Open thread weekend

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

436 responses to “Open thread weekend

  1. Peter Lang

    Which definition of risk is most appropriate for climate policy analysis?

    There is an important difference between the common definition of risk, e.g. as defined in the Nathan et. al. paper, compared with the definition of risk in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

    NRC ‘Red Book’ definition of risk (ref. Nathan et. al., p 286) (my bold):

    Formal approaches to risk analysis typically define risk as the conditional probability that some, usually adverse, outcome will occur:

    Risk is the potential for realization of unwanted, adverse consequences to human life, health, property, or the environment; estimation of risk is usually based on the expected value of the conditional probability of the event occurring times the consequence of the event given that it has occurred (17).

    Project Management Body of Knowledge definition of risk:

    An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project’s objectives.

    Policy options analysis, design and implementation is a project, according to the PMBOK definition of a project:

    A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.

    The goal of climate policy is to achieve a result(although it has not yet been defined and agreed and part of the project management process is to get all that project initiation stuff crystal clear).

    I suggest the PMBOK’s definition or risk is more appropriate for climate policy analysis than the NRC Red Book’ definition .


    • Peter, Why bother. There is NO risk to adding more CO2 to the atmosphere; only benefits.

      • Jim, Cripwell,

        Many don’t agree; therefore, it is not politically doable. Twenty years of UN climate conferences, EU ETS, EPA regulations, demonstrate that there is enormous political momentum, so just saying there is no problem is not helpful and achieves nothing constructive, IMO.

      • Peter, you write “Many don’t agree; therefore, it is not politically doable.”

        Maybe, maybe not. But IMHO, it is far better to ignore the politics and concentrate on the science. A little bit of benign neglect on the political issues maybe not such a bad idea. I would prefer to see the denizens of CE ignore our hostess’s ventures into politics. I much prefer when CS has threads on the science.

      • Continuing raising the level of CO2 in the atmosphere will likely raise the risk of having abrupt climate change in the 21st Century. And then all hell breaks loose.

      • JCH, you write “And then all hell breaks loose.”

        All there is to support this guess is a series of hypothetical, meaningless estimations based largely on non-validated models. There is not a smidgen, or an iota of empirical data to give any credence to your thoughts. CAGW is at best an unproven hypothesis, and at worst a hoax.

      • It’s based upon science. Lines of evidence. There have been abrupt climate changes on planet earth. One does not need a computer model to know this.

      • The Kingdom age, is to last a thousand years first.

      • JCH, you write “Lines of evidence.”

        But NONE of this evidence is EMPIRICAL evidence. Zero, nada, zilch. No-one has actually proved, by observation, that when you add CO2 to the atmosphere, it causes global temperatures to rise. Show me this empirical evidence, and I will concede CAGW is real. Until you can produce the EMPIRICAL MEASURED evidence, CAGW remains an unproven hypothesis.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Peter, Why bother. There is NO risk to adding more CO2 to the atmosphere; only benefits.”

        settled science by jim cripwell.

        now folks can see that skeptics like to practice their skepticism selectively.

        in Jims world since he he’s no evidence of harm, he concludes that there can be no harm, and rather that there are benefits.

      • k scott denison

        Steven what consequences of increased CO2 have been observed to date? Are you able to lost them into positives and negatives?

      • Steven, you write “in Jims world since he he’s (sic) no evidence of harm, he concludes that there can be no harm, and rather that there are benefits.”

        Absolutely correct!! You seem to be beginning to understand. If there is no empirical evidence of harm, then I am justified in concluding that no harm is going to occur. Anyone can think up a dozen unlikely disasters that could happen; before breakfast. But if there is no empirical evidence that any of them are going to happen, we should not bother about them.

        As to be benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere. The empirical data shows that the world is getting greener.

      • Steven Mosher | July 5, 2013 at 11:22 am | wrote
        “Peter, Why bother. There is NO risk to adding more CO2 to the atmosphere; only benefits.” …in Jims world since he he’s no evidence of harm, he concludes that there can be no harm, and rather that there are benefits.

        We don’t have to “conclude” that there are benefits to “adding more CO2 to the atmosphere”; there is empirical evidence of benefits. Although there is no empirical evidence that “adding more CO2 to the atmosphere” causes harm, there is empirical evidence that mitigation efforts are causing harm. Converting food (e.g. corn) to fuel, increase the cost and decreasing the availability of energy, and taxing the poor to subsidize rich peoples toys (e.g. electric cars) harms the poorest among us. It’s not the “precautionary” principle we should be following; it is the “do no harm” principle we should be following.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim Cripwell,

        But IMHO, it is far better to ignore the politics and concentrate on the science. A little bit of benign neglect on the political issues maybe not such a bad idea.

        I strongly disagree. The politics is the reality. It is the politics that decides what policies are implemented and what money we spend and waste. it is the politics, and the policies implemented, that control our future, not science. That’s the reality.

      • GaryM | July 5, 2013 at 12:49 pm |

        Oh really? 300 million Americans own oil companies? Coal companies? The benefits of free riding accrue mainly to these two fossil industries specifically. Throw in the producers of automobiles, and growers of corn for ethanol (see how that industry withered and died when subsidies were reduced, while no farm families suffered in the least?), and you pretty much have the bulk of direct beneficiaries.

        But wait. You mean you think all 300 million other Americans uniformly benefit from having subsidized and favored fossil fuels forced on them by government manipulation of Market decision power?

        It turns out you’re wrong about that. Consistently, 70% of participants in the Market (210 million Americans) benefit from removal of subsidies, and from removal of gifts and favors, to fossil industry sellers and their cofactors, while only 10% of participants in the Market — generally the wealthiest 10% — buyers see their costs rise overall. While this sounds like redistribution, it’s effectively counter-redistribution undoing the government’s distribution of wealth from the poorest to the richest. The 20% in the middle (60 million Americans)? Once their wasteful ways are squeezed out by increasing their fuel efficiency (for example), their RoI improves and they too make more while spending less.

        David Springer | July 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm |

        In law damages must be shown?

        How do you get from what I said to what you said?

        In law, SCOTUS has determined the EPA is the sole arbiter of damage due CO2 (more or less). Well, POTUS is the head of the EPA (in effect), and POTUS says the cost of damages in 2012 alone is at least $100 billion. Or did you forget so soon?

        Damages are determined. That’s roughly $333 to every American, for 2012.

        You don’t want your $333? Send it to your political party of choice.

      • what consequences of increased CO2 have been observed to date?

        That is easy. Green things grow better while using less water. Crop Productivity is UP. Part of that is due to the more CO2.

        Take away some CO2 and you WILL kill green things that grow and other life that depends on green things.

      • Bart R,

        You are going to giver the term incoherence a bad name.

        Everyone alive benefits massively from the burning of fossil fuels. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t buy the damn stuff, including you.

        You get sick and need a doctor? Good luck getting to a hospital, let alone one that doesn’t use massive amounts of power. You tired of eating? Start your own organic garden and stop buying food grown, transported and stored using fossil fuels.

        And get off the computer, turn off all your lights and live in the dark.. Generation of electricity is the primary source of anthro CO2 emissions. You are as much a free rider as any other person on the planet. You have to stop being a free rider on the industrial and technological revolutions that never would have occurred without cheap fossil fuels.

        Some of the progressive arguments in favor of their beloved redistributionist dreams are just head poundingly stupid. I know you are an economic illiterate, but just who do you think pays ANY taxes levied on any commodity? The producer? You can’t possibly be that…. OK, I’ll try to be nice. That ignorant.

      • GaryM | July 6, 2013 at 1:10 am |

        ..If they didn’t, they wouldn’t buy the damn stuff, including you.

        I don’t especially buy a lot of the stuff. The amount I do buy, I’m comfortable with. I lead a life that benefits just fine from reasonably-priced non-carbon energies, non-energy-intensive technologies, and non-energy-intensive, non-carbon-intensive products. You’re imagining a world where everyone homogenously makes the same choices. Well, we don’t. You’re imagining a nonesuch.

        You get sick and need a doctor? Good luck getting to a hospital, let alone one that doesn’t use massive amounts of power. You tired of eating? Start your own organic garden and stop buying food grown, transported and stored using fossil fuels.

        Wow. Rant much? Massive amounts of power? You think all institutions are equal buyers of high carbon energy? Really? That doesn’t much match reality. You’re dreaming in monochrome. And what makes you think you know how people feed themselves? Are you much of a scholar of food trade? Student? Researcher? Even read a single report?

        I don’t think you do. I think you love overgeneralization, because only overgeneralizations let your arguments pretend to validity. If some need to get food more fuel-intensively, what sense does it make for those who don’t need that fuel-intensity to subsidize them for that choice?

        And get off the computer, turn off all your lights and live in the dark.. Generation of electricity is the primary source of anthro CO2 emissions. You are as much a free rider as any other person on the planet. You have to stop being a free rider on the industrial and technological revolutions that never would have occurred without cheap fossil fuels.

        The computer with its carbon-free server farm, powered by carbon-free electricity generation? You think the entire world’s electricity supply is coal-based? Why should those who don’t burn subsidize those who do? You understand, these subsidies, these redistributions, that you pretend are inevitable, are collectivist artifacts. They’re communism. Which makes you communist, comrade.

        You seek to blur and mix up things that aren’t and never were to support your socialist coal-burners’ paradise, because that’s the only way you can rationalize continued anticapitalist, nationalized, waste of scarce resources by the few piggies at the trough.

        Not everyone is the pig you make most out to be. And even if only one single person were not the beneficiary of your coaldust communism, then it is immoral, it is theft, to require them to pay for benefits they do not derive so that your comrades can ride free on their back.

        Some of the progressive arguments in favor of their beloved redistributionist dreams are just head poundingly stupid. I know you are an economic illiterate, but just who do you think pays ANY taxes levied on any commodity? The producer? You can’t possibly be that…. OK, I’ll try to be nice. That ignorant.

        So hypocritically spun, so twisted, your arguments become a caricature, self-lampooning, and transparent.

        Of course the consumers pay the taxes on corporations. Which is why corporate taxes are distortionate. Remove income taxes. Remove corporate taxes. Enjoy the double dividend of value added taxes. If you must. If that’s the tax discussion you want.

        But first, privatize the carbon cycle. Apply the standards of weights and measures for share in CO2E in the Market. Collect fees based on those standards. Pay 100% of those fees as dividends per capita to each citizen, each owner of an equal share in the air. This grows the Economy. This compensates for Risk. This inspires innovation. This levels the playing field. If you worry about it making energy more expensive, don’t be daft: the same amount of money is out there to pay for the same amount of energy, even the same amount of carbon burning, as before, should the Market player democratically decide that’s what they want. They get that money from their dividends.

        The difference? With the democratic decision power conserved in the hands of individual free buyers, their liberty to choose ensured as capitalism intends, they’ll buy what they actually want based on their means, not what some government lackey deems they ought want.

      • Herman Alexander Pope | July 5, 2013 at 10:29 pm |

        If you’re going to openly disagree with the PotUS, you should say so more coherently.

        Are you disputing the President’s official $100 billion dollar in 2012 figure?

        I mean, I know you must still be smarting at being officially designated by the White House as a Flat Earther, but try for a bit of clarity here.

      • David Springer

        SCOTUS found that CO2 is a pollutant and that EPA must regulate it.

        The lawsuits over forthcoming EPA regulations have not yet commenced. That’s because no one yet has standing i.e. no one can show damages. The expected first barrage will be when a coal burning power plant is penalized for emitting CO2 but you driving your car or heating your home with fuel oil is left alone. That’s classic violation of constitutional right to equal protection under the law. The EPA knows it’s coming. It’s impractical to regulate all CO2 emitters because there are too many small fry but they must do it. It’ll be tied up in court for years.

      • David Springer


        You mean we can shut you and your ilk the phuck up for a lousy $100 billion in fiat currency? And I get an equal portion of it to boot? Why didn’t you say your integrity could be purchased for so little? These days that’s chump change. Fire up those printing presses and get the payola rolling boys!

      • Jim Cripwell,

        Saying there is NO risk is almost on par with claiming global warming will be catastrophic.

        One cannot claim our understanding of the climate system is incomplete and contains great uncertainties and then say with complete certainty there is no risk.

        Furthermore, claiming there are only benefits, sans risk is just as questionable as claiming only bad things can happen.

        We don’t know what the risks are or how high (or low) are their probabilities. Anyone trying to argue otherwise, regardless of which side they are arguing from, disqualifies themselves as being a credible participant in the discussion.

      • JCH,

        Yes there have been abrupt climate changes in the past. Prior to 100,000 years ago abrupt change was far more common. Since mankind has been around the climate has exhibited more stability than the preceding several 1oo thousand years.

        In otherwords, abrupt climate change is something that happens regradless of human beings. Gaging how human action plays into this contains a large dose of exercising one’s imagination more than any reliance on scientific certainty.

        If you are certain “all hell will break loose”, my advice is to go into stock picking and betting on the ponies.

      • Bart,

        Exactly where is it you live that you have

        “reasonably-priced non-carbon energies, non-energy-intensive technologies, and non-energy-intensive, non-carbon-intensive products.” ?

        This claim sounds like it needs Pelke Jr’s BS button.

    • Peter Lang | July 5, 2013 at 9:22 am |

      Typically, in law, the reasonable victim of risk imposed on them by others gets to decide the rationale for estimation of risk.

      Also, it’s not typical in law for the trespasser to get to offset the costs of damages by proposing all the unwanted, unconsented benefits no one asked for when deeming the cost of harm.

      These unprincipled, immoral arguments made on behalf of the wrongdoers have no basis. Why are people rushing to the defense of those few tyrannically imposing harm on us all?

      • “Why are people rushing to the defense of those few tyrannically imposing harm on us all?”

        The tyrannical few? Everyone I know uses and benefits from evil fossil fuels. Even Bart R, by imposing his schizophrenic ideas on economics on this blog, is “trespassing” on the rights of others by his bizarre terms.

        I guess 300 million people are now “a few.” This bastardization of language would make even Steven Mosher blush.

        (And I will leave for later Bart’s exposition on what “typical law” is. Every time I start writing a response, I start shaking so hard with laughter that I could do myself serious harm.)

      • David Springer

        ‘Fraid not. In law damages must be shown.

        How are you damaged? Need a number in dollars and cents so you can be properly compensated.

        Good luck.

      • Maybe Bart’s been too long in the Sun?

      • Bart,

        May I suggest hanging out with smarter lawyers?

    • Lolwot,

      The world’s finest finest minds believed in the caloric theory of heat, phlogiston, the luminiferous aether, the indivisibility of the atom and a whole lot of similar things which don’t appear quite as convincing as they did then.

      If you want to go along with people who now believe that an object can have its temperature increased by wrapping it with gas, be my guest.

      Anyone who can deny reality to such an extent might as well sit under their amethyst crystals chanting sacred mystical mantras, for all the good it will do.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn

  2. michael hart

    Here’s a good one from Germany: The public nominated a nuclear reactor design for the GreenTec awards-so they changed the rules to eliminate it.

    • In the article you linked, there are quite a few other links about thorium reactors. They can burn plutonium mixed with the thorium and thereby destroy it. It looks like there is a lot of activity and interest in thorium – finally. Just no molten salt one yet.

      • I haven’t paid any attention to thorium reactors, but if they rely on molten salt cooling systems, either we’ve made some extrodinary advancements in metalurgy or someone is believing in pipe dreams.

  3. Flawed Logic (your input desired)

    I’m not a scientist nor have I been in an academic setting for more than 20 years now, but the “logic” I see used by the alarmist community seems to be skewed.

    I could use a little help here as I am trying to come up with a more formal explanation for discussions with people that believe that the world is about to be flooded and the mercury is about to burst from the tops of our thermometers.

    Here is what I have thus far:

    Using the same “logic” as the climate alarmists:

    1) I have observed that at any given time there are a certain number of human beings that walk about caring umbrellas regardless of the weather conditions.

    2) I have also observed that (ignoring all other data input and time delays just as climate alarmist ignore water vapor, sun activity, multi-hundred year time lag in CO2 levels -vs- historic temperatures, etc.) once the number of humans caring umbrellas reaches a certain density per capita, it begins to rain.

    3) I have also observed that once humans caring umbrellas begin to deploy their umbrellas, and a maximum density of deployment is reached, the peak density of precipitation is also reached.

    I have concluded that there is an anthropogenic cause for rainfall and flooding. We must act now to stem the manufacturing and sale of umbrellas in order to avoid a catastrophic flooding of our planet caused by careless human activity.

    • You need to find a mechanism by which opening umbrellas causes rain.
      At least there is a mechanism by which increasing CO2 in the atmosphere causes the temperature to increase.
      And all the things you claim are being ignored are in fact studied quite extensively.

      • darrinmcdougald

        Ok, Thank you, I see….

        So although whimsical and an observable phenomenon, there is no correlation that can be made between umbrella usage and precipitation formation in comparison to the global climate change debate. (Unlike the relationship between CO2 and global temperatures regardless of the time delays and the actual relationship)
        I Was trying to find a simple way to help a friend or two understand the complexity of the situation in something so satirical that the point could not be missed…

        Sort of like the leap in logic required to assert that:

        A) God is love
        B) Love is blind
        C) Stevie Wonder is blind
        Therefore Stevie Wonder must be God

      • k scott denison

        Bob Droege | July 5, 2013 at 10:42 am | Reply

        At least there is a mechanism by which increasing CO2 in the atmosphere causes the temperature to increase.

        Bob, would you agree that your statement is true if and only if ALL OTHER THINGS ARE HELD EQUAL?

        Your statement, IMO, is incomplete and that is where the crux of the matter lies. There is strong evidence that there exist feedback mechanisms in the Earth’s climate system that act to maintain the temperature within a narrow band.

        So yes, there is a mechanism by which increasing CO2 increases temperature, all other things being equal. Of course, this real means there is a mechanism by which increasing CO2 MIGHT increase temperature.

        Or, it may be that increasing CO2 has NO affect at all on temperature due to other things NOT being equal.

      • k scott denison

        Forgot to add, there may also be a mechanism by which increasing CO2 DECREASES temperature as well.

        In the end, if increasing CO2 ALWAYS increased temperature, then we would not be here to debate it. This is because we do have evidence of times during history when CO2 was very much higher than it is today, yet temperatures did not run away. So this is evidence that there is likely a mechanism that counteracts rising temperature, REGARDLESS OF HOW HIGH CO2 IS.

      • Do you deploy the same logic towards the Sun?

        The Earth only gets hotter from increased solar output if all other things remain equal…

        Therefore we cannot say the Earth will warm if the sun’s output doubles. It might even cool.

        So silly.

      • lolwot, “Do you deploy the same logic towards the Sun?”

        Poor logic. The Sun is an actual energy source CO2 is not an active energy source. A doubling of CO2 only makes a small change in the rate of energy transfer through the atmosphere. Major changes due to CO2 require fanciful and strategically located feedbacks that are not showing up for the game.

      • The sun temperature has changed, a good amount, over millions of years.
        When anything adds more heat, the sun melts more ice and exposes more water and it snows more. Ice and Water has a set point and it can handle the difference just fine.

      • Bob Droege

        Stefan-Boltzmann states that power goes with the fourth order of temperature, which pretty much prevents a runaway temperature increase.

      • “The Sun is an actual energy source CO2 is not an active energy source.”

        That doesn’t matter. Whether you are increasing incoming energy, or reducing outgoing energy the result is the same: an increase in temperature.

        Saying “That’s only true if and only if ALL OTHER THINGS ARE HELD EQUAL” is wrong.

        It’s as wrong about the Sun as it is about CO2.

        All other things do not have to remain equal for rising CO2 or solar output to cause an increase in temperature.

        Quite the opposite, a bunch of stuff has to change in a very unrealistic and specific way to STOP an increase in temperature.

        But we never see climate skeptics applying the “if ALL OTHER THINGS ARE HELD EQUAL” bogus mantra to the Sun do we?

      • lolwot, “That doesn’t matter. Whether you are increasing incoming energy, or reducing outgoing energy the result is the same: an increase in temperature.”

        It does matter. If you add solar you are increasing the rate of energy input and the resistance to heat loss, i.e. increasing water vapor. CO2 is just changing the rate of heat loss. That is a significant difference.

        Since CO2 has a larger impact in the drier portion of the atmosphere, it will have less impact on most of the moist surfaces where solar would have the greatest impact. It is about 1.5 – 3C of difference

        Why do you think Webster has fallen in love with the BEST land only? It ain’t happen everywhere else.

      • k scott denison

        Bob Droege | July 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        Stefan-Boltzmann states that power goes with the fourth order of temperature, which pretty much prevents a runaway temperature increase.

        Was that supposed to be an answer? Please, answer the original questions. Oh, and given your statement above, then why so we care about CO2 again?

      • k scott denison

        lolwot | July 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm |

        It’s as wrong about the Sun as it is about CO2.

        So, then, if the sun’s power increases and at the same time the Earth drifts away from the sun, will the temperature always rise?

      • maksimovich

        Do you deploy the same logic towards the Sun?

        as the sun has increased its energy by around 30% over time the temperature of the earth has decreased.The faint sun paradox is well known.

      • Lolwot: “All other things do not have to remain equal for rising CO2 or solar output to cause an increase in temperature.”

        In a system with (most especially non-linear) feedbacks, externally forcing the system does NOT produce the result you expect if you are basing your predictions on the non-feedback case.

        When alarmists state that “it’s basic physics”, they are of course quite correct – however, they have mis-applied it. Laws of behaviour derived from simple, homogenous, static systems are misleading when applied to complex, heterogeneous, dynamic systems. For example, as a mammal, my body temperature does not follow the same pattern in response to external heating and cooling as an inanimate object, and any “laws” that you derive from studying the temperature of inanimate objects under the influence of various heating or cooling scenarios would be highly misleading if you were to attempt to project my core body temperature based on them – at least, they would be while I am still alive (ie the feedbacks are still active).

        As both skeptics and even the most strident alarmists would be happy to tell you, the climate system on this planet is complex, heterogeneous and dynamic – hence the argument re: “tipping points” etc. Yet “more CO2 = higher temperature” is based on simple, homogenous, static systems in a lab. Why, then, should I expect predictions made based on the “simple physics” of said experiments to be accurate when applied to climate?

        Nor can you improve my confidence by suggesting that the models are also complex, heterogeneous and dynamic – such models are extremely difficult to get right, as anyone who has studied biological models would tell you.

        Finally, the models being used are off in absolute terms by, IIRC, around 3C at least. Since the absolute value of the temperature affects the various feedbacks, and since said feedbacks are said to be non-linear over that scale (tipping points, remember?), and further that the predictions made are diverging further from measurements of the real system the further into those predictions (or projections, as you will) we travel, what sane person would base public policy that affects the lives and livelyhoods of billions of people worldwide and costs trillions of dollars on such models?

      • Bob Droege

        K Scott Denison,

        It was a concise answer to your question for the mechanism that limits the temperature increase due to increasing CO2. The temperature stopped rising on Venus you know. And as to the times in earth’s history when CO2 was higher but temperatures were not, have you heard of the early faint sun hypothesis and the main sequence of solar evolution.
        Or you can demonstrate empirical evidence for negative feedbacks.
        Or just travel around and find that generally, warmer places are less cloudy than cooler places, so much for the iris hypothesis.

      • Cart before horse. Generally, given the same latitude, warmer places are warmer largely because they’re less cloudy.
        Granted, lack of cloudiness tends to make them colder at night, but, particularly at low latitudes, the extra daytime heat generally more than makes up for that.
        And what makes you think that, globally speaking, more heat = more evaporation = less cloud?

      • Kneel says:

        “Yet “more CO2 = higher temperature” is based on simple, homogenous, static systems in a lab. Why, then, should I expect predictions made based on the “simple physics” of said experiments to be accurate when applied to climate?”

        But do you apply the same reasoning to the Sun? I bet you don’t.

        Because your reasoning is silly.

        More CO2 = higher temperature. It takes some seriously silly things to happen to prevent that.

        Or do you really think a 3.7wm-2 CO2 forcing will causes precisely 3.7wm-2 increase in albedo so that no warming happens?


        So silly.

      • Bob Droege

        Mechanism – Schmechanism.

        There is no empirical evidence that increasing CO2 causes perceptible warming, as you are fully aware.


      • Bob Droege

        So sad, Max, to see that you are drinking the cripcoolaid.

        Thought you knew better, but I was mistaken.

        Check this out for empirical evidence.

      • lolwot | July 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm said: ”Therefore we cannot say the Earth will warm if the sun’s output doubles. It might even cool’

        the sun’s temp doesn’t go up and down as a yo-yo; look at the size of it.

      • Lolwot:
        “But do you apply the same reasoning to the Sun? I bet you don’t.”

        Then you lose your bet – the reasoning applies to the Earth’s climate system and is not dependent on the source of the external forcing. Of course, this does NOT mean that 3.7W/m2 forcing is the same regardless of the spectrum of forcing, or any other difference. Your argument (and other peoples too, from what I’ve seen) is that xW/m2 is xW/m2 regardless of any other consideration and that it will ALWAYS produce the same temperature response, which is easily demonstrated to be wrong.

        “Because your reasoning is silly.”

        Then please point out where it is incorrect – perhaps I AM being silly, but I don’t see it.

      • lolwot, Here is one example where solar induced forcing would be completely separate from GHG forcing.

        The higher colder place that CO2 forcing is supposed to make colder, marches to a OH* tune. Atmospheric chemistry is starting to kick GHG effects butt.

      • “Then you lose your bet – the reasoning applies to the Earth’s climate system and is not dependent on the source of the external forcing.”

        So we can’t say doubling the Suns output would warm the Earth? Because clouds could just increase and reflect all the extra sunlight away?

        Of course that’s possible but I am sure everyone recognizes how unlikely that would be.

        Then I hope they recognize the idea that CO2 rise won’t cause warming is based on the same unlikelyhood.

        It’s just not a credible argument.

      • Lolwot I can only suggest you google “faint sun paradox” to see just how silly you are being.

      • lowlot:

        It’s just not a credible argument

        The only bit that’s not credible is your doubling the sun’s output – not a plausible 0.1% or even 1%, but straight to a ridiculous double.

      • Bob,

        That’s not much difference from saying we understand the mechanism for heating water to steam and even know the mechanism for using steam to drive a turbine.

        With that knowledge can we now claim we know how to construct and operate a nuclear attack submarine?

      • Tim,
        We (mankind) knew how to boil water and run steam turbines long before we were able to build and operate a fast attack nuclear submarine.
        MM1 SS Bob Droege Uss Atlanta plankowner bluenose
        My last order was “pipe me off mother xxxxxx”

      • Bob,

        My point was that knowing how the CO2 mechanism works is just the start. It no more indicates a comprehensive enough knowledge of climate to be able to accurately project into the future than knowledge of how a steam turbine works allows one to build a nuke sub.

        Of topic – the nukes liked to brag how they had been to 2 years of Nuclear Propulsion School and thought it made them special. They didn’t like it when I pointed out the reason the Navy invested so much time and money into them was so they could drive me and my torpedoes through the ocean.

        USS Dace and also a bluenose.

    • You also see people without umbrellas getting wet due to lack of forethought. Does that have any relevance to climate change? Umbrella=Resilience.

  4. Looking at the usual reports on Arctic and Antarcitic sea ice, there is no sign, yet, of any rapid decrease of Arctic sea ice this year; and it is July. Yes, it is still early, and we wont have any real indication for a month or so, but it augers well for a comparatively small loss of Arctic sea ice this year. Maybe there has been a pause in Mark Serreze’s “death spiral”; maybe even a reversal. We can live in hope, even if we die in despair.

    • Looking at Jaxa, the last ten days averaged 113K ice extent loss per day.
      For your prediction it needs to be 62K per day loss and for mine 103K loss per day, assuming a Sept 15 minimum.
      In June Jaxa ice extent was way above the 2000s average, now it has dropped below.

      Last year was a pretty average year for weather in terms of melting ice, and so far this year has been really poor due to the persistant cyclone, which should have been really good for maintaining or increasing the amount of ice.

    • Steven Mosher

      “comparitively small loss”? compared to what?

      its lower than the average loss for the 1980-1990 decade
      lower than the 1990 to 2000 decade
      lower than the 2000-2010 decade.

      It is currently above the 2010-2012 average.

      So, its compartively “small” compared only to the last two years, one of
      which was an unforseen blow out year, a year in which skeptics argued ‘weather” was the cause of the record loss.

      Hardly a scientific “empirical” comparsion.

      if you want to understand how the climate is driving ice loss focus on
      volume. unless there is an unknown feedback, it wont recover soon.

      • Steven, you write “Hardly a scientific “empirical” comparsion.”

        In case you did not notice, I was talking about FUTURE ice loss. Of course it isn’t empirical. I canot measure anything in the future. The main thing that concerns me, is the NW passage becoming navigable for commercial traffic. Should this happen, it would, IMHO, be tragic for Canada. It could not matter less if we measure ice extent, or ice volume, when it comes to whether the NWP is navigable or not.

      • unless there is an unknown feedback, it wont recover soon.

        The feedback is well known, except not inside the Consensus Clique. The actual data shows that the snow falls in the warm times and then it always gets cold.

      • Steven, you write “if you want to understand how the climate is driving ice loss focus on

        I agree completely. I can find numerous sites where sea ice extent is reported on a daily basis; so I can keep track and study sea ice extent. I can find no sites whatsoever that report sea ice volume on a daily basis. I hoped that when Cryostat 2 became operational, this sort of volume data would be reported regularly. However, I have searched and searched, but there does not seem to be any sort of rouitne reporting from this satellite. Do you, hopefully, have a reference where sea ice volume is reported routinely?

        According to annual minimum values, sea-ice volume shows a much more dramatic still-accelerating decline. As you can see, a case can be made for disappearance in 2015. It is like when an ice cube melts, the last trace is a floating sliver.

      • David Springer

        Mean temp above 80N is running well below ERA40 (1958-2002 average). Barely above freezing.

        Doesn’t seem like a good omen for warmists. Ice huggers should have more to hug. I hope they get frostbite.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        Jim D,

        I think there is a chance we could see an ice-free summer Arctic before 2020, and and even better chance by 2030, and an excellent (i.e. very likely) chance by 2040. Natural variability, and the balance between positive and negative feebacks might make it more “wiggly” on the way down than some might imagine.

        Regardless though, an ice-free summer Arctic is in the relatively near future, and it could well be than many reading this post will sail through the NW or NE passage at least once in their lifetime.

      • darrinmcdougald

        Pardon the interruption please but I just had to interject with a link to this post by Dr Roy Spencer PHD

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

      Ah, my second favorite topic, the long-term decline in Arctic sea ice. Of course one month, or one season, or one year, or even a handful of years don’t make a trend. From the longest-term satellite data we have, the Arctic sea ice is heading toward an ice-free summer in the relatively near future. Could be 5 years, 10 years, or 30 years…but that’s where we’re headed. In looking at the reconstructed data over the past 14 centuries, it’s clear just how dramatic the declines of the recent decades have been:

      Now some might justifiable argue that the recent warm AMO has given a little extra kick to the decline in Arctic sea ice, and that well may be, but the bigger story there is that the AMO is not in some “super AMO” phase that would justify the kinds of declines we’ve seen these past few decades. The warm AMO may be a little extra kick to an already violently bucking horse. The big declines of the past few decades and the coming seasonally ice-free Arctic are largely Anthropogenic. For many reasons the Arctic forms the perfect focal point to be the canary in the coal mine for Anthropogenic (GH gas) induced planetary warming. Own it, and move on.

      • R gates

        I had a discussion with JImd (i Think) about the Kinnard reproduction earlier. he made a good effort at bringing new proxies to the fore but like paleo reconstructions they are so general that they are unlikely to see the decadal variation (even assuming you believe the proxies used were worthwhile) .

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        Tony said:

        “…so general that they are unlikely to see the decadal variation.”

        Agreed…but proxies (especially multiproxy studies) can be very useful at identifying changes in longer-term trends. With Arctic sea ice we have a multi-decadal decline that is extremely anomalous over the past 14 centuries, and most diffucult to explain without taking into account the effects of the forcing from the rapid increases in GH gases caused by the activities of humans. The current mult-decadal decline in sea ice is well beyond the noise of natural variability.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.

        And BTW Tony, this reasoning in reverse is the same reason that nice 12-year filter appllied to your CET temps over the past several centuries shows a very interesting shape…well known to hockey players.

      • R Gates

        The Vikings mist have been using ice breakers judging by the amount of ice Kinnard believes there to be in that era.

        As for showing trends, if they miss out the decadal variability and create a false impression I am not sure they can show trends using the proxies they do..

        The 1920-1940 data kinnard shows does not chime with reality. I asked Neven to use the latest data we have to help me-and others-reconstruct the period but unfortunately he was too busy (perhaps he was too engrossed in proof reading your recent article) :)

        Lets hope the Back to 1870 group does a better job than the efforts made in the 1970’s by, amongst others, our friends at CRU.

      • R Gates

        CET shows lots of hockey sticks, the biggest, as you know, isn’t the most recent one though.

        Look forward to your article on the warming trend over the last 350 years illustrating that 1880 was merely a staging post of increasing warmth and not the starting post. Wait! No need, someone has already done it


      • R Gates

        Wait! We need your help as to why the temperature has been declining so much here over the last decade. Don’t worry, not arctic ice or anything, it looks purely natural and in line with other coolings in the long record.

        But how is that happening when co2 is rising so sharply? The eager public here in the UK (and the Met office) want to know

      • I agree with R Gates on the filtered CET. Take a 30 year running mean filter to it, and you can see what is happening now is unprecedented, being the highest and still trending up.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.


        The reason for the general flattening of the global tropospheric temps in the past decade or so has much to do with: 1) the flow of energy from the ocean to atmosphere (as we’ve discussed many times), as well as 2) a sleepy sun and 3) a series of moderate sized volcanoes. Large spikes in tropospheric temperatures occur during El Nino years (1998, 2010) as we’ve discussed here many times. Overall though, you well know that the past decade as a decadal average is the warmest on record for the tropsophere globally and when looking at the full energy being retained by the Earth system, including ocean heat content and cryosphere, is simply off the charts (or nearly so).

        The best thing to come from the Kinnard study is to place in proper context the recent dramatic declines in Arctic sea ice. With a very high degree of confidence we can see how anomalous the recent few decades of Arctic sea ice decline is.

        Regarding the Vikings and what they used for “ice breakers”, I’m guessing probably something like, “Tell us something about yourself that no one else knows.” That usually get’s the group to warm up real fast.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        R. Gates, you overstate your case. Your listed causes, even if all true, may not explain the pause in warming. They may only explain ~40% of the pause, or any other value. A huge problem global warming activists are facing is they overstated their case with previous warming. You’re attempting to address that by… overstating your case.

        By the way, I know you weren’t addressing me, but I do not know anything like what you say “you know” when it comes to Earth’s total energy content. Your view is based largely upon relatively new data that hasn’t been validated in any way and has serious questions surrounding it.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Brandon S. said:

        “R. Gates, you overstate your case. Your listed causes, even if all true, may not explain the pause in warming. They may only explain ~40% of the pause, or any other value”

        Yet they clearly do explain most of it. You are certainly aware of the studies that show the effects of a cool phase of the PDO whereby there is a net reduction in the flux of energy from ocean to atmosphere during periods when La Niña dominates. And the increased stratospheric sulfate levels related directly to a series of moderate volcanoes has also been recorded, and every schoolboy and schoolgirl ought to be aware that the total solar irradiance reached its lowest level in a century during the past decade. With these three combined, it’s actually amazing troposphere temps haven fallen even more– perhaps being propped up by the highest GH gas levels in millions of years.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        R. Gates, in some circles, discussions are expected to involve things like logical arguments and evidence. I’m not sure what circles you run in, but you should know you’re doing something wrong when your retort is, in effect, “Yet you’re clearly wrong.”

        Hand-waving is probably the most common trait in overstating one’s case. You might try not doing it.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        My mistake Brandon, I assumed you were up on the current research.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        R. Gates, my mistake. I assumed you were up on the current research. Clearly you’re not.

        Oh wait, people can have different views on things. I guess I don’t need to resort to ad hominem attacks to make my argument. Too bad you do.

      • The Kinnard reconstruction has problems. They have a decrease in sea ice as the NH cooled into the LIA. They explain that this could be because ocean heat transport increased the melting of the ice but that ocean heat transport (apparently) didn’t cause the land to warm. I suppose anything is possible but this one isn’t very likely. It seems more likely they measured something upside down. Anyway, these reconstructions show ocean heat transport decreasing into the LIA and this doesn’t require a stretch of the imagination as to how the warming water didn’t cause the land to warm also.

        Can you blame the increase in OHT starting at about 1750 on CO2? You can blame anything you want on CO2 and just about everything has been blamed on it already. Now explain the decrease in ocean heat transport leading into the LIA and explain the current lack of trend in OHT using the same logic. It is much more likely that most of the warming in the Arctic and the resulting ice melt has been forced by a mechanism other than CO2 or is just internal variability.

  5. This is interesting. Lots to read here. A Rolling Stone item called “Goodbye, Miami” about climate change with some links in there to other related articles. Just scanned it so far. It starts with a cli-fi what-if and then goes on to evaluate the effects of rising sea level in the Miami area.

    • John Carpenter

      Heh, it’s the typical science fiction crap RS delivers on a regular basis. If they would quit the scare tactic strategy aimed at their readers, they could actually inform that demographic in a meaningful way. Instead, they pollute impressionable young minds with loads of extreme catastrophic garbage. Ironic that its presented by a magazine that promotes some of the worst excesses of society, glorifying rock star images and lifestyles often at complete odds with more conservative lifestyles that would be better for our environment.

    • If you read the article, it talks about the engineering problems they are already facing with the water supply, their local nuclear reactor, and sea-level rise that is already a foot in the last century, which could be three or more feet by 2100. They are already very much thinking about sea level there. Also it talks about the insurance issues, State Capitol politics (denialism central there), etc. Raises awareness. Miami is in the front line for sea-level issues.

      • Jim,

        You mention a 1 foot rise over the last century. Before we move on, how about we take a look at the changes Florida has experienced while that rise was occuring? Has population increased or decreased? Has net wealth increased or decreased? Has infrastructure increased or decreased? Are people moving into the state or moving out? Is Florida in a death spiral or is it prospering?

        Do you seriously think a case can be made for a 1 foot per century rise in sea levels being disasterous?

        Moving on, the rate of SLR has been 3 mm/year. Run that to the end of this century and you get 10 inches. Close enough to say we can expect another foot rise for the 21st century. So what is it about this foot that is so much more disasterous for Florida or so beyond our capability to deal with compared to the previous 1 foot rise?

        And how do we consider the most recent data which indicates SLR may now be only 1.5 mm/yr?

        One last point. Getting one’s science from Rolling Stone magazine while possibly a better choice than getting it from SkS, is still not advisable.

    • So, if not for AGW, the storm surge would only have been 23 feet, instead of 24 feet then

  6. thisisnotgoodtogo

    I would like to know why Storch and Jones think that if you have a 15 year pause, that it takes 5 more years to reach that 0 % of model runs showing it.

    That’s only if the plateau continues, and it does not take into consideration what would happen if temp drops.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo writes “and it does not take into consideration what would happen if temp drops.”

      You probably realise that if temperatures actually drop in the future, the pause extends at a rate greater than 1 year per year.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        That is the realization which should be recognized by Von Storch (it seems as though Jones is using the same reasoning).

        It is a double-edged sword.
        Nevertheless, giving a clear look at the way it works is best.
        It can be fleeting; so it goes.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Jim, it could be used in a strategic way: Spin the clock making dumb excuses while skeptics pound their chests in the good times, only idling and waiting to be able to stomp them all over the floor when it goes the other way and the plateau dissipates once more.
        It could go on cycling like that for a while….why not spell it out?

        Are Storch and Jones that dumb? No.

  7. Here are two new pages on my Climate Website.

    Please read and comment

    • Herman Alexander Pope.

      I looked through the pages referenced and others. I think your presentation would be greatly improved by adding a few diagrams as they will help to make your points.

      Not sure about the electrical circuit analogy as most people aren’t electricians. Who is your target audience? The already scientifically literate? (so no politicians then) :)

      • Who is my target audience? EVERYONE!
        My website has many pages and it is an attempt to explain My Climeat Theory, a lot of different ways for a lot of different people.
        Skip past any page that is not for you.
        Comment on anything you choose. Agree or disagree with anything you choose. I am trying to promote debate and discussion and thinking. I think I am right, but if I am wrong, I do want to find out.

        I am involved with a Climate Study Group and we have members with many different viewpoints. A few people in our Study Group Agree with some of my stuff and a lot of them do not. What maters is that we will figure this out.

        Join us if you really want to help figure this out.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist, etc.


      I’ll bite…what the heck.

      You state:

      “When ice extent is decreasing, it is causing earth to warm. When ice extent is increasing, it is causing earth to cool.”


      Aren’t you putting the effect before the cause? Unless you want to immediately jump to positive feedback effects. A warming planet causes the sea ice to decline, not the other way around. Now it seems to be the case that once the sea ice declines, that it can be accelerated by reduced albedo and more absorption of SW by open water, as well as effects related to reduced late spring and early summer snow cover.

      And then the reverse is also true. It is a cooling earth that causes an increase in sea ice and NH summer snow cover, which in turn leads to an acceleration of the cooling. Thus, sea ice and snow cover can act as positive feedbacks to an initial external forcing that causes the warming or cooling.

      I hope this is what you mean, or else you seem to have things bass ackwards.

      • Yes, a warming ocean causes sea ice to decline and a cooling ocean causes sea ice to advance. You are right about that!

        That is only part of the process. People put land ice and sea ice in the same bucket. It does not work like that.

        Land ice builds when oceans are warm and wet.

        Land ice goes away when the oceans are cold and frozen.

        The sea ice melts and the open water causes snow to fall on land. The land ice builds volume over a period of warm wet years. The Land ice then advances and causes the cooling. This cooling freezes the polar waters and the snowfall stops, or greatly reduces. The sun then starts removing land ice volume while the land ice is even still advancing. The advance stops because the glaciers are advancing and thinning and not being replaced. Land ice recedes and earth warms until the Polar sea ice melts again and turns the snowfall on again.

        Just like an electrical circuit.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        H. Pope said:

        “Land ice builds when oceans are warm and wet.”

        Then why has NH snowcover in the late spring and summer been declining for many years? Oceans are at their warmest in many centuries and overall land ice globally has been in decline. Your theory seems highly flawed in that it doesn’t match reality.

      • Then why has NH snowcover in the late spring and summer been declining for many years? Oceans are at their warmest in many centuries and overall land ice globally has been in decline. Your theory seems highly flawed in that it doesn’t match reality.

        It is like the electrical circuit. The oceans are warm and wet and the snow is falling, but it takes years to increase the ice volume, which must happen first, and then more years to advance the ice volume. A Roman or Medieval or Modern Warm period is hundreds of years. There will not be instant results. It is going to work the same way it always has and it does take some time. Look at the data for the past cycles. If you want something faster and different, you can forget that.

        Snow extent is still declining when the snow volume starts to increase. This is natural and necessary. This is a Thousand Year Cycle. It does take some time.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        “Snow extent is still declining when the snow volume starts to increase. This is natural and necessary. This is a Thousand Year Cycle. It does take some time.”


        Well, your thousand year cycle seems to be broken as sea ice is at its lowest in 1400+ years at least, and CO2 at its highest in perhaps several million years. Land glaciers and snowpack in the summer will continue to decline with increasingly warm temperatures. Winter snowpack will increase marginally because of a warmer atmosphere in the winter that can evaporate and carry more moisture, but that snow had no chance of surviving warmer summers.

      • The Little Ice Age followed the Medieval Warm Period.
        Another Little Ice age WILL follow this Warm Period.
        IT ALWAYS WORKS LIKE THIS. Watch the data as this plays out.

      • Anyone who says what has always happened every time for the past ten thousand years is never going to happen again and something that never happened in ten thousand years will happen is most always wrong.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Herman P.,

        There is a major difference in this interglacial that did not exist in any previous interglacial. Namely, a species that learned how to release tons of carbon that had been locked in the lithosphere and transfer it to the atmosphere and hydrosphere. This human carbon volcano has now been erupting for many centuries, and though it started out slow, it’s really going strong, now adding over 2ppm of CO2 to the atmosphere every year– an phenomenal rate by geological standards. I certainly understand how there will some who would like to wishfully believe that this human carbon volcano could not possibly alter the climate, but so many indications are that it is, in addition to the solid science behind this change, that denying the reality of the Holocene turned Anthropocene is akin to a religious or strongly held political ideology.

      • solid science behind this change
        There is solid science about there being more CO2.
        I do accept that we are responsible for some or much of the more.
        There is solid science that says if you double CO2 and hold everything else constant, you will get more than one degree C increase but less than two degrees C. I have heard this from scientists on both sides.
        That is where the solid science ends and Chicken Little takes over.
        Their Theory and Models about what happens next proves to be wrong again, now for seventeen years.

  8. Paul Vaughan
    “The IPCC should reconsider the regionalisation of the assessments […] regionalisation significantly increases the volume of the assessment, makes it more difficult to read and causes an almost unmanageable writing process. It becomes more vulnerable to uncertainty, inconsistency and the existence of potential errors. Consequently, regionalisation puts more pressure on the contributors. It also complicates the synthesis of the assessment.”

    unacceptable, evasive self-contradiction

  9. Chief Hydrologist posted a link on the Climate Risk thread, and its been discussed at Hockey Schtick: Stomatal proxy record of CO2 concentrations from the last termination suggests an important role for CO2 at climate change transitions by Margret Steinthorsdottir, Barbara Wohlfarth, Malin E. Kylander, Maarten Blaauw, and Paula J. Reimer Quaternary Science Reviews 68 (2013) 43-58

    I have several comments:

    1. Figure 5 shows the data points for stomata, based on:

    [… C]ontiguous slices equalling 1 cm in the reference core and corresponding to a time- resolution of ~50 years (42.9years/cm in GI-1 [Allerød interstadial] and 47.4 years/cm in GS-1 [Younger Dryas], using the modelled weighted mean“best” ages, see Section 4.2 and Table 1).

    There’s a great deal of spread in the index at any point. Some of this may be due to genetics, and some to variation on a shorter time-scale than the 43/47 years. The broader spread during the Younger Dryas suggests this (very strongly to me), although comparisons with modern stomatal indexes is indicated (heh).

    2. In figure 7, the “loss-on-ignition” (LOI) record is “ used here as a crude temperature proxy, where increased organic matter content reflects higher productivity, usually associated with higher temperatures.” I’m a little skeptical, since we might also expect higher concentrations of CO2 to contribute to higher productivity.

    3. In the discussion, it’s implied that changes to CO2 concentration lead supposed temperature changes, but looking at figure 7 again, the most outstanding correlation is at the very end of the Allerød interstadial, just before the onset of Younger Dryas. Here, the peak in CO2 falls right in the middle of an extended period of higher productivity (temp?). (Although it does lead a relatively slight increase.)

    4. This report points up the crying need for much more work along these lines:

    With CO2 emerging as a major component in rapid climate change, not least including the current climate change, the need for high-resolution CO2 records recording short-term oscillations as well as longer-term trends is undeniable

    In general it seems to me to confirm Salby’s contentions regarding the deficiencies in the ice-core-derived records of paleo-CO2. We really really need much bigger studies of this type, many more or them, with much finer resolution.

    • CO2 is driven by Temperature. This is basic law of nature.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Not entirely so – Ellison’s theory that driving my SUV or my ultra-black coupe burns gasoline and emits carbon dioxide. I could run them on hydrogen I suppose – but the plans I have seen for aluminium (Aussie spelling) digesters under the hood seem fairly dodgy.

        Although CO2 does appear to be more variable than the ice cores suggest. Current CO2 levels may be the highest they have been in 12,000 odd years. The causes however must be somewhat different.

      • The one thing we can say for certain about such simplistic theories is that they’re wrong, and worse than useless in that they let people think simple solutions can fix very complex “problems” (if any).

        There is some effect from changing temperature on ocean solubility, but AFAIK the major effects are biological. Many of these are probably partly driven by temperature, but effects are local, and dependent on other factors as well as temperature.

  10. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Stay tuned for the next update by 9 August (hopefully earlier) to see where the MEI will be heading next. El Niño came and went last summer, not unlike 1953. We have just witnessed our first ENSO-neutral winter since 2003-04 (2005-06 was an ENSO-neutral winter, but much closer to La Niña, and dipped into La Niña rankings during March-April). Of the six such ENSO-neutral cases before 2012-13 shown here, two ended up as full-blown El Niño events by the end of the second year shown in this graph (1991 and 2002), while three remained more or less ENSO-neutral, and one drifted into weak La Niña territory (1967). However, during boreal spring four of these cases showed at least a brief foray into El Niño conditions, with two of them (1953 and 1981) quickly returning to ENSO-neutral later that year. Given a recent preference for La Niña, I would not be surprised if we see a gradual drift of the MEI into negative territory later this year, while a transition to El Niño appears to be off the table in 2013.’

  11. Y. Zheng, W. Luo, Q. Li, and J. Li, “The polytropic index and adiabatic limit: Another interpretation to the convection stability criterion,” EPL (Europhysics Letters), vol. 102, no. 1, p. 10007, 2013.

    The gist of their approach is to assume that the atmosphere is not under thermodynamic equilibrium (which it isn’t as it continuously exchanges heat with the sun and outer space in a stationary steady-state) and therefore use some ideas of non-extensible thermodynamics. Specifically they invoke Tsallis entropy and a generalized Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution to model the behavioral move toward an equilibrium. This is all in the context of self-gravitational systems, which is is the first step in understanding planetary atmospheres. Why I think it is intriguing, is that they seem to tie the entropy considerations together with the polytropic process and arrive at some very simple relations which can explain the lapse rate of planetary atmospheres such as occur on the earth.

    • WHT, do you have a web link. In my textbook Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, I discuss entropy potential temperature, which sounds like the same thing

      • I only have a hard copy of the paper.

        As a summary, in the non-extensive entropy approach, the original Maxwell-Boltzmann (MB) exponential velocity distribution is replaced with the Tsallis-derived generalized distribution — which looks like the following power-law equation:

        f_q(v)=n_q B_q (\frac{m}{2 \pi k T})^{3/2} (1-(1-q) \frac{m v^2}{2 k T})^{\frac{1}{1-q}}

        The so-called q-factor is a non-extensivity parameter which indicates how much the distribution deviates from MB statistics. As q approaches 1, the expression gradually trasforms into the familiar MB exponentially damped v^2 profile, that is Gaussian statistics.

        When q is slightly less than 1, all the thermodynamic gas equations change slightly in character. In particular, the scientist Du and his group [1] postulated that the lapse rate follows the familiar linear profile, but scaled by the (1-q) factor:

        \frac{dT}{dr} = -  \frac{(1-q)g m}{R}

        Note that as q approaches unity, the thermodynamic equilibrium value, the lapse rate goes to zero, which is of course the maximum entropy condition of uniform temperature.

        [1] Z. Liu, L. Guo, and J. Du, “Nonextensivity and the q-distribution of a relativistic gas under an external electromagnetic field,” Chinese Science Bulletin, vol. 56, no. 34, pp. 3689–3692, Dec. 2011.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        dT/dr is not familiar at al – I challenge the Webster to provide one reference or citation for this nonsense. Lui et al – I note – do not posit anything of the sort in the reference provided.

        It is something invented by webby from fantasy physics.

        It is changed from dH to dr – and there is an added ‘q’ factor. But essentially we have the same nonsense whereby a lapse rate is calculated from the molar mass of air, the gas constant and the gravitational constant. By all means put some numbers and units to this.
        Simple enough.

        The rest of it seems the usual gobbledegook. His usual recourse is that I don’t understand maths. This is simple – provide a derivation that doesn’t involve a loser website.

        What they actually seem to investigate is the emergence of turbulence at high lapse rates. He just seems to read into anything his preconceived, simplistic notions.

        Bart I note leaps on the bandwagon – this seems to guarantee malfeasance or irrationality in the service of obfuscation.

      • Hydro
        You don’t seem to understand that one of the conundrums of observed atmospheres is the balance between isentropic and isothermal regimes. People are still exploring the math and trying to unify some of the disconnects that they see.

        The Tsallis generalized Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics show a cut-off in velocities [1].

        ” The cut-off in the polytropic distribution (5) is an example of what is known, within the field of non extensive thermostatistics, as “Tsallis cut-off prescr_ption”, which affects the q-maximum entropy distributions when q < 1. In the case of stellar polytropic distributions this cut-off arises naturally, and has a clear physical meaning. The cut-off corresponds, for each value of the radial coordinate r, to the corresponding gravitational escape velocity." [1]

        Obviously, the generalized MB formulation does have a limit to the velocity of a gas molecule in comparison to the classical MB view. The tail in the statistics is actually cut-off as velocities greater than a certain value are not allowed, depending on the value of q. As q approaches unity, the velocities allowed (i.e. escape velocity) approach infinity. Temperature plays into this because the “hotter” molecules have a better chance to escape but since they are also lower in altitude, they have a much higher gravitational potential energy to overcome. The reference above states that there is a cutoff constraint on the maximum velocity, and that plays in to the derivation.

        ” Polytropic distributions happen to exhibit the form of q-MaxEnt distributions, that is, they constitute distribution functions in the (x,v) space that maximize the entropic functional Sq under the natural constraints imposed by the conservation of mass and energy.” [1]

        What makes the subject matter imposing is that some of the same theories are used in reasoning about dark matter and the origins of the universe. The domain knowledge runs pretty deep, and it’s really just a few researchers on the periphery that are trying to apply the concepts to something as ordinary as the Earth’s atmosphere, which is the reason that the Zheng paper perked my interest.

        [1] A. Plastino, “Sq entropy and selfgravitating systems,” europhysics news, vol. 36, no. 6, pp. 208–210, 2005.

        BTW, I have been adding information to my original blog post, which I titled “The Homework Problem to end All Homework Problems”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am not really interested Webster – in your long winded prevarications. They are inevitably irrational nonsense clothed in pretentious prattle. Frankly I can’t be bothered reading it because it is mere distraction.

        Provide a derivation for the lapse rate formula. Not even the where this is ‘postulated’ in Liu – because it isn’t.

        Just a derivation for the ‘familiar’ lapse rate formula in some textbook, Wikipedia, a scientifically credible site -anywhere basically.

      • David Springer

        By the way, that’s piqued your interest not perked your interest. Duh.

      • David Springer

        Chief you should learn when to keep your trap shut. The lapse rate formula mentioned is relativistic not classical. I still haven’t quite figured out how it applies to earth’s atmosphere which pretty frickin’ far from relativistic. The authors were trying to sort out processes in solar not planetary atmospheres.

        [1] Z. Liu, L. Guo, and J. Du, “Nonextensivity and the q-distribution of a relativistic gas under an external electromagnetic field,”

      • SpringyBoy,
        This is Du’s equation:
        k \nabla T + (1-q) m \nabla \varphi =0

        The theory essentially states that the gradient of temperature is balanced by a gradient in the gravitational potential energy. The gradient of temperature corresponds to the lapse rate formulation. The gradient in potential energy is the gravitational force, which is essentially a constant for a range of radii.

        Find a derivation in
        Du Jiulin, “What Does the Nonextensive Parameter Stand for in Self-Gravitating Systems?,” Astrophysics and space science, vol. 305, no. 3, pp. 247–251, 2006.

        Du places most of his/her papers in ARXIV and has applied the approach across a range of potential domains. That’s what usually happens with these formulations. The physicist wants to see where it will work and where it may break.

        The reason that this research is controversial is that it starts to encroach on the Loschmidt effect.

        Clive Best has discussed this:

        “Does a lapse rate exist in an isolated gas under a gravitational field, or is it only a bulk convective effect? This essentially was the dispute between Lochsmidt, Maxwell and Boltzman at the end of the 19th century. Maxwell and Boltzman argued that such an isolated atmosphere would reach an isothermal temperature. Nearly every physicist since then would agree with Maxwell since a persistent temperature gradient appears to violate the second law of thermodynamics. A modern analysis of this problem has recently been given by Christian Fronsal, a theoretical physicist at the University of California”

        What Du’s formulation does is confirm Maxwell Boltzmann under the classical regime of q=1 and allow a gradient to exist under the nonextensive regime of nonequilibrium conditions.

      • Chief Hydrologist | July 5, 2013 at 10:17 pm |

        I’ll jump on any bandwagon that gets people thinking about and doing math.

        If you’re accusing me of pro-mathematics agitprop? I’m guilty.

        Also, you’ll find me guilty of being pro-Logic, and pro-Reason.

        I’m also biased toward Capitalism and Minarchy, health and intelligence.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Bart – I suspect you of indulging in the dark arts of obfuscation and dissimulation. I am sure that Lui et all are entirely worthy – and derive a non-extensive formula for the emergence of turbulence in the atmosphere at lapse rates typically found.

        What I questioned – not for the first time – was webby’s invalid segue to his fraudulently derived and utterly incompetent so-called lapse formula.

        So you support fraudulent and incompetent math on the basis of utter ignorance. Much like your six sigma precision. That most results in a Gaussian distribution fall within plus or minus 3 standard deviations is not a measure of precision – in your case it is a measure of anti-precision.

      • David Springer


        Yes that’s why I said you risked losing your membership in the Consensus Climate Science Club of America for giving it column space and why I was encouraged to think you might not be the proverbial old dog that can’t be taught new tricks. Color me shocked. Shocked I tell ya. What’s next for you, Principia Scientific? :-)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Observe the doubly-stochastic transition matrix on the wall, the implements for machine reconstruction, the collaborators with the patience of angels… ‘ Cosma Shalizi

        Here’s someone to understand – my new hero – clarity, humor and a profound erudition.

        Modest too.

        ‘Finally, it has come to my attention that some people are citing this notebook as though it had some claim to authority. Fond though I am of my own opinions, this seems to me to be deeply wrong. The validity of Tsallis statistics, as a scientific theory, ought to be settled in the usual way, by means of the peer-reviewed scientific literature, subject to all its usual conventions and controls. It’s obvious from the foregoing that I have pretty strong beliefs in how that debate ought to go, and (this may not be so clear) enough faith in the scientific community that I think, in the long run, it will go that way, but no one should confuse my opinion with a scientific finding. For myself, this page is a way to organize my own thoughts; for everyone else, it’s either entertainment, or at best an opinionated collection of pointers to the genuine discussion.’

        I shall certainly be making that mistake.

        On another topic entirely – saw The Lone Ranger yesterday. Wonderful movie in the vein of magic realism – which has been so out of fashion or so poorly done or both. It is very funny – which is the only way magic realism works. Highly recommended.

      • In other words, The Chef hasn’t a clue.

        The use of the Tsallis formulation here does not lead to fat-tails, or of superstatistics. It actually appears closer to a substatistics approach, where it is cutting off larger velocities.

        The Chef can go on with his quote-mining, always ignoring the context. He is a poseur, you know.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘What has really caused this framework to take off, however, is that while normal entropy-maximization gives you exponential, Boltzmann distributions, Tsallis statistics give you power-law, Pareto distributions, and everyone loves a power-law. (Strictly speaking, Tsallis distributions are type II generalized Pareto distributions, with power-law tails.) Today you’ll find physicists applying Tsallis statistics to nearly anything with a heavy right tail.’

        I was merely pointing to a site that discusses these issues with clarity and humor – unlike you on both counts – for the benefit of anyone who is interested. So you actually read the page obviously – but invent more nonsense prevarications. One wonders whether you are talking about relativistic gases, self gravitational fields, turbulence in the atmosphere or your imbecilic segue into a so-called ‘familiar’ lapse formula.

        Point to a derivation or admit to being a liar and a fraud.

      • The little baby Chef gets a temper tantrum over a set of papers by Chinese physicists not named Tsonis. He vents uncontrollable rage on me for partially deciphering some of the implications of their research.

        It is all totally predictable coming from The Chef, a control freak who takes on the persona that he has all the answers.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Your slobbering all over the place again clot dancer. I quote from a website and talk about going to the movies. And you go off on a rant about rage and whatnot. I think you must be projecting.

        Give me a link to a derivation of the familiar ‘lapse rate formula’ or admit you are a fraud.

      • I finally get it. The Chef doesn’t have a copy of the Zheng paper and is bluffing that what I am saying is totally made up.

        Ha ha, I will let him squirm. Watch the steam build up between his ears.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So what you do is extract a formula from Zheng and make some incorrect substitutions. But we are not talking about Zhengs formula. We are talking about your fantasies.

        dT/dr = -(1-q)gm/k

        This is your new formulation for the simple ‘familiar’ linear lapse rate in a self-gravitating system – galaxies, stars, atoms – as used in Du’s. formulation.

        You then substitute R for k – rather arbitrarily in my opinion in neglecting Avogadro’s number.

        You forget as well the nature of q – not a linear operator at all but a power rule.

        Your formulation on your loser web site?

        dT/dr = −gm/3R – the units still don’t work.

        Although I do note that you have substituted the mean molecular mass for the molar mass. You can thank me later. So which one is right clot dancer? Which is the ‘familiar lapse rate formula’? It seems to evolve rapidly in fantastic ways

        You are the biggest loser.

      • dT/dr = −gm/3R – the units still don’t work.

        Of course the units work. Flip the ratio:
        1 = -gm*dr / (3R dT)

        The numerator is potential energy of a molar quantity of mass.
        Gravity * Mass * Height
        This is known since Newton’s day

        The denominator is the energy of a thermal bath
        R * T (molar) or k * T (per particle)
        This is known since Boltzmann’s day

        Divide a potential energy by a thermal energy and the units cancel.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Let’s not ‘flip’ it. You are flipped enough as it is. Hard to keep up.

        ‘However, plugging in numbers for the gravity of Venus and the mean molecular weight (CO2 plus trace gases)…’ Although that seems not what you actually meant.

        The ‘familiar lapse rate formula’?

        dT/dr = −gm/3R
        = -(9.81*0.029)/(3*8.3145) ????
        = -0.0114 ????

        Derivation or not? The molar mass, the gravitational constant and the gas constant? This is quite a breakthrough Webster. Am I missing something or have we redefined the lapse rate? I know you think it equals 11.4 – which itself is out by almost 100% – but perhaps if we convert grams/mol to kg/mol so the units are consistent at least

      • Chef, You are indeed slow.

        The lapse rate in that case is -0.0114 K/m or -11.4 K/km. ( In comparison, the adiabatic lapse rate for Earth is -9.8 k/km )

        That is a theoretical gradient that I derived based on a tutorial for stellar and planetary atmospheres.

        That’s what these astrophysicists do — they work out scenarios to help explain observations. Not all of these pan out but they reveal pieces of the puzzle.

        Besides being slow and dimwitted, you also seem to show an almost perverse glee in railing against any science that doesn’t meet your criteria for pranking.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You got me.

        The lapse rate is 6.4 degrees/km on average. You are still out by a factor of almost 100%.

        You are still to provide a link to a derivation

      • “You are still to provide a link to a derivation”

        Zheng, Equation (16) from the reference I pointed at in the top of this thread. Here it is:

        T = T_0 - \frac{m}{k}(\varphi-\varphi_0)(\frac{\gamma-1}{\gamma})(1+\frac{5}{2}Q)

        This is definitely a lapse rate expression. The value phi is the gravitational potential, so that for small changes in altitude, phi goes as :

        That is the Newtonian linearization.

        So, Ha Ha, Chef, I don’t have to provide a derivation, as Zheng has done it, building off the work of Du. They also didn’t put in Avagadro’s number and other details because physicists are their customers and physicists are able to infer the implicit conversions.

        However, if you are waiting for me to double-check Zheng’s and Du’s work, I can’t give you an ETA.

        I am working on other neat stuff, like this one:

      • Chief Hydrologist

        dT/dr = −gm/3R

        This one not Zheng – it is the ‘familiar lapse rate formula after all.

      • The familiar lapse rate formula looks just like that with a multiplier in front of the universal gas constant. For the adiabatic derivation, the theory says to use a multiplier of 7/2=3.5 which is the specific heat capacity (at constant pressure) multiplier for diatomic molecules (such as N2 and O2). That gets the oft-quoted 9.8 K/km value.

        Through my derivation, I came up with a value of 3 instead of 3.5 based on the hydrostatic and mass balance arguments together with the ideal gas law.

        That’s why I was intrigued by the Zheng paper. It is an ongoing research topic.

        Too bad you lack intellectual curiosity.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Q < 0.285 – not figured out how much – by equation 12 – .

        It is the convective stability criteria – so let's assume it is 2/7 and on the verge of instability.

        m is the mass of the particle – galaxy, star, atom.

        dT/dr = -(1-q)mg/k = -(1-q)Nmg/R – or about 10 degrees/km

        Again – as I said originally – it is about convective stability and not about the lapse rate as such. Although I am struggling with the concept of convective stability.

        What gets me is your lies, your obfuscation, prattling and preening, refusing to admit error, intellectual laziness, post hoc justification, absurd insults and calumny, deliberate muddying of concepts, jumping to unwarranted conclusions – et etc.

      • “What gets me is your lies, your obfuscation, prattling and preening, refusing to admit error, intellectual laziness, post hoc justification, absurd insults and calumny, deliberate muddying of concepts, jumping to unwarranted conclusions – et etc.”

        Wow, all that in response to a paper by Zheng. The Chef is what we call a concern troll, with the flair of a drama queen.

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | July 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm |

      Admirable find.

      This would make an awesome topic, were one of the principles available to post it at Climate Etc.

    • David Springer


      You know putting gravity and lapse rate into the same paragraph with a suggestion the two are somehow connected is grounds for instant dismissal from the Settled Climate Science Club of America, right?

      On thermodynamic equilibrium – that’s an ideal that is never achieved in nature. So it’s always a matter of how close to equilibrium any given closed system may be in. A closed system itself is another ideal that is never acheived in nature. We’re not even sure if the observable universe itself is a closed system.

      Therefore you are technically correct that the atmosphere is not in thermodynmic equilibrium but you’re about the reason being that it exchanges energy with its environment. A steady state exchange can be arbitrarily close to thermodynamic equilibrium.

      I do however find it encouraging that you’re entertaining the thought that there may be something you don’t know about lapse rate. I had presumed your mind was quite closed to the notion that something as basic as the adiabat might need more explaining. I suggest you reconsider Loschmidt gravito-thermal effect in that regard. Loschmidt was never proven wrong. He was judged wrong by fiat and that’s not science.

      • ” I had presumed your mind was quite closed to the notion that something as basic as the adiabat might need more explaining. “

        SpringyBoy, You and your ego have not been paying much attention. I have been playing around with this for several months now:

        If you wade through this you can see that I don’t have all the answers. I added in a bunch of comments from feedback that I have received. It is an interesting research domain which involves one of my favorite physics topics — entropy.

      • David Springer

        What’s really funny is Bart, as usual, doesn’t get it, and is backing your flirtation with politiclimatologically incorrect thoughts. It’s a good thing they don’t burn heretics at the stake anymore or you’d be feeling some heat from the usual suspects.

      • David Springer

        So what’s this have to say about the total energy in a pound of air at sea level and a pound of air at say 10,000′ MSL in a non-convecting atmosphere? Can it be unequal and non-convecting at the same time? I keep getting hung up on that. Intuitively it’s like saying Wile E. Coyote can step off a cliff and hover until he realizes there’s nothing holding him up. Seems cartoonish. And of course no one’s ever really observed such a thing because every atmosphere we know about convects.

      • David Springer | July 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm |

        Backing what now?

        Why would I burden anyone with my backing?

        If they’re right, they’re right. If they’re wrong, they’re wrong.

        They don’t need the weight of my authority, or the strength of my opinion.

        I think the find is good, because it enables a mathematical discussion.

        I don’t pretend to ‘back’ any part of it.

      • I am going through the math myself. I tried deriving the formulation from some of the hints in one paper, but got stuck. But there is another paper by Du which goes through the entire derivation in some detail

        Du Jiulin, “Nonextensivity and the power-law distributions for the systems with self-gravitating long-range interactions,” Astrophysics and Space Science, vol. 312, no. 1–2, pp. 47–55, 2007.

        Eq. 53 gives the relation between the nonextensive parameter q, the temperature gradient (i.e. lapse rate) and the gravitational acceleration.
        k \nabla T + (1-q) m \nabla \varphi =0

        So slog through 52 steps to get to this amazingly concise result.
        Like Bart said, “if they’re right, they’re right. If they’re wrong, they’re wrong”.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I was asking for a derivation of this –

        dT/dr = (1-q)gm/R – your so-called familiar expression for lapse in the Earth’s atmosphere which is nothing to do with either Du or Lui. Not even close.

        Stop blaming these people for your nonsense. Stop quibbling, prevaricating and dissimulating. Either provide a derivation or admit you are a fraud.

      • Chef,
        Number 1, you have it wrong, there is a negative sign in there
        dT/dr = -(1-q)gm/R

        Number 2, you don’t seem to understand that the upside-down triangle (nabla) is the gradient operator. So in one dimension:
        k \nabla T = dT/dr

        Number 3, the gradient of the gravitational potential energy is a constant over a limited range.
        m \nabla \varphi = m g

        That is how this formulation is reduced.
        k \nabla T + (1-q) m \nabla \varphi =0

        That is what Zheng picked up from Du. Take a look at Zheng’s Equation (16) and you can see the integrated lapse rate.

        Chef, you really look like a fool trying to argue this. The fact that I can interpret what Zheng is trying to do, yet it fills you with an uncontrollable jealous rage is truly your problem, and not mine.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh sorry – clot dancer – I forgot the minus in your bogus formulation.

        Nice try – but you forgot the gas constant in your idiot repost. It is actually horrendous goobledegook.

        ‘Number 2, you don’t seem to understand that the upside-down triangle (nabla) is the gradient operator. So in one dimension:

        ‘Del, or Nabla, is an operator used in mathematics, in particular, in vector calculus, as a vector differential operator, usually represented by the nabla symbol ∇. When applied to a function defined on a one-dimensional domain, it denotes its standard derivative as defined in calculus. When applied to a field (a function defined on a multi-dimensional domain), del may denote the gradient (locally steepest slope) of a scalar field (or sometimes of a vector field, as in the Navier–Stokes equations), the divergence of a vector field, or the curl (rotation) of a vector field, depending on the way it is applied.’ Wikipedia

        So I have no problem with dT but wonder where k went.

        Number 3, the gradient of the gravitational potential energy is a constant over a limited range.’

        The gravitational potential energy is equal to acceleration due to gravity??? Times m from Zheng – which is? Opposed to m for the molar weight of air in your formulation.

        And yes I forgot a minus – but it is your formula and you forgot the gas constant and seemingly an undefined k.

        Seriously I ask you to link to a textbook derivation for this ‘familiar.. lapse rate formula’ and you give me gobbledegook – nonsense and unsubstantiated substitutions.

        Why don’t you admit it – you are a fraud.

      • Look at the Chief squirm. All he can attack is my sincere attempts to render the equations as latex markup … with no preview function available. Give him credit for noticing the missing k or R, take your pick. Does he actually know more than he is letting on? Is he actually a PhD in a climate science discipline who is simply posing as an Aussie civil engineer to gain respect?

        What exactly drives The Chef to exert such control over a blog commenting site? It has never been apparent that he has the least bit of interest in advancing the state of the art in climate science.

        What a soap opera.

      • Keep it up Chef, I don’t know who you are trying to convince.

        Do you want Zheng et al to retract their paper?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So what you do is extract a formula from Zheng and make some incorrect substitutions. But we are not talking about Zhengs formula. We are talking about your fantasies.

        dT/dr = -(1-q)gm/k

        This is your new formulation for the simple ‘familiar’ linear lapse rate in a self-gravitating system – galaxies, stars, atoms – as used in Du’s. formulation.

        You then substitute R for k – rather arbitrarily in my opinion in neglecting Avogadro’s number.

        You forget as well the nature of q – not a linear operator at all but a power rule.

        But really the problem is that latex ate your homework?

        Your formulation on your loser web site?

        dT/dr = −gm/3R – the units still don’t work.

        Which one is right?

        I’d like to convince everyone about what a fraud you are. How am I doing?

      • You want me to put it through a strainer so you can digest it?
        Poor little baby chef.

    • Webster, you may be missing the point. The lapse rate involves dissipation of surface energy while there is absorption of solar energy. That is not an adiabatic system. To make it more fun, at higher altitude lower density higher energy photons interact with the atmosphere. Then to really kick it up a notch, lower energy photons that penetrate close to the critical angle bounce around with photons reflected at lower angle from the surface. All that bouncing around.increases path length greatly increasing the probability of absorption. Kinda of like a Black Body Cavity.

      Tsallis Entropy considers the interaction of the two systems where entropy of one may or may not be additive to the other.

      Kind of like this

      Now if you use a frame of reference inside of the black body cavity, up/down radiant modeling is obsolete and miss leading.

      The reason I think this.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        kB = R/NA

        Where N is the Avogadro constant.

        The gravitational constant is the negative gradient of the potential energy. A negative of a negative yields a positive acceleration towards a mass. And the r extends to infinity.

        Not to question Zheng – is indeed that is his formulation. Just your clumsy substitutions and incompetent equalities.

      • Chef,
        You haven’t seen much have you? Some scientists like to write the ideal gas law like this
        P = nkT

        Zheng et al actually does this, and you would think that they were wrong until you look at the context.

        You lost the argument now and you lost the bubble long ago. Give it up.

      • Capt’nDallas

        Thank you for the Phun Physics.

        Extra energy to be accounted for with sun rays falling to earth during twilight, morning and night. Earth is not a flat disc. I am not a flat earther.

        In the morning, just before sunrise, when I’m sitting on the water’s edge front deck with steaming coffee, I feel the morning chill leaving and see the mist hovering over the bay dissipating.

        Sitting on the same deck, watching the sunset across a 150 mile fetch of open water, the daylight warmth lasts well after the fireball sinks.

        There is something to the twilight hour’s energy, although I feel relaxed at the time.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        R = Nk

        You willy nilly substitute R for k – forgetting Avogadro’s number N.

        And you justify it in your own fevered imagination? First of all latex ate your homework with the missing N – then you pretend that because there is another version of the ideal gas law that doesn’t involve moles that the substitution of R for k is OK. Seriously – integrity and you are strangers.

      • Look at The Chef struggle with simple recipes.
        He can’t seem to follow anything defined implicitly.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You define R = k implicitly? Even explicitly it is still not true.

      • Chef, You are pathetic in your attempts at gotcha games.

        Physicists transition from molecular quantities such as Boltzmann’s constant to molar quantities such as the universal gas constant without even thinking about it.

        It’s not my problem that you weren’t taught properly. And now that you are long in the tooth, there is no hope for you. Yet you persist in masquerading as a scientific judge and jury for reasons no one can quite fathom, other than it is the larrikin way.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There seem to be multiple threads with the same discussion. It is not interesting enough for one.

        Physicists transition from molecular quantities such as Boltzmann’s constant to molar quantities such as the universal gas constant without even thinking about it.

        R = Nk

        Where N is Avogadro’s number. R does not equal k in any reasonable alternate reality.

        You must take people for idiots if you think you can prevaricate about this simple relationship.

      • Chef,
        Get over your inadequacies. You should know what is being implied by the context. That’s the beauty of relating statistical mechanics to thermodynamics.

        I got over that by my sophomore year of college. You never studied this subject matter so we are all well aware of your frustrations.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Do you know the answer or not clot dancer?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I am aware that Liu et al discussed relativistic gases Jabberwocky. Nothing at all to do with Earth’s atmosphere. What they did not discuss was the so-called lapse formula.

      Du was mentioned but not referenced – I am reading the paper – but an initial thought is that the atmosphere is not self-gravitating. And it is still not the derivation I challenged for. The derivation I asked for is for the websters nonsense so-called lapse formula.

      dT/dr = (1-q)gm/R

      I note that he squibs it again. Surprise – surprise. Du and colleagues investigate basic space science – a whole different ball game from my knowledge base. Webster practices basic space cadet science.

      Jarhead the Jabberwock is the Jabberwock as usual.

      `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
      All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.’

      • Chef,
        Your ability to reason is very limited. Zheng is the one that is taking Du’s ideas and relating them to the Earth’s atmosphere.

        It’s possible that you don’t understand the shorthand relationship between the gas constant R and Boltzmann’s constant k. Hint: they are related as a molar factor.

        To review, Zheng has Equation (11):
        \frac{dT}{dr} = - Q \frac{m}{k} \frac{d \varphi}{dr}

        The last term is the gradient of the gravitational potential energy, which is the gravitational constant, g, within a limited range of r.

        Q is 1-q, so
        dT/dr = -(1-q) g m / R

        The derivation is there for all to see in Du’s papers. Zheng is applying it to the Earth’s atmosphere.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        kB = R/NA

        Where N is the Avogadro constant.

        The gravitational constant is the negative gradient of the potential energy. A negative of a negative yields a positive acceleration towards a mass. And the r extends to infinity.

        Not to question Zheng – is indeed that is his formulation. Just your clumsy substitutions and incompetent equalities.

      • I can now claim victory. Allow The Chef to reclaim some of his bruised ego as he nitpicks my sincere attempts at generating some latex formula markup.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You claim victory because latex ate your homework?

      • David Springer

        re; latex

        I practiced using latex in comments on an old dead article instead of going live before I knew what I was doing.

        You’re not really an engineer. You couldn’t be. What do you actually do at BAE besides make an ass of yourself on climate blogs?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      You got me.

      The lapse rate is 6.4 degrees/km.

      • No. there is a specification called the “Standard Atmosphere” [1] and that defines the standard lapse rate as being 6.5 K/km.


        This number has been used as far back as the 1920’s and was standardized for the benefit of aeronautical engineers and meteorologists to use for modeling.

        No one has actually been able to come up with a derivation of this lapse rate other than basing it on empirical observations of the lapse rate averaged globally. The actual average has been estimated and I have seen values ranging between 5.2 and 6.2 K/km. This puts it the average value at about half the value of 11.4 K/km.

        One gets a similar result for Venus and Mars.

        The search is still on for a universal derivation of the lapse rate and the significance of adiabatic atmospheres.

        What you find are derivations that involve the latent heat of vaporization of water, but that clearly won’t work on Mars or Venus. Planetary scientists think of this as part of their job description — to figure out or discover unifying or universal behaviors across a range of planetary bodies.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The lapse rate is cited as 6.4 degrees c/km in many places – I wasn’t getting overexcited about 0.1 degrees.

        ‘Although the actual atmospheric lapse rate varies, under normal atmospheric conditions the average atmospheric lapse rate results in a temperature decrease of 3.5°F/1,000 ft (6.4°C/km) of altitude.’ Wikipedia

        You are still out by almost 100% in the formula that you pulled out of your arse. Why don’t you multiply it by 2/3? So you finally admit that you have absolutely no basis for the ‘familiar lapse rate formula’. That’s a surprise.

      • “So you finally admit that you have absolutely no basis for the ‘familiar lapse rate formula’. That’s a surprise.”

        Some do (Zheng) and some don’t.
        There is not a universally accepted derivation of the -6.5 number but there is one for the -9.8 number.

        This is the really familiar lapse rate formula
        -gm/(7/2R) = – 9.8 * 29 /(7/2*8.314) = -9.76 K/km

        One can do this derivation by assuming adiabatic behavior:

        Can’t find a derivation for the -6.5 number. That’s why it is worth pursuing.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yeah right.

        But we still haven’t excused the nonsense that is your so called formulation.

      • David Springer

        Chief, get a clue. Dry adiabat is 10C/kilometer. 6.5C is environmental lapse rate for a standard atmosphere which is not dry.

        Webster, note the derivation of the dry adiabat includes a term for force of gravity.

        You two morons deserve each other.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The formula from Zheng concerns – supposedly – convective stability at different lapse rates. Such as you find in a variable atmosphere. And it does of course include a gravity term in a self-gravitating system.

        We do of course understand the notion of dry adiabatic lapse and environmental lapse rate – and the average values for these. The discussion is on another level than the simplistic and superficial – so that excludes you Jabberwocky.

        Webby has an unfortunate manner – but he has at least pushed me to learn a number of things at some deeper level.

  12. Since the discussion was pretty lively in the last weekend open thread, why not get a few more opinions.

    I say there is a simple basic mistake that needs to be addressed. The Faithful are sure there is none. What you you think?

  13. Open thread? and make a persuasive case for pyrolitic synthgas and biochar sequestration instead of wood burning, cellulosic ethanol or corn ethanol.

    • David Springer

      Synthgas is a imbecilic misspelling of syngas you fool.

      • “a imbecilic” ????

      • David Springer | July 6, 2013 at 6:14 am |

        Syngas is a generic term for synthesis gas and SNG.

        Synthgas is specifically the product of pyrolysis of biomass, among those who practiced this method since before you were born. It’s not a common term newcomers to the topic would know. Ask an oldschool chimney sweep, or anyone who farmed before WWII, or a moonshiner.

        If my use of obscure technical jargon is too difficult for you, by all means you need only ask and I’ll gladly break it down into smaller words.

      • David Springer

        Yeah I changed it from moronic to imbecilic on the fly and didn’t change a into an at the same time. That’ll learn me to use either imbecilic or idiotic and eschew moronic. Note to self: write that down.

      • David Springer

        Find a written reference to “synthgas” dopey. There’s plenty of Victorian literature freely available on the web to get a few hits if it was actually used as you claim. ROFLMAO

      • David Springer

        P.S. I built a still and made moonshine just out of curiosity once. A nice reflux still that could produce 95% ethanol using nothing but cane sugar and yeast to make the mash and a 5-day fermentation. Bottoms up. I still have some around I use for solvent and my alcohol lamp.

        I also spent a good deal of time investigating syngas, also called producer gas, a couple years ago because I have buttload of free wood to produce it and lots of free time to fool around with crap like that. It’s kind of nasty stuff being mostly carbon monoxide that will kill you real quick if you breathe it. It was used extensively in Europe during WWII so every spare drop of gasoline could go to the war effort and especially to power farm equipment. There are old designs dating back that far using parts you find laying about in barns and junkyards. I was actually thinking about compressing it into standard propane bottles and selling to eco-loons as a renewable substitute for their backyard barbeque grills. God knows there’s enough of them living in Austin for a market. Modern syngas generators are complicated affairs and rather expensive. In a survivalist sense it’s probably not a bad idea to know how to knock one together out of junkyard parts that can power a gasoline engine for a while sacrificing a lot of service life for the privilege. Cleaning it up is the big hassle because there’s a lot of tars and particulates in it. It would eat up a compressor in no time flat unless really clean so I ditched the idea as too expensive to experiment with and probably get someone killed accidently breathing the CO.

        I think my next fun project right after I ditched the syngas generator as too involved and fraught with legal peril was a room temperature still using a $5 water-venturi to generate a cheap vacuum and a $10 hair blow dryer for a heat source . That actually worked really well and I was able to separate cheap wine into drinkable denatured wine and a decent 100+ proof grape brandy. The cool thing is you only need to create a vaccuum at the start because the volume in your boiler and condensor (both just wine bottles with holes drilled in the rubber corks for 1/8″ copper tubing) so very little water is used in the venturi. About 30psi water pressure generates a nice vaccuum. It’s really novel seeing the wine boil violently in the boiler with only a hair dryer blowing on the bottle and no warmer than room temperature. Condensor just sat in an ice bath. You may need to be an uber nerd to appreciate these things.

      • David Springer | July 6, 2013 at 6:14 am |

        A moonshiner and uptight about obscure spellings?

        I’m thinking that you haven’t kept up on your drinking.

        Relax. It’s all good. I could care less how you spell it.

      • David Springer

        Why was your kneejerk reaction to make up a lie about chimney sweeps using “synthgas”?

        I pointed out you’re a poseur. Anyone who knows the first thing about syngas knows how to spell it. You were pretending to knowledge you do not have i.e. a poseur. Pretty much the story of your life here. Along with being a liar of course which was your instant reaction to my jibe. Liars lie.

      • Let ’em eat dermatologists.

  14. Consensus is a process that is used to promote a Theory that does not have actual Data That supports the Theory.

    • David Wojick

      On the other hand consensus is necessary for scientific progress. Without consensus we would still be debating if the sun goes around the earth or vice versa. Consensus is the only way that knowledge can increase. The problem in climate science is not consensus, but rather the false, politically motivated claim of there being a consensus when there is none.

      • David Springer

        Actually David the sun and earth go around their common center of gravity. Neither goes around the other. You need to work on your understanding of orbital dynamics.

    • No! Consensus is when scientific progress stops.

      When actual data supports theory, consensus is not needed and not requested. Consensus was never requested for if the earth goes around the sun. It does pass the common sense smell test and there was no need for consensus.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Actually Herman, the consensus, or indeed, the doctrine was for a long time that the Earth did not go around the sun, but the other way around. Those who challenged this notion we severely punished in various ways by the authority in such matters at the time…The Church. It took many centuries and a good deal of social change before true enlightenment took hold. People are hard pressed to let go of their old ways of looking at things, even when the facts seem to be stacking up against them. There is a lesson here.

      • Not strictly true. The church favoured the Ptolemaic system, warts and all, because it predicted planetary movement better than Galileo could. It’s only when Kepler showed the elliptical nature of planetary orbits that things changed.

      • David Springer

        The new geocentrism is anthrocentric climate.

        Go Gates!

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        It’s more complicated than that Phatboy. In the eyes of the Church, the Cosmos as a creation of a perfect God needed to be perfect, with perfect circles, and at the center of that was the Earth. The notion that it could be messy with those imperfect elliptical orbits was simply unacceptable. It took a release of science (along with the rest of society) from the strict control of the church for the truth to be widely acknowledged. And to think where we are now with multiple exoplanets, billions of potentially habitable planets in our galaxy alone, and even the potential for multi universes. It would blow the minds of those who locked up Galileo.

      • David Springer

        The position of the Catholic church is that God created a rational universe and bestowed upon man a rational mind (created man in His own image) such that rational man could understand God’s creation. Science is thus the study of God’s creation which is a rational creation and thus able to be understood by rational man. The Catholic Church was supporting science long before the enlightenment. Unfortunately man became corrupt as a consequence of the fall from grace and science corrupted along with it. The Catholic Church, being staffed by fallen men, is inescapably corrupt as well. The corruption is more or less apparent in different times and places.

        I extend this framework and believe that the key to restoring the earth to a paradise where there is no death and destruction, the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore it, is the ultimate goal of science. It’s doable. We’ll git ‘er done eventually.

      • RG, the epicycles of the Ptolemaic system were very messy and nowhere near being perfect circles. But it was accepted because people could not deny the evidence of their own eyes.

    • Scientific consensus is not set by scientists.

      Scientific consensus is set by the people who control the scientist’s funding.

  15. This is one of the first excellent articles that I read on climate, after the publication of the hockey stick scare, and have recovered it from a pdf format so that others can read it in a much more readable format.

    Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing; Major Cooling May Be Ahead
    New York Times
    May 21,1975

    The world’s climate is changing. Of that scientists are firmly convinced. But in what direction why are subjects of deepening debate.

    There are specialists who say that a new ice age is on the way-the inevitable consequence of a natural cyclic process, or as a result of man-made pollution of the atmosphere. And there are those who say that such pollution may actually head off an ice age.

    Sooner or later a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable. Hints that it may already have begun are evident. The drop in mean temperatures since 1950 in the Northern Hemisphere has been sufficient, for example, to shorten Britain’s growing season for crops by two weeks.

    As noted in a recent report of the National Academy of Sciences, “The global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”

    Vulnerability to climate change, it says, is “all the more serious when we recognize that our present climate is in fact highly abnormal, and that we may already be producing climatic changes as a result of our own activities.”

    The first half of this century has apparently been the warmest period since the “hot spell” between 5,000 and 7,000 years ago immediately following the last ice age. That the climate, at least in the Northern Hemisphere has been getting cooler since about 1950, is well established-if one ignores the last two winters.

    It had been forecast by some specialists that last winter would be exceptionally cold, but as all ice skaters know, it was unusually mild in the New York area. In Boston it was the warmest in 22 years and in Moscow it was the second warmest in 230 years.

    A major problem in seeking to assess the trend is to distinguish year-to-year fluctuations from those spread over decades, centuries and thousands of years.

    Lack of agreement as to the factors that control climate change make it particularly difficult to assess current trends. Of major importance, therefore, is the debate as to the cause of such changes and the role of human activity in bringing them about. Among the major hypotheses are the following:

    1. Solar Energy Variations
    The amount of solar energy reaching the earth’s surface at anyone place and time of year varies because of changes in the earth’s orbit and the tilt of its spin axis (The extent of that tilt determines the extent of seasonal changes).

    There are also slight variations in the amount of energy radiated by the sun. They
    follow the 11-year sunspot cycle and relate chiefly to solar ultraviolet radiation.

    Dr. Walter Orr Roberts, former head of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., believes he has found a correlation between this cycle and weather phenomena such as jetstream behavior and droughts in the high plains east of the Rocky Mountains.

    The droughts, he believes, tend to occur either in step with the l l-year cycle or with one of 20 to 22 years.

    Such links are doubted by Dr. J. Murray Mitchell Jr., climatologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Environmental Data Service. He sees no plausible explanation of how such slight variations in solar energy could affect the massive weather phenomena responsible for droughts and floods.

    Tree-ring data from Nebraska and South Dakota, according to Dr. Mitchell, show that the pattern to which Dr. Roberts refers applies only to the last century. Whereas earlier-as far back as the 16th century – a major droughts occurred at irregular intervals generally longer than 20 years.

    Triggering of the ice ages by cyclic changes of the earth’s spin axis and orbit was proposed as early as the nineteen twenties by a Yugoslav, Milutin Milankovitch. Because of tugging by the gravity of other planets, the orbit of the earth changes shape. Sometimes it is virtually circular. At other periods the earth’s distance from the sun varies during each year by several million miles.

    At present, 6 per cent more solar radiation reaches the earth on Jan. 14 than it does six months earlier or later, tempering northern winters. This variation In the shape of the orbit occurs in a cycle of about 93,000 years.

    The tilt of the spin axis with respect to the earth’s orbit around the sun varies from 22.0 to 24.5o degrees over a period or some 41,000 years. The aim of the axis with respect to the stars also rotates once every 26,000 years, causing precession of the equinoxes.

    For many years the combined effects of these variations, seemed too subtle to account for the ice- ages, but recent discoveries have won converts for modernized versions of the Milankovitch thesis.

    From the chemical composition of Pacific sediments, from studies of soil types in Central Europe and from fossil plankton that lived in the Caribbean it has been shown that in the last million years there have been considerably more ice ages than previously supposed.

    According to the classic timetable, four great ice ages occurred. However, the new records of global climate show seven extraordinarily abrupt changes in the last million years. As noted in the academy report, they represent transition in a few centuries, “from full glacial to full interglacial conditions.”

    Many scientists now consider it established that expansions of glaciers in the Southern Hemisphere coincided with the northern ice ages. Land areas, however, are meager in southern latitudes comparable to those that were heavily glaciated in the north.

    Dr. George J. Kukla of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory has proposed a way in which small variations in solar energy falling on the middle latitudes-as in the Milankovitch concept-could affect the climate.

    It is the extent to which northern seas and land areas become covered with snow and ice in the fall. When such cover is extensive, as in the fall of 1971, the white surface reflects sunlight back into space and there is a reduction in heating of the atmosphere.

    This prolongs the northern winter and cools the globe. In 1971, according to images from earth satellites, autumn snow and ice cover increased by 1.5 million square miles.

    The following year was one of freak weather throughout much of the world. The winter was exceptionally cold in North America, the Mediterranean and other areas. Severe drought struck many parts Asia and Europe.

    The implication was that a change in solar input that was slight, but sufficient to increase autumn snow and ice cover substantially, could eventually lead to a major climate change.

    From a reworking of the Milankovitch calculations Dr. Kukla has found that solar energy falling on the atmosphere in the autumn hit a minimum 17,000 years ago, at the height of the last ice age. It reached a maximum some 6,000 years ago, when the world became warmest since the last ice age.

    While the theory is, as yet, far from being a full explanation for climate changes it suggests, he said, that a trend toward cooling will continue for the next 4,000 years even though, since 1973, autumn snow cover has diminished somewhat.

    2. Pendulum Swings

    Some scientists believe that the ice ages are a product of cyclic phenomena affecting the flow of heat from the tropics to the polar region through the sea and air.

    Most of the solar energy that enters the oceans and drives the winds is received in the tropics and carried poleward. The polar regions radiate more energy into space than they receive from the sun, but ocean currents and winds bring in enough heat-or almost enough-to make up the deficit.

    Until a few years ago some persons suspected that the presence or absence of pack ice covering the Arctic Ocean might play a key role in this delicately balanced process. An absence of pack ice, when ocean currents were carrying considerable heat into that ocean, would allow evaporation and the resulting moist winds would shed the snows of an ice age. Periodic freezing of the ocean would end the glaciation.

    Recently, however, sediment samples extracted from the floor of the Arctic Ocean have shown that it was apparently never free of ice between the ice ages, even though before they began that ocean does appear to have been open.

    In fact, according to Dr. G. Kenneth Hare, professor of geography at the University of Toronto, fossils from the Arctic islands of Canada, the Soviet Union and from Greenland all indicate an ice-free ocean with “luxuriant” forests along its shores.

    Another proposal regarding built-in pendulum swings of climate is that of Dr. Reginald E. Newell, professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of technology. He believes ice ages are initiated when energy losses at high latitudes exceed energy gains in the tropics-a state that may exist at present.

    An ice age ends, in this concept, when enough of the ocean becomes ice covered to curtail the escape of heat being carried poleward by ocean currents. At the present stage of such a cycle, he said in a recent article, surface water in polar seas would be growing cooler, “in the slow process that will lead to the next ice age.”

    In a recent issue of the British journal Nature, Drs. Reid A. Bryson and E. W.
    Wahl of the Center for Climate Research at the University of Wisconsin cite records from nine North Atlantic weather ships indicating that from 1951 to the 1968-1972 period surface water temperatures dropped steadily.

    The fall was comparable, they reported, to a return to the “Little Ice Age” that existed from 1430 to 1850. It was early in this period that pack ice apparently isolated the Norse colony in Greenland and led to its extinction. The temperature drop in the North Atlantic carried it one sixth of the way to the level of a full-fledged ice age, according to Drs. Bryson and Wahl.

    Unfortunately, they said, several of these weather stations are being discontinued so that monitoring future trends will be difficult. Dr. Bryson attributes recent droughts in Africa and elsewhere to a southward displacement of the rain-bearing monsoons.

    A similar change occurred in about 1600 B.C , he believes. The monsoon rains no longer reached northwest India. Fresh water lakes that had been there for 7,000 years dried into salt beds and the Indus Empire that had spread over the region for 1,500 years was destroyed.

    3. Man-Made Influence

    There is general agreement that introducing large amounts of smoke particles or carbon dioxide into the atmosphere can alter climate. The same would be true of generating industrial heat comparable to a substantial fraction of solar energy falling on the earth. The debate centers on the precise roles of these effects and the levels of pollution that would cause serious changes.
    Carbon dioxide in the air acts like glass in a greenhouse. It permits solar energy to reach the earth as visible light, but it impedes the escape of that energy into space in the form of heat radiation (at infrared wave lengths).

    Dr. Mitchell has pointed out that a variety of factors determine the role of carbon dioxide on earth. For example, the extent to which that gas, introduced into the atmosphere by smokestacks and exhaust pipes is absorbed by the oceans depends on the temperature of surface waters.

    This, in turn, is affected by climate, leading to so called feedback effects. Plants consume carbon dioxide at rates that depend on temperature and the abundance of that gas in the air, complicating predictions of their role.

    The observatory atop Mauna Loa, the great Hawiian volcano, has recorded a steady rise in the annual mean level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, amounting to 4 per cent between 1958 and 1972. That, however was a period of global cooling- not the reverse, as one would expect from a greenhouse effect.

    The Mauna Loa observatory has also recorded a steady rise in atmospheric turbidity-the extent to which particles overhead dim the brightness of the sun. The academy study finds that human activity over the last 120 years has contributed more to this atmospheric dust than have volcanic eruptions.

    However, it says, the present atmospheric load of man-made dust is perhaps only one fifth what was thrown into the stratosphere by the volcanic explosion of Krakatoa in 1883. The role of atmospheric dust is complex, for it cuts off sunlight from the earth, but is itself heated by that light, warming levels of atmosphere in which it resides.

    Until recently the idea that ice ages are initiated by intense volcanic activity was unpopular for lack of evidence for such activity. The hypothesis has gained more credence from the analysis of sediment cores extracted from the ocean floors by the drill ship Glomar Challenger.

    According to University or Rhode Island scientists, ash was far more common in layers laid down in the last two million years than in the previous 18 million years.

    If worldwide energy consumption continues to increase at its present rates, catastrophic climate changes have been projected by M. I. Budyko, a leading Soviet specialist. He says that the critical level will probably be reached within a century.

    This, he has written, will lead to “a complete destruction of polar ice covers.” Not only would sea levels rise but, with the Arctic Ocean free of ice, the entire weather system of the Northern Hemisphere would be altered.

    However, Dr. Mitchell has suggested, warming of the climate due to pollution might be enough to head off an ice age “quite inadvertently.”


    More precise knowledge of the past is certain to aid in choosing between various explanations for tong-term climate changes. The Greenland Ice Sheet Program, with
    American, Danish and Swiss participants, is drilling a series of holes into the crest of the Greenland ice in the hope, ultimately, of reconstructing a year-by-year record of climate for the last 100,000 years.

    So far the ice has been penetrated 1,325 feet, extending the record back 1,420 years. The yearly layers can be counted, like tree rings, in terms of summer and winter variation in the relative abundance of two forms of oxygen (oxygen 16 and oxygen 18). Their ratio indicates temperature at the time when the snow fell to term that layer of’ the ice sheet.

    The isotopes also reflect the long-term climate changes. A remarkable finding, reported in May 1 issue of Nature, is that the trends in Greenland for the period
    850 to 1700 A.D ., closely match the British record for 1100 to 1950. California tree
    rings show a climate record similar 10 the one in Britain.

    The implication is a lag of 250 years between climate variations in Greenland and those in regions east and west of the Atlantic.

    If, in fact, the climatic cycles of Greenland precede those of Europe and North America by 250 years, a powerful means of prediction would be available. However, as noted in the Nature article, it is by no means certain that the effect is persistent.

    The Academy of Sciences report notes that any assessment of climate trends is crippled by a lack of knowledge: “Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.”

    The oceans clearly play an important-and little understood-role. Not only are they the chief source of water in the atmosphere but they harbor a vast reservoir of thermal energy. “When the dynamics of the ocean-atmosphere interaction are better known, according to the report, “we may find that the ocean plays a more important role than the atmosphere in climate changes.”

    The report, including a wide range of proposals for national and international programs of research, was prepared by by the academy’s Committee for the Global Atmospheric Research Program, headed by Dr. Verner E. Suomi of the University
    of Wisconsin.

    In his preface Dr. Suomi notes that, by the end of this decade, space vehicles will be able, on a global scale to observe the sun’s output, energy reflected from the earth, distributions of clouds, snow and ice, as well as ocean temperatures. With these and other inputs a better understanding of how and why the climate is changing should become possible.


    Walter Seager Sullivan, Jr (January 18, 1918 – March 19, 1996)

  16. Environmental worry is universal; the sickness of the end of the world is purely Western. To counter this pessimism, we might list the good news of the last 20 years: democracy is making slow progress; more than a billion people have escaped absolute poverty; life expectancy has increased in most countries; war is becoming rarer; many serious illnesses have been eradicated. But it would do little good. Our perception is inversely proportional to reality.

  17. Peter Lang

    The solution is obvious and I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t get it

    Uncertainty about the problem is a given; uncertainty about the chosen solution is inexcusable.

    This is to say, we should be confident that our solutions are going to be effective, and the more expensive the solution the more confident we should be.

    In short, big responses require high levels of confidence that they will work.

    Carbon pricing schemes fail this test.

    There is no convincing evidence to show carbon pricing will succeed. There are no studies, I am aware of, into the probability of success of carbon pricing.

    Furthermore, carbon pricing schemes increase the cost of energy so they damage economies and, therefore, slow the rate of improvement of human wellbeing. They are bad policy.

    However there is an alternative which works. Its success has been demonstrated for over 50 years. It is well demonstrated by France. France’s electricity is about the cheapest in Europe and emits about 1/10th the CO2 emissions of Germany and Denmark. Nuclear power generates about 75% of France’s electricity emissions free.

    The block to progress is public fear, loathing and paranoia about nuclear power. This has caused excessive regulations, restrictions, impediments, licensing costs, and investor risk premiums.

    The block to progress could be overcome. The potential for cost reduction is huge. Then nuclear can replace fossil fuels for electricity generation (and electricity will replace fossil fuels for heat and produce transport fuels). Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels could be near halved within around 50 years if cheap nuclear was allowed to be developed.

    The nuclear paranoia could be reversed fastest if the anti-nukes turned from opposing to enthusiastically advocating nuclear power – and advocated the removal of many of the inappropriate impediments that are blocking it.

    In the main the anti-nukes are the same people as the ‘Progressives’ and CAGW doomsayers. So it really is up to them to reconsider their position, challenge their beliefs, get rational and change from opposing progress to supporting progress.


      Where I said: – Both nuclear and greenie power are scams against the interests of the general population who are now paying for the billions it is costing in nuclear clean up and in subsidies to the ridiculous wind and solar schemes and paying more for energy in higher green taxes, and so they will be subsidising the shareholders of the private nuclear schemes of any new plants built.

      As noted here:

      “But nuclear power will only be viable if the government provides subsidies and changes the current regulatory framework.

      “Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that BNFL wants to fast-track the planning process by pre-licensing reactors before sites are selected, and restrict the scope of local planning enquiries so that issues such as security, safety and environmental impact are discussed behind closed doors.[1]

      “And for new nuclear reactors to be profitable, the companies need a guaranteed price for their electricity and/or the introduction of a Nuclear Obligation, which would oblige all electricity companies to sell a certain amount of nuclear-generated electricity.

      “They are also looking for assurances that they will not be left with a huge bill for disposing of their own nuclear waste. Unsurprisingly, the government’s current subsidy is already helping to fund a well-thought out PR strategy to give the nuclear industry what it wants.”

      My bold. The claim that the tax payer won’t be subsidising the nuclear industry’s costs is a lie, see the telegraph link I gave earlier for Hutton’s fib:

      And see the grauniad’s:

      “UK’s nuclear clean-up programme to cost billions more than expectedNuclear Decommissioning Authority declines to predict final lifetime clean-up cost amid fears total bill could exceed £100bn”

      to understand why the nuclear industry wants a cap to its liabilities, the rest being screwed out of joepublic.

      As ethicalconsumer tracks this:
      “But in summer 2005, starting with a pro-nuclear article in the Independent by James Lovelock, a steady stream of articles started appearing suggesting that the nuclear industry, with its “clean” energy, was an essential part of the fight against climate change.” and goes into some detail of the campaign to reintroduce nuclear.

      Maggie’s support for the nuclear industry resulted in the very clever turning of the greenies at the time who were loud anti-nuclear campaigners, to becoming anti coal, and the carbon dioxide as “pollution” took off..

      The nuclear industry one of the founding members of CRU initiated to produce faked temperature records (Salinger New Zealand), and continues to manipulate temperature records, see the climategate emails.

      There is nothing clean or cheap about nuclear as it is produced now.

      Thorium too cheap and not useful for the industrial/military complex.

      • Myrrh,

        There are no big clean up problems with commercial nuclear power plants. The decision was made in 1993 to shutdown the Trojan Nuclear Plant. The operating utility had the choice of waiting until the end of the license (another 17 years) or to start with decommissioning imediately following shutdown. Not only did decommissioning come in ahead of schedule and under budget, it was also far less expensive than the alternative of waiting 17 years. No problems occured during decommissioning and the cost was already accounted for in the original rate calculations.

        One could make an argument that Oregon rate payers were sold down the river by the Governor, as they had to continue to pay for a generation facility which was no longer producing electricity. And both the utility company shareholders and rate payers were sold down the river by the CEO when the Enron related energy west coast energy crunch hit, with the 1200 MW of generation capacity out of commission. But 100’s of billions in additional cleanup costs? BS.

      • Tom,

        Don’t confuse government run weapons facilities (Hanford, Rocky Flats, Savannah River Project) with commercially operated nuclear power plants.

  18. Wildfires are getting worse. Another recent article on it.
    “Wildfires are chewing through twice as many acres per year on average in the United States compared with 40 years ago, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told a Senate hearing last month.”

    • JIMD

      From your article this comment

      ‘Like every other effect attributed to climate change there is a much simpler and hence more likely cause. Wildfires are becoming worse because we do not manage forests. We don’t maintain fire breaks and clear out underbrush as well as we did twenty years ago because of misguided ideas about maintaining forests in their “natural” state.’

      I have heard the same comment from Australia. I do not know the proportion of arsonists compared to the past nor if the comment above stands scrutiny. Perhaps others might care to comment

      • Do you think that commenter is correct and that they now want more wildfires to occur naturally? I don’t think it accounts for the lengthening of the fire season.

      • JIMD

        Over here a good proportion of such fires are attributed to outdoor cooking fires/barbecues and there seems to be a vogue at times for arson. I suppose they are copycats and read about such fires. Certainly there is also very much a vogue for leaving trees where they lie to encourage wildlife.

        Normally in our often wet climate that doesn’t matter, but if we have a dry summer they will be natural kindling.

      • tonyb:

        “Certainly there is also very much a vogue for leaving trees where they lie to encourage wildlife.”

        Plus it is easier and cheaper than moving them…
        Two views on Australian forest management:

      • tony,

        In the US it was not about leaving forests in their “natural state” that created problems. It was federal policy for suppressing fires that created problems with high fuel loading. The goal of “managing” forests to get higher returns (which are not limited to timber harvesting) ran afoul of a limited understanding of the natural processes at play. The role fire plays was not as well understood as it is today.

    • David Young

      Wildfires are an area where its easy to cherry pick your way to a false conclusion. One of the causes of wildfires in recent time is almost century of fire suppression in the American West. Given the complex interactions with human activity, these statistics cannot really be used to generate much. If you want to be alarmist at least choose something meaningful.

    • Jim D

      “Wildfires are getting worse”

      So is teenage obesity.

      Neither have anything to do with AGW.


    • The forest service has been hit hard by budget cuts. If they can utilize climate change to get additional funding, what do you think they will do?

      Go look at the data. You can find support for both increasing forest fire dangers and for no significant changes. And as tony points out, there are several factors which we know contribute to increased fire risk that have nothing to do with climate, while at the same time having no solid evidense of climate changes being significant factors for increased risk.

  19. “4:44am” a film from last year’s Cannes I just got around to watching.

    The movie starts with a TV anchor signing off on the eve of Armageddon (which has now been forecast to exactly 4:44am ) and the anchor says…

    “turns out Al Gore was right, things were worse than we thought and there was nothing we could do to save ourselves…Goodbye everyone”

  20. How do you drive up the price of a commodity, when your country has more of it than any other country on your continent?

    Let the government run the economy.

    “Argentina, the largest wheat producer in South America, has a domestic consumption of 6 million tons. The harvest in the 2012-2013 season was 9.8 million tons.”

    “Last week, the consumer protection agency recommended Argentines combat price increases by baking bread at home, posting recipes on its website under the title, ‘hot bread, flour at frozen prices.’”

    Maybe when the consensus takes control of the energy economy, they will put plans online that will show us how to drill our own oil wells in our back yards.

  21. Tom Friedman’s new article on US energy policy.
    An excerpt: “We also have to ensure that cheap natural gas displaces coal but doesn’t also displace energy efficiency and renewables, like solar or wind, so that natural gas becomes a bridge to a clean energy future, not a ditch. It would be ideal to do this through legislation and not EPA fiat, but Republicans have blocked that route, which is pathetic because the best way to do it is with a Republican idea from the last Bush administration: a national clean energy standard for electricity generation — an idea the GOP only began to oppose when Obama said he favored it. ”

    • David Wojick

      EPA has no way to protect green tech from cheap gas, except by making gas expensive.

    • Tom Friedman lost credibility as an intelligent analyst a long time ago when he fell for his hot, flat planet scenario. Now he rides the same merry go round with Erhlich and the rest of the world is doomed nut jobs.

      • Tom Friedman lost all credibility period when he started waxing poetic about the wonders of the Communist Chinese form of government.

  22. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Worth re-posting:

    “There is a major difference in this interglacial that did not exist in any previous interglacial. Namely, a species that learned how to release tons of carbon that had been locked in the lithosphere and transfer it to the atmosphere and hydrosphere. This human carbon volcano has now been erupting for many centuries, and though it started out slow, it’s really going strong, now adding over 2ppm of CO2 to the atmosphere every year– an phenomenal rate by geological standards. I certainly understand how there will some who would like to wishfully believe that this human carbon volcano could not possibly alter the climate, but so many indications are that it is, in addition to the solid science behind this change, that denying the reality of the Holocene turned Anthropocene is akin to a religious or strongly held political ideology.”

    • David Wojick

      It is only inyeresting if you are studying silliness, in which case it is fascinating.

  23. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    This article by the famous M.I. Budyko from 1968 is well worth a read. His thoughts on the very tenuous nature of interglacials, the power of volcanic activity to influence climate, the role of human influences on climate, and even hints at georngineering are quite interesting considering how long ago he wrote this:

    • While he was aware of polar ice extent as a major factor, his anthropogenic factor was just heat output and not CO2, so it wasn’t as advanced as Arrhenius in the IR treatment. Arrhenius, on the other hand, may not have realized the importance of ice albedo as Budyko did.

      • maksimovich

        Budyko was well aware of the importance of Co2,having cited Callender 1937 in 50’s.Extrapolation of co2 by MB 1974 suggested a 2000 co2 level of .038.

      • His phrasing in this article, then, is a little surprising, because he only refers to heat sources not atmospheric composition in looking at what man may do in the next few hundred years to tip the albedo balance. Right for the wrong reason, I think.

      • R Gates

        I share your enthusiasm for Budyko as I have cited him many times (your first cite of him?) I am also pleased to have you and Budyko as an ally in combating the rewriting of history that there was no global cooling scare in the 1960’s as Conneley et al try to claim.

        Ps Nice joke about Viking icebreakers last night


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        re: Viking Icebreakers:

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Jim D.,

      Budyko was well aware of the standard “greenhouse” effects and warming caused by increasing GH gases in the atmosphere:

      That simply wasn’t the focus of the first paper I referenced. He is a true pioneer in the field of climate change and I highly recommend everyone not familiar with his work google M.I. Budyko and read everything he wrote.

      • R Gates

        Budyko put a very elegant case that there was a majority of scientists back in the 60’s and 70’s who agreed on global cooling. Presumably with your fully justified enthusiasm for his work we can add you to the list of people who acknowledge that cooling was the meme of the times.?

        Good to have you on our side


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        Undoubtedly, the meme at that time for many was that some return to LIA conditions seemed to be upon us. Budyko was not a supporter of that meme however, though he certainly acknowledged the possibility given how quickly the climate could shift. Budyko really saw how easily little nudges at the right time or in combination, could send a chaotic system over a tipping point, though this was before Chaos theory had been fully developed.

        A true pioneer was Budyko. And interestingly enough, many of his ideas are still proving correct– such as the role of volcanoes being partially responsible for some of the cooling of the LIA, and the role of anthropogenic aerosols being at least partially responsible for the 1940-1970 cooling. The current research being done on the effects of anthropogenic aerosols on the AMO can be traced back directly to Budyko’s work.

      • R Gates

        As Budyko himself says (who seems to have subsequently changed his mind about cooling as did Lamb-as scientists should do when new evidence comes to light) in his book “The earths climate past and future’ pages 148 ;

        ‘it was generally accepted that a tendancy towards climatic cooling appeared during the last few decades; since the sign of temperature fluctuations changes relatively rarely, the scientists concerned with climatic change almost UNANIMOUSLY (my capitalization) believed that the temperature would continue to decrease in the near future…Lamb 1973 mentioned that more than 20 forecasts of the early 70’s concerning climatic change predicted a cooling trend in the next few decades, but (then) indicated a lack of sufficient scientific grounds for these forecasts and two years later obtained the FIRST (my capitalization) evidence of a possible climatic change towards warming.”

        (The temperature cooling can be seen in the Willett/Mitchell curves of the time)

        Budyko continues;
        ‘in the 1940’s the warming trend was overcome by a cooling trend which intensified in the 1960’s and in the mid 60’s the mean air temperature of the Northern Hemisphere (once again) approached the level of the cold seasons of the late 1910’s .”

        To summarise, here is what seems to have happened; As you know there was a very substantial warming from the 1920’s to 1940’s. This reversed itself. By 1962/3 the dropping temperature made Callendar himself doubt his greenhouse theory. Budyko, Lamb and an almost ‘unanimous’ agreement of climate scientists believed we were heading into a significant cooling phase . Lamb eventually pointed out in 1973 that the cooling was not sufficiently long lived to be a a scientifically meaningful climatic trend of at least 30 years. The widespread scare of cooling changed into a scare of warming as temperatures started to recover.


      • One scare replaces the opposite scare, time and time again.
        None of these Chicken Little People look at the data and says, wow, there is a cycle here. Temperature goes up and then Temperature goes down. The Thousand year cycle is the bigger one, but the sixty year cycle flips Chicken Little about every Thirty Years.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        Budyko wrote in 1968:

        “…it is possible that in the comparatively near future the possibility of glaciation expansion will b excluded and there will appear the reverse one of polar ice melting on the land and oceans with all the changes in Earth’s climate that are associated with it.”

        He specifically cited anthropogenic influences as the cause of this polar ice melting. What I like best about Budyko was both the scope and depth of his knowledge of climate, but also his approach at looking at it all from an energy-flux perspective. He focused on the flow of energy to and from and within the Earth system long before others grasp this approach. His groundbreaking book, “Heat Balance of the Earth’s Surface”, was quite remarkable and was a huge advancement in the science of climate.

        The Russians are right to hold him in such high regard.

      • R Gates.

        Sorry, put in wrong place due to co2 enhancement.

        R Gates

        I share your enthusiasm for Budyko as I have cited him many times (your first cite of him?) I am also pleased to have you and Budyko as an ally in combating the rewriting of history that there was no global cooling scare in the 1960′s as Conneley et al try to claim.

        Ps Nice joke about Viking icebreakers last night

      • 1970s.

      • JCH

        Sorry if I wasn’t clear. Conneley et al can’t find too many traces of articles about global cooling in the 1970’s as most of them were written in the 1960’s. By the early 1970’s the tide was turning towards global warming.


      • So is he being falsely accused of rewriting the history of the 1960s, or the 1970s?

        Don’t bother.

      • JCH

        He is trying to write the history of the WRONG decade.

    • Iolwot

      Weather relevant. There fixed it for you.

      • I agree it’s more weather relevant, but I was thinking about the tips of those waves washing over the sea wall and how much more water would be coming over if the waves were a few feet higher.

      • lolwot,

        There is a world shortage of cement and rock?

  24. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Listening to sunlight: (Computing the energy in sound waves)

    I was just listening the rain striking the skylight in my office and thinking about the many transformations that energy went through to turn into the sound waves striking my ear. At one point or another that energy was nuclear, SW, LW, latent, gravitational-potential, kinetic, electo-chemical, and probably a few I didn’t think of.

    The point of this is considering how much noisier the world is than it was 200 years ago, how much energy is in sound waves at any given point in time around the world? How does the total energy in sound today compare to 200 years ago? How much of this energy is from recently fallen sunlight on Earth (i.e. the sound of rain on my skylight) and how much is from stored sunlight being released (i.e. fossil fuels)?

    Just for fun, listen to the sounds around you and try to figure out what the source of energy for that sound was (recent sunlight or ancient sunlight). Hint: Your belching and the bird singing is recent sunlight and the auto idling outside likely ancient sunlight)

    • David Springer

      Is the sound of raindrops hitting the skylight in your office anything like the echo you must hear when raindrops fall on your pointy head?

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Raindrops falling on my head an interesting transfer of energy, but first, the song:

        Great song, and great movie (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid).

        From an energy perspective, when a raindrop falls on your head, the kinetic energy of the raindrop is tranfered to both a wave that travels via bone conduction to your ear, and also some via sound wave via air to your ear where both are then translated to electro-chemical reponses that travel to your brain. The activity of your brain is disspated out the top of your head as LW, and in theory then, some of that long-wave could go into energy that could eventually wind up back as a raindrop falling on your head. Thus, you could hear the same “energy” from a raindrop twice.

    • R gates

      This all seems like a thinly disguised boast that you are working on Saturday morning. :)

      The most noticeable sound on the coast here today was that of liquid wind gently cascading onto the beach.

    • David Springer

      Gatesy I fart in your general direction. Listen carefully to it. It was generated by organic cabbage but the cabbage patch was plowed by a tractor which was burning gasohol. While you’re contemplating whether I’m blowing ancient or recent sunshine out of my ass rest assured that by any other name it would smell as sweet.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Certainly the sound itself of your flatulence would potentially be recent sunlight, but in fact, unless that cabbage was grown 100% organically, the use of petrochemicals could mean that the sound is in fact ancient sunlight. Fortunately, we don’t yet have the translational technology to transfer your fart via the internet, so you’ll have to be content (as I’m sure you are) to sit alone and smell your own gaseous emissions.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      Always the witty and cleaver retorts David– all those synapses in your brain being powered by recent sunlight and then dissipated into your idle ad homs. You certainly could put that energy to better use. Maybe go make another moonshine still or something.

      Thought: When a sound wave stimulates a response along your optic nerve, creating an electrical pulse that travels to your brain which interprets it as a sound, that energy eventually dissipates back to the environment as LW radiation. Some of therefore could wind up back in someone’s ear as a future sound wave.

      • David Springer

        “Always the witty and cleaver retorts David”

        Global warming is a joke so, you know, when in Rome do as the Romans do.

        I’m wondering though, if the Russians and others are right that another Little Ice Age is beginning as we speak from centenial cyclic changes in the sun evidenced by the recent centenial record low sunspot count whether you boys will be lightheartedly forgiven or tarred and feathered with malice aforethought?

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        It is impossible for cooling to begin if the Earth system continues to accumulate energy, as it is. The flattening of troposphere temperatures over some short-term period is not at all indicative of the status of the overall system and it indicates an extremely unsophisticated knowledge of climate to focus on the troposphere.

      • Gates, “It is impossible for cooling to begin if the Earth system continues to accumulate energy, as it is. ”

        That is like saying it is impossible for a boiler to blow up if you keep adding coal. Like a boiler, pressure reliefs start kicking in at certain values to stop the explosion, SSW events, deep convection etc. The accumulation of energy is the trigger for cooling. Looking at the tropical paleo, the control range is about +/-1.5 C degrees.

      • David Springer

        Yes and no. Depends on how you define cooling. Energy can transfer between arbitrary layers such that one layer loses energy while another layer gains energy at higher rate. For instance the average temperature of the ocean is 4C. The surface layer is approximately 14C on average. It could drop considerably lower even while there was a net energy gain in the water below it.

        You show a deep and possibly willful ignorance of thermodynamics Gatesy.

      • Heh, ‘missing heat’ has either been radiated hopelessly out, or deposited in oceans deep, to be withdrawn as needed.

      • Dang, ‘oceans deeply vaulted’.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Captn. D,

        True it is that there are natural negative feedbacks respond when any system is pushed by some external forcing such as humans are doing with climate. But it is also true that systems and their feedbacks can also become overwhelmed when an external forcing pushes too hard to fast. The current buildup of GH gases is akin to a volcano, a human-caused carbon volcano, and such an external forcing could send the system into an entirely new regime, in rather rapid fashion too, judging by the results of previous severe external forcings, and it could oscillate wildly about extremes before settling down into a new regime.

      • RGates approaches the nub wildly whittling the feather; we can be blamed for cooling, too.

      • True, or not. Now, that’s chilling.

    • David Springer

      And on this note I must bid you adeiu. It’s about time to numb my brain watching some cable TV pap with the help of a surprisingly good Merlot that’s calling my name from the box it’s in. A long time coworker of mine’s dad invented the goofy mylar bags that they use for box wine. It was originally for battery acid and was co-opted for the populist role of cheap way to package wine that stays fresh forever after opening. I bet the inventor would fart in your general direction if he knew you too. C-ya but wouldn’t wanna B-ya, Gatesy.

      • Dave,

        Come to Oregon and Washington and I’ll show you stuff beyond Merlot. I have nothing against Merlot, though I prefer it as a blend. In my opinion it doesn’t have the elegence of a good pinot.

        Still, my advice is to drink what you like and don’t pay attention to what other pepole think. (But you pretty much have that last part down.)

        btw – if you like a light red, there is a California warehouse producer called Crane Lake. They bottle several varitals, none of which I think much of, except for the Sangeovese. It’s about $3.50 a bottle. I’ve given it to friends that are regular wine snobs and they’ve admitted it isn’t bad and definitately a nice wine for the price.

  25. Chief Hydrologist

    To return to one of my hobby horses – here is a new site on conservation agriculture from Cornell University. Not sure how long it has been up for.

    It doesn’t include rotational grazing – but they are complementary strategies. Marginal cropping land can for instance be retired to intensive rotational grazing to improve soil structure. So I will add a grazing link as well.

    There are a range of productivity and conservation gains that make this worthwhile – while at the same time sequestering carbon. It is not BTW regarded as compliant with UN accounting rules for soil carbon sequestration – it is regarded as business as usual and so can’t attract carbon credits. There has been discussion about changing this. It is supported both by aid and by national and regional agricultural agencies. We might either enhance this – or at least not hinder – given the importance of this agricultural revolution.

    • David Springer

      Speaking of UN carbon credits:

      Climate Change: Russia Is Steamed About U.N.’s Kyoto Carbon Credit COP-Out

      Representatives of Russia and other Eastern bloc countries at the recent climate talks in Bonn made it clear that they aren’t one bit happy about efforts within the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of Parties (COP) to cap their free Soviet-era carbon credit trading green stamps previously gifted to them under the Kyoto Protocol. The original deal was that signatory nations that reduced carbon emissions by targeted amounts under their 1990 levels would be able to sell credits based upon tonnage improvements to countries that produced more than their allocations, thereby meeting quotas. In other words, a market was created to sell lots of hot air…something that the U.N. excels at.

      The idea, at least as presented by the FCCC, was to save our planet from dreaded CO2-induced global warming. Incidentally, we might have credited that plan for great success were it not for the fact that while global temperatures have been flat now for about 17 years, those atmospheric CO2 levels have continued to rise.

      Yeah, But Russia Expected That All Along

      Originally, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on December 2, 2003, that his country would not ratify the Kyoto Protocol because the rationale supporting it was “scientifically flawed”. He argued that even one hundred percent compliance with the agreement wouldn’t reverse climate change.

      The Russian Academy of Sciences presented scientific arguments against signing in a statement issued on July 1, 2005, noting that the world’s temperatures do not follow CO2 levels. Instead, they observed a much closer correlation between world temperatures and solar activity. The Academy also determined that sea levels were not rising faster with warming; rather, they had been increasing steadily about 6 inches per century since the Little Ice Age ended in about 1850.

      In addition, the Academy discounted one of the most significant danger claims about global warming – that tropical diseases would spread – noting that malaria is a disease that is encouraged by sunlit pools of water where mosquitoes can breed, not by climate warmth. They also pointed out the lack of correlation between global warming and extreme weather, which a British government scientific delegation had admitted it could find no evidence to support.

      What ultimately caused Putin and the Russian duma to change their position and ratify the Protocol? It is widely speculated that Europeans were instrumental in getting Russia admitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and thus categorized it as a developing country rather than a developed one in applying the Protocol regulations. This meant that Russia received an opportunity to sell to European countries billions of dollars’ worth of Soviet-era emission credits associated with former dirty industries that had been casualties of economic melt-down. This would also help Europe meet Kyoto’s first-phase requirements without actually cutting emissions or energy use.

      Europe’s 1990 CO2 emissions of 4,245 million tons fell to 4,123 tons in 2002 due to reductions in burning coal in both Britain and East Germany. Yet Kyoto Protocol requirements stipulated further European Union cutbacks to 3,906 million before 2012. A December 2003 U.N. report predicted that the E.U. would miss that reduction target by even more than that amount, namely, by dropping an additional 311 million tons. Since Russia’s 1990 emissions were 2,405 million tons, and had fallen by 2001 to 1,614 million tons, they could sell up to 800 million tons of credits to the Europeans at an “auction” price. This would be cheaper for Europe than shutting down fossil-fired power plants or removing trucks from its vital transportation infrastructure by means of escalating already high diesel fuel taxes.

      But Not Such a Great Deal for the U.S.

      Perhaps unsurprisingly, it wasn’t in the cards for the U.N. to offer the U.S. any breaks comparable to those accorded to the Europeans and Russians. First, unlike Europe and former Soviet countries that were treated as separate emission-credit-trading entities, the U.S. was treated as a single nation (allowing no credit exchanging between states to meet quotas). Second, the U.S. emissions in 1990 were not inflated to high target allowance levels as was the case in Germany, Britain, and Russia, making compliance much more difficult to achieve.

      In response to these inequities and other issues, our Senate passed (95-0) a rare unanimous bipartisan Byrd-Hagel U.S. Senate Resolution (S Res 98) that made it clear that the United States would not be signatory to any agreement that “would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States”. Then-President Clinton, no stranger to political pragmatism, got the message and never submitted a necessary U.S. Kyoto Protocol approval request for congressional ratification.

      Heated Climate Negotiations Put On Ice

      Reuters reported on June 6 that U.N. talks aimed at progress towards a new 2015 climate pact agreement have now been stalled by objections from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine regarding procedural violations purposefully intended to eliminate their free carbon food stamp lunch. The UNFCCC now wants to renege on a deal they made with Russia to get them into Kyoto in the first place.

      Now that European carbon markets have recently collapsed with the price of carbon (hot air) hitting record lows, they are concerned that allowing Russia, Ukraine, Poland and other former Soviet bloc nations to retain the huge stockpile of carbon credits they picked up under Kyoto would further flood and depress the market.

      –page 2 click here–

  26. Read all about it [R Gates]
    Neven admits Piomass is inaccurate 6/7/2013
    [Sorry PIOMAS], but no apologies to me.
    “Although I knew that the bad weather for ice decrease would keep 2013 above 2011 and 2012, I didn’t quite expect such a big gap. It never hurts to emphasize that PIOMAS is a model, and even though it’s constrained by observations, I emphasize that PIOMAS is a model on a regular basis, especially when PIOMAS tends to go low, because many people assume that the PIOMAS graph is showing observed data.I always feared that PIOMAS was overestimating volume loss.”
    Where to now with your 4 charts if one is unreliable.

    • David Springer

      A comment on Neven’s site that caught my eye:

      Right now on CT we’re where we were in 2008, which went from being “a recovery” to almost tying 2007.

      In the last 6 days we’ve lost a million square kilometers.

      If the next 6 days continues the trend, we’ll be 200K above 2012, and if the rally lasts for 12 days, we’ll be 100K above 2012.

      Posted by: Rlkittiwake | July 06, 2013 at 03:36

      What caught my eye is calling accelerating ice melt a “rally”. These people are cheering FOR global warming. They complain incessantly about the imagined negative consequences of global warming yet they welcome it at the same time. This is dead giveaway that they either don’t believe in the negative consquences or they don’t care. They’re zealots with a mission and don’t care about harming others so long as their cause is advanced. It’s despicable.

      • Of course we are cheering for global warming. It’s happening, it’s a fact, we need to make sure people recognize it and do something about carbon emissions before it is too late.

        It’s objectively obvious that Arctic Ice is in a death spiral. But there are interests who pretend it isn’t. Who tell the public such lies as “arctic ice is fine, steady for a decade”. Who promise them recoveries. Who claim it was just as low in the 30s. Who blame record minimums on cyclones. Who every year claim it’s “back to normal” or claim it’s had record regrowth over winter.

        Yet the 2007 and 2012 minimums badly damaged climate denier credibility. Who can believe the BS they claim when the Arctic keeps breaking new records? One more record minimum will destroy climate denier credibility on the arctic IMO.

        So of course we are pinning for that.

      • Meh, defrosting a whole ocean preparatory to basting and stuffing.

        But Livingston and Penn!

      • lolwot,

        More and more it is appearing that the only thing in a death spiral is your ability to reason

        “Of course we’re cheering for global warming”.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      PIOMAS is a model, but has been generally validated by actual data. It may be off over the short-term up and down wiggles, but “all roads lead to Rome” as they say, and zero will be zero across all charts in the coming ice-free summer Arctic. The thinning of the ice first modeled by PIOMAS and then confirmed by satellite, is the overall biggest success for this particular model.

  27. David Springer

    WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | July 6, 2013 at 10:43 am |

    The theory essentially states that the gradient of temperature is balanced by a gradient in the gravitational potential energy. The gradient of temperature corresponds to the lapse rate formulation. The gradient in potential energy is the gravitational force, which is essentially a constant for a range of radii.”

    Clive Best has discussed this:

    It was discussed months earlier at WUWT:

    Refutation of Stable Thermal Equilibrium Lapse Rates

    Posted on January 24, 2012by Anthony Watts

    Guest post by Robert G. Brown
    Duke University Physics Department

    The Problem

    In 2003 a paper was published in Energy & Environment by Hans Jelbring that asserted that a gravitationally bound, adiabatically isolated shell of ideal gas would exhibit a thermodynamically stable adiabatic lapse rate. No plausible explanation was offered for this state being thermodynamically stable – indeed, the explanation involved a moving air parcel:

    I was already banned at WUWT at the time so couldn’t respond. It’s really the only time I can remember disagreeing with Rob Brown at Duke. We had it out in email instead. I had him from the moment he admitted that ‘thermal energy’ is the sum of gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy. I believe the problem is that most physicists are not astrophysicists and don’t tend to think about the ideal gas law in the context of gravitational confinement where volume becomes the free variable instead of pressure. In the article above Rob used a thermopile with the cold side at altitude and warm side at sea level and claimed Loschmidt effect would create a perpetuum mobile of the second kind. I looked at it and the first thing that occured to me was that as the thermopile turned the energy gradient into work the atmosphere would cool and collapse leaving the cold side of the thermopile in empty space. And, here’s the key, it would still work because the 3 Kelvin temperature of the cosmos would still serve as a wonderful and for all we know infinite heat sink. So Rob’s example violates 2LoT without needing the Loschmidt gravito-thermal effect. Therefore we can dispense with Loschmidt and find some other reason for why Rob’s proposed PM of the 2nd kind won’t work. Or maybe it will work as PM2s aren’t prohibited by laws of thermodynamics i.e. no one has come up with a formal disproof that Maxwell’s Demon cannot exist. At any rate we don’t need the Loschmidt gravito-thermal effect to enable it.

    • David Springer

      By the way webby, I thjnk it goes beyond theory to say there’s a gradient in gravitational potential energy in the atmosphere. A pound of air at 10,000 feet has more gravitational potential energy than a pound of air at sea level in other words. If you don’t believe that then you’re living in cartoon world where Wile. E. Coyote can step off a cliff and hover in mid-air until he looks and discovers there’s nothing holding him up. I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. The supports are rotten but pay that no mind because if they fail it will only collapse in theory. ;-)

  28. The drought continues to abate.

    • David Springer

      Too bad they don’t have colors for abnormally wet. God forbid they provide any perspective. Fair and balanced? Hardly.

      • I’ve had that thought myself.

      • Lots of farmers use that site. They know were to find what they need. It’s likely green.

      • David Springer

        Really. Lots of farmers, huh? And how exactly do you know lots of farmers use it? Farmers I know don’t need anyone to tell them how dry the soil is in their fields. Lots of farmers look at forecasts. The drought monitor is not a forecast.

      • David Springer

        Okay. Next time say so. I’m not a mind reader. The NOAA site was never mentioned. When you wrote “lots of farmer use that site” the site to which you referred was the drought monitor site.

    • Cooling compliance
      Can’t make it dance,
      That carbon appliance;
      Hey, it’s science.

    • Steven Mosher

      What an utterly stupid argument

      “As someone who has written on carbon taxes, I was most interested to see what evidence McKitrick brought forward, and what his suggested initial tax level is. But his only statement on this is ‘ Suppose we set the initial carbon tax at about US $10 per tonne’ (page9). He doesn’t present any evidence to support this suggestion. This could be seen as a slight fault in a paper entitled ‘An evidence-based approach to pricing CO2′. Particularly as the best evidence we have is that the initial carbon price should be set about $100 per tonne of CO2 higher.”


      You dont need EVIDENCE to support a SUPPOSITION. Note that rioss didnt offer a suggestion. For the sake of discussion he says “suppose”.

      But freaks like chris hope dont want to have a discussion, so they bully Ross with snappy titles.

      The best evidence is that 100 a ton is a non starter. cant happen.

      • The globe is cooling, moshe(and Ross); for how long even kim doesn’t know.

      • doesn’t look like cooling

      • David Springer

        Fiat emission price/ton can be any number whatsoever. Participation can be forced. European emission trading system is currently under $5/ton which is $5/ton more than non-participating entities pay. It’s just a huge wealth transfer scheme. Global emissions have grown without even a hiccup all the while the trading system has been operating. It’s not about CO2 it’s a Robin Hood scheme and not a very pure one at that.

      • Warming? Where? Oh, sure, many places, to be sure. A great candidate might be the deep ocean, had we eyes to see.

      • I certainly hope we’re stashing some heat up down there, because it will certainly prove useful at the end of the Holocene. I haven’t much evidence for my probably vain hopes, but my faith is in Kevin Trenberth, for today, anyway.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Seems Kim must use the word “globe” rather than something more precise and scientific; for how long even R. Gates does not know.

      • Often, I just use ‘We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know’.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        “… it will certainly prove useful at the end of the Holocene.”


        A funny thing happened on the way to the end of the Holocene. This odd species with a large brain learned how to remove billions of tons of carbon from the lithosphere and place it into the atmosphere and hydrosphere, thereby dramatically altering all three and then including the biosphere. With the dramatic alteration of all 4 major spheres of the Earth by one species, the Holocene came to an end, and the Anthropocene was ushered in.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        “Often, I just use ‘We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know’.”

        You might indeed be cooling Kim. Such are the patterns of a life for a biological organism.

      • The heat in the deep ocean will be worthless at the end of the Holocene. It’s mixed, and when it comes out cold as H it will kill a lot of life.

      • Could be, Skeptic Robert G; a sensitivity high enough to cause a warming catastrophe has already prevented a cooling catastrophe. Name the harms of the warming since the Little Ice Age.

      • kims just gone from “it’s not happening” to “it’s happening but it’s not a problem”

      • JCH understands, as some alarmists do not, that the ‘missing heat’ will not be boiling out of the oceans soon to damage us. Talk to Skeptic Robert G, please, mebbe lowlot, too.

      • lolwot, anthroCO2 is a boon. It’s greened the earth to the benefit of all, and by the testimony of Skeptic Robert G, it has warmed us, too.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        The current respite to the longer-term rise in tropospheric temperatures is the last bastion of hope that AGW deniers have. Surely you don’t want to take even that away, do you?

      • er, sorry, Mistress Gaia, it’s a ‘blessing’ more than a ‘boon’. We have no intention of spitting into your wind.

      • Heh, Skeptic Robert G, this is the third such respite in a century and a half. And now the Sun is getting into the act, spotting us the Cheshire Cat grins.

      • the missing heat will come back to haunt us as it will reduce the efficiency of heat loss into the deep oceans

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        Robert G. Is my father. In regards to whether or not bringing GH gas levels to a point not seen for millions of years will be a “boon” or not, that depends on many factors:

        1) Could a Pliocene or Miocene-like climate support the food supply necessary to feed 8 or 10 or 12 billion hungry humans?
        2) Will the food chain in general be able to withstand such a rapid change? Of particular concern is the oceans which are under increase stress already.

        I am currently not a catastrophist, but I remain highly skeptical that the rapid changes were making to the GH gas concentrations will be a “boon”. The current rate of species loss is particularly alarming. The “anthro” needs to take better care of the Anthropocene. Geoengineering seems a likely course.

      • I’m a dumb cowboy. I have learned a great deal from lolwot and “Gatsey”. They can learn nothing from me as I’m basically just an idiot who likes to read this crap. There is no physical way for enhanced deep-ocean warming to last much longer. When it ends, which it will, vigorous warming of the surface will resume, and simplified sensitivity estimates will probably be going up uppity up. Which will haunt coolers like kim.

        caveats: end of the sun as we knew it, humongous volcanoruptuses, any stuff I’ve forgettin’.

      • JCH & RG, I understand your points and have for years. I don’t see your fears being realized, and the risks of cooling are greater than of warming, on almost any scale. It’s simple. You lays your money down and you takes your chances.

      • fair enough, if it does start cooling I will become a ‘climate skeptic’

      • I repeat: Name the harms of the warming since the Little Ice Age.

        There are manifold and manifest benefits of the warming. Are humans and their GHGs responsible for the warming, better, to what degree? If all, then we’ve already prevented a cooling catastrophe, and presently only holding steady. If none, then our GHGs have little effect on the governor of the marvelous heat engine that is our earth. Take your pick of the intermediary scenarios, because the answer to all of them is that AnthroGHGs have been net benefit, and will continue to do so.

        There’s math in there if you look, or at least some tortuous stuff.

      • Heh, and somebody wants to tax this net benefit. You’ll get less of it then, Ross, honey, dontcha know.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        Because I am a Warmist does not mean that I live in fear. I go to work, spend time with family and friends, bike, hike, garden, take vacations, and enjoy all the rest of life’s pleasures. But I think it’s important that Homo sapiens take responsibility for our actions, and the sooner we fully understand what our actions do to this planet, the sooner we can take the necessary steps to become responsible stewards. We have been an enormously successful species because of our ability to adapt. We’ll figure this stewardship thing out.

      • lowlot:

        the missing heat will come back to haunt us as it will reduce the efficiency of heat loss into the deep oceans

        Did you just make that up yourself?
        Perhaps you could explain how exactly that’s supposed to happen, without bending the physical properties of water?

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Kim said:

        “I repeat: Name the harms of the warming since the Little Ice Age.”

        You have to at least acknowledge that the European heat wave of 2003, or the Russian heat wave of 2010, or storms like hurricane Sandy could have at least been intensified because anthropogenic climate change. But regardless, what you seem to not understand is– this party is just getting started.

      • Well, your ‘fully understand’ is absurd, but I’ll go with ‘better understand’. The question is do we presently understand well enough for our knowledge to be useful? About climate science, the evidence of the last few decades is that our understanding has been destructively useful.

      • The ‘Party’, RG, has been going on for four and a half billion years. Are we beating a drum loud enough to be heard?

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        We did not have to completely understand the finite details in how cigarettes caused cancer to take action to warn the public of the danger. So too, we may not have all the exact details in how the rapid GH gas increases in the atmosphere will affect the climate, but it makes sense to warn the public of the danger. It should be revealing enough to you that the groups like the Heartland Institute who fought against the science of smoking and tobacco are the same groups fighting against educating the public on the dangers of anthropogenic climate change. This is not a coincidence as they have only financial interests in mind.

      • R Gates

        There were European heatwaves easily on a par with that of 2003 in 1525 and 1616. Similarly with Russia in the 1860’s.

        You should be arguing Physics, as arguing ‘unprecedented’ or that AGW is possibly accentuating modern heatwaves doesn’t seem valid when the past does not support your narrative.

      • R Gates

        As regards stewardship, one of the last things that Hubert Lamb ever wrote was this;

        “”The idea of climate change has at last taken on with the public after generations which assumed that climate could be taken as constant. But it is easy to notice the common assumption that mans science and modern industry and technology are now so powerful that any change of climate or the environment must be due to us. It is good for us to be more alert and responsible in our treatment of the environment, but not to have a distorted view of our own importance. Above all, we need more knowledge, education and understanding in these matters.”
        Hubert Lamb DEC 1994′


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        Lamb’s comments are quite to the point, and such as they are, I agree completely. Regarding heat waves and other extreme climate events, I am persuaded by the work of Dr. Francis at Rutgers as well as others. The physics seems quite plausible to me. It is good to have the history of these things as so aptly provided by yourself and others for when we need to really understand if the frequency of these events is indeed tilting to becoming more frequent, history will be the metric.

      • tony b

        Those words you cited of Hubert Lamb are very wise, indeed.

        I am always amused at how so many people truly believe that humans are able to change our planet’s global climate.

        Today this is all supposedly based on “science”. In the past it was based on a religious belief.

        But in all cases it was based on the same anthropocentric notion that we humans are the cause for what our climate is doing.

        And that we could change it by changing our sinful habits.

        Plus ça change…


      • JCH | July 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        I’m a dumb cowboy. I have learned a great deal from lolwot and “Gatsey”.”

        Perhaps you should expand you sphere of influence. One of “Gatsey’s” areas of research is Sudden Stratospheric Warming Events and general Stratospheric circulations. This was as closed to completely missed as possible in the models, the Energy Budgets and the GHG theory.

        Another of his areas of interest is Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent. this was also completely missed timing wise in the models, Energy Budgets and GHG theory.

        Yet another area of his interests is Ocean heat uptake. This was not only missed, the mechanism is not understood and a matter of debate. The large numbers he tosses around, 10^22 Joules amount to hundredths of degrees which would require approximately four centuries to produce 0.8 C of actual ocean warming.

        Finally, he uses period millions and millions of years in the past as some sort of evidence that CO2 is the driver of the majority of climate change. He continues despite numerous peer reviewed paper that indicate that variations in ocean currents, not CO2 lead to the glacial/ interglacial transitions.

        It is nice to have curiosity about the physical world, but when “Gatsey” finishes with the party line rhetoric, he does you a disservice.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        You should probably read a a bit more of Lambs writings. He did not espouse the idea that humans had no effect at all on climate. He was simply being an honest scientist and was skeptical about the extent of that effect. Hard to say how he might change his opinion if he were alive in the next few yeras to witness the first ice-free Arctic in thousands of years– happening much faster than any climate model around during his time said it would.

        I greatly respect the approach of Lamb to climate (a greatness, honest skepticism, and moderation much akin to that of Budyko).

      • R. Gates

        Yeah. I’ve read all that, too.

        And there is no doubt that humans have caused and are causing local changes in climate due to land use changes, urbanization, construction of dams, dikes, etc.

        But we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.

        We are unable to change our planet’s global climate perceptibly no matter how much money we throw at it.

        And that is the point here.


      • R. Gates, you write “to witness the first ice-free Arctic in thousands of years– ”

        Maybe you might like to comment on

        I know the data is only to the first week of July, but do you really think we are going to see an ice free summer this year? Or any time soon?

        And there is always the iconic NW passage

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Jim C.,

        Things started out very slow in the melt season for the Arctic this year, but the past few days have seen quite an acceleration.

        No, I don’t think 2013 is the year of the first ice-free summer Arctic, but I think the odds go up greatly every year hence. Certainly a better than 0 chance by 2020, and upward from there.

        It will be “wiggly” on the way down, such is the nature of natural variability. It is certainly going to happen much sooner than the models back in Lamb’s day were showing. Models are clean (but always wrong in details), Reality is messy (but always right in detail).

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        JCH said;

        “The heat in the deep ocean will be worthless at the end of the Holocene. It’s mixed, and when it comes out cold as H it will kill a lot of life.”


        The heat in the ocean, like money in the bank, is only worthless if it can’t eventually be used. During the period of the Snowball Earth, for example, when the oceans were virtually iced over to the equator, that heat in the ocean kept the life going under the ice. The ice kept the heat in, and the thicker the ice, the more insulated was the water. It is possible that during that period, the majority of the additional heat being added to the ocean was coming from geothermal sources.

        But back to the current situation. Water can hold a lot of heat per unit volume and a slightly warmer body of water can mean a much warmer atmosphere. During an El Niño, we see that just a few tenths of a degree warmer ocean surface in a confined region of the Pacific can lead to more than a few tenths of a degree warming averaged over the whole troposphere when that heat is released from ocean to atmosphere. The lesson is that small changes in the ocean can eventually lead to big changes in the atmosphere. The past and future of the climate of the planet is always about the ocean. Any heat in the ocean is never “worthless”.

      • R. Gates, you write “Things started out very slow in the melt season for the Arctic this year, but the past few days have seen quite an acceleration.”

        I follow the Arctc sea ice extent on a daily basis. Either I have missed something, or you have a vivid imagination. Look at, and tell me where this “acceleration” is. The curve in the last couple of days has gone the other way.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Jim C.,

        A better feel for the ice can be seen in looking at area rather than extent, especially during the times of the year when there is so much open water in the middle of the ice pack. By looking at area:

        You’ll see the big melting going on these past few days. During periods in the summer melt, when there is divergence of the ice, the differences in direction between area and extent can tell you a lot. You’ll do great in learning more about all this by hanging around Neven’s site. Some very smart and knowledable folks there with some of the top experts even dropping in now and then.

        The question you’ll propbably need to really start asking yourself (assuming you plan on being around in the next 5 or 10 years), is once we see the first ice-free summer Arctic, will you asribe it to “natural variability” as the of the true last hold-out deniers will be likely to, or will you see it for what it really is– anthropogenic climate change.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Captn. Dallas said:

        “It is nice to have curiosity about the physical world, but when “Gatsey” finishes with the party line rhetoric, he does you a disservice.”

        Ouch Captn, that hurt. And I thought we were friends.

        FWIW, I follow no party line at all, and reach my own conclusions after looking at the facts. If the past 10 years of ARGO floats showed no warming of the ocean or even a cooling, my monicker would be “A Skeptic About Warming” rather than a Skeptical Warmist. I am honest scientific minded person, and pride myself on independence of thought about all else. Please try to refrain from insulting me in the future.

      • R. Gates, you write “(assuming you plan on being around in the next 5 or 10 years)”

        I wish. I am 87 years old.

      • > You don’t need evidence to support a supposition.

        Unless that “supposition” is about what is advertised as being evidence-based, which might remind auditors of an econometrist who would open his can of beans by positing a can-opener.

        Besides, Chris Hope’s main argument was a paragraph above:

        The most novel part of the paper is a suggestion that future tax levels should be linked to tropical temperature rises. But the paper does not seem to recognise that scientists expect temperature rises to lag emissions by years, even decades. Using a lagging indicator to adjust tax levels is problematic to say the least.


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Well, FWIW Jim C, I hope you are around, and I applaud you for kicking it around with some of us young snot-nosed “kids”

      • “I am always amused at how so many people truly believe that humans are able to change our planet’s global climate.”

        It’s a lot of people. Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, Judith Curry. The list goes on doesn’t it.

      • Well McKitrick does make a specific claim that a $10 per tonne tax “is low enough not to do any real economic harm as long as we use all the revenues to pay for income tax cuts”. Although I guess to be fair that is such a ridiclously low level that many of us would be inclined to take his word for it.

        But he does seem to make an awful lot of assumptions regarding the economic basis for his proposed policy for which he provides little evidence, and which I think would certainly be contested by other economists. Of the four references cited, three are to his own work and the other to someone he calls a “colleague”.

        Mind you, I think the flaws in his argument are more basic than that. I mean let’s look at what he is actually proposing that we do – he is saying that in the short term we should scrap all existing policies aimed at reducing emissions and implement a tax which is too low to actually have any effect. And then we can raise taxes to a level sufficient to reduce emissions and thus prevent a dangerous rise in temperature once those emissions have already occurred and temperatures have already risen and are commited to rising further.

        Does anyone think that those us of who actually consider there to be a genuine risk from rising temperatues are going to buy this for a second? You may as well argue that in order to avoid wasting money on insurance premiums which give no return you should try to insure your house once it is on fire.

      • Next from McKitrick, “we should decide how much to spend on locks for stable doors based on the number of horses which have bolted”.

      • kim,

        It is a waste of time to ask for evidence of harm. If you get any response (unlikely) it will be either extreme weather, model projections or a pointing to Arctic ice melt. Only one is real and no one has shown how it is something to worry about. (Though they are trying very, very hard, with the jet stream hypothesis.)

      • RG,

        Dr Francis has a hypothesis. What she doesn’t have yet is evidence to back it up.

      • maksimovich

        I am persuaded by the work of Dr. Francis at Rutgers as well as others. The physics seems quite plausible to me. It is good to have the history of these things as so aptly provided by yourself and others for when we need to really understand if the frequency of these events is indeed tilting to becoming more frequent,

        The southward ( northward) excursions of the polar jets are predicted in the models to decrease in a warming world ie move poleward,Francis is effectively falsifying the models and henceforth outcomes (read theory) of expectations.

  29. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Manacker (aka Max) said:

    “We are unable to change our planet’s global climate perceptibly no matter how much money we throw at it.”

    Everyone else does see why this is akin to a religious conviction and as such aptly qualifies him in the category of “denier”. Had he prefaced it with, “It seems to me after studying all the evidence that it is likely that…”

    But Max seems quite convinced of his beliefs. Sign of a True-Believer, or in this case, a true Un-believer.

    • R Gates

      Bearing in mind the two warmest consecutives decade in the Greenland record are NOT this current one and the previous one, you will have to wait until 2021 to equal the record and hang on in there to 2031 to BREAK the record. (so eat healthily-apart from during our slap up meal of course)

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Over what time frames are you looking at Tony? Certainly we can go back many centuries or even thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of years and find warmer periods for Greenland. Other interglacials are of particular interest, but even this interglacial had warmer periods for Greenland.

        You should probably keep in mind that the effects of even the current levels of CO2 will be affecting Greenland for centuries going forward, and that would be even if we somehow locked in at around 400 ppm. As we push higher, you can just extend those effects on Greenland out even further. For a great perspective on Greenland, see:

      • R Gates

        according to Phil Jones it is the 1930’s and 1940’s not the dim distant past. I have linked to the study before.


  30. tempterrain

    Just a thought on the subject of wind turbines, which do seem to be regarded as quite a blot on the landscape. I wouldn’t disagree. They do have their applications,of course, but some countries, like Denmark and the UK, do seem to be going too far down the wrong road. If they were a fix to their CO2 emissions problems, they could be regarded as an unavoidable necessity. But they aren’t. Nowhere near. Last year the UK generated around 5% of its electricity needs this way

    Because of its unreliable nature, wind power can’t,despite what some may claim, be used for base load power. Even if it could, would an increase in the number of wind turbines by a factor of 20 be publicly acceptable? I’m siding with climate sceptics saying this, I know! However, I’d just ask them if they might like to reconsider their approach. Is ‘we don’t need wind turbines because the scientific consensus on CO2 emissions is all a hoax’ really the best argument?

    How to decarbonise the way most electricity is generated should be the key question. Instead that discussion is taken up with greenwash -a discussion on how to decarbonise a small proportion of electricity generation. Once that problem is solved there probably will be little need for any large industrial country to have any significant number of wind turbines.

    • tempterrain

      The argument I always use is not the co2 one but that in the UK we urgently need a grown up source of reliable power that is relatively inexpensive.

      Wind turbines fail on all counts and have the added misfortune of being highly visible and needing additional transmission lines to take power from the relatively remote spots the turbines are situated, to the centres of population. In the example of the UK our finest upland landscapes also happen to be the best places to site turbines.

      You don’t save the environment by trashing the countryside.

      What other countries do that have far more open space than we do is up to them, but in our situation wind turbines are a non starter. If renewables are to be part of our energy mix the oceans that surround us seem a more obvious contender with reliable tides topped up by waves.

      • The British penchant for placing cairns everywhere trashes the countryside.

        I always have to step back and just laugh at how silly the majority of the denialists sound.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        I agree with your sentiments on wind turbines Tony. Seems absurd to have such an ugly appendage to the landscape 400 km away so you can boil some water for tea. Downright stupid actually. I think the era of “stupid green energy ideas” will come and go, as painful as that passing may be.

      • Webby

        The difference between a 6 foot cairn made of the local stones and a 350 foot metal/carbon pylon is…?


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        344 ft.

      • Webby

        in order to provide further helpful education in your knowing the difference between a small cairn made of the local stone and a giant wind turbine that isn’t, I can also point out that the former were often burial sites whilst the latter aren’t (except for birds)

        More modern cairns are put together by local walkers to mark the path. visibility is often very poor over 2000/3000 feet and many a time we walkers have been very glad to see their reassuring shape loom before us.

      • tempterrain


        I don’t think Webby is being too serious about this! He’s just teasing. Best to just ignore him :-)

    • tempterrain

      “The argument I always use is not the co2 one”

      “The CO2 one” is the argument used to justify the building of wind turbines. It is not something you can ignore if you want to campaign against them effectively.
      It is not difficult to show that it is fallacious and that a correct analysis of the wider issues shows that they are, at best, an irrelevance and, at worst, an expensive distraction.

      • tempterrain

        It is govt policy to use wind to reduce our co2 emissions thereby arguing against that facet is not accepted as it is a ‘given’ that co2 is ‘bad’ and ‘wind’ is therefore good.

        you therefore have to argue on other planning grounds. Kafka would be proud of the logic

    • tempterrain


      It seems to me that opposition to wind farms does present an opportunity for some common ground. Why not use the greenwash argument yourself?

      • tempterrain

        So many battles, so little time.

        The latest menace are huge solar ‘farms. One near us is planned at 50 acres and crammed full of panels with very heavily subsidised power being the result. Trouble is that in winter when power is most needed is the very time they generate the least power-and even less during winter nights….. :)

        A country such as ours, where our area at 1700 hours of sun per year provides the highest total in the UK, is simply using an insane way to generate power.

        I favour using the ocean but research is way behind that of other renewables.

      • tempterrain

        The same arguments would apply to solar. There’s nothing wrong with using solar panels if its not possible to connect up to the grid, but it doesn’t make much economic sense to connect up panels to the grid especially in Europe where peak demand coincides with darkness and lack of sun. Maybe there’s more of a case in Australia where peak demand does coincide with hot sunny weather and high usage of air conditioners.

        But you’ve got to expose the illogical nature of those who argue for their use. Its no use saying that CO2 isn’t a pollutant. That implies that if it were then solar and wind energy farms would be justifiable policies. And that’s not the case – at least it isn’t unless industry is prepared to shut down and the public are happy to sit in the cold and the dark if the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow.

      • tempterrain

        the green energy mantra is official dogma and as a ‘given’ you can not argue against its desirability in planning law.

        there are other arguments such as the sheer cost, taking up farmland and the absurdity of it not producing power when most required.

        However, that last one then comes round in a circle as the energy is ‘desirable.’ the British public can see through it and are becoming increasingly concerned about the cost and inefficiency . Being a large economy with many of our power stations being forcibly retired we need grown up energy sources not those utterly unsuited to the Britiish situation.

        In Australia solar might make sense in Britain it is laughably inappropriate.

        You heard about Drax-our largest coal fired power station-being converted to wood pellets being sent over from America?


    • some say we don’t need wind turbines because the scientific consensus on CO2 emissions is all a hoax.

      It is really much worse than that. They really believe this chicken little consensus stuff. I would really rather think they are trying to trick us than think they really don’t even suspect what controls earth temperature.

    • +1

      It should be noted that “green” NGO’s are now saying what is needed is rapid reduction in consumption. Guess they finally learned to apply arithmatic to the problem.

  31. David Springer

    Antarctic Sea Ice is a boomin’. Above the 1981-2000 average all year long.

    Maybe Gatesy can explain how this is possible when CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere.

    Meanwhile the temperature in the Arctic above 80N continues to be running well below the average temperature for 1959-2020 (ERA40).

    What we have heah folks is the last legs of the CAGW hypothesis being kicked out from under it. As I have been saying for years Arctic Sea Ice is a thermostat. Expose more of it and more heat escapes from the ocean. It just doesn’t respond instantly. Offhand I’d say it has a hysteresis of about 30 years.

    • …Given the likely strong effect on sea-ice extent during the past
      few decades, and present projections of accelerating subsurface
      Southern Ocean warming and Antarctic ice-shelf melt in the
      near future17,19,20, we anticipate that the proposed mechanism
      may continue to contribute to expanding sea ice and significantly
      reduced surface warming (or even continued cooling) in the
      Southern Ocean for the coming years/decades. As such, the link
      between subsurface ocean warming (which is associated with
      climate warming), ice-sheet mass loss by ice-shelf melt, and
      expanding sea ice may constitute a feedback that has the potential to
      oppose Southern Hemispheric atmospheric warming and amplify
      increases in global sea level. …

      • David Springer

        re; acceleration of sea level rise

        Yeah right. You be sure and let us all know when that happens.

      • Looks like over the last two years it’s about 10mm per year!

      • David Springer

        Two years is how long we need to establish a climate trend now?

        What happened to Santer’s minimum of 17 years?

        I’d accuse you of moving the goalposts except for the fact that you aren’t anywhere near the playing field, dummy.

      • No, the trend is ~3.2mm per year.

      • David Springer

        Correct. The trend is 3.2mm/year. And near as anyone can tell it hasn’t changed in the past 20 years despite atmospheric CO2 increasing at a steady rate the whole time. My point of course is that there is no evidence whatsoever to support the notion that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere accelerates sea level rise. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. In other words it’s baseless speculation contrary to the facts on the ground.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


      You honestly seem unable to grasp the significant differences between NH and SH energy advection from equator to the pole on this planet. Further exposition in the attempt to enlighten you are simply a huge waste of time.

      This is a topic is well discussed on many climate blogs. I’m sure you can find what you seek, unless, as I suspect, you simply want to blather on about things you know nothing about.

      • David Springer

        You’re wrong Gates. Ice insulates the ocean’s surface. That’s common knowledge. Less ice insulates less. I’m sorry if you’re too stupid to connect the dots. Most people aren’t.

        And I’m not really sorry. You’re insignificant.

      • David Springer

        From the horse’s mouth (National Snow and Ice Data Center) to the horse’s ass (R. Gates):

        My emphasis.

        Heat Exchange

        During winter, the Arctic’s atmosphere is very cold. In comparison, the ocean is much warmer. The sea ice cover separates the two, preventing heat in the ocean from warming the overlying atmosphere. This insulating effect is another way that sea ice helps to keep the Arctic cold. But heat can escape rather efficiently from areas of thin ice and especially from leads and polynyas, small openings in the ice cover. Roughly half of the total exchange of heat between the Arctic Ocean and the atmosphere occurs through openings in the ice. With more leads and polynyas, or thinner ice, the sea ice cannot efficiently insulate the ocean from the atmosphere. The Arctic atmosphere then warms, which, in turn influences the global circulation of the atmosphere.

        Thanks for playing, Gates. Buy yourself a clue next time.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        Seems like you jump from topic to topic regarding sea ice. Where did I say that ice did not hold in the ocean heat in the winter? Fact is, I never did but you simply through that in for some unknown reason.

        Oh well…

    • “As I have been saying for years Arctic Sea Ice is a thermostat. Expose more of it and more heat escapes from the ocean. ”

      If heat was escaping from the ocean into the atmosphere the graph you post would show the Arctic above 80N running ABOVE average temperature.

      • David Springer

        No it wouldn’t. The heat escapes in the same way information escapes from your brain; insensibly.

  32. Planetary surface temperatures have very little to do with incident radiation. At the base of the theoretical troposphere of Uranus it is about 320K but virtually no Solar radiation reaches down through 350Km of its atmosphere to that altitude.

    The Sun cannot heat the surfaces of planets like Earth and Venus to the observed temperatures with direct radiation. So it doesn’t matter how much the atmosphere slows cooling if we can’t explain how the temperature gets to 288K on Earth or 730K on Venus before any such cooling begins.

    In fact it is energy from the Sun which does the warming by first heating the atmosphere with incident radiation. That absorbed energy then disturbs the thermodynamic equilibrium and this leads to convective heat transfer down towards the surface. In physics “convective heat transfer” can comprise diffusion as well as advection, but advection is not necessary. We don’t need to explain such heat transfer by imagining air moving up or down. We need to understand the process described in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, as in Sections 4 to 9 here.

    • Doug,

      The interior of the Earth is molten. Do you agree?

      The crust has cooled enough to live on (in most areas).

      If there is molten rock still cooling, what should the crust temperature be?

      500K? No.

      400K? No.

      300 K? No.

      288K? Sounds about right to me.

      Increase the surface temperature of anything by wrapping it with CO2?

      If you believe that, you might be able to believe in the caloric theory of heat, or the luminiferous aether, or any of a number of theories which were accepted by the greatest scientific minds of the day.

      AGW due to CO2? Bah, humbug, I say!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Dr. Strangelove


      “The Sun cannot heat the surfaces of planets like Earth and Venus to the observed temperatures with direct radiation”

      You never had a tan from sunbathing? Never dried fish or meat from the sun? Does it feel hot?

      “In fact it is energy from the Sun which does the warming by first heating the atmosphere with incident radiation”

      So it’s the hot air. Try using a hair dryer on your arm. Did you get a tan? Try the tanning machine. Did you feel any hot air blowing? Or was it the UV radiation?

      “We don’t need to explain such heat transfer by imagining air moving up or down”

      You’ve never seen a hot air balloon rising? You really believe convection does not involve moving air and heat transfer?

      No amount of pseudoscience can prove your false claims. It only takes common sense to debunk them. The crackpot has been banned in Roy Spencer’s website for spreading his pseudoscience.

      • David Springer

        “The crackpot has been banned in Roy Spencer’s website for spreading his pseudoscience.”

        About time.

    • David Springer

      D Cotton | July 7, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Reply

      Planetary surface temperatures have very little to do with incident radiation. At the base of the theoretical troposphere of Uranus it is about 320K but virtually no Solar radiation reaches down through 350Km of its atmosphere to that altitude.

      The Sun cannot heat the surfaces of planets like Earth and Venus to the observed temperatures with direct radiation. So it doesn’t matter how much the atmosphere slows cooling if we can’t explain how the temperature gets to 288K on Earth or 730K on Venus before any such cooling begins.

      In fact it is energy from the Sun which does the warming by first heating the atmosphere with incident radiation. That absorbed energy then disturbs the thermodynamic equilibrium and this leads to convective heat transfer down towards the surface. In physics “convective heat transfer” can comprise diffusion as well as advection, but advection is not necessary.

      In physics heat neither diffuses nor convects from colder to warmer. The air at the surface being the warmest point in the column is not warmed from the air above it. That would violate 2LoT.

      288K average surface temperature is a mistake. The average temperature of the global ocean is 4C. That corresponds to a blackbody radiant emission of 240W/m2. Bear with me. The average insolation at top of atmosphere is 340W/m2. 240 divided by 340 is 0.70 which, not coincidently, is the reciprocal of the earth’s bond albedo of 0.30.

      The ocean’s average temperature is precisely the temperature it should be for the amount of insolation it receives from the sun. Precisely.

      • Mike Flynn

        David Springer,

        I think I am generally in agreement with you.

        There is one point, at least, however, on which we disagree. You speak of “heat” as though it is an entity, as was believed by the adherents of the caloric theory of heat.

        Such visualisation was certainly adequate for Carnot’s work. Later, though, Joule provided an experimental basis for challenging “caloric” as a useful concept. “Heat” is not amenable to rigorous definition, as I trust you will agree.

        Further, to speak of “average surface temperature” is irrelevant, and misleading at best. The adherents of the worship of the “average” of one parameter of weather, can no more define the “average surface temperature”, than I can see into the future.

        The surface temperature seems to be either the air temperature “close” to the surface, or the actual surface temperature “seen” from a satellite, whether it be the surface of forest canopy, the bottom of a quarry, an asphalt parking lot, or a well watered cricket pitch. Additionally, altitude, relative humidity, vegetation type and density, and so on, are conveniently disregarded. Sea “surface” temperatures are similarly useless, as they can be defined in several different ways.

        “Heat” is a result, not a cause. It is a fiction in a physical sense, although convenient as an an analogy, to explain the result of energy transfer in various forms. You cannot store ” heat”, you cannot accumulate “heat”, you cannot trap “heat”, any more than you can perform these actions with “voltage” or “amperage”.

        The Earth, (comprising the core, mantle, lithosphere, aquasphere and atmosphere), is cooling. It started cooling from the moment of its creation, and will stop when it reaches equilibrium with its thermodynamic environment.

        I use the probable fiction that the “average surface temperature” is 288K purely because the “Warmists” seem to accept this figure. Pointing out the “average temperature” of the oceans is about as pointless as pointing out the average temperature of the solid Earth is in excess of the melting point of the Earth’s components. You have made a good point however, in that it is easily demonstrated that the ocean’s waters become colder with increasing proximity to the centre of the Earth, while the lithospheric temperature increases with depth.

        Warmists are either frauds, fools, suffering from a delusional psychosis, or just extremely gullible.

        They deserve our compassion, rather than condemnation. They cannot help their inability to accept reality. At least Doug Cotton refrains from the usual barrage of ad homs, and (sometimes) thinly veiled insults presented as “discussion” here. Censorship ultimately fails. What’s wrong with free speech?

        Oh well, we all do what we think is best!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • It appears that you two are wishing that the albedo would not exist.

        The thought experiment of setting the earth’s albedo to zero has been done many times in the past and yes it does raise the average blackbody temperature to above 278K.

        The GHG effect selectively filters the spectral wavelengths so that a higher temperature is needed to achieve a radiative equilibrium.

        Apparently you do not believe in any of that science and that is your right. Just as it is your right to believe in Intelligent Design.

      • Webster, “It appears that you two are wishing that the albedo would not exist.”

        Most of the Albedo is not fixed and not at the “surface” This is one of the cloud issues. Marine clouds for example are diurnal. They typical develop after local noon causing the peak surface temperature to be 2 to 3 hours after peak insolation.

        Since you are into averaging, after a few millennia, the average temperature of oceans would be 4C which is 334.5 Wm-2 energy equivalent because cloud respond to surface energy not the other way around.

      • Cappy
        You do realize that electromagnetic energy that is reflected does not contribute to heating?

        It is not surprising that you have not contributed one iota to the scientific knowledge base. Instead, with everything you utter, the amount of garbage increases.

        If you really want to advance the knowledge frontier, there are valid ways to do this. Pick topics that look like homework problems and see if you can solve these. And don’t use the ridiculous handwavy arguments that appear as word salad to those of us with some background in physics.

        Instead, do it like this:

      • Webster, “Cappy
        You do realize that electromagnetic energy that is reflected does not contribute to heating?”

        Do you realize that where electromagnetic radiation is reflected is needed to determine is it actually makes any difference in the energy budget. If it is reflected so that the increased path length allows absorption it can be absorbed. If the angle of reflection is right, there can be total internal reflection.

        You tend to ASSUME more than you should. The uncertainty at the “surface” is roughly +/- 17 Wm-2 Webster for a reason.

      • and will that make up for the +33 discrepancy?

      • Webster, “and will that make up for the +33 discrepancy?”


      • It is so easy to spot a crank when it comes to atmosphericsience and radiation physics. Watch them completely ignore quantum mechanics and the photonic spectrum.

        This is harsh but mechanical engineers such as Cappy and civil engineers such as Chef Hydro should be demoted in rank and properly ignored. They obviously missed out on a significant part of physics required to understand the most fundamental aspects of climate science.

      • Webster, “This is harsh but mechanical engineers such as Cappy and civil engineers such as Chef Hydro should be demoted in rank and properly ignored. They obviously missed out on a significant part of physics required to understand the most fundamental aspects of climate science.”

        Good. I am obviously on the right track.

        BTW, the first law of parsimonious reasoning is, “where did they screw up.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I suppose he means E = hv and SW and LW Dallas.

        That’s the easy bit. Much more interesting is oceanography and Earth sciences more generally – and the physics of coupled nonlinear systems.

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

        Natural variability and the nature of the variability are the most important question to resolve.

      • Chief, Who knows what he means. As far as natural variability, definitely. I was reading a paper on OH airglow that happened be taking readings in Argentina timed with the 97/98 El Nino. The Mesopause did respond to the event. With the Stratosphere not cooperating and deep convection cloud tops blowing through the tropopause and having 65-67 Wm-2 minimum OLR readings, the atmosphere does not appear to stop at 20km like MODTRAN seems to indicate looking up.

      • Your aim is to ridicule the foundations of science. My objective is to build up and reinforce those foundations that others have poured their sweat into.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You substitute for data and a fundamental understanding prattling, preening and trivia. The size distribution of particulates or the circulation of the oceans and atmosphere – which is more fundamentally important?

      • Webster, “Your aim is to ridicule the foundations of science. My objective is to build up and reinforce those foundations that others have poured their sweat into.”

        No, my aim is to figure out what is missing. The Stratospheric response was missed and the impact of mixed phase clouds was missed. If you compare the satellite energy balance to past failed attempts to “close” the Earth Energy Budget, there is more that is missed.

        I don’t have a religious attachment to the issue, to me it is just a neat puzzle and the object is to figure how many ways it can be solved.

        With an average temperature of the oceans at 4 C and the average temperature of the Stratopause at 0 C, there is most likely a water connection. The 184K (65Wm-2) just happens to be the atmospheric sink temperature that balances the budget, is the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth and the black body temperature of a sister planet with nearly the same gravity.

        The lack of consideration of the twilight refraction, just happens to be a good reason that the 184K temperature seems to be stable yet can fluctuate with solar variability impacting the sink side of the heat transfer, basically doubling the impact of solar variability.

        You on the other hand make the same silly assumptions, like the SHC of salt water is 4.2KJ/kg when there are plenty of tables that would give you the more accurate 3.9kJ/kg at 35g/kg which is 10% less than your pure water assumption. You take the BEST data which is the noisiest and includes a strong NH seasonal signal to try and “prove” the 3C just might be possible.

      • Most insincere of you Cappy. The puzzle aspects are there and most fit together rather well. However you choose to put everything through the food processor and make mush of it all. It is breathtaking in its randomness.

        “You on the other hand make the same silly assumptions, like the SHC of salt water is 4.2KJ/kg when there are plenty of tables that would give you the more accurate 3.9kJ/kg at 35g/kg which is 10% less than your pure water assumption. You take the BEST data which is the noisiest and includes a strong NH seasonal signal to try and “prove” the 3C just might be possible.”

        Aaahh, so you do read my stuff, and you probably marvel over it. You must say, how does he put all the puzzle pieces together like?

        BTW, the second part is on improving the lapse rate estimate from data on the mid-troposphere barometric pressure:

        Ha ha, the hits keep coming.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You make error after error clot dancer – it is shown again and again how you leap to random conclusions – yet you return again and again with empty prattle and preening. Games fit for 5 year olds. No dignity – just totally insane, self aggrandising rants such as this last. When it is not just insults and abuse it is about simplistic, incorrect and quite trivial nonsense on a loser blog. I for one don’t attempt anymore to interpret your bizarre math.

        Anyone who has any math and physics has attempted to dissuade you from one or other of your enthusiasms. Tomas, Pekka, David Young. Myself in my own humble way – having given you the benefit of the doubt time and time again. Half baked and premature is the best that be said of anything you put your hand to. Lacking anything in terms of broader earth sciences – which is essential to understanding climate. Lacking any physics of coupled nonlinear systems – which again is essential to understanding climate. Lacking rhyme or reason – the misguided trivia at the frontiers of science in your fantasy world. Everything to align yourself with what you imagine is science because that’s where your self worth as a space cadet lies. Everything to denigrate and demonise the other side.

        It is all a bit insane. I for one have had enough of your nonsense to last a lifetime. I am afraid that – unless you retail some particularly egregious nonsense – I am nothing if not inconsistent – it is goodbye from me clot dancer.

      • Notice how conventional climate science and fundamental meteorological principals can drive the Water Chef completely bonkers !

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Aaahh, so you do read my stuff, and you probably marvel over it. You must say, how does he put all the puzzle pieces together like?

        Ha ha, the hits keep coming.’

        You spend yesterday getting Zheng wrong – make up a formula for lapse rate that you can’t justify – etc. etc. No one can seriously imagine that the quotes above are indicative of a stable personality. You seem more like Stefan to me than someone with serious intent to discuss science in good faith. Perhaps Nelson – ha ha.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Btw – coupled nonlinear systems physics as well as oceanography and hydrology to some depth is required for even a modest understanding of meteorology.

      • The Chef says bye-bye but has to come back. He uses the made-up term “clot dancer” so he can index my work in the future. File it under pieces of the puzzle.

      • Webster, “Most insincere of you Cappy.”

        ? How so? I was curious. I checked the K&T energy budgets. I found large mistakes. Since then others have published on the mistakes and K&T in their latest budget mention a “minor adjustment” of ~18Wm-2. 3.7Wm-2 of CO2 forcing must be an even more “minor adjustment” by their logic.

        As far as the twilight energy, if the total energy that interacts with the atmosphere is underestimate, the impact of the Greenhouse effect would be overestimated. Ozone from the upper atmosphere along with other ions and the various chemical combinations provide a thin but semi-stable shield that accounts for a small amount of the Earth albedo and energy retention. If it were not important the Montreal Protocol was a waste. Where those scientists idiots?

        Refraction of light is basic physics and total internal reflection is THE requirement for a ideal black body cavity. That internal reflection is considered anisotropic which is not part of up/down radiant modeling and in the short wave, not easily measured by satellite platforms. The models with up/down radiant “kernels” are diverging from observation.

        A large part of the uncertainty is clouds which produce anisotropic SW / LW “scattering” / diffusion, tropical ozone depletion, aerosol indirect effect and stratospheric water vapor. CO2 is not on that list so why would I concern myself with the only thing the models seem to get right?

      • You added industrial pollutants such as aerosols, particulates, and ozone-destroying emissions to the list.

        Fine with me. That’s why we do the science, to try to figure out how our industrious efforts modify the climate, and the environment.

        Some of it is kind of obvious, such as mountain-top removal for coal will remove the mountain tops. Who would have thunk it?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘It is all a bit insane. I for one have had enough of your nonsense to last a lifetime. I am afraid that – unless you retail some particularly egregious nonsense – I am nothing if not inconsistent – it is goodbye from me clot dancer.’

        Of course I will have to ignore most of webby’s comments – they are all egregious nonsense. The inability of webby to advance clog dancing let alone science – hence clot dancing. Of course it’s made up – ???

      • Dr. Strangelove

        288K is not a mistake. It is based on measurements. Measured sea surface emissivity is 0.984. The 239 W/m^2 corresponds to 256K. Measured vs. computed temperature = 288 – 256 = 32K. That’s the famous 33K differential attributed to greenhouse effect (emissivity assumed at 1.0).

        It is the sea surface that’s radiating, which is warmer than the subsurface sea temperature of 3.5 C ave.

  33. Carbon pricing – why it will not succeed

    Posted this morning on ‘Quadrant Online’

    Supporters of carbon pricing argue it is the cheapest way to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, their assumptions are unlikely to be achieved in practice, as it is unlikely such a program can be implemented and sustained for the considerable time required for it to work. With the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) representing a key difference between … , this article examines the underlying logic and argues that it can never succeed and should be repealed without delay.

    See the article here:

  34. Peter Lang

    Contrasting reactions to aircraft crashes and nuclear power incidents and accidents

    A few hours after yesterday’s aircraft crash at San Francisco airport my wife set off to fly from Dublin to Sydney, Australia. She’s about half way home as I write this. I spoke to her before she left. She wasn’t in the slightest phased by the crash, recognising the probability of an accident is negligible and the benefits of travel greatly exceed the risks. [She was more concerned about how she was going to close her suite case :) ]

    Contrast her reaction to the aircraft crash and her imminent departure on a 30 hour flight, which is typical of the general population’s reaction, with the reaction to reports of nuclear power incidents and accidents.

    Nuclear power rarely has accidents and even when it does, fatalities (both immediate and latent) are few. Yet the slightest mention of a problem at a nuclear plant and the world’s news media and blog sites go ballistic.

    Commercial airline accidents cause about 1000 fatalities per year. Nuclear power causes near zero (for the full fuel cycle, ‘from cradle to grave’).

    The benefits of cheap travel are enormous. So too are the benefits for humanity of cheap, clean, abundant, reliable power.

    Why don’t the intelligent people who blog on ‘Climate Etc.’, but frequently post their anti nuke comments, recognise how irrational are their arguments?

    • David Springer

      Faulty logic, Lang.

      Saying nuclear power plants are the safest way to generate electricity is like saying Saturn V rockets are the safest way to fly. No one was ever killed riding a Saturn V rocket into orbit. Perfect safety record.

      It’s also like saying that Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles with nuclear warheads are the least destructive weapons ever invented. Not a single person has been killed by an ICBM. They’re like mother’s milk only better.

      The flaw in your logic is the potential for damage. If a nuclear power plant fails, even a cooling pond not the reactor proper, by negligence or willful sabotage, tens of thousands of square kilometers of land downwind are contaminated and rendered uninhabitable. A coal-fired power plant failure causes no harm in comparison.

      Most people appreciate the difference in potential damage from nuclear vs. non-nuclear power plant catastrophic failures. Your persistent attempts to obscure this will never succeed because there’s only a fixed number of people stupid enough to believe you.

      • Peter Lang

        Faulty logic, Springer,

        Faulty logic, Lang.

        Saying nuclear power plants are the safest way to generate electricity is like saying Saturn V rockets are the safest way to fly.

        Any serious analyst of safety has known for decades that safety of electricity systems is expressed in terms of fatalities (or work-days-lost, or serious health effects) per TWh of electricity supplied on the basis of full life cycle. The figures can be divided into sub categories of:

        – immediate (i.e. less than 30 days) and latent fatalities (or serious health effects etc)
        – occupational workers versus members of the public
        – etc

        Every reputable analysis by serious workers in the field has shown that nuclear is the safest or close to the safest of all electricity generation technologies. This provides a summary with links to the underlying research:

      • Peter Lang


        You made a valid point that it is not valid to compare the safety of electricity generation technologies with the safety of commercial aircraft travel. Even if I’d used the common units of measure for safety of these two industries (e,g, fatalities per TWh for electricity generation and fatalities per passenger-kilometre for passenger air travel) the comparison is not valid.

        Such a comparison is meaningless … other than to point out, as I did, that our fear, dread, paranoia of nuclear accidents is irrational, whereas our acceptance of the low probability of being killed or injured in a passenger aircraft accident is rational (for most people).

        However, your comparison of the safety of an Atlas rocket and commercial airline travel is also not valid, because the purposes of the travel are not equivalent. Commercial aircraft convey people from one place on the planet to another. Atlas rockets do not.

        I suggest your comparison is just as invalid as mine, and of no help to a rational discussion about climate policy options, which, as you know, is what I am talking about on ‘Climate Etc.’.

        In fact, I suggest your comment is silly but, unfortunately, typical of the sort of arguments the anti-nukes, like you, make all the time.

      • David,

        I see you are set on maintaining a perfect track record regarding comments on nuclear energy.

        The Saturn rocket analogy sucks. On several levels.

        1) It isn’t used as an ICBM platform.

        2) There is no relationship between nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants. It takes the sophistication of a 6 year old to think one is similar to the other.

        As I have already demonstrated, your perception of potential damage and contamination is baseless.

        As a resident of Texas have you forgotten a little incident a couple of months ago in a town not too far from Waco?

  35. Me apologies Judith, last comment reference went hay wire.
    Serfs are only good at simple technologies like pick and
    shovel … oh, and fire.

  36. Oops and OMG …
    I was referencing a David Springer comment.
    I’m embarrassed that I’ve mucked up the
    comments in this way. Fergive me Judith.
    One -red-faced – serf

    • Enough of this forelock-tugging, Beth, remember the principles of the Serf’s’ Rights Movements and cease your apologies. If you can’t recall those principles, I refer you to the Good Serf’s Guide, 4th Edition.

  37. I have now red it Faustino and will nevah apollogise fourth with.

  38. From the “You Can’t Make this Sh*t Up” news department:

    It’s hard to know where modern progressive government ends and organized crime begins.

  39. Jo Nova writes:
    “Short of sending Murry Salby to Siberia, Macquarie University have done everything they could to sabotage and silence him and his PhD student.
    His research is so dangerous to the cash cow that is “global warming” that it had to be stopped. It threatens the religion. But the truth will out, and the reputation of Macquarie will not recover until those responsible are sacked.

    If this is true, Macquarie no longer deserve to be called a “university”, and do not deserve taxpayer dollars. The Science Minister, (Senator Kim Carr, the fourth person to do the job this year), needs to state his position on this, does he support this? Until this is rectified, why should this corrupt institution receive any funding from the ARC? The good scientists, indeed the good staff of any department there, must be appalled. Will they speak out against it, or are they too afraid?

    Does Tim Flannery, also at Macquarie University, support this? Did he have anything to do with it? Does he cares about the scientific method and academic freedom.
    Under the facade of caring about the planet lies a very ugly self serving greed. The CO2 theory, and the power and money it dispenses to some, is warping and corrupting all the institutions in society that it touches. It is time those who practice and fund this behavior were called to account. — Jo”

    • That’s a pretty funny story on Salby.

      I like it when Salby whines:

      ” Included was technical support to convert several hundred thousand lines of computer code, comprising numerical models and analyses (the tools of my research), to enable those computer programs to operate in Australia.”

      First of all, what is he doing with several hundred thousand lines of computer code?

      Second, take a look at the following analysis, especially near the bottom of the post, where I verify that the non-seasonal CO2 residual is anthropogenic:

      This is my killer chart:
      see how well the curves agree on a year-by-year basis. There is a slight lag between the carbon emissions and the CO2 level which may by due to the yearly averaging for carbon data.

      The neat thing about this is that, unlike Salby, I didn’t need “several hundred thousand lines of computer code” to show the reality of anthropogenic CO2.

    • The Federal Minister for Higher Education, Kim Carr, has form on this. Leading up to Copenhagen Conference he caused CSIRO to force a leading academic to resign from CSIRO because he had written a paper which implicitly criticized the economic analyses behind the Labor (‘Progressive’) government’s climate change policies.

      Climate expert Clive Spash ‘heavied’ by CSIRO management

      A CSIRO economist whose research criticising emissions trading schemes was banned from publication said last night he had been subjected to harassment by the senior agency management.

      Clive Spash also accused the agency of hindering public debate and trampling on his civil liberties by preventing the research being published in British journal New Political Economy.

      Dr Spash defended the paper, The Brave New World of Carbon Trading, saying it was a dispassionate analysis of ETS policies and was not politically partisan.

      He was told in February he could publish the work if it were peer reviewed. But in July, CSIRO management said it could not be published after it was cleared for publication.

      This month, he was informed he could not publish it even in his private capacity, because it was “politically sensitive”. Within 24 hours, he also received a letter outlining a list of trivial instances in which he was accused of breaching CSIRO policy, for example not completing a leave form properly.

      Dr Spash said he believed the letter was intended to, and did, intimidate him and denied him due process. None of the matters were raised with him prior to the letter being sent and each of the alleged misdemeanours could be explained.

      “We are not members of the Defence Department, we are scientists who are supposed to be discussing research in an open forum. How do you advance knowledge if you stop people from publishing their work?

      “I am totally happy to have my work criticised and debated but I’m not happy to have it suppressed.”

      Dr Spash said it was impossible to publish research in his field that did not have an impact on government policy. “The idea that you cannot discuss something like ETS policy when you’re working on climate change as a political economist seems ridiculous,” he said.

      The gagging of Dr Spash’s work is embarrassing for Science Minister Kim Carr, who defended academic freedoms in opposition and last year trumpeted a new CSIRO charter he said would give scientists the right to speak publicly about their findings.

      Yesterday, Senator Carr told The Australian he supported the publication of peer-reviewed research, even if it had negative implications for government policy. He said he had not tried to gag the research.

      Last night CSIRO chief executive Megan Clark said the organisation would work with Dr Spash on his paper.

      “There is some important science in the paper and we will now work with Dr Spash to ensure the paper meets CSIRO internal review standards and the guidelines of the Public Research Agency Charter between the CSIRO and the federal government,” she said.

      “I encourage CSIRO scientists to communicate the outcomes and implications of their work and one of the underlying core values of CSIRO is the integrity of our excellent science.”

      • And a month later, Dr. Clive Spash was forced to resign from CSIRO.

        Clive Spash resigns from CSIRO after climate report ‘censorship’

        SCIENTIST Clive Spash has resigned from the CSIRO and called for a Senate inquiry into the science body following the censorship of his controversial report into emissions trading.

        Dr Spash has lashed out at the organisation which he said promoted self-censorship among its scientists with its unfair publication guidelines.

        He said he was stunned at the treatment he received at the hands of CSIRO management, including boss Megan Clark, and believed he was not alone.

        “I’ve been treated extremely poorly,” he said. “There needs to be a Senate inquiry.

        “The way the publication policy and the charter are being interpreted will encourage self-censorship.

        “It’s obviously happened before at the CSIRO – and there’s issues currently.”

        Last month, Dr Spash accused the organisation of gagging him and his report – The Brave New World of Carbon Trading – and restricting its publication.

        The report is critical of cap and trade schemes, like the one the federal government is seeking to introduce, as well as big compensation to polluters.

        Dr Spash advocates a direct tax on carbon.

        The CSIRO said the report was in breach of its publication guidelines, which restrict scientists from speaking out on public policy.

        But it provoked accusations the CSIRO was censoring research harmful to the Government.

        Under intense pressure, Dr Clark publicly released the report on November 26 but warned Dr Spash would be punished for his behaviour and his refusal to amend it.

        “I believe that internationally peer-reviewed science should be published or, if Dr Clark wishes to have her own opinion, then she should publish her own opinion,” Dr Spash said, who has been on sick leave.
        “I’ve been to the doctor under extreme stress.”

        He had been ordered not to speak to the media while working for the CSIRO, which originally headhunted him for the job.

  40. S-o-oh many examples of bureaucracies becomin’ coteries..
    I-P-C-C , U-N , C-S-I-R-O … what does that tell us?

  41. A peace offering for Peter Lang.. in the hopes it improves his woefully inept arguments:

    • Bart,

      Interesting. Thanks.

      Two comments came to mind after watching this.

      1) I was surprised by the percentage of the audiance who were pro-nuclear.

      2) I was also surprised that this talk featured two individuals who have little to no qualification on the subject matter.

      Finally, Prof Jacobson’s presentation relied far too much on manufactured statistics. He has to play games to get a graph which shows nuclear having a large CO2 output. And his nuclear proliferation argument is complete BS. It is not an issue for the vast majority of nuclear plant operators. Could he explain exactly how this is a problem for the US, Europe, Russia, China, India or Japan? Five of this group already have nuclear weapons and the last has renounced them.

      • Anyone who takes any notice of what Mark Jacobson says is very gullible. Jacobson is an extremist renewable energy advocate and anti-nuclear zealot.

        He contributed to (and strongly supports) Beyond Zero Emission’s ‘Zero Carbon Australia by 2020 Plan” which Martin Nicholson and I critiqued here:

        7. Conclusions

        We have reviewed the “Zero Carbon Australia – Stationary Energy Plan” by Beyond Zero Emissions. We have evaluated and revised the assumptions and cost estimates. We conclude:

        – The ZCA2020 Stationary Energy Plan has significantly underestimated the cost and timescale required to implement such a plan.

        – Our revised cost estimate is nearly five times higher than the estimate in the Plan: $1,709 billion compared to $370 billion. The cost estimates are highly uncertain with a range of $855 billion to $4,191 billion for our estimate.

        – The wholesale electricity costs would increase nearly 10 times above current costs to $500/MWh, not the $120/MWh claimed in the Plan.

        – The total electricity demand in 2020 is expected to be 44% higher than proposed: 449 TWh compared to the 325 TWh presented in the Plan.

        – The Plan has inadequate reserve capacity margin to ensure network reliability remains at current levels. The total installed capacity needs to be increased by 65% above the proposed capacity in the Plan to 160 GW compared to the 97 GW used in the Plan.

        – The Plan’s implementation timeline is unrealistic. We doubt any solar thermal plants, of the size and availability proposed in the plan, will be on line before 2020. We expect only demonstration plants will be built until there is confidence that they can be economically viable.

        – The Plan relies on many unsupported assumptions, which we believe are invalid; two of the most important are:

        1. A quote in the Executive Summary “The Plan relies only on existing, proven, commercially available and costed technologies.”

        2. Solar thermal power stations with the performance characteristics and availability of baseload power stations exist now or will in the near future

        Here is another critique:

        And here is a critique of Jacobson’s Scientific American paper:

        BartR confirms, once again, his ignorance of energy matters and his motivated reasoning to find anything he can to prop up his belief in schemes advocated by the ‘Progressives’ – (i.e. those people who do all they can to block progress).