Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Lew paper gets flushed
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Lewandowski’s controversial paper linking conspiracy ideation to climate skepticism has been retracted.  This is creating an entertaining kerfuffle in the climate blogosphere, here is a broad sampling of the posts:
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This comment from McIntyre summarizes what is going on:

Hilary, my comments at Bishop Hill and WUWT was directed at the incorrect statement that the journal’s concern about defamation liability was “very strange” and to make them aware that I had formally complained to the journal about false and defamatory statements about me in the Lewandowsky article. While the retraction is a step in the right direction, I entirely agree that the journal’s retraction statement (particularly in combination with Lewandowsky’s republication of the article at the UWA website) leaves important issues unresolved.

Since the journal said that it wanted to be “even-handed and objective” and since it appears to permitted Lewandowsky to comment on and rebut the report of the investigation, I asked the journal to provide me with a copy of the report and a similar opportunity to comment.

Lewandowsky has made a 40 minute video.  The comments on the blog threads are highly entertaining.
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Skeptical perspectives
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John Christy has an Opinion piece entitled Climate science isn’t necessarily ‘settled.’    This piece is well worth reading.  And stay tuned, later in the week EconTalk has a 1 hr discussion between John Christy and Kerry Emanuel.
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Pointman has an interesting essay Say Hello Wave Goodbye, asking the question what makes a person persuadable?
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Politics and policy
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Peggy Noonan has an article in the WSJ: Warnings from the Ukraine Crisis.  The last sentence caught my eye:  What is our foreign policy? Disliking global warming?
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A WorldBank article Long-term mitigation and marginal abatement cost curves: A case study on Brazil.  This is pretty interesting, probably deserves its own post, but my backlog is too large.
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Communication
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And finally Brentin Mock has a post Climate Scientists: Tell us How You Really Feel, which recommends using the F-word more frequently.
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Cliff Mass wins this round;  I hope team consensus has a better plan than Bill Nye and the F-word.
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298 responses to “Week in review

  1. Fear and Trembling on the Frontier.
    ===============

    • kim, here is a picture of two ‘Climate Scientists’;

      http://grist.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/oh-scientists.jpg?w=470&h=265&crop=1

      Now kim, tell me why these young, rational, seekers of truth are wearing brand new lab coats?
      They have no need to wear lab coats as they do not work in a wet-lab. People who work in wet-labs have lab coats like mine, stained and washed every four weeks.
      They are wearing lab coats as a fetish, they are employing sympathetic magic, as they think by wearing the robes of experimentalists they can acquire their power.
      Given that it is illegal to wear the uniform of a member of the current military, or a firefighter, or police officer, should it be a crime to pretend that you work in an experimental science?

    • That’s disgusting Doc, you should change your labcoat more than once every four weeks.

    • Bob, I have three Lab Coats, like most wet workers.

    • Doc,

      Have you considered that going off the deep-end over what is likely a stock photo, may be a tad……unhinged?

    • Robert I Ellison

      It is about as credible as Michael or Lewanwhat’shisname.

    • Mike, actually no. My lawn, their tanks.

    • Doc,

      Let me put it this way – you don’t own white coats.

      Should we start a list of occupations where people might wear a white coat?;

      - dr’s
      - meat workers
      -pharmacists
      - etc etc etc

      Not that your self-important little Jihad against clothing isn’t amusing, it is, very much so.

      It’s just that you’ll probably need to enlist the support of ‘Big Gubmint’ to make illegal for people other than yourself to wear white, long sleeved, button up coats.

      I wish you all the best in your futile, and just a tad cr@zy, endeavour.

    • Steven Mosher

      “They are wearing lab coats as a fetish, they are employing sympathetic magic, as they think by wearing the robes of experimentalists they can acquire their power.”

      +1

    • Robert I Ellison

      Was the lead “singer” lolwot?

      Kinda sounded like him.

      Max

    • Doc

      Does a bartender qualify as a “wet worker”?

      Max

    • Yes, this is the new global threat – couture change.

      The insidious increase of less worthy people adopting the magic of the white coat.

      Let’s fight couture change – we need an intenational body, Doc can lead it. Maybe something like the International Panel on Couture Change. IPCC for short.

    • Blue ones show the dirt and stains less.

    • “Should we start a list of occupations where people might wear a white coat?”

      You note you did not include keyboard-monkeys, and for good reason.
      The Labcoat is designed to protect a user from the environment and the environment from the user. Number crunching is not associated with cross contamination risks.
      The choice of clothing worn by the ‘climate scientists’ is similar to the uniforms of North Korean Generals, sympathetic magic
      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NNCaePti2MI/UQ7RvpeRhLI/AAAAAAAAA8Y/bXLj2TJsD90/s1600/nK+Generals.jp

      in the same way that medals denote bravery and competence, labcoats denote working scientists. The North Korean Generals are fakes on the bravery and competence front.

    • John Carpenter

      “Blue ones show the dirt and stains less.”

      Mine is dark blue.

    • I have a half dozen, our procedures require a clean one every day, and we use the white ones so the dirt shows. Hair nets and shoe covers, you can have a beard but you have to cover.

      But then, I’m not like most wet workers.

    • ‘…they think by wearing the robes of the experimentalists they
      can acquire their power,.’ cargo cult science in so many ways.

    • wearing a lab coat doesn’t make you an “experimentalist”

      Many of those who wear lab coats just put out flasks and stuff and don’t do a jot of science

      I’ll take a real scientist running experiments on a GCM any day

    • The screen says ‘game over’, yet on they toil, pounding out experiments on their keyboards.
      ==============

    • The Keyboard Kommandos complaining about this are the ones wearing pajamas.

  2. Curious George

    Surprisingly, some folks do occasionally behave rationally. A promise that international troops will withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014 is bearing fruit.

  3. Jim Cripwell

    Our hostess writes. ” I hope team consensus has a better plan than Bill Nye and the F-word.”

    What a pity. I sure hope that the warmists have absolutely no viable plan whatsoever to support the hoax of CAGW.

    • Jim Cripwell

      lolwot you write “I mean if you DID think it would stop why would you think it would happen exactly now?”

      If you believe, as I do, that CAGW is a hoax, then everything that is occurring in the way of climate, such as Arctic sea ice extent, does not have any trend. So I believe that sooner or later, sea ice will recover in the Arctic and we will return to the values that were observed in 1979.

      When this is going to happen, I have no idea. There may be many false starts in the recovery process. But sooner or later, I believe recovery will take place. Now is as good a time as any.

    • Jim, pretty much right, but we are probably making a poor assumption that arctic ice extent the past few centuries was normal and that we’ll return to that. Ice extent may have been decreasing for centuries or millenia and the little ice age may have brought about a halt or extent recovery. There may be a long term trend of decline, a cyclical ebb and flow (Like the 60 year cycle), plus a tiny GHG component.

      I don’t totally buy that the 40s ice extent change mechanism was different than post 70s because the trigger could be the same, but the other chaotic process including the distribution of ice could affect the path of heat transfer.

    • doesn’t make any sense. Why would you presume that point is now.

      Why not 2100, by which time all the ice is gone

      No, the haste to believe there is an ice recovery is obviously a trait of denial. Wishfully wanting nature to go the opposite way to what AGW says it will, and nothing more.

      If you really did believe ice decline was natural there’s no reason to not think it will continue.

    • Because of the likely cyclicality which may have to do with the PDO and/or AMO or stadium wave. The timing of the decline in 20s-40 and recovery in the 50-70s suggest this.

  4. A former professor once cited the fact that a radiative equilibrium atmosphere would have a super-adiabatic lapse rate as evidence that CO2 forcing is limited.

    What is this argument missing?

    • In a word: convection

    • “Whew, thanks for the clarification! I thought a sudden melt had befallen the polar region.”

      And yet not at all surprising, if you really had.

    • Jim D:

      Lower sea-ice leads to a positive albedo feedback, and is a domino in the tipping points that end up with Greenland deglaciating. The central Arctic Ocean is quietly warming by 1 C per decade during the “pause”.

      If you took the trouble to quantify the effects of the reduced albedo due to reduction in seasonal sea ice, I’m sure you’ll find it’s nowhere near enough to warm the Arctic by 1C per decade.
      Besides which, you can expect continued sea-ice loss if temperatures remain static – temperatures would actually need to decrease in order to arrest the ice-loss, let alone cause the ice to start increasing.

    • phatboy, the warming of 1 C per decade is already occurring. I don’t know if it is the feedback or not. It just is warming.

    • Jim D, whatever the cause of the 1C warming, it ain’t sea ice loss.
      However, having said that, because an open water surface is considerably warmer than an ice surface, it’s quite feasible that more open water has led to a 1C higher average temperature as measured, without the water having warmed at all.

    • Open water warms much more easily than sea ice. This heat is retained, and can persist to later seasons or years.

    • Jim D, the amount of SW getting into the Arctic ocean is tiny, even in summer. Any warming is much more likely to be carried in by sea currents from lower latitudes.

    • phatboy, that is not actually true. Continuous warming through the Arctic summer even at a low angle is a significant net energy because it is up to 24 hours. It integrates to higher daily values than mid-latitudes in winter.

    • “Jim D on March 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      phatboy, that is not actually true. Continuous warming through the Arctic summer even at a low angle is a significant net energy because it is up to 24 hours. It integrates to higher daily values than mid-latitudes in winter.”
      Nah, only a few hours a day does any narrow set of longitudes warm with open water, the rest of the day you have a large loss reflected as glare, the rest radiates to space.

    • Jim D, at shallow angles of incidence, the reflection losses are high, plus the sunlight does not penetrate deep into the water.
      The amount of energy absorbed is tiny compared to that at lower latitudes.

    • Not only that, but the SW attenuation due to aerosols is also much higher at high latitudes.

    • Hundreds of W/m2 hitting the Arctic water surface all day, most of it absorbed, is not “tiny”. I stand by that, and you can argue for your terming of it all you want.

    • Jim D, as you stand by your assertion, you must be able to quantify it.
      So why don’t you give us a ballpark figure, together with your workings.

    • OK, the sun on a clear day at 23 degrees above the horizon provides 400 W/m2 on a horizontal surface, allowing for a little loss in the atmosphere. The water absorbs 90% of this because the albedo of water is less than 10%.

    • Jim D, that’s at noon on a clear day at the Arctic circle in midsummer.
      And you haven’t factored in either the optical depth of the atmosphere or the reflectance of water at high latitudes.
      And the little bit of SW which does actually make it into the water is absorbed at a much shallower depth.

      Try again.

    • phatboy, at the north pole the sun stays at 23 degrees all day in midsummer, and just rotates around 360 degrees at that angle, and this angle slowly changes during the summer. It is 400 W/m2 continuously, which adds up to a lot. And deep water is dark. It absorbs most of it. The direct sun gives you 1400 W/m2, which may be reduced at the ground generously to 1000 W/m2 by the clear but hazy atmosphere at a low angle. Then you take sine 23 degrees which is 0.4 and there is the 400 W/m2 I spoke of.

    • Jim D, at 23 deg angle of incidence, around 20% of the light is reflected off the water surface, increasing rapidly to 100% as you move towards the Arctic Circle at midnight.
      Integrate this over the Arctic area and you’re down to a fraction of your 400W – particularly if you leave out the areas most likely to be covered in ice, even in midsummer.

    • phatboy, you know that at the Arctic Circle in midsummer, the sun varies from 0 to 43 degrees above the horizon. It doesn’t help your argument at all, because you get 700 W/m2 at 43 degrees, also not “tiny”.

      • “phatboy, you know that at the Arctic Circle in midsummer, the sun varies from 0 to 43 degrees above the horizon. It doesn’t help your argument at all, because you get 700 W/m2 at 43 degrees, also not “tiny”.
        But it’s only at max above the horizon for 4-5 hours a day, the rest of the time the angle between the sun and the waters surface is much lower, and then glare cuts albedo to within 10-20 points of ice/snow. Then the rest of the time the sky is clear, 32° water is radiating to a sub -69° F Tsky, much more energy is lost than ice/snow.

        It’s not a tipping point, it’s the cooling system turning on.

      • @Jim D

        you know that at the Arctic Circle in midsummer, the sun varies from 0 to 43 degrees above the horizon. It doesn’t help your argument at all, because you get 700 W/m2 at 43 degrees, also not “tiny”.

        Water Albedo, If you look at Table 7 you get Albedo for high noon, but don’t forget at high latitudes the earth is curved more than just to the north, it’s also curved to the east and west, such that by a couple hours before and afternoon you’re going to see a large drop as well. So there is no 700W/m2. At 60 Lat water albedo is about 5 mid summer, so ~665W/m2 peak input, and let’s say it’s dropped to zero in 5 hours (I’ll take a linear approximation), just under ~12 MJ/day incoming. With a 32F surface, a -60F Tsky, under clear skies that same point on the map radiates 14.5MJ/day. And the further North you go the smaller the energy in gets, for example at 80N, for only 2 months a year is water albedo effectively 10, by 90N 3 months it’s at 20, the other 2 months of light it’s 30 and 40, but every sq meter of water under clear skies it’s still radiating near 15MJ/day to space. And that’s with a -60F Tsky!

        So, the math doesn’t show a melting arctic as a tipping point, it shows it as a cooling system.

    • If you integrate it over the year over the whole area, your figure comes down to probably little more than 100w.
      And then you still have to factor in shallow-angle reflectance, atmospheric attenuation and ice cover to see how much is actually absorbed by the ocean.

    • Jim D

      We are going around in circles here.

      You keep coming back to setting targets, whereas I am talking about implementing actionable proposals, which could result in a slowdown in the increase of atmospheric CO2 without damaging the world economy or damning those in the underdeveloped world today to perpetual poverty.

      “Setting targets” achieves nothing, as we have seen from the Kyoto debacle. They are simply political posturing. Even more stupid are hollow political promises to “hold warming to no more than 2C”. (Imposing a direct or indirect carbon tax would, of course, also achieve nothing, as we both know.)

      The other approach could conceivably result in a reduction of the increase in CO2 by 100 to 150 ppmv by the time that economically competitive and environmentally acceptable alternates to fossil fuels have been developed (let’s say the end of this century)

      This could theoretically reduce global warming by around 0.6C by then.

      What you propose would not achieve anything. Nada. Zilch.

      Max

  5. Jim Cripwell

    Total sea ice extent seems to have returned to a value around zero. Seehttp://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Total sea ice extent is zero?!

    • Jim Cripwell

      Sorry. Total sea ice extent ANOMALY has returned to a value of zero.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Whew, thanks for the clarification! I thought a sudden melt had befallen the polar region. Yes, sea global ice extent anomaly is often zero this time a year.

    • That should tell you something, RG.
      =========

    • Looks like 2014 has been the warmest start of the year on record in the Arctic north of 80N

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      It tells me many things, but global sea ice is less important of a metric (even given it’s long term slow decline) than understanding the actual physical separate dynamics of the NH and SH sea ice. They are so extremely different, that only in looking at them closely and separately can we gain any useful insights into their fluctuations and draw any meaningful conclusion in looking at a combined total. Only a fake-skeptic would attempt this.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. You write “Less than 2012 and we know what happened then.”

      I am curious. A few years ago, the warmists were claiming that the more important number when looking at Arctic sea ice was VOLUME, not EXTENT. Now you seem to be claiming that extent is more important than volume. See

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/05/cryosat-shows-arctic-sea-ice-volume-up-50-from-last-year/

      In October 2013, sea ice volume was 50% more than in 2012. and PIOMAS shows that volume in 2013/4 is still more than in 2012/3.

      So are you claiming that because sea ice extent is less than 2012, we can ignore volume when it comes to projecting what minimum sea ice extent will be like in September?

    • Actually volume is more important. The ice we have now is much thinner than before. But if people insist on extent, that won’t save them embarrassment either in the long run, but it is a noisier signal which helps the uncertainty argument.

    • Jim Cripwell

      lolwot, you write “Looks like 2014 has been the warmest start of the year on record in the Arctic north of 80N”

      I am not sure about the warmest on record, but sea ice extent maximum this year does not seem to have occurred yet. The average date, 1979 to 2000, IIRC, is March 10th.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write ” The ice we have now is much thinner than before.”

      Sorry you have lost me. Cryosat 2 shows that in October 2013, there was 50% more Arctic sea ice volume than in 2012. How does that make the ice now much thinner than before?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “I am not sure about the warmest on record, but sea ice extent maximum this year does not seem to have occurred yet.”
      —-
      Really a matter of wind determining a bit of growth or divergence right now. The winds over the Bering sea have favored late season and therefore very thin sea ice expansion. We may in fact have reached the maximum in the past few days of in the coming day or two. Right now the atmospheric dynamics over the N. Pole are very similar to 2007 at this time of year, but of the total volume of ice is much less.

    • A 50% increase in ice is meaningless without knowing the absolute amount.

      If the ice collapses to 1 inch think one summer then next summer it’s 2 inch. WOW a 100% increase!!!

    • I mean compared to the last decade, where the trend is obvious to anyone.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Jim, the long-term thermodynamics and increase in energy in the climate system will very likely send seasonal sea ice to zero in the Arctic. This bigger picture is the more important picture, though we greatly appreciate your daily updates on the sea ice, they seem to be selective on days that appear to support your skewed point of view.

    • I don’t know why skeptics and Dr Curry think Arctic sea ice decline has stopped.

      I mean if you DID think it would stop why would you think it would happen exactly now?

      Why not 2018 or 2026? By what coincidence does a “recovery” start after 2012 just when people are talking about it? (we’ll ignore the claims of recovery starting in 2007)

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “I mean compared to the last decade, where the trend is obvious to anyone.”

      Fair enough. I was put off by your specification of 2012. The trend of the last decade is obvious, but I suspect that the data is ergodic.

    • Jim Cripwell, there are good reasons to expect the sea ice to be declining, and those reasons don’t point to a reversal, more to a continuation.

    • k scott denison

      Gates, Jim D, lolwot – lower sea ice is a problem, why? Which is better for man, more or less? What is the ideal?

    • Lower sea-ice leads to a positive albedo feedback, and is a domino in the tipping points that end up with Greenland deglaciating. The central Arctic Ocean is quietly warming by 1 C per decade during the “pause”.

    • Jim Cripwell

      lolwot you write “I mean if you DID think it would stop why would you think it would happen exactly now?”

      If you believe, as I do, that CAGW is a hoax, then everything that is occurring in the way of climate, such as Arctic sea ice extent, does not have any trend. So I believe that sooner or later, sea ice will recover in the Arctic and we will return to the values that were observed in 1979.

      When this is going to happen, I have no idea. There may be many false starts in the recovery process. But sooner or later, I believe recovery will take place. Now is as good a time as any.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “Jim Cripwell, there are good reasons to expect the sea ice to be declining, and those reasons don’t point to a reversal, more to a continuation.”

      Fair enough. And there are good reasons to expect sea ice to return to 1979 levels, and those reasons point to a reversal, more than a continuation.

    • k scott denison

      Jim D | March 22, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
      Lower sea-ice leads to a positive albedo feedback, and is a domino in the tipping points that end up with Greenland deglaciating. The central Arctic Ocean is quietly warming by 1 C per decade during the “pause”.
      ________
      And Greenland deglaciating is bad why? What is the right level of glaciers on Greenland? How do you know?

    • lowlot:

      Looks like 2014 has been the warmest start of the year on record in the Arctic north of 80N

      ‘warm’ is not an adjective any reasonable person would use to describe temperatures north of 80N

    • ksd, 7 meters of sea level rise is a highly predictable result of Greenland deglaciating.

    • Jim Cripwell, if you have good reasons for a full sea-ice recovery, they are your own, not seen anywhere in known science.

    • “Jim D
      Lower sea-ice leads to a positive albedo feedback, and is a domino in the tipping points that end up with Greenland deglaciating”

      Positive albedo feedback works both ways. If you have a cold year, the ice is up, so more shortwave is reflected, so the surface is colder, so ice accumulates, so ice cover increases, so the following year is colder.
      Now of you and the rest of the warmists are correct, then ice-free conditions in the arctic will occur in the near future and stay like that for the res of my life; you death spiral plot will go down the plug hole.
      If the cyclists are correct, we will see a rebound.

      I await the coming decade and suspect that many blogs will go the way of ‘The Oil Drum’ in that time.

    • k scott denison

      Jim D | March 22, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      ksd, 7 meters of sea level rise is a highly predictable result of Greenland deglaciating.
      ______________

      Yup, water has been that high before and will be again. Because it won’t happen overnight I think we will all be fine. So why is it such a problem? And I note you fail to answer the questions about what are the ideal states. Why is this?

    • Jim Cripwell

      JIm D. you write “Jim Cripwell, if you have good reasons for a full sea-ice recovery, they are your own, not seen anywhere in known science.”

      Nonsense. Most other “vinerisms” have not occurred, such as no more snow in the UK, increasing global surface temperatures, decreasing Antarctic sea ice, increasing frequency and intensity of hurricanes, etc.,I can see no reason why this particular vinerism should come true either.

    • ksd, well, we built major cities in that coastal zone since the last time, so it will have more impact in that way. The ideal state for sea level is the current one, or lower. That way, we incur no cost of moving populations inland, or damage and expenses associated with trying to keep the sea back for those who choose not to move.

    • Jim Cripwell, if you look, you will see that the temperatures are rising and sea-levels too, while sea ice is declining. These were expected and are happening, some of them for a century already.

    • Snow in the UK has been in decline for decades. Annual days of snow cover are falling. A warmer UK means temperatures are less frequently reaching freezing, snow simply won’t settle. South of England will start reaching zero first.

    • “Gates, Jim D, lolwot – lower sea ice is a problem, why? Which is better for man, more or less? What is the ideal?”
      _____
      Now that is indeed an excellent question which can be honestly looked at in an objective way. On one hand, lower sea ice and a generally more open Arctic allows humans to both traverse the region, aiding in international commerce activities, and also to access the vast oil and gas reserves of the region. On the other hand, a warmer Arctic will very likely be a net positive feedback to anthropogenic warming of the climate. Given that we are likely headed back to at least a mid-Pliocene climate, a warmer Arctic probably means that this is just one more positive feedback to get us there more quickly. So the real question probably comes down to: will be be able to support a 7+ billion human population on a mid-Pliocene or possibly Miocene-like climate?

    • “I don’t know why skeptics and Dr Curry think Arctic sea ice decline has stopped.”
      _____
      I wasn’t aware that Dr. Curry had made that analysis. Hope she doesn’t fall for the “recovery” nonsensical talk such as was so common in 2008 & 2009, after 2007′s big decline. The longer-term perspective would indicate that this baby has a long way to spiral down, and there will be natural fluctuations and variability on the way down, but absolutely nothing indicates that the longer-term downward trend has been broken. If Dr. Curry disagrees with this, I would love to see the data that supports that disagreement.

      • As per the stadium wave, the natural variability part of the sea ice decline (arguably at least half of the total sea ice decline) will bottom out circa 2030, with the reversal of the decline beginning in the European sector.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jom D. You write “Jim Cripwell, if you look, you will see that the temperatures are rising and sea-levels too, while sea ice is declining.”

      I did not say ALL vinerisms, I said most. I am not sure what you mean by sea ice is declining. I specified Antarctic sea ice, whose extent has been increasing ever since 1979, and which was forecast to decrease. Total sea ice anomaly shows little trend. I am not sure what “temperatures are increasing”. I specified global surface temperatures, which have not increased for about 15 years, and which were also forecast to increase. What I wrote is correct, whether you like to admit it or not.

    • Jim Cripwell

      lolwot, you write “Snow in the UK has been in decline for decades.”

      So what? Dr.Viner forecast that generations of schoolchildren would grow up in the UK, and they would never see snow. A few years later, satellite photographs showed the whole of the UK covered in snow.

    • k scott denison

      Well, man is an amazing being. Survived many difficult times. Now both Jim D and Gates think a little warming and we are doomed. With all of our technology and resources, yet we are doomed. Hard to agree with that view.

    • Jim Cripwell, even you probably realize that if the sun is its least active for a century and there is a PDO and La Nada conditions, we don’t expect global temperatures to still reach the top ten years on record. Clearly there are trends, and clearly there are explanations where we would have predicted these trends a century ago had we known the extent of CO2 addition. Sea ice is a casualty of a century trend. The Antarctic has no trend as long as 5 years, so this recent rise is not a climate shift. The Arctic, on the other hand, has been declining, leading to a net global decline for a decade, at least.

    • ksd, did I say doomed or was that in your head? No, with a little forethought we can have a reasonable climate even through future generations. However, sea-level rise is a costly thing to adjust to, and the less the better, I would say. Surprisingly to some, this consideration, among others related to costs and sustainability, goes with the less added CO2 the better.

    • Jim D

      I’d agree with you that we are almost certainly going to “have a reasonable climate even through future generations” (regardless of what we do).

      And, if we are as intelligent and resourceful as we have been in the past, we will adapt to any challenges that might result from any changes in climate that nature (or anyone else) throws at us, if and when it becomes apparent that these challenges could become imminent.

      Neither declining Arctic Sea Ice nor expanding Antarctic Sea Ice are likely to become one of these “challenges”, although declining Arctic Sea Ice could represent a boon for sea transport, if it really represents a long-term change and not simply a cyclical one. Growing Antarctic Sea Ice will not likely have much impact on mankind at all.

      Higher sea levels? Well, the Dutch have been living with and adapting to that for years.

      Greater crop yields from higher CO2 levels? Why not enjoy the good news? I don’t believe that this alone is going to cause increased obesity, do you?

      Slightly warmer “global average” temperature? Why not? Warmer has historically always been better for humanity than cooler.

      It’s all good, Jim.

      Or maybe I should reword that to say, “there is no real good reason to believe that we will NOT ‘have a reasonable climate even through future generations’.”

      Max

    • Dr. Curry said:

      “As per the stadium wave, the natural variability part of the sea ice decline (arguably at least half of the total sea ice decline) will bottom out circa 2030, with the reversal of the decline beginning in the European sector.”
      ____
      Yes, perhaps “as per the stadium wave”. But this would be assuming:
      1) This a real, as opposed to an epiphenomenon.
      2) There is no modulation of the “stadium wave” by the external forcing from increasing species of GH gases.
      3) The external forcing on the climate system from the increases in various species of GH gases does not otherwise overpower the natural fluctuations of the stadium wave.

      The “reversal of the decline” would not be based simply on the stadium wave, but on the net flux of energy to the Arctic region as well as the totality of feedbacks from any ongoing warming of the region.

      Though I suspect it more likely that the “stadium wave”, to the extent that it is a real as opposed to an epiphenomenon, may simply modulate the slow spiral down of the Arctic sea ice as the net forcing from GH gases increases annually, i.e., the fluctuations of the stadium wave may influence whether the first Arctic ice free summer is 2040 or 2060 (the difference being irrelevant from a geological and climatological perspective), but it will not in the end, prevent that ice free summer Arctic from occurring, which is overall being driven by anthropogenic forcing.

    • k scott denison said:

      ” Now both Jim D and Gates think a little warming and we are doomed. ”
      ____
      Please show the post where I said we are doomed from a little warming. Otherwise, please retract your fabrication.

    • RGates assumes warming. Beware the millennial at your perennial. As per Max above, we can hope for warming. I do not wish to say ‘we can only hope for warming’.
      =============

    • By the way, Gaia thinks it’s high time that mankind got a little gratitude for the warming instead of the misplaced guilt. That there guilt is a pathological feevah.
      ============

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. You write “Jim Cripwell, even you probably realize that if the sun is its least active for a century ”

      What you write is a red herring. You asked me for the basis of why I believed Arctic sea ice would recover, and said there were no reasons. I suggested that the fact that most vinerisms have not come to fruition, is at least an indication that yet another vinerism might suffer the same fate. You are not addressing this issue.

    • “The Puzzles Involving Sea Ice at the Poles,”
      The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media, March 20, 2014.
      http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2014/03/the-puzzles-involving-sea-ice-at-the-poles/

    • Jim Cripwell wrote:
      I specified Antarctic sea ice, whose extent has been increasing ever since 1979

      Recently a problem was found in the algorithms for the main model that calculates Antarctic sea ice extent and area. It’s probably still increasing, but not as fast as was once thought:
      http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/8/273/2014/tcd-8-273-2014.html

      and which was forecast to decrease.

      Not by everyone. A 1991 model by Manabe et al predicted a slowly increasing Antarctic sea ice extent:
      http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/sm9101.pdf
      (pg 795).

    • R. Gates

      You ask the rhetorical question:

      So the real question probably comes down to: will we be able to support a 7+ billion human population on a mid-Pliocene or possibly Miocene-like climate?

      Leaving aside the rather doubtful premise that we are heading for such a climate in the first place, I’d say an even more pertinent question is:

      Why not?

      Slightly warmer temperatures mean longer growing seasons and increased agricultural surface area in the major crop producing northern regions.

      Slightly higher CO2 levels are beneficial for plant growth, especially for those of the C3 type (which includes most human crop plants).

      The benefit from higher CO2 levels includes increased drought resistance.

      So , it appears that the “why not?” question may be answered.

      Another question could be, “what are the alternates?”

      I think you will agree that our planet’s climate will change no matter what we do (it always has).

      So a “static climate” – frozen in time at exactly today’s conditions is a fantasy, at best.

      So the question is:

      What is better for humanity, a slightly warmer or a slightly cooler planet?

      And I’d say the jury is still very much out on that one, but history probably indicates that “warmer is better”.

      What do you think?

      Max

    • Jim D:

      …we built major cities in that coastal zone since the last time, so it will have more impact in that way

      Well, more fool us then!
      The point is, we’re not going to see rises in the order of metres for a very long time – certainly more than long enough to comfortably move infrastructure

    • “Dr.Viner forecast that generations of schoolchildren would grow up in the UK, and they would never see snow.”

      No he didn’t. He said children wouldn’t know what snow was, he didn’t give an age or say “generations” of them.

      In fact he event said that there would be extreme snow events in the future and because people had become accustomed to no snow they would be caught unprepared.

    • Jim D

      Believe Jim Cripwell was referring to TOTAL sea ice (both poles).

      I’ve not seen the latest daily data, but the last end-February NSIDC data showed that the TOTAL sea ice was 0.5% below the 1979-2000 baseline value at 18.49 vs. 18.58 million square km.

      So it’s quite possible that it is now above the baseline value.

      IOW the sea ice GAIN in the Antarctic = the sea ice LOSS in the Arctic.

      So we do not have “global” sea ice loss, but “northern hemisphere” sea ice loss with “southern hemisphere” sea ice gain..

      And we do not have “global” warming, but “northern hemisphere” warming.

      Is that correct?

      Or does sea ice extent have nothing to do with global warming?

      Seems it must be one or the other, Jim.

      Max

    • k scott denison

      R. Gates | March 22, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
      k scott denison said:

      ” Now both Jim D and Gates think a little warming and we are doomed. ”
      ____
      Please show the post where I said we are doomed from a little warming. Otherwise, please retract your fabrication.
      _____________
      Glad to hear that neither you nor Jim D think we are doomed then. So no need to Take actions at this point I guess. Glad you’ve come round to the skeptics side.

    • ksd and manacker have a reading comprehension problem. There is a big IF for the reasonable climate scenario, which amounts to leaving significantly more than half the known fossil-carbon resources in the ground. Despite what skeptics think, policy matters. It makes the difference between nearer 500 ppm and nearer 1000 ppm in the atmosphere in the long run, for example.

    • phatboy, the most likely sea level rise scenario is the New Jersey/Sandy one where you get coastal devastation and rebuilding a few times before they see it is hopeless. New York will see even more resistance to moving, and may build barriers to sustain it below sea level, like much of New Orleans is. And Florida? I don’t know what they can do. Best to start thinking now.

    • lowlot, you do neither yourself or your cause any favours by quibbling semantics in a vain attempt to defend the stupid things said by some people.

    • Jim D, nice deflection.
      In your words, how long do we have before we see seven metres of sea-level rise?

    • phatboy you do yourself no favors blindly defending something you don’t understand.

      Viner didn’t predict an end to snow, he predicted it becoming a very rare event. Which is exactly why people were so unprepared when it happened.

    • lolwot doesn’t know what snow is anymore. He thinks it’s become rare.
      =======================

    • I wouldn’t go so far, but lolwot blames Viner for the Britons’ unpreparedness. I’d blame them for believing him.
      ============

    • “Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.”
      http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

      For some reason deniers omit that part.

    • Lolwot tries to explain Viner. After all the nuances, Viner has nothing new to say. We will get snow. Sometimes it will be disruptive. Nothing new – any difference Viner believes there will be isn’t measurable.

    • lowlot, I know perfectly well what he said.
      Now why not just admit that someone, who you probably know little or nothing about, said something silly, put it behind you, and then we can all move on.

    • Viner certainly did have something new and important to say.

      The longterm trend in the UK is snow is becoming rarer. That’s because the longterm trend is warming and temperatures are more often too high for snow to form or settle. It now takes an unusually cold winter to produce snow in the south of the country, whereas it used to just take a normal winter.

      As the UK warms up even more, then as Viner points out, snow will become even rarer. There might be periods of 10 consecutive winters or longer without snow. In which case yes there will be children of 11 and 12 “who don’t know what snow is”. In the end Viner is very likely going to turn out absolutely correct on everything he said.

      The naysayers have simply been careless in reading what Viner actually said.

    • Phatboy you are just blindly parroting what you’ve been misled to believe. I seriously doubt you’ve even read what Viner actually wrote.

    • C’mon guys, I think all schoolchildren should know about Viner, and lolwot’s doing his part.
      ============

    • lowlot:

      Phatboy you are just blindly parroting what you’ve been misled to believe.

      I suppose you believe that you can point out exactly where on this thread I quoted, or misquoted, anything he said.
      Put up or shut up!

    • Don’t confuse ice extent with ice area, the Cryosphere reports ice area, not extent.

      But it is true that ice extent is near the average for the 2000s, but in 2012 ice extent reached the average for the 1990s so that is not a valuable card for the cyclic recovery camp. Both 2012 and this year show a late increase in extent, so does that bode for a recovery or another record melt?

      As for the sea level rise that could happen, say extrapolate the Grace satellite data, you would get total collapse of Greenland Ice Sheet and a significant contribution from West Antarctica in 300 to 600 years.

      So would it be cheaper to move the coastal cities on a global scale, or decarbonize the global economy?

      As the old commercial goes, you can pay me now or you can pay me later.

    • Jim D

      You must realize that simply “leaving fossil fuels in the ground” when there is a demand for these fossil fuels does not make any sense at all.

      The fossil fuels have no inherent value “in the ground”.

      They only gain “added value” once they have been extracted and refined to meet the needs of the demand.

      If and when a more economical and environmentally acceptable alternate to fossil fuels as an energy source is developed, then it will make sense to switch over to this new energy source and “leave the fossil fuels in the ground” (or extract them for higher added-value end uses than simple combustion for energy).

      And since that is what makes economic sense, that is almost certainly what is going to happen.

      Max

    • bob droege

      You ask

      would it be cheaper to move the coastal cities on a global scale, or decarbonize the global economy?

      There is a third choice, Bob, which is very likely to be the lowest-cost solution, for almost all cases.

      Do as the Dutch have been doing for centuries – protect your low-lying areas with higher dikes and levees.

      Real simple.

      (It’s called “adaptation”).

      Max

    • kim

      It appears that lolwot needs a shovel.

      (Snow?)

      Max

    • manacker, your choice is leave fossil carbon in the ground or put it in the air at up to 1000 ppm, by your numbers, higher by other sources. You are going to say we won’t be as foolish as to burn it all and let it get to 1000 ppm if left without policies, but you are also saying we should not even try to prevent even half of it burning to keep it below 700 ppm. It is about goals. What is the ideal ppm, and how much CO2 can be emitted to achieve that? The sums say, leave over half of it in the ground, and that won’t happen unless people realize a goal and try technologically to achieve that.

    • Jim D

      I have absolutely nothing against “leaving fossil fuels in the ground” as soon as there is an economically competitive and environmentally acceptable alternate source of energy.

      This is not the case today, with the possible exception of nuclear fission for electrical power, but this alternate faces immense political (and hence regulatory) problems today.

      “Setting targets” from top down sounds too much like the “5 year plan” approach of the old Soviet Union (which never worked).

      But if any top down “targets” would make sense setting it could be to “target”:

      - tax incentives for individuals and corporations for the implementation of “no-regrets” initiatives (making nuclear competitive by lifting the regulatory hurdles and replacing new coal-fired plants with nuclear or gas-fired in locations where gas is readily available or there are proliferation concerns, replacing normal automobiles with cost-competitive hybrids, shifting from Diesel to natural gas for heavy transport, implementing energy saving actions such as waste recycling, better building insulation, etc.)

      - a desired time schedule for when an economically competitive and environmentally acceptable alternate source of energy could be ready and support the basic research work required to reach this goal with taxpayer funding in the form of direct grants or tax incentives

      These would be actual actionable proposals for reducing CO2 emissions.

      Your idea of setting and enforcing top down “emissions targets” in order to “leave the fossil fuels in the ground” is neither economically viable nor actionable.

      The dumbest thing of all would be a direct or indirect “carbon tax”, as this would have no impact on CO2 emissions at all, but simply harm everyone, especially the most vulnerable. (Unfortunately, it looks like this is the direction that some politicians are trying to move this – because their hidden agendal is not to reduce carbon emissions, but to increase taxes.)

      Jim, what you propose has to make economic sense and must be actionable or it will not be implemented.

      It’s just that simple.

      Max

    • manacker, it is not possible to enforce targets internationally, but they can be agreed to, at least to try, and we saw how Kyoto turned out possibly due to economic considerations and practicality. In the end, yes, these matter too, but so do clear targets. Even a linear reduction to zero over the next hundred years gets us something (a 500 ppm stabilization), and I would argue that technology advances fast enough to do that, amounting to a 3 GtCO2/yr reduction in emissions per decade. Copenhagen seems to have hinted at a more ambitious target with a faster reduction to aim at 450 ppm, so we will see what Paris does. As with such negotiated targets, it is better to aim high (low CO2) as a starting point.

    • Jim D

      By mistake this comment ended up in the wrong place, so am re-posting.

      We are going around in circles here.

      You keep coming back to setting targets, whereas I am talking about implementing actionable proposals, which could result in a slowdown in the increase of atmospheric CO2 without damaging the world economy or damning those in the underdeveloped world today to perpetual poverty.

      “Setting targets” achieves nothing, as we have seen from the Kyoto debacle. They are simply political posturing. Even more stupid are hollow political promises to “hold warming to no more than 2C”. (Imposing a direct or indirect carbon tax would, of course, also achieve nothing, as we both know.)

      The other approach could conceivably result in a reduction of the increase in CO2 by 100 to 150 ppmv by the time that economically competitive and environmentally acceptable alternates to fossil fuels have been developed (let’s say the end of this century)

      This could theoretically reduce global warming by around 0.6C by then.

      What you propose would not achieve anything. Nada. Zilch.

      Max

  6. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    Hmmm…

    Lewandowsky on March 21, 2014:

    “So here then, is, Recursive Fury:

    http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/Publications/LskyetalRecursiveFury4UWA.pdf

    • Look over the Frontier.
      =============

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Oh, I have. Far and wide.

    • Spy the abstract at the Frontier?

      H/t hro001
      ========

    • The amusing thing is how the conspiracy theorists can’t stand being called out.

      They’ll go on and on about how the IPCC is a conspiracy of world government and “Agenda 21″ and how Obama is the new world order. NASA adjusted up all the temperature data. There’s a conspiracy at national academies of science….

      Lord Monctkon will even find time to claim there’s a conspiracy concerning Obama’s birth certificate.

      But when the light is shined on their activities they all scuttle away to hide in the woodwork, and others act outraged … OUTRAGED .. that they would be associated with conspiracy theories.

    • I had noticed this paper before, and it looks like a response from Lewandowsky to attacks about the first paper, which he basically attributes to proving his original point.
      This paper was therefore about the conspiracy-theory reactions to the first Lewandowsky paper (LOG12). From the abstract:
      “Using established criteria to identify conspiracist ideation, we show
      that many of the hypotheses exhibited conspiratorial content and counterfactual thinking. For example, whereas hypotheses were initially narrowly focused on LOG12, some ultimately grew in scope to include actors beyond the authors of LOG12, such as university executives, a media organization, and the Australian government. The overall pattern of the blogosphere’s response to LOG12 illustrates the possible role of conspiracist ideation in the rejection of science, although alternative scholarly interpretations may be advanced in the future.”

    • k scott denison

      lolwot | March 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      The amusing thing is how the conspiracy theorists can’t stand being called out.
      __________

      Ah, your old standby. Have you read the judgement in Chevron vs. Steve Donziger et al? Interesting tale of enviromentalists corrupted into conspiracy by a noble cause. Proof again that sometimes theories prove out to be true, even about conspiracies.

    • lolwot

      The amusing thing is how the conspiracy theorists can’t stand being called out.

      Presume you’re talking about Lewandowsky, right?

      Max

    • Recursive fury .) Reminds me of Lewis Carroll.
      http://bootless.net/mouse.html

  7. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    Dropping either the F bomb or the Bill Nye bomb, might make for headlines, as they are more splashy than this:

    http://vimeo.com/88814966

    But one thing the “consensus” does have is science versus whatever the motivations are for those who prefer to act as useful idiots.

    • Dream on! Alas mother nature seems to be a denier of manmade climate change. While the scientists are varying between being deniers of the reality of the unexpected hiatus in warming, to telling us it exists but can be disregarded for another 10 years, or that it is due to an unphysical deep water warming, or aerosols from the selfsame fossil fuels ‘masking’ the warming or any of 10 more rubbish excuses..This is science only in the sense that it is the guesswork that precedes real science.

      However some of us think this experiment has already concluded. We did inject a large amount of CO2 into the atmosphere and we were told to expect a parabolic increase in warming. We got instead the exact opposite. There is no warming masked by cooling. There is only a hyped up theory and a lot of natural variability that was underestimated.

  8. In effect what Moses did is not that much different from what the Left does in attempting to increase political power to accomplish Leftist goals by pretending the productive are responsible for a storm. At least the motives of Moses were laudable: he was trying to free his people from tyranny. For a while, like a modern-day Moses we also had George Bush who stood up to the UN/Eurocommie/Academics of global warming and demanded that the Left, let his people go. Global warming is history not science–e.g., from wiki (based on verses in Exodus), is the following:

    “Therefore, at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now. Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every man and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the field, and they will die… hail fell and lightning flashed back and forth. It was the worst storm in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation.”

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Global warming is history not science…”

      Well, wouldn’t it be both?

    • Wagathon dives straight into the conspiracy ideation.

      Unwise move buddy. Wrong thread to be doing that.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “George Bush who stood up to the UN/Eurocommie/Academics…”
      ——
      Yes, a great hero is was against this vast conspiracy.

      •  
        Cliff Mass writes:

        And I noticed something else: the audience’s eyes glazed over as the endless list of disasters were described. And the climate policy advocates provided extraordinarily specific predictions–such as the snow pack being reduced by 35% by a certain year. Such extreme precision regarding events later in the century caused such substantial rolling of some eyeballs that I worried that some might fall out their sockets.

        Such litanies of future global warming-related disasters are being repeated time and time again on the national scene, leading much of society to increasingly tune out the increasingly strident warnings of global warming impacts provided by the “prophets” in non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the media, and others. In fact, according to a recent Gallup poll, climate change has dropped to 14th of the list of Americans’ worries.

    • Note that modern-day skeptics are no “Josephs” either. They are the ones saying Joseph is wrong and we should wait for the droughts before doing anything. Today Joseph would advocate saving up, while we have wealth, to prepare for future losses.

      • Despite his Malthusian warnings and call for big government programs, “hundreds of millions of people” did not die of famine as Paul Ehrlich predicted. Burt Rutan reminds us that Erhrlich’s friend, John Holdren, calculated in 1980 that famines due to climate change could leave a billion people dead by 2020. He championed “population control measures,” and believed 280 million Americans would likely be “too many.” Rutan says these Malthusians forget that, with bodies come minds, minds that can innovate, invent, find ways to farm energy, find substitutes for scarce resources and find new ways to feed people.

        “The next scare seems to be running out of water, a silly scare when you look at a photo of our planet.” ~Burt Rutan

    • Given Burt Rutan is the one with the dodgy science…

      • What else was ecologist Ehrlich wrong about? How about his, Perspective on Nuclear Power: “Giving society cheap, abundant energy … would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” Oh no he di’int say that! But, he did and many on the Left agree with him still.

    • Moses empowered the Hebrew version of trailer trash, the Levi, to act as his murderous enforcers. The Levi murdered 3000 in all.

      Exodus 32:28
      ‘And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men’

    • “Jim D
      Note that modern-day skeptics are no “Josephs” either”

      Really? I want a robust economy based on cheap nuclear power and want hydrocarbons used for industrial feedstocks and liquid fuels.
      A robust economy has intrinsic buffering capacity and is more able to respond to events; volcanoes, tsunami’s, earthquakes, meteor hits and so on.

    • DocM, so, following Joseph, what would you save or reduce consumption of now to help the future? Many skeptics are not even at a stage of thinking any trade-offs are necessary until the effects become more obvious, but maybe you are.

    • We have pretty much had potential unlimited nuclear power since the 60′s, but political will isn’t there.
      I rather like no having to prop up nasty regimes in the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela.
      I know that we are about 20-30 years away from the energy density for electricity storage for transport needs.
      When we have high energy electrical storage devices, everything changes, especially the economics of wind/solar in places like the US and Asia.
      However, the way to get there is to be rich and to support the economy that can afford academic science and industrial R&D.
      In real terms, every cent spent of climate science is an opportunity cost that would have been spent better elsewhere. The impacts of ‘climate change’ will be trivial compared to real problems, like dementia in the baby boomers.

      • Compared to the founders us moderns are mostly climate change neophytes–e.g.,

        “What they were experiencing,” the historian Karen Ordahl Kupperman has written, “was the difference between a maritime climate, seen in countries lying to the east of great oceans, and the continental regime that prevails in lands to their west.” Large bodies of water allow temperatures to remain relatively stable; as a result, the prevailing winds, traveling from west to east, keep the west coast of North America relatively mild. By contrast, large land masses both absorb and give off heat easily, meaning that the winds moving from the west into Virginia often bring with them widely varying temperatures.

        Another phenomenon, what climatologists have dubbed the Little Ice Age, exacerbated this effect and had important consequences for colonial Virginia. ~Encyclopedia Virginia

    • ‘You thrum your insecurity
      In reassuring chorus…’ Black Cockatoo.’

      A number of poems in ‘A Book of Feathers’ a serf’s
      responses to threads and comments at CE. Thx.
      Acrobat PDF Link Below
      http://arc.net.au/bethdocs/A_Book_of_Feathers.pdf

  9. “Lewandowsky”

    Still waiting for one of you alarmists to show a little integrity and concede this is a bullsh** paper.

    • paper was fine, it’s just like the fake hoo-hah about that ship stuck in ice.

      Skeptics gotta moan about something.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      It must be a vast conspiracy that alarmists stay quiet, eh?

    • Gates, making one of his trademark clumsy attempts at humor, offers this gem: “t must be a vast conspiracy that alarmists stay quiet, eh?

      Gates,
      It’s not so much your fervent warmism that bothers me. Or your ridiculous claims of skepticism. It’s your lack of wit that I find truly unforgivable. And yet that’s typical of the warmist personality. There’s not an original mind, or a decent writer among you.

    • must be because we are all taking orders from the same conspiracy right?

    • pokerguy, as I mentioned above, the paper was a hypothesis about the reaction to the first paper as a case-study showing its point about conspiracy ideation, because a lot of the reaction fell into that category. Seems reasonable to point this out as something to think about. Understandably some can’t think about it objectively, but step back and look at how the reactions look like conspiracy theories. It’s not to say it is right, but it presents a hypothesis, and now others can present their own interpretations of the reaction, and build on this case-study rather than just ad hom all the authors.

    • WebHubTelescope

      I am glad to see an Aussie calling out all the other Aussie deniers. He is in the den of deniers and sees the Larrinkinism up close.

    • “And yet that’s typical of the warmist personality. There’s not an original mind, or a decent writer among you.”
      ____
      Yes, we take our orders from a central command that controls this collective warmest hive. Some know this group mind as “Consensus”, but I prefer to call it “Uncle Bob”.

    • Doug Badgero

      R Gates:

      No, it is common mode stupidity. And it does your cause great harm.

  10. From the article:
    Shale Gas Projections Double To 2030: Sizing Up The Barnett Play
    Mar. 21, 2014 6:00 AM ET | 9 comments | Includes: CHK, DVN, EOG, PXD, XOM

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. (More…)

    Summary

    The Barnett Shale will continue to be a significant player in shale gas production to 2030, at minimum.
    With natural gas prices expected to rise in time, the economics will be more favorable for E&P firms, possibly extending the production horizon of the play.
    This bottom up approach to well decline rates and estimated ultimate recoveries offers a better benchmark for investors sizing up Barnett wells.
    Demand growth in power generation will add to natural gas demand.

    The idea of depletion captures the imaginations of everyone concerned about shale oil and gas, or energy in general for that matter. Estimates have changed, trending upward since the early part of the century. New facts, however, reveal that one of the major shale gas basins in the U.S., the Barnett Shale, is expected to be a significant contributor to natural gas production through 2030.

    A study by the Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas, Austin, “forecasts a cumulative 45 Tcf of economically recoverable reserves from the Barnett, with production declining predictably to about 900 Bcf/year by 2030 from the current peak of about 2 Tcf/year.” They note that their forecast falls in the mid- to higher-end of other known predictions for the Barnett and suggests that it will continue to be a major contributor to U.S. natural gas production through 2030. Their estimates are nearly double that of the Energy Information Administration’s July 2011 23.81 Tcf and the USGS year 2003 estimate of 26 Tcf.

    The Bureau of Economic Geology study uniquely uncovers well-by-well analysis of production and calculates estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) for all wells. The authors base their analysis from the development of a physics-based decline curve that closely describes Barnett well declines, also a novel contribution. Their methodology is based on the physics of the system rather than on mathematical decline-curve fitting. Importantly, this development “should offer a more accurate method of forecasting production declines in shale wells in other basins.” Their contribution is a major advance in projecting the decline of shale gas wells.

    In part two of the study, the EURs of the average 4,000-foot well are calculated per tier. (See Page 1 of study.) The top five tiers relay the following average EURs per well (Bcf of dry gas), respectively: 4.3, 3.0, 2.6, 1.9, and 1.4. The average lifespan of wells by top five tiers range from 25 years of production to 15. For comparison a tier six well has an 11-year production life for dry gas and a 24-year expected life for wet gas. (Their estimates are based on key assumptions on page 3.) For the top five tiers, considered “most important for the field,” about 50% of EUR is recovered during the first 5 years, roughly 73% in the first 10 years, and 86% in the first 15 years. The actual average EUR recovered will be lower because attrition and economic limits will prevent some wells from producing for the full 25 years.

    The shale gas basins are not cratering anytime soon, as some suggest. More well depletion data based on actual performance is a terrific contribution to those concerned with energy security. As a result, investors can use better benchmarks and potentially more granular production forecasts with which to measure up firms’ shale gas portfolios.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2100333-shale-gas-projections-double-to-2030-sizing-up-the-barnett-play

  11. From the article:

    Summary

    Government dependency is a tremendous risk for “green economy” companies.
    Countries across the globe are abandoning their costly “green” agendas.
    The 2014 election may tilt the balance of power against the “green” agenda in the US.

    I’ve written many articles warning investors of the “regulatory, political, geopolitical and fiscal risks” that government dependency exposes “green economy” stocks to. Most of these “green economy” companies are simply not commercially viable, and without government support, there is little hope of survival. The economics are so bad even companies that get excessive amounts of government assistance like Solyndra often fail. When China finally agreed to allow a company to go bankrupt recently, it chose a solar company, and another solar company may be the second.

    Facts are the constantly changing, inconsistent, often overlapping and confusing economic environment that the government creates for the “green economy” is a risk that can’t be overstated. One administration will get elected and pass favorable laws, incentivizing companies to create an entirely new industry, and then another administration will come in and repeal all the laws that made the industry possible in the first place. While free market economic principles are the greatest threat to the “green economy,” government created uncertainty and unreliability are a close second. The free market simply doesn’t function well when the rules are in constant flux, especially when it takes years to build a plant, and many more to pay it off. It is hard to plan for a 30 year plant on a 2 year election cycle.

    In the real world of business, when someone signs a contract, it is legally binding. If someone breaks the contract, there are legal consequences. Those rules simply don’t apply to the government. Congress can pass a tax credit, and then turn around and immediately repeal it, and there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it. The Congress can pass a law, have the EPA implement it, and then the EPA can change the law on its own. Right now in fact, ethanol and biodiesel companies are readying their lawyers to sue the EPA if its final RFS2 fuel RVOs don’t meet their satisfaction. The petroleum industry sued them last year, but that is about all one can hope for. No one is going to jail, no one will lose their jobs, no one will be fined because the EPA changed the rules. All you can really hope for is that the judges rule in your industry’s favor, and that is a roll of a dice.

    Looking forward here in the US, the consequences of the next election could be substantial to the “green economy.” Fighting climate change barely registers on the list of issues concerning Americans, and Republicans have been gaining in the polls. If the Republicans are able to take the Senate, the Democrats will lose control of the powerful Environment and Public Works Committee. The man that will be taking charge is one of the most vocal opponents of green energy not only in the Senate, entire Congress, entire government, all of America, but the entire world. One only needs to read how his enemies portray him in their articles to understand what a threat he is to the “green economy.”

    Even without control of the Senate, the Republicans in the House have been pushing the anti-green energy agenda and have been having congressional hearings. If the Republicans do capture the Senate, their opposition to “green energy” is almost certain to grow. I get a lot of heat for taking a position on the climate change “science,” but I’ve looked into it, and I wouldn’t want to be a climate change researcher called in front of Congress to defend why my model has been off on such an epic scale. Bottom line, tax payers have spent a fortune on this “science” and the resulting models have proven to be a complete waste of money, with essentially no explanatory power whatsoever. I could have run a regression of the global temperatures against the S&P 500 over the last 15 years and gotten better results than the CO2 driven climate models.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2102863-the-eu-china-offer-case-study-warnings-for-green-economy-stocks

    • I don’t think the Republicans are anti-green so much as pro-black, i.e. in favor of dirty fuels such as tarsand oil and unclean coal. If they had green and wealthy industries in their state, they would be pro-green. It’s just the money.

    • A noisesome film of economics floats on the deep pool of Jim D’s ideology.
      ==========

    • Jim D – if you do a bit of research, you’ll find most coal state are (maybe were) Democrat.

    • kim, post Citizens United, this is even-more-so the reality in Congress. Money talks to Power louder than Truth. Individuals don’t count as much in decision-making, especially if they have no money. A Corporation is now a Person, but one with a lot of money.

    • jim2, yes, these are the ones setting the example. For example Virginia’s Dem senator said that coal needs to modernize if it wants to keep up with natural gas.

    • WebHubTelescope

      Wyoming?

      Jim2 must have a bug up his butt. Something really irritates him about people speaking the truth.

      Most of the remaining reserves of USA coal are in states such as Wyoming centered in the Powder River basin.
      Home of Cheney and a republican stronghold.

    • Ahh … the telescope spies a black cherry to pick.

    • k scott denison

      Jim D | March 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      kim, post Citizens United, this is even-more-so the reality in Congress. Money talks to Power louder than Truth. Individuals don’t count as much in decision-making, especially if they have no money. A Corporation is now a Person, but one with a lot of money.
      _______________
      And the biggest contributors of money are? You do know they are democrat/liberal groups, right?

    • ksd, I wouldn’t call the Kochs, and their dark money, liberals, but they are the biggest funders in the Senate races with $25-30 million already put in, beating the official fund-raising of either party.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/20/koch-brothers-2014_n_4995698.html

    • jim2 said


      jim2 | March 22, 2014 at 5:27 pm |

      Ahh … the telescope spies a black cherry to pick.

      Look it up. Wyoming is the biggest coal producer in the States and it hasn’t seen peak yet.

      “Wyoming Residents Most Conservative”
      http://www.gallup.com/poll/167144/wyoming-residents-conservative-liberal.aspx

      http://www.businessinsider.com/most-liberal-states-2013-2
      How much coal in Mass? How much coal in NY? How much coal in Cal? How much coal in Oregon? How much coal in Minnesota? How much coal in Wisconsin? How much coal in Washington? How much coal in Vermont? How much coal in Connecticut? How much coal in Delaware?

      so let us all please laugh at jim2 when he said:


      jim2 | March 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm |

      Jim D – if you do a bit of research, you’ll find most coal state are (maybe were) Democrat.

    • From the article:

      For Democrats running in coal-producing states like Kentucky and West Virginia, the Environmental Protection Agency’s new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants provide a carboniferous chance to demonstrate independence from President Obama.

      Those Democrats will probably take advantage of every chance they get to separate themselves from the president in voters’ minds, since their Republican opponents will be working overtime to portray them as reliable Obama votes if they’re elected to Congress.

      It’s natural to assume that carrying the same party identity as Obama and his top EPA official Gina McCarthy would necessarily hurt Tennant and Grimes. But these are states with strong Democratic traditions, though for different reasons. Numerous Democrats in both places have the experience of voting for fellow Democrats in local and state races and Republicans for president.

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/09/22/224542004/epa-gives-coal-state-democrats-a-chance-to-sound-republican

    • Err, West Virginia and Kentucky are classified as red-states.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_states_and_blue_states
      Progressives don’t like the idea of blowing off mountain-tops to get at something that won’t last but a few years. They seem to have more sense than that. Perhaps something along the lines of renewable energy and a sustainable economy where you don’t destroy the environment you live in.

    • Naive as I was, I thought Obama’s remark before the 2008 election that under his regime electricity rates would ‘necessarily skyrocket’ would blow him up in the coal producing states. Well it is finally blowing him up, but the fuse was tragically long.
      ============

  12. Steven Mosher

    Yup. Cliff wins the internet.
    I will add this
    Switching to natural gas IS mitigation
    Adding nuclear IS mitigation.

    • “Switching to natural gas IS mitigation”

      I disagree because there is no switch. Under business as usual the coal and oil is still going to get mined and burned. So natural gas probably greatly increases emissions in the long run.

      All coal and oil mined and burned
      vs
      All coal, oil and gas mined and burned

    • CO2 emissions are decreased by switching from coal to gas, bau or not. Not that it really matters. Where coal is cheaper, it’s perfectly ok to fire it for energy. Modern plants are very clean and the efficiency is increased. Many countries don’t have gas or nuclear. CO2 scare is boring.

    • Steven Mosher

      You are right.

      Any action that “mitigates” the increase in human CO2 emissions, and hence reduces the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, is (by definition) an action of “mitigation”.

      Replacing new coal-fired power plants with either natural gas or nuclear plants results in a “mitigation” of CO2 emissions.

      Replacing new gasoline driven automobiles with hybrid vehicles does the same.

      As would replacing Diesel heavy transport engines with natural gas fired engines.

      Another could be energy efficiency actions, such as installing better building insulation or waste recycling.

      All of these are “no regrets” mitigation initiatives, which should be encouraged, if we really want to slow down the increase of atmospheric CO2, because they also bring real benefits: less true atmospheric pollution (coal and Diesel are dirtier than natural gas, etc.), and they do not involve non value-added expenditures (like carbon capture and sequestration) or totally futile exercises that accomplish nothing but problems for the poorest among us (like a direct or indirect carbon tax).

      Lolwot still has a lot to learn (but is he willing?)

      Max

    • Curious George

      lolwot: I conclude you live on a tropical island. Most of us don’t.

    • Steven Mosher

      “So natural gas probably greatly increases emissions in the long run.”

      Not even wrong.

      see the residence time of methane.

      Switching from coal to Natural gas will buy us decades of time to improve the technologies that will replace fossil fuels.

      frack on.

    • no i am proposing that the same amount of coal will be burned in the longrun under business as usual whether we “switch” to gas or not

      While some “switch” to gas, others will uptake the coal that was switched from

    • lolwot

      Congratulations for posting comment #500000.

      But that doesn’t make it any less silly.

      If coal-fired power plants are not built in the future, but gas-fired ones are, instead, that means that more natural gas and less coal will be burned.

      That means there will be less CO2 emitted.

      Very simple.

      Max

      PS In addition, there will also be less real air pollution from coal-fired flue gas: heavy metals, particulates, sulfur, etc.

      Good news all the way around, lolwot, so rejoice!

    • “If coal-fired power plants are not built in the future, but gas-fired ones are, instead, that means that more natural gas and less coal will be burned.”

      has the world stopped building coal power plants then?

      when was that announcement made?

      You are aware that coal is exported ?

    • lolwot

      For every gas-fired power plant that is built in place of a new coal-fired plant, that is one coal-fired plant that is NOT being built.

      Get it?

      (It’s really not that complicated for even you to grasp, if you put your mind to it. Start by taking a deep breath.)

      Max

    • what you are saying IS simple manacker.

      Too simple, and that’s the flaw.

      “For every gas-fired power plant that is built in place of a new coal-fired plant, that is one coal-fired plant that is NOT being built.”

      No, not if the coal power plant is built in China instead.

    • Too simple, Max; why don’t you try to confuse him?
      =============

    • lowlot:

      No, not if the coal power plant is built in China instead

      No, not ‘instead’, but rather ‘anyway’

      Massive logic fail.

    • lolwot

      You are quite obviously confused (or maybe just logically challenged).

      Let me try to help you along.

      Let’s say that there is the projected demand for one new 300MW power plant.

      The choice at that moment is to build either a 300MV coal-fired or a 300MW gas-fired plant to meet that specific new demand.

      This same choice presumably exists for every future power plant on planet Earth, which is built to meet a specific anticipated demand.

      A gas-fired plant emits around half the CO2 as a same size coal-fired plant.

      So for every new coal-fired power plant on planet Earth that is NOT built because a gas-fired plant was built instead, there will be a net reduction in the amount of CO2 emitted.

      Do you understand this now?

      If not, I’m afraid I can’t help you.

      Max

  13. Here’s a little humor.
    From the article:

    The tongue-in-cheek (?) Climate Name Change petition calls for 50,000 signatures to be sent to the World Meteorological Organization, which names storms. The petition would ask the organization to begin naming storms after politicians who’ve denied human-caused climate change. (The group’s also provided a handy list of Republican and Democratic policy-makers who’d be good candidates.) As of writing, the petition has more than 43,000 signatures.

    http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-08/idea-name-storms-after-global-warming-denying-politicians

  14. This caught my eye.
    An increase in atmospheric dust levels preceded drops in atmospheric CO2, during the ice/warm age cycles.
    The dust contains iron, as well as other trace minerals.
    This iron fertilized the Southern Ocean and increased the rate of organic carbon mineralization, dropping atmospheric CO2.

    All we need to show now is that the three orders of magnitude changes in aerosol levels, were by themselves, able to cause cooling.
    Science 21 March 2014:
    Vol. 343 no. 6177 pp. 1347-1350

    Iron Fertilization of the Subantarctic Ocean During the Last Ice Age
    “John H. Martin, who discovered widespread iron limitation of ocean productivity, proposed that dust-borne iron fertilization of Southern Ocean phytoplankton caused the ice age reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). In a sediment core from the Subantarctic Atlantic, we measured foraminifera-bound nitrogen isotopes to reconstruct ice age nitrate consumption, burial fluxes of iron, and proxies for productivity. Peak glacial times and millennial cold events are characterized by increases in dust flux, productivity, and the degree of nitrate consumption; this combination is uniquely consistent with Subantarctic iron fertilization. The associated strengthening of the Southern Ocean’s biological pump can explain the lowering of CO2 at the transition from mid-climate states to full ice age conditions as well as the millennial-scale CO2 oscillations.”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6177/1347.short

  15. “NAO implicated as a predictor of Northern Hemisphere mean
    temperature multidecadal variability”
    by Li et al., in GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 40, 1–6, doi:10.1002/2013GL057877, 2013

    has some very nice graphology, that looks like it can tie in to the ‘Stadium Wave’ hypothesis.
    The predict that temperatures in the Norther Hemisphere will be pretty much flat until 2030 or so.
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-t71ADSi_mhU/UloUyPWMyDI/AAAAAAAADuM/hATfmnv21lc/s1600/Li+NAO13Fig3.png
    http://www.lasg.ac.cn/UpLoadFiles/File/papers/2013/2013-ljp-sc-jff.pdf

    • Doc,
      Thanks. That is interesting with graphs and cycles shown to impact temperatures. Keep hoping for a little ice age II to reduce extra environmental hot air but actual science with observations and graphs is helpful.. If temperatures are relatively flat till 2030 that will give science a breathing space to develop technologies to replace the dirtiest sources and retire the worst coal plants. The old ones. New ones still generate energy with reduced emissions but need further work of NOx, SOx and mercury.
      Keep up your energy in providing informational links and papers.
      Scott

  16. Top 10 EconTalk Episodes of 2013:
    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2014/03/top_10_for_2013.html

    “Judith Curry on Climate Change” was number five.

    John Christy and Kerry Emanuel should be interesting.

  17. So.. where’s the outraged voice of Freedom of Speech?

    What’s with the double standard?

    I mean, sure, transparent hypocrisy isn’t new here, but.. wow.

    Retraction of Science over SLAPP, apparently with the SLAPPers being WUWT, ClimateAudit, and others, mimicking a rabid Skydragon Slayer caught with his credentials down in public?

    I’m sure Michael Mann’s legal teams are gleeful to have so much ammunition added to their arsenal at such an opportune moment.

    • The Swiss have anti-SLAPP law?

      Did someone sue the journal?

      Did the article use real peoples names, which is normally a big no-no for any ethics panel?

    • I am not sure, but I think the supplementary information used people’s names, even if quoting them on public comments they had made under their own name. One of them complained and wanted his name removed. I don’t know if that was the main reason. Seems a bit of a gray area if you have made a public comment, to then ask to be anonymous when it is described in a paper.

    • Steven Mosher

      The researchers in question subjected themselves to a restraint of their free speech when they filed to do their investigation.

      1.Active concealment of information from participants and/or planned deception of participants
      2.Will participants be quoted or be identifiable, either directly or indirectly, in reporting of the research?
      3.Will data that can identify an individual (or be used to re-identify an individual) be obtained from databanks, databases, tissue banks or other similar data sources?
      4.Might the research procedures cause participants psychological or emotional distress?
      5.Does the research involve covert observation?

      Now these are the guidelines the researchers were supposed to follow. As you can see
      Question 1. Goes directly to the researchers freedom of speech.. in others words, your freedom to speech may be limited by your ethical commitment to tell the truth, unless you have a really good reason.
      Question 2. Your freedom to name or identify test subjects is also limited.

      Question 3. See #2

      Question 4. You are free to speak, however, you need to consider whether that
      using that freedom will cause harm to others.

      Question 5. is relevant to this case but not directly to freedom of speech.

      Freedom of Speech, as most of us defend it, is directly related to the government making laws restricting individuals. Where an individual agrees to limit their own speech, the principle doesn’t even apply.

      there were also conflict of interest issues with one of the authors.

      The bottomline is that Lewandowsky is not doing the team any favors. Neither is Mann. Even Briffa knew this when he wrote to Jones and said that skeptics were gaining traction by attacking Mann for not sharing data.
      Betts and others have tried to point out the same with Lewandosky. Of course the faithful have attacked Betts as a result.

    • Steven Mosher | March 22, 2014 at 4:14 pm |

      Except two investigations cleared Lewandowsky et al of all your claims, as is revealed in the FOI.

      Is it that you don’t believe in FOI, or Freedom of Speech?

    • Mosh and Bart

      Mosh is right.

      There can be many instances, where an individual agrees to limit his “freedom of speech”, either in a written agreement or verbally.

      A “secrecy agreement” is such an agreement.

      Has nothing to do with a constitutional guarantee from a government to protect an individual’s freedom of speech.

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      Since the journal reviewed the investigation maybe they didnt concur with the findings.
      And maybe they realized that a legal fight would
      Put the investigation on trial much the same way mann steyn does.

      If im running the journal no way do I touch this paper.
      The call on the ethics is too close and with no outside
      Parties on the investigative commitees it looks bad.
      Recall the journal wanted to also avoid the appearence of impropriety.

      So the best explanation is the journal discounted the investigation

    • Bart R. has issues with the demarcation between private and government. Just sayin’.

    • Steven Mosher | March 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm |

      The ‘best’ explanation after two independent investigations by third parties — one the university’s, the other the publisher’s — is the journal wet their pants at the thought of a court fight no matter how righteous the cause.

      Which is what the forces of anti-Science wanted, and why they complained.

      I mean, it’d be hard to take the stance one was pro-Science if one was a public blogger who shut down discussion of Science. That’d be sort of like.. like.. hmm. Isn’t that WUWT’s moderation policy? And ClimateAudit’s too?

      Suppress anything that disagrees with your views for fear someone may think differently from what you want them to.

    • ‘the forces of anti-Science’

      What group of individuals constitute this anti-Science force?

    • John Carpenter

      “Which is what the forces of anti-Science wanted, and why they complained.”

      But conspiracy theories and deniers….

    • “I mean, sure, transparent hypocrisy isn’t new here, but.. wow.” – Bart

      Cant is a better description for what we’ve seen Judith do here.

    • Yes, it’s too bad that this paper was withdrawn because it’s a well known fact that personal vendetta dressed up as an academic paper is always the strongest basis for sound science.

      (Anti-science? You’d think you’d realize how stupid you sound but apparently not. It’s the forces of anti-shoddy-crap-masquerading-as-science that won. Personal vendetta has no place in a paper. The reasoning in the retraction notice was an embarrassment itself.)

    • John Carpenter | March 22, 2014 at 7:27 pm |

      Someone needs to school you lot on the difference between the literary technique of personification and the propagandistic practice of personalization.

      Anti-Science forces need no more be people than are Market forces.

      One needn’t be a conspiracy, an organized group, or following a plan to be anti-Science. One only needs not to know that what is the simplest, most parsimonious, most universal explanation by inference for all known observations in terms of assumptions, exceptions and applicability is held accurate or very nearly true until such time as new observations require new explanation; or to be if not an actual person some competing force of ignorance, false piety, political manipulation, avarice or mischief, which amounts to much the same effect.

      Someone caused the retraction of a scientific paper by its publisher by threat of legal action, casting a chill on scientific exchange of ideas. At this juncture, if you’re not against that action, you’re simply against Science. (Which, again, is not an actual person, for those of you not following.)

    • Here’s an example of Bart R raving to himself in the wilderness after a revelation. The revelation? That two investigations have cleared Lewandowsky.
      ==========

    • John Carpenter

      “Someone needs to school you lot on the difference between the literary technique of personification and the propagandistic practice of personalization.”

      Yes Bart… ‘you lot’. Joshua? Where’s he when needed? And what ‘lot’ would that be? Despite the pejorative generalization thrown my direction, I can always count on being schooled by you Bart.

      So I wouldn’t be wrong in pointing out the ‘forces of conspiracy’ and the ‘forces of denialism’ that always tend to crop up in discussion surrounding the topic of suppression of climate science? Oh wait, we’re talking about psychology here… well, I guess you could still consider it as a force against anti ‘soft’ science. Yeah, because psychology follows the rules of ‘what is the simplest, most parsimonious, most universal explanation by inference for all known observations in terms of assumptions, exceptions and applicability’ and the findings in that field are ‘held accurate or very nearly true until such time as new observations require new explanation; or to be if not an actual person some competing force of ignorance, false piety, political manipulation, avarice or mischief, which amounts to much the same effect.’

      Uh huh, that’s the field of psychology.

      But to your point about the chilling effect of lawsuits. Who really owns the moralistic high ground here? Bart claims he owns it via ‘anti-science’. If the journal held the same moral high ground as Bart, why would they not take the complainant to the mat? I mean, we’re talking about fighting the forces of anti-science here. This is the epitome of what a ‘scientific journal’ is supposed to fight against. Scientific journals exist to thwart ant-science through the publication of ‘what is the simplest, most parsimonious, most universal explanation by inference for all known observations in terms of assumptions, exceptions and applicability’. So it makes perfect sense to me that they would run away from a challenge to those ideals?

      If that is your argument, Bart, then the journal sure doesn’t appear to have much conviction for the belief in that ideal. I mean, two investigations have exonerated the author and the paper… It’s a slam dunk, right? I guess they area putting economical considerations in front of their principles? Don’t want to pay the lawyers? Don’t want to consider a settlement? Worried about losing? I guess it’s time to flush our fight against ‘anti science’ forces down the toilet… Because those are chilling prospects for a journal to have to face. Yes indeed. Or maybe they need to step up to the plate and knock this slow floater out of the park.

    • Fear and Loathing on the Frontier. How did I mess that up twice?
      ===============

    • John Carpenter | March 23, 2014 at 10:11 am |

      I’d reply if I could wade through that briar patch of disconnected utterances past the third line.

      Could you mebbe shorten it up a bit?

      Though, if what you mean is that you don’t think psychology is a real science, I’m predisposed to agree.

    • John Carpenter

      Bart, I can’t read it for you. Ignore the first paragraph. You got the second one right. Just focus on the last two paragraphs. I’ve waded through many many of your replies in search for what you mean over the years… you can return the courtesy here it give it the ol’ college try. I don’t think I was really that unclear.

    • John Carpenter | March 23, 2014 at 9:13 pm |

      On the fifth read, all I get is that you appear to be agreeing with me, but are angry and conflicted about that.

      It does soften the blow that it’s only psychology, but it’s a wedge issue. If they take down psychology today, tomorrow they could take aim at a real science.

    • John Carpenter

      Bart, I disagree the threat of a legal action has cast a chilling effect and has thwarted scientific exchange in this case. If the threat of legal action brought by anti-science forces is the sole consideration as to why the paper has been retracted and has nothing to do with ethical guidelines or the way the study was performed of the conclusions it reached (apparently evidenced by two separate investigations exonerating to such a conclusion), then why retract the paper? What legal action could be brought that would be so intimidating that the anti-science forces win this battle? If anti-science forces are what we fight daily in scientific endeavor, why back down on this one? Makes no sense to me. Unless there are really ethical guidelines being broken or biased conclusions reached and we don’t want to admit it and instead blame it on the faceless, featureless, personless ‘forces of anti-science’. Doesn’t pass the smell test. This is what we are in agreement about?

    • John Carpenter | March 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm |

      Ahhhhh.

      So what you’re saying is, despite all the evidence, the facts available, the two sets of independent investigators independently finding that there were no ethical breaches, despite the peer review being passed and the substantial scrutiny of the entire regular expert readership of the journal (perhaps fifty or sixty individuals, say, even though they’re only psychologists, so hardly count), you’d rather believe that the only aspect remaining, the threat of costly legal entanglement for a publisher that just scrapes by as it is, couldn’t possibly be the reason because for you, all publishers are virtuous knights of the holy mission of upholding science against all threats?

      Uhm. Dude. Read a bit less Cervantes. Or at least don’t read it literally, as everyone ought of course read Cervantes.

    • John Carpenter

      Bart, it appears the idea that ‘Someone caused the retraction of a scientific paper by its publisher by threat of legal action, casting a chill on scientific exchange of ideas.’ Has been clarified to the point that it has no validity any longer.

      http://www.frontiersin.org/blog/Retraction_of_Recursive_Fury_A_Statement/812

      Clearly the journal was under no threat of legal action. Clearly the reason for the retraction was based on problems with the article.

      As for the idea of ‘if you’re not against that action, you’re simply against Science’ . You have a little soul searching to do.

    • John Carpenter | April 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm |

      I can entirely get behind the sensitivity of any reputable scientific organization recognizing human dignity, even erring on the side of caution to do so. I can easily see Lewandowsky is arguably dubious in respect for human dignity in light of this view. However, I’d expect such a patent and obvious ethical finding to be well-documented and thoroughly vetted in two independent ethical investigations.

      That didn’t happen.

      So I must agree with Barry Bickmore’s comments and conclude Frontiers is making excuses for caving into pressure tactics.

  18. Judith Curry

    Interesting stuff.

    From the first group of papers:

    Lewandowsky’s blog is (well, whaddaya expect?) pure vintage Lewandowsky. A rebuttal of an earlier Lew et al. paper (LOG12) is equated with a “Subterranean War on Science”” and “conspiratorial thinking”.

    Huh?

    Nuticelli starts out with the 97% claim and it gets worse from there on, “linking conspiratorial thinking with climate denial”.

    Duh!

    “Retraction watch” concerns a kerfuffle about the legal versus scientific implications of a retraction by the editors of Frontiers of a Lew et al. article postulating the “conspiracy” theory.

    Yawn! (The blogger comments are more interesting than the article itself.)

    Steven McIntyre also refers to this kerfuffle.

    John Christy’s message (the “science is NOT settled” – and that’s “why we argue”) is, as could be expected, objective and rational.

    The other articles mentioned above pretty well prove Christy’s point.

    Just my take on this.

    Max

    • “Just my take on this.”

      Max,
      As usual, a model of reason and common sense. I could use some of your dispassion. These guys infuriate me at times. Stuff like Lew’s “Subterranean War on Science”” and his assertions of “conspiratorial thinking,” are either profoundly disingenuous, or the ravings of a paranoiac,,,

    • Pokerguy

      How about: “the profoundly disingenuous ravings of a paranoiac”?

  19. Stephen Segrest

    A story that caught my eye this week is the possibility of a “Super” El Nino developing this year. If a “Super El Nino” does develop breaking the “Pause” with “hockey stick” proportions — what impact would this have in the Climate debate?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/03/20/subtle-signs-emerging-of-a-super-el-nino/

    Will Warmists react like a dog seeing a squirrel? Will skeptics just say “ho hum” — just more natural variability?

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘The Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) is a lengthy interdecadal fluctuation in atmospheric pressure. When the IPO is low, cooler than average sea surface temperatures occur over the central North Pacific, and vice versa. These changes extend over the entire Pacific Basin. During the 20th century the IPO exhibited three major phases. The IPO had positive phases (southeastern tropical Pacific warm) from 1922 to 1946 and 1978 to 1998, and a negative phase between 1947 and 1976. The two phases of the IPO appear to modulate year-to-year ENSO precipitation variability over Australia, and bi-decadal climate shifts in New Zealand. The positive phase enhances the prevailing west to southwest atmospheric circulation in the region, and the negative phase weakens this circulation.’
      https://www.wmo.int/pages/themes/climate/significant_natural_climate_fluctuations.php#f

      There has been a cool phase since 1998. What we can see is that big El Nino happened in the warm phases and big La Nina in the cool phases. There is also an increase in the frequency of El Nino on warm phases and La Nina in cool phases.

      Predicting ENSO so far out is utter nonsense – far easier as it starts to turn in 5the Austral winter. – but in the cool phase La Nina is more intense and frequent. This is the origin and the take home message of the pause.

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif

    • It will be interesting to see if this El Nino develops or not. It is critical to remember that if it does develop, the energy that will be transferred from ocean to atmosphere will come from that which is currently (for the most part) stored in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool, and the IPWP has been steadily gaining energy since at least the 1950′s if not several decades longer, only dipping down during El Nino events, but overall gaining on decadal time frames. Thus, whether or not warmists or skeptics want to hold on to one single El Nino event as proof of anything, it really doesn’t alter the longer-term gains being seen to energy in the climate system as documented in the IPWP as well as of course the great loss of ice mass seen in Antarctica and Greenland. The troposphere is a fickle and poor proxy for gains or losses of energy in the climate system, and is always the tail being wagged the big ocean dog, such that on any given day, a warmist or skeptic can try and prove some point by looking at tropospheric temperatures.

    • NOAA; Climate Prediction Center / NCEP of 17 March 2014

      The prediction is, La Niña, by a hair

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

    • Well, the WUWT Enso Meter is still leaning La Nina. But it has moved a bit toward neutral. El Nino is forecast for Summer anyway, not Spring IIRC. And only a 50% chance at that.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘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

      Randy’s usual narrative drivel. Unless you have an idea of what the
      ‘large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget’ is cluelessness prevails.

      Are there obvious long term increases in ocean heat content? Look closely now.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/LymnaandJohnson2013OHCA_zps703732d0.png.html?sort=3&o=68

      What has the global energy budget been doing?

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_Net_zps9f7faaaa.png.html?sort=3&o=21

      Nada.

    • Doc inaccurately said:

      “The prediction is, La Niña, by a hair…”
      _____
      No Doc, it is not. La Nina probability is at less than 10% with El Nino and ENSO neutral running at 50% and 40% probability respectively.

    • Robert Ellison is up to his old tricks again with is kookie science. You can’t measure ocean heat content with CERES Robert. You can use other proxies or you can take direct measurements, but your TOA satellite data won’t tell you the long-term trends in IPWP energy gains. Sorry.

      For those who want to refrain from Robert’s kookie science, best to go right to the actual science that is showing us gains in the IPWP energy over many decades:

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012JC008199/abstract

    • “What has the global energy budget been doing?”
      ____
      By the broadest and most stable measurements (and therefore the best and most honest) it has been rising for many decades. By kookie science or fake-skeptic measurements, who knows.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘The predictability of El Niño or La Niña conditions for the period extending through and beyond autumn is lower than for forecasts made at other times of the year (this known as “the autumn predictability barrier”). Long-range model outlooks should be used cautiously at this time.’ http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

      On kooky science. The ocean heat content at various levels is shown in the Lyman and Johnson graph.

      http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/OHCA_1950_2011_final.pdf

      But changes in global energy content is the result of changes in incoming and outgoing energy. Ocean heat content follows net TOA flux – and unless there is an understanding of the large variability Loeb et al discuss – there is really just blind faith in narrative science.

      If you are wondering who the kook look no further than gatesy.

    • looks like a powerful El Nino is coming, so much for “the pause”

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘The majority of international climate models surveyed by the Bureau indicate that SSTs in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are likely to slowly warm, although remaining in the ENSO-neutral range until at least the end of autumn. Some models suggest this warming may approach or exceed El Niño thresholds during winter.

      The predictability of El Niño or La Niña conditions for the period extending through and beyond autumn is lower than for forecasts made at other times of the year (this known as “the autumn predictability barrier”). Long-range model outlooks should be used cautiously at this time.’

      http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

      Not even a pretense at rationality.

    • lolwot

      Talk about that “powerful El Nino” once it’s actually happened, not just when you see it in your magic 8-ball.

      Max

    • CAGWers have been telegraphing their intent for some time now. They are drooling over the prospect of an El Nino. They will probably crash the WfT site with all their new graphs whenever it happens.

      What will go completely unnoticed is their abandonment of their decades long (correct) claims that short term climate is not weather.

      Which simply demonstrates that CAGW is all politics.

      Shoot, lolwot is already getting in on the act on this thread, before the first thermometer even detects a rise.

      17 years of a pause/hiatus does not reflect an end to the 22+/- year period of warming at the end of the 20th century.

      But a single El Nino will demonstrate and end to the “pause” in reported temps.

      You guys crack me up.

    • If there is a “Super” El Nino it will be one of a number, eg 1982-3, 1997-8, 1940-1, 1914-5, 1905-6 etc. In other words, only the absence of a “Super” El Nino for decades would be “extreme”. “freakish”, “new climate” and so on.

      Because our worst El Nino in Oz (1902) was a “weak”, I wouldn’t sweat over SOI and numbers. I’d sweat over what happens to my piece of ground. Summer 1939 was one of the worst of all seasons in NSW for fire, heat and drought. Some say the worst, and certainly the costliest in human lives. It was the second half of a La Nina, flanked by neutral years. Go figure.

      ENSO is a handy observation set. That’s it. Drought, heat and fire get a better shot at eastern Oz when there’s El Nino. I guess that El Scamp has been behind many of our climatic disasters, starting with the colossal 1790 monsoon failure etc which baked the new colony at Sydney Cove. What are you going to do?

      Welcome to the Old Climate.

    • Robert I Ellison

      This is the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation from a New Zealand website but wtf NZ, NSW what’s the difference?

      Here’s a multivariate ENSO index.

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif

      Super ENSO anything happen when they are in phase.

    • Heh I see you all kind of realize already the writing is on the wall.

      Given where global temperatures are already at and we aren’t even in El Nino yet. In fact the last year has been closer to La Nina so global temperatures should have been quite cool

      But hey reality just won’t comply with the coolist/pausists
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12

      To anyone with a clue that graph shows a steady background increase in warming. It’s staring you in the face.

      That aint no “pause”

      But I guess it will take an El Nino and a new temperature record to drive it home to the clueless.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Since Judith is preparing a post on this, we should probably save some comments on a potential El Niño and what it might mean for global tropospheric temperatures. Suffice to say, as we go forward, new tropospheric records will most likely always be set in El Niño years, simple because of the higher sensible and latent heat flux from the ocean, but the troposphere remains a very poor proxy for overall gain or loss of energy in the climate system. Most useful on decadal or multidecadal average timeframes at best.

    • Oh, and lolwot is right– in terms of energy accumulation, which is the real measure of increasing GHGs, there has not been a pause.

    • Even if there is an el nino, and a strong one, I suspect that albedo over the pacific determines how much heat ends up in the atmosphere. Perhaps the PDO not only affects the intensity and frequency of el ninos, but affects the albedo in the region. If the sky there isn’t as clear there won’t be the usual SW available to drive evaporation during el nino; we won’t see as much warming as we did during 80s and 90s events.

    • It’s too early to say what will happen, but it is not La Nina by a hair:


      • ENSO-neutral conditions continue.*
      • Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SST) were above-average near the International Date Line and in the far eastern Pacific Ocean, while remaining below average in the east-central Pacific.
      • ENSO-neutral is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014, with about a 50% chance of El Niño developing during the summer or fall.*

      The odds of a La Nina this year, despite the latest ONI being -.7, are significantly less than 50%. It’s between an El Nino later in the year or continued neutral. And neutral could produce a record hottest year.

  20. Nature has an interesting study on how close the earth was from a sizable technological catastrophe, A Carrington event .

    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140318/ncomms4481/full/ncomms4481.html

    The SIDC has a comparative analysis of the intensity of the Solar cycles we seem to be trending along SC 12.

    http://sidc.oma.be/news/240/Picture4.png

  21. Dr Curry said:
    A WorldBank article Long-term mitigation and marginal abatement cost curves: A case study on Brazil. This is pretty interesting, probably deserves its own post, but my backlog is too large.

    I suggest, notwithstanding your load, Dr Curry, that you skim the document to confirm what I say about it.

    The document assumes the viewpoint that reducing emissions of CO2 is an inherent good. For example we find (page number 5, pdf page 7):
    MACTool takes as inputs the key socio-technical parameters of a set of large mitigation measures, and macroeconomic variables. For instance, technology options to produce electricity are characterized by required capital and operation expenditures, as well as their lifetime, energy eciency [sic] and type of fuel used.
    .
    .
    .
    As outputs, MACTool computes the amount of GHG saved by each measure in the long run (in MtCO2), and the cost of doing so (in $/tCO2).

    Notice there is no mention of benefit to society and no calculation of expected return for some investment of dollars for a reduction in emissions. So, neglected is any consideration of a return on investment by the World Bank report.

    A bank should be more considerate of investment returns. It should also consider rigorously defining a (CO2 reduction)-($ benefit) curve.

    • Benefits of CO2 and a warmer climate are largely ignored by CAGWers.

    • “Benefits of CO2 and a warmer climate are largely ignored by CAGWers.”

      It’s a spectacular omission and the thing that started me…basically an uninformed warmist at the time, .especially after seeing Mann’s Hockey Stick (who’d have believed it was a fraud?)… on the road to skepticism. It became obvious to me in a relatively short time, that the coverage was biased, and that the scientists weren’t giving us the whole story.

    • The Sway of All Fish.

      H/t S. Butler.
      =========

  22. Folks, we are getting near the “500000″ mark (total number of comments).

    Keep ‘em coming!

  23. From the article:

    Claims of a so-called tech-shortage are nothing new, and there have been five phases in history when similar calls have been trumpeted by industry elites. The truth, he says, “is that there is little credible evidence of the claimed widespread shortages in the U.S. science and engineering workforce” and that conventional wisdom is vastly different from the empirical evidence.

    As Teitelbaum notes, there has been even more research on the subject from “leading academic researchers and from respected research organizations such as the National Bureau of Economic Research, the RAND Corporation, and the Urban Institute.” But no one has been able to find any evidence indicating current widespread labor shortages or hiring difficulties in science and engineering occupations that require bachelors degrees or higher, although some are forecasting high growth in occupations that require post-high school training but not a bachelors degree:

    All have concluded that U.S. higher education produces far more science and engineering graduates annually than there are S&E job openings—the only disagreement is whether it is 100 percent or 200 percent more. Were there to be a genuine shortage at present, there would be evidence of employers raising wage offers to attract the scientists and engineers they want. But the evidence points in the other direction: Most studies report that real wages in many—but not all—science and engineering occupations have been flat or slow-growing, and unemployment as high or higher than in many comparably-skilled occupations.

    He mentions that is is “easy to cherry-pick specific specialties that really are in short supply, at least in specific years and locations” and concedes that it is “true that high-skilled professional occupations almost always experience unemployment rates far lower than those for the rest of the U.S. workforce.” Yet, unemployment “among scientists and engineers is higher than in other professions such as physicians, dentists, lawyers, and registered nurses, and surprisingly high unemployment rates prevail for recent graduates even in fields with alleged serious ‘shortages’ such as engineering (7.0 percent), computer science (7.8 percent) and information systems (11.7 percent).”

    Teitelbaum also notes that in the current state of play, “far from offering expanding attractive career opportunities, it seems that many, but not all, science and engineering careers are headed in the opposite direction: unstable careers, slow-growing wages, and high risk of jobs moving offshore or being filled by temporary workers from abroad.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/21/Atlantic-No-Empirical-Evidence-to-Support-Claims-of-Shortage-of-American-High-Tech-Workers

    • Exactly right.

      I suspect a similar case can be made for most college programs.

      It would be a useful social research to publish cost versus return for all students enrolling in college programs that people could use to make a business case analysis for education.

  24. It’s like someone has run a little experiment – investigating Judith Curry’s m0tivated reas0ning.

    The results are not at all surprising.

    Case 1 – Mann et al take legal action against harrassment in the form of vexatious FOI requests for emails, and defamatory and evidence free accusations of fraud (and noxious allusions to paedophiles) from a gutter ‘journalist’ in the form of serial-abuser, Mark Steyn.

    We’ll you’d think the sky was falling.

    Judith wrung her hands mightily over the consequences to ‘academic freedom’, and even, OMG, “freedom of speech”!!

    Case 2 – Journal retracts a scientific paper, not for the usual reasons; the journal has checked the paper and they have no problems with it scientifically or ethically, but because of legal threats and harrassment.

    So, here we have a real live attack on that thing Judith was so terribly, terribly concerned about just a few week s ago – “academic freedom” !

    So you can imagine her response;
    It’s “entertaining” that the paper has been “flushed”.

    Umm……..

    Looks like academic freedom and Integrity just got flushed.

    3 cheers for m0tivated reas0ning!

    • John Carpenter

      How has the journal that retracted the article got anything to do with academic freedom? Has he lost academic freedom by getting permission to put a copy up on the university website? Has he been threatened that if he continues to write such articles he will be forced to leave his post at the university? Has he been threatened that he can not continue doing research or publishing it in this field on this topic?

      Oh the pearl clutching and hand wringing indeed.

    • John,

      Ask Judith, she was the one so deeply concerned about legal matters and academic freedom…..well, she was.

      4 weeks is a long time.

    • Steven Mosher

      Case 1 – Mann et al take legal action against harrassment in the form of vexatious FOI requests for emails,

      A) it is the UK that has legal protection against vexatious FOI. and in that case
      50 FOI were not found to be vexatious as CRU responded in less than
      18 hours of labor.
      B) Virginia has no such rule. They are fighting on other grounds. It is interesting
      law and may end up in the highest court. Especially with Journalists joining the case to get access.

    • John Carpenter

      “Ask Judith, she was the one so deeply concerned about legal matters and academic freedom…..well, she was.”

      Well Micheal, I can’t help but… Gulp…. Agree you do have a point, however I don’t think you presented it well. I don’t think Judith was concerned about academic freedom so much as freedom of speech. That was my main point.. It is not an academic freedom issue IMO. There may be a double standard argument in there somewhere wrt to JC, but you have to be advocating against JC to use it. I wasn’t impressed with the freedom of speech argument before and I’m not impressed with this latest tempest in a teapot either. Lots of puffery on both sides, little substance.

  25. How can we make progress in climate discussion when we refuse to admit what is evident from the 1940 record: world climate is not a continuous dynamic process, but is discontinuous. Nothing else can explain the 1940 singularity.

    What happened in 1940 was a complete reversal of a rising trend in temperature of 0.15C per decade to a falling global temperature at about the same rate, despite ever increasing CO2 concentration. The UN’s IPCC appears to have ignored this despite the important lesson it contained.It is quite possible in basic physics for such a torn around in global atmospheric temperature and is the only satisfying explanation we have. See my website underlined above.

  26. ”skeptical” people are not the real opposition to the Warmist; but the ”Deniers”. ”Skeptics” believing in PHONY warmings are not ”skeptics” but only serve as Warmist’ Fig Leaf = covering the Warmist shame for lying about the non-existent GLOBAL warmings.

    Warmings are NEVER global – localized warming is NOT global; but for the phony ”skeptics” localized warming is presented as GLOBAL = the precursor of all evil…

    both camps work on atmosphere without oxygen &nitrogen = what a waste of time and cash… Psychiatrist will be the biggest winners on the end…

  27. Relevant to Politics and Policy and ‘Limits to Growth’:

    Late last night (after midnight), Australia’s publicly owned, Left biased, ABC News 24 broadcast a presentation by Bjorn Lomborg on “Limits to Growth
    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2014/03/14/3962766.htm

    The fact it was shown on ABC is interesting in itself. It demonstrates that even ABC, who have been one of the promoters for over 20 years of extremist beliefs in catastrophic climate change, strong advocates of renewable energy and extreme anti-nuclear zealots are being forced to show some balance, even if they did so by showing this presentation after midnight. And even if they couldn’t resist stating their prejudice in the title and intro:
    Bjorn Lomborg: Limits to Growth – Still Wrong, Still Influential
    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2014/03/14/3962766.htm

  28. Welcome to Socialism – centralized control and a concomitant loss of individual liberty.
    From the article:

    Hurt recounted much of the nightmarish story about a young Wyoming family’s encounter with the bullying EPA, which you can find in this week’s column of The Nuclear Option. The family has been harassed and threatened with a $75,000 per day fine if they do not drain a small pond that they created on their own rural land. The pond was made from a stream flowing on their property, which they use for stocking fish, and has become a habitat for ducks, geese, and other wildlife. According to the EPA, creating a body of water on your own property is a violation of Federal Law.

    Moreover, the Washington Times columnist explained to Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon and Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow that the EPA resides in the District of Columbia, which has an inadequate sewage and overflow disposal system. As a result, on rainy days raw excrement from the EPA building makes its way into the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. As we know from reading Charlie’s column, he is a man of ideas and he has a good one to solve this waste management problem. Hurt proposed that all 5,000 of the EPA employees pay a $75,000 fine every time they flush a toilet on a rainy day.

    What’s more, Hurt claims that the EPA uses satellites and drones to fly over America and “compare maps” to find if any “new standing water” has been created. If the EPA can identify that you have created a pond on your property, they can “come after you and accuse you of violating The Clean Water Act, and interfering with a creek.” Hurt makes clear that this is a serious matter because these rural dwellers often don’t make a lot of money and don’t have the resources to fight the EPA lawyers.

    Hurt argued that, “the EPA in all of its wisdom has absolutely no interest in the environment.” The EPA critic added that, “If they like trees so much why don’t they go live among the trees.” Hurt is livid that these “environmentalists” at the EPA go out to farmers and tell them what they think is right for the land. Hurt thinks this is an outrage, because the farmers’ livelihood depends on how they manage their farms, therefore, they don’t need somebody coming in from a government agency telling them what is best for their land.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2014/03/22/NucleOptions-Charles-Hurt-Says-EPA-Using-Satellites-and-Drones

  29. The World Bank paper Long-Term Mitigation Strategies
    and Marginal Abatement Cost Curves
    demonstrates its ideologically Left bias from the first sentence of the Introduction:

    Various technical options are available to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: fuel switch in the power sector, renewable power, electric vehicles, energy eciency (sic) improvements in combustion engines, waste recycling, forest management, etc.

    It mentions renewables, which are very high abatement cost, but omits to mention nuclear, which is low abatement cost and could be negative abatement cost (i.e. ‘No regrets’) if/when the regulatory impediments to low cost nuclear are removed.

    • Peter Lang

      It is sad but true that nuclear power generation has a (largely undeserved) black eye because of incessant propaganda from anti-nuke greenie groups and a few mishaps, of which Chernobyl and Fukushima are probably the only true examples (both of which were grossly overplayed by the media and the greenies).

      The “spent fuel problem” (which could be essentially solved with emerging fast breeder technology) has also acted as a dilemma.

      And the result of all this has been that politicians (and, possibly also, voters) in many nations have a fear of nuclear power, which is unfounded if one looks at its actual safety record.

      In the USA it has been said that two housewives and a lawyer can delay construction of a new nuclear plant for ten years under the bureaucratic regulatory process and unbelievably grotesque legal system there.

      But I would agree with you that, as of today, nuclear fission is the only economically viable alternate for eliminating CO2 emissions by replacing a large portion of future coal-fired power generation.

      Natural gas is a distant second, as it only cuts the CO2 emission in half.

      Everything else (solar, wind) is simply pipe dreams.

      And the absolutely dumbest idea (which will never happen) is to “leave the fossil fuels in the ground” by reducing worldwide energy consumption and quality of life.

      So, until something new can be developed to replace fossil fuels, which is economically competitive and environmentally acceptable, it’s either nuclear or business as usual with fossil fuels, with natural gas as a stop-gap measure to reduce CO2 by a bit.

      Pretty simple, actually. (But it is truly amazing how many CAGW believers have problems seeing it.)

      Max

      • Manacker,

        Thank you. I agree with all of this.

        There two caveats you include that I’d comment on.

        The “spent fuel problem” (which could be essentially solved with emerging fast breeder technology) has also acted as a dilemma.

        Storage or permanent disposal of spent fuel is a political, not a significant technical or economic problem. I could go into that in detail, but will leave it at that for now.

        And, as you imply, the spent fuel will eventually be used, as will the stockpiled depleted uranium, in breeder reactors.

        It is sad but true that nuclear power generation has a (largely undeserved) black eye because of incessant propaganda from anti-nuke greenie groups and a few mishaps, of which Chernobyl and Fukushima are probably the only true examples (both of which were grossly overplayed by the media and the greenies).

        I agree. I think it is worth pointing out this short pamphlet (in case you haven’t already seen it): http://home.comcast.net/~robert.hargraves/public_html/RadiationSafety26SixPage.pdf

        My suggestions is that if the IAEA was to raise the allowable radiation limits – as justified on the basis of evidence – this could be the catalysis to massive cost reduction in nuclear power. A stork of the pen to change these limits could have enormous benefits for the world;

        • greatly reduce the requirements for evacuation after releases of radioactive emissions; therefore
        • reduce the cost of accidents; therefore
        • reduce the insurance cost; and
        • reduce the investor risk premium they require to invest in nuclear projects; and
        • importantly cut the wind out of the sales of the anti-nukes; and
        • allow the public time to reconsider the safety and benefits of nuclear power; thus
        • allow and encourage politicians to remove the massive bureaucratic and regulatory impediments to low cost nuclear power that is suitable for all most electricity grids in most countries around the world; and
        • encourage competition to ramp up across the world; so that
        • innovation flourishes, production quantities increase; so the
        • costs come down; and
        • roll out accelerates

        More could be added to this list

        The USA could the lead and win the support of the other countries that use nuclear power to get the IAEA regulations changed. As I said, this fairly simple change – which is well and truly justified by the evidence – could deliver massive benefits to the world, IMO.

        And it’s worth restating your final sentence:
        Pretty simple, actually. (But it is truly amazing how many CAGW believers have problems seeing it.)

  30. This whole ‘Week in Review’ post is just a compilation of the week’s denialist blogs and articles. Has all attempt at balance been abandoned?

  31. Yes, and why not,balance is highly overrated and someone with good balance is most likely to fall.
    Having said that no one here actually wants balance, we are having an argument, not an agreement.

  32. Alexej Buergin

    According to the Oeschger Institute (Bern), temperatures in Switzerland might go up by 9.5°F until the end of the century, which means that there will be 3% more medicaments sold and 4% more stays in hospitals.
    The leading Swiss newspaper, NZZ, titles “warming damages Switzerland” and puts the article into the SCIENCE (“Wissenschaft”) supplement.
    Better worry, Max.

    • Alexey Buergin

      Thanks for comment.

      No.

      I’m not worried at all.

      The “Oeschger Institute” does not have any earthly notion what the temperatures in Switzerland will be by the end of the century.

      They are basing their prognosis on the same IPCC climate models that projected 0.2C warming per decade (when we’ve actually seen slight cooling over the past decade).

      NZZ plays the same game as most of the MSM – they simply parrot as “science” what they hear.

      The headline: “Warming damages Switzerland” is totally misleading and unsubstantiated. There has been no damaging warming to Switzerland that anyone can document.

      So I’m relaxed.

      Max

  33. “For example, I analyzed the tropical atmospheric temperature change in 102 of the latest climate-model simulations covering the past 35 years. The temperature of this region is a key target variable because it is tied directly to the response to extra greenhouse gases in models. If greenhouse gases are warming the Earth, this is the first place to look.”

    Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/03/20/4093680/john-r-christy-climate-science.html#storylink=cpy

    I would think the tropics is most stable in terms of temperature, and I would think expansion of tropics would be a place to look. So, like less freezing weather in Oregon.
    Or does this have to do with the non-existent hot spot?

    • From that article:

      All 102 model runs overshot the actual temperature change on average by a factor of three. Not only does this tell us we don’t have a good grasp on the way climate varies, but the fact that all simulations overcooked the atmosphere means there is probably a warm bias built into the basic theory — the same theory we’ve been told is “settled science.”

      To me, being off by a factor of three doesn’t qualify as “settled.”

      As important as models can be for problems like this, it is clear we have a long way to go. And it is troubling that current policy is being based on these computer models, none of which has been validated by a formalized, independent Red Team analysis. (Congress, EPA: Are you listening?)

    • “The temperature of this region is a key target variable because it is tied directly to the response to extra greenhouse gases in models”

      [citation needed]

    • I’m very much amused that Bill Clinton once called CO2 ‘plant food’, but only once.
      ============

    • A balanced scientific view would also state that the models have underestimated the heating in polar and northern latitudes, but we don’t expect that to be said in a item for his particular audience. His job for advocacy is only to provide quotable quotes, not balanced scientific appraisals.

  34. I thought Christy’s article was quite insightful about the disputes over climate science.

    I sent copies to my friends and got a lot of flack back, which proved his point.

    My friends know scientists who share the assumption that any and all modern warming is caused by rising levels of atmospheric CO2. That may be true, but there is no empirical proof. (Not observed in the real world outside the laboratory.) In the absence of evidence, others do not make that assumption, observing that nothing happening in the climate exceeds natural variability.

    That was the point of the Christy article–there is no way currently to prove the assumption. So it is a matter of opinion, and thus the heated arguments (pun intended). That is not an attack on the scientific work of scientific colleagues, merely an unwillingness to share in their assumption.

  35. Freaky!
    From the article:

    Why Buy $3 Billion Worth Of Gas, Sight Unseen?
    Mar. 21, 2014 2:20 PM ET | 2 comments | Includes: CNQ, DVN

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. (More…)

    Summary

    Smart money isn’t making big investments in natural gas. It’s making HUGE investments.
    Aside from the cold, the last week of February was notable for extremely bullish natural gas storage numbers.
    The demand side is looking equally bullish.

    Smart money isn’t making big investments in natural gas. It’s making HUGE investments.

    One of the industry’s most fiscally conservative – and notoriously cheap – operators, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL) (CNQ) -NYSE/TSX; $36) reportedly bought Devon (DVN) Canada’s entire conventional oil and gas – but mainly gas – assets for $3.1 billion; reportedly sight unseen. It didn’t even wait go into the data room, pre-empting the entire process with its all-cash offer.

    We’re talking 2.2 million undeveloped acres, and another 2.7 million acres of freehold royalty lands, scattered across a diagonal line running from northern BC to southeast Saskatchewan.

    It’s conspicuously contrarian for a company that since 2008 has shut in money losing wells and let total gas production fall by two-thirds. Even more curious is the fact that CNRL in January shelved plans to dump 6.7 trillion cubic feet of Montney reserves when it couldn’t get the price it wanted – presumably more than the $30,000 per flowing barrel it was willing to pay Devon, which isn’t exactly cheap.

    This deal could unlock the doors to a lot more M&A in the natural gas market. There is now a firm price both buyers and sellers can start from to get the games going.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2102493-why-buy-3-billion-worth-of-gas-sight-unseen

  36. Here is a field in which the US should worry about falling behind!
    From the article:
    The real front in US-Russia ‘Cold War’? Nuclear power
    Text Size
    Published: Sunday, 23 Mar 2014 | 9:00 AM ET
    By: Javier E. David

    The new Cold War brewing between Russia and the U.S. has the potential to go nuclear—just not in the conventional sense.

    In the wake of the Ukraine crisis, a debate has ensued about whether the U.S. can use natural gas to counter Russia’s global ambitions. However, some experts say the real front in the global energy battle lies not in oil and gas, but in the arena of nuclear technology.

    Moscow has quietly taken the lead in the $500 billion market for nuclear exports, building the lion’s share of new facilities—and by extension earning influence and good will in key regions around the globe—as the U.S. sits on the sidelines.

    Fueled in part by its bounty in natural gas and oil, Russia has transferred nuclear technology to a host of countries, including Hungary, Venezuela, Turkey and, most controversially, Iran. According to the World Nuclear Association, Moscow is building 37 percent of the new atomic facilities currently under construction worldwide, while nearly doubling its own domestic output by 2020.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101507755

  37. From the article:

    The U.S. shale boom is beginning to ripple outward to American cities.

    The shale mining industry’s rising demand for materials and equipment along with the abundance of cheap fuel are fueling a modest renaissance in American manufacturing, according to a report prepared by IHS Global insight for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

    Cheaper energy is allowing many types of manufacturing to grow in the U.S. The report credits shale gas with lowering production costs for everything from feedstock to building materials. Cheaper energy will constitute a competitive advantage for U.S. companies, attracting foreign buys for U.S. products and improving the trade balance.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101510997

  38. STOP THE PRESSES! THIS ONE TAKES THE CAKE. THE MORE AHN AWARD WOULDN’T DO THIS WRITER JUSTICE!

    • So after all the money spent on satellites and floats – we still don’t know the way the water flows??? REALLY???

      From the article.
      Scientists say man-made climate change has fundamentally altered the currents of the vast, deep oceans where investigators are currently scouring for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, setting a complex stage for the ongoing search for MH370. If the Boeing 777 did plunge into the ocean somewhere in the vicinity of where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean, the location where its debris finally ends up, if found at all, may be vastly different from where investigators could have anticipated 30 years ago.

      http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/climate-change-malaysia-airlines-370-search
      .

  39. Nuclear Fission Fuel is Inexhaustible

    Abstract: Nuclear fission energy is as inexhaustible as those energies usually termed “renewable”, such as hydro, wind, solar, and biomass. But, unlike the sum of these energies, nuclear fission energy has sufficient capacity to replace fossil fuels as they become scarce. Replacement of the current thermal variety of nuclear fission reactors with nuclear fission fast reactors, which are 100 times more fuel efficient, can dramatically extend nuclear fuel reserves. The contribution of uranium price to the cost of electricity generated by fast reactors, even if its price were the same as that of gold at US$14,000/kg, would be US$0.003/kWh of electricity generated. At that price, economically viable uranium reserves would be, for all practical purposes, inexhaustible. Uranium could power the world as far into the future as we are today from the dawn of civilization—more than 10,000 years ago. Fast reactors have distinct advantages in siting of plants, product transport and management of waste.

    http://www.computare.org/Support%20documents/Fora%20Input/CCC2006/Nuclear%20Paper%2006_05.htm

  40. Further to Nuclear Fission Fuel is Inexhaustible

    Comment by Engineer-Poet on BraveNewClimate:
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/03/04/entering-space-energy-resources/#comment-215506

    At thermal efficiencies of reactors cooled by liquid metals or molten salts, the fission of 1 ton of heavy metal per year yields roughly 1 GW of electric power.

    [32,000 tons of uranium delivered by rivers to the oceans every year … Bernard Cohen http://web.archive.org/web/20070609222700/http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/cohen.html ]

    At 1 ton per GW-yr, 32,000 tpy is sufficient to supply 32 TW(e) (roughly 80 TW(th)).

    On that basis, if we were to ever use all the economically recoverable (in the future and with future exploration and mining technologies) uranium and thorium in the Earth’s continental crust (where these elements are concentrated) the ~6×10^13 tonnes of uranium (not including thorium), then there is an effectively inexhaustible supply of uranium in the oceans. From the figures you quote from Bernard Cohen, 32 TWe can be supplied indefinitely from fission without even reducing the concentration of uranium in the oceans. Wow! I hadn’t realised that previously.

    I estimate there is 1 million years of mineable uranium at the current world rate of uranium mine production and 1,000 years at 100 times our current mine production rates. (These mining rates approximately support the world’s current fleet of thermal reactors). Basis of estimate:

    Uranium in continental crust 5.75E+13 tonnes
    Proportion of mineable uranium 0.001
    Tonnes mineable uranium 5.75E+10 tonnes
    Annual production 45,000 tonnes
    years at current production 1.28E+06 years
    Increase production x 1000 1.28E+03 years

    By the way, some may be interested to know that ~10,000 tonnes of uranium is being concentrated in the Earth’s continental crust every year along the subduction zones. Thorium is too, but I don’t know the quantities.

    Final comment (quoted from above linked article):

    The main point to be derived from Cohen’s article is that energy is not a problem even in the very long run. In particular, energy intensive solutions to other human problems are entirely acceptable.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070609222700/http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/cohen.html

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

  42. The World Bank working paper Long-Term Mitigation Strategies and Marginal Abatement Cost Curves http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/IW3P/IB/2014/03/18/000158349_20140318094343/Rendered/PDF/WPS6808.pdf is interesting for two reasons.

    1) It shows that if we want to make major emissions reductions by say 2050, then we need to implement policies that are optimised to achieve that goal at least cost by 2050. Focusing on short term targets lie 2020 and 2030 is detrimental to the long term outcome both in amounts of emissions avoided and on the abatement cost of the policies. Focusing on a short term goal “without accounting for a longer-term goal … would lead to insufficient investments in options with low implementation speed and large abatement potential.

    2) It demonstrates the pervasive and deep Left-ideological bias in the World Bank. Look at the list of policies they investigated while not even a mention of nuclear power as a possible option.

    Combustion optimization
    Heat recovery
    Steam recovery
    Furnace heat recovery
    New processes
    Other Energy Efficiency
    Thermal Solar
    Recycling
    Natural gas
    Biomass
    Reforestation
    Wind
    Comb. Heat Power
    Solar heat
    Air conditioning
    Residential Lightning
    Cooler
    Motor
    Industrial Lightning
    Commercial lightning
    GTL
    New Refineries
    Reffineries Heat Integration
    Reffineries Fouling Mitigation
    Reffineries Advanced Control
    Ethanol
    Rail and Waterways
    Bullet train
    Rapid transit bus
    Metro
    Traffic optimization
    Bike Lanes
    Solid residues
    Resid. Wastewater
    Indust. Wastewater
    Restauration
    Livestock and Forest
    Tilage

  43. … using a MAC curve without taking into account implementation speed and long-term objectives would lead to insufficient short-term investments in options with high potential and slow implementation speed.

    http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/IW3P/IB/2014/03/18/000158349_20140318094343/Rendered/PDF/WPS6808.pdf

    Or, in plane language: frigging around with renewable energy and thwarting the development and roll out of low-cost nuclear power is a massive waste of money and time. The ‘Progressives’ who oppose nuclear power are anti-progress. They are irresponsible. They are the real dinosaurs of today.

  44. This article shows and example of example of what the energy policies of the Labor-Green-Left has done to Australia’s industry, productivity and jobs:

    The ugly truth about energy policy

    Almost a year to the day since he quit the Gillard government and his resources and energy portfolio, Martin Ferguson has laid down some markers for federal and state governments on policy-making.

    Attending last week’s Energy State of the Nation forum staged in Sydney by the Energy Policy Institute of Australia, Ferguson provided his views on a range of issues that bedevil current energy supply.

    In particular, he underlined three key steps:

    First, he said Australia must have an integrated approach to climate change and energy policies to ensure the efficient delivery of services as well as carbon emissions abatement.

    Second, federal and state governments need to continue to work together on energy market reform.

    Third, federal and state governments need to demonstrate leadership to deliver sufficient gas at competitive prices on the east coast.

    Ferguson conceded that both sides of politics have at various times lost sight of basic principles in designing energy policy.

    They could do much better, he argued, if they accept the best way to attract efficient investment is through open and competitive markets where price signals from consumers underpinned decisions.

    He used the talk to tell his predecessor and successor, Ian Macfarlane, who included energy in his industry portfolio in the Howard government and has it again today, that the white paper the Gillard government delivered in December 2012 is still relevant, although he acknowledged that the pace of change in energy markets here and overseas has continued to accelerate in the past 18 months.

    The media attention Ferguson attracted with the talk tended to focus on his tough views on the renewable energy target.

    The RET, which was legislated in its present form when he was energy minister but under the hands of successive environment ministers Penny Wong and Greg Combet, is undermining the resilience of the east coast power market, Ferguson said. It is delivering subsidised new capacity in to a market that actually requires generations to exit.

    The scheme, he added, is distorting price signals in the NEM and impacting on efficient investment needed to deliver energy at lowest costs.

    While Ferguson’s views in this presentation were equally trenchant on topics such as coal seam gas development, retail power price deregulation and privatisation of government power assets, the talk on the forum sidelines (as it is more widely when energy industry members gather these days) was on the two-pronged problem of energy market security and energy prices.

    The scale of the issue was brought home in another paper at the ESON event, delivered by Jim Snow, director of consultants Oakley Greenwood.

    Snow said that the present state of the markets is a consequence of policy decisions made over a number of years.

    “They may have seemed reasonable at the time,” he argued, “but their full impacts are now coming to light and will become more obvious over the next three to five years — and more unpalatable.”

    “Do we even now understand the consequences of these decisions?” he asked.

    Snow’s thesis, and he is far from the only one to hold it, is that Australia is migrating away from its long-term relative energy price advantage and the consequences should come as no surprise to economists.

    Local energy demand is reducing — this will continue and consumption is becoming far harder to forecast, he said.

    Local businesses are losing any competitive advantage they had from our energy prices and this has become a tipping point issue for them on top of other pressures such as poor productivity and a high-value dollar.

    “They will restructure, reduce, seek alternatives, or simply offshore more production.”

    Snow pointed to the packed food industry as an example of energy users “flying below the radar” as they react to prices.

    Food in glass or cans and frozen food is simply cheaper now to produce elsewhere for a sector that is dominated by major international brands, he pointed out, and the situation, to him, has a similar feel to when Australia “lost the rag trade,” as the textile industry restructured fast in reaction to the dropping of import tariffs. That time 100,000 jobs were lost.

    It needs to be remembered, Snow said, that the competitive advantage of low-cost energy is not just enjoyed by industry — it flows through to affordability for consumers, a strong example today being house prices, now affected by the higher cost of glass, bricks, wallboard, roofing and concrete

    As well, there is rising energy poverty in the residential sector, bringing its own political challenges, he added, “and this is set to compound in colder states like Victoria as gas price rise”.

    In the present market environment, Snow said, power suppliers, in turn, have just two choices: raise prices or write down asset values.

    Taken together, the views of Ferguson and Snow at ESON paint an ugly picture for policymakers: the years of indulgence in decision-making are over, the populist or ideological chickens are coming home to roost and the time for hard-nosed attitudes informed by real understanding and focused on joining the dots across the energy/carbon policy spectrum is now.

    Otherwise, observed Ferguson, state governments will need to be able to explain to an angry electorate why they haven’t taken adequate action to moderate energy prices.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/3/24/politics/ugly-truth-about-energy-policy

  45. atmospheric attenuation

    Oh, and I didn’t do any adjustments for attenuation.

  46. I’m generally on the side of those that are concerned with the possible impacts of our massive footprint on the planet (wide-spread extinctions, possibly rapid and problematic discontinuities in climate), but I’m very much in favor of nuclear power. In particular, I’d love to see thorium-powered liquid fluoride molten salt reactors. We’ve been using Rickover’s pressurized water reactors for far too long now.

  47. D o u g.    C o t t o n 

    Dennis Jensen’s five minute address to the Australian Parliament was indeed a good starting point, because members need firstly to have doubts cast on their minds about whether the data is valid and whether warming is still evident this century. But in the long run, the science itself has to be discussed and challenged, because it is in fact a whole new paradigm shift in thinking that is required in the climatology field. Planetary surface temperatures are determined by the gravito-thermal gradient that evolves in a planet’s troposphere, not by any imagined greenhouse radiative forcing.

    In an adiabatic process in a sealed and perfectly insulated vertical cylinder of a solid, liquid or gas a thermal gradient evolves in accord with the process described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    This fact may be used to deduce that such will also occur in calm conditions in a planet’s troposphere if no new energy were being absorbed, such as is close to the case in calm conditions in the early pre-dawn hours, when surface cooling and upward advection almost stops. In such a situation we can observe that there is indeed a thermal gradient, but there is no heat transfer from the lower warmer regions to the cooler regions above, for the simple reason that there is already a state of thermodynamic equilibrium.

    Molecules move in random directions after each collision, and the direction is not significantly dependent upon the kinetic energy in the molecule. So the calculation of the thermal gradient has nothing to do with pressure or density or rising packets of air. There is no such thing as a moving packet of air in adiabatic conditions anyway, because the probability of trillions of molecules all moving in the same direction is absolutely infinitesimal in the absence of wind or forced advection caused by an external energy source like a fan.

    Temperature is the independent variable and only changes if mean molecular kinetic energy changes. Gravity sets up non-zero gradients in density and temperature. Pressure is merely the end result because pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature.

    • Doug,

      Do you have a link to Dr. Dennis Jensen’s speech to the Australian Parliament? (BTW, he is one of only two scientists in the Australian Parliament – both are on the conservative side of politics).