Open thread weekend

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

357 responses to “Open thread weekend

  1. The National Academy of Sciences finally admits one of the standard models is useless!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/13/national-academy-of-sciences-climate-models-still-decades-away-from-being-useful/

    With kind regards,
    Oliver

    • David Springer

      Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years
      John C. Fyfe, Nathan P. Gillett, Francis W. Zwiers

      Nature Climate Change 3,767–769(2013)doi:10.1038/nclimate1972Published online 28 August 2013

      Recent observed global warming is significantly less than that simulated by climate models. This difference might be explained by some combination of errors in external forcing, model response and internal climate variability.

  2. Poor Humberto. Gore had high hopes for him.

  3. R. Gates the Skeptical Warmist

    This new study related to “tiny” plankton and their effects on the climate merits your consideration. Tiny plankton can influence the climate but 7+ Billion humans dumping tons of carbon into the atmosphere 24 hours a day for several centuries can’t? Unlikely:

    http://phys.org/news/2013-09-tiny-plankton-big-impact-climate.html

    • Great experiment (not). Changed the conditions expected to take over 100 years in just 5 weeks and drew conclusions about ‘response’. That’s 1000 times faster. Relevant and accurate?

    • What do you think the mass, and throughput of mass, from the worlds plankton is?

      Humans weigh in total 100 million tons of dry biomass.
      Plankton weigh about 10,000 million tons of dry biomass.

      Some idea of scale; Copepods, are small marine invertebrates who evolved at the end of the Jurassic, 145 million years ago.The combined mass of Copepods is 10 times that of humans. Compared to Copepods, humans are a flash in the pan minor species with a very limited ecological niche.

      Humans are at the top of food pyramids. Hell we have been out evolved by our livestock, take chickens, there are 30 billion of those in the world.

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/Copepodkils.jpg

    • So they find an increase in small plankton and the rest is speculation and assumption.

      Perhaps they should confirm what the limiting nutrient for plankton growth is . What if it is CO2?

  4. Does anyone here believe man does NOT affect climate in some manner?

    • I believe that man affects the climate, I just don’t trust any measurements of such. I also don’t believe that there are any observations that man affects the climate that can be clearly distinguished from natural variability. I also don’t believe that any models that show that man affects the climate can be trusted. I also believe that academics and scientists who theorize that man affects the climate are part of a corrupt conspiracy of liberals who intend to destroy capitalism and install a one-world government, all the while starving billions of children and lining their pockets with research grants.

      But I believe that man affects the climate, because it would be politically inconvenient not to.

      • +1 for cute

      • A precious moment.
        ========

      • Shabbat Shalom

      • A greenhouse full of tomatoes in the winter — politically incorrect?

      • Joshua, I would agree that man (and some woman) might effect the climate to a small degree, but the effects are localized and are due to land usage. To a much greater extent I think human endeavors have amplified the local effects of weather. More concrete, more ditches, less wetlands, altered landscapes and much more have, I am sure, a measurable effect on some things such as recent flooding.
        I believe most who would consider themselves to be skeptics believe that there probably is a small but difficult to measure effect of increasing CO2 on climate and the effects would decrease for equivalent increases in CO2 (parabolic decrease) Paradoxically to the green movement, an increase in CO2 should serve to better green the earth and counter the negative effects of the aforementioned.
        Another negative result of tunnel vision on one perceived environmental problem is avoidance of other problems. In the emissions of coal, I do not believe CO2 is a major worry, mercury, cyanide, certain sulfur products, as well as various rare earth elements could be a much greater problem, but one that is overlooked in science, perhaps because money does not flow as easily to those investigations and more so because it simply is not a juicy topic for the MSM.

    • We had some issues at work and to assure me that they had done a good job the maintenance men took up to the roof, 13 story, of our building in Houston a couple of months ago.
      The heat on the back roof was roasting, 10′s of degrees warmer than the lawns below.
      Got to go with yes.

    • That is what the UHI effect is all about — our effect on our neighborhood.

    • I believe that human activity does have an effect on climate and the environment. Land clearing, urbanisation, carbon dioxide emissions and other pollution in the air and on our fresh water acquifers all contribute in some way towards climate change. The extent is moot and will remain unclear until science gets a handle on natural variability.

    • @Joshua
      Why do you advance the strawmen that a “conspiracy” is needed for
      - government to pursue its self-interest?
      - those who want Big Government, to egg them on?

      Is it because you hope your strawmen will help getting these elephants in the room ignored?

    • It is certainly possible. My first candidates for most likely would be albedo changes due to urbanization and agriculture and black soot on snow and ice. Definitely will affect regional temperatures and possibly regional weather.

      Any pollutants from auto exhaust or things like refrigerants or industrial chemicals that are NOT seen in large quantities in nature CAN have effects on air quality and some POSSIBLY on things like ozone destruction. It is definitely known that they do affect ozone destruction, however, I believe that work over the last 20 years has shown that we still have alot to learn about the process and that there have probably always been ozone “holes” at certain places and times of the year and that the effects due to our chemicals are not quite as bad as once feared. But others suggest that our banning of certain chemicals has had a big effect and some even model a big effect on climate. So we still don’t have a clearer understanding.

      CO2 and other GHG certainly have the potential to warm the planet but since we have evidence of 25-40 year periods in the last 150 years when temperatures warmed at similar rates, it is still unclear what the extent of warming due to GHG actually is. It is complicated because we also don’t know what the contribution of soot, refrigerants, natural variation due to ocean cycles and solar cycles are.

      Nature is carrying out a very interesting experiment over the next ten years, possibly 30 years with changes in the PDO and solar cycle soon to be followed by the Atlantic (AMO?). Climate is not weather and the TSI from sun is fairly constant as climate scientists like to remind us. They have lots of predictions. Let’s see if they pan out. So let’s wait a bit. Don’t be hasty as Treebeard would say.

    • Does anyone here believe man does NOT affect climate in some manner?

      Affecting in some manner? Sure!
      Affecting measureably? Perhaps!
      Affecting significantly? Really doubt it!
      Affecting Dangerously? No way!

    • David Springer

      Hey the climate changes wherever I go in many different ways. And if I get angry… well… you don’t want to see the climate when I get angry. ;-)

    • A better question might be: does man’s impact on climate warrant massive taxation as an unproven remedy?

  5. In a Rolling Stone article http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warming-is-very-real-20130912, the headline reads

    “Scientists are fighting deniers with irrefutable proof the planet is headed for catastroph.”

    Further into the article I find

    “To put it another way: In the real world, climate sensitivity means zip.”

    I find these statements to be exaggerated, to say the least. Skeptic/demniers are often accused of spreading disinformation, but I think Rolling Stone goes much further than that.

    • It’s worse than that:

      “In fact, as prominent climate blogger Joe Romm pointed out, these arcane, highly technical numbers are “far less interesting and consequential subject than the fact that we are headed way, way past [emissions targets] or that the real-world slow feedbacks are expected to make a very big contribution to warming this century.” To put it another way: In the real world, climate sensitivity means zip.”

      IOW, the world isn’t warming, and it doesn’t matter because CO2. Or something like that.

      This is dreck of Gorian magnitude.

    • Right Jim. They’re all waiting for AR5 with salivary glands working over time. It’s all quite depressing. My hope is that the outrage will be so great over that risible 95 percent certainty, we’ll begin to see more scientists stepping up and crying “foul.”

      Truly, if I weren’t around to see the lunacy, I’d not have believed it possible

    • Which murdering bastard was on the cover of RS?

    • Rolling Stone and Mother Jones, two leading scientific journals.

  6. In thinking about clouds, and in particular, how difficult it is to model what they do in regards to heat loss and heat gain, I am looking out my window and the the evening sky is cloudless. The weather man says that the temperatures for tonight will drop almost to freezing. Not a hard or killing frost, but close to it. Then tomorrow, the clear sky will warm the surface temperatures in the early morning and then clouds will form and keep us cool the remainder of the day; reflecting away the sunshine.

    We have the cloudless night emitting radiation like crazy to a cold dark space and then the cloud blanket shielding us from the warmth of the sun to leave us in our cooled environment.

    I am in agreement with a commentator in a previous thread, weather, and by extension, aggregated weather as climate, is all regional. There are regional impacts not captured by averages or means or a global perspective. It just doesn’t make sense to speak of global mean temperatures as well as other global statements; i.e., global mean sea level rise, etc. when everything seems to depend upon what is happening in the microcosm. Millions/billions/trillions of microcosm.

    No wonder climate models are wrong. Their input is still so coarse and imprecise. Billions of more computing power to assess a billion/trillion more grids are required to tap into just surface activities, let alone what happens at ocean depths and the infinite sky layers.

    Tonight, I have added another layer of clothing to my outfit. I hear a call to turn on the furnace, even if just for tonight.

    I heed the call of the wild.

    • It just doesn’t make sense to speak of global mean temperatures as well as other global statements; i.e., global mean sea level rise, etc. when everything seems to depend upon what is happening in the microcosm.

      I agree. There’s no such thing as global mean temperature. And although it doesn’t exist, the rise in global mean temperatures have paused – of that I am sure.

      • I agree that global mean temperature is an artifact arising from the aggregation of a multitude of regional mean temperatures which in turn are admittedly not truly representative of the poles and the oceans.

        However, while it still provides a useful basis for the monitoring of overall short term movements in global temperature resulting from natural cycles and anthropogenic and other forcings which impinge on the climate, it in no way should be used for prediction purposes.

      • Josh,

        You need to pay closer attention to lolwot. If you did, you would know there is no pause.

      • David Springer

        Funn how useful the global average temperature was when it was rising.

        I didn’t think it was a meaningless number when it was rising and I don’t think it’s a meaningless number now. Many of us have at least some interest in thermometer readings and the remainder who don’t are idiots whose mothers are still dressing them.

      • tim -

        If something hasn’t been measured, can a pause be observed?

        What is the sound of one hand clapping?

        If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

        Is a bear catholic?

      • If a gaggle of Chicken Little’s have been been pretending to measure something and they have been hysterically raising an alarm because that something has been allegedly dangerously increasing, then it is fair to point out that their alleged measurements are not showing that thing increasing for a long freaking time, putz.

    • You need a two pair of aircraft, a couple of F-15E’s with FAST packs would be nice.
      Fit both with upward (GIB area) and downward looking spectrophotometers.
      Fly each pair in one high and one low formation with one pair in front of the penumbra and the other at the center of the umbra of a total solar eclipse.
      This will tell you if clouds have a positive or negative effect on temperature.

  7. thisisnotgoodtogo

    Professor Curry,
    Regarding the recent topic of the Netherlands suggestion for the IPCC and it’s policy and previous definitions given for climate change as being AGW, here is an exception that occurred:

    SPM.1 | Definitions Central to SREX
    Core concepts defined in the SREX glossary
    1
    and used throughout the report include:
    Climate Change:
    A change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.

  8. I think I’ve never heard so loud
    The quiet message in a cloud.
    ====================

    • I can’t believe there is ink squirting squids going on around here.
      ================

    • I thought SAM was a naughty dog and when off the leash, changed the Easterlies to Westerlies and I had to get out my garden hose to water the plants.

  9. I was wondering if anyone was ever going to confront RINO McCain.

    “Resolution of Rebuke of United States Senator John McCain

    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Senator McCain do the following: cease deal-making and negotiations for Republican votes that undermine the Senate Republican Leader.

    FURTHERMORE, the conduct of Senator McCain, is unbecoming a Member of the United States Senate, weakened the Senate Republican Leader, and is hereby strongly rebuked and condemned.”

    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2013/09/arizona_gop_rebukes_john_mccai.php

  10. Many have very likely seen this post at WUWT

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/13/national-academy-of-sciences-climate-models-still-decades-away-from-being-useful/

    It leads to:

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13430q

    Which is this report:

     A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling

  11. As a non-scientist, I’ve wondered about something that others might expand upon.

    If the temperature of the atmosphere is increasing, then that would mean that there is a corresponding increase in both volume and surface area of the atmosphere making contact with the vacuum of space. (I understand that satellites routinely have their orbits adjusted to avoid drag as the atmosphere expands and contracts).

    This increase in surface area would lead to increased cooling, would it not? I mean, if the volume of the atmosphere were to suddently expand by 100 miles – while the “mass” of the atmosphere stayed the same – then there would be tremendous cooling, much as in a dx system.. Is this not a feedback that keeps temperatures in check regardless of the forcing (i.e. AGW) ?

    • Good question. What I also find interesting is that the greenhouse effect that orthodox climate science speaks about assumes a closed system response to CO2 accumulation from human activity.

      • Just wait’ll they consider the unknown unknown feedbacks inherent in the biome.
        =============

      • This is what you want to look at:
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/07/expansion-of-atmosphere-and-ocean.html

        Seeing as you are not a scientist, it means that you have little sense of the scale of numbers.
        Geopotial height has increased by about 25 meters in the last 50 years, not “100 miles”

      • David Springer

        I can believe the volume increased 25 meters in the past 50 years. It’s known to vary with solar activity level and 1950-2005 is known as “The Modern Maxium” because solar activity was abnormally (as far as we know from 400 years of record keeping) high during that time.

        You can infer a temperature rise from the distance too. Dry adiabatic lapse rate is ~1C per 100 meters so an expansion of 25 meters represents a 0.25C increase in temperature.

    • David Springer

      The stratosphere was cooling while the troposphere was warming so there’s no warrant for a conclusion of volume change.

    • David Springer

      Jim S | September 13, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Reply

      “If the temperature of the atmosphere is increasing, then that would mean that there is a corresponding increase in both volume and surface area of the atmosphere making contact with the vacuum of space. (I understand that satellites routinely have their orbits adjusted to avoid drag as the atmosphere expands and contracts).”

      Not really. It’s all radiative cooling from a layer well below the thermosphere and that layer still has the same surface area. It’s the area of the surface that matters the most and even there it’s not so much the area but the amount of water because where there’s water there’s evaporation and convection and those dominate the surface energy budget.

      However that does bring up a point that no seems to think about very much. The ratio of land to ocean surface. As sea level rises and falls in response to how much water is in land-locked ice the surface area of the ocean changes. The ocean has an albedo that is practically zero where land is nearer to 0.20. So the ocean absorbs (thermalizes) a lot more energy than does land. The difference isn’t much for a meter or three change in sea level but it’s a positive feedback so the effect is amplified once it gets a trend established like the transition from glacial to interglacial. Albedo from ice to land or liquid acts in the same manner.

      We live on a water world. If we don’t understand the hydrologic cycle, including horizontal and vertical ocean currents, with perfect clarity our understanding of surface climate is compromised to the same extent.

      This increase in surface area would lead to increased cooling, would it not?

      • David Springer

        The last sentence is from the original comment. I forgot to either snip it or put quotes around it.

  12. Does the weather engine do any work in its cycles? I think Chief Hydrologist is the only one who has ever mentioned ‘work’. Some of the energy moved around must go into work which does not eventually return as heat. I assume everyone assumes the amount is negligible and takes it for granted.

  13. thisisnotgoodtogo

    No degrees
    That make
    You wheeze
    It’s all in Joules
    In The Deep
    Deep pools.

    • If you start writing CAGW poetry you can get funding.

      But better jump on quick as that may change ten years from now.

  14. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘As a result, the likely outcome of the report’s release will be more of the same: a welter of scary scenarios, followed by politicians promising huge carbon cuts and expensive policies that have virtually no impact on climate change.

    CommentsMaybe we should try to alter this scenario. We should accept that there is global warming. But we should also accept that current policies are costly and have little upside. The European Union will pay $250 billion for its current climate policies each and every year for 87 years. For almost $20 trillion, temperatures by the end of the century will be reduced by a negligible 0.05ºC.

    The current green-energy technologies still cost far too much and produce far too little to replace existing energy sources. To insist on buying these expensive non-solutions is to put the cart before the horse. What we need is investment in research and development to reduce green energy’s cost and boost its scale. When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming – without the angst.’

    http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/realism-in-the-latest-ipcc-climate-report-by-bj-rn-lomborg

    It’s worse than that. Global warming is in principle not the way the climate system works. The central fact of climate in the new century – for instance – is the climate shift of 1998/2001. This seems a difficult concept. Climate is capable spontaneously changing abruptly into new patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation – with large changes in climate forcing. The climate is unlikely to warm over decades – and beyond that be quite unpredictable.

    This is all mainstream science and you would think there could be some progress on these ideas. Instead we get dogmatism, disingenuous argumentation, lies and distortions and assertions about denier psychological instability and demagogic politics. It all seems par for the course for the Borg collective cult of AGW groupthink space cadets.

    Nonetheless – we could well use some new energy technologies, more development, improvements in health, education and governance, better conservation and ecological restoration practices and better farming systems.

    • What we need is investment in research and development to reduce green energy’s cost and boost its scale. When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming – without the angst.’

      I take a lot of notice of Bjorn Lomborg and his team on economics, but not when he makes pronouncement on ‘green energy’. He is talking way outside his area of expertise. IMO, the physical constraints mean that solar and wind will never play a significant role in providing our energy needs. We’ve been pouring money into trying to make these technologies economically viable for decades and getting nowhere. They are nowhere near viable and won’t be. They provide almost none of the world’s energy.

      The sooner we stop wasting time, energy, money research resources, political effort chasing the renewables dream the better.

    • Good summary Chief. I agree that green energy is still not cost effective but I also think that advances are being made, especially in solar panels. Solar panel costs have dropped markedly due to greater efficiency and increased competition from manufacturers.

      I believe that there could be a great demand for solar cell technology in the third world so that small scale power and light can be introduced to more and more homes at a low cost. The potential for improved lifestyles and in general health in the third world is significant.

      • Peter Davies,

        You seem to be arguing “every little bit helps”. This is wrong headed. It is what renewable energy advocates have been arguing for decades as one of their techniques to keep the money flowing to them, instead of to technologies that can actually have an effect. After decades of research money, solar power is still at least 6 times more expensive than conventional generation and not dispatchable (i.e. does generate to meet demand). The cost of renewables is huge. Unfortunately people just do not understand or accept it. They have a hope and a belief just like the CAGW alarmists have a belief.

        You may find this provides some interesting background http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/08/16/solar-power-realities-supply-demand-storage-and-costs/ . It is a limit analysis to keep get the principles across. It looks at the costs of providing all our electricity with solar PV and energy storage. For simplicity, it uses the solar power output from one site. No one is suggesting such a scheme, it is just a way of getting the issues across.

      • Peter Davies,

        I believe that there could be a great demand for solar cell technology in the third world so that small scale power and light can be introduced to more and more homes at a low cost. The potential for improved lifestyles and in general health in the third world is significant.

        I totally agree with you on this point. However, that has nothing to do with climate change. It is a different issue. But it will not contribute to reducing global GHG emissions.

      • I am aware of your good work in this field. I agree that large scale substitution of renewables in the place of much cheaper power based on the burning of coal and the less cheaper but still viable option of natural gas power generation, is uneconomic.

        I still believe that existing solar technology is quite viable for small scale home based light and power. My caravan, for example, runs on 12 volts fed by solar panel charging backed up by a petrol generator. It is true that caravan life is a lot simpler but I don’t find the lack of mod cons to be an issue.

        The difference between simpler lifestyles enjoyed by caravaners and people in third world countries and the power hungry modern consumer societies, with excessive air conditioning and the use of more and more gadgets that adds little value couldn’t be more marked.

        The presumption that humans will need more and more power is based on the existing paradigms that will never change needs to be questionned.

      • Peter Davies,

        I agree that there is a role for solar and wind in off grid situations. But the amount of energy generated is trivial in the context of world energy demand, and always will be. Solar and wind can have next to no effect in reducing global emissions, which is the main justification put forward by advocates for more and more subsidies and regulations to favour wind and solar power.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Again – really the call was for research. Can research for instance really bring down the cost of solar voltaic to cheaper than coal?

        e.g – http://www.newcastleinnovationenergy.com.au/solar-paint-technology#.UjPrfD_hf3g

      • The amount would indeed be trivial if one assumes that the current power required by the developed countries continues on its present trajectory. I am of the belief that if the third world economies and their inhabitants were to employ based based small scale systems as a first step towards improving their lifestyles, then surely two thirds of the world’s population will create an enormous increase in global energy consumption?

      • Sorry, home based small scale systems

      • Peter Davies,

        The presumption that humans will need more and more power is based on the existing paradigms that will never change needs to be questioned.

        Well, sure, everything can be questioned. But we’ve had 200,000 years of increasing energy consumption per person. Is that suddenly gong to change, just because we are here now? I don’t think so.

        Plotting per capita energy consumption versus time from now back 200,000 years on a log-log plot gives:
        y = 1105x^-0.3964

        [Energy consumption per person from:
        Jose Goldemberg (1992) Energy, Technology, Development AMBIO Vol 21 No 1. Feb 1992
        http://www.jstor.org/stable/4313879%5D

      • Chief,

        You asked:

        “Can research for instance really bring down the cost of solar voltaic to cheaper than coal?”

        The answer is NO! Almost certainly not. It is not just the cells, there is much more to it than that. Long before resource constraints begin to drive prices up, we’ll have cheap nuclear. Renewables will never again be a major contributor to global energy production (down for 95% in 1800 to 12% now)

      • Peter Lang I think that I should emphasise that I am only looking at DC systems with battery storage initially for adoption by third world households because I realise that AC systems have no residual storage capability at night or when the wind stops blowing.

        BTW I hope that you don’t mind me raising these questions because it is an important policy area that’s closely related to climate change and consideration of carbon reduction strategies by governments.

      • Peter Davies,

        BTW I hope that you don’t mind me raising these questions because it is an important policy area that’s closely related to climate change and consideration of carbon reduction strategies by governments.

        I welcome a rational intelligent discussion and greatly appreciate your questions and comments. If some of my replies to you are less than polite or clear, I apologise; they are not intended to be addressed to you.

        I think we may be talking at cross purposes a bit. I am not referring at all to off-grid power supply. I recognise there is a market for renewable energy for off-grid. But off-grid electricity consumption is tiny compared with the grid energy consumption.

        All my comments refer to grid connected power. I am strongly persuaded that renewables like solar, wind will never make a major contribution to world power supply and, therefore, will never be a serious contributor to reducing global GHG emissions. So funding them (for grid generation) is a distraction, a waste of resources and a waste of time. It is diverting us from solutions that can achieve the goals (energy security, reliability, cheap energy, environmentally benign). It is also wasting huge amounts of money that could be far better spent. In Australia, the annual cost of ETS and ‘renewables’ (solar and wsind) is more than our Defence budget but producing just 3% of our electricity. And that’s after over 30 years of pissing money into the pockets of the renewable energy lobby, researchers and industry. It’s ridiculous, IMVHO

      • Here is my optimistic view on a possible aspect of solar. If one could find reliable solar setups for use in places like dry parts of Africa that would not become inoperable after a few years, then instead of wasting money subsidizing large scale solar in the US (think Solyandra and dozens of others) the money could be used for 3rd world. OR, better yet, let private foundations do it. Could improve the health and wealth of 3rd world poor AND reduce number of trees cut down, which in time may cause a greening of these regions and result in more water retention in soil, etc. and change the local climate for the better. Wouldn’t that be nice? I said it was optimistic.

      • Bill,

        Your scheme is totally uneconomic. This estimates the costs for solar thermal power plants dispersed across Australia’s desert areas:
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/09/10/solar-realities-and-transmission-costs-addendum/

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Every indication is that technologies that are cheaper will replace existing technologies quickly in the market. Cheaper solar and wind will find more applications as markets recognise newer cost realities. There are important applications now – from satellites to lights for Kenyan students. The latter is a critical application for communications, education and keeping vaccines cool, for instance, over large areas of the planet.

        It is all about technologies.

        e.g. http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Flagships/Future-Manufacturing-Flagship/Flexible-Electronics/Organic-photovoltaics.aspx

        Cheap solar can find applications in offsetting commercial air conditioning – painted on windows or on roofs – without the losses from large scale energy distribution. Most efficient when most needed. This is all about energy systems integration – e.g. http://www.nrel.gov/esi/

        It is not just about solar – which will succeed or not on the basis of competitive advantage – but about the range of technologies under development. e.g. http://www.nrel.gov/science_technology/

        This includes nuclear as I suggested earlier. What Lomberg was talking about was specifically ‘green technologies’. The General Atomics Energy Multiplier Module is as green as it gets. It has the potential – based on established designs and existing materials science to utilise 270,000 tons of existing high level nuclear waste turning it into much less and much less long lived waste. While at the same time producing hundreds of years of energy. This is pretty good recycling.

        ‘The U.S. has the equivalent of about 63,500 quads of potential energy in its inventory of used nuclear fuel, which is approximately 9 trillion barrels of oil, an amount equivalent to about 1,800 years at current oil consumption of 16 million barrels per day. The nuclear industry is currently using only ~0.5% of the available energy from mined uranium. The rest
        accumulates in large stores of depleted uranium (DU) and used nuclear fuel. The EM2 is a modified version of General Atomics’ high-temperature, helium-cooled reactor and is capable of converting used nuclear fuel into electricity and industrial process heat, without conventional reprocessing. Each module would produce about 240 MWe of power at
        850oC.’ http://www.ga.com/energy-multiplier-module

        Peter’s focus on wind and solar at the current state of technology is misguided in several ways. It makes assumptions of an all or nothing kind – ignoring the potential for integrating energy supplies. It ignores the inevitability of technological innovation. It ignores the range of other technologies under development.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You always annoy hell out of me Peter.

      ‘What we need is investment in research and development to reduce green energy’s cost and boost its scale. When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming – without the angst.’

      It is you who miss the point with your obsessional equating of everything to solar and wind in their current state of evolution.

      What is called for is research into energy technology. New, better, cheaper energy technologies are certainly required independently of carbon dioxide.

      Utterly unremarkable and yet you choose to make a silly point about how we shouldn’t be ‘wasting time, energy, money research resources, political effort chasing the renewables dream…’

      Of course we should and we are. I gave you just one example from the University of Newcastle.

      Here’s another – http://www.nrel.gov/

      • Chief,

        You always annoy hell out of me Peter.

        What, you mean you like to dish out insults in almost every single comment, and don’t expect anyone to give it back?

        I don’t need to explain again why you missed the point. Read the comments, and you will understand, unless you are the idiot that you so frequently call others.

      • Chief,

        More constructively, if you weren’t so continually arrogant about subjects you know near nothing about, and so incessantly rude and unpleasant in your comments, you might not attract the responses you do. Have you thought of that? You’ve been told often enough (but many others)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The answer is NO! Almost certainly not. It is not just the cells, there is much more to it than that.’

        There are many applications for solar PV already and more as costs come down. But I certainly was not exclusively thinking solar. Although the capability of solar at $0.15kWh- as in the link I provided – to provide peak loading in Australian summers is certainly there. To provide power for air conditioning in offices – applied directly to windows for instance – without the transmission losses.

        You would do better to stop being dogmatically silly and allow that there is scope for a wide range of energy technologies to be developed.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Peter – you are perpetually condescending, pedantic, unimaginative, a blowhard and refuse ever to consider other viewpoints.

        Why tell me I miss your point – when I have found it lacking in any relevance to the points being made by Lomberg – and told you so quite politely?

        ‘I take a lot of notice of Bjorn Lomborg and his team on economics, but not when he makes pronouncement on ‘green energy’. He is talking way outside his area of expertise. IMO, the physical constraints mean that solar and wind will never play a significant role in providing our energy needs.’

        You are a pompous old fool and wrong in dozens of ways.

      • Chief,

        You are such a hypocrite. Your abuse is continuous.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Peter – your perpetual refrain is that (fill in name) knows nothing about whatever subject you are pontificating on at the moment. Spare me the hypocritical homilies.

      • Chief,

        I’d add that you simply don’t understand energy, economics or policy. But because you are all of those adjective you so frequently call me (and others): pompous, ignorant, arrogant, old, and whatever other standard pejorative words and phrases you have in your poisonous vocabulary, and so busy preaching your poison, it is impossible to have a rational discussion about what is important, and correcting any misunderstandings.

        In your own words: “You are a pompous old fool and wrong in dozens of ways.”

        Now, if you want to be constructive, let’s try to sort this out:

        You said:

        What we need is investment in research and development to reduce green energy’s cost and boost its scale. When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming – without the angst.’

        [my bold]

        I strongly disagree. I replied:

        IMO, the physical constraints mean that solar and wind will never play a significant role in providing our energy needs. We’ve been pouring money into trying to make these technologies economically viable for decades and getting nowhere. They are nowhere near viable and won’t be. They provide almost none of the world’s energy.

        The sooner we stop wasting time, energy, money research resources, political effort chasing the renewables dream the better.

        I standby that statement (although if I was writing it for an article rather than for a blog comment I’d tone down some statements, and add caveats and some further explanation).

        You replied to me:

        I certainly disagree Peter. There are many applications where solar PV are practical and cost effective. Research expands those areas.

        Your comment is irrelevant for the reasons I explained here (in response to Peter Davies):

        You seem to be arguing “every little bit helps”. This is wrong headed. It is what renewable energy advocates have been arguing for decades as one of their techniques to keep the money flowing to them, instead of to technologies that can actually have an effect [on reducing global GHG emissions]. After decades of research money, solar power is still at least 6 times more expensive than conventional generation and not dispatchable (i.e. does generate to meet demand). The cost of renewables is huge. Unfortunately people just do not understand or accept it.

        followed by (in response to Peter Davies):

        [Peter Davies]: I believe that there could be a great demand for solar cell technology in the third world so that small scale power and light can be introduced to more and more homes at a low cost. The potential for improved lifestyles and in general health in the third world is significant.

        [My reply]: I totally agree with you on this point. However, that has nothing to do with climate change. It is a different issue. But it will not contribute to reducing global GHG emissions.

        Followed by:

        I agree that there is a role for solar and wind in off grid situations. But the amount of energy generated is trivial in the context of world energy demand, and always will be. Solar and wind can have next to no effect in reducing global emissions, which is the main justification put forward by advocates for more and more subsidies and regulations to favour wind and solar power.

      • So Chief, is it your point that enough research money WILL eventually make solar and wind sufficiently economical and dispatchable so as to be a practical replacement for fossil? Or merely that it MIGHT ?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So you simply repeat yourself with bolding?

        To correct my misunderstandings?

        The discussion was about energy research – which includes solar and wind as quite respectable pursuits. You make endless assumptions which are unprovable and insist that everyone believe them.

        You repeat again that I know nothing about energy, economics or policy. A silly thing to endlessly repeat about anyone who disagrees with you. What a I supposed to do – get into a p_ssing contest about who knows more? It is very boring.

        What else was in your long winded, tediously recursive rant? Who cares.

        You miss the essential point and go of on your own pedantic tangent – and insist that your hijack was the point. Forget it – you are simply not worth wasting time on.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Gina,

        I have been laughing at your responses to FOMBS.

        Here is the particular statement from Lomberg.

        ‘The current green-energy technologies still cost far too much and produce far too little to replace existing energy sources. To insist on buying these expensive non-solutions is to put the cart before the horse. What we need is investment in research and development to reduce green energy’s cost and boost its scale. When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming – without the angst.’

        It seems quite innocuous – and certainly not worth a long winded discussion about how solar and wind will never, ever be commercially viable. Lomberg was of course encompassing much more than solar and wind – but they are of course viable now in many applications. More so as they become cheaper. The example I gave of research was from the University of Newcastle in Australia. An organic molecule with electronic and solar PV potential. Paint it on – and they cost it at $0.15/kWh. Cheaper than coal – and they have lots of coal.

        The point is to move on with a range of technologies – and not get stuck at no it won’t work because I tell you so and you don’t know what you are talking about.

      • Ok so renewables MIGHT one day become viable on a large scale, given enough research; just don’t fixate on any given one you say.
        But, equally, might not fossil technology too advance, maintaining or even widening the fossil-reneweables gap ?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No – wind and solar are viable now and more so as costs decrease – and as such a worthy research area . I am as much as Lomberg in favour of taxes or subsides – that is not at all. But do you forget the essential point of climate?

        To repeat myself.

        It’s worse than that. Global warming is in principle not the way the climate system works. The central fact of climate in the new century – for instance – is the climate shift of 1998/2001. This seems a difficult concept. Climate is capable spontaneously changing abruptly into new patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation – with large changes in climate forcing. The climate is unlikely to warm over decades – and beyond that be quite unpredictable.

        Now climate change seems to me quite slow and minor thus far – and mostly natural. But a chaotic system is vulnerable.

        ‘Second, theoretical arguments suggest
        that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled
        compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global
        mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may cocentinue to hold many surprises if pressed.’

        Perhaps you cling to the idea that a coupled non-linear system is predictable with simple narratives from one or other side of the argument? As human emissions grow from 4% to 8%, 16%, etc as economies grow this century I would call it an argument from ignorance.

        Nonetheless – I expect that something like this might be more likely to be able to compete for bulk electricity supply in industrialised economies.

        http://www.ga.com/energy-multiplier-module

      • Chief Hydrologist,

        Another great pile of nonsense.

        No – wind and solar are viable now and more so as costs decrease – and as such a worthy research area .

        What nonsense. This is the sort of pompous, ignorant comment you make frequently and I won’t simply ignore it and let go past. If wind and solar are viable now (for grid connected power) why do we have to subsidise them by a factor of 2 to 6 times the price of electricity from conventional generators?

      • When all the hidden costs of residential solar PV are included, the abatement cost is about $600/tonne CO2 (i.e. about 100 times the EU carbon price):
        http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/4/1406

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I said 3 or 4 times that solar is viable in some applications. I said I have personally installed solar panels – inverters and everything – in a grass Melanesian hut. I showed you a picture in Kenya – http://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/kenyas-micro-solar-lamp-revolution-lights-up-the-nation/solar-kenya/

        There are hundreds of commercial applications. Get real. You simply imagine something is being said in relation to your obsessions and go off on a wild tangent. Classic – Lomberg says it’s a waste of resources and totally ineffective to encourage high cost energy solutions and you go off on a rant about high cost energy. Lomberg goes on to suggest research into low cost energy is worthwhile – and you entirely miss the point of it all.

        When did I – or indeed Lomberg – ever say anything different. Why do you need to put everything into the straight jacket of your preconceptions?

        I will repeat Lomberg for the third time.

        ‘The current green-energy technologies still cost far too much and produce far too little to replace existing energy sources. To insist on buying these expensive non-solutions is to put the cart before the horse. What we need is investment in research and development to reduce green energy’s cost and boost its scale. When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming – without the angst.’

        How is that not instantly understandable?

        btw – your planetary stability I was ignoring – but seeing as you have bothered me again.

        1. The Quaternary glacial/interglacial episodes commenced with the closure of the Isthmus of Panama. Tectonic uplift in the Himalayas may have something to do with it as well. Hansen and Sato are certainly not talking about stability.
        2.Anything before that is certainly not an analogue of modern conditions.
        3. The Younger Dryas is certainly an abrupt change – it was caused by warming which melted an ice dam and flooded the Arctic reducing MOC.
        4. Dust in Antarctic the ice cores reflects evaporation and rainfall – less in cold conditions. It was actually fairly global. Not sure what your point is.
        5. Oil laid down in warm calm seas over millions of years? A long time ago in a warmer world?

        We are not leaving the Quaternary anytime soon and warming may indeed result in abrupt and sharp cooling in as little as a decade.

      • We get a break from the web / Chief show to tune in to the Chief / Peter Lang show.

        “You know CE commentators. A bunch of bitchy little boys.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Tim,

        You’re a smug little b@st@rd with a line in snark and self righteousness.

        We all know what webby is like. He spares no opportunity to abuse all and sundry. Especially me as I say things like the planet is chaotic and not warming for decades.

        Have I been unfair to Peter? I say something innocuous which he hijacks to a rant about solar costs and insists that I missed the point and know nothing.

        You, Peter and webby have a choice not to respond – or at least not respond with arrogance, abuse, condescension or self righteous priggery. Stupid is OK.

      • Chief Hydrologist,

        Example of your hypocrisy:

        You … have a choice not to respond – or at least not respond with arrogance, abuse, condescension or self righteous priggery. Stupid is OK.

      • Chief,

        I am neither smug or self righteous and according to my mother, no bast#rd.

        That you have to resort to the name calling indicates a thin skin.

        That you lump me with web indicates your memory is deteriorating.

        I for one pay attention to what you post, except for skipping the long exchanges between you and web. That is because they pretty much cover predictable ground. To any one who comes here regularly, they become tiresome. That is not a criticism, simply an observation.

        I happen to respect the opinions of both you and Peter Lang. I think both of you have valid points regarding energy and were mostly talking past one another. Until the two of you started with the insults. No talking past there. Hence the (slightly paraphrased) line from an American tv series.

        You can be as testy and thin skinned as you want. It isn’t my image you impact.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        That’s the longest comment I have ever seen from you Tim. Nonsense all of it – but keep smugly pontificating and something might eventuate.

      • Ok Chief,

        Here is something short. From my sub days.

        Wah, f$@king wah. Go cry to someone who cares.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Thin skin Tim? B@st@rd is of course a term of endearment in Australia. But really – a serial whine is not something I give a rat’s arse about.

        Chief Hydrologist | September 14, 2013 at 12:54 am |

        I certainly disagree Peter. There are many applications where solar PV are practical and cost effective. Research expands those areas.

        e.g. http://www.newcastleinnovationenergy.com.au/solar-paint-technology#.UjPrfD_hf3g
        Chief Hydrologist | September 14, 2013 at 1:01 am |

        Life changing?

        e.g. http://www.solarquotes.com.au/blog/kenyas-micro-solar-lamp-revolution-lights-up-the-nation/

        I have actually installed solar PV in a grass hut. I know what it means.

        Not solar – but here’s one that can save lives, conserve trees, reduce black carbon and charge your iPhone.
        Peter Lang | September 14, 2013 at 1:55 am |

        Chief,

        You’ve missed the point. Read my replies to Peter Davies.

        Missed the point? The point was adequately expressed by Lomberg. Peter’s point was entirely irrelevant, he lectures and pontificates, he refuses to see any point but his own, he insists I know nothing and can’t possibly argue with the great and omniscient Lang.

        Your snide intervention was unwelcome and uncalled for.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Chief Hydrologist | September 14, 2013 at 12:54 am |

        I certainly disagree Peter. There are many applications where solar PV are practical and cost effective. Research expands those areas.

        e.g. http://www.newcastleinnovationenergy.com.au/solar-paint-technology#.UjPrfD_hf3g

        Peter Lang | September 14, 2013 at 5:40 am |

        Chief Hydrologist,

        Another great pile of nonsense.

        No – wind and solar are viable now and more so as costs decrease – and as such a worthy research area .

        What nonsense. This is the sort of pompous, ignorant comment you make frequently and I won’t simply ignore it and let go past.

        What’s wrong with this picture?

      • Chief,

        As I’ve said, and you’ve quoted me as saying so you did read it, “you’ve missed the point.” You keep rereading you own posts and reposting them, but you haven’t digested what I said. I laid it all out for you, but you dismissed it.

        You keep missing the point because you don’t ‘listen’ to what the other person is saying.

        I agree with Timg56 we are talking past each other.

        I find it impossible to have an intelligent conversation with you because you don’t listen to the other person’s point, and you frequently start and or finish your comments with insults, pejorative comments and/or snide remarks. And yes, I now expect it from you so I’ve formed the opinion you are a buffoon, pompous and arrogant. You’ve demonstrated you have little underpinning knowledge or understanding about energy, economics and policy analysis or implementation so I am now quick to be dissmissive of comments you make on these matters.

        If you stop, and I believe you’ve stopped – not just with me but with everyone else you respond to as well, then I will stop too. But I will continue to disagree with you on matters where I think you are wrong or have misstated something.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Peter.

        Never will you ever bend from your steely eyed purpose. That noble purpose is to condemn wind and solar power for the perfidious insult to the intelligence that it is.

        I agree – there are no possible or actual feasible purposes for solar energy
        Research into such a loser technology is pointless. I am a fool for ever considering the possibility.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NASA_solar_power_satellite_concept_1976.jpg

        I am a nasty, evil person for responding to your condescension and abuse by calling you a pompous old fool.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief, for sheer abusive venom, it will be hard for you to beat your recent “personal best” of calling woman climate-scientists James Hansen’s teeny boppers.”

        So why not retire, Chief? `Cuz it comes to purely abusive stupidity, it’s scarcely likely that anyone will surpass your recent efforts!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Chief,

        Never will you ever bend from your steely eyed purpose. That noble purpose is to condemn wind and solar power for the perfidious insult to the intelligence that it is.

        There you go again. You can’t help yourself can you? Nothing but abuse. You can’t have a constructive mature conversation. You can’t discuss the issues rationally. You keep ignoring what you don’t want to discuss, divert to a different point, then accuse me of not addressing your point. You stated this sub thread by saying:

        When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming

        That statement is wrong. I pointed it out to you and others and explained why in comments to you and to Peter Davies. Either you didn’t read them or didn’t understand. I pointed out to you that you had missed the point. You are still missing the point. The link in your latest comment shows you are still missing the point. You still don’t get it. You are off on another planet as far as having an understanding of energy, economics and policy. It’s made worse because you think you do and you are not prepared to ask question or converse rationally.

        As you said to timg56, you don’t have to respond.

      • Chief,

        If bast@rd is an Aussie term of endearment, then you have my apologies. Except the rest of your comment sure doesn’t come across of endearing.

        There comes a point where pride gets in the way of common decency. Perhaps you might consider that.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Immense apologies for not understanding that the you guys deserve the last words on everything and my inadequate presence is merely distracting.

        Excuse me also for failing to realise that research leading to cheaper energy sources is of no utility at all as nothing for whatever reason will ever replace fossil fuels despite being lower cost. There is absolutely no place in the business cycle for cheaper energy.

        Things like this can never ever work.

        http://www.newcastleinnovationenergy.com.au/solar-paint-technology

        http://www.biolitestove.com/

        http://www.ga.com/energy-multiplier-module

        http://inhabitat.com/16-year-old-develops-a-new-way-to-turn-algae-into-fuel/

        http://www.airfuelsynthesis.com/

        I should have realised that it just wont work but I guess I am too dumb.

      • so renewables MIGHT one day become viable on a large scale, given enough research ?

        Chief,

        So seems your answer to the above question is Yes then (but nuclear, NOT wind and solar) *?

        How about the question below though ?

        But, equally, might not fossil technology too advance, maintaining or even widening the fossil-renewables gap ?


        * I think it’s fair to say that, if their subsidies were scrapped, then outside the small, specialised applications you allude to, virtually all wind and solar schemes would collapse overnight. ie they are simply not viable now.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So we get back to Lomberg’s premise that solar and wind are too expensive but that research might make these or other technologies cheaper than fossil fuels? That was before we got into an argument that I was too dumb to see how expensive they are. You will forgive me if I am a bit jaundiced.

        Now I did discuss both chaos – which means that climate is sensitively dependent and unstable especially when things are changing fastest – and the growth of emissions from 4% to 8%, 16% etc of natural carbon flux.

        Generally – the principle is to let the market work
        but push it along a little with focused research.

        e.g. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/index.shtml#tabs=Climate-change-tracker&tracker=time-series

      • Chief Hydrologist

        whoops – wrong link

        http://www.nrel.gov/

      • Gina,

        I realise your question was addressed to Chief Hydrologist, but since he doesn’t understand much about the subject and is unwilling to admit he doesn’t, and also since he cannot avoid his silly, snide and pejorative remarks, I’ll offer an answer.

        so renewables MIGHT one day become viable on a large scale, given enough research ?

        Answer: highly unlikely in the foreseeable future, and probably never. Here’s why:

        1. Wind and solar are not dispatchable. That means, the system operator cannot instruct them to supply power on demand – they don’t supply power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Therefore, they need either dispatchable back up generators (like hydro, fossil fuel, biomass and load following nuclear) or energy storage or a transmission system circling the globe to transmit power from the sunny side to the other side and from windy areas to calm areas. All three options add to the already very high costs of wind and solar.

        2. Transmission and grid management (e.g. voltage and frequency control) cost a lot higher with renewables than with dispatchable, controllable generators. The transmission line capacity must be sized to transmit the maximum output of the wind farm or solar power station, but the average power output is much lower. So the cost is high for the average power transmitted.

        3. Although the cost of wind turbines and solar panels has been reducing as production has increased, these are just one component of the cost of electricity from each technology. Other components are not coming down, or not much. So the claims about the decreasing cost of panels and wind turbines are disingenuous. Importantly, the increases in production volumes are dependent on the huge subsidies. Theses technologies are not close to being viable without the subsidies and, IMO, probably never will be. If not for the subsidies, wind would need a carbon price of over $60/MWh to be viable, and solar higher still. Despite the declining cost of some components they are still a very expensive way of generating electricity – the cost of electricity is several times the cost of conventionally generated electricity (by fossil fuels and by hydro and nuclear in some places). It is not credible that such a large gap will be closed in the foreseeable future, and probably never.

        4. Renewables require more material per unit of energy delivered than say nuclear power stations (around 10 times more). Therefore, if we could power the world (or a significant part of it) with wind and solar, the amount of materials required would be far higher. That means more mining, processing, smelting, manufacturing, fabricating, construction, concrete production, decommissioning, toxic waste disposal and … transport between ever stage.

        5. Most ideas for new technologies fail. Those that do progress take many decades to become mature, viable and widely adopted. The reason is that they are hugely expensive capital investments so they are maintained for decades. Therefore, lessons learnt in one model take a long time to be incorporated in future models. This makes development of large, slow replacement technologies quite different and much slower than what is experienced with computers, iPhones and cars. We’ve been using wind and hydro engines for centuries, fossil fuel engines for over two centuries, solar thermal engines for a century. We’ve been using hydro and fossil fuel to generate electricity for 130 years and nuclear and solar PV for about 60 years. Therefore, it strains credulity to expect or believe there will be any sudden breakthroughs that quickly become economic.

        6. The slow rate of development also applies to energy storage technologies. We’ve been working on electricity storage for over 200 years. Pumped hydro provides 99% of worldwide installed storage capacity for electrical energy (127,000MW). It strains credulity to believe there will be a sudden breakthrough of a new technology that will rapidly progress to being economically viable at the scale of GW generating capacity and TWh storage capacity in the foreseeable future, which is what would be needed to for wind and solar power to be a significant contributor to global electricity supply.

        7. Given all the above, it is unreasonable to assume that renewable energy will provide a significant proportion of electricity generation in the foreseeable future, no matter how much research funding is thrown at it. Therefore, we should not rely on renewable energy to make a significant contribution to reducing global GHG emissions.

        The ‘Renewable Limits’ tab on the BraveNewClimate web site has a good series of articles that provide some excellent background reading. http://bravenewclimate.com/renewable-limits/

        Renewable electricity for Australia – the cost’ explains many of the important issues and compares the costs of several options for the full system. http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/

        I’d urge readers to consider all this together, at least as the first step.

      • Thanks Peter L, most informative.

      • Fascinating -

        Peter says:

        so I’ve formed the opinion you are a buffoon, pompous and arrogant.

        And Chief says:

        You are a pompous old fool and wrong in dozens of ways.

        So apparently both have switched allegiances in the climate wars, because as we all know, it is “realists” who engage in vitriolic debate – when they realize that they’ve lost the argument. I’ve read that over and over in these threads, and we know that something so oft’ repeated by our much beloved “skeptics” could never be wrong.

      • Oh, wait.

        It may not be that they’ve switched allegiances in the climate wars, but merely switched political orientation.

        Because, as we all know, it is “progressives” who have such elitist opinions as written by Peter and Chief, and it is “progressives” who express their opinions with such vitriol.

        So I stand corrected. It could be that they’ve switched allegiances in the climate wars or it could be that they’re both now “progressives.”

        Either way, however, it remains fascinating (and quite amusing as well).

      • Joshua in fine form here, producing inanity of almost FOMBS cailbre.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This goes here.

        Every indication is that technologies that are cheaper will replace existing technologies quickly in the market. Cheaper solar and wind will find more applications as markets recognise newer cost realities. There are important applications now – from satellites to lights for Kenyan students. The latter is a critical application for communications, education and keeping vaccines cool, for instance, over large areas of the planet.

        It is all about technologies.

        e.g. http://www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Flagships/Future-Manufacturing-Flagship/Flexible-Electronics/Organic-photovoltaics.aspx

        Cheap solar can find applications in offsetting commercial air conditioning – painted on windows or on roofs – without the losses from large scale energy distribution. Most efficient when most needed. This is all about energy systems integration – e.g. http://www.nrel.gov/esi/

        It is not just about solar – which will succeed or not on the basis of competitive advantage – but about the range of technologies under development. e.g. http://www.nrel.gov/science_technology/

        This includes nuclear as I suggested earlier. What Lomberg was talking about was specifically ‘green technologies’. The General Atomics Energy Multiplier Module is as green as it gets. It has the potential – based on established designs and existing materials science to utilise 270,000 tons of existing high level nuclear waste turning it into much less and much less long lived waste. While at the same time producing hundreds of years of energy. This is pretty good recycling.

        ‘The U.S. has the equivalent of about 63,500 quads of potential energy in its inventory of used nuclear fuel, which is approximately 9 trillion barrels of oil, an amount equivalent to about 1,800 years at current oil consumption of 16 million barrels per day. The nuclear industry is currently using only ~0.5% of the available energy from mined uranium. The rest
        accumulates in large stores of depleted uranium (DU) and used nuclear fuel. The EM2 is a modified version of General Atomics’ high-temperature, helium-cooled reactor and is capable of converting used nuclear fuel into electricity and industrial process heat, without conventional reprocessing. Each module would produce about 240 MWe of power at
        850oC.’ http://www.ga.com/energy-multiplier-module

        Peter’s focus on wind and solar at the current state of technology is misguided in several ways. It makes assumptions of an all or nothing kind – ignoring the potential for integrating energy supplies. It ignores the inevitability of technological innovation. It ignores the range of other technologies under development.

      • Chief Hydrologist continues to miss the point or is being intentionally disengenuous. he says:

        Every indication is that technologies that are cheaper will replace existing technologies quickly in the market. Cheaper solar and wind will find more applications as markets recognise newer cost realities.

        But solar and wind are not cheaper than fossil fuels or nuclear for grid connected electricity supply (which comprises around 99% of electricity supply). In fact, they are many times more expensive. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely they will become cheaper in the foreseeable future, if ever. Chief, doesn’t seem to be able to understand this. The reasons are discussed in my previous comment.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The current green-energy technologies still cost far too much and produce far too little to replace existing energy sources. To insist on buying these expensive non-solutions is to put the cart before the horse. What we need is investment in research and development to reduce green energy’s cost and boost its scale. When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming – without the angst.’

        Yes I have obviously missed the point that the current green-energy technologies still cost far too much and produce far too little to replace existing energy sources.

        And that reducing costs of energy technologies through research is a bad thing.

      • Yes,

        You continue to miss the point … and I suspect it is intentional. Continually repeating the same quotes and posting the same links does not help you to understand the point you’ve missed. You have to actually read and attempt to understand what I’ve said to you, not just continually repeat your own points. I’ve seen them. They variously wrong, or not relevant, or a diversion from addressing the point I’ve made. I’ve explained why. You continue to miss the point … or worse.

      • [The last comment was intended to read:]

        Yes, you continue to miss the point … and I suspect it is intentional. Continually repeating the same quotes and posting the same links does not help you to understand the point you’ve missed. You have to actually read and attempt to understand what I’ve said to you, not just continually repeat your own points. I’ve seen them. They variously wrong, or not relevant, or a diversion from addressing the point I’ve made. I’ve explained why. You continue to miss the point … or worse.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I don’t care at all about the point you think you are trying to make Peter.

        Is it that ‘current green-energy technologies still cost far too much and produce far too little to replace existing energy sources. To insist on buying these expensive non-solutions is to put the cart before the horse.’

        Stop for God’s sake – you are bizarrely irrelevant and continue this nonsense endlessly.

      • Chief,

        You repeated the same quote from Lomborg again. I’ve already answered it here: http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/13/open-thread-weekend-32/#comment-379468

        I take a lot of notice of Bjorn Lomborg and his team on economics, but not when he makes pronouncement on ‘green energy’. He is talking way outside his area of expertise. IMO, the physical constraints mean that solar and wind will never play a significant role in providing our energy needs. We’ve been pouring money into trying to make these technologies economically viable for decades and getting nowhere. They are nowhere near viable and won’t be. They provide almost none of the world’s energy.

        The sooner we stop wasting time, energy, money research resources, political effort chasing the renewables dream the better.

        You didn’t like the answer and your response was that I annoy the hell out of you. Why is that, for having the temerity to disagree with you and explain why?

        I’ve expanded on that answer and explained in more detail why renewables (solar and wind) are highly unlikely to be viable in the foreseeable future, and probably never, no matter how much more funding is thrown at research.

        I agree that if Lomborg’s reference to green energy includes nuclear then his statement is correct. But I have never seen him clarify that, despite that he has been pushing the same message for a decade or two.

      • Chief Hydrologist,

        Is it that ‘current green-energy technologies still cost far too much and produce far too little to replace existing energy sources. To insist on buying these expensive non-solutions is to put the cart before the horse.’

        No!!!. How many times do you have to be told? Why can’t you read? You often call others “idiot”, but this exchange and your unintentional or intentional misrepresentation of what I’ve said would suggest you are the idiot.

        What I’ve been saying is:

        Renewables like solar and wind are unlikely to be viable to provide a significant proportion of the worlds electricity in the foreseeable future, and probably never. Therefore, they will not make a significant contribution to reducing global GHG emissions.

        Read it slowly. If you still can’t understand it, get someone to read it to you and tell you what it means.

        Stop for God’s sake – you are bizarrely irrelevant and continue this nonsense endlessly.

        Hypocrite!!!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The current green-energy technologies still cost far too much and produce far too little to replace existing energy sources. To insist on buying these expensive non-solutions is to put the cart before the horse. What we need is investment in research and development to reduce green energy’s cost and boost its scale. When solar and other green technologies can take over cheaply, we will have addressed global warming – without the angst.

        That you annoy hell out of me is a statement of fact. You are pompous, pedantically didactic, relentless in defending your misguided ideas, dogmatic and inflexible.

        You set out to prove that solar and wind ‘technologies still cost far too much and produce far too little to replace existing energy sources.’

        The discussion starts from there – and goes on without you.

      • Chief,

        Throwing funding at research into something that is not feasible will not make it succeed. That is the situation with solar and wind (and wave, ocean thermal, ocean current, tidal, geothermal, biomass) to provide most of the worlds electricity needs. It just is not viable, and almost certainly never will be. If you would take the time to read the links I’ve provided to you, instead of continually repeating your own points, you might begin to understand what I am saying (if your mind is open to it).

      • I discount any argument that research is futile.

        I didn’t say research is futile. You know it. You are knowingly misrepresenting my point. Since you have continued to do it, even after I have repeatedly corrected you, I have the impression you are basically a dishonest person.. Is my judgement correct?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Throwing funding at research into something that is not feasible will not make it succeed. That is the situation with solar and wind (and wave, ocean thermal, ocean current, tidal, geothermal, biomass) to provide most of the worlds electricity needs. It just is not viable, and almost certainly never will be.’

        You should really have stopped before you got to dishonest.

      • Read it again. I didn’t say research is futile. Read the whole thread. You really should have stopped long ago, in fact you should never have started, because you don’t understand, have tried to, and you have continually misrepresented what I said. At this stage, ‘dishonest’ is appropriate description.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So I give examples of tidal, solar. geothermal etc where they are throwing good money after bad – as you say in your comment that I quoted – and that is somehow dishonest?

        At this stage I have nothing but my usual contempt for you. Good bye again.

      • Chief,

        Another example of your misrepresentation and dishonesty.

        So I give examples of tidal, solar. geothermal etc where they are throwing good money after bad – as you say in your comment that I quoted – and that is somehow dishonest?

        You again misrepresented what I said. Your dishonesty is demonstrated by your continually distorting and misrepresenting what I said, despite me having repeatedly corrected you. That is what demonstrates you are dishonest.

        At this stage I have nothing but my usual contempt for you. Good bye again.

        Likewise. I have no time for people who are dishonest.

    • I’m not a conspiracy theorist but what I’ve often wondered is whether it is the economic models that hold up renewables. The idea of large plants or big oil producing the energy is a mass market economic model. Trying to make wind or solar or whatever fit that model will probably never work? If individuals or small communities produced their own power the incentives would work differently. Both big business and big government would lose out. lobbyists would scramble. It just seems to me that localized energy models would work better but big interests will be opposed to it.

      • ordvic,

        No. Localised energy cannot work to power a modern economy. 80% of the energy is used by industry and commercial users. Residential is a small part. So we need to get power to industry and commerce. It has to be reliable and provided 24/365.

        Even if you want to provide power for just “individuals or small communities” the cost would be prohibitive. Every individual user would have to have sufficient net power and storage capacity to provide their peak demand. There is no sharing. So you need enormous over build. This may give you some insight into the amount of overbuild and the cost (scale it for the size of the demand, and see my caveats on this I wrote in an earlier comment to Peter Davies): http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/08/16/solar-power-realities-supply-demand-storage-and-costs/

      • Thanks for the info. I’ll read it when I have time this week :-)

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Chief said:

      “Climate is capable spontaneously changing…”

      —-
      This is misleading at best, and overall simply wrong. The climate, like all chaotic systems, does not spontaneously do anything, it only appears that way at times because of the complex assortment of interrelated deterministic causes, which require the use if some very powerful supercomputers to even come close to disentangling.

      • R. Gates, “The climate, like all chaotic systems, does not spontaneously do anything, ..”

        That is being a bit too presumptuous. If you know exactly why something changes you can describe all the little details, if you don’t and the change appears natural, spontaneous is perfectly fine. Of course, it you think you know every little thing so there cannot be spontaneous natural changes, you could just call them surprises :)

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Captn.,

        I don’t have to know every little detail for there to be every little detail. What I do or do not know has nothing to do with the actual causal factors. Chaotic systems are also deterministic, and do not “spontaneously” or randomly change. They are simply so complex that their dynamical causal factors require the most powerful computers to even come close to simulating.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        It is called emergent behaviour. Control variables change slowly until the system is pushed past a tipping point. The interactions of the components results in nonlinear shifts inclimate. Here it is schematically.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/bifurcations.png.html?sort=3&o=59

        The reorganisation is internal and meets the dictionary definition of spontaneous. Quibbling about a word that is appropriate English usage leads us nowhere.

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        I could agree to the modifier of “apparently” spontaneous, but nothing that would imply random or haphazard. The climate is certainly not that. It is all quite determinist.

      • Gates, “It is all quite determinist.”

        To a point. Earth climate appears to have two strange attractors which base on tropical SST are separated by about 4 degrees. Around the warmer attractor the temperature tends to vary by +/-1.25 C and at the lower attractor -1 to +2.5 C . It is deterministic within those ranges. If you attempt to resolve to +/-.25 C it is not deterministic it is random for all intent. So there is a precision limit that adding decimal places ain’t going to fit.

        The whole object of Chaos theory is figuring out how much precision is obtainable. Then you have ergodic versus non-ergodic. An ergodic system is more predictable than a non-ergodic system that may never return to a previous state. Like the 41ka cycles transition to the 100ka cycles can transition to 20ka cycles and never go back to the no ice age cycles.

        Just because it is deterministic doesn’t mean you can figure it out.

      • “Climate is capable spontaneously changing…”

        @R. Gates
        This is misleading at best, and overall simply wrong. The climate, like all chaotic systems, does not spontaneously do anything, it only appears that way

        English not Gates’s mother tongue I guess, hence doesn’t grasp metaphorical usage.

      • captdallas:
        “To a point. Earth climate appears to have two strange attractors which base on tropical SST are separated by about 4 degrees. Around the warmer attractor the temperature tends to vary by +/-1.25 C and at the lower attractor -1 to +2.5 C . It is deterministic within those ranges. If you attempt to resolve to +/-.25 C it is not deterministic it is random for all intent.”

        Do you have post on or picture of the 2 attractors please? I can’t follow you.

      • Ragnaar, Attractors are just preferred states. Glacial and interglacial are the two main states or attractors. My range estimates are based mainly on tropics paleo since the NH and SH are out of phase a lot of the time. If you want bigger swings just use polar reconstructions, but the tropics are where the heat is at.

        https://plus.google.com/photos/118214947668992946731/albums/5764295474312943681

        That particular one is pretty good for seeing the rough ranges.

        .

      • captdallas:
        Like this?

        Warm regime
        3.75 + X to
        2.50 + X
        Boundary
        2.50 + X to
        0.00 + X
        Cold regime

        X = Average (250,000 years) tropical SST – 3.75

      • ragnaar, Yep. You can get fancy, but generally the temperature stays in a fairly consistent range, it just tends to “like” one end or the other and not the middle too much. So the temperature is “strangely” attracted to one side of the average at different points. The “strange” is due to how the temperature fluctuates around the two points.

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

      • So the middle is like A2 in this picture:
        http://www.scielo.cl/fbpe/img/rchnat/v74n2/fig46.gif
        With its opposite slope, it repels, it is like instability.
        Thanks.

  15. Australian Government Axes Climate Programmes

    MPs Call For Review Of Britain’s Climate Change Act

    http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=c920274f2a364603849bbb505&id=9269ee6ce3&e=d3ab024ae2

  16. Climate is capable spontaneously changing abruptly into new patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation – with large changes in climate forcing. The climate is unlikely to warm over decades – and beyond that be quite unpredictable.

    Q1. Is the planet more or less likely to have a catastrophic climate change when it is warmer or when it is colder?

    Q2. Which is likely to be worse (more catastrophic), a sudden change to warmer or to colder?

    Q3. If the climate is less volatile when warmer, and if a change to warmer is less catastrophic than to colder, should we be implementing policies to reduce or increase the planet’s insulation?

    • 1. More likely when it is warmer (when a sudden change to colder could occur).
      2. A sudden change to colder.
      3. Climate is potentially more volatile when warmer due to greater precipitation and (1) above could apply and policies to increase or reduce insulation would have no effect on climate either way because insulation in itself does not increase or decrease temperature.

      • Peter Davies,

        Do you have evidence to support your answers to 1 and 3?

        Hansen and Sato (2011) Figure 1 (parts a and b) suggests the climate is less volatile when it was warmer. (I recognise the frequency and precision of temperature records decreases as we go back in time).
        http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1105/1105.0968.pdf

      • Peter Davies,

        Thank you for the two links to support your answers to my two questions Q1 and Q2. Your answers your links are to support were:

        1. More likely when it is warmer (when a sudden change to colder could occur).

        Thank you for the link to the article “‘Cold Snap’ 116 Million Years Ago Triggered Marine Ecosystem Crisis“. Interesting. I hadn’t seen it before. However, the time scales were millions of years which is much longer than the times scales we are dealing with. And the cause was plate movements So I am not persuaded (yet) that the climate was as volatile in warmer times as it is in colder times.

        3. Climate is potentially more volatile when warmer due to greater precipitation and (1) above could apply and policies to increase or reduce insulation would have no effect on climate either way because insulation in itself does not increase or decrease temperature.

        OK, I was being a bit flippant referring to increasing GHG concentrations as increasing ‘insulation’ (although for many people describing the greenhouse effect as having similar effects to insulation helps them understand the effect of higher GHG concentrations – for example, with more GHG the planet would be warmer and have more even temperatures – significantly warmer at high latitidues, in winter and at night but little change at low latitudes, in summer and in the day time.).

        But I still don’t understand why you say Earth’s climate (as distinct from local weather), was more volatile when the planet was warmer?

      • Thanks for responding and for your patience in this little dialogue Peter L. My thinking about volatility hinges on the fact that (1) storms and cyclones arise from low pressure systems induced by evaporation of warm SST water in the tropical zones and (2) cold snaps rarely occur when the prevailing climate is already cool and if it did occur, the effect on animal and plant life wouldn’t be as traumatic.

        I also consider that weather is only experienced regionally because global climate is really an artifact anyway.

      • Peter Davies,

        OK, you’ve formed your thinking based on principles / theory (if I can call it that). My original question was intending to ask for paleo-climate evidence as to whether the climate is more or less volatile when the planet was warmer and when it was colder. My impression is that the climate was more variable when it was colder. Here is some evidience that leads me to believe that (I’d welcome comments from others who know about this):

        1. Hansen and Sato (2011) Figure 1 suggests the amplitude of temperature changes increases as the planet got colder, over a period of 55 million years. http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1105/1105.0968.pdf

        2. Cambrian coldhouse phase had massive climate shifts with major ice sheet advances and retreats – like current coldhouse phase?

        3. Younger Dryas and many other sudden rapid climate shifts during current coldhouse phase

        4. Much more dust in Antarctic the ice cores during the glacial than during the interglacial periods. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vostok-ice-core-petit.png

        5. Oil laid down in warm calm seas over millions of years

      • Peter Lang I do believe that much of the debate on climate needs to be more focused on millenia time scales because unless we do, any discussion of natural variability will not be fruitful.

        Glaciation and interglaciation even appear to be shorter term phenomena in the context of Earth’s evolution from a fireball flung off the sun to what it is today.

        The long term temperature trend surely must be gradual cooling, to the point that the Earth becomes frozen and lifeless like an asteroid.

        Thanks for your time and we will see what tomorrow brings.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Can you really not accept unpredictable as an answer?

      Nonetheless – we could well use some new energy technologies, more development, improvements in health, education and governance, better conservation and ecological restoration practices and better farming systems.

      • Can you really not accept unpredictable as an answer?

        No! Not given that people are arguing for high cost policies to cut global GHG emissions. To justify very expensive policies policy analysis and ;policy decision makers need to probabilities. Probability that the catastrophic event with happen, probability it will be warmer, probability it will be colder, probabilites about when, probability that the chosen solution will prevent the catastrophic event or significantly reduce its impact, or likelyhood, and delay its onset.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yet unpredictable is what there is.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.’ TAR WG! 14.2.2.2

        Here they are talking about perturbed model ensembles – that are still decades away.

      • Indeed, the probabilities that Lang wants are probably unknowable. Chaos is like that.

      • Wojick,

        You choose to misrepresent what I said? I didn’t say, I want those probabilities. What I said is:

        To justify very expensive policies policy analysis and policy decision makers need to probabilities.

      • Sorry Lang, I thought you wanted them for the policy makers. What then is your point re probabilities?

      • Wojick,

        Sorry Lang, I thought you wanted them for the policy makers. What then is your point re probabilities?

        My point is that policy makers, if ac ting rationally, cannot be expected to implement high cost policies to mitigate GHG emissions without good evidence that it will change the climate for the better, and/or reduce the probability of catastrophic climate change.

        I asked three questions. Peter Davies has discussed them but there has been no other contributions to the discussion. This reinforces my suspicion we do not have answers to them; or at least, not any answers with high confidence. Without convincing answers to these questions, we should not be committing to huge costs to reduce GHG emissions, IMO. The questions I asked were:

        Q1. Is the planet more or less likely to have a catastrophic climate change when it is warmer or when it is colder?

        Q2. Which is likely to be worse (more catastrophic), a sudden change to warmer or to colder?

        Q3. If the climate is less volatile when warmer, and if a change to warmer is less catastrophic than to colder, should we be implementing policies to reduce [GHG emissions]?

      • You look at the odds, and you really wonder why they went for catastrophic warming. The need for exaggerating the effects of warming has always been there. When the advocates succumbed to that need, science, reason, and sense went out the window. And here we are, getting draughty.
        ============================

      • It’s called the worst case scenario.

        “Q1. Is the planet more or less likely to have a catastrophic climate change when it is warmer or when it is colder?”

        I don’t think that’s the issue.

        “Q2. Which is likely to be worse (more catastrophic), a sudden change to warmer or to colder?”

        Again I dont think that’s the issue

        “Q3. If the climate is less volatile when warmer, and if a change to warmer is less catastrophic than to colder, should we be implementing policies to reduce [GHG emissions]?”

        And again.

        The issue isn’t whether the climate is more volatile in some certain state, or whether a sudden change to warmer is worse than a sudden change to colder.

        The issue is that a sudden and large change is more likely to be catastrophic than a slight change or a gradual change.

      • No, lolwot. The questions is whether reducing GHG emissions will make any difference to the risk, and if so will it reduce or increase the risk (where risk = impact x probability). That is what the three questions, taken together, are attempting to get people like you to engage in so you may understand why there is such strong reluctance to waste enormous amounts of humanities future prosperity on policies that will probably achieve no benefits.

      • @lolwot
        The issue isn’t whether the climate is more volatile in some certain state, or whether a sudden change to warmer is worse than a sudden change to colder.
        The issue is that a sudden and large change is more likely to be catastrophic than a slight change or a gradual change.

        Neatly ducking the underlying question put to him, ie : will a warmer world make sudden and and large change more likely, or less likely ? .

      • “Neatly ducking the underlying question put to him, ie : will a warmer world make sudden and and large change more likely, or less likely ?”

        But like I said, that misses the point. You are avoiding the fact that the transition we are undergoing to a warmer planet IS sudden and large change.

        Turning something that is happening into a debate about whether it is likely to happen. Neat trick.

      • @lolwot
        “Neatly ducking the underlying question put to him, ie : will a warmer world make sudden and and large change more likely, or less likely ?”
        But like I said, that misses the point. You are avoiding the fact that the transition we are undergoing to a warmer planet IS sudden and large change.

        But like I said, it doesn’t miss the point, it IS the point. The one originally put to you, that you keep ducking.

        Turning something that is happening into a debate about whether it is likely to happen. Neat trick.

        And on top of that, you then try and pretend we know we are transitioning to a warmer planet. A trick, sure. Not so neat though. Standard alarmist deception I guess.

    • Moshpit,

      Have you read the first sentence? You might consider ;putting it into practice yourself. What an improvement that would be, eh?

      • This message was intended for the one person who I thought might enjoy it. I disagree with much of it, but I thought he might like it. For me conversation is a chess game. civilized isnt a word I would use to describe it

      • So, why didn’t you address it to that person, as any courteous person would do?

      • Well that would ruin the fun.
        ============

      • I enjoyed it and agreed with much of it.

      • That would put an end to society as we know it, but it sounds like a good ideal.

        We Denizens are very close to this ideal of conversation. All’s we’d need would be more conversations.

        The main problem see is the effort it takes. Three perceptive comments by Steve Postrel completely soaked me up.

      • Chess game? More like a school cafeteria line. You take whatever is being served up hoping for a food fight. ;o)

    • Mosh, it seems to be Australian Hour at the moment, I’m not sure that your contribution is appropriate for Ocker-land. Perhaps better in European Hour.

    • The sentiments contained in your link are agreed with but as Faustino has said it may have been better to keep out of this for a bit and let us sort a few things out.

      I have much in common with Peter Lang and while his views makes a lot of sense in a general way, there are a few specifics that I am currently questioning him on, but I’m quite open to changing my mind.

    • The King might not entertain such an ideal:

    • For those of us with ADD, conversation is synonymous with torture.

  17. This says it all.

    Gregory Barker is a Conservative ( Right) Minister. This is from a debate in the UK Parliament on the Climate Change Act

    from

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm130910/halltext/130910h0001.htm#13091045000001

    ———————————————————————–
    3.50 pm

    The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Gregory Barker): I am glad to be able to respond to the debate. My hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth (David T. C. Davies) has performed a useful parliamentary service in allowing the issue to be aired. Although profound climate scepticism may be only a minority interest, such sceptics voice a view shared by a number of my constituents and people in the newspapers. It is a view heard on the Clapham omnibus and it is right that we hear such views and debate them in the open. I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Hitchin and Harpenden (Mr Lilley) that a cloying consensus in Parliament does no service to legislation or national debate. However much I profoundly disagree with some of the arguments, it is right that we have the chance to air them in Parliament.

    Steve Baker: We have agreed here that science proceeds by conjecture and refutation, so in an attempt not to have a cloying consensus, will the Minister fund some climate scientists who wish to refute the current thesis?

    Gregory Barker: I am afraid that I do not have a budget for that sort of research.

    ———————————————————————–

  18. AGW is supposed to work by CO2 redirecting some outgoing longwave back to earth; the more CO2 there is, the more comes back to heat earth.

    Has anyone actually separated out and measured the downwelling longwave originating specifically from CO2, and correlated it with CO2 levels ? Or is this just speculation ?

    • That is not how it works. All of the CO2 absorbed outgoing radiation is immediately spread to the surrounding air via kinetic collisions. Increasing CO2 merely increases the time length of the random walk the heat takes getting out to space. Or it would if nothing else happens but a geat many other things may happen, which makes the science very hard.

      • To continue, as part of the increased random walk there may well be increased downward radiation, but it does not come from the initially absorbing CO2 molecule. It could come from any GHG molecule that happens to pick up the increased heat. Mind you this is all very statistical in nature, as the heat does not stay in lumps.

      • David, is there any evidence that the earth simply releases heat into space whenever it needs to and doesn’t hoard it?

      • Sorry M. Hastings, but I do not understand your question. Some of the energy gets out quickly while some never gets out. Nor is it always heat of course. It may change forms many times during its random walk.

    • It is easy to see the downward longwave emission from CO2 by looking at the spectrum. It has a distinct signature.

      • Right Jim D, but most of that downward emission does not come from CO2 absorption and virtually none comes from absorption by the emitting molecule. All of the GHG molecules collect radiation energy, then spread it around thru the atmosphere, where it finally wanders back to some GHG molecules or other and gets emitted. There is no direct connection between absorption and emission, just a statistical one. The energy is very busy in between.

      • The amount of clear-sky emission from CO2 is easily detectable being more than 10% of the total, amounting to 30 W/m2 at a typical location. This emitted and received flux is far from negligible being comparable in size with the global average surface heat flux for example.

    • David Wojick

      So some CO2 molecules (call them group X) absorb longwave, warm up, warming by conduction all surrounding molecules. Of the latter, some are other CO2 molecules (group Y), which then emit longwave in all directions, some of it downwards.

      But if the group Y CO2 molecules can emit, why don’t the group X CO2 molecules just immediately emit ? Why the energy ‘journey’? Can emission only be triggered by energy acquired conductively, not by energy acquired radiatively ?

      • Gina, most of the energy collected by group X is probably eventually emitted by group W, the water molecules, there being so many more of them. Conversely the CO2 molecules will emit energy collected by water molecules. Energy also enters by convection. It is a complex statistical diffusion process.

        My understanding is that the absorbed energy is immediately lost via kinetic collision, not re-emitted, but that is all I know, not why that happens. I do the math not the physics.

      • OK thanks. Which raises a question for Jim D:

        If as David says, most of the the energy absorbed by CO2 molecules is retransmitted by water molecules – ie not by the CO2 molecules themselves – then how can there be a predominant CO2 signature on downwelling longwave ?

    • @Jim D
      The amount of clear-sky emission from CO2 is easily detectable being more than 10% of the total

      10% of what total? The total of all GHGs, including water vapor?

    • There doesn’t seem to be agreement here of how AGW happens, at base level.

      This theme has popped up before. I seem to remember Gates or somebody hammering away that it doesn’t warm the *surface* (as per the “downwelling” argument), but that it warms the *atmosphere*; and that since the oceans are always warmer than the surface atmosphere, and cool into it, this slows cooling of the oceans, which is how the earth ends up warmer.

      (This atmosphere-first idea is of course implies that during the current Pause, no CO2-induced warming can be happening. (Which perhaps explains Gates switching to an ocean-heat tack?)).

      And here we see Jim D still holding to the downwelling argument.

      So no consensus then?

      • Indeed, but we are talking about the greenhous effect not AGW. Just because the greenhouse efftct is real it does not follow that increasing CO2 must increase temperatures. There are a lot of other things going on in the system, including negative feedbacks, that can nullify the potential warming effect of increased CO2. And this seems to have actually happened, hence the debate.

      • Of course it hasn’t happened, the world has warmed. You can’t completely nullify such a large jump in CO2. How do you propose that would work?

      • We certainly do not know the world has warmed of late.
        And David has above outlined the well-known possible reasons for this.
        0 / 2.

      • So Gina you are actually denying global warming (GW). Not the cause of warming but the warming itself.

        And David is denying AGW, imagining that maybe rising CO2 doesn’t cause ANY warming.

        Climate skeptics have moved on guys. Both of you might want to check in on the latest thread where Nic Lewis presents figures such as 1.6C per doubling of CO2. This shows the IPCC attribution statement that over half the warming since 1950 is very likely human caused is correct.

        So please get with the program. Denial of warming and AGW are last century.

      • @lolwot
        So Gina you are actually denying global warming (GW). Not the cause of warming but the warming itself.

        I’m going with what the thermometers say, yes. It’s been called The Pause. You may have heard of it.

        And David is denying AGW, imagining that maybe rising CO2 doesn’t cause ANY warming.

        I think he says it may well be offset by various forces, well known to most, even the most credulous alarmists. If indeed AGW works by warming the atmosphere, and the atmosphere isn’t warming, then it does indeed seem AGW has had no effect of late.

        Climate skeptics have moved on guys.

        Yes, but, despite your fervent prayers, they have not adopted the credulous acceptance on which the consensus rests. So get with the program, knee-jerk rah-rahing for CAGW is so last century.

      • What little AGW we do get is far more likely to be beneficial than detrimental. Look at the last couple of centuries, and the recovery from the depths of the Holocene. Why should the next two degrees be harmful when the last two weren’t? And where would we be now without man’s pitiful contribution to warming?

        Yup, colder, but how much colder?
        ==============

    • “AGW is supposed to work….”

      To start from the beginning: Its been known since the middle of the 19th century that the Earth is warmer than a simple blackbody calculation would suggest by about 33C. The accepted explanation for this, for at least a century, has been that this is due to the presence of GHG’s in the atmosphere.

      Add more GHG’s and the atmosphere will warm by more than 33C. Just how much more is the unresolved question.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The world is a 100 degrees or so warmer than a world without atmosphere. In the bigger picture albedo is the significant variable.

        However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained. The apparent lack of a proximate cause behind the halt in warming post 2001/02 challenges our understanding of the climate system, specifically the physical reasoning and causal links between longer time-scale modes of internal climate variability and the impact of such modes upon global temperature. Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal-scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al., 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.’ ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf

        Just on decadal forecasts of climate shifts.

        ‘”The winds change the ocean currents which in turn affect the climate. In our study, we were able to identify and realistically reproduce the key processes for the two abrupt climate shifts,” says Prof. Latif. “We have taken a major step forward in terms of short-term climate forecasting, especially with regard to the development of global warming. However, we are still miles away from any reliable answers to the question whether the coming winter in Germany will be rather warm or cold.” Prof. Latif cautions against too much optimism regarding short-term regional climate predictions: “Since the reliability of those predictions is still at about 50%, you might as well flip a coin.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

  19. AMS has a silly study out claiming to measure the human induced climate change impact on specific bad weather events:
    http://www.ametsoc.org/2012extremeeventsclimate.pdf

    • Sigh. I thought even the IPCC (Idiotic Practitioners of Climate Canards) had put this to rest for the time being, something to the effect of “not enough evidence.”

      Oh the inanity!

    • “AMS” stands for the American Meteorology Society.

      http://www.ametsoc.org/

      “David Wojick” stands for:

      http://heartland.org/david-wojick-ph-d

      • Correct Willard. The ironic thing is that AMS has a lot of skeptical members, especially weather people, yet they are rabidly pro-CAGW.

      • Willard, I think it’s “Armenians on the March for Serenity”…
        Have to look it up to be sure.

      • Note that my field includes mathematical logic, which includes statistical and probabilistic reasoning, both part of inductive logic. Plus I have studied the climate debate for 21 years. The AMS study is goofy.

      • > My field is mathematical logic [...]

        Sure, and I’m a ninja.

        Fashionable nonsense ain’t restricted to po-mo crap, David Wojick shows again and again.

      • “Sure, and I’m a ninja.”
        Hi Willard,
        And yet nary a peep when the guy who thinks he’s a telescope endlessly and arrogantly appeals to his own authority, while excluding from the discussion anyone he deems academically unqualified, which is just about everyone else on earth.

        As to the paper from the Armenians on the March for Serenity, one doesn’t need an advanced degree to know it’s a bunch of crap. Of course weather is climatically influenced. By definition so. The problem is in defining in any scientifically useful way what is even meant by “human induced climate change.” It can’t be measured. That doesn’t strike you as problematic?

      • Sorry Willard, but it really is true. I am a Ph.D. analytic philosopher (of science) and a logician, trained by some fine logicians at Pitt many years ago. Anderson, Belknap, McCall, Rescher, etc. I do the applied logic of complex issues for a living. See http://www.craigellachie.us/powervision/Mathematics_Philosophy_Science/ENR_cover_story.doc/. Climate change is a truly grand issue.

        Pokerguy: they claim to be able to take an event, such as a heat wave, and say what percentage is due to AGW. It is not hard, simply pick an historical pattern which you define as the natural one and attribute anything that exceeds it as due to AGW. It is nuts but not hard.

      • Gawd he loves him some authority figures. Doesn’t matter if they are nuts.
        =========

      • Willard,
        I wonder what will happen to folks like you on the AGW extreme when this era of alarmist propaganda crashes and burns. Will an ego such as yours be capable of adjusting to that new reality? Best of luck.

    • Hello David,

      Despite Willard’s frantic hand-waving, I had the same reaction that you had to the AMS study. Quite silly indeed and it inspired me to post a parody of it last night but I replaced 2012 with 1912: Splaining Extreme Events of 1912 from a climate perspective in homage to their 2012 version. As I noted last night 1912 was “a year of extremes!”:
      One for the record books, but then, they all are, aren’t they? And I guess that was the point of my exercise.
      As I noted on WUWT I am contemplating creating a parody of the press release and map as a yearly endeavor so I welcome any information regarding candidates for the 1913 version. It’s not like this is going to go away. You know full well (and I’m sure predicted) Karl et al. (2013) will continue their extreme weather meme campaigning for as long as they are allowed. Cheers!

  20. If you put 40 by 40 Km ice shelf iceburg [100 to 200 meters thick] in the path of an eye of hurricane, would it have much effect upon the hurricane?

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Huge effect. Hurricanes derive their energy from the warm ocean surface. If the hurricane somehow came over such a large mass of ice (an unlikely scenario of course) it would weaken greatly, if not dissipate completely.

  21. Climate has followed a regular pattern of warm then cold then warm then cold for ten thousand years inside the same bounds. This is not a good representation of chaos. There is some chaos that goes on in here, but the well bounded data is very much inside the same bounds and not even headed out. There is no reason to believe unskilled models over dependable, repeatable data.

  22. Seems IPCC (Idiotic Practitioners of Climate Catastrophism”) will be dialing back atmospheric sensitivity range in AR5. Nice post by Ridley on WUWT…

    Of course this won’t warrant a mention in the NYT’s, but it now appears that there’s a decent likelihood (I went to the IPCC school of applied statistics) that any warming over the next few generations will be beneficial…

  23. R Gates “If the hurricane somehow came over such a large mass of ice (an unlikely scenario of course) it would weaken greatly, if not dissipate completely.”?
    So there are no Hurricanes/Cyclones at the north pole then. You better tell Neven, he has been blathering on about them all summer [wikipedia Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by names such as hurricane]

    • angtech, This is not strictly pertinent to your query, but you may be interested. At this time of year, hurricanes in the NA can make landfall on the North American coast, near the Arctic cold front. When this happens, the effect of the hurricane is magnified enormously. Hence the devastating effects of Hurricanes Hazel and Sandy. It was not so much the hurricanes that did the damage, but the difference in temperature between the tropical hurricane, and the very cold air behind the Arctic front.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Arctic cyclones are far different in their structure than “warm core” or tropical cyclones, and Neven never “blathers”. You’d do we’ll by studying more and blathering less.

  24. R Gates Also” The climate, like all chaotic systems, does not spontaneously do anything” ????
    If its not spontaneous it must be measured ie ordered. So now chaotic climate is measured and orderly?? get real
    You put some good argument’s up at times but ????

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      You seem to suffer from the mistaken perception that chaotic means random or spontaneous. Chaotic systems are quite deterministic, and they react to real causal factors– those factors are simply so complex that it takes supercomputers to model.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The drivers are better thought of as control variables – the responses are internally generated. Control variables push climate past thresholds which then responds unpredictably as tremendous energies cascade through powerful systems. ‘The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        ‘Nonlinear phenomena characterize all aspects of global change dynamics, from the Earth’s climate system to human decision-making (Gallagher and Appenzeller, 1999). Past records of climate change are perhaps the most frequently cited examples of nonlinear dynamics, especially where certain aspects of climate, e.g., the thermohaline circulation of the North Atlantic ocean, suggest the existence of thresholds, multiple equilibria, and other features that may result in episodes of rapid change (Stocker and Schmittner, 1997).’ http://www.unige.ch/climate/Publications/Beniston/CC2004.pdf

        I am afraid that even supercomputers are not much use here. Apart from anything else the models themselves are chaotic. Predictions with chaotic models is impossible – the best that could be hoped for is probability distributions of future states using perturbed model ensembles.

        “The winds change the ocean currents which in turn affect the climate. In our study, we were able to identify and realistically reproduce the key processes for the two abrupt climate shifts,” says Prof. Latif. “We have taken a major step forward in terms of short-term climate forecasting, especially with regard to the development of global warming. However, we are still miles away from any reliable answers to the question whether the coming winter in Germany will be rather warm or cold.” Prof. Latif cautions against too much optimism regarding short-term regional climate predictions: “Since the reliability of those predictions is still at about 50%, you might as well flip a coin.”

        Spontaneous is not a mathematical term – unless perhaps we are talking spontaneous human combustion.

        The dictionary definition is -

        ‘Performed or occurring without premeditation or external stimulus: “spontaneous applause”.’

        The control variables push the system past thresholds – but the response is entirely spontaneous.

      • “You seem to suffer from the mistaken perception that chaotic means random or spontaneous.”
        True but not suffering at all

        According to The Daily Mail, the IPCC draft report recognized the global warming “pause”, with average temperatures not showing any statistically significant increase since 1997.

  25. Dialing Back the Alarm on Climate Change http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324549004579067532485712464.html

    Reports IPCC to dial back sensitivity in upcoming report.

  26. David Wojick . Increasing CO2 merely increases the time length of the random walk the heat takes getting out to space.
    I agree with the gist of your point. heck, I agree with your point but I don’t
    fully understand.
    I feel heat in equals heat out. The earths temperature, whatever that means at whatever level we want to consider it Is dependent on the makeup of the planet and the atmosphere.
    Whatever the sun puts in goes out at the same time.
    If we were on Pluto,s orbit the seas would be ice even if the atmosphere was 100% CO2. If we were at mercury’s there would be no liquid water on the sunny side.
    So if the earth is radiating back out all the incoming energy, which it does,
    The question is which bits are absorbing and then radiating out the energy and how hot each bit [land, sea and atmosphere] is.
    The atmosphere is hotter with water vapor and CO2 in it but if all the heat is going back out the land and oceans must be colder than they would be with no atmosphere.
    If true there can be no extra heat going into the deep oceans

    • It is not quite that simple Angech. Technically it is energy, which is not always in the form of heat, for example it may be in the form of radiation. But we can call it heat for simplicity. The point is that the heat that comes in, say in a given hour, is not the same heat as goes out in that hour. Nor does it have to be in continuous balance and it is not, though it is usually in rough balance. The heat content of the earth system oscillates on many time scales.

      Every piece of heat that comes in wanders around before it goes out. GHGs lengthen the average path time so there is more heat in the system than there would otherwise be. Think of a bank with people waiting in line. Everyone gets served but the longer the lines the more people in the bank. If there is more heat wandering around waiting to get out the earth is warmer. That is the theory of the greenhouse effect.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        “Every piece of heat that comes in wanders around before it goes out.”

        —-
        If by “wander” you can include energy that only stays in the system for nanoseconds, then this is correct, and of course some stays for millions of years. So solar derived energy is free to “wander” anywhere from nanoseconds to millions of years. A pretty big wandering range!

      • Yes it is quite a range. So? The basic point is that GHGs increase the average wandering time, hence the residence time, of the heat. I have no idea what the distribution of times looks like. I wonder if anyone has estimated it? Pekka might know as I learned a lot of this from him.

      • Increasing CO2 increases the biotic capture and increases the residence time all out of proportion to the CO2 increase. So there.
        ==============

    • If the earth had no atmosphere, but its albedo was still 0.3, its temperature would average 255 K, governed by its sole source of energy being the sun and the fact it rotates and radiates. The fact that it averages 288 K is the insulating effect of the atmosphere. The surface still receives the same sunlight, but the insulation keeps the surface warmer, like a jacket or blanket does.

      • Only metaphorically. Insulation reduces the rate of conduction. That is not how the GH effect works. It is more complex, moreover it depends on conduction of heat between the trace GH molecules and the rest of the atmosphere. If only the GHG molecules warmed there would be no GH effect.

      • I once pursued the thought that warmed air was convected to where outbound radiation was more efficient, and still do occasionally.
        ====================

      • The atmosphere maintains a 33 degree temperature differential for a 240 W/m2 outward flux. This is also the unit by which insulation effectiveness is measured.

      • @David Wojick
        If only the GHG molecules warmed there would be no GH effect.

        So no warming of the atmosphere (as now, with the Pause), means no GHG effect?

        And you discount the downwelling longwave we used to hear so much about, touted as it was as the fundemental GH mechanism?

      • Gina, I am talking about the basic greenhouse effect, not the change that increasing CO2 might or might not bring on. So far as I can tell the CO2 increase has not produced any additional warming. That is, there is no AGW.

        As for downwelling that is one way the random walk gets longer, but it is not the basic mechanism of the greenhouse effect, just part of it. And it includes downwelling from water of course. The more the heat bounces around the longer it takes to get out, on average.

      • But you are saying, as I read you, that if the atmosphere is not warming, then AGW is necessarily not happening? IOW, AGW works by first warming the atmosphere. This would mean the present Pause implies AGW cannot be happening for the last 17 years, even if the GH effect still was.

        This idea is to be contrasted with that of eg Jim D (in earlier posts), which says that it is the downwelling longwave reaching down to the the land and oceans that drives AGW (see eg his claims about radiation with a CO2 signature detected at the surface). This would mean that what the atmospheric temperatures are doing is irrelevant to the detection of AGW, and hence that AGW could still have been happening these last 17 years.

  27. Concerns via Twitter. A gross measure:
    1. Economy
    2. Middle East
    3. Global Warming

    http://topsy.com/analytics?q1=global%20warming&q2=middle%20east&q3=economy&via=Topsy

  28. More about the “leaked” AR5 “draft.”

    “A more immediately relevant measure of likely warming has also come down: “transient climate response” (TCR)—the actual temperature change expected from a doubling of carbon dioxide about 70 years from now, without the delayed effects that come in the next century. The new report will say that this change is “likely” to be 1 to 2.5 degrees Celsius and “extremely unlikely” to be greater than 3 degrees. This again is lower than when last estimated in 2007 (“very likely” warming of 1 to 3 degrees Celsius, based on models, or 1 to 3.5 degrees, based on observational studies).

    Most experts believe that warming of less than 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels will result in no net economic and ecological damage. Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC’s emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083, the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the harm.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324549004579067532485712464.html

    If theIPCC’s political patrons are already so incensed about the SPM’s failure to lie about, I mean address, the “pause”, imagine what will happen when they find this out.

    • This is where it will be important to separate global sensitivity into land and ocean ones. The land sensitivity based on the last 30 years is twice the ocean one, so what looks like a 2 C warming globally could be up to 4 C over land.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The difference is water availability and changes in lapse rates. It is of course different in different places. The difference in warming – if it warms – should decline as more water is evaporated.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Mr. Ridley should get his facts straight. In the WSJ article he stated:

      “Moreover, ocean heat uptake has been slowing over the past eight years.”

      —–
      This is completely false and if anything it has accelerated, going from about 0.5 x 10^22 Joules per year up to about 0.8 x 10^22 Joules.

  29. This isn’t as much of a topic as a question. I have read Steve McIntyre for years, and think he has valid complaints about methods as well as data. So let’s take that as a given, major paleo studies are tainted by bad data and methods.

    If that’s correct, I’m wondering why some enterprising young grad student or paleo scientist has not rerun the blockbuster reconstructions without the questionable data sets (there are a number of them), and without the questionable statistical methods.

    The purpose of the scientific method is to create experiments that can be recreated, and it seems reasonable that ought to include the getting rid of questionable data-sets and removing known bad methods. If the results are the same, then great, truth has been added to the process. If not, then also truth has been added to the process.

    It would seem to me there ought to be enough enterprising scientists or grad students willing to do this. So, why hasn’t it happened?

  30. Bob Tisdale on amongst other things, Ocean Heat Content and ARGO:

    The data from around 1950 seems a bit ethereal. It improves slowly and then in this century, ARGO data starts to be gathered.

    If the Ocean heat content is roughly 1000 times the Atmosphere’s we’d have:
    1/1000 C = 1.0 C.
    I’ll buy that you can measure 1/1000 C with a large sample size, for instance measuring a bunch of 1/10 C changes and then averaging everything.
    Say we are missing a ½ C from the Atmosphere.
    Then we can look in the Oceans and say here it is, 1/2000 C. Right here.
    Then we might ask, can the deep Oceans move that 1/2000 C from where we can’t see it to where we can?
    At this time do we say, we don’t know yet?

    • The above link isn’t going to work, it’s this one:

      The Natural Warming of the Global Oceans – Part 2 Tisdale youtube

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Unfortunately Bob T. Is peddling more of his psychotropic
      Tisdale Cherries, carefully handpicked by Bob himself and guaranteed to make you see alternate realities.

      • One of the things he said was pretty good, can’t remember if it was in part 1 or 2. The climate escalator. Arguing that El Nino can be a step up, generally followed by a slow decline until the next Major El Nino. He really seems to know ENSO. So he asks if CO2 can cause these step ups? Something like that. Another interesting point I learned, part 1 or 2 again: Something like the warm ENSO pool is kept in place by positive feedback. That such a significant thing relies on positive feedback, and that of course the feedback falls apart and we get an El Nino.

  31. External forcing means energy coming into a system. A Milankivitch cycle is only a term to describe more heat coming in to the earth from the sun when it is closer to the earth. The sun can also get warmer giving more heat.
    Volcanoes are interesting, basically the earth has energy from its natural heat production.
    There is a tiny amount of background energy from space.
    That’s it. That’s all folks.
    Greenhouse gases (water vapor mainly) do not add any energy to the system. They do not produce energy.
    Hence they cannot be an external forcing.
    The air gets colder at night generally but pockets of heat and cold, high and low pressure systems move and mix the energy in the system around but do not manufacture new energy.
    All energy in goes out.

    • That is a very restricted view of external forcing because then only solar and albedo changes may be considered external. And if we only cared about the top of the atmosphere that would be it. But, because we care about the surface temperature, other things govern that including the atmospheric composition. So external forcing refers to things that affect the surface temperature. They are external controls on the surface temperature.

      • No JimD, it means you, and the climate science field, don’t know how to use standard terms; so internal/external, equilibrium, positive/negative feedback and local all mean different things in climate science than in the rest of science.

      • It is engineers who seem to think a positive feedback is always a runaway process, when in climate there is a difference between an amplification and a runaway. Perhaps it is a little too subtle for them to distinguish these, but it is a source of a lot of blog confusion.

      • JimD, “It is engineers who seem to think a positive feedback is always a runaway process,”

        Wasn’t it James Hansen that went on about boiling oceans and at 35 C wet bulb all die?

      • There may be a critical temperature, but I doubt he said it was 35 C, since he knows we have been warmer than that in previous eras.

      • JimD, wet bulb, 35 C wet bulb where humans can’t evaporatively cool the 100 Watts of metabolic energy needed to prevent over heating. He also mused about coal trains of death and tempests in teapot domes. Quite a character.

      • He shows promise, but the rhythm, oh, it’s a travesty that he can’t get the beat right.
        ========

      • captd, so you are referring to a runaway feedback of a wet bulb 35 C in the human body? Yes, sounds tough to handle.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Sustained 35°C wet-bulb is fatal … as China learned this summer?

        Yikes.

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}&bg=ccffdd&fg=0055ff&s=2$

      • @Jim D
        It is engineers who seem to think a positive feedback is always a runaway process, when in climate there is a difference between an amplification and a runaway. Perhaps it is a little too subtle for them to distinguish these

        Oh yes, a well-known and widespread problem this – the inability of engineers to understand the subtleties lies of positive feedbacks. Some problem with their training I suspect; they should learn from the experts on the topic – climate scientists.

  32. On mismatches between models and observations

    “… the ensemble mean global mean temperatures diverging from HadCRUT4 ”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/on-mismatches-between-models-and-observations/#more-15652

  33. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Phoenix Glacier relic ice

    I’m in South Greenland drilling low tech metal pipes into the ice to calibrate high tech satellite, aircraft, and model data.

    Flying over this landscape, it’s stunning how much the ice has retreated. Annual (let alone summer) average air temperatures at nearby Narsarsuaq have been above the melting point 39 of the past 51 years,

    —————
    Shanghai Still Broiling
    as Deadly, Relentless Heat Wave Grips China

    Shanghai, China’s largest city, has broken its previous all-time record high multiple times, starting with a high of 105.1ºF (40.6ºC) on July 25, surpassing the old record of 104.4ºF (40.2ºC) that had stood since 1942. A second wave of unprecedented heat began Aug. 6, with a four-day string of temperatures equaling or exceeding the old 1942 record, including a new all-time record of 105.4ºF (40.8ºC) on Aug. 7.

    Conclusion Among both professional scientists and regular citizens, climate-change denialism has pretty much zero credibility left.

    Yet there still exists a remnant cohort of zealot denialists, eh?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • 1942? OK, you can’t see though all your fluff.
      =====

      • Fershur, how many gigatons of CO2 did it take to meet or exceed a 70 year old record? Take a deep breath, and think for once, fan.
        ================

      • you have to ask how will records be broken in a warmer world. The answer is not that every location will suddenly break all high records, but more and more locations will break longer and longer records. Ie frequency increase. While there were records in various locations in the past, more records are being broken in recent years in more places.

      • There seems to have been a warming trend; the question is attribution.
        ==============

    • Fan,

      you’ve finally hit on a topic you know something about

      Zero credibility .

    • @Fan of More BS
      Among both professional scientists and regular citizens, climate-change denialism has pretty much zero credibility left.

      So government climate science shills agree with their own conclusions. Truly amazing.

      And one citizen’s observation of one high temperature, shows the global general public still buy into cagw alarmism. Most meaningful data indeed.

  34. New Animations

    There’s so much attention focused on anomalies in the solar/climate discussion that sometimes newcomers forget that ENSO is just a small thing that rides on a big thing called the terrestrial year.

    In the past I shared a bunch of annnual cycle climatology map animations. The files were large and the format was “.apng”, which doesn’t run on all browsers. To ease reach to a wider audience, I’ve slimmed the images down to “.gif” and piled groups of variables into each animation (instead of just 1).

    Ocean & atmosphere are coupled, as are temperature, mass, & velocity. The aim is to visually aid awareness of multivariately coupled circulatory topology that pulses spatially as well as temporally with the solar cycle, having inescapable implications that are apparently rather unintuitive for mainstreamers who don’t adequately appreciate the role of wind in ocean evaporation, currents, welling, ice-transport, & mixing more generally.

    5 new climate animations:

    1. sun, temperature, & wind
    climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation: visualizing & understanding terrestrial 200hPa semiannual midlatitude westerly winds = mean terrestrial jet streams

    2. sun, temperature, wind, & ozone
    climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation: equator-pole insolation & temperatue gradients, semiannual midlatitude westerly winds = westerlies = mean jet streams, & ozone

    3. pressure, wind, waves, & gyres
    climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation: visualizing & understanding coherence of terrestrial surface pressure, wind, waves, & currents (ocean gyres)

    4. water = hydrology
    climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation: multivariate hydrology in the context of sunlight, temperature, pressure, wind, & welling

    5. cloud cover
    climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation: low, mid level, high, & total cloud cover

    Credits:
    a) The ocean significant wave height (SWH) climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animation was assembled using Australian Department of Defence images developed from data provided by the GlobWave Project
    b) All other climatology attractor (average annual cycle) map animations have been assembled using JRA-25 Atlas images. JRA-25 long-term reanalysis is a collaboration of Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) & Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI).

    These new animations are strategic supplements to help everyone understand solar Schwabe modulation of annually cycling terrestrial insolation (heat engine) gradients. I’m drafting a concise extension of the STC101 article to address ozone & hurricanes.

    NB: Solar-terrestrial-climate attractor observations are robust against:

    1) switching summary methods.
    2) changing the resolution of sunspot data (e.g. from monthly to annual).
    3) substituting daily atmospheric angular momentum data for daily length of day data.
    4) substituting the famously “ironed flat” TSI reconstruction for sunspot numbers.
    5) converting sunspot numbers to simple “low” (-1) & “high” (+1) values.
    (The proposed comparatively tiny adjustments to sunspot numbers also have no effect.)

    #5 is the clincher that underscores the physical importance of frequency shift.

  35. Albedo would not qualify as an external forcing to me as again the albedo does not put any energy into the system. The external forcing is still the sun, not the albedo or its effect.

    • The sun? Oh, please, kiddo, it’s way to far away to have any effect, and besides, all of its manifestations are just as steady as a rock.
      =====================================

      • ‘too far way’. Way way way too far far far, away.
        ==

      • Just as steady, Eddie, as a rock rock rock.
        ================

      • Elementary diagnostics reveal that narrative to be a dud kim. Venting is controlled by gradients. Cease with obfuscation. The 0.1K per solar cycle narrative is vile, patently reprehensible BS. When tested diagnostically it fails catastrophically. It leaves PURELY SYSTEMATIC residuals (as clear as 1+1=2 — i.e. mathematical proof) so the ONLY sensible option is to outright dismiss it. Know when to abandon a stillborn. You need a new narrative. The one you’re pushing is ONLY political. You can’t defend it with observations. On the contrary: Observations RAZE the narrative, leaving nothing but nakedly exposed politics.

    • External forcing refers to the cause being external.

      A change in greenhouse gas levels caused by man is an external forcing because that change in greenhouse gas levels was due to a cause external to the climate system.

      A change in greenhouse gas levels due to ocean warming on the otherhand is a cause internal to the climate system and so is a feedback.

  36. Happy pipe dreams Webby did you notice the local current summer South Greenland temp today and the last week? Was it unprecedented hot there as well ? Or even just hot or hot for this time of year or???
    Please fill us in
    Please tell me it wasn’t colder than average just right now?

    • hmm on the subject of weather i think I heard greenland reported it’s highest daily temperature since 1958 this summer.

      • The question was (repeat) did you notice the local current summer South GReenland temp today and last week? Care to fill us in since you are taking such close notice?
        Well?? Hotter or colder than average?
        I don’t know but I’ll make a guess
        If you won’t say it must be colder than average.
        Are you really in Greenland?
        Like ” heard” if you we’re there wouldn’t you say experienced or felt

  37. Judith,

    As your next web-server-related project, could you please find a way for us to mark certain commentors to be ignored? Our two favorite trolls are out in force, filling most every thread with ridiculous (and long) postings that make it painful to follow threads anymore.

  38. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Is this the biggest “OPEN THREAD” story ever to be posted on Climate Etc … or any other climate-change forum?

    China Falls Under Suspicion
    of Covering Up Deaths
    as Ocean Heat Dome Expands
    to Blanket Korea and Japan

    On Sunday, an extreme heat pulse sent thermometers soaring to 109 degrees Fahrenheit in the city of Shengxian — its hottest temperature ever recorded and a scorching 32.3 degree wet bulb temperature. Meanwhile, on the same day, Hangzhou had hit a new all time record high temperature of 105.8 degrees Fahrenheit, the twelfth time since July 24th that Hangzhou has tied or broken its old all time temperature record which, in some cases, was set just the day before.

    High heat and humidity of this kind is deadly to humans because as temperatures approach 35 degree C wet bulb readings, it is nearly impossible for the human body to carry away the excess heat it generates through evaporation.

    Never has a wet bulb temperature of 35 degrees C been recorded by humans.

    Climate scientists such as James Hansen have asserted that it’s just a matter of time under the current regime of human-caused warming before we hit that ominous mark.

    Urgent Questions  Have thousands died this summer in China?

    From the greatest climate-change disaster in history?

    A disaster that James Hansen and colleagues scientifically foresaw in-detail?

    Has there been a massive cover-up of this climate-change reality?

    Does this disaster portent the end of climate-change denialism?

    Conclusion  China no longer has any climate-change deniers.

    That’s the sobering reality of climate-change, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Ocean – dog.
      Atmosphere – tail.
      Tale told.

    • Fan:
      “Conclusion China no longer has any climate-change deniers.”
      There are no athiests in foxholes.

    • So, FOMBS wants us to believe 100 F set a bill board afire? You’ve been hanging out with Algore too long!

    • In case anyone missed it, FOMBS reports that thousands have died in China this summer. Wow. And that all Chinese know this was caused by global warming, even though the temperature there hasn’t budged for 16+ years. So clever, those 1.4 billion Chinese, they all know exactly how suspected miniscule warming of the deep ocean is killing off their loved ones.
      We grateful CE denizens look eagerly forward to FOMBS uncovering more climate coverups.

    • FAN,

      Have you considered getting medical attention to treat your disorder? Or are you still in the denial phase?

    • You just had to work Hansen in there, didn’t you?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Harold notes “You just had to work Hansen in there, didn’t you?”

      The original story credits Hansen

      Chinese culture is millennia-old … perhaps that is why China finds Hansen’s multigenerational scientific foresight to be congenial?

      It that why — this week! — China is expanding its partnership with California to combat climate change

      That would make excellent scientific and economic common-sense, eh Harold?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • There is something just too precious in seeing fan citing the People’s Daily in support of his latest political screed. It’s good to know fan spends so much time perusing the literary works of the Central Committee of the People’s Republic of China.

        I would ask a question about the source of fan’s funding, but I don’t really care.

        Hey fan, is that poster of Che Guevara from your dorm room wall now hanging in your office?

      • Oh joy, another climate expose by FOMBS

        Chinese culture is millennia-old … perhaps that is why China finds Hansen’s multigenerational scientific foresight to be congenial?

        So that’s the secret. Tack on “foresight” issue, and those dumb old-worlders will buy any old snake oil.

        It that why — this week! — China is expanding its partnership with California to combat climate change

        Yes, and their modern-day throwbacks too.

      • Sorry, that should read the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China. My apologies to fan for the error in not properly citing his muse.

      • He seems educated at the same School of Medicine as Che.
        ===============

  39. In recent years, a high positive SAM has dominated during autumn–winter, and has been a significant contributor to the ‘big dry’ observed in southern Australia from 1997 to 2010.

    Positive SAM: Band of westerly winds contracts toward Antarctica.

    The SAM index:
    http://www.lasg.ac.cn/staff/ljp/data-NAM-SAM-NAO/SAM%28AAO%29.htm
    Is it leading?

  40. So it that the Circumpolar current speeds up and throws off more eddies, and those eddies pull heat South and push cold North?

  41. I am not a scientist but a humble technician, I have worked with computer modelling all my life, in engineering for road and traffic design, in the aircraft industry for design and manufacturing, oil exploration and finally in climate modelling. No criticism of my work until climate modelling then so many people feel free to criticize about unknowns, corrupt data etc.. I am newly retired and very angry at all the people who think they know better and are superior. Yes computer models are not perfect, but do not snub everything they predict because they have built the bridges and engineering that you rely on. You criticize every little detail, you publish criticism of the IPCC by non qualified scientific people – what is the matter with you people, can you not see what is happening ????

    • Yup, rsl, the globe is cooling, for how long even kim doesn’t know.
      ===============

    • Oh we can certainly see what is going on, redskylite.

      But the problem isn’t that the experts don’t know a lot. The problem is that they have zero integrity and credibility; they are utterly corrupt and politicized; that is the elephant in the room here that the standard view fails to mention.

      It’s like the case of the mass-murdering UK doctor Harold Shipman, who murdered maybe 200 of his elderly patients with drugs. Noone ever questioned his medical expertise. It was a question of what his objective was, and what he did with it. The IPCC is the Harold Shipman of Climate.

    • “Yes computer models are not perfect, but do not snub everything they predict because they have built the bridges and engineering that you rely on.”

      My stapler works great at attaching papers to one another. I would not, however, use it to close a chest cavity after open heart surgery.

    • rsl screams in fear and loathing, but is too naive to distinguish the validated and verified models that build bridges from the sadly inadequate GCMs.

      Look at it this way, the IPCC built a bridge to the future, and a lazy day’s summer breeze has brought it down.
      ========================

    • redsky:
      Sometimes the models do support the skeptics side. There was a recent paper as I recall dealing with ENSO forcing and how well it all worked, They have their uses, and are being used. A problem I think is the magnitue of the question:
      http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/perpetual-ocean.html#.UjXkTX-PxyE
      Capturing all those eddies, along with other information, and then saying, this is the result a year from now.

    • If the computer models we use to design bridges were as skillful as climate models we wouldn’t be designing bridges with computer models.

      What the hell is the matter with you people who can’t abandon models that demonstrably don’t work?

  42. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Redskylite, you have many-and-strengthening allies among both foresighted citizens and foresighted nations

    Thank you, redskylite!

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  43. redskylite

    You ask can we not see what is happening? Well, yes we can

    This was originally for Iolwot who refuses to believe the evidence of his own eyes that there is a ‘pause’ even though he posted a recent graph that showed this. This from the Met Office web site dated 13 August 2013;

    ‘The Met Office Hadley Centre has written three reports that address the recent pause in global warming and seek to answer the following questions’
    The reports are available from the link below;

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/recent-pause-in-warming

    tonyb

  44. “One common property of emergent phenomena is that they are flow systems which are far from equilibrium. As a result, they need to evolve and change in order to survive. They are mobile and mutable, not fixed and unchanging. And locally (but of course not globally) they can reverse entropy (organize the local environment). Indeed, another name for emergent phenomena is “self-organized phenomena”.” – Willis Eschenbach
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/07/emergent-climate-phenomena/

    Gaia is a difficult horse to break.

    One of his points the way I read it is sensitivity is not one value. And in the course of a day will bounce all over the place, and that is not the more common assumption of what it is.

  45. Speculation is not an industry. It has not worked for bankers around the world. Nor will the same business model prove profitable for AGW scientists. But it is the track that they liked to walk and at some point in time will need to pay a price for their risks.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323981304579077442028100408.html?mod=WSJ_LatestHeadlines

    It goes around.

  46. David Springer

    captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 | September 14, 2013 at 9:14 pm |

    “Earth climate appears to have two strange attractors which base on tropical SST are separated by about 4 degrees.”

    I don’t find them strange at all. They are linked to the drastically different albedos of ice and clouds versus ocean. Positive feedbacks drive the state changes. Ice begets more ice and ocean begets more ocean. If it weren’t for clouds capping the positive feedback high albedo ice turning into low albedo ocean we’d boil in our own juices. And if it weren’t for volcanoes belching CO2 and dark ashes snowball earth would be its final resting place.

  47. @captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 | September 14, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    Earth climate appears to have two strange attractors
    ***********************
    If we know what they are, they should be mappable, just like the Lorentz attractor. Has anyone mapped them?

  48. Chief seem to be saying that throwing research money at renewables will guarantee they become economical. Which noone can possibly know. Even assuming fossil stands still.

  49. The North Dakota Industrial Commission of the Department of Mineral Resources said 9,322 wells were in production in July, an all-time high, and nearly all were targeting the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

    Lynn Helms, director of the NDIC, said the rig count decreased from June to July but the number of wells completed increased from 102 to 251, leading to an increase in oil production in the state.

    The NDIC said July oil production was 108,258 barrels per day, a record high. A record for natural gas production was set at 970 million cubic feet per day.

    http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2013/09/16/North-Dakota-sets-oil-gas-production-highs/UPI-26971379328776/?spt=hs&or=er

  50. What’s up with the Mauna Loa CO2? September 13 mean at 387.25 ppm?
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html

  51. U.S. Could Be World’s Largest Crude Oil Producer By 2014 On Surging Output
    Sep 16 2013, 15:52
    By Sumit Roy

    Crude oil production in the United States surged to 7.745 million barrels per day last week, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration. That has output at the highest level since 1989, and at more than 20% above the year-ago level.

    If production rises another 20% in 2014, the U.S. could challenge Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest crude oil producer. According to the EIA, both countries are currently producing just below 10 million barrels per day. But, regardless, of whether the U.S. takes the No. 1 spot in 2014, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that it will do so at some point in the next few years.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1696942-u-s-could-be-worlds-largest-crude-oil-producer-by-2014-on-surging-output

  52. China: A Vital Partner in Combating Climate Change

    The good news is the Chinese government is acting to address the challenge on an equally massive scale. It has pledged to reduce its carbon intensity by 40-45 percent by 2020 compared to 2005 levels, and to increase its non-fossil fuel-based energy consumption to 15 percent by 2020.

    China now leads the world in small hydropower development and in wind capacity, which has doubled every year since 2005 and reached 61 gigawatts in 2012. Its renewable energy consumption between 1990 and 2010 was as high as all European countries combined.

    The World Bank Group is supporting China’s efforts to do more. Yesterday, I signed a memorandum of understanding with the chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission to expand cooperation in the areas of climate change, clean energy, reduction of traffic jams and air pollution, and improved flood risk management.
    http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/opinion/2013/09/16/china-a-vital-partner-in-combating-climate-change