Open thread weekend

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

473 responses to “Open thread weekend

  1. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Okay, climate change aside, I’d be interested to see what most denizens here think about the potential for severe water shortages in the not too distant future on a massive scale, as discussed in this recent article:

    http://phys.org/news/2013-05-source-life-scientists.html

    • Good topic and while not particularly relevant to climate change per se, the issues of water and land conservation are important policy issues facing humans and should be discussed as widely as possible.

      The creation of fresh water through distillation is theoretically feasible (but requiring considerable input of energy) but I understand that drinking pure distilled water is not healthy for humans or animals on a long term basis.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Either through reverse osmosis or distillation – pure H2O is very corrosive. Metal salts are added to make it less pure.

      • It’s worth noting that “waste” heat from conventional power plants could be used to drive distillation of sea water, rather than throwing it away. Not only that, but AFAIK most carbon capture technology that works on “stack” emissions requires cooling them first. That cooling could be done by sea water, driving a high-throughput distillation process. I’d guess the heat from that could be re-used to provide a second round of distillation, although I haven’t actually done the design math on it.

        The same is true of concentrating solar power, which provides “waste” heat at temperatures similar to conventional power plants. In addition, with proper reservoir design some of the “peak” power from solar plants could be used for pumping sea water to, and distilled water from, the plants.

        Finally, IBM’s recently announced “80% efficient” solar power depends on using the 40% collected as waste heat for distillation.

      • There is no data that shows carbon capture is necessary or desirable.
        Everything related to carbon capture should be put out of consideration unless someone can prove it is needed or desirable. That has not happened and that will not happen because it is just wrong.

      • Carbon capture is inevitable, and it’s highly desirable that it happen as soon as possible, and draw down CO2 to somewhere between today’s and pre-industrial levels as quickly as possible. There are many risks to having a pCO2 higher than it’s been in 10 million years.

      • David Springer

        Chief Hydrologist | May 25, 2013 at 1:05 am |

        “Either through reverse osmosis or distillation – pure H2O is very corrosive. Metal salts are added to make it less pure.”

        Depends on what’s potentially being corroded. Typically calcium or magnesium is added so exposed metal surfaces get scale deposits which form a protective barrier against corrosion. However scale deposits drastically lessen conductive heat transfer from water to metal so for instance in cooling tower applications scaling must be inhibited.

        Pure water is non-conductive. Adding salts of any kind makes it conductive and electro-chemical corrosion then becomes a potentially serious problem. Ask anyone who’s ever owned a car somewhere where they salt the roads in the winter. It turns the car into a rust bucket in just a few years whereas where they don’t salt the roads the car body is virtually immune to rust. Get a clue.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘…..Reverse Osmosis-treated water is aggressive to metallic pipe or to substances that can ionize and dissolve in water—not because of low pH (acidity), but because it is highly pure and has few dissolved substances in it.
        …..Water is called the universal solvent; it always “wants” to have substances dissolved in it. The less it has, the more aggressive it becomes in attacking things that can dissolve. This doesn’t hurt the human body, of course, because our physiology quickly obtains homeostasis using saliva, stomach fluids, etc. to equilibrate all bodily fluids.
        …..However, with plumbing materials, inert plastic piping—not metal piping—is recommended for contacting all very high purity waters. That being said, you should know that low-pressure, household RO treatment removes only about 90%+ of dissolved constituents from drinking water supplies (most natural water supplies start with multiple hundreds of milligrams per liter of total dissolved solids).
        …..Typically then, household point-of-use, RO-treated water will still have more than 10 mg/L of TDS, not overly aggressive water— especially compared to high-purity industrial and even distilled water that can usually have less than 1mg/L of total dissolved solids.
        …..Compare this 10 mg/L of TDS with some municipal waters, such as those of Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Lake Tahoe, California—and even parts of New York City and San Francisco—which deliver their regular tap water well below 50 mg/L of TDS.’

        http://www.wqa.org/sitelogic.cfm?ID=1372

        ‘This supplement can be added to any Reverse Osmosis water. The goal is to add calcium and magnesium to the RO water making it healthier to drink. It will also increase the pH level which is also good. The Safe Drinking Water Foundation has been part of developing calcium and magnesium additions to municipal water treatment plants that use RO water and here we aim to get similar benefits with small RO units. You will use a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter to determine how much calcium and magnesium you are adding to the water. The goal is to increase the TDS level around 25 mg/L above the TDS level in the RO water. How to do this is described below.’ http://www.safewater.org/PDFS/sales/CalciumMagnesiumMineralSupplement.pdf

        Ask an expert – which leaves springer out of the running.

        http://www.abc.net.au/science/expert/realexpert/watercrisis/11.htm

      • David Springer

        Yer a frickin’ dimwit Ellison and the sooner you realize that the sooner you’ll stop making an ass out of yourself by saying things you think are true but actually aren’t. In general distilled water is less corrosive because it doesn’t conduct electricity. You’re no chemist and you’re no engineer so you should have looked it up. What part of salt on roads and rusted car bodies did you not understand? That should have clued you in that you were talking out your ass again.

        Try checking yourself against an encyclopedia once in a while and save yourself some embarrassment if you have any humility at all.

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

        Applications

        Distilled water is preferable to tap water for use in automotive cooling systems. The minerals and ions typically found in tap water can be corrosive to internal engine components, and can cause a more rapid depletion of the anti-corrosion additives found in most antifreeze formulations.[4]

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘…but I understand that drinking pure distilled water is not healthy for humans or animals on a long term basis.’

        So which part of potable water didn’t you understand dipshit?

        Water from reverse osmosis is not as aggressive as hypersaline sludge from roads? It’s not as aggressive as hydrochloric acid either. The appropriate comparison is with potable water. You make insane connections in your head and then flail about in consternation when the world doesn’t conform to your idiotic posturing. Read the links and forgive me for being utterly unimpressed.

        I have degrees in engineering and environmental science. You seem to have degrees in BS, blather, bluster and not understanding the point of anything.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘…but I understand that drinking pure distilled water is not healthy for humans or animals on a long term basis.’

        Which bit of potable water didn’t you understand?

        Water from reverse osmosis is less aggressive than hypersaline sludge from roads? Well duh! It is less aggressive than hydrochloric acid as well. The comparison is with ordinary tap water.

        You invent insane narratives and then flail about in fearful consternation when the world doesn’t conform to your idiocies. I am unimpressed to say the least. As usual you fail to understand the point, don’t read the links and indulge in silly rants.

        I have degrees in engineering and environmental science. You seem to have degrees in BS, blather, bluster and missing the point entirely.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        BTW…

        ‘Hard Water is water that has higher than normal concentrations of dissolved minerals, typically calcium and magnesium. While these are not considered harmful to human health, these minerals can play havoc on modern household plumbing as the minerals tend to fall out of suspension and adhere to the insides of certain types of pipe. Soft water systems have a resin that exchanges sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions, allowing the water to be “soft”. Softened water is not good in an automotive cooling system, and a known good source of water is advisable over soft water. Well water and/or ground water is generally known for having a higher than normal “hardness” factor as well as iron and sulfate content and should be avoided in the automotive cooling system.

        Tap Water can also sometimes be harmful to an automotive cooling system if the levels of dissolved solids and chlorine are high enough. The Chlorine ions can be very reactive and corrosive to aluminum and other metals including stainless steel. When Chlorine is added to water, it reacts to form a pH dependant equilibrium mixture of Chlorine, Hypochlorous Acid, and Hydrochloric Acid (CL2 + H2O -> HOCL + HCi). Additionally, naturally occurring Sulfates (SO4) found in tap water are generally not removed by public water systems and can also contribute to rapid metal failure. Reverse Osmosis and Distillation water treatments containing an activated charcoal stage are very effective at removing Chlorine, Chloramines, and Sulfates and is a great final stage treatment for any city water used for drinking, cooking, or any automotive use.’ http://www.sancarlosradiator.com/VoltageDrop/water.htm

        Mixed 50/50 with corrosion inhibitors in the coolant. I suppose wikipedia might be right if less than complete.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Either through reverse osmosis or distillation – pure H2O is very corrosive. Metal salts are added to make it less pure.

        ‘A: The product of reverse osmosis is very pure water, with very low levels of minerals in it. It doesn’t taste very good in that condition and it’s a very aggressive solvent that can cause pipes to deteriorate. Reverse osmosis water is ‘potabilised’ by adding lime and carbon dioxide. This makes it more stable, restores the normal taste and ensures that it’s healthy to drink.

        There is some evidence to suggest that drinking hard water, water rich in calcium and magnesium salts, may be more healthy in the long term, but it’s by no means proven.

        - Chris Davis, CEO, Australian Water Association’

        http://www.abc.net.au/science/expert/realexpert/watercrisis/11.htm

        Springer brings up some irrelevancies about cooling towers and deicing. I supply links and springer goes off his brain again. Wtf is with this obnoxious and frankly quite silly behaviour?

      • David Springer

        You wrote this, Ellison:

        Chief Hydrologist | May 25, 2013 at 1:05 am |

        Either through reverse osmosis or distillation – pure H2O is very corrosive. Metal salts are added to make it less pure.

        It’s not taken out of context and it’s complete. You called pure water very corrosive. I corrected you by saying it depends on the situation. I gave you and example where cars quickly rust out when exposed to salt water but do not when exposed to fresh water. Then you got your panties in a bunch over being corrected. Everyone here who’s ever driven a car in the winter where they salt the roads knows I’m right and that you’re wrong. You refused to respond to that point because you too know it is right. Call me more names now if that helps your poor little bruised ego. It’s water off a duck’s back to me.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I know what I said and is still absolutely correct. You make so much of the trivial and inconsequential and then carry on with so much blather and bullying that you make yourself absurd.

        Instead of continually making snide and irrelevant comment – this time about salt on roads when the point concerned drinking purified water – I suggest you think more and mouth off less.

      • David Springer

        My point was only about the corrosiveness of distilled water. You said it was very corrosive. I said it depended on the application. You then had a cow.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Pure water is non-conductive. Adding salts of any kind makes it conductive and electro-chemical corrosion then becomes a potentially serious problem. Ask anyone who’s ever owned a car somewhere where they salt the roads in the winter. It turns the car into a rust bucket in just a few years whereas where they don’t salt the roads the car body is virtually immune to rust. Get a clue.’

        ‘‘A: The product of reverse osmosis is very pure water, with very low levels of minerals in it. It doesn’t taste very good in that condition and it’s a very aggressive solvent that can cause pipes to deteriorate. Reverse osmosis water is ‘potabilised’ by adding lime and carbon dioxide. This makes it more stable, restores the normal taste and ensures that it’s healthy to drink.

        There is some evidence to suggest that drinking hard water, water rich in calcium and magnesium salts, may be more healthy in the long term, but it’s by no means proven.’

        You are not only an idiot – you are a lying idiot.

    • Water wont be a problem when we have a near infinite supply of cheap energy to drive desalination – i.e. cheap nuclear power :)

    • R. Gates,

      Another water concern is the issue of polluting our aquifers with carbon capture and storage schemes. The Australian Great Artesian basin is an ideal candidate for carbon storing. It has an enormous volume of high porosity, high permeability sandstone. And it is proven to be well sealed. Perfect for carbon storage.

      But what would be the consequences? The Great Artesian Basin feeds all the stock and land holders as well as many mines over most of the area of Queensland, a little under half NSW and much of South Australia and Northern Territory. It is refilled by rainfall on the eastern highlands and the water takes millions of years to percolate over a thousand kilometers west to natural mound springs in South Australia and Northern Territory. The line of mound springs on the western edge enabled white man to explore from South Australia to northern Australia, to build the first telegraph line to connect South Australia and eastern cities to England, and allowed the original train line from Adelaide to Alice Springs to be built so there was water to refill the steam trains along the route.

      If carbon capture and storage progresses it will be only a matter of time until they are pumping highly compresses CO2 into the artesian basins.

      That’s what I would consider CO2 pollution!

      • While you may find that the Australian Great Artesian basin is an ideal candidate for disposal of captured CO2, and it may be, in the US at least, it would be strictly veboten for exactly the reasons you suggest. Fresh water aquifers are strictly protected when it comes to the construction of disposal wells. I find it hard to believe that Australia would be much less interested in protecting its potable waters.

      • Peter Lang

        CMS,

        Yes, sequestering CO2 in the Great Artesian Basin aquifers will be forbidden by legislatiion.

        But what will happen in reality? Bit by bit it will be argued that we should just run a small trial above the main aquifers, then below the main aquifers, then just a test here and there in an ‘isolated aquifer’.

        The cost-benefit analyses will be presented to the public along with scads of data ‘proving it is 100% safe’. Claims of zero risk of leakage into the aquifer. Scads of modelling data to show there can be no leaks. I’ve seen stacks of this sort of argument and I know how it progresses. The big money will win.

    • Quick, somebody get Bart R to come up with some bizarre pseudo-pigovian water tax. We also desperately need to send additional funding to the “water scientist” consensus community to investigate alternative fluids. Why hasn’t anyone formed an IPWC yet?

      Peak water!

      We’re all going to die!

      Or not.

      • Who stole my water? Oh, sorry there, Sir Pegasus.
        ============

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The conventional wisdom when Ostrom began to shift her attention to this problem in the early 1980s was that the only way people could overcome the tragedy and utilize shared resources (groundwater, fisheries, and the atmosphere) wisely was either through strict, top-down government regulation or through privatization of the resource. Both approaches require significant public infrastructure, either to monitor and enforce regulations or to legitimize and enforce private property claims. However, as a result of her own observations and the field work of others, a body of evidence was accumulating that suggested groups are often able to successfully solve commons dilemmas without complex formal infrastructure for making, monitoring, and enforcing rules (e.g., formal legislative bodies, police forces, and scientific organizations) regarding the sustainable use of shared resources, in direct conflict with theoretical predictions. Ostrom bucked disciplinary research trends at the time and focused her energy on developing a new theory to explain what was happening in the field.

        Through extensive fieldwork in many regions of the world, including Nepal, India, Mexico, Uganda, California, and Indiana, Ostrom began to uncover a robust pattern: self-organizing solutions to commons problems are not only possible, but in fact occur quite often. Rather than relying on formal government mechanisms or infrastructure, communities rely on a combination of informal norms, trust, and a small set of formal rules that the users themselves construct, monitor, and enforce using graduated sanctions. Ostrom’s work developing a theoretical framework to study this effect earned her the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics, making her the first woman to be so honored. What is more, in developing this framework, Ostrom forged important linkages between the social and natural sciences. These linkages and the interdisciplinary methodology she helped develop to explore them are among her most important contributions—contributions that biologists would do well to learn from.’

        http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001405

        Elinor Ostrom did her thesis on groundwater in California in 1965. The essence of the idea is so called polycentric governance – overlapping responsibilities of government and business but a true devolution of power to local communities. Common pool resource issues are not going to be resolved by imposing top down solutions from ivory tower academics.

    • David Springer

      Fresh water shortage is real problem as opposed to global warming which is an imagined problem.

    • Chief Hydrologist | May 25, 2013 at 1:05 am said: ”Either through reverse osmosis or distillation – pure H2O is very corrosive. Metal salts are added to make it less pure”

      drain the storm-water into the sea -> when it mixes with sea salty water; then desalinate that same water for big bucks… con hydrology…

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Stormwater storage in sufficient quantities in ponds is very expensive. The ideal is to have numbers of distributed infiltration systems around urban areas – sometimes as simple as open grassy areas with a bit of short term retention. Sometimes purpose built structures – http://www.abc.net.au/science/expert/realexpert/watercrisis/11.htm

        This enables you to recover water from aquifers in a process called aquifer storage and recovery. – http://www.csiro.au/files/files/pvuu.pdf

        The process can be accelerated by pumping into aquifers.

        An integrated system can address urban flooding.

        For a place like Brisbane I would use this process – http://www.advancedwatergroup.com/ – at strategic places over sewer mains to supply water for playing fields, gardens etc. It is something called sewer mining. Multiple benefits and savings.

        Reverse osmosis has a place in diversifying urban water supplies. I did suggest small plants on the Brisbane river in the estuarine reach rather than big and expensive coastal plants. Conserve water in the dams and save pumping costs – which are every bit as large from the distant dams as desalination costs.

        Some of us have worked for decades in integrated urban water cycle management.

    • Arno Arrak

      R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist | May 25, 2013 at 12:00 am |
      What do you mean by “climate change aside?” The topic is inspired by climatists. There are water shortages, yes, and they have existed because local government is either too stupid or simply uncaring about the fate of their own underclass. Will climate change have any influence on it? My guess is yes, but there is no way to predict how. More to the point, is there going to be any climate change anytime soon? It looks like not. Carbon dioxide as the cause of AGW has been dethroned by empirical observations. The next big climate thing will be the ice age, and I don’t think we will see it in our lifetimes. Hopefully people in the future will have a longer horizon and will know more about the timing and what needs to be done before it really gets going.

  2. Scott Scarborough

    How about how the land and sea temperature records keep on being modified. Temperatures 70 and 80 years ago are modified along with more recent temperatures with the end result always to lower the past and raise the more recent temperatures. GISS does this all the time and Hadcrut has had 4 versions already with one final result always assured… increasing trend! What info. does anyone have on this?

    • noone has demonstrated the gistemp and hadcrut adjustments are wrong.

      skeptics are always free to do the work themselves in a BEST-like project and show what amazingly different result they get. BEST was meant to be that job but skeptics turned on it when it didn’t produce the results they wanted. Until they do the work to demonstrate there’s a problem I think complaints about adjustments should be ignored (as they are) as irrelevant sniping.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Can’t be Jimmie Noone, the clarinetist, who died in 1944. So what is the first name of Mr. Noone who has demonstrated that those adjustments are wrong? Is that Steven Goddards real name?

      • lolwot, noone should have to demonstrate that the adjustments are “wrong”. The adjustments have increased the variance in the surface temperature record which would indicate that some of the adjustments are questionable. With more and better data coverage, the variance which is related to the standard error should decrease, indicating a greater confidence in the global mean surface temperature. The adjustments, particularly interpolating higher latitude temperatures, has added to the uncertainty. It is like we are backing up.

        That btw has been shown in the newer more accurate Earth Energy Budgets, by a number of authors in peer reviewed literature.

      • That’s true lolwot. I agree with Roy Spencer that it is disconcerting when the bulk of the temp. change is actually due to the adjustments. It is also odd that most of the changes tend to be one way in that they make the warming look more rapid and make current temp.’s look more extreme. If Hansen was not such a fanatic (I say this in a kind way), I would not be as suspicious of the GISS adjustments.

        Finally, since rate of increase in temp. has definitely flattened (paused even if you will) that seems to undercut the alarm. After all, if temp.’s were going up 0.3 degrees per decade and matching climate model predictions, it would not matter if temp.’s had been adjusted a few tenths of a degree. As I keep repeating, the next 10-15 years will be very telling.

      • Also, I thought that BEST actually started with the data as adjusted but simply did the homogenization/statistics in a different way. If so, you can’t use BEST as an argument about whether the adjustments were correct or not. Anyone care to tell me if I am correct on this point? Mosher?

      • Livingston and Penn
        Will tell in ten to fifteen.
        Whitherwill will tell.
        ============

      • Does Berkeley Earth use adjusted data?

        The Berkeley Earth project collects data from 16 different sources. Wherever a source has an unadjusted version, that version is used. If multiple data sources have records for the same location, unadjusted values are given priority over adjusted values.

        to top

        Does Berkeley Earth homogenize data?

        Other groups such as NASA, NOAA, and the Hadley Center either work with data that has been homogenized or they make homogenizing adjustments to the data series. In the Berkeley method station records are not adjusted up or down. Rather, stations that display unreliable data characteristics are down weighted in the construction of spatial temperature fields. Stations that show evidence of undocumented moves or instrument change (e.g. evidenced by extremely abrupt changes, either up or down) are split at the change point and treated as two separate records.

      • Bill, “Also, I thought that BEST actually started with the data as adjusted but simply did the homogenization/statistics in a different way.”

        Yep, BEST used Kriging, a sexier form of interpolation both for distance and altitude and they used “scalpling” instead of TOBs adjustments and came up with about the same thing, including the same baseline dependence. They also came up with an estimate of the absolute surface temperatures which is nice.

        The baseline dependence appears to be related to in phase/out of phase polar temperature response and shifting of the thermal equator. Both change the seasonal signal. That does not change the accuracy of the “Global” trends, but makes “Global” look like the wrong metric and increases variability outside of the baseline. 60S to 60N would give a better indication of total heat capacity while the high latitudes just tend to add noise.

      • “noone has demonstrated the gistemp and hadcrut adjustments are wrong.”

        Interesting logic here.

        Presumably, adjustments are only necessary when what you have already reported is wrong. In other words, the need for adjustments is an admission that what was reported earlier was wrong.

        When you have a series of adjustments, you have a series of admissions that the previously reported numbers were wrong. (The same logical analysis works for GCMs too.) This is particularly true when the “adjustments” are made by politicized true believers.

        Why should anyone then have to “prove” that the latest massaged numbers are correct?

        This is just another iteration of the “shifting the burden of proof” dodge that CAGWers use throughout the CAGW debate. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Those who want to decarbonize the economy have to convince enough gullible voters to let them.

        And so far, no joy.

      • There’s no joy in CAGWille tonight, mighty Sensitivity has struck out.
        =============

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        As JCH points out, BEST tries to use unadjusted data when possible. Some of its data may alreadt have received adjustments, but most haven’t.

        As for what lolwot says, I’ve already shown there are obvious problems with BEST. I haven’t gotten any answer to my criticisms. It’s kind of troubling, but maybe it’s my fault for not making a bigger fuss? I keep getting distracted from looking at BEST by things like Cook et al.

      • David Springer

        How do you pronounce noone? Does it rhyme with loony?

      • You are all perfectly happy with the surface records when it comes to declaring “no warming since X”, or touting low ECS estimates that are based on them, or even touting the early 20th century warming.

        It’s quite clear your “problems” with the science of the surface record is highly selective and biased. You drop all concerns when convenient.

        I think you all know full well if you did the work yourselves you’d find the same result, but that would rob you of your passion for crying fraud wouldn’t it?

      • Alexej Buergin

        It is just non-standard spelling (very non standard).

        I am just reading “Blood Work” by Michael Connelly, and James Noone is witness to a crime. (Conelly likes Jazz, and Harry Bosch does not believe in coincidence…)

      • David Springer

        JCH | May 25, 2013 at 10:12 am |

        (non-weasel responses i.e. yes/no)

        Does Berkeley Earth use adjusted data?

        Yes

        The Berkeley Earth project collects data from 16 different sources. Wherever a source has an unadjusted version, that version is used. If multiple data sources have records for the same location, unadjusted values are given priority over adjusted values.

        Does Berkeley Earth homogenize data?

        Yes.

        Other groups such as NASA, NOAA, and the Hadley Center either work with data that has been homogenized or they make homogenizing adjustments to the data series. In the Berkeley method station records are not adjusted up or down. Rather, stations that display unreliable data characteristics are down weighted in the construction of spatial temperature fields. Stations that show evidence of undocumented moves or instrument change (e.g. evidenced by extremely abrupt changes, either up or down) are split at the change point and treated as two separate records.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Since those of us with a brain would not do those adjustments, we would obviously not get the same results.

      • So you wouldn’t adjust for stations moving. You’d just compare apples and oranges.

        You’ll get the wrong answer then.

      • lolwot,

        Not true. I consistently say we don’t know if there is a “pause,” or what the climate sensitivity is, because we don’t know what the global average temperature is with any degree of accuracy.

        But that does not preclude debate on the remainder of the issues with reported temps. Criticizing the temp records on the basis of failure to account for UHI for example, simply suggests that the models for calculating GAT omit an important correction. It does not concede that the models are otherwise correct.

      • “I think you all know full well if you did the work yourselves you’d find the same result, but that would rob you of your passion for crying fraud wouldn’t it?”

        One I don’t think that is true. Anthony Watts certainly doesn’t.

        But two, it misses the point completely.

        It doesn’t matter who takes the incomplete, inaccurate, imprecise temperature records and processes them, nor how they process them. The temp records are unreliable as a source for justifying CAGW because they are so incomplete, inaccurate, imprecise.

        Steve Mosher is proud of saying that no matter what stations you take out of the temp records, you get the same results as far as trends. And he thinks that should mean the temp records are somehow inviolate. But that too misses the issue. It doesn’t make the underlying data any better

        Nor frankly does it instill any particular confidence in me that BEST’s model is accurate within the limits of the data available to it. It didn’t matter what data you input into Mann 98′s model of paleo temps, you always got a hockey stick. It seems to me as a general rule that’s a flaw, not a feature.

      • lolwot, “You are all perfectly happy with the surface records when it comes to declaring “no warming since X”, or touting low ECS estimates that are based on them, or even touting the early 20th century warming.”

        You mistake making a joke at your expense with perfectly happy. When the climate scientists in charge have to change the time frame for statistically significant from 15 years to 17 years, you really should not expect that to go unnoticed. When the climate scientists in charge say that the trend from 1997 to 2012 is 0.034 +/- 0.011, you have to expect a little good natured ribbing at being a factor of 10 off now doncha? When the climate scientists in charge use a statistically flawed data set to prove a statistically flawed point, you know there will be someone notice the err of his statistical ways.

        Next year HADCRU6.3.3 will add a few more high latitude stations in an attempt to each out another statistically insignificant 0.011 C degrees, and the party will begin anew.

        Most of us find the “adjustments” amusing.

      • Okay well you’ve chosen to dismiss it all, which is at least a consistent position.

        But a choice has to be made either to accept it all or deny it all.

        It’s not possible to claim gistemp and hadcrut are questionable and also claim we know there was warming in the early 20th century for example. If the surface records are “questionable” then what basis is there for knowing the earth warmed between 1900 and 1950?

      • oh come off it captdallas. Skeptics claim the earth has stopped warming as a fact.

        There’s no mention that they don’t trust the very data they base that claim on.

        They only claim to not trust the data at other times when they want to invoke fraud smears.

        And they hope no-one will notice they are playing loose with the facts.

      • Alexej Buergin

        “David Springer | May 25, 2013 at 11:52 am |
        How do you pronounce noone? Does it rhyme with loony?”

        Or maybe like George C. Looney, see here:
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2329431/George-Clooney-leaves-upmarket-London-restaurant-unsteady-fashion.html?ico=home^editors_choice

      • lolwot, “oh come off it captdallas. Skeptics claim the earth has stopped warming as a fact.”
        Yep. It is a fact. the rate of warming is statistically insignificant. Global Warming has taken a “pause”. You creatively attempt to “prove” it hasn’t, quite comically.

        If you actually looked at other data sets, you could see that the Stratosphere responds more quickly than the “surface” and that the “pause” started in 1995. From this close to equilibrium condition, you can start to more accurately estimate the “sensitivity” of the surface air temperature to atmospheric forcing.

        There is a whole lot of new data out there lolwot, get used to it.

      • Steven Mosher

        @ captian

        “Yep, BEST used Kriging, a sexier form of interpolation both for distance and altitude and they used “scalpling” instead of TOBs adjustments and came up with about the same thing, including the same baseline dependence. They also came up with an estimate of the absolute surface temperatures which is nice.

        The baseline dependence appears to be related to in phase/out of phase polar temperature response and shifting of the thermal equator. Both change the seasonal signal. That does not change the accuracy of the “Global” trends, but makes “Global” look like the wrong metric and increases variability outside of the baseline. 60S to 60N would give a better indication of total heat capacity while the high latitudes just tend to add noise.”

        1. scalpeling was a technique suggested by skeptics before BEST was even formed as a group: Hat tip to Willis, RomanM, JeffId and others

        2. TOBs
        a) happens only in the US and a couple other places
        b) have been validated as REQUIRED by several skeptics
        including john Daly
        c) The Karl method has been validation by out of sample testing.

        3. There is no baseline in Berkeley earth. Absolute temperature is computed with no base period. People are free to pick there own base period or use the whole series as a base

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon.

        “As for what lolwot says, I’ve already shown there are obvious problems with BEST. I haven’t gotten any answer to my criticisms. It’s kind of troubling, but maybe it’s my fault for not making a bigger fuss? I keep getting distracted from looking at BEST by things like Cook et al.”

        1. publish your critcisms along with the code you used and I’ll have a look at it. Up to now your criticisms haven’t been reproduceable.
        2. You will obviously find issues with any method. The most obvious areas to look are those that we have already detailedThe simplicity of the external drift. This can lead to some local scale errors– for example by coastlines and other geographic features not captured by the drift equations.
        3. When you are done with your suggestions for improvements, there is a simple method of testing the suggestion by using synthetic data.
        While not perfect, we are happy with the improvements we made over other methods.
        That test is here
        http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/robert-rohde-memo.pdf

        What stuns me is that people still refer to hadcrut and Giss when they know that a better ( not perfect ) method exists. It’s like they are not interested in getting to the truth.

        Before you start, however, you might want to wait for the update that
        has 2000 more stations, and some improvements to scalpeling and an approach to removing seasonality as a part of the external drift.

      • Steven Mosher

        GaryM I’m not so sure I can agree with your point.

        “Nor frankly does it instill any particular confidence in me that BEST’s model is accurate within the limits of the data available to it. It didn’t matter what data you input into Mann 98′s model of paleo temps, you always got a hockey stick. It seems to me as a general rule that’s a flaw, not a feature.”

        This appears to be a statement about the accuracy of the model or accuracy of the statistical approach.

        To develop the model we used the approach suggested by folks like Steve mcintyre and RomanM, Willis, jeffID and others. So, for example, rather than make something up ( like Mann does) we relied on standard geo statistical methods: krigging. And we incorporated a few other things suggested by skeptics. I know one of our chief statisticians consulted with a statistician who publishes on climate audit. Go figure.

        To test the model we took a couple of approaches. The best approach is of course to use synthetic data where you know ground truth.
        You take this ground truth data and you then sample that ground truth in the same way the real world is sampled.. irregular sampling, blotchy in time and space.. and then you see how well your method captures the ground truth. This is actually the first time any method ( CRU or GISS ) has been subjected to this kind of test. The results are clear. The very methods suggested by skeptics came out with a better answer.

        http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/robert-rohde-memo.pdf

      • Steven Mosher, “3. There is no baseline in Berkeley earth. Absolute temperature is computed with no base period. People are free to pick there own base period or use the whole series as a base.”

        It is still baseline sensitive to anomaly, so if I choose a satellite era baseline it will be different than an overall baseline. It doesn’t impact the trends much at all, but tends to shift peak months by about a tenth of a degree and vary the standard deviation. That is just a feature of the system since the seasonal signal changes. For example, the Antarctic temperature change can be in phase with the SH for a decade or two then shift phase. Giss and CRU have the same issues which Wayne2 noticed.

        https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-YT1RNGjeMlY/UZwY_runNJI/AAAAAAAAINU/VLJKMM6cM2M/s843/BartR%2527s%2520Warming%2520stdev.png

        Kind of interesting.

      • Steven Mosher

        gary

        “Steve Mosher is proud of saying that no matter what stations you take out of the temp records, you get the same results as far as trends. And he thinks that should mean the temp records are somehow inviolate. But that too misses the issue. It doesn’t make the underlying data any better”

        Not exactly, you can select any random subset and get the same answer. Obviously, I could remove the high latitude stations and make much of the warming disappear. If I remove all the urban stations, nothing changes. If I remove all the coastal stations the answer changes a little. If I remove all airports.. no change.

        If I compute the US using only CRN ( which Watts approves of ) and compare this to all the other stations… same answer.

        If I compute the US without CRN and use the field to predict CRN.. yup, I can predict it.

        If I use the existing field to predict the values at the 2000 never before seen stations ( new data recovered from old records ) guess what?

        If I use the historical fields to predict newly found historical data.. guess what?

        The point of being able to remove any random sample is this. Some people, think that problems with GHCN are the end of the conversation. They think that finding a problem in GHCN settles the science. It doesnt. It doesnt because I can throw all of GHCN monthly in the trash and still get the same answer from data that has not been “touched” by noaa. The point of being able to pick any random sample means that nonsense about the great thermometer drop out, is just that. nonsense.
        hypothesis made. hypothesis tested. hypothesis busted.
        The point about being able to pick any random subset is also this: folks who think that there are too few stations, need to explain how the answer doesnt change when you randomly select 500 stations..What we do know from these studies is that spatial sampling rerors tend to UNDERESTIMATE the warming. That is, as stations are added from archives and from data recovery efforts you can expect our estimates of warming to go UP, not down.

      • David Springer

        lolwot | May 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
        “Skeptics claim the earth has stopped warming as a fact.”

        Yes but only because the most reliable means we have of measuring it (satellite borne microwave sensing units) tells us it stopped.

        “There’s no mention that they don’t trust the very data they base that claim on.”

        Bullschist. I can’t speak for others but I trust the UAH and RSS temperature records. The temperature record based on thermometer readings is spatially sparse, temporally inconsistent, and the instruments themselves incapable of the resolution needed to track tiny trends.

      • Steven Mosher

        captain

        “It is still baseline sensitive to anomaly, so if I choose a satellite era baseline it will be different than an overall baseline.”

        yes, but that’s not an effect of the method, that’s an effect of the data
        and also the changing seasonality over time.. more on that to come.

        if you pick a sub period you will get effects. dont do it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Also, I thought that BEST actually started with the data as adjusted but simply did the homogenization/statistics in a different way. If so, you can’t use BEST as an argument about whether the adjustments were correct or not. Anyone care to tell me if I am correct on this point? Mosher?

        There are 16 different data sources, For all data sources if there is a source that is unadjusted we take the unadjusted data. For example, GHCN monthly, has both adjusted and unadjusted.

        There are also sources that have both daily and monthly, we take the daily. There are also sources that have hourly and daily, we take the hourly.

        Since all adjusting happens on monthly data by focusing on hourly and monthly data we avoid using adjusted data.

        At the end of the process of station selection there is a cascade of station selection criteria where we always pick the unadjusted data before using any adjusted data.

        The only time any adjusted data is used is when there is no other source. For example, if CRU has a series that nobody else has we would use that.

        As an excercise I built a world series using only unadjusted daily data ( about 25K stations) using an approximation of the Berkeley method.
        You get the same answer.

        The problem with adjustments is that many people dont study the whole database. They look at GHCN monthly and wail about that. Personally in my own work I dont use GHCN monthly. I use un adjusted daily data.

        In the future GHCN monthly will vanish as a product and folks will only have GHCN daily data. Basically your arguments about adjustments will pretty much vanish. Moreover, the only cogent argument about adjustments has to do with error propagation, not bias. Of course, there will always be somebody who hunts down the couple of stations that look odd. not an isue in the grand scheme of things.

      • Steven Mosher, “if you pick a sub period you will get effects. dont do it.”

        Well NOW you tell me.

      • “Yes but only because the most reliable means we have of measuring it (satellite borne microwave sensing units) tells us it stopped.”

        No it doesn’t.

        And besides, skeptics cite hadcrut, not the satellite records which flies in the face of your “explanation”.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher, I see no reason to believe you’d look at anything I post. Just this week, you repeatedly asked me to provide something I had already provided then quit responding to me when I made the same request of you you had made of me. This is despite the fact you kept posting in the same fork!

        On top of this, you flat out make things up now by saying my criticisms haven’t been reproducible. One of my criticisms involved nothing more than plotting a column of values provided by BEST. Anyone is capable of doing that. One person even did! Another of my criticisms requires a bit more effort, but I’ve described exactly how to do what I did several times.

        If you’re just going to make things up about what I say, why should I believe you would actually examine anything I say? You haven’t even corrected the glaringly untrue (and contradictory) things you said about the Gao et al paper. Quite frankly, you spout off misinformation every time you respond to anything I say about BEST.

        But hey, it’s good to hear BEST might finally remove seasonality from its record. It’s good to know after being around this long, you guys may finally do one of the first steps in making a temperature record. I’d have hoped BEST’s failure to do so would have been caught in peer review (if not sooner), but it’s good to hear months aftet I pointed out the problem, you’re finally getting around to fixing this problem.

        (For the record, I e-mailed Robert Rhode with a list of concerns after Zeke told me to. I never heard anything back, just like I never heard anything after Zeke said he’d pass my concerns along. And now Mosher makes things up about my criticisms of BEST. I feel like I’d have to harass people to get anyone to actually talk to me.)

      • Brandon, “But hey, it’s good to hear BEST might finally remove seasonality from its record.”

        How is the problem. If they use the full record length, the early part messes up the correction and if they pick any period, there needs to be a reason. That is what I was looking at with the standard deviations, the satellite era produces the most uniform variance, but the seasonal cycle changes.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        captdallas 0.8 or less, I’m not talking about some small, residual thing. That exists in records like GISS, and I wouldn’t mock BEST for it. What I am talking about is a seasonal cycle far stronger than see in any other record. Not only is it found in station after station, it sometimes is (seemingly?) introduced into stations that don’t have it in the first place.

        I’d post more details and some graphs (I’ve done so before), but I’m on vacation in Chicago right now. Remind me in a few days and I’d be happy to.

      • Brandon, A half degree seasonal cycle in the NH for both Tmax and Tmin which has most of the land mass for a land only data set is pretty significant especially when the SH has about two tenths of a degree swing in Tmax and Tmin which are not always in phase. The question was how best to remove it, if it is to be removed.

        It doesn’t do much to longer term trends, but it does make “extreme” years a bit of a joke.

      • Steven Mosher

        Captain

        “Steven Mosher, “if you pick a sub period you will get effects. dont do it.”

        Well NOW you tell me.”

        ##################

        read Zeke’s memo and sebastains memo and you can see some of the effects you get by picking a sub period. You dont change trends, but other measurands can be effected. Its basic math.

      • Steven Mosher,

        “You take this ground truth data and you then sample that ground truth in the same way the real world is sampled.”

        What is the “ground truth” against which you tested the model? Is there some smaller but sufficiently diverse geographical area against which the BEST model was tested?

        How for instance would one test Steig’s model for estimating Antarctic temps, without comparing them to actual measurements? It seems to me the issue of validating climate models applies just as well to current temperature models. What do we compare them against to determine if the statistics has “fixed” the weakness of the underlying data as advertised?

        My comment about comparison to Mann’98 always producing a hockey stick was prompted by comments I had seen previously where you had said you could remove the urban sites altogether and get the same trend as with them. I understood you to take that as evidence that the UHI is overemphasized by skeptics. I took it as a statistical Mannian red flag.

        As for BEST adopting proposals from McIntyre et al., as I noted in an earlier comment, even addressing some criticisms skeptics may have of the reported temp records does not address what I see as greater concerns of inaccuracy, imprecision, and scarcity of coverage. BEST could well be the best temp record there is, and still not be good enough for the purpose for which it is offered. Which is where I come out on the issue.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Seasonal cycles matter for more than that, actually. BEST’s methodology relies on correlations in several steps. Those correlations can be increased by the existence of a seasonal cycle. Without knowing how the existence of a seasonal cycle influences the correlation structure of the data, it’s impossible to know how the results would be affected. At the very least, BEST’s failure to remove seasonal cycle would artificially narrow their uncertainty ranges.

        Interestingly, while the uncertainty levels would increase by some amount if this issue was fixed, the power of the method would increase as well.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        “Steven Mosher, I see no reason to believe you’d look at anything I post. Just this week, you repeatedly asked me to provide something I had already provided then quit responding to me when I made the same request of you you had made of me. This is despite the fact you kept posting in the same fork!”
        ###################################
        Huh. when you post code and data I will always look at it. Charts, graphs and random thoughts gt very little attention from me as I have to support working scientists.

        On top of this, you flat out make things up now by saying my criticisms haven’t been reproducible. One of my criticisms involved nothing more than plotting a column of values provided by BEST. Anyone is capable of doing that. One person even did! Another of my criticisms requires a bit more effort, but I’ve described exactly how to do what I did several times.

        Sorry, You provide no code. So, no cookie for you or Mann.
        I don’t change my principles just cause your name is Brandon.

        ##############################

        If you’re just going to make things up about what I say, why should I believe you would actually examine anything I say? You haven’t even corrected the glaringly untrue (and contradictory) things you said about the Gao et al paper. Quite frankly, you spout off misinformation every time you respond to anything I say about BEST.

        Well, you still dont get Gao. Other people have got it. You are free to write a criticism and submit to a journal.

        #######################

        But hey, it’s good to hear BEST might finally remove seasonality from its record. It’s good to know after being around this long, you guys may finally do one of the first steps in making a temperature record. I’d have hoped BEST’s failure to do so would have been caught in peer review (if not sooner), but it’s good to hear months aftet I pointed out the problem, you’re finally getting around to fixing this problem.

        #########################################

        You do not understand what the process is doing. And you could not figure out the code. So, I’ll explain one more time.

        1. The first step before kriging is creating a model of temperature
        2. That model expresses temperature at every location as a function
        of Latitude, Elevation and Seasonality.
        3. This model is then applied to the temperatures and the residual
        is placed in the field: it reprsents weather.

        Some things to note:

        A) Like all external drifts the model is imperfect.
        B) if you overfit the model everything becomes climate.
        C) seasonality isnt removed. Seasonality is modelled ( read the code please ) and the fundamental and a small number of harmonics are removed. This is different from removing the seasonality by creating anomalies.

        “(For the record, I e-mailed Robert Rhode with a list of concerns after Zeke told me to. I never heard anything back, just like I never heard anything after Zeke said he’d pass my concerns along. And now Mosher makes things up about my criticisms of BEST. I feel like I’d have to harass people to get anyone to actually talk to me.)”

        Well, Brandon you do have a history of making mountains out of molehills and overstating matters. Chances are that your concern will end up in my lap regardless, as Robert kicks the un important stuff to me. I address concerns based on the following.

        can the person answer the question for themselves given the code
        does the person have a publishing deadline
        do they share code and data
        are they a student

      • Steven Mosher

        Gary

        ““You take this ground truth data and you then sample that ground truth in the same way the real world is sampled.”

        What is the “ground truth” against which you tested the model? Is there some smaller but sufficiently diverse geographical area against which the BEST model was tested?
        ########################

        It dont think you understand the process. As Steve McIntyre and Others have explained when looking at Mann’s Methods, the first thing you do is test a method with synthetic data. That was the whole point in generating hockey sticks from synthetic data. JeffID did something similar. So, we do the same thing with the Kriging model.
        You start with temperatures for every spot on the globe. You can generate these via a series of functions, or you can take GCM data.
        Now, GCM data is a stressful test because the GCM data tends to be noiser than the real world. That is it has a higher spatial variability and higher temporal variability than the real world. So, you take this synthetic data and you compute the average using all datapoints and all times. That gives you your target. Then you want to sample the whole field using only a few stations. Instead of 36K stations we sampled 5K stations. We used the GHCN locations. This sample is more sparse than the 36K and its more sparse than the whole field.
        We also sample only at the times when a GHCN monthly station reported. So there are time gaps.. missing months. The concern is
        that sampling only 5K stations will miss some hot spots or cold spots. places where trends Diverge from average for great periods of time. So, you sample a small number compute the average and then compare to ground truth. This synthetic test shows you which method is best. The test is covered here
        http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/robert-rohde-memo.pdf

        Using synthetic data you can show that the Berkeley method outperforms GISS and CRU.

        ########################################

        How for instance would one test Steig’s model for estimating Antarctic temps, without comparing them to actual measurements? It seems to me the issue of validating climate models applies just as well to current temperature models. What do we compare them against to determine if the statistics has “fixed” the weakness of the underlying data as advertised?

        You’d test Steig’s model as O’donnel did. You actually dont need to use real temperatures, in fact one of the findings that they took out of the paper was showing how Steigs answer could be explained as a chaladni pattern. Of course the other thing you can do is hold data out of sample. For example, we estimate the surface using 36K stations. Now, 2000 more stations have been found. There are on going data recovery efforts. For those stations, every method will have a prediction of what they will be before anybody recovers the data.
        Now that data has been added. Thats 2000 new locations. If the method was biased and missing something, then adding 2000 new stations would have an effect. If adding them has no effect, then that is evidence in favor of your method being good.

        ##########################
        My comment about comparison to Mann’98 always producing a hockey stick was prompted by comments I had seen previously where you had said you could remove the urban sites altogether and get the same trend as with them. I understood you to take that as evidence that the UHI is overemphasized by skeptics. I took it as a statistical Mannian red flag.

        1. Skeptics have over estimated the effect of UHI by focusing on worst cases.
        2. See the recent paper on UHI from China posted at WUWT.
        UHI? .05C per decade.
        3. We’ve seen as much at .1C decade in the US.

        When you look at the whole world the effect is smaller than .1C decade and is swamped by other variability.
        ########################################
        As for BEST adopting proposals from McIntyre et al., as I noted in an earlier comment, even addressing some criticisms skeptics may have of the reported temp records does not address what I see as greater concerns of inaccuracy, imprecision, and scarcity of coverage. BEST could well be the best temp record there is, and still not be good enough for the purpose for which it is offered. Which is where I come out on the issue.

        There is no coverage issue. You can see this by decimating the sampling. If there was a sampling issue then going from 36K stations to 5K would show you a difference.. and going to 1000 would show you a difference and going down to 500 would clearly show a difference. Bottom line. Pick 100 random stations anywhere in the world and the average will not change. heck pick one record, CET, and you will only see minor differences. Important differences but minor. The LIA was Real.

        or you can look at re analysis data as Anthony did in Fall et al. This is continous coverage of the world. compare that against a sparse sample. Sparse sample works because of spatial and temporal coherency over long times. Its simply nyquist at work

      • Steven Mosher,

        Oh I know I don’t understand the process, nor have I pretended to. I was simply asking you to clarify what you meant by a comparison to “ground truth.” I was not familiar with the term, and the use of the words “ground,” and “truth” suggested to me they were actual, accurate (or verified perhaps?) physical observations. As opposed to the adjusted temps BEST and everybody else uses.

        I may be misreading your answer, but it seems that the “ground truth” you are referring to are climate model outputs. The paper you linked to seems to say the same thing, though I only read portions of it.

        From the abstract: “The ability of algorithms to estimate the global properties of weather fields from sparse data is a fundamental limitation on the achievable accuracy of climate reconstructions. Here, these algorithms are tested by creating simulated weather station data from the temperature field of a global climate model (GCM) and then measuring the effectiveness of each method at reproducing the properties of the underlying GCM field.”

        From the conclusion: “We have provided an analysis of the effectiveness of three different averaging methodologies while using simulated data where the underlying true evolution of the field can be known exactly.”

        So my take is that “ground truth” here is referring to “synthetic data” from climate models.

        Not having heard the term before, and not being sure if I understood your answer, I did what any self respecting internet denizen would do. I googled it.

        “Ground truth” – “the collecting of information on Earth’s surface at the same place and time as a remote sensor gathers data. Ground truth information” (geograqphy-dictionary.org); “it refers to information collected on location” (wikipedia); “the verification of image interpretation by direct observation of the ground” (encyclopedia.com).

        Which sounds like what I thought it meant. Which is why I phrased my question the way I did.

        So if I am wrong, and you are not using the term to refer to climate model outputs, what is the “ground truth” you were referring to?

        And if you are referring to such “synthetic data,” why use a term like “ground truth” that means collection of real data at the location in question?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Sorry Steven Mosher, I’m on vacation so I won’t be addressing all your nonsense. On the upside, that means you won’t have to run away like you always do!

        So let’s just be clear on one thing: You criticized me for not providing code to plot a single column of data. One column of data. A grade school student could plot the data with pencil and paper without any thought, but you are demanding I provide you the code to do it. You claim I don’t offer repreducible results when all I didn’t provide is the code to plot a simple set of values.

        That’s the level you’re at. If I’m no Steve McIntrye, you’re not even a willard.

      • David Springer

        I’m a skeptic and I only trust satellite temperature record which, ipso facto, proves your statement wrong. Some skeptics may prefer non-satellite data but I don’t know which ones. Tony Watts for instance is on record saying the only really reliable temperature record is the satellite record. Surely you’d consider Tony a skeptic so that’s two skeptics which prove that your assertion is wrong. Get your head out of your ass.

      • David Springer

        Alexej Buergin | May 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm |

        “It is just non-standard spelling (very non standard).”

        No it isn’t. It’s an incorrect spelling. Everyone mocking him knows exactly what he meant. “No one” is correct. “No-one” is non-standard. “Noone” is incorrect and is a reliable indicator that the person who wrote it is not well educated.

      • Steven Mosher

        GaryM

        “Which sounds like what I thought it meant. Which is why I phrased my question the way I did.

        So if I am wrong, and you are not using the term to refer to climate model outputs, what is the “ground truth” you were referring to?

        And if you are referring to such “synthetic data,” why use a term like “ground truth” that means collection of real data at the location in question?”

        Pretty simple. When you test a model using synthetic data ( the best way to test a model ) you know what the ground truth is for that world.
        Obviously if we knew the ground truth in the real world we would just say ” here it is”. But we dont have ground truth in the real world. we only have samples. So, we build a synthetic world where we do know the ground truth. Then we test our model in the synthetic world and see if it exhibits bias where we do know the ground truth. If we find no bias in the synthetic test, we have no reason to believe it will be biased in the the real world. Or we compare various models and can say, this model has the smallest bias.

        You have to distinguish two types of concerns: concerns over the model and concerns over the actual data. You address model concerns by testing with sythetic data where ground truth is known. I thought you were a reader of skeptical sites where we discuss this. Sorry.

      • Steven Mosher

        Sorry Steven Mosher, I’m on vacation so I won’t be addressing all your nonsense. On the upside, that means you won’t have to run away like you always do!

        So let’s just be clear on one thing: You criticized me for not providing code to plot a single column of data. One column of data.
        ############
        wrong. Its about your comments on seasonality. I’ve got no idea what one column of temperature data you are talking about. This subject is the Berkeley earth temperature series. I’ve never seen any column of temperature data that you’ve pointed me to or explained the problem.
        The subject today on this thread is temperature data and whether or not Berkeley earth uses adjusted data and to what extent.

        A grade school student could plot the data with pencil and paper without any thought, but you are demanding I provide you the code to do it. You claim I don’t offer repreducible results when all I didn’t provide is the code to plot a simple set of values.

        No, not talking about some mythical column of temperature data that you’ve pointed to. I was refering to your comments on seasonality. But even there, give the location, tell me how you got the data and provide a copy. These are the same basic things I asked Jones for, I hold you to no lower standard.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher, you’re full of it. You claimed my criticisms of BEST were irreproducible, not just one criticism. I responded by discussing the ease of reproducing several of my result,s, including one that requires simply plotting a bit of data. You responded to that, saying, “Soery, You provide no code.”

        You responded to a discussion of an example by saying I didn’t provide code. You now claim you only required code for something else entirely. That’s complete nonsense. You’re either not reading, not comprehending or not being honest.

        Keep digging that hole.

      • Steven Mosher-

        Pretty simple. When you test a model using synthetic data ( the best way to test a model ) you know what the ground truth is for that world.

        Obviously if we knew the ground truth in the real world we would just say ” here it is”. But we dont have ground truth in the real world. we only have samples. So, we build a synthetic world where we do know the ground truth. Then we test our model in the synthetic world and see if it exhibits bias where we do know the ground truth. If we find no bias in the synthetic test, we have no reason to believe it will be biased in the the real world. [mwg bold] Or we compare various models and can say, this model has the smallest bias.

        But of course one does not know how that synthetic world relates to the world in which he/she is really interested. ‘Best’ is too strong a characterization. One likely does want to investigate a number of synthetic data sets believed to be relevant to the model at some conceptual level, but in addition to seeing where the model works, one wants to see where it breaks. After all, we have incomplete information on our true world, aka uncertainty. Also, as an aside, for geostatistical models cross-validation weighs in pretty heavy as a model testing tool.

        Regarding the bold text… this seems almost like a preamble to ‘see no evil’.

      • Steven Mosher,

        “Obviously if we knew the ground truth in the real world we would just say ‘here it is’. But we dont have ground truth in the real world. we only have samples. So, we build a synthetic world where we do know the ground truth.”

        OK, that’s what I thought. You didn’t compare the BEST output to real world measurements, you compared them to model data. Then you took a term of art used in other areas to describe on site physical observations and applied it to your model created “data,” to give it the air of authenticity that real measurements have.

        Got it. It’s not really “ground truth,” but “simulated ground truth.” But that’s not as pithy.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I guess I was wrong. Mosher did have to run away.

    • Arno Arrak

      Scott Scarborough | May 25, 2013 at 12:02 am |
      Changing the temperature records is of course criminal. If you know specifically who actually did it that person should be charged with a crime. Along these lines, it turns out that GISTEMP, HadCRUT and NCDC temperature records have all been secretly computer processed for reasons unknown without telling anyone. How do I know this? I know this because unbeknownst to the perpetrators the software they used had unanticipated consequences. Namely, it added sharp upward-pointing spikes into these data-sets at the beginnings of most years. They are present in all three of these data-sets at the exact same locations and they are absent from satellite temperature records. In my opinion no ground-based temperature records should be used at all beyond 1979 when the satellite era begins. I checked back and these spikes have been in the data without being detected for quite a while. For instance, I used the 2008 version of HadCRUT3 in my book “What Warming?” When I discovered these spikes I checked back and sure enough, they were already in the data in 2008. Someone should keep checking the older versions until they reach one free of these spikes to place it in time. If the previous version still exists comparison with it might reveal what their purpose was. And, by the way, you need to prepare the data according to my book to clearly locate these spikes.

  3. Okay, climate change aside, I’d be interested to know how folks here feel about three subcategories of CLI FI, for climate fiction novels or movies, both pro or con climate change, from Chricton to Nat Rich, and the 3 sub categories we’ve defined are cli fi lite (paperback potboiler thrillers, good for airplane flights), cli fi dark (cli fi novels that paint a dark picture of the future and cli fi deep, books like the ROAD by Cormac McCarthy.

  4. Scott Scarborough

    I’m sure that they are going to eventually have problems with the large underground reservoir out west. They have been drawing it down for years.

  5. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Despite apparent artificial issues in long-term measurements of cloud from ISCCP, and the lack of reliability in low-cloud data from irradiance-based satellite cloud estimates, we find the ISCCP and MODIS datasets to be in
    close agreement over the past decade globally. In turn, we find these datasets to correspond well to independent observations of SST, suggesting that some particular regions of the globe are not as affected as others by calibration artifacts. This opens the door to the possibility of using SST temperatures as proxy for past cloud variations.’

    A new study by Palle and Laken

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=0

    http://www.benlaken.com/documents/AIP_PL_13.pdf

    All you need is a long term SST proxy.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=55

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      But of SST’s are a poor proxy for total energy gain or loss in the Earth system, and merely tell us more about ocean to atmosphere energy exchange rates.

      • R. Gates, And “surface” air temperatures are a worse proxy for total energy in the system, but that is the horse we rode in on. Based on the short OHC data we have, in about 316 years, the “average” temperature of the oceans will rise about 0.8 C degrees if it is a linear trend.

        If you take the “average” of all the instrumental data, today is about 0.4 C above that mean, with a “real” margin of error of about +/-0.2 C degrees. Using newer data with more realistic energy budgets, the “sensitivity” to atmospheric forcing is about 1.6 C per 3.7 Wm-2 with the rate of OHC increase about 0.5 Wm-2 per year with a margin of error of about +/- 17 Wm-2. The “average” SST was estimated to be about 16 to 17 C with model satellite telemetry indicating it is closer to 18C, nearly 20 C in the NH and nearly 17 C in the SH. Despite that, the “average” absolute surface temperature was reduced from “about” 15 C to “about” 14 C which artificially increases “sensitivity” by “about” 1 C degrees.

        Faced with this uncertainty, some of the Chief Climate Scientists in Charge will focus on a statistically insignificant annual or monthly surface temperature anomaly or specific “weather” event to promote the “cause” of Global Warming Awareness.

        But I agree with you, OHC is the better metric, shame we need SST to estimate past OHC.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Overall right now, I am more interested in the effects of a warmer ocean on the Arctic, as that is where a great deal of extra heat is being advected to.

      • And oh so efficiently radiated out.
        ================

      • R. Gates, Since the Arctic sea ice melt is a “regional” event, there is a Sargasso Sea SST reconstruction that seems to indicate that the MWP was a regional event related to North Atlantic SST. A “do over” of Arctic melt might be called a Bond Event, with a less than ideal period of 1000 year +/- 470 years. The Indo-Pacific Warm Pool SST reconstructions indicate a similar less than ideal event “cycle” as does a number of other proxy data before all the signal is smoothed into oblivion.

      • “Overall right now, I am more interested in the effects of a warmer ocean on the Arctic, as that is where a great deal of extra heat is being advected to.”

        Translation: Surface air temps are not going up as predicted. SSTs are not showing lots of “missing heat” dropping into the depths of the ocean. Even consensus scientists are starting to reduce their climate sensitivity estimates. Climate models are all over the map and still can’t even predict the past. The glaciers are not disappearing. The Amazon Forest is stubbornly remaining a forest.

        But right now, Arctic ice decline is obvious so…forget everything else, Arctic ice is all we need to think about to justify our loony dream of decarbonizing the world economy.

      • Oh, oh, and the polar bears. Let’s not forget about the polar bears.

        According to those conservative wingnuts, the WWF – “most populations have returned to healthy numbers.”

        http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/arctic/wildlife/polar_bear/population/

        But don’t worry CAGWers, “If current warming trends continue unabated, scientists believe that polar bears will be vulnerable to extinction within the next century.”

        Not extinct, not nearly extinct, not in danger of extinction, but vulnerable to extinction. My, how the mighty claims of catastrophe are falling.

      • David Springer

        Arctic ocean is 4.3% of global ocean surface area, 1.4% of global ocean volume, and 94.3% of global warming alarmism.

      • @David Springer…

        [...] and 94.3% of global warming alarmism.

        Have you got a peer-reviewed reference for that number? And what about error bars?

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Kim,

        And going into melting sea ice. The advection of energy to the Arctic via the ocean is a big cause of the dramatic changes there.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        David,

        The Arctic is the most sensitive area of the planet to warming. Of course it is getting the most attention as it is changing the most.

      • OK Pope, here’s your entrance line.
        ======

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The SST are suggested as a proxy for cloud in the Palle and Laken study. The cloud formation is negatively correlated with SST. The importance of the study is the linking of ISCCP-FD with MODIS – and showing a linkage of both to a physical mechanism of SST in the central Pacific.

        The cloud changes are the point.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=38

      • David Springer

        R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist | May 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm |

        “The Arctic is the most sensitive area of the planet to warming. Of course it is getting the most attention as it is changing the most.”

        Good point. Especially “the most” being a 20% reduction in Arctic sea ice but only in the summer.

        And the stupid climate models couldn’t get that right either. “Global” warming stopped 15 years ago and the only thing left for bedwetters like you to point at is Arctic sea ice. Like anyone gives a rat’s ass about it. Good riddance! Maybe have a shorter navigable passage for international trade in the summer and some oil platforms. What’s not to like?

      • David springer

        I would pay good money to hear you speak at a greeneace conference about the arctic.
        Tonyb

      • David Springer

        No problem. I can bought cheaper than Al Gore and maybe even James Hansen but probably not cheaper than Michael Mann. I heard Mann now has to pay students to sign up for his classes.

      • GaryM | May 25, 2013 at 11:11 am |

        Really?

        You can’t even put in ellipses to indicate where you’ve truncated the sentence?

        Today, polar bears are among the few large carnivores that are still found in roughly their original habitat and range–and in some places, in roughly their natural numbers.
        Although
        most populations have returned to healthy numbers, there are differences between the populations. Some are stable, some seem to be increasing, and some are decreasing due to various pressures. A 2011 study found that 7 of 19 populations were declining.

        The context of the ‘return to healthy numbers’ is from hunting practices that dropped polar bear numbers from over 100,000 in the Arctic a century ago to about 10,000 fifty years ago. Such numbers are extremely vague because there had been no very reliable counts made. Much like we still don’t collect data very reliably, and leave counting to the people with the most interest in getting counts wrong in all too many cases, against our own interests.

        Cherry picking stunts like that are why no one can trust a word you write. Of course, for people already in your tribe, I’m sure it builds up your prestige.

      • David Springer

        I’d pay to see BartR hug a polar bear.

      • Arno Arrak

        R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist | May 25, 2013 at 9:21 am says:

        “Overall right now, I am more interested in the effects of a warmer ocean on the Arctic, as that is where a great deal of extra heat is being advected to.”

        Lets get it right. It is not the warmer ocean that is warming it, it is warm ocean currents that carry Gulf Stream water into the Arctic that warm it. The whole thing started at the turn of the twentieth century when a rearrangement of the North Atlantic current system took place. Prior to that there was nothing but two thousand years of cooling. The warming paused for thirty years in mid-century, then resumed, and is still going strong. Kaufman et al. discovered this warming in 2009 and immediately called it greenhouse warming. But greenhouse warming is ruled out by the laws of physics which require that to start a sudden greenhouse warming you must suddenly introduce carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This did not happen. I might add that this also did not happen at any time later which rules out the greenhouse effect for any all warming that may have started during the entire twentieth century. I say this for you who have been inculcated into belief in greenhouse warming without an elementary understanding how it works. If you are more educated and know about Ferenc Miskolczi you know that the greenhouse effect actually does not even exist. But back to the Arctic. You may have heard that right now there is no warming at all and that there has not been any warming for the last 15 years as even Pachauri of the IPCC has admitted. But Arctic somehow is an exception. That is because warm ocean currents warm it, regardless of global air temperature. However, should these currents falter the warming will very quickly turn into cooling. The warming pause that existed from 1940 to 1970 very likely was caused by the return of the original late nineteenth century Atlantic flow pattern. NOAA temperature records tell us that this warming pause was an actual cooling that I calculate proceeded at the rate of 0.3 degrees Celsius per decade. Right now the warming Arctic has raised hopes that its resources could be commercially exploited and cross Arctic shipping routes might remain open for good. But nature is fickle and what has happened before can happen again. Because of that the state of the Arctic should remain under close scrutiny and contingency plans for dealing with cessation of warming need to be in place.

      • Bart R,

        When I quote a fragment of a sentence, at least when I expect my writing to be read by literate adults, I don’t usually include ellipses. The lower case letter at the beginning of the quote should be a clue to the fact that there were words before it.

        And unlike some of the commenters here, I almost always include a link to the quoted article. As I did immediately following the quoted sentence fragment. Now I know it took a lot of effort for you to move the mouse just right to click on the link but….

        And yes, hunting is why the WWF page predicts “current warming trends” will cause the cute, cuddly little vicious carnivores to become “vulnerable to extinction,” albeit in the next century.

      • David Springer | May 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm |

        How much?

        We talking serious money here, something to make it worthwhile?

      • Better bet is on the outcome. I’d wear fox urine.
        ================

    • David Springer

      R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist | May 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm |

      “The advection of energy to the Arctic via the ocean is a big cause of the dramatic changes there.”

      Gee, ya think it’s energy melting the ice? That’s a pretty bold statement. It could be magic, or a transdimensional warp field that alters the laws of physics, or mass hallucinations… and those are just a few for instances.

    • David Springer

      Surface warming, the land instrument record, troposphere temperature… all like SO 1990′s among the hipsters like R. Gates. Get with the program people. It’s all about Arctic sea ice in the summer and ocean heat content below 700 meters depth. Anything else, fuggedaboudit, not important.

      These people must not have the first clue how ridiculous they look. They’re not just moving the goalposts they moved the whole playing field and rewrote the rules. Amazing.

  6. Human adaptability:

    THE rugged landscape created by volcanic eruptions and tectonic plate shifts in east and south Africa millions of years ago may be what prompted our human ancestors to start walking on two legs. New research published in the journal Antiquity challenges the commonly-held theory that early hominins (members of the broad human family) were forced onto two feet on the ground because climate change reduced the number of trees they lived in. According to the hypothesis, it is not why they left the forests but where they went that explains the evolution. “Our research shows that bipedalism may have developed as a response to the terrain, rather than a response to climatically-driven vegetation changes,” study co-author Isabelle Winder from the University of York’s archaeology department said on Friday.

    Between six and two million years ago, our ancestors lived exclusively in Africa – mainly in the east and south where much tectonic activity happened. Winder and her team compared geological changes with evolution of hominin anatomy over millions of years, and concluded it was likely our early tree-living ancestors were attracted not to flat plains as widely thought, but rocky outcrops and gorges. These would have offered shelter from predators and made it easier to corner pray.
    But rugged terrain also required more upright scrambling and climbing gaits – prompting the emergence of bipedalism. “For an animal moving on rough ground, the land is made up of lots of small, broken surfaces at different heights and angles. If you use four limbs to carry your weight, the chances are higher that you will be unable to position yourself effectively or that one of your hands or feet will slip,” Winder said. “It is to your advantage if you can balance on just two or three limbs and use the others to steady yourself.”

    Thus our ancestors’ legs came to carry most of their weight, and their hands would have been used to stabilise and pull the body up rock faces and would have become better at grasping as a result – ultimately enabling the evolutionary leap to tool-making. “The varied terrain may also have contributed to improved cognitive skills such as navigation and communication abilities,” Winder said.

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/world/study-reveals-mans-rocky-road-to-walking/story-e6frfkui-1226650327270

    • I think this fits in with the theories on the karst country near Atapuerca, in Spain’s Burgos region. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeological_Site_of_Atapuerca

      I hiked right by Atapuerca, but was with people who wanted to move along without dawdling, so I only managed a brief look and a photo or two. Just fascinating. Must go back. http://slowcamino.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/atapuerca-and-you-thought-cliff-richard-was-old/

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Goats_on_a_tree,_capre_sull%27_albero.jpg

      “If you use four limbs to carry your weight, the chances are higher that you will be unable to position yourself effectively or that one of your hands or feet will slip,” Winder said. “It is to your advantage if you can balance on just two or three limbs and use the others to steady yourself.”

      Three limbs and “others” ?

      Could it be the other way around? That monkeys and such evolved from us, became adapted to living in trees.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arboreal_locomotion

      “Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In every habitat in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some animals may only scale trees occasionally, while others are exclusively arboreal. These habitats pose numerous mechanical challenges to animals moving through them, leading to a variety of anatomical, behavioral and ecological consequences.[1] Furthermore, many of these same principles may be applied to climbing without trees, such as on rock piles or mountains.”

      I really can’t see how walking upright would benefit us, there a several species of antelope for example and one is really very nimble among rocks : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klipspringer

      And, why when we do climb steep craggy rock do we always revert to all fours?

      • My cats had a giggle.
        =====

      • David Springer

        I use my hands and arms for balance not for bearing weight when climbing steep craggy rocks. Going down on all fours as you put it sounds painful. If the situation is such that I can’t stand on my feet I’m on hands and knees not hands and feet. You’re an odd duck, Myrrh. You should think more and write less.

      • David Springer | May 26, 2013 at 9:24 am | I use my hands and arms for balance not for bearing weight when climbing steep craggy rocks. Going down on all fours as you put it sounds painful. If the situation is such that I can’t stand on my feet I’m on hands and knees not hands and feet. You’re an odd duck, Myrrh. You should think more and write less.

        The cat got the joke.

        Bottom heavy is what doesn’t make us very good climbers.

    • We diverged from chimps about 7-10 million years age. Chimps don’t live in trees, indeed no ape lives in trees. Chimps are knuckle walkers who SLEEP in trees, they spend most of their time on the ground.
      Chimps use tools, they crack nuts using a hammer and an anvil.
      If you can crack nuts open, you can crack shell-fish open. Learn how to be an estuary ape. An estuary ape would want to lose the fur, change the bodies fat ratio so as to flout, learn to swim, learn to spear fish and learn to wade and stand.

      • We diverged from chimps about 7-10 million years age [sic].

        But what makes you think the common ancestor looked like a chimp, rather than, say, like an Australopithecus?

      • Excellent comment Doc. Controversial but most likely closer to the truth.
        Jim

      • David Springer

        Chimps and humans ostensibly shared a hominid ancestor that was neither chimp nor human. Write that down.

      • @David Springer…

        Chimps and humans ostensibly shared a hominid ancestor that was neither chimp nor human. Write that down.

        I did.

        Here.

        And here.

        Here’s where Dr. Aaron Filler, MD, PhD, FRCS was kind enough to write it down in a guest post on my blog.

      • Gosh David, you think I didn’t know that?
        i have studied evolution my entire adult life. Write that down

      • David Springer

        You wrote:

        DocMartyn | May 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply

        We diverged from chimps about 7-10 million years age.

        That is incorrect. The lines leading to humans and chimps diverged from a common ancestor 7-10 mya. Neither chimp nor human existed at the time the lines separated.

      • David, there is ambiguity. I can read correctly both your interpretation and the Doc’s.
        ========

      • David Springer

        Yeah well that makes you wrong too, Kim. The correct statement is that the lines leading to humans and chimps diverged 7-10 mya. Martyn’s statement reads that humans diverged from chimps 7-10 mya which is impossible because neither chimps nor humans existed 7-10 mya. Notice that Martyn is not arguing this point because he knows I’m correct and that his language was as misleading as Bertram Cates’ teaching his students that humans descended from apes. Humans share a common ancestor with apes is the correct way to put it. AK also objected to Martyn’s statement asking how he knew that the common ancestor looked more like a chimp than a man. In fact AK is perfectly justified in asking that because Martyn’s statement was as misleading as Bertram Cates was in Inherit the Wind. Many people understandably find it offensive when someone implies their ancestor was a chimp and such an implication is incorrect so their offense is justified.

      • Many people understandably find it offensive when someone implies their ancestor was a chimp

        And I should imagine that chimps would feel similarly offended

      • David Springer

        Martyn, a savannah hominid that had to avoid carnivous predators would lose the fur and gain sweat glands all over for better cooling when running and would stand erect so to see over the grass both when running and to see predators approaching from a greater distance.

        Estuary apes? In your lifetime learning about evolution where on earth did you pick up that odd hypothesis? I can find no reference to estuary apes anywhere. Shallow water hunters develop long thin legs to elevate their trunks above the waterline for less resistance when moving through the water and in that way are able to cover more distance expending less energy. They wouldn’t lose fur they’d gain it in order to conserve body heat which even lukewarm water robs from the body very quickly again requiring more energy to hunt when evolution will seek less energetic ways to the same goal. Think, McFly.

      • @David Springer…

        Estuary apes? In your lifetime learning about evolution where on earth did you pick up that odd hypothesis?

        It’s a variation on the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis. Try googling that.

      • David Springer

        AK

        Thanks re; aquatic ape.

        One might think that someone who has studied evolution all their adult lives would reference aquatic apes which at least gets a few mentions as an offbeat hypothesis suggested by a few people and accepted by virtually “noone” for the reasons I outlined with no prior knowledge of what paleoanthropologists and evolutionary biologists and naturalists in general found wanting about it.

        The modern phrase “aquatic ape” is said to have come from a brief mention in a book “The Naked Ape”. The Naked Ape is pop-science and I’ve always eschewed pop science thereby explaining how the aquatic ape hypothesis escaped integration into my lexicon.

      • David, let me clear my own ambiguity. I can interpret both your and Doc’s phraseology to mean the same thing. Phatboy has a clue.
        ================

      • ” Notice that Martyn is not arguing this point because he knows I’m correct and that his language was as misleading as Bertram Cates’ teaching his students that humans descended from apes.”

        I stated:
        “We diverged from chimps about 7-10 million years age”.
        This statement does not imply that humans descended from Chimps, or that Chimps descended from humans. It is a factual comment of the divergence of species.
        The idea that we didn’t descend from apes is bizarre. I descended from my mother and father, both of whom are Apes.

        Our exact route from last common ancestor to modern human is still wide open to debate. On of the major difficulties is the very poor fossil record and the huge number of different species of ape that lived over the past 10 million years.
        The Estuary Ape hypothesis ties all sorts of observations about human evolution together. If you fly over the US one can see that we, as a species, love living next to water.

      • Thanks Doc. How people on the same wavelength cannot recognize it never ceases to astonish me.
        ==================

      • @…

        “We diverged from chimps about 7-10 million years age”.
        This statement does not imply that humans descended from Chimps, or that Chimps descended from humans.

        Actually, it does. Anybody familiar with modern human archaeology knows that “humans”, genus homo, followed Australopithecenes, and are generally thought be be derived from (one population of) them. So “we” includes a sequence of “species”. But “chimpanzees” does not. Thus your statement implies that the entire sequence of “species” leading to modern man diverged from the “species” that was then, and is now, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

        It is a factual comment of the divergence of species.

        No, it’s a statement of theory, widely accepted in one version or another.

        The idea that we didn’t descend from apes is bizarre. I descended from my mother and father, both of whom are Apes.

        Depends on what you mean by “apes”. The evidence of Ardipithecus suggests that humans never had ancestors that looked like chimpanzees.

      • Back in the day there were two species of Chimp, the common Chimpanzee and the dwarf chimpanzee. Now they are recognized as distinct species of the Pan family; Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus.
        Sahelanthropus tchadensis is about 7 million years old and could be a common ancestor, or just another ape.
        We have nothing in fossil evidence from 7 million to 3.5 million years that one can state; Human ancestor.
        DNA recovery and genome reconstructions will probably be a huge help I the near future.
        Our LCA was more like a chimp than like a modern human, we have a much smaller genetic pool than the Pan family and know we went through three population bottlenecks in the past 130 thousand years ago. However, it is pretty pointless stating what our LCA looked like, we don’t know. Claiming right/wrong when a single find could overturn our view of how we evolved is pointless. No evolutionary biologist will say “They looked like this, then this, then this, then this, then this and now us. Hell the idea that modern humans bred with Neanderthals and other humanoid species was very much a laughed at.
        Now about 7% of my DNA came from my Neanderthal ancestors and the Chinese ladies in my lab have, on average, 4% DNA from their ancestors interbreeding with Denisovans.
        We know we are floating on a river, we don’t know the location of the had waters, the route or the river mouth; but we know its a river.

        AK we do not know if Australopithecines is or is not our ancestor. We have no way of knowing at the moment, however, Australopithecus could climb better than we can.

        Green, D. J. and Z. Alemseged. 2012. Australopithecus afarensis Scapular Ontogeny, Function, and the Role of Climbing in Human Evolution. Science. 338 (6106): 514-517.

        Abstract

        Scapular morphology is predictive of locomotor adaptations among primates, but this skeletal element is scarce in the hominin fossil record. Notably, both scapulae of the juvenile Australopithecus afarensis skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia, have been recovered. These scapulae display several traits characteristic of suspensory apes, as do the few known fragmentary adult australopith representatives. Many of these traits change significantly throughout modern human ontogeny, but remain stable in apes. Thus, the similarity of juvenile and adult fossil morphologies implies that A. afarensis development was apelike. Additionally, changes in other scapular traits throughout African ape development are associated with shifts in locomotor behavior. This affirms the functional relevance of those characteristics, and their presence in australopith fossils supports the hypothesis that their locomotor repertoire included a substantial amount of climbing.

      • This affirms the functional relevance of those characteristics, and their presence in australopith fossils supports the hypothesis that their locomotor repertoire included a substantial amount of climbing.

        I never said they didn’t. But Australopithecus walked upright, as did Ardipithecus and does Homo. Pan cannot, due to adaptations that prevent twisting in the lower back. Same is true of Gorilla, through different adaptations. This suggest very strongly that the common ancestor walked upright, and Pan and Gorilla independently lost that ability, replacing it with the “diagonalgrade” locomotion they use in place of it. (For refs, see the blog posts I linked above, and refs therein.)

        Thus, the common ancestor looked more like Australopithecus than Pan. IMO.

    • David Springer

      Faustino | May 25, 2013 at 2:02 am | Reply

      “Between six and two million years ago, our ancestors lived exclusively in
      Africa”

      Maybe that’s where yours lived. Mine lived on Mt. Olympus.

  7. There is a degree of correlation between the past Arctic atmospheric pressure and the N. Atlantic hurricane ACE index
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NAHs.htm
    How this may work it is not exactly clear, but it could be associated with the THC (return leg of the ocean conveyor belt) and the Atlantic ‘ENSO’.
    If correct it would suggest fall of the ACE index to levels of 1970s as highlighted in the previous thread.

  8. I’ll need the help of the Denizenry to understand this:

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/environment/Toronto+artist+Franke+James+says+Harper/8432290/story.html

    So, is this ‘Frankegate’ some sort of Canadian anti-Climategate? Spoof? Censorship? Silly? What?

    • BartR

      I think it was yesterday that someone reported that Germany was agitating to prevent climate sceptics journalists printing articles that were hostile to the proposition of AGW.

      I don’t know the truth of that report or this one. I am out today but perhaps you could email the person named in the article you cited and see if this story has legs?
      tonyb

      • Alexej Buergin

        The german version of EPA did that. The minister, Old Meier, thinks it is OK even though he admits he has not read it (yes, he is a lawyer, and yes, he is bald and fat). The authors are four persons who know nothing about climate.
        Google Umweltsbundesamt, Altmeier

      • To control the situation, I suggest a conference of choice German minds – at Wannsee, for example.

      • Alexej Buergin

        We already know that Steinbrück wants the cavallery to invade Switzerland, and Merkel wants the cavallery to NOT YET invade Hungary.
        That is the exact quote of the great german minds of today. No joke.
        The Swiss and the Hungarians are not really amused.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Some german journalists are very critical of the Umweltbundesamt, eg Henryk Broder. As a Jew living in Germany he is allergic against red and brown dictatorships.

      • Wouldn’t it be quaint if it were just Caesar and Pompey?
        ============

      • tonyb | May 25, 2013 at 4:30 am |

        The propagandist’s most powerful tool is the silencing of opposition to their message.

        While I quite recently said shame on some for repeating the sort of agitprop that exploits the mentally fragile into psychogenic illness, short of actual assault or similarly malicious acts like defamation, actual fraud and the like there is no excuse for what after all is merely censorship and blacklisting, on any side.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/17/artist-inspiration-canada-silence-climate

      • Ve heff vays to make you agree mit sse konzenssuss (and ve vill use zem) heh, heh.

      • manacker | May 26, 2013 at 2:07 am |

        How very odd.

        2,000 emails documenting a proven campaign of government blacklisting and censorship to shut up someone.. and the response is five people all piling on to back up a rumor with no substantiation at all of a story that might or might not have something sorta-kinda to do with a different government doing a different thing.

        Have you spent so many years in the echo chamber you can’t hear the sound of the real point whizzing over your head?

      • Sic semper tyrannis.
        ========

      • Alexej Buergin

        Bart R.
        If you want to take the trouble of working with a german text to inform yourself, read here what the AGW-faithful NZZ of Switzerland thinks about it:
        http://klima.blog.nzz.ch/2013/05/24/staatlich-geprueftes-klimawissen/

      • Alexej Buergin | May 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm |

        Yeah. No. What UBA has done is public, official, and so far as I can tell merely a response to the efforts of organized groups.

        This is practically the opposite of what is alleged of the science-censoring, artist-blacklisting, secretive and creepily webstalking Harper government.

        I’m not a huge fan, nor even follower, of the German government. It’s none of my business. But the Harper government, that’s the government Ross McKitrick and his Fraser Institute lobbies and advises; it’s the government Steve McIntyre approves of and supports. It’s the government that dropped out of Kyoto, but only after doing as much damage to negotiations of Kyoto signatories right up to the day it dropped out. It’s the government campaigning in the USA for Keystone XL to bring oil to ‘answer America’s need’, and in Canada to carry oil through the USA to get the world price instead of ‘being a slave to the USA’.

      • O Canada!

      • Alexej Buergin

        “Bart R | May 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
        What UBA has done is public, official, and so far as I can tell merely a response to the efforts of organized groups.”

        You are the stereotype of a North American who has no idea of what is going on in the world.
        It is now the official policy of the US gobmint, too, that they are to tell the jounros what to write.
        But it did not turn out well when the Germans did that in the Third Reich and in the GDR.

      • Alexej Buergin | May 27, 2013 at 4:51 am |

        I’m by no means defending your government. I don’t know your government. I don’t care to know your government.

        I’m just pointing out, your tedious example is in no way pertinent to the issue of a government secretly stalking, blacklisting and censoring private citizens internationally, including its own scientists, to affect the international discourse.

      • willard (@nevaudit)’ | May 26, 2013 at 8:56 pm |

        The list is a bit sanitized (and obviously has a political agenda that somewhat dulls the precision of the delivery), and there are so many more items missed than included in the timeline, especially in the earlier years, that it’s fairly useless as a guide and a poor reflection of the dimension of the actual situation.

        Also, the list could be backdated through at least one previous government; the roots of the issue aren’t only in the Conservative Party (I believe it’s long name was formerly ‘Conservative Reform Alliance Party’ – no joke!) having an anti-information, anti-evidence, anti-science, distrust public servants not in the Party and silence all government critics all ways possible attitude. Okay.. maybe the roots of the new issue are in the current government’s fear of people who think for themselves. However, there were other older issues, now eclipsed by the absurd tactics of a government afraid of any rock more than 6,000 years old unless there’s tar in it.

        You see how that’d lead to a situation of distrust, paranoia, and decisions made out of ignorance and fear.

    • The only thing you need to understand is, once you enter the political arena – and it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, what you believe in or what you stand for – things get very dirty very quickly.

  9. A fun tool to play with:

    http://world.time.com/timelapse/

    I particularly recommend the “Explore your World” feature.

  10. I have recently been allowed to make some comments on Nevin’s excellent Arctic blog where Mr R Gates gave his 4 graphs that matter [sic]. I made an unfortunate comment that ” Picking the month of September for your 4th graph is a bit disingenuous as there are 11 other monthly graphs you could have used or a straight anomalies graph you could have used. ” . This upset some other commentators ” Why is this disingenuous? Just as northern lakes freeze over every winter, few believe the arctic will be ice-free year round. Since winter and the disappearance of the sun will fill the arctic with sea ice, the full effect of warming can only be seen at the fall minimum. But you know this already – so the only one being disingenuous is you.’ “So your idea that warming should be seen on every day is not just wrong, it’s completely nonsensical.”
    I would like to ask Mr Gates if he agrees with this view but also ask if he would like to put up his graphs here for discussion as he has some interesting conclusions. Hope I am not taking up space needlessly

  11. One factor that can be expected to make fresh water supplies go further – by enhancing vegetation and crop growth without correspondingly increasing water requirements – is the current steady increase in atmospheric CO2. Supplies of this precious resource are not infinite, but with judicious conservation measures it should go a long way to offset future water shortages.

  12. Is the Global Warming Hoax over yet?

    Andrew

  13. The GWPF has invited some Fellows of the RS to a meeting to discuss CAGW. See
    http://www.thegwpf.org/gwpf-invites-royal-society-fellows-climate-change-discussion/

    Details of the meeting have not yet been worked out. The two teams are

    For the RS; Sir Brian Hoskins, Prof John Mitchell, Prof Tim Palmer, Prof John Shepherd and Prof Eric Wolff.

    For the GWPF; Prof Vincent Courtillot, Prof Mike Kelly FRS, Nic Lewis, Prof Richard Lindzen, Viscount Ridley and Prof Richard Tol.

    If the session were to be live streamed, I, for one, would be prepared to pay-per-view. If this meeting actually takes place, and follows the agenda suggested by the GWPF, it could be a turning point in the whole CAGW debate.

    • Jim

      this was the catalyst

      “In a letter to Lord Lawson, the GWPF chairman, Sir Paul stated that the Royal Society “would be happy to put the GWPF in touch with people who can offer the Foundation informed scientific advice.”

      Now, I would take this to mean that the RS will try to put the GWPF right on climate change not as an equal meeting of minds.

      Lets hope it actually goes ahead but I am not holding my breath

      tonyb

  14. There are always more not fewer reasons why humanity needs more not less energy. The country is broken and in need of repair. Fixing it must start on home ground. The ‘new approach to environmentalism’ – according to Dr. Patrick Moore (co-founder of Greenpeace who authored “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout) — ‘requires embracing humans as a positive element in evolution rather than viewing us as some kind of mistake.’ Patrick has essentially outed Leftists as perpetrators of the anti-humanist and anti-capitalist agenda of the Eurocommies.\

    • “embracing humans as a positive element in evolution rather than viewing us as some kind of mistake” – you’ld have to be mad not to embrace such a view. Cf Jefferson Airplane: “You are … the Crown of Creation!” We must be the only species among which some oppose its existence. They are free to leave, we won’t miss them.

      • The nihilism of the Left’s liberal fascists always has a different ending. We’re progressing along at the stage of bigger and bigger government. History tells us, of course, that the best government is the least: smaller government is more accountable and less wasteful. Bigger government is more corrupt and dictatorial. Lenin’s communism that inspired Stalin, Mao, Castro and Eurocommunism always ends in mass killings.

  15. CAGW
    Peak oil
    EMP
    Peak water

    Progressives everywhere are all adither over the next imagined catastrophe. All wanting to spend hundreds of billions more to forestall the apocalypse du jour.

    But mention the fact that western governments owe trillions more than their people are able to create; Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, California and Illinois are on the verge of bankruptcy; the US total current debt alone is $17 trillion; with unfunded liabilities (social security, medicare etc.) totaling $86 trillion more.

    And all you get is crickets.

    • GaryM, thinking about “unfunded liabilities” may not be a good idea for young people. The amount of money a 21-year old will need to live the rest of his life is an unfunded liability. Assuming he will live to age 80, and desires a moderate standard of living, his unfunded liability at age 21 would be between $2,000,000 and $3,000,000. Thinking about that could make one tired and depressed.

      • Crony capitalism is good if you are one of the cronies. I wish I were a crony capitalists. I’ll bet GaryM does too. He’s always talking about crony capitalists, which suggests he is green with envy for the green.

      • WOOPS, posted the above in the wrong place.

      • Max_OK

        It is silly for young people to worry about “unfunded liabilities” required to live the rest of their lives.

        Those young people who live in free societies with developed economies actually have “unlimited opportunities”, rather than “unfunded liabilities”.

        And those living in the developing economies of China , India and Brazil, for example, have a better future to look forward to than their parents did.

        It’s only those poor young people, who live in the hopelessly impoverished regions of the world (often under corrupt, dictatorial regimes), who have no access to clean drinking water or a reliable, low-cost source of energy, who are screwed.

        But, at an expected income of only $500 per year and an expected lifespan of 40 more years at best, this is only an “unfunded liability” of $20,000 per capita.

        So that’s not the big problem.

        The problem is for these individuals to develop their economies, as we did in the affluent, industrialized nations. And in doing this, they will obtain access to reliable, low-cost energy and (with it) clean drinking water plus a better quality of life and longer life expectancy.

        A world-wide carbon tax with a goal of forcing people to more expensive “green energy” solutions only harms these poorest individuals by pricing energy out of their reach.

        Max

      • Max_CH, citizens of countries that have no taxes at all might not be keen on having a carbon tax. I can’t think of country that has zero tax on its citizens, but there probably are some that tax only tourists and gambling.

        But a carbon tax in place of an income tax would be highly popular. Tax payers would jump at the chance. The problem is it may not be possible to completely replace an income tax with a reasonable carbon tax, although you could replace part of the income taxi, and I think that would be popular.

        On the subject of unfunded liabilities, I see you don’t disagree with my estimate that a 21-year old will need $2 million to $3 million to live to age 80. I agree with you that he shouldn’t worry about this unfunded liability. Thinking about having to make such a large sum of money could make one tired and depressed. I only brought it up because GaryM wants Americans to worry about the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security.

      • Max_OK

        You fall into a basic logic trap with your chain of logic:

        But a carbon tax in place of an income tax would be highly popular. Tax payers would jump at the chance. The problem is it may not be possible to completely replace an income tax with a reasonable carbon tax, although you could replace part of the income taxi, and I think that would be popular.

        Let me explain why.

        First of all, if a “carbon tax” is just a very small “token” tax, it will simply be an annoyance.

        If it becomes a more burdensome tax on the average family, it will become highly unpopular.

        Offsetting it against income tax is a nice ivory tower dream-scheme, but is an oxymoron because:

        - it would take additional bureaucratic resources to implement such a scheme, and these would have to be be financed, so it would result in a net increase in government spending requiring more tax revenue to finance
        - the politicians are always looking for added money to shuffle around to their cronies or pet projects, so within a very short time the carbon tax will simply become a supplemental tax

        So what you have written may be hypothetically correct, but is not logical in a practical sense.

        Finally, we have those individuals who pay no income tax. There are many in your country and even more in the impoverished world. These people would suffer directly from higher energy costs and would have no “offset”.

        It’s a lose-lose proposition, Okie – so fuggidaboudit.

        Max_CH

        Max

      • Max_OK

        You estimate that a 20 year old (in the USA) will earn $2million to $3million over his/her lifetime. Great!

        If your new medical plan is also a “net earner”, that’s great, too!

        (I can’t comment on this – we have a “mandatory private” medical plan in Switzerland and employers are not the primary providers of this coverage – it is each individual’s responsibility).

        Max

      • Max_OK,

        You should really try to steer away from economic arguments. You are in danger of following Bart R through the economic looking glass.

        The term “unfunded liabilities’ when applied to the government is fundamentally different from the cost of maintaining oneself through one’s own life. It refers to “entitlements,” obligations the government has undertaken by statute or contract. In other words, the government promises to take other people’s money to pay for your future benefits.

        There is no similarity at all to your need to pay for your own needs in the future.

        And no Max, while I have no doubt you would love to be a crony capitalist, I would not.

      • manacker said on May 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
        Max_OK

        “You fall into a basic logic trap with your chain of logic:
        _____

        Nah ! The only hole I fell into was hope for your redemption. I should have known better.

      • Re GaryM’s comments on May 26, 2013 at 12:02 am

        You missed my point on unfunded liabilities. An unfunded liability is not something you need money for right now, but it’s enormity can be alarming. So, if you want to frighten people, you can estimate unfunded liability as you have done for Social Security.

        As for you not wanting to be a crony capitalist, I think not being very successful suits you.

      • It appears manacker | May 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm | is hallucinating things no one has ever proposed, or that simply aren’t real. World-wide carbon tax? More bureaucracy to administer offsets?

        We all know better than this.

        Carbon cycle privatization by revenue-neutral fee & dividend systems reduce tax churn and have other distortion-reducing impacts by so much that any small marginal additional bureaucracy is more than offset. British Columbia actually got rid of a huge chunk of its tax collectors after bringing in its revenue neutral carbon tax. Over 70% of BC taxpayers come out ahead — and those tend to be the poorest of the taxpayers. BC’s neighbors are actively seeking to imitate its success.

      • GaryM | May 26, 2013 at 12:02 am |

        I’m torn.

        On the one hand, I’d think little could commend Max_OK or anyone else on Economics more than GaryM’s disapprobrium.

        On the other hand, people who agree with my position put me to the trouble of re-evaluating my position from first principles to look for what I possibly could have gotten so wrong as to be agreed with..

        Fortunately, I haven’t read much of what Max_OK’s written in reply to your bizarro GaryM | May 25, 2013 at 11:26 am | fearmongering, so I’m not terribly put out.

        The discussion of government debt is crickets? Someone ought tell Forbes, The Economist, and half the newspapers and journals on the planet.

    • tempterrain

      GaryM,

      You might like to consider the following scenario: A group of young couples decide to form a baby sitting circle. They issue themselves with three tokens each and one is exchanged whenever baby sitting duties for the evening are completed.
      For a while everything runs smoothly. Couples wanting baby sitters are happy to spend one of their tokens and in return, each is happy to provide a service on one of their spare evenings. But, after a time it is noticed that a small number of of couples have amassed large numbers of tokens. On the other hand most couples are running short and although they are willing to earn more tokens by performing extra duties it becomes increasingly difficult to find other couples with tokens to spend. So the situation arises that there are many couples wanting babysitters, many couples willing to provide the service but not enough tokens around to facilitate the transaction.
      So an emergency meeting of the baby sitting council is called and a debate arises between three factions. The first faction wants the council to just print more tokens to keep the system working. The objection from the others is that this is inflationary and will devalue the worth of existing tokens. The second faction favours borrowing tokens from those who have them to spare and re-issuing them in the form of grants to those who need them most. The objection from the others is that increased borrowing will have to be repaid by future generations of the circle and is therefore socially unjust. The third faction doesn’t want any borrowing or any printing of new tokens. They argue that everyone should learn to live within their means.
      Those with the most tokens naturally don’t like the idea of more tokens being issued but they aren’t averse to lending what they have back. Naturally they expect to get back more than they lent but the objection from many is that this process is just compounding the problem.
      So who’s right and how do the members of the circle resolve the issue?

      • tempterrain,

        Your example is self contradictory. You write that numerous people want to provide baby sitting services, and thus earn tokens, and many others want to provide those services, but that the tokens have become concentrated in a few parents.

        The only way the tokens could become concentrated like that when starting from an initial position of equality, is if only a few of the couples are willing to provide baby sitting services, and many of the other parents take advantage of the opportunity.

        Not to mention that, since the only purpose for which the tokens may be used is to procure baby sitting services, why would any parents want to hoard the tokens?

        You are trying to create a scenario where scarcity has arisen despite a free market and participants with equal assets and work ethic etc. But your example could not reach the state you describe if it were so.

        Your example only demonstrates that progressives like yourself simply do not understand free market economics.

        If you want to ask a question about scarcity, or how a society should deal with it, just ask. Or come up with a scenario that works. And I will take a shot at it.

      • tempterrain

        GaryM,

        “The only way the tokens could become concentrated like that when starting from an initial position of equality, is if only a few of the couples are willing to provide baby sitting services, and many of the other parents take advantage of the opportunity.”

        You’ve not thought about this enough. If there were an annual imbalance of, say, 40:39 on average it would take just three years even with “an initial position of equality”. The real economy has been working for at least a couple of hundred years and that didn’t start off from any such position which only makes the problem worse.

        Its always worth just thinking of what money is and why it does what it does. All the worlds currencies, the UK£ the US$ etc are just tokens of exchange whether or not they are pieces of paper or bits of metals dug out of the ground.

        You ask why anyone would “want to hoard the tokens”? That’s a good question. If I had enough of them I’d retire and forget about acquiring any more. But those with billions of them seem to want billions more. It’s just not possible to use them all so why do they bother? I don’t have a ready answer.

        I’ve read that US corporations have two trillion of them parked offshore doing not very much at all. The chairman of the baby sitting circle, sorry the Federal Reserve, seems to have decided that a mixture of borrowing them back at low interest rates and creating new ones is the right solution. It may not be ideal but what’s the alternative?

      • tempterrain

        PS It should be obvious that the true source of value, whether it be in the baby sitting circle, or the wider economy, is human labor power and not the tokens used to facilitate transfers themselves. There is the obvious proviso that it needs to be used productively, and not destructively. There’s plenty of human labor power around, and unlike coal or oil, it doesn’t seem likely to peak in the foreseeable future. So providing we can understand what these tokens or units of currency are and work out how the exchange of them is necessary for a healthy economy there is really no reason why any human labor power should go to waste. The labor power of everyone who is capable of working and wants, or needs, to work should be utililised to maximise the advantage to everyone.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yes we recognised the comic book version of the theory of surplus value. Money is hoarded until there is not enough in circulation and the economy collapses. Utter drivel.

      • maksimovich

        Money is hoarded until there is not enough in circulation and the economy collapses

        The money is actually diverted until the bridge collapses.
        http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/bridges/conditions-and-capacity

      • tempterrain

        Chief,

        There’s no surplus value in the baby sitting circle example. Even so, there can still be a tendency towards capital accumulation which causes the problems as explained.
        Add in surplus value. ie add in that each baby sitter is paid less than the cost of the service provided with the remainder going to their employer, then of course the problem of capital accumulation is magnified.

      • tempterrain – when the economy relied only on human labor power, we didn’t advance very quickly and had to use slaves to amass enough labor to keep the economy robust. So, the economy isn’t just human labor. Our economic growth owes to cheap energy and machines, along with the human ingenuity that created and melded it.

      • tempterrain

        jim2,

        I should have made a distinction between exchange value and use value.

        Nature is just as much a source of use values. For instance, in Australia there is abundant sunlight which doesn’t have any exchange value at all but a high use vale. There’s lots of coal too and that does have an exchange value, as well as a use value, when its extracted largely because of the labor content of the process.

        Relating the exchange value of a commodity to the amount of labor necessary to create it, doesn’t mean that the modern day economy literally relies on human labor power.

      • Interesting analogy, and it can’t be pushed far. My interpretation is that those thought to be hoarding tokens aren’t actually but have found a more lucrative private circle to use them in than the public one. This is Wall Street versus Main Street and the ease or not of getting credit for growth.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The parallel is hoarding and collapses of economies. I did say it was the baby version. Add in unearned income – voila – the socialist manifesto.

        Comic book economics is as bad as comic book climate science.

  16. Crony capitalism meets CAGW – and likes it.

    http://www.thenation.com/print/article/174437/secret-donors-behind-center-american-progress-and-other-think-tanks

    Confirming that crony capitalism is just another euphemism for centralized control of the economy, aka progressivism.

    (Found this by way of NRO: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/349330/whod-have-thunk-it)

  17. Roger Pielke Jr. has a provocative article in the Guardian entitled Have the climate sceptics really won?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/political-science/2013/may/24/climate-sceptics-winning-science-policy

    • Pielke. Jr., says that the focus on skeptics is wrong because public opinion is already in favor of action. Well, OK, fine if you ignore the US political process where skeptics now include 100% of the Republican congress. It doesn’t matter what public opinion is if their representatives don’t follow it. This is the obstacle to action. Why are the Republican party so unrepresentative is the question. They are driven by different priorities in getting elected, which is where the money comes in. Sure, the money has failed with public opinion, but it has succeeded where it matters.

      • David Wojick

        Polls show that Republican people back their representatives.

      • Public opinion “favors action,” as long as you don’t tell then what it is.

        Take a poll asking them how they feel about $9.00/gallon gas here in the U.S., as a starting point, and see what the result it.

        Take a poll asking what decarbonization even is, let alone what it will do to them, and you will probably get a 99% response of “Huh?”

        Progressive policies always poll well, as long as progressives run the polls, and frame the questions.

      • Mebbe check the recent public opinion trend in Great Britain.
        ======

      • David Wojick, yes, they back their representatives because their priorities are not on things like climate change or gun control where many of them differ with the party line. They are opposed to health care reform, taxing anyone more, job creation stimulus, having a black president, etc.

      • Polls show that Republican people back their representatives.

        Party platforms are built of many planks. “Global warming” is a splinter.

      • Energy is a beam.
        ===========

      • Heh, Jim D plays the Joker.
        ====

      • Looks like Australians are about to elect a skeptic PM. They have already begun to feel the pain of the carbon tax and they don’t like that nor do they like the politician who brought it down on their collective head.

      • You know, mote/plank. Oops that metaphor just collapsed from overbuilding.
        =========

      • Don’t forget the double cross, jim2, Julia’s Jab.
        =============

      • Julia’s double-cross was to implement a carbon tax. Surprise!

      • Some people call Jim D the space cowboy
        Some call him Maurice
        woo…woo

      • Jim D

        The article by Roger Pielke Jr. explains why the CAGW hysteria is dying down.

        No hysterical craze can survive very long, no matter how much it is hyped, when the evidence does not support it.

        Max

      • Relevant to this is the item by Paul Krugman. In it he says, there is no longer any room for independent thinking in the conservative movement, including areas like climate change and taxes. There used to be, but there isn’t now, while liberals do have more freedom of thought (and speech) in their party.
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/25/paul-krugman-conservative-movement_n_3336548.html

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D

        It doesn’t matter what public opinion is if their representatives don’t follow it. This is the obstacle to action.

        Jim D, the obstacle to action is that the ‘Progressives’ demand economically irrational policies like carbon pricing and mandatory renewable energy. And at the same time they block economically rational policies like removing the blocks that are making nuclear power more costly than it should be.

        The real obstacle to progress are the ‘Progressives’. They are retarding progress. Progressives are …

      • Peter Lang, how about other progressive ideas like fuel efficiency standards, and energy-efficient buildings? Do you at least accept these?

      • Jim D., can you explain to me why we should expect that people on the left are able to analyze the thought patterns of the right, but you cannot accept that people on the right are unable to analyze the thought patterns and motivations of those on the left?
        Typically I not that left wing thinkers like Krugman conclude that because his political opponents do not support his analysis and conclusions, they are either stupid or evil. Now why do you think that is?

      • Imagine, to be able to muck up ‘progress’ as badly as ‘liberality’.
        ===========

      • DocMartyn, the point is that the right-wing politicians have become monolithic in their ideas. When someone is an elected Republican you can go down the line of their rigid ideas like a doctrine. It is like they have their own Little Red Book, which is opposed to and even suppresses freedom of thought within their ranks. This is nowhere near what you can do with the Democrats who range from those who support gay rights, gun control, marijuana to the red-state ones that are almost Republican. The few Republicans who were bluish are leaving for the reason that they no longer fit their own rigid party line. So, yes, I am saying it is a Democratic spectrum versus a Republican monolith, at least among the elected ones.

      • DocMartyn, for elected Republicans, you can go down the line of their thoughts like they have a doctrine, or a Little Red Book, because they discourage any freedom of thought within their ranks, and the few independent thinkers have been leaving. The Democrats have more of a spectrum from the left to “red-state” that they accept, and are less predictable individually based on just their party affiliation. The Republican Party is now monolithic and intolerant of variation, which probably comes from their funding influences, but their narrowing view is losing voters in important demographics.

    • David Wojick

      It is just the usual muddle. He thinks that if greens can just find a painless path to a prosperous low carbon economy the people and policy will follow. That might even be true but no such path exists and many people have looked for it, for forty years or more. This fact is not some spell cast by skeptics, as he claims. There is no spell just reality. Our civilization is still based on fire.

      • Unfortunately, the path really is painless: Just wait. The problem is the people driving the issue don’t care about climate, they care about reversing the “Industrial Revolution”. All the rest are “useful idiots”.

      • Sorry, I shouldn’t have put “Industrial Revolution” in scare quotes.

      • People haven’t processed the idea that whether or not there is a policy, there is a cost from climate change. The global GDP will be affected negatively.

      • Jim D, mitigation is less cost efficient than adaptation. Warming is good, sustaining more total life and more diversity of life. Besides, we’re cooling.
        =============

      • kim, even building resilience (in infrastructure, energy, water, food) at a national level is costly. Where does the money come from?

      • Warmer will increase GDP and adaptation is preferable to mitigation. Money falls from heaven, as does weather.
        ================

      • Where does the money come from?

        People print it. Oh, did you think only the “government” could print money? Anybody can write a check. If people trust them enough to trade it rather than cash it, it’s money. Why do you think the US Fed has so much control over what happens with corporate stocks?

      • Silly Jim asks where the money’s coming from when I tell him adaptation is more cost effective than mitigation. Shall I let him know I’m building high-rises on Park Place and Broadway?
        ============

      • kim, do you count building resilience as mitigation or adaptation?

      • AK, you propose deficit spending which I think is not popular these days and doesn’t do credit ratings much good. Deficit spending is spend now, pay later with interest. A better model is save now, get interest, spend later.

      • @Jim D…

        AK, you propose deficit spending

        You’re letting your Marxist sympathies show. I’m not talking about any sort of “government” spending. I’m talking about the traditional process of selling stock in a business expected to make money.

        If people believe adaptability will pay for itself, they’ll pay for stock in companies selling it.

        You problem is you think money is something the government creates. It doesn’t. Nobody with any sense believes it does, which is why when governments want to print money without getting anybody’s trust, they create a “central bank” to print it for them. It doesn’t really fool anybody, of course.

      • AK, I don’t see how adaptation pays for itself, unless you referring to private insurance and “protection” businesses where the burden goes to the individual and local level via high premiums rather than being shared across a national system. Sure there is a lot of profit to be made there if the government steps out of its responsibilities, but prices would be higher for those most at risk.

      • AK, I don’t see how adaptation pays for itself, unless you referring to private insurance and “protection” businesses where the burden goes to the individual and local level via high premiums rather than being shared across a national system. Sure there is a lot of profit to be made there if the government steps out of its responsibilities, but prices would be higher for those most at risk.

        Well, yes. Those constructions with least adaptability would pay higher premiums. That’s how insurance works. Of course, the insurance companies’ underwriters would have to be convinced of the dangers of non-adaptability. Some will be, some won’t. When something happens, those who weren’t will be out of business.

        Of course it’s not the government’s responsibility to pick businesses up and brush them off when floods, storms, etc. happen. That’s what insurance is for.

      • AK, at what scale does insurance stop and government start? Oklahoma cost $2 billion, New Jersey cost $20 billion. It is government under the current system. but you would privatize that, it seems. How about farm losses, or improving water and energy systems and rebuilding infrastructure. Is there profit in that, or does the public pay into a for-profit company to get these things? I haven’t seen a “free-market” plan for adaptation, but I guess it would be insurance industries where the local little guy pays his protection money to someone making a profit. Sounds like a plan.

      • @Jim D…

        AK, at what scale does insurance stop and government start? Oklahoma cost $2 billion, New Jersey cost $20 billion. It is government under the current system. but you would privatize that, it seems.

        You’re totally ignorant. The most recent Oklahoma tornado (etc.) may end up costing $5 billion:

        Tornadoes Led by Oklahoma to Cost Up to $5 Billion, Eqecat Says

        Tornadoes that struck the U.S. from May 18 to May 20, including one that devastated a suburb of Oklahoma City, probably cost insurers between $2 billion and $5 billion, according to catastrophe risk modeler Eqecat.

        That’s private insurers. The government supervises and “regulates” insurance companies, and in some small ways provides insurance that no private enterprise will (because it’s not profitable), but almost all insurance is provided by private companies. Some of them have captive markets and are more tightly regulated, but almost all are private.

        Go learn something about how business works in the US before spouting off about things you totally don’t understand, why not.

      • AK, there is a cost to government to rescue, clean up, rebuild roads and schools, etc., and this alone adds up to $2 billion in the case of Oklahoma. You may not like that the government has to deal with these publicly shared things, but it does, and it will in the future too. This came below their disaster relief fund of $11 billion, so, unlike for New Jersey, they didn’t have to go to Congress for more money, but it is government money.

      • @Jim D…

        That’s because the government carries its own insurance. If they put out their insurance needs to the lowest (qualified) bidder, they wouldn’t have to pay for cleanup. But that’s impossible in today’s world, because they would have to pay premiums, and somebody would decry it as a “waste of money”.

      • Jim D, aside from wars and charitable acts, market monkeys believe if a profit can’t be made, it’s not worth doing.

        Insurance is supposed to provide protection against the expense of harmful events that the policy holder believes would be worse than the harm of paying the premiums. Unfortunately, for insurers to profit, people most at risk have to be charged more than many are willing or can afford to pay unless compelled to do so.

        If insurance were not for profit, rates could be lower, but it wouldn’t change the fact some are more at risk than others. Another way of making insurance more affordable for those most at risk is for the least at risk to be charged higher rates, which of course amounts to a subsidy. It should go without saying both of these ways are highly controversial.

      • AK, I wouldn’t call a disaster relief fund insurance. It is money appropriated from general revenue, which is what is needed on a larger scale for climate change. Call it a climate resilience fund. It can go to expanding renewable energy and its technology, improving coastal infrastructure, maintaining sustainable water resources, agricultural subsidies as needed, etc. Good to save in advance, because in the long run that is cheaper. The further in advance this fund is started, the less pain in the final cost.

      • @Jim D…

        AK, I wouldn’t call a disaster relief fund insurance. It is money appropriated from general revenue, which is what is needed on a larger scale for climate change.

        If part of that money were used for insurance premiums, then when big disasters arose, the government wouldn’t have to run out of money. But of course, allocating money to pay insurance premiums would make them vulnerable to all sorts of political attacks.

        As for adaptability to climate change, the biggest issues are sea-level rise, which can be covered under normal insurance, and agriculture.

        Call it a climate resilience fund. It can go to expanding renewable energy and its technology, improving coastal infrastructure, maintaining sustainable water resources, agricultural subsidies as needed, etc.

        Expanding “renewable” energy doesn’t have anything to do with “climate resilience”. It may be high on the agenda of a lot of environmentalists, who somehow believe that by putting solar panels on their roofs they’re holding off “global warming”, but the only “resilience” it offers is against suddenly running out of fossil fuels. Which will be covered easily in the next few decades by decreasing costs of solar power without any subsidies.

        “[S]ustainable water resources” may have something to do with climate, but even without “anthropogenic” climate change droughts are a normal feature of the landscape and increasing population and agriculture are going to require it anyway. I alread discussed options for this, which might as well be paid for partly by subsidies.

        Agricultural subsidies are boondoggles.

      • AK, for example a small carbon tax can raise $50 billion per year. Rather than pay this to an insurance company, they can invest it and get interest back and pay for climate-related emergencies related to food, energy, water, infrastructure. This would seem to make more business sense.

      • AK, for example a small carbon tax can raise $50 billion per year.

        That small carbon tax will probably raise the cost of energy, which will have a multiplied effect on the economy. Bad idea.

      • $10 per tonne amounts to 10 cents per gallon. The price has gone up five times that much in the last month or so, no harm yet.

      • Jim D

        Your logic is weak.

        “We’ve loaded up 20 bales of straw on the camel’s back, so one more straw surely can’t hurt.”

        Max

        PS A small “token” carbon tax is simply an annoyance; a larger one becomes a burden.

      • manacker, I don’t call $50 billion per year a small token. It could be quite useful and works out at 10 cents per gallon and 5-10% on home energy bills.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D

        I don’t call $50 billion per year a small token. It could be quite useful and works out at 10 cents per gallon and 5-10% on home energy bills.

        So what? What difference will it make? What is the cost to the economy – which means what is the cost to human wellbeing?

        The Australian ETS, if it continued to 2050, would cost Australians $10 for every $1 of projected benefit. But the projected benefit assumes that the whole world participates in a global carbon price. This will not happen, for reasons I’ve explained many times and Richard Tol explains here: http://www.voxeu.org/article/global-climate-talks-if-17th-you-don-t-succeed

        Therefore there will be no benefit.

        Therefore, we’ll spend $10 for $0 benefit. The total waste, cumulative to 2050 in 2012 $, is in the trillions. Australia’s GDP is only $1.5 trillion.

      • Peter Lang, I see its main use as paying for resilience, adaptation, damage, better energy alternatives (yes, including nuclear). These all cost money.

      • Jim D,

        Peter Lang, I see its main use as paying for resilience, adaptation, damage, better energy alternatives (yes, including nuclear). These all cost money.

        They only cost money if you put the government in charge of directing it. Keep the government out of it and it will happen when it is economically rational do do so (in most cases) save money. There are some exceptions of course, but that is not an excuse for the government to be implementing regulations that in most cases damage the economy rather than improve it. If you damage the economy you detract from human well being. That is the connection that most so called ‘Progressives’ just don’t get.

        Regarding nuclear, the world economy, and human health, and life expectancy, and real pollution, and black carbon and GHG emissions could all be greatly improved if impediments to development due to regulations and licencing requirements were greatly reduced. The USA could make this happen, benefit the world and benefit its own economy. It could see 50 or 100 years of massive growth with USA in the lead if the so called ‘Progressives’ would just stop retarding progress.

      • An area where regulations help is setting fuel-efficiency standards because this has the benefit of reducing demand, which reduces the price, as well as reducing the cost per mile, a doubled effect. Governments also have to plan for infrastructure, water, energy and food resources, where individual companies have a somewhat narrow short-term perspective on planning for their own profit margin at the expense of their competitors. They don’t seem to have the big picture, long view, and general welfare as priorities, which is why we need governments. So I disagree, the private sector won’t go in the right direction without government incentives and regulations.

      • Jim D,

        That is your belief. it is the lefties’ belief that governments, bureaucrats, Eco NGO’s and other special inerest groups know best. There is no point us arguing about it. We’ll have to agree to differ.

      • Peter Lang, yes, it is the way successful democracies work these days. If you have a model country in mind that works with little or no government planning, it would be interesting to see how it runs itself.

      • Of course central planning is better. They’re smarter!
        ============

      • kim, not only that but you elected them, so they are accountable. Imagine if the people making decisions for your country couldn’t be removed from their jobs. There are some countries like that. Maybe you live in one. For some reason, North Korea comes to mind, kim.

    • Narrative drones on,
      But Nature is spellbinding.
      Softly say oysters.
      ===========

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Thanks for that article Judith. Here’s my favorite quote:

      “Make no mistake, fighting sceptics has its benefits – it reinforces a simplistic good versus evil view of the world, it gives a sense of doing something, and privileges scientific expertise in policy debates. However, one thing that it does not do is contribute towards effective action on climate change”

      Wow, well said.

      • See, I’m really here to delay action until we understand what ‘effective’ means. Meanwhile, I’m adapting.
        =============

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Not living in the Arctic, I haven’t had to adapt to too much yet. And overall, when I watch my fellow American’s push their shopping carts full of food and plastic goodies from China to their cars in the Walmart parking lot– I would say there’s not a whole lot of adapting being done. A greater danger to Americans right now is the excess calories many of them consume.

      • R. Gates

        Yeah. I like that quote from Roger Pielke Jr., too.

        The line: “fighting sceptics has its benefits – it reinforces a simplistic good versus evil view of the world, it gives a sense of doing something, and privileges scientific expertise in policy debates” is especially to the point.

        The “consensus” side has tried to claim the moralistic “high ground”, but this attempt has not been successful in the eyes of the public, especially after Climategate.

        A US poll showed that almost 70% of the respondents were convinced that climate scientists fudged the data (bye-bye moralistic “high ground” and adios to the importance of “scientific expertise in policy debates”).

        Max

      • manacker | May 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm |

        See, this “Industrial Revolution” crap you do, does it fly with anyone?

        Your argument equates the Industrial Revolution handwavingly with all the benefits that have happened since 1750, and with all the carbon emitted since 1750, and then concludes the benefits are the product of the emissions. You get how weak that is, right? How fallacious, and how easily knocked down by statistic after statistic, a la Hans Rosling, showing no causative correlation of carbon emission to general welfare. You’re making a false argument, one you’ve been shown in the past is false.

        And you still repeat it, unimproved.

        Privatization isn’t a ‘government notion of fairness’. It’s a means of giving back to the democratic voice of every individual actor in the Market the power to achieve a fair exchange. The scarcity of resources, their rivalrous nature, excludability from lucrative exchange, administrability are not ‘government notion’, but clear facts that can be procured from accounting books.

        Accountants, not climatologists, make the best case for privatizing the carbon cycle, for pricing carbon emission. The resounding outcry you must have noticed about how there’s something wrong with the way things are, that innocent sense of unfairness, might not come from people who know why they feel cheated, but it can be addressed by reducing the ‘cheap energy’ cheating.

        And the experience of the one place in the world that has done something like this is not that there is a net cost, but a net benefit; 70% of the people of BC have benefitted significantly from the revenue neutral carbon tax, 20% have had no significant cost, and only 10% have faced increasing costs. A 7:1 benefit from just doing the right thing based on the principles of Capitalism. Why do you object to doing the right thing? Why do you want to hurt seven times as many innocent people as the free riding parasites you vociferously lobby for?

        Peter Lang | May 25, 2013 at 5:52 pm |

        You keep attacking Dr. Pratt about this. You keep being in the wrong. In California, peak electricity demand coincides largely with peak solar effect. 40% of the cost of California’s grid is to avoid blackout and brownout from marginal additional demand at peak. Every dollar of Dr. Pratt’s money he spends, benefits the California electricity producers $4, if he has the average performance for a solar installation a decade old. You’re reliance on false analyses leads you to needlessly attack your better.

      • Bart R

        Your argument equates the Industrial Revolution handwavingly with all the benefits that have happened since 1750, and with all the carbon emitted since 1750, and then concludes the benefits are the product of the emissions. You get how weak that is, right?

        There is no doubt in any sane person’s mind that the Industrial Revolution (and all the many benefits it bestowed upon those individuals who were fortunate enough to live in countries where it occurred) was made possible by the availability of a reliable. low-cost source of energy.

        China, India, etc. are going through this process today, and in so doing, they are improving the quality of life of their populations.

        Other, less fortunate, nations have not yet gone through this process, and life there is short and brutal.

        Why do you object to doing the right thing? Why do you want to hurt seven times as many innocent people as the free riding parasites you vociferously lobby for?

        Huh?

        Are you off your meds again, Bart?

        Calm down, pop a pill and cut the histrionics.

        Max

      • manacker | May 26, 2013 at 1:50 am |

        Your reasoning continues to fly in the face of fact.

        Energy was on every reasonable basis of comparison far cheaper before than after the start of the Industrial Revolution. Demand was rock bottom, and while there were bottlenecks due distribution and disparity coming out of graft, greed or politics in the wartorn and ignorant world of the time, it wasn’t the price of energy that made the difference.

        The availability of engineering to replace labor with capital made the difference. Innovation and entrepreneurship made the difference. Capitalism replacing the various economic models of the feudal and early enlightenment eras made the difference.

        Where ‘energy’ got ‘cheap’ as a result of the efficiencies of better economic models — and it’s hard to do worse as an economic model than having a church or a monarch arbitrarily hand out favors based on religious dogma or inbred sensibilities — so much the better. Economies of scale, new technology, discovery and exploitation of science and an educated populace, those were good causes of ‘cheap energy’.

        What you promote, subsidy of carbon-based fuels, because of your false equivalency of carbon-based fuels and energy, and thus carbon-based-fuels with well-being, is the opposite of cheap. False and expensive, your was is a throwback to the age of churches and monarchs with their inbred dogma.

      • The industrial revolution was sparked by three major sources of energy: animal power, wind, and flowing water. Slow. Intermittent. Whatever, the revolution flourished.

        Just imagine what they could have done if the had solar power.

        In the US watermills, many of which are still there, mill towns, were ubiquitous, especially in industrialized New England. Coal came later.

    • If public opinion is not an obstacle to action on climate change, then what is? The first is a failure of imagination. Conventional wisdom on climate policy has long been that energy prices need to be made more expensive. Dearer energy fits into a complex causal chain of policy action as follows:

      Win public opinion via closing the science deficit, defeating the sceptics→then the public will pressure politicians for action→politicians respond by passing laws, and signing international treaties→dirty fossil energy then becomes more expensive→people consequently feel economic pain→not liking economic pain, people demand additional actions on energy efficiency and fossil fuel alternatives→such actions will stimulate innovation in the public and private sectors, as well as in civil society→ these innovations then deliver low carbon alternatives→problem solved.

      Laid out from start to finish, this entire causal chain seems like a Rube Goldberg invention.

      See, this is the problem. Anyone subscribing to this economic model, pro or con, has been lured into a patently false framing of the question.

      Try my version:

      Note the huge public sentiment of unfairness over lucrative Free Riding on the Commons
      →it is the job of good government to support the fairness of the Market
      →politicians support the Market by privatizing the Carbon Cycle
      →lucrative carbon emission then becomes more expensive
      →people consequently are relieved of their unfair economic pain
      →liking economic fairness, with an accurate price signal based on the law of supply and demand people demand additional actions on energy efficiency and fossil fuel alternatives in the Market by their democratic purchase decisions
      →such actions will stimulate innovation in the public and private sectors, as well as in civil society
      → these innovations then deliver low carbon alternatives
      →problem solved.

      See the difference? The first describes the framework of a propagandist. The second, of a Capitalist. I’d much rather be a Capitalist than a propagandist. Why wouldn’t Pielke Jr.?

      • Bart R

        “Free riding on the Commons”?

        “fairness of the market”?

        Huh?

        Come back to Planet Earth, Bart.

        Everyone in the industrialized world has benefitted from the Industrial Revolution, largely driven by the access to a reliable supply of low-cost energy, based on fossil fuels.

        Quality of life has increased, as has average overall life expectancy.

        Sure, there are always those who benefit more than others.

        That’s life.

        Governments should make sure that laws are enforced, violators are prosecuted and punished. Where existing laws do not suffice, new laws should be enacted.

        But the governing elite cannot and should not eliminate “unfairness” in life by imposing its notions of “fairness of the market”.

        (Unless that’s what a majority of the voters want.)

        Max

      • Peter Lang

        “fairness of the market”?

        Glad you brought that up. What is fair about rich elites, like Stanford Emeritus Professor Vaughan Pratt, being subsidised to the tune of over $1000 per year for his solar panels by the poor who can’t afford them?

    • Steven Mosher

      ah ya, the forces of light and darkness. the rhetoric police have been called, but they are busy pummelling brandon with their bully clubs

    • Peter Lang

      Thanks Judith. Lots of interesting quotable bits in this. Here are two I liked;

      In the first half of the 20th century, the American political commentatorWalter Lippmann recognized that uniformity of perspective was not necessary for action to take place in democracies. He explained that the goal of politics is not to make everyone think alike, but to help people who think differently to act alike.

      I wonder how that can be achieved when the so called ‘Progressives’ are convinced that the only way to save the planet is to raise the cost of energy. Such policies are not acceptable to the majority.

      If public opinion is not an obstacle to action on climate change, then what is? The first is a failure of imagination. Conventional wisdom on climate policy has long been that energy prices need to be made more expensive. Dearer energy fits into a complex causal chain of policy action as follows:

      Win public opinion via closing the science deficit, defeating the sceptics→then the public will pressure politicians for action→politicians respond by passing laws, and signing international treaties→dirty fossil energy then becomes more expensive→people consequently feel economic pain→not liking economic pain, people demand additional actions on energy efficiency and fossil fuel alternatives→such actions will stimulate innovation in the public and private sectors, as well as in civil society→ these innovations then deliver low carbon alternatives→problem solved.

      Laid out from start to finish, this entire causal chain seems like a Rube Goldberg invention. If the causal chain founders at the first step where the deficit model shows up, it completely collapses at the point where energy is supposed to become more expensive in order to create incentives (experienced by voters as economic pain) to propel efficiency and innovation.

      The idea that higher priced energy can be used as a lever to transform the global energy system may work in abstract economic models, but fails spectacularly in real world politics. As Martin Wolf explains, “A necessary, albeit not sufficient condition, then, is a politically sellable vision of a prosperous low-carbon economy. That is not what people now see.”

    • Not that The Guardian is biased, but its sub-heading is: “Despite recent fears of sceptics winning public debates, they are not all powerful, but have cast a spell upon their opponents”

    • I read some of the Guardian comments, they were horrifying, stomach-churning. Surely things must have changed since my Guardian-reading days 40-50 years ago. And all for the worse.

    • Jim Cripwell | May 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

      You do know that was last week, right?

      • I can only go by what I read. Quote “As our final event of the year, the Oxford Energy Society cordially invites you to join us on Tuesday, 28 May at the Oxford Union for our Big Energy Debate 2013.”

    • It seems there may be a reason the Oxford Union to be advertising positions for librarian. ;)

      I can’t make out which date between 5-19 and 5-28 is correct.

    • Ah.

      The Oxford Union room has been book by the Oxford Energy Society, an association mainly of Oxford students and faculty.

      There’s no actual Oxford Union debate in the room today.

      Silly of me to confuse the locus with the function.

      So, not an Oxford Union event.

      Which is why the Oxford Union term card has the date blocked off with no notice of event whatsoever.

      Still, always interesting to see college science geeks attempt to make head or tail of debating media professionals.

      Like Big Bang Theory crossed over with Lang O’Leary.

  18. The Beginning of the End for Australian Coal?

    “A new report says the country’s coal reserves will become worthless as worldwide carbon emission limits take hold.”

    http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/04/30/coal-mining-australia-price-bubble

    I would go a step further and say we are at the beginning of the end for coal worldwide, and we can reach that end faster by taxing carbon because burning coal releases more CO2 than its main competitor, natural gas.

    Natural gas (NG) is replacing coal as the fuel of choice for power plants in the U.S. because it cost less than coal, and burns cleaner as well as emitting less carbon. The use of NG in place of coal will spread to other countries, as these countries take advantage of American technology for capturing untapped NG reserves

    Tax on carbon will accelerate coal’s demise, making NG an even more compelling choice for power plants. A tax on carbon should also should hasten NG replacing gasoline and diesel fuel for transportation, since it also burns cleaner than these fuels.

    Would a tax on carbon also renew interest in nuclear power? At present coal is less expensive than nuclear power, so if not for NG which is even less expensive than coal, a carbon tax might spur interest in nuclear. However, nuclear is cleaner (NG does release some CO2), so an extremely high carbon tax on power plants could cause a shift from NG to nuclear.

    • “His group’s findings indicate that Australia’s coal reserves will become worthless if governments throughout the world follow through on their promises to limit carbon emissions.”

      China, Russia, India and the U.S. have promised to limit carbon emissions? When did this happen? I missed it.

      • Your quote, GaryM, not mine.

        If believe coal has a bright future, invest in coal. It’s easy to do if you have the money.

    • You are dreaming.

      There are billions with out light now.

      What an elitist delusion.

      • Girma, if you are saying coal has a bright future, put your money where your mouth is and invest in coal mining. You could buy stock in Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), the world’s largest private-sector coal company. If you don’t like Peabody there are others.

      • Falling prices can ruin profits.But they don’t ruin sales.

      • sunshinehours1, why do I suspect you have never been in business?

      • MAX_OK

        There are billions who live in the dark without electricity.

        When the elite start to think about them?

      • Max_OK.

        Girma, if you are saying coal has a bright future, put your money where your mouth is and invest in coal mining. You could buy stock in Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), the world’s largest private-sector coal company. If you don’t like Peabody there are others.

        Fossil fuels are a far better investment than renewable energy!!

    • Max_OK

      Natural gas is cleaner than coal (no harmful pollutants, such as mercury, sulfur, black carbon, etc.) and more convenient to use.

      No carbon tax is required for natural gas to be used in preference to coal.

      Nuclear competes with coal as a basic energy source for electrical power generation in most locations, so no carbon tax is required for nuclear to be used in preference to coal, either. The problem nuclear faces is political, a result of past anti-nuclear fear-mongering by green lobby groups like WWF, Greenpeace, etc. (the same groups that are now engaged in fear-mongering against CO2).

      Coal-fired flue gas cleanup (i.e. “clean coal”) is technically (and economically) feasible today, even though many locations are not enforcing this yet. A carbon tax will have no impact on this.

      Max_CH

    • In the mid-’90s, the mis-named Peter Brain, the Aussie Left’s pet economic modeller, declared in a paper he was overpaid for by the Queensland Government, and with no supporting analysis, that all Australian coal exports would cease by 2000 as the world leaders extinguished CO2-producing fuels. No doubt in another 15-20 years, another nitwit will be proclaiming the end of the Australian coal industry.

  19. “Qatar-based author Mari Luomi says the Persian Gulf monarchies will have to change to be sustainable in the era of climate change.”

    My favorite Luomi quote: “The region’s future lies in solar energy. Unfortunately, most states are still blinded by the dangerous comfort of the fossil-fuel economy.”

    http://www.dw.de/climate-change-threatens-gulf-monarchies-survival/a-16779395

    • The kind of green those in the Middle East favor is the green of the dollar. Although if anywhere is goof for solar power, it’s there.

      • goof should be good.

      • Goof for solar power is Seattle. Believe it or not, they’re trying it there.

      • Even “goofier” for solar power is Germany (with less than 1,500 hours of sunshine per year = 17%), but they’re trying it there, as well.

        “Eine Schnappsidee”

      • Peter Lang

        Manacker,

        just to point out that a theoretically 17% insolation does not translate in to a 17% capacity factor for all the PV installations. It is the maximum that can be achieved with optimal orientation, and new installation. In reality, most installations are not optimally oriented, not kept clean throughout their life, lose efficiency at the rate of about 1% per year and more and more of the installations become more shaded over time – e.g from growing trees and neighbors building higher houses. The average capacity factor of the fleet is probably around 2/3 of the maximum possible capacity factor.

    • Solar power is anathema to pollution advocates.

      • Wind power is an anathema to bats and eagles.

      • Peter Lang

        Max_OK,

        Solar power is anathema to rational thinkers (and to anyone who has the slightest understanding of cost-benefit analysis)

      • Solar power for

        a) domestic use
        b) in a sunny location
        c) where the power company is forced to provide the grid backup
        d) and “buy back” excess solar power at the same price it charges
        e) and the government pays two-thirds of the investment cost with funding from tax-payers who are largely not benefitting from this scheme

        is a “good deal” for the guy who benefits (and for the companies who produce and sell solar units).

        Take away any (or all) of a through e, and it isn’t a good deal anymore.

        And it is a bad deal for all those taxpayers who are funding it but cannot benefit from it themselves.

        Max_CH

  20. Food for thought:

    http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/58186.pdf

    (Perhaps of use for those who claim solar costs the grid $600/tonne CO2 abated. Turns out according to PLEXOS they’ve got it backwards.)

    And:

    http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/24/solar-powers-massive-price-drop-graph/

    You can see from the graph the big danger in investing in solar is that it gets better so fast it becomes obsolete before it can be fully commoditized in the Market. (Hence Solyndra-like fiasco happens.) And it’s been cheaper than coal since 2011, leading to X-inefficiency.

    • BartR, “You can see from the graph the big danger in investing in solar is that it gets better so fast it becomes obsolete before it can be fully commoditized in the Market.”

      Imagine that. Then if you base long term subsidies on a falling market you get locked into a bad deal that gets worse. That would have made solar a R&D investment not a build out investment. Then if you base your carbon redistribution price scam on a false baseline, the whole thing takes a dump like in the EU.

      I am impressed BartR, you have hinecast situation with remarkable accuracy. It all makes sense now.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | May 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm |

        This is about me, how?

        I didn’t post the links to impress people about me. I didn’t add my observations to appear impressive.

        What is your problem, that you can’t have a civil dialogue about the least issue without turning it into insult and personalization?

        And your conclusion is the opposite of the classic Infant Industry argument, that it is so advantageous to a Market in the long term to have advances from new innovation that there is justification for the whole economy to bear some of the cost of sensible innovation and thus remove barriers to entry. As this is one of the principle tenets of Capitalism, one wonders, why do you hate Capitalism, captdallas? Why do you hate America?

    • Thats only the cells. The rest of the packaging/electronics etc still cost a lot.

      • sunshinehours1 | May 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm |

        A lot.. but less than coal.

      • Thats only the cells. The rest of the packaging/electronics etc still cost a lot.

        Then skip them, go straight to hydrogen, then use that for your energy.

      • I think coal is still pretty cheap. Not as cheap as shale gas in the US of course.

        But if all solar subsidies were removed, we could find out.

      • AK … too dirty. And wasteful of water, And too expensive.

      • sunshinehours1 | May 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm |

        Er, no. X-inefficiency is a state in an economy where optimal efficiency cannot be reached by ordinary Market forces, due mainly vested interests leveraging thier position to protect inefficient practices.

        So removing carbon subsidies and charging fair carbon cycle prices by privatizing the carbon cycle would go far to letting us find out.. but if you don’t believe carbon industry lobbyists are doing everything in their power to involve the government against the democracy of the Market, then someone’s blowing sunshine up your skirt.

      • @sunshinehours…

        too dirty. And wasteful of water, And too expensive.

        Not dirty. Where’d you get that idea. The hydrogen (and oxygen) coming out is perfectly clean. Not wasteful of water, the amount used is of the same order of magnitude as gasoline in an IC engine.

        As for expensive, there’s every reason to think the prices of all these things will also follow an exponential reduction curve.

  21. What is the name of the book where the following sentence came from?

    She blushed, and Jane blushed; but the cheeks of the two who caused their confusion, suffered no variation of colour.

  22. Chief Hydrologist

    Australia’s climate policy as of September.

    ‘The centrepiece of the Coalition’s climate change policy is an “emissions reductions fund” with a reverse auction for the lowest cost emissions reductions. Interest is rising among the policy and business community how such a fund would be designed and operated, its prospects for reducing emissions, and its economic effects.’

    It is the traditional way that governments approach markets for services. The lowest cost carbon abatement is targeted and contracted.

  23. http://joannenova.com.au/2013/05/domino-makes-carbon-free-cane-sugar-its-certified/

    “Domino makes carbon-free cane-sugar. It’s certified.
    And you thought advertising or certificates couldn’t get more stupid.
    Thanks to Christopher Essex for spotting this gem: http://www.dominosugar.com/carbonfree/

    “Carbon — demonized by climate propaganda
    •… 37% of people are so convinced carbon is pollution that they think it would be a worthwhile aim to reduce the carbon content of their body. (The ultimate diet, you might say).
    •About a quarter of the population… would rather not eat food with carbon in it.
    •Nearly half the population think food would be safer without carbon.”

    • Myrrh, every time we exhale, our bodies are ridding themselves of some CO2. So, if CO2 is as good as you seem to believe, why is your body constantly working to expel the stuff? On second thought, I don’t know for certain how your body works. Maybe you have a weird body that keeps all the CO2 in.

      I’m not surprised people don’t want to eat carbon. They may think it’s some kind of black powdery stuff. Yecch !

      • Max_OK

        Everything you eat is part carbon. It fuels your body. You burn it, creating CO2, which you exhale. This then goes to plants, who use it as food to grow, at the same time generating the O2, which you require to burn the C. You (a vegetarian) eat the plants and the cycle continues. Carnivores have an intermediate step in the process, but it is still the same process.

        CO2 (plus O2 and H2O) are the key compounds that enable this continuous food chain process to work.

        Studies have shown that plants have difficulty growing if CO2 levels get too low – 200 ppmv is seen as sort of a lower limit.

        At higher CO2 concentrations, plant growth (and crop yields) increase, providing more food for animals (including humans). Plants are also less water dependent (i.e. more able to thrive under drier conditions) at higher CO2 levels.

        The net beneficial effect of higher CO2 levels for plants is most significant up to around 1,000 ppmv concentration; above this the improvement in growth rates slows down.

        The carbon contained in all the optimistically estimated remaining fossil fuels on our planet would get CO2 concentrations up to almost 1,000 ppmv when these fuels are all used up, theoretically some day in the far distant future.

        There is no harmful effect of 1,000 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere on animals (including humans).

        So, from the plant/animal life standpoint, higher CO2 concentrations resulting from human combustion of fossil fuels will be beneficial.

        You should see this as “good news”, Okie.

        Max_CH

      • Well, Mr. Science, you do OK until the fourth paragraph where you implicitly make the faulty assumption plants also like higher temperatures caused by more CO2. Without ever having a course in chemistry, this farm boy nows hotter isn’t better for plants.

        Max_CH, it’s easy for you to say “there is no harmful effect of 1,000 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere on animals (including humans), ” since by that time you and just about everyone you know will be deceased.

        Like I have told you before, gambling on a future you won’t live long enough to see is like gambling with someone else’s money knowing you won’t have to repay him if you lose.

        BTW, if you mention carbon ( the C in CO2), I would not be surprised if many people think of graphite, carbon paper, or other things they wouldn’t want to eat.

        I’m not a vegetarian, I’m a flexitarian.
        ——–

      • David Springer

        Well farmboy you didn’t know that optimum growth temperature rises with CO2 concentration. Greenhouse growers who raise CO2 level know to raise temperature along with it.

        Global Temperature Change and Terrestrial Ecology”
        Encyclopedia of Water Science (CRC Press, 2007)

        It is a well-established fact that CO2 is a powerful aerial fertilizer, which when added to the air can substantially increase the vegetative productivity of nearly all plants…numerous studies have demonstrated that the percent increase in growth produced by an increase in the air’s CO2 content typically rises with an increase in air temperature. In addition, at the species-specific upper-limiting air temperature at which plants typically die from thermal stress under current atmospheric CO2 concentrations, higher CO2 concentrations have been shown to protect plants and help them stave off thermal death…[and] increase the species-specific temperature at which plants grow best. Indeed it has been experimentally demonstrated that the typical CO2-induced increase in plant optimum temperature is as great as, if not greater than, the CO2-induced global warming typically predicted…Hence, [with] an increase in the air’s CO2 concentration – even if it did have a tendency to warm the earth (which is hotly debated) – …[plants] …would grow equally well, if not better, in a warmer and CO2-enriched environment.

        This makes uber sense from an evolutionary standpoint. For most of the earth’s history CO2 was higher and temperature was higher. Plant metabolism was hence optimized through mutation and selection for that environment.

      • Max_OK

        A farm boy in OK or TX has different experience than one in ND or CH, for example.

        But it is just “anecdotal” (as IPCC likes to say).

        Warmer winters => longer growing seasons in many parts of the world.

        It also means that some regions at higher latitudes that were marginal for agriculture in places like China, Russia, etc. can become tillable.

        The warming we have seen since the modern record started in 1850 or so has been minor and arguably generally beneficial for crop growth.

        Increased CO2 definitely makes plants grow faster. It also makes plants more drought resistant. Another benefit.

        Past periods of prolonged colder temperatures have been associated with crop failures and famines.

        From 1970 to 2010 CO2 concentration increased by 20%, but global temperature only increased by 0.5 degrees C, and most of that was at higher latitudes and during winter, so the net effect was very likely beneficial.

        There is no reason to believe that the modest warming we could possibly see from another 50% to 80% increase in CO2 would not have the same beneficial effect.

        But, hey, if you want to believe otherwise, go right ahead.

        Max_CH

      • Springer, sometimes I think you are bright, and other times I think you don’t have a lick of sense. This is one of those other times. You are talking about plant evolution over a far far greater time span than several centuries.

        Plants are slow and finicky when it comes to adapting to different climates. If not, science could have already developed crops that could produce high yields despite heat waves.

      • Max_CH, said “There is no reason to believe that the modest warming we could possibly see from another 50% to 80% increase in CO2 would not have the same beneficial effect.”
        _______________

        Yes, there is, especially if that rising temperature average means more extremely hot summers.

        It is well known that elevated concentrations of CO2 in controlled condition(e.g.,greenhouses) enhance plant growth. But greenhouses are air-conditioned so plants will not be exposed to temperatures too high for optimal growth, like the temperatures during a summer heat wave .

        Less is known about the effect of elevated CO2 in natural field conditions because there have not been a lot of experiments with Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE). It would have been interesting to see if a FACE experiment with corn in Oklahoma during last summers heat wave would have shown elevated CO2 made a difference.

      • Max_OK | May 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Myrrh, every time we exhale, our bodies are ridding themselves of some CO2. So, if CO2 is as good as you seem to believe, why is your body constantly working to expel the stuff? On second thought, I don’t know for certain how your body works. Maybe you have a weird body that keeps all the CO2 in.

        Carbon dioxide is our basic food stuff and we require it for the transport of oxygen and to maintain pH balance in our bodies – so we don’t get our Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, we produce our own.

        Every lungful of air needs an optimum 6.5% carbon dioxide content, the 4% we exhale is unused reserve, if our inhaled lungful contains only 4.5% we’re in trouble, a little below that we’re dead.

        “Carbon Dioxide Transport

        Carbon Dioxide is transported in three different ways:
        • Dissolved directly in blood (5-6%)
        •Bound to Hb in red blood cells as carbaminohaemoglobin (5-8%)
        •As HCO3- in plasma (86-90%)” (1)

        Carbon dioxide maintains pH balance, is essential in maintaining this balance:

        “When carbon dioxide diffuses into the blood plasma and then into the red blood cells (erythrocytes) in the presence of the catalyst carbonic anhydrase most CO2 reacts with water in the erythrocytes and the following dynamic equilibrium is established

        H2O + CO2 H2CO3

        “Carbonic acid, H2CO3, dissociates to form hydrogen ions and hydrogencarbonate ions. This is also a reversible reaction and undissociated carbonic acid, hydrogen ions and hydrogencarbonate ions exist in dynamic equilibrium with one another

        H2CO3 H+ + HCO3-

        “Inside the erythrocytes negatively charged HCO3- ions diffuse from the cytoplasm to the plasma. This is balanced by diffusion of chloride ions, Cl-, in the opposite direction, maintaining the balance of negative and positive ions either side. This is called the ‘chloride shift’.

        “The dissociation of carbonic acid increases the acidity of the blood (decreases its pH). Hydrogen ions, H+, then react with oxyhaemoglobin to release bound oxygen and reduce the acidity of the blood. This buffering action allows large quantities of carbonic acid to be carried in the blood without major changes in blood pH.” (2)

        Even seemingly sensible pages like this will refer to the amount exhaled as “waste product”, that’s nonsense, we wouldn’t be producing 6% to use 2%, our bodies are fine tuned, that is reserve because without carbon dioxide we can’t transport oxygen to the blood and our pH levels are critically balanced, that’s why there is this reversible action to make our blood more acidic or more alkaline to maintain our fine alkaline balance.

        We also need carbon dioxide for other processes, you really have to understand we are Carbon Life Forms, we are around 20% carbon and the rest mainly water, our whole system is geared to function on carbon.

        Another example: If we’ve used up our bicarb through exertion then we would lose consciousness and death would follow without immediate remedial action:

        “The two most immediate concerns when treating patients in intensive care are their blood gasses and their blood electrolytes. Marathon runners frequently pass out and can even die because they did not replenish their electrolytes that were depleted through excessive sweating. One of these electrolytes (bicarbonate) acts as a buffer in the blood to regulate the blood’s pH but can be depleted in an attempt to compensate for blood gases. (The reverse can also happen as respiration can change and become distressed in an attempt to compensate for bicarbonate.) Consider the mountain climber who has to acclimatize to a higher altitude over a one or two day period (ventilatory acclimatization). It is a slow change in his body chemistry using his available bicarbonate that makes this possible. To a lesser degree, we all depend on these electrolytes on a daily basis; a proper diet is essential to replenish them.” (3)

        I hope you understand what that is saying, we do not manufacture our own carbon as do plants, we have to get it by eating the plants which alone manufacture carbon life from that available in the atmosphere.

        Which they do in photosynthesis from visible light energy and carbon dioxide and water, the visible light is not converted into heat energy, it is converted into chemical energy, sugars.

        We can overload our body with acid creating foods to the point where our own carbon dioxide metabolism is overwhelmed, I’ve read, and you must do your own research on this, that all cancers have been found to exist where the pH balance has been destroyed and gone into acidic and no cancers found in correctly balanced alkaline pH – whether this is cause or contributing factor I don’t know.

        Anyway, the last quote comes from (3) http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/11Phl/Sci/CO2&Health.html

        Please read this, you may be surprised at how large the levels of carbon dioxide used in treating medical conditions. And, as I’ve given before, when the body appears to be struggling for breath in hyperventilation it is not lack of oxygen that is the problem, it is lack of carbon dioxide in the lungs and this is the body’s immediate defence mechanism to build up the level back to the 6.5% – by not releasing its reserve 4%. You can help by inhaling back your own carbon dioxide, by breathing into a paper bag, or simply in cupping your hands.

        (1) http://a-vet-to-be.blogspot.ie/2012/04/gas-transport.html
        (2) http://www.rsc.org/Education/Teachers/Resources/cfb/transport.htm

        I’m not surprised people don’t want to eat carbon. They may think it’s some kind of black powdery stuff. Yecch !

        Give them diamonds ..

        Max_OK | May 26, 2013 at 2:02 am | Max_CH, said “There is no reason to believe that the modest warming we could possibly see from another 50% to 80% increase in CO2 would not have the same beneficial effect.”
        _______________

        Yes, there is, especially if that rising temperature average means more extremely hot summers.

        It is well known that elevated concentrations of CO2 in controlled condition(e.g.,greenhouses) enhance plant growth. But greenhouses are air-conditioned so plants will not be exposed to temperatures too high for optimal growth, like the temperatures during a summer heat wave .

        Less is known about the effect of elevated CO2 in natural field conditions because there have not been a lot of experiments with Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE). It would have been interesting to see if a FACE experiment with corn in Oklahoma during last summers heat wave would have shown elevated CO2 made a difference.

        Difficult to find anything that hasn’t got carbon dioxide demonised in some way or other…, but it says here:

        “Meanwhile, in the traditional crop-growing areas, temperatures are also going up (but, it must be noted, not as much as in colder latitudes). Temperatures will get warm earlier and cold later, extending the growing season, which means higher yields. There is, however, some concern that temperatures will get TOO warm in traditional crop-growing areas. While it is true that, beyond a certain maximum temperature (around 90oF for most crops) higher temperatures do not help crop growth and development, neither do these excessive temperatures, in and of themselves, retard crop growth and development. It is only when these excessive temperatures occur simultaneously with a lack of water that crops are harmed. (And as you will learn in the next paragraph, lack of water will not be an issue.) As long as there is plenty of water, temperatures could soar to 120oF and crops would continue to grow and develop at the fastest possible rate. Also, because temperatures get warm earlier, crops can be planted earlier to take advantage of warmer late-winter temperatures, and could be harvested before the hottest part of the year. It is even conceivable that, with a warmer spring and a warmer fall, farmers could get TWO crops each year on the same acreage. By the way, small grains like wheat, oats, barley, and rye, are often planted in the fall and harvested long before the hottest part of summer. Even if high temperatures were harmful to crops, there is no conceivable way they could harm these small grains. So, we could, if we had to, limit production of corn, soybeans, and other “summer” crops to cooler latitudes, and grow the small grains in the warmer latitudes, during the fall, winter, and spring.
        Water will also be more abundant under global warming conditions. Higher temperatures will result in more evaporation of water from oceans and other bodies of water. etc”: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_does_global_warming_affect_crop_yields

        Unfortunately, I don’t think that is the scenario we’re entering in the northern latitudes which have seen a whole month delay to the start of the growing season this year because the continuing cold has been extensive, but this isn’t covered adequately in the news because we’re still being conned by the demonisation of carbon dioxide. We’re been kept in ignorance of the real problem which is a decline into colder temps which really will affect the food supply for billions more people.

        The Fabian/Greenie Eugenicists are the only ones who don’t see this as a problem.., though no doubt the ones pushing such a scenario who know global warming isn’t a option will have their own escape routes planned.

      • “that’s why there is this reversible action to make our blood more acidic or more alkaline to maintain our fine alkaline balance.”

        Wow what a slip up Myrrh. You’ve accidentally admitted here the truth that a pH lowering action on something that is alkaline can be described as making it “more acidic”.

        Yet here is what you said last year:
        “I’ve never seen any figures given for the claim that we are making the ocean more acidic, which we can’t be doing anyway because the ocean is not acidic, we could perhaps be making it less alkaline, but I haven’t found any figures for this.”

        Yes we know you skeptics are playing games. It’s hard as hell to prove it, to piece together the contradictions, but it’s not impossible.

        As Andrew Adams at the time of that thread pointed out:
        “certain “skeptics” try to change the subject and make it all about semantics because they don’t like the answer.”

        Two weeks ago we had Latimer Alder pushing the same BS:
        “It will not make the oceans ‘more acidic’. It will make them ‘less alkaline’. You cannot make it ‘more acidic’ when it is not acidic to start with. ”

        Jim Cripwell agreed.

        Latimer Alder then pushed out the conspiracy theory to go along with the semantic games: “Greenists choose to incorrectly call it ‘acidification’ because they hope the general public will unconsciously associate it with bad ‘acidic’ things. There can be no other reason.”

        Myhrr commented: “Future scientists will be so shocked at how these corrupted science memes have taken over and dumbed down the subject, from the main science bodies and at university level no less. It’s like mass hypnotism or something.”

        Now we have you today describing a reduction in pH of blood from alkaline to alklanine as making it “more acidic”. Whoops. How alarmist of you. You must be have planned that language to scare the public!

      • lolwot | May 26, 2013 at 6:22 am | “that’s why there is this reversible action to make our blood more acidic or more alkaline to maintain our fine alkaline balance.”

        Wow what a slip up Myrrh. You’ve accidentally admitted here the truth that a pH lowering action on something that is alkaline can be described as making it “more acidic”.

        Shrug, that’s the problem with the damned memes produced by the AGWScienceFiction’s meme producing department to push the fake fisics of The Greenhouse Effect Illusion…

        Yet here is what you said last year:

        Gosh, are you keeping track of all my posts..? And filed for easy reference..? That was a quick reply.

      • @lolwot…

        Good catch. This may be the first time I’ve seen you do something of value on this blog. But let me ask you: would it work on the other side?

        If some alarmist at one point admitted that technology might advance to the point that we’re pulling more CO2 out of the atmosphere than we’re putting in, then later made reference to how “excess CO2 we put in the atmosphere will last for centuries”, would you even notice? And if you did would you say anything?

      • Max_OK – Really?

      • David Springer

        I am talking about the result of mutation and selection of plants over spans covering hundreds of millions of years. I am not talking about the emergence of novel strategies for dealing with rapid environmental change.

        Genomes are like libraries recording different strategies that worked in the past. Thus if the environment in the present changes to something that was experienced in the past the organism doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel, which takes millions of years, but rather through the normal course of recombination a configuration optimized for the environment experienced in the distant past quickly reappears and by quickly I’m talking about just a single generation if there are a great many individuals in each generation such that recessive traits are brought forward in a few individuals purely by statistical frequency of various recombinations.

        You sometimes think I’m bright because you sometimes know what I’m talking about. Anytime you think I’m not bright I’m still actually bright it’s just you’re too ignorant to recognize it in that instance.

      • Springer, it’s not that I don’ know what you are talking about, it’s that what you are talking about is not relevant to what I was talking about.

        You obviously are a highly intelligent and gifted person, but unfortunately your urge to strut around like some techno peacock sometimes trumps your judgement.

      • Myrrh said in his post of May 26, 2013 at 5:48 am

        “While it is true that, beyond a certain maximum temperature (around 90oF for most crops) higher temperatures do not help crop growth and development, neither do these excessive temperatures, in and of themselves, retard crop growth and development. It is only when these excessive temperatures occur simultaneously with a lack of water that crops are harmed.”
        ______

        Myrrh, if that were true, greenhouses would not need to be air-conditioned to keep temperatures from rising above optimal levels for plant growth, since watering of plants can be optimized in greenhouses.

  24. Here is a good article that follows up on Pasteur’s quadrant:
    The congressional war on the social sciences: There’s nothing wrong with requiring accountability from government-sponsored science. But when policymakers’ questions misjudge the role that science plays, we have a problem.

    http://www.psmag.com/politics/the-congressional-war-on-social-science-58407/

    • Peter Lang

      [My above comment is in wrong place. Please ignore it. Judith could you please delete this comment if you see it.]

    • Judith Curry

      That’s a good article.

      Sure, we should avoid politically driven “micromanagement” by Congress regarding taxpayer funding for scientific research.

      But part of the problem has been with the “science” itself.

      “Political” and “social” science is a hairy-fairy and politically loaded concept in many cases, and the keepers of the government purse strings should give these fields more scrutiny. There seems to be general agreement on this.

      But, even in the “hard” sciences, there has been this shift away from the classical scientific process as a search for scientific “truth” to “post-normal” science, “normative” science (= “agenda-driven” science?), etc..

      Does the taxpayer support this? Should he/she pay for it?

      Chances are that the average taxpayer hasn’t even thought about it.

      So that’s what the elected representatives of the taxpayers are now doing; “thinking about it”.

      And I do not see this as a bad thing per se (as long as it does not lead to an attempted “micromanagement” by congress of the taxpayer funded research process).

      Just my thoughts on this (as an outsider)

      Max

      • I’ll play Oliver M. here and point out that Dwight Eisenhower saw the problems with this paradigm in 1960. I think the author’s schtick about how this arrangement has worked well for 6 decades is a bit wishful.

    • perhaps if they didn’t publish so many papers that state that Republicans are stupid misogynistic racists then the outcomes might have been a little different

    • The government has the prerogative demand a return of non-fraudulent product in return for tax payer money. If recent studies are to be believed, the elimination of fraud would cut the number of studies and papers by one-third. Besides, the government isn’t the only source of money. Scientists may need to explore other sources of funding.

  25. Chief Hydrologist commented on Open thread weekend. said: ”Stormwater storage in sufficient quantities in ponds is very expensive.”

    ”ponds”? ponds in the city pollution, where leaded fuel / paint was used for 100years?! You are scared to mention the word ”DAM” See what that ”environmental deviate Bob Brown” made to your brains… you should never take off that brown paper bag off your head!!!

    Water is not only for drinking, but for irrigation / sprinkling – when farmers irrigate in dry days; that moisture created in the air fights against the tremendous DRY heat created inland. b] when no need sprinkler inspectors – humidity created knocks the dust down; instead of going into children’s lungs. c] when is humidity from irrigation in the air – trees are benefiting; otherwise, bushfires

    you are arguing against people that have plenty clean water in their own countries; then you talk ”aquifer” OZ can have plenty surface dams and improve the climate! By the way, do you know why Australia is the driest continent? A: BECAUSE WATER IS THE MAINE INGREDIENT IN BEER!

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You’ve been imbibing a little too much water Stefan – it’s gone to your brain.

      • Chief Hydrologist | May 26, 2013 at 1:07 am said: ”You’ve been imbibing a little too much water Stefan – it’s gone to your brain”

        Chief, lead from incinerated newspapers, from leaded fuel, from leaded paints; it’s all in and around the cities.

        2] half period of. decay for chemical for treatment of termites is 40y=ears, very potent

        3] other solvents, bygone, treatment for fungal chemicals, sump oils is all over the places in the city plus salt for cities with ice; but you wouldn’t know that – leaving in subtropics…

        4] all the water from the bush must be drained into the sea during storm. in the bush even if water looks dirty, it’s clean dirt = your best proof that you are bob brown’s bi-product / excrement.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Lead oxide in oxic environments is in a stable crystalline structure and not bioavailable. They are not water soluble and are immobilised in soils. They may be dissolved in gastric juices. Breathing small particles – regardless of the type – is not encouraged and eating dirt is contraindicated.

        Lead and other metals – and pesticides – are quite easily removed from stormwater – e.g. http://www.humes.com.au/precast-solutions/stormwater/stormwater-treatment/tertiary.html – I recommend hiring me for your next mega-development project. Integrated urban water cycle management – quality and quantity – is my thing.

        There are numbers of parasites found in open waters that are very dangerous – liver flukes, Cryptosporidium, hookworm, Giardia. Boiling for a minute is recommended before drinking.

  26. Chief Hydrologist commented on Open thread weekend said: ” at strategic places over sewer mains to supply water for playing fields, gardens etc. It is something called sewer mining”

    As ”sewer mining” they should mine water inside your head!!! When plenty dams upstream; doesn’t even need to pump water for downstream, just gravity takes it there. The traitors in CSIRO should be in same jail cell as yourself, for treason. http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/5floods-droughts-we-dont-need-to-have/

  27. Stephen Pruett

    So Mosher, if the data are so robust, why do GISS et al. continually adjust them and if choosing different stations etc. etc. doesn’t make any difference, why do the adjustments make large differences? Are the reasons for the adjustments, the methods used, and the computer code publicly available? Given that the satellite data sets give reasonably similar results as the surface station data sets, I m not suggesting a grand conspiracy in which the surface station data is being purposely manipulated to achieve a particular result. I have just never understood why the details of the adjustments do not seem freely available. Wouldn’t it be in everyone’s interest to put them in a convenient format and explain them?

    • Steven Mosher

      So Mosher, if the data are so robust, why do GISS et al. continually adjust them and if choosing different stations etc. etc. doesn’t make any difference, why do the adjustments make large differences?
      ##############
      1. Giss don’t do adjustments with the exception of a UHI adjust. which has minor impact.
      2. They dont choose different stations. The stations are selected via NOAA and via algorithm.
      3. The adjustments don’t make huge differences.

      ##############################

      Are the reasons for the adjustments, the methods used, and the computer code publicly available?

      1. Yes. back in 2007 I fought to get the code released. After it was released folks tested it and we looked for errors. No substantial errors were found.

      2. TOBs adjustments have been validated by skeptics. The code is available. Its been through two validations against out of sample data.

      ######################

      Given that the satellite data sets give reasonably similar results as the surface station data sets, I m not suggesting a grand conspiracy in which the surface station data is being purposely manipulated to achieve a particular result. I have just never understood why the details of the adjustments do not seem freely available. Wouldn’t it be in everyone’s interest to put them in a convenient format and explain them?

      They’ve been explained in papers and code. If you go back to 2007 and 2008 you will this guy named Mosher RANTING about adjustments.
      Checking the code and data, cured me of that. I have yet to see any of the people who joined me in those rants go to the same effort to validate their rants. I did go to the effort and I found that my rants were wrong. I dont see why people expect me to rant again, when I was one of the first to rant and after putting in years of study I’ve come to the conclsuon that the ranting was mistaken.

  28. Virtually all the money in climate science is given to those committed to alarmist consensus, and what these people do is keep “adjusting” temperature data in a way to make CAGW look good.

  29. lolwot | May 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm gl|
    You are all perfectly happy with the surface records when it comes to declaring “no warming since X”, or touting low ECS estimates that are based on them, or even touting the early 20th century warming.

    If the data produced by people doing their utmost to exaggerate agw shows no warming, then I think we can conclude there really is no warming.

    • So if something shows warming you will deny it and if it doesn’t show warming you accept it.

      Why should anyone trust you when you admit that?

      • lolwot | May 26, 2013 at 5:39 am | So if something shows warming you will deny it and if it doesn’t show warming you accept it.

        Why should anyone trust you when you admit that?

        That’s actually not what has been happening lolwot, we’ve known for a long time that they’ve been adjusting the temperature records to favour the AnthropogenicGlobalWarming scare – this has been going on a very long time because it was planned, look up the NZ court case to retrieve the original data, which science fraud was organised from CRU, we’re all just so amused that they haven’t been able to keep it going and have had to finally admit there has been no warming for 17 years plus.

        What this really shows is proof that there has been a concerted science fraud at the highest science bodies level.

        This is proof that that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a scam, during all this time they have have lied and lied and lied that there is global warming and every year getting higher. And they’re still doing that.

        It appears not to bother you that there is science fraud going on, you only ever seem concerned when this is pointed out and produce cover up distractions and word play to this end. That’s for your conscience, but the people creating this science fraud by manipulating temperature records and claiming temperatures have been rising when even their own figures show this wasn’t true need to be held accountable if science isn’t going degenerate completely into gobbledegook.

        The error made by those who think they are in control of dumbing down science for the general population, is not understanding that our astonishing growth in knowledge is only since education became widespread throughout the general population plebs and communication became more rapid ..

        .. “killing the goose which lays the golden egg” is probably too difficult a concept for the self assessed ‘elites’ to appreciate.

      • “That’s actually not what has been happening lolwot, we’ve known for a long time that they’ve been adjusting the temperature records to favour the AnthropogenicGlobalWarming scare”

        You are conspiracy nuts. You make up a conspiracy theory. Color me surprised.

        What we know (the realists that is, not you conspiracy nuts) is that the surface records are valid. They’ve been independently verified by many, including BEST.

        “and have had to finally admit there has been no warming for 17 years plus”

        No-one has “admitted” that because it isn’t true.

      • http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/20/monckton-challenges-the-ipcc-suggests-fraud-and-gets-a-response/#comment-1311386

        Werner Brozek says:
        May 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm
        There has been no warming for 17 years on any measure, as the IPCC’s climate-science chairman now admits.

        This matter regarding the 17 years was the case earlier, however the situation with GISS, which used to have no statistically significant warming for 17 years, has now been changed with new data. GISS now has over 18 years of no statistically significant warming. As a result, we can now say the following: On six different data sets, there has been no statistically significant warming for between 18 and 23 years.

        The details are below and are based on the SkS site:
        http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

        For RSS the warming is not significant for over 23 years.
        For RSS: +0.123 +/-0.131 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1990
        For UAH the warming is not significant for over 19 years.
        For UAH: 0.142 +/- 0.166 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1994
        For Hadcrut3 the warming is not significant for over 19 years.
        For Hadcrut3: 0.094 +/- 0.113 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1994
        For Hadcrut4 the warming is not significant for over 18 years.
        For Hadcrut4: 0.094 +/- 0.109 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1995
        For GISS the warming is not significant for over 18 years.
        For GISS: 0.103 +/- 0.111 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1995
        For NOAA the warming is not significant for over 18 years.
        For NOAA: 0.089 +/- 0.104 C/decade at the two sigma level from 1995

        If you want to know the times to the nearest month that the warming is not significant for each set to their latest update, they are as follows:
        RSS since August 1989;
        UAH since June 1993;
        Hadcrut3 since August 1993;
        Hadcrut4 since July 1994;
        GISS since October 1994 and
        NOAA since July 1994.

        (By the way, RSS shows a slightly negative slope since December 1996 or 16 years and 5 months through to April 2013.)

        ———————

        http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article3651191.ece

        “There will be no further warming of the planet over the next five years, the Met Office has forecast. The downgrading of its predictions for the effects of climate change means that by 2017 there is projected to have been no global increase in temperature for almost 20 years. ”

        ——————

        And all we ever get from these people is deceit, see here https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/major-change-in-uk-met-office-global-warming-forecast/
        a post from:

        Paul Homewood says:
        January 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm
        “On the original Met graphs, the white line is shown, which is their previous forecasts. However, the white line on the new one, showing a drop in temps in the last few years to today’s level, is totally different to the Dec 2011 version, which showed accelerated warming.

        “It seems they are rewriting the past.

        “Compare the two graphs here.

        http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/spot-the-difference/

        Which is what was noted earlier in the discussion, picking up that Tallbloke had disappeared it in his re-jigging of the Met graph..

        Berényi Péter says:
        January 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm
        “I’ve edited the images to remove the distracting red overlay on the originals.”

        “Well, you should not have. It makes the white line invisible, to which it served as error estimate. And an important point is missed this way, the most important one perhaps.

        “They have not only modified their forecast to the future (blue line), but also their past forecasts (white line), ex post facto.

        I can hardly imagine a more preposterous rape of science than that.”

        ==========

        Anyone with half a brain can see that this whole AGW scare is built on deceit, deliberate science fraud, there is no doubt about it, we have had countless examples over the years.

        A sad period for science when the general education of elementary physics has been so corrupted that the majority can’t even see there is a problem, that the basic fisics is faked for AGWScienceFiction’s The Greenhouse Effect Illusion – all these temperature frauds are necessary to keep the illusion going. What a tangled web they’ve woven.

  30. R Gates
    “In regard to your question, the September minimum is the best month to gauge long-term trends in sea ice area and extent because it shows a fair consistent metric for the full-force of the summer melt season on a year by year basis. It simply is the best month to reveal any long-term changes– which of course we have seen.”
    Thank you for replying to my question.
    I am still of the opinion that there is no best month to gauge long term trends in sea ice area and extent. Every month is important and every month will show a similar long term trend if one exists.
    Picking 1 month because it happened to be abnormally low is pointless, if say, the other 11 months were all at or above average. If you are serious about looking for long term trends you should feature an anomaly graph.
    The question then becomes how much natural variability in a cycle of say a century is possible and we just do not have this data.
    As you are aware 2012 topped both the highest and the lowest anomalies of recent years and if I was to take say March or April maximums off the top of my head we could be talking about the current recovery trend.

  31. For those who remember Quantum theory yo will know that it is impossible to measure boththe speed and position of a particle at the same time Actually the same applies in the madro world.

    Consider a driver approaching a T junction on a road with traffic in both directions, no lights, no roundabouts. Suppose the driver wants to find an opening to do a turn into the far lane (this covers RH and LH drives). He or she has to turn their head fast so that you only get a spshot of the other vehicle. The snap shot is ok for judging distance but tellls you nothing about speed, but you need both.

    Consider the problem with (a) a doppler radar (b) a pulse-doppler radar (c) a pulse radar.

    • But we do calculate the speed, we spend a second or so calculating how fast the other car/s are travelling to work out if we can get across the gap at the speed we can muster – when we cut it too fine is when we get the filthy looks .. We shouldn’t have to force the other car/s to slow down, that’s bad driving.

      • Myrrh – Yes, you have a dilemma. Spend too iong judging speed and you miss your opening. I agree, your judgement of position and speed should be accurate enough that the other driver should not have to slow down.

      • Alexander – I’ve just had another thought.. It’s well known now that we can’t consciously take in two things at a time, which is how magicians can deceive the eye with sleights of hand and distractions, but in hypnosis subjects are able to recall, say, every detail gathered on a walk down a street, all the car numbers, what everyone was wearing and so on, so though at any fixed point in space time stops so there’s no velocity, perhaps that background awareness has already calculated it for us, our second or so of conscious attention is double checking? I should imagine there aren’t many who do a lot of driving who haven’t had the experience of arriving at a destination and not recalling anything of the journey..

        I once had the experience of time slowing down to the extent that the second or so tangibly stretched while I made my calculations – in which I consciously began working out the speed of the other driver hurtling towards me at 70 miles and hour, which was the speed I was travelling, from the moment I saw the whites of his eyes and realised he didn’t have a way out.. We both lived to tell the tale as did those in the stream of traffic to my left I was overtaking on long incline down which the other driver appeared overtaking the single line of traffic going downhill he should have been in. I dropped my speed by five miles an hour and slipped into a gap between two cars just big enough to take me. The shock to the system took a lot longer to get over.

    • Go back to your books, it is not impossible to know the position and speed of an object, there is a limit to the precision of both measurements taken at the same time.

  32. Climate science as a phenomenon

    It seems to me climate science is a bit of an oddity amongst scientific disciplines. I do not think there really was a single field of climate science until the AWG issue came along. Past climate was studied, on different timescales, by geologists, paleontologists and archeologists. Aspects of current climate and weather were studied by oceanographers and earth scientists. Future climate, I do not think was studied by anyone, until AGW came along. I don’t think it was possible to do a first degree or even a PhD in “climatology” until quite recently.

    Questions I am interested in (but have not had time to find the answers):

    * How many papers have been published in “climate science” in each year since say 1970? And in which journals?
    * How many departments/chairs of “climate science” are there and when was each one founded?
    * How much money has gone directly from governments to study climate (since say 1970). How much from other sources?

    Understanding “climate science” as a phenomenon may help us to understand some of the issues on consensus that have been discussed here. If anyone could point me to blogs, articles, books or other sources of evidence on these matters I would be grateful.

    • David Wojick

      On the money side the US created a cross agency research budget document in 1990 called Our Changing Planet (!). Google on USGCRP and you can track it down. Spending started at one billion dollars per year but has grown to two billion. It is said that this is roughly half of world government expenditures.

      The rest of your questions are a good book topic.

  33. http://polywellnuclearfusion.com/AltCantDoIt/Biofuel.html

    Time to stop?

    “Patzek published a fifty-page study on the subject in the journal Critical Reviews in Plant Science. He factored in the myriad energy inputs required by industrial agriculture, from the amount of fuel used to produce fertilizers and corn seeds to the transportation and wastewater disposal costs. In contrast to Pimental, he believes that the total energy consumed in corn farming and ethanol production is six times greater than what the end product provides to your car engine.

    “He is also concerned about the sustainability of industrial farming in developing nations where sugar cane and trees are grown as feedstock for ethanol and other biofuels. Using United Nations data, he examined the production cycles of many large plantations. “One farm for a local village probably makes sense,” he says. “But if you have a 100,000 acre plantation effectively exporting thousands of tons of biomass on contract to Europe, that’s a completely different story. One of the prices you pay, for example, is that – in Brazil alone – you annually damage a jungle the size of Greece.””

    ..

    “In order to use 100% solar energy to grow corn and produce ethanol (fueling farm-and-transportation machinery with ethanol, distilling it with heat from burning crop residues, and using no fossil fuels), the consumption of ethanol to replace current U.S. petroleum use alone would require about 75% of all cultivated land on the face of the Earth, with no ethanol for other countries, or sufficient food for humans and animals.

    “According to a leaked April 2008 World Bank report, biofuels have caused world food prices to increase by seventy-five percent (75%) in the past year. In 2007, biofuels consumed one third of America’s corn harvest. Filling up one SUV fuel tank one time with 100% ethanol uses enough corn to feed one person for a year. Thirty million tons of U.S. corn going to ethanol in 2007 greatly reduced the world’s overall supply of grain. (However, it is also true that 31% of the corn put into the process comes out as “distiller’s grain,” sometimes called DDGS – which is fed to livestock and is very high in protein.)

    “Jean Ziegler, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, has called for a five-year moratorium on biofuel production to halt the increasing catastrophe for the poor. He proclaimed that the rising practice of converting food crops into biofuel is “A Crime Against Humanity,” saying it is creating food shortages and price jumps that are causing millions of poor people to go hungry. The European Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development warns, “The push to expand biofuels is creating tensions that will disrupt markets without generating significant environmental benefits.””

    • Myrrh, you are making the same classic error. The prize is not FOOD ethanol, but CELLULOSE ethanol. At the moment we cannot have one without the other. There have been several, failed, attempts to commercially produce cellulose ethanol. The one hope, in the immediate future, that this can be done successully, in a financial sense, lies with POET/DSM. POET is the largest producer of food ethanol, and without their money and expertise, commercial cellulose ethanol in the near future would not be possible. If their commercial plant is financially viable next year, then we might see signiicant quantities of cellulose ethanol produced. If the plant fails, then we wont have commercial cellulose ethanol for some time.

      We wont know the immediate future of cellulose ethanol until next year. But if it is successul, and I agree that it is a big if, then we can use the WASTE products of agriculture to produce a very valuable fuel source; transportable energy. And all I have read convinces that there is a huge amount of waste agricultural products, which merely give micro-organisms a chance to live.

      And there is a big player waiting in the wings. Shell owns the Iogen technology, and there is an awful lot of waste agricultural products here in Canada.

      • And meanwhile?

        Are you saying that the figures and analysis of the situation in the piece I linked to are wrong? If so, point them out.

      • Myrrh, you write “And meanwhile”

        I am not concerned with in the meanwhile. I am a Canadian, and I dont feel I should comment on what the US does with the food it produces; any more than a non-Canadian should comment on our various agricultural marketing boards. For all the reason you have mentioned, I agree that food ethanol ought not to have a future.

        But by the same token, I believe cellulose ethanol ought to have a future. To date, all attempts to produce cellulose ethanol commercially have been unsuccessul. If cellulose ehtanol becomes financially viable to produce commercially as early as 2014, then it will be because the US embarked on a food ethanol program. I think this is relevant to any discussion of food ethanol.

      • “But by the same token, I believe cellulose ethanol ought to have a future. To date, all attempts to produce cellulose ethanol commercially have been unsuccessul. If cellulose ehtanol becomes financially viable to produce commercially as early as 2014, then it will be because the US embarked on a food ethanol program. I think this is relevant to any discussion of food ethanol.”

        Then hemp perhaps the way to go? Grows anywhere, quick cropping, has tons of other uses, the original denim jeans made of it (tough and soft..), and Ford ran his cars on it.

        Hemp was ‘demonised’ by the growing oil and pharmaceutical industries because a direct threat to their future profits where monopolies rule. They did this by first giving it a name change.. And then spread it to every other country through the UN.

      • Myrrh, you write “Then hemp perhaps the way to go? ”

        The food we produce generates all the cellulose we need to produce cellulsoe ethanol. There is no need to grow anything special. POET/DSM are inintially using the corn hobs that are left over when they have used the kernels for food ethanol. There is at least enough corn stover in the USA to produce 16 billion gallons of ethanol per year. And it will take until at least 2020 before this can be achieved.

        I dont know where you get hemp from. We grow it in substantial quantities in Canada, but there are lots of other things that grow on land that is unsuitable to grow food, which could be exploited first; switchgrass for example.

      • Once upon a time, the only rope around.
        ============

  34. David Wojick

    Trenberth is trying to explain how the missing heat got below 700 meters in the ocean. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50382/abstract

    • pokerguy,
      Thx fer yer kind comment re Serf Under -ground Journal.
      Yours’ is me first comment and I would respond if I could
      but I’m having a tech problem which I hope I’ll resolve…
      but don’t bet on it pokerguy. Cheers,
      Beth.

      • Well, I have bookmarked this SU-G, but I am a little disturbed by the content. I thought it would be a quaint portal for serf unter-kultur, but it seems to be trending to radical policies of serf enfranchisement. As I have said, I am a great supporter of limiting beatings to the Lesser Knout (in most cases) and of allowing serfs to dance, frolic and make non-political rhymes on agrarian holidays, but this SU-G goes well beyond that. What next? Serf dwellings to be cheaply electrified? Even the impudent bolsheviks know that such indulgences are, at best, a bottom priority. In fact, no viable elite can expect to remain an elite for long if the serfs raise their expectations above a little extra cabbage and vodka.

        Oh well, I await the second edition of SU-G to see if I have misjudged it.

      • Little disturbed are yer mosomoso?
        Await the second edition do yer?
        Don’t know that I’ll have time fer that watt
        with helpin’ organize the next Serf Uprisin’
        BC

      • Beth

        Well done! I have posted my comment and await the call to arms and overthrow of the serf oppressors

        tonyb

      • I have seen serfs dance at autumn festivals and they have wonderful rhythm. Why spoil all that with liberation and emancipation and enfranchisement etc? Surely one can have radical movements without going so far as that. In fact, I always say that if you can’t have a czar, a people’s committee and five-year plan is the next best thing for keeping serfs down on the farm.

        In a pinch, we can now use the climate or some such twaddle as a pious justification for keeping the serfs from our electricity…but what a pity that we now have to give serfs reasons!

      • mosomoso, if you can’t have a czar, settle for a mzotorbike.

      • Peter Lang

        Why would he want a mzotorbike?

        What, so he can crash into cars, like another person I know on-line does?

    • The mzotorbike? I think they were making those in Montenegro. Then one of our tanks accidentally bumped the factory during a cleansing invasion.

      Anyway, we now stimulate captive free economies by compulsory options to install wzind tzurbines. Let the market decide, we say now. (But it’s the same-old-same-old, of course.)

  35. Freezing in Australia, freezing in Italy, way more ice in Antartica , surely the Arctic is ready to follow suit. 4 months of above average total sea ice! And no one mentions it because they are afraid to mozz it.
    Lolwat , thanks for the graph if you look closely you will see 2012 start of May nearly back to average and as you know the highest extent at that time for some years

    • Just to add to this. The Nenana Ice Classic in Alaska this year, set an all time latest date/time record for the breakup of the river ice; just. And there are nearly 100 years of data.

    • Angech, last year you fools were singing the same tune. and then you had to backpeddle and make up feeble excuses about storms when the Arctic smashed the previous 2007 summer minimum.

      When will you get it? Perhaps another record minimum being smashed? Or will you still be here next year carping on about how the ice is “nearly back to average” for a few days in spring?

  36. Thanks to Professor Curry, the public is starting to experience a blinding flash of the obvious.

    Now we need to avoid the blame game and get on with the task of restoring integrity to government science and constitutional limits on governments.

    Oliver K. Manuel

  37. Warning

    When you breathe you inhale carbon dioxide (CO2). The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) decreed that CO2 is poison. In a short time you can find it difficult to control how much CO2 you breathe. Many people don’t realize they are dependent on breathing until they try to quit breathing CO2. Even lifelong breathers CAN and do quit breathing CO2.

    You CAN quite CO2. Call a climatist and learn how you CAN quit breathing CO2 now!

  38. The Daily Mail has a surprising article by Myles Allen
    Why I think we’re wasting billions on global warming, by top British climate scientist

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2331057/Why-I-think-wasting-billions-global-warming-British-climate-scientist.html

    • A very confused man. Someone tell him the globe is cooling.
      ==========

    • Judith, you write “The Daily Mail has a surprising article by Myles Allen”

      Why “surprising”? Is you bias showing once again? As I read the article, there is nothing surprising in it at all. Are you suggesting that it is surprising that Myles Allen has written such a sensible article for the Daily Mail?

      • John Carpenter

        Why do you find this sensible Jim?

      • John Carpenter

        You realize Myles Allen fully agrees with the current measurement of CS? You know, that measurement your sure is not possible and appears to be equal to zero? You realize Myles Allen in no way says there is no problem with emitting CO2 into the environment. He is a huge warmist according to your criteria and certainly makes reference to CAGW issues if we go about BAU. So really, what is it that you see that is so sensible? What bias are you revealing of yourself when making the claim that what he has to say is so sensible?

      • John you write “You know, that measurement your sure is not possible and appears to be equal to zero?”

        Sure I realise that Myles Allen is an out and out warmist; as is our hostess. But the empirical data is showing more and more clearly that my estimate of climate sensitivity is going to end up being the closest to reality. Judith built herself a lifeboat after Climategate. What I find sensible about the Myles Allen article, is that he appears to be doing the same sort of thing. No warmist is going to write a mea maxima culpa at this time; they will gradually write pieces that show that they were wrong is very small steps. This is the first step for Myles Allen. A very sensible thing to do when the good ship CAGW is about to sink.

      • John Carpenter

        So when are you going to begin to write posts acknowledging that CS is probably not zero and atmospheric CO2 has some affect which would be non zero? Those in the business of determining CS may have determined values that initially over reached, but I don’t think they were 100% wrong. When are you going to acknowledge that? That would be sensible to me.

      • John, you write “So when are you going to begin to write posts acknowledging that CS is probably not zero and atmospheric CO2 has some affect which would be non zero?”

        NEVER!!! I am on the side of the angels, and I dont believe I am wrong. I have no reputation to save; I am already retired and 87 years old. It is people like Myles Allen who are going to have to act either as a rat leaving the sinking ship; or a wise man building himself a lifeboat. It depends on what spin you want to put on what he is doing

    • Seems generally sensible, but…

      And to those on the other side who think that solar and nuclear will someday become so cheap we will choose to leave that coal alone, I’m afraid you have some basic physics working against you. Let’s get down to some numbers.

      I don’t see any relevant numbers. A trillion tons, that’s well within reach of air/sea extraction, over 2-3 decades after, say, 2045. Of course, that assumes the major sinks (ocean) are actually elastic in their response, which is questionable.

      So with a trillion tonnes to go, we need to increase the fraction we bury at an average rate of one per cent for every 10 billion tonnes of global emissions.

      If this is what needs to be done, why not just make it a condition of licensing to extract or import fossil fuels? In forestry, if you fell trees, the law obliges you to replant.

      We must use the same principle: a law to compel a slowly rising percentage of carbon dioxide emissions to be sequestered and stored.

      I’m fine with that, but I’d like to see an exponential increase of some sort rather than linear. (Not that he actually said it should be linear, but I suspect that’s how most people will take it.)

    • curryja | May 26, 2013 at 10:21 am |

      I’m afraid I have to agree with Jim Cripwell | May 26, 2013 at 10:47 am | .. if by “sensible” Jim means ‘revealing of sensibilities’.

      Myles Allen objects to windmills. He participates in a climate sensitivity study that finds about the same climate sensitivity as most studies but interprets the figures with focus on the possibility of the lower side of the range.. which largely supports objection to windmills in the mind of Myles Allen. Myles Allen then publishes an activist op-ed piece about how windmills are thus a waste of money.

      A small child objects to being poked with needles by nurses. He observes there are many sick people around nurses, hence nurses cause people to get sick by poking them with needles. The small child tells all his friends, so they won’t be fooled. Perfectly sensible. Hardly surprising.

    • phatboy | May 26, 2013 at 11:53 am |

      I don’t know who anyone is. I respond to the argument, not the authority.

      Which leads to sometimes ridiculous situations of misreading on my part, but I stand by this comment.

      See, I’m not about the tribe. I’m about getting it right.

      For instance, possibly the brightest, and certainly the wittiest, commenter here is willard, by far. By far enough at least, that even though I make every effort to separate comment from commenter even I notice it.

      And yet I’ll take willard to task on minor points, even while he’s in the habit of amply supporting arguments I’ve made with his far more clever words and better knowledge of the subject.

      And that’s not going to change.

    • phatboy | May 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

      We can go with whichever of the following explanations you like best:

      1. I’m a bad person.

      2. I’m so out of touch with my audience that I used the language of personifying an argument by its speaker to discuss the argument in a way meant to address only the argument, but the habit of understanding such language has fallen from common usage in the audience.

      3. Misreading is easy. Read harder.

      • Yes, misreading is easy – which is why a lot of people re-read things until they understand what’s been written.

    • phatboy | May 26, 2013 at 12:57 pm |

      I’d hope so.

      phatboy | May 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm |

      Sadly, the test for understanding what’s been read or re-read is held in the same hands as the reading or re-reading, until one goes out and ventures to interpret what one has read.

      At which point the test is in the hands of others, where it is inevitable it will be more complete. Though there is the problem of regress.

      • are you sure you didn’t mis-write that?
        in which case you’d have to re-write it until, on re-reading, you do in fact understand what you wrote to convey the same meaning as you originally intended.

  39. Evidence for deposition of 10 million tonnes of impact spherules across four continents 12,800 y ago

    We present detailed geochemical and morphological analyses of nearly 700 spherules from 18 sites in support of a major cosmic impact at the onset of the Younger Dryas episode (12.8 ka). The impact distributed ∼10 million tonnes of melted spherules over 50 million square kilometers on four continents. Origins of the spherules by volcanism, anthropogenesis, authigenesis, lightning, and meteoritic ablation are rejected on geochemical and morphological grounds. The spherules closely resemble known impact materials derived from surficial sediments melted at temperatures >2,200 °C. The spherules correlate with abundances of associated melt-glass, nanodiamonds, carbon spherules, aciniform carbon, charcoal, and iridium.

    H/T Dienekes

  40. tony,
    U have been an inspiration ter serfs fer u have shown
    in yer historical studies the see-saw record of weather
    that we poor serfs have had ter endure, day in ‘n day
    out, not – ter – mention – centuries when the weather
    even morphed into climate!
    Beth .

    • Beth

      Fortunately the weather morphs into climate after 30 years. About the average age of poor downtrodden serfs when they usually died of cold or heat.

      The advantage we modern serfs had over the serfs of old-plentiful cheap energy- looks like it is becoming a thing of the past, but there is a business opportunity there. Consequently I am training a herd of fireflies for when the lights go out. Orders being accepted now
      tonyb

  41. Judith..you know the truth……that you are as inept, homely, ridiculous and shrewish as you believe you are

  42. Since CO2 spreads the heat it makes storms milder.

    The alarmists hate this fact of thermodynamics !

  43. LOLWOT “Or will you still be here next year carping on about how the ice is “nearly back to average” for a few days in spring?”
    Probably happy about it rather than carping on. The time scale for melting fully [which has happened before] is in centuries or millenia out of our reach and here we watch it in days. Go figure.

  44. world’s first Yotuube lecutre on CLI FI – see it here — http://youtu.be/vbu0Sj_s7c8

  45. Cripwell and moshe wanna see Keenan.
    ==========

  46. A reminder of the wisdom of our elders. ;)

  47. The Engineer

    Is one allowed to ask stupid questions here, because there is one thing that has always troubled me about AGW and thats night time energy loss on land.
    I live f.ex in Denmark and the daytime temperature during the sommer is about 20 degrees C. At night time its around 10 cegrees C (surrounded by water). In the desert (sahara) the daytime temperatures get up to around 50 degrees C, while nighttime temperature is probably around 0 degrees C.
    The point being that no matter how HIGH the day time temperature gets, the potential heatloss during the night is always greater. Doesnt that simple fact negate the possibility og AGW, at least over land.
    Or are the oceans the only heat reservoir during darkness ???

    • David Springer

      No. Daytime heating from the sun in a clear sky exceeds heat loss at night with the same clear sky. This is why tropical deserts have the highest mean annual temperature of all climate types. If you critically examine where temperature has risen the most and where it has risen the least during the industrial revolution you’ll find there is a general rule predicting that where there is the least liquid water on the surface there is the most warming. Evaporative cooling of the surface and shade from clouds when the evaporated water condenses largely if not entirely cancels out the effect of rising non-condensing greenhouse gases. It has to do with how liquid water reacts to longwave infrared radiation emitted by greenhouse gases. These don’t warm the liquid but rather evaporate it from a surface layer thinner than a human hair. Evaporation occurs with no increase in temperature. The water vapor is the same temperature as the liquid except that it contains far more energy in what’s called “latent heat”. The latent heat is not transformed back into sensible heat until the vapor condenses. The end effect is a heat pump transferring energy from the surface to the altitude where clouds are forming. Water is the working fluid for the heat pump. Non-condensing greenhouse gases make the heat pump work faster negating any increase in surface temperature. If there’s not enough water available for the heat pump to function continuously then the surface temperature must rise instead. Nicholas Carnot is the go-to guy for explaining global warming not Svante Arrhenius. The surface of the earth is largely covered by water and where there is water surface cooling is dominated by latent heat transfer not radiative.

      • The Engineer

        Thanks for taking the time to explain this David. I’ll try and read up on Carnot.