Open thread

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics into discussion; this thread will be more lightly moderated than topical threads.

287 responses to “Open thread

  1. “…this thread will be more lightly moderated than topical threads.”

    Woohoo! Time to party :-)

    • I don’t often disagree with you, pokerguy, but this is NOT the “time to party”. This is the time to behave like ladies and gentlemen, in the true meaning of those words.

    • 2 votes for Jim. Based upon her previous post of Blog Commenting Policy, I suspect this may be a test to see if we can behave like civilized people.

    • You’re right, Jim. Duly chastened.

    • High-spirited pokerguy )

    • “High spirited poker guy”

      Thanks, Beth. Nothing like the kind indulgence of a sweet woman to make a guy feel better about himself :-)

    • “How certain are you about that?”

      In the interest of making things easier for our host, as well as my own self respect, I leave you now and forever more to your own devices Joshua.

      As me dear departed father used to say, referring to his beloved but in those days consistently hapless hometown baseball team….

      “Good luck to you and the Red Sox.”

    • misnested, but I commend you for your accountability, PG. By not filling up these threads with insults directed my way, you won’t have to rely on blaming me for your behavior, and perhaps in some small measure improve the website in the eyes of many denizens.

      Still, I wonder how you substantiate your certainty about what is and isn’t certain.

  2. Recently, The Royal Society briefed Lord Lawson on CAGW in SECRET. David Booker opined that the RS was so convinced it was right, that it refuses to listen to any sort of scientific discussion; like a juvenile delinquent, metaphorically putting it’s fingers in it’s ears, and singing “La, la, la, we can’t hear you”.

    I am afraid that until this ancient and venerable institution returns to the scientific method of Galileo and Newton, relies on empirical data instead of hypothetical estimations, and starts behaving in a scientific manner once again, this nonsense of CAGW will continue for a long time into the future.

  3. “David Booker opined that the RS was so convinced it was right, that it refuses to listen to any sort of scientific discussion; “

    Therein lies the great impediment to even the possibility of changing someone’s mind. Bill Wilson the great founder of AA famously called it (famous of you’re a 12 Step person anyway), “contempt before investigation.”

    I recently got together with an old friend from high school. Smart guy, with a kind of cynical bent that appeals to me. But when I brought the subject up the topic of climate change I could quickly see he wasn’t receptive. He didn’t know much about the subject, but he was absolutely sure he was right. Typical.

    A variation on an old joke:

    Question: How many skeptics does it take to change a warmist’s mind?

    Answer: None. He has to want to change it himself.

    • It appears from your comment that all you’ve really done is flipping the place people are standing. That it’s the skeptics that hold the truth and the warmist that fail to comprehend it.

      Surely if what reigns is uncertainty (in all it’s forms) then CAGW has to be on the table along with relatively benign change. We still need to contemplate potential impacts?

    • “That it’s the skeptics that hold the truth and the warmist that fail to comprehend it.”

      Correct, but with a caveat. “Truth” in my view anyway is not some static, received wisdom, but an ongoing awareness of the profound uncertainties in this area. My friend, like many uninformed warmists, admits to no important uncertainties. He’s convinced we’re all going fry because the NYT’s tells him so.

    • So part of the non-static truth would be that potentially the way we are affecting the chemistry of the atmosphere may be shifting the climate in a direction that produces greater challenges to some populations. Given what’s presented I find it hard to completely rule that out.

      I understand the limitations of your friends arguments and you’re desire to challenge him but do you see the scenario that he paints is a possible one?

    • HR, you write “That it’s the skeptics that hold the truth and the warmist that fail to comprehend it.”

      NO. This is DEFINITELY what I am NOT saying. Mother Nature holds the truth. The truth is the empirical data. That is ALL we should rely on.

      However, having said that, the warmists are relying exclusively on hypothetical meaningless estimations on which to base their belief in CAGW. I only rely on empirical data. Nullius in verba. I am from Missouri. Show me. And such little empirical data as we have, no CO2 measured signal in any modern temperature/time graph, gives a strong indication that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels, has a negligible effect on global temperatures.

    • “I understand the limitations of your friends arguments and you’re desire to challenge him but do you see the scenario that he paints is a possible one?”

      Yes I do HR, but at this point looking increasingly unlikely.

    • HR -

      Skeptical due diligence is nice to see.

    • Yes I do HR, but at this point looking increasingly unlikely.

      How certain are you about that?

    • Ok Pokerguy

  4. On the previous thread, some commenters seemed to say they wanted to discuss only the subject they are interested in. I interpreted these comments to be saying they wanted to discuss climate science, temperature trends, etc.

    From my perspective, that stuff is down in the weeds. It’s not relevant to informing policy decisions. It provides input to the analyses that inform policy decisions. It informs climate sensitivity, which is one of many inputs to policy analysis, and not even the most important. I think the important input parameters are:

    1. climate sensitivity
    2. damage function (the benefit or damage per degree of temperature change)
    3. the rate that decarbonisation of the global economy would take place in the absence of global climate mitigation policies
    4. the probability that chosen mitigation policies would achieve the projected benefits.

    It seems to me that we have very little understanding of the damage function. It seems to be highly uncertain and even the sign is uncertain up to perhaps beyond 4 C of warming. I wonder why more effort isn’t being put into reducing the uncertainty of the damage function and #3 and #4 in the list above.

    • Peter, you write “1. climate sensitivity”

      Until the value of this is known, everything else you have written is meaningless. If climate sensitivity is negligible, which it is, then nothing else matters. We can go on burning as much is the way of fossil fuels as we like.

      So, until the warmists agree that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels has a negligible effect of anything, except producing more crops, we will go on ploughing the sands.

    • “climate sensitivity”

      Plus, the word ‘climate’ is used when they actually mean ‘temperature’ sensitivity. ‘Temperature’ isn’t sexy enough for propaganda purposes, so ‘climate’ is used. We don’t have devices that measure ‘climate’ sensitivity. There’s no such thing. We don’t have devices that measure ‘temperature’ ‘sensitivity’, for that matter either. We have devices that measure ‘temperature’. The ‘sensitivity’ of something would be a calculation.

      But everyone knows this already.

      Andrew

    • Jim Cripwell,

      Until the value of this is known, everything else you have written is meaningless. If climate sensitivity is negligible, [...], then nothing else matters. We can go on burning as much is the way of fossil fuels as we like.

      I have to disagree with you on this. If the damage function is negligible, then the climate sensitivity doesn’t matter.

      And I feel scientists have been trying to estimate climate sensitivity for over 30 years and the central estimates and uncertainty ranges have changed little in that time. The central estimate seems to be about 2 to 3 C. At the projected rate of GHG emissions without policies that would actually cut global emissions, that translates to about 3 to 5 C of warming above whatever the temperature would be without the emissions (according to Nordhaus).

      It seems unlikely there will be sudden progress to reduce the uncertainty in climate sensitivity. Therefore, IMO, we need to divert resources to reducing the uncertainty in the damage function.

      Also in estimating the probability that chosen mitigation policies would actually succeed. This includes understanding whether our emissions are reducing or increasing the likelihood of sudden climate changes for the better or the worse. On that, I see persuasive evidence that sudden warming events have been excellent for flora and fauna. Life thrived as Ireland warmed suddenly from ice age conditions to current temperatures – twice; in 7 just years 14,500 years BP and in just 9 years 11,600 years ago.

      At 24,000 years ago the whole of Ireland was covered in ice -up to 1.5km thick (the global sea level at this time was 120m lower than now due to the increased volume of polar ice) and spread out onto the western shelf. This ice had mostly disappeared by 17,500 years ago but a readvance occurred just prior to 14,500 years ago (associated with a massive outpouring of icebergs into the N.Atlantic). At 14,500 all of the ice cap was probably gone and the climate warmed very quickly to levels similar to today (figure 15.21). However, the climate once again steadily cooled into the Late–glacial Stadial (Younger Dryas) and Ireland had small mountain glaciers (very small) between 12,600 and 11,500 years ago. At 11,500 years the climate suddenly warmed and then stayed warm –see figure 15.22 (apart from 8,200 years ago when the discharge from a huge N.American glacial lake emptied into the N.Atlantic.

      (i have used calendar years here –the dates are different in radiocarbon years)

      Peter Coxon

      see Figures 15.21 and 15.22 on pages 391 and 392 here: http://eprints.nuim.ie/1983/1/McCarron.pdf

      So, what is so bad about sudden warming? Why was it good at cooler temperatures and will be bad if warming from now? Why should we believe that the planet is at the optimum temperature when we happen to be living?

    • But Jim,
      We wouldn’t be warmists if we thought that CO2 couldn’t change the global mean temperature.

      Andrew,
      We don’t have any thing that directly measures temperature.

      A change in global mean temperature for a given change in Carbon Dioxide concentration, easier said then done, but just because it is hard doesn’t mean the answer is as close to zero as we want to make it.

      There is evidence for climate sensitivity other than from global circulation models.

    • Peter Lang and Jim Cripwell

      1. “Economic damage” from what?

      [From postulated harmful climate effects, resulting from anthropogenic global warming]

      2. What warming?

      [Model-simulated warming of the global temperature as a result (primarily) of human CO2 emissions]

      3. How much added CO2 are you talking about?

      [Umm... Well, we've made some guesses for different "scenarios and storylines" we now call "representative concentration pathways" (sounds more scientific) ranging from 490 ppmv CO2 to 1100 ppmv CO2 by 2100 (worst case based on humans emitting three times the CO2 they do today, with a doubling of world-wide per capita CO2 emissions from today. And we project warming of 3.7 degreesC above today for this worst case]

      4. Wow! that sounds like a lot! Are you sure there are enough fossil fuels around to get to that level?

      [Errr... We haven't really checked that out]

      5. Well, there are estimates out there (WEC 2010, for example) that would tell you that there are not enough fossil fuels left on Earth to get to that CO2 level. What do you say to that?

      [Umm... That wasn't part of our calculation. We just ASS-U-MEd that there were unlimited fossil fuels]

      6. OK. Let’s forget that for now. But how did you get from CO2 levels to projected global warming?

      [Well, we used predictions of the "2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity" (the amount of global warming we should get from a doubling of CO2 at equilibrium]

      7. Sounds great. Where’d you get those?

      [Umm... Let's see. We got them from model predictions]

      8. Oh-oh. They’re not based on empirical observations? What if your model predictions were too high?

      [Oh, that's not possible. A lot of work went into those models, you know]

      9. But I’ve read that those same models cannot do a good job of predicting warming from added CO2 – in fact, they seem to be skewed to give warming estimates that are two high by a factor of two or more. Most recently they projected warming of 0.2C per decade and we’ve actually seen cooling of about 0.04C per decade. What if the “2xCO2 ECS” estimate that comes out of your models is also too high by a factor of two – would the expected “worst case” warming also be exaggerated by a factor of two? And wouldn’t the expected “damages” from 1.8 degrees C warming be negligible – or even slightly beneficial for humanity?

      [Umm... Err... I guess so. But that's not possible. Our models couldn't be wrong]

      Max

    • Manacker,

      Thank you for your fairly sarcastic and good humoured comment. Appreciated and taken as intended :) But I have some serious questions.

      3. How much added CO2 are you talking about?

      [Umm... Well, we've made some guesses for different "scenarios and storylines" we now call "representative concentration pathways" (sounds more scientific) ranging from 490 ppmv CO2 to 1100 ppmv CO2 by 2100 (worst case based on humans emitting three times the CO2 they do today, with a doubling of world-wide per capita CO2 emissions from today. And we project warming of 3.7 degreesC above today for this worst case]

      Are these figures for worst case really as ridiculous as you seem to imply?

      Using your simple formula, and simplifying assumptions, for estimating global temperature increase from a doubling of CO2 concentration by 2100 gives 2 C to 3 C for 2xCO2 = 2 or 3 respectively.

      Doubling of CO2 concentration by 2100 – is this unrealistic? Nordhaus projects CO2 concentration of 700 to 900 ppmv by 2100 (say 800 ppmv) which is about twice the present concentration. Nordhaus’s estimate is based on the estimates of:

      • Population growth rate
      • GDP per capita growth rate
      • CO2 emissions/GDP rate of decline

      Basis for 2xCO2 of 2 C to 3 C – central estimates for 2xCO2 average are about 1.8 C for estimates based on recent, mostly empirical, data to about 3 C stated by IPCC which is an ‘expert judgement’ based on all estimates. [Admittedly these are for ECS not TCR; using the figures for TCR instead would reduce the estimated temperature increase to 2100, but I’m asking about whether the worst case figures are as ridiculous as you imply).

      with a doubling of world-wide per capita CO2 emissions from today

      Is it unrealistic to assume the world average emissions per capita will not increase to half the current USA’s rate in 87 years from now?

      4. Wow! that sounds like a lot! Are you sure there are enough fossil fuels around to get to that level?

      Nordhaus assumed 6,000 Gt total resources of carbon in DICE 2007 (I am not sure if this figure has been changed in the 2013 version). Is that unrealistic?

      The total carbon emissions estimated for 2005 to 2105 for the ‘no control’ policy in Nordhaus, DICE 2007 (table 5-6, p100) are 1488 Gt http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

    • Manacker,

      It’s 4 am here, and I’ve just realised I made an error in my last paragraph above. It doesn’t change the conclusion but does double the quantity of carbon burned. To add 1,488 Gt of C to the atmosphere requires about 3,000 Gt C to be burnt because about half is sequestered. So that would consume about half the 6,000 Gt C Nordhaus assumes in his analyses.

      I’ll be away for 3 days.

  5. Bjorn Lomborg has an op-ed in the New York Times today.

    The comments attest to the extent to which that papers numerous readers are out of touch with the real world. How easy it is to address “urgent” problems like global warming when you don’t have to worry about scrounging for your next meal, choking air, infections, pests, clothing yourself, freezing or keeping a roof over your head. I am especially appalled by the not very subtle misanthropy expressed by the readers.

    • John
      Thanks for the link. I thought in the main Lomborg’s piece was sensible and level headed (he could have phrased one bit differently something like ‘what the poor need is cheap energy. At the moment that means fossil fuels, particularly coal.’

      The comments section is astounding…

    • John DeFayette

      Excellent NYT article by Bjorn Lomborg!

      Thanks for posting the link.

      Yeah. The comments do show how many NYT readers are out of touch with the real world.

      The NYT, itself, has gone through a transition, captured in this book by William McGowan.

      Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America

      http://www.grayladydown.net/

      Max

    • funny, ’cause I thought it is pretty much a waste of column inches.

      First, he talks about the millions who die (at least partially) due to coal, but then he talks about how no one should stand in the way as poorer nations turn to coal.

      Ok, so let’s look past that bizarre bit of logic.

      Then, he moves on to equate poverty alleviation with cheap energy – completely ignoring any and all other factors that might be relevant to poverty alleviation.

      He goes on with a warm embrace for fracking, although it isn’t yet clear what the full range of environmental impact from that technology might be.

      He discusses then completely ducks the issue of the opposing pressures of pollution and access to energy we see in China.

      He completely ducks any discussion of pricing negative externalities from burning fossil fuels.

      Basically a shallow and facile approach to the subject.

      Ho hum.

    • Joshua, what Lomborg did not explain clearly for thickheads like you, is that the deaths from indoor pollution are caused by women cooking on stoves powered by coal, wood, or cow-dung. Conversely, what he means by their rise from poverty depending on coal is that it will occur if the countries involved build power stations & reliable electricity grids to supply their population so they can afford to cook on electric stoves, & also to heat their homes in winter. Of course, reticulated gas would be even better if CO2 emissions concern you. It is not industry that creates most of the air pollution in Chinese cities, it is the stoves & heaters the people use which run on the low quality, Chinese mined, coal available to them.

    • This is my favorite Lomborg interview. Half a decade ago and still completely relevant. This is climate after all.

    • Ray B -

      Most of the coal burning power plants in China are in Northern China.

      Do you think the following is unrelated to that fact?:

      The air concentration of total suspended particulates (TSP) in the north was 55 percent higher than in the south, and life expectancies were 5.52 years lower, between 1981 and 2000.

      We do not burn much coal for cooking in the US:

      http://chge.med.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/resources/MiningCoalMountingCosts.pdf

    • Yes, Joshua, & the north is much colder in winter than the south. The majority of Chinese cook their meals & heat their homes with coal or wood burning stoves. The amount of coal used to cook with in USA would be zero except for the fact many people have charcoal burning bbq’s, & it is totally irrelevant to the issue of people dying from the fumes emitted by their cooking fires in badly ventilated homes – people who wouldn’t die if they could cook with electricity or gas. Do you think that these people should be denied cheap electricity supplied from a coal power plant so that you can feel good about saving the world?

    • Ray B-

      I think that there are reasons to argue that they should have sources of energy (for cooking and for electricity) that have less negative health impact than coal.

      I think that it is specious to argue that it is opposition to burning coal that keeps people in poverty. The network of social issues that keep people in poverty is quite complex, and simplifying those issues for the purpose of scoring points in the climate change wars seems exploitative to me.

      The point of linking to the Harvard study was to give you information on what should be obvious – there are significant environmental and public health costs to burning coal even when it isn’t for fires to heat homes or for cooking, independently of the potential of burning coal to contribute to climate change. That is true in the US and it is true in China. Lomborg fails to deal seriously with the negative externalities of burning coal, and his argument that cheap energy = poverty alleviation is simplistic to the point of being exploitative.

    • Joshua, it seemed to work for the developed world wherever the electricity grid reached. To my knowledge, it was after home heating by coal was replaced with electricity that big advances were made in clean air for city folk – reference the end of London’s infamous “pea soup” fogs up to the 1950′s. Your argument is that no-one should be allowed access to cheap grid power to help raise them from poverty, because, currently, the only way to get that cheap power is coal & gas. The greenies have placed new hydro dams & nuclear power off the agenda, so these clean methods cannot be considered.

    • Ray B -

      Your argument is that no-one should be allowed access to cheap grid power to help raise them from poverty, because, currently, the only way to get that cheap power is coal & gas.

      That isn’t my argument. My argument is that (1) providing access to cheap energy is a far more complicated process than Bjorn describes – as it entails progress on a network of issues that are inextricably part of poverty alleviation and, (2) it is important to discuss and weigh all the negative externalities of all energy sources when debating the costs and benefits. That is something that Bjorn failed to do. Recognizing that cheap energy is beneficial is important. Saying that cheap energy via coal production = poverty alleviation is exploitative in its simplicity.

      The greenies have placed new hydro dams & nuclear power off the agenda, so these clean methods cannot be considered.

      “Greenies,” while they make a convenient punching bag, do not have the power to determine energy policies. They represent interests and a viewpoint. They are a minority and not of a sufficient size to determine policies. They are competing with all sorts of interests to influence public opinion and the actions of governments. Arguing alternative perspectives is important. Pointing the finger at “the other,” fantasizing about their influence and power, scapegoating them, and failing to recognize the full range of influences on public opinion, is futile as all it produces is a shallow self-victimization – which may produce for you a fleeting sense of vindication and self-worth, but nothing of any substantive value.

  6. Jim Cripwell, it took over a millennium and the tolerance of personal abuse to challenge the Ptolemy Model. I do believe that there will be much to learn (again) from the current allegiance to the AGW meme. In some circles it was/is heresy to challenge the Ptolemy model and the climate models.
    If and when the evidence becomes impossible to refute, it may again be a huge stimulus to the adherence to the scientific process. As with the National Health Care System, (in the U.S. at least) governmental decisions, with no public input, and which in the case of AGW circumvent congress, and which have significant negative effects on the populace could cause an awakening.
    I have attended many single speaker presentations, which leave the door open for huge distortions, and found myself being the only member of a crowd to be aware of and to challenge the obvious.

    • darrylb, you write ” (in the U.S. at least)”

      I am Canadian. We have one of the finest, if not THE finest medical care system in the world. Also we have a government which, luckily, pays lip service to CAGW, while making sure it does absolutely nothing about it. So, I suspect in these respects I am much better off than you are.

    • Canada has one of the best health INSURANCE systems in the world. The problem is health CARE. If you’re healthy, you want Canada’s single payer system. If you get sick, maybe not so much:

      “From an economic stand point, a study by Stokes and Somerville (2008) found that the cumulative total lost economic output that represents the cost of waiting longer than medically recommended for treatment for total joint replacement surgery, cataract surgery, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and MRI scans in 2007 was an estimated $14.8 billion. More recently, Esmail (2013) estimated the cost of waiting per patient in Canada to be approximately $1,129 in 2012 if only hours during the normal working week were considered ‘lost,’ and as much as $3,447 if all hours of the week (excluding 8 hours of sleep per night) were considered ‘lost.’”

      http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/waiting-your-turn-2013.pdf

      An outright comparison between US and Canadian health CARE:

      http://www.nber.org/bah/fall07/w13429.html

      Not what the progressive media usually tells you.

    • And the US is currently experimenting with the implementing worst of both systems.

    • Gary M.
      Agree with your last comment.

      Earlier, you cited a single study. A meta review of 38 comparative studies concluded:
      “Policy debates and decisions regarding the direction of health care in both Canada and the United States should consider the
      results of our systematic review: Canada’s single-payer system, which relies on not-for-profit delivery, achieves health outcomes that are at least equal to those in the United States at two-thirds the cost.”

      http://www.pnhp.org/PDF_files/ReviewUSCanadaOpenMedicine.pdf

    • Gary M, you write “If you get sick, maybe not so much”

      I have been sick under the Canadian system. Have you? I had stomach cancer, requiring surgery, about 7 years ago. I got excellent treatment, and I am still alive. What the sort of study you quote looks at, is the very expensive medical services (I am not sure about cataract surgery), which we in Canada simply cannot afford in sufficient quantity. If you have a system where just about everyone gets equal treatment, it is impossible to provide the required expensive services to everyone. Someone loses out, but who loses is not based on income. That is the advantage of our system.

      If you have a study that looks at the WHOLE of our system, I would be delighted to see it. Remember, 50% of medical services are provided by about 10% of the cost. I am convinced that if someone did a study of EVERYTHING the Canadian system does, it would found to be excellent.

    • Jim Cripwell

      I am also living outside the USA – in Switzerland.

      We have a very good (but expensive) medical care system whereby everyone is compelled by law to have minimum coverage, but the insurers are private companies that compete with one another. Good news: No waiting times; choose the doc and hospital you want, etc. Main problems: shortage of good medical staff (lots of imports, mostly from EU countries), relatively high direct cost (not a state operated one provider system, so doesn’t come out of taxes).

      Our politicians also give lip service to AGW (it’s the “politically correct” thing to do here) but, fortunately (despite pressure from the green parties and lobby groups) they aren’t really doing anything about it.

      They did fall into the post-Fukushima trap of bowing to green pressure and announcing that nuclear power plants (almost half the supply) would be shut down some day in the future, but there is no concrete plan for timing or how to cover the shortage when nuclear plants are shut down).

      And the advantage here is that when the voting public is not happy with a proposed government initiative, they can vote on it. So “drastic: AGW initiatives (as in some EU countries) are highly unlikely here.

      Max

    • Jim, GaryM and Max,

      Thanks you for the interesting comments on health care. I’ve been interested in following what people have to say about the Canadian system and comparing it with the Australian system. We (my family) lived in Canada for 13 years and we found the health system excellent. Unfortunately, I think because of cultural differences it wouldn’t work in Australia.

    • Peter, you write “Thanks you for the interesting comments on health care.”

      Maybe I can be forgiven for adding a bit of history. Our system originated in Saskatchewan. When the legislation took effect, the doctors went on strike; a strike which lasted for 30 days, though it started crumbling after about a week. The government succeeded in beating the strike, but not humiliating the doctors.

      It was in the next two years or so, that the miracle happened. The doctors found, from first hand experience, what a wonderful system it was. For the first time they could practice medicine the way it OUGHT to be done. All they had to consider was the medicine; they got the same amount of money if the patient was a billionaire or out of work.

      So when the system became nationwide a few years later, it was pressure on our governments from both the doctors and the population; pressure that was irresistible.

  7. Regarding #3 and #4, I often see the argument put forward that because hydrocarbons are non-renewable…..peak oil….etc…

    True, maybe. But then the market price will rise, you know, gradually. Supply and demand….futures markets DO exist already…

    I’m still not persuaded by the short, sharp, shock argument that “the price must go up in the long term, so let’s pass laws to make it go up in short term and take all the pain now.” That strikes me as probably a more economically damaging option (as well as being a bureaucrat’s charter).

    • …That was a response to Peter Lang at 8:20am
      http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/04/open-thread/#comment-421175

    • michael hart

      You make a good point in your comment to Peter Lang.

      Fossil fuels are a finite resource.

      A recent (2010) WEC study concludes that the total “inferred recoverable fossil fuel resources” remaining on our planet represent around 85% of the original resource (i.e. we have used 15% of the original total to date).

      This is a much more optimistic estimate than most estimates today (i.e. “peak oil” scenarios, such as Hubbert, etc.).

      But, even if the WEC estimate is correct, we will eventually “run out” of fossil fuels as a cheap and reliable source of energy (at projected future consumption rates, this could occur in the next 150 to 200 years).

      I am convinced that long before this occurs, we will have found economically viable alternate sources of energy (ex. nuclear power can already compete economically with fossil fuels for power generation in most locations, as Peter Lang has emphasized).

      But until we do wean ourselves naturally from fossil fuels, the price will continue to be fixed by supply and demand economics.

      To arbitrarily slap a global “carbon tax” on fossil fuels would only harm the economy and hurt especially the poorest of us all, who need a reliable, low cost source of energy to pull themselves out of poverty (as China and India, for example, are now doing).

      And some day fossil fuels will no longer be competitive for energy production, and will be used only for higher added value end uses (chemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, etc.).

      But that day is still a long way off.

      Max

  8. I am only an occasional reader of the blog (and it is the one I prefer on the matter of climate, largely because of the style impressed on it by its hostess, but I am not an expert, far from it). I have the impression that your discussions are very much focused on the US, the UK and, a little bit, Australia. I have the feeling that the views expressed by the persons in power in other countries, of course in the rest of Europe but also in Asia (I do not know about Africa) are much more moderate than what you keep refering to. I apologize if I am wrong. The audit of the inter academy institute (following the climategate story) was in my opinion very critical of the gouvernance of IPCC. The discussions we had in the French Academy at that time were also relatively quite moderate, given what you can expect from such a body. I often read in the press views that report well the concerns expressed by the skeptics and the irresponsibility of alarmism is often underlined. Any action taken to oppose excessive CO2 emissions can only be efficient if it is done at planetary scale: ultimately taking such measures at national scale ignoring the rest of the world is bound to be untenable.
    How do you react to such a comment?
    Many thanks to all of you who make this blog both lively and informative.

    • bacpierre

      As another European (Switzerland) let me reply to your question:

      Any action taken to oppose excessive CO2 emissions can only be efficient if it is done at planetary scale: ultimately taking such measures at national scale ignoring the rest of the world is bound to be untenable.
      How do you react to such a comment?

      I would agree 100% that any action taken to reduce CO2 emissions should be a global one. Promises of individual nations to “reduce their emissions to X% of what they were in year Y by year Z” are totally meaningless (because they are not based on actionable initiatives and one nation cannot make any meaningful changes by itself).

      A “carbon tax” will accomplish no change in our climate – no tax ever did (at best it will only hurt the poorest of us, as Bjorn Lomborg has commented in a recent NYT op-ed piece).

      Even sillier are promises by some political leaders to “hold global warming to no more than 2ºC”.

      Reducing the rate at which atmospheric CO2 increases can only be accomplished by implementing specific actionable initiatives.

      Before such initiatives can be implemented, a cost/benefit analysis must show that they have a chance of actually reducing future global warming significantly at an affordable cost, including the cost associated with any unforeseen negative consequences and a reasonable discount rate to offset today’s investment with possible future cost benefits.

      Very few specific actionable initiatives have been proposed to date. Instead, we have heard mostly silly promises and political posturing.

      But there have been a few:

      A 2010 proposal by Hansen et al. to replace all existing coal-fired power plants in the USA with nuclear plants by 2030 would cost around $1.5 trillion and would theoretically reduce global warming by 2100 by 0.08ºC. Rolling this out world-wide would cost around $5 trillion and theoretically reduce 2100 warming by 0.2ºC. This proposal has a low potential for “unforeseen negative consequences”, as nuclear fission is well-proven technology and is as safe as coal-fired generation today.

      A proposal to equip half of new US coal-fired plants with carbon capture + sequestration (CCS) was posted on this site by Rutt Bridges. This would cost an estimated $17 trillion, theoretically reducing 2100 warming by 0.4ºC. Unlike the Hansen proposal, there is a large potential for “unforeseen negative consequences” here, especially in the sequestration step, which is not based on existing technology.

      None of these schemes seem to make any economic sense, as there is too much cost today for very little possible future reduction in warming.

      The ASME made a general proposal of possible initiatives that could be taken. The study listed those proposals, which would be “no regrets” initiatives: replace most future fossil fuel-fired plants with nuclear plants, convert most heavy transport vehicles from Diesel to natural gas, replace standard automobiles with hybrids, miscellaneous home insulation, waste recovery, etc. initiatives.

      Together these “no regrets” actions could reduce CO2 levels sufficiently to theoretically reduce global warming by an estimated 0.5º to 0.9ºC by 2100, with most of the savings coming from replacing future coal power plants with nuclear.

      As these are all “no regrets” initiatives, there is nothing standing in the way of implementing them (except political will, especially in the case of nuclear plants in much of Europe, outside your country).

      But they will not dramatically change our planet’s future climate.

      It’s true that any “actions” taken must be global, as you wrote.

      However, if one looks at specific actionable proposals to change our climate one arrives at the conclusion that we are unable to change our planet’s climate significantly, no matter how much money we throw at it.

      So let’s get ready to adapt to any changes in climate and their impacts that Nature throws at us, if and when it becomes apparent that such changes are about to occur.

      That’s what my vote would go for.

      Max

    • The difference between burning the remaining proven coal reserve (nearly 1 trillion tonnes) and not burning any of it is about 2 C. The coal reserve alone has a significant climate impact. If we can leave half in the ground, that is 1 C saved.

    • bacpierre,

      I agree with you 100%. Excellent comment, and thank you. Please keep posting because views from outside the English-first-language world are much needed.

    • Manacker,

      Very well said. Thank you.

    • Jim D

      The difference between burning the remaining proven coal reserve (nearly 1 trillion tonnes) and not burning any of it is about 2 C. The coal reserve alone has a significant climate impact. If we can leave half in the ground, that is 1 C saved.

      Let’s do a quick reality check on that, Jim.

      Yes. WEC 2010 confirms your number on the remaining proven coal reserve: 905 Gt in 2008. We used around 6.5 Gt per year, so let’s say that there are 870 Gt left today. And let’s say that global consumption would be increase to around 8 Gt per year average over the next 80 to 100 years, so we would “normally” use the remaining proven reserve up completely by the end of this century

      Each ton generates 3.3 tons of CO2, so that’s around 2,900 Gt CO2.

      If “half is left in the ground”, that’s 1,450 GtCO2 not emitted by humans.

      Assuming this is all replaced with non fossil fuel energy, such as nuclear (not simply shifted to natural gas), and 50% of the emitted CO2 “remains in the atmosphere”, this would result in a reduction of atmospheric CO2 of around 725 tons of CO2, if we “leave” this amount of coal “in the ground” over the rest of this century rather than burning it.

      This would reduce atmospheric CO2 by an estimated 115 ppmv and global warming by around 0.9C (at equilibrium), close enough to your 1C.

      But how would we accomplish this, Jim?

      Replacing all future coal-fired power plants with nuclear would only get us about half-way there (estimated reduction of 60 ppmv CO2).

      So where would the rest of the savings come from?

      Throttling back total global energy use (and economic activity)? Hardly a good idea.

      Energy savings proposals? Could maybe save 10-15 ppmv CO2 over those that would be done anyway for economic reasons.

      Shutting down existing coal-fired plants, and replacing them with nuclear, as Hansen et al. have proposed?

      Other suggestions?

      You can’t just say “leave the coal in the ground” if you do not have an alternate proposal for keeping the world economy going, Jim.

      Max

    • You can’t just say “leave the coal in the ground” if you do not have an alternate proposal for keeping the world economy going

      You can, It’s just not going to be very friendly for humans, of course there are some who would approve of this.

    • manacker, it is not like burning all the coal, and finding more and burning that too gets you a better world. It is worse by degrees, not by trivial amounts. Just pointing that out, and that’s just coal, forget shale oil, methyl hydrates, Arctic oil/gas, etc. Neither route is good. Fossil fuels are going to be a tough addiction to get away from, for sure, but it is for the long-term health.

    • Jim D

      Fossil fuels are going to be a tough addiction to get away from, for sure, but it is for the long-term health

      Thanks for this statement of faith, but it misses the key point here.

      Our wellbeing today is largely the result of the availability of a reliable source of energy based on low-cost fossil fuels. Without this, there would have been no Industrial Revolution and we would still be living in 18thC poverty

      The higher CO2 levels and global warming that has resulted from the use of these fossil fuels over the 20thC have been enormously beneficial for humanity, as well. According to the Tol study they contributed 1.4% of global GDP or around $1 trillion by 2000..

      So there has been absolutely no sound reason to forcibly reduce the use of fossil fuels to date. In fact, their extended use will continue to help our economies grow, especially those in underdeveloped nations that have not yet made this transition.

      IF IPCC forecasts of future CO2 emissions and concentrations plus projected warming resulting from them and the secondary climate impacts of this warming are really correct (and not substantially exaggerated, as it appears), then the net beneficial impact of added CO2 and resulting warming will reverse itself if and when global temperature reaches a level of 2.2C to 2.5C above today’s temperature.

      The arguably exaggerated worst case forecasts of IPCC have this occurring late in this century, with a net negative impact on humanity of -1.2% of current GDP (or $0.8 trillion) by 2100.

      So fossil fuels will stay with us until well after mid-century and will continue to have a net beneficial impact for humanity.

      They are a finite resource, however.

      There are efforts in many different directions to find economically viable alternate sources of energy. No doubt, some of these will pay off over the course of this century. Nuclear power is already economically competitive with coal in most locations for power generation and other new solutions for transportation fuels will undoubtedly also be found long before fossil fuels run out. Natural gas for large industrial transport and hybrid automobiles already exist.

      So the efforts now should be to allow the underdeveloped nations to build up a reliable energy infrastructure based on low-cost fossil fuels or nuclear power, where there are no proliferation concerns, concentrate on eliminating waste, pollution or low fuel efficiency, convince the political leaders and populations in many European countries that nuclear power is a safe and reliable, economically viable replacement for coal and to follow the French example, continue to expand exploration and development activities for natural gas (which is much cleaner than coal and generates less CO2 as a side benefit), encourage basic research activities directed at discovering new, economically viable energy sources and allow the free market to set the price of energy.

      If we do all these things, a good part of the present total coal resource will remain in the ground and eventually be replaced with nuclear or a new cleaner, economically viable alternate.

      And everybody will win.

      Max

    • manacker, you say mine is a statement of faith and then present one of your own. You think we will just stop using fossil fuels and leave some in the ground without targets, incentives and disincentives, while I do not. Realistically some major emitters need to be on board with targets. The targets have to be drastic like 50% less emission than today in 50 years and 100% by 100 years, a linear reduction rate which gets us to the trillion tonne carbon limit regarded as worth 2 C of total warming. These are long timeframes and therefore not as impossible as they might look at first given human ingenuity and the incentive to succeed. This will to succeed only comes with a full understanding of the depth of the problem. As you say, a nuclear solution is already available for the main emitters, and can serve as a stop-gap reducing the need for fossil fuels in the short term.

    • Jim D

      As they say, we “agree to disagree”.

      You prefer the top-down regulatory approach of forcing people to reduce fossil fuel consumption whether they like it or not by installing tough global enforcing systems and punishing those who do not comply.

      I prefer the free market approach, which is already resulting in the development of economically viable new non fossil fuel technologies as these become scarcer, more difficult to recover and, hence, costlier.

      This appears to be more of a philosophical difference in how we both see the optimum development of the world energy scene over the next several decades.

      Your approach is more fear-based (with a fixation on CO2 emissions as the “root of all evil” and the belief in global government as the necessary enforcer), while mine is more optimistic, based on the belief in human ingenuity plus free market forces (with continuous economic pressures to be more competitive).

      So be it.

      We’ll see which path the voting public in the developed, democratic societies of today will eventually choose.

      Max

    • manacker, the free-market approach is based on localized profits, and won’t work for a global problem that needs to be solved. It is like the free market could not solve, and arguably led to, the ozone problem, acid rain, general pollution problems, mainly because there is no profit in making a cleaner environment. Certain things need regulation, disincentives, and incentives, and the free market can respond to those, as it could with solving these other problems.

  9. AP’s Seth Borenstein wrote an article about (“sigh…”) “tipping points” caused by the release of methane from clathrates and a slowing of ocean circulations, aka “The Day After Tomorrow Effect” as highlighted in a recent NAS study. I recall the IPCC minimizing the probability of this happening in the 21st century and there are several papers, one of which was discussed here, also minimizing that possibility. Thoughts, comments?

    • It reads like a fairy tale. How can anybody take it seriously?

    • -“tipping points” caused by the release of methane from clathrates-

      Were such to happen, the large disaster rather than warming the planet
      would be loss of valuable natural gas- trillions of dollars of natural gas.
      And if this trillions of dollars of natural gas were mined and used, would
      lower global CO2.
      So if there was reasonable possibility of natural release of methane, what this should encourage is development of economic technology to harvest
      this methane from regions in which it’s release could occur within shortest
      time in the future.

  10. I think even Hansen agrees that the release of methane clathrates in this century is highly unlikely and recent data shows the arctic is not a current source of significant methane.

    http://www.plos.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/pone-8-12-hansen.pdf

    It’s not all that alarming, but we need to start the slow reduction in carbon emissions now or it will be much harder later.

    It doesn’t get bad until about 3 C

    • Look at the actual data for the past ten thousand years.
      3C will not be, because for ten thousand years, it has not been.
      The new, ten thousand year cycles, are the new and current cycles. We are well inside the bounds and we are not headed out.

    • Herman Alexander Pope,

      Been there done that, look at the CO2 data for the last 10,000 years, has it been above 400 ppm?

      Can you show me empirical data supporting any claims of 10,000 year cycles?

    • Bob Droege

      Yes, CO2 is above 400, green things are growing better, Crop yields are at record highs while using less precious water and Temperature and Sea level are not following CO2 out of historic bounds.

      All is good except the misguided war against CO2.

    • Can you show me empirical data supporting any claims of 10,000 year cycles?

      No, there is no 10,000 year cycle that I know of or that I ever wrote about. A new, 700 to 1000 year, cycle that has been in place for ten thousand years is not the same thing as a ten thousand year cycle.

      There was ten thousand years of cold and warm cycles that are around 700 to 1,000 years. The most recent of these past cycles are well documented in history and more will be documented in the future, the Roman Warm Period, Cold Period, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Modern Warm Period, which we are in now, and the Next Cold Period that will be similar to the Little Ice Age.

    • Bob Droege

      I read what I wrote again.
      My wording about the ten thousand year cycles was bad.

      I should have said ten thousand years of new 700 to 1000 year cycles.

    • Bob Droege
      Thanks for helping me find that error.

    • bob droege

      It doesn’t get bad until about 3 C

      Yeah. That’s what the Tol study shows.
      http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf

      . Climate change increased welfare by the equivalent of a 0.5% increase in income for the first half of the 20th century. After 1950, impacts became more positive, edging up to 1.4% of GDP by 2000. However, impacts roughly stabilize after that, reaching their maximum at 1.5% of GDP in 2025 and then precipitously fall to reach – 1.2% of GDP in 2100.

      IOW the net effect of AGW has been very positive for humanity to date (+1.4% of world GDP by 2000, or a net benefit of around $1 trillion so far). This is based on around 0.75C warming observed since 1900.

      This is expected to continue to increase to around 1.5% of world GDP. The net overall impact remains positive until temperatures reach around 2C above today’s temperature, and start to become strongly negative above 3C above today’s temperature, as you have written.

      Figure 2 shows the economic impact of climate change.

      (Year:Temperature change (above 1900 temp):%GDP economic impact)

      1900: 0ºC: 0%GDP
      1950: +0.3ºC: +0.5%GDP
      2000: +0.75ºC: +1.4%GDP
      Projections:
      2030: +1.2ºC: +1.2%GDP
      2050: +1.7ºC: +1.0%GDP
      2080: +2.7ºC: 0%GDP
      2100: +3.5ºC: -1.2%GDP

      But what are the chances that we could ever reach these warming levels?

      IPCC’s worst case scenario (AR5 RCP8.5) gets us to around 1100 ppm CO2 by 2100 and 3.7C warming above today.

      But this case is arguably unrealistically pessimistic, as there isn’t enough carbon left in all the remaining fossil fuels on Earth to reach these levels, and it implies that every man, woman and child on this planet cranks out as much CO2 per capita as the inhabitants of the industrially developed world are doing today (North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand).

      A more realistic “business as usual” case would be around 650 ppmv CO2 by 2100. Using the same forcing as IPCC has used in its RCP8.5 scenario, we end up with 1.8C warming above today.

      This is still well within the “net beneficial” warming range, Bob.

      So theer are four main take-homes from Tol.

      1. warming has been beneficial to date, adding +$1 trillion to humanity since 1900 (with 0.75C warming)

      2. if we were to enter a continued prolonged cooling phase of 0.75C total over the next several decades, there would be a net loss to humanity of -$1 trillion

      3. the extreme (and likely exaggerated) IPCC AR5 “worst case scenario” RCP8.5 gets us to 3.7C warming above today by 2100, with a net negative impact of -1.2% of current GDP, or around -$0.8 trillion

      4. a more realistic business as usual projection for 2100 would get us to around 1.8C warming by 2100, or still well within the “net beneficial” range at around +0.8% of GDP or +$0.6 trillion.

      The net impact of added CO2 is very likely to be positive over the rest of this century, and even more so if the current solar slowdown plus other factors cause a prolonged continuation or even acceleration of the current slight cooling trend.

      Looks like a no-brainer to me, bob.

      Max

  11. During last summer the CET daily max rose above its 20 year average, but now its trend is on the down slope again with the November’s Tmax fractionally below the average. The CET daily min for November also fell below the 20 year average.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-dMm.htm
    Compared to the 2012 November, the trend doesn’t bode well for forthcoming CET winter; my previous ‘observation’ that this winter may not be as cold as the previous two, may well prove to be wrong even before the winter proper has started.

  12. bacpierre | December 4, 2013 at 8:39 am | “I have the feeling that the views expressed by the persons in power in other countries, of course in the rest of Europe but also in Asia (I do not know about Africa) are much more moderate than what you keep refering to”

    I am sorry to say that you are wrong.
    Any organisation like the EU that has just committed to using 20% of it’s budget to fight Climate Change without bothering to ask it’s members, by this I mean the people, is much worse than you think.

    • I know; but you have seen how French people have reacted to the ecotax…
      Also Italy and Spain will be very resilient. I do not say that it is all rosy, but the opposition seems to be quite strong.

  13. I am a lay person WRT climate science but do have a technical background in IT. I read this blog since, IMO, it provides the best forum available for people at any level and of any opinion to post comments – some of which are educational and some of which are not.
    I am a skeptic or denier, or whatever term you want to apply. While I am a skeptic, I do believe that we should make every reasonable effort to be fuel efficient and develop alternative energy sources to fossil fuels, not because fossil fuels cause climate change, but because it just makes sense. I don’t think we need to curtail their use while developing the alternatives, especially since no viable alternatives currently exist (outside of nuclear) that can continue to power our economy in a way that will enable us to develop the alternatives.
    I view the debate about AGW much like I view a jury trial in a criminal case. Re: AGW, humans/fossil fuels/Co2 have been accused of committing the heinous crime of poisoning the planet therefore leading to ultimate destruction. Those supporting AGW call for severe sentencing which would seriously degrade the quality of life of those who have learned how to harness fossil fuel energy. Given the severity of the accusation, the severity of the penalty to be imposed, there has to be a very high standard re: the burden of proof that humans/fossil fuels/Co2 is THE cause of all damaging climate change as too many AGW supporters contend.
    That burden has not only not been met, if anything, the accusation has been shown repeatedly to be without merit and completely false. As more empirical data reveals the fallacy, or at least the high level of uncertainty, of the AGW argument, the more the zealots on the left act like lynch mobs ignoring all evidence and calling for a hanging because they need to see justice prevail – not quite understanding that hanging an innocent victim is not exactly justice – but it does satisfy an emotional, ego driven need to “make a difference”.
    Our climate system is a massively complex, chaotic, non-linear, coupled system made up of 5 separate subsytems, each with it’s own set of complexities that no one fully understands, much less grasps the complexity of all the permutations of the interactions between all the subsytems plus the externalities like the sun, gravity, polarity, cosmic rays, and who knows how many unknown unknowns. It is pure hubris to think that our models can effectively “control” for all the possible variables in such a way as to determine with any degree of certainty, much less with absolute certainty, that Co2 acts as THE single variable that can control the climate. As to the cautionary principle, I am reminded of what my sister’s doctor told her before she entered radical treatment for breast cancer – if the cancer does not kill you, the treatment probably will. The only disconnect with this analogy is that I don’t see Co2 as a cancer – it is quite the opposite as it is necessary for life on this planet and this planet has seen far higher levels in it’s geologic history than what is seen today and somehow, not only did the planet survive, it thrived.

    • Barnes, you write ” especially since no viable alternatives currently exist (outside of nuclear)”

      May I add my usual cautionary note on cellulose ethanol. Next year we will get at least two attempts at producing commercial quantities of cellulose ethanol from waste agricultural products; Poet/DSM and Dupont, for a total of 50 million gallons per hear. It is not unreasonable to expect a production of 20 billion gallons per year by 2020, if these two efforts are a financial success.

    • @Barnes:

      Outstanding!

      Thank you.

    • Barnes -

      It is pure hubris to think that our models can effectively “control” for all the possible variables in such a way as to determine with any degree of certainty, much less with absolute certainty, that Co2 acts as THE single variable that can control the climate.

      I think that the argument is that all other things being equal, ACO2 acts as A variable that can influence the climate.

    • Joshua

      You wrote- “I think that the argument is that all other things being equal, ACO2 acts as A variable that can influence the climate.”

      That is NOT the “argument” imo.
      The argument imo is whether ACO2 acts as a significant enough variable in NEGATIVELY influencing the climate (for a particular nation or the world) to offset the positive benefits of ACO2.

    • Rob -

      It’s getting a bit confusing as I’m not sure who we’re saying is making which “the” argument (there are many arguments being made by different folks), but I think that your comment probably narrows it down a bit more precisely.

      “The” argument (made by those that Barnes was talking about) is that other things being equal, ACO2 emissions pose A potential risk for altering the climate in ways that might produce disproportionately greater negative outcomes – not to the exclusion of other factors that (if they don’t remain the same) can influence climate in a variety of ways.

    • Barnes, it is very easy to make the opposite argument, that from paleoclimate, physics-based models, and a century of measured warming, we know CO2 has a big effect and that 700 ppm, for example, is very hot. Those levels had no ice when the earth was there before which means very high sea levels in that version of the future. This level is easily possible with unmitigated burning rates. Should there be caution before embarking on that route? Scientists say yes and raise these red flags as is their job when humankind is about to do something irreversibly stupid with the planet. Those CO2 levels are ridiculous to approach deliberately, being twice that with which all current life evolved.

    • Barnes, nice, simple assessment of why we should not respond to CAGW scare stories.

    • Jim C, Joshua, Bob, Rob, Jim D. and Faustino – thank you for replying to my post.

      Re: cellulose ethonal – I have no argument whatsoever and have read your previous posts. I know nothing about it other than what you have posted in other threads plus a little additional research. I hope it is succesful and can provide the kind of energy/power density at the scale needed to replace fossil fuels at a competitive cost. If we can keep the government away from it, or regulating it to death, it will likely stand a chance. Sorry for not thinking about it.

      Joshua – I agree that Co2 is A variable that MAY influence climate, but disagree that the statement reflects the central argument re: AGW. The AGW argument makes it THE variable,completely ovewhelming all other possible variables and causing all sorts of positive feedbacks with little regard to the possiblity of negative feedbacks. It’s all about the amount of Co2 and sensitivity to the level of Co2. Nothing else matters, its all about Co2, period. If it’s not about Co2, please advise of other central variables that have been examined as the single possible cause of climate change. As to other things being equal, that’s nice in the lab, but does not exactly work that way in the real world – there are a lot of moving parts in the massively complex, non-linear, chaotic, coupled system we call climate.

      Jim D – sorry, but as has been stated many times, correlation does not equal causation. Looking back as far as the Ordovician period, Co2 levels were estimated to be around 4400 ppm, yet it was an ice age. There was also significant divergence during the Mesozoic era. And, as has been noted re: the ice core data, it appears that temperature rise preceded Co2 rise, so what caused what to happen there?

      We are pinning the cause of climate change to a trace gas, of which man so far has contributed anywhere from about 3% to 100% from roughtly 1850 to now. Either way, that would have to be one powerful gas to be the root cause of AGW, much less, CAGW.

    • Barnes, the sun was weaker back then, but you only have to look at the Eocene when the sun was almost as hot as now, and we had no glaciers until CO2 levels dropped below 500 ppm. In paleoclimate, CO2 rose during volcanic periods and all those rises preceded warming. The volcanoes were not caused by either CO2 or warming, so I don’t know why you say warming only precedes CO2, when this was a clear case of it not. Volcanic eruptions are more akin to what we are doing now, bringing deep geological carbon back into the atmosphere. You may be able to see that, but a lot of skeptics have trouble understanding and make your exact point over and over despite this paleo evidence to the contrary. How do they explain the Eocene and Triassic warming, one wonders? Maybe those periods of warming are just as much a mystery to them as this last century, when for everyone else it is obvious.

    • Jim D – one problem with your argument is that it also ignores other factors that occured during those timeframes that had a significant effect on climate – like land mass movement into super continents and breaking up again into smaller land masses changing things like ocean circulation, heating of the mantle resulting in ice melt causing sea level rise, forming shallow seas with increased absorbtion of insolation, mountain ranges being built up which resulted in moisture falling in the form of snow at higher elevations, etc. etc. etc. There were a whole lot of moving parts through all those periods beisdes just the simple rise and fall of Co2 levels and volcanic eruptions.

    • Barnes, the easy part to understand is that CO2 rose after volcanic periods, and temperature then rose as a result of that, and not by a small amount. This happened, not once, but several times in the last billion years, and as CO2 declined through geological sequestration in the last 50 million years, it also got cooler. These are known parts of paleoclimate. Just like CO2 radiation physics, the skeptics claim not to understand this either, and this makes it hard to find a building block of common knowledge to start from. They take away any blocks that don’t fit with their meme, even in areas as diverse as paleoclimate and radiative physics.

  14. bacpierre, the reactions of the French, Spanish et al peoples are what I expect to see happening in the U.S. — not much until it gets personal; and I expect it will. Eventually, there will be a unified voice from us little people.

    BTW my ancestors came from Reidseltz, Alsace after the failure to overthrow Napoleon 3.

  15. Barnes | December 4, 2013 at 9:52 am |

    As someone in IT, you’re no doubt familiar with Moore’s Law. Every 18 months, some significant numbers in the capability of IT hardware double, or the costs fall. Be it capability measured in memory or speed, transistors per square unit or transmission rate, geographic or demographic reach, resolution of graphics or operating temperature range or costs in terms of dollars or energy or rarity of raw materials, IT has benefited in many ways from these many trends.

    Well, that doesn’t apply to coal. It doesn’t apply to oil. It doesn’t apply to natural gas. The improvements in fossil, like fracking, are tiny, incremental, and come at high price many different ways.

    Improving hydro, surprisingly, when you look at how much available hydro is untapped today in already built flood control structures (half of which in the US are suited to conversion to pumped hydro generation) that would more cheaply produce electricity than fossil, is a far better deal financially, and as a side benefit lead to fixing a failing and aged flood control infrastructure built to the outdated needs of past climates. Better than fossil, improves faster. More room to improve.

    In many places, geothermal is likewise lower cost and has vastly greater potential for improvement in capacity than fossil as a baseline power source that never needs refueling, never runs out, and doesn’t risk melt down or blow up. Better than fossil, improves faster. More room to improve.

    The technologies of wind are only slightly better than hydro or geothermal, but they still are improving faster and there is far more room for improvement yet to be tapped. Sure, there are limits and downsides in wind, just as there are limits and downsides in many technologies, but compared to the costs of fossil, wind is clearly the more economic choice. What prevents wind from being deployed more is arbitrage and near-monopoly power of fossil electricity acting as a barrier to entry to the electricity market. Do you still see many of the fossils of the IT industry in use today? How many COBOL programmers do you know? What’s the ratio of mainframes to mobile devices?

    And solar? Solar is actually capable of following Moore’s Law, as a primarily semiconductor technology. Efficiency of photovoltaic chips practically doubles every decade. For regions with ample direct sunlight, concentrated solar photovoltaic is currently leveraging semiconductors with 14:1 concentration in production solar facilities on the market today. That’s a 14x drop in the cost of the primary component of solar in a single technical generation. Israel has been experimenting for years with 100x or higher concentrated solar hybrid photovoltaic/thermal. IBM is experimenting applying its microchannel technology for 1000x-2000x concentration. Are you ever going to see fossil costs drop by 2000x or more? Are you ever going to see fossil efficiency double? Redouble? Redouble after that?

    Betting on fossil, in this context, simply makes no sense, whether you are a denier or a skeptic or rationally capable of looking at the data and doing the math.

    • And solar? Solar is actually capable of following Moore’s Law, as a primarily semiconductor technology. Efficiency of photovoltaic chips practically doubles every decade.

      And that’s not even factoring is the effect of improved control technology, which is actually subject to Moore’s “Law”. A bubble of transparent plastic, containing a mirror made of aluminized foam and a micro-channel-cooled chip, could be kept aimed at the sun with hardware/software no more expensive than a pocket calculator.

      Float it in the ocean, with the ability to drag it underwater when storms hit.

      Or float it in the middle stratosphere, where winds are steadier and there’s almost no turbulence.

      Or hang it from poles distributed over cropland, high and sparse enough that the effect of the shadow on any area of land is small.

      Or any of a multitude of other possibilities.

    • In many places, geothermal is likewise lower cost and has vastly greater potential for improvement in capacity than fossil as a baseline power source that never needs refueling, never runs out, and doesn’t risk melt down or blow up. Better than fossil, improves faster. More room to improve.

      We were in Basel Switzerland in 2011. A tour guide said that Bazel started developing geothermal and it triggered Earthquakes and they stopped.

    • Bart R | December 4, 2013 at 10:30 am | Reply
      Barnes | December 4, 2013 at 9:52 am |

      While your comment “The improvements in fossil, like fracking, are tiny, incremental, and come at high price many different ways” may be true fossil fuels are currently the most available and efficient. The only potential and universal contender is nuclear which wasn’t mentioned. The rest are more of a Christmas wish than a realistic option for world wide application in the foreseeable future.

      Competition for water relegates hydro to a few limited big projects (e.g. the Three gorges Dam in china) around the world. Many if not most hydro generation is a trade off between using the water for generating electricity, agriculture, navigation, potable use, or recreation. Many think that future wares will be as a result of competition for water

      Geothermal is a nitche source not universally available.

      Wind is and will continue to be expensive and unreliable.

      Until someone comes up with a method of making the sun shine at night, solar can never be more than 50% efficient and even then not world wide.

      Other options not mentioned are tidal, which is my favorite but not ready for prime time, and biomass which has nitche markets (e.g. South America) but will probably not be a significant world wide player.

      As to the comment “Betting on fossil, in this context, simply makes no sense, whether you are a denier or a skeptic or rationally capable of looking at the data and doing the math”: I will take that bet. Other than nuclear which has too much opposition and in any event takes a decade to build, Moores Law can’t make unreliable and inefficient products competitive.

    • Solar PV is physics-limited to be diffuse and exorbitantly costly as a baseload power source. It is a great substitute for building transmission lines, hence is good for powering pumps in the middle of a farmer’s field or cell towers or things like that. There is no Moore’s-Law progress in the efficiency curve if measured in terms of watts/sq.-m or watts/$ invested. Worse, even if the PV modules themselves were free the costs of installation, frameworks, tracking, maintenance, and transmission make solar completely uneconomic without massive subsidies.

      I recommend the work of Berkeley economist Severin Borenstein on this topic; he’s a solid Urgent Mitigationist who has analyzed the impact of solar subsidies in California and the economic impact of solar. A bunch of his papers, critiques, and his responses are linked here:

      http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/borenste/PVwork.html

      He assesses the impact of California’s initiative to increase residential solar PV instatllations here:

      http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2013/06/18/the-california-solar-initiative-is-ending-what-has-it-left-behind/

      Solar is the only technology that makes wind look good. They are the Mississippi and Alabama of power technologies (to cite an old joke told in the Southern U.S, about the historically poor economic and welfare statistics of those two states–”thank God for Mississippi” said the Alabamans).

    • Bart – I would mainly echo what PMHinSC states in his post, I would simply add that there are 4 basic pillars of truth if you will re: fuel sources – 1) energy density 2) power density, 3) scalability, 4) cost. So far, the only fuel source that meets those 4 pillars is fossil fuels. Wind and solar are neither energy dense or power dense, require fossile fuel back up since there is currently no viable energy storage system for when the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow (or blows to hard) making the scalabilty of these sources excessively expensive. I think they can fit niche applications, but do very little to solve our overall energy need. Likewise with geothermal and hydro.

  16. A National Energy ProgramA White Paper on Achieving Energy Independence and National Transformation. By Lawrence Klaus.

    . . . we marked the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Oil Embargo–an event that has had profound economic and geopolitical aftershocks for the United States. The embargo itself lasted five months, but its legacy continues to this day. As discussed in our post, the risks of America’s oil dependence are as great if not greater than they were 40 years ago, despite the recent surge in domestic oil development.
    . . .proclamations by eight successive presidents to make the United States “energy independent.” The collage of speeches is humorous, but it also compels the question: why has America fallen short of these lofty goals for so long?
    The answer may lie in HOW the challenge was approached by these presidents. Past milestone achievements by the United States are often cited as examples of what the nation can accomplish when we commit to a common goal—such as the Apollo program, America’s mobilization during World War II, and the creation of the Interstate Highway System. Why did these endeavors succeed while efforts concerning energy have largely failed? What lessons do they hold?

    In a new white paper outlining the elements of a National Energy Program, Lawrence Klaus asserts that “method matters.” . . . Apollo was a PROGRAM – not a policy, technology, or assemblage of individual projects. It was a large-scale, public-private collaboration based on precisely defined goals and objectives, meticulous planning, and a program management system. Apollo was spearheaded by NASA—a “command organization” created by a president not mentioned in the Daily Show clip—Dwight Eisenhower.

    Overcoming America’s oil dependence is different than putting a man on the moon. But Mr. Klaus illustrates how the Apollo program, the Interstate Highway System, and the national transformation during World War II employed essentially the same approach; and how this approach can be adapted to tackle America’s energy challenges.

    How do we secure critical liquid fuel for America’s economy in the context of “global warming”?
    The International Energy Agency shows current oil fields are depleting at 6%/year. Global population is growing 1.5%/year. We require 7.5%/year replacement fuels just to sustain existing per capita fuel use. The EPA shutting down coal use just exacerbates the problem, denying our greatest fossil interim resource. Without fuel, there will be no jobs, health care or social security for the current and next generation.

    • David L. Hagen

      India’s coal imports growing 27% in 2013

      Industry analysts India Coal Market Watch reported that imports are continuing to rise at an unbelievable pace. In the seven months from April to October, total thermal coal shipments into India jumped 28%.
      That equates to a year-on-year increase of about 18 million tonnes. Annualizing that seven-month figure, India’s imports are on pace to grow by over 30 million tonnes for the current fiscal year.
      These numbers imply that India’s full-year imports could approach 140 million tonnes. A phenomenal number, when you consider that imports in fiscal 2011 came in at just under 50 million tonnes.

      How do we address international “climate change” and fuel security in context of such rapid growth in developing countries?

    • How do we address international “climate change” and fuel security in context of such rapid growth in developing countries?

      The Climate Change part is easy, there is still no warming.

    • David L. Hagen

      How do we care for and enable the poor?
      The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels By BJORN LOMBORG, NYT December 3, 2013

      PRAGUE — THERE’S a lot of hand-wringing about our warming planet, but billions of people face a more immediate problem: They are desperately poor, and many cook and heat their homes using open fires or leaky stoves that burn dirty fuels like wood, dung, crop waste and coal. About 3.5 million of them die prematurely each year as a result of breathing the polluted air inside their homes  . . . More than 1.2 billion people around the world have no access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook for 2012. . . .
      What those living in energy poverty need are reliable, low-cost fossil fuels, at least until we can make a global transition to a greener energy future. This is not just about powering stoves and refrigerators to improve billions of lives but about powering agriculture and industry that will improve lives. . . .
      The unfortunate fact is that many people feel uncomfortable facing up to the undeniable need for more cheap and reliable power in the developing world. The Obama administration announced recently, for instance, that it would no longer contribute to the construction of coal-fired power plants financed by the World Bank and other international development banks.

    • David L. Hagen,

      Excellent comment. Thank you.

      “method matters.” . . . Apollo was a PROGRAM – not a policy, technology, or assemblage of individual projects. It was a large-scale, public-private collaboration based on precisely defined goals and objectives, meticulous planning, and a program management system. Apollo was spearheaded by NASA—a “command organization” created by a president

  17. 6th highest global sea ice extent for this day of the year

    • @michael hart

      A couple of years ago over at Isaac Held’s I pointed to similar plots and asked about the pattern emanating from the tropics. He responded something to the effect that it was due to the Coriolis Effect and Ekman Transport. I’m inclined to agree with him. I think of it as sort of the ocean’s Hadley Cells.

      He also advised that I read up on Oceanography so that I might better be able to interpret my computations. Unfortunately I haven’t heeded this advise :)

    • Oops… wrong thread.

  18. I’ll use this opportunity to play a bit of show-and-tell. Here’s a few animations of ocean heat I created using ARGO data:

    https://sites.google.com/site/climateadj/argo-animations

    • Very nice indeed. If you could do a six month difference temperature (e.g. July- Jan) of Figure 2 it might help shows where heat fluxes are going.
      Next time people talk about the oceans reaching an equilibrium temperature in decades following a small change in heat flux perhaps they could have a look at the dynamism of the system.

    • Nice work AJ, very interesting.

    • Very nice.

    • Yes, thanks AJ. Keep it up.

    • One more comment, AJ, regarding possible explanations for your observation about your Figure 1:

      I recall that maximum (TOA) total annual incident solar radiation is actually greater in the vicinity of the tropics than it is at the equator. The reason being that when the sun passes overhead at the equator in March/September it is moving relatively quickly. But during the solstice it remains close to zenith for much longer above the tropics (think of the mathematics describing the physics of simple harmonic motion). Thus despite having more of a ‘winter’ season, the tropics actually aggregate more sunshine than the equator, (independent of cloud considerations).

      Perhaps this doesn’t show up in the surface layers due to winds, evaporation and mixing, but becomes detectable below the uppermost strata, giving rise to the apparent equatorial cool-patch. Just a thought.

    • @michael hart

      A couple of years ago over at Isaac Held’s I pointed to similar plots and asked about the pattern emanating from the tropics. He responded something to the effect that it was due to the Coriolis Effect and Ekman Transport. I’m inclined to agree with him. I think of it as sort of the ocean’s Hadley Cells.

      He also advised that I read up on Oceanography so that I might better be able to interpret my computations. Unfortunately I haven’t heeded this advise :)

  19. While I wanted to talk more about http://www.cogenra.com/ and concentrated photovoltaic hybrid systems coming on the market over six years ahead of the 2020 target for dropping solar prices by 75% from 2010 levels, it seems more people are still hanging onto obsolete views of obsolete corn-industry bioethanol scams that have largely folded their tents, packed up their carpet bags, and retired with trillions of taxpayer dollars to points offshore.

    Well, if you really need to talk about liquid fuels, why not talk about low price carbon negative liquid fuels made from organic wastes, instead of high price carbon intensive fuel additives made from food crops?

    That’d be Cool Planet (www.biochar-international.org/cool_planet_2013_US_Biochar_Conference) and its products.

    Wonder if the two could be combined, for solar pyrolysis and hydrotreating?

    Geothermal pyrolysis and hydrotreating?

    Domestic low cost high grade fuel production that actively sequesters carbon.. why did Americans let the corn lobby chain the USA to high cost, fertilizer-intensive, carbon-intensive, low grade additives from food for so many decades through government subsidies?

  20. Speaking of things that aren’t old news in the form of dead hobby horses long ago beaten past death..

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204090958.htm

    Over half of the climate change marking the end of the last glaciation happened in abrupt regional decadal bursts lagged within about twelve decades from the start of the forcing, according to new study of high-resolution paleoclimate measurements.

    Could the far larger anthropogenic forcing follow a similar pattern of abrupt lagged responses, the start of which we’ve already seen? If the past half century has been only prelude, are the next seven decades likely to introduce as much change to the globe as we see in the transition between a glacial and an interglacial?

    A reminder, the sea level rise 12 thousand years ago was over 100′.. which we now must suspect due the greater resolution available through these paleo observations happened mostly in a century or less.

    Discuss.

    • The Figure 2 posted by Sunshine says it all; note the ocean temperature profile dancing from side to side following changes in solar flux. The response time of the oceans down to 1000m are <1 year.
      The oceans are the major heat reservoir and heat says N to S and the S to N depending on solar angle. Hot, dense brines move across the surface and make their way to the poles, cooling along the way. During the long winters night they cool to just above freezing, and sink to the abyss, being diluted along the way.
      The cold waters follow the sea floor and make their way to the equator, where they are sucked up, to be warmed again.
      A dynamic, steady state system, as far from equilibrium as the human body.

  21. Schrodinger's Cat

    Is the planet warming or cooling at present?

    • All of the planets in the solar system are in a cooling trend due to reduced solar activity.

    • Quote “Is the planet warming or cooling at present?”

      It depends on what you mean by cooling. If you mean global surface temperatures, then the answer is probably. If you mean ocean heat content, then the answer is not as clear.

    • Which slit did the photon go through?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      The focus should not be on sensible heat, or in other words “warming or cooling” but on energy balance in the Earth system. Energy balance is the core of GH gas effects. Measuring sensible heat (i.e. temperature) in the troposphere is simply ONE PROXY measurement of energy storage in the troposphere, and is a rather poor one at that, and even worse, it is an absolutely awful proxy for energy being stored (or removed) from the Earth system overall. Probably the best overall proxy we have is ocean heat content. By this proxy (and the various uncertainties related to it), we can see that the Earth climate system has been storing approximately the same amount of energy as the TOA imbalance indicates (somewhere between 0.8 and 1.0 w/m^2), or around 0.5 x 10^22 Joules of energy annually in the ocean, which is the primary energy storage for the Earth climate system.

    • Indeed, the sun could be on the threshold of a mini-Maunder event right now. Ongoing Solar Cycle 24 is the weakest in more than 50 years. Moreover, there is (controversial) evidence of a long-term weakening trend in the magnetic field strength of sunspots. Matt Penn and William Livingston of the National Solar Observatory predict that by the time Solar Cycle 25 arrives, magnetic fields on the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Independent lines of research involving helioseismology and surface polar fields tend to support their conclusion.

      [“Solar Variability and Terrestrial Climate,” NASA Science, Jan. 8, 2013]

    • Schhrodinger’s Cat,

      Cooling. Recent research shows measurement based estimates of around 44 TW global energy loss from the Earth.

      Energy loss does not cause heating. Ergo, the Earth is cooling, globally.

      The average over the last 4,500,000,000 years also demonstrates cooling.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Mike Flynn said:

      “Cooling. Recent research shows measurement based estimates of around 44 TW global energy loss from the Earth.”
      _____
      Please Mike Flynn, do cite your sources for this statement.

    • R Gates,

      Are you really unable unable to locate references yourself?

      If you really need help to use Google, for example, I will be glad to help.

      I must say I am a little surprised at your request. How are you currently locating scientific research papers? The Internet is a good place to start.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  22. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    The latest study on the potential for “deep changes” occurring to our climate from anthropogenic effects:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/04/science/earth/panel-says-global-warming-risks-sudden-deep-changes.html?ref=science&_r=0

    Full report at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18373

    But this is all a vast conspiracy of “pissant Progessives”…right?

    • OMG, it is worse than I thought. Luckily 65$ per ton CO2 in the hands of the most trustworthy despots on the world will solve the mountain pine beetle problem, reduce tropical cyclones, nearly eliminate tornadoes, temper flooding and cure the common cold.

    • Gates

      I would not have used the “pissant” description, but if you look at the list of authors wouldn’t you agree they would correctly be described as “progressive” in their politcal views? Other might argue they were spreading little more than propaganda and not science

    • R. Gates

      The NYT blurb you cite

      “Panel Says [Model Simulated Potential Future] Global Warming Carries [Postulated] Risk of [Possible] Deep Changes”

      Yep.

      But forget the beetles killing Montana pines because the globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature is 0.4C warmer than it was.

      We had the same scare in Europe a few years ago (1970/80s), but it turned out top be a boondoggle that had nothing to do with humans.

      But, hey, NYT has to sell papers and a little bit of alarmism can’t hurt, right?

      Max

    • The mountain pine beetle. Because of past fire suppression, many trees are of the age to be prime beetle food. Also many trees are just dying of old age, because of past fire suppression. Yes man has caused this in my opinion. Putting out fires, and changing the balance of the past.

    • “’The reality is that the climate is changing,’ said James W. C. White, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Colorado Boulder who headed the committee on abrupt impacts of climate change. ‘It’s going to continue to happen, and it’s going to be part of everyday life for centuries to come — perhaps longer than that.’”

      Ya gotta love a paleoclimaoligist saying that climate is changing, and will continue to do so. I wonder how many tax dollars these geniuses had to spend to find out climate has changed in the past, is changing now, and will continue to change in the future.

      This just out from NASA. The Earth revolves around the sun, it will continue to do so, and this is going to be part of everyday like for centuries to come.

      This is news to the New York Time? This is just down right embarrassing.

      Thanks for the link to this startling revelation.

    • GaryM – that’s why I read this blog every day. You never know what you might learn. The climate changes – who knew?

    • While skeptics seem to recognize the possibility of abrupt climate change, they don ‘t seem to be able connect it with shoving the climate forcing hard in one direction.

    • Two of the more frequent links here at CE are to an NAS paper on abrupt climate change and to an article at the WHOI website on abrupt climate change. Each probably dozens of times.

      Sometimes the comments mention poking a stick at something.

      Never much of a challenge raised.

  23. &nbsp

    “…we could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years.” ~Yuri Nagovitsyn, Pulkovo Observatory (Russia)

  24. Herman Alexander Pope | December 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm |

    We were in Canada last year, when the Canadian government finally released reports they’d been suppressing for years that fracking triggered earthquakes, and they kept on drilling.

    I hear Texas reports the same thing.

    It happens with regular drilling, sometimes, too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_seismicity_in_Basel talks about this geothermal project, and notes the result in the USA was http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/16/science/earth/16alta.html?_r=0 .

    Ernie Majer, a seismologist and deputy director of the Earth Science Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, said that the new standards were a welcome development. The letters show that the department “is being ultra-careful about any induced seismicity,” he said, referring to earthquakes triggered by humans.

    Among the new safeguards are requirements that projects monitor ground-motion sensors and other data and have an approved plan to shut down if earthquakes induced by the drilling are too powerful. Companies must also file estimates of expected earthquake activity and submit project proposals to outside experts for a review of the risks and the likelihood of success.

    Ms. Zoi conceded in her letter that the department’s findings were “likely to have little practical effect on the AltaRock project at the Geysers,” because the project apparently no longer exists. But she said that the defunct project and the findings “have provided valuable lessons.”

    In a statement responding to questions on the documents, Stephanie Mueller, a spokeswoman for the department, said that those lessons “will help the United States succeed in safely harnessing geothermal energy.”

    Donald O’Shei, AltaRock’s chief executive, said in an e-mail message that the company was pleased by the department’s finding that the Geysers project would not have had a significant impact on people in the area.

    Regarding the Oregon project, Mr. O’Shei said that the company was “working on an initial planning process for the technical, permitting, and community education and outreach aspects of the project.”

    Are you suggesting these standards and regulations be extended to fracking and other types of drilling?

  25. Regarding the grid, there are costs I think of green energy that need to somehow be associatied with windmills and solar. They are externalities I suppose, expecting conventional power to absorb the limitations of green energy. We’d try to agree on a true cost, which would contain some subjectivity. Accountants at times, are within throwing distance of having the numbers say what they want, when allocating costs between two or more accounts. Say the green expense account and the big natural gas expense account.

  26. Some weather in the news, or what’s vulgarly called, “climate change” :

    “HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A wintry storm pushing through the western half of the country is bringing bitterly cold temperatures that prompted safety warnings for residents in the Rockies and threatened crops as far south as California.

    The jet stream is much farther south than normal, allowing the cold air to push in from the Arctic and drop temperatures by 20 to 40 degrees below normal levels, AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines said Tuesday.

    Areas of Montana and the Dakotas were forecast to reach lows in the minus-20s, while parts of California could see the thermometer drop to the 20s. The icy arctic blast was expected to be followed by another one later in the week, creating an extended period of cold weather that hasn’t been seen since the late 1990s, meteorologists said.”
    http://news.yahoo.com/cold-snap-felt-across-western-half-nation-215556543.html
    linked from: http://www.drudgereport.com/

  27. Perhaps a lighter side for such a thread: did you know that it was suggested in the late 19th century that unless something happened all of London’s streets would be covered in horse-manure 9 feet thick? And that an urban-planning meeting in New York gave up in despair at the impossibility of doing anything about horse-poo: urban civilisation was doomed. Sounds familiar? I loved it, and wrote about it this morning: http://donaitkin.com/the-great-horse-manure-crisis-of-1894/.

    • “In 1898 the first international urban-planning conference convened in New York. It was abandoned after three days, instead of the scheduled ten, because none of the delegates could see any solution to the growing crisis posed by urban horses and their output.”

      Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-great-horse-manure-crisis-of-1894#ixzz2mXlkmWu4

      I wonder if a modern conference would have the sense to cancel it after
      3 days?
      Or does pointlessness of conference with modern media and politics make a it large gravitation attractor for the stupid?
      It reminds me of typical video footage of getting some reporter standing in a hurricane- such a silly ritual.
      A funny skit would be have the 1898 horse manure conference covered by CNN.

      But simple lesson is the people do and the politicians don’t.
      Politicians are paid actors putting on a show that lends to the fiction that they are changing the world for the better, while people are actually solving problems and changing the world [in spite of the problematic legal barricades created by these same politicians who claim they are governing].

    • Yes Don,
      Yogi Berra and Nassim Taleb are so right, ‘Humans aren’t
      good at prediction.’ They can’t know what the next new
      technology will be and what it will do.

      Malthus, Erlich and Jim Hansen jest don’t get it. Creatures
      uv habit, should’uv read Hume.

      Voila! Steam engines doing the work of many, new strains
      in wheat increasing crop productivity, the horseless carriage …
      The fuchure ain’t the mirror image of the past. (It ain’t the
      hockey stick neither.)
      Beth the serf.

  28. William Johnson got it right. He observed that of the greater amount of global warming beginning early in the 20th century, most of the increased over the century was before 1940 — before a greater increase in atmospheric CO2 that was to come.

    By comparison, the smaller amount of warming over the balance the century is associated with a two-times increase in atmospheric CO2. Additionally, the first decade of the new millennium has had no warming.

    And, the analysis of ice cores shows increases in global temperatures was not driven by increases of CO2 in the atmosphere. Just the reverse: global warming over the last thousands of years precedes increases in atmospheric CO2 by hundreds of years.

  29. Thread on WUWT about the scientist who evidently has had to resign over his drowning polar bear claims.

    As I commented there, it turns out that the two iconic images that galvanized the world around the global warming issue have been shown to be bogus…The stranded polar bear and of course Mann’s hockey stick…

    I keep wondering where the young, enterprising investigative journalists are. This stuff is just so much low hanging fruit. Enough to make a career on. Taken as a whole, the global warming fraud is orders of magnitudes more important that Watergate

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/04/al-gores-polarbeargate-scientist-forced-to-retire/#more-98573

    • “Under the settlement, signed in October but released by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Wednesday, Monnett will receive $100,000 but cannot seek Interior Department work for five years. His retirement was effective Nov. 15, at which point the agency agreed to withdraw the letter of reprimand and issue Monnett a certificate for his work on the tracking project.”

      In a sane world crooks and frauds get punished. In ours, they get 100,000 smackers and retirement benefits.

    • The part that you and WUWT left out:

      “The agency, BOEM, ultimately found no evidence of scientific misconduct but reprimanded Monnett for improper release of emails that an Interior Department official said were cited by a federal appeals court in decisions to vacate agency approval of an oil and gas company’s Arctic exploration plan.”

      Sounds like someone levelled a false accusation at him and now they are having to pay him off. Else explain the $100,000

      “The settlement makes clear that it does not constitute any admission of liability, including any admission that federal employees “treated Monnett in a discriminatory or retaliatory manner.“”

      Interesting.

      “Monnett, in a release, said the agency tried to silence and discredit him “and send a chilling message to other scientists at a key time when permits for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic were being considered. They failed on the first two goals, but I believe that what they did to me did make others afraid to speak up, even internally.””

    • lolwot -

      How interesting that Anthony would write a post on the topic while not even mentioning the aspect that you discussed.

      You’d think that his readers would consider that to be disrespectful w/r/t their skepticism – not to mention lacking in integrity on his part.

      I wonder why that hasn’t seemed to happen.

      Too funny.

    • There is no such thing as scientific misconduct in post-normal climate science. That would require an ethical judgment. And ethics are just so 1950s.

    • Monkton wrote a stern rebuttal to the Monnett disparagers, as Monnett was only a pawn.

    • pokerguy

      I keep wondering where the young, enterprising investigative journalists are.

      They are busy killing stories that don’t sell.

    • The scientist that was completely exonerated and compensated for the political witch hunt he suffered?

  30. An observation:
    Based on NCDC’s Global Summary of Days dataset. Daily mean temp is the mathematical average of the recorded Minimum and Maximum recorded temperatures. There are over 120 million samples in this dB.
    If you subtract yesterday maximum temp, from today’s maximum temp (maximum temp daily anomaly), average this daily value for all of the surface stations in the GSoD dataset that have more than 240 samples per year (for those that will protest, doesn’t seem to matter if you use 240 or up to 365 days), then average these daily averages into a yearly average. One might expect to see a raising trend, or some some variance. What you do find is pretty much near a flat line(one pulse of +0.189F in 1971), with a 73 year average value of 0.002F.
    Now if that’s not bad enough, when you do the same with daily Minimum temp starting in 1940 as your 0.0F baseline, you see negative anomalies in 41 and 42, most of the 50′s and 60′s, a return to near 0F in 71 and 72, 73-74 ~ -1F with a gradual increase of minimum temp anomaly until you get to 2001-2002 where the anomaly increased to ~ -0.08, and runs a little less than this through 2012.
    No one likes this. Most think there something wrong. But I am careful to exclude stations with partial years, I’ve checked the code (and I’m willing to share), IMO it’s not the code or the data.

    So the questions are:
    a)What else to check?
    b)If these results are correct, does it not invalidate all of the over-processed temperature series, and sticks a fork in AGW?

    You can see this by following the link in my name.

    • Steven Mosher

      you cannot average temperatures. period.
      cannot.
      do not.
      if you do, your answer will be wrong.

    • Micro, Nothing invalidates AGW. Tave does enHansen the effect though.

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rFYtY1aXGdU/Up4Tm_Uz0NI/AAAAAAAAKts/1hMmvqWx-Is/s640/tmin+scaled+with+45s-45n.png

      BEST global Tmin scaled by a factor of two almost perfectly tracks SST. Warmer oceans more water vapor etc. etc. That amplification can be due to any number of causes, but since GHE captured the uncertainty long term persistent recovery from the period former known as the little ice age and natural atmospheric response to recovered energy is completely lost in the shuffle.

      http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/12/climate-sensitivity-for-instrumental.html

      That explains most of how I got to that point.

    • Sure you can, it isn’t a global average, it’s an average of all of the global measurements.
      And it’s not a temperature it’s a difference. Also because the difference is between measurements taken from the same station within at most 24hr’s (most likely within12hr’s) it should have the least amount of error possible.

      Now, maybe you are right, but you’ve never bothered to tell me why it’s wrong, only that it’s wrong. I do understand it isn’t the global average temp. I’ve broken the the data into regional sized chunks, and it does separate the signal into it’s component parts, but it should do that.

      I’m also against interpolating data for areas not measured, to me that’s wrong.

    • miCro, “I’m also against interpolating data for areas not measured, to me that’s wrong.”

      Actually I like the blend of straight, interpolated and kriged, I just don’t like being forced fed one version. Tave is useless on its own, but Tmax with Tmin let’s you figure out what is causing what. I would expect to see more data options especially land temperature with an altitude mask since we are looking at a radiant physics problem. What you are trying though has pretty much been done to death independently and quite well actually, so you more than likely have a flaw. Listen to Mosher.

    • Mosh

      you cannot average temperatures. period.
      cannot.
      do not.
      if you do, your answer will be wrong.

      Unless you are calculating a “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” (i.e. HadCRUT4, etc.)

      But I’d agree that you are right. These “averaged” anomalies don’t really mean too much.

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      wrong manaker

      If you guys can’t bother to learn the basics you are beyond help.

    • Steven Mosher

      Mi Cro.

      it is your job to figure out why it is wrong. you just fooled yourself and there is no reason to believe that somebody who can fool himself so easily can be educated for free.

      PS, regional averaging wont help your fundamental error

    • Mosh

      wrong manaker

      If you guys can’t bother to learn the basics you are beyond help.

      What’s “wrong”, Mosh?

      Get a bit more specific.

      Is the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” (ex. HadCRUT4) not “averaged”?

      If so, why does it have the word “averaged” in its title?

      Please explain.

      And don’t talk in riddles – you are not the Sphynx.

      Max

    • CaptDallas

      Actually I like the blend of straight, interpolated and kriged, I just don’t like being forced fed one version.

      ? Kriging is an interpolation technique.
      ? What do you mean by ‘the blend’
      ? What do you mean by ‘straight’

      so you more than likely have a flaw.

      More than likely.

      Steven Mosher

      you cannot average temperatures. period.

      As has been recently demonstrated recently the use of the emphatic “period.” can be hazardous.

    • Steven Mosher

      PS, regional averaging wont help your fundamental error

      Averaging over time is probably not such a good idea either. This also applies to estimating covariances. BEST be careful.

    • I wouldn’t expect to see a trend in the difference between daily temperature maxima even with a steep rise in temperature.

    • mwgrant :)

      ? Kriging is an interpolation technique.

      I would say so

      ? What do you mean by ‘the blend’

      For comparison not one series created with a blend

      ? What do you mean by ‘straight’

      As in straight up the raw ugly stuff warts and all. Variability is energy loss so I really like to compare just months with the longest continuous records.

      Did you see the fit of Tmax, Tmin and SST? I really kind of doubt that NH dominate Tmin drives low latitude SST all that much. Looks like there might be a long term persistent trend doncha know.

    • captdallas

      Thanks.

      On SST: It seems more and more from my limited perspective that a global* SST as a viable metric is not practical. There are just too many impediments at the present–lack of observations, methodology, etc. There are legitimate reasons to pursue such a number (or distribution or even field), but usability as a trusted quantitative tool in any timely relevant decision making is not one of those reasons. Qualitative and semi-quantitative reasoning will have to suffice as science input.

      * Global in the sense of a single characteristic number or ‘statistic’.

      There is something always circular about these sort of numbers…most common element? bias.

    • Mi Cro, if you are a wiz with R and have the data, about this;
      we postulate that back radiation will have a trivial effect on temperature when the sun is shining, but have a large effect when when it isn’t. It follows that we should see a shrinkage of Tmax-Tmin as the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases. Moreover, as CO2 global warming is tightly coupled to raising atmospheric water vapour levels, the finger print of the effect of CO2 induced global warming will be a greater shrinkage of Tmax-Tmin in areas with high levels of ground water, swamps, marshes, lakes, agricultural land, whereas the Tmax-Tmin in deserts will be minimal.
      Asked Mosher to do this before, but was told to learn R and do it myself.

    • Doc, don’t know R, but I do know sql, and I’ve already looked at fall temps, and there’s no loss of nightly cooling. If you go to the link in my name, go back to the earlier articles.

    • mwrant, “On SST: It seems more and more from my limited perspective that a global* SST as a viable metric is not practical.”

      I am beginning to believe that nothing “Global” is a viable metric at least the way the problem is posed. SST though has an advantage of consistency and the larger heat capacity naturally smooths things making it more accurate than you might expect for the limited early observations provided you stay with 60S-60N or 45S-45N range. The biggest problem is that the instrumental is a moving target. Adding the Antarctic region after 1950 is a mess plus extending readings north with the Arctic melt kind of over-eggs things. They are important, but you need a better reference, especially for paleo.

      I have been doing regional and ocean basin SST “sensitivities” and they are very consistent with the newer energy model estimates.

    • Steven Mosher | December 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm |

      you cannot average temperatures. period.
      cannot.
      do not.
      if you do, your answer will be wrong.”

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/29/a-new-release-from-berkeley-earth-surface-temperature/
      (Authored by one Steven Mosher)

      “Figure 1: Land temperature with 10-year running averages.”

      Somebody around here is very confused. Or very dishonest.

    • GaryM

      Somebody around here is very confused. Or very dishonest.

      Or maybe ‘wrong.’? :op

    • Steve, I found this:

      The most common statistic is the average of some variable (eg., temperature). However, soley focusing on the average can be misleading. For example, the average temperature may be consistent with previous time spans but the variance may have changed in some ‘significant’ way.

      From here NCAR/UCAR’s Climate Data Guide
      And I will repeat one more time, I’m not really interested in average temp, I’m interested in the daily difference in Min and Max temp, and daily Rising and Falling temps.

  31.  

    The star that keeps us alive has, over the last few years, been almost free of sunspots, which are the usual signs of the Sun’s magnetic activity. Everything indicates that the Sun is going into some kind of hibernation, and the obvious question is what significance that has for us on Earth. ~Henrik Svensmark

  32. If all the heat is going Down into the deep Ocean – how can it cause more Extreme weather?

    • cold, not heat, makes its way to the bottom.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      DocMartyn | December 4, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
      cold, not heat, makes its way to the bottom.

      ——-
      Think about this Doc. This is not logical nor following basic laws of thermodynamics. I’d it were cold that makes its way to the bottom of the ocean then that bottom would be getting constantly colder and colder, unless you are suggesting that is is being warmed at the bottom through some magical process. Or maybe you think there is enough geothermal heat coming out of the Earth to heat the abyssal depths of the ocean.

      Now, the truth of the situation is that the oceans are, for the largest part, heated by the sun, and that warmer water is advected to the bottom through downwelling via the THC, driven by density and wind. That heat energy is diffused throughout the deeper ocean, and then we see the opposite at occur, where colder bottom water is brought up through THC and upwelling at several key areas around the global ocean.

    • @R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist
      “That heat energy is diffused throughout the deeper ocean”
      This maybe, but from my understanding the deep ocean is very near freezing.
      http://www.onr.navy.mil/focus/ocean/water/temp3.htm

    • I’d it were cold that makes its way to the bottom of the ocean then that bottom would be getting constantly colder and colder, unless you are suggesting that is is being warmed at the bottom through some magical process.

      Water has the unique physical property of having maximum density above freezing. If it goes either above or below the temperature of maximum density, it rises.
      So the depths of the ocean remain the same temperature, neither rising nor falling.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “So the depths of the ocean remain the same temperature, neither rising nor falling.”
      —-
      Except they are not staying the same, but warming:

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JCLI3682.1

      But don’t let science and facts stand in the way of a good story.

    • @R. Gates – “But don’t let science and facts stand in the way of a good story.”

      Facts? There are no facts. There are hypotheses about the deep oceans warming, but no hard data. Which is the only facts in science.

    • But don’t let science and facts stand in the way of a good story.

      It’s amazing how people can get so excited about an estimation (’cause it can’t be measured) which equates to a few hundredths of a degree over half a century.

  33. Perhaps a category-killer on careful estimation of the costs and benefits of generating electricity using “renewable” sources, by a certified mainstreamer who supports carbon taxes or tradable emission permits:

    http://ei.haas.berkeley.edu/pdf/working_papers/WP221.pdf

  34. I’ve posted a couple of things on my nascent blog: a paper of mine which I’ve often cited:

    http://climateetc.wordpress.com/achieving-sustained-economic-growth/

    and a personal anecdote, “That big daft one!”:

    http://climateetc.wordpress.com/ under Home.

    (WordPress once insisted I start a blog before I could log in to CE, and gave it the URL above. I’ve put off regular blogging until I’ve got the name changed – I don’t want anyone to think it’s related to Judith – but stuck up the above in the meantime.

    • Interesting follow-up, Judith. My eye was caught by this interesting explanation.

      “Our intent was to highlight the problems that have sadly become endemic in this arena. Far too much money goes to research that does focus solely on human causes, far too much supports computer models that claim an ability to forecast global and even regional climate shifts – and far too little money goes to studies that attempt to assess the natural forces, and separate them from human factors, so that we can begin to understand and predict why, when and how Earth’s climate is likely to change in the future.”

      Do you believe they’re right, Judith? Will too little work on “natural forces” be reported at next week’s annual AGU meeting? Are most of the 23,000 scientists who’ll show up there focused instead on human causes?

    • Dr. Strangelove

      Judith
      I find these three scientists hypocritical. Why on earth they don’t like studying natural causes of climate change? If they are really honest, they should have accepted it and later conclude natural causes are insignificant therefore man is the primary cause. But to say they will only accept studies that include man-made causes is highly suspicious regardless how hard they try to portray themselves to be honest.

  35. Why no reply-button on every post, Judith?

    Impossible to have a conversation if you can not reply to someones comment to Your remarks.

  36. Speaking of ice ages … well, sort of …

    “Epic Ice Storm Possible; Millions Could Lose Power
    December 04, 2013; 12:56 PM

    UPDATE: Here’s a map comparing the forecast for this week’s storm versus the one in January 2009, which killed 23 people and knocked out power to 1,400,000 customers:”

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/weathermatrix/epic-ice-storm-possible-this-week/20648852


  37. From roughly 500,000 barrels per day in 2009 to nearly 2.5 million in 2013, U.S. shale will continue to make a difference. The October 2013 assessment from the Energy Information Administration’s drilling report indicates where the new production is coming from. Note the Permian Spraberry (bottom brown), Wolfcamp (dark brown) and Bonespring (blue) shale plays. Estimates for the Spraberry/Wolfcamp are that it is producing 450,000 boe per day, growing to 2.5 million in 20 years. That’s the entirety of what is depicted here below, and this is cumulative. The consultancy IHS expects 4.5 m/b/d of shale oil production in 2035.

    U.S. supply itself is not a huge threat to OPEC. A greater concern is the technology transfer and repeat performance of the shale oil “revolution” elsewhere. China, Russia, Argentina, Libya and Mexico have technically recoverable shale oil assets, as do many other countries. The following chart is sourced from the Energy Information Agency’s shale gas and oil assessment of June 2013. The estimates of technically recoverable resources are fractions in comparison to risked oil-in-place figures.

    There are numerous caveats to the global expansion of shale oil exploitation. Larger U.S. independent producers such as Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Apache (APA), Laredo Petroleum (LPI) and many other smaller firms are making strides to lower the cost of production and master the “manufacturing” of shale plays. If anyone can figure out how to produce shale oil at its lowest cost, the U.S. oil and gas industry will muster its ingenuity and strive to meet this challenge. In fact, the Permian Basin, with its varied geologic plays within plays, is another proving ground beyond the learning that has already occurred in the booming Bakken and Eagle Ford Shales.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1874771-oil-market-karma-u-s-shale-oil-and-opec

  38. Thank you, Professor Curry, for your courage and patience. Manipulation of information is a serious threat to the very survival of mankind..

    Oliver K. Manuel

  39. From up-thread somewhere;

    “And solar? Solar is actually capable of following Moore’s Law, as a primarily semiconductor technology. Efficiency of photovoltaic chips practically doubles every decade.”

    Sorry, but that is complete and udder nonsense (apologizes to bovines of the female persuasion ahead of time).

    Moore’s “Law” is in fact just an astute observation about integrated circuit performance improvements versus ongoing elapsed time.

    It simply says that about every 18 months or so the ability to produce a transistor in an integrated circuit improves so much that the physical size of the transistor gets SMALLER and provides a performance improvement factor of about 2 to 1.

    So the transistors get smaller, the capacitance becomes less, the distance the electrons must travel between switching points diminishes and the performance of the computing/memory device doubles.

    “Efficiency of photovoltaic chips practically doubles every decade”, total and complete NONSENSE; the crystalline silicon solar cells launched with SKYLAB back in the 1970′s had just about the same (~35%) efficiency as the best solar cells today.

    This efficiency is primarily determined by the physical properties of the semiconductor materials (i.e. the band-gap). Given that no new semiconductor materials have been discovered in the last 40 years this is unlikely to change. Keep in mind that the periodic table of elements is not currently accepting requests for new seating arrangements.

    Bear in mind that even if the efficiency “doubled” every decade after about two decades (1970′s = 30%, 1980′s = 60%, 1990′s = 120%) we would have run out of any possible “efficiency improvements” back about 1994 when the efficiency hit 100%. I know folks talk about giving 110%, but solar cells just do not have that same kind of “can do” attitude, what with those pesky “laws of physics” and all. Perhaps we should repeal those ???

    Cheers, Kevin

    • Kevin is right, efficiency is the wrong metric to associate with Moore’s law.

      But I’d be very interested in Kevin’s projections for cost of solar panels. If and when solar panels are a dollar an acre, why would an efficiency of 35% be considered a negative?

    • KevinK,

      You are correct. Moore’s law is not applicable for electricity systems. Electronics use mW of power. Electricity systems have to generate and transmit GW of power. That’s 12 orders of magnitude more power. It requires much larger, heavier equipment, more materials, more cost. All this means much higher cost and slower learning rate.

      The solar panels are a small part of the electricity system: generation, transmission and distribution system. When all the other costs that are caused by having intermittent, non dispatchable generators in the system are properly attributed to the solar PV generators, the cost of electricity from solar PV is several times higher than from fossil fuel, nuclear and hydro (where available).

      Here are some of the inherent energy inefficiency of the main renewables: wind & solar:

      1. Induced cycling inefficiency in the shadowing fossil fuel power plants

      2. Necessity of long distance power transmission to get rid of surpluses and import shortages due to the vagaries of wind & solar, waste energy in transmission & the energy of construction & maintenance of the transmission lines

      3. Economics of heavily subsidized fluctuating renewables favors low capital cost, low efficiency generation to backup and shadow the Wind & Solar. That is mostly diesel generation, OCGT and archaic low efficiency coal burners. Utilities are now being forced to pay expensive capacity payments to keep these inefficient generators operational.

      4. The inevitable overbuild that comes with wind & solar generation. Even renewables advocates admit that. In order to supply peak energy, winter in the north, summer in the south you need to greatly overbuild the renewables. That inevitably means throwing energy away in the fall & spring. Compounded by the fact that hydro is max in the spring, when energy demand is minimum. That is the epitome of energy inefficiency.

      5. Need to heat & power wind turbines when they are not generating electricity, especially in the north.

      6. The inherent energy inefficiency of energy storage, very much needed by wind & solar. Typically batteries with about a 70% round trip energy efficiency. Pumped hydro about 80-90%. CAES about 65%. Hydrogen about 40%. Add to that the embodied energy in all that additional infrastructure.

      :

    • KevinK | December 4, 2013 at 11:43 pm |

      What you say is technically true, and yet astutely misses the point in every meaningful way.

      With Skylab, the cost of cells was not even remotely a consideration, and they were gram-for-gram the most expensive part of practically the entire space program.

      So, sure, the properties of crystalline silicon notwithstanding, tell me how much more energy could be collected applying thin-slice chip manufacturing techniques, multijunction technology, high clarity non-imaging optics, high-reflectivity parabolic materials, for the same weight of crystalline silicon as went into Skylab? (Hint, that’d be about 80 x 2.7 x 58 0.9975 x 32 x 0.95.)

      Mebbe if you learned the difference between an analogy and an exact equivalency, people wouldn’t have to explain that for most of the world, the upshot of Moore’s Law is in the affordability of computing power, not something to do with Mendeleev’s little chart.

      Because the same computer code as ran in Skylab still runs today, too.. on someone’s Android phone.

      Oh, and children are launching their Raspberry Pi computers to the edge of space these days, for a lot less than the price of Skylab, too.

      Vaughan Pratt | December 5, 2013 at 1:12 am |

      Solar panels per se are slightly passe.

      Diffuse solar collection, while on a trajectory where one day it will cost an amount calculated in dollars per acre, perhaps, is likely to be relegated to times and places where cloud make concentrated solar photovoltaic impractical.

      I still applaud their users, and see nothing wrong with pursuing them for those who wish or need to, instead of CPV.

    • Grr.

      80 x 2.7 x 58 x 0.9975 x 32 x 0.95

    • Oh, and for a glimpse of the next generation:

      http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2011PhRvB..83c5309H

      Entirely new class of room-temperature superconducting photogalvanic materials.

      Time to go back to class, if you think you know anything about photovoltaics.

  40. PMHinSC | December 4, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    stevepostrel | December 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    Barnes | December 5, 2013 at 12:01 am |

    The only potential and universal contender is nuclear which wasn’t mentioned.

    Nuclear. Great stopgap option if you aren’t on a flood plain, or in an earthquake zone, or a region with a history of unrest likely to be sparked within the halflife of the reactants, so long as you only use with a practical plan for disposal, and have an exit strategy, and put as much research as possible into practical alternatives to breeding waste. That lets out the Pacific Rim.. and oh yeah, everywhere else, pretty much.

    Competition for water relegates hydro to a few limited big projects (e.g. the Three gorges Dam in china) around the world. Many if not most hydro generation is a trade off between using the water for generating electricity, agriculture, navigation, potable use, or recreation. Many think that future wares will be as a result of competition for water.

    Yes, and no.

    You’re describing hydro megaprojects. I’m talking pumped hydro from existing flood control dams already in place. Surveys of current US infrastructure show about half of all flood control dams are suitable. That means zero trade-off, and only synergy, for enough hydro to displace two thirds the coal in the US, and it would be cheaper for new installed pumped hydro than new installed coal.

    Geothermal is a nitche[sic] source not universally available.

    Sure. Niche. 10%-20% of US power generation, with locations available suited to every major electricity market with high voltage DC. Perfect baseline power niche. Going beyond 20%? That’d mean going into more expensive, less efficient geothermal; there’s no need since the grid only really requires 10% base load to be stable, with sufficient other peak and intermittent sources, using new smart technology.

    Wind is and will continue to be expensive and unreliable.

    You write like you’re living in the past. All new installed power has many pricing challenges old installations build generations ago and now aging out don’t face. New installed coal is about as expensive as the best of the wind options expected to be available by 2020. As wind is only getting better, and coal won’t improve, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that what happened to hand-cranked adding machines and personal computers since the 1980′s will happen respectively to fossil and wind over the coming decades.

    Until someone comes up with a method of making the sun shine at night, solar can never be more than 50% efficient and even then not world wide.

    Night?

    You mean off-peak time?

    Did you miss the part about pumped hydro?

    Run it backwards while the sun shines, and forward when it’s dark. Cheaper even than hot rock storage, plus can generate electricity when the sun hasn’t been shining for a while, say due to long periods of rainfall.

    Other options not mentioned are tidal, which is my favorite but not ready for prime time, and biomass which has nitche[sic] markets (e.g. South America) but will probably not be a significant world wide player.

    Tidal’s not yet ready, but when it is, an excellent baseload source for some of those regions least well serviced by geothermal, isn’t it? And it’s expected to be ready long before the payoff period of the next new fossil energy facility on the drawing boards today.

    While biomass is a large and diverse grab bag of so many different things it’s hard to imagine lumping them all together. From the bioethanol scams at one end of the scale to Cool Planet’s pyrolysis of organic wastes for carbon negative production of jet fuel and soil amendment at the other, this amount of handwaving betrays simple lack of knowledge about the subject.

    I will take that bet. Other than nuclear which has too much opposition and in any event takes a decade to build, Moores Law can’t make unreliable and inefficient products competitive.

    You’re already taking that bet. Your taxes and electricity bills are paying into the pot. What it sounds more like you’re doing than taking a bet is buying what fossil is selling hook, line and sinker without shopping around.

    Solar PV is physics-limited to be diffuse and exorbitantly costly as a baseload power source. It is a great substitute for building transmission lines, hence is good for powering pumps in the middle of a farmer’s field or cell towers or things like that. There is no Moore’s-Law progress in the efficiency curve if measured in terms of watts/sq.-m or watts/$ invested. Worse, even if the PV modules themselves were free the costs of installation, frameworks, tracking, maintenance, and transmission make solar completely uneconomic without massive subsidies.

    Huh. This all sounds very interesting. It even used to be true, in some sense.

    I recommend the work of Berkeley economist Severin Borenstein on this topic; he’s a solid Urgent Mitigationist who has analyzed the impact of solar subsidies in California and the economic impact of solar. A bunch of his papers, critiques, and his responses are linked here:

    http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/borenste/PVwork.html

    He assesses the impact of California’s initiative to increase residential solar PV instatllations here:

    http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2013/06/18/the-california-solar-initiative-is-ending-what-has-it-left-behind/

    Wow. His material starts with evaluation of the solar industry and solar technology as it stood in 2005-2006. Since then, the efficiency of PV cells has almost tripled. Since then, multijunction technology has taken off. Since then, non-diffuse, concentrated photovoltaic has come onto the market at 14:1 concentration. Since then, non-imaging optics have been engineered to convert technically feasible 30:1 parabolic reflector concentrations (such as 3M makes out of ultralight, now cost, high reflective efficiency new materials) or more by another factor of 30-60 with ultra-high tolerance and precision, allowing up to 2000 Suns, which IBM microchannel architecture provides the means to cool so over 80% efficiency — a number in 2006 considered four times the physical limit of PV efficiency — is in reach by 2020.

    So, do you have any references that rely on up-to-date data?

    You’re using the era of the solar equivalent of MS-Bob to build your case, when we’re already looking at the solar equivalent of NT, and the big players are vying to gain the upper hand in production of the solar equivalent of Parallella.

    ..there are 4 basic pillars of truth if you will re: fuel sources – 1) energy density 2) power density, 3) scalability, 4) cost. So far, the only fuel source that meets those 4 pillars is fossil fuels. Wind and solar are neither energy dense or power dense, require fossile fuel back up since there is currently no viable energy storage system for when the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow (or blows to hard) making the scalabilty of these sources excessively expensive. I think they can fit niche applications, but do very little to solve our overall energy need. Likewise with geothermal and hydro.

    There are none so blind as those who choose not to see.

    Show me the fossil fuel with the energy density of 2000 Suns.

    High voltage DC smart grid technology more than overcomes objections about power density.

    Bill Gross has demonstrated virtually limitless scalability on solar, and Google’s invested in Big Wind.. and I think they understand scalability a bit better than do you.

    Cost is coming down for advancing technologies, and going up for fossil. Comparing 2020-2080 costs for new installations to 1950-2010 costs for old is just fraudulent, or foolish.

    Pumped hydro and hot rocks are far better than fossil, and cheaper, for when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow.. or the Earth’s core mysteriously cools down and the Moon stops lifting and lowering the tides.

    You’re trying to persuade us of things that were either never true, or were last credible almost a decade ago. You aren’t keeping up with developments in technology. It’s like talking to someone who stopped using computers before Java.

    • None are so blind as those who refuse to see is exactly the phrase I use when describing greens wrt costs. As is usual, greens focus on lower costs of technology improvements but fail to factor in externalities like those cited by Peter Lang above http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/04/open-thread/#comment-421458 that have a lot to do with getting the energy from solar and wind efficiently distributed. Moreover, you fail to consider that the impact of the regulatory environment on the cost structure which artificially raises the costs of fossil fuels by making them more expensive to produce and use while at the same time giving the appearance of lowering costs for renewables. At the federal level, we have the EPA regulations leading to the scheduled retirement of over 300 power plants producing 34 GW of electrical generating power with nothing in the pipeline to replace it. This will have a ripple effect through the economy by causing energy prices to rise for individuals, businesses, utilities, hospitals, schools, etc. , in addition to increasing unemployment. We also have regulations being introduced at the state level to directly or indirectly regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Between 2003 and 2009, state legislatures introduced 1399 bills to regulate greenhouse gases, and enacted 249 of them according to a report from the Institute for Energy Research. The same report shows electricity prices in states with binding renewable portfolio standards are nearly 40% higher than states without similar mandates.

      All that being said, as I mentioned in my initial post, I agree that we should be looking to become more energy efficient and continue to develop alternatives to fossil fuels, not because of some hallucinatory imagination that fossil fuels cause any real damage, but because it just makes sense. I am of the opinion that solar and wind are not viable alternatives due mainly to cost, but would have no problem being proven wrong. My real issue is with the movement to damage our economy by regulating fossil fuel production and usage to death before viable alternatives are available to replace them. Increasing costs of fossil fuels via regulation hurts everything and everyone in our economy, including the development of alternatives.

      As is the case with ObamaNoCare, when you try to make massive changes to massive system through regulation by an unaccountable government bureaucracy, you will end up making things far worse than if you take incremental steps via free market initiatives.

    • Bart R | December 5, 2013 at 1:57 am | Reply

      Since the readers are smart enough to evaluate your (and my) arguments themselves I will only clarify a few points.

      I am only addressing mass not nitche markets for which any form of electricity generation may be the most economical.

      Wind: With some exceptions (e.g. the North Sea) wind will always be unreliable as well as not economically viable without government subsidies (e.g the proposed Nantucket offshore wind farm). A coal or gas fired power plant can run on demand approximately 90% of the time where wind is on line 30% of the time (and not necessarily the times you want it).

      Hydro: Although I used a large hydro project as my example, my comments were more about smaller projects like you described. According to AGW proponents, in the future rain will be unpredictable (drought one year flood the next). Even if you ignore the AGW rain predictions, IMO multiple demands on water make small scale hydro an unreliable source for electricity generation.

      Solar: Don’t be confused with storing solar power for use at night with converting sunlight into another form of energy (e.g. heat to be used for generating electricity at night) which will always be at best 50% efficient.

      I agree that I am “already taking that bet” and winning. I would be more than happy to see fossil fuels have realistic, economic, and practical competition. Although you rightly listed problems with nuclear, the issue is comparing the pros and cons between the competing sources. IMO nuclear is the clear winner and I see no serious competition on the horizon. I guess we will just have to disagree on that issue.

    • David Springer

      BartR’s entire diatribe is utopian woolgathering. Crap, crap, and more crap. The sun is the power source and synthetic biology is how to convert it into drop-in replacement fuels. There’s plenty of power and with synthetic biology the conversion process gets so close to free it’ll be difficult to monetize it. Write that down.

    • Just one minor response to Bart; I’m content to let people read the rest and judge for themselves:

      Concentrators do not solve the problem of diffuseness of solar energy. All they do is take light from x sq. meters and focus it down to x/a sq. meters. That may turn out on balance to be a little bit cheaper because the lost sunlit area is more than compensated for by higher efficiency where the light is focused, but there’s no way to get around conservation of energy–concentration cannot solve the diffuseness problem, unless you put a giant mirror in space or the like.

  41. Dr. Strangelove

    @Schrodinger’s cat

    “Is the planet warming or cooling at present?”

    Depends on the reference point. Earth has been cooling since the interglacial optimum 6,000 years ago. The long-term trend is cooling interrupted by warm periods (Minoan, Roman, Medieval and present era). The latest warm period started ca. 1850 to the present. But temperature reconstructions suggest previous warm periods are warmer than the present. This is consistent with long-term cooling trend. Imbrie (1980) predicted this cooling trend to persist in the next 23,000 years.

    Since we are in a warm period, it’s been warming since 1850. But even in the present warm period, there are cooling trends such as 1940-1970s when ice age was the rage. The last 15 years are stasis. Solar astronomers are prediction another cooling trend in the next 15-30 years.

    • “The last 15 years are stasis.”

      Really they are not though, the data continues onwards just as would be expected as if tracking the prior warming trend.

    • Dr. Strangelove

      No statistically significant warming in last 15 years. Take it from Dana of Skeptical Science, a hard-core warmist:

      “The trend in the HadCRUT4 global surface temperature dataset since 1997 is 0.084 ± 0.152°C per decade… While the trend is not statistically significant, the central value is positive…”

      In an election survey, one candidate leads the other but the lead is not statistically significant. Hence it’s a statistical tie. But one candidate claims he is leading in the survey. Essentially that’s what Dana is saying.

    • “No statistically significant warming in last 15 years”

      You claimed stasis.

      Is there statistically significant stasis? No. Ie your claim that there has definitely been stasis in the last 15 years was wrong.

  42. How was 21 century science fooled to claim the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere depends on human emission of CO2 when the data conclusively shows it instead depends on ocean temperature?

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/clip_image0121.jpg

  43. For R Gates with love [new moderation policy] in his hottest year in Australia theme [or meme] news headlines.
    5/12/2013 It’s snowing today. In Australia. In Summer It’s snowing today. In Australia. …HEAVY snow is falling across the high country of south eastern Australia on the fifth day of summer.

  44. jumpers on, the antarctic ice is nearly reaching Melbourne

  45. I searched this thread for IPCC and didn’t see anyone asking what the more knowledgeable among you thought of this article I saw at Ars Technica:

    Your questions about the new IPCC climate change report answered

    A climate scientist / lead author on the report even stops by to explain things.

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/12/your-questions-about-the-new-ipcc-climate-change-report-answered/

    thx!

  46. A new report (pdf) by CDP, an environmental data company, reveals that twenty-nine major companies including oil giants ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Shell and BP, are incorporating a price on carbon emissions in their long-term financial planning. The cost, ranging from $6 to $60 per metric ton, could affect how much companies pay for energy, invest in efficiency and charge their customers. While some of these companies have spent millions lobbying against just public policy that would put a carbon price in place, climate change Cassandras see the inclusion of such figures in their financial planning as a sign that their positions are evolving—and that change could be on the way.

    http://qz.com/154711/what-do-oil-companies-know-about-climate-change-that-politicians-dont/

    Environmentalist praises Shell Canada over calls for climate change regulations

    Shell Canada’s president Lorraine Mitchelmore said earlier this week in Ottawa that her company would “welcome” new federal regulations to crack down on heat-trapping greenhouse gases from her industry.

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/environment/Environmentalist+praises+Shell+Canada+over/9252166/story.html

  47. Hansen is back in business! He just published an article in PLoS-One with 17 co-workers of renown (not necessarily in climate circles). It’s credentials are as impressive as hell – see below.
    *******************************************************************
    Here is his title:

    ‘Assessing ‘‘Dangerous Climate Change’’: Required
    Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People,
    Future Generations and Nature’

    Here is the author list:

    James Hansen1*, Pushker Kharecha1,2, Makiko Sato1, Valerie Masson-Delmotte3, Frank Ackerman4,
    David J. Beerling5, Paul J. Hearty6, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg7, Shi-Ling Hsu8, Camille Parmesan9,10,
    Johan Rockstrom11, Eelco J. Rohling12,13, Jeffrey Sachs1, Pete Smith14, Konrad Steffen15,
    Lise Van Susteren16, Karina von Schuckmann17, James C. Zachos18

    And here are their institutions:

    1 Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America, 2 Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA, New York, New York, United States of
    America, 3 Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ), Gif-sur-Yvette, France, 4 Synapse Energy Economics,
    Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America, 5 Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom,
    6 Department of Environmental Studies, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, North Carolina, United States of America, 7 Global Change Institute, University of
    Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia, 8 College of Law, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, United States of America, 9 Marine Institute, Plymouth
    University, Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom, 10 Integrative Biology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, United States of America, 11 Stockholm Resilience Center,
    Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, 12 School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom, 13 Research
    School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia, 14 University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom, 15 Swiss Federal
    Institute of Technology, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Zurich, Switzerland, 16 Center for Health and the Global Environment, Advisory Board, Harvard School of
    Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, 17 L’Institut Francais de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer, Ifremer, Toulon, France, 18 Earth and
    Planetary Science, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, United States of America
    **************************************************************************
    Damian Pattinson, PLoS-One Editorial Director, gave it a glowing introduction and states that although they were specialized in biomedical sciences they will now start accepting climate articles of which Hansen’s is the first one. Looked the article over and it is nothing more than his usual pseudo-science. Left a comment on their web site. It’s a shame that he hoodwinked seventeen notables to lend their names to this trash.
    ********************************************************************

  48. Executive Summary
    Over the past decade, federal and state governments have significantly
    increased their support for nonconventional energy technologies, ranging from wind-powered electricity generators to battery-powered cars. One of the largest such programs was the Department of Energy’s Section 1705 Loan Guarantee Program— the subject of this study.

    The $16 billion dollar program “invested” in various failed enterprises,
    including Solyndra and Abound Solar. But those are just the tip of the iceberg of the DOE’s poorly diversified portfolio of mostly “junk” grade investments, many of which, years later, are still “under construction.”

    So why did the DOE systematically make loan guarantees to companies that are financially unsound? We found that many recipients had close ties to those in charge of approving the loan guarantees. Moreover, we found that the DOE allocated funds broadly in proportion to applicants’ lobbying expenditures. In other words, it is likely that loan guarantees were allocated not on the merits of the projects but, rather, according to the degree to which the applicants were able to use political connections.

    The DOE’s Section 1705 Loan Guarantee Scheme represents a multi
    - billion dollar transfer from taxpayers to political cronies. But if that weren’t bad enough, this green cronyism likely undermined the very thing it was supposed to support: by encouraging private investment in unduly risky projects, it diverted money away from more sustainable projects that might actually result in environmental improvements.

    To protect taxpayers from further waste and to increase the sustainability
    of investments in technologies that result in environmental protection, the government should stop guaranteeing loans for “green”energy projects immediately.

    http://reason.org/files/green_electric_dreams.pdf

  49. U.S. oil production has increased 21 percent since 2009 to nearly 6.5 million barrels a day, but federal acres leased for mineral rights decreased 17 percent over that same period. Only 37.8 million acres of federal land are now leased, whereas 131 million acres were leased in 1984.

    The amount of oil produced on federal lands decreased during the current energy boom. The increase in overall production has come entirely from state and private lands.

    (click to enlarge)

    According to data collected by the Institute for Energy Research, federal drilling permits have become more difficult to acquire. Between fiscal years 2006 to 2008 and 2009 to 2011, the number of permits approved fell from 20,479 to 12,821. Between 2005 and 2011, the time it took to acquire such a permit rose from 154 days to 307 days.

    In North Dakota, where production is thriving in the Bakken region, only one well has been drilled on federal property. North Dakota has produced so much oil and gas because shale formations are on private property, so permitting is far simpler. It only takes ten days to secure a state drilling permit in North Dakota.

    North Dakota’s daily oil production is predicted to double by 2017-to 1.6 million barrels.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1872571-oil-booming-despite-federal-government

  50. Australian think tank IPA has just begun a climate change newsletter:

    http://climatechange.ipa.org.au/

  51. I must admit that I have suffered from climate argument fatigue recently and found the need to look for a new angle. So far, the most controversy I’ve managed to generate was in connection with a posting titled “Can commercial banks create money out of thin air?”

    I don’t think they can, but after the discussion I can see better why many people think they do. Most of what we think of as money isn’t really money as most people would understand it. Its not money that is issued by governments. Its essentially an IOU generated by a bank.

    If you fancy contributing your tuppence worth, see:

    “http://petermartin2001.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/can-commercial-banks-create-money-out-of-thin-air/

  52. If you thought climate ‘science’ is the only politically-funded farago rooted in policy-based evidence, think again. Eg, about the case of badger-culling :
    http://www.rspca.org.uk/ImageLocator/LocateAsset?asset=document&assetId=1232733074865&mode=prd

  53. I am no scientist but trying to hold my own against an ardent warmer on a website of 5000 people. After being sneered at and dismissed repeatedly I was given this missive to reply to: There is no doubt that Earth has warmed close to 1°C since pre-industrial times. A warming Earth was predicted by Tyndall before the U.S. Civil War—in researching why Earth was warmer than expected given our Sun and our distance, he discovered that carbon dioxide and methane are greenhouse gases. He postulated that coal gas (CO2) could warm the Earth. In the more than 1.5 centuries since Tyndall’s suggestion, significant supporting evidence has been found. Additionally, the model has made a number of successful predictions, e.g., an increase in the height of the tropopause, faster warming at night and in winter, etc. The prediction about the tropopause goes back a century, and I believe the prediction about night/winter dates to the 19th century.

    If you are to challenge the idea that the warming Earth is caused in large part by greenhouse gases, a result now considered as robust as the connection between cigarettes and lung cancer, there are two important steps. You must show an alternative explanation, without using the word natural—that is, there must be a specific mechanism. Is Earth moving closer to the sun, or what? Scientists, in talking about natural climate change in the past, provide very specific mechanisms. Secondly, you must find fault in physics at the level of a good university lower division set of courses, very basic physics accepted for the last 80 – 160 years. You must find a way to refute the greenhouse effect of GHG such as CO2.

    Anyone care to help me refute this? Frankly, I’m not sure what to say.
    Thanks for considering!

    • You are in a bind because they didn’t give you any ‘outs’. Give up and accept it.

    • Curiounc, ” You must find a way to refute the greenhouse effect of GHG such as CO2.”

      No you don’t have to refute that GHGs like CO2 have an effect and it would be foolish to try. The point is that the magnitude of the CO2 portion of the overall atmospheric effect is in question since it was generally agreed by Callandar and Arrhenius (his second estimate was 1.6 (2.1 with water vapor) that the impact would be relatively small and beneficial. Callandar even suggested that water vapor as clouds would have a regulating or negative feedback.

      Trying to divert the real discussion with strawmen like “must refute the greenhouse effect” is typical semantic gamesmanship that is entirely worn out its welcome in any scientific discussion. The estimates of sensitivity to CO2 forcing are dropping and will continue to drop because the “sensitivity” to atmospheric forcing is not linear “globally” or regionally and was grossly over estimated.

    • Thank you so much for your reply, captdallas! Do you think I need to address the specific mechanism question? I have been reading about a larger influence of the solar connection but as I’ve said I am such a newbie it’s challenging but I feel like someone needs to try and get people to see some reason. Especially when 5000 people are being swayed.

    • I think the best answer is to point to data from surface stations. Follow the link in my name to see night time cooling trends, there is no measured loss of cooling. And with very minor exceptions is a match to warming.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Here’s a post from Kyle Swanson at realclimate – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/SOI-GHD_zpsd6f54d3d.png.html

      Ignore the obligatory jibes at sceptics. This is a sensitive issue for the poor little things. Natural variability here is the result of a surprising new paradigm in climate science.

      It is much easier to understand if you look at the original 2007 paper first.

      http://heartland.org/sites/all/modules/custom/heartland_migration/files/pdfs/21743.pdf

      This is from a 2012 conference poster.

      ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the
      period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in
      ENSO variability. The latest such event in the 20th century is
      known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. Extending this
      analysis in the 21st century confirms that another synchronization of these modes, followed by an increase in
      coupling occurred in 2001/02. This suggests that a break in the
      global mean temperature trend from the consistent warming
      over the 1976/77–2001/02 period may have occurred. We also
      find the evidence for such type of behavior in three forced and
      unforced climate simulations using state-of-the-art models. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of the size and complexity of the climate system.’

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

      Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since 2002. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

      The physical mechanisms involves either or both of increased ocean heat uptake or changes in cloud cover in response to changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation. Oceans and atmosphere form a complex and dynamic system that changes abruptly as an emergent behaviour of a deterministically chaotic system. This is perhaps more Poincaré than Tyndall.

      So did cloud change at the 1998/2001 climate shift? Obviously and significantly yes.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=41

      To be continued.

    • ” Do you think I need to address the specific mechanism question? I have been reading about a larger influence of the solar connection but as I’ve said I am such a newbie it’s challenging but I feel like someone needs to try and get people to see some reason. Especially when 5000 people are being swayed.”

      Yes, you need to address a specific question.
      BUT not why it’s warming, but rather why was the Little Ice Age cool.

      The reason it’s warm is well known, we are in interglacial period. It has been generally warmer for about the last 10,000 years. But in the Little Ice
      age it was somewhat uniquely cool and for a long period.
      It is broadly accepted that the Little Ice Age ended around 1850, when the Little Ice began is not as clear. But most would say the Little Ice age did not begin much earlier than around the1300. Some could say it was mostly between 1600 and 1850.
      In this interglacial period, there were other cool periods, but one could argue that Little Ice was the longest and coolest of these period. But the Dark Ages also roughly coincided with another cool period, and were there number of other cooler periods. And there also very gradual cooling trend over the last 8000 years. Before this was warmest period in our interglacial period [the period called the Holocene] which is called: Holocene climatic optimum. Or Wiki:
      “The Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) was a warm period during roughly the interval 9,000 to 5,000 years B.P. This event has also been known by many other names, including: Hypsithermal, Altithermal, Climatic Optimum, Holocene Optimum, Holocene Thermal Maximum, and Holocene Megathermal.

      This warm period was followed by a gradual decline until about two millennia ago.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum

    • Chief Hydrologist

      One of the big changes in ocean and atmospheric changes over decades to millennia is in the Pacific.

      e.g. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

      Another is in the northern Atlantic. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation peaked around 1998 and is progressively more negative since.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amo_timeseries_1856-present.svg

      They are both part of an interconnected global system with decadal to millennial variability.

      To be continued.

    • Curiousnc, “I need to address the specific mechanism question?”

      I don’t see why, they won’t understand or listen. A sense of humor helps along with something like, “have you looked outside your window lately?” or “How much energy is missing this month?” perhaps a stadium wave handshake :)

    • Cap’n -

      The question asked as the first step what, if the cause of the increased temps is not ACO2 emissions, is the specific mechanism.

      Why did you skip over that to speak to the second step?

    • Cap’n -

      I don’t see why, they won’t understand or listen.

      Well, if that’s your thinking, why bother with the second step after skipping over the first?

    • joshua, “Why did you skip over that to speak to the second step?”

      Because it is futile. If you mention that AGW is basically just another of a series of gross over-estimates, the conversation is pretty much over.

      Now if you happen to have someone that is not a brain dead minion, you could simply say that current estimates of sensitivity to all atmospheric forcing are in the 1.6C range just like Callandar and Arrhenius estimated with signs that water vapor plays a regulating role just like Callandar suspected. The facts pretty much speak for themselves.

      Now if you want to get really jiggy, you could mention that that sensitivity range estimated by Callandar and Arrhenius was based on a lower global temperature and that warming is likely to be even less from current conditions.

      But you are unlikely to get that far with all the Websters, lolwots, JimD that automatically assume everything is a low end estimate. That is linear no threshold mentality aka age of litigation reasoning, over-estimate everything and try to explain later.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      This is a figure from the realclimate post – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/rc_fig1_zpsf24786ae.jpg.html?sort=3&o=35

      So what does it mean? Most of the recent warming occurred in the 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 extreme ENSO fluctuations. These are caled dragon-kings – after Didier Sornette – by the way.

      http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

      The residual warming is the trend between 1979 and 1998 which is presumed to be the true global warming signal. It is less than 0.1 degrees C/decade – which is consistent with any number of analyses. If the cloud data is right about 2/3rd’s of this was changes in cloud radiative forcing.

      Total warming from greenhouse gases seems quite minor at this point. Certainly not a threat anytime this century in the linear climate paradigm.

      The history of these ocean and atmospheric patterns shows that they persist for 20 to 40 years. This leads to the expectation that the current cool pattern will persist for another decade to three.

      The real climate risk emerges from the fact that climate is wild.

      ‘A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

      What Tsonis et al state quite explicitly is that no warming for decades is indeed likely – and that this has unsurprising policy implications. The problem is that very few of the Borg collective cult of AGW groupthink space cadets seem all that capable of assimilating the new paradigm – or of framing effective, practical and pragmatic ways forward. The human condition is a hell of a hoot sometimes.

    • curiousnc,

      The post you are considering replying to is just another attempt at what is called shifting the burden of proof. I would ignore it and move on.

      If you want to respond, then simply say that they are the ones who want to decarbonize the global economy. Therefore they have the burden of proof to convince the voters that the world is coming to thermageddon. You have no burden to prove anything to anyone.

      If you don’t convince them, nothing happens. If they don’t convince the voters, and they haven’t yet, then their beloved policy of central government control of the energy economy will not happen.

    • Cap’n -

      You still haven’t answered the question. If it is “futile,” why skip over the step and address the second?

    • curiousnc, the scientific evidence is indeed strong that humans are warming the planet. Your best bet, as others have pointed out above, is to abandon wanting to “refute” the science and instead change the subject to politics.

    • You can also entertain strawprogressivemen about a central government’s black helicopters, as GaryM does.

      And that’s notwithstanding his misconception of the burden of proof.

    • Curiousnc and Joshua, Here is a great example: “curiousnc, the scientific evidence is indeed strong that humans are warming the planet. Your best bet, as others have pointed out above, is to abandon wanting to “refute” the science and instead change the subject to politics.”

      I knew lolwot wouldn’t let me down. I think that there is no dispute that mankind has a warming impact on climate due to all of mankind’s activities. So we completely agree, with Callandar and Arhenius who thought that ACO2 would have “some” impact and that impact would likely be somewhat beneficial. So the debate leads directly to politics.

      lolwot assume everything mankind has done is bad so stop right now and then rationalizes how just a few percent of GLOBAL GDP is a small price to pay since only the most trustworthy of GLOBAL despots will be allowed to use that money in the most wise and humane fashion to avert what has to be a Global catestrophe. He drifts from facts to fantasy. You can’t have an intelligent conversation with politically motivated minions of the great and powerful Carbon.

    • curiousnc,

      So, you are saying that you are “no scientist” but we “must find fault in physics at the level of a good university lower division set of courses, very basic physics accepted for the last 80 – 160 years.”
      and ” must find a way to refute the greenhouse effect of GHG such as CO2″ ?

      Why? Isn’t the science what it is? Is it reasonable for you to think that that the science must be wrong because you don’t like its implications? None of us like its implications, but it isn’t reasonable to argue backwards from that! Though many commenters on this blog do just that. If a doctor diagnosed a serious illness, but you said he ” must show an alternative explanation”, people would think you were in denial of the problem.

      And you would want that , now, would you?

      .

    • No, those were the remarks of my opponent. But to answer your question, I would double check a diagnosis for sure. I would also research the options for healing. There are far too many fatal hospital mistakes to allow me to just rely on one doctor’s opinion.

    • It isn’t that there’s anything wrong with the physics of Co2′s spectrum, it that it’s such a simplistic view of climate as to be almost meaningless. Just look at the history of cAGW , 15 years ago climate sensitivity was 6 to 10C, and now it’s some thing probably less than 2 C, and quite likely very near 1 C or lower. Heck, NASA used their own GCM and estimated jet contrails caused near 0.4 C of warming, but that wouldn’t do, so it was deemed incorrect.

  54. curiousnc, you will find that skeptics don’t have a specific mechanism for warming, so you have to skip that part. Unfortunately a mechanism is critical to get anyone to accept your view, so you won’t convince anyone without one. It is tough going being a skeptic, because basically you are just BS’ing without any idea of what could be changed about the theory that exists to better explain the warming than it. Good luck.

    • Yeah Right, your team screws the pooch and gets the sign wrong for clouds which is 2/3rds of the AGW and we need a mechanism? .The basic fact is y’all screwed up, you can’t add and your statistical skills are laughable. Look out your window JimD. How much energy is missing this month? :)

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Assuming a mixed layer ocean depth of 200 m, an anomaly of roughly 1 Wm2 should in principle have been sufficient to drive roughly a 0.2 C increase in global temperature since 2001/02. That such warming has not occurred suggests an internal reorganization of the climate system has offset this presumptive radiative imbalance, either via an anomalously large uptake of heat by the deep ocean or a direct offset of the greenhouse gas forcing by a shift in cloud forcing.’ ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf

      How many freakin’ mechanisms do you need? They just keep coming back with the same nonsense no matter how detailed you get. I swear it is like talking to goldfish.

    • How many years were between Newton’s description of gravity, an effect that’s hard to miss, and Einstein’s cause?
      Co2 as a cause is Holmesian logic, we can’t figure anything else, so that has to be the cause, get me a measured climate sensitivity and then maybe you have some science.
      In the mean while, I feel surface measurements prove there hasn’t been a loss of cooling, therefor it can’t be Co2.

    • This is something, as curiousnc rightly pointed out, that was predicted to happen before it was detected. That is how science often tests theories, and this one passed with time and continues to fit the data with more time and forcing.

    • “a specific mechanism for warming”?

      Why would anyone need to show such a mechanism. The planet has gone through periods of warming, and cooling, and warming, and cooling. For millions of years.

      The suggestion that unless skeptics can explain 30-40 years of warming in the last century, we need to turn over control of the global economy to James Hansen, is just ludicrous.

      CAGW acolytes are as bad at logic as they are at statistics.

    • The curious incident of the dog in the night time.
      The case of something miissing …
      Trenberth, get Holmes on the phone.

    • > The suggestion that unless skeptics can explain 30-40 years of warming in the last century, we need to turn over control of the global economy to James Hansen, is just ludicrous.

      GaryM’s strawprogressivemen are often ludicrous.

  55. Thank you, thank you, everyone for your replies!!! I will take all of your info into consideration and post here after I write my response. Hopefully, you will point out if I have any major errors. Won’t be til tomorrow though. Thank you again for all your help. :-)

  56. Btw, is she correct that Earth has warmed 1 degree C since pre-industrial times and that there’s been an increase in the height of the tropopause? Also wonder if Tyndall’s theory predicted the “pause?” I love these “dragon-kings” – was not aware of those. Again thank you all.

  57. Here is a helpful essay from Dr. Reddy too. It is argued by the IPCC that models that predict future temperature scenarios are based on physical principles but at the same time accepting the fact that there are several other localized or globalized factors contributing to it. Such factors are rarely accounted for in their models. Thus, there are no clear cut physical principles concerning global warming. It is basically statistical inferences that vary with data and period. The IPCC uses the number of people accepting the predictions to validate it. In science, unless they are verified by ground realities, they are generally termed as “hypothetical”, which has no meaning in science. The IPCC is sensationalizing the impacts based on such hypothetical predictions on several processes, including agriculture.

    The IPCC, UN, Media, agencies like World Bank, Oxfam, CGIAR, etc. are using Climate Change as synonymous to Global Warming. This is not so; Global Warming is one component of Climate Change in which natural variations play vital role with extremes forming a part. The World Meteorological Organization of United Nations (WMO/UN) published a manual on “Climate Change” as far back as 1966. It dealt with methods to separate man-induced variations from natural variations. Natural variations are beyond human control, only we have to adapt to them. On the contrary, the impact of global warming must present a trend, increasing or decreasing to ascertain its impacts. The IPCC and UN bodies are talking about individual events that are part of natural variations as associated with increased global temperatures.

    These are highlighted by the media with misleading headlines. By attributing the impacts associated with normal climate extremes within the limits of Climate Normals and rhythms present in meteorological parameters to global warming is dangerous.
    Now the IPCC itself has agreed that 100% of the raise in global temperature is not associated with the raise in Anthropogenic Greenhouse gases and agreed that around 10% is contributed by urban-heat-island effects – this contributes to rise in night time temperature and lower layers of troposphere temperature. These are localized effects.

    Same is the case with changes in land use and land cover, known as Ecological changes. The majority of meteorological stations are in urban areas and thus urban-heat-island effect is going to be added to global warming component and on the contrary meteorological stations are sparsely located in rural areas that generate cold-island-effect due to increased activity of irrigated agriculture and spread of irrigation reservoirs is not going in to global warming component – however, this may create a trend in precipitation at local and regional scales like that seen in AP precipitation.

    In all around 50% of raise shown under global warming is influencing the local and regional aspects but not national and global aspects like sea level raise, ice melt, etc. Southern hemisphere with less number of urban areas, with less ecological changes and with more area under ocean waters showed lower temperature raise over the average pattern. In the case of Northern Hemisphere with more urban areas, more ecological changes and with less area under ocean waters showed higher temperature rise over the average pattern.
    It is a fact that in the last 17 years there has been no significant change in temperature, including ocean temperatures; ice melt in Arctic and Antarctic zones are within the standard deviation around the mean; no change in precipitation – monsoons, etc. In association with local conditions and natural disasters the sea levels show rises in some places, falls in some places, and no change in the majority of places.

    Ice is confined to outside the South Polar Ring and inside the North Polar Ring. That means South Polar ice melt is the true reflection of global warming impact on ice melt. At present it is not showing any melt in the Southern Polar zones. The Southern Polar zones are on the contrary building ice. North Polar zones are losing the ice but this is within the long-term standard deviation around the mean – within the accepted statistical terms. In the North Polar zone, impacts other than climate are also contributing to ice melt.

    Alaska shows a large fall in sea level. Along the USA coastlines, a large part showed a 0 to 1.0 feet fall, this may be associated with human activity along the coastal zones, tidal erosion, etc. [San Francisco airport does not show any sea level rise]. Also, error variations are far higher than the estimated rise, which is not statistically significant. In addition, all these localized natural variations play a vital role – even the global temperature showed a 60-year cycle – sine curve. Cyclonic activities including Hurricanes and Typhoons – and precipitation, all present cyclic variations. With the growing population of the planet, and building more structures in the path of cyclonic storms – that includes Hurricanes & Typhoons – and Tornadoes, and thus this makes ordinary storms more damaging.
    Food production, food security & nutrition security are not affected by global warming. Floods and droughts are part of rhythms in precipitation, however, their impacts are modified by agriculture technology and ecological changes. Food includes not only agricultural products but also include several others such as Dairy products, Poultry products, Sea & Water products [fish & prawns], Animal products [meat], etc.

    These are affected by agriculture technology and pollution components and not by global warming as crops adapt to temperature regimes which is evident from extremes in temperature given under climate normal data. These, along with ecological changes are the major contributors of destruction of biodiversity – on land, in water including oceans. Pollution, more particularly from new agriculture technology, is the major source of health hazards globally and not associated with Global Warming. Global Warming is in fact a brain-child to counter the Environmental Movement against pollution, more particularly agriculture pollution, initiated in late 60s and early 70s.

    In the agricultural perspective, these matter: stop wastage of food; plan better utilization of water resources; shift from chemical inputs to organic inputs technology that help reducing pollution and public health aspects; do not forget that the losses due to intense weather systems increase with the population growth. Globally, cold waves are affecting many more vulnerable people than heat waves. Wild fires have nothing to do with global warming. Dry weather helps spread of fire over wet weather, which is nothing to do with global warming.

    ==============================================================
    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
    http://library.wmo.int/opac/index.php?lvl=author_see&id=5178

  58. I tried to publish what I wrote but I couldn’t get it to. I hope it doesn’t suddenly appear in its three incarnations later. Other than the usual booing, here is the most serious feedback I got from my post:
    “Two points. First point is that, like with CFCs, we don’t actually have a way to put the genie back in the bottle. If moving enough carbon out of the mineralized form does push the climate into the same temperature range that it was in in the Pleistocene then we don’t have any way to walk that back, even if it does take 300-400 years to reach that median temperature. A scientific view means recognizing that the climate is the result of a many factors, a few of which have the ability to move the climate baseline up or down and many many of which are responsive to mean conditions. CO2 moves the climate baseline and it does so on a timescale of thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of years, because that is the typical rate that the fractions move between their aqueous, mineralized and atmospheric forms. So no, no sensible person believes that the real dramatic climate impacts with start in the next hundred years, the stuff that we care about, like storms and small changes in sea level is pocket change to the global climate. That we might actually be really screwing with things that took geological time to get where they are? Yeah, that’s a pretty solid concern.”

    • What is happening now is fairly abrupt in comparison with paleoclimate changes. I recommend the RealClimate item “Paleoclimate: The End of the Holocene” for further reading.
      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/paleoclimate-the-end-of-the-holocene/

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Four links automatically puts comments into moderation.

      A priori – changing the composition of the atmosphere without much of an idea of consequences is less than prudent. Certainty that they know the consequences pretty frequently occurs – but this can only be classified realistically as an argument from ignorance.

      It is – btw – simple enough to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

      e.g.

      But this is little comfort in a climate system that is ‘wild’ – a system that changes abruptly and non-linearly – a coupled, non-linear chaotic system. Once shifted – it is not possible to move back simply by removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The fact that a ‘wild’ is unlikely to warm for a decade to three more is profoundly complicating.

      So the policy optimum would seem to be a practical and pragmatic response.

      e.g. http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Jim – climate varies according to the dynamic of emergent behaviour resulting from spontaneous internal reorganisation of climate components.

      ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation.’ Wally Broecker

      I’d appreciate it if you could refrain from this nonsense about the speed of current changes. It makes no sense at all. But I suppose that is too much to hope for.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      For a very good view of our transition from normal interglacial Holocene to Anthropocene, I recommend:

      http://www.whoi.edu/pclift/Ruddiman.pdf

      Lots of excellent data– some of which shows why Salby needs to hang it up and go fishing to enjoy his retirement. Ruddiman makes a strong case for an earlier start to the Anthropocene than many might imagine.

    • CH, you would like to hide published work from new skeptics, and that is understandable, but they should check it out and come to their own conclusions. In the area of paleoclimate they won’t find much to oppose these types of graphs, which is a failure of skepticism. Except for advocating the MWP which appears as a bump in these graphs 1000 years ago, they haven’t had much to say. The rapid reversal of the Holocene trend is a major factor to consider in climate change.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Jim,

      I don’t give a rat’s arse what people read – and I am certainly not a sceptic of any sort. Nor am I a Borg collective cult of AGW groupthink space cadet (BCCAGWGSC).

      My idea is that both sides need to understand the new paradigm and it certainly seems to go right over your head.
      Mitigation is prudent (in practical and pragmatic ways) but the new paradigm suggests that the world is not warming for a decade to 3 yet with political implications.

      ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

      I merely commented on your nonsense about the rapidity of contemporary changes.

    • Chief,

      Thanks for the links on abrupt climate change and CO2 concentrations between less than 200 ppmv to more than 400 ppmv between 14,000 and 11,500 years ago.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      It would appear that Chief either did not read or did not understand the significance of Ruddiman’s paper if referenced here:

      http://www.whoi.edu/pclift/Ruddiman.pdf

      For him to not understand that Salby is completely discredited by this paper, and the anthropogenic affects are the most significant difference during this interglacial compared to the past several.,

  59. I do think it is extremely disturbing that well meaning people have to go through such contortions to try and sort through the lies and the facts without a solid scientific background. This was his further concern: Our current warm climate seems to be to due shifts in terrestrial baseline climate factors and not extra planetary shifts which should by rights place us somewhere in the persistently cold phase. If the move from global persistent ice age to global tropical experience is due almost entirely to a shift in atmospheric content, then yes, it is very valid to assert that artificially accelerating that process should accelerate the shift to an even warmer climate, essentially taking the slow impact of the higher CO2 levels that shifted us away from 40% icecap and doubling them. When you look at it only from the perspective of human experience it seems impossible for the climate to shift that much with such a seemingly small cause, but if you look at the climate over a wider scale there is this terrifying portent that already the climate might have shifted away from a much colder mean temperature, rapidly, and in response to a relatively smaller change in GHG.

  60. I’m not sure there isn’t something to extra planetary factors though.
    COSMIC RAYS AND CLIMATE
    Jasper Kirkby CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
    Abstract
    Among the most puzzling questions in climate change is that of solar-climate variability, which has attracted the attention of scientists for more than two centuries. Until recently, even the existence of solar-climate variability has been controversial—perhaps because the observations had largely involved correlations between climate and the sunspot cycle that had persisted for only a few decades. Over the last few years, however, diverse reconstructions of past climate change have revealed clear associations with cosmic ray variations recorded in cosmogenic isotope archives, providing persuasive evidence for solar or cosmic ray forcing of the climate. However, despite the increasing evidence of its importance, solar-climate variability is likely to remain controversial until a physical mechanism is established. Although this remains a mystery, observations suggest that cloud cover may be influenced by cosmic rays, which are modulated by the solar wind and, on longer time scales, by the geomagnetic field and by the galactic environment of Earth. Two different classes of microphysical mechanisms have been proposed to connect cosmic rays with clouds: firstly, an influence of cosmic rays on the production of cloud condensation nuclei and, secondly, an influence of cosmic rays on the global electrical circuit in the atmosphere and, in turn, on ice nucleation and other cloud microphysical processes. Considerable progress on understanding ion-aerosol-cloud processes has been made in recent years, and the results are suggestive of a physically-plausible link between cosmic rays, clouds and climate. However, a concerted effort is now required to carry out definitive laboratory measurements of the fundamental physical and chemical processes involved, and to evaluate their climatic significance with dedicated field observations and modelling studies.
    Keywords aerosols, clouds, climate, solar-climate variability, cosmic rays, ions, global electrical cir- cuit, CERN CLOUD facility
    Published in Surveys in Geophysics 28, 333–375, doi: 10.1007/s10712-008-9030-6 (2007). The original publication is available at http://www.springerlink.com

    • The science isn’t settled.

    • Curiousnc, GCR and Clouds are probably the funniest recent “discovery” in climate science. First, GCR probably don’t have much effect on cloud formation near the surface where the clouds might contribute to cooling. Second, if GCR have a significant impact on cloud formation it will likely be higher altitude clouds that most likely contribute to warming.

      Clouds and aerosols which impact clouds are the largest source of Climate Science uncertainty and getting the cloud/aerosol impact sign wrong is pretty common :)

    • Heh, the cloud sign can change as often as the cloud does, and change they do.
      ============

    • kim, “Heh, the cloud sign can change as often as the cloud does, and change they do.”

      Right, then if they warm the cause more ocean mixing which causes cooling. :) Climate – the gift that keeps on giving.

  61. Well, I took a trouncing. I did try to offer some other ways of seeing things though. I will keep learning! Thanks again for your pointers. :-)

    From K: Ll, all those years studying physics and now I learn that what I learned in lower division, physics going back to the time of Fourier 2 centuries ago, has been overturned. (Fourier, for those not in the field, tried to understand why Earth was warmer than predicted based on the amount of heat we get, and postulated it had something to do with our atmosphere. Many years later, Tyndall discovered the greenhouse gases. That 33°C mistake the paper refers to.) What’s more, this basic lower division physics is still being taught. I guess you don’t have much faith in those who teach or take physics, do you?

    Here’s great news for the authors: anyone successfully showing such basic physics is wrong is a shoe-in for a Nobel Prize. How’s that going?

    For the person who thought the paper is incoherent, I’m going to go with that. So far as I know, it was never published. The authors have never done work in radiative physics or climate change. You get those who disagree smoking causes cancer and that greenhouse gases warm the Earth, with what to me was once a surprising level of overlap, in this case the author disagrees with the science around the dangers of smoking as well. The author uses the term thermodynamics and then depends on people who don’t understand thermodynamics to agree. And why is Venus so warm?

    There’s a rule in the communities that begin with peer review that peer review is necessary but not sufficient. Ideas might get by poor quality review, or might later be shown to be insufficient. Laurel says she disregards everything from scientists who accept IPCC (that is everyone mainstream, these would have been my profs in college, me, etc) and only accepts those who challenge mainstream science.

    Of course I would complain, because it means most of my life, spent in science, was a waste.

    I am unaware that people in science confuse climate change and global warming. But that’s not important to the argument.

    The second part of your answer is that a large amount of variation in temperature, almost 1°C since pre-industrial times, can be explained by the ENSO cycle, or else it can possibly be explained by a bunch of other stuff. This is because the ENSO cycle has changed since pre-industrial times. Or because the bunch of other stuff has changed. Or something. I have difficulty following that portion of your answer as well.

    This is what comes of thinking for one’s self. If one knows the answer before one begins to look, one can find confirmation somewhere on the web. I have the misfortune not only to have spent many years wasted in physics, which Laurel says is wrong from its foundations up, but to have a process by which I frequently learn I’m wrong. Studies show that relatively few people use their reasoning to understand controversial issues, and almost never learn they are wrong. Most use it to better articulate the gut position they had going into it.

    More seriously, Gerlich may be a physicist, but his paper doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t make sense to others in physics.

  62. While governments, NGOs and many individuals are concerned about the potential negative aspects of climate change, especially more severe weather and rising sea levels, the people who would be seriously effected by such are voting with their dollars. And those votes predict “no problem.” There is no lessoning in demand for ocean front development. For example …

    $214 Million Construction Loan Secured for Porsche Design Tower

    Largest loan for a single construction project in the Southeast United States

    New York/South Florida-based Dezer Development today announced that it had closed a $214 million loan from Wells Fargo for construction of the iconic Porsche Design Tower Miami, located in Sunny Isles Beach. It is the largest loan approved for a major construction project in the Southeast United States since the real estate recession, and exponentially larger than any post-recession loan of its kind in South Florida. At $214 million, it is almost 30 percent larger than the previous largest substantive construction loan for a South Florida project since the recovery began.
    [ ... ]
    The sixty-storey Porsche Design Tower will feature three automobile lifts to transport vehicles up to “sky garages” integrated into each of the 132 units.

    http://www.dezeen.com/2013/12/09/car-elevators-in-porsches-miami-tower-will-let-billionaires-drive-into-their-apartments/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s