Open thread weekend

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

I’m still wrapping my head around the SPM, will have a new post on this up sometime tomorrow.

Blog traffic is very high right now;  please keep your comments relevant, cogent and civil on the topical threads (I will continue to monitor these closely); this open thread can be more free wheeling.

91 responses to “Open thread weekend

  1. It’s worse than I thought!

    • Some twenty years ago a lifetime politician and future Nobel winner would say the most amazing thing. “Only an insignificant fraction of scientists deny the global warming crisis. The time for debate is over. The science is settled.” So said Al Gore … in 1992.

      “In the real 1992, however, Gallup ‘reported that 53% of scientists actively involved in global climate research did not believe global warming had occurred; 30% weren’t sure; and only 17% believed global warming had begun. Even a Greenpeace poll showed 47% of climatologists didn’t think a runaway greenhouse effect was imminent; only 36% thought it possible and a mere 13% thought it probable.’ Seventeen years later, in 2009… Climategate broke, reminding us that what had smelled funny before might indeed be a little rotten.” ~Jay Richards

      “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.” ~Richard Lindzen

      • Oh noes, gubermint thermo-meters!

        We’re doomed, doomed……!!!!!

      • “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.” ~Richard Lindzen

        (my bold)
        Lindzen chose his words carefully there. There’s a more than subtle difference between a globally averaged temperature increase, which is what our anomaly data shows, and an increase in globally averaged temperature. The two are not necessarily the same, and almost certainly are not. But the actual difference between the two is not only unknown, but unknowable.
        In short, we don’t have a measure of how much the global average temperature has increased.

    • From SPM:

      “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. “

      We don’t know that because we don’t have sufficiently precise or closely spaced accurate records before the start of temperature readings

      “Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850”

      So what? We are in a warming part of the 900 year cycle.

      “The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia (high confidence).”

      That’s disingenuous. The means are being compared for two different durations; 160 years versus 2000 years.

      “causing ocean acidification”

      Use of a scaremongering term. It is reduce d alkalinity, not acidification.

      “Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from … observed warming …”

      NO!

      “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

      BS. The estimate of 95% is by self selected experts, who share career interests, repel boarders who practice group think, herd mentality, have careers at stake, practice cognitive dissonance, etc.

      “Changes in the global water cycle in response to the warming over the 21st century will not be uniform. The contrast in precipitation between wet and dry regions and between wet and dry seasons will increase, although there may be regional exceptions”

      A motherhood statement. Says nothing. Cannot be proven wrong. Nothing more than scaremongering.

      “The global ocean will continue to warm during the 21st century. Heat will penetrate from the surface to the deep ocean and affect ocean circulation.”

      More motherhood. This is supposedly a statement of fact because there is no likelihood statement attached.

      • The IPCC’s declaration that it has been warmer at the surface without mentioning the reading was taken by an official government thermometer in the middle of an urban heat island is more than disingenuous and exactly what you’d expect.

      • {right spot this time!}

        Oh noes, gubermint thermo-meters!

        We’re doomed, doomed……!!

    • from Professor Ross McKitrick:

      SPM in a nutshell: Since we started in 1990 we were right about the Arctic, wrong about the Antarctic, wrong about the tropical troposphere, wrong about the surface, wrong about hurricanes, wrong about the Himalayas, wrong about sensitivity, clueless on clouds and useless on regional trends. And on that basis we’re 95% confident we’re right.

    • From AR5 WG1 SPM:
      http://www.ipcc.ch/

      A. Introduction

      The degree of certainty in key findings in this assessment is based on the author teams’ evaluations of underlying scientific understanding and is expressed as a qualitative level of confidence (from very low to very high) and, when possible, probabilistically with a quantified likelihood (from exceptionally unlikely to virtually certain). Confidence in the validity of a finding is based on the type, amount, quality, and consistency of evidence (e.g., data, mechanistic understanding, theory, models, expert judgment) and the degree of agreement1. Probabilistic estimates of quantified measures of uncertainty in a finding are based on statistical analysis of observations or model results, or both, and expert judgment2. Where appropriate, findings are also formulated as statements of fact without using uncertainty qualifiers.

      In other words it is the gut feel of a group of experts who share common background, experience, and beliefs.

  2. The new hypothesis of ocean warming saves AGW by throwing the climate models under the bus, for they never heard of deep ocean warming. Here is an example of the new theory saving ocean warming rhetoric. We will be seeing a lot of this. Part of the internal IPCC debate was the ocean warming crowd arguing for their stuff.

    “…Are scientists certain that global warming has continued unabated over the last 15 years? Yes. “The best satellite data we have shows that there is still more energy going into the climate system than is going out, because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” said Ed Hawkins, at the University of Reading. Another Reading scientist, William Collins, said: “The climate has warmed over the last 10 years, the models are not wrong on the total heat being added.”
    So where is all the heat going? About 93% goes into the oceans, much of which were largely unmonitored until the 2000s, 3% into land and 3% into melting ice………………….”
     
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/09/27/the-willful-idiocy-of-alleged-global-temperature-decline-is-based-on-a-mirage/

  3. I propose we discuss Figure 1 of the SPM (see page SPM-27). I am no climatologist, but it seems to me that the warming “hiatus” of the past few years is not very significant when compared with the overall trend since the early 1900s — IF we can assume that all the data points from the beginning to the end of the plot are comparable. Can anyone help me with this?

  4. Judith, in past few weeks (and before) you have mentored, perhaps unknowingly, many young scientists as regards honor and dignity in science.

  5. Leonard Weinstein

    Can Ocean Energy Absorption Cause a Pause in Surface Heating ?

    The first question one has to answer is why all of a sudden early in the new century the oceans would start to more rapidly absorb the solar radiation than before. The second question is if the ocean absorbed more energy at large depths, can it come back later for delayed significant heating.

    The argument often used for decreased surface heating in the period between about 1942 and 1975 has been that increased aerosols from the later part of WWII and the industrial boom following the end of the war reflecting more sunlight so that the effective albedo was increased. This reduced absorbed surface energy and resulted in cooling. The argument then goes that the heating started beck when the clean air act of the US and efforts in Europe cut back on aerosols, so the increased CO2 could now dominate, and thus the greenhouse effect took off. If in the present the solar intensity has not changed, the only way that solar intensity absorbed by the ocean would increase is that there is a reduction in aerosols and/or clouds, so that the albedo DECREASED. However, a decrease in albedo would result in an INCREASE in land and water surface heating. There should be a rise, not leveling or drop in global near surface heating associated with increased deep ocean absorption (keep in mind that essentially all of the sunlight energy is initially caught either on land, or in the first couple of hundred or so meters of the water, with the greatest amount near the surface). It thus appears that assuming that energy from the Sun can be trapped below 700 m in large amounts, while the surface is not heating, and even is slightly cooling, is not logically consistent.

    If somehow the selective absorption and sequestration of more energy did occur at depth without the surface heating also heating as much above previous trends, the large mass of water at depth would result in a fairly small temperature rise even with a significant net energy flux, even over a period of a century. It should be noted that increasing sunlight absorption in the surface generally causes more surface evaporation, which removes most of the excess energy. However, assume a net increase of 0.2 W/m2 entered the surface, and this added energy flux was carried to the level between 700 m and 2000 m. This would increase the water average temperature in that level by about 0.1C per century. However this water is at an average temperature of just 4C to 5C near the equator, and near zero at high latitudes). This temperature is far colder than the surface except at very high latitudes. How is colder water going to come up and heat the atmosphere? The only places any positive heating could occur is near the Polar Regions, and only small warming could possibly occur. Even if this local heating were possible, it is not the energy content, but the temperature difference that drives heat transfer. Even an infinite energy reservoir cannot heat another body to a temperature higher than the source. If all of the temperature rise were somehow able to heat the surface the maximum additional increase, this still only adds a maximum of 0.1C/century over the possible heating without the added rise, and this is more than a full order of magnitude too low compared to the models.

  6. Chaos theory in 5 minutes:

    Prerequisites: None.

    It might help you visualize Lorenz attractors. By the time they get to the 21 X 21 grid, you’ll see a discernible pattern surrounded by a chaotic pattern. And you’ll probably be able to figure out what causes that?

  7. What is climate change it? The Left simply elevated brain-dead weather programs to a special status by calling them Global Circulation Models (GCMs). All the name change really means is that these models cannot even be expected to predict the weather and yet society’s productive are still expected to pay for all of this worthless crap.

  8. The other JC (John)

    My “five questions for the IPCC”:

    1) Many errors were revealed in AR4. They all went in the same direction, exaggerating GW. What steps have you taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again?

    2) According to the literature, what is the single strongest piece of empirical evidence supporting the water vapor feedback?

    3) What is the most important negative feedback in the “standard model”?

    4) IPCC is very careful to call model outputs “projections” rather than predictions. If the models don’t make predictions, how can they be trusted? Indeed, how can they be science?

    5) What processes does IPCC have in place to ensure that no author is ever in the position of passing judgment on his or her own work?

  9. AR5: Comedy or Horror Movie?

  10. Here’s a question I’ve yet to see asked or talked about in any meaningful way regarding climate cycles.

    Yes, I believe we have an effect on weather and climate. The question would be, despite this effect, does the large scale machinations of everything else the universe throws at us trump anthropogenic influence? We’re in an interglacial period. What happens when the Milankovich cycle brings us back to another glacial period? Will this trump the anthropogenic influence, what little there is? Opinions?

  11. “Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850”

    1900 -0.41
    1910 -0.39
    1920 -0.25
    1930 -0.12
    1940 0.00
    1950 -0.06
    1960 -0.05
    1970 -0.08

    Each of the 3 decades after the 1900s were successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850

    But the next 3 decades after the 1940s were COLDER than the 1940s.

    Why?

    Explain your work.

  12. I would just like to restate my question from two threads back, on ocean heat: a look into OHC data background references leads to this data-quality article by Ingleton & Huddleston, esp. Fig. 6 at page 15, here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/en3/OQCpaper.pdf

    It seems to show pronounced cooling during the 80s-90s atmospheric warming? No relentless deep-sea warming at least warming at least, of the type we’re now invoking. Still, deep-sea cooling!? I realise data behind can be scarce, but there can’t be many other deep-sea data from then can there?

  13. I don’t understand the logic. If they have no most likely figure on the climate sensitivity parameter, how can they reach their other conclusions with any certainty? Doesn’t everything depend on this?
    If we do not know that number, then we don’t know how much natural variation there is, and therefore we don’t know what the effects of reducing emissions will be.
    Can someone explain why this is not giving up the whole argument?

    • Michel

      That’s the whole ruse.

      Several recent observation-based studies conclude that the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity at equilibrium (ECS) is between 1.5 and 2.0C.

      IPCC has always preferred the model-based range of 2.0 to 4.5C.

      Rather than completely sweep the new studies “under the rug” (as our hostess once wrote), IPCC has simply decided to increase the range to include the new findings.

      We all know that at an ECS of 1.5 to 2.0C there is no real potential threat to humanity or our environment from AGW, so IPCC must try to keep the upper end of the opld range alive, or totally lose relevance.

      The problem IPCC has is that it loses credibility by stubbornly retaining the upper end of the ECS range despite the new observation-based studies, which point to a lower range.

      We’ll see how this plays out, but im my mind IPCC has lost all remaining credibility by hanging in tough with its old scare tactics.

      Max

      • “in my mind IPCC has lost all remaining credibility” Would that it were so. All coverage I’ve seen so far has focussed on the IPCC’s higher certainty and quotes the high-end of the IPCC’s range without question. Less credibility among certain cognescenti, that yet needs to be translated to widespread loss of credibility.

      • “Several recent observation-based studies conclude that the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity at equilibrium (ECS) is between 1.5 and 2.0C.”

        Both of which would mean most of the warming since 1950 was caused by man!

        Therefore justifying the IPCC attribution statement surely!

      • lolwot: “most of the warming since 1950 was caused by man”

        The 50s, 60s and 70s were colder than the 1940s.

      • lolwot:

        ““Several recent observation-based studies conclude that the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity at equilibrium (ECS) is between 1.5 and 2.0C.”
        Both of which would mean most of the warming since 1950 was caused by man!”

        Tongue in cheek I say, Then climate sensitivity is whatever it takes to attribute all temperature rises in the long term (50-75 years) to mankind.

    • michel
      You are thinking too logically and using deductive reasoning. The reason is that they said so and they have the microphone. Someday, in a few generations, the historians will just shake their head and wonder what were they thinking.

  14. Whilst I respect your rules for this blog, what would your opinion be about a newspaper which states week after week, month after month, year after year, on the front page, in 48pt Font, that global warming is real, dangerous and caused by you??

    If you try to engage by your rules and they insult you, censor you, refuse to publish challenges to their view, then suggest that world government must be subverted to control you in totality.

    Would you retain your blog rules or would you start to consider more robust action??

    I’m asking what you would do, in response to people whose campaigning style is, at least verbally and scientifically, derived straight from Mein Kampf, namely ‘if you tell a lie loud enough and often enough, eventually people will believe it’. ‘The bigger the lie, the more likely it is to be believed’.

    Would you consider the regulation of journalism, requiring professional journalists to adhere to a Hippocratic-style oath, with lifetime bans for those that transgress??

    Or would you muddle on through, hoping that truth wins out before humanity is reduced to the servility of a One World Socialist autocracy??

  15. anyone know what the satellite ir spectrum data tells us about daytime warming vs nighttime cooling??

    • looking for an answer found claes johnson commentary on pyrgeometer dlr vs bolometer olr.
      http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/big-bluff-of-pyrgeometer-dlr-as.html

      so now i am even more certain CO2 effects are misunderstood. and still hoping someone someday can show me a proper experiment showing how much any ghg can trap measured heat.

      • Why would Claes write this (my bold):

        “•OLR = heat flux from atmosphere into outer space at 0 K (or 3 K)

        The correct answer is 3K which is the cosmic background radiation and is correct in every direction as the 3K CBR permeates the entire observable universe. It’s a bit disturbing that he isn’t sure about the correct number and is definitely a red flag indicating everything he writes needs to be closely scrutinized by someone who thoroughly understands the material.

      • I read the rest of the link to Claes. He’s a crank. Pyrgeometers are accurate instruments to measure DWLIR separate from UWLIR. While net radiative transfer is usually the only measure of practical import the actual situation that the atmosphere radiates in all directions including back at the surface and just because the surface is warmer that doesn’t prevent the atmosphere from radiating. The fact of the matter is that downwelling radiation cancels out an equal amount of upwelling radiation and the remainder (usually upwelling remainder because the surface is usually warmer than the atmosphere) is the net radiation. When both air and surface is the same temperature there is no net radiation and that’s called equilibrium or the max entropy. All systems move of their own accord towards max entropy and that’s called the Second Law of Thermodynamics (2LoT for short). The long and the short of it is that the presence of CO2 absorbing upwelling IR raises atmospheric impedance to infrared in its absorption bands. The energy must still escape and has three means of doing so – conduction, radiation, and evaporation. In a purely radiative environment with increased DWLIR the only possible response is called the Planck response where the surface temperature rises which causes greater rate of energy loss and equilbrium is restored. On the earth there are alternatives to surface temperature increase. Conduction is one of them but air is a poor conductor so except in some extreme cases like hot dry deserts conduction can be discounted. Evaporation however is uber efficient and so long as there is surface water available for evaporation the lion’s share of the DWLIR leaves as latent heat of vaporization. It’s called latent because there’s no change in temperature associated with it. A true measure of the energy of a parcel of air is called enthalpy which accounts for both temperature of the gases and any latent heat carried by condensing gases.

      • With that link, we find that blouis79 has given away that he is another Aussie crackpot.

      • Referencing Claes Johnson is an oops. blouis79 could dig more into the ‘slayer’ creeds and be sucked in, or decide that they are crackpots. It is a delicate balance.

    • Is a hurricane a net importer or exporter of heat? If we have 15+ years of historically low hurricane/tropical storm activity should we be able to detect it in ocean temperatures? What other effects would we look for?

      • Hurricanes move heat from the ocean’s surface to upper atmosphere. All convective cells do that. Satellite IR imaging shows a trail of colder ocean surface marking the hurricane’s path.

        http://www.oercommons.org/courses/cold-water-trails-from-hurricanes-fabian-and-isabel-wms/view

        The quicktime video above shows Atlantic sea surface temperature as two hurricanes carve a path through warm water leaving a trail of colder water where they’d been.

      • Sparrow | September 28, 2013 at 8:27 am | Reply

        “What other effects would we look for?”

        FEMA expenditures for hurricane disaster relief is a biggie.

      • I was thinking more about climate side effects of a 15 year decline in hurricane activity.
        I wasn’t considering economic effects but since you brought it up let’s add in lower ocean transport costs, more time at sea for industrial ocean fishing, more deep water energy production and more coastal building.
        The first time I ever heard of Prof. Curry was when her hurricane research paper was published (back in 2006 I think). I would like to hear her opinion on the what an extended (15+ years) lack of large tropical storms might have on the global climate.

  16. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    ♪ James Hansen and colleagues slam IPCC5 methods !
    ♪♪ IPCC5 sensitivity said to be off by 2X factor !!
    ♪♪♪ Hansen calls IPCC5 ‘a terrible misunderstanding’ !!!
    ♪♪♪♪ Hansen says IPCC5 conclusions ‘measures our ignorance; ’ !!!!
    ♪♪♪♪♪ Judith Curry’s concerns totally VINDICATED !!!!!

    This week’s breaking climate-change news is James Hansen’s commentary An Old Story, but Useful Lessons upon the inadequacy of IPCC5 model-centric climate science, as documented in this week’s new free-as-in-freedom scientific article Climate sensitivity, sea level and atmospheric carbon dioxide:

    An Old Story, but Useful Lessons

    There is a tendency in the [IPCC5] literature to treat an ensemble of model runs as if its distribution function is a distribution function for the truth, i.e., for the real world.

    Wow. What a terrible misunderstanding.

    Climate sensitivity, sea level
    and atmospheric carbon dioxide

    Estimates of climate sensitivity cover a wide range that has existed for decades. That range measures our ignorance; it does not mean that climate response from a specified state is stochastic with such inherent uncertainty.

    A relatively clean empirical [paleo-based] assessment yields a fast-feedback climate sensitivity of 3–4°C for 2 × CO2.

    Humanity stands at a fork in the road. As conventional oil and gas are depleted, will we move to carbon-free energy and efficiency—or to unconventional fossil fuels and coal?

    Burning all fossil fuels would produce a different, practically uninhabitable, planet. Whether governments continue to be so foolhardy as to allow or encourage development of all fossil fuels may determine the fate of humanity.

    Summary

    •  Judith Curry is entirely correct that IPCC5 models are inadequate to support the conclusions that the IPCC5 consensus draws from them.

    •  James Hansen is entirely correct that simple energy-balance models calibrated by paleo data are more reliable than present-day IPCC5 dynamical models.

    •  Naomi Oreskes is entirely correct that IPCC5 conclusions are too conservative.

    •  Wendell Berry and Pope Benedict and Pope Francis are all three entirely correct to focus upon sustainability as the key issue associated to climate-change.

    •  Thoughtful Republicans [like William D. Ruckelshaus, Lee M. Thomas, William K. Reilly And Christine Todd Whitman] are entirely correct to recognize that anti-science denialism poses the greatest single threat to the long-term viability of conservatism in politics.

    •  Thoughtful Greens [like James Hansen himself] are entirely correct to recognize that pragmatic reality that realistic carbon-neutral energy economies must include a strong nuclear energy component.

    Conclusion This week’s big news is *not* the [unsurprising, even boring] IPCC5 report, but rather is the emerging common cause of very many, very diverse views of climate-change!

    Ayes, Climate Etc lassies and laddies, ain’t it amazin` how much agreement we discern, when we match “the strongest available science” with “the strongest available skepticism”, and with “the most rational, foresighted discourse”?

    Whereas when the willful ignorance of denialism attacks the weakest climate science in service of the most selfishly short-sighted interests … the results amount to (in Wendell Berry wonderful description) “gleeful yahoos who are destroying the planet and mindless oafs who abet them”!

    \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}

  17. I hate to sound like a stuck record, but a question I’ve asked several times, in view of the rather poor performance of climate models is:

    What is the minimum scale of the process that determines climate? Does one have to resolve the frequency of a butterflies wing in the Amazon? Does one have to resolve weather fronts because thay affect attractor behaviour? Is a 10 by 10 grid of the Anarctic adequate (because it’s all damn cold there)?

    Until this question is resolved, I can’t see how one can construct a climate model.

    • RC said:

      “Until this question is resolved, I can’t see how one can construct a climate model.”

      To resolve the question what we need to do is try to deconstruct the complexity that exists — in other words, first admit “it is what it is”. From there, one deconstruction route is to make a connection between the global temperature record and some other behavior. If we are lucky we can remove that complexifying feature and replace it with something else that we can handle, or that we can partition off. In the latter case, it is a matter of encapsulating the complexity as a separate feature.

      The exciting prospect is to tie the temperature record to the Southern Oscillation Index, which appears to not have any long term non-stationary trend.

      http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/9159/hpi.gif

      This removes much of the variability and fluctuations in the global temperature record, leaving behind the long term trend.

    • Can’t you have a model of how quickly a pot of water heats without knowing every bubble? This is the issue with climate predictions versus weather. It comes down to the overall energy balance rather than details when you look at it from the physics perspective.

      • Exactly Jim D,

        Moreover, what some researchers are doing is boot-strapping their models with constrained behavior that isolates certain parts of the behavior. See Kosaka and Xie [1] for an example of this.

        [1]Y. Kosaka and S.-P. Xie, “Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling,” Nature, 2013.

      • Yes, Bur we don’t know how to write the energy balance. A pot of water is not potentially a chaotic system

      • If most of the heat can go into the deep ocean then that dynamic is central to your energy balance equation and it may have a cycle time of a thousand years or more. So if your pot of water is the ocean the answer is no.

      • If the system is chaotic it never balances and the averages oscillate as well.

  18. To understand better just how we got to where we are now, as well reading Rupert Darwell’s excellent book ‘The Age of Global Warming’, it is worth reading through the early reports of IPCC plenary sessions. In the first session of 1988 the opening statements of the governments are illuminating. The US government stressed

    “the need for strong, interactive peer review, as part of the working group process.”

    Cautiously, the government of Israel stated:

    “We had some apocalyptic prophecies concerning the planet Earth, due to the global warming. It might have been influenced by recent summer events of the droughts and furious hurricanes in America, by the extraordinary heatwave in the eastern Mediterranean, etc. But, before we cry “Wolf, wolf”, we should have some scientific basis for the cry. Carbon dioxide increased considerably during the last thirty years but our comparison of 1920-50 normals with those of 1950-80 show some cooling and increase of precipitation, which is not in accordance with the global predictions for sub-tropical regions.”

    Surprisingly, it appears that it was Malta that proposed the idea that became the UNFCC. However, it is the British statement that reveals the over-presumption, the drive for consensus and the bias that was built into the IPCC and UNFCC from their beginnings:

    “United Kingdom welcomes this initiative as an important step towards international consensus. The United Kingdom government has long expressed its concern about the increase in greenhouse gases. We are committed to action based on sound scientific evidence but the UK believes some action is already justified. In particular we urge wide ratification and strengthening of the Montreal Protocol, economic pricing of energy sources to promote development of energy alternatives and energy efficiency and better land use practices to reduce deforestation. We look to the Panel to scrutinise closely the wide uncertainties in the science, to assess the tolerable limits to climate change, and to look for policy responsibilities consistent with the principle of sustainable development.”

    The list of attendees is also interesting. Indur Goklany was in the US delegation and the Principle delegate for the UK was none other than John Houghton who went on to run Working Group One for the first three Assessment Reports and lobbied on behalf of the ‘hockey stick’ during AR4.

  19. The French media (newspapers, TV), got access to the last version of the summary for policy-maker of GIEC this last Friday morning. To day, I bought several newspapers, including ”Les Echos” and ”Le Monde”, and I did watch at the major TV channels.This is just terrible how unanimously they strongly support the conclusions of GIEC, while all considering the same set of 3 numbers: 1- Rise in temperature: +0.9°C (baseline is 1901-2012); 2- Rise in sea level: 19 cm (baseline is slightly different 1901-2010); 3- Rise in CO2 concentration. They give the following confusing sentence: This rise in temperature observed since 1958 is in fact slightly higher. With regard to 1750 the rise is 40%. Their tactic is very good: just focus on 3 simple numbers with short comments. Can we use a similar tactic, just focusing on the same numbers: are they right or not.

  20. Just a correction, I forgot to quote a number. Read; 3- Rise in CO2 concentration: + 20%. They give the following, etc…..

  21. There are obviously zero controls on the NSA.
    Begin article:
    In one case, an analyst spied on a foreign phone number she discovered in her husband’s cellphone, suspecting that he had cheated on her. She intercepted phone calls involving her husband, investigators discovered. The analyst resigned before any disciplinary action could be taken.

    On one analyst’s first day of access to the NSA system, he pulled records on six email addresses belonging to his ex-girlfriend. He claimed he just wanted to test the system. The NSA demoted him and docked his pay for two months.

    In another case, an analyst collected call data on his girlfriend and his own home phone number “out of curiosity.” He retired before the agency took any action.

    Another analyst based in a foreign location collected phone records on her foreign national boyfriend and other foreign nationals, saying she wanted to be sure she wasn’t associating with “shady characters.” She resigned before the agency took disciplinary action.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/325095-nsa-admits-analysts-spied-on-love-interests

    • You clearly don’t understand the problem. It’s human nature to be suspicious or want to gain an advantage over other people. It’s no different in business or government. What is changing is how technology makes this more likely to happen whether it’s your employer stealing your financial or medical records or our government spying on it’s own citizens. The only solution I can think of is having your own unique bio-metric key which you can encrypt everything with so access your information can not happen without your physical permission. It’s not perfect but I don’t think we can put the technology genie back in the bottle. Did you know there are scientist right now working on technology to read our thoughts. They think they are working on a cure for Alzheimer but I can think of other nefarious uses.

  22. Let’s examine this again.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/offset:0.1/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/offset:-0.1
    It is the 40-year trend from HADCRUT4 with rails at plus and minus 0.1 degrees. We see today is still within the rails. We also see that a very analogous double-dip to the lower rail occurred just prior to 1998. Enough said.

  23. 26 September 2013 Last updated at 19:11 ET

    Why are Americans giving up their citizenship?
    By Tom Geoghegan BBC News, Washington

    The number of Americans giving up their citizenship has rocketed this year – partly, it’s thought, because of a new tax law that is frustrating many expats.

    That’s not a concept that Americans contemplate lightly. But it’s one that many of them seem to be considering – and acting on.

    The number of expatriates renouncing their US citizenship surged in the second quarter of 2013, compared with the same period the year before – 1,131 cases to 189 in 2012. It’s still a small proportion of the estimated six million Americans abroad, but it’s a significant rise.

    The list is compiled by the Federal Register and while no reasons are given, the big looming factor seems to be tax.

    A new law called the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) will, from 1 July next year, require all financial institutions around the world to report directly to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) all the assets and incomes of any US citizens with $50,000 (£31,000) on their books. The US could withhold 30% of dividends and interest payments due to the banks that don’t comply.
    Continue reading the main story

    It’s an attempt by the US authorities to recover an estimated $100bn a year in unpaid taxes on US citizens’ assets overseas. Unlike other countries, Americans are taxed not only as residents of the US but also as citizens, wherever they live.

    Suddenly, some expats are waking up in a cold sweat. They have always had to file tax returns and disclose foreign accounts on a form called the FBAR, although in practice many didn’t. But now Fatca means they have to be more rigorous or face huge fines, in the knowledge that the US authorities could know a lot more than they have in the past.

    Bridget, who asked the BBC not to use her real name, gave up her US citizenship in 2011, 32 years after leaving for a new life in Scandinavia.

    “This has nothing to do with avoiding taxes. I was never in danger of having to pay taxes in the US since I pay more here. The issue for me was that it was becoming harder and harder to follow the tax code and comply. It was difficult already but when I knew Fatca was coming, I thought, ‘Do I want to go through with it anymore?’”

    She felt threatened even if she did everything to fulfil her responsibilities, she says. A simple loyalty card at the local grocery store caused her anxiety when she realised it was linked to a bank account she never knew she had.

    It became so complicated to do her tax return that she turned to professionals, at an annual cost of nearly $2,000 (£1,250), with the prospect of Fatca raising the price to $5,000. Also, fewer tax lawyers were taking on American clients, she says, and some banks were even turning away American money.

    “In the end, I sleep better now knowing that I no longer have to worry about the US requirements. I will never be able to live or own property in the US but I can visit and that’s enough for me.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24135021

  24. “scientificamerican.com:

    Solar experts have regaled me with tales of poor workmanship they find when they do spot checks of installed systems. As improperly installed joints corrode, connections loosen, and wires fray, we may be looking forward to a wave of breakdowns in the coming years. “Not only is there a potential for an increase in system failures, but there is also a potential for a rise in unsafe and potentially lethal situations,” says Corey Asbill of New Mexico State University.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/15/solar-panel-safety-needs-_0_n_823421.html

  25. Many have criticized the decadal temperature graph included in AR5s SPM as an attempt to “hide the pause.” This is likely true. However, hiding the recent pause wasn’t the only convenient fiction the graph sought to tell and sell.

    The graph doesn’t represent the real climate world as it existed before Hansen’s rewriting of climate history and the GISS record. Nor does it represent the climate world (and the data that that world produced) prior to Phil Jones’ similar hadCRUT “adjustments”.

    I’ve linked to two Goddard exposes of the politicized climate history writing that both Hansen and Jones shamelessly engaged in… history re-writing that produced the convenient graphical fiction in AR5s SPM:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/hansen-the-climate-chiropractor/
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/spectacularly-poor-climate-science-at-nasa/

    I’m also throwing “Climate Change Reconsidered” into the weekend thread mix. It’s a lengthy examination of the scientific literature, one that challenges IPCC’ positions and conclusions.

    http://climatechangereconsidered.org/

  26. “WASHINGTON – Operating with almost no public notice, the FBI has spent more than $3 million to operate a fleet of small drone aircraft in domestic investigations, according to a report released Thursday by a federal watchdog agency.

    The unmanned surveillance planes have helped FBI agents storm barricaded buildings, track criminal suspects and examine crime scenes since 2006, longer than previously known, according to the 35-page inspector general’s audit of drones used by the Justice Department.

    The FBI unmanned planes weigh less than 55 pounds each and are unarmed, the report said. The FBI declined requests to discuss its drone operations Thursday.

    In June, Robert S. Mueller III, then director of the FBI, acknowledged the existence of the drone program for the first time during congressional testimony.

    Mueller, who retired Sept. 4, said the bureau was in the “initial stages” of writing privacy policies so agencies flying the unmanned aircraft would avoid improper surveillance of Americans. “We’re exploring not only the use but also the necessary guidelines for that use,” he said.

    But the auditors determined that the FBI had not addressed the danger of violating privacy rights, and recommended that the deputy attorney general’s office consider writing new guidelines to curb improper surveillance by law enforcement drones.

    Officials from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told auditors that there was “no need” to write new privacy guidelines, the report said.”

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-fbi-using-drones-2006-20130926,0,3270950.story

  27. “A sensor previously used for military operations can now be tuned to secretly locate and record any single conversation on a busy street. [A] Dutch acoustics firm, Microflown Technologies, has developed a matchstick-sized sensor that can pinpoint and record a target’s conversations from a distance. Known as an acoustic vector sensor, Microflown’s sensor measures the movement of air, disturbed by sound waves, to almost instantly locate where a sound originated. It can then identify the noise and, if required, transmit it live to waiting ears. Security technologist Bruce Schneier says this new capability is unwelcome – particularly given the recent claims about the NSA’s success at tapping into our private lives. ‘It’s not just this one technology that’s the problem,’ Schneier says. ‘It’s the mic plus the drones, plus the signal processing, plus voice recognition.’”

    http://tech.slashdot.org/story/13/09/28/2047256/matchstick-sized-sensor-can-record-your-private-chats-outdoors?utm_source=rss1.0moreanon&utm_medium=feed

  28. This is primarily for Faustino, but also for anyone else who is interested in such things. I’m not saying this study is correct. I, too, fear automation will eventually be able to do most jobs. I realize it’s not simple to make it happen, but technology marches on.

    “In “The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?,” Frey and Osborne estimate that 47 percent of U.S. jobs are “at risk” of being automated in the next 20 years. This does not mean that they necessarily will be automated (despite the way the study has been portrayed in some media outlets)—rather, the authors argue, it is plausible over the next two decades that existing and foreseeable AI technologies could be used to cost-effectively automate those jobs out of existence. Machines may not (and probably won’t) do the jobs the same way as people, however—just remember the last time you used an automated check-out system at a grocery store. There’s a difference between machines doing something cheaply and doing it well. Frey and Osborne took into account the possibility of such “task simplification” in their analysis.”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/09/27/researchers_claim_many_jobs_at_risk_for_automation_here_s_what_they_missed.html

  29. Could someone with the expertise please explain how increased global atmospheric temperatures would equilibrate with the cold of space? My understanding is that increased heat (trapped from higher levels of GHGs), in the form of infrared light, should result in a feedback to reequilibrate earth temperature with that of space, maintaining a relatively homogenous temperature.
    Does the infrared equilibration with space slow because of GHG troposphere insulation? Would the stratophere not conduct the heat away from earth at an increased pace in such a scenario?

  30. The AR5 95% probability is actually a “100 percent true” fact according to “report author” Shang-Ping Xie:

    In fact, the 95 percent figure cited in the summary of the four-part IPCC assessment applies to the overall report, not individual statements on the human impacts of climate change, according to Shang-Ping Xie, another report author and climatologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif.

    “If A, B and C each have 90 percent chance of occurrence, their occurrence together indicates 99.9 percent certainty,” Xie said in an email to Discovery News. “We have more than three lines of evidence.”

    Xie pointed to an important statement in the IPCC report to remove any lingering doubts: “Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.”

    “Since it is factual,” Xie said. “It is 100 percent true.”

    http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/why-only-95-percent-certain-were-to-blame-130927.htm

    • If A, B, and C are independent events, and each one has a 0.9 chance of occurrence, the chance of any one of them happening is 0.999. But the chance of all of them happening together is 0.729, right?

  31. My Vipassana teacher S N Goenka, one of the great people of our times, died about seven hours ago.

    My debt to Goenka is immeasurable. I am sure that I would have been dead long ago if I had not met him and received the Dhamma from him, in 1972. With Vipassana, I have been able to lead a relatively happy, harmonious and productive live, and serving others in Dhamma has been one of my great joys. May the world long benefit from Goenka’s transmission of the Buddha’s deepest teaching.

  32. “A July poll from Roanoke had Mr. Cuccinelli leading Mr. McAuliffe 37% to 31% among registered voters, with 27% undecided and 5% supporting Mr. Sarvis.”

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/09/19/mcauliffe-cuccinelli-tied-in-va-governors-race-poll-finds/

  33. I think you’ll fit right in.