–
      I agree with his comments on natural variability we need to know the extent of past natural variability before we can extrapolate any co2 element. It looks like at 280/300ppm co2 ceases to have any noticeable effect according to observational evidence

      However I appreciate people Iike Mosh who will argue radiative physics means the co2 effect has not yet made itself felt to any extent. However many people such as Dr Mann try to use the past to scare us about the future

      Tonyb

      • Btw

        I meant to say that Whether or not I agree with nic, he has done a very fine piece of work and deserves our admiration and thanks for all his hard work
        Tonyb

    • Richard Verney writes “Anyone who claims that they know and/or can properly assess the effect of CO2 in real world conditions is being disengenuous.”, and quoted by our hostess. I have been trying to say precisely this for years on Climate Etc. It is nice to know that I have company. All one can hope to do from the empirical data is to establish a maximum value for climate sensitivity.

      Now if someone whom our hostess trusts would just add that the estimations done by whatever means shed no light whatsoever on what the numeric value of climate sensitivity is, I would be more than happy.

      Please note, in theory, climate sensitivity can be measured, as I have stated many times. It is just that we do not have the technology at present to make the measurements.

      • …which is why in the paper they call them ‘estimates’.

      • Jim D and Jim Cripwell

        in theory, climate sensitivity can be measured, as I have stated many times. It is just that we do not have the technology at present to make the measurements.

        Then why in hell aren’t we spending at least three-fourths of the multibillion dollar/year “climate science budget” on developing that technology and making those measurements?

        Are we afraid of the answer we might get?

        Is it more convenient to simply hide behind model predictions which can be controlled than to take the chance that actual measurements might show even lower 2xCO2 ECS?

        Hard questions.

        No answers.

        As a rational skeptic, I smell a rat.

        Max

      • Max, you write “Then why in hell aren’t we spending at least three-fourths of the multibillion dollar/year “climate science budget” on developing that technology and making those measurements?”

        I was a little short in my remark. Not onl;y do we not have the tech nology, the technology is not even at the initial research stage. We have no idea how to develop the necessary technology. It could be dceades, even centuries, beore we can develop the technology.

    • I don’t like to be too harsh, but Richard Verney appears to have almost no understanding of climate dynamics as evidenced by his suggestion that cooling from CO2 absorption of solar radiation might approach or exceed warming due to its ability to absorb longwave radiation emitted from the Earth and atmosphere -http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Atmospheric_Transmission_png.

      • I had a similar reaction. It is almost not worth reading the rest when he demonstrates his lack of physics knowledge up front with his first references being to cooling and not warming effects.

      • Well, it’s not a universal truth that ‘wrong in one, wrong in all’ works at the restaurant at the end of the known truth.
        ==========

      • you just have to skip the crazy parts i think. his argument is that the data is too uncertain to determine climate sensitivity. If I actually believed him that climate sensitivity to 2xCO2 was unknown I would be calling for immediate action to curtail CO2 emissions.

      • OK, if it is not unknown, then it must be known. Please, lolwot, stop with the coy act; some of us are dying to know the climate sensitivity. Jim C’s passed into acceptance, and that’s ominously omening omega.

        Please tell. You know, so we’ll know how to act.
        ==================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is obvious from Fred’s absorption spectra that radiation is absorbed in some frequencies emitted by the sun. There is about a 5% overlap of absorption frequencies and solar emission.

      • The paragraph that starts “In real world” is not about this world but full of serious errors. That’s so bad that I cannot take seriously anything written by a person that shows such lack of understanding.

      • Fred,
        1)The latest climate energy diagram from Wild, Folini and Dutton, is showing that the downward IR flux of 345 W/m2 has a virtual temperature of 279 K and has a peak at 10.38 microns.
        2) Water has an extinction coefficient of just over 1000 at 10 microns;

        http://frienergi.alternativkanalen.com/Water_Atoms_filer/watopt.gif

        3) 50% of the photons that come from the sky that hit the oceans are absorbed in the first 10 microns, 905 in the top 20 microns and 99% in the first 30 microns.

        Now if you have faith in physics, tell me what happens to the energy content of these IR photons in the first 30 microns of the ocean. Are they thermalized and increase the temperature, or do they jiggle the molecules on the surface making it easier for them to break free of the water and become gaseous?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Chief Hydrologist: It is obvious from Fred’s absorption spectra that radiation is absorbed in some frequencies emitted by the sun. There is about a 5% overlap of absorption frequencies and solar emission.

        The energy flow diagrams of Trenberth and Fasullo and Graeme Stephens provide estimates of how much incoming radiation is absorbed in the upper atmosphere. It is not a trivial amount.

      • Graeme Stephens found that a 0.5 W/m^2 to 0.6 W/m^2 energy imbalance was going into the OHC as a heat sink. That is quantitatively consistent with what James Hansen has been finding for an ECS 3 C temperature rise for a CO2 doubling.

        http://www.iac.ethz.ch/doc/publications/Wild_etal_GlobalEnergyBalance_ClimDyn2012.pdf

        http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~tristan/publications/2012_EBupdate_stephens_ngeo1580.pdf

        To understand this, you have to place this in the context of what Mosh has pointed out as the difference between ECS and TCR.

        Hansen has found the forcing function to be about 1.5 W/m2.
        A value of 0.5 to 0.6 W/m^2 applied just to the ocean makes it 0.75 W/m^2 concentrated. This means that any fit to global temperature data is completely consistent with the land temperature rise being 50% bigger that the SST rise.

        Now think what Mosh posted. This means that 0.75 W/m^2 is NOT acting as a forcing function over just the surface of the ocean. This goes in the denominator of the ECS calculation as a subtractive offset.

        It is a very straightforward proportional engineering calculation.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘• We calculate that during the past decade Earth has been accumulating energy at the rate 0.58±0.43 W/m2, suggesting that while warming of Earth’s surface has slowed during the 2000s, energy continues to accumulate in the subsurface ocean.

        • The apparent decline in ocean heating rate after 2004 noted in other studies is not statistically robust.

        • Our results do not support the claim that there is missing
        energy in the system.

        • Synergistic use of satellite and in‐situ ocean heat content anomaly
        measurements provide critical data for quantifying short and
        longer‐term changes in the Earth’s net TOA radiant imbalance.

        • New cloud data from satellite (MODIS, CALIPSO) key to unraveling
        role of clouds in a changing climate.’

        http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/documents/STM/2011-10/16_.Loebpptx.pdf

        As I keep saying – the ocean heat content data is consistent with changes in the TOA flux. It has nothing to do with greenhouse gases. It is an order of magnitude greater than the theoretical increase in greenhouse gas forcing. It all happened in shortwave.

      • > OK, if it is not unknown, then it must be known.

        Let’s not forget that it could be an unknown known:

        In the case of the disappearing bees, there are things we know that we know (their vulnerability to pesticides) and things we know that we don’t know (say, how the bees react to human-caused radiations). But there are, above all, the unknown unknowns and the unknown knowns. There are dimensions of how bees interact with their environs which are not only unknown to us, but which we are not even aware of. And there are many “unknown knowns” in our perception of bees: all the anthropocentric prejudices that spontaneously colour and bias our study of them.

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

    • Matthew R Marler

      curryja: The second issue is far more complex, namely the inter-relationship with other gases in the atmosphere, whether it is swamped by the hydrological cycle, and what effect it may have on the rate of convection at various altitudes and/or whether convection effectively outstrips any ‘heat trapping’ effect of CO2 carrying the warmer air away and upwards to the upper atmosphere where the ‘heat’ is radiated to space.

      How it warms my heart to read that!

      • i once tried to get C. to comprehend that warming by CO2 might somehow be more effectively transported poleward, but he convinced me I was probably wrong.
        ==========

      • It’s nonsense. Also you make it look like judith curry said that. She didn’t. She was quoting someone else.

      • Matthew R Marler

        lolwot: She was quoting someone else.

        She included it in a list of “good” comments.

    • HR | May 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm |

      Until possible to prove, they’re unproven, and impossible to prove.

      How ought we proceed upon finding an impossibility?

      Agree it’s impossible, and that to the dgreee of its effects we have Uncertainty.

      Which, when we account for Uncertainty, we must take into account equally the high and low side in all cases.

      Will the future produce heavy snow in winter, or mild snowless seasons with no snow pack, and consequent arid springs and summers? Large uncertainty deems we must prepare for both in prudent policies, and in all years, thereby suffering the lost opportunity of overpreparing for each Risk.

      Floods and droughts in plenty and absent entirely, we must prepare for, under broad uncertainty ranges. Heatwaves and cold spells, blankets and air conditioners, the whole gamut become equally probable because they are equally uncertain. And while the temptation is there to listen to prognosticators with some harebrained hypothesis that we’ll have such-and-such weather this year, we’d be morons under Uncertainty to listen to them and plan only for what they predict while abandoning preparations for the equal other likelihoods.

      Verney’s argument is pure wish-fulfillment, the most abject form of denialism possible.

      While what the mathematics tells us is quite pessimistic, in that it demands we be pessimistic about mutually exclusive outcomes because we can’t know which is likelier, it is what it is. The cost of such Uncertainty is the cost of burning enough carbon to make the math turn out that way. It’s the cost of that one extra Forcing in the climate that wasn’t there before 1950. It’s the cost of the ‘cheap energy’ policy that drives the fossil industries by subsidy and favorable legislative climate and failure to price the Commons by the law of supply and demand.

      In short, it’s the cost of corporate communism.

    • @jc: increased concentrations of CO2 would theoretically block a certain proportion of incoming solar insolation so that less solar radiance is absorbed by the ground and oceans,

      What is that proportion? I would have thought it extremely low. In any event it heats the atmosphere, albeit at an average altitude of 7 km.

      and it would also increase the rate of out going radiation at TOA.

      I would have thought it decreased the rate, at least while not in equilibrium—once equilibrium is restored the outgoing rate increases again to become exactly equal to the incoming radiation. How do you figure it increases the rate?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Vaughan Pratt: I would have thought it decreased the rate, at least while not in equilibrium

        Outgoing long wave radiation is what is radiated in the outbound direction by upper atmosphere CO2; double that CO2, other things being equal, and you double the net outbound radiation rate. As usual, other things will not be equal, but the fraction of the upper atmospheric heat that is not a result of radiation of ILWR from the surface (e.g. from thermals and the hydrologic cycle) might be radiated outward at an increased rate if CO2 concentrations double.

        Doubling CO2 concentration will probably change the vertical distribution of heat over land and water in a way not quite modeled by the equilibrium assumptions.

      • The effective radiating level rises with more CO2, and the new level is colder, so it reduces the outgoing long wave, all things being equal.

      • @MRM: double that CO2, other things being equal, and you double the net outbound radiation rate

        Spoken like a statistician. :)

        What you’re ignoring here is that when the CO2 doubles in any given parcel of air, it also doubles in the whole air column above it. So yes twice as much radiation is emitted by a (sufficiently thin) parcel, but the extra CO2 it now has to pass through will trap it before it can pass to TOA.

        A good way to think about this is to put yourself in the position of a satellite observing the TOA from above. At any given wavelength absorbed by CO2 you can only see down so far into the atmosphere before it looks opaque. The opaque gas you see at that wavelength has an apparent surface amounting to the photosphere for that wavelength. Increasing the amount of CO2 increases the altitude of that surface.

        @Jim D: The effective radiating level rises with more CO2, and the new level is colder, so it reduces the outgoing long wave, all things being equal.

        Exactly right (“effective radiating level” is what I was calling “photosphere”).

      • Matthew R Marler

        Vaughan Pratt: What you’re ignoring here is that when the CO2 doubles in any given parcel of air, it also doubles in the whole air column above it. So yes twice as much radiation is emitted by a (sufficiently thin) parcel, but the extra CO2 it now has to pass through will trap it before it can pass to TOA.

        I think that the net effect on TOA outbound radiation that would result from doubling CO2 can’t be calculated on present evidence. Recall that doubling the upper atmosphere CO2 concentration would increase (double?) the amount of the incoming solar radiation that is absorbed in the upper atmosphere before reaching the ground or troposphere. According to the Graeme Stephens NatGeosci article linked elsewhere by David Springer, that is about 22% of all incoming solar radiation: 75 wm^2, nearly equal to the 88w/m^2 carried into the upper atmosphere via convection of latent heating.. 75w/m^2 is also 45% of the energy flux that is absorbed by the Earth surface. It is too large an amount of energy to ignore.

        Since you like logic and philosophy, I thought I’d make two more general comments.

        1. High dimensional non-linear dissipative systems seldom have equilibria, but equilibrium calculations are frequently made without the possibility of equilibrium being shown, If an equilibrium or approximate equilibrium can exist, it is the result of all of these energy flows, not their driver. The equilibrium approximation may be a “boundary condition”, but there are an infinite number of ways that the boundary condition can be met. What actually will be the result of a CO2 doubling can’t be known until the effects of CO2 doubling on all the fluxes are known.

        2. The transient climate sensitivity depends entirely on the changes of these heat fluxes during the transient. For the transient climate sensitivity , the equilibrium calculation does not even in the best of circumstances provide “boundary conditions” to the transient climate sensitivity.

        I am glad that you drew attention to an omission from my comment. Statisticians usually write about omissions (model bias) and random variation. I am happy to write as a statistician, as I nearly always address model inadequacies and natural variation.

      • Mattstat, “Recall that doubling the upper atmosphere CO2 concentration would increase (double?) the amount of the incoming solar radiation that is absorbed in the upper atmosphere before reaching the ground or troposphere. ”

        That doesn’t sound right. Assuming you mean double the amount of SW absorbed in the atmosphere by CO2, it wouldn’t. You would have the same Ln relationship but be on a flatter region of the curve. Water vapor interaction with both solar and increased CO2 is more interesting. The increase in upper level convection increases the percentage of ice crystals and the potential for mixed phase shenanigans. I call it the atmospheric heat pipe effect, but ice crystals, solar and ozone can produce a major negative feed back. In fact, mixed phase clouds were a large part of the atmospheric absorption missed by Trenberth, ~20Wm-2 worth of OLR.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Capt Dallas: That doesn’t sound right. Assuming you mean double the amount of SW absorbed in the atmosphere by CO2

        No, I meant double the amount of CO2, uniformly through the atmosphere (it is assumed to be rapidly well mixed — otherwise no calculations are possible at all.) The transient climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 presupposes a doubling of CO2, so that is what I assumed.

      • Mattsatt, right, CO2 is well mixed enough to be approximated as uniform. When you mention SW and CO2 at the same time that kinda throws things off. Pratt is right that additional solar absorption by CO2 is likely negligible. Other solar absorption and the ratio of total atmospheric absorption to surface absorption is a more significant issue.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Capt Dallas: Pratt is right that additional solar absorption by CO2 is likely negligible. Other solar absorption and the ratio of total atmospheric absorption to surface absorption is a more significant issue.

        You and I have dueling conjectures. I look forward to some research. Unless almost all incoming lwr is absorbed by CO2 at high altitudes, I do not see how doubling the CO2 concentration could have a “negligible” effect.

        Who here knows what fraction of incoming ilwr is already absorbed by CO2 at high altitudes? According to the CO2 absorption spectrum posted by Fred Moolten, it is unlikely to be 0%.

        “Negligible” is hard to define: a doubling of CO2 is hypothesized to produce a slight increase in net radiation at the surface, producing a 1% increase in Earth equilibrium surface temperature in the distant future, and a ~0.4% increase in earth surface temperature 70 years hence (the target article). Potentially biologically important and intuitively meaningful temperature changes are small in absolute (physical) terms, where the computations have to be carried out.

    • Steven Mosher

      Huh Judith?

      “”The nub of the issue is that it is simply impossible to determine a value for climate sensitivity from observation data until absolutely everything is known and understood about natural variation,”

      That’s hardly a defensible position.

      1. it is possible to determine a value. Nic just did.
      2. There isnt a single field where we know absolutely everything
      3. At this stage in his argument he calls natural variation a thing to be explained, and at the end he calls it noise. In truth you don;t have to understand natural variation you just have to be able to bound it, and then only if your are interested in doing attribution which I think is overrated. Attribute all the warming since 1750 to today to “natural variation” and its still a bad idea to burn all the carbon. Attribute all the warming since 1750 to today to natural variation and its still a bad idea to rely on coal.

    • The “nub” of Richard Verney’s comments (as I see it):

      The nub of the issue is that it is simply impossible to determine a value for climate sensitivity from observation data until absolutely everything is known and understood about natural variation, what its various constituent components are, the forcings of each and every individual component and whether the individual component concerned operates positively or negatively, and the upper and lower bounds of the forcings associated with each and every one of its constituent components.

      Uncertainty writ large (and the key problem with all ECS estimates, including the latest ones.).

      Max

      Max

      • It’s not possible to determine TCR with absolute precision until everything is known.

        It’s by now fully possible and practical to do it reliably enough to serve as basis for decision making. There are difficult problems in decision making, but this is not one of them.

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirla,

        There are difficult problems in decision making,

        The only real difficulty is educating the so called ‘Progressives’ to stop blocking progress. If we could get through their thick skulls – such as their representatives who blog on this site – then they could start educating their comrades, and the “difficult problems in decision making” could be overcome within a decade or less.

      • The world would be simple if either pure libertarians or regulators were fully right. If either pure view would be correct it would have won already.

        Unfortunately the reality is not that simple and we must search for compromises and finding wise compromises is always difficult.

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka,

        I’ll try to put it another way because you seem an expert at obfuscation.

        You said in the comment I replied to:

        There are difficult problems in decision making,

        .

        My point is that the ‘difficult problems‘ are largely due to ideology. They are not technical.

        Your continually advocacy for uneconomic renewable energy is a classic example. If you refuse to accept the facts on the economics and prospects of renewable energy, and can’t be educated on this (despite holding a chair of energy economics), how on Earth can we expect to make progress with those even more strongly attached to their ideological beliefs?

        The ‘difficult problems‘ you refer to is clearly one of ideology blocking progress.

    • Steven Mosher

      Lets take another example of Verney’s overstating the case. What you see is a an unjustified certainity on his part about observations

      “The problem with making an assessment based upon observational data is that it is a hapless task since the data sets are either too short and/or have been horribly bastardised by endless adjustments, siting issues, station drop outs and polluted by UHI and/or we do not have accurate data on aerosol emissions and/or upon clouds. Quite simply data sets of sufficiently high quality do not exist, and therefore as a matter of fact no worthwhile assessment can be made..”

      1. The datasets are not too short to give is an estimate. He merely asserts this. This tactic is akin to those who tell us that 15 years is “too short” to tell us anything. The length of a dataset informs your uncertainty, it does not preclude making conclusions with the proper error bars.

      2. He claims the datasets have been bastardized by adjustments when all the published science shows otherwise.

      3. Siting issues. There is one paper on siting issues, Fall et al. It showed no effect.

      4. Station drop outs: the great thermometer drop out is a myth. It has been shown numerous times that the estimates do not change by either
      using fewer stations, or more stations, or only those stations which have complete records.

      5. UHI. all published papers on UHI find values of effectively zero bias in the record. Being generous we can say there is an upper bound on the UHI bias of .1C per decade in the period that this paper used. Since the land is 1/3 of the total this bias is within the error bands of the paper, they used +- .2C

      It is not a matter of fact that no worthwhile assessment can be made. If folks like they can adjust the temperature down for any of these factors or adjust the error bars. The net result will be to shift the PDF to the right as these issues are focused on moving the numerator down from .75C
      ( see the SI) moreover the paper used HADCRUT4 which we know is biased low.

      • 1. The datasets are not too short to give is an estimate. He merely asserts this. This tactic is akin to those who tell us that 15 years is “too short” to tell us anything. The length of a dataset informs your uncertainty, it does not preclude making conclusions with the proper error bars.</blockquote

        This seems worthy of repetition for emphasis – and the logic if it seems well-abused by combatants on both sides of the debate.

        So steven, have you seen anyone attach error bars to the "global warming has stopped/paused" conclusions – which are based on drawing conclusions from relatively short duration data?

  32. Judith wrote: “The New Scientist has an article on this paper that is worth reading.” What ($*^$)%#&** !!!

    Paragraph 3 includes: “Temperatures are currently rising faster than they have been for 11,000 years.” Over what period is this true? Temperatures haven’t risen over the last 17 years. Do we have really have data for the past 11,000 years with the accuracy and resolution to show that 20th century warming is unprecedented? The warming rate in the second half of the 20th century was comparable to earlier warming rates in the instrumental record (that haven’t been attributed to GHGs). .

    Paragraph 4 says: “Governments have promised to limit the world to 2 °C of warming – the agreed threshold for dangerous climate change.” SOME governments currently have a 2 degC objective, but no government on its own can promise to limit warming to 2 degC. That requires an international treaty. No treaty can limit warming to 2 degC, because no one can specify the maximum GHG concentration consistent with keeping warming below 2 degC. At best, a probability density function can be used to estimate that 450?, 500?, or 600? ppm of carbon dioxide will provide a 95%, 90%, or 50% chance of keeping warming below 2 degC. Due to uncertainty about carbon sinks, we can’t accurately calculate how much CO2 we can emit and still keep atmospheric levels below these thresholds. And finally we can’t keep anthropogenic warming below 2 degC, because that requires accurate knowledge of the global temperature before the Industrial Revolution, smack in the middle of a “naturally cold” period, the LIA, and we don’t have a clear understanding of the natural variability that produced the LIA.

    Paragraph 9: “The team focused on how much hotter the planet will be in the year that carbon dioxide concentrations reach double their pre-industrial value. On current trends, that will happen between 2050 and 2070. Previous studies had suggested temperatures would rise up to 1.6 °C, but Otto found a temperature increase of 1.3 °C.” In AR4, the central estimate for TCR was 2.0 degC. New Scientist is trying to pretend that this is a minor refinement of previous estimates, not a dramatic reassessment.

    Paragraph 10: “It might buy us five or ten years,” agrees Chris Forest of Penn State University in University Park, although he cautions that the problem hasn’t gone away.” Laughable.

    Paragraph 16: “”The observations are telling us one thing and the climate models are telling us another,” says Forest. He thinks the most likely range is between 2.5 and 3 °C.” Why? WIthout a scientific rational, this is simply a random opinion.

    Paragraph 17: “For the last few years, governments have been planning to sign a deal in 2015 that will come into force in 2020.” The EU may be HOPING to negotiate such a deal.

    • Fisk a fillet of
      Physicly fishy science.
      Sensitive knife edge.
      ============

      • David Springer

        Mosher the air temperature above melting ice (presuming surface melt) is 0C or higher. The question was trivial and pointless so I ignored it. Ice mass is overwhelmingly lost by melting at the bottom of the glacier from geothermal heat and secondarily from calving where it meets the ocean. Surface melt is insignificant in comparison. Mass is gained or lost by snowfall atop the glacier being more or less than the loss from the geothermal melt and calving both of which are relatively constant. Snow accumulation rate is the primary free variable.

      • Steven Mosher

        David. the issue I raised was the change in greenland air temps.
        this is not about bottom melt which nobody questioned.

        write that down

    • “Temperatures haven’t risen over the last 17 years”

      Not so, check out the mass loss of the greenland ice sheet:
      http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/greenland_ice_sheet.html

      • David Springer

        I poured a glass of icewater yesterday at sunset. The temperature was falling but the ice still melted. So how does Greenland ice loss show that temperature was rising while it was melting?

        You say some pretty dumb things but that was dumb even for you.

      • lolwot

        The subject was global temperature, not the Greenland Ice Sheet.

        Duh!

        Max

      • It’s not ME saying that. It’s the esteemed Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia.

        “In 2005 data from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide “ice caps” near Mars’s south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row.

        Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.”
        http://news.nationalgeographic.co.uk/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

        See, according to a famous russian scientist, mass loss of ice at the pole of a planet is a measure of whether that planet is warming or cooling.

        Don’t shoot the messenger Springer!

      • Mike Jonas

        lolwot – You say ““Temperatures haven’t risen over the last 17 years”
        Not so, check out the mass loss of the greenland ice sheet”

        On Earth, mass loss of an ice sheet over a period of time most likely indicates rising temperature. But the ice sheet will then continue to lose mass after the air temperature stops rising, because the oceans will still be warm. (Changes on an annual basis are mainly caused by winds and currents – I can find paper(s) to quote if needed.)

        On Mars, there are no oceans, so I expect the rules are different. What Abdussamatov has concluded may well be correct even though his logic would be incorrect if applied on Earth.

      • The claimed warming on Mars is between 2002 and 2005. But solar output dropped from 2002 to 2005.

        And did the Earth really warm between 2002 and 2005?

        Whichever way you cut it the claim that there is evidence here for the Sun causing warming on Earth is rubbish.

      • David Springer

        How does that prove it was getting warmer on Mars during those three seasons? It may have gotten warmer in the first season then held a constant temperature thereafter.

        In fact that’s what happened on the earth. It got warmer during 1997 and 1998 from an extreme El Nino then held the higher temperature constant for the next ten years then for the next three years (to now) temperature has declined a lot from back to back La Ninas.

        As far as you being a messenger that would be a compliment you don’t deserve as you didn’t transmit the message but rather your own mistaken inferrals taken from it.

      • Steven Mosher

        temperature change over greenland has been pretty low relative to other land masses at its latitude.

        whats the temperature above melting ice? hehe.

      • David Springer

        Greenland’s ice sheet predominantly melts from below not from above. Calving is the second largest source of ice loss. Melting from the top down is a marginal phenomenon. This is encyclopedic (i.e. basic) knowledge. Ice sheets are warmer at the bottom than at the top due to geothermal heat.

        Contrary to urban legend ice sheets grow when the air temperature is warmer not colder. That’s because, calving aside, mass is added at the top from snowfall and lost from the bottom from geothermal melting. Warmer temperatures cause more snowfall and greater mass accumulation.

        I can’t tell from Mosher’s drive-by snark if he’s aware of how ice sheets grow and shrink or not but clearly loltwat hasn’t a clue.

      • Alexej Buergin

        This reminds me of the dumb fellow who said he is ten times as smart as Burt Rutan.

      • Steven Mosher

        You didnt answer the question David. whats the air temp above melting ice.. or melting snow for that matter.

        But for grins, tell me about the seasonal changes in greenlands temperature compared to other areas with the same latitude.

        come on.. tell me..

      • HI Mosh

        We have some interesting coastal and ice sheet data for Greenland

        Professor Phil Jones illustrated temperatures in Greenland during 1784-2004 (published 2006) which usefully complements the NOAA and NASA (arctic wide) temperatures His graphic showing coastal instrumental records comes from Page 10 figure 10 of the following link.

        http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/greenland/vintheretal2006.pdf
        This link provides the composite data used; (http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/greenland/swgreenlandave.dat

        “The warmest year in the extended Greenland temperature record is 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the warmest decades. Two distinct cold periods, following the 1809 (‘‘unidentified’’) volcanic eruption and the eruption of Tambora in 1815 make the 1810s the coldest decade on record.”

        The Figure 10 composite raises some intriguing issues. The warmest two consecutive decades in the Arctic record- the 1930’s and 40’s- did not apparently cause as much melting as the current shorter-but becoming warmer- Arctic warm period commencing around 2000. That data can be seen in the NOAA and NASA graphs and also in the link below, where data was brought up to 2011.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/Greenland_ice_sheet_summer_temperatures_highest_in_172_years.html

        Note the different parameters used here of ‘Greenland ice sheet summer surface air temperatures: 1840-2011’ rather than the coastal temperatures used in the CRU study, but whilst not like for like the general trends can be seen.

        It will be interesting to see if the period 2000-2020 eventually exceed that of the two warmest consecutive decades in the 1930′s and 1940′s. Perhaps everyone can bet on it like they do on annual ice extent?
        tonyb

    • Frank

      +100

    • Peter Lang

      +200

  33. David Springer

    Less red meat and more science here written by one of the paper’s authors Nic Lewis:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/19/new-paper-shows-transient-climate-response-less-than-2c/

    Question of the Day:

    Is the science settled yet?

  34. dennis adams

    Many have called the paper a lot of different things. I call it progress. It is always progress when some on this thread start moving the targets. They will remain nameless, but it is enjoyable to watch nonetheless.

  35. The journey is slow and tortuous, but 2xCO2 temperature response estimates (at some arbitrarily established “equilibrium”) are slowly but surely coming down from their past lofty values.

    We had 3.2C (with a big fat tail) for many years, as an almost holy number engraved in stone, now we have ~2C (with no tail). Other recent estimates are around 1.6C.

    Where is the journey headed?

    If we believe Richard Lindzen, we still have quite a way to go (to a value well below 1C), but the journey will continue to be slow and painful.

    And, as it continues, the once highly lauded, Nobel Peace Prize winning IPCC will become increasingly irrelevant as its CAGW premise disappears into oblivion.

    Sic transit gloria.

    Max

    PS It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch.

  36. Mike Jonas

    ECS ~ 2 C
    “Humanity has a second chance to stop dangerous climate change.”

    This is plain daft. ‘ECS ~ 2 C’ means there is no dangerous climate change. There is nothing that needs stopping.
    [PS. I'm not claiming that the paper is correct.]

    • ECS ~2C means CO2 is and will be the dominant driver of climate of the 20th, 21st and 22nd century.

      It means the Earth is scheduled to warm more than 4C over a matter of a few centuries which is far higher than natural variation and takes Earth into a super-interglacial state it hasn’t been in for millons of years.

      Saying that there is no dangerous climate change implies that you know what this uncharted territory entails.

      • ECS ~2C means CO2 is and will be the dominant driver of climate of the 20th, 21st and 22nd century.

        Probably not.

        It means the Earth is scheduled to warm more than 4C over a matter of a few centuries which is far higher than natural variation and takes Earth into a super-interglacial state it hasn’t been in for millons of years.

        If you accept the IPCC’s tech-denying “business as usual” scenario. That should be “business as we can see with our eyes closed”, most technological change follows some sort of exponential path, as in Moore’s “Law”, which says that the cost of computing power is cut in half every ~18 months. PV has been going somewhere between 2-4 years for a similar cycle, so 40 years from now the cost of PV hardware will be around or under 1/1000 of its current cost, assuming real “business as usual”.

        Why go to the trouble to dig up coal out of the ground, or methane hydrate off the ocean floor, when sunlight is everywhere.

      • lolwot

        ECS ~2C means CO2 is and will be the dominant driver of climate of the 20th, 21st and 22nd century.

        It means the Earth is scheduled to warm more than 4C over a matter of a few centuries which is far higher than natural variation and takes Earth into a super-interglacial state it hasn’t been in for millons of years.

        Nope, lolwot.

        You are mistaken.

        CO2 is at 394 ppmv today.

        It might rise to around 640 ppmv by the end of this century – possibly less, if the world starts building more nuclear plants instead of new coal plants.

        It could theoretically rise to around 980 ppmv when all inferred possible recoverable fossil fuel resources on our planet have been exhausted, some day in the far distant future.

        So this means “equilibrium” warming of:

        2.0°C * ln(640 / 394) / ln(2) = 1.4°C by 2100 (Yawn!)

        And

        2.0°C * ln(980 / 394) / ln(2) = 2.6°C (maximum ever warming, some day in the far distant future when all fossil fuels are 100% used up)

        Sorry, lolwot.

        Your fear mongering doesn’t work anymore.

        NO SALE.

        Max

      • remember to add the warming so far

      • I’ll do it:

        2.0°C * ln(980 / 280) / ln(2) = 3.6C

      • lolwot

        Remember to add the warming so far

        Why?

        Max

      • David Springer

        Actually Moore’s Law states that the number of components on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. Computing power is closely related to component density but that’s a corollary to Moore’s Law stated by David House (senior VP at Intel in charge of microcomputer development) wherein CPU performance doubles every 18 months due to greater number of components plus higher clock speed.

      • Steven Mosher

        AK

        “If you accept the IPCC’s tech-denying “business as usual” scenario. That should be “business as we can see with our eyes closed”, most technological change follows some sort of exponential path, as in Moore’s “Law”, which says that the cost of computing power is cut in half every ~18 months. PV has been going somewhere between 2-4 years for a similar cycle, so 40 years from now the cost of PV hardware will be around or under 1/1000 of its current cost, assuming real “business as usual”.

        That’s doubtful. If you look at the total system: panel + inverter, then you can see that the panel side will go down in cost albiet more slowly than moores law, but the components in the inverter, last I looked had slim chance of following a similar cost curve. since the system cost is dominated by the panel cost you will see a drop that will reach an asymtope at the cost of the inverter.

      • @Steven Mosher…

        [...] the components in the inverter, last I looked had slim chance of following a similar cost curve.

        And what about the components in Nocera’s artificial leaf? The designs I’m looking at cut out a lot of the “middlemen”.

      • @Steven Mosher…

        On another thread, Chief Hydrologist posted a comment including a video of Carbon Engineering’s air capture approach. In a later comment, I posted a screenshot of their main capture technology, which includes drawing air over a capture fluid, then using energy (presumably heat) to extract the CO2.

        I also posted a screenshot of their vision of the overall process creating fuel from CO2 and hydrogen. I tried to post a picture of the process I envisioned, but accidentally linked to the wrong picture.

        But here’s the process I envision. It uses hydrogen, presumably from Nocera’s artificial leaves or some other very efficient process, and feeds it directly into a bio-reactor where tailored “bacteria” extract the CO2 from the carbonate solution, and combine it with hydrogen to produce methane. The process is fairly energy efficient, just enough downhill to drive the CO2 extraction process.

        I don’t know what sort of capture solution Carbon Technologies is using, but I envision something alkaline, with a pH around 9. It will contain large amounts of an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase (CA), which catalyses the transistion between CO2 and carbonic acid. There are alkalinophile “bacteria” (actually archaea) that appear to produce CA’s that work best at about that pH, some gene surgery ought to allow it to be produced in industrial quantities.

        There are also methanogens that operate happily at that pH, so the entire reaction could take place at that pH, although there would probably have to be a controlled diffusion membrane separating the carbonate solution from the bio-nutrient solution. Hydrogen could be inserted as a gas in high-diffusion capillaries, and the methane could be allowed to bubble out in the bio-nutrient solution. (Of course, the “wild” methanogens would probably required substantial GM in order to do the needed job.)

    • Mike Jonas

      I’m not claiming that the paper is correct.

      But your conclusion is 100% correct:

      ‘ECS ~ 2 C’ means there is no dangerous climate change. There is nothing that needs stopping.

      But in the eyes of the IPCC, the only thing that “needs stopping” is the inclusion of this new data into its AR5 report, because “there is no dangerous climate change” is NOT a message that IPCC wants to send.

      But, hey – the new data came out after the IPCC “deadline”!

      Whew! Saved by the bell!

      Max

      • manacker can you explain what makes 3C ECS dangerous but 2C ECS not dangerous in your opinion?

      • lolwot

        You ask:

        can you explain what makes 3C ECS dangerous but 2C ECS not dangerous in your opinion?

        Se my post above for why 2C ECS is not “dangerous”.

        I never believed that 3C ECS was “dangerous”, as IPCC wanted us to believe in its AR4 report.

        Hope that answers your question.

        Max

      • Lolwot, you write as if “dangerous” were not a relative term. Life is dangerous.Walking across the street is dangerous. Driving a car. Flying in an airplane. Jumping out of said plane in a parachute.

        And yet it’s only the last one that most people won’t do, deeming the possibility of death or injury too high given the non-essential nature of the activity.

        As atmospheric sensitivity trends lower, do does the relative danger.. Making an assessment as to whether anything should be done about that is something about which reasonable people might disagree.

      • “I never believed that 3C ECS was “dangerous”, as IPCC wanted us to believe in its AR4 report.”

        So what ECS would you consider dangerous?

        4C? 6C? Come on what number begins to enter the dangerous zone for you? Maybe you can appreciate why I think 2C is dangerous if you consider perhaps what 10C would mean to you.

      • exactly pokerguy, that is what I am getting at. Claiming that 2C ECS isn’t dangerous makes no sense because danger is relative not absolute.

      • Peter Lang

        lolwot, you are clutching at straws.

        The wheels are falling off the CAGW cart. Only a few years ago the ‘father’ of the global warming scare campaign, James Hansen, was telling us that coal trains are ‘death trains’ and the oceans will boil off if man doesn’t stop his evilness. But now we are finding the whole thing was a massive case of group think, herd mentality, self interest, gullible young academics and loony left ideological agendas

      • Peter Lang

        lolwot,

        So what ECS would you consider dangerous?

        It’s a meaningless question. Unless you also state the damage function its about as meaningless as asking “how long is a kilogram?”

      • lolwot

        You ask what value of 2xCO2 ECS would I consider to be “dangerous”.

        This is a very rhetorical question to a hypothetical situation.

        Just off the top of my head I’d say anything above 5C.

        But, of course, I do not mean someone’s WAG that it is 5C, or some model predictions based on hypothetical deliberations. I’d want to see some empirical evidence telling me that a doubling of CO2 in our atmosphere would lead to a 5C increase in the globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature. And not in several centuries, but in several decades.

        Hope this answers your rhetorical question.

        Max

      • “Just off the top of my head I’d say anything above 5C.”

        So how much global temperature rise above the current level would you think was dangerous? I assume it’s something more, but not much more, than 5C?

  37. We have new data.

    They show that 2xCO2 ECS is significantly lower than was previously estimated.

    But wait!

    It came out too late for the “AR5 deadline” (“rulz are rulz”, as Mosh wrote).

    So that just means that AR5 will be outdated before it even gets published, right?

    So it can be tossed on the trash heap of scientific history at publication.

    Good to know.

    Max

    • Peter Lang

      Manacker,

      So that just means that AR5 will be outdated before it even gets published, right?</blockquoted.

      We'll not entirely. Anything that supports 'the cause' will be considered and presumably a way will be found to include it, just as all previous IPCC reports found a way to include papers that were considered 'relevant', i.e. helped 'the cause'.

      • Pekka

        I posted this to the Chief yesterday but would be interested in your comments

        “Ben Bond-Lamberty and Allison Thomson, terrestrial carbon research scientists at the University of Maryland’s Joint Global Change Research Institute in College Park, conducted the study by stitching together almost 50 years of soil-emissions data — 1,434 data points — from 439 studies around the world. To compare measurements, the researchers accounted for differences between the studies, such as mean annual temperatures and techniques used to gauge carbon dioxide levels. They totalled the data for each year to create a global estimate of soil respiration — the flux of carbon dioxide from the ground into the atmosphere.

        The researchers found that soil respiration had increased by about 0.1% per year between 1989 and 2008, the span when soil measurement techniques had become standardized. In 2008, the global total reached roughly 98 billion tonnes, about 10 times more carbon than humans are now putting into the atmosphere each year. The change within soils “is a slow increase, but the absolute number is so large, even a small percentage increase is quite a bit,” says Bond-Lamberty.

        http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100324/full/news.2010.147.html

        —– —–
        The possible effects of co2 emitting from soil on the scale envisaged is interesting enough. However, bearing in mind the vast scale of agriculture over the past 1000 years and that much of the co2 ‘exhaled’ will have stayed in the atmosphere before disappearing back into sinks-presumably including oceans and soils-it would be interesting to see how this all fits into the climate models and the overall co2 ‘budgets’

        tonyb

    • Steven Mosher

      of course its outdated. every summary of the science is outdated.
      does this surprise you? doesnt surprise me, but then I never use a secondary source as proof of a matter. do you?

      • of course its outdated. every summary of the science is outdated. does this surprise you? doesnt surprise me, but then I never use a secondary source as proof of a matter. do you?

        The problem is that a lot of governments do. The whole multi-year cycle of “assesments” turns what should be science into a political circus.

      • Steve Mosher

        For a guy like me, I have to rely upon secondary sources for climate science as this ain’t my field. I listen to guys like Chief and Capt’nDallas as well as Tomas Milanovic for no better reason than their writings don’t set off my BS detector.

        Now when I was early on in this game, reading the RealClimate blog, I observed that the impact of Mt. Pinatubo on global temperatures caused a perceptible global temperature drop. After a couple of years, global temperatures returned to the same baseline as before the eruption. Same was true for the 1998/99 El Nino temperature elevation, where temperatures returned to the same baseline. To me, that temperature behavior appeared to represent: homeostasis. Now, in my line of work, I have some familiarity with homeostasis and this perturbation and return to baseline reminded me of a homeostatic system.

        The next area of climate scientists’ writings were on CO2. I read where in a glass house, CO2 had this or that radiation spectrum, and caused this or that impact on temperatures. All very interesting. Now, again in my line of work, CO2 has been interesting to me for three or more decades and it was evident that a lot of stars had to be aligned to have CO2 impact anything. When I heard of the radiative transfer model, I was a little startled to have such a trace gas and the radiative transfer model mentioned in the same breath. Water, on the other hand, and some blue water experiences, made me very very respectful for water and all its forms. Water as a greenhouse gas, the most important green house gas, kinda made sense as at times I was awash in it.

        So my educational and experiences with homeostatic systems as well as the environmentally trace gas made me somewhat skeptical of some claims as that CO2 was moving heave and earth.

        So yes, I rely upon secondary sources and rely upon my BS detector to alert me that something isn’t quite right. As I said, for the above three authors, I’ve found this strategy to help me navigate the climate science mind fields.

        I do listen to others including yourself. People who are regarded as being very smart can package ideas in other ways that I haven’t thought of is valuable to me. So, I listen to secondary sources, cognizant that my knowledge base is limited for the field I choose to learn more about.

        Regards

      • Steven Mosher

        “To me, that temperature behavior appeared to represent: homeostasis. Now, in my line of work, I have some familiarity with homeostasis and this perturbation and return to baseline reminded me of a homeostatic system.”

        really? glad you never worked for me as an engineer.

        C02 is not a trace gas. It is large portion of the gases in the atmosphere
        that are relatively opaque to IR.

      • Mosh

        Whether or not you call CO2 a “trace gas” in our atmosphere at 0.04% is a matter of choice.

        That it is a far less potent GHG than H2O at several orders of magnitude greater concentration is pretty obvious.

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        manaker you are smarter than that.
        you know the trace gas argument is BS, just like if I said GCR could have no effect because they were a trace particle. At some point you have to stomp out the stupid arguments on your side if you expect to be welcomed at the debating table. Stop standing up for dopes on your team.

      • Steven Mosher

        Yes. Every summary report is, by definition, “outdated” when it appears.

        But if IPCC are stupid enough not to include this latest report (and the seven other studies, which have shown a much lower 2xCO2 ECS) in their AR5 report, it will be “hopelessly outdated” (and ready for the trash heap) when it appears.

        Max

      • It is interesting to note that at temperatures colder than -40 C, which is a significant volume of the atmosphere, CO2 is at least as abundant as H2O molecule for molecule.

      • Mosh

        Improve your reading skills.

        Nowhere did I write that the fact that CO2 is a trace gas in our atmosphere means that it is, by definition, insignificant to our climate. Did I?

        It is a trace gas.

        It very likely has an influence on our climate due to its GH properties.

        We can estimate how much this could be, based on laboratory data on CO2 IR absorption characteristics.

        Based on these, we can estimate (Myhre at al.) that a doubling of CO2 could add a forcing of 3.7 Wm-2, and this could result in a calculated global warming of around 1C.

        All the rest is model assumptions on feedbacks and hype.

        OK?

        Max

      • If temperature increases by s degrees when a greenhouse gas doubles, why should it matter whether that gas is a trace gas or 1% of the atmosphere? If it goes from 0.001% to 0.002% the temperature will go up by s degrees. And if it goes from 1% to 2% it will again go up by s degrees.

        Moreover the volume of gas needed to increase from 0.001% to 0.002% is a thousand times less than to get from 1% to 2%. So ironically it is the trace gases that put the planet at risk more than gases like water vapor because it takes vastly more volume of gas to double the average water vapor of the atmosphere than to double a trace gas.

        Those who dismiss certain gases on the ground that they are trace gases have it backwards.

      • Manacker, Add another 1 C from the water vapor outgassing that will come along for the ride with the 1.2 C increase due to CO2. Then add another 0.8 C from other GHG’s such as CH4 & N2O that always appear with CO2 and the albedo positive feedback , and you have the 3 C ECS. And that is just as strong as the CO2 theory. Pretty simple and it matches observational evidence.

        Sold !

      • WHY

        Naw, Webby, I’m not going to play your silly game and “add in 1C” from the postulated “climate-carbon cycle feedback”, because that is a purely hypothetical construct.

        At present, half of the CO2 emitted by humans is “missing” – presumably going at least in part to the oceans.

        So the net flow is from the atmosphere to the oceans.

        It could be, however, that a major portion of the “missing CO2″ is being absorbed by increased plant growth, rather than the ocean.

        We frankly don’t know.

        But you can forget about the “climate-carbon cycle feedback” story. It’s a bit too hairy-fairy for me.

        Max

      • Webby

        Albedo feedback?

        The most significant albedo comes from clouds.

        It appears that these decreased over the 1980s and 1990s and then started increasing again this century (Palle et al.).

        We (including you, Webby) don’t know what they will do in the future, because we do not know what makes them do what they do.

        Max

      • Alexej Buergin

        “Mosher:
        C02 is not a trace gas.”

        You do not need to open a physics book, just look it up in Wikipedia.

      • Max,

        Half of the CO2 releases up to date is around 200 gigatons carbon. We know enough about changes in vegetation and soil to exclude the possibility that a major fraction of that would have gone there. We also know that nothing can stop CO2 from going to oceans when the atmospheric concentration goes significantly up.

        The fraction of roughly one half staying in the atmosphere is not a law that must remain in force. The value is very much dependent on the history of the releases. If the releases were to go down less than half of the reduced releases would stay as addition in the atmospheric carbon; if the releases would grow very rapidly more than half would remain. The release history just happens to be such that the value has been near 50% for quite a while.

      • I have long pondered this one half factor as well. I can easily verify the factor mathematically as the outcome of a diffusional random walk.

        In a random walk in one direction, say along the depth of the ocean, for every step 1/2 of the walkers will go deeper and 1/2 will move in a shallow direction.

        The outcome is that 1/2 will keep moving back to where they originated from. This eventually turns into a fat-tail response as some fraction go deeper and deeper and will take longer and longer to come back to the surface. Mathematically, one takes a finite window to represent the fraction that can return and you obtain a function that slowly drifts less than 1/2 to represent permanent sequestration.

        This is nothing new and is very common in 1D diffusion problems such as in diffusion of particles into a substrate.

        Incidentally, this also explains the 1/2 of the excess thermal forcing energy that is being sequestered in the ocean as OHC. Look at the data and about 1/2 of the heat that enters the ocean is getting “sunk” or semi-permanently sequestered into the ocean without an ocean surface temperature rise.

        Bingo. We just explained two observational sets of data.

        I have all the details of this derived on several blog posts but I think I will write a new post dedicated to the 1/2 factor, as it keeps on coming up and there are not enough people familiar with the mathematical details of diffusion that appreciate this. We need a Dummy’s Guide to Diffusion pamphlet to walk people through this.

        And I am sure that Chef Hydro will complain of my preening and prattling.. So it goes.

      • WHUT,

        You give too much value for rules of thumb. Rules of thumb are nice as they are often valid over surprisingly wide ranges in practice, but they are still rules of thumb that hold only as long as nothing essential changes.

        In this case the fraction can be easily calculated from emissions and a sequestration model. Whatever the sequestration model, the outcome depends critically on the development of the emissions. Your rule of thumb has been successful only because the emissions have followed a specific path. No reasonable diffusion model can change that conclusion. as long as it’s accepted that the removal rate from atmosphere is determined by the deviation of the atmospheric concentration from some effective level determined by the earlier sequestration.

        The situation is similar with many other models that you present. They describe some reasonable rules of thumb that are valid up to a point, but are not based on any permanently valid basic principles.

      • Pekka, Fortunately I have worked out the math and can justify my hand waving intuition with some rigor.

      • Steven Mosher,

        “really? glad you never worked for me as an engineer.”

        Like you, I am also glad I never worked for you as an engineer as that would have been a disastrous situation on many fronts.

        “C02 is not a trace gas. It is large portion of the gases in the atmosphere
        that are relatively opaque to IR.”

        As 0.04% of the atmosphere, I regard that as trace, not necessarily inconsequential, just trace. I would expect that CO2, having such an expected and powerful IR influence, one could measure its signal. Now I know that some claim through their assumptions, manipulations and calculations they can observe the CO2 signal. For now at least, I put those thoughts in the “pending” file.

      • WHUT,

        Math is a tool that transforms input to output. As I’m sure that your output is wrong, I assume that your input is also wrong. You have probably done the math in between correctly.

        In the previous case of lapse rate you were talking on “virial” something, don’t remember the exact phrase.. My impression was that you didn’t know what you were talking about, but didn’t consider that interesting enough to dig deeper.

      • Hehe, GIGO.

      • Pekka, no problem. I will add your comments to that post, and see how things pan out over time.

        If it doesn’t work out as a theory, I can use it as a heuristic in my semantic server for delivering environmental models. It is very simple as a heuristic. I can get standard lapse rates, poisson’s PV +PT+VT realationships, and barmometric pressure with zero adjustable parameters for 3 planets. It is all lookup of gravity, molecular weight, and degrees of freedom.

      • Pekka

        Since we cannot measure with any accuracy how much CO2 is ending up going into the ocean and how much is ending up going into the biosphere (principally plant growth), it is foolish to ASS-U-ME one thing or another.

        What we do know from observation is:

        - the percentage of the CO2 emitted by humans that “remains” in the atmosphere varies from 15% to 90% on a year-to-year basis
        - over a longer period it has been around half
        - this percentage has decreased slightly since Mauna Loa measurements started in 1959, by around 1 percentage point per decade

        IOW the “missing” CO2 has increased by around 5 percentage points from 1959 to today.

        Whether this added amount has gone into a slightly warmer ocean or into increased plant growth is still an open question AFAIK.

        Since studies show that plant growth is enhanced at higher CO2 concentrations and slightly warmer temperatures at the same time that net ocean absorption would theoretically diminish with a slightly warmer ocean, one might surmise that the added amount is going primarily into added plant growth.

        But I do not believe we know the answer to that question.

        Max

      • Pekka, do you have something to say about the flat-out fabrication made by Manacker? My sequestration model works perfectly for explaining this slight decline.
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/05/airborne-fraction-of-co2-explained-by.html

        So much for me applying a Green’s function approach and other physics as “rules of thumb”.

      • Max

        The chemistry of CO2 in the oceans is well understood. There are quantitative uncertainties due to the varying constitution of the ocean water, but the uncertainties are not too large for making relatively accurate estimates on CO2 sequestration by the oceans. The influence of the warming of the oceans is also well understood. From that understanding we know very reliably that the warming contributes well less than 10 ppm to the present atmospheric concentrations.

        The amount of carbon stored in the vegetation is small enough to make uncertainties from that very small in comparison to the full amounts. The worst known part is probably what has happened to the amount of carbon stored in soil.

        Taking into account, what’s known about oceans and what’s known about soils, I don’t think that there’s much doubt about the dominant role of oceans in the long term sequestration. On the other hand it’s also known that the short term variability is mostly due to variability in the net flows of carbon to vegetation and soils. In the variability they dominate and oceans play a lesser role, in the long term behavior weighting is the opposite. There are significant uncertainties in the details of the above, but qualitatively the situation is clear enough.

      • Manacker,
        Here is some more background info and theory on the diffusional model of CO2 sequestration. The model of diffusion takes into account uncertainty and is also known as Warburg diffusion as I have recently learned http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/09/derivation-of-maxent-diffusion-applied.html

      • Pekka

        Missed badly with my first shot so here goes again

        —– ——
        Ben Bond-Lamberty and Allison Thomson, terrestrial carbon research scientists at the University of Maryland’s Joint Global Change Research Institute in College Park, conducted the study by stitching together almost 50 years of soil-emissions data — 1,434 data points — from 439 studies around the world. To compare measurements, the researchers accounted for differences between the studies, such as mean annual temperatures and techniques used to gauge carbon dioxide levels. They totalled the data for each year to create a global estimate of soil respiration — the flux of carbon dioxide from the ground into the atmosphere.

        The researchers found that soil respiration had increased by about 0.1% per year between 1989 and 2008, the span when soil measurement techniques had become standardized. In 2008, the global total reached roughly 98 billion tonnes, about 10 times more carbon than humans are now putting into the atmosphere each year. The change within soils “is a slow increase, but the absolute number is so large, even a small percentage increase is quite a bit,” says Bond-Lamberty.

        http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100324/full/news.2010.147.html

        —- —— —-
        The possible effects of co2 emitting from soil on the scale envisaged is interesting enough. However, bearing in mind the vast scale of agriculture over the past 1000 years and that much of the co2 ‘exhaled’ will have stayed in the atmosphere before disappearing back into sinks-presumably including oceans and soils-it would be interesting to see how this all fits into the climate models and the overall co2 ‘budgets’
        tonyb

      • WHUT,

        My above comment should tell, what I think on CO2 sequestration.

        When I have commented on rules of thumb, I don’t want to tell that they are worthless. They are actually often very good and useful. When a theory is incomplete, a rule of thumb is often quantitatively more accurate than actual model predictions.

        The case of the lapse rate is also interesting as the same environmental lapse rate works more widely for the average lapse rate than one might expect. The lapse rate in topics is essentially the same as in subtropic areas and even in arctic summer, only the arctic winter is really different, and has temperature profile that cannot be described by a single lapse rate at all. In no wide area is the average lapse rate close to the dry adiabatic (I believe that it could be observed at a specific time in a specific location, but not in the averages).

        The unexpected extent of validity of a single environmental lapse rate rises the question of its dependence on the warming. If the present tropics has almost the same lapse rate than extratropical areas, does warming change that state of matter. The lack of clear “hot spot” may, indeed, tell that it does not.

        As I explain here, I don’t believe that the lack of the hot spot would be an essential blow on the standard understanding. The hot spot is not at all a specific fingerprint of the influence of CO2, it’s a fingerprint of some parts of the present models, but of parts that are known to be incomplete.

      • Tony,

        First of all, from all I have read major uncertainties remain in the understanding of all components of carbon cycle. Having major uncertainties does, however, not mean that everything is similarly uncertain. The strongest constraints apply to the long term trends, i.e., to what happens over periods long to smooth out multiyear variability due to El Nino and other similar influences.

        In this trend the contribution of vegetation of soils is surely much smaller than that of oceans, but telling more precisely what it is, is another matter. Several references of research on carbon cycle can be found in IPCC reports. The reports do not claim much more that what I wrote in the first paragraph. There are also more recent papers all the components. Much further research is needed to clarify the details further.

        From the point of view of the AGW over a few decades to the future, what we know is enough. The additional knowledge is not likely to change much in that. What’s a more important question to me is the sequestration over longer periods. A fraction of carbon will remain in the active carbon cycle for long, but how much does that fraction affect the atmospheric concentration after 100, 200, or 500 years? That’s not known well enough, as far as I have been able to interpret the actual science on that. I have seen only papers that present too weakly justified estimates of that to make me comfortable with their conclusions. The papers tend to overlook some important points, or at least they fail to tell that they have considered all very important factors.

      • Rare to find any lapse rates in the zone between 9.8 and 6.5 C/km. Many are less than 6.5 which pushes toward isothermal.

        Why does the forbidden zone exist? It has to do with the missing kinetic energy not included in the calculation. This is kinetic energy manifested as virial forces holding the gravitational state. I really have no other explanation and I haven’t seen one given elsewhere.

        Pekka, are you not curious about this aspect of atmospheric physics?

      • Webster, “Rare to find any lapse rates in the zone between 9.8 and 6.5 C/km. Many are less than 6.5 which pushes toward isothermal.”

        Yep, If they can’t find a stable range, they wouldn’t exist. The 50% entropy TOA is required for Ein+Eout, As pressure increases and composition changes, different time frames and internal heat transfer characteristics shift stability requirements to ~33% : 66% to allow for meridional and zonal energy flux. That is why for Earth you have to considered the water phase greenhouse differently than the dry gas greenhouse.

        BTW, that is one reason the Golden Ratio is so common in nature, it is a stable range. Call it the Irish Law of Nature, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

      • WHUT,

        Having averages of 6.5 or 7.0 and sometimes lower values is hardly possible without higher values as well.

        The physics is unambiguous. When air, not saturated by moisture, rises smoothly, it’s temperature drops at a rate close to the adiabatic lapse rate. When air subsides smoothly without mixing with nonsubsiding air, it’s temperature rises a little faster than the adiabatic lapse rate would predict. For subsiding air even the moisture plays no role unless liquid water droplets are present.

        The averages are lower than that, and that must be due to the influence of other phenomena like horizontal mixing.

      • @whut)…

        Rare to find any lapse rates in the zone between 9.8 and 6.5 C/km. Many are less than 6.5 which pushes toward isothermal.

        Why does the forbidden zone exist? It has to do with the missing kinetic energy not included in the calculation. This is kinetic energy manifested as virial forces holding the gravitational state. I really have no other explanation and I haven’t seen one given elsewhere.

        You’re still showing an abysmal ignorance of meteorology! Not climate, you’re not there yet. At lower altitudes the pseudo-adiabat is around 3-4 degrees/Km. Once moisture starts to condense as droplets, convection will occur at any lapse rate above that. A lapse rate of around 7 C/Km is about as much as humid air can get without convection setting in. You know, hot towers and cyclones in the tropics, frontal systems and thunderstorms in the temperate regions. And it’s actually fairly rare for air at lower altitudes to be all that dry. There’s usually enough mixing that the differences are relatively minor.

        The actual average lapse rate is determined by a complex non-linear process involving evaporation, transport both vertical and horizontal, and precipitation.

      • AK, “You’re still showing an abysmal ignorance of meteorology! Not climate, you’re not there yet. At lower altitudes the pseudo-adiabat is around 3-4 degrees/Km. Once moisture starts to condense as droplets, convection will occur at any lapse rate above that.”

        Yes and no. Webster is trying to derive a lapse rate based on MAXENT. It is actually an interesting approach, but he doesn’t realize that advection of energy also has a limited stable range and that range changes with density and atmospheric/surface composition. This is basically the same mistake Hansen and Sagan made leading to all the Paradoxes and over estimation of the GHE, the symmetry of the “surfaces” matter. It is funny that people can see the problems when he does it, but never did when it was done before.

        It is the old Ideal Black Body – Radiant Shell game.

      • Web and Pekka

        Thanks for your theoretical dissertations, but you have not explained why the amount of CO2 emitted by humans that “remains” in the atmosphere has diminished by around 1 percentage point per decade as atmospheric concentration has risen.

        Apparently neither of you know the answer to that question.

        That’s OK, I don’t know the answer either.

        Max

      • This deal on the lapse rate, no reason for people like AK to jump on my case and accuse me of “abysmal ignorance of meteorology”. All I am trying to do is find a statistical or mathematical derivation that results in an average lapse rate as that observed.

        The average lapse rate is considered a standard and so there should be some reasonable explanation.

        Here is the global view of the average

        http://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S003707380300232X-gr2.gif

  38. How does carbon dioxide trap heat?

    • IR radiation coming from the Earth, on its way to space, is intercepted by water and by CO2, it absorbs a photon, becomes energetic, and the energy is converted into velocity. The GHG molecules then collide with other molecules like O2 and N2, warming the local. A warmer atmosphere sends more IR downward than a cool one.
      Fire a laser across a room and you cant see the beam, but you can see dust particles twinkling in the beam. CO2 is like IR dust.

      • Carbon dioxide is a real gas, a real gas absorbing photons of heat does not get bounced into motion, it gets hotter and expands. The heat capacity of carbon dioxide is even less than that of oxygen and nitrogen, it can’t store or trap the heat, it releases it practically instantly.

        Where on earth did you get this idea that absorbing a photon of heat, aka thermal infrared aka longwave infrared, aka radiant heat, causes the molecule of carbon dioxide to move?

        Are you confusing this with a photon of visible light which gets bounced by the electrons of oxygen and nitrogen which is how we get our blue sky? (This is electronic transition reflection/scattering.*)

        This is because the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen, practically 98% of our atmosphere, absorb the visible light and become more energised and move, still within the confines of the molecules, when the electron returns to ground state it releases the same energy it took in, so we get reflection/scattering. Blue visible light is more energetic than the longer visible and so gets bounced around more often in reflection/scattering.

        Visible light is non-ionising, its energy does not cause the electron to move out of its orbit, compare with ionising radiation which does; uv has both ionising and non-ionising.

        —————–

        *See here for electronic transitions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparency_and_translucency

        UV-Vis: Electronic transitions [edit]In electronic absorption, the frequency of the incoming light wave is at or near the energy levels of the electrons within the atoms which compose the substance. In this case, the electrons will absorb the energy of the light wave and increase their energy state, often moving outward from the nucleus of the atom into an outer shell or orbital.

        The atoms that bind together to make the molecules of any particular substance contain a number of electrons (given by the atomic number Z in the periodic chart). Recall that all light waves are electromagnetic in origin. Thus they are affected strongly when coming into contact with negatively charged electrons in matter. When photons (individual packets of light energy) come in contact with the valence electrons of atom, one of several things can and will occur:

        1. An electron absorbs all of the energy of the photon and re-emits it with different color. This gives rise to luminescence, fluorescence and phosphorescence.
        2. An electron absorbs the energy of the photon and sends it back out the way it came in. This results in reflection or scattering.
        3. An electron cannot absorb the energy of the photon and the photon continues on its path. This results in transmission (provided no other absorption mechanisms are active).
        4. An electron selectively absorbs a portion of the photon, and the remaining frequencies are transmitted in the form of spectral color.

        ——————–

        2. is what happens to visible light in the atmosphere, gets bounced back out.

        3. is what happens to visible light in the ocean, water does not absorb it but transmits it through.

        Visible light is not capable of moving the whole molecule into vibrational mode which is what it takes to heat up land and water, it isn’t big enough or powerful enough, in water it can’t even get in to play with the electrons.

        4. is what happens in photosynthesis, the plant absorbs blue and red to convert to chemical energy, not heat energy, in the creation of sugars, and reflects back green.

        Visible light, the shortwaves of the AGWScienceFiction’s comic cartoon KT97 and ilk Greenhouse Effect Illusion energy budget.., is not physically capable of converting land and water to heat, that’s why in traditional science it is called Light and not Heat.

        Heat, longwave infrared, is bigger and more powerful, it moves the whole molecule into vibration which is kinetic energy which is heat.

        Real gases expand when heated and so become lighter than air and rise, when they cool off releasing their heat they condense and sink because heavier than air under gravity.

        Radiant heat energy does not cause carbon dioxide to move, but expand where it is. It would move if that expansion continued and it became lighter than air (it is one and a half times heavier than air at the same temperature), however, it has a very low heat capacity and hit by a photon of waste heat upwelling longwave photon it would absorb it and release it instantly.

        This is called convection. Expanded gases create areas of low pressure and condensed gases created areas of high pressure which make them lighter or heavier than air under gravity and so they move. That is how we get our winds which are convection currents. Convection currents are created by differential heating of volumes of air, mainly real gas nitrogen and oxygen, when volumes of high pressure (cold dense heavy) sink flowing into volumes of low pressure (hot expanded light). Hot air rises cold air sinks. Winds flow from high to low.

        AGWSF fisics does not have real gases which expand when heated and condense when cooled, because their molecules are ideal gas without volume and so have nothing to expand, (nor any other real gas properties like mass and attraction) and so nothing for gravity to work on .

        AGW gases are imaginary gases in empty space. There is no sound in the AGWSF’s Greenhouse Effect Illusion world.

        Carbon dioxide physically cannot trap or store heat. Compare with water which has a very high heat capacity and can trap and store heat, it takes is huge amounts of heat before it changes temperature and then evaporates, phase change, taking longer to heat up and longer to release its heat and cool down.

      • David Springer

        DocMartyn is correct. When we look down on the atmosphere from space we see a deficit of photons at the absorption frequencies of CO2 and a surplus at all other frequencies. CO2 is trapping photons of a specific frequency and then thermalize adjacent molecules (mostly nitrogen) which then emits a continuous spectrum. The greenhouse trick is that the absorption by CO2 is of upwelling radiation and the emittance of thermalized neighbors goes in all directions. The end result is a restriction in the flow of radiation from surface to space similar to what happens when you partially block the flow of water in a gate at the base of a dam. The restriction causes the water to rise higher behind the dam which increases the pressure at the entrance to the gate which forces more water through the gate until the water stops rising. Pressure in fluid flow is analogous to temperature in radiative flow.

      • “Carbon dioxide is a real gas, a real gas absorbing photons of heat does not get bounced into motion, it gets hotter and expands”

        The effect of a photon being absorbed by a single molecule is to increase its motion. You do this to a number of molecules and you have an increase in temperature. This is what temperature means.

        “The heat capacity of carbon dioxide is even less than that of oxygen and nitrogen, it can’t store or trap the heat, it releases it practically instantly.”

        Who is talking about ‘storing heat’, the photon is thermalized, giving the water or carbon dioxide molecule energy, causing it to move faster. It will also collide with other molecules. Overall, there will be a small rise in temperature and this manifests itself as a change in the IR emission of the gas mixture.

        “Where on earth did you get this idea that absorbing a photon of heat, aka thermal infrared aka longwave infrared, aka radiant heat, causes the molecule of carbon dioxide to move?”

        Physics lessons.

        “Are you confusing this with a photon of visible light which gets bounced by the electrons of oxygen and nitrogen which is how we get our blue sky?”

        No.

        “This is because the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen, practically 98% of our atmosphere, absorb the visible light and become more energised and move, still within the confines of the molecules, when the electron returns to ground state it releases the same energy it took in, so we get reflection/scattering. Blue visible light is more energetic than the longer visible and so gets bounced around more often in reflection/scattering.”

        The atmosphere is mostly transparent to visible light, which is why it can get down to the surface and bounce of solid matter. Such is the amount of light coming down that damn near everything has evolved sensors to quantify light levels by quite complex optics. Our eyes work because light actually makes it down to the surface.
        Light scattering of sun light by the atmosphere is due to Rayleigh scattering, about 22% of blue light is scattered and about 8% of red light is scattered, thus we get more red light directly and more blue indirectly, giving us a ‘blue’ and not yellow sky. Rayleigh scattering is not due to absorption/emission of photons, but the more subtle interaction of photons with the electron field.

      • What DocMartyn writes is good enough for understanding the role of CO2, but it’s perhaps worthwhile to be a little more accurate.

        When CO2 absorbs an IR photon it goes from vibrational ground state to vibrational excited state. The additional motion is not motion of the molecule but vibration of atoms within the molecule. Each molecule of air collides with other molecules roughly once in a nanosecond. Such a collision has a high likelihood of releasing the excitation of the molecule. The energy from deexcitation adds to the kinetic energy of the two molecules (CO2 and the colliding molecule).

        O2 and N2 have little influence on any other radiation than most energetic UV from sun. They neither absorb nor emit significantly otherwise. Oxygen is more important absorber of solar radiation as well as GHG as ozone than as O2.

      • DocMartyn | May 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm | “Carbon dioxide is a real gas, a real gas absorbing photons of heat does not get bounced into motion, it gets hotter and expands”

        The effect of a photon being absorbed by a single molecule is to increase its motion. You do this to a number of molecules and you have an increase in temperature. This is what temperature means.

        You said velocity:

        “..is intercepted by water and by CO2,it absorbs a photon, becomes energetic, and the energy is converted into velocity. The GHG molecules then collide with other molecules like O2 and N2, warming the local.”

        This comes direct from the AGWScienceFiction claim that carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen are ideal gas without mass, so they travel at vast speeds through empty space colliding with each other and bouncing off, so “thoroughly mixing”.

        As I posted to Dave Springer above, heat does not convert to velocity in a real gas, it converts to expansion which makes it less dense and so lighter under gravity. When it releases that heat, which carbon dioxide with its low heat capacity does practically instantly, it condenses again.

        Real gases expand and condense because they have real volume. They do not travel at great velocities through empty space under their own molecular momentum, because the real volume of the other real gases around constrains their movement. That’s how we get sound in the real world. There is no sound in the empty space atmosphere of AGWSF, because it doesn’t have real gases with volume which constrain the movement of gases.

        “The heat capacity of carbon dioxide is even less than that of oxygen and nitrogen, it can’t store or trap the heat, it releases it practically instantly.”

        Who is talking about ‘storing heat’, the photon is thermalized, giving the water or carbon dioxide molecule energy, causing it to move faster. It will also collide with other molecules. Overall, there will be a small rise in temperature and this manifests itself as a change in the IR emission of the gas mixture.

        Heat causes real gas molecules to vibrate where they are, not to move faster in space, velocity.

        “Where on earth did you get this idea that absorbing a photon of heat, aka thermal infrared aka longwave infrared, aka radiant heat, causes the molecule of carbon dioxide to move?”

        Physics lessons.

        You should ask for your money back.

        “This is because the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen, practically 98% of our atmosphere, absorb the visible light and become more energised and move, still within the confines of the molecules, when the electron returns to ground state it releases the same energy it took in, so we get reflection/scattering. Blue visible light is more energetic than the longer visible and so gets bounced around more often in reflection/scattering.”

        The atmosphere is mostly transparent to visible light, which is why it can get down to the surface and bounce of solid matter. Such is the amount of light coming down that damn near everything has evolved sensors to quantify light levels by quite complex optics. Our eyes work because light actually makes it down to the surface.

        ? I didn’t say it didn’t get to us at the surface. AGWScienceFiction however says that the Sun’s radiant heat, longwave infrared, doesn’t get through TOA because there’s some, unknown to traditional science, “invisible barrier like the glass of a greenhouse at TOA preventing longwave infrared from the Sun from entering, but letting visible and shortwaves either side through, and, this invisible barrier like the glass of a greenhouse is what traps upwelling longwave infrared from the heated surface of the Earth and stops it escaping”.

        Light scattering of sun light by the atmosphere is due to Rayleigh scattering, about 22% of blue light is scattered and about 8% of red light is scattered, thus we get more red light directly and more blue indirectly, giving us a ‘blue’ and not yellow sky. Rayleigh scattering is not due to absorption/emission of photons, but the more subtle interaction of photons with the electron field.

        Please describe this.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Myrrh said:

        “Carbon dioxide is a real gas, a real gas absorbing photons of heat does not get bounced into motion, it gets hotter and expands.”
        ___

        Your knowledge of physics seems just enough to make you confused. You must think about the GH effect on a molecule by molecule basis in terms of the actual physical action. The individual molecule does not expand but actually vibrates when absorbing certain frequencies energy. The LW absorption characteristics of CO2 are due to the triatomic nature of the molecule. Suggest you refer to this:

        http://www.phy.davidson.edu/stuhome/jimn/co2/pages/co2theory.htm

        The GH effect is about altering the thermal gradient of the atmosphere when looking at the bottom line effect– making the thermal gradient between surface and space less steep, and thus, energy flows less readily from surface to space.

        Also, strongly suggest you read all 8 parts of “An Insignificant Trace Gas?” if you really want to dig down and understand what’s going on:

        http://scienceofdoom.com/roadmap/co2/

        Best general overview of CO2′s “greenhouse” physics on the web– period.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | May 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Myrrh said:

        “Carbon dioxide is a real gas, a real gas absorbing photons of heat does not get bounced into motion, it gets hotter and expands.”
        ___

        Your knowledge of physics seems just enough to make you confused. You must think about the GH effect on a molecule by molecule basis in terms of the actual physical action. The individual molecule does not expand but actually vibrates when absorbing certain frequencies energy. The LW absorption characteristics of CO2 are due to the triatomic nature of the molecule. Suggest you refer to this:

        http://www.phy.davidson.edu/stuhome/jimn/co2/pages/co2theory.htm

        You don’t understand what I’m saying because you don’t have real gases, but the imaginary ideal; that link does not show a picture of your molecules because instead you have massless hard dots of nothing travelling through empty space by their own molecular momentum bouncing off other ideal gases without attraction or volume (and so the AGWScienceFiction meme explanation for “carbon dioxide rapidly diffuses into the atmosphere and mixes thoroughly and can’t be unmixed without a great deal of work having to be done, like in separating in ink from the water it was poured into”).

        The picture you linked to is of real gases and note that the vibrational
        movement caused by heat, longwave infrared, is how molecules get heated up, rub your hands together, that is mechanical energy doing the same work in heating your skin. Visible light from the Sun cannot do this, it works on the tinier electronic transition level and is not powerful enough to move whole molecules into vibration which is the internal kinetic energy of a molecule, the more heat applied the faster this movement.

        When a molecule of real gas gets heated it not only increases vibration it expands and when it gets cooled it slows down and and also condenses, because, it has volume, because it is a something – look at the pictures again.., these are not massless dots of nothing which is the imaginary ideal gas. In real gases expanding their volumes increase, they become less dense so they weigh less under the pulling power of gravity and becoming lighter than air they will rise. In condensing their volumes decrease so they weigh more under the pulling power of gravity and becoming heavier than air they will sink.

        Air is a fluid real gas mainly nitrogen and oxygen weighing 14lb sq/inch, that is our atmosphere weighing down on us, exerting great pressure on us, a ton on our shoulders.

        It is the weight of volumes of heated air which create areas of low pressure in this fluid , because the molecules have expanded their individual volumes becoming less dense and taking up more space they weigh less, they exert less pressure on us because there are fewer of them in the space and so lighter, their combined lighter volume forms an area of low pressure. So areas of high pressure are heavier, colder, denser volumes of individual molecules which combined create areas of high pressure in this ocean of real gas, because as gases cool they condense and taking up less room in the same amount of space there are more of them, so their combined denser volume is much heavier exerting greater pressure on us. High heavier, low lighter under gravity.

        This is how we get our winds, when a volume of air, a parcel of air, is heated the individual molecules expand becoming lighter than air and rise, each individual molecule in the parcel is taking up more space so rising as a combined volume it takes the heat away from the surface into the colder heights where it releases its heat and again condenses as the individual molecules condense becoming heavier than air and so sink displacing rising volume of hot air.

        This is how we get: Hot air rises, Cold air sinks, and, Winds flow from High to Low.

        And how we get our major wind systems from the intense heating by the direct longwave infrared from the Sun at the equator heating the land and water which heats the volume of air above it and this rises and flows spontaneously to the intense cold of the poles where it releases its heat and condenses again and so becoming heavier it sinks and flows back to the low pressure of the hot equator.

        When combined volumes of hot molecules rise being lighter than air under gravity it is because their individual volumes expand, individually becoming ligher than air. The colder heavier combined volumes of molecules around this will sink displacing the ligher because the individual volumes of the molecules have condensed, becoming individually heavier than air.

        So, for example, water vapour and methane are lighter than air and always spontaneously rise in air, carbon dioxide which is one and a half times heavier will always spontaneously sink in air, and will not readily rise in air.

        AGWSF has by sleights of hand manipulating physics (by giving the properties of one thing to another, by taking out whole processes, by taking laws out of context, by changing meanings and playing on words and so on) created a fictional fisics to confuse you, generic, it was deliberately introduced into the general education system.

        AGWSF has in its basics taken out all the real gas properties and processes of the natural world around us and reduced our atmosphere to empty space populated by the imaginary no mass ideal gas miles apart from each other which has no individual volume, in other words, it has taken out the whole tangible volume of our real gas atmosphere – your AGW Earth goes straight from the surface to empty space – and has taken out that heat energy converts to expansion of this volume, because, your gases don’t have individual volume to expand or condense.

        Some differences between ideal gas and real gas here: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_difference_between_an_ideal_gas_and_a_real_gas

        All your basic physics is imaginary. It is not easy to spot these in the confusion of arguments …

        You cannot spot them if you do not know what the real world gases are and can do and not do.

        AGWSF has done the same with electromagnetic energy, its fake fisics meme there is “all electromagnetic energy is the same and all create heat on being absorbed”.

        There are three points here immediately. The first that it is not all the same, that’s why we give them different names and put them into different categories because in traditional science we know their properties and processes by their differences and similarities.

        The second is that they do not all create heat on being absorbed, for example visible light converts to chemical energy, sugars, in photosynthesis not heat, and, electrical energy not heat energy in stimulating nerve impulses in sight. This is to deliberately confuse that “visible light, shortwave, from the Sun heats the Earth’s surface and no longwave infrared [direct radiant heat] from the Sun gets through TOA.

        The third is a play on the word “absorbed” – as used for example in the AGWSF claim that “visible light is absorbed by the water in the ocean and blue visible light goes further before it is absorbed so heats the water deeper” – there are different reasons for attenuation in the real world ocean, physical absorbion of energy by a water molecule is one of them, but as water is a transparent medium to visible light and does not absorb it but transmits it through unchanged, so cannot be heating the water, then the “AGWSF absorbed”, is misdirection by play on word meaning.

        The GH effect is about altering the thermal gradient of the atmosphere when looking at the bottom line effect– making the thermal gradient between surface and space less steep, and thus, energy flows less readily from surface to space.

        What? Oh, this is the “invisible dam” meme? So this invisible barrier unknown to traditional science which ‘like the glass of a greenhouse magically stops the great thermal energy from the millions degree hot Sun at TOA’ is the same invisible dam unknown to traditional science which squashes your empty space atmosphere, except you have nothing to squash because your imaginary ideal gases are not subject to gravity and have diffused long ago into outer space…

        Also, strongly suggest you read all 8 parts of “An Insignificant Trace Gas?” if you really want to dig down and understand what’s going on:

        http://scienceofdoom.com/roadmap/co2/

        Best general overview of CO2′s “greenhouse” physics on the web– period.

        Sadly, for real science and so for all of us, Spencer doesn’t have a clue, assuming he’s genuinely ignorant of traditional physics.. He keeps repeating the memes and does it with all the conviction of a high priest with his incantations of complex mathematical formulae – luckily for me I was only on reading the third discussion on topics he’d introduced when someone, an engineer, i.e. an applied scientist, picked him up on his AGWSF meme “molecules travel at great speeds” – the engineer pointed out that molecules can’t in the real atmosphere, they move at great speeds but don’t travel at great speeds.

        So I realised then that Spencer didn’t know what he was talking about – it took me a while longer through other discussions to find that he was confusing ideal gas with real gases, because AGWSF had changed the physics and created its own version, a fantasy world that is impossible in the real world, this side of the looking glass.

        You have no sound in your imaginary AGWSF world because you have no volume of individual molecules.

        I haven’t found again the original engineer’s comment I recall reading, but I’ve found a similar one here, maybe from the same engineer..:

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/06/faq-271-if-greenhouse-gases-are-such-a-small-part-of-the-atmosphere-how-do-they-change-its-temperature/

        Spencer says: “When the radiatively active molecules in the atmosphere — mainly water vapor, CO2, and methane — are heated by infrared radiation, even though they are a very small fraction of the total, they are moving very fast and do not have to travel very far before they collide with other molecules of air…that’s when they transfer part of their thermal energy to another molecule. That transfer is in the form of momentum from the molecule’s mass and its speed.

        “That molecule then bumps into others, those bump into still more, and on and on ad infinitum.”
        ..
        “2) at room temperature, each molecule is traveling at a very high speed, averaging 1,000 mph for heavier molecules like nitrogen, over 3,000 mph for the lightest molecule, hydrogen, etc.”

        Kevin says:
        June 21, 2010 at 6:43 PM

        “You wrote:

        ““2) at room temperature, each molecule is traveling at a very high speed, averaging 1,000 mph for heavier molecules like nitrogen, over 3,000 mph for the lightest molecule, hydrogen, etc.”

        “Respectfully, I believe a more accurate statement might be:

        “2) at room temperature, each molecule is vibrating in place at a very high speed, averaging 1,000 mph for heavier molecules like nitrogen, over 3,000 mph for the lightest molecule, hydrogen, etc.”

        “There is no linear motion imparted to any molecule when heated, for a simple example; does your teakettle zoom off of your stove at 1,000 mph when you make your tea in the morning ?”

        And that really is how it looks to someone who has basic physics on this from traditional science, the extrapolations are funny, but I have found a more serious way to explain what Kevin the applied scientists means:

        Read the following to understand why without molecular volume your AGWSF world has no sound.

        http://www.mediacollege.com/audio/01/sound-waves.html

        “Before you learn how sound equipment works it’s very important to understand how sound waves work. This knowledge will form the foundation of everything you do in the field of audio.

        “Sound waves exist as variations of pressure in a medium such as air. They are created by the vibration of an object, which causes the air surrounding it to vibrate. The vibrating air then causes the human eardrum to vibrate, which the brain interprets as sound”

        “Sound waves travel through air in much the same way as water waves travel through water. In fact, since water waves are easy to see and understand, they are often used as an analogy to illustrate how sound waves behave.”

        “Note that air molecules do not actually travel from the loudspeaker to the ear (that would be wind). Each individual molecule only moves a small distance as it vibrates, but it causes the adjacent molecules to vibrate in a rippling effect all the way to the ear.

        “Now here’s the thing: All audio work is about manipulating sound waves. The end result of your work is this series of high and low pressure zones. That’s why it’s so important to understand how they work – they are the “material” of your art.”

        ——————————————————————————–

        The real gas air is a combined volume of molecules with real volume, a fluid medium, gases and liquids are fluids. That’s how sound travels through the heavy voluminous fluid medium of air, as does energy through water, because the medium doesn’t move, its volume is constrained by the pull of gravity.

        The water in the ocean doesn’t move, that would be currents, the energy moves through the water as waves as the combined volumes of water molecules are vibrated and pass that increased vibration on before returning to their ground state. Think Mexican wave.

        It is the combined volume of the real gases under gravity which constrain the individual molecules preventing them from linear motion, preventing the heat energy converting to velocity as below in the ocean so above in the air.

        Because the molecules do not move linearly in empty space but are constrained in a medium which is going nowhere very fast…

    • David Springer | May 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm | DocMartyn is correct.

      No he isn’t – he said -

      DocMartyn | May 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm | ” IR radiation coming from the Earth, on its way to space, is intercepted by water and by CO2, it absorbs a photon, becomes energetic, and the energy is converted into velocity.”

      Velocity. He said Velocity. And Pekka knows very well he said velocity.

      When we look down on the atmosphere from space we see a deficit of photons at the absorption frequencies of CO2 and a surplus at all other frequencies. CO2 is trapping photons of a specific frequency

      Carbon dioxide can’t trap heat. It has a very low heat capacity and so releases its heat practically instantly. It cannot trap heat.

      Carbon dioxide absorbs heat.

      and then thermalize adjacent molecules (mostly nitrogen) which then emits a continuous spectrum.

      DocMartyn said this was by the heat converting to velocity, was converted to velocity so the carbon dioxide was energised to move in space, from one place to another.

      It is not converted to velocity, it is converted to expansion. Heated gases expand. They do not go flying off at great speeds bouncing into other gases.

      Carbon dioxide re-emits the heat it imbibed, as it emits that heat it condenses again. So how does it thermalize the adjacent molecules of nitrogen and oxygen? DocMartyn said the heat had coverted to velocity and sent the molecule of carbon dioxide speeding into the molecules of oxygen and nitrogen and colliding tranferring that velocity to them, thus heating them up.

      What do you mean by “continuous spectrum”?

      The greenhouse trick is that the absorption by CO2 is of upwelling radiation and the emittance of thermalized neighbors goes in all directions. The end result is a restriction in the flow of radiation from surface to space similar to what happens when you partially block the flow of water in a gate at the base of a dam. The restriction causes the water to rise higher behind the dam which increases the pressure at the entrance to the gate which forces more water through the gate until the water stops rising. Pressure in fluid flow is analogous to temperature in radiative flow.

      What? Oh, is this the magic invisible container like the glass of a greenhouse around the AGWSF Earth? So it’s an invisible dam?

      When real gases are heated they expand. Which means they become less dense under gravity, which means they are lighter, because gravity is what gives gases weight. When heated gases expand and become lighter they rise in air. When a volume (packet) of gases is heated at the surface and becomes less dense and rises it forms an area of low pressure – because, now less heavy they are not exerting as much pressure onto the Earth as they did when they were heavier before they expanded. This is convection.

      Convection is the transfer of heat from one place to another in fluids.

      This sets up convection currents, called winds.

      As the volume of hot lighter expanded real gas rises, volumes of colder heavier condensed real gas, which form areas of high pressure, sink and flow into the areas of low pressure. Cold heavy air sinks and flows down into the volume of hot low pressure areas of lighter gases.

      Note “flow”. Gases and liquids are fluids. We have a heavy voluminous ocean of fluid around the Earth, weighing down 14lbs/sq inch, a stone/sq inch, a ton on your shoulders, that is how heat is tranferred in a fluid.

      Hot air rises, cold air sinks. Winds flow from high to low. This is basic bog standard meteorology.

      That’s how we get our winds which are convection currents, as we get convection currents in the ocean when volumes of water are heated and so lighter rise and colder heavier volumes of water sink flowing beneath into the areas of rising lighter water.

      As above so below… This is what is happening at the equator where the Earth’s land and water are being heated intensely by the radiant heat, longwave infrared aka thermal infrared, direct from the Sun which is millions of degrees centigrade, it’s a blazing Star. This invisible radiant longwave infrared heat from the Sun is the same as we feel radiating out to us from a camp fire. Direct from the Sun it is the Sun’s thermal energy, heat energy, in transfer via radiation. Which is thermal infrared, aka longwave infrared, aka radiant heat. There is no invisible unknown to science barrier to it at TOA. This radiant heat, longwave infrared, reaches us in around 8 minutes direct from the Sun, travelling in straight lines.

      We feel this heat, we cannot feel shortwaves of uv, visible and infrared because they are not hot. They are not heat. Radiated heat is longwave infrared.

      This longwave radiation direct from the Sun travelling in straight lines heats up the land and water at the equator which heat up the volumes of air above, this causes the real gas air which is mainly nitrogen and oxygen to expand and so become lighter than air they rise and, heat always flows spontaneously from hotter to colder, these hot volumes of air flow to the cold poles. Where their heat is sucked out by the cold and they condense again becoming heavy and sink and flow back to the equator; the cold heavy high pressure volumes sink and flow back to the hot light low pressure areas of the equator.

      Throw in the Earth’s spin and we get the Coriolis effect, our great wind systems which do not cross hemispheres. If the Earth didn’t spin the heat would rise and flow straight to the poles and cold would sink and flow straight back to the equator.

      Carbon dioxide is a real gas as the real gases oxygen and nitrogen, it expands when heated becoming lighter and condenses when chilled becoming heavier.

      It is the pulling power of gravity keeping these gases around the Earth by their property of expanding, becoming less dense, when heated so lighter under gravity and condensing, becoming more dense, when cooled so heavier under gravity; they create the pressure by their weight. It is an open system, not an enclosed container like a tyre/tire.

      Thermal infrared, aka longwave infrared, aka radiant heat, does not convert to velocity in carbon dioxide, it converts to expansion. Carbon dioxide has a very low heat capacity, it heats up practically instantly and releases that heat practically instantly, it doesn’t go anywhere to do this.

      • Imagine we have a column of CO2 from the surface of the Earth all the way out to space. The Earth’s 300K SURFACE is pumping out IR through the column of CO2, and then out into the sink of space at a temperature of 4K.
        Note that the overall flux is unidirectional.
        Note that the Earths gravity well is unidirectional.

        The photons rising up from the Earth have a vector, upwards, and momentum.
        The passage and attenuation of radiative flux by absorption of photons by the gas results in radiative pressure; first postulated by Maxwell and independently Bartoli. Radiation pressure was first demonstrated experimentally 2012 years ago by Nichols and Hull.

        The impact on the gas, where we have a unidirectional photon flux and a gravity well, is to raise the temperature of the column.

        The transfer of momentum to an electrons transition on the absorption of a photon alters the overall momentum of the whole molecules, and is both unidirectional and against the gravity field. Whereas, emission of photons from gas molecules in an excited state is multi-directional due to ability of the gas molecules to tumble whilst in an excited state, i.e. tumbling occurs during the time between photon absorption and photon emission.
        The overall effect of having an overall flux of photons traveling in one direction, against a gravity well, is to cause heating, as individual gas molecules are raised against the gravity well by the radiative pressure.
        Thermodynamically, the presence of the gas is causing an increase in disorder in the system as discrete IR centered around 10 microns is absorbed and much lower frequencies are emitted, due to heating.

      • DocMartyn | May 23, 2013 at 9:58 am | Imagine we have a column of CO2 from the surface of the Earth all the way out to space. The Earth’s 300K SURFACE is pumping out IR through the column of CO2, and then out into the sink of space at a temperature of 4K.
        Note that the overall flux is unidirectional.
        Note that the Earths gravity well is unidirectional..

        Gosh, I don’t know where to start. Do you understand what you’ve said in this post well enough to put it into English so we can all join in?

        What do you mean by “gravity well”?

        The photons rising up from the Earth have a vector, upwards, and momentum.
        The passage and attenuation of radiative flux by absorption of photons by the gas results in radiative pressure; first postulated by Maxwell and independently Bartoli. Radiation pressure was first demonstrated experimentally 2012 years ago by Nichols and Hull.

        And what is that pressure on the surface of one molecule of carbon dioxide compared with one molecule of nitrogen and one molecule of oxygen when “Radiation pressure is the pressure exerted upon any surface exposed to electromagnetic radiation” and which has been described as “feeble” and “negligible for everyday objects. ..one could lift a U. S. penny with laser pointers, but doing so would require about 30 billion 1-mW laser pointers.”?
        ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_pressure http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light#Light_pressure )

        The impact on the gas, where we have a unidirectional photon flux and a gravity well, is to raise the temperature of the column.

        Are you offering yet another version of this “invisible barrier” unknown to traditional science “container” like the “invisible barrier at TOA like the glass of a greenhouse which stops the powerful radiant heat which is the Sun’s great thermal energy which is the Sun’s heat energy in transfer by radiatiation aka thermal infrared aka longwave infrared from the millions of degee hot Sun from entering”? Like the unknown to traditional science “invisible dam around the Earth blocking upwelling heat building up heat by restricting its flow to space”, at the top of your “gravity well”?

        How does this “gravity well” “raise the temperature of the column”?

        The transfer of momentum to an electrons transition on the absorption of a photon alters the overall momentum of the whole molecules, and is both unidirectional and against the gravity field.

        So the upwelling photons from Earth in this “gravity well” are not heat but light?

        Electronic transitions are not applicable to radiated heat.

        http://chemwiki.ucdavis.edu/Organic_Chemistry/Organic_Chemistry_With_a_Biological_Emphasis/Chapter__4%3A_Structure_Determination_I/Section_4.3%3A_Ultraviolet_and_visible_spectroscopy

        “While interaction with infrared light causes molecules to undergo vibrational transitions, the shorter wavelength, higher energy radiation in the UV (200-400 nm) and visible (400-700 nm) range of the electromagnetic spectrum causes many organic molecules to undergo electronic transitions. What this means is that when the energy from UV or visible light is absorbed by a molecule, one of its electrons jumps from a lower energy to a higher energy molecular orbital.”

        Light cannot move the whole molecule into vibration which is what it takes to heat up a molecule, which is increasing its internal kinetic energy.

        Visible light works on the much tiner electronic transition level because it is much tinier than the bigger heat energy of longwave infrared. Visible light is some 500 times bigger than the even titchier electron and knocks the electron into a higher energy state, not out of orbit, that would be ionising and visible light isn’t powerful enough to do that; the electron emits the same visible light energy as it settles back to ground state which is how we get our blue sky, the electrons of nitrogen and oxygen bouncing it around like a pinball machine. The much bigger heat wave of longwave infrared bangs into the whole molecule and gets the lot into internal vibration as the molecule absorbs it. Which is kinetic energy the energy of movement.

        Rub your hands together, that is mechanical energy, friction, moving the whole molecule into vibration, kinetic energy aka heat – the molecules of your skin don’t move linearly, or perhaps they do for you. Are you, generic, shape-shifters? Are you part of the evolution of the life on Earth or are you blow-ins?

        “Whereas, emission of photons from gas molecules in an excited state is multi-directional due to ability of the gas molecules to tumble whilst in an excited state, i.e. tumbling occurs during the time between photon absorption and photon emission.

        Because real gas is a fluid? Not an imaginary massless ideal gas in empty space with no volume to tumble? Or are you saying the stability of the whole molecule is affected by each encounter of an electron with light?

        The overall effect of having an overall flux of photons traveling in one direction, against a gravity well, is to cause heating, as individual gas molecules are raised against the gravity well by the radiative pressure.

        You’re still claiming linear kinetic movement when traditional physics says this results in either electronic transitions in reflection/scattering by absorption of light, so no change, or internal vibration of the whole molecule, which is kinetic movement i.e. heat, from absorbing the bigger more powerful radiant heat which is longwave infrared, which results in the expansion of the volume of the gas molecule which means it becomes less dense and therefore lighter than air under the pulling power of gravity which causes it to move linearily in space, that is, being lighter than air it will rise.

        For example, the same amount of molecules in liquid water will take up 1,000 times more space as water vapour. It’s the combined volumes of expanded less dense gases which create areas of low pressure, we can feel this because they do not weigh so heavily on us.. Hot air rises cold air sinks; when real gases get cold they condense, they become denser, there are more of them in the same space because they take up less room.

        Van der Waals has been excised from AGWScienceFiction fisics the way it has excised the Water Cycle and excised rain from the Carbon Cycle, real gas molecules have volume and attraction and weight relative to each other under gravity, they will separate out, that is what evaporation is. Water vapour and methane are lighter than air under gravity so will always rise, carbon dioxide is heavier so will always sink. Always equals sponstaneously, it takes work to change that just as it takes work to change the direction of the movement of water which always flows downhill..

        Real gas molecules of traditional physics are not the imaginary ideal gas dots of nothing bouncing off imaginary invisible containers or each other not subject to gravity of the fantasy AGW fisics. Yet you invoke gravity, in your “gravity well”..

        You, generic AGW/CAGWs, don’t have a real gas atmosphere and don’t have real gravity – you go straight from the surface to empty space – yet you bring in terms from traditional physics inapplicable to your scenario, like gravity, or have to postulate the existence of unknown to traditional science powerful strong “invisible barriers”, which not only prevent the the great invisible thermal energy from the millions of degrees hot Sun from entering at TOA, but keep your not subject to gravity volumeless weightless dots of nothing which you disingenuously or out of ignorance call carbon dioxide from continuing their journey in empty space …

        Thermodynamically, the presence of the gas is causing an increase in disorder in the system as discrete IR centered around 10 microns is absorbed and much lower frequencies are emitted, due to heating.

        Gobbledegook.

  39. As I mentioned above, a global ECS of 2 C probably means a land ECS of 4 C, because without the ocean surface warming much at present, the main warming response has been from the land and Arctic. This rate of land heating is the only way left to balance the forcing change. We see that the land TCR is already in excess of 4 C per doubling, and the linear assumption of this paper (if you believe it) means the land will continue to warm at twice the rate of the ocean, and the Arctic even more rapidly. As I mentioned above, the Armour et al. (2012, J. Climate) paper is relevant to the issue of varying thermal inertias and a nonlinear response. The paper refers to Armour on this point which is why they say their ECS is a lower limit.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Personally speaking – the distinction between land and ocean seems a bit of a furphy.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/best_hadcrut4_zpsda90f7a2.png.html

      • I don’t know about that, one is wet and the other not so much.

        Actually, to really see the difference you need the estimated absolute values. In the NH, the Ocean is about 19.9 C and the Land is about 11 C. yielding a basic “sensitivity” of ~0.196 for the oceans and ~ 0.175 for the land. Then the “average” land elevation is +680 meters resulting in an “effective” “sensitivity” about 10% higher, ~0.158 C/Wm-2.

        You can also compare the ratio of the standard deviations, but unfortunately, the “surface” temperature record has some issues with interpolation, so the satellite data appears to give a better estimate.

      • JimD, You know what is kinda funny about anomalies?, They are baseline dependent, dangedest thing. If you use a satellite era baseline, since that is the cat’s ass of global telemetry, land is catching up instead of leading. Being able to get different results using the same data is called a lack of “Robustness”. Some, not Cappy of course, might use preferential “views” that the lack of robustness allows for their own gain.

        Of course, absolute values tends to reduce the “creativity” of presentation.

      • maksimovich

        Lets adjust Jims graph,to accounts for waterworld ie the SH

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2sh/mean:120/mean:12/from:1900/plot/hadcrut3vsh/mean:120/mean:12/from:1900

        The proposition does not hold.

      • captd, you can shift the zero where you like, the rate for land will still be double that for ocean over the last 30 or so years. I can see you are trying to pull your obfuscation thing here but it doesn’t work.

      • maksimovich, yes, the northern continents are larger and have by far the greatest warming. More people live on those too (90% of the world population). But OK, if Oz and South America stay comfortable, you may be getting new neighbors.

      • maksimovich

        The SH also has the greatest forcing of solar irridiance into the ocean 2 orders of magnitude (the annular mode) greater then the forcing here

      • You can compare the southern ocean with the northern CRUTEM4 continent. It is not even close.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Sorry using BEST and Hadcrut4 -is what it is. There is a bit of a divergence over the last decade but that isn’t climate is it? Otherwise we have what we expect – smaller variability over oceans but temperatures don’t diverge too much.

        Ultimately – connections between land and ocean are a couple of days at most.

        http://www.wisegeek.org/how-does-ocean-temperature-affect-air-temperature.htm

      • maksimovich

        Yes the SO is dampened ,we call these clouds eg(Korhonen et al., 2010

      • JimD, the rate would remain the same based on the anomaly, not the energy that anomaly is supposed to represent.

        https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-skpB1ejZpNE/UZq1Yx5fS1I/AAAAAAAAIKo/6XqqqIROdro/s783/nh%2520UAH.png

        Like that, using ~19.9C for the Ocean and ~11 C for the land that is a rough estimate of the surface energy flux. In yours, you are comparing an anomaly for a low density higher elevation gas average of Tmax Tmin with a higher density average of a liquid, sub-surface temperature. The liquid Cp=Cv, the gas, not so much.

        If one is leading the other, which do you imagine is wagging the tail?

      • captd, the land rate is equivalent to 4 C per doubling and is twice the ocean rate. You seem to have drifted away from the salient point. And CH, the divergence has been going on for 30 years now, possibly even faster recently with the pause only affecting the ocean.

      • oops, I flipped the land/ocean, ocean is ~0.175 and land ~0.195 C/Wm-2 with density adjustment ~0.21 Wm-2 or about 20% more “sensitive” than the NH ocean.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/best_hadcrut4_zpsda90f7a2.png.html?sort=3&o=0

        There is not enough to draw conclusion at all – but that doesn’t stop you does it Jim? There is a bit of difference in the last decade. I am wondering if it is not an artifact of using sea surface temperature for surface temperature.

      • Chief, ” I am wondering if it is not an artifact of using sea surface temperature for surface temperature.” Looks like it to me. that skin layer that radiant energy “sees” is a tricky sucker.

        JimD, When there is a lack of “robustness”, you should look at other baselines to estimate a “norm” that may be the best “fit”. Since 1900, glaciers have been receding, agriculture expanding, population exploding, all have an influence, so land could easily have started at a lower “average” than the oceans. That is the whole problem, teasing out what “normal” should be so you can estimate the CO2 portion of the impact. You are assuming “all” which is the absolute worse case,an upper limit likely unobtainable. Not a problem, limits or boundaries are good things.

        Then look for a low end boundary. Its probably somewhere in between those two. 0.8 C should be the “design curve” the no feedback sensitivity. As more data comes in you can improve your fit.

        Part of that more data is the satellite telemetry which indicates, “Houston. We have a problem.” You are fighting the satellite data about as hard as Trenberth. That is why the new Earth Energy Budgets being cited in the new peer reviewed papers have different names.

        I think Trenberth may have “minor adjusted” himself into a lateral promotion.

    • Jim D,
      I agree wholeheartedly with your premise.
      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/05/proportional-landsea-global-warming.html

      Keep pushing this, and ignore the dudes with the fake officer titles.

  40. When I look at that para above from New Scientist, and consider similar “serious” publications which use language in such a trashy and manipulative way, I wonder if we aren’t seeing the birth of a new genre: the climate tabloids.

  41. We don’t know what the climate sensitivity to CO2 is.
    We don’t know what the global average temperature is.
    We don’t know what the GAT was 100 years ago.
    We don’t know what the GAT will be 100 years from now.
    We don’t know what all the forcings are that contribute to changing climate.
    We don’t know the net effect of water vapor as a forcing.
    We don’t know at what level increasing temperatures will have net negative effects.
    We don’t know the actual cost of the proposed solution, or the actual cost of failing to act.

    We know none of these things with the accuracy and certainty that would justify decarbonizing the global economy at enormous cost.

    We do know that enacting massive taxes on energy will impact the poorest people hardest, no matter what redistributive Rube Goldberg machine the governments come up with.

    We do know that the Chinese, Russians and Indians will not join in an economic suppuku pact with the west to decarbonize the economy.

    We do know that the most modern, comprehensive, expensive, detailed climate models make predictions all over the map, virtually all of which predicted much warmer temperatures than we have actually experienced the last 15+ years.

    We do know that virtually all consensus supporting papers in climate science have been funded by governments, and have made findings and recommendations that support the government goal of…more government..including more government funded research.

    We do know that there has never been a debate about CAGW, including the C, among the government funded climate science community, ever.

    Given what we don’t know, and what we do know, why precisely should I care about the “most likely value of equilibrium climate sensitivity” at the current state of our knowledge?

    • Gary,
      I made a similar comment a few months ago, only not as nicely done as yours. Everything you say is to the best of my knowledge correct. Next time you run into WHT ask him to defend his precious precautionary principal in the face of all that. And while you’re at it mention that in point of fact we don’t even know if any warming might actually be a net benefit…

    • Gary M

      +100

    • Gary M, you write “Given what we don’t know, and what we do know, why precisely should I care about the “most likely value of equilibrium climate sensitivity” at the current state of our knowledge?”

      Gary, I, and many others, agree completely with what you write, and in our own styles, have been writing the same sort of thing for years. The trouble is that there are thousands of peer (pal) reviewed papers in prestigeous publications, that say you, and we, are wrong. And so, it becomes very dificult to discuss the subject scientificly, since the proponents of CAGW trot out these various papers, and claim that they prove that what you say is wrong. They also claim that, since there is all this “science” to prove you are wrong, then what you are doing is spreading disinformation, and you must be stopped from doing this at all costs.

      Unfortunately, until we have one of the major scientific learned societies in our corner, the proponents of CAGW will not listen to what the proper science is telling us. We just have to wait for Mother Nature to prove, with empirical data, that we are right. Luckily, it is much more difficult for the proponents of CAGW to argue against empirical data. Not impossible; just more difficult.

      • Jim Cripwell,

        Oh, I understand completely. Much of the debate about CAGW takes the form of “even if what the consensus says about A is true, proper analysis leads to C, not B.” This is true with your comments, the whole UHI imbroglio, paleo proxy debates, etc. Arguing about the proper results of an analysis does not concede that the initial assumptions that go into it are true.

        I just think sometimes skeptics get lost making that ,kind of argument, and forget just how much we don’t know.

        pokerguy,

        I have seen you post similarly, and I have posted similar comments to the one above previously as well. I just think it bears repeating every once in a while.

    • I will just add that the list of what we don’t know is taken solely from what I have learned by reading consensus scientists’ explanation of their own and related research.

  42. Matthew R Marler

    from the SI of Otto et al: The atmospheric heat uptake amounts to about 1% of the total trend. We produce an estimate of atmospheric uptake as follows: we convert an estimate of annual global mean atmospheric temperature anomalies to energy changes owing to specific and latent heating assuming a total atmospheric mass of 5.14 × 1018 kg, a mean total water vapor mass11 of 12.7 × 1015 kg, a heat capacity of 1 J g-1 °C-1, a latent heat of vaporization of 2,466 J g-1, and a fractional increase of integrated water vapor content12 of 0.075 °C-1.

    They assume that this increase in atmospheric heat does not cause any increase in the rate of transfer of heat from the lower troposphere to the upper troposphere via convection. It just sits there in the troposphere.

    However, if doubling the CO2 reduces the rate of radiative transfer from the lower troposphere to the upper troposphere, transiently (as proposed by the authors), then the temperature differential between the lower and upper tropospheres should increase, transiently, and during that transient the convection from lower to upper should increase. You have both a faster convection rate and higher heat density of air convected.

  43. > It will be very interesting indeed to see if the IPCC budges from the 2-4.5 C range that has remained unchanged since the 1979 Charney report.

    We estimate the most probable global warming for a doubling of CO2 to be near 3 C with a probable error of 1.5 C.

    http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~brianpm/download/charney_report.pdf

    INTEGRITY ™ — No Need for Quotes

  44. The UN’s IPCC was never setup to do scientific research in climate and it shows in their work. Consequently it is not surprising that there is a breakaway group of scientisrs.One can only hopr that it is not too late to repair the damage. However it will take more than fiddling with probability rheory. The 20 or so models spomsored need a much closer look because in the end the only hope of predicting climzte at the end of this century lirs with the models.

    One thing current models appear to lack is the ability to forecast periods of no global increase in average global temperature. Of course, models havr to be able to predict both average and standard deviation as well as power spectrum of temperature, although not necessarily regional.

  45. Just wondering what the Judith Curry line is on all this.

    Would it be that calculations and measurements of climate sensitivity (2x CO2) are just too uncertain to be at all meaningful? That is, except when they are acceptably low. Then the uncertainty drops away and the meaning is clear to all?

  46. At the time of the IPCC First Assessment Report the main stream view was that getting relevant upper and lower bounds for ECS and even for TCR would take a more than a decade based on the rate of warming expected from other considerations and natural variability. The rapid warming of the next 10 years didn’t follow the expectation rising the lower bound to the point that it was justified to conclude that the warming up to that point was difficult to understand based on natural variability alone. The rapid warming left the upper bound open, but gave a meaningful lower bound. The best estimate from warming went up to a level similar to rates derived from paleo studies and also seen in many climate modes.

    Around year 2000 it was not possible to tell, whether the warming of the preceding decade had a strong natural component. It was certainly not possible to exclude that possibility, but it was also possible to think that it was all AGW. Now we know more. The latest 15 years tell that there was surely a lot of natural variability in the warming. In the 1990′s every new warm year added a little to the best estimate of TCR, over the last 15 years every year has taken a little off from the best estimate. By now we have even a meaningful upper limit.

    The paper discussed in this thread presents some new analysis, but basically it just confirms that the authors accept views like those I present above. They have probably done that all the time, now they are ready to make it public.

    The real main stream seems now to be more willing to accept that the conclusions from the recent warming are very significant. We have still many scientists, who don’t think so and present arguments to support the view that this kind of analysis overlooks important issues, and that the relatively low TCR is an illusion. Fred Moolten has brought up such thinking in his comments above.

    My own intuition tells that there are certainly some significant factors like those discussed by Fred, but that there are equally important opposing factors. I’m happy with the conclusions of the paper of Otto et al. Perhaps I’m just an optimist, but that’s the way I do really feel.

    What I have written here and on my own site over the last two years is all based on a personal estimate on the likely range of warming rate very similar to what this paper presents. Thus what I have written on policy is unchanged by this paper. I’m still puzzled by the difficulty of making wise decision, when the uncertainty and lack of knowledge has all the characteristics of the climate issue. I don’t like the Kyoto agreement or a continuation of it, but I’m not willing to say that nothing comparable should be done.

    What I’m most unhappy with are decisions that force the development to fruitless but costly paths in the spirit if panic reactions. While the warming may, indeed, be a serious threat, there’s no reason to panic. It’s better to search vehemently for good solutions than to implement bad ones. This paper gives a little more assurance that we’ll have a change of making what’s needed before damages grow too large.

    • Peter Lang

      Pekka Pirila,

      What I’m most unhappy with are decisions that force the development to fruitless but costly paths in the spirit if panic reactions. While the warming may, indeed, be a serious threat, there’s no reason to panic.

      I strongly agree with this statement.

      Examples of “fruitless but costly paths” are carbon pricing and mandating renewable energy.

      Thus what I have written on policy is unchanged by this paper. I’m still puzzled by the difficulty of making wise decision, when the uncertainty and lack of knowledge has all the characteristics of the climate issue.

      I agree with you on this statement too. However, I fail to understand why you seem so opposed to even taking the first step towards “making wise decision

      The first step must be, IMO, to define the requirements that the policy must achieve and define the requirements that must be achieved for the policy to succeed. I suggested two requirements that, IMO, must be achieved if the policy is to succeed. They are:

      1. The policy must have a high probability of achieving the requirements (the specified outcomes.)

      2. To be able to be implemented it will need to be able to demonstrate it provides benefits (e.g. economic or other benefits) almost immediately and throughout the duration of the policy for all countries and most people in each country.

      However, you avoided discussing them. Therefore, I cannot take your comment about policy seriously. You do not seem to want to even consider the most basic requirements essential for success of any policy.

      By the way, Kyoto Protocol does not meet these requirements and therefore is doomed to fail.

      • My view on developing renewable energy choices is that R&D should be funded, and that there are also many cases where some support of deployment is justified. Funding demonstration and experimental projects is often productive.

        Funding larger scale deployment should, however, be prudent. Very high subsidies that lead to very large volumes are a waste of money as the costs may be several times higher than all the benefits taking all indirect ones into account. A good case for subsidies for deployment has the characteristics:
        - The technology has the potential to turn profitable in foreseeable future.
        - The technology has reached the maturity where increasing the scale of production is the main additional step for reaching profitability.
        - The risks and delays are still too high for private companies taking into account also the fact that the first company to reach profitability cannot prevent competition from entering the market before it has recovered the costs of development.

        In the above case the appropriate level of subsidies is not very high, as the need for very high subsidies proves that the requirements are not met.

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        I can’t disagree with your points, but would still like to focus, as a first step, on defining the requirements that must be met for policy to succeed. This is the essential first step IMO. Until the requirements are recognised, we will all keep picking winners and arguing about policies that have no chance of succeeding in the real world. Thus I refer you once again to these two as a starting point to focus discussion:

        1. The policy must have a high probability of achieving the requirements (the specified outcomes.)

        2. To be able to be implemented it will need to be able to demonstrate it provides benefits (e.g. economic or other benefits) almost immediately and throughout the duration of the policy for all countries and most people in each country.

        Do you agree with them and if not why not?

        On a separate issue from this main point I am still hoping we can resolve and get past (see above), I’d urge we acknowledge there is no point in advocating renewable energy. It is hopelessly uneconomic and unlikely to be economic in the foreseeable future for grid generation except in a few niche locations. It uses far more resources than other low emissions technologies. It cannot provide more than a small component of the world’s energy needs. It has no significant benefits. It is also a major distraction from progress. Therefore, spending time on it is a waste of time, money and resources that could be far better utilised.

        As an example of just how uneconomic it is, roof top PV in sunny Australian capital cities abates CO2 for about $600/tonne. Solar thermal and wind generation are also very high cost. All are mandated as ‘must take’ and heavily subsidised. There are many hidden costs resulting from the mandatory ‘must take’ distortion on the electricity market.

        If you are interested in knowing a bit more about this, this recent paper on the hidden costs of PV in Australian capital cities is excellent:
        http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/4/1406

      • Peter,

        I don’t agree that the probability of success must always be high, the required probability depends on the potential benefits. The combination of probability and potential benefits must exceed some threshold.

        Similarly the level of evidence that must be presented depends highly on other contributing factors.

        A simple rule that I believe in is that almost all simple rules are poor.

        Formal rules must be combined with less formal considerations. Objective facts don’t give full valid answers, but must be complemented by more subjective judgments. Subjectivity is always a potential source of error, but having a potential of error is better than being sure that there’s on error as there’s in typical purely objective comparison.

        Reliance on measurable objective facts resembles the case of looking at keys under the streetlight just because the light provides a better visibility, while the keys are elsewhere.

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        A simple rule that I believe in is that almost all simple rules are poor. …

        Statements like this and what follows it are unhelpful. The quoted bit and what follows to the end of the comment are just diversion and obfuscation to avoid dealing with the substantive issue. So how about giving up on the obfuscation and arm waving and try to focus on the requirements that must be met for policy to succeed?

        I don’t agree that the probability of success must always be high, the required probability depends on the potential benefits. The combination of probability and potential benefits must exceed some threshold.

        Similarly the level of evidence that must be presented depends highly on other contributing factors.

        Are you saying you disagree with one or both of the two requirements I’ve posted six times? I am not clear on what you are saying, nor why?

        Do you have suggested wording changes and an explanation for the reason for those changes?

        Do you recognise that the two proposed requirements are the requirements to get the broad public support necessary to get legislation passed and to maintain broad public support for as long as it takes to complete the job?

        For policy to pass legislatures in democratic countries they must gain broad public support. For global polices to succeed every nation state will have to believe it will gain from participating. I presume you recognise these basics.

        We are not talking about science, economics or engineering here. We are talking about policy that we can get passed by the legislatures in all democratic countries and get sign by all governments.

        I don’t agree that the probability of success must always be high, the required probability depends on the potential benefits.

        Actually, it doesn’t depend on the “potential benefits”. Getting the legislation passed depends on the public’s perception of the near term costs and benefits. But maintaining it depends on the public believing the policy is delivering the benefits. This applies in each democratic country and also globally. Globally, countries will not agree to participate in a policy unless they can see they will gain almost immediately. Free trade is an example where the participating countries gain, but there are some losers in each country in the short term so the gain for the rest in that country has to be sufficient to pay sufficient compensation to the losers so they accept they are better off.

        Please don’t be pedantic about me getting all possiblke caveats into every phrase and sentence so that I’ve covered every possible scenario. Try to understand the big picture.

        I remind you:

        Uncertainty about the problem is a given; uncertainty about the chosen solution is inexcusable. This is to say, we should be confident that our solutions are going to be effective, and the more expensive the solution the more confident we should be.

        Carbon pricing and renewable energy are enormously expensive solutions. However, the policies I’ve been advocating are not. In fact, I believe they are potentially net positive after a short time, irrespective of any presumed climate benefits in the distant future. That is, they are ‘No Regrets policies. This is what we should be striving for. The policies I am advocating meet the two requirements I’ve kept posting and you keep dodging.

        Because we haven’t made any progress on the policies I’ve been advocating (over the past 2 years or so), I decided to drop back a notch and to try to define and agree the requirements for the policies if they are to succeed. So, I ask again, can you say if you accept the two requirements, or if not can you say why not and perhaps provide alternative wording.

        But, please, let’s focus on the requirements and stop the diversions, obfuscating and arm waving. It’s not helpful.

      • Peter,

        I believe that valid statements can be made at two levels:

        - on generic principles
        - on fully specified cases

        What you are asking is to make such statements on the intermediate level, more specific than the generic principles, but without the full specification of a case. Such statements are not what I want to make. Statements made on that level are somewhere true and elsewhere not. I don’t want to make such statements.

        While I find that renewable energy has been promoted wrongly, I see more potential for it under suitable conditions than you appear to see. Similarly I have a basically positive attitude towards nuclear energy, but I’m not at all as enthusiastic on it’s real world potential as you seem to be.

        Going to specific non-generalizable cases I do have stronger opinions.

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        I believe that valid statements can be made at two levels:

        - on generic principles
        - on fully specified cases

        What you are asking is to make such statements on the intermediate level, more specific than the generic principles, but without the full specification of a case. Such statements are not what I want to make. Statements made on that level are somewhere true and elsewhere not. I don’t want to make such statements.

        This is the most frustrating arm waving waffle imaginable. Is this how you worked as a Chair of energy economics or whatever?

        What on Earth does all that waffle mean?

        If you disagree with the two requirements I’ve laid out, why don’t you have the balls to say what is wrong with them and suggest improvements.

        If you want to start at a higher or lower level why don’t you suggest the requirements you are thinking of and justify them. then at least there is the possibility of a rational debate about rational policy that could succeed.

        Your arm waving, avoidance and obfuscation provides and excellent example as to why scientists would be totally unsuited in policy development. Which is what you said earlier, I disagreed and that is what got this discussion started. You are proving how right I was.

        Going to specific non-generalizable cases I do have stronger opinions.

        What does this mean? Are you talking about requirements for policies that could cut global GHG emissions or something else? because this discussion is about policies that are likely to succeed in cutting global GHG emissions.

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        While I find that renewable energy has been promoted wrongly, I see more potential for it under suitable conditions than you appear to see.

        So why don’t you be more specific? What proportion of global energy could renewable energy realistically provide in say 2060 (about 50 years from now)? What would be the cost compared with fossil fuels and nuclear? What would be the environmental impact? What would be the land area required, and the materials required?

        Have you seen these:

        ‘81,000 truckers for solar’: http://bravenewclimate.com/2013/03/14/81000-truckers-for-solar/

        ‘Energy demand equation for 2050’: http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/10/11/tcase3/

        ‘Energy system build rates and material units’: http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/10/18/tcase4/

        ‘A check list for renewable energy plans’: http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/07/12/tcase12/

        ‘Emission cuts realities for electricity generation – costs and CO2 emissions’: http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/01/09/emission-cuts-realities/

        Renewable Electricity for Australia – the Cost’: http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/

        Renewables or Nuclear Electricity for Australia – the Cost’: http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf

      • @Lang: As an example of just how uneconomic it is, roof top PV in sunny Australian capital cities abates CO2 for about $600/tonne.

        If CO2 abatement were the only economic benefit of solar PV no one in their right mind would install it.

        We did not install solar PV to abate CO2 but to decrease our $6000/yr electric bill, which is now down to $800/yr. Our meter claims we’ve abated 55 tons of CO2 since installation (on May 22, 2008, exactly 5 years ago today, so 11 tons/yr), but that wasn’t a factor in our purchase decision.

        Nonetheless the cost to us to abate a ton of CO2, amortized over the first decade, will be slightly negative, and once the system has paid for itself in this way we will in effect thereafter be paid $5200/11 = $470 to abate a ton of CO2.

        But I would agree with you that we couldn’t get remotely like $470 for a ton of CO2 if we could somehow extract it from the atmosphere and try to sell it.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        The sole reasons for subsidising mandating uneconomic renewable energy, like solar PV, is on the belief it will cut GHG emissions. There is n o other reason.

        The people who do not have solar PV’s are subsidising the elites like you. the poor are subsidising the rich – by an enormous amount.

        I’ve explained to you previously the difference between what is economic to an individual customer after subsidies, compared with what is economic for the country. Solar is hugely expensive for the country, as is wind power.

      • @PL: the poor are subsidising the rich – by an enormous amount.

        Perhaps I misunderstood you. You said

        roof top PV in sunny Australian capital cities abates CO2 for about $600/tonne.

        Let’s consider an installation in Australia that is abating 10 tons of CO2 a year. (The one on my roof in Northern California has averaged 11 tons/yr over the past 5 years.) Over a 20-year lifetime for that installation it will have abated 200 tons. According to you those 200 tons will have cost someone $120,000.

        I don’t see how subsidies can account for that $120,000 that you’re saying abating those 200 tons of CO2 costs. I’d therefore be very interested in seeing the maths that supports your figure of $600/ton of abated CO2.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        I’d therefore be very interested in seeing the maths that supports your figure of $600/ton of abated CO2.

        Did you read the Graham Palmer paper I linked? If not you need to read it first. Then apply the method and realistic assumptions for the average operating life and average capacity factor through life for roof top PV. You also need to include the full cost of the installation including the hidden cost to the network and other generators. After you’ve had ago using reasonable assumptions tell me what you get and what numbers you used for those three assumptions. Then I’ll tell you what I used.

        By the way, a simpler way, but not as correct as Graham Palmer’s, is in the spreadsheet you can download here: http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/

      • @PL: After you’ve had a go using reasonable assumptions tell me what you get and what numbers you used for those three assumptions. Then I’ll tell you what I used.

        I’m sure a lot of people here would find it very useful to understand how a private homeowner’s 7.5 kW home solar PV installation could cost the public $120,000 over 20 years. That’s $16 a watt in public subsidies for that installation. If true that would be a terrific argument against solar PV for all those opposed to it.

        How could that possibly be true? Peter’s best answer seems to be “read the bravenewclimate literature and do the maths yourself,” a burden he proposes to place on everyone interested in this question.

        If someone else (Faustino?) has a straight answer that isn’t too much more complicated than the question, one that can be summarized reasonably convincingly in a paragraph or three in this thread, the readers of Climate Etc. should find its reasoning very useful in arguing against solar PV.

        The more paragraphs it takes, the less convincing the reasoning and hence the less useful to everyone here who wants to make the case against solar PV to others. Simply repeating Peter’s argument “read the bravenewclimate literature and do the maths yourself” won’t get people terribly far in making that case.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        I’m sure a lot of people here would find it very useful to understand how a private homeowner’s 7.5 kW home solar PV installation could cost the public $120,000 over 20 years.

        You’ve made up a strawman which is totally false. A lie. I’ve had plenty of experience with your dishonest tactics before so am not prepared to play if you are going to be dishonest, kiniving, devious, disingenuous – which I fully believe you will.

        You asked a question. Therefore, if you want to learn, you are the student and I am there teacher. I’ll take you through it. But you have to be prepared to do your homework. The fact you haven’t even bothered to open the Graham Palmer paper shows you are just playing games. (And I know you didn’t even open it because the link I gave is not to the peer reviewed paper, not to BraveNewClimate). It’s in this comment (I am giving the link to the comment rather than the paper so you’ll re-read the first comment you responded to: http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/19/mainstreaming-ecs-2-c/#comment-323910 )

        The more paragraphs it takes, the less convincing the reasoning

        Your last paragraph considered in the context with your five paragraphs of dishonest strawman tactics, avoiding even reading the paper, and misrepresentation seems rather hypocritical don’t you think?

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Further to previous comment, the fact you didn’t even bother to read the Graham Palmer Paper (let alone study it and really understand it, and perhaps ask questions if there are parts you don’t understand), nor down load the simple spreadsheet, shows you are not in the slightest interested in understanding or getting an answer to the question you asked me. I assert you are far more interested in trying to justify your beliefs and your justify why it is OK for a member of the elite, a professor at Stanford in fact, to bludge off the poor.

        Your a disgrace.

        [That should embarrass you sufficiently so you now go and read the Graham Palmer paper and try to find a genuine error in the $600/tonne CO2 abatement cost with roof top PV. ]

        I’d be very impressed if you come back and say some thing like “Wow, I didn’t realise any of that. I’ve learnt a great deal. Thank you Peter Lang. I bow to your great wisdom!! I feel so guilty I am gong to give my PV set to a poor family. :)

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        I’ve just reread the first comment you responded to where I gave the link to the Palmer paper and stated the $600/tonne CO2 abatement cost with roof top PV in Australia (Melbourne; Brisbane is similar). http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/19/mainstreaming-ecs-2-c/#comment-323910

        Glad I did re read it. Because I had made a point of making clear in other comments but not this one that Graham Palmer, being a cautious engineer and generally tending to understate figures where there is uncertainty, gave a lower figure than $600/tonne CO2 abatement cost. The difference is that I used more realistic assumptions for average operating life of installations and average capacity factor for the fleet of roof top solar installations in a city. But we can get to arguing about the assumptions once you have done your homework – if you decide to do it of course!

        What fun kicking the sh-t out of a pompous, arrogant, ignorant professor with an enormous ego.

      • Since you had avoided answering the simple question of how abating 200 tons of CO2 over 20 years could cost $600 a ton, I was hoping someone else could answer it since we didn’t seem to be making much progress here. But I must say how my question constitutes a “lie” is a mystery to me.

      • vaughan Pratt,

        You figures are made up by you, totally baseless and not worth discussing. If you are not prepared to read the paper and get some understanding of the subject, what’s the point of me getting into the stupid sorts of discussion you want to have – which are just about your beliefs. You make stuff up as you go along, avoid the subject, continually twist and misrepresent what I’ve said. In short, your integrity is not befitting of an academic , let alone a professor at Stanford, so there is no way I’ll play your game. If you want to learn, I’ll teach you. Go do your homework and come back when ready.

      • I asked a simple question, “how can abating 200 tons of CO2 cost $600 a ton?” You responded first with “read this 30-page paper and get back to me,” and then when I protested that this was not a straight answer you began accusing me of lying.

        I can assure you of the veracity of the two numbers I cited, namely the 5-year age of my system and its meter reading of a tad over 110,500 lbs of CO2 abated to date. From that it follows that over 20 years my home system (7.5 kW at 37 N) will have abated 200 tons. There are no other relevant numbers I could be lying about.

        Your cost of $600 to abate a ton of CO2 implies a cost of 200 x $600 = $120,000 over 20 years. A straight answer would be to break down the $120,000 into its components: what are the various costs that add up to that figure? That is, how is that $120,000 pie sliced? No need to give a hundred components, just group them logically into say half a dozen or so main components so people can get a rough idea of where those costs are going. That would be six lines or so forming one table, equivalent in size to one paragraph. Later on one could break down each line into its own components if that seemed worthwhile.

        If you can’t do that then I’m sure I won’t be able to do it by slogging through a 30-page paper that I’m much less familiar with than you and wondering which pages are relevant to the cost breakdown. It would not be a productive expenditure of the time of either me or anyone else here who might be interested in how abating a ton of CO2 could possibly cost $600. If there were even one other such person, that would entail a pointless duplication of effort, and if there weren’t then perhaps the question isn’t interesting enough to the other readers to be worth pursuing in this forum.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        You do not understand what you are doing. We’ve discussed this many times before and it was apparent on every occasion you have little understanding of the issues involved. You seem to not appreciate that if you are connected to the grid, the installation is part of the electricity system. Therefore, the full system costs of PV in the system have to be included. Your figures for your house are irrelevant because they are not the system costs and do not include the subsidies from governments and other electricity consumers. I’ve explained all this to you on numerous previous occasions. On each occasion you were devious and more interested in trying to prove you had made the right decision in buying a PV installation than in understanding the issues and the costs.

        I know there is no point whatsoever in providing the basis of the estimate until you have read and understood the methodology. If I did, then I’d have to spend the next twenty years arguing with you about the method. No thanks. If you want a simpler method, download the spreadsheet I pointed you to earlier.

        The Palmer paper explains what you need to know. It is a good paper. You are a professor. Surely you are not trying to tell me it is too much for you to read it and understand it, are you, Professor?

      • @PL: Your figures for your house are irrelevant because they are not the system costs and do not include the subsidies from governments and other electricity consumers.

        Ah, I think I see the problem. You seem to think that the figures from my house involve costs. They do not. The only relevant figure from my house is the meter’s claim that the system is abating 10 tons of CO2 per year.

        The only figure bearing on cost to anyone was provided by you, namely $600 per ton of abated CO2. According to you, over a 20-year period my system is costing me plus governments plus other electricity consumers etc. etc. $120,000.

        I am completely open to an analysis of this amount in terms of the costs to all entities. For a start I’d be interested in just three numbers $x, $y, and $z summing to $120,000, as follows:

        Cost to me: $x
        Cost to government(s): $y
        Cost to other electricity consumers: $z

        If you have a more detailed breakdown that would be interesting too.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        If you are interested in learning about the cost of roof top PV and the CO2 abatement cost with PV (for the nation which is what we are talking about), just ask and I’ll assist you to learn. If not, no point wasting my time on a zealot.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        If you want those numbers for your installation (which is connected to the grid and subsidised by other rate payers and taxpayers, you can work it out for yourself. I haven’t attempted to split them up this way.

        As I said, read the Palmer Paper as a first step.

        I know your game, and not interested in playing it. Got that? But I will help you to understand if you are genuinely interested (which I am convinced you are not). Got that?

        Just to reinforce the point, the CO2 abatement cost with roof top PV in Melbourne is about $600/tonne CO2 (using reasonable, defensible assumptions for average capacity factor, average operating life of the installation, average inverter life and other assumptions). It is similar in Brisbane and Sydney.

      • @PL: If you want those numbers for your installation (which is connected to the grid and subsidised by other rate payers and taxpayers, you can work it out for yourself. I haven’t attempted to split them up this way.

        Actually my question is not specific to my installation but to any home installation that is abating 10 tons of CO2 a year. I’d be very interested in a top-level cost breakdown for a Melbourne home abating CO2 at that rate.

        In fact I’m surprised a straightforward breakdown of that kind doesn’t already exist: how is the $600 apportioned between those shouldering that burden? Why hasn’t Palmer done it already? He’d presumably be a reliable source for such a breakdown—those interested in the question but lacking the requisite background for such calculations certainly would not be. A professionally done cost breakdown would be far more convincing than “go read the paper and work it out for yourself.”

        I did actually look at the paper, but was unable to find any “method.” Turning the many facts in the paper into a method looks like it would need someone with Palmer’s level of expertise to do it. I could fully understand the reluctance of others to attempt it since it would not be an effective use of their time and would be unlikely to produce a reliable result.

      • Peter Lang

        I believe in a ‘horses for courses’ energy policy especially when it comes to renewables, in the UK for instance we should be concentrating far more on that inexhaustible source of power-the sea. .As an island nowhere is more than 70 miles from it.

        In that regards I wonder if you have any figures as to the cut off point when solar strays from the ‘marginal but reasonably effective albeit at considerable cost’ and ‘don’t even think of trying to do that.’

        I am thinking of the UK experience whereby my own area receives some 1750 hours per year of sunlight and (pathetically) is one of the sunniest places in Britain. Sunshine and light levels are markedly lower of course in winter when solar power is most needed.

        Any thoughts? I’ve no idea how many hours of sunshine Vaughan’s house in Melbourne would get but I suspect it is considerably more than us,

        tonyb

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        In fact I’m surprised a straightforward breakdown of that kind doesn’t already exist: how is the $600 apportioned between those shouldering that burden?

        Someone may have done it that way, but I’ve never seen it and I’ve never seen anyone ask for it before. It is of no interest to me. The answer would change from state to state because the feed in tariffs vary from state to state and from time to time (they are frequently changed, as are the up-front subsidies. They’d also vary according to the penetration. My interest is in the total capital cost of renewable energy systems to the country compared with fossil fuels and nuclear, and also the cost of electricity from such systems and the CO2 abatement cost from such systems. I’ve summarised and compared these three costs on Figure 6 here: http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf . Those are the sorts of comparisons that are of relevance to policy decisions and especially, relevant as to whether or not we should continue to mandate and subsidise renewable energy.

        Your question about your particular PV installation is totally meaningless to me because you want to think only about what you’ve spent and ignore the other costs. You haven’t even given an indication yet that you realise the extent to which taxpayers and electricity consumers (especially the poor) are supporting your elitist hobby.

        I did actually look at the paper, but was unable to find any “method.” Turning the many facts in the paper into a method looks like it would need someone with Palmer’s level of expertise to do it. I could fully understand the reluctance of others to attempt it since it would not be an effective use of their time and would be unlikely to produce a reliable result.

        I accept that statement. You need to be able to reproduce the figures in Figure 6 and then change some of his rather cautious assumptions (cautious in that he wants PV enthusiasts to read and understand the paper not just dismiss it because it doesn’t tell them what they want to hear).

        If you show the slightest inkling of wanting to learn rather than just wanting to push your barrow, I’ll help you. I’ve already done the sensitivity analyses to changes of important inputs.

      • Peter Lang

        Tonyb,

        I believe in a ‘horses for courses’ energy policy especially when it comes to renewables, …

        In that regards I wonder if you have any figures as to the cut off point when solar strays from the ‘marginal but reasonably effective albeit at considerable cost’ and ‘don’t even think of trying to do that.’

        Yes I do have those figures. And the short answer is don’t even think of it anywhere except for off-grid situations. Solar is not viable anywhere und unlikely to be viable in the foreseeable future, if ever. The same applies to wind power and most other non-hydro renewables (traditional geothermal in volcanic areas are one exception).

        That’s the short answer. This excellent 18-minute TED video by David Mackay, Chief Scientist for the UK Department of Climate and Energy Efficiency may answer some of your questions: http://www.ted.com/talks/david_mackay_a_reality_check_on_renewables.html .

        Happy to answer more questions on costs. Or you can look at this the cost to generate eastern Australia’s electricity with a mix of renewables:
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/

      • @PL: Your question about your particular PV installation is totally meaningless to me because you want to think only about what you’ve spent and ignore the other costs.

        Not true. My question was, how could an installation (mine for example but it could be that of any other house) that abates 10 tons of CO2 a year cost $600 a ton? Obviously I’m not ignoring other costs than mine, though I would like to know how much of that $600 is paid by the owner of the installation. If for example half of it is paid by the owner then others are only paying $300. If $400 is paid by the owner then others pay only $200, and so on.

        Without an answer to my apportionment question it is meaningless to cite $600 as an “unfair burden on others.”

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        Your question are meaningless to me as I’ve explained many times. If you want to do the calculation, do it yourself. Or read Faustino’s reply to you at the bottom of this thread.

        You have demonstrated repeatedly you are not interested in anything but pushing your beliefs in solar PV, as you have revealed many times in the past, so I am not willing to play your games. You’ve got the answers you need. If you were interested, you’d go an research it instead of playing the games zealots play.

        All you need to know is that elites like you are bludging off the poor.

      • Hope you don’t mind me butting in PL and VP, but part of the issue seems to be that you’re focussing on different elements of the question.

        VP was looking at the individual installation perspective and PL the over-all system cost which includes factoring in direct subsidies, as well as large items such as transmission and distribution implications.

        And VP is right to ask for details on these, as these abatement costs figures are very dependent on the assumptions made. $600/ton is not written in stone. I’ve seen figures from as low as $90/ton to well over $600.

        But if you really want the full picture as PL is suggesting, it’s worth noting these abatement cost figures ignore any potential costs on the carbon fuel side stemming from carbon emissions impact on the climate system. Yes, this would involve many, many assumptions……. but we’re already down that road.

      • “You have demonstrated repeatedly you are not interested in anything but pushing your beliefs in solar PV,”

        ! ? !

        It’s really Lang’s “beliefs” that are in question here. I doubt that Vaughan is living in a dream state, given that he is the one that runs his homestead on solar power. The fact that Vaughan can produce power on his own is more a “reality” than a “belief”.

      • Peter Lang

        More loony left wingnuts chiming in with their ideologically motivated reasoning as well as their ignorance of the subject. Try some other sources. Here is an extract from an article by the ‘Environment Editor’ in today’s ‘Weekend Australian’:

        “We have no issue with solar; it’s just we have a situation where one of the most expensive forms of generation is forcing the cheapest form of generation offline,” Merritt says.

        Early solar rooftops are guaranteed 44c/ kWh compared with retail electricity prices as low as 22c and the 4c/ kWh paid to baseload generators.

        McArdle says by 2015-16 most Queenslanders will be paying $276 a year, or about 17 per cent of their annual power bill, to subsidise other people having solar power on domestic roofs.

        “But these are just the direct costs of the solar bonus scheme,” he says. “What is not included is the cost of upgrading the electricity network to cope with widespread power flowing back into the grid, which has resulted in voltage and other issues making the electricity grid in some areas highly unstable.

        “Solar power is being provided into the grid during the day when there is a surplus of power available. Queensland’s coal-fired baseload power stations cannot be switched on and off and need to run continuously.

        “There is no logic to this policy. It does little to reduce carbon, as its supporters claim, because the baseload power stations have to stay on … to meet demand at peak periods.”

        Government-owned power companies face revenue losses of several hundred million dollars from lower electricity sales and forced electricity purchases due to solar.

        The Electricity Supply Association of Australia says most solar households end up paying only a fraction of their fair share of the cost of maintaining the network.

        The cost of maintaining the electricity network is incorporated into electricity tariffs, which are mostly charged on the basis of how much electricity is consumed. Households with solar are paying less for the network because they generate some of their own electricity and import less from the grid.

        But the ESAA says solar households can be among the biggest users of the networks, because they import and export electricity at different times of the day.

        The current arrangements are unfair and need to be changed,” an ESAA report on the issue says. “At the moment, low-income households who cannot afford solar, renters and people in apartments pay more to underwrite those customers who can install their own solar system.

        “We need to change the way we charge consumers for the cost of the networks to make sure everybody pays their fair share.

        … “

        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/rooftop-solar-panels-help-to-generate-problems-as-well-as-power/story-fn59niix-1226650182854

        Is this clear enough, yet?

      • Peter’s right – the big power generators don’t like solar.

        For all the reasons indicated…..and as other recent research has shown, it’s been knocking a little off the top of their most profitable time – peak demand.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The lowest abatement costs can be found in Australia with both lots of sunshine and mostly coal fired power stations that are being replaced.’

        http://www.greenrhinoenergy.com/blog/?p=55

        The abatement cost is still $160/ton, Melbourne is not Australia and coal plants cannot be shut down merely run very inefficiently at 60% capacity.

      • Peter Lang

        Chief Hydrologist,

        Thanks for the link. Interesting find and would answer VP’s questions … if it was correct. But it is not. It is way off. It is the solar PV industry’s spin.

        Three wrong figures for Australia I noticed after a very brief look are in the first Table are:

        1. Solar PV does not substitute for coal generation, or for the average emissions intensity of the grid. It substitutes for gas generation, i.e. the highly flexible generators that provide power during intermediate and peak demand. So the ‘avoided emissions factor’ is too high by 50% or more.

        2. The average energy yield is nowhere near 1800 kWh/kWp. This is a theoretical figure and not even close to what the roof top PV installations average. It’s also too high by probably 50% or more.

        3. The 10 year interest rate of 4.89% is not close to the discount rate used for analysing electricity generation technology options. The Australian government uses 10% in the most recent analyses.

        4. Average operation life o\f PV module of 25 years is overstated, probably b y about 100%

        You can recognise the author’s bias from the first sentence in the article:

        By converting abundant sunlight directly into electricity without any fuels, photovoltaic modules (PV) are an ideal technology to reduce green house gas emissions. No wonder it has caught the attention of many governments that have made tackling climate change their declared priority.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Peter – I deliberately used a solar industry site and pointed out a couple of problems with their assumptions that suggest a higher abatement cost for Melbourne. Even given the assumptions the cost of abatement is still very high – and pursuing this with public funds seems less than efficient.

    • > The rapid warming left the upper bound open, but gave a meaningful lower bound.

      What was the lower bound, again?

    • Peter Lang

      Pekka Pirila,

      You may have missed my reply here: http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/19/mainstreaming-ecs-2-c/#comment-324143

      • Peter,

        Do you think that your comment was written in a way that makes me likely to answer?

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        Since you have avoided answering the question so many times, it is pretty obvious you wont. But that has nothing to do with the way it was written since it has been written perfectly clearly over six times. Clearly there are other reasons. We’ve come across those before, haven’t we?

    • David Young

      Pekka, I agree with your sentiments.

  47. The thing here is, we’re not seeing a failure to warm.

    We’re seeing a failure to count all the energy.

    Some of it goes into the oceans, so we decide we somehow magically get more time?

    More time for what?

    That energy shift into the deep oceans (if indeed that is what is happening, and is most of what is happening), isn’t a stable feature of the system, or at least mechanically it shouldn’t be.

    How would you build a conveyor that worked that way in a closed system, and make it reliable? You’d have emergency release valves, or shunts, or vents, to avoid explosive buildups or blockages or reversals, wouldn’t you?

    What would those structures mean in a naturally evolving global climate system? Would we get sudden deep sea bursts of gases released from solution? Harmonic twins of the ENSO equatorial phenomenon at mid-latitudes or in the Atlantic? A sudden halt to an ocean oscillation? A maelstrom?

    Warming is relatively benign, near the surface in an atmosphere. Gases expand and contract or change pressure or precipitate and almost always have a clear line to free up energy at night in the dark. Motion in contained fluid bodies is something entirely different.

    • The oceans give us time and they help even in the long run. They absorb a lot of energy and they take a lot of CO2. This combination means that the maximum temperature reached will be more limited than simplistic extrapolations tell. It takes longer for the oceans to warm than it takes them to bring the atmospheric CO2 concentration to levels low enough to be of little concern.

      While I’m writing that, I’m not claiming that there’s no reason to worry, only that it’s not as bad as simple extrapolation tells.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Pekka said:

        “This combination means that the maximum temperature reached will be more limited than simplistic extrapolations tell.”
        ____

        Maybe or maybe not. We need to look at all the consequences of a warming ocean, including the heat that is being advected to the polar region, causing such a dramatic decrease in sea ice. There may be some big positive feebacks that are being kicked-in because of this rapid decline, and should we get an increasingly ice-free summer Arctic, these feedbacks could be amplified.

        I am a big advocate of looking at the best multi-source, multi-location collection of the paleoclimate data to get a real sense of what might happen in a world of 560 ppm of CO2. We can’t model all the feedbacks as the climate is too complex and chaotic, but the paleoclimate data contains all the feedbacks by default. The paleoclimate data strongly supports an ECS of at least 3C, and higher if you look at the ESS.

    • Bart
      - “Co2 warming in the ocean is confined mostly to the upper portion especially in the surface layer near 60N and 50S. Through increases in precipitation, weakened westerly wind stress and reduced overturning salinity, amounts decrease at high latitudes of each hemisphere. Salinity also increases in the subtropics. The resultant warming and refreshing of the high latitude ocean surface layer stabilizes the ocean and cause a weaker thermohaline circulation”
      From ; Developments in atmospheric Science 19 “Greenhouse gas induced climate change 1991. This was as a result of a 1989 workshop in the US. -

      Above quote from TonyB’s post elsewhere affirms the role of far North Atlantic’s ocean-atmosphere interaction as the driver of the North Hemisphere’s climate change.
      In my research I have found that the CO2 component could not in any way measure or compare with the geological factors so prevailing in this area.
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NaturalVariability.htm

      Many experts and non-expert alike may weep in lament of doom brought by the CO2 ‘demon’, but as always nature will have the last word.

    • BartR, “That energy shift into the deep oceans (if indeed that is what is happening, and is most of what is happening), isn’t a stable feature of the system, or at least mechanically it shouldn’t be.”

      Of course it should be. 1000:1 Specific heat ratio with a 100+:1 heat transfer coefficient liquid to gas. The ocean are highly efficient thermal reservoir.

      “How would you build a conveyor that worked that way in a closed system, and make it reliable? You’d have emergency release valves, or shunts, or vents, to avoid explosive buildups or blockages or reversals, wouldn’t you?”

      Yep, SSW events and deep convection are relief mechanisms. Glacial ice and snow are storage. Ocean surface area is a regulator. Tides, Coriolis effect and temperature differential are pumps. Salinity changes shunts flow to different depths.

      Add Toggwieler and this new guy Brian Rose, to your reading list.

      http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~brose/

      Just as an example, the value of DWLR is equal to the “average” energy of the oceans. The “average” OLR is equal to the DWLR times the percentage open ocean surface area. Based on a black body source and radiant “shell” that is exactly what is should be. In others words, a water vapor greenhouse surrounded by a dry WMG greenhouse, where the area of the WVGH is less that the WMGH.

      Since the NH and SH have 180 degree out of phase seasonal oscillations, you will have a coupled oscillator with varying periods due to the layers of the system.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coupled_oscillators.gif

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | May 21, 2013 at 7:20 am |

        Wow.

        Three people in a row just not getting it.

        These changes you describe with handsweeping are not benign, not negligible, not long-term sustainable and not without massive negative global and regional consequence in short term and medium term.

        More precipitation? Just like that. Ho hum. It rains and snows more. There’s more storms, more frequent storms, more intense storms, or some unknowable combination? (Hard to imagine more precipitation and less, less frequent, less intense storms.) How could that possibly be bad for anyone or anything?

        Salinity changes happening at increasing rates, over larger areas, for longer durations earlier or later into seasons? That’s thermohaline layers, and no doubt must accompany shifts in oxygen and nitrogen ion solution balance and pH (lower saline concentration meaning smaller acid-base changes cause greater pH shifts). How could that be bad for anyone or anything?

        If your energy isn’t just sitting around being heat, it’s doing some other mischief. More poorly studied mischief. More poorly documented mischief. Harder to categorize. Harder to anticipate. Harder to predict, or to predict the consequences of. More chaotic, in new states within the complex systems of the biom.

        It’s like the co-pilot telling the captain, “Great news! That fussy number four engine you were worried about because of the flashing lights on the display panel? Won’t trouble us any more. It just blew apart and fell off. I have no clue what’s happening with these flashing lights for the other three engines, but one less to worry about is a good thing.”

      • BartR, Yeah, you could look at it like that. All unknowns are bad. That is the basic premise behind linear no threshold modeling.

        To some the unknown is frightening to others exciting, but it is still just unknown. You stated, “That energy shift into the deep oceans (if indeed that is what is happening, and is most of what is happening), isn’t a stable feature of the system, or at least mechanically it shouldn’t be.”

        That is not an unknown, it is actually a stabilizing feature. When there is a larger control range the hunting is smoother and less violent. A tight control range is ironically, more unstable. All of the complex feed backs, amplifications, buffers and cycles, make the system more stable.

        That is unknown to you, you assume it cannot exist, therefore your are frightened. That means you are not allowed to be the captain, yet.

        Until you can wrap your head around how naive your statement was, your input is useless. Go back with the cargo.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | May 21, 2013 at 11:21 am |

        You seem to have ‘feature’ and ‘bug’, ‘stabilizing’ and ‘destabilizing’ confused. So what if the freaking temperature portion of one tiny part of the huge complex machinery is ‘stabilized’ by your ‘feature’?

        It’s at the cost of an unknowable number of unknowable types of destabilization.

        Screw frightening or exciting. I don’t do fear, and my excitement is not your business. Introducing new unknowns is costly.

        If you want to introduce new costly unknowns, that’s fine. We can negotiate that.

        But be prepared to pay me if you’re going to force it on me without consultation. And be prepared to pay through the nose.

        I want my money.

      • Bart you seem to be ranting.

      • HR | May 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm |

        Seem?

  48. Alexej Buergin

    A new record at the Nenana Ice Classic, which is (now was?) supposed to be a “good proxy for climate change”.

  49. Well that is getting closer to Shaviv’s estimate of 1.3+/-0.4.
    http://www.sciencebits.com/OnClimateSensitivity

  50. David Springer

    Vaughn Pratt prattles:

    “So ironically it is the trace gases that put the planet at risk”

    Maybe we can agree that a trace gas causes hyperbolic statements to issue from people who should know better.

  51. David Springer

    Interesting factoids.

    The solar constant at earth’s average distance from the sun is 1366 Watts per square meter. Projected onto a spinning sphere divides this number by four so each square meter of the top of the atmosphere gets an average of 342 Watts of power from the sun.

    The global ocean has an average temperature of about 4C (~3.9C in most estimates) top to bottom.

    The ocean is an approximate blackbody with an average albedo of 0.04 which can be restated as 96% of all incident light that falls upon it is absorbed and thermalized.

    Blackbodies emit what’s called a continuous spectrum where the peak frequency and power are determined by temperature.

    If we plug 4C into the blackbody calculator below we find that a blackbody at 4C emits 335 Watts per square meter.

    Is it coincidence that the radiant power of the ocean at its average temperature is almost precisely the power delivered by the sun to the top of the atmosphere? Doubtful.

    96% of top of atmosphere insolation, 0.96 *

    So the earth is illuminated by 341 Watts per square meter and the ocean’s average emittance power is 335 Watts per square meter.

    Here is the answer to why the ocean’s average temperature is a mere 4C. That’s as warm as it can possibly be on average simply because there is insufficient power delivered by the sun to make it any warmer than that.

    Everything is is simply due to stratification.

    http://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php

    • Very good David, but the oscillations? BartR, Webby and the rest of the resident geniuses can understand the oscillations.

      https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mN4qT42KMh4/UZtluJb7BXI/AAAAAAAAILg/vEflo0i6Cfk/s599/Bart%2527s%2520oscillation.png

      The NH and SH are seasonally 180 out of phase. The SH has a mean of 17 C with a variance of 4 C. The NH has a mean of 20 C with a variance of 7 C. As long as there is not shift in the thermal equator, that is you signal in blue.

      What if the thermal equator shifts? Would that be real energy or an artifact of “seasonal” signal removal? Inquiring minds.

      • David Springer

        There are any many oscillators with different frequencies from diurnal to annual to centuries to millenia to a hundred thousand years and those are just the ones we know about. These all feed into delay lines with uncountable different delays then they all beat against each other creating harmonics off the fundamentals. We can pick out some of the biggest ones and make a little sense out of them. The phases of water moving albedo around between two high points (snow and clouds) through a low point (liquid surface water) serve to bound the whole mess with floor and ceiling temperatures keeping the situation more or less suitable for life at all times in at least some if not most locations.

        Is there some specific question about oscillators in the climate system?

      • Springer, “is there a question about oscillations?”

        Yeah, Seasonal cycles change with the oscillations. What impact does removing a “seasonal” cycle based on a anomaly baseline period, have on the average mean surface temperature calculations?

        The divergence between satellite and “surface” temperature data sets is increasing. One or the other has issues. It don’t look like the satellites.

  52. I keep checking in here to see if DocMartyn has a response to Myrrh`s May 21 3:44 am entry…especially the first 3 paragrahs.

  53. Pingback: Science in the dock: experts, climate change and evidence | Troy Media

  54. Is 2C the correct value for ECS?

    Much of the blogosphere, including this blog, has been dominated by assertions that the new Nature Geoscience paper estimates ECS to be 2C or very close. I will argue here that the paper shows the opposite – that ECS is very unlikely to be very close to 2C. (The same applies to claims that the actual figure should be 2.4C, 3C, or some other value I’ve suggested should be considered).

    To make my point, I’ll link to a comparable exercise in probability – the winner of the 2014 Super Bowl – 2014 Super Bowl Odds. As you can see, the article tells us that the New England Patriots are the “odds-on favorite”. Well, if they are favored to win the Super Bowl, how likely are they to win it? It turns out to be 1 chance in 8. The team most likely to win is quite unlikely to win.

    Back to the Nature Geoscience paper. It doesn’t show a standard pdf graph, but if it did, it would resemble the ones shown by Nic Lewis at WUWT -New Paper, with a peak at 2C, like Nic’s red curve. It should be clear that if one takes a narrow slice of the curve from slightly below to slightly above 2C, that will represent only a small probability value.

    I don’t want to overdo the point, but I would argue that the value of the curve peak, while important, is less critical than has been implied in these discussions. The 5%-95% confidence interval is at least as important, and perhaps more so, and it’s also worth noting the shape of the curve and the areas under it. To me, it looks like the probability ECS exceeds 2C is greater than the probability ECS is below 2C. In any case, I suspect many of the paper’s authors would tell us we should pay more attention to the range (1.2 – 3.9) than the peak value.

    • Fred,

      In the spirit of Bayesian inference, this kind of analysis produces the conditional probability that must be joined with the prior pdf to make a posterior pdf. The results of the analysis is not a pdf and it need not be normalizable to one. Some earlier analyses did, indeed, produced only a lower limit and had a finite conditional probability for arbitrarily large values of ECS.

      For this reason the analysis cannot tell where the expectation value or median is, the peak value corresponds to the point of highest conditional probability.

      • Pekka – I agree completely that these are not posterior pdfs. The choice of priors is complicated and contentious, as you know, and I thought it would dilute my main point to get into discussing it. My own personal bias is that reasonable priors would probably make the lower bound higher than 1.2C, which is a “no-feedback” sensitivity value, but that’s a discussion for a different time, and there’s plenty of room for disagreement about on that choice..

      • Fred,

        I would think that the question of choosing the prior is less critical as long as we are discussing climate sensitivities less than 3, but even in this range the issue is significant enough to make estimating median values suspect. For higher climate sensitivities my preference is on priors that lead to a non-divergent distribution for the feedback parameter. That would mean that the prior distribution for sensitivity should fall as 1/S^2 or faster at high values. This would cut effectively off the high tail.

        As I started I don’t know about any arguments that would affect similarly the low end of the possible values as long as we don’t go well below 1.0.

    • David Springer

      Your point is pointless. Your argument that it’s extremely unlikely that ECS is 2C is like saying it’s extremely unlikely that anyone’s wristwatch has the correct time on it. Technically true but most of them are very close to the correct time. Similarly a stopped clock is correct more often than Fred Moolten.

  55. ECS estimates are built from temperature estimates.

    As such, we know from BEST that temperature estimates are fairly shoddy, so if we’re really rigorous we’ll want to speculate on correction factors from what we do know in the data.

    Taking BEST as the most nearly accurate land-only temperature record, simple graphical reasoning allows us to do the following:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from:1850/trend/plot/crutem4vgl/trend/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:101/mean:103/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:95/mean:97/last:6/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:89/mean:91/last:6/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:83/mean:85/last:6/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:77/mean:79/last:6/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:71/mean:73/last:6/plot/none

    Fitting CRU4 land only temperature to BEST with detrending and offsetting (by eye), we see an adjustment of 8.6% (or so) on the slope and 0.07C on the amplitude of the least squares fit produces a fair match.

    Apply the same correction to the land-and-ocean, more up-to-date (but less accurate) HadCRU4, we arrive at something akin to a prediction of what BEST will produce, should they ever release a land-sea GMT.

    Base your ECS on that.

    As a side note, looking in detail at the time since 1998 — the hottest year on record, by far, up to that time:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:101/mean:103/last:84/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:83/mean:85/last:18/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:65/mean:67/last:18/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:47/mean:49/last:18/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:29/mean:31/last:18/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/mean:11/mean:13/last:18/plot/hadcrut4gl/detrend:-0.086/offset:0.07/last:24/trend

    We see the entire basis for claims of flat or negative trend since the turn of the millennium is two year’s weather, in particular the weather of 2008 & 2012. Removing those two years from the trend experimentally leads to quite other outcomes. And 2008 & 2012? Two of the ten hottest years on record, aren’t they?

    • BartR, the difference between ECS and TCR is the change in heat capacity.

      As the the change in heat capacity approaches zero, TCR and ESC become the same, some the measure of ESC is stored energy not temperature. TCR estimates are made from temperatures.

      If you want go get a rough estimate of the change in stored energy you can look at the ARGO data, too short to be of much good or compare rates of change in TCR by layers, regions etc.

      If you compare the rate of change of the Land Only surface temperature with the rate of change of the lower stratosphere temperatures, you should see some difference in the TCR estimates. Basically, different layers with difference specific heat capacities charge at different rates. By the same token you could compare land to ocean rates.

      Since WMGHGs response quickly in the atmosphere, they provide a “fast response” reference, TCR and the higher the density the more the response is related to ECS.

      https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-FhXqwgJLtu4/UZuw5MyQtPI/AAAAAAAAIMo/pw9esu6QYtE/s979/BartR%2527s%2520Warming.png

      That compares UAH Land by Hemisphere with GISS Land only. The trends are close, but the difference changes. That indicates a change in the rate of heat uptake between the two “layers”. There is of course uncertainty in both data sets, but the hemisphere trends are pretty close to the same even though there is a large difference in the regional anomaly trends.

      That gives you a rough idea of the “sensitivity” related to changes in atmospheric factors. Remember, CO2 is a well mixed gas which should have a common impact. The hemispheres have all those internal energy shifts that create the noise.

      You can include more atmospheric layers and use absolute temperatures and get even sexier estimates. Like that the current rate of OH uptake is slowing to less than 0.3 Wm-2, indicating an approach to a Pseudo-Equilibrium condition. That would be the “pause” which has a greater impact on ECS than TCR.

      Now had the older Energy Budget Data not been totally FUBAR, most of the higher end “sensitivity” estimates would have never existed. Climate Science suffers from some Piss poor record keeping and code sharing so people can check for mistakes.

      • .. and this is addressed to me, why?

      • Because you are having a Girma moment.

        “Base your ECS on that.”

        ECS is about rates of change, the delta F – delta Q, not linear trends, no matter how much they are massaged. Rates of change implies the variance or standard deviation of the data, is a fairly important factor.

        https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-YT1RNGjeMlY/UZwY_runNJI/AAAAAAAAINU/VLJKMM6cM2M/s843/BartR%2527s%2520Warming%2520stdev.png

        That compares the 132 month standard deviation of the BEST hemisphere Tmax and Tmin with UAH hemispheres. That is a pretty significant difference in standard deviation.

        As I have said before, GISS, HADCRU and BEST did a fine job, but the accuracy is still not up to the task. They are likely not up to the task because there is a significant decrease in temperature with increase in latitude with wicked seasonal cycles that are not in the same phase. In fact, the Antarctic is often out of phase with the water surrounding it.

        Satellite, despite their issues, are better designed for that “global” averaging.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | May 21, 2013 at 9:17 pm |

        Ahhhhh.

        Artificially low sigma doesn’t make bad data better.

        And I’d hoped you might be talking about something that hadn’t been rehashed a hundred times before.

        Fix the broken satellite system. Heck, put up enough satellites that you can actually tell how invalid the data is. And get 300 more years of satellite data.

        Then be all means, be my guest and use satellite data.

      • BartR, “Fix the broken satellite system. Heck, put up enough satellites that you can actually tell how invalid the data is. And get 300 more years of satellite data. ”

        Spoken like a true believer.

        The problem appears to be in the surface temperature methodology. The data is baseline dependent due to the removal of the seasonal cycle. You can’t compare the surface to the satellites without using a common baseline, which is the satellite era. This is the same problem with much of the Paleo reconstructions, choice of baseline impacts the final results.

        You can ignore the satellite data, like Trenbert elected to do, or chop the the divergent paleo data like a few have elected to do, but you just end up fooling yourself.

        Normally, a tenth or two of error would not be that big of a deal, but with the apparent “sensitivity” dropping, it is becoming a big deal. That is the problem with chaotic “oscillations”, they can be real or the product of poor procedures.

        Since you can’t understand how minor miscalculations can “snowball”. perhaps you have a few in your revenue neutral master planning.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | May 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm |

        My apologies. I’d forgotten you were Dunning-Krugerized to the eyeballs where statistics and trendology are concerned.

        Your graphs attempt to compare apples and oranges, at least three different ways.

        You apply the concept of standard deviation incorrectly.

        You apply the concept of baseline imprecisely. While in a general way some of what you say about baseline has technical foundation, you’re misapplied the technique.

        I really don’t have the time or energy to fix what’s wrong with your approach; I don’t care to repeat the Girma fiasco, and I’m loathe to sound like Brandon by saying, “you make no sense.”

        So let me leave it with, please refer me to whatever textbook you think you learned statistics from, so I can obtain a copy and beat the authors about the head with it.

      • BartR, “You apply the concept of standard deviation incorrectly.”

        Yes, technically it is incorrect, but it is a short cut. It is just part of “looking” at the data first.
        “You apply the concept of baseline imprecisely.’ That would be incorrect. I try a number of baselines to see if they are “robust” Marcott et al. is just one of many example where baseline and incomparable smoothing/binning produces less than robust results.

        The reason I am interested in the impacts of baseline selection and use standard deviation as a shortcut is because there are cumulative impacts and.longer term seasonal shifts.

        http://nomad3.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh?ctlfile=monoiv2.ctl&varlist=on&new_window=on&ptype=ts&dir=

        Compare 60S to 50S with 50N to 60N. Then compare 15S to equ with equ to 15N. Toggwieler and others have stress the impact of shifts in the thermal equator or ITCZ. Since the two hemispheres have out of phase seasonal oscillations of different magnitudes that can shift, baseline dependence will produce errors at some point in the time series. Standard deviation changes or changes in variance if you don’t want the error scaled, just give you a place to start looking.

        You can look at the first differences of GISS LOTI SH and HADCRU SH and easily see that the different methods produce different errors. BEST also has a shift in sd/variance at the same period indicating there is a shift in the system, likely in Antarctic.

        As for the satellite data you are convinced is wrong, I have compare that with, steric sea level rise, solar variation, CO2 fluctuations, SST temperature and just about anything I can find and it is really impressive. In fact, the correlation between solar, steric sea level and stratospheric temperatures is remarkable. Pity there are two volcanoes at the beginning of the series.

        https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bRNTLuksgKY/UaQdK91LXvI/AAAAAAAAIUg/dyxgbGEuk_g/s691/Solar%2520and%2520the%2520tropical%2520stratosphere.png

        At least it is remarkable to a statistical novice like myself. I am sure to you it is just noise.

      • Cappy shows absolutely no facility for deeper physics and botches any math or stats that he touches. Like Bart R says, he applies standard deviation incorrectly, something I have pointed out as well.

        Cappy is worse than Girma in that at least with Girma, you can see his equations. With Cappy, it is non-stop Gish Gallop with the scientific gibberish.

      • Webster, “Cappy shows absolutely no facility for deeper physics and botches any math or stats that he touches”

        You need to get a handle on the simple realities. 1) Land is not uniformly distributed across the Globe. 2) Ocean Heat transport varies between hemispheres because of 1).

        You are assuming 1) and 2) have no significant impact on climate “sensitivity”. That appears to be an incorrect assumption.

        You have to get over that problem before you can see why your methods are not compatible with the problem. You have to define a “surface” that is reasonably stable or include adjustments for the asymmetry.

        https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-YT1RNGjeMlY/UZwY_runNJI/AAAAAAAAINU/VLJKMM6cM2M/s843/BartR%2527s%2520Warming%2520stdev.png

        That simple comparison of the possible “surfaces” you can use illustrates that the lower troposphere temperature anomaly is a more stable reference than the “surface” temperature anomaly. It would be more stable because energy is more uniformly distributed at that “surface”. You could use longer or shorter periods, but since the satellite data is short, I selected 132 months, 1/3 of the satellite series length and roughly a solar Pseudo-cycle.

        Both you and BartR prefer to ignore the differences between the temperature responses of the different “surfaces” and select the ones that favor your intentions instead of exploring the differences. If the two of you believe that a simple comparison of sequential 132 month standard deviations is a fatal statistical methodology flaw, I believe y’all are missing the point, it is a simple illustration.

      • Cappy shows some nonsense relating to standard deviations.

        Again, let me explain to you Cappy Denier. We have historical observations of a ECS of about 3 C and a TCR of about 2 C for doubling of CO2. The ECS shows up as a Land-based warming because there is no place for the heat to sink except as a rise in surface temperature. The TCR shows up in the global temperature because this includes a significant heat sink in the ocean.

        Recall that the ocean takes up about 70% of the area of the Earth’s surface while the land takes up about 30% of the area. Taking a sample of the ocean and land surface temperatures, we get a 70/30 proportional mix of the ocean and land temperatures. See how well that fits the HadCru data sets:
        http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tzdkvqisOYY/UYReRRDKKrI/AAAAAAAADec/17ypjYtqcpE/s1600/hadcrut.GIF

        As the OHC data tells us that the ocean is retaining about half the excess heat, the ocean temperature should be about half the land temperatures (which has no heat sink to speak of). That also works to explain the data
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/05/proportional-landsea-global-warming.html

        This agrees with what Bart R said but through a different route.

      • Webster, “Cappy shows some nonsense relating to standard deviations.”

        I don’t think it is nonsense or I would not have shown it to you. Standard deviation is nothing more than the RMS value of the anomaly. Since the system has energy constantly flowing through it, standard deviation of temperature anomaly is analogous to monitoring the the atmospheric “voltage”. It is a simple “cheat” Webster, just another tool in the box other than the hammer.

        https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-XA3P4E-05TE/UaSm-75E1RI/AAAAAAAAIVQ/0wfNEHEL4SE/s723/sd%2520comp%2520noext.png

        Since you think that the Land surface temperature is an indication of the expected ECS instead of the oceans which actually drive global climate, consider that chart. It is the 25 mo standard deviation divided by the full series standard deviation. A value of 1 would be a one sigma event.

        The land variations doesn’t have much impact on the NH as a whole in the lower troposphere.

        https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-eLD_Zwf7dAM/UaSm-41hltI/AAAAAAAAIVU/wrCVqekGkdA/s725/sd%2520comp%2520soext.png

        The southern extent. The land has more variance and a small impact on the SH as a whole. It is like to totally different hemispheres :)

        https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-dF6T5JhOp4A/UaSqZJw5awI/AAAAAAAAIVs/kMzTExopmZ0/s723/sd%2520comp%2520globe.png

        There is the globe. What do you think is driving the lower troposphere temperatures? The land? I don’t think so.

        https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-zLErcFaDzrA/UaSsxBxRG8I/AAAAAAAAIWI/OV8QvPNAyeE/s727/sd%2520comp%2520globe%2520lt%2520mt%2520ls.png

        This compares the global lower troposphere, mid-troposphere and lower stratosphere. There are two volcanic and one ENSO perturbations that had a noticeable impact on climate. Standard deviation just provides a scaled indication of impact. Notice how the lower stratosphere kind of ignored the internal variability (ENSO) with the 25 month comparison.

        With a scaled reference and multiple layers you can create a crude but interesting wattmeter of sorts. Much better with absolute temperatures, but still somewhat useful. All you need is a reliable reference and you can estimate/measure just about anything. Land surface temperature is not a reliable reference.

      • Cappy, you practice word salad science.
        We get the joke, you call your blog “Redneck Science” and do an imitation of Norm Crosby crossed with Professor Irwin Corey crossed with Larry the Cable Guy.

        Read what people said about Feynman – he joked about a lot of things but he treated the science very seriously.

      • Webster, “Read what people said about Feynman – he joked about a lot of things but he treated the science very seriously.”

        Of course I joke about it, Climate Science anyway, because it has become a joke. Andrew Dessler used the average velocity of radiosonde balloons to estimate temperature instead of the on board instrumentation of the satellite data because he didn’t like the results they provided. Kevin Trenberth used old model data instead of state of the art data because the state of the art didn’t provide the result he was looking for. In the mean time his “budget” missed 18 Wm-2 of atmospheric ORL absorption in the atmosphere. You can’t get it through your think skull that land/ocean asymmetry impacts on OHT can have upto to 3C of “climate” impact because your “heroes” screwed up selecting a frame of reference.

        Climate science is a joke, at least until they fire, laterally promote or ignore the “climate scientists” that should have been left behind.

        To solve your word salad issue, surface temperatures do not produce robust estimates of climate sensitivity, because the sensitivity at the “surface” is not linear. Write that down :)

      • Cappy, combining malapropisms and conspiracy theories seems to be your forte.

        You may believe that you have the greatest intuition concerning climate science, but if you cannot communicate that to mere mortals it doesn’t matter.

      • I like ‘think skull’, Cap’n.
        =========

      • Webster, “You may believe that you have the greatest intuition concerning climate science, but if you cannot communicate that to mere mortals it doesn’t matter.”

        What’s to communicate? The oceans are not a PC heat sink? You have to consider ocean heat transfer? The satellites are better for measuring changes in atmospheric heat flux than a hodge podge of “surface” temperature measurements mixed with SST measured at different depths?

        That has to sink into that thick think skull first.

      • You don’t even understand what satellite-based sensors can measure. Cappy Dick lives in the Sunday paper comics section.

    • Webster, “You don’t even understand what satellite-based sensors can measure.”

      Oh they measure all sorts of fancy stuff! What they are not measuring though is more entertaining. They are not measuring mid-troposphere warming in the tropics and they are not measuring much stratospheric cooling. Them are signatures of Carbon Dioxide inspired catastrophic global warming/climate change/climate disruption that are not being measured.

      Wonder whatever happen to that part of the theory? I could have shown that a significant CO2 impact was supposed to stick out like a sore thumb instead of having to be teased out of hiding.

  56. Without gravity acting to restore the thermodynamic equilibrium which is stipulated in the Second Law of Thermodynamics (which says: “An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system”) and thus, as a direct corollary of that Law, supporting (at the molecular level) an autonomous thermal gradient, then …

    (1) The temperature at the base of the troposphere on Uranus would be nowhere near as hot as 320K because virtually no direct Solar radiation gets down there, and there is no surface at that altitude. The planet’s radiating temperature is under 60K because it receives less than 3W/m^2.

    (2) The temperature of the Venus surface would be nowhere near as hot as 730K (even at the poles) because it receives only about 10% as much direct Solar radiation at its surface as does Earth at its surface.

    (3) Jupiter would be nowhere near as hot, even in its core, which receives extra kinetic energy which was converted by gravity from gravitational potentential energy due to the continual collapsing of this gaseous planet. This is why Jupiter emits more radiation than it receives.

    (4) The core of our Moon would be nowhere near as hot as it is thought to be, probably over 1000K.

    (5) Earth’s surface would indeed be perhaps 20 to 40 degrees colder, and the core, mantle and crust nowhere near as hot, maybe no molten material at all.

    Think about it! If you’re not sure why, it’s explained in Sections 4 to 9 and Section 15 here.

  57. It strikes me as somewhat ludicrous to still be talking about climate sensitivity to CO2. The heat emissions alone are enough to raise the atmospheric temperature by almost 0.2*F per year were it not for the cooling effect provided by glacial melting of a trillion tons per year. This giant icebox is masking the potential damage of continued combustion of fossil fuels (whether you believe it is heat emissions or CO2 concentrations causing climate change).

    • I agree it is more scientifically likely that heat emissions cause more warming than CO2. But once again, considering the effects of radiative thermal equilibrium, heat radiates to space equilibrating to zero at night and sun in the daytime. Haven’t seen precise calculations of the net effect of that yet.

      I’d like to see calculations of the effect of albedo changes other effects caused by land use changes – green plants changed to roofs and roads. What happens in urban environments where all the buildings are white?

    • The heat emissions are not nearly that large. They may perhaps maintain a temperature 0.2 F higher than without, but they cannot raise the temperature further. That effect has increased very slowly to it’s present level and increase further only to the extent global energy production goes up. The effect is really small in comparison to the influence of the CO2 in the atmosphere.

      • The effect is small even in comparison to the geothermal energy reaching the surface from below, namely some 45 TW as against the 15 TW humans are currently producing. Were the latter to raise the temperature by 0.2 F/year, the former would raise it by 0.6 F/year. And since the 45 TW of geothermal energy is presumably unchanged over the past millennium, that would be 600 F/millennium.

        As Pekka points out, such sources cannot raise the temperature year after year, they can only raise it to a new equilibrium value, and then only when they are introduced.

        Doubling CO2 on the other hand adds approximately 1600 TW to the heat radiated by the Earth’s surface assuming a climate sensitivity of 1 C/doubling. This is calculated from the derivative dP/dT of the Stefan-Boltzmann law P = σT^4, namely dP/dT = 4σT^3 = 4σT^4/T = 4P/T, the increase in radiated power when the Earth’s surface increases by 1 C. Since the Earth’s surface receives and reradiates power P = 120,000 TW at a nominal temperature of 300 C, a rise of 1 C corresponds to an increase in radiation of 4*120000/300 = 1600 TW.

        If the climate sensitivity is 2 C/doubling then doubling CO2 would add 3200 TW, or 4800 TW at 3 C/doubling.

        Since neither the temperature nor the radiated power is uniformly distributed around the Earth this is only a rough back-of-the-envelope calculation. It is good enough however to show that the heating effect of doubling CO2 dwarfs even the 45 TW of geothermal energy, let alone the 15 TW of heating attributable to human energy consumption.

      • Isn’t it amazing that it is only the non-fake skeptics and realists such as Pekka and Vaughan that will respond to the kranks? The fake skeptics always let these comments pass w/o comment because they realize that the FUD that they contribute is good for the WUWT team’s cause.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Not so dweeb – I call you all the time. I notice Pekka has too. GIGO – and the math in between is far too uninteresting to bother with. I did a quick scan. Got to the part where you substituted 1 mole for the entire atmosphere – laughed and moved on. That’s 2 minutes I won’t get back.

        The atmospheric forcings involved in a year are:

        0.03 W/m2 – combustion
        0.03 W/m2 – geothermal
        0.04 W/m2 – carbon dioxide

        You would assume that all add to the heat content of the atmosphere – although the temperature increase is far from 0.2 degrees F and there is a limit to the higher energy state determined by the greenhouse gas concentration amongst other things.

        The atmosphere/oceans are a coupled system with variable couplings and with boundary conditions that aren’t fixed by any means.

      • CH, CO2 is 0.04 W/m2 increase per year. The others are steady heating rates. In ten years CO2 forcing has increased by 0.4 W/m2, while the others are still at 0.03 W/m2. See the difference?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        All other things being equal Jim – the temperature increases year by year but the forcing – as in the difference between ingoing and outgoing radiation – doesn’t. That is a fundamental misunderstanding of higher emissions in a warmer state. Please don’t keep coming back to this like a rabid webby. Try to understand what Steffan-Boltzmann – although not strictly applicable – implies for a planet in a warmer state.

        All things are never equal.

      • CH, I will keep coming back if you are plain wrong. The current change in CO2 forcing since pre-industrial is about 1.8 W/m2 and this number is now increasing by 0.04 W/m2 per year. The combustion energy at pre-industrial may have been a little less than 0.03 W/m2 and is now 0.03 W/m2. Hardly any change at all. Call it zero change in forcing, which is why nobody outside these types of blogs talks about it. The solar change since the LIA is estimated to be about 0.5 W/m2, maybe 0.2 W/m2 in the last century at most.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The forcing is calculated on a base year – 1750 in the case of the IPCC forcings. It is the difference between the forcing at one concentration and the forcing at another concentration – holding temperature constant. In reality the world warms and emissions increase. The rate of increase is forcing is of the same order as the increase in heat emitted by combustion and by geothermal energy. The latter add to the energy content of the atmosphere. The higher energy state is maintained with a shorter mean free photon path in the atmosphere as a result of higher carbon dioxide concentrations.

        Again – try to understand what SB means for emissions from a warmer planet before mouthing of about how wrong I am or linking to graphs that I have seen and that you don’t understand.

      • CH, combustion doesn’t have a rate of increase of forcing. See the difference? It is a steady forcing, like most of the solar energy and about 1/10000 the strength. A steady forcing doesn’t change the temperature like an increasing forcing. The temperature is responding to the increasing forcing by changing.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Combustion adds to heat in the atmosphere day after day year after year. The heat potentially added by greenhouse forcing increases are the same order of magnitude. Can it add heat if the atmosphere starts off warmer? The TSI is irrelevant – we are talking about changes of fractions of a Watt in all cases. And do I really have to add yet again that the higher energy state is maintained with a reduced mean free IR photon path.

        If you really can’t think about what happens to emissions with increasing temperature – I will have to leave you in your wing nut denial.

      • CH, muddled thinking on your part. Compare combustion with the sun, both in W/m2. They are essentially the same type of process. They maintain a temperature and don’t change the temperature unless they themselves change their W/m2 value. Earth’s solar forcing is 240 W/m2 corresponding to 255 K. 0.03 W/m2 adds to that and you can work out how much warmer that makes the earth. Not much, nor is the 0.03 W/m2 changing. CO2 in a century will reduce OLR by 4 W/m2, but for earth’s net to remain at zero W/m2, its surface temperature will have to go up to compensate, and this is the process that is occurring with warming.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Again the OLR is not reduced by 4W/m2 – but the same amount is emitted from a warmer planet. All things being equal – lol. Do you imagine it is emitted in SW?

      • CH, exactly, OLR is not reduced by 4 W/m2 when CO2 doubles because the surface and atmosphere warm to compensate most of it by increasing the OLR leaving a much smaller imbalance. That is a start, now see if you understand the rest. I’m not saying anything else.

      • OK, I will say something else. 4 W/m2 is the century change in forcing, which is defined as the change due just to CO2′s change, excluding any response from warming. It is a well defined quantity because it only depends on radiative properties of the atmosphere.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So you have changed your mind? OLR is not reduced by 1.8W/m2 to date? And then pretend this is not what I have been saying all along?

        There are names for wing nuts like you.

      • Chef Hydro is obstinate and only operates under belief systems. He actually doesn’t understand any math, and instead relies on memes that propagate FUD.

        Look at the above discussion thread between the Chef and Jim D, and one can watch how a mind like that works. Jim D patiently tries to use logic from several perspectives and nothing seems to register with the Chef.

        Yet the Chef will say “That’s 2 minutes I won’t get back.”.
        Pure projection at work here.

      • Thanks, Web, at the risk of re-opening that debate, I see that I didn’t respond to the Chef’s final ramblings. 1.8 W/m2 is the change in the forcing, not the change in the OLR. If Chef understood the difference between forcing and OLR (which is the Planck response due to global warming mostly), Chef would have seen that without me having to point it out.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Here is the OLR

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=39

        To quote myself from above. The forcing is calculated on a base year – 1750 in the case of the IPCC forcings. It is the difference between the forcing at one concentration and the forcing at another concentration – holding temperature constant. In reality the world warms and emissions increase. The rate of increase is forcing is of the same order as the increase in heat emitted by combustion and by geothermal energy. The latter add to the energy content of the atmosphere. The higher energy state is maintained with a shorter mean free photon path in the atmosphere as a result of higher carbon dioxide concentrations.

        Again – try to understand what SB means for emissions from a warmer planet before mouthing of about how wrong I am or linking to graphs that I have seen and that you don’t understand.

        You are both utter nitwits.

      • CH, and how does combustion figure into the OLR, or did you drift away from your original question? Also, you don’t show you know the difference between forcing and OLR just by plotting OLR. Try forcing too (JCH showed you that). It really is very different because it grows steadily, which is where we started.

      • “You are both utter nitwits.”

        Look at the Gish Gallop! Mixing Stefan-Boltzmann, geothermal energy, photon scattering, and combustion. We only can marvel at the performance art flambe that the Chef is cooking up for us.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        CO2 forcing should be called something different because it seems ti confuse simple minded acolytes.

        The reduced mean IR free photon path is the critical greenhouse warming element. As a result more energy is retained in the atmosphere at any one time – all things being equal which the all but never are. The response is warming and increased emissions in reasonable accordance with Steffen-Boltzmann.

        ‘In the easiest case, we’ll consider what happens when you only increase some forcing (say double CO2) and allow the outgoing radiation to increase (according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law) to re-establish a new radiative equilibrium. Here, nothing else changes with the climate state (no cloud cover changes, no ice melts, etc) except for our forcing. This is the so-called Planck response.’ Chris Colose

        What we have is a new radiative equilibrium – and not a forcing which is simply as I say above an imaginary value obtained by holding temperature constant between 1750 and today – or 2100 – or double CO2 – whatever. You can add up the 0.04W/m2 change in forcing year after year – but that doesn’t mean that at the end of the period there is a 1.8W/m2 forcing. There is a new radiative equilbrium and a very small annual increase in forcing. Combustion and geothermal energy add to that new radiative equilibrium at about the same magnitude as the annual increase in CO2 forcing. Simple.

        The OLR data shows it is nowhere near as simple as that – with the ‘noise’ exceeding the ‘signal’ by far.

        Honestly – you are a pair of recalcitrant nitwits.

      • It is so very transparent how the Chef tries to carefully walk back the arguments concerning the relative influence of FF combustion to global warming.

        Face it Chef, there are perhaps one or two skeptics on this comment area that know any physics at all and they won’t come to your rescue. You always get yourself into a trick-box and the more you squirm the more absurd you sound.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I haven’t changed the narrative at all. There is just how atmospheric physics work. It is contrasted with warminista fantasy physics in which data and theory play little part.

        The deficit of emissions over inputs doesn’t exist – the forcing – is a theoretical construct and what we have instead is the so-called Planck response. The planet is warmer with release of the heat of combustion – and with the release of geothermal energy. The higher energy state with higher CO2 is maintained with a smaller average distance between molecules – a shorter mean free IR photon path. This is a photon scattering process that keeps the atmosphere in a higher energy state.

        Is the top of atmosphere radiant flux not in balance at any time as a result of these processes? It is impossible to tell from the data as the ‘noise’ is much bigger than the signal.

        ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        It is the difference between being able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Webby prattles and preens but in fact shows a profound ignorance of the most basic of atmospheric physics.

      • The Chef reminds me of an infamous internet krackpot, Miles Mathis, known for creating all sorts of fantasy scientific constructs.

    • David Young

      A more convincing point however was made by Roy Spencer, viz., that the energy usage in the US generated about 0.3 W/m2 24 ours a day, 7 days a week. This surely has some impact on temperature trends since energy usage in the US has been growing rapidly for the last 100 years at least. Averaged over the whole globe, its small as others have said here.

      • This is ten times the Chef’s combustion, and it is still something that is more to be compared with sunspot effects in magnitude. Sunspots vary the surface energy by 0.2 W/m2 in an 11-year cycle. The energy usage has increased to this 0.3 W/m2 level over a century, making it, again, much smaller in its effect on forcing than sunspots. If this input turned on and off every 11 years, it would be detectable as sunspot effects are (barely), but being steady and hardly changing it is not doing much to the energy balance, which only responds to rates of change and net change in forcing.

      • David and Jim

        Indeed, the calculations show that the net warming of our planet from the combustion of fossil fuels is minimal.

        Direct solar irradiance appears also to have a minimal effect, as Jim writes.

        But we have seen from the empirical data in the 17th thru 19th C (prior to human GHG emissions) that periods of very cold weather (LIA) came at the same time as periods of very low solar activity.

        And we know that solar activity was at its highest level for several thousand years in the 20th C, during a period of warming.

        Solar activity has again slowed down in the 21st C, as has global warming.

        So there is very likely a solar effect whose mechanism we still do not understand, and the total solar forcing is very likely to be several times as high as the theoretical warming resulting from the energy released by combusting fossil fuels (or that coming only from direct solar irradiance).

        Max

      • Max said, “So there is very likely a solar effect whose mechanism we still do not understand, and the total solar forcing is very likely to be several times as high as the theoretical warming resulting from the energy released by combusting fossil fuels (or that coming only from direct solar irradiance).”

        There are likely several cumulative impacts that are not properly considered. Solar has a fast response of about 0.1 to 0.2 C but there is likely about the same impact with a longer delay. Land use is another with a delayed impact. Initial clear cutting of forests produces a slightly cooling then gradually the soil moisture changes and wind erosion starts taking a toll. A good bit of that has been changed, but the impacts are so small it is hard to document. Waste heat along with the steam or warmer cooling water and local pollutants likely have more of an impact on the temperature readings than the actual average temperature by boosting winter/spring temperatures in the NH a touch along with agriculture, black carbon and other albedo reducers. If you add up all the “insignificant” impacts, you can get about 0.3 C or so, which is not “insignificant” anymore.

        But when you have a really spiffy theory and the dihydrogen monoxide groupies covering your back, why worry about the little things in life?

      • But, didn’t the “skeptics” also dismiss solar effects as an explanation of the “pause”. You can’t have it both ways.

      • Jim D

        Natural factors have been blamed for the “pause” (UK Met Office) and solar impacts were certainly part of the explanation. Most skeptics of the CAGW premise of IPCC would agree.

        Late 20th C solar activity was highest in several thousand years.
        Solar cycles 19 through 22 averaged a peak Wolf number of 154.

        21st C solar activity has dropped to a very low level.
        Solar cycle 23 peaked at 120, solar cycle 24 is estimated to peak at 75, for an average of around 98.

        Max

      • David Young

        Jim and Max, I would urge to read Spencer’s writeup. He has some reasons why this forcing is significant in the US including the fact that it is on 24/7 and at ground level. If you are looking at 100 year temperature records, it is significant.

      • The last solar cycle was longer than usual and led towards the current max which is the lowest since 1910 (a cooler period). These are indicators of a decline in solar activity that started in the 90′s, about the time of the pause starting. “Skeptics” have studiously ignored the sun as a possible factor in this period, which is neglected because it doesn’t fit with the ideas of the CO2 effects stopping or the models being wrong that they prefer to promote. A rational compilation of ideas would include the sun as a possible factor. So, while the sun has returned to levels of 100 years ago, temperatures are higher, with the last decade being the warmest in the records. All it has done is “pause” the warming rate, not reverse it.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The inability to construct a rational discourse and merely react with silly comparisons and silly comment. This is the simplest concept imaginable – but for support I quoted Chris Colose.

      What we get from webby is grim denial. Pathetic really.

  58. Pingback: Climate change and evidence | Environment, Climate from Canbits

  59. This afternoon,I telephoned Kyle Armour to ask his views on the Nature Geoscience paper, based on his own work – Armour et al – Time-varying climate sensitivity from regional feedbacks, which is reference 13 in the Nature Geoscience paper. He says he interprets the paper as “probably the best we can do at present”, but felt more emphasis should be placed on a point in the paper that has received little attention, a statement about the energy balance equation used for the ECS estimate, which reads, “Equation (1) provides a lower bound to the fully equilibrated sensitivity, because delayed ocean warming at high latitudes can mask the impact of local positive feedbacks”. What this refers to is the probability that the effective climate sensitivity estimated from observational data of recent decades underestimates equilibrium sensitivity because it neglects changes in feedbacks operating over longer timescales that reduce the rate of radiative cooling for a given temperature change below the shorter term rates.

    As readers of Armour et al will find, how much the range of ECS might need to be adjusted upward, if to any significant extent, can’t be well quantified on the basis of current evidence, but it’s worth pointing out that some upward adjustment may well be justified – hence the term “lower bound”.

    • Fred, great that you have contact with the people doing this work. I think the Armour paper provides a very mechanistic view of how sensitivity estimates based on short records (like a few decades in the Otto et al. Correspondence) play out over the long term. The idea that the surface temperature responds at different rates geographically is something that has to be taken into account in short-term data-based estimates. While they mention their ECS is likely a lower bound in the Otto et al. paper, this didn’t seem to make it into any descriptions of those results outside the letter.

      • Some say that ECS could be as high as 10.

      • Michael

        Some say that ECS could be as high as 10.

        Yeah. There are all kinds of nuts out there.

        Max

      • Max,

        How dare you attack our hostess like that!

        “To bound [CS}at a 90% level, I would say the bounds need to be 0-10C.” – Judith Curry.

    • Steven Mosher

      Nice.

      Now here is a question. When Armours work came out it put into question the work of Gregory ( 2002). Gregory was the paper that Nic based his method on.

      You will note that nobody called Armour to question him about his views on Gregory. You will note that nobody questioned gregory 2002.
      Its only when that paper is improved and the answer comes out lower that folks go to town on the approach laid out and accepted in 2002. Accepted in part because it gave the right answer

      • David Young

        Steven, there is a lot of special pleading in this matter. I believe Fred himself was using Gregory to support the IPCC position a year back or so. But one thing is certain, science is never completely settled.

      • I think any ECS estimate based on only a few recent decades needs to be questioned even if it agrees with other lines of evidence of the sensitivity. It is generally considered that there is no shortcut to an ECS estimate because of this nonlinear effect at longer terms, even apart from aerosol uncertainties in the forcing data.

      • Steven – You may have to elaborate a bit for me to fully understand your point. I’m familiar with many papers by Gregory and Forster, including those that updated their various estimates. I didn’t go back to reread the 2002 paper.

        In any case, you refer to Nic’s “method”. I’m not sure what you meant, but the method used in the Nature Geoscience paper and independently by Nic Lewis on WUWT is based on equation 1 in that paper. I believe the method was described by Murphy in 1995, and referred to as a means of determining “effective climate sensitivity”.. As far as I can judge, there is nothing wrong with it, but what is in question is whether its results should be called “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS).. As referenced in Armour et al, there is now a wealth of literature indicating that effective climate sensitivity values probably underestimate ECS when based on data obtained over only multidecadal intervals rather than centuries. Armour et al did not originate this conclusion, but rather offered a detailed interpretation of its mechanism – viz., that delayed feedbacks from changing geographic patterns of warming would amplify the climate response beyond what happens in the shorter term.

        Put simply, the 1.2 – 3.9 C range and 2.0 C most likely value are probably too low. The paper itself (which includes Nic as an author) acknowledged that in the sentence I quoted above, but that sentence was rather cryptic and didn’t get picked up by the blogs.

        Would the “correct” amount of upward adjustment, if we knew what it wast, raise the range to the IPCC value of 2 – 4.5 C? I have no idea, but I suspect it might not go that high even though it would be higher than cited in the paper. I also don’t know if better values for aerosol negative forcing would change the estimates much, or in which direction, although I quoted a paper by R. J. Allen et al that implied we may have underestimated aerosol negative forcing and underestimated ECS as a result. There have been many recent claim,s, based to some extent on satellite data, that aerosols have exerted less of a negative effect than previously thought. The Allen et al paper implies the opposite, and I’m not sure yet what to make of it.

      • Where is a copy of Nic Lewis’s paper? Not the blog postings. I want to see the published version and check to see if he has included the OHC imbalance properly. Do that wrong and it can easily miss 50% of the ECS. So something like 2C for CO2 doubling is actually 3C over centuries, just like Jim D is saying.

      • Web, in the Nature Geoscience Correspondence they define the ECS as the same as the TCR except that the denominator subtracts the OHC increase (if I remember correctly). This assumes that the heating so far is just proportionally increased by the OHC change. What is wrong with that is that it says nothing about what happens if the relative warming of different areas changes which affects the H2O feedback. In this sense it is linear because it assumes land and oceans continue to warm at the same relative rate, which is a worry considering what the land has been doing in the last 30 years.

      • JimD,
        Exactly. I see that Nic Lewis has something up on WUWT right now.

        What he did was sloppily wrong. The current forcing is around 1.5 W/m^2 according to Hansen and others. The F(2xC02) = 3.7 W/m^2 is generally accepted. The change in temperature is about 0.8C globally. The uptake in OHC is ~0.5 W/m^2.

        According to Lewis’ definitions:
        ECS = 3.7 * 0.8C/ (1.5-0.5) = 2.96 C
        TCS = 3.7 * 0.8C /1.5 = 1.97 C

        That agrees with the approach of doing a log regression on the temperature trend against CO2 concentration. In that case, Land data gives 3 C (the ECS view) and Global is 2 C (the TCS view).

        Two different approaches, same answer.

        Now that Nic Lewis has staked his claim as a believer in CO2 warming, he will now have to admit to the consensus view after he has made at least one elementary mistake. He was either sloppy or doctored his numbers.

      • Web, yes, it is very simplistic to convert TCR into ECS just by adding in the OHC change. This makes all kinds of assumptions about the short-term response continuing, which Armour et al. (2012) cautions against from mechanistic reasoning. The people supporting Lewis, and he himself, now have to admit that the warming, based on his own estimate, in the last century was mostly manmade, but I haven’t seen that yet. It might lose him support to mention that logical conclusion.

      • Jim D,
        It is very hard to follow Nic Lewis-style reasoning in general, but it looks like he is overestimating the forcing function, which then allows him to come up with a lower pair of climate sensitivities.

        But where does he come up with these high forcing function values? I haven’t seen them that high because the value is usually suppressed by volcanic and other aerosols.

        It is all a little too slick.

      • The Otto paper uses forcing functions from the IPCC, but I believe Nic Lewis substituted his own aerosol estimate from some cherry-picking. There are other variations depending on whose OHC change you use as he shows in the WUWT post. He chose both aerosols and OHC to go in the same direction, and didn’t apply the uncertainty to say that his was a low estimate.

      • Nic Lewis is a slick operator. He knows that you can create a large change by accumulating small changes. So he moves from 3.7 W/m^2 to 3.4 W/m^2. Then slight modifications to global temperature change. Then lower estimates of OHC and aerosols. All of these are cherry-picked to go in the same direction. Eventually he has a smaller value and he throws away the initial uncertainty. Voila!

        I guess we usually rely on Tamino to redo the analysis and debunk it, but apparently he is busy on other projects right now.

      • I wrote all that and now realize that Jim D said essentially the same thing but I didn’t acknowledge that fact. Bottom-line, I think we agree that there is a whole lot of cherry-picking going on.

        Note also how the uncertainty goes in the denominator of the ECS estimate, and this has an amplification factor much like a positive feedback factor does. This will lead to an asymmetric tail in the uncertainty toward large ECS values. Changing ΔQ in the following equation leads to large relative uncertainties revealing itself as a fat tail:
        ECS = F2 × ΔT / (ΔF − ΔQ)

  60. Chief Hydrologist

    What do we really know about cloud changes?

    http://www.benlaken.com/documents/AIP_PL_13.pdf

    ‘Linear trends from ISCCP also suggest that the dataset contains considerable features of an artificial origin. Despite this, an examination of ISCCP in relation to the MODIS dataset shows that over the past ten years of
    overlapping measurements between 60°N–60°S both datasets have been in close agreement (r = 0.63, p = 7×10-4). Over this time total cloud cover has been relatively stable. Both ISCCP and MODIS datasets show a close correspondence to Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) over the Pacific region, providing a further independent validation of the datasets.’

  61. Vaughan Pratt asked if someone, perhaps me, could ascertain the costs to non-users of solar power installations (or perhaps the costs per tonne of CO2 abated). I can’t immediately, don’t know if I can over time. But the ESAA has done some work that suggests that the installation of solar panels by some users currently leads to costs of over $A1 bn a year to non-users.
    http://www.esaa.com.au/Library/PageContentFiles/0ed86edb-b445-43f7-b1da-04dba6c4b4bf/Who_pays_for_solar_energy.pdf

    A recent News.com story has some info:

    SOLAR panels are costing those without them more than $1 billion a year. New research by the Energy Supply Association of Australia reveals that the one million households with solar panels are avoiding network charges of $340 million a year – and rising. The ESAA analysis has also found that “feed-in-tariff” (FiT) schemes are adding $680 million a year. In both instances, these costs are predominantly met by households that have not been able to afford to install solar. Reflecting this, academics’ research for AGL has argued that the rage in rooftop installations has delivered the greatest benefit to wealthier households – at the expense of the poorest.

    While the flaws in many states’ feed-in tariffs have become well-known, the ESAA says in a new discussion paper that the $340 million impost relating to avoided network charges is a “hidden cost”. It is currently adding $30 a year to others’ bills, but this could surge to $300 a year over the next decade. “Because solar customers generate their own electricity when the sun shines, they take less from the grid. Under the current tariff setup, this means they pay a lot less, even though they may cost the network more than non-solar customers,” the ESAA discussion paper says. “Unless we find a fairer way to charge for our networks, households without solar will be paying even more in network charges in the years ahead.”

    To support its argument the ESAA uses an example of a hypothetical household that installs a 4 kilowatt rooftop system. This household’s network charge falls from $464 to $178 – a drop of 62 per cent. But, the ESAA says, “the costs of providing the network are mostly the same or even more expensive as a result of rooftop solar energy. To recover the real costs of operating the grid, network businesses adjust their charges so those without solar pay higher power bills.”

    When there were only a few customers with solar panels, the overall impact on the network was very small, the ESAA says. But state and federal subsidies triggered a 100-fold increase in annual installed solar capacity between 2007 and 2011. Most states have been forced to slash FiTs after massive over-runs. These sudden shifts in policy have cost thousands of jobs. Less solar will be installed this year than last – about 750 megawatts versus 1 gigawatt in 2012, according to the Australian Solar Council.

    “We have been extremely critical of the solar-coaster ride that we’ve been on,” said Solar Council CEO John Grimes. “Politicians have tried to pander to the green vote.” However, Mr Grimes defended the role of solar, saying it reduced pressure on the network during periods of peak demand such as the height of summer. This meant additional capacity did not have to be built, which reduced bills for everyone.

    Pink FiT: Annual feed-in-tariff costs by state:
    Victoria: $41m, NSW: $210m, Queensland: $270m, SA: $100m, WA: $45m, ACT: $14.8m
    Total: $680.8m

    • The ESAA estimates that in Queensland, 17% of non-PV users’ bill is the cost of having PV installations in the system, and 9% is from the Carbon Tax. That is, these two anti-CAGW measures alone add one-third to our power bills. The government is locked in for the next 20 years to buying electricity from PV-owners at costs far above the average tariff, that is, the imposts will continue unless the government breaches its contracts with PV-owners. Note this was an ALP policy which the non-ALP government has to deal with.

    • Peter Lang

      The question Vaughan Pratt is asking is irrelevant as far as I am concerned. I’ll point out that my point from the start was about the cost to the nations of CO2 abatement with roof top PV, not the cost to an individual after excluding much of the real cost. If VP and his ideological mates want an answer to their questions they should work it out for themselves instead of continually nagging like children.

      However, you can get a ball park estimate of the size of the subsidy and how much extra the PV owners should pay for their fair share from the articles quoted by Faustino and me above. From these we can work out, very roughly, people with solar panels are being subsidised about $1000 per year. (The total subsidy being paid is over $1 billion per year for about 1 million residential PV installations.). Therefore, PV owners should pay about $1000 per year extra for their fixed service charges for their connection to the grid (more for larger installations and less for smaller installations).

      The fixed charge for the network only (i.e., not including the costs transferred to the dispatchable generators), should be increased for solar PV owners by $650 for a 4 kW system, based on Figure 3 here: http://www.esaa.com.au/Library/PageContentFiles/0ed86edb-b445-43f7-b1da-04dba6c4b4bf/Who_pays_for_solar_energy.pdf

  62. Faustino,

    Thank you for that excellent post. I’ll add for those interested:

    Refer to Figure 6 in Graham Palmer’s excellent paper: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/4/1406

    1. look at the blue area, because PV operated during shoulder and peak period and therefore displaces the highly flexible gas turbines, not the baseload coal plants. I’ve used 600 g/kWh.

    2. use 15 year average operating life for residential, roof top, PV (it’s probably more like 12 years, but let’s use 15 to start with)

    3. Add the hidden system costs to the ‘retail system installed cost $/kW’ – see section “5.6. Voltage Regulation” plus an allowance for the other hidden costs that are transferred to the dispatchable generators. I’ve assumed an all up cost of 5000/kW.

    4. Fleet average capacity factor of 12% (= 2.88 kWh/d)

    5. Average inverter life 10 years (it’s probably less average across the fleet, but let’s use 10 years for a start.

    Result: CO2 abatement cost = $601/tonne.

    We can do sensitivity analyses on the inputs and see the effect on the CO2 abatement cost. For example:

    • If the average inverter life is 7 years, the CO2 abatement cost = $612/tonne

    • If that average operating life of residential PV installations is 12 years, and average inverter life is 7 years, the CO2 abatement cost = $757/tonne.

    • Palmer notes that “the solar curve is always centred on local solar noon, while demand usually peaks in the afternoon or early evening,’ and shows solar output dropping to zero at the time of peak demand. That is, peak demand must be met entirely by non-solar sources; therefore the non-solar capital stock must be able to meet peak demand. Therefore once we foster solar, we need more capital in toto (peak plus solar), and returns to capital fall, productivity of non-solar sources also declines. I can’t believe that any economists were employed in devising or validating the PV schemes.

      • Peter Lang

        Faustino,

        I can’t believe that any economists were employed in devising or validating the PV schemes.

        I understand your message, however ….

        I fear that the economists that are employed to do the analyses for the government are just as gullible and just as ideologically driven as other professionals working for the government. I know an economist, PhD, about 35 years old, and was near the top of the responsibility ladder for Treasury’s modelling for the “Australian Carbon Pollution Reductions Scheme” (CPRS). For non Australian’s that was the original name for our ETS.

        He believes and espouses everything that is Labor policy. He believes global warming is potentially catastrophic. He believes the carbon tax and ETS is a really good scheme, and essential. He believes renewable energy is the solution to cutting global GHG emissions. He believes the ‘Pink Bats’ home insulation schemes was good and the ‘few problems were unfortunate’. He believes the Building Education Revolution (i.e. wasting money on school halls to stimulate the economy well after the GFC was past) was a good program because it saved Australia from recession (so he says). [As an aside it is interesting to note that Treasury's blurb justifying the carbon pricing scheme said that the atmospheric concentration would reach 1500 ppm and average temperature would increase 7C by 2100 if we don't stop it. (it's since been deleted from some places in the archives but still remains in others)]

        So I don’t think economists are any more immune to being gullible than anyone else.

      • Peter Lang

        Faustino,

        For another example, I understand (perhaps wrongly) Tristan Edis, Editor of Climate Spectator, is an economist. He was with the Grattan Institute before becoming Editor of ClimateSpectator http://www.businessspectator.com.au/climate. He is a totally committed renewable energy zealot.

    • Peter, you seem to have omitted a step, namely the five values from your items 1-5 that sum to $601.

      We can however infer two of them from your sensitivity analysis.

      @PL: If the average inverter life is 7 years [down from 10], the CO2 abatement cost = $612/tonne [up $11 from $601]

      Since the inverter is now contributing 10/7 times as much, i.e. adding 3/7 of the contribution of item 5, It follows that item 5 contributed 7/3 x $11 = $26 to reach $601 (and $37 (= $26 + $11) if it only lasts 7 years instead of 10).

      If that average operating life of residential PV installations is 12 years [down from 15], and average inverter life is 7 years, the CO2 abatement cost = $757/tonne [up $145 from $612].

      Similar reasoning then shows that item 2 contributed 12/3 x $145 = $580 to reach $601 (and $725 (= $580 + $145) if it only lasts 12 years instead of 15).

      That plus item 5 then comes to $606. Since that’s $5 more than your figure of $601, it follows that items 1, 3 and 4 sum to a debit of $5.

      I don’t know how the 20-year contracts with the Australian homeowners are worded, but in California PG&E’s CSI (California Solar Incentive) program makes items 2 and 5 the homeowner’s responsibility.

      Assuming similar language in the Australian contracts, the owner of the installation would be subsidizing the country’s taxpayers and electricity consumers (in some proportion) to the tune of $5 per ton of abated CO2.

      I would think owners of PV installations should be proud of their contribution to society.

      If the contracts require someone other than the homeowner to replace those items then I would heartily echo Faustino’s incredulity, “I can’t believe that any economists were employed in devising or validating the PV schemes.” Though perhaps the need in this case is as much for accountants as economists.

      • Peter Lang

        No Vaughan Pratt,

        No steps ommitted. If you want to calculate it your way, go ahead and do so. There are many other inputs to the analysis, not just these which are the ones where I have used different inputs to what Graham Palmer used and that I ran sensitivity analyses on. You don’t sum the inputs. But, as I said, if you want to do it your way, go right ahead. As I said in previous comment, first step is to be able to reproduce the numbers in Figure 6. But you can also simply interpret from Figure 6. I explained in a previous response to you. Didn’t you bother to read it.

        At what stage do you admit you are wrong, haven’t a clue and are ignorant about the subject?

      • @PL: No steps ommitted.

        Had you stopped at “Result: $601″ you would simply have left people mystified as to how on earth you arrived at that number. Instead you went on to do sensitivity analyses for inverter life and system life, and that revealed more about your arithmetic than you had expected. These revealed respective contributions of $26 and $580 to your $601 figure, which anyone competent at arithmetic can readily verify for themselves.

        If you want to calculate it your way

        You appear not to be following the thread of the discussion. What I wrote is entirely about calculating your $600/ton figure your way, which I’d love to understand. I have not at any point proposed a different way.

        At what stage do you admit you are wrong, haven’t a clue and are ignorant about the subject?

        Seems to me the shoe is on the other foot. No one can check your arithmetic leading to $601 because you haven’t shown any of it, other than that implied by your other two numbers of $612 and $757. Anyone competent in arithmetic can easily check this much of your work, as I explained in full detail.

        You can’t deny that the inverter life and system life contributions to $601 are $26 and $580 without proving to those able to do arithmetic that you lack that ability yourself. Very simple arithmetic leads inevitably to that conclusion.

        Which would explain your otherwise inexplicable dogged refusal to show your work.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        Wow. I didn’t expect another one of your nagging comments until tomorrow morning. When you get around to actually admitting to what I Faustino, Energy Supply Association of Australia and the Queensland Minister for Energy have stated so clearly, and then asking genuine questions aimed at you getting an understanding, instead of just pushing your barrow, then there is possibility I’ll take you seriously.

        Did you read Faustino’s comment and the quotes I posted? Did you consider them. Do you have any reasonable comments on them? IMO. they seem to very clearly support what Palmer’s paper shows.

        Had you stopped at “Result: $601″ you would simply have left people mystified as to how on earth you arrived at that number. Instead you went on to do sensitivity analyses for inverter life and system life, and that revealed more about your arithmetic than you had expected. These revealed respective contributions of $26 and $580 to your $601 figure, which anyone competent at arithmetic can readily verify for themselves.

        I haven’t a clue what all your gibberish is about. It may mean something to you, but nothing to me and I am not interested in wading through it. Since you are unwilling to attempt to understand any of the basics or put some time into understanding the Palmer paper, why don’t you just go to Figure 6 and interpret from the chart. I said in a previous comment:

        You don’t sum the inputs. But, as I said, if you want to do it your way, go right ahead. As I said in previous comment, first step is to be able to reproduce the numbers in Figure 6. But you can also simply interpret from Figure 6. I explained in a previous response to you. Didn’t you bother to read it.

        Well did you look at Figure 6? Just eyeballing from the chart (extend the vertical axis up to $600 /tonne); assume $5,000 ‘retail system installed cost’ for the all up costs as discussed in a previous comment; draw a line that is 1/3 the way between the 400 g CO2/kWh and 1000 g CO2/kWh for the 15 year life (i.e 1/3 the way between the top of the blue area and top of the brown area); then factor up for average fleet capacity factor of 12% instead of 15% ( this is a bit of a fudge). Roughly eyeballing it, you can see the answer is around the $600/tonne CO2 – however, I haven’t plotted this and don’t know how close it will be with this simple graphic technique. But it is plenty good enough to show you that the figures is in the ball park.

        You appear not to be following the thread of the discussion. What I wrote is entirely about calculating your $600/ton figure your way, which I’d love to understand. I have not at any point proposed a different way.

        That is an outright and blatant lie. You asked repeatedly for me to calculate the CO2 abatement cost for a house using the numbers you gave which I told you repeatedly were irrelevant. You asked to sum lime items you made up which were also irrelevant for the reasons I explained. I can’t understand how a ‘professor’ can lie so blatantly.

        No one can check your arithmetic leading to $601 because you haven’t shown any of it.

        First step for you is to reproduce the numbers in Palmer’s paper and Figure 6. Then you’ll be able to change the assumptions as I have done and get the $601/tonne.

        The reason I am not posting all the inputs and formula (yet) is that it is far too early for that. I’d rather play your game and get right under your skin for as long as I can string this along. However, if I see any signs of you being humble, acknowledging you know next to nothing about this subject, showing are willing to learn something about it, acknowledging the information provided by Faustino, me and the quotes from experts, being willing to admit when you are wrong, then I might change my approach (perhaps).

        In the meantime it is great fun kicking the sh-t out of a pompous, arrogant, ignorant (on energy) Emeritus Professor of Stanford Uni.

      • [Repost with corrected formatting, sorry again]

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Wow. I didn’t expect another one of your nagging comments until tomorrow morning. When you get around to actually admitting to what I Faustino, Energy Supply Association of Australia and the Queensland Minister for Energy have stated so clearly, and then asking genuine questions aimed at you getting an understanding, instead of just pushing your barrow, then there is possibility I’ll take you seriously.

        Did you read Faustino’s comment and the quotes I posted? Did you consider them. Do you have any reasonable comments on them? IMO. they seem to very clearly support what Palmer’s paper shows.

        Had you stopped at “Result: $601″ you would simply have left people mystified as to how on earth you arrived at that number. Instead you went on to do sensitivity analyses for inverter life and system life, and that revealed more about your arithmetic than you had expected. These revealed respective contributions of $26 and $580 to your $601 figure, which anyone competent at arithmetic can readily verify for themselves.

        I haven’t a clue what all your gibberish is about. It may mean something to you, but nothing to me and I am not interested in wading through it. Since you are unwilling to attempt to understand any of the basics or put some time into understanding the Palmer paper, why don’t you just go to Figure 6 and interpret from the chart. I said in a previous comment:

        You don’t sum the inputs. But, as I said, if you want to do it your way, go right ahead. As I said in previous comment, first step is to be able to reproduce the numbers in Figure 6. But you can also simply interpret from Figure 6. I explained in a previous response to you. Didn’t you bother to read it.

        Well did you look at Figure 6? Just eyeballing from the chart (extend the vertical axis up to $600 /tonne); assume $5,000 ‘retail system installed cost’ for the all up costs as discussed in a previous comment; draw a line that is 1/3 the way between the 400 g CO2/kWh and 1000 g CO2/kWh for the 15 year life (i.e 1/3 the way between the top of the blue area and top of the brown area); then factor up for average fleet capacity factor of 12% instead of 15% ( this is a bit of a fudge). Roughly eyeballing it, you can see the answer is around the $600/tonne CO2 – however, I haven’t plotted this and don’t know how close it will be with this simple graphic technique. But it is plenty good enough to show you that the figures is in the ball park.

        You appear not to be following the thread of the discussion. What I wrote is entirely about calculating your $600/ton figure your way, which I’d love to understand. I have not at any point proposed a different way.

        That is an outright and blatant lie. You asked repeatedly for me to calculate the CO2 abatement cost for a house using the numbers you gave which I told you repeatedly were irrelevant. You asked to sum lime items you made up which were also irrelevant for the reasons I explained. I can’t understand how a ‘professor’ can lie so blatantly.

        No one can check your arithmetic leading to $601 because you haven’t shown any of it.

        First step for you is to reproduce the numbers in Palmer’s paper and Figure 6. Then you’ll be able to change the assumptions as I have done and get the $601/tonne.

        The reason I am not posting all the inputs and formula (yet) is that it is far too early for that. I’d rather play your game and get right under your skin for as long as I can string this along. However, if I see any signs of you being humble, acknowledging you know next to nothing about this subject, showing are willing to learn something about it, acknowledging the information provided by Faustino, me and the quotes from experts, being willing to admit when you are wrong, then I might change my approach (perhaps).

        In the meantime it is great fun kicking the sh-t out of a pompous, arrogant, ignorant (on energy) Emeritus Professor of Stanford Uni.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        Here is the bottom line from the articles and electricity system experts quoted by Faustino and me in comments above: Elites, like yourself, who have solar panels are being subsidised by around $1000 per year (average) by those who can’t afford solar panels.

        Elites like you are bludging off the poor.

        The break down of the $1,000 is as follows:

        Greed = $200
        Selfishness = $200
        Arrogance = $200
        Ignorance = $200
        Zealot for a cause = $200
        [/sarc]

        “Human nature, greed, and power are extremely strong adversaries to truth.”

      • P, easy come, easy go. They were so sure of that solar power thing.
        =========

      • Kim, thanks

        He, he. What fun, eh? :)

      • This is all very assumption dependent and Peter Lang makes assumptions that go a very long way to giving him the figure he wants.

        $5000/kwH installed cost for solar PV???

        On what planet??

      • Michael,

        Catch up before you make such ignorant statements. Don’t you think you should background yourself on the comments that have gone before. And read the Palmer paper.

        You provide frequent examples of the motivated reasoning employed by the ‘Progressives’ and CAGW doomsayers. You provide no end of example which show why more and more rational people don’t trust a thing people like you, and those who share your beliefs, say about CAGW or the rest of the ‘Progressives’ tripe.

      • When you get around to actually admitting to what I Faustino, Energy Supply Association of Australia and the Queensland Minister for Energy have stated so clearly, and then asking genuine questions aimed at you getting an understanding, …

        How well has that order of doing things worked for you with other people?

        I’m accustomed to the other order where those wanting to persuade someone of something are willing to answer their questions in order to persuade them.

        @PL: I’d rather play your game and get right under your skin for as long as I can string this along.

        I was afraid of that. I have no interest in getting under anyone’s skin since if the goal is to find a meeting of the minds, getting under people’s skin is counterproductive. Furthermore I’d been working under the assumption that you weren’t a troll, but now that you’ve admitted to being one I see I was misled.

        Elites like you are bludging off the poor.

        Isn’t that the usual complaint of the left about the wealthy right? Ironic to see the right applying it to the left. Which bludge would you estimate to be the greater injustice? (Rhetorical question, no need to answer it.)

        Just eyeballing from the chart (extend the vertical axis up to $600 /tonne); assume $5,000 ‘retail system installed cost’ for the all up costs as discussed in a previous comment; …

        That sounds like it could have been very helpful if you’d explained it before admitting to being a troll. Doing so afterwards is too late because trolls keep their victim on the hook by pretending to be helpful just when the victim seems to be on the verge of giving up. Sorry but I’m not biting.

      • Peter,

        I’ve just had a solar PV installation at home – just over $2000 per KwH.

        Even the paper you refer to gives the 2012 cost of $3000 per KwH.

        What planet are you on??

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        There is no persuading a zealot. They don’t want to know the facts. And you are an example of an extreme zealot when it comes to solar power, and other ‘Progressive’ ideological beliefs. There is no chance for a rational discussion with you. That was proven long ago. So now I am just stringing you along.

      • Michael,

        You haven’t the faintest clue what you are talking about. You haven’t read or understood any of the background and don’t even know the units of power and energy.

        You’re dimissed

      • By the way, just to close this off, I’ve just done the graphical estimate on Figure 6 and got $575/tonne CO2 using that method. I am not going digging to find what is non linear in the expression and causing the difference of $26/tonne CO2.

      • Peter can’t defend his $5000 figure.

        Fair enough – it is nuts.

      • @Michael: $5000/kwH installed cost for solar PV??? On what planet??

        (/kW, not /kwH.)

        Same planet, Michael, just ancient history: Lang is using the cost shown in Figure 6 for halfway through 2010, instead of 2012 which would halve the abatement cost to $300. 2013 would be lower still.

        It’s like arguing that the IBM PC is outrageously expensive because it used to cost $5000.

        Furthermore Palmer provides a range of 15-30 years for system lifetime. Naturally Lang picks 15 years in order to get the highest possible abatement cost. (And then he makes a clearly failed attempt, see my analysis of his arithmetic above, to estimate it for 12 years, but that’s irrelevant because it’s an absurdly short system lifetime that even Palmer doesn’t consider worth plotting).

        He also picks Melbourne instead of Brisbane because it gives the highest abatement cost in the range between Melbourne and Brisbane.

        Figure 6 makes clear that we’re now approaching a system cost of $2000. At that point, sticking to Lang’s 600 g (0.6 kg) of CO2 abated per kWh, i.e. 1667 kWh per abated tonne, but going to the opposite extremes of 30 year system lifetime and Brisbane instead of Melbourne, Figure 6 shows the cost of abating a tonne of CO2 as $60. This is a mind-boggling 10% of Lang’s figure of $600.

        Yet more support for the old saying, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” One can interpret Figure 6 any way one wants.

        Lang’s career choice of geology was wise: had he picked accountancy he’d be in jail by now. But he’s a great bluffer: had he picked professional poker he’d be one of the elite able to afford a solar PV by now.

      • “Figure 6 makes clear that we’re now approaching a system cost of $2000″ – VP

        We’ve even passed it.

        Try $1700/KW as of May 2013.

      • @PL: By the way, just to close this off, I’ve just done the graphical estimate on Figure 6 and got $575/tonne CO2 using that method.

        That’s the exact same figure (rounded to the nearest $5) I got based on your assumptions of $5000/kW, 15 year system lifetime, Melbourne, and 600 g/kWh.

        I can see that quickly eyeballing it could produce $600 as a ball-park approximation to $575. But $601?

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Same planet, Michael, just ancient history: Lang is using the cost shown in Figure 6 for halfway through 2010, instead of 2012

        WRONG! Another misrepresentation. You know full well that is not the case, and if you don’t it means you haven’t read my comments where I explained the basis of the $5,000/kW. In either case it demonstrates you are not interested in understanding, you just want to play dishonest games.

        I can see that quickly eyeballing it could produce $600 as a ball-park approximation to $575. But $601?

        I didn’t eye-ball it, I calculated it, as you know full well. What a disgusting individual you are. I wonder how on earth were you made a Professor, anywhere let alone Stanford, with your total lack of professional ethics and moral values. You seem to me to be much worse than Michael Mann, but just never caught.

        You wonder why I am not prepared to play your devious games. Your continual disingenuous statements and misrepresentations (clearly intentional) demonstrate why you cannot be trusted – on anything! No rational conversation can be held with a zealot, especially one as extreme as you.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan pratt,

        I used Melbourne because that is what most of the paper is built on. Graham Palmer has the most information for Melbourne. Any way, you are really clutching at straws now. Your motivated reasoning and zealotry is displayed more clearly with every comment you make.

      • Peter,

        There is no way from $1700 to $5000 / KW.

        You’re being dishonest in pursuit of your preferences.

      • @PL: No rational conversation can be held with a zealot

        Shades of Senator Joe McCarthy: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a zealot?”

        Just as McCarthy found communists under every rock, Lang finds liars, ideologues, hypocrites, zealots, etc. on seemingly every blog he visits. Having failed to communicate rationally with them, he resorts to the only other tactic he knows, as exemplified by his tirade here against noted Australian economist zealot John Quiggin: “grossly dishonest,” “intentionally misrepresented what I said – i.e lied,” “disgusting,” “dispicable,” “dishonest, misleading avoidance tactic,” “leaves a foul taste in my mouth,” “from a senior academic makes it even worse,” “makes you wonder what has academia sunk to,” “email me if you realise you’ve made a mistake,” “you are a devious person.”

        Whew. Sound familiar?

        No rational conversation can be held with anyone blasting you with a tirade like that. I used to think Lang was so tone-deaf that he wasn’t aware of this, but his frank admission that in my case he was doing it to “get right under your skin for as long as I can string this along” has changed my mind. His tactic seems to be of the harry-the-enemy variety: “We shall harry the enemy at every turn until his morale breaks and he is at our mercy.”

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Do I recall you saying something about trolling? What a hypocrite, eh?

        Vale Vaughan Pratt, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, 1944-2013 in the closing stages of his career turns to being an internet troll.

        Principal research areas: hardware, software, foundations of computation. Hardware: full-function handheld computing; audio-visual user interface devices. Software: specification and design of event-state-based systems; natural language support for user interfaces. Foundational interests: algebraic and categorical models of parallel computation and dynamic ontology. Outreach: articles on aspects of algebra and algebraic logic for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Wikipedia.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        If you had been genuinely interested in understanding the basis of the estimate you would have taken a totally different approach to commenting from your very first comment. Your first comment and all since have demonstrated you were never interested in trying to understand, you just wanted to push your beliefs.

        And you’re an Emeritus Professor at Stanford, eh? That tells a story.

        By the way, the $1000 per year of subsidies for houses with solar panels is the average figure – i.e. for a 2 kW installation (1000 installation for a total of 2 GW installed capacity). Therefore, since you have 6 GW, you would need to pay $3000 per year fixed service charge to be fair to the consumers who cannot afford solar PV panels on their roof. So I’ll adjust the figures in the comment I posted previously for your 6 kW installation as follows:

        The break down of the $3,000 is as follows:

        • Greed = $500
        • Selfishness = $500
        • Arrogance = $500
        • Ignorance = $500
        • Zealot for a cause = $500
        • Troll (and hypocrisy) = $500
        [Sarc off]

        Elites like you are bludging off the poor.

        Human nature, greed, and power are extremely strong adversaries to truth.

      • Peter,

        Still no defence of your absurd $5000 /KW installation assertion.
        Not surprsing – there is no rational basis for this ludricous claim.

        VP – Peter has a long history on Oz blogs making wild claims about costings, and then dismissing all critcism on the basis that he disagrees with the critiques.

      • Michael

        Cant you read or are you just more interested in trolling (don’t bother answering that, I know the answer). Did you miss these:
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/19/mainstreaming-ecs-2-c/#comment-326252
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/19/mainstreaming-ecs-2-c/#comment-326268
        Over to you now. What’s your estimate and authoritative basis for estimate with all included?

      • @Michael: VP – Peter has a long history on Oz blogs making wild claims about costings, and then dismissing all critcism on the basis that he disagrees with the critiques.

        Right, I’d noticed this myself the first time I ever asked him a question (namely about the cost of coal-fired power stations) and he responded immediately with a litany of abuse that seemed completely uncalled for. I was taken aback, but a little googling showed that this was his normal modus operandi on Australian blogs which he’d simply exported to Climate Etc. I concluded at the time that he seemed to have some sort of personality disorder and shouldn’t be taken seriously. So far he’s remained true to form, giving me no occasion to revise my opinion. He seems to take himself very seriously, though the ratio of reliable technical content to verbal abuse in what he writes seems to be vanishingly small.

      • Peter Lang

        Professor Emeritus Vaughan Pratt and Michael,

        Keep trolling. Clearly you are dead wrong, but pomposity, arrogance and pride prevent you from admitting it. So all you are left with is trolling. What a way to end a career, eh.

        And, yes, I respond to other people on other web site who behave like you do here.

        Coincidentally, they share your Leftist ideological beliefs and passion for economically irrational and damaging policies. Funny that, eh? And they also misrepresent, deceive, obfuscate, avoid question they don’t want to answer – i.e untrustworthy, just like you. It says a lot about the integrity, ethics and moral values of the ideological Left.

      • The present thread’s version of the “wild claims about costings” you refer to on Australian blogs concerns in this case the cost of abating a ton of CO2. In addition to inflating the overall cost to $600/ton by using obsolete values like $5000/kW and worst-case values like a 15-year system lifetime, Lang implies that the full $600 is a burden on society when it’s clear that the bulk of that cost is what the system owner pays, with society paying only a small fraction of it. When confronted with the elementary arithmetic proving this Lang dismisses it as irrelevant gibberish.

      • Peter Lang

        Professor Emeritus, Vaughan Pratt of Stanford,

        In addition to inflating the overall cost to $600/ton by using obsolete values like $5000/kW and worst-case values like a 15-year system lifetime

        So you continue to display your dishonesty. Read the comments where the $3,000/kW for PV in Melbourne, is correct for 2012 which is the year for all the numbers in Palmer’s paper. The additional @2000 is a rough estimate (probably on the low side for the grid costs and transfers to the dispatchable generators; these are not included in the $3,000 installation costs) The 15 year system life time is the average operating life across all the installations not the maximum that a pannel could operate. The real figures is probably less than that.

        I’ve addressed all these wrong and baseless assertions several times in different comments. Don’t you read them or is it your habit to misrepresent, and trey to deceive other readers? I am firmly convinced the latter is the case.

      • Vaughan

        this has been a somewhat bad tempered sub thread so I will keep it civil.

        a few years ago the uk govt were offering consumers absurd amounts for self generated solar energy.

        we made the moral decision not to participate for several main reasons.

        firstly the only ones who could realistically participate in this scheme were the better off in society, that is to say they could afford a suitably sized house in the first place and they could afford the substantial costs of installation.

        this seemed to us unfair as it was the poorest-those without the means to afford the installation-who would end up paying the subsidy.so the wealthier could enjoy the income stream..

        subsidies for a whole manner of currently unsuitable technologies are helping to continually bump up the price of electricity with the result that many here are in fuel poverty and cant afford to heat their homes.

        this is unfortunate because in many parts of the real world there has been a substantial downturn in temperatures and the uk is one of them.

        rising prices at a time of falling temperatures is a toxic combination and can be seen in my graph here

        http://climatereason.com/Graphs/Graph11.png

        now of course there is one vital difference and that is that in the uk solar is a laughably inefficient and unreliable means of power generation as we get some 1750 hours of sunshine in my part of the country-the sunniest-and light levels fall considerably in winter just when the power is most needed.

        so if you are generating power efficiently and cost effectively I guess the moral argument is less of an issue. I do not know enough about the Australian experience to know the truth of it either way, although I suppose if it were efficient and reliable no subsidy would be needed in the first place
        tonyb

      • Chief Hydrologist

        UK abatement cost €458/ton plus.

        http://www.greenrhinoenergy.com/blog/?p=55

      • @climatereason: this seemed to us unfair as it was the poorest-those without the means to afford the installation-who would end up paying the subsidy.so the wealthier could enjoy the income stream.

        That’s very thoughtful of you, Tony. But most of your subsidy comes out of the pockets of the wealthier who don’t have PV, since they tend to use far more electricity than the poor.

        Solar PV offers you an opportunity to play Robin Hood. Consider donating whatever fraction of your subsidy you’re comfortable with directly to a charitable organization serving the poor, or simply up your rate of alms-giving to beggars whenever that opportunity arises.

        Even donating a mere ten or twenty percent of your subsidy in this way is likely to benefit the poor more than not accepting the subsidy in the first place, and at the expense of the more wealthy. You’ll be robbing the rich to pay the poor and it will be all legal: the Sheriff of Nottingham won’t have a thing on you. Plus you get to skim off whatever part of the subsidy you’re comfortable keeping.

        But many of those wealthy enough to afford PV, and who buy it, are likely to have donated far more to charity in their lifetime than this one-time subsidy. For them the above strategy will seem like dropping an extra penny in the hat on top of their dollar bill.

        so if you are generating power efficiently and cost effectively I guess the moral argument is less of an issue.

        Exactly so. CO2 abatement (if we’re talking about global temperature) played no role at all in our decision to install PV. If it had we would have asked how much we could expect to see abated, and if it had been little or nothing we’d have had second thoughts. However that factor never came up at any point. The utility (PG&E) strongly encouraged us to install solar purely on the ground that our bill would go down, and indeed it did, by an order of magnitude! We didn’t think to ask about abatement, and they didn’t tell.

        The first I knew about it was when reading the meter to see how much money we were saving, and noticed that the meter also estimated an abatement figure. In 5 years our system has generated 65237 kWh and claims to have abated 10903 lbs or 50.305 tonnes. Presumably this corresponds to an abatement rate of 50305000/65237 = 771 g CO2 (210 g carbon) per kWh or about 1.30 MWh per tonne of abated CO2. I have no idea whether that makes us good people, God (or St. Peter) only knows whether that’s enough to get us into heaven.

        The subsidy did not serve as an incentive for us, since all it accomplished was to move the break-even date earlier a couple of years. We would have bought the system even without it in the expectation of owning the house past the break-even date.

        As far as network costs go, section 5.6 of Palmer’s paper states that Australian grids are weaker than US or European ones for bidirectional distribution, but doesn’t quantify the difference. However even if the cost of bidirectional distribution had been as high as in Australia, over the years we’ve put our dollar in the hat and don’t feel any great urgency about dropping another penny on top of it.

        Moreover no one on this thread has attempted to quantify the contribution of network costs to the total cost of abating a ton of CO2, without which we’re arguing about abatement in the dark. Lang’s sensitivity analysis seems to indicate that the total abatement cost is dominated by the contributions of the system owner, though to such a large degree that there’s surely an error somewhere in his analysis. But unless and until he shows his working there’ll be no way of finding the error.

      • @PL: The 15 year system life time is the average operating life across all the installations.

        Not even Conservapedia would claim that — the article Solar power says
        “Most systems carry a 25-30 year warranty.”

        (Lang would be chuffed however to read in the same article, “Liberals often point to solar power as a way to “solve” global warming. This has several problems. Other than the fact that the claim of global warming is dubious, to say the least, solar power is not very efficient, giving much less energy than oil. Many liberals have tried to force solar power onto many areas, despite the fact that it would be very costly and would be much more inefficient than oil, for example.” Great to have a non-ideological encyclopedia like Conservapedia to counterbalance that terribly ideological Wikipedia!)

        In any event I would estimate over 99% of home solar PV installations haven’t even been installed for 15 years, making it absurd to claim a 15 year lifetime.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Not even Conservapedia would claim that — the article Solar power says
        “Most systems carry a 25-30 year warranty.”

        Can you explain to me what the warranty period has got to do with the average operational life of the installations in the fleet?

        Does the warranty cover keeping the operating and re-installing the original system, at no extra cost to the owner, after they have been removed during house renovations (as just one example why many installations will not operate for 25 years, and not even 15 years).

  63. Chief Hydrologist

    Got the right units I see Michael. The solar industry source I linked to yesterday gave a minimum global abatement cost of $160/ton – for Australia. Much higher elsewhere. It doesn’t include network costs or the costs of running existing systems to balance supply.

    EU permits are $4 – CDM permits I heard today are at $0.60.

    We don’t care what you do with your money. We care what you do with our money.

    • Peter Lang

      Hi Chief, Thank you for that.

      I’ll link to the comment I made in reply to your yesterday’s comment which linked to a solar advocacy site and gave the abatement cost estimate of $160/t CO2. http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/19/mainstreaming-ecs-2-c/#comment-325539 . My comment points out there are several inputs that are grossly understated. If corrected I expect their calculation would be north of $600/t CO2.

      Actually, I’ll paste it here to assist other readers:

      “The wrong figures for Australia I noticed after a very brief look at the first Table are:

      1. Solar PV does not substitute for coal generation, or for the average emissions intensity of the grid. It substitutes for gas generation, i.e. the highly flexible generators that provide power during intermediate and peak demand. So the ‘avoided emissions factor’ is too high by 50% or more.

      2. The average energy yield is nowhere near 1800 kWh/kWp. This is a theoretical figure and not even close to what the roof top PV installations average. It’s also too high by probably 50% or more.

      3. The 10 year interest rate of 4.89% is not close to the discount rate used for analysing electricity generation technology options. The Australian government uses 10% in the most recent analyses.

      4. Average operation life of PV module of 25 years is overstated, probably by about 100%

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I don’t get caught up with anything more than order of magnitude estimates. And I assumed KW didn’t refer to Kelvin.Watts.

        Solar PV is getting cheaper – cheap enough to be useful in some applications. The distortions around pricing, however, make no sense. Especially where there are much cheaper options for public money. We are advantaging one technology over many others for ideological reasons.

      • Peter Lang

        Chief,

        And I assumed KW didn’t refer to Kelvin.Watts.

        Yes, I knew what he meant too, but when someone misuses units it is clear give away that they know little about the subject area. When people misuse the units for electricity, it is a clear sign that they have little knowledge of the industry. If they had, they would have been educated about the correct use of units long ago That’s fine, of course, as long as they are not being arrogant and pretentious and trying to make out they know what they are talking about, which is the case with both Pratt and Michael (IMO, of course).

        Also, anyone who has practiced unit analysis knows the importance of being meticulous with units and unit symbols.

      • Peter,

        Better to be honestly in error than delibertly dishonest.

        $5000 per KW installed solar PV??

        You can’t even begin to defend that tripe.

      • Peter Lang

        I recognise I should not feed the trolls. But what is the best approach to deal with internet trolls like Vaughan Pratt and Michael who continually just make stuff up, lie, and blatantly misrepresent?

        Regarding the misleading claim (clearly intended to be misleading) about the $5,000/kW capital cost estimate, perhaps I should throw the ball into the troll’s court and ask them for their estimate, along with appropriate substantiation from authoritative sources, for:

        • ‘retail system installed cost $/kW’
        • grid costs (e.g. the costs listed in Palmer (2013), section “5.6. Voltage Regulation”)
        • costs transferred to dispatchable generators
        • estimates for 2012, for Melbourne, in 2012 A$

        Note that Palmer’s figure of $3000/kW did not include the grid costs or the costs transferred to the dispatchable generators and is a solar industry estimate of the average quotes, not the average of the final actual as-built costs (which are higher).

        So, trolls Emeritus Professor Vaughan Pratt and his cell mate Michael, what are your estimates and the sources?

      • Classic Peter Lang – refuse to detail how he arrived at his wild claim, but then demand everyone esle do what he refuses to do.

        And Peter knows that his $3000 figure for installation is wrong. Sure, it was close to mark 18 months ago, but now it’s way off.

        Show us that you have at leat a shred of integrity and use the figure you know is correct – around $1700/KW.

        And then there is the incorrect assumption that everyone is going to get a 3 phase upgrade. Heck, even if we allow for this assumption, we get a per KW figure of closer to $3000 than Peter’s absurd $5000. The $600 abatement cost claim is pure fantasy.

        Peter, you’re a one-trick pony that been turning his trick all over the blog-o-sphere for so long that everyone has seen it and is bored with it.

        Please update your show – just for variety’s sake.

      • Michael,

        Show us that you have at least a shred of integrity and use the figure you know is correct – around $1700/KW.

        Ridiculous figure. Simply made up by you on the spot. Nothing to substantiate it whatsoever and includes non of the grid costs or costs transferred to dispatchable generators. You need to start by demonstrating that Palmer’s estimate of $3000 for average quoted price (2012) (not average as-built costs), which is based on solar industry claims, is wrong. Then you need to demonstrate that Palmer’s peer reviewed paper is wrong on the other items hes mentioned but not included in the $3,000 solar owner’s costs.

        Enough making stuff up now. I’ve given you several lines of evidence to show that my estimate is realistic and IMO more likely to be on the low side than the high side. ESAA is one of the lines of evidence. How much more authrotative can you get then that. So now it’s your turn to back up your assertions.

      • $1700 / KW – current retail installation costs (heck, you can get even cheaper if you look hard).

        $3000 is anciet history – you know this.
        Even if you choose to be ignorant- a quick google check will confirm this.

        Playing dumb doesn’t really help your cause.

        Now, show some integrity and use the current figures, and tell us what your $600 abatement cost is now.

      • Peter Lang

        Michael,

        $1700 / KW – current retail installation costs (heck, you can get even cheaper if you look hard).

        $3000 is anciet history – you know this.

        Even if you choose to be ignorant- a quick google check will confirm this.

        Playing dumb doesn’t really help your cause.

        Now, show some integrity and use the current figures, and tell us what your $600 abatement cost is now.

        You are a disingenuous person. You don’t even check before you just make stuff up. Solar Choice PV Price Index – March 2013 http://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/solar-choice-pv-price-index-march-2013/, says: “Average Solar PV System Prices – March 2013” for a 1.5 kW system (the most common size installed) is $4096, or $2730/kW. That is a little (difference is less than 10%) below Palmer’s figure of $3,000 which he got from what he took as being the best source to use and which was accepted by the peer reviewers. Furthermore, the figures in his paper are for 2012, and that is the basis of all the figures being compared. You can’t just cherry pick the numbers you want to use (unless you have no integrity and no ethics).

        This figure, like Palmer’s is based on quoted prices, not an average of the as-built costs.

        This supports palmer’s estimate for the quoted price (not the final actual installed cost) of $3,000/kW.

        So we’ve dealt with that. So far, neither you nor Professor Emeritus Vaughan Pratt have laid a finger on the estimate.

        But you’ve certainly displayed, once again, the lack of ethics, and moral values for which ‘Progressives’, climate doomsayer activists and renewable energy activists are becoming renowned.

      • Classic Peter Lang- loading up his assumptions with the most costly options to give the result he wants.

        So he now quotes the average price of the most expensive section of the market – the 1.5KW system (which he still can’t coax up to $3000).

        But even at 1.5-2 KW it’s easy enough to find retail rates of $2000/KW.

        Your $3000 retail figure is a joke. And $5000….!!!!!!!

      • @PL: 2. The average energy yield is nowhere near 1800 kWh/kWp. This is a theoretical figure and not even close to what the roof top PV installations average. It’s also too high by probably 50% or more.

        I can speak to that on the basis of the readings on my meter this morning. The system has been running for 5 years (plus 5 days), has generated 65237 kWh, and is rated at 7.5 kW. 65237/5/7.5 = 1740.

        We’re in Northern California, presumably it’s well over 1800 in Southern California.

      • @PL: You can’t just cherry pick the numbers you want to use (unless you have no integrity and no ethics).

        So if you have no integrity and no ethics you can cherry pick? Did Lang subconsciously have himself in mind when carving out that exception?

        @PL: Solar Choice PV Price Index – March 2013 says: “Average Solar PV System Prices – March 2013” for a 1.5 kW system (the most common size installed) is $4096, or $2730/kW.

        I must have missed something. Has Lang suddenly backed off his remarkable $5000 figure for system cost then? Seems like a major concession.

        Anyway if I still lived in Sydney I’d find the 5kW unit more useful, costing $1815/kW. Lang cites no authority for his claim that 1.5kW is the “most common size installed”.

        But if we could cite an authority for the commonest length of string, we’d then know the length of a piece of string. Seems to me Palmer has the right idea in his paper, he prefers “highly variable” in such situations.

        But you’ve certainly displayed, once again, the lack of ethics, and moral values for which ‘Progressives’, climate doomsayer activists and renewable energy activists are becoming renowned.

        I call this the Big Bad Wolf inference rule: “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and i’ll blow your claim down,” used as the last step in a proof.

      • On a more serious note, how does whether a homeowner pay $1800/kW or $9000/kW make the slightest difference to anyone’s economics except the homeowner and the system vendor? Once the 1.5 kW or whatever system has been installed, how much was paid for it has exactly zero bearing on the subsequent burden its operation places on society.

        The cost to abate a ton of CO2 is a meaningless number from society’s standpoint. Only those costs that aren’t the owner’s responsibility have any relevance. Inflating that cost by adding in the homeowner’s cost is a clear case of misrepresentation.

        Lang’s continuing refusal to separate out these numbers while calling those asking him to do so liars, zealots, etc. is a textbook example of hypocrisy.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Your comments are a combination of misunderstanding (at best), or just blatant dishonesty (which I suspect).

        I must have missed something. Has Lang suddenly backed off his remarkable $5000 figure for system cost then? Seems like a major concession.

        First comment I’l make is yuou wonder why I respond to you as I do. From ourt fiorst exchanges your comments have been pompous, arrogant and ignorant, disingenuous, used straw-man tactics, obfuscation, dishonesty, and never admit your errors or misunderstandings. The second sentence in the quote is an example: “Has Lang suddenly backed off his remarkable $5000 figure for system cost then? Seems like a major concession.

        The answer is “No”, as you well know. I’ve answered this same assertion and explained it perhaps 10 times now. Here we go again: The $5,000/kW is the combination of $3,000/kW (from Graham Palmer’s paper) plus estimated $2000/kW for grid and for additional costs transferred to the dispatchable generators. These are explained in Palmer’s paper but are not included in his $3000/kW figure. The $3,000/kW is for “Retail system installed cost” only (it is for 2012 as are all other figures in the paper).

        Do you get it now? Please advise that you have, at last, understood this. (I’ve responded to this assertion by you and Michael perhaps ten times so far). If you don’t answer this, it will reinforce my impression you lack professional and intellectual integrity, i,e., you are basically a dishonest person [refer to “10 signs of intellectual honesty”, #5, #8 and also ‘10 signs of intellectual dishonesty, #1, #2, #4, #5, #7, #8, #10 http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/#comment-320177 ].

        Anyway if I still lived in Sydney I’d find the 5kW unit more useful, costing $1815/kW. Lang cites no authority for his claim that 1.5kW is the “most common size installed”.

        Who cares what the super elites, like you, can afford and would install if you still lived in Sydney. We are talking about the average installation. From memory the NEM has just over 1 million installations and just over 2 GW installed. That is an average of 2 kW per installation (newer installations are getting larger, averaging about 2.5 kW in 2012, from memory). But the most common size (mode) in the fleet is about 1.5 kW (from memory, that may have changed a bit recently). I don’t have the link to hand and can’t be bothered searching because you have demonstrated you wont bother reading anything I’ve posted and what you do read you distort and misrepresent. So, if you want it, look it up for yourself.

        But if we could cite an authority for the commonest length of string, we’d then know the length of a piece of string.

        Is that supposed to be an intelligent, constructive comment, Professor Pratt? It is that sort of pompous arrogance that has prevailed throughout your comments from about the first time you responded to me. And you wonder why I don’t respect you.

        I call this the Big Bad Wolf inference rule: “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and i’ll blow your claim down,” used as the last step in a proof.

        What is your claim? Is it that:

        1. The CO2 abatement of $600/tonne CO2 for roof top PV is wrong (using Melbourne figures for 2012, because that is what most of the figures in Palmer’s paper are based on)?; or

        2. The $5,000/kW average installation cost plus grid costs plus costs transferred to dispatchable generators is wrong?; or

        3. The average amount by which the owners of roof top solar are being subsidised by other electricity consumers is about $1,000 per year? or?

        4. The rich elites, like you, who can afford solar panels are being subsidised by the poor who cannot afford them?

        On a more serious note, how does whether a homeowner pay $1800/kW or $9000/kW make the slightest difference to anyone’s economics except the homeowner and the system vendor? Once the 1.5 kW or whatever system has been installed, how much was paid for it has exactly zero bearing on the subsequent burden its operation places on society.

        That question is mindboggling. It demonstrates you haven’t understood the Palmer paper and haven’t read or understood the quotes Faustino and I posted from the Weekend Australian, (see previous comments and: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/rooftop-solar-panels-help-to-generate-problems-as-well-as-power/story-fn59niix-1226650182854) and the 5 page ESAA Discussion paper “Who pays for solar energy?” http://www.esaa.com.au/Library/PageContentFiles/0ed86edb-b445-43f7-b1da-04dba6c4b4bf/Who_pays_for_solar_energy.pdf :

        The cost to abate a ton of CO2 is a meaningless number from society’s standpoint. Only those costs that aren’t the owner’s responsibility have any relevance. Inflating that cost by adding in the homeowner’s cost is a clear case of misrepresentation.

        That statement demonstrates astounding ignorance. If the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions, then policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions must be compared on the basis of cost per tonne CO2 emissions avoided. And the full cost is what we have to compare. The full cost is the cost to society. If you weren’t wasting your money on PV you might be spending it on something else where it could actually do some good for society.

        Lang’s continuing refusal to separate out these numbers while calling those asking him to do so liars, zealots, etc. is a textbook example of hypocrisy.

        I have explained repeatedly that the breakdown you are asking for makes no sense to me and I have no way of splitting out the costs that way. What I can do is change inputs and produce the CO2 abatement cost for those inputs. Unless you are prepared to really understand the Palmer paper, there is no point in trying to help you to understand the analysis, or event the inputs.

        I’ll make some summary comments:

        1. Graham Palmer’s is the best method to calculate CO2 abatement cost of solar PV, IMO.

        2. Palmer calculated CO2 abatement cost of $130/ tonne for Melbourne based on the owners costs alone but, intentionally, did not include the grid costs or the costs transferred to the dispatchable generators (because he didn’t have all the figures, as his paper makes clear). Furthermore, intentionally, he used figures which give a conservative (i.e. low) figure for CO2 abatement cost. Some of these are the average operational life of the installations and the average capacity factor of the fleet of the installations that are in operation. I’ve written more about those in earlier comments.

        3. The $5,000/kW I estimated is more likely to be on the low side than the high side for the full cost of the owners installation costs, the grid and the costs transferred to dispatchable generators.

        4. The >$600/tonne CO2 I estimated is correct for the inputs I used. I regard the inputs I used as realistic and defensible, but happy to be shown I am wrong on any of them (with figures from authoritative sources). I’ve listed the assumptions I changed from what Graham Palmer used and explained the reasons in previous comments.

        The ESAA Discussion Paper says, p2:

        The current arrangements are unfair and need to be changed. At the moment, low income households who cannot afford solar, renters and people in apartments pay more to underwrite those customers who can install their own solar system. We need to change the way we charge consumers for the cost of the networks to make sure everybody pays their fair share.

        As the comment I posted yesterday http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/22/all-of-the-above-approach-to-energy-policy/#comment-326428 shows, Australia is not alone. The EU and UK also realise they have to charge solar PV users for the use of the network and other hidden cross subsidies to be fair on the consumers who do not have PV.

      • Peter Lang

        [Re-post to correct formatting; sorry again (just one space caused the formatting error in the previous comment]

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Your comments are a combination of misunderstanding (at best), or just blatant dishonesty (which I suspect).

        I must have missed something. Has Lang suddenly backed off his remarkable $5000 figure for system cost then? Seems like a major concession.

        First comment I’ll make is you wonder why I respond to you as I do. From ourt fiorst exchanges your comments have been pompous, arrogant and ignorant, disingenuous, used straw-man tactics, obfuscation, dishonesty, and never admit your errors or misunderstandings. The second sentence in the quote is an example: “Has Lang suddenly backed off his remarkable $5000 figure for system cost then? Seems like a major concession.

        The answer is “No”, as you well know. I’ve answered this same assertion and explained it perhaps 10 times now. Here we go again: The $5,000/kW is the combination of $3,000/kW (from Graham Palmer’s paper) plus estimated $2000/kW for grid and for additional costs transferred to the dispatchable generators. These are explained in Palmer’s paper but are not included in his $3000/kW figure. The $3,000/kW is for “Retail system installed cost” only (it is for 2012 as are all other figures in the paper).

        Do you get it now? Please advise that you have, at last, understood this. (I’ve responded to this assertion by you and Michael perhaps ten times so far). If you don’t answer this, it will reinforce my impression you lack professional and intellectual integrity, i,e., you are basically a dishonest person [refer to “10 signs of intellectual honesty”, #5, #8 and also ‘10 signs of intellectual dishonesty, #1, #2, #4, #5, #7, #8, #10 http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/#comment-320177 ].

        Anyway if I still lived in Sydney I’d find the 5kW unit more useful, costing $1815/kW. Lang cites no authority for his claim that 1.5kW is the “most common size installed”.

        Who cares what the super elites, like you, can afford and would install if you still lived in Sydney. We are talking about the average installation. From memory the NEM has just over 1 million installations and just over 2 GW installed. That is an average of 2 kW per installation (newer installations are getting larger, averaging about 2.5 kW in 2012, from memory). But the most common size (mode) in the fleet is about 1.5 kW (from memory, that may have changed a bit recently). I don’t have the link to hand and can’t be bothered searching because you have demonstrated you wont bother reading anything I’ve posted and what you do read you distort and misrepresent. So, if you want it, look it up for yourself.

        But if we could cite an authority for the commonest length of string, we’d then know the length of a piece of string.

        Is that supposed to be an intelligent, constructive comment, Professor Pratt? It is that sort of pompous arrogance that has prevailed throughout your comments from about the first time you responded to me. And you wonder why I don’t respect you.

        I call this the Big Bad Wolf inference rule: “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and i’ll blow your claim down,” used as the last step in a proof.

        What is your claim? Is it that:

        1. The CO2 abatement of $600/tonne CO2 for roof top PV is wrong (using Melbourne figures for 2012, because that is what most of the figures in Palmer’s paper are based on)?; or

        2. The $5,000/kW average installation cost plus grid costs plus costs transferred to dispatchable generators is wrong?; or

        3. The average amount by which the owners of roof top solar are being subsidised by other electricity consumers is about $1,000 per year? or?

        4. The rich elites, like you, who can afford solar panels are being subsidised by the poor who cannot afford them?

        On a more serious note, how does whether a homeowner pay $1800/kW or $9000/kW make the slightest difference to anyone’s economics except the homeowner and the system vendor? Once the 1.5 kW or whatever system has been installed, how much was paid for it has exactly zero bearing on the subsequent burden its operation places on society.

        That question is mindboggling. It demonstrates you haven’t understood the Palmer paper and haven’t read or understood the quotes Faustino and I posted from the Weekend Australian, (see previous comments and: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/rooftop-solar-panels-help-to-generate-problems-as-well-as-power/story-fn59niix-1226650182854) and the 5 page ESAA Discussion paper “Who pays for solar energy?” http://www.esaa.com.au/Library/PageContentFiles/0ed86edb-b445-43f7-b1da-04dba6c4b4bf/Who_pays_for_solar_energy.pdf :

        The cost to abate a ton of CO2 is a meaningless number from society’s standpoint. Only those costs that aren’t the owner’s responsibility have any relevance. Inflating that cost by adding in the homeowner’s cost is a clear case of misrepresentation.

        That statement demonstrates astounding ignorance. If the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions, then policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions must be compared on the basis of cost per tonne CO2 emissions avoided. And the full cost is what we have to compare. The full cost is the cost to society. If you weren’t wasting your money on PV you might be spending it on something else where it could actually do some good for society.

        Lang’s continuing refusal to separate out these numbers while calling those asking him to do so liars, zealots, etc. is a textbook example of hypocrisy.

        I have explained repeatedly that the breakdown you are asking for makes no sense to me and I have no way of splitting out the costs that way. What I can do is change inputs and produce the CO2 abatement cost for those inputs. Unless you are prepared to really understand the Palmer paper, there is no point in trying to help you to understand the analysis, or event the inputs.

        I’ll make some summary comments:

        1. Graham Palmer’s is the best method to calculate CO2 abatement cost of solar PV, IMO.

        2. Palmer calculated CO2 abatement cost of $130/ tonne for Melbourne based on the owners costs alone but, intentionally, did not include the grid costs or the costs transferred to the dispatchable generators (because he didn’t have all the figures, as his paper makes clear). Furthermore, intentionally, he used figures which give a conservative (i.e. low) figure for CO2 abatement cost. Some of these are the average operational life of the installations and the average capacity factor of the fleet of the installations that are in operation. I’ve written more about those in earlier comments.

        3. The $5,000/kW I estimated is more likely to be on the low side than the high side for the full cost of the owners installation costs, the grid and the costs transferred to dispatchable generators.

        4. The >$600/tonne CO2 I estimated is correct for the inputs I used. I regard the inputs I used as realistic and defensible, but happy to be shown I am wrong on any of them (with figures from authoritative sources). I’ve listed the assumptions I changed from what Graham Palmer used and explained the reasons in previous comments.

        The ESAA Discussion Paper says, p2:

        The current arrangements are unfair and need to be changed. At the moment, low income households who cannot afford solar, renters and people in apartments pay more to underwrite those customers who can install their own solar system. We need to change the way we charge consumers for the cost of the networks to make sure everybody pays their fair share.

        As the comment I posted yesterday http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/22/all-of-the-above-approach-to-energy-policy/#comment-326428 shows, Australia is not alone. The EU and UK also realise they have to charge solar PV users for the use of the network and other hidden cross subsidies to be fair on the consumers who do not have PV.

      • @VP: The system has been running for 5 years (plus 5 days), has generated 65237 kWh, and is rated at 7.5 kW. 65237/5/7.5 = 1740.

        I dug the specs for my system out of a folder this evening, compared them with the labels on the panels, and realized that what I’d been thinking of all these years as a 7.5 kW system is actually the power from the inverter. The power from the panels is 8.46 kW. Since it’s the latter that defines kWp, peak power, the correct calculation is 65237/5/8.46 = 1540, not 1740. Very sorry about that.

        This is about what one would expect in Brisbane or Cairns, less than Perth, and more than Sydney. Since Brisbane is 27 S while we’re 37 N, the only reason I can think of as to why we get as much solar energy as Brisbane is that we have a mountain range between us and the coast that traps a lot of fog. Palo Alto is warmer than both the coast to the west and San Francisco to the north.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        This is about what one would expect in Brisbane or Cairns, less than Perth, and more than Sydney. Since Brisbane is 27 S while we’re 37 N, the only reason I can think of as to why we get as much solar energy as Brisbane is that we have a mountain range between us and the coast that traps a lot of fog.

        OK. But that is your system. It is not the average of all the residential PV systems (in a city). The average output is less for a number of reasons as I explained in one or more previous comments. For example (but see more complete list provided previously):
        – most systems are not optimally oriented
        - most systems are not cleaned regularly
        - some systems are temporarily disconnected for one reason or another – for example inverter fails and “it is not a budgetary priority to replace it at this time”.
        - some are shaded, and shading tends to increase over time as trees grow and as adjacent buildings are raised (the house next door to us was knocked down, a new house was built with a chimney that shades our roof in the afternoon in winter)
        - the efficiency of systems decreases over time (at a rate of about 1% p.a.)

        Altogether, the average capacity factor of the fleet, comprising systems up to 25 years, old but average operational life of somewhere between 10 to 15 years, is less that what a new, optimally oriented system delivers.

      • @PL: If you weren’t wasting your money on PV you might be spending it on something else where it could actually do some good for society.

        Surely you’re joking, Mr Lang. I reduce my electric bill by an order of magnitude and you call that “wasting money.” How does that follow? Furthermore I did not do it for the “good of society,” I did it for my own good, namely to save money on my electric bills. Duh.

        Your ideology seems to have blinded you to the logic of commonsense reasoning.

        If the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions, then policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions must be compared on the basis of cost per tonne CO2 emissions avoided. And the full cost is what we have to compare. The full cost is the cost to society

        Since you seem to have no problem being brutally blunt with me, I hope you won’t mind my returning the favour. Bluntness isn’t always bad, and might even do some good in the long run.

        I see two problems here. First, CO2 abatement is not the only goal, cheaper power is also a goal. I have never been interested in abating CO2, and you will search in vain for any writing by me on Climate Etc. that advocates it. At our very first encounter, when you first started posting on Climate Etc., I questioned your reasoning about the economic virtues of coal power. You inferred immediately that I must be one of those “clean energy” zealots and bombarded me with insults, when in fact all I was questioning was what seemed to me to be very inaccurate arithmetic.

        Second, your method of calculating the full cost to society is fallacious because it assumes that the cost to the system owner is merely what he or she paid for it. What it fails to include is the subsequent savings to that owner in electric costs, an amount that dwarfs every other component. Only when you include that savings will you have calculated the real cost to society.

        For someone claiming to be an expert on the economics of energy technologies you have a disconcertingly feeble grasp of its fundamentals. Whether that causes your ideology or is caused by it is not a question I’m prepared to speculate on. I hope it’s the former, since in that case there’s always the hope that you’ll come to grips with energy economics. If the latter, the prognosis is not good.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Surely you’re joking, Mr Lang. I reduce my electric bill by an order of magnitude and you call that “wasting money.” How does that follow? Furthermore I did not do it for the “good of society,” I did it for my own good, namely to save money on my electric bills. Duh.

        You don’t understand anything about economics. You continually ignore the subsidies made by society to your PV system. You clearly don’t have the most basic understanding of economics. Time you go to school and learn some basics, Professor. I am not interested in arguing basic economic concepts with you.

        I see two problems here. First, CO2 abatement is not the only goal, cheaper power is also a goal.

        PV does not provide cheap power to society. It provides extremely expensive power. It is heavily subsidised by society. You are being subsidised by the poor. Did you read the ESAA ‘Discussion Paper’ or the link to all the quotes about UK and Europe are considering regarding charging renewable energy owners for the fair cost they are being subsidised by other consumers? The sole reason society is subsidising solar PV was in the (incorrect) belief it would reduce GHG emissions. It makes negligible difference to emissions and does so at huge cost to society. Therefore, society is getting nothing in return for its subsidies.

        You inferred immediately that I must be one of those “clean energy” zealots and bombarded me with insults, when in fact all I was questioning was what seemed to me to be very inaccurate arithmetic.

        Well you did start talking the same sort of nonsense you are repeating here trying to justify solar PV.

        Your recollection our first interactions is very different to how I recall them (and my recollection of the original comments has been reinforced by many events since, and not just with me). My recollection was that you responded to me in the way I have seen you respond to many others; i.e. with pompous arrogance, obfuscation, avoidance, misrepresentation, disingenuous comments and flaming. You are obviously an expert at all that, and do it frequently when challenged, not just to me. And I respond to you as I do to others that I find behave dishonestly. And, guess what, nearly all of them share the Leftists ideological beliefs.

        Second, your method of calculating the full cost to society is fallacious …

        You wouldn’t know. You’ve demonstrated you have not a clue what you are talking about on this subject, so no point arguing about it.

        For someone claiming to be an expert on the economics of energy technologies

        Please link to where I said that.

        … you have a disconcertingly feeble grasp of its fundamentals. Whether that causes your ideology or is caused by it is not a question I’m prepared to speculate on. I hope it’s the former, since in that case there’s always the hope that you’ll come to grips with energy economics. If the latter, the prognosis is not good.

        You have repeatedly demonstrated the reverse is the case, i.e it is you that hasn’t a clue. And how could you – your just an IT academic, with no exposure to the real world of energy or energy economics. Furthermore, I cannot recall one occasion in all the comments you’ve directed at me and all the assertions, where you have found an error. If you had, I would have acknowledged it. I may be wrong, but I cannot recall one example.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Since you apparently did not go to the link I pointed you to with the quotes about what the EU is considering doing to reduce the unfair subsidies that society pays to renewable energy system owners, I’ll re-post it here. I hope it will help you to understand some of the basic misunderstandign you have:

        “Below are a series of quotes in today’s GWPF newsletter titled:
        Green Energy Clawback: Green Subsidy Farmers Face Tax On Solar Panels

        Australia’s one million rooftop solar households could be forced to pay new fixed charges to help recover billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies and make electricity prices fairer for all consumers. A series of electricity industry reports has highlighted the inequity in existing power pricing where customers without solar panels are unfairly subsidising those with them. –Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 25 May 2013

        Belgian companies managing the country’s electricity and natural gas distribution grids (GRD), including Ores and Tecteo, are asking for a tax on solar panels from October 1, to ensure that owners contribute to using the network. GRD firms intend to submit a request for the introduction of a levy to CREG, the federal regulator of the gas and electricity market, by the end of May. –Ulrika Lomas, Tax News, 17 May 2013

        The Greek Environment and Energy Ministry is planning to impose an extraordinary levy on photovoltaic systems on rooftops used for the production of electricity as a result of pressure from the country’s international creditors to bring the electricity market’s deficit down to zero by 2014. –Chryssa Liaggou, Ekathimerini, 18 April 2013

        Mariano Rajoy’s pledge to tax utilities and power consumers signals Spain is planning to raise cash from renewable energy for the first time, a blow to an industry already struggling with subsidy cuts. The prime minister told Parliament yesterday he’d impose a levy to spread the expense of closing a gap between costs and revenue in the country’s electricity business, which has racked up debts of 25 billion euros ($31 billion). –Marc Roca, Bloomberg 12 July 2012

        Europe’s stratospheric energy prices and economic doldrums are forcing a basic rethink of energy policies. We hear so much about how green energy is good for the economy. It’s interesting that Europe, the citadel of global greenery, is thinking of throwing in the towel. –Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia, 23 May 2013

        [ A Chart here plots change in electricity prices versus date from 2005 to 2012. EU's electricity prices have increased 40% while US have decreased about 5%.]

        As the U.S. economy lumbers through a slow recovery, Americans can take comfort that they are not Europeans. EU leaders from 27 countries met in Brussels this week to discuss energy policy, and the chart that had everyone buzzing had three simple jagged lines. It showed EU electricity prices since 2005 had skyrocketed, while Japan’s climbed moderately, and prices in the U.S. plunged sharply. “Stuck in the doldrums, the European economy has lost nearly all momentum, with growth hard to come by and rising energy costs a real concern,” Agence France Presse reported this week. –Eric Schulzke, Deseret News, 24 May 2013

        The European Union is quietly taking steps to shred the ‘green agenda’ responsible for rocketing energy bills across the continent. It is now urging members to restore Europe’s competitiveness by ‘fracking’ for cheap natural gas from shale, instead of pushing ‘renewable’ energy subsidies which cost consumers billions of pounds. The policy shift was unveiled last week at a Brussels summit attended by David Cameron. It comes as MPs prepare to debate the final stages of the Energy Bill when Parliament returns after its Whitsun recess. –David Rose, Mail on Sunday, 26 May 2013

        Almost wholly unnoticed by the British media, there were signs last week of a mighty earthquake beginning to take place in the EU’s energy policy. For 20 years, as we know, this has been hijacked by the EU’s fixation with climate change. But at Wednesday’s meeting of the European Council, there were, at last, indications that many countries now recognise that the EU’s bid to lead the world in “de-carbonising” is leading the European economy towards meltdown. What happened last week could prove to be a unique example in the EU’s history of it recognising that it has made such a catastrophic blunder that its policy must change. But so boring do we consider pretty well anything the EU does that almost nobody in Britain – apart from the admirable Global Warming Policy Foundation – seems to have noticed. –Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 26 May 2013

      • Peter your GWPF link is word salad.

        It’s a whole bunch of disparite issues with not a whole lot of relevance to what we where discussing.

      • @PL: You continually ignore the subsidies made by society to your PV system

        I’m not ignoring them. My complaint is that you’re miscalculating them, resulting in a gross overstatement of them. The cost to the owner is the cost of the system less the subsequent savings in electricity costs. You include the former as part of the “cost to society” but not the latter. This is elementary accounting, one doesn’t need an economics degree to see that your method greatly overstates the cost to society.

        @PL: It is heavily subsidised by society. You are being subsidised by the poor.

        I agree with that. What I don’t agree with is the extent to which the poor are subsidizing me. First, you have included a miscalculated total cost to the owner as part of the total cost to society, by neglecting the subsequent reduction in the owner’s electric bills. Second, the wealthy consume more electricity than the poor and therefore I’m being subsidized more by the wealthy than the poor.

        The former is the elephant in the room, since that elementary accounting error makes a huge difference! But your noble concern for the poor is duly noted, may it work off some of your karma; see my response to Tony Brown here on that point.

        As far as I can tell, Palmer commits the same fallacy in his estimate of cost to abate a ton of CO2. It would be very interesting to engage him in a discussion of whether his accounting method is a genuine reflection of the total cost.

        @PL: Since you apparently did not go to the link I pointed you to

        Since Graham Lloyd and Christopher Booker write for your echo chamber I’m sure you find them as persuasive as I find them amusing (the opposite would be true for the opposing echo chamber). But I was particularly amused by this quote from your list: “The Greek Environment and Energy Ministry is planning to impose an extraordinary levy on photovoltaic systems on rooftops used for the production of electricity as a result of pressure from the country’s international creditors to bring the electricity market’s deficit down to zero by 2014.”

        Wow, all the way down to zero. Well, actually that makes sense given the dismal state of Greece’s economy. If the wealthy refuse to be taxed directly, tax them indirectly by taxing their big PV systems. Justify the tax with grossly inflated estimates of the “cost to society” of PV by including the system cost to the owner while omitting the resulting savings to that owner. Clever accounting trick that at least some of the wealthy might be too dumb to see through.

        The reason you want to neglect the (elementary and obvious) fact that a home solar installation reduces the homeowner’s electric bills is that it greatly undermines your argument about the “cost to society.” You therefore have to twist and turn your logic every which way in order to obscure that fact.

        Expertise in economics is a red herring. We’re talking about elementary very large accounting errors that you flatly refuse to acknowledge. One does not need to be an economist to catch elementary accounting errors.

        I cannot recall one occasion in all the comments you’ve directed at me and all the assertions, where you have found an error.

        I found an error right here, where you miscalculate the total cost of PV to society by neglecting a crucial term.

        If you had, I would have acknowledged it.

        Well, that’s easily shown to be false: you haven’t acknowledged this one as being an error.

        Since we clearly disagree as to whether it’s an error or not, perhaps all we can do is agree to disagree. I don’t see either of us changing our mind about this. In my case it is very obvious to me that you’ve neglected a huge term in the total cost of PV to society, and I find your arguments to the contrary completely unconvincing.

      • Probably more regressive than a sales tax, this who gets hurt more, rich or poor. But thank you for your concern for the poor.
        =======================

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        I’m not ignoring them. My complaint is that you’re miscalculating them, resulting in a gross overstatement of them.

        You haven’t shown that I am miscalculating them. You haven’t shown that ESAA or Graham Palmer has miscalculated anything. My figures are calculated from and supported by theirs (plus the changes I made to some of Graham Palmers assumptions and inclusion of an estimate for the grid casts and transfers to dispatchable generators as I have stated many times already). You haven’t yet shown an error in any of them. (you may feel you have but you have not provided any reliable substantiation for any of your assertions. And assertions are totally baseless. He just makes stuff up. You need to show that ESAA is wrong and the man y other authoritative sources that have been saying the same recently and for decades before now.

        As for you economic ideas, there’s no point going there, as you know zilch about it.

        I agree with that. What I don’t agree with is the extent to which the poor are subsidizing me

        In that case provide your revised estimate of how much you think you are being subsidised together with the basis of estimate using authoritative sources. Also show specifically what is wrong with the relevant figures in Palmer paper and the ESAA “Discussion Paper”. Then there is a hell of a long way to go after. But no point sending you links to all that yet, because I recognise you are not in a mood to read any of it.

        Since Graham Lloyd and Christopher Booker write for your echo chamber I’m sure you find them as persuasive as I find them amusing …

        Signs of intellectual dishonesty’ numbers: 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, , 2, 1. http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/#comment-320177

        There were plenty of quotes from other articles there too. Do you dismiss every one of them?

        It’s pretty persuasive that the European countries are beginning to recognise the huge cost of renewables. Australia (UK, Canada, USA are also beginning to recognise how enormously costly, uneconomic and near useless are renewable energy technologies).

        And there are hundreds of studies showing the huge economic cost of renewable energy. You just need to start reading more widely than only what supports your ideological beliefs.

        Your comments about economic costs are absolute nonsense. Large commercially operated solar PV costs about $226/MWh. More for residential solar PV. To the LCOE for residential PV (lets call it $300/MWh fort the sake of explaining the point) you have to add the additional grid costs that residential PV requires plus the cost of backup plus the hidden costs transferred to the dispatchable generators resulting from the distortions to the market that favour renewable energy generators. So the real cost is above $300/MWh [Table 5.2.1 http://www.bree.gov.au/documents/publications/aeta/Australian_Energy_Technology_Assessment.pdf%5D. To estimate the total amount of the subsidy subtract the cost of providing the power with conventional generators. The average spot price in Australia is about $45/MWh. So the subsidy is more than $300/MWh – $45/MWh = $255/MWh. That is the subsidy is about 500%. Get it now? Do you still say I am underestimating the amount by which solar PV is subsidised.

        I found an error right here, where you miscalculate the total cost of PV to society by neglecting a crucial term.

        No you haven’t. You’ve made another of your many baseless assertions.

        Well, that’s easily shown to be false: you haven’t acknowledged this one as being an error.

        There is not error, or at least none that you or anyone else has revealed, yet.

        This is the sort of assertion by you that persuades me you are a basically dishonest person, seriously lacking in personal, intellectual and professional integrity and seriously lacking in ethics and moral values. I can’t trust a single thing you say.

        In my case it is very obvious to me that you’ve neglected a huge term in the total cost of PV to society, and I find your arguments to the contrary completely unconvincing.

        If I have got it wrong then so has the ESAA, BREE, and virtually every other authoritative, rational economist.

        Since we clearly disagree as to whether it’s an error or not, perhaps all we can do is agree to disagree.

        You have not shown any error. You would have to show that not just me but virtually everyone has the figures wrong. You haven’t shown any thing is wrong. You’ve just made baseless assertions. I’ve provided about four totally different lines of evidence to show the extent of the subsidy for residential solar PV and for the hidden costs that are not included in the usual estimates of the cost of electricity from solar PV.

        Therefore, you are clearly wrong. And is your habit, you do not admit when you are wrong. This clearly demonstrates your lack of intellectual honesty.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Further to my previous comment where you continued to try to defend your position and could not admit you are wrong, here is another source and another line of evidence showing you are wrong about the capital cost and wrong about the amount by which society is subsidising PV owners. Add this to the ones I presented previously.

        From the NREL LCOE calculator, the average capital cost (USA in 2012) is $4779/kW and the fixed O&M is $29/kWyr http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/pdfs/2012_dg_icoe_data.pdf

        The USA installation cost of $4779/kW is more than 50% above the figure Graham Palmer and I used, $3000/kW, for the installation costs excluding the grid and other electricity system costs. So this is another source showing how wrong you are.

        Ready to admit you are wrong yet?

        In my previous comment I gave a rough estimate of $300/MWh for residential roof top solar PV. Using the NREL estimates for the capital cost and fixed O&M costs and using the other inputs from Graham Palmer (2013), I calculate the LCOE at $422/MWh. That is about 40% higher than the estimate in my previous email.

        Solar PV <10 kW (from NREL):
        Mean installed cost = $4779/kW
        Fixed O&M = $29/kWyr

        From Graham Palmer (2013)
        Period = 15 years
        Discount rate = 7%
        Capacity factor = 15%

        From LCOE calculator: http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/tech_lcoe.html
        LCOE = $422/MWh

        This represents a subsidy of over 800%

        Ready to admit you are wrong yet?

      • Prof Pratt doesn’t need me to stick up for him, but I will.
        He tells it like it is. Recently I started to work on a problem having to do with the atmospheric lapse rate. I went down one route that seemed promising to me. Calling on the good prof, he took a look at what I offered and steered me in a course that I could not easily refute.

        You really can’t ask for anything more. That’s what good educators do. They steer you in the right direction.

      • WHT,

        That’s what good educators do. They steer you in the right direction.

        Good educators admit when they haven’t a clue what they are talking about, which is the case with Vaughan Pratt on this subject. He bought a solar system for his own economic advantage (with subsidies paid by those who cannot afford them). Now he is trying to justify his purchase and avoid having to admit he is bludging off the poor. Hes been wrong on every one of his assertions, but is trying to avoid admitting it.

        he never admits when he is wrong.

        That is not what makes a good educator.

        I suspect you realise all this and are just trying to provide support for an ideological colleague who has dug a deep hole for himself and cannot find a way out.

      • I don’t have a PV system. Vaughan does and reports on what he has learned.

        I have commuted to work and school by road bike forever. I suppose you will now attack me for somehow being subsidized by the poor.

        No one really cares about your fantasy world, Lang.

      • Peter Lang

        WHT,

        I didn’t say you do have a PV system, did I? You were talking about pratt, and so was I, as I am sure you know.

        And who cares how you get to work. So what. It’s got nothing to do with this discussion.

        No one cares about your fantasy world and your silly beliefs, WHT.

      • @WHUT: they steer you in the right direction.

        Thanks, Webby. However Lang is not someone I’d consider steerable, he’s somewhere between a rudderless ship and an iceberg that just keeps plowing along oblivious to all around him.

        I don’t have any delusions about being able to change his course. All I want is to give him the opportunity to make the strongest possible case he can for his argument. Strengthening my argument forces him to strengthen his. Kind of like arm wrestling.

        Lang wants to argue that it’s fine to make the cost of the PV owner’s system be the major part of the cost of CO2 abatement while neglecting the huge reduction in cost of electricity to that owner. I claim that’s obviously ridiculous. Once he’s given it his best shot, let others judge whether he’s right.

        Now Lang is a retired geologist and engineer with 40 years experience on a wide range of energy projects throughout the world, including managing energy R&D and providing policy advice for government and opposition. His experience includes coal, oil, gas, hydro, geothermal, nuclear power plants, nuclear waste disposal, and a wide range of energy end use management projects. One would therefore infer from this bio of his that he ought to have considerable expertise in energy economics, which however he seems to modestly deny (“Please link to where I said that.”)

        But even if Lang were in the running for the Nobel prize in economics I wouldn’t want him to balance my books. (Look at the billions of dollars Nobel laureate Myron Scholes lost for his LTCM hedge fund.)

        I accept Lang’s point that I’m no economic genius myself. (Actually my training in college was not computer science but double honours in pure maths and physics, a five year program—I would never have dreamed of going into economics. I didn’t even know computer science existed until after I graduated from college. Lang himself trained as a geologist.)

        However sophisticated economic expertise does not translate into elementary accounting proficiency. The latter I do understand, at least enough to remain treasurer of our homeowner’s association for the past 13 years. Lang, and I suspect all the people he’s been citing, are making the same elementary but huge accounting error that leads to obviously absurd conclusions.

      • @WHUT: No one really cares about your fantasy world, Lang.

        What, no one?

        Well, hardly anyone.

        I care, why do you think I’ve been working on exposing his fantasy world to the bright light of reality? ;)

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Another rant. Another diversion. This is what you do to avoid admitting you are wrong on the matters of substance. How on Earth did you become a professor. What a joke. And now you, and Emeritus Professor at Stanford University, resorts to trolling.

        This has been what you do since I first encountered you. And that’s why I continually point out you are intellectually dishonest.

      • @PL: [Pratt] bought a solar system for his own economic advantage

        Lang seems to be some sort of communist. Why should people work against their own economic advantage? A ridiculous argument.

        (with subsidies paid by those who cannot afford them).

        What sanctimonious BS, you should be ashamed of yourself. The poor pay less than the wealthy, and both of them pay far less than implied by your artificially inflated accounting.

        Now he is trying to justify his purchase

        What do you mean by “trying?” My purchase is fully justified by the fact that I now spend an order of magnitude less on electricity. Only a communist like you would make that sort of argument.

      • Peter Lang

        Professor Emeritus Vaughan Pratt of Stanford University,

        You haven’t made a dent in the abatement cost estimate of $600/tonne CO2 for roof top PV in Melbourne.

        You haven’t made a dent in the estimates of the subsidies paid to PV owners.

        You’ve been wrong on every issue you’ve raised.

        Yet you are too proud, pompous, arrogant to admit you are wrong.

        So you resort to trolling the internet

        What a way to end a career, eh, Emeritus Professor.

      • When I did the arithmetic to show that essentially all of your $600/ton of abated CO2 was paid by the system owner, you dismissed it as gibberish. This would be the response I’d expect from those who don’t understand arithmetic—what else could they say except that it’s gibberish?

        If you’re better at algebra than arithmetic I’ll be happy to show how to derive the same result via algebra instead of arithmetic. Just let me know.

        If you can’t find holes in either arithmetic or algebra arguments then there’s no point trying to persuade you of anything that involves numbers.

      • Peter Lang

        Your comment was complete and utter irrelevant nonsense because you have no understrading of the subject matter. Your algebra had no relevance to the costings. I explained that but you either don’t have sufficient background to understand or you are so driven by your ideological beliefs that the Sun must be the solution you just cant accept you could possible be wrong. There is no point in repeating your wrong assertions another ten times. I’ve demonstrated over and aver again in the comments you are dead wrong and understand nothing about the subject.

      • @PL: Your comment was complete and utter irrelevant nonsense because you have no understrading of the subject matter. Your algebra had no relevance to the costings. I explained that but you either don’t have sufficient background to understand or you are so driven by your ideological beliefs that the Sun must be the solution you just cant accept you could possible be wrong. There is no point in repeating your wrong assertions another ten times. I’ve demonstrated over and aver again in the comments you are dead wrong and understand nothing about the subject.

        Very impressive. May I quote you?

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Very impressive. May I quote you?

        You’ve never asked if you can quote me before so why ask now.

        However, since you have quoted me many times before without quoting the context, I seek your indulgence if you do quote anything I’ve said this thread you provide full context. That would be the intellectually honest thing to do. I would, therefore, expect you would include all the assertions you have made, show that you have provided no substantiation for any of them and show that I have refuted every one, substantiated by references to authoritative sources.

      • Vaughan Pratt | May 29, 2013 at 2:09 am |

        I’m loathe to step in, but my loop counter on this exchange has triggered an interrupt request.

        I know you’re a world-class, multiple-award-winning, highly renowned, experienced educator of the highest calibre, so this may be speaking out of turn, coming from me.

        However, could I suggest, regarding Peter Lang, you resort to the advice of.. well, a lot of my professors, as I saw it on many of my papers:

        “In Mathematics, we stop with the first error.”

        You’ve corrected Peter Lang’s first error. He hasn’t moved on. It’s a waste of time. Let him continue in innumerate ignorance.

      • Peter Lang

        Ah, So more of the loony Left piling in. If it runs a bit longer we’ll have all the Loony Left supporting their ideological mate, and believing what he says without even checking the evidence or substantiation. This seems to be part of their personality. They accept what fits with their ideology, just as they accept CAGW because professors like Lewandowski says “Ah, you must believe in CAGW because all the scientists believe in it”.

        People who just accept one thing their mates say will accept just about anything their mates say without even checking it.

        BartR said

        “In Mathematics, we stop with the first error.”

        You’ve corrected Peter Lang’s first error.

        What error would that be? Please make very clear what is the error you assert, what do you believe is the correction, and quantify and substantiate what you believe is the correction.

        Assertions aren’t evidence. Allegations aren’t proof. Pratt has provided no substantiation for any of his assertions or allegations. Mine are clearly substantiated and also shown to be correct by ESAA, BREE, NREL, Palmer (2013) and supported by the quotes showing the EU countries recognise the issue and are starting to act to address it.

        Sorry BRat, you are displaying your ideologically Left, motivated reasoning, as usual.

      • Peter Lang

        So how many of the Loony Left have piled in to try to dig their ideological mate, professor Pratt, out of the deep hole he has dug himself into:

        - wrong on every assertion he has made (all are baseless and substantiated)
        - using his usual tactics of obfuscation, avoidance, hand waving, misrepresentation and most of the “10 signs of intellectual dishonesty”.

        So far the ideologically left mates that have tried to help, and made utter fools of themsleves are:
        - Michael
        - WHT
        - BartR

        Who’s next?

        Any one going to actually attempt to clearly explain the asserted errors, substantiate that the asserted error is in fact an error, quantify the significance of the asserted error, quantify how much difference it makes to the key figure that started the argument – i.e. the CO2 abatement cost for roof top PV in Melbourne is about >$600/tonne? Or any other asserted error?

      • @Bart R: In Mathematics, we stop with the first error.

        That rule, due to British mathematician G.H. Hardy, should be used in moderation, and reserved mainly for cranks with a claimed solution to a long-open problem, Hardy’s intended audience for his rule.

        If you google “1973+40=2013″ and click on the link to “40th Anniversary of the Suffix Tree” you’ll see me listed as one of the four invited speakers next month in a special session of Combinatorial Pattern Matching 2013 honoring Peter Weiner’s invention.of the suffix tree, along with Ed McCreight as the inventor of B-trees and Jacob Ziv of Ziv-Lempel lossless data compression fame,

        My involvement is as the referee who did not stop at the first error in Weiner’s incomprehensible paper, a preliminary version of which he’d already presented at STOC to a baffled audience. It seemed to me that it was right nonetheless. I could easily have satisfied John Hopcroft (of Hopcroft and Ullman), the editor managing this paper, by stopping at the “first error.” Instead I spent the greater part of a month convincing myself that it was in fact basically correct, and recommended acceptance provided the author made a number of clarifications I recommended.

        In the case of Lang’s astonishing $600 figure for the cost of abating a mere ton of CO2, I immediately pointed out that for any installation abating 10 tons of CO2 a year that would mean that, over a 20-year lifetime for the system, “the poor” were by some miracle of accounting obliged to pay $120,000 just for that one installation.

        Multiply that by the world’s solar PV installations to date (a rapidly growing number) and you’d have all “the poor” in debtor’s prisons by now.

        As this seemed inconceivable I resolved to find not the first error but the main error.

        After struggling for a while with Palmer’s very recent (March 2013) paper, I concluded that the main error was Palmer’s inclusion of the replacement system cost as part of this alleged “cost to society.”

        The problem with including that replacement cost is that it is born entirely by the owner. It is not passed on in any way to other users of electricity, poor or rich. Moreover no subsidy exists for such replacement costs—owners bear these entirely on their own.

        To claim as Lang does that the payment for the system is somehow a burden on the poor demonstrates either incompetence in accounting ability or disingenuity in marshaling his arguments. (Had I been Lang I would have instinctively gone for the latter.)

        Lang has asked to quantify what I’m claiming to be his main error. One can get a pretty good idea of just how bad it is from his figures of $601, $612, and $757.

        The first step up of $11 results from the owner having to pay for a new inverter every 7 years instead of 10. Not a big deal. But assuming this, Lang then goes on to calculate the additional amount the owner has to pay to replace his system every 12 years instead of 15. This adds another $145 to what the owner is obliged to pump into the system.

        Lang then claims that the poor are shouldering this burden.

        Right, the poor system owner.

        Any BS detector that doesn’t catch the absurdity of Lang’s argument is in urgent need of replacement.

        And if you work backwards from the $145 increment when the system life falls from 15 to 12 years, you find that essentially all of Lang’s $600 is being paid entirely by the system owner, with none of that being passed on to any other electricity users, let alone “the poor.”

        This answers Lang’s challenge to compute this quantity. His own sensitivity analysis gives it away.

        I don’t stop at the first error, I always go for the main error.

      • Vaughan Pratt says;

        To claim as Lang does that the payment for the system is somehow a burden on the poor demonstrates either incompetence in accounting ability or disingenuity in marshaling his arguments. (Had I been Lang I would have instinctively gone for the latter.)

        Not just me!

        ESAA ‘Discussion paper’: “Who pays for solar energy
        http://www.esaa.com.au/Library/PageContentFiles/0ed86edb-b445-43f7-b1da-04dba6c4b4bf/Who_pays_for_solar_energy.pdf

        Extract from pp3-5 (I’d also suggest you refer to the chart on p4):

        The hidden cost of network charges

        Australian household electricity bills are made up of three components:

        Network charges compromise the largest cost component, accounting for about 35 to 50 per cent of your bill. The network charge pays for cost of building and maintaining electricity networks – the poles and wires that deliver electricity to your home.

        There are normally two elements to network charges: a fixed charge and a charge that
        varies with household electricity use.

        Wholesale costs are costs associated with generating electricity and trading it in a wholesale market. This accounts for around 30 to 40 per cent of the total bill and includes the cost of the carbon tax (around 9 per cent of your bill).

        Retail and energy scheme costs pay for retail costs and for energy efficiency and renewable energy schemes – together about 15 to 20 per cent of the bill.

        Household solar energy has had an impact on the cost of maintaining the electricity networks. In some areas, there’s been so much solar energy installed that network providers have had to spend millions of dollars in upgrades to cope with increased supply of electricity into the grid.

        Household solar has also had a much bigger impact on network revenues. Because solar customers generate their own electricity when the sun shines, they take less from the grid. Under the current tariff setup, this means they pay a lot less, even though they may cost the network more than non-solar customers.

        To explain, take the example of an average household in central Sydney who consumes 7,000 kWh of electricity per year. Under current rates, this household pays a total of $1,093 in network tariffs over the whole year: a $139 fixed charge, with the reminder calculated on usage.

        Now, assume this customer installs a 4kW solar system on their roof and uses much of the energy that the solar panels generate, greatly reducing the net amount of electricity they take from the grid. Under the same network tariff, this customer’s contribution to network costs falls from a total of $1,093 to just $447, a drop of 59 per cent. Figure 3 below shows how much the customer pays in network charges each year before and after the solar system is in place, with the grey shaded area the amount that their network bill falls by.

        While network charges for solar households drop substantially, this does not accurately reflect the amount they use the network. Solar homes still use the grid, typically exporting electricity in the middle of the day when the sun is shining, yet importing power at other times. The costs of providing the network are mostly the same or even more expensive as a result of rooftop solar energy.

        It’s important to remember that exporting electricity puts pressure on grid infrastructure – pressure it wasn’t originally designed to withstand. This actually increases the costs of running the network as operators have to ensure high levels of power exports do not overload the system and cause safety issues or even blackouts.

        To recover the real costs of operating the grid, network businesses adjust their charges. This means everyone pays more, particularly those without solar. When there were only a few customers with solar panels, the overall impact was very small. But with more than a million solar households – and with every indication that growth in solar will continue – the costs paid by everyone else will also grow. We estimate this now adds more than $340 million each year to Australian power bills. Unless we find a fairer way to charge for our networks, households without solar will be paying even more in network charges in the years ahead.”
        END QUOTE

        Figure 3 shows the subsidy paid to solar PV owners for the use of the grid is $646 per year for a 4 kW system = $161/kW per year. This contrasts with about $45/MWh for the average wholesale price of electricity. Therefore, the subsidy, for use of the grid alone, is about 300%.

        In another report the Queensland Minister responsible says:

        McArdle says by 2015-16 most Queenslanders will be paying $276 a year, or about 17 per cent of their annual power bill, to subsidise other people having solar power on domestic roofs.

        “But these are just the direct costs of the solar bonus scheme,” he says. “What is not included is the cost of upgrading the electricity network to cope with widespread power flowing back into the grid, which has resulted in voltage and other issues making the electricity grid in some areas highly unstable.

        “Solar power is being provided into the grid during the day when there is a surplus of power available. Queensland’s coal-fired baseload power stations cannot be switched on and off and need to run continuously.

        “There is no logic to this policy. It does little to reduce carbon, as its supporters claim, because the baseload power stations have to stay on … to meet demand at peak periods.”

        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/rooftop-solar-panels-help-to-generate-problems-as-well-as-power/story-fn59niix-1226650182854

        I anxiously await your refusal to admit your mistakes”.

      • Here is the full article, since it is behind a pay wall:

        Rooftop solar panels help to generate problems as well as power

        THE success of new technology is often measured by its capacity for creative destruction: how effectively it can sweep away an established order and replace it with something new.

        For supporters, rooftop solar electricity has been a creative destroyer of epic proportions. Like a wrecking ball, it has smashed a longstanding norm in Australia’s electricity market: – that electricity comes from big, centralised generators, usually powered by coal.

        Big generators are under pressure nationwide and openly discussing the possibility of a “death spiral” forced in part by renewables. For fans of creative destruction, the damage has been done. The electricity grid of tomorrow will be very different.

        But it has come at a huge cost.

        Kick-started by a generous government subsidy, solar power has found its way on to more than a million Australian rooftops.

        Billions of dollars’ worth of power generation infrastructure is being forced to run inefficiently. Electricity prices are rising and a huge wealth transfer is taking place from those without solar panels to those who have them.

        Electricity authorities fear a vicious downward spiral that will leave fewer people to pay for maintaining the power network.

        For alternative energy supporters, it is only a matter of time until battery or other storage technology improves to the point that solar-power producers opt to leave the grid completely.

        Governments are struggling to cope with the issues of fairness and social equity that the solar revolution has brought.

        Queensland Energy Minister Mark McArdle is scathing of the way rooftop solar has been handled in the Sunshine State. Under a scheme introduced by the Bligh government but now stopped, electricity companies are committed to paying 44c a kilowatt hour for electricity at times when few people want to buy it.

        But when peak demand comes in the early afternoon, the sun has stopped shining and baseload power must take over.

        To do so, the generators say, it has to be kept on standby, burning coal and releasing carbon dioxide for very little return.

        Richard Van Breda, chief executive of Stanwell Corporation, which has closed two power stations with a combined capacity of 700 megawatts, equal to Queensland’s solar-generation capacity, says the electricity industry is facing significant oversupply issues nationwide.

        “I don’t have a problem with solar but the way it is funded and the social inequity of it,” he says. “You have to appreciate there is a cost attached.”

        Van Breda says claims of carbon emissions savings are overblown. “The carbon tax has not been responsible for a decline in carbon dioxide emissions,” he says. “That has been due to a fall in manufacturing, an increase in hydroelectricity from Tasmania, and flooding in Victoria, which put highly polluting brown-coal generators out of action.”

        According to Stanwell’s Jay Merritt, Queensland’s rooftop solar capacity is forecast to rise to 1000MW this year and 2000MW by 2020. “Our coal-fired baseload plants operate most efficiently when they are running at more than 80 per cent,” he says.

        “At the moment they are operating on an average of about 60 per cent, which is the least efficient way to run them.

        “It is a bit like flying a jumbo jet up and down. It uses a lot more fuel and puts a lot more wear and tear on the units.”

        Like all states, Queensland is part of the National Electricity Market and the situation reflects weak demand and oversupply.

        It is not just the addition of renewables that has caused demand for power to fall. Higher electricity prices have made consumers less wasteful, while a downturn in manufacturing nationally, including the closure of two aluminium smelters, has cut demand across the board.

        “We have no issue with solar; it’s just we have a situation where one of the most expensive forms of generation is forcing the cheapest form of generation offline,” Merritt says.

        Early solar rooftops are guaranteed 44c/ kWh compared with retail electricity prices as low as 22c and the 4c/ kWh paid to baseload generators.

        McArdle says by 2015-16 most Queenslanders will be paying $276 a year, or about 17 per cent of their annual power bill, to subsidise other people having solar power on domestic roofs.

        “But these are just the direct costs of the solar bonus scheme,” he says. “What is not included is the cost of upgrading the electricity network to cope with widespread power flowing back into the grid, which has resulted in voltage and other issues making the electricity grid in some areas highly unstable.

        “Solar power is being provided into the grid during the day when there is a surplus of power available. Queensland’s coal-fired baseload power stations cannot be switched on and off and need to run continuously.

        “There is no logic to this policy. It does little to reduce carbon, as its supporters claim, because the baseload power stations have to stay on … to meet demand at peak periods.”

        Government-owned power companies face revenue losses of several hundred million dollars from lower electricity sales and forced electricity purchases due to solar.

        Energex spokesman Mike Swanston says the dynamics of the electricity industry have been changing for several years and the prospect of a “death spiral” is now openly being discussed.

        “The death spiral comes about because as more people use less power, the price of electricity for those who remain has to rise to cover the cost of maintaining the network,” he says. “As the price goes up, people use less power and the price goes up further.”

        Encouraged by a high government subsidy, one in five houses on the Energex network has become net energy independent. Swanston says of the 212,000 customers connected to solar, 207,000 are being paid the highest possible 44c a kWh.

        He says the high take-up for solar has created three issues: technological, in terms of coping with the new generation on the network; commercial, in terms of cost recovery; and social equity, as solar providers are increasingly subsidised by those without solar.

        The Clean Energy Council’s deputy chief executive Kane Thornton says about 750,000 Queenslanders are saving money each month on their power bills because of solar.

        “Household solar power also helps all Queensland consumers, by reducing the amount of electricity needed from the grid during afternoon periods of peak demand, generally in summer when everyone turns on their air-conditioners, which are key contributors to power bills,” Thornton says. He is wary of a growing call for rooftop solar customers to make a bigger contribution to the cost of maintaining the electricity network. Several reports have recommended that households with rooftop solar panels be required to pay a higher fixed charge to access the network.

        The Electricity Supply Association of Australia says most solar households end up paying only a fraction of their fair share of the cost of maintaining the network.

        The cost of maintaining the electricity network is incorporated into electricity tariffs, which are mostly charged on the basis of how much electricity is consumed. Households with solar are paying less for the network because they generate some of their own electricity and import less from the grid.

        But the ESAA says solar households can be among the biggest users of the networks, because they import and export electricity at different times of the day.

        “The current arrangements are unfair and need to be changed,” an ESAA report on the issue says. “At the moment, low-income households who cannot afford solar, renters and people in apartments pay more to underwrite those customers who can install their own solar system.

        “We need to change the way we charge consumers for the cost of the networks to make sure everybody pays their fair share.”

        The Queensland government has announced a 30-year review of energy supply that is likely to pose some more fundamental questions.

        “We might find there are more cost-effective ways to get carbon abatement, if that is what we are wanting,” a spokesman says. “If we want a low-carbon economy that may be a reasonable outcome, but what is cost effective?”

        Given the amount being spent on solar, it may have been better to buy “a couple of small nuclear power plants” to get “abatement and cheap, reliable electricity as well”, the spokesman says. “We have got a 30-year energy strategy for the options going forward, to assess the real costs and what are we prepared to pay.”

      • Vaughan Pratt | May 29, 2013 at 9:45 am |

        Ah.

        So you’re merely using Peter Lang’s gullibility to provide a framework for responses that allow you to better exercise your own analyses, irrespective of how he errs, given that he’s provided such a fertile pool of error to exorcise. His continued remonstrations allow you to evolve your analyses, explore new facets, and more clearly communicate about the reasoning.

        While this is valid, isn’t it a bit abusive of Peter Lang’s credulity, and wouldn’t you rather participate in new discussion?

        I am, as a digression, grateful for the mention of the 40th anniversary. Has it been 40 years already? I was only a child at the time, but recall being excited by developments in the topic.

        And thank you for reminding it was Hardy I was citing. I don’t want to give the wrong impression of my professors: they were applying the precept sparingly; I was making a rather spectacular number of errors.

        If you were interested, in the current thread we’re trying to establish how many politicians in America can be said to get the science and policy of AGW so nearly correct as to be worthy of remark. I’ve put forward the position that naming 6 or 7 would be difficult. Did you care to opine?

      • Professor Pratt,

        I’ll give you a couple of easy exercises to show you that the $600/tonne abatement cost for solar PV in Melbourne using the assumptions I used for average capacity factor and average operational life of the fleet is in the right ball park. This is the simple way of estimating CO2 abatement cost. But Palmer’s method is much better for the PV case because no dispatchable capacity is displaced. The simple methods is as described in the GreenRhino Energy link posted by Chief Hydrologist yesterday: http://www.greenrhinoenergy.com/blog/?p=55

        Now use the LCOE figures as follows (this calculation does not include the extra grid costs or the costs transferred to the dispatchable generators):
        Solar PV from NREL calculator as I calculated in a comment up thread today = $422/MWh
        Average wholesale price for the NEM = $45/MWh

        The CO2 emissions intensity for the PV is about 0.1tonnes/MWh, and for the gas generators being displaced is about 0.6 tonnes/MWh

        The CO2 abatement cost = (422–45)/0.6-0.1) = $754/tonne

        Very rough. Can argue about assumptions and inputs. But at least this shows that the $600/tonne estimate I gave initially is in the correct ball park.

        Please do it yourself and tell me where the error is.

        Then do the calculations using the Palmer method and tell me if you find an error in his method.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        In the case of Lang’s astonishing $600 figure for the cost of abating a mere ton of CO2, I immediately pointed out that for any installation abating 10 tons of CO2 a year that would mean that, over a 20-year lifetime for the system, “the poor” were by some miracle of accounting obliged to pay $120,000 just for that one installation.

        You may want to check the basis of your assertion of 10 tons CO2 per year. I’d suggest 0.5 tons per year per kWp is more appropriate as average for the fleet.

      • Don Monfort

        I skimmed over this lengthy argument and I think the following quotes adequately summarize the positions of the opponents:

        VP says: “The cost to abate a ton of CO2 is a meaningless number from society’s standpoint. Only those costs that aren’t the owner’s responsibility have any relevance. Inflating that cost by adding in the homeowner’s cost is a clear case of misrepresentation.”

        PL says: “That statement demonstrates astounding ignorance. If the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions, then policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions must be compared on the basis of cost per tonne CO2 emissions avoided. And the full cost is what we have to compare. The full cost is the cost to society. If you weren’t wasting your money on PV you might be spending it on something else where it could actually do some good for society.”

        PL introduced the concept of “opportunity cost” to you, doc. Look it up. Also look up “capital budgeting”. This is not Accounting 101, doc. If PV made economic sense, it would be on every rooftop.

        Google “spain green subsidies”, doc. Silly PV subsidies raise electricity rates. Rich people don’t care. The poor suffer. Green subsidies destroy jobs. It’s called reality, doc.

      • @PL: You may want to check the basis of your assertion of 10 tons CO2 per year. I’d suggest 0.5 tons per year per kWp is more appropriate as average for the fleet.

        A handy table near the top of this page gives average daily production for 10 Australian cities. Only the first column matters since the other four are merely scaled up linearly from it.

        Lowest not surprisingly is Hobart with 3.5 kWh per kWp. Highest is Alice Springs (where I spent a few days in 2011) with 5.0 kWh. These translate to respectively 1280 and 1820 kWh per kWp per year.

        Using Lang’s preferred value of 600 g CO2/kWh, we obtain for Hobart 0.77 tons/kWp and 1.1 for the Alice. If however we use the 771 g CO2/kWh figure that PGE prefers for their grid in Northern California, which is well within Palmer’s range of 400-1000, those would be respectively 0.99 and 1.41 tons/kWp.

        Lang demands that I cite authorities for my figures. Whenever he doesn’t do so himself it’s a safe bet he’s exaggerated his numbers, as should be clear from his 0.5 tons/kWp here. Even Hobart at 0.77 tons/kWp based on Lang’s 600 g/kWh is 50% more than that!

        For comparison my system, acquired in 2008 as part of Pacific Gas & Electric’s California Solar Initiative (CSI) program, uses the above-mentioned abatement value of 771 g CO2/kWh in its meter. Its inverter provides my house with 7.5 kW, but is fed by 8.46 kW of panels (36 235W Sunpower modules) which I only recently learned is what standardly defines kWp. Its meter lately showed 110903 lbs of abated CO2 over 5 years or 110903*.0004536/5 = 10.06 tonnes per year, which divided by 8.46 gives 1.19 tonnes/kWp.

        At 771 g/kWh, 1.19 tons/kWp is halfway between Hobart and Alice Springs, numerically if not geographically.

      • @PL: I’ll give you a couple of easy exercises to show you that the $600/tonne abatement cost for solar PV in Melbourne using the assumptions I used for average capacity factor and average operational life of the fleet is in the right ball park.

        But those assumptions continue to include the owner’s system replacement costs, which as I keep pointing out have no impact on other users of the system, whether poor or rich.

        I agree with you that when solar PV displaces low-emission gas generators instead of coal based ones it requires more kWh to abate a ton of CO2. That enters into where in the range 400-1000 g CO2/kWh your abatement value falls.

        But there’s no way you can show that the poor are being burdened with anything like $600/ton without making the system replacement cost part of that burden. The only significant impact of that cost on the poor is on on the poor system owner.

        @PL: Then do the calculations using the Palmer method and tell me if you find an error in his method.

        Palmer includes the system replacement cost as part of the cost of solar. Hence one cannot infer the impact on the poor from Palmer’s method, since that component does not impact the poor.

        Moreover I didn’t see where Palmer’s method takes into account the owner’s reduced electric bill. If it does, please point it out to me. If it doesn’t, then even if you include the system owner as part of society his method still does not give the true cost to society of solar PV.

      • The ESAA paper Lang cites at length here looks very reasonable. It says

        We estimate [network charges] now adds more than $340 million each year to Australian power bills.

        Since Australia generates roughly 300 TWh of electricity a year (let me know if you have a more precise figure), that would add about a tenth of a penny to the cost of each kWh.

        I would agree that this is a non-trivial amount, though it doesn’t sound large enough to make it the scapegoat for those complaining about the rising cost of energy.

        By all means tax solar PV owners to pay for that amount. However if Australian electricity consumers expect that revenue to make an appreciable difference to their electric bills they’ll be in for a disappointment.

        The $340M will increase in future as more PV systems are installed, but so will the revenue generated by such a tax. Sounds fair to me.

        What I thought was unfair was the part about some Australian households being paid three times the retail price of electricity. That certainly seems worth complaining about. It’s the opposite here: before we had solar we were paying the top Tier 5 rate because our usage was way above baseline. However we can only sell our solar energy at the bottom Tier 1 rate.

        What I didn’t see mentioned was solar PV other than on homes. Does that have no impact in Australia?

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        I see you have posted three comments and as usual you have played your usual disreputable games: obfuscation, avoidance of what is important, misrepresentation, misleading statements, and employed many of the other 10 signs of intellectual dishonesty, as described here: http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/

        @ May 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

        The link gives the output per kW for an optimally oriented, brand new, perfectly designed and installed system. It is not that average output over the life of the system for all systems in the fleet, almost none of which are optimally oriented and many of which are poorly oriented and partly shaded. And shading increases over time.

        I’ve told you all that in many previous comments. The fact you keep ignoring and avoiding what you don’t want to hear of have to admit to demonstrates, again, you are intellectually dishonest.

        For a real world example, see this post which shows the output, every half hour for 2 years for a 55kW, optimally oriented, commercially owned and managed solar PV installation in Queanbeyan (near Canberra, i.e. at an inland location): http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/08/16/solar-power-realities-supply-demand-storage-and-costs/ . The figures are for the first two years of its life. The average capacity factor was just 13%, i.e. well below the theoretical output figures you have referred to. The average of all residential PV at the same location over their full operating life would be significantly lower because of: not optimally oriented, increasing shading over their life, decreasing efficiency of the panels; accumulation of dirt; some not operating (disconnected) for part of their life, etc.

        So all the figures you have calculated on theoretical CO2 emissions avoided are wrong (as I’ve explained numerous times in preceding posts – another example of your intellectual dishonesty).

        I’ve also explained before that the power generated by the PV does not displace the average emissions intensity of the grid. It displaces the flexible generators that generate to respond to the intermediate and peak demand during the day time. These are gas generators, so you are using the wrong figure for your analysis. You also have to subtract the embodied emissions in the solar panels which are around 0.1 t CO2/MWh. I’ve explained all this before. By continually ignoring and avoiding what I’ve already told you, you once again demonstrate your intellectual dishonesty.

        @ May 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm

        But those assumptions continue to include the owner’s system replacement costs, which as I keep pointing out have no impact on other users of the system, whether poor or rich.

        I don’t understand what you are talking about here, but I do know that you don’t know what you are talking about. The CO2 abatement cost estimate of $722/tonne you are referring to at this point was calculated using the standard method for calculating CO2 abatement cost – as the link I provided explained. It used the US DOE National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) calculator and NREL average inputs for Capital Cost and Fixed O&M cost for 2012 plus the other inputs from Graham Palmer and the 15% capacity factor and 15 year average operational life.

        You seem to be confusing several different issues here. I suspect, you intentionally misrepresenting what I’ve said and are trying to mislead anyone else who can be bothered reading this sub-thread. Firstly, I have not said that the actual cost of the system, or the CO2 abatement cost, has anything to do with the unfairness of the poor having to subsidise your system. What is relevant is the subsidies, not the cost. There are three separate issues we’ve been discussing:

        1. PV is a very high cost way to generate electricity. Therefore, it has to be highly subsidised. Subsidies raise the cost of electricity for all consumers. That makes Australian manufacturing and business less competitive on world markets. Therefore, it damages the Australian economy. Therefore, Australian wellbeing is reduced over time. That is just basic economic – if we raise the cost of energy we damage the economy and, therefore, human wellbeing.

        2. PV is a very expensive was to abate CO2 emissions. The CO2 abatement cost with PV is more than 100 times the EU carbon price. This is ridiculous. No rational person would support that.

        3. PV owners are getting a special deal that requires non PV owners to subside the PV owners. That is, the poor are subsidising the rich elites. This is unfair. Only the latté sipping, elites (mostly Lefties) have the moral values that would support such a despicable policy.

        You have made several comments about “But those assumptions continue to include the owner’s system replacement costs …” Do you think the owners costs should be excluded from the total cost of the PV system to society? Why? There is no economic analysis that would suggest that. It is the total cost that is relevant – i.e. owners costs plus subsidies (of all kinds). Your understanding of even the most basic economic concepts appears to be non-existent.

        Moreover I didn’t see where Palmer’s method takes into account the owner’s reduced electric bill.

        Of course not! If he did that it would be wrong and his paper would not have passed peer review. The reduce electricity bill is being paid by others – those who do not have solar. If you paid the full cost, your cost of electricity would be many times higher than it is.

        You might like to think of it this way. Supposing your PV system was subsidised so much it was free to you. It would save you money, but still cost society the full cost.

        Here is another way to think of it. Suppose you rob a bank and don’t get caught. You are better off. But do you think society is better off? [Being a Leftie, perhaps you do :( ]

        @ May 29, 2013 at 4:09 pm

        The $340 million is just for the grid. That is one components of over $1 billion per annum in subsidies from the poor to the 1 million rich elites who have installed solar PV systems on their houses. That means they are being subsidised $1000 per year on average by other electricity consumers.

        Your attempt to trivialise this massive transfer of money from the poor to the rich is astounding.

        What I didn’t see mentioned was solar PV other than on homes. Does that have no impact in Australia?

        The discussion is about the CO2 abatement cost of roof top, solar PV using 2012 figures for Melbourne, as per Graham Palmer’s paper. Using Palmer’s analysis method (which is better than the conventional method for the case of non dispatchable generators, including solar PV) and realistic, defensible assumptions, the CO2 abatement cost is greater than $600/tonne CO2. This was the key point of the discussion.

      • Peter Lang

        Correction: “$722/tonne” should read $754/tonne.

      • I don’t see how this argument can be resolved without first agreeing on the question being debated here.

        My understanding is that Lang is claiming that the owners of solar PV are imposing an undue burden on the non-owners.

        If I’m wrong about that, then it would be very helpful if Lang would state his understanding of what he’s claiming.

        If it’s different from my understanding of his claim then obviously no further progress can be made, since we would then be arguing at what is technically called cross-purposes.

        (I should add parenthetically that I would encourage Lang to hurl even more abuse throughout his arguments, since no one has had any luck with the opposite recommendation in recent years. The “throw enough mud and it will stick” approach to convincing others only works up to a point, and I’d prefer that Lang not bracket that point too precisely as it might otherwise undermine my position.)

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        I don’t see how this argument can be resolved without first agreeing on the question being debated here.

        This is where it started.
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/19/mainstreaming-ecs-2-c/#comment-327685
        You disputed the CO2 abatement cost of $601/tonne.

        That is the main argument.

        As the argument went on, you made various statements that I disputed and two secondary issues became involved as well: one of the secondary issues is that PV is expensive, uneconomic, requires hug subsidies and is, therefore, damaging to the economy; and the second is that the rich elites, lie you, who have solar PV installations are subsidised by the poor who cannot afford them.

        I’ve explained it all for you over and over again, substantiated all the figures, provided many quotes and links showing all I’ve said is well known in the industry and now it is becoming more widely accepted amongst the public, the media and the policy advisers. Politicians across the develop world are starting to change course and take action to claw back the subsidies for renewable energy.

      • @DM: PL introduced the concept of “opportunity cost” to you, doc.

        I’m currently making around 10% on my investment in solar panels, and that keeps increasing as electricity costs increase. If you know of a better paying opportunity than that these days I’m all ears.

        Had I bought this year instead of 2008 it would be more like 20%.

        Real sorry to hear that my investment is putting you out of pocket. Crying for you all the way to the bank.

      • @PL: This is where it started. You disputed the CO2 abatement cost of $601/tonne.

        Cost to whom? If you’re including me then I’m making out like a bandit. If you add the total cost to me, namely investment less my ROI, plus the cost to the rest of society, you don’t get anywhere near $601/tonne of abated CO2.

        The problem with your accounting is that you keep on insisting on counting what I paid for my system as part of the $601 but refuse to include the subsequent earnings that accrue to me.

        That’s bogus accounting. The fact that Palmer uses the same accounting doesn’t make it right.

        We’re going round in circles here. If you simply keep repeating your claim that the “cost to society” should include my investment while excluding my ROI from it, we have nothing more to discuss.

      • What’s the real full cost of solar PV in reducing CO2 releases is a complex problem and the answer depends very much both on local conditions and on framing of the question. No answer is uniquely the right one and answers that are right in some specific way may differ from each other by a factor of well more than two.

        Every client of power company gets a service that’s not limited to the total amount of electrical energy delivered to him. Delivering the energy at a time optimal for the power company would induce costs only a small fraction (sometimes as low as 20%, perhaps even less) of the cost of delivering the same amount of energy according to the needs of the customer. The real value of the solar electricity produced by a homeowner to his own use is equal to the reduction in the cost of the power system. Some savings are obtained from reduction the the use of fuels and other variable costs, but that saving is much less than the reduction in the electricity bill of the customer. The difference is largely subsidy for the owner of the solar panel.

        A few people do install solar panels here in Finland. Here the peak load is always at a time of exactly zero solar generation, and here most of the solar electricity is produced at a time, when the cost of the alternatives is near their annual minimum value. The situation gets so extreme in Germany and Denmark that the price of electricity is sometimes highly negative (like euro -100/MWh) on the power exchange. That sounds crazy (and it is) but it’s, indeed, common that those get paid who reduce production or increase consumption.

        Here in Finland the value of $600/ton(CO2) may be an underestimate, but in those parts of California, where the peak power coincides with maximal sunshine the value is much less. What it is, I cannot say, but certainly far below that value.

        A short term calculation gives some results, a longer term calculation where the generation is considered as part of newly optimized power system, gives different results. For many important factors no agreement can be obtained on the most correct way of doing the estimate. Thus only very crude bounds can be presented reliably.

      • @PP: Some savings are obtained from reduction the the use of fuels and other variable costs, but that saving is much less than the reduction in the electricity bill of the customer. The difference is largely subsidy for the owner of the solar panel.

        That’s sounds like a fair statement as it takes into account both the customer’s reduced electricity bill and the reduced variable costs, neither of which seemed to be in Palmer’s paper. The ESAA paper Lang cited focuses on network charges—-it seems reasonable to me that that and other fixed costs would roughly approximate the difference you refer to.

        @PP: Here in Finland the value of $600/ton(CO2) may be an underestimate, but in those parts of California, where the peak power coincides with maximal sunshine the value is much less. What it is, I cannot say, but certainly far below that value.

        Indeed. With Helsinki being only 7 degrees from the Arctic Circle. Had Lang been claiming that figure for Finland I wouldn’t have had any basis for raising an objection.

        One can see where Lang’s analysis goes wrong when he claims that the cost per abated ton rises from $612 (assuming 7 year inverter life and 15 year system life) to $757 when the system life drops to 12 years. Clearly the owner is paying more if he has to replace the system more often, but Lang is claiming that this additional amount increases the burden on “the poor” when it should be obvious that the only burden that’s increased is that on the owner. And working backwards to say a 30-year system life, the $612 can be expected to decrease substantially, but again by an amount that has exactly zero impact on “the poor.”

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        What’s the real full cost of solar PV in reducing CO2 releases is a complex problem and the answer depends very much both on local conditions and on framing of the question. No answer is uniquely the right one and answers that are right in some specific way may differ from each other by a factor of well more than two.

        Your whole comment is a pile of arm waving. We all know all that. We all know there are uncertainties in estimates and the result depends greatly on the assumptions. That is all covered above in the comments and in the references linked in the comments.

        If you had read the preceding comments (a lot of them I know) you’d know that the calculation that produces a CO2 abatement cost of $601/tonne is for Melbourne Australia, using 2012 figures, the method explained by Graham Palmer (2013) ‘ Household Solar Photovoltaics: Supplier of Marginal Abatement, or Primary Source of Low-Emission Power? http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/4/1406. Most of the figures are from Palmer’s paper and in some cases I used realistic, defensible assumptions such as for the average operational life of roof top PV installations (15 years and 12 years) and the average life time capacity factor for all roof top solar PV instalations in Melbourne (15% and 12%). The higher figures give a CO2 abatement cost of $601/tonne and the lower figures $744/tonne.

        I hope this clarifies the basis of this estimate. For more detail, please read my comments in the thread above, the links provided and especially Graham Palmer’s paper. I am happy to answer any questions you might have.

      • Peter,

        I use arm waving, when nothing better is available. In the same situation you make very strong weakly supported assumptions to get the results you wish to get.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,
        @ May 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        I’m currently making around 10% on my investment in solar panels, and that keeps increasing as electricity costs increase. If you know of a better paying opportunity than that these days I’m all ears.

        How blind are you are that you cannot comprehend that others are paying for you to get richer?

        Real sorry to hear that my investment is putting you out of pocket. Crying for you all the way to the bank.

        An excellent example of a robber baron. As I said upthread, you demonstrate the repugnant moral values of the ideological Left.

        @ May 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm

        Cost to whom? If you’re including me then I’m making out like a bandit. If you add the total cost to me, namely investment less my ROI, plus the cost to the rest of society, you don’t get anywhere near $601/tonne of abated CO2.

        WRONG! Absolutely wrong!! Not a clue what you are talking aboutg. And explained many times.

        The problem with your accounting is that you keep on insisting on counting what I paid for my system as part of the $601 but refuse to include the subsequent earnings that accrue to me.

        WRONG! Absolutely wrong! The $601/tonne CO2 is the CO2 abatement cost for the PV installation, (based on the assumptions described over and over again). You haven’t a clue what you are talking about. As you admitted earlier you have no understanding of this stuff.

        That’s bogus accounting. The fact that Palmer uses the same accounting doesn’t make it right.

        You’ve made that point over and over again. I’ve answered it over and over again. I’ve told you why you Are wrong. I’ve told you that Palmer’s paper would not have got through peer review if he had that wrong. I’ve provided numerous links to show how CO2 abatement cost is calculated. It is never calculated as you are trying to argue although seldom is the grid costs and the cost transfers to the dispatchable generators included. That is one of the important extra costs that should be included revealed by the Palmer paper and the ESAA ‘Discussion Paper’.

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        In the same situation you make very strong weakly supported assumptions to get the results you wish to get.

        Would you like to be a bit more specific please?

        - What are the weakly supported assumptions you are asserting?

        - Have you read the comments above and checked to see if they are supported or not?

        - What would you suggest to use in place of what I used?

        - What is your basis for your suggested replacement values?

        - what difference would it make to the calculated CO2 abatement cost of $601/tonne if we used your values instead of mine?

        I can do the calculation for you if you want me to and tell you the result, but you’ll need to justify the basis for your replacement values.

      • Peter Lang

        I made a couple of mistakes in my reply to Pekka Pirila @ May 30, 2013 at 6:25 pm and the same errors in preceding comments (I was writing from memory)

        My reply to Pekka Pirila included this paragraph:

        If you had read the thread you’d know that the calculation that produces a CO2 abatement cost of $601/tonne is for Melbourne Australia, using 2012 figures, the method explained by Graham Palmer (2013) ‘ Household Solar Photovoltaics: Supplier of Marginal Abatement, or Primary Source of Low-Emission Power? http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/4/1406. Most of the figures are from Palmer’s paper and in some cases I used defensible realistic assumptions such as for the average operational life of roof top PV installations (15 years and 12 years), the average life time capacity factor (15% and 12%). The higher figures give a CO2 abatement cost of $601/tonne and the lower figures $744/tonne.

        Some of the stated inputs are incorrect for the stated CO2 abatement cost stated. The correct output and the relevant inputs are:

        CO2 abatement cost; average operational life; average capacity factor for operational life

        $481/t; 15 years; 15%
        $601/t; 15 years; 12%
        $744/t; 12 years; 12%

        All analyses assumed:
        Fossil fuel emissions displaced by PV = 0.6t/MWh
        Installation cost in Melbourne in 2012 = $3,000/kW (as per Palmer paper)
        Grid costs and hidden costs transferred to dispatchable generators = $2000/kW

      • Lang’s method of figuring how much the poor are burdened by my ownership of a solar PV has the following interesting consequence.

        Suppose I have a choice between two systems that are identical except for their cost. Say one costs $10,000 and the other $20,000.

        According to Lang, if I choose to buy the $20,000 one I have burdened the poor by $10,000 more than if I buy the cheaper one.

        Yet the systems are otherwise identical.

        By what miracle can the poor suffer the additional burden if I choose the expensive one?

        The only difference I can see here is that I handed over an additional $10,000 to the system vendor. How could that possibly result in the poor having to pay more?

        This is also essentially what happens if I pay $10,000 for a system but choose to replace it every 10 years instead of every 20 years. That costs me twice as much, but what possible impact on the pocket of the poor can there be based on whether or not I replace the system at the 10 year mark?

        Here’s yet another example. Suppose I install a system at a cost of $10,000 but then leave it permanently turned off. By Lang’s accounting my payment of $10,000 somehow burdens the poor. Yet again I don’t see how.

        My point is that what I pay for the system has no bearing at all on the poor, and nor does how frequently I replace it.

        The only way I can burden the poor is when I use it. And if for whatever reason it only operates one day a year and is inoperative the other 364 days, that burden would be tiny because for those 364 days I am indistinguishable to the world from someone who does not own a PV system. As far as those 364 days are concerned I might just as well have not bought it in the first place.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        You are talking complete and utter nonsense. The LCOE of your PV system is some high figure like $300 or $400/MWh (more if we add the grid costs and the costs transferred to the dispatchable generators). (We could calculate it but no point for the sake of getting the point across). Let’s just use $250/MWh for the sake of trying to get the point across as simply as I can.

        Conventional electricity is say $50/MWh (wholesale).

        Therefore, your electricity is costing someone $200/MWh more than the conventional electricity.

        It is expensive electricity. Someone has to pay for it. There is no free lunch. If you don’t pay the full cost then the other consumers and taxpayers are paying what you don’t pay. No matter how you divide what you pay and what the other consumers and taxpayers pay, the cost is born by the country. High cost energy makes the country less competitive. It damages the economy. I’ve explained all this in more detail in a previous comment.

        I don’t understand why you don’t read the comments I’ve written with the intention to try to understand. Or are you being intentionally obtuse, or perhaps dishonest. This is an honest question. I’d genuinely like to know. I have my strong suspicions given all that has gone before, not just on this thread.

      • You are talking complete and utter nonsense.

        You and my cat both have difficulty following my reasoning. I’ve giving up trying to reason with my cat. Seems like logical arguments don’t work for you either, you just dismiss them as gibberish, same as my cat.

      • I don’t understand why you don’t read the comments I’ve written with the intention to try to understand.

        I read your arguments, I understand them, I find fallacies in them, I point out the fallacies, and you just say “nonsense,” “gibberish,” etc. I’d say you’re the one being obtuse here. I understand you but apparently you don’t understand me. There is no point arguing with you if you can’t address the fallacies in your arguments.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaaughan Pratt,

        Thanks for telling me how much smarter your cat is than you.

        There is no logic in your gibberish. It’s just nonsense. If it was correct, you’d be able to point to authoritative reports by IEA, EIA, USDOE, etc. that do the analysis as you think they should. You are totally out of your depth.

        If you weren’t such a pompous, arrogant, conceited person, and basically dishonest and immoral, I’d be more interested in trying to help you to understand. But you continually misrepresent what I’ve said so I don’t trust you one bit. I never will. Once bitten twice shy and you’ve been misrepresenting what I’ve said and been dishonest in other ways hundreds of times since our first interaction.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        Your scenario where you feel roof top solar PV installations have no effect on anyone else is only true if they pay the full commercial cost with no subsidies and they are not connected to the grid.

        However, if you think you have a brilliant new way of cost accounting and economics, why don’t you write a paper for a suitable economics or accounting journal, get it peer reviewed and published?

      • Vaughan Pratt and VP’s cat: I’ve found that not only cats but wild animals respond to the tone of voice and volition of the speaker. They can tell if you have good intent, and are no danger. For example, if I startle a wallaby in a forest and it starts to dash off, it will usually stop when I speak to it. It’s even worked with a goanna. So your cat has sense, of course (as I’m sure you know), you just need to know how to communicate with it.

        There must be some mis-communication on this sub-thread, giving that it’s about the longest I can recall. Let me have what I hope will be the final word: “Miaow!”

      • Peter,

        My point is that it is not possible to present cost estimates for grid connected solar electricity that are correct in the sense that some other estimate that is half of that or double of that would not be equally correct. The answer depends so strongly on the framing of the question, and many ways of specifying the framing are justified from some valid way of looking at the question.

        I have made many cost comparisons of alternatives for power generation, and I have lectured on this topic at Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University). All those activities have shown me that the real comparisons are complex and highly dependent on the actual power system as well as some other necessary assumptions. That’s the basis for my statement that it’s not possible to present generally valid answers. Simplistic calculations are of some use, but may also be extremely misleading. You have added important points to the most simplistic comparisons based on direct unit costs, but you should realize that the system level effects vary wildly.

        The result depends on assumptions made concerning the rest of the electrical system. The immediate costs over very short period are well defined as long as the rules of operating the rest of the system are known. The costs change a little, when these rules are modified. They change more when additional investments are made to the system. How they change depends on the approach chosen in investment decisions. One important factor is the total power of solar generation. When that goes up the value of each extra solar kW goes down, slowly at first but rapidly when the total share of solar is large.

        All the above can be done assuming that all decisions are based on optimization and assuming that the future costs of each alternative are well known. The uncertainties in the estimates of future costs introduces an error of tens of percent in the lifetime total relative cost of solar panels installed today.

        The uncertainties don’t end there. There are more fundamental and partly unresolvable issues in the division of fixed costs between individual consumers and producers. No unique answer can be given for the right way of allocating the costs of reliability of supply and distribution among the customers.

        Based on earlier calculations that I have made, I am certain that your number of $600/ton(CO2) does not apply to the conditions of sunniest California. To give the actual limits that I consider possible would require much more work than I’m interested to spend on this. Therefore I stop at saying that the upper limit is far below 600.

      • @Faustino: I’ve found that not only cats but wild animals respond to the tone of voice and volition of the speaker.

        As you’ve addressed this remark to me, Michael, I take it you have no complaint about Lang’s tone and volition.

        As to tone, it may not come across to you as abusive, but it does to me.

        As to volition, I find him unwilling to address my objections of fallacy. I don’t find his stonewalling of my complaints of illogicality conducive to rational argument.

        As to length of argument, I accept full responsibility. Had I any sense I would have declined further engagement with the notoriously impossible Lang long ago. Civil conversation with him is possible only if you first accept everything he says, fallacies and all.

      • Vaughan, no, I wasn’t criticising you, I thought your cat reference was a good hook to suggest to all parties that enough was enough on this sub-thread, which seems unlikely to lead to a resolution.

        I (almost always) endeavour to be courteous on- and off-line, and would encourage others of a more combative disposition to be the same. I rarely engage with long back-and-forth threads like this one because they tend to become a waste of energy, with people talking past each other. In some cases, posters seem more concerned to argue than to develop understanding, I’m not interested in that and seek to discourage it by absenting myself. Please note, Vaughan et al, that these are general comments.

      • Peter Lang

        As to tone, it may not come across to you as abusive, but it does to me.

        You really are a complete twit, aren’t you? Faustino gave the opportunity to just pull up stumps and stop. But you couldn’t let it go. You are intellectually dishonest: you continually misrepresent what I’ve said (and others on other threads) you obfuscate, avoid what you don’t want to address, use strawman tactics. You apply most of the 10 signs of intellectual dishonesty much of the time. You’ve done it from the very start, Yet you accuse me of being abusive. What a hypocrite.

        As to volition, I find him unwilling to address my objections of fallacy. I don’t find his stonewalling of my complaints of illogicality conducive to rational argument.

        Firstly, you made assertions that the $600/tonne CO2 is wrong but never able to show what is wrong with the calculation or the inputs. Not once in all these comments. Just silly, baseless assertions, all of which I have shown to be wrong with references, and over and over again as you keep repeating the same nonsense baseless assertions.

        Secondly, You haven’t found any fallacy. The fallacies are yours. You tried to claim that Palmer’s paper suffered from the same fallacy as you assert I am making. Yet you haven’t been able to point to a single reference that supports the method of analysis you are advocating. If you think Graham Palmer is wrong why don’t you write a critiques and send it to the Journal where his paper is published? Why don’t you also advise the following their methods are wrong: IEA, EIA, DOE, NREL, EPRI, NEEDS, Australian Treasury, BREE, AEMO, ACIL-Tasman ….

        And why don’t you do the CO2 abatement cost calculation yourself and explain how you did it, with all the appropriate references? I’ve done that over and over again and you have not once found an error I any of it. I’ve shown you that the figure is correct using simple graphical techniques. You confirmed got the same number, but then went onto something else.

        You strike me as the classic example of the “mad scientist”.

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        My point is that it is not possible to present cost estimates for grid connected solar electricity that are correct in the sense that some other estimate that is half of that or double of that would not be equally correct.

        Sorry, but you are talking utter tosh. You define the assumptions that apply to all technologies being compared and then compare them. You can run sensitivity analyses changing assumptions. There are hundreds or thousands of such studies done. I’ll post links in a separate comment because it will be held in moderation for too many links.

        Here are two of mine for a start:

        Lang (2012) Renewable Electricity for Australia – the Cost
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/

        Lang (2012) Renewables or Nuclear Electricity for Australia – the Costs
        http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf

        Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) (2013): 100 PER CENT RENEWABLES STUDY – DRAFT MODELLING OUTCOMES
        http://www.climatechange.gov.au/sites/climatechange/files/files/reducing-carbon/aemo/renewables-study-report-draft-20130424.pdf

        Australian Technology Assessment Report (2012) http://www.bree.gov.au/documents/publications/aeta/Australian_Energy_Technology_Assessment.pdf

        Based on earlier calculations that I have made, I am certain that your number of $600/ton(CO2) does not apply to the conditions of sunniest California. To give the actual limits that I consider possible would require much more work than I’m interested to spend on this. Therefore I stop at saying that the upper limit is far below 600.

        That really is an unhelpful comment. It adds nothing. So you have a gut feeling. Wow. How interesting. If you can’t find an error in the analysis why do you even make a comment like this?

        I don’t think you’d have clue about it. And you clearly haven’t even read the background before jumping in to make a comment. The calculations are not about California and never were. They are about Melbourne, using 2012 figures and Graham Palmer’s analysis method – which is a significant improvement, over the standard method, for calculating the emissions avoided by non-dispatchable generators like solar PV.

        Pekka, you added nothing constructive.

      • @PP: Therefore I stop at saying that the upper limit [for California] is far below 600.

        Which is where I started over a week ago. There I said “Let’s consider an installation in Australia that is abating 10 tons of CO2 a year” and ever since then Lang has continued to insist that this is only descriptive of my own house in California (which I’d merely cited as an example of such an installation) and therefore irrelevant.

        It seems to me that Lang’s modus operandi is to twist other people’s words while accusing them of doing what he’s doing. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

        Next time I’ll know not to even start. Even divorce cases where one party has borderline personality disorder are more civil than this exchange has been, and that’s saying something. In his inimitable style Lang would lay the entire blame for this at my feet.

      • @PL: Graham Palmer’s analysis method – which is a significant improvement, over the standard method, for calculating the emissions avoided by non-dispatchable generators like solar PV.

        This would be more convincing with a description of, or at least reference to, the “standard method.”

        If the “standard method” does not include the system cost, it becomes obvious who should endorse the respective methods. Those agitating against solar PV should be endorsing Palmer’s method because his inclusion of the system cost creates the appearance of a huge injustice to the poor, notwithstanding the obvious fact that variations in system cost cannot have any influence whatsoever on what the poor pay.

        That this is not obvious to Lang speaks to his ability to reason logically.

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        My point is that it is not possible to present cost estimates for grid connected solar electricity that are correct in the sense that some other estimate that is half of that or double of that would not be equally correct.

        More examples of technology cost comparison compared on a properly comparable basis:

        AETA (2012) Model. (download the Excel Spreadsheet and you can play to your hearts content with the input assumptions and prepare properly comparable costs):
        http://bree.gov.au/publications/aeta.html

        CSIRO Scenario Options: http://efuture.csiro.au/#scenarios

        EPRI (2010) Australian Electricity Generation Technology Costs – Reference Case 2010 http://www.ret.gov.au/energy/Documents/AEGTC%202010.pdf

        ACIL-Tasman (2009): Fuel resource, new entry and generation costs in the NEM http://www.aemo.com.au/planning/419-0035.pdf

        Pekka, Your comment is complete nonsense.

      • Peter Lang

        Vaughan Pratt,

        This would be more convincing with a description of, or at least reference to, the “standard method.”

        I’ve given you the link several times. Go back and reread from the start. I am sick of reposting over and over again because you haven’t bother to read or follow the links.

        Until you can find fault in the CO2 abatement cost of $600/tonne you are just playing diversionary games. If you think the error is in Graham Palmer’s method (I don’t), then you should write to the Journal.

      • @Faustino: Vaughan, no, I wasn’t criticising you, I thought your cat reference was a good hook to suggest to all parties that enough was enough on this sub-thread, which seems unlikely to lead to a resolution.

        Thanks muchly for clarifying that, Michael. I share your pessimism about any kind of resolution here. I’ll take that as licence to disengage, many thanks again.

      • Peter, I gave everyone the chance to “pull up stumps.” You and I share many views and generally have similar ideas on policy. I greatly appreciate the support you give me, the effort you put in to source, analyse and present material, and your commitment to what you see (and I generally agree) as good policy.

        But sometimes, in long-running arguments, you become very forceful, and, whether or not you are right, such forcefulness is rarely persuasive. It’s sometimes necessary to take a deep breath and let things go.

    • Peter Lang

      Chief,

      Got the right units I see Michael.

      Not quite. He still shows his total ignorance by confusing Kelvin and kilo.

      But that’s a hell of an improvement in one day over his previous ‘KwH’, or Kelvin’willy’Henry, in his comments yesterday.

      To my knowledge ‘w’ is not a recognised SI symbol for anything, so I’ve made an assumption that Michael is playing with it and referring to his little willy.