Practice-relevant climate adaptation science

by Judith Curry

Informing the extensive preparations needed to manage climate risks, avoid damages, and realize emerging opportunities is a grand challenge for climate change science.

Hell and High Water: Practice Relevant Adaptation Science

R.H. Moss and 27 coauthors

Abstract. U.S. President Obama underscored the need for this research when he made climate preparedness a pillar of his climate policy. Adaptation improves preparedness and is one of two broad and increasingly important strategies (along with mitigation) for climate risk management. Adaptation is required in virtually all sectors of the economy and regions of the globe, for both built and natural systems.

Published in Science, [link]

Phys.org

From Phys.org:

“Adapting to an evolving climate is going to be required in every sector of society, in every region of the globe. We need to get going, to provide integrated science if we are going to meet the challenge,” said senior scientist Richard Moss of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. “In this article, we describe the foundations for this research and suggest measures to establish it.”

Climate preparedness research needs to integrate social and , engineering, and other disciplines. It prepares for impacts by determining who and what are most vulnerable to changes and considering ways to adapt.

“Science for adaptation starts with understanding decision-making processes and information needs, determining where the vulnerabilities are, and then moves to climate modeling. A final step tracks whether adaptation is effective,” said Moss, who is based at the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaboration between PNNL in Richland, Wash. and the University of Maryland.

“The need to adapt and adjust is going to be global,” said Moss. “We need a flexible, integrated approach that merges theoretical and problem-oriented sciences around four general challenges.”

The four challenges are:

  • Understanding what information is needed to make decisions about adapting to climate change
  • Identifying vulnerabilities in society, the economy and the environment
  • Improving forecasts and  in ways that can address specific problems
  • Providing technology, management, and policy options for adapting

“Traditionally we think that what society needs is better predictions. But at this workshop, all of us – climate and social scientists alike – recognized the need to consider how decisions get implemented and that  is only one of many factors that will determine how people will adapt,” he said.

The focus on problem-solving could open up new sources of funding as well, sources such as non-governmental organizations, industry—any group with specific problems that adaptation science could solve.

Excerpts from Science article

Some excerpts from the actual article in Science, chosen to highlight what I think is best from this article:

There are serious science gaps, however. In many communities, decision-makers lack climate information or the means to apply it. In others, knowledge of current or potential future impacts exists, but not in a form or context that decision-makers can assimilate or act on in advance. In still others, engineering innovations are needed, as well as social science knowledge, to guide technology deployment and adjustments to management, investments, and public policy.

A key characteristic of emerging adaptation science is that it is both basic—in that it contributes to understanding fundamental physical, environmental, and socioeconomic research questions—and applied, because it is problem focused.

Adaptation science research must clarify what types of scientific information are required for improved decision-making. Decision-makers are concerned with cost, feasibility, social acceptance, tradition, and other factors. To close a “usability gap,” scientific information must fit into existing contexts.

Research to characterize vulnerability and adaptive capacity focuses on pinpointing infrastructure, economic sectors, geographic areas, population groups, and ecosystems at greatest risk of harm. Two challenges are to:

Improve data, methods, and scenarios for research on vulnerability and resilience of human and natural systems. A georeferenced data system for factors such as population, economic status, preparedness, natural capital, and location of sensitive infrastructure needs to be established and maintained to identify vulnerable human communities and environments. Effective response will be aided by understanding the extent to which vulnerability arises from poverty, under-investment, environmental factors, and their interactions with climate variability and change.

Identify climate thresholds in vulnerable systems. Knowledge of climate and related thresholds, points at which fundamental transformations occur in natural or human systems as climate changes, will improve resource management and inform debates about future atmospheric greenhouse gas stabilization. Coupled with time-dependent climate scenarios, improved knowledge of climate thresholds may help in estimating when effects could occur and thus facilitate setting adaptation priorities.

Research challenges include:

Understand recent and potential future changes in extreme climate events. Extremes occur on many spatial and time scales. They include heat waves, droughts, floods, storms, and other events that have major effects on human and natural systems. A concerted focus on detecting changes in extremes and improving predictive products can provide important inputs to adaptation planning and preparedness.

Improve integration of weather and climate information. Common elements of initializing predictions with observations and providing probabilistic weather and climate information across time scales can constitute a unified approach for weather forecasts and climate predictions. Decadal climate predictions with next-generation, high-resolution global climate models have the potential to produce probabilistic near-term climate information over the next decade and improve insight into future conditions to which human societies will have to adapt. 

Tailor climate information to facilitate its application in decision-making.Sustained interactions among researchers and decision-makers are needed not only to understand how climate affects assets or resources but also to identify how climate information can be used in decisions. In addition to global climate models, other tools can produce relevant information, such as less computationally intensive intermediate-complexity models, qualitative scenario planning approaches, and decision-analytic approaches to use climate model information in ways that supplement conventional scenario-led studies. 

Learn from experience. A number of knowledge platforms are beginning to catalog and evaluate experiences to promote information exchange and learning. Learning and disseminating of lessons needs to be accelerated to improve decision-making. 

JC comments:  In my excerpts, I cherry picked the good stuff, and didn’t mention the text that IMO is more dubious, such as establish government climate services, downscaling of climate model results, etc.

Several key issues:

  • Climate adaptation is fundamentally a local/regional issue, and climate models have no skill on these spatial scales.
  • Natural climate variability is arguably more important than forced climate variability on regional scales, even if you buy the IPCC’s arguments re AGW.
  • Extreme weather events (or climate, in the case of drought) are the key issues for  adaptation, and climate models are pretty much useless in this regard.

While the emphasis of this article is on AGW and climate models, they do acknowledge ancillary factors of relevance to adaptation decision making and the use of tools other than climate models.

The most significant point may be the heralding of a move away from climate science in support of CO2 mitigation and in the direction of adaptation.  We have clearly reached the point of diminishing returns from research and large climate modeling in support of refining emissions targets.  The move towards adaption, if done sensibly, gets around the issue of the attribution of change/variability.

This article is written with a clear objective of increasing the funding base for adaptation use-inspired climate research.  Ok, but they make it sound that a huge investment of government funds is needed to figure out how to do this, with the establishment of national climate services, etc.  Well, this simply isn’t needed.  Engagement of climate researchers with decision makers related to adaption is happening all over the place.  In the U.S., universities regularly support decision making on climate variability/change being made by their state and local governments.  Companies that are concerned about this issue are dealing with private sector weather/climate risk management firms.

But what about the poor third world countries?  Well, national and regional governments who are concerned are able to link up with any number of NGOs that are active in this area.  My company, Climate Forecast Applications Network, regularly deals with such issues.  One current project (Peter Webster is the GT lead) deals with heat waves in India [press release] — with the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) facilitating the linkages between scientists and agencies in India with the relevant researchers in the U.S.

So while the GT/CFAN team has fairly extensive on the ground experience in actually making these adaptation applications work, we generally are not successful in getting government grants targeted at adaption — somehow we fail to fill in all the boxes of touchy-feely stuff that the government agencies and review panels think is required to make this work.  I’m not complaining personally, but rather I am stating that government funding of academic involvement in climate services may not be a useful path for actually providing useful decision support.

154 responses to “Practice-relevant climate adaptation science

  1. “U.S. President Obama underscored..”

    Unfortunately, Obama is part of the problem not the solution. He’s profoundly divisive and woefully uninformed. He’s also shown himself to be a liar when it suits his political ends.

    And I’m someone who not only voted for him, but did so with enthusiasm and hope. Have never been more wrong about anyone or anything in my life….

    UNless you want to count my first wife..

    • PG makes an excellent point. Obama is responsible that people hate him, and have done so before his first day in office. They wouldn’t hate him if h weren’t. a Muslim/muslim sympathesizing illegal immigrant ant-christ.

    • What part of “I’m someone who not only voted for him, but did so with enthusiasm and hope.” don’t you understand?

    • i understand it well-enough to know that it makes PG an extreme outlier and hardly gets to the root of why Obama is “divisive.”

    • Steven Mosher

      ‘i understand it well-enough to know that it makes PG an extreme outlier”

      really?

      how many standard deviations?

    • Steven makes an excellent point. it should be quite obvious that the hordes of people who switched opinions on Obama is what explains the vastly different outcomes in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections..

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua

      ‘Steven makes an excellent point. it should be quite obvious that the hordes of people who switched opinions on Obama is what explains the vastly different outcomes in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections..”

      Huh, who is talking about 2008 or 2012. ??

      pokerguy said he voted for obama. and then remarked that Now, in 2013, he is disappointed. So this is about after 2012. Evidence about changes post 2012 cant be addressed fully by looking at 2008.

      You assert, without scientific evidence, that pokerguy is an outlier.

      I ask how you determined he was an outlier, and how much of an outlier.

      This question does not allow you to infer anything about my position. now does it? why does it not allow you to infer anything?

      because I have no position, no evidence, how big of an outlier pokerguy is.
      but since you asserted that he was an outlier I am asking you for your evidence so that I can fill in holes in my knowledge.

      Sarcasm is a form of bad faith
      I ask for your evidence, its a simple question.

      you could say ” Its my opinion, I have no data on the number of people who voted for BO in 2012 who are now disappointed”

      That would be ok. but if you have data, share it.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua,

      Not only outlier, but extreme outlier.

      Lets make this easy.

      Of the 70 million people who voted for BO in 2012, how many share pokermans opinion? how many would vote for BO again given what they know? how many are satisfied with his performance?
      has he proved that his team can handle big challenges, like implementing Romneys Health Care System? can we trust his team to do a good job on
      immigration systems? on climate adaptation? what empirical evidence, what past performance, can we use as a guide?

      we all know that government can do things well. That’s not the question.
      the question is can team BO do it well.
      and what evidence can we draw on. we cant just assert that he can do it well. we need evidence for our beliefs.

      1. how well did fast and furious work?
      2. obama phones?
      3. ACA, did it work?
      4. how well did subsidies to solar companies work? did they pick winners?

    • And his biggest truth; to be told is…?

    • Joshua – love’s lying socialist Presidents. Lying is Fun! And you can keep your insurance … but WAIT … there’s more! You can keep your doctor, too! Aren’t you just the luckiest serf the government ever forced to buy or switch your insurance? We all know the government and the Liar-in-Chief knows what’s best for you and me. Aren’t we all just blessed to have this man as our (lying) President. I know I think it’s just GREAT! GREAT! I tell you. (But I could be, well, you know, LYING!)

    • “PG makes an excellent point. Obama is responsible that people hate him, and have done so before his first day in office. They wouldn’t hate him if h weren’t. a Muslim/muslim sympathesizing illegal immigrant ant-christ.”

      It’s sad to see a man lose all respect for himself, like you evidently have Joshua. What a pathetic, clumsy attempt at…what? Wit? Read my comment. I voted for the guy! What does that have to do with anything you’re saying above?

    • Joshua: Winning elections tells us about the relative popularity of TWO candidates. 7.8 million fewer Americans voted for Obama in 2012 compared with 2008, 11% fewer. There is no way to interpret this as continuing high popularity, particularly when the second election was expected to be close. Under ordinary circumstances, the loss of 7.8 million votes would produce a defeat, but most of the defectors obviously didn’t vote for Romney. Romney received roughly the same number of votes as McCain (who was running during a financial crisis and when the sitting Republican President and VP were so unpopular they didn’t appear at the Republican convention). Obama was re-elected because both party’s candidates were less popular (which was the Obama campaign strategy).

      Interestingly, more people actually voted for Bush in 2004 than Obama in 2012 (62.0 vs 61.7 million).

    • PG’s statement is commonplace in American politics. Variants of it have been used in letters to the editor columns for decades.

      Is he truthful? I have no way of knowing, but the tale is commonly used as a political con. So I pay little attention to them.

    • Steve, Dec12/Jan13 does appear to be the tipping point for Obama’s performance:

      http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

      All those American’s becoming racist Islamophobes so quickly is probably being analyzed by Professor Lewandowsky at the moment.

    • I don’t hate the man. I have to confess, though, that I do intensely dislike that type of super-smug intellectual. I get enough of that every day at work and when I go to conferences. When my president acts like that too it makes me want to barf.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Joshua: PG makes an excellent point. Obama is responsible that people hate him, and have done so before his first day in office. They wouldn’t hate him if h weren’t. a Muslim/muslim sympathesizing illegal immigrant ant-christ.

      I reread PG’s post, and I noticed that he wrote nothing about hate. He wrote that Obama is divisive, uninformed and a liar. Also, that he came to these views after voting for Obama. He also didn’t write anything about race or religion.

    • Matthew –

      Ok. Good point. I’ll revise my comment:

      PG makes an excellent point. Obama is responsible that people hate him find him “divisive,” and have done so before his first day in office. They wouldn’t hate him find him divisive if he weren’t a Muslim/muslim sympathesizing illegal immigrant anti-Christ.

      I’m not sure why him writing anything about race and religion is relevant. My point was that of those who find him “divisive,” the vast, vast majority do so because of their political ideology. As such, given his political ideology, of freakin’ course they would find him “divisive.” They would find any Democratic president to be “divisive,” even those who are as moderate as the Clintons, and yes, Obama. And no, I don’t think that for most of them, their finding him to be “divisive” can be (necessarily) attributed to his race or religion. The reason they find him “divisive.” for the most part, is because of their tribal affiliations, some of which might be related to race or religion, and some of them not. And those are the kinds of folks who will call him a tyrant, and aiding Muslim terrorists, and the Anti-Christ, blah, blah, whether those are the real reasons for their finding him “divisive,” or whether those are just reasons that they use to justify their tribal inspiration.

      http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/bachmann-obama-supporting-al-qaeda-proving-we-are-end-times

      Do you think that Michelle thinks that Obama is “divisive?” If so, do you think that would that be because of his race? His religion? Because he is aiding Al Qaeda?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Joshua: And no, I don’t think that for most of them, their finding him to be “divisive” can be (necessarily) attributed to his race or religion.

      right

    • Good God Joshua – do you go to the doctor and then, when he hits your knee with the little hammer, spit out left wing rhetoric? There are quite a lot of people of good faith on the left who are dismayed by drones, wire tapping, incompetence, etc.

    • Obama is not the problem. But, Obama is a symptom of a problem–a very big problem.

      Like global warming… it is not a real problem but fear of it is a symptom of a big problem.

      It’s up to America to deal with it. Don’t look to dead and dying Old Europe for help or vision. A productive America relieved them of the responsibility of taking care of themselves since WWII. Instead of looking up to big brother Europe turned on America like a know-it-all drunken minor turns on daddy the milkman.

      The challenge for Americans is not to wait until the real problem is as bad as it is in California or Greece or Cairo. There is a Wisconsin around every corner, for example, that has problems to deal with and all of which have been handed down by a federal bureaucracy grown to big to fail.

      But, the Wisconsin-type folks have enough to handle without having to also bail out the nattering nabobs of nihilism in the blue cities whose only contribution to the society is to turn English into a liars language.

      Everyone understands what’s happening. It is clear to all who actually work for a living and pay all of the taxes to keep the secular, socialist, Big Government-funded Education Industrial Complex in business turning out helpless idiots in the public dropout factories. America has been stabbed in the back by the Left.

      Insert a product link

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Wag’s memeplex said:

      “It is clear to all who actually work for a living and pay all of the taxes to keep the secular, socialist, Big Government-funded Education Industrial Complex…” etc.

      ___
      Waggy thinks he said this…but of course, it is his memeplex spewing.

    • We’re too trusting. “The innate human tendency to soak up, trust, and internalize cultural norms,” says Jeffrey Knutsen (author of A Memeplex for the Cultural Evolution), “causes most of us to blindly follow our perceived societal authority figures, experts, and institutions, no matter how they achieved their status. Most of us don’t have the time, inclination, or the resources to question authority because we are so busy surviving. We can only assume, or at best, hope, that they know both what is good for us, and have our optimal interests at heart.” Do politicians and lifetime-tenured academics in their ivory towers give two schitts about what’s good for us?

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Waggy smartly asks:

      ” Do politicians and lifetime-tenured academics in their ivory towers give two schitts about what’s good for us?”
      —-
      No more or less than anyone else does, or should. The reality is:

      Bellum omnium contra omnes

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

      Your memeplexes will spin alternatives to this basic truth to make reality more palatable. These stories spin by your memeplex (the basis of religions) hide the awful truth of our basic animal nature, which is Bellum omnium contra omnes.

  2. There is a study on regional climate services which may be interesting in this context, and perhaps might make you rethink your skeptical stance.
    http://www.hvonstorch.de/klima/ABSTRACTS/111023.WCRP.denver.pdf

    • Regionally-driven climate service can be a good thing; my quarrel is with top-down federal funding of climate service research as THE approach

    • Judith –

      I wanted to thank you for hosting this site and the many insightful thoughts you post. I used to frequent other sites for many years and now this site is the most interesting to read.

      AGW has been more like a war for the last two decades than a debate. Now it seems to be settling into a new phase and your site engages this new environment best. I suppose some of the other sites were tagged during those battles and now it’s difficult change the way they are perceived.

      Climate Etc. has been a pleasant surprise :o)

    • Curious George

      Do you believe that a regional climate service is possible without a regional weather service for .. let’s say a 2-week time frame?

    • “I am stating that government funding of academic involvement in climate services may not be a useful path for actually providing useful decision support.” As someone with extensive experience as an economic policy adviser to governments and of academics, I think that that it putting it very mildly. If government decides to fund such work, it should look to the leaders in the field, which are likely to be those chosen by commercial firms and other that depend on such services. At the very least, the work should be put to tender, with non-bureaucrats, non-academics involved in the selection process.

    • IProfessor:

      I recommend using the words “regional downscaling” in the presence of Roger Pielke, Sr.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Regional climate services are extremely important for relevant climate adaptation, but accurate regional climate services are only possible through an understanding of the global climate system. The global system is a completely teleconnected and interrelated system. You can’t understand a regional climate properly without a global context.

      Now, as for regional weather services…go ahead with your 2-week forecasts (but of course, you’ll need refer to global weather charts even for that).

    • RGates

      As Marcel Leroux remarked ‘the world has many different climates.’

      That is why we have the koppen climate classification. Only by understanding the component parts of the climate system-the regions-can we then hope to figure out what is happening globally.

      Our understanding is complicated by our belief in ‘global averages’ which disguises what is happening in these component parts.
      tonyb

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Tony,

      I am not talking about “global averages” to talk about the global climate system. There are of course regional climates on this planet, and more importantly, we have a pretty good grasp at what causes those regional climates from a dynamical perspective, i.e. we know why Phoneix is more dry and hot than Portland, Oregon or London. And because we know why, we also know that these regional climates, as different as they are, are different precisely because they are connected to a global climate system. No better example can be given than ENSO. ENSO is teleconnected to the global climate system, but affects regional climates. (i.e. it is rainy in one region from ENSO from the same dynamical teleconnection that is sunny and dry in another).
      Thus, to really understand and make any meaningful regional climate analysis, you absolutely must understand the global climate system. Regional analysis and recommendations for adaptation are meaningless without a global perpsective and knowledge.

    • Rgates

      Take your last paragraph and swap the words ‘regional” and ‘ global ‘ around. you need to assemble the building blocks before you can comprehend the whole structure
      Tonyb

    • Dr. Curry has frequently said–she says above–that the current generation of global climate models have essentially zero regional skill. Do we have really good reasons for believing that the next generations of these models are going to do any better at describing the distribution of relevant events at regional scale? Just wondering.

    • Well I don’t think so, that was pretty much the point of my talk in Netherlands
      http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/curry-presentation.pdf

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: Regional climate services are extremely important for relevant climate adaptation, but accurate regional climate services are only possible through an understanding of the global climate system.

      Is there anywhere that understanding of the global climate system adds to the information in the historical record of that region anything of use to the residents? Certainly the current crop of GCMs don’t add anything over and above the information in the report about California that Biddle linked to.

    • R. Gates: “To really understand and make any meaningful regional climate analysis, you absolutely must understand the global climate system.”

      Tonyb: “Take your last paragraph and swap the words ‘regional’ and ‘global‘ around. you need to assemble the building blocks before you can comprehend the whole structure.”

      Interlevel relations. Tonyb gives the reductionist view. R. Gates a sort of reverse-reduction view.

      Below is an interesting paper, nominally about Churchland’s “Eliminative Materialism.” Eliminative materialism is the notion that all psychology will eventually be reduced to neuroscience and hence “eliminated” by explanation that is wholly in the material (physical nervous system) realm.

      But McCauley’s paper is argued with a lot of references to many sciences, and lots of history of science, and is about this “parts versus wholes” business when it comes to science… Some of you may find it interesting. (Churchland himself is also fascinating and provocative… follow the bibliography.)

      McCauley. 1986. Intertheoretic relations and the future of psychology. Philosophy of Science 53, pp. 179-199.

      http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~philrnm/publications/article_pdfs/IntertheoreticRelations.pdf

    • NW, if you’re into this interlevel stuff about the brain you might be interested in Paul Glimcher’s Foundations of Neuroeconomics, which takes an aggressive “consilient” stance in which the higher-level phenomena inform analysis of the lower-level stuff and vice versa. So he acts as a go-between from neuro to psych to econ and builds an explicit (but admittedly limited) model of human choice.

    • steve, I’m hip to Glimcher. In his first book he refers to another guy, David Marr, who I first encountered in grad school in an artificial intelligence class, and who is widely thought of as the source of the levels notion in psych. Marr made a huge impression on me. Here is the introductory chapter “The Philosophy and the Approach” from his final book (he died very young).

      http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~kk3n/80-300/marr2.pdf

    • +1 on Marr, whose theory of vision was used by Tyler Burge as an example of anti-individualistic psychology.

      I don’t buy much of what the Churchlands have to say, but their writing is clear and vivid. As far as I can tell, Goldman knocked out their Theory-theory:

      http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/philo/faculty/block/M&L2010/Papers/Goldman.pdf

    • I read that earlier Glimcher book where Marr was the hero. The idea that evolutionary pressure makes the human (and primate) nervous system follow some optimization principles is pretty fascinating. Economic principles of psychology and psychological principles of economic behavior operating at the same time.

    • Willard, I agree with you about Paul Churchland… but I still think his “Eliminative materialism and the propositional attitudes” is great. Papers can be flawed but still great.

    • > Papers can be flawed but still great.

      I agree, or else I would not have chosen philosophy.

      Patricia has a recent book:

      No critical reviews of it yet that I’ve seen.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Tony said:

      “Take your last paragraph and swap the words ‘regional” and ‘ global ‘ around. you need to assemble the building blocks before you can comprehend the whole structure.”
      —–
      That’s really not the way it works. The global climate is not some Frankenstein assembly of regional building blocks. Some of the major teleconnections that are critical to the whole– such as the THC or the
      Brewer-Dobson circulation exist only as part of the whole but have major regional impacts that very greatly region to region and over time. The climate is indeed a global integrated system, greater than the sum of the parts and any meaningful understanding of the effects of changes to the whole system on those parts, can only be gained through understanding the whole system.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: The climate is indeed a global integrated system, greater than the sum of the parts and any meaningful understanding of the effects of changes to the whole system on those parts, can only be gained through understanding the whole system.

      Back to my question. Where has it been shown that a global understanding (eg GCMs, but not limited to them) increases understanding of a region given a good historical record of that region?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Climate displays an often unrecognized order in both time and space. What may appear as a random sequence of precipitation at a point or within a watershed is actually the local expression of a broad integrated system of weather processes that are active on scales of 100’s to 1000’s of kilometers. Only when climate forcings and hydrologic responses are considered from a regional perspective does the order become evident. Understanding these regional processes provides a sound basis for national, regional, and local hydrologic analysis, resource management, and hazard assessment/mitigation.’ Gregory J. McCabe

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/USdrought_zps2629bb8c.jpg.html?sort=3&o=59

    • R. Gates and tony b

      First, It seems obvious to me that if you don’t understand the pieces of the puzzle, you will never understand the entire picture.

      Second, when it comes to climate, the only thing that really counts for humanity are regional climate and weather patterns.

      Third, we are unable to change our planet’s global climate perceptibly, no matter how much money we throw at it.

      So those adaptation schemes that address anticipated changes in these regional patterns are the ones that make sense, while schemes to attempt to mitigate global climate are costly but worthless.

      Let’s hope (for the US taxpayers) that Obama’s grandiose “climate change plan” involves the first category and not the second.

      Max

    • Max scores an own goal:

      “Second, when it comes to climate, the only thing that really counts for humanity are regional climate and weather patterns.”

      According to GHG theory, the major regional differences have to do with land versus ocean. And land is warming at twice the magnitude as the ocean.

      You lose.

    • Webby

      What part of “regional” do you not understand?

      Duh!

      Max

  3. Completely missing from all of the adaptation strategy talk is the time scale needed to actually construct large scale adaptation projects. Prior generations were able to construct megaprojects in relatively short periods. The Hoover dam took five years to build. Ironically, the reason why we can’t do that now is the same environmental that is demanding action now causes these projects to take over a decade to complete, because it can take 5 years or more to complete all of the environmental studies and court challenges before actual construction can commence.

    If adaptation is needed, and the best information possible is needed to advise what adaptation is to be done, this kind of hamstringing is unacceptable. We can have “necessary” projects taking a decade or longer from the time they’re deemed “necessary” to the time when they’re operational.

    Item #1 on any list of policy is a severe streamlining of the approval process. Statutory limits on the approval of permits and on the amount of time legal challenges can be made are necessary. There’s no reason for a delay of more than 2 years. Once this is the case, the whole matter becomes a lot simpler, because we don’t need to depend on unworkable 10 and 20 year forecasts in order to get the project in a 10 or 20 year approval pipeline.

    Without reforming the permitting and legal process, nothing can work.

    • Just a decade?…And, just environmentalist obstruction? I think about Yucca Mountain.

    • Regulations allow used reactor fuel rods to be transferred into dry cask storage after 3 years; 10 years is the norm in the US, and in Japan.
      12 years after 9/11 the US still has 48,818 metric tons, 78 percent, of used fuel in pools and only 22 percent in dry casks.

    • We’re talking about construction time; i.e. time from identification of a problem to effective mitigation/adaptation. The shorter that time, the more accurate the forecast of the actual situation. If you insist on making these projects take 10-20 years to build, then we need accurate 10-20 year forecasts.

      Not gonna happen.

  4. Judith what CFAN is doing is interesting, and seems practical.
    I doubt that government funding of university research as advocated by the article would be either interesting or practical. Especially not at OSU, where oyster hatchery mismanagementbis converted in CAGW ocean acidification.
    Much better to pull back from present funding paths and do more on the basics, as you have advocated elsewhere.

    • I guess because what we do ‘works’ makes it ineligible for govt funding :)

    • Judith makes an excellent point, because nothing that government funds ever “works.” We’d be so much better off with private roads, private vaccination programs, etc.

    • Steven Mosher

      joshua you should research the history of private roads befor you make non skeptical and un scientific comments about them

    • Steven Mosher wrote, “joshua you should research the history of private roads befor [sic] you make non skeptical and un scientific comments about them”
      According to Gerald Gunderson’s Privatization and the 19th-Century Turnpike, “In the first three decades of the 19th century Americans built more than 10,000 miles [16,000 km] of turnpikes, mostly in New England and the Middle Atlantic states. Relative to the economy at that time, this effort exceeded the post-World War II interstate highway system that present-day Americans assume had to be primarily planned and financed by the federal government”.

      … and …

      In what may serve as a “test case” for the privatization of other major highways in the United States, on June 29, 2006, the state of Indiana received $3.8 billion from a foreign consortium made up of the Spanish construction firm Cintra and the Macquarie Infrastructure Group of Australia, and in exchange the state ceded operation of the 157-mile (253 km) Indiana Toll Road for the next 75 years to these outside corporations. The consortium will collect all the tolls.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_highways_in_the_United_States

      And the Chicago Skyway
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Skyway#Chicago_Skyway

    • Steven Mosher

      yes Speed, Joshua typically goes off without collecting his data first.

      he argues by assertion and refuses to look at evidence that might contradict his world view.

      From the start of this country to today there have been private roads.
      Of course the government is also good ( well reasonably good )
      at building roads, but they are generally speaking not as good at maintaining the roads. Money for pot hole repair goes to other causes.

      As with all things the picture is mixed with pros and cons, but Joshua doesnt see this. he cant even be bothered to study private roads.

      Living in southern cal, I have first hand experience with private roads.
      Awesome. but thats just anecdotal.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Steven Mosher said:

      “joshua you should research the history of private roads befor you make non skeptical and un scientific comments about them.”
      ___
      Here’s the deal with private roads (and I happen to know a great deal about them):

      They work best as a private-public partnership, whereby the government can come in an use public right-of-way authority to secure the land, but investors can come in (via bonding mechanisms) and actually pay for the construction of the private road. Now, in most cases these “private” roads turn out to be great cash cows for the usually already very rich investors who bought the bonds to pay for the roads. They often turn out as “toll” roads, directly from the user, or indirectly has a tax on the local citizens via license plate or vehicle registrations. Either way, the bond holders have some very secure bonds at pretty healthy levels, which at least passes some of the cost of the roads on to the actually users rather than just a tax on the whole population directly.

    • steven -

      Actually, I have researched it a bit – prompted to do so through online discussions with libertarian extremists.

      From the information I’ve seen, it is reasonable to argue that:

      (1) w/o federal funding and support, we would not have developed a road system that would have adequately serviced the country, and in particular more remote and rural areas, and in particular with the advent of automobile travel, so as to provide the infrastructure that people of all economic status have to rely on, and which we have relied on for the maintenance and development of our economic preeminence.

      (2) given that proving counterfactuals always requires passing over a very high bar of evidence, even if #1 weren’t true, it would certainly not prove that the binary mentality revealed in Judith’s comment (i.e., that because some government funding does not return optimal results, therefore government never funds anything that ever “works”) is valid. In fact, whether an alternative might have been better, our federally funded road system “works,” and has “worked” for decades.

      Of course, as for point #1- it is a topic that is of interest to me – and so if you have some evidence that you consider to be definitive w/r/t the counterfactual of what kind of road system we would currently have had there not been federal support (and that it would have been superior), I’d love to see it. In particular, I would be interested to know if you have some evidence of other countries that faced anywhere near the obstacles that this country faced w/r/t providing interstate road systems, and met their needs to a roughly equivalent (or perhaps higher) level by virtue of a privately built road system. I have traveled in a some countries that rely to a significant extent on private road systems, and in my experience they generally suck even if you have the money needed to travel on them.

      I’d also be interested in an links that you might have to show that our railroad system would have developed to the extent that it did minus federal support – as I have discovered that to be a topic on which libertarians make similarly specious arguments in support of the binary thinking that leads them to conclude that if government funds it, it doesn’t “work.”

    • steven -

      Money for pot hole repair goes to other causes.

      Perhaps this is part of a larger argument that our road system is paid for by “user fees?”

      If so, have you researched that argument?

    • So we have this:

      yes Speed, Joshua typically goes off without collecting his data first.

      and this:

      he argues by assertion and refuses to look at evidence that might contradict his world view.

      and then we have this:

      …he cant even be bothered to study private roads.

      Another “skeptic” in love with unintentional irony. Seems to be an inherited characteristic of the breed.

      But let’s make this all about me, eh?

    • ‘Judith makes an excellent point, because nothing that government funds ever “works.” We’d be so much better off with private roads, private vaccination programs, etc.’
      This very common dichotomy never ceases to confuse me. Are these two statements contradictory?
      1) The United States federal government should be involved in interstate highways and the Coast Guard.
      2) The United States federal government is currently controlled by very powerful special interests, is acting as a conduit to funnel money from middle-class taxpayers to the special interests that control it, and is right now more barnacles than ship. It is currently very difficult for that government to get anything done.
      Or is it possible for a rational person to believe both of them? In fact, don’t most rational people conservative or liberal believe both?

    • Joshua, look at the ‘March of the Dimes’ and the development of the Polio vaccine. Also look at the amount of research funding that is raised by the Charity Sector in public health issues.
      I am personally funded 100% by non-governmental sources, all my funding comes from private individuals who care about cancer and Autism.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Another “skeptic” in love with unintentional irony. Seems to be an inherited characteristic of the breed.”

      Joshua,
      Im not a skeptic. I think skepticism is an impossible position to maintain.
      Skepticism is a tool, not a position.
      Sometimes it works.
      Sometimes it doesnt.

      So, tell us about your study of private roads.

      That was the real question.

      when somebody asks you a real question about your position, you can always answer. Thats good faith.

    • Joshua wrote, “I’d also be interested in an links that you might have to show … ”

      You first. I note that you are an assertion maker and not a link provider. I also note that you have made no response to my documented comment about private ownership of highways so I guess I’ve won that one.

      “I have travelled” and “in my experience” and “From the information I’ve seen” and “I’ve researched it a bit” don’t cut it here.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua

      Your research doesnt back up your statement.

      lets go to your statement

      “Judith makes an excellent point, because nothing that government funds ever “works.” We’d be so much better off with private roads, private vaccination programs, etc.”

      How does anything you’ve written support the claim you make above?

      Nothing you provided in your research supports the statement you made above. Nothing.

      you know what is worse than not researching? researching and not learning.

      So, what we are looking for is evidence that suppports the claim you made here

      “”Judith makes an excellent point, because nothing that government funds ever “works.” We’d be so much better off with private roads, private vaccination programs, etc.”

      or were not actually making a claim and making it all about judith.

      to be clear.

      This is what you wrote

      “”Judith makes an excellent point, because nothing that government funds ever “works.” We’d be so much better off with private roads, private vaccination programs, etc.”

      and its that statement i take issue with and i’d like to see why you believe it.

      I’m open minded. All you need to do is supply a single cite that establishes what you argue here

      “”Judith makes an excellent point, because nothing that government funds ever “works.” We’d be so much better off with private roads, private vaccination programs, etc.”

      get it?

    • Steven Mosher

      miker

      here is the judiths comment

      “I guess because what we do ‘works’ makes it ineligible for govt funding :)”

      now, to most people who practice good faith we get that Judith is being wry.

      Joshua responds with sarcasm.

      That allows him to impute positions to her that she really didnt take.

      Instead, a person of good faith would ask

      ‘Judith, do you think that the government does nothing well/”

      and then one could have a conversation.

      but its fair to conclude, although no certainty, that some people are not interested in conversation. who knows why

    • Mike -

      Or is it possible for a rational person to believe both of them?

      I’m not sure I could be called a rational person, and I might be a little less categorical with your #2, but I do believe both of them. There is little doubt, IMO, that our government is hampered, and hampered significantly, by the influence of “special interests.”

    • Speed -

      Let me amend what I wrote before, to better express what I was going after:

      We’d be have been so much better off with private roads, private vaccination programs, etc.

      I wasn’t arguing that there is no potential upside to privatizing some roads at this point, or even more so, forming public/private partnerships for the building and/or maintenance of roads at this point.

      As such, you links are not relevant to the point I was going after (although I can see how they would be relevant to a reasonable interpretation of what I actually wrote), which is the notion that by definition, that if government funds something, it doesn’t “work.” IMO, the history of our highway infrastructure is one example of quite a few that such a binary view of federal support is specious.

    • Doc -

      Lemme try steven’s suggested approach (at least as I understand it).

      Do you think that there is no net positive value in having government fund vaccination programs (and related research)?

      Please note – I specifically did not say “Are you freakin’ enough of a crazy extremist to believe that there is no net positive value in having government fund vaccination programs (and related research)?

      I definitely did NOT say that.

    • Steven Mosher

      That’s a much better approach

    • “Do you think that there is no net positive value in having government fund vaccination programs (and related research)?”

      OK, let us take three recent US Government vaccination programs.
      1) The CIA funded a Polio vaccination program in Pakistan and Afghanistan in an effort to locate Bin Laden, by analyzing recovered needles for he DNA of his children.
      Outcome. Polio vaccination rates in the Islamic world are collapsing and vaccination workers are being murdered.

      2) The government is introducing HPV vaccines for teenage girls, before they become sexually active, as a means to protect them from cervical cancer. However, they are not vaccinating boy in the same age group, so that infected males can a) serve as a HPV reservoir for the unvaccinated girls/women and b) can go on to die of HPV induced prostate cancer.
      Outcome. The government is driven by a womens health lobby to address women’s cancer, which is quite reasonable, but there is no mens health lobby to address men’s cancer and so the government does the minimum it needs to do. The obvious solution is mass vaccination of 11-12 year old’s and get enough of the cohort vaccinated so that in the coming decades we establish herd immunity. The government will not do this because HPV is an STD and the government is more worried about claims it is supporting promiscuity in the young than it is about young people dying decades hence of cervical and prostate cancer.

      3) Flu vaccine rates in the US are awful, especially in young children. This flu season the uptake in the children aged between 6 months to 23 months is only 76.9%. This is because the US was so damned slow in removing Thimerosal from vaccines and many parents do not trust assurances that these vaccines are safe.
      It does not matter a damn if vaccines are safe or not, if parents will not give their children vaccines due to safety worries. The monopoly supplier/regulator of vaccines has behaved in an arrogant and condescending manner and has caused vaccination rates to fall.

    • DOC -

      Let’s continue with the same approach:

      OK, let us take three recent US Government vaccination programs.

      Can you see why that response might not suffice to answer my question?

      Notice that I did not say: Are you that much of a freakin’ extremist that you actually didn’t realize that your answer is a non-sequitur?

      So far, adopting Steven’s approach has not produced any net benefit. But let’s roll with it a bit more.

    • R Gates @ 2.49: in Australia, the experience is that the builders and operators of toll-roads, tunnels and bridges etc rapidly go bust, generally because of wildly optimistic usage projections – where the governments concerned are involved with projections, they tend to massively over-estimate. Profits tend to be made by the second or third owner/rights owner, who pay far less than the cost of construction. In theory, I’m in favour of public-private partnerships. In practice, I’ve found they rarely work well. From the public interest POV, the bureaucrats lack the negotiating and contracting skills and incentives of the private sector, and rarely achieve the desired outcomes. Hopefully this is less the case in the US, where I would assume that there would be many more of such arrangements and a longer history, allowing more skill in projections and negotiations.

    • Faustino, does this mean that a private bidder (for building, operation or both) has to take the government’s estimate of… how to put it… “usership” as a datum, and base their revenue estimates on it when they tender a bid? Or am I misunderestimating you?

    • “I might be a little less categorical with your #2, but I do believe both of them.” Yes, Joshua, pretty much everyone believes both of them. That is way it is so bizarre that liberals tend to present their point of view by asking about building roads. The basic disagreement is on point #2. And not on point #2, since, as you said, they all believe in it. The disagreement is: given #2, should we avoid giving the US federal government responsibility for important projects, since it will wreck them?

      As a simple current example, every liberal I know (that includes pretty much all of my extended family) gives the same answer to the following question – which I asked them five years ago: When you heard that Congress was working on a health care bill, did you envision that they would raise taxes and the government would provide everyone with health care? “Of course.” Or did you envision that the bill would be written by and designed around health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies? “Of course not! – are they crazy?”
      By now they’ve gotten used to it…

  5. Engineering Adaptation & Validation
    We need to reintegrate hydrology and climate science with engineering. Understanding the full probability of natural variations, and the small adaptation for global warming / climate change, is needed for engineers to design systems to adapt to climate change. (Mitigation is far too expensive)
    Compare the divergence and restoration of hydrology with engineering:
    Reconciling hydrology with engineering
    Koutsoyiannis, D., Reconciling hydrology with engineering, Hydrology Research, 2014, (in press). [doc_id=1405]

    Hydrology has played an important role in the birth of science. Yet practical hydrological knowledge, related to human needs for water storage, transfer and management, existed before the development of natural philosophy and science. In contemporary times, hydrology has had strong links with engineering as its development has been related to the needs of the design and management of water infrastructures. In the 1980s these links were questioned and it was suggested that separating hydrology from engineering would be beneficial for both. It is argued that, thereafter, hydrology, instead of becoming an autonomous science, developed new dependencies, particularly on politically driven agendas. This change of direction in effect demoted the role of hydrology, for example in studying hypothetical or projected climate-related threats. Revisiting past experiences suggests that re-establishing the relationship of hydrology with engineering could be beneficial. The study of change and the implied uncertainty and risk could constitute a field of mutual integration of hydrology and engineering. Engineering experience may help hydrology to appreciate that change is essential for progress and evolution, rather than only having adverse impacts. While the uncertainty and risk cannot be eliminated they can be dealt with in a quantitative and rigorous manner.

    Solar cycles have a very strong but little understood impact on hydrology and thus civil engineering. WJR Alexander shows that synchronizing hydrological data with the 21 year Hale solar cycle reveals 250% variations in runoff before/after the cycle start.
    At Roger Pielke, Sr. hosted a Guest Post “Global Floods – Why Were They Not Predicted?” By Will Alexander
    By contrast, some climate models cannot even get the sign right for drought/flood predictions. see David Stockwell’s critique of the CSIRO drought predictions.

    A focus on adaptation needs to restore pragmatic hard nosed engineering evaluations of probability which can be based on/validated by all the historical data. Then modify for the small changes due to global warming/cooling as those models can be validated.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Engineering experience may help hydrology to appreciate that parsimonious macroscopic descriptions are more powerful than inflationary detailed ones and that holistic approaches are more effective than reductionist ones. A fertilizing field of mutual
      integration of hydrology and engineering could be the study of
      change and the implied uncertainty and risk, which we cannot eliminate yet we can live with and cope with, in a manner that can be, and needs to be, quantitative and rigorous.

      Koutsoyiannis is thoughtful and erudite. The most interesting and useful work comes out of geography or engineering.

      Climate displays an often unrecognized order in both time and space. What may appear as a random sequence of precipitation at a point or within a watershed is actually the local expression of a broad integrated system of weather processes that are active on scales of 100’s to 1000’s of kilometers. Only when climate forcings and hydrologic responses are considered from a regional perspective does the order become evident. Understanding these regional processes provides a sound basis for national, regional, and local hydrologic analysis, resource management, and hazard assessment/mitigation. Gregory J. McCabe

  6. Where is Louise? A thread supporting the hoax of CAGW. This has been discussed over on WUWT. Needless to say it got a firm thumbs down. Despite what our hostess says, this just looks like an effort to stay on the gravy train. It has little if any, substance. We have been adapting to climate changes for as along as mankind has existed. So what else is new?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Jim C’s memeplex opined:

      “We have been adapting to climate changes for as along as mankind has existed. So what else is new?
      _____
      Tis true Jimmy boy that humans have been adapting to climate change for “as long as mankind has existed”, but this is not really relevant to the discussions of potential CAGW. It is literally and figuratively a matter of degree. But let’s break that down…

      How long has mankind existed? What do you define as “mankind”? How far back into our family tree before we are not what you would consider “mankind”. (BTW, the really accurate and more politically correct term is homo sapiens). Do you consider Australopithecus as homo sapiens? Hopefully not, as these pre-human ancestors were quite a bit different than modern homo sapiens. Most experts would tell you that modern homo sapiens emerged somewhere around 200,000 years ago. Well, interestingly enough, that’s long after the time that greenhouse gas levels were anywhere near as high as they are now. This area around 400 ppm hasn’t been seen since the time our pre-human ancestors were roaming around the savannas of Africa. But most importantly, we still don’t have a good grasp of how much of a shock to the system the human carbon volcano is going to be. With CO2, Methane, and N2O levels continuing to soar upward to levels not seen in millions of years…this party is just getting started.

    • R Gates, you write ” But most importantly, we still don’t have a good grasp of how much of a shock to the system the human carbon volcano is going to be.”

      Sure we do. There is no CO2 signal that has been observed in any modern data set, despite our adding huge amounts of CO2. So we know the effect of more CO2 added to the atmosphere is negligible.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Jim C’s memeplex opined:

      “There is no CO2 signal that has been observed in any modern data set…”
      ___
      My memeplex refuses to argue with your memeplex on this point, as it has learned that the memeplexes of confessed deniers (you so admitted it, so I use the word “D” with your blessing) will never be changed. Why bother, right Jim?

    • R Gates, you write “My memeplex refuses to argue with your memeplex on this point,”

      Of course, because I am right. You know perfectly well if you engaged in a proper discussion you would lose hands down. I am always willing to have an honest scientific discussion. I wonder why you don’t? Could it be that CAGW is a hoax? sarc on/ Surely this is impossible. The IPCC has proved beyond all possible doubt that CAGW is the greatest threat to mankind that has ever happened. sarc off/

    • “Do you consider Australopithecus as homo sapiens?”
      Tough one. If your mother could hold her mothers outstretched hand the distance would be 150 centimeters. If your mothers female ancestors could hold hands in this manner, mother to daughter, the chain back to 2.9 million years ago to Australopithecus would be 60 miles. Modern humans and Neanderthals diverged 500,000 years ago, and reentwined 30,000 years ago. The chain of mothers and daughters to the split is only 10 miles.

    • Jim Cripwell asks:

      “We have been adapting to climate changes for as along as mankind has existed. So what else is new?

      Despite Gates’ ramble about unprecedented CO2 levels exceeding 400 ppmv, nothing is factually really new.

      What is new, however, is that CAGW has gotten hyped up to the point that even “skeptical warmists” like Gates are seriously believing that a potential climate catastrophe from human GHG emissions is imminent.

      Fortunately, the CAGW hysteria is beginning to die down as an increasing number of interested individuals are beginning to see how weak the basis for the CAGW hypothesis really is.

      Even those who have not taken the time or effort to understand some of the basics now see that it has stopped warming despite unabated human GHG emissions and levels reaching record levels.

      IPCC global warming forecasts of 0.2C per decade have failed miserably; it has actually cooled slightly since the new millennium started, instead.

      [We recently had Dr. Thomas Stocker (a firm CAGW believer) on TV here in Switzerland; he was backed into a corner several times of having to admit that the current “pause” doesn’t fit the model projections and that natural causes for climate change are still highly uncertain – he even conceded that if the current pause would last for a total of 20 year it would raise serious questions regarding the IPCC forecasts.]

      Meanwhile, several independent (partly) observation-based studies are suggesting that the previous model-predicted 2xCO2 climate sensitivity in AR4 was exaggerated by a factor of two. [IPCC has adjusted its CS range down a bit in AR5, but still remains with its high mean climate sensitivity estimate, despite these new studies.]

      Economic analyses (Tol) are showing that the past warming experienced to date has been beneficial for mankind, and that it is very likely that the next 2.2C to 2.5C warming will also have a net beneficial impact for humanity.

      If these studies are correct (and there is no reason to assume that this is not the case), the “C” has effectively been removed from “CAGW”

      So we are back to normal “adapting to climate change” if and when it appears that this might become necessary, rather than preparation for catastrophic human-induced changes in our climate.

      But, hey, if we want to “sex it up” a bit by linking it to some nebulous “anthropogenic global warming” or “anthropogenic climate change”, why not? It’s a good brand name for a sales pitch.

      Max

    • Thank you, Max, for your contribution I would like to pick one nit. You write “climate sensitivity in AR4 was exaggerated by a factor of two. ” I think the words “at least” need to be added.

    • “We have been adapting to climate changes for as along as mankind has existed. So what else is new?”

      Excellent point Jim.

      Were it not for the ‘When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!’–and by the way, give us trillions more in taxes and absolute authority over all energy production and consumption–band of CAGW brothers, we would be adapting to ‘climate change’ as a background task, unnoticed by anyone, rather than as a government directed crusade against an imaginary future thermageddon.

      Bob Ludwick

  7. “This article is written with a clear objective of increasing the funding base for adaptation use-inspired climate research.”

    Let me reframe that for ya.

    This article is written to continue the funding grave train, and ability to exercise influence (ie. power), in the face of that damned pause thing.

    “Adapting to an evolving climate is going to be required in every sector of society, in every region of the globe.”

    EVERY sector of society in EVERY region of the globe.

    This is not a change in direction. This is just a new paint job on the CAGW Gravy Train.

    In other words, AGW is still C, but since the stupid voters won’t let us decarbonize the entire western economy (yet), we have to preserve our budgets and power.

    We are all adaptationists now.

    There is still nothing new in the climate debate.

    • Let me reframe that for ya.

      This article is written to continue the funding grave train, and ability to exercise influence (ie. power), in the face of that damned pause thing.

      Exactly.

      Same $#!^, different bag.

  8. After much study, will the consensus opinion be that we should continue to build and be responsible for rebuilding at-risk facilities along river banks and high-risk coastal areas — even if they’re below sea level — because, it is most politically convenient thing to do–i.e., grow federal government and give it even more powers so it can continue robbing Peter to pay Paul?

  9. Judith Curry wrote, “This article is written with a clear objective of increasing the funding base for adaptation use-inspired climate research.”

    True.

    “But what about the poor third world countries? Well, national and regional governments who are concerned are able to link up with any number of NGOs that are active in this area.”

    In the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, those who were desperate to find something positive in the tragedy that claimed an estimated 230,000 lives talked about the “opportunity” the destruction could present for the impoverished nation to “build back better.” On the tragedy’s one-year anniversary, it’s become clear that perhaps the only positive aspect of the past twelve months has been the exposure of the failures of the NGO aid system, and the international community’s long-standing use of the country as a laboratory for cashing in on disaster — both of which have been wrecking havoc on this country since long before the earthquake.
    http://www.npr.org/2011/01/13/132884795/the-nation-how-ngos-have-failed-haiti
    And cash in they will.

    As it has for millennia, the climate will continue to change. But such change doesn’t happen over night and adaptation doesn’t require decades of foresight. You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows

    • “As it has for millennia, the climate will continue to change. But such change doesn’t happen over night and adaptation doesn’t require decades of foresight. You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.”

      Hear, hear. Little more needs to be said on the topic.

    • Oh come on, the UN Peackeeeping force gave them cholera.

  10. Matthew R Marler

    Prof Curry:
    Climate adaptation is fundamentally a local/regional issue, and climate models have no skill on these spatial scales.
    Natural climate variability is arguably more important than forced climate variability on regional scales, even if you buy the IPCC’s arguments re AGW.
    Extreme weather events (or climate, in the case of drought) are the key issues for adaptation, and climate models are pretty much useless in this regard.

    I agree. I would go further and say that, in any region, nothing is more informative than the historical record of temperatures, floods, and droughts in that region. I frequently cite two regions, the California central valley and the Indus River valley. With or without AGW, there will be alternations between rainy years and dry years: at most there will be either more or fewer rainy years, with slight increases in the extremes. It isn’t necessary to wait for a well-tested highly accurate model for either region.

    It isn’t just that models are useless and more research is needed, but there is plenty of relevant knowledge that is ignored.

    Back to California: in the 1840s there was a huge flood in the central valley. A flood that large will occur again, and as far as I can tell California is not trying to prepare for it.

    • Matthew R Marler –
      “…[in] the California central valley…there will be alternations between rainy years and dry years…It isn’t necessary to wait for a well-tested highly accurate model…
      …there is plenty of relevant knowledge…”

      Quite true. Here is some of that relevant information:
      Indicators of Climate Change in California

    • Matthew R Marler

      Biddle: Here is some of that relevant information:
      Indicators of Climate Change in California

      Thank you. That report is in fact packed full of information. Hopefully the writers will update it at least as frequently as every 5 years. I have sent it to a friend of mine.

    • Steven Mosher

      yep we are not prepared for the weather of the past

  11. The best argument for more funding for improving weather prediction in a long time…

  12. All of this sounds real good on paper. Beard scratching professors pontificating and looking for research material to justify their existence and ever increasing grant money. It’s all well and good and puts them on a higher plane of intellectual ethic and pursuit.

    I well remember the 70s with earth day and all the environmental awareness coming to the for. I remember Jimmy Carter and his sweater visiting solar facilities. Three Mile Island and the president’s rubber boots. Another oil crisis higher prices and inflation. Malaise set in and thermometers and odometers were to be set at 55. Well at least Tom McCall cleaned up the Willamette river and has a wildflower park named after him. I first heard of global warming and the Natl academy of sciences said it was real.

    So what happened to all that promise of alternative energy and energy independence from malaise lessons learned. Well America turned into SUV driving, starbucks gulping, obese, tailgate parting narcissists. You can’t keep a good human down. And here I thought I’d be living in a world utopia of solar and hemp power, good nutrition, nature loving, bicycling love children.

    So now the good professors want to throw more good money after bad and expect the evil Americans to suddenly change their ways. The mantra is well in hand Bush/Katrina BAD Obama/Christy/Sandy HEROES. Oh well it’s just a matter of issuing more treasuries, let them have their fun.

    • Detour as we have down the same dead end road as the Eurocommies and the end is always the same–e.g., a million Turkish lira to rent a baggage carrier, 800 million for a cab ride from the airport to the hotel… then, one great day of deliverance, those who destroyed the economy — with their cash-for-clunkers monetary policies and robbing the productive while providing no value to society — just hack-off 6-zeros and turn the printing presses back on.

    • “Well America turned into SUV driving, starbucks gulping, obese, tailgate parting narcissists. “

      Made me laugh, which is generally a sign some truth has been expressed. This gets to some of my ambivalence re the progressive dream of remaking society. I share some of that yearning for a less materialistic, more connected way of life…with each other, with nature….but of course it can’t be forced. The trouble with progressives I see ever more clearly, is their conviction of superiority, moral, intellectual, spiritual… when really they’re essentially a bunch of pious hypocrites, deeply unlikeable, and often dead wrong.

    • +1. Ever wondered about how or why the term “progressive” is used for repression? I see “progressive” as top-down thinking; progress can be dictated from above. Guess who wants to be the dictator.

  13. So, they can predict the needs of adaptation, now?
    =============

    • No, but they can predict what toy projects they want funded now. That’s the important thing.

    • Steven Mosher

      well yes one can predict the needs.

    • Assuming they can predict the future. I wouldn’t risk my quatloos on that.

    • Steven Mosher,

      Only one? Where is he hiding? How do you know him?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/marsh.html

      Ocean marsh restoration. Sort of a multi-purpose thing. Somewhat less tied to predictions.

    • This is a great example of something that is (perhaps) best studied, funded and implemented at a local and regional level. Coalitions of volunteers and local business can be built around local commercial benefits (improved fisheries for instance), and local experts employed where needed–whether those are university people or commercial people. It isn’t clear that this requires (or even benefits much) from any federal or national level involvement, except to the extent that costs would be subsidized, and at least some people would say that purely local benefits ought to get their support at a purely local level. The feds could help by getting out of the way, but this isn’t usually the first reflex of federal agencies.

    • We must adapt, so we can adapt…

  14. Adaptation is not a science, it is the physical application of engineering and craftsmanship. We have a huge backlog of infrastructure and environmental remediation projects that needs to be banged out, not studied and debated by navel gazers and video-game heros (you know who you are).

    Also, it’s not Ozero’s nor W McChimpy’s fault. We are the problem and are the only solution. To find out how you can take back control of YOUR country, please send a self addressed manila envelope and $10 for shipping and handling to:

    Pogo’s Army
    123 Groom Lake Road
    Department S4
    Okefenokee, Florida

  15. One thing struck me immediately about the article : they don’t know what adaptation is. At the time, there were 55 comments, and no-one seemed to pick this up (because they were too tied up with petty bickering) until I got to the last comment (at that time). kim nailed it: “So, they can predict the needs of adaptation, now?”.

    The article says “Science for adaptation starts with understanding decision-making processes and information needs, determining where the vulnerabilities are, and then moves to climate modeling.”. Has no-one else seen how absurd that statement is? Basically, adaptation is a reaction to actual events. First, something happens which requires a change (eg. rising seas requiring Al Gore to move his waterside house back a bit). Adaptation is the making of that change.

    Of course, that is a simplified view, and preparation needs to be a part of the process. So, addressing vulnerabilities is a part of it – you observe what is happening, you think about what might happen, and you then work out whether it is worth while to reduce the vulnerabilities in advance. In advance, that is, of some possible event which has not happened yet and which might not in fact ever happen. In Al Gore’s case, for example, he could purchase a strip of property going inland and uphill from his house, and then construct a road on it capable of taking a very large heavy machine capable of digging up and carrying a house. Of course, he would have to design and build the machine, too.

    There are alternatives – there usually are. An alternative approach for Al Gore could be to have enough money in the bank, so that if and when rising seas made his waterfront house uninhabitable, he could abandon it and build another one further inland, or, if sea level fell, he could build a new jetty for his boats.

    Frankly, I think the article is making a mountain out of a molehill. Collectively, humans do adaptation really well. Forecasting is something they don’t do well. Here is an interesting statistic for those who think that cities face catastrophic inundation by rising seas: the average age of a house in the USA is no more than 30 years. Think about it. How many times is the average city in the developed world effectively re-built per century?

    Coming back to the article: the really absurd bit in the sentence I quoted is the last bit : “Science for adaptation [....] then moves to climate modeling.”. Let me get this right – we work out what is happening or might happen, then we adapt to it or prepare for it, then we finally move to climate modelling to do what?? Change the models’ climate predictions where they are inconvenient or look too expensive? Change the models’ predictions to make our bureaucratic decisions look better? It looks to me like a piece of pure nonsense.

    • Mike Jonas,

      If it looks like pure nonsense, and it reads like pure nonsense, and it’s based on the ability to know the future, then guess what?

      It’s nonsense.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn

    • “Collectively, humans do adaptation really well. Forecasting is something they don’t do well.” Mike, I have to agree, this has been one of my main arguments for years. That and pursuing policies which increase our capacity to deal well with whatever eventualities befall, rather than policies which damage our capacity such as futile and costly GHG-emissions reduction schemes.

      Let’s hear it for human adaptability, ingenuity and innovation: “Yea!” One trouble with the doom-sayers is often that they see humans as a blight on the planet rather than, cf Jefferson Airplane, “The Crown of Creation.”

  16. “Grudem and Asmus give 78 specific ways governments can structure their laws and economy to stimulate monetary growth and bring their citizens out of poverty (the ways are listed on pp. 379-383, but described throughout the last third of the book).” ~Jesse Johnson

    Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution (Crossway, 2013)

    APPENDIX: A Composite List of Factors That Will Enable a Nation to Overcome Poverty

    A. The Nation’s Economic System (details in chapter 4)
    1. The nation has a free-market economy. (131-221)
    2. The nation has widespread private ownership of property. (141-54)
    3. The nation has an easy and quick process for people to gain documented, legally binding ownership of property. (149-54)
    4. The nation maintains a stable currency. (155-58)
    5. The nation has relatively low tax rates. (158-62)
    6. The nation is annually improving its score on an international index of economic freedom. (162)

    B. The Nation’s Government (details in chapter 7)
    1. Every person in the nation is equally accountable to the laws (including wealthy and powerful people). (225- 26)
    2. The nation’s courts show no favoritism or bias, but enforce justice impartially. (227)
    3. Bribery and corruption are rare in government offices, and they are quickly punished when discovered. (227-29)
    4. The nation’s government has adequate power to maintain governmental stability and to prevent crime. (229-30)
    5. There are adequate limits on the powers of the nation’s government so that personal freedoms are protected. (230-33)
    6. The powers of the government are clearly separated between national, regional, and local levels, and between different branches at each level. (234-36)
    7. The government is accountable to the people through regular, fair, open elections, and through freedom of the press and free access to information about government activities. (236-39)
    8. The government adequately protects citizens against crime. (239-41)
    9. The government adequately protects citizens against epidemics of disease. (241-42)
    10. The nation’s legal system adequately protects people and businesses against violations of contracts. (242-43)
    11. The nation’s legal system adequately protects people and businesses against violations of patents and copyrights. (243-46)
    12. The government effectively protects the nation against foreign invasion. (246-48)
    13. The government avoids useless wars of conquest against other nations. (248-50)
    14. The nation’s laws protect the country against destruction of its environment. (250-52)
    15. The nation requires universal education of children up to a level where people are able to earn a living and contribute positively to society. (253-56)
    16. The nation’s laws protect and give some economic incentives to stable family structures. (256-57)
    17. The nation’s laws protect freedom of religion for all religious groups and give some benefits to religions generally. (258)

    C. The Nation’s Freedoms (details in chapter 8)
    1. Everyone in the nation has freedom to own property. (263)
    2. Everyone in the nation has freedom to buy and sell goods and services, so that there are no protected monopolies. (263-64)
    3. Everyone in the nation has freedom to travel and transport goods anywhere within the nation. (264-67)
    4. Everyone in the nation has freedom to relocate anywhere within the nation. (267)
    5. Everyone in the nation has freedom to trade with other countries without dealing with restrictive quotas or tariffs. (267-269)
    6. Everyone in the nation has freedom to start and register a business quickly and inexpensively. (269-271)
    7. Everyone in the nation has freedom from expensive and burdensome government regulations. (271-72)
    8. Everyone in the nation has freedom from demands for bribes. (272-75)
    9. Everyone in the nation has freedom to work in whatever job he or she chooses. (275-77)
    10. Every worker in the nation has freedom to be rewarded for his or her work at a level that motivates good job performance. (277-78)
    11. Every employer has freedom to hire and fire employees based on job performance and changing business cycles. (278-79)
    12. Every employer in the nation has freedom to hire and promote employees based on merit, regardless of family connections or personal relationships. (279-80)
    13. Everyone in the nation has freedom to use the earth’s resources wisely, and particularly to utilize any type of energy resource. (280-84)
    14. Everyone in the nation has freedom to change and adopt newer, more effective means of work and production. (284-85)
    15. Everyone in the nation has freedom to access useful knowledge, inventions, and technological developments. (285-91)
    16. Everyone in the nation has freedom to be educated. (291-92)
    17. Every woman in the nation has the same educational, economic, and political freedoms as men. (292-93)
    18. Everyone in the nation, from every national, religious, racial, and ethnic origin, has the same educational, economic, and political freedoms as those from other backgrounds. (294-97)
    19. Everyone in the nation has freedom to move upward in social and economic status. (297-300)
    20. Everyone in the nation has freedom to become wealthy by legal means. (301-7)
    21. Everyone in the nation has freedom to practice any religion (307)

    D. The Nation’s Values (details in chapter 9)
    1. The society in general believes that there is a God who will hold all people accountable for their actions. (318-19)
    2. The society in general believes that God approves of several character traits related to work and productivity. (319-22)
    3. The society in general values truthfulness. (322-24)
    4. The society in general respects private ownership of property. (324-26)
    5. The society in general gives honor to several other moral values. (326-29)
    6. The society in general believes that there are both good and evil in every human heart. (329-30)
    7. The society in general believes that individuals are responsible for their actions. (330-31)
    8. The society in general highly values individual freedom. (331-32)
    9. The society in general opposes discrimination against people on the basis of race, gender, or religion. (332)
    10. The society in general honors marriage between one man and one woman. (333-34)
    11. The society in general values permanency of marriage and has a low divorce rate. (334-35)
    12. The society in general believes that human beings are more important than all other creatures on the earth. (335-36)
    13. The society in general believes that the earth is here for the use and benefit of human beings. (336-37)
    14. The society in general believes that economic development is a good thing and shows the excellence of the earth. (337-38)
    15. The society in general believes that the earth’s resources will never be exhausted. (339-40)
    16. The society in general believes that the earth is orderly and subject to rational investigation. (340-41)The society in general believes that the earth is a place of opportunity. (341)
    17. The society in general believes that time is linear and therefore there is hope for improvement in the lives of human beings and nations. (341-42)
    18. The society in general believes that time is a valuable resource and should be used wisely. (342-43)
    19. The society in general manifests a widespread desire to improve on life, to do better, to innovate, and to become more productive. (343-44)
    20. The society in general is open to change, and people therefore work to solve problems and make things better. (344-45)
    21. The society in general gives honor to productive work. (345-48)
    22. The society in general gives honor to economically productive people, companies, inventions, and careers. (348-50)
    23. The society’s business owners and workers in general view their companies primarily as means of providing customers with things of value, for which they will then be paid according to that value. (350-51)
    24. The society in general places a high value on savings in contrast to spending. (351)
    25. The society in general believes that mutual gains come from voluntary exchanges, and therefore a business deal is “good” if it brings benefits to both buyer and seller. (351-53)
    26. The society in general values knowledge from any source and makes it widely available. (353-54)
    27. The society in general values a highly trained workforce. (354-55)
    28. The society in general assumes that there must be
    a rational basis for knowledge and recognized channels for spreading and testing knowledge. (355-56)
    29. The society in general demonstrates a humble willingness to learn from other people, other nations, and members of other religions. (356-57)
    30. The society in general believes that the purpose of government is to serve the nation and bring benefit to the people as a whole. (358-59)
    31. The society in general believes that government should punish evil and promote good. (359)
    32. The society in general values patriotism and reinforces a shared sense of national identity and purpose. (359-64)
    33. The society in general counts family, friends, and joy in life as more important than material wealth. (364-66)
    34. The society in general counts spiritual well-being and a relationship with God as more important than material wealth. (366-67)
    35. The society in general counts spiritual well-being and a relationship with God as more important than material wealth. (366-67)

    • I’ll go along with most of that. Some quibbles, but the general drift is valid. Though “monetary growth” is not an appropriate target, rather than real wealth and well-being.

    • By growth they probably mean the finance function that takes time into account–i.e., the maximization of net present wealth.

  17. {Excerpt}

    17. The society believes that the earth is a place of opportunity

    If a society believes that developing the earth’s resources is morally right and in fact is approved by God (as evidenced by Gen. 1:28; Ps. 8:6-9; 24:1), then people will think of the world as a place of opportunity, where hard work and inventiveness will lead to further discoveries of beneficial uses of the earth’s resources.

    By contrast, in some primitive societies, the world is viewed primarily as a place of danger. People are unwilling to take risks because something bad might happen. In these places, economic development is viewed with fear and even moral condemnation, because change is more likely to bring harmful results than helpful ones.

    (See, Ibid.)

  18.  

    {Excerpt}

    Socialists and other “planners.” Still other economists are “socialists,” of stronger or weaker varieties. In their view, the solution to poverty is more planning—wise government “experts” should plan and direct most everything in an economy. If it is pointed out that government control of factories and businesses has not worked well in the past, their response is that the wrong government experts were in charge. We simply need different experts, better ones, they say. In fact, if asked, they might even humbly suggest that they themselves might just be available to serve as these new experts—in a limited capacity, of course—at least initially. Easterly refers to these economists as “Planners,” and says they usually do more than good. 21

    (See, Ibid.)

  19. Here is what humans can do with sand, sea and sun.
    Desert Farming Experiment Yields First Results
    http://news.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/thumb_article_l/public/media/si-saharaforestproject.jpg
    A project to “green” desert areas with an innovative mix of technologies—producing food, biofuel, clean water, energy, and salt—reached a milestone this week in the Gulf state of Qatar. A pilot plant built by the Sahara Forest Project (SFP) produced 75 kilograms of vegetables per square meter in three crops annually, comparable to commercial farms in Europe, while consuming only sunlight and seawater. The heart of the SFP concept is a specially designed greenhouse. At one end, salt water is trickled over a gridlike curtain so that the prevailing wind blows the resulting cool, moist air over the plants inside. This cooling effect allowed the Qatar facility to grow three crops per year, even in the scorching summer. At the other end of the greenhouse is a network of pipes with cold seawater running through them. Some of the moisture in the air condenses on the pipes and is collected, providing a source of fresh water.

    One of the surprising side effects of such a seawater greenhouse, seen during early experiments, is that cool moist air leaking out of it encourages other plants to grow spontaneously outside. The Qatar plant took advantage of that effect to grow crops around the greenhouse, including barley and salad rocket (arugula), as well as useful desert plants. The pilot plant accentuated this exterior cooling with more “evaporative hedges” that reduced air temperatures by up to 10°C. “It was surprising how little encouragement the external crops needed,” says SFP chief Joakim Hauge.

    The third key element of the SFP facility is a concentrated solar power plant. This uses mirrors in the shape of a parabolic trough to heat a fluid flowing through a pipe at its focus. The heated fluid then boils water, and the steam drives a turbine to generate power. Hence, the plant has electricity to run its control systems and pumps and can use any excess to desalinate water for irrigating the plants.

    The Qatar plant has also experimented with other possibilities such as culturing heat-tolerant algae, growing salt-tolerant grasses for fodder or biofuel, and evaporating the concentrated saline the plant emits to produce salt.

    The Qatar plant—which is supported by Qatari fertilizer companies Yara International and Qafco—is just 1 hectare in extent with 600 square meters of growing area in the greenhouse. The fact that this small greenhouse produced such good yields, Hauge says, suggests that a commercial plant—with possibly four crops a year—could do even better. SFP researchers estimate that a facility with 60 hectares of growing area under greenhouses could provide all the cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and egglants now imported into Qatar. The results “reveal the potential for enabling restorative growth and value creation in arid land,” Hauge says.

    SFP is now engaged in studies aimed at building a 20-hectare test facility near Aqaba in Jordan. “This will be a considerable scaling up from the 1 hectare in Qatar,” Hauge says, and big enough to demonstrate commercial operation.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2013/11/desert-farming-experiment-yields-first-results?rss=1

    • This looks like the project that was started by an Englishman, sold to a German, who built the first plant outside Adelaide, Australia, run by a Canadian. The second plant was de to be built at Qatar.

    • If they’d had only gone to the Israelis, they’d have something that works from somebody who knows something about growing things in the desert.

    • Doc, can this be extended to holding the World Cup in Qatar in the summer?

    • That would require one helluva swampbox.

    • So much for continued zero global warming until the30s. The World Bank (Working for a world free of poverty) apparently knows better or at least as much as it does about how to free the world from poverty–e.g.,

      Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided / Kanta Kumari Rigaud and Pablo Benitez

      About the Course

      Under current pledges and commitments, the world is likely to reach a 4°C degree warming by the end of the century and 2°C warming as early as 2040…

  20. On climate adaptation

    Listen to a brilliant presentation of fighting deforestation by
    Allan Savory:

    “How to fight desertification and reverse climate change”

    http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html

  21. Governments have limited ability to protect their people against threats. To do so they need to identify the threats and their respective risks, Both Pearl harbor and the twin towers were not identified as risks. so identification is a major problem. So in the end governments can try to quantify the risks and advise the public. The risk of a meteor strike is real, as Russia has discovered, and could destroy a major city with huge loss of life. The current flavour of the month is climate, but people are aware that this has remained steady for 15 years, so that threat is receding

    So currently I don’t see any political will to identify or quantify such risks.

  22. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    FOMD posted  “Your speculations in regard to developmental neurotoxicity of environmental toxins are soothing and plausible, DocMartyn.

    However, these soothing beliefs have not been assessed with adequate scientific rigor. Have they, DocMartyn?

    It has commonly happened that scientific research refutes soothing beliefs. Isn’t that plain common-sense *and* an oft-repeated lesson of scientific history, DocMartyn?”

    DocMartyn responds  Fan, you are a complete moron. I asked you to name a pesticide, which at normal serum levels, acts as a neurotoxin.

    Thank you DocMartyn, for so ably illustrating a crucial aspect of denialist cognition: insisting upon wrong questions is comparably characteristic of denialist cognition to insisting upon wrong answers.

    Question  Doesn’t the phrase normal serum levels of neurotoxic pesticides conducive to oxymoronic cognition, DocMartyn?

    Conversely, aren’t adequate respect for science *and* asking right questions *both* essential to the emerging discipline (that Judith Curry calls) “practice-relevant climate adaptation science”?

    The world wonders!

    \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}

    • I enjoy speaking____________________.

      (a) with friends.
      (b) off the cuff.
      (c) ex cathedra.

    • (d) for the sake of providing links.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      I enjoy speaking ________

      (d) Harry Truman-style!

      \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}

    • “I enjoy speaking_____…”

      Hah!

    • AFOMD,

      I note you have not provided an answer to DocMartyn’s question?

      Are you unable or unwilling?

      The world wonders, eh?

      Only joking, unlike some.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Mike Flynn claims [wrongly]  “AFOMD, I note you have not provided an answer to DocMartyn’s question?”

      Click the link and be enlightened Mike Flynn!

      Human health implications
      of environmental contaminants in Arctic Canada:
      A review

      The primary exposure pathway for contaminants for various organochlorines (OCs) and toxic metals is through the traditional northern diet.

      In recent dietary surveys among five Inuit regions, mean intakes by 20- to 40-year-old adults in Baffin, Kivalliq and Inuvialuit communities exceeded the provisional tolerable daily intakes (pTDIs) for the organochlorines (OCs), chlordane and toxaphene.

      The contamination of country [wild-caught] food raises problems which go far beyond the usual confines of public health and cannot be resolved simply by risk-based health advisories or food substitutions alone.

      As DocMartyn appreciates, these volatile neurotoxic compounds are produced in tropical and temperature nation, where the toxins evaporate into the air, then migrate on the winds to Arctic regions, then condense onto the ice and cold ground, then finally accumulate in the wildlife/food-chain.

      Here are multiple sobering issues that hold many lessons for climate-science, eh Mike Flynn?

      How are these volatilized/globalized toxic-diet costs to be properly accounted, economically, scientifically, and morally?

      Is it OK for temperate-latitude dwellers to simply turn a blind eye, saying “We have the wealth, we have the power, it’s not our problem, and so we needn’t care. Moreover, in order to think well of ourselves, we’ll simply deny there’s any problem!”

      The world (quite properly!) wonders about these issues, eh Mike Flynn?

      Science-related comments for DocMartyn are welcomed!

      \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}

    • AFOMD,

      You were asked to name a single pesticide which . . .

      You haven’t. You can’t . Why not?

      The world wonders!

      Live well and prosper,

      Live well,and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • The Inuit and newcomers are atop a carnivorous, aquatic, food chain and the eating of seal blubber gives them the highest levels of lipophilic organic pollutants of any, non-chemical handling, group.
      The blood maximums are about 12 nM DDE for this at-risk group, mostly bound to HSA.
      You don’t see any neuronal toxicity in human neurons or astrocytes at these levels, you don’t see any developmental problems in rodents with maternal levels of DDE in these ranges.
      I don’t really observe any statistical effect in normal human B-cells at these levels, you have to titrate out to twice this, and the effect is subtle and not deadly, you need a really large n to see anything above the noise
      You don’t see any effect on estrogen sensitive human breast cancer cells at these levels as the Kd’s for the estrogen receptors are >1 micromolar. Same with the androgen receptor, The blocking action on the androgen receptor is also in the micromolar range. Subtle effects are there, on non-nuclear receptors, but they are not toxic.
      I can bath human cortical neurons and fetal human astrocytes in 1 micromolar DDE and nothing happens, unless I strip the medium of all the normal steroidal hormones and estrone/estrone sulphate. Then I get subtle growth effects, but no cell death changes.
      I have 6 human, Autistic lineage B-cell lines that are exquisitely sensitive to mitochondrial toxins, as in ethyl-mercury. No death, no mitochondrial destruction with DDE.
      DDE does give DHT/estrogenic mimicking effects, again in stripped media.
      Low DDE, 10′s nM, in the presence of normal E2 or DHT does nothing.
      I did the damn study.
      If I had observed a differential toxicity effect on Autistic derived cells I would now have a Science Article and be on Leno, but I didn’t see any toxicity, I got an effect similar to DHT at 50 nM, so not quite a zero, but not Earth shattering.
      I identified other mimitics, which may disrupt normal brain development, but they are not toxins, modulators yes, but not toxins. Moreover, we are all saturated to the majority. Again, quick and nasty, unpublished, work didn’t give me a magic bullet for neuronal toxicity.
      You see Fraud, if these compounds were neuronal toxins, we would all have brain damage, and even with out lowered IQ’s would be able to do cause and effect analysis.
      We can finger true neurotoxins reasonably easily, in animal models and in cell culture. We neurochemists all want to find them and we all look. The problem is not toxins, toxins we pick up easily, any fool can titrate potential toxin and count cell numbers, and on the whole we are not fools.
      The problem is things that MIGHT affect brain development and cause subtle changes that lead to a poorly defined phenotype, especially a phenotype that is also part of the normal range of human brains; conditions like ADHD, Asperger’s or Autism. Things in the environment that transform brains just a little are a real bugger to find. Chemical triggers for Autism exist, Thalidomide and Valporate, but environmental, chemical, triggers for the rise in Autism or ADHD may not even exist.
      That they might be figments of out imagination is not a reason not to look, but, you should never, ever, go beyond what the data can support. You can find a population, like the Inuit, look at markers of child brain development, look at POP and scream “LINK! Smoking Gun!”, or you can also take a look at a control group, like the Navajo Nation at their desert reservation, look at their childhood markers and measure the POP’s in their blood (one study). You will find that the Navajo have low organochlorine levels, poor academic performance and poor outcomes; nothing like losing your nation to a bunch of invaders for lowering your self esteem unless its spending a couple of centuries in slavery. The under-privileged and under-classes have crap outcomes, crap diets, live in crappy accommodation and have more environmental crap in them than the successful wealthy. To suggest that a mansion causes children to become lawyers and bankers, but trailers cause kids to become pimps and drug dealers is obviously nonsense, but you are prepared to believe that poor intellectual outcomes results from people being invaded by pollutants, rather than coming from a social group that live in crappy places.

      Long lived, lipid soluble, xenosteroids are not something that should be thrown into the food chain. That said, the majority of them are not being made or used on any scale. The balance between caution and utility is with the former, except, well there is a big except.
      The biggest source of synthetic, long lived, lipid soluble hormone mimitics enter the biosphere via ladies urine. The synthetic steroidal components of oral contraceptives, and their metabolites, go straight into the biosphere. These could be responsible for all sorts of neuronal changes, but no one wants to fund people to look at the link between these and, say, Autism.

  23. unnecessary adaptation for the phony GLOBAL warming is only going to benefit the insurance companies

    • Oh, I think a few more will ride that train!

      Betting on adaptation instead of mitigation is saying, in effect: “Let’s wait and see what happens.” So far, it has shown that every cent spent on preventing warming has not only been wasted, it has deprived large populations of what they need most: shelter against cold, and affordable and easily accessed energy.

    • Brian, killing the production section is derailing the gravy train – on which almost all the Warmist depend on

    • I can safely predict that when they actually start looking for the local effects of increased GHG’s, they’re going to find an expanded PDF of various extreme conditions. Thus, a capacity to adapt to such extreme conditions, i.e. micro-climate robustness, will simply inoculate locals against extreme conditions they already have some chance of experiencing.

      True, this might slow down a few local expansions, but the spin-off technology alone will almost certainly pay for it, not to mention reduced risk from extreme conditions no matter what (if any) increased risk from GHG’s exists. And, since it’s local, localities that choose not to participate will be free to make that choice.

  24. Informing the extensive preparations needed to manage climate risks, avoid damages, and realize emerging opportunities is a grand challenge for climate change science.

    If my interpretation of Richard Tol’s 2012 paper ‘THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE 20TH AND 21ST CENTURIES‘ is correct, the very best thing we can do to adapt to global warming is to reduced the cost of energy. Look at Figure 3 here: http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf

    Consider the chart with the cost of energy excluded. Without the negative impact of energy cost, global warming would be a net positive impact to above 4 C warming (increase from today’s temperature) and to well beyond the end of this century.

    The increasing cost of energy over this century dominates all other impacts. Now imagine if the cost of energy is substantial reduced (The slope of the energy cost line is flattened.) If the cost of energy was sufficiently reduced, global warming would be a net benefit.

    Therefore, it seems to me that the most significant adaptation we can do is to develop low cost energy – for the whole world. That would allow us to gain the benefits of the predominantly net positive impacts of global warming for all of this century and beyond.

    We can do even better by adaptation to minimise the negative impacts and maximise the positive impacts (and doing so regionally).
    - The net positive impacts are Agriculture and Health.
    - The net negative impacts are Energy, Water and Ecosystems
    - Storms and Sea Level Rise are about zero net impact.
    If energy is excluded or the impact reduced sufficiently, then the positive impacts exceed the negative impacts, so global warming would be net positive.

    Bjorn Lomborg has been saying all this for many years. Why isn’t it widely recognised? Or am I misinterpreting Tol’s paper?

    It’s also worth reading Tol’s more recent paper as it provides an overview of the impact studies and impact analyses. You can see the abstract and figures here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165188913000092
    and the full paper here: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=wps37-2012-tol.pdf&site=24

  25. JC,

    JC comments: In my excerpts, I cherry picked the good stuff, and didn’t mention the text that IMO is more dubious, such as establish government climate services, downscaling of climate model results, etc.

    Why don’t you mention those things? They are central to the thesis. The first of those is the typical call for institutionalization of the ‘global warming’ conclusion, and the second is both the justification and modus operandi or the first. More of the Judith Goat’s “The IPCC is bad, so we should figure out sensible ways to do what they say anyways.”

    ◾Climate adaptation is fundamentally a local/regional issue, and climate models have no skill on these spatial scales.

    They don’t have any skill on larger or smaller spatial scales, either. Yet this ‘adaptation’ BS is all about pretending they do, and making policy decisions based on them and the failed theory that they are programmed to emulate.

    ◾Natural climate variability is arguably more important than forced climate variability on regional scales, even if you buy the IPCC’s arguments re AGW.

    Nonsense. If you buy into the CAGW argument, you buy into its central premise – that ‘global warming’ swamps natural variation. ‘Global warming’ cannot swamp natural variation globally without doing so in the vast majority of locales.

    ◾Extreme weather events (or climate, in the case of drought) are the key issues for adaptation, and climate models are pretty much useless in this regard.

    As is 99.9% of the balance of ‘climate science’. What are needed are traditional climate data. Preferably, we’d like to have data uncorrupted by B***S*** homogenization schemes and other biased ‘adjustments’, and unencumbered by politically motivated predictions/projections. Observations and summary statistics. That is what we need, and what used to have before all of this crap started.

    Not one dime should be spent toward any new ‘climate service’ (national or otherwise) nor on any ‘climate communication’ BS. Nor should any money go toward communicating or utilizing any prediction, projection or forecast that is not proven reliable for the purpose to which it is to be put.

    This article is written with a clear objective of increasing the funding base for adaptation use-inspired climate research.

    Exactly. That is the purpose of the article, and of the plan the article promotes. Gimmee, gimmee, gimmee.

    No.

  26. Climate models appear to do no better than I can, at any level

    They therefore show no skill whatever. With apologies to our gracious hostess, I quote the following from cfanclimate.com

    “Even the best models have forecast errors and biases. CFAN makes extensive statistical adjustments to the forecast products based upon model hindcasts and recent model performance, so that we deliver to our clients the best possible weather and climate solutions. An important and novel aspect of our statistical adjustment is a strategy that corrects for distributional errors, which improves our ability to identify outliers and extreme events.”

    This appears to me, at least, to be saying “when we find the model is wrong, we adjust it it so that it is correct up to yesterday. Tomorrow is still a mystery.”

    If this is true, then adapting to an unknown future consists of no more than proceeding on the basis of a guess. Guess right, you live – guess wrong, you die, in the worst case.

    You might think that a wrong guess, as long as it doesn’t kill you personally, has no adverse consequences. Consider just one example, if you will.

    A Warmist guesses that dams will not fill again. People will possibly die of thirst, or become “water refugees”. The Government adapts by borrowing billions of dollars and builds desalination plants. The Warmist guessed wrong. The population is saddled with repaying the money borrowed, the interest, and the ongoing costs of maintenance for plants that may or may not be of use in the future.

    In the meantime, people die due to insufficiency of ambulances, hospital equipment and staff and so on, caused by money being diverted to “adapt” to “climate change”.

    Adaptation.? Man proposes, God disposes. Good luck!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  27. Its a good way to justify spending money on virtually anything and everything that you want to spend money on. A blank check, with control over who you write them to/for

  28. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  29. Add: Credibility support: Documentation of
    * model components (incl subroutines, functions, including packages)
    * model parameters
    * Data definitions: attributes, records, relationships
    * Initialization data values
    * Data (observation) processing (e.g., adjustments)
    * System and component tests and results

    This would allow contributions from experts in other disciplines.

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