Climate Risk

by Judith Curry

How much effort should we exert this year as opposed to 10 years from now? How should we manage discontinuous or highly uncertain effects?  What is the likelihood of a technological deus ex machina? Will climate change mean geopolitical surprise in the Arctic or from petroleum exporting nations? Are we a world filled with highly flexible innovators or low-turnover, high-cost capital stock? – Hultman, Hassenzahl, Rayner

Climate Risk

Nathan Hultman, David Hassenzahl, Steve Rayner

Abstract. At their core, societal decisions about climate policy—whether emissions reductions, adaptation to climate changes, or the implementation of geoengineering—hinge on collective judgments about the extent to which adverse effects to human welfare and ecosystem services will result from changes associated with anthropogenic release of greenhouse gases and the costs associated with the emissions reductions or adaptation activities. In this article, we discuss how risk is understood in the context of climate change, which presents particularly confounding, long-term, and pervasive threats to society and ecosystems. We review theoretical approaches to risk as applied to climate change and policy responses to climate change, focusing especially on the perspectives of individuals, governments, and firms with respect to traditional decision analysis frameworks.Wealso evaluate the peculiar role of uncertainty in climate debates and how it affects decision making; the origins and nature of the various uncertainties; and how uncertainty is represented, framed, and, at times, wielded by scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the media, politicians, and others. We conclude by assessing the limitations of and appropriate venues for risk analysis in climate decision making.

Published in Annual Reviews of Environmental Econometrics (2010) [link].

The entire article is well worth reading, here are some excerpts from a few of the sections that I find to be most insightful (bold emphasis mine):

Introduction

Climate change, we might hope, would present an ideal nexus for the risk-analytic perspective as a sound basis formaking societal judgments leading to reasonable policy options. Yet in practice, the diversity of climate-related physical risks, their various inherent and reducible uncertainties, and the unequal distribution of exposure and effects across geography and time confound any simple or uncontested application of this perspective. Indeed, the mission enshrined in the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change commits the countries of the world to enact measures to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system,” while infamously neglecting to outline either the process for achieving success or the metrics for assessing it.

Over the past decades, the scope of risk analysis as a discipline has expanded its focus from probabilistic assessments to accommodate the more complex tasks of informing societal risk judgments on policy questions. In the early 1960s, for example, the sudden advent of widespread concern about chemical pollutants brought to light the difficulty of aligning risk-based environmental policy recommendations under alternative value sets. Similarly, the increasingly acerbic public disagreements over nuclear power in the 1960s and 1970s fundamentally challenged the narrowly technocratic framing and understanding of probabilistic risk assessment. By the 1980s, clear distinctions emerged between more quantitative, decision-theoretic risk assessment approaches and broader risk analysis approaches that began to subsume considerations of equity, societal choice, communication, perception, and other nonquantitative dimensions.

By the 1990s, viewing societal challenges through a lens of risk had become common among academics from a range of disciplines, as an organizing theme for interdisciplinary explorations and as an instrument of and justification for public policy. During each of these phases, new environmental challenges created tensions in how risk was understood and deployed in public policy arenas. These tensions often stimulated, and continue to stimulate, new work in the field, derived from new challenges including emerging diseases, nanotechnology, and terrorism. Accommodating novel characteristics of the most prominent of these arenas—climate change— necessitates sweeping modification of the scope, methods, and values basis of risk analysis.

Climate Risk and the Policy Discourse

[D]ifferent people and groups will often disagree about the degree of uncertainty or even the decision stakes. Is climate change a well-understood technical problem supported by reliable data or is it a speculative threat based on contentious models? Are the consequences of climate change or policies designed to prevent it limited to a few percentage points of global gross domestic product that pale in comparison to the losses incurred in the financial crisis of 2008, or are they likely to be truly catastrophic? The traditional engineering and health approach, the inevitable corollary of defining anything as presenting a risk, indicates that climate change can and ought to be rationally managed, or at the very least contained, and preferably eliminated. In some cases with both high systemic uncertainty and high decision stakes, application of risk analysis tools can be a way of politically asserting the manageability of whatever is seen as its source. The issue in those cases becomes misconstrued as a problem for calculative rationality, rather than one for deliberative discussion.

An additional limitation is that the application of any one of these approaches is also influenced by human perceptions of risk, which are often inconsistent and far from objective. For example, in response to questions about nuclear risk, psychologists described how dread, familiarity, and exposure seem to be just as important to risk evaluations as probability or magnitude. Of particular relevance to climate, other researchers noted how the recent occurrence of infrequent events would highlight public concern that they would be repeated and that disparate perceptions of low probability events pose challenges for policy. However, there remains a privileged position for expert assessments of the “real” risks when nonexpert individuals are described as loss averse or loss accepting, probability over- or underestimating and tending to prefer large uncertain losses to small certain ones.

Similarly, different decision makers operate with particular contrasting views of the vulnerability of nature and the economy. Those who see nature as endangered by climate change often view climate policy measures, especially greenhouse gas mitigation policies, as relatively inexpensive to the economy—and possibly even as beneficial through the stimulation of new “green” industries; such perspectives view economic systems as more resilient than the natural world. Others view the economy as more vulnerable to perturbation, while nature is assumed to be resilient and normally in a state of transformation and flux. A third view sees both nature and the economy as resilient, but only within limits that must not be breached, a perspective that tends to use tools of risk assessment to understand the relative dangers of alternate approaches. To the advocates of radical climate policy, such analyses may be dismissed as delaying tactics, whereas those who are convinced that the costs of climate policies are unnecessary and prohibitive may welcome them for the same reason.

Assessment and Conclusion

The broad spectrum of problems associated with anthropogenic climate change, however, also increases the potential for overbroad or inattentive application of risk analysis. Indeed, much like debates about sound science, the deployment of risk can quickly become enmeshed in politics. Those who claim to speak rationally about future risks can hold power in the public sphere that can be, through honest mistake or deliberate obfuscation, disproportionate to the certainty behind such pronouncements. In areas of contested politics and areas of great economic stakes, an analytic risk lens can be leveraged to political ends. 

In particular, we should recall that risk analysis can at best differentiate between estimated and perceived risk, not between actual and perceived risk. However, in cases where the outcomes are highly contested or based on value judgments that are not widely agreed upon, we can expect analytic risk frameworks to lead unfortunately to results whose impartiality is disputed and that are of use only to those groups that agree with their premises.

Unfortunately, in these contexts, the mantle of climate risk analysis can easily slip, either deliberately or not, from careful application of a well-developed method to a loosely supported deployment intended to bolster politically driven positions. The challenges we face are to know where best to draw the line between the tactical and strategic and to leave the strategic and value judgments more fully to the necessary and healthy steps of political discourse. A productive approach would be to strive to articulate clearly the values and uncertainties associated with risk studies not only in academic publications but also when communicating climate risk to decision makers, the media, and all other audiences.

JC comments:  This article provides some substantial insights  about the policy and political debates surrounding climate change.  The paper also includes some very interesting discussions on the types and roles of uncertainty in risk analysis. I look forward to your comments.

442 responses to “Climate Risk

  1. “Let’s think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horse****?” ~Michael Crichton, Aliens Cause Global Warming: A Caltech Lecture

    • David Springer

      What is the cost of both inaction and action?

      Obviously CO2 enrichment has benefits. What are they worth? Warming we know is regional, not global. Obviously some regions would welcome warmer weather and longer growing seasons. What are those worth?

      All I’ve ever seen is handwaving about why we need to reduce CO2 emissions. A reliable estimate of the costs of inaction vs. action is impossible with the present amount of hard data. Climate models are running way too hot for global average temperature and actual temperature has fallen below the lower 95% confidence bound. Adding insult to injury GAT tells us very little about actual negative or positive impacts because the warming, or not, is regional not global.

      It’s a farce to say any action to reduce CO2 for climate change sake can be well considered at this point in time. On the other hand we know there are great and immediate benefits gained from burning fossil fuels. It makes our huge civilization of 7 billion souls possible. Any increased cost neccessarily impacts ability to grow and distribute food, shelter, and medicine all over the planet and to provide relief aid when local disasters strike. We need reliable facts of both adverse and beneficial consequences as well as cost of implementation before taking any actions. No objective sane informed participant would suggest killing the goose that lays the golden eggs without solid evidence of why she has to die.

      • Agreed, Strong CO2 limiting measurements will hike up energy prices and hit poor people of the present deeply. The aim of CO2 limiting measurements is to help the people of 2100, However, if the SRES A1 scenarios really do materialise in 2100, then the people of 2100 will be extremely rich.

        So tax the poor now to subsidise the rich of 2100?

      • > Strong CO2 limiting measurements will [...] hit poor people of the present deeply.

        Certainly. In the face. That ought to leave them cold.

        In other news:

        Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson got a 15 percent pay hike to $40.3 million last year, according to a regulatory filing from the Irving-based oil giant released Friday.

        Tillerson, 61, who was named chairman and CEO in 2006, led the company to a $44.9 billion profit last year. That comes close to returning to Exxon’s record earnings of $45.2 billion in 2008 — when it earned more money in a single year than any corporation in history.

        http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20130412-exxon-mobil-ceo-rex-tillerson-gets-15-percent-raise-to-40.3-million.ece

      • David S, excellent summary.

      • De Boss only get a thousandth share? What kind of fool be he?
        ==========

      • A thousandth share may still be a lot of shares. It’s tough to know how many shares Exxon is worth considering its buyback policy:

        Over the past decade, ExxonMobil has spent $207 billion to buy back its own shares. No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of money. It’s more money than the market capitalization of all but 11 members of the S&P 500. The question is whether buybacks are the best place for the company to spend its riches.

        http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/03/23/exxonmobil-is-an-expert-at-repurchasing-shares/

      • David Springer

        Great news for everyone who wants a piece of Exxon Mobil’s profits. it’s a public company. Anyone who wants to participate can become an owner.

        Isn’t it cool how that works? Doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor, white or black, male or female, communist or anarchist, or even a creepy internet troll like Willard; everyone is welcome to own Exxon Mobil stock.

      • David Springer

        Buybacks are generally done in lieu of dividends so shareholder can choose when to take profits off the table and the tax treatment of those profits. The dividend alternative means a shareholder is forced to take what amount of profit the company decides to release and dividends are generally taxed as ordinary income. A buyback on the other hand increases the value of the remaining shares commensurate with the percentage repurchased. Shareholders then have the option of deciding how many shares (if any) they want to sell and can also, if the shares were held over a year, pay long term capital gains tax instead of ordinary income tax. I’m a big fan of buybacks.

      • David Springer

        It isn’t tough at all to know “how many shares Exxon is worth”. Clumsy language, by the way. It’s a number you can track daily and is called “shares outstanding”. It’s near the bottom of the data in the quote below. 4.45B shares as of today The number is needed for many of the other metrics such as earnings per share, price/earnings, market capitalization, etc.

        http://investing.money.msn.com/investments/stock-price/?symbol=XOM

      • > It’s a number you can track daily and is called “shares outstanding” [...]

        What part of the concept of “buyback” do you not get, Big Dave?

      • > Doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor [...]

        You mean, you can get some XOM for free?

      • Hey Dave. I watched the Joule video. They seem to be very smart people and the technology is mind boggling – at least to a chemist. It is pretty awesome they were able to modify a few parts here and there and get such a flexible handle on the cell’s machinery. The food angle is pretty interesting too. But I always think of the Middle East in these situations. The West bought the Middle East oil technology and now they have money to make war on us – at least to some degree. I’m just saying things don’t turn out like you hope sometimes. Just look at Obama’s actions in the Middle East. There is something there for everyone to dislike.

      • David Springer

        Willard, there’s nothing about buybacks I don’t understand. I’ll add corporate financial statements and metrics to the long list of things you’re ignorant of yet want to babble about nonetheless.

        Definition of ‘Buyback’
        The repurchase of outstanding shares (repurchase) by a company in order to reduce the number of shares on the market. Companies will buy back shares either to increase the value of shares still available (reducing supply), or to eliminate any threats by shareholders who may be looking for a controlling stake.

        http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/buyback.asp

      • David Springer

        willard (@nevaudit) | July 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm |

        > Doesn’t matter who you are, rich or poor [...]

        “You mean, you can get some XOM for free?”

        No. You have to make an effort of some sort. I’m making the assumption that even poor people can make an effort of some sort even if it’s collecting discarded aluminum cans and redeeming them in a recycling center. I know you can’t figure things out for yourself but if it’s important to you I could find out how many cans you need to collect to trade for a share Exxon stock. I can spoonfeed this stuff to you if you’ll stop making faces and spitting it out.

      • David Springer

        jim2

        Funny you should mention middle east in that vein. I sometimes suspect that any technology with the potential to make fossil fuels obsolete is held back because of the economic and social disruption if it happened too fast.

        The fuels Joule is producing is just the tip of the tip (no typo) of the iceberg for synthetic biology. Once we can program artificial microorganisms to do any of the things that natural organisms can do then food, shelter, clothing, fuel, even medical care all become virtually free. In theory synthetic microscopic organisms can even travel around everywhere in your body reversing the damage from aging. This is what the coming era of nanotechnology holds in store and it’s more transformative than anything since language and writing as far as I can determine from an engineering perspective. I’ve been cognizant of it and watching us move down the path towards it since 1987. It’s inevitable. The technology has been around for billions of years which makes it an exercise in reverse engineering. That’s still not easy but the difference between enginnering and reverse engineering is a critical one. With reverse engineering you already know that what you want to do can be done. It’s a proven technology waiting to be harnessed.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      It is a traditional risk analysis method in a mythical framework. The consequences are the area of disagreement.

      likelihood x consequences = risk

      The likelihood of changing the atmosphere is quite high. The consequences are to a significant extent unknown – but theoretically include finite possibilities of catastrophic climate change within as little as a decade.

      This is – btw – what the NAS report actually said.

      ‘Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected…

      Modern climate records include abrupt changes that are smaller and briefer than in paleoclimate records but show that abrupt climate change is not restricted to the distant past.’

      So we have an almost certain increase in atmospheric CO2 times an assumed low probability of catastrophic change in relevant timeframes = extreme risk.

      The focus on energy taxes as a policy response is – however – entirely misguided. We don’t have obvious alternatives that are cost competitive. So take the low hanging elsewhere instead and focus on energy innovation.

      • Statistically, risk is equal to the variance of the probability distribution of all possible outcomes of an activity.

        There zero evidence that humanity is responsible for climate change over the last 10,000 years and zero evidence that 20th century warming is in any exceptional from previous warming periods.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Statistically risk is equal to the probability of occurrence combined with an assessment of consequences. Thus a low probability and extreme consequences is high risk. A high probability and negligible consequences is a negligible risk. Different aspects can have different risks but the overall risk of an activity is the highest risk.

        I assume you agree that we are changing the atmosphere – and that CO2, land use changes, methane, tropospheric ozone, sulphides, black carbon, etc, have global energy implications – otherwise you are not worth talking to.

        Small changes in a coupled nonlinear system – such as climate – drive abrupt and nonlinear responses. In climate this includes the potential for dramatic change in as little as a decade. It is merely the mathematics of nonlinear systems.

      • Steven Mosher

        “likelihood x consequences = risk”

        The problem is there are events that we cannot really attribute likelihoods to.
        For example, in the 1980s I worked in defense. The entire force structure and even the design of individual vehicles was driven by a scenario: A war in the fulda gap. None of us in scenario development had any idea of the likelihood of that war. Look at the B2, that plane was designed precisely to penetrate the EOB lay down in the fulda gap. Every ground station was modelled, its sensors were modelled ( sometime from captured systems). the design was tweaked and retweaked to penentrate this defense. Of course the defense collapsed.
        The point is this. We very often face risks where we cannot calculate the likelihood, but where failure to prepare may be catastrophic. IN the case of the B2 we designed a plane to face a threat that crumbled before our eyes. And yet the platform still has value and use.

        With climate we also face a risk where the likelihood is difficult to estimate.
        We very well may decide to make carbon more expensive to burn. And the threat may crumble before it ever materializes. Still, decarbonizing may have benefits and the issue is how do we decide given that the normal tools of risk assessment cannot be applied. Somehow we made these decisions with the B2 and other programs to protect our future, so suggesting that we have to make similar decisions requires no great imagination.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I think it quite straightforward mosh. How likely is it that we are changing the atmosphere? Quite likely. What are the consequences? By the nature of nonlinear systems consequences range from benign to catastrophic each with some unspecified probability. You are applying the essential concepts of risk assessment incorrectly. A high probability event with low probability of severe consequences is high risk.

        Regardless you might argue that maximum economic growth is the best response because we expect to be surprised and wealth creates resilience and facilitates adaptation. This is the people will be richer and thus better able to adapt. A reasonable argument.

        On the other hand there are many things that can be done that have other benefits in terms of economic and social development and environmental conservation. Things that should be done anyway and that that have carbon mitigation potential.

        But a primary focus of the US internally should be on energy innovation. Something that has modest costs and huge payoffs.

      • One man’s ‘consequence’ is another man’s good fortune. Statistically, it is the variability itself that is the measure of risk.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Various large full-interglacial climate changes during the Holocene and certain earlier interglacials (e.g. the Eemian and the Holstein Interglacials in Europe; Winograd et al. 1997) that show up in the Greenland ice cap also seem to correlate with genuinely large climate shifts in Europe and elsewhere, taking conditions from temperate to boreal or even sub-arctic. Whether they occurred over decades, centuries or thousands of years, they offer a worrying analogue for what might happen if greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked. Judging by its past behaviour under both glacial (e.g. the ending of the Younger Dryas) and interglacial conditions (e.g. the various Holocene climate oscillations leading up to the 20th century; Alley et al., 1997), climate has a tendency to remain quite stable for most of the time and then suddenly ‘flip’; at least sometimes over just a few decades, due to the influence of the various triggering and feedback mechanisms discussed above. Such observations suggest that even without anthropogenic climate modification there is always an axe hanging over our head, in the form of random very large-scale changes in the natural climate system; a possibility that policy makers should perhaps bear in mind with contingency plans and international treaties designed to cope with sudden famines on a greater scale than any experienced in written history. By starting to disturb the system, humans may simply be increasing the likelihood of sudden events which could always occur.’
        http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/transit.html

        ‘Statistically’ there is a risk of large ‘variability’ over short timeframes. I guess igloo salesmen might make a motza.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        In one of the wisest things he’s ever written here on this blog, Chief Hydro said:

        “…wealth creates resilience…”

        ——-
        I couldn’t agree more. But the the wisdom is in knowing what true wealth is.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Backhanded compliment notwithstanding – wealth is measured in dollars, gold, pigs or equivalent local currency, property, various credits, etc. I did mention health and education but this comes under healthy and wise – in the healthy, wealthy and wise trinity.

        Usually you spell it out in one syllable for gatesy.

      • Baksheesh!
        ========

      • Dang, that’s two. Sorry, Skeptisch “R” Gates.
        ============

      • “‘Various large full-interglacial climate changes during the Holocene and certain earlier interglacials… a worrying analogue for what might happen if greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked.

        Emphasis added to highlight gratuitous remark that is not worthy of any real scientist, nor worth repeating except to demonstrate how far down the rabbit hole Western academia has sunk.

      • Prezackly. They’d have more luck bending over and picking up their shadows.

        Warming climate is devoutly to be hoped for. The alternative is nasty, because stand-still stability is a spurious option.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is a matter of when not if waggy – although the causes are difficult to untangle the risk is mathematically certain despite your arm waving.

      • “It is a matter of when not if waggy – although the causes are difficult to untangle the risk is mathematically certain despite your arm waving.”

        The mathematical “certainty” of an event happening is absolutely meaningless without some level of certainty of when. Asteroids? Massive solar flares? The Big One” on the San Andreas fault. Pandemics. Super, drug resistant bacteria?

        Why don’t we enact a 100% tax on all income and let government “experts” decide how to protect us from whatever the Armageddon du jour is?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘We do not know whether such changes could occur in the near future as a result of human effects on climate. Phenomena such as the Younger Dryas and Heinrich events might only occur in a ‘glacial’ world with much larger ice sheets and more extensive sea ice cover. However, a major sudden cold event did probably occur under global climate conditions similar to those of the present, during the Eemian interglacial, around 122,000 years ago. Less intensive, but significant rapid climate changes also occurred during the present (Holocene) interglacial, with cold and dry phases occurring on a 1500-year cycle, and with climate transitions on a decade-to-century timescale. In the past few centuries, smaller transitions (such as the ending of the Little Ice Age at about 1650 AD) probably occurred over only a few decades at most. All the evidence indicates that most long-term climate change occurs in sudden jumps rather than incremental changes.’

        Taking a single sentence out of context is a sign of intellectual dishonesty on your part waggy – not of some hypothetical bevy of western scientists.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Sure I’d like to know exactly when I am going to have a crash – so I can be somewhere else at the time.

        Meanwhile let’s just ride our motorcycles down the mountain at 150mph.

        ‘This song is about the time that I was ridin’ my motorcycle.
        Going down a mountain road, at 150 miles an hour, playin’
        my guitar. On one side of the mountain road there was a
        mountain, and on the other side there was nothin’ – there was
        a cliff in the air.

        Now, when you’re going down a mountain road at I50 miles
        an hour you gotta be very careful, especially if you’re playin’
        a guitar. Especially if that guitar is an acoustic guitar.
        Because if it’s an acoustic guitar, the wind pressure is greater
        on the box side than on the neck side, because there’s
        more guitar on the box side. I wasn’t payin’ attention ..

        Luckily I didn’t go into the mountain – I went over the cliff.
        I was goin’ at 150 miles an hour sideways and 500 feet down
        at the same time.

        I knew it was the end. I looked down, I said ”Wow! Some
        trip”. I thought it…well I knew it was…I knew it was my last
        trip, and in my last remaining seconds in world, I decided
        to write one last farewell song to the world.

        Put a new ink cartridge in my pen. Took out a piece of paper.
        I sat back and I thought awhile. Then I started writin’:
        I don’t want a pickle
        Just want to ride on my motorsickle
        And I don’t want a tickle
        ‘Cause I’d rather ride on my motorsickle’

        H/T Arlo Guthrie

        I guess it is about managing risk.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        Chief Hydro:

        Regarding true wealth, it does become a bit subjective doesn’t it? If I have to destroy the planet or injure my health or the health of the ecosytem to have a bigger house or more pigs or a bigger SUV, than certainly that is not true wealth, but rather an illusion. Bigger and more and constant growth at some point become equal to cancer, which is growth for growths sake. The success of humanity will ultimately not be measured in how many of us manage to populate this planet, but HOW we populate it– using our large brains and intelligence to become true stewards of the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and even lithosphere. It is only then that we’ll be truly wealthy.

      • “Meanwhile let’s just ride our motorcycles down the mountain at 150mph.”

        Interesting analogy. So you, the guy on the back of the bike, says I need to let you drive. “We are going down this mountain at 150mph.”

        Me: There is no speedometer on this bike – you have no idea how fast we are going.”

        You: I don’t need to know how fast we are actually going, the mere possibility that we are going 150mph means that you can not be trusted driving your own motorcycle so you should give control of it to me.

        Me: Shoot, you don’t even know whether we are even going down a mountain. You haven’t been able to measure the slope because you have been riding with your eyes closed.

        You: I don’t care. I want control because…well…I want it. My fear gives me the right to control your behavior, even in the absence of any evidence.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Talk about changing the topic. Romantic limits to growth claptrap gatesy. When I was studying environmental science our mantra was that only affluent peoples can afford environments.

        We can get much richer and conserve environments – the two are complementary. Wealth is in dollars or property – nothing subjective about it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What a specious screen play Gary.

        We are emitting CO2 at 34 billion tonnes a year – changing the composition of the atmosphere with a quite unknown but mathematically finite risk. If you want to justify that – by all means go right ahead – but it is an argument from ignorance in denying the possibility of any consequences at all.

        Yes we are riding down the mountain at 150mph – playin’ an acoustic guitar. What we do about it is another question. Head in the sand – or up your arse – is an option but not one I am about to endorse.

      • CH, for once I agree with you. We are barreling towards those climate tipping points that undoubtedly exist ahead. Safer to go slower, however you look at it.

      • 34 billions tons? Really? 34 billion? Wow that sounds like a lot. You should capitalize the “b.” Maybe write in red. Because 34 billion has to be bad? Right?

        You substitute emotion for fact, and fear for logic. You have no clue what the temps will be in 50 or 100 years. Your passionate embrace of the uncertainty principle is all well and good. But arguing from ignorance has not served your fellow warmists so well to date.

        You want to substitute your judgment on economics for the billions of other people on the planet. Let the Russians, Chinese and Indians stay in poverty for ever. Or no, wait, maybe when you are done remaking the energy economy, you will come up with another brilliant plan that will get rid of poverty world wide. Because if you can solve a problem like globalclimatewarmingchange, what is the remaking of an economy of a mere 5-6 billion people?

        If only the stupid masses would allow the brilliant elitists run their lives, oh what a world it would be.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        That’s because you are comprehensively wrong Jim. It is still not warming for a decade or three at least. Silly rhetoric about climate tipping points merely confuses the issue. Instead we have a low risk of large change that in fact is more likely to be entirely natural. So what I am talking about is social and economic development to make communities more resilient and energy innovation to make energy cheaper than what it is currently.

        There are three objectives.

        ’1) to ensure that the basic needs, especially the energy demands, of the
        world’s growing population are adequately met. ‘Adequacy’ means energy that is simultaneously accessible, secure and low-cost.

        2) to ensure that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the
        essential functioning of the Earth system, in recent years most commonly
        reflected in concerns about accumulating carbon dioxide (CO2) in the
        atmosphere, but certainly not limited to that factor alone;

        3) to ensure that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever may be their cause.’

        Carbon dioxide has been a side show distracting from progress for 25 years.

        Emissions are a fact Gary not emotions or dissimulation or fear. And they are likely to double, triple or more as economies grow this century.

        If you want to substitute rant and head up your arse ignorance for serious reflection – I can’t help that.

      • Chief Head Up Your Own….

        “Emissions are a fact Gary not emotions or dissimulation or fear.”

        Where did I or anyone else say emissions were not a fact? Remove your cranium from your own anal aperture before worrying about mine.

        The fear and emotion are your justification for claiming the desperate need to implement your policy choices.

        “carbon dioxide is a sideshow,” according to you, except when it provides a rationale for imposing your leftish policies on the world whether the people want them or not.

        You make skeptical sounding statements about the state of knowledge about the risks, but then buy into the chicken little mantra as an excuse to push your mangled vision of internationalist policy.

        You don’t know enough about the climate to know the degree of risk.

        You don’t know enough about how anthropogenic activities affect that climate to deal with that unknown risk.

        And you sure as hell don’t know enough to prescribe, let alone implement, the policies you preach.

        “1) to ensure that the basic needs, especially the energy demands, of the world’s growing population are adequately met.”

        You don’t have a clue how to meet the basic needs of the world’s population. Getting rid of governments led by people like you who think they know how to design an economy would be a good start, but no one knows how to solve all the myriad economic, political and natural resource issue that contribute to poverty being the norm in today’s world.

        “2) to ensure that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system”

        First, you have no idea how development is “undermining the essential functioning of Earth.” Second, you don’t have a clue how to manage development in a way to balance development with “environmental impacts” on a climatological scale. Third, again, the only type of government that could “ensure we develop” in the Chief approved method would be one in which freedom was a fond memory.

        “3) to ensure that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever may be their cause.”

        Protect our societies “from all the vagaries of climate, whatever may be their cause?” Again, the only way government can do this (well it can’t, but I’ll take your formulation for the sake of argument) is with absolute power. The only people who advocate such standards are those who pine (often secretly) for just that result.

        History is littered with hundreds of millions of corpses who were sacrificed for various utopian delusions, all of which were “for the people.”

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        Chief Hydro explains:

        “Wealth is in dollars or property – nothing subjective about it.”

        _____
        Yet some of the wealthist people I’ve known have had little of either. Odd, isn’t it?

      • R Gates

        You old softie, you’re referring to ‘It’s a wonderful life’ and ‘he’s the richest man in town.’ aren’t you?
        tonyb

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I told you gatesy there is health, wealth and wisdom. Let’s try not the redefine the terms. This just serves obfuscation and confusion.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | July 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm |

        “The problem is there are events that we cannot really attribute likelihoods to. For example, in the 1980s I worked in defense. The entire force structure and even the design of individual vehicles was driven by a scenario: A war in the fulda gap.”

        BZZZZZZZZZT. Wrong. The likelyhood was simply above your paygrade. A situation you should be well familiar with by now.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What people want is economic development. In the developing world a great part of that is conservation farming – indeed in the west as well. It is a world wide movement to conserve and protect agricultural soils. Ironically – it sequesters significant amounts of carbon in soils It is perhaps better seen as polycentric – informed co-operation of business, government and communities. It is the model of the management of commons developed by the late Elinor Ostrom over many years – and for which she won the Nobel Prize in economics.

        As part of a package that is reasonably approximated by the MDG – it provides the basis for economic development. The rest of the package involves models of democracy, the rule of law, free markets, transparent and efficient governance, effective delivery of health services and education and provision of safe water and sanitation. This ultimately stabilizes population earlier than otherwise – but is a humanitarian objective in it’s own right.

        In the short term there are opportunities to manage black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, sulphides and nitrous oxide as well as to conserve and restore ecosystems. Longer term the need is for energy innovation – incrementally for many technologies – to provide a basis of cheap, available and abundant energy – much cheaper than energy today which is historically very expensive.

        Climate change is a sideshow – it is been a distraction from the main game for 25 years. Climate – as everyone is now realizing – is a coupled non-linear system. Certainly there is risk there – of abrupt and nonlinear change. But it is not realized as yet – and this risk exists regardless of human emissions of CO2. The solution is to build from the ground up more resilient communities.

        Mushy thinking helps no one Gary. If you are arguing that there is no risk from rising emissions of CO2 then – as I said – you are arguing from a very uncomfortable position. I’d rather move on and argue for appropriate ways forward.

      • And I don’t wanta fry,
        Just wanta ride on my motor, sigh.
        ====================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        And I don’t wanna cry,
        just wanna ride my motor si.

      • Just in passing, Chief, no country has attained a high (by modern standards) standard of living through agricultural development. In every case it has come about by moving resources form low-productivity agriculture to higher-productivity industries.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Efficient and productive farming provides a basis for all else.

      • You can’t have one, you can’t have one, you can’t have one without the other.
        ============

      • Steven Mosher | July 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm |:

        “…With climate we also face a risk where the likelihood is difficult to estimate…. the threat may crumble before it ever materializes.”

        Relax, Steven, it already has crumbled. There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than ever before but there is no warming. And there has been none for 15 years as even Pachauri of the IPCC has reluctantly admitted. They put all their their eggs in one basket when they asserted that greenhouse effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide will warm the world. It does not do that. The same thing happened in the eighties and nineties. From 1979 to 1997 there was no warming according to satellite observations. But ground-based temperature curves were showing a steady warming called “late twentieth century warming.” That was obviously phony and in my book I demanded an investigation. There was no investigation but the late twentieth century warming I referred to was quietly withdrawn last fall by GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC. I regard this concerted action as tantamount to admission that they knew the warming was phony. Now that it no longer exists we can start a new temperature curve from 1979 up that begins with 18 years of no warming. Add to this the no-warming period of the twenty-first century and you are left with only a small window between them. That is just wide enough to accommodate the super El Nino and its step warming. This means that there has been no greenhouse warming whatsoever since 1979, which means the last 34 years. What are the chances that there was greenhouse warming earlier than that? Zero in my opinion. All those computer predictions of future warming based on the existence of the greenhouse effect are thereby invalidated. And that means global warming risk is zero.

      • Arno writes:
        “There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than ever before but there is no warming.”

        Yes there is. Ocean heat content continues to rise and within noise so does surface and tropospheric temperature.

        “And there has been none for 15 years as even Pachauri of the IPCC has reluctantly admitted.”

        Pachauri made no such admission and even if he had, he would have made a mistake as it isn’t true.

        “They put all their their eggs in one basket when they asserted that greenhouse effect of atmospheric carbon dioxide will warm the world. It does not do that.

        Yes it does. It has and it will continue doing so.

        “From 1979 to 1997 there was no warming according to satellite observations.”

        False.

        “There was no investigation but the late twentieth century warming I referred to was quietly withdrawn last fall by GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC. I regard this concerted action as tantamount to admission that they knew the warming was phony. … “This means that there has been no greenhouse warming whatsoever since 1979, which means the last 34 years. What are the chances that there was greenhouse warming earlier than that?

        God you are deluded.

      • If we hold other elements constant and change one variable and then examine the consequences we can learn something. If we repeat the exercise for all the variables that we think are pertinent, we can learn a lot.

        One variable is CO2. We know that it prevents the Earth from cooling as quickly as otherwise would happen. We know that we are putting increasing amounts of it into the atmosphere and that this is likely to continue and indeed increase. The additional forcing is a property of common physics. The trajectory is easy to measure and has been measured by many scientists, resulting in a curve that looks very logical and has narrow error bands. See Nocera and Pielke for non-consensus views, or watch Hans Rosling’s entertaining presentation on the subject. It’s not controversial so we can use this curve and move on to the next variable.

        If we then measure the additional forcing using different values of sensitivity we create a distribution curve of temperatures. This has been done repeatedly and the results from different scientists match pretty closely. There is disagreement on what actual sensitivity is, but if you ask Dick Lindzen and James Hansen what the answer is for either 1, 2 or 3 as a value for sensitivity they will give you the same answer.

        The fact that we have not internally accepted the above as a given prevents us from evaluating risk in a sane manner. We need a Rosetta Stone that translates and equates skeptic and consensus rhetoric, something our hostess has been trying to do for two years or more on this weblog. (Has it really been so long?)

        It would not be difficult to prepare a list of actions appropriate for differing degrees of climate change, especially as many of those actions are appropriate absent any climate change at all. The fact that we are not discussing such a list is not a travesty–it’s a tragedy.

      • We have had bigger than small changes over the past ten thousand years. We have had bigger than small changes over the past 800 k years. The temperature bounds got tighter as Polar Ice Developed.

        The temperature upper limit is reached when Polar Water Thaws and the Snowfall starts.

        The temperature lower limit is reached when Polar Water Freezes and the Snowfall stops.

        POLAR ICE and WATER have a SET Point and that IS the Thermostat for Modern Earth.

      • “The fact that we have not internally accepted the above as a given prevents us from evaluating risk in a sane manner.”

        It would be if it were not for the fact that we have to move away from fossil fuels anyways, seeing as they are a finite resource.

        The skeptical assessment of risk misses this obvious bit of reality. The fact that many skeptics are deniers about AGW while also holding cornucopian beliefs when it comes to oil reserves doesn’t help at all.

    • “Where would people get enough horses?”

      In the UK you just head down to the frozen food section of the local supermarket!

  2. Reblogged this on evilincandescentbulb and commented:

    Try reading this article through the filter of one essential truism: the more politicized, opinionated and self-important scientists become the less reason there is to have science.

    • I see nothing wrong with scientists having opinions or considering the work they do as important.

      Wagathon are you the type that believes in snuffing out opinion?. Shame on you, you anti-democrat.

    • …… and just to complete the three problems you have with scientists. We are all political animals, I also don’t see that you have the right to deny scientists that personal freedom as well.

      • Before giving over responsibility for our lives to visionaries of climate disaster like Al Gore (see–e.g., Why Was Al Gore Given a Nobel?) we need real facts not convenient facts and not, politically-correct facts. An objective search for truth, wherever the facts may lead, may be a hard task and who but ourselves will put out all that effort for our sakes? We only place real value on ‘true’ facts that we come to know from within ourselves. Those who are so driven to look beyond what is convenient and fashionable are rightly skeptical of fads, the latest new religion or a consensus of opinion among those who hate us. (See–e.g., Does the Left Hate Our Way of Life?)

  3. johnfpittman

    The problem is that persons do not agree with the values and uncertainties of other people. So, one cannot easily have a productive approach. If one starts with values as part of the productive approach, then the mantle of consensus and experts determinng policy will not be accepted. This article reflects what is wrong in the discussion. Policy makers should get rid of “telling” people the correct policy and start “listening” to determine workable policy. The risk analysis will be mostly useless until there is buy in. What persons are easily ready to do for CC is not much based on where it lies with respect to other environmental issues alone, much less other policy issues, according to the last studies I saw out on the subject.

    • True, true — Consider for example the larger part of concern about global warming which I believe is devoted to the finding of ‘truth’ that is measured only in terms of its ‘usefulness’ to an end. The suspicion in the air is that those ends are really nothing more than to—i.e.,

      • Perpetuate the global warming belief

      • Create a sense of alarmism and imminent peril

      • Characterize it as a calamity that results from bad behavior

      • Blame capitalism for causing that bad behavior

  4. David Springer

    At present I’m inclined to accept, for the sake of argument, that energy retained by greenhouse gases is being unexpectedly sequestered in the deep ocean. We know for a fact that once the energy is diffused through the ocean basin it cannot concentrate itself on the surface again to cause a problem. Fast in, slow out. That’s pure and simple 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    So what we need to know is why this energy is unexpectedly being mixed into the deep ocean. What mechanism came along that increased the nominal mix rate of warm shallow surface water and cold deep abyss.

    If we understood that mechanism it’s quite possible we could control it by some simple expedient such as blocking or opening up choke points in ocean circulation. If warming became an undeniable large net economic problem and we knew how to speed up the rate of ocean overtuning we could simply shunt the energy into the deep ocean where it would take thousands of years to escape due to law of entropy.

    In fact we need to know how much it would cost to sequester CO2 if and when any serious warming problem becomes evident. This must be compared to the cost of reducing emissions. As far as I’m concerned synthetic biology is a transformative technology that would certainly be able to sequester atmospheric CO2 almost for free by producing durable goods of carbon compounds using atmospheric CO2 as the source of the carbon. Synthetic biology is a rapidly maturing technology. We should be putting a lot more effort into it although the opportunities presented by it are so huge and near term there’s many billions in private capital pouring into it annually for low cost production of everything from drugs to diesel fuel.

      • SpringyBoy, The land is heating up at twice the rate of the ocean surface temperatures.

        The ocean is already sinking half the excess heat. Having the ocean sink more heat won’t necessarily prevent the land from getting just as hot.

        Think about if you placed your heat sink a distance away from the CPU in your laptop. Making the heat sink any bigger won’t help. I realize you have little engineering experience in designing laptops … Oops.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        WHT ,

        Ocean are probably taking up quite a bit more than half the excess energy caused by imbalance created from accumulating GH gases…maybe more in the 80-90% range.

      • Gates,
        We are both right. The ocean is instantaneously absorbing half the energy excess, the effective forcing power, but is accumulating 90% of the energy because it holds on to it, whereas the land has to radiate it away.

        This is confusing at first, but is obvious when you look at the OHC curves from Levitus and compare against the forcing imbalance estimates.

      • WHT and Gates

        Problem with the OHC guess-timates is that they are just that, certainly prior to ARGO.

        Since then the change in temperature can be measured in thousandths of a degree per decade. Or can it?

        So we really don’t know how much heat is going into the upper (and deep) ocean.

        And we know that it is a myth that this “heat” will come back and “haunt us with a vengeance” some magical day in the future.

        Voodoo science at its best, guys.

        But, hey, if you want to believe it, be my guest.

        Max

      • David Springer

        Yes actually making the heat sink bigger would help. Since we’re imagining imagine yourself sitting on a stool. Imagine sitting on stool inside a brick oven or sitting on a stool inside an igloo. Granted you won’t be as much of a little bitch (well, you’re ALWAYS a little bitch but imagine you weren’t) to the temperature of the walls if you’re not touching them but you’re still going to be effected.

        And my John Hancock is on more patent abstracts for heat sinks in laptops than you can shake a stick at. I was on the patent committee at Dell for two years and reviewed an average of 10 patent abstracts each week and voted on whether or not to pursue filing.

      • David Springer

        Yes of course land is warming faster. It has little heat capacity. I’m not sure why you think that’s a difficult concept. The thing of it is that warming over land from non-condensing greenhouse gases is regional, not global, largely because the effect it is redundant in the presence of water vapor. So we get most of the warming over land in sub-freezing temperatures because that’s usually when the least water vapor is in the air. Most people who live where average winter temperature is well below freezing welcome the slight increase in winter temperature.

      • David Springer

        Actually land doesn’t radiate all of it away. Warmer land temperature means warmer river water and, I’m not sure if this holds true on the planet webby lives on, but on my planet water flows downhill and rivers eventually empty into the ocean. Ocean warming due to land warming. Follow the water. ALWAYS follow the water.

      • Land warming at twice the rate of ocean surface. The ocean heat content sinking half the excess GHE heat. It all makes consistent sense. Deal with it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh right – goes here.

        Oceans forcing land temps and the difference relates to reduced water availability over land. Forcing being complicated by large variability in TOA flux caused by changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation.

        Deal with it clot dancer.

      • Land temperature is rising twice the rate of ocean surface temperatures. Here is the data comparing CRUTEM (land) and HadSST (ocean surface)

        http://imageshack.us/a/img854/2439/usfe.gif

        This has been very apparent in recent years, and less obvious in the past, most likely obscured due to poor accuracy in temperature records.

      • Interesting how the correlation increased too. This implies they both are responding to the same forcing which is quite strong. Certainly a regime change after 1980.

      • This is another study that describes the ratio
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2011JCLI3893.1
        “The Relationship between Land–Ocean Surface Temperature Contrast
        and Radiative Forcing”

        “These results are consistent with earlier studies that found that both land and ocean surface temperature changes may be approximated as local responses to global mean radiative forcing”

        There are definitely movements of heat going each way, land to ocean and ocean to land, but they say that the local response is to global mean radiative forcing. The land has less heat capacity so will show a more direct transient response, while the ocean will show a lagged response.

      • Web, from that paper, the models tend to have a ratio of 1.4:1, so it seems that the observed ratio of 2:1 is higher, probably because the ocean surface is not warming as fast as the models would predict in this period.

      • Yes, the ocean warming is modulated in two (directional) ways. Downward it is modulated by the spreading of heat by an effective diffusion. Upward it is modulated by latent heat of evaporation, where the energy is transported to higher altitudes.

        Neither of these is important on land. There is no heat capacity to speak of, and water vaporization is not as important over large stretches.

        Energy has to be conserved when considered globally.

      • I think the part the models have trouble with is the more complex effective ocean diffusion, which includes circulation effects such as narrow upwelling zones and PDO phases. It seems they underestimate this effect.

      • Jim D – how could they include the PDO? IPCC models do 2100. From what I’ve read, a model trying to do the PDO until 2100 likely melts down.

        The first models designed to do that sort of thing, oscillations like the PDO, would include Smith et al. They predicted natural variation would swamp AGW early on, but called for the resumption of warming right about yesterday. There are very few of these type forecasts being made.

      • JCH, I agree they can’t do PDOs especially in the right phase. This is like weather in the ocean, somewhat unpredictable. Another aspect is whether it is possible to get PDO-like circulations and upwelling that goes with it. I think the ocean model needs to be better resolved, but that is just my opinion.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | July 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm |

        “Land warming at twice the rate of ocean surface. The ocean heat content sinking half the excess GHE heat. It all makes consistent sense. Deal with it.”

        Two times zero? Deal with it indeed.

      • SpringyBoy forgets about the total anomaly. Let me remind him:
        http://imageshack.us/a/img854/2439/usfe.gif

      • David Springer

        BOO-YAH! That’s what I’m talking about. A win-win situation. Recycle CO2 back into fuel using solar for the process energy and synthetic organisms as the catalytic convertors.

        It gets better. There what’s called low quality heat in the steam turbine exhaust. Anything under about 500F isn’t usable because Carnot Efficiency and parasitic losses combine to make extracting more work from a 400F temperature gradient impractical. The exception is generally if you have any nearby buildings to heat so the power plant heats itself in the winter with its own waste heat but it produces far more waste heat than can be used for that. HOWEVER (I love this schit) if you have a bioreactor next door recycling the CO2 in the boiler exhaust back into fuel you can use that waste heat to keep the bioreactor at exactly the right temperature when it’s cold outside!

        Mark my words. Third generation biofuel is the future. A not very distant future. Clean. Abundant. Cheaper than fossil fuel ever was and cheaper is exactly what we need more than anything.

      • David Springer

        Hmmm… that’s actually 2nd generation biofuel now that I read the article. Harvesting the algae and squeezing the oil out of it. More efficient is third generation such as Joule Unlimited where the algae (not really algae but rather photosynthetic bacteria) secrete the fuel into the growth medium and don’t die during harvest. The fuel is separated from the water in other ways (evaporation for ethanol and centrifuge for diesel). But this is still good just not as efficient.

      • I’d say the key figure in this story is A$23 per ton.

        At 19 million tons a year, that’s $437 million in carbon tax.

        The next key figure will be how long the “few” years it will be to get to the 1.3 million ton capacity. At that level the payback for the cost of the plant is about 5 years (assuming no additional capital investment is needed for the ramp up in capacity). At the initial of 270,000 tons, it becomes 20+ years.

        From a talk an alumni gave a couple of months ago, I noted a comment about bio energy from algae not going anywhere. I don’t know enough to determine the validity of that comment.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The $23/tonne is laughable. The best case – assuming the tax survives at all – is that it gets linked to the European price currently at about $6. Leaving a fairly sizable hole in government revenue.

      • Chief,

        At A$6 per ton that extends the payback period to 18 years, using the 1.3 million ton capture capacity figure. If this becomes the case, either Macquarie (who owns 45% of the company I work for) figures the proceeds from selling algae oil will be a growth market or someone in accounting messed up.

    • A power station in Sydney Oz announced today that it is going to install an algae plant to recycle it’s co2. I posted 3 links, but they didn’t appear.

      • Mike Jonas

        “an algae plant to recycle it’s co2″: – that’s reliable solar power, and it’s recycling a by-product instead of chucking it away. Makes a lot of sense if the technology and economics stack up.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘A characteristic feature of global warming is the land–sea contrast, with stronger warming over land than over oceans. Recent studies find that this land–sea contrast also exists in equilibrium global change scenarios,
      and it is caused by differences in the availability of surface moisture over land and oceans. In this study it is illustrated that this land–sea contrast exists also on interannual time scales and that the ocean–land interaction
      is strongly asymmetric. The land surface temperature is more sensitive to the oceans than the oceans are to the land surface temperature, which is related to the processes causing the land–sea contrast in global warming scenarios. It suggests that the ocean’s natural variability and change is leading to variability and change with enhanced magnitudes over the continents, causing much of the longer-time-scale (decadal) global-scale continental climate variability. Model simulations illustrate that continental warming due to anthropogenic forcing (e.g., the warming at the end of the last century or future climate change scenarios) is mostly (80%–90%) indirectly forced by the contemporaneous ocean warming, not directly by local radiative forcing.’ http://users.monash.edu.au/~dietmard/papers/dommenget.land-ocean.jcl2009.pdf

      The vertical distribution of heat in the oceans is government by the balance of turbulent dissipation and buoyant convection – complicated by cold water upwelling. Warm water rises – turbulent dissipation seems to change for reasons that are not obvious. An increase in Walker circulation has been suggested as a reason for recently increased dissipation amongst other things – but it seems early days.

      The oceans warm the atmosphere – both over oceans and land. The contrast between land and ocean is a result of differential water availability. Warming of the oceans is a result of the difference between incoming and outgoing energy – which itself is modulated by ocean and atmospheric circulation. Simplistic ideas of energy imbalances at TOA are no longer viable if they ever were.

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

      These ocean and atmospheric changes have alternately warmed and cooled the atmosphere in the instrumental record. There is no reason for that pattern to continue however. After this cool interlude – I would put my money on yet more cooling.

      Jarhead the Jabberwocky is right however – and it is something that people have been saying for a long time – the focus domestically should be on energy innovation.

    • This was unexpected. For land only, the BEST temp begins the satellite era even with the sat temps. But then, BEST diverges upwards from the sat data. Someone (Mosher?) needs to explain why the sat temps were anywhere close to the BEST temps at the beginning of the sat era.

      I have to assume something is wrong with that part of the chart. But if that part is OK, then why does BEST go up and sats meander about the same as before?

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss-land/plot/uah-land/plot/best

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I was deliberately ignoring this. Surface temps over oceans are determined from sea water intakes – on the basis that the sea surface is in thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere at the surface. If increased upwelling means this is not the case since the turn of the millennium – there may be an element of measurement artifact. It shows up from the 1980′s – is more pronounced in recent times.

        The explanation of relative water availability seems reasonable as a contributing factor – and this may show up in surface but not tropospheric temps.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:12/plot/crutem4vgl/mean:12

      • Chief Hydrologist | July 3, 2013 at 12:54 am | Surface temps over oceans are determined from sea water intakes – on the basis that the sea surface is in thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere at the surface.

        What do you mean – what uptakes, and – how do you get the basis for the sea surface to be in thermal equilibrium with the atmosphere at the surface?

        Not arguing that it ain’t so, I just don’t understand what you’re saying here, probably some technical hydrological thing.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Surface temperature oven oceans are not measured as surface temperatures using thermometers at various non standard heights and on a moving platform. It is measured from water intakes assuming the sea surface temperature is equal to the surface temperature. It used to be measured from buckets.

      • David Springer

        Engine cooling water intakes on ships at sea…

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yes – it is usually advisable to have a boat when you are at sea.

      • Thank you.

      • Steven Mosher

        jim2.

        you need to adjust for the differing the base periods.

      • David Springer

        David Springer | July 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm |

        Engine cooling water intakes on ships at sea…

        Chief Hydrologist | July 3, 2013 at 6:02 pm |

        Yes – it is usually advisable to have a boat when you are at sea.

        I’m sorry, was I too clear?

      • Steve M. – If by adjust for base period you mean start all plots at 1979, I did that. BEST and sats are still very close.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What’s your problem Jabberwocky? I was agreeing.

      • Steven Mosher

        no jim2.

        The berkeley anomaly is calculated as an offset from the average temp
        from 1951-1980 ( a cool period ) lets say that average is 9C

        So an anomaly of 1 means 9+1 or 10C

        The RSS and UAH are calculated from a 1981-2010 base period. Note this is a warmer period…. say.. its 9.5C for sake of discussion.

        Thus a RSS anomaly of 1 = 9.5+1 or 10.5C

        So you have to rebaseline the berkeley numbers which will move that curve down. simply you have to “offset” the entire berkely curve lower.

        PLus use the newest data: now up to march 2013.

        a) new stations
        b) improved processing… post coming once I finish checking stuff

        http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/auto/Global/Full_TAVG_complete.txt

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Oceans forcing land temps and the difference relates to reduced water availability over land. Forcing being complicated by large variability in TOA flux caused by changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation.

      Deal with it clot dancer.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Oceans forcing land temps and the difference relates to reduced water availability over land. Forcing being complicated by large variability in TOA flux caused by changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation.

      Deal with it clot dancer.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Land forced by oceans – the difference being the result of less water availability over land. The forcing being predominantly caused by changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation and consequent cloud radiative changes. Deal with it.

    • We have had ten thousand years of a cycle that repeats and that is bounded inside the same limits. The things that cause earth to get hot or cold vary over some large differences, but actual earth temperature stays bounded in the same range.

      That indicates you must have a SET POINT.

      The temperature that Polar Water Freezes and Thaws is the only SET POINT.

  5. However, there remains a privileged position for expert assessments of the “real” risks when nonexpert individuals are described as loss averse or loss accepting, probability over- or underestimating and tending to prefer large uncertain losses to small certain ones. (emphasis added)

    But, do the American people need a Führer?

    For example, the risk is death is certain. However, the risk of death tomorrow is far less certain if dictated by nature, luck and average intelligence. But, the equation changes dramatically if an expert in a privileged position deems you to be expendable, a threat, unintelligent, dishonest, untrustworthy, not believing enough, guilty of whatever Kafka did, being a witch… Capiche?

  6. This is an interesting phrase, something like the precautionary principle.
    “The traditional engineering and health approach, the inevitable corollary of defining anything as presenting a risk, indicates that climate change can and ought to be rationally managed, or at the very least contained, and preferably eliminated. ”
    Also the separation into groups who fear economical damage more than climate damage (let’s say ecological damage) and vice versa is interesting. I think, in the end, both types of damage are inevitable, the economical because of the ecological, not because of any policy action, but that’s just because I am pessimistic about anything that can prevent CO2 going well past a doubling, given the realities of global population and its development.

    • … and even past a doubling is how many ppm? It is not sensible to think of atmospheric CO2 as a poison irrespective of however many ‘experts’ are in a ‘privileged position’ effectively engage in propaganda.

      • About 4 degrees. Don’t worry about the ppm, it’s the degrees that matter.

      • Filling a greenhouse with 1000s of ppm is not what makes a greenhouse hotter.

      • Rob Starkey

        gee, maybe someone will be able to find a relationship between ppm and temp…LOL

      • ..ppm of CO2 is an dependent variable. The independent variable is modernity. Global warming alarmists blame global warming on clean water, sewage treatment, hot showers, plentiful food, heating and air conditioning, transcontinental transportation, and a burgeoning Leftist bureaucracy there to enjoy it all so long as someone else is doing all the work.

      • One degree C warming per 100 ppm counting from the natural value of 280 ppm. Yes, it is a linear approximation to a curve, but holds well for the first 4-5 degrees, which would be the range in this century. It is the kind of number you can give to the policymakers that directly relates cause and effect.

      • …you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory. ~Stephen Hawking

      • Jim D

        You are right when you write:

        Don’t worry about the ppm, it’s the degrees that matter.

        But your figure of 4 degrees is exaggerated.

        Based on the latest observation-based studies, the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is around half the previously estimated mean value in AR4 (or around 1.6C, rather than 3.2C).

        With CO2 rising to around 640 ppmv by 2100 (average of the first four IPCC “SRES scenarios and storylines”), we would theoretically have 1.1C warming from to day to 2100.

        Even using the arguably exaggerated previous 2xCO2 value of IPCC, we only arrive at 2.2C warming.

        So, yes, it is the “degrees that matter” and they are not high enough to cause any real concern.

        Max

      • … and ‘per century’ and we all know a lot of things happen over a century. Perhaps to nature it is the blink of an eye but on a human scale all the way back to the horse and buggy for us moderns.

      • My guess would be nearer 700 ppm which gives 4 C over pre-industrial at 3 C per doubling. NH land is currently warming near 4 C per doubling, and the Arctic faster still, so your local results may vary.

      • End of scare: Climate sensitivity of 0.5 C [i.e., not 3° C as the UN-IPCC claimed] is thus determined. ~Lindzen & Choi, 2009

      • Jim D

        You are giving me an exaggerated CO2 level for year 2100, apparently ignoring that most projections of population growth show a sharp slowdown in growth rate over this century to around one-fourth the past rate, with population leveling off at around 10.5 billion by 2100.

        Then you pull the old canard of estimating what the warming since “preindustrial” year 1750 will be. This is outright idiotic. We’ve already seen about 1C warming and are doing just fine, thank you. Start your warming forecast with today or you look like some sort of doofus.

        Then you apparently use an old value for 2xCO2 climate sensitivity, which is twice as high as the more recent observation-based estimates, and ASS-U-ME that we will be at a mythical “equilibrium” by 2100.

        All of these silly assumptions triple the warming projection, in order to make it appear scary.

        It doesn’t work, Jim.

        I can see through your game.

        So can most other observers here.

        Max

      • tempterrain

        Filling a greenhouse with 1000s of ppm is not what makes a greenhouse hotter.

        That’s because greenhouses are only a few metres high. If they were several kilometres high, 1000 ppm would have a large effect.

      • Fyi– most of the atmospheric CO2 is at about the level of your ankles and is far more likely to be rained out of the atmosphere and dissolve into the soil and water than to rise up into the upper atmosphere.

      • tempterrain

        At the top of Mauna Loa CO2 levels are measured at 400ppmv. So how high would they be around my ankles? Say at sea level? My ankles would be about 6 in higher.

      • Measurements of atmospheric CO2 levels at Mauna Loa can swing by as much as 600 ppm in a single day.

    • Until you guys who like to blithely assume that x ppm of co2 cause y warming can explain the gaping hole the tropospheric so called hot spot that turned out to be a cold spot and also explain why 7,000 ppm of co2 didn’t prevent a glaciation back in the Ordovician, then I can see no reason to consider that your views have any credibility. Not only that, but the current temperature plateau also erodes the credibility of your views.

      4 degrees ? cause and effect ? by which you mean to infer that co2 causes degrees C. Yet the more convincing evidence is the reverse.

      If as seems likely, we will see cooling until 2030 at least, then zero degrees increase in temperatures by 2100 is a more plausible outcome than 4 degrees.

      • If you are interested in paleoclimate, you only have to look at the Eocene and Triassic when CO2 increases also went with large warmings. The time since the Eocene 50 million years ago saw a gradual almost steady CO2 decline and cooling until Antarctica glaciated, then Greenland, and finally the Ice Ages. The glaciations caused sharper cooling from the positive albedo feedback. I find paleoclimate very informative for what is happening today.
        For the hot spot, I think the tropical ocean surfaces have not warmed as fast as expected, but the Arctic and deep ocean warmed more instead. The hotspot is an expected effect of tropical ocean surface warming, not just from CO2. Stratospheric cooling is a fingerprint of CO2 and this is occurring.

      • Yes, about half the excess GHG-driven heat diffused downward into the ocean. Some fraction of this heat may have re-emerged in regions bordering the Arctic Ocean due to the large-scale circulation.

        This is nothing more than a theory, but a working hypothesis consistent with accepted climate science is useful.

      • tempterrain

        You seem to share in the mistaken belief that the presence or lack of amplification of surface warming in the upper troposphere (ie a hotspot) has some bearing on the attribution of global warming to man-made causes.

        But if you know something we don’t, maybe you could explain in your own words just why this “hotspot” is so important?

  7. The framework of Nassim Nicholas Taleb is perfectly matching that article.
    http://frontierlivin.com/antifragile-book-notes/

    He perceive Life as anti-fragile, this mean as benefiting from the unexpected.
    Big states, big companies, big finance, big animals, optimized structures, are structurally fragile, thus suffering from change.

    AGW fear is based on the vision of static big governments, big corps… not on the vision of rats, businessmen, african farmers, taxi drivers, who will adapt and enjoy for snow in the Sahara, and mango in Siberia.

    He appreciate small change, or many local changes, which if individually challenging, can be globally good. He dislikes huge global changes that may destroy the system globally, instead of letting survivors that adapt and develop…

    He feel that prediction is evil, giving a false sens of safety. Only “don’t do” traditional taboo strategy seems safe for him, and on the opposite cheap “trial and error” strategies.

    about climate he seems afraid that whatever we do in the environment, like CO2, it can cause a global effect which can be hard to accept.
    I disagree with him not on the principle but on the idea that climate can tumble globally… it is so complex and localized that global tumbling is meaningless… There will be winner and losers, and the antifragile will win.
    Maybe I’m wrong…

    Ho does not trust the models, just the idea not to change something too much globally./.. you can change locally, not globally…

    about energy mix, the idea is to pollute in very different way, thus less for each pollutant… system is non-linear, and anything might be surprisingly evil at high dose, without any way to predict it.

    many more concept to read in that framework.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

      AlainCO said: (regarding Taleb’s perspectives)

      “I disagree with him not on the principle but on the idea that climate can tumble globally… it is so complex and localized that global tumbling is meaningless… There will be winner and losers, and the antifragile will win.
      Maybe I’m wrong…”

      _____
      Of course climate can tumble globally and entire species wiped out in a geological “blink of an eye”. Mass extinction events due to a rapidly changing global climate have happened several times. They can be triggered by asteroids, massive volcanism, etc. You just need a big enough and sharp enough push to wipe out a large part of the species on Earth.

      Now it could be that the large human induced “carbon volcano” that has been erupting for several centuries now, with increased intensity in the past few decades, might be enough to cause another global extinction event, the signs of which seem to be already there in terms of the loss of species and habitats. Ignoring this threat of a human-induced mass extinction event would seem to be a risk some would like to take.

  8. Say you had money you wanted to invest in bluesky tech R&D, and you could chose:
    A.allocate based on models of the best experts on the financial markets.right now, or
    B: wait ten years and then invest, without any expert help, but with the knowledge that has become available.
    You wouldn’t be “anti-finance” to prefer option B. Or a “cash-mattress-er” Instead you’d have respect with for difficulty that investments presents.

    A small increase in the time-to-decision, can often completely overwhelm the cumulative skill of all modelers within a field that deals with chaotic systems.

    • As with all investments, the pay-off can be better if you start earlier. I would hedge and invest some now and continue at a rate, ramping up or down as knowledge improves.

      • You’re correct in any normal investment. e.g. invest in facebook in 2005 vs 2010.

        I don’t think this one (investing in Green energy to mitigate climate risk) works that way though, and that’s where the analogy falls apart. I’m not entirely sure why but I think it includes these two aspects:

        - there is no big upside potential: if you expect a warmist scenario of transitioning to 80% renewables in forty years. At best that’s 100%. Compare to facebook: in 2005 they were worthy of investment if they could get 10M users, now they have 1B+ users. That’s order of magnitude upside, but still viable at the early size.

        - the plan is that Green Energy will be THE dominant source of investment for our lifetime. If that doesn’t happen, then climate risk is not mitigated, which defeats the whole purpose.

        Basically, the problem with investing in renewables right now is always loses money unless everything goes according to plan, and even when everything goes right there is not much more to be gained beyond the initial planned benefits.

      • Jim D

        Investing early only makes sense if you have a reasonable idea of the risks and benefits.

        We do not today.

        Max

      • Hedging would be closer to a no-regrets policy, otherwise you are sure to miss out if it takes off. You have to weigh the potential speed of growth with the possible speed of loss. If the former is larger, hedging is better than no action when going by probabilities.

      • tempterrain

        Investing early only makes sense if you have a reasonable idea of the risks and benefits.

        They are. Except you choose to claim otherwise. Even if the claimed risks, according to consensus science, are divided by 10, it would still make sense to not ignore them.

    • “Say you had money you wanted to invest in bluesky tech R&D, and you could chose:
      A.allocate based on models of the best experts on the financial markets.right now, or
      B: wait ten years and then invest, without any expert help, but with the knowledge that has become available.”

      I would change the options. You can choose to:
      A. allocate based on models and experts that have proven their inability to accurately predict the market right now, or
      B. wait however long it takes before someone can produce scientific results that actually warrant making an investment at all.

      The Wall Street Journal used to have a “panel of experts” pick stocks, then literally threw a dart at a dart board to make another pick. Shockingly, no one ever beat the dart board on a consistent basis.

      Try it another way:

      A salesman comes to your door. He wants you to mortgage your home and your car and invest in a stock he has picked. He promises you he has figured out the market, and constructed a model which can tell you with 95% certainty what stock to invest in to make a substantial profit.

      You ask him for his track record, and he shows you charts showing that he has never successfully predicted the future of any stock. In fact, he has never really been close.

      You can choose to:

      A, Laugh uproariously as you kick him out the door;
      B. Call the police and have him investigated for fraud (bearing in mind his vanity may keep him from realizing how incompetent his model it, so he may not have intent to defraud);
      C. Call a moderate/independent/lukewarmer for advice, and let them convince you to mortgage only half the value of your entire estate to invest in a potentially worthless stock based on the principle that the middle is always the place to be.

      • Jim D | July 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
        You have to weigh the potential speed of growth with the possible speed of loss.

        > Agreed. To me, the speed of loss (cost) has always seemed low even high-sensitivity scenarios. This decade the warming was expected to be +.2C, and had it occurred it would have been far from a disaster. A decade’s *expected* signal is in the range of year-to-year noise. In the medium run you also have sulfate particle SRM that should be a reliable offsetting mechanism at 1/1,000 the cost of renewable energy.

        Hedging would be closer to a no-regrets policy, otherwise you are sure to miss out if it takes off.

        > What are valid hedging mechanisms though? Lomborg made a good point about adopting wind-tech in the 90′s: that technology is now so outdated it no longer makes sense to keep the facility in production.
        So what are the things we can buy now that increase in value in the AGW is severe scenario? If it’s infrastructure, the discount factor is the improvement rate in that technology (which we hope, and are always told will be high). If it’s Basic Research, there is some real moral-hazard in how we’re going to fund that when it must be acceptable that most of these projects will fail.

      • GaryM | July 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Reply
        The Wall Street Journal used to have a “panel of experts” pick stocks, then literally threw a dart at a dart board to make another pick. Shockingly, no one ever beat the dart board on a consistent basis.

        > Yes – that’s my main point. That difference in skill between models or experts is rather small. And yes that goes for ensembles too. Getting blue in the face arguing over every assumption and calculation that goes into forecasting has diminishing rates of return.
        Time will tell – a definite answer to both developments in GMT and alternative energy tech. Decisions made with more known information are better. Technology in the future is better. What should we do now?

        (One caveat to the analogy is climate is more concerned about the directional movement over long periods, not individual stock picks in the short run)

      • SUT, my analogy was with making profits from investments where hedging is a good strategy when there is potential for future growth because of the benefits of getting in early. There are renewable technologies, like in your example, that would benefit from some early investment. When we talk about infrastructure and resilience, a similar thing works as a strategy to prevent loss. Hedging is better than wait-and-see. In this case hedging is starting to build resilience earlier which reduces the possibility of more sudden steeper costs later. A good hedging strategy in this case is also saving money (e.g. gained through a carbon tax and “lock-boxed” or invested safely in bonds). The earlier you start, the less painful the spending when needed.

  9. The suspicion is in the air nowadays that the superiority of one of our formulas to another may not consist so much in its literal ‘objectivity,’ as in subjective qualities like its usefulness, its ‘elegance,’ or its congruity with our residual beliefs. (William James)

  10. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

    This is a very important and thought provoking article. This statement from the article is interesting:

    “In particular, we should recall that risk analysis can at best differentiate between estimated and perceived risk, not between actual and perceived risk.”

    ____

    I think this muddles up the reality of risk doesn’t it? All risk is both percieved and estimated at the same time, isn’t it? The distinction between actual risk and perceived risk can at best be made only by an understanding of the complete state of affairs of any given system, which is impossible, so we have to look at fundamental science to gauge the relative credibility of a given risk being probable or improbable. Thus, each perceived risk should have a very specfic degree of probablity associated with it to have credibiliy and usefulness for policymakers in deciding how to allocate resources. Furthermore, from an actuarial standpoint, each perceived risk with associated probability should have a range of outcomes of effects also associated with it.

    Thus, we would say for example that the perceived risk of an ice-free summer Arctic by 2040 has a X% percentage of probability happening, and the range of effects from this event include, NH weather disruption, risk to food supplies, etc.

    • “Thus, each perceived risk should have a very specfic degree of probablity associated with it to have credibiliy and usefulness for policymakers in deciding how to allocate resources.”

      Post-modern (ie. faux) science at its best.

      A “very specific degree of probability” is not a product of the precision and accuracy data, or the scientists’ knowledge and understanding of the system, but is rather a product of the need to influence policy.

      You want to know where the IPCC gets its 95+% confidence levels? Look no further.

      • True, true, we need real facts not convenient facts and not, politically-correct facts.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        So Gary,

        What’s the probability of an ice-free summer Arctic by 2040? By 2070? By 2100? You don’t think that some useful estimates can be put in for each year? Now, they all might be 100%, so perhaps we need to bring it down to 2020, 2030, and then 2040. It could be that there is a 10% chance by 2020, but a 50% chance by 2040, but in addition to this, a policymaker would want to know:

        1) So what? (short term)
        2) So what? (long term)
        3) What could we do about it anyway?
        4) What the worst things that could happen as the result of a seasonally ice-free Arctic? (polar bears losing habitat wouldn’t be it)

      • R. Gates, True Believing Warmist,

        “You don’t think that some useful estimates can be put in for each year?”

        I would love to meet the progressive who poll tested the word “useful” that has become the new “fairness” of “for the children” for the green left. It is useless to say something is useful – unless you identify useful for what? Which you warmists never do.

        If I were a policy maker, I would ask anyone trying to convince me to decarbonize the world economy why I should listen to a word he says about climate 30, 50 or 100 years from now, when he doesn’t even understand the effects of water vapor, or clouds, or other known variables on climate.

        If I were a policy maker, I would ask him why I should listen to him when he cannot even tell me the average temperature of the global climate today, let alone trends over the last 2, 5, 10, 100 or 1000 years. So why should I think he can tell me what they will be in the future?

        If I were a policy maker, I would ask him why climate models, including the models used to compile global (aka land air temp only) records keep coming up with the same answers no matter what new aspects of climate are discovered.

        If I were a policy maker, I would then ask him why I should think he can tell me anything “useful” about future climate when he doesn’t even know what effect the oceans have on long term climate, or how ice ages start and stop.

        And that would be just the start.

        To answer your specific questions:

        1. So what? (short term) So get back to me when your understanding of the global climate is not equivalent to a five year old’s understanding of the theory of relativity.

        2. So what? (long term) See answer to no. 1 above.

        3. What could we do about it anyway? Well, probably nothing. because man does not control the climate. And you CAGW zealots sure as hell don’t control the Russians, Chinese or Indians. Nothing you are advocating will have more than a token effect on total CO2 emissions. So forgive me for not being alarmed by ice extent in one area of the globe.

        4. What the worst things that could happen as the result of a seasonally ice-free Arctic? (polar bears losing habitat wouldn’t be it)
        Given that climate is beyond our control, there is nothing we can do to stop it if it is going to happen. So what difference does it make. As far as your dream of decarbonizing the global economy goes.

        That being said, maybe if you Apostles of the Church of Thermageddon spent more time doing real science on figuring out how the climate actually works (hint, anthropogenic CO2 as the be all and end all thermostat wouldn’t be it), you might come up with something useful on a local scale. What’s more, if you dropped the messianic/saviors of the universe attitude, somebody besides progressive politicians might actually listen to you.

        One of the risks of this incessant chicken little climate cult is like that discovered by the little boy who cried wolf. God forbid there is some day enough science to predict a serious, localized weather/climate event with potentially serious consequences. Who the hell will believe you then? You have all put your credibility in a blind trust, to further your political goals. Good luck getting it back.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        So essentially Gary, you’re just good at ranting and ad Homs, but haven’t any real thoughts, eh? Very well then, do carry on…

      • Ships pass in the day.
        =================

      • R. Gates,

        You want a serious answer, ask serious questions. And don’t use content free terms like “useful” to disguise your agenda.

        I don’t see any reason to engage in a debate about what I think policy should be, when you have no clue what the climate was going to do in the next ten years, let alone the next one hundred.

        You want to set the terms of the debate, and so avoid dealing with the massive gaps in the knowledge we actually have about the climate. But you have to pass the threshold of being able to answer basic questions about the science before you can be taken seriously.

        Until then, you are like the 5 year old arguing with his father…”But Dad, what will we do if there IS a monster under my bed?”

    • Chief Hydrologist

      It points to disjunct between predictions an outcomes that is a robust feature of prognostication made by people. I suggest that your prognostications have little basis in any science that could be considered definitive.

  11. An objective search for truth — wherever the facts may lead, can ever provide any real value — only then can we arrive at ‘true’ facts not convenient facts. Those who are so driven are the skeptics of science and not mere believers of a new religion.

  12. Dr Curry, as others have said, you are a very good scientist but completely at sea when it comes to policy.

    The stuff quoted in the head post is classic armwaving, substance-free, hypothetical-touting, funding-seeking crap, shrouded in big words and fancy phrases.

    It is not science, nor is it policy. It exists in that netherworld that accommodates creeps like Lewandowsky.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but just as I would never challenge you in your field, decades of experience in mine says that this is a crock.

  13. What unifies the Left is a sense of superiority that enables them to throw off the strictures and conscience of old morals to make room for the latest attack dog brand of suicide environmentalism that offers the kind of magic atheists and AGW faithful alike so obviously now crave. The alarmism of AGW believer’s religion of Warmanism has become a sermon on the need to save the planet and who better to deliver such a disingenuous and hypocritical sermons people like Al Gore and the country’s Orwellian-in-Chief?

    • What “unifies the left” is a common moral intuition, and that common moral intuition is Envy. Consequently, the left has a common economic policy, and that economic policy is Sharing. Its consequences are a general equality in poverty. Correspondingly, the common moral intuition of the right is Jealousy, and its common economic policy is Trading. Its consequences are an elaborate hierarchy of individual wealth.

      • Because a nihilist is motivated by envy to the extent that eveyone must be dragged down by the stone of mediocrity, that means to you that those who are not motivated by envy are jealous?

      • Covetousness: II Peter, Chapter 2
        True still in our world today.

        Or you can listen to the siren for the green pill…

        http://apnews.myway.com/article/20130702/DA79JR303.html

        before reading Revelation 18:23.
        Do you want the Light now?
        Read on…

      • So, on the way home from work if you stop to purchase a rotisserie chicken from Costco with your own money in a willing exchange, for value had and received, in an arms-length transaction, is it the person purchasing the chicken that is envious and covetous or is envious and covetous, or is it the businessperson who employed the person who cooked the chicken that is envious and covetous, or the farmer who raised it or the person who owns the business who hired the person who bought it or…?

      • Am I bipolar? Are you kidding? I am The Lord thy God, King of the Universe. I’m OMNIpolar.
        https://twitter.com/TheTweetOfGod/status/352257791257350145

      • Recommended Reading: “Darwinian Politics: The Evolutionary Origin of Freedom” by Paul H. Rubin.

  14. Judith Curry

    I agree with Johanna that this is mostly rubbish.

    But to the questions posed.

    How much effort should we exert this year as opposed to 10 years from now?

    All our effort this year and for the next several years should be concentrated on getting the AGW “science” right, by reducing the great uncertainties that still exist today, in order to find out if we really have a problem or not before we charge off to solve it.

    How should we manage discontinuous or highly uncertain effects?

    By eliminating the “uncertainty”. Model projections are only as good as the inputs made to the models, and we sill have far too much uncertainty to make any reliable projections of future climate resulting from AGW.

    What is the likelihood of a technological deus ex machina?

    If ”deus ex machina” includes ”black swans,” then the likelihood of several of these from today to year 2100 is 100%. This could include a prolonged continuation of the current slight cooling trend.

    Will climate change mean geopolitical surprise in the Arctic or from petroleum exporting nations?

    Watch for ”black swans”.

    Are we a world filled with highly flexible innovators or low-turnover, high-cost capital stock?

    Both. As always. Plus ça change…

    Max

    • Chief Hydrologist

      deus ex ma·chi·na (ks mäk-n, -nä, mk-n)
      n.
      1. In Greek and Roman drama, a god lowered by stage machinery to resolve a plot or extricate the protagonist from a difficult situation.

      2. An unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot.

      3. A person or event that provides a sudden and unexpected solution to a difficulty.

      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/deus+ex+machina

      None of these apply. Rather we have incremental development in many areas – with perhaps the possibility of something entirely new.

      Although I am looking forward to Zeus being lowered from the ceiling.

      • See it in Euripides’ Medea. Final scene.
        Chorus:
        ‘Many are the fates which Zeus in Olympus dispenses;
        Many matters the gods bring to surprising ends.
        The things we thought would happen do not happen;
        The unexpected God makes possible;
        And such is the conclusion of this story.’
        Bts

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Such a wonderfully apt quote.

      • Well done Beth +1 and Chief, you have been very active on recent threads, so thanks for your input to Judith’s place, which IMO has been of great value +1 for you as well. Been away up north in WA for 5 weeks, looking at great scenery and drinking copious amounts of good red wine.

      • Thx Chief and thx Peter Davies.
        Peter yer’d been gone so long I was thinkin’ of ridin’ out
        ter look fer ya’
        B -t – c- g )

      • Thanks for your concern Beth. No need to do that but the thought of being roped does intrigue me! Will be working in the office over the next 8 weeks or so will be in touch with you and my other friends in Judith’s place.

        Check my facebook page if you wish to know what I’m up to and have been absent for more than a few days at a time. Its linked to my name. I am somewhat more open than others who contribute here and take full responsibilility for what I say.

    • Easy, envy’s green;
      Jealousy’s
      Yellow, see?
      ========

  15. With the opening quote by Rayner — Are we a world filled with highly flexible innovators or low-turnover, high-cost capital stock? — we see the real divide. Compare the Founders — who placed the highest value on individual liberty — to the expectations of secular, socialists (i.e., atheists / Leftists).

    Underling secular socialism is a poverty of spirit and belief in the worthlessness of all humanity. The Left believes everything has been said, every good idea has been had, and patented, every flavor tasted, every song written, played and sung. There’s nothing new to be thought. Self-defeating attitudes motivate the Left’s ill will toward everything that everyone else wants to do: China can’t have cars, Africa can’t be free, Capitalism doesn’t work, there are too many people — many of them will have to go — and, those that survive must be more miserable than preceding generations.

  16. This is a summary of a series of cost/benefit analyse’s of electric cars. Very sobering

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/unclean-at-any-speed

    • Good read, that.

    • Instead of criticizing the inevitable, why not advance the state of research, like I do here:
      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/06/characterization-of-battery-charging.html

      Personally, I am more of a fan of carbon-fiber road bikes. I have no doubt that we can get from point A to point B using a lot less energy than we are accustomed to.

      We are definitely in a transition, and if you miss the boat on this, well you miss the boat.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No one is criticizing anything but wishful thinking subsidies to uneconomic technologies. If people want to pay for these – and someone can make a profit. That’s how it is meant to work. We want dozens of new energy technologies – because that’s how the world get’s accessible, cheap and abundant energy this century. Not by subsidizing Justin Bieber’s $100,000 sports car.

        And no one thinks you are capable of advancing clog dancing let alone science.

      • As usual, The Chef shows jealous rage over anyone that can do math. Typical civ, it’s why they are a civ.

      • Civil clogs,
        Nuclear blogs;
        Fission condition,
        Gimme some religion.
        =============

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I think you mistake amusement for rage Webster. And I don’t call ‘solving’ climate with on line of algebra math. I call it clot dancing.


      • Chief Hydrologist | July 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm |

        I think you mistake amusement for rage Webster. And I don’t call ‘solving’ climate with on line of algebra math. I call it clot dancing.

        The Chef can’t distinguish the domain of battery technology from climate science. He is some sort of obsessive-compulsive on these matters. What I was solving was the battery discharging dynamics, not climate.
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/06/characterization-of-battery-charging.html

        See how this rage works? A would-be authoritarian who calls himself
        “Chief” because he thinks that allows him to control any discussion in the direction to his liking.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am sure by now that most people here are aware that that my nom de guerre derives from Cecil Terwilliger. It amuses me but I am not sure how much authority this lends me.

        The standing joke of one line of algebra to ‘solve’ climate stands.

        I haven’t bothered with the latest battery missive – it is so inevitably fantasy physics and incompetent math that I certainly can’t see myself wasting any more time on what is doomed to be utter nonsense.

        See how it works? A monomaniac dedicated to prattling, preening and inept anti-science. I am actually laughing out loud. Nothing but complaints and weird math. Does anyone think he has even a shred of credibility? I think he is an utterly bizarre and eccentric internet wack job.

      • “I haven’t bothered with the latest battery missive – it is so inevitably fantasy physics and incompetent math that I certainly can’t see myself wasting any more time on what is doomed to be utter nonsense.”

        Notice how The Chef projects his incompetence onto others. The technique of projection falls under the category of psychological framing, whereby the framer tries to deflect any potential criticism away from himself and onto his adversaries. What does The Chef understand about electrochemistry?

        The Aussies such as Chief think that Americans don’t understand projection and framing — a quite naive view, as we all know that national politics is driven by this technique, as perfected by Karl Rove:
        http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_04/029192.php

    • No C/B there, just the usual hand wave to the usual study.

      The concession comes just before the fall:

      There’s no doubt that gasoline- and diesel-fueled cars are expensive and dirty. Road accidents kill tens of thousands of people annually in the United States alone and injure countless more. Using these kinds of vehicles as a standard against which to judge another technology sets a remarkably low bar. Even if electric cars someday clear that bar, how will they stack up against other alternatives?

      One of the suggested solution is that walking is greener, something which I would never have thought, were not from our visiting scholar promoting his book in IEEE

    • The difference is that electric cars, unlike those with tailpipes, don’t spread the pollution through the streets. It would make a big difference in air quality where people live and work to move to more electric cars or even hydrogen in the future.

      • Scrub it at the coal or gas plant or catalyze it at the auto exhaust. If you meant CO2 as pollution, please, Jim D, more rigour.
        ================

      • Tailpipes produce a more immediate form of pollution that we would be better off without, especially in cities. Plus, electric cars are less noisy too, helping with noise pollution.

      • > Plus, electric cars are less noisy too, helping with noise pollution.

        But then more road kills, and more carbon-life-based pollution.

      • Jim D

        IF CO2 IS a pollutant (a mighty big “IF”), then electric or hydrogen cars do not reduce pollution over the life cycle.

        IF CO2 IS NOT a pollutant, then exhaust gas pollutants from gasoline or Diesel engines can easily be removed, so electric or hydrogen cars still do not reduce pollution.

        Hybrid cars seem like a good solution for reducing fuel costs if their purchase costs can be made more competitive.

        Max

      • manacker, I am not sure what you mean by exhaust emissions being easily removed. They are not. Gas-run vehicles pollute even if they passed emissions tests.

      • Jim,

        It is starting to sound like you have been hanging around lolwot and Max OK.

        If the concern is climate change induced by CO2 emissions, it doesn’t matter whether it is coming out of a tail pipe of a smoke stack.

        My personal opinion is that electric cars are not going anywhere until they can develop better batteries. Hybrids will continue to be a far better option to all electric.

        FYI – we have 3 all electrics in the General Office fleet downstairs. They look nice sitting in their spots, plugged into the charger. Which is where you can almost always find them.

      • That’s another plus. Some companies effectively offer free fuel for plug-ins at work. I would like to have an electric because it means I have done my part, now it is up to the power company to go to zero emission, with the added bonus of not polluting my commuting route.

      • Jim,
        you miss the point.

        the e cars are not being used. Their range sucks.

        your zero emission’s plan doesn’t work either . Utilities have to balance reliability with least cost requirements.

      • 100 years ago timg56 would have been moaning about the “cars” outside the mill.

        “They don’t work! They have rubbish range! They run out of fuel!”

        Horses are the future.

  17. Re: “The broad spectrum of problems associated with anthropogenic climate change, however, also increases the potential for overbroad or inattentive application of risk analysis.

    Risk analysis for world class public policy depends on accurate scientific forecasting with world class precautions for accuracy and against bias.
    Green et al. show that to date that performance has been lacking.
    Global warming: Forecasts by scientists versus scientific forecasts KC Green, JS Armstrong – Energy & Environment, 2007. Global model predictions appear to equally fail the validation efforts to date.
    By implication, risk analysis to date is equally dubious.

    Will policy analysts clearly address the uncertainty of current climate risk analyses?

    • David L. Hagen

      CAUTION on risk analysis: there is a 9% probability that the models MIGHT be better than random numbers!
      McKitrick, Ross R. and Lise Tole (2012) “Evaluating Explanatory Models of the Spatial Pattern of Surface Climate Trends using Model Selection and Bayesian Averaging Methods” Climate Dynamics, 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-012-1418-9

      in 20 of 22 cases we find the climate models are either no better than or worse than random numbers. . . . In addition to the geographic data (which we include by assumption) we identify 3 socioeconomic variables and 3 climate models as the ones that belong in the optimal explanatory model, a combination that encompasses all remaining data. So our conclusion is that a valid explanatory model of the pattern of climate change over land requires use of both socioeconomic indicators and GCM processes.

  18. Climate risk, bah. The matter is policy risk.
    ============

  19. How usrful is a risk assessment? According to the historical record, we had two periods of global warming in the 20th century and none in the 21st. So on that simple basis the risk of a 0.15C/decade global rise is 60/103 = 0.58 and falling, but that would oytrage the CO2 mob who eould have to say the risk is increasing. Actually we could halve the risk if we regarded the second period as an inevitable consequence of the first, but double the consequence to 0.3/decade.. That is because we have two fluid systtems to consider – the fast atmosphere and the slow oceans.

    So risk assement does not help much unless averaged over long periods. The real difficulty is to understand the on/off nature of global warming. Classical physics can’t explain this – we have to use quantun physics. See my conceptual model underlined above.

  20. Speaking of an often promoted “no regrets” policy, Japan is about to flip the switch on the nuke to “ON.”

    “The nation’s Nuclear Regulation Authority will receive applications for switching on plants starting July 8, and more than five utilities are planning to seek permits. Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the wrecked Dai-Ichi plant that spread radiation in the Fukushima area, said yesterday it will seek permission to begin operating its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant as soon as possible. Its shares jumped 19 percent. ”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-02/japan-nears-switching-on-reactors-after-tepco-s-meltdown-energy.html

    • Too bad all our money was wasted on cash-for-clunkers economics — we didn’t even get a coal-fired power plant out of it. Can you imagine a global warming alarmists supporting the building of Hoover Dam today?

  21. Isn’t the question who has the right to impose Risk on others?

    Cirque du Soleil lost an acrobat this week, who chose to work 50′ above the stage. That was her professional choice. She was compensated for it, trained to deal with it, and though she succumbed after a long career as an aerialist, she could not be said to be a victim of someone else imposing this Risk on her.

    Arizona lost 19 elite firefighters this week, who chose to face flames in the wild. That was their professional choice. They were compensated for it, trained to deal with it, and though they succumbed after too short careers as rescuers and heroes, they could be said to be victims of someone else imposing part of this Risk on them, by so affecting the climate that jet streams contribute more to the Risk of fires. Could they have succumbed all the same without the effects of CO2 on climate? Certainly. But we can never know how much fossil fuels contributed to their sacrifice.

    Calgary is rebuilding at a cost of over a quarter billion dollars after devastating floods, more than double the historical record — which is not to say there have not been many floods in the historical and geological record in Alberta. The inhabitants chose the Risk of living in places with names like High River, and on flood plains, and moving back in where in 2005 they’d been wiped out by a prior flood. But they also were flooded out on ground that had never been below water since humans first walked the Plains, too. How much Risk could be apportioned to the industry that gives Alberta its wealth? 2%? 20%? 80%?

    Who has the right to impose that Risk without compensation or consultation, consent or assent, despite the dissent, of all of us?

    How is that not immoral?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      It is nothing short of morally reprehensible to link this tragedy to your political cause before even communities have ceased grieving. Just leave it alone – express your sympathy – pray for families and communities – but don’t use it for making political points. This is not the time.

      The deaths are all over the media here – all over Australia our hearts go out to the families. Our firefighters especially have a special bond – American and US firefighters will be running across the US in September. I am sure they will thinking as well of these new heroes.

      • > It is nothing short of morally reprehensible to link this tragedy to your political cause before even communities have ceased grieving.

        I thought Bart R’s point was that these fire tragedies were somewhat fair, even if in Arizona it does seem kinda hot and dry right now. Wonder why?

        Also note that Chief’s renewed sense of decency comes just a few days after his contemptuous remarks about an imaginary foe, on the fear it could be suggested that we let our poor elders eat cake.

      • Chief Hydrologist | July 3, 2013 at 1:49 am |

        It’s copiously handcuffing to have a topic on Risk, and not be allowed by the pretty sensibilities of foreigners who never worked emergencies to discuss the loss of life one is exposed to.

        Of joining the circus, search and rescue, and owning land on a flood plain, only one area do I have personal experience in, and it isn’t to do with trapezes and spangles or mortgaging wetland. My anger at the Arizona incident isn’t because it’s some distant loss of strangers, but of fellows in the same service. Denying the culpability of the contributors to the Risk is simply wrong, as is hypocritically cowering behind the whited sepulchre of supposed apoliticism when it conveniences you.

      • It is nothing short of morally reprehensible …

        Oy. More drama-queening. Chef – are you as much of a drama queen in real life as you are on the Internet?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Then of course there is the moral grandstanding – and the denials of reality in which these guys specialize. Energy costs don’t impact the poor and droughts don’t cause fires.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/norway/9694795/Spoof-African-charity-song-urges-people-to-donate-radiators-to-Norway.html

        The drought in the US was predicted. No one listened because they were too busy worrying about delusions instead. As far as drought is concerned we have not seen anywhere near the limits of natural variability.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/USdrought_zps2629bb8c.jpg.html?sort=3&o=37

        Now Bart wants to use the deaths of 19 firemen to play a supercilious blame game about carbon dioxide and his particular obsessional solution. He wants to play nationalities as if the rest of the world doesn’t and shouldn’t care. He want’s to big note himself about search and rescue. I have been involved in the Coast Guard. So what. It is all distortion, deception, dissimulation and self aggrandizement. Lacking in an intellectual coherence. Utterly pathetic. Totally mad.

        I think you are all mad and immoral and have lost the ability to put people before your internal dialogue. Ideas before emotion. This is sociopathy and emerges from an obsessional ideational system – a monomania.

    • Reprehensible is too nice a word. Trying to score political points, even anonymously on a blog, off the fact that 19 people burned to death is disgusting. One could even say it is immoral.

      • Chief Hydrologist | July 3, 2013 at 1:49 am |
        GaryM | July 3, 2013 at 2:16 am |

        Political what now? Points you say? So, you’re saying you don’t care at all about the acrobat? About tens of thousands of homeless families in Canada? All that matters is that someone “scored a point” off firefighters?

        Except your thesis runs hollow. Extreme events, Risks, and succumbing to them, have been predicted for a quarter century by quants, not politicians. There’s no joy or satisfaction in being right about increased Risk — the math of that is so simple and straightforward, it’s like being right about two plus two, only with misery and death on the balance sheet. There’s no victory in being able to do figures and seeing Probability shifting and the foreseeable outcome in human life.

        This isn’t a political point.

        This is just math.

        The politics?

        The politics is when people on any side take to their ‘side’ some part in a discourse better served without politics at all, to make it about this opportunity to Collectivize or that Red Scare Bogeyman. Right Wingnuts and Leftwing Nuts — a pox on both houses. A quarter century has been lost to inaction because McCarthyist peepants and socialist fellow-travelers both engage in politicking a technical issue.

        Monckton’s so afraid of socialists under his bed he’d gladly see the world burn, so long as aristocrats got to rule the ashes. Hippies sing kumbayas about Shamballa built on hemp products and Malthusianistically returning the population to the level it was in 1800.

        Those political points are what increase the Risk needlessly by preventing realistic, practical action right now. It takes no politics to understand the mechanics of Forcing.

        I don’t have a political point. I have math. The math says your books-bad-burning-good philosophy imposes Risk on others without their consent, and without compensation. Your fossil subsidies are immoral, and inevitably bear bitter fruit.

        A good conservative knows a man ought pay for what benefit he sucks out of the world. A good capitalist knows scarce resources are most efficiently allocated by Market forces, and privatizes accordingly. Your politics are neither conservative nor capitalist.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You have nothing but politics, rhetoric, verbose babble and pull it out of your arse anti-science.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am not about respond to your typical long winded madness about acrobats, floods and especially firefighters. It is just not the time.

      • Every time a firefighter dies in a bushfire, loathsome greenies are out of the blocks even before the funeral(s), claiming that it is all down to climate change or whatever they are calling it this week. It has happened in Australia as well as in this putrid example.

        Just when you think they must finally have hit bottom in their tactics, they plumb new lows. What next? Pissing on their graves?

        I hope that the families and friends of those who died are not distressed by this heartless opportunism.

      • Hey, it’s your fault Bart jumps sharks.
        ==============

      • Bart R wants his just desert, to borrow from Mankiw, whom made a guest appearance a few days ago.

        For background on Mankiw’s doctrine:

        http://notunlikeresearch.typepad.com/something-not-unlike-rese/2011/11/mankiw-nozick-on-productive-contributions.html

      • Bart R

        Linking the recent deaths of 19 AZ firefighters to “CAGW” is stooopid, Bart.

        There is no link.

        Max

      • A favorite Climate Etc. moment.

        Your politics are neither conservative nor capitalist.

        Apparently Bart doesn’t realize that it is GaryM who has exclusive rights to determine who is or isn’t a conservative. (/Although it should be noted that Bart may think that Chef is a conservative even if his politics are not).

      • manacker | July 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm |

        What, you think this is your CAGW?

        No, no. This is just the exposure of the vulnerable to increased Risk.

        And you claim to have read AR4?

        Get your chapters straight.

    • At least in some areas, formerly healthy forests are dry dead trees due to bark-beetle-kill that has spread through the Rockies probably as a result of global warming because winter is not so effective in killing them. This gradual spread has been occurring for the last decade now leaving large swaths of dead trees in many forests.

      • Extreme climate change,
        Parbati’s little beetle
        Rose at first cock crow.
        =============

      • Humans are biased by their experiences, imagine that:

        Reporter Julia Kumari Drapkin tells the story of Colorado’s State Climatologist, Nolan Doesken. Doesken has long believed that humans are driving climate change, but never connected it to his own life. Even after several years of some of the most devastating weather his state has ever seen, Nolan considered climate change a worry for the future. Then, last year, he watched as his state experienced some of the most extreme weather it ever has. For the first time, Nolan felt like he was looking at what the future would be like where he lives. He felt scared.

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/495/hot-in-my-backyard

        Our emphasis.

      • Jim D

        ….bark-beetle-kill that has spread through the Rockies probably as a result of global warming…

        Looking for cause and effect where there is none seems to be a specialty of the CAGW crowd.

        You are no exception.

        Max

      • It is the only theory I have seen for it happening now of all times in history. From a Scientific American article:
        “These outbreaks have historically been limited by the cold northern climate in which lodgepoles typically grow. The beetle’s life cycle is regulated by temperature, and cold snaps are one of the only sure ways of killing the insects off in large numbers. Since the late 1990s, however, temperatures in North America have held at levels well above the historical average, allowing MPB to explode through the province.”
        Perhaps you can find other theories on blogs if you look around hard enough. I would be interested to hear them and whether they were suggested by retired engineers rather than working biologists.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        Here in Colorado, the large pine-beetle infestation is directly related to the long-period of rather mild winters we’ve had. Could be cyclic, could be anthropogenic, or some combination thereof…but definitely related to mild winters not cold long enough to fully kill the beetles.

      • It is easy to develop opinions about a topic that turn out wrong when faced with facts. (It happens to me more often than I’d like.)

        http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05528.html

        Pine beetles are endemic to much of the west. There are several reasons why infestations have increased. Mild winters is but one.

        I remember seeing a recent paper on them. I’ll see if I can track it down.

    • Steven Mosher

      you realize that in the US we continue to subsidize risky behavior through our insurance system. we subsidize living in fire prone areas, flood prone areas, earthquake prone areas.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        I suppose people should be allowed to live whereaver they want so long as they are willing to pay the high insurance premiums based on the risks they face. In addition to the insurance premiums, they also should be made to pay into a special local fund that pays the costs of fire fighting, earthquake rescue, etc. that will inevitably come.

        So yes, live where you want, but those living in dangerous risk prone areas should foot the bill for their decisions.

      • mosh

        we do the same here with flooding whereby a levy is put on everyone’s insurance to keep the bills of those in flood risk areas lower. Those who live on Beach Road or Floods end or marsh road should beware of the risks and not expect others to bail them out. Trouble is that a lot of new developments are being built on known flood plains often with the side effect that flood protection measures then pushes the water onto homes that don’t normally flood.

        tonyb

    • Bart,

      Ever live in Arizona? It is always hot and dry this time of year. The IPCC, WHO and Nature are all on record saying there is as yet no evidence to link global warming to weather events. What do you have to back up your claim, other than perhaps the musings of a few scientists about possible impacts to the jet stream?

      I won’t be as dramatic as Chief, but it is at the least tacky to reference the loss of 19 firefighters in support of your pet theory regarding free riders.

      • timg56 | July 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm |

        Count on a marine to tell us it gets hot in Arizona in summer.

        The sources you miss-cite are all on record saying NO SINGLE WEATHER EVENT can be linked to anthropogenic causes directly. That’s so far different from what you imply as to bewilder any reader.

        If I shake a box of Christmas ornaments, and they all break, there might be no way to connect any one particular fragment to any one particular violent rattle or smash, but the breakage, that’s me that did it.

        The global climate’s a big box, wrapped up for 30 years and bigger than the lands and seas of the world. You can find my outrage at the loss of 19 people I call fellows tacky. I really could care less what you think. It’s not helpful, and it’s awfully convenient to the denialism that we have far too much of.

        I get that there are people saying things that don’t help, in heated discussions like this. Most of http://wonkette.com/521575/wingnuts-just-terribly-offended-that-anyone-might-link-wildfire-deaths-with-global-warming is not helpful, for example.

        But the observation that every time there is a disaster people who are mired in causing disaster seek to skip off free of blame and free of consequence by pretending terrible offendedness is not false, and it’s past time we stared this truth in the face.

        You burn carbon, you shake the 30-year-global box, and broken families growing up without fathers fall out.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The truth is that US drought over decades was predicted as long ago as 2004.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/USdrought_zps2629bb8c.jpg.html?sort=3&o=37

        People have been far too busy telling themselves nonsense apocalyptic scary stories to notice. The limits of natural variability go far beyond anything we have seen in recent times. Unless we start listening to what paleoclimate tells us about variability – we will continue to be distracted into going down paths that have no chance of building capacity and resilience.

        Trusting the future to monomaniac space cadets like Bart is a bad idea.

      • Bart,

        Springer is the Marine. I was a sub sailor.

        as analogies go your Xmas ornament box is, well it just isn’t.

  22. Steven Mosher says:
    “With climate we also face a risk where the likelihood is difficult to estimate.
    We very well may decide to make carbon more expensive to burn. And the threat may crumble before it ever materializes. Still, decarbonizing may have benefits and the issue is how do we decide given that the normal tools of risk assessment cannot be applied”.

    Steven Mosher a modest statement! You are right in my opinion (style points for clarity, accuracy and for being non defensive). The entire climate argument makes sense when an honest assessment of strength and weakness is added to the conclusion. “I am right”, despite the obvious unknowns of climate argument left the barn a longtime ago.

    Well said and done.

    • The only safe walk back is through a very uncertain path, but there it is, it’s all we have.
      ============

  23. This is just another attempt to not talk about in detail how the current science of climate change doesn’t really tell us anything.

    Andrew

    • Bad Andrew | July 3, 2013 at 9:55 am |

      Your “current science of climate change” might tell you nothing really, but then we’ve observed the fingoism, rejectionism, denialism, obfuscationism and lack of numeracy in “current science of climate change” as practiced by WUWT and the GWPF.

      The Science of Physics, however, in observing unnatural normalized trends and explaining them with the most parsimonious, simple, universal hypothesis is pretty cut and dried on the subject of Risk. Unnatural climate kinetics are pretty confidently explained by the work of those like Dr. Jennifer Francis on the link between burning carbon and the restructuring of the jet streams so more extreme weather Risk must result.

      Thank you for summing up the position of denial, so it’s so clear and easy to sweep it aside with fact and reason.

      • Sorry, Bart R, if I regard your response as unsupported claims by an anonymous internet commenter.

        Andrew

      • Bad,

        Would you accept evidence of fingoism &c. from Willard Tony’s or the charitable GWFP’s by an anonymous commenter?

      • willard,

        With scientific questions (like climate) I like to judge the evidence. Everything else is irrelevant.

        Andrew

      • > Everything else is irrelevant.

        I agree with you: claims are claims, whether they are made by an anonymous internet commenter, blog superstars, Richart Feynman.

        The only exemption to this rule is Chuck Norris: Chuck Norris carries his own truth value.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Bart R: The Science of Physics, however, in observing unnatural normalized trends and explaining them with the most parsimonious, simple, universal hypothesis is pretty cut and dried on the subject of Risk.

        Boy is that ever a naive comment!

        The Science of Physics can not tell us when or where it will rain more or less, not to mention by how much.

      • BartR

        Here is the report by Dr Francis you mentioned

        http://e360.yale.edu/feature/linking_weird_weather_to_rapid_warming_of_the_arctic/2501/

        I believe it may have been mentioned here last yea as well. At that time I contacted Dr Francis and asked for her evidence that stuck weather patterns were notably more frequent today than in the past.

        In ‘The long slow thaw’ I specifically mentioned numerous examples of weather back to the 16th century where this effect could be clearly seen and postulated it could be due to the jet stream.

        Like hurricane frequency etc there seems to be no evidence that what we are currently seeing is out of the ordinary, if you know of some please table it. Thank you

        tonyb

      • BARTR

        Here is the summary of a meeting concerning the gathering of evidence about the Little Ice age in which log books from ships are synthesised

        http://icoads.noaa.gov/climar3/c3oral-pdfs/S5O8-Wheeler.pdf

        This makes references to blocking highs and displaced polar jet streams back to the 16th century.

        Hubert Lamb did an analysis of the Spanish Armada in 1588 which concluded its defeat has as much to do with the jet stream as it did to the warships of the Royal Navy.

        Blocking highs, meandering jet streams and ‘sticky weather’ is nothing new and historical climatologists have studied it for decades.

        Dr Francis appears to be standing next to the shoulders of giants.
        tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        tony dr francis is not making the claim that this is historically unprecedented.

        What she is doing is answering this question

        1. What happens to weather when the ice melts.

        Answer: looking at the data we see the jet stream getting loopier and we see blocking patterns.
        e
        Note this does NOT argue that there have never been blocking patterns BEFORE. It merely lays out the causal path from less to loopier jet stream.

      • The idea is that a relatively warmer pole leads to more frequent blocking (winter cold air masses, summer heat waves). The pole is warming relatively, so more frequent blocking is expected.

      • Mosh

        I was replying to BartR at 10.48 who cited Dr Francis and believes her work shows;

        ‘Unnatural climate kinetics are pretty confidently explained by the work of those like Dr. Jennifer Francis on the link between burning carbon and the restructuring of the jet streams so more extreme weather Risk must result.’

        Also her followers, like Bart, seem to see a clear connection between todays warming/pause and the jet stream meanderings.I was merely pointing out that we have seen it all before..
        tonyb

      • Mosh and Jim D

        Glad you two are around. I want to graph the hockey stick against periods of noticeable climate change to check on historic variability.

        Where might I find the raw data to do this?

        tonyb

      • tonyb, I probably don’t know any more surface temperature sources than you do. Basically woodfortrees where you can get raw data listed for their records. When I have time, I want to get CET because I suspect a 60-year running average of that looks like a hockey stick.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Mosh and Jim D

        Glad you two are around. I want to graph the hockey stick against periods of noticeable climate change to check on historic variability.

        Where might I find the raw data to do this?

        1. what hockey stick?
        2. what do you mean by noticeable
        3. what climate variables
        4. what measure of variability.

        given the paucity and complexity of the data you can prove almost anything you want to about variability. That makes arguments about variability, extremes, unprecedentness, attribution, difficult, misleading, and tangential.

    • Bad Andrew | July 3, 2013 at 11:43 am |

      Why are you apologizing? Are you Canadian?

      Tony Brown’s furnished the support for the claims, and Dr. Francis is not an anonymous internet commenter, either, nor does her evidence stop with only the link tony provided. The evidence piles up confirming her hypotheses daily. And regardless of Tonyb’s odd rationalizations that because jet streams happen to have changed before, therefore magic, we can see if we read Dr. Francis’ works that the simplest, most universal, parsimonious explanation is unnatural climate kinetics due anthropogenic forcings.

      climatereason | July 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm |

      Your fixation on history that cannot be adequately reconstructed from records that do not contain sufficiently reliable information to vest confidence in would be inexplicably bizarre in most, were it not that it perfectly matches the confirmation bias you’ve been seeking with all your powers of self-persuasion.

      Seen in that light, of course your pious frauds are invisible to you. To you, it all makes clear and perfect sense, within a logic you’ve purposefully hallucinated and cannot escape.

      So while it’s inevitable that you just can’t see it, and can’t understand the wrong you do yourself and us, you can at least be put to use. History is a worthwhile field, and your passion for it will continue to overturn rocks the less biased observers of the world can examine without your prejudices.

      By all means, keep up the good work.

      Don’t expect me to waste my time or yours trying to explain why you’re wrong. The pathology of self-delusion just doesn’t work that way.

      • BartR said after approvingly noting that he thinks I provided support for his claims;

        ‘Don’t expect me to waste my time or yours trying to explain why you’re wrong. The pathology of self-delusion just doesn’t work that way.’

        I get the impression you still want to believe the hockey stick version of distorted climate history (now THERE is confirmation bias) and as yet you still haven’t figured out why I tend to concentrate on CET, (although you seem to have missed my posts on American and European temperatures.)

        Lots of rocks still to turn over, with lots of interesting things under them.

        Tonyb

      • bartr said

        ‘If these things weren’t true, if we could know with confidence and draw with certainty the inferences you have made from so limited and suspect a dataset as you appeal to, then we would have little to no need of history in the form of personal recollections. We could just take the page numbers out of old books of psalms and call them temperatures.’

        BartR

        Old books of psalms? sorry, what on earth do you think that all means as I’m afraid I’ve not the faintest idea.

        Do you believe that YOU are objective YOU are unbiased and YOU do not suffer from confirmation bias? Surely not.
        tonyb

    • tonyb | July 4, 2013 at 4:18 am |

      A biased sample is a biased sample is a biased sample. An inadequate sample size is an inadequate sample size is an inadequate sample size. Poor instrumental data are poor instrumental data are poor instrumental data. If these things weren’t true, if we could know with confidence and draw with certainty the inferences you have made from so limited and suspect a dataset as you appeal to, then we would have little to no need of history in the form of personal recollections. We could just take the page numbers out of old books of psalms and call them temperatures.

      What you propose, what you do, is statistically invalid. However pretty, however persuasive, we know from long experience in Statistics that these convincing portrayals must be looked past, and not taken into account in our graphs on their face. Can historical context be useful? Of course. The more the merrier. But the historical context collected by a man who has whipped himself into a frenzy of rationalization? That’s all the more reason to be skeptical.

      And this hockey stick demonization? Tch. A mere technique of propaganda. Do you see me claiming hockey sticks? Anywhere? At all? Ever?

      You’re trying to lump me and my objections to the inadequacy of what you do in with others.

      Peter Lang | July 4, 2013 at 4:54 am | is right to point out Benabou’s recent paper. It’s well worth noting.

      Though if you are looking for the tribe I belong to, you might find Benabou and Tirole more revelatory: http://www.princeton.edu/~rbenabou/papers/beliefs%20qje%201%20web.pdf

    • tonyb | July 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm |

      Believe I’m unbiased?

      I distrust myself far more than I trust any of you.

      Which is why I go to such lengths to check and verify, avoid partisanship, eschew propaganda, shun dogma and defy groupthink, confirm and validate, reconsider and question my claims before I make them.

      And even then, I know I’m wrong a good deal of the time.

      Not as often as others, in general, but not by so much as to get smug and incautious.

      And certainly not so much that I’d do anything but encourage others to check my claims before investing them with any credence.

      But thanks for the thought. Me, unbiased. That’s so amusing.

  24. In all the cases I can think of (there may be others of exceptional nature, like nuclear MAD) risk analysis is a fancy statistically dressed up term for plain old cost benefit analysis, with unfortunate emphasis on benefit (risk avoidance) rather than cost (of avoidance). That certainly lets the camel’s nose under the tent, since politicians ALWAYS oversell present benefits while understating future costs.
    A much simpler, humbler approach is simply to ask what problem(s) are we trying to solve, and what solution choices (cost benefit) do we have for them. If CAGW doesn’t actually have a C, then it fails the first test since not a problem to solve. And as many previous threads here have suggested, present mitigation of future (perceived, different views on probability from Death Train Hansen to Hoax Inhofe) AGW is much more costly than future adaptation to what ever effects, if any, might eventually emerge.

    • > [P]oliticians ALWAYS oversell present benefits while understating future costs.

      Isn’t understating future costs the main ingredient of the contrarian rhetoric?

      I thought it was more overt than that.

    • Rud Istvan | July 3, 2013 at 10:48 am |

      You’d be wrong on cases. Cost benefit analysis requires commensurability of costs. In a context where spans of decades must pass before outcomes are measured, where benefits are largely intangible or private and costs and risks are concrete and public, there is no foundation for CBA.

      You’d be right to heap scorn on politicians who believe in CBA from the likes of Lomborg and Tol.

      One doesn’t need talk about CAGW, or AGW at all, to understand the primary benefit of the first most obvious action to take to mitigate Risk, because the first, most obvious Risk is confidence in the Market eroded by government favoritism toward a few Free Riders, and subsidy of the fossil industries.

      Get them — and their corn lobby cronies — off the public tax addiction they currently still depend far too much on. Privatize the carbon cycle by standards of weights and measures and enforcement of collections of fees on behalf of the owners of the air — each of us, per capita at a price set by the law of supply and demand — and delivery of dividends, so capitalism is restored in this sector.

      That the coincidental Risk issues of unnatural climate kinetics also fall as the Market is restored is simply the benefit of the invisible hand.

    • Rud Istvan

      You are right that if there is no “C” in CAGW, then there is no need for precipitous action.

      The latest observation-based studies on 2xCO2 climate sensitivity are showing us that this is the case.

      Yet politicians will always oversell grandiose schemes to solve imaginary problems. It’s their nature (Mencken).

      Max.

      • manacker | July 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm |

        Said with a complete indifference to the value of capitalism and the Market. If there’s no strawtastrophe, you must acquit?

        The ‘C’ you so much dread is the tiniest fraction of the costs and harms, the impacts against interests imposed by Free Riders. Constructing your C, then denying its existence conveniently to deliver an outcome that stands neither in logic nor in evidence is too deluded a polemicists’ technique to not call it out for the deceptive practice it is.

      • Yes Max,
        Precipitous action based
        on what precisely?

        The Greek tragedians
        understood but
        Plato fergot …
        there’s a
        dangerous gap
        between what
        yer know and
        what yer think
        yer know.
        Nassim Taleb
        said it in
        his book:
        ‘Human
        bein’s
        are jest
        no good
        at
        pre-
        dicting.’
        “Beware
        the
        fore-
        caster.”

        (A tale of human frailty.)

  25. Lauri Heimonen

    The climate risk debated here concerning any global warming believed to be caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions is practically non-existent . The expressed probabilities of human caused global warming are based only on a kind of hypothetical calculations by using climate models in which unknown parameters have been replaced by circular arguments i. e. by inverse calculations. Those assumed parameters and even the results of the model calculations have no evidence in reality; look e. g. my earlier comment: http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/22/the-coming-artic-boom/#comment-336565 .

    I have expressed my position on the matter of climate problem in its entirety in my Finnish blog http://lauriheimonen.puheenvuoro.uusisuomi.fi/101354-ilmasto-ongelman-toimiva-ratkaisu ; the conclusions tranlated in English:

    ”WORKING SOLUTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE?

    MAN UNABLE TO CONTROL CLIMATE WARMING

    CONLUSIONS

    The most essential question for the time being is how the decision-makers can be made, in a simple way, understand that anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not conrol global warming of climate, and that therefore any curtailment of CO2 emissions can not be capable to influence the global temperature in reality.

    There is needed to be understood only one of the two issues expressed by me above:

    – Natural warming dominates an increase of global CO2 content in atmosphere, where a share of anthropogenic CO2 emissions can not have been empirically found.
    – The CO2 content in atmosphere is controlled together by all CO2 emissions to atmosphere and by all CO2 absorptions from the atmosphere to the other parts of environment. According to calculations the anthropogenic share in the current atmospheric CO2 content is about 4 % at the most.

    Because anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not dominate any warming, the only working solution available is adaptation to any kind of natural natural climate changes experienced to be threatening.

    As to energy policy, there is no role for curtailment of CO2 emissions, because it has been proved to be unworking concerning any control of global warming. There have to be a first priority to protect an availebility of competitive energy that is produced cleanly enough.”

    • Here’s an edit of the English translation for you:
      ”WORKING SOLUTION FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?

      MAN UNABLE TO CONTROL CLIMATIC WARMING

      CONLUSIONS

      The most essential question for the time being is how the decision-makers can be made, in a simple way, to understand that anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not conrol global climate warming, and that therefore any curtailment of CO2 emissions can not, in reality, influence global temperature.

      There needs to be understood only one of the two issues expressed by me above:

      – Natural warming dominates any increase of global CO2 content in atmosphere, where anthropogenic CO2 emissions have not have been empirically found.
      – The CO2 content in atmosphere is controlled together by all CO2 emissions to atmosphere and by all CO2 absorptions from the atmosphere to the other parts of environment. According to calculations the anthropogenic share of the current atmospheric CO2 content is about 4 % at the most.

      Because anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not dominate any warming, the only workable solution available is adaptation to any natural climate changes found to be threatening.

      As for energy policy, there is no role for curtailment of CO2 emissions, because it has been proven to be ineffective in control of global warming. There has to be a first priority to protect availability of competitive energy that is cleanly enough produced.”

  26. Willis Eschenbach

    The author says …

    In particular, we should recall that risk analysis can at best differentiate between estimated and perceived risk, not between actual and perceived risk.

    If that is the case … then what possible use can risk analysis be to climate science?

    The big problem in climate science is distinguishing between real risk and alarmism. The “estimated vs. perceived risk” part of the game only comes into play once we find out if there is really any danger, or it’s just well-meaning folks crying “Wolf!” … and since we don’t know that, “risk analysis” is way, way premature.

    This seems to be a common theme in academia, solving the wrong problem because it is so much simpler to solve …

    w.

    • … more like not so well-meaning folks crying “do your part and donate to the cause by so Al Gore’s has enough jet fuel to go forth and save Polar Bears from extinction!”

  27. On this the 130th anniversary of Franz Kafka’s birthday, we should remember the EPA’s actions with respect to CO2 — which is currently under review by the US Supreme Court — amounts to a class action lawsuit by the Left against the productive. And, the Left has declared the accused is guilty until proven innocent. Kafkaesque, No? Let’s hope for the credibility of science that the Supreme Court has the moral gumption to restore a climate of reason and stop blaming people for living.

  28. Matthew R Marler

    Oh great, another academic perspective of risk assessment.

    Is climate change a well-understood technical problem supported by reliable data or is it a speculative threat based on contentious models?

    whether or not CO2 increases risk: floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, crop-killing freezes, disease epidemics and so on will continue to occur mostly as they have during recorded history. We’d be a step ahead of where we are, come what may, if we merely prepared for everything to happen again that has happened, such as East Coast hurricanes, mid-America tornadoes, the central California flood of ca. 150 years ago, Haitian and New Madrid earthquakes, Japanese tsunamis, and so forth. We’d be two steps ahead if we prepared for everything to be 10% worse than last time. This concentration on CO2 is blinding people to all the work that we already know has to be done.

    Some extreme forecasts (e.g. no more heavy rains in Queensland? no more snow in England? a Katrina every year?) were positively self-defeating (not to mention irresponsible, since the best theories of AGW make no such predictions.)

  29. How do we assess the risk when the data is quatsch? The improper siting of official government thermometers is not a problem. The Official government scientists know the placement of official temperature instruments at official US stations violate the official siting guidelines but not to worry — adjustments are made to the raw data to arrive at official temperatures. Then the raw data is destroyed to avoid confusion.

  30. Climate risk? Here’s a fun read – chicken little on crack.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-and-when-will-the-world-end/309400/

    Gotta love Deepak Chopra: “The end of the world will come about as a result of the misunderstanding that we and the world are separate. Tidal waves will flood coastal landmasses, resulting in millions of refugees, violence, warfare, and chaos. The Earth will become a boiling cauldron. The human experiment will have failed.”

  31. GIGO: Many [official temperature instrument] sites are on or adjacent to tarmacs at airports some affected by exhaust. ~Joseph D’Aleo

    It is amazing there has been no real global warming when you consider the systemic official data corruption going on, the UHI effect from improper sitings of US Stations being just one of the climatists’ many shenanigans.

  32. While we argue about how many CO2 molecules can fit on a pin headed climate scientist, the Egyptian army stages a military coup.

    We need a post on how global warming has caused this shocking rejection of a democratically elected dictator.

  33. How much faith should we put in nature-denying political planning—see, e.g.:

    Mail Online Wednesday, Jul. 03, 2013

    Dirty tricks of the the fracking deniers: How Green zealots peddle cynical propaganda to stop Britain mining £3trillion of shale gas…enough to keep the lights on for 141 YEARS

    • Friends of the Earth said to be spreading misleading claims about dangers of shale gas

    • Campaigners aimed to stop fracking by manipulating the planning system…

    ~David Rose

  34. Dr: Curry
    This may be worth few moments of your attention:
    Alan Carlin Ph.D. Economics, MIT – Senior Operations Research Analyst, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Retired)

    “The economic benefits of reducing CO2 emissions may be about two orders of magnitude less than those estimated by most economists because the climate sensitivity factor (CSF) is much lower than assumed by the United Nations because feedback is negative rather than positive and the effects of CO2 emissions reductions on atmospheric CO2 appear to be short rather than long lasting.”
    Link here

    • … I argue that human activity may increase temperatures over what they would otherwise have been without human activity, but the effect is so minor that it is not worth serious consideration.

      –e.g., as Reid Bryson said, “You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.”

      “It’s irrelevant as to why temperature goes up,” Reid says: “Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.”

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Akan Carlin should stay retired and stick with economics.

    • tempterrain

      Look, just because someone uses a computer program written by Hansen , it doesn’t mean that everything he says can be attributable to Hansen too!

      There is a cooling effect, which can temporarily offset GHgas warming, from partculates emitted from the burning of fossil fuels. No-one is saying there isn’t

  35. Bob Ludwick

    “How much effort should we exert this year as opposed to 10 years from now? ”

    Empirically, the answer would be the same: nothing now and nothing ten years from now.

    The problem with the premise of the piece is that it treats as axiomatic that the climate is changing, the effects of the changes are almost universally detrimental, that the detrimental effects are a consequence of human activity, primarily the emission of CO2 as a byproduct of the energy that we produce to sustain our technological civilization, and that by exerting ‘effort’ we can prevent the unpleasant to catastrophic changes that we have so carelessly initiated.

    Aside from the observation that the climate is indeed changing and that it always has and always will, there is no empirical evidence that human activity in any form affects climate measurably, that the observed climate variations are outside the variations that occurred in the past absent human CO2 emissions, that the observed variations are on balance detrimental, or that the remedial actions recommended would have any measurable effect, positive or negative, on the ‘climate of the earth’.

    While the current buzzword for the ‘problem’ is Climate Change, the argument is almost always made that climate change is evidenced by the ‘fact’ that the ‘Temperature of the Earth’ is rising rapidly, with catastrophic consequences, and that we MUST take immediate action to halt it.

    What is never mentioned is the current ‘Temperature of the Earth’ in relation to its ideal temperature, how the ideal was determined, by whom, using what criteria, and how the emergency actions that must be initiated immediately will drive the temperature of the Earth toward the ideal–and keep it there.

    Bob Ludwick

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘How should we manage discontinuous or highly uncertain effects?’

      Eh – it’s all discontinuous.

    • Change without question was the Left’s game plan from the beginning. Time has never been the friend of the global warming movement. So much damage has been done to the socioeconomic system and so many voters have become dependent on a government grown too large to fail that the Left probably will still be in power as all their lies become more and more obvious as the years go by. It is beginning to look like the West has 40 years of wandering in the desert while the rest of the world could care less and will never look back.

    • “there is no empirical evidence that human activity in any form affects climate measurably”

      I guess Bob Ludwick is one of these crazy folks who denies the greenhouse effect.

  36. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Joshua | July 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm |

    A favorite Climate Etc. moment.

    Your politics are neither conservative nor capitalist.

    Apparently Bart doesn’t realize that it is GaryM who has exclusive rights to determine who is or isn’t a conservative. (/Although it should be noted that Bart may think that Chef is a conservative even if his politics are not).’

    As I keep saying I am a classic liberal.

    ‘When I say that the conservative lacks principles, I do not mean to suggest that he lacks moral conviction. The typical conservative is indeed usually a man of very strong moral convictions. What I mean is that he has no political principles which enable him to work with people whose moral values differ from his own for a political order in which both
    can obey their convictions. It is the recognition of such principles that permits the coexistence of different sets of values that makes it possible to build a peaceful society with a minimum of force. The acceptance of such principles means that we agree to tolerate much that we dislike. There are many values of the conservative which appeal to me more than those of the socialists; yet for a liberal the importance he personally attaches to specific goals is no sufficient justification for forcing others to serve them. I have little doubt that some of my conservative friends will be shocked by what they will regard as “concessions” to modern views that I have made in Part III of this book. But, though I may dislike some of the measures concerned as much as they do and might vote against them, I know of no general principles to which I could appeal to persuade those of a different view that those measures are not permissible in the general kind of society which we both desire. To live and work successfully with others requires more than faithfulness to one’s concrete aims. It requires an intellectual commitment to a type of order in which, even on issues which to one are fundamental, others are allowed to
    pursue different ends.’ http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/articles/hayek-why-i-am-not-conservative.pdf

    Why I Am Not a Conservative
    By Nobel laureate F. A. Hayek

    Do either Joshua or Bart understand a commitment to freedom, democracy and the rule of law that goes beyond beyond partisan concerns. That there are some things are so central to freedom all other concerns are secondary. That there are threats to freedom seems incontrovertible – and one of these is the resort to lies, distortion, dissimulation and distraction that is the hallmark of the politics of the new green left. They have such a powerful conviction of their own moral ascendency that any action to achieve their ends seems justified to them. They are not content to put it to a vote. They are not content to be honest and forthright and to hold themselves to exemplary standards. They are intent on a program of incremental intrusion into the lives of people to achieve ends that they dare not speak. Their theories are about transforming the world into a pastoral ideal.

    That I am neither conservative nor capitalist is laughable. I am democrat first and foremost. Bart and Josh seem more like failed demagogues. Enemies of freedom in principle but hopelessly inept. The only tools themselves and ludicrous attempts at ridicule and marginalization.

    What is this – a forum for discourse or a rehearsal for pissant progressives to polish their pitch? An affirmation of their inflated sense of superiority and entitlement through trivial snark? A confirmation of their status as a legend in their own lunchtimes? All of the above?

    • Chief Hydrologist | July 4, 2013 at 12:36 am |

      Citing authorities to gain their halo, when everything they have written repudiates everything you do, not the best tactic. Yet you persist.

      You keep saying a lot of things that turn out not to be so, Robert Ellison. Classic liberal? That’s just another thing you say.

      You ask about the understanding of ideas beyond partisan terms of a demonstrated nonpartisan minarchist.

      You clearly have this prepared speech in your head you just want to get out, and so are crafting a framework to fit your preconceived notion. Which ought surprise no one about you by now.

      Pretty speechifying in a world loosely based on reality doesn’t contribute to the forum of discourse. It’s just more obfuscation. Which is an antidemocratic artifact, defeating yet another claim you make.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hayek is quoted because of his eloquence and wisdom – your empty protestations notwithstanding.

        You are scientifically illiterate with a smattering of gobsmackingly tendentious twaddle.

        You specialize in pretentious but incoherent nonsense. … a demonstrated nonpartisan monarchist???

        You repeat your manifesto with almost the same words every time you comment. We are heartily sick of it and I have asked you before to shut up, stop filibustering and put it to a vote. We are no longer interested. The world has moved on. You just need to get past your monomania.

        It is a world based on respect for freedom, the rule of law and democracy as the primary values of western civilization. Why don’t you try it sometime?

      • Minarchist, Chief.

        This may not be incompatible with monarchism, though.

        ***

        Since we’re into the very important subject of labeling doctrines, how would you label this?

        Is Dasgupta against freedom too?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Is Dasgupta against freedom too?”

        he’s for freedom from and against freedom to.

        I do like the notion of intergenerational well being.
        Especially when you consider societies that pay attention to their elders,
        even elders who live on in the next life and watch over us. Imagine how much their well being is impacted by changes in society. I can see how the notion of intergenerational well being could be construed as a very powerful traditionalist club to beat folks with.
        Do it for the grandchildren, do it for your elders, do it for your forefathers.

        and if you fail to please, well we will mark you with a pen

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yes I noted that wee willie – frankly I couldn’t be bothered correcting myself. It makes as little sense either way.

  37. As far as I can tell the risk from global climate changing is not greater the risk from rocks in space.
    And they are similar risks.
    There is no known short term risk from impactor from space. And there is no known short term risk from global climate changes.
    Space rocks are constantly impacting Earth and the recent very small asteroid which blew up at 38 km elevation in Russia and resulting in hundred of injuries was unusual- most impactors do not shatter windows and are these close to human settlements. But in terms of the size of the impactor it’s quite common. In the news in was compared to Tunguska event but it was only compared in of human drama- both were made impressive effects. But the Tunguska was air burst estimated to be around
    “3 to as high as 30 megatons of TNT”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event
    Chelyabinsk meteor: “with a total kinetic energy before atmospheric impact equivalent to approximately 440 kilotons of TNT”
    So difference of 3000 to 30,000 kiloton to 440 kilotons of TNT
    Both Tunguska and Chelyabinsk are common- Tunguska is about 100 year occurance and Chelyabinsk size occurs every 10 year of less. Neither of them have much global effect and low possibility of occurring near human settlement- human live in a small percentage of the land area, and more of surface of Earth is ocean. It possible such impacts could directly hit city and cause enormous damage- but hitting a city has less chance than hitting any type of human settlement. Chelyabinsk was unusual as it was somewhat close the large town/small city. Due to being near a urban area
    it’s: “unpredicted arrival and air burst resulted in considerable injuries. Russian authorities stated that 1,491 people, sought medical attention in Chelyabinsk blast within the first few days. Health officials said 112 people had been hospitalized, with two in serious condition. A 52-year-old woman with a broken spine was flown to Moscow for treatment. Most people were hurt by shattered, falling or blown-in glass.”
    If one replaced the Chelyabinsk’s rock was the Tunguska rock, there would massive amounts of deaths and much more injuries.
    But these size impactors are not what I mean as comparitive to climatic risk- as they are not global in nature, and the space rock need to larger, so the size of rocks that occur within 1000 years, and much bigger rocks the have small chance of impacting earth every century. So “lucky hit” from small size rock [Tunguska or smaller] which will hit [100% chance somewhere on Earth] could kill millions of people in a city, but bigger rocks which occur every 1000 years or longer- which can hit Earth tomorrow [have not been previously detected and plotted]- don’t need direct hit of city to kill millions- they have larger regional affect and could have enough power that they can cause tsunamis. So these larger rocks don’t “harmlessly” crash into ocean- they could possibly be safer if they hit land- could result in less human deaths.
    So climate climate changes will occur 1000 year or longer- we have record of such changes. The little ice age was such change, and it’s possible another little ice age could occur within centuries. But as far as is known within thousands of years we will return the ice age [a glacial period]. But in same period- centuries or thousand of year it is as known we will be hit by some rock bigger than a Tunguska [several is more likely].
    Now, the Tunguska [or Chelyabinsk] didn’t kill anyone [directly] and Little ice Age did kill people directly [affected crop yields- adding to number of people starving] and indirectly one could make a case a lot more, though
    pretty hard get anything resembling exact numbers.

    Now if global climate change is limited to warmer conditions- one can’t say more people die directly form warmth as compared to cold. As in this warmer period, more people die from colder conditions compared to warmer conditions. And there no real justification for statement suggest that global warming as killed anyone or caused any animal extinctions or near extinction [or had any effect upon animal populations]. The same can said be about Little Ice Age. And same can said of much larger changes of glacial and interglacial periods. This cold period for last 10 million year, has affected evolution of animals- some argue it changed the evolution of the primate, human.
    People like to quibble about whether not a vast impactor, caused the extinction of the dinosaur. There is no comparison between glacial and interglacial period of last 10 million years and a rock which was probably 10 km in diameter slamming down on the Yucca peninsula. That kind impactors could even end existence of the clever homo sapien.
    It dwarfs a super volcano Yellowstone event [which would end the US nation {and Canadian and Mexico, too}] as it ends all the agriculture of the region- makes the dust bowl of 1930s an extremely minor and insignificant event in comparison.
    The dinosaur rock was on the order of every 100-200 million years and as we already detected more than 90% of these size rock [any object near Earth over 1 km in diameter]- so that is very, very, unlikely- even if we had not already plotted their trajectories.
    I am mainly talking about smaller rocks than 1 km [though comets {much rarer in terms being possible to hit Earth} are more unknown] which are more frequently passing somewhat close to Earth.
    So rocks less than 1 km [or less than 1/4 km] are around similar scale of risk as glacial/interglacial global climate type change. Or something which will profoundly alter human existence rather than cause extinction- or millions to hundreds millions of people being killed.

    So I would say global climate change and impactors are similar risk, with the difference being we could actually do something about impactors.
    Impactors can be known and clear solution can be devised to deal with such a risk.
    Whereas the same can not said about climate change.

  38. Peter Lang

    CAGW doomsayers want to cut GHG emissions. Most people want reliable, cheap energy.

    We could have both.

    France, one of the largest economies, has reliable, cheap electricity with CO2 emissions about one-tenth those of German and Denmark (which happen top be the countries that pursued renewable energy most vigorously). See the graphics of France’s real time electricity generation and CO2 emissions at: http://www.rte-france.com/fr/developpement-durable/eco2mix/emission-de-co2-par-kwh-d-electricite-produite-en-france

    • Yeah Peter!
      A serf.

      • Peter Lang

        Furthermore, France is currently exporting power, the equivalent of eight to twelve nuclear power stations running at full capacity, to UK, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.

        That is pretty good evidence the France’s power delivers what the market wants – reliable and cheap!

        And doing so with about the lowest GHG emissions in Europe.

        What more could the ‘Progressives’ want?

    • Read somewhere that France wants to build an electricity pipe line across the English Channel from its nuclear generated source, to make up the shortfall which Britain is expected to experience in black outs from its forays into ‘greenie power’..

      • Latimer Alder

        Already there.The French ‘Interconnector’. Supposedly bidirectional (hoho).

      • Peter Lang

        Myrrh,

        Look at the graphic in the link: http://www.rte-france.com/fr/developpement-durable/eco2mix/echanges-commerciaux-aux-frontieres

        Click on the links in left to see electricity generation by technology and fuel, amounts being exported to each neighbouring country, and CO2 emissions, all in in real time.

      • Thanks, but what I recall appeared more specific than that, it was to compensate for greenie technology blackouts.

        However, it looks like it is not only from France as I recall reading, (with the slant that France was gearing up to take advantage of the mess Britain would be in with the view to taking over supply of electricity in Britain as it has taken control of water), but also the impetus for it coming from Britain and looking to other countries also:

        http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/03/12/britain-france-power-idUKL6N0C4CHY20130312?feedType=RSS&feedName=rbssEnergyNews

        “LONDON, March 12 | Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:17pm GMT

        LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) – Developers plan to double to 1,000 megawatts the capacity of a proposed cable connecting the French and British power markets through the Channel tunnel.

        The increase will push the start of operations of ElecLink to the fourth quarter of 2016 from 2015, Simon Ludlam, executive vice-chairman of the project, said on Tuesday.

        France’s Eurotunnel, which operates the subsea tunnel, and UK-based fund manager Star Capital Partners set up a joint venture in May 2011 to develop the 75-km long cable.

        “Subsequent to our discussions with RTE and National Grid, we will increase capacity to 1,000 megawatts,” he said, adding he expected to reach financial close towards the end of the year.

        Ludlam said the venture was the first example of private companies investing in a power interconnector without the involvement of a grid operator.

        France and Britain are already connected via a 2,000-MW subsea power cable that has been operating since the 1980s.

        Britain sees building interconnections with neighbouring countries as a way to manage fluctuating renewable energy production and is considering laying other cables to Norway, Belgium and Denmark. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by David Cowell)”

        Britain’s energy has been totally screwed by the EU – examples here:

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2213362/Britain-blackouts-70s-style-blackouts-withing-years-EU-rules-force-bills-warns-Ofgem.html

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/8797523/UK-coal-power-stations-set-to-close-up-to-four-years-early.html

        So maybe not quite a takeover by the French, who were planning to build nuclear stations in Britain, from a 2008 article:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3321124/Ten-UK-nuclear-power-stations-by-2020.html

        Hmm, looks like some of it now actioned:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21839684

        New nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C is approved

        The first of a planned new generation of nuclear power plants in the UK has been given approval.

        Energy Secretary Ed Davey told MPs in the Commons that he was granting planning consent for French energy giant EDF to construct Hinkley Point C in Somerset.

        The proposed £14bn power plant would be capable of powering five million homes.

        Mr Davey said the project was “of crucial national importance” but environmental groups reacted angrily. ”

        It doesn’t seem to have occurred to these greenies that their ‘renewables’ have already screwed the British consumer with higher prices for their electricity through green taxes and subsidies:

        However, environmental groups have reacted angrily.

        They raised concerns over the potentially high price for electricity the government will agree to in order to get the nuclear plant built, and over the issue of nuclear waste.

        Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said: “It will lock a generation of consumers into higher energy bills, via a strike price that’s expected to be double the current price of electricity, and it will distort energy policy by displacing newer, cleaner, cheaper technologies.

        So the consumer loses either way, subsidising uneconomic green energy and having the burden of unlimited nuclear clear up costs to pay for with the liabilities of the nuclear companies being capped, mustn’t upset the shareholders..

        The variation from Shakespear’s R&J just popped into mind… (grin).

      • Peter Lang

        Myrrh,

        Thank you for the comment, quotes and links. However, your comment seems to have diverted from the point I thought you made and Latimer Alder and I answered. Your comment Latimer and I responded to said:

        Read somewhere that France wants to build an electricity pipe line across the English Channel from its nuclear generated source, to make up the shortfall which Britain is expected to experience in black outs from its forays into ‘greenie power’..

        Latimer Alder and I both explained a link is already in place and they can build more capacity when justified.

        You responded with:

        Thanks, but what I recall appeared more specific than that, it was to compensate for greenie technology blackouts.

        followed by a long comment about the justifications, options, politics, and more. But that is not the point you raised and I answered. It seems to have changed tack from discussing the engineering solution (a link) with the justification.

        That discussion would need a whole new thread and it would be very situation specific for UK, Europe, their politics, etc. so I can’t see there’d be much interest in discussing it here, other than in generalities such as an example of the very high hidden costs of government intervening in market to force us to buy their chosen technologies – e.g. renewable energy.

      • Peter Lang | July 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Myrrh,

        Thank you for the comment, quotes and links. However, your comment seems to have diverted from the point I thought you made and Latimer Alder and I answered. Your comment Latimer and I responded to said:

        “Read somewhere that France wants to build an electricity pipe line across the English Channel from its nuclear generated source, to make up the shortfall which Britain is expected to experience in black outs from its forays into ‘greenie power’..”

        Latimer Alder and I both explained a link is already in place and they can build more capacity when justified.

        You responded with:

        “Thanks, but what I recall appeared more specific than that, it was to compensate for greenie technology blackouts.”

        followed by a long comment about the justifications, options, politics, and more. But that is not the point you raised and I answered. It seems to have changed tack from discussing the engineering solution (a link) with the justification.

        Nope, my point was that they were planning to do this in response to:

        “to make up the shortfall which Britain is expected to experience in black outs from its forays into ‘greenie power’..”

        And as I found, this is not just from France, but from other European countries – because Britain is fully into the process of destroying its own energy production and cannot cope with the intermittant supply from the greenie power scams.

        Both nuclear and greenie power are scams against the interests of the general population who are now paying for the billions it is costing in nuclear clean up and in subsidies to the ridiculous wind and solar schemes and paying more for energy in higher green taxes, and so they will be subsidising the shareholders of the private nuclear schemes of any new plants built.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/23/britain-nuclear-atomic-clean-up-decommissioning

        http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/commentanalysis/corporatewatch/nuclearindustry.aspx

        From the last link:

        “A few years ago you could have been forgiven for thinking that the UK nuclear industry was on its last legs.

        BNFL had declared itself bankrupt in 2001, British Energy had declared itself effectively bankrupt in 2002, the 11 Magnox reactors were nearing the end of their working lives, there’d been a waste disposal scandal or two and there seemed little chance of a new generation of nuclear power stations being commissioned.

        But in summer 2005, starting with a pro-nuclear article in the Independent by James Lovelock, a steady stream of articles started appearing suggesting that the nuclear industry, with its “clean” energy, was an essential part of the fight against climate change.

        Since then it has become apparent that, in spite of two government-commissioned reports rejecting it on practical, economic and environmental grounds, nuclear has high level government backing as an energy source. It is now widely expected that new nuclear power stations will be recommended as a part of the UK’s future energy strategy when the government publishes its Energy Review this summer.

        But nuclear power will only be viable if the government provides subsidies and changes the current regulatory framework.

        Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that BNFL wants to fast-track the planning process by pre-licensing reactors before sites are selected, and restrict the scope of local planning enquiries so that issues such as security, safety and environmental impact are discussed behind closed doors.[1]

        And for new nuclear reactors to be profitable, the companies need a guaranteed price for their electricity and/or the introduction of a Nuclear Obligation, which would oblige all electricity companies to sell a certain amount of nuclear-generated electricity.

        They are also looking for assurances that they will not be left with a huge bill for disposing of their own nuclear waste. Unsurprisingly, the government’s current subsidy is already helping to fund a well-thought out PR strategy to give the nuclear industry what it wants.”

        My bold. The claim that the tax payer won’t be subsidising the nuclear industry’s costs is a lie, see the telegraph link I gave earlier for Hutton’s fib: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3321124/Ten-UK-nuclear-power-stations-by-2020.html

        and, the “changes in planning” glibly glossed over in that article are what the ethicalconsumer details…, behind closed doors, unaccountable to the people footing the bill for the scam. And, the cost for clean up are to be capped for these private nuclear companies, which are even now running into billions as I’ve linked to in this post which amplifies the glossing over the extent of the subsidy in the telegraph article:

        “Crucial to the acceptance by the power companies and the City was the Government’s decision to cap liabilities for decommissioning and the disposal of waste in “extreme circumstances,” leaving the taxpayer exposed if cost estimates are wrong.”

        Nuclear is being subsidised one way or the other by the general public as it subsidises the greenie scam renewables, http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/26/nuclear-power-too-expensive-french-court-finds/

        So, the hard done by joe public is again having to subsidise UNECONOMIC power production.

        A p*x on both their houses is what popped into my mind..

  39. An’ that’s the bottom line. -)
    BC

  40. I’ve been looking for a global annual precipitation chart that covers through 2012, but so far have found only ones that end at 2000. Does anyone know where such a chart might be found? (Global average deniers need not apply.)

  41. “Wind and solar power may be clean, but they’re often unreliable, especially by the standards of datacenters that need a way to compensate for any unexpected surges or drops in power. Battery- and fuel-cell storage or co-generating systems—such as the one Apple built for its massive North Carolina datacenter—can bridge the gap, but not as efficiently as finding ways to simultaneously use and store the power generated by wind turbines.

    It’s difficult—if not impossible—to save power currently in use. But how about saving the wind that generates the power? That might work, according to researchers at the federal Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), and U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. (Hat tip to National Geographic for the link.)

    A study published in February (PDF) outlined the potential benefit of pumping pressurized air into caverns deep underground as a way to store wind energy, then letting it out whenever demand spikes, or the wind drops, and the above-ground facilities need help spinning enough turbines to keep power levels steady.”

    http://slashdot.org/topic/datacenter/wind-mine-could-become-datacenters-savior/

  42. Another annoying article totally devoid of science content. It is just unreal to see how it presumes to analyze risks from “anthropogenic global warming” which is taken as an established fact. First, AGW is not a fact. Second, the presumed cause of it, greenhouse warming, does not exist. Let’s start with this point first. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air is the highest ever yet there is no warming now and there has been none for the last 15 years. Doesn’t that bother you even a little bit? You are using serious risk-management tools to avoid a non-existent risk. IPCC tells us that anthropogenic global warming is caused by the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Here it is, sitting in the atmosphere, causing no greenhouse warming whatsoever, just doing nothing. Did you know that there was another 18 year period where exactly the same thing happened, namely from 1979 to 1997? That was at the beginning of the satellite era of temperature measurements. I determined the absence of warming from satellite data and then discovered that all land-based temperature sources were showing the eighties and nineties as part of a non-existent “late twentieth century warming.” I pointed that out in my book and demanded an investigation but absolutely nothing happened for two years. And then, suddenly last fall three leading global temperature databases decided to get rid of that phony warming and aligned their data with satellite measurements. The databases involved were GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC. It was done secretly and no one was told about it. I regard this concerted action to be tantamount to an admission that they all knew the warming was phony. But while that warming was on the record it was used as proof of the existence of man-made warming. That amounts to scientific fraud. All papers that did this should be withdrawn. Lets now go ahead and use satellite data showing absence of warming for a new temperature curve. And lets add to it a section showing absence of greenhouse warming back to the beginning of this century. Between these two sections there is just a narrow window left over, enough to accommodate the super El Nino of 1998 and its step warming. This means that there has not been any greenhouse warming at all for the last 34 years. What do you think are the chances that any earlier warming was greenhouse warming? I vote for zero. And yet you are not only babbling about what to do with a non-existent warming but also getting a scholarly article published about it to embellish your CVs. But such is climate change literature – they actively encourage BS about warming and suppress contrary opinions.

    • Doesn’t that bother you even a little bit?

      You have got to keep in mind that global warming nothing more than a hoax and a scare tactic? Would you put your question to a charlatan? When you realize that academia — which is just a part of a liberal fascist government bureaucracy grown too large to fail — is in on the con. No, it does not bother Leftists — not in the slightest. AGW is not about science; it’s about politics.

    • Peter Lang

      Arno Arrak,

      Another annoying article totally devoid of science content.

      Not everything is or should be about science. The article is not intended to be about science. It’s about how to develop rational policy. Big difference!

      We’ve had 30 years of science pissing in the wind, making little headway (causing us to waste vast amounts of the plants funds and wealth that could be much better). For example, after 25 years of science we know next to nothing about the damage function, we have not a clue about the probability that the mitigation policies advocated by the CAGW doomsayers would deliver the claimed benefits, and our central estimate and uncertainty of climate sensitivity has hardly changed in over 20 years.

      Climate scientists, have not provided the inputs required for rational policy analysis and decision making.

      I think this is a good paper. I’d suggest climate scientists would do well to read it carefully and spend a long time getting to understand what they need to do if they are going to provide the information required for rational policy analysis and decisions making.

      I’d like to see more posts like this that might help to educate scientists as to what is needed for policy analysis and decision makinhg.

  43. Please note how trivial the anthropogenic emission is to the total CO2 flowing around the carbon cycle.

    According to NASA estimates, the carbon in the air is less than 2% of the carbon flowing between parts of the carbon cycle. And the recent increase to the carbon in the atmosphere is less than a third of that less than 2%.

    And NASA provides an estimate that the carbon in the ground as fossil fuels is 5,000 GtC and humans are transferring it to the carbon cycle at a rate of ~7 GtC per year.

    In other words, the annual flow of carbon into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels is less than 0.02% of the carbon flowing around the carbon cycle.

    It is not obvious that so small an addition to the carbon cycle is certain to disrupt the system because no other activity in nature is so constant that it only varies by less than +/- 0.02% per year.

    ~Richard Courtney

    • “It is not obvious that so small an addition to the carbon cycle is certain to disrupt the system”

      Weasel words from dick (head) courtney

      • Targeting skeptics that you cannot refute with ad hom attacks is not proving AGW theory. But, I’m sure it gets approval from the European Union of commies and all of the anti-America members of the UN.

      • Sorry Wagathon, it is not obvious that what you say is certain to be BS free.

    • tempterrain

      “It is not obvious that so small an addition to the carbon cycle is certain to disrupt the system”

      I haven’t checked but let us assume the figure of 0.02% per year is correct. Firstly no one is saying that it will noticeably different from one year to the next so using a yearly figure is somewhat misleading.

      The volume of carbon constantly in exchange between the atmosphere and the Earth is huge. Its the classic case of the difference between two very large numbers. If I were to have a billion dollars going into my bank account and a billion dollars going out my net finances end up to be totally the same as now.

      But just change one by 0.02% and……………

    • Total man-made emissions add up to half the amount of CO2 there is in the atmosphere. I would hardly call that small.

  44. David Wojick

    Hultman et al say “Accommodating novel characteristics of the most prominent of these arenas—climate change— necessitates sweeping modification of the scope, methods, and values basis of risk analysis.”

    In other words formal risk analysis as presently understood and done does not apply to the climate change issue. I agree.

  45. David Springer

    WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | July 4, 2013 at 11:31 am |

    Yes, the ocean warming is modulated in two (directional) ways. Downward it is modulated by the spreading of heat by an effective diffusion. Upward it is modulated by latent heat of evaporation, where the energy is transported to higher altitudes.

    Neither of these is important on land. There is no heat capacity to speak of, and water vaporization is not as important over large stretches.

    You’re half right. Diffusion into rocks can be ignored.

    You’re wrong about evaporation over land. Or at least misleading. It’s not AS important but it’s still important.

    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/Images/Fig5-9.png

    Above is a global map showing latent heat flux. It’s lower over land but albedo over is higher so there’s less heat to get rid of than same latitude over ocean.

    You can see that surface insolation is a whole lot lower over land in the following global map:

    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/Images/Fig5-8A.png

    So Dr. Paul Pukite do you not know these these or are you just doing the pissant progressive version of lying for Jesus? LOL

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | July 4, 2013 at 11:31 am |

      Yes, the ocean warming is modulated in two (directional) ways. Downward it is modulated by the spreading of heat by an effective diffusion.

      Do show how.. Heat transfer in the real world’s fluid mediums is by convection, and, heat rises.

      • Effective diffusion includes eddy diffusion. Cold water can ascend. It is called upwelling.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There is a balance between turbulent dissipation and the buoyancy of warmer water.

        ‘Eddy diffusion, eddy dispersion, multipath, or turbulent diffusion is any diffusion process by which substances are mixed in the atmosphere or in any fluid system due to eddy motion.[1][2] In another definition[3] it is mixing that is caused by eddies that can vary in size from the small Kolmogorov microscales to subtropical gyres.’ Wikipedia

        It is not diffusion at all in the physics definition.

        ‘Diffusion is one of several transport phenomena that occur in nature. A distinguishing feature of diffusion is that it results in mixing or mass transport, without requiring bulk motion. ‘ Wikipedia

        Cold water upwelling occurs in areas where the warm surface mixed layer is dispersed by wind or currents allowing turbulent, cold deep water currents to surface. In important areas this sets up feedbacks with cloud, wind, surface currents and sea level pressure that modulates hydrology and surface temperature across the planet on interannual to millennial timescales.

        Using terms like ‘effective diffusion’ doesn’t build an understanding of real world processes.

      • Using terms like ‘effective diffusion’ doesn’t build an understanding of real world processes.

        It’s the sleight of hand meme to distract from convection, which AGW fisics doesn’t have because it doesn’t have real gas molecules with real properties and processes, their “diffusion” term comes from their ideal gas substitution for real gas; so their molecules without mass weight attraction volume, unable to expand with heat and become less dense and so lighter than air they rise, they don’t have air only empty space, and so too unable to condense when cooled, become less dense and so heavier than air they sink. Hot air rises cold air sinks, the real mnemonic from traditional meteorology, as above so below, hot water rises cold water sinks. Which is how we get our convection currents and why AGW fisics doesn’t have any weather.

      • “… and why AGW fisics doesn’t have any weather.”

        Good point and explains why Climatists could comfortable predicting children would never know what snow is and not feel like they’re channeling Carl Sagan.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The physics most certainly does have latent heating in the atmosphere – http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/stephens2.gif

        Effective diffusion’ in the oceans is not something that can be derived from first principles – and it certainly changes over time. It is not a very useful idea.

        Warm water certainly rises buoyantly forming the warm mixed layer. The existence of the warm mixed layer shows that buoyancy is the dominant heat transport process in the ocean by far. This is a fast process – equivalent to the fast process of turbulent mixing to depth.

      • The Chef and Myrrrhh don’t understand the concept of effective diffusion. Chef knows how to make a salad and that’s about it. Is Myrrh an ingredient?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Well I have walked on the beach – stretched, done some pushups – smiled at girls in shorts and t-shirts. I have had dinner – and that was the best salad I have ever had. Trey healthy and delicious. Thank you for your interest webby.

        ‘Effective diffusion’ – as webby uses it – is the net rate of heat transfer below an arbitrary level based on ocean heat data. The function smooths data because it is far from subtle enough to capture all the variability. So I understand all right – it provides a loss of information using very approximate curve fitting. It can’t be used for future projections because the ‘effective diffusion’ isn’t constant. It seems to have increased last decade – which is the whole freakin’ problem.

        It is – as seemingly anything of webby’s is – utterly pointless and misguided. Ask yourself why we need a simplified curve fitting when we can go straight to the data. Ask yourself if the simplified curve fitting can be derived without the data. Ask yourself if this means anything for the future. Ask yourself what the entire freakin’ purpose of it is and why he thinks anyone is impressed by the constant freakin’ repetition of a term that hides the real freakin’ physical processes.

      • Chief Hydrologist | July 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm | The physics most certainly does have latent heating in the atmosphere – http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/stephens2.gif

        It really isn’t easy to explain the gobbledegook in that cartoon, the whole package of the AGW Greenhouse Effect is a combination of very clever sleights of hand changing basic physics, such as, taking out whole properties and processes, giving the properties of one thing to another, word play and so on, and presenting these as if real physical descriptions of matter, and, AGW fisics has no internal consistency because of this.

        The mistake, and it really is a bad mistake, is to take any of it seriously regardless with how much genuine seriousness they argue it.. It is just a collection of memes which do not describe the physical world around us and so presentations, explanations given by AGW, stop short of describing the full processes from its fisics, because the processes don’t exist in their fisics.

        How does the cartoon have latent heat of evaporisation and yet have no Water Cycle? No rain in its Carbon Cycle? No convection?

        It begins with altering the properties of real gases, by excising these and reducing all real gases to the imaginary in real physics, “ideal” gas, which has no mass therefore not subject to gravity, no volume so empty space, no attraction etc.. A theoretical construct pre Van der Waals, who brought in molecular volume, which is useful only as a beginning point in gas calculations which then have to add all the missing properties and processes back in. AGW fisics doesn’t have van der Waals..

        Real gas molecules have real individual properties of volume which expand when heated and condense when cooled, which have real mass therefore weight under gravity , have real attraction so undergo chemical change, etc.

        AGW fisics says gas molecules do not have these properties and processes.

        It is pointless mentioning such things as convection in arguments with them, they do not have this. Their molecules are incapable of convecting heat. They don’t know what the traditional physics person is talking about because convection doesn’t appear in their AGW fisics.. As amusing as Willis can be in his rants, his diatribe against someone mentioning gravity is a classic, but it is really a problem that they who promote this fake fisics as real have no gravity in their world and don’t understand why they don’t..

        What is the latent heat of evaporisation? http://alchemical.org/thermo/latentheat.html

        It is the heat energy required to effect change of state, so it is not heating the substance further but its energy is being used in changing the property of the substance, here from liquid water to gas, vapour. And that’s as far as the cartoon goes (whether it has the figures correct for this I haven’t explored).

        But, because they have no gravity ‘their water vapour’ somehow, inexplicably gets into their empty space atmosphere and just hangs around there as a ‘blanket’ and forms ‘clouds’ instead of zooming off into outer space, from here it somehow ‘traps heat, the upwelling longwave infrared’ and ‘emits heat back to the surface’, and other strange descriptions.

        But the process in the real world doesn’t end on evaporation, because as a real gas heat energy is being used by the molecule in expansion; making the water molecule less dense and so lighter than air under gravity it rises, and when on reaching colder heights it releases this heat energy and condenses because it becomes heavier than air under gravity and so colder and heavier it sinks. AGW fisics doesn’t have this process, it stops short, it doesn’t have rain.

        If the water vapour in the atmosphere is imbibing more longwave infrared, up welling thermal infrared, then this is being used in the processes the real gas undergoes, it continues in the process of expansion becoming less dense the hotter it gets and so rising higher faster as heat flows from hotter to colder, how we get our great thunderstorms for example, until it gives up its latent heat in condensing back to liquid water or ice, and precipitating out – which is the Water Cycle. Water doesn’t hang around the atmosphere as a vapour blanket radiating back heat, it is using any heat it gets in its own processes.

        Carbon dioxide fully part of that cycle, water’s residence time in the atmosphere is 8-10 days. So AGW fisics doesn’t mention rain in its descriptions of ‘their carbon cycle’. Because their gases are not capable of the processes involved and because it spoils their meme that “carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere for hundreds and thousands of years”.

        Effective diffusion’ in the oceans is not something that can be derived from first principles – and it certainly changes over time. It is not a very useful idea.

        It’s gobbledegook. Just as their ideal gas “diffuses under its own molecular momentum at great speeds in empty space” shows they do not have any of the properties and processes of real gases in the real fluid gas atmosphere, they have no sound in their world, so they don’t have these in the fluid liquid ocean.

        They do not have convection. The only way they have of describing heat movement in the ocean is “diffusion”, which simply doesn’t exist in real physics. So for them their “diffusion” in the ocean is as their “diffusion” in their atmosphere, their heat sinks..

        It’s pointless again mentioning to them that water is not a good conductor of heat, they don’t understand heat transfer, because their molecules of gas and liquid don’t have real properties and processes which constrain them from doing certain things.

        Warm water certainly rises buoyantly forming the warm mixed layer. The existence of the warm mixed layer shows that buoyancy is the dominant heat transport process in the ocean by far. This is a fast process – equivalent to the fast process of turbulent mixing to depth.

        Shrug, they don’t know what you’re talking about. Their fisics doesn’t have convection currents created as hot water therefore less dense under gravity rises and cold water therefore heavier under gravity sinks displacing the lighter. Their fisics has to stop short of such processes because they have excised the real properties of molecules.

      • Sorry, take 2:

        Chief Hydrologist | July 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm | The physics most certainly does have latent heating in the atmosphere – http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/stephens2.gif

        It really isn’t easy to explain the gobbledegook in that cartoon, the whole package of the AGW Greenhouse Effect is a combination of very clever sleights of hand changing basic physics, such as, taking out whole properties and processes, giving the properties of one thing to another, word play and so on, and presenting these as if real physical descriptions of matter, and, AGW fisics has no internal consistency because of this.

        The mistake, and it really is a bad mistake, is to take any of it seriously regardless with how much genuine seriousness they argue it.. It is just a collection of memes which do not describe the physical world around us and so presentations, explanations given by AGW, stop short of describing the full processes from its fisics, because the processes don’t exist in their fisics.

        How does the cartoon have latent heat of evaporisation and yet have no Water Cycle? No rain in its Carbon Cycle? No convection?

        It begins with altering the properties of real gases, by excising these and reducing all real gases to the imaginary in real physics, “ideal” gas, which has no mass therefore not subject to gravity, no volume so empty space, no attraction etc.. A theoretical construct pre Van der Waals, who brought in molecular volume, which is useful only as a beginning point in gas calculations which then have to add all the missing properties and processes back in. AGW fisics doesn’t have van der Waals..

        Real gas molecules have real individual properties of volume which expand when heated and condense when cooled, which have real mass therefore weight under gravity , have real attraction so undergo chemical change, etc.

        AGW fisics says gas molecules do not have these properties and processes.

        It is pointless mentioning such things as convection in arguments with them, they do not have this. Their molecules are incapable of convecting heat. They don’t know what the traditional physics person is talking about because convection doesn’t appear in their AGW fisics.. As amusing as Willis can be in his rants, his diatribe against someone mentioning gravity is a classic, but it is really a problem that they who promote this fake fisics as real have no gravity in their world and don’t understand why they don’t..

        What is the latent heat of evaporisation? http://alchemical.org/thermo/latentheat.html

        It is the heat energy required to effect change of state, so it is not heating the substance further but its energy is being used in changing the property of the substance, here from liquid water to gas, vapour. And that’s as far as the cartoon goes (whether it has the figures correct for this I haven’t explored).

        But, because they have no gravity ‘their water vapour’ somehow, inexplicably gets into their empty space atmosphere and just hangs around there as a ‘blanket’ and forms ‘clouds’ instead of zooming off into outer space, from here it somehow ‘traps heat, the upwelling longwave infrared’ and ‘emits heat back to the surface’, and other strange descriptions.

        But the process in the real world doesn’t end on evaporation, because as a real gas heat energy is being used by the molecule in expansion; making the water molecule less dense and so lighter than air under gravity it rises, and when on reaching colder heights it releases this heat energy and condenses because it becomes heavier than air under gravity and so colder and heavier it sinks. AGW fisics doesn’t have this process, it stops short, it doesn’t have rain.

        If the water vapour in the atmosphere is imbibing more longwave infrared, up welling thermal infrared, then this is being used in the processes the real gas undergoes, it continues in the process of expansion becoming less dense the hotter it gets and so rising higher faster as heat flows from hotter to colder, how we get our great thunderstorms for example, until it gives up its latent heat in condensing back to liquid water or ice, and precipitating out – which is the Water Cycle. Water doesn’t hang around the atmosphere as a vapour blanket radiating back heat, it is using any heat it gets in its own processes.

        Carbon dioxide fully part of that cycle, water’s residence time in the atmosphere is 8-10 days. So AGW fisics doesn’t mention rain in its descriptions of ‘their carbon cycle’. Because their gases are not capable of the processes involved and because it spoils their meme that “carbon dioxide accumulates in the atmosphere for hundreds and thousands of years”.

        Effective diffusion’ in the oceans is not something that can be derived from first principles – and it certainly changes over time. It is not a very useful idea.

        It’s gobbledegook. Just as their ideal gas “diffuses under its own molecular momentum at great speeds in empty space” shows they do not have any of the properties and processes of real gases in the real fluid gas atmosphere, they have no sound in their world, so they don’t have these in the fluid liquid ocean.

        They do not have convection. The only way they have of describing heat movement in the ocean is “diffusion”, which simply doesn’t exist in real physics. So for them their “diffusion” in the ocean is as their “diffusion” in their atmosphere, their heat sinks..

        It’s pointless again mentioning to them that water is not a good conductor of heat, they don’t understand heat transfer, because their molecules of gas and liquid don’t have real properties and processes which constrain them from doing certain things.

        Warm water certainly rises buoyantly forming the warm mixed layer. The existence of the warm mixed layer shows that buoyancy is the dominant heat transport process in the ocean by far. This is a fast process – equivalent to the fast process of turbulent mixing to depth.

        Shrug, they don’t know what you’re talking about. Their fisics doesn’t have convection currents created as hot water therefore less dense under gravity rises and cold water therefore heavier under gravity sinks displacing the lighter. Their fisics has to stop short of such processes because they have excised the real properties of molecules.

      • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | July 5, 2013 at 2:08 am | The Chef and Myrrrhh don’t understand the concept of effective diffusion. Chef knows how to make a salad and that’s about it. Is Myrrh an ingredient?

        Well, I’m listening – explain it in detail so that we can understand exactly what you are saying.

      • “Well, I’m listening – explain it in detail so that we can understand exactly what you are saying.”

        Thanks for your interest. Based on James Hansen’s initial work, this is is how I interpreted the concept in terms of an Ocean Heat Content model:
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/ocean-heat-content-model.html

      • “Ask yourself why we need a simplified curve fitting when we can go straight to the data. Ask yourself if the simplified curve fitting can be derived without the data. Ask yourself if this means anything for the future. Ask yourself what the entire freakin’ purpose of it is and why he thinks anyone is impressed by the constant freakin’ repetition of a term that hides the real freakin’ physical processes.”

        Ask why The Chef has no intellectual curiosity at all and simply wants to pull rank and pull pranks on everyone within earshot.

        This lack of curiosity is the sign of a timid and fearful mind.

        The fact that what I am doing is a natural progression to the work of Hansen and before that Manabe is something that The Chef will continue to dismiss. Instead he will conjure up word salad and cherry-pick ambiguous quotes, while deflecting with his favorite chaos arguments.

        Look, Over there! Chaotic squirrels!!!
        http://imageshack.us/a/img203/5831/uqg.gif

      • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | July 5, 2013 at 7:55 am | “Well, I’m listening – explain it in detail so that we can understand exactly what you are saying.”

        Thanks for your interest. Based on James Hansen’s initial work, this is is how I interpreted the concept in terms of an Ocean Heat Content model:
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/ocean-heat-content-model.html

        So, you can’t explain “effective diffusion”.

        Stop prevaricating, explain in exact detail what that means. Describe the physical process. To remind you what “physics” means:

        COD: n. Science dealing with properties and interactions of matter and energy.

        Now, explain in detail the physical processes of your claim that there is such a thing as “the concept of effective diffusion” by which you claim “Downward it is modulated by the spreading of heat by an effective diffusion”.

        You can’t, because no such critter exists in real physics. You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about so you continue to avoid answering.

        I’m requesting you describe it. We have the time here for a serious discussion..

        ..maybe JimD can help you out?

        As I’ve said elsewhere, these fake physics memes have been introduced into the general oik education system, we now have a generation or two who have no concept of the real physical world around us. All the great strides our real scientists made in understanding the basic physical properties of matter and energy visible and invisible have been deliberately confused in order to push the AGW Greenhouse Effect meme.

        It’s an illusion, it does not exist in the real world, it was deliberately created by changing real physics and substituting a fake fisics about properties and processes – it is impossible with the real physical properties and processes of matter and energy.

        It is a very clever conjourer’s trick.

        You will not be able to appreciate the sleights of hand that go into creating it until and unless you get a grasp of the real physics of matter and energy as still taught in traditional real world physics..

        Then you too will see how funny the world AGW fake fisics describes; which has no sound, which has no gravity, which has the imaginary ideal gas masquerading as real gases and so apparently defying gravity and not being able to separate out, as ‘agw’s carbon dioxide’ wears its knickers on the outside and accumulates for hundreds and thousands of years in empty space with an “invisible container like the glass of a greenhouse at TOA” keeping it from “diffusing at great speeds” into the far outer space..

        The AGW fake fisics substitution is of massless ideal gas for real gases with volume. These it claims “diffuse at great speeds through empty space under their own molecular momentum miles apart from other molecules bouncing off them and this invisible container in elastic collisions, without attraction, so thoroughly mixing”

        Where is this invisible container which you have conjoured up to replace gravity? What is it made of?

        This brainwashing of the AGW fake fisics begins at junior level – a typical classroom ‘agw fake fisics demonstration” to explain how “carbon dioxide diffuses rapidly into the atmosphere” is to open a bottle of scent…

        And as I’ve said before, there is no internal consistency and joined up logic in AGW fisics because it is all made up. This “ideal gas diffusion” explanation at junior level is added to later by the “Brownian Motion” explanation – which presupposes, in the real world, real individual volumes of gases, so the “ideal gas diffusion at great molecular momentum speeds” can’t apply because they have no volume.. And anyway Brownian Motion is at a nanometre scale, it doesn’t have the “great speeds” of “diffusion by ideal gas molecular momentum”.

        Wouldn’t you rather be exploring the tricks they’ve used than wasting your time trying to make impossible fisics make sense..?

        Bring back real gases, real molecules, and get back gravity and heat transfer by convection and rain in your AGWCarbon Cycle..

      • Myrrhh you are another one of those Aussie pranksters that is allowed to run wild here, along with The Chef and several others.

      • Your Comic Cartoon AGW Greenhouse Effect Energy Budget is a joke – and the joke’s on those who take it seriously.

        Your world has no atmosphere, only empty space surrounded by some fantasy bubble like the glass of a greenhouse. Your Sun is cold, it’s only 6000°C. Your have no heat at all on your fantasy Earth because shortwaves cannot physically heat matter and your fantasy greenhouse container stops direct heat from the Sun entering. etc. etc.

        It’s complete and utter gobbledegook.

  46. But that hypothesis [the AGW hypothesis] is founded on three assumptions:

    (1) It is assumed that the anthropogenic CO2 emission is the major cause of the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration;

    (2) It is assumed that the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration is significantly increasing radiative forcing; and,

    (3) It is assumed that the increasing radiative forcing will significantly increase mean global temperature.

    There are reasons to doubt each of these assumptions. But if any one of them were known to be false then the entire AGW hypothesis would be known to be false. (punctuation added)

    Richard Courtney

  47. It seems that 95% or close of comments here are pretty much skeptical of AGW. You get the odd warmist who put up an “adjusted” graph ending in 2010 LOL

    • Peter Lang

      I think most of the 95% you refer to are sceptical of CAGW, not of AGW.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I don’t know Peter – I am definitely sceptical of AGW but CCC seems entirely possible.

        ‘Various mechanisms, involving changes in ocean circulation, changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases or haze particles, and changes in snow and ice cover, have been invoked to explain these sudden regional and global transitions. We do not know whether such changes could occur in the near future as a result of human effects on climate. Phenomena such as the Younger Dryas and Heinrich events might only occur in a ‘glacial’ world with much larger ice sheets and more extensive sea ice cover. However, a major sudden cold event did probably occur under global climate conditions similar to those of the present, during the Eemian interglacial, around 122,000 years ago. Less intensive, but significant rapid climate changes also occurred during the present (Holocene) interglacial, with cold and dry phases occurring on a 1500-year cycle, and with climate transitions on a decade-to-century timescale. In the past few centuries, smaller transitions (such as the ending of the Little Ice Age at about 1650 AD) probably occurred over only a few decades at most. All the evidence indicates that most long-term climate change occurs in sudden jumps rather than incremental changes.’
        http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/transit.html

      • Peter Lang

        Chief,

        I understood you are skeptical of the magnitude of AGW (and the consequences) but you agree that man’s GHG emissions probably do, or will if the continue unabated indefinitely, have some effect on Earth’s climate (and my food supply).

      • Peter Lang

        Chief,

        OK. Got your point about CCC now. I wrote my previous comment before I read your quote.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh worse than that Peter. The direction of climate change in the coupled nonlinear system that is climate is theoretically determinant but seemingly random. So it can’t be called AGW at all. A false conception of climate change. We can have warming and cooling at the same time? Nonsense.
        The only thing that matters is the emergent state of climate as it passes through tipping points. And tipping points are fairly common – as frequently as decades.

        There is a risk that the system can transition to a new emergent and extreme state in as little as a decade and we wouldn’t know until it happened Bringing catastrophe – in the sense of René Thom – in through the back door.

      • Peter Lang

        Chief,

        Oh, Damn! I’d better build an ark. Would that save me? :)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘In a truly nonlinear setting, indeterminacy in the size of the response is observed only in the vicinity of tipping points. We show, in fact, that small disturbances cannot result in a large-amplitude response, unless the system is at or near such a point. We discuss briefly how the distance to the bifurcation may be related to the strength of Earth’s ice-albedo feedback.’ http://arxiv.org/pdf/1003.0253.pdf

        Goes right over your head doesn’t it numbnut?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Peter – you might be better off sinking a micro nuke in the back yard.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Chief Hydrologist: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1003.0253.pdf

        I am glad to see that in another post you reference “catastrophe” in the sense of Rene Thom.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Chief, I forgot to say thanks for the link to that paper: Thank you.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        G’day Matthew,

        Always a pleasure. People who ‘get it’ still seem fairly rare.

        Try this one from Michael Ghil.

        http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

        ‘Climate sensitivity is then defined mathematically as the derivative of an appropriate functional or other function of the systems state with respect to the bifurcation parameter.’

        Cheers

      • Chief,

        There is a risk that the system can transition to a new emergent and extreme state in as little as a decade and we wouldn’t know until it happened Bringing catastrophe

        OK. So it may happen anytime, could be good, could be bad, probably good for some and bad for others, and we don’t know when or how good/bad.

        I guess it is just as likely to happen whether we are emitting GHG emissions or not. It just happens. Emitting GHG may increase or decrease the probability of a sudden change and may make it happen earlier or later than if no GHG emissions.

        So what should be our policy response?

        I’d suggest we need to focus on building robust systems. And the best way to do that is to maximise economic growth.

        Robust systems include:
        - plentiful, reliable, cheap energy (with plentiful energy we can do more and do it faster)
        - reliable water supply (larger dams, desalination where appropriate, water reticulation systems)
        - transport infrastructure
        - hospitals and health systems
        - robust buildings

        It all boils down to maximising economic growth.

        One obvious conclusion is we should dump all the economically irrational policies like carbon pricing and renewable energy targets, mandates, subsidies, and remove the impediments that are preventing the world from having cheap nuclear power (just thought I’d get that bit in. :)

      • Yer gotta ac-cent-chuate-the-positive,
        E-lim-in-nate-the neg-ative,
        Latch-on-ter-the-affirm-ative,
        Don’t mess with miss-ter-in-be-tween.

      • Beth

        Spot on. Very appropriate/

      • Peter,
        Engineers git it.:)
        I’m half finished the next e-dish-un of Serf_Under-ground.
        Beth-the-serf.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Pretty much so Peter – except that we are adding instability to an inherently sensitive system.

        So the focus is on growing economies, energy innovation and some pretty effective mitigation options that make sense on their owns terms.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/02/climate-risk/#comment-340184

      • Peter Lang

        Chief,

        Thanks for the link to your comment on the conservative farming. I grew up on the land and my brother now owns the property which my grandfather bough in 1898. In the 1990′s I was involved in RD&D with a variety of Australia’s RD&D programs (e.g. ‘Grain’, ‘Dairy’ and a host of others) and particpated in the selection and management of the funding for over 70 RD&D programs. I’ve also, more recently, been peripherally involved in attempting to set up a number of biochar projects (all failed to get funding). So I have some familiarity with what you are talking about. But I am far from persuaded about the prospects for large scale, economic CO2 sequestration in soils.

        I recently saw a CSIRO report saying that the proposal to sequester a large component of Australia CO2 emissions in soils would require farming about 1/3 of Australia’s land area. From memory they estimated about 2 tonnes per hectare per year (from memory) was all that could be achieved on average.

        I’d like to see the economics at the larger scale for what you are advocating before I’d be much interested in looking into this any more. It just doesn’t grab me. I see an easy cheap, probably ‘no regrets’ solution to cutting GHG emission – i.e. cheap nuclear power for the world. All it needs is for the “Progressives’ to start supporting progress instead of blocking it, then progress can begin. So I just can’t get excited about what I see as a more difficult and costly exercise while the very people who are screeching the doomsday message are blocking progress. Until they wake up to themselves, I can not support ideas that I see as probably very expensive and low probability of success. We have a viable solution that can achieve a great deal and should be where we put most of our focus and research effort as the first step, IMO. Let’s get on with it or wait until the doomsayers wake up to themselves. That’s my opinion, for what it worth.

        By the way, I can be persuaded, but I need a few facts in succinct comments that answer MY questions about the economic viability, and not arm-waving.

      • Peter Lang

        Chief,

        Pretty much so Peter – except that we are adding instability to an inherently sensitive system.

        Putting my sceptical hat on, I want to understand how we know: “we are adding instability

        I could put an alternative proposition: we are adding stability to an inherently sensitive system.

        The justification for my proposition is that the climate is more unstable when there are ice sheets. The less the area of ice on the planet the more stable is the climate. I point to Figure 1b in James Hansen’s paper to support for my contention (and I do recognise that the data precision is much less the further back in time we go and especially before the data from the Antarctic ice cores.): http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf

      • Peter Lang | July 5, 2013 at 2:39 am ”Chief, Thanks for the link to your comment on the conservative farming”

        Peter, CO2 fumigates the essential bacteria in the soil. Killing that bacteria is not very smart – sequestration of CO2 is only and ad for the Warmist, to insinuate that CO2 is changing the climate instead of water’

        Sahara has same amount of CO2 as Brazil; but different climates.

        The chief is a scum that has being studying environmentalism… if you are from the land – should know that environmentalist are born on the wrong hole – everything they say is offensive to the nose.

      • Peter Lang

        Beth,

        Peter,
        Engineers git it.:)

        Yes. And this raises an interesting point about the common definition of risk, e.g. as defined in the Nathan et. al. paper, compared with the definition of risk in Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

        NRC ‘Red Book’ definition of risk (ref. Nathan et. al. p 286) (my bold):

        Formal approaches to risk analysis typically define risk as the conditional probability that some, usually adverse, outcome will occur:

        Risk is the potential for realization of unwanted, adverse consequences to human life, health, property, or the environment; estimation of risk is usually based on the expected value of the conditional probability of the event occurring times the consequence of the event given that it has occurred (17).

        Project Management Body of Knowledge definition of risk:

        An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project’s objectives.

        Policy options analysis, design and implementation is a project, according to the PMBOK definition of a project:

        A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

        The goal of climate policy is to achieve a result (although it has not yet been defined and agreed and part of the project management process is to get all that project initiation stuff crystal clear).

        I suggest the PMBOK’s definition or risk is more appropriate for climate policy analysis than the NRC Red Book’ definition .

      • Peter Lang

        [ repost to fix formatting]

        Beth,

        Peter,
        Engineers git it.:)

        Yes. And this raises an interesting point about the common definition of risk, e.g. as defined in the Nathan et. al. paper, compared with the definition of risk in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

        NRC ‘Red Book’ definition of risk (ref. Nathan et. al., p 286) (my bold):

        Formal approaches to risk analysis typically define risk as the conditional probability that some, usually adverse, outcome will occur:

        Risk is the potential for realization of unwanted, adverse consequences to human life, health, property, or the environment; estimation of risk is usually based on the expected value of the conditional probability of the event occurring times the consequence of the event given that it has occurred (17).

        Project Management Body of Knowledge definition of risk:

        An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project’s objectives.

        Policy options analysis, design and implementation is a project, according to the PMBOK definition of a project:

        A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

        The goal of climate policy is to achieve a result(although it has not yet been defined and agreed and part of the project management process is to get all that project initiation stuff crystal clear).

        I suggest the PMBOK’s definition or risk is more appropriate for climate policy analysis than the NRC Red Book’ definition .

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Peter – I am not here to overcome your skepticism about farming systems that return build organic content in soils that have been in decline in agricultural soils – both grazing and cropping – over hundreds of years.

        There is information all over the web – but some basics on grazing systems I have discussed here. http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/07/soil-carbon-permanent-pasture-as-an-approach-to-co2-sequestration/#comments

        Here’s the Australian organization – http://www.confarming.org.au/

        About 15% of Australian farmers are no-till or rotational grazing because of the many and diverse benefits especially productivity – read some of the case studies. It is widespread in North and South America. The numbers are growing rapidly – as they are worldwide. It seems to b a genuine global movement. 200,000 farmers in Mozambique for instance – up considerably and expected to increase to 600,000 over the next few years.

        - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s82CFptdDGw -

        The CSIRO report seemed a bit superficial – it needs to be a system and requires significant farmer education.

        Some costs?

        http://aes.missouri.edu/fsrc/research/afgc95km.stm

        ftp://ftp.fao.org/agl/agll/docs/ecconsagr.pdf

        Really they are all over the web. The productivity gains and reductions in inputs outweigh the costs or farmers wouldn’t do it. Convincing you is hardly the priority – but you might at least do some background reading before declaring your ignorance and unwillingness to delve deeper.

        The approach I discussed as well had a number of other quite obvious dimensions and this is merely one.

      • Chief

        We have ample instrumental evidence of rapid climate change over a few decades AND that the paleo reconstructions smoothed over 40 years do not capture the decadal variability so therefore appear relatively static

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/26/noticeable-climate-change/
        tonyb

      • Peter Lang

        Chief,

        Peter – I am not here to overcome your skepticism about farming systems that return build organic content in soils that have been in decline in agricultural soils – both grazing and cropping – over hundreds of years.

        I think my comment was clear on that my skepticism is about the economic viability – i.e. the $/tonne CO2 abated.

      • Peter Lang

        In 2011, Australia emitted 563 Mt/a CO2 (Kyoto Protocol accounting basis. The Department of Climate Change and Treasury have both published estimates of the attainable abatement rate at 4-34 Mt CO2-e/yr in 2020 http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2012/3/22/science-environment/accounting-behind-soil-carbon.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Let’s look at it from first principles.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/soilcarbondeficit_zps57a06601.png.html

        http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/210756/Increasing-soil-organic-carbon.pdf

        The soil carbon deficit is about 30 tonnes C/ha. Over every hectare of Australian agriculture this is 12.5 billion tonnes C or 46 billion tonnes CO2.

        That’s about 81 times current Australian emissions. Can all that be achieved? Don’t know but it is worth pursuing. It should be noted that this is considered business as usual under the UN framework – so isn’t considered eligible gains under the accounting framework. You need to take that into consideration when comparing sequestration potential.

        It is business as usual because it makes economic sense for farmers without subsidies.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Chief Hydrologist,

        Thank you for the Ghil article — I got it a while ago. I also got two books by Henk Dijkstra, on nonlinear ocean dynamics and nonlinear climate dynamics. The second is hot off the press.

        you wrote: Pretty much so Peter – except that we are adding instability to an inherently sensitive system.

        How is it known that the climate is stable or unstable, and whether we are adding stability or instability? It seems to have been within a reasonably restricted range, and even extreme climate alarmism does not forecast more than a 2% increase in mean surface temperature.

      • Peter Lang

        Chief,

        Let’s look at it from first principles.

        The soil carbon deficit is about 30 tonnes C/ha. Over every hectare of Australian agriculture this is 12.5 billion tonnes C or 46 billion tonnes CO2.

        That’s about 81 times current Australian emissions.

        That approach is of no use at all, IMO. It is the equivalent of saying the sun unlimited energy so all we have to do is tap into it to power the world. Or, similarly, there is huge amounts of energy in rock at depth in the Earth’s crust all we have to do is tap it and we can power the world. Such arguments are unhelpful and distract people from reality.

        Instead, what we need to determine is: how much soil carbon sequestration can be achieved and at what cost per tonne CO2 abated (permanently, of course).

        My understanding is that the amount that could be abated in Australia is perhaps 1% of our GHG emissions per year by 2020. And that would be expensive on average.

        Therefore, iI think it is not where we should focus our efforts. Although I agree there is reason to continue to research it.

      • With Chief Hydrologist | July 5, 2013 at 1:43 am | ‘s help, almost anyone could lose their way.

        Here, a primer that’s reasonably accessible: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/68%E2%80%9395%E2%80%9399.7_rule

        Give it a read, Mariana, and let us know if you have any questions.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Key finding 1: Past conversion of native land to agriculture has depleted soil organic carbon by 40-60 per cent but this provides significant future potential.

        The legacy clearing of native lands for agriculture has typically depleted soil organic carbon levels by 40-60 per cent of pre-clearing levels releasing at least 150 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Recapturing even a small fraction of the soil carbon levels through land management changes would provide a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.’

        I estimated 46 billion tonnes.

        The cost of restoring soils has payback in dollars terms from increased productivity and lowered input costs. There is money in soil carbon. The benefit/cost ratio is greater than 1. It doesn’t cost money – it makes money. I don’t know how much clearer I can be. There are many other benefits.

        From a report published by Dairy Australia:

        ‘Apart from its potential to offset anthropogenic emissions, soil carbon sequestration has numerous other benefits such as improved soil fertility for food production. Specific improvements include:
        ◾Stabilisation of soil aggregates – this reduces the risk of waterlogging under moist conditions and softens the soil when dry;
        ◾Food for beneficial organisms;
        ◾Slow-release source of nutrients;
        ◾Increased water holding capacity, particularly in sandy soil;
        ◾Increase in nutrient holding capacity by improving cation exchange capacity;
        ◾Binding of toxic cations (for example, extractable aluminium) in a form that is unavailable for plants.

        Carbon pools and carbon cycling in pasture soil

        Pasture provides a quick way to build carbon for several reasons:
        ◾Where perennial species are used, plants are growing continually rather than seasonally;
        ◾Minimal disturbance relative to cropping;
        ◾No erosion, if well managed.

        Soil uptake of carbon dioxide involves two distinct transformations: soil organic carbon and soil inorganic carbon.

        Soil organic carbon sequestration is through several processes:
        ◾Photosynthesis utilises atmospheric carbon dioxide to create biomass;
        ◾Part of the biomass is further processed into soil organic carbon contained in soil organic matter through humification and incorporation into soil aggregates.’ McKenzie Soil Management (2009) -

        This is from my post a couple of weeks ago – that I did link to.

        This is business as usual – this is not UN compliant carbon sequestration in soils for carbon trading purposes. The latter requires special management techniques not business as usual which are very much more expensive. I did say that – do you not listen to anything?

        Once is acceptable – twice is just stubborn and misguided.

    • 97% of scientists accept AGW afterall

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.

        The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        Can we have a coupled nonlinear system and monotonic or consistent temperature increase at the same time? Are the paradigms complementary or exclusive? The ultimate philosophical question of our time. The answer depends on the ontological nature of climate surprises. An ‘ontology is a specification of a conceptualization’ of course. If we specify ‘surprise’ as being the realization of unanticipated events this seems entirely inconsistent with an expectation of monotonically or consistently increasing temperature.

        The bottom line seems to be that 97% of climate scientists are dumbarses who can’t tell the causes of climate change from their elbows.

      • You think climate sensitivity is zero or negative.

        So I am not surprised you don’t accept AGW.

        But 97% of scientists think a doubling of CO2 causes more than 1C warming. Ie they accept AGW.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        whoops!

        ‘In a truly nonlinear setting, indeterminacy in the size of the response is observed only in the vicinity of tipping points. We show, in fact, that small disturbances cannot result in a large-amplitude response, unless the system is at or near such a point. We discuss briefly how the distance to the bifurcation may be related to the strength of Earth’s ice-albedo feedback.’ http://arxiv.org/pdf/1003.0253.pdf

        Goes right over your head doesn’t it numbnut?

      • maksimovich

        97% of scientists accept AGW afterall

        97% of solar physicists predictions for the topology of the solar cycles 23 and 24 were wrong .The most complex computer models failed most spectacularly eg Dikpati.

      • Chief Hydrologist why do you claim your quote shows CO2 doesn’t cause warming?

        Or perhaps you don’t know what it says.

        Posting quotes to make it look like you’ve got an argument.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Climate sensitivity is then de ned mathematically as the derivative of an appropriate functional or other function of the systems state with respect to the bifurcation parameter. This definition is illustrated by using numerical results for a model of the El Ni~no{Southern Oscillation…

        The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – each
        of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales…’

        A Mathematical Theory of Climate Sensitivity or,
        How to Deal With Both Anthropogenic Forcing and Natural Variability?
        Michael Ghil – http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

        You were talking sensitivity. On a nonlinear system such as Earth’s climate the system is exquisitely sensitive at tipping points but not otherwise – which is what the quote says. Let’s face it – just not something you can get your head round is it?

      • David Wojick

        Indeed Chief, it is clear that lolwat, like many climate scientists, does not understand the implications of nonlinear dynamics for climate science. The standard concept of sensitivity assumes it does not exist. You are talking to people who simply do not hear you.

      • David Springer

        lolwot | July 4, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Reply

        “97% of scientists accept AGW afterall”

        Sure they do. Anthropogenic global warming has been happening since the first caveman lit a fire.

      • This leaves only 3% of AGW scientists to enjoy BBQ. Does this seem possible to you?

      • Lolwot,

        that a parrot may repeat words does not mean it has human intelligence.

        your parroting of the 97% figure puts you at risk of being considered a bird brain.

    • Mariana | July 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm |

      If you have an idiot believing in a global temperature graph (there are other, far more interesting and informative unnatural normalized trendologies to look at, but I somehow doubt you’ve grasped that concept as yet) ending in 2010, then they’re just not mathematically competent enough to put up graphs at all.

      Oh. You mean my:

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/normalise/offset:0.48/detrend:0.25/plot/esrl-co2/normalise/offset:0.36/detrend:0.25/plot/hadcrut4gl/last:108/mean:29/mean:31/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1994/to:2003/mean:29/mean:31/plot/gistemp/from:1984/to:1993/mean:29/mean:31/plot/gistemp/from:1974/to:1983/mean:29/mean:31/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1964/to:1973/mean:29/mean:31/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1954/to:1963/mean:29/mean:31/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2006.5/to:2007.5

      Yeah, that’s a special case, showing the inchworm of natural variability on five year smoothing within confidence bands set out by CO2 level rise. It’s not a climate trendology per se. And it’s about as close as you can get to the present day and still be saying anything valid about global normalized climate trends.

      The confidence interval of any normalized global temperature trend below seventeen years is too low to make much out of, otherwise. I know I’ve extended a few graphs like the one above to ask the question, “if global warming has stopped, how was the spike in 2007 possible?” but that’s hardly about global temperature trendology, it’s a Bayesian question about what prior belief in a pause could encompass such a high point.

      Half of seventeen years would mean any simple global unnatural normalized temperature graph ending after 2005 is bogus.

      32 years is much better, meaning 1998 is barely in reach of sigma six confidence.

      Oh. You mean you think the three odd years after 2009 support skepticism of AGW?

      Well, that’s just plain contrary to fact. AGW is accelerating, by every valid measure.

      Maybe you might consider a course in Statistics?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are so full of it Bart. Sigma six as a statistical measure? Idiot.

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

        Also, LW TOA flux anomalies are negative from mid-2007 through March 2009, and steadily increase thereafter in all three data records.’

        http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=50

        The spikes and troughs are always ENSO. The decadal trends are for the most part Pacific Decadal Variation.

        ‘Clouds are a critical component of Earth’s climate system. Although satellite-based irradiance measurements are available over approximately the past 30 years, difficulties in measuring clouds means it is unclear how global cloud properties have changed over this period. From the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) and
        Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) datasets we have examined the validity of long-term cloud changes. We find that for both datasets, low-level (>680mb) cloud changes are largely a reflection of higher-level (≤680mb) variations. Linear trends from ISCCP also suggest that the dataset contains considerable features of an artificial origin. Despite this, an examination of ISCCP in relation to the MODIS dataset shows that over the past ten years of overlapping measurements between 60°N–60°S both datasets have been in close agreement (r = 0.63, p = 7×10-4). Over this time total cloud cover has been relatively stable. Both ISCCP and MODIS datasets show a close correspondence to Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) over the Pacific region, providing a further independent validation of the datasets.’

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=12
        http://www.benlaken.com/documents/AIP_PL_13.pdf

        PDV last for 20 to 40 years in the proxy record – such that the hypothesis is that is that surface temperature – and most probably ocean temps as well – will not increase for another decade or so at least.

        It is the difference between science and pull it out of your arse anti-science because there is nothing rational left to feed your obsessive fanaticism. Perhaps a course of Prozac would assist you?

        Now I really have to go cook dinner. A salad with avocado, apple, walnuts and camembert with a delicate cider vinegar vinaigrette – accompanying tender lamb chops. I am wondering if I should add apple pie and French vanilla ice cream? So I would appreciate it if you could just take a few deep breaths and stop bothering people.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • “The decadal trends are for the most part Pacific Decadal Variation.”

        Well you just made that part up.

      • Chief Hydrologist

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

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        Yes – I made it up before NASA did.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Both questions were answered Peter – repeatedly – but you are pedantic, pompous, obsessive and stubbornly refuse to shift a course that is based on the most perfunctory understanding. Indeed – misunderstanding of the rules of compliance for soil sequestration. You descend from error to obfuscation to condescension and abuse to attempt to deny the fact of error. It seems a far from admirable trait of certain types.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Anthropogenic CO2 adds to radiative forcing of the planetary systems. Small changes in nonlinear systems result in disproportionate responses. Simple. Will extra CO2 trip the system? Who knows.

      ‘While the Arctic region has been warming strongly in recent decades, anomalously large snowfall in recent winters has affected large parts of North America, Europe, and east Asia. Here we demonstrate that the decrease in autumn Arctic sea ice area is linked to changes in the winter Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation that have some resemblance to the negative phase of the winter Arctic oscillation. However, the atmospheric circulation change linked to the reduction of sea ice shows much broader meridional meanders in midlatitudes and clearly different interannual variability than the classical Arctic oscillation. This circulation change results in more frequent episodes of blocking patterns that lead to increased cold surges over large parts of northern continents. Moreover, the increase in atmospheric water vapor content in the Arctic region during late autumn and winter driven locally by the reduction of sea ice provides enhanced moisture sources, supporting increased heavy snowfall in Europe during early winter and the northeastern and midwestern United States during winter. We conclude that the recent decline of Arctic sea ice has played a critical role in recent cold and snowy winters.’

      http://www.pnas.org/content/109/11/4074
      http://www.gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/arctic-ice-decline/

      A more open Arctic has implications for NH snow pack – and either freshening of Arctic waters in the melt or for ice sheet dynamics in the right circumstances. The first influences THC and the second the potential for runaway ice sheet feedback that initiates glacials. All of the models suggest slowing down of THC this century but the potential for abrupt shifts can’t be discounted.

      The quaternary is certainly a period of regular climate extremes – but it doesn’t seem obvious that less ice in the Arctic will shift us out of the current ice age and repeated glacial/interglacial intervals. The latter is possibly more a function of the closing of the Isthmus of Panama.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Peter,

      Researching is not the point – we will continue to do it because it provides multiple benefits. Primarily to farmers themselves – but for soils health, agricultural productivity and downstream environments. That is minus dollars per tonne for sequestration. Can’t you understand a positive benefit/cost ratio?

      The soil carbon deficit provides the estimate of the potential for sequestering as intransigent forms of soil carbon – if only you would not leap to excretable assumptions quite on a par with Stefan. Do you think no one has considered the transformation of carbon in soils?

      http://www.csiro.au/en/Outcomes/Environment/Australian-Landscapes/soil-carbon.aspx#a1

      As usual my patience is at an end with you. You throw in comments without any depth of consideration and seem unable to walk and chew gun at the same time. Then you accuse of being rude and arrogant.

      • Chief,

        Your points are irrelevant. You have not addressed the issue that

        1. negligible CO2 abatement can be achieved in practice compared with the stated target of 20% reduction by 2020

        2. CO2 abatement with the methods you are advocating would be high cost, therefore, not economically viable.

        Unless you address those specifically (with estimates for Mt CO2 abatement in 2020 and $/tonne CO2 abatement cost) , then your arm-waving arguments and abuse are irrelevant.

      • Soil Carbon Sequestration Potential: A review for Australian agriculture – key findings
        http://www.csiro.au/en/Outcomes/Food-and-Agriculture/Soil-Carbon-Sequestration-Potential-Key-Findings/Key-findings.aspx

        Soil Carbon sequestration limited in mitigating fossil fuel emissions say scientists
        http://indymedia.org.au/2013/06/02/soil-carbon-sequestration-limited-in-mitigating-fossil-fuel-emissions-say-scientists

      • When economic feasibility was addressed (i.e. Smith et al., 2008), the global sequestration potential dropped to 0.4 Pg C yr for carbon prices up to 20 US$ Mg CO2-eq but only to 1.1 Pg C yr for carbon prices up to 100 US$ Mg CO2-eq. Even this economically-constrained potential may not be achieved due to other socio-political constraints (Smith et al. 2005; Smith et al. 2007). Smith et al. (2005) demonstrated that actual sequestration was small or negative for the period 1990 to 2000 for the European Union and that this trend should continue through 2010. These authors concluded that “without incentives for carbon sequestration in the future, cropland carbon sequestration under Article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol will not be an option.”

        http://www.csiro.au/Portals/Publications/Research–Reports/Soil-Carbon-Sequestration-Potential-Report.aspx

      • How much does it cost to create compliant soil carbon offsets?

        To produce compliant soil carbon offsets, the carbon price would have to be of $25 – $200 per tonne CO2,depending on the soil management practice used. The costs of accreditation, a 100 year covenant ($7,000-$10,000) and baseline carbon measurement must be met ‘up front’. Then verification, reporting ($5,000-$10,000) and carbon measurement are incurred each time carbon is sold (about 10 yearly). Measurement is the biggest cost, averaging about $3.50/ ha / year. Statistically significant soil sampling entails at least one sample to at least 30cm depth per 2 ha. These must then be analysed in a laboratory (cost $60/sample).

        Add to this the annual costs of implementing the carbon farming practice, which range from about $20/ha for pasture management to $600/ha for mulch crops or bio-char. Farmers must spend this money before they can claim any carbon; they must take the risk that the amount of carbon they will be able to sell will cover costs.

        For example, take a typical high rainfall beef farmer. He has estimated that rotational grazing of perennial pastures will cost him $20/ha/year and it will enable him to sell 1.6 t CO2/ ha/yr. The practice will not increase net beef income otherwise he would already be doing it. To make a reasonable margin and allow for risks, he needs to cover costs plus 50 per cent i.e. he will need to make 1.5*(20+4+3.50) = $41/ha per year. To make this, the carbon price has to exceed $26/tonne.

        McKenzie et al, 2010 estimate that for carbon trading to be economically attractive for Australian dairy farmers, the carbon price would have to be at least $200 per tonne CO2 due to the high feed value of pasture that would have to be left to decompose in the soil.

        http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2012/3/27/policy-politics/greg-hunt%E2%80%99s-carbon-illusion

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Key finding 1: Past conversion of native land to agriculture has depleted soil organic carbon by 40-60 per cent but this provides significant future potential.

        The legacy clearing of native lands for agriculture has typically depleted soil organic carbon levels by 40-60 per cent of pre-clearing levels releasing at least 150 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Recapturing even a small fraction of the soil carbon levels through land management changes would provide a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.’

        I estimated 46 billion tonnes.

        The cost of restoring soils has payback in dollars terms from increased productivity and lowered input costs. There is money in soil carbon. The benefit/cost ratio is greater than 1. It doesn’t cost money – it makes money. I don’t know how much clearer I can be. There are many other benefits.

        From a report published by Dairy Australia:

        ‘Apart from its potential to offset anthropogenic emissions, soil carbon sequestration has numerous other benefits such as improved soil fertility for food production. Specific improvements include:
        ◾Stabilisation of soil aggregates – this reduces the risk of waterlogging under moist conditions and softens the soil when dry;
        ◾Food for beneficial organisms;
        ◾Slow-release source of nutrients;
        ◾Increased water holding capacity, particularly in sandy soil;
        ◾Increase in nutrient holding capacity by improving cation exchange capacity;
        ◾Binding of toxic cations (for example, extractable aluminium) in a form that is unavailable for plants.

        Carbon pools and carbon cycling in pasture soil

        Pasture provides a quick way to build carbon for several reasons:
        ◾Where perennial species are used, plants are growing continually rather than seasonally;
        ◾Minimal disturbance relative to cropping;
        ◾No erosion, if well managed.

        Soil uptake of carbon dioxide involves two distinct transformations: soil organic carbon and soil inorganic carbon.

        Soil organic carbon sequestration is through several processes:
        ◾Photosynthesis utilises atmospheric carbon dioxide to create biomass;
        ◾Part of the biomass is further processed into soil organic carbon contained in soil organic matter through humification and incorporation into soil aggregates.’ McKenzie Soil Management (2009) -

        This is from my post a couple of weeks ago – that I did link to.

        This is business as usual – this is not UN compliant carbon sequestration in soils for carbon trading purposes. The latter requires special management techniques not business as usual which are very much more expensive. I did say that – do you not listen to anything?

        Making a not so obvious error as this once is acceptable – twice is just stubborn and misguided

      • Peter Lang

        Chief,

        I haven’t read many of your posts before because they are mostly abusive and obnoxious. But now I realise you don’t have the slightest understanding about what is relevant to policy. You’ve just written this long post of totally irrelevant material. Nowhere did you answer the two questions I asked near the beginning of this discussion and several time since:

        1. How much CO2 could be abated, economically, per year in Australia by 2020 (I gave references showing it is about 1% of our emissions)

        2. What the abatement cost would be (I provided figures and references).

        Therefore, I have also lost patience with you. And I realise what you write is irrelevant and you are incapable of answering a direct question.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Both questions were answered Peter – repeatedly – but you are pedantic, pompous, obsessive and stubbornly refuse to shift a course that is based on the most perfunctory understanding. Indeed – misunderstanding of the rules of compliance for soil sequestration. You descend from error to obfuscation to condescension and abuse to attempt to deny the fact of error. It seems a far from admirable trait of certain types.

  48. About 2 years ago I would say half the comments were pro AGW?

  49. Peter Lang

    Steven Mosher,

    If you are watching, could you please repost your definition of ‘luke warmist’ and the criteria you listed in a post perhaps a year ago.

  50. A 4th of July peace offering for Chief, who I know digs this stuff(and not wrongly):

    http://www.biochar.net/

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I am over the 4th of July. Some guy ate 69 hotdogs. It reminded me of my 49th birthday. 49 – no big deal right. No one rang me that morning but the car salesman and no one I knew was answering their phones. By 12.00am I had obtained a slab of beer, a bottle of Jack Daniels and a kilo of cocktail franks. By 4.00 pm I had drunk the bottle of Jack Daniels and eaten the cocktail franks. Shortly after that I staggered through the screen door to throw up over the balcony. Talk about a climate risk.

      The next year I took no chances and spent the day diving on Lady Musgrave Island.

  51. is there ever been such a thing as risk free climate?!

    • There’s no such thing as a free lunch but a warming climate has fewer risks than a cooling one, which is even better than a free lunch.
      ===================

  52. How much effort should we exert this year as opposed to 10 years from now?

    If the problem you are trying to solve is the increase of 1.2ºC in global warming since 1850 then I’d say you are the wrong person to fund for real world problem selection and solutions discovery. Very wrong. How about focusing on hunger or persistent poverty instead?

    Here are some worthwhile projects:
    * Discover why US native populations are in decline where Mexican native populations are spilling over their borders.

    * Help Tuvalu come to grips with the reality of their situation – the ocean isn’t rising, the island is sinking and eroding, and they’re to blame.

    * Help save tens of thousands of Brits avoid death by cold each winter.

    * Help save hundreds of thousands of nearly born babies from death by egg beater.

    * Do something about the horrific rate of death of seals by over-populations of polar bears.

    There’s more problems to solve but you knew that. Stay in touch on how you do.

  53. “The traditional engineering and health approach, the inevitable corollary of defining anything as presenting a risk, indicates that climate change can and ought to be rationally managed, or at the very least contained, and preferably eliminated. ”
    Discuss.

    • Which climate change, the Orwellian? Will it warm or cool (multidecadally)?

    • If it cools, which is more likely, will it help if we have wind and solar and blackouts? And if we spend money on nothing (CO2)?

    • Jim D

      “climate change can and ought to be rationally managed”?

      It cannot be controlled by humans.

      But it does make sense to prepare for whatever changes in climate nature throws at us, if and when it appears that these will become imminent.

      The Dutch have been doing this for centuries, so it is really nothing new at all.

      Max

  54. Timescale Jim. Whether it has warmed or not depends on the timescale. The same for the future.

    • The subject is Risk. Engineering and Health have ways of handling Risk. Others dealing with risk management would be investors, insurers, emergency managers. Morally long-term slow-developing risk should not be thought of as less important than short-term risk, particularly when it requires a long-term advanced-planning solution.

      • Again, the question is whether it will warm or cool on multidecadal to centennial timescales. The consensus says it will warm. Solar influence and the multidecadal oscillations point to cooling. It’s a different risk. Trying to reduce CO2 emissions may very well be senseless. We already know it’s futile.

      • It’s a spectrum, right? Take the trajectory from the past century and the fact that this century will add up to four times more CO2 than the last century, and the trajectory puts the peak somewhere in the 3-4 C warming range. That should be the default position, basically just extrapolation.

      • Jim D

        “Take the trajectory from the past century and the fact that this century will add up to four times more CO2 than the last century, and the trajectory puts the peak somewhere in the 3-4 C warming range.”

        Take the trajectory of the past decade and the fact that this decade added more CO2 than any decade in the past century, and the trajectory points to no statistically different warming over the next 9 decades than over the past century.

        Oops!

        Max

  55. Peter Lang

    Which definition of risk is most appropriate for climate policy analysis?

    There is an important difference between the common definition of risk, e.g. as defined in the Nathan et. al. paper, compared with the definition of risk in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

    NRC ‘Red Book’ definition of risk (ref. Nathan et. al., p 286) (my bold):

    Formal approaches to risk analysis typically define risk as the conditional probability that some, usually adverse, outcome will occur:

    Risk is the potential for realization of unwanted, adverse consequences to human life, health, property, or the environment; estimation of risk is usually based on the expected value of the conditional probability of the event occurring times the consequence of the event given that it has occurred (17).

    Project Management Body of Knowledge definition of risk:

    An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project’s objectives.

    Policy options analysis, design and implementation is a project, according to the PMBOK definition of a project:

    A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

    The goal of climate policy is to achieve a result(although it has not yet been defined and agreed and part of the project management process is to get all that project initiation stuff crystal clear).

    I suggest the PMBOK’s definition or risk is more appropriate for climate policy analysis than the NRC Red Book’ definition .

    Thoughts?

    • It is hard to imagine the world or nation as a “project” with “objectives”, but let’s carry that through. Perhaps the objective of a nation is the future welfare of its people. Welfare includes things like food and water security, weather and climate impact resilience, energy security, health, jobs, low crime, etc. The status quo is the default state, so the risk is the extent to which these are forced to change by climate. I am not sure this definition of risk leads to different conclusions from the other one.

      • The project is to develop and implement policy that will survive and achieve the objectives, whatever they are. Your a CAGW doomsayer, so why don’t you tell me what is the objective you want? Do you want to:

        - control the average global temperature with in certain defined tolerances?
        - ??

        What is the objective?

      • Resilience to the climate-change-induced risks would be my #1 objective in this area. There are other risks too, like war, population growth effects, but in this arena, that would be it. I think significant climate change is inevitable at this point.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D,

        How do you suggest the objective should be stated?

        Recall the quote in Judith’s post, especially the highlighted bit:

        … the mission enshrined in the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change commits the countries of the world to enact measures to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system,” while infamously neglecting to outline either the process for achieving success or the metrics for assessing it.

        How do you suggest we should we define the objective in measurable terms so everyone has exactly the same understanding of what the objective is?

      • Peter Lang, that is the problem, isn’t it. What is the metric for damage prevented? You can put a lot of money into resilience and saving future lives and costs, but not see a monetary effect that can be measured apart from the cost.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D,

        The understanding gap between us is tool big for us to discuss this. But I’ll leave you with these ideas to ponder:

        1. If you can’t define measurable objectives, you won’t achieve your objectives.

        2. “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there

        3. “ We get what we measure.
        If we don’t measure, we don’t get.

        4. If an organisation doesn’t measure profit & loss, cash flow, financial position and performance against plan, it goes broke.

      • Peter Lang

        You are right, of course.

        If we do not know either where we are going or how to get there we will not achieve anything. That appears to be the situation today with regard to “climate risk”.

        The only person in history that didn’t know where he was going or how to get there and still ended up being successful was Christopher Columbus.

        But that was the exception that proves the rule.

        Max

      • Peter Lang, and you have to realize that some things like damage prevention don’t yield to cost-benefit analysis. That is not the only metric, because that leads to a wait-and-see approach, where damage costs are realized and then paid for afterwards as opposed to prevented, which is generally less costly.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D,

        Peter Lang, and you have to realize that some things like damage prevention don’t yield to cost-benefit analysis. That is not the only metric, because that leads to a wait-and-see approach, where damage costs are realized and then paid for afterwards as opposed to prevented, which is generally less costly.

        Sorry, but I disagree. Cost-benefit analysis is essential so we prioritise expenditure of our limited resources wisely. Otherwise we’d just waste our wealth* on the latest fad of the the noisy people who fall for one doomsay idea after another.

        * wealth means the wealth of countries, such as their infrastructure, health and education systems, etc.

  56. Chief Hydrologist

    The goals are obvious – and these can be expanded into numerous measurable programs. These are actions in a traditional risk analysis that reduce either the probability of adverse outcomes or the severity of consequences.

    1) to ensure that the basic needs, especially the energy demands, of the
    world’s growing population are adequately met. ‘Adequacy’ means energy that is simultaneously accessible, secure and low-cost.

    2) to ensure that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system, in recent years most commonly
    reflected in concerns about accumulating carbon dioxide (CO2) in the
    atmosphere, but certainly not limited to that factor alone;

    3) to ensure that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks
    and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever may be their cause.

    • Peter Lang

      Chief says:

      The goals are obvious – and these can be expanded into numerous measurable programs.

      By making such a statement he demonstrates his ignorance of program and project management. It suggests he has little understanding or expertise in program or project management. If he had, he’d know that establishing the requirements and the measurable criteria for success is no easy task. In fact it is one hell of a difficult task and the lack of clarity and appropriate objective measures, with agreement by all stakeholders, is about the most common reason for program/project failure.

      When you get down to defining these, it rapidly becomes apparent that the goals for climate change policy most certainly are not obvious.

      The fact that the goals for climate policy have not yet been clearly defined let alone agreed after >20 years of international negotiations demonstrates the goals are not obvious.

      Judith recognised this by emphasising the key part of the sentence in the post:

      … the mission enshrined in the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change commits the countries of the world to enact measures to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system,” while infamously neglecting to outline either the process for achieving success or the metrics for assessing it.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Having problem with the Hartwell goals Peter – or just that I reposted them. They are actually quite sensible goals for global development generally – the Hartwell Paper part of a series of papers from the LSE and the Breakthrough Institute. They are quite compatible with Our Common Future, the Millenium Development Goals and the Copenhagen Consensus. Goals come before objectives – they are a sort of vision statement. Objectives emerge from goals as substantive means of achieving goals. Measurement is always essential and it is of objectives realized. Rational objectives I have discussed many times.

      What people want is economic development. In the developing world a great part of that is conservation farming – indeed in the west as well. It is a world wide movement to conserve and protect agricultural soils. Ironically – it sequesters significant amounts of carbon in soils. It is perhaps better seen as polycentric – informed co-operation of business, government and communities. It is the model of the management of commons developed by the late Elinor Ostrom over many years – and for which she won the Nobel Prize in economics.

      As part of a package that is reasonably approximated by the MDG – it provides the basis for economic development. The rest of the package involves models of democracy, the rule of law, free markets, transparent and efficient governance, effective delivery of health services and education and provision of safe water and sanitation. This ultimately stabilizes population earlier than otherwise – but is a humanitarian objective in it’s own right.

      In the short term there are opportunities to manage black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, sulphides and nitrous oxide as well as to conserve and restore ecosystems. Longer term the need is for energy innovation – incrementally for many technologies – to provide a basis of cheap, available and abundant energy – much cheaper than energy today which is historically very expensive.

      ‘Climate policy, as it has been understood and practised by many governments of the world under the Kyoto Protocol approach, has failed to produce any discernable real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in fifteen years. The underlying reason for this is that the UNFCCC/Kyoto model was structurally flawed and doomed to fail because it systematically misunderstood the nature of climate change as a policy issue between 1985 and 2009. However, the currently dominant approach has acquired immense political momentum because of the quantities of political capital sunk into it. But in any case the UNFCCC/Kyoto model of climate policy cannot continue because it
      crashed in late 2009. The Hartwell Paper sets and reviews this context; but doing so is not its sole or primary purpose.

      The crash of 2009 presents an immense opportunity to set climate policy free to fly at last. The principal motivation and purpose of this Paper is to explain and to advance this opportunity. To do so involves understanding and accepting a startling proposition. It is now plain that it is not possible to have a ‘climate policy’ that has emissions reductions as the all encompassing goal. However, there are many other reasons why the decarbonisation of the global economy is highly desirable. Therefore, the Paper advocates a radical reframing – an inverting – of approach: accepting that decarbonisation will only be achieved successfully as a benefit contingent upon other goals which are politically attractive and relentlessly pragmatic.

      The Paper therefore proposes that the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to
      withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.

      It explains radical and practical ways to reduce non-CO2 human forcing of climate. It argues that improved climate risk management is a valid policy goal, and is not simply congruent with carbon policy. It explains the political prerequisite of energy efficiency strategies as a first step and documents how this can achieve real emissions reductions.

      But, above all, it emphasises the primacy of accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply. This calls for very substantially increased investment in innovation in noncarbon energy sources in order to diversify energy supply technologies. The ultimate goal of doing this is to develop non-carbon energy supplies at unsubsidised costs less than those using fossil fuels. The Hartwell Paper advocates funding this work by low hypothecated (dedicated) carbon taxes. It opens discussion on how to channel such
      money productively.

      To reframe the climate issue around matters of human dignity is not just noble or necessary. It is also likely to be more effective than the approach of framing around human sinfulness –which has failed and will continue to fail.

      The Hartwell Paper follows the advice that a good crisis should not be wasted.’

      The ‘project’ is to maximize human welfare and ecosystem conservation in the 21st century. This is the century when we build a global civilization or squib it totally.

      • Peter Lang

        Chief,

        Having problem with the Hartwell goals Peter

        Sorry, I’ve lost interest in trying to discuss anything with you. I explained why above. Too much arrogance, ignorance, abuse and generally obnoxious tone. Plus long comments saying what you want to say but not addressing my questions or comments. The first line or paragraph is usually a complete out off.

        Plus now at three strikes:

        1. Previous comments on nuclear waste disposal showed you had little understanding of the subject but were full of arrogant self importance, self belief and unprepared to take any notice.

        2. Soil sequestration – mumble on a pile of irrelevant gibberish. Won’t answer direct simple questions. Clearly no understanding of what is relevant to policy – i.e, how much of our CO2 emissions could be abated per year and at what cost . You never did answer that question despite me asking it repeatedly, phrasing it in different ways, giving you the answers so you could debate them if you wanted to. My impression is that you never took the time to try to understand the question

        3. No understanding of program / project management practice. Don’t even understand the basics.

        You sadi this in a comment yesterday:

        As usual my patience is at an end with you. You throw in comments without any depth of consideration and seem unable to walk and chew gun at the same time. Then you accuse of being rude and arrogant.

        Likewise, My patience is at an end with you. I made another attempt to converse with you against my better judgement but, again, as with most other people, you are continually rude and obnoxious. You were certainly never a chief of anything. You’d never be able to lead a team.

        I suggest we go back to ignoring each other.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        And I rarely abuse anyone who is capable of sustained civil discourse. That doesn’t include your brand of dogmatic and ill-informed calumny.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It amuses me that someone can think I would be such a pompous arse as to seriously model myself as a Chief Hydrologist on a blog.

        ‘What about the buffoon lessons, the four years in clown college?’
        ‘I’ll thank you not to refer to Princeton like that.’

    • Chief Hydrologist

      As I remember it the discussion was in relation to nuclear waste disposal and the lack of a working deep repository for commercial nuclear waste. You were unprepared to be wrong then as anytime.

      I answered the question on soil sequestration many times. Conservation farming increases returns and decreases input. It provides a positive return to farmers or most US cropping would not be no or minimum tillage – although there are many other techniques in the arsenal. The potential on global grazing lands I calculated as 67 billion tonnes C. This is not compliant carbon offsets under the UN rules – as I have told you 4 times now. It is considered as business as usual. This means that the figures you quote don’t relate to conservation farming and so are utterly irrelevant. Doesn’t seem to sink through though.

      You don’t seem to understand what the project is – and I certainly don’t want to get into a pissing contest on risk assessment or project management. Although I have in fact managed billion dollar projects and million dollar studies. In environmental science we are actually taught to work in cross disciplinary teams. I have led many teams.

      You are just a pompous little twit with little wit, less intelligence than a gerbil, the imagination of a slime mould and the inability to admit error. Pathetic ultimately. I will miss you sorely.