Week in Review 6/15/12

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

A score for the auditors

I suspect that most people who stop by here are aware of the drama surrounding the paper by Gergis et al. on an Australian hockey stick, and its withdrawal following critiques by Steve McIntyre and others.  Andy Revkin has a good recap, I find this remark to be particularly noteworthy:

Indeed, this is an increasingly normal part of science these days. While the blogosphere comes with lots of noise, it also is providing a second level of review — after the initial round of closed peer review during the publication process — that in the end is making tough, emerging fields of science better than they would otherwise be.

Kudos to Steve McIntyre and others that were involved in auditing this paper.

Richard Muller interviews

kqed.blogs has two recent interviews with Richard Muller:

Some interesting comments about their funding from the Koch brothers:

CM: The temperature study was at least partially funded by the Koch Brothers’ foundation. You must have known going in that that was going to be controversial.

RM: The foundation actually worried about that more than we did. They worried that our results would be looked at with a political light because of the fact that they had supported it. But they gave us an unrestricted educational grant and they made it clear to us that what they really wanted was to have the issue settled. They didn’t even indicate which side they hoped it would be settled on. My own suspicion is they don’t care. They just want this issue settled because it creates great uncertainty in future planning.

CM: So when your results ended up supporting the prevailing view that the climate was warming and you testified to that effect on Capitol Hill, did anyone from the Koch Foundation or any of your funders, or anyone from Washington come to you and express some disappointment or unhappiness with that?

RM: No, not at all. Just the opposite. They were delighted that we had come up with some solid results that we could defend scientifically.

Email indigestion

With regards to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP has requested emails from Woods Hole researchers who investigated the environmental impacts.  This has landed in the courts, and the scientists have been ordered to turn over their emails to BP.  Rick Piltz reports on this here.

Space Weather

An article in EOS:  White House and Agencies Focus on Space Weather Concerns. Excerpts:

“Space weather is a serious matter that can affect human economies around the world,” Tamara Dickinson, a senior policy analyst with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), told attendees at the 2012 Space Weather Enterprise Forum, held 5 June in Washington, D. C. With the 2013 solar maximum nearing, researchers and government agencies are focusing on how the greater solar activity could affect our increasingly technological society and what measures can be taken to help prevent or mitigate any threats to the electricity grid, GPS, and other potentially vulnerable technologies.

Earlier this year, Obama directed OSTP and the national security staff “to aggressively move forward with space weather mitigation efforts,” Dickinson said. Based on the president’s direction, she restructured OSTP’s Geomagnetic Interagency Working Group. “We are focusing on achievable, strategic implementation actions, at least initially focused on the [electricity] grid,” she said. 

Tamsin’s blog

Tamsin has a really good post up entitled “Limitless possibilities“, which is about uncertainties in climate models.  I think this is her best post so far, and the comments are well worth reading.  I’m pleased to see that several of the Denizens have migrated over there to make comments.

Cheering up the Dismal Theorem

You may recall the previous thread Uncertainty, risk and (in) action, where we discussed Martin Weitzman’s Dismal Theorem.    I provided my own arguments about why I thought the DT was not useful.  Now Ross McKitrick has a new paper out entitled Cheering up the dismal theorem.  Here is the abstract:

The Weitzman Dismal Theorem (DT) suggests agents today should be willing to pay an unbounded amount to insure against fat-tailed risks of catastrophes such as climate change. The DT has been criticized for its assumption that marginal utility (MU) goes to negative infinite faster than the rate at which the probability of catastrophe goes to zero, and for the absence of learning and optimal policy. Also, it has been pointed out that if transfers to future generations are non-infinitesimal, the insurance pricing kernel must be bounded from above , making the DT rather irrelevant in practice. Herein I present a more basic criticism of the DT having to do with its mathematical derivation. The structure of the model requires use of ln(C) as an approximate measure of the change in consumption in order to introduce an ex term and thereby put the pricing kernel into the form of a moment generating function. But ln(C) is an inaccurate approximation in the model’s own context. Use of the exact measure completely changes the pricing model such that the resulting insurance contract is plausibly small, and cannot be unbounded regardless of the distribution of the assumed climate sensitivity.

229 responses to “Week in Review 6/15/12

  1. Rob Bradley

    That sounds like the Koch Foundation to me–and Charles Koch himself. In the Science of Success (2009), he states:

    “We must constantly remind ourselves that just because we believe or want a thing to be true does not make it so.” (Page 30)

    “As . . . Richard Whately observed: ‘It is one thing to wish to have truth on our side, and another thing to wish sincerely to be on the side of truth.’” (Page 115)

    “Decisions should be made using economic and critical thinking, logic and evidence, rather than emotion or gut feeling . . . . [Moreover], style should never take precedence over substance.” (Page 117)

    • There is nothing “right-wing” nor “left-wing” in this particular topic, Rob. The real danger is not global climate change, nor the dominance of “right-wing” or “left-wing” politics.

      The real danger is the emergence of a world-wide Orwellian society without the safeguards that the constitutions provided the citizens of each country before those countries were merged together.

      The loss of access to reliable information in “1984”


      “Capitalists” and “communists” have secretly worked together in an uneasy truce* to “save the world” (and themselves) out of fear of the “nuclear fires” ignited by the energy (E) stored as mass (m) in “cores” of uranium atoms on 6 Aug 1945 (06081945) and in “cores” of plutonium atoms on 9 Aug 1945 (09081945), respectively.

      06081945: Cores of uranium atoms destroyed Hiroshima
      09081945: Cores of plutonium atoms destroyed Nagasaki
      24101945: The UN was established to “save the world”
      06041946 Cores of stars make other elements from H [1]**
      06011947: Cores of stars became H instead of Fe [2]**

      Here’s the rest of the story: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-105


      *The 1945 truce was
      a.) Severely strained in:
      1951 General McArthur wanted A-bombs to stop Chinese in Korea
      1957 The USSR launched Sputnik I and II; The US had no rockets
      1961 John Kennedy announced Apollo Program to overtake USSR
      1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis threatened to undo the 1945 truce

      *The 1945 truce was
      b.) Re-established in:
      1971 Henry Kissinger went to China; Agreed to end Apollo Program

      **The dates received for the two manuscripts by Fred Hoyle are inconsistent with both page sequence and the 1946 publication date.


      1. Fred Hoyle, “The synthesis of the elements from hydrogen,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 343-83 (1946). http://tinyurl.com/8aal4oy (Received 6 Apr 1946)

      2. Fred Hoyle, “The chemical composition of the stars,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 255-59 (1946).
      http://tinyurl.com/6uhm4xv (Received 6 Jan 1947)

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

  2. Muller says:

    CM: “Do you agree with the UN’s climate panel that the majority of the warming going on is being caused by human activity, burning fossil fuels?”

    RM: “We haven’t yet finished our work on the human component of this. It looks to me like we will be in agreement with that [Muller says he’ll be publishing his conclusions in the next few weeks].”

    The proverbial second shoe. Have to hand it to him, he’s positioned himself beautifully as a a skeptic who’s now seen the light. You can bet there’ll be much congratulatory back slapping among the faithful, along with a banner headline in the NYT’s.

    Can’t wait.

    • If this turns out to be the case– that Muller moves to being a “skeptic who’s now seen the light”, then he should be applauded for his efforts, so long as his “seeing the light” is only taken to the point that he accepts anthropogenic warming as “provisionally true”, and thus keeps his skeptical toolkit always at the ready.

      • If Muller is or ever was a skeptic, it’s a straw-stuffed kind of skepticism. His sole claim to the title was his YouTube rant rejecting the Hokey Schtick.

        IAC, it will be fascinating to compare his dilatory published “conclusions” with his premature Congressional ejaculations.

      • Steven Mosher

        check the bibliography before you go off half stupid

  3. The idea that somebody has concocted and some other people still believe to find something useful in the obviously-inhumane DT, makes me eager to take up citizenship of a different planet.

  4. “The author of two books worth of science advice ‘for future presidents’ now concedes that ‘global warming is real,’ but he remains skeptical about a lot of [other] things….”

    When did Muller ever claim global warming wasn’t real?

    Muller is skeptical in the same sense that Gavin Schmidt and denizen R. Gates here are skeptical. Skeptical as to lots of things, just not CAGW.

    • Denizen R. Gates is skeptical about every scientific theory, as they all, in a real sense, are models of reality and are therefore “wrong”. They are.maps of the territory. But maps can be useful even if they don’t duplicate every detail of reality. Scientists are the map makers, constantly upgrading the refining the maps– and sometimes even creating brand new ones and throwing the old ones out. We’ve created ipads and sent humans to the surface of the moon and craft to Mars based on these incomplete maps…so obviously they are complete enough to be quite useful.

      In regard to AGW and CAGW…I do take AGW (and that we have brought about the Anthropocene) to be “provisionally true”, though know it is still an incomplete map of what is happening to the climate, I do not, as of today, take CAGW to be “provisionally true”, as I’ve not yet seen enough evidence that AGW will become CAGW.

      • Gavin Schmidt would say the exact same thing in all likelihood, since he claims that the C in CAGW is not part of the consensus.

        But the proof of the skeptical pudding is in the eating of the skeptical stance on policy. And while Schmidt tries to be cagy, he has admitted in the past support for “remedies” like those proposed by that other noted skeptic, James Hansen. As, I suspect, do you.

      • Being prepared to change one’s mind hardly makes one a skeptic. To be skeptical means not accepting the proposition in question. You folks are trying to steal the word via a rhetorical semantic trick. It does not work.

        Also, the claim that climate skeptics are somehow not prepared to change their minds is empirically unfounded. In fact it is probably untestable.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Respectfully, I disagree. It is quite in keeping with the true meaning of skepticism in the scientific sense to remain skeptical about all “hunches”, conjecture, hypotheses, and theories, even if you accept some of them as “provisionally” true. Provisionally is the key here as you always retain that skeptical core– meaning you are always looking for data that would refute the “hunch”, conjecture, hypotheses, or theory. Thus, is is quite accurate to describe myself as a Skeptical Warmist, meaning that in looking at all data and all the theory behind that data I accept anthropogenic global warming as provisionally true and am constantly looking for data that would refute AGW.

        Finally, I am sure that it bothers some True Believer “skeptics” that there could be “unpure” ones among the ranks, just as it might bother some True Believer warmists that there could be those, like myself, who are only willing to accept AGW as provisionally true. But I would argue that it is we “unpure” ones who represent the true spirit and core of scientific advancement. We must always be willing to modify or let go of old theories, and even more to the point, to be constantly searching and putting a priority on finding the data that allows us to do so.

      • R. Gates is just following the rest of the herd of CAGW sheep. Take an innocuous term, say “climate change,” and assign it different meanings. One the normal English definition, the other a “term of art.”
        Climate change means just simple change in climate when you want it to, or CAGW when you prefer. That way, you can say “skeptics deny climate change,” without quite being a bald faced liar (in your own mind at least). To the public, it sounds like those stupid skeptics think the climate stays the same all the time. “How can they think climate doesn’t change.” But when challenged by someone knowledgeable about the debate, well obviously you meant the ” consensus.”

        So too with “skeptic.” CAGWers like R. GAtes have long used “skeptic” as a term of art, or term of insult if you will. It meant those who “denied climate change.” Now they try to use the term to describe themselves, using it in its normal definitional sense.

        This is why it is important to fight back against the Owellization of the language by the left. Including their constant attempts to redefine “conservative,” which reared its ugly head on a different thread. When skeptics and conservatives cede control of the language to these activists, they allow them to muddle the debate so the public doesn’t know what they really are trying to do.

        R. Gates is a CAGW proponent, a full fledged member of the Church of the Consensus. There is not a hair’s breadth of distance between the positions he takes here and those of James Hansen or Gavin Schmidt. He may well be a skeptic in the normal sense of the word before he and his fellow travelers bastardized the word in the climate debate. But he is no skeptic in the sense that term m is used here and on other climate blogs.

        Next he will be claiming that he too is a denier…because he denies that vanilla is better than chocolate.

      • Gary;
        Hear! Hear! The artful on-again off-again use of “terms of art” is one of the characteristics of the Schmidts and Gates’ that for me forever puts them beyond the pale. It is smarmily dishonest, to the roots. It makes reading their prose distasteful in the extreme.

        A Pox on both their houses. (Muller is included, as he is a paid-up tenant).

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Gary M,

        Funny that you would talk so strongly about twisting of terms, and decide to twist my own words by adding the C in front of the AGW. Many people on this blog do accept that some level of AGW is occurring certainly see that trick immediately and I think resent it highly. There is a very big difference between accepting AGW as provisionally true, and being a believer in CAGW.

        But back to the issue of being skeptical about AGW versus being of a skeptical mindset in general versus being a “denier” versus being a true believing “warmist” etc. I think we all should strive for clarity in our positions and in understanding others positions on issues. With the right spirit behind it, this can only serve to further the cause of open dialog.

        One can be a Skeptic but accept as provisionally true that some level of AGW is occurring. (my personal position)

        One can be a Skeptic and be skeptical that any level of AGW is occurring.

        One can a Skeptic and accept as provisionally true that CAGW will occur should we fail to act soon.

        One can be a true believer warmist and accept without reservation that CAGW will occur and we’re likely all doomed.

        One can be a denier, and accept without reservation that neither AGW nor certainly CAGW could ever occur as humans are to insignificant a force on such as large planet etc. etc. etc.

        Thus, as I stated in a previous post, the true-believer warmist and the AGW denier are really of the same psychological type…as they accept their positions without question and no rational argument will alter it. Both the true-believer warmist and the AGW denier give their respective groups a bad reputation as these extreme positions tend to bark the loudest and get all the attention.

      • “One can a Skeptic and accept as provisionally true that CAGW will occur should we fail to act soon.

        One can be a true believer warmist and accept without reservation that CAGW will occur and we’re likely all doomed.”

        Thank you for demonstrating my point with blinding clarity.

        In the policy debate, the one that matters, the one probably 98% of the readers and commenters on blogs are interested in, there is no difference at all between those two “positions.” Both require mitigation, both require it now, and both require that that mitigation be done by governmental directive.

        I strongly suspect that Gavin Schmidt and James Hansen would claim that they hold the first position, as you do. In fact, I have read comments by Schmidt elsewhere to that effect. (Probably where you got it.)

        CAGW wolves in sheep’s semantic clothing.

        Well, after November 6, 2012, I fully expect the wolves to be defanged. In large part because they keep thinking that their only problem is reframing their issue. Which is what your new found affinity for “skepticism” is all about. So personally, I prefer that you go right ahead with your dissembling. It is helping my side in the political debate no end.

        I think it is provisionally true that you are full of BS. But I could be proved wrong. All you have to do is come out strongly against carbon taxes, cap and trade, and any other means of decarbonizing the economy; because, after all, you are skeptical about how much fossil fuel use is warming the climate.

        It may not surprise you that I won’t hold my breath waiting.

      • Steven Mosher

        You need to be prepared to change your mind about the meaning of skeptic.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Should we go back and alter David Hume’s writings as well?

      • John Carpenter

        R Gates, largely what you say is a good skeptical view point, except I don’t agree we are in a new geologic era called ‘Anthropocene’, that’s a little high handed for arguably only a few centuries where we have made any real, maybe climate impact. Anthropocene has not been declared AFAIK.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)


        I agree that the term Anthropocene is a bit untested and certainly controversial. I have only fairly recently come to accept the term and the notion as provisionally true, and it had nothing to do with anthropogenic global warming. A geologist friend of mine, who also recently starting using the term pointed out to me the changes that humans are making to the lithosphere, such that, through our mining, soil erosion from farming practices, large dam construction across some of the biggest rivers on the planet etc., that that a geologist looking at ocean sediment and other deposit 10,000 or 100,000 years from now could clearly identify a strata layer or signficant change that began approximately around the time that the industrial revolution really got cranking. This strata layer will contain trace chemicals, balances of minerals, etc. that will be unlike anything before it. So, even separate from what we may or may not be doing to change the climate, the evidence of the existence of the Anthropocene from changes in the lithosphere tipped the scale for me to accept the concept as provisionally true. Other non-climate changes of course include changes to ocean ph and vast changes that human activity is making to the biosphere of both ocean and land.

        Of course, I completely respect anyone’s decision that the weight of evidence for them does amount to being enough to accept the notion of the Anthropocene as provisionally true.

      • It is an interesting subject to me. I also would subscribe to Anthropocene as the successor to the Holocene, which is the epoch since the last ice age, because it will be distinct from previous interglacials in its eventual warmth. Note also that the level above epoch is period, and we are currently in the Quaternary period marked by occasional ice ages. An argument could be made that we now have enough CO2 in the atmosphere that this period is also over, because it already easily exceeds the CO2 prior to the start of the ice ages, and there may be no more ice ages. Perhaps it is the Quinary period already. The next level above period is era, and we have been in the Cenozoic since the end of the Cretaceous period in the Mesoszoic era and the meteor strike that caused mass extinction. We would only enter a new era with mass extinction.

      • John Carpenter

        Sounds a bit like a human signature layer, our own K-T layer. If the layer of Iridium that is the signature of the K-T layer was due to a large asteroid or a comet, that triggered a very fast climate change on the order of a few years from that impact. A very clear mass extinction resulted due to that abrupt event. So huge it defined a change of Era, Period, and Epoch. I would argue we are not having that level of impact yet, but we have the potential to change an ‘age’, not by changing climate, but by changing habitat. Perhaps there will be an Anthropocene, but we are too close to the transition to see it, IMO. These are geological timescale events, are we really changing the planet today in a way that will be notable on a geologic time scale? Don’t know, can’t know…. Need to check back in a few million years, that is the timescale for an Epoch, which is the Halocene we are currently in. Perhaps you a thinking of an ‘age’?

      • I am quite sure that at least the ocean sediment would show the effects of acidification on the types of calcium deposits that usually make it up.

      • Dave Springer

        You think you’ll ever be able to write a paragraph without using the phrase “provisionally true” again and if so when might that be?

        Seriously dude, invest in a thesaurus. You appear more ridiculous with every utterance of “provisionally true”. Did one of your butt buddies on “The Team” use the term and you must now by virtue of being a superhero sidekick do your best to get the term into common usage? Sort of like “climate change” became popular through endless repetition? Do tell.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        A bit testy, aren’t you David? Actually, it was some research I was doing on Neutron stars and the writings of Jocelyn Bell that led me to the term. That, and my re-reading of Taleb’s The Black Swan (which I hope everyone on this blog has read at least once). Adding the adjective “provisionally” before accepting any scientific theory reminds me that they I a Skeptic first and foremost. I hope David Hume would approve…

        I think my current change of moniker reflects a bit of growth I’ve had in helping me to focus in communicating my position on AGW. Mind you, my position hasn’t changed, just my attempts at communicating it. Sorry the term “provisionally true” bothers you so much. Talk to Jocelyn Bell about it. I think it’s excellent, and is much better than constantly saying “I think it’s more likely than not that AGW is occurring.”

        If you want to suggest an synonym I’d be glad to entertain it, but “conditionally” or “temporarily” or “interim” don’t quite do it for me.

    • The morphing of terms is one of the big problems AGW has inflicted on us.
      So what if the climate is changing? Always has, always will.
      Is it changing dangerously? That is the only question worth asking.
      Did Muller actually believe the climate was not changing? That seems the case, from the quote.

      • “Is it changing dangerously? That is the only question worth asking.”

        Recently, it has not, nor is now.
        Warming has been good news, and is good news now.
        Something like Venus is not possible.
        And In regards tonear term, if we were on Venus, it would take a long time to be Venus.
        Earth is much different than Venus.
        Venus at Earth distance from the Sun, *could be* much different
        than Venus. In terms of long term processes, a major difference
        between Earth and Venus is apparently Venus lacks plate tectonic
        Plate tectonic is a major part of the story of Earth. It is interesting that not too long ago, we didn’t even know Earth had tectonic plate movement.
        The lack of plate tectonic on Venus, makes it a different species of planet.
        People are commonly under the impression that we have been to the Moon AND that the Moon has been explored.
        Moon has been explored more than any body other than Earth in this solar system- but we know very little about the Moon. And Venus is much worse in this regard.
        Human history is a good way to understand the present and future of Human civilization. The history the planet Earth, is good way to understand earth as it is presently, and at some idea of where going in next few thousand years.
        The history of earth indicates that in terms ages being tens of millions of year long, we are in an Ice Age. In briefer time period, we are in a warmer part of time in this Ice Age.
        The *least* worry in term global earth climate, would be the earth getting warmer.
        It’s an absurd fear.
        Particularly if one worried about the planet- which which sort like worrying about the Terminator being hurt in a girly pillow fight.
        In seems the only time one get “sudden” warming isn’t due to climate process and/or it is has to do with being a glacial period.
        A glacial period is in simple terms, a build up of snow.
        If there was a fairly small change in terms of cooling temperature and with rain being instead snow fall, within a century one can be buried in snow. A perfect example of this was the Little Ice Age.

        With couple different relatively small variables, cooler, more snow fall, OR period of cooling being longer [lasting centuries longer than it did].
        It’s possible that the Little Ice Age could been the being of a glacial period.
        What happens is the mountain invade the lower lands with snow, cooling the low lands and low land can then have more snow fall. If low land are warm enough, then instead snow it’s rain, assaulting the mountain glacial invasion.
        Or if lots rainy weather in winter- the rain could be snow at higher elevation. lots rain in summer, it need to much higher elevation or rain destroys the snow pack. When it rains could more important than average yearly temperature.
        So there is a runaway affect in regards snow if it lasts the entire year and builds up. But obviously there must be factors which limit this “runaway” effect.
        One factor probably some mechanism of reducing rain fall.
        Any runaway, can go in reverse, if runaways in terms of getting cooler, it can also runaway in terms of warming.
        Therefore there is a mechanism for sudden warming if one is talking about during glacial period. Which could be related to seasonal pattern of rainfall, and amount of rainfall.

      • Dave Springer

        Venus has an essentially uniform surface temperature across the entire planet; day-side, night-side, equator, or pole makes no difference . Real earth-like. /sarc

        What we are seeing on Venus is a planet with an atmosphere so thick and so insulative that the internal heat of the planet, the geothermal gradient rate from molten core to surface, extends beyond the surface into the lower atmosphere. On the earth the geothermal gradient ends at the top of the crust and surface temperature is a tail wagged by the magnitude of insolation reaching the surface. On Venus the surface is darker than a moonless night round the clock. No insolation makes it to the surface and its temperature is determined instead by the interior heat of the planet which is of course the same everywhere at the same distance from the center.

      • “What we are seeing on Venus is a planet with an atmosphere so thick and so insulative that the internal heat of the planet, the geothermal gradient rate from molten core to surface, extends beyond the surface into the lower atmosphere. ”

        I think there could an hypothesis that Venus high temperature is due the Insulative nature of it’s atmosphere. And that the reason it’s temperature
        and higher then that what would be indicated by some radiant blackbody calculation is that the higher temperature is related heat generated from interior of the planet.
        So similar earth temperature a few miles below surface being hot- the miles of rock is insulating or inhibiting the generated interior heat from radiating into space.
        But I don’t think that Venus high temperature is unrelated to the energy it receives from the sun. And the interior heat generated very small- smaller than earth’s geothermal earth.
        So Venus at mars distance if given enough time could get a cold as Mars, but it would take a long time for a hot Venus to cool to a cool
        Mars. And long time is on order of centuries. And the rate of cooling would be disrupted at point in which liquid CO2 begins forming on the Venus surface.
        If Venus had nitrogen gas atmosphere replacing the 92 atm CO2
        there would not point in cooling where nitrogen becomes a liquid.
        And 92 atm of nitrogen should as hot at Venus distance as the CO2 is.

        Any gas on any planet has an insulative property, but if Venus had only had 1/10th of it’s atmosphere less than 10 atm it would quite different,
        it’s nite side would cool and probably rain CO2.
        If Venius atmosphere was 10 times larger [920 atm] it’s surface temperature would much hotter. Such an atmosphere would be more insullative in regards to Venus internal heat

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)


        I agree that defining the term “climate change” to only mean change caused by humans is quite unhelpful. It is unhelpful for many reasons. First, there is some underlying assumption made by many that this is now another word term for anthropogenic warming, such that we forget that there is also the potential for anthropogenic cooling, which would also of course be climate change. But more importantly, by unsurping the term climate change to only mean anthropogenic it obscures the obvious the fact that the climate is always changing by many other non-anthroopogenic factors as well.

        To be most clear, the best practice is to always use an adjective before the term climate change when speaking about climate change in a general sense…thus anthropogenic climate change is always most preferable. To be most accurate however, one should even be specfic about what exactly is causing the change and what direction the change or forcing is taking the climate. Thus, for example, the phrase “anthropogenic aerosol induced global cooling” is quite descriptive. Unfortunately, this is a bit too scientific sounding for the average “bloke at the tavern” to be throwing around (unless they want to getting into a lot of fights). However, at least adding an adjective before the term “climate change” is something everyone can practice with relative impunity or fear of losing the average audience.

      • Mr. Oxymoron;
        your last sentence is saying opposite things; I’m sure that’s such SOP for you that you didn’t notice. Clue: “impunity” means freedom from unwanted consequences.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Brian H.,

        Thanks for the grammar lesson, but I meant exactly what I wrote. It followed directly from the sentence immediately before with the point being that if you were to use the term “anthropogenic climate change” it might get you into less fights at a bar than if you went around using the term “anthropogenic aerosol induced global cooling”. Now, both might get you into fights, but perhaps the first one would get you into less fights…hence my use of the term “relative impunity”. Also, thanks for your suggestion of “Mr. Oxymoron” as my moniker, but I’ll stick with The Skeptical Warmist for now (though it may not give me any more relative impunity from getting into fights…)

  5. Dr. Curry,

    Re Revkin (and Karoly’s) “Indeed, this is an increasingly normal part of science” … As I have noted elsewhere …

    The part that really annoyed me about Revkin’s post was:

    Over the weekend, I got in touch with David Karoly, one of the paper’s authors and a longtime contact on climate science, to confirm the accuracy of a post by McIntyre quoting him. [emphasis added -hro]

    I would be inclined to give Revkin the benefit of the doubt had he also contacted Steve to get the “backstory” on this. Frankly, I found it quite insulting that Revkin should have felt it necessary to contact Karoly in order to “confirm” the content of the E-mail Steve had posted.

    What “confirmation” did Revkin seek (and from whom) before he did his part in propagating the “message” in Gleick’s dishonest Valentines Day Mashup?

    And, come to think of it … what “confirmation” – or evidence – did Revkin ever seek before publishing Gavin’s ever-changing story regarding the alleged “upload” [and four now-you-don’t-see-em, now-you-do, now-you-don’t alleged “downloads”] at RC, circa Nov. 17, 2009?

    Some other questions Revkin might have asked Karoly about this “normal part of science”:

    Is it a “normal part of science” that five authors would append their names to a paper without any of them verifying the validity of the text and the underlying data and methods prior to submission to a journal?

    Is it a “normal part of science” that – when requested to provide details which would facilitate replication – an author would say (as Gergis did):

    This list allows any researcher who wants to access non publically available records to follow the appropriate protocol of contacting the original authors to obtain the necessary permission to use the record, take the time needed to process the data into a format suitable for data analysis etc, just as we have done. This is commonly referred to as ‘research’.
    We will not be entertaining any further correspondence on the matter.

    Or is it a “normal part of science journalism” that one simply does not ask such inconvenient questions?

    And to add injury to insult, so to speak, I see that Revkin has lived down to my expectations by choosing to let Steve McIntyre’s lengthy response get buried in the comments. He did not even have the courtesy to acknowledge it via update to his post.

    I am increasingly leaning towards the conclusion that when the history of these sorry years in science (and science journalism) is written, Andrew Revkin will have earned himself the right to be dubbed ‘the Albert Speer* of climate science’.

    *See: Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth by Gitta Sereny. 1996 Vintage Books ISBN: 0-679-76812-2

    Hilary [stepping down from soapbox!]

    P.S. Speaking of Richard Muller and BEST … have you received any update(s) on the current status of the four papers that were submitted last October “in time for inclusion in AR5”?!

    • He says his next report is weeks from completion. I assume that means oceans. His hint is the prior GMT work of scientists is likely affirmed.

      We will soon know, though most already did.

    • “I would be inclined to give Revkin the benefit of the doubt had he also contacted Steve to get the “backstory” on this. Frankly, I found it quite insulting that Revkin should have felt it necessary to contact Karoly in order to “confirm” the content of the E-mail Steve had posted.”

      This is standard journalism, and I mean good standard Journalism, rather average standard Journalism.
      It’s getting a response to a challenge. Steve has said what he said, it’s a good reporter who insist on reply to this challenge. There is no need to get a response from Steve.

    • Especially since Revkin does not bother to check veracity of e-mails when they allegedly show bad things about those whom he does not like.

  6. I’m reminded of the conversations here last year about Richard Muller and that he can be something of a loose canon in his remarks. I think a dozen different examples of his use of the word “skeptic” will reveal about a dozen different meanings, with scant awareness on his part that the meaning changes each time.

    He really could be saying absolutely anything at all – perhaps he is?

    It generates much comment though! :)

    • Anteros,

      I recall those conversation well and continue to agree he seems quite semantically challenged. But he’s also clearly adept at self-promotion, so who knows if his verbal miscues aren’t somehow calculated.

      • I doubt his miscues are calculated. He throws out ideas and most of them make sense. When he agrees with AGW he is just honest, but I am pretty sure he knows that, black carbon, land use and general pollution are equally or more serious than CO2.

    • Richard Muller seems like he would be an enjoyable teacher.
      Makes his points clear, and allows debate.
      And most importantly he is upbeat and interested.
      A classic liberal.

  7. The Koch Foundation founds a lot of medical research, with Prostate Cancer one of their targets. Anyone think the drug designers/biomedicals slant their statistics to make things look more rosy?
    One way or another all scientists are all whores, we take other peoples money so we can play. The only real question is if the play is productive or not.

    • ahhh! you got me reminiscing about my whoring scientist days, happy times.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      I think “whores” is the wrong metaphor for scientists. I understand what you’re trying to say, but whores don’t take your money so they can play, but take your money so you can play– thus you actually get something for your money. I think lowering the status of the noble occupation of prostitution to one of thievery is a huge knock on prostitutes everywhere.

  8. Revkin may patronisingly praise the blogosphere for it’s role in backstop peer reviewing, while ignoring (1) all the critiques of Mann’s work that SteveM and others have rigorously produced (2) the initial attitude of Gergis to SteveM’s attempt to review the work before the attitude changed to “thanks – and, oh, and we’d already caught the error”, and (3) the miserable failure of peer review itself to find the problem.

    It wasn’t much of a thankyou from Revkin after all.

  9. Sorry, but Woods Hole should have known about discovery before they got involved. Not being a lawyer, I’m not sure, but if the emails really have a good reason to be confidential, and really are relevant to the case, there are ways to admit them into evidence, and still keep them from the public.

    Sounds like a lot of crying about their ‘special’ status as scientists.

  10. David L. Hagen

    I found Alan Carlin new web site. He continues to compile and present economic and scientific information relating to climate change. e.g. his Presentation on EPA’s Proposed Carbon “Pollution” Standard for New Power Plants
    From Carlin’s 2011 paper:

    * The economic benefits of reducing CO2 emissions may be about two orders of magnitude less than those estimated by most economists because the climate sensitivity factor (CSF) is much lower than assumed by the United Nations because feedback is negative rather than positive and the effects of CO2 emissions reductions on atmospheric CO2 appear to be short rather than long lasting.
    * The costs of CO2 emissions reductions are very much higher than usually estimated because of technological and implementation problems recently identified.
    * CO2 emissions reductions are economically unattractive since the very modest benefits remaining after the corrections for the above effects are quite unlikely to economically justify the much higher costs unless much lower cost geoengineering is used.. . .
    * The risk of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming appears to be so low that it is not currently worth doing anything to try to control it, including geoengineering.

    He calculates the Correlation (Pearson Coefficient) and Correlation Strength (R2) for temperature vs:
    Carbon Dioxide 1895-2007 PC 0.66; R2 0.43
    Total solar irradiance 1900-2004 PC 0.76; R2 0.57
    Ocean warming index (PDO & AMO) PC 0.92; R2 0.85
    Carbon Dioxide 1998-2007 PC -0.14; R2 0.02

    Note Ocean warming > TSI > CO2 long >> CO2 short; Negative correlations vs CO2 for 9 years!
    See Table 1 sect 2.4.1 p 20/47. A Multidisciplinary, Science-Based Approach to the Economics of Climate Change; Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 985-1031; doi:10.3390/ijerph8040985

    PS For background see RELEASED The censored EPA CO2 endangerment document – final report 2009
    Congratulations to Alan Carlin on vindication

  11. Snark was a dual purpose pleasure craft, in her time…


    Keep our eyes up & out at all times please.

  12. Not that there is anything wrong with it…


    but what do you think?

    • Globalism, properly implemented, is one of the best things we have done to alleviate poverty and increase wealth and prosperity worldwide.
      You are right: there is nothing wrong with it.

  13. David L. Hagen

    Roger Pielke Sr. argued for: The Need For Precise Definitions In Climate Science – The Misuse Of The Terminology “Climate Change”.

    Jo Nova in response found: The UN defines “climate change” as being man-made: Orwell could not have done it better

    on May 9th 1992, UN defined “climate change” as man-made. See The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, (paragraph 6):

    “Climate change is defined by the Convention as “change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods” (article 1 (2)).”

    That founded the corruption of Climate science and the self perpetuating gravy train funding and consequent “alarming” findings. See: I Was On the Global Warming Gravy Train, David Evans

    I find that scientifically this definition is a rhetorical equivocation or subterfuge.

    • Ah the conspiracy theorists are out in full force I see. Word definitions made by the UN can’t possibly have been coined for practical reasons as simple descriptors within a scope. No, they must be a trick by lizard people to redefine reality through the use of word!

      Things which contradict The Conspiracy must of course be ignored:
      “Climate change in IPCC usage refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.”

  14. Today it is everywhere we look; more gravy. We were told this was our future and it is too…


    but what do we think about it now?

  15. Both camps are right. From 1905 to 1940 average global temperature in the atmosphere rose 0.45C. The only possible cause was CO2 and that was man-made CO2. It stopped dramatically in 1940. Why? Because in 1940 all the heat in the that narrow resonant band of CO2 was being soaked up in the atmosphere. That meant that any further increment of heat from the earth in that crucial band would escape harmlessly into space. That is 100% absorption. Of course some of this narrow band heat would be re radiated but could not be absorbed in the atmosphere. Since 2/3 of the earth is covered by ocean, it will have a major effect on climate and the 1905-1940 heat would work its slow way through the oceans, mostly in deep ocean currents. This process was almost completed by 2000 as there has been little increase tn temperature since then.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      A dubious notion Mr. Biggs. At least some of the cooling in the 1940-1970 timeframe had do with another form of anthropogenic climate change…that of cooling from all the aerosols being pumped into the atmosphere from the WW2 and post war rapid industrialization. It is not completely coincindental that after the Clean Air Act of 1970 that temperatures slowly began to turn around as less human aersols were being emitted, but the shift on the Pacific ocean to more frequent El Niño events also put more net heat into the atmosphere.

      • Skeptical Warmist thank you for your reply. 1940 was the year a really rapid fall in global atmospheric temperature started. Such a rapid fall from an equally rapid rise would have required a huge increase in aerosols. No such increase in aerosols has been reported for 1940. For aerosols to be credible as major global climate determinants we would need to know a lot more about them. For example, we would need to know in which bands they work: opticak or infra-red? I find it difficult to believe fine soot particles from old or overloaded diesel engines would work in the 14 – 15 micron region of the infra-red. Far more likely they would affect the optical nm bands. If that happened the Sun would be darkened globally but that has not been reported. So were did the aerosols come from?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Mr. Biggs,

        Human industrial activity and other uses of fossil fuels would be the primary anthropogenic sources of sulfur based aerosols. See:


        Mind you, I’m not suggesting that all the cooling from 1940 to 1970’s was anthropogenic, as certainly there were natural cyclical factors at play as well, but anthropogenic aerosols certainly played an important role, and as the United States was the primary source of those aerosols at the time, the introduction of the Clean Air Act in 1970 played a role in a significant reduction in global anthropogenic aerosol emissions. In the research linked above you can see a graph that shows the leveling and decline of global anthropogenic aerosols about the time of the introduction of the Clean Air Act.

  16. Environmentalism and Green’s Ideology in a nutshell => Save the planet, kill yourself!

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      That would be a bit extreme. I rather like Theodore Rozak’s more positive spin…Save the planet and save yourself. Or, said another way, what’s good for the planet is good for humanity. The best way forward is always a win-win.

  17. maksimovich

    “Space weather is a serious matter that can affect human economies around the world,”

    Interesting assumptions from Schrijever on the cost of SW to the economy (not on singularities) eg

    The economic impact of space weather on the US economy likely exceeds $3 billion per year. Compare that to the oft-cited Hydro-Quebec blackout in March, 1989, with an estimated impact of $2 billion.

    • Careful. “Space weather” is just a gateway drug to “space climate”.

      • To think it used to be mothers milk.

      • This did not take long…


        for scientists. WHO knew?

      • maksimovich

        “Space weather”is a mechanism for perturbing surface climate eg Cailsto 2012.

        The qualitative agreement of our results, modeled with the 3-D CCM SOCOL, for the changes in NOx, ozone, temperature and dynamics, with those obtained by Thomas et al. (2007) and Jackman et al. (2007), corroborates the finding that solar proton events of this strength have intense atmospheric interactions in a broad altitude range starting
        5 from 80 km down to 30 km, with repercussions for surface air temperature. The latter range from a cooling of up to 5 K in Eastern Europe and Russia to a somewhat smaller decrease of about 3K for the Southern Hemisphere in Argentina. Therefore it is important to analyze the impact of energetic particles with a 3-D CCM to ensure that the
        dynamical and transport aspects are properly taken into account.


  18. Last time Muller showed up in the news he demonstrated conclusively that he was dumb as a rock. What’s changed?

    • The greatest fear of all schoolteachers is to be asleep when truth happens. It’s time to wake up now. Time to milk the cows. Tofu doesn’t grow on trees you know. The more educated you are the more skeptical you are about global warming alarmists’ claims. How do we know this? We have a just published study by the US National Science Foundation.

      The study demonstrates that if you want to be effective in stampeding the lemmings the old memes of rivers running red simply do not work anymore. In the 21st century those who are the most educated understand that global warming alarmism is all hype. The more more facts they are give the more skeptical they become of global warming alarmists’ claims. The challenge is that the schoolteachers must invent new lies. But there isa bigger problem:

      Education or the lack of it does not change the facts. Global Warming is Nothing but a Hoax and a Scare Tactic.


      • Wags,

        Trying to keep the scope narrow and limited simply to what Muller wrote and said the last time he got in the news. He was exposed as a fool. I don’t care how many degrees or how high his test scores. No intelligent person does what he did then. He shredded his own credibility.

  19. I noticed Rick Piltz gets a mention in the week in review. I am reminded that it was 7 years ago this month that Piltz whistle-blew on the Bush administration for deleting global warming details from government climate science reports. In particular Piltz exposed the role of Phil Cooney who edited government documents on climate change to create scientific uncertainty. Cooney then resigned and within a short time took a job with Exxon-Mobil. Cooney was originally a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, from which Bush decided Cooney had the perfect qualifications as chief of staff of the Council on Environmental Quality.

    I remember seeing the documents that Cooney marked up and deciding what a jerk the guy was.

    How quick people forget the real shenanigans and how long the anti-science element has been a part of the bureaucracy.


    Now comes the moment of verification and truth: testing the theory back against protocol experience to establish its validity. If it is not a trivial theory, it suggests the existence of unknown facts which can be verified by further experiment. An expedition may go to Africa to watch an eclipse and find out if starlight really does bend relatively as it passes the edge of the sun. After a Maxwell and his theory of electro-magnetism come a Hertz looking for radio waves and a Marconi building a radio set. If the theoretical predictions do not fit in with observable facts (http://bit.ly/JPvWx1), then the theorist (Hansen) has to forget his disappointment and start all over again. This is the stern discipline which keeps science sound and rigorously honest.

    Note that CO2 emission growth rate since 1980s is 1.84% (http://bit.ly/P1dXaB), which is greater than the 1.5% for Scenario A of Hansen et al.

  21. A score for the auditors

    I suspect that most people who stop by here are aware of the drama surrounding the paper by Gergis et al. on an Australian hockey stick, and its withdrawal following critiques by Steve McIntyre and others

    1000 years of climate data points to a warming Australia

    Updated May 17, 2012 08:50:00

    The most comprehensive study ever done of climate in the last millennium found the last 50 years in Australia have been the warmest. Scientists from Melbourne university used 27 different types of natural data to come to their conclusions.

    RADIO => http://bit.ly/KuKNBa (Alarmists Broadcasting Corporation, ABC)

    No comment by ABC of the retraction!

  22. Dr. Curry,
    What do you think of the AGW believers in academia getting long-term professors and instructors fired for disagreeing with their consensus?

    • Joe's World

      A normal political AGW scare tactic to keep that consensus in line.

    • Example?

      Is this similar to how creationists claim professors get fired if they tell their students the Earth is 6000 years old?

      And so they should.

  23. Beth Cooper

    BEST temperature data here:


    Comparisons of satellite and other global land temperatures show BEST noticeably warmer. Check out Wood for the Trees land temperature data in the post, the BEST warming trend of 2.79 degrees century compared to lower trends of other data. See John Daly set of historical temperature graphs which is also included.This temperature data, NASA, GISS, CRU, shows long term, mainly rural stations, ( less UHI effect,) in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They show no warming for the 20th century and in some cases cooling..

  24. As A scientist (PhD) I can assuredly say warming is not significant
    BESTS work is drivel based on rerereadjusted data from GISS, HADcrut etc who have proven to be mostly fraudsters please refer to climategate

    • “As A scientist (PhD) I can assuredly say warming is not significant”

      You’d be wrong then

      “BESTS work is drivel based on rerereadjusted data from GISS, HADcrut etc”

      Wrong again.

      • lolwot –
        Your adducing a graph to represent ‘significant’ is as unconvincing as it is witless.

        ‘Significant’ is a subjective judgement and as such can have zero truth-value.
        You would have been better to say ‘I disagree’, because that is the best logic will ever allow you to do.

        One person’s significant is another person’s irrelevant.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Respectfully Mariana, thousands of other PhD’s will disagree with you. Your use of the word “assuredly” seems especially telling and perhaps not entirely neutral on this issue.

      At any rate, the long-term data taken across all spheres of the planet (atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere) would tend to suggest that the global warming we’ve seen since about the mid-20th century is significant and much of it of anthropogenic origin.

    • Steven Mosher


      Berkeley Earth does not use data from GISS. If you have any questions about this please write to me and I can point you to the actual data and software that is freely available to prove to yourself that you don’t know what you are talking about. Second, “climategate” had nothing whatsoever to do with the surface measurement issues. If you have any questions about this please refer to the book we wrote about the mails.

    • Mariana, while I agree that warming due to CO2 is not significant, BEST, GISS and Hadcru products are quite adequate for their intended purpose. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how good data may be if you don’t know what to do with it :)

      Knowing what to do with it requires a more complete understanding of the thermodynamic involved which is likely way our host marches to a different tune.


    “I am going to discuss how you would look for a new law. In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it (students start to laugh and he told them not to laugh), then we compute the consequences of the guess to see if this law is right. Then we compare the consequence with observation to see if it works. If it disagrees with the experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key of Science. It does not make a difference how beautiful your guess is, it does not matter how smart you are, it does not matter whose name is who made the guess, if it disagrees with experiment, wrong. That is all there is to it.”


    IPCC’s Guess => http://bit.ly/HnYPQf

  26. Joe's World


    A little eerie to see our apple trees with absolutely no apples in a vast area of Ontario.
    Would not our “scientists” know what chemical compounds that trigger our trees to blossom?

    • “A little eerie to see our apple trees with absolutely no apples in a vast area of Ontario.”

      This is going on deaf ears, but I bet what happened in Ontario is what happened in Michigan. Ontario had a record-breaking heat spell in early spring which triggered the blossoming of apple trees. However that heat spell was way too early and a normal cold period froze the buds, and the result was no apples for the rest of the year.


      • Joe's World

        Your right Web.
        Since this kind of process happens would you not think that the chemical trigger to blossoming could be recreated and have the trees re-blossom?
        If we don’t look at surprises to our food chain, then we could be in a whole new world of hurt.
        Especially when prices go too high due to supply and demand shortages.

      • It’s called heat, Joe.

      • Web, when you did your guest post and got your energy saddle limited by the heat of fusion of water I mentioned there should be an upper evaporation limit to complete the saddle.

        Using the temperature of the freezing point of salt water I have set up a simple energy model for the salt water freezing point internal sink temperature. The heat of fusion provides a solid reference as long as there is reasonably constant internal energy (thermal mass).

        That model would shift as the volume of fresh ice/snow increased in thermal mass. 273.15 fresh sink temperature versus 271.25 salt sink temperature with 334J/gram energy at each temperature. which would cause shift in the high average SST. Pretty interesting, but hard to explain.

        The problem is defining the conditional equilibrium that is the basis for the model. http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/06/defining-moisture-boundary-layer.html

        I am not up on the proper jargon needed in defining a conditional steady state in a non-linear thermodynamic system. Perhaps you would take a look. Note: the assumption for steady state is only a large enough volume of salt/fresh water that the system can maintain liquid water and water vapor in a moisture envelope and that freezing of salt/fresh will occur at the moisture boundary. Also for setting the model up I assumed 294.25K as the “average” sea surface temperature.

  27. On 11 June ARCUS released the first foreecast for minimum sea ice extent in 2012.


    I think this illustrates all that is right in what I have been trying to say for some time. Models should be used to predict the future in a short time period, so that the validity of the models can be judged. Here we have forecasts being made from May data, with the results known by the end of September.

    One can only hope that the users of other models will take note of this, and emulate what ARCUS have been doing for several years. As time goes by, it should be possible to see whether any on the participants can, CONSISTENTLY, predict what the future holds. This is what validating models is all about. This is what the proponents of CAGW refuse to do.

    I am sure I am biased, but I hope Canadian Ice Services will be able to make another accurate forecast this year. If so, there will not be much to cheer up Mark “death spiral” Serreze.

    • That arctic sea ice death spiral:

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        That is an excellent graph lolwot, that I’ve only recently come across myself. Quite revealing. Thanks!

      • R Gates

        It shows a brief moment in time so hardly conclusive, but I agree that its an excellent graphic. It would be good to be able to present temperature information in a similar format.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)


        Human history is but a brief moment in time. But should the trend continue (as I and many others think highly likely), it certainly will nicely represent the “death spiral” of Arctic sea ice and provide some vindication for Dr Mark Serreze, who has received no small ration of abuse from some of the denier (aka fake skeptics).

      • R Gates

        Satellite history is so short it does not even warrant the phrase a brief moment in time. :)

        I have no problems with Mark Serreze, other than his desire to deal in what is in effect arctic climate stretching back merely a nano second, whilst ignoring the even or eight arctic warming periods back through the Holocene.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I think Mark gets a bit “excitable” at times about things and has a tendency to say a bit more than he should, but he’s solid on his knowledge of sea ice and his “death spiral” statement was a good description of the dynamics, even if his timing was a bit off.

      • Have one of those for the Antarctic sea ice?

      • You can just look at that one and imagine it says Antarctica, 2020.

      • JCH, If only life was so simple. The total Antarctic ice mass would increase as the Arctic ice mass decreases less change in high altitude ice and ice sublimed to space. I believe if you compared the rate of Antarctic total ice increase to Arctic and glacial ice decrease, you might spot that fairly simple relationship. Next time you enjoy the slopes notice how efficient humans are at removing all the unwanted thermal mass. That mass has 334J/g of energy stored to buffer local climate change which would have an impact on global climate change if enough were removed. We are getting pretty good at releasing that stored energy ain’t we?

      • The Antarctic has held at the same cycle for 30 years. It helps that there is a cold continent rather than the sea-ice melt positive feedback at the pole itself.

      • maksimovich

        Southern Ocean sea ice has a positive trend in the observations ie since 1978,this is against theory.

      • JimD, there is a difference between cycles and total energy. Antarctic ice volume, that is the total, not the cyclic variation, has increased. There is a reason for that.

      • “This is a against theory.” Guess the theory needs some tweaking :)

      • capt. d., I haven’t heard about projections for the Antarctic. What do you know about them? It is hard to predict when the ice shelves will finally give way, but that is a tipping point because they cover a large area that will suddenly turn into seasonal ice.

      • JimD, since everyone seems to have their heads up their butts, I am building my own model based on the hydrology cycle and enthalpy to figure that out. Unless we are losing lots of water to space, the total enthalpy of water in all phases will remain close to constant, so less NH snow and ice means more SH snow and ice.

        If you can follow it, this is the moisture boundary layer that deal with only liquid and vapor.

        This is the Radiant Boundary Layer.


        If you notice, the temperature of the radiant boundary layer as I have defined it, is higher than the average Antarctic temperature. So the warmer the NH gets, the colder the SH gets. Pretty neat world we live on.

        BTW, no 33C assumption, no 3.7Wm-2 assumption, just the basics. So vote to reduce black carbon and other airborne pollutants. Stop clearing snow for access to state and national parks. increase water shed preservation and restoration, take two aspirin and call me for the next crisis :)

      • capt. d., I only got as far as the first paragraph. Given the increase in ocean heat content over the last few decades, how can you say that the total enthalpy will remain constant? isn’t nearly of of the enthalpy in the ocean, or don’t you believe in the OHC increase?

      • JimD, the moisture envelop expands and contracts. The Total energy inside the envelop will vary, but the internal relationships will not. The freezing temperature of water is pretty well locked in, the energy required to freeze water is pretty locked in too. Based on the specified conditional equilibrium with the freezing point and the average temperature of the oceans, the relationship is perfectly valid. Once you get all the flows balance at that one state, you can play with things all you like :)

        It is just a simple model though, once you put everything in motion it starts getting interesting.

      • Good graph.

      • Steven Mosher

        Nice graph.

        Given the current concentration of the ice I am betting that the record gets beat this year. If the weather cooperates the record will be smashed.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I agree. The Laptev, Kara, and Barents sea have been getting lots of SW warming due to the greater amount of open water as we reach maximum summer insolation, plus, the ice in general is so much thinner than it was in 2007. With the right combination of weather going forward, 2007 record gets “smashed” as you put it.

      • Now I am not a climate scientist (thank God), but I wonder how great a graph is that compares three ten year averages, to a one year and to a two year average?

        Notice also how those longer term averages and the shorter ones are done in the CAGW activists usual dark, heavy crayons, while the 32 year history is in a grey so faint you can barely see it. Yet even with the heavy crayons streaks, I can see other individual years had less sea ice. The only spiral I see is the optical illusion of created by the careful use of color, tone and shading.

        I wonder why 1997-1998 wasn’t highlighted?

        That’s it! After the November elections, we are taking away their crayons.

        Oh, and when I googled super el nino because I couldn’t remember whether it was in ’97 or ’98, I found links that indicate James Hansen predicted super el ninos for both 2006-7 and 2009. I thought there was discussion on another thread here the last couple days about Hansen’s great forecasting success. Were these two of them?

      • thanks for the laugh gary, do you write for denial depot?

  28. Muller’s results do nothing to resolve the issue. The project merely provides yet another questionable and complex surface statistical model. In fact his uses more interpolation and dodgy data than the others. All of these models are inconsistent with the satellite results, so all are wrong. The only reason the community keeps using these models is political, that is, because they show a bunch of warming that the satellites do not show.

    If they recalibrated these statistical models to match the UAH data then AGW would disappear.

    • How would AGW disappear? UAH shows warming. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, etc.

      The satellites aren’t measuring surface temperature anyway.

      “The only reason the community keeps using these models is political”

      Is that why skeptics cite HadCRUT3 all the time to claim there’s been no warming for 15 years?

    • Steven Mosher

      Not very skeptical are we David

      1. The method does not use interpolation. You are wrong.
      2. Dodgy data. This is a bold assertion with no factual backup
      In point of fact the method uses only un adjusted data to satisfy
      some of the complaints sceptics had about adjustments
      3. Satellite “data” is not in fact data. It is the result of applying
      physics models to voltages from sensors. in short, the same radiative transfer codes that are used in GCMs are used to compute (model)
      the “temperatures”
      4. The answer given from the surface ( land air) matches the satellite
      answer. that is the difference is trends is vanishingly small. With
      every change the satellite teams make to their models the difference

  29. Paul Vaughan

    Dr. Curry left a blockbuster comment over here:

    My responses didn’t clear moderation there (perhaps moderation is just a little slow?), so I’m re-posting here:

    1. Judith Curry (June 14, 2012 – 7:02 pm) wrote:
    “[…] changes in mass associated with evaporation and precipitation are not included.”

    If this statement is false, someone please indicate so right away.
    Otherwise, here is my reaction:

    Profoundly remarkable.

    I’ve never paid any attention to the details of climate modeling because the output is so hopelessly far from being consistent with observation …but certainly this detail is worth knowing.

    I don’t think I ever would have imagined such a severe omission.

    I again sternly advise climate scientists to study up (QUICKLY) on Earth Orientation Parameters. With such glaring omissions, there are no acceptable excuses for further delay.

    2. David L. Hagen (June 14, 2012 – 11:41 pm) wrote:
    “I’m dumfounded. […] failure to account for evaporation and precipitation on atmospheric water content […]”

    If what Dr. Curry has written is true, this is terminally grave.

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

    • That is one of the things that I have found entertaining. Any model should start with the water cycle and the temperature limits the properties of water impose before moving on. If you neglect water on a water world, you can get all sorts of wonderful but completely wrong answers :)

      Since I am playing with a fluid dynamic model I had to define an initial boundary layer just to get a reliable reference.


      That appears to be a fairly elegant frame of reference.

      • Paul Vaughan

        The trick to figuring out natural resonances is working with climate time series which are well-constrained — for example LOD. I’m gathering together the necessary bits of wavelet theory and historical solar wind / terrestrial atmospheric vorticity speculation to help unify a clearer view of scattered & scrambled metrics. (In short, they’re viewing patterns out-of-focus — and focus is tricky because it demands hierarchical multivariate tuning. None of the papers I’ve looked at so far uses anything even remotely close to optimal methods — they’re off by a whole paradigm.) The work will take at least 20 times longer than it would if I was still in academia, with the freedoms that affords. I can already report coherence with (a) climate shifts in the 1940s & 1970s and (b) the Tsonis framework. How does this relate to Dr. Curry’s comments? Maybe I’ll be in a position to efficiently explain a decade from now. Cheers.

    • Vapor mass is included because it accounts for several millibars (up to half a percent in the tropics) of surface pressure and cannot be ignored. All models would include this in their surface pressure. The only debate I was aware of was whether to include condensed water in the mass calculation which is typically a small percentage of vapor mass even in heavy rain, and some GCMs were neglecting that because, for large grid sizes, this is not going to contribute much.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Thanks for the note Jim.

      • David L. Hagen

        Jim D
        “whether to include condensed water in the mass calculation”
        Yes, condensed water, (aka “clouds”) is the critical issue, since it so strongly impacts albedo. Note my following:
        “I should clarify that I meant “NOT including mass conservation of atmospheric water with variations in evaporation and precipitation”.”

        This presumption on condensed water could lead to getting cloud dependencies backwards and be at the root of why the IPCC’s GCM trends are 2 sigma above actual temperature trends for the last 32 years.
        Clouds present the greatest uncertainty – 97% of total.
        e.g., Willis’ explorations find that

        the value of the net sun (solar radiation minus albedo reflections) is quite sufficient to explain both the annual and decadal temperature variations, in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, from 1984 to 1997

      • Just to be clear, I was referring only to the mass calculation, which is the effect of clouds on surface pressure. This is small and often neglected in GCMs. Other effects of clouds, especially latent heating, precipitation, longwave emissivity and albedo, are obviously included and are important.

      • “This is small and often neglected in GCM.” Well here we go…


        back to the big apple thing.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Jim, I appreciate your comments. Understanding how things look from a mainstream perspective is very useful. Your comments more than any others in this thread-tree have helped sharpen my awareness of where cross-disciplinary communications are breaking down in the climate discussion. Thank you.

      • Thanks, Paul, some people like yourself are looking at the scientific case objectively, but too few here. The debates about politics and psychology are interesting too, but for a completely different reason. Skeptics make for a good case study in human mass psychology. I was naive when I first came to skeptic blogs, thinking that once people get the facts straight and science understood they would all agree, but its not so simple because there seem to be some diverse agendas among the skeptics that don’t include understanding the science and data better.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Jim, the thing that galvanized my awareness that I’m (abrasively at times) rubbing shoulders with pools of coupled deception & naivety was the intense resistance to the solar-terrestrial-climate weave: http://i49.tinypic.com/2jg5tvr.png . The pattern is observed. The observation is well-constrained by the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum (LCAM) & Central Limit Theorem (CLT). Those arguing against it without first making the educational investments to understand it do not realize that their stance is akin to declaring 1+1 does not equal 2. The rare few who do understand it (if they exist) may be aiming to put a deep chill on the conditions for trust in an effort to keep the discussion permanently mired in obscurity. We’re dealing with the darker side of human nature either way.

    • In case you are wondering Paul, a basic thermodynamic approach, if properly done, will provide the reference values required to determine the impact of your EOP. As they say, “There is more than one way to skin a catfish” :)


      • Paul Vaughan

        Impact on EOP Dallas (not “of”).
        Are your methods well-constrained (via CLT & LCAM)? The utility of EOP is in figuring out the natural components of climate. There’s nowhere for temporal chaos to hide. If it was there, it wouldn’t get a special pass from LCAM. I don’t think people around here have yet even tried to understand, but I do hope they will start filling in background knowledge on the subject. This will enable future conversations (which I look forward to). Best Regards.

      • Paul, they appear to be well constrained purely by energy balance. Comparing the model to the AQUA SST and channel 6 I am getting an ocean imbalance of approximately 0.3 Wm-2 approaching zero which appears to be pretty close, but I have to tidy things up a bit. Once I get a little further I may attempt looking at thermal impact on angular momentum (lod), but right now I am playing with the Wattmeter potential and reanalysis of past climate.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Keep going Dallas. Nature is fascinating.

    • Paul

      Can you explain in more simple terms why this is a blockbuster? Is it seriously being suggested that a key part of a climate model is being excluded?

      • Paul Vaughan

        Hi Tony,
        Dr. Curry’s comments begin here:
        (It will be a long time before I can simplify interpretation of the the analyses I’m running — not enough resources & free time…)

      • Hi Paul

        You need to simplify things if you hope to compete on equal terms with main stream climate scientists. ‘Earth overheating- send money’ is a powerful and easily understood message you would do well to emulate :)
        Will read the various links you provide.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Knowing nature is a pleasure.
        Salesmanship & politics? Not so much. That’s ugly work — thus demands hardcore pay & a secure pension.

      • The simple skeptic’s credo:

        The Earth is fine. Leave my money the hell alone.

      • David L. Hagen

        A very small difference in clouds (“condensed water”) can change the climate feedback from positive to negative by changing albedo.

        See Willis’s explorations on clouds and temperature.
        e.g. clouds INCREASE with temperature in the tropics, and DECREASE with temperature in the temperate zones. The DIFFERENCE impacts feedback.

      • The cloud feedback should be driven by an internal energy range which would be limited by the heat of fusion, since will all ice there would be no evaporation of significance. So the models start off on the wrong foot and the 33C is a red herring since it is based on primarily cloud albedo.

        The actual “atmospheric” radiant impact of a moist air atmosphere should be around 53C, pretty close to what Manabe estimated.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      I’d be quite entertained by seeing Dr. Curry and Dr. Trenberth have a discussion on this issue. Never gonna happen but it would be entertaining to a climate nerd such as myself. As it stands, I suspect it is not actually quite the “blockbuster” comment you posit it to be.

    • Over there this was said: Why do models have a limited capability to predict the future? First of all, they are not reality….models cannot capture all the factors involved in a natural system, and those that they do capture are often incompletely understood.
      not only models are not reality, models are not even realistic. They are missing a major item that they need. When the oceans are warm and the Arctic is open it snows a lot more than when the oceans are cold and the Arctic Water is frozen.
      At least put this in and make the Models more realistic and stop the stupid instability that the data does not exhibit.

    • Paul Vaughan

      Wanted to direct traffic to Dr. Curry’s comments over here:

      Looks like success.

      Dr. Curry: Thanks for the lengthier-than-usual commentary over there. Gives a much different perspective on your thinking than the sociology & philosophy blog articles convey.

  30. Paul Vaughan

    A real money-quote:

    “RM: […] But they gave us an unrestricted educational grant and they made it clear to us that what they really wanted was to have the issue settled. They didn’t even indicate which side they hoped it would be settled on. My own suspicion is they don’t care. They just want this issue settled because it creates great uncertainty in future planning.”

    My impression increasingly is that the overwhelming majority of influential climate discussion participants deeply cherish uncertainty and will go to any lengths to promote & preserve it indefinitely. In human history, has there ever been a better example of deception exploiting naivety and naivety exploiting deception?

    Certainty: The “uncertainty theme” is fundamentally inconsistent with observation.

    Central Limit Theorem & the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum are nothing to scoff at, but uncertainty lovers will no doubt conspire to ignore &/or dismiss clear focus that ruins the uncertainty party (and all the ugly politics thus enabled).

    Climate scientists as a group would have a clue about constraints on terrestrial climate if they all devoted painstakingly careful attention to the study of Earth Orientation Parameters.

    Sensible Parties:

    I suggest that:

    A. attention to well-constrained quantities immediately be made a requirement for continuing climate science employment & funding, even in the short term.

    B. climate models immediately be strictly required to reproduce Earth Orientation Parameters. (Until this condition is met, climate models should be declared null, void, & patently indefensible on fundamental grounds.)

  31. It’s no wonder the world’s cooling on climate change

    They used to call it ‘Flaming June’. Nearer the mark today would be ‘Flaming ruddy awful June’.

    We are on the cusp of the Summer Solstice (starting on Wednesday evening), in the wake of the wettest April on record and in the midst of what promises to be a June that is both record-breakingly damp and 1.4C cooler than average.

    Out of our rain-streaked windows we spy leaden skies, louring clouds and oily puddles.

    Of course, you are not supposed to ask yourselves: ‘Whatever happened to global warming?’

    Not even if you say it particularly quietly, or as a joke. If you do, chances are you will be sharply reminded that ‘weather is not the same as climate’.

    This is true. But it’s also a bit of a cop-out. After all, as most of us are now aware, there has been no ‘global warming’ since 1998, which is when the curve on the graph goes flat.

    In the eternally moving battlefield of claim and counter-claim in the great climate change debate, even the fervently warmist Professor Phil Jones – of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit – concedes that there has been no ‘statistically significant warming’ since 1995.

    In the simplest, human terms, therefore, no one younger than 14 years old has experienced global warming.



    • andrew adams

      even the fervently warmist Professor Phil Jones – of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit – concedes that there has been no ‘statistically significant warming’ since 1995.

      Not any more he doesn’t.

      “Basically what’s changed is one more year [of data]. That period 1995-2009 was just 15 years – and because of the uncertainty in estimating trends over short periods, an extra year has made that trend significant at the 95% level which is the traditional threshold that statisticians have used for many years.”


      And that’s before we get to Delingpole’s lies about polar bears and arctic ice.

    • “After all, as most of us are now aware, there has been no ‘global warming’ since 1998”


      “even the fervently warmist Professor Phil Jones – of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit – concedes that there has been no ‘statistically significant warming’ since 1995.”


      I especially like this part where Delingpot admits he finds the truth an inconvenience:

      “Of course, you are not supposed to ask yourselves: ‘Whatever happened to global warming?’

      Not even if you say it particularly quietly, or as a joke. If you do, chances are you will be sharply reminded that ‘weather is not the same as climate’.

      This is true.”

    • Chronicling the death, yet again, of global cooling:

      January – 19th warmest
      Jan thru Feb – 20th warmest
      Jan thru Mar – 21st warmest
      Jan thru April – 15th warmest
      Jan thru May – 7th warmest

      • There are so many things wrong with this I wouldn’t even know where to begin. It’s useless anyway. Even your premise is wrong. I don’t know anyone claiming that at this moment the earth is cooling. Clearly it is not.

      • However there has been no additional warming in many years now. And many believe that cooling is right around the corner.

      • pokerguy

        I think global temperatures have profound problems as they mix together those places that are warming with those that are cooling or static. Best to look at individual data sets.

        Heres part of the oldest data set in the world. Its clearly been cooling for some years here in the UK

        Empirical evidence is that I can no longer grow tomatoes outside and all my semi tropical plants have now been killed off by frost. Around one third of the world has a cooling trend as noted by BEST

      • Pokerguy

        By the way, here is the longer CET data set to 1660 (first graph in my article)

        The current half a degree anomaly puts us back to the temperature in the 1730’s (which have been adjusted downwards-see ‘Improved understanding of Past climatic Variability’ edited by Camudffo and Phil Jones)

      • I think they’re very wrong.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Really folks, let’s have a global perspective here. Taking a look at the global data for the latest month and the past three months shows how incredibly warm the planet has been:


        Anyone looking at this global data can easily see that a cooling planet is not an issue. If we get a decent or even moderate El Nino later this year, then 2012 or 2013 we will likely set a new instrument ecord for the warmest year. Long-term AGW could account for this, but what to what would those who doubt AGW ascribe it to? Natural variability?

      • It looks to me that when La Nina condition start shifting to neutral, GMT starts heading to near records early in the neutral period. May was the 2nd warmest in the NOAA record.

      • While it stays above the 30-year running average, it is warming by increasing the 30-year average. Would anyone contest that objective definition?

      • Are you taking the proverbial?

      • http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:360/plot/gistemp/mean:360
        For example this is the changing climate from 30-year means to date.

      • I don’t know what you’re trying to prove

      • It shows that global climate defined by the 30-year average temperature has been steadily warming (see plot) even though some people think it has stopped. This is because the last decade has all remained above the 30-year average. In fact, the gradient is still quite impressive though the last 10-15 years.

      • I think you need to take a step back and think very carefully about that

      • I picture you looking at those two rising curves in some state of denial. Which part didn’t you agree with? The 30-year average definition (which is standard) or the temperature records themselves.

      • Applying a 30-year running average tells you nothing about the most-recent 30 years.
        You’re doing nothing but deluding yourself.

      • The recent 30 years are warmer than any previous 30 years and the upward trend continues today. What else do you need to know?

      • Don’t take my word for it – ask any statistician. McIntyre, Briggs, anyone – even some of the denizens here, like Steve M or Judith would tell you the same.

      • Use the low-pass filter of your choice. It will show the same thing.

      • Look, I’m not prepared to discuss this nonsense any further.
        You’re flat wrong – get over it.

      • We have both said that the global temperature record of the last 13 years shows evidence suggesting that the warming has slowed. Our new analysis of the land-based data neither confirms nor denies this contention. If you look at our new land temperature estimates, you can see a flattening of the rise, or a continuation of the rise, depending on the statistical approach you take. … – joint statement, Curry and Muller

      • Jim, I don’t think anybody is claiming that the increase of the 30-year average of global temperature indices has stopped. Since the year 1998 was the ‘peak’, you need much higher resolution (~10 year) to see the flattening.

        Even so, if you plot the derivative (change in temperature) of your 30-year average, you will see that the rate of change has been decreasing since some time. It depends on averaging of course.

        Many skeptics (but not all) expect this change in tempearature to decrease further and become negative in the next decades (solar effects, PDO, AMO…). That should be enough to initiate some questioning and shake the paradigm. Shaking the paradigm has always been good for science, the oposite is very destructive.

  32. Prof. McKitrick, you earned your pay this day, fer damnsure. In fact, you (re-)earned lifetime tenure in the top level of climate analysts.

    Along the way to deconstructing the Dismal Theorem, you also took out low discount rates (= minimized growth of current physical and intellectual assets) and the entire fat-tailed scambalooza, and put “sensitivity” in its proper lower-echelon place. And by inference and contrast showed Nordhaus for the poser he is.

    Makes me proud to be a Canuck, it does.

  33. P.S. to the above: in case it wasn’t obvious, your vorpal blade has also (effectively) slain the Jabber(wok)ing Precautionary Principle. snicker-snack! At the very least, the hypervaluation of low probability future losses is quadraplegic after your field surgery. Like the Black Knight, it will continue to fulminate, temporize, and utter delusory threats. But it is done stomping about, forever!

  34. Steven Earl Salmony

    If we agree to “think globally” about climate destabilization and at least one of its consensually validated principal agencies, it becomes evident that riveting attention on more and more seemingly perpetual GROWTH could be a grave mistake because we are denying how economic and population growth in the communities in which we live cannot continue as it has until now. Each village’s resources are being dissipated, each town’s environment degraded and every city’s fitness as place for our children to inhabit is being threatened. To proclaim something like, ‘the meat of any community plan for the future is, of course, growth’ fails to acknowledge that many villages, towns and cities are already ‘built out’, and also ‘filled in’ with people and pollutants. If the quality of life we enjoy now is to be maintained for the children, then limits on economic and population growth will have to be set. By so doing, we choose to “act locally” and sustainably.

    More economic and population growth are soon to become no longer sustainable in many too many places on the surface of Earth because biological constraints and physical limitations are immutably imposed upon ever increasing human consumption, production and population activities of people in many communities where most of us reside. Inasmuch as the Earth is finite with frangible environs, there comes a point at which GROWTH is unsustainable. There is much work to done locally. But that effort cannot reasonably begin without sensibly limiting economic and population growth.

    Problems worldwide that are derived from conspicuous overconsumption and rapacious plundering of limited resources, rampant overproduction of unnecessary stuff, and rapid human overpopulation of the Earth can be solved by human thought, judgment and action. After all, the things we have done can be undone. Think of it as ‘the great unwinding of human folly’. Like deconstructing the Tower of Babel. Any species that gives itself the moniker, Homo sapiens sapiens, can do that much, can it not?

    “We face a wide-open opportunity to break with the old ways of doing the town’s business…..” That is a true statement. But the necessary “break with the old ways” of continuous economic and population growth is not what is occurring. There is a call for a break with the old ways, but the required changes in behavior are not what is being proposed as we plan for the future. What is being proposed and continues to occur is more of the same, old business-as-usual overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities, the very activities that appear to be growing unsustainbly. More business-as-usual could soon become patently unsustainable, both locally and globally. A finite planet with the size, composition and environs of the Earth and a community with the boundaries, limited resources and wondrous climate of villages, towns and cities where we live may not be able to sustain much longer the economic and population growth that is occurring on our watch. Perhaps necessary changes away from UNSUSTAINABLE GROWTH and toward sustainable lifestyles and right-sized corporate enterprises are in the offing.

    Think globally while there is still time and act locally before it is too late for human action to make any difference in the clear and presently dangerous course of unfolding human-induced ecological events, both in our planetary home and in our villages, towns and cities. If we choose to review the perspective of a ‘marketwatcher’ who can see what is actually before our eyes, perhaps all of us can get a little more reality-oriented to the world we inhabit and a less deceived by an attractive, flawed ideology that is highly touted and widely shared but evidently illusory and patently unsustainable.


    This situation is no longer deniable. During my lifetime, many have understood the Global Predicament we are having to confront now, but only a few ‘voices in the wilderness’ were willing to speak out loudly and clearly about what everyone can see. It is not a pretty sight. The human community has precipitated a planetary emergency that only humankind is capable of undoing. The present ‘Unsustainable Path’ has to be abandoned in favor of a “road less travelled by”. It is late; there is no time left to waste. Perhaps now we will gather our remarkably abundant, distinctly human resources and respond ably to the daunting, human-induced, global challenges before us, the ones that threaten life as we know it and the integrity of Earth as a fit place for human habitation. Many voices, many more voices are needed for making necessary changes.

    • Much like Al Gore it’s never about what the fearmongers will give up but what they demand others that they live of give up. The Left always has a plan — and it is always the same plan — the state will decide what the productive will have and what they will be and how they will live..

      • Wagathon –
        I think you might have missed something in your assumption that what you criticise is wrong because it is Leftist. It may be, but it is most assuredly delusional garbage – and clearly so before it begins to appear on any left/right continuum.

        I don’t care if it is garbage because it is Leftist garbage, but just because it is garbage.

      • At some point we can do little to alter the self-defeating delusions of others from destroying their futures. The Left does not buy into Americanism. Even if they do not bring us all down we will be digging out of what they’ve gotten us into: we’re busted Greek.

        It may be too late for the ‘eggshell’ generation. They are the product of a dysfunctional government-education industry gone wierd. Truth is, forty years of the Left’s tearing the culture down and substituting its liberal Utopianism has torn apart the futures of many. Expectations for a free ride and a free lunch for life have been cracked.


    • Unfortunately, SES, we in the US need to act globally if we are to – in some unknown manner – curb population growth. The PG problem isn’t in the US, it’s in the third world.

      This entry gives a figure for the average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age. The total fertility rate (TFR) is a more direct measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate, since it refers to births per woman. This indicator shows the potential for population change in the country. A rate of two children per woman is considered the replacement rate for a population, resulting in relative stability in terms of total numbers. Rates above two children indicate populations growing in size and whose median age is declining. Higher rates may also indicate difficulties for families, in some situations, to feed and educate their children and for women to enter the labor force. Rates below two children indicate populations decreasing in size and growing older. Global fertility rates are in general decline and this trend is most pronounced in industrialized countries, especially Western Europe, where populations are projected to decline dramatically over the next 50 years.

      country (children born/woman) Date of Information
      1 Niger

      2011 est.
      2 Uganda

      2011 est.
      3 Mali

      2011 est.
      4 Somalia

      2011 est.
      5 Burundi

      2011 est.
      6 Burkina Faso

      2011 est.
      7 Ethiopia

      2011 est.
      8 Zambia

      2011 est.
      9 Afghanistan

      2011 est.
      10 Congo, Republic of the

      2011 est.
      11 Angola

      2011 est.
      12 Mozambique

      2011 est.
      13 Nigeria

      2011 est.
      14 Malawi

      2011 est.
      15 Benin

      2011 est.
      16 Congo, Democratic Republic of the

      2011 est.
      17 Guinea

      2011 est.
      18 Liberia

      2011 est.
      19 Madagascar

      2011 est.
      20 Sao Tome and Principe

      2011 est.
      21 Chad

      2011 est.
      22 Sierra Leone

      2011 est.
      23 Equatorial Guinea

      2011 est.
      24 Rwanda

      2011 est.
      25 Senegal

      2011 est.
      26 Togo

      2011 est.
      27 Gaza Strip

      2011 est.
      28 Central African Republic

      2011 est.
      29 Gabon

      2011 est.
      30 Yemen

      2011 est.
      31 Guinea-Bissau

      2011 est.
      32 Eritrea

      2011 est.
      33 Mauritania

      2011 est.
      34 Western Sahara

      2011 est.
      35 Sudan

      2011 est.
      36 Gambia, The

      2011 est.
      37 Comoros

      2011 est.
      38 Cameroon

      2011 est.
      39 Tanzania

      2011 est.
      40 Kenya

      2011 est.
      41 Cote d’Ivoire

      2011 est.
      42 Zimbabwe

      2011 est.


      • And what we see when we dig a little deeper is–e.g.,

        Introduction ::United States


        Britain’s American colonies broke with the mother country in 1776 and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions. The two most traumatic experiences in the nation’s history were the Civil War (1861-65), in which a northern Union of states defeated a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states, and the Great Depression of the 1930s, an economic downturn during which about a quarter of the labor force lost its jobs. Buoyed by victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world’s most powerful nation state. Since the end of World War II, the economy has achieved relatively steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.

        What is missing in this vision of America in a nutshell?

      • Well that it constitution included the institution of slavery, and the southen states feared that northern states as they gained political power, would amend or change the constitutions, thereby allowing blacks in the South to be free citizens with same rights as everyone else.

      • Hardly. The CIA specifically says, “… a secessionist Confederacy of 11 southern slave states,” so your vision of America is not missing at all and obviously is taught in the dropout factories. What is missing is what the Left fears and must hide.

      • “What is missing is what the Left fears and must hide.”
        America is 90% Christian?
        That it’s based upon judeo-christian tradition?

      • Nope. It is not Christians that the Left fears. The Left even fears Ayn Rand but she was an atheist.

      • Need a clue, please?

      • It’s a capitalistic country?
        But that is how the Left would describe it
        and all countries are capitalistic.
        So it’s not descriptive.

        Or play the game and name a Marxist country.
        Which also isn’t a totalitarian/dictatorially ruled-
        and is also capitalistic
        No Marxist state that Marxist can point to and say
        that is what I want.

      • The clue is, “What is a free man.”

      • Leftist bureaucracy’s use of global warming scare tactics as a means for social change has been a fire bomb in the hands of the liberal mob. The Left’s inability to acknowledge the sovereignty of the individual — irrespective of their station in life and the circumstances of their birth — and the Left’s desire to grow and exercise government authority over society at the expense of individual liberty is liberal fascism. It also is the death of government for the public good because industriousnes, ambition and the creation of wealth that benefits the individual and all of society is discouraged and repressed.

      • “Britain’s American colonies broke with the mother country ”

        Is different then declaring independent?
        As far as I know, America was first country to do something like the Declaration of independence.
        So, one must understand that America is about liberty, in order to
        have a clue about America and where it stands in the world.
        So not describing this fact [which bloody well every person on the planet knows] could called a big omission in describing America.

      • “Britain’s American colonies broke with the mother country ”

        Or in terms of socialism and world government, one could imagine that American Independent was a step back in this progress.

      • The only thing the Left fears more than a free man is a free man with property.

      • The Left is impelled by its ideology to centralize all credit and energy and by extension all means of production into the hands of the state.

        Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore,which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.

        (The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederick Engles)

      • Dave Springer

        Actually the global reproductive rate per person has reached replacement (no growth) level in the past decade. Population will continue to grow until about 2050 (38 years from now) because that’s how long it takes for all the women in their reproductive years today to grow old enough so they are no longer reproducing. There’s about 2 billion babies yet to be born still in the pipeline. Once those are born and their mommas are too old to have more then birth rate will equal death rate. Zero population growth is a done deal already we’re just waiting for it to play out. There’s little doubt that as long as the earth doesn’t start cooling we can shelter and feed 9 billion souls. If the earth starts cooling then agricultural production will fall off and all bets are off. Same goes for some other natural disaster which might disrupt the orderly flow of goods and services from producer to consumer. Super-volcano, world war, large CME (coronal mass ejection), nearby super-nova, asteroid strike, and various other things are potential game changers. Global warming is the least of our worries. It would be nice if we could count on continued global warming because it’s preferable to global cooling by a long shot. Warming, especially when the lion’s share happens during the cold season in higher latitudes over land, extends growing seasons and increases agricultural output. It’s a good thing in moderation and there’s no reason to believe it won’t continue to happen in moderation.

      • Dave

        Due to Milankovitch’s cycle, an ice age is inevitable. What is going to happen to the worlds billions?

      • Girma, haven’t you heard that CO2 is the knob? It trumps everything (except Chinese aerosols) including orbital oscillations.

    • Latimer Alder

      Cut the flowery language, ‘pops’. And make your sentences shorter and punchier The first one has 59 words…long and complex ones, to assert (with no evidence presented) ‘we cannot go on as we are’. My immediate impression is ‘boring windbag’

      The we have:
      ‘rapacious plundering’ (has there ever been just ordinary plundering?)
      ‘Rampant over production’ (ditto, ordinary overproduction)
      ‘the integrity of Earth as a fit place for human habitation’ WTF does that mean?
      ‘less deceived by an attractive, flawed ideology that is highly touted and widely shared but evidently illusory and patently unsustainable.’ Huh?

      All wonderful tear-jerking stuff to discuss late at night over a joint when you are 18 for the first time.

      But pretty much content free. Intellectual vacuity regurgitated for the immature brains of the dewy-eyed teenager.

      • Dave Springer

        Latimer Alder | June 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply

        “But pretty much content free. Intellectual vacuity regurgitated for the immature brains of the dewy-eyed teenager.” … and moonbats of all ages.

        Fixed that for ya!

      • …pretty much content free. Intellectual vacuity regurgitated for the immature brains of the dewy-eyed teenager… and small minds that believe everything has been invented, every good idea has been thought and that there are no new songs to be sung.

      • You’d make a fine English teach, Latimer. You’re exactly right (see, I’m going it myself now:-) on all counts. My first instinct when confronting overblown language is that the writer is straining to compensate for a lack of depth. It’s a dead give-away. To be honest., I used to do it myself back in my college days when trying to impress my professors. I can barely read some of my old papers, so mortifying are they.

  35. Dave Springer

    re; fertility rate

    A picture paints a thousand words.


    Any questions about where the problem lies?

    Given that area where the problem lies is largely controlled by petty dictators and gangs of thugs armed with nothing more sophisticated than rusty AK47s the rest of the world ought to just go in and clean house once and for all. Why we let the problem persist and fester when we can end it is beyond my understanding.

  36. Rio+20 Earth Summit:
    “Despite the United Nation‘s frenzied scaremongering, the conference is apparently having difficulty drumming up both enthusiasm and specific goals.

    Even as the effects of global warming stare delegations in the face, they are struggling to deliver anything but a process, or a promise to talk more later.

    “To be honest, we aren’t expecting a great deal out of this conference,” [Canada’s Environment Minister Peter Kent] said in an interview with The Canadian Press before leaving for Rio.

    He said Canada and its allies are pushing for “realistic and pragmatic” outcomes, but instead see their negotiators bogged down in an unwieldy text that can’t even succinctly define “green economy” or “sustainable development.” …

    It’s too easy, Kent said, for countries to adopt catchphrases at a conference that in the light of the day either mean very little, or have unintended consequences on domestic policy.

    “We’re really just at a beginning point here.” …

    “We just aren’t seeing people arriving in the frame of mind to make significant progress towards significant commitments. And we clearly need that.” …

    The aim is create political momentum for a green economy around the world — an economy that does not destroy the environment, but also alleviates poverty and inequality.”

    • David L. Hagen

      Just say No to Rio Washington Times

      slogan is “The future we want.” A more accurate motto for the confab would be, “The money we want.” . . .
      Rio+20 is the moment of truth that will determine whether participating nations will approve the creation of a global green tax. . . .
      they want to ratchet up the figure to $100 billion by 2020. A collection of radical nongovernmental organizations dissatisfied with that amount want developed nations to sacrifice 0.7 percent of their gross national product. A commitment of that size would surpass $100 billion annually from the United States alone. . . .
      “Sustainability” is a generic, inoffensive term being used to mask the redistribution of wealth. If U.N. big spenders move forward, it should be without any U.S. taxpayer funds. Just say no to Rio.

  37. Beth Cooper

    SES 17/06 12.00pm:
    World population fertility rates and across religions, heres reliable Census Data.
    Check out Hans Rosings, you’ll be surprised.

  38. We’re gonna need a bigger powerplant

  39. I please need explanations.

    This green economy that some are speaking about, how is that it did not exist when it was available for 10,000 years before use of fossil fuels?
    In my view, it might be a pie in the sky like everything that comes from the other side.

  40. Beth Cooper

    Hello Judith,
    To let you know i’ve been moderated again. I am sure there is nothing untoward in my rather long comment.

    • Beth Cooper,

      Every once in a while, I’ll hit a spell where every other comment goes into the spam filter here. A quick email to Dr. Curry, and every time she fishes them out and posts them, without changing a single letter or punctuation mark. I don’t think she has ever altered any comment of mine. And I believe it is fair to say that she disagrees with what I write much more often than she agrees.

      No idea why it happens, particularly to alternating comments, but perhaps that is what is happening to yours. The spam filter works in mysterious ways.

      • I’ll second that, based on my experiences as a board op on another WP blog. The Askimet filter is what it is, and it’s very hard to customize, so it just sends comments to the gulag in an apparently arbitrary and capricious manner, and there isn’t a whole lot Judith can do about it, short of defeating it entirely. And you don’t want that. You don’t want every other comment being a pitch for [name of drug for male problems].

        There’s no bad faith here. This is just the ways of WP.

      • And BTW, Askimet does do an outstanding job of filtering out the real schmutz. You have no idea how much sapm (misspelled on purpose) there is until you try to moderate one of these blogs.

  41. TonyB,

    Thanks for the info above. All very interesting. Same here in the U.S. which has cooled over the last decade I believe.

  42. “Phys.org) — For years, geoscientists have known that a volcano erupted sometime in the mid thirteenth century, with nearly unprecedented force. Skies were darkened and the entire planet experienced a temporary cooling. What’s not been known though, is which volcano it was and the exact year that it blew. Scientists have informally agreed that the event likely occurred in the year 1258. Now however geoscientist Franck Lavigne of Panthéon-Sorbonne University, is claiming that he has proof that the volcano actually erupted a year earlier than that, and what’s more, he says, he knows which volcano it was, but won’t say until his paper has been published in an as yet still unnamed journal.”
    Linked from http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/

  43. And all this academic hysteria is based on a global temp increase of 0.6 degrees in a 100 years. Thats the most amazing part.

    • It’s about 0.8C, and it’s a big and fast amount of warming compared to how much the Earth’s temperature usually changes.

      • Don’t you ever stop to think before you write?

      • Really big and fast you say?

        Yes, sir, Yes, sir. 3 bags full. One for my master, one for my dame, and one for little lolwot who lives down the lane.

    • You are of course factoring in that the CO2 will increase at least five times as much in the 21st century as it did in the 20th century, so we have barely started seeing the effects at this point.

  44. Beth Cooper

    Steven Earl Salmony says @17/06 12.00 pm…’The human community has precipitated a planetary emergency..’

    Your comment, SES, sure is a cry from the heart, an urgent SOS for action, ‘red alert!’

    How well I remember my own concern, when constantly alerted by the media of the certainty of the the science of CAGW. But then, SES, I decided to look further, sidestepping the obvious partison positions of leftist Greens (pro) and oil shill rightists (anti) and one of the people whose arguments I looked at was Freeman Dyson. In his critical review of the science and models he discussed the role of land management in absorbing CO2. To stop the carbon in the atmosphere from increasing, we only need to grow the biomass in the soil by 1/100 th of an inch each year. This excludes all built up urban areas and can easily happen with no till farming practices and genetic engineering crops which can increase the growth of top soil. Good news isn’t , SES ? Read it for yrself.


  45. “For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome. ”

    “Unless I am not remembering correctly. That was 10 trillion microbes a few days ago. Alarming growth if that is true:)

    “No one wants to abandon antibiotics outright. But by nurturing the invisible ecosystem in and on our bodies, doctors may be able to find other ways to fight infectious diseases, and with less harmful side effects. Tending the microbiome may also help in the treatment of disorders that may not seem to have anything to do with bacteria, including obesity and diabetes.

    “I cannot wait for this to become a big area of science,” said Michael A. Fischbach, a microbiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, and an author of a medical ecology manifesto published this month in the journal Science Translational Medicine. ”

    Unavoidable, this could become a fad. Hopeful there will not be too much enthusiasm.

  46. David L. Hagen

    Did the global temperature trend change at the end of the 1990s?
    Tom Quirk Accepted 7 May 2012 for the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences

    The apparent leveling of the global temperature time series at the end of the 1990s may represent a break in the upward trend. A study of the time series measurements for temperature, carbon dioxide, humidity and methane shows changes coincident with phase changes of the Atlantic and Pacific Decadal Oscillations. There are changes in carbon dioxide, humidity and methane measurement series in 2000. If these changes mark a phase change of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation then it might explain the global temperature behaviour

    Highlighted by Pielke Sr.

    Quirk applies the Chow break statistical tests to show trend breaks or phase changes in temperature, CO2 and humidity trends.