Can science fix climate change?

by Judith Curry

Global warming is irreversible without massive geoengineering of the atmosphere’s chemistry. – Fred Pearce

This topic landed on my radar screen this morning with a tweet that announced a forthcoming book from Mike Hulme: From Mike Hulme’s web site:

(23 September 2013)  ‘Can science fix climate change?‘  I have just submitted my full manuscript of this new book title to Polity Press.  The book argues against the research and deployment of large-scale sunlight reflection methods, especially stratospheric aerosol injection, as a response to climate change.  The book will appear in the New Year as part of their New Human Frontiers series.  Here is a brief summary:

“In this book I outline the reasons why I believe this particular climate fix—creating a thermostat for the planet–is undesirable, ungovernable and unreliable.  It is undesirable because regulating global temperature is not the same thing as controlling local weather and climate.  It is ungovernablebecause there is no plausible and legitimate process for deciding who sets the world’s temperature.  And it is unreliable because of the law of unintended consequences: deliberate intervention with the atmosphere on a global-scale will lead to unpredictable, dangerous and contentious outcomes.  I make my position clear: I do not wish to live in this brave new climate-controlled world.  In Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel ‘Brave New World’, his ironic Utopia was brought about by totalitarian engineering of the human subject–‘Yes, everybody’s happy now’.  For those promoting the virtues of designer climates the equivalent pathological Utopia would be brought about by totalitarian engineering of the planet.”

IMO, Mike Hulme is one of the most interesting voices in the climate debate.  On this particular topic, I am with him 100%, and I certainly look forward to reading his new book.

Well, so far my attention has been focused on AR5 WG1.  Will the biggest changes in the AR5 relative to AR4 be coming from the WGIII Report?.  New Scientist has an article by Fred Pearce ‘World won’t cool without geoengineering, warns report‘.  Excerpts:

Global warming is irreversible without massive geoengineering of the atmosphere’s chemistry. This stark warning comes from the draft summary of the latest climate assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Delegates from national governments are discussing the draft this week, prior to its release on Friday morning.

According to one of its lead authors, and the latest draft seen by New Scientist, the report will say: “CO2-induced warming is projected to remain approximately constant for many centuries following a complete cessation of emission. A large fraction of climate change is thus irreversible on a human timescale, except if net anthropogenic CO2 emissions were strongly negative over a sustained period.”

In other words, even if all the world ran on carbon-free energy and deforestation ceased, the only way of lowering temperatures would be todevise a scheme for sucking hundreds of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

The draft report says the available evidence now suggests that above a certain threshold of warming, the Greenland ice sheet will almost disappear within approximately 1000 years, which will result in 7 metres of global sea-level rise. It estimates that the threshold may lie between 1 °C and 4 °C of warming, but is not confident of this figure.

My reaction to reading the title of this article can be summed up in two words: ‘insane’ and ‘megalomania.’  Upon actually reading the text, it seems that this is Fred Pearce’s inference based upon come of the conclusions from the WG1 SPM, and no clues are really provided regarding WGIII.

JC message to IPCC:  Once you sort out the uncertainty in climate sensitivity estimates and fix your climate models, let us know.  Then please do the hard work of understanding regional vulnerability to climate variability and change before you tell us what constitutes  ‘dangerous’ climate change.  And let us know if you come up with any solutions to this ‘problem’ that aren’t worse than the potential problem itself.

277 responses to “Can science fix climate change?

  1. Willis Eschenbach

    Global warming is irreversible without massive geoengineering of the atmosphere’s chemistry.

    – Fred Pearce

    Hogwash. Despite rising levels of CO2, the planet cooled from 1940 to 1970. Those who ignore history are doomed to be … laughed at.

    w.

    • Rob Johnson-Taylor

      If only that were true!
      The Global Warming coterie in large numbers have developed a mob mentality

    • Willis: that’s massive Spin Engineering we’re talking about here….

    • So Willis are you claiming rising CO2 doesn’t cause warming?

      Come on cut the denial.

    • Curious George

      Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It should cause warming. Where is the warming?

    • Willis Eschenbach

      lolwot | September 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      So Willis are you claiming rising CO2 doesn’t cause warming?

      Come on cut the denial.

      I’m not “claiming” anything. I’m stating a fact. The climate cooled from the forties to the seventies, despite rising CO2.

      As a result, the claim that warming is “irreversible” is contradicted by the evidence.

      w.

    • And while we’re laughing:

      http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2013/8/11/what-climate-skeptics-have-in-common-with-believers-a-stubbo.html#comments

      A thread at Dan Kahan’s, where Willis is absolutely certain that Dan used a screenname as a “sock puppet” to fool readers (a “sock puppet” that just coincidentally happened to contain Dan’s initials).

      It couldn’t possibly be that Willis formulated a mistaken conclusion because he made a stupid mistake. Nah, that’s not possible….

    • It’s a gotcha, then? Cat, as my mum used to say, got your tongue?

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Joshua | September 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

      A thread at Dan Kahan’s, where Willis is absolutely certain that Dan used a screenname as a “sock puppet” to fool readers (a “sock puppet” that just coincidentally happened to contain Dan’s initials).

      It couldn’t possibly be that Willis formulated a mistaken conclusion because he made a stupid mistake. Nah, that’s not possible….

      I did make a mistake, Joshua, and I encourage people to read the link. The mistake I made was in assuming that the owner of a site wouldn’t be using a sockpuppet on their own site. I thought it might actually be your sockpuppet, if you recall. But I was completely fooled by Dan … in part because when I asked “what’s going on here” he perpetuated the hoax, rather than saying “it’s me posting under another name”.

      Yes, I was fooled, Joshua … and call me crazy, but I know of no other site owner who posts as a sockpuppet on his own site and doesn’t explain when asked. Judith doesn’t post under a separate Richard Windsor identity, nor does Anthony, nor Steve M, nobody does that. So is it a surprise I was fooled?

      No … but it’s a surprise Dan is fooling people, and I for one will not trust a word he says in future.

      w.

      PS—Your stalker’s fixation with me and my actions is kinda creepy. What does what happened at Dan’s site have to do with the current discussion? You don’t discuss my ideas, it’s just another of your endless ad hominem attacks …

    • Despite rising levels of CO2, the planet cooled from 1940 to 1970.

      Thanks to a lot of pollution. Should we keep the planet polluted in order to hold down warming?

    • There was more to it than just pollution. Not that pollution is good or anything, but the dramatic drop in SST circa 1942 for what ever reason was not likely due to war time pollution. I believe the models are having to take a harder look at aerosols and solar because of the current divergence.

    • Chief Hydrologist

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

    • A significant problem with climate science theory and thus the climate models is the question of cause and effect. The models see the ocean oscillations not as oscillations but as a response to the forcings. As a result the models try and fit random events such as volcanoes and human activity to match the oscillations, which destroys the predictive ability of he models.

      A similar situation would be to look at the average temperature of the earth over 1 year (temperature not anomaly). It oscillates slightly due to the differential land mass in the northern and southern hemisphere. CO2 levels display a similar annual oscillation. Now try and predict next years temperature from the CO2 oscillation. You will get garbage, because the temperature oscillation and the CO2 oscillation both result from the tilt of the earth’s axis and the differential land mass in the N and S hemisphere’s.

    • Fred Burper,
      The noise is just noise and can be removed to see the underlying trend, which will be there as long as we continue to do what we have been doing
      http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/3476/ejab.gif

    • I thought CO2 was a pollutant. Perhaps you need to devote your energies to the EPA and correct their error.

    • Willis E is essentially inept as a scientist. He had a post recently at WUWT where he was trying to deny volcanic disturbances as a forcing function. He forgot to remove the natural fluctuations from the global temperature signal, so that the transient suppressions due to volcanic particulates can be observed.

      It is amazing how well the Southern Oscillation Index (from NCAR) fits the natural fluctuations of a temperature record such as GISS, and only shows deviations in recent years during the big volcanic disturbances.
      http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/3476/ejab.gif

      From this one index and the sporadic volcano data which temporarily suppresses the temperature, all natural variability seems to be accounted for and all that is left is an upward warming trend.

      Now I understand why Stefan and Tamino’s work is so straightforwardly practical. This is why Kanaka and Xie’s recent work is so important.

      The SOI is one of those noise sources that has an extremely strong reversion to the mean, showing barely any deviation from time stationarity over the decades:
      http://imageshack.us/a/img28/3729/ky65.gif
      The SOI signal is stationary over decades as it shows very little trend.

      If there is another variation that is of longer period than the ENSO, I don’t see it.

      This is so easy to do that others have applied simple 2-box models using the SOI as a noise compensation to get a better fit to the global temperature records. Some terrific looking model fits include the following:
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/two_box_enso.png
      and
      http://images.sodahead.com/profiles/0/0/2/0/7/6/2/8/5/2bmvsgissrsquared-117883512421.png

      These are taken from this recent discussion at SkS:
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/pacific-ocean-global-warming-puzzle-Kosaka-Xie.html

      I think we are getting close to the point that the SOI can be used to automatically remove the pseudo-oscillatory ocean noise.

    • The proof is in the pudding. If a theory has been able to successfully predict the future, it may be correct. If it has failed to predict the future, it is without a doubt wrong. GCM’s have without exception fallen into the second category.

      The notion that science can predict the future from first principles is inherently wrong. You cannot “average” probabilities and arrive at a meaningful result for the future. The future is not an average.

      The success of tidal prediction demonstrates how to predict the future. It is not done using first principles. First principles are not able to model the complexity. Instead we use the same techniques that early humans used to predict the coming seasons.

      If you look at climate over the past few million years it is quite obvious that the behavior of the climate system is cyclical. Complex but cyclical. Temperature oscillates in a fashion that is quite different from noise. Our current interglacial is only one of a series of similar climate oscillations.

      So to understand natural variability you must first be able to predict this oscillation. Something that is quite beyond the current capabilities of climate science, because they are still tied to the notion that climate oscillations do not exist.

      The notion that an oscillation will respond linearly to a forcing is complete nonsense. Think of a pendulum. The exact same forcing may increase or decrease the amplitude of the pendulum, depending on where in the cycle the forcing is applied. If you don’t know the position of the pendulum in its cycle you cannot predict the effect of the forcing.

    • Having done an archaeological degree and looked at the (non) evidence for Kelts in Scotland … which history do you mean? That of the establishment academics who tell us that Scotland was full of Kelts, or that of the Roman writers and modern sceptics who tell us that the Kelts were a minor tribe amongst the Gauls in France and that there were no Kelts in Britain.

    • You may find this interesting,

      Who is Willis Eschenbach?

      As of 2012 Mr. Eschenbach has been employed as a House Carpenter.

      He is not a “computer modeler”, he is not an “engineer” and he is certainly not a “scientist” (despite all ridiculous claims to the contrary).

      “A final question, one asked on Judith Curry’s blog a year ago by a real scientist, Willis Eschenbach…”

    • Whatever Willis is – and he’s had a pretty varied life – he often makes good points which advance understanding. He can be a bit touchy at times, though, perhaps best if he doesn’t see your post.

    • Read further about his misrepresentations as an engineer, scientist and computer modeler.

  2. “The book argues against the research and deployment of large-scale sunlight reflection methods, especially stratospheric aerosol injection, as a response to climate change.” Professor Curry, do you believe this sort of geoengineering, often referred to as “Chemtrails”, is happening on any scale today? Some are quite convinced; I have been a bit skeptical but realize that the govt is willing to do most anything….

  3. “the Greenland ice sheet will almost disappear within approximately 1000 years, which will result in 7 metres of global sea-level rise”.

    The average age of a house in the USA is about 30 years.

  4. I can see Dr. Curry is in full topic expansion rather than deal with the primary question;

    “Why doesn’t Dr. Curry denounce the IPCC and the agenda it represents as politically corrupt and call for it to be defunded and abandoned?
    Explaining that the corruption is based of Green Left and state needs to regulate carbon interests.”

    The evidence of this is very clear and now just days before another cooked report is presented would be a good opportunity to come clean. 25 Years ago would have been better but you have to look forward.

    The above article is pregnant with warming presumptions and is worthless.

  5. We haven’t even properly defined the Global Warming “Problem” yet and most climate scientists think they know how to solve the “Problem”. The Obama Administration thinks (or are trying to make us think) they are “solving the problem” with unilateral USA CO2 emissions control with a long pipeline of new proposed regulations and highly questionable Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) calculation methodology which has not had the required by law public comment period or independent scientific peer review. This is madness that Professional Engineers who are so loose with the facts and un-validated models could be expected to be slapped with malpractice liability suits.

    A Problem needs to be defined in terms of a harmful deviation from the norm that has already occurred. I don’t believe anyone has made the case that current global warming, including the last 15 year “pause” is a harmful deviation from the norm of the last 10,000 years of very stable climate compared to prior history. (A Potential Problem is more like what we are actually dealing with and has a different action plan than mitigating a problem for which Root Cause is actually known.) The Problem also needs to be specified in terms of What?, Where?, When? and How Much? IS the Problem occurring and the IS NOT occurring answers to the same 4 questions. Assembling the data to answer all of these IS and IS NOT questions should provide the data pattern required to determine Root Cause of the harmful deviation from the norm.

    We don’t have a “Global Warming” problem because the earth’s surface is not warming uniformly everywhere. The temperature record of the Continental USA does not reveal any harmful deviation from a norm. We need to define a harmful deviation from the norm in at least one location to specify a Problem. If we can define the Problem for a large number of locations, then we might be able to claim we have a global warming problem, but let’s focus on defining where we currently have an earth surface warming situation that is actually a harmful deviation from normal. I haven’t been able to specify such a location yet.

    I have concerns about Greenland getting too warm and losing net ice mass to cause a harmful, rapid sea level rise, but this has not happened yet. What one may decide to do about preventing ice mass loss from Greenland does not necessarily need a solution that cools the entire earth’s surface. Climate Science needs a big dose of Engineering thinking and practice to address its concerns about changes in earth’s surface temperature.

    • The temperature record of the Continental USA does not reveal any harmful deviation from a norm.

      I simply do not understand people who such nonfactual things.

      The continental US has warmed 1.5 F in 30 years. In what way is that normal?

    • Which part of this graph is normal?

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/

    • Chief Hydrologist

      30 years is far too short for a system that has multidecadal variability.

      http://blogs-images.forbes.com/patrickmichaels/files/2013/01/US_temps_fig2.jpg

    • David Springer

      He said harmful deviation from the norm. Given a deviation from the norm where’s the harm?

    • He said harmful deviation from the norm.

      What do you mean by “harmful?”
      Harmful to whom? In what way?

    • You tell me. Is a 1.5 F warming over 30 years “normal?”

    • You tell me – what is “normal”?

    • Since it’s happened before, why not? (Did you even look at the graph?)

    • Just because it happened before doesn’t make it “normal.”

      The Pirates are in the playoffs, and that’s happened before, but it’s hardly normal. So I don’t see your point.

    • Depends upon your perspective. It was normal back in the 70s. Pirates beat the Orioles for the title.

      So again, where is the data for “normal”?

    • David Springer

      It’s probably a normal variation IMO but we really have nothing in the paleo realm to confirm or deny the normalcy of it. GAT appears to have changed with commensurate rapidity even in recorded history such as Roman Warm Period, the Medieval Warm Period, and the Little Ice Age.

      So is it normal? Maybe. Unprecedented? Probably not. Harmful? Doesn’t appear that way. Civlization has made great gains amidst the warming of the past century. No harm no foul.

    • Hansen was dead certain in 1999-

      “in the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country”

      http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/hansen-the-climate-chiropractor/

    • “The Pirates are in the playoffs”

      Gosh, is there nothing climate change can’t do?

    • It’s probably a normal variation IMO but we really have nothing in the paleo realm to confirm or deny the normalcy of it.

      I don’t care about your opinion — I’m interested in the science.
      How “normal” of a “variation” is a 1.5 F warming in 30 years?
      In any 30-yr record, how often does a 1.5 F (or greater) warming occur?
      And is there really no paleo records on the question? That’s hard to believe.

    • Early man forgot to invent the thermometer.

    • Hansen was dead certain in 1999-

      1999 was 14 years ago.
      How is that relevant to today’s 30-yr trend?

    • 1999 is part of that 30 year trend. last I checked, 30 years included a year 14 years ago.

    • “How “normal” of a “variation” is a 1.5 F warming in 30 years?”

      Look, just because you’re a “journalist” doesn’t mean you can’t read a frickin’ graph. Ask a sportwriter to look at it for you. The temperature increased by at least 1.5 F in the early 20th century. Decreased by at least 1.5 F in the middle of the century, and recently increased again. I guess by your definition, that’s 3 “abnormal” 30 year events in a 120 year temperature record.

      Do we have to take you by the hand?

    • Gosh, is there nothing climate change can’t do?

      Are you going to address the point, or not?

    • David Appell, there are regional paleo records that show similar rapid changes and the 1910 to 1940 was very similar. You can say that the 20th-21st century rise is exceptional for the past 200 years but even the BEST data has wicked swings between 1750 and 1820, 1816 was 1.5C down and 1.2 C up in a about 20 years. Between Volcanic aerosols and solar there have been some interesting times.

    • BTW, from 1901 to 1992, the Pirates averaged a pennant or post-season appearance once every 5.75 years. So I guess climate change has caused a decrease in Pirates’ success. An inverse pause on the rebound…or something like that. I’ll have to do some last minute wordsmithing before I publish.

    • Do we have to take you by the hand?

      I just want an answer to my question — how normal is a 1.5 F warming in 30 years? I don’t want to guess by looking at a graph, I’d like to know what the data says — of all 30-yr periods since the year X, how many show a warming of 1.5 F or higher?

    • Oh, that’s right! You said you could not read graphs.

    • “I don’t want to guess by looking at a graph”.

      Sadly, that says it all. BTW, you never showed us where your number came from. But then, hey, you’re a “journalist”…

    • So I guess climate change has caused a decrease in Pirates’ success.

      Yes, because clearly the only variable that has changed in the last few decades is the CO2 content of the atmosphere. Duh.

    • 10 year running mean of BEST shows the recent warming is slightly greater than the early 20th century warming. This is also true of hadcrut and GISTEMP
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/mean:120

    • “Yes, because clearly the only variable that has changed in the last few decades is the CO2 content of the atmosphere. Duh.”

      Good frickin’ grief. Who brought up the Pirates analogy in the first place? I hope you have the sense to get a good editor.

    • David

      Britain has a very long temperature record but being a temperate country it won’t be exactly the same as the USA .

      The biggest rise in the 350 year long record is that around 1700

      http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/graph09.png

      There have been several others of a slightly lower magnitude. The rise from 1980 matches the criteria you mention

      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

      Unfortunately we have lost virtually all of the temperature gain over the last decade
      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

      In fact the temperatures have been up and down like a yo yo throughout the record

      tonyb

    • David Appell:

      Such a rise in temperatures in a 30 year period doesn’t seem normal. But then I suppose we could ask what is normal?

    • “How ‘normal’ of a “variation” is a 1.5 F warming in 30 years?
      In any 30-yr record, how often does a 1.5 F (or greater) warming occur?
      And is there really no paleo records on the question? That’s hard to believe.”

      If you think paleo records can accurately recreate continental average temperatures over 30 year periods to within 1.5 F, let me have your mailing address. I have these brochures for a couple bridges I’m putting up for sale. I’ll give ya a great deal.

    • David

      Here are another dozen historic records from around the world, including New York, demonstrating the considerable variations in temperatures in a short time that appear to be the norm

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/01/a-short-anthology-of-changing-climate/
      tonyb

    • Strange how multi observational data of weather variability
      and the long view, even prior to the Industrial Revolution,
      offer insights. Context matters in the Climate Debate Wars.
      What appears ‘normal?’ Not much, cyclic episodic ups and
      downs and gradual warminig of the inter-glacial.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/01/a-short-anthology-of-changing-climate/

    • If you think paleo records can accurately recreate continental average temperatures over 30 year periods to within 1.5 F

      I think all scientific data has uncertainities, and that the paleo people working on the climate over the Holocene have managed to get uncertainities of about 1.5 F (0.8 C).

      So I still have the same question: given the data, how rare is a warming of 1.5 F over 30 years for the USA48?

      Or, first, how rare is it for the station data, which starts in 1895?

    • How much of that warming was created by adjustments?

    • “So I still have the same question: given the data, how rare is a warming of 1.5 F over 30 years for the USA48?”

      Given the weakness and uncertainties in the data, no one knows how rare it actually is to have a warming of 1.5 F over 15 years.

      And I have no interest in speculation based on WAGs (when it comes to guessing temp trends to within tenths of a degree over any period).

    • Given the weakness and uncertainties in the data, no one knows how rare it actually is to have a warming of 1.5 F over 15 years.

      I don’t believe that at all.

      Given the uncertainty in each station data point since 1895, what percentage of all 30 year periods show a warming of greater than 1.5 F? That’s clearly a mathematical question that can be answered.

    • I didn’t say that you believed it. I just stated it as a fact. You rabid warmists don’t know half of what you think you do. I also stated it as the reason there is no reason to answer your question.

      You establish that paleo temp records are accurate to within tenths of a degree regarding continental averages over 15 year time periods, and it might be worth answering. Otherwise it’s a waste of time.

    • I just stated it as a fact.

      You haven’t proved it as a fact. You’ve spent your time squirming out of the proof.

      Just take the USA48 station data average, from NOAA, and assume it has no uncertainty. Then it’s a first order calculation. Then, tell us how many of all 30-yr periods show a warming of 1.5 F or more.

      There will be about (2013-1895-30)*12 such intervals. For how many of them is the warming >= 1,5 F?

      t’s not a difficult calculation, so why are you avoiding it?

    • David Appell,

      I don’t have to prove that vain pronouncements of inflated precision and certainty by climate scientists do not accurately reflect reality. They are admitting it right and left. I am not a skeptic because of my review of thousands of peer reviewed papers. Nor because of anything I have read at WUWT or Climate Audit (though I find them very informative).

      I am a skeptic because the uncertainties, inaccuracies, lack of coverage, known unknowns, etc. are admitted by the consensus ideologues themselves (including yourself above), in their unguarded moments.

    • “1999 was 14 years ago. How is that relevant to today’s 30-yr trend?”

      USHCN tampered trend is negative since Hansen was dead certain in 1999. USHCN raw trend is more negative…r.

    • Tampered? In what way? How?

    • I don’t have to prove that vain pronouncements of inflated precision and certainty by climate scientists do not accurately reflect reality. ,/I.

      You are scrambling very hard to avoid answering a simple question. I think that’s because you suspect that a 1.5 F warming in 30 years is not that normal.

      Never mind — I’ll answer my own question when I get back to my spreadsheet.

    • It is an impossible question. You have yet to define what is normal.

    • tonyb: Why are a dozen sites indicative of any global trend. You’re simply cherry-picking, the worst sin of all.

    • David

      Excuse me, but you were referencing just the US yet you accuse ME of cherry picking when I supply details of a dozen sites?

      Here is my site with plenty more historic temperature data sets from around the world dating from 1660.

      http://climatereason.com/LittleIceAgeThermometers/

      Large temperature swings are perfectly normal. I don’t know what point you think you are making as the evidence demonstrates this variability

      tonyb

    • David Springer

      David Appell | September 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm |

      “I don’t care about your opinion — I’m interested in the science.”

      Science includes opinions, son. Now you know. For instance:

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

      “In any 30-yr record, how often does a 1.5 F (or greater) warming occur?”

      Three times in the last century alone.

      “And is there really no paleo records on the question? That’s hard to believe.”

      I don’t care what you find hard to believe. Natural recordings of temperature variation are localized for one and don’t tend to record shorter events. Ice cores are the cannonical example. They only preserve a record of a local area and because of how long it takes gas bubbles to seal the sealed bubbles are averages of several decades or more.

    • David Springer

      David Appell | September 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm |

      ds: He said harmful deviation from the norm.

      “What do you mean by “harmful?””

      harm·ful (härmfl)
      adj.
      Causing or capable of causing harm; injurious.

      “Harmful to whom?”

      Living things.

      “In what way?”

      Decrease in quality of life.

    • And where is the data that defines “normal”?

    • Sadly, that says it all.

      It says I don’t guess from graphs.
      Sadly, you do.

      PS: The USA48 data comes from NOAA — they publish an update once a month.

    • “PS: The USA48 data comes from NOAA — they publish an update once a month”

      Good, then ask a sportswriter to find you a good statistician. He can then calculate for you the temperature change from 1905 to 1935, and then from 1945 to 1975.

    • Harold, another good post, a pity about the chaff which followed it.

    • Harold’s always worth reading; it’s clear he’s earned his Philosopherate.
      ============

    • Of all the 30-yr periods since 1895, only 13% have had warming of more than 1.5 F. About a dozen ended in 1941,and the rest ended from 2000-2009.

      There were no 30-yr periods with cooling less than -1.5 F.

      So clearly a 30-yr warming of 1.5 F or more is not very normal at all.
      Q.E.D.

      Source:
      http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cirs/drd964x.tmpst.txt
      “110″ is national code
      start with the line that begins 1100021895

    • Springer, I don’t know, he may be on to something. What percentage of climate scientists are 95% certain they can predict climate?

    • David Springer

      David Appell | September 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm | Reply

      “Of all the 30-yr periods since 1895, only 13% have had warming of more than 1.5 F.”

      “So clearly a 30-yr warming of 1.5 F or more is not very normal at all.”

      Less than 13% of humans have red hair. Are redheads then not very normal at all in your opinion?

      I can think of many other examples such as skin color and sexual orientation that are less than 13% of the population. Are they not very normal either?

      You certainly have plenty of company in your narrow-minded opinions of what’s normal and what isn’t. Or maybe you’re just inconsistent and wouldn’t call a redhead abnormal even though you’d call warm periods that occur more frequently than red hair abnormal.

    • “So clearly a 30-yr warming of 1.5 F or more is not very normal at all.”

      Flip a coin 3 times. There’s a 12.5% chance that you’ll come up with 3 heads. So sure, not very normal. But no, not very abnormal either.

    • Considering the age of the earth, you cannot claim that. Indeed, all you have proven is that it is normal in the time period you defined. Abnormal would have been none.

    • David Appell

      Nice job. I like parlor games. I guess that means since 2009, we’ve been back to “normal.”

      Here’s my contribution. I took the data you linked to and averaged the monthly data by year. I then calculated 88 “30 year temperature changes” from the 118 complete annual records from 1895 to 2012. I broadly reproduced your results from using the >1000 “30 year temperature periods” using monthly data. (I got 14 periods with >1.5F change, 3 in the 30s and the rest more recently).

      Then, I calculated a mean and st.dev. for the 88 “30 year temperature changes”. The result: 0.49 +/- 0.89 (1 st. dev.).

      This is a simple error treatment that misses a lot, but it”ll do for this discussion.

      Generally speaking, your definition of “normal” is within one standard deviation?

  6. Global warming is irreversible without massive geoengineering of the atmosphere’s chemistry.

    Of course, there is a variety of ways to reverse “[g]lobal warming” without touching pCO2. “[S]scking hundreds of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere” is just the safest, with the least probability of unintended consequences. Shouldn’t be that hard, given the right R&D incentives and a 3-5 decade time frame.

    BTW, just what’s the difference between the most severe IPCC scenario and BAU 5 decades from now?

    • In 2007 we formed a company to file a patent for a commercially viable method of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The method involved harnessing the heat from hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor to pump nutrient rich water from 1000m depth into the mixed layer in order to create an artificial ecosystem. The yield in commercial fish production from a 1 GW vent would be $80 million per year which would pay for the installation even without selling carbon credits. Apart from the carbon issue our scheme would make it possible to double the world’s wild fish supply within a couple of decades. You can check it out at http://www.ecofluidics.com. Our calculations are shown. Certainly some CO2 would be brought to the surface but there are many parts of the ocean (North Pacific, South Atlantic) where more carbon would be sequestered than would be released. This was our entry in the Virgin Earth Challenge. We also approached venture capitalists. No-one was interested and our patent lapsed.

  7. The safest and most economical way to manage our slide at the end of the Holocene is to release, in a measured fashion, a little stored hydrocarbon energy, for its mild warming effect and strong plant nourishing effect.

    Why doesn’t someone think of that?
    ===============

  8. The level of CO2 has very little to do with temperature rise. It is caused by the heat emitted from fossil fuels and nuclear power, which will cease when they are replaced with renewable energy,(solar, wind, etc.). The residual CO2 will only help the crops to grow better.

    • Umm…wind and solar are used for generating electricty. When the electricity is used, what form of energy does it end up as? Clue – measured in kilowatts.

      Example ; an electric train absorbs electric energy to accelerate. At the end of its journey it brakes.What happens to the kinetic energy?

    • remember the solar and wind energy were going to end up as heat in the earth system anyway. there is no additional heating due to humans making use of that energy on its journey from low to high entropy. extra energy is liberated when fossil fuel is burned. that is less than the heat trapped by the greenhouse gasses but not necessarily negligible.

  9. This is great news for all those who stand to gain from building a CO2 vacuum cleaner. Just think how much Al Gore made on Global Warming. Or how Dianne Feinstein’s husband got the first California High Speed Rail construction project. Mucho Dolares! If your smart get in on this at the ground level!! Friends of the IPCC stand to make billions.

    • We can build carbon absorbers on coal fired power plants but they will also remove NOX, SOX and mercury so that will be a benefit. We can go to electrical and fuel cell transportation which will clean the air over LA and urban centers. When energy prices get too high we can build nuclear power plants, which will also help desalinate sea water and let us tear down silted up dams. We can fertilize the desert and grow more things there. Then spread iron on tropical oceans to allow phytoplankton to grow, currently limited. So lots to do. Won’t change temperature but interesting experiments.

      Scott

    • Sounds good but you have to pick a winner; that’s the hard part. Nuclear is probably dead ie: Germany just shut down their whole industry. I understand fuel cell requires too much energy to produce? They pretty much have to burn coal to provide energy for electric cars. Obama does like ‘clean’ coal though. Like you say lots to do! They still have to figure out how to get the carbon out of the atmosphere and reduce ocean acid. Most of it is doomed for failure but I guess getting the contracts will be idea.

    • Ordvic
      Neither germany nor Japan have shut down the nuclear industry. This group of politicians said they would. China is building nuclear plants as in India. We shall see how electricity prices track industry transfers to the developing world until new political consensus emerges. US will go renewables in California while the US SW builds nuclear. California will continue to deindustrialize and rely on energy imports and expensive renewables. Lots to follow but please, no satellites with mirrors.
      Scott

    • Are you sure?:
      http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/57035

      “Germany’s Grim Nuclear Phase Out”
      “The ostensible reason for Germany’s course reversal on nuclear was the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. Immediately after the accident, Chancellor Angela Merkel shuttered eight nuclear reactors and ordered the phase-out of Germany’s remaining nuclear reactors by 2022.”

      I guess they said it will be hard to do.

  10. “Global warming is irreversible without massive geoengineering of the atmosphere’s chemistry.”

    How about climate change is irreversible,. . . .

    What’s harder, to react to a cooling climate and heat it up, or to cool down a heating planet? it seems to me running a bit hot is better than running cold.

    In a pinch, aerosols could be pushed into the atmosphere to cool it down. How are you going to heat it up if earth goes into a cold snap?

    • Extraterrestrial energy routed here by microwave, though it may be only a band-aid.
      ===============

    • Heh, regionally, though, I suppose it could be a lifeboat.
      ===========

    • Great big orbiting mirrors made of aluminized micron-thick glass film. Faster, cheaper, and easier than microwave energy. Of course you can’t use it as easily as microwaves in a rectenna, but it will heat things up, if that’s what you want.

    • For sure not CO2. Nothing has been ‘researched” like it and it seems very weak, if anything.

    • I plant deliberately releasing freon would prevent any cooling, not that that is needed.

    • David Springer

      Exactly. Cooling the planet is a phuck of a lot easier than warming it. Given the last few million years of history unless we want to go back to making a living hunting wooly mammoths on mile-thick glaciers that cover the northern hemisphere we shouldn’t worry about warming it up a little because it’s going to cool down a whole bunch when the Holocene interglacial ends and it’s already past its expiration date.

    • What makes you think that, at these CO2 levels, the current Holocene interglacial is going to end?

    • It just got an extension, about 30,000 years give or take a few, we have missed the exit of the merry go round and need to wait for the next one.

    • 2000 years:
      http://www.technologyreview.com/article/416786/global-warming-vs-the-next-ice-age/
      “But even that warming will not stave off the eventual return of huge glaciers, because ice ages last for millennia and fossil fuels will not.In about 300 years, all available fossil fuels may well have been consumed.Over the following centuries, excess carbon dioxide will naturally dissolve into the oceans or get trapped by the formation of carbonate minerals. Such processes won’t be offset by the industrial emissions we see today, and atmospheric carbon dioxide will slowly decline toward preindustrial levels. In about 2,000 years, when the types of planetary motions that can induce polar cooling start to coincide again, the current warming trend will be a distant memory.”

    • ordvic: Not true at all. Today’s carbon emissions will be influencing climate for at least 100,000 years.

      Read: The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate by David Archer
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Long-Thaw-Changing-Essentials/dp/0691148112

      and/or

      Atmospheric lifetime of fossil-fuel carbon dioxide. D. Archer, M. Eby, V. Brovkin, A. Ridgwell, L. Cao, U. Mikolajewicz, K. Caldeira, K. Matsumoto, G. Munhoven, A. Montenegro, and K. Tokos, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences 37:117-134, doi 10.1146/annurev.earth.031208.100206, 2009.
      http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/reprints/archer.2009.ann_rev_tail.pdf

    • Thanks, I’ll check that out.

    • The benefits, sadly, will ameliorate by then.
      ==========

  11. It would be well to plan on a fix for the fix…

  12. There’s always all of these pesky unintended consequences that in their systemic ignorance Leftists are too stupid to take account of when planning their liberal Utopia.

  13. “Global warming is irreversible without massive geoengineering of the atmosphere’s chemistry. ”

    Excellent idea!

    • I know, Let’s explode a thousand nuclear bombs simultaneously in an attempt to nudge the planet a tad further from the sun. If that doesn’t work, at least we’ll get a few years of nuclear winter as an off-set to the deadly 1-2- degrees C. of warming.

    • How about we all agree to forsake prosperity, crush our cars, give up our jobs, sleep on park benches and eat government cheese until the global temperatures drop to levels acceptable to Al Gore and the Left?

  14. Fred Pearse was the originator of Himalayas fiasco. That should be enough of a warming to anyone.

    Now he suggests he can project at most 20 years of warming from 1975-1995 and extrapolate it one thousand years into the future.

    Good job he’s only a second rate pop sci journalist , not a would be climate ‘engineer’.

  15. “Global warming is irreversible without massive geoengineering of the atmosphere’s chemistry.”

    That’s a perfectly sane thing to say.

    Andrew

    • Also, we could put solar panels on all roofs that would hold them and on parking lots to shade cars and generate distributed power. I will look for an article published that shows how much power that would generate. Keep pushing to 20% wind energy in the texas, offshore and high plains areas but work on not killing birds. Who knew, bird kills were an unitntended consequence.

      Scott

    • We can also ban clocks. That will stop everyone from being late.

      Andrew

  16. That’s what climate science needs…brand new, little understood, variables.

  17. Here is the solar article from business week. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-25/solar-energy-is-ready-dot-the-u-dot-s-dot-isnt

    Anyway, lots of steps to take before banning coal.

    But continued improvements in solar and wind can contribute.
    Plus nuclear

    Scott

  18. “Once you sort out the uncertainty in climate sensitivity estimates and fix your climate models, let us know. Then please do the hard work of understanding regional vulnerability to climate variability and change before you tell us what constitutes ’dangerous’ climate change. And let us know if you come up with any solutions to this ‘problem’ that aren’t worse than the potential problem itself.”

    Judith, I’m always hesitant to praise you because I know you could care less what some anonymous, ill-educated blog jockey thinks. It feels presumptuous. But I can’t help it. Your change in tone, so long in coming, is most welcome and entirely admirable. You were right to hold your fire for so long; your sense of timing couldn’t be better it seems to me.

    Funny thing, one rarely if ever hears of skeptics abandoning their position and becoming warmists, unless you want to count the self-serving, disingenuous Professor Muller. if a person is to change his/her mind, it’s in the direction of skepticism. That has to be significant it seems to me.

    • Funny it’s always the same with creationists too. They’ll point out how many of them used to believe in evolution till they took a look at the science!

    • Lolly, I know you must have a point, but in the above form I’m afraid it’s unintelligible. In any case, your analogy quickly breaks down as skeptics in the main, are not disavowing the physics. In fact, the journey to informed skepticism requires a crash course in the science. I know much more about climate science as a skeptic than I ever did as a “believer.”

      In fact, it’s the *believers* in CAGW who most resemble religious fundamentalists. Their belief is unshakeable. For one example, I know you might not believe this, some deranged believers don’t even accept the pause.

      Lolly, you’re a smart guy, but you’re often guilty of lazy thinking.

    • Belief in the evidence yes that is unshakable.

      The evidence that shows it very likely that most of the warming since 1950 was caused by man.

    • Pg does not believe in counting statistics. Watch next as he claims that I am unintelligible. That’s how rhetoric works its magic.

    • lolwot, you should show some understanding, at least to old world creationists. I am a believer in Darwinian evolution, but try to wrap your mind around the source of DNA polymerase.

    • “Pg does not believe in counting statistics. Watch next as he claims that I am unintelligible. That’s how rhetoric works its magic.”

      To the contrary, Telescope. You’re absolutely transparent. You’re arrogant, defensive, and oh so much smarter than everyone else, and yet it’s all mostly bluster. You’re the kind of guy who likely counts his IQ points at night in order to get to sleep,

      And yet you have yet to make a coherent argument as to why we should turn our society upside down with all the suffering that would entail, especially for the poor, when the problem…if indeed it really is one, remains unquantifiable. The truth is, you have no idea whether any warming won’t actually be a net benefit. You might claim you do, you might even believe you do, but the fact is you don’t, no more than anyone else does…

    • POKERguy is bluffing. He actually does know counting statistics, because he is POKERguy.

      He should be able to tell you the odds of a run with random outcomes but a small bias in favor of the house.

      The deniers think they are on a winning streak because they haven’t sat at the table long enough.

      Ain’t that right, POKERguy?

    • The bridges Professor Curry set afire in the past are now being consumed by the flames and starting to drop into the canyons. Real soon now, there’ll be no way back for her.

    • @Dan: “Real soon now, there’ll be no way back for her.”

      Why not try showing her where she’s wrong, rather than engaging in silly hand waving.

    • Back to where? 2007?

    • Dan Hughes

      ‘Crossing the Rubicon. The die is now cast.’

      http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/caesar.htm

      Is that your reading of the current situation?
      tonyb

    • IPCC: Carthago delenda est

    • AK

      And of course these days it is believed that Hanobal rode his Elephants over mountains that had considerably less ice than today.

      tonyb

    • [...] Hanobal rode his Elephants [...]

      IIRC only one made it: the only Indian Elephant in his train. The African Elephants all died of the cold.

    • AK

      Rather more Elephants than that I believe

      http://traumwerk.stanford.edu/archaeolog/2006/04/hannibal_in_the_alps_stanford_1.html

      I have always fancied going on one of Prof Hunts Expeditions in the footsteps of Hanibal. Fancy coming along?

      Perhaps we can get National Geographic to fund it or Max can do a cut price version

      tonyb

  19. My reaction: Bizarro world. Who is running the asylum.

  20. Schrodinger's Cat

    I would prefer to wait until Climate scientists have understood the contribution of natural variability a bit more. Then I would want to wait until they could successfully model the major sources of natural variability. Then I would get them to estimate the human contribution to climate change.

    Then I would probably get them to monitor the situation for the long term.

    • yes then if disaster happens we can just blame someone else!

    • Certainly a 20 year pause would allow 20 more years of study. Especially if now you are worried about what will happen in 1,000 years.

    • Not that I think it has been quite 20 years yet.

    • “Certainly a 20 year pause would allow 20 more years of study. Especially if now you are worried about what will happen in 1,000 years.”

      Perhaps we will have had a thousand years of study.

    • :-) I assume that you are thinking “very long term,” perhaps 200 years? Then reincarnating Tony B to examine the historical record? Sounds good to me, as long as it is done on a minimum wage (more for Tony).

  21. Judith Curry writes: “deliberate intervention with the atmosphere on a global-scale will lead to unpredictable, dangerous and contentious outcomes”

    Exactly. Now apply that to CO2 please.

    • I know, lets try and reduce CO2 emissions to zero, except for transportation, plant a bunch of trees and see what happens. If any country spends more than 2% of GDP trying it, give them a pass.

    • I guess the skeptics are not doing any rhetorical engineering to prevent massive outputs of hypocrisy.

    • The Left’s deliberate socioeconomic intervention has already resulted in millions of deaths… and, because global warming is more social than science and nothing more than a hoax and a scare tactic to take over the economy, the Left certainly stands a good chance of surpassing the body-counts of previous Marxists.

  22. Greenland Ice sheet disappearing…7 meters, 1 deg C trigger… sheesh. At least they didn’t use the “heat equal to 3 Hiroshima atomic bombs per second” as over at RC. Once again, these folks are DOUBLING DOWN. This behavior is pathologic and is understandable when ones house of cards is falling down. But when you have the White House and big media helping, it is still very, very dangerous.

  23. The problem with global warming solutions is that we are asking engineers who are trying to come up with an engineering solution. If you look at all the sources of CO2 in the atmosphere, natural and man made, natural processes are taking up 98.5% of all emissions. in reality, you only have to enhance these natural processes a bit to get CO2 uptake to rise by 1.5%. But is it necessary first and foremost and then if you do succeed, how to you control these natural processes so that too much CO2 is not taken out? Ocean seeding with iron seems like a very good candidate that may lead to a cascade of additional biologic activity in the oceans and potentially high production of edible protein. But what other things get thrown out of whack when this happens?

  24. The AGW climatocrats are really chomping at the bit to trash this planet.
    Irony and stupidity operating at biblical levels by self-appointed, noble cause corrupted twits.

  25. we are already geo engineering the planet.

    everything Hulme says about the unmanagability of a solar shield goes for controlling C02.

    Fast forward to 600ppm.

    as for sucking c02 out of the air

    Country X doesnt like the increase in heat. country Y loves it

    Country X figures out how to suck C02 out cheaply. what you gunna do?

    In the end all we will have is local adaptation. that will probably cost more than mitigation. well it will cost more for some and less for others.

    Opps.

    • Mosh

      Here are two questions from Fan that seem right up your street

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/24/five-critical-questions-for-the-ipcc/#comment-386831

      Ps I have one for you. What is the attraction of this Wendell Berry?

      tonyb

    • Country X figures out how to suck C02 out cheaply. what you gunna do?

      Burn more fossil fuels? Go to war?

    • I can see the james bond script…

    • Stealing designs for CO2-suckers replacing stealing designs for super-weapons?

    • I’m thinking of a dormant volcano in the middle of the ocean, where the super C02 sucker is hidden, the excess C02 is compressed and stored,

      Then the evil genius gets money from the hot countries to cool the planet.. and then blackmails the other side to warm the planet, continually releasing and then sucking C02 out of the atmosphere.

      Atmosphere Wars

    • But it’s got to extract the CO2 from the top of the ocean doesn’t it? Taking it from the bottom won’t matter for centuries, right?

      Of course, maybe evil genius just tells one side about that and not the other. Except then there’s no plot for JB.

    • Brazil declares war on Chad for building windfarms in the Bodele Gap. Seeks international military assistance from any nation upon which Bodele Dust settles. Calls on the once mighty UN for dustice.
      =========================

    • tonyb

      This might help explain

      http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/24/wendell-berry-american-hero/?_r=0

      I find it funny that FOMD worships Berry but does not follow his example

      http://home.btconnect.com/tipiglen/berrynot.html

      Beryy, who writes and depends on readers, might do well to listen to Hans

      and finally he ought to ask himself how that typewriter got built.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Steven Mosher, thank you for posting those fine Wendell Berry links!

      Climate Etc readers may also enjoy Why Wendell Berry’s pulling his personal papers from UK [University of Kentucky]

      Talk about what has happened  When the University if Kentucky accepted that ($7 million) gift and agreed to name their basketball dormitory after the coal industry, that meant they had passed over from indifference to a manifest alliance with the coal industry. I don’t think a university ought to make an alliance with any industry. I know that’s going on at other universities, and I think it’s always a breach of intellectual integrity and reputability and a breach of public obligation.

      This form of mining [mountaintopping] is literally hell for the people who live near those mine sites. I know some of them and I’ve heard the testimony of many others and I’ve seen with my own eyes what they’re going through.

      What are your thoughts on climate change?  I think it’s a strategical mistake to give this movement the name of climate change. Climate change is an effect and the causes are greed, pollution, waste and this insatiable appetite we have for convenience, comfort and the rest of it. What we need to be talking about is a change that ultimately is going to be a cultural change, that’s going to be a change in the way we live.

      But climate change is vulnerable. It’s still not fool proof because every time it frosts in Florida some political fool will point out that it’s going the other way.

      Thank you again, Steven Mosher, for directing more-and-more Climate Etc readers toward Wendell Berry’s plain-spoken American-original common sense!

      \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}

    • Steen Mosher

      we are already geo engineering the planet

      Locally, yes, but globally, huh?

      How much global warming have we caused to date?

      How has this “geo engineered” the planet?

      Has the overall net impact been positive or negative for humanity?

      Evidence, please (not model outputs based on theoretical deliberations).

      Max

  26. “CO2-induced warming is projected to remain approximately constant for many centuries following a complete cessation of emission. A large fraction of climate change is thus irreversible on a human timescale, except if net anthropogenic CO2 emissions were strongly negative over a sustained period.”

    Neither CO2 or “hot air” has such residency times.
    I wonder how the negative emissions would be achieved, plant lots of trees and eat each other in winter?

  27. Well, let’s suppose an inexpensive way is found to reset atmospheric CO₂ concentration to its pristine preindustrial value instantaneously.

    It is not even geoengineering, is it? Only a lost state is restored, after all…

    However, implementing even such a simple, straightforward solution needs a highly controversial political decision to be made.

    For example, it would have devastating consequences to foliage cover over arid regions and would possibly decrease primary production substantially all over the globe.

    Who would pay monetary compensation to aggrieved parties for their losses? How much? Who would assess the damage? Who would negotiate the deal whith whom? Who would be authorized to do so?

    Geophysical Research Letters
    Volume 40, Issue 12, pages 3031–3035, 28 June 2013
    DOI: 10.1002/grl.50563
    Impact of CO₂ fertilization on maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments
    Randall J. Donohue, Michael L. Roderick, Tim R. McVicar, Graham D. Farquhar

    • I don’t know. I am worried about two things. Windmills slow down the wind, and we all know wind is important to cool things off.

      And what about taking all those solar panels, converting the energy into electricity, and then releasing the electricity in less variant locations? That sounds like another way to keep heat around.

  28. “It is ungovernable because there is no plausible and legitimate process for deciding who sets the world’s temperature.”

    If Mikey believed that, he would be calling for the disbanding of the IPCC and the entire ‘global warming’ political movement. They exist for the sole purpose of placing themselves in the position of deciding where the world’s temperature is set. Their current demand is that it be 2C above the Little Ice Age. Where is Mikey’s open letter to these kooks, chastising them for their “implausible and illegitimate” demands?

    “And it is unreliable because of the law of unintended consequences: deliberate intervention with the atmosphere on a global-scale will lead to unpredictable, dangerous and contentious outcomes.”

    Reducing CO2 emissions is a deliberate and contentious global scale intervention with the atmosphere. Perhaps Mikey would like to elaborate on the unpredictable, dangerous and contentious outcomes from this illegitimate process?

    And he doesn’t seem to notice that there would be unpredictable and contentious outcomes to people’s lives arising from deliberate intervention in global scale economies …

    Doesn’t seem like he is really of the opinion that atmospheric intervention is truly ungovernable. He just isn’t interested in seeing any competition in the realm of using climate as an excuse to govern.

    • No need to make a global scale governance issue. USA, especially California can reduce carbon emissions as they reduce industry. But that is a choice. It won’t effect temperature. But to the extent affordable, let us build distributed solar and wind energy. Gas from fracking not encouraged but North Dakato and Texas can do that. We shall see what Germany and Japan do about their nuclear power. The French are unlikely to follow them. The Chinese and India industries will gratefull absorb the industries no longe co petitive.

      Scott

    • Exactly. Any policy intervention such as Urgent Mitigation is explicitly attempting to “set the global thermostat” by engineering the CO2 level. As has long been noted, even married couples in the same room often have strong disagreements about where to set the thermostat. How about fragmented polities sprawled across the globe with different geographic, economic, cultural, and climatic environments? It’s nuts.

    • Pierre-Normand

      This is a strange arguments. It’s a bit like saying that interventions that aim to reduce the criminality rate, or increase the literacy rate, can’t be undertaken since they would explicitly attempt to “set the literacy or criminality rates” and we couldn’t possibly agree how many crimes should be prevented or how may children should be educated.

    • Pierre-Normand

      This is a strange arguments. It’s a bit like saying that interventions that aim to reduce the criminality rate, or increase the literacy rate …

      No, temperature is nothing like either of those things. We do agree how many crimes should be prevented. Criminality is regarded as bad. by a civil society Any is too much. Literacy is regarded as good by a civil society Anything less than 100% can be improved upon.

      There is no single optimum Global temperature, any more than there is a single optimum local temperature, or single optimum room temperature. The ideal temperature depends on who you are, where you are, and what you’re doing. At last count, approximately 7 Billion possible opinions.

  29. In Newsweek, April 28, 1975, p. 64, we could read that there had been proposals such as “melting the arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers” to stop cooling of the world.
    See http://denisdutton.com/newsweek_coolingworld.pdf

  30. Isn’t it a tad premature to pass judgment in advance on an unknown technology, which might or might not be needed to solve problems of uncertain magnitude, 50 or 100 years from now? At this point, we know damn-all about the costs, reversibility, or risks/benefits of such a project, and who can possibly predict what will be politically acceptable a century from now? Anyone with so little respect for uncertainty as to try and make a call on this issue today — either way — probably isn’t worth listening to on any subject related to climate.

    • Toby White

      Agree that it is premature to even discuss geo-engineering “solutions” to a hypothetical future problem we don’t even know will be real and is highly unlikely to become existential over the next century.

      Let’s clear up the uncertainty in the “science” first.

      Max

    • I’d except one slight amount of geo-engineering, which is cheap, reversible, mild, and has rich, green, attendant side benefits. Furthermore, it can progress without harm to human society, economic health, and cultural diversity. It’s on the tip of my tongue, but still, can’t call it. Lot people have been talking about it lately, so it’ll come to mind sooner or later.
      =============

  31. What and why would we ‘fix’ anything?

    Mortality is evidently ANTI-correlated with temperature ( on the seasonal basis ).

    Warming leads to greater precipitation ( for a world that sucks up 70% of annual rainfall equivalent from ground water ).

    And CO2 increases crop yields, increases plant growth, and reduces water use.

    For a century or more GLOBAL WARMING WILL BE A BLESSING!

  32. I agree with Mike Hulme as well. And have been saying that from the beginning. Until you understand the system, changing it will always have unintended consequences. Because we do not know what we are doing!

  33. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    JC message to IPCC: is effectively five recommendations “[abandon megalomanic techno-fixes] and [improve global CO2 sensitivity estimates] and [improve decadal modeling capability] and [assess regional vulnerabilities] and [find sustainable fixes]“

    Judith Curry, there is good news for you! Between John von Neumann’s early climate-change writings (1955), and the IPCC5 Report (2012), and the Pontifical Academy’s forthcoming Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature conference (2013), all five of your recommendations are directly addressed!

    Can We Survive Technology?
    by John von Neumann (July, 1955)

    All major weather phenomena, as well as climate as such, are ultimately controlled by the solar energy that falls on the earth.

    The carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by industry’s burning of coal and oil–more than half of it during the last generation–may have changed the atmosphere’s composition sufficiently to account for a general warming of the world by about one degree Fahrenheit.

    Probably intervention in atmospheric and climatic matters will come in a few decades, and will unfold on a scale difficult to imagine at present.

    Such actions [as future climate-control] would be more directly and truly worldwide than recent or, presumably, future wars, or than the economy at any time.

    It is good to see that your concerns have been presciently foreseen by fifty-eight years, Judith Curry!

    Remark  Many Climate Etc readers well be relieved to know that John von Neumann was both one of the very greatest mathematician/scientists of any era, *and* an ardent political conservative.

    \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}

    • Curious George

      I’ll quote from the last paragraph of Von Neumann’s article:

      To ask in advance for a complete recipe would be unreasonable. We can specify only the human qualities required: patience, flexibility, intelligence.

  34. Judith Curry

    Mike Hulme makes sense. Schemes such as the one proposed by President Obama’s science adviser, James Holdren, to inject massive amounts of sulfuric acid into the troposphere in order to block incoming sunshine are downright idiotic, as are all the other proposed geoengineering approaches.

    The proposal by Fred Pearce of removing “hundreds of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere” is, indeed, “insane” and smacks of “megalomania”, as you have pointed out.

    It is also extremely frightening. Just imagine – if such a scheme really worked, but overshot its goal, reducing CO2 concentrations to below 200 ppmv, thereby threatening plant life and, with it, all life on our planet!

    This sounds to me like the last desperate rants of a psychopath who knows his time is limited.

    The good news is that these dangerous and idiotic schemes will never really happen in a sane world where the general public has the final say.

    I like your message to the IPCC: get your science straight before you charge off into making recommendations to solve a problem that may very likely be imaginary and whose unintended negative consequences you are unable to estimate.

    Max.

    • Correction: It’s John Holdren (not James)

    • I’ve a very bad case of cognitive and sensory dissonance; I’ve deep distrust for Hulme for his part in this disaster, so find it difficult to believe my lying eyes when they read his stuff here.
      =================

    • While some in climate science disagree with his perspective, the late Dr. Crichton presented a talk on the language of fear which loosely promoted his then recently-issued novel “State of Fear.” The talk was given at The Independent Institute on November 15, 2005, but Crichton detailed humanity’s handiwork of destroying the Yellowstone ecosystem in order to (ostensibly) save it. Pearce’s carbon solution suggests he’s willing to duplicate humanity’s past mistakes but on a much, much larger canvas.

      Chiffon Margarine said it best in the 1970s, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”

  35. “My reaction to reading the title of this article can be summed up in two words: ‘insane’ and ‘megalomania.’”

    Never better said. Dangerous or catastrophic (as Dr. Holdren termed it) anthropogenic global warming is (ironically) a euphemism for global hubris.

    • It’s truly something out of a Superman comic book, with Fred Pearce playing the part of Lex Luthor.

    • The Catastrophe is the damage already done; nemesis is ours. The madness of this crowd is epic and mythic; grandly so.
      ============================

    • Yes Kim. The historians will have quite a lot to write about. Some decades hence school children will shake their heads in wonder. “Was it really so?” they’ll ask their teachers, eyes wide with incredulity.

  36. science can expose the climate change scam; if science is willing

  37. Beth Cooper, Peter Lang and those down under.
    Oracle USA won America’s cup sailing race!
    Beth, highland lass, Scott from the border clans sends greetings.
    9-8 final win was 45 seconds. I guess your australian but close to Nz
    Scott

    • Scott

      Hope you realise the win was due to the US drafting in British Olympian Ben Ainslie in order to provide strategy?

      Quite how that is allowed I don’t know but congratulations!
      tonyb

    • Right you are.
      What a change. I have to look him up but amazing tactician.

      Most of the sailers are British, Australian or New Zealanders.
      Amazingly fun crowd.
      Scott
      Scott

    • Scott, collectively known as “Bazzas.” Any resemblance to Barry Humphries is purely coincidental. (The alternative form, “Banzais,” is insufficiently Anglo-centric.)

    • Scott, thanks for the news. I had followed the races but got busy over the past 2 days and had not checked it. And Tony, Team America had folks from 7 nations on board. When you think about it, that is very American. ;-)

    • Scott, greetings returned from down under, mo caraid.
      Beth-a-part-scottish-serf.

    • Hi highland lass. The helmsman was Aussie and the tactician British. Only one American on the crew but the San Francisco bay shone like a jewel. the race on u-tube very exciting. SF bay used to be a river valley when dry land extended to the Farallon Islands, 26 miles offshore. The earth abides but us earthlings have all sorts of fun and worries. How about a poem?

      Faustino, Bazzas is unknown to me.
      Scott

  38. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘- Arable land (13,812,040 km²) – land under annual crops, such as cereals, cotton, other technical crops, potatoes, vegetables, and melons; also includes land left temporarily fallow.
    – Permanent Crops (1,484,087 km²) – Orchards and vineyards (e.g., fruit plantations).
    – Permanent Pastures (33,556,943 km²) – areas for natural grasses and grazing of livestock, such as meadows and pastures.’ Wikipedia

    Soil C deficit on arable land – 40 billion metric tons

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/soilcarbondeficit_zps57a06601.png.html?sort=3&o=16

    The total potential over arable land and pastures is about 100 billion tonnes – about 20 years of excess carbon content in the atmosphere at current rates of emission.

    The potential is much greater when conservation and restoration of ecosystems is included.

    e.g. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/10176217/The-underground-forests-that-are-bringing-deserts-to-life.html

    The equivalent of all human emissions to date. If we are going to do more geo-engineering – let’s get practical, environmental and humane.

  39. I read all the comments here but the one that states the case most succinctly and understandable for common folks like me is the very first comment by Willis. The planet cooled between 1940 and 1970 while we added more CO2 annually. This should convince even the brain dead there is no connection between CO2 and global warming.

    So why can`t we move on and settle on what amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is best for all. Maybe 700 ppm would be about right based on ROM`s work in Australia. But I believe equilibrium will occur before that is possible.

    Which is to say we will be extracting more CO2 than we emit in the next half century and then we will have something to really talk about. Maybe not us but another smarter generation.

    • Where did you EVER learn that CO2 is the only anthropogenic influence on climate?

    • I understand Methane is doing quite a lot lately, especially with this year’s northern hemispheres summer warming and events around the Arctic Tundra, I would expect Methane to be well covered in tomorrow’s report.

      Two things I have found interesting lately

      1) PIK have made a breakthrough in detecting a. ENSO change – should greatly improve the efficiency of modelling and give some forewarning of El Nino events:

      http://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases

      2) As we get a lot of stats from NASA, NOAA etc, here are some neutral and interesting records (albeit fairly short term) from the South China Sea

      http://www.weather.gov.hk/climate_change/climate_change_hk_e.htm

    • David Springer

      Just because there was no warming from 1940-1970 it doesn’ t follow that CO2 has no warming effect. Non sequitur. Back then we were burning our fossil fuels the way god intended with cooling aerosols in the mix. The current pause in global warming is another matter as CO2 emission is much higher and cooling aerosol emissions much lower. What can reasonably surmise is that natural variation has a large enough magnitude to negate AGW about half the time. My bet is that the modern solar maximum is a natural variation that effects cloud formation and global average temperature along with it to a much higher degree than any model accounts for. The facts on the ground are that climate models are flawed in that they are running too hot and those models encapsulate the best ocean-atomosphere coupled physics we have. Obviously something is missing from the physics in the models.

    • How much lower are aerosol emissions now than in 1940-1970? Numbers?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Here are the GISS forcings.

      http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/RadF.gif
      http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/NetF.gif

      Here’s the IPCC version – there are substabtial differences – note the LOSU on the right hand side.

      I note this from AR4.

      ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ AR4 WG1 3.4.4.1

      Tacitly ignoring low frequency variability is no longer an option.

    • Chief, The forcing estimates leave a lot to be desired. Solar just about has to be underestimated by a factor of two. That is probably why the GFDL had to adjust the Pacific absolute temperatures.

      http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/09/how-to-deal-with-recovery-from-little.html

      That isn’t all that bad a fit using solar, volcanic and CO2.

    • Here are some WHAT? Answer the question — don’t give me a link and expect me to go off and hunt for something you aren’t even specifying.

  40. Can climate science overcome the racism inherent in the environmentalist movement?

    That’s not a crack form a neanderthal conservative.

    “But Jones says it’s not just that the staffs of many large, mainstream environmental organizations have been historically mostly white — it’s that most of the smaller environmental justice groups are getting a fraction of the funding that the big groups recieve.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/23/2230511/environmental-movement-diversity/

    That’s Van Jones – famous leftist extraordinaire and Obama muse. Founder of Green for All. Van Jones apparently wants to be the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton of the environmental movement. There’s all this free money flowing from governments. If he succeeds in getting even a piece….

    Maybe Jesse can help him get a Budweiser distributorship in Chicago.

    “Environmental justice” brings to mind the famous (apocryphal) New York Times headline – “New York destroyed by asteroid. Women and minorities hardest hit.”

  41. “the only way of lowering temperatures would be todevise a scheme for sucking hundreds of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.”

    Only hot CO2 is a threat to climate, total CO2 is unimportant. This conclusion rests on the measured specific heat of CO2 at 25C (36) v’s other atmospheric gases (29) and CO2′s rarity (<1%). Only hot CO2 has the excited modes that can absorb and radiate more heat.

    "I believe this particular climate fix—creating a thermostat for the planet–is undesirable, ungovernable and unreliable. "

    Probably true. But the planet already has one in the latent heat of evaporation over the Indian, Southern and Pacific oceans. To those who claim this is cancelled by precipitation I say not true because most precipitation latent heat is released high in the troposphere where it can more readily escape to space

    In summary, it seems to me that the release of hot CO2 from mobile and stationary engines could be reduced in the pursuit of higher efficiency, that would be a win-win situationj for all. One way to do this is greater adoption of diesel/electric vehicles with stop/start technology. Perhaps we could prolong the 'pause' indefinetly..

  42. Oh no catastrophe the skeptics yell when someone proposes geoengineering such as solar mirrors or pumping out vast clouds of sulphur dioxide.

    But when we are talking about pumping billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere and raising CO2 to levels not seen for millions of years, skeptics change their tune to “alarmism! alarmism!”

    It seems the law of unintended consequences only applies to all geoengineering other than pumping out vast quantities of CO2. I wonder why.

    Perhaps skeptics know so much about CO2 that it’s the one form of geoengineering they know is safe…. But then that would seem to fly in the face of all the cries of “it’s all uncertain”.

    Similar to how skeptics simultaneously promote and reject Otto et al.

    • I don’t yell catastrophe at proposals for solar mirrors or vast clouds of sulphur dioxide to engineer the Earth’s climate. I say “stupidity” in a normal voice, while trying to stifle the giggles.

      The same response I have to the chicken little claims of thermageddon with 95+% certainty.

    • “It seems the law of unintended consequences only applies to all geoengineering other than pumping out vast quantities of CO2. I wonder why.”

      Introducing CO2 into the atmosphere is not geoengineering (i.e., “the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth’s climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming” – Oxford Dictionaries); I’m uncertain as to why you would want to label it as such given that it only adds confusion to the discussion.

      And I’m uncertain that CO2 emissions at current or even elevated concentrations could be labeled pollution (i.e., “the presence in or introduction into the environment of a substance or thing that has harmful or poisonous effects” – Oxford Dictionaries).

      Aside from the climate-modeled yet educated guesses synthesized via the periodic assessment reports, I’m uncertain as to the harmful or poisonous effects of the anthropogenic contribution to atmospheric CO2. Certainly, most any substance in “excessive” concentration or quantity is troubling, but what is that value for atmospheric CO2? I don’t believe that’s known with certainty at this point – especially so if AR5 results in an extension of ECS – in the lower range.

      Also, asserting that weather events, residing within the range of natural variability, are strange, weird, or “extreme” is indicative of advocacy rather than science – sexy but essentially silly.

  43. Modern farming has attempted to geo-engineer Nature including modifying the natural environment to fit mankind’s specific food crop and animal production purposes for close on a century now.
    About all it has done is reveal how versatile and unpredictable in it’s responses to what is supposedly a sure fire fix by man Nature really is.

    Farming wise, despite multi billions of what ever being thrown at and expended over the last century in agriculture, the world’s Agricultural scientists and it’s farmers and the political processes supporting food and fiber production have perhaps geo-engineered Nature on a very short term, rather rickety semi permanent basis but failed completely to geo-engineer Nature for farming purposes on permanent basis anywhere.

    And there have always been a host of unexpected consequences whenever farmers and researchers have attempted to challenge and change the farming technologies and farming regime as Nature back lashes against the changes and throws in lots of it’s own unexpected curve balls into the farming mix which all have to be accounted for or accommodated if we want to keep growing food and fiber anywhere.

    Nature has shown in a most definite way that almost immediately mankind slows down or stops his attempts at geo-engineering of any sort, Nature is right back in there with a whole new lot as well as the old lot of organisms along with their flow on effects to fill all those now vacant slots and niches as mankind pulls back or vacates the scene.

    Another example is how Nature got very busy and has mostly reversed in a quarter of a century, the man made, geo -engineered environment, the cleared, built on urban populated region around Chernobyl starting almost immediately the local population was cleaned out of the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

    It seems there is huge gap in credibility and understanding of the real, not imagined Nature of the geo-engineerists, for those who propose geo-engineering to achieve some geo-engineering desired result.
    They seemingly are totally ignorant and show it, of the harsh realities of dealing with Nature on a day to day, face to face basis in all the proposals they put up.
    And they are totally ignorant in that they believe that they are so superior to Nature that they think they can bend Nature in all it’s complexities and subtleness to their will at their behest.

    Nature, as I well know as a retired farmer, just laughs and kicks most of mankind’s puny efforts aside and just goes on her way.

    • The thorn bush in the cleft of stone …
      Grass pushing up through cracks
      in the pavement … Lichen colonising
      tiles on the roof. Nothing will give up
      life, even the dirt keeps breathing
      a small breath.

      H/t Roethke

  44. And let us know if you come up with any solutions to this ‘problem’ that aren’t worse than the potential problem itself.

    A word of warning iterated in Zaliapin and Ghil 2010.

    Accordingly, humankind must be careful – in pursuing
    its recent interest in geoengineering (Crutzen 2006,Mac-
    Cracken 2006) – to stay a course that runs between tipping
    points on the warm, as well as on the “cold” side of our cur-
    rent climate.

    http://www.nonlin-processes-geophys.net/17/113/2010/npg-17-113-2010.html

  45. Stephen Schneider thought that climate change was a global emergency, but recommended against big geo-engineering solutions, while acknowledging it was possible to implement them. He thought there might be side effects!

    Now, when you reflect that, at the time, the emergency he was referring to was Global Cooling, well…

    It’s just as well we stayed skeptical!

  46. A Pause, Not an End, to Warming
    By RICHARD A. MULLER, NY Times, Published: September 25, 2013
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/opinion/a-pause-not-an-end-to-warming.html

    • I like Muller’s citation to his 2004 article on the hockey stick. This is what the “converted skeptic” had to say about global warming then.

      “How does this bombshell affect what we think about global warming?

      It certainly does not negate the threat of a long-term global temperature increase….

      If you are concerned about global warming (as I am) and think that human-created carbon dioxide may contribute (as I do), then you still should agree that we are much better off having broken the hockey stick. Misinformation can do real harm, because it distorts predictions. Suppose, for example, that future measurements in the years 2005-2015 show a clear and distinct global cooling trend. (It could happen.) If we mistakenly took the hockey stick seriously–that is, if we believed that natural fluctuations in climate are small–then we might conclude (mistakenly) that the cooling could not be just a random fluctuation on top of a long-term warming trend, since according to the hockey stick, such fluctuations are negligible. And that might lead in turn to the mistaken conclusion that global warming predictions are a lot of hooey. If, on the other hand, we reject the hockey stick, and recognize that natural fluctuations can be large, then we will not be misled by a few years of random cooling.

      A phony hockey stick is more dangerous than a broken one–if we know it is broken.”

      He links in the 2004 paper to his 2003 article, which has been quoted here before.

      “Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate. I would love to believe that the results of Mann et al. are correct, and that the last few years have been the warmest in a millennium.”

      Some skeptic.

    • Gary: So you prefer Mueller’s views BEFORE he thorougly analyzed the data, but not after.

      Figures.

    • David, so you prefer views that have been debunked because they are so old?

      Still believe in phlogiston?

    • “CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.”
      – Richard Mueller, NY Times 7/28/12
      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html?pagewanted=all

    • David,

      The last I checked, BEST has nothing to do with attribution. Though Muller seems to forget that occasionally.

      But that was not my point. My comment was related to the long running dispute around here over whether Muller was ever a skeptic at all or not. His quotes from 2003 and 2004 show rather clearly that he never dissented from the consensus. He dissented from the practices of some of the consensus advocates. And his concern was in part driven, as shown by the above quotes, by his concern that poor practices would undermine the consensus’ credibility.

      On that issue, Muller was spot on.

    • David Appell,

      That’s the quote. Converted skeptic my ass..essment.

    • The last I checked, BEST has nothing to do with attribution. Though Muller seems to forget that occasionally.

      You seem to have left this out:

      “The carbon dioxide curve gives a better match than anything else we’ve tried. Its magnitude is consistent with the calculated greenhouse effect — extra warming from trapped heat radiation.”
      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html

    • There’s a reason that link is to an opinion page, and not a science journal.

    • That’s the quote.

      Yes, I’m sure you know who Mueller is/was better than he himself does.

      Amazing. Even when a person says they are X, people like you can’t accept it and insist they are not-X.

    • Oh, there’s no doubt Muller claimed BEST’s analysis was the reason for his “new found” belief in attribution. But even Eli Rabbett found the “science” of it extremely weak. And you don’t get much more warmist than Eli.

      http://rabett.blogspot.com/2012/07/missing-trees-for-forest_29.html

      What’s funny is that Rabett was concerned about Muller’s poor science in 2012 for the same reason Muller worried about Mann’s poor science in 2004. They were both concerned that weak efforts would undermine the credibility of the consensus. It would say it is ironic, but then irony is the sine qua non of “climate science”.

      I am shocked, shocked to learn that in 2012 Muller was shocked to learn that he was right in 2003 and 2004, and claimed he was thereby a “converted skeptic” for not changing his mind at all.

      Yes, that makes his view of the attribution aspect of the BEST analysis so much more believable than Rabett’s, or Dr. Curry’s for that matter.

    • “Amazing. Even when a person says they are X, people like you can’t accept it and insist they are not-X.”

      OJ said he was innocent.

      Clinton said he did not have sex with that woman,

      Rock Hudson said he was straight.

      I do not find myself constrained to believe everything that anyone says. Particularly a progressive seeking to advance his political agenda.

    • Whatever lets you keep your preconceived notions, Gary — by all means, go with it.

    • I do not find myself constrained to believe everything that anyone says.

      And likewise, I do not believe everything you say.

    • Hey, I just figured out that, given Muller’s definition of skeptic, and the above links to Eli’s critique of Muller’s attribution claims, Eli must be a skeptic too.

      I guess we are all skeptics now.

    • David Appell,

      Oh, I forgot to mention.

      “Gary: So you prefer Mueller’s views BEFORE he thorougly analyzed the data, but not after.”

      The point is that his views before and after “he thoroughly analyzed the data.” were no different on the consensus on attribution, risk, etc. His “skepticism” was of certain sloppy methods (before he invested in his own weak attribution methodology), not of the over all conclusions.

    • David, use Muller’s attribution and calculate how cold we would now be without humanGHGs.
      ==============

    • Muller’s deconstruction of the Ego’s Hockey Stick is exquisite. I’m amazed the Ego hasn’t sued.

    • Climate Etc’s all time greatest hit, Hiding the Decline, is about Muller’s video
      http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/

      I didn’t make too many friends on the ‘team’ with that one

    • Muller is missing an enormous opportunity here.

      He could pretend to be swayed by the ‘global warming’ pause, and fake being a skeptic again. The he could source a few millions to ‘objectively’ study the issue, and come out as a doubly refromed warmist a year and a half from now.

      If you have a business model, apply it …

    • That is funny. Thanks
      Scott

    • No one said an end to warming. Most here are not foolish enough to prognosticate about a future where the variables are still unknown.

      That is why they are calling it a pause/hiatus/vacation or lull. It may last longer. It may not.

  47. Insane is just about right, in particular, this passage:

    “The draft report says the available evidence now suggests that above a certain threshold of warming, the Greenland ice sheet will almost disappear within approximately 1000 years, which will result in 7 metres of global sea-level rise. It estimates that the threshold may lie between 1 °C and 4 °C of warming, but is not confident of this figure.”

    Did the IPCC not read the latest science on Greenland’s contribution to SLR in the Eemian, the previous interglacial? It did appear in Nature, did it not?

    Is the IPCC not aware that during the Eemian, which according to the article included a period of 6,000 years when Greenland was 6 to 8 degrees C warmer than today, that Greenland’s contribution to SLR over the Eemian was about 1.5 meters? In the link below, it says that Greenland’s ice melted no more than 25% during this period:

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/uoc-gic012213.php

    So that is a maximum of 1/4 of 7.2 meters of SLR (if all of Greenland’s ice melted. 1/4 of 8 meters would be 2 meters, or less than 80 inches. Divide 80 inches by 60 centuries and you get barely over an inch of SLR per century.

    And the IPCC is going to claim that in THIS interglacial, we will see 7 meters of SLR from Greenland within 1,000 years, from a temperature increase of between 1 and 4 degrees C??

    Yes, insanity.

  48. Along with … The Pause … scepticism’s The New Cool.

  49. Global warming is irreversible without massive geoengineering of the atmosphere’s chemistry. This stark warning comes from the draft summary of the latest climate assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Climate reverses itself. They want to do stuff so they can take credit when it happens. Kind of like ozone.

  50. ““CO2-induced warming is projected to remain approximately constant for many centuries following a complete cessation of emission.”

    I find this claim to be ridiculous.

    If CO2 emissions cease, the world will stabilize at some new level of temp, where the outgoing radiation is in equilibrium with the incoming. It cannot keep warming endlessly.

    There can be no such thing as “tipping points” or endless, runaway warming. That contradicts the law of conservation of energy.

  51. Pingback: The WUWT Hot Sheet for Sept 26th, 2013 | Watts Up With That?

  52. They spread exactly the same disinformation about the ozone layer. That apparently was also based on crap models according to James Lovelock.

  53. William McClenney

    “The draft report says the available evidence now suggests that above a certain threshold of warming, the Greenland ice sheet will almost disappear within approximately 1000 years, which will result in 7 metres of global sea-level rise. It estimates that the threshold may lie between 1 °C and 4 °C of warming, but is not confident of this figure.

    (JC) My reaction to reading the title of this article can be summed up in two words: ‘insane’ and ‘megalomania.’ ”

    My reaction to this is “Woop-te-do!” Somebody better tell MIS-5.5, MIS-11.3, and maybe even MIS-7 and MIS-9 in case these post mid-Brunhes extreme end-interglacial delegations don’t get this memo, draft or final reports.

    Boettger, et al (Quaternary International 207 [2009] 137–144) abstract it (http://eg.igras.ru/files/f.2010.04.14.12.53.54..5.pdf):

    “In terrestrial records from Central and Eastern Europe the end of the Last Interglacial seems to be characterized by evident climatic and environmental instabilities recorded by geochemical and vegetation indicators. The transition (MIS 5e/5d) from the Last Interglacial (Eemian, Mikulino) to the Early Last Glacial (Early Weichselian, Early Valdai) is marked by at least two warming events as observed in geochemical data on the lake sediment profiles of Central (Gro¨bern, Neumark–Nord, Klinge) and of Eastern Europe (Ples). Results of palynological studies of all these sequences indicate simultaneously a strong increase of environmental oscillations during the very end of the Last Interglacial and the beginning of the Last Glaciation. This paper discusses possible correlations of these events between regions in Central and Eastern Europe. The pronounced climate and environment instability during the interglacial/glacial transition could be consistent with the assumption that it is about a natural phenomenon, characteristic for transitional stages. Taking into consideration that currently observed ‘‘human-induced’’ global warming coincides with the natural trend to cooling, the study of such transitional stages is important for understanding the underlying processes of the climate changes.”

    Hearty and Neumann (Quaternary Science Reviews 20 [2001] 1881–1895) abstracting their work in the Bahamas state (http://business.uow.edu.au/sydney-bschool/content/groups/public/@web/@sci/@eesc/documents/doc/uow014948.pdf):

    “The geology of the Last Interglaciation (sensu stricto, marine isotope substage (MIS) 5e) in the Bahamas records the nature of sea level and climate change. After a period of quasi-stability for most of the interglaciation, during which reefs grew to +2.5 m, sea level rose rapidly at the end of the period, incising notches in older limestone. After brief stillstands at +6 and perhaps +8.5 m, sea level fell with apparent speed to the MIS 5d lowstand and much cooler climatic conditions. It was during this regression from the MIS 5e highstand that the North Atlantic suffered an oceanographic ‘‘reorganization’’ about 11873 ka ago. During this same interval, massive dune-building greatly enlarged the Bahama Islands. Giant waves reshaped exposed lowlands into chevron-shaped beach ridges, ran up on older coastal ridges, and also broke off and threw megaboulders onto and over 20 m-high cliffs. The oolitic rocks recording these features yield concordant whole-rock amino acid ratios across the archipelago. Whether or not the Last Interglaciation serves as an appropriate analog for our ‘‘greenhouse’’ world, it nonetheless reveals the intricate details of climatic transitions between warm interglaciations and near glacial conditions.”

    The range of estimates for the end-Eemian pair of thermal pulses was reported by Hearty et al, 2007 (http://business.uow.edu.au/sydney-bschool/content/groups/public/@web/@sci/@eesc/documents/doc/uow045009.pdf) as somewhere between +6 and +45 meters amsl. Lysa et al, 2001 (http://lin.irk.ru/pdf/6696.pdf) found evidence the late Eemian highstand may have reached +52 meters amsl.

    There are two conclusions that can be drawn from this little exercise:

    (1) Even on things which actually have happened, the science is not that particularly well-settled. Which makes consideration of the science being settled on things which have not happened yet, a bit unsettling.
    (2) IPCC AR4, 2007 reports on Figure 10.33 from page 821 of Chapter 10 that the worst case of sea level rise (business as usual scenario) is +0.59 meters amsl. If we take the best case of normal end extreme interglacial natural climate noise to be Hearty et al’s 2007 +6 meters amsl, then our worst case AGW “signal” is slightly less than an order of magnitude less than the noise. If we take Lysa et al’s 2001 estimate of perhaps +52 meters amsl, then our worst case AGW “signal” might be a little less than 2 orders of magnitude less than the normal end extreme interglacial natural climate noise.

    Houston, we have a problem. We need to get our AGW “signal” above the normal end extreme interglacial natural noise or we might not even be able to detect it.

    If we just take into consideration “The pronounced climate and environment instability during the interglacial/glacial transition could be consistent with the assumption that it is about a natural phenomenon, characteristic for transitional stages.” then this whole debate becomes as Crocodile Dundee so aptly put it:

    “like two fleas arguing over who owns the dog they are riding on”

    Wallace Broecker posed perhaps the most eminently reasonable questions of the whole non-debate (as it has devolved) in 1998 (http://www.personal.kent.edu/~jortiz/paleoceanography/broecker.pdf):

    (1) Were previous intervals of peak interglaciation terminated by abrupt global coolings?
    (2) How close are we to the end of the present interval of peak interglaciation?
    (3) Will the ongoing buildup of greenhouse gases alter the natural sequence of events?

    Based on varve counts at the end of the Younger Dryas published in 2005, and adding in the subsequent 8 years, the Holocene is presently 11,716 years old. The precession cycle varies between 19kyrs and 23kyrs long and we are the 23kyr part of that oscillation now, making 11,500 half.

    Famous astronomer Fred Hoyle, in a paper posted on the Cambridge Conference Network (CCNet) (1999) stated it best:

    “This is why the past million years has been essentially a continuing ice-age, broken occasionally by short-lived interglacials. It is also why those who have engaged in lurid talk over an enhanced greenhouse effect raising the Earth’s temperature by a degree or two should be seen as both demented and dangerous. The problem for the present swollen human species is of a drift back into an ice-age, not away from an ice-age.”

    Combining all of this, and in consideration of just a few more points, I find that I am not particularly in disagreement with the proposition of insane megalomaniacs unleashing grandiose schemes to “thermostat” the climate. And especially in consideration of the law of unintended consequences.

    You see climate change has been very very good to the genus Homo in terms of genetic engineering:

    “An examination of the fossil record indicates that the key junctures in hominin evolution reported nowadays at 2.6, 1.8 and 1 Ma coincide with 400 kyr eccentricity maxima, which suggests that periods with enhanced speciation and extinction events coincided with periods of maximum climate variability on high moisture levels.”
    http://www.manfredmudelsee.com/publ/pdf/Trends-rhythms-and-events-in-Plio-Pleistocene-African-climate.pdf

    Consider for just a moment the hardiness of the version of H. sapiens mucking about during the Eemian and those that made it through to the Holocene. Then look around you, pay close attention to the “arguments” being advanced by those afraid of AGW, and see if you do not come to the same conclusion I have:

    OMG do we need another ice age!

    Then take just one more moment to consider that if there is even the slightest possibility that the heathen devil gas CO2 could in any way delay (or god forbid – prevent) onset of the next glacial, then maybe the correct thing to do is strip it out of the late Holocene atmosphere. Geoengineering might actually be key, given the advanced state of hominid myopia apparent all around us and on just about any subject you choose to consider, to climatologically genetically engineering the next best hominid. It is either this or we may have to wait another 200kyrs (to the next eccentricity maxima) for it to perhaps happen naturally.

    So be ever thoughtful of both facts and predictions before leaping to a conclusion. It was in fact a LEAP that terminated the last interglacial, the cold Late Eemian Aridity Pulse which lasted 468 years and ended with a precipitous drop into the Wisconsin ice age. And yes, we were indeed there. We had been on the stage as our stone-age selves about the same length of time during that interglacial that our civilizations have been during this one. http://www.particle-analysis.info/LEAP_Nature__Sirocko+Seelos.pdf

    Meanwhile, enjoy this precious little interglacial in which all of human civilization has occurred! While it lasts……

    • Yup, if we really do get climate extremes, it’s the end of the Holocene, not the magic gas stirring it up.
      =============

    • There is a part of me that believes this whole nonsense about AGW is the result of the unspoken premise of modern environmentalism that all human impacts on nature are bad. There is nothing scientific about this stance, for science recognizes that all life changes its environment. Life is change.

      Yet, it is only under this false premise that we can collectively embrace the notion that a slightly warmer planet is a terrible thing, to be avoided at all costs. Again, science tells us the opposite, that a little warming would be a great thing for the biosphere, and a little cooling would be harmful to the majority of the biosphere. An ice age would be far worse than anything the AGW folks have ever imagined with their exaggerated fears of warming, and that an ice age is imminent, sooner or later.

      So, in the absence of this self loathing, which apparently has spread from Western Civilization to all corners of the globe, would we have a global warming scare? I don’t think so. Instead, we would be rejoicing in the increased productivity of the biosphere (life). We would be grateful for the bumper crops we have enjoyed. We would be happy about less frequent blizzards and the all too slight reduction in cold related deaths! It wouldn’t matter if the tiny bit of warming was natural or man-made…we would be grateful for it.

      Instead, we see the warming as evil. Could this be because we, as a species, tend to fear change (although we are remarkably good at adapting to it in the long run), or is it human induced change that makes the warming evil. I believe it is the latter and that this whole global warming movement is the product of human irrationality and self loathing; a psychological disorder on a massive scale.

  54. I see a contradiction and a problem with the premise that we must go negative in CO2 to have a chance of lowering the warming.

    The contradiction is if CO2 is such a thermostat then why is it so effective at warming the planet while it’s removal is not.

    The problem is that there is also the assumption that the persistence of human induced CO2 follows the Bern model rather than a much shorter half-life as outlined here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/01/the-bombtest-curve-and-its-implications-for-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-residency-time/

    In any case, as we enjoy this 6th minor uptick in temperatures that is the lowest of all the upticks since the end of the last ice age as we continue our ultimate descent into our normal climate in this epoch which is what we call an Ice Age I will enjoy what ever minor benefits pumping plant fertilizer into the atmosphere brings. And that’s the longer view context that includes the past and the future that is usually forgotten as we myopically focus on our short recent era observations.

    • That is not only a rational approach, but a healthy psychological attitude to embrace as well. I wonder if the warmists will eventually see their own lunacy when they finally retire and excitedly move to Florida.

  55. David Appell | September 25, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    Tampered? In what way? How?
    ========================================
    Changed. Older temps lowered, later temps raised. GISS did it as well.

    For more, see Steve Goddard’s Real Science, where he has been logging the changes for some time

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/data-tampering-at-ushcngiss/

    and regular updates at the home page. I gather there is no audit trail or documentation of the rationale (dogma?) behind this tampering. Essentially, it is scientific fraud.

    • Ahh, so the little ice age was also a fraud?

      Goddard sounds like a 9/11 truther.

    • Where did Goddard allege that? Link please.

    • I beg your pardon? Nothing to do what what I note above. Take it up with Mr. Truther (nice Ad Hom, par for the course) why don’t you. He’ll be happy to describe to you what he has documented, I am sure. The temperature records at NASA and USHCN have been altered. What don’t you understand about that, apart from the sever case of cognitive dissonance it seems to have given you. Take Pepto-Bismol and lie down.

  56. OT, but an interesting episode in the drive for more open access science:

    http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=1430

    a series of papers dealing with data from NASA’s Mars Curiosity mission were paywalled at Science mag., even though US law requires all such data to be publicly available. The science blogger (and prominent biologist) at the link above decided to “liberate” them….

  57. Judith, I’m surprised by your 100% opposition to geo-engineering, especially based on an analogy to Huxley’s Brave New World. Surely you are not 100% opposed to biotechnology, or view it as inherently totalitarian.

    Suppose that scientists and engineers figure out how, using non-toxic substances that enhance cloud cover or scatter sunlight, to inexpensively cool the sea surface in the path of tropical cyclones headed straight for major population centers. Suppose further that the cool-down is enough to keep a Category 1 hurricane from growing into a Category 3 or a tropical storm from becoming a Category 1. I don’t know whether that it will ever be feasible, but I see no a priori moral objection to doing it.

    Just as there is nothing sacred about the genes that produce cystic fibrosis or hemophilia, there is nothing sacred about the energy flows that produce hurricanes or determine their storm tracks.

    Human management of nature is the main reason people today live longer, safer, more comfortable lives than the kings and nobles of earlier times. If feasible, developing cost-effective hurricane counter-measures would help make the world a better place.

    The concern that the same people behind the Kyoto process would try to inflate geo-engineering policies and agreements into a system of “authentic global governance” is valid. But that is a reason to oppose regulatory zealotry and overreach, not to oppose the application of science and engineering to make the world a safer place.

  58. Pingback: Sorry IPCC – How You Portrayed the Global Temperature Plateau is Comical at Best | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  59. Pingback: Sorry IPCC – How You Portrayed the Global Temperature Plateau is Comical at Best | Watts Up With That?

  60. Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry on the CO2 ‘control knob’ fallacy: ‘This issue of CO2 as a climate control knob has always bugged me’ — Curry: ‘But on what time scales does it make sense to think of CO2 as a control knob? That is a very relevant question in context of CO2 mitigation policies that doesn’t seem to get asked…Until we get past the IPCC’s paradigm paralysis that climate change on multidecadal time scales is completely externally forced, there won’t be much progress on really understanding climate change.

    Dr Judith Curry’s comment on a “control knob fallacy” is valid.

    You may be interested to know I proved in 1997 Earth’s thermostat adjusting fossil fuel combustion rate will never work because the system is un-measurable, unobservable and uncontrollable. These are derived with mathematical theorems of control systems engineering dynamic models, properties of differential equations, developed and used since 1970. We also have stability criteria theorems, showing proposed atmospheric tipping points do not exist.

    Another weakness is humanity’s lack of a rigorous method for properly setting the thermostat setpoint. This problem constitutes an optimization of a risky tradeoff, which I have solved: CLIFFTENT™. Provided there is consensus on the objective function. Yes, I said consensus.

    Conclusion? The whole AGW, CC, GHGT literature is a worthless mess. CO2 is green plant food. Chemical engineers are not allowed to get involved.

    Pierre R Latour, PE, PhD, Chemical Process Control Systems Engineer

    • Until we get past the IPCC’s paradigm paralysis that climate change on multidecadal time scales is completely externally forced, there won’t be much progress on really understanding climate change.

      Yes! External forcing does not have the feedback to regulate temperature in the narrow bounds it has been in for the past ten thousand years.

      You must have a thermostat with a set point and powerful forcing that responds to the thermostat..

      The temperature that Polar Sea Ice melts and freezes is the set point and the powerful forcing is the snowfall that is turned on and off as needed.

  61. The questions that people should ask here do not concern science so much as finance and politics:

    1. How much research grant money has the government already pumped into geoengineering?
    2. How many very rich, very powerful venture capitalists have ‘made a play’ on geoengineering?
    3. Will we actually be able to measure, monitor and control the outcomes of geoengineering experiments (as opposed to computer simulations)?

    The reason these questions are important is as follows:
    1. If lots of grant money has been made available, some scientists have bet their careers on geoengineering and will do what it takes to keep the topic fundable.
    2. If VCs have pumped in hundreds of millions, they are looking to retrieve billions, so some high profile IPOs or trade sales will fuel arguments, expectations etc. IPOs of this nature are prepared for by ‘shaping the market’ i.e. distorting perceptions in the media. So long as they get their financial exit, they couldn’t give a monkeys whether the market dies an untimely death thereafter. That’s VC investing for you.
    3. Your lives, your health and the future of humanity is affected if scientists and investors go hung ho with climate alteration programmes. Think Star Wars with microwaves. The CIA creating a winter to end all winters in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Stans. The Monsoon being destroyed by Americans for geopolitical purposes. The Chinese and Germans wanting the NE Passage to be open for 8 weeks a year, every year, so they screw up the arctic ice cycles. The US engineering cold, since they can shift grain production southward but Russia and Ukraine are less capable. Starving the Russians for power?? It’s acceptable collateral damage to the CIA.

    This has all the ‘frankenstein’ implications that molecular biology had in the early 1970s.

    Then, the scientists got together and drew up what they thought were an ethical set of guidelines for genetic engineering which broadly served humanity well for the next 40 years.

    Perhaps it is time for dispassionate, reputable, upstanding and morally robust climatologists to do the same for geoengineering??

  62. rtj1211, Your comments explain why professional chemical process control systems engineers are not allowed to participate with the unlicensed nonprofessionals in charge. We must be licensed to practice engineering, others are allowed to practice it without licenses.

    Earth’s atmosphere is a chemical process system, modeled by our PDE’s for conservation of mass, momentum and energy, chemical kinetics and systems engineering.

    I have built hundreds of temperature controllers now operating oil refineries and pchem plants worldwide. There are millions in homes, buildings and cars. Last thing an engineer wants to do is build a system that won’t work, is unsafe or uneconomic. Which is why scientific, legal and economic feasibility are the first things we check.

    Which is why chemical process engineers are not allowed to get involved with designing Earth’s thermostat. We can just sit by and watch AGW promoters waste money floundering and publishing. They make lots of money doing research on the impossible. Is that hot or cool?

  63. David Appell | September 25, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
    Tampered? In what way? How?
    ===============================================

    Well, David – it would seem that, as my mother used to say, the cat has got your tongue on the matter of (fraudulent? Some might say so. I couldn’t possibly comment) tampering with the temperature records.

    There’s more here, demonstrating how this has appeared to change history. I’m afraid that for some reason, there are a lot of graphs in a single jpeg file, but if you scroll down to just before half way, and look at the section headed

    “Later, activist published…

    you will see how this reworks history towards the catastrophists’ tale. For tale it is.

    So, what do YOU think about this?

  64. Look at earth temperature for the past ten thousand years.
    Earth already has an excellent Thermostat and Temperature control system. Let it do what only Earth already does really well!
    Does anyone actually look at the recent ten thousand year ice core data and say:

    “WOW, this has worked really well and if you place modern data next to the data for the past ten thousand years, it is well inside the bounds and not headed out”

  65. Pingback: IPCC AR5 climate report may be dead on arrival | wryheat

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