Open thread

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

198 responses to “Open thread

  1. Why we should focus on removing the impediments that are preventing nuclear power from being a cheap energy source

    1. If we want to massively cut global CO2 emissions over the next half century, policies like Kyoto protocols and carbon pricing are unlikely to succeed.

    2. What is needed instead is cheap energy.

    3. Nuclear power is an effectively unlimited source of cheap, low CO2 emissions energy that is already proven (although not yet as cheap as it could and should be). Renewables are unlikely to be able to make much of a contribution to the world’s energy demand in the foreseeable future, if ever.

    4. To make nuclear cheaper we need to remove the impediments that have been placed on it as a result of 50 years of anti-nuclear propaganda which has caused widespread irrational fear of nuclear power. The USA is best placed to lead the way on removing the impediments (over time).

    5. If we remove the impediments, so that commercial competition can be unleashed, the price will come down sufficiently so that nuclear could replace coal (or most coal and some gas) for electricity generation by 2045. This act alone could reduce global emissions by 15 Gt/a below the projected 2045 emissions – that’s a 1/3 cut of projected CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.

    6. The cut in emissions from allowing cheap nuclear power could be more than just 15 Gt/a. As electricity becomes cheap and high temperature nuclear reactor produce hydrogen, hydrocarbon transport fuels may also be produced.

    7. Breeder reactors will take decades to become commercially viable. They will come eventually, but it is not a near term solution. What is needed in the short term is to develop low-cost small modular nuclear power plants

    • “6. The cut in emissions from allowing cheap nuclear power could be more than just 15 Gt/a. As electricity becomes cheap and high temperature nuclear reactor produce hydrogen, hydrocarbon transport fuels may also be produced.”

      Unlike wind/solar nuclear power is constant. It seems a way to vary the nuclear power electrical power could be to have used to produce hydrogen, etc. So say if 25% to 50% of nuclear electricity power was used
      for this purpose.

    • Peter Lang,

      Not one of your points suggests a way that “unleashing nuclear power” will increase the power of governments, or the progressives who run them and live off of them. In fact, just the opposite.

      Which is all you need to know to understand why progressives are so anti-nuclear power, and will continue to be.

    • Nuclear power is like herpes. It’s not all that bad but no one wants it.

    • Max_OK,

      True. But no one wants to give central control, taxing powers and power to enforce rules to the UN, nor do they want increased energy costs so they don’t want carbon pricing and, once they realise how much renewable energy is costing they wont want that either, and countries don’t want to concede their ability to control their own economies to a massive majority of despotic countries who simply want hand outs to support more corruption.

      So, given these realities, what do you think the people who are concerned about CAGW are most likely to go for?

      I think it’s a matter of education, and it is up to the CAGWers to recognise the realities and lead the way to an economically rational way forward.

    • Or America could start by not being so profligate with its consumption of energy. Its gasoline prices could brought more into line with the rest of the world and the revenue put into paying for energy efficient homes etc.

      Prof Nate Lewis, Chem Dep, Cal tec, says you would need to build a new nuclear power station every day for 20 years to meet Americas energy needs, and since the lifespan of a nuclear power plant is 20 years, it means America would have to build a new nuclear power plant every day for ever.

    • Well, you figures are wrong. But ignoring that, you didn’t mention how much generation capacity you would need to build per day to replace fossil fuels with any other source of low emissions electricity generation. Why not? Try working it out.

      And energy efficiency can reduce energy growth (a little), not stop growth or turn it negative. Thed main game that cannot be ignored if you want to cut global GHG emissions is the world has to have an alternative to fossil fuels that is cheaper than fossil fuels. The obvious solution is nuclear power. It’s hard to deny such clear facts.

  2. From the article (deserved another shot)::
    According to a recent publication from the American Chemical Society, a study performed by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Columbia University Earth Institute of New York came to the conclusion that more than 1.8 million human deaths have been prevented by world nuclear power production from 1971-2009.

    On average, 76,000 deaths were prevented globally every year from 2000-2009 thanks to using nuclear power. A mean of 117,000 deaths per year were prevented alone in Germany between 1971-2009, yet Germany announced plans to shut down all reactors by 2022.

    The estimated human deaths caused by nuclear power from 1971-2009 are far lower than the avoided deaths. Globally, some 4,900 such deaths were calculated, or about 370 times lower than the number of avoided deaths. Around 25% of these deaths are due to occupational accidents and about 70% are due to air pollution-related effects.

  3. There is no doubt that you are absolutely right. But for now many decades we have been unable to get these arguments through. Why should we have a better chance now? Surely not because of Fukushima. I am afraid it is a lost cause. I just hope that the anti alarmist arguments in the climate case will not turn out to become a lost cause of the same veine. I do think that they will not, but I may be too naive; thirty years ago, I was also thinking that reason will some time prevail in the nuclear debate; I was wrong.
    Nuclear will happen in Asia, but in poor safety conditions.

  4. A plea to our Green Betters: Can Australia at least keep a crippling carbon tax rather than move to an ETS based on the blatantly manipulated European price? That way we’ll be impoverishing ourselves (though continuing to rely on ageing coal facilities) for the enrichment of local trough swillers. With an ETS linked to the EU anti-market, a lot of self-loathing and mutually loathing Euro-sophisticates get first place at the trough. Various rogues of international finance who weren’t locked up after 2008 will do better than us with our money, just trading in a fragment of thin air. Hardly seems fair.

    I know the Europeans didn’t come up with the Great Carbon Fiddle – that honour probably belongs to Enron – but they have certainly been quick to see the potential. (How low-carb and nuclear France, destitute of power by the 60s and now the world’s biggest net exporter of electricity, must cackle at the anti-nuclear antics of other states!)

    Really, I love the separate parts of the European continent. But when they all decide to come together for a common purpose the result isn’t a European vision. More often than not, it’s a Eurovision.

    • This article by Australian Senator, Ron Boswell, explains some of the real issues of linking Australia’s ETS to the EU ETS. It is behind a paywall so I’ll copy it in full.

      ETS link can only hurt us
      by RON BOSWELL
      From:The Australian
      August 12, 2013

      IN early June, the winds in the state of Denmark were still. The turbines on the nation’s wind farms were turning slowly. In the suburbs of Copenhagen and other major towns and cities, the price of Denmark’s reliance on renewable energy was exacting a heavy toll on the householders.

      The Scandinavian press reported that on certain days Danish energy costs were up to 10 times those of neighbouring Sweden. The energy cost of a single load of laundry was 88 Danish kronor, or about $17. This is the high price of misguided climate and energy policies.

      That $17 load of washing is an exemplar of a failed policy experiment. It is a stark warning to avoid the costly and failed energy and climate policy approaches of the EU.

      But instead, the Rudd government wants not simply to imitate Europe, but to put Australia’s economic destiny in the hands of the designers of the European energy and climate policy disaster.

      The Rudd government’s decision to switch to emissions trading a year early will also bring forward the so-called link to the European trading scheme.

      The really amazing thing about the link is that Australian industry is much more exposed to the carbon price than are its European counterparts. That means that rises in the European carbon price will have a much bigger impact on Australian industry than on its European competitors.

      The Australian coal sector will be paying the European carbon price, but the European coal sector will not. That’s because methane – the gas generated during the mining of coal – is exempt from the EU ETS, but not from Australia’s scheme.

      The Australian gold industry will be paying the effective European carbon price, but the European gold industry will not. Why is that? The European gold industry is considered trade-exposed by EU bureaucrats, but the Australian government has decided that the local gold industry is not.

      Similarly, the European wine industry is considered trade-exposed, but the same Australian sector is not.

      European sugar producers and dairy processors are considered trade-exposed, but their Australian counterparts are not.

      Why are the jobs in these and 120 other European industry sectors worthy of protection while the jobs in the same Australian sectors are not?

      Why are European manufacturers of watches, ships, pleasure craft, sporting goods, brooms, brushes, chemicals and fertilisers trade-exposed when manufacturers of these goods in Australia are not?

      Why are European manufacturers of workwear, outerwear and underwear deserving of free permits under the European scheme while their competitors in Australia are not?

      The small number of EU industrial firms that do not receive trade-exposed treatment will face a far lower cost burden than do their Australian counterparts.

      Non-trade-exposed industrial firms in the EU will receive 80 per cent of permits free this year, 30 per cent of permits free in 2020, and only be required to buy all their permits in 2027.

      In contrast, non-trade-exposed industrial firms in Australia will buy permits covering 100 per cent of their liability from the first day of the scheme. Not a single European company will be required to buy 100 per cent of its carbon liability until 2027.

      Some argue that the link to the European scheme will mean a lower price for Australian firms. Don’t be so sure.

      There are powerful interests in Europe pushing for a higher carbon price. They want it much higher and for longer.

      Just last month the EU intervened in the carbon market to push the price up.

      That followed pressure from environment ministers from 12 EU member states.

      The ministers said that although “market interference” should be kept to a “minimum”, a “one-off and targeted intervention” was necessary to “minimise market uncertainty and distortions” and promote investment in low carbon technologies.

      This move underlined the indisputable fact that the EU ETS is no market at all.

      And that means that Australian industry is at the mercy of vested interests in Europe. We will be collateral damage.

      In effect, Australia has put its export interests into the hands of the trading bloc that has corrupted global agricultural markets for decades.

      That is a rare act of political incompetence that can only be reversed by scrapping the Gillard-Rudd carbon pricing scheme in all its various forms.

  5. From the article (especially, see the diagram in it):
    According to the Nuclear Energy Institute:

    “As of November 2013, 30 countries worldwide are operating 435 nuclear reactors for electricity generation and 72 new nuclear plants are under construction in 14 countries. Nuclear power plants provided 12.3 percent of the world’s electricity production in 2012. In total, 13 countries relied on nuclear energy to supply at least one-quarter of their total electricity.”

    Despite unfortunate and well-publicized disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear energy has many other benefits as a source of energy and is here to stay. That is because a single uranium fuel pellet the size of a pencil eraser contains the same amount of energy as 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal or 149 gallons of oil. There are no emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide during the production of electricity at nuclear energy facilities. Nuclear energy is the only clean-air source of energy that produces electricity 24 hours a day, every day. As shown below, absent those disasters, nuclear energy is a low cost, low emissions form of power generation.

    • jim2 says: “Despite unfortunate and well-publicized disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear energy has many other benefits as a source of energy and is here to stay.”

      A disaster is a benefit?

  6. Earlier this year I dove right into natural gas as an alternative to diesel for medium to heavy transport in the United States. “Natural Gas And Commerical Transportation: The Hatching Egg”, “U.S. Federal Law, Exports And Subsidies: Natural Gas And The Commerical Trucking Industry” and “Natural Gas And Commerical Transportation: States Act While Feds Mull”. If you are unfamiliar with this topic, these articles and comments provide a solid primer for the concepts surrounding natural gas as it relates to medium or heavy transportation. As time went on, I continued to try to frame this idea to weigh investments and the likelihood that natural gas will find legs in transportation. This article summarizes some of my research and views of this far reaching topic.


    What is the U.S. going to do with natural gas? Whether we intentionally frack for it or it comes as a byproduct of fracking for oil, what do we do? We have a 50% reduction in rig count over the last two years and yet a steadily increasing supply of natural gas.


    Translated from the German by Google. Authored by Fritz Vahrenholt.

    Figure 2 is particularly relevant.

    There is a proposed mechanism whereby adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes global temperatures to rise. But there is no empirical data to show that as the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere increases, global temperatures actually rise.

    There is a proposed mechanism whereby changes in cosmic rays reaching the earth, cause clouds to vary, and global temperatures to fluctuate. But there is no empirical data to show how that this mechanism actually occurs.

    We have two rival hypotheses, neither of which can be proven by empirical data. On what scientific basis, not someone’s opinion, does the IPCC claim that the former is “extremely likely”, 95% certainty, to have features which are correct, and at the same time neglect the latter? And more important, why does the Royal Society, and the American Physical Society unashamedly support this extremely unscientific conclusion?

    • Jim -Why do they support this conclusion? Because they can’t think of anything else. Works for me. After spending millions of hours over the last 25 years thinking about the problem and spending untold millions of dollars on research, they are still at the point where they can’t think of anything else. If we get another decade or so of flat trend lines in global temperatures, perhaps a few more will at least begin to scratch their heads and begin to show more curiosity as to what is really going on.

  8. In response to Judy’s mumbo-jumbo remark:

    But is Gavin honest?

  9. I wonder how much coal and gas it would take to lift a billion (or more ) people out poverty and living a more western type lifestyle in the next century. Would the pollution including the CO2 emissions be good for the environment? If not, how are we going to reduce poverty (with a growing population) to any degree without alternative energy sources?

  10. WHUT has a model CSALT, which he keeps telling us about. He has done an excellent job of curve fitting, but it is not clear that the parameters he has used are the actual drivers of climate. I suspect there could be two reasons why he is pushing this idea.

    1. He is “preaching to the choir”; giving warmists another reason to believe in CAGW.

    2. He is trying to convert us skeptics to become warmists.

    If the former is his motive, I have no comment. If the latter, I suggest that he very soon uses CSALT to forecast what will happen in the future. After Smith et al, Science, August 2007, I suspect there are very few skeptics who believe in the Idea that hindcasting data gives a predictive model. If WHUT wants to persuade us skeptics that CSALT has any merit, he needs to prove that it can forecast the future consistently.

    • WHT believes crude oil in an oil well has to diffuse 10,000 feet or more from the formation to the surface. I think he can be safely ignored.

    • jim2 used to work in the oil industry so can be safely ignored.

      I have no allegiances to the oil industry and have developed models of hydraulically fractured oil wells which estimate how long they will produce and at what rate. For example, the Bakken is described here:

      Nice try at a pre-emptive strike. It never works you know, the truth wins out every time.

    • And then you notice how nervous old buddy Cripwell appears, bringing the CSALT model up for review, without addressing the technical merits.

      This is a progression chart of the CSALT model showing the constituent factors that generate the secular trend, and the fluctuations in temperature — both short term and the long-term pause effects:

      The accumulation of the CSALT factors is compared to the actual data here:

    • “[...] the multiyear variations in the Earth’s rotation rate are due to the mechanical action of the atmosphere on the Earth. The atmosphere creates the moments of frictional and pressure forces that are applied to the Earth’s surface and change the Earth’s rotation rate. The theory allows one to calculate with satisfactory accuracy the multiyear variations in the Earth’s rotation rate, using the available global data on the pressure and wind fields.
      It was found by Sidorenkov (2002a, 2002b, 2004) that the variations observed in the Antarctic ice sheet mass agreed with the mass’s variations required for the explanation of the decade (5–100 year) fluctuations of the Earth’s rotation rate and the secular polar motion. However, this agreement proved to be only the qualitative one. As to the quantitative agreement, the variations observed in the ice masses proved to be 28 times less than the required variations. Sidorenkov (1980a, 1991a, 2002a, 2002b) has proposed that the lithosphere drifts over the asthenosphere. The Earth’s layers that are deeper than the asthenosphere don’t take part in the formation of the observed decade fluctuations. The lithosphere’s moments of inertia are 28 times less than the moment of inertia of the whole Earth and therefore the variations in the Antarctic ice mass exactly correspond to the mass’s variations required for the explanation of the decade fluctuations in the lithosphere’s angular rotation rate.

      The state of the ice sheets in the Antarctic and Greenland depends on the climatic variations. [...] These relationships are explained given the assumption that the lithosphere drifts along the asthenosphere.
      Thus, the research results and observations confirm the hypothesis about the movement of the lithosphere plates under the impact of the atmospheric and oceanic circulation on the decade time scale. The total effect of the movement of all lithosphere plates is interpreted by geophysics as the decadal fluctuations of the Earth’s rotation.
      [...] currents in the ocean are mostly generated by winds [...]
      Burlutskii (Sonechkin and Burlutskiy, 2005) has shown that changes in the hemisphere-average surface pressure for two hemispheres are specularly symmetric. If air pressure increases in the Northern Hemisphere, it decreases in the Southern hemisphere by the same value (the coefficient of correlation is -0.94). He has shown that changes in the global surface pressure are in close correlation with changes in the amount of water vapor in the global atmosphere.The mass of the entire dry atmosphere is constant. Changes in the atmospheric mass are mainly due to changes in the amount of water vapor in it. Hence, the variations in the mean global value of the surface pressure are the reliable indicators of variations in the global value of water vapor in the atmosphere, the latter value significantly affects the temperature of the surface layer of the atmosphere.”

      Sidorenkov (2009)

    • Paul, thanks much for the sidorenkov link, this is the clearest thing i’ve read on this topic, with many new ideas i haven’t previously come across. I realize it was referenced in the stadium wave paper, but I didn’t have the book.

    • That machine’s big enough for a God to fit into, or get tangled in.

    • Sidorenkov (2009) lays a lot of foundations (carefully read section 8.7 first if you’re new to this sort of stuff and you’re short on time), but he leaves out 2 essential keys: (1) Dickey & Keppenne’s (NASA JPL 1997) figure 3 and (2) the implications.

      There can be NO sensible interpretation of Wyatt’s ‘stadium wave’ without deep, firsthand understanding of the preceding.

    • Sorry, WHUT, I was trying to be helpful. I have no idea whether you are interested in convincing me, and, I suspect, most other skeptics, but I was trying to tell you what I am looking for. So far as I am concerned, the sine qua non of a worthwhile model is it’s ability to foretell the future. Noting else much matters.

    • Paul
      Thanks. For this layman it is fascinating stuff. I wonder if these mechanisms 50 years ago would have been qualified as known unknowns or unknown unknowns.

    • A bit clueless. The CSALT model is incorporating the luni-solar cycles because they do improve the fit, with a very sharp Q-factor about the values. This is all stuff that Scafetta, Sidorenkov, and Ian Wilson, further down this thread have been harping about as the climate change salvation. Same for PV but no one can understand his cryptic comments.

      Yet the fact of the matter is that these are small effects in comparison to the CO2 control knob effect. That is what makes this commentary appear so clueless. It’s like you are walking around in a fog.

      The effects must be there as tides are easily observable and they must have an effect on temperature. How can they not? Yet the factor is never more than 0.1C and it is cyclic so it washes out in comparison to the secular trend of CO2.

      Look at Judith Lean’s charts from the AGU meeting the other day and you can see how these components are factored out.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      In reality it is the CO2 control knob that seems relatively minor in the latest warming.

      webby was adding clouds to his ‘model’ the other day. What happened?

      In reality it is not a model. It is multiple linear regression decomposition of the temperature record.

      Prediction of the future of climate is impossible with this or any other technique for many reasons.

      ‘Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space.’ (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

    • Chief does not seem to understand that the CSALT model picking up these factors that Scafetta, Wilson, and Sidorenkov are identifying.

      They are not chaotic because the planetary orbits are not chaotic. They are also small because the forcings are small.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      And webby doesn’t understand that I don’t care about anything but causal mechanisms and not merely inference and correlation. The later is something that is enigmatic in a complex system.

      Do we have a mechanism? Maybe just a working theory. The rotation of the planets influences the location of the barycentre of the solar system – in turn influencing the solar magneto and TSI and – especially – UV.

      This changes the top down modulation of climate influencing ocean and atmosphere circulation and cloud radiation forcing. We have data on cloud changes that need an explanation. Ignoring factors for which there is data doesn’t help.

      I swear it is like talking to goldfish.

      BTW – Poincaré showed that orbits of a three body system are chaotic.

      The uncountable body problem of the solar system is chaotic as well.

    • wrong.

      there could be many reason he is doing this.
      next you cannot measure the reasons he is doing this
      next, it doesnt matter why he does this, maybe he is just bored.

      What he has done is very straightforward analysis.

      You have a time series of historical data.
      You cannot go back in time and regenerate this series in a controlled fashion.
      You cannot change the parameters in a controlled fashion and see what happens in the future

      So. What can you do if your goal is explaining the time series

      A) collect a list of physical forces which you know or suspect drive temperature. We have the Sun, GHGs, volcanos, and various
      natural drivers. make a list.
      B) you dont know if they drive the climate or how much they drive the climate, but you have good physical reasons for putting them on the list.
      You dont need much justification to put them on the list to begin with.

      C) then you see if these “signals”, TSI, C02, etc can explain the temperature series.

      D) if they do explain a good portion of the time series. then you have shown the following: It is possible that these forces actually explain the series.
      If somebody wants to claim that they DONT, then they have the burden of proof. he has shown that the time series contain these other signals, that its possible these signals explain the temperature, and if you cant do better
      then his explanation is good stand in for the truth. Note there can be several different models that all explain the temperature differently. Note this is not proof that the temperature is explained by these things. We dont ever get proof in science. But it stands as model that explains the data. If you want to argue against it, you have to do a better job of explaining. or demonstrate why any particular variable he uses CANNOT have an effect.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      … cloud radiative forcing…

      There is only one way to change the energy content of the Earth – changing either incoming or outgoing radiative flux.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The preferred model is the one Kyle Swanson posted at realclimate.

      The ‘true global warming signal’ is presumed to be that between 1979 and 1998. The big ENSO transitions in 1976/1997 and 1998/2001 are pretty obvious and should be ignored for a number of reasons. So we have a residual of some 0.1 degrees C/decade. The evidence suggests that decadal variability added to warming. How much is the question that i not answerable without real data on changes TOA radiative flux.


      Unsurprisingly – the trajectory of cloud cover mirrors that of surface temperature.

      The other point of the Swanson graph is the unlikelihood of further warming for a decade or more at least. People have done a much better job. With webby we are looking at derivative blog science that is 10 years old at least.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: They are not chaotic because the planetary orbits are not chaotic.

      Planetary orbits are chaotic: check out the Digital Orrery, here for example, is an introduction.:

      A long run in the 1990′s showed that the planetary orbits were never periodic.

      Chief Hydrologist is correct that your csalt model is a multiple linear regression, not a dynamic model. That by itself would not make the model useless, but you make stronger claims about “energy balance” and thermodynamic inputs than is justified by the history of how you constructed it and what the terms in the regression equation are..

    • Matthew R Marler

      ChiefHydrolgist: Unsurprisingly – the trajectory of cloud cover mirrors that of surface temperature.

      In that graph, increased temperature produced (or was associated with) decreased cloud cover. If the decreased cloud cover is in daytime, that is a positive feedback to warming; if at night, it is a negative feedback to warming. Is it known which it is?

    • Here is what WHT said about the movement of crude oil from a oil well:

      @ WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | December 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm |

      Cracks go in all directions and it takes time to follow the 3D random walk out of the maze. Anything with a random walk element is diffusive flow.

    • Chiefy, listen to what Mosh sez.

      If you have something better than I have, put it up there. We can use any criteria available. Aikake Information Criteria (AIC), Bayesian Information Criteria (BIC), doesn’t matter, the better model will score higher.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Put the cloud perturbations in the CSALT model and it will become even greater than it already is. webster

      A much better model has been linked to a dozen times at least – real science and not loser blog science. It suggests that internal variability added to recent warming and that warming is unlikely for decades. From multiple sources we are finding that greenhouse gas warming (1976 to 1998) occurred at some half the rate of naive warmist claims – 0.8 degrees C/decade rather that 0.2 degrees C/decade.

      So webby – what was the rate of warming in the past 65 years and what will it be in the next decades? You need to be specific and not merely engage the mouth and not the brain.

      The model for climate sensitivity?

      He might try refuting these models – but that’s a lost cause. Far better to continue to deny uncomfortable and complex science for a simple empirical decomposition technique that neglects the major forcing change over the past few decades.

      Is webby’s ability to ignore science he doesn’t agree with merely not able to understand or straight up cognitive dissonance?

    • curryja wrote:
      | December 11, 2013 at 11:14 am |

      “Paul, thanks much for the sidorenkov link, this is the clearest thing i’ve read on this topic, with many new ideas i haven’t previously come across.”

      You’re welcome.

      Sidorenkov, N.S. (2009). The Interaction Between Earth’s Rotation and Geophysical Processes.

      “Apart from all other reasons, the parameters of the geoid depend on the distribution of water over the planetary surface.” — Nikolay Sidorenkov

    • ” From multiple sources we are finding that greenhouse gas warming (1976 to 1998) occurred at some half the rate of naive warmist claims – 0.8 degrees C/decade rather that 0.2 degrees C/decade. “

      Chief is wailing away and making sloppy mistakes.

      One thing that people should realize is that the warming rate is not the most fundamental piece, rather it is the climate sensitivity to changes in CO2 level.

      This plot shows how CSALT removes the majority of the natural fluctuations from the 130+ year time series, leaving the primary forcing factor, ln(CO2) , as the remaining strong secular trend:

      If you showed this to somebody and they denied the connection, you would have to scratch your head and probably figure that they had some other agenda behind their denihilism . .

    • _______ _______ _______
      Sidorenkov’s (2009) superior exposition leaves one key omission. I challenge Nikolay to reconsider the role of lunisolar (& confounded solar system) variations in climate by exploring beyond the simplification introduced in section 8.7 on p.184 (pdf p.198):

      “[...] hereafter we will neglect the variations in W [...]”

      When due care is taken to view clustered volatility with balanced methods that are not (nonlinearly) biased by ENSO’s interannual water redistriubtion, equator-to-polar-night spatial gradients are seen to vary in lockstep with the solar cycle as illustrated by Dickey & Keppenne (NASA JPL 1997 Figure 3b) and clarified by Le Mouël, Blanter, Shnirman, & Courtillot (Solar forcing of the semi-annual variation of length-of-day 2010).

      The geometric consequences are simple:

      These insights are governed by the laws of large numbers & conservation of angular momentum.
      _______ _______ _______

      dennis adams wrote:
      | December 11, 2013 at 11:36 am |

      Thanks. For this layman it is fascinating stuff. I wonder if these mechanisms 50 years ago would have been qualified as known unknowns or unknown unknowns.”


      You’re welcome.
      In today’s world they are unknown knowns.


    • Chief Hydrologist

      The underlying net anthropogenic
      warming rate in the industrial era is found to have been steady since 1910 at 0.07
      –0.08 °C/decade, with superimposed AMO related ups and downs that included the early 20th century warming, the cooling of the 1960s and 1970s, the accelerated warming of the 1980s and 1990s, and the recent slowing of the warming rates. Quantitatively, the recurrent multidecadal internal variability, often underestimated in attribution studies, accounts for 40%
      of the observed recent 50-y warming trend.

      This is just one source in a multitude. Each of which webby studiously ignores and expects that we should take his loser blog science seriously.

      It has no implication for ‘climate sensitivity’ which is indeterminate – it varies both spatially and temporally – in a deterministically chaotic system.

      webby’s ideas are lacking key processes. Deliberate misdirection or cognitive dissonance. Yo choose.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: One thing that people should realize is that the warming rate is not the most fundamental piece, rather it is the climate sensitivity to changes in CO2 level.

      I disagree with you there: the warming rate is the most critical thing to know. For CO2 involvement, the most critical thing is the partial derivative of the temp with respect to the CO2 concentration.

      Extremes illuminate the discussion sometimes: if the rate of warming is 0.1C per century there is no problem, even if the sensitivity be 6C per doubling.

    • The most important effect is the direct response of CO2 cast into a log sensitivity. I am not going to argue over that point because it is textbook stuff, see Pierrehumbert.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: I am not going to argue over that point because it is textbook stuff, see Pierrehumbert.

      I have read Pierrehumbert.

      His textbook is almost exclusively about equilibrium approximations, with next to nothing about rates. So if you believe rates don’t matter that’s one thing, but if you want to find out why rates don’t matter it’s not in his book.

      In the Earth system the inflows, cross-flows and outflows all fluctuate, the system is never in equilibrium, but for the last 10,000 years the global mean temperature has fluctuated between finite limits; so the rates are what matter, and in particular the effects that CO2 changes have on rates are what matter in the CO2 debate. If an equilibrium results, which is highly unlikely in light of results on high-dimensional non-linear dissipative systems, it is the result of the balancing of rates and rate changes; but equilibria provide little information on rates in complex systems, and assumed equilibria in systems without equilibria are less informative still.

      The extra accumulated energy in atmospheric CO2 is supposed (calculated under assumptions) to produce an increase of 3.7W/m^2 on the rate of transfer of radiant energy to the Earth surface. Were that to be balanced by an increase of 3.6W/m^2 in the rate of non-radiative heat transfer from the surface to the upper troposphere, then there would be no net increase in the surface mean temperature, other things being equal. Whether this (or other flow balances) can occur is not covered by the equilibrium approximation.

      And as I wrote, if the net warming rate due to CO2 is 0.1C per century, then there is not a problem no matter what the eventual “equilibrium” temperature is calculated to be.

    • So it will be worse than you think as the log sensitivity is what we see right now, both in the ocean and higher on the land. How do you like them apples?

    • Matthew Marler, your argument is equivalent to saying we would not notice a 1% solar increase, because that is of a similar magnitude. Many have argued that the Maunder Minimum was noticeably cold and that was only a tenth of this.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Right over their heads Matthew.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: Matthew Marler, your argument is equivalent to saying we would not notice a 1% solar increase, because that is of a similar magnitude.

      My argument is about rates. A 1% increase in solar output uniformly over 1,000 years is a manageable problem not requiring a $3 trillion in mitigation investments in the upcoming 30 years. Same with a 6K increase in surface mean temp over 6,000 years. With special emphasis if the $3 trillion in mitigation investments can not even be shown to produce the desired effect.

      The claim has been made that the Earth will warm too rapidly for the biota to adapt. But the equilibrium theory has nothing about rates in it, and the many time series of temperature remain rather uncertain about how much of the recent rates of change of anything are related to CO2 increase.

  11. There is way too much pressure to lower CO2 emissions when there is no evidence it will make any difference.

    Temperature and sea level are not going to rise due to a manmade increase of a trace gas. That does not make any sense and there is no actual data that supports it.

    • So you’re totally ignorant of the vast body of evidence demonstrating that both temperature and sea level are rising due to CO2 emissions?

      Why should your ignorance affect public policy? And when are you going to take some steps to correct it?

    • Robert, you write “So you’re totally ignorant of the vast body of evidence demonstrating that both temperature and sea level are rising due to CO2 emissions?”

      I am fully aware of the vast body of hypothetical estimations and the output of non-validated models which claim to show that CAGW is real. I have asked over and over again for empirical, measured data, which proves that as you add more CO2 to the atmosphere form current levels, it causes global temperatures and sea levels to rise. Maybe you can provide me with the references to the data I do not have.

  12. I’ve been thinking a bit about Tasmin Edwards’ argument that scientists should refrain from making any comments on public policy, i.e. abstinence-only climate science education:

  13. Jim Cripwell
    “there is no empirical data to show that as the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere increases, global temperatures actually rise.”
    What would such an experiment look like? I am curious to know how you would confirm or falsify this effect empirically.

    • Empirical evidence doesn’t have to be experimental. The actual fact that when CO2 concentration in the atmosphere increases, global temperatures rise, is of course empirical evidence for the proposition.

      Jim, like so many other deniers, uses the phrase “there is no empirical data” to mean “I am ignorant of all the empirical data.”

    • Entropic man writes – What would such an experiment look like? -

      IF we could do controlled experiments on the earths atmosphere, we would hold all other factors constant, increase the CO2 concentration, and observe any change in temperature. However, we cannot do such controlled experiments, so we need Mother Nature to respond to our efforts at increasing CO2 concentrations. Then we would need to measure a CO2 signal in a modern temperature-time graph, against the background of the noise of natural variations, No such signal has been measured; though the FAR promised one would be discernible by 2002.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Robert says
      “Empirical evidence doesn’t have to be experimental. The actual fact that when CO2 concentration in the atmosphere increases, global temperatures rise, is of course empirical evidence for the proposition.’

      Temperatures don’t necessarily rise, though, Robert. Long haul they SHOULD. That’s not empirical evidence that they have. Empirical evidence of rise is actual rise, not your fevered figurings.

    • Robert
      For a few decades there used to be what was known as the Super Bowl effect. The Hypothesis, driven by a very high correlation coefficient, was that when one of the “old NFL” teams won the Super Bowl, the Stock Market would go up and conversely when those teams lost, the Market went down for the rest of that year. There it was, empirical evidence with a very strong positive correlation. Of course after a few decades it all collapsed since there was no causal relationship, just some weird coincidental correlation.

      When I see graphs of the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm periods and graphs of the Little Ice Age, and recognizing how very little we actually know about the effect on our climate from solar activity, (despite the certitude of the IPCC) it makes me wonder what the 20th century temperatures would have been if Man did not exist.

  14. Speaking of fools and idiots:

    “WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Greenpeace is warning children the world over Santa Claus might not be bringing gifts to them because of global warming.

    A “Save the Arctic” video released by the environmental group shows a sullen and dirty Santa – played by Jim Carter of “Downton Abbey” — in a dark, concrete room with water dripping from the ceiling.

    “Dear children, I regrettably bring bad tidings. For some time now, melting ice here in the North Pole has made our operations and our day-to-day life intolerable and impossible and there may be no alternative but to cancel Christmas,” Santa warned in the Greenpeace video.”

    • This is from a comment to the above article (LMAO)::



      PEER REVIEW: The act of banding together a group of like-minded academics with a funding conflict of interest, for the purpose of squeezing out any research voices that threaten the multi-million dollar government grant gravy train.

      SETTLED SCIENCE: Betrayal of the scientific method for politics or money or both.

      DENIER: Anyone who suspects the truth.

      CLIMATE CHANGE: What has been happening for billions of years, but should now be flogged to produce ‘panic for profit.’

      NOBEL PEACE PRIZE: Leftist Nutcase Prize, unrelated to “Peace” in any meaningful way.

      DATA, EVIDENCE: Unnecessary details. If anyone asks for this, see “DENIER,” above.

      CLIMATE SCIENTIST: A person skilled in spouting obscure, scientific-sounding jargon that has the effect of deflecting requests for “DATA” by “DENIERS.” Also skilled at affecting an aura of “Smartest Person in the Room” to buffalo gullible legislators and journalists.

      JUNK SCIENCE: The use of invalid scientific evidence resulting in findings of causation which simply cannot be justified or understood from the standpoint of the current state of credible scientific knowledge

  15. I had an idea on a previous thread how to reduce fossil fuel production without carbon taxes. Taxation is an approach that may also be inefficient as a way to close down production because it would be too small to be a deterrent. Regulation is another approach that just makes it painful for the industries to keep producing and is politically tough to pursue given the amount of money opposing it. A top-down approach, more designed to appeal to the fossil-fuel executives and capitalists, for whom money is the priority, would be for their governments to pay them large sums of money (proportional to saved carbon) to shut down their own industries. The top executive decisionmakers form a small percentage of these industries, so this is a relatively cheap approach. An alternative is for the government to buy out publicly owned companies by offering generous sums for the shares, and then shut down the businesses with or without the executives. Alternatively they could force these ex-fossil businesses to focus on green energy with healthy subsidies. This top-down approach is akin to cutting the head off the snake which may be what it takes. This shut-down could be done gradually in keeping with emission targets offering the largest rewards to the early takers offering an element of competition. How do the capitalists view a government takeover if they end up being more wealthy out of it?

    • Or, we could just vote out all the socialists and keep living the great life provided by capitalism and individual freedom. Yeah, I like that!

    • So the essence is, you pay the fossil fuel companies for the fossil fuels they leave in the ground at a price that beats what they could sell it for after extracting it. That is, you remove the extraction, transportation and marketing cost from the price, so that it pays them more to leave it where it is, and you can subsidize dismantling the wells and mines. I am not sure what that cost would be, but for coal it might be less than $50 per tonne.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Jim D.

      Sounds wonderful. If you have cement in your head.

      The poor pay the rich to do nothing as the poor shiver and starve in the dark.

      But then who will pay the rich to do nothing?

    • I think your hairbrained scheme just might work, jimmy dee. Like Obamacare is working. About a year after the Obamacrat gubmint starts shutting down fossil fuel production by using borrowed money to buy up resources to be left in the ground, the public will revolt and kick the Obamacrat gubmint idiots out on their dumb little buttocks.

    • Why are you so intent on a top down approach?

      Why don’t you consider the alternative – remove the impediments we have imposed that are preventing nuclear from competing in a level playing field? Why not just allow nuclear to become cheaper than fossil fuels and allow the market to do what it does?

    • Great idea Jim. And how exactly do you propose to generate the energy needed to replace all those evil fossil fuels?

  16. Judith,

    Seems to be a bias with media coverage in the category of record cold…–politics.html

  17. From the summary:
    “The international monetary system collapsed three times in the past hundred years—in 1914, 1939, and 1971—and the next collapse is already in sight. This time the dollar won’t save us. In fact, the dollar itself will be the cause of the crisis.

    Central bankers and the head of the IMF candidly admit that monetary policy is in unchartered waters. The world is witnessing no less than a global money experiment. Savers, investors, and everyday citizens are the guinea pigs in the central bankers’ laboratory.

    Bestselling author James Rickards explains why money and wealth have now become separated. Money is transitory, ephemeral, and may soon be worthless if central bankers continue on their current path. Wealth is permanent, tangible, and has real value worldwide. Gold, fine art, and land are forms of wealth. Investors who convert paper money into real wealth will survive the coming monetary maelstrom. But those who do not will lose what they have.”

  18. Look what unfettered capitalism with dirty energy has done to the environment in China. Who bears all of the external costs? Certainly not the corporations who are the doing the polluting. No it’s the people who are paying and going to pay with their health.

    • The socialist market economy is the economic model employed by the People’s Republic of China. It is based on state-owned enterprises and an open-market economy, and has its origins in Deng Xiaoping’s ideological concept socialism with Chinese characteristics – Wikipedia.
      The pollution there seems to belong to the state to a large extent.

    • Yep, that unfettered capitalism has created a middle class in China. Nasty capitalism. I don’t think you’ll hear the Chines whining about “external” costs. As they get richer and overtake the West in their opulence, it will be the West wishing it had some of those “external” problems with which to deal.

    • From the article:
      For over thirty years, China’s economy has been a disruptive and powerful force in the global economy. Now, China’s newly minted leadership has the challenge of managing this powerful economy as it shows signs of tiring. Problems of high inflation, rising property values, and a high level of bad government debt all threaten to throw China’s economy off track. Further privatization has been accepted as a way to combat these challenges, particularly in opening up government project contracts previously offered exclusively held by state-owned enterprises to the private sector. To really ensure effective privatization, China must develop a culture of innovation that gives Chinese people more ownership over the direction of this giant economy.

    • From the article:
      Rubber Trades Near Two-Month High as China Car Sales Climb
      By Supunnabul Suwannakij and Aya Takada Dec 10, 2013 9:16 PM CT

      Rubber futures in Tokyo held near a two-month high as car sales advanced in China, the biggest consumer of the commodity used in tires, and amid optimism that a global economic recovery will boost demand.

    • The Chinese are doing nothing new. They are following in the footsteps of the Germans, Italians and Japanese in the 1930s and 40s, and the post 1992 Soviet Union. It’s economic fascism/perestroika with an Asian face.

    • Make that pre-’92 Soviet Union.

    • “”The pollution there seems to belong to the state to a large extent.”

      Exactly it is a state where the public and private sector are unregulated with regards to their generation of pollution. That’s what I mean by unfettered The fact that the public sector is also unregulated is irrelevant.


      China state media under fire for arguing benefits of smog

      (Reuters) – Commentaries by two of China’s most influential news outlets suggesting that the country’s air pollution crisis was not without a silver lining drew a withering reaction on Tuesday from internet users and other media.

      In online commentaries on Monday, state broadcaster CCTV and the widely read tabloid the Global Times, published by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, both tried to put a positive spin on China’s smog problem.

      The Global Times said smog could be useful in military situations, as it could hinder the use of guided missiles, while CCTV listed five “unforeseen rewards” for smog, including helping Chinese people’s sense of humor.

      While both pieces have since been deleted from their websites, Chinese newspapers lost little time in denouncing their point of view, in an unusual case of state media criticizing other state media, showing the scale of the anger..

      ..Large parts of eastern China, including the country’s prosperous and cosmopolitan commercial capital Shanghai, have been covered in a thick pall of smog over the past week or so, though Beijing’s normally filthy air has been relatively clear.

      Users of Sina Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, also vented their outrage over the CCTV and Global Times’ comments.

      “The smog crisis covering large parts of China has revealed the failure of the government’s development strategy of only going after GDP (growth). CCTV is shameless in trying to cover up for their masters,” wrote Wu Bihu, a professor at the elite Peking University.

    • Joseph, that stuff about smog is priceless! Thanks a bunch for sharing!

    • Lots of oversimplifications here. Too many to really contest.

      China is growing, using capitalism, retaining socialism and the central government is trying to maintain the illusion of control. In fact, regions and municipalities are making important decisions. Lots going on here, actually.

      Shanghai municipality made the decision to retire more than 2,000 coal fired boilers in and around the city. Hooray. Air quality has recently set a record for worst concentrations of small particulates since they began measuring. Boo. Shanghai capitalism has led to a great housing boom with thousands of real estate millionaires. Hooray. There are between 3 5 million empty apartments in the city. Boo.

      Anybody who tells you they understand what’s happening in China is perhaps exaggerating the extent of their comprehension. That includes me. But it’s a helluva ride.

  19. The latest casualty of global warming?


    Who knew Fidel Castro was Santa?

  20. Privatize US Socialism!

  21. Randy Sheckman, 2013 Nobel prize winner in Medicine & Physiology to boycott Nature, Cell, and Science.

    • Amazing. Science Mag actually publishes this juvenile, defensive crap and calls out a Nobel laureate for (entirely fabricated) hypocracy. And sound snarky from start to finish. And the editor has the temerity to accuse him of cupidity underneath the article. All I can say is, so far, the only journal in my fields (Econ and Psych) that does anything remotely resembling this is Psychological Science. No Econ journal ever does anything like this. Science Mag has become a tabloid. Un be lievable.

    • The comment was written by Chris Lee, an associate writer of the arstechnica site. I don’t think he is in any way connected to Science. He did also add a lengthy further comment where he backs off from his original writing – and actually agrees on much of the critique presented by Scheckman.

      The role of Nature and Science has always been somewhat controversial. Chris Lee comments on the reasons of that:

      First they want to publish “high impact” research, which is pretty much impossible to judge. And, second, they want to publish stuff that is interesting to a broad cross section. But, truly game-changing research is hard to present in a way that is scientifically acceptable to your peers and sufficiently accessible to be of interest to the broader scientific community. Therefore, Science and Nature are forced to choose from the tiny overlap of papers that might be important and are still readable. That seems like a recipe tht encourages risky publishing decisions and a high failure rate.


      I dislike the fact that the journalistic arm is so strongly coupled to the scientific publishing arm. The News and Views/Perspectives is dominated by what is published in Science and Nature (and a few sister journals). I have argued before that this is wrong and I still believe that to be so.

      I wonder whether his profile as a contributor to arstechnica tells about the background of his original text.

    • Dr Sheckman is completely right, the ‘need’ to publish in ‘Nature, Cell, and Science’ to increase ones chances of getting a NIH grant (currently funding 17% of grant proposals) is leading to people cutting corners and not accurately describing all their results.

  22. What may denizens make of this essay from Dr. William Gray ?

    No ad homs please

    There are several assertions in this essay, but they are identified as such. There seems to me to be much meat on William’s bone here

    • Sounds good to me (a non-scientist).

    • Starting the essay with the certainty of William Gray (emphasis mine)

      My 60-year experience in meteorology has led me to develop a profound disrespect for the philosophy and science behind numerical climate modeling. The simulations that have been directed at determining the influence of a doubling of CO2 on Earth’s temperature have been made with flawed and oversimplified internal physical assumptions. These modeling scenarios have shown a near uniformity in CO2 doubling causing a warming of 2-5oC (4-9oF). There is no physical way, however, that an atmospheric doubling of the very small amount of background CO2 gas would ever be able to bring about such large global temperature increases.

      makes me stop reading at that point. I can accept that people are skeptical on the quantitative results, but being so sure, when all well understood arguments tell the opposite as the most direct (no-feedback) effect, tells me that William Gray is unlikely to have anything valuable to say.

    • Pekka said, “makes me stop reading at that point.”

      That’s a shame because “Physically” A doubling of CO2 would be limited to a 0.8 to 1.5 C impact, anything greater should require a very convincing argument. All of the issues so far are with the “value added effects” that never had that, at least to the “skeptics”. 4.5C might be possible for the land only area with 1 C more likely for the oceans resulting in a more likely high range of 2C. Pretty much what better data indicates.

    • Pekka, the fact that you find that assertion by Gray unacceptable does not mean that he has nothing of value to contribute. It’s a short piece, read it all and let us know whether or not you find anything of merit.

    • Faustino,

      I read trough it. My conclusions is unchanged. Gray has nothing to add to the discussion. Many statements that he presents are surely right, but from what he writes, it’s totally impossible to tell which are right and which wrong. Such a text is totally useless. Everyone with some preconception may easily maintain that unchanged, and everyone lacking those on some point may equally well learn correct and erroneous ideas.

    • “There is no physical way, however, that an atmospheric doubling of the very small amount of background CO2 gas would ever be able to bring about such large global temperature increases.”

      the physical way this happens is easy to understand. Any competent engineer can figure it out. Therefore, Gray is incompetent.

    • Thank you for the replies

      Not much enlightenment, I fear … essentially Gray’s assertion is countered with other assertions, so the mystical “positive feedbacks” remain in their black box. [Mosher's silly ad hom was expected; I know I can't have evrything]

      @captdallas – you will notice that my initial post used the singular “bone”

    • Steven Mosher, “the physical way this happens is easy to understand. Any competent engineer can figure it out. Therefore, Gray is incompetent.”

      Guy Callandar was a steam engineer. I suspect a large portion of the luke warmer crowd as in 2C or less are engineers. That means they likely doubt anything over 3C is possible. They must about as incompetent as Gray then.

      ian, Apologies the William’s bone got me.

    • The impossibility arguments of the type of Gray’s are not about a factor of two or three in the climate sensitivity. Nobody would choose the wording of Gray for such an argument. Therefore he looses all credibility by that single sentence.

    • Pekka, “The impossibility arguments of the type of Gray’s are not about a factor of two or three in the climate sensitivity. Nobody would choose the wording of Gray for such an argument. Therefore he looses all credibility by that single sentence.”

      Kind of a China Syndrome interpretation. It has to be considered “possible” no matter how improbably.

  23. Humans react differently (top row) to a sudden changes in the weather conditions, as demonstrated by this photo taken during yesterday’s pouring rain

  24. End of year approaching. Has anyone got some insights or predictions for this years figures and how next year will start? With the above normal sea ice all year increasing the albedo and reflectiveness one would expect 2014 to be a much colder year, or is there a negative feedback loop in there I am missing

    • i’ll give you a prediction. sea ice and albedo will be a minor effect averaged out globally. ENSO models predict neutrality through midsummer. so 2014 will be like 2013 maybe with a colder start in the NH. ice decline will pause again just to keep things interesting. but it will still be in the top 10 warmest years ever. if an el nino starts forming in the fall, it will be warmer than 2013. how’s that?

    • There’s neutral, and then there’s neutral. A neutral leaning largely toward La Nina has produced warming. A neutral leaning toward El Nino could send 2014 1 thru 5 in the warmest years rankings.

    • hmmm…we had a fake el nino earlier this year and things got warmer. i admittedly have not run the numbers.

    • bill-c – I think it was a fake El Nino in the last half of 2012, and what could be called a fake La Nina at the outset of 2013. But the majority of the ONI periods 2012 to date have been either La Nina or leaning La Nina.

      Anyway, my hunch is 2014 is going to be top 5.

  25. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Why are climatic “scientist” not capable of seen the evidences against their believes on climate change? I honestly believe that is for the enormous amount of money in play.
    I have been presenting to some climate scientist:
    but none of them (including JC) seem to be capable of changing their minds.
    The last episode has been this week with Dr Tamsin Edwards. If one has a blog, he is exposed to critics by people that could be wrong or right about his blog. But Mr Tasmin, did not even accept to post my critical comment in his blog:
    Despite that it is evident that from any honest climatic change study, running during the next centuries, all what climatologist will get from that study is the uncertainty. Only after thousands of years we will had collected enough data to go from complex-correlations towards setting certain causalities.

    • That’s a Tamsinian Woman U R talkin’ 2 there.

    • Tamsin is a young woman, as the picture of the cute young woman in the upper right hand side of her blog should alert you.
      If you have problems differentiating between the genders, differentiating between the various factors that drive Earths climate are likely to be beyond you.

    • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

      “If you have problems differentiating between the genders, differentiating between the various factors that drive Earths climate are likely to be beyond you”.
      I am a little tired of all that smart people that critizise this document:
      without reading it.
      DocMartyn, if you have any scientific arguments against my “Refuting …” please write them all. I don’t care if you are a female or a male.

  26. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Pekka Pirilä says “The certainty of William Gray [featured post on WUWT] (emphasis mine)

    “There is no physical way, however, that an atmospheric doubling of the very small amount of background CO2 gas would ever be able to bring about such large global temperature increases.”

     … makes me stop reading at that point.

    Pekka Pirilä is entirely correct: unsupported ideology-driven denialist claims by non-scientists that are wildly at odds with two centuries of scientific discovery may reasonably be ignored.

    It is striking that 109 responses by WUWT commenters predominantly and uncritically endorse William Gray’s denialist worldview.

    Conclusion By Pekka Pirilä’s logic, WUWT as a climate-change forum may reasonably be ignored, on grounds that denialist cognition and discourse “within-the-bubble” is predominantly non-rational and non-scientific.

    It’s not complicated, Climate Etc readers!

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

    • Except that measurements from the surface stations (not the published temperature series that’s in part based on these measurements and the rest that’s made up) doesn’t show much if any increase in average maximum temp, nor any decrease in night time falling temps.

  27. Looking over some old papers, I came across this prospectus for 21st century physics by Michel Baranger.

    As this forum has a strong bias towards matters of complexity and chaos, some may find it suggestive of where the science should be heading.

    • thx for this link, very nice paper

    • I don’t have time for an extended discussion right now, but I’ll offer a couple of speculative thoughts:

      Many people have suggested that complexity occurs “at the edge of chaos”, but no one has been able to make this totally clear. Presumably it means something like the following. Imagine that the equations of motion contain some “control” parameter which can be changed, depending on the environment (examples: temperature, concentration, intensity of some external effect like sunlight). We know that most nonlinear systems are not 100% chaotic: they are chaotic for some values of the control parameter and not chaotic for others. Then there is the edge of chaos, i.e. the precise value of the control for which the nature of the dynamics switches. It is like a critical point in phase transitions. It is the point where the long-range correlations are most important. Perhaps complex systems, such as biological systems, manage to modify their environment so as to operate as much as possible at this edge-of-chaos place, which would also be the place where self-organization is most likely to occur. It makes sense to expect self-organization to happen when there are strong long-range correlations.

      Is it possible that the dynamical system represented by the ocean/atmosphere/ice cover interaction is actually “self-organizing” to the extent that it maintains itself on this critical “edge of chaos” (in some respect)?

      Another speculation along this line, dating back to the ’90′s when I first discovered “chaos theory”, involves stellar evolution and the “main sequence”: the classical assumption is that most main sequence stars evolve in a fairly set pattern. However, this evolution involves a deep “convective layer”, a fertile breeding ground for extremely complex systems of the type described above. Is it possible that the process of “leaving the main sequence” isn’t determined by running out of hydrogen in the core, or at least not entirely so, but also by the evolution of self-organizing complex systems within the turbulence of convective layers? If they are operating “at the edge of chaos”, perhaps there is a continual probability of crossing a “tipping point” due to internal variation, such that the lifetime of a particular stellar mass could vary over an order of magnitude depending on unpredictable factors in the evolution of its “convective layer(s)”.

      Complexity involves an interplay between cooperation and competition.

      This is typically interpreted in terms of living systems, however it strikes me that it could also apply to the evolution of vortexes in a turbulent system. Especially in terms of energy transfer and size growth. Smaller and larger vortexes could be seen as “competing” for the energy contained in the larger, while “cooperating” in their overall dissipation of energy. (Of course it’s somewhat of a semantic conundrum, but such things interest me.)

    • AK,

      That’s interesting…intelligent fluid dynamics.

    • AK
      It strikes me as quite reasonable to imagine the troposphere “on the edge of chaos”. Thermal gradients are closely tied to the adiabatic lapse rate beyond which the atmosphere is absolutely unstable wrt convection and structures labeled H and L appear on the weather maps. In qualitative terms, thermodynamic solutions seek minimal gradients and formation of such structures is an efficient pathway for dissipating energy while keeping the surface as cool as possible. I’m not aware of analyses for the number/lifetime/energy/etc of these structures over the recent period.

  28. We are having some early cold weather in Canada and the USA The MSM is Canada is, of course, reporting this, but there is no mention of CAGW. I am certain that if this were a warm event, rather than a cold one, we would see “experts” from the warmist side saying how this was clear proof that CAGW is real. These sort of people are Elizabeth May and Andrew Weaver, who are elected officials from the Green Party, or someone form the Sierra Club, or Canadian Wildlife Fund.

    So, unfortunately, here in Canada, the MSN has not yet got the message that the good ship CAGW is sinking, fast.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Hey Jim,

      For every down there is an up. That cold air coming down over Canada is because of an extreme loop in the polar jet, that had also brought record warmth to the Arctic on the northward part of that jet.

    • I think the question should be is what is the area bounded by the polar jet stream. It changes shape, but does it change it’s area as well, and has the area been constant over the last 100 years? A change in size could account for much of the measured warming.

  29. We are having some late cold weather in Australia, snow in summe,r ditto for MSM. May have to put the December quatloos on a lower outcome

  30. The following paper may be of interest to some:

    Wilson, I.R.G.: The Venus–Earth–Jupiter spin–orbit coupling model,
    Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 147-158

    • Looking briefly at the paper, my first question is, whether it makes sense at all to consider separately the effects of the three planets. The sun is not influenced separately by each planet but by a single gravitational field. Therefore that field and its derivatives should be considered and suns location. The derivatives tell about the single tidal force that affects sun at each moment. Then you can look, how this single tidal force (and also higher derivatives of the gravitational field vary.

      I would be surprised, if the effect found in the paper would manifest itself at a plausible level in the variations of the gravitational field that affects the sun. It’s more likely that the tangential torque either disappears totally or is found to be still several orders of magnitude weaker than the effects that have been studied previously. This analysis is fully doable, while it does certainly require some more theoretical work. It’s, however, the only way of getting results that we should consider potentially meaningful. Shortcuts like the one presented in the paper have a high likelihood of producing totally spurious results.

  31. For those of us who like warmth, rather than cold, and who live in the Northern Hemisphere, today is a banner day. Our winter, here in Canada, officially starts at the solstice. Today is the earliest sunset. From here on, until late spring, the evenings are getting lighter. We get the first harbinger of spring before winter officially starts. But then, I am an eternal optimist; my glass is always half full.

  32. I have a physics question that I hope someone can help me with.
    I have two temperature monitoring stations and I record the minimum and maximum daily temperature, in June, when we have 300 ppm [CO2].
    Then human kind injects CO2 into the atmosphere and raises the atmospheric level to 400 ppm, and I measure daily Tmax and Tmin, at both stations.
    As it happens, one station is at sea level and the other nearby station is on a (snow-less) mountain a mile above sea level.
    a prior, what will be the differential effect of increased back-radiation, caused by an increase of 100 ppm CO2, on Tmax and Tmin, at the two stations, in the same local, but separated by one mile of altitude?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Are there oceans on your planet DocMartyn? If so, you are better-off monitoring global sea-level rise (from steric expansion and polar ice-melt), on grounds that local humidity-variations will mask the local radiative effects that you seek to observe.

      Is sea-level rising in your neighborhood, Doc Martyn?

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

    • Are their brain cells left in your skull FOMD, just STFU if you cannot add anything to a simple physics question asked in good faith.

      Just Google ‘good faith’ to work out what it means.

    • Doc, Shame on you asking tough questions. What you trying to do get them to actually think or something?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn discourses “Are their brain cells left in your skull FOMD, just STFU.”

      Your logic and even acronyms are puzzling DocMartyn!

      STFU: Science The Foundation of Understanding, perhaps is what you hoped to convey?

      It’s not easy to conceive any other charitable understanding of your post!

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

    • on average
      assume the sea level station is at X C
      the station at 5280 feet (1609 meters ) will be at X – lapse rate (1.6km)
      the lapse rate can change by season and location but we can use a canonical ~6.4C per km.. or -10.24 C at 1.6km
      sea level would be X
      at 1mile ASL or 1.6km ASL you have X-10.24C

      If you add 100ppm of C02, theory holds that the lapse rate will actually change, although measuring this has been difficult.

      As for the back radiation.. hmm not sure.

    • So Steve, the lapse rate will theoretically change so that if we used paired sites, in near local, we should see differential changes in both Tmin and Tmax.
      We could pick locals with high and low humidity and tease out the putative water amplification.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn, if yours were a proposed clinical study of the “efficacy” of CO2 in respect to warming, how much information could reasonably be gleaned from a one-patient case-study?

      Doesn’t Trenberth and Fasullo’s recent An apparent hiatus in global warming? instantiate a superior statistical/physical study design?

      The world wonders!

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

  33. “Pekka Pirilä is entirely correct: unsupported ideology-driven denialist claims by non-scientists”

    Is it also “unsupported” when models predict an increase in temperatures with increased CO2 and instead reality deals a pause?

    Or do we just say the deep oceans ate our homework?

  34. Is it scarier to believe humanity is here and along for the ride – weather good or bad thanks to God – or, as Western school teachers of have come to preach: humanity is working for its own ends and together, are calamitously heating the globe and about to destroy the Earth?

  35. Walt Allensworth

    What worries me far more than a degree or two of warming from CO2, if this is even a reality (and we have no empirical evidence to support it yet) is the fact that 90% of the time the earth is in a glacial period. We are roughly 10,000 years into an interglacial period and overdue to drop out of it and back into a glacial period. IF that happens, crops will fail all over the world and billions will die of starvation. Billions.

    We don’t have the foggiest idea what causes the earth to come out of, or go into a glacial period.

    Are we even spending money to try to figure this out?

    This seems to be a far more important question to humanity than the climate sensitivity of a trace gas that we know is orders of magnitude less important than water-vapor.

    • the question has already been explored and there is a good answer. little threat of going into a glacial period anytime soon.

      And CO2 is not orders of magnitude less important than water-vapor. Without CO2 in the atmosphere the Earth’s atmosphere would be too cold to hold a lot of that water vapor. Guess what happens then.

  36. I’d like for Dr. Curry to take a long weekend to the mountains of North Georgia and reflect on “what should be the end-game” of this blog? There are many “knowledge seeking trolls” like me on this blog that believe that Global Warming is a serious issue, but don’t have a clue on what (if any) actions should be taken. I’d like for Judith to blog more about the topic of how to deal with scientific uncertainty. Are there any aspects/issues of Global Warming where there can be a consensus of higher scientific probability? If so, what are they? Is there anything that a majority of people could agree about?

  37. China’s Renewables Industry Is Headed For Collapse

    “China’s aggressive push to “green” its economy and become the world leader in renewable energy is admired by many commentators in the West. Those admirers need to look again. The country’s solar panel industry, which went from zero to become the world’s largest in five years, has crashed, with most producers now suffering from negative profit margins, soaring debt levels and idle factories. China’s experience with wind power is little different. China’s green crash is a textbook example of what happens when central planners substitute their economic decrees for the complex supply and demand decisions of a market.” –Patricia Adams and Brady Yauch, Financial Post 9 December 2013
    Source: GWPF daily newsletter

  38. Britain’s Unilateral CO2 Targets ‘May Have To Be Abandoned’:

    “Britain may have to abandon its climate change targets if other countries failed to cut emissions, the chairman of the ­government’s advisory body has said. Lord Deben (formerly the Conservative Environment Secretary John Gummer) said: “There is no point in you doing your bit for climate change if no one else is doing it.” ” –Ben Webster, The Times, 11 December 2013
    Source: GWPF daily newsletter

    • After Cameron’s leaked comment about “getting rid of all the green crap”., my guess is that if this givernement win the next election, a lot of the green crap really will be dumped and we will have a return to pragmatism, common sense and doing what needs to be done. Not before time, imho, but if the other lot get in, it will be back to hair shirts or worse…


  39. In New Atlantis (1624), Francis Bacon described a technocratic Utopia in which a scientific priesthood made decisions for the good of the state as a whole. The Fellows of this scientific ‘Order or Society’ wore long robes and were treated with a respect that their power and dignity required. The head of the order travelled in a rich chariot, under a radiant golden image of the sun. As he rode in procession, ‘he held up his bare hand, as he went, as blessing the people’.

    In the 1950’s George Sarton wrote “Truth can be determined only by the judgement of experts . . . Everything is decided by very small groups of men, in fact, by single experts whose results are carefully checked, however, by a few others. The people have nothing to say but simply to accept the decisions handed out to them. Scientific activities are controlled by universities, academies and scientific societies, but such control is as far removed from popular control as it possibly could be.”

    I wonder if both these gentlemen had the IPCC in mind?

    • Walt Allensworth

      Principles upon which the very existence of the IPCC is based.
      (and I’m not being sarcastic in the least)

  40. WebHubTelescope (@whut) | December 11, 2013 at 12:13 pm |

    Have a look at my blog post in a couple of hours to see how mistaken you are in your claims. The way in which the tidal forces are included in the models is completely wrong.

    You also might want to have look at this paper

    Wilson, I.R.G., 2013, Are Global Mean Temperatures
    Significantly Affected by Long-Term Lunar Atmospheric
    Tides? Energy & Environment, Vol 24,
    No. 3 & 4, pp. 497 – 508

    before you embarrass yourself with claims that the tidal effects only amount to 0.1 C.

    • your paper is a lot more cautious than you are here.

      “Hence, the IPCC needs to take into consideration the possibility that long term Lunar atmospheric tides could be acting as a trigger to favor either El Niño or La Niña conditions and that these changes in the relative frequency of these two type of events could be responsible for much of the observed changes in the world mean temperature during the 20th century.”

      This is guesswork and speculation, not science.

    • I think most climate scientists don’t look at this effect because they know it is quite small over the time frames we are interested in. You are looking at it because you want the effect to be large so that you can then justify ABCD.

      OTOH, eventually these orbital effects have a large impact if we are to believe the influence of Milankovitch cycles.

  41. Pekka Pirilä | December 11, 2013 at 9:28 am said:

    “The sun is not influenced separately by each planet but by a single gravitational field.”

    True, but what does that have to do with the price of eggs? Are you saying that if we look at the effects of luni-solar tides on the Earth’s oceans we cannot look at the lunar and solar tidal effects separately? Surely not!

    The science debate is full of naysayers that won’t even look at certain results because they do not fit their preconceived prejudices. You remind me of the Catholic Bishops who would not even look at Jupiter through Galileo’s telescope out of the fear that they might see the Medician stars.

    • Ian,

      There are no separate lunar and solar tides on Earth, only the tides that result from the combined influence of the moon and the sun.

      As long as creation of tides is considered using linear perturbation approximation, both can be considered separately and summed up. That’s a good approximation. The problem of your paper is that you claim that the combined effect of three planets is not such a sum of the effects of Jupiter, Venus and Earth, but you propose that there would be a stronger effect from a different way of putting the influences of the three planets together. That claim is simply false. Any effect of such nature is not stronger but many orders of magnitude weaker than the more direct effects. Your hypothesis seems to be simply wrong.

  42. lolwot | December 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm said

    “This is guesswork and speculation, not science.”

    No it is based upon observational evidence that no one has yet
    refuted in the peer reviewed literature:

    Wilson, I.R.G., Long-Term Lunar Atmospheric Tides in the
    Southern Hemisphere, The Open Atmospheric Science Journal,
    2013, 7, 51-76

    I am still waiting for a scientific refutation of my paper. You are welcome to contribute to this scientific discussion by submitting your alternative ideas to the peer reviewed literature. Maybe then we can continue the discussion?

    • Sounds like nonsense to me. Energy and Environment? please.

      ENSO is flat over the 20th century. Ie no correlation with 20th century warming.

    • there may be some negligible influence (either warm or cold over the 20th century – you speculate only on warm…) but you overplay it by suggesting that it could explain “much” of 20th century warming.

    • The SOI is definitely flat over the years. Whenever this index goes up, it eventually comes down. AKA fluctuations.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      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. Tsonis, A. A., K. Swanson, and S. Kravtsov (2007), A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts, Geophys. Res. Lett.

      That the SOI sums to zero over any period of interest is a nonsense that continues to be preached. The reality is that ENSO was dominated by El Nino in the period of recent (1976 to 1998) warming. Add it up.


      The decadal mode is evident in the instrumental record – La Nina dominant to 1976, El Nino to 1998 and a shift back to La Nina. This of course mirrors the trajectory of surface temperature exactly. It is no coincidence. 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.

      If you want to zero it out in the short term (decades) – you need to look at a complete cycle of warm and cool modes – i.e. 1945 to 1998 and figure out a rate of warming – 0.08 degrees C/decade.

      So let’s take that as an upper estimate.

      Longer term seems very likely to see a 1000 year La Nina dominance driven by a solar control variable in this complex and dynamic (chaotic) system.


      More salt in the Law Dome equals La Nina. This is a very complex system and superficial claims just doesn’t cover it.

    • You really have to study how illogically the Chief thinks. He asserted the following two inconsistent statements:

      “That the SOI sums to zero over any period of interest is a nonsense that continues to be preached. The reality is that ENSO was dominated by El Nino in the period of recent (1976 to 1998) warming. Add it up.


      If you want to zero it out in the short term (decades) – you need to look at a complete cycle of warm and cool modes – i.e. 1945 to 1998 “

      The two passages state first that SOI does not sum to zero, but then the Chief says that it zeros out if we wait for a complete cycle. And of course we are seeing that in the long term SOI numbers.

      This is a running average of the SOI values over 100 years, with the index transformed to an equivalent warming via the CSALT model

      Notice that the mean reverts to zero over the long run.

      The Chief is simply spewing FUD with his assertions. Confusion is the bast friend of the contrarian.

  43. From the article:

    U3O8 demand is driven by nuclear power reactors-as of December 1 this includes 434 operable, 71 under construction, 173 planned and 314 proposed worldwide. There are also thousands of science and medical research reactors, plus hundreds of nuclear powered military vehicles such as submarines and aircraft carriers. More nuclear power reactors are in the works today than even before Fukushima!

    Current uranium demand already exceeds mine production, and future supplies have no chance of keeping up unless prices at least double. More anticipated major mine expansions are now on hold due to low prices, from Kazatomprom and ARMZ recently-two of the world’s three largest uranium producers. The 20-year U.S./Russian HEU Agreement to down-blend uranium from nuclear warheads into fuel just ended-no longer providing ~24Mlbs. per year that made up most of the U.S.’ shortfall.

    How did uranium prices get this low if the fundamentals are so strong? Simply because markets can overreact on both the upside and downside. Psychological greed and fear of the unknown move investors to ignore even obvious facts and make rash investment decisions. This NY Times article, Fear vs. Radiation: The Mismatch, discusses nuclear fears that simply don’t match the facts outlined.

  44. WHT should take heed:
    From the article:
    After just two years of active development drilling in the Marcellus, Southwestern Energy (SWN) is beating its own production targets in the play by… three years.

    Slightly over a year ago, speaking at an investor conference, CEO Steven Mueller laid out the company’s operating plan in the Marcellus. At that time, the Marcellus was still perceived as an emerging asset in Southwestern’s Fayetteville-dominated portfolio. The plan called for a remarkably steep production ramp up in the Marcellus, to over 500 MMcf/d (gross) by the end of 2013, reaching “almost 800 MMcf/d” (gross) in 2017. Southwestern was expecting to run a continuous 4-rig program. The plan sounded quite aggressive in September of last year as Southwestern had virtually no production coming out of the Marcellus as of mid-2011 and was producing just 166 MMcf/d (gross) as of mid-2012.

    Southwestern’s case confirms what has become the “Marcellus Forecasting Rule:” every most optimistic forecast shall prove outlandishly conservative a year later.

  45. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    This is a fairly important statement by the geological society on climate chage and the paleoclimate data:

    I do not expect many “skeptics” to like it.

    • I’m a non- believer, rather than a skeptic.

      If you re-read the article, you probably won’t like it. I do, particularly where the the author writes “These pioneer studies and subsequent bodies of work have demonstrated, beyond reasonable doubt, the thermal insulating properties of atmospheric CO2, which can be measured experimentally. ”

      He is absolutely correct. However, he seems to overlooked the easily demonstrated fact that interposing a thermal insulator between a source of heat and an absorber of same does not raise the temperature of the target.

      Rather, if the sole source of heat is external to the absorber of same, the temperature will drop.

      The penny is finally starting to drop. The noise when it lands will deafen the few remaining Warmists.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


      You comprehension of the basic flow of energy from the sun to the surface of our planet seem exceptionally lacking. Are you purposely being dim-witted, or do you not understand the basic spectral transmission properties of gases?

  46. Just a question— has vertical lightning been studied for its role in atmospheric energy transfer?

  47. This just in from the World Bank. Come learn the (scary) science for free. It looks like their idea of science is 4 degrees of warming unless we all act now! Definitely worth the price.

    “A MOOC (Not a Moose) Is Coming on January 27, 2014!

    We are very pleased to announce the World Bank’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on climate change, which will be launched next month on January 27, 2014. This course presents the most recent scientific evidence as well as some of the opportunities for urgent action on climate change. It also covers the latest knowledge and information based on cutting-edge research.

    It is being offered in two tracks: (1) General Public; and (2) Policy Makers and Practitioners. The course runs for 4 weeks, and is free of charge. You have access to the material for approximately 6 months after the course ends.

    Sign up for the first delivery of the course at

    This is also an opportunity for us – as climate change practitioners – to let our family and friends know what we are doing and help them become champions of climate change knowledge. Climate change affects us all, so please feel free to share the registration link as widely as possible in your networks.”

  48. The Cline Shale is approximately a 1.6 million acre area in the Permian Basin; and it is expanding further with the new exploration. The Cline Shale is a huge new field for that most important commodity to the US — oil. This shale layer is found at approximately 9000-11,000 feet of depth. It is approximately 200 to 550 feet thick with total organic content of between 2% and 8% and a porosity of 5% to 12%. It has produced light sweet crude with an API gravity of 38 to 42 degrees, which is similar to Eagle Ford Shale light sweet crude. Estimates for how much oil the Cline shale contains range from 30 to 36 billion barrels of recoverable oil. However, as the area is explored, the Cline Shale has been found to be larger than originally thought; and it may contain even more recoverable oil. A map of the Permian Basin below delineates the Cline Shale, which is also know as the Permian Basin’s Wolfcamp D area.

    Recent results from Pioneer Natural Resources’ (PXD) Cline Shale test program have really stirred interest. One well was a monster with an initial peak production rate of 3,156 Boe/d. This was in Andrews county, which was far outside the Glasscock “hotspot” (or perhaps former hotspot). The other two test wells from this area produced only initial peak production of 2,128 Boe/d and 1,509 Boe/d; but these were still great results. They are also some of the highest flow rates reported from exploration in the Cline Shale. The 3,156 Boe/d was the highest horizontal 24-hour rate ever from the entire Midland Basin.

    The eastern parts of the Cline Shale have higher clay content, with less clay toward the western parts. The clay makes economic recovery more difficult. However, Halliburton (HAL) and other service companies are working to find ways to deal with the complications arising from clay. One gets the impression that excellent recoveries from even the higher clay environments are simply a matter of time.

    Further sedimentary rock in the Gulf of Mexico can reach 50,000 feet in thickness, while it is only about 3,000 feet thick at the Atlantic coastline. That means Texas could theoretically drill deeper than the 10,000 – 15,000 feet onshore norm. In other words, the Permian Basin and other like areas may provide more and more black gold (OIL) the deeper you drill. This may prove a very important concept for the owners of such leaseholds and for oil developers in general (and the oil markets as well as investors). We may have just scratched the surface in Texas.

    The Cline Shale is an area that all serious energy investors will want to keep an eye on. It looks to be increasingly important.

    • If there were a summary of evidence for abiotic oil with references, I might come to believe in it, but for now, I’m skeptical.

      Here is a paper on molecular fossils in crude oil. You can see that molecular fossils in older crudes become harder to detect. That could account for the change in composition in the oil from the well discussed in the paper you linked.

      Due to the variety of geological conditions and ages under
      which oil was formed, every crude oil exhibits a unique
      biomarker fingerprint. Because of this, biological biomarkers
      are the most important hydrocarbon groups in petroleum
      because they can be used for chemical fingerprinting.
      Biomarkers reveal all or most of the original carbon skeleton
      of the original natural products.
      Relative to other hydrocarbon components petroleum biomarkers are more
      resistant to biodegradation but concentrations steadily
      decrease as petroleum matures. ”

      Biomarkers found in crude oils, rocks and sediments,
      also referenced as “molecular fossils” in the literature,
      demonstrate few or even no changes from their former
      precursor compounds: terpenoids (isoprenoids) and steroids
      found in the cells of the originating living organisms.
      Biomarker concentrations in oils are low, typically in the low
      ppm and sub-ppm level in the presence of a highly complex
      petroleum hydrocarbon matrix. As the concentrations of
      biomarkers in petroleum decrease with thermal maturity,
      oils of high maturity exhibit particular analytical
      challenges with only low biomarker concentrations

    • I’m okay with skeptical, one of the pages I looked at (not sure if it was one of the two linked) mentioned the biomarkers, said they might get picked up along the way up.

      But, IMO I think we just don’t know yet. But we have done experiments where carbon compounds under heat and pressure cook up long string hydrocarbons. There is lots of carbon in the environment, and a lot of that must be carried down into subduction zones.
      If you’re an oil man, I’ve had a question on that, wondering if there is a coincidence of oil fields near subduction zones, thoughts?

  49. Major Snowstorm Moves East This Weekend. This a Prelude to more Storms and big-time Cold, later in December.

    In my last report 3 weeks ago, I continued to suggest that natural gas prices would rally at least 10% on my cold winter forecast and we have seen many other firms follow suit in the last few weeks, altering their earlier warm outlook. This winter promises to be brutal, at least for a few more weeks due to variety of factors. We have what we call a developing El Nino Modoki and we see contrasting sea surface temperatures in the North Pacific, compared to how they were the last 2 winters.

    he record warm October in Alaska, weak hurricane season we forecasted last July, combined with a host of other factors, will result in another major Midwest and Plains cold outbreak in about 10 days or so. Eventually, this may move east. The change in polarity of the sun and the highest snow pack in Canada in more than 50 years are all reasons why this winter, should be one of the coldest in recent memory. Livestock (cattle) futures are also taking note.

    Maps Above

  50. Coal-fired electricity generation increased 6.5% year-on-year and natural gas-fired electricity generation dropped by more than 6% year-on-year in September 2013 due to a gas-to-coal switch. As natural gas prices continue to rise, it will lead to higher coal-fired electricity generation. Currently natural gas prices are $4.19 mmBtu, and are expected to remain above $4 mmBtu in 2014. Natural gas prices have been rising since April 2012, when prices fell below $2 mmBtu, resulting in higher natural gas-fired electricity generation.

  51. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Tony from UK,

    Some people are doing something very positive about energy costs and sustainable living in the UK:

    Being green and reducing energy poverty all in one community– and without wind mills or solar panels.

  52. CAIRO — Snow coated domes and minarets Friday as a record Mideast storm compounded the suffering of Syrian refugees, sent the Israeli army scrambling to dig out stranded motorists and gave Egyptians a rare glimpse of snow in their capital.

    Nearly three feet of snow closed roads in and out of Jerusalem, which is set in high hills, and thousands in and around the city were left without power. Israeli soldiers and police rescued hundreds trapped in their cars by snow and ice. In the West Bank, the branches of olive trees groaned under the weight of snow.

    In Cairo, where local news reports said the last recorded snowfall was more than 100 years ago, children in outlying districts capered in white-covered streets, and adults marveled at the sight, tweeting pictures of snow-dusted parks and squares. In other parts of the city, rain and hail rocketed down.,0,1691393.story#axzz2nMzV6vMp

  53. Over 2000 cold and snow records set in the USA this past week
    Posted on December 13, 2013 by Anthony Watts

    Compare to 98 high temperature records, and 141 high minimum temperature records

    Quite an imbalance in weather records this week. Even the AGU fall meeting in San Francisco where the best and brightest global warming scientists were meeting was surrounded by record (such as 25F in San Jose Dec 9th) and near record setting low temperatures, though the irony was lost on many of them.

  54. Snow covers Egypt for the first time in 100 years.
    But will they fit snow-ploughs to the front of their camels? And will the IPCC claim that this is proof of AGW

  55. “It is pretty ironic that the so-called ‘least advanced’ people are the ones taking the lead in trying to protect all of us, while the richest and most powerful among us are the ones who are trying to drive the society to destruction,” Noam Chomsky.

  56. Re: Peter Lang | December 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    “True. But no one wants to give central control, taxing powers and power to enforce rules to the UN, . . .”

    Why not? Aren’t these the good people that brought us world peace? Oh wait, never mind . . .

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