Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Ship of fools
.
Well the ill-fated ship passengers in Antarctica have been rescued.  Mark Steyn has  a piece  in the Spectator that sums it up.  Excerpts:
.
It’s like a version of Titanic where first class cheers for the iceberg.
.
But alas, eating one’s shipmates and watching one’s extremities drop off one by one is not a part of today’s high-end eco-doom tourism. Instead, the ice-locked warmists uploaded chipper selfies to YouTube, as well as a self-composed New Year singalong of such hearty un-self-awareness that it enraged even such party-line climate alarmists as Andrew Revkin
.
Anyway, as part of his ‘Living On Thin Ice’ campaign, Al Gore’s own luxury Antarctic vessel boasted a line-up of celebrity cruisers unseen since the 1979 season finale of The Love Boat
.
Like James Cameron’s Titanic toffs, the warm-mongers stampeded for the first fossil-fuelled choppers off the ice, while the Russian crew were left to go down with the ship, or at any rate sit around playing cards in the hold for another month or two.
.
Mark Steyn is wicked.
.
Weather wimps
.
Seth Borenstein has an article Scientists: Americans are becoming weather wimps. Excerpts:
.
As the world warms, the United States is getting fewer bitter cold spells like the one that gripped much of the nation this week. So when a deep freeze strikes, scientists say, it seems more unprecedented than it really is.
.

Many climate scientists say Americans are weather weenies who forgot what a truly cold winter is like.

“I think that people’s memory about climate is really terrible,” Texas A&M University climate scientist Andrew Dessler wrote in an email. “So I think this cold event feels more extreme than it actually is because we’re just not used to really cold winters anymore.”

Well, its about time somebody started acknowledging weather amnesia in the rush to attribute every severe weather event to AGW.

Ken Caldeira and geoengineering
.
The European Magazine has an extensive interview with Ken Caldeira about climate change and geoengineering. Its a lengthy article that is worth reading, this statement in particular caught my eye:
.
I have a very high degree of uncertainty in regard to how bad climate change would be for humans. I also study coral reefs and the effects of carbon dioxide on coral reefs. And I think that if we continue on our current path for a few more decades, they will be essentially a thing of the past. The question is how adaptable humans are. And it is difficult to predict how social systems and our social networks respond. I think that climate change is going to be felt regionally. You are going to have heat waves or drought in certain regions. The question is how much economic disruption that will cause. I don’t know whether our economy is like a house of cards that will then just collapse or whether it is a house of bricks and we don’t really have to worry about those little regional things. I have really no idea.
.
UK storms
.
While the focus the last few weeks has been on extreme weather in the U.S. and Antarctic, there is plenty of interest going on in the UK.  Carbon Brief has an article on the recent storms in the UK, arguments about whether these are connected to climate change, and the politics surrounding the issue.
.
Perspective from Australia
.
Michael Asten has an article in the Australian entitled Bring science to climate policy. Excerpts:
I identify five segments of science – all detailed in peer-reviewed journals in the past three years – which demand scrutiny before we believe current global warming projections.
.
Read the article to see if you agree with his list.
.
Interview with Peter Higgs
.
The Guardian has a very interesting interview with Peter Higgs of boson fame.  The title and subtitle pretty much sums up the article, and it raises a very serious issue:  Peter Higgs:  I wouldn’t be productive enough for today’s academic system.  Physicist doubts work like Higgs boson identification achievable now as academics are expected to ‘keep churning out papers.’  
.
Quote of the week
.
Tweeted by Machavelli Medici:
.

“You’ll never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston Churchill

740 responses to “Week in review

  1. Another perdikshun of the extinction of corals. Yawn. Wonder how they survived the Carboniferous?

    • Are corals alive today the same species as those alive during the Carboniferous?
      If so, have they evolved at all since then?
      If so, how quickly can they evolve back?

    • No species is going to be unchanged after 300 million years, and the most common corals before the Permian-Triassic extinction event didn’t make it. The bulk of the corals alive today are the direct decedents of those who survived the asteroid’s impact. Given that 95% of all marine species were made extinct by this ELE, we can be sure that the ancestors of today’s were tough and able to survive the ocean acidification and hypoxia.

      I don’t understand what you mean by ‘evolve back’?
      You don’t think evolution occurs by sequential mutations down individual familial lines do you?

      The greater the diversity in genetic variation in a species, the gene pool, the more adaptive a species is. The best way for a species to have a deep genetic pool is to not over specialize and to have a large geographical coverage.
      Actually working out if corals are at risk of ocean acidification is quite trivial, just tip some acid into the water at sea world and see what happens.

    • Again, are today’s coral species the same as those that “survived” the Carboniferous? You say they’re “descendants.” What does that mean? And why should I think they have the ability to adapt to rapid ocean heating and rapid pH changes?

    • I don’t give a damn what you think. I answered all the questions in the first post and you are too stupid to understand the answers.
      I find it hard to believe that you managed to get a Ph.D.

    • Many organisms such as drug resistant bacteria and the malaria parasite don’t “forget” their tricks once they have hurdled an obstacle. They can stash it away in the genome.

      Even at the level of the single cell organisms, there are other simple responses which don’t even count as an adaptation. For example, the loud sucking noise you can hear over large tracts of the worlds oceans is the sound of E. Huxleyi taking in CO2, both free and converted from bicarbonate using carbonic anhydrase. People have looked at the lab response of E. Huxleyi to increased CO2: The amount of RNA coding for carbonic anhydrase was the only significant change in one study I have read. Unsurprisingly, it decreased, suggesting that less effort needed to be expended importing all that lovely carbon dioxide. They were loving it.

      Much calcium carbonate precipitation actually occurs behind cell membranes, inside the organism. Controlling compartmentalized intracellular pH swings occurs all the time, and over greater ranges than is experienced outside the cell. Corals reefs are quite capable of recycling calcium and magnesium ions that come from the reef itself.

    • That you avoid answering David Appell’s excellent questioning is rather telling.

    • Excellent questioning, just a pity about the questions.

    • No, organisms do “forget”. Especially when we are talking tens of millions of years. If there’s no selective pressure to maintain a trait then retention of the trait is at the mercy of chance. Change x millions of years = don’t bank on it.

      Additionally there’s no reason to expect corals have the ability to withstand a sharp decrease in pH, when they’ve never had to deal with it before.

      This is just another example of the denialist “We’ll be alright! presumptions projected onto corals.

    • The typical pH change in surface waters, in reef environments,can be up to 1 pH unit, during a diurnal cycle; i.e. a 10 fold change in proton concentration.
      http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/OceanAcidification_files/image011.jpg

    • David Springer

      Coral grows fast in low pH water.

      http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00334344

      Coral growth in high-nutrient, low-pH seawater: a case study of corals cultured at the Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu, Hawaii

      Abstract

      Fifty-seven species of hermatypic corals have been maintained and grown in high-nutrient seawater at the Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu, Hawaii. In this study we document the chemical conditions of aquarium water in terms of dissolved nutrients and carbon. Aquarium water is characterized by concentrations of inorganic nutrients that are high relative to most natural reef ecosystems: SiO3∼200 μM; PO4∼0.6 μM; NO3∼5 μM; NH4∼2 μM. In contrast, concentrations of organic nutrients are lower than most tropical surface ocean waters: DOP ∼0.1 μM and DON ∼4 μM. The incoming well-water servicing the facility has low pH, creating over-saturation of carbon dioxide. The coral communities in aquaria took up inorganic nutrients and released organic nutrients. Rates of nutrient uptake into aquaria coral communities were similar to nutrient uptake by natural reef communities. Coral growth rates were near the upper rates reported from the field, demonstrating corals can and do flourish in relatively high-nutrient water. The growth of corals does not appear to be inhibited at concentrations of nitrogen up to 5 μM. Statements implying that corals can only grow in low nutrient oligotrophic seawater are therefore over-simplifications of processes that govern growth of these organisms. Some basic guidelines are given for maintenance of coral communities in aquaria.

    • @David Appell: what you must understand is that it is not the genetic evolution of organisms that matters when you predict their survivability, instead it’s their enzymes, and there are far fewer combinations.

      So, corals evolved at much lower pH than now and that trait has been inherited – they will survive just as well as now. Also, chlorophyl started as ancient bacteria, now encapsulated as chloroplasts used to 12 times higher pCO2 than now. This is why plant growth is accelerating – they have been starved for eons. A consequence of this is that CO2 will stabilise at ~450 ppmV.

      Some evolutionary events were truly epoch making though. A good example is the bacterial adaptation to eating lignin which ended the carboniferous era and effectively terraformed a new planet. We’ll soon develop rapid vegetative growth and with that, more habitat change, making the deserts liveable once more as stomata close up and plants grow better in low moisture conditions.

      And of course, to believe in the IPCC phoney science is unprofessional for any scientist or engineer, and soon that will apply to Meteorologists and Climate Alchemists when they start teaching correct radiative physics instead of the ludicrous ‘back radiation’ and black body surface IR emission ideas.

    • David Springer

      AlecM

      PLUS!

      PLUS!

      A THOUSAND TIMES PLUS I SAY!

    • David Springer

      AlecM

      re; Lignum and bacteria and carboniferous ending. Some fungi can digest lignum too. Both were around in carboniferous. I don’t think it’s possible to say which was first.

    • “The typical pH change in surface waters, in reef environments,can be up to 1 pH unit, during a diurnal cycle; ”

      That’s like saying the typical change in surface temperature in England a location can be up to 10 degrees C, during a diurnal cycle.

      As if that means all plants and animals in England can survive in Greenland.

    • “So, corals evolved at much lower pH than now and that trait has been inherited – they will survive just as well as now. ”

      That doesn’t follow.

      It’s like saying humans evolved in the wilderness, therefore if we suddenly put a load of group of city goers in the wild they’ll survive just fine.

    • Mutation of a species can and usually does occur every time the cells divide. Most of the time these are silent mutations that have little effect. Some give an advantage, some are harmful. Then when things change in the environment, like pH, or even a change in the relative amounts of different food sources, some of the “silent mutations” will give advantages or disadvantages (or remain silent) under these new conditions. This is evolution at the DNA level. The reproductive time for the organism is critical. So the argument that if changes occur much quicker than they ever have before they won’t be able to evolve to keep up is not the most relevant one. The step size of the change obviously matters a lot. One of the more important things would be the time span for new generations. With bacteria this may be 20 – 60 minutes. For corals – I don’t know. For polar bears a few years. The longer it takes for new generations to occur, the more serious a problem it could be. But you have to look at all of these. How big is the total change, how big is it per year, and how long does the change take compared to the organisms reproductive cycle. Do they go through many generations compared to the size of the change involved.

      In addition to all of the above, you need to have enough measurements from the past to the present to be able to confidently say what change has occurred and how fast then and how fast now. And one has to include error bars and be sure that when one is comparing apples to oranges (new measurement methods) that the change did not just start occurring coincidentally when you started using the new method. We have not been keeping track of ocean pH long enough to say anything with confidence. Like so many areas in climate science, people like to create scary scenarios based on the flimsiest of evidence.

    • David Springer

      AlecM

      re; back-radiation and blackbody

      My understanding is back-radiation is more of a lay term. It’s easy to cause mischief with it out of context. I’d tend to agree it was invented for that purpose. I searched Georgia State online physics reference http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html for back radiation and it doesn’t appear. However I don’t think it’s particularly inaccurate.

      Blackbody comparisons are useful so long as the differences are understood. It’s foundational. A starting point. Establishes constraints.

      Here’s something interesting to think about:

      The average temperature of the global ocean is almost precisely the temperature of a spherical black body 93 million miles from the sun.

      No joke. Measured quantities. Arguable within a few percent on ocean average basin temperature precision but beyond that no.

      Interesting? I think so.

    • David Springer

      AlecM con’t

      I think the earth is best described as a self-organizing dissipating structure. Far from equilibrium with many degrees of freedom to reach maximum entropy production (MEP). Maximum entropy production would be that produced by a perfect blackbody. Given the ocean basin average temperature is really close to perfect blackbody temperature it appears the system is indeed self-organizing to produce maximum entropy.

      There’s lots of reading here

      https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=&oq=maximum+entropy+production+climate&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461&q=maximum+entropy+production+climate&gs_l=hp…0l2j0i22i30l3.0.0.0.8033………..0.RrjveKj7klc

      So given that average surface temperature is some 10C higher than average basin temperature of the ocean we need some kind of explanation for that. I don’t think it has as much to do with the atmosphere as it does with as it has to do with temperature stratification of the global ocean.

    • David Springer

      DocMartyn | January 10, 2014 at 9:25 pm |

      “No species is going to be unchanged after 300 million years”

      Maybe no species of coral perhaps. Coral have been around since the Cambrian explosion 500 mya but fossil corals are rare before 400 mya. As far as losing whatever alleles are needed to live on an earth with higher CO2 it’s 4 million years we need to consider which is how long the current ice age has been around. Given there are still a great many plant species ready willing and able to instantly take advantage of higher CO2 levels it stands to reason that corals wouldn’t have lost that capacity. And I already linked to an aquarium in Hawaii which is raising 57 species of coral all under low pH conditions and they grow as the fastest growers in natural environments. Coral is a non-issue.

    • @David Springer: ‘back radiation’ is the result of the biggest failure in History to understand an experimental instrument!

      Meteorology and Climate Alchemy imagine that the atmosphere heats the Earth’s surface because they misinterpret the Power output of a Pyrgeometer as a real energy flux when it’s really a potential energy flux of that isolated emitter if in radiative equilibrium with the Zero Point Energy of empty Space, absolute zero.

      They rationalise it by imagining that the reason clouds cause surface temperature to rise is because of that heat transfer. In reality, clouds at ~ 10 deg C in radiative equilibrium with surface IR in the ‘atmospheric window’ cuts ~85% off that part of the surface energy flux compared with radiative equilibrium with the 2.7 deg K cosmic microwave background of Space, effectively absolute zero.

      In time, and i hope real soon, this fundamental failure to understand radiative physics will cease to be taught., also that they will alter the text books. However, Obummer is funding this part of the science fraud to get Marxist control of the economy via the Corporations and banks who have become de facto part of the State because of the subsidies.

      Regarding fungi: they took over after the end of the Carboniferous era.

    • AlecM

      +100

    • David Springer

      Bill | January 11, 2014 at 10:46 am |

      “Mutation of a species can and usually does occur every time the cells divide.”

      No. The mutations must occur in germ cells to be heritable.

    • David Springer

      AlexM

      Zero point energy?

      I take back my endorsement.

    • Zero Point Energy is the lowest energy any quantum mechanical system can possess. It is a necessary result of the uncertainty principle.

      Radiative equilibrium of a body with a finite temperature with a sink at absolute zero is really with respect to the ZPE.

      This may to you be a fine detail but when you get deeply into radiative physics with thermal incoherency, it becomes real even at ambient temperatures.

      This is the bit that Planck did not solve. Instead he invented and hated the concept of the photon. Modern quantum theory is on the right lines.

  2. A few things caught my eye this week too. They Are about policy. The first tells the reality of what is happening regarding global emissions reductions and, reading between the lines, tells why only economically rational polciies will work. The policies advocated by the climate scientists and CAGW advocates for the past 20 years at least have failed and will never work. It is behind a paywall, so I’ll post it in full, (I hope this is acceptable):

    Green dream on ice as ‘coal frenzy’ grips Europe and renewables lose their attraction
    by Graham Lloyd, Environmental Editor, The Australian, January 2011.

    “IT’S been a black Christmas for green thinkers as Germany, the world leader in rooftop solar and pride of the renewable energy revolution has confirmed its rapid return to coal.

    After scrapping nuclear power, Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions are back on the rise as the country clamours to reopen some of the dirtiest brown coalmines that have been closed since the reunification of east and west.

    China, meanwhile, last year approved new coal production of more than 100 million tonnes and has plans to add another 860 million tonnes by 2015.

    Even more sobering, according to the International Energy Agency, is the fact that in the next decade India will overtake China as the principal source of growth in global energy demand.

    In its medium-term coal outlook published last month the IEA said rising demand for coal was the “never-ending story”.

    In short, “coal once again exhibited the largest demand growth of all fossil fuels in 2012″, the IEA said.

    Despite rising demand, the world remains awash with coal, meaning in many places lower prices have pushed out gas, which is considered to be a cleaner source of energy.

    The figures confirm the green dream of weaning the world off fossil fuels remains far from reality.

    More significant for Australian policymakers currently facing hard decisions about what to do about renewable energy subsidies and the mandatory Renewable Energy Target is the story behind the headline figures.

    A structural transition has been under way in global energy markets for several years that has far-reaching social, economic and environmental ramifications.

    Countries such as Germany that have been most outspoken about climate change mitigation are reporting increasing carbon emissions and rising energy costs.

    The US – derided by environmental campaigners as too slow to respond to the climate change challenge – has reduced its carbon emissions significantly while simultaneously lowering energy prices, fuelling a much needed resurgence in manufacturing.

    The divergence has come about largely because while Europe has pushed headlong into renewables with generous public subsidies, the US has harnessed new technology to unlock vast resources of unconventional oil and gas.

    This meant in 2012 the US spent about one-third as much as the EU on renewable energy subsidies, $21 billion against $57bn, according to IEA figures.

    It all adds an ironic twist to the campaign mounted against the US by European nations for its refusal to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

    The EU’s flagship climate response, its carbon trading market, has been embroiled in controversy, corruption allegations and a collapse in price.

    Meanwhile, technological innovation in fossil fuels has allowed the US to greatly reduce its carbon footprint, albeit with great environmental controversy over the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to unlock unconventional supplies.

    Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, the divergence is even more stark.

    The significance of the energy market transition now under way was outlined by IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven when she released the organisation’s World Energy Outlook in November.

    She said an increased share of global exports of energy-intensive goods by the US was the “clearest indication of the link between relatively low energy prices and the industrial outlook”.

    “Conversely, the shares of the European Union and Japan both decline relative to current levels,” she said.

    For decision-makers trying to reconcile economic, energy and environmental objectives, Ms van der Hoeven said it was essential to be aware of the dynamics at the heart of today’s energy market.

    And the evidence is hard environmental bargaining to simultaneously force renewables into the marketplace while removing carbon-free nuclear has produced a serious problem for German and Japanese policymakers.

    German policymakers buckled in the face of public pressure following the Fukushima tsunami and nuclear plant disaster which has yet to be brought fully under control.

    Germany’s competitive position on energy has been further compromised by a Europe-wide reluctance to embrace unconventional gas.

    As a consequence, German carbon emissions are rising, energy costs are soaring, electricity consumers are revolting and industrial users are making the hard decisions to move production to less expensive locations – including the US.

    The past week has seen a media

    focus on Europe’s building “coal frenzy”.

    Germany will build 10 new power plants for hard coal, is opening new coalmines practically every month and, worryingly for climate change activists, is increasingly turning to lignite, the least efficient, most polluting form of coal.

    “From Germany to Poland and the Czech Republic, utilities are expanding open-pit mines that produce lignite,” Bloomberg reports.

    “Alarmed at power prices about to double US levels, policymakers are allowing the expansion of coalmines that were scaled back in the past two decades.”

    The IEA forecasts lignite demand worldwide will rise as much as 5.4 per cent by 2020.

    No one is suggesting it is the end of the road for renewables.

    In fact, the IEA forecasts the share of renewables in total power generation will rise from 20 per cent in 2011 to 31 per cent in 2035, as they supply nearly half of the growth in electricity generation.

    China is expected to see the biggest absolute increase in generation from renewable sources, more than the gains in the EU, US and Japan combined.

    But to reach the penetration forecast by the IEA, global subsidies will need to rise from $101bn in 2012 to $220bn in 2035.

    For renewables, the squeeze is both financial and technological.

    New battery technology for mass storage – the critical link for renewables – is improving.

    Nature magazine this week reported on a breakthrough in “flow technology” batteries that could use low-cost, readily available chemicals to store large amounts of electricity to back up renewables.

    But even with penalties for carbon dioxide emissions, the costs of storage are still many times those of baseload generation from coal.

    The scale of the “intermittency” problem for renewables – and the problem it presents for policymakers and energy consumers – was outlined in Die Welt, which reported that Germany’s wind and solar power production effectively stopped in early December.

    “More than 23,000 wind turbines stood still,” it said. “One million photovoltaic systems stopped work completely.

    “For a whole week, coal, nuclear and gas power plants had to generate an estimated 95 per cent of Germany’s electricity supply.”

    The doldrums are the flip side to the triumphant statements from renewable energy companies when production figures spike in times of favourable weather.

    This is a primary reason why political support for renewables is starting to wear thin. Indications are a Europe-wide squeeze is on, with the European Commission reportedly preparing to order an end to price subsidies for wind and solar by the end of the decade.

    According to Britain’s The Telegraph, the commission, which oversees the European single market, is preparing to argue that the onshore wind and solar power industries are mature and should be allowed to operate without support from taxpayers.

    Frustration is also increasing at the costly failure of several multi-billion-dollar offshore wind farm developments which had once been widely touted as the future of renewable power.

    Unfolding events in Europe and the US are of particular interest to Australian policymakers amid a review of climate and energy policies.

    Viewed against the tectonic shifts taking place globally, Australia sits on the cusp. Some powerful voices are arguing that Australia has squandered its longstanding natural advantage of low-cost energy – due to its abundant coal reserves – and is not doing enough to secure an achievable position of becoming an energy superpower of the future.

    The domestic industrial price of electricity is about 20c a kilowatt hour, more than double the cost in the US.

    Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser, Maurice Newman, has blamed misguided climate change policies in part for the downturn in domestic manufacturing.

    The Prime Minister has this week supported calls for a proper investigation into whether wind farms have health impacts on nearby residents.

    It all adds up to the renewable energy industry’s worst nightmare.

    While the renewable industry is calling for no change and greater certainty for investment, sections within the government, led by long-time Queensland Nationals senator Ron Boswell, are calling for the Renewable Energy Target to be scrapped completely.

    According to Boswell, moving from a fixed amount of 45,000 gigawatt hours to a “real” 20 per cent target for renewables in the national energy market would only lower the annual cost of renewables from $5bn to $3.7bn a year by 2020.

    “We can’t afford to follow the example set by Germany, which now has some of the highest power prices in the world, in large part due to its headlong rush into renewables,” Boswell says.

    “We should instead learn from the lesson set by the United States, which has power prices over three times cheaper than ours.”

    If Germany’s aim has been to lead by example, the ugly truth is the future is likely to look a lot like the past: coal.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/green-dream-on-ice-as-coal-frenzy-grips-europe-and-renewables-lose-their-attraction/story-e6frg6z6-1226799246334

    • Curious George

      “renewable energy subsidies, $21 billion[US} against $57bn[EU] [2012]“. I could not locate an IEA page with these numbers, but I wonder if they use the same methodology in both cases: creative accounting is a hallmark of alarmists. Do they count only direct subsidies, or do they also include higher prices for “renewable” energy the public is forced to buy?

    • Fossil fuels get a subsidy of at least $120 B/yr (U.S.; 2005), by polluting for free. (Climate change not included here.)
      – NAS report 2010, “The Unpriced Consequences of Fossil Fuels”

      • Most of those so called subsidies are not subsidies at all. And renewabes are getting many times higher subsidy than fossil fuels per unit of energy supplied. So, your comment is misleading.

    • Polluting? There you go again, Dave, with your value judgements masquerading as ‘fact’. As for linking to the US National Academy of Sciences as an authority on subsidies for energy sector, well, that’s hardly likely to be convincing, is it? They’re dyed in the wool climate alarmists. From their site ‘The risks posed by climate change indicate a pressing need for action’. Can you believe that? What a ridiculous exaggeration. It’s what you do. Statement of alarmism couched as if it is a fact. How could anyone rely on them to assess subsidies to a fossil fuel industry objectively when we already know in advance that NAS loathes fossil fuel cos of ‘the risks posed by climate change’? We can’t. Do you have another source, say from an auditing firm?

    • Just for some appropriate balance, the unprecedented benefits of fossil fuels:

      Humanity Unbound: how fossil fuels saved humanity from nature and nature from humanity
      http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/humanity-unbound-how-fossil-fuels-saved-humanity-nature-nature-humanity

    • Peter, an editing suggestion: when I post material from the Aus, I run several paras together so you get less white space and a much shorter (on screen) and easier to read post.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Hey Peter,

      Rather than post complete articles that are so absurdly long, just take an excerpt and a link. It is the polite thing to do. If readers care about it, they’ll follow the link. It makes the thread much easier to read.

    • Peter, I have to agree with gates on this one. I’d be more likely to read the article.

    • Anyone with a clue, knew this was what the outcome would be, many have been yelling it from rooftops for more than a decade.
      Sanity will bring more unconventional fossil fuels, and nuclear, governments clearing the way for such advances, and the withdrawal of green funding, market forces will do the rest. If sanity pre vales that is.

    • WUWT have an article on study by CU that quantifies how much better natural gas is than coal in energy per CO2 even regardless of the direct pollutants. Turns out to be twice as good. The comments on WUWT look quite bitter about this piece. Not sure why.

      • Jim D,

        That is half the story. Whereas gas reduces emissions by about half, nuclear reduces them by about 98% (both compared with average of existing coal plants in the USA).

        Another point to consider is that natural gas can be readily used as a transport fuel whereas nuclear is only good for generating electricity. If we try to use our gas for both electricity generation and transport fuels, the price will be forced up more than if the gas is used mostly for transport fuels and nuclear does the heavy lifting in replacing coal fired electricity generation.

        Even with nuclear doing the heavy lifting for replacing coal in electricity generation gas will still need to provide a significant proportion and very important role for meeting shoulder and peak demand and for rapid response – fast ramping of power up and down – balancing the fluctuations in power demand in the grid. The fluctuations are exacerbated if intermittent renewables are connected to the grid and it gets worse the more intermittent renewables are connected. So the more renewables are connected the more gas generation capacity will be required. The capacity factor will go down and the cost of electricity will increase.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R Gates: Rather than post complete articles that are so absurdly long, just take an excerpt and a link

      In his defense, he did say it was behind a paywall.

    • @ Peter Lang

      All true

      “The scale of the “intermittency” problem for renewables – and the problem it presents for policymakers and energy consumers – was outlined in Die Welt, which reported that Germany’s wind and solar power production effectively stopped in early December.’

      The real problem with renewables is the ‘intermittency’ problem for the utilities, combined with the requirement that utility companies MUST buy renewable energy.

      That is not much of a problem to the utility companies as long as the ‘renewables’ consist of a few home owners with solar cells on their roof or a windmill in their back yard.

      As the size of the renewable plants grows until they have the capability, under favorable conditions, of supplying a significant portion of the total demand, the renewable problem, from the utility company point of view, escalates from nuisance to catastrophic nightmare. At some point, when (I’m picking a number with no research–but the number definitely exists) the renewable supply starts varying between zero and 20-30 percent, maybe less, of the total demand at random times at the whim of the winds, the clouds, and the diurnal cycle, the renewables will start to ‘crash the system’. Utility control systems simply cannot operate under those conditions.

      The only solution that I can see is that if the utility companies are required to accept the output of renewable plants, the renewable plants should in turn be required to furnish their output 24/7/365 and coordinate outages with the utility company the same as the operator of a coal, gas, oil, or nuclear plant. That puts the intermittency problem in the court of the renewable plant. If they can solve it and furnish power on demand, using whatever ‘low pass filter’ that makes economic and engineering sense in their specific situation, well and good; welcome to ‘Utility World’. If not, they should be forbidden to hook their system to the grid.

      • Bob Ludwick,

        Excellent points. Very good explanation. Thank you. I recall Judith made the point, in passing, about wind power in her recent excellent interview many of us listened to – and got criticised for saying speaking about such a topic.

        At some point, when (I’m picking a number with no research–but the number definitely exists) the renewable supply starts varying between zero and 20-30 percent, maybe less, of the total demand at random times at the whim of the winds, the clouds, and the diurnal cycle, the renewables will start to ‘crash the system’. Utility control systems simply cannot operate under those conditions.

        That’s true. There is much research and discussion about this among engineers and researchers in the electricity industry. And a great deal of money being invested to try to make the grids more robust so they can withstand the threat of sudden power fluctuations, extended periods of massive fluctuations and long periods of no generation fro the intermittent renewables. All this investment is increasing the cost of electricity. In fact, it is possible the main cause of the increases cost of electricity that can be properly be attributed to renewable energy.

        On a related matter the effectiveness of renewables at abating CO2 emissions decreases as the proportion of energy generated by intermittent renewables increases. Many studies showe this. Herbert Inhaber conducted a paper study of the many such studies and his parer is published in peer reviewed journal ‘Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews”; it is behind a paywall here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032111000864

        I replotted the key figure (his Figure 3) as my Figure 1 ‘CO2 avoided versus wind’s share of electricity generation‘ in this post: http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/05/21/co2-avoidance-cost-wind/

        Critiques of Inhaber’s paper have shown some flaws in the analysis and the result is that it’s not as bad as it seems. And some recent studies have provided some points as a check. An excellent study of wind generation in the Irish grid in in 2011 show that wind generated 17% of Ireland’s electricity in 2011 and, at that proportion, was only 53% effective* at avoiding CO2 emissions. That means we are paying twice as much to avoid a tonne of CO2 with wind power as we are being led to believe. Here is the excellent study for Ireland.
        [Effective in this sense means that, although 1 MWh of electricity generated by wind avoids the generation of 1MWh by other generators, it avoids on 53% of the CO2 those other generators would have emitted if they had been used instead of the wind generators]

        There are other recent good studies of this for other grids, but the Irish Grid has one of the higher proportions of wind generation.

    • Jim D

      That’s a good article on the relative CO2 emissions from coal generation versus combined cycle natural gas.

      Problem is, of course, that many parts of the world (like Germany, for example) do not (yet?) have access to a reliable low-cost source of natural gas. Fracking will help this in many locations over the foreseeable future and methane hydrate recovery below the oceans may add some more over the longer term, but there isn’t enough natural gas to completely replace coal.

      The biggest advantage of gas over coal is that there is virtually no pollution from gas, while coal generates major pollutants unless these are removed.

      If you go through the numbers, you’ll see that replacing essentially all new coal-fired power plants with nuclear could result in a net reduction of atmospheric CO2 by 2100 of 60 to 80 ppmv. Replacing new coal with new natural gas could result in a reduction of around half this amount.

      So it’s not going to make a significant change in global warming, even at the high climate sensitivity estimates of IPCC.

      But, hey, it’s clean – and it makes folks feel good.

      Max

    • Peter Lang

      No doubt that the “intermittency problem” of wind and solar is real and becomes more important as these renewable sources grow to a higher percentage of the total.

      It is also apparent that the 70+% of the time that these sources cannot produce must be covered by something else. The current solution is natural gas fired standby plants. Problem here is that the overall thermal efficiency of these plants in intermittent operation is lower than in continuous operation, so that the renewable plant really only “avoids” generation of around 10 to 20% of the CO2 that would be generated if the gas plant ran continuously.

      And this at a considerable capital investment disadvantage.

      Max

      • Manacker,

        Yes. And this excellent paper from Ireland explains all this very well and puts actual numbers on it. Joe Wheatley has done an excellent job of getting the numbers and quality checking them. This paper is well worth reading carefully for anyone interested in this subject. It was submitted to a journal (I think it was on Energy Policy but not sure) in late 2012 or 2013 but I can’t find it published anywhere. The following link was to a pre-publication edition fro review.
        Joeseph Wheatley (2012) “Quantifying CO2 savings from wind power: Ireland
        http://docs.wind-watch.org/Wheatley-Ireland-CO2.pdf

        I recommend this to anyone interested in the subject.

    • I am for an all-of-the-above approach; cleaner fossil fuels, wind and solar with storage, and nuclear. The main thing is to move off coal (even “clean coal” ), and reduce the need for refined oil by modernizing transportation towards fuel efficiency or actual carbon-neutral green fuels if they can be produced (another future technology need).

      • OK, thansk for clarification. Wher do you sit on economically rational? Because that is what is important to make real progress in the real world. And that has been the main stumbling block that has delayed progress on nuclear for the past fifty years, pushed for irrational policies like carbon pricing for the past 20 years and pushed for massive distortions to the market to force us to wast money on hugely expensive renewable energy schemes for the past 30 years at least.

    • Peter Lang, not being an economist or clairvoyant, I can’t predict the growth of the needed technologies that will compete with coal and oil. The process is a ramping down over 100 years. This can be effective if the annual CO2 emission amount is reduced by 3 Gt (10% of today’s emission) every ten years starting now. This leaves us nearer 500 ppm than 700 ppm. Yes, it is ambitious to expect that rate globally, but global targets need to be ambitious, and it seems the first 3 Gt reduction is not difficult with just moving from coal and increasing fuel efficiency. The US would already be on this target line, for example.

      • Jim D,’

        You don’t have to be an economist or a clairvoyant to recognise and understand that pushing for economically irrational policies is a fools game. Pushing for ideologically driven but economically irrational policies has failed spectacularly with the UN climate conferences and all the nonsense associated with pushing for carbon pricing and renewable energy and a host of other policies. You can recognise that with out being either an economist or a clairvoyant.

        By the way, I am strongly for the least cost energy for the world. the benefits of low cost energy swamp the risks. Therefore, I am strongly for using coal as long as it remains the least cost option. And I think the vast majority of the world – I’d say 97% – agree with me!!

        Therefore, for those who are desperately concerned about the risks of GHG emissions, they really need to change tack in my opinion. They need to start advocating for rational policies to replace high GHG emissions energy with low GHG emissions. The focus must be on three critical factors: the cost, the cost, the cost.

        Write that down! :)

      • I could add that while the UN and the do-gooders have been interfering in energy policy since before the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the worlds rate of decarbonisation as decreased from -2% p.a. to -0.7% p.a. (see the second figure here: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/decelerating-decarbonization-of-global.html )

    • JimD, “The main thing is to move off coal (even “clean coal” )”

      If you stopped before that you would have sounded less confused. There are just as many or more potential hazards with future “biomass” alternatives. Just consider the corn ethanol repercussions. That created a price ripple through all food products, seriously reduced “land conservation”, increased soil erosion which of course impacts rivers and estuaries. If an economist had the same bias against diverting potential food production to fuel as you do to coal, the process would be abolished.

      Since coal will be used in spite of your warm and fuzziness, simply stating that you are for any and all means to reduce inefficiency and promote the cleanest alternatives you make you sound like you don’t have that COAL lump on your shoulder.

      With the same dedicated “hit science” just about any option can be made to be an abomination to future generations. Because of that confused “hit science”, Germany is now dedicated to that “Clean Coal” for the next couple of generations. They will be building high tech coal fired power plants with the option of CCS, but not a requirement for CCS. With CCS they could have nearly 50% efficient coal plants that emit less than 20% of the “normal” CO2 per kW tossed around by the coal haters. Since CCS eats up about 15% of the efficiency, they could have efficiencies close to combined cycle natgas and offset the CO2 produced with land conservation and water shed restoration.

      However, since the warm and fuzzies “Know” what is best, they let their biases show. You don’t general solve problems by picking the winners first.

    • Scientists can push targets, not the policies to reach them, which must be left to individual countries. By seeing these targets, you get a sense of what your policy will do when taken together with other global policies. Science gives you a road rather than a steering wheel, and it says which paths will be more bumpy.

      • Jim D,

        You know full well that that is not what has been happening for decades and it is not what you are about either. You and most of the other CAGW believers are advocatingv for policies like carbon pricing and renewable energy display little to no in the costs or the economic consequences of the policies you advocate. You are still weazling around trying to ignore or sidestep the issues of the costs and economic questions. So you are helping to prolong the delay until effective policies are implemented. I don’t understand how you can be so blind to this problem if you are genuinely concerned about GHG emissions and are genuinely interested in finding and promoting solutions that can succeed.

    • JimD, By pushing targets, science has created its own bumpy road. Japanese scientists had radiation exposure limits lower than the background radiation of sweet potatoes. Climate scientists over sold their “projections”. Solar and Wind “scientists” over sold their advantages. Other scientist undersold the advantages of of land and water shed policy. It is properly called a scientific clusterphuck.

    • Peter Lang, I have no idea what the best policy is. It is a national-scale decision because each country has its own resources and needs. OK, voluntary targets are not likely to be effective, but what would you do to make the targets have sticks and carrots. Maybe there is a free market solution that promotes competition to reach these targets, but I don’t know it. I oppose carbon trading because it promotes gaming the system, profiteering and book-cooking, all good capitalist values, but not for me.

    • captd, too many people are focused on solving tomorrow’s problems with only today’s technologies. That is the wrong way to think. CO2 growth control is a gradual process lasting decades. Technology can advance to achieve this, especially given the incentive of knowing what happens if it doesn’t.

    • JimD, “captd, too many people are focused on solving tomorrow’s problems with only today’s technologies.”

      Which is basically what you are doing by demonizing choices based on past technology and picking winners based on outdated “popular science” future visions. Being able to actual manufacture graphene on a commercial scale was science fiction five years ago. Who knows what potential that will have. One thing you can be sure of is that 99% of the talking heads that think they know the solutions are wrong.

    • captd, sure coal and shale oil deserve demonizing in the same way as CFCs and sulphates, methane and black carbon. Which of these would you choose to defend against demonization? i didn’t think this much was controversial. We know which ways not to go. The problem is figuring out what the best path forwards is.

      • The problem is figuring out what the best path forwards is.

        The best way would be for those like yourself to get right out of the way of policy analysis. You know nothing about it and have no knowledge of what goes into it, but you think you do and – along with all the other opinionated do gooders – are delaying progress.

    • Peter Land, you have to distinguish suggesting environmental targets from setting policies. I tend to think science is limited to the former role. Policy-setting for the world is a morass that I wouldn’t even try to suggest anything for, and good luck to the UN for trying to do something even if it is only to make suggestions to be taken or left, which is where they are at the moment.

      • Jim D,

        So do you nor understand or do you not care that the UN and the do gooders are in effect delaying progress by their inadvised interventions? Did you not read the link I posted showing that the rate of decarbonisation of the global economy has slowed from 2% p.a. in 1990 to 0.7% p.a. by 2007 ( the latest figure available when the paper was written). Are you not able join the dots?

    • Peter Lang, and just what progress is this that you think is being delayed by the UN? Progress towards 1000 ppm? If that is it, great, that was their aim. I don’t think they have had that much effect, but you seem to.

      • Why don’t you read the comments I’ve already posted and the links? Or have you read them and you can’t understand how to join the links. It’s quite frustrating trying to discuss with someone who appears to be obstinately irrational. Your question is already answered in what I’ve already posted.

    • Peter Lang, decarbonization is a multi-decadal, probably century-long process. How can you predict what ways there will be to decarbonize even ten years from now. You can’t extrapolate the last ten years into the future century. There are countries already reducing emissions without going nuclear, although I think everyone will have to at least consider nuclear if storage of wind/solar lags a few decades, because that is further ahead technologically. These are the questions, and the answers will dawn over the decades, and are hard to predict from today’s technology. Who knows, even nuclear fusion could become an option within the century time-frame.

      • Jim D,

        Thius is the same sort of avoidance and obfuscation that has been blocking progress for 50 years. Effectively you are saying: We don’t know what furure technologies will be (which I agree with) so let’s just keep pissing around promoting policies that block progress – the same policies you and your doomsayer predecessors have been advocating fort the last 50 years (anti-nuke), last 30 years (pro renewables) and past 20+ years (carbon pricing, emissions targets, Kyoto Protocol, etc).

        All are a big fail!! Yet you can’t see that and continue to advocate for them, for pissing around and by distracting attention from policies that will work you block progress.

        What I am suggesting to you, and urging you to do if you want to help to make real progress, is to change your position from ‘antagonistic anti-sponsor’ to ‘Enthusiastic Advocate’ (refer to “Strategic Selling” for what the terms mean.

    • Peter Lang, don’t put everyone in the same pool as if they have signed on to a single doctrine. The Hansen et al. letter to green groups, which I think is quite good, promotes nuclear, says renewables are not there yet, and says nothing about a carbon tax.
      http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/to-those-influencing-environmental-policy-but-opposed-to-nuclear-power/?_r=0

      • Jim D,

        James Hansen als calls coal trains “death trains” and protestes against coal by chaining himself to the gates of coal fired power stations. How ridiculous, irresponsible and extremist is that. Who in their right mind would take any notice of what extremists like him say.

        What I am urging you to do is to get rational. Stop the obfuscation and advocacy for “I am for everything” which is what the anti nukes and pro renewable energy advocates have been repeating endlessly for many decades but always turns into “we want all the money and support to go to renewables and the wet dream projects we believe in”. This is the sort of thing you are doing too, whether you recognise it or not.

        Get these facts in you head:

        1. nuclear is the least cost low emissions way to generate electricity

        2. nuclear is the safest way to generate electricity

        3. the cost of nuclear can come down a very long way if we remove the irrational impediments that are blocking it.

        4. If we allow it to be cheaper than coal, it will replace coal without any central decrees and demand and UN and government policy interventions. It will just happen because it is cheapest and fit dfor purpose – if we remove the imediments that are blocking progress.

        5. You and everyone else can help if you will inform yourself of the facts – do the research, objectively and dispassionately – and then get out and explain what you’ve learn to others.

    • Peter Lang, you may not like Hansen, but you are on the same page with him regarding nuclear. It also helps if coal is relatively inefficient, so he won’t need his coal train argument anymore when those countries start to see sense. Canada and its shale oil has to be called out too for dirty energy. Their death trains are gaining a reputation of their own.

      • Jim D,

        You are very persistent but continually avoiding addressing or even acknowledging the points I’ve been attempting to get across. I’ve addressed every new point you’ve raised, but you don’t deal with with my replies or points and just move on to make a new point. So there is no closure on anything and the arguments just goes on and on and it all gets raised again on new threads. Can you not see that his is the sort of activity that the anti progress activists practice all the time? It is their skill set and yours too apparently.

    • Peter Lang, I have pointed out that you put everyone in the same school of thought wrongly, that you haven’t accounted for technological advances in decarbonization, so the best solution now may not be in a couple of decades. You seem to think that costs will magically force decarbonization via nuclear power to occur by itself, or if they don’t, you don’t care about high CO2 levels anyway. I think you have been too vague on this point, however, for me to comment. If you are trying to say something else, I missed it, admittedly.

      • Jim D,

        I’ve answered all the points in your first sentence and you have neither acknowledged them or debated them if you don’t accept my reply. Your assertion in the second sentence is just plain wrong, which you’d certainly know if you followed what I’d written. You reveal you simply don’t understand what you are talking about. But it seems you are intent on being so obstinate you can’t learn or won’t consider the answers to your points.

        Regarding your last sentence, I suspect you didn’t miss it at all, but are avoiding the central issues and key relevant points. I suggest you go back to the top of the sub thread, read the replies, including the links and including the two links I posted to two comments on a previous CE thread.

        Then, can you please say which of these points you accept and which you do not agree with and why:

        1. nuclear is the least-cost, low-emissions way to generate electricity

        2. nuclear is the safest way to generate electricity

        3. the cost of nuclear can come down a very long way if we remove the irrational impediments that are blocking it.

        4. If we allow it to be cheaper than coal, it will replace coal without any central decrees and UN and government policy interventions. It will just happen because it is cheapest and fit for purpose – if we remove the impediments that are blocking progress.

        5. You and everyone else who is concerned about CAGW can help if you will inform yourself of the facts – do the research, objectively and dispassionately – and then get out and explain to others what you’ve learnt.

      • Jim D, you said (and I’ve separated into numbered points so I can refer to them:

        I have pointed out that:
        1. you put everyone in the same school of thought …,
        2. that you haven’t accounted for technological advances in decarbonization, so the best solution now may not be in a couple of decades.
        3. You seem to think that costs will magically force decarbonization via nuclear power to occur by itself</blockquote

        #1. No. I am answering your questions and inferring from what you write what you are advocating – like you hate coal and don’t give a damn about the real consequences of raising the cost of it, and you advocate ‘all-of-the-above’ policies irrespective of the real effect of doing so; i.e. delay real progress by diversion.

        #2. Wrong. I do have taken into account technological advances. We have two centuries of experience with technological advances to draw on and to inform us about the technology life cycle. Just like you and everyone elese, I don’t know what the great leap advances will be or when they will come. But history shows it takes a very long time (many decades) to bring new electricity technologies to the state where they are economically viable. The electrical power generated and transmitted in the electricity system is GW scale, not the mW and μW of power in computer systems, (i.e a factor of 10^12 to 10^15 difference). The size of the equipment, the longevity of the investment, and the time for new models to incorporate lessons learned and changes reflects these differences. So, what people understand about how long it takes to develop new computers, iPhones, cars and even aircraft is not relevant for informing the pace of development of new electricity generation technologies. Here’s a couple of examples. PV has been being developed for over 60 years and now generates just 0.3% of world electricity and is still totally uneconomic except for off grid niche applications. Solar thermal engines have been around for over 100 years and solar thermal generates 0.0% of world electricity. So your ideas that something will suddenly emerge in the next 50 years to replace the generating systems we have now is fanciful. But in that time, nuclear could replace most coal generation and some gas generation if we removed the irrational impediments to low cost nuclear power. Please can you say if you accept the thrust of this point and if there is an important issue in here that is sufficiently significant to make you dismiss the main point, let’s discuss it.

        #3. Wrong. Definitely not what I’ve said – ever! I’ve explained what has to be done to allow the costs of nuclear energy to come down. In short it is to educate the nuclear paranoia out of the public (which you could help with) so they want, instead of hate and fear, nuclear power so they then argue for it instead of against it. Next step is for the government, encouraged by public support, to remove the impediments that 50 years of anti-nuclear protesting has caused to be imposed on nuclear power. I referred you to these two previous comments and your latest comment shows that you have not read them because if you had you would not have made the comment you made.
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/19/open-thread-weekend-14/#comment-313509
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/19/open-thread-weekend-14/#comment-313514

    • Peter Lang

      Thanks for link to Ireland study.

      Max

      • Manacker,

        I’ll be really interested to hear what you think of it once you’ve had a chance to digest it. There are very many other such studies, and all give similar message, but this is one of the best in my opinion. Reasons: (from the paper):

        Ireland is a good empirical test case for the following
        reasons:
        1. high average wind penetration (17% in 2011)
        2. minimal electricity exports means that virtually all wind generation must
        be accommodated on the domestic grid
        3. modern thermal plant portfolio with large amounts of relatively
        exible
        gas generation ( 58% of demand) as well as coal and peat plant
        4. zero nuclear and a low level of hydro ( 2%)
        5. Ireland’s highly volatile wind resource favours statistical even over rela-
        tively short timeframes such as one year
        6. availability of relatively high frequency grid data and mandatory emissions
        reporting at plant level under EU-ETS.[12]

        And, furthermore, he has done a good job of auditing and checking from different sources, the fuel used and emissions.

    • Jim D

      Been following your exchange with Peter Lang.

      You write:

      decarbonization is a multi-decadal, probably century-long process

      This is basically wrong. Decarbonization itself is NOT a process – it might be the RESULT of several actionable no-regrets processes, such as replacement of new coal fired power plants with either nuclear or natural gas, with some local wind/solar fraction, switch to hybrids or all-electrics for cars, methane for larger vehicles, better home insulation, etc.

      On top of this come any cost-competitive new technologies that are developed over time (and there are many in the pipeline, from truly cost competitive.biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells, etc. etc.)

      And, yes, this process is a continuous, long-term one.

      The process will be driven by economics and human ingenuity – not by top-down global edicts or taxes, which will achieve nothing at a high cost to everyone.

      Max

      • Manacker,

        Thank you for catching that. I hadn’t realised that Jim D didn’t previously understand what decarbonisation of the global economy means.

        It is explained in Roger Pielke’s short post that I’ve linked to several times in this thread already, and in Richard Tol’s books and papers and Nordhaus’s, etc.

        I covered it in my comment on this thread about “how to decarbonise the global economy”. i didn’t realise Jim D didn’t read it or didn’t understand any of this stuff.

        Jim D, in short, decarbonise the economy means to reduce the amount of CO2-eq emitted per $ GDP. As I’ve said previously, decarbonisation has been going on all last century at a rate well above what it is now. The rate really fell off when the UN tried to interfere and make it happen faster, and when the anti nukes managed to make nuclear so expensive it’s development and roll out has been effectively blocked.

    • @ Peter Lang

      “The first tells the reality of what is happening regarding global emissions reductions and, reading between the lines, tells why only economically rational polciies will work. ”

      You fall into the ‘green’ trap by accepting AS A GIVEN that reducing ACO2 is desirable, that it will have ANY measurable effect on the sacred ‘Temperature of the Earth TOE)’, and that those effects will be desirable.

      In point of fact there is currently no EMPIRICAL evidence, as Jim Cripwell continues to remind all and sundry, that ACO2 raises the TOE or that controlling ACO2 would either lower the TOE or prevent it from rising. Or, for that matter, that lowering the TOE or preventing its rise is even DESIRABLE.
      Therefore, any measure taken for the sole purpose of controlling ACO2 is a waste of time and money, and most importantly (and the reason for the invention of CAGW in the first place) inevitably results in the transfer of power and money to the controllers from the controlees. There are economically rational policies to accomplish many objectives. Controlling ACO2 isn’t one of them.

      • Bob Ludwick,

        I tend to mostly agree with you, but come at dealing the issue from a different angle. I accept there is a real political issue (who could deny it?). That is the real world. Saying that AGW isn’t a potential problem and a potential risk doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked for over 20 years. So the politics has to be addressed. The best way to address it, in my opinion, is through the economic arguments. That is what people understand.

        I do not support policies that will do economic harm in the short or medium term. Therefore, it is up to those who are concerned about CAGW to offer, or allow, policies that have the potential, and the probability, that they will deliver economic benefits that exceed the costs in the short and medium term.

    • Peter Lang says:
      “1. nuclear is the least cost low emissions way to generate electricity

      2. nuclear is the safest way to generate electricity

      3. the cost of nuclear can come down a very long way if we remove the irrational impediments that are blocking it.

      4. If we allow it to be cheaper than coal, it will replace coal without any central decrees and demand and UN and government policy interventions. It will just happen because it is cheapest and fit dfor purpose – if we remove the imediments that are blocking progress.

      5. You and everyone else can help if you will inform yourself of the facts – do the research, objectively and dispassionately – and then get out and explain what you’ve learn to others.”

      1. good, that may be true at present, and we will see how alternative energy stacks up going forwards
      2. I hope so, and it looks reasonably safe to me too. Not sure about safest compared to wind/solar, but we can differ.
      3. Different countries may have different impediments at different times. The statement is too general to comment on. Some may be irrational, but I haven’t tried to promote nuclear power to the government, so I don’t know what those would be.
      4. If your assumption that impediments are raising the cost, I agree, they should be removed. If those impediments include regulations on safety standards and disposal of waste, I would want to look at whether they can be removed first.
      5. I think Hansen’s letter to the anti-nuclear activists is exactly what is needed as a start. They will listen to him more than to the nuclear industry or even governments.

      Regarding decarbonization, its definition is “to remove carbon from”. I take it to mean to remove carbon from emissions (nothing about GDP). There are goals to be met for the sake of the environment. I say decarbonization, if it isn’t a process, should be, guided by these targets. Should it be voluntary for each nation? That is pragmatic. There is no way to enforce it, but at least it can inform policy when the ideal process has a timeline with numbers in it. Targets and metrics allow us to take stock and see where we are rather than going blindly forwards with no aim. Business runs with metrics and targets to determine success or failure, and so should the global environment.

      • Jim D,
        @ January 12, 2014 at 10:14 am

        Thank you for your reply. You quoted my points and then responded to each below:

        Peter Lang says:

        “1. nuclear is the least-cost, low-emissions way to generate electricity

        2. nuclear is the safest way to generate electricity

        3. the cost of nuclear can come down a very long way if we remove the irrational impediments that are blocking it.

        4. If we allow it to be cheaper than coal, it will replace coal without any central decrees and demand and UN and government policy interventions. It will just happen because it is cheapest and fit for purpose – if we remove the impediments that are blocking progress.

        5. You and everyone else can help if you will inform yourself of the facts – do the research, objectively and dispassionately – and then get out and explain what you’ve learn to others.”

        Your responses to my points above and my replies to your responses follow;

        1. good, that may be true at present, and we will see how alternative energy stacks up going forwards

        Do you want to proceed with best information we have now or keep delaying progress, using the same tired old arguments that the delayers have been using for decades?. The physics preclude renewables from being an economically viable option for supplying a major proportion of the worlds energy needs in the foreseeable future and probably ever.

        2. I hope so, and it looks reasonably safe to me too. Not sure about safest compared to wind/solar, but we can differ.

        Why aren’t you sure? I’ve posted this link umpteen times to a summary of the authoritative studies comparing the risk of the various technologies. Why don’t you take a look? All this has been known, and the ranking of the technologies virtually unchanged in the authoritative studies since the early 1980’s or earlier. http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html
        Fatalities per TWh by technology:
        Nuclear 0.09
        Wind 0.15
        Solar (roof top) 0.44
        Hydro (Europe) 0.10
        Hydro (world) 1.4

        3. Different countries may have different impediments at different times. The statement is too general to comment on. Some may be irrational, but I haven’t tried to promote nuclear power to the government, so I don’t know what those would be.

        That is diversionary. The impediments to nuclear are the cost, which is caused by the regulatory and licensing impediments and the financial risk premium, caused by risk of delay during construction and of having the plant shut down because of public opposition before it has run for its 60 year expected life. All this is caused by the publics irrational fear of nuclear power and radiation. These can be addressed in the way I explained in a previous comment. If you continue to oppose nuclear you continue to delay progress to reduce global GHG emissions. You are, therefore being hypocritical complaining about those who promote coal use, but you are helping to prevent viable alternatives.

        4. If your assumption that impediments are raising the cost, I agree, they should be removed. If those impediments include regulations on safety standards and disposal of waste, I would want to look at whether they can be removed first.

        You’ve have 50 years to look. As Pekka pointed out, there is not a technical problem. It is a public perception problem. Your approach to progress is to delay because you don’t understand. You are doing the same thing in blocking progress on nuclear as you complain about deniers doing when they argue we don’t have sufficient information on the risk of CAGW to justify proceeding with high cost mitigation strategies.

        5. I think Hansen’s letter to the anti-nuclear activists is exactly what is needed as a start. They will listen to him more than to the nuclear industry or even governments.

        I agree the CAGW alarmist may listen to Hansen, but most of the anti-nukes wont. For them, being anti-nuke is more important than being pro CAGW.

        Regarding decarbonization, its definition is “to remove carbon from”. I take it to mean to remove carbon from emissions (nothing about GDP).

        No. That is a misunderstanding of what “decarbonisation’ means in the context of CO2-eq emissions reduction. You haven’t kept up. Read Nordhaus, or Tol, or Roger Pielke Jr. or just about any of the climate economics publications. Here’s a one pager (again) to get you started:
        Roger Pielke Jr. “Decelerating decarbonisation of the global economy
        http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/decelerating-decarbonization-of-global.html

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Wind is relatively cheap – http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm – and solar seems likely to continue to decline in cost and increase in efficiency. They are of course not a 100% power solution – some low percentage in a typical grid.

      I am a technological optimist and suggest that investment in energy innovation rather than targets for CO2 is the priority. There are no guarantees of course – but equally no other way to succeed.

      As far as science is concerned – the really good ones are scratching their heads and speculating about the world not warming for decades – and wondering why. Of course we could could always base it on blogospheric memes. That’s going to work with even a few more years of non warming – not. I’m surprised it’s lasted this long.

      And to ignore methane, black carbon, nitrous oxide, hydrogen sulphide and tropospheric ozone is to snatch defeat from the jaws of defeat.

      • Wind is relatively cheap

        That statement is incorrect. As I have said many times you do not understand what you are reading.

    • Peter Lang

      The Ireland study on the effectiveness of wind power to reduce CO2 emissions, which you cited, is very interesting.

      It concludes:

      Wind contributed 17% of electricity demand in 2011 and reduced CO2 emissions by 9%. Wind energy saved 0.28 tCO2/MWh on average, relative to a grid carbon intensity in the absence of wind of 0.53tCO2/MWh. Emissions savings are at the lower end of expectations. It is likely that this reflects decreasing effectiveness of wind power as wind penetration increases.

      This study looks at an entire actual grid, rather than simply individual plant efficiencies at continuous full load versus intermittent operation.

      But it comes to essentially the same conclusions.

      Wind power only reduces CO2 emissions by around one-half of the theoretical savings, due to its inherent intermittency and the resulting need for intermittently operated standby generation using fossil fuels.

      This is the case when wind represents 17% of the total load and will become problematic at higher percentages of the total load.

      This must be considered when making a long-term cost/benefit analysis of wind power.

      Max

      • Manacker,

        Thanks. Noted and your concise summary and explanation for CE readers is much appreciated.

    • The case of Ireland is particularly unfavorable for wind power in this respect, because practically all regulation is done with natural gas fired power plants while peat powered plants do not participate in regulation. Thus plants that release less CO2 do the regulation.

      Power systems that have hydro power and sufficient reservoirs that allow its regulation fare best as practically all wind power leads to reduction in outflows from reservoirs. The extra water can then be used at a time of little wind and/or high consumption. Reduction in fuel use can then also apply to coal (or peat) which are not as flexible to regulate as natural gas.

      • Pekka,

        I disagree with your argument about the Irish grid result being of little relevance and your point about hydro.

        The vast majority of the world’s wind power is backed up by gas generators. That is, it is the highly flexible gas generators that are dispatched to ramp power up and down to balance the power and frequency on the grid as the wind generators’ output rises and falls. The gas generators are becoming more efficient and more responsive as time progresses. The Irish generation mix is fairly advanced but by no means unusual. It is where most countries are heading and will continue to improve past where the Irish grid is now. So, I suggest that the conclusion from the Joe Wheatly paper are very valuable. As I said in my comment above there are many other similar studies; Herbert Inhaber studied them and drew conclusions he published in a peer reviewed paper (link in my previous comment) and I used in this post (I replotted his Figure 3 in my Figure 1 to change from log to normal scale to make it easier to interpret): http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/05/21/co2-avoidance-cost-wind/ This shows how the effectiveness of wind generation at abating emissions decreases as the proportion of wind generation in the mix increases. Later work and criticisms of the paper show that the effect is not as bad as his paper and the figure shows. Je Wheatley’s result of 53% effective at 17% wind energy penetration is a good result to plot on the chart. As are others.

        I can also refer you to other studies.

        Your comment about hydro is a distraction because hydro has limited global capacity and limited future capacity (as a proportion of future energy generation – i.e. the proportion of hydro generation is decreasing and will continue to decrease in the years and decades ahead. Hydro is available in only a few countries in sufficient quantities to back up and store energy from a significant proportion of wind generation. So raising your point about hydro is a distraction from the importance and relevance of Wheatley’s paper.

        We’ve previously discussed the fact that Denmark pays Norway to take most of the wind electricity it generates, and then Denmark buys electricity back from Norway at around five times the price Denmark received for its exported electricity. Importantly the emissions intensity of the electricity Denmark buys back is the average intensity of the generators in the grid at they time the electricity is bought back. So Denmark’s is exporting wind generated electricity and buying back electricity with the average emissions intensity of the grid from which it is bought. Denmark is doing a huge favour to Europe and Danes are paying an enormous price for their generosity.

    • Peter Lang, you seem to think I want to delay the transition from fossil to nuclear, and I don’t. I see it as a priority at least as a near-term solution. To me, first comes transition away from fossil. Transition to what depends on what is ready to take its place in various countries, but the priority is speed and efficiency. Nuclear may not be the first choice or even an option for every country, but a transition from fossil carbon and improving energy efficiency should be sought everywhere, otherwise global emission targets won’t be met.
      Also, I don’t use the term decarbonization of the economy, just decarbonization referring to the emissions. Perhaps you have some confusion when I use the term by itself, so I should use decarbonization of emissions in the future.

      • Jim D,

        Nuclear may not be the first choice or even an option for every country, but a transition from fossil carbon and improving energy efficiency should be sought everywhere, otherwise global emission targets won’t be met.

        Nuclear is not the first choice except where it is cheapest and projections suggest nuclear will be cheapest and economically viable for the life of the plant (60 years).

        Nuclear is not the cheapest option in most countries. Fossil fuels are the cheapest. But the reason, as I have explained over and over again, is because people like you keep repeating the misinformation as you have been doing on this sub thread which is in reality supporting what the anti-nukes say. You are helping them to delay progress. It seems you do not read the links I post nor do the research needed so you can become confident you understand what you are talking about. You keep repeating the anti-nuke talking points. So you are helping those wanting to delay progress. I recognise that you don’t realise what you are doing, but you are doing it whether you realise it or not.

        I don’t have the confusion over what “decarbonisation” means in the context of mitigation policies – you do. I’ve given you links, simple one page links, as in my last comment. Why don’t you read it and get to understand the most basic concepts in the economic arguments about decarbonisation?

    • Peter Lang, I have not repeated any anti-nuke talking points. We are talking past each other. It is pointless.

      • Jim D,

        You don’t realise you are repeating the anti-nuke talking points and misinformation. I’ve pointed out many examples in the comments above.

        I agree a discussion is pointless when don’t acknowledge points I’ve made and whether you accept/agree with them or not, and if not say why you disagree with them. And don’t read the links.

        I’ve addressed all the points you raised above. There is no point going through it again.

    • Regarding decarbonization, I agree with some of the comments to Pielke on his article, i.e. this economic measure is not the one that matters for climate. It needs to be an absolute carbon reduction measure, otherwise it is just obfuscation. Who cares if the emission level stays the same while GDP skyrockets, which would show as effective decarbonization by this measure. But, it is the same problem for the climate as if GDP was flat while emissions stayed the same. This measure gives an illusion that something is being done about climate when it isn’t, and that is dangerous.

      • Jim D,

        this economic measure is not the one that matters for climate. It needs to be an absolute carbon reduction measure, otherwise it is just obfuscation.

        If you can’t accept the definitions of the accepted terms used in the debate, and repeatedly explained by the economists like Pielke, Tol, Nordhaus and virtually all the climate economists, you need to go further to get an understanding of it. Roger Pileke Jr. and Tol and Nordhaus and other have answered this comment many, many times. Can I refer you back to my comment about the Kaya identity: “If we want to decarbonise the global economyhttp://judithcurry.com/2014/01/10/week-in-review-11/#comment-435412

    • Santina Venuto wrote:
      As for linking to the US National Academy of Sciences as an authority on subsidies for energy sector, well, that’s hardly likely to be convincing, is it?

      They are about a billion times more convincing that you are — perhaps a trillion.

      So what’s your point?

    • Peter Lang wrote:
      I do not support policies that will do economic harm in the short or medium term.

      Good. That’s progress. It means we need to stop using coal as quickly as possible. Generating power with fossil fuels creates more damage than value-added, according to Yale economist William Nordhaus in a 2011 paper:

      Muller, Nicholas Z., Robert Mendelsohn, and William Nordhaus. 2011. “Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy.” American Economic Review, 101(5): 1649–75.
      http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.5.1649

      To summarize that paper’s findings: for every $1 in value that comes from coal-generated electricity, it creates $2.20 in damages.

      Total damages: $70 billion per year (in 2012 dollars).

      Petroleum-generated electricity is even worse: $5.13 in damages for $1 in value.

      The National Academy of Sciences estimates that fossil fuel use causes damages of at least $120 B/yr to health and the environment:

      “Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use” National Research Council, 2010
      http://books.nap.edu/catalog/12794.html

      Of course, no one on forums like this wants to mention external costs, because including them makes it clear that we are all subsidizing fossil fuels by a huge amount through worse health and higher medical costs.

    • Peter Lang, the economists can have any definition they like, but it is not going to help with solving the climate problem. The budget that matters is the carbon budget. This is what the IPCC SPM focuses on because it is the bottom line for the climate we will get.

      • Jim D,

        Sorry, you don’t understand. Read the links I gave you and you might begin to understand. I am getting the impression your mind is closed on this. the rate of decarbonisation of the economy is what counts. Read the links. Read the comment I posted and referred you to.

    • Peter Lang, it is obfuscation to include economic factors and then hold them constant. If you want to reduce emissions 55% by 2050 (40 years) and 84% by 2100 (90 years), you just reduce emissions by about 1% per year. It is just mathematics and doesn’t need anything about the economy.

  3. A crew does leave a ship that is in no danger.

    • A crew does NOT leave a ship that is in no danger. The Captain said his ship was in no imminent danger. They were not left to go down with the ship. They were left to do their jobs, which is to sail the ship. His grasp of other facts is equally as bad.

    • We were sunk by a vast iceberg of literalism!

    • If I was in that expedition, I would have wanted to stay on.

      It’s not like it’s a 19th century ship that could be crushed by the ice.

    • Yep. It is not an ice breaker but it has been reinforced to withstand sea ice.

    • Unlike in the case of the ill-fated Costa Concordia, the captain usually stays with his ship until everyone else has been rescued.

      The Russian ship was surprised by a record high year-end Antarctic sea ice extent (14% above the 1979-2000 NSIDC baseline value).

      But all’s well that ends well…

      Max

    • That was not what they were surprised by.

    • JCH

      That [sea ice] was not what they were surprised by

      Huh?

      Gimme a break, JCH.

      Max

    • You are saying they were surprised by a record sea-ice extent.

      The Russian ship was surprised by a record high year-end Antarctic sea ice extent (14% above the 1979-2000 NSIDC baseline value). … – Max

      You are dead wrong. They completely aware there was a record sea-ice extent.

  4. “the warm-mongers stampeded for the first fossil-fuelled choppers”

    Vintage Steyn.

    • Indeed.

      Vintage tribalism. Vintage vitriol. Vintage name-calling. Vintage inaccuracy. Vintage hyperbole. And, of course, vintage vacuity.

      Perhaps Judith finds it to be “intellectual tyranny at its worst?”

      Somehow methinks not.

    • Doubtless they’ll commemorate in an annual get tergether
      ter celebrate (mythify) the risk taking (rescue requiring)
      and intrepid (witless) venture (jaunt) ter demonstrate
      (construct) the CAGW ( Antarctic freeze) narrative.

    • Beth

      Now lemme see.

      We got this here “polar vortex” that’s been freezing all them folks up in Canada plus the northern and central USA.

      An we got this here record sea ice that’s got them sci-un-tists stranded down there near Antarctica.

      An we got these here sci-un-tists tellin us its all cause of unusual global warmin.

      Kin you ‘splain that te me?

      Yore feller serf Max

    • Say fellow serf,

      Nay-chur is dangur-
      us ‘n
      don’t u fergit
      it – it’s
      also vari-able
      nach-ur-ally.
      Seems that
      the cli-mate
      sci-un-tists
      did
      fergit
      it.

      beth-the-serf.

    • Steyn’s piece drips with disdain for all these people, warmists or not, and clearly he couldn’t stand it that they weren’t having a miserable time.

      • What a surprise. Yet another denizen attributes blind range to someone they disagree with. Do you think maybe Steyn is tickled by their earnestness? But no… we can’t have rightish people simply giggling at leftish people–it’s got to be rage and hate, all the time.

    • NW makes an excellent point.

      Perhaps Steyn’s giggling about “warm-mongers” roasting each other on spits and watching extremities falling of should be taken with a light heart. (I will admit that the comment about reducing footprints is witty). It’s probably just warm-hearted teasing with an overriding sense of love and respect – as we might see with one family member teasing another for being too “earnest.” He’s probably just suggesting that everyone just lighten up a bit.

      Yeah. That’s the ticket.

      • Oh that disapproving cluck-cluck, that sanctimonious pose. I’m so embarrassed.

        Buried under a 16-ton anvil of literalism… ouch that really hurts. Dramatic hyperbole is now verboten.

        Raised on Roadrunner, Bugs Bunny and the Pink Panther, yes I do consider it funny when Wile E. Coyote–Super Genius–gets it with a falling anvil. Guess who the super geniuses are this time. Deal with it.

    • Oh, and by the way, Tommy Flanagan’s wife, Morgan Fairchild agrees with NW:

      Yeah. That’s the ticket.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I didn’t read Steyn until now – it is as drearily predictable as Joshua. Two sides of the climate war using – poorly – satire as a political weapon. Joshua calls foul ball when the other side plays the game.

      But Joshua – implying someone is a liar is not acceptable behaviour. And as I am feeling an especially helpful little G-nome these days – I will bring it to the the attention of the G-nome Queen.

    • I did not mean to imply that NW was lying. He doesn’t strike me as the sort. Apologies extended.

      My implication is that his description of Steyn was rather absurd – strained credulity.

    • Chief, it’s ok. Freedom is its own punishment.

      Geez. Talk about sanctimony. Freedom? Seriously?

      And the notion that I was implying that you were lying fails a basic test of logic.

      Lying about what? I was supposed to be implying that you were lying about something Steyn meant? How would that work, exactly, from a logical perspective. How could YOU lie about something STEYN said?

      No, once again, my point was that your characterization of what he said strained credulity. Steyn is a tribalist. His tools are ridicule and animus. The notion that his spiel was some kind of light-hearted poke at the overly-serious strains credulity – and it is the product of motivated reasoning.

      But then again, maybe you were right. Yeah, in fact, my wife Morgan Fairchild told me you were right.

      Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  5. Ken Caldeira’s complete uncertainty about ‘impact’ is a welcome breath of fresh air. Knowing what you don’t know is a precious gift in this game. And Peter Higgs in a way makes the same point. He didn’t know enough to write a single paper most years. The one real idea he had he had to wait fifty-odd years to be supported by experiment. Until then he didn’t know that one either. What a loser. More please.

    • Peter Higgs is a “loser” because his idea was 50 years ahead of experiments?

      How far ahead of experiments are YOUR ideas?

    • Sorry I’m British, like Peter. it was wholly ironic.

    • David Appall
      Has the art of irony escaped your bloodline completely.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: I heard Michael Mann give an interview on a local radio station yesterday and he made the prescient observation that one never hears about the “skeptic’s side” when it comes to discoveries by astrophysicists of new celestial bodies.

      Have MIchael Mann and company done anything like discover new celestial bodies? When astrophysicists make claims based on selected data and multivariate statistical analysis, those claims are given plenty of scrutiny. The directionality of cosmic microwave background radiation, for example, is still studied and debated (see the paper in Statistical Science by Wasserman and Genovese and others, http://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ss/1105714165, not paywall protected). Same for the “discoveries” of exoplanets, which are based on statistical analysis of orbit perturbations and such.

      As is his wont, Mann here selects a tiny subset of scientific research. Nearly all important claims are hotly debated in almost all fields.

  6. For the befit of the die-hard socialists, this article in today’s Australian explains why private owenership and privatisation of assets like electricity system (generation, poles and wires, retail and metering) should be encouraged, not blocked. This is an excerpt from a longer article unfortunately it is behind a paywall.

    Something for everyone in sale of public assets

    “Western governments nationalised vast swaths of the “commanding heights” of the economy – power generation, banks, transport, steelworks, for example – during and after World War II, motivated by the belief that the profit motive alone would not produce good outcomes. But that idea died in the 80s along with the Soviet Union, as the contrast in efficiency and dynamism between state and privately managed sectors became stark.

    Meanwhile, regulatory techniques emerged that meant natural monopolies like rail and power grids could be sold off

    without fear of their private owners exercising too much market power.

    Now, good public policy says governments should only provide goods and services – or own infrastructure – when they cannot make reliable or efficient contracts with private enterprise. Defence, law and order, and core public services are therefore best provided by the state given the difficulty of specifying observable and verifiable outcomes. But with energy or water provision, the task at hand is relatively simple – “the rationale for government ownership has now disappeared” the Productivity Commission concluded last year.

    The remaining state-owned electricity distributors, concentrated in Queensland and NSW, are the most valuable of the outstanding state public assets (worth up to $30bn) and also provide the best argument for their sale. Victoria and South Australia’s electricity distribution businesses, which manage the poles and wires that provide households and businesses with electricity, were sold in the 1990s and are models of efficiency by comparison.

    Over the five years to 2013 the payroll at NSW government-owned distributors, for instance, expanded 42 per cent. At Ausgrid, one of them, in the 2012 financial year more than 860 staff were paid 50 per cent or more of their salary in overtime (one worker took home $180,000, nearly twice his annual salary).

    Queensland’s distributors demonstrate the same sort of waste. They have far lower ratios of customers per employee than equivalent private distributors.

    It shouldn’t be surprising: state-owned companies face less discipline from fewer owners (one) and enjoy cheaper financing costs compared with their privately owned peers, who do not enjoy an implicit government guarantee. Indeed, the chronic (and in hindsight excessive) overinvestment in poles and wires underpinned by such factors is the main reason electricity prices have risen at such rapid rates across Australia.

    By contrast Victoria’s five distributors have halved their collective payroll from 6000 since privatisation, allowing workers to find jobs in sectors where they could be more productive, with one now employing only 40 per cent of the staff at privatisation.

    “Empirical evidence strongly suggest that state-owned distributors have lower levels of efficiency than their privately-owned peers,” the Productivity Commission determined in its landmark review of the nation’s electricity distributors, which also concluded the private distributors were at least as reliable as their state counterparts and tended to result in lower electricity prices.

    Referring to retail electricity prices in South Australia, which are higher than in some other states, the Productivity Commission said: “The relevant issue for privatisation of network businesses is not electricity prices – which are strongly influenced by generation and other non-network costs – but the network contribution of those costs.”


    While the Electrical Trades Union, which represents workers in the electricity distributors, remains implacably opposed to any further asset sales, state and federal governments will not find the union movement so obstructive this time around.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/something-for-everyone-in-sale-of-public-assets/story-e6frg6z6-1226799283479

    • Keep in mind that instead of adhering to standard maintenance practices (from simple procedures such as the cleaning of insulators to the more involved replacing old wooden termite riddled power poles, in the case of power distributors), private companies simply increase their insurance premiums as a “safety precaution”, since it’s cheaper to pay compensation regarding someones death due to their negligence rather than actually fix the problem in the first place.

      Unions are just as untrustworthy (but for different reasons).

      • As the article explains, the private sector maintains the assets and provides reliability more efficiently, cheaper and better then the public sector.

    • So, xanonymousblog, it’s that way because you say it is? I don’t believe you. And don’t supply some cherry-picked link or a link to a socialist web site.

    • Don’t get me wrong, it’s just that when people talk of deregulation (which is a good thing), I think they take it too literally. If a government owned entity is grossly inefficient and incompetent, then what chance is there this same government can provide appropriate legislation to ensure private companies stick to their mandate?

      yes jim2, they do what any good accountant would do and get rid of assets that are a drain on the company. Maybe they should get rid of R & D since it doesn’t make any money (not a bad analogy for Peter Higgs)?

      • The real issue is who does it better over the long term. Government departments and government owned organisations become inefficient and also subject to political influence and direction. They remain entrenched for decades and nothing much can be done about it, other than privatise them and open them up toe the competition of the market.

        In contrast, the provider sector providing the same services is subject to the market all the time. When they become inefficient (or corrupt) they go broke and the assets and customers are taken over by others, and usually the most efficient and competitive organisation to do the job.

        Neither is perfect but private is superior to public ownership for services such as: electricity, water, oil, gas, groceries, banks, and just about everything other than the core services mentioned in the article.

    • The Federal government is huge – much larger than the head count of any private company. In 2011, there were over 4 millions Federal workers. In 2011, GE had 287,000 employees. Any organization with 4 million people is going to be inefficient and slow to change. Also, they don’t have the threat of going out of business. Even the Boeing union in Washington state was over-ridden by the national union to accept fewer benefits. When do you think that will happen with the Fed? An organization that big is impossible to manage effectively. I could go on, but you probably get the idea.

    • Peter, agree.
      You need to be careful in generalizations with regards to the privatization of public assets, though. At a federal level, the capital available generated through tax out competes the likes of any private company, perhaps in the idealized world of the anti -socialist, the government should not fund any national infrastructure projects, even those built highly efficiently by private tender. Instead, the private world must come up with the funds to build the next billion dollar tollway. I wouldn’t hold you breath on that one (feel free to find an example where this has been done, the US?).

      Fact is, many of the roads and bridges simply ‘wouldn’t exist’ with out public capital and government intervention. That said, I’m sure there are examples where the opposite is true….

      Jim2, I think the bureaucracy is much worse in Britain if it makes you feel better, with over half the workers are government?

      • X Annonomous,

        I agree with you to. You can’t access the full article because it is behind a pay wall, but if you could you would see that the argument in Australia at the moment is about whether to privatise the mature government owned businesses that could be better managed by the privates sector – such as electricity, water, ports, etc. – to free up capital so state governments can build more desperately needed and popular infrastructure such as roads, public transport, hospitals and schools.

        So, I totally agree with your point. Australia would never have had a telegraph, telephone, postal services, or road and railways if they hadn’t been built at a time when only the government had the capacity to build such infrastructure. Now there are other things the government can do better with taxpayers dollars than compete with the private sector in what the private sector does better.

    • I wrote an EPAC paper on “Productivity in Australia” in or about 1990. Henry Ergas obtained and analysed OECD data on public sector productivity for me. Across the board, Australian utilities had about 40-45% of US productivity, and much less than the OECD average. The first serious privatisations, of electricity generation and supply in Victoria, proved very successful – the industry there is still more efficient than in other states.

    • Peter, we agree on many things, but I have to say that a blanket statement that private is better than public, a conclusion I see you drawing is far too simplistic IMO. I have seen experienced efficiently run government depts run well on absolute shoestrings, and immensely inefficient depts forced to hobble along pointlessly, only kept on because those in charge don’t want to look stupid for having acquired it, or kept it going this long.

      Stupidity and inefficiency is not limited to the public sector, and when it occurs in the private it does not always lead to a entity being outcompeted or driven out of business for many reasons. There are things that government can and have done well on behalf of its people efficiently and well, and governments of different countries by virtue of their political systems have varying track records on this.

      It’s not private = good, public = bad. Rather, it is accountability, clear goals, efficient processes and management structure, good communication, performance rewards, recruitment, these sorts of things. They are not limited to private enterprise. Generally, when organizations get too large they become unwieldy and less efficient, but that can easily be the case in private sector as well as public. And it’s not as if public sector does not have its own “survival of the fittest” forces, since depts can be independently audited, and electorally accountable politicians try to improve services, cynicism over their ability to deliver that not-with-standing.

      • Agnostic,

        Yes, we agree on many things. I wonder if you saw my reply to X Anonymous before you wrote your comment? I think I addressed most of your points in that response.

        I agree that my comment was simplified. It has to be because it isn’t possible to cover all the caveats in web comments.

        However, I stand by what I said. Put another way, over the long haul, I am convinced that, in countries like Australia, services like electricity, water, ports, airlines, telephone, internet, etc. can be better managed, for the long term, by the private sector than the public sector (with appropriate, light regulation). If you can provide examples of where these services are better managed, over the long term, by the public sector, I’d be keen to see the basis for that claim (in countries like Australia, USA, UK, Ireland, Canada).

        I feel the money currently invested in the electricity, water, ports and NBN would be better invested in services where the private sector is not or can’t deliver (for whatever reason) such as hospitals, education, public transport, roads.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2 said on January 11, 2014 at 12:08 am
      The Federal government is huge – much larger than the head count of any private company. In 2011, there were over 4 millions Federal workers.
      _________

      jim2 you must be including active military personnel in your count. Federal civilian employment is about 2.7 million, or 1.9% of total civilian employment, and it has been declining as a percentage of total employment for many years.

      I’m sorry if that 1.9% has kept you from being as successful as you would have liked. Perhaps your being an anti-government ideologue has also been an impediment.

    • @Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | January 11, 2014 at 9:09 am |

      I see you dodged my point. My point was that an organization that size is unmanageable. Without the military, which still has to be managed by the way, the Federal work?force was 2.9 million in 2011. It’s a big, intrusive, wasteful, and unmanageable octopus. Most of what it does is best left to the states, which if you can recall, is government just as much as the Fed.

      At least make an attempt to be logical.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2, I have no problem with the way the federal government is managed. Just because you think it’s too large to be managed doesn’t make it so. Besides, you are an anti-government ideologue, which undercuts your credibility. I suggest instead of whining about the government, you try improving yourself.

      BTW, why are you stuck in 2011? I hope you realize it’s now 2104.

    • You might consider Adderall, Max. You will notice if you pay attention that I said the STATES should take up most of the functions of the Federal government. Or maybe you believe state government ISN’T government? Try to pay attention.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2, the duplication of efforts by all those States governments is inefficient, and since State governments are smaller than the Federal government they don’t enjoy economies of scale.

      Do you know of any large corporations that voluntarily broke into smaller corporations in the name of better management or efficiency? I’ll answer that for you. No, you don’t.

    • Max, you are so wrong on both counts. The collection of state governments is like a collection of scientists. They try different experiments in government. Other states can look at the results and adopt a certain approach or policy depending on its effectiveness. And, the smaller size of a state government plus the requirement of a balanced budget means they look for efficient solutions. Much less pie in the sky or they end up bankrupt like a lot of cities lately.

      As to corporations, from the article:
      Last week, Dean Foods (DF), the largest U.S. dairy company, announced it was breaking up by splitting off its organic WhiteWave division. It turned out to be management’s best move in quite some time. The company’s stock jumped 35 percent on the news, Dean’s biggest single-day increase since it began trading 16 years ago.

      Six weeks ago another major food company, Sara Lee, consummated its breakup by splitting the last remnants of its company into Hillshire Brands (HSH) and DE Master Blenders (DE:NA). In October the largest U.S. food company, Kraft Foods (KFT), will be split in two. All of these moves have been positive for investors: Kraft’s stock price is up 25 percent since the announcement last August.

      This is just the beginning. Corporate breakups are on the rise. In 2010 there were 16 U.S. corporate public company spinoffs; last year there were 19. In 2012 there are already 11 completed spinoffs, with 13 more announced, including Abbott Laboratories (ABT) and Tyco International (TYC).

      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-14/corporate-breakups-the-hot-new-growth-strategy

    • Jim2,

      What government functions do you think should be left to the states?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2, please forgive me for misleading you. I should have asked you to name corporations that are financially healthy and not dysfunctional that have broken up into smaller corporations. A split up often means a firm is trying to raise money or separate a profitable activity from a non-profitable. The most successful corporations try to get bigger not smaller. Doesn’t that make sense?

      jim2, mergers and acquisitions are on the rise.

      http://www.cnbc.com/id/101305122

    • Joseph, It is somewhat vague:

      The basic principle of American federalism is fixed in the Tenth Amendment (ratified in 1791) to the Constitution which states:
      “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

      http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/fed.htm

      Municipalities generally take responsibility for parks and recreation services, police and fire departments, housing services, emergency medical services, municipal courts, transportation services (including public transportation), and public works (streets, sewers, snow removal, signage, and so forth).

      Whereas the federal government and state governments share power in countless ways, a local government must be granted power by the state. In general, mayors, city councils, and other governing bodies are directly elected by the people.

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/state-and-local-government

      If you look at roads it is probably a matter of taxation and especially jurisdiction. The feds with the interstate freeways, the states with state highways and the municipalities with streets.

      I guess jim2 could elaborate on his version of Federalism that would probably be in the direction of Reagan wanting to downsize federal.

  7. I also study coral reefs and the effects of carbon dioxide on coral reefs. And I think that if we continue on our current path for a few more decades, they will be essentially a thing of the past.

    We continually see statements like this. But the researchers that makes these statements do not explain – don’t even attempt to explain – why coral reefs were much more extensive in warmer times and in times with much higher CO2 concentrations than now. The vast deposits of coraline limestone, deposited in warmer times, all over the world are the evidence.

    • Peter Lang: What science supports your assertions?
      Were these claimed-species the same as what exist today?
      If so, how rapidly can they adapt to warming oceans?

    • Dave, down here in Oz which I think where Peter lang is (and I am too, yay!) we have the Great barrier Reef, the planet’s most wonderful reef. And we have our ‘scientists’ who always find that it’s unprecedentedly under threat from global warming or climate change or some such. And it never is. here’s an example of the science you rely on being shown to be cobbled together nonsense i.e shown not to be science.
      http://climateaudit.org/2009/06/03/unprecedented-in-at-least-the-past-153-years/

    • How long does it take a species to adapt to a changing environment? I suspect a very long time. And the adaptations similarly survive in a species a long time. So, high CO2, low CO2, high temperatures, low temperatures, Ph, are in the species’ DNA, because otherwise they would not be here. Not that individuals will survive, but those individuals with the right DNA will, and keep the eco-system “safe”.

      Perhaps not optimally, but why should anyone care. Now, that doesn’t mean eco-systems can survive the chain-saw, or the hand of man (such as the Buffalo, over-fishing, etc), but that’s why we have reasonable laws.

    • edbarbar. you have it pretty much right. Species have evolved and individuals try their damnedest to survive; individuals are always living in sub-optimal locals, if you plonk a few individuals in an virgin optimal environment, then in a short time they are facing a population explosion and individuals have to move into less good locals. Within the species are individuals more or less suited to a particular local, and one gets ‘ethnicities’ at all the individual locals, however, genes are highly mobile and travel rather quickly if useful. Gene frequencies fluctuate as conditions fluctuate, the shorter the generation time, the more rapid you can alter the ratios of all the adaptive genes; you typically don’t need to evolve new structural, protein coding, genes (which takes ages), you just have to change the promotor/repressor dials settings. Skin color of humans is a good example of this, if you have seen the range of colors you get from two parents of mixed African/European heritage, you note that you can have child the color of their African ancestors with siblings as white as their European ancestors.
      Take a look at these siblings and their parents;

      http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/05/16/article-1387468-0C156FBA00000578-128_468x470.jpg

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1387468/Black-couple-Francis-Arlette-Tshibangu-white-baby-blond-hair.html

      A weak selection pressure, cancer vs. vitamin D deficiency, change the levels of pigmentation in our species during the settlement of the globe, at walking pace.

    • Edbarbar @ 8.57: “[populations will survive] prhaps not optimally …” But what is optimal? The world is a place of constant change, every species has to constantly adjust to changing circumstances, there is no “optimal” or “ideal” situation or environment, there just is what there is from time to time. It’s been that way since life began, and after millions of years we have a vast number of extant species. Life is adaptable. Species arise and species fail or change. Too many people seem to underestimate the richness, diversity and survivability of living things as a whole, and fret about potential threats to some of the myriad species. Get over it, adapt, move on.

      “Ob-la-di,ob-la-da, life goes on!”

    • Doc, I posted before reading your less general post. On your example, I have friends, one English/Nigerian, the other Aussie of British descent. One child appears (in Queensland) to be aboriginal, the other is almost albino. Ain’t life wonderful!

    • edbarbar (Jan 10 8:57 pm) “How long does it take a species to adapt to a changing environment? I suspect a very long time.”.
      Maybe not:
      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/02/0215_060215_cane_toads_2.html
      [...]The evolutionary processes spawned by the cane toad invasion have occurred in a span of just 70 years. This adds to evidence from the past two decades that populations can adapt quickly when selection pressure is strong.
      “We’re taught evolution occurs over these very, very long time frames. But in systems like these, it’s incredibly fast[...]

      • And life thrived when Ireland, Iceland and Greenland warmed rapidly from glacial temps to near current temps, twice, in less than a decade each time, at then end of the last glaciation, and struggled and died out when it cooled not so rapidly. Life loves warming!

    • Matthew R Marler

      Peter Lang, quoting someone else: I also study coral reefs and the effects of carbon dioxide on coral reefs. And I think that if we continue on our current path for a few more decades, they will be essentially a thing of the past.

      Further to your main point in dispute, humans have in the 20th and 21st centuries performed many experiments in which they/we have subjected large populations of small, rapidly reproducing organisms, to substantial changes in their chemical environments: antibiotics for infections, herbicides, insecticides, etc. So far, all of these target populations have adapted and survived with next to no net population loss. TB strains exist which are resistant to every medication ever used against TB, and similarly for syphilis, gonorrhea, staphylococcus aureas and many more; HIV strains are resistant to reverse transcriptase inhibitors; weeds in America’s croplands are resistant to glyphosate; and on and on. It is in defiance of all human experience to date to think that the corals can not adapt to and thrive in an ocean that (with all the natural variability in pH there actually is) has a 0.3 or so reduction in pH induced by HCO3, which is for many of them a nutrient.

      Of course, they will not be genetically identical, but the offspring are never genetically identical to their parents anyway. All you will see is a slight change in the mean expressions of some of the genes that now are highly variable already.

      • Thank you. Very interesting comments and great to have contributions from outside climate science. !

    • Rapid evolution has been observed in African Elephants. The elephants have been killed for their ivory, so the rise of tuskless elephants was always on the cards.

      http://sector9evolution.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-evolution-of-tuskless-elephants-due_22.html

    • “The elephants have been killed for their ivory, so the rise of tuskless elephants was always on the cards.”

      But how long does it take to develop a tusk? I’m saying new things take a long time. Existing ones, not so long. For instance, CO2 has been high in the past, so I would bet most sea creatures have genes to deal with different ph, and the population will morph quickly to express those genes.

      On the other hand, if you were to give 1 billion people a 10,000X LD50 dose of cyanide, I’d be willing to bet they all die. Perhaps there is a path to cyanide tolerance, but I’m guessing it isn’t a fast one.

    • Thanks for raining on my parade, Doc! =) OK, chose something more exotic people don’t have a good existing mechanism for. How about some super poisonous mushroom extract.

  8. Weather Wimps:

    Pa was shaking his head. “We’re going to have a hard winter,” he said, not liking the prospect.
    “Why, how do you know?” Laura asked in surprise.
    “The colder the winter will be, the thicker the muskrats build the walls of their houses,” Pa told her.

  9. “Peter Higgs: I wouldn’t be productive enough for today’s academic system. Physicist doubts work like Higgs boson identification achievable now as academics are expected to ‘keep churning out papers.’”

    When I was a young bloke hitch-hiking along the Northern Tableland on the way to Queensland, I was given a ride by an older gentleman who turned out to be the Professor of Agricultural Science at the nearby regional uni. He told me that the pressure to publish was the most damaging influence on his profession, leading to futile diversion of resources, rushed research and invented need. I wonder if the Guardian would really agree.

  10. “Questions about the link between flooding in the UK and climate change could be answered within two years, according to a leading scientist.

    Prof Myles Allen from Oxford University said the only thing holding back the work was the lack of investment.

    Around £10m a year would provide a real time attribution system on the role of humans in extreme weather.

    He said it was a “scandal” that the public should be denied clarity on this issue.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25684933

  11. Apparently the cold snap in the US “says nothing about global warming” according to the increasingly desperate. I couldn’t disagree more, it goes to show just how insignificant the whole thing is in my view. Perhaps if it wasn’t for global warming, Niagara Falls would have completely frozen over (Dammit! That would have been cool).

    Still waiting for the Rosenthal et. al data to come out, but in the meantime….
    http://xanonymousblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/where-are-we/

  12. While I mostly agree with Michael Astens five points in “Bring science to climate policy” I disagree strongly with his statement that the Climate Institute was independent.

    The debate thus far is not encouraging. The Climate Institute, an independent body previously supportive of Rudd-Gillard initiatives, has weighed into the debate with a submission to the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee arguing that Australia’s targets are not enough, and even if matched by the rest of the world could bring about global warming disasters including “droughts in southern Australia occurring up to five times more often than present, and the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef”. It does not attempt to review the physical science on which such projections are based.

    The Climate Commission was set up by the Labor government (with support of the Greens) to tell the government what it wanted to hear and to support its ideological beliefs on climate change. It was as far from independent as you can get. Funded by government with all positions filled by appointment of politically partisan cronies and supporters of Labor and Green beliefs.

      • Mark McQuire,

        Yea, right. :)

        More likely so the truth doesn’t get out, and so they can spin propaganda and BS for as long as they can get away with it.

        I’ts probably worth pointing out for the non Aussies, that the PM referred to was Labor Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

    • Australia is 6th in the world for technically recoverable shale oil (18 billion barrels) and 7th in shale gas (437 trillion cubic feet).

      http://seekingalpha.com/article/1935471-oil-markets-2014-the-shale-genie-risk-and-soft-power

    • To clarify, in 2013 Australia had three relevant climate advisory bodies; (1) The Climate Commission (which is the body Peter Lang speaks of, full of Labor party appointees ), (2) the Climate Institute (a separate body, more a lobby group than an advisory group, independent, altho I would perceive it to be generally favouring the conventional AGW science), and (3) the Climate Change Authority (a statutory body set up to monitor Australia’s carbon tax). Since the change of government last October, the Climate Commission has been abolished (altho it has re-formed as a privately funded lobby group called the Climate Council). Also, the Climate Change Authority is slated for abolition but requires passage of relevant legislation thru Australia’s Senate. The Climate Institute (of which I speak in the article) continues as an independent body, and my article quoted from a submission it has made to a Senate Committee.

    • Michael Asten,

      My apologies, I made another mistake. I gave a link to my submission to the Senate Committee inquiry into the repeal of the Carbon tax legislation but you were referring to the Climate Institute’s submission on the Coalition’s ‘Direct Action’ policy.

      I should also acknowledge that my comment did jump from talking about the Climate Institute to the Climate Commission and I confused the two in my comment. My bad

  13. Regarding weather wimps:

    Back in the day, I think 1976 (the winter than Ohio factories and schools ran out of natural gas), I knew someone who went back to Minnesota for three weeks for the holidays, and the temperature didn’t go above zero for even a single day.

  14. More shale gas and oil to be served up to a country near you.

    From the article:

    However, as mentioned in earlier articles, the shale genie is out of the bottle. U.S. production in shale oil and shale gas offers lessons learned for countries desiring to exploit their own resources.

    According to the EIA, several nations have begun to evaluate and test the production potential of shale formations located in their countries. Poland had drilled 50 test wells as of November 2013. Exxon, Marathon and Talisman gave up on Poland, with its stringent regulations. Recently however, Chevron (CVX) became one of the first majors to form an agreement with Polish state-controlled gas firm PGNiG. Poland imports most of its gas from Russia. Professor Rychlicki of Krakow’s mining university estimates that “Poland will need to drill about 300 test wells – each costing $10m-$15m – before the country will have a proper grasp of how much shale gas it has, and whether it can be extracted in commercial quantities,” notes a Financial Times article. The top levels of the Polish government are now focused on expediting Poland’s shale gas potential, estimated at 346 billion (bn) to 768 bn cubic meters (i.e., 12.219 trillion cubic feet (tcf) to 27.122 tcf).

    Argentina, Australia, China, England, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have begun exploration or expressed interest in their shale formations, notes the EIA.

    The state of global assessment is varied:

    Importantly, what is technically and economically recoverable is key to unlocking other countries’ resources. The testing and de-risking activities in the Permian Basin offer a glimpse of the task ahead for the repeat performance of the recovery of shale resources. Even Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), with its mad shale skills, took two to three years to analyze thousands of existing wells to assess the potential shale oil reserves in the Permian Basin. Estimates of the reserve potential in parts of the Permian, consisting of the three basins, is still under review, so to speak.

    Independent producer Noble Energy (NBL) has a strong foothold in the Eastern Mediterranean region with its recent gas finds. Noble also has developed the skill sets involved in shale production and extraction, as has Apache (APA), a global player too. In the U.S., independent E&P firms, both small and large, will continue to improve their processes and find efficiencies, which can potentially add return for investors.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1935471-oil-markets-2014-the-shale-genie-risk-and-soft-power

  15. If we want to decarbonise the global economy

    Those who advocate for decarbonising the global economy need to advocate for economically rational policies. Subsidising renewable energy and pricing GHG emissions are not rational. Renewable energy is a waste of money and can achieve little in GHG emissions reductions. GHG emissions pricing will not achieve anything significant because it would have to be a global scheme to succeed and that is unlikely to happen.

    There is a better way. It is economically rational, therefore it can succeed.

    To understand what has to be achieved, start with the Kaya Identity. Professor Richard Tol, in his new book ‘Climate Economics’ [1] says:

    the Kaya identity has that emissions equal the number of people times per capita income times energy intensity (energy use per unit of economic activity) times carbon intensity (emissions per unit of energy use).

    and

    >global carbon dioxide emissions between 1970 and 2008 CO2 emissions rose by 2.1% per year. Why? The Kaya identity allows us to interpret past trends. Population growth was 1.5% per year over the same period. Emissions per capita thus rose by 0.6% per year. Per capita income rose by 1.5% per year, again slightly slower than the emissions growth rate. Total income thus rose by 3.0% per year, much faster than emissions. This is primarily because the energy intensity of production fell by 0.9% per year. The carbon intensity of the energy system also fell, but only by 0.01% per year.

    Holding all terms except ‘carbon intensity of the energy system’ constant, ‘carbon intensity of the energy system’ needs to be increased from -0.01% p.a. to an average -4% p.a. to a achieve emissions cuts of 55% by 2050 and 84% by 2100. So, without changing the other inputs to the Kaya Identity, -4% p.a. is the average rate of change of ‘carbon intensity of the energy system’ the world needs to achieve if we want to achieve the global emissions reduction targets being advocated.

    Roger Pielke Jr. showed that the rate of ‘decarbonisation of the global economy’ has been slowing during the two decades we’ve been trying to increase it (by government interventions and UN climate conferences). The decarbonisation rate slowed from -2% pa in 1991 to -0.7% pa in 2009 (see Figure 2 here: [2]).

    There is a better way, but it is not by more market interventions like renewable energy subsidies and carbon pricing. These types of policies, which depend on government intervention, have little chance of succeeding – for reasons Richard Tol explains here: [3].

    So, what is the better way? It is to remove the impediments that are blocking progress. Electricity and transport are the largest users of fossil fuels and the largest sources of GHG emissions. So the major focus needs to be on replacing fossil fuel use in these two sectors.

    First, consider electricity. Using the cost and emissions projections for new technologies in 2020 provided by the Australian Government’s 2012 ‘Australian Energy Technology Assessment’ (AETA) report [4], I calculate the cost of near zero emissions electricity generation would be half the cost of fossil fuel generated electricity when there are 200 GW of small nuclear power plants (like the ‘mPower’ [5]) in operation world wide.

    It would be interesting to estimate how fast the world would decarbonise its economy if technologies like this are available for all countries and as increasing competition continually improves the technologies and reduces the cost of electricity?

    The second most important source of GHG emissions is transport fuels. There are many possible options (biomass is probably not one of them). US Navy Research calculated the cost of producing jet fuel from seawater on board nuclear powered aircraft carriers. John Morgan extended that to calculate the cost if the processing plant is on land: ‘Zero emissions synfuel from seawater [6]. This would be even cheaper with cheap electricity and hydrogen supplied by high temperature reactors (e.g. China’s new HTR [7]) instead of by electrolysis. [There are many options. Progress will happen faster if we remove the impediments retarding it.]

    How fast could the world decarbonise its economy if small nuclear power plants like the mPower and HTR become available for all countries?

    How can we make them available? The answer is to remove the impediments that are retarding progress.

    References:

    [1] Richard Tol (2013), Climate Economics: Economic analysis of climate, climate change, and climate policy

    [2] Roger Pielke Jr. (2010), Decelerating decarbonisation of the global economy http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/decelerating-decarbonization-of-global.html)

    [3] Richard Tol, (2012), Global climate talks: If at the 17th you don’t succeed
    http://www.voxeu.org/article/global-climate-talks-if-17th-you-don-t-succeed

    [4] Australian Government, Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (2012). Australian Energy Technology Assessment report http://www.bree.gov.au/documents/publications/aeta/Australian_Energy_Technology_Assessment.pdf

  16. We in the US need to take a lesson from Tony B’s country where even half of emigrants there don’t want any more immigration. Even more native citizens have had enough.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10553804/Record-support-for-severe-curbs-on-immigration.html

  17. And on the welfare front, another case we in the US should consider, is that the Danes are ratcheting back entitlements.

    From the article:
    Denmark’s richest citizens are finding themselves cut off from some welfare benefits as Scandinavia’s weakest nation reviews state-paid services once considered a universal right.

    Denmark is the Scandinavian nation that has fared worst during the global financial crisis after a housing boom that peaked in 2007 burst a year later. Though Danish households are the world’s most indebted, the AAA-rated government has kept its borrowings at half the euro area average, in part after refusing to bail out insolvent banks and instead pushing losses onto creditors.

    Alongside those measures are efforts to ensure state spending doesn’t grow unmanageable. Danes, who carry the world’s highest tax burden, have punished the Social Democrat-led government of Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt for their lost benefits and most polls show her coalition trails behind the opposition ahead of elections due November 2015 at the latest.

    Since coming into office in 2011, the government has cut state aid for the unemployed and raised the retirement age. College and university students are means tested before gaining access to study grants. As of this year, families earning more than $130,000 a year won’t have the same access to child support as poorer households as the government ensures funds target those who need them most.

    Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman questioned Denmark’s decision to cut some of its social benefits, arguing Scandinavia’s welfare model has proved its worth during the past five years.
    ‘Wildest Dreams’

    “It’s not clear that the crisis required these actions,” Krugman said today in an interview in Oslo. Still, even after such adjustments, “the Scandinavian welfare systems are beyond the wildest dreams of liberals in the United States,” he said.

    Save
    Photographer: Linus Hook/Bloomberg

    Cyclists in Copenhagen.

    Denmark’s richest citizens are finding themselves cut off from some welfare benefits as Scandinavia’s weakest nation reviews state-paid services once considered a universal right.

    “We’ll see a welfare state that is gradually optimized to work under the conditions of globalization and global competition,” Danish Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon said yesterday in an interview in Copenhagen. “We continually alter priorities and financing to optimize the model.”

    Denmark is the Scandinavian nation that has fared worst during the global financial crisis after a housing boom that peaked in 2007 burst a year later. Though Danish households are the world’s most indebted, the AAA-rated government has kept its borrowings at half the euro area average, in part after refusing to bail out insolvent banks and instead pushing losses onto creditors.

    Alongside those measures are efforts to ensure state spending doesn’t grow unmanageable. Danes, who carry the world’s highest tax burden, have punished the Social Democrat-led government of Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt for their lost benefits and most polls show her coalition trails behind the opposition ahead of elections due November 2015 at the latest.
    Paradigm Shift

    Since coming into office in 2011, the government has cut state aid for the unemployed and raised the retirement age. College and university students are means tested before gaining access to study grants. As of this year, families earning more than $130,000 a year won’t have the same access to child support as poorer households as the government ensures funds target those who need them most.

    The decision marks a departure from the principle of welfare for all, regardless of income level, that had dominated Danish politics before the financial crisis.

    “This is a paradigm shift,” Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard, a professor of political science at the University of Copenhagen, said in a phone interview. “Danes probably got used to consuming welfare services more than they strictly needed to.”

    Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman questioned Denmark’s decision to cut some of its social benefits, arguing Scandinavia’s welfare model has proved its worth during the past five years.
    ‘Wildest Dreams’

    “It’s not clear that the crisis required these actions,” Krugman said today in an interview in Oslo. Still, even after such adjustments, “the Scandinavian welfare systems are beyond the wildest dreams of liberals in the United States,” he said.

    According to Corydon, universal welfare will remain a goal for key areas, including education and health care.

    “There will be a continuing debate of priorities,” Corydon said. “More differentiated policy steps will have to be decided along the way.”

    Though Thorning-Schmidt in a Jan. 1 speech signaled her government was ready to provide more support for the economy in 2014, those measures are unlikely to include direct stimulus, Corydon signaled.

    “Given the EU budget constraints, we’ve delivered the stimulus that there’s room for,” he said. “It’s too soon to say what we plan to do.” Measures will focus on “working systematically with our structural ability to grow.”
    Tax Burden

    Denmark’s gross domestic product contracted 0.4 percent in 2012 and grew just 0.4 percent last year, the government said last month. It estimates the economy will expand 1.6 percent in 2014 and 1.9 percent in 2015.

    The government estimates that tax cuts financed by capping public spending would create more jobs, business daily Borsen reported today, citing a Finance Ministry memorandum.

    Denmark’s government collects more revenue relative to economic output than any other nation, according to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. As of 2011, Danish tax revenue relative to GDP was 48.1 percent, followed by 44.5 percent in Sweden. In the U.S., the ratio is 25.1 percent, according to the OECD.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-07/richest-danes-face-benefit-cuts-as-universal-welfare-abandoned.html

    • This is a climate science blog. Immigration is irrelevant.

    • Santina, haven’t you seen the scare stories of “millions of climate refugees” and forecasts of wars breaking out as millions seek to flee to a less warming affected area? The warmistas will enlist every field to their cause, and have enlisted prospective migration.

  18. This speaks for itself, from the article:

    On Meet the Press Sunday, CNBC host Jim Cramer suggested that members of the permanent political class that are zealously pushing comprehensive immigration reform do not care about American workers.

    “David, don’t you find it interesting that the dogma is now post-Clinton, pro-immigration at a time when we have a much larger supply of labor than we need, and pro free trade,” Cramer said on Meet The Press to host David Gregory. “Even though we are supposed to be greenhouse gas-oriented, we know where those jobs go. Those jobs leave this country to countries that can pollute all they want. I’ve always wanted to know why the Democrats didn’t say, ‘You know what, we need the defense against the countries that take our jobs and pollute all over.'”

    “But we don’t care about that. What we care about is when workers come to this country from other countries they get jobs. Why don’t we care more about our people?” asked Cramer.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/01/07/Jim-Cramer-Bipartisan-Amnesty-Advocates-Don-t-Care-About-American-Workers

    • 3 comments on immigration, on a climate science blog. You’ve got a problem, mate.

    • You must be new in the neighborhood.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      David Suzuki is now against immigration

      ““Oh, I think Canada is full too! Although it’s the second largest country in the world, our useful area has been reduced. Our immigration policy is disgusting: We plunder southern countries by depriving them of future leaders, and we want to increase our population to support economic growth. It’s crazy!”

  19. Richard Muller, et al., delivered a wake-up call to GHG fearmongers. “Environmentalists who oppose the development of shale gas and fracking,” according to Muller, “are making a tragic mistake… [and] concerns are either largely false or can be addressed by appropriate regulation,” and that it, “shale gas is a wonderful gift that has arrived just in time. It can not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also reduce a deadly pollution known as PM2.5 that is currently killing over three million people each year, primarily in the developing world.”

    Perhaps this area marks the beginning of building a more pragmatic and empathetic consensus of opinion among more reasonable academics of global warming alarmism that now find themselves at a dead end and are looking for a graceful way out of the fine mess they have helped create. Those who oppose the development of shale gas essentially are responsible in part for, “causing over three million deaths per year worldwide,” so for Muller, this is a humanitarian issue.

    [E]nvironmentalists should recognize the shale gas revolution as beneficial to society – and lend their full support to helping it advance. ~Richard A. Muller and Elizabeth A. Muller, “Why Every Serious Environmentalist Should Favour Fracking”

    • We need to stop using fossil fuels. Fracking and natural gas just delay, very slightly, the time by which we need to do that. Fracking comes no where close to reducing fossil fuel emissions to the degree required.

      • The Daily Kos is still talking about fracking, “sending flammable gas out peoples’ faucets” –i.e., they are attacking Muller with baseless propaganda.

    • You won’t be surprised to learn this, Dave, but I don’t share your point of view that we ‘need’ to stop using fossil fuels. My view is that we need energy use to lift people all over the world out of poverty and to continue to grow and develop and support all 7 billion (and counting) of us. Energy delivery to all that is good like lights, hospitals, stadiums, my iPhone etc needs to be consistent and supply base load and fossil fuel currently delivers that, with nuclear, so we ‘need’ to keep using fossil fuels. Stating as facts things that are plainly your own beliefs won’t get me to share your view.

    • Energy delivery that changes the climate for the next 100,000 yrs is the height of greed. How can you possibly think that your needs are more important then the next 4,000 generations to come after you??

    • David,

      The decline in C02 emission in the US are the result of switching to fracking. The problem in the future is china. The sooner they stop coal and switch to fracking the better. It’s a win win.

    • Wag: Read David Archer’s “The Long Thaw,” and/or read his papers from his Web site (Univ of Chicago). Today’s carbon emissions modify the atmosphere for at least 100,000 yrs.

    • As P.L. posted, India is moving up the energy usage ladder fast and they aren’t in the top 10 shale gas list.

      http://seekingalpha.com/article/1935471-oil-markets-2014-the-shale-genie-risk-and-soft-power

    • Greed, Dave? Your projecting. I don’t think my needs are more important than the next 4000 generations. I think my needs are being met and I want the same for the next 4000 generations. I think they’ll benefit from the inventions and good life we can all live now and in future using as much energy as efficiently as possible so we continue to survive extreme weather events as well as we currently do and better into the future. There’s nothing greedy about that. Perhaps you think the ‘how can you possibly think that’ routine isn’t offensive. It really is. You’re not more compassionate than me, Dave, or anyone else here.

    • Today’s carbon emissions modify the atmosphere for at least 100,000 yrs.

      Technological advances over millennial scales might make removing CO2 a trivial problem if indeed it is a problem.

    • Hey DA,
      So it ssed ter be… ‘think of the grandchildren’ … but now its…’think
      of the grandchildren’s grandchildrens’ grandchildren’s grandchildren
      ter the power of four … or more.

    • David,

      your response is a non sequitor

      http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/01/09/new-study-us-power-plant-emissions-down

      Given that China has passed us in emissions, Given that they will continue to pollute by using coal, you cannot deny the benefit of switching to gas. Well, unless you’re being anti science again.

      In other words would you rather have them put 2X co2 into the atmosphere that will last 100K years or X. Of course it would be nice if they put zero. but that is not going to happen.

      will the switch to gas give us enough time to actually switch to renewables?
      That depends on an unknown. The climate sensitivity.

      Any solution that ignores the chinese, is anti science twaddle.

    • David Appel
      I hope our grand corals, I mean grand kids etc , are as resilient as the corals in which case they should have no trouble in adapting to the hundred thousand years of climate change.
      DO you drive a car? I do, I’m glad I was born in a country where I had the privilege to use a little bit of carbon in my short life span. When it is all used up my grand kids will have to go solar I guess, tough business life and all.

    • Mosh, I can only assume David Appell has switched to nuclear along with Hansen as the interim solution. Perhaps the Chinese could be convinced to step up their already robust program. Hmmm maybe Dr Appell agrees with Peter Lang. Good bedfellows lol.

      • “Let’s think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horse****?” ~Michael Crichton, Aliens Cause Global Warming: A Caltech Lecture

    • David Appell (@davidappell) | January 10, 2014 at 10:15 pm |

      We need to stop using fossil fuels. Fracking and natural gas just delay, very slightly, the time by which we need to do that. Fracking comes no where close to reducing fossil fuel emissions to the degree required.

      David Appell (@davidappell) | January 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm |

      Energy delivery that changes the climate for the next 100,000 yrs is the height of greed. How can you possibly think that your needs are more important then the next 4,000 generations to come after you?

      There are perfectly good solutions, based on biotech, to these problems. Hydrogen from electrolysis using solar power (whose price is declining exponentially similar to computing power from Moore’s “Law”) could be fed into bioconverters, using CO2 pulled from the ocean surface (or perhaps directly from the air) to produce methane or liquid fuels. This technology could almost certainly be on-line and at least semi-mature in 3-5 decades, with appropriate political/economic encouragement. Even developing naturally, it will almost certainly be available by 2100, unless out-competed by other, more cost-effective technology.

      By that time, it’s almost certain that the real problem will be preventing people from sucking so much CO2 out of the air that they produce global cooling. This is a very real problem, unlike the fantasies of extra CO2 for “4,000 generations to come after you”.

      Your scare stories strongly suggest a socialist agenda, more interested in shutting down the Industrial Revolution than actually solving the problem. There’s very little chance that people with your agenda will be allowed to drive energy prices as high as you’d like, so if you really want to address the problem of fossil carbon, you should be pushing tech-based solutions, not scary fantasies.

      • “Even if we closed down every factory, crushed every car and aeroplane, turned off all energy production, and threw 4 billion people worldwide out of work, climate would still change, and often dramatically. Unfortunately, we would all be too poor to do anything about it.” ~Philip Stott

    • Wagathon

      Richard Muller’s comments on fracking make good, practical sense, even if his estimates of fatalities caused by pollution from other sources are exaggerated.

      [As a matter of fact, over half the cited annual fatalities come from indoor burning of fully renewable fuel sources, such as wood or dung, so their elimination and replacement by natural gas will actually result in an increase in net human CO2 emissions.]

      David Appell’s comment does not make sense, especially as he does not back it up with specific actionable proposals, which could be implemented.

      The world will “decarbonize” just as fast as this makes economic sense – no faster.

      Replacing coal with natural gas will be one step in this direction and (as Muller states) fracking will help.

      Max

    • Canman wrote:
      Technological advances over millennial scales might make removing CO2 a trivial problem if indeed it is a problem.

      And they might not. Are we supposed to bet our future on what you think *might* come true?

    • Mr. Appell, I question your assertion that our actions will affect the climate for 100,000 years. I have not seen that in any of the scientific literature I have read and I think it is an exaggeration by about 99,000 years. I think 1,000 years is long enough to keep us concerned.

      I would classify this statement as absurdist alarmism and if you really believe it I really think you have more important things to do than act as part of the crusher crew trying to pollute this weblog–=such as seeking professional help…

    • Tom Fuller: You are behind the science. Read “The Long Thaw” by David Archer, or some of the many papers on his Web site at the Univ of Chicago.

    • Gee, Mr. Appel,

      Usually it falls to skeptics to be over-enthusiastic about single study results. Perhaps you are getting corrupted by your duties as a crusher.

      You’ll have to forgive me for not going to your blog to get the paper. Being in China your site is not available to me. Great Firewall and all that, you know.

    • Fuller:
      You can read this blog, but not mine, because you’re in China?
      Seems hard to believe.

    • Tom Fuller wrote:
      Usually it falls to skeptics to be over-enthusiastic about single study results.

      Is that now hte excuse du jour?

      If you actually read the paper, would you be surprised to find the other studies that it cites and depends on?

    • David Appell,

      More model runs being deliberately misrepresented as experiments.

      Can you produce any real (as opposed to imaginary, modelled, or future) facts to support your assertions?

      I assume not, but feel free to prove me wrong.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike F:
      Do you have a better way to calculate the climate for the next 10^3 – 10^5 years, other than with a model?

      Of course you don’t.

      So shut up and come back when you have something intelligent to contribute.

    • David Appell,

      Indeed I do. What’s more, I am prepared to bet money on it.

      As you have faith on the predictive capabilities of models, please provide your prediction for the period you have specified. Feel free to be as precise as you like. If you choose to use one of the models used to prepare the latest IPCC thoughts, please nominate which one.

      As they all produce different results, you will be aware that whichever model you use has at least 100 models in disagreement.

      Knock yourself out. What wager would you like to make? Do we agree that if the majority of models are not in accord with your prediction, then you lose?

      Would Gavin Schmidt be agreeable to you as an independent stakeholder?

      I await your reasoned response, nominating the sum you are prepared to lose.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike F: Do you have a better way to project future climate?

      Of course you don’t. You have nothing. Nothing.

    • Yes, Mr. Appel, the Great Firewall allows me access to some but by no means all websites and they are pretty finicky about weblogs in particular. Don’t feel slighted–I can’t read the Grey Lady either.

      I notice you don’t address substantive points from commenters, preferring to just insult them–kind of like BBD with somewhat better manners… is that the new crusher policy?

      In any event, happy crushing. Do you get points per comment or what?

    • MF: I have given you multiple links by now, all of which you ignore.

      If you can’t freely access scientific results, perhaps you should talk to your government. I’m not going to try to work around your censors — that’s your job.

    • Censorship is a convenient excuse though, isn’t it?

    • David Appell,

      And yet you say:

      “Mike F:
      Do you have a better way to calculate the climate for the next 10^3 – 10^5 years, other than with a model?”

      I merely offered a wager, as you seem to believe that a model can calculate future climate better than I.

      If you have insufficient confidence in any particular model, I understand. I share that view. I agree that putting any credence in climate model projections is silly, to say the least.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike F: You keep ignoring this question — how would you calculate future climate?

      It’s an immensely important question, so an answer is necessary.

      Answer the question.
      ==========
      I don’t make bets that are determined 960 years after my death — that’s just dumb.

    • David Appell,

      You say:

      “Mike F: You keep ignoring this question — how would you calculate future climate?”

      I must have missed the question before. Could you point out where you asked it? Do I detect you resiling somewhat from your belief in model projections?

      In any case, unless you demonstrate your sincerity by putting up some cash, I feel that keeping my methods to myself is merely following precedents set by many climatologists.

      If you have any particular reasons for believing that I should pay any attention to what you think, in the absence of any facts to support your assertions, please let me know.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mr. Appel, the Wiley abstract implies that there are assumptions being made about the carbon stored in permafrost that are somewhat unusual, to say the least. And if the next meteor to strike us is in fact a balloon inflated with C02 we might not be able to restore the climate to the Holocene Holy Optimum until 3014 A.D. Should we take that assumption into account as well?

      Keep on crushin’

    • David A, I’d like them to first be able to predict the climate 10 years from now, once they can do that well, then I might worry about 100,000 years from now.

    • 9000 to 1.
      (Not surprising, really)

    • Lindzen would be one of the 9000 by their definition. The link is scientifically meaningless propaganda.

    • Bart,

      So what you are saying is that in a survey of Warmers, 99% of them agree with each other?

      Andrew

    • What, exactly, was the question asked? Your link does not specify; it implies CO2.
      Consensus about which case? Surface Temperature? Ocean Temperature? Global Temperature? Global Warming (over what period)? Anthropogenic Global Warming ? Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming? The sun as a red giant?

    • I’m not Scientific American. I’m not the author of the blog post I cite.

      If you have questions about it, I recommend read harder.

      If that fails, you could always ask the author, and let us know how that goes.


    • Doug Badgero | January 10, 2014 at 10:39 pm |

      Lindzen would be one of the 9000 by their definition. The link is scientifically meaningless propaganda.

      Oh yeah, they forgot RH Lindzen’s contribution to the “Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons”, called “Science in the Public Square: Global Climate Alarmism and Historical Precedents”, 2013.

      Why is he publishing in a Journal of Physicians and Surgeons? Because that doesn’t qualify as climate science research.

      Go dig up Lindzen’s peer-reviewed climate science articles published between November, 2012 to December, 2013, and you might have a point.

      Linndzen will go down in history alongside GW Bush’s remark of “You forgot Poland”.

      Don’t forget about Lindzen, LOL!

      BTW, Wondering Willis is apparently trying to resurrect Lindzen’s failed Iris Theory and claim it as his own.
      http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/01/something-really-obvious-wondering.html

    • That ought to show those Sky Dragon Slayers!

    • That’s one of the dumbest “consensus” pieces yet. The most glaring problem is it does not bother to define just what the “consensus” it finds supposedly it.* The next most glaring is people keep treating “doesn’t disagree with” as “agrees with.” The idea of a neutral category, under which most abstracts would likely be classified (they certainly were in Cook et al), it disregarded.

      Of course, that problem is exacerbated by the fact the person behind the process doesn’t give anything resembling a clear explanation for how he determined what papers disagree with the consensus. If one looks at his description of how to replicate his work, it implies he may have simply read the titles of many papers.

      Read some combination of titles, abstracts, and entire papers as necessary to judge whether a paper “rejects” human-caused global warming or professes to have a better explanation of observations.

      On top of that, it appears he didn’t bother to even check the dates of the papers he looked at. He claims his study covered the period “from Nov. 12, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2013,” yet he lists dozens of papers published in 2011. One can only guess how many were published in September 2012 or earlier. That happens because the Web of Sciences doesn’t get all papers the year they’re published. It can be late in including papers by several years. The author was apparently unaware of this basic fact and somehow failed to catch the multitude of wrongly included papers.

      As far as anyone can possibly tell, this is just James Lawrence Powell saying, “I haphazardly generated a list of papers then looked at it and saw only one paper on the list disagreed with me. Clearly, I’m right!” And that’s with him using the most absurdly over-stretched definition of the “consensus” imaginable – one that covers almost everyone who criticizes the global warming movement.

      *This problem is shared in by Cook et al in which authors remarkably advance multiple “consensus” positions as the “consensus” all at the same time, yet criticize people for not using the unspecified definition(s) they like.

  20. on peter higgs

    ‘He has never been tempted to buy a television, but was persuaded to watch The Big Bang Theory last year, and said he wasn’t impressed.’

    lol

  21. Judith Curry observes …

    Well, its about time somebody started acknowledging weather amnesia in the rush to attribute every severe weather event to AGW.

    … while failing to acknowledge the author’s rush to attribute weather amnesia to AGW.

    tsk.

    • Perhaps that is why seniors are more skeptical: they remember 1967.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Some seniors do like to live in the past. Younger people don’t have much past to live in.

      I have heard people say time seems to accelerate with age. I think that sounds reasonable. When a person is very young, say 5 years old, 1 month represents about 1.7 % of his lived life, but for a 70-year old 1 month represents only about 0.1% of his lived life. I guess how long you have lived is your mind’s time reference.

    • Interesting reposte, Max_OK, but a bit dismissive. Were I far-left, I would mention ageism, but I am not, and won’t. :-)
      No, the advantage of being a senior is that one has experienced a 60-year cycle, and is less likely to panic from FUD campaigns.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I am less inclined to be charitable these days. On some sites – inter alia – persistent agism is enough to get you banned.

      Maxy will be reported on this and other transgressions against polite discourse.

    • The problem with being young is that you really just haven’t learned much. A senior has forgotten more stuff than a 20 year old has had a chance to learn. Plus, the senior has had enough time to separate the s*** from the Shinola.

    • His vintage karma will run over his rabid dogma.
      =============

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Nothing in my post warrants the disrespect I am being shown here. Being old may be an excuse for pooping in your pants but it’s no excuse for being rude.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      So Maxy – you have been warned about persistent agism – it is far from amusing. Now you have been reported.

    • Ah, but it’s the young who poop in their pants shamelessly. God bless ‘em.
      ==============

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      That likely is part of the reason for my paedophobia. Changing diapers is revolting, but you can’t just say, “hey, kid that’s your problem.”

  22. Generalissimo Skippy

    The best estimate of industrial-era climate forcing of black carbon through all forcing mechanisms is +1.1 W m−2 with 90% uncertainty bounds of +0.17 to +2.1 W m−2. This estimate includes cloud forcing terms with very low scientific understanding that contribute additional positive forcing and a large uncertainty. This total climate forcing of black carbon is greater than the direct forcing given in the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. There is a very high probability that black carbon emissions, independent of co-emitted species, have a positive forcing and warm the climate. This black carbon climate forcing is based on the change in atmospheric abundance over the industrial era (1750 to 2005). The black-carbon climate-forcing terms that make up this estimate are listed in Table 1. For comparison, the radiative forcings including indirect effects from emissions of the two most significant long-lived greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), in 2005 were +1.56 and +0.86 W m−2, respectively.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50171/abstract

    There are immense public benefits as well to reduction of these emissions. And a couple of minor emissions that are important including sulphate and tropospheric ozone. In this report and others – mixing of sulphates with black carbon doubles the warming potential of black carbon.

    e.g. http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/files/pr176.pdf

    It is all such a woefully narrow focus.

  23. Generalissimo Skippy

    One sides ‘believes’ in ‘cycles’ the other in ‘global warming’. Both are wrong

  24. “Michael Asten [...]
    see if you agree [...]”

    “Mechanisms involving highly complex interactions of solar physics, magnetic fields and cosmic rays are on the cusp of delivering insights into possible mechanisms.”

    This is wrong. The mechanisms are simple. Suggesting an important role for “complex interactions of solar physics, magnetic fields and cosmic rays” is counterproductive & unhelpful.


    • .
      On the last page of a new article I put forth a (very specific) challenge to climate modelers.

      • [PDF]
      • Sun-Climate 101:
      • Solar-Terrestrial Primer


      Sun-Climate 101 outlines law-constrained geometric foundations of solar-governed “internal” (a counterproductive misnomer) spatiotemporal redistribution (stirring) of terrestrial heat & water at a fixed, constant level of multidecadal solar activity.
      .
      Those with sufficiently deep understanding will recognize this as a 4-dimensional geometric proof.
      .
      See particularly item #5 on page 3, which underscores stirring & accumulation even with a fixed, constant level of multidecadal solar activity due to shifts & persistence of (large scale) terrestrial circulation that are an inevitable consequence of solar frequency shift.
      .
      It’s trivial and it’s geometrically proven.
      .
      The attractors (central limits) would be the same whether scrambled by white noise, spatiotemporal chaos, &/or lunisolar oscillations (the latter of which stand out clearly in observations).
      .
      The utility of these fundamentals extends beyond generalizing the role of stellar frequency in planetary aggregate-circulation to assessing the vision, competence, functional numeracy, honesty, & relevance of climate discussion agents, including those abusing authority.
      .

    • I recently added the main QBO period of ~2.4 years (the quasi-biennial oscillation) to the CSALT model that PV is referring to. This further improved the fit to the global temperature series
      http://imageshack.com/a/img513/5006/m4x.gif

      Much of the analysis of the LOD Stadium Wave is here.
      http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y2787e/y2787e03.htm
      Note how closely the LOD is tied to the Atmospheric Circulation Index (ACI)

      This provides a connection of LOD to observable kinetic energy terms with periods of 60 years.

      JC SNIP

    • Gosh Web, doesn’t the ACI look just like a sine wave with a 60 year periodicity.


    • DocMartyn | January 11, 2014 at 8:31 am |

      Gosh Web, doesn’t the ACI look just like a sine wave with a 60 year periodicity.

      Good for you Doc. So it is. This is exactly what Scafetta is trying to model with his parametric sine wave.

      So we include this value and get a TCR of 2C for CO2 doubling. What seems to be the problem?

  25. From the article:

    Fracking is definitely becoming more sustainable as time goes by. Thanks to pressures from the environmental industry, the oil industry has responded with the creation of food-grade fracking fluid, for example. There is an increasing consensus that fracking does cause micro seismic events, and high-quality baseline studies are being done to assess how best to respond to that issue. Popular opinion polls show that fracking is increasingly accepted by the American public.

    However, during the last year, the industry has started to change the chemical composition of its fracking fluids, which allows it to use a lot more of the naturally occurring briny water to frack way down deep – reducing the need to use fresh water.

    Because the meters being drilled is increasing, the amount of fresh water being used for fracking is still increasing, but the amount of recycled water and deep briny water being used to frack is increasing much more rapidly.

    The fairly small sets of data available on this approach show the drillers are getting slightly higher initial production (IP) rates compared to the norm. But the real game changer is that the decline rate on the shale wells and the tight oil wells were at 65-80% in year one. With this simple change in fracking from long and skinny to short and fat, those decline rates are now showing at 15-20%. Slower decline rates mean that wells will pay out faster.

    There is a lot of new oil production in the U.S. It seems like every quarter, the experts underestimate how much oil the U.S. industry is producing. And almost none of these experts are looking at the new wider, shorter methodology being pioneered by Whiting and EOG. Once that method starts to gain widespread acceptance – look out – there could be an unbelievable increase in U.S. oil production in the very near-term.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1939351-banking-on-ethanol-and-high-tech-fracking-keith-schaefer

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2 what you say is true only for Oklahoma. Fracking in Oklahoma is fine, except for little earthquakes now and then that never hurt or killed anybody. But elsewhere fracking is a dangerous practice and should be stopped immediately.

    • @Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | January 11, 2014 at 7:11 am |

      What??? I guess you are just kidding. If you aren’t, ‘splain what you mean, Ricky!

    • He wants the best free market OK money can buy.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2, it’s easy to explain. I don’t want the competition.

      I’m curious. Do you know anything about making money?

  26. It took me a while before deciding to tackle the analysis of global surface temperature time series, thinking that it would be too hard to model. But the ability to get a good fit with the CSALT model has changed my perspective.

    At some point I will try to work backwards from 1880 and project forwards from the current date using the model fit.

  27. “Ship of fools”

    An apt title. I feel sorry for the owners of the Russian vessel whose asset is now locked up in the ice, possibly for most of the Antarctic summer.

    I find it difficult to believe that the Russian crew would have allowed such a penetration into the ice without knowing its thickness. In fact the leader of the scientists must have known that his path was blocked by ice before he set out. Perhaps he believed his own theories of Antarctic warming.

  28. “But alas, eating one’s shipmates and watching one’s extremities drop off one by one is not a part of today’s high-end eco-doom tourism.”

    Douglas Adams solved that one:

    A “crisis inducer”: The medical profession’s answer to the problem of best-selling books such as “How I Survived an Hour With a Sprained Finger
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6LgGIvmSce0C&pg=PT389&lpg=PT389&dq=%22narrator:+the+major+problem%22&source=bl&ots=uoe6Z6vgY8&sig=tdGtDeaurre0_EjxpRZxOCuR8OA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=iQjRUpbwOa-07QaKhoDQBw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22narrator%3A%20the%20major%20problem%22&f=false

  29. OK, I’ll take that as wise advice. It makes sense. I actually have posted a reply to his request for information on coral limestone from coral reefs that thrived in the planets warmest time over the last few hundred million years. It’s in moderation.

  30. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    One new thing I saw this week was Lucia’s The Blackboard switched from being a climate blog to a dishwasher blog. Why can’t JC be versatile like Lucia ?


    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | January 11, 2014 at 5:29 am | Reply

      One new thing I saw this week was Lucia’s The Blackboard switched from being a climate blog to a dishwasher blog. Why can’t JC be versatile like Lucia ?

      Lucia’s is the place where “the grownups are talking”.

      In practice, the denial-o-sphere is loaded with hypocrites. The minute that one starts to use skeptical ideas that move the discussion in the “wrong” direction, you get the “treatment”.

      Oh yeah, they would much rather control the discussion like they were setting places for a toddler’s make-believe tea party.

      What has got Lucia’s people riled up is this fit:
      http://imageshack.com/a/img513/5006/m4x.gif

      What we are seeing is the complement of Willard’s keen observation of “Yes, but RC moderation”

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Web, thanks. I missed that.

    • Yea, you could plant an important discovery into a denial conversation and it would get completely ignored. Their motto is ABCD (*) and they will go to great lengths to create make-believe scenarios that shows that they are diligently going after what they perceive is the scientific truth.

      Lucia’s group believes they are pursuing first-rate time-series analysis — and they will refer to the standard approaches such as ARIMA in their vain hopes of being able to demonstrate that natural variations can capture the warming of the last 130+ years.

      So when someone like me barges in on their tea-party and starts showing how deterministic forcing functions can accurately represent the global temperature series, they start getting the vapors and have to resort to the fainting couch.

      Don’t look at this if you are prone to fainting:
      http://imageshack.com/a/img513/5006/m4x.gif
      http://contextearth.com/context_salt_model/

      Very puzzling because all I am doing is adding forcing functions that other skeptics such as Scafetta recommend. It’s like they can’t look at another skeptics vomit. Google “sympathetic vomiting”.

      (*) ABCD = Anything But Carbon Dioxide

    • People might start being more inclined to listen to you if you if you stopped banging on about it with evangelical fervour.
      Nobody likes pomposity, and nobody likes being called names.


    • phatboy | January 11, 2014 at 7:20 am |

      People might start being more inclined to listen to you if you if you stopped banging on about it with evangelical fervour.
      Nobody likes pomposity, and nobody likes being called names.

      Didn’t you listen to what I said Phattie?

      The response to ignore is baked in. That is a phony rationalization of yours to state that people would listen if only the scientists weren’t so mean to me.

      You probably aren’t aware of the “beltway villager” theory of the media, whereby everyone goes along to get along.
      Sunday Beltway Villagers Cry: Obama Is Mean To Republicans

      I really don’t care if people don’t listen. I am putting these cookie crumbs down along the trail so that someone can see where the deniel-o-sphere went off the rails.

    • I really don’t care if people don’t listen. I am putting these cookie crumbs down along the trail so that someone can see where the deniel-o-sphere went off the rails.

      How utterly selfless of you!

    • Web your fit has more than 30 variable perimeters and so you are going to get a good fit.
      You don’t understand that the more variables you add the better you fit is going to be, even though it is repeatedly pointed out to you.
      You then claim that you fit represents some deep level of thermodynamics, which is not so much wrong as sad.


    • DocMartyn | January 11, 2014 at 8:41 am |

      Web your fit has more than 30 variable perimeters and so you are going to get a good fit.

      Please, name all these “variable perimeters” that you claim that I am using.

      You skeptics are the ones that are depending on these parameters.

      Now that someone includes them, you suddenly get cold feet.

      What’s wrong? Are you scared that someone is actually testing out your hypothesis?

    • With thirty variable parameters, Web can fabricate a whole housing development of gingerbread house from staples.
      ==========

  31. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    JC says “Mark Steyn is wicked.”
    ________

    Nah, he’s just silly. But he has a cornball audience that get’s off on silly.

    I will say I thought his attempt to be humorous was humorous.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      You have to ask yourself – does this really add anything at all interesting? Well does it punk?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      I have offended a cornball. Sorry.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      You flatter yourself Maxy – and despite the Dirty Harry allusion – the question remains serious. Unless you can find a constructive way to contribute your presence here is of no interest – at best a trivial and self indulgent distraction.

      And this latter is a violation of blog rules – not to mention the spirit of civil discourse. .

  32. Steven Mosher | January 11, 2014 at 12:38 am |

    writes “That depends on an unknown. The climate sensitivity. ”

    I know from experience how easy it is to write something on a blog that I don’t really mean. So, maybe that is what has happened to you. Let me ask you specifically.

    Are you agreeing with me that no-one has the slightest idea what the numeric value of climate sensitivity, however defined, is? In other words, that all estimated values of climate sensitivity are nothing more than guesses? Or did you mean something else?

    • It is relatively easy to work out what is called the transient climate sensitivity, the relationship between atmospheric CO2 changes and global temperature, somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 for a doubling. However, the hypothetical ‘long lag’ effect suggests that increasing CO2 now will continue to increase temperature for many decades to come; that is the Earth temperature system has huge inertia and application of a force takes a very long time. The same argument is being used for the length of time atmospheric CO2 will remain above the pre-industrial steady state level of about 290 ppm. The warmists are now claiming that if we stopped all additions from fossil fuel burning and cement production, many thousands of years would pass before CO2 returned to past levels.
      These two things, very slow rates of ‘equilibrium’ temperature and carbon mineralization place the dangers of CO2 into the modelers court, so they can claim that burning carbon now will cause harmful warming in 100 years time and that this warming will last for a 100 generations.
      Such models cannot be falsified.

    • David Springer

      DocMartyn | January 11, 2014 at 8:50 am |

      “It is relatively easy to work out what is called the transient climate sensitivity, the relationship between atmospheric CO2 changes and global temperature, somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 for a doubling. ”

      Really? Do the math and show your work.

    • Doc, you write “It is relatively easy to work out what is called the transient climate sensitivity, the relationship between atmospheric CO2 changes and global temperature, somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 for a doubling.”

      I agree completely. This is one of the reasons that CAGW is a very viable hypothesis. But the fact still remains that no-one, and I mean no-one, has actually measured the value of climate sensitivity, however defined. And no-one has measured a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time, or OHC/time graph.

      Until such measurements have been made, I maintain that the values estimated cannot be trusted, and that they are nothing more than guesses. The reason for this, is that my reading of the physics, is that there is an assumption that convection plays no role in overcoming the effects of the change in radiative forcing caused by adding more CO2 to the atmosphere form current levels. This assumption has never been shown to be correct.


    • David Springer | January 11, 2014 at 9:00 am |

      DocMartyn | January 11, 2014 at 8:50 am |

      “It is relatively easy to work out what is called the transient climate sensitivity, the relationship between atmospheric CO2 changes and global temperature, somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 for a doubling. ”

      Really? Do the math and show your work.

      SpringyBoy, please pay attention. Doc has guest posted on this topic earlier last year and showed all his work:
      http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/16/docmartyns-estimate-of-climate-sensitivity-and-forecast-of-future-global-temperatures/

      He gets a TCR of about 1.7C for doubling of CO2, which isn’t too bad considering his model is not as detailed as my CSALT model (which gets about 2C)
      http://imageshack.com/a/img513/5006/m4x.gif

      So my value fits right in line with Doc’s new estimate of “somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 for a doubling”.

      I tell you, the views really are converging, despite the histrionics to the contrary.

    • Web, do go play in traffic.
      The longer the pause goes on the more we can be sure that TCR is <2.5.
      What we don't know is what the amplitude of the 60 year cycle, but things should be flat until 2035 or so.
      The biggest problem is that to calculate TCR, we need to have 'faith' in the various reconstructions and I have less and less faith in the intent and fidelity of the data sets. That Appell cheerleaders for them makes me suspect a huge degree of bias.


    • DocMartyn | January 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm |

      Web, do go play in traffic.

      I do whenever I can, on my titanium and carbon-fiber road bikes.

    • David Springer

      Webby

      DocMartyn failed to isolate the variable in question.

      He lumped all the variables in a 30 year period together and called it CO2.

      This is the problem with all attempts to calculate TCS or ECS in vivo.

    • DuckMartyn wrote:
      The longer the pause goes on the more we can be sure that TCR is <2.5

      What pause? The large recent ocean warming shows the Earth still has a significant energy imbalance. There’s no reason at all to ascribe the “pause” to anything but internal variability.

      And then there’s this — Warming in 15 years:
      GISS: 0.14 C
      HadCRUT4: 0.11 C
      NCDC: 0.10 C

      The Pause is for suckers.

  33. Preliminary CO2 growth rate for 2013 in at 2.44ppm. That’s a 5ppm increase in the last 2 years. I expect we’ll start seeing years with increases above 3ppm become a regular occurrence soon.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo_anngr.png

    • Nice chart lolwot. It would appear that temperature followed suit. If you look at Spencer’s satellite chart most of the running mean pre 1998 is below the baseline and most of the post 1998 is above the baseline:

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    • Yes, the CO2 change plateau continues. The airborne fraction is decreasing. Anthropogenic CO2 input is still rising.

    • lolwot, you write “Preliminary CO2 growth rate for 2013 in at 2.44ppm.”

      Wonderful news!! I am sure all the plants on earth are rejoicing, and this makes virtually no difference to global temperatures, OHC, or anything else. Let us hope that this year we can achieve a value in excess of 3 ppmv.

    • The plateau continues. At the still rising anthropogenic emissions, the airborne fraction must be low and trending down.

    • Never in two years has CO2 risen 5ppm until 2012-2013. And this is with no El Nino.


    • Edim | January 11, 2014 at 9:48 am |

      The plateau continues. At the still rising anthropogenic emissions, the airborne fraction must be low and trending down.

      Of course eDim gets it exactly reversed.
      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/unforced-variations-jan-2014/comment-page-5/#comment-446429

      But that’s what he always does, being a knee-jerk contrarian.

    • Web,

      Perhaps if you used a few less derogatory superlatives you wouldn’t have the communication problem pekka alluded to.

      “Of course eDim gets it exactly reversed.

      ……………………

      But that’s what he always does, being a knee-jerk contrarian.”

    • ordvic,
      Edim is the fellow that claims that atmospheric CO2 is a net cooling agent. Not that it is a weak GHG, but that it is an anti-GHG, which is contrary to all of radiative science theory.


      Edim | August 26, 2013 at 2:55 am |

      Yes, CO2 is atmospheric coolant (radiator to space), the bulk of the atmosphere (N2 and O2) are the insulators (GHE).

      You see how these people work? They contrarily redefine the terms to add FUD to the discussion — hopefully to lure chumps into their deceit. You aren’t a chump, are you?

      And so you get mad at me, because I am being mean. My advice is don’t give an inch to these types.

    • To paraphrase, “Give me large amounts of money and I’ll stop your homes from being flooded.”
      Give me a break!

    • “It would be a probabilistic based conclusion, this would be saying that the risk has increased or not or maybe decreased as a result of anthropogenic climate change.”

      lolwot-

      I am shocked, stunned and flabbergasted that warmists think anyone could ever prove a one to one linkage of these events to AGW. Over a 1,000 period you could draw an inference that there was an increased frequency of the events from AGW but to say a single event would not have happened in the absence of AGW is absurd. It will always be absurd. But dont tell the warmists. Keep the money flowing.

    • iolwot

      Own goal in what respect?

      tonyb

  34. Mystery of the disappearing Antarctic ice. How does it reduce in volume . It isn’t evaporating , too cold. It isn’t going into the sea (at any increased rate) . Perhaps it is being mined and taken back to Australia by ship.

    • David Springer

      Yes it is going into the sea. Where else would it go?

    • David Springer

      Correction. One might argue it’s not going into the sea because it never came out of the sea. It’s seasonal ice failing to reappear in the winter. Summer ice extent is hardly effected in comparison.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      The more important metric for climate change and ice in Antarctica is continental glacial ice, with the total net mass declining, and that water is definitely going into the ocean. The slow upward growth in seasonal sea ice in Antarctica is of course interesting and worthy of study (and is, intensely), but the loss of long-term glacial mass more indicative of more net energy in Earth’s climate system.

    • It is continental ice on Antarctica I am talking about. The ice sheet covering the continent. Yes some of it goes into the sea, more goes In when there is more continental ice, but less goes in when there is less ice. The fact that some goes into the sea is not in dispute. The fact is that it is colder in the Antarctic , more ice in the sea, therefore there must be more ice on the land, not less on the land.
      Hence the mystery

    • Except the empirical data shows more sea ice, less land ice, warmer around the continent and colder in the interior.

    • Mystery of the disappearing Antarctic ice. How does it reduce in volume . It isn’t evaporating , too cold

      the mechanism is quite simple pressure.The basal melt is caused by the increasing over burden of glacial ice which decreases the freezing T of water at the land/ice boundary.

      In essence this creates a limit cycle on glacial height and melt rates and why you need a starting point ( an initial point) for the quanitifcation of glacial melt .

      The actual area of summer melt is remarkably geographically constrained, to around 24km^2 or around a magnitude greater then the surface area of Los Angeles.

    • David Springer

      My apology, Angech. You wrote Antarctic ice and I read Arctic ice.

      I don’t put much credence in ice mass measurements by satellite (GRACE). Too many confounding factors and a very small signal to dig out of the noise.

      That said the Antarctic interior is the dryest place on earth by far and ice loss happens when sublimation outpaces precipitation. The greater variable is calving at the edges and meltwater from beneath. Heat of friction and geothermal melts it at the bottom and the meltwater in this way can get to the ocean or pool where possible. Lake Vostok is the largest of over 400 known sub-glacial lakes in Antarctica and has a surface area of 5,000 square miles and an average depth of 1200′. God only knows how many other lakes and river systems underlying the miles-thick ice remain undetected.

    • The empirical data is at odds with an increasing Antarctic ice mass which is obvious to everyone

    • David Springer

      maksimovich | January 11, 2014 at 11:57 pm |

      “It isn’t evaporating , too cold.”

      No that’s wrong. When ice evaporates it turns directly to vapor in a process called sublimation. Sublimation is small but so is precipitation in the Antarctic interior. Both are measured in low millimeters per year with models showing preciptation about 5x that of sublimnation. But models can be wrong. Sometimes very wrong.

      “The basal melt is caused by the increasing over burden of glacial ice which decreases the freezing T of water at the land/ice boundary.”

      Pressure lowers the freezing temperature of water but the amount of change is insignificant in the range of several hundred bar which is about average at the base of the Antarctic ice sheet. You’d have add/subtract hundreds of meters of ice from the top to get just tenth degree change in the melting point at the base.

    • David Springer

      maksimovich | January 11, 2014 at 11:57 pm |

      reference for my previous – forgot to add it

      http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/phase.html

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “The empirical data is at odds with an increasing Antarctic ice mass which is obvious to everyone.”
      ___
      Let’s be completely clear what the data shows: seasonal Antarctic sea ice has shown a slow and steady rise for many years, continental glacial ice mass has shown a net decline. The seasonal sea ice increase makes no difference to the global sea level increase, however, the melting of the glacial mass does, as that melting: 1) adds to the mass in the ocean 2) represents a net gain to energy in the Earth climate system.

    • David Springer thanks for the 2 bits of clarfying information on the sublimation and the pressure effects. As said attempts to explain missing mountains of ice [by volume] in the Antarctic are woefully inadequate and suggest GRACE
      measurements are interpreted wrongly.
      This is one of the tipping points to get climate science back on track.

  35. David Springer

    “I think that people’s memory about climate is really terrible,” Texas A&M University climate scientist Andrew Dessler wrote in an email. “So I think this cold event feels more extreme than it actually is because we’re just not used to really cold winters anymore.”

    BS. The rivers connecting the Great Lakes haven’t frozen this early in the winter since 1930.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/01/us-coast-guard-battles-ice-to-keep-shipping-channels-open/

    The Coast Guard said it was the earliest the ice had frozen here since the 1930s, and the river connecting Lakes Superior and Huron has been some of the toughest ice they have seen.

    Having been born & raised 50 miles southeast of Buffalo, NY I would be the last to argue that winters were milder in the past 30 years than the preceding 30 years. Locals can guage that by how many days the ski resorts in Ellicottville are open for business.

    That said this last blizzard really did kick some ass. I woke up to a temperature of 19F in sub-tropical south Texas while it was happening. That was a record too this early in the winter.

  36. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Wind power was Spain’s leading source of electric power in 2013.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jan/06/wind-power-spain-electricity-2013

    The article says wind surpassed nuclear as a source.
    We can hope wind and solar power power make nuclear obsolete before the end of the century.

    • Max, Don’t get your hopes Up:

      https://www.google.com/search?q=spain+solar+bankrupt&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.floodgap:en-US:unofficial&client=firefox-a

      http://rt.com/business/spain-solar-energy-bankruptcy-451/

      “Energy Minister José Manuel Soria has introduced a new compensation plan for calculating levels of “reasonable profitability” for renewable-energy production, distribution and transportation. It will reduce payments to companies serving the nation’s electrical system by up to 2.7 billion euro annually. It’s hoped the move could help cope with the electricity system deficit that has been growing since 2005 and now exceeds 25 billion euro.”

      I wish it were true perhaps it would end the debate.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      So if I live in Spain and have a solar panel, the government proposes to tax me for consuming electricity the sun gave me? Well, that sucks. They should send the tax bill to the sun.

    • Well, it looks like it’s now either a case of bankrupting the renewables industry, or continuing to bankrupt the rest of the country.
      Stark choice, really.

    • Spanish reniewables:
      “…. by the end of the year renewables represented 49.1% of total installed power capacity on the Spanish peninsula.”

      Interesting , of course “installed power” is just marketting BS and is never acheived not even for one minute of one day, ever.

      Actual production: 53925 GWh is equivalent to 6GW output provided 24/7. That is about three large nuclear installations. Useful !

      What would be good to see is how much it cost to install and the unit production price. Since UK has just accepted the wholesale price of nuclear generation being doubled for the next two generations of Britons, maybe renewables are looking more competative now.

    • No, Max, they would simply no longer take money from other people to pay for your installation.

    • Yep, Max, this is a good case in point where big government leads to waste and is hard to manage. Spain interfered with the free market in energy by subsidizing solar and making guaranteed loans. Now we see the famous unintended results of socialism – which I define in part as centralized control. So the government geniuses have screwed up once again.

      From the article:
      In 2012 clean energy subsidies in Spain hit 8.6 billion euro, nearly 1 percent of GDP. To fund the expansion, Spanish banks lent the solar-energy companies nearly 30 billion euro. Potential loan defaults could worsen the already heavy burden on Spanish banks. The government is said to be in talks with banks to forestall bankruptcies, with five of the biggest utilities saying the new reforms will jointly cost them 1 billion euro a year.

      With the new plan brought into action, the government has capped profits for the solar energy sector at 7.5 percent before tax to 5.5 percent after tax. Spanish trade associations have been shocked by the decision saying the new rate is less than the rate that industry insiders are able to borrow at, leading many to “bankruptcy because they won’t be able to repay the credit that financed them.”

      http://rt.com/business/spain-solar-energy-bankruptcy-451/

    • From the article (Spain):
      It has been a chastening experience. The government failed to cut subsidies when renewables were booming, so the cuts have had to be draconian. It imposed no cap on new capacity and stood by while that grew uncontrollably (this also happened in Germany). The promised jobs have vanished. The solar-energy business has lost tens of thousands of jobs from its peak. And after repeated retroactive cuts no one is willing to invest in renewable energy any more. Yet because projects often receive subsidies for 20 years, the costs remain. Even after the cuts, renewables subsidies are running at €7 billion-8 billion a year. It is not hard to think of better ways of spending such large sums of taxpayers’ money.

      http://www.economist.com/news/business/21582018-sustainable-energy-meets-unsustainable-costs-cost-del-sol

    • Using Greg’s number for gigawatts, that’s $1.70 per watt just in subsidies alone. That doesn’t include other money spent on it.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      How come no matter the subject, free-market fruitcakes have to start interjecting their ideology. I mean I like the market as well as any normal person should, but I don’t put it ahead of everything like it’s sacred.

      Anyway, looks like the Spanish solar guys are fighting back.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/world/europe/spains-solar-pullback-threatens-pocketbooks.html

      I don’t blame them for being upset.I can empathize. I wouldn’t like it if the government wanted to do away with my depletion allowance.

    • Max, FWIW I’d agree that gov subsidy for solar is worth the effort but it’s a matter of degree. When you have an already near bankrupt gov like Spain attempt such an endeavor on that scale it likely will end like this.

    • ordvic – “green” energy is worth the taxpayer expense if and only if higher CO2 levels are a net cost. That hasn’t been demonstrated and if you’ve been following other conversations here, more CO2 means more plants. That’s a type of green I can support!!

    • Max, you spout about ideology, but you can’t rebut the problems in Spain or the numbers. You are the one hung up on ideology, not me. I’m supplying you with facts and you just whine in response. Look at the data and evidence first, ideology later.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Free market ‘fruitcakes’ accept a rile for government.is society – in fact it is essential to the working of markets. Whether that role should subsidising wind power another matter.

      Straw men from Maxy notwithstanding.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2, being Okie doesn’t make me stupid. It’s plain for me to see you are a anti-government free-market ideologists, so I will suspect anything you say is biased to suit your ideology.
      I reject the notion green energy shouldn’t be subsidized, which cuts your argument down at the outset.

      BTW, my base post here was about wind surpassing nuclear as the number one source of power in Spain.
      I added I hope solar and wind make nuclear obsolete.

    • This is not going to end well.
      Most likely, my taxes are going to end up being used to bail out Spain, when it goes the way of Greece.
      Thanks a lot, Greenies, for promising what you can’t deliver!

    • Max_OK

      being Okie doesn’t make me stupid.

      Course not.

      There’s lots of non-stupid Okies around.

      Max_not from OK

  37. re ShipofFools:

    Guardian ecowarrior on “house arrest” aboard Aurora Australis writes a revealing account of “hurry up or wait”. The usual interpretation being ‘ get your tourist butts off the ice and back to the ship before the we gets stuck here for two weeks”!

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/antarctica-live/2014/jan/09/eternal-sunshine-confused-minds-antarctica

    “We are currently in the classic ‘hurry up and wait’ mode,” wrote voyage leader Leanne Millhouse in her situation report for Thursday. “For those not familiar with this term it means….

    Well if these clowns thought is was “hurry up AND wait” , that could explain a lot !!

    • As I understand it, Leanne Millhouse was never on the Russian ship. She is the voyage leader on the Aurora Australis. The passengers on the Russian ship were flown to the Aurora Australis by a Chinese helicopter. Once on board, one can assume Leanne Millhouse also became their voyage leader. Just guessing there.

      From news reports it sounded like the Aurora Australis was hoping to hit the ground running when it arrived at Camp Casey.

      That would be the “hurry up” part of hurry up and wait.

      Then it started snowing and they had to shut down all operations. That would be the “and wait” part of hurry and wait.

  38. Apparently “voyage leader” Leanne Millhouse thought it meant hurry up and take some more selfies with the penguins AND wait for 40km of ice to build up around the ship.

  39. Leave it to a warmist climate scientist to only see the data he wants to see.

    “I think that people’s memory about climate is really terrible,” Texas A&M University climate scientist Andrew Dessler wrote in an email. “So I think this HEAT event feels more extreme than it actually is because we’re just not used to really HOT SUMMERS anymore.”

    Amazing how reversing his point makes it just as true. Except those who lived through the 1930s, the data wasn’t adjusted to make it cooler that today while it was happening.

  40. David Appell makes a great example illustrating the CAGW mindset for people just getting started with their interest in AGW.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.’ http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10136

      There have few interesting ideas in the threads as opposed to the relative vacuity of the post sources. Corals deserve a deeper treatment – although I have to admit to being more a worshipper than an expert. I have seen a few – from my local wonderland to the breathtaking richness of Sek Harbour in Madang – a place where marine ecotones meet. The geographic distribution ranges well beyond the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer – http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/tutorial_corals/media/supp_coral05a.html – limited by water temperature. ( http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/tutorial_corals/coral05_distribution.html )

      The reproductive strategy is one of the those inscrutable miracles of nature – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-21/scientists-anxiously-await-barrier-reef-coral-spawn/5107202 – that powerfully perpetuate species.

      Temperature is not a problem for such free ranging organisms and undersaturation of aragonite in these warm coastal regions is not a problem anytime within a thousand years. The latter is more an issue in the Great Southern Ocean.

      There are many threats to corals including runoff, overfishing, inappropriate types of fishing, collections for the aquarium trade, etc – mostly runoff. But ecologies are chaotic – just like climate – and small changes can drive large and unpredictable responses.

      Ultimately – we can control a few things. Runoff and emissions. One of these is likely to help a lot – the other is worth a go.

      • How do you propose to control runoff? Take over the world? Same for emissions.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        There are two ways to answer this question – seriously – as the subject deserves – or frivolously as the question deserves.

      • Equating human causation with control is worse than frivolous. To will the end is to will the means. Thus greens will world control.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        There is one way to reduce CO2 emissions and that is down the accelerated energy innovation pathway.

        Keeping topsoil where it is is the highest priority for global agriculture.

      • It appears to me that the real challenge here is to ensure that the added atmospheric CO2 is available for increased crop growth and yields, in order to result in a net overall benefit for mankind.

        Max

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        Anyone else utterly over broken threading? Would whichever cretin is responsible for this one please just take your silly games elsewhere.

        Now Max

        Humanity rides to the rescue of a failing global ecology and is the only buttress against the coming ice age? It isn’t even believable when I say it.

      • David Springer

        If modertion is done by deleting the text inside the comment instead of whole comment the threading won’t’ break. As I recall however it’s a few extra clicks to do that which if there’s a lot of deletia takes up more time.

      • Generalissimo Skippy

        That statement is incorrect. As I have said many times you do not understand what you are reading.

        My complete statement was.

        Wind is relatively cheap – http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm – and solar seems likely to continue to decline in cost and increase in efficiency. They are of course not a 100% power solution – some low percentage in a typical grid.

        I am a technological optimist and suggest that investment in energy innovation rather than targets for CO2 is the priority. There are no guarantees of course – but equally no other way to succeed.

        As far as science is concerned – the really good ones are scratching their heads and speculating about the world not warming for decades – and wondering why. Of course we could could always base it on blogospheric memes. That’s going to work with even a few more years of non warming – not. I’m surprised it’s lasted this long.

        And to ignore methane, black carbon, nitrous oxide, hydrogen sulphide and tropospheric ozone is to snatch defeat from the jaws of defeat.

        I understand perfectly what I am reading. The levelised cost of wind power – including a utilisation factor of 34% – is US$86.60. The levelised cost of advanced nuclear power is US$108.40. This is pretty difficult to misunderstand.

        In your Peter’s mind eye you add costs for fill in power when when wind is not available. This is not necessary – wind is obviously not a base load power power source but is in fact very low cost at the margins – no fuel cost – rewarding full take take up when power demand spikes and wind power is available.

        This is just a fundamental error of Peter’s on which we can agree to disagree on. I said I was an optimist.

        And he continues to neglect the need for a multi-gas strategy in which decarbonsiation using nuclear power can have only a minor role at best.

      • Wind kills lots of eagles but administration excempted that. US still on a path towards 20% wind by 2030 in the grid.

        Solar on parking lots and roofs could make up to 20% of the grid. Then natural gas in the west plus the remaining nuclear could handle base load. Waiting for fusion in the long term, but renewed nuclear could help bridge the gap. Lots of potentials in the mid term for innovation. Coal slag ponds and mountain top removals externalize those costs. Clean coal or underground gassification could work somewhat. Big problem is China, India and now Germany moving in a big way towards base coal

        Man, this is a hard problem. Specially with economic stagnation.
        Scott

      • If the message to be deleted is short and otherwise content free, i delete the whole thing. If the message has content, i delete the objectionable parts.

      • Seems like it wouldn’t be too taxing to just highlight the entire content of the comment and type “Comment deleted by moderator.” And although I think that deleting comments delivers no meaningful benefit (if the problem is the quality of the comments, deleting some comments will not improve anything. The way to improve the discourse is for the blogger to raise his or her game), leaving behind “Comment deleted by moderator” is probably marginally more effective than just deleting entire comments (with the added benefit of not breaking threading).

      • Joshua, when you finally start your own blog, you will be able to choose how you moderate. Hasten the day that you get busy doing something other than sniping.

      • David Springer

        Joshua | January 12, 2014 at 9:52 pm | Reply

        Seems like it wouldn’t be too taxing to just highlight the entire content of the comment and type “Comment deleted by moderator.” And although I think that deleting comments delivers no meaningful benefit (if the problem is the quality of the comments, deleting some comments will not improve anything. The way to improve the discourse is for the blogger to raise his or her game), leaving behind “Comment deleted by moderator” is probably marginally more effective than just deleting entire comments (with the added benefit of not breaking threading).

        ——————————————————————–

        In this rare instance I agree except for the part about raising her or her game, whatever that means. Improving the discourse so it’s civil and not offensive to those with thin skins is to crack the whip on those that break the rules. No name-calling means no name-calling. No snide disrespectful comments directed at other participants means just that. We all know what it looks like. Curry’s tolerance level for it is too unpredicatable so people do it, mostly get away with it, and the problem remains unsolved just reduced temporarily from time to time.

      • One of the issues is, what can be done without breaking the threading in WordPress. My guess is that a comment can be safely deleted, when nobody has answered to it, but deleting a comment that has been answered may break threading. This is, however, only a guess.

      • Pekka Pirilä, it’s actually pretty simple. Deleting a comment breaks the nesting branch attached to that comment. Any comments that are part of that branch will “fall” to the bottom of the post where they’ll stay. The same fate ensues for any comments added to the branch afterward.

        The problem is WordPress doesn’t delete the tree structure attached to comments when deletions are made. If WordPress finds a comment that claims to be part of a tree that doesn’t have a place to be attached, it doesn’t know where to put that comment. Because of that, it handles all non-orphaned comments first, and whatever is leftover just gets dumped at the bottom.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Greenhouses add CO2 to make tomatoes grow more, but everyone knows tomatoes grown under such conditions are not as tasty as those grown outside. If your tastebuds are shot, it might not make any difference,

      • Now I see why CO2 is a catastrophe!

      • Max_OK

        Taste is (hmmm…) a matter of taste.

        Max_CH

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Max_CH, if you don’t like the taste of tomatoes, I can understand your preference for greenhouse grown tomatoes that don’t have much tomato flavor.

        Would you also like grains with less protein? If global temperatures don’t rise enough to be a detriment to grain crop yields ( an unlikely possibility), more C02 by itself would result in increased yields but lower protein content. Plentiful higher-carb grains could result in obesity being more of a problem than it already is. It would be nice if more CO2 gave the world something for nothing, but nature doesn’t work that way.

        People who believe agriculture would benefit from a world that gets warmer and warmer should ask themselves why greenhouses are air-conditioned.

      • Max_OK

        Based on your last comment, I’d say you’re about to lose your “Citizen Scientist” title.

        A slightly warmer world with higher atmospheric CO2 levels will help increase growing seasons, arable crop land in northern parts of North America and the Eurasian land mass and overall global crop yields.

        Since 1970 overall crop yields of major crops increased by 2.4 times while global temperature increased by a fraction of a degree and CO2 increased by around 20%. At the same time population increased by 1.7 times, starvation rates decreased significantly and overall life expectancy at birth increased by several years.

        And, hey, twice as much rice containing 5% less protein, for example, is still a whole lot more net protein on balance.

        Think positive, man. And look at the whole picture.

        Max

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Max_CH, when you start talking, I feel the urge to start shoveling. You should know better than to try that BS on a country boy like me. You need an audience of citified saps.

  41. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    An interesting dynamic in the Arctic going on during a week that saw the polar vortex so “squeezed” to the southern latitudes. We had sea ice extent at the lowest level ever for the week. Trailing along just at the 2 standard deviation below average range:

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Part of the squeeze of the Polar Vortex forced it out away from the Pacific side of the Arctic, causing Alaska to be warmer than many parts of the U.S. But in regards to sea ice, we see that this region near Alaska, is below average:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.2.html

    But regions on the other side of the Arctic are not immune from the record low wintertime sea ice condition:

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.6.html

    • So if it’s cold in Austin, it’s hot in Anchorage. I’m getting ready to move north, way north. An ancestor explored the arctic and there is already an island up there with my last name. My long lost home.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “So if it’s cold in Austin, it’s hot in Anchorage.”
      _____
      When the polar vortex is disrupted in the winter, the weather will be crazy. But you can expect Austin to likely set continual record warm records in coming years.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      More a pattern of high pressure at the pole. This pushes both ice and fronts south.

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao_index.html

      There is again a very unedifying spectacle here of both sides clutching at narrative straws to buttress a POV.

    • “Part of the squeeze of the Polar Vortex forced it out away from the Pacific side of the Arctic, causing Alaska to be warmer than many parts of the U.S. But in regards to sea ice, we see that this region near Alaska, is below average”

      Gates, there has been a heat bubble in the N pacific for months. It moved from west to east. It was a lot cooler in the western N Pacific in October ( see second link) I know you referred to Alaska but I don’t know what the Polar vortex may have contributed?:

      http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/oisst/navy-anom-bb.gif

      scroll down on the site to see October anomaly:

      http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2010/11/north-atlantic-sea-surface-temperatures.html

      Note: the N Atlantic seems to have cooled quite a bit.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “More a pattern of high pressure at the pole. This pushes both ice and fronts south.”
      ____
      The disruption of the polar vortex and a low AO index with higher pressure over the pole are intimately linked. The root cause of both of these is the greater advection of energy from lower latitudes to the poles and an enhancement to the Brewer-Dobson. Higher net energy in the system is stirring the pot more vigorously.

    • Correction:

      ” It was a lot cooler in the western N Pacific in October ( see second link)”

      should read: EASTERN N Pacific

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘Most climate models simulate a strengthening of the Brewer–Dobson circulation (BDC) under a changing climate. However, the magnitude of the trend as well as the underlying mechanisms varies significantly among the models. In this work the impact of both vertical resolution and vertical extent of a model on the simulated BDC change is investigated by analyzing sensitivity simulations performed with the general circulation model ECHAM6 in three different model configurations for three different climate states. Tropical upwelling velocities and age of stratospheric air are used as measures for the strength of the BDC. Both consistently show a BDC strengthening from the preindustrial to the future climate state for all configurations of the model. However, the amplitude and origin of this change vary between the different setups. Analyses of the tropical upward mass flux indicate that in the model with a lid at 10 hPa the BDC strengthening at 70 hPa is primarily produced by resolved wave drag, while in the model with a higher lid (0.01 hPa) the parameterized wave drag yields the main contribution to the BDC increase. This implies that consistent changes in the BDC originate from different causes when the stratosphere is not sufficiently resolved in a model. Furthermore, the effect of enhancing the horizontal diffusion in the upper model layers to avoid resolved wave reflection at the model lid is quantified, and a possible link to the different behavior of the low-top model with regard to the origin of the BDC change is identified.’ http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAS-D-12-0215.1?journalCode=atsc

      Brewer-Dobson is something for which there is minimal data and a confusion of mechanisms. Putting it in the driving seat is a conceit based on narrative.

      Understanding broad factors seems much more interesting.

      e.g. http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/024001/fulltext/

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Brewer-Dobson is something for which there is minimal data and a confusion of mechanisms. Putting it in the driving seat is a conceit based on narrative.”
      _____
      Certainly the Brewer-Dobson is not “in the driver’s seat” as it is not a forcing to the climate system but responds to external forcings. You seem to have not studied this very much, so best you do that and then we can have an intelligent dialog rather than your “conceit” based diatribes..

    • Chef’s Baby Chaos theory reveals itself as to be nothing more than the analogy of a water balloon. Push on it in one place and it bulges out somewhere else.

      As RD says, energy is conserved and the climate responds to the various forcings in more predictable and deterministic ways, i.e. the CO2 control knob for example:
      http://imageshack.com/a/img513/5006/m4x.gif

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      This is of course the ad hominem fallacy gatesy. I am not encouraged that a rational discourse is possible. So you will forgive me if I bale.

      ‘‘What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.’

      http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10136

      Chef’s ‘baby chaos’ – now is that technical jargon or merely puerile and offensive snark? Isn’t that against the blog rules? It is all a lot tedious and a disincentive for rational and wide ranging discourse – or indeed for encouraging new perspectives to come to this site. Webby is a particularly egregious violator – habitually aggressive and offensive.

      Tell you what – I will give up chaos when the National Academies of Science does. Can’t be fairer – or more scientific – than that.

    • GS, do you think that the 5 W/m2 kick to the climate by adding CO2 through 2100 is going to be more effective in changing climate than the subtle albedo changes that brought us out of the last ice age, or are you sure it won’t be? Even a chaotic system responds to massive kicks.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      All other things being equal Jim? Assume that massive ice albedo feedbacks are subtle if you like.

      https://notendur.hi.is//~oi/quaternary_geology.htm

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic.’

      So we both can and can’t predict climate using models?

      We know that cloud changes with ocean and atmosphere circulation.. That would in fact seem to need no restating – but obviously it does.

      ‘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

      But what do we really know about cloud?

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=75

      Cloud are still the biggest unknown in climate.

    • GS, yes, the ice-edge summer insolation varies subtly but has a major albedo tipping point with the ice age cycles. The loss of large ice areas has a positive feedback that we will see again moving forwards: past tipping points being often related to ice albedo, not just in the ice ages. There was a major cooling when Antarctica first glaciated 35 million years ago.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘The separation of South America from Antarctica 30-35 million years ago allowed the Antarctic Circumpolar Current to form, which isolated Antarctica climatically and caused it to become much colder. The Antarctic flora subsequently died out in Antarctica, but is still an important component of the flora of southern Neotropic (South America) and Australasia, which were also former parts of Gondwana.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_ecozone

      Glacials and interglacials are something very different and the difference in ice cover between the two is hardly very subtle.

    • GS, a major part of becoming colder was the albedo feedback as it glaciated. If it hadn’t glaciated the global temperature would not have gone down so much. Albedo is a global property of the climate system that helps define the equilibrium temperature.

    • “Isn’t that against the blog rules? “

      There has been no indication that any of the chaotic indicators force the temperature to stray away from the mean. SOI in particular always reverts to the mean.

      That’s why I call it Baby Chaos — it’s like a baby that is confined to a crib. It can’t climb out because it is too weak.

      Even a Stadium Wave LOD factor seems to resort to the mean, showing 60 year cycles.

      This is the factored model
      http://imageshack.com/a/img59/9175/lha.gif
      with this resultant fit
      http://imageshack.com/a/img513/5006/m4x.gif

      On the other hand, the brute CO2 is showing a strong forcing, able to drive the long-term surface temperatures at least 0.8C from the mean, with no indications that it will return.

    • R. Gates

      Yep. And the year-end showed all-time record Antarctic sea ice extent for that period – at 14% above the 1979-2000 baseline value. And that’s where that Russian ship got stuck in the ice.
      ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/Dec/S_12_area.txt

      Is that polar vortex swooping all the way down to the South Pole?

      Max

    • I wonder if those scientists on that ill fated expedition were able to measure the salinity of all that ice that trapped them. That would be telling.

      If the ice was highly saline it would mean one thing.

      If it was rather fresh, then it would mean they got trapped by ice berg ice and would indicate that warming may be responsible for the increase in sea ice.

    • Bob – in one of the blogs they discussed measuring salinity, and it was very low if I remember correctly. Of course, it was tourists doing a PR stunt.

      If you look through the satellite photographs I posted at the end of the thread, the ice likely came from the area where B9-B broke loose, which would have created a lot of iceberg debris, and where B9-B floated over and collided with the tongue of the Mertz Glacier. The sea ice there does not melt, so iceberg debris from those events could be trapped there for a long time.

    • David Springer

      R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 11, 2014 at 10:48 am |

      “But you can expect Austin to likely set continual record warm records in coming years.”

      Yes, and it will set continual cold records too. That’s pretty much just an artifact of having 365 chances per year to set a cold record, 365 chances to set a warm record, and only 150 total numbers in the prior record for any one day in the best of locations and far fewer in most locations.

      More warm records than cold records is a simple matter of urban heat islands getting larger and larger as time passes. Surely you’re aware of that, Gates. If you’re not it means you’re ignorant and if you are it means you’re dishonest. Which is it?

    • Thanks JCH,
      Last time I looked through their blogs I didn’t see that but thanks anyway.
      Who says tourists can’t so some simple scientific measurements if properly supervised.

      Sounds like I need to go over to Joanova’s and get recalibrated, so I can post that the increase in Antarctic sea ice means its getting colder and long live the pause. The pause is dead the pause is dead Long live the pause!

  42. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Another thing I recently noticed was the December 2013 UAH global temperature anomaly of 0.27 means it was the warmest December in of the last 10 years. If I eyeballed the table correctly, it also means December 2013 was tied with December 1987 as the second warmest December in the entire 35-year UAH record, exceeded only by 0.37 in 2013.
    I would appreciate anyone fact-checking my work.

    http://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc_lt_5.6.txt

    • Max

      You are right. The record is remarkably consistent with its ups and downs. Care to graph it in WFT?

      I make 2013 and 1987 tied at .27 which is down sharply from the warmest of .37 in 2003.
      tonyb

    • Max

      You said;

      ‘…Exceeded only by 0.37 in 2013.’ but I think you meant 2003

      tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Max,

      All the more interesting for this to occur in a non-El Nino year, in fact, this past year as an La Nada, ENSO neutral year gives us a good feel for the underlying strength of anthropogenic warming, as Australia is now going on some 16 months of record smashing heat, and bats falling dead out of the trees:

      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/01/09/a-catastrophe-why-100000-dead-bats-rained-down-on-australia-and-a-warning-to-locals/

      But according to many Aussies…”the globe is cooling”

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Oh yeah, and I guess for all those dead bats, the “warmer is better” mantra just didn’t work out so well, eh?

    • RGates

      Bats falling from the sky through heat? Nothing new under the sun. This from the Watkins Diary of 1790

      “December 27th 1790. Wind NNW; it felt like the blast of a heated oven, and in proportion as it increased the heat was found to be more intense, the sky hazy, the sun gleaming through at intervals.
      At 9 a.m. 85 degrees At noon 104 Half past twelve 107 1/2 From one p.m. until 20 minutes past two 108 1/2 At 20 minutes past two 109 At Sunset 89 At 11 p.m. 78 1/2
      [By a large Thermometer made by Ramsden, and graduated on Fahrenheit’s scale.]

      December 28th.
      At 8 a.m. 86 10 a.m. 93 11 a.m. 101 At noon 103 1/2 Half an hour past noon 104 1/2 At one p.m. 102 At 5 p.m. 73 At sunset 69 1/2
      [At a quarter past one, it stood at only 89 degrees, having, from a sudden shift of wind, fallen 13 degrees in 15 minutes.]

      My observations on this extreme heat, succeeded by so rapid a change, were that of all animals, man seemed to bear it best. Our dogs, pigs and fowls, lay panting in the shade, or were rushing into the water. I remarked that a hen belonging to me, which had sat for a fortnight, frequently quitted her eggs, and shewed great uneasiness, but never remained from them many minutes at one absence; taught by instinct that the wonderful power in the animal body of generating cold in air heated beyond a certain degree, was best calculated for the production of her young. The gardens suffered considerably. All the plants which had not taken deep root were withered by the power of the sun. No lasting ill effects, however, arose to the human constitution. A temporary sickness at the stomach, accompanied with lassitude and headache, attacked many, but they were removed generally in twenty-four hours by an emetic, followed by an anodyne. During the time it lasted, we invariably found that the house was cooler than the open air, and that in proportion as the wind was excluded, was comfort augmented.

      But even this heat was judged to be far exceeded in the latter end of the following February, when the north-west wind again set in, and blew with great violence for three days. At Sydney, it fell short by one degree of what I have just recorded: but at Rose Hill, it was allowed, by every person, to surpass all that they had before felt, either there or in any other part of the world. Unluckily they had no thermometer to ascertain its precise height. It must, however, have been intense, from the effects it produced. An immense flight of bats driven before the wind, covered all the trees around the settlement, whence they every moment dropped dead or in a dying state, unable longer to endure the burning state of the atmosphere. Nor did the ‘perroquettes’, though tropical birds, bear it better. The ground was strewn with them in the same condition as the bats.’

      tonyb

    • WFT has not picked up the UAH December number, and I think there some discrepancies with the numbers Roy Spencer just posted.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Tony, yes, I meant 2003. Thank you.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Thanks Tony. No doubt there have been heat waves in the past and bats have died (along with lots of other things). The point I was making is that “warmer is better” is a load of crap and those who push it out with such ignorant zest would be akin to being giant laxatives.

    • RGates

      You cited the (admittedly daft) ‘warmer is better’ slogan AFTER you had cited the dying bats . This seemed to be your prime point, that the heat had killed them. I dare say this occurrence is pretty frequent

      tonyb

    • If the world gets warmer, there will be winners and losers. The bats in Siberia will be snugger. In the meantime, the pause is killing the cause and you alarmists are left with moaning about common extreme weather events,

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Essential points:

      1. Australia has been having a year or more of record breaking (record shattering in some instances) conditions.
      2. To the extent that we can confidently know how much of this is natural variability and how much is anthropogenic, will go along way to understanding what’s ahead related to warming for Australia and the planet.
      3. An ENSO neutral year is a good time to naturally weed out the ENSO effects from external forcing as opposed to filtering out those effects after the fact.
      4. Unless we get a big volcano or two, the next major El Nino is likely to shatter global surface temperature records (even with a sleepy sun).
      5. Tens of thousands of dead bats are testimony to the fact that warmer is not always better.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Australian recent temps have a lot to do with rainfall deficits and the current solar peak.

      http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/index.shtml#tabs=Tracker&tracker=timeseries&tQ%5Bgraph%5D=rranom&tQ%5Barea%5D=aus&tQ%5Bseason%5D=0112&tQ%5Bave_yr%5D=0

      The reasons are fairly obvious – but I am not going to bother. Work it out.

      Here’s a clue – http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2778.1

    • We have been waiting a long time for the “next big El Nino”. And most of us already knew that warmer is not always better. Give us something non-trivial in your next comment, please.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “…the pause is killing the cause and you alarmists are left with moaning about common extreme weather events,”
      ____
      That’s a nice little mantra..”pause is killing the cause”, but the past 16 months in Australia have been anything but “common” extreme weather events. Record shattering means, by definition, uncommon, unique, one of a kind, in a class by itself. Since I don’t live in Australia, I am not moaning about it.,Those scientists who are looking at this extreme anomaly are working hard to separate the natural variability of this event from underlying anthropogenic forcing.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “We have been waiting a long time for the “next big El Nino”.
      ___
      Who is the “we” that has been waiting? There will be another big El Nino, sooner or later, and depending on the other climate factors at play at the time, new tropospheric records are likely a few months after the El Nino peaks.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Australian recent temps have a lot to do with rainfall deficits and the current solar peak.”
      ____
      Oh, the weakest solar cycle in a century has caused record temps in Australia? Nothing to do with the highest GH gas levels in several million years? Amazing science you have going there Generalissimo. Quite advanced.

    • Hey gatesy, that article you linked to mentioned that the record heat in that area was recorded in 1960. Was that an El Nino year, gatesy? Did any bats die?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Hey gatesy, that article you linked to mentioned that the record heat in that area was recorded in 1960. Was that an El Nino year, gatesy? Did any bats die?”
      ___
      That’s a great question. In fact, early 1960 would have been coming out of a rather long, nearly unbroken El Nino period lasting from 1957 to 1959. As tropospheric temperatures always peak after an El Nino peaks, early 1960 would be a good timing. We also must factor in a bit of a nudge (though less than from El Nino) from the peak solar cycle in 1959. It was a big one as well.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Sunspot numbers are low but hasn’t translated into TSI yet. There is a bit of thermal inertia there.

      http://lasp.colorado.edu/data/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png

      Responding to blatant climate narratives is all a lot tedious. Take it on board and move on.

      Intense and frequent La Nina is overwhelmingly likely for decades to come. Why don’t you try understanding how we know that.

      I’d look at the MEI first and wonder why we get transitions in 1976/1977 and 1998/2001.

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Intense and frequent La Nina is overwhelmingly likely for decades to come. Why don’t you try understanding how we know that.”
      ____
      More interesting would be a psychological analysis to reveal WHY you think you know that. Such hubris is most interesting.

    • Rgates

      Australia is a very large place with a very short temperature record so the bar is pretty low .

      The best records probably come from south Australia but even then widespread temperature sampling did not take place as there were few people to do it. It’s not helped by that perpetual problem of thermometers moving from one place to another thereby changing its micro climate. In Adelaide it moved a number of times including from the hills to the airport.

      Charles Todd took many readings in the outback and set up a network of stations. He may have some relevance but even then methodology and equipment is suspect.

      Tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Ultimately for theories related to multi-decadal fluctuations in ocean to atmosphere sensible and latent heat flux, there seems to be tendency amongst some so-called “skeptics” to discount the possibility that these could be influenced strongly by the 40% or so increase in GH gases over the past few centuries, even though observation and basic theory are telling us that some of them major atmospheric dynamical processes, such as the Brewer-Dobson Circulation, are altered by increasing GH gas concentrations.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Science is how we know this gatesy.

      ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/abstract

      Ad homs about hubris are not a compelling argument.

    • GS, but your alter ego, the Chief, would probably argue with you that chaos prevents us from knowing anything about the next decades and give you tons of links that say that. What would you say to him?

    • Thank you gatesy. And since 1960 there have been several El Ninos and a lot of additional CO2 accumulated in the atmosphere. Yet the 1960 record has not been exceeded. Here are the record high temps by continent:

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/globalextremes.html

      Nothing new since 1974. After the big 1997-98 El Nino, the alarmists hollered that we were in for it as El Ninos were going to be “more frequent and stronger”, which makes sense if adding CO2 significantly turns up the heat in the climate system. And you are telling the same story by warning us that we will be sorry when the next big El Nino comes along. We are still waiting for the sky to fall. You are reduced to flogging the extreme weather event du jour. Today it’s the not unprecedented event of dead bats. The pause is killing the cause.

    • Record highs are several standard deviations above the mean, and typical regional warming is currently about one standard deviation in the last 50 years for summer seasonal averages. Statistically those 100-year return events are going to be pretty solid with this size of climate shift, but the warming has only just started, so give it time.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Don Monfort,

      One needs to look at the overall flow of energy through the climate system to understand both the role of external forcings and natural variability of the system itself. External forcings can do one of two things: Put more/less energy into the system, or allow more/less energy out. Related to the flow within the system, that net flow is always strongly from sun to ocean to atmosphere to space. At each step are natural variations that modulate that flow. Surface temperatures always follow ocean to atmosphere sensible and latent heat flux variability and the biggest natural variation on that is the ENSO cycle. Over longer periods, the biggest control knob on the ocean to atmosphere to space output of energy will be noncondensing GH gas concentrations. They are at their highest levels in millions of years.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Statistically those 100-year return events are going to be pretty solid with this size of climate shift, but the warming has only just started, so give it time.”
      ____
      Yep.

    • Whatever, gatesy. The fact is that you stepped in it today. You promoted that Australian bat thing as a sign of the Apocalypse, because you didn’t know until tony told you that bats dying from heat in Australia is not unprecedented. Maybe you can’t be blamed for your original error, because the alarmist article you cited does not mention that fact:

      “A spokesman for the animal welfare nonprofit RSPCA, Michael Beatty, told the Australian Broadcast Company the impact of the heat wave is “a catastrophe for all the bat colonies in southeast Queensland.”

      Beatty is worried how the mass death will impact the ecosystem as a whole.”

      Typical ignorant alarmist claptrap. The ecosystem will very likely be affected similarly to how it was affected the last time bats dropped out of the trees.

      This kind of crap kills the credibility of your alarms, gatesy. If you are going to save us from burning up, you will need to step up your game.

    • Oh, jimmy dee! Didn’t you get the memo from your guru Hansen on that dice thing?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I have just reported this latest as well gatesy. Whether you are laughing or not is of no interest at all and detracts from the potential for civilised discourse. You are a serial offender – so let’s try a different strategy.

      I can neither confirm or deny Jim.

      It is not really difficult to identify the current state of play since the 1998/2001 climate shift. This should last a decade to three more with enhanced La Nina.

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

      Beyond that is a bit dodgy.

      I have quoted Wally Broecker and others quite often – we have no objective way of predicting the future of climate beyond it’s current decadal state – wet and dry in different places with a hint of coolth.

    • Don M, yes, skeptics also question statistical studies of the temperature record. You could use the record of a set of thermometers you trust over a 50-year period and show for yourself how summer average temperatures have shifted by a standard deviation in your area of choice. It is just statistics, but pretty hard for some to understand until they have done it for themselves. Do you still expect all the century records to have been broken already or it disproves climate change, or is a better measure the shift of the mean by a standard deviation?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “We have no objective way of predicting the future of climate.”
      ___
      Sure, they are called global climate models based on known laws of physics and thermodynamics. More energy in than out means more energy in the system and the system will change. Since it is a system exhibiting complex feedbacks, we need to look at the paleoclimate record to see exactly how all these feedbacks eventually pan out in terms of climate sensitivity. The record shows that 3C is a pretty solid estimate for a doubling of CO2, if not a bit low, and of course, we’ve got the additional kicks from methane and N2O which also have to be taken into account. Overall, a Pliocene-like climate seems where were headed based on the current vigorous eruption of the Human Carbon Volcano.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Yeah – right.

      ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/505.htm

      But I stopped reading after your first sentence gatsey. These narratives have been rehearsed endlessly.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      A good rule of thumb is that models can tell us the “why” of future climate, but the paleoclimate record can tell us the “what”, because it contains all the feedbacks and dynamics the models will miss. In regards to climate sensitivity, a convergence of models and the paleoclimate record at somewhere around 3C or warmer seems to be happening. The huge amount of paleo data coming from Lake El’gygytgyn in Siberia has been big help in the past few years, with much more to come.

    • I don’t expect all the century records to be broken already, jimmy dee. You just made that up. Look jimmy, not since 1974 have any of the continental records been broken and the CO2 keeps piling on. What are the odds on that, given Hansen’s revelation that the climate dice have been loaded?

      Jimmy, every time a new record high is recorded at the airport in Los Angeles, or in a recently constructed asphalt parking lot in downtown Timbuktu you alarmists scream that it’s due to AGW. It couldn’t be natural variability, or UHI. It’s got to be AGW. The bolder of you characters blame extreme cold and everthing else on AGW. I would like for you to explain how it got extremely hot and extremely cold, wet, dry etc., before the advent of AGW. What was the control knob? Now remember that CO2 was flat-lined at a lovely normal level, until the evil fossil fuel industry got us hooked on the good life.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Models are pointless because of chaotic divergence. And I have pointed to articles from leaders in the field often enough not to want to do it again.

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

      And paleodata is especially problematic.

      ‘Now imagine that you have never seen the device and that it is hidden in a box in a dark room. You have no knowledge of the hand that occasionally sets things in motion, and you are trying to figure out the system’s behavior on the basis of some old 78-rpm recordings of the muffled sounds made by the device. Plus, the recordings are badly scratched, so some of what was recorded is lost or garbled beyond recognition. If you can imagine this, you have some appreciation of the difficulties of paleoclimate research and of predicting the results of abrupt changes in the climate system.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=13

    • jimd

      You mentioned 50 year summer temperature standard deviations at 1.30. Here is CET to 1659. Where is this step up you believe to be happening?

      http://climatereason.com/Graphs/Graph05.png
      tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Skippy said:

      “Models are pointless because of chaotic divergence.”
      ___
      Of course this is nonsense. The usefulness of models is not as forecasting tools specifically, as every model run, even with exact same conditions will be different– jeez, Lorentz showed us that decades ago. Climate models are not meant to be forecasts but are powerful for the dynamics of the system they reveal. Most interesting is that now the models (that have the cloud dynamics most closely resembling observations) and the paleodata are converging more strongly on sensitivity being at least 3C. Exciting times to have these finally start to converge.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Skippy said:

      “And paleodata is especially problematic.”
      ____
      Especially for AGW “skeptics” as there is such a wealth of data coming out every month that shows how strongly CO2 does impact the climate as the “control knob” over the long-run. Not a good time for those holding out for very low sensitivity to the HCV.

    • While we wait for some convincing signs of the CO2 control knob’s effect to become detectable, in the long-run, the pause is killing the cause. We are stuck with the alarmists extreme weather du jour BS, for the short and medium-term.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Well I was quoting the National Academies of Science and I am holding out for a sensitivity of λ.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The most complete and reliable data is from the last couple of decades at most. This shows that warming from greenhouse gases is at most 0.08 degrees C/decades.

      The really exciting observations come from satellites.

    • climatereason, to see what Hansen showed, you would have to take the 30-year summer mean temperature from 1950-1980, and compare it with that in the last decade. Then you need to see what the standard deviation in 1950-1980 is and compare it with the shift. The shift varies regionally but over much of the US it is about one sigma. It is hard to tell for Britain from his maps, but he has a time series for Europe that shows a similar trend over the period.

    • Jimd

      So you are saying that we need to take data that shows nothing much is happening and manipulate it in order to torture the correct answer out of it?

      Would you like to link to the Hansen study you mention?

      Tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “The really exciting observations come from satellites.”
      _____
      I disagree. More meaningful are measurements of actual heat content of the ocean, and thus, more exciting is the continual expansion of the Argo platform over the past decade with big expansions planned in the future.

    • Tonyb, this is the Hansen paper.
      http://www.pnas.org/content/109/37/E2415.full.pdf+html%20target=_blank
      Note that Europe is shown in Figure 8. It is a larger area, so probably less noisy than a similar series for CET.
      The question he addresses is: How much has it changed since a climate reference period 1951-1980. Is the change noticeable? Do the 3-sigma extremes in the reference period become more common? You may not be so interested in seeing an answer to these questions in the temperature statistics, judging by your response, and that is fair enough, but he does answer them quantitatively.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “So you are saying that we need to take data that shows nothing much is happening…”
      ____
      Please share with me such data. The climate is very dynamic and something is always happening. If we are observant we’ll see what, and if we are wise, we’ll know why.

    • Jimd

      Wait a minute here. I post data going back to 1659 showing that temperatures have barely warmed over 350 years. You then show hansens figures showing data covering a fraction of that period. If we were to go further back to the mwp temperatures would be somewhat warmer than today. Temperatures rise and temperatures fall to temperatures warmer than today and colde than today. It is not a linear dice game
      Tonyb

    • Tonyb, I started on this thread talking about how much climate has changed, and saying that it has not yet changed enough to break all the continental records, and there are ways to quantify this in terms of standard deviations. Maybe you agree, or not, but you can check for yourself how much it has changed and see that it probably won’t break century records, so that people that bring up that these records are still standing are just blowing smoke. That was the point.

    • Jimd

      Fair enough

      Tonyb

    • R. Gates

      You object to:

      “We have no objective way of predicting the future of climate.”

      You cite models.

      But (as a result of the GIGO effect) these are not objective.

      And they have been notoriously ineffective in predicting the short-term future [eg. Hansen's failed 1988 prediction, the IPCC failed prediction of 0.2C per decade warming, just to name two].

      Max

    • The best proxy measure for ENSO El Nino and La Nina activity is the SOI and this has the long-term characteristic of always reverting to a mean value of zero.
      If the La Ninas continue, they have to get successively larger in scale to compensate the CO2 warming forcing factor. More likely is for the occasional El Nino to pop the SOI back towards zero and into reverse territory.

      As RG and JD state, this will lead to new record yearly-averaged global temperatures.

      The Cause of the Pause is due to thermodynamic Laws
      see the CSALT model
      note how well it models the pause
      http://imageshack.com/a/img513/5006/m4x.gif

      These laws can not be toyed with.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ARGO is useful for closing the energy budget. It tells you whether the world is warming by and large. Satellites reveal the why.

    • David Springer

      Don Monfort | January 11, 2014 at 12:08 pm |

      “If the world gets warmer, there will be winners and losers. The bats in Siberia will be snugger. In the meantime, the pause is killing the cause and you alarmists are left with moaning about common extreme weather events,”

      +1

  43. ” Jim Cripwell | January 11, 2014 at 9:31 am |

    Doc, you write “It is relatively easy to work out what is called the transient climate sensitivity, the relationship between atmospheric CO2 changes and global temperature, somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 for a doubling.”

    I agree completely. This is one of the reasons that CAGW is a very viable hypothesis. But the fact still remains that no-one, and I mean no-one, has actually measured the value of climate sensitivity, however defined. And no-one has measured a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time, or OHC/time graph.

    Until such measurements have been made, I maintain that the values estimated cannot be trusted, and that they are nothing more than guesses. “

    Isn’t this fun to read someone write stuff that makes no logical sense?

    On the one hand, the Cripster says “I agree completely” with Doc’s assertion of a TCR between 1.5 and 2.5.

    Then, only one sentence later, he disagrees with himself and eventually ends up stating that “the values estimated cannot be trusted, and that they are nothing more than guesses”.

    The skeptics get into these logical conundrums as they don’t dare diss their mates on Team Denier.

    • WHUT, you write “Isn’t this fun to read someone write stuff that makes no logical sense?”

      What I have written is completely logical. Yes, DocMartyn’s estimations make complete sense, with the assumptions that are inherent in the way this is done. This does not mean I agree with the values. Merely, I agree he has correctly done the arithmetic. But, these estimates cannot be trusted because

      1. They have not been confirmed by actual measurements.

      2. There is an assumption in them, neglecting convection, that may make them wrong.

      I cannot prove that the neglect of convection produces the wrong answer, but I suspect it does.

      So this does not negate my conclusion that, as no CO2 signal has been measured, there is a strong indication that the climate sensitivity of CO2, however defined, is 0.0 C to two significant figures or one placed of decimals.

    • Crip says DocMartyn is wrong and his “estimates cannot be trusted”

      Dissension on Team Denier.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      This are two teams – and I am part of neither. The continued carping on this – however – merely brings down the tone of the neighborhood.

    • David Springer

      WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | January 11, 2014 at 11:22 am | Reply

      “The skeptics get into these logical conundrums as they don’t dare diss their mates on Team Denier”

      I believe I’m an equal opportunity disser. I got some of the stupider skeptics here banned. That idiot that kept saying that visible light can’t warm something for one. I can’t police every comment but stupid is as stupid does and there’s plenty of stupid on both side. You’re no slouch at teh stupid yourself.

    • David Springer

      Skeptics are not organized by under an anything similar to the IPCC which basically a clearinghouse for everyone on the Hockey Stick Team to get their stories straight. Sort of like criminals conspiring to make sure they all tell the same story to police.

    • WHUT you write “Crip says DocMartyn is wrong and his “estimates cannot be trusted”

      Dissension on Team Denier.”

      Evidently you don’t realise that I only trust measured data. ANY claim that the value of climate sensitivity is known, that does not rely on measured data is untrustworthy, IMHO. Irrespective of who makes that claim.

  44. Generalissimo Skippy

    Oh – of course – December temperature is the critical climate metric.

    Webby refuses to regress against the PDO and AMO. SST is the major mode of ocean/atmospheric coupling and this particular bit of illogic is webby’s downfall.

    The main game is understanding the dynamics of shifts between states.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      SST drive surface temps. So you don’t want to know what’s driving surface temps but use the SOI. The SOI is driven by Pacific Ocean SST.

      e.g. http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/024001/fulltext/

      But this must violate a blog rule or 2 – you have been reported.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      And what is this Generalissimo nonsense Chief?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Despite my refusal to confirm or deny my true identity – this seems less a pseudonym than a nom ge guerre. I have one nom de guerre.

      ‘Noms de guerre were adopted by members of the French resistance during World War II for security reasons. Such pseudonyms are often adopted by military special forces soldiers, such as members of the SAS and other similar units, resistance fighters, terrorists, and guerrillas. This practice hides their identities and may protect their families from reprisals; it may also be a form of dissociation from domestic life.’

      Partly game and metaphor – partly a reminder of the hell of the climate war – partly a suppression of my natural openness and spontaneity.

      So what’s with the petty and offensive nonsense gatesy?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      You’ve answered the question Generalissimo Chief Skippy Hydro, thank you. Let’s stick now to the science and more interesting topics than what you call yourself or why. Now let’s move on to this:

      “SST drive surface temps.”
      _____
      Do you agree that on net, SST’s drive surface temperatures as they represent energy on its way out of the ocean to troposphere. Simple, yes?

    • Rgates

      Any idea of the relative energy output of the Gulf stream as compared to ‘ordinary’ SST’s?

      tonyb

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Far too simple gatesy.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Tony,

      Not sure of your question. Mean what is the average sensible and latent heat flux from the Gulf Stream versus SST’s where? Globally? In the Gulf Stream?

    • R Gates

      You said SST’s drive surface temperatures. I was trying to relate that to my situation on the south west coast of England influenced by the Gulf stream, as opposed to a part of the country not affected by the Gulf stream.

      tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Tony,

      Of course closer to the ocean would have a stronger influence directly, but the latent heat flux especially would have an influence over the whole region. I’ve not studied the Gulf Stream’s influence on your lovely island in detail, but I’m am sure there’s a great deal of wonderful research on this interesting topic.

    • The Gulf Stream benefits the whole of northwest Europe including all of Britain. London is much warmer than many other parts of the world at its latitude, especially in winter.

    • Rgates and JIm D

      I did some sporadic work on the Gulf stream several years ago, which follows. Not sure you are right Jimd, but you will both enjoy the cartoon in the British Pathe link

      —————- ——-

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/29/atlantic-conveyor-belt-still-going-strong-and-will-be-the-day-after-tomorrow/#more-17910

      good diagram
      Ifft; George N., 1922, “The Changing Arctic”, Monthly Weather Review, Nov 1922,

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/16/you-ask-i-provide-november-2nd-1922-arctic-ocean-getting-warm-seals-vanish-and-icebergs-melt/

      Click the article to see the full article
      changing-arctic_monthly_wx_review.png.
      The PDF of that page exists here from NOAA’s archives. Thanks

      This 1907 newspaper cutting reports that the gulf stream is cooling and slowing
      http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9903E2DF173EE233A25751C2A9669D946697D6CF

      This was prior to the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 from icebergs that were much farther south than usual, and was the precursor to the start of the 1917-1940 warm period in the arctic. Something similar seems to have happened around 1820 as well.

      The workings of the Gulf stream were described in this British Pathe News reel (linked below) which would have been shown in 1936-during this extreme warm period which bore many similarities to today. If we can forget recorded incidents that happened only within peoples lifetime, what hope is there of pointing out other warming incidents in the more distant past?

      http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=10775

      This news reel also includes details of an American plan that would have diverted the Gulf Stream away from the UK!
      Look out for the graphics at the end which manages to mix Penguins and the North Pole
      More on the Gulf Stream myth.
      MONTHLY WEATHER REVIEW September, 1900
      “By itself alone the Gulf Stream has as much effect on the climate of northwestern Europe as the fly in the fable had in carrying the stagecoach up the hill.”
      …….
      “The mild climate of northwestern Europe is due, not to the Gulf Stream, but to the prevailing eastward and northeastward drift of the cir- cumpolar atmospheric circulation, whose aerial currents, and not the Gulf Stream, distribute the heat conserved by the whole Atlantic Ocean north of latitude 35O (roughly) over Europe.” Source: PDF
      Yet the myth survives even after being ridiculed over 100 years ago

      —— —–
      tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “The mild climate of northwestern Europe is due, not to the Gulf Stream, but to the prevailing eastward and northeastward drift of the cir- cumpolar atmospheric circulation.”
      _____
      Nope. The energy coming off the Gulf Stream is ultimately the cause of the mild climate of NW Europe. Without that sensible and latent heat flux, it wouldn’t matter what the atmospheric circulation was doing, NW Europe would be much colder.

    • The sea ice edge is much farther north off Norway and Scotland than it would be without these warm surface currents. Without these limitations to sea ice extent, the cold blasts from sea ice areas would be noticeable additions to the British winter.

    • JIm and R Gates

      The link to the pdf didn’t appear. Here it is; Its from American Scientist.

      https://www.americanscientist.org/issues/issue.aspx?id=999&y=0&no=&content=true&page=5&css=print

      I am playing devils advocate here hence my original question to RGates about the amount of energy contained in the Gulf Stream

      What is your opinion of the AS article?
      tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Tony,

      Thanks for the link. You know Seager’s views are based on his own numerical model and are not widely accepted, right? It doesn’t mean his ideas might not have merit, but they are not based on observation nor actual measurement. One chart he gives on ocean versus atmospheric heat transport in higher latitudes is extremely misleading related to the Gulf Stream’s regional effects, as it would at best be an estimate average over the hemisphere but not accurate for over the N. Atlantic specifically near the Gulf Stream. Thus a misleading result or perception on the Gulf Stream’s relative regional importance to NW Europe.

      Overall though, a very interesting article. Thanks.

    • Checking papers that refer to the work of Seager, we can find out that their results have not been accepted uniformly. A review article by Kuhlbrodt et al states:

      Seager et al. [2002] have argued that the effect of ocean heat transport on climate has been overstated, but some of their calculations have been shown to be in error, causing an underestimation of the effect of ocean heat transport [Rhines and Hä̈kkinen, 2003].

      The manuscript of the article of Rhines and Häkkinen is found here. They have written also many later papers on related issues as Google Scholar tells.

      Rhines and Häkkinen write on Seager’s argument:

      Here we argue that while (i) is true it is misleading, (ii) is based on a simple logical fallacy in their paper, and is incorrect for much of the northern Atlantic, and by neglecting (iii) they have missed the most important climate interaction of all.

      One could hardly argue against the persuasive reasoning provided by SBYGNCC that the maritime climate maintains the temperature contrast between the North America and Europe. However, their conclusions regarding removal of the oceanic heat transport could be taken to mean that oceanic heat transport has no significant consequence for the climate in Europe and elsewhere, beyond a minor warming of 0C-3C.
      [..]
      In summary, accounting for the fresh water accumulation at the high latitudes alters significantly the picture suggested by SBYGNCC: It is the existence of the oceanic heat transport that allows the maritime effect to operate in the northern North Atlantic and to create a milder European climate than in the North America; without the heat transport, ice would likely extend over much greater areas of ocean and land. Since the northward heat transport and southward fresh water transport in the Atlantic are strongly tied together, removing oceanic heat transport influences the climate and atmospheric circulation in ways that are not possible to simulate with a simple mixed layer model coupled to an atmospheric model.

    • Tony B

      The Gulf Stream keeps us from freezing to death in Switzerland, as well.

      Without it, we’d be like the good folks in Winnipeg or Harbin.

      Max

    • David Springer

      R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 11, 2014 at 12:12 pm |

      “Do you agree that on net, SST’s drive surface temperatures as they represent energy on its way out of the ocean to troposphere. Simple, yes?”

      That’s the simplest starting point, yes.

      Write down the following please:

      In the big picture the sun heats the ocean the ocean heats the atmosphere.

    • David

      Yes, in principle, which was the point of this sub thread. However living close to the gulf stream (100 yards) I can observe that its effect is greatly diminished as it cools in the autumn . When the temperature of the land is 12C as it is today and the sea temperature is 9C, as it is today it will surely provide no measurable warming.

      I would observe that if we have a cold December, by January the effects of the gulf stream seem very small and do not prevent frosts at night. So, yes in principle, but with caveats. The sun has a dramatic effect on SST’s from around May to September in our part of the world. No sun and the SST remain low.

      tonyb

    • Tony,

      Your argument does not make sense. How do you imagine to know, what the temperature would be without the Gulf stream?

      It’s to be expected that there’s variability with it as there would be without, but the whole range of temperatures would be shifted without Gulf stream enough to make a real difference. It might well be that all of Finland would be tundra with a lot of permafrost and England would also be much colder than it’s know. Scandinavian mountains would probably have very large glaciers.

    • Pekka

      So, lets imagine we have our first warm day in early April after a gloomy March. The surface temperature is a pleasant 22C . The sea temperature is 11C.

      Please clarify how much of the 22C land temperature is contributed by the 11C sea temperature?

      Tonyb

    • Tony,

      Your question does not make sense to me, it’s not a well posed question as the word “contributes” lacks the reference points that would be needed to make it meaningful.

      This is exactly the problem that you cannot observe how much colder England would be without the Gulf stream as you have not lived in such an England. Scientists have estimates of that, but the work of Seager is not convincing. The text in American Scientists uses arguments that are really strange and confusing in discussing the influence of mountain ranges and angular momentum. He may have something correct in his mind but the way he presents the arguments leads to further loss of confidence. He’s certainly right in that there are other important factors as well in the variation of climate with longitude, but then everyone is likely to agree on that.

    • Let us peck at the
      Contribution of a cloud;
      Puff, effervescent.
      ============

    • Pekka

      I said

      “So, lets imagine we have our first warm day in early April after a gloomy March. The surface temperature is a pleasant 22C . The sea temperature is 11C. Please clarify how much of the 22C land temperature is contributed by the 11C sea temperature.’

      You said its not a well posed question.

      Lets be more specific. I would observe that the sun heats the ocean. I would observe however that the ocean does not ALWAYS heat the atmosphere, like when, for example, the air temperature is 22C and the ocean temperature is 11C.

      Is that correct?

      tonyb

    • Tony,

      The ocean does not always heat the atmosphere, but a warm ocean has always a different effect from a cold ocean, both when it’s heating and when it’s cooling.

    • Pekka
      Ok, lets take that to the next logical stage.

      The ocean does not always heat the atmosphere.

      Assuming that somehow, enough heat has by passed the surface sensors to reach the abyssal depths and raise the temperature down there by 0.1C, how much will that warm the atmosphere?

      tonyb

    • First, the question has no meaning for us. Mankind will most likely never experience additional “warmth” rising up from the abyssal depths. How could it? It’s ice cold.

    • Tony,

      Again a question that’s not well posed. To give a reasonable answer would require fixing really many other things. Making different additional assumptions on factors that were not specified almost any answer could be given to that question. Saying “keeping everything else fixed” would not help because only externally controlled factors can be changed keeping everything else fixed.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Write down the following please:

      In the big picture the sun heats the ocean the ocean heats the atmosphere.
      _____
      Was this basic well-understood thermodynamic supposed to be a revelation to someone?

      However, to complete it, you should note that the sun also heats the atmosphere and the atmosphere (in certain regions of the Earth), can warm the ocean at times, so your statement is more accurate when talking about net energy flux on a global scale.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Tony,

      You should keep in mind that much of the energy that the Gulf stream delivers you your wonderful island home comes from latent heat that leaves the ocean thousands of miles away and is therefore transported via the atmosphere. Make no mistake…the Gulf Stream is the origin of that latent heat, but it comes in the form of moisture that has evaporated off the ocean surface long the Gulf Stream nears Great Britain.

    • R Gates

      Good. Now you can answer this with specific amounts;.

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/10/week-in-review-11/#comment-436289
      tonyb

    • Assuming that somehow, enough heat has by passed the surface sensors to reach the abyssal depths …

      This is wrong. Josh Willis plainly said ARGO sensors are not programmed to try and detect heat moving from layer to layer.

      So it did not “somehow…bypass surface sensors. He said the answer can probably be found in the data if somebody does the work. To the sensible it would be a complete and utter waste of time. To the politically motivated, they have no interest in finding an answer they do not want to find. That would be bad politics.

    • Assuming that somehow, enough heat has by passed the surface sensors to reach the abyssal depths and raise the temperature

      Changes in the abyssal depths (without accompanying changes above) are a result of dissipation from braking friction from wind stress.The kinetic energy is transferred ballistically and not by diffusion.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Tony said:

      “climatereason | January 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
      R Gates

      Good. Now you can answer this with specific amounts;.

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/10/week-in-review-11/#comment-436289
      tonyb

      ____
      As I said before when you asked, I am far from an expert on latent and sensible heat from the Gulf Stream, so you’ll need to do your own further research Tony. I know that there are many excellent research papers on this interesting topic.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “This is wrong. Josh Willis plainly said ARGO sensors are not programmed to try and detect heat moving from layer to layer.

      So it did not “somehow…bypass surface sensors.”
      ___
      This is actually dynamically wrong-thinking. You’d might as well try and measure how much heat your jacket in the winter is “forcing” into your body. Answer: none. The atmosphere is not forcing net heat or energy into the ocean, so there is nothing to “bypass” sensors with. The net flow is always OUT, by a wide margin varies naturally according to ENSO, PDO, and AMO on the short-term, and GH gas concentrations over the longer-term.

    • Rgates

      Wait a minute here. It’s YOU who get so worried about the supposed heat that might be fractionally warming the abyssal depths. If you are so worried it must be because you believe the heat stored is going to have a serious Impact on the surface temperatures

      Are you saying you don’t know the impact, if any? If so, why do you get so worried.

      Tonyb

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Tony asked:

      “Assuming that somehow, enough heat has by passed the surface sensors to reach the abyssal depths and raise the temperature down there by 0.1C, how much will that warm the atmosphere?”
      _____
      You’re asking me to go back and do math that I’ve not done since my college days. To answer it accurately, you’d need to be more specific in your question—what part of the ocean is .1C warmer? (from what depth to what depth). We need to know what volume of water you’re asking about. In general though, such as large increase in ocean temps over the whole ocean volume would be equal to many tens of degrees of warming in the troposphere if somehow all released at once (which of course it never would be). In terms of energy, it would be the equivalent of over 100 x 10^22 Joules of energy.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “It’s YOU who get so worried about the supposed heat that might be fractionally warming the abyssal depths…”
      _____

      “Worried” is a bit strong. Concerned, yes, and mainly from what ocean experts are already seeing happening in the ocean. I don’t lose sleep over this, but I do pay attention.

    • The abyssal ocean is everything below 3000 meters. Some sources throw in the 1000 meters between 2000 and 3000.

      Get real.

      Abyssal waters around Antarctica – .03C per decade.

      Most of the abyssal ocean – .003C per decade.

    • RGates

      It is difficult to see how Trenberth’s abyssal missing heat will have any real world impact, whether the heat exists or not

      tonyb

    • What on earth makes you think Trenberth’s missing heat is below 3000 meters?

      If you think that, you are very very wrong.

      R. Gates did not seem to know where you are going. He acts as though you were asking a genuine question. You were not.

      And this has been pointed out before. Lol.

      So you’ve accomplished nothing with dazzlingly game to nowhere. They have found a some of the missing heat, but not all of it. That is not surprising as Trenberth said from the beginning that some of it may have been reflected back to space.

      The pools of water that participate in ENSO are warmer, which means that can effect surface temperature.

    • JCH

      dazzling game? R gates has posted lots of papers on the subject.

      Neither you nor he can say where the heat is (in the abyss apparently-but you seem to say otherwise) and how it will effect the real world. Please be explicit and show your work. Links and a logical argument supporting the links would help.
      Genuine question.
      tonyb

  45. Generalissimo Skippy

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/10/week-in-review-11/#comment-435447

    There are very easy and significant gains to be made on climate forcings that have nothing to do with carbon dioxide.

    It all seems irrelevant and simplistic battles of narrative.

    Both sides here – and in the post – have lost the ability to focus on the important issue How does the world move forward in practical and pragmatic ways?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “How does the world move forward in practical and pragmatic ways?”
      ___
      To “move forward” as you say, implies a shared vision of where it is we need to go and more importantly, why we need to go there. We are a long ways from that having that shared vision, the “where” and “why” are vastly different.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “There are very easy and significant gains to be made on climate forcings that have nothing to do with carbon dioxide.”
      ______
      Please give examples.

    • A starting point is whether we want the CO2 forcing by itself to go up to 5 W/m2 by 2100. Can the world agree to ‘no’? Even if they do agree on this question, it is tough to do anything to stop or even slow it.

    • David Springer

      R.Gates

      Skippy is probably referring to conservation agriculture (no-till or low-till) which, among other things, raises the amount of carbon in the soil. I’m not convinced it’s either cheap or can significantly change atmospheric CO2 content because very little of the earth’s surface is devoted to high intensity agriculture which results in depleted s0il carbon. As far a reducing greenhouse warming the low hanging fruit is methane not carbon dioxide in any case. Nobody is very interested in actually reducing the greenhouse effect they’re interested in reducing the human footprint on the planet and that means go after the fuels which sustain the infrastructure that sustains 7 billion living souls.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Nobody is very interested in actually reducing the greenhouse effect they’re interested in reducing the human footprint on the planet and that means go after the fuels which sustain the infrastructure that sustains 7 billion living souls.”
      ____
      A sustainable future in which each human being has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential. An opportunity which will only be realized through their own hard work and efforts, and cooperation with their fellow human beings.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Which bit of non CO2 and significant early gains don’t you understand? Doing one and not the other is pointless myopia.

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50171/full

      http://www.epa.gov/blackcarbon/mitigation.html

      http://www.unep.org/dewa/Portals/67/pdf/BlackCarbon_report.pdf

      As far as agriculture is concerned – I have talked in detail about increasing productivity on both grazing lands in particular.

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/07/soil-carbon-permanent-pasture-as-an-approach-to-co2-sequestration/

      There are many promising avenues.

      e.g http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/07/soil-carbon-permanent-pasture-as-an-approach-to-co2-sequestration/

      Are we able to chew gum and walk at the same time? Surely it is possible.

    • All much easier in a warming world than a cooling world.
      =========

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “All much easier in a warming world than a cooling world.”
      ____
      Within a range, yes. But we’ve been down this rabbit hole before, eh?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      In other words, once that range is exceeded, things fall apart (or bats fall dead out of the trees) pretty fast.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      And of course methane forcing was mentioned in the quote – quite significant in a multi-gas strategy.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “bats fall dead out of the trees pretty fast.”
      ____
      Okay, a warmer world will not have bats falling any faster (as gravity isn’t changing) but they might be falling more frequently, until of course their numbers are reduced greatly.

    • David Springer

      R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 11, 2014 at 1:23 pm |

      “A sustainable future in which each human being has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential. An opportunity which will only be realized through their own hard work and efforts, and cooperation with their fellow human beings.”

      Better living through social engineering. The real Gates makes a showing. Shall we bring back eugenics? A lot of human suffering is due to genetic defects which can be eliminated from the gene pool by controlling reproduction. We don’t even have to sterilize people anymore we can detect the deformities in the womb and nip it in the bud before the carrier gets a chance to reproduce.

    • David Springer

      @Skippy

      I thought about mentioning grazing land but isn’t the larger problem the fact that there are no longer thundering herds of bison and similar ruminants turning the soil over with hooves and improving it with dung? Presumably land used for grazing domestic cattle is already getting the hoof/dung treatment, right?

    • David Springer

      R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 11, 2014 at 1:23 pm |

      “A sustainable future in which each human being has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential. An opportunity which will only be realized through their own hard work and efforts, and cooperation with their fellow human beings.”

      Straight from the master-race manifesto. Better one prince than one hundred peasants.

      Who are you, Gates, to judge the quality of someone else’s life? For most people any life is better than no life. Better to be poor and alive than never be born at all. Maybe you don’t feel that way but it’s not your call to make. The only person that has a right to judge whether life is good enough or not is the person living it.

      Write that down of course.

  46. Richard Alley has a recent talk for a general audience on climate change and how to make decisions in uncertainty. Nothing really new, but he always has an entertaining way of putting issues to the public.

    • To trash-talk CO2 he’s either got to be a maroon, a feckless ideologue or a Western academic.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Nothing new probably covers it adequately.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Thanks, Jim D. Good talk, unless you are a denier. Alley gives deniers the hives.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Alley gives deniers the hives.”
      _____
      Yep.

    • Penn State apparently teaches that humanity is some kind of mistake.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      • Snarkiness is not appreciated here; nastiness and excessive rudeness are not allowed.
      • Don’t grind your personal axes by filling up the comments with extensive posts that are not deemed relevant or interesting in the context of blog objectives.

      There is very little that this contributes to discourse other than an adversarial atmosphere.

      I have referred it to Judy.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      That’s a blog rule gates – and attempts at blogospheric identity theft notwithstanding – my quotes are always from peer reviewed articles or from reputable sources – and germane to the point.

      This seems more like gratuitous ad hom than anything calculated to add to civil discourse. Take it as given that it has been reported to Judy.

    • He gives an analogy of seat belts, insurance, etc., that we do, even though they protect against possible bad, even if unlikely, events. Somehow the need to protect against possible bad events in climate is not thought of in the same way among the “skeptics”, but we are seeing policy-makers shifting towards mitigation of emissions and protection against changing aspects of the environment, so he would largely be preaching to the converted, assuming he had a common-sense respecting audience.

  47. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm |

    “the past 16 months in Australia have been anything but “common” extreme weather events. Record shattering means, by definition,”

    As have the sea ice records from the Antarctic.

    So we have ‘record’ warm and ‘record’ cold both in the southern hemisphere at the same time apparently. And CO2 is somehow responsible for both.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “So we have ‘record’ warm and ‘record’ cold both in the southern hemisphere at the same time apparently. And CO2 is somehow responsible for both.”
      ____
      The growth of sea ice in Antarctica is not caused by record cold over the sea ice, but is certainly related to atmospheric circulation patterns and winds, and certainly increasing GH gases could be related to both in the long run.

    • Richard, re “CO2 is somehow responsible for both,” I made a similar point in a letter to the Australian yesterday:

      “Sea level rose about 120 metres from the last glacial minimum 21,000 years ago until about 7,000 years ago, then a further 3 metres or so to 2000 years ago. Since then, there has been no net rise, but some variation. For example, at Barrow Alaska, after a rise between 265-500 AD, sea level dropped about two metres and the Eskimo settlement Birnik formed. A rise between 1000-1100 flooded the settlement; at present, sea level at Birnik is about 0.6 – 1.0 metre below the high water level. Similar changes are recorded in England.

      “From 1910-2005, sea level has risen about 20 cms (8 inches). So I doubt that there is any basis for your story claiming that the recent exposure of a frozen Alaskan Eskimo village was by (manmade) “global warming” washing away the coastline (“Objects frozen in time revealed,” 11-12 Jan). Unfortunately, “global warming” has become a catch-cry allowing humans to be blamed for weather events and other changes which are in no way abnormal.”

      http://notrickszone.com/2011/02/16/a-level-look-at-sea-levels/

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      It is a matter of finding the anthropogenic fingerprint or forcing amongst the noise of natural or internal variability, rather than denying that such a fingerprint exists at all. How much of the current record shattering warmth in Australia is natural variability versus anthropogenic? How much of the natural variability can be influenced by the anthropogenic? These are the key questions, and they are asked against the backdrop of continually increasing energy in Earth’s climate system over the past many decades.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, skeptical warmist: It is a matter of finding the anthropogenic fingerprint or forcing amongst the noise of natural or internal variability, rather than denying that such a fingerprint exists at all. How much of the current record shattering warmth in Australia is natural variability versus anthropogenic? How much of the natural variability can be influenced by the anthropogenic? These are the key questions, and they are asked against the backdrop of continually increasing energy in Earth’s climate system over the past many decades.

      That is certainly well said. Hence so much questioning along the lines of: Is this really different from what happened so often before when CO2 levels were lower? And, If late 20th century change really is different from late 19th century change, is the difference bad? Those of us who are strong “climate change affirmers” think that the proponents of CO2-induced climate change are in denial about past changes, their extent and causes. Routinely we hear the unsubstantiated claim (among many) that the processes that induced late 19th century mean global warming can’t be happening any more because we do not know exactly what they were. Yet late 19th century change and late 20th century change are hardly distinguishable.

    • Faustino,

      You refer to the change from last glacial maximum. At that time the atmospheric CO2 concentration was about 180 ppm. There’s still much unknown in the transition from LGM to present interglacial, but it appears certain that the rise of CO2 concentration by 100 ppm was a very important factor in the change. CO2 concentration rose by 56% to preindustrial values. A further rise by 56% leads to 430 ppm, which we (or at least those younger than me) are likely to see in not too far future.

      When the earlier increase of 56% was a major component in the very large change from LGM, why should the next 56% have a very small effect? A change of the magnitude is perhaps not even possible, but a significan change is.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “When the earlier increase of 56% was a major component in the very large change from LGM, why should the next 56% have a very small effect? A change of the magnitude is perhaps not even possible, but a significan change is.”
      ____
      When looking at change, we need to also look at the rate of change. Nothing in the paleoclimate record matches the rapidity of the current GH gas increases. The logarithmic effect of increasing CO2 is not in question, and so overall, we would expect a change from 180 to 360 to be more than a change from 360 to 720 ppm, so whereas the first might bring us 6C, the later might only bring us 4C. But in calculating this, we need to keep in mind the rate of change can overwhelm natural feedbacks and we can quickly go into an overshoot condition. Also, we must not forget that methane and N2O are at their highest levels in millions of years or longer and they have some positive non-zero effect.

    • R. Gates,

      The point of my argument is not to estimate the real effect. It’s not valid for that, because the remaining ice sheets and snow cover do not allow for similar albedo changes than melting of the ice of LGM. My point is only that arguing that future changes are certain or very likely to be small cannot be based on very generic arguments.

      It’s equally easy to generate simple arguments that exaggerate the GHE than arguments that belittle it. Only way of getting more justified estimates is to use present scientific knowledge.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Yet late 19th century change and late 20th century change are hardly distinguishable.”
      ____
      Respectfully, when looking at the mixture of forcing, this is completely incorrect. Whereas we had a diminishing volcanic aerosols and rising solar activity in the late 19th century into the early part of the 20th, then we had declining solar activity and declining overall aerosol loading after about 1970 or so. But what we also had in the late 20th was rapidly increasing GH gas concentrations, So, while the net change might appear similar, the mixture of forcings needs to be looked at. Here in the early 21st century we of course have continued high and increasing GH gas concentrations, but also continued declining TSI and a moderate increase in aerosols. So a more complex picture emerges in which total energy input to the system has declined by a few tenths of a w/m^2, but output declined even more from natural variability and continued GH forcing, The point is, one can’t just compare the sensible heat in the troposphere over any two periods and declare them indistinguishable from a climate perspective, but one needs to look at the sum and nature of all the forcings and the changing nature of the total energy in the system to get an accurate perspective.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Only way of getting more justified estimates is to use present scientific knowledge.”
      ____
      100% agree, and that knowledge comes from multiple sources, including paleo, models, and direct observations. When all 3 begin to converge (i.e. putting a squeeze on the uncertainty monster) we can call that progress.

    • Richard, re “CO2 is somehow responsible for both,” I made a similar point in a letter to the Australian yesterday:

      The continent itself refute this. In some areas extent is growing; in other areas it is shrinking. It can’t shrink if it’s colder.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      It is far from true that all these sources are equivalent – the best observations are the most recent and this shows a rate of warming from greenhouse gases of at most 0.08 degrees C/decade. This is hardly likely to be an existential threat any time soon – if it were not for climate wilding.

      Models are useful only for generating pdf at some time in the future.

    • The basic approach is clear on this level of principles. Unfortunately all methods have their own uncertainties of a nature that makes it impossible to give fully objective error estimates. Therefore not only “skeptics” but also all scientists have their own different ideas on the relative weight each method should be given.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      There are a number of different methods using data from the past few decades – and they all converge on 0.06 to 0.08 degree C/decade.

    • Antarctic Sea Ice Extent

      One of the areas with the largest growth in extent is the Ross Sea, which is where the Russian ship got trapped in the ice, and a big reason what scientists would want to go there. They are trying to figure out how the collision between B-9B and the tongue of the Mertz Glacier in 2010 has changed the area. The tongue was a prominent feature when Mawson was there. In 2010 it all but disappeared.

      To which kim said there was no scientific purpose. Lol. Without even thinking about.

    • Pekka @ 3.40, I was merely trying to put in context the claim that the recent discovery of an old Eskimo settlement and artefacts was due to sea-level rise caused by anthropogenic global warming. There seem to be no grounds for that claim, and some scientists and much media frequently attribute to AGW particular events or weather without any obvious justification. The claims were specifically related to Alaskan Eskimo settlements, and NTZ had some relevant evidence.

      The context in which I wrote is that the current Australian government is re-examining the CAGW issue and policies relating to emissions reductions. The atmospherics and public opinion are influenced by many stories attributing global warming without evidence – it is, as I said, a catch-cry. This is an attempt to counter-balance that. I’m pretty sure that virtually no one who read the story would have the background provided in my letter, and they would be likely to take the attribution at face value.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: Respectfully, when looking at the mixture of forcing, this is completely incorrect. Whereas we had a diminishing volcanic aerosols and rising solar activity in the late 19th century into the early part of the 20th, then we had declining solar activity and declining overall aerosol loading after about 1970 or so. But what we also had in the late 20th was rapidly increasing GH gas concentrations, So, while the net change might appear similar, the mixture of forcings needs to be looked at.

      I think your phrase “completely incorrect” is unjustified on the evidence. It is, as you say, best to take everything into account, but with everything taken into account it is hardly possible to distinguish late 20th century rise from late 19th century rise. At best there a lot of different models with diverse estimates of past forcings (most past forcings having been poorly estimated); some models show a late 20th century CO2 effect and some do not. We are sort of like the designers of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge before construction began: Will it stand like the Golden Gate Bridge or fall like some of the other failures of suspension bridges? There was a debate about its stability in those windy conditions before construction began. The answer was learned subsequently, and a detailed, adequate mathematical model developed decades later. For climate, we have a lot of poorly quantified forcings, but not a model that has been well-tested in these circumstances, and people confidently clamoring for money and large construction projects.

  48. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm |

    “It is a matter of finding the anthropogenic fingerprint or forcing amongst the noise of natural or internal variability”

    And there in lies the rub. So what values would you place on natural factors over the last 60, 120 and180 years?

    What concrete evidence do you have as to the magnitude and phase of these factors? What about any longer term natural factors? Say 100+ years?

    How do you explain the drop in temperature to, say, 1840? Was that drop related to CO2? If not why is he rise since then?

    • Estimating the influence of one factor is not necessarily done by listing all possible alternatives but by studying the data and the effects of that one factor.

      In case of climate change making estimates of AGW requires that the existence of natural variability is acknowledged, but the strength of AGW can be estimated handling the natural variability as noise. The better noise model we have the more accurately we can determine the signal, but estimates done using a poorer noise model are also significant.

    • Pekka you write “The better noise model we have the more accurately we can determine the signal, but estimates done using a poorer noise model are also significant.”

      You have not addressed Richard’s points. If the periods of the natural noise are long compared with the time over which the CO2 signal is being measured, there will ALWAYS be residuals from the noise. Unless you can quantify what these residuals are, then you have no hope of detecting a CO2 signal. It is not the quality of the model that is in question, but the total inadequacy of the data. This is why trying to estimate climate sensitivity from actual observations is unlikely to give any useful information, except to try and tell what the maximum value of climate sensitivity is..

    • Pekka Pirilä | January 11, 2014 at 4:18 pm |

      “In case of climate change making estimates of AGW requires that the existence of natural variability is acknowledged, but the strength of AGW can be estimated handling the natural variability as noise.”

      So is a 60 year cycle with a magnitude of +-0.2C noise?

    • Yes, It’s a specific type of noise as long as it cannot be predicted. Few people think that it’s strictly periodic, rather the periodicity is considered to be a qualitative description. Therefore it cannot be predicted.

      A noise model should allow for this kind of autocorrelations in the noise. Historical data tells about the strength and autocorrelations of past variability, and that determines the appropriate noise model. Many of the methods used are consistent with this idea even, when they have been technically different.

    • @ R. Gates:“It is a matter of finding the anthropogenic fingerprint or forcing amongst the noise of natural or internal variability”

      and

      Pekka “The better noise model we have the more accurately we can determine the signal, but estimates done using a poorer noise model are also significant.”

      I am waiting for someone to point out the obvious fact that those pointy, spiky things on the plots of historical TOE (AGT, Max), usually one data point per year, are not noise: they are the results of connecting data points (Whether assigning a single temperature to each year, however that temperature is defined, means anything or not is another subject.). Data is data. Noise would be the uncertainty in the measurement of each data point.

      If you can model the ‘noise’ as referred to in your posts, you have in fact modeled the climate.

    • Bob Ludwick | January 11, 2014 at 5:22 pm |

      “Noise would be the uncertainty in the measurement of each data point.”

      That would be true if were it not for the fact that most people in climate describe the high frequency part of the data/time series as ‘noise’.

      Just need to adopt the terms that they use even if they are not necessarily ‘true’ :-)

    • In climate, weather is noise, nothing to do with measurement accuracy.

    • Pekka Pirilä | January 11, 2014 at 4:39 pm |

      “Yes, It’s a specific type of noise as long as it cannot be predicted.”

      So is it still noise if it appears to have a strong cyclic component?

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:220/mean:174/mean:144/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:720

    • Yes, it can be considered noise in spite of the apparent peridicity, when the goal is to determine climate sensitivity or related parameters. Special considerations may be needed in the choice of the noise model.

    • RichardLH, that would not be noise, I would say, if a forcing change can be recognized that follows a similar oscillation. Candidates for those waves are solar variations and albedo changes due to aerosols, probably a combination. Forcing changes that show up when smoothed over 30 years, are significant for climate, taking the 30-year definition for climate.

    • I agree that a solar component proportional to TSI could be determined as another causal component. Aerosols are also a factor that is not noise, but may be more difficult to separate. ENSO can be included in the noise or taken as a specific component of variability.

    • In climate, weather is noise,

      Noise causes interglacials and glaciation eg Benzi.

      http://www.math.pitt.edu/~troy/stochastic/benzipaper1.pdf

      Noise is also a major player in boom bust cycles in economics eg Slutsky. and biological systems,

      http://www.nonlin-processes-geophys.net/17/431/2010/npg-17-431-2010.pdf

    • Pekka Pirilä | January 11, 2014 at 5:53 pm |

      “Yes, it can be considered noise in spite of the apparent periodicity”

      APPARENT! Well given the fact the data series is as short as it is I am not sure how much more periodic it would have to be to be certain of a clear 60 year cycle of +-0.2C!

      Please note that this is just a near Gaussian low pass filter of the data to date. This is NOT a tuned filter or FT. It says there is a lot of energy in the 60 year period. A LOT.

      It also leaves a residual that has a rise factor that is rather too early for CO2 to be the main cause.

      I suppose just a few more years should do it.

      Alternatively I CAN make CO2 responsible for everything since 1960.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:220/mean:174/mean:144/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:720/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.006/offset:-1.93

    • @ RichardLH

      “That would be true if were it not for the fact that most people in climate describe the high frequency part of the data/time series as ‘noise’.”

      They can describe it anyway they want. It is still data and the uncertainty in each data point is still the ‘noise’. Of course progressives are like Humpty Dumpty: “‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'”

      It is a bit like the old saw: Q. If I call his tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? A. Four. Doesn’t make any difference what you call it, it is still a tail.

    • Noise is defined by what you define the signal as. If climate is the signal, weather is the noise.

    • @Jim D

      “Noise is defined by what you define the signal as. If climate is the signal, weather is the noise.”

      So in these never ending graphs of the time history of the ‘Temperature of the Earth’, with one data point per year, showing trend lines extrapolated into the far future, and announcing the previous year as the hottest (or second hottest, or third hottest, or…….. , each case cited as proof positive of ACO2 driven CAGW) year on record, what do the yearly data points represent, climate or weather?

    • Bob L, you can put a trend line in there, and I would not use less than 30 years, and that is your climate change.

    • RichardHLH is right. It’s likely all CO2.

      The 60 year modulation is related to the LOD Stadium Wave which also maps to the Atmospheric Circulation Index. These revert to the mean, so they have no influence on long-term trends.

      The CSALT model carefully keeps track of all the thermodynamic factors and discriminates the CO2 signal with high resolution.

      The Cause of the Pause is due to thermodynamic Laws

    • Cyclical noise always sounds like a contradiction in terms to me. Sure, you can write down ARMA processes that are ultimately weighted sums of a white noise series, but they have those pesky persistence properties, which an uneducated but smart layman would call a pattern in his naiveté. And he’d be right.

      I’ve always thought that when someone writes (say) “the errors follow an AR(1) process,” the translation is “There is a cycle in the data and it beats my pair of Jacks where the heck it comes from.” Being a layman myself, I would expect these patterned cycles have to be cared for and fed by the whole climate system, since perpetual motion machines have an unsavory sound. But if that’s so, one wonders why it makes mathematical or conceptual sense to use one outcome as an explanatory variable for another outcome, if in fact they are both emergent outcomes of a single grand process.

    • The problem that I consider is estimating TCR (or some other similar parameter that tells on the climate sensitivity).

      We know that there are many other processes that affect climate, but we don’t know how they behave. From data we see that there seems to be a cyclic component with a full cycle of about 60 y, but we don’t know whether it’s really periodic. In the highly smoothed data it looks almost sinusoidal, but that’s not really statistically significant. By “apparent” I mean that such a signal appears in smoothed data, but it’s not more than apparent as the short overall period and strong smoothing may mislead. Apparent does not mean that we would know that the periodicity is an illusion, it means that we don’t really know either that it’s not accidental or a temporary “wavelet”.

      It’s highly justified to consider variations that correlate with TSI over many solar cycles understood from point of view of statistical analysis. Thus those variations may be subtracted from data.

      There are strong reasons to expect that aerosols affect temperatures, and we have also some measures of aerosols. Thus including an aerosol model component makes sense, but handling the contribution of aerosols is not as straightforward as handling solar variability.

      We may continue adding partially understood factors like ENSO, but ENSO is internal variability and may also be lumped with other internal variability. That’s the choice I have in mind.

      Based on the above, and having as the only goal the determination of TCR, the approach that I propose is removing solar variability or including that as an explicit component to be determined, formulating a model for AGW with TCR as free parameter, a noise model for all internal variability, and estimating then TCR and its uncertainty limits.

      The noise model must take into account the observation that 60 year cyclic phenomena seem to be present, but that must be done in a way that does not make too precise assumptions on that phenomenon. Including autocorrelations that allow for such cyclicity, but don’t force it too tightly seems to be a reasonable choice.

      I don’t know about a single analysis that follows systematically my proposal but many estimates are produced in a way consistent with that, the paper of Otto et al is an example of that. It doesn’t make any attempt to use all the data, but choosing samples of the data from both ends of the full period is likely to include most of the power of a full analysis for the determination of TCR.

      If we continue towards more assumptions we are getting something more and more similar to WHT’s CSALT. The further we go in that direction the less statistical uncertainty is left in the estimate of TCR but at the same time the result gets the more dependent on the details of the model used.

    • WHT: “all down to CO2″

      Fine as a simplistic answer. It does rather suffer from not being able to explain the temperature behaviour up to 1840 even if it could explain it all since then. Poor resolution proxy data says that temperatures have gone up and down by these sort of magnitudes before without CO2 being the sole cause. Occam’s razor from there.

      If you look at the current end of the graph then I suspect that we will be able to sort out if this is correct or not in just a few short years. If the temperatures do not resume the rather high rate of climb required very soon then the step value required will be impossible to achieve.

      Pekka: Certainly it is possible that the 60 years cycle we have measured is chance. However I deliberately only used ‘full kernel’ analysis and, if you relax that a little and do standard first/last value data extension to get a reasonable prediction of behaviour to the ‘ends’ of the data you double the occurrences to 4 cycles. Now we are starting to get into the realms of ‘need to explain’ rather than ‘it is just chance’.

      Please note, as I said before, this is a very non-tuned filter. About as non-tuned as it gets. This basically says there is energy in the system at above ~18 years that appears to be a 60 year cycle with a magnitude of +-0.2C. The rollover point is quite a long way from the centre thus making false detection rather more unlikely.

      Again, a few years are likely to be needed to be even more certain and I suppose that is what we have to do.

      I cannot ‘prove’ I am right. I can only point out that it is impossible to ‘prove’ I am wrong. Time alone will tell.

    • Bob Ludwick | January 11, 2014 at 9:34 pm |

      “They can describe it anyway they want. It is still data and the uncertainty in each data point is still the ‘noise’.”

      There is ‘noise’ that is data uncertainly (from spacial and temporal under sampling as well as inaccuracy).

      Then there is ‘noise’ which is weather that is the random element that will occur when sampling large data fields at daily/monthly periods.

      Using one term for both does make life more complicated but understanding how the ‘natives’ talk improves understanding generally.

    • Richard,
      I hope it became clear that the approach I propose should widen the confidence limits of TCR, not narrow them, in comparison with an approach that makes stronger assumptions concerning the periodicity of the 60 y cycles. That’s the case, because I have specified that the noise model should allow the presence for variability of that nature.

      It might be of interest to really do the analysis that I propose. Right now I have only intuitive ideas of what kind of results I would expect from that. The consistency of Otto et al with the approach is also clear only on qualitative level, not quantitatively.

    • RichardLH, ““Yes, it can be considered noise in spite of the apparent periodicity”

      APPARENT! ”

      Yep, that is why Pseudo is so popular.
      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-_POV9NU8vFg/UozrQyxkh6I/AAAAAAAAKkM/Giin3I-hPBs/w817-h453-no/1910+Vol+y+Sol+response+by+latitude.png

      That shows why assumptions are dangerous. The AMO/PDO are dominate parts of the pseudo-cyclic response until the NH reaches its happy place then the dominance will shift to some other less happy region. Since NH amplification of the noise/signal is about three times greater than the SH, the noise/signal can disappear into the background until another perturbation comes along.

      In an SH dominate mode the period should be closer to 120 years with about 1/3 the amplitude.

    • captdallas 0.8 or less | January 12, 2014 at 7:02 am |

      “That shows why assumptions are dangerous. ”

      What that shows is that using crayons one can make any argument. A single pole Moving Average is just about the worst filter one can create/use.

      Please do a reasonable analysis using a Gaussian or near Gaussian (I use a Triple Moving Average with a 1.2067 multiplier) low pass which gives a reasonable output without all the cross products that otherwise appear and make interpretation impossible.

      If you apply a (near) Gaussian low pass filter to Global temperatures and sweep it up and down the spectrum to find out where the energy in the system is present then you get the analysis I presented. This 60 year signal is also present in NH, SH, Land, Sea, Polar, etc.

      It is starting to appear in the satellite data (too short yet to be precise).

      The signal is there. The question is where it comes from.

    • Pekka Pirilä | January 12, 2014 at 6:55 am |

      “I hope it became clear that the approach I propose should widen the confidence limits of TCR, not narrow them, in comparison with an approach that makes stronger assumptions concerning the periodicity of the 60 y cycles.”

      Coming from the background I do, it is normal to determine where in the spectrum the energy lies and subtract those cyclic values from the whole to get a better idea of power distribution (in time terms).

      The main components in the signal as I see it are; yearly, less than 8 years, greater than 18 years and greater than 100 years. After those the power left to be distributed appears just to be ‘noise’.

      The yearly signal is obvious. the 18 years would most likely be Oceanic as there are very few other things that can store/release energy over those time scales.

      The >100 years may (or may not) be orbital.

      Just calling what I see.

    • Sorry. Must not use greater or less than symbols as WordPress chops up the answers! It did say something like the below before it got auto sub-edited.

      The yearly signal is obvious. The less than 8 years is likely to be the 1461 day solar year and the matching to the surface via reflection/absorption. The greater than 18 years would most likely be Oceanic as there are very few other things that can store/release energy over those time scales.

    • RichardLH,
      Your crude filtering is amateur hour compared to a physical model-based approach of characterizing the nuisance signal.
      http://imageshack.com/a/img513/5006/m4x.gif

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | January 12, 2014 at 10:03 am |

      “RichardLH,
      Your crude filtering is amateur hour compared to a physical model-based approach of characterizing the nuisance signal.”

      And the approach shown demonstrates energy/time distribution how?

      The ‘crude filtering’ is a standard approach in most energy related sciences. Please elucidate why climate is so different.

    • RichardLH wrote:
      | January 12, 2014 at 5:50 am |

      “I cannot ‘prove’ I am right. I can only point out that it is impossible to ‘prove’ I am wrong. Time alone will tell.”

      Not time alone.
      Caution: Intransigent commentators here refuse to deal sensibly with the following reality: The spatial orientation of the dominant equator-pole gradient reverses every 6 months. (See Sidorenkov (2009) section 8.7.) The line of “reasoning” that TSI can be directly subtracted from global average temperature fails careful diagnostics. It’s based on patently false assumptions about spatiotemporal sampling & aggregation.

      If/when you’re ready to write the algebra and do the hypothesis tests, let me know.

      Provocative indeed…

    • Well, I’m provoked that it’s all as clear as mud to me, when I asked for crystalline. At moments like this it is comforting for me to return to dwell on the thought that the peak of cosmic rays alters in shape from sharp to flat from each eleven year solar cycle to the next, and that three such fit approximately into a phase of the PDO. Sun driven ocean oscillatory cycles alter many equations of climate understanding.

      But it’s probably some other manifestation of a variability in the sun. I think it’ll take more than just a few more years to solve the problem of climate understanding, but the solutions will manifest themselves.
      ==========

    • Paul Vaughan | January 13, 2014 at 7:32 am |

      “The spatial orientation of the dominant equator-pole gradient reverses every 6 months.”

      So there is ‘Summer’ and ‘Winter’. Opposite phase in the two hemispheres. I think that discovery was first postulated/observed a long time ago.

  49. Political Junkie

    Reports of “unprecedented temperatures” whether hot or cold, are often relatively meaningless.

    Firstly, in what geographic areas and over what period do we actually have reasonably reliable temperature measurements unaffected by changing local conditions? Some would argue that we don’t have them yet, others might be willing to believe in the relatively short satellite era record. Everyone should agree that debating current temperature differentials of fractions of a degree compared to measurements taken in the 1800’s is a pointless exercise.

    Secondly, media reports seldom point out that if one sets up a new station to monitor temperature the first measurement is a “record” for that station. Any new station will set scores of records in the first year.

  50. Political Junkie | January 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Reply

    “Reports of “unprecedented temperatures” whether hot or cold, are often relatively meaningless.”

    I think my favourite prejudicial statement is “unprecedented since xxxx”.

    • RichardLH,

      You may not find this hard to believe, unfortunately.

      Breathless TV weather announcement a couple of days ago “. . . hottest day for 12 years . . . “, which became a few hours later “. . . hottest day on record . . . “.

      Followed up the following day by ” . . . today’s high nearly set a new record . . . “. In other words, not as warm as yesterday.

      I share your pain. I understand.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  51. The best comment I’ve ever seen on the ‘warm causes cold’ issue:

    “Yes, obviously global warming causes record cold temps, and this was clearly predicted all along so deniers shouldn’t act so surprised. But an even more worrying trend clearly emerging is the record low hurricane and tornado activity, along with the flat global temp trends. Studies now show that not only does global warming exacerbate floods, drought, rain, snow, heat, cold, wind, but something far more terrifying still; boring weather. How long before the tipping point, beyond which we enter an irreversible runaway feedback tailspin catastrophe of mind numbingly uninteresting weather?”

    From Threepwood at
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/01/john-holdren-pseudoscience-czar-predicted-waste-heat-would-doom-humanity/#comment-99474

    Thanks, Freddy! PG Wodehouse must be beyond the CAGW story…

  52. Generalissimo Skippy

    The perpetual puerile griping and tribal gotchas merely creates an adversarial atmosphere in which it is impossible to get to any truth at all.

    99% of the comments here could be deleted with any loss of content.

    Do you aspire to truth or do you want to play games? Rhetorical – many of you want to play games.

  53. Of the two definitions for ‘academic,’ the AGW theory of global warming can more easily than ever be seen as the latter–i.e., of no practical relevance–e.g., “it is all academic because not even lifetime Leftist and serial hypocrite Al Gore has the slightest intention of practicing what he preaches.”

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Of course – founding a theory on the lifestyles of the rich and famous seems a little less than obvious.

      • The Delphic pronouncements of global warming alarmists like Hansen, Mann, Alley, etc., have increasingly taken on such an air of the macabre the very best you can say about any of them now is to compare them to the boy who cried, aliens!”

  54. “Life is Change
    How it differs from the rocks
    I’ve seen their ways too often for my liking
    New worlds to gain
    My life is to survive
    and be alive
    for you.”

    – amazing Grace (with thanks to John Wyndham)

    It’s hard for me to understand people whose attitude is non-life affirming – many in the warmist camp seem to fall into that category. Life is wonderful and dynamic, humans, however flawed, are the highest expression of it that we know. Why would anyone want to severely reduce our numbers?

    If we take a rock as being inert and at one end of a scale, and a fully awakened person, someone who has realised their full potential as a human being, as the other end of the scale, we are mostly towards the rock end of the scale. I’m tempted to say that some cling to the rock as they can’t cope with change,
    although change is the underlying nature of all existence. Our life is wasted if we don’t make efforts to move along that scale.

    Happy Sunday!

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      “In the days to come, when it will seem as if I were entombed, when the very firmament threatens to come crashing down upon my head, I shall be forced to abandon everything except what these spirits implanted in me. I shall be crushed, debased, humiliated. I shall be frustrated in every fiber of my being. I shall even take to howling like a dog. But I shall not be utterly lost! Eventually a day is to dawn when, glancing over my own life as though it were a story or history, I can detect in it a form, a pattern, a meaning. From then on the word defeat becomes meaningless. It will be impossible ever to relapse.

      For on that day I become and I remain one with my creation.

      On another day, in a foreign land, there will appear before me a young man who, unaware of the change which has come over me, will dub me “The Happy Rock.” That is the moniker I shall tender when the great Cosmocrator demands-” Who art thou?”

      Yes, beyond a doubt, I shall answer “The Happy Rock!”

      And, if it be asked-“Didst thou enjoy thy stay on earth?”-I shall reply: “My life was one long rosy crucifixion.” Henry Miller

      Ah – you are too unkind to rocks Faustino.

    • Of course I can’t speak for more than one warmist, but I don’t

      “want to severely reduce our numbers?”

      But I would like to see that cattle can continue to thrive in Texas and Wisconsin.

      Wisconsin being the wet-bulb temperature record holder in the US.

      3 or more C of warming will eventually make it difficult to sustain the current numbers of humans and cows.

      Take my usain cowboycentric worldview with a grain of salt if you will.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      From poetry to bulldust – I suppose that is the way of the world.

      Get some new cows Bob.

      http://www.brahman.com.au/history.html

    • Skippy, can your special cows handle 95 F wet bulb temperatures?

    • Skippy,
      You realize you are providing evidence for my concerns that the cows are indeed leavin Texas.

      Thems american cows that have already left.

  55. Mark Steyn is wicked.

    If you liked that one, you will love this one:
    “A Boy Named Sue”
    http://www.steynonline.com/6010/a-boy-named-sue

    He’s the “plaintiff” in the Virginia case*. He’s also the plaintiff in the “Hide The Decline” case, and the Canadian case, and the Steyn case. The plaintiff is the one doing the suing. The thin-skinned Dr Mann is a serial litigant. He is never not suing, or threatening to sue. By contrast, nobody is suing Dr Mann.

    So, if Mann is spending a lot of time with lawyers, it’s by choice. If the reflexively litigious dweeb were to spend less time with his lawyers, he might have time to do a bit more science. After all, the hockey stick is a decade and a half old. He’s starting to look a bit of a one-stick pony.

  56. Cool-arsed chick.

  57. @Joseph | January 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm | asks:
    Jim2,
    What government functions do you think should be left to the states?
    *****
    It would take more time than I want to spend to answer. But, I would start by throwing out Education, Homeland Security, and the DOE. There would be a lot of consolidation, tax simplification, and other downsizing activities for the Fed. I certainly wouldn’t allow the Fed to pay for things like the Big Dig in Boston. Let the city and the state finance their own folly.

  58. Plus lots. A trial and error tinkerer in the risk-taking *anti-fragile*
    non-academic creative tradition I’ve seen in me own family and
    described in Taleb’s book of that name. Long liv the open societry.

  59. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    Here’s a great animation of the current elongated Polar Vortex at 10 hPa:

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/10hPa/orthographic=26.07,87.90,304

    Some will appreciate the sheer beauty of this an our ability to visualize the dynamic processes of our planet. We live in very privileged times.

  60. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    Here’s the 10hPa vortex coming down over the North American Continent:

    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/10hPa/orthographic=-93.58,56.36,512

  61. Wilson Pickett, the last minute of ‘Hey Jude’ with Duane Allmon, now that’s wicked.
    ========

  62. For wind and solar energy, the key to unlocking their full potential comes from storage. You can imagine mechanical storage, like a spring (or clock) that only needs occasional winding up, and can then release the energy at a uniform rate. Or there could be an electrical analog for storage as a charge. One gravitational storage method is already used when there is a convenient hill for wind-hydro, but you can imagine others involving weights instead of water. Another used with wave energy is compressed air storage where the energy compresses air that can be released gradually to have a uniform power production. I think these technologies can be advanced fairly rapidly to a level of production with some will and inventiveness.

    • An electrical energy storage system, with equal energy density to chemical fuels would change everything. However, we don’t have one, so we might as well wish we had unicorns to ride to work.

    • Chemical storage is also offered by electrolysing water for hydrogen production which can be used as a fuel or to generate power.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Jim D,

      Things are progressing rapidly in the area of storage:

      http://phys.org/news/2014-01-mega-battery-breakthrough-renewable-energy.html

      This is exceptionally exciting times for energy storage.

    • There is a competitive market for whoever comes up with a cost effective large-scale energy storage system. The needs are clear and the demand for reliable power is a given. The incentive to make inroads to this guaranteed market should be enormous.

    • Jim D

      Agree that a low-cost, efficient and readily applicable way to store electrical energy would be a boon to mankind, regardless of any decarbonization considerations.

      The inherent intermittency problem of wind and solar make these non-competitive for large scale use until something can be developed to store the power from when it happens to be produced to when it is actually needed.

      We have pumped storage hydroelectric power here in Switzerland, but this is limited to our kind of topography. I believe Tony B has mentioned some studies on “wave power”, which might also have this capability for coastal locations.

      But in general this is still the unattainable holy grail so far (AFAIK).

      Max

    • manacker, for me it is very easy to imagine a large “battery” of some form at each solar and wind site, and this battery pumps steadily to the grid the way a conventional power station does.

    • Jim D,

      For wind and solar energy, the key to unlocking their full potential comes from storage. You can imagine mechanical storage, like a spring (or clock) that only needs occasional winding up, and can then release the energy at a uniform rate.

      You seem to put too much faith in imagination and far to little into pragmatic considerations. Your ideas are pie in the sky, dream world stuff. Do you not realise that the most inventive people have been working on trying to solve the cheap, large scale energy storage problem for 200 years. And do you not realise that by far the best energy storage is a pile of coal waiting at the power station to be burn, or oil in a tank, or gas in a pipeline, or nuclear fuel in a warehouse?

      Pumped hydro is by far the least cost electricity storage technology and the only one that can generate GW of power for many hours from storage. Pumped hydro comprises 99% of all the world’s electricity storage capacity (according to EPRI). It is still very expensive, only viable in areas with large topographic relief and requires innundating large areas of valleys that are valuable for other purposes.

      Just out of interest, what do you think of this idea for providing energy storage for all of Germany’s electricity needs? http://www.solarserver.com/solar-magazine/solar-energy-system-of-the-month/hydraulic-hydro-storage.html

      It’s dreamed up and promoted by the solar power advoicates.

    • As I mention elsewhere, energy storage is a competitive market with a big pay-off to anyone who succeeds with the greatest cost-efficiency. There are multiple technologies competing for this prize. I think it will happen quickly given the incentives. It is not like rocket science to design a way of storing energy. Lifting rocks in mineshafts is about as basic as it gets.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “You seem to put too much faith in imagination…”
      ____
      Everything around us not from nature, came from our minds and of course our minds came from nature. First in the mind as a concept, then turned to reality. Conceive, believe, achieve…

    • ” It is not like rocket science to design a way of storing energy”

      I agree, rocket science is pretty trivial, but high energy density energy storage is very, very, difficult.

    • But not a lot of moving parts.

    • But not a lot of moving parts.

      Irrelevant, obfuscation diversion. What is important is what I said before. It is extremely expensive, not viable, highly unlikely to be viable for making renewable energy viable in the foreseeable future.

      Why didn’t you comment on the SolarServers’ ‘Energy system of the month” proposed energy storage system t store all Germany’s daily electricity demand in a single granite cylinder?
      http://www.solarserver.com/solar-magazine/solar-energy-system-of-the-month/hydraulic-hydro-storage.html

    • Peter Lang, my comment below your storage link was aimed at that item. This looks like a first attempt and I think more advanced solutions can be found over the years, or maybe a gravity-based system will work after all. This is one of many ways storage is being thought about. The most cost-effective methods will win out. It is a competitive market with a high reward. Keep an eye out for investment opportunities in energy storage.

    • Further on that, I don’t know why they would want to ship all the energy to one or two sites rather than just store it at many local smaller facilities near the wind and solar sites. Seems you lose out on transmission if you localize it too much.

    • I switched from theoretical physics to energy research in 1980. Over the period of more than 30 years I have become really skeptical towards all news on revolutionary solutions. Overall the progress has been amazingly slow. Thousands of news have told on something really promising, but little has come out. I don’t deny that significant changes have occurred, but too many of them have been based on hugely excessive government subsidies.

      In Europe Germany is rich and productive enough to waste billions every year, Spain evidently not.

      Further progress will go on, more and more new solutions will get competitive given enough time, but really significant progress at the level on implementation in near future – I don’t believe in that.

      Energy solutions operate on a very large scale, and energy technologies have been studied with special emphasis since 1973 oil crisis. All easy routes have been tried many times, progress is likely to remain mostly gradual and rather slow for long.

      Many solutions are competitive in niche markets but expanding to wide use at a scale that really makes a difference is a very different thing.

    • Pekka Pirila,

      I agree 100% with your comment. Did you seem my similar comment to Jim D about an hour ago above: http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/10/week-in-review-11/#comment-435983

      Jim D,

      the reason I asked you about the cylinder of granite cut out of a mountain is because I want to see your reaction and see whether you went through the process of checking feasibility, questioning whether such an idea would be possible, perhaps asking others for their thoughts, etc, or whether you just swallow it. The idea is ridiculous at any scale. If you want to know why, ask.

      This is a great example that supports Pekka’s comment.

  63. It’s my understanding that Peter Higgs’ work overlapped with that of other scientists whose publication records are more conventionally prolific than his. His important point would be even stronger so had his work been unique. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing whether academic staffing decisions have prevented or delayed important research results.

    I emphasize that I am not disrespecting Higgs’ contribution to science. I am not disagreeing with his point either, just trying to add context.

  64. Here is a nice intro to Monte Carlo analysis.

  65. Captdallas 0.8 or less,
    @ January 11, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    By pushing targets, science has created its own bumpy road. Japanese scientists had radiation exposure limits lower than the background radiation of sweet potatoes.

    Thanks you for giving me the opportunity to link to this, posted 3 days ago, by Professor Wade Allison MA DPhil is an Emeritus Fellow of Keble College, Oxford:
    Nuclear radiation relatively harmless
    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15900

    You might expect nuclear energy to be far more dangerous to life than chemical energy because it can break delicate biological molecules with ease. But that would be too simplistic, for the only business of biology has been to evolve life forms that can cope with such attack and it has had more than 1000 million years of Darwinian selection to perfect its solution.

    Look at the chart and discussion about ‘Dangerous doses of radiation’ and ‘A justifiable safety limit’

    Excerpt:

    In Japan the entire scale of the evacuation, the condemnation of food and water, the clean up of the soil, the instruction of the population and the safety of the power plants should be reconsidered. The same paradigm shift should be considered world wide, for the same misunderstanding has occurred everywhere and it caused unnecessary social suffering following the accidents at Chernobyl and Goiania too.

    • In case people don’t read the linked post, I should perhaps have included the following.

      The current internationally recommended safety limit is 1,Sv per year.

      A conservative safety limit of 100 mSv per month is suggested. There is no established risk to health from such a dose rate, seen As High As Relatively Safe (AHARS). It is a conservative factor 200 less than the healthy tissue value frequently experienced by the patients in RT treatment and a 1000-fold relaxation of ALARA limit. It would reset safety levels to where they were in 1934 and suggest that up to ten full CT scans should be acceptable per month without concern. Such a new safety limit might be argued up or down by a factor two or three but a value different by a factor of more than ten would be unreasonable.

      http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15900

      If the limit was raised the cost of nuclear power and the damage cost of accidents would be reduced enormously. Much can be done to greatly reduce the cost of nuclear energy.

    • Question: How would increasing the internationally recommended safety limit for ionizing radiation from 0.08 mSv per month to 100 mSv per month affect the cost of nuclear electricity generation – over the short and the long term?

      [The justification for such a change based on changing from “As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA)” to “As high as Reasonably Safe (AHARS) is explained here: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15900%5D.

      I have some thoughts on this but would be interested in what others think.

    • Peter,

      I don’t think that the limits set for the ionizing radiation are a major cost factor. The most exposed group of public near the Finnish nuclear plants has never received more than 4 µSv in a year, since 1997 the value has never exceeded 0.5 µSv/year. That so low exposures are normal means that this is not essential for costs. I know that all plants everywhere do not perform as well, but also the economy of the Finnish plants has been among the best anywhere. Thus adhering to strict practices does not necessarily lead to high cost, but may actually in long run help in keeping the costs low.

      The limits in force for personnel are much higher (50 mSv in a single year, 20 mSv/y for averages over 5 years) on individual level, and set based on the requirement that radiation should not cause a risk larger than typical work place risks in safe professions.

      • Hi Pekka,

        Thanks for your comment. Could you have a look at the linked post and say if that effects your view.

    • Peter,

      It’s certainly true that people have commonly highly exaggerated fears of radiation. The problem is not that risks of radiation would be less understood than many other risks like those from chemicals. Quite contrary they are much better understood. The effects of low level of radiation are, however, not understood as well. It’s totally clear that they are so small that no-one should worry about them on individual basis. They may be significant for large populations, but this is where the knowledge is not good any more. The knowledge is so lacking because the individual risk is really negligible and thus impossible to identify among other factors that affect the same populations.

      To what extent we should worry about risks that are orders of magnitude below threshold of detection on individual basis but may lead to thousands of premature cancer deaths in a large population, is an example of ethical questions that we meet in many connections (including climate change). I emphasize may, because even the existence of any risk is unknown up to the point that the positive effect of hormesis cannot be excluded (but is considered less likely by most experts as far as I know).

      In today’s developed societies all regular risks of radiation related to nuclear energy are handled so well that (excluding weapons and proliferation) major accidents are the only essential issue of nuclear safety. Nuclear waste is a problem of decision making, not a technical one.

      Concerning risks of nuclear energy, I maintain that acceptability requires extraordinary emphasis on safety. Switching to a principle of AHARS would make success in promoting nuclear power only very much more difficult to achieve. There’s certainly some truth in the observation that emphasizing precaution in a wrong way, like using protective clothing when that’s definitely not required, is counterproductive. I do, however, really believe that ALARA reflects the basic attitude that everyone working with nuclear energy or radiation should have. That’s related to the observation of my previous comment that following strict practices may be even economically advantageous in the long run.

      I have heard enough evidence on avoidability of the Fukushima accident with the right attitude to make be consider that to be true. Without Fukushima nuclear power would have a much better future for a couple of decades at least. Therefore real effort should be taken to make promote such attitudes in all countries with nuclear activities.

      • Pekka,

        You didn’t mention whether you had read the post I referred you to. Did you?

        And you didn’t answer my question about what effect you think changing the international exposure from 0.08 mSv per month to 100 mSv per month might have on the cost of nuclear generation over the short and the long period. I’d like to see your answers to the question – clearly stated up front and then expanded with explanation and justification for your reasoning if you like. Then we can debate your opinion and I’ll explain what I think and why.

    • Peter,

      I did read the article. I have already written comments that I couldn’t have written without reading the article as they are direct comments on the ideas presented there. Giving fully quantitative answers that can be justified would require much more effort than I’m willing to put in that. I can, however, say that the proposal is highly simplistic and unrealistic in practice.

      The present requirements are not the problem, that some people demand still very much more may be a problem for nuclear waste disposal as an example. Precautionary principle appears in these issues often in a power, i.e. it’s applied successively at each step of a multistep appraisal. I accept the principle but it should be applied only once, not at each step separately as the repeated application leads to requirements that don’t make real sense at all.

      I don’t think that you’ll get more definitive statements from me on this issue.

      • Pekka Pirila,

        Thanks you for your reply and thanks for clarifying that you’d read the post.

        Like you, I don’t know whether a 1200 fold increase in the allowable dose from 0.08 mSv to 100 mSv per month is justifiable on scientific grounds or not and I am not trying to argue that point. My question is: if it is justifiable and is implemented what effect would such a change be likely to have on the cost of nuclear power, over the short term and the medium term (years to decades)? The question is very relevant; it is another example of the many impediments to nuclear power that could be removed (if it is scientifically justifiable).

        I suggest, if such a change was implemented, it would have a significant effect on the cost of electricity from nuclear power plants. It could, if well handled, completely change the public perception about the risk of nuclear power. Increasing the limit would enormously reduce the cost of accidents (like Chernobyl and Fukushima), and the amount of disruption to people lives when they do occur. It could be the complete circuit breaker that is needed to start unwinding the public fear and paranoia. Suddenly people may realise they’ve been conned by the anti-nuke activists, just like people are starting to recognise they’ve been conned over CAGW. Once the public start to recognise that the risk of nuclear power is negligible and it is safer than any other electricity generation technology, then much of the financial risk premium would dissipate (over time). The costs of finance would come down. The cost of electricity would come down. As they become cheaper they’d be rolled out faster. Learning rate would increase and costs would come down faster.

        I don’t know if the arguments for such a change is valid or not, but the article seems persuasive. http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=15900

        For those concerned about CAGW and about reducing GHG emissions you’d think they’d take a serious look at it rather than just the habitual denial we get from these usual doomsayers.

  66. left to right: Mertz Glacier, Cape De La Motte, Watt Bay, Cape Gray, Commonwealth Bay, iceberg B9-B

    Photo: 01-03-2014

    The Russian ship was trapped, looking at the screen, to the right of Cape De La Motte.

    Click on 2013, then click on Dec, and then click on 19th, zoom out one click. To the left of the Mertz Glacier there is a blob of pack ice that sort of divides the body of water. Several of the subsequent photos are obscured by clouds, but on the 24th and 25th you can see the area where the ship was trapped has filled with ice. Go forward from there and the area fills with a lot more ice.

    hat tip to vinny, who may have a very different interpretation.

  67. Why did US CO2 emissions decrease from 2007 to 2012?

    http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/

    What policies caused these changes?

    1. change in weather

    2. Bush/Cheyny policies to remove the impediments to oil and gas exploration and fracking so the industry was encouraged and did the rest

    3. Policies that made manufacturing unwelcome, less economic in USA and forced the business to move manufacturing out of USA to countries with lower costs of production.

    Natural gas competed favorably with coal, and electric power producers consumed (dispatched) the lower-priced natural gas in place of coal, which has higher carbon content than natural gas.

    Point to note: the decisions are based on economics. The least cost technology is dispatched (used to generate the electricity). Any policy that ignores the realities will fail. If we want to change from coal to less GHG intensive electricity generation technologies, we need to allow alternative technologies to be cheaper – without production subsidies and regulations to favour one technology over any other.

  68. Great thread, a lot of thought provoking ideas. One exception though, someone posting under the name David Appell. How much irrational fear can one guy have? His inability to accept any evidence, contrary to his own faith, sounds more like a cry for help than legitimate scientific discourse. His constant hysterics and pretense ruined the continuity of the thread. He should definitely seek some sort of psychiatric counseling for his irrational fears, no put down, just sound advise.

    • Members of the Royal Society took Gore’s graphs and the Piltdown Mann’s Crook’t Stick into their meeting with the GWPF. We are going to feel sorry for these guys someday. The fear and guilt is a delusion; they are sick.
      =============

  69. Generalissimo Skippy

    Well – this seems a little more pleasant. Perhaps a little less carping on denier that or warminsta this might actually allow some discourse to seep through.

    Witty and urbane is quite cool – eh – but wtf I going to report Kim just for the hell of it.

    Tell you what – I have a bit of time as I am back in hospital. I have always supported Australia’s socialised medicine – when necessary staying at public hospitals and paying with my private insurance. I walked away from all that this morning never to go back – and have gone totally private. The menu is much better and they have offered me morphine.

    So let’s work on it.

    • I am so sorry to hear that you have to be in the House of Death, for any reason. I cringe, literally, at the thought. My last stay was one brutalization after another. Best wishes, Chief.

    • Gen Skippy

      I don’t know what is wrong with you but sincerely hope you make a good recovery.

      tonyb

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Tell me about it – but foot surgery is probably not something to try at home. The place is so darned pleasant as well – palm trees framing the view – and everyone is so danged nice. It would seem churlish to complain.

    • Robert, I spent some time in hospital in London in the ’60s, pretty grim. I then managed to steer clear of hospital stays until my heart attack 13 months ago. I was amazed by the transformation – I really enjoyed my stay in the Royal Brisbane – and the food was good! – and subsequent cardio rehab and physio at the Princess Alexandra. Very impressed with both, including research programmes in which I’m engaged.

      I’m happy to say that I’ve had no morphine since 1966. Sorry that you are in need of it – keep smiling, and get well if possible.

    • Well, look after yourself, old cane toad, and just enjoy the morphine. I like having the odd Queenslander around…if only to chuck rocks at.

    • Speedy recovery Chief.
      Beth the serf.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      There are two things certain in life – death and tax avoidance.

      I had one of those did I say that out loud moments moso. The Doc asked if I had ever had morphine. “No”, I said. ‘Is it any good?”

      Thanks guys.

  70. Reblogged this on Cold Air and commented:
    Some great quotes in Climate Etc.’s “week in review”
    I should heed this one: “You’ll never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks.” – Winston Churchill
    This one is of some concern: ” I wouldn’t be productive enough for today’s academic system.” – Peter Higgs “of boson fame”

  71. I quote
    @@@@@
    Bob Ludwick | January 12, 2014 at 9:07 am |
    In point of fact there is currently no EMPIRICAL evidence, as Jim Cripwell continues to remind all and sundry, that ACO2 raises the TOE or that controlling ACO2 would either lower the TOE or prevent it from rising. Or, for that matter, that lowering the TOE or preventing its rise is even DESIRABLE.
    @@@@@

    If only our hostess, the warmist denizens of CE, and anyone else who is interested would agree that climate sensitivity has NOT been measured, I would not feel impelled to continually write that this is so.

    But as long as people quote numeric values of climate sensitivity, however defined, and talk about them as if they have complete legitimacy, then I am going to write that these numbers have never been measured.

    It would save a lot of time and effort, if our hostess would state plainly that climate sensitivity has not been measured, and everyone would agree.

    • No one says it is measured. The temperature rise since 1950 is consistent with a transient sensitivity of 2 or more C per doubling. That’s all.

    • Jim D, you write “No one says it is measured. The temperature rise since 1950 is consistent with a transient sensitivity of 2 or more C per doubling. That’s all.”

      I agree, but you are avoiding the issue. Will you state explicitly that climate sensitivity has not been measured?

      Also this business of consistent. The rise of temperature since 1950 is also consistent with the rise being caused by completely natural phenomena. Do you agree?

    • @Jim D
      Every time someone says “the Science says (something or other)”, they are implying that measurements have been taken. Science is gathering data, postulating hypotheses and models that fit the data and then using them to predict outcomes of reasonably convincing experiments. Until these experiments have been performed and their outcomes measured and shown to conform to the predictions, Science really has nothing to say about climate sensitivity. Scientists, on the other hand, are certainly free to say whatever pops into their heads. It’s a free country.

    • We should be happy that the Crip acts as a poster-child for what can’t be done, while those of us that have years of knowledge of how to characterize systems use that as motivation to actually do the work.

      The Pause of the Cause is due to thermodynamic Laws.

    • WHUT you write “We should be happy that the Crip acts as a poster-child for what can’t be done,”

      I disagree. I spent the majority of my career doing operations research. We were often confronted with problems where there was a paucity of data, new methodology had to be developed, etc. We used to say we did not get things to do because we could solve the problem; we got projects because no-one else could solve the problem.

      When we completed out work, the senior scientists in our organization always insisted that we show that we had enough evidence to solve the problem. Saying we had done the best we could was never enough. We were required to show that the best was good enough to solve the problem.

      That is all I am doing with respect to CAGW. I applaud the attempts by the warmists to show that CAGW is more than a hypothesis, and I am sure everyone is doing the best they can. But none of the warmists has attempted to show that the best they have done is good enough to solve the problem.

      All I am doing is pointing this out.

    • willb, you write “Science really has nothing to say about climate sensitivity.”

      Thank you. Now why wont the warmists agree.

    • Jim Cripwell, you have to define measured for yourself. There is an assumption behind every measurement that the yardstick is agreed to. You say it could be “natural phenomena”. Specify those “phenomena”, and I’ll see if the measurements are consistent with them the way they are with the CO2 increase. Known natural phenomena can’t account for the rise or for the change of physics required for CO2 not to do anything, especially as the local CO2 effect has been seen from lab, space and ground measurements to be as expected.

    • This “natural phenomena” argument is silly. We could say the earth goes round the sun due to gravity, and it is like someone saying, no, it could be natural phenomena instead. Natural phenomena is used as a placeholder for something to be named later, as long as it is not the known science, in this context.

    • Jim D

      Jim Cripwell is correct in writing that the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity has not been measured.

      You agree, and add:

      No one says it is measured. The temperature rise since 1950 is consistent with a transient sensitivity of 2 or more C per doubling. That’s all.

      A bit of a stretch, Jim.

      HadCRUT4 tells us that it warmed by 0.69C since 1950.

      IPCC says “most” of the warming since 1950 was caused by GHGs.

      CO2 increased from around 312 to 396 ppmv.

      If “most” = 100%, you would arrive at a 2xCO2 temperature response of 2.0C, as you write.

      But if “most” only = 75%, you only arrive at 1.5C.

      But why look at short-term blips in the measured record? The temperature rise since the modern record started in 1850 is around 0.77C.

      Again, if “most” = 100%, you arrive at a 2xCO2 temperature response of 1.6C.

      And if “most” only = 75% over this longer time period, you arrive at a 2xCO2 TCR of 1.2C

      And, if you believe the several solar studies, which have attributed around half of the warming to the unusually high level of 20thC solar activity, you arrive at a 2xCO2 TCR of 0.8C.

      So one can conclude from the actual physical data that “the temperature rise since the modern record started in 1850 is consistent with a transient sensitivity of between 0.8 and 1.6C or per doubling”

      But, of course, as Jim Cripwell writes, “being consistent with” does NOT “provide evidence of” in the scientific sense.

      The case is further weakened by the fact that over the past decade it should have warmed by 0.2C (according to your 2xCO2 TCR), but it actually cooled by around 0.04C.

      Sorry to poke a hole in your hypothesis, Jim, but it appears to be on thin ice.

      Max

    • @Jim D
      I don’t agree with you that the natural phenomena argument is silly. What about changes in the Earth’s albedo, perhaps due to gradual changes over time in cloud cover? I think this is one natural phenomenon that could have a large impact on climate.

    • “And, if you believe the several solar studies, which have attributed around half of the warming to the unusually high level of 20thC solar activity, you arrive at a 2xCO2 TCR of 0.8C.”

      The 20th century increase in solar forcing has now been entirely wiped out.
      Solar activity now is lower than it was back in 1850.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/sidc-ssn/mean:132

      “The case is further weakened by the fact that over the past decade it should have warmed by 0.2C (according to your 2xCO2 TCR), but it actually cooled by around 0.04C.”

      As mentioned above solar activity has plummeted in the last 10 years, wiping out the forcing built up over the 20th century. Just 0.04C cooling would appear to weaken the solar theory.

    • Jim D

      This “natural phenomena” argument is silly.

      Huh?

      Our planet’s climate has been changing since the beginning of time, from balmy tropical climes to ice-ball Earth conditions – all due to “natural phenomena” (at least up until the Industrial Revolution, we are told).

      So the “natural phenomena” argument is the “null hypothesis” for climate change.

      This “null hypothesis” has yet to be falsified by empirical scientific evidence, Jim.

      Max

    • That ‘most since 1950′ argument hits the “skeptics” when they try to deny that the IPCC confidence is merited. Yes, the CO2 and temperature rise since 1950 is consistent with 2 C of transient sensitivity, and even the skeptic-favored 1.5 C gives 75% which is ‘most’ by any measure, yet they try to complain that the IPCC is too confident in their attribution, when mathematically they say the same thing and haven’t realized it yet. Do you agree? Attribution to CO2 using the post-1970 warming period (including the recent natural variation known as ‘the pause’) give you 2.5 C per doubling, so that is not going the skeptics’ way either. The land is warming even faster, and the central Arctic has been warming by a degree per decade during the pause.
      Science provides hypotheses for which the best they can do is consistency with Nature. Science isn’t Nature. It is Man’s tool for explaining it. It is not mathematics either, there is not always a solid proof of a hypothesis, just a comparison with others that try to explain the same thing in a different way. A strong hypothesis will also have predictive power, and explanatory power in other paleoclimate periods.

    • manacker, where do you draw the line for “natural phenomena” as an alternative “explanation”. Does it have to be an “explanation” first or just a word for “I don’t know” but not CO2. That’s what I am complaining about. It is like saying “it can’t be CO2, but I don’t know what else it could be either.” This is just lazy denialist talk, the way it comes across.

    • lolwot

      The solar studies I mentioned conclude that the unusually high level of 20thC solar activity (highest in several thousand years) was responsible for around half of the warming we saw.

      There are many studies of solar activity from the 19th century to today. Here is a link to one:
      http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/Solar_Arch_NY_Mar2_08.pdf

      The study shows the average Wolf Number for solar cycles as follows:

      SC 10-15 (1858-1928) was around 90
      SC 18-23 (1945-2008) was around 148 (peaking in SC19 at 190)
      (i.e. a 64% increase)

      Other longer-term studies conclude that this solar activity was the highest in several thousand years.

      SC23 had already slowed down to 120 and current SC24 is starting off very inactive, but who knows what the future will hold?

      A paper by De Jager and Duhau does not expect that there will be another Grand (Maunder Type) Minimum, but that SC24 will have a maximum sunspot number of 62±12, IOW be a fairly inactive SC.

      Whether or not this has already affected global temperature (i.e. the “pause”) and how long this will last is anyone’s guess, lolwot.

      But to write it off as insignificant would obviously be foolish.

      Max

    • It is not mathematics either, there is not always a solid proof of a hypothesis, just a comparison with others that try to explain the same thing in a different way.

      The fluid equations are not fundamental equations they are phenomenological,limiting the experiments to heuristic arguments.That they are also infinite is now well described in the literature,which allows for legitimate arguments, such as

      i) are they solvable?.
      ii) can we enumerate the program ie write a program with sufficient resolution to describe climate?

    • willb, I mean the use of the term “natural phenomena” as a generic thing that is an alternative to CO2 doing anything, as in the Jim Cripwell usage. If you want to be specific about phenomena, fine. There is a lot of data to test various phenomena by, and it is growing, but just saying “natural phenomena” may cause all the warming without any specifics or evidence is plain annoying.

    • Jim D

      You ask specific questions.

      Let me respond with specific answers.

      where do you draw the line for “natural phenomena” as an alternative “explanation”.

      Over most of our planet’s history, the significant swings in its climate have been caused by “natural phenomena”. As a result, this is the “null hypothesis” of climate change.

      Does it have to be an “explanation” first or just a word for “I don’t know” but not CO2. That’s what I am complaining about. It is like saying “it can’t be CO2, but I don’t know what else it could be either.” This is just lazy denialist talk, the way it comes across.

      It is simply a statement of the “null hypothesis”: climate changes as a result of natural phenomena.

      Could CO2 also be a factor? Why not? We just do not know enough to be able to say for sure that CO2 has been a significant factor in the past or will be a significant one in the future.

      Paleo data (to be taken with a grain of salt) tell us that the Ordovician “ice-ball Earth” period occurred when atmospheric CO2 levels were at several thousand ppmv.

      Earlier warm and cold periods since historical times have all occurred without any significant change in CO2 levels.

      We see that there was a mid-20thC period of cooling despite increasing post-WWII CO2 emissions and rapidly rising concentrations.

      We see that there has been a current lull in warming despite unabated CO2 emissions and concentrations reaching record levels.

      These observations raise some doubt regarding the “CO2 control knob” hypothesis. But, yes, CO2 could be a factor – or it might not be a significant one. We just don’t know, Jim.

      And that’s not “lazy denialist talk”.

      Max

    • maksimovich, yes, the fluid equations are well known and potentially solvable to any accuracy you want by numerical means. Climate is a lot more than fluid equations, however. There’s physics too: thermodynamics, radiation, variable forcing, etc.

    • manacker, I am only going to answer with, once CO2 was natural phenomena too, and that was when the volcanoes produced it in large enough amounts to change the climate. Now that Man produces it, some skeptics are blind to it and looking elsewhere for their “natural phenomena”. They need to be consistent, otherwise it looks like some kind of prejudice.

    • manacker, regarding the Ordovician, the sun was probably about 5% weaker then too, according to solar evolution models, so that would figure into the forcing equally with the CO2, but you forgot to mention that, or maybe were unaware.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘Waves follow our boat as we meander across the lake, and turbulent air currents follow our flight in a modern jet. Mathematicians and physicists believe that an explanation for and the prediction of both the breeze and the turbulence can be found through an understanding of solutions to the Navier-Stokes equations. Although these equations were written down in the 19th Century, our understanding of them remains minimal. The challenge is to make substantial progress toward a mathematical theory which will unlock the secrets hidden in the Navier-Stokes equations.’ http://www.claymath.org/millenium-problems/navier%E2%80%93stokes-equation

      http://www.claymath.org/sites/default/files/navierstokes.pdf

      http://www.it.uu.se/research/publications/reports/2012-019/2012-019-nc.pdf

      The numerical solutions of nonlinear NS equations involve solving partial differential continuity equations across coarse grid boundaries. The continuity equations conserve some physical identity across the boundaries. Is the current grid at present about 10km?

      ‘Atmospheric and oceanic forcings are strongest at global equilibrium scales of 10^7 m and seasons to millennia. Fluid mixing and dissipation occur at microscales of 10^−3 m and 10^−3 s, and cloud particulate transformations happen at 10^−6 m or smaller. Observed intrinsic variability is spectrally broad band across all intermediate scales. A full representation for all dynamical degrees of freedom in different quantities and scales is uncomputable even with optimistically foreseeable computer technology. No fundamentally reliable reduction of the size of the AOS dynamical system (i.e., a statistical mechanics analogous to the transition between molecular kinetics and fluid dynamics) is yet envisioned.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

      Finally, Lorenz’s theory of the atmosphere (and ocean) as a chaotic system raises fundamental, but unanswered questions about how much the uncertainties in climate-change projections can be reduced. In 1969, Lorenz [30] wrote: ‘Perhaps we can visualize the day when all of the relevant physical principles will be perfectly known. It may then still not be possible to express these principles as mathematical equations which can be solved by digital computers. We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions. We do not yet know how to do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      Gee – I wonder where I am going with this.

    • @Jim D
      You may not like the term “natural phenomena” but I think you are going to have to accept it. “Natural Climate Variability” is a common term used by scientists and other practitioners in the climate science field. What could be its cause other than natural phenomena? And what could natural phenomena be other than something besides man-made CO2?

      Btw, despite your assertion I don’t think there actually is a lot of data to evaluate changes in albedo over the last 100 years.

    • willb, Jim Cripwell used “natural phenomena” as an alternative to CO2, when actually changing CO2 is just as natural as a cause of climate change as any other “phenomena” that he would care to mention. It’s a subtle point. Think in terms of paleoclimate volcanoes. I have no problem with natural variability. ENSO is the most obvious one, but also volcanoes and solar variability are natural and they add to the effect of CO2, and don’t replace it.

    • Jim D

      We can beat this dog to death, but the facts remain.

      Our planet’s climate has been changing over its entire history. These changes have almost all been a result of natural phenomena.

      In a few cases a correlation between atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and global temperature can be seen (based on paleoclimate reconstructions); in other cases there is no correlation at all.

      CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which absorbs and re-radiates LW energy. A far more prevalent greenhouse gas is water vapor. According to greenhouse theory an increase in both gases should cause an increase in global atmospheric temperature.

      Humans emit CO2, especially in the combustion of fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution.

      The atmospheric CO2 concentration has been increasing since measurements were started at Mauna Loa in 1959. Ice core estimates show a slow increase prior to 1959 as well.

      A 500,000 year ice core reconstruction shows CO2 and global temperature rising and falling, apparently in sync – on closer examination the temperature change precedes the change in CO2 by several centuries. In addition, there are periods when temperature starts to decrease at high CO2 levels or starts to increase at low CO2 levels, so the correlation does not point to causation.

      Climate science is in its infancy. What is known today about what makes our planet’s climate behave as it does is arguably only a very small fraction of what is still unknown.

      So, in light of all this, is CO2 a “driver of our climate”?

      It could be, although there is great uncertainty regarding the magnitude of this climate forcing function versus the many known and yet unknown natural climate forcing phenomena.

      And Cripwell is right when he states that the CO2 temperature impact in our planet’s atmosphere has not yet been corroborated by empirical scientific data.

      The “CO2 control knob” (and the CAGW premise as outlined by IPCC) is still an uncorroborated hypothesis.

      And it will remain so until it can be corroborated and quantified (or falsified) by empirical scientific evidence based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation.

      No matter how much you (or Pekka or anyone else) wiggle and squirm or cite model studies or “widely accepted” IPCC reports, that’s where it stands today.

      Max

    • manacker, yes, the “skeptics” have barely scratched the surface of denying the importance of CO2 in paleoclimate. The experts typified by Richard Alley have solid hypotheses while the skeptics do not, such as how volcanic periods precede CO2 rises and warming, while natural carbon sequestration, such as since the Eocene peak removed CO2 and led to a gradual cooling. Meanwhile in the Ice Ages, albedo changes acted as forcing and CO2 was just a feedback, but an effective one accounting for a large part of the the interglacial warm temperatures. This has confused skeptics because there the temperature did precede CO2, and it was expected to when the forcing came from elsewhere. Skeptics have trouble understanding how volcanoes and the Ice Ages are fundamentally different in the role for CO2 as a forcing in one case and a feedback in the other, but just reading about paleoclimate in textbooks would help clear this confusion up. We still see this meme of “temperature leads CO2 sometimes therefore AGW is disproved”, and it is a sad reflection of the understanding level of those who argue loudest.

    • max,
      Here is a man-made explanation for a physical phenomena.
      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/11/the-cause-of-the-pause-is-due-to-thermodynamic-laws/

      All factors, whether artificially introduced by man or an intrinsic behavior of nature go into the mix.

      Clive Best has a good discussion on one natural forcing function:
      http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=5464

    • NW, I think it is more of a 20 Mule Team that I am driving in attacking the anti-science attitudes that permeate the denial-o-sphere.

      I have a number of hobby horses that I am covering on the http://ContextEarth.com site, including that of crude oil production projections. For example, watch this drive:
      http://contextearth.com/2013/10/06/bakken-projections/

    • I was referring to something else in this thread, Web, but if you want to insert your head into the cap you are certainly welcome to do so.

    • Jim D

      You comment:

      regarding the Ordovician, the sun was probably about 5% weaker then too, according to solar evolution models

      I have not seen this postulation in any of the write-ups regarding this “snowball Earth” period, when CO2 levels were several thousand ppmv. Do you have any references?

      Using your 2xCO2 ECS of 3C, it should have been 10C warmer than today, yet it was more than 10C colder than today.

      And the “solar evolution” would also have covered the warmer periods immediately preceding and following the “snowball Earth” interval, so I don’t see how this could have been a major contributing factor.

      Max

  72. The Mail on Sunday has a piece about the infamous 2006 meeting BBC executives had with global warming activists, with the purpose to influence BBC’s “reporting.”

    “BBC’s six-year cover-up of secret ‘green propaganda’ training for top executives

    “Pensioner forces BBC to lift veil on 2006 eco-seminar to top executives

    “Papers reveal influence of top green campaigners including Greenpeace

    “Then-head of news Helen Boaden said it impacted a ‘broad range of output’
    Yet BBC has spent more than £20,000 in legal fees trying to keep it secret”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2537886/BBCs-six-year-cover-secret-green-propaganda-training-executives.html#ixzz2qCtT7PYT

  73. Mark Steyn in ‘The Spectator’ likened the mindset of global warming alarmists to being in first-class staterooms aboard the Titanic and rooting for the iceberg.

    • It’s just that the iceberg always wins, like it did then, ilke it will now. It doesn’t matter who you “root” for — all that matters are the laws of physics.

    • They were trapped by floating ice, which is generally not dangerous. According to its captain, the Russian ship was never in any imminent danger.

      The Titanic was ripped open by an iceberg, which is very different.

  74. Not too technical but very good:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/calorie-counting-thermometers/

    “They have used thermometers to try to measure how many calories the earth is taking in. Like you taking your body temperature to find out if you are gaining weight. Silly when you think of it that way.

    The analogy is very good, fairly accurate, and closely models much of the actual physics issues. Interestingly enough, it even brings out one other parallel. Both the earth and your body are “water cooled”. Humans, when too hot, sweat and evaporate water. The earth surface evaporates water too. That water rises to the top of the troposphere and then condenses into rain, dumping a load of thermal energy high in the sky, at the base of the tropopause.”

    Something like, heat moves water, water cools. Be it high albedo clouds or transport to where the heat can more easily escape out of the Top Of the Atmosphere. While I cannot prove heat moves water and cools the earth, it would seem that would be a good game plan for life surviving on earth over a very long time span.

    At time it seems the skeptics assume a resilient system while the warmists assume it isn’t. That some are taking on the challenge of trying to prove that earth is not resilient to CO2 changes or even natural temperature variations. .

    • Physiologists actually use whole animal (inc human) calorimetry, it is extraordinary difficult thing to do

  75. Generalissimo Skippy

    Only if you ignore climate wilding – which is where I predictably started. Come now Max – would you allow a surgeon who was creating the playbook as he went to operate on you. What hundreds of other factors might be involved I wonder?

  76. David Springer

    If the moderator would delete the text inside the comment instead of deleting the comment the threading wouldn’t break.

  77. http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Senators-launch-5129383.php

    Skeptics are special interest liars, say Dem Senators. Sounds to me like they are trying to organize the special interests on their side.

  78. And that thumping you hear is the sound of nails being driven into the coffin of CO2 induced Global Warming.

    RIP.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • “And that thumping you hear is the sound of nails being driven into the coffin of CO2 induced Global Warming.”

      yup, opinion from a guy that shows no aptitude for science .

      more like it:
      The Cause of the Pause is due to thermodynamic Laws

      very simple stuff, all data carefully accounted for. that’s the ticket.

    • We’ve got Webby chanting

      “Da cause o da pause is da laws!”

      (Backing it up with a home-made model display).

      Demonstrating the point that if you REALLY want to prove something you already KNOW has to be true, it’s actually not that hard to do.

      Max

    • Manacker claims that I am proving “something you already KNOW has to be true”, whereas the reality is that I am incorporating all the skeptical arguments from people like Scafetta, and Wyatt&Curry, and others.

      I had no prior reason to believe that their ideas would work, but for the fact that they are persistent and that their ideas were based on observational analysis, I figured it was worth a try to follow through.

      And so we do indeed detect Curry’s Stadium Wave and Scafetta’s orbital factors. I am using the skeptics own home-made arguments and skeptics such as Manacker are chagrined. You should be rejoicing, Max Manacker.

  79. Generalissimo Skippy

    As mentioned above solar activity has plummeted in the last 10 years, wiping out the forcing built up over the 20th century. Just 0.04C cooling would appear to weaken the solar theory.

    The cool Sun meme – just ain’t so – yet. Sunspots are low but there is a bit of thermal inertia there.

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/data/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png

    Mind you the Sun appears to have gone totally MIA in recent months.

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/data/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_3month_640x480.png

    Naw – still there – is there an instrument failure?

  80. From the article:
    Robert Nozick, the late US libertarian, smoked pot while he was writing Anarchy, State and Utopia. He would applaud the growth of libertarianism among today’s young Americans. Whether it is their enthusiasm for legalised marijuana and gay marriage – both spreading across the US at remarkable speed – or their scepticism of government, US millennials no longer follow President Barack Obama’s cue. Most of America’s youth revile the Tea Party, particularly its south-dominated nativist core. But they are not big-government activists either. If there is a new spirit in America’s rising climate of anti-politics, it is libertarian.

    On the face of it this ought to pose a bigger challenge to the Republican party – at least for its social conservative wing. Mr Obama may have disappointed America’s young, particularly the millions of graduates who have failed to find good jobs during his presidency. But he is no dinosaur. In contrast, Republicans such as Rick Santorum, the former presidential hopeful, who once likened gay sex to “man on dog”, elicit pure derision. Even moderate Republicans, such as Chris Christie, who until last week was the early frontrunner for the party’s 2016 nomination, are considered irrelevant. Whether Mr Christie was telling the truth last week, when he denied knowledge of his staff’s role in orchestrating a punitive local traffic jam, is beside the point. Mr Christie’s Sopranos brand of New Jersey politics is not tailored to the Apple generation.

    The opposite is true of Rand Paul, the Kentucky senator, whose chances of taking the 2016 prize rose with Mr Christie’s dented fortunes last week. Unlike Ron Paul, the senator’s father, who still managed to garner a large slice of the youth vote in 2008, Rand Paul eschews the more outlandish fringes of libertarian thought. Rather than promising an isolationist US withdrawal from the world, he touts a more moderate “non-interventionism”. Instead of pledging to end fiat money, he promises to audit the US Federal Reserve – “mend the Fed”, rather than “end the Fed”. Both find echo among the Y generation. So too does his alarmism about the US national debt. Far from being big spenders, millennials are more concerned about US debt than other generations, according to polls. They are also strongly in favour of free trade. More than a third of the Republican party now identifies as libertarian, according to the Cato Institute. Just under a quarter of Americans do so too, says Gallup.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc9a31b8-7928-11e3-b381-00144feabdc0.html

  81. No warmist has agreed that TCS and ECS cannot be measured. I can only conclude that the reason for this is that they are afraid that the consequences of such an agreement would be devastating for the warmist cause. In future, if anyone wants to claim that some specific estimated value for TCS or ESC has a scientific meaning, I will point out that the number has never been measured. This could be repetitious and boring. If push comes to shove, and a request is made for my posts to be deleted, I hope our hostess will be on my side.

  82. WHT

    You talk about your “20-mule team”.

    Remember that this is simply 20 jackasses running in the same direction.

    Your CSALT model gives one plausible explanation for the “pause”.

    There are many others.

    Max

    • Lol. In general the Fed loans money to people who have a very good record of paying the money back.

      The general public has a very spotty record.

      And Baer was not a lone voice of sanity. She was often a bloomin’ idiot.

  83. Oh, maxie! You better let all those people who are spending money to build and maintain greenhouses that they are making a huge mistake. Especially those maroons who have been growing those terrible greenhouse tomatoes that are allegedly barely recognizable as tomatoes. Nobody is going to buy greenhouse tomatoes. Right, maxie?

  84. Mark Steyn: Tiptoeing on ever-thinner eggshells

    Instead, the relentless propagandizing grows ever more heavy-handed: The tolerance enforcers will not tolerate dissent; the diversity celebrators demand a ruthless homogeneity. Much of the progressive agenda – on marriage, immigration, and much else – involves not winning the argument but ruling any debate out of bounds
    http://tinyurl.com/cfmnxon

    The politically correct social engineering methods and tactics apply equally well to CAGW as the issues Steyn discusses in above link