Ringing out 2013

by Judith Curry

Some reflections on 2013 are coming online.

I’m sure there will be others over the next few weeks, but here is a starter.

Extreme weather events

A summary of extreme weather events in 2013 is given by the Guardian.  In spite of the Guardian’s portrayal, 2013 was a pretty wimpy year for weather and climate extremes.

2013: year from hell

In the Financial Post, Lawrence Solomon has an article For global warming believers, 2013 was the year from hell.  Subtitle: Almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the cause of global warming.

Climate change crystal ball(?)

Yale Climate Media Forum has an article 2014 Climate Change Crystal Ball: Upcoming Stories to Keep an Eye On.  Subitle: Don’t let likely reports of inaction on Capitol Hill on climate issues fool or distract you: The coming year holds promise for a wide range of significant developments on climate change.

Climate Prat of 2013

Pointman has an amusing, although highly snarky, post entitled Climate Prat of 2013: We Have a Winnah.  Quick, take a guess before reading.  This post just begs for one entitled Skeptic Prat of 2013.

Culture corner

The poets among the denizens will particularly like this:  The entire IPCC Report in 19 illustrated haiku.  This is actually pretty good. A teaser:

Big, fast carbon surge.  Ice melts, oceans heat and rise.  Air warms by decades.

 JC comments:  My reaction at the close of 2013 is that the climate change topic is seeming a bit boring, although it has arguably been a banner year for skeptics.  I will try to drum up some new topics.  Usually I have spare time over the holiday break for blogging, but unfortunately this year I have several deadlines looming.  In the past when things have seemed boring, some surprising happens, we’ll see.

356 responses to “Ringing out 2013

  1. I will try to drum up some new topics.

    I’d really like to see some action on the subject of unique local phenomena, in terms of climate (and weather) modeling. For instance, the Tropical Easterly Jet and the Tibetan/Himalayan orogeny, the role of the Andean Plateau in the emergent behavior of ENSO, and such.

    I’d also love to see more on deep-sea heat movement, especially WRT mixing in the Western Pacific, and its relationship to tropical storm activity in the area. There seems to be a great deal of ignorance expressed here about how heat movement in the deep ocean works.

  2. The machines and techniques that professionals are used for cleaning is tested and
    completely safe. It has made a real difference to my quality of life.
    Molly Maid is the kind of spring cleaning service that gets
    down and dirty.

  3. “Although it has arguably been a banner year for skeptics….”

    Agreed, but doesn’t seem to matter much. As the real world date continues to makes fools of the warmists, they only become more entrenched and angry.

    Judith, as to dullness, I suggest more event oriented posts. Reddit’s recent attempt to ban dissent, for just one example. I know….and respect….that you endeavor to keep the topics lofty, but they can imvho get a bit stale at times.

  4. Heh, Gregory chants without melody or rhythm.
    ==========

    • A drone strike on sense and sensitivity.
      ===================

    • Verses of hot doom
      with hokey illustrations
      draw a cool response

    • Doom, fear, guilt, penance.
      Skip to my Lou, my Darlin’.
      Makes ya wanna gag.
      =============

    • “Naychur’s Christmas Bells.”
      Listen closely — no, closer!

      Christmas bells
      chiming, pealing
      imperceptibly,
      brushed by bees ‘n birds
      and butterfly-wings
      chaotically.

      Exotic lilies, they’re
      the trumpets – hey there,
      hallelujah.
      Fox-gloves in
      muted flute appegios,
      not – pan – flutes
      however. : (

      Tiny correa – bells
      from down – under,
      triangles in the ensemble,
      adding their two-penneth.
      Quivering lily of
      the valley whispering
      in unison …

      Their vegetable
      Christmas message
      of good cheer:
      “Joy – oh – joy
      ter the world,
      fergit guilt
      and fear!”

      Happy Christmas ter Professor Curry and Denizens of CE
      from beth-the-serf.

  5. Schrodinger's Cat

    We start a new year in a couple of weeks so it a time to look forwards as well as back.

    Assuming the observation temperatures and modelled ones continue on their existing trajectories, i.e. in divergence, at what date in the future will the modellers admit that their models are too unreliable to be used as the basis for policymaking?

    • I would say within 5 years, but that may change if they fix the models.

    • Or if global cooling happens suddenly, it would happen even sooner!

      Who says AGW is not falsifiable?

    • Huh. A model that is biased high can still be used for policy.

      Question. How warm will it be in 2100?
      If a warm biased model said +3c a rational policy maker could use that as an upper bound.
      Even bad models can be used.

    • ‘a rational policy maker’.
      A rational policy maker typically has a 4-5 year term before facing reelection. They base their rational decision making process on the probability that a policy decision will increase or decrease their chances in the next election.
      The process can be used to estimate the weight of an ox.
      The UK public has decided that they don’t like expensive energy, the possibility of brown-outs and feel like lynching windmill salesmen.

    • Leonard Weinstein

      Stephen Mosher,
      “Huh. A model that is biased high can still be used for policy.” is a nutty comment. The operable word is POLICY. If it cools 2C rather than heats 3C, and the policy based on the model was to cut salt and equipment for snow removal, and cut heating oil and gas capability from the economics of the POLICY, you get a problem. If you deny third world countries from using coal or other cheap energy sources, they may freeze, or at least not improve quality of life. Using bad information is never good for a policy, especially one that has fallen flat on its face.

  6. The truth really is boring.

    Anything that seeks to disturb the thermal equilibrium of our air and oceans at any given level of solar energy input is cancelled out by air circulation changes that we see as ‘climate change’.

    The radiative effects of atmospheric gases have a miniscule effect on air circulation compared to oceanic and solar variability and so can be ignored.

    The changes in total overall radiative effects of atmospheric gases attributable to our puny efforts are magnitudes less than natural variations.

    That should become crystal clear in 2014.

  7. I am glad to see that the competition sees that climate science “is seeming a bit boring”. More room for those of us that see any kind of science as exciting, as we continue to build on the work of others.

    • “The problem is that the temperature divergence is a canard”
      Well they do say that if it looks like a duck, waggles like a duck and quacks like a duck, then you are probably looking at what the French call a canard.

  8. “Pointman has an amusing, although highly snarky, post entitled Climate Prat of 2013″
    ______
    Cornball humor

  9. Schrodinger's Cat

    WHUT
    Would you care to comment on when the observation/model temperature divergence will become too excessive to ignore?

    • I can answer that: Never.
      Never, never,never.

    • The problem is that the temperature divergence is a canard. What we need to do is account for free energy terms. Free energy covers thermal energy, kinetic energy, potential energy, latent energy, etc and the sum of these have to be a constant according to conservation of energy . On the other hand, thermal energy, i.e. temperature in a thermal sink, does not have to be constant and so can fluctuate.

      In terms of the last 130+ years, I see no divergence between the temperature record and a combination of free energy terms which can compensate for fluctuations in temperature. The only time a significant divergence occurred was the short interval during WWII, which can be rationalized.

      If a divergence does pop up in the future, it may be related to a feature such as what Cowtan & Way found with the HadCrut data set — a small divergence related to free energy not accounted for in the Arctic. This is barely noticeable in the GISS temperature record but is a slight adjustment to HadCrut.

      And if you think that this is being done in a vacuum, consider that other groups are resolving the divergence this way, in particular the NRL statistical climate model by Lean.

    • WHT – don’t forget unicorn farts.

    • A canard that destabilizes flights of fancy?

    • There exist extra covariates such that the r-squared of any regression can be made artificially large–whether those extra covariates are measures of free energy or not. Unicorn farts can work.

    • WebHubTelescope
      The problem is that the temperature divergence is a canard. What we need to do is account for free energy terms.

      So what you’re hoping is that the defect in the models leading to the divergence, is the failure to account for free energy terms – the missing heat that precommitted alarmists hope will one day bring perceived reality into line with the models.


    • NW | December 21, 2013 at 11:27 pm |

      There exist extra covariates such that the r-squared of any regression can be made artificially large–whether those extra covariates are measures of free energy or not. Unicorn farts can work.

      In the world of economics perhaps. But in the worlds of engineering and physics where rules such as conservation of energy apply, we can use regression to solve problems. Consider the case of an electrical circuit where we want to identify the missing parametric values based on inputs and outputs. Or we have the component values and some of the inputs and want to find the missing inputs, we can use such an approach.

      What the deniers are mad about is that I am using the forcing factors that they wanted to use in the first place — forcing factors such as solar cycles, stadium waves, etc. Now they are comparing these things to “unicorn farts”.
      Way to show camaraderie Team Denier!

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | December 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm |

      “What we need to do is account for free energy terms. Free energy covers thermal energy, kinetic energy, potential energy, latent energy, etc and the sum of these have to be a constant according to conservation of energy . On the other hand, thermal energy, i.e. temperature in a thermal sink, does not have to be constant and so can fluctuate.”

      Spot on WHT! Every ‘form’ of energy is subjected to ‘attractors’ that rob the ‘energy system’ of its original potential. In engineering terms, these are disclosed as ‘inefficiencies’, but is more easily recognised as the inverse/opposite aspect of efficiency.

      Perhaps we engineers are partly responsible for this, often, misunderstood concept of ‘attractors’. We tend to place the ‘main emphasis’ of energy ‘use’ in terms of ‘energy used to effect the required result’, but in truth, the ‘evasive energy’, that goes ‘elsewhere’, is mostly ‘ignored’.

      IMHO ‘attractors’ are the key to ‘energy dispersal’ from the system observed. They are ‘legion’, but we need to get to grips with them.

      BTW, Happy New Year everyone!

      Best regards, Ray Dart.

  10. Judith, you are our Queen . Again many thanks for your incredible work, and your unique, very concise writing style, so pleasant to read.
    I’ll like to see the names and titles of at least a few of the scientific experts advising government agencies about climatic changes.
    Here, in France we have the French ministry of environment, which is proud to quote that the ”double’ ‘ Nobel price Jean Jouzel advice them (sure enough he shared the Nobel Price with Al Gore and others, but the president of the Nobel Committee already stated that only Gore can write that he got the NP). The second Nobel price of Jouzel should be read as: he got the XXXX price, which is the equivalent of the Nobel price in the discipline (again for his work on climate change). I did even learn that a top Research National French agency already support University Departments that help… winegrowers to adapt to the CO2 rise, like….. in England. What’s about winegrowers in the US.

    • Yeah, I would like to add to that as well, in thanking JC for making all this possible,. Some of the most stimulating cut and thrust and real science re climate i’ve seen anywhere.

      To all warmists, deniers, undecided, not so sure and just lurkers, have a happy and pickled holiday. The glass is always half full…

      Chris

  11. Curious George

    Never underestimate the resilience of alarmists. It will get hot like in hell well before 2100! 2013 was totally insignificant.

  12. stevefitzpatrick

    Hi Judith,
    I have one suggestion for a topic. There is a huge disconnect between the ‘sides’ in this debate. Maybe it would be interesting to explore what existing data drives different opinions, and even more interesting, what data trends might move people to question their current positions. I guess the basic question would be: What data would lead you revise your current thinking on the severity/importance of global warming? I fear you will find that for many there does not exist such data…. But I would like to be pleasantly surprised to learn otherwise.

    • - Observational constraints showing lower climate sensitivity
      – Better models showing lower climate sensitivity
      – Better paleodata showing parallel warmer periods in the recent past
      – Cooling despite increasing GHGs
      – No warming with increasing GHGs for an extended period
      – A new and reasonable non-GHG explanation for distant warm periods in Earth’s history
      – GHG levels stop rising
      – GHG emission phaseout (technology, policy)
      – we get to 2200 despite GHG rising and climate changing and nothing happens

    • “What data would lead you revise your current thinking on the severity/importance of global warming?”

      Something besides contrived squiggly line drawings would be a start.

      Andrew

    • Good question.
      1. Humans have added co2 to the atmosphere.
      I suppose to change this belief I would have to see lab results that show burning ff results in no co2. In short chemistry as we know it is wrong.
      2. Co2 causes warming not cooling. To change this belief I would have to see lab results or field measurements that show radiative physics is wrong. And one would need a new physics to explain why devices built on the old physics work.
      3 . The warming effect is between 1.5c and 4.5c per doubling. Some serious cooling or warming would have to happen to change this

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “What data would lead you revise your current thinking on the severity/importance of global warming?”
      ____
      We’d have to see the total energy in the Earth’s climate system decline over a period greater than a few years. This total energy would include moist enthalpy in the troposphere, ocean heat content, and global glacial ice. If total energy in the climate system decline over a period of even as short as a decade, it would be pretty devastating to both AGW theory and of course, the importance of global warming. As it stands right now, total energy in the Earth climate system has been increasing pretty steadily for 40+ years, and possibly much longer.

    • “Some serious cooling or warming would have to happen”

      Indeed Steven Mosher. Because there is no serious warming happening now.

      Andrew

    • Nothing in climate science is based on a new fundamental hypothesis, all models are built on well known and thoroughly verified physics, but in a way that contains in addition many uncertain details.

      To change my view on the basic ideas a part of the physics fundamentals should be overturned. I give little thought on that possibility until it happens, as that’s really unlikely.

      The actual models change all the time. Their parameters and other details should react to all new observations, usually very little based on a single new observation, but perhaps more when unexpected data accumulates. I’m ready to change my views every day, but in most cases not very much.

      New theoretical ideas might lead to larger steps in the development of my thoughts.

    • Lolwot, stated that you would change your mind about Thermogeddon based on a number of things, including

      ‘Better models showing lower climate sensitivity’

      May I ask how you are able to judge what is a good/bad model?
      By what criteria can you decide if a particular model is better than another?
      I can model any temperature series with a 6th order polynomial, than the GCM’s manage as hindcasts, so is this a better model?

    • Nothing in climate science is based on a new fundamental hypothesis, all models are built on well known and thoroughly verified physics,

      The models are based on well known mathematical equations.The fundamental problem being that they are not fundamental equations,but phenomenological.Hence limiting the models to heuristic arguments,where verification is logically inept.

    • Equations based on fundamental physics form the basis, They are not sufficient for getting even nearly correct results, but the fundamental physics alone tells many essential things including the existence of GHE at some level, and also the order of magnitude of that effect.

    • Doc,
      you know what’s wrong with using 6th order polynomials to model anything real?

      They are unbounded, temperature is bounded.

    • Nothing in climate science is based on a new fundamental hypothesis, all models are built on well known and thoroughly verified physics,

      All models are built on something that is known to not work.

      Some different ideas need to be looked at.

    • There is a huge disconnect between the ‘sides’ in this debate.
      By definition, there is only one consensus side, but there are a lot of other sides. They need to be considered and debated.

    • You will note that no skeptics stood up to take the challenge

      Long ago back in 2007-8 I was really skeptical of the temperature record.

      My concerns included

      1. The station drop out
      2. UHI
      3. Micro site
      4. Adjustments
      5. Uncertainty calculations.

      To fast track my study of this I asked for Code and Data.
      The answer I got was go pound sand.
      So, we fought. In the end there was climate gate. Then things changed.

      Now, after working on the problem for over 5 years I’m happy to report that my skepticism about 1-5 has been removed. It goes like this: when you actually work the problem for yourself, when for example, you spend years looking for UHI bias and every attempt comes up empty, You cant just hold on to your old doubts.

      There are a class of skeptics I really like. Anthony, McIntyre, nic Lewis, for example. Why? well because they question the data and methods and they actually go out and do work RATHER THAN simply posting comments.

      Merry fricken Christmas

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      Thanks to all who replied to my comment, but I think I may not have made my question clear enough. So let m ask again, this time, I hope, a little more clearly. Each of the people who comment here (and probably many who read but do not often comment) has some idea of what they see as the most likely severity/extent of future warming and its consequences. This may range from “nonexistent” to “catastrophic”. The question is NOT what would convince you that all of climate science is wrong (or all correct, if you currently think it is wrong). The question is what data would convince you that your current estimate of the extent of future warming is either too high or too low? For example, “If average temperatures were to increase/decrease by X degrees per decade for the next Y years, then I would have to revise my estimate of future warming up/down.” Or, “If ocean heat content were to increase (decrease) by X joules per year over the next Y years then I would revise my estimate of future warming up/down.”

      The reason I raised this question is because I spent some time over the past few days making comments at the “andthentheresphysics” blog, and the impression I got was that the opinions held by the denizens of that blog are essentially immune to revision, no matter the data. I have roughly the same impression of commenters at WUWT (eg, the endless nonsense arguments about CO2 residence time in the atmosphere). I found the exchange at the andthentheresphysics blog similarly discouraging.

      So I wonder if the commenters here at climate, etc are at all different. I am honestly trying to understand what progress (if any!) toward a broad consensus is possible as more (and better quality) climate data is collected in the coming years. If nobody will revise their position, no matter the data, then discussion becomes a waste of time.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      Steve Mosher,

      We cross posted; your reply was more substantive than most. But I would still ask: what would move your estimate of the importance/severity of warming up or down?

    • My question would be that IF BEST actually nailed the global temperature for the past 150 years (or whatever), then … so what? Does it prove CO2 will cause catastrophic warming?

    • “5. Uncertainty calculations.”

      Steven, in a conversion I had with Pekka some weeks back, it sounded clear to me that various things with a relatively high degree of uncertainty (condensation, clouds, their net effect, etc) have been hard-wired into many of the GCMs, and it didn’t sound like propagating the uncertainty in those things through the model simulations was done much if at all.

      I could be wrong. I read from time to time that it is known that the feedbacks associated with clouds are among the most uncertain things in the models, and that the effect size of plausible variations in cloud feedback are relatively large too. I don’t see how anyone could know (or even suspect) this without someone, at some time, having fed that uncertainty through a model or two, if only by way of simulation. So I suspect that someone has done it.

      What Pekka seemed to say, however, is that accounting for that source of uncertainty is certainly not done much. Is it possible that “the pause” would look less unexpected, if every run of a model was seeded with a random draw from a plausible distribution of these kinds of effects?

      A couple of posts back someone noticed at least one of the organized groups commenting for that UK committee whined about not having enough computing power. This tells me that there ARE substantial ways in which the modelers feel constrained. It is exactly what I would expect too. I know what a tax it is to REALLY propagate all sources of uncertainty through a simulation in time for it to be of any use to me. True, my cluster of servers is pretty trivial compared to what the climate modelers use, but then again my computational issues (something like about 11 to 13 dimensions of uncertainty) are also trivial compared to theirs.

      In sum, I think there are several independent kinds of evidence suggesting that substantial sources of uncertainty are not being accounted for.

    • The thing i wonder about the models is very simple. When they put the variables in does it get spread through the entire reading. In other words, when you look at actually charts the trends don’t just go in a straight line they go in spurts trending up, sideways or somewhat down. On the other hand the models go in a smooth projection forward. So if variability kicks in at a specific spot and then ebbs it will have more influence than if it is spread out. If a confluence of variability hit at the same time it would have a far different reading than in a smoothed trend that has it spread out.

      it’s a little like CSALT trying to remove so called sound. What if the sound so alters the general trend at specific points as to have actually altered the whole model. Chaos actually alters the climate in a profound way unpredictably changing the whole nature of things.

    • noise ^^^^^not sound

    • “Hi Judith,
      I have one suggestion for a topic. There is a huge disconnect between the ‘sides’ in this debate. Maybe it would be interesting to explore what existing data drives different opinions, and even more interesting, what data trends might move people to question their current positions. I guess the basic question would be: What data would lead you revise your current thinking on the severity/importance of global warming?”
      It’s an interesting question.
      I would it can’t anything happening within say 3 three years- as that is weather. And so Hurricane CAT 6 or 5 of them within short time period, just proves what seems to be “normal”- or within normal. Couple with fact that recently there has low hurricane activity.

      What would be surprising is increases in highest surface temperature- sidewalks were getting hotter. Such a thing would not supported or predicted by global warming theory. But it does fit into the category “unexpected”. So that could be something which could happen in less than 3 years.
      But it seems with the pause over last +15 years, coupled with theory that global warming takes some time to manifest, almost any warming in next few years would not change my view that CO2 does not cause much warming.
      Or three year of very strong global warming would surprise me, but I would tend to look for some other effect than CO2. Whereas say, even more unlikely situation of 10 years of strong warming, would tend to allow me jump to conclusion it had something to do with rising CO2 levels.
      Or to large extent, CO2 causing much warming has already been disproven.

      I suppose analogy would after looking into UFOs and reaching a conclusion about it, but one day space aliens actually show up.
      It would not change the previous facts regarding it. But maybe some humans actually have some ability to know the future- are tune into
      some frequency. Though as likely, a 1 in million chance has occurred.

      So it’s difficult to see what could change my mind, other than a decade or
      more of temperature record which actually had CO2 fingerprints.
      Though lots of things could change my mind regarding the general subject
      of climate, but again I expect such things to happen, it’s way science operates, lots of surprising developments. But evidence that a planet at Earth distance completely covered by an Ocean, would be cooling effect rather than warming effect, would cause me to radically change my assumptions. Or anything that indicated they we have left the Ice Age- that there is no possibility of far future, of us return to glacial period, would be shocking. That low solar activity didn’t cause cooling, would surprise me. Or say volcanic eruption over 100 cubic km of ejecta which reaches high atmosphere causes warming or didn’t cause cooling, would be surprising.
      Or to keep simple, evidence we are in warmest period, ever. Would change my mind- but of course such extraordinary claims require extraordinary evident.

      ” I fear you will find that for many there does not exist such data…. But I would like to be pleasantly surprised to learn otherwise.”

      Generally that is true. Because there so much evidence that doesn’t support the possibility that global temperature could rise by more than 2 C within a century. Or no one imagines 2 C or more rise in less than 50 years- other than people who have no basis for such predictions.

    • “My concerns included

      1. The station drop out
      2. UHI
      3. Micro site
      4. Adjustments
      5. Uncertainty calculations.

      To fast track my study of this I asked for Code and Data.
      The answer I got was go pound sand.
      So, we fought. In the end there was climate gate. Then things changed.

      Now, after working on the problem for over 5 years I’m happy to report that my skepticism about 1-5 has been removed. It goes like this: when you actually work the problem for yourself, when for example, you spend years looking for UHI bias and every attempt comes up empty, You cant just hold on to your old doubts. ”

      Well, I would conclude that science coupled with told to pound sand is beyond unreasonable and unacceptable.
      As for 1-5 doubts, it seems they are removed by global satellite temperature measurements.
      Yes?

    • R. Gates
      As it stands right now, total energy in the Earth climate system has been increasing pretty steadily for 40+ years, and possibly much longer.

      Based on ? The very sketchy and unreliable data on deep oceans ?

      And, as already seen, even if it turns out the total energy has been increasing, for the last 17 years this cannot have been due to AGW, since AGW works by warming the atmosphere, and for this period the atmosphere hasn’t been warming.

    • “it’s a little like CSALT trying to remove so called sound. “

      Sound can be removed to reveal the true signal. Ever heard of noiise-cancelling headphones?

      What the global temperature signal is composed of is a response to a series of forcing profiles. To first-order, the responses are linear to the forcing and so if some forces have the opposite phase they will cancel, just as in the way that noise-cancelling headphones work.

      On top of that, there are energy terms that are not thermal and they will fill in the fluctuations to satisfy overall conservation of energy.

      My CSALT model does all this book-keeping at the lowest level and accounts for all the forcing and energy terms to maintain a constant free-energy with respect to the external energy imbalance.
      http://contextearth.com/context_salt_model/

      BTW, fun stuff, not boring.

    • David Springer

      What would change my mind about severity or importance of AGW driven by CO2?

      Well first plants would have to start growing slower when CO2 increases.

      Then length of growing season would have to get shorter instead of longer when winters become milder.

      Then plants would have to start using more fresh water instead of less when CO2 level is higher.

      Then there would need to be a finding that interglacial periods are all wrong and glaciers a mile thick over the northern hemisphere continents haven’t really existed 9 out of every 10 years for the past few million years.

      Then we’d have to find no benefit in the burning of fossil fuels and standards of living could be sustained and even improved without them.

      That’s for starters. Otherwise I’m going to remain pretty frickin’ convinced that CO2 driven AGW is a net benefit and the only real problem is what happens when there’s no more economically recoverable fossil carbon left to sustain it. Snow and ice are simply not conducive to primary production in the food chain folks. What’s good for the primary producers are good for all living things that depend on them which includes us.

    • “May I ask how you are able to judge what is a good/bad model?
      By what criteria can you decide if a particular model is better than another?
      I can model any temperature series with a 6th order polynomial, than the GCM’s manage as hindcasts, so is this a better model?”

      It’s subjective. A 6th order polynomial is a terrible model in my opinion. On a case-by-case basis I can give an opinion. I can’t give my opinion on all possible cases until I have heard them.

      If scientists came out and said they had a new type of model that was better, I would go with that. If on the otherhand a scientist took a model from the 80s and produced a different result but other scientists criticized it, I would be less likely to think it was a good model.

    • David Springer: “Then there would need to be a finding that interglacial periods are all wrong and glaciers a mile thick over the northern hemisphere continents haven’t really existed 9 out of every 10 years for the past few million years.”

      Really? Why? What relevance does that have to the severity/importance of AGW?

      Do you mean to say that even if the oceans boiled, plants died off, cities flooded, you would still remain unconvinced AGW was a problem – because thick ice used to exist over northern hemisphere continents?

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “-And, as already seen, even if it turns out the total energy has been increasing, for the last 17 years this cannot have been due to AGW, since AGW works by warming the atmosphere, and for this period the atmosphere hasn’t been warming.”
      —–
      This statement typifies what is either an intentional or honest lack of of fundamental understanding of the basic ways that energy flows through Earth’s climate system. It cannot have been made by someone who has studied ocean to atmosphere sensible and latent heat flux.

    • Steve F What data would lead you revise your current thinking on the severity/importance of global warming?
      great question,great response from both sides of the team.
      lolwat, great responses , you deserve a medal, I didn’t think you had it in you
      Worth a post or two on its own this question, Judith with lolwat responses discussed.
      Now to Mosher, whom I respect.
      Increased CO2 warms the atmosphere.
      , I get that, I think, as do most commentators on both sides.
      Repeating it frequently will not change the non believers.
      but we are talking about a complex system here, not a glass jar in a laboratory.
      The bottom of the jar is composed of stable salts, not acids or bases, covered by a thin layer of water and a thinner layer of air.
      This has stayed remarkably stable through a number of serious events over several billion years, as evinced by the survival of life over this time frame. There is a reversion to the mean to changes in the atmosphere and ocean that prevent runaway warming and cooling.
      Yes, CO2 addition heats up the air, but it isn’t being shown to have done so. Natural variation is a cop out to say wait and see, it is happening, really.
      It is not warming and this is a great travesty for you as well as Trembath.
      Something else is happening to negate the effect of the CO2.
      Perhaps greater heat, more clouds , more reflection of heat, who knows?
      Them that cannot investigate must discuss.

    • > in a conversion I had with Pekka so…

      Judy’s comment section as a Forex of the mind.

    • steve fitzpatrick

      In fairness, I should at least answer my own question, since so far the answers seem to be in the vicinity of “never”.

      Based on all the data I have seen, I think the most likely transient climate sensitivity is about 1.3C-1.4C per doubling, and the most likely equilibrium sensitivity is in the range of 1.8C-1.9C per doubling. The transient sensitivity has less uncertainty than the equilibrium value because there is at least some chance that non-linearity in the temperature response at somewhat higher temperatures will increase the equilibrium value (there is very little hard evidence for non-linearity, only the projections of some, not all, climate models).

      Based on all the data I have seen, the most credible negative future consequence of warmer temperatures will be a continued sea level increase. I have have spent a fair amount of time looking at this issue and believe the IPCC projections of ~0.5 meter by 2100 are plausible, but I think a little higher than than will actually happen. I find very rapid increases (eg 1 meter or more by 2100) not supported by the data. Other consequences (catastrophic ocean acidification, ecosystem collapse, vast loss of farm productivity, rapid extinctions of species due to warming, etc… the list is very long) not at all credible due to a complete lack of evidence, and in many cases, not even a plausible rational.

      What would change my mind on these things? 1) A clear upward trend in surface temperatures at a substantially more rapid rate than today for a decade or so. 2) A clear acceleration (not flat or deceleration) in the rate of sea level rise. 3) Other clear data supporting negative effects from warming with important consequences.

    • TCR is not 1.3 to 1.4C, it is closer to 2C.

      I can not find 2 points on the CO2 vs T profile that would give 1.4C as a slope.

    • Leonard Weinstein

      Steven Mosher,
      It is very likely that human activity added CO2 to the atmosphere. The portion of increase due to humans is not so clear, as warming results in changes in natural levels also. The amount the doubling of CO2 would affect the temperature is a far different animal than ideal lab data. Feedbacks of clouds are likely the main effect, and likely are net negative, decreasing the ideal number. Also natural variation (solar effects such as spectral variation and magnetic field effects, long period ocean current variation going into and out of phase (PDO, AMDO), and possibly others) may totally dominate the trend, with human contribution only a small portion of any variation. Calling the likely effect 1.5C to 4.5C for a doubling is pure hubris, and likely to be wrong, possibly even in the sign of change.

    • The slope from graphs such as this is nearly 1 C per 100 ppm (2.1 C per doubling).
      http://chartsgraphs.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/co2_temp_scatter_regression.png?w=500&h=499
      Low sensitivity numbers would predict about half this slope, so they are already wrong when compared with existing data.

    • You would need to convince me that the climate system is not really a massively complex, chaotic, non-linear, coupled system that could be simply controlled by changing a microscopically small variable by an even smaller amount.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist | December 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

      I would think a drop in energy to the earth in a decade or less would be more of a problem for humanity other then the lame CAGW mime don’t you?

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “I would think a drop in energy to the earth in a decade or less would be more of a problem for humanity other then the lame CAGW mime don’t you?”
      ______
      Depends on how severe that drop is. If the sun suddenly reduced output by 10%– yep, that would be a big problem and we’d get pretty cold and probably worse. But nothing in the paleoclimate record indicates that our sun has these kinds of large drops in outputs. What most people don’t seem to realize is that even with another Maunder-type minimum in solar output, the 40% rise in GH gas concentrations more than makes up for that kind of drop over the long-term. A more likely way that energy reaching Earth could drop would be from some massive volcanic eruption on the scale of the 1257 AD event. This could put quite a hit on agriculture for a few years.

      On the broadest and most likely scales, the warming from GH gas accumulation is at the top. We are seeing levels not seen for millions of years (both CO2, Methane, and N20) and such levels correspond in the paleoclimate record to the mid-Pliocene. A much warmer world.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “You would need to convince me that the climate system is not really a massively complex, chaotic, non-linear, coupled system that could be simply controlled by changing a microscopically small variable by an even smaller amount.”
      _____
      This is a confused statement. The climate is complex and chaotic. But this does not in any way preclude it being affected greatly by GH gas concentrations in the atmosphere. You have a nice solid talking point used commonly by true-deniers, but if you really want to understand the science, and not be a walking-talking point for someone else, then I suggest you hit the science books, maybe beginning here:

    • @Steve Fitzpatrick wrote:

      So I wonder if the commenters here at climate, etc are at all different. I am honestly trying to understand what progress (if any!) toward a broad consensus is possible as more (and better quality) climate data is collected in the coming years. If nobody will revise their position, no matter the data, then discussion becomes a waste of time.

      I would reconsider my Pope’s Climate Theory “IF” Temperature and/or Sea Level actually got outside the bounds of the past ten thousand years. As of now, Temperature is not out and for 17 years has not headed out. Warm oceans and open polar oceans have increased snowfall and halted or nearly halted temperature rise and sea level rise. They only get sea level rise after they do “adjustments”, because it is no longer in the data. They like to level out the past ten thousand years of ups and downs and make the modern warming and sea level rise look like ten thousand year long hockey sticks, but that is not what the “unadjusted” data shows.
      How many years of no temperature rise might get you to change your opinion since 17 is not enough. Your Temperature estimates are too high in my opinion and your sea level estimates are much too high. Look at the data for the past ten thousand years. My estimates are that we will follow the same patterns of warming and cooling and sea level rising and falling. If either of these gets out of the bounds, then I would be wrong. So far, I am right. Snow falls when oceans are warm and that puts upper bounds on temperature and sea level. This is clearly shown in the actual data.

    • Web,
      I’m prolly one of the few people here that sees the value of CSALT. Read the rest of that paragraph though. That is what makes me think twice about just about everything regarding uncertainty is unknown and unforeseen degree of variability I’d describe as a game changer that alters everything. What comes to mind is similar to what Paul Vaughn is looking at with all the wobbles. That seems dynamic and somewhat unpredictable to me. I downloaded his link to Sidorenkov’s pdf but haven’t had time to read it. Maybe that’s the true control knob?

    • @stevefitzpatrick: What would change my mind on these things? 1) A clear upward trend in surface temperatures at a substantially more rapid rate than today for a decade or so. 2) A clear acceleration (not flat or deceleration) in the rate of sea level rise. 3) Other clear data supporting negative effects from warming with important consequences.

      How about
      4) Knowledge of the ocean’s effective RC time constant?

      (By C I’m thinking of the ocean’s heat capacity, and by R the inverse of the rate at which heat is transported into, around, and out of the ocean in response to temperature differentials)

      A heat sink with a time constant of say 1000 years will do a great job of holding down the TCR when defined as a rate of increase of CO2 of 1% a year. However when it is rising at less than 1% a century, as in the deglaciations of the past million years, it won’t do such a great job and the TCR in that case is likely to be considerably larger.

      Whether TCR so defined is much closer to the equilibrium climate sensitivity depends on whether the ocean is the biggest contributor to the so-called Earth System Sensitivity, ESS, about which I have zero useful intuition.

      There’s been a lot of recent work on trying to understand the factors contributing to what I’m referring to as the ocean’s RC time constant, although I haven’t seen any that explicitly estimate that constant. I think it’s a very interesting direction to pursue. For the ocean we know C far better than R.

    • ” Jim D | December 22, 2013 at 11:25 am |

      The slope from graphs such as this is nearly 1 C per 100 ppm (2.1 C per doubling).”

      Exactly. Hard to find lower values than this.

    • ordvic, the orbital forcings or “wobbles” don’t act as a control knob because they have a limited amplitude.

      All the fluctuations that can be attributed to identified forcings, energy terms, and orbital oscillations are shown here:
      http://imageshack.com/a/img23/8418/qvv.gif

      The individual cycles typically have amplitudes less than +/- 0.05C on a temperature anomaly that has reached 0.8C. These amplitudes can add when in phase but the fluctuation content is still +/- 0.2C as seen in the figure. There is no indication that these fluctuation terms will get any higher in the short term, unless a huge volcanic disturbance happens. So we are left with the CO2 signal as the clear defining control knob and which has an amplitude of 0.8C and still growing.

      That’s what you skeptics asked for — you wanted to see Scafetta’s and Wilson’s and Sidorenkov’s orbital factors, and the Stadium Waves, and Carter’s SOI, and sunspots, and that’s what CSALT produces. Come up with your own regression if you want to debunk it. I will be waiting.

    • Web,
      Thanks for the info.
      I’m not a skeptic, I don’t know enough yet to take a side so to speak. I’m just learning what I can here.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Steve Fitzpatrick, I’m a bit of an outlier, but I’ll answer as best I can.

      I don’t have much expectation of what effects global warming will have. I think it’s foolish to believe it will be catastrophic as I’ve never seen such a belief hold water. I also believe it’d be foolish to assume there’d be no negative effects of global warming as there are negative effects to everything.

      What would convince me of a specific position isn’t some piece of evidence. It’s coherency and substance. The argument for or against global warming is fairly simple. 1) Emissions will have X effects. 2) X effects have Y consequences. 3) Y consequences are Z bad. Each of those steps could be broken into smaller pieces, but what I want is a substantial case for each of them. As it stands, the average person couldn’t even find a coherent case for any of them.

      That said, even if I accept the worst case scenarios, I’m confident there will be no discernible impacts on me from global warming. That makes it hard for me to get worked up about it.

    • Thanks R. Gates, but I think I’ll stick with folks like Lindzen, and for others like Martin Herzberg on why Co2 is an insignificant contributor to climate change, at least, to the degree that warmests portray it.

      http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=11&cad=rja&ved=0CF4QFjAK&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcarbon-sense.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2008%2F05%2Fhertzberg.pdf&ei=AZe3Us7OGKvIsASD6oKICQ&usg=AFQjCNFq_nSSgfiF6mEQpB2331gYdJwgaQ

    • And, as already seen, even if it turns out the total energy has been increasing, for the last 17 years this cannot have been due to AGW, since AGW works by warming the atmosphere, and for this period the atmosphere hasn’t been warming.
      —–
      Gates
      This statement typifies what is either an intentional or honest lack of of fundamental understanding of the basic ways that energy flows through Earth’s climate system. It cannot have been made by someone who has studied ocean to atmosphere sensible and latent heat flux.

      Your complete lack of any substantive answer duly noted. Your repeated ducking of this question speaks volumes.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Steven Mosher: . Co2 causes warming not cooling. To change this belief I would have to see lab results or field measurements that show radiative physics is wrong. And one would need a new physics to explain why devices built on the old physics work.

      You always deny either the existence or importance of non-radiative heat transport, and also the absorption by the upper atmosphere of 20+% of incoming solar radiation.

      I am hopeful that in the year 2014 the people who promote the theory of CO2-induced global warming will be seen as the “deniers of science” that they are. The “equilibrium believers”, for example, who deny nearly all the evidence concerning heat transport rates, and the natural variability of those rates throughout the day-night cycle, seasonal cycle, and regional diversity. .

    • Your complete lack of any substantive answer duly noted. Your repeated ducking of this question speaks volumes.

      There’s none so deaf as will not hear.

      Evidently it hasn’t occurred to you that there might be naturally caused fluctuations in temperature in addition to those caused by CO2.

      If someone is pouring water into a bucket with a hole in it and the level is going down, your argument would prove that they’re not pouring any water into the bucket.

      Congratulations, you’re a logical genius.

  13. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Given the importance of ENSO on tropospheric sensible heat, and given the fact that (even though we ought to know better) that we still measure “climate change” by the very poor proxy of tropospheric sensible heat, it is not at all surprising that 2013 was a rather “boring” year for climate change since the entire year was an La Nada, ENSO neutral condition. Still of course, we saw a continuation of the large undulations in the Rossby wave activity in the NH with some significant blocking events as a results (droughts, cold spells, floods, etc.). We of course also had one of the largest storms ever recorded that unfortunately killed thousands.

    Looking to 2014, a slight shift in probability of a modest El Niño event could mean record tropospheric temperatures next year. Eyes should also be on the continuation of the Arctic sea ice “recovery” or a continuation of the long-term decline we’ve been seeing for many decades.

    • R. Gates,

      “given the fact that (even though we ought to know better) that we still measure ‘climate change’ by the very poor proxy of tropospheric sensible heat”

      I’m just curious. When as the first time you made public your skepticism of using the surface temps as the measure of “global warming”? Got a link to any prior comment or post? Say before the “pause” in reported temps became impossible to ignore?

      I think the term “global average temperature”, when defined by tropospheric and sea surface temperatures, was always a misnomer. Even when all the graphs showed an inexorable upward trend. When did your skepticism kick into gear? And when did you publicly state the opinion for the first time?

      The skeptic in me has only seen you recently singing this new tune, after the Met Office and other warmist organizations decided to save their credibility by acknowledging what their own data showed. But I am open to contrary proof.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Gary,

      If you are that curious about the evolution of my own beliefs you can do your own research on me. I’ve been following ocean heat content for at least 5 years as the key metric for changes in Earth’s energy balance, but the incessant prattle about the tropospheric “pause” has led me to be more vocal about it. Also, I thought Pielke Sr.’s 2006 paper on moist enthalpy was really important at the time but it wasn’t much acknowledged by the established climate community.

    • RG,
      The reality of the situation is the OHC measurements substantiate that warming continues unabated, but the deniers do not understand how compensation works in atmospheric temperature measurements.

      They do not want to listen or hear.

      Consider the hearing analogy. Noise-cancelling headphones work on a compensation principle. The incoming acoustic signal is detected and reversed in phase and then added. The resultant output is thus zeroed.

      The denier, wearing the noise-cancelling headphones, would insist that the surroundings were quiet, whereas those of us with awareness of our surroundings are able to pick up the background din.

      In the case of the temperature signal, certain kinetic energy elements such as SOI and AAM and other forcing elements such as solar variation are compensating the measured temperature and these have to be “uncancelled” to pick up the true measure.

      You see, unlike the deniers, we can hear what nature is telling us.

    • R. Gates
      I’ve been following ocean heat content for at least 5 years

      ie after 11 years of the Pause.

      Does rather support GaryM’s implied suggestion that you settled on an alarmist conclusion upfront, and then afterwards went looking for evidence to support it.

      (But, no worse than the IPCC and ‘Consensus’ I suppose).

    • R. Gates,

      So you can’t point to any such comment by you before the “acceptance” of the pause by some of your co-warmists.

      OK, didn’t think so.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist:Given the importance of ENSO on tropospheric sensible heat, and given the fact that (even though we ought to know better) that we still measure “climate change” by the very poor proxy of tropospheric sensible heat, it is not at all surprising that 2013 was a rather “boring” year for climate change since the entire year was an La Nada, ENSO neutral condition.

      First question, I always wonder: Of what is it that you are skeptical? That atmospheric CO2 absorbs radiation from the surface of the Earth? That increased CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to increased atmospheric absorption of radiation from the surface of the Earth?

      Second, why is tropospheric sensible heat a poor proxy for CO2-induced “climate change”? If the radiative physics is basically sound and sufficiently complete, then the earliest indication of increased heat absorption by increased atmospheric CO2 concentration ought to be increased tropospheric sensible heat. Everything else happens after that.

  14. JC says “it has arguably been a banner year for skeptics”
    ____

    If it’s been a banner year, why the consternation over the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report?

    • Some real scientists are consternated that science is being perverted to serve a bogus political cause. That it ain’t working for you all is not the point. Please keep shooting yourselves in your little warm feet.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Seems they don’t like the continued, and strongly supported by the data, of a 95% certainty of the human contribution. The wording around this 95% is mainly political and thus the spin on the 95% is political, but the actual percentage is quite justified when looking at the full range of data, and in fact, may be a little low, but that’s politics.

    • I thought it was a reference to skeptics getting banned on reddit

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Skeptics didn’t get banned…it was deniers. Deniers would like to be seen as honest skeptics, but their’s is a faith-based belief system.

    • You boys can continue your smarmy comments about “deniers”, but the “deniers” have been steadily kicking your buttocks up between your ears. Denigration has not resulted in mitigation. You all need a new game plan. And a definitive end to the pause.

    • In the US, it’s been a banner year for warmists. More and more money is being spent on wind, solar, biofuel, and other pie-in-the-sky “green” energy projects and companies. Obama has regulated coal power plants either out of existence or to be taken out in the near future. Obama’s EPA is drafting more and more onerous rules concerning energy. It’s not a banner year for us skeptics at all. The only thing we have going for us is the Sun, the weather, and a few scientists here and there that found the nads to speak up against the “consensus.”

    • ‘R Gates

      Skeptics didn’t get banned…it was deniers’

      David Appell states that Judith and myself are deniers. The cut-off appears to be people who present unhelpful arguments and data are ‘denialists’.

      “First they came for the denialists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a denialist;Then they came for the skeptics, an…”

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Doc,

      You make a good point, and hence the reason why I always like to make a distinction between true skeptics versus deniers. Some would like to posit that there are no such thing as “deniers” or that it is an unhelpful term. In fact, this group does exist, and some right here on CE have proudly admitted to being such, which is to their credit. So, just as true-believer (unquestioning) warmists exist, deniers exist and both groups are based on faith and belief rather than data. Both groups should be banned from any site that wants to talk about science (which is based on rational skepticism) versus faith-based belief systems.

    • R. Gates,

      About the 95% confidence supposedly being based on looking at the full range of data.

      Routinely swept under the carpet in such discussions, is who is paying for the data and the science, and what vested interest might they have what conclusions are produced.

      Since government foots the climate science bill, selects the projects, institutions and scientists, then – barring some covert conspiracy of honesty and objectivity successfully hidden from the paymasters – there is unavoidably going to be a built-in bias to preferentially fund data and theories that serve the interests of government (which means : support CAGW, hence justifying carbon taxes etc). And such bias could too easily extend to flat-out fraud or malpractice, eg as we saw in Climatgate and the ensuing official coverups.

      So it’s not a simple question of “the facts don’t lie”. Which facts? Who selects them? Who pays for it all, and what is their interest in it all? Trusting government climate science, is even crazier than trusting tobacco company science on the health implications of smoking.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “Trusting government climate science, is even crazier than trusting tobacco company science on the health implications of smoking.”
      —–
      When the science and physics and data are not on your side, all you have left are conspiracies.

    • I feel much more ignorant about climate than the deniers do.

    • David Springer

      Speaking of that how’s the replication of the Woods experiment coming along? Nice experiment you had there with the salt windows. Shame you couldn’t get any meaningful result out of it. Quitters usually don’t. Experimental science isn’t as easy as abstract posters at AGU cons, huh?

      http://boole.stanford.edu/WoodExpt/

    • “Trusting government climate science, is even crazier than trusting tobacco company science on the health implications of smoking.”
      —–
      When the science and physics and data are not on your side, all you have left are conspiracies.

      Yes, that’s all committed alarmists have left – this bizarre notion that science firmly in the pocket of Big Government, is secretly conspiring to be be honest and objective, rather than do their proper job of advancing the cause of their paymaster by hiding data etc etc. It’s like believing tobacco company scientists were secretly conspiring to be honest about smoking.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: Deniers would like to be seen as honest skeptics,

      To a warmist, an honest skeptic is a true believer in CO2 induced warming pretending for a moment to be a skeptic. Someone who is actually skeptical about the case for CO2-induced global warming is a “denier”.

    • Trusting government climate science, is even crazier than trusting tobacco company science on the health implications of smoking.

      It’s becoming a real minefield for Joe Public to figure out just who he can trust: http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/12/05/jnci.djt365.extract

    • BTW I don’t smoke, and have no dog in the race.

  15. A big story, to me, is the building of at least two commercial cellulose ethanol plants; by Poet/DSM and Dupont. These will have a capacity to produce 50 million gallons of ethanol per year. The feedstock for this product is, currently, sheer waste. The corn stover used has no apparent utility at all, so it is free, and any costs are paid for by the food that we must have.

    If these plants are successful financially, which remains to be seen, this will represent the first successful effort to produce renewable energy in a form that is stored, so the energy can be used when we want to use it, and not when Mother Nature decides to give it to us.

    • Political Junkie

      “If these plants are successful financially,”

      Do you mean that they can actually compete on an equal footing with gasoline or do you mean that they can successfully drill into taxpayers pockets for subsidies to provide an acceptable return on investment for the shareholders?

    • Junkie, you write “Do you mean that they can actually compete on an equal footing with gasoline”

      Yes. Poet estimates the plants will make a profit if the wholesale price of gas is $2 per gallon. It is currently around $2.70 per gallon. Although they are paying the farmers for the corn stover, since this is really a waste product, the cost of the feedstock is not high.

    • “”The corn stover used has no apparent utility at all, so it is free, and any costs are paid for by the food that we must have.”

      Actually, if the demand is ever big enough so that corn stover and other current plant waste is not in excess supply, then that waste will start to command a positive price. If that happens, it will actually make the effective production cost of grain lower than it would be otherwise, because the positive price for plant cellulose waste would (from the farmer’s perspective) act like a subsidy to grain production.

    • Political Junkie

      Perhaps a little off topic, but may be analogous:

      A few decades back, used polyethylene bags and film were garbage, and people were willing to pay people a modest fee to take them to avoid the tipping fee at the dump.

      When businesses started to reprocess this polyethylene into reusable pellets the situation quickly changed. What used to be “garbage” became a marketable commodity. This had a major impact on the economics of the recyclers who were simultaneously faced with now rising raw material costs and shrinking subsidies as governments were finding sexier opportunities (such as “renewable energy”) to spend tax money.

    • From the Wikipedia definition: “Corn stover consists of the leaves and stalks of maize (Zea mays ssp. mays L.) plants left in a field after harvest and consists of the residue: stalk; the leaf, husk, and cob remaining in the field following the harvest of cereal grain.” Stover makes up about half of the yield of a crop and is similar to straw”.

      As a chemist I wish DSM and DuPont all the best in creating a viable chemical feedstock. Corn stover, while of lower economic value than the actual corn crop, does serve a useful purpose left out in the field: soil stabilization, as well as returning organic material to the soil from whence it came.

      There is still a bit of water in stover, adding to the cost of transportation to a processing facility. With coal, oil and gas, nature has done the heavy lifting- as it were- of removing most of the H2O.

      Can the plants that DuPont and others seek to operate be efficient without subsidy? The net fuel value of ethanol itself has been hotly debated.

    • Peter, you write “Can the plants that DuPont and others seek to operate be efficient without subsidy? The net fuel value of ethanol itself has been hotly debated.”

      That is what we do not know. The only way to find out, is to build the plants and see what happens. We are not sure that the commercial production of cellulose is even possible. We should know by the end of 2014. I should note, that while there is government money invested in these plants, I believe the two firms were planning to do this with private money.

      Two other points from other comments. Poet has worked out with the farmers that, with current practices, some 1 ton per acre of corn stover is not required for ploughing back into the land. At one ton per acre, assuming this figure applies to all agricultural products, the amount of feedstock available is enormous. It would be decades before cellulose ethanol plants could be built to handle that much cellulose.

    • David Springer

      P Bonk

      +frickin’ many

      Thanks for injecting some facts into the myth about “free” agricultural waste which is decidedly, as you pointed out, nowhere near bereft of benefit when left in the field to fortify and condition the soil for subsequent crops.

    • David, you write ” nowhere near bereft of benefit when left in the field to fortify and condition the soil for subsequent crops.”

      You are undoubtedly correct that it has been good farming practice for millenia, to plough back the “waste” agricultural products back for the benefit of future crops. The issue is, is it essential to plough back ALL the “waste”? So far as I am aware, no-one has tried to answer this question before. Since no-one wanted any of the corn stover, or it’s equivalent for other crops, farmers simply ploughed back everything.

      Now there is a potential use for this “waste”. I am not aware of any studies which have attempted to answer this question; other than Poet. Precisely what Poet did, I do not know. So far as I can tell they never issued any report. However, then have persuaded the decision makers, the farmers that they are dealing with, that future crops will not be impacted if 1 ton per acre of corn stover is used for the manufacture of cellulose ethanol.

      Are you aware of any other studies which have attempted to answer the question, “How much corn stover is truly waste?”

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim Cripwell: That is what we do not know. The only way to find out, is to build the plants and see what happens. We are not sure that the commercial production of cellulose is even possible. We should know by the end of 2014.

      That’s about the size of it. The private investors are betting that the product will be commercially successful without any more government subsidies.

  16. Judith, enjoy your holidays!!

    Cheers!

  17. Perhaps JC missed Suzanne Goldenbergs article in yesterday’s Guardian. Excerpts from it follow:

    “Barack Obama elevated climate change to one of his top presidential priorities.”

    “He said he would direct government, including the Environmental Protection Agency, to use its authority to cut greenhouse gas emissions, promote renewable energy, and protect communities from future climate change.”

    “Obama delivered on that promise on 25 June in another landmark speech in which he directed the Environmental Protection Agency to take measures to cut emissions from new and existing power plants.”

    “In the Virginia governor’s race, Democrat Terry McAuliffe ran television ads attacking his opponent, Ken Cuccinelli, as a climate change denier,and won. A number of polls suggested Republicans, even in conservative states, were growing concerned about climate change and wanted action.”

    “ For the first time, there were more new solar, wind and other renewable energy plants built than coal and oil combined. Warren Buffet’s utility ordered $1bn worth of new wind turbines for Iowa, and 39 coal plants shut down or announced plans to retire. No new coal plants came on line.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/20/2013-climate-change-review-obama-fracking

  18. For the CET area residents first half of 2013 was much colder than the last 20 year average (large increase in the heating energy consumption) somewhat warmer summer, and the end of the year back to the average.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-dMm.htm
    No global warming effect here, but considerable local cooling accompanied by outcry about the energy prices rise, forcing our government to act!

    • This is a failure of the journals that are paid to publish papers. There incompetence when it comes to data and code standards highlights the fact that they aren’t up to the job.

  19. Judith writes:

    [...]climate change topic is seeming a bit boring[...]

    Evidently, scientist turned film-maker, Randy Olson feels the same way (albeit perhaps for some, IMHO, different and/or belatedly expressed reasons). During an interview with Spiegel Online‘s Axel Bojanowski, Olson indicates that he was far less impressed with Gore’s AIT than either the Oscar voters or those who deemed his faux-documentary to be worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.

    Some other highlights (or lowlights, I suppose – depending on one’s perspective)

    Has the climate change “brand” been ruined? Scientist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson says that the problem with trying to raise awareness about global warming is that it’s the most boring subject on earth.
    [...]
    [Olson] … I think this issue of climate change is truly important, and that it is a major tragedy how poorly it’s been handled.
    [...]
    SPIEGEL ONLINE: What other errors have been made by the climate movement?

    Olson: The second was having zero strategy to deal with an all-out assault on “the brand” by climate skeptics, culminating in 2009 with “Climate Gate” that spun circles around the climate crowd, as they had zero ability to do “damage control.”
    [...]
    Olson: Climate definitely interests the climate crowd at some science magazines, talks or blogs. Some blogs are amazing. They will post one comment about one graph of temperature records from tree rings and get over a thousand comments. Which is boredom so purified and crystalized it’s in an unadulterated form that could make even a robot want to commit suicide.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: How could the public possibly still be interested in climate research?

    Olson: I fear it’s too late and that the brand has been ruined, but I hope it’s not. The climate crowd did a lousy job communicating. Several reports have itemized the fact that over a billion dollars was spent on climate by the environmental side over the past decade. There is simply no excuse for the failure to communicate.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: But many research institutes offer seminars on climate communication, are they useless?

    Olson: Not entirely, but the problems are at a very deep and instinctive level. What is missing is the narrative instinct. What is needed is “Narrative Training” involving partnering with people from the more visceral end — media people, professional storytellers, actors, etc.[...]

    Perhaps Olson will take heart when he learns of the “New narrative” and man-about-climate Robert Watson’s “new baby” … Future Earth’s “Engagement Committee”

  20. Thank you, Dr. Curry for this excellent blog. I know it takes effort on your part and that is appreciated. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all the Denizens, including FOMD and LOLWOT.

  21. I’d like to see Judith and Kim Cobb write a joint article (for a national publication — NY Times, Washington Post, etc.) to “common folks” (laymen) about “what everybody should be able to agree about on greenhouse gases”. Baby steps are better than no steps.

  22. “This post just begs for one entitled Skeptic Prat of 2013.” I suppose so, but I’m afraid no other climate blogger can write prose to rival pointman’s.

    • An example of Pointman’s prose can be seen in the first paragraph of that piece:

      “A lot of the usual prats have been smart enough to pick up on the winds of change and are quietly deserting the sinking ship. All we’ve heard from them is the occasional splash of their tiny, wee, small, pale and pink, ratty hands as they silently paddle away into the darkness.”

      You could surpass Pointman’s prose by using even more adjectives to modify a noun than he uses, but why would anyone want to be even sillier than him?

    • Silliness is in the eye of the beholder, maxie. Depends on whose rat is being gored.

    • Excellent prose can be silly. Or not. A lot of it is over the top in a way I find entertaining. As an example, I prefer this from the end: “Don’t you worry though Dana, I’ll always love you. Deeply, desperately, against all the odds and blindly rushing across that minefield of the bitter sectarian divide that keeps us apart. Be still my foolish heart. Though I’m a Montague and you’re a Capulet, it really doesn’t matter, I’ll still collect all of your curious antics and lovingly save them in my favourites directory, like the purloined locks of an unrequited lover’s hair.”

    • “You could surpass Pointman’s prose by using even more adjectives to modify a noun than he uses..”

      Your own prose could use some help, Max. Don’t you suppose your readers know what an adjective is?

    • No, pokerguy, I wouldn’t suppose all readers here know what an adjective is.

      Pointman suffers from verbal diarrhea. But his prose stinks less than the cartoons at his site.

    • “No, I wouldn’t suppose…”

      You guys would be a lot more credible if you could just once admit to a mistake. You’re always right… even outside the climate realm. Not even possible for you to concede, “yeah, i guess I was a little wordy myself there.” Which you obviously were.

  23. Odd to AGWormista
    (translated from P’s II 1845 prologue)

    Asleep under heavy dream
    profuse of horrific visions
    hardly of a choice accessible.
    With a fleeting contemplation
    of this nightmare is freed,
    but alas deceived of any hope
    sunk in an even darker realm.

    • Ode
      ( spell checker that should be Ode ! )

    • An IPCC Christmas Carol.

      Deck the halls with sticks not holly,
      Fa la la la lah la la lah lah.
      “Tis the season fer riotous worry,
      Fa la la la lah la la lah lah.
      Rightious warnings so alarming,
      Fa la la fa la la lah lah lah,
      Hockey stick graphs of globul warming.
      Fa la la lal lah la la la lah.

  24. In my opinion public discourse on climate change cannot possibly be useful looked at on a yearly basis or upon events. Shouldn’t it be looked at the very least multidecadal if not centuries or millennium. I know that the longer the period the less relevant it is current needs discussion but still it is starting to look more and more like a weather discussion.

    I know this is driven by the media and political agendas. if the US continues to pursue replacement of coal by renewables while the rest of the world can’t wait to build the next coal burning plant what is the point? With renewable companies going out of business shouldn’t governments be reconsidering policy if they really and truly want action on CO2. Germany says no to nuclear and yes to coal based on fear. Meanwhile Hansen now insists nuclear is the only alternative. Where was he when it really mattered a few decades ago? The whole notion of Kyoto is now completely absurd.

    If we go into a somewhat prolonged period of leveling or cooler temperatures due to Stadium Waves and a punked sun CO2 burning will become avant-garde again. Then if CO2 kicks in again later in the century and opps it’s burning us up again. How relevant can the discussion be even with consensus? The whole topic and policies that are pursued is so schizophrenic as to render it moot. It seems to me that so far it has simply led to misguided public policy and a huge waste of money.

  25. When the public climate debate gets boring, that’s when it gets really dangerous for everyone. It is at this point that warmists can get away with anything, because any counter-argument can be dismissed as boring, no-one’s listening, just get on without affordable energy like everyone else.

    Somehow we, the forces for reason, have to find a way of keeping the argument relevant. What would perhaps help most would be a high-profile defector, but there is little sign of that happening.

    R Gates – When you say that to “revise your current thinking on the severity/importance of global warming [..] We’d have to see the total energy in the Earth’s climate system decline over a period greater than a few years”, you are illustrating the problem. The IPCC has clearly exaggerated the power of CO2, and the ways in which they have done it have been exposed and well documented. The case for dismissing their findings as unsupported by evidence is clear. That should be enough, in any sane world, for the IPCC to be dismissed or at the very least sent back to the drawing board. So you and your ilk who demand ever increasing levels of evidence before you will admit that the CAGW argument is seriously flawed, are doing science and the world a severe disservice.

    Stand back from the coalface for a moment, have a good think about the biases and other weaknesses in the CAGW argument, and please recognise that the time is long overdue for all of you to say “Yes, maybe the IPCC really has gpt it badly wrong, and before the free world does itself even more damage we should take a cool hard look at the entire problem, identify where the science is weak, identify where the system has been gamed, stop continuously raising the bar, and get real.

    It is ludicrous to claim that in order to change your mind, the natural world has to actively step into the fray and do something that it might well not do naturally for millenia. The arguments behind your case have failed. We don’t know what the climate will do next, but we do know that CAGW is sufficiently flawed that it should be abandoned. For goodness’ sake, the lack of warming over the last 15+ years is more than enough to disprove CAGW, and even that should not have been needed for the major flaws in CAGW to be recognised.

    It is even more ludicrous for you to claim, as you did in a later comment, that anothe El Nino would rescue your argument. Don’t be ridiculous. Here we have a La Nada situation, one which gives free reign to CO2 to demonstrate its powers, and we get … nothing! Not only are you in denial overthat, but it seems that you are quite prepared to wait for an El Nino and then claim that its effect on temperature is evidence of CAGW. Can you not see how pathetically stupid that argument is? It’s time for you to break ranks, stop continuously raising the bar, and get real.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “It is even more ludicrous for you to claim, as you did in a later comment, that anothe El Nino would rescue your argument. Don’t be ridiculous. Here we have a La Nada situation, one which gives free reign to CO2 to demonstrate its powers, and we get … nothing!”
      ____
      Far from nothing Mike. We have very high (perhaps the highest on record) ocean heat content, and continued ice mass loss. 2013 will quite possibly be the warmest non-El Nino year on record. Given that 50% of the energy in the atmosphere comes directly from the ocean in the form of sensible and latent heat, having the warmest non-El Nino year means that some kind of forcing (other than sensible or latent heat flux) is causing the atmosphere to be so warm.

      Of course, the big take-away is that we need to look at the broader perspective of the energy balance of the climate system, rather than get hung on a very poor proxy for that balance which sensible tropospheric heat represents.

    • “We have very high (perhaps the highest on record) ocean heat content, and continued ice mass loss”

      Both those statements are wrong. We don’t have much in the way of a measure of ocean heat content, nothing approaching the length of an AMO or PDO full occilation, so we have no idea how heat flows in the decadal time scale.

      We have a record level of ice extent, if we include both poles.

      The fact that your GHG magic should work in both hemispheres, but does not, should give you some pause for thought.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “The fact that your GHG magic should work in both hemispheres, but does not, should give you some pause for thought.”
      ____

      I stopped believing in magic about the same time that I stopped believing in Santa. Regarding the SH, it is interesting that you’d think there is no warming there as we’ve seen evidence of abyssal ocean warming in the southern ocean. Globally, NH & SH, the oceans have been storing energy.

    • We have been waiting quite a while for those “stronger and more frequent El Ninos”, gatesy.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “We have been waiting quite a while for those “stronger and more frequent El Ninos”, gatesy.”
      —-
      Best to not put your hopes in one climate model’s output. It is far too chaotic a system to know exactly how ENSO behavior will change as GH gases double. To be sure, ocean heat content will increase, but whether that means stronger and more frequent El Niños is quite speculative. Some Paleoclimate data even shows persistent La Niña conditions, with more energy being advected to polar regions via ocean currents as opposed to latent and sensible heat flux near the equator.

    • You are confused, gatesy. I am not making the quite speculative predictions. It’s your team. Didn’t you get the memo from climate consensus dogma headquarters?

    • “Both those statements are wrong. We don’t have much in the way of a measure of ocean heat content”

      Yes we do. Not only argo but also sea level rise.

      “nothing approaching the length of an AMO or PDO full occilation”

      Unnecessary we can see the increase in measured ocean heat over the last 10 years and also the increase in sea level.

      That’s two independent measurements giving the same answer.

    • R gates

      Your 9.35

      It is a bare century since the Antarctic was first properly explored in small part by sir douglas Mawson

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

      Please provide the link for the abyssal warming of the southern ocean and clarify what period it is being compared to. Our historical knowledge of this continent is very limited and that of its oceans almost non existent

      Tonyb

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Hi Tony,

      One of the landmark studies on abyssal warming of the southern ocean was done in 2010:

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

      This same team has also had several follow up papers and other teams have found freshening of the abyssal southern ocean off of Antarctica which also corresponds to the warming. For a complete list, I would recommend you go to Google Scholar and search “Southern Ocean Abyssal warming freshening”. You’ll find Sarah P’s paper there and several others.

      Of course it is a remote area and research is very difficult, but some amazing teams have been spending long months and years gathering data so that we can find out exactly what is happening in this remote but important part of our planet.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “Both those statements are wrong. We don’t have much in the way of a measure of ocean heat content, nothing approaching the length of an AMO or PDO full occilation, so we have no idea how heat flows in the decadal time scale.”
      ____
      This is nonsense. While there are of course still uncertainties involved, it is an extreme hyperbole to suggest we “have no idea” how heat flows in and out of the ocean in the decadal time scale. We know that about 5 x 10^22 joules have been accumulating in the ocean down to 2000m over the past decade, with a pretty reasonable degree of confidence. Both Argo floats direct measurements and sea level rise measurements corroborate this. More heat flows out of the ocean during El Ninos and we see a corresponding temporary dip in ocean heat content AFTER the El Niño is fully complete. Likewise, during La Niñas (and periods dominated by La Ninas, such as the cool phase of the PDO), we see spikes in ocean heat content as less energy flows from ocean to atmosphere in the form of sensible and latent heat.

    • R gates

      I think we have had this conversation before. Sarah purkey and team have sampled a tiny fraction of the abyssal waters over a very limited period of time. We have nothing at all to compare it with from the past and this amount of modelled warming, should it even exist, I think we agreed was trivial and would have not the slightest effect on atmospheric temperature should the warmth ever find its way out of the abyss.

      Tonyb

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “This amount of modelled warming, should it even exist, I think we agreed was trivial and would have not the slightest effect on atmospheric temperature.”
      _____
      I don’t recall agreeing that the amount of energy being accumulated in the ocean was trivial. As Levitus has pointed out very recently, if you could take the amount of energy stored in the oceans over the past several decades and release it all at once into the troposphere, it would raise the temperature many tens of degrees. The real point is that research seems to indicate that even the abyssal ocean is storing energy, and this further confirms that the Earth climate system is in energy accumulation mode, and have been for several decades. Futhermore, as long as the oceans (as the biggest storage vessel for climate system energy) are accumulating energy, is is extremely inaccurate, unscientific, and misleading to talk about the ‘globe cooling”, when such a “cooling”, if it exists at all, only pertains to part of the troposphere, which contains just a fraction of climate system energy.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates Skeptical Warmist: Regarding the SH, it is interesting that you’d think there is no warming there as we’ve seen evidence of abyssal ocean warming in the southern ocean. Globally, NH & SH, the oceans have been storing energy.

      Maybe, but you abandoned your argument about global ice without admitting that it was wrong. Also, the evidence for accumulating abyssal heat is poor. If the heat has somehow flowed from the cold ice to the warmer deep ocean, is there net warming? What energy pushed the heat against the temperature gradient?

  26. As 2013 draws to an end, climate change continues to be an issue that splits families, turns young against old, uproots Isaac Newton physics, has been a savior to the Greens movement’s potty solutions..

    While regional climates have had their ups ans downs (like always). global average temperature has stubbornly refused to change during the last 15 years. How many more years will it take for people to realise they have been sold a pack of poor science by their governments?

  27. We don’t have continued ice loss. On the contrary, the sum of Arctic + Antarctic sea ice overall rose in 2013 to a higher than average level. It’s true that Arctic sea ice had been shrinking for several years, but it reversed course and expanded considerably in 2013. Meanwhile, Antarctic sea ice has been expanding for several years. It’s now at a record high level. The growth of global sea ice extent is consistent with the fact that temperature hasn’t risen significantly for a long time.

    R. Gates, you thought that ice extent was shrinking and this was evidence of global warming. Would you agree that the expansion of sea ice extent is evidence against global warming?

  28. Season’s Greetings to all, especially to our hostess, who has supervised the playpen with great forbearance and good humour and managed to get a lot of real work done as well.

    I agree that things have gone off the boil a bit during 2013 (although Obama and a few others tried to stoke the fire), and suggest a few reasons.

    One is that most “hot” issues have a defined life cycle in politics. There is only room for 4-6 issues, at most, to be prominent in politics at one time. They continually jostle, and (with the exception of the economy) none of them is a constant.

    That said, the broader environmental push – Agenda 21 etc – is still very much around. It has permeated just about every sphere of political activity, even to Defence using biofuels in the US, as well as education, local government etc. So defenders of rational policymaking have a lot of work to do yet.

    Another is that the scientific arguments, based on the data we possess so far, have been flogged to death in journals, blogs, etc. While things like the Stadium Wave theory and some new work on clouds, ice etc appeared this year, most of the scientific debate has become very repetitive.

    Finally, the political backlash against high energy prices is well under way in the UK, Europe, and Australia. Nothing converts politicians like a quantifiable backlash from voters. Their instinct is to palliate and also to change the subject asap.

    Anyway, 2014 might bring some relief for hard-pressed energy consumers, both domestic and commercial. Let’s hope so, for the sake of everyone’s prosperity.

    Happy New Year, everyone!

  29. Haiku Kulture Korner ==> I prefer factual information to cute, even beautiful, propaganda.

  30. JC,

    My reaction at the close of 2013 is that the climate change topic is seeming a bit boring, although it has arguably been a banner year for skeptics. I will try to drum up some new topics.

    In case you are seeking suggestions on topics, here are some I’d be interested in:

    1. Policies that would reduce the risk (probability or consequence or both) of sudden climate change, and that doesn’t have a greater risk of doing more harm than good.

    2. Probability that such policies would succeed in delivering the projected benefits, given the realities of economics, politics, international diplomacy and and the time over which such policies would have to continue.

    3. More on the practical application of robust versus optimal policy development and implementation.

    4. More on the impacts of warming (the damage function). Both Richard Tol and William Nordhaus repeatedly point out that our understanding of the net economic effect of warming is very limited. It seems to me the impacts of warming may be overstated just as it seems the climate sensitivity may have been overstated.

    5. What global CO2 emissions reductions could be achieved by what dates with no regrets policies?

    • I’d like updates on stadium waves if there is any.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      I’m sure Ruddiman would love to have natural variability and internal variability extended back to the start of the Holocene. Think how excellent this analysis of his would be if we had that additional data:

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

      We might be able to pinpoint exactly when anthropogenic effects starting altering natural variability and know exactly how cycles such as the ENSO, PDO, AMO, etc. we being influenced by human activity. That data would be amazing to have!

    • Interactions between externally-forced climate signals from sunspot peaks and the internally-generated Pacific Decadal and North Atlantic Oscillations

      Loon Meehl
      AGU 2013

      More likely solar than anthropogenic.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “Interactions between externally-forced climate signals from sunspot peaks and the internally-generated Pacific Decadal and North Atlantic Oscillations

      Loon Meehl
      AGU 2013

      More likely solar than anthropogenic.”
      —-
      The mistake would be to assume the signals are only one forcing and that the mix does not change over time.


    • steven | December 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm |

      Interactions between externally-forced climate signals from sunspot peaks and the internally-generated Pacific Decadal and North Atlantic Oscillations

      Loon Meehl
      AGU 2013

      More likely solar than anthropogenic.

      I don’t have that paper available and can look at the abstract for the moment, but you can get an idea of the contents from my blog post here:
      http://contextearth.com/2013/12/18/csalt-model-and-the-hale-cycle/

      Where I write


      A critical harmonic in the series is the 1/3 period of the Hale cycle of approximately 7.3 years. This appears to be an important factor in interpreting the North Atlantic oscillation dynamics, with the Hale “family” of harmonics as described in [1]. The 7.3 year period also has a relationship to the tidal precession, as it describes the duration of time it takes for the spring tides to realign with the calendar date — which is close to the perigee cycle of 7.7 years. As [1] states, “whole year multiples are important because, ultimately, climate cycles have to be tied to seasons”. So this may in fact be a resonance that ties the tides to the solar cycle.

      Steven’s suggestion that this is “More likely solar than anthropogenic.” is possibly correct, but a model such as CSALT is able to draw out the quantitative factors of these solar contributions to warming and show that that they are also quantitatively small. For example, the 7.3 year Hale cycle harmonic that contributes to the AMO is only +-0.05 C peak to peak when decomposed:

      http://contextearth.com/2013/12/18/csalt-model-and-the-hale-cycle/

      Climate science is not boring at all. All one has to do is build on the work of others and the knowledgebase grows.

      [1] G. Wefer, Climate Development and History of the North Atlantic Realm. Springer, 2002.

  31. It is 2013 that brought us AR5. It also brought the continued hullabaloo about the pause, which now will promptly be replaced by another step as 2014 wears on, and it will become a non-story or just another skeptical error, I predict, by this time next year. The Arctic sea-ice roller coaster will continue. Single-year summaries don’t do justice to observational climate change because it is too slow for that, but improving and lengthening ocean and satellite observations are now constraining the theories better.

  32. Impact of EPA’s Regulatory Assault on Power Plants–February 7 Update
    Posted February 7, 2012 | folder icon Print this page

    Impact of EPA’s Regulatory Assault on Power Plants:
    New Regulations to Take 33 GW of Electricity Generation Offline and the Plant Closing Announcements Keep Coming…

    “So if somebody wants to build a coal-fired plant they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them…”
    – Barack Obama speaking to San Francisco Chronicle, January 2008

    February 7, 2012—Update

    More than 33 gigawatts (GW) of electrical generating capacity are now set to retire because of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Rule (colloquially called Utility MACT)[1] and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR)[2] regulations. Most of these retirements will come from coal-fired power plants, shuttering nearly 10 percent of the U.S.’s coal-fired generating capacity.

    http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2012/02/07/impact-of-epas-regulatory-assault-on-power-plants-february-7-update/

  33. More EPA regs and costs to us …
    From the article:
    EPA’s list of billion-dollar rules is long and still growing. President Obama recently announced EPA would move forward with new greenhouse regulations for existing power plants, adding to the some 80 greenhouse gas related rules already proposed by the agency since 2009. H.R. 1582 will help protect Americans from potential adverse economic or employment consequences of future billion-dollar energy rules. Already finalized or proposed rules that are expected, based on EPA’s own estimates, to impose costs of more than $1 billion include:

    Final Rules and EPA Cost Estimates

    GHG Standards for Cars (MY Year 2012-2016): $52 billion
    GHG Standards for Cars (MY 2017-2025): $144 billion
    GHG Standards for Trucks (MY 2014-2018): $8.1 billion
    Ocean-Going Vessels Standards: $1.85 billion in 2020, increasing to $3.1 billion in 2030
    Utility MACT Rule: $9.6 billion annually
    Boiler MACT Rule: $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion annually
    Cement MACT Rule: $925 million to $950 million annually
    Cross-State Air Pollution Rule/CAIR: $2.4 billion
    Nationwide Sulfur Dioxide National Standards: $1.5 billion in 2020

    Pending Rules and EPA Cost Estimates

    Tier 3 Vehicle and Gasoline Standards: $2 billion in 2017, increasing to $3.4 billion in 2030
    Nationwide Ozone Standards: $19 billion to $90 billion annually
    316(b) Rule: $383 million to $4.6 billion annually
    Coal Ash Rule: $587 million to $1.4 billion annually
    GHG Standards for Power Plants: TBD
    GHG Standards for Refineries: TBD

    http://energycommerce.house.gov/press-release/epas-list-billion-dollar-rules-long-and-growing

  34. Then there are new DOE regs along with the EPAs. We have already been deprived of 100 watt incandescents, now this ….

    From the article.
    Ceiling Fan Lights
    How does the Department of Energy legislation for ceiling fans affect ceiling fan light fixtures?

    Explanation of 190 Watt Limit & Current Limiting Devices

    In order to limit the wattage used by the light kit, it is necessary to limit the current (amperage). For nominal 120VAC systems, this equates to a maximum current of 1.583A. Due to normal tolerances in the line voltage and draw from the lamps, the 190W/1.583A “limit” can vary as well. This requires that the limiting device accommodate this variance. Although the DOE recognizes that there are various limiting technologies that can be used and has not specified any particular technology, essentially electronics are require for proper performance. Further, the device must be able to operate within a short period of time (no more than a few minutes). A device that operates within one minute would be acceptable. The available technologies include single-shot fuses, re-settable mechanical overloads and electronic limiters. However, electronic limiters seem to be the only viable option for the typical light kit with incandescent light bulbs.

    http://www.hansenwholesale.com/ceilingfans/reviews/ceiling-fan-lights.asp

  35. From the article:

    The mainstream media has been noticeably silent on EPA plans for the country … a slew of new rules and regulations to go into effect after November 7th that Obama has ordered be kept under wraps until after the election. What this Administration doesn’t want American families to know is precisely what they need to know.

    The US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Minority Staff recently released a report on the upcoming EPA rules and regulations that, it said, will “eliminate American jobs, drive up the price of gas at the pump even more, impose construction bans on local communities, and essentially shut down American oil, natural gas, and coal production. They don’t want this economic pain to hit American families just before the election because it would cost President Obama votes.”

    New greenhouse gas regulations will no longer just affect coal plants, but will regulate churches, schools, restaurants, hospitals and farms, putting an enormous burden on Americans.

    Farms, for example, will be required to comply with costly permit mandates and have to pay a “cow tax” on each animal and an annual fee on greenhouse gases emitted.

    New ozone rules will cost $90 billion a year by EPA estimates, while other studies have projected costs upwards of a trillion dollars and destroy 7.4 million jobs, the report found.

    Natural gas fracturing regulations will severely impact energy production, resulting in new permits and well workovers costing $1.499 Billion to $1.615 Billion a year.

    Clean Water Act new guidelines would allow EPA to expand federal control over virtually every body of water in the country, no matter how small, the report described.

    Final stormwater regulations proposed by the EPA would become “the most expensive rule in EPA history,” according to the Senate.

    New Gas regulations called Tier III, would lower the sulfur content in gasoline to from 30 to 10 parts per million at a cost of up to $10 billion initially and $2.4 billion each year.

    Farm Dust Regulations being proposed are so tightened, they would be below the dust created during normal farming operations and be impossible for rural American farms to meet.

    http://tucsoncitizen.com/wryheat/2012/10/26/obamas-undercover-epa-regulations/

    • How a great country can be brought to a standstill, and ter
      what end? Tsk!

    • So much for “Hope and Change” eh, Cousins?

      I could just about understand you electing O’Bummer once, but what on Earth were you thinking of electing him a second time? Fool me once…

      I hear Obamacare is turning out precisely as predicted too…

      Yes, things really are “worse than we thought”!

    • Jim2, those all sound like good ideas. I especially like the one on taxing cows. Can you provide a link with more deals.

    • Any time, Max.

    • Well, were’s the link? I think I’m for taxing cows, but I need more details.

    • I think it’s about time Elsie paid her way. She’s been a terrible freeloader. We think we’re getting milk and cheese, but the truth is she’s eating our grass for free.

    • I fear there may be no proposal to tax cows. I’m afraid jim2 was suckered, and in turn, suckered me.

    • Max, you seem to be implying this was made up out of whole cloth, it wasn’t.

      From the article:
      The EPA briefly mentions “raising livestock” in its report on ways to regulate greehnouse gases under the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Paul Schlegel, director of public policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation, said it determined the possible fees that could be imposed by using Agriculture Department statistics on the amount of greenhouse gases that come from livestock and applied it to the EPA’s permitting rules.

      Farmers from across the country have expressed outrage over the EPA report, both on Internet sites and in opinions sent to EPA during a public comment period that ended last week. Many call it a “cow tax” and say the EPA proposed it.

      “It’s something that really has a very big potential adverse impact for the livestock industry,” said Rick Krause, the senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

      The fee would cover the cost of a permit for the livestock operations. While farmers say it would drive them out of business, an organization supporting the proposal hopes it forces the farms and ranches to switch to healthier crops.

      “It makes perfect sense if you are looking for ways to cut down on meat consumption and recoup environmental losses,” said Bruce Friedrich, a spokesman in Washington for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

      “We certainly support making factory farms pay their fair share,” he said.

      U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, a Republican from Haleyville in northwest Alabama, said he has spoken with EPA officials and doesn’t believe the cow tax is a serious proposal that will ever be adopted by the agency.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/05/proposed-cow-gas-tax-ange_n_148682.html

    • Wait a minute, jim2, the tucsoncitizen.com article you quoted said cows will be taxed:

      “Farms, for example, will be required to comply with costly permit mandates and have to pay a “cow tax” on each animal and an annual fee on greenhouse gases emitted.”
      _____

      Yet, there is no tax on cows nor has the EPA ever proposed to tax cows.

    • And don’t forget the state level regulations. Between 2001 and 2009 (if memoery servces correctly), state legislatures proposed 1339 bills to regulate GHGs, and passed 239 of them. Coupled with federal onslaught, our affordable, reliable, and plentiful energy sources are under regulatory assault – and the useful idiots on the left somehow think that industry is overly subsidized. Add to that, the action, or inaction of an idoctrinated, lobotomized media, and it does not take much to realize that this country is in trouble. If we think Obamacare is bad, wait until Obama and the EPA get done with our energy sector if they get their way.

    • Read the Rolling Stone article linked by JC. Obama is not so easily put into the environmentalist category given his record, and disregarding his words, so far. We can hope he improves over his remaining term to show that he meant what he said.

  36. Suggested Topics:

    a) What are the most basic assumptions in Climate Science? Those “everyone” assumes to be true.

    b) Have these assumptions been proven through intentional replication of basic research?

    c) What points of Climate Science are contentious and could be resolved with directed basic research?

    d) What points of basic Climate Science are seemingly contradictory? Can these be resolved with directed basic research?

    In the medical world, the American College of Physicians has just published an editorial in its Annals of Internal Medicine calling for discontinuing the use and recommendation of vitamin supplements. After 50 years of research by advocates that promoted their use — the results are finally clear — they are mostly useless and at worst harmful.

    How much of Climate Science would fall if basic assumptions were rechallenged? if basic values were calculated from scratch? how many important climate results are diamonds and how many stones? how much therapeutic and how much useless or at worst harmful?

    • Nice list. I add this ‘interaction term’ to your list. What parameterized entities in climate models are most uncertain AND have the largest impact on the variance of model runs? Because, that is where the basic research should go (and for all I know, maybe it does… a sensible young climate scientist interested in impact would be doing research on precisely that).

  37. Judy, Larry Solomon’s excellent piece was in the Financial Post of Toronto not the Financial Times of London. More’s the pity.

  38. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Whenever a vet like Dave Springer hands out-grief, is a good time to reflect on how much we owe veterans, and how many virtues they embody … and so a big year-end thanks goes out to all our veterans (uhhh … politically correct Climate Etc folks need not click this particular link).

    \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}

  39. I agree that the topic of climate change is becoming more boring. I think that the issue is slipping onto many people’s back burner. Alarmists are seeing that their attempt to break through on mitigation is a manifest failure. Skeptics are making some progress but the fundamental problem remains that there is a lot we don’t know about the climate and so the science does not lend itself easily to reasoned policy decisions.

    Perhaps this issue will like antibiotic resistance go out not with a bang but with a wimper and gradually succumb to the overwhelming inertia of human nature.

  40. Hmm …was it ever about the science? Trouble is so
    many political and economic initiatives have been set
    in law to impact the wealth of nations and the freedom
    of individuals.

    Beth the serf.

  41. What I’ve got out of 2013;

    1. Australia has an elected a government that has promised to repeal the carbon pricing legislation and all the legislation and bureaucratic organisations that were set up to support it. It is now looking at cutting back on the Renewable Energy Targets too (the carbon tax added up to 12% and the RET up to 14% to the cost of electricity).

    2. The estimates of climate sensitivity seem to be coming down (most likely ETS down from 3.2 C in 2007 (AR4) to about ? in 2013 (AR5); 1.8 C for recent analyses based mostly on observational data to 3 C based on models (not sure if these are both mean or median).

    3. The impacts of GHG emissions may be much less than most analyses to date suggest. The impacts of global warming to 2 C above the current global average temperature to be net positive, and perhaps even to 4 C (excluding the cost of energy). If the real cost of energy is greatly reduced in the future (which is plausible) global warming may be net beneficial to beyond 3 C.

    4. The risk of a sudden, rapid, large climate change seems to be much a more significant issue to be analysing than the curves being produced in the GCMs and used in the IACs.

    5. Most of the advanced economies are back-pedalling from their carbon restraint programs: e.g. carbon pricing and policies to favour renewable energy.

    6. Blogs is emerging as a fast way to get information out and get early peer review of papers.

    7. The IPCC’s credibility is reduced. Climate scientists credibility is reduced. Scientists’ credibility is reduced.

    8. The most highly respected scientific journals (e.g. ‘Nature’ and ‘Science’) and the peak scientific bodies like RS, NAS and the Australian Academy of Sciences (AAS) have suffered damage to their credibility.

  42. “I will try to drum up some new topics.”

    How about a post on CAGW by fiat?

    The various warmists who commented above are correct that this has actually been a banner year for CAGW activists in the US, who have seen remarkable steps toward decarbonization, and a vastly inflated energy price, by the Obama administration.

    What they fail to mention is that they have all been “accomplished” without bothering with that cumbersome aspect of democracy called the legislative process.

    From Barack “What Constitution” Obama to Jerry “King Canute” Brown in California, the progressive “leaders” of this country have decided that the voters and their elected representatives in congress just no longer matter.

  43. Bill McKibben says …

    “Actually, of course, “the problem” is that climate change is spiraling out of control. Under Obama we’ve had the warmest year in American history – 2012 – ”

    So, I guess Bill found all the missing data and now has over 200 years of US temperature records. What a guy!!

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/obama-and-climate-change-the-real-story-20131217

  44. This how a hoax dies… Western academia turned CO2 in a mystical element with powers never seen in nature. Thus, the AGW glass bead game was born. And now, all of the masters of the game are drowning in the cool waters.

  45. Warmist are loosing, prepare the jails! fake skeptics are born loosers. Merry C

  46. Wherever you look the climate scare is dying. Mother Gaia hasn’t drunk the KoolAid and she isn’t playing according to the ‘narrative’. Temperatures aren’t rising. The predicted disasters haven’t happened. Shouting and screaming and better ‘communication’ won’t change any of that. And the public aren’t fools.

    The simple fact is that the number of people who care about ‘climate change’ is decreasing. And the number who care about the ever-spiralling costs of supposedly dealing with it is increasing.

    These trends are now beginning to register with pollies around the world. In Oz they humiliatingly dumped the carbon taxers. In UK, costs not greenery are now the central theme of debate. Even the reliably climatobonkers EU is toning down its anti-energy stance under pressure from member states like Poland. COP19 was the latest in a long line of floperoony conferences for the faithful. AR5 was published to pretty universal apathy.

    In retrospect we can see that the turning point was Copenhagen. A perfect storm of snow, political failure and Climategate all coincided to make some people step back a little and begin to examine the foundations of the seemingly unstoppable bandwagon.

    And when they viewed objectively, rather than through propaganda-tinted specs they found its flaws pretty quickly. Temperatures had ceased to rise, the models on which all the predictions are based were unfit for purpose and many ‘scientists; had lost sacrificed any sense of objectivity in favour of ‘winning’.

    2013 has just been another series of steps along the way that began when FOIA gave their portentous message ‘a miracle has happened’

    So what of the future? More of the same. Increasing scepticism, reducing worry about a non-event. Climate worry has always really been restricted to academics and politicians and their place of intersection. It has never featured highly in ‘ordinary people’s’ concerns.

    The pollies can look after themselves…they are adept at tacking and changing and modifying their positions. But the academics and those at the interface between academia and politics are in much more danger. In Australia the climatocracy has been rapidly dismantled. Those who nailed their colours to the mast of doom have been summarily defenestrated. There is no reason to suggest that other countries/institutions won’t follow suit.

    And the next generation of pollies – those who have grown up with constant CAGW propaganda, but no actual AGW to see – are unlikely to look so benignly on the academic budgets for climatology and environmentalism as their predecessors. They will look back at $100bn of expenditure and see that the pubic benefit has been nothing at all – bar being misled up some policy dead ends. And I doubt that they will want to throw yet more good money after bad. I predict a big tightening of the purse strings and job losses in that area. We just don’t need you guys any more.

    Mystic Lat forsees the following little scene in a university town near you:

    Career retrainer: So, you’re a redundant 40 yo climatology modeller? What do you know?
    Climo: Fortran sir.
    CR: How good were your models at predicting things that we could test?
    Climo: Dunno. We never thought of that.
    CR: Didn’t you test them?
    Climo: Testing? No need. They were automatically right from first principles. You are an evil denier for even mentioning testing! And the world is going to fry! My Fortran tells us so.
    CR: Frying huh? That’s given me the idea for your next career. It’s all you are suited for.

    But there’s an aptitude test. Repeat after me ‘Will you be having fries with that, sir? Relishes on the side’

    • Lattie, What you gonna do about it? UK North Sea oil keeps declining:
      http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20131211-704794.html
      Green technology to the rescue. Few other options available.

    • @webbie

      Seems like you’ve never heard of buying and selling stuff, Webbie.

      Us technical peeps call it ‘trade’. It’s not new.

    • Get smart like the rest of the world, lattie. Prep for when the costs of fossil fuel become too high relative to the alternatives. Imperative, whether it is boring or not.

    • @webbie

      UK is an island built on coal and gas. Go figure our options.

    • lil lattie, go back to school. Not much coal left according to the history books.

    • @ Latimer

      “And the public aren’t fools.”

      In a sane world, your post would be accurate; in the real world, if the US were an individual, it would be locked up for its own protection.

      As it stands now, it simply doesn’t matter what the public thinks. The government bureaucracy WILL continue to issue regulations whose primary purpose is to demonstrate that they are now for all practical purposes impotent (EPA, HEW, DHS, ad infinitum). And the public WILL obey them. Or else.

    • Correction: for 8:52 AM post: “……….practical purposes impotent ”

      Talk about getting it WRONG!

      Replace ‘impotent’ with ‘omnipotent’

      Merry Christmas!

      Bob

    • @webbie

      You say

      ‘Not much coal left according to the history books’

      You read the wrong history books. There are proven reserves sufficient to keep us going for 50 years. And, if history is our guide, the harder we look the more we’d find.

      http://www.ukcoal.com/world-coal-statistics.html

    • Business magazines agree that not much coal left in UK in comparison to how much has been used in the past:
      http://blogs-images.forbes.com/williampentland/files/2011/09/UK-Coal-History2.jpg

      Between 200 and 300 million tonnes used per year for 50+ years, amounting to nearing 30,000 million tonnes cumulative extracted so far. And the link you provide claims 3,000 million tonnes in reserve.

      Go back to school, lil lattie.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “And, if history is our guide…”
      ____
      A rather poor guide if you subscribe to the ideas of Nassim Taleb. It is the Black Swans the define the significant events in history. Looking backwards at history to be a guide is like the Thanksgiving Turkey strutting around the day before the Big Day thinking that food will be plentiful and nothing could possible change. Bad way to predict the future.

    • @webbie

      I showed you the actual current UK consumption and reserve statistics. It is a pretty simple sum to divide one by the other and get to 50 years. 3192/64 = 49.9.

      But you wish to divert the argument by looking back with irrelevant stats of 100 years ago when production was much higher. And the reason it was much higher than today’s total consumption of 64 Mt was that UK was a nett exporter of coal for many of those years. Your comparison – and hence your conclusion – is spurious.

      I do not suggest that we plan to become nett coal exporters once more. But even if we were never to import a single chunk of US or Russian or Colombian coal we could survive until 2060 and beyond.

      I thank you for worrying so much on the UK’s behalf about our FF reserves. And I hope that a quick look at the actual relevant statistics has put your mind more at rest about our plight (or lack of)

    • @ R Gates

      Taleeb’s book is undoubtedly an entertaining read. And he may well be right about historical things that can be considered to be ‘event driven’.

      The example that ran through my mind as I wrote to Webster HT earlier was the collapse of whale oil as a fuel for lighting once town gas was manufactured and distributed on a commercial scale – and then gas’s subsequent eclipse by electricity for lighting (but not heating or cooking). In both cases the Black Swan was a technological innovation

      But I don’t think that his ideas are applicable to my example. Its a theme that runs through history – the more you look for something the more you will find. Two reasons.. you get better at looking, and once you know you’ve got enough, you stop looking.

      So for example, UK has proven coal reserves for 50 years. That’ll take us to 2065 ish. Nobody is planning real projects now that have a lifetime much beyond that, so whether the reality is 2065 or 2075 is irrelevant. Nobody wants to spend today’s efforts on worrying about something that is outside of their planning horizon.

      And that’s also the problem with proponents of Peak Oil. Every time they conclusively prove to themselves that its happened, people look a bit harder in different places, or get that little bit better at extracting what they’ve already got.

      Peak Oil annd Peak Coal are – like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – always over the horizon.

  47. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Latimer Alder posts “[redacted fact-free politics-first rant] Fortran [redacted moronic abuse]

    Moronic fact-free abusive rants by Latimer Alder, science-and-jobs links by FOMD.

    Conclusion  It’s good that climate-model software is of high-quality *and* these companies are hiring.

    Thank you, Latimer Alder, for helping Climate Etc readers to appreciate the more clearly the distinction between science on the one-hand, and ideology-driven denialism on the other hand!

    It’s good that the economic demand for scientists-and-engineers is robust. The demand for moronic climate-change denialism … not so much!

    \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}

    • And a Merry 17th Temperature Static Christmas to you too, Fanny.

    • FOMD,

      In your usual moronic ideology-driven alarmist credulity, you post a link to a single job ad for a software engineer, as evidence of a boom in technical jobs for CAGW truebelievers. Keep it up.

    • I note that the advertised job is tech support in a shop that just happens to be about climate. A redundant climate modeller would not even get through the door…they are programming guys and what is needed is an infrastructure guy. Very different skillsets and success criteria.

      Another Fanny triumph.

    • Strong programming skills in any (or all) of the following languages: Java, Python, Ruby, or Clojure

      Notice the specific lack of ForTran?

      I’m disappointed that I need to waste time pointing out something somebody else should have noticed (Latimer)

    • @AK

      I hope you read the rest of the advert and saw what the job was actually for. It wasn’t to be a climate modeller.

      It was to be the infrastructure guru for the platforms (hardware and software) on which the modellers work. You can have the most super duper up to date platforms in the world…and still run Fortran programs on them. This feature is called ‘upward compatability’ and without it the IT industry would have faded away years ago.

      As a btw you’d probably be surprised how many financial systems still have their core routines written in COBOL (or even Assembler) from the 1960s and 1970s. People rarely throw away working code that they have spent thousands of many years working on.

    • @Latimer Alder…

      I read the entire offer, and I just noticed that you hadn’t mentioned the absence of ForTran. Personally, I would guess the duties are more in the line of QA tech than “infrastructure guru”, but probably combining both. I’ve done my share of QA, in business systems written in COBOL, and AFAIK there’s still plenty of business code written in COBOL/CICS, which was my primary programming specialty back in the day. A lot of it has new-fangled Web Server front-ends bolted onto lecacy code.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      My favourite – and best validated – rainfall/runoff model has a ForTran core – with some C++ data entry modules and a Visual Basic GUI. Input formatting even with the C++ input menus is a pig. I routinely make back up copies of back up copies because the formatting stuffs up if you look at it wrong and it is almost impossible to find and correct the errors. I’ve worked with it for 30 years and know all the foibles – and it the best for east Australian catchments – but does ForTran have any possible modern use other than these legacy programs?

      I really took it as a metaphor from Latimer rather than any – the meaninf is clear – mentally substitute any of the modern languages for ForTran if you must.

    • @AK

      Thanks for your remarks. I may have misinterpreted your first contribution. If so, apologies and Merry Globally Unwarmed Christmas to you and yours!

  48. Resident Guardian Environment egg-head John Abraham seems to be jealous that co-author Nuttercelli has just won ‘Prat of the Year”. He’s trying to catch up.

    John Abraham :
    ” Another limit to the accuracy of climate models deals with processes that do not obey basic laws of the universe (conservation of mass, momentum, and energy). Examples of processes that fall into this category are cloud formation, fluid turbulence, ocean oscillations, dispersion of particulates, reflection of sunlight by aerosols, transfer of water between oceans and the atmosphere, etc.”

    No wonder modellers are having such trouble getting things to work! The fundamentals of climate “do not obey basic laws of the universe”. LOL

    What utter garbage.

    Published under a banner saying:
    CLIMATE CONSENSUS- THE 97%
    BYJOHNABRAHAM AND
    DANANUTTICELLI

    • They don’t follow basic laws of the universe. More complex laws.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      ” Another limit to the accuracy of climate models deals with processes that do not obey basic laws of the universe (conservation of mass, momentum, and energy). Examples of processes that fall into this category are cloud formation, fluid turbulence, ocean oscillations, dispersion of particulates, reflection of sunlight by aerosols, transfer of water between oceans and the atmosphere, etc.”
      _____
      If this statement accurately portrays the thoughts of the person who wrote it and is not taken out of context, then this person has no clue what Chaos Theory is nor how chaotic systems operate. They are completely deterministic and completely obey the basic laws of the universe. The issue isn’t that they obey more complex laws, nor that they are random, for surely they are not random. The issue is one of complexity with so many different interacting parts that after a short while the details become impossible to predict, even though those details come from basic deterministic laws.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Thanks for that link phatboy. After reading the article, I think he does a good job of explaining the differences between climate models and economic models and it seems this line from the article:

      “Another limit to the accuracy of climate models deals with processes that do not obey basic laws of the universe (conservation of mass, momentum, and energy). ”

      Indicates that he does not (as I stated earlier) understand the nature of chaotic systems. It is not that the processes being modeled do not obey the basic laws of the universe. This is a very absurd statement. It is that the complexity of the processes being modeled means that can not be accurately put into simple equations. Thus, as he does accurately state- they must be “parameterized”.

      I would suggest that Mr. Abraham go back and read a bit more on Chaos theory and why chaotic systems are quite deterministic, and why Chaotic systems do indeed “obey basic laws of the universe”. For certainly, if they did not, it would be a true revolution in science.

    • RG perhaps you missed the not-too-subtle point that our Mr Abrahams is an outspoken warmist.

  49. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Latimer Alder posts “And a Merry 17th Temperature-Static Christmas to you too, Fanny.”

    Denialist cognition by Alder, facts and context by science!

    \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}

    • Did I see any measured data that shows any temp. increase in the last 17 years in your irrelevant refs, Fanny?

      Thought not.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      IT’S SIMPLE  We’ll know that global warming is over when the seas stop rising and the polar ice stops melting

      Aye Climate Etc lassies and laddies, that’s the unifying power of thermodynamical climate-science for `yah!

      It is a please to assist your ongoing search for scientific understanding, Latimer Alder!

      \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}

    • @fanny

      If you want to worry yourself stupid about seas going up by 8 inches per century, knock yourself out. But you won’t get many to join you in dampening your underwear. It’s just about one housebrick every thirtyfive years. Doesn’t really pass the SFW? test, does it?

      And didn’t I see that the polar ice this year was the second highest ever recorded? Much increased from last year. How does that happen if we’re on our way to imminent Thermageddon?

      http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/global-sea-ice-area-closing-in-on-record-high/

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The Simple Truth  Plenty of foresighted organizations prefer to plan for the long haul.

      And that foresight is a mighty good idea, isn’t it Latimer Alder?

      It’s good that your scientific understanding and foresighted moral appreciation both are increasing!

      \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}

    • @fanny

      Gotta say that showing me pictures of ‘religious leaders’ of any sort is emphatically *not* the the way to persuade me of anything. Epic strategic fail, mon brave.

      But some measured temperature data might. Got any? Thought not.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Just as “the plural of anecdote is not data”, so too “the plural of cherry-picked denialist excuses is not rational climate-change understanding.

      It is a pleasure to assist you with this insight, Latimer Alder.

      \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}

    • @Fanny

      Thanks again for your remarks. I’m always interested to see how those word association games play out in a True Believers head. I guess that the links you submit have some tenuous connections to the topic in hand in your imagination…maybe it is just us normal people who don’t share your insight.

      Last time I asked you for data, you showed a picture of pope Francis. But no data. This time a link to a snarky report about Chris Monckton. But still no data.

      I wonder what you would show if I asked again? Whatever it is I’m sure it would be entertainingly far from relevant. And it wouldn’t be data.

      I think this conversation is at an end. You haven’t any measured data, and I begin to wonder if you actually know what data is anyway. But life’s too short and there are more important things to do than explore the weird wiring of your brain any further. I’ll leave that to your therapists.

      Toodle pip.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      FOMD posts  “Aye Climate Etc lassies and laddies, that’s the unifying power of thermodynamical climate-science for `yah!”

      “It is a pleasure to assist your ongoing search for scientific understanding, Latimer Alder!”

      Latimer Alder responds [bizarrely]  “You haven’t any measured data, and I begin to wonder if you actually know what data is anyway … toodle pip.”

      It is a pleasure to help diminish your confusion, Latimer Alder!

      It’s Simple  Just read the provided link to the climate-science literature (with thought, and persistance, and attention to its hundred+ references).

      It’s Important  Needless to say, plenty of foresighted business-folks are reading the scientific literature with care and diligence and foresight.

      It’s Fun  After all, there is very little difference between (irrelevant) individuals who are too lazy to read the scientific literature, versus (ideology-driven) nutjobs who are too crazy to read the scientific literature, eh Latimer Alder?

      As for “toodle pip” … why Lord Monckton, is that you? :)

      \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}

    • @Fanny

      Whatever.

  50. I recently compiled a list of climate websites and seeing how many there are I knew there was no way to read them all.

    So, I thought I would automate the process from which grew uClimate.com

    happy Xmas & a cool newyear

  51. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    — MAJOR BREAKING NEWS —
    !! James Hansen joins skeptics !!
    !!! Embraces WUWT/Watts/Tisdale talking points !!!

    Q&A with James Hansen

    •  Although I’ve spent decades working on [climate models], I think there probably will remain for a long time major uncertainties, because you just don’t know if you have all of the physics in there.

    •  Some of it, like about clouds and aerosols, is just so hard that you can’t have very firm confidence.

    •  What was fundamentally wrong with the Kyoto protocol was it has got this messy conglomeration of carbon offsets and mixing-in of non-CO2 forcings.

    •  There are lots of governments that say we have a climate crisis, and yet they are allowing and even encouraging going after every fossil fuel they can find.

    •  It’s largely [climate-change science] about avoiding climate models.

    •  Once we start moving in the right direction and have some alternatives, we will probably need to include nuclear power because electricity should become a bigger and bigger fraction of the total energy supply.

    •  What’s crucial is that we not put stuff in the atmosphere which is going to stay in the climate system forever.

    Aye Climate Etc lassies and laddies, now here’s (what Judith Curry calls) “best available climate-science” that rational climate-change skepticism can endorse!

    \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}

    • Right, then he gets that far away look in his eye and talks about boiling oceans and coal trains of death. Or is it Cola trains of death?

    • Fan-
      Only when Hansen begins to unveil the unknown unknowns of the as yet to be tested nearly infinite homeostatic mechanisms of Mother Earth will he be sinking his teeth into the “best available climate science”. Until he does, he will be spinning his wheels on the iced- over roads outside our house.

    • What’s crucial is that we not put stuff in the atmosphere which is going to stay in the climate system forever. For all practical purposes, that’s what it does. [my bold]

      That (the bolded part) is probably a lie, otherwise an example of recklessly careless ignorance. It exposes the essentially socialist ideological agenda behind Hansen and others of his ilk.

      How long the extra carbon will stay in the system is critically dependent on how our technology evolves over the next 50 years. If you want to listen to some old fart on the subject, try Dyson instead.

    • AK – there is no guarantee scientific breakthroughs and technological advances will happen. They obviously do happen. But they obviously often do not happen, despite highly funded and focused initiatives. Right now there are methods that strip CO2 out of the atmosphere. Right now we can build a car that uses hydrogen as a fuel.

      The method and the car are not viable on the scale needed.

      For years and years the hydrogen-powered car was presented as being just around the corner. The breakthrough to make it cheap and available and reliable was just around the corner. Well, we’re long past the corner and guess what, Gomer Pyle does not have hydrogen hose.

    • @JCH…

      AK – there is no guarantee scientific breakthroughs and technological advances will happen. They obviously do happen. But they obviously often do not happen, despite highly funded and focused initiatives.

      “[B]reakthroughs” come in many colors. Lumping them all into the category “scientific breakthroughs” implies the need for a change in theory before any can happen. As such, I would assign it to probably motivated thinking by people looking to rationalize a socialist agenda.

      Dyson’s “carbon-eating trees” could actually be achieved though traditional processes of selective breeding, although there are almost certainly other, more effective, ways. There are already working “proof-of-concept” processes to convert atmospheric CO2 to liquid fuel(s) suitable for autos, or generating plants. The basic genetic engineering necessary to convert existing methanogens for use converting hydrogen and atmospheric CO2 to methane are already in wide use. No need to “capture” CO2 from the air, let the ocean surface do that and take it from there. Much easier and (probably) cheaper.

      Although there’s a variety of potential “scientific breakthroughs” that might make carbon capture for profit much easier and cheaper, all the science, and the proved conceptual beginnings of the technology, are in place. What’s left is the politics and resultant economics. Which was my point.

      Finally, even in your conception, “[t]hey obviously do happen”, which makes Hansen’s comment the falsehood I labeled it. “For all practical purposes,” there’s a chance they’ll last for a century or two, but it’s much more likely that within decades we’ll have the opposite problem: keeping people from dragging too much CO2 out of the atmosphere.

    • Back in 2000 the chosen climate scenario end date of 2100 seemed far away. But now we are 14% of the way there and what has changed? Little. Emissions have increased, advances in technology being used to mine ever greater amounts of hydrocarbons.

      I can see hydrocarbons being used all the way to 2200. It might seem unreal that technology won’t advance past that, but look at the lack of manned moon landings for the last 40 years. It isn’t because we can’t.

    • Dyson said in a few years these trees would be on the scene. It’s been more than a few years.

      I want to take my hydrogen car on a spin through these behemoths.

    • Perhaps AK we shouldn’t be burning hydrocarbons until we have the technology to clean the waste up from the atmosphere.

      Otherwise we risk chasing the dream of a technological solution that never materializes.

    • JCH – shouldn’t that be – your hydrogen powered, flying car? :)

    • Fan,
      Thanks for the link(s)

  52. David Springer

    Merry Christmas!

    Carols from Minnesotans for Global Warming to get your spirits up!

    • Thanks, Dave.

      MFGW are a national treasure. If I am feeling a bit low, playing “Hide the Decline” always cheers me up – faster, cheaper and much more effective than Prozac or whatever.

      Merry Christmas, Elmer and crew!

  53. David Springer

    Oldie but goody… “The Twelve Days of Global Warming” performed by Minnesotans for Global Warming

  54. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Increasingly many scientists appreciate the service to humanity that astro-turfers like Minnesotans for Global Warming provide …

    … namely, the service of compressing denialist ideology into a smaller-and-smaller bubble of purer-and-purer ignorance that exerts less-and-less influence.

    What’s amazing is, denialism’s goofier-and-goofier community is growing more-and-more blind to their insular bubble’s steady shrinking.

    Heck, even the committed Ayn Randians are getting uneasy!

    \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}

    • David Springer

      Ha! You wish.

    • As the flaws of the bogus ‘consensus’ become steadily more apparent, unease and desparation amongst the credulous ideologically motivated alarmists steadily rises. Thanks to FOMD for illustrating this so clearly.

  55. Dr. Curry,

    Thank you for your work. Best wishes for the remainder of the holiday season and 2014.

    You wrote “I will try to drum up some new topics.” I suggest three for your consideration, all relating to the “Etc.” in the title of your blog.

    1. The usual means of addressing perceived climate change is to seek controls over usage of energy from petroleum sources. That is the same means regularly recommended and employed for addressing health issues from automobile and powerplant emissions (AKA pollution). The mechanisms for addressing perceived climate change and addressing health (as well as environmental diversity) issues from pollution overlap to a considerable extent. However, I see little discussion of what that means for the climate change debate, either with respect to the introduction of measures that will mitigate CO2 releases or the impact of health-driven regulatory measures on the role of climate change-driven regulatory measures, including cost-benefit analysis. The extraordinary air pollution problems in Chinese urban areas illustrates why health-driven measures may, if implemented, have a significant impact on emissions that are the focus of climate change regulatory measures as well. It would, I believe, be useful for the blog to address this overlap of health-driven regulatory measures “in the pipeline” and proposed regulatory measures driven by climate change concerns.

    2. The blog could occasionally discuss the economics of climate change. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change (2006) has come in for considerable criticism. “The Review proposes that one percent of global GDP per annum is required to be invested to avoid the worst effects of climate change. In June 2008, Stern increased the estimate for the annual cost of achieving stabilisation between 500 and 550 ppm CO2e to 2% of GDP to account for faster than expected climate change.”

    It has now been a number of years since that Review was concluded. There has been a great deal of work done on the subject in the economics and business professions, which readers of this blog might usefully learn about and dissect as appropriate. I suggest the blog (either you or guest poster(s)) occasionally address the topic of the economics of climate change and regulatory measures, particularly in light of (a) possible changes in climate sensitivity, (b) a better understanding of weather-related catastrophic losses (e.g., Dr. Pielke Jr.’s work) and (c) possible alternate discount rates for present-valuing future streams of costs.

    On discounting, as we all know, Lord Stern famously argued that Stern accepts the case for discounting, but argues that applying a pure rate of time preference (PTP-rate) of anything much more than zero to social policy choice is ethically inappropriate. The mandated US Social Security Administration Board of Trustees 75-year time horizon forecasting social security trust funds (which also implicates inter-generational ethics), however, does not use that approach.

    For US Federal regulatory agencies, OMB Circular A-4 (Regulatory Impact Analysis: A Primer) sets out OMB’s requirements for how regulatory agencies should approach discounting alternates. Climate Etc. might usefully discuss the impact of the “alternatives” approach required by OMB. Those requirements describe (but do not entirely resolve) the question.

    To provide an accurate assessment of benefits and costs that occur at different points in time or over different time horizons, an agency should use discounting. Agencies should provide benefit and cost estimates using both 3 percent and 7 percent annual discount rates expressed as a present value as well as annualized. These are “real” interest rates that should be used to discount benefits and costs measured in constant dollars. Unlike typical market interest rates, real rates exclude the expected rate of future price inflation.

    ****

    Special considerations arise when comparing benefits and costs across generations. Although most people demonstrate time preference in their own consumption behavior, it may not be appropriate for society to demonstrate a similar preference when deciding between the wellbeing of current and future generations. Future citizens who are affected by such choices cannot take part in making them, and today’s society must act with due consideration of their interests.

    Many people have argued for a principle of intergenerational neutrality, which would mean that those in the present generation would not treat those in later generations as worthy of less concern. Discounting the welfare of future generations at 7 percent or even 3 percent could create serious ethical problems.

    ****

    At the same time, some economists have cautioned that using a zero discount rate could raise intractable analytical problems. They have argued that with zero discounting, even a small improvement in welfare, if permanent, would justify imposing any cost on current generations since the benefits would be infinite.

    If the regulatory action will have important intergenerational benefits or costs, the agency might consider a sensitivity analysis using a lower but positive discount rate, ranging from 1 to 3 percent, in addition to calculating net benefits using discount rates of 3 percent and 7 percent.

    3. The blog could occasionally discuss the impact of uncertainty as to the rate of technological change and implementation on climate change measures, particularly in the areas of introduction of natural gas as a replacement fuel instead of coal for powerplant emissions and introduction of electric vehicles. The dramatic and unanticipated increase in US natural gas production since 2005, arguably displacing coal in US power production but also arguably causing US coal exports to displace other fuels outside the US, illustrates the importance of this issue. The “technology forcing” regulatory measures in California are another illustration, both as to whether they are effective at all and, if so, how and when. If the range of climate sensitivity proves to be lower than some of the higher estimates, then the rate of technological change becomes an even more important factor in thinking about regulatory measures and related timetables. There has been considerable work on these subjects, which again readers of this blog might usefully learn about from you and guest posters, and dissect as appropriate.

    I hope these topics are interesting.

    Regards,

    MK

  56. Obama does not want oil from our friend Canada, so it will be sold to China.

    “After approval stalled in Washington for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would link the oil sands to the United States Gulf Coast, the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, which would cost about 7.9 billion Canadian dollars, or about $7.4 billion, became Canada’s backup plan for increasing oil sands production.

    “The current federal government in particular hopes to add Asian markets to the oil sands’ list of customers. The United States has long been Canada’s only significant export market for both oil and natural gas. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/20/business/international/canadian-review-panel-approves-plans-for-an-oil-pipeline.html?_r=0

  57. David L. Hagen

    “Green” ethanol fuel mandates are greatest threat to monarch butterfly
    Bjørn Lomborg observes:

    That’s what you get for burning food in cars.
    In the US midwest, conversion from grasslands to corn and soybean fields have been so fast — about 5-30% in just 5 years — that the rates are “comparable to deforestation rates in Brazil, Malaysia and Indonesia.”

    Referring to NYT: Setting the Table for a Regal Butterfly Comeback, With Milkweed
    Yet the Energy Return On Energy Invested (EROEI) of corn based ethanol does not even meet the 3 required for a sustainable society. See Charles Hall, Energy and the Wealth of Nations
    See New Studies in EROI (Energy Return on Investment) 2011

    • David Springer

      Could be useful infrastructure in certain circumstances. In England during WWII they were using crude wood burning gasifiers to generate syngas used to run critical domestic gasoline engines like those on ag-tractors. Even corn ethanol’s an improvement over that.

  58. Steven Mosher | December 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Says:

    “You will note that no skeptics stood up to take the challenge”

    I suspect that this year we will find that the greatest sceptic of all – Mother Nature herself – will make her presence felt.

    Lots and lots and lots of people are going to be left with egg on their faces.

    It’s going to be interesting…

    • David Springer

      Possibly not. I don’t think many people care one way or another all that much about anthropogenic global warming so long as they’re not being forced to pay for something they don’t want or don’t perceive a need to have.

      The biggest problem is probably when John Q. Public (in the US) asks how much global warming would be reduced if the US had a carbon tax and the answer is a number so small and so far in the future as to elicit laughter.

      You can go pound sand in the US right now if you want to peddle any of the climate change crap to John Q. Public. He ain’t buyin’. He’s got the common sense to ask how much global warming reduction bang for the buck there is and it ain’t jack diddly squat unless it’s international and that clearly isn’t happening. Otherwise every iota that domestic energy becomes more expensive it’s an iota of competitive advantage given to a country with less expensive

    • Some rich and powerful people and organisations have nailed their colours to the AGW mast, and have both credibiliy and gold invested in it. Then there are all the Third Worlders who the UN has promised billions of dollars per day in reparations for events that have not yet taken place, At least some of them will have written post0-dated cheques on the strength of that.

      They are going to be very disgruntled when it goes tits-up, and are going to be out for blood. They will be looking for someone to nail to the fence and hang out to dry (to mix the odd metaphor).

      As you observe, the public have already given up on the whole scam, the rats such as Gore are already leaving the sinking ship, now it will be interesting to see who ends up carrying the can, because someone will.

    • @ David Springer

      “You can go pound sand in the US right now if you want to peddle any of the climate change crap to John Q. Public.”

      At first glance, you are right.

      In actual fact, no one is ‘peddling’ anything to John Q; they are DECREEING to Mr. Public and Mr. Public is the one who actually has the option of pounding sand. Or not. Because John Q. Public is now subject (subject n. One who is under the rule of another or others.) to executive orders proclaimed by the president, regulations issued by the regulatory agencies and, if necessary, rulings by the judicial system working in cooperation with the executive and the regulatory agencies through the ‘sue and settle’ scam (See the process by which CO2 was declared, legally, to be a ‘dangerous pollutant.).

      Climate control regulations will be issued and climate control taxes will be imposed. And the regulations WILL be obeyed and the taxes WILL be paid. Or else. And their efficacy or inefficacy in controlling either atmospheric CO2 or the TOE (which apparently show little correlation) makes no difference whatsoever.

  59. Here’s an ironic twist on cow methane …

    From the article:

    But dairy farmers say there’s a problem: Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

    Rather than encouraging methane-powered electrical generators as other state utilities are doing, critics say, Northern California’s largest utility is actively undermining adoption of the technology by burdening farmers with excessive expenses and endless paperwork; that, they say, makes it impossible to get a methane system online in a timely and economical fashion.

    “At every step of the way, they try to hit you with new charges, or impose ridiculous metering systems or delay your project,” said Leo Langerwerf, whose dairy here near Chico supports 350 milking cows and 450 calves and heifers. “Basically, you can’t believe anything they tell you.”

    Langerwerf, a tall, powerfully built man with an acrid sense of humor and a sharp tongue to match, is in an enviable position compared with most other farmers. His farm has been burning methane to produce electricity since 1982. The contract he has with PG&E requires the utility to buy all his excess power, for which he gets a credit on his electrical bill.

    Langerwerf produces about 70 to 85 kilowatts-hours per hour — enough power to supply about 70 homes. But he says he feels sorry for other farmers who are trying to get hooked up to the PG&E grid because of the enormous costs and hassle involved.

    PG&E officials say that the accusation is unfair and that the company is committed to developing renewable sources of energy like methane. Any delays and fees it imposes on methane power generation, they say, are borne out of safety concerns: without proper safeguards, methane-power systems could produce too much power and trip or damage the electrical grid.

    Methane digesters, as the systems are known, generate power by burning methane gas produced from manure. The mechanics are relatively simple. First, manure is scraped from barns and dumped into a pit, where it is mixed with water, creating a slurry. The slurry is then piped to another enclosure, typically covered by a huge, expandable plastic bag. Here the mixture is heated, maximizing the release of methane gas. The gas is then piped to an engine where it is burned, driving a generator that produces electricity.

    After the slurry has released most of its methane, the solid material is removed and composted. It can either be used as a soil supplement, or dried and employed as livestock bedding. The liquid from the slurry is transferred to a lagoon, where it ultimately is pumped to pastures and croplands as fertilizer.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/PG-E-vs-cow-power-Dairy-farmers-say-the-2711548.php

    • More from the article:
      PG&E impedes methane technology by imposing complex and expensive requirements on farmers who want to hook up methane systems to the utility’s grid, Moser said. These include lengthy studies, special meters and prepaid maintenance fees. “They make it complicated and costly,” he said. “And when it gets too complicated and too costly, it stops you.”

      The state’s other utilities, Moser said, “typically take about six months to approve a digester. On one (PG&E) project I’m working on, we’re at a year (waiting for approval) and still counting. And PG&E will charge that farmer at least $20,000 more than another state utility would charge.”

      Larry Castelanelli of Castelanelli Brothers Dairy in Lodi is trying to install a methane digester at his farm. He said he’s been confounded by the complexity and expense of hooking up the system to PG&E.

      “I have to go ahead with this, because I’ve already spent $200,000,” said Castelanelli. “And I don’t want to (anger) PG&E — I have to do business with them. But the time it’s taking and the money it’s costing really hurts.” Ultimately, Castelanelli will spend about $500,000 for the digester and interconnection to PG&E.

    • I suggest another topic for Dr. Curry: The effect of ‘renewable energy’ on the national power grid, of which the problems with your cow fart generator provides a small example.

      As I understand it, the energy from wind farms, solar collectors and yes (I think) even cow fart generators MUST be purchased by the utility companies. That works fine as long as the energy production is minuscule, CAN work if the renewables provide a FEW percent of the total capacity, and becomes impossible–literally–once the renewables begin supplying an appreciable fraction of the total electrical energy.

      The utilities simply cannot operate the grid when (to pick a number out of thin air) sources at the gigawatt level can vary from essentially zero to full power with the coming and going of the winds, the passing of a cloud, or the arrival of nightfall.

      It would be interesting if Dr. Curry could get a renewable energy enthusiast to do a guest post on where he would like to see renewable energy in ten years and what government intervention he would like to see to ensure that we get there.

      Then follow that by a power engineer explaining the implications to the power grid if the renewable energy targets were actually met.

      Of course I understand that if someone invents an effective method of ‘low pass filtering’ the output of renewable energy plants so that they can deliver their outputs 24/7/365, like fossil fuel plants, all will be well and they can be treated by the utility companies like any other generator. Right now though, and for the immediate future, that does not appear to be in the cards.

  60. David Springer

    What a small world, Lauri! From the article at your link:

    Bushnell also dabbled in electronic-commerce throughout the 1980s by launching ByVideo, which took online orders through kiosks set up in airports and other places. In his most expensive error, Bushnell lost nearly all a $28 million investment in Androbot, another eighties-era startup. It produced 3 – foot – (a meter) tall robots that were designed to serve the double function of butler and companion. .

    I was a part of that blunder? I worked for a company that got a $3 million contract to design robots called “Androman” and a series of Atari 2600 games which served as the human interface to the robot. You plugged an IR transmitter/receiver into one of the joystick ports to send commands and receive information back from the robot. I wrote a buttload of the computer code on the Atari 2600 side of the project including the code which handled the communication.

    • “The EPA cannot continue to rush ahead with costly regulations without allowing time for a real-world look at the science.” ~Rep. House Science Committee

      • Sure it can Wag; Who or what body is going to stop them?

        Bob

      • Point taken. It’s as if California passed a law that all future cars sold in California had to be a Teslas or take a government bus.

      • That’s the trouble with socialism – inevitable reversion to type = closet authoritarians to a man. Here in Europe, there were many that thought Obama would be a beacon of hope after the excesses of Bush & Co, both at home and internationally. Sanity and common sense, but it looks like it’s descending into the usual “we know what’s best for you” and “dont do as we do, but as we say”…

        Chris

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        History Teaches Plainly  Federal involvement has never led to death panels. It has only ended them.

        And That Is Why  Denialists (of every variety) sustain their ideological purity via embracing willful ignorance of history and science.

        \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}

      • Matthew R Marler

        This should be interesting, UCSD MOOC on climate change: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1609032#ixzz2npsodXfA

      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse: And That Is Why Denialists (of every variety) sustain their ideological purity via embracing willful ignorance of history and science.

        Are you including the people who deny the Medieval Warm Period? The Roman Warm Period? The Holocene Climate Optimum?

        There are a lot of people out there denying climate change.

      • Who denies the Medieval Warm Period, etc.?

      • Remember. The stupid…

      • Don’t give them any ideas Wag. (Not that they don’t already have them, of course.)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Take a deep breath and step slowly away from the post button – FOMBS.

        Me – it’s time to go to the beach.

    • David,

      I would never have guessed that you were a software engineer :-)…

      Chris

  61. Chief Hydrologist

    There was a brief thread on the last post on satellite TOA flux data quality over the decades since 1979. It seems a bit back to front to reject the data entirely without offering an explanation for the mechanisms of decadal and longer change.

    The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture. http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

    The safe conclusion is that cloud radiative forcing changes on interannual to decadal scales. This is certainly what the decadal satellite data shows.

    From Ceres – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_EBAF-TOA_Ed27_anom_TOA_Net_Flux-All-Sky_March-2000toJune-2013_zps13c30ec3.png.html?sort=3&o=0

    A recent paper by Enric Palle and Ben Laken cross validate ISCCP-FD and MODIS using tropical SST.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=46

    One can see as well the shift in climate in 1998/2001 that resulted from a shift in ocean and atmospheric circulation. Something that arises from the coupled non-linear nature of Earth systems.

    SST in the climatically important zones of the Pacific Ocean vary over centuries to millennia. As ENSO is involved – the proxies are related to hydrology and are therefore relatively robust. I would assume therefore that there is centennial to millennial variation in CRF.

    In this case Occam’s Razor makes a nonsense of 97% of climate science.

    As for the future – it seems virtually certain that SST will will remain cool in the tropical Pacific for decades to came.

    • Nice to have you back Chief. A little sanity added to the conversation never hurt anybody.

      As I sit here among the fallen trees laden with massive coats of ice, I am trying to figure out if Christmas is better in the winter or the summer. Today, you win.

      Happy Holidays.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Mangos and avocados are in season. Prawns are running. Ocean temp is 25 degrees C. Went swimming with my wife in her new bikini yesterday.

    • ” Chief Hydrologist | December 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
      Went swimming with my wife in her new bikini yesterday. ”

      Anyone that claims literacy and quotes the classics can not be let off the hook for that ambiguous grammatical slip.

    • Now that’s something I think I would pay to see … I think

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The dependent clause seems quite obvious – especially in the social context. Unless webby makes a habit of cross dressing? Not that there is anything wrong with that.

      I tried to take photos but dropped my phone in the water. Never mind – I have a new phone and a new waterproof camera – it is still summer and she still has the bikini.

    • Oh, Lady Be Good.
      ============

  62. Yes, yes… it is all so interesting how we have come to this. The Masters of the Global Warming Game were oh so very smart — at least by their own assessments — and yet in actuality, unfit to survive reality.

  63. Corruption has gone mainstream. The problem of big government is too much government in your pocket. The vested interests of global warming, eco-this and eco-that are enjoying a global sucker list, supporting by voters too stupid to have an appreciation even for common sense.

    The Mail on Sunday today reveals the extraordinary web of political and financial interests creating dozens of eco-millionaires from green levies on household energy bills.
     

    A three-month investigation shows that some of the most outspoken campaigners who demand that consumers pay the colossal price of shifting to renewable energy are also getting rich from their efforts.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2523726/Web-green-politicians-tycoons-power-brokers-help-benefit-billions-raised-bills.html#ixzz2oEGxJNxd

    • Wagathon,
      I usually have nothing but contempt for the daily mail, but let’s hope they keep digging for more dirt to enlighten their readers with. Skepticism becomes more and more mainstream, which will translate into votes at the next election…

      Chris

  64. Chief Hydrologist

    An odd result? I assumed that increased downward energy flux (positive net trend) would be positively correlated with surface (@2m) temp. What I get is an anti-correlation. I am assuming for the moment that I have done something totally stupid.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/HadCRUT4vCERES_zpse5107cfd.png.html

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Here is SST v CERES. The anti-correlation is far from 1 to 1 but something is there. Lower SST drives increased downward energy flux – while paradoxically the atmosphere cools? I’m confused.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/HADSST3vCERESnet_zps068a355c.png.html

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      “Here is SST v CERES. The anti-correlation is far from 1 to 1 but something is there. Lower SST drives increased downward energy flux – while paradoxically the atmosphere cools? I’m confused.”
      —-
      You’d be the best judge of whether or not you are confused Chief, but there is nothing confusing in the data, and it all makes perfect physical sense if you get the sensible and latent heat flux from the oceans driving atmospheric temperatures correct. Given that such a large part of the energy in the atmosphere comes from the ocean, you would expect the atmosphere to cool when SST’s are low.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Treasure the seeker of truth but beware those who have found it’. Voltaire

      SST is a ‘control knob’ for clouds and climate – very significant. Energy transfer from and to the oceans with cooler or warmer SST is the simple bit. There is in contrast a very complex story in there that I am far from understanding. If you want to contribute to understanding – by all means – but you will have to do better than you have so far.

    • Stay back here, CH, else such as wingNUT and FoamMouth just fill the vacuum

      BTW, Ella Fitzgerald was a true genius

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Don’t believe I’d call SST’s a “control knob” as they are but one stop in the path as energy moves from ocean to atmosphere. Control Knobs need to represent a forcing to the system. SST’s do not force the system, but in their fluctuations reflect either natural or internal variability or forcings on the system.

    • Just like any other control knob – like a volume control, for instance – it controls rather than forces.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      SST controls cloud formation and therefore cloud radiative forcing in the Pacific – seems pretty obvious in the satellite record as I explain above. A big deal in the recent record if the data is to be accepted as at least plausible in the scheme of things. .

      .

  65. “some surprising happens, we’ll see” something. me thimks.

    ;) Not a falsifiable prediction, I fear. Astonishment can readily be ginned up.

  66. Mosher says:

    “1.Humans have added co2 to the atmosphere.
    I suppose to change this belief I would have to see lab results that show burning ff results in no co2. In short chemistry as we know it is wrong.”

    Logical nonsense! No one claims burning carbon doesn’t result in CO2 emissions. However, the atmosphere is in direct contact with oceans (and other water) and any excess atmospheric pCO2 will be equalised by the oceans, the question is only how fast.

    “2. CO2 causes warming not cooling. To change this belief I would have to see lab results or field measurements that show radiative physics is wrong. And one would need a new physics to explain why devices built on the old physics work.”

    Radiative physics does not have to be wrong – the surface temperature is not driven by radiative physics alone, but rather by multimodal surface heat exchange (and at the TOA). Heat transfer is the right physics (that includes thermodynamics and fluid dynamics)

    “3 . The warming effect is between 1.5c and 4.5c per doubling. Some serious cooling or warming would have to happen to change this”

    Ongoing.

  67. George Will has an interesting column on fusion:

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will122113.php3#.UrgnzPRDtsI

    Fusion research here and elsewhere is supported by nations with half the world’s population — China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the European Union. The current domestic spending pace would cost $2.5 billion over 10 years — about one-thirtieth of what may be squandered in California on a 19th-century technology (a train). By one estimate, to bring about a working fusion reactor in 20 years would cost $30 billion — approximately the cost of one week of U.S. energy consumption.

    • I’m glad to see the time frame is down to twenty years. I used to be that every 10 years or so, you would hear fusion will be operational in 50 years … time, after time, after time …

  68. Terrific review. “Climate change” is probably boring because it is a misuse of the language. Sooner or later people figure out the climate is not particularly static and will continue to change.

  69. For alternate topics. There is a topic that used to get discussed a lot 40 years ago, but I haven’t heard much on it lately. That is the question of why Northern Africa and the Middle East have gotten so dry over the last 2000 years. IIRC, something to do with the trade winds there falling off, century by century? In fact, the tree of Tenere — see it in wikipedia and other places — showed how dramatic that drying has been.

  70. http://spaceweather.com/
    Hey, on Xmas Eve, Earth, Jupiter and Venus in allignment. )

  71. Vaughan Pratt,
    http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/21/ringing-out-2013/#comment-428755

    Have a look at what actually being discussed. It wasn’t whether or not CO2 is managing to impose a warming effect, but rather that if (as for the Pause) the atmosphere isn’t warming, then the planet cannot be said to be warming by means of Gates’s Control Valve / thermal gradient idea – ie atmospheric warming causing the oceans (and the planet overall) to warm.

    Nice sarcasm though, however unrelated to the topic at hand.

  72. As candidate for Skeptic Prat of 2013, the author of this is hard to beat: http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/the-shape-of-things-to-come-snailbats-halsays-scarems-lewpapers-and-dickpols/

    Since there has been no upward change of global temperatures in over the last decade and a half, that scare had become embarrassingly untenable. In response, the alarmists switched from screaming about global warming to hyperventilating about climate change. That was an explicit admission that their specific prediction of a looming thermogeddon was wrong, which is why skeptics should never use the term climate change but keep on sticking it to them with reminders about the global warming us humans were supposed to be causing, which never actually materialised.

    When was the IPCC set up? Oh that was 1988 so pre-dating the “last decade and a half”. What does the CC in IPCC stand for? Hint: it ain’t “Global Warming”

    • At last, indeed, Pointman. The irony of turboblocke’s pratmatic fall is in this; tasked to examine man’s role in climate change the IPClimateChange neglected Nature and focussed for two decades on the warming agent, AnthroCO2. When climate started to fail to follow the CO2 control knob thesis, the focus was shifted to the extremely bogus, but also extremely plausible, idea of weather weirding, or climate wilding as an expression of climate change.

      It’s a diversion from the fact we are not warming as expected, and until that phenomenon is confronted honestly and expertly and persuasively, then the pratfalls will all be to the hybritic alarmists, with Nature as nemesis.
      ======================

    • Lol. Ignoring nature. According to the data at wood for trees, we are around 30 years into a negative trend in the PDO. How soon will that negative trend turn north? Will it beat the sleepy sun, the great sunny yellow hope of the great white dopes?

  73. Kim: clearly you haven’t read the IPCC reports : http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-human-and.html

    However you’re missing the point: either my sceptic prat candidate didn’t know what the CC in IPCC means in which case (s)he is too ignorant to post about the subject or (s)he did know what it stood for and was deliberately misleading his/her audience.

  74. I notice that some posters think that AGW/CC is a hoax to raise taxes: I would like a clear, logical rational answer to the following question:
    Why invent a hoax to create a new tax, when they have the freedom to set taxes in a budget at will by changing income tax, sales tax, company tax, etc?

    • “Why invent a hoax to create a new tax”

      Reasons for a new tax is only one of the potential “benefits” of the hoax.

      Andrew

    • It’s probably the least politically-damaging tax they can impose.

    • Turnoblocke

      Whilst a sceptic I do not believe CAGW is a hoax.

      I agree that it would be a very elaborate ruse to raise money which they can do at any time anyway by merely adjusting rates of tax.

      The notion of CAGW does however have the benefit of creating the possibility of a ‘green’ tax which implies that is you disagree with it you are an enemy of the environment . So perhaps in future green taxes will replace, or more likely augment, other taxes.

      So misguided science? Yes. A highly elaborate hoax? No.
      tonyb

    • Bad Andrew: what are those other “benefits”?

    • phatboy: Why is it the “least politically-damaging”?

    • tobyn: I agree that CAGW is a hoax, invented by the deniers. However, AGW is not.

      I don’t share your reasoning about being stigmatised if you protest about “green” taxes. Is there any stigma attached to protesting other forms of taxation? IFAIK most people don’t feel stigmatised if they complain about taxes.

    • Freedom to raise taxes has limits. The beauty of the CO2 hoax is that it justifies not just taxes, but de-industrialization of the West and control in detail of all energy generation and application. That requires rather robust rationalizations.

    • Brian-H, how does it justify de-industrialisation of the West? To be consistent with reducing GHG emissions, production and distribution should take place with minimum GHG emissions. The logical consequnce would be to reduce transport miles and reduce GHGs associated with energy. As the West comprises the countries that consume the most, then production should stay in those countries. They are also the richest countries so are the ones that can afford to invest in reducing GHG emissions associated with energy. As a counterweight you have free-market ideology that wants to outsource production from the West to cheaper countries and doesn’t give a fig about GHG emissions.

      BTW AFAIK no proposed solution for AGW directly or indirectly suggests de-industrialisation anywhere.

    • From Strong on, suggested many times. Emission-free energy is a fantasy. Especially for the 3rd world, and the biggies, China and India, aren’t stupid enough to give it more than token effort.

  75. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    As we ring out 2013, as an honest skeptic, I like to look back at the year and see what actual climate events of the year might cause me to modify or abandon my warmist position on AGW. Let’s take a look at a few of highlights of the 2013 Climate Year:

    1. The Top Story of the the 2013 Climate Year is probably the lack of any new global tropospheric records. This flattening of the rise in tropospheric records continues a10-15 year trend. As a skeptic, I might take this to be evidence that “global warming” has stopped, but of course, being a knowledgable skeptic and knowing that at least 50% of tropospheric heat comes from the ocean, we have to look back to the ocean to see what might be going on. Looking closer at the facts, we know that since at least the early 2000’s we’ve been in a cool phase PDO mode. That certainly provided some of the lack of upward movement in tropospheric temperatures. Digging deeper, some excellent analysis of optical depth reading in the stratosphere show that there has been a modest increase in natural volcanic aerosols in the past decade. Finally of course (and a distant 3rd), we know we are in a rather low point (from a multi-decadal perspective) in solar output). Some experts have even posited we could see a Maunder Minimum II (Some have called the Eddy Minimum) developing. Finally, over the past year or more we’ve seen a “La Nada'” in the ENSO cycle, meaning that the net latent and sensible heat flux from the Pacific has been just about average, with no boost nor slowdown that we would get from a El Niño or La Niña, respectively. These four factors seem to play hugely into the role of continuing a flattening to the rise in tropospheric temperatures. It is interesting then that the natural forcings all seem set at neutral or negative (cooling), except for the AMO, and yet 2013 will very likely turn out to be the warmest non-El Nino year (all record warm years have been El Niño years). Thus, even with the La Nada ENSO condition, a bit more aerosols in the stratosphere, a sleepy sun, a cool phase PDO, 2013 will still be in the top 4 warmest years, with all warmer years being strong El Niño Years. Not strong evidence for me to alter my warmist position, as CO2, methane, and N20 are at their highest levels in millions of years and these seem to be holding their own against natural negative forcings.

    2) Ocean Heat Content reached instrument record levels in 2013. Yes, the uncertainty (especially going back before ARGO) is higher than anyone would like, but continued rising sea levels and paleoclimate data seem to strongly confirm that the oceans continue to retain more energy than they are giving off to the atmosphere. This net slowdown in latent and sensible heat flow from ocean to atmosphere is precisely what would be expected in for the planets key climate energy storage vessel in light of continued GH gas concentration increases. Less net energy will be flowing from ocean to space. Ocean Heat Content is the most important single gauge we have for the actual climate sensitivity to rising GH gas concentrations, as this is where the bulk of the energy imbalance will naturally go and this heat ultimately drives the climate system. The continued rise in Ocean Heat Content in 2013 confirms the energy imbalance continues in the system.

    3. 2013 saw a “recovery” in Arctic Sea ice extent after the amazing record setting low we saw in 2012. A cooler summer in the Arctic with conditions favorable to ice seems to be part of the dynamics this year. I note the similar nature of a “recovery” in 2008 after 2007’s then record setting year. One dynamic of interest discussed on blogs like Neven’s is the fact that there is a real physical reason why ice might “recover” after a record setting year. Ice acts as an insulator to the sensible and latent heat flux from ocean to atmosphere. During a record setting low year, more heat is released from Arctic waters with less ice to hold it in. Thus, the 2013 “recovery” seems to be of similar fashion to that of 2008. With continued net energy growing in the ocean globally, and some of that being advected to the Arctic, we can expect the long-term trend in Arctic sea ice to continue downward, with a new low to come in the next few years, despite the “recovery” of 2013. In the other hemisphere, Antarctic sea ice continued it’s longer-term slow rise. Numerous studies have looked at the role of winds creating the conditions for this. As an honest skeptical warmist, this is an area of natural interest. I also note that the net loss of continental glacial ice from both Antarctica and Greenland continued strongly in 2013. Another sign the net energy of the climate system continues to grow.

    4. 2013 will end in the top 5 most damaging years from a weather catastrophe standpoint, with the monster typhoon that killed thousands in the Pacific being the most notable event. More than actual numbers in terms of financial or lives lost, I look at the dynamics of unusual events. We had very unusual historic flooding here in my home state of Colorado, caused by a “stuck” jet-stream bringing up moisture (i.e. energy) from the tropics, leading to a year’s worth of rain falling in a day or two. This high-amplitude and “stuck” weather systems is the kind of thing that caused the March 2012 U.S. heatwave, the Russian Heat wave a few years back, and several other extreme flooding, cold, and heatwave events over the past several years. Though these kinds of extreme weather events have always occurred, according to some research being done we can expect more of them as the climate warms. No conclusion can be drawn from any one year or any one storm of course, so this kind of “weather weirding” is something that will take a long-term analysis, and thus, 2013 neither adds to nor detracts from my warmist position, though my personal experience was of the most unusual September (from a moisture perspective).

    Overall then, there was nothing to detract or cause me to alter my warmist position in 2013, and several things (continued total ice mass loss, continued ocean heat content growth, warmest non-El Nino year) to reinforce my warmist position. Looking forward to 2014, a better chance for at least a mild El Niño event could force 2014 into the warmest year territory globally, though for the Aussies, 2013 already will take that mark.

    • We give thanks for the Human Carbon Cornucopia.
      ============

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Indeed Kim, without the Human Carbon Volcano (the massive use and burning of fossil fuels) that transfers carbon from lithosphere to atmosphere and ocean, most of those reading this blog would not exist. If you believe that Ruddiman’s research is credible, we might even be already headed into the next glacial period if humans had not ignited this volcano. You are right to give thanks. But there is the chance of “too much of a good thing” without proper management of our Anthropocene.

    • In the spirit of the new year, I’ll agree with you, RGates; though i consider the chances of it being ‘too little of a good thing’ to be greater than ‘too much of a good thing’. If AnthroGHGs have warmed us enough, then we have too little of it left to sustain the warming.

      You pays your money and you takes your chances. I’m merely calling it as I see it.
      ===========

  76. Warming is easy to adapt to. Cooling, not so much.

    • Warming might be easy to adapt to, up to a point, for humans (though modern humans – Holocene humans – have never lived in temperatures much warmer than now). Depending on the rate of warming, not so much for other species. Then there is ocean acidification …

  77. Pingback: Global Warming 2013. An excellent summary. | Ideas from Brussels and York | Brussels Blog

  78. Trivial variations in pH are of even less concern than trivial variations in temperature. Fuggedaboudit.

  79. Pingback: What missing heat? | context/Earth