Open thread weekend

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

508 responses to “Open thread weekend

  1. 2013: A Breakthrough Year For The East Texas Eagle Ford

    Over the past twelve months, the East Texas Eagle Ford play has picked up steam and indications are building up that it may soon emerge as a major new horizontal oil play.

    As one would expect, new generation Eagle Ford wells in the East Texas Basin show a dramatic improvement in productivity compared to the early tests by Apache. As an illustration, the picture below shows well results for four recent wells that targeted the Lower Eagle Ford zone in Brazos County of Texas. Three wells, the Falcon #1H, Kodiak Unit #1, and Moose Unit #1 were drilled by Weber Energy Corporation (now operated by Halcon Resources) and one well, the Mustang #1, was drilled by Halcon.

    Two wells of the four, the Falcon #1H (~5,900 foot lateral) and Moose Unit #1 (~4,900 foot lateral), have produced more than 100,000 barrels of oil in their first year (plus some high-BTU gas) and compare favorably – on a lateral length-adjusted basis – to better wells in the Bakken.

    Perhaps even more impressive are the results of two recent vertical Eagle Ford tests drilled by EOG Resources (EOG) in Madison and Leon Counties. As shown on the graph below, the two wells, the Blazek-Peters and Donaho Unit, have each produced over 40,000 barrels of oil in their first approximately twelve months online and continue to flow at impressive rates. The amounts are quite remarkable for vertical shale wells. The two EOG’s wells show a dramatic improvement over three earlier-generation vertical Eagle Ford tests (Simms, T.C. Smith and Easterling, all operated by Rippy Energy) which are also shown on the graph.

    Full Steam Ahead

    While it is still difficult to predict the trajectory of the play’s future evolution, the most recent operating results provide grounds for optimism. The strong new sponsorship that the East Texas Eagle Ford has recently received from several well-capitalized and highly capable operators (Halcon, EOG and SM) suggests that drilling activity in the play will continue to accelerate and should deliver important new insights into its geology and productive potential already in the near future. Continued positive results may catalyze further inflow of capital and propel the East Texas Eagle Ford into the rank of major horizontal oil plays.

    • OMG!
      “This is all happening under Obama” says the little green man. Where’s the keystone cops!!

      • Obama has reduced the number of Federal acres drilled – all this activity is on private or state land. I think Barry sees there would be a huge backlash if he kills the only part of the economy that’s working. And maybe he understands that nat gas creates less CO2 – although personally, I’m skeptical it matters.

      • Thanks for that clarification, I didn’t know. I’m also of the understanding that natural gas is far cleaner? I lived up in Oregon for a long time and knew a guy whose son worked at a natural gas power producer in eastern Oregon. He told me those plants were (15 years ago) a wave of the future and really a kick @zz source of electrical power.

      • Actually Obama has reduced federal land drilling and production including the Gulf of Mexico so drilling rigs could be relocated to brazil to help soros. The technological improvements in flacking and horizontal drilling are what has improved the situation, best example n Dakota pricing over 1 million BOD, quite amazing really.

    • “Cleaner”? Than what?

      Really, this whole “dirty” and “clean” analogy about energy sources seems to derive from the nursery. A modern coal-fired plant is hardly “yukky-poo”.

      This is the language of propaganda, not fact.

      • johanna, I don’t know if it’s cleaner or not. I’ve seen (for instance) statements on the side of buses saying they use ‘clean’ natural gas. I believe government in general believes natural gas is clean:
        The heading says “Clean Energy”
        I guess this guy who writes an opinion piece for the NYTs disagrees:

      • AMEN!!!!! I despise the “clean” and “dirty” rhetoric. It’s a cheap appeal to, as you suggest, some sort of Freudian psychology about diaper mess. We’re socialized at the very beginning to see things as “icky” and ok. This just gets transferred into some sort of adult obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eventually we can no more think rationally about “dirty climate” that we can about eating insects. It’s just icky poo, even if you can’t articulate a rational argument.

        It seems to me, all the arguments here and on other climate blogs boil down to just that: some people want a rational argument, and others are stuck at “icky poo”.

      • David L. Hagen

        Natural gas is only as clean as it is “cleaned.” Large natural gas quantities in western Canada are “sour” with large amounts of hydrogen sulfide. If burnt directly that would create sulfur aerosols and “acid rain”, smog etc.

      • Where is Bart R?

        He would be upset seeing that landowners are not getting full value for their property and natural resources.

      • WHT says: He would be upset seeing that landowners are not getting full value for their property and natural resources.

        The land owners signed a contract with their eyes open. They own their actions and whatever consequences there are. They deserve to lose any suit if the oil company is abiding the contract.

      • jim2: “The land owners signed a contract with their eyes open. They own their actions and whatever consequences there are.”

        Of course that would apply to the companies, who also signed the contract, too, like with this example.

      • I agree Carrick, both parties need to honor the contract.

      • thanks David Hagen,
        I’ll have to open that pdf about removal on my other computer (this powerful apple doesn’t support adobe and I haven’t found out my options yet)

      • The Red Queen is rearing its head:

        [1] T. Durden, “Guest Post: About That Shale Oil & Gas Miracle | Zero Hedge.” [Online]. Available:

        ” Politicians tout the billions of barrels to be extracted from Bakken, Eagle Ford and the hundreds of untapped shale formations across the country. Wall Street puts out glowing investment analysis papers promoting the latest IPO. There’s just one little problem. It’s all hype.

        Royal Dutch Shell is one of the biggest corporations in the world, with financial resources greater than 99% of all the organizations on earth. Their CEO probably knows a little bit more about oil exploration than the Wall Street systers and CNBC bimbos. His company has poured $24 billion into shale exploration in the U.S. It has been a huge failure. They have already written off $2.1 billion. They are trying to sell huge swaths of land in the Eagle Ford area. They are losing money in the shale oil and gas business. If Shell can’t make it profitable, who can?”

        [2] C. Kerschner, C. Prell, K. Feng, and K. Hubacek, “Economic vulnerability to Peak Oil,” Global Environmental Change, no. 0.

        “Shale developments are, so we believe, largely overrated, because of the huge amounts of financial resources that went into them (danger of bubble) and because of their apparent steep decline rates (shale wells tend to peak fast),” according to Dr. Kerschner.

        Follow the work that we do on the topic of fast shale depletion here:

      • David L. Hagen

        a href=>upreme Court to Hear Challenge to E.P.A. Rules on Gas Emissions

        The Supreme Court accepted six petitions seeking review of that rejection, but it limited the issue it would consider to the question of whether the agency “permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouses gases.” Among the cases accepted for review was Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 12-1146.

      • There are a lot of companies drilling profitable wells in the Eagle Ford formation. Royal Dutch Shell must suck at it in some way or another if WHT is posting the truth of the matter.

      • Also, some companies are starting tertiary recovery in shale plays. Some of these techniques can quadruple production, but it depends on where, as always, if it is cost effective or not.

      • Looks like Shell bought inferior plays.

        “Writedowns by Shell and some other majors are a sign they came to the shale boom late in the day, overpaying for lower-quality and less well-explored assets – not that the shale revolution is stuttering, according to a Reuters Breakingviews column published in August.”

    • David L. Hagen

      Southern Legal Foundation v. EPA
      Supreme Court accepts Southern Legal Foundation’s scientific challenge to EPA’s CO2 regulations. See SLF brief:

      11 scientists including Tim Ball submitted an Amicus Brief

      Amici urge the Court to grant petitioners’ request for certiorari because the three “lines of evidence” from the administrative record that EPA relied on do not support the conclusion that manmade greenhouse gas emissions have caused climate warming in the latter half of the twentieth century. Indeed, each line of evidence is demonstrably invalid.

      Amicus briefs due within 30 days.

  2. Anyone else have the feeling we’re in a post IPCC AR5 lull? Seemed like things were breaking left and right for a while there.

  3. The main issue now is just this:

    Why did this country invest so much in controlling global climate change (that we cannot control) and lose our position of leadership in the world?

    • Excellent question. I’d like to see how people respond to this.

      Furthermore, why did USA President not turn up to the recent Asia conferences, thereby setting in train hand over of global leadership to China?

      • “why did USA President not turn up to the recent Asia conferences?” Don’t you know the answer to this? There was an economic crisis in the US to fix. Don’t you read the papers?

      • If course I know that. The comment was for people who can think beyond the headlines. Over your head. I recognise, well and truly.

    • “…….lose our position of leadership in the world?”

      I’d just ask if it is desirable for the citizens of any one nation to be consided world leaders? The world in the 21st century is becoming less a collection of nation states and more an international global community. Americans won’t be regarded as superior to anyone else any more but they shouldn’t be regarded as inferior either.

      And that’s a good thing, IMO !

      • There have been many benefits from the decision to form the United Nations, but the United States squandered resources trying to control global temperatures while losing

        1. Economic, scientific and industrial leadership
        2. Leadership in intercontinental ballistic and space travel
        3. Constitutional limits on government agencies (IRS, EPA, NSA, etc)

        The ability of our government to protect its citizens and their rights under the US Constitution has declined drastically.

      • Consequences of USA losing its position of leadership:

      • Too bad for the Germans, Japanese, Italians and Soviets that last century we weren’t lead by a political party eager to usher in the post-America future of their dreams. But the Jews, Gypsies and Slavs of Europe, not to mention the Chinese and Koreans, seemed somewhat appreciative at the time.

        A world of uncontested local hegemons in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, and Pyonyang, combined with the modern day resurgence of the drive for the next Islamist caliphate, and a disarmed Europe to boot, sounds so much better to me.

      • AGW turned out to be nothing but regimentation to politically correct, consensus thinking.

  4. Economic issues are at the heart of the current debate about AGW. This blog and many others wouldn’t exist if the economic implications weren’t so profound. The scientific debate is often a proxy for an economic debate.

    There’s the big question of who’s going to pay for it all. How can it possibly be afforded when the country is in recession, when debts and unemployment are so high etc etc.

    The debt issue worries many and yet its an fundamental accounting relationship that every debit is counterbalanced another credit. Every debt is someone’s asset.

    True,in the case of the US, $1 trillion dollars or so of their debt is held by the Chinese. They’ve supplied perfectly good mobile phones , computers, and whatever else they sell to Americans and received a trillion tokens in return. That’s all the US$ is. It isn’t backed by gold any more. Those dollars end up in a Feb bank account. Sooner or later they will have to spend them. When they do the business will provide many jobs for Americans.

    But most debt is held by Americans. If the US government didn’t have any debt, Americans wouldn’t have any $’s or bank accounts.

    This video explains why:

    • What rational person is going to pay $12 for $1 of projected benefit. Even worse, who is going to support programs that will cost trillions for no benefit, which is the case with carbon pricing and renewable energy programs.

      Want to understand the basis for these statements?

    • There is a problem with CO2 reduction economics that it may consume resources now with the benefit to come later. Much later. After we’ll all dead probably! So as far as most of us are concerned it may make sense to spend nothing now if CO2 were the only issue.

      However, it can be argued there are more immediate benefits to be gained by reducing fossil fuel consumption too.

      See for example:

      • Tempterrain,
        What an arrogant comment. What makes you feel you are the sort of person that can tell me what to reference and what not to reference? The link I posted summarises my analysis based on authoritative studies. I cannot post the content of that post here so I referenced a link where I’d already done it. If you were interested you’d read it carefully and read the references instead of making your arrogant comments.

        Since you like videos, watch this instead:

      • CO2 reduction will have no benefits ever. Less CO2 makes green things grow less and require more water. There is no benefit in that. EVER!

      • “There is a problem with CO2 reduction economics ”
        The problem is with CO2 reduction PHYSICS (not economics). It is impossible with the technology available to us at this moment or in the near future.

      • tempterrain

        This article refers to studies by Richard Tol and others.

        These show that

        – increased temperature up to 2.2C over today’s temp will be generally beneficial for mankind

        – satellite observations show that added CO2 concentration is already increasing global plant growth (one study estimates by 14%)

        Rejoice, tempterrain!


      • jacobress


        The problem is that we are not able to change our future climate perceptibly by implementing specific actionable initiatives to reduce carbon emissions.

        We are going to be at around 650 ppmv CO2 by 2100 with business as usual, with temperature theoretically increasing by around 1.3C (using the IPCC 2xCO2 TCR of 1.8C)

        A recent ASME general policy statement listed several actionable “no regrets” initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions.

        “No regrets” actions exclude very costly initiatives with substantial risk but no inherent “added value” (such as carbon capture and sequestration) or unworkable “pie in the sky” proposals such as switching the world energy base to solar and wind.

        These actions (all based on existing technology) would be (estimated cumulative CO2 reduction by 2100):

        1. Replace two-thirds of all new coal-fired power with nuclear starting immediately (1,232 GtCO2

        2. Replace half of remaining third of all coal with natural gas combined cycle plants (154 GtCO2)

        3. Use a bit of wind or solar locally, where this makes economic sense (CO2 reductions included above)

        4. Convert three-fourths of all light vehicles (passenger cars, light trucks) from gasoline to hybrid (216 GtCO2)

        5. Switch half of all heavy vehicles (trucks, buses, etc.) from Diesel to natural gas (60 GtCO2)

        6. Reductions resulting other climate initiatives (building insulation, waste recycling, “lifestyle” changes, etc.) (292 GtCO2)

        The first three initiatives could reduce CO2 concentration by 80 ppmv, resulting in a theoretical reduction of global warming of 0.3C.

        And if we were to implement ALL the other “no-regrets” initiatives listed above, this could reduce 2100 CO2 levels by another 25 ppmv or so, with another 0.1C theoretical reduction in warming.

        So the maximum theoretical reduction in warming from actionable “no regrets” initiatives would be around 0.4C (from 1.3C to 0.9C)

        And this reduction would be less if the IPCC assumptions on CO2 temperature response are exaggerated (likely)

        This simply points out (as you wrote) that

        we are not able to perceptibly change our planet’s climate, no matter what we do


      • Max, by 2100, there will be no hybrids. When the standard motor vehicle is self-driven (which will happen well before 2050), there will be no more need for oversized engines. We’ll all be chauffeured in little transport pods with 3-cylinder 1 l (or electric) 30 kw motors, and there will be no more advantage to hybrids. They’ll all either be tiny internal combustion engines or electric.

        This will happen without any policy. The impact of self-driving vehicles is going to be a lot more dramatic than even futurist space cadets like Webby think. And almost all of it will be positive.

      • Harold

        The “self-driving” light vehicles are an interesting concept.

        The ASME report, which I cited, was based on “no regrets” initiatives using “existing” technologies.

        If we replace the hybrids with the new tech “self-driving” vehicles you describe, and do this starting next year (assuming the new technology will be available), this would reduce the cumulative CO2 emissions by 2100 by an estimated 520 GtCO2.

        If 50% of this would have “remained” in the atmosphere, this would reduce the CO2 concentration by 2100 by around 33 ppmv (or around 20 ppmv more than the “hybrid” solution I had estimated), for a theoretical net reduction in warming by 2100 of somewhere between 0.08C and 0.14C, depending on the assumed CO2 temperature response.

        Again, it points out that

        we are unable to perceptibly change our planet’s climate by implementing actionable CO2 reduction initiatives.

        (which was my point)


    • It is an interesting theory but I’m not convinced. The $ was at one time on a gold standard. 35 dollars bought one ounce of gold. The dollar needs to return to that before we have a complete melt down of the currency.

      The public only think the world’s fiat currencies have a value because they haven’t quite got out of the habit of linking dollars with the gold that may or may not be still there in Fort Knox.

      The deficit is now ballooning out of all control so it is only a matter of time before hyperinflation takes hold. That will be the only way the government will be able to get rid of their debts.

      • The $US has been irrevocably devalued as a currency of exchange. The question remains moot whether the Gold Standard should be returned.

        There seems few other currencies capable of performing this role, the $AUS looks quite good at the moment but there are some hard structural decisions to be made by the AUS Govt over the next few years which couls adversely impact on it.

      • @Tonto2013,

        OK but why are you not convinced? If there’s a flaw in the logic, let’s hear what you think it might be!.

        Its not in the video, but the idea is that the power (principally to demand taxation payments to be made in their designated currencies) of nation states actually gives their designated currency a value. If the US government ever ceased to exist, like Confederate government did after the Civil war, then the US dollar would immediately become worthless regardless of the size of any debts.

        The US government can create as many dollars as they like. They can never involuntarily default on any debts denominated in US dollars. US government checks will never bounce. The US government doesn’t ever need to worry too much about their deficit. They do need to monitor levels of inflation though. Too much inflation should mean they cut back on their spending. Too high a level of unemployment means they should, at least think about, spending more.

    • True,in the case of the US, $1 trillion dollars or so of their debt is held by the Chinese. They’ve supplied perfectly good mobile phones , computers, and whatever else they sell to Americans and received a trillion tokens in return. That’s all the US$ is. It isn’t backed by gold any more. Those dollars end up in a Feb bank account. Sooner or later they will have to spend them. When they do the business will provide many jobs for Americans.

      And if they use it to buy coal? That’s a perfectly good scenario, economically. But as for what it does to world fossil carbon use…

      • Hopefully they’ll capture the carbon dioxide if they do that!

      • Hopefully they’ll capture the carbon dioxide if they do that!

        Doubtful. But perhaps the power facilities they burn it in will be designed to switch on demand to powdered carbonized Azolla. That way if/when the cost of their domestic azolla gets lower than that of coal, they can switch to renewable without any modification of their facilities.

    • “If the US government didn’t have any debt, Americans wouldn’t have any $’s or bank accounts.”

      Somebody doesn’t understand the whole notion of currency. If the US didn’t print currency, someone else would. And did. And in fact still does.

      The wealth of the US is not in the number of bills it has, it is in the land, goods, labor, ingenuity, productive capacity of the people. Something loony monetarists like tempterrain will never understand.

      But the scary thing isn’t that tempterrain believes this nonsense (at least while a progressive is in the White House), it is that Obama apparently does too. But then, he wants to usher in a post-America world too.

      Wait a minute, tt, were you born in Hawaii?

      • +1000 someone with sense.

      • More specifically, somebody is extremely confused about the difference between the government’s books and the Fed’s books. They’re two different entities, and two different sets of books, although the distinction has been somewhat blurred in the past 5 years with all the Fed purchases of government debt.

        Question for the genius: where do the Chinese fit in to all of this?

      • On the distinction between the Fed and US Treasury, I’d just quote the following from Warren Mosler:

        “…..we buy securities from the Fed or Treasury, functionally there is no difference. We send the funds to the same place (the Federal Reserve) and we own the same thing, a Treasury security, which is nothing
        more than account at the Fed that pays interest. ….So functionally it has to all be the same.”

        Warren Mosler also discusses the issue of Chinese trade at length. I’m not sure I’m quite so sanguine as he is about that. There can be longer term problems when industries are extinguished as a result of low priced imports but its important to understand that Chinese debt per se isn’t that significant.

      • Gary, Temp is hardly a monetarist. Milton Friedman started the monetarist school. No monetarist believes that money borrowed from the Fed isn’t really owed and doesn’t accrue interest.

      • GaryM,

        “Somebody doesn’t understand the whole notion of currency. If the US didn’t print currency, someone else would. And did. And in fact still does.”

        I suppose the US government could use Mexican Pesos or Canadian dollars if they wanted to. They’d be crazy to do that of course. You are right lots of people don’t understand the notion of currency. Their thinking hasn’t changed since they were all on the gold standard. Then it made sense to think in terms of governments having to tax and/or borrow before they could spend. Now they just spend by creating dollars or whatever in a computer.

        Does this have to lead to hyperinflation? It can happen but it is rare. If currencies are properly managed there’s no need for that to happen. The South American countries seemed to have finally figured out how to do it reasonably well,

      • Harold,

        I didn’t say he was a monetarist. I said he was a loony monetarist. He thinks expansion of the money supply in itself creates wealth, rather than increasing demand, which can then result in an increase of real wealth. He also doesn’t think inflation is a real risk, no matter what the government borrows, lends or spends. Loony.

        (And Friedman was the most prominent (and persuasive) monetarist, not the first.)

      • Garry M,

        “He thinks expansion of the money supply in itself creates wealth”
        Er…No. wealth is created by the labour power of the workers. That’s obviously not possible if the workers are unemployed. A $1trillion a year economy needs $1 trillion of spending to keep it going. Any less and you’ll see unemployment levels rise. Any more and ……(see answer below)

        He also doesn’t think inflation is a real risk, no matter what the government borrows, lends or spends.

        Wrong again. I’m afraid. Yes if spending in an economy is too high, whether it is government or the private sector doing the spending,there is a very real risk of inflation becoming too high.

        If you had said something like “He thinks spending and taxation should be determined by the need to keep the economy working at full capacity rather than worrying too much about levels of debt” you’d have been correct.

    • tempterrain,

      It is a completely different world now and has been since the eighties. It used to be that if governments printed too far beyond a percentage of their GDP, that would supply growth to the economy, it caused inflation. A real old example is the fiat money inflation in France that started the french revolution. then there was the hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic where people took wheel barrels full of money to buy food. That led to Hitler. More recently there was the rampant inflation of the seventies caused by the entitlement programs of Johnson and Nixon. But all that has changed!

      Back in the late seventies a new trading devise was created called black box trading. It is an alogorithmic trading method started by the black-scholes. In 1997 the Nobel Prize in Economics went Myron Scholes and Robert C. Merton “for a new method to determine the value of derivatives”. Fischer Black died in 1995 so he didn’t get a share of the prize. Myron Scholes later went on to found Long Term Capital Management that was a huge hedge fund that went bust due to the Asian financial crisis. They thought they had a foolproof method of computer hedge risk. this was the first big collapse that caused Allen Greenspan to bail it’s losses lest the derivatives market collapsed.

      Anyway this launched the massive derivative market we see today of 1.2 quadrillion of market risk. It is in call (long) and put (short) options and in futures of similar ilk. Ask yourself what % of that market would easily pay off the US debt. So there you have it we now have a new type of inflation called the derivatives market. The way it works is the US government floats treasuries that go into banks who, along with all other large institutions public and private, generally sell the options and futures on a margins basis where they only have to put in less than 10% to float the derivatives. this is a fairly good explanation and why this guy thinks it will all collapse:

      That is how the 1% operates and that is why George Soros should be the poster boy for the Occupy Movement’s tar and feather party. (whatever happened to those guys anyway?)

    • The wealth of the US is not in the number of bills it has, it is in the land, goods, labor, ingenuity, productive capacity of the people…..

      That’s ultimately true of course. And it is an argument that is often used against capitalism by many on the left.
      On the other hand, it is quite obvious that individuals who don’t have access to a sufficient “number of bills” can end up sleeping on the street in a cardboard box !

      It’s necessary to know how money and the economy works to make the most of the existing “productive capacity” and to minimise poverty and unemployment – which,incidentally, can be regarded as a waste of productive capacity.

      There’s a big misunderstanding still about what money is. The easiest way to understand it is to imagine the start up of a new currency. We can consider a large island where the inhabitants barter their produce, between themselves, but give a percentage to the King who does command popular support.

      The King decides to introduce a currency to bring his kingdom into the 21st century..He doesn’t have much gold so decides on the fiat system. He prints banknotes and issues coins, giving samples to all his subjects but initially they don’t know what to do with them. They drill holes in some of the coins to use them as washers and put the banknotes in picture frames to hang on the wall.

      So what can he do? He decides to switch his tax system from goods to the new currency units – termed islas . He pays his tax collectors, the army, police etc in the new currency. This causes a lot of resentment and he has to face down a strike by his employees who prefer to be paid in loaves of bread etc. They consider the currency to be worthless. They wonder why he wants to collect his taxes in islas when he can create as many as he likes anyway and already has a large warehouse full of them.

      However, when the tax collectors and their police escorts go out into the villages to collect their taxes they find their islas much in demand. The islanders need them to pay taxes. They find themselves offered much better lodgings than previously, they are offered much better food and clothing etc but only if they pay in islas!

      So, effectively the King has spent and taxed his currency into existence. After a time everything settles down and prices become well established. Everything seems be going well, inflation is just a few %. Most people have jobs but then the people suddenly get scared.when the King decided to publish some figures. He’s created 100 million islas and all but about 1 million are out in circulation. That means his national debt from that alone is 99 million which is just about the same as the annual GDP of the island.

      Some people have become quite wealthy. They’ve saved their islas in banks which the King has supposedly “borrowed”. However, as he created them all in the first place he doesn’t see it as borrowing. He can make as many as he likes anyway so why would he need them?

      They all add up to another 100 million islas. So their National debt is now twice their total GDP. The end is nigh cry the islanders. How can we ever afford to repay such a large amount?

    • American individuals hold very little of the 17T in US debt. Most of it is held by the government, followed by foreigners. Yes, it’s amazing if there were no debt there would be no dollars. But i don’t see what this is an argument for.

    • Ed Barbar,

      Actually its about $12 trillion that is owned by the American public. It is held in bonds , bank accounts, even piggy banks.

      The point of all this is to show that so-called National debts , not just in America, aren’t quite as bad as they might appear at first sight. Its a misunderstanding of what they actually are that’s the main problem.

      Good to see you’ve understood the link between government debt and money in your wallet though.

      • From your article, I’m getting (approximate numbers) 17T in total debt, of which 5T is intra-governmental holdings. Of the remaining 12T, foreigners own 5.6 T leaving 6.4T held by the American public, nearly half of what you claim, and slightly over 1/3 of all debt.

        Am I reading this incorrectly?

      • Reny,

        Yes you are right. I think I misread that previously. Thanks for the correction.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Indeed, equities are expensive, and prices have been propped up by central banks’ easing policies. But the big correction, when it comes, will be triggered by a major political or social event induced when bubbles, driven by the QE everywhere, reach maturity and global instability rises.’

        See also –

        Government debt attracts interest which are a net transfer from the government. Services are maintained either by borrowing or printing money. Continued borrowing is unsustainable unless the tax base grows sufficiently to cover interest payments. Printing money dilutes the value of currency – either as devaluation or as inflation.

        Neither devaluation or inflation are conducive to stability in an inherently chaotic system. What we are really looking for from government is economic stability and not
        grand adventures in creative accounting. What is needed is a government sector at about some 25% of GDP, the management of interest rates to prevent asset bubbles and effective and transparent market regulation. Nothing more and nothing less will do.

      • Chief Hydrologist | October 19, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
        What is needed is a government sector at about some 25% of GDP

        Isn’t government spending around or just above 25% presently?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The US government has a tax rate of 27% of GDP and spending of 39%. Hence the problem.

        This information is not difficult to come by.

      • Chief Hydrologist | October 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm |

        tax spend dyslexia. Temporary brain freeze over now.

      • Printing money dilutes the value of currency – either as devaluation or as inflation.

        Governments can print as much money as they like.It has exactly zero effect on the economy unless it is spent. Friedmanite monetarists somehow seem incapable of seeing what is blatantly obvious.

        You can have a trillion dollar bills in the economy, each spent once a year. Or you can have a 100 billion dollar bills each spent 10 times a year. Or you can have 10 billion dollar blls each spent 100 times a year.

        All possibilities produce the same spending power. Is it really that hard to understand?

      • The US government has a tax rate of 27% of GDP and spending of 39%. Hence the problem.

        The US imports more than it exports. (Rest of the World Sector is in surplus) The private sector is saving more than it earns. (Private sector is in surplus too) It’s just an inescapable arithmetic identity that the government sector will be in deficit. If the US government try to cut spending their tax revenues will fall too. The government will be just chasing its tail to no effect other than send the economy into a downward spiral.

        If the US want a government surplus the US needs to balance its trade (a big devaluation of the dollar will be needed do that) and then somehow stop the private sector from saving. Then it will happen automatically.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Governments around the world are printing money so it wont be spent? Governments print money instead of going into more debt. Either is problematical. Printed money is spent on government services and goes into circulation. There are a limited volume of goods and services in an economy now competing with extra dollars floating around. The result is either inflation or devaluation.

        The US solution is to restrain spending while growing tax take as a total although not necessarily as a percentage of GDP. When the era of QE ends sooner rather than later – the exchange rate will take care of itself. The bright spot in the US is the new energy environment, depth of capital, strength of the workforce and entrepreneurial ethic.

        Progressive economics is about as rational as space cadet climate science. That they inevitably emanate from the same source is a wonder and a mystery.

      • “Printed” money is debt. It’s created to buy a bond that has to be paid back with interest.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Definition of ‘Quantitative Easing’
        A government monetary policy occasionally used to increase the money supply by buying government securities or other securities from the market. Quantitative easing increases the money supply by flooding financial institutions with capital, in an effort to promote increased lending and liquidity.

        Central banks tend to use quantitative easing when interest rates have already been lowered to near 0% levels and have failed to produce the desired effect. The major risk of quantitative easing is that, although more money is floating around, there is still a fixed amount of goods for sale. This will eventually lead to higher prices or inflation.’

        It is retiring debt using printed money – and quite quickly leads to asset bubbles and instability.

      • Chief,

        Can you supply some examples of where QE has led to a surge in inflation?

        PS I’m not that keen on it either but not for the same reasons.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘We now have a clear understanding of the relationship between money supply and inflation. Price inflation results from money supply growth that is in excess of economic growth. This may be in the face of a growing economy or a declining economy. The key is the RELATIVE RELATIONSHIP between money supply growth and economic growth.

        The reason for rapid price increases in the last 12 years is the same as the one for price increases in the 1970’s. Central banks have been propping up the money supply in the face of a declining economy. So even though money supply growth hasn’t been huge, it has been excessive relative to the underlying economy and has led to price inflation.’

      • Chief,

        I probably should explain myself a little better. QE hasn’t led to extra inflation because the extra money has simply been placed on deposit by the commercial banks at the Fed. Before 2008 the Fed paid no interest on these reserves. Now they pay 0.25% which is small but considerable. Now the banks have nearly $2 trillion tied up there and it is totally risk free paying $500 million per year in interest.

        That is very easy money for nothing and highly questionable in my opinion.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Well, unless the banks decide to use it. Then things will get dicey.

        “You are in uncharted territory in many ways. This is what the ancient mapmakers would call, ‘Terra incognita, or ‘Land unknown,'” Wall Street veteran trader Art Cashin told King World News recently. Cashin is director of Floor Operations for UBS Financial Services.

        Cashin warned that the trillions of dollars of QE3 now idle could touch off an epic bout of inflation.

        “The ingredients are set up for spontaneous combustion. It’s not there yet,” Cashin said. “When people start to lend it and spend it step back, because the Fed may not be able to put that genie back in the bottle.”

        Cashin said he’s specifically watching the Fed’s velocity of money figures for any sign that inflation could be stirring, noting that it will start very slowly at first.

        “That’s what happened in the Weimar Republic,” he said. “They printed money, and inflation didn’t happen, and it didn’t happen, and then it happened suddenly.”

        It’s a bubble and it’s global. Everyone has fun until everyone gets hurt. This is not how to run an economy – the way to run an economy is to promote stability to the core of economic considerations. What is needed is a government sector at about some 25% of GDP with approximately balanced budgets, the management of interest rates to prevent asset bubbles and effective, fair and transparent market regulation. That’s the ideal. For most of the world – getting back to optimum economic management is likely to prove unavoidably painful.

      • Chief,

        Yes. Exactly right. It is potentially very dangerous but it has had virtually no effect yet – because it can’t in the way it has been done so far.. Yet the Fed move from one QE to the next on the grounds that inflation is still very low and the economy needs another dose of QE.

        If money is lent out suddenly then there is going to be very high inflation which could trigger a hyperinflation. You don’t have to be a monetarist to think that. Keynes would have known that too.

    • I think the question is, what is done with the money the Federal government borrows?

      The private sector may have used that money to build something successful like a commercial building. The government may throw it at a solar company that ends up bankrupt. The national debt may correlate with the amount of stupid economic decisions that have been made in the past. A measure of our distance from the free markets ideal.

      • “what is done with the money the Federal government borrows?”

        The Federal government can create as much money as they wish.So why would they want to borrow any? And how can they borrow their own IOUs anyway. Think about it. They can’t. It doesn’t make any sense to borrow back your own IOU. You’d just be swapping one IOU for another!

        So why do they issue bonds and other securities? If government wanted zero interest rates they wouldn’t. Usually they don’t and so do issue bonds to define interest rates. But its not really about raising money.

      • tempterrain is the Sky Dragon of economics.

      • tempterrain:

        At some point, confidence in the Federal government lowers. You can’t in most cases make people lend money to the government. People compare different places to invest their money. With higher risk, they ask for higher interest rates. I’ll grant you that the U.S. Government holds most of the cards and sets the rules, however there are alternatives. Swiss francs for instance. With your video I agree that in some ways it doesn’t matter.

        If A lends money to B, what has really changed? A has in effect put his money into a bank. I’d call this a transfer. Trading one asset for another. It doesn’t hit the income statement. What is of interest is, what does B do with the money? Does he buy a windmill and site it in a place with poor winds?

        A balance sheet does matter. Poor economic decisions end up there, as the income statement has to go somewhere. The income statement resets at the end of the accounting period and dumps its profit or loss somewhere, and that somewhere is the balance sheet.

    • tt,

      It looks like you’ve been reading people like Prof Bill Mitchell, Randall Wray, Stephanie Kelton, Warren Mosler etc .They are saying the same things as you are.

      Even if they are right, what politician is going to stand up and say so? That’s not the way it works. The public want a message of sound money, responsible spending, encouraging saving etc. They aren’t going to be influenced by the sort of arguments in your little video. Though to be honest I can’t find the flaw – but I’m sure there must be one.

    • I pressed the send button to soon,

      It is possible that there is no flaw and what they say is true for a fiat currency whereas current public thinking is more applicable to a currency which is tied to the value of something else like gold. I would turn their own argument against them and say that we therefore should have a real currency which everyone does understand and which is backed by gold or maybe a combination of metals like gold, silver or platinum.

  5. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Let the propaganda battles begin!

    •  Left-wing
    •  Right-wing
    •  X-wing
    •  Cat-wing

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  6. Anonymous recently posted an extract from a letter his father sent to the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. I believe it makes important points about due diligence which are relevant to clmate science if it wants to make a more credible input to policy. I’ll quote the letter in full:

    Dear Julia,

    Thank you for your message. As a self funded retiree I will happily receive whatever allowances your plan provides for me. However, I despair over the way your carbon tax issue has arisen. I think your conclusions are premature.

    Despite what your advisors say, the SCIENCE IS NOT SETTLED. In the case of climate science there is a lot of evidence that global temperatures have stopped rising (despite the continuing rise in CO2 levels) and that the impact of CO2 may not be as severe as the IPCC would have you believe.

    Before using the state of knowledge as it is currently known in order to make far reaching policy decisions, you need to carry out Due Diligence studies in order to verify that what you are being told is correct. The level of detail required to execute proper Due Diligence for something as complex as the dynamics of climate change is truly enormous. Peer review is not due diligence. Neither are the IPCC reports. Certainly not the Garnaut reports.

    Peer review of published papers is in general a coarse filter to ensure that if the evidence which the paper examines is valid and if the writers have done their sums correctly and if the results appear to make sense and add to the body of human knowledge then it’s OK to publish. Peer reviewers are unpaid experts in the same field as the writers of the paper. They seldom see all the basic data, the computer codes, the corrections, deletions and adjustments, the instrument calibration details, full details of all assumptions, etc, and their judgments are often coloured by their personal prejudices. Also they don’t get to see the experimental equipment and test environments or the actual samples that form the basis for the paper being reviewed. Usually none of this matters because scientific progress is self correcting. If a rocket scientist gets it wrong the rocket may crash or wander off course or fail in some other way. Oh dear, what a shame. Well, we’ll get it right next time round.

    Predicting climate change is not rocket science. It’s much, much more difficult. And the consequences of getting it wrong may be much, much more costly. So what do you do, given that there may be something happening that could cause humanity immense harm unless we change something? You conduct proper Due Diligence studies – engineering quality, not academician quality.

    You need to get the protagonists – those who claim we have a severe, looming problem – to assemble their best arguments and evidence to support their case. They should only offer papers which have been published with full public disclosure of all the data and computer codes so that the claims made within the paper can be reproduced by others. Then you appoint a Due Diligence Team (DDT) and give it a proper briefing (a Scope of Work). In the commercial world DDTs are usually independent disinterested contractors. They will need to see all of the things that peer reviewers usually don’t see as described above. In fact for proposals which will cost the community billions, the DDT will want to see a lot more. For example, many academic papers cite other previously published papers. These citations may have to be examined too. They will want to see the ‘bad’ data as well as the ‘good’. Also, published papers and other evidence may be invited for positions purporting to be contrary to the protagonists case. There is plenty of evidence which appears to throw doubt on many aspects of the IPCC case for climate change (the politically acceptable expression for AGW) and this will need to be subjected to DDT examination too.

    Unlike the authors of the IPCC reports who are nearly all climate scientists, the DDT should comprise physicists, economists, engineers, mathematicians (especially statisticians), geologists, biologists and climate scientists. But no more than 25% of the team should be climate scientists. It’s doubtful if the DDT will ever be able to achieve certainty on any matter but they should be able to come much closer to the truth than has the IPCC.

    Contrary to what you may have been told, the IPCC reports comprise the assessment by no more than 40 or 50 climate scientists, of all the published papers that in their opinion support in some way, climate change outside the realm of natural variation. Reviewers of each chapter in the reports were not permitted to see data which was not expressly provided in the relevant papers. In fact one reviewer was threatened with dismissal because he kept asking to see data. There is no audit trail for positions taken by authors of each chapter. None. In the business world, if a financier were asked to commit billions for some project on the basis of a report of the quality of any of the IPCC Assessment Reports he would tell you to “Go away – don’t waste my time”.

    I’m a retired engineer with a background in project management. Many of my peers agree with me about this.


    How could climate science become more credible? One way, I’d suggest, is it needs to present its evidence and arguments in a way that can be used in due diligence. The relevant evidence needs to be documents and structured so all of it that is essential to the case is documented and readily accessible.

    I suggest a goodexample of how it can and should be done is what was the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program (run by Atomic Energy Canada) and now is the Nuclear Waste management Organization . All the evidence that is needed and that could be challenged is documented and easily accessible for public scrutiny and challenge. The process is adversarial.

    I’d especially welcome a lawyer’s comments (e.g. GaryM) on how well this is set up for thorough due diligence and for adversarial type approaches for getting to the truth.

    I am suggesting that any country considering spending huge amounts of public funds on fixing the climate, should document the case like Canada has done with its Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program and Nuclear Waste Management Organisation.

    • Peter,

      I notice that you are very fond of referencing your own articles in support of what you claim to be true.

      Whilst its OK to do this occasionally, it should be done sparingly. Naturally you are going to agree with yourself – we’re all good at that!

      • Tempterrain,
        What an arrogant comment. What makes you feel you are the sort of person that can tell me what to reference and what not to reference? The link I posted summarises my analysis based on authoritative studies. I cannot post the content of that post here so I referenced a link where I’d already done it. If you were interested you’d read it carefully and read the references instead of making your arrogant comments.

        Since you like videos, watch this instead:

      • Arrogant? I’d hope not. I’m just passing on a little tip to help you out, that’s all. Naturally I have no power to stop you referencing yourself all the time.

        Those not familiar with Australian politics might be unaware that the carbon tax is very likely to be abolished in the near future. No doubt it had some imperfections, as the good professor was trying to explain.

        They will all be hypothetical soon. Instead we’ll have a new system to ensure CO2 reduction. Instead of the principle of the polluter pays, the government will be paying the polluters to stop polluting. Its going to be rather like paying alcoholics to stop drinking, or gamblers to stop gambling.

        Maybe you can explain why that will be better?

      • Tempterrain,

        Try sending your tips sot yourself. You’d be the last person I’d be likely to take tips from, especially since they are just snarks and you can’t even make any intelligent comments about content. You are just another troll, and clearly very arrogant. If you weren’t arrogant you wouldn’t feel you have the credentials to be offering unsolicited comments on what I should write. Perhaps you’ve been following people like John Cook (SkS) and Stephen Lewandowski for too long.

      • Tempterrain,

        I am curious as to why you think CO2 is a “pollutant”.

        It seems to be emitted by all oxygen breathing carbon based life, is used by photosynthesizing organisms as food, and is a byproduct of providing everything from heat to keep us from freezing to death in cold periods, to enabling us to access food from distant places by means of hydrocarbon fuelled transport.

        Water (dihydrogen oxide) is equally a pollutant. It is the main constituent of fog and smog. When moving at speed, it demolishes buildings, bridges and so on. When frozen, it can sink unsinkable ships, cause aircraft to crash, killing all aboard, and suffocate those caught in avalanches of the rotten stuff.

        Not to mention that accidental or purposeful immersion of the human body for a relatively short period in the foul compound causes death. It is also the primary vector for any number of serious diseases.

        But to each his own.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike Flynn,

        It would be possible to imagine that lack of CO2 would, in some circumstances, be just as bad as too much CO2. It’s about having the right levels. Not too much not too little.

        Another example would be levels of nitrates in a river. If there were no nitrates there would be no plant life and no river life at all. So does that mean we can increase water nitrate levels as much as we like? Does it mean that a run-off of agricultural nitrate fertilisers, causing a problem of algal growth and fish kills in rivers, wouldn’t count as pollution?

        Not according to your ‘logic’, if that’s the right word, it wouldn’t.

      • Tempterrain,

        I do not know if your comprehension was a little below par, but your response to my comment seems to resemble the sort of thing that a rabid Warmista would attempt.

        You originally wrote about CO2 and polluters, without defining pollution in relation to CO2. Now you appear to be complaining that I have pointed out that CO2, like water, is necessary for life. In excessive quantities, like anything, it can be injurious. You positively refuse to provide a definition of CO2 “pollution”.Rather than stating the circumstances under which you would define CO2 to be a pollutant, you avoid taking responsibility for your silly statement, and instead bring up the question of fertiliser runoff.

        You then proceed ask stupid questions, for what purpose I can only guess. I cannot tell whether you really don’t know the answers to the questions you have posed. If so, I am always willing to help.

        In this case, you will need to provide more detail of the types of nitrates, the location of the river system, the local environment and ecology, seasonal considerations and so on.

        I don’t really think you are seeking knowledge, but rather trying to wriggle out of a hole which you created for yourself, if I may be so bold.

        If my assumptions are wrong, please let me know. I will of course tender my humble apology, if this be the case.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • Peter Lang.

      As you are so fond of quoting yourself, (after all who could be a better authority? Who would ever need an encyclopaedia if they were able to just ask you?), I’m just wondering if “anonymous” ,but who actually seems to have the name “Colin” is actually none other than your good self?

    • Peter Lang,

      There would be nothing wrong with a policy maker doing a due diligence style study to determine what policy to propose with respect to climate. But almost all of them will tell you they have done so in one form or another. The EPA, for example, was required to do so before enacting their CO2 regs.

      “Due diligence” is most productive when there is someone who can do something when it is done sloppily, like a board of directors who can fire the CEO, or shareholders who can sue him. In this case, the voters could vote out the chief executive, but who is going to do the critique on the government due diligence report – another due diligence panel?

      In this case, you are suggesting that government implement a due diligence style inquiry for CAGW. As the article is structured, I would advise against it. After acknowledging the problems with peer review (in fact understating them in my opinion), the author calls for limitation of the due diligence review to peer reviewed science. Given the history of pal review and gatekeepers, that would be a bad idea.

      But I just wonder if any of that would really be any help. You are right in asking what is the best adversarial way to get at the truth. An adversary system ensures that both sides get to put forward what evidence they want.

      But we already have such a system. This blog is part of it. CAGW is a political decision. And the real decision makers on such an issue, the decarbonization of the global economy, are the voters, not one or more prime ministers.

      This process is sloppy, loud, and often uninformative. But it is the best way we have found to make such decisions in a democracy. This is not a matter of deciding whether and where to build nuclear waste storage facilities. This is about drastically altering, or defending, the western economy.

      Due diligence, mediators, another NIPCC, all are ways to get someone else to review the science again, and put out a new, supposedly objective, review of the “science”. Even if they came to a different conclusion, why would the consensus advocates agree? I just don’t see a new review as helpful at this point.

      CAGW comes down to one question. Does the overall risk of catastrophic damage from CO2 emissions justify the government taking control of, and decarbonizing, the energy economy. I don’t
      think that is even a close question, regardless of whether the CS range is 1.5 to 5. or 2.0 to 5.0.

      • Real due diligence is required to be honest, and there are severe penalties for playing games. Try some of the monkeyshines that the EPA pulled with a private company’s books, and say hello to your cellmate.

      • GaryM,

        I hear you. I agree with you that the voters must make the final decision. But they need to be well informed. I don’t think we are well informed at the moment.

        I am not convinced we (the voters) have the necessary information to make a well informed decision. I don’t have confidence in the IPCC and the climate science orthodoxy. It is political, biased, and practices herd mentality and group think. It’s deeply involved in advocacy and science is being compromised.

        Importantly, the information needed for policy making is not available for adversarial processes. In Australia, for example, our public service has become politicised. Even our Department of Treasury has become politicised. For example, they titled their report on the economic modelling of the ETS “Strong Growth, Low Pollution Future”. That is pure spin. It is disingenuous. An honest title that was not intended to mislead the voters would have been ‘High Cost for No Benefit’ ETS.

        So, how should we proceed?

        What I am seeking is:

        1. The information needed for policy analysis is available to all. I think the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program and NWMO have done this fairly well:

        2. Due diligence to check the information that is relevant for policy analysis. I expect the amount of information needed for policy analysis would be a relatively small subset of the total climate science information. What is needed is (mostly) the information that supports the inputs for the economic models such as Nordhaus RICE and DICE models (e.g. summarised in Table 7-1, p127 here: ). Also needed is the information for assessing the probability of success of proposed policies.

        3. The economic analyses by various competent organisations from a broad spectrum of interests (especially including the energy industries, as, IMO, they probably have the best understanding of the consequences of the carbon restrain schemes, such as those proposed so far).

        4. An adversarial review process

        5. The voters decide [as we have just done in our recent election in Australia electing a new government with a landslide mandate to dump carbon pricing]. But we still need the process because many people remain concerned about man-made climate change.


  7. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Peter Lang [after a long economic rant] “I’d especially welcome a lawyer’s comments.”

    Me for higher authority!

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  8. Data back on arctic and antarctic sea ice levels, Hooray!. Not to mention that total sea ice is now back positive again while we have been asleep.
    Judith is this worth a post, that this year, if it continues, will be the first year in ages that the average sea ice for the world has been above average for a year.
    Virtually as significant as the pause .

    • The warm times are necessary and desirable.

      Ice on land is replenished during the warm times when Polar Oceans are wet and provide moisture for snowfall.

      If you don’t understand this concept, you don’t really understand Climate.

  9. A fan of *MORE* discourse


    Resolved  “Science is a form of discourse that structures and regulates much of what anyone else can claim to know [and that is why] wherever one sees truth being manufactured, one may be sure that power will be found at no great distance.”

        — Thomas Broman (1998)

    Is today’s politically charged climate-science debate the global fulfillment of Broman’s principle?

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    • AFOMD,

      Which parts are you having difficulty understanding? If you cannot work out the answer to the question you have posed, by reference to the paper, I suggest you read it again.

      If you still cannot understand it, please let me know. I will be glad to assist. There is no shame in asking for help.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Mike Flynn asks “Which parts are you having difficulty understanding?”

      It is a pleasure to answer your question Mike Flynn!

      •  When “the best available climate science threatens the hundred-trillion dollar asset-value of Big Carbon reserves, what actions will remorseless Big Carbon oligarchs take to protect their incredible carbon wealth?

      Climate Etc readers look forward to your answer, Mike Flynn!

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      • Web is telling us that oil and gas will run out in a fortnight and you think a cabal of fossil fuel barons rule the scientific discourse; my guess is that at least one of you is wrong.

      • AFOMD,

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but I cannot see any specific references to anything in the paper by Broman to the question you pose.

        Are you confused? You asked me for help, as you could not understand Bronan’s writings well enough to answer a question presumably posed by another.

        Is this part of a school project? Or are you just trying to waste my time, for some peculiar reason you are not prepared to make public?

        I can only assist you if you are prepared to be honest with me.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

  10. The failure of the IPCC to recognise the om/off nature of climate change has dogged their efforts from the beginning. Their failure to recognise the 1910 to 1940 global temperature rise and the subsequent dramatic fall in temperature from the 1940 peak until 1970, means they missed explaining the climate of a younger, less complex world. They never recovered or acknowledged this mistake. If they had, the present ‘pause’ from 1997 on would have been no surprise and they would have long ago ditched those unvalidated models which failed the replication test.

    If we are ever able to predict future climate or trends it will be because we have a properly validated mathematical model. It can be done but not by starting off by declaring ‘the science is settled’.

  11. This is not my first attempt at this post, but so far it hasn’t drawn any responses. Where am I going wrong?

    I would begin by acknowledging that “man-made” climate change did occur during the mid-1970’s-1990’s, but that the warming had nothing to do with carbon or greenhouse gas accumulations. All of the warming that occurred was a “side-effect” of the Clean Air Act and other global efforts to reduce air pollution.

    Just as the planetary cooling that occurs after a large volcanic eruption ends after the pollution has settled out, warming will naturally occur when other atmospheric pollutants are removed. As the Clean Air Act was implemented, temperatures gradually rose (the Hockey Stick)– as they had to–but the cause was wrongly attributed to greenhouse gasses, rather than simply to the cleaner, more transparent air (fewer aerosols).

    It can be no coincidence that most of the warming began after passage of the Clean Air Act

    Today’s somewhat elevated temperatures mirror those of the 1930’s, which were also caused by cleaner air (due to the large decrease in industrial activity, etc. during the Great Depression.) Again, no CO2 effect.

    Since the “pause” began at approximately the same level as in the 1930’s,
    it may represent a relatively robust level maintained by various feedback effects. However, further temperature increases.cannot be ruled out when China, India, and the EPA attempt more cleaning of the air.

    Bottom line. All of the warming to date has been due to cleaner air.

    The above conclusions are largely supported by the paper “Shocker. Global warming may simplly be an artifact of Clean Air”, presented at the AIP Conference in Colorado in August of this year.


    • Burl Henry,

      At the risk of being severely boxed about the ears in a virtual sense, (by the usual suspects), I’ll agree with you that less aerosols should result in the surface receiving more radiation during the day, and thereby heating more, and cooling faster at night.

      And strangely enough, the same reasoning would apply to substances such as CO2 and H20 gases. And lo, it appears to be so! Places like the Libyan desert have relatively little water vapour above them, measurably less aerosols, and often less CO2 concentrations. And do they get hot during the day? Indeed they do. And do they cool down really quickly at night? You bet!

      As for additional sources of heat in the last century, causing raised temperatures : –

      It would appear logical that more people oxidising more carbon for everything from maintaining life by breathing, to generating electricity, providing transport, heating during the winter, and so on, would generate more heat than less people.

      The worlds population in 1910 was around 1.6 billion, I think.

      In 2010, around 7 billion.

      In 1910, not a lot of internal combustion engines, power generating plants, computing equipment, or home theatre installations.

      In 2010, just look around. 24 hours a day, heat, heat, heat! You would assume that it could be measured, but maybe it is too difficult.

      So yes, anthropogenic warming. Nothing to do with stupid “heat trapping by CO2”, and “missing heat” taking refuge in the abyssal depths. It would be laughable, if the people in charge of taxpayers’ funds weren’t so gullible.

      Oh well, I suppose it provides employment for people who find it difficult to get a real job.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • According to the satellites there was no warming 1978-1997.

      Also, the first mandatory US clean air act was only passed around 1977 and the regulations only began to take effect maybe ten years later.

      • “According to the satellites there was no warming 1978-1997”

        Is that statistically significant?

      • There clearly is a problem with the satellite measurements if they show no warming between 1978 and 1997! As shown by the climatic response after a volcanic eruption, it is virtually a law of nature that warming will ensue after a pollutant haze settles out of the atmosphere.

        As for the 1977 requirement that the Clean Air Act be made mandatory, there was substantial prior effort both here and abroad to clean the air and begin the warming.

    • Burl Henry

      Hans Erren did a quick check on what you just wrote

      Here is his plot of the inverse SO2 temperature correlation.


      • Some volcanic eruptions emit huge quantities of SO2, but I am not awre of any that have caused any warming. Just the reverse. The increasing
        CO2 in the atmosphere isn’t causing any warming, and there is no indication that SO2 has had any effect either.

    • Burlhenry

      Sorry if I have not responded to one of your posts but I am usually ducking to keep away from the constant food fights.

      Yes I agree that much warming is caused by cleaner air and the resultant sunshine. I was reading a met office paper just today that acknowledged this. I suppose the counter argument is that more sunshine equals less cloud which means cooler nights. Which brings us back to the old chestnut as to whether or not clouds are a positive or negative feedback.


      • tonyb,

        But I thought more sunshine meant more clouds, over the ocean, which is 70% of the Earth’s surface, which results in more cooling during the day, but less at night.

        Dang, climate is complicated.

        But I must disagree with at least part of the original comment to which you responded.

        “It can be no coincidence that most of the warming began after passage of the Clean Air Act.”

        Well, yes, it could. This makes the IPCC’s AGW attribution claim look absolutely modest.

      • Gary.

        In your post to TonyB you expressed disagreeemnt with my comment “It can be no coincidence that most of the warming began after passage of the Clean Air Act”.

        This was simply a re-statement of the previous paragraph, for emphasis, and was completely true, unlike the fiction of the IPCC. The cleansing of the air engendered by the Clean Air Act naturally resulted in greater insolation and more warming than was present before the Act.

      • Garym

        We can observe the temperature trend in many of the industrialised cities and that many of them were polluted then cleaned up their act and gained more sunshine.

        I wrote about it here–-history-and-reliability-2/

        I fully agree that climate is highly complicated and we have no Real idea how it works despite of thousands of pages of documentation by the IPCC
        Mind you it’s funny how they never seem to scknowledge that we have been warming for over 300 years and that the glaciers have been melting back from their holocene peak in the LIA since 1750

      • tonyb,

        Oh I have no problem believing reduced pollution can raise local temps in a large city. Seems logical to me.

        But I think his comment was on average global temps though, and for that I think more than a logical thought process is needed. My “climate is complicated” snark was for that comment, not yours.

      • Yes, I was referring to global, not just local, warming.

        You indicated that you felt that more was needed for my “model” to be acceptable. What more would you want? I pointed out that it is basically a “law of nature” that natural warming will occur whenever a polluting haze is removed from the atmosphere. This has been proven over and over by the temperature recovery after a large volcanic eruption.. The industrial pollution removed by the Cllean Air Act (and other efforts) was merely a more persistent haze that had never had a chance to settle out.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        “I fully agree that climate is highly complicated and we have no Real (sic) idea how it works…
        No idea at all, eh? Comforting thought…if it is comfort you seek as opposed to scientific truth.

      • Rgates

        I would refer you to the first few paragraphs in the link to my article I gave to Garym

        As an example of our lack of knowledge, until the 1950’s we had thousands of scientists taking hundreds of thousands of what they thought were highly accurate co 2 measurements. apparently they were wrong. We still make many of the mistakes that were pointed out a hundred years ago as mentioned in the article. We had no idea there was going to be a pause let alone what has caused it.
        The eu has spent millions of pounds in trying to ascertain the ‘correct’ temperature of seven of our oldest temperature records whilst algorithms routinely revise records previously thought reliable downwards.

        Despite what you believe our knowledge of the oceans is fragmentary.

        We have a highly complex climate system which remains largely a mystery and none more so than historic climates which have become the province of statisticians rather than historians. Tree rings? Really? Global Sea surface temperatures to 1850. How does that work then?


      • Off-hand, I would think that more clouds would inhibit more warming in that they would dim the Sun’s rays striking the earth’s surface. Probably a significant feedback mechanism

  12. Let us pray for proper experiments to verify the physics of the misnamed “greenhouse”.

    If we put a column of CO2 at 100% 3.7m thick (which is about an atmosphere’s worth of CO2) in an IR reflective prism/cylinder closed at both ends with IR tranparent windows in front of a black absorber the same shape as the base of the prism/cylinder pointing to the sun, how much warmer will the black absorber get?
    a. 0 degrees K
    b. 33 degrees K
    c. 2 deg K
    d. all of the above
    e. none of the above

    • sadly that will not test the the physics of the green house effect.

      The effect depends upon raising the ERL. plain and simple.
      you cannot test that in the way you propose.

      • There are lots of potential experimental designs. There are no experiments that have ben done that demonstrate what exactly the “greenhouse” effect is. I have seen at least 3 theories as to the physical mechanism and no consensus and only hand waving from the climate scientists.

        I presume you are saying something about lapse rate. (don’t know what ERL is meant to stand for.) If you wish to measure the temperature and pressure within the CO2 chamber, will that help?

        Propose a better experiment if you don’t like mine.

    • You can use a radiative transfer model like MODTRAN to first check if it works for various lab containers with CO2 and H2O and how much they absorb and emit, and then, having shown this works, apply it with atmospheric column parameters. It will tell you how much less surface radiation you get when you remove all the CO2 for example. An atmospheric column’s radiative profile is a simple problem to solve with basic physics.

    • I don’t think the raw greenhouse effect is what people are arguing about.

      • People who agree with Gerlich and Tscheuschner are arguing about the raw greenhouse effect. Engineers here say there are no inudstrial uses for the supposed warming effect of CO2 by radiation absorption.

  13. Do I understand it correctly that the last minute deal cobbled together over budgets and the debt ceiling will all be played out again in about 90 days?


    • TonyB its all an ongoing exercise in posturing. Nothing will ever be allowed to alter the status quo!

    • I think you probably do!

      There you go, so don’t say I always disagree with you, just for the sake of it!

    • Yes Tony, because that is when the next phase of sequestration kicks in and some still hope to repeal it. This is a complex negotiation.

      • David

        This from the UK Money week;

        —— ——
        “Phew! The Western world is saved,” said absolutely nobody this week, as US politicians packed in their latest bout of clowning around and told everyone in the government to get back to work.

        Regardless of your political views, the debt ceiling malarkey is ridiculous. You might be concerned about spending, and want a smaller – or more efficient and less corrupt – government. I have every sympathy with that view.

        But having playfights over a completely artificial limit that can almost certainly be ignored if push comes to shove is a pathetic waste of time. And genuine conservatives have probably shot themselves in the foot with this one.

        Because as I noted in Money Morning on Thursday, the only tangible result from this government shutdown and deadline squabble is that the Federal Reserve now has every reason to keep printing money at current rates until well into next year.

        “So on the one hand, you have an utterly useless government. But on the other hand, you have a central bank that’s most definitely prepared to do ‘whatever it takes’.

        “You only have to look at the eurozone to see what that combination means for markets. The US might be turning into Italy politically – but the Italian stock market has been a cracking bet ever since the European Central Bank said that it was ready and willing to act.

        “In short, the one thing that the market was really worried about earlier this year – a reduction in QE from the US – now seems to be off the table until next year.”

        With the promise of money-printing stretching back towards infinity, the dollar took a hit, and gold moved higher. ‘
        ——- ——-
        Is the US turning into Italy? Is this any way to run the govt of the leader of the Free world?


      • Tony, I have no idea whether the debt limit is real or not, and do not want to test the hypothesis, but these are not play fights. Ours is a system of checks and balances (unlike a parliamentary system) and the country is deeply divided over spending. Legislation therefore converges on the minimum, just as with climate policy. Perhaps next year’s elections will resolve this tension but not if the voters cannot decide it.

      • David

        It seems to me, as an outside and friendly observer, that the US is more polarised than at any time I can remember.

        You have a Democratic party with a President who we in Europe would recognise as a socialist (albeit a fairly centrist one) and what appears to be an increasingly Right wing and leaderless Republican party with a large even more right wing faction and who seem to have several fundamental philosophical disagreements with the Democrats.

        Shutting down the Govt every 90 days whilst constantly walking on the fiscal tightrope seems no way to run a first world Government. I am waiting for someone to explain what seems a very concerning situation to all of us, American or otherwise, as this situation can’t be good for anyone.


      • Tony, you have explained it yourself; the American people are polarized. What then do you not understand? The President has little to do with this, by the way, other than the veto threat. This fight is between the two houses of Congress, where it belongs.

        But we have been polarized before on fundamental issues. The civil war was far worse than the present situation.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Tony said:

        “It seems to me, as an outside and friendly observer, that the US is more polarised than at any time I can remember.”

        Americans have always been polarized, and that partly is our strength, ad differing opinions can lead to policy that is moderate and not radical one way or another, and that also relates to the dysfunction in D.C. right now. The House had so many gerrymandered districts that no matter how crazy and extreme those representatives become, they will get voted back in, and with the gerrymandering, moderate voices get pushed aside. It took our non-gerrymandered Senate with more moderate voices to prevent a catastrophe- this time,

      • RGates

        You say that the US has always been polarised but surely it is getting worse if one party is shifting right whilst the other party is shifting left and are recognisably soft socialists?

        I am not sure I have observed this degree of polarisation before, as in the past both parties have always been within striking distance of centre ground with only small factions embracing the extremes.


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        See my comment about gerrymandering leading to ever more radicalized politicians getting into office. Their carefully gerrymandered districts lead to ever more extremes. This can feedback to the actual voting population in that these ever more radicalized politicians whip the voters into a frenzy, relying ever more frequently on moral issues to do so.

      • A large factor in the polarization is that the political right have their own well insulated media bubble of radio, papers, TV. People in that bubble have reinforced misconceptions of Obama’s background and intentions for the country, together with a unified stand on social issues, global warming, religion, taxes, welfare that are not challenged within their circles. This is a small, but hardcore group of about 20% of the population, which, through election financing in core constituencies, has obtained power over one half of the majority party in the House. Other parts of the Republican Party may sympathize on some issues, but are also open to talking to Democrats about a middle road, which these 20% are not. It is unfortunate that their media have also moved to, or pulled them to, the extreme end, and also support their views against old-style Republican centrists who are now an endangered species. Their attitude to compromise is a distinguishing mark, as we saw with the recent fracas. It was only the Senators (who are elected by statewide votes, not small constituencies) that held to reason. The House Republican leadership were hopeless with continually changing messages and last-minute policymaking being deservedly ignored in the end.

      • tonyb,

        “I am not sure I have observed this degree of polarisation before”

        Republicans have always been accused of being racist, sexist homophobes, who want to kill children, poison the air and water, and leave the poor to starve. You never heard that before, because most Republicans were like today’s GOP “leaders”. They tucked their tales between their legs, and asked for a few scraps from the Democrat rulers.
        There was also no alternative media to even air the fact there were any disagreements on policy.

        Now you have actual conservatives in the GOP, and a way of getting their message out. So the shrill partisan attacks have become a bit more even handed.

        “Polarisation” once led to a civil war int he US. But that war also resulted in conservatives fleeing their black brethren from the slavery in which progressives held them. Those same black brothers and sisters have now been conned into a status of almost permanent poverty, caused by no decent education and no jobs. But lots of dependence on government.

        What is coming is the political equivalent of another civil war, to free Americans of all races and genders, from the ever growing domination of government. Never more polarized? Nonsense. But you are going to see more, before you see less.

        The real battle now will be in the Republican Party. Either conservatives will be able to take control of it, or there will e a third party.

        I wouldn’t be so eager to pine for a time of peaceful bipartisanship in the US. If that happens, it means the US is going to follow Europe into de facto one party government. And when the Eurozone collapses economically, there will not be anyone there to help.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Gary QUITE MISTAKENLY said:

        ““Polarisation” once led to a civil war int he US. But that war also resulted in conservatives fleeing their black brethren from the slavery in which progressives held them.”

        Now you would like to re-write American history? Any African American reading this should feel insulted.

      • tonyb,

        You are like the neighbor who is shocked to find the police being called to the home next door for a “domestic disturbance”. Shocked that the man and woman are fighting so viciously. But unaware that there was no fighting before because the woman never fought back before when he beat her.

        The Republican “leadership” are like that. And the only reason they are fighting this time (or at least pretending to fight), is that some of their children are threatening to go buy a house of their own if they don’t.

        I use to say the Washington DC Republican establishment has political Stockholm Syndrome. But I think battered wide syndrome is more apt. They have been getting their asses kicked for so long, they think it’s the norm.

      • R. Gates,

        Stick to getting ocean heat transfer wrong (according to Gavin Schnmidt). If you start getting into your revisionist historical beliefs, this could get embarrassing for you.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        I know American History quite well, and know quite well why most African Americans vote Democrat.

      • Maybe there is bipartisan support that the level of poverty in the US is not befitting of a democratic advanced country. Poverty is concentrated in areas and goes with poor education, poor opportunities, and a cycle of sustenance of this state in those pockets. A cue from other democratic countries is to raise their living standards, including education, and having better minimum wages and benefits that are tied to job-seeking or training. This, of course, has a cost which other countries raise through higher tax rates, but perhaps there are some creative public/private investment-type methods that the right wing would support instead.

      • R. Gates,

        So you know then that the Republican party was formed by conservatives in the Whig Party because the party leaders, like the GOP leaders today, would not fight the Democrats/progressives on the issue of slavery.

        Good for you.

        I assume you also know that Democrats/progressives control virtually all the inner city public school systems that funnel hundreds of billions of dollars to teacher union members, and Democrat Party campaign coffers, but don’t bother to actually, you know, educate the children. You certainly also know that it was Democrats who passed “welfare”, and made collecting that welfare in difficult times conditional on the father not living in the home?

        You must also be aware that Democrats/progressives passed the Davis-Bacon Act regulating wages, and keep that law in force today, because their union constituents did not want to compete with less expensive, but equally capable, black workers. And you must also know that Democrats/progressives control virtually all of the cities that tax and regulate businesses out of existence, or at least out of their cities, thus ensuring ever more dependence on government by their citizens.

        Good. Since you know your history so well, you must agree with me.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        “My question relates to the broader topic of political coverage which as commonly rendered is a form of political speech, at least in my opinion. How does one regulate that or should one?”
        The nexus of money and “free speech” 1st Amendment rights is a difficult topic when it comes to mass media in general. Should those with the deepest pockets have more “rights” than those without access to deep pockets? What about the internet and politcal advertisement there? What about the influence of politics in the outright ownership of mass media outlets? (i.e. MSNBC versus Fox News, etc?, Soros versus Murdock, etc.)
        In short, how do we keep the rich from dominating our political process so that those who may not be rich, but who may have great ideas, stand a chance in getting their message out there? These are questions our founding father’s never really thought about, but of course, they didn’t think that women should vote and they regarded blacks as property, so we should not look to them for guidance. We need to figure this out– our democracy depends on it as currently it is all about the big money, corporate control of both the media and Washington.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist | October 19, 2013 at 6:45 pm |

        You lost me a little bit at the founding fathers stuff. Is that a cryptic reference to the Constitution or Federalist papers or something? I’m missing your point there.

        One thing that may hold promise is the long term effect of electronic mass media, citizen journalism and activism on the Internet, social networking tools and other forms of low cost technology-enabled communications that can empower individuals.

        Not that it will fully balance things out, but it could help.

    • tony-
      You are correct. We are not long on political courage. I dont see much change for several years. Yes there is more polarization than what I can remember and that is back to the 50s. All factions seem to have a more vested interest in Fiscal Policy than what was the case decades ago. We all, regardless of political affiliation or income level, are getting our goodies and no one wants to let go.

      • On the contrary the Reps do want to let go and slash spending, and that is the conflict. I see no lack of courage, rather a big fight, which takes courage.

      • it takes courage to compromise. Both sides need to go against their base. Roll the dice and see how they come out in the General Election rather than be certain about the Primary Election. BTW I am with you about what needs to be done about spending. I am trying to be an unbiased observer as if I was tony. And I know the history of spending on social programs which is 95 times higher than it was under JFK and just the increase on Social Programs since 2000 has added $8 Trillion to the Debt Held by the Public and that only 400,000 full time jobs have been added since January of 2009 compared to some months under Reagan where more jobs were added than this entire last 5 years.

      • Yes there is more polarization than what I can remember and that is back to the 50s. All factions seem to have a more vested interest in Fiscal Policy than what was the case decades ago.

        Perhaps. George Friedman of Stratfor provides a cogent (IMO) analysis:

        Similar shutdowns happened during the 1990s, and I am not prepared to say that divisions in our society have never been so deep or partisanship so powerful.

        From where I sit, there was a massive shift in the 1970s in how the American political system operates. Prior to then, candidate selection was based on delegates to national conventions, and the delegates to conventions were selected through a combination of state conventions and some primaries.

        The reformers wanted to break the hold of the party bosses over the system and open it to dissent, something party bosses disliked. The reformers did so by widely replacing state conventions with primary systems.

        Political parties ceased being built around patronage systems, but rather around the ability to raise money.

        There was, however, an unexpected consequence. The reformers’ vision was that the fall of the bosses would open the door to broad democratic participation. But the fact was that the American people did not care nearly as much about politics as the reformers thought they ought to.

        The primaries were left to the minority who cared. At the beginning, these were people who felt strongly about particular issues: corporate greed, the environment, war, abortion, taxes, and so on. Over time, these particular issues congealed into ideology.

    • Tony, that’s the media narrative. More likely, this was scripted from the beginning. Obama and Boehner were pretty much irrelevant in the whole opera. It was all Harry Reid conducting the orchestra. Reid could have had this deal 2 weeks ago, but wanted his sturm und drang aria so that he would be in the history books.

      And yes, there will be at least one repeat performance. Get your tickets now. But you and the rest of the world can rest assured that the fat lady will sing right on cue next time, too. It always ends the same, because the script says so.

      • Harold

        The fat Lady has a price tag of a 17 Trillion Dollar deficit. If she doesn’t sing as expected-and the right songs- people will demand their money back, Can America afford to refund the paying spectators whose nerves have been frayed by too many poor performances?

      • I’m not any happier with Harry’s Excellent Adventure than you are, but the world was lied to. Default was never an option. Among other things, it’s unconstitutional, but if you noticed, while the opera singers were working themselves into a fever over default, the financial markets weren’t buying it. There was no big rush for the door. They all knew that it was all baloney.

        This whole thing was a scripted fraud on the US in particular and the world in general from beginning to end. And the MSM played along with the woodwinds.

    • Tonyb says: “will all be played out again in about 90 days?”

      Ding ding ding – winner! Many Americans know this but apparently are powerless to do anything about it.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        As long as the approval rating for Congress can be at 10% but 90% get re-elected, Americans are powerless to stop it. The root causes are the heavy gerrymandering of districts, which allow for the radicalization of career politicians– who can’t be voted out of office except by even more radical politicians! You get gridlock in Washington–especially in the highly gerrymandered House. To fix this:

        1. Pass anti-gerrymandering legislation in every state.
        2. Set term limits to prevent career politicians setting up camp.

      • Rates

        Presumably your two political remedies will never be actioned as the very people it would affect would vote against them?

      • Rgates

        Sporty, once again my iPad has changed your name to rates. It is very unreasonable for you not to change your name to it in order to make my life easier.

        BTW I have left the ‘ sporty’ to illustrate this thing has got a mind of its own. It did originally read sorry.


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Bingo Tony!

        And worse still, the extremes on both sides can keep the voters fighting amongst themselves, and unable to recognize what the real changes need to be and that nothing short of a march on Washington to demand these changes will suffice.

      • R. Gates,

        Not to sound like fan, but I congratulate you on adopting two central planks of the conservative movement as your own.

        Regardless of how you describe them though, those two reforms would transform politics in the US, for the better. Which s why progressives of both parties will never agree to them.

      • Term limits are an absolutely horrible idea.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        JCH said:

        “JCH | October 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        Term limits are an absolutely horrible idea.”

        You apparently like the continual gerrymandered, career politician stranglehold that has caused our government to grind to such a sad podding to dysfunctionality.

      • R Gates, my number one would be to take the money out of elections. Politicians are bought and their votes in Congress make sure that their wealthiest sponsors are happy. With the money out of politics, they would actually represent majority views of the average people and would campaign on their own priorities and ideas. It would be a different type of representative that actually does represent.

      • Jim D,

        Excellent. Let’s pass a law that prohibits anyone from cont4ributing any money to political campaigns, or spending any money on their own ads.

        This is the progressives’ ultimate political wet dream. What it does is actually criminalize free speech.

        Free speech is meaningless if you are not able to make your speech heard by others. In a modern world, in a nation of 300 million people (310 million if you count the Democrat cemetery voters), that means advertising. Advertising costs money.

        If government can stop people from spending money on political campaigns, incumbents will go from a 95% retention rate to 100%. Progressives of both parties would love this. Which is why their is “bipartisan” support for “campaign finance reform”.

        Like I said before, bipartisanship means there has been a deal struck by the “leaders” of both parties for their own benefit.

      • Jimd

        I have always been taken aback by the money thrown at campaigns by people and individuals who presumably hope to get some benefit from it and also by the subsequent power of the lobbyists. Money talks louder than good ideas and sound policies it seems. You are not unique in that of course but the US appear to take it to extremes

      • tonyb,

        “I have always been taken aback by the money thrown at campaigns by people and individuals who presumably hope to get some benefit from it.”

        That is an interesting presumption. Whether it is accurate or not depends on what you mean by benefit.

        George Soros pours tons of money into politics, funding campaigns, blogs, media. Does he expect to prosper in the brave new world he hopes to usher in? Probably. He is a big believer in corny capitalism, as long as he is one of the cronies. But I figure mostly he thinks he already has his, and he is just pursuing elitist politics because he is a true believing elitist. There may be some quid pro quo, but a lot of it is ideologically motivated. And that is his right.

        The Koch brothers similarly could expect to prosper more in a free market economy. Their companies compete quite effectively in the marketplace. But their contributions are probably also largely driven by ideology. They believe in a free market, and more control for teh people, not the government.

        I believe the same is true of most reported contributions. The guy giving ten dollars has zero impact. But iof he joins with thousands of others who share his beliefs, they can together get people elected with whom they agree on policy.

        This disdain for “money” in politics, is counterproductive. Stop all this free speech going on, and you will likely have bipartisanship, and consensus, but you won’t have much freedom.

      • “Corny capitalism”? Does that have anything to do with ethanol?

      • Garym

        Should money be the main influencer of an election victory rather than ideas and morality and the general promotion of the common good?

        I came cross this site. I make no claim to its accuracy as i have not seen it before but if correct the sums of money concerned and the various vested interests involved seem disturbing

        I don’t believe that the richest person or organisation should necessarily call the shots.

      • GaryM, so how would you make sure your local politician represented you rather than that big factory that is polluting your neighborhood, or he represents those manufacturers who want to oppose regulation so that they can make dangerous but more profitable products and exploit their workers (possibly including you) while doing it? It is an ideal of democracy that the politician stands with the average person, not the richest 1% of their constituency. With the richest or corporations in control, that is called a plutocracy or corporatocracy. Not what the Founding Fathers had in mind with “We The People” where it said “promote the general Welfare”.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        GaryM said:
        “Jim D,

        Excellent. Let’s pass a law that prohibits anyone from cont4ributing any money to political campaigns, or spending any money on their own ads.

        This is the progressives’ ultimate political wet dream. What it does is actually criminalize free speech.”
        So those with deep pockets are able to speek a bit more “freely”, eh? And foreign interests, (who made of 44% of the total contributions to both parties in 2012) should also have a voice in our poltical system, eh?

        Money, and the influence it buys should be taken out of the election process. The only way to do this is to:
        1) Limit contributions to individuals who are U.S. citizens (sorry, Corporations, you won’t count).
        2) Limit terms of office so no one gets to become a ‘career politician’.
        3) Enact anti-gerrymandering laws to prohibit politicians from picking their voters as opposed to theother way around.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Jim D. said:

        “With the richest or corporations in control, that is called a plutocracy or corporatocracy.”
        Yep, and worse still, they keep the voting population arguing moral issues while they control government and writing the laws to keep them in power and keep them getting even more absurdly rich.

      • Rgates

        We seem to be in agreement on this one. When free speech is routinely replaced by paid speech it seems to me that democracy is tarnished

      • The right has expanded the concept of “people” to include corporations and zygotes. This reduces the effect of the average person in decisionmaking, which is their goal. Republicans are decidedly not democrats, and not even republicans when you look at those definitions.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist | October 19, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        1) Limit contributions to individuals who are U.S. citizens (sorry, Corporations, you won’t count).

        How would you handle broadcast and media coverage by large commercial media outlets that are corporations allocating money to political speech through their coverage of politics?

        I don’t have a good answer for this.

      • “Money is property; it is not speech. Speech has the power to inspire volunteers to perform a multitude of tasks on a campaign trail, on a battleground, or even on a football field. Money, meanwhile, has the power to pay hired laborers to perform the same tasks. It does not follow, however, that the First Amendment provides the same measure of protection to the use of money to accomplish such goals as it provides to the use of ideas to achieve the same results.” – Justice John Paul Stevens.

        If I look at what he said using ranked goals, he ranks free speech above money. He seems to be saying one can inhibit money without inhibiting free speech. That to devalue one right is to strengthen another. Or perhaps to say, I can take away some of your rights to protect other rights of yours. That I will protect you by taking rights away from you. Striking a balance of taking enough away from you, so that you are protected when the subject is two of the most important rights, free speech and your money.

      • Jimd

        I don’t have a dog in this particular fight but I am not sure you can heap all the blame on the right.

        Here is a link to a site that details who spent money where in the last US elections

        It doesn’t seem to me that the Democrats are squeaky clean.
        It can’t be right for the people and organisations with the deepest
        Pockets to buy influence in this manner.


      • Tony – both the American right and left have a basket of issues that they demagogue publicly but will wink at each other on in private. Different basket but same behaviors.

      • Tonyb, yes, but the right tend to advocate for the top few, religious and nationalistic intolerance, and zygotes, while the left advocate for the disadvantaged and middle class. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything people who call themselves leftists advocate for, but the generic leftist has his/her heart in the right place in my opinion.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Reny asks:

        “How would you handle broadcast and media coverage by large commercial media outlets that are corporations allocating money to political speech through their coverage of politics?

        I don’t have a good answer for this.

        There is a very simple solultion to this: Give each candidate a certain number of time slots, that they can use at their own chosing. Broadcasters would not like this as they make a boatload of money from political advertisement, but it gets the money out of the game and levels the playing field to focus back on the message. Don’t we want the best men and wemen (those with the best ideas and leadership) to actually get their ideas out there, and not just those who have the deepest pockets backing them?

      • Reny, some countries have very strict rules about the media’s political coverage and advertising during election periods as well as campaign funds. The US doesn’t, and it is the richest who can take most advantage.

      • Ragnaar: and “Money is property…” but soon may end up worth no more than words and both end up equal at the bottom. ;(

        Seems we will have to fight to get both back where they belong.

      • Tonyb, I thought the Malcolm Forbes fiasco forever took that myth out to pasture and put it down. Money only goes so far. Money by itself can’t win campaigns.

      • There is a very simple solultion to this: Give each candidate a certain number of time slots, that they can use at their own chosing. Broadcasters would not like this as they make a boatload of money from political advertisement, but it gets the money out of the game and levels the playing field to focus back on the message. Don’t we want the best men and wemen (those with the best ideas and leadership) to actually get their ideas out there, and not just those who have the deepest pockets backing them?

        Just so I understand, you are suggesting all 1) all political coverage be blacked out by media organizations, 2) all political coverage specifically related to elections be blacked out by networks, 3) there should be regulated advertising during elections for candidates or something else altogether?

        My question relates to the broader topic of political coverage which as commonly rendered is a form of political speech, at least in my opinion. How does one regulate that or should one?

      • wayne:

        A diversified portfolio should include some hard assets such as real estate in my opinion.

      • Reny, some countries have very strict rules about the media’s political coverage and advertising during election periods as well as campaign funds. The US doesn’t, and it is the richest who can take most advantage.

        Here in the USA, it’s always election season, just a matter of intensity. As soon as 2012 was over, 2014 (who will take the House?) and 2016 (Hillary, will she?) election scenarios became commonplace news features. Do we stop this?

      • Reny, as far as I remember the British system, it has limited Party Political Broadcasts, clearly advertised as such, during an election campaign which is only a few weeks between election announcement and vote (not being based on a regular cycle like the US). There is no other partisan advertising on television, and presumably in newspapers. They also have to balance political items in the news.

      • Jim D | October 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
        Reny, as far as I remember the British system, it has limited Party Political Broadcasts, clearly advertised as such, during an election campaign which is only a few weeks between election announcement and vote (not being based on a regular cycle like the US). There is no other partisan advertising on television, and presumably in newspapers. They also have to balance political items in the news.

        Re-institute “The Fairness Doctrine”?

      • Reny, interesting. I had to Google that. In the US, as you say, the election cycle now seems continuous, especially with House races every two years, and potential presidential candidates making moves three years ahead. There are political TV channels now, and while these demonstrate the freedom of speech in this country, there is a lot of biased misinformation going on there together with talking points coordinated with respective political parties, making them mouthpieces for parties rather than “news” channels. People who watch these for their news get indoctrinated into one line of thinking, possibly no different from how the state TV services of certain one-party countries operate. I think this is unhealthy, but I see no solution that maintains freedom of speech. As always, the founding fathers had it right when Jefferson said how important a well-informed public was to the election system (“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government”). Well-informed should mean, informed of both sides of political arguments. The US public are not well informed with their partisan divide in their media.

      • Jim D | October 19, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
        Jefferson said how important a well-informed public was to the election system (“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government”). Well-informed should mean, informed of both sides of political arguments.

        I like Mencken’s updated version: “People deserve the government they get, and they deserve to get it good and hard,”

      • There’s the Mark Twain quote: We have the best government money can buy. It rings true. A government not bought would be better, and failing that, a well-informed citizenry would be resistant to paid-for propaganda.

      • tonyb,

        The progressives you think are agreeing with you that money in politics is bad, don’t.

        Ask them if they favor limiting spending on speech by labor unions and “non-profits”. No more Greenpeace ads, nothing from the teachers’ unions.

        Kumbaya my lord, kumbaya
        No ones speaking lord, kumbaya
        No ones speaking lord, kumbaya
        No ones speaking lord, kumbaya
        Oh lord, kumbaya

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Gary M. said:


        The progressives you think are agreeing with you that money in politics is bad.”
        Gary, who thinks he’s got so much figured out, but actually looks at the world through his very jaded conservative lens, knows very little. Big money in politics, no matter the source, is bad. Unions, Corporations, Special Interests, Foriegn Countries, Multinationals, the Ultra-rich elite…it makes no difference…it is all like an acid that eats away at our democracy and makes a mockery of our political process. Added to this acid of big money is the career politician control of the process, with their gerrymandering, sucking up to the teet of the big money, and turning the common voters against each other through the use of devisive moral issues, when in fact the main problem is the very sick process that the career politicians protect so mightily. Until the people march on Washington and demand changes…demand the end of gerrymandering…demand term limits…demand that big money be cut out of the game…the system remains corrupted and a sad parody of what it could be.

      • R. Gates, I applaud you for understanding it goes both ways. People are people and will behave as such regardless of what group they claim to belong to.

    • tonyb,

      Yes. First the Republican “leaders” have never wanted to actually stop the massive government spending. They just want to slow it a little so they can claim to be conservatives for the primaries.

      They will never risk their own political careers, or their positions of power in Washington, just to save the American economy.

      They do, however, love potempkin partisan fights. They House leaders in particular have to run for re-election every two years. Their greatest fear is to have conservatives organize and run someone against them in the primaries.

      This is why you will find that Republican “leaders” criticize conservative Republicans viciously, while engaging in genteel debate with Democrats. Benher can’t wait to agree with whatever Obama and Reid propose. But he has to stage these show votes as often as possible to show his conservative constituents that he “really cares”.

    • I’m just wondering if those people who claim that government sector deficits are too high also think that private sector surpluses are too low?

      If not ,maybe they could explain to me how both can be in surplus at the the same time? Or, even, how government deficits could be less without private sector surpluses being less too?

    • tonto2013,

      I’m slightly puzzled by that last comment. You think that a currency should be backed by gold, there is a big danger of hyperinflation, and yet you seem to see the relationship between public debt and private surplus?

    • tt,

      I do not believe there is a contradiction. Even the opponents of a return to commodity fully convertible money , like a gold standard, would accept that it does guard against inflation. I call that real money. What we have now is not real money. It is not money at all.

      Real money is also easier to understand. There is no reason why the Government cannot have some real money and the private sector have some real money too. Everything does not have to add up to zero as your video would suggest. I was skeptical at first but now I think it is correct. Correct, that is, only for the phoney fiat based so-called money we have now. That is a good additional reason for not using it.

  14. [Previously posted on wrong thread]

    “Craig Idso, an expert on the fertilization effects of elevated CO2 levels on various plant species, has done a new study of the positive externality (unintended economic consequence) of increasing CO2. In the 50 year period, 1961-2011, he estimates that there has been a $3.5 trillion benefit resulting from increased agricultural productivity. The projected benefits in the coming decades are even larger. Egad! How could any by-product of human activity possibly be good? That sure wasn’t what I was taught in school!” –Roy W. Spencer, 18 October 2013

    “Until we get an unbiased accounting of BOTH costs AND benefits of using fossil fuels, there is little hope in getting rational public policy that won’t do more harm than good.” –Roy W. Spencer, 18 October 2013

    • David L. Hagen

      Positive Externalities
      Estimating the Monetary Benefits of Rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations on Global Food Production

      . . .For a 300-ppm increase in the air’s CO2 content, for example, herbaceous plant biomass is typically enhanced by 25 to 55%, representing an important positive externality that is absent from today’s state-of-the-art social cost of carbon (SCC) calculations.

      The present study addresses this deficiency by providing a quantitative estimate of the direct monetary benefits conferred by atmospheric CO2 enrichment on both historic and future global crop production. The results indicate that the annual total monetary value of this benefit grew from about $20 billion in 1961 to over $160 billion by 2011, amounting to a total sum of $3.5 trillion over the 50-year period 1961-2011. Projecting the monetary value of this positive externality forward in time reveals it will likely bestow an additional $11.6 trillion on crop production between now and 2050. . . .

      • David L. Hagen.

        Thanks. Very interesting. It’s also interesting to compare the $3.5 trillion benefit for the previous 50 years and $11.6 trillion benefit for the next 50 years with Nordhaus’s estimate of the cost of a 50 year delay in implementing his optimal carbon price policy. He estimated the cost of a 50-year delay to be $3.5 trillion:

        The benefit of CO2 swamps the estimated damages. But the optimal carbon price could never be achieved and maintained, so there would be no benefits if it – for the reason I explained here:

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks Peter
        Compare the magnitude of our global fuel bill:
        Global consumption in 2013 is ~ 91 million bbl/day or 33 billion bbl/year.
        At $100/bbl that costs $3.3 trillion/year.
        Or about $132 trillion over the next 40 years just at present fuel costs.
        That is an order of magnitude greater than the $11.6 trillion benefit in crop production by 2050.

      • If the benefits swamp the damages, does that mean people will have to pay the fossil fuel producers for the net benefit? It doesn’t seem right people should get the benefits for free.

      • David L. Hagen


        Focused adaptation to any adverse consequences of such future global warming as might arise would be many times more cost-effective than doing anything now. “If the cost of the premium exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure,” Monckton advised.

      • David L. Hagen,

        It seems the figures being propagated by Roy Spencer, ClimateDepot and widely spread through the media are not from the original paper. The $ amount of the benefit being quoted and relayed is higher than in the original paper. I can’t find any explanation for why the figures have been changed. The original paper [1] refers to $3.2 trillion and $9.8 trillion benefits (for the past 50 years and projected future 50 years), but the Roy Spencer blog [2] and Climate Depot article says $3.5 trillion and $11.6 trillion. I’d like to know the justification. It seems to me to be the sort of dodgy stuff that discredits the work.



      • David L. Hagen

        Peter Lang
        Thanks for checking on the $ benefits. I agree. Mae Culpa.
        Craig Idso The Positive Externalities of Carbon Dioxide: Estimating the Monetary Benefits of Rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations on Global Food Production Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, 21 October 2013
        Page 3. Abstract

        The present study addresses this deficiency by providing a quantitative estimate of the direct monetary benefits conferred by atmospheric CO2 enrichment on both historic and future global crop production. The results indicate that the annual total monetary value of this benefit grew from $18.5 billion in 1961 to over $140 billion by 2011, amounting to a total sum of $3.2 trillion over the 50-year period 1961-2011. Projecting the monetary value of this positive externality forward in time reveals it will likely bestow an additional $9.8 trillion on crop production between now and 2050.

        Page 11

        Table 3. The total monetary benefit of Earth’s rising atmospheric CO2 concentration on each of the forty-five crops listed in Table 1 for the 50-year period 1961-2011. Values are in constant 2004-2006 U.S. dollars. . . .
        As can be seen from Table 3, the financial benefit of Earth’s rising atmospheric CO2 concentration on global food production is enormous. Such benefits over the period 1961-2011 have amounted to at least $1 billion for each of the 45 crops examined; and for nine of the crops the monetary increase due to CO2 over this period is well over $100 billion. The largest of these benefits is noted for rice, wheat and grapes, which saw increases of $579 billion, $274 billion and $270 billion, respectively

        Page 17

        Table 4. The total monetary benefit of Earth’s rising atmospheric CO2 concentration on each of the forty-five crops listed in Table 1 for the period 2012-2050. Values are in constant 2004-2006 U.S. dollars. . . .
        The results of the above set of calculations once again reveal a tremendous financial benefit of Earth’s rising atmospheric CO2 concentration on global food production. Over the period 2012 through 2050, the projected benefit amounts to $9.8 trillion, which is much larger than the $3.2 trillion that was observed in the longer 50-year historic period of 1961-2011.

      • David L. Hagen

        Caig Idso emailed that he had corrected his table from $11.6 trillion to $9.8 trillion. Jo Nova & Marc Morano have updated their posts.

    • David L. Hagen

      Bjorn Lomborg writes:

      My full-page article in today’s The Times, on our latest book How Much have Global Problems Cost the World? A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050 (

      It basically shows that most problems in the world are getting smaller, not bigger. Unfortunately, it is behind a paywall, but you can read about half here:

      and you can see all the research here:

      On climate change:

      Global warming is surprising, because the impact now is positive. The increased level of CO₂ has boosted agriculture because it works as a fertilizer. At the same time, the number of people dying from heat waves are more that outweighed by fewer people dying from fewer cold waves. In all, global warming benefits have increased from 1900 to almost 1.5% of GDP by now, but by 2025, they will peak and begin a rapid decline, leading to a net negative towards the end of the century.

    • Fascinating.

      “Until we get an unbiased accounting of BOTH costs AND benefits of using fossil fuels, there is little hope in getting rational public policy that won’t do more harm than good.” –Roy W. Spencer, 18 October 2013

      Roy’s logic is quite interesting. Of course, the reality is that by his logic we could just as easily say:

      “Until we get an unbiased accounting of BOTH costs AND benefits of using fossil fuels, there is little hope in getting rational public policy that won’t do more harm good than good harm.”

      Selective logic is selective, eh?

    • What if he is wrong and land temperatures continue to rise at a transient rate of 4 C per doubling, and the climatic dry zones shift polewards, and sea level rises by a meter by 2100 with an accelerating rate? How does that affect his analysis?

    • David L. Hagen

      Failures from relying on complex models
      Greenspan says the Fed’s very complex financial models failed to predict the economic crisis.
      Could the same cultural dynamics underly the failure of GCMs to predict the recent “pause”?

      • I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

      • Also, it was the best Greenspan had. Too bad for us he used it anyway.

      • This is from a memory from 2008, but one of the modelers, I believe he was from Ohio (or that area), wrote to some regulatory authority and told them the models were not able perform in a systemic crisis. So Greenspan was warned. His ego is such that he is warning proof.

      • David L. Hagen

        Any further leads would be welcome as they come to mind. Some issues were explored by the
        Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

        Systemic failure due to incomplete assumptions was revealed in:

        When home prices stopped appreciating, the model failed for those borrowers who were relying on refinancing for loan repayment. Lenders often made loans to risky borrowers under adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), with the expectation that because of home appreciation, the mortgagor would be able to refinance to a lower rate mortgage before the ARM rate increase kicked in. 12
        When the borrower had little de facto income, refinancing would be a
        significant means by which these mortgages would be paid. When home prices stopped apreciating, these borrowers could not refinance; in many cases, they defaulted. Nor was the “originate-to-distribute” model of mortgage lending, and its (allegedly) resulting moral hazard, the central problem causing the crisis, as some have alleged. 5 This model is critical to ensuring lending liquidity.’ 6 Investors and credit insurers taking the ultimate risk on securities backed by the mortgages should have more carefully assessed, and in the (near, at least) future assuredly will carefully assess, their risk.
        The financial crisis resulted from a cascade of failures, initially triggered by the historically unanticipated depth of the fall in housing prices.’7

        Do we have a similar problem today in climate science models by the assumption of major positive water vapor greenhouse gas feedback, resulting in “cascading failures”?
        Roger Pielke Sr. summarizes the current failures:
        Radiative Forcing, Radiative Feedbacks and Radiative Imbalance – The 2013 WG1 IPCC Report Failed to Properly Report on this Issue

    • David L. Hagen,

      Thank you for checking up in that. I guess someone has updated the figures from 2004-06 US $ to 2012 US$ without mentioning it. And its been reproduced on many different sites without anyone apparently checking the original reference. That’s not good.

  15. In 2013 the USA became the Worlds largest oil producer. Will they squander it or actually make some effort to reduce the $16 going on $17 trillion debt.

    I would put money on them squandering it and the debt continuing to grow out of control until the greatest crash in history.

    • How would you use the oil to reduce the debt? Tax it? Not likely as the Reps want no new taxes.

      • Subtle side point that may not be obvious to non-US citizens: the increase in production was pretty much entirely on private land. Thus your comment. The Obama administration has been dragging their feet on issuing public land leases pretty much from the beginning. The upshot of that is less revenue for the federal government.

        To be clear: the government is deliberately choosing to forfeit tax revenue, and instead send money overseas to hostile regimes to keep their green base happy. Granting more production leases would have two benefits; 1) more revenue to the treasury, and 2) less money to unsavory dictatorships.

        As a side note, they’ve also prevented the Keystone pipeline from friendly Canada, resulting in more imports from hostile dictatorships.

        They can always print more money. And who cares about the Middle East? Chicago cares about Chicago.

    • David L. Hagen

      J. Martin
      Read more carefully – USA became the largest “fuel” “LIQUIDS” producer, NOT “crude oil”, despite the “oil” title.
      U.S. surges past Saudis to become world’s top oil supplier -PIRA

      The United States still lagged both Saudi Arabia and Russia in production of just crude oil by about 3 million bpd, PIRA noted. Rounding out the top 10 oil suppliers were China, Canada, UAE, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Mexico.

      See the serious trends petroleum geologist Jeffrey Brown in The Export Capacity Index
      At historic trends to date, China and India will consume ALL Available( Oil) Net Exports in 15 years by about 2028. Global public debt has doubled in the last decade and fuel prices skyrocketed to as high as the economies could bear. See ASPO-USA

      Actuary Gail Tverberg at has numerous presentations with further sobering evidence for the strong of heart. e.g., Shale oil is not a long term answer. Now how do we provide enough liquid fuel to keep transport and our economies moving in the long term?

      Global conventional crude oil production effectively stopped growing in 2005, after having grown about 1 million bbl/day every year for 20 years. (Small increases since then are primarily non-crude oil).
      See Economist James Hamilton documents how oil production in every US State has been following a Hubbert type curve, with almost States (regions) having already past peak conventional crude oil production.
      “Oil Prices, Exhaustible Resources, and Economic Growth,” in Handbook of Energy and Climate Change, pp. 29-57, edited by Roger Fouquet. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013.

      “Historical Oil Shocks,” in Routledge Handbook of Major Events in Economic History, pp. 239-265, edited by Randall E. Parker and Robert Whaples, New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group, 2013. Working paper version here.

      40 of 54 countries have already peaked conventional crude oil production.

      The International Energy Agency 2012 projects unconventional oil production in the US will peak around 2020 and not exceed the US peak of conventional oil in 1970.

      The increased production appears only a temporary respite. We still have a much more serious long term depletion rate of about 5%/year in current oil fields and no projected increase in conventional crude oil production.

  16. I wonder if Bob Droege wants to have a friendly bet on Arctic sea ice minimum next September. I will guess it will be greater than this year. Do you want to predict that it will be less?

    • I’ll go with that.
      I’ll bet the extent, area and volume will be lower at the minimum next September.
      I still think the ice fell apart this last melt season, rather than any recovery.
      Piomas hasn’t updated for September yet, so I don’t know if the thickness continued in the death spiral fashion.
      Some of the ice that melted this year looked like it was the old stuff, which is less saltly, which means its easier to refreeze if the water is less salty.
      So it won’t be a surprise if the ice extent reaches the average for the 2000s during the freeze season. It’s almost there already. Some will herald that as a return to normal and evidence of a recovery, but not me.

      On Lucia’s I was about as far off this year as I was on the year before, if it wasn’t for 1 ignorant bet this year I would have been DFL. Always an outlier.

      • OK, the bet is on. You see the difference between us. I take a wild guess, based entirely on hope, and you reason things out.

  17. Chief Hydrologist

    I’m willing to bet 100 billion, gazillion quatloos that surface temperature on average this decade will be less than the last.

    Rounding down – 0.2 degrees cooler by the end of the decade in fact.

    – Well mixed greenhouse gases – 0.05 degrees C warming
    – Intensification of the Pacific cool mode – 0.15 degrees C cooling.
    – Sulphates – 0.02 degrees cooling
    – Solar cooling – 0.1 degrees C

    BTW – this sort of simple accounting doesn’t work over longer than a couple of decades at most. The system resets itself in a new configuration with a different trajectory for natural variability.

    • A four factor climate model! Who would have guessed it was that simple. Now about that reset…..

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      I’ll take that bet Chief. Australia is already having its warmest year on record as ENSO is perfectly configured to just allow average energy flows from ocean to atmosphere. With average energy flows, the underlying forcing and anthropogenic signal from accumulating GH gases comes out of the noise from natural variability.

      • RGates

        Your country already has a 17trillion dollar deficit. I’m not sure you should be making bets of this size until you repay your old debts. If you could pay us first our Govt might be able to reduce the cost of our heating. 7 out of 10 householders said they had to ration their heating needs last winter.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Sorry for your hardships over there Tony. We’ve got plenty of energy over here and more coming on line all the time. Consider a visit…and you may decide to stay!

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        But let’s not loose the point of my post…Chief is suggesting the decade of 2010-2019 will be cooler than 2000-2009, and I think it is more likely that it will be just the opposite as the long-term forcing from the continuing human carbon volcano rises above the noise of natural variability on decadal averages.

      • Rgates

        You are surely not suggesting that I should enjoy the financial benefits of Fracking? I am shocked.

        So, come for my meal (with dessert and coffee) and stay for a lifetime?

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        You would love Colorado Tony…that I can assure you. Whether to not you “stay for a lifetime”, that would be up to you. We have a nice energy mix here, a highly educated workforce, great outdoors and recreational opportunities, a moderate and well mixed political base. All we lack is being by the ocean…which is a biggie for me, but the rest makes up for it.

      • I would like to point this out from the NSIDC web site, I found it interesting.

        Contrasting weather conditions were a significant factor in this year’s higher sea ice extent and lower Greenland Ice Sheet melt intensity, compared to last year. This summer saw air temperatures at the 925 hPa level that were 1 to 3 degrees Celsius (2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit) lower than last summer. It was also a cool summer compared to recent years over much of the Arctic Ocean, and even cooler than the 1981 to 2010 average in some regions, particularly north of Greenland.

      • M Hastings

        The two warmest consecutive decades in greenland are the 1920’s and 1930’s. We will have to wait until 2020 to see f that will be beaten but this years cold will certainly knock the modern anomaly back.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        A sucker born every minute gatesy. BTW – it is common to begin the decade as in 2001, 2011, etc. Let’s define it that way. It has the advantage of avoiding the 1998/2001 climate shift seen in cloud data.

      • R. Gates, Certainly a Skeptical Warmist (or not)

        Chief Hydro,

        The 10 year period can be taken in any slice you want, so long as it is all consistent. The tradition for surface temperatures has been to begin at the beginning of a new 10 year even period – thus 1990-1999, 2000-2009, inclusive all 10 years in that period. If you want to begin to change that tradition to suit some personal preference you have for your much beloved 1998-2000 period so be it, but eventually, in whatever new time slice you want to use, you’ll find that each succeeding 10 year period is on average is warmer than the previous as the human carbon volcano continues to erupt with great vigor.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Official climatic normals cover a 30-year period of record, and are supposed to be updated through the end of each decade ending in zero (e.g., 1951-1980, 1961-1990, 1971-2000, etc.). The concept of a normal climate goes back to the first part of the 20th century. At that time, lasting to about 1960, it was generally believed that for all practical purposes climate could be considered constant, no matter how obvious year-to-year fluctuations might have been. On this basis meteorologists then decided to operate with an average or normal climate, defined by a 30-year period, called the normal period. Later, people became aware of the fact that climate is not constant, but undergo variations in itself.’

        Seriously – so natural variation can’t obscure the ‘human volcano’ even over such small periods. New depths of silliness for you gatesy.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Hydro said:

        “Seriously – so natural variation can’t obscure the ‘human volcano’ even over such small periods. New depths of silliness for you gatesy.”
        You of course must mean natural variation CAN obscure the forcing from the human carbon volcano over short periods as measured only by sensible heat in the troposphere, and thus, one must look at the overall energy balance of the complete system, paying particular attention to the largest energy reservoir and the one with the highest thermal inertia, which of course is the ocean. Particular focuse must be given to small changes in ocean to atmosphere energy flows, as even small changes can lead to big effects in the atmospheric sensible heat data.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I was of course paraphrasing you gates. It is difficult to communicate with anyone with such a limited appreciation of English conventions and who keep making such outrageous misinterpretations.

        But I have discussed the global energy dynamic that you keep returning to like a dog to a bone. Despite complexity, chaos and stadium waves – change in the energy content of the planet is almost completely determined by the energy flux changes at top of atmosphere. Ignoring radioactive decay in the mantle.

        d(W&H)/dt = power in – power out

        Where W&H is work and heat.

        Power in changes little in the visible band but seems to be of immense significance otherwise. Some people look to cosmic rays – I prefer the UV/ozone top down climate modulation theory. Changing warmth in the stratosphere – changes the distribution of atmospheric mass in the troposphere. Shifting jet streams – shifting patterns of winds, currents, clouds, ice, snow, dust and biology across the planet. In the context of a coupled, nonlinear system – the system is sensitive to small changes in power in.

        The PDO and ENSO have the same decadal signature. A warm PDO occurs at the same time as periods of more frequent and intense El Nino – showing without doubt that the decadal variations have the same origin. The most interesting and novel aspect of the Terwilliger climate theory is in linking top down modulation to the PDO and ENSO through temperature of water in the Californian and Peruvian currents respectively. More or less intense polar cyclones push more or less cold polar water into the coastal currents. A cooler surface facilitates upwelling of cool and nutrient rich abyssal water and vice versa. More or less upwelling off the North American coast persists for decades. Off the Peruvian coast the ENSO oscillation persists but with centennial and millennial variations in the intensity and frequency of upwelling.

        Power out changes considerably.

        In IR – huge changes from year to year, a cooling trend (from reduced cloud) of 0.7 W/m^2 between the mid 1980′s and the end of the 1990′s, a shift at the end of the century. Note the influence of ENSO on IR flux.

        In SW – seen here in cloud cover – a warming trend from reducing cloud between the mid 1980′s and 1990′s equivalent to about 2 W/m^2 change, a step change in the late 1990′s in the 1998/2001 climate shift and a plateauing since.

        It appears parsimonious to the level of stingyness to completely ignore the data – without even the semblance of equivocating. In the Enric Palle and Ben Laken cloud graph linked to tropical SST is used to cross calibrate ISCCP-FD and MODIS data. It brings us full circle to UV, ozone and the Pacific SST dynamic. Proxies show that El Nino has been more intense and frequent since 1920 than at almost any time in the past 1000 years. More salt in the Law Dome core is La Nina and more rain in Australia.

        The decadal changes in TOA flux associated with ENSO and the PDO suggest that the longer term patterns associated with changing SST over centuries to millennia are associated with significant but unknowable changes in cloud radiative forcing. Shorter term it takes considerable chutzpah to insist that you can explain climate without cloud.

        Bottom line is that energy content seems to have peaked around the turn of the century and this seems to be reflected in ocean heat temp.

        The sea level rise data from altimetry seem problematical. ARGO shows a steric rise of 0.64mm/yr in a period of decreasing freshwater content. That is a transfer of mass from oceans to land. This is of course much less than 3.2mm/yr from altimetry. The ARGO rise was caused by a (temporary and reversible) decrease in cloud cover over the period.

        Simple enough gatesy? Supported by data? Has explanatory and predictive power? Things seem a lot more complex than the simple AGW meme.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Hydrologist said:

        “Bottom line is that energy content seems to have peaked around the turn of the century and this seems to be reflected in ocean heat temp.”
        First, “ocean heat temp.” is a meaningless phrase. You can have heat content, but “heat temp” means nothing. But beyond that of course, you seem to think if you just throw up enough chum against the wall that something you throw will stick? No, ocean heat content did not peak around the “turn of the century”. We’ve been down this road before with you backpeddling, arm waving, and then finally admitting you were wrong. But here we go again…as you come up against that barrier to your further real growth. You can’t let go of a paradim that you’ve latched onto, knowing full well what it would mean if you did. Yep, the continual growth in CO2 over the last century+ is a big deal, and it is now overwhelming everything else that used to control climate before the human carbon volcano erupted with such vigor.

      • Chief Hydrologist


        You are a nasty little dweeb who ludicrously threatens to make life intolerable for people on blogs. Utterly pathetic. You pick up on a minor typo that is obvious but ignore the science. Again in your latest comment you seem content to repeat the simple and discredited AGW meme without being able to recognise or understand the leading edge climate science I referenced yet again. Certainly without anything beyond narrowly and tendentiously interpreted ARGO data in the way of refutation.

        It in fact makes no difference at all whether it is simply the surface not warming or the oceans as well. The carbon influence remains minor – the contribution to recent surface warming is at most 0.2 degrees C – and will be so for 100 years at least. But it seems much more likely than not that the entire world will cool over the next decades – including the oceans and the Arctic – as it has before. All the data is pointing that way.

        You argue that the current decade will be warmer than the last with nothing but babble about the human volcano the influence of which will be utterly inconsequential in the period.

        I made a rather light hearted wager to make a point that this decade is most certainly not warming unless we get an unprecedented shift in climate radically outside of the decadal pattern. Marcia Wyatt made the point recently that we really haven’t seen changes in this system that suggest this as a significant potential.

        My point that I have been making to idiots like you for years is that the world is not warming for a decade or so hence at least – and most certainly not before 2020. My ultimate point remains about the political implications of no warming for decades more. Any impetus to action will be lost for another generation at least. I will put it all down to the myopia of pathetic little – and overwhelmingly progressive – space cadets such as yourself. Interesting correlation there – space cadets are almost exclusively progressives.

        ‘Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that
        could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability.
        To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’

        You miss both the point and the science almost entirely. I am beginning to think that progressive space cadets are congenitally incapable of rational thought. Scratch that – I am convinced of it.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Chief Hydro wrongly and quite illogically said:

        “It in fact makes no difference at all whether it is simply the surface not warming or the oceans as well.”

        Oh, wouldn’t it be nice if you could easily, with a simple arm wave, write off the bulk of the energy in the Earth climate system, or simply try to suggest the relatively small and low thermal inertia of the atmosphere compares to that of the ocean. Of course it makes a difference. The oceans drive the temperature of the atmosphere to a large extent, and despite your absurd and unfounded pronouncements, the oceans have been gaining energy for decades. All the experts know this and have written extensively about it in numerous papers. Yet all you can do is name call, wave your arms, and try your best to confuse the unsuspecting or uneducated. Very pathetic.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Name call? You are laughable. You spend your time insulting and abusing – when not purveying empty, contentless rhetoric and arm waving about experts. I always go back to where you vowed to make life intolerable on the blog for someone or other you crossed – laughably unable to do anything of the sort of course but an example of your bullying buffoonery.

        On the science – I’d suggest that you get a relevant education before babbling on any more.

        Here is the ocean heat content –

        It is consistent with the energy data discussed.

        The surface temperature is driven by the oceans – solar energy is thermalised in the oceans and energy is lost from the oceans to the atmosphere. It is one of those minor points that seems to confuse space cadets – so we will make allowances for your repeated drooling iteration of the bleeding obvious.

        The rate of warming at the surface is at most 0.08 degrees C/decade. This rate on its own is of no concern to any rational person over reasonable time frames. Now if you can answer why any rate of change is a potential concern – then the education of a nasty little dweeb and his precious ideology can commence.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Now Chief,

        People can read all your flaming bombastic nuttery, or read up on the very latest scientific ocean heat content studies:

        Absolutely zero scientific papers would support your contention that ocean heat content peaked at the turn of the century, and certainly this very comprehensive recent study by over two dozen experts says quite the opposite, and fully reveals what absolute nonsense and nuttery you spew across this blog.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yes a lot of nuttery comes out of NOAA and all of the other peer reviewed and reputable sources linked to.

        I can’t even open yours. You might at least make an argument – quote a passage – provide a working link. Not merely arm wave about 2 dozen experts.

      • R Gates

        Tried to look at your link but got the message

        “the website declined to show you this web page.”

        Well! So there are bouncers at the door now who wont even let you peep inside the museum of great treasures. Are they hiding something? Do they want an entrance fee? Are they just plain rude? Do they think I’m a trouble maker? Is the museum empty?

        Should I pretend to be someone else? I haven’t even had a coffee yet this morning and already I’ve been refused entry…


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        Try this link to at least the abstract:

        This is a current and very robust 29 page paper, with over 24 contributors, that do an excellent job summarizing the current state of knowledge, research, and challenges related to understanding the trends in ocean heat content. It completely refutes Chief Hydrologist’s contention that ocean heat content “peaked at the turn of the century”.

        Here is a small part of the conclusion:

        “Despite these potential future improvements to ocean monitoring, past and present measurements show that the Earth is experiencing a net gain in heat, largely from anthropogenic factors [Hansen et al., 2005; Levitus et al., 2001], although the magnitude differs among individual studies. For ocean heat content, there have been multidecadal increases in energy content over the entire water column. Two recent detection and attribution analyses [Gleckler et al., 2012; Pierce et al., 2012] have significantly increased confidence since the last IPCC AR4 report that the warming (thermal expansion) observed during the late twentieth century, in the upper 700m of the ocean, is largely due to anthropogenic factors.”

      • Rgates

        The link actually allows you to read the whole paper. Its 29 pages. It had better be very very good…I will let you know in an hour or two…

      • I wonder, why they wrote that in the conclusions. The paper is, indeed, very interesting, but nothing substantial in the analysis that they present tells about the origins of the warming. Therefore that does not belong to the conclusions of this paper. Some comparisons with CMIP3 model simulations are made in Figure 14 and the word anthropogenic appears in the text only in conclusions and abstract.

        This paper stands on its real merits, and so must the estimates of the role of humans in the warming. When the issue is not analyzed in the actual paper, it should not be picked in this way to the conclusions.

        I do believe that the conclusion is correct, but I don’t like the way it’s presented in the paper. This behavior only adds to the belief that the scientists cannot keep to objectivity, but let their bias affect their scientific texts.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Tony & Pekka,

        Nice to see the two of you exhibiting the true spirit of skepticism. My hats off to you. My point in bringing forth this research, in addition to adding to the general awareness here, was to counter the continual claim by Robert Ellison (Chief Hydro) that ocean heat content “peaked around the turn of the century”. This erroneous and misleading statement won’t be believed by those who might be educated on the topic, but might be believed by those who somehow take his pronouncements at face value. It is an important enough point to get correct in the current climate debate, that it needs to be challenged every time he decides to utter it.

      • If the conclusion is correct, Pekka, why was it shown this way rather than demonstrated? Food for your thinking machine.

      • I haven’t followed this whole discussion, but I think it is fair to cite other papers on anthropogenic effects to put this paper’s results in a broader context. It is not their own conclusion, but that of the cited papers. In a paper, Conclusion often just means closing remarks, as opposed to plural Conclusions which would only summarize their own results. Yes, this can be confusing and is sometimes misused. Hopefully reviewers pick misuse up.

      • R. Gates,

        My comment is not about skepticism, it’s about proper writing of a scientific paper, including a review article on measurements of ocean temperatures.

        A paper should never present as conclusion statements that are not directly supported by the actual content of the paper. Comparing the results with other science related to the same quantities is alright, but that does not lead to this formulation.

        I would perhaps not react to this so much unless the same style had become so ubiquitous in climate science (in particular in journals like Science and Nature, but also more generally). I may be picky but I really dislike this habit. It may be even more prevalent when the actual results appear to contradict some of the main stream understanding. In this paper the low rates of observed warming might be an issue that could be interpreted in that way in spite of the discussion of chapters 5.3. and 6, which explain, how the overall rate of warming may be faster.

      • Kim,

        There are good other reasons to believe that AGW leads to warming of the oceans.

        The paper tells, what’s known empirically about the warming rate. It has a nice discussion of strengths and weaknesses of various methods of measurements. It discusses also the connection between observed temperatures, observed sea level rise, and changes in heat content estimated from these observations, but it does not discuss (outside of the conclusions) the origins of the warming, as that cannot be deduced from this information.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        You make a valid observation, but the paper does reference the research from which the conclusion was drawn, and at some point, the body of knowledge is assumed familiar to the reader. Remember, this paper was not in the popular press or written for the lay person. Still your point is valid as far as that goes, and, at least IMHO, you are exhibiting exactly the proper approach of honest rational skepticism. For me, the value of the paper is one of an excellent summary of current knowledge and gaps in knowledge in understanding what is happening in the oceans related to heat content changes. It is therefore a point of departure as well as a yardstick to measure the validity of certain statements by others.

      • R Gates

        Ok i have read it. It is a very good well laid out document that benefits from a good chronological structure that makes it easy to follow (but not on screen!). whether it is ‘scientific’ I will leave it to you and Pekka to debate.

        It seems to be out there without restriction and I would suggest to Judith that it would make a good thread here. Perhaps R Gates or Greg Goodman would like to summarise it?

        Without meaning to take anything away from the high quality of the paper-and I have previously researched this general area for my article on Historic SST’s- my overwhelming impression was that we still only have a vague ( but improving) idea of the historic temperature of the upper ocean in places and that there is by no means universal coverage The Data collected before 1970 or so can largely be discounted for a variety of reasons.

        The surface temperatures has been warming according to CET since 1690. Glaciers have been melting since 1750 according to Manley and Sea levels have been rising since around 1760 or so.

        It is likely therefore that ocean temperatures have also been rising. Why have these other matrix shown warming as it predates any man made effect?. Many here have theories. As far as the ocean goes in recent years could it be more sun? More cloud? Either would certainly impact greatly on ocean temperatures.

        I have selected a few items that reinforce my notion that although science is improving our knowledge of the upper ocean (let alone the abyss) is still rather fragmentary and subject to considerable amendments.
        —— ——
        4 Despite the importance of accurately measuring the thermal energy of the ocean, it remains a challenging problem for climate scientists. Measurements covering extensive spatial and temporal scales are required for a determination of the energy changes over time. While there have been significant advancements in the quantity and quality of ocean temperature measurements, coverage is not yet truly global. Furthermore, past eras of ocean monitoring have provided extensive data but variable spatial coverage. Finally, changes in measurement techniques and instrumentation have resulted in biases, many of which have been discovered with some account made.

        [9] An understanding of ocean heat content changes is only as good as the subsurface ocean temperature observations upon which these calculated changes are based. The subsurface temperature observing system is still relatively young when compared to atmospheric observing systems. What follows is a look at the developments and ideas that enabled implementation and precipitated changes in the observing system
        Many of the open ocean temperature profiles were measured during a small number of major research cruises [Wust, 1964]. Hence, the long-term mean seasonal variations, the year-to-year variance, and vertical structure of the ocean were not well described.

        22] Despite their widespread use, XBTs are not free of problems. Section 3 of this review will discuss these problems in detail. From 1967 to 2001, the XBT was a major contributor to the subsurface temperature observing system and was responsible for the growth of this system. However, it was still limited to major shipping routes and Navy and research cruise paths, leaving large parts of the ocean undersampled for many years. The XBT is also depth limited. While there are deep falling XBTs such as the T-5 that reach to nearly 2000 m, they are of limited use due to cost and the lower ship speed necessary for the drops.

        [26] By the 1990s, all the pieces were in place for a global ocean observing system: a scientifically based blueprint for systematic observations, a satellite network for real-time data delivery, technology for easy and accurate temperature and pressure (depth) measurements, and a reliable data distribution network. But the observing system was still limited by the need to take most measurements from ships, geographically limited, seasonally biased, and often costly to outfit and deploy

        This program, which moved beyond regional float deployments in 2001, scaled up to global coverage (ice-free ocean outside of marginal seas) by 2005 and reached its goal of 3000 functioning floats in 2007 [Roemmich et al., 2009]. The expected lifetime of an Argo float is 3–5 years, so the fleet must be continually renewed to maintain the 3000 float goal.(bearing in mind the vastness of te ocean this is a tiny number)

        [29] The subsurface temperature observing system has evolved from an ad hoc low vertical resolution sampling of the ocean with Nansen bottles to the more systematic, but low accuracy, limited depth and geographic coverage of the MBT, to the first sustained observing system with spatial coverage capable sufficient to reduce errors in global upper ocean heat content calculations with the XBT, to the systematic, tightly controlled, seasonally unbiased, near-global upper ocean coverage of the Argo floats. Interspersed within the main observing system data are high-quality bottle and CTD temperature measurements from projects such as WOCE (1990–1998). Historic studies of ocean heat content and other related variables need to take into consideration the changes in the observing system and the limitations of the system during each time period to fully interpret their results. Gliders, undulating CTDs, and sensor-outfitted animals are already starting to extend and expand the observing system, and full-depth Argo floats are under development with a goal of allowing an ever-improving understanding of ocean heat content variability and its place in the Earth’s climate system

        3.1.4 Summary of Biases
        [53] The biases listed above make different contributions to the total temperature bias. A depth offset even of a few tenths of a meter is important within the seasonal thermocline, whereas the depth bias due to the uncertainty in the FRE coefficients becomes more important at greater depth. The transient effects are important within a near-surface layer (~10 m

        However, many issues are still left unanswered, and uncertainties in the correction schemes persist

        A multidecadal increase in global ocean heat content in the upper 700 m (OHC 0–700 m) is evident in various observational estimates [e.g., Palmer et al., 2010, Figure 2], superimposed with interannual-to-decadal fluctuations. Prior to the full deployment of the Argo array in 2005, these estimates relied on a sparse and unevenly distributed set of subsurface temperature data (section 2), collected by a large and changing mix of instruments with various accuracies and biases (sections 3 and 4).


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        I concur with your general assessment of both the paper and the level of skepticism appropriate for our knowledge of ocean heat content trends. But I think, now that you read this excellent summary of the actual state of knowledge, you might see how I can’t leave Chief Hydro’s claim that ocean heat content “peaked at the turn of the century” unchallenged. It would do a great disservice to the readers of this blog to do do.

      • Don’t know if it’s warming. Even if, don’t know why. If it’s warming it must be outgassing, no?

        It’s boooooring, but I return to my theme; any heat the ocean is sequestering will be useful to man at the end of the Holocene.

      • Rgates

        I have been following your debate. I think Chief needs to demonstrate why he puts forward this supposition.

        Did you ever get that item on SSW’s I sent you from the Royal Meteorological journal.?

        It started;

        by Alan Heasman
        As readers may know, the unusually persistent cold
        north-easterly winds of early 2013 over the UK were
        attributed, at least in part, to a ‘Sudden
        Stratospheric Warming’ (SSW) event which was first
        detected in the Northern Hemisphere stratosphere
        in late December 2012. Although it is somewhat of a
        ‘chicken and egg’ debate, the general consensus is
        that during the northern hemisphere polar winter,
        long-wave disturbances in the troposphere begin to
        affect the ‘normal’ strong west to east flow of the
        Polar Night Jet in the stratosphere to the point when
        the dynamics of the flow break down and it is
        replaced by a strong east to west flow. This is
        followed by a subsidence of the stratospheric air
        into the upper troposphere accompanied by
        significant dynamic warming – hence the SSW. The
        east to west flow then penetrates even lower into
        the troposphere and may at times lead to an onset
        of a cold flow from the Arctic and the east which in
        Britain can cause a persistent cold situation, as
        occurred in early 2013. More detailed descriptions
        east to west flow then penetrates even lower into
        the troposphere and may at times lead to an onset
        of a cold flow from the Arctic and the east which in
        Britain can cause a persistent cold situation, as
        occurred in early 2013. More detailed descriptions
        of the SSW process can be found on various
        The first regular and continuous measurements of
        the stratosphere (up to 40 km/ 2mb level) were
        made by Professor Richard Scherhag in 1951 from
        Berlin. This led him to make the first recorded
        observations of an SSW in early 1952.


      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist


        Thanks for that SSW info. A pretty accurate description of what occurred last winter (and 2009, and 2006, and 2003). I’m getting good enough at reading the 10 hPa charts that I can spot these developing a few weeks out now. Few people think of air descending from the stratosphere over the pole as a cause for both warming (over the pole) and cooling for lower latitudes. Fewer still see the link in this chain of events from the pole all the way down to air that gets cooled and pulled up over the equator simultaneously– a teleconnected event spanning some 9000km! These events give a little “kick” to the NH winter Brewer-Dobson circulation. All quite amazing IMO.

      • agreed that this is an important winter forecasting tool, we use this also

    • Given the poor forecasting of the last few decades by the other side, I would have to think your bet is pretty safe.

  18. adjustment.

  19. Brussels fears European ‘industrial massacre’ sparked by energy costs

    “We face a systemic industrial massacre,” said Antonio Tajani, the European industry commissioner.

    Mr Tajani warned that Europe’s quixotic dash for renewables was pushing electricity costs to untenable levels, leaving Europe struggling to compete as America’s shale revolution cuts US natural gas prices by 80pc.

    “I am in favour of a green agenda, but we can’t be religious about this. We need a new energy policy. We have to stop pretending, because we can’t sacrifice Europe’s industry for climate goals that are not realistic, and are not being enforced worldwide,” he told The Daily Telegraph during the Ambrosetti forum of global policy-makers at Lake Como.

    “The loss of competitiveness is frightening,” said Paulo Savona, head of Italy’s Fondo Interbancario. “When people choose whether to invest in Europe or the US, what they think about most is the cost of energy.”

    A report by the American Chemistry Council said shale gas has given the US a “profound and sustained competitive advantage” in chemicals, plastics, and related industries. Consultants IHS also expect US chemical output to double by 2020, while Europe’s output will have fallen by a third. IHS said $250bn (£160bn) in extra US manufacturing will be added by shale in the next six years.

  20. Three Mile Island, Global Warming and the CIA

    This article examines some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. …

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      When the facts don’t match your preconceptions and biases, turn to conspiracy,

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      That’s exactly what the stance is for those whose last resort is –“it’s all a big conspiracy!” If the facts don’t match your preconception, then, “someone must have doctored those facts up!” This is the last resort of those who refuse to shift their paradigm.

      • The facts ALL match. Sadly, for the warmists they don’t.

      • R Gates

        Are you talking about skeptics here?


        There’s no “skeptic conspiracy” (Exxon, the Koch Bros., Lindzen…).

        Also no “CAGW conspiracy”.

        But, since CAGW has become a tax-payer funded multi-billion dollar big business with several individuals and groups already benefiting or hoping to get a slice of the pie, there is a general collusion of individual self-interests, which is working to keep the CAGW message and hysteria alive.

        But forget about conspiracies, Gates.

        They are just figments of an overactive imagination.

        Now, as far as “shifting” from the prevailing “CAGW paradigm”, I believe that this will take another 15 years or so of slight global cooling despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels. That should result in the “paradigm shift” to which you allude.


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        ALL facts? You would surely want to include the largest energy reservoir of the ocean then, right?

      • Yes, certainly. There is no factual evidence of warming “hiding” in the deep ocean. “Hiding” should have been your clue.

      • Sorry. Sea level rise does not constitute evidence of deep ocean warming. Even if it did it would not constitute evidence of AGW much less CAGW. Three strikes and you are out.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        So the best data we have on ocean heat content over the 40+ years! that shows a continual gain on decadal timeframes should be tossed out and we should focus on the smaller energy reservoir of the atmosphere, that also happens to have much smaller thermal inertia and by highly dependent on energy flows from that ocean that you’d like to ignore?

      • I find it curious that the catastrophists placed so much emphasis on global average surface temps until it became totally untenable and now we are supposed to look at something else. Don’t you?

        Have you ever considered the enormous heat released from volcanic eruptions in the oceans? Or the fact the upwelling currents vary on multi-decadal cycles?

        Anyhow, the alarmist claims, which are also ALL failing, rely on surface temp changes, not deep ocean temp changes. If the deep ocean actually did rise in temperature which calamity do you predict?

      • then how do you explain the sea level rise aletho?

        Has Antarctic and Greenland melt sharply accelerated?

      • Sea level rise has hardly accelerated. Your question has no bearing on my topic.

      • But if the ocean has stopped warming why hasn’t sea level rise slowed down?

      • Aletho and Gates

        First of all, I think we all agree that there are no meaningful data prior to ARGO in 2003 regarding upper ocean temperatures.

        After its commissioning, ARGO initially showed slight upper ocean cooling; after some corrections were made, it showed slight upper ocean warming (1.4E+22 Joules per decade). This is roughly equivalent to an imputed average upper ocean warming of 0.0015C per year.

        Using SL rise as a proxy for average ocean temperature is a pretty dicey endeavor.

        From the tide gauge record we know that SL rose by about 2mm/year on average over the first half of the 20thC and about 1.4mm/year over the second half. So there was a slight decelerating trend. However, there were large differences in the decadal average rates, from -1mm/year to +5mm/year.

        IPCC switched from the tide gauge records to satellite altimetry, starting with the 1990s. The two methods measure a totally different scope: satellites measure the entire ocean except polar and coastal regions (that cannot be captured), while tide gauges measure SL at various coast lines (where people live), so an “apples/oranges” comparison of the two is meaningless.

        Most recently the satellites show an increase of 3mm/year, or well within the 20thC range. But SL measurement by satellite altimetry is still fraught with very large error bars, as NOAA concedes.


        – We do not know if the upper ocean has warmed perceptibly over the past, because there are no data

        – We know even less about the deeper ocean (0-2000m or even deeper)

        – We know that SL is rising at a rate that is not inconsistent with past decadal rates of rise, even though measurement methods and scopes have changed

        – As pointed out by Aletho, the key indicator for AGW used by IPCC has always been the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” (HadCRUT3 and 4) – this indicator has shown slight cooling over the past 12 years, despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels

        – To rationalize away this “pause in warming” by surmising that the “missing heat” is “disappearing” into the deep ocean based on the limited data that are available would be totally absurd.

        I could imagine that lolwot would do something this silly in his blind faith in CAGW, but I would expect you, Gates, as a self-proclaimed skeptical warmist, to be more cautious.


      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Max said:

        “First of all, I think we all agree that there are no meaningful data prior to ARGO in 2003 regarding upper ocean temperatures.”

        Wrong. That is an extreme view, suggesting that just because uncertainty grows that the data is not meaningful, especially when combined from multiple sources.


        For the very best summary of what we know about ocean heat content over the past 50 years or so.

      • R. Gates


        You have just confirmed that there are no meaningful observational data on OHC prior to ARGO in 2003.

        And ARGO data tell us that there has been very slight upper ocean warming since then.

        It’s all theory and conjecture plus some scattered and totally unreliable spot measurements prior to ARGO, Gates.

        We now have better observational data since 2003 (let’s hope these are not being adjusted, corrected and manipulated to death in order to confirm the desired warming ocean hypothesis).

        So let’s wait a few decades to see what these data tell us.


        PS If you want to call yourself “the skeptical warmist”, Gates, you need to display a bit more skepticism of every blurb that gets published, rather than simply accepting them all a priori – just some advice from another “skeptical warmist”.

  21. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Is it possible to contact IPCC’s WGI coordinating lead authors:
    – Gumar Myhre (CICERO) & Drew Shindell (NASA), CLAs of the Chapter 8: Anthropogenic and natural radiative forcings.
    – Gregory Flato (Env. Can.) & Jochem Marotzke (MPI Met.), CLAs of the Chapter 9: Evaluation of climate models.
    – Matthew Collins (U. Exeter) & Reto Knutti (ETH Zurich), CLAs of the Chapter 12: Long term climate change projections.
    and challenge them?.
    In their chapters, there is an abuse of science in order to support IPCC’s historic claims (check my document):
    but can we contact these CLAs and ask them … if scientific deduction drives us towards “A”, why are they interested in driving climatic science (and world’s policies) towards “Z”?.

  22. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Some of you who understand the significance of the QBO (and it’s effects on things like ENSO) might be interested to know that we have seen one of the longest periods of continual westerly winds at 10 hPa ever measured (now coming up on 18 straight months!):

    The last such period that was even close was 1975-1976, but that only lasted about 15 months. Average length is just over 11 months, as easterlies usually last slightly longer.

    • RGates

      If you want to learn about the prevalence of westerly and easterly winds (over decades not months) and over a historic time scale you can do no better than read Lambs ‘Historic storms of the North sea, British Isles and Northwest Europe’ where our prevailing westerlies continually change with easterlies to the point where I doubt the word ‘prevailing’ should be used.

      The records in this book go back to 1509 although there are pretty good records back to Roman times as for instance the prevailing winds of the time helped or combated the Roman and Norman invaders. The Spanish armada was an example where the prevailing wind patters had changed. Hansen also wrote a good article on prevailing winds complete with some worthwhile graphics.


  23. Hello all: My co-author and I have a new draft of Cartoon Climate Change Chapters 1-11 and we’re welcoming feedback!

    I’ve posted previous drafts before, but here’s the latest draft, which covers Parts 1 and 2 (on climate science and climate impacts, respectively, including Ch 11 on Uncertainty) as a 1-to-a-page PDF or as a 2-to-a-page PDF. (The latter is better for printing and mimicking the feel of holding an actual book.) Part 3 (on policy) will be out in the next month or so.

    Comments welcome on the wiki or on this thread. Note that Chapters 1-7 are close to being locked-in except for text changes, but of course we’re always happy to correct errors and consider alternatives; Chapters 8-11 are in much rougher shape and have greater potential for structural change.

    • There are many recent papers that indicate further warming from today as being about 1 C not 4 C. You also have skipped that clouds vary over time reducing solar insolation and changing the energy balance by reducing the energy in side of the equation.

  24. Alan Greenspan has an excellent article in the WSJ today. Some excerpts follow.

    the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, goes to a lot of parties. He and his wife, the TV journalist Andrea Mitchell, “sort of get invited everywhere,” he says, sitting in front of the long bay window in his office on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C. Lately, though, cocktails and dinners seem to have guest lists drawn almost exclusively from one political party or the other. “It used to be a ritualistic 50-50 at parties—the doyennes of culture and partying were very strict about bipartisanship,” he adds. “That doesn’t exist anymore.”

    Mr. Greenspan’s biggest revelation came one day about a year ago when he was playing with gross domestic savings numbers. What he found, to his surprise and initial skepticism, was that an increase in entitlements has closely corresponded to a decline in the country’s savings. “We had this extraordinary increase in benefits, with each party trying to outbid the other,” he says. “That practice has been eroding the country’s flow of savings that’s so critical in financing our capital investment.” The decline in savings has been partly offset by borrowing from abroad, which brings us to our current foreign debt: “$5 trillion and counting,” he says.

    I’m wondering if the first paragraph is also an indication of Climate science today. I also liked how he said in the second paragraph, “We had this extraordinary increase in benefits, with each party trying to outbid the other,”

    It seems, at least to me, that our differences of opinion and severe partisanship is causing great harm.

    • Thanks for the heads up. I am going out to buy a copy of WSJ right now. We certainly have had an orgy of conspicuous consumption for the last several decades.

    • “We had this extraordinary increase in benefits, with each party trying to outbid the other.”

      leads to

      “It seems, at least to me, that our differences of opinion and severe partisanship is causing great harm.”

      Our problems are not caused by partisanship, but the lack of it. And those two statements show exactly how.

      There was no partisan fight over the massive increased spending under both Bushes. For decades there was no partisan fight over the Democrats’ massive increases in spending either. Republican leaders complained just enough to avoid primaries, but never really stopped any major Democrat initiative.

      Even Hillarycare, Obamacare’s promiscuous mother, was not really defeated by Republicans. It was defeated by the public, and insurance companies Harry and Louis campaign. (Which is why the Obamaites bribed the insurance companies with dreams of becoming crony capitalists, rather than the economic cannon fodder Obamacare makes them.)

      You want to see bipartisanship? Look to Europe, with the impending implosion of the PIIGS,the constant brinksmanship on the Euro, no real national defense, and the slow decline of even the Germans.

      Partisanship means two sides of a debate are making their arguments to the voters.

      Bipartisanship means the “elite” have gotten together and decided what is best for themselves; and how to sell it to those stupid voters.

      • I don’t understand the need to “belong” to a political party and probably never will.

        I do like this statement though. “Bipartisanship means the “elite” have gotten together and decided what is best for themselves; and how to sell it to those stupid voters.”

    • Mr. Greenspan then believed in analysis based mainly on hard science and empirical facts. Rand told him that unless he considered human nature and its irrational side, he would “miss a very large part of how human beings behaved.” At the time they weren’t discussing economics, but today he realizes the full impact of emotions and instincts on markets.

      AGW certainly fits the description of the irrational side of human nature and something that we cannot help but realize has an impact on markets.

    • If this is a revelation that is (relatively) recently just kicking in for AG, it makes one wonder how we select Fed chairs.

      Vis a vis your observation, in my opinion we’ve become a hodgepodge of client special interest groups, loosely assembled under R & D, Lib/Con, Right/Left etc. labels. Accepting the patronage of one’s selected brand for one’s special interest may provide false assurances that the brand is looking out for you in other areas (and if not, who cares as long as one’s special interest is served) – so one buys the platform by default.

      Additionally, there are probably some correlated ideological threads to present affinity between sub-elements – fittest role of government, emphasis on equality vs. liberty, who are the ‘bad guys’, etc. that reinforces this kind of alignment.

      Why is it more emphasized now? One would first have to accept that Greenspan’s cocktail party anecdote is both accurate and indicative of a larger issue. The adage that “Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.” seems like it could be ripped from the headlines, but it’s a quote from Will Rogers. Many would argue that politics was rougher and more divisive back in the days of Jefferson and Adams. We also experienced civil war. Although Greenspan is elderly, his experience doesn’t go back that far so one should not misinterpret Greenspan’s account of a new personal experience as actually being a new thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were actually somewhat of a norm over the long haul.

      However, let’s stipulate that he’s correct as far as this being a recent change in the dynamic.

      Because politicians are politicians and in great numbers respond to the electoral carrot and stick, my opinion is that our conditions currently reward divisiveness and punish cooperation. Otherwise, politicians would behave differently. Here are some possible drivers to consider:

      1) Constituent pressure based on electorate composition that is decidedly either D or R with fewer 50/50 districts, states, etc.
      2) Higher proliferation of and ease for grass-roots interest groups to use technology to raise money for one side or the other rather than ‘paying off both sides’ ala Wall St. for example.
      3) More diversity in media to present opposing points of view.
      4) Grim economic performance and prospects motivates groups to define the ‘other’ who deserves blame.

      At a strictly personal anecdotal level, many on the right whom I encounter feel a lingering but deep betrayal over the growth of size, scope, and role of government under Bush and an increasingly low threshold and high sensitivity to this topic, even (or especially) when dealing ‘within the tribe’. I can’t imagine that politicians aren’t aware of this.

      This is all speculation and I offer no scientific or demonstrable proof for any of this, so no one need ask. For some reason I feel like I need to add that.

      • Reny, we have always had special interests and partisan politics based on my readings of US history. But over the past few decades, beginning I think with LBJs great society programs, three things have changed that have brought about the present impasse in Congress. First, a lot more people now get government entitlements directly (entitlement programs) or indirectly (e.g. Government employee union benefits). Second, the dynamics of the post WW2 baby boom mean that the annual present cost of those promised entitlements is skyrocketing, and will continue to do so for at least another 20-30 years. And those costs are far worse than is apparent (e.g. Underfunded government employee retirement and health benefits). Third, there seems to have been a decline in leadership and ‘statecraft’ and an increase in demagoguery and ‘stagecraft’. Reasoned arguments have been replaced by sound bites. This last is simply due to the decentralized rise of electronic ‘new’ media, and the decline of ‘old media’.
        Bottom line, we are now between a rock and a hard place, while elected officials play to their media audiences. It will IMO take a big, true crackup to get any real reform alongnthe Simpson-Bowles lines. Happened in England when the pound got disintermediated. Allowed Thatcher to push through real reform. Unlikely for the US since the dollar is the defacto world reserve currency. So I am rather pessimistic at the moment.

      • “1) Constituent pressure based on electorate composition that is decidedly either D or R with fewer 50/50 districts, states, etc.”
        Think about that one for a minute. This is the product of gerrymandering. Who benefits from a preponderance of “safe” districts? Answer: politicians for life. The polarization is largely an artifact of the deliberate creation of uncompetitive fiefdoms. And yes, both parties are guilty.

        What they’ve essentially done is create a House of Lords within the House of “Representatives”. What’s to represent, when you’re guaranteed reelection until death by 80% margins?

      • What they’ve essentially done is create a House of Lords within the House of “Representatives”. What’s to represent, when you’re guaranteed reelection until death by 80% margins?

        Are you a fan of term limits?

        I wasn’t for many years for reasons such as:

        – The loss of competency would be deleterious.
        – The churn of larger waves of new officials would be unproductive for continuity of the legislative process.
        – A constant revolving door of elected officials increases the probability that money will buy office for increasingly opaque and dubious candidates.

        I’m decidedly not as persuaded by these arguments as I used to be.

      • Reny, we have always had special interests and partisan politics based on my readings of US history. But over the past few decades, beginning I think with LBJs great society programs, three things have changed that have brought about the present impasse in Congress…..
        …… Bottom line, we are now between a rock and a hard place, while elected officials play to their media audiences. It will IMO take a big, true crackup to get any real reform alongnthe Simpson-Bowles lines. Happened in England when the pound got disintermediated. Allowed Thatcher to push through real reform. Unlikely for the US since the dollar is the defacto world reserve currency. So I am rather pessimistic at the moment.

        What I sometimes question is what seems to me to be the often promoted notion that bipartisan compromise is some kind of paragon of good governance. Are there times when fierce competition for ideas isn’t just as, or more valuable? I am increasingly less confident in government’s role and ability to solve large problems sans equally adverse unintended consequences (especially over the last two administrations) which may explain my curiosity. Exit question: Gridlock, feature or bug?

        You seem to be convinced that collapse is inevitable and I’m curious whether you have any leanings to either the ‘let nature take its course’ camp or the ‘fight like hell to mitigate bad outcomes’ camp?

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Harold brilliantly said:

        “What they’ve essentially done is create a House of Lords within the House of “Representatives”. What’s to represent, when you’re guaranteed reelection until death by 80% margins?”
        Yep, and worse still, you can be as whacky and radical as you want, and because of your gerrymandered district, the more radical and whacky the better. All this of course leads to great dysfuntionality in the House, as the radicals can get a greater voice. Added to all this is the absurd and anti-democratic “Hastert Rule” that says no bill will come to the House floor unless a majority of the majority are for it. Very un-Amercian not to let the people’s elected representatives vote.

      • Interesting and recent analysis of the effects of redistricting. The author is an elections analyst named Sean Trende, Sean’s background (via Wiki)

        Sean P. Trende is a journalist and political analyst with RealClearPolitics specializing in American elections analysis. He has regularly appeared as a guest on Fox News, NPR’s All Things Considered and CNN Radio. Washington Times called him “a premier political number cruncher”. He is the author of Lost Majority published by Palgrave Macmillan.[1] On September 12, 2012, National Journal announced that Trende would be a co-author of the 2014 Almanac of American Politics.[2]
        Trende holds a B.A. degree Yale University, M.A. in political science and J.D. from Duke University.[3] He resides in Midlothian, Virginia.[4]

        His conclusion

        When I tried to simulate the maps in all 50 states that would be drawn by independent redistricting commissions, I ended up drawing about the same number of Republican and Democratic seats as we see under the present lines.

        This is part of why Republicans could pretty much obliterate Democrats in a swing state like North Carolina, but Illinois Democrats had to bend over backwards to draw lines where two-thirds of the state’s districts would elect Democrats, even with that state’s overwhelmingly Democratic orientation these days.

        Again, the point here isn’t that gerrymandering hasn’t had any effect on party polarization. It is just that the effects are likely very small. What’s really happened, more than anything else, is that conservative areas of the country have, at least for now, become extremely reluctant to elect conservative or moderate Democrats, while liberal areas have largely given up on liberal or moderate Republicans. This has resulted in party caucuses that are increasingly made up of ideologues, and has made political compromise difficult. If there’s anyone to point the finger at, it’s ourselves.
        Follow us: @RCP_Articles on Twitter

  25. I didn’t mean to imply he wrote the article but I did, sorry.

  26. Ok. As I struggle to understand climate science with my humble training in HVAC, some questions occur to me.

    The idea now is that global warming is at a hiatus because thermal energy is being transported into the deep oceans (at around 700 meters). If the deep oceans are being warmed, as Trenberth and others speculate with deep water mixing initiated by stronger surface winds, or as others speculate by mixing initiated by surface eddies and gyres , it follows that there must be specific locations in the ocean where this mixing is taking place, and other places where it is not. What can’t be happening is a uniform increase in temperature across the entire globe.

    I’ve been reading Lubos Motl’s observations on deep ocean heating, and he also takes a global approach. But obviously, this heating has to begin regionally.

    If the deep oceans are getting warmer, where are they getting warmer? A generalized explanation like “in the band of the tropics” will not do, there must be specific geographical locations. It seems to me that the ARGO data would pinpoint not only these hot spots, but also the isotropic wave propagating out of them.

    Because heat expands isotropically, like an ink drop on paper. How long would it take for warmed deep water in, say, the Pacific Warm Pool, to begin warming up water in say, the Sea of Japan?

    If the rise in deep water temperature is global and roughly uniform – doesn’t that imply a problem with the instruments?

    • “a problem with the instruments”

      Ken, raising that kind of issue is ‘science’. This is ‘climate science’. You should rather be thinking of how evolution and gravity mean AGW is true.


    • Ken your questions are spot on

    • Ken it is funny how the “global” theme gets over used and regional trends tend to get ignored. For ARGO they do at least have ocean basin data available but it would be nice to have tropical zones separated from mid-high latitude zones. But then they are only looking at total capacities and not heat distribution :)

      • “It amuses me that R Gates and not J Curry provides the answer.”

        It amuses me lol, that you can’t tell the difference between a throwaway internet blog comment full of unsupported assertions from an ‘answer’.


      • It amuses me that you replied to the wrong comment!

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Funny Capt., that it is not called Anthropogenic Regional Warming. Wonder why? Oh yes, because it is about net increases in EARTH’s energy balance.

      • R. Gates, “Funny Capt., that it is not called Anthropogenic Regional Warming. Wonder why? Oh yes, because it is about net increases in EARTH’s energy balance.”

        That is why you need to be able to isolate the regional issues to discover the global impact. If one regional zone warms the surface air more than another it is loosing more energy to space than the others. It is not adding as much to “Climate” BDC and SSW events are responses to imbalances, regional/hemispheric issues. :)

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


      As you struggle to understand the dynamics of increases in ocean heat content, I suggest you think of it terms of net energy flow. When doing so, you realize that it is alterations in the net flow from ocean to atmosphere that is important to increasing ocean heat content. The net flow is always positive from ocean to atmosphere, with at least 50% of the energy in the atmosphere coming from the ocean in one form or another. Thus, very small alterations in this flow, such as during El Niño (more net energy) or La Niña (less net energy) makes a huge difference in atmospheric temperatures. The continual increase in greenhouse gases continually alters the net flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere to space– slowing it down through alterations in the thermal gradient. The increase in ocean heat content has seen no “pause” over the past 50 years on decadal time frames, just as would be expected with the continual increase in GH gas concentrations.

      • I thought it wasn’t science if you couldn’t describe the mechanism? At least that was the type of criticism I saw on the “stadium wave” thread.

        So we don’t need to study how this heat is being teleported to the deep sea. We just need to take one measurement for every 100,000+ square kilometers of ocean, administer some statistical adjustments, design a model including many of our assumptions in the code, and – Voila! A net rise in global ocean temps. Here’s the missing heat! (And stop asking how it got there.)

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        Your comment is an excellent example of complete lack of understanding of net energy flows between ocean and atmosphere, and even simple thermodynamic concepts.

      • It amuses me that R Gates and not J Curry provides the answer.

        Another point that backs the measurements of ocean heat content rise is that sea level continues to rise.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        I would be curious to see how ocean heat content plays into the stadium wave hypothesis as it progresses in development.

      • R. Gates, net energy flows tell me nothing about what’s going on.

        When trying to find a malfunctioning radiator, I don’t measure the net energy flow in the building; I isolate which room is not heating properly.

        With the mechanisms proposed, the increase in sea temperatures at great depth cannot possibly be isothermally uniform around the globe, or even in a generalized region like “the tropics”. Some locations have to be getting warmer faster.

        It still seems to me that the data must be there to create a regional scatterplot. It would be imprecise because the ARGO buoys cast a thin net, but animated over time the general geographic location of the hot spots, and their isotropic wave, could be roughly defined.

      • As I understand it, “net energy flow” is how the consensus describes the process by which the top layer of the ocean is warmed as a result of GHGs. It does not describe how that heat then makes its way to the deep ocean. Which was, after all, the issue in the comment.

        I found this in a recent comment by Gavin Schmidt on Real Climate:

        “Energy fluxes into the ocean are a combination of radiative (LW + SW), sensible and latent (and a bunch of small terms associated with rivers, icebergs, sea ice etc.). CO2 changes the LW fluxes directly and the other fluxes indirectly – and the net effect is to increase surface air temperatures over the ocean over what they would have been. That leads to a net heat flux into the surface ocean where it anomalously heats the mixed layer (and circulation slowly diffuses and advects that heat into the deeper ocean). It has almost nothing to do with any ‘direct’ heating of the oceans by CO2 directly, but rather follows from basic conservation of energy once the surface fluxes are modified by the higher CO2.”

        How does ” net heat flux into the surface ocean” square with “the net flow is always positive from ocean to atmosphere?”

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        Earth’s climate system is not like looking for a malfunctioning radiator. There is not a single location that heating is occurring in the oceans as greenhouse gases work globally to alter the overall flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere to space. The closest analogy you could find in your HVAC model would be to do a thermal image of a house that had more insulation added everywhere, and comparing it to before the insulation was added.

      • R. Gates, “The closest analogy you could find in your HVAC model would be to do a thermal image of a house that had more insulation added everywhere, and comparing it to before the insulation was added.”

        More like adding insulation to 20% of the attic. It will help some :)

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        I disagree with Gavin’s generally perspective, but not on the net result. The vast majority of energy “going into” the ocean comes from SW solar. Increasing GH gases alter the net energy flow out of the ocean which is latent heat, radiation (LW), and some conduction.

      • lolwot- Yep you are right, sea levels are rising…..just like they have been for the last 1000 years. Great insight.

      • R. Gates:

        “…very small alterations in this flow, such as during El Niño (more net energy) or La Niña (less net energy) makes a huge difference in atmospheric temperatures.”

        Which is a good point. I am reminded of small changes in the Sun’s SW output.

      • R. Gates,

        You don’t agree with Gavin on the “net result.” That is the whole point of his comment. Read the comment and Gavin’s response, it is even more interesting.

        Gavin does not say that “the vast majority of energy ‘going into’ the ocean comes from SW solar. Increasing GH gases alter the net energy flow out of the ocean which is latent heat, radiation (LW), and some conduction.” He says the opposite.

        The comment begins: “There is one denialist argument that I hear but is not discussed in this post and that is ‘Only solar energy can warm the oceans.’”

        Gavin responds: ” This whole issue is a complete red herring.” The rest I already quoted above.

        Now correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the “argument” the commenter attributed to denialists, and that Gavin said was a red herring, is no different from your statement. Which statement was the basis for your claim that I have a “complete lack of understanding of net energy flows between ocean and atmosphere” (and lolwot’s cheerful chiming in).

        So who is the denialist here? You, or Gavin?

      • My apologies if an HVAC model is all I’m competent with. Comparing a before and after thermal image of a house would tell me nothing about what’s going on inside.

        The deep ocean heating mechanisms I’ve seen proposed – Trenberth’s higher winds, or tropical eddies and gyres – seem to imply an isolated geographic location(s), since the winds or gyres would also be geographically isolated.

        I think we can safely say that Trenberth’s higher winds are not uniform across the globe, but isolated to specific latitudes? If so then, maybe not exactly a hot spot, but certainly a hot smear, possibly crossing many lines of longitude, could be isolated? That smear would also propagate an isotropic wave.

        Is deep ocean warming isothermally uniform across the whole globe? Or at least a major portion of it? That seems almost a miracle.

        And so an animated scatterplot from the 10 years of ARGO data is not possible? If so, phooey.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist


        My only concern is with Net energy flow.. Both TOA net, and the closely related net flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere. The forcing from increases in GH gases is a planet-wide net energy flow issue, affecting the net energy balance of the planet. Yes, I do agree with Gavin on the net result…ocean heat content will increase as GH gas concentrations increase. We simply approach it from different perspectives, but don’t disagree about the net result.

      • The deep-ocean warming is just vertical ocean circulations, mostly ENSO. In one phase the tropical warm water deepens while cold upwelled water spreads westwards across the surface from the East Pacific, while in the other the warm water gets shallower and spreads eastwards from the West Pacific creating the surface warm pool. It is not hard to understand, which is why the vertical distribution of the OHC change is not creating any surprise among oceanographers.

      • Gavin’s response is not well formulated. It doesn’t tell clearly where he is taking about unidirectional fluxes and where net fluxes, and when net fluxes are discussed it’s not clear what’s included and what’s not.

        Mostly the comment is about net fluxes, but not totally. It’s just a declaration, not an explanation. The reader can accept the declaration or reject it, learning really anything from the response may be impossible.

      • Ken Morgan –

        “…there must be specific locations in the ocean where this mixing is taking place, and other places where it is not.”

        Good so far.

        “It seems to me that the ARGO data would pinpoint not only these hot spots…”

        A good idea, although perhaps “pinpoint” is not quite the right word.

        For a comprehensive review of ocean instrumentation, analyses and conclusions, and to gain some understanding of what such a study as you propose entails, see Abraham et al., especially Section 5.

        “…but also the isotropic wave propagating out of them.
        Because heat expands isotropically, like an ink drop on paper.”

        Not so good. Contemplate this diagram.

      • Ken Morgan. I have also enquired of Rgates where this ocean gyre larger than the Gulf Stream is located depositing this missing heat into the deep oceans.

      • Deep ocean. How deep is your deep ocean? Because ARGO does not go below a certain depth.

      • David Springer


        Global warming is predominantly in higher NH latitudes during the winter. Think about the timing and temperature of runoff from the continents when winter ends, how it mixes into the ocean which is warmer than the runoff at the surface, and how ARGO buoys don’t hover in shallow water near the mouths of rivers so they wouldn’t catch the anomaly until it shows up in deeper water farther off the coasts.

        Just a guess. I know it must certainly be true that extra heat is entering the ocean this way. The question is how much.

    • So a physicist friend e-mails me from UW-Madison and tells me that the ARGO floats are individually too inaccurate to create a scatterplot of regional hotspots, with an individual margin of error of .1 C.

      The reason it is thought that the deep oceans are warming is because of a systems analysis approach that is stated to increase temperature accuracy across the entire ARGO system. The sum total of ARGO observations are fed into this, and it claims it can tell if the temperature is going up or down on very small scales, but it won’t tell you where in the system this is occurring.

      So a scatterplot isolating the hot spots is not possible with ARGO. Maybe they exist, maybe they don’t.

      Some of you people must have known this; I would have accepted it as an answer.

      • Ken – see my comment just above.

      • Let me try that last link again-

      • Diagram link still didn’t work. Will be awhile contemplating the paper you sent.

      • Ken, no-one knows much here.

        You’ll find on the question you asked that the people who know these things (eg perhaps your friend) and climate scientists don’t comment here.

      • Diagram link still didn’t work.

        Sorry, Ken, not sure why not.

        The diagram is just of the global thermohaline circulations, which transport heat very anisotropically.

      • My friend is actually a noted astrophysicist (and old high school drinking buddy, from those long ago days when there was high school drinking), who stepped out of his usual element to help me a little.

        Biddle, this is a good paper. I learned that XBT’s are practically useless. I don’t understand why they even have a project to try to correct the biases, the cumulative error would seem to exceed the value of the data. I can see where a frigate hunting a submarine might find them useful, since they will give a rough idea of thermoclines a submarine might be hiding under, but as a scientific instrument the cumulative longitudinal data set is so ridden with errors it is worse than useless. They should just throw it out.

        In fact, a huge amount of this paper is about XBT’s, their shortcomings and ways of making up for them. Why? Why do they even pay attention to it? A bad data set is a bad data set; no data doctor is going to make it better. Going over past data that is already known to be bad and trying to make it good with globally computed corrections is not going to improve it. There’s a section that covers the value of XBT’s in determining boundaries involving surface water transport that seems to be valuable, but the rest doesn’t sound useful at all.

        As for the rest, my scatter-plot showing regional warming spots is not going to soon be realized, is it? Creating appropriate instrumentation is going to be a challenge. Considering the poor coverage of the Southern Oceans, I’m not sure how they can say with complete confidence that the deep ocean is heating at all, or if that heating is outside of natural variability.

        And when it comes to the deep oceans, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics being what it is, what goes into the deep ocean strikes me as staying in the deep ocean. The only way I know for the deep oceans to lose heat is with the natural Carnot Heat Pump initiated by the Antarctic brine plumes coming out of fresh sea ice (presumably, there are also Arctic brine plumes?). In fact, in the sections in this paper regarding deep Antarctic water heating, especially in the Weddell Sea, could that be the reason? Saturation of sea ice area, or lack of creation of new sea ice, reduces the volume of the cold brine plumes, so the outgoing current gets warmer? That would also explain why the water is getting fresher.

        Re the thermohaline circulation distributing heat anistropically, I’m under the impression that it only transports surface water above 700 meters. I’ve also been under the impression that the deep water is fairly static compared to the surface layer. In the deep ocean, an isotropic heat wave may be detectable?

      • Ken, there was a paper I glanced at that tried to isolate the warming near the poles. Huge margins of error so it was not all that impressive.

        I plotted the standard error of the 0-700 meter for the combined vertical temperature profile in the southern hemisphere for laughs. Notice how it is so accurate back in 1955 :) Those XTB’s must have had really bad mojo. On whole though, the OHC is in the ballpark of the SST and by fiddling enough they can get a basin accuracy around +/-0.1C except for the ARGO magic right there at the end.

  27. It’s shocking to me that more people aren’t pounding this issue…

    The emerging alarmist strategy for dealing with the end of the late 20th century warm period (I refuse call it a “pause”, as that presumes the cause of the next warming period) is to move the goal posts, claiming that a trend requires, say, 30 years. So a 25-year warming trend is irrefutable evidence and a 25-year non-trend/cooling trend is an insignificant blip. Is clearer evidence of bias imaginable?

    • “Is clearer evidence of bias imaginable?”

      Of course the trouble is, people have a hard time discerning their own bias. That’s why they call it bias. Bias leads among other things, to motivated reasoning. An early, clear example was in the renaming of global warming to “climate change” …in the absence of actual warming. I don’t think this was some sort of conscious obfuscation on the part of scientists who should have known better. For the most part I believe, goal post moving, and definition changing, is what people do when their inability to imagine they can’t be wrong collides with contrary real world data.

    • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

      What is shocking is that as ocean heat content data has gotten better and promises to improve even more in the near future, the so-called “skeptics” ignore it even more. It seems no matter how big the elephant in the corner gets for AGW skeptics, they will face toward the other corner even more so, looking at the mouse.

      • Our notion of ocean heat content is marginally better than total ignorance, but we still know squat about deep ocean temps.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Still ignoring that ever more vociferous and unruly elephant, eh Gary? But “Look! Mouse!”

      • R. Gates,
        According to AGW theory. Is it possible to lose energy in the system, go negative of equilibrium? Or is the best we can do is to go back to equilibrium?

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        M. Hasting asks:

        “R. Gates,
        According to AGW theory. Is it possible to lose energy in the system, go negative of equilibrium? Or is the best we can do is to go back to equilibrium?
        As long as GH gases continue to increase, the system will continue to retain more energy than it loses to space. The condition you speak of, which could be considered as “overshoot” in a deterministic chaotic system can happen IF the negative feedbacks temporarily exceed the external forcing. In the Earth system, the natural negative feedbacks are being vastly overwhelmed by the human carbon volcano. Unless some other negative forcing kicks in, there is no chance that the natural feedbacks (primarily the rock-carbon cycle of rock weathering and accelerated hydrological cycle) will overshoot the acculation of CO2 in the atmosphere by taking more out than the human carbon volcano is putting in. The system will continue to gain energy in all forms for many centuries, even if we could somehow stop the human carbon volcano at 400 ppm CO2.

      • R, Gates, Thank you.

        So it is possible but not probable?

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        M. Hastings,

        If CO2 had suddenly shot up by 50 ppm and then stopped, you might get an overshoot reaction, but with CO2 continuing to go up without the chance of negative feedbacks keeping up…yes, overshoot very unlikely to happen and the system will simply continue to retain more net energy…so not just improbable, but highly improbable that it could lose energy while GH gases continue to rise.

      • R. Gates,

        I meant theoretically without any caveats. Example: If (and I know it isn’t), the CO2 today was only 100ppm (or whatever it may take) would we lose energy?

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        M. Hastings asks:

        “Example: If (and I know it isn’t), the CO2 today was only 100ppm (or whatever it may take) would we lose energy?”
        Everything else being equal, if CO2 dropped to 100 ppm, Earth would lose energy and get much colder over a few decades, and could quite possible slip into another Ice Planet Earth situation. At the very least, we’d see a very serious and robust advance of glaciers, probably much further south than the last advance.

        Human civilization (along with agriculture, which was a key component of civilization) developed with CO2 in that sweet spot of around 280 ppm common during most interglacials. We know what happens when we go much lower from there, i.e. glacial advance, but what we don’t know is what happens when we go dramatically higher. The closest paleoclimate record would indicate Pliocene-like conditions are likely.

      • R. Gates, Thank you for your explanation.

      • David Springer

        R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist | October 19, 2013 at 10:14 pm |

        “Everything else being equal, if CO2 dropped to 100 ppm, Earth would lose energy and get much colder over a few decades, and could quite possible slip into another Ice Planet Earth situation. At the very least, we’d see a very serious and robust advance of glaciers, probably much further south than the last advance.”

        With no means of testing this it is no more than a narrative a.k.a. a just-so story like much of the rest of alarmist climate “science”.

    • “I refuse (sic) call it a “pause””

      I refuse to call it a pause too! For pause it is not.

  28. The endurance of the global warming hoax helps us understand the degree to which the history of humanity has been a celebration of superstition and ignorance over reality.

  29. “Scientists like to think of science as self-correcting. To an alarming degree, it is not”

    • The idea that there are a lot of uncorrected flaws in published studies may seem hard to square with the fact that almost all of them will have been through peer-review. This sort of scrutiny by disinterested experts—acting out of a sense of professional obligation, rather than for pay—is often said to make the scientific literature particularly reliable. In practice it is poor at detecting many types of error.

      It certainly explains why we have filing cabinets full of junk science but not how so gleefully Western academia was to stab America in the back.

  30. Jo Nova gave a glowing review to a paper though I can’t tell if it’s peer reviewed.


    One of the take away points is that if food is good, more food is better.

    Whether we can recognize that, might be another story.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      When reviewing such claims that “more CO2 is better”, and more “food is better” etc. one must keep in mind the true nature of a determinstic chaotic system…it always suffers a regime change when things are looking their rosiest. These regime changes, or Dragon King events, come about with little warning. Thus, the beloved (and quite tasty) Thanksgiving Turkey is getting the maximum amount of food and everything is looking just great– exactly prior to when things will not be so great– for the turkey. Not saying this has anything to do with Craig’s wonderful piece on how great CO2 is, but considering that we are seeing a similar rate of increase in CO2 to what happened around the PETM, caution is advised in being too happy about us all getting the the maximum amount of food from our self-inflicted CO2 increase.

      • I am willing to entertain the thought that the production increases are not linear and actually subject to step changes and positive feedback collapse.

      • I’d put my money on monoculture or groundwater mining or insect predation over CO2 when betting on the cause of a potential food production collapse. Also, for your information, the PETM and other previous hot climatic events that occurred in the non-Q Geologic past had the benefit of very different planetary ocean geometry that was not conducive to ice cap formation.

        Just because mommy gave you a nice shiny hammer for your birfday does not mean that everything is a nail.

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        As one who uses skeptcism as tool, and not a badge or final destination, I am willing to entertain all possibilities…including the a new golden age of agriculture and time of plentitude may be ushered in by the human carbon volcano…or, that is may be the day before Thanksgiving, and we are all like the turkey…strutting around all fat and happy as things are so hunky-dory…

    • PS:

      I’m 99% confidant that this Idso claim is 100% BS

  31. Greenshirt left making it official at the L.A. Times;

    No more dissenting letters about AGW need apply, it’s policy. The irony here is that the Times is on the block and David Koch is a suitor. I would still expect a crony inside the liberal media culture transaction regardless or debtor interests.

    AGW is all about Orwellian political correctness of the left. I’ll hold my breath and wait for “academic” outrage at the actions.

    • Retrograde Orbit

      Why does FOX news have to be so pitiful ..
      So letters to the editors from skeptics are considered exposure to “different arguments and diverse evidence”. Evidence … Aristotle would turn in his grave.
      And – get this – any and all forecasts of future man-made harm must be false. Because a study of 26 past “movements” showed that they all turned out to be false. What would be different in any future forecast?
      And then there are the “scientific forecasting principles” by Professor Armstrong. What? Anybody ever heard of “scientific forecasting principles”? Oh the guy works at the Wharton School of Business. That explains it. Economic forecasts have always been right on point.

  32. On the sexual harassment/bullying thread, I mentioned Obama’s bullying of journalists. They apparently agree:

    Obama Administration Has Gone To Unprecedented Lengths To Thwart Journalists, Report Finds

    But after speaking to 30 veteran Washington journalists to prepare a Committee to Protect Journalists report, Downie said he was persuaded that concerns about lack of government transparency are legitimate. Those interviewed, he wrote, “could not remember any precedent” to the Obama administration’s aggressive crackdown on leaks and efforts to control information.

    n the report, Downie examined a range of Obama administration tactics that hinder government transparency. These include unprecedented use of the Espionage Act in prosecuting media leaks, classifying government documents as secret when no harm could come from their release, increased government surveillance that jeopardizes the safety of news sources, Freedom of Information Act violations, and White House-produced content that can’t substitute for independent, accountability journalism.

    Michael Oreskes, a senior managing editor at the AP, said, “the Obama administration has been extremely controlling and extremely resistant to journalistic intervention.” Josh Meyer, a veteran Washington correspondent, said White House staffers “don’t return repeated phone calls and emails” and “feel entitled to and expect supportive media coverage.”

    Post national security reporter Dana Priest spoke of putting less correspondence with sources in writing, given surveillance concerns. Cameron Barr, the paper’s national editor, said “reporters are interviewing sources through intermediaries now, so the sources can truthfully answer on polygraphs that they didn’t talk to reporters.”

    ABC News correspondent Ann Compton described Obama as the “least transparent of the seven presidents I’ve covered in terms of how he does his daily business.”


  33. Has the selection of 1961-90 as a base line for 0 GMST in the HadCRUT dataset made the climate sensitivity more sensitive to CO2?

    The climate sensitivity (CS) is given by

    CS = T*Ln(2)/Ln(CO2/Co)

    Where Co is the CO2 concentration for T = 0.

    The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere for Mauna Loa starts in 1959, which coincides with T=0 for the HadCRUT dataset. Because CO2 = Co for T = 0, we have Ln (CO2/Co) = Ln (1) = 0. In the above equation for CS, this involves division by zero, and this shows the selection of the base line period to be 1961-90 has made the climate sensitive too sensitive to change in CO2.

    • No. Rewrite it like this
      In the trivial case that CO2=C0, T=T0. This is just the initial state. The baseline choice does not matter. It is T0 here.

      • So you have to use a non zero “To” value?

      • This formula gives a difference, not an absolute value. It is the difference from T at C0. You can choose any T0 as that T.

      • But Co is related to what we choose for To. Do you agree with that?

      • T0 is defined as the value at C0. I would put it like that.

      • The oceans’temperature To determines the CO2 in the atmosphere Co. So To determines Co.

      • What determines the ocean temperature then, or is your theory inconclusive on that matter?

      • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

        Girma said:

        “What determines the ocean temperature=>

        THE SUN

        Of course, only partially correct…about half correct actually. The sun determines energy in, as it is the source of the vast majority of the energy in the ocean, but the atmosphere determines energy out, as it is the source of the thermal gradient between ocean and the ultimate destination of all energy…the cold dark and mostly empty interstellar space.

      • I think Girma was trying to indicate that the ocean warming of the past century was all due to the sun, but his graph was a fail on that. The sun may account for about 0.2 C and that was all before 1950.

      • r gates – that is interesting, but it doesn’t explain, to me anyway, how sea level continues to rise into the vicious heat destroying teeth of the 15ish-year pause in GMT.

      • The sun spot count for 1990 of 150 was more than double than for 1910 of 60, resulting in nearly 100 years of warming as shown here:

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I don’t much quibble about data – except where there is an order of magnitude difference between sets.

        ARGO says 0.64 mm/yr steric rise – with a fall in ocean volume over the period. Satellite altimetry says 3.2 mm/yr. They can’t both be right.

        The rise in ARGO is related to changes in cloud cover since full coverage in 2005. It is likely be temporary and reversible.

      • Girma, just to be sure, are you in the Salby school that thinks this solar warming caused a 120 ppm of CO2 outgassing from the oceans that somehow still managed to acidify?

      • Chief Hydrologist


        You live in an alternate universe. The obvious truth is that temperature increase increases quite substantially the natural flux of CO2 to the atmosphere biologically and physically.

        The oceans wont decrease in pH while there is sufficient calcium carbonate in solution – and in stores – to buffer pH changes. So no – there are no possible observations of pH change in the ocean that are not caused by upwelling of carbonate rich and calcium carbonate poor upwelling abyssal water.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        JCH said:

        “… vicious heat destroying teeth of the 15ish-year pause in GMT.”

        Yes, quite a vicious 15 Years that were the warmest 15 Years on instrument record. Quite heat destroying…

      • Jim D

        What caused the increase in CO2 concentration seen in the Vostok ice cores during warming and its decrease during cooling?

      • Girma, you may be able to distinguish the Ice Ages when no one was emitting Gigatonnes of CO2 from now, or perhaps not. The ice core is completely consistent with no one emitting and the natural chemical balance of surface CO2, 10-15 ppm added per degree. Skeptics have this tendency to think everything has to have one explanation, or they can’t keep more than one concept in mind at the same time. The real world is too complex for that type of thinking. Chemistry matters as well as physics.

      • blueice2hotsea

        The correlation is a curious tease. Another century of NH SST would be nice.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Decrease mean samples by 1/2 and SST is still chasing sunspots. Might need a handwave to explain overshoots (e.g. Novarupta 1912 & super El Niño 1998).

  34. “The U.S. biofuels industry was badly shaken last week by the leaked news that the EPA is unexpectedly proposing to reduce the revised Renewable Fuel Standard’s [RFS2] volumetric mandates for total renewable fuel and advanced biofuel in 2014. D6 (corn ethanol) Renewable Identification Number [RIN] prices, which peaked at $1.45 back in July, quickly fell by 25% to $0.32. Refiner share prices jumped on the news, as many refining companies have incurred large RFS2 compliance costs this year due to the steep increase in D6 RIN prices that occurred between January and July. Reuters described the proposal as an “historic retreat” by the EPA and a “victory for refiners.””

  35. pivnurt PV=nRT

    I wonder why I haven’t seen more about this? We agree it’s insulation but if one insulated their attic more, the house doesn’t expand, but apparently the atmosphere does. Unless the Ideal Gas Law doesn’t apply much here.

    Now compare a glacial to an interglacial.
    Glacial – keep our stuff close, our atmosphere – conserve
    Interglacial – push our stuff away – spend

    • It doesn’t get discussed all that much because it is one of those pesky details. If you assume that atmospheric expansion doesn’t have any significant impact on surface pressure, then it goes away at the surface via the lapse rate assumptions.

      Instead of considering overall atmospheric expansion, you assume that lapse rate will increase but slower than require to cancel warming. But then you have to consider which lapse rate, 9.8K/km dry, 6.5K/km environmental or the peskier -4 to 5.5 moist adiabatic lapse rate with all those really pesky convective mixing zones, entrainment and inversion capping zones, yada yada yada in the most turbulent first couple of kilometers of the surface atmosphere.

      “Although the above three RCM studies show that λ0 is around −3(W/m2 )/K, the computation results of an RCM strongly depend on the various parameterizations such as critical lapse rate for convective adjustment, cloud layer, cloud height, cloud temperature and cloud optical depth [Schneider, 1975; Hummel et al., 1981; Lindzen et al., 1982; Somerville et al., 1984; Schlesinger, 1986]. For instance, Hummel et al., obtained a 25 − 60% smaller surface temperature change ∆Ts utilizing a moist adiabatic lapse than the ∆Ts with the constant 6.5K/km lapse rate used in the above three RCM studies. This will reduce λ0 from − 3(W/m2)/K to − 4 (W/m2)/K−−7.5(W/m2)/K when the same degree of reduction is applied for ∆Ts,0”
      From the Kimoto paper.

      So you avoid PV=nrT by looking at the lower atmosphere dynamics which should mean looking at the moist atmospheric boundary layer first then the dry free atmosphere second since there are two lapse rates to consider. Unfortunately, that is supposedly done in the models, not in the blog comments :(


    • The guy is deeply misguided. It’s a bit more complicated than that — see the domain of atmospheric physics and the study of polytropic atmospheres.

      Whut’s up with these dudes calling themselves “Chief” and acting all pompous?

    • My answer to the chiefio question is that the stratosphere has twice the volume of the troposphere, even with much less mass, so its temperature change can be a major factor. Since AGW cools the stratosphere, the total volume could decrease due to that effect unless the troposphere warmed more than twice as fast.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      A model atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium with a constant nonzero lapse rate.

      Read more:

      When the webster is not being utterly trivial – he says nothing of any relevance or interest. It seems more a matter of prattling and preening than any serious attempt to understand and communicate.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Chief said:

        “It seems more a matter of prattling and preening than any serious attempt to understand and communicate.”

        Oddly, this is just was many here feel about your long-winded diatribes.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I don’t spend my time laughably promising to make life intolerable for someone crossed on a blog. Although I have little compunction in calling it for what it is. You for instance are a laughably nasty, unlettered, ignorant and obnoxious little dweeb.

        Nor do I bother with gratuitously dropping smarmy little piles of steaming ordure on the off chance of annoying someone and for no other purpose. I think it might – in fact – be against the blog rules.

        Let’s dissect webby’s comment you so charmingly endorse. Chiefio’s post was a musing on the atmospheric implications of the ideal gas equation. The ideal gas equations is one of the fundamental results of statistical mechanics so lauded by webby. It has all sorts of applications. But instead of discussing this rationally on its own terms and recognising its limits – he drops a line about atmospheric physics and polytropic atmospheres without any explanation at all along with a gratuitous insult. It is merely a confusion of the issues.

        The atmosphere is not in fact polytropic at all – this is just irrelevant nonsense intended to convey a (false) impression of intellectual superiority. It is the misuse of technical terminology that can only confuse and not inform that webby indulges in on an ongoing basis. The prattling and preening has the function of attempting to convey a sense of his cleverness rather than to communicate a relevant technical point. Empty prattling and preening in other words. The constant resort to this technique suggests a personality disorder. Real technical communicators – and I have been more or less successfully working at this for decades – simplify language to the extent possible and emphatically place themselves in the shoes of the target demographic.

        The atmosphere is indeed nonequilibrium – and so resists any reduction to a statistical mechanics of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system for the solution of non-trivial problems. ‘No fundamentally reliable reduction of the size of the AOS dynamical system (i.e., a statistical mechanics analogous to the transition between molecular kinetics and fluid dynamics) is yet envisioned.’

        It may not be possible at all. ‘Finally, Lorenz’s theory of the atmosphere (and ocean) as a chaotic system raises fundamental, but unanswered questions about how much the uncertainties in climate-change projections can be reduced. In 1969, Lorenz [30] wrote: ‘Perhaps we can visualize the day when all of the relevant physical principles will be perfectly known. It may then still not be possible to express these principles as mathematical equations which can be solved by digital computers. We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions. We do not yet know how to do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable.’

        Yet webby persists in chopping the data down to size in a Procrustean zeal to make the data fit the meme – rather than taking the time to understand data, the compare multiple sources, to read widely in the vast literature of the Earth sciences or to evolve a nuanced visualisation of the complexities with which we are grappling.

        Webby objects to my literary stylings. You object to my vogon poetry. Everyone’s a critic. I can’t say I give a rat’s arse who you think objects to my long winded ‘diatribes’ – although I do wish you would be far more precise in the use of language.

      • R Gates


        Followed by another long winded diatribe of attempted justification, loaded with venom and insults as usual.

        And, yes, I am doing it too

      • Chief Hydrologist

        And yet of us all I am the only one to have said anything of any technical consequence in this whole interaction.

        webby applies terms that have no possible relevance to anything substantive in Earth’s climate – and adds a gratuitious insult. gatesy chimes in with a charming endorsement of triviality and misdirection. Lang indulges in his usual plodding style and pedestrian intelligence with a comment of typically no consequence at all.

        I respond with a long winded – but hugely scientific – diatribe that I think of as colorful rather than bitter. So really diatribe is not quite the right word and nor is venom. They imply a poisoning of the well at the core of being. Believe me – I am not that deep and nor do I take you that seriously.

        I have been insulted and abused by all three of you – I respond to webby and all three of you chime in with a group thuggery that is as amusing as it is contemptible.

      • Chief,

        If you, and others (including me), could refrain totally he abuse and nasty comments, Climate Etc. would be a much more pleasant, entertaining interesting read.

        I get sick of the abuse, vitriol and trolling (mostly from others, and mostly from those of ‘progressive’ persuasion and after a while I get so fed up with it I respond in kind. I find your comments to be invariably nasty in one way or another. Perhaps you could set an example to try to clean this place up? I reckon it would be greatly appreciated if it could be achieved.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Thank you Peter – I find your comments to be invariably charming, erudite and lucid.

      • Peter Lang, Chief and Gates

        Getting back to a topic, which Peter has commented on frequently

        Am sure you’ve all seen this article referring to studies by Tol, which Peter has cited previously.

        The “scientific consensus” seems to be that the first 2.2ºC warming above today’s level (3.0ºC above “preindustrial” 1750 level) will result in a net beneficial effect for humanity.

        Using past IPCC projections of CO2 increase with business-as-usual scenarios, this level was estimated to be reached by 2080.

        If we believe with “business as usual” that human GHG emissions will increase along with population growth (as they have in the past), and project a (generous) 30% increase in per capita CO2 generation (we saw 10% increase from 1970 to today), we would see an increase from today’s ~400 ppmv to an upper value of about 650 ppmv by 2100.

        If we accept IPCC’s estimate of 1.8ºC for the 2xCO2 long-term temperature response (TCR), we would arrive by year 2100 at:

        1.8ºC * ln(650/400) / ln(2) = 1.3ºC (well within the “net beneficial” range)

        And even if we use IPCC’s arguably exaggerated long-term 2xCO2 climate response at equilibrium (ECR) of 3.0ºC, we arrive at:

        3.0ºC * ln(650/400) / ln(2) = 2.1ºC (still within the “net beneficial” range)

        Bye-bye, CAGW!


      • David Springer

        Oh look. Yet another handbag fight among the usual suspects.

        Have you ever seen so many panties in a bunch in one place outside a NOW rally?


      • Chief Hydrologist

        So it is joined by the objectionable, abusive, insulting, overbearing, stupidly arrogant and insufferably intellectually shallow jabberwock.

        Really we just need Joshua to have a complete circus.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have to come back to jabberwock’s comment. One which combines a homophobic and misogynist jibe. It is one of a large number of wholly unwelcome and distinctly distasteful ‘jokes’ to come from springer. The one with a women with a bag on her head comes to mind. I did object at that time as well – boring and as I say leaving a bad taste in the mouth.

      • Chief, ” The one with a women with a bag on her head comes to mind.”

        The origin of that was Benjamin Franklin in his ” Advise to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress” :)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Less Ben Franklin and more white trash raunch.

      • Chief, “White Trash Raunch” Yeap, Benjamin Franklin :) “Course he had a purdy way of being insulting.

        Because in every animal that walks upright, the deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the neck; then the breast and arms; the lower parts continuing to the last as plump as ever; so that covering all above with a basket, and regarding only what is below the girdle, it is impossible of two women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all cats are gray, the pleasure of corporal enjoyment with an old woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every knack being by practice capable of improvement.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Chief said:

        “Webby objects to my literary stylings. You object to my vogon poetry. Everyone’s a critic. ”

        Probably the most concise point you have ever made…though I also object to your unsupportable statements about ocean heat content “peaking at the turn of the century”, which this excellent and very recent paper by over 24 leading experts would also refute quite strongly:

      • David Springer

        That bad taste in your mouth isn’t from me. Maybe one of your other buddies?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No – the bad taste has returned merely in reading a comment. The poor taste seems embedded there.

  36. This explains so much about what passes for knowledge of history among the products of our “modern” education (including on this blog).

    • GaryM

      If there are some so ignorant of recent high profile history it is not surprising that so few people have an understanding of climate history and consequently continually believe that every weather event today is unprecedented.


      • tony b

        Very few climatologists have had the benefit of anything other than a very superficial education in history – it’s simply not part of the curriculum.

        So one cannot blame them a priori for being ignorant when it comes to human history.

        One can fault them, however, for not taking an interest in historical records, which relate to past climate.

        And when they write this evidence off as “anecdotal”, it is a sign not only of ignorance – but also of arrogance.

        And we all know what Einstein said of ignorance and arrogance.


  37. Max

    Its only ‘anecdotal’ when its words. When historical data comprises of figures that can be run conveniently through a computer there appear to be different criteria applied.


    • What amazes me is the unwillingness to look at actual events associated with so called climate “mechanisms”. To hear some people talk you’d think climate was a wrassle between CO2 and aerosols with Nino or Nina on one tag team or the other. (PDO helps ’em into the ring.) I was just discussing this on a local Oz forum, thus:

      People need to take an interest in actual climate change, and face its contradictions. Between the mid 20s to 1940 there was just one ENSO “event”. Incredibly, that was the DRY La Nina of 1938-39, the season of the big heat which lit up much of SE Australia, destroying up to 2 million hectares in Vic alone. La Ninas are like snowflakes, all different. And sometimes they show up in drag looking like little brother Nino.

      In spite of all the droughts of the era, there were no recognised El Ninos between ’26 and 40! If you check rainfall maps, you’ll see that apart from a couple of average seasons, rainfall in all Oz was fairly dire for that whole period. Go figure. So much for El Nino buttons and La Nina levers, all you gaming kidz.

      You could start with the El Nino which inspired Gilbert Walker’s work, that of 1899, when the monsoons failed and the Deccan was plunged into a horror famine which co-incided somewhat with our Federation drought. However, a drive away from the killing, a part of Assam which is normally pretty wet got more than its quota: 650 inches of rain over the year while the rest of India parched. The monsoon stalled there (a bit reminscent of the La Nina of 1950 when the eastern Oz nearly floated away and the rest was dry.)

      What happened in Oz in 1899? Victoria froze, the inland parched, the coast was drenched…and Cyclone Mahina, our biggest biggie, came to land in the North, causing what is claimed as the highest known storm surge anywhere (bit of a factoid, but it was certainly a high one). You have to go to 1902-’3′s weak El Nino for a neat pattern of drought disaster.

      Speaking of reverses etc, fans of big turnarounds like 2012 should also check what happened to Northern Australia when El Nino came back after the big wet of ’49-’51. Not as dramatic as the switch into 1916…but what was?

      Climate change! Why do those who preach about it never seem to observe it?

      • mosomoso

        Good comment. I think we like pigeon holes therefore el ninas or el ninos or aerosols, volcanoes, co2 etc etc all must have the same effect because its been modelled once even if the observational evidence says otherwise.

      • Chief Hydrologist


        Here’s a silly poem in honour of Woy Woy.

        A Silly Poem

        Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
        I’ll draw a sketch of thee,
        What kind of pencil shall I use?
        2B or not 2B?

        Spike Milligan.

        As for storm chasing – heck of a lot of fun but not actually going to tell you very much about climate. For that you need to look at the source of rainfall. In Australia it is the central Pacific, storms spinning off the Antarctic cyclone and the Indian Ocean. High pressure at the South Poles sends storms scittering across the south of the continent. High water temperature in the eastern Indian Ocean sends storms across the continent from the Kimberlies to south eastern Australia. Low water temps in the central Pacific cause inundation of northern and eastern Australia. Knowing this allows one to do things like this.

        But remember the stadium wave – these are not independent systems. For the chasers of chaotic storm fronts – or humble drainage engineers – things are likely to step up a notch or two over the next decade to three. Note here the specially expanded vertical axis for Australia and the very intense interannual and decadal variability. We invented multi-decadal variability back in the 1980’s. Yes we are very special.

        In other less important places – it is things such as the AMO and the PDO.

        I would also recommend a more evolved ENSO index from Claus Wolter at the NOAA. One that recognises the multi-faceted dimensions of ENSO.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Chief hydro said:

        “For that you need to look at the source of rainfall. In Australia it is the central Pacific, storms spinning off the Antarctic cyclone and the Indian Ocean. ”

        Huh, pretty much all the water that surrounds Australia. Who would have guessed. Did you have to pay for that insightful knowledge at a university?

      • Here’s the thing about that ENSO index. It’s handy, it explains a few things which went on in Oz. But of the two blockbuster El Ninos, 1997-8 was quite benign in Australia, whereas 1982-3 was a horror. If you want something as bad as 1982-3 you have to look at 1902-3, probably our worst year for drought but only rated as “weak” El Nino, like the brutal 2002-3 season.

        Likewise, PDO is a handy thing, but one encounters people who really thought there was a neat flip to neg after 1950 which brought three decades of good rain to Oz. Didn’t happen. The bump in the graph simply won’t tell the story of the great drought which expanded out in the late fifties and culminated in those 1967 fire conditions.

        Not being dismissive of the work of wet-feeters like Walker, Mantua etc. All great stuff. But is it safe to put it into the hands of literal minded types more enthused by models than any reality those models are meant to represent? After 2006 in eastern Oz there was a very marked shift to oceanic winds, even in late winter/spring and through the 2009 El Nino. It seemed to me a big deal, getting regular winter thunder after decades of it just not happening. Maybe it’s because I spend time in the paddocks and bamboo grove. Yet the klimatariat seemed bored or fidgety when I mentioned it. Yes, nothing bores them more than, well…actual climate change!

      • I should add that those NOAA graphs seem closer to what went on than the BoM summaries I was discussing. I’ve seen them before in reference to historical Qld flooding which was taken into account by the hydro guys behind the building of Wivenhoe Dam. Their report also mentions physical evidence of much greater flooding earlier in the century. Perhaps some Qld hydrologists are well employed.

        I’m pleased when the builders of dams and such talk about what happened before and what may happen again. Very old school – but I like it better than certain recent intellectual trends.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Once we get past decadal variability – the way is wide open for centennial variability.

        Simply ask for a copy if you wish – Jonathon Nott is most helpful. Overall he has a most interesting body of work in coastal geomorphology as it relates to cyclones and tsunami. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

        And don’t get me started on the drying of the Sahel and the demise of the Minoan civilisation.

  38. Rob Johnson-Taylor

    I find the following a refreshing statement, taken from the Open University module T219 on Environmental Management.
    “Models are very useful, but they are also uniformly wrong and inaccurate – a computer model of the economy, a climate change model, a map, or even a simple scale model. Put another way, there are aspects of the system that the model captures well, and other aspects that it completely fails to address. Models reveal but they also conceal and this has a huge impact upon the way we understand them. Because they are so powerful – especially computer models – it’s easy to think that models are complete and accurate, but they’re not. Models only give insight about the parts that they were designed to model” – why can’t some understand this?

    • Heritage expects monthly premiums for young people to drop in Colorado, Ohio, New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, “because those states had already over-regulated insurance markets that led to sharply higher premiums through adverse selection,” according to study author Drew Gonshorowski.

  39. Scientists say climate change is challenging Iowa agriculture
    October 18, 2013 By Pat Curtis
    Scientists gathered for forum on climate change at Drake University, Gene Takle is directly behind podium

    Scientists gathered for forum on climate change at Drake University, Gene Takle is directly behind podium

    More than 150 scientists from 36 colleges and universities in Iowa are jointly issuing a call for action against global warming.

    The director of the Climate Science Program at Iowa State, Gene Takle, is one of the lead authors of the group’s Iowa Climate Statement for 2013. “The last couple of years have underscored the fact that we are very vulnerable to weather conditions and weather extremes in Iowa,” Takle says.

    Both years were marked by heavy spring rains followed by droughts that damaged Iowa’s farmland. “This has become a real issue for us, particularly with regard to getting crops planted in the spring,” Takle says. “We had 900,000 acres that weren’t planted this year because of these intense spring rains.”

    As the climate continues to warm and change in the coming decades, Takle projects even more harm will be done to Iowa’s ag economy. He’s encouraging farmers to update their management plans to make the land more resilient to extreme weather. “Practices that were installed 30 years ago just need to be updated for the current climate that we’re experiencing with these heavy rains,” Takle says.

    The Iowa scientists are also calling on the USDA to update its policies to better protect the land. “We want to make sure that we have, for farmers, something that is going to address the current and the projected future situation,” Takle says.

    Takle says it’s imperative the world reduce its dependence on fossil fuels because the rise of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is at the root of the problem.

    • So, let’s see.
      1. Iowa has a lot of farmers.
      2. Farmers get a lot of Federal subsidies.
      3. Farmers grow a lot of corn there.
      4. A lot of corn there is used to make ethanol.
      5. Ethanol is subsidized by the Federal government.

      Is it possible that the 150 scientists from 36 colleges and universities in Iowa see that global warming is a God send to them? Could it be they are wanting more reduction of the dependence on fossil fuel because it will bring more money to their state and themselves?

      YOU! be the judge.

    • Anyone care to speculate on honesty in climate science?

    • Elephant – room?

    • Maybe those 150 scientist and also the Iowan farmers should check out the salutary effect of CO2 on crops before they go dissin’ it.

      “Millions of people are alive today because the net emissions of carbon dioxide have increased. These extra emissions have provided essential fertilization for crops around the world. Craig Idso has released a new report calculating that the extra value that the rise in CO2 has produced from 1961 – 2011 is equivalent to $3.5 trillion dollars cumulatively. Currently the extra CO2 is worth $160 billion dollars annually. Big-biccies. Projecting forwards, increasing CO2 levels could be worth an extra $11.6 trillion on crop production between now and 2050. Virtually every economic analysis to date does not include the agricultural gains. There are also benefits in health, as warmer winters reduce mortality by more than hotter summers increase deaths. The real economic question then, is “Can we afford to slow CO2 emissions at all?””

  40. AMOC slowing down = colder, invest in quality winter coats.

  41. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Figure 1 (middle) shows that these climate mode trend
    phases indeed behaved anomalously three times during the 20th century, immediately following the synchronization events of the 1910s, 1940s, and 1970s. This combination of the synchronization of these dynamical modes in the climate, followed immediately afterward by significant increase in the fraction of strong trends (coupling) without exception marked shifts in the 20th century climate state. These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by the deep ocean.’

    This is the most interesting question in global energy dynamics. What combination of clouds and ocean heat uptake conspired to suppress surface temperature increase since the 1998/2001 climate shift? Unfortunately the most accurate systems of data collection in ARGO and CERES missed the climate event of the century thus far.

    What can be said about pre-ARGO ocean heat content? Very little with any certainty given the <15% coverage to depth. There appears to be a splicing problem with XBT data and ARGO – with no apparent energy cause for the step increase at the splice. ARGO achieved full coverage only in 2005 – which is why von Schuckmann and Le Troan commence their 2011 analysis in 2005. The steric increase in ARGO is some 0.69mm/yr – in a period where ARGO shows decreasing mass in the oceans. There is an order of magnitude difference between ARGO estimated sea level rise and that from satellite altimetry.

    And as I keep saying – the increase in ARGO heat content is entirely explained by small changes in cloud cover in the period.

    This latter is a bit of a wrinkle that many – including the authors of gatesy's review of OHCA and James Hansen – want to discard for a theoretical forcing value. Except when they are finding the 'missing heat' and insisting that the change in net flux in CERES is found in the deep oceans. As I say the change in net flux is dominated by SW flux changes.

    Here's one with trend lines.

    These anomalies are reasonably accurate – far more accurate than radiative imbalance – records of changes in radiant flux at the top of atmosphere.

  42. Chief Hydrologist

    There is a comment in moderation for an unknown reason – but I will follow it anyway. The 2 comments were intended to be read together.

    Putting it all together – we get a picture of cloud dominating recent energy dynamics as captured by a couple of instruments and by an independent method. Of especial interest in determining the decadal trajectory of climate is the shift in cloud around the turn of the century.

    Note that the cloud cover from ISCCP-FD and MODIS here is intercalibrated by considering tropical sea surface temperature. Cloud coverage is inversely related to SST.

    ‘Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.’

    Just like the theory suggests – a change in cloud in the most recent climate shift that is part and parcel of the decadal trajectory of surface and ocean temperatures. The point is a consilience of evidence rather than one potentially fatally flawed and profoundly inconsistent line of investigation – and one in which the results encompass the potential for a peak in OHCA around 2003. As I keep showing.

    All of these results are reflexively rejected out of hand rather than review assumptions. This is of course a symptom of groupthink. As is the characterization of outsiders as aberrant in some way.

  43. Chief Hydrologist

    Another comment in moderation for unknown reasons?

  44. A nanotech guy’s take on climate science and stuff.

  45. Chief Hydrologist

    There is a BEST inspired space cadet meme that the temperature over land at 2m above the surface is of some especial significance.

    Plotted here are a couple of series – land surface temperature, SST, tropospheric temperature over land and global tropospheric temperature.

    The odd one out is the surface data. The other three are consistent apart from a couple of volcanoes as would be expected. This is so because the oceans are a constant store of energy and modulate tropospheric temperature through SST.


    The difference in land surface temperature and the other series is entirely a function of reduced lapse rates over land as compared to oceans as a result of reduced water availability. Pretty much the definition of evaporation is that it cools the surface.

    The promotion of climate trivia to a central – but misguided – climate narrative is a sign of desperation. It shows increasingly desperate rationalisations in the face of nothing going right for them that is of course yet another symptom of groupthink.

    Many of us don’t think that AGW space cadets are hoaxers and conspirators – we think that they are deeply immured in the ideology of a groupthink cult.

  46. Link between Pacific Ocean temperatures and tornado locations

    Long range forecasting?

  47. For Chinese oil companies, competing in Brazil’s auction today for the giant Libra field represents a change in strategy. A successful bid would be their riskiest Latin American investment.

    Cnooc Ltd. and China National Petroleum Corp. are among 11 companies registered to bid for what may become one of the world’s two largest deep-water fields, requiring an estimated $185 billion investment. Libra holds as much as 12 billion barrels, or three years of China’s consumption, Brazil’s oil regulator estimates. Other bidders include Royal Dutch Shell Plc. and France’s Total SA.

  48. The number of rigs drilling liquids rich plays in U.S. basins looks to trend sideways to down going forward. This has led some to believe operators are cutting back, which is not the case. Developmental programs are moving forward to pad drilling as operators have large leaseholds held by production. Pad drilling saves time, which decreases costs. Batch drilling and zipper fracs reduce costs and will allow more wells to be drilled and completed without raising cap ex. The frac sand growth story has less to do with an increased number of wells drilled and more to do with an increase in proppant intensity, and longer laterals coupled with decreased drilling and completion times. Newer completion styles are creating larger fractures closer to the well bore. The greater the void, the larger the volume of proppant needed. Frac sand producers will benefit from this directly, as the larger the fractures the more sand needed to fill the void. These changes could be the start of something bigger, as early results point to much higher production per well for roughly the same cost.

  49. After the deluge of bad news came the first mention of geoengineering. The technology is discussed in the final paragraph of the report, in a profoundly cautious tone: “Modelling indicates that [certain geoengineering methods] if realisable, have the potential to substantially offset a global temperature rise.” Following the report’s release, the Coalition’s chief scientific adviser on climate change, David MacKay, called for more investment in research and development. “I am going to recommend that this is a public priority for the long-term,” he said. And a number of people started to panic.

    Geoengineering technologies are the stuff of Hollywood disaster movies. Researchers have suggested sending a giant glass sunshade into space to reflect light; the eruption of artificial volcanoes, or spraying of sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere; dissolving mountains and putting remains in the sea; and, least dramatically, perhaps, filing the ocean with iron filings to stimulate algae blooms. “People are right to be revolted and alarmed,” says Matthew Watson, the head of Spice. “That’s a good thing. It should not sound easy. If we do this, it will be the clearest indication we have failed as planetary stewards. It will be a desperate thing to do.”

    Except on that critical point, the line between backers of geoengineering and those who want it banned is surprisingly slim. Both camps largely agree that burning fewer fossil fuels is priority number one. While a handful of scientists think we must geoengineer or face disaster, they form a minority. One, the Russian Yuri Izrael, carried out a sulphate aerosol experiment in 2009; another, Russ George, dumped 100 tonnes of iron sulphate off the coast of Canada in 2012. It was wacky research such as this that the Spice team had in mind when they called off their own experiment. Geoengineering is “the wrong answer”, says Spice’s Matthew Watson, who blogs as the Reluctant Geoengineer. “The right answer is to decarbonise. But that takes a long time, and isn’t happening at the moment.”

    And there are geopolitical ramifications, too: an Alaskan village on the verge of being “wiped out” by rising sea levels has already filed a $400m lawsuit against oil and coal companies. Failing to slow climate change, says Watson, will hurt the least responsible nations the most. Britain might watch the effects of climate change for the next 50 years. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Jamaica are less likely to have that luxury.







  50. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    In all seriousness–our thoughts and prayers to the people of Australia as they face some very devastating wild fires. They’ll be time later to talk about the climate related issues surrounding these fires– but for right now now, just thoughts and prayers.

  51. The justification for the catastrophic/dangerous climate change scare campaign is over. The public have recognised it. Now there are just a decreasing number of extremists clinging to their doomsday dogma.

    This chart shows the media interest in CAGW over the past 5 years: . Even the release of IPCC AR5 caused only a minor blip in the trend of decreasing media interest. It’s fair to conclude the scare campaign has lost its effect.

    Why is that? There are many reasons, but largely because of the exaggeration and perceived dishonesty/unreliability of the main climate science activists.

    We now understand that:

    1. IPCC AR5, WG1, Chapter 12, Table 12.4 effectively takes the ‘catastrophic’ out of AGW

    2. The lack of correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentration and global temperatures over the past 500 million years does not support the alarmists’ claims about catastrophic global warming

    3. Global warming would be net beneficial up to about 2.2 C from now (3C from pre-industrial):

    4. Recent findings that climate sensitivity is lower than in the previous IPCC reports and in the modelling used for the projections, means the lilelihood of such temperature increases is reduced.

    5. Carbon pricing will have no effect on the climate but will have enormous costs.

    • It’s pretty likely that net beneficial will extend well beyond 2.2 degrees C, since warmer supports more total life and more diversity of life. Rapidity of rise is the only factor modifying that.

      Well, ignorance and foolishness of man will have the controlling knob.

      • dang, ‘sustains more total life and more diversity of life’. One more mistake like that, kim, and you’ll need more training.

      • Kim,

        Thanks. regarding rapidity of rise, I understand there were faster temperature rises in the past over sustained periods and life loved it. And life thrived during the rapid warming up to the peak in 1998. So I am yet to see persuasive evidence that GHG emissions are bad for life.

        Having said all that, I’d support policies to reduce GHG emissions as long as they are ‘no regrets’ policies (i.e. economically beneficial irrespective of the claimed climate effects).

      • Well, shur, Peter, and we will forge on with least regrets. We may be sure of that.

    • Yes, the scare is over, but not dead yet. They’re all hoping (and waiting) for the warming to continue, which is VERY unlikely. Only something like a big volcano or a major global financial crisis can save the hypothesis. If the human emissions continue unabated and the flat trend gets longer (20, 25, 30 years…), I don’t see how it can survive. By the way, if the flat trend is now 15 years, it doesn’t necessarily takes 15 more years to be at 30 flat years – it can happen in much shorter time.

  52. I just received this comment via email from Barry Woods

    One of the insights in the climategate emails was perhaps how poisonous M Mann’s involvement was, for the community (ego due to IPCC and Hockey Stick)?

    this tweet, just now.

    Michael E. Mann ‏@MichaelEMann
    Closet #climatechange #denier Rob Wilson, comes out of the closet big time: … #BadScience #DisingenuousBehavior

    I’m sure Dana and/or Cook, will be debunking Rob, and labelling him a ‘climate misinformer’, anytime soon.

    though in Mike’s ‘defence’ Rob Wilson, had just publically conformed that he thought and had publically told students, public, etc Mann’s recent work was a ‘crock of shit’… (his words)

    “Lastly, the “crock of xxxx” statement was focussed entirely on recent work By Michael Mann w.r.t. hypothesised missing rings in tree-ring records (a whole bunch of papers listed below).

    Although a rather flippant statement, I stand by it and Mann is well aware of my criticisms (privately and through the peer reviewed literature) of his recent work.


    in the comments

    popcorn time?

    this is Rob

  53. What happened to the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season? Is it over before it started? Did any category 1 hurricanes hit the US this year?

  54. Willard – how am I ‘using’ greenpeace…

    I replied to someone (that I know personally) talking about the arctic30… and my opinion was that greenpeace do not care about their activists, and will leave them to rot in Russia.. and occasional use them for sympathy..

    what do you think I said, !! how am using anything, for what purpose.

    what are you achieving…

    • Yep, Harold, more psychology nonsense. As I said at the Bishop’s:

      ” Psychology is strewn with pseudo-science and pseudo-maths (cf Lewandowsky) and debunkers from within the field are few and far between.

      I must say, the thing that got my BS meter ringing up a storm was the claim that “Positive Psychology” is more effective than any drug or other therapy for treating depression. After a ludicrous claim like that, the bodgied-up maths was hardly surprising.

      Oh, and US taxpayers must be delighted that tens of millions of dollars of the military budget is being spent on this hokum, even after it was demonstrated to be ineffective. It’s just like the excesses of the climate fanatics – if something doesn’t work, the solution is to spend even more public money on it.”

      • I think the thing that pinged Brown’s radar though, was the claim of precision. That generally pings engineers’ radars. The analogs of that in climate science should be obvious.

        The concept wasn’t necessarily absurd on its face, but what was obviously BS to someone who came wanting to believe was the preposterous claim of precision.

        But to the true believers, that’s a feature, and not a bug. If they can claim proof with complete rigor, the true believers become oddly more convinced, rather than less.

  55. “What that means, in effect, is that climate policy asks the present to sacrifice for the future. Human beings tend not to be very good at that kind of planning, even when their own future selves stand to benefit…”

    “…few of us will be willing to endure present pain so that our grandchildren won’t have to endure an unlivable climate. We’re likely better off tailoring solutions that work with our selfishness and brief attention span…”

    Nothing like being insulted to convince me…

  56. On Tuesday 24 September 2013, Goldman Sachs published upbeat comments about drilling activity in the Bakken. Amongst other things, they said:

    “We came away from our trip to North Dakota last week with greater confidence in our outlook that Bakken production/completion activity will likely exceed Street expectations….during our trip producers were uniformly confident in resource expansion, efficiency gains and potential for improving well performance in the coming years…. production can continue to grow substantially.”

    Whilst GS’s remarks, and their mention of some specific stocks, were received positively by the Street, the firm was only confirming what many followers of the shale oil drillers have known for some time – that the best oil shale drillers are set to enjoy many years of strong and increasingly profitable growth.

  57. Sir John Major calls for windfall tax on energy companies
    By George Parker, Political Editor

    Sir John Major, former Conservative prime minister, piled pressure on David Cameron to act against the “big six” energy companies, suggesting they should be hit with a windfall tax.

    Sir John said it was “unacceptable” that energy companies were raising prices up to 10 per cent, leaving some people with a choice between eating and heating their homes in the event of a cold winter.

  58. Does anyone know of a good resource about 20th Century Art Movements?

  59. Cartier LOVE Bracelet, A bracelet easy to screw on thanks to an ergonomic screwdriver. A Cartier icon, the Love collection is both a provocative talisman and a bold symbol of passionate love. Allow yourself to become one with your partner, possess or let yourself be possessed? How far would you go for Love?