New research from last week

by Judith Curry

Each week I check Ari Jokimaki’s blog AGW Observer for his selection of recent AGW research.  This week he lists a host of interesting papers.

Here is the link to Jorimaki’s post.  Here are selected papers with links (where available).

Recent trends of the tropical hydrological cycle inferred from Global Precipitation Climatology Project and International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data – Zhou et al. (2011)

“Scores of modeling studies have shown that increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere impact the global hydrologic cycle; however, disagreements on regional scales are large, and thus the simulated trends of such impacts, even for regions as large as the tropics, remain uncertain. The present investigation attempts to examine such trends in the observations using satellite data products comprising Global Precipitation Climatology Project precipitation and International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project cloud and radiation. Specifically, evolving trends of the tropical hydrological cycle over the last 20–30 years were identified and analyzed. The results show (1) intensification of tropical precipitation in the rising regions of the Walker and Hadley circulations and weakening over the sinking regions of the associated overturning circulation; (2) poleward shift of the subtropical dry zones (up to 2° decade−1 in June-July-August (JJA) in the Northern Hemisphere and 0.3–0.7° decade−1 in June-July-August and September-October-November in the Southern Hemisphere) consistent with an overall broadening of the Hadley circulation; and (3) significant poleward migration (0.9–1.7° decade−1) of cloud boundaries of Hadley cell and plausible narrowing of the high cloudiness in the Intertropical Convergence Zone region in some seasons. These results support findings of some of the previous studies that showed strengthening of the tropical hydrological cycle and expansion of the Hadley cell that are potentially related to the recent global warming trends.” Zhou, Y. P., K.-M. Xu, Y. C. Sud, and A. K. Betts (2011), J. Geophys. Res., 116, D09101, doi:10.1029/2010JD015197.

Link to full paper [here]

Rebound of Antarctic ozone – Salby et al. (2011)

“Restrictions on CFCs have led to a gradual decline of Equivalent Effective Stratospheric Chlorine (EESC). A rebound of Antarctic ozone, however, has remained elusive, masked by large interannual changes that dominate its current evolution. A positive response of ozone is not expected to emerge for at least 1–2 decades, possibly not for half a century. We show that interannual changes of the Antarctic ozone hole are accounted for almost perfectly by changes in dynamical forcing of the stratosphere. The close relationship enables dynamically-induced changes of ozone to be removed, unmasking the climate signal associated with CFCs. The component independent of dynamically-induced changes exhibits a clear upward trend over the last decade – the first signature of a rebound in Antarctic ozone. It enables ozone to be tracked relative to CFCs and other changes of climate.” Salby, M., E. Titova, and L. Deschamps (2011), Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L09702, doi:10.1029/2011GL047266.

Can’t find an online version.

Changes in extratropical storm track cloudiness 1983–2008: observational support for a poleward shift – Bender et al. (2011)

“Climate model simulations suggest that the extratropical storm tracks will shift poleward as a consequence of global warming. In this study the northern and southern hemisphere storm tracks over the Pacific and Atlantic ocean basins are studied using observational data, primarily from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project, ISCCP. Potential shifts in the storm tracks are examined using the observed cloud structures as proxies for cyclone activity. Different data analysis methods are employed, with the objective to address difficulties and uncertainties in using ISCCP data for regional trend analysis. In particular, three data filtering techniques are explored; excluding specific problematic regions from the analysis, regressing out a spurious viewing geometry effect, and excluding specific cloud types from the analysis. These adjustments all, to varying degree, moderate the cloud trends in the original data but leave the qualitative aspects of those trends largely unaffected. Therefore, our analysis suggests that ISCCP data can be used to interpret regional trends in cloudiness, provided that data and instrumental artefacts are recognized and accounted for. The variation in magnitude between trends emerging from application of different data correction methods, allows us to estimate possible ranges for the observational changes. It is found that the storm tracks, here represented by the extent of the midlatitude-centered band of maximum cloud cover over the studied ocean basins, experience a poleward shift as well as a narrowing over the 25 year period covered by ISCCP. The observed magnitudes of these effects are larger than in current generation climate models (CMIP3). The magnitude of the shift is particularly large in the northern hemisphere Atlantic. This is also the one of the four regions in which imperfect data primarily prevents us from drawing firm conclusions. The shifted path and reduced extent of the storm track cloudiness is accompanied by a regional reduction in total cloud cover. This decrease in cloudiness can primarily be ascribed to low level clouds, whereas the upper level cloud fraction actually increases, according to ISCCP. Independent satellite observations of radiative fluxes at the top of the atmosphere are consistent with the changes in total cloud cover. The shift in cloudiness is also supported by a shift in central position of the mid-troposphere meridional temperature gradient. We do not find support for aerosols playing a significant role in the satellite observed changes in cloudiness. The observed changes in storm track cloudiness can be related to local cloud-induced changes in radiative forcing, using ERBE and CERES radiative fluxes. The shortwave and the longwave components are found to act together, leading to a positive (warming) net radiative effect in response to the cloud changes in the storm track regions, indicative of positive cloud feedback. Among the CMIP3 models that simulate poleward shifts in all four storm track areas, all but one show decreasing cloud amount on a global mean scale in response to increased CO2 forcing, further consistent with positive cloud feedback. Models with low equilibrium climate sensitivity to a lesser extent than higher-sensitivity models simulate a poleward shift of the storm tracks.” Frida A-M. Bender, V. Ramanathan and George Tselioudis, Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-011-1065-6.

Can’t find an online version.

Sources, media, and modes of climate change communication: the role of celebrities – Anderson (2011)

“This article reviews existing research on the portrayal of climate change within the print media, paying particular attention to the increasing role that celebrities have come to play within popular culture. While this is certainly not a new development, celebrities are increasingly appearing as key voices within the climate change debate, providing a powerful news hook and potential mobilizing agent. Early coverage of climate change was dominated by scientific sources, but as the debate became more institutionalized and politicized a wider variety of competing sources entered the news arena. Yet media prominence is not necessarily a reliable indicator of influence. How issues are framed is of crucial importance and celebrity interventions can be a double-edged sword.” Alison Anderson, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, DOI: 10.1002/wcc.119.

Can’t find an online version of this.  Hard to believe that academics are writing papers on this kind of a topic and actually getting published.  My two cents on the celebrity contribution to AGW arguments:  their failure to walk the walk (esp Al Gore and James Cameron) in terms of their personal carbon footprint makes them pretty unconvincing.

JC note:  I am swamped this week and also traveling, so little time for content development. I will be checking in to moderate when I can.

250 responses to “New research from last week

  1. This paper was also published this week.

    I’m disappointed it did not make the list. WUWT is discussing it and I hoped it would be discussed here as well. If solar forcing is 6x greater than previous thought, that would certainly throw a spanner in the works for climate modelers.

    • Roger Andrews

      Ron Cram:

      I agree; this paper should have been number one for discussion. If the authors’ estimate of a 7 w/m2 increase in TSI since the Maunder Minimum is correct then we can explain most if not all of the warming since then in terms of solar forcing. And as you note, we would also have to re-do a lot of climate models.

    • As Oliver points out below, the full article is available at

    • This paper also confirms that the TSI has been quite steady since about 1950 so that current warming is not explained by it, but the warming between 1900 and 1950 can be at least half explained by it, and I have suggested in previous postings here that 0.2 degrees is accounted for by TSI increases in the early 20th century,

      • Jim D

        Several solar studies have come to a similar conclusion, i.e. that around half of the observed 20th century warming can be attributed to the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity (highest in several thousand years), with most of this occurring in the first half of the century. These estimates average 0.3 degreesC over the 20th century, or a bit higher than your estimate.


      • Roger Andrews

        I think the main point is this. If we use Shapiro et al’s estimate of TSI increase during the 20th century (4 w/m2) instead of the IPCC’s estimate (about 0.6 w/m2) the IPCC’s climate models will hindcast about 0.4C too much overall warming. The models can replicate 20th-century warming only if they assume a negligible solar contribution.

      • My take is that the AR4 models were having trouble with the so-called blip in the 1940’s, and modifying the TSI in this way would help them to simulate this blip. AR3 used a stronger TSI variation, so this study is more like the one used there, and only a little stronger that that.

      • Net-net, the “window” for the A in AGW is shrinking. Rebound from the Ice Age and LIA, plus TSI variance, plus EUV variance, are looking better and better to soak up ALL the variance.

      • Jim D,

        If you turn the burner up on your pot of water it does not necessarily start boiling immediately. A rise in forcing will take a while for the energy to move through the entire system and reach its maximum effect..

    • The first sentence in the abstract of the paper by Shapiro et al. (2011) contains perhaps the most important factual information that AGW supporters ignored in promoting fears of CO2-induced global warming.

      ” The variable Sun is the most likely candidate for the natural forcing of past climate changes on time scales of 50 to 1000 years.”

      Why did AGW promoters ignore the Sun’s variability?

      The Standard Solar Model (SSM) of the Sun as homogeneous ball of hydrogen fails to explain why the Sun’s variability is empirically linked “to orbital motion of the planets and to velocity changes in the Sun, as it is jerked-like a yo–yo on a string–about the constantly changing centre-of-mass (barycentre) of the solar system.” . . .

      “The Sun’s dense, energetic core of neutrons explains this mystery.” [“Earth’s Heat Source – The Sun,” E&E 20 (2009) page 139].

    • Professor Curry,


      By not including you in the upcoming Government Propaganda Parade, “A Conversation on America’s Climate Choices,” on May 12, 2011, the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has inadvertently confirmed that you are genuine.

      Again, congratulations!

  2. The paper by Bender et al inferring new evidence for positive cloud feedback will presumably stimulate further controversy on this topic, which can’t be settled by any single dataset. My only reaction is that it does tend to render unlikely the possibility of a strong negative cloud feedback when multidecadal trends are analyzed (as opposed to shorter term trends in various directions described in mutually conflicting reports by Dessler, Spencer/Braswell, and Lindzen/Choi), but I would hesitate to draw a firmer conclusion than that.

    The paper by Zhou et al is interesting – “ poleward shift of the subtropical dry zones (up to 2° decade−1 in June-July-August (JJA) in the Northern Hemisphere and 0.3–0.7° decade−1 in June-July-August and September-October-November in the Southern Hemisphere) consistent with an overall broadening of the Hadley circulation;”

    This appears to be an example of global warming-induced regional changes that threaten agricultural productivity in subtropical regions, including the southern U.S. This poleward movement of dry zones has also been deduced from proxy data spanning many past centuries, and is probably more pertinent to practical concerns for those particular latitudes than changes in tree rings or other proxies. However, the northward migration is slow, and so serious impacts from this phenomenon are unlikely for decades beyond the time horizon on which sociopolitical decisions are made. Even so, and regardless of carbon mitigation strategies, it might be worthwhile for adaptation planning to begin in the near future in anticipation of reduced water availability.

    • Fred

      To clarify, where are the dry zones now?

      At 2°/decade, would you be expecting Kansas City to experience the conditions of Houston in 50 years?

      That would have some impact on agriculture within the time sociopolitical impacts would be considered, were the evidence strong enough, no?

      • Has there been any indication that we have experienced 2o per decade?
        Next topic please.

      • Bart – The American Southwest is already on the border of dry zones. The observations reported by Zhou et al are consistent with model projections of increased poleward dryness and Increased Aridity in the Southwest of North America. The trend certainly can’t continue in linear fashion, but it’s conceivable that Kansas City would be reached within 50 years.

      • Fred –
        I read the abstract. Unless there’s something more than that in the body of the paper, there’s nothing new there. The American Southwest has been desert for 800 years, along with much of northern Mexico and Southern California. And technically, parts of NW US (Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho) are also desert – and have been so for several hundred years. The words in that abstract could have been lifted directly from a Southwest US history or archaeology text.

        I suspect you haven’t spent much time in that area – or studied it much. I don’t live there now, but I’ve spent years of my life there – most of it in the desert (as opposed to town/city).

      • Read the paper, Jim, which will be of interest to individuals planning for a changing future in terms of both increased dryness where already dry and shifts from wetter to drier in regions on the border of the dry zones. These is also a multi-century history (not in this paper) documenting the changing conditions, not only in the American Southwest but also in other subtropical regions.

      • These is also a multi-century history (not in this paper) documenting the changing conditions, not only in the American Southwest but also in other subtropical regions. No doubt there are multi-century histories of climate change. But what are the causes according to current AGW theory?

      • Stephen – I believe both the Zhou et al and Seager et al papers discuss this. The basic mechanism(s) involve an acceleration of the hydrologic cycle (evaporation and precipitation) under warming conditions that lead to a widening of the Hadley Circulation. The warming can result from either increases in solar irradiance or greenhouse gas-mediated warming of tropical ocean surfaces. The rising branches of the Hadley cell have high humidity and are associated with intense precipitation as the warm air rises and the moisture condenses. The descending branches in the vicinity of the subtropics, having lost most of the moisture, exert a drying influence on the local climate. With warming, the consequent expansion outwards of the Hadley Circulation moves the descending (dry) regions further poleward, which is northward in the Northern Hemisphere. The exact mechanisms involved in the expansion are not completely understood as far as I know.

      • Some of the analysis by Zhou et al is misleading and some of it is fairly irrelevant. Changes in precipitation over the ocean are fairly unimportant, so it would have been useful to separate trends for land areas. In the temperate zones, Table 2 shows that precipitation has increased in the summer (when it is needed most for agriculture) and decreased in the winter. However, the decrease in winter could have severe consequences for Western US and Northern China, but Zhou et al don’t indicate where the decrease has occurred.

        The most dramatic change Zhou reports – the poleward expansion of the Hadley cell in the Northern Hemisphere in the summer – appears to be the most misleading. Zhou defines the northern edge of the Hadley cell as rainfall less than 2.4 mm/day (34 inches/year!), which is found at about 45 degN in the summer. No latitude in the Northern Hemisphere actually gets less than 2.0 mm/day during the summer. During the summer, the jet stream and associated latitudinal storms are often found far south of the 2.4 mm line used by Zhou to define the northern extent of the Hadley cell. Figure 4 shows that the arid regions associated with subtropical subsistence regions in the northern hemisphere are well-defined ONLY during winter and spring (10-25 degN, <1.6 mm/day) and fall (20-30 degN, 1.2-2.0 mm/day). The latitude of minimum rainfall in winter and fall may have moved northward in the winter (not spring), but that the trend is not significant (Figure 5).

        Since an arbitrary precipitation rate doesn't provide useful limits for the northern boundary of the Hadley circulation in summer, perhaps we should look at the location of the jet stream. Archer and Caldeira (GRL, 2008) found that the northern migration of the jet stream is about 0.17 degrees/decade, 1/10th the value reported by Zhou! The migration was similar in summer and winter.

      • Frank – Thanks for the reference. As the article points out, the rate of poleward migration of the Hadley Cell is expected to greatly exceed that of the jet stream, and this is consistent with Zhou, Seager, and others. Presumably, this reflects the widening of the Hadley Cell, since the Jet Stream represents the stratospheric deviation of North/South Hadley cell atmospheric circulation at its highest altitudes into East/West directions via the Coriolis force. With a widening cell, the poleward downward edge of the cell will move faster than its apex.

      • Fred, thanks for your reply. The region of subsiding air is well defined in the winter and spring by regions of low rainfall, and less “aridly” defined in the fall. However, precipitation provides no clear location for dry subsiding air in the summer, so Zhou’s data tells us nothing conclusive about size of the Hadley cell in summer – the only season for which Zhou reported a significant change. I don’t understand why the subsiding region of the Hadley circulation doesn’t produce dramatically less rainfall at some Northern latitudes during the summer, but – since it doesn’t – we don’t know where it is. We do know where the jet stream is. Unless you can explain why the relationship between the location of the jet stream and the subsiding region of the Hadley circulation should be changing in the summer, but not the winter, I’ll suggest that the jet stream provides a much less ambiguous location for the Hadley cell than lack of precipitation.

        Furthermore, we fear the poleward expansion of the Hadley cell because the dry air in the subsiding region is responsible for many severe deserts. Zhou’s definition for the location of the northern edge of the Hadley cell (2.4 mm/day) has nothing to do with the severe lack of rain we associate with with dry subsiding air. From a practical point of the view, if 2.4 mm/day of precipitation does define the northern edge of the Hadley cell in summer, then we have nothing to fear from the northward migration of the Hadley cell in the summer!

      • Fred,
        Increased dryness by what measure?
        Do you recall what the center of North America was originally called?

      • It was largely treeless. Europeans considered treeless land to be a desert.

      • “An assessment to determine trends and attribute
        causes for droughts for the period 1951 to 2006
        shows that:
        • It is unlikely that a systematic change
        has occurred in either the frequency or
        area coverage of severe drought over the
        contiguous United States from the midtwentieth
        century to the present.ˆ´x”

      • To add to the earlier points from the 2011 Zhou et al paper, the observational data not only show a gradual northward migration of the dry regions of the northern branch of the Hadley Circulation, but also demonstrate that this poleward migration is larger than the migration in the opposite direction in the southern branch – in other words, dryness is moving north in the Northern Hemisphere faster than it is moving south in the Southern Hemisphere (see the text and Figures 3 and following for many of the details regarding the changing precipitation trends).

        This is because the center of the circulation, the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone) is also moving northward over time in concert with a warming climate. Although not described in the paper, this is thought to be due to the fact that the Northern Hemisphere has been warming faster than the Southern Hemisphere, partly because it has greater land mass, and partly because Antarctic regions are somewhat shielded from global trends by regional atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns.

      • Bruce Cunningham

        John Christy has pointed out that the western US was far drier in pre-industrial days than it has been in the last century or so. I have also read other papers that show the same thing. i can dig them out if need be. The level of Lake Tahoe was much lower in the not too distant past. There are remnants of trees that use to grow along the shoreline that are 75 or more feet below the present lake level.
        Considering that the Southeastern US has cooled slightly over the last 50 years or so (according to NOAA I think), some of these papers have the same ring to it as several alarmist studies of the recent past.
        Next topic please.

      • Bruce – Regional fluctuations in water availability have been a feature of past climates, as you note. Trends are a different matter. Some trends are uncertain, but I believe the northward migration of the dry zones is now fairly well established even if the pace is still uncertain. It is a multiregional phenomenon not limited to the U.S. However, for the southwestern U.S., this ultimately portends severe strains on agriculture and water availability. I suspect that planning is underway for adaptive measures in some of the states most likely to be impacted.

        In any case, the paper by Zhou et al is available for anyone wishing to draw his or her own conclusions.

    • Let’s build a bunch of dams and irrigation systems where none are now needed. Why not? Throw in a flood control dam system just to be safe.

      • And to make it actually useful let’s put some large generators on those dams to back up those useless windmills being built!!!

    • Christopher Game

      If there were positive feedback by clouds we would all be fried long ago. No need to wait for CO2. Christopher Game

    • Fred Moolten

      Don’t grasp too desperately for some physical evidence of net positive cloud feedback.

      The Bender et al. model simulations hardly provide this, even though all but one of the CMIP3 model simulations apparently did show a reduction in global cloud cover in the storm track regions “consistent with positive cloud feedback”.

      So far, the most recent physical observations over the tropics point in the direction of negative cloud feedback instead.


  3. All four are about celebrities in their way. Two show how the models lead the science. They are not trying to explain climate change, they are trying to confirm, or modify, the models. The models have become the science! The models dictate the research. It is as simple as that.

    Then there are the other two celebrity studies. One is about the ozone hole scare, the political precursor to the climate change scare. The other is about Hollywood stars. There is not a dime’s worth of difference between these four
    studies. It is a system, a system of belief.

    • David

      What should lead science, then?

      What ought dictate the research?

      • Hmmm……facts? data? evidence? testable hypotheses and valid null hypotheses?
        Just wondering.

      • How about trying to figure out why climate changes. Novel thought that?

      • David Wojick

        I was more suggesting that you’re well-equipped and well-positioned to recommend a principle or general precept, as a case-by-case answer won’t do much good in the long run.

        Imagine if all science since the time of Isaac Newton had been led by an advantageous precept or principle such as a capable student of science such as yourself could present to choose from among the almost infinite facts, data and evidence, testable hypotheses and valid null hypotheses the optimal order of investigation?

        We’d have had transistors by the time of the American Revolution, cell phones and smart paper by the French Revolution, and a cure for AIDS before its first outbreak.

        So, what is that general precept?

      • Bart, I have no idea about such a magical precept, or even what that might mean. My point is that we seem to be locked into refining these models, instead of doing basic research on why climate changes, which we do not understand. The models are leading the science, defining the problems far too narrowly, and leading us away from the real questions. The models have hijacked the basic research agenda.

        We should be doing research on the sun-climate linkages, ocean-climate linkages, internal dynamics and chaos, ice age mechanisms (big and little), abrupt change mechanisms, etc., in short why climate changes. But very little of this is in the present models so it is wrongly regarded as not important. The models have become the paradigm, in Kuhn’s sense of that word, meaning that they determine the research agenda. This is just wrong.

      • I don’t think this is the case – models don’t determine the research agenda – they are generally used to illustrate the relationships that seem to be most interesting from other statistical analysis. I think most research centre’s do the normal science puzzle solving, in the Kuhnian sense, with the models overemphasised because they are an easy way of almost branding a centre. Were they to determine the research I think I would agree with you that there was something wrong. Good researchers don’t overstretch their model results, but I agree that from the research I’ve read (although mainly limited to integrated assessment models) there is often a minimal critical assessment of a model used to generate findings – I assume journal referrees want to see analysis rather than too many caveats.
        I think research councils and other funding bodies like their models and things that generate graphs or scenarios are often used to sum up a research findings, so I can understand why models get so much attention, even though they are usually used to support analysis. In energy economics (the model my centre works on) it is much the same – we spend a lot of time and effort improving the model, so have to show that this cost is good value for money, but most of the research we do would be publishable without the model.

        On the other issue, the things to examine (or exclude) is certainly determined by the paradigm, but the excluded areas seem less promising to the research community and you can’t study everything in sufficient detail – I freely admit there is a chance that some outlier research might alter the perception of what is credible, but I guess that is how science works (according to Kuhn, anyway).

        Note to Kent – yes climate changes, but if it were to change rapidly it would cease to be climate! I always assume that when we are talking about climate change the word “anthropogenic” is silently inserted, which I think David implies in his reponse.

      • Paul, regarding your last sentence, I want too respond but it is ambiguous. I certainly do not mean to silently insert “anthro” when talking about climate change, quite the opposite. What we desperately need is basic research into natural climate change. On the other hand there is indeed an unfortunate convention, dictated by AGW, that equates climate change with anthro climate change. That is precisely the problem I am fighting.

        Stated in Kuhnian terms (and I am a Kuhnian), the present problem is that the scientific paradigm is politically motivated. Environmentalism has captured the community. We have the strange case where a tentative scientific hypothesis has become the official policy of those who fund research. It is an historic moment, and one I find fascinating, but I am also fighting to fix it. Climate science is crippled at this point, crippled by politicization..

      • David Wojick

        In the absence of a general optimizing precept, all methods would be equally valid.

        Therefore there is no basic research agenda, as there is no general precept to test what falls within the set of basic research.

        Models are a puny, though productive, area of study.

        For one thing, if they can’t incorporate the sun, oceans, internaly dynamics and chaos typically, they’re not going to work terribly well, but they are going to suggest a focus on resolving or better understanding those questions in the next generation of models, as we’ve seen happen for NCAR 4 with ENSO (not yet successfully, but progressively) and several other areas that were lacking in the 3rd generation models.

        If you want to understand ice age and abrupt change mechanisms, you’ll want decently working models, won’t you?

        They’re a tool, not an end in themselves.

        Where the models determine the agenda, it is because they behave as a general precept to sort out what the model builders do and do not apparently well-enough understand to model.

        So the answer to the magickal precept you cannot furnish, David, is the thing you protest.

      • Bart R. I do not want decently working models at the present time because we lack the understanding to build such a thing. What I first want is the understanding. I would suspend model building efforts entirely until we get it. These models are fooling a lot of people into thinking we understand what we do not in fact understand. They are worse than useless, they are a menace.

      • These models are fooling a lot of people into thinking we understand what we do not in fact understand. They are worse than useless, they are a menace.

        While I agree that some give them much more credence than they’re due, I’m not sure that “worthless” is accurate. If nothing else, the discrepancy between hindcasts and observations points out that we still don’t have it nailed down.

      • I would suspend model building efforts entirely until we get it.

        This seems counter-productive. Improving understanding and testing complex hypothesis seems to be a use that the models actually are fit for (as opposed to, say, informing details of policy).

      • Gene –
        How many people understand that discrepancy between hindcasts and observations

        much less that we still don’t have it nailed down?

        After all, that’s NOT what they’re being told by the IPCC, the media, the government, many of their churches, nearly all of the universities, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

        David is right – the models are a menace that should be confined to locked and hidden dungeons and starved (wrt money).

      • David is right – the models are a menace that should be confined to locked and hidden dungeons and starved (wrt money).

        I’m afraid that genie is already out of the bottle. After all, not all models are funded by the US.

        The way I see it, the only workable alternative is to understand how they work (and where they come up short) and be able to argue the points credibly. Pushing them to improve their skill seems to be a better strategy.

      • I am all for using hypothesis-specific models to test hypotheses. See below at The more models the better. I myself build models of science. Models are great.

        But the million line GCM’s are not such models. They are built to make global “projections” from IPCC scenarios. They are scaled up weather forecasting models, designed to tell us the whole climate future. They claim to be all encompassing. The only hypotheses they are capable of testing are in the details of their workings, if that. They are so complex that in many cases we can’t even tell why different models do not agree with one another. Model inter-comparison is a major research area.

      • But the million line GCM’s are not such models. They are built to make global “projections” from IPCC scenarios.


        I think we have some common ground here. From my reading of Steve Easterbrook’s work, it seems to me that the various modelling groups are be pulled in two opposing directions. There is the research work and there is the “production” work of running IPCC scenarios (and in the case of the Met Office’s Unified Model, the production code is used for both climate and weather modelling).

        The difference in the nature of the two efforts introduces tensions that affect what work is done and how the work is done. Some of the rather looser practices are acceptable for the research work (such as where the scientists are customer/analyst/coder/tester all rolled into one), but are more questionable in a production system. Time to do production runs takes away from research runs. On the other hand, the HadCM3 model seems to be one of the closer to reality ones, so perhaps the constraints help in some ways as well (at least when the production work is expected to mirror reality as a weather model is).

      • These scientific models would each try to see how much their respective hypotheses can explain. This is what research models do throughout science, they explore and test specific hypotheses. Instead we have a clone of a universal weather forecasting model, with a fixed basket of mechanisms. Tweaking these mechanisms is not basic research, it is applied research and engineering.

        As an example for discussion, would you consider WACCM in the “tweaking” or “basic research” category? Why?

        My impression is that you aren’t making a clear distinction between the GCMs as tools and the uses to which they are (more or less appropriately) put.

      • Ken Lydell

        I strongly disagree. A model until thoroughly validated is a formal statement of a hypothesis. This was at one time the case for almost every scientific equation.

        The problem with climate models is not their existence. They are formal expressions of hypotheses. Unlike other scientific hypotheses that can be validated through replicable experiments they predict the value of a dependent variable in the distant future. This appears to be unique to climatology. I can think of no other credible academic discipline that attempts to predict the value of a dependent variable a century or more in the future.

        The problem with climate models is that it takes decades to test their predictive validity. As such they are inadequate tools for formulating public policy. The proper response to model-based climate alarmism is to say, “That’s all well and good but please check back with me in twenty or thirty years or so and tell how you’ve done”.

        If we are to ever understand the complexities of the Earth system it will be with the help of models. In the meantime they should be relegated to the backwaters of science and ignored until we see evidence of an indisputable predictive slam dunk.

      • Kent Draper

        David, I think I missed something. Hasn’t climate “always” changed? Would it not be a very dreary place if it didn’t? To me that’s one of the really nice things about this earth, the changes. What would you do with the knowledge if you did know why? Would you try to change it? If so, to what? Just wondering.

      • Kent, first of all, basic research does not need a reason, other than understanding. Understanding is its own goal, one the scientists fight hard to protect.( The classic struggle between basic and applied science is fascinating in its own right.) But I imagine that understanding climate change would be very helpful, in ways we can not now imagine. If it is controllable then we will control it. If not then not. It would be very useful to know which is the case.

        I have always said about AGW that if we can change the climate the proper question is what climate do we want, not how do we stop doing it? But I am not optimistic about our ability to control the climate. I just want to understand it.

        The problem is that we are too wrapped up in trying to make these narrowly defined models work to actually study the basic questions. Clouds and aerosols are not the basic issue. Natural climate change is the basic issue, as you point out. Why does it do that?

      • Bravo David! You make sense.

      • David,
        We have some good ideas:
        Milankovitch cycles, axial wobbles, big volcanic action, ghg’s, land use changes, vegetation changes, etc.
        But that is admittedly a very high level view. I think you are looking for something much more detailed.

      • Yes, I am looking for actual scientific understanding of climate change, not just speculation. We are awash with speculation. Here is something I posted two days ago on the NCAR thread. It is voiced in terms of models but it is about the basic research that we need and are not getting:

        If the modelers were doing basic science there would be a bunch of different models, each exploring different hypotheses regarding mechanisms of climate change. For example, I remember a paper in JGR around 1993 that showed how a simple non-linear model of ocean upwelling could explain the 20th century temperature profile. Where is the model exploring that hypothesis, or other ocean oscillations and subsystems? Where is the indirect solar forcing model, or models? Or the Little Ice Age model? Or my personal favorite, the chaotic climate models, that pushes the chaos to see how much it can explain.

        These scientific models would each try to see how much their respective hypotheses can explain. This is what research models do throughout science, they explore and test specific hypotheses. Instead we have a clone of a universal weather forecasting model, with a fixed basket of mechanisms. Tweaking these mechanisms is not basic research, it is applied research and engineering.

      • Models are an important tool in the basic research of climate science. The basic research needs both a variety of competing model development and access to readily available models that are in reasonable agreement with empirical observations and which allow plugging in new modules to test, how alternative ways of modeling subsystems behave in the environment of a full climate model. As far as I have understood, this is exactly the reason for offering to outside research groups a community climate system model rather than working internally with a proprietary model.

        There are certainly risks in the wide use of a single model. If it’s position gets too dominating in comparison with other models some errors and weaknesses may be unnecessarily perpetuated, but I cannot even try to estimate, how far we are on that path. Having separately maintained models based on same methodology is not much better.

        In spite of the importance of the AGW for the present status of climate science, the basic science is still climate science, not AGW science, and the CCSM is still a climate model, not an AGW model. Research on AGW is applied research based on knowledge gained through climate science. In the previous sentence I repeat, what you have already stated. Thus I expect that you agree at least on this points.

      • David,
        I am in agreement with you, if I understand your main point:
        that the modleing AGW promoters are using are not providing worthwhile science.

      • Hunter, that is not how I would put it. I come at this from a science policy perspective, where the big question is how best to invest our research dollars? Imagine you are the Chairman of the House Science Committee, or the Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for science. It is your job to spend the money for research.

        I look at the climate research budget and I find that most of the money is going to resolve those detailed questions that the models are struggling with, such as the role of aerosols, carbon and clouds. The big deep questions, mostly about natural variability, are not being addressed because the models do not even consider these mechanisms. The models do not consider them because we can’t even write equations for them, or for political reasons, or whatever. The point is it looks more like an applied science budget, aimed at improving the models, than like a basic research budget on how climate actually works.

        Look at the two climate studies above. Both start off and frame themselves around the models. Most of the research is like this. If one took a list of deep climate questions and made a matrix against the funded research I am sure it would show that most of the money is going toward model centric questions.
        We are not studying the basic climate issues, instead we are trying to fine tune the existing models, which do not even approach the basic issues. This is a profound mistake.

      • David,
        Long before I would see my job ‘as spending money’, I believe our leaders need to determine if the money should be spent in the first place.
        The most important question imhos is this:
        Is there a compelling national interest in supporting these climate research efforts?
        To date the answer is ‘no’.
        Your questions at least are deep enough to justify consideration of spending scarce public resources.
        The status quo to date is spending more and money to prove less and less per dollar spent.
        And little if any what our cliamte science community has developed is useful for policy, has little to no predictive power, and shows us little to nothing outside the margins of error, instrumental accuracy or historical records.
        In other words, no offense to our hostess, it is a boondoggle like so many other government programs.

      • Of course Hunter, if you do not believe in Federal funding of basic research, or climate research (I can’t tell which from your comment) then that is a different issue. My point is made withing the context of the present USGCRP budget framework; how to get the bang for the buck as it were.

        Funding a lot of climate research has been justified since 1990 on the grounds the the future of humanity is claimed to hang in the balance. I have long said that as a purely scientific issue climate change deserves about 10% of its present $2 billion a year. Even then the question arises as to just which issues to pursue?

      • David,
        I am all for Federal funding of basic research.
        But when it is obvious the research is wasting money and is not producing quality work, then it is appropriate to question the federal role.
        Climate science as presently configured is doing exactly that: wasting a great deal of money.

      • David –
        I have long said that as a purely scientific issue climate change deserves about 10% of its present $2 billion a year.

        I’d be VERY curious about why you think $2 billion per year is all climate change is getting. I can see excluding some of the NASA budget that’s used for spacecraft, but NASA uses a LOT of it’s budget in promoting CC/GW both directly and indirectly, as well as support for GISS. This is only one example – there are a plethora of Federal agencies that do the same thing – many of them either in partnership to share the funding or (many times) in redundant efforts to indoctrinate (brainwash) the public. Not to mention things like NSF funding to a gaggle of Universities and other institutions.

        So from my POV, $2 billion is peanuts compared to what’s actually being spent.

        As a side note – after 5 years of crisscrossing the country and spending considerable time in National Parks, State Parks, National Forests, BLM lands, etc and having seen a great many of the exhibits in those places, I’ve found it interesting how many of those places show direct evidence of the lack of warming over the last 50 years. What I’ve found disturbing is that some of those exhibits have been changed a year later to a complete alarmist mode with no mention of the previous contradicting evidence. And it’s all presented as science.

      • Jim, the $2 billion is roughly the federal budget for climate research. Since 1990 the 14 or so agency climate research program has had its own inter-agency budget document. See

        Everyone should look at this spending program. Your tax dollars at work.

        But it is carefully worded to be vague about AGW. However, they have issued a series of reports that are even more biased toward AGW than the IPCC.

      • David –
        However, they have issued a series of reports that are even more biased toward AGW than the IPCC.

        Yes – some of those reports were, I believe, the model for the AGW “education” pamphlets issued by several of the States (Maryland and Virginia among others) that would be laughable if they weren’t so biased.

      • Jim,
        Your mention of the Orwellian nature of so much AGW is one of the most disturbing aspects of this community.
        The memory hole and re-interpretive lens that distorts the AGW world view is degrading our history and robbing us of knowledge.
        Just like eugenics or lysenkoism or any other pseudo-science movement.

  4. So Australia’s desalination plants won’t be a total waste of money?

    • Latimer Alder

      Like the Pyramids, Stonehenge or the Easter Island figures they may become tourist attractions many generations in the future. Prompting our great*many grandchildren to wonder

      ‘WTF did they do that for? They had some really strange beliefs those old cultisits…..’

      But still a complete waste of money.

  5. Tallbloke offers a pdf file of the new paper by Shapiro et al. on Historical Solar Forcing and Solar Variability:

  6. Focusing on the extent to which a messenger walks the walk is largely a distraction (Myles Allen in FT), and it’s far from a black and white issue ( )

    See also

    • Being duplicitous on an issue isn’t a distraction – it’s information people use to judge credibility / motivations, especially when the discussions are better characterized as being advocacy / opinions.

  7. As a fellow Finn I wish to correct the family name of Ari. It’s Jokimäki, not Jorimaki, but I don’t expect everybody to put the dots on top of the a on my name, and I’m sure that Ari understands leaving them off from his name as well. Still there is another difference to correct.

  8. Peter Wilson


    I think you are missing the point somewhat here. The extent to which celebrity messengers for AGW “walk the walk” may indeed have no bearing on the science of the matter (not that many of the “celebrity spokespeople” have the faintest idea as to the science). However, it does serve as a pretty good indication of the level of commitment, and of the degree to which they actually believe what they are saying.

    You ignore the fact that these heavily pampered celebrities are admonishing us to undertake a very major reduction in our living standards, while at the same time rubbing in our faces the fact that they have no intention of doing so themselves, usually laughing it off as a minor indiscretion. In fact it goes to the very heart of what is being proposed – one rule for the wealthy, another for the rest of us. These people are happy to live, heavily publicized, in the exact opposite of the manner they seek t0 impose on the rest of us, displaying not only their arrogance, but even more offensively their extreme tone deafness to the big one finger salute they are sending the public.

    • Peter Wilson

      I generally try to stay out of Bart V’s threads, as (a) it’s even more confusing for everyone than when I’m not mixed up with another Bart; and, (b) Bart V is more than capable of handling things himself.

      However, in this case, I’ll make an exception to (generally) support Bart V.

      Walking the walk is a completely meaningless argument.

      Al Gore gave up significantly more lucrative and easier options to undertake his zealous quest. Agree (and I don’t) or disagree with everything or anything he’s said, he’s proven his commitment to public service in general, and in particular to this issue.

      So what if his method of carrying out his campaign costs a bit of jet exhaust, if it results in 10,000 jets in future producing 20% as much exhaust per passenger mile, as one of the least of his outcomes?

      I’m much more skeptical of PETA celebrities whose non-animal-tested cosmetics and vegan diets are based on palm oil, given that the palm industry is being blamed for the marginalization or extinction of dozens or hundreds of tropical species. They walk the walk on a road paved with good intentions, but ultimately, they make things worse.

      I’m also more skeptical of ‘family values’ (what does that mean, anyway?) political and religious leaders who tiptoe the tiptoe under cover of darkness and secrecy while raising money from fearmongering, bigotry and minority bashing walks by light of day.

      It’s easy to confuse “walk the walk” with “live the message.” Many of those being criticized here certainly live the message, though they might not walk the walk every step of the way. Many who walk the walk boldly in public on any issue ultimately fail to deliver on the message.

      And Bart V. is right, further, about the scaremongering on both sides of the world without oil being an ascetic post-armageddon nightmare of conservation and self-abnegation.

      Here’s where I differ with David: efficiency means getting the same outcome with less investment; conservation means getting a different outcome of equal value with less investment.

      Sloth means doing less of a job.

      We will face major reductions in standard of living if we move into the future unprepared to adapt, unwilling to pay the cost of switching unsustainable methods for sustainable ones, and resorting to sloth and stupidity instead of efficiency, conservation, and innovation.

      • Bart R,
        Bunk. Gore made hundreds of millions of dollars pushing AGW hype.
        Do not think you are going to get past that and continue standing credibly.
        Frankly it makes the rest of your argument completely disgusting.
        Walking the walk is what the AGWpromotion industry pushes on the little people. As they fly from confereence to conference.
        Your argument is as shallow hypocritical and empty as someone defending priests who abuse children.

      • Are you sure it is all global warming hype and not being involved with Google and Apple at the right times? Maybe like Goldman Sachs, he made the money the old-fashioned way, he earned it.

        One day our energy costs will keep up with inflation.

      • bobfroege,
        His ‘green investments’ made him the bulk of his money.
        His sponging off of google and aple grew out of his ‘green’ work in no small part.
        Others see his ‘work’ with google and apple as just some nice payola, like Obama’s former press secretary joining up with facebook.
        Putting “Goldman Sachs” and “he earned it” in the same sentance is really funny. Thanks for the fish, so long,

      • When he was worth around one million, he made 30 million on Google, and followed that with 6 million on Apple. Those values have gone up substantially since then. He’s part owner of a TV network and and an investment firm.


      • Don’t you think “making hundreds of millions pushing global warming hype” and “His ‘green investments’ made him the bulk of his money” are two different things?

        Being a senior advisor for Google, whatever that is, and being appointed to the board at Apple, means at least a number of people thought that his “talents” would help them make some money.

        Not that I enjoy defending former vice president Gore, but you anti AGW syncophants don’t have a shred of evidence for your rants.

      • bobdroege –

        How much did he make from the movie? How many millions?
        How much does he get per speech?
        How much is the Nobel worth? Do you know?

        All AGW hype.

        How much did he make in the CCX?
        The founder of CCX walked away with over 90 mil – do you think Gore made less?
        Where did that money come from? Whose pocket did it come out of? Do you understand anything about basic economics?

      • “Bloomberg suggests that Mr. Gore’s ties to Apple, whose board he joined in 2003, and Google, for which has has been a senior adviser since 2001, could be part of the answer. Shares of both of those companies have surged in recent years.

        We would note that a recent regulatory filing shows that in January, Mr. Gore exercised 1,000 options to buy Apple stock for a mere $7.48 a share. (The stock was trading Thursday above $124.) The filing also indicates that he still had 59,000 Apple options left.

        Google told Bloomberg it would not comment on how it paid Mr. Gore for his services.”

        Companies led by progressives have a long history of cutting politicians who can do them favors in for a piece of the action. Ask Tony Rezko about Barack Obama. In 2000, Al Gore almost won the presidency, and in 2001, when he was made an “adviser” to Google, he was as prominent a Democrat politician as there was.

        The suggestion that the “compensation” to Gore by Apple and Google was somehow tied to his business acumen, is laughable. His business experience before that consisted of being born to a rich family, and feeding at the government trough for virtually his entire adult life. He ran for office before he even finished school, and never looked back.

        But it’s no surprise that progressives think a lifetime of politics is tantamount to business experience and success. Government is the business of progressives.

      • Right, and W was a baseball man. And only progressives do this sort thing. What a pile of stink.

      • bobdroege,
        Did you miss Gore’s little movie?
        Do you actually think you can toss out a few cliches and hope no one pays attention?
        The only thing that makes your vacuous comment worthwhile is that you seem to have found a new way to demonstrate believer mindlessness: “anti AGW synchophant” such a nuanced way to say “I don’t have a thought in my head on this, but it makes me feel all smart inside”.
        Please do share more.

      • Bart R writes “So what if his method of carrying out his campaign costs a bit of jet exhaust, if it results in 10,000 jets in future producing 20% as much exhaust per passenger mile, as one of the least of his outcomes?”

        Dude, where did you get those numbers? Is that climate science math?

      • B&R

        I stand corrected.

        The numbers I relayed were misheard, and I ought have checked.

        Market size: 3,310 units over 20 years (2009-2028)
        Expectation of sales out of 3,500 units: More than half
        More fuel efficient: 20 percent more fuel efficient than similarly sized airplanes
        Produces fewer emissions: 20 percent fewer than similarly sized airplanes
        Better cash seat mile costs than peer airplanes: 10 percent

        So a mere 1,750 jets producing 20% less exhaust per passenger mile. Al Gore, who is broadly cited as inspiring industry to make such changes, has only paid for his own flights some 3500/2 x 20% = 350 times over.

        From this one single example.

        Like him or loathe him (and I know neither him nor you, so have nothing to say on that matter either way), Al Gore has had a remarkable record of involvement in public office and public issues, which must be considered if one is fairminded and nonpartisan a record of sterling accomplishment and contribution by any American.

        Or at least the following revered nonpartisan public servant seems to suggest this:

      • If you like or dislike him is not really relevant nor are his past accomplishments. Personally, I liked Gore up until he was no longer Vice President. He was a good senator too but then he became unreasonable after he tied in that election. (BTW, I am not American). He just tends to make things up to force his opinion on others.

      • In general, the true things about Al Gore and John McCain are far more fantastic-sounding than the made-up things.

      • B& R,

        Funny thing about Gore. Back when he was VP he was too radical for Hansen. Some more trivia, when Hansen briefed Bush the Elder about Black Carbon, the Elder said basically, “No prob, we can do something about that.” Hansen screwed the pooch pushing for so much more, that the Elder backed off. I think the Elder started thinking Hansen had lost a couple of bricks from his load. It is on Hansen’s webpage some where, without of course my analysis.

      • GroundedInReality

        If you think industry built more fuel efficient jet engines because of Al Gore, I have some land in Florida and a bridge in NY for sale I’d like to talk to you about. Seriously?

        The economics of the free market drove those advances, period. That some company could also crow about the “green” aspects of the engines is only a nice side benefit for the manufacturer.

      • GIR

        It’s entirely possible that Al Gore had nothing to do with the decision, or any decision like it.

        That his touring and campaigning were meaningless and lacked any impact at all on the thinking of people and the processes of organizations.

        But then, if he did have so little impact, why does anyone mention him, ever?

        Could he have done better and avoided considerable criticism by flying commercial?


        But then, when considering Return on Investment, one looks at the ratio, not just the size of the outlay.

      • Bad Andrew

        “he’s proven his commitment to public service in general”

        Wow. How has he done this? You can’t possibly be referring to his AGW propaganda.


      • > I’m much more skeptical of PETA celebrities whose non-animal-tested cosmetics and vegan diets are based on palm oil, given that the palm industry is being blamed for the marginalization or extinction of dozens or hundreds of tropical specie.

        We have a cite for that?

        PS: While Bart V. can certainly defend himself, he needs support from everyone. So don’t be so humble, you’re not **that** great.

      • willard


        (The most recent one I could find.)

        PPS: While I _am_ ***that*** great, I assure you, I’m not aiming for humility so much as clarity. (Yeah, me, Mr. Clarity.) ;)

      • Greatest Bart,

        Here are some more interesting recipes, using coconut oil instead of palm oil:

        Would they help save the orangutans?

        If not, it is always possible to fall back to using dates:

        You’re clear enough for me, but who am I to judge on clarity?

      • Much obliged for the links.

        You do make it harder to stick to the advice I keep hearing of “local fruit and vegetables in season.”

        Not that I ever have. ;)

      • Speaking of which:

        Hmmm. Back to the whiteboard.

      • By the way,
        “sloth” means a little bit different from what you claim:
        “Sloth can also indicate a wasting due to lack of use, concerning a person, place, thing, skill, or intangible ideal that would require maintenance, refinement, or support to continue to exist.”\


  9. Peter,

    The degree to which they walk the walk only serves as an indication of their level of commitment if they believe or declare that the solution lies in personal behavioral change. Perhaps some do, but there’s a good argument to be made that that’s not (or at least doesn’t need to be) the prime locus of the solution.

    The “major reduction in our living standards” is a huge strawman, as I’m sure you are aware of.

    • Joe Lalonde


      It is also how ignorant you are of the issue you believe in, brought on by mass marketing and “experts in the field”.

    • Bart V.: The reduction in living standards may be controversial but it is no strawman. The concept of “over consumption” is prominent in the international discussions. So is “energy conservation” which often turns out to be code for asceticism. Efficiency means doing the same job with less energy, but conservation means doing with less of a job, as it were. The doctrine of contraction and convergence plays in here. It means rich countries contract until everyone has the same living standard, or some such.

      • Joe Lalonde


        Companies make money by selling products. If the technology is too good, then less product is sold and they loose money.
        So, the garbage technology of the current system of inefficiency is place and their is NO interest from manufacturers to change this.
        Bulk harvesting of energy in a rotational field that bites back on itself was never a good technology.
        Individual energy harvesting in an efficient manner is simple. It is the manufacturers claim to efficiency that is WAY out in space.

      • That only works when big business can cut a deal with the government to prevent competition. Otherwise, someone else harnesses the superior efficiency available to steal your market share.

      • Rob Starkey


        Your statement is utter nonsense.
        Yes companies make money by selling goods at a profit.
        If the technology good, or better than their competitors; then they are able to sell more products and thereby make more profits (assuming for this example that they are able to produce at the same cost as competitors).

        Companies are motivated to produce what consumers are willing to purchase. As an example, consumers are not only willing, but demand higher quality automobiles today than 40 years ago, and are willing to pay higher prices in order to get higher quality. If you produced a 1970 Chevrolet Vega today, you could make it very inexpensively, but no one would want to purchase it.

        There are many companies in the business of buying and selling energy. They do not care what source it is from, but they do care about what consumers are willing to purchase.

      • Re: the 1970 Vega
        Oh yes, and be prepared to replace the engine when the aluminum cylinder walls melt, as they did for me. Can’t swear it was a 1970, but close enough.

      • Joe Lalonde

        In power generation, their are only a small handful of big players who have no competitors as they make individual components to the overall power generation grid.
        Subsidies ensures that they have no need for R & D as they have a long term contracts at a certain rate.
        150 years ago, hydro turbines deemed their efficiency based on what water passes around the edge of the turbines to the housing for it to turn. 8%, so, the turbine became 92% efficient on bulk energy. No concern for angle of water hitting the blades or how at a stopped position takes more energy than when it is turning. Plus centrifugal force becomes a factor to the speed of the turn of the blades. The faster they rotate, the more energy is pushed against the housing causing a braking system. This is why they have to be set exactly at a certain rate of flow.

        Inverting a turbine changes the whole dynamics of power generation as centrifugal force works with energy and can harness energy ALL 360 degrees in the diameter that the turbine rotates.

      • Joe Lalonde


        Where is the profit if a turbine can be created that would harness energy at 2 cents a kilowatt permanently?
        Do you not think ALL companies in the industry may want to suppress this no matter the benefit to society?

        Companies have learned that a product too good takes them out of the market by their long standing quality. But make it more inferior ensures the product has to be purchased after a time period. Changing technology slightly each year also will have people interested in the latest gadgets.

      • A concrete answer to your question would require that you provide a lot more information about your hypothetical–though, mostly that’s a consequence of the fact that, as you note, the power industry isn’t a free market. But assuming the method was practical, considering capital costs, political opposition, etc., and if I was offered a chance to buy a patent on such a process, I can tell you I’d be willing to pay something on the order of $400 billion for it. Assuming we didn’t have another similarly Earth-shaking technological breakthrough, I’d end up collecting a penny or more of royalties on every kwh consumed in America for the next 20 years. (Well, for the next 15 years, starting 5 years from now, anyway.)

        And no, I don’t believe for a second that every company in the power industry would want to suppress the technology. A few might, believing that they’re competitors are better managed, or for other resons would outmaneuver them during the massive shake-up that would inevitably follow. But, then, they’re not the kind of companies most likely to be the first owners of such an invention, are they?

        Government regulation of the power industry certainly does create a situation in which power companies can make money by means other than serving the insterests of their customers. But it doesn’t change the fact that better serving customers is still a good way to make money.

      • Joe Lalonde

        Unless you have a monopoly and perfectly satisfied with the inferior product.

        A new wind fan has just came out the is totally open in the center and the diameter generates a much greater force. This is very similar to what I created 7 years ago in part and in design.

      • Joe Lalonde


        I went a totally unique route by generating a chart on all turbines on the deflection of each individual molecule of the turbine on every point that they rotate. Quite startling was that the closest molecules moved in front at the turbine blades which then became the pressure of the next molecule beside it. meaning that the direct energy did not touch the blades but bent in front of each other. Next I generated a proxy of coil springs and weights to understand the molecular movement of the density of material in a rotating complex. This showed that mass of an object shifts with the speed of rotating(centrifugal force). Why? At the end of a turbine blade takes less energy to move it than pushing at the center of the turbine blade.

      • Joe, get a turbine design program and a fluid dynamic flow program. This stuff has all been effectively worked out years ago.

    • Peter Wilson


      In what way is the prospect of a major reduction in our living standards, if we are forced to forgo carbon based energy, a straw man? While you may lay claim to some expertise as a scientist, it becomes clear that you are well out of your depth discussing economic or social issues. To suggest that we can maintain and advance our living standards, and those of the developing world, without abundant and reliable energy is an economic absurdity in the absence of any viable alternative. And viable alternatives are (with the very expensive exception of nuclear power) utterly absent – you weren’t going to suggest windmills will do the trick, were you?

      Your preferred energy policies would condemn millions to needless poverty, misery and death, whether you realise it or not.

      Some strawman.

      • Bart may be truly unaware that combating reduction in living standards is a daily problem for working people. He may be living in a situation where such realities don’t concern him. I hope he is becoming more aware that what he thinks needs may not be the pristine truth and such areas of ignorance can be filled in with some updated data.


      • andrew adams

        Wow, who are the “alarmists” now?

        Which specific policies are you referring to?

      • aa –
        Not to worry – you’re still on the “alarmist” side.

        This is a short version of the predictable results of some of the more radical warmist proposals –

        You might want to refer to the Monbiot thread here as well.

      • andrew adams


        So who exactly is advocating that we immediately cease all use of oil?

      • aa –
        Don’t you pay attention to the hype from your own side of the dance floor? You could start with Jim Hansen, although his real bug-a-boo is coal. But he’s not alone – there are so-called “environmental” organizations that push the “fossil fuels are bad” meme and advocate an immediate end to their use. “Fossil fuel” does include oil, last time I looked. And then there’s BartR who’s been pounding the same drum right here. And then there’s Stephen Chu and his boss, who want to make energy expensive – and are succeeding according to the price at the gas pump. There was, in fact, a young (?) lady who showed up here and berated Judy for not advocating the immediate end to fossil fuel usage. They’re out there, aa – all you have to do is look for them.

      • andrew adams


        If you look hard enough you can people making all kinds of extreme claims on any subject, they are not representative of the mainstream.
        Of course most of us who consider AGW to be a real threat believe that fossil fuel emissions are a bad thing and would like them to stop tomorrow. We also know that realistically there is no way that this can happen so we have to just do our best to find ways of reducing our emissions as much as possible as quickly as possible. AFAIK that is Hansen’s position, it is Bart R’s position and it is Bart V’s (at whom the original comment was directed) position. It is also mine. It is certainly likely that certain measures, such as carbon pricing schemes, will make fossil fuels more expensive – as I’ve said elsewhere in this thread there are costs involved in mitigating AGW, but there are also costs involved in not doing so.

      • aa

        I know it’s hard to fathom, but I’m not among those who consider +/-AGW threat a cause.

        CO2 is cause enough for me. The baggage it carries with it, mere details that throw up clouds of useless minor issues that get in the way of resolving the relatively straightforward CO2 situation.

        I can’t prove AGW; I can prove CO2.

        While I agree the +AGW case is stronger overall, why go there?

      • andrew adams

        Bart R,

        Fair enough, sorry if unintentionally misrepresented your views.

        I think it’s neccessary to address the +AGW case because there are specific outcomes which result from the enhanced GHG effect of all this additional CO2. But if you think the CO2 situation needs addrssing in its own righ then I think we have plenty of common ground anyway.

    • Bart V,
      Saying that the policies demanded by the AGW community demands would not in many ases involve reductions in standards of living is ismply an untrue claim on your part.
      Dismisisng it as a ‘strawman’ is a weak tactic that only succeeds if those you use the tactic on are not aware of what your side is in fact saying.
      It is annoying that you hold yourself out as a well informed academic, yet you do not seem to be constrained by facts or data or history.

    • BartV –

      The degree to which they walk the walk only serves as an indication of their level of commitment if they believe or declare that the solution lies in personal behavioral change.

      Spoken like a true Ivory Tower academic with no real world experience and, as my Grandfather would say, less common sense than God gave a pissant.

      For the last 20 years, we’ve been told that we have to give up our sinful ways, don sackcloth and ashes, divest ourselves of all our worldly goods, pay higher taxes and donate all our cash to Green organizations.

      And who’s been telling us this? Al Gore, of course, Rajendra Pachauri, the UN in general, Obama & Co., 90+% of Hollywood, the Green organizations (of course), the Democratic Party and a host of others – all of whom consider themselves above the kind of sacrifice they demand of the peons.

      Do you really know THAT LITTLE about PR? Or leadership? Or just plain common sense?

      there’s a good argument to be made that that’s not (or at least doesn’t need to be) the prime locus of the solution.

      And just what DO you see as the prime locus? The dismantling of the coal plants perchance? Alternative energy (excluding nuclear, of course)? Turning all the cars in to scrap, maybe?

      OK – what comes after that? What kind of world is left for the millions of people who can’t get to work or the store or a hospital? That, of course, is is assuming there’ll be a store or a hospital – or even work – to get to.

      Or do you have another “prime locus” in mind? Why don’t you tell us about it instead of just speaking from your “position of authority” at the top of that Ivory Tower?

      “Strawman” ? Try again.

      • andrew adams


        For the last 20 years, we’ve been told that we have to give up our sinful ways, don sackcloth and ashes, divest ourselves of all our worldly goods, pay higher taxes and donate all our cash to Green organizations.

        You got an actual quote for that?

      • Indeed, this kind of hyperboly is unacceptable here. We are having a serious discussion, or trying to.

      • David –
        Indeed, this kind of hyperboly is unacceptable here. We are having a serious discussion, or trying to.

        Tell me – what’s more serious than someone who’s supposed to be intelligent, respected and informed saying – The “major reduction in our living standards” is a huge strawman. What world does he live in?

        No, don’t tell me – I’ve been to that world. And refused to live in it.

        I find REALLY irritating the kind of blindness/stupidity that fails to realize that ones words and actions MUST match if one is to be taken seriously. The attitude that I am famous so I MUST be taken seriously regardless of whether or not my lifestyle matches my message is pure AAA goldplated garbage. There’s no faster way to turn people off than telling them “do as I say, not as I do.” Except maybe by defending that attitude.

        Given all that, I should be grateful that the “other side” does that so often and consistently, shouldn’t I? It has been one of the good things that’s happened for “our side”.

        So ….OK – I’ll apologize. And try to do a better job of redirecting my frustration next time.

        OTOH – for aa –
        There’s NOTHING in that sentence that I haven’t seen written in a serious vein by one warmist or another over the last 10 or 12 years. Admittedly not strung together like that, but it was all there – along with a lot more. You apparently don’t play in the right places for that kind of conversation.

      • Are you guys actually asserting that the AGW community has NOT been pushing for radical reductions in many areas?
        Like, say, meat?
        or industrial society?
        or even doubting AGW demands?
        Please stop hoping skeptics have as little memory as the believer community.

      • andrew adams


        Of course people on the pro-AGW side sometimes say silly things and people are entitled to call them out on it, but the fact that someone said x, someone else said y and someone else said z does not mean that you can make sweeping claims that everyone broadly on their side of the arguments believes x, y and z.

      • aa –
        Yup. Now try to tell those on your side of the dance floor that same thing about skeptics and see how loud a horse laugh you get.

      • aa,
        Nope, that is not going to work.
        The AGW community profits greatly from the money that rolls in from what may reasonably be called cynical fear mongering by people like those above.
        They are part and parcel of your community, and are responsible in no small part for the lucrative research, tax payer subsidies, and amount of space in the public square AGW receives.
        Your community in effect profits from the corruption of the hypesters and liars.
        Until your community makes a clear stand refuting the falsehoods you profit from, you get stuck with it.
        An academic or industrialist who makes a living off the fear of AGW is part of the problem unless he or she calls out the falsehoods.

      • andrew adams


        Research into climate happened before AGW was widely considered to be a problem and would still take place even if it were not an issue – it’s a subject which is of great significance to human civilisation, especially given increasing populations and more stress on natural resources. Yes, there is additional spend specifically driven by concerns about AGW but this is based on the scientific arguments, not on the statements of campaign groups or other advocates or “falsehoods” from “hypesters and liars”. I have absolutely nothing against campaign groups trying to influence public opinion on the subject, even if I don’t always agree with their tactics or some of their proposed solutions, but in general policy makers make policy based on the information they get from the IPCC and their own scientific advisers.
        I don’t doubt that some on the AGW side oversell their arguments sometimes, although no more than is normal on any other contentious subject, but I see very little outright falsehoods or disonesty of the kind you allege – there is no need for it, the scientific arguments are scary enough as it is. To take a couple of your “examples” I don’t agree with Stern (although the general point he raises has some validity), nor have I seen any real support for his view, but he is AFAIK giving an honest view based on his understanding of the issue. The 10:10 video was incredibly stupid but it has been pretty much universally condemned by my “community”.
        And I don’t see how you are in position to demand of others that they condemn the behaviour of people on their “side” when you do not condemn the various distortions and falsehoods put out by some people on your own, which you will surprised to hear are much more common IMHO.

    • Gras Albert

      Bart V,

      I’ve not seen an Academic Ivory Tower resident nailed to one before but just in case you don’t realise how out of touch you are with real people…

      The UK National Statistics Office report on excess winter mortality confirms that around 25,000 England & Wales residents died in each of the last 10 winters due, primarily, to the cold. They couldn’t afford to heat their homes!

      So you’re right about strawmen, if they’d had some straw they might have kept warm enough to have experienced another summer!


        Gras Albert

        It appears you read the article differently than the people who published it.

        “Death rates plunge despite coldest winter in 14 years”

        “There was a dramatic drop in excess winter deaths in the severe winter of 2009/10, the coldest in 14 years, compared to the milder winter of 2008/09, according to a new report out from the Office for National Statistics.

        The winter brought an estimated 25,400 excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2009/10, a 30 per cent drop compared with the figures for 2008/09. There were 10,600 excess winter deaths in males and 14,800 in females, the majority occurring amongst those aged 75 and over.


        Exploratory analysis of seasonal mortality in England and Wales: 1998 to 2007 looks at research carried out to link levels of mortality with extremes of temperature and concludes that daily mortality cannot be predicted from temperature alone.

        ..Finland, with its very cold winters, has the lowest winter mortality; while Portugal, with its milder climate, has the highest.

        .. “Previous research suggests that excess winter mortality is lowest in cold countries such as Finland. This is likely to be because their houses are insulated against the weather and people dress warmly when the temperature plummets.”

        Excess winter deaths are seasonal, and probably primarily due to influenza.

        Which I don’t think straw is a cure for, no matter what you claim.

      • “Excess winter deaths are seasonal…”

        how could they be anything else?

      • Heh

        They could be temperature-related.. which apparently they aren’t, at least not in a simple, straightforward way.

        They could be related to one single factor.. which apparently they aren’t, at least ont in a simple, straightforward way.

        And while 25,000 sounds like a lot, it’s a relatively minor bump in the trend.

        You may as well point out that there’s a bump in deaths between midnight and 4:00 AM, and try to blame Jay Leno.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, it’s a bad sign when you tell a person they misread a report while misreading the report. The report never says anything to justify this sentence of yours:

        Excess winter deaths are seasonal, and probably primarily due to influenza.

        Seeing as this is the only real criticism you offer of Gras Albert’s position, you have a problem.

      • Brandon

        Actually, my real criticism is that the harsher winter had a lower seasonal excess death rate than the previous, milder winter, and the farther south the country (eg Portugal), the more intense the seasonal excess death rate, leading to the conclusion that Gras Albert’s “couldn’t afford to heat their homes!” is false.

        My own personal opinion, disputing the authors of the report, is that it’s probably mostly just influenza, which hits that part of the world in those months.

        There’s a similar bump epidemiologically around the world in flu season, linked to the timing of the flu not of the temperature.

        Which makes sense.

        With a fatal flu, you die soon after you contract it, not when the thermometer dips outside.

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t deny that there are temperature-linked deaths.

        However, their generally in summer, when heat and smog lead to higher mortality among the susceptible, whether it’s flu season or not. In the UK, this trend is masked because so many other factors that aren’t temperature-related also decline.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        It’s rather strange your “real criticism” isn’t anything you actually said in your post. This strangeness is compounded by the fact I didn’t say your real criticism; I said your “only real criticism.” In other words, I pointed out you only said one thing critical of his point. I didn’t say it was emphasized the most; I said it was the only thing there. All in all, your response on this point is nonsensical. Fortunately, it doesn’t really matter. Your position is clear enough now, so we can just focus on that.

        Unfortunately, it is still just as unsupported. Most of what you talk about isn’t covered by the report, or it contradicts it. This makes one of your remarks rather ironic:

        My own personal opinion, disputing the authors of the report, is that it’s probably mostly just influenza, which hits that part of the world in those months.

        The authors never actually say how large a portion of the deaths are caused by temperature rather than influenza. This means you claim to be disputing something which wasn’t actually said. On the other hand, you claim the fact countries farther south have higher excess death rates contradicts Gras Albert’s claim despite the fact the report says:

        Vanessa Fearn added: “Previous research suggests that excess winter mortality is lowest in cold countries such as Finland. This is likely to be because their houses are insulated against the weather and people dress warmly when the temperature plummets.”

        This means you managed to dispute something which hadn’t been said while ignoring something which actually did get said in order to support the “real criticism” you didn’t bother to speak about.

        Your posts hurt my head.

      • Brandon

        Read harder.

        You’ll find I cited the very same passage you did.

        Felt it wouldn’t require me to restate it or explain it after citing it, as it speaks for itself.

        Except if you didn’t take the time to understand it the first time.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, your response is completely non-responsive. You ignored the majority of my post, and the one thing you responded to, you distorted. That you copied a quote in no way means you considered what it said. It is quite possible to ignore what something says while repeating it.

        But since you focused solely upon that point, I’ll discuss it. For background, you offered that quote without providing any sort of context, description or explanation. You said nothing as to why it mattered or what it meant. There was absolutely nothing in the post which was tied to the quote. From this, we can see there is nothing to contradict the claim you ignored the text. In regards to content, you later said:

        the farther south the country (eg Portugal), the more intense the seasonal excess death rate, leading to the conclusion that Gras Albert’s “couldn’t afford to heat their homes!” is false.

        The rationale you offered here is warmer areas had more excess deaths in winter, therefore Grad Albert’s claim is wrong. You now claim the text from the report supports this, but the only explanation you provide is that your are obviously correct. However, the text in no way supports your claim as it says:

        Previous research suggests that excess winter mortality is lowest in cold countries such as Finland. This is likely to be because their houses are insulated against the weather and people dress warmly when the temperature plummets.

        The text explains people in cold countries are better adapted for dealing with cold temperatures. This means people in warmer areas might be more likely to die due to the cold despite being in a warmer area. That would explain why excess death rates during the winter would be higher in warmer areas. Nothing about this contradicts Gras Albert’s claim.

        You choose to ignore multiple issues. On the only issue you did address, you choose not to provide any substance in your response. This, combined with your previous responses to me, indicates it is pointless for me to continue talking to you. I’d be happy to have an actual discussion if you decide to start trying to have one, but otherwise, this is over.

      • Look at death rates among the elderly in Minnesota and and Florida, and then try to think about it.

      • Aah, JCH –
        Now you may be making impossible demands :-)

      • Did y’all just start reading Bart R’s posts recently? Confused, self-contradictory, misuses basic terms, doesn’t understand simple arguments? You seem surprised. It’s like being surprised by Martha giving vent to her weird obsession with Dr. Curry.

        I gave up responding to him, there is no “there” there. But these threads are increasingly getting diverted by the same nonsense over and over. Ignorance is not such a big deal by itself. We all have much we can learn. But the insufferable arrogance with which it is displayed here can sometimes get to be a bit much.

        Oliver K. Manuel posts on the iron sun, Martha regurgitates the same personal attacks without evidence, and Bart R waxes incoherent on whatever economic or climate issue he has recently googled and misunderstood. At least Oliver and Martha just drop their nuggets and move on.

        Oh well, just another day at the ClimateEtc. KoolAid dispenser.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        GaryM, there are two parts to my response. First, I don’t like the idea of using a person’s exchanges with someone else as a measure of how I should treat them. Sometimes it may be inevitable, but usually I prefer to try to gain first-hand experience before making decisions about a person. In other words, I try to give everyone a chance.

        Second, just because you know a person is incoherent, insane or whatever doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respond to them. Sometimes there is value in responding to such people. The biggest reason to do so is to highlight the errors for people who might not see them on their own.

        Or maybe the biggest reason to do so is to get a chuckle. The more I read Martha’s posts, the harder it is for me to decide.

      • Brandon Shollenberger,

        Oh I agree, I have taken my shots at trying to get Bart R to make a coherent argument as well. After a long series of malapropisms and multi-paragraph non sequiturs disguised as answers, I just gave up. I was just venting.

        In the immortal words of Emily Litella…Never mind.

      • Brandon

        I ignored the majority of your baseless ramblings, yes, as they headed off in some bizarro direction unrelated to anything I said.

        Gras Albert claimed problems with being able to pay to heat their homes accounted for excess winter heat deaths.

        This is patently untrue, and that’s what I discussed.

        That you leapt to other conclusions, I take no responsibility for.

        See, I’m not out to critique the report. I’m discussing a single line — “They couldn’t afford to heat their homes!” — in the original post through the report and other sources. What’s so hard to grasp about that?

        Flu season is a regularly recurring time period characterized by the prevalence of outbreaks of influenza (flu). The season occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere. Influenza activity can sometimes be predicted and even tracked geographically. While the beginning of major flu activity in each season varies by location, in any specific location these minor epidemics usually take about 3 weeks to peak and another 3 weeks to significantly diminish.
        ..During periods of cooler temperature, influenza cases increase roughly tenfold or more.
        ..The exact mechanism behind the seasonal nature of influenza outbreaks is unclear. Some proposed explanations are:
        -People are indoors more often during the winter, they are in close contact more often, and this promotes transmission from person to person.
        -Cold temperatures lead to drier air, which may dehydrate mucus, preventing the body from effectively expelling virus particles.
        -The virus may linger longer on exposed surfaces (doorknobs, countertops, etc.) in colder temperatures.
        -In nations where children do not go to school in the summer, there is a more pronounced beginning to flu season, coinciding with the start of public school. It is thought that the creche environment is perfect for the spread of illness.
        -Vitamin D production from Ultraviolet-B in the skin changes with the seasons and affects the immune system.
        Research in guinea pigs has shown that the aerosol transmission of the virus is enhanced when the air is cold and dry.[6] The dependence on aridity appears to be due to degradation of the virus particles in moist air, while the dependence on cold appears to be due to infected hosts shedding the virus for a longer period of time. The researchers did not find that the cold impaired the immune response of the guinea pigs to the virus.

        Epidemiologically, influenza is capable of accounting for more deaths than any other single source of the excess winter deaths.

        It has strains the credibility to hear anyone argue since the discovery of microbes the superstitious nonsense that this is to do with not being able to afford to pay for more heat, unless you’re willing to heat the entire country to near human body temperature to prevent sporulation of the virus by hardening of its protective shell.

        Secondary factors accounting for excess winter deaths include cardiopulmonary and poorer driving conditions. If you think you can explain how driving deaths can be attributed to not being able to pay for heating one’s home, go for it.

        Jim Owen – I don’t go to WUWT, sorry. I hear it’s greatly improved since last I was there, but my experiences reading it in its early days completely soured me on the site.

        And while JCH rightly points out there’s a difference in mortality between Minnesota and Florida, the difference reverses between Finland and Portugal. There’s clearly some other factor than ability to heat homes.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, you have completely failed to respond to anything I said. I made points in direct response to things you said, and you referred to it as “baseless ramblings.” If you truly believe what you say, we are stuck an impasse. If I am right, you are denying what should be obvious to anyone. If I am wrong, I’m delusional. Presumably, there is no way for one of us to convince the other. You have created a situation where one of us must be dismissed as a loon.

        You are obviously welcome to post however you want on this site (as long as you don’t break any rules), but considering the responses you receive, I would recommend you reconsider your approach. Even if you paint yourself as a victim of bias or whatever so you aren’t to blame, surely you must wonder at the value of your posts here.

      • Bart –
        Do you enjoy waking up in the morning with both feet in your mouth? You must REALLY love the taste of dirty socks.

        1) Several years ago there were articles in the UK papers about pensioners going to used book stores and buying loads of books – to burn – because they couldn’t afford the cost of energy to heat their houses.

        2) The articles at WUWT are generally written by Indur Goklany – not Watts. If you’re not willing to go there, then you can stay ignorant if you want, but don’t expect me to cut you any slack. You don’t have to participate – just read. If you can’t do that then you have no business being in these discussions cause you have nothing to contribute.

        3) If you’d read the rticles, then you’d know that the best estimate for excess deaths due to influenza is 2 to 3%. That doesn’t support your contention.

        I’m done here – the conversation got boring a long time ago.

      • Hypothermia deaths in the home in the UK and Wales account for roughly 15% (in the home) of 0.06% (hypothermia mortality) of deaths (ie. 0.01%, putting influenza some 200-300 times as common a source of mortality, Jim) since 1982.

        That rate has been steadily decreasing as the price of home heating (including books, Jim) has increased.

        How large an increase in mortality rate do you think 25K deaths a year are in the UK and Wales, that you believe ‘only’ 2%-3% can’t be the principle factor in winter deaths? And what of those deaths where influenza was a contributor only, but not the attributed cause of death?

        Whatever it is, this myth of home heating costs contributing greatly to mortality is baseless and inverted. shows a relatively similar change in mortality per 1C change below the cold and above the heat threshold (about 5C and 17C+ respectively). Who can’t keep their thermostat above 5C?!(

        Air conditioning costs would be 2-3 times higher than heating, then, wouldn’t they?

        You can’t do anything about heat stroke, except reduce temperature; the cure for influenza is to vaccinate, not keep the thermostat high.

        Programs to help pay home heating costs have practically zero impact on mortality.

        I have nothing against Anthony Watts, nor any contributor to his site. I believe they’re generally fine, respectable, concerned people with much to recommend them.

        The site itself, at one point, a so thoroughly Godwinned, defamatory, pointless tromp through mostly cult-worshipping self-congratulatory irrelevant and often fabricated pap as I simply won’t go back to, regardless of how fine it’s grown since then. No offense to anyone who likes it as it is, or liked it as it was, intended.

      • Brandon Shollenberger


        Sorry, but this is too funny. Bart R now is distorting this by acting as though the only deaths caused by cold are caused by hypothermia even though that is directly contradicted by the very report we’re discussing. He’s also misrepresenting Jim Owen by saying:

        How large an increase in mortality rate do you think 25K deaths a year are in the UK and Wales, that you believe ‘only’ 2%-3% can’t be the principle factor in winter deaths?

        Of course, Jim actually said:

        If you’d read the rticles, then you’d know that the best estimate for excess deaths due to influenza is 2 to 3%. That doesn’t support your contention.

        Jim specifically referred to the excess deaths, as in, the 25k. Bart changes this to total deaths and suggests 2-3% of those could be a almost 25k. I suppose if you are willing to completely change what a person says, you can support just about any point.

        As I said, lulz.

      • I stand corrected.

        Using 2003 as a random example:

        Hypothermia is T68 in the mortality tables. Just under 15% of hypothermia occurs in the home. In 2003, that’s about 15% of 123 total hypothermia cases, or an unfortunate 18 people who may be said to have died due to not heating their home out of over half a million deaths.

        Influenza is J10-11, a mere 77 deaths, which while still over 4x the hypothermia deaths, not 200-300x.

        But that’s only an artefact of the way these things are recorded: J12-18 (34,400 deaths in 2003) is pneumonia, an unfortunate catch-all for those complications (including from influenza, but much more rarely from hypothermia) that most influenza deaths by far are listed under.

        That’d be where I believe the differences in our figures are.

        Since medical science doesn’t like to be pinned down on what caused the pneumonia that caused the death, and all but a few hundred of the pneumonia deaths are in catch-all categories that might be influenza, I stand by my assertion.

        The principle factor in excess winter deaths is clearly not hypothermia due failure to heat (less than 20 deaths a year), but more likely a result of influenza preventable by vaccine and completely unpreventable by setting of the thermostat in the home (thousands or tens of thousands of deaths a year) for the UK and Wales.

        Spending money to assist with home-heating, while uncontroversial, is a waste. Spend money on vaccinations and research into preventing the spread of influenza.

        The principle other temperature-related deaths in the UK and Wales for the same year would come from T67.0 heatstroke and sunstroke (4 deaths) and some fraction of the deaths attributed to J40-47 (Chronic lower respiratory diseases – almost 28,000 deaths in that group that might be related to heat/smog) due air quality and some of the heart disease deaths I20-50ish, but I imagine those break down pretty evenly between too much heat in the summer and too much effort in the winter unrelated to the thermostat, so we’ll call that a wash.

        (25K out of 538K+ excess winter deaths is a bump of under 5%; cure influenza and that bump will fall in half.)

      • Gras,
        The believer always have a way to rationalize away things they dislike.
        You are wasting your time. The believer only exists in an echo chamber.

      • Gras Albert

        For complete clarity,

        I am asserting that the current and previous UK government are imposing on energy suppliers a requirement to use renewable sources for 30% (up from it’s current 5%) of generating capacity by 2020. The governments own computations indicate this will result in a substantial increase (at least a factor of 2) in cost to consumers as well as increased risk to supply continuity in periods of peak demand.

        The consequences for those members of society whose economic status forces them to face a choice between eating or heating during the winter are obvious.

        The government is adopting these policies as a result of advice from climate scientists and pressure from environment activist groups amongst whom any rational observer must include the IPCC.

        Those most vociferous in support will be marginally affected by the consequences of renewable energy policy. Worse, despite the consequences being a direct result of their advocacy, they deny all responsibility.

        Much more Dorothy’s Lion than Scarecrow

      • Gras Albert

        I agree with you that the government of the UK is doing it wrong.

        It’s within their means to do better.

      • andrew adams

        Well that’s a more honest assessment than the lie which some have tried to spread that previous deaths in the UK have been cause by carbon taxes.
        Having said that, I’d like to see a link to back up your claim that this is likely to lead to either the kind of increases in energy prices that you claim or a threat to continuity of supply.
        And of course the notion that this must neccessarily read to people having to choose between eating and heating their homes is pure nonsense.
        The prices have many things have gne up in recent years and put pressure on the poorest in society, but we are a rich country and it is perfectly possible to ensure that people are not so hard hit that they do not face these kind of choices.
        In a wealthy country like Btitain with a relatively mild climate there has not been and there will not be any reason why old people should die of cold in winter.

      • andrew adams

        Mind you the quality of spelling has certainly gone down hill.

      • In a wealthy country like Btitain with a relatively mild climate there has not been and there will not be any reason why old people should die of cold in winter.

        The proper wording for that would be –
        In a wealthy country like Btitain with a relatively mild climate there should not be any reason why old people should die of cold in winter

        And I would agree with that.

        Now go talk to some of those “old” people – and find out why their friends have been dying. Find out what their heating bills have been, what the tax on those heating bills has done over the last 5 years (and where those things are going), what their income is. And then come back and let us know.

        Don’t give me this left wing progressive rationalization about what you think is happening – go get some real facts by talking to the people it’s happening to. Until you do that, you’re just “blowin’ smoke.”

      • Jim

        While you’re at it, ask the old people if they were aware that since 1972, the UK has had an energy-efficient building standard that has never been effectively enforced, which would have cut their heating (and cooling) bills substantially over their long lifetimes, with only modest increase in the initial capital cost of building?

        Ask them if they get vaccinated against influenza?

        If they work to maintain muscle mass, a good and practically cost free method to improve health and longevity?

        Though really, wandering around bothering old people prying personal questions, sounds rather left wing progressive in itself, to me.

        If you want real facts, you have to ask the right questions.

      • Bart –
        When you get old, you’ll figure out that your questions and suggestions are crap – and you won’t care about the answers either.

        As for what the UK should have done – they didn’t. And so, as a government, they failed in their prime mission/responsibility – to take care of their own people. So what? The EU and Canadian governments have done little better. And the US is headed down the same rathole.

        Now – I AM done here.

      • Find out what their heating bills have been, what the tax on those heating bills has done over the last 5 years

        Not knowing any old people in the UK, I’d appreciate some help with this. I keep hearing about the tax increases killing UK oldsters, but I can’t find anything about it on the Google except links back to this and other blogs. Maybe it’s just a common practice over there – like primitive tribes leaving oldies out for lions to eat – and thus not newsworthy.

        If anyone knows of a link to a report linking taxes to this ongoing old-folk-icide, I’d appreciate it.

        as a government, they failed in their prime mission/responsibility – to take care of their own people

        You mean socialism?

      • PDA –

        These are not short-term supply side shocks. These are related to long-term issues to do with moving to more costly to produce energy, to do with efforts to tackle climate change.

        Prof Morgan added that any price increases would hit those on low incomes the hardest, and energy costs should be monitored as part of any poverty measurement.

        Latest official figures show more than a quarter of households, 332,000, are now living in fuel poverty in Wales.

        This is just one of a long series of articles over the last 3-4 years. You don’t see them because you don’t look for them, not because they’re not there.

      • Just like I thought; it’s the darned icicles:

        One study of Yakutsk—one of the most bitterly chilly cities in eastern Siberia, and thus the world, where the average temperatures between October and March sink to a positively unbalmy minus 16 degrees Fahrenheit—concluded that lower temperatures did not cause any significant increase in mortality. The frosty denizens of Yakutsk exercised the seemingly obvious safety measures of wearing layers (more than four, on average), staying where it’s warm, and keeping the heat cranked up. A small increase in mortality stemming from respiratory disease due to breathing cold air was offset by a decrease in death from accidents—presumably because during chilly spells cold enough to freeze bone marrow, few people go anywhere or do much at all, significantly reducing the opportunities for accidents. (Falling icicles, which each winter skewer roughly 100 Russians who happen to be under the wrong building eave at the wrong time, haven’t—yet—been the subject of extensive demographic research.)

        If winter kills, then why does the Confederacy have a higher death rate? I grew up in the Dakotas. The winters there are dangerous. You have to be a moron to be killed by the cold. A few people accomplished it each year. Mostly because they were drunk. On the other hand, those states have an astounding number of vibrant 80 and 90 year-old people running around. Many are still working their farms. How do they avoid the alleged frigid grim reaper? In my opinion, they drink a lot blood thinner. The Confederates tend to teetotalism. Temperature drops below 70 F and they’re goners.

        It’s a fine line in the Dakotas and Minnesota, tanked up enough to avoid a stroke; sober enough to avoid freezing to death in a snowbank. That’s their secret.

      • Energy prices ‘could at least double’ over the next decade

        How can old people be killed by high prices in the future, Jim? I had asked for more information about the taxes over the last five years that you said are murdering the olds.

        If you don’t know of any references for the assertion that tax increases are freezing the oldies to death, Jim, just say so. I’m not suggesting you or anyone should stop telling thrilling stories of oldster Britons dying in their homes of hypothermia due to high taxes.

        Some of us like the boring details, that’s all.

      • andrew adams


        In a wealthy country like Btitain with a relatively mild climate there should not be any reason why old people should die of cold in winter

        That’s essentially what I meant so we do agree on that point.

        Now go talk to some of those “old” people – and find out why their friends have been dying. Find out what their heating bills have been, what the tax on those heating bills has done over the last 5 years (and where those things are going), what their income is. And then come back and let us know.

        There is no doubt that domestic energy prices have risen in the UK in the last 5 years, and this has caused hardship for some people on low incomes, pensioners or otherwise. However, there have been no carbon taxes on domestic energy supplies in the UK during that time – the Climate Change Levy only affects commercial supplies, so you can’t lay the blame in that direction.

        Of course poor people will be hit by price rises in any essential item so it’s important that as a society we ensure that they do not suffer to the extent that they are unable to eat, heat their homes or afford other essential items. The last government, for all its faults, actually did that – apart from introducing a winter fuel allowance it did a pretty good job of tackling poverty amongst the elderly in general.

        So when introducing measures which will increase the price of essential products/services we have to be mindful of the effect on the less well off members of society. But it is possible to mitigate these effects but still get the wider benefit from the measures being introduced.

      • aa –
        the Climate Change Levy only affects commercial supplies, so you can’t lay the blame in that direction.

        If it affects commercial suppliers, why do you think that cost doesn’t get passed on to the consumer? We’re talking basic economics here.

        The last government, for all its faults, actually did that – apart from introducing a winter fuel allowance it did a pretty good job of tackling poverty amongst the elderly in general.

        That was the “last” government – what about this one?

        So when introducing measures which will increase the price of essential products/services we have to be mindful of the effect on the less well off members of society. But it is possible to mitigate these effects but still get the wider benefit from the measures being introduced.

        And why do you think that’s actually happening?

      • andrew adams


        If it affects commercial suppliers, why do you think that cost doesn’t get passed on to the consumer? We’re talking basic economics here.

        It affects commercial supplies – ie energy supplied to commercial premises, not residential ones.

        That was the “last” government – what about this one?

        Well the signs are that the poorest in society are going to do extremely badly out of this government – their budget cuts will disproportionately affect the worst off. But that’s a reason to protest against the government, not those who want action on AGW.

        And why do you think that’s actually happening?

        Well as I mentioned above it did happen to an extent under the last govt but I have much less confidence in this one. So I’m not claiming it will happen but that it can and should happen.

      • aa –
        We’re apparently in agreement about what should NOT happen. However – you say —

        It affects commercial supplies – ie energy supplied to commercial premises, not residential ones.

        That’s a nice theory. but like many theories, it doesn’t necessarily shake out like that.

        In fact, there’s been some talk about a collapse of the North Sea gas operators, which would then cascade into even higher prices for households due to increased imports.

        Now – if you want to chase it down, you’ll find that the tax increase was meant to subsidize the wind and solar (green) energy sector. And if you chase a little further, you’ll find a report that details the lack of effectiveness of those sources over the last few years. I don’t have that link right now, but I’ll look for it later. In any case, the entire mess is related to the UK government commitment to “fighting climate change”. To paraphrase an old saw – climate change kills – even if it’s only weather.

      • Jim

        At some point people, even old people, must take responsibility for the consequences of their own choices.

        For almost 40 years, everyone in the UK has had the backing of a powerful national law which they _could_ have insisted on being enforced in the case of the building or major renovation of their home. They did not choose to resort to simply demanding the law be followed.

        Even if there were no such law, they could have simply demanded proper levels of insulation and draft-resistance in their homes, because even at its subsidized price, the fuel they would expect to pay for over 25 years would exceed that of the insulation. They chose not to.

        If they’re old, and they feel they had no opportunity ever to make better choices, perhaps they have a valid complaint; however I am skeptical of claims that deny personal responsibility has a role in consequences over so long a span of time.

        JCH has it, if not literally scientifically the way I’d put it (well, having lived in Minnesota come to think if it, I might) as accurately in spirit as one could wish.

        With mostly effective vaccinations available, with moderate exercise at every age greatly improving longevity, there’s no excuse but personal irresponsibility for the excess winter death bump; with seriously inefficient homes they had a lifetime to attend to, these seniors have no cause to complain their fuel’s too pricey. With no relation between home heating and excess winter mortality there is no cause to subsidize those who put themselves into this position.

      • Bart –
        If you had any clue what you were talking about, you’s be dangerous.

        If I’m really lucky, I may be around to hear you bitch about how you can’t afford the taxes when you get old.

        OTOH, maybe that wouldn’t be so lucky –

  10. Joe Lalonde


    Certainly a good example of why current science is in such a mess.
    Technology changes, yet many bad theories still remain in place and taught to students who don’t know any better.
    This keeps bad science alive and good science suppressed.

  11. January 20, 2000

    Pacific Ocean Showing Signs of Major Shifts in the Climate
    By William K. Stevens

    Changes in the Pacific Ocean are making it more likely that winter weather in much of the United States will exhibit unusual warmth alternating with sharp cold, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., reported yesterday.

    The researchers said the pattern, prevalent this winter and last, might predominate for 20 or 30 years.

    The finding was based on calculations of the movement and temperature of ocean surface waters, and the varying amounts of heat they bear, based on measurements made by instruments aboard the Topex/Poseidon earth satellite.

    The data reflect a naturally occurring oscillation in ocean conditions, not a sign of global climate change.

    If the satellite images do indeed signal the beginning of a new climatic regime in the Pacific, there will be “fewer and weaker El Niños and more La Niñas,” said Dr. Bill Patzert, a research oceanographer at the Pasadena laboratory.

    In the natural weather phenomenon known as La Niña, sea-surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific are lower than normal.

    This sets off a train of atmospheric events that affect weather patterns around the globe, especially in North America in the winter.

    Sea surface temperatures in general have a major effect on atmospheric circulation patterns, and in large measure govern where storms develop and cold and warm air masses go.

    El Niño is marked by abnormally high sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific, which touches off a different set of winter weather consequences, often including heavy rains across the southern tier of the United States.

    La Niña and El Niño typically last a year or two, but there is also a longer-term natural oscillation going on in the Pacific, this one involving a flip-flop in sea-temperature patterns on a scale of decades.

    When the ocean flips from one of these states to another, Dr. Patzert said, “it resets the stage for the climate system; it provides a new background on which smaller events like El Niño and La Niña can occur.”

    In one of these alternating states of what is called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, sea-surface temperatures are higher in the eastern equatorial Pacific but lower throughout much of the rest of the Pacific basin. That pattern predominated from the mid-1970’s through most of the 1990’s.

    It was also a period of more frequent and stronger editions of El Niño.

    Now, for the last two years, the opposite pattern has appeared: cooler water in the eastern tropical Pacific but warmer elsewhere.

    That pattern last predominated from the mid-1940’s to the mid-1970’s.

    While Dr. Patzert and other scientists said they believed that a flip from one phase of the oscillation to another had occurred, they also said it was too soon to tell whether it represented a true shift from one multidecadal regime to the other.

    “There simply has not been enough time” since the shift took place, said Wayne Higgins, a senior meteorologist at the government’s Climate Prediction Center at Camp Springs, Md.

    Five to 10 additional years of data may be required, Mr. Higgins said. [Now we have 10 additional years of data and has the shift taken place Climate Etc bloggers & Mr. Higgins?]

    The shift is only two years old and whether it will last for a full 20 or 30 years remains to be seen.

    If a longer-term shift has occurred, and La Niña materializes more frequently as a result, this winter’s highly variable pattern of weather in the United States would probably become more familiar.

    In it, the positions of warm and cold air masses and storm tracks shift so that the eastern part of the country is often exposed to warm weather.

    Then the masses drift and sudden cold hits the East.

    Meanwhile, the Northwest becomes stormier.

    Then the pattern repeats.

    The Climate Prediction Center has forecast that La Niña will persist into the spring, then fade.

    What will happen after that is unclear.

    There is an additional complication just now: Atmospheric conditions in the North Atlantic have shifted in recent days to a new pattern in which the Northeast and Middle Atlantic are exposed to the likelihood of cold, stormy weather.

    How that will play out over the next few weeks is not certain; but government forecasters predict that February will be warmer than normal in the southern tier of the country but colder than normal in the northern tier, with above-normal precipitation in the Northeast, Ohio Valley, Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

    If the Pacific Decadal Oscillation persists in its new state, experts say, it might also portend drier weather and more frequent droughts in the southern tier.

    Moreover, increased hurricane activity is associated with this phase of the oscillation, and there has been such an increase in the last five years.

    Scientists believe that large-scale climatic fluctuations like the Pacific oscillation affect the global temperature.

    The last time the oscillation was in its present state, from about 1945 to about 1976, a global warming trend that had begun early in the century leveled off.

    Then it resumed when the oscillation flipped to its opposite state, rising in the 1990’s to the highest level ever recorded.

    Since the mid-1970’s, federal scientists say, the average global surface temperature has risen at a rate equal to 3.5 degrees per century. (The world is 5 to 9 degrees warmer now than in the depths of the last ice age 18,000 to 20,000 years ago.)

    The dominant view among experts is that emissions of heat-trapping industrial waste gases like carbon dioxide are responsible for at least part of the last century’s global warming of about one degree.

  12. I’ll echo what Bart R wrote, which goes a long way to responding to the point brought up by many commenters:

    “We will face major reductions in standard of living if we move into the future unprepared to adapt, unwilling to pay the cost of switching unsustainable methods for sustainable ones, and resorting to sloth and stupidity instead of efficiency, conservation, and innovation.”

    My further two cents about the strawman that in order to prevent negative effects from climate change we’d have to “lower our living standards” (according to Peter Wilson and apparently many others here):

    – Just because you don’t want to lower your living standards doesn’t mean that AGW is bunk
    – There’s a choice: Use carbon free energy or use less energy. Efficiency goes a long way towards the latter. If instead you prefer to lower your standards of living, be my guest. But don’t tell me that I or climate scientists told you to do so.

    Of course I’m aware that there are groups who advocate a way of living that you describe as “lowering your standards of living”. And while that may indeed help towards mitigating climate change, it’s far from the only option. It’s just not.

    • Bart V,
      You are so wrong. Is it arequirement of AGW belief to turn things on their heads?
      Much more realistic irt living standards would be to point out that AGW promoted policies on just two things, food for fuel and wind, both lead to losses in the economy, less dependable food and power, and less total wealth.
      You are welcome to continue ignoring these things, but that will only emphasize the AGW community inability to deal with reality.

      • andrew adams


        You will find a lot of disagreement with “food for fuel” amongst AGWers. There is no reason wind power cannot make a contribution – Denmark manages to generate 21% of its electricity that way, Portugal 18%, Spain 16%, China is investing heavily.
        Of coure there are costs involved in taking action to mitigate AGW. There will most certainly be costs if we take no action. Mankind is creating a huge problem for itself and one way or another we will have to pay – the important thing is to ensure the costs are minimised as far as possible and are born in the most equitable and least undesirable manner.

      • Wind turbines kill birds!


      • Mmm.

        Delicious birds.

        Well I recall when touring a place called Sarnia as a much younger man, the moonscape-like scenery, where the coal-fired smelters killed not just birds, but virtually everything, for miles in every direction. Couldn’t get a bird for any price.

        But now, all you need is a windmill, and it plucks them from the sky for you.

        Unless it’s one of those darned newfangled ‘tuned’ windmills they’ve got now, the birds won’t go near.

        Where will I get my bird now?

        Who will give me the bird?

      • aa,
        Your team shoved it through. It is your goal.
        You have no bloody idea at all if doing nothing but normal adaptation and management of our changing world will be worse than following the idiotic ideas your side is foisting on the world.
        But there is evidence from every major initiative your side has tried that they will be abject failures.
        Wind power- fail.
        food for fuel- fail
        carbon trading- fail.
        Kyoto- fail.
        The chances of the AGW community coming up with a policy that will manage the climate by control of CO2 is the about the same as finding aliens in Area 51.

      • aa –
        wrt wind & solar – scroll down to see how little is provided by 40-50 miles of wind farms on some of the best ridges (for wind) in California.

        The price? The destruction of a large swath of wild country (40-50 miles of it). How does that fit with your environmentalism?

      • andrew adams


        As I said above, wind power does manage to provide a reasonable proportion of power needs in some coutrries so it is obviously viable if built in the right places (maybe the location you mention is not one of those places), although there is certainly a limit to the contribution it can make.
        I accept that there are environmental considerations, either aesthtic ones (I actually like wind farms but many people disagree) or in terms of damage to the local environment where they are built. This is the case with any new infrastructure – there are currently arguments going on over here about the proposed new high speed rail line for example.
        I don’t really consider myself to be an environmentalist but I do think these considerations have to be taken seriously. However, neither do I have much truck with the NBAAE* brigade and sometimes we have to decide what our priorities are.

        *Never Build Anything Anywhere Ever

      • aa –
        wind power does manage to provide a reasonable proportion of power needs in some coutrries so it is obviously viable

        Your “reasonable proportion” is insufficient. You didn’t look carefully at the CAISO site did you. Go back and look at the relative scales – wind NEVER provides more than 10% of requirements at any time of day – and less (or much less) for most of the day. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that one would have to destroy at least 400 miles of what’s presently wilderness area in order to get to what would actually be a”reasonable proportion”. I wouldn’t have to revolt over that – the super-environmentalists (Sierra Club) would. Remember – the wind farms we’re talking about here would feed only one relatively small area of California. Where are you gonna put the wind farms to feed the rest of the State? Or the rest of the country?

        it is obviously viable if built in the right places (maybe the location you mention is not one of those places

        Sorry – but the present location is as good as it gets. The location was selected back in the early 70’s specifically because of the strength and consistency of the winds across the ridge. As I said in another conversation, I was once “drafted” to go out there and play “wind farm engineer”. But I didn’t go. After looking at it, I told them I’d quit first. IOW – other locations would produce “less” power, not more – and not more consistently.

        I actually like wind farms

        That just means you’ve never spent any time living with them.

      • andrew adams


        I don’t dispute what you said about the CAISO site but that does not alter the fact that Denmark manages to get 21% of it’s energy from wind power, Portugal 18% and Spain 16%. I honestly have no idea how they can do this when the site you mentioned but they do.

      • aa –
        I don’t dispute your numbers but I do have a question – where do they get the non-wind power energy?

        OK – I lied – I have 2 questions – what’s their capacity for increasing their percentage of wind power generation? I’m not talking “can they afford it” but rather, do they have sites that experience winds that can support power generation equivalent to what they’ve got now?

        Since I’m not sure that last will make sense to you, allow me to rephrase it. Their present installations will support X Kwh output based on Y windmill units and consistent wind speeds for Z hours per day. The question is – CAN they double that to 2X Kwh by adding another Y windmill units? And the answer to that is entirely dependent on whether they have sites that will provide the same wind characteristics as the present sites. Note that it’s easy to say “of course”, but that’s just hand waving. Fact is that the sites that are already being used are highly probable to be the BEST available and other sites will have already been rejected as being either “second rate or inaccessible for other reasons. The second part of that last statement (any other sites) is only as certain as the IPCC temperature projections. :-)

        And I don’t know the answers for those countries either. But I do know the country that would be most desirable for the purpose in the US – and most of it is likely to be inaccessible due to political considerations. Not NIMBY, but rather because it would mean the destruction of Wilderness areas and wild country. And there are those who would object, possibly violently, to that. Earth First comes immediately to mind, but there are others as well.

      • If at least you’d be clear when you’re talking about climate science and when you’re talking about activists of some stripe or the other (please specify the stripe), we *may* be able to have a constructive discussion.

      • Bart V,
        When the academics start condemning the activists, you get to ask for that. But you guys make your careers off of letting hypesters sell climate fear, so seeing you denounce transparent fear mongering and bs is going to happen seldom if ever.

    • Bart Verheggen

      Use carbon free energy or use less energy.

      Why? In a world with billions living in poverty NOW why make energy expensive?

      The claim was that carbon causes additional global warming, but this claim is not supported by the data as the recent 30-years warming is identical to the previous 30-years warming as shown in the following graph.

      Why pay ANYTHING for a baseless assertion of carbon causes global warming or AGW?

      Is it hard to recognise the following oscillation in the global mean temperature data?


      • Girma


        You’ve posted elsewhere an excerpt persuasively arguing that ENSO may lead to a period from 1998 to 2028 roughly analogous to the period from the mid-1940’s to the mid-1970’s.

        If that is so, we expect 2028 to be about 0.5C warmer than 1998, and if the trend again reverses sometime within ten+ years of 1998, another substantial jump in global temperatures, all other things being equal.

        So you’re saying what, exactly?

        To me, all of that isn’t very important.

        CO2 levels are rising, and CO2 is an important component of the atmosphere in a number of ways that make external forcings to it perturbations in a spatiotemporal chaos.

        Temperature is only one possible effect, and neither proven to be the most rapid nor the most important.

        Along with CO2, there are numerous other components of fossil fuels, from land use to politics to particulate emissions, release of toxic mercury and other food chain bioconcentrators, and most important to me, distortions in the marketplace and free riders benefiting from a shared, limited resource.

        Limited (ie scarce) resources are worth money. It’s anti-capitalist to give away scarce resources.

        It’s a common shared resource, so it’s fair to say I have a share in that money.

        I want my money back, which is hijacked by the fossil industry.

      • The fossil industry provide the energy you NEED to cook your food, the energy you NEED to protect you from the winter cold, the energy you NEED to protect you from the summer heat, the energy you NEED to move from A to B, the energy required to produce your clothing, your house the road you use etc. If you don’t have these NEEDS the fossil industry will be out of business. The fossil industry exists to meet your NEEDS.

      • Girma

        Actually, the fossil industry provide none of the energy I use to cook, heat or cool, remarkably little of the energy used to move me from A to B (less than 10% of the American average); if the products I buy are fossil-intensive, I have no way to know, as the fossil industry is so heavily subsidized and so exploited by free riders as it is not reflected in the price signal of my clothes or house; the roads are built from waste byproducts of the petrochemical industry, who ought be paying me to be allowed to dump their waste with such profligacy.

        And yet no matter how I walk the walk, the fossil industry continues to lobby, extort, loophole, free ride and usurp its way to record excess profits.

        They exist because they aren’t paying their full freight.

        If they paid for the CO2E and particulates budgets they free ride on, they’d be much smaller, and we’d be much wealthier.

      • Bart R,
        You are talking gibberish worse than usual.
        You have no idea what you are talking about regarding the ‘fossil industry’. You are tossing some manic bs at the wall and hoping it sticks.

      • WHY should they pay for the CO2E? There is absolutely no reason. Should they pay for the H2OE?

        In some people heads CO2 will be harmful even long after it was shown to be harmless. They will still be talking about “carbon footprint”.

      • Edim

        Thank you for your questions.

        See, my point has nothing to do directly with harm.

        Why ought proof of harm be involved at all?

        The fundamental basis of Capitalism, the reason it exists, is the principle that the best way to allocate scarce (ie limited) resources among many competing individual interests is to put a price on all resources, and let the individual interests determine allocation by the Law of Supply and Demand.

        H2O has no E (equivalent), exists in the atmosphere naturally at levels many orders of magnitude larger than all human H2O emissions, and is limited in the atmosphere by natural pressures. The expression ‘100% humidity’ doesn’t mean the air is all water, it means the air is carrying as much H2O as it can.

        CO2E (CO2, methane, CO, etc.) exist in the atmosphere at orders of magnitude larger than human emissions, but not by so much that it can be reasonably doubted that human emissions are a principal contributor to the rise of CO2 since the dawn of the Industrial Era.

        The only putative limit on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is the amount of carbon and oxygen available on the planet.

        Although there’s a famous (wrong) set of calculations predicting that the most CO2 humans can contribute to the atmosphere is ‘modest’, as CO2 is added to the atmosphere unpredictable rates of positive feedback may lead to CO2E rising as part of a cascade of runaway reactions.

        So we cannot guess what the maximum level of CO2 will be, it is not comparable to H2O levels, and we can establish that there is a scarcity (limit) associated with CO2E.

        At some point — a point we know we can’t reach at all, this is only an illustration — CO2 levels begin to turn toxic to people. We call this point a ceiling. In this case, it’s a very imaginary ceiling, but you get the idea: we wouldn’t want to exceed that point. That point, if it could be real, would be a limit on the amount of CO2E emission, a ‘budget limit’.

        Below that ceiling, there are various non-lethal ceilings that either we are certain do exist and can be reached, or may exist and/or be reached. Levels that affect health or reproduction of some species of plants or animals, levels that cause perturbations in chaotic systems that lead to unpredictable weather results or differing times of appearances of climate effects, etc.

        While some of these ceilings might include benefits for some, all of them include Risk for some or all.

        We don’t know how much Risk, we don’t know how high the ceiling.

        In exactly the same way we don’t know if the nugget of gold pulled out of a mine in five years might not be the last gold ever found in the ground (unlikely as that is).

        Gold is limited, and so is the CO2 budget.

        So a Capitalist must put a price on CO2E. Anyone who doesn’t, isn’t a Capitalist, and is distorting prices in the Market, leading to inefficient allocation of resources, which harms us all.

      • Bart R,
        Do you know what the level of CO2 has to be to cause a physiological reaction, much less become toxic?
        CO2 ppm has to reach 10,000 to be mildly problematic.
        We are, you might recall, at ~390ppm.
        But let’s even talk about comfort levels:
        “Carbon dioxide differential above outdoor levels at steady state conditions (when the occupancy and ventilation system operation are sufficiently long that CO2 concentration has stabilized) are sometimes used to estimate ventilation rates per person. CO2 is considered to be a surrogate for human bio-effluents and may correlate with other indoor pollutants. Higher CO2 concentrations are associated with occupant health, comfort and performance degradation. ASHRAE Standard 62.1–2007 ventilation rates may result in indoor levels up to 2,100 ppm above ambient outdoor conditions. Thus if the outdoor ambient is 400 ppm, indoor levels may reach 2,500 ppm with ventilation rates that meet this industry consensus standard. Levels in poorly ventilated spaces can be found even higher than this (range of 3,000 or 4,000). [Mendell and Shendell reference”

        We are no where close to a CO2 problem if the measure is health impacts.
        Additionally, CO2 is pretty well researched.
        Its risks are well documented, despite what you say.

      • I didn’t know you meant CO2 equivalent. I thought CO2E stands for CO2 emissions.

        Other than that, your post is nonsense. I really don’t know how to respond.

      • Edim

        If you’re open to suggested responses, I recommend taking any of the nonsense I’ve posted that particularly sticks in your craw, deciding if you want to give changing my mind a try, and presenting your best case, or be satisfied knowing that I appreciate you giving me a chance to present my case to you.

        Thanks for your time.

      • Girma,
        Bart R, not to put too fine a point on it, is a loon.

      • Not fair Bart – you know perfectly well what the shape of the surface temperature plots are and have some idea of why that is. There is no reason whatsoever that the current – or the next – volume of the phase space Earth systems occupy will be like what was experienced in the 20th century.

        It is human brains tricking us into thinking there might be a comforting illusion of a cycle – like day and night or the seasons. We must pretend we have some sort of control on the future – a nearly ubiquitous human trait.

        There are three ways that manifests.

        1. We can model a chaotic system using other – but different – chaotic systems? :lol: We know things are out of control and we are going to hell if we don’t repent.
        2. There has been no proof of harm from greenhouse gas emissions and that is proof that there is no harm – ignoranuses absurdum.
        3. The whole world’s gone mad and I am just going to pull the doona over my head and stay in bed. Human beings usually muddle through somehow. This is the majority view and the one most likely to prevail in politics. We will get out of bed when someone comes up with an inspiring human narrative.

        And – oh yeah – check’s in mail buddy.

      • chief,
        You forgot the more common manifestaiont of humans dealing with unknowns:
        Deciding the world is going to end based on trivial evidence and making huge, costly and ineffective conclusions and policies based on that decision.
        Which is the AGW community approach as we see on a near worldwide basis.

      • G’day Hunter,

        I think pretty much they have lost that battle. Their problem is that they didn’t predict last decade – and can’t predict the next – because of an unspecified ‘internal climate variability’. So the science isn’t working out too well for them – and they need that to have any credibility for end of the world scenarios.

        The problem remains to create cost effective solutions – multiple paths and multiple objectives that increases human wealth and dignity. Technological innovation as briefly discussed by Bill Gates yesterday – I find it interesting that all the comments at Grist are negative – Bill must be onto something.


      • Chief,
        The problem for Mr. Gates, I think, is that he will be trapped into negative results as long as he is convinced to use the AGW lens.
        If he and other leadership level people would reject the AGW paradigm for the dead end it is and focus on things like cleaning coal of soot and toxins, and stop worrying about CO2, we would get results that could be very beneficial for many. Improve industrial level fishing. Find out if fertilization of fisheries in the oceans will result in more tonnage to catch. Develop practical ways to get fresh safe water to everyone.
        Continue looking for the physics and applied science to build things like thorium reactors.
        For a random list of places to where some guidance can help.
        But CO2 obsession robs us incrementally of those options.

      • Chief

        Good to see you back.

        Agreed, I’m not playing completely fair.

        However, I’m infinitely fairer than Girma’s playing, with his repeated illegitimate sine curve nonsense.

        As for there being no reason that the current regime will mimic the last regime which shared similarities, this is true. However, the best predictor of future events is often recent similar events, and I wasn’t the one who introduced the similarity of the current regime to the last one; Girma did that, too.

        So if I’m being criticized for this usage, why isn’t Girma, Chief?

        Have fun under your goose-down, until you decide to come out and fight like a man. ;)

      • Bart R

        However, I’m infinitely fairer than Girma’s playing, with his repeated illegitimate sine curve nonsense.

        How do you explain the following oscillation in the global mean temperature data?

        Assuming this pattern continues, is it not possible to APPROXIMATE this oscillation with a sinusoidal function?

      • Girma

        Explain hand-fitted detrended offset selectively cherry-picked renderings?

        Sure, it’s artwork. A five year old could do it with an Etch-a-Sketch.

        Chief Hydrologist has aptly addressed explanations of what might cause phase inversion on such a spatiotemporal scale. While the term ‘bifurcation’ may be clumsy, at least it isn’t completely baseless. It fits nicely with the ‘Stadium Wave’ analogy. Not a periodic function, but like the stadium wave what you get when enough fanboys believe in something they imagine.

        You’ve taken a meaningless artifact of Simpson’s Paradox and stretched and contorted it to force it to resemble your preconceived notions.

        See, when the globe is separated into hemispheres, you get two degenerate versions of your global line, the eccentricities of each tending to the mean when aggregated.

        This happens naturally in about one dataset in fifty, if memory serves.

        That proves what you are seeing is not a global trend, but an affect of inappropriate collation of regional data across basins — mere noise obscuring other signals.

        Amplitude is all over the place, the shape of the phases are dissimilar, the area under the curve for successive phases varies widely, the derivatives are inconsistent with trigonometric modeling. Everything about this screams to a practiced eye that there is no sinus pattern.

        In the field of graphical analysis, a sine curve means something very distinct. Failing to appreciate this, perhaps you cannot grasp the dissonance one feels seeing it done inappropriately. It is music played off key, dance without timing, a speech delivered with emphasis on all the wrong syllables.

        The world is full of alternating functions that are not trigonometric, and do not impute what to a practitioner the sine curve tells of periodicity and underlying mechanism. Use one of those instead.

        Which brings us to mechanism. Get one, or drop your efforts.

        You’re producing pious fraud, demonstrating confirmation bias, using invalid and illegitimate applications of tools inappropriately to convince yourself of a falsehood, and thence to try to share the delusion with as many others as you can.

        Girma, how often have you reproduced this little song and dance, without mentioning the many valid and important objections raised by competent and qualified experts in graphical methods and statistics, or cross-linking these many conversations you have started about your ideas to allow commentators to compare notes?

        Five times? Fifty? Five hundred?

        There is no pattern to continue. It did not exist prior to 1880, it does not exist in the disaggregated data, as an approximation of too few cycloids it does not qualify for the term ‘pattern’ in a trigonometric sense, and there is no valid reason to assume continuation, with strong reason to deprecate such misuse of periodic functions.

        Hey look, from 1900 to 1930, I have an even better sine curve than yours, with more cycles, out of purely random numbers!

        While the future is rife with possibilities, credible analysts don’t invest themselves in disproven and baseless coincidences. They leave that to superstitious cranks, and confidence men.

        And what you suggest your graph means — that it proves or disproves anything — is simply irrational. It does not logically follow that your pretty drawing’s chance resemblance over part of it to a waveform impacts any hypothesis in any way.

        But I’ve said all this before.

        Can you specifically and on point address these objections?

        Without drawing another graph?

      • Which brings us to mechanism. Get one, or drop your efforts.

        1) The sun

        Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations
        and its implications.

        2) Oceans

        Several independent studies find evidence for just two full PDO cycles in the past century: “cool” PDO regimes prevailed from 1890–1924 and again from 1947–1976, while “warm” PDO regimes dominated from 1925–1946 and from 1977 through (at least) the mid-1990’s.

      • Girma

        You’ve provided two mechanisms in complete disagreement, and both of which disagree with the trigonometric hypothesis you present.

        Nicola’s astronomical predictions based on the zodiac are mumbo-jumbo and superstition interwoven with coincidence and techniques of persuasion not of analysis.

        For Uranus and Neptune to have the effects he posits, a mechanism to account for a physical force that grows stronger with distance or is somehow present in those two planets while being absent in all the others.

        It’s not gravity, as that decreases as the 4th power with distance.

        It’s not magnetism, as even with linear effects both Earth and Mercury would completely overwhelm the Outer Planets.

        Is it Dark Matter?

        Doesn’t behave like most posits of Dark Matter I’ve read.

        Dark Energy, maybe?




        Further, taking all the data we know of, and not just the range focused on in your link, the effects disappear or diverge.

        And your link to the PDO, while that is a valid reference, it’s a reference that supports my point, not yours.

        There’s some noise in the longer term global temperature signal due ocean gyres.

        It’s such significant noise as to make it very difficult to draw any statistical conclusions about global temperature trends from other forcings.

        It doesn’t disprove these trends.

        Rather, it highlights the fact that climate is spatiotemporal chaotic.

        A large enough perturbation will derail the ergodic gyres and other ergodic tendencies.

        Perhaps the period of the gyres will double, and instead of 15-40 year phases, we’ll see 7.5-20 year phases instead.

        Perhaps they’ll largely vanish and be replaced or mostly overwhelmed by a new regime, as is suspected by some happened with the influence of dominant winds in the Arctic around 2000.

        Or maybe not.

        Whatever else, the analysis is not assisted by imposing a sinus framework that comes out of hand-fitting and speculation.

      • Bart –
        Alternatively –

        It’s not a common shared resource. Never has been except in the USSR and maybe China. This isn’t the USSR or China. If you want to live there you’ll probably have to use some fossil fuel to get there.

        BTW – if you don’t heat, cook or cool, I don’t want your lifestyle (BTDT). And if you do, then you’d have to prove that you don’t use fossil energy.

      • Jim Owen

        What, is fossil so predominant in the world that it’s inconceivable some escape it for their electricity needs?

        Is that your serious contention?

        Sure, there might be some reserve fossil somewhere in the grid I’m on, but it’s a minor fraction I’m sure.

        Close enough to call a rounding error.

        And I’m fine with my lifestyle, though I wouldn’t mind another $1,000/yr of my money that I’m currently cheated out of by free riders exploiting my share of the commons.

        You seem to me the sort of fellow who must be able to understand how capitalist and communist regimes handle shared common resources differently.

        In the USA, take the example of shared common radio bandwidth. You do know how the USA (under CFR Title 47) sells titles to bandwidth for a fee, and thus licenses private owners of bandwidth to conduct lucrative business by exploiting the shared common resource for the duration of their term, yes?

        That’s capitalism in action, the foundation of television and cell phone industries in America.

        What do you have against television and cell phones?


        Then why not apply the same model to CO2E and particulates emitted too?

        Why stick to the way they do things in your beloved USSR (presuming you have time travel technology) or China?

      • BartR –
        there might be some reserve fossil somewhere in the grid I’m on, but it’s a minor fraction I’m sure.

        If your on any grid then I doubt it’s as small as you believe. You’d have to get a lot more specific about why you think your fossil fuel usage is as small as you claim. I have friends (and enemies) who are minimalists – and your claim is not credible unless you have a private windmill and storage system or a solar system.

      • Jim Owen

        Minimal (at under 1 ton/year CO2E), or not, the point I was addressing is that regardless of how much living the message a private individual attempts, they are stymied in their efforts by the nature of the distortions in CO2E pricing.

        If CO2E were priced as a scarce commodity ought, then the price signal that came with that expense would certainly help steer my use toward true economic efficiency.

        The economic inefficiencies of the various subsidies, combined with not pricing the scarce (that is limited) resources of CO2 and particulates budgets compound to lead buyers to make choices that poorly allocate scarce resources overall.

        As for private windmill, what sort of nut do I sound like?

        I want my money.

      • Bart –
        I want my money.

        If you used the time you’ve put into this lobbying campaign an put it into a job at say, 7-11, that $1,000 /year would be peanuts.

        That’s assuming it would be that much. Which I don’t believe at all. The administrative cost of wealth redistribution is far greater than you imagine.

      • I’m delighted with the externalities of subsidies for solar power. Thanks to generous contributions from all of you I was able to install a solar power array that on average zeros out our electric bill, brings in twice that amount in solar renewable energy credits, and was 30% paid for by subsidies, state, federal, and from the local electric co.

        I would have done the thing anyway, even though without the subsidies it was really not economic, but thanks guys for helping out.

        BTW, it really isn’t a good economic decision. The power company still has to build/maintain capacity to supply the power I generate on an irregular basis. It’s just that now you guys all get to help pay for it.

        Thanks Bart V.

      • Jim

        Girma plays chess.

        I tilt at windmills.

        You keep calling this quest for fairness, ‘wealth redistribution’.

        Which it would be in no more or less sense than the wealth redistribution of the cell phone industry or the farm industry (well, less so, as ADM is subsidized to produce ethanol).

        All wealth in Capitalism derives from holdings in scarce resources, be they apples or bandwidth, gold or CO2E budget.

        Apples come from apple trees, grown in orchards, on land which long ago in America once had no price and was considered free. Then it was settled, and priced, and became wealth.

        Gold from mines, a like story.

        Bandwidth, too, underwent ‘settling’ by licensing, but within the living memory of most of us, so we know this process of turning Externality into resource is not dead.

        I have a common shared interest in the limited CO2E budget.

        Most estimates place the level at which pricing CO2E will begin to shift demand at over $300/ton.

        British Columbia prices under $30/ton and delivers over $100/yr per citizen in carbon tax revenues to its people.

        $100/$30 = $1,000/$300

        I’m being conservative in my estimates, one would expect much more than merely $1,000.

        BC does this all by recycling its sales tax and income tax infrastructure, at such a minimal marginal cost that the reduced tax churn and economies of scale appear to end up saving them money overall.

        So while you have the same objections that occured to me years ago when I first heard of this, I took the time to look into it, research my objections, and find out where I was wrong.

        You should try that sometime.

      • Man is the ONLY animal that cooks. Why are the environmentalists against cooking?

      • Also, Jim, what’s your plot supposed to prove?

        That there are decadal cooling trends?

        Of course there are.

        17 of 61 decades ought be cooling, according to the previous generation of AGW models.

        The current generation of models likely predicts more than that.

        One single cooling decade proves nothing, and to reliably test any trend hypothesis by counting cooling decades may take thousands of years statistically (see Bayes Theorem) to establish to even sigma-1 confidence.

        My chart was based on the reference Girma supplied, that the three decades since 1998 would have a trend resembling the three decades from the mid 1940’s to the mid 1970’s.

        Personally, with over 40% less summer Arctic sea ice now than then, I expect some multiple of the 0.05C warming of that period, due albedo, even ignoring the whole +/-AGW.

      • Also, Jim, what’s your plot supposed to prove?

        That there are decadal cooling trends?

        Think about it for a while, Bart. It may come to you.

      • Jim

        What I think is you’re playing shenanigans.

        I thought to give you the benefit of the doubt by asking.

        As you’ve clarified that it is what I think, shame on you for shenanigans.

      • Bart –
        Try again. It “might” come to you if you think hard enough.

      • Jim

        Yeah, repeated observation of the same shenanigan simply increases the confidence in the hypothesis.

        With another few hundred repetitions, it’d become a statistical certainty, with proper application of Bayes Theorem.

    • “Use carbon free energy or use less energy.”

      This is the alternative to lowering standards of living to achieve decarbonization? Where is the carbon free energy that is cost competitive with coal, shale oil, and natural gas, and in sufficient qualities to replace carbon based fuels? How do you pay the increased costs of “carbon free energy” without lowering living standards? And how do you “use less energy” on a global scale without lowering living standards?

      Does AGW require abdication of all common sense by its adherents? Or is their economic illiteracy just a happy coincidence?

    • Bart Verheggen

      You opined:

      “We will face major reductions in standard of living if we move into the future unprepared to adapt, unwilling to pay the cost of switching unsustainable methods for sustainable ones, and resorting to sloth and stupidity instead of efficiency, conservation, and innovation.”

      You are partly right, but here’s how I see it, Bart.

      We will face major reductions in standard of living if we:

      forcibly attempt to reduce the use of fossil fuels drastically in a “top-down” fashion, by imposing a totally ineffectual (direct or indirect) carbon tax on the citizens of the developed economies,

      are unwilling to invest in the development of new energy technologies

      Plus, as you say, “resort to sloth and stupidity instead of efficiency, conservation, and innovation”.

      What does this mean?

      First of all, we need to continue working on improving efficiency and reducing waste and real pollution.

      Then we must continue to work on developing new energy sources, be they shale gas, fuel from algae, improved wind, solar and geo-thermal, coal-based liquid fuels, nuclear fusion, plus processes that have not even been developed.

      But trying to choke back the world economy by forcibly cutting back the use of fossil fuels through a draconian top-down carbon tax is not only silly and ineffectual, it could end up being suicidal.

      So, no matter how much you and others talk about it, it is not going to happen.

      My advice: fuggidaboudit.

      (And concentrate on the other points, instead.)


      • G’day Max,

        I do agree – but I would add measures to conserve and restore ecosystems, stabilise population by health, education and economic development measures, restoring agricultural soils and reducing black carbon and tropospheric ozone emissions.

        A one dimensional approach to a problem with multiple dimensions is the product of one dimensional minds. The great moral challenge of the century is increasing food and energy supplies sustainability by 3% a year.


      • Through a central planning committee, then?

      • Death panels, re-education and forced labor, to translate for non-Americans what people in the USA hear when you say “health, education and economic development measures.”


      • “…stabilise population by health, education and economic development measures….”

        My but that sounds ominous.

  13. “Hard to believe that academics are writing papers on this kind of a topic and actually getting published…”

    What’s hard to believe, in fact, is that you don’t recognize media studies or cultural studies and do not understand the relevance and influence of media representation (including celebrity culture) to the possibilities, understanding and influences on engagement.

    But your comment serves to shed some light on your blind spots, in as much as you don’t dismiss transparently foolish, dishonest denier nonsense on the basis of its inconsistency (or untrustworthiness or insincerity). Quite the opposite: it’s what you appeal to as your main source of reinforcement and influence.

    And you show that you will argue against yoursel when it suits you, suggesting that nonspecialists can’t understand climate change issues and are not valued participants in public discussions. But celebrities are also citizens and have an opinion on important issues — like other citizens.

    Regardless, what a celebrity does or does not do regarding individual responsibility-taking is not relevant to what this article is saying and what it explains to you. Alison is not defending celebrity lifestyles. But then you would have to have a clue, to know that.

    • Is Martha’s latest attempt to share her her sour grapes view of the world to try and be the last word on a thread?

    • Martha, you are right again, I have no clue about celebrities. The main thing that I know about them in context of the climate issue, is that those with large carbon footprints open themselves to substantial criticism, and by reflection, criticism of their message

    • …..yawn….

    • Martha: What do you hope to accomplish with your comments?

      They are mostly snide personal attacks on Dr. Curry that contribute little to the discussion. Dr. Curry is a professional who doesn’t take things personally, so she is not impressed. The rest of us enjoy the parry-and-thrust of good debate as well as a concern with climate change and we are not impressed either.

      So overall you undercut your credibility as a rational participant in this forum and you appear to be a vindictive person who cares little for reason and far more for personal attacks.

      Your goal seems to be supporting climate science against skeptics, but your strategy of constant personal attacks on Dr. Curry makes you seem like a crank who should not be taken seriously.

      I don’t understand what you are trying to do here.

  14. ian (not the ash)

    Irrespective of Martha’s intent behind posting at this site, IMO if she receives no feedback she may very well drift away. She appears to feed off negative and quizzical replies. Simply remove the bait.

    • Actually, I nearly always respond to Martha (and Greenfyre). It is interesting (and usually entertaining) to have a different viewpoint. And neither hangs around on a given thread to engage in dialogue

      • ian (not the ash)

        By the nuances of your replies, I suspected as much Judith! My post was really aimed at those that get a little hot under the collar or seem totally perplexed as to Martha’s motivation.
        Best wishes

      • ian (not the ash)

        Also, having been in similar shoes to Martha, a few years ago I would probably have been cheering her on!

      • I’m not “totally perplexed.” I thought a neutral question might allow Martha to see the situation as others do and perhaps climb down a bit.

        I’m not optimistic about the latter possibility, but I am generally curious about situations in which people communicate in such a way as to sabotage their overall message.

        That curiosity extends to the climate change movement as a whole. Ostensibly the climate change movement (scientists and supporters) stand for the values of science and reason, yet all too often we find them pitching apocalyptic emotional appeals, censoring and rigging discussions, all the bizarre Climategate stuff and conspiracy talk, plus behaving as trolls when commenting.

        To be sure there are also obnoxious skeptics, but skeptics are a mixed bag and they do not wrap themselves in the mantle of scientific authority. It seems to me that climate change folks do not understand who deeply they undercut their persuasiveness when they behave badly.

        The same goes for celebrities like Harrison Ford who beats the drum for climate change but also casually admits that he loves flying and will fly up the coast for a cheeseburger.

        It’s a mystery to me that the climate orthodoxy does not seem to understand how damaging much of their behavior is to their agenda.

  15. Dear Climate Etc Bloggers

    January 20, 2000

    “There simply has not been enough time” since the shift took place, said Wayne Higgins, a senior meteorologist at the government’s Climate Prediction Center at Camp Springs, Md.

    Five to 10 additional years of data may be required, Mr. Higgins said.

    Now we have 10 additional years of data.

    Has the shift taken place?

    • To preface, all the analyses that follow are invalid due the very limited data available and the low confidence that can thus be assigned. But it’s still better than what Girma’s saying.

      Comparing the mid 1940’s to the period of the claimed shift, one notes that the equivalent timespan between 1999 and today (period of claimed shift) as compared with 1945 and 1957, while we’ve observed about equal indication of ENSO cooling pressure in the two periods, the global cooling in the modern period is a mere fraction of the cooling post-WWII.

      Even during short-term cooling phases, the underlying longer-term global heat signal is much higher in the modern period, a mere half-century later.

      So yes, the shift has taken place.

      And it shows abundant sign of being all but overpowered by the +AGW.

      Which, given that it proves nothing about +/-AGW as there’s just too little data, still is ample to disprove Girma’s implied claim.


    The globe is cooling at the rate of the rate of 0.8 deg C per century since 2002 as shown in the following graph!

    • Girma

      What’s the sigma level of confidence on that century prediction?

      How many 9 year periods would you need to collect to achieve sigma-1 on that prediction?

      Cut out the shenanigans, please.

      No one who has ever studied Bayes Theorem could possibly seriously present such a farcical claim.

      • Bart R

        For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.

      • I’m looking for the 9 year period used as a basis for a prediction or claim.

        Could you point it out to me within your latest link?

        Though what Chief says about chaos applies no less to this link than to yours, the technical problems with yours remain, while the link you provide is of course technically much better-founded, for something that might be invalidated by the next bifurcation.

    • Nebuchadnezzar


      The globe is warming since 2002 as shown in the following graph.

      • Eric Ollivet

        @ Nebuchadnezzar (and Bart R)

        THERE IS NO WARMING SINCE 1997 as shown by HADCRUT3 + RSS + UAH data .

        According to IPCC AR4, highlighting a trend of 0,2°C warming per decade, we should have observed a 0,3°C warming since 1997. This claim is obviously falsified by observations since there is actually no difference between April 2011 and April 1997.

        A 15 years period is significant enough to determine climate trends.
        This represents the quarter of the 2 main oceanic oscillations (AMO & PDO), whose impact on Earth’ climate has been recognized as major.

        Even Phil Jones, Head of CRU (Univ. of East Anglia), did admit, during an interview on BBC , that here is no statistically significant warming since 1995.

        GISTEMP data set that you refer to is known as the less reliable T° data set since subjected to significant “corrections” (would rather say manipulations !) as the following one , intended to hide the fact that hottest year in the U.S is not 1998 but 1933 !
        Many “errors” in data handling have also been observed as for instance in October 2008 when Russian T° data collected in SEPTEMBER have been used instead of October ones… (which makes a significant difference as Russia is a huge territory where T° significantly drops by the end of September)

      • Eric Ollivet

        See, I’m not a +/-AGW type. I kibbitz on it out of mere mathematical interest as an exercize in trivia.

        “A 15 years period is significant enough to determine climate trends.”

        This is a myth founded on an error founded on a misreading of someone who apparently didn’t check with a qualified statistician.

        The original cite stated that in all model runs (of which there were only 10, not a statistically significant number) of 70 years (ie less than 5 periods of 15 years each, rounds down to 4 discrete independent periods per sample, not a statistically significant number) no cooling periods of 15 years or longer were seen.

        A competent statistician would look at this information and advise, “Well then, there’s next to nothing you can say about negative trends from this. You clearly have too little data to produce very meaningful statistics, with only a total of 40 or so discrete 15-year trend lines,” or words to that effect.

        As the clever originator of the 15-year statement at least was prudent enough to insert the phrase, “19 times in 20.”

        He was incorrect, I think.

        At best, with 40 discrete observations when we cannot know the distribution or a number of other key values, he could claim sigma-1 confidence, or very roughly 2 times in three, I believe. I may be wrong, it’s possible all sorts of decent analyses were applied that weren’t published or discussed to my knowledge.

        Still, 40 observations can’t produce a very high CI. Even if they used some method involving running 15-year periods and accounted for the samples not being independent, it’s a stretch to believe a mere 550 or so such samples could get them past sigma-2 without seeing their work.

        And even if such observations produces a CI worth discussing, you’re offering ONE single observation.

        Even if the 19 in 20 assertion were right, it could take millennia to collect enough 15-year observations to validly falsify the hypothesis.

        So, no, claims of warming or no warming are pretty much equally illegitimate, with the warming claims only slightly less so.

        It’s like being a little less pregnant.

        Phil Jones has repeatedly repudiated as misquoting or misconstruing his original interview when used as you do, which I’m fine with. Serves him right for being so vague and not publishing his math to go with the interview. Plus, it’s an old cite and he’s had more to say since.

        As your last link goes to WUWT, a site I will not visit, I can’t really comment on it, other than to say GISTEMP, you’ll note, isn’t a dataset I refer to, and despite that, I don’t think it’s so much worse than the other temperature datasets, all of which I somewhat discount event after my general and round precondition that to me, all +/-AGW conversations are a waste of time. After BEST is done, I’ll re-evaluate and may change my mind a little.

        There’s much better information in the more fundamental CO2 datasets, the disputes about the CO2 data are more easily disposed of, and the CO2 level in and of itself is enough reason to stop emitting CO2E until further research is done and better understanding is gained.

      • …someone who apparently didn’t check with a qualified statistician.

        No one who has ever studied Bayes Theorem could possibly seriously present such a farcical claim.

        …only 10, not a statistically significant number…

        At least your word salad is good for a chuckle; you and Terry Oldberg should collaborate.

      • jstults

        Always happy to provide a chuckle.

        I find that one of the many advantages of word salads over this inscrutability epidemic that’s been going around of late.

        But as you seem to enjoy being inscrutable, a famous story for you:

        Whenever Chu-chih was asked a question, he simply raised one finger. One day a visitor asked Chu-chih’s attendant what his master preached. The boy raised a finger. Hearing of this, Chu-chih cut off the boy’s finger with a knife. As he ran from the room, screaming with pain, Chu-chih called to him. When he turned his head, Chu-chih raised a finger. The boy was suddenly enlightened.

      • Hanson used only 12 years to predict catastrophic global warming back in 1988. 15 years should be OK now.

  17. Ari started an in depth review of whether Michael Mann used Tiljander’s proxies upside-down, but then when the conclusion became obvious, seemed to drop the subject.

  18. Eric Ollivet

    Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and Northern Hemisphereʼs climate variability

    Abstract :
    Proxy and instrumental records reflect a quasi-cyclic 50-to-80-year climate signal across the Northern Hemisphere, with particular presence in the North Atlantic. Modeling studies rationalize this variability in terms of intrinsic dynamics of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation influencing distribution of sea-surface-temperature anomalies in the Atlantic Ocean; hence the name Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). By analyzing a lagged covariance structure of a network of climate indices, this study details the AMO-signal propagation throughout the Northern Hemisphere via a sequence of atmospheric and lagged oceanic teleconnections, which the authors term the “stadium wave”. Initial changes in the North Atlantic temperature anomaly associated with AMO culminate in an oppositely signed hemispheric signal about 30 years later. Furthermore, shorter-term, interannual-to-interdecadal climate variability alters character according to polarity of the stadium-wave-induced prevailing hemispheric climate regime. Ongoing research suggests mutual interaction between shorter-term variability and the stadium wave, with indication of ensuing modifications of multidecadal variability within the Atlantic sector. Results presented here support the hypothesis that AMO plays a significant role in hemispheric and, by inference, global climate variability, with implications for climate-change attribution and prediction.

  19. Anyone who wants to see some fine examples of the illogicality of Ari Jokimaki’s thinking should visit this thread, where I had a 100 page argument with him over the course of a year or so. Some of it is quite funny. I posted there under a different screen name, same old avatar icon though.

    This page is a good example: