Open thread

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

412 responses to “Open thread

  1. I have a question.

    Why is it ok to average the runs from a bunch of ensemble models?

    Shouldn’t the models which are really out of whack with observations be thrown out and some much smaller group of models be looked at compared to observations?

    Why average them at all?

    • RickA
      PCMDI Program for Climate Model Data Intercomparison, at LLNL evaluates many models but they are developed and owned by various institutions. No one can say “this one is bad” They can show where they deviate from reality and that encourages developers to modify them but if you look at the owning institutions a lot of time and costs are sunk already. Look at the web page and some of the various comparisons.

    • David Springer

      Why do forecasters use a score of models to predict hurricane evolution?

      It’s called the shotgun method.

    • Steven Mosher

      Why average them at all?

      err because it works better than not averaging them. One day averaging them will not work better and they may do a weighted average.. As time goes on the weakest links may be retired.. not fired but retired or replaced.
      Since no one decision maker exists to do this many will be used beyond their usefullness. Progress is slow

    • All of them are beyond their usefulness as predictive agents. Free them for their purposes, don’t bind them so cruelly to the policy wheel.

    • Shouldn’t the models which are really out of whack with observations be thrown out.

      That would be ALL of the Models. Throw them all out until they show more skill.

    • Doug Badgero

      It makes no sense at all. In the short term averaging the outputs seems to provide a better predication. I suspect this is simply due to persistence. I believe the proper treatment for long term prediction would be non-parametric treatment with each output equally likely. Of course, then the 95 percent confidence interval would be too wide to be useful I think.

    • Consensus Theory tells us that Climate is flat without CO2. The data clearly shows it is not. They have no oscillation not caused by CO2. They have no Roman or Medieval or natural Modern Warm Period. They have no Little Ice Age without CO2 driving.

      They have an Eleven Thousand Year Long Hockey Stick.
      They should be called out to produce an eleven thousand year oscillation with their models.

      I believe the climate models may have a model that works ok for the IR except for the CO2 and the non-existing and reverse feedbacks, and does not oscillate because they don’t include the proper polar ice cycles.

      I have listed some Questions that should be answered while we chart the future course for Climate Study.

      1. When a Carbonated Drink is Cold, What is always less?
      2. When a Carbonated Drink is Hot, What is always more?
      3. What is always less during a Cold Period?
      4. What is always more during a Warm Period?
      5. What is always less during a Warm Period?
      6. What is always more during a Cold Period?
      7. What does extra CO2 cause in a carbonated drink?

      1. Vapor Pressure of CO2.
      2. Vapor Pressure of CO2.
      3. Rainfall and Snowfall.
      4. Rainfall and Snowfall.
      5. Ice Extent and Albedo.
      6. Ice Extent and Albedo.
      7. More Vapor Pressure, but no increase in temperature.

      Actually, these are not really answers to questions, because we already know all these things from basic physics and ice core data and history.
      These things are the Right Things that would and do give Climate an Oscillation that would always have 6 after 4 and would always have a 5 after 3.

      These things are always in the proper phase, unlike other forcing candidates that are in the right phase only some of the time.
      The Climate Oscillation has had fixed bounds in a narrow range for eleven thousand years. It clearly has a thermostat that turns the cooling on and off. The sun provides the heat and it is always on. The temperature the sea ice melts and freezes is the thermostat. It always snows more when the ocean surface is water and it always snows less when the ocean surface is ice.

    • Perhaps a better question is why do the runs vary so much?

      After all, they all have the same physics.

      Doesn’t the variance isn’t the variance an admission that none of them are very good?

      • David Springer

        “Perhaps a better question is why do the runs vary so much?”

        High sensitivity to initial conditions and incomplete and/or unrealiable knowledge of what values to use to initialize the model.

    • Doug Badgero


      I believe it is the treatment of uncertainties and the coupled non-linear nature of the system. We model a somewhat similar system in my day job and that is why each model result is very different.

      Perhaps someone who knows more about the specifics of the climate models can chime in.

    • In the short term averaging the outputs seems to provide a better predication.

      Averaging the outputs provides a better prediction than half and a worse prediction for the other half. They are all very bad. The best of the predictions, the lucky one, is still very bad.

      You could average the haves separately and you could come up with two predictions that are terrible.

      Throw them all out until they figure out that natural variability is running this and they need to learn enough to figure out what is the important drivers in natural variability.

    • It’s not OK to average something that is not statistical in nature. It might be OK to average model runs of the same model for stochastically-generated initial conditions. It is not OK to average different models. Competent physicists understand this fact — it’s why statistical and systematic uncertainties are reported separately. If PCMDI averages results of different climate models, then I am embarrassed to be associated with an institution that doesn’t understand freshman statistics.

    • I think it is “ok” in principle to average any set of numbers, in the sense that the various averages, e.g. arithmetic, geometric, logarithmic, etc. are well defined. The question is whether it is “ok” to make any statistical inferences from either the average, or deviations from it. In other words, can we make a judgement about how close the average is to some reality or within which bounds some reality may lie, with probabilistic or likelihood based estimates, although the inferences would only be as good as the assumption of the model output on the distributions input to it. If one is averaging over a number of runs of the same model, and that model was being perturbed by drawing key variables from well defined distributions, then maybe there would be some basis for using the deviations from the average computed from the output of a single model for inferences, but in a limited sense. It would only give the behavior of the model outputs as a function of the inputs, and would say nothing about reality. This is compared to what happens in a physical experiment in which long experience seems to show that experimental errors seem to like to behave in normal distributed ways. In a physical experiment, however, actual empirical values (equivalent to the output of the model) can be related to the statistics of the results for various measurements and a variety of tests and transformations exist for dealing with unusual error distributions. For the case of a variety of different models, I think the variances of the outputs may be described by perturbing the runs (e.g. monte carlo type simulations) and evaluating the variances of the outputs of each model. Then one could in principle average the outputs of various models and take into account the individual model variances. The problem is that there is no argument to relate the model outputs to the real world. There is no ensemble of real world measurements of predicted future climate variables to which to compare or calibrate. No matter how much climate scientists call model runs “experiments” it does not make them experiments as understood by the hard core physical and life science communities.

      If I were a climate scientist (which I am not) I would be inclined to treat subsets of the historical climate data as different experiments. For example treat each of the past four decades as an experiment. Then I would initialize a particular model at certain specified intervals of time prior to each decade data set, but using the same algorithm for initializing parameters, the same “sensitivities” or whatever. Then run the model or models for the next 10 years and compare the outputs in detail to the historical data, both absolute values and trends. Repeat this process for each of the past four or so decades, without tuning or tweaking the initialization routine, and look at the distribution of estimates of climate variables over each ten year time frame. Care would be needed to avoid “tuning” models to fit historical data, but with four or five decades one might have as many data points in the sample. It may be possible to reduce the time scale to smaller and smaller values or treat intermediate values as measurements in some way. That kind of comparison of models to historical data seems more like an “experiment” and averages of the deviations from the measurements might have more utility.

    • Steven Mosher

      Except they dont have the same physics. Look at the giss model variants. Look at ar5 docs for the differences. Dont be lazy and ask for links. Giyf

    • Rick A,

      It’s pretty simple. The science of grantology is based on the principle that the trough empties out once facts have been established. Climatology is an offshoot of grantology.

      Because climate is only the average of weather that has already occurred, it is impossible for anyone to forecast climate any better than you or I.

      Therefore, climatologists theoretically need to compose as many models as there are weather outcomes over a thirty year period, and then average the result. This will give a forecast, prediction, scenario, or other Warmist augury equivalent, still of no more worth than the result one would obtain by licking a toad and believing the visions that might result.

      However, climatologists must eat. Their only ploy is to insistently demand ever increasing funding for ever more powerful computers, in order to generate ever increasing numbers of models which by definition must be wrong if they disagree. At most only one can be correct.

      Of course, it would be much cheaper for the climatologists to just fabricate the nonsense that they present as future fact, and to use a computer program to write nonsense papers which are accepted by journals as being peer reviewed. This has been done in other areas, to good effect.

      I trust this goes some way to answering your very perspicacious enquiry.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Back in the 80’s the test for anti-HIV antibodies was expensive and they needed a lot of donated blood to prepare Factor 8 for hemophiliacs.
      So they would mix 100’s bags of blood and test for anti-HIV antibodies. If they had a positive test, they would add another 100 bags, until the antibody titer was too low to give a positive result. Then they would extract the Factor 8 and hemophiliacs would inject it; most of whom went to to get AIDS; however, the important point was that the blood had passed the anti-HIV test.

    • RickA,

      One more reason for keeping all the models is to avoid the risk of p1$$ing off somebody. Now it might not sound like a particularly scary thing but the hottest model seems to be the Canadian model and for the sake of unity it would seem inadvisable to upset the Canadians by throwing out their model from the IPCC ensemble.

    • DocMartyn,

      who exactly did that with the blood?

    • blueice2hotsea

      I recall Tim Palmer stating that the climate models most divergent with reality on the hourly scale (post-initiation) were forecasting the most extreme climates on the century scale.

      Hope I haven’t misunderstood his sentiments.

    • I want to thank everybody who responded to my question. I read all the responses and learned a lot. Thanks.

  2. There will be a climate-change session in the Senate on Monday night. No Republicans will be participating.

    • Sort of says it all really

    • Good on them!

    • Are there any coal state Demo Senators in that bunch, jimmy?

      A lot of Demo Senators are busy elsewhere on Monday night. Especially the ones with tough elections coming up. This stunt can only help the Republicans take the Senate.

      Question for jimmy, or any fellow travelers: What effect have these alarmist stunts and all the political machinations, regulations, subsidies etc. that have been going on for decades had on the actual climate?

    • Stormy teacups from tempestuous teapots.

    • Winning state elections should not trump responding to climate change or planning resilience, but the reality is it does. That is a problem with money in politics, which is a whole different issue.

    • John DeFayette

      Are those HuffPost “Connecting the Dots…” slides the senators’ crib sheets? God, I hope so, since at least it could turn their all-nighter from the world’s most ignored yawn-fest into a great evening of standup comedy. Will Al be there with his PowerPoint presentation?

    • You don’t understand politics, or democracy, jimmy. How about answering the question: What effect have these alarmist stunts and all the political machinations, regulations, subsidies etc. that have been going on for decades had on the actual climate?

    • JimD’s link:
      “A group of 28 senators will take over the Senate floor on Monday evening for an all-night talk-a-thon on climate change.”

      JimD, do you plan to stay up all night watching this? What proposals will these Senators offer, and do you think it’s odd that the story you linked to doesn’t bother to mention them?
      If the Republican Party schedules an “all-night talk-a-thon” on Obamacare, what would it mean if no Democrats attend- that the Dems are anti-health?

    • I understand the futility of this. It is a stunt. We’ll see what comes out of it. That is politics these days, but the Democrats are more in touch with the science, so we won’t get the “it’s warming on Mars” type of ideas being presented as we see from Republicans when they make climate statements.

    • You are dancing around the question, jimmy. You said: “It is a stunt. We’ll see what comes out of it.” What do you expect to come out of it, jimmy? Will it make any difference on our climate? Have Kyoto, Copenhagen, Cancun and all the other fossil fueled junkets made any difference on our climate? Have the regulations and subsides had any effect on our climate? Hasn’t your cause been an almost complete failure?

    • Don M, I don’t know their motivation for doing this now. Obviously they don’t do this for fun. They have done the calculation that this is a good thing to do now. We’ll see what comes of it.

    • You did it again, jimmy dee. You won’t answer the question. I will have to help you: all of the efforts of the warmistas have had no significant effect on our climate. End of story.

    • The typical Huffpo commenter seems ignorant and insulting to me; hostile to their political opponents, and incapable of nuance. Many of them even seem incapable of even listening. The use of thought-stoppers, stereotypes, insults and gross generalizations are rampant in the thread to which you’ve referred. Many of the Huffpo true believers and alarmists seem to have made a final decision that completely agrees with their own political leanings, thus sparing them from further thinking. As a group, they’re uninformed about the scientific debate itself, and delusional that the debate over public policy related to climate change is fundamentally a scientific (as opposed to political) question.

    • Thanks, Jim D., for information about the 28 Democratic senators who will stay up all night talking about climate change on Monday night.

      If Missouri’s Senator Claire McCaskill is on the list I will send her something to talk about:

    • donnie mo, while efforts have been slow and climate change has been small so far, it is hard to see an effect. The question is whether the larger climate change will win over efforts in the future (I see that can be read in two ways, and I mean them both).

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      The Democrats deleted all reference to 2/3 of the expert witnesses and testimony. Should take them 2/3 less time.

    • Yes, HuffPo is more progressive. Another article linked on the same page is interesting: “9 Maps That Should Outrage Southerners”. It shows how the southern conservative states are not caring so much for their people as the progressive states. However, it is not like we expected them to care anyway. These aren’t their priorities, so their attitude is more likely “so what” than to be outraged.

    • Don Monfort

      Check this out, jimmy:

      Your progressive source must have accidentally reversed the color coding. Or maybe used the stats upside down, a la Tiljander.

    • donnie mo, somehow I don’t believe that the people in Mississippi are happier than those in Colorado. Weird map.

    • Don Monfort

      I knew that would cause your little head to ache, jimmy dee.

    • donnie mo, as far as I can tell your map is unsourced and just being sold as wallpaper, while mine is based on an actual poll and is sourced.

    • Don Monfort

      Let’s just pretend that I faked the map, if it will stop your little head from hurting. And let’s pretend that the great majority of the most miserable of poor people don’t live under Democrat/progressive rule in inner cities in the North, Midwest and West of our country.

    • donnie mo, you put up a bunkum map to fool people, and now withdraw it. This is typical. Perhaps they decided happiness based on alcohol and tobacco sales, which puts those SE states at the top. What do you think they are happy about, given those genuine maps HuffPost showed?

    • Don Monfort

      You are a clown, jimmy dee. End of story.

    • Like many people, legal and illegal, I chose to live in Texas.
      It has far fewer ‘caring’ people than the US average, but a much higher percentage of people who care.

    • Mickey Reno

      Jim D, if you’re talking about Balmaseda, Trenberth, et. al. from Geophysical Research Letters in March of 2013, it mentions NOTHING about measuring the flows and temperatures of major ocean currents. It’s just a reanalysis of Argo float data which uses some 3D computer model. I’m not talking about computer models, here. I’m talking about sensors and direct measurements in fixed locations in that attempt to measure and aggregate the energy in the flows of ocean currents.

      I don’t want to criticize the Argo floats too much, because they are capturing some data that has never before been captured. But because they drift and are carried by currents and eddies, there are opportunities for errors caused by non-representative sampling. That issue, at least to my sense of science, calls into question every single analysis using their data. In my opinion, we will NEVER reliably understand OHC with precision or accuracy using ARGO float data.

    • Mickey Reno, their model includes the ocean currents and realistic bathymetry, and is constrained by Argo, but is otherwise a model that takes the major ocean surface and deep flows into account using fluid dynamical equations.

    • This session is now on CSPAN2. Barbara Boxer is currently saying we should not wait for China to lead on this.

    • Now up. Al Franken on extreme events.

    • Kennedy, of the show “The Independents,” just announced a phalanx of Senators are on hand in case the Sun explodes!

    • Don’t forget to bone up on climate change here:

    • Franken talked about investment in renewable energy technology. Now up Bernie Sanders.

    • We can refer to him as Burn-eeee.

    • Sanders is mostly responding to Inhofe who is also at this session.

    • Sanders is talking about impacts, current and future.

    • Burn-eeee wants to burn mo money on his low-information voter base. Nothing notable here.

    • Burn-eeee is using the “investment” word. That means for every dollar “invested” the US goes $150 into more debt.

    • Now Burn-eeee is lying about “subsidies” to the oil industries. If you tell the same lie over and over, his base will believe it.

    • Sanders ended up by talking about investment in renewable technology. Next up, Tim Kaine is starting with investing in solutions to climate-change problems.

    • Kaine’s key words, “cleaner tomorrow than today”, continue the gradual reduction, dirty tarsands are the wrong direction.

    • The BS is getting piled higher and higher. Now for the imaginary effects.

    • Kaine also had some words for coal, being from a coal state. Basically “keep up”. Natural gas has innovated and overtaken. Several have now mentioned the success of past clean water and air efforts that had been opposed by industry.
      These Senators are all giving good, pointed and informative speeches.
      Amy Klobuchar next.

    • Klobuchar, just on policy. Not so exciting.
      Markey next, starts with baseball home run stats. Could be interesting.

    • OK, two hours is enough for me. They have about ten more to go.

    • Markey seems to have resorted to Dr. Seuss.

    • I don’t have the sound up at this point (preferring Santana), but Angus King is talking about CO2, acidification and Arctic Sea Ice with pictureboards to illustrate the points.

    • Where’s Manacker?
      I wanted to remind him again that the Land warms at twice the rate of the Sea surface temperature

      130 years of data don’t lie.

      As my Senator Al Franken observed this evening : deniers do not know how to read thermometers.

    • Webby


      Note that from 1950 to 1986 (36 years) Land and Sea temperature rose in sync; after 1986 (most recent 27 years) it has diverged.

      You have been unable to explain this.

      Most recently (since around 2002) both land and sea are cooling slightly (land slightly slower than sea).

      Also weird, with all that CO2 being emitted by humans, right?

      But, hey, climate is complex.


    • MAnacker,
      My senator Franken demonstrated that you deniers can nor read thermometers. Now it seems you can not decipher graphs either. Land warming at twice the rate of sea since 1880.

  3. The weights that are given to various facts, beliefs and assumptions will vary from person-to-person and group-to-group. The complexity of the matter increases as we add the social and psychological dynamics of foundational principles like, accountability, personal responsibility and individual liberty until finally, we realize it is impossible to arrive at sensible solutions except with a market-based approach.

    The verdict of decision-makers are most trustworthy when people vote with their own dollars. Voting with what you own essentially is voting your own life’s blood because as that is what is invested to earn those dollars. The problem we face in the West today is too many people are voting with the life’s blood of others. We are turning the productive into victims of ritual blood-letting and that is beginning to buckle society at the knees.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “David Springer | March 8, 2014 at 11:36 am |
      You didn’t have a problem with troposphere temperatures when they
      were rising. Why is that?”
      You have no idea what my thoughts were so put a cork in in Springer.

  4. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    Given the high reliance of tropospheric temperatures on ENSO behavior over short periods, even up to several decades, and the poor proxy that sensible tropospheric heat makes for overall energy in the climate system, I am wondering why observed short-term tropospheric temperatures would be used to draw any conclusion about the long-term climate sensitivity of GHG forcing? Aren’t there much better proxies?

    • Maybe, for proxy humans.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      The more scientific questions would be:

      1. What the best proxy or combinations of proxies that represent changes to Earth’s climate system energy over 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, 50 years?

    • Facing long Milankovitch hibernation, maybe we should bulk up.

    • Global sea ice maybe?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Edim | March 8, 2014 at 11:24 am |
      Global sea ice maybe?”

      Possibly as one of several metrics used in combination, but sea ice volume and not area or extent.

    • David Springer

      You didn’t have a problem with troposphere temperatures when they
      were rising. Why is that?

    • Why not just stick with surface temperature, Gatesy? That’s the way the alarmists wanted to play it, until the pause. The pause is killing the cause.

    • Jim Cripwell

      R. Gates, you write “Aren’t there much better proxies?”

      Surely the right answer lies within your question. Why must we use proxies at all? Surely the answer lies in the fact that proxies are needed in the first place. The fact of the matter is that we cannot measure any vital factor for CAGW, namely how much climate is affected somehow, when more and more CO2 is added to the atmosphere. Since there is no way of measuring, for example, climate sensitivity, or proving that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes some specific series of events to occur, we need to revert to proxies.

      The fact that proxies are needed at all, merely serves to emphasise the obvious. The fact that CAGW is still a hypothesis, and will likely remain so into the indefinite future.

    • Don M, the bottom line is surface temperature AND ocean heat content. Both respond to climate forcing, sometimes one at the expense of the other. As the OHC record becomes longer and more precise, it will be at least as important to keep track of.

    • You should have warned the warmists twenty years ago to expect warming to hide in the deep cold ocean abysses, jimmy dee.

    • The lovely thing about all that missing heat hiding in the deep while the tropospheric temperatures remain steady, is that it can only come out when the Holocene ends. It will either moderate the onset or limit the extreme, or both. Too bad it’s probably radiating out to the universe instead.

    • The OHC rise can delay, but can’t prevent, warming to equilibrium. It represents a growing imbalance in the current climate of growing CO2. This imbalance is a kind of a pressure of warming that is building up while the surface temperature stays steady.

    • Springer makes an excellent point:

      You didn’t have a problem with troposphere temperatures when they were rising. Why is that?

      “You did it first” is such a compelling logical argument. Second in brilliance only to “Two wrongs make a right.”

      Because, you know, it makes so much sense for “skeptics” to use a metric that they’ve said is invalid, to determine a lack of “global warming”

    • You just made that up, joshie. Springer didn’t say “they did it first”. He is pointing out their lack of consistency. Why don’t you shut up.

      • David Springer

        Right you are, Don. I didn’t have a problem with tropo temps when they were rising. Not measured by satellites at any rate those are the gold standard as far as I’m concerned. ARGO OHC is too new and not accurate enough as it’s looking for a needle in a haystack and over half the haystack isn’t accessable to it. Satellite data of the lower troposphere rules and we have 35 years of it and counting.

    • “…the bottom line is surface temperature AND ocean heat content. Both respond to climate forcing, sometimes one at the expense of the other.”

      Yeah, when it’s warming, it is surface temperature responding; when cooling or flat, it’s the ohc.

    • John DeFayette

      We cannot deny that we need proxies for measuring climate sensitivity. Tasseography, hieroscopy and phrenology are only several examples of science’s numerous fields where proxies have been used with great success. We are very lucky that we have enough folks smart enough to correctly interpret the right proxy.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “David Springer | March 8, 2014 at 11:36 am |
      You didn’t have a problem with troposphere temperatures when they
      were rising. Why is that?”
      You have no idea what my thoughts were so put a cork in in Springer.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Surely the right answer lies within your question.”
      Wish it were that easy. The issue of climate chage is most likely an issue of energy changes within the system, but this is only a supposition.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Why not just stick with surface temperature, Gatesy?”
      The physics does not support tropospheric sensible heat being a very good proxy.

    • You should have told that to the warmistas twenty years ago, gatesy.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “The OHC rise can delay, but can’t prevent, warming to equilibrium. It represents a growing imbalance in the current climate of growing CO2. This imbalance is a kind of a pressure of warming that is building up while the surface temperature stays steady.”
      Certainly the vast majority of climate energy is in the ocean, with the IPWP. It seems the fact that the net energy of the IPWP has been showing a steady upward trend for over 60 years on a decadal basis should be given some consideration. It only releases bits of energy on seasonal scales and during EL Niños, but otherwise this largest single repository of climate energy has been steadily accumulating energy.

    • Why don’t you shut up.

      “SKEPTIC” POLICE!!!!1!!!!1

      Yet again, we see how those statistwarmistcultist children-starving progressives WANT TO CENSOR ME!!!1!!!!!!!1

      Oh, the humanity!!!!!!

      WHERE’S MY FAINTING COUCH?!!?!!1!!?!!?

    • How about food supply?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Don Monfort | March 8, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
      You should have told that to the warmistas twenty years ago, gatesy.”
      Well very likely the troposphere will be going higher and higher in sensible heat in the coming decades, but it is far too ficklle with far too low of thermal inertia and big reliance on the ocean to be a good short-term proxy for climate sensitivity.

      • David Springer

        Yeah it’s not as if the land surface air temperture is where we live and work and breathe and grow our food or anything like that. Who cares. The ocean thousands of feet deep is what’s important to humans.

        Oh wait…


    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “aaron | March 8, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
      How about food supply?”
      Not a bad idea. Net biological production on the planet may be a very excellent way to gauge the net energy in the climate system. We do have to be careful though as we are bringing up energy from the lithosphere in the form of petrochemical fertilizer and this may skew the use of “food supply” as an actual proxy for changes in the energy of the climate system.

    • Joking aside, this is a good point. Latent heat is important. And, cloud changes and cloud/solar responses are likely filtered through ocean cycles and dependent on ocean surface temps (and wind and pressure).

    • Thanks for the histrionics, joshie. We are amused.

      I didn’t try to censor you, joshie. I posed a rhetorical. You took it and created a strawman. Typical foolishness. Why don’t you shut up. Why don’t you stop acting like a twit.

    • The atmosphere isn’t fickle, gatesy. It will take whatever the oceans give it. Why aren’t the warming oceans warming the atmosphere, gatesy?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “The fact that proxies are needed at all, merely serves to emphasise the obvious.”
      It is very difficult to give a complete accounting of the energy in the entire system without the use of proxies. Even a simple measurement of the sensible heat in a parcel of air does not give a full accounting of the energy available in that parcel for the climate system. It is all only a proxy, but each one can be more or less accurate over various time frames.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Why aren’t the warming oceans warming the atmosphere, gatesy?”
      If you’d been paying attention you’d know the answer is of course literally blowing in the winds.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Also of course, the oceans are always warming the atmosphere. ENSO and PDO fluctuations simply modulate the flux a bit higher or lower, but the net flow of energy is always strongly from ocean to atmosphere.

    • You are another dodger, like jimmy dee. Answer the question, gatesy. Why are the oceans not warming the atmosphere? What is the excuse du jour, for the pause that is killing the cause? You people are comical.

    • R.G., “Certainly the vast majority of climate energy is in the ocean, with the IPWP. It seems the fact that the net energy of the IPWP has been showing a steady upward trend for over 60 years on a decadal basis should be given some consideration. It only releases bits of energy on seasonal scales and during EL Niños, but otherwise this largest single repository of climate energy has been steadily accumulating energy.”

      Yes, but realize that IR makes very minute contribution to this We’re talking about a region that is relatively warm (high temps mean less temp response to GHGs) and is only part of the earth’s surface. We really need to look at cloud cover in the region, wind speed, surface current, pressure… and what drives these.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      For those who can understand the role of oceans:

      Here is pretty much all you need to know about the cause of the pause. A wealth of data here telling us in great detail about the changes in latent and sensible flux from ocean to atmosphere over the past 30+ years.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Yes, but realize that IR makes very minute contribution to this We’re talking about a region that is relatively warm (high temps mean less temp response to GHGs) and is only part of the earth’s surface. We really need to look at cloud cover in the region, wind speed, surface current, pressure… and what drives these.”
      Aaron, the effect of increasing GHG’s is not that they are warming the ocean through LW radiation directly, but that they reduce the net flow of energy leaving the planet. As energy takes multiple forms in the climate system, we must take an accounting of all those forms to see if the net energy of the system is increasing. Clouds, wind, currents, etc all represent forms that energy takes. Sensible heat in the troposphere is just one among many. Why should we rely on it to give the best proxy for gains or losses of energy in the rest of the system? Should the long term gain of energy seen in the IPWP be any less important?

    • Don Monfort

      You can’t answer the question, gatesy. Climate science can’t answer the question. That’s why the pause is killing the cause.

    • Here the global sea ice are ‘anomaly’, since we have the measurements or roughly half a ~60 year climatic cycle:

    • RG, sorry, I wasn’t suggesting that what I said supports tropospheric temps as a good proxy. I was getting at the implications of build up of heat in the indo-pacific.

    • R. Gates, A Skeptical Warmist

      “RG, sorry, I wasn’t suggesting that what I said supports tropospheric temps as a good proxy. I was getting at the implications of build up of heat in the indo-pacific.”
      Sorry for my misunderstanding.

      But the build up of heat in the IPWP is a most interesting event. Certainly there are cycles involved, but it is worth noting. Also worthy of consideration is the direct and powerful role the IPWP plays in both ocean and atmospheric climate energy on a global scale with the IPWP acting as a “source” region where energy is advected around the planet from this regions both seasonally and over longer cycles via both the ocean and via the atmosphere.

    • R. Gates, A Skeptical Warmist

      “Here the global sea ice are ‘anomaly’, since we have the measurements or roughly half a ~60 year climatic cycle:

      As has been noted by others, the NH sea ice has been declining faster than the SH sea ice has been rising over the long-term. This gives a net small decline in global sea ice. Probably useful as part of a group of proxies for the total energy in the system, as a net decline in sea ice globally over the long term indicates small net increase or addition to total climate system energy. Not nearly so big as the gains in energy to say the IPWP, but still worth putting into the mix of net climate energy.

    • Rgates

      I am currently writing an article entitled ‘ tranquility, transition and turbulence 1200 to 1450AD ‘ which traces the climate from its apparent evolution from the mwp to the lia. It is based on thousands of records and observations.

      Whilst not subscribing to the volcano theory I would like to fairly put over the theory as it relates to its impact on temperature. Which one or two non pay walled succinct articles would you suggest I link to ?


    • Mickey Reno

      I agree that near-surface troposphere temps are a lousy way to measure climate change. I’ve long thought that air temps should not be considered at all until we have a much stronger knowledge of what’s happening in the oceans. I think a good place to start would be in long term measurements of the energy contained within, and being conducted by major ocean currents. Including, if possible, the stream of high density cold sinking salty water in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica and the upwelling cold along S. America. We’d need to measure along the coasts of all the continents, I presume, perhaps excepting Antarctica, which contributes more to the vertical movement of water. The basic proxy would be some model of total energy based on a speed and temperature of these currents.

      Measuring eddies between major ocean currents at geological boundaries in places like the Bearing Straits, off Greenland, Cape Horn, Cape of Good Hope, and between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific might be a good way to start to connect regional and seasonal variation of such a system into longer term regional weather and climate forecasting. And of course, we need far more openness and transparency in the process. Weather modeling lessons MUST be incorporated into all climate models. Falsifiability and replication must once again be featured, of course. No more “panels of experts” deciding. No more correlations that create the false impression of causality.


    • Mickey Reno, the kind of work done by the Balmaseda et al. study is going in this direction. They continuously drive a full 3d ocean model with increasingly dense observations to constrain the currents. They may lack all the resolution they need at the moment, but the ocean data assimilation approach is promising, and can only get better with computer power.

    • R. Gates, A Skeptical Warmist


      If there is one single free article for you to read and reference it would be:

      Now, the years 1257 and 1453 are key in the volcanic aerosol story as they were the two largest single eruptions in the past 1,000 years, but please don’t forget that the 50 year period around 1257 saw the largest increase in aerosols in 500 years. The MWP, from around 900 AD to around 1200 AD had relatively less volcanic activity and the stratospheric optical depth was decreased.

      In general, two key forcings differentiate the MWP from the LIA:

      1. Increased volcanic activity during the LIA, and lower solar activity.
      2. Decreased volcanic activity during the MWP, and a more active sun.

      Solar forcing and volcanic forcing affect the climate slightly differently, with solar forcing having a disproportionately larger forcing on the NH due to effects mainly from higher energy UV altering jet stream patterns in the NH. But you probably already knew that.

    • Rgates

      Thanks for that


    • A few decades of good OHC data would be nice, lets hope somebody keeps funding ARGO into the future.

      The problem with Arctic sea ice remains attribution.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist:

      Thanks for the link. It shows how, in the vicinity of the Equator, the isotherm moves E and W, and the temps at the longitudes increase and decrease It doesn’t show anything about heat fluxes, either sensible or latent. For example, it does not show whether E/W currents are changing, whether flux in downward and upward directions is changing, or anything else. You could write out a model, say a compartment model, that produced such a time series as its output, specifically modeling heat flows between compartments and sizes/heat capacities of compartments, but I doubt it would be identifiable.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “For example, it does not show whether E/W currents are changing, whether flux in downward and upward directions is changing, or anything else.”
      You are right, I did assume that readers have more than a passing knowledge of ENSO dynamics, especially in regard to the well documented west to east movement of mass and energy during and El Niño, as well as the large flux of ocean to atmosphere sensible and latent heat that occurs. The chart I linked to shows the timing and size of these pulses since 1981. It was assumed the reader had the requisite background.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: It was assumed the reader had the requisite background.


      You always think there is some magical handwaving in between hypothetical heat flows and documented temperature changes so that everything just works out right. But the actual heat flows are at best poorly measured, and mostly unmeasured. Obviously there have to be heat flows, they just have not been measured.

      As a reminder, here is what you wrote: A wealth of data here telling us in great detail about the changes in latent and sensible flux from ocean to atmosphere over the past 30+ years.

      None of that is presented, let alone in detail, at the link you provided.

    • Two different views from the one person, better ask.
      R.G . Is the atmosphere always warming from the atmosphere?or is the surface temperature staying steady ie not warming?

      R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | March 8, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
      “The OHC rise can delay, but can’t prevent, warming to equilibrium. It represents a growing imbalance in the current climate of growing CO2. This imbalance is a kind of a pressure of warming that is building up while the surface temperature stays steady.”

      R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | March 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
      Also of course, the oceans are always warming the atmosphere.


    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist


      I did not say the first quote, it was Jim D., who said it here:

      You should read more carefully. I quoted him to contrast his position to my own, which is this: the net flow of energy is ALWAYS from ocean to atmosphere on this water planet. Sometimes that net flow is a bit higher than average and tropospheric temperatures spike upward as is typical during an El Niño.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      M. Marler said:

      “Obviously there have to be heat flows, they just have not been measured.”
      I don’t even know how to respond to such an ignorant statement.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist: I don’t even know how to respond to such an ignorant statement.

      Document where the heat flows, relevant to that temperature time series that you cited, have been measured and reported.

      I wrote this: For example, it does not show whether E/W currents are changing, whether flux in downward and upward directions is changing, or anything else. You could write out a model, say a compartment model, that produced such a time series as its output, specifically modeling heat flows between compartments and sizes/heat capacities of compartments, but I doubt it would be identifiable.

      You would not have to relate the measured heat flows to a compartment model of your own construction, but you might relate them to the model of ENSO presented in Nonlinear Climate Dynamics by Henk Dijkstra.

      Stephens, Trenberth and others have reported on heat flows, but those are annual averages, and do not produce as output anything like the temperature series that have been presented at that link. The GCMs model heat flows, but they also do not produce temperature time series that can be matched against or tested against the data that you linked to.

      You said that the link provided detailed information about fluxes, so show the detailed information about the fluxes.

      The AGW theory is full of assumptions about equilibrium, and derivations based on those assumptions, but the Earth climate system is not in equilibrium and never will be. At least complicated, it might be well modeled by a system in near steady-state over appropriate intervals, in which case the energy into a compartment (NH sea surface, perhaps) equals the energy flow out of the compartment. A claim lately is that the sea surface and troposphere are nearly in equilibrium (hence the near constant temperature, averaged over the year), but not quite, with a net flow from the sea surface to the deep ocean. OK, so where does the flow into the deep ocean (Equator, perhaps) slightly exceed the flow in the reverse direction (Arctic and Southern Oceans)?

      I have been posting here for a few years now that most of the relevant heat flown are not known, and none are known in much detail (rates at any regions of the world.) You claimed that a link provided detailed information on fluxes, and there was not any information on flux rates there.

    • Matthew Marler, one interesting thing to look out for with the next El Nino is a drop in the global OHC. This will mark a release of some of the accumulated heat back to the surface where the surface air temperature will manifest it as a rapid rise. This will make clear to skeptics that the OHC is a real physical reservoir of heat, not just an abstraction or excuse.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      M. Marler,

      Please go here a do a bit of reading:

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “This will make clear to skeptics that the OHC is a real physical reservoir of heat, not just an abstraction or excuse.”
      You are an optimist Jim D. There are so many opportunities for honest skeptics to try and understand the dynamics going on that it should not take the next El Niño, or the one after that or the one after that to make anything clear to them. With ARGO, the gain in ocean heat has been better and better documented. Only fake-skeptics continue to think that OHC would be just an abstraction.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates:

      Thank you for the link. It does not provide the details on the particular heat fluxes that you referred to when you supplied this link:

      Here is pretty much all you need to know about the cause of the pause. A wealth of data here telling us in great detail about the changes in latent and sensible flux from ocean to atmosphere over the past 30+ years.

      Consider the region near 80 W to 120 W: it oscillated in a band for 3 years before 1998, then in 1998 the peak temperature was much higher than before or after. Clearly, there was energy flow into the region, and energy flow out of the region periodically, and at the peak in 1998 the energy flow in exceeded the energy flow out by an unusual amount, then after that the energy flow out exceeded the energy flow in to reproduce what had been going on before. This is a record of part of ENSO, and the large temp in 1998 is a part of the large el Nino of that year. Nowhere in your links are the pertinent energy flows described in the detail that you claim. Consider the peak energy in 80W – 120W: where did it go? Did it diffuse to the deep ocean? Did it flow in currents to melt the ice caps? Did it evaporate? Did it diffuse out of the the narrow Equatorial band?

      That does not provide “pretty much all you need to know about the cause of the pause.” There are no “details about the changes in latent and sensible heat flux from ocean to atmosphere.”

  5. Are there any objective courses on Climate Change offered by universities anywhere, including on line? I recently subjected myself to a Coursera on line course taught by Richard Alley of Penn. St. which I found laughably biased and simplistic.

    Judith, how is this treated at Ga. Tech.?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist
    • Mark,
      MIT ed is in the midst of a climate model course on line for free. They are two or three on line lectures into the program.

    • Mark specified that he is looking for “objective” courses.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Mark, you write “Are there any objective courses”

      The trouble with trying to provide an answer is who decides what is “objective”? There is no scientific body who can answer that question. Objectivity is in the eye of the beholder, when it comes to CAGW. There is no way of establishing what is and what is not objective.

    • Don makes an excellent point. To find an objective course, you’ll just have to wait until one is offered by an institution that overtly affiliates with a view on climate change that Don is in agreement with. Because, you know, anything else would be subjective.

    • David Wojick

      Mark, I cannot imagine who would put such a course on. Each side just wants to present its side. I have wanted to build a neutral issue tree of the climate issue for 22 years but no one wants to pay to have the other side included. See

    • There is no way of establishing what is and what is not objective.

      Once again I see evidence of an opinion expressed by Jim that shows a logical consistency that escapes many other “skeptics” (notwithstanding his logical inconsistency when he’s talking of the comparison between estimation and measurement).

    • Well, it seems that 97% of Consensus Climate Science is hype, so clearly, objective is a souffle.

    • I would trust Judith to conduct an objective course, joshie. Would you trust her? Look< i gave you another opportunity to engage in character assassination. Not that you need any prompting, you twit.

    • Mark,

      This is a good course and objective as reasonable.

      12.340x Global Warming Science at MIT free online.

      Lots of unsettled science at this time and one should keep open mind.


    • Steven Mosher

      “There is no way of establishing what is and what is not objective.”

      are you certain of that?

    • Cats know. A few dogs, but I think it’s just nose.

    • Curious George

      Objectivity is determined by whoever has better tanks.

    • Objectivity is determined by whoever has better tanks.

      “Objectivity” is shown in who wins. Maybe they have better tanks, maybe they just convinced their enemies they had better tanks and won at the negotiation table.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua may be stuck in an old notion of what objective
      Means. Lets ask him before we criticize.

      Josh. How did you determine that objectivity was impossible and what do you mean by that.

      Amuse us

    • steven –

      You seem to forget that you know what I think better than I know what I think. There’s no point in my answering your question as you are quite convinced that your understanding of my opinion would be superior anyway.

    • Anyway – it was a quote of Jim – forgot the tags.

      Again, his voicing that opinion is evidence that he’s more logically consistent than many of his “skeptical” brethren.

      Of course, that may not really be my opinion. Just ask yourself if you still have more questions.

    • “Joshua
      steven –
      You seem to forget that you know what I think better than I know what I think”

      I would offer to read your mind, but I suffer from claustrophobia.

    • Thanks for all the discussion and suggestions. I am looking at 12.340x. I can’t imagine what a neutral issue tree of the climate issue would look like, but the paper fascinated me.

    • And I took the MOOC “Turn Down the heat ” course prepared by the World Bank. It had little science and much CAGW “information.”

    • “You seem to forget that you know what I think better than I know what I think. There’s no point in my answering your question as you are quite convinced that your understanding of my opinion would be superior anyway.”

      That statement is perfect Joshua, The only thing that would make it better would be for you to say it in a moment of self reflection as opposed to directing it at someone else.

    • Scott, thanks for the MIT link. The course started moe than two weeks ago, but registration will be open until March 12, 2014. I’d do it but I’ll be away a lot in the next few weeks – I might try the “Audit” option, having access to all material without enrolling in the course.

      As for Curious George’s “Objectivity is determined by whoever has better tanks,” see the Crimea, and a Times article run in today’s Australian as “Obama’s cool war blink.” Kurt Volker, former US Ambassador to NATO, says that “We create a vacuum by not engaging, not being involved, a vacuum where we’re not willing to apply force. Whoever is willing to, steps in and takes what they want.”

    • They took Georgia while Bush was President, and he had already started two wars by then. What’s a President got to do to stop them?
      Nonsense of course. Russia is very much on the defensive with the westward turning of Ukraine. Crimea would be small consolation for that loss of influence in a major border country. This is a net loss for Russia as it stands, and they are the ones that are scrambling.

  6. From the article:
    Tapping 100 years of US natural gas at light speed
    Published: Tuesday, 4 Mar 2014 | 10:09 AM ET
    By: Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS and Chairman of IHS CERAWeek

    The history of energy is filled with unexpected developments and eras of transformation. It’s the pace of the latest developments that continues to surprise. Long fundamental to the global economy, energy today has become the new crucible of global competitiveness for companies and for nations, redefining the landscape for economics, geopolitics and strategy.

    Much of this has been driven by North America’s unconventional revolution in the form of shale gas and tight oil—augmented, as well, by renewables. The United States now has more than 100 years’ worth of natural gas supply. Domestic crude-oil production has grown by 3 million barrels since 2008—more than 60 percent.

    But it is the dramatic impact on global economic competitiveness that is just now coming into view. The abundance in low-cost natural gas in the United States compared to other regions (for example, U.S. gas prices are one-third the price of Europe) has made U.S. industry increasingly competitive. This has turned the country into a growing destination not only for U.S. but also for foreign industrial investment. This investment involves not only energy-intensive industries like chemicals and metals but also companies in the supply chains that support such industries.

    he drive for renewables continues, to be sure. Last year $200 billion was invested in renewable electric generation, compared to just $5 billion in 2000. Costs of solar have come down substantially. But with that growth is coming greater recognition of the need for balance so that decarbonization benefits do not come at the price of economic competitiveness and jobs. It is here where the unconventional revolution—particularly shale gas—may go global as a lower-cost, lower-carbon companion to renewables in power generation.

    • Heh, save the coal for when the temperatures drop. A win/win/win/win is blowing in the win.

    • The surge in fossil fuel energy production that has come about thanks to Big Oil and Gas, has saved the U.S, economy from Obamanomics. Big Oil and Gas got Obama re-elected and is now saving him from having an approval rating of about 4%. Ironic, ain’t it.

    • It’s really exciting to see job growth in the fossil fuels segment and it will also attract chemical companies and other industries. Obama and the Dimocrats have done almost everything possible to make doing business expensive, it’s good to have an economic tail wind.

    • D&j, mercy falleth like the gentle rain.

    • John DeFayette

      It’s not only the US. While Europe still tries to decide whether or not it wants to jump off the economic ledge the New Worlds are reaping the rewards of ingenuity and truly progressive government. Next stop, Saudi Australia!
      (Thanks to The GWPF)

    • If I ran a company, I would probably rather go to China than Argentina. At least the Chinese have come to understand the value of free markets. Argentina hasn’t one smidgen of an inkling of a clue.

  7. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of a firm opinion is not in search of contrary arguments. (apologies to J.A.)..
    If nothing else is apparent after 5 years of hanging around climate blogs, that is. It’s really pretty astounding, that in all this time I’ve never once seen someone change their mind in a fundamental way.. (I changed my mind…I came to the discussion as a warmist…but I also concede even before I exposed myself to the various arguments and counter arguments, there was something about CAGW that struck me as false. )

    Since we know going in we’re not going to change anyone’s firmly made up mind, why do we continue to fight so furiously? What’s the point of all the anger and insults? All the sturm und drang?

    From my perspective, alarmists are becoming more desperate and more disingenuous as time goes on. The recent Lewis and Crok thread is in my view a new low in alarmist obfuscation and intellectual intransigence, but they obviously don’t see it that way…

    Still, I think most of skeptics have the sense thats something valuable is happening on Climate Etc., that things are going our way, and that every year that goes by strengthens our case. But what about you alarmists? What keeps you coming back? I suppose you’re looking to the future in hopes of being vindicated…although how you guys can positively pine for evidence of a coming thermaggedon and feel good about yourselves is pretty much beyond me.

    All I know is it can’t be that much fun to be an alarmist these days….

    • One sad thing is that there is increasing evidence of intent to hide good news and trumpet the bad, even unto looking for and if not finding, then fabricating the evidence for bad news. It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature, she resents the presumption.

    • I see that as well, Kim . I admit it though, I love the smell of alarmist flop sweat in the morning.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Still, I think most of skeptics have the sense thats something valuable is happening on Climate Etc., that things are going our way.”
      An honest skeptic has no dog in the fight, does not have an “our way”. Only a fake-skeptic would make your kind of statement.

    • Long ago I swore I’d avoid schadenfreude, but how come it comes when the struggle’s so far from over. I fear it’s madness; maybe it’s just anger.

    • There’s “good news” and there’s “clinging to straws”. The Lewis model is more the latter.

    • R. Gates –

      An honest skeptic has no dog in the fight, does not have an “our way”.

      It’s about identity politics (identity protection and identity aggression), self-victimization, etc.

      How many times, and for how long, have you read these sorts of assertions made, on both sides, that the other “side” is desperate?

      How many final stakes through hearts and final nails in coffins have been driven?

      “Insight” such as PGs above, of the sort he offers so often (along with his constant name-calling, insulting, and declaration of moral superiority) are evidence of the mechanics of motivated reasoning. People see what they want to see and are firmly convinced of the clarity of their vision. To the point where it justifies the great indignation such as that expressed so often by PG.

    • Gatesy doesn’t have a dog in the fight. He got an alligator.

    • Jim Cripwell

      pokerguy, you write “Since we know going in we’re not going to change anyone’s firmly made up mind, why do we continue to fight so furiously?”

      I can only answer for myself. And my answer is for my own education. Where else can I formulate ideas, and then have someone else, who really knows about the issue, tear them to pieces because I have not thought them through properly?

    • Steven Mosher

      Since we know going in we’re not going to change anyone’s firmly made up mind, why do we continue to fight so furiously?

      homo ludens

    • Jim Cripwell

      R. Gates, you write “An honest skeptic has no dog in the fight, does not have an “our way”. Only a fake-skeptic would make your kind of statement.”

      I don’t know whether I am honest or not, but I do have a dog in the fight. My tax dollars, and the exit of manufacturing from Ontario, Canada caused by a huge hike in electricity prices, on the basis that we must generate electricity “cleanly”.

    • “homo ludens…”

      I actually knew what this meant from forcing my way through “Magister Ludi” many years ago. Yes, I think you’re right, Mosher.

    • “An honest skeptic has no dog in the fight, does not have an “our way”. Only a fake-skeptic would make your kind of statement.”

      Only a hopeless blowhard would make this statement. We’re all human beings Gates. Except you of course, whose skepticism is near to priestly in its virtue and purity.


    • Only a hopeless blowhard would make this statement. We’re all human beings Gates

      The logic of a “skeptic” is fascinating. A work of art and a thing of beauty.

    • Joshua,

      If self-awareness were the only money, you’d be living on the streets.

    • They have co-opted the “skeptic” tag. A true skeptic allows for the truth to be what AGW says it is as one possibility. These people don’t seem to allow for that possibility at all. There is another word for these, but we can’t use it.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Gatesy has an alligator volcano

    • “A true skeptic allows for the truth to be what AGW says it is as one possibility. These people don’t seem to allow for that possibility at all. “

      Well, puzzling through the Joshua like syntax, you seem to be saying skeptics don’t allow for the possibility that anthro Co2 is actually going to cause ruinous warming. I’d say the position of most skeptics is that given the evidence thus far, it seems more and more unlikely. In order to put much of the world into energy starvation, you’re going to have to do better than you are in making the case.

    • In order to put much of the world into energy starvation, you’re going to have to do better than you are in making the case.

      Especially since “energy starvation” isn’t really necessary

    • Normal people exercise caution when there is an uncertain fog ahead. Slow down, reduce emissions, just in case those 97% happen to be right.

    • Mosher, homo ludens:

      “Huizinga begins by making it clear that animals played before humans. One of the most significant (human and cultural) aspects of play is that it is fun.

      “Huizinga identifies 5 characteristics that play must have:

      Play is free, is in fact freedom.
      Play is not “ordinary” or “real” life.
      Play is distinct from “ordinary” life both as to locality and duration.
      Play creates order, is order. Play demands order absolute and supreme.
      Play is connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained from it.”

      Well, I’ve said before, that one reason I come to CE is for the entertainment. I don’t mean that I skip over all the serious-about-science posts, but I do skip past the totally boring long-drawn out repetitive tit-for-tat insults and arguing x for the nth time sub-threads which tend to attract all the usual suspects (and some who should know better).

    • Matthew R Marler

      pokerguy (aka al neipris): It’s really pretty astounding, that in all this time I’ve never once seen someone change their mind in a fundamental way..

      I changed my mind about one thing. I used to think it would take about 20 years to come up with a solid estimate of how much, if any, effect CO2 was having on climate changes. Now I think it will take at least 40 years. I can imagine a scenario that would make me change my mind, but I don’t think it is going to happen.

    • Matthew R Marler

      faustino: I’ve said before, that one reason I come to CE is for the entertainment.

      I have likened it to sandlot football, but you can along the way learn climate science by following the links and testing some ideas against the responses that they elicit.

    • Matthew Marler, so far we have only had three successive record warm decades in a row. By the time it gets to five in a row, most, but the slow of mind, would have twigged to the idea that something is going on. That is, twenty years.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Only a hopeless blowhard would make this statement. We’re all human beings Gates. Except you of course, whose skepticism is near to priestly in its virtue and purity.”
      Thank you but skeptics don’t care about final outcomes, only that the path always uses the tool of skepticism in an honest fashion to fairly evaluate all held assumptions, with the goal of gaining a more and more accurate perspective on “reality”.

    • Jim D

      You got it wrong again.

      Most rational skeptics of the IPCC CAGW premise are NOT rationally skeptical of the AGW hypothesis per se.

      They can accept that humans may have influenced our climate locally, regionally and possibly even globally in the past and may do so in the future, and that greenhouse gases may well have played a role in this.

      But they see that there is no empirical evidence that the human impact from AGW has been a significant one or (even less) that it represents a potential serious threat to humanity and our environment over the next century or so unless we immediately curtail human GHG emissions drastically, as the CAGW premise (as specifically outlined by IPCC) would have us believe.

      That is what CAGW skeptics are rationally skeptical of.

      Got it this this time?

      Jim, it’s best to know what your debate adversaries really think, rather than what you’d like for them to think.


    • manacker, as I said, they don’t teach CAGW, just AGW. AGW is just the state of the science. CAGW would be advocacy. They don’t do advocacy, so I don’t know what your fear of it is.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      It’s hard to believe that some people think they can get away with proposing that the “C” is not inextricably tied now to the “AGW”.

    • thisisnogood, the C is the difference between advocacy and science. For some people the magnitude of AGW implies the C. It is kind of like when applied mathematics (AM) says that falling 100 meters from rest you reach a speed of 45 m/s, and CAM says that hurts so don’t do it. See the difference?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Jim D says:
      “The C is the difference between advocacy and science. For some people the magnitude of AGW implies the C. It is kind of like when applied mathematics (AM) says that falling 100 meters from rest you reach a speed of 45 m/s, and CAM says that hurts so don’t do it. See the difference?”

      Of course. And the two are bound now no matter what rate of increase might show.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      They are synonymous now. If one does not accept the whole ball of wax, one is labeled.
      They’re not separate.

    • They are bound if you really don’t think 4 C by 2100 is a good thing to have, so it implies mitigation. Many skeptics think it is not so bad, even if it happens. This is where the debate should be, not whether, but just how much damage can it cause if unmitigated?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “They are bound if you really don’t think 4 C by 2100 is a good thing to have, so it implies mitigation. Many skeptics think it is not so bad, even if it happens. This is where the debate should be, not whether, but just how much damage can it cause if unmitigated?”

      That’s changing the subject from what you were tryig to differentiate.

      They are not separate, and activist scientists have made sure of that.
      It’s caused a lot of opposition and needless strife.

      “They are bound if you really don’t think 4 C by 2100 is a good thing:”

      No, it was tipping point to runaway that may have already been passed and global catastrophe, end of everything, babies roasting while being gnawed on by rats and on and on. You know that.

    • thisisnogood, no, actually I don’t know what you mean. It is not as hopeless as that, and never was, which is why mitigation is still possible. Try following the debate instead of creating your own irrelevant climate nightmare.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Jim D, It’s not my nightmare.

      Perhaps you are young. The nightmare hype is a bit lesser now.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Jim D, Why do you think catastrophists immediately believed that streetlights could melt from AGW?
      Their minds are obliterated. Think Progress. ClimateReality. BiIl McKibben, they all believed immediately.

    • “streetlights melting”? Really? Is this a Dali picture you are confusing it with?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      google it, Jim D

      You must be quite young

    • Steven Mosher

      “They are synonymous now. If one does not accept the whole ball of wax, one is labeled.
      They’re not separate.”

      Its worse than that. Suppose I accept AGW.. not good enough
      Suppose I accept CAGW.. STILL not good enough
      Suppose I accept CAGW and more taxes, STILL not good enough
      Suppose I accept CAGW, the whole regime of mitigation… STILL not good enough
      Suppose I accept CAGW, all the mitigation, and climate reparations.. Still not good enough

      Suppose I accept it all. Still not good enough.

      What else is there?

      You must defend Mann you must attack skeptics and you must attack Judith.

      When you do all that then you are safe from being called a denier. Otherwise
      do not step toward that thin green line

    • I am not very young. Maybe you are confused with what would happen if the sun went to a red giant or something. All this sciencey stuff is the same to some. Were you taken in by this? Did you see anyone who was? Were there scientific papers or conferences mentioning this?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      This all shows how far out of the picture you are, Jim D :)
      Just go here:

    • OK, I Googled the street lamps thing and apparently that was way back in 2012 when some lamps melted in Oklahoma. So, while it was rather hot there that day, it can’t be blamed on global warming as any individual event can’t. Anyway, it had the “skeptics” on the defensive for a while. They hate when unusual hot things like this happen because then they have to go out and explain to a jittery public that this lamp-melting thing is normal.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      JIm D, I gave you an example of the abnormal mind of those frightened by the continual nightmare images that I talked about that you didn’t believe.
      The discomfort was for their supporters and other CAGW activists, not for skeptics.

      It was great fun that people got to see how messed up their minds are .
      That you know nothing of all this shows how far out of the picture you are.

    • I guess the green activists can conjure up much more appealing catastrophic images than the extreme skeptics, for whom the best they can come up with is the world government idea that will tax you to poverty. Both sides have them. I tend to ignore them.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I am afraid that world government is not an idea invented by the right. It is such utter lunacy – it must be leftist.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “I guess the green activists can conjure up much more appealing catastrophic images than the extreme skeptics, for whom the best they can come up with is the world government idea that will tax you to poverty. Both sides have them. I tend to ignore them.”

      No, you just tried to play it of as a skeptic embarrassment, Jim D.

      How about if a “mainstream” “scientist” did the same thing…with traffic lights…
      …calling Dr. Gleick!…calling Dr. Gleick. Genius prize winner.

      hehe, Jim D…so far out.

    • Matthew R Marler @ 9.51, yes, I’ve learned a great deal here, over several years that has been my main reason for coming to CE. But, given my primary interest in the policy implications, I’ve reached a stage now that I think that, whatever the actual mechanisms and magnitudes of climate change, there is more value in capacity-increasing policies than in those which seek to reduce GHG emissions or directly address some of the projected outcomes of further warming. So that my interest in developments in the science is less than it was, unless there are very clear reasons in the science to modify or overturn my policy position.

      Manacker @ 10.58, yes, hence my position as outlined to Matt.

    • John DeFayette

      –Jim D | March 8, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
      “Normal people exercise caution when there is an uncertain fog ahead. Slow down, reduce emissions, just in case those 97% happen to be right.”

      I like your analogy, Jim D–it works. Allow me to elaborate on it a bit. Maybe you’ll be able to see from my point of view.

      You see, I too slow down when there’s fog ahead. Problem is, we’re all on one big bus hurtling down the highway. We’ve been on it for generations, and for the last several centuries we have demonstrated that the bus can go faster and faster if we just improve the suspension, the motor, the wheels and so on. Some of us spend our lives designing better bearings or better pistons or better rubber for the tires or even expanding the chassis for all the new passengers who keep getting on board. It’s a big bus, and it just keeps getting better, bigger and faster.

      Most of the passengers are having a blast! There are some who cook fabulous meals, some who point telescopes out of the overhead windows, some who write poetry or put to canvass the scenes passing by the windows, there are a lot of maintenance crews running around keeping the bathrooms working, cleaning crews, singers, mailmen, surfers hanging out on the roof, and a big group of folks who constantly fight over who will drive the bus.

      Funny thing about that bus: every time we make an improvement, make it just a bit faster, it seems someone else wants to get on for the ride. It’s usually people we have never seen before, often with darker skin than ours and speaking different languages. And they can jump right on even without our slowing down–clever people, those new passengers! In fact, they are so clever they even build more space right there on the bus–they just get to work and add on a compartment or two for themselves. Lo and behold they even come up with ways to make the bus go faster. For the most part the new passengers are more than happy to join the surfers, the painters and the maintenance crews, pitching in to keep the bus well oiled and sailing down the road. It’s a pretty good ride most of the time, and it’s nice to be to sit back and enjoy it with the kids from time to time.

      Then there’s a certain group of rowdies who show up at the driver’s seat. They are screaming and panicking–something about fog ahead. Someone from an air conditioned compartment somewhere in the back has been cranking out numbers on a supercomputer that we built while trying to make new entertainment systems for the kids. His program tells him the danger ahead means we need to slow down, otherwise it’s the end of the line for the bus!

      So, we all sit up and take notice. Quick! Everyone look out for fog! But we can’t see any. Don’t worry, says the bespectacled one from the back of the bus: his calculations show that the rain we see is a sign of impending fog. But it’s dry outside we tell him. Not to worry, we are told, this is drought–another sign of impending fog. It wouldn’t be so hard to believe these guys and there predictions (sorry–projections) of doom if it weren’t for the fact that their compartment is one of those without windows.

      We suspect the computer-armed folks are not telling us everything they have in mind. We have heard screams of “STOP THE BUS” from the cubicle back there. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the fog story is really an excuse to stop the bus altogether. Someone back there even started a chant about how there are too many passengers on board, and that we need to start throwing (other) people off. Someone else was musing about how the road, which we thought just wrapped endlessly around the globe, would end soon in a chasm. All of them keep reaching for the wheel, and they incite the rest of the passengers to get rid of the driver. They want to put people at the controls who will slam on the handbrake.

      For most of us the whole argument stinks. We’ve been having a good time doing what we do best: accelerating and making room for more passengers. We don’t see any reason for stopping now.

      Can you understand our urge to keep things moving forward?

    • John DeFayette, your idea of actions required to brake (slow down emissions) is too extreme. Slowing down means reducing fossil fuel burning 10-20% per decade until it reaches near zero. This can be done with 21st century technology and the growing motivation from climate change as it becomes realized. Look how far we came between 1900 and 2000. Fossil fuels will become so 20th-century by the time we reach 2100. This is moving forwards on a different path, and not the same path that has the fog on it. It is a cleaner path with a better urban environment too, as a by-product. You seem to be too alarmist about these types of actions and their effects, and too defensive of the fossil-fuel driven status quo that burns all of them, and seeks more, without leaving any in the ground, which is the wrong path entirely.

    • thisnotgood, as I mentioned the C is only attached to AGW when it implies doing something. The AGW stands on its own (as in IPCC WG1, the physical science basis), and can be discussed on its own without policy. It comes up with temperature rise per teratonne carbon burned. It doesn’t come up with solutions, just quantifies the problem. If the debate is confined to quantifying, a lot of the skeptical circus talking points get eliminated. This is what I call the AGW debate, as opposed to the CAGW debate. They are separable. The next step is the WG2 debate about actual effects of each degree rise, and finally the third step is the WG3 debate about what can be done to adapt or mitigate. The problem is that these separate WG3 argument areas are being conflated with the science argument, and even motivate skeptical opinions on the science debate by working backwards from policy fears. They don’t like the implied policy, therefore they don’t like the science or even the scientists.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Jim D is so far out of the picture, one could laugh until tears.

      He thinks only fossil fuels produce CO2. Renewables don’t.

      Oh man, this Jim D.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: By the time it gets to five in a row, most, but the slow of mind, would have twigged to the idea that something is going on. That is, twenty years.

      There is a difference worth respecting between “something is going on”, which is always true, and “anthropogenic CO2 is causing (catastrophic? irreversible?) global warming.

  8. What is the ideal average global temperature and why?

    • From any given temperature, the biome is improved by warming and degraded by cooling.

      I learned a new term over @ The Bish’s, ‘TPP’, or total primal productivity.

      Incoming, RGates, got any nice trees @ your habitat of thought begging for a Toilet Paper Party?

    • Aye, there’s the nub of it, eh? Assume for a moment that CO2 actually functioned as a control knob, with results that could be observed in something less than the span of a lifetime, and that highly centralized monumentally expensive solutions were actually viable.
      Who would get to run the knob?

    • Further nub; with this false narrative, there has been fabricated a control knob, not of temperature, but of policy. They fit a machine around a Deus, though.

    • David Springer

      That’s total primary productivity.

    • What is the ideal sea level and why?

    • Heh, David, I don’t learn very well, and slowly at that. Thanks for the correction; now, if I can only remember that.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “Who would get to run the knob?”

      I don’t know, but we could get Mikey to compulsively polish it.

    • Bob Ludwick

      @ Adam Gallon

      I have often asked that question, expanded a bit:

      What is the ideal Temperature of the Earth (TOE), who, what body or collection of bodies determined it, and what were the criteria that they used in making the determination?

      The closest that I have gotten to an answer is ‘The one we have right now, because that is what we are used to.’

      That doesn’t seem to be a suitable answer when the invariable follow on is that to ensure that it doesn’t change we need to halt the use of fossil fuels, with no evidence that halting the use of fossil fuels would have any measurable impact on the TOE.

    • Bob Ludwick

      @ Jim D

      “What is the ideal sea level and why?”

      EXCELLENT question?

      Also, as with the TOE, who, what body, or what collection bodies determined the optimum sea level, using what criteria, and is there any evidence that any action that we can undertake would have ANY efficacy in establishing and maintaining the optimum sea level?

    • Bob L, for sea level, the answer is more obvious, but the question is how to maintain it.

    • Adam Gallon,

      I believe that standard room temperature is 20 C or so. This is obviously the scientifically calculated ideal temperature.

      Coincidentally, one of the best places to live, based on this ideal, would be the Arabian desert. With a high of 54C, and a low of -12C, the average is 21C. Whilst some might criticise me, I find 20C a little cool. An average of 21C should be better.

      Unfortunately, nobody has yet managed to measure the average global temperature, so we have no way of knowing whether it is ideal or not.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Didn’t I see this on an earlier thread? Adam, my first thought that you posed the question by way of showing its absurdity, that there can be no such thing as an “ideal” global average temperature, and that therefore seeking any particular AGT was absurd and futile. I still hope that that is what you meant, but not everyone has interpreted it that way. I’ll stick to one comment on that, touched on by Mike Flynn. Let’s say someone thinks that an ideal AGT is 20C. That could be derived by, for example, half the world being at -20c, the other half at 60C. Or with daily maxima and minima at those extremes. Etc, etc, the concept is absurd.

      Mike Flynn, live well and prop, sir.

    • Jim D

      What’s the ideal sea level and why?

      Where you stand on that question obviously depends directly on where you sit (to use an old saying).

      A Dutchman would say it is somewhat less than the height of the dikes protecting his country (at high high storm tide).

      A Swiss might say, “who cares?”

      But the obvious thing to do when sea level rises over time (as it has been doing for several hundred years) if you live near the sea, is to raise the height of the dikes.

      Humans have adapted to rising sea levels for ages and will continue doing so.

      So there is no absolute (Goldilocks) “idea sea level”, as there is no absolute “ideal global temperature”.

      The Richard Tol study concludes that today’s average temperature is better for humanity than the temperature of 110 years ago (about 0.7C colder) and a global temperature of 2C warmer than today (expected by 2080 according to IPCC) would be better for humanity on balance than the temperature of today. Tol also points out that the “breakeven point” would shift to an even warmer temperature if energy prices could be kept low.


    • There is no ideal average global temperature or sea level or rainfall or drought. What we have is what we have got. Live with it others have, for millions of years.
      If you want to change the world ask yourself what good things you have done for others close to you today, even fellow bloggers.
      If you haven’t done anything yet get out and do something.
      You cannot change the climate but you can help people today.

  9. Berényi Péter

    Hold on, this is something potentially important.

    I think I have found a way to have an estimate of CO₂ forcing based solely on observations, with no computational model involved whatsoever. At the same time we also get a feedback parameter, which turns out to be strongly negative. Therefore, if the procedure is correct, it is a real game changer.

    It is based on the current hiatus in warming and uses CERES gtoa_net_all_mon (TOA Net Flux – All-Sky) parameter from CERES_EBAF-TOA_Ed2.7_Subset_200003-201306 to estimate ToA (ToP of Atmosphere) energy flux imbalance trend.

    The dataset currently has 160 months, from March 2000 to June 2013. It is a well known fact, that offset of CERES EBAF ToA Net Flux is meaningless in itself, that is, the true imbalance can not be calculated from CERES observations alone, due to some as yet unidentified systematic error. Calculated from raw data the imbalance seems to be some 5 W/m², which is impossible. However, even with inferior accuracy, precision of CERES data should be much better. This is why folks at CERES adjusted the offset to OHC (Ocean Heat Content) data measured by ARGO floats (since 2005). However, this adjustment is dubious. I think error bars in OHC measurements must be way larger than claimed, because there is a huge mismatch between annual cycles of heat content of the climate system calculated from ARGO OHC estimates vs. CERES EBAF ToA Net Flux imbalance. Fortunately the true value of imbalance is not needed here, only its trend, which is independent of offset.

    There is of course a large annual cycle in CERES EBAF ToA Net Flux values, some 18 W/m² peak to peak. A 12 month running average makes it disappear though, so that’s what was applied to all datasets used. This is how we get a trend of 134 mW/m²/decade for the ToA imbalance from CERES data.

    ToA net radiation flux is regulated by a precarious balance between absorbed shortwave radiation and emitted thermal IR. If this imbalance is increasing, it can be either because of decreasing albedo, decreasing temperature or decreasing effective emissivity. Fortunately tropospheric temperature is pretty stable between March 2000 and June 2013, its trend is -0.031°C/decade according to RSS, which is indistinguishable from zero, therefore we can disregard its effect on trends.

    In a dry atmosphere CO₂ forcing can be calculated from first principles. It is proportional to the logarithm of concentration ratio, with 3.7 W/m² for a doubling. We also have historic CO2 data from NOAA. According to this, trend in CO2 forcing with no tropospheric temperature change is 285 mW/m²/decade for the time period considered.

    However, terrestrial atmosphere is not dry, it has a practically infinite resupply of moisture from a reservoir called oceans, while the atmospheric lifetime of this substance is short, only some 9 days, so it does not have time to get mixed properly. Water, in all its phases has a huge influence on both planetary albedo and effective IR emissivity. This effect is poorly captured by computational climate models, because distribution of atmospheric moisture is fractal like over a scale spanning 10 orders of magnitude, driven by phase changes and chaotic turbulent flows. These effects can never be calculated from first principles due to lack of computing power.

    We do not even try to disentangle this mess here, just notice that observed trend in ToA Net Flux in the real atmosphere is only 47% of what it would be in a dry one with the same CO₂ history.

    It means the water cycle does not reinforce effects of CO₂ threefold as claimed by mainstream climate science, quite the contrary, it attenuates it. The consequences of this are not quite immaterial, for based on this pilot study we can expect about 0.5°C warming from CO₂ doubling instead of 3°C.

    Devastating criticism is welcome, because the issue has grown somewhat important. I am also sure it could be done much more carefully, with deeper analysis, statistical tests and all, so if there is anyone out there willing to donate time and effort, please help.

    I almost can’t believe it is that simple, still, it has occurred to no one among thousands of experts.

    • I was once derided at Climate Audit for saying that we not only did not know the magnitude of water vapour feedback, we did know for sure even the sign of it.

    • Steven Mosher

      “I almost can’t believe it is that simple, still, it has occurred to no one among thousands of experts.”

      maybe because you got this part wrong

      “In a dry atmosphere CO₂ forcing can be calculated from first principles. It is proportional to the logarithm of concentration ratio, with 3.7 W/m² for a doubling.”

      The 3.7 W/m2 does not come from first principles in a dry atmosphere.

      It comes from verified and validated engineering models of radiative transfer.
      As a part of that process you’ll find we used to think it was higher than 3.7
      This paper detailed the over estimation.

      The atmosphere in these models is not dry. Typically one would use a standard atmosphere. ( or three regions, tropical, and 2 extra tropical ) .
      you might test it in Antarctica. In fact some of the testing of LBL models is done with data from antartica because it is relatively dry

      you might also travel to Chile to test

    • Curious George

      Peter – nice work. Publish it by all means Just a word of caution, they’ll probably beat your head with that 5W/m2 imbalance.

    • I’m curious, how much would a 5W/m2 imbalance affect deep ocean temps if it happened to all go there and mix well?

    • 5 W/m2 is equivalent to 700 ppm of CO2, so we know the answer. You get a late Eocene climate with deep ocean temperatures much warmer, and Antarctica failing to maintain its glaciers.

    • Jim, I’m not talking about an atmospheric forcing. I talking about, if that energy went into the deep ocean and mixed there, without affecting the surface. At what rate would the deep ocean warm?

    • aaron, it works out to 1 C per hundred years if you warm the whole 4 km average depth at the same rate of 5 W/m2. In practice, the upper layers warm a lot faster first.

    • Berényi Péter

      @Steven Mosher

      The 3.7 W/m² does not come from first principles in a dry atmosphere.

      It comes from verified and validated engineering models of radiative transfer.
      Typically one would use a standard atmosphere.

      You are right, thanks for the correction. Still, in the last 13 years net ToA imbalance, as measured by CERES, has increased at only half the rate indicated by known CO₂ concentration change plugged into verified and validated engineering models of radiative transfer. The difference is significant, it is too much to be explained away easily.

      Therefore either the standard atmosphere is not very realistic, those engineering models are not verified &. validated carefully enough, water vapor / cloud feedbacks are negative, that is, they do not reinforce default effect of CO₂, but attenuate it, or some other, as yet unidentified effect. Not a good sign in a settled science.

      Please note this line of reasoning does not depend on arcane time constants related to poorly constrained effective heat capacity of oceans.

    • Curious George

      Verified and validated engineering models.. Link, please. I happen to know that CAM5 model has been scientifically validated, a known error in basic physics notwithstanding. (It assumes a temperature-independent latent heat of water vaporization).

    • Berényi Péter

      @Curious George

      Peter – nice work. Publish it by all means Just a word of caution, they’ll probably beat your head with that 5W/m² imbalance.

      No, I will certainly not attempt to publish it in a peer reviewed journal. First of all it would require way too much work to explicate all the details at a level with which I myself would be satisfied. It is not my daytime job, you know, and the parsimonious coal industry still fails to pay abundant grant money for such research. In fact it pays nothing, nil, nada. Otherwise I am not a warrior type and, as you know, there are firm gatekeepers in position at each major climate science journal, making somewhat difficult to publish anything that goes against an ill defined consensus.

      With the same effort one could attempt to publish a paper in a peer reviewed journal of Homeopathy that goes against the ruling paradigm of that particular field of learning, that is, the existence of some arcane “water memory”, which is supposed to retain certain properties of an agent even after it is diluted until not a single molecule of it remains in solution.

      However, anyone is welcome to join in, the basic idea is published here, it is available for free. Or, let’s say, it is released under GNU FDL, just to make it impossible to put derivative works behind a paywall.

      As for the “word of caution”, that’s what I am not worried about at all. The existence of an impossible imbalance in CERES net ToA radiation budget is a pretty mainstream notion. In the current version it may be somewhat less than 5W/m², but satellites are still infeasible to measure its absolute value. See CERES_EBAF_Ed2.7 — Data Quality Summary (August 2, 2013)

      Despite recent improvements in satellite instrument calibration and the algorithms used to determine SW and LW outgoing top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative fluxes, a sizeable imbalance persists in the average global net radiation at the TOA from CERES satellite observations. With the most recent CERES Edition3 Instrument calibration improvements, the SYN1deg_Edition3 net imbalance is ~3.4 W/m², much larger than the expected observed ocean heating rate ~0.58 W/m² (Loeb et al. 2012a).

    • Generalissimo Skippy


      Well for a start – the 3.7W/m2 is not a real forcing. It is a nominal forcing based on no change in temperature – what really happens of course is that the earth warms and emissions increase to compensate. The change in forcing is around 0.4W/m2/decade. The radiant imbalance is much less than 3.7W/m2 and depends on thermal inertia of the oceans. Both are small changes against a backdrop of large interannual, decadal and likely longer variability.

      CERES net is about 340W/m2 – give or take plus or minus 10W/m2 over a year or so. SW and IR are out of phase. On top of this the solar input varies. So radiant imbalance is not a single number and in fact varies from positive to negative.

      The only way to approach it is to look at the energy content of the planet. Primarily ocean heat. If the oceans are warming – the radiant imbalance is positive and vice versa.

      d(OHC)/dt ≈ energy in (J/s) – energy out (J/s)

      There is not enough ARGO data to tell much at all about OHC against background variability. Energy in doesn’t change much at all. Energy out varies considerably and here you are better off looking at trends in anomalies.

      You will note that surface temps vaguely follow TOA net anomalies. OHC will as well (Loeb et al 2012, IPCC 2007, Willis 2004 – e.g.

      You will certainly agree that there is an increase in CERES net anomalies in the Loeb et al period. To make the most of the available data – it is then necessary to look at the SW and IR components to see what changed.

      To this later date – however – there is next to no trend in CERES net.

    • Jim

      How much would the entire ocean warm?

      it works out to 1 C per hundred years if you warm the whole 4 km average depth at the same rate of 5 W/m2. In practice, the upper layers warm a lot faster first.

      Naw, Jim. Your numbers look screwy to me.

      According to Leviticus we are now adding 7.4E+22 Joules/decade, which would warm the upper ocean (top 700 m) by around 0.08C per decade or the entire ocean by 0.013C per decade.

      If this doubles to 15E+22 Joules per decade by the end of this century, we would be warming the entire ocean by around 0.03C per decade, or 0.3C in 100 years.

      The 5W/m2 are roughly 10 times as high as the Leviticus estimate (8E+23 Joules/decade) so something is screwy.

      But I’d agree that the upper ocean would warm first and faster, as you write.


    • Berényi Péter

      @Generalissimo Skippy

      the 3.7W/m² is not a real forcing. It is a nominal forcing based on no change in temperature – what really happens of course is that the earth warms and emissions increase to compensate.

      The point is atmospheric temperatures have not changed during the CERES era for whatever reason. Therefore temperature can’t give a contribution to net ToA imbalance trend in this period.

      The change in forcing is around 0.4W/m²/decade.

      Well, if temperatures are held fixed and CO₂ has made 10.3% of a doubling in the CERES era and nominal forcing coming from CO₂ is supposed to be 3.7W/m², then change in forcing caused by CO₂ alone is around 0.29 W/m²/decade in this period. Your 0.4 W/m²/decade must include other stuff as well, but it does not make things any better, because actual observed change in forcing was only 0.13 W/m²/decade, one third of your figure. Otherwise even a 0.4 W/m²/decade rate of change in imbalance would not be enough to lead to a 3°C atmospheric temperature increase for CO₂ doubling eventually. To that end you’d need more than double of that amount at the current rate of GHG increase, which is definitely beyond your reach, observed rate of imbalance change being only some 15% of that.

      The radiant imbalance is much less than 3.7W/m² and depends on thermal inertia of the oceans.

      No, radiative imbalance does not depend on ocean properties, it depends on atmospheric temperatures. As long as those are stuck in a “pause”, it really does not matter if it is because of heat not accumulating in the climate system, but is reflected back and/or radiated out to space or it is sequestered in the deep ocean, in a compartment of the system which is not coupled radiatively to the rest of it.

    • Generalissimo Skippy


      The nominal net forcing since 1750 is some 1.7W/m2. Some of that has resulted in increased temps in both oceans and atmosphere and emissions that are again approaching equilibrium. Some of it is presumed to be warming the oceans still and hence more warming of the atmosphere – all things being equal – as the entire system equilibriates. The temperature response is not immediate – but delayed mostly though thermal inertia of the oceans.

      The forcing is being nominally added to at 0.4W/m2/decade.

      But there is no trend to speak of in CERES net anomalies between March 2000 and June 2013 – so we wouldn’t really expect either ocean or atmospheric temp increases.

      But this is down to natural variation – and not to artificial notions of nominal forcings or of a constant radiant imbalance.

    • Max, I was mostly curious about the deep oceans sensitivity and capacity. It’s highly unlikely, but not implausible that heat is finding its way into the deep ocean without being detected, as Trenberth believes. I’m not yet will to totally dismiss this idea. But if this is plausible, I think it is also plausible (maybe even likely) that the the earths radiative budget can be significantly out of balance for long periods of time, that some of the ceres imbalance beyond the trend is real, and that variation in this would account for some of the earlier warming and current hiatus.

    • Péter and aaron

      As the Generalissimo has pointed out, we are talking about tiny differences between somewhat uncertain large numbers, where we are not even sure we know all the variables.

      IOW our “answers” can be wrong in both magnitude and sign.

      I simply pointed out that Jim’s estimate of 1C warming per century of the entire ocean is almost certainly oversimplified and grossly exaggerated, based on recent OHC observations (for what these are worth).

      Some “IFs”

      IF the current hiatus is being caused by a slight natural increase in cloud cover, resulting in a slightly greater albedo and reflection of incoming solar radiation, the energy is gone from our climate system.

      IF the above is true, but the increased albedo was caused by human aerosol emissions, the same is true, but the trend could reverse itself if and when human aerosol emissions are curtailed..

      IF the current hiatus is being caused by a greater net absorption of incoming energy by the upper ocean instead of the atmosphere, which is then being transferred into the deep ocean, then this energy is not really “missing” – but it is no longer in our climate system for all practical purposes.

      IF the current hiatus is simply a reflection of the fact that human GHG emissions have a much smaller impact on our climate than previously ASS-U-MEd, then the “missing energy” was never even there in the first place.

      IF it is a combination of the above (probably the most likely case) all bets are off.


    • manacker, 5 W/m2 can warm the whole ocean if uniformly warmed by 1 C per century. This is the method. The average ocean depth is 4000 m, therefore 5 W/m2 is 5/4000 W/m3. The density of water is 1000 kg/m3, so we have 5/4000/1000 W/kg. The heat capacity of water is 4200 J/kg/K, so dividing by that, we have 5/4000/1000/4200 K/s. This is about 1 degree per century.

    • Berényi Péter

      @Generalissimo Skippy

      it is then necessary to look at the SW and IR components to see what changed.

      To this later date – however – there is next to no trend in CERES net.

      First of all, it looks like no one has checked my figures, which is detestable, because there was a slight error there indeed.

      Then, you are right, Generalissimo Skippy, trends are tiny and it is advisable to have a closer look.

      Between March 2000 and June 2013 RSS lower troposphere temperature trend is -32.2 mK/decade. Assuming no change in lapse rate, that translates to a decrease of effective temperature of the globe at the same rate, which alone is responsible for a 121 mW/m²/decade decrease of outgoing longwave radiation.

      Now, net radiation imbalance has actually increased at a rate of 127.4 mW/m²/decade (yes, the 134 mW/m2/decade above was an error). Which means we are left with 6.4 mW/m²/decade to be explained by other processes. The first thing that comes to mind is insolation. However, it works in the opposite direction, it has decreased at a rate of 154.9 mW/m²/decade. On the other hand absorbed solar shortwave has only decreased at a rate of 80.3 mW/m²/decade, which means planetary albedo has also decreased slightly. That leaves us with a relative gain of 86.7 mW/m²/decade. As I have already mentioned above, increasing CO₂ concentration in a standard atmosphere (no feedback case) would imply a trend of 285 mW/m²/decade, but observed change is only 30% of that, while with a strong positive feedback it should have been some 300% or so.

      It may well be the case that these trends are so small, that it is nothing but weather noise. Still, the stability of the system against perturbations is amazing and the least one can say is observations do not support any reinforcement of the GHG effect.

  10. Somebody claimed a while back that pumped storage is the cheapest form of stored power. While I’m very skeptical that it will remain so for even a decade, I thought I’d point out that the area between the Imperial Valley of Southern California, which contains the Salton Sea, and the nearby Colorado River basin, through which cold bottom water from the Sea of Cortez could be pumped, contains hundreds of square kilometers of land above 300 meters. Climate here is almost always sunny, and even in the winter the sun is up for many hours.

    Pumped storage using Francis turbines can operate at “a head range from 20 to 700 meters (100 to 2,300 feet)”, making this terrain ideal for small, covered reservoirs variably filled with sea water. Floating covers could be used to support solar concentrated PV units, whose waste heat could be applied to distillation, cooled by evaporation.

    Alternatively, solar power installations could be made on nearby land, and the floating area could be made into artificial farmland, suitable for intensive agriculture. It could even be covered and made into greenhouses, given the availability of sea water for evaporative cooling and distilled water (most of which could be recycled).

    A square kilometer of reservoir surface, 3 meters deep, would contain ~3,000,000 tons of water, which at a head of 300 meters would be able to store 9×10^12 Joules. At a daily average of 100 watts/square meter this could store the energy from a day’s worth of sunlight on roughly the same area (8.64×10^12 Joules). Assuming a typical 30 meter depth, storage for a day’s energy could be sufficient for about 10 times its area in solar power.

    Note that the distances between low and high reservoirs would be around 20-60 Km, not far as pumping goes. Put the low reservoirs in the Imperial Valley, pump new sea water from the Sea of Cortez, dump the dense salinated water back into the Sea of Cortez, or pump it to San Diego and dump it into the Pacific.

    Using this technique to obtain and average of 100 watts/square meter from 1000 square kilometers, a continuous 100 GigaWatts could be provided, in a state that, for comparison, used a total of 259,600 gigaWatt hours (million kilowatt hours) in 2012. Dividing this by 8766 hours/year (roughly) gives an average of 30 (29.6144193474789) GigaWatts actual usage for the state.

    And if Mexico could ever get its act together, there’s a hundred times that amount of land suitable for such use.

    • Curious George

      Distillation is the keyword.

    • “We plan to use triple-junction photovoltaic cells on a micro-channel cooled module which can directly convert more than 30 percent of collected solar radiation into electrical energy and allow for the efficient recovery of an additional 50 percent waste heat,” said Bruno Michel, manager, advanced thermal packaging at IBM Research. “We believe that we can achieve this with a very practical design that is made of lightweight and high strength concrete, which is used in bridges, and primary optics composed of inexpensive pneumatic mirrors — it’s frugal innovation, but builds on decades of experience in microtechnology.


      In the HCPVT system, instead of heating a building, the 90 degree Celsius water will be used to heat salty water that then passes through a porous membrane distillation system where it is vaporized and desalinated. Such a system could provide 30-40 liters of drinkable water per square meter of receiver area per day, while still generating electricity with a more than 25 percent yield or two kilowatt hours per day

      The actual amount could probably be doubled if two-stage distillation is used, with a cool side of ~20 degrees Celsius, easily obtained through evaporation in that region.

    • At 28 ” liters of drinkable water per square meter of receiver area per day,” 1000 square kilometers of receiver area would yield about 10 cubic kilometers of water per year, around 20% of the 49 cubic kilometers per year managed by California’s entire water system.

    • Two possible objections left un-addressed above are that I’m proposing the use of sea water (or water from the Salton Sea) rather than fresh for the pumped storage, and the possibility that available valleys for damming either aren’t available or are natural resources too valuable to destroy.

      Both these issues are dealt with in a recent report: Opportunities for Pumped Hydro Energy Storage in Australia Arup-­‐MEI Research 27 February 2014 from the University of Melbourne Energy Institute, which references an existing installation at Yanbaru on the island of Okinawa, Japan”

      This MEI study found that as an alternative to using natural valleys, there is potential in Australia to construct artificial reservoirs, known as “turkey-­‐nest” type dams, for PHES service. “Turkey-­‐nest” type dams are already widely used around the world as a component of PHES facilities.

      Further, this study found that coastal seawater PHES, which uses the ocean as the lower reservoir, may have economic application in Australia.

      The combination of coastal seawater PHES and a “turkey-­‐nest” type storage reservoir exists at only one place in the world. It has been operating successfully since 1999 (14 years) at Yanbaru on the island of Okinawa, Japan (see Figure 1). Technical details of this facility, obtained during an MEI site visit, are described in this paper.

      “Turkey–nest” type reservoirs could probably be constructed using methods and materials also useful for creating levies, which means construction resources (and crews) could double in emergency management roles when needed while performing valuable energy construction the rest of the time.

    • Steven Mosher

      Yup AK

  11. Why is it that Land and Ocean temperatures swap sides (above and below) the central Global figure from UAH since it was started.

    What physical mechanisms are there that operate for a few years in one direction and then in the other in such a way as to allow this to occur and why does it change periodically in the time periods it does?

    I know about thermal inertia but that does not help explain the multi-year detail of what we see.

    For additional plots from Arctic through the Tropics to Antarctic which raise further questions.

  12. Curious George

    How precisely can we measure semi-permanent carbon sinks (plant tissue that may become coal some day)? A lot of carbon has been sequestered from the atmosphere that way – over a long time. I am not including oil and natural gas because I don’t believe that hydrocarbons of Titan have that origin – but maybe even some terrestrial oil and natural gas are products of sequestration.

  13. thisisnotgoodtogo

    Andrew Dessler just saved our lives again.

  14. El Nino is just an index of relative temperatures in key regions of the ocean. How it affects atmospheric temperatures is probably more in regard to important trends in weather/climate. Some key attributes of enso processes and conditions during them are likely to tell us a lot more about what we can expect heat to do during different phases.

    1) Windspeed, this will affect both evaporation and pooling of heat during neutral/la nina conditions.
    2) Cloud activity in eastern pacific, particularly during neutral/la nina conditions. (more specifically, amount of DW SW at the surface).
    3) Ocean surface current.
    4) Sea surface level anomaly in the indo-pacific.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “El Nino is just an index of relative temperatures in key regions of the ocean. ”
      Well, actually it is far more than that. It is s true dynamical process. During an El Niño there is a huge movement of energy and mass in the ocean from west toward the east along the equator in the Pacific. Energy is moving out of the IPWP as the thermocline rises in the western Pacific and deepens in the eastern Pacific. As this shift in the thermocline occurs, much larger amounts of latent and sensible heat are in flux from ocean to the atmosphere, with the result that tropospheric temperatures spike rapidly. In the end, the net result is that massive amounts of additional energy are moved from the IPWP to the troposphere. Some of that energy of course finds its way out to space, and some is transferred to other parts of the climate system in various forms. An El Niño represents the largest single transfer of energy from the ocean to the atmosphere.

  15. Repeating earlier thought.
    Regardless of whatever approximate truths are found in the final distillate of climate change study, one thing should be forever implanted in the world of science,
    Do not ask a question which stimulates a bias.
    The original two part question was:

    1) Has the world warmed? Look at the First and Third IPCC temperature records,,, Can you say ‘We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period and then say Hockey Stick.

    2) Then; Are greenhouse gases responsible, mostly CO2?
    The question should have been, If there has been heating, what factors could be causing the heating. Then give equal attention, (that is money)
    to all reasonable possibilities.
    As most readers know, in the U.S. former President Eisenhower warned about things such as the skewed attention given to AGW, or that is ACC.

  16. I’ve been lurking here for a few weeks after hearing Dr. Curry on a Russ Roberts podcast of Econ Talk. She presented as eminently reasonable and open minded and during the course of the interview mentioned this website. There is a lot of information here which has been quite edifying to a layperson as myself. The threads here are civil for the most part which of itself is a nice change from some of the online venues I frequent.

    I would classify myself as a skeptic (or I suppose a “denier” in the current parlance of even the nominally responsible warmists). That term of itself makes me suspicious. It smacks more than a little of zealotry and tends to make me think of Torquemada and serfs in the Monty Python movie trying to figure out if a witch weighs more than a duck.

    It strikes me that people are arguing their politics with their science and I perceive the argument about CAGW as being of a piece with other “green” concerns and prosecuted with identical tactics. I have been a crop duster for the last 25 years and had a ring side seat for changes in agricultural practices and the furor over GMO and Monsanto.

    The problem with the warmist position in my perception is that the issue is elevated to the exclusion of genuine problems that are approaching. If one wants to worry about existential Malthusian calamity there are a couple of candidates that are much closer at hand that get very little attention.

    • Caeca

      Welcome. I can readily think of at least 20 concerns that rate much higher than AGW. As you say other problems seem to be overlooked as Agw has such a high,and expensive, profile.

    • Casca

      Sorry, my iPad changed your name.

    • Casca: YES: We do need to deal with real problems and stop wasting so much time and money on problems that have no data that supports the Alarmism.

      Warming and sea level are well inside the bounds of the past eleven thousand years.

      Real problems are real problems. This CO2 stuff is more about boat payments. These Consensus People should buy smaller boats and then they would not need to scare us so much to get so much more money.

    • Consensus Alarmists spent a fortune, or multiple fortunes, to go to Antarctica to prove the ice has melted. Did you see how that turned out? You don’t see that in the news much anymore. I don’t think I ever saw a story that was not in the back pages. The media loves the Alarmism and will promote it at every chance and they will not print anything that raises doubt or lowers the 97% certainty on the front pages where it will be more likely to be noticed.

    • Hello Casca, IMHO one of the leading environmental concerns are in the water tables. Aquifers like the Ogallala are slowly being diminished.
      We are increasingly using more water in places where nature never intended a large usage.
      With the diminishing levels of some aquifers,, there is evidence of sea (salt) water creeping in. That could cause huge problems.

    • @darrylb:
      That is one of the issues I had in mind. Probably three fourths of the acres I fly are irrigated and they are all pumping out of the Ogallala in that part of the world. They pump enough water in a dry season that it actually creates a micro climate in a large part of my area of operation. Corn production has increased by an order of magnitude per acre in the last 80 years but the status quo is unsustainable. I roll my eyes whenever I hear that word but in this case it is the only one that fits.

    • But for corn ethanol, some of that would have become uneconomic to pump.

    • Tonyb, “Sorry, my iPad changed your name.” Variants of this seem to have supplanted the formerly ubiqitous “The dog ate my homework.” Yet another triumph for technological change.

    • An open thread at last.

      Hi Casca. Always good to hear from a crop-duster. You help feed us, which is always handy.

      Tonyb and Faustino, I’m not going to say anything. But you know what I’m thinking.

      Well, I’ll just say this. A shaky batting line-up with barely a plus 40 average, toothless veterans and troubled youths, last-chance bowlers running in on one leg. That’s all we had to work with against England then South Africa, and yet…

      (Time for that Henry V speech…but with Australian accent.)

    • mosomoso, I don’t know H V off by heart and can’t find my copy. Many fine speeches, perhaps you are referring to that on the eve of St Swithin’s Day. Much of Queensland would appreciate a wet St Swithin’s Day. Especially if it’s moved froward from 15 July.

  17. David L. Hagen

    Should we Adapt or Mitigate? On what evidence/uncertainty?
    Who should decide? Why? Legislators, bureaucrats or We the People?

    The US House voted to forbid EPA to mitigate by shutting coal power plants
    House passes bill to block Obama climate plan

    The bill targets Obama’s proposal for the Environmental Protection Agency to set the first national limits on heat-trapping carbon pollution from future power plants. It’s part of the GOP’s election-year strategy to fight back against what Republicans call a ‘‘war on coal’’ by the Obama administration.

    The bill passed by a 229-183 vote. Ten Democrats, mostly from coal-producing states or the South, joined Republicans in support of it. Three Republicans opposed the bill.

    • Should we Adapt or Mitigate? On what evidence/uncertainty?
      Who should decide?

      People will decide. Governments will try to decide, but it is not up to them. They will try and they will waste a lot of our tax dollars, but in the end, we decide what we are going to do. Do we prepare our houses for the cold that always follows a warm period or do we wait until it gets cold and then fix our houses? Like the Vikings, do we move north during the warming and then south again when the snowfall causes cooling? Yes, we adapt. The forecasts are not skilfull and it would be stupid to spend a lot of time and money adapting to something that the models always get wrong.

  18. I’ve never seen it better put than this, by Jenkins writing in the WSJ:

    Speaking of the increasing attempts to silence deniers he says”

    “These are indications of a political movement turned to defending its self-image as its cause goes down the drain. That’s how thoroughly defunct, dead, expired is the idea that humanity might take charge of earth’s atmosphere through some supreme triumph of the global regulatory state over democracy, sovereignty, nationalism and political self-interest, the very facts of political human nature.”

    That warmists can’t see this is imvho, evidence of second rate intellects…

    • Let’s play the blame game.
      ‘Blame it on the Rain.’
      or ‘Blame it on Mame,
      boys,’ or ‘On the Bossa Nova,’
      mebbe ‘Blame in on Rio,’
      and if all else fails …

      ‘Blame it on Me’:
      ‘Sometimes you can work it out, sometimes you can’t,
      Sometimes you’re forced to watch everything fall apart,
      It’s outta your hands, say I’m a liar, a cheater
      Blame it on me, say it’s my fault.’

      H/t C. Michele lyrics.

    • Good morning, Belinda. Where is your daughter, Beth, or is she your sister :)

    • Good morning Peter, I am very fortunate to have a serf
      for an aunt She thinks that she is likewise fortunate to
      have a classy niece. )

    • Jenkins has got it right.

      Give him +100

    • Belinda (the serf’s niece)

      (Not as lyrical as yours)

      We the noble ruling classes
      With our scientists in tow
      Know it is the greenhouse gases
      That are causing all the woe

      Though the simple unwashed masses
      Are too ignorant to see
      They must be taxed up to their asses
      So we can save humanity.

      Another serf

    • B should have mentions that B’s aunt/niece, B, is an excellent poet, as Is Manacker and several others who comment regularly and greatly improve the tone of this web site.

    • Beth wishes me to thank Peter Lang and Max Anacker
      for their kind words and also thank Max for his fine poem.
      She sends this:
      The pause- call it what yer will
      is the very devil of
      a wicked problem fer arch
      climate alarmists, you know,
      M M et Al, predictin’ ‘melt-down-
      we’ll – all – burn,’ and ‘Hell
      – on – Earth.’ Pauses are so
      inconvenient and what’s
      likely ter happen next
      is anybody’s guess …
      what black swan event, one more
      of many in Earth’s rich dynamical,
      sometimes diabolical,always
      variable climate history?

      H/t ter tony b’s records.

  19. ENSO prediction. They don’t seem to convinced of an incipient El Nino.

    From the article:
    NSO Alert System Status: Not Active

    ENSO-neutral conditions continue.*

    Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SST) were below-average in the eastern
    Pacific Ocean, while remaining above average in the western Pacific.

    ENSO-neutral is expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring

    • “seem to” should have been “seem too.”

    • The warmists are yearning for a strong el nino with all their little hearts and souls. Oh the joy, the sheer blessed relief, were the pause to be paused, even for just a little while. There would be jubilation in the streets that perhaps thermaggedon is imminent after all. Narcissism isn’t a big enough word to cover that.

      Of course, two years ago they were still denying there is a pause. Some of them still are.

    • I am much more a skeptic, but I would like an EN for the benefit of some drought areas. The Pineapple express has been helping in CA,, but more longer gentle precip is needed. I do not want to wish a bad situation on anyone to win a debate.

    • “I do not want to wish a bad situation on anyone to win a debate.”

      That’s because you’re likely a normal, decent person.

    • This is a case where we have to play the hand we’re dealt – sooner or later.

  20. Stephen Segrest

    My question is for Dr. Curry — In your past interaction with members of Congress, who would you say are the top Republicans who appear to be very knowledgeable on the science issues of GW/CC? Usually we just see Republicans quoting the Bible.

  21. Something relevant to the above. Wyoming bans new science standards, largely because of what they teach about climate.

    • Here is an excerpt
      Middle-school Students should demonstrate that they can
      MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century. [Clarification Statement: Examples of factors include human activities (such as fossil fuel combustion, cement production, and agricultural activity) and natural processes (such as changes in incoming solar radiation or volcanic activity). Examples of evidence can include tables, graphs, and maps of global and regional temperatures, atmospheric levels of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, and the rates of human activities. Emphasis is on the major role that human activities play in causing the rise in global temperatures.]

      At High School (sorry for the length)
      Students who demonstrate understanding can:
      HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity. [Clarification Statement: Examples of key natural resources include access to fresh water (such as rivers, lakes, and groundwater), regions of fertile soils such as river deltas, and high concentrations of minerals and fossil fuels. Examples of natural hazards can be from interior processes (such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes), surface processes (such as tsunamis, mass wasting and soil erosion), and severe weather (such as hurricanes, floods, and droughts). Examples of the results of changes in climate that can affect populations or drive mass migrations include changes to sea level, regional patterns of temperature and precipitation, and the types of crops and livestock that can be raised.]
      HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.* [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the conservation, recycling, and reuse of resources (such as minerals and metals) where possible, and on minimizing impacts where it is not. Examples include developing best practices for agricultural soil use, mining (for coal, tar sands, and oil shales), and pumping (for petroleum and natural gas). Science knowledge indicates what can happen in natural systems—not what should happen.]
      HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity. [Clarification Statement: Examples of factors that affect the management of natural resources include costs of resource extraction and waste management, per-capita consumption, and the development of new technologies. Examples of factors that affect human sustainability include agricultural efficiency, levels of conservation, and urban planning.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment for computational simulations is limited to using provided multi-parameter programs or constructing simplified spreadsheet calculations.]
      HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.* [Clarification Statement: Examples of data on the impacts of human activities could include the quantities and types of pollutants released, changes to biomass and species diversity, or areal changes in land surface use (such as for urban development, agriculture and livestock, or surface mining). Examples for limiting future impacts could range from local efforts (such as reducing, reusing, and recycling resources) to large-scale geoengineering design solutions (such as altering global temperatures by making large changes to the atmosphere or ocean).]
      HS-ESS3-5. Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems. [Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence, for both data and climate model outputs, are for climate changes (such as precipitation and temperature) and their associated impacts (such as on sea level, glacial ice volumes, or atmosphere and ocean composition).] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to one example of a climate change and its associated impacts.]
      HS-ESS3-6. Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity. [Clarification Statement: Examples of Earth systems to be considered are the hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and/or biosphere. An example of the far-reaching impacts from a human activity is how an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide results in an increase in photosynthetic biomass on land and an increase in ocean acidification, with resulting impacts on sea organism health and marine populations.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include running computational representations but is limited to using the published results of scientific computational models.]

    • As a postscript, I would only say, wow, school has changed since my day. Given this type of course, a high-school student could give many skeptics here a good argument. I can see what they’re afraid of in Wyoming.

      • David Springer

        Jim D | March 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm |

        “As a postscript, I would only say, wow, school has changed since my day. Given this type of course, a high-school student could give many skeptics here a good argument. I can see what they’re afraid of in Wyoming.”

        Yeah. Maybe if you took the course you could give some good arguments instead of the lame bs you torture us with instead.

    • maksimovich


    • I’m glad they’re getting a good grounding in science. It helps explain why the Pew Survey released yesterday found the youngest generation to be the least engaged in environmentalism.

    • Springer, at least it looks like you are in favor of this being a school subject. This will mean some school textbooks will be available to the skeptics via their children and grandchildren, and probably written in simple enough language for non-scientists too. What’s not to like?

      • David Springer

        Sure why not? As usual Texas, because it’s so big, will dictate to the publishers what to print otherwise they won’t buy the books. Then, as usual, other states have to buy the Texas approved books because their purchases aren’t large enough to warrant a separate edition.

        Be careful what you wish for.

    • Climate ‘skeptics’ are the new creationists.

    • Jim D

      I can see what they’re afraid of in Wyoming.

      Me too.

      It’s called brainwashing school children.


    • manacker, yes, first it was evolution, now this. Too much to bear for some.

    • In response to the huffpost article, on teaching “climate change” (= CAGW) as a fact (and before seeing Jim D’s later posts), I posted:

      “Climate change is and always has been a fact, throughout the life of our planet. “Climate change” meaning that catastrophic anthropologically-induced global warming is occurring and should dominate policy is not a fact, it is an extreme and costly position which should not be taught as science. Well done, Wyoming.”

      The top-rating of many warmist posts on HP was largely an anti-religion-in-schools rant. I replied:

      “You don’t address the issue in the article, which is whether CAGW should be taught as scientific fact. For the record, I’m an atheist, who has been closely following the CAGW issue since the 1980s, and was briefed on it by the IPCC’s chief scientist in 1990.

      “Climate change is and always has been a fact, throughout the life of our planet. “Climate change” meaning that catastrophic anthropologically-induced global warming is occurring and should dominate policy is not a fact, it is an extreme and costly position which should not be taught as science.

      “Even if man is inducing warming, there are many uncertainties as to how climate changes, what the drivers are, the importance of various drivers, the timing of cycles of various types, etc, etc. We have no clear idea of what will fall out in the medium to longer term – all we know of the future is that it will surprise us. There will be major developments which we did not foresee and therefore can not have a planned response too.

      “We do know that policies of the last 20 years to reduce warming have been very costly and ineffective. Whatever truly drives climate change, our costly efforts have made very little difference to it. Continuation along the same lines seems worse than pointless.

      “We should pursue policies which give us the greatest opportunity of dealing well with whatever befalls – favouring innovation and economic growth which increases our capacity.”

      I suspect that this will not go down well with HP readers. I have one “follower” there – I hope that at least he/she likes it!

    • “Climate change is and always has been a fact, throughout the life of our planet.” – Faustino

      I see the ‘skeptics’ trot this one out a lot these days.

      Always gives me a good chuckle, because it wasn’t that long ago that the climate was thought to be constant – bloody scientists and their ‘research’ found out that was not the case.

      Now the ‘skeptics’ use this piece of climate science to try and argue against the recent discoveries of climate science.

      Too funny.

      • David Springer

        re; climate has always changed

        Do you think skeptics trot that out more or less often than alarmists say skeptics are like those that believed the earth was flat like your catsup boy John Kerry said in a speech last month?

    • Jim D

      Evolution and CAGW are two entirely different kettle of fish, and you know it. (Or at least I hope you do.)

      Evolution as a concept is “settled science”. It has been validated by empirical scientific evidence. Attempts to falsify the theory of evolution have all failed.

      The premise of CAGW, as specifically outlined by IPCC in AR4 and – to a slightly watered down degree – in AR5, is an uncorroborated hypothesis, which has not been validated by empirical scientific evidence. It is in the process of being falsified as the “pause” continues despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching all-time record levels.

      If the educational bureaucracy of Wyoming is silly enough to start teaching CAGW to school children, they will have to throw away all their textbooks in a couple of years as the CAGW bubble bursts and climate science comes back to its senses.


    • Michael

      Anyone who thought “climate was constant” was misinformed.

      It has always changed, long before humanity played any role at all. And it always will do so.

      I hope you weren’t one of those who didn’t realize that climate always changes.

      I certainly never was.


    • Generalissimo Skippy

      There remains considerable doubt that these people understand climate science well enough to teach it.

      But I would start with Wally Broecker rather than the dumbed down version.


    • Good comment, Faustino.

      Let’s hope Jim D and Michael take the time to read and digest it.


    • manacker, they are being taught AGW, not CAGW. There is a note in there to the effect of not to say whether the effects are good or bad, just the science. It is a science course, not politics. Likewise with evolution, not a religious opinion, just science. The teachers have to be aware of that line between science and advocacy, just as much as anyone in such a position of responsibility.

    • Further to my quote on no advocacy here, this is what they say.
      “Science knowledge indicates what can happen in natural systems—not what should happen”
      Wise distinction.

    • “Anyone who thought “climate was constant” was misinformed.” – Max

      That was everyone once.- – but science told us different, so we accepted that climate changes ….except for those who found it confronting to their beliefs (mostly religious) .

      Then we thought that humans couldn’t possibly alter the climate – but science told us different, so we accepted AGW…..except for those who found it too challenging to their beliefs (mostly political/economic).

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Michael says:

      “That was everyone once.”


    • Gen’imo Robert, good link to Boecker as regards his areas of expertise. It is not clear, however, how his expertise radiochemical and isotopic analysis of seawater and the stability of mechanisms that led to the formation of deep water in the North Atlantic Ocean qualify him to confidently forecast that the world between 2045 and 2145 “will be bulging with people threatened by hunger and disease and struggling to maintain wildlife under escalating pressure.”

    • Generalissimo Skippy


      I must admit I considered more the 50 year end of the scenario where we will be somewhere around the 9 billion mark – increasingly hungry unless we radically improve agricultural productivity – and straining natural resources unless we can find better ways of managing them.

      I’d hope for some progress by the middle of the next century.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I’ll get back to you and let you know how it’s going.

    • Michael (not me as referenced by Gen Skip), you posted:

      “Anyone who thought “climate was constant” was misinformed.” – Max
      That was everyone once.- – but science told us different.

      I don’t know anyone growing up in North East England who thought that climate was constant, you didn’t need a scientist to tell you it wasn’t. That probably applies throughout the UK. Believe your own experience rather than some else’s prognostication.

    • Michael

      It was the Met Office who thought climate was constant. It said so on their web site until about 2 years ago. Sceptics have never thought that so it was science -in the form of the met office- that was wrong


    • “Good comment, Faustino.

      Let’s hope Jim D and Michael take the time to read and digest it.


      I took pity on that long-hop, and politely let it thru’ to the keeper.

    • “I don’t know anyone growing up in North East England who thought that climate was constant, you didn’t need a scientist to tell you it wasn’t.” – Faustino

      I doubt that you, or anyone you know, was growing up NE England, or anywhere else for that matter, around the time that our understanding of past climate was developed.

    • The standards are tendentious and biased toward green ideokogies about reducing resource consumption as a good in itself:

      “Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the conservation, recycling, and reuse of resources (such as minerals and metals) where possible, and on minimizing impacts where it is not. ”

      There is no economic or ecological reason to bias policy in this direction. Production of virgin resources is often more beneficial than conservation, recycling, or reuse. For example, disposable needles in hospitals are superior to reusable ones from the standpoints of cost and safety. Recycling of low-value, low-density packaging materials could not compete with landfilling absent regulation and there is no externality to speak of. If there were religious motives somewhere behind the resistance to this cant, here is one atheist who would thank God.

    • Michael, my last ever reply to you. People have understood climate for hundreds of years without requiring any input from scientists of any description. I doubt that you can comprehend that, try to relate to our world directly rather than have your understanding filtered through others’ intellectual interpretations. Goodnight.

    • Bob Ludwick

      @ Jim D

      “If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

      Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983”

      The evidence that you provided on March 8, 2014 at 6:31 PM in support of Dr. Seaborg’s conclusion was convincing.

    • The Huffington Post consistently represents that great aspiration of the New Class: namely, to discard the outdated ideas of the 1950s in order to entrench forever the outdated ideas of the 1960s.


      The Early Bird has found the worm.

    • The problem with the topic of climate change is that while patterns may appear in our experience we will not live long enough to experience any shift in the trajectory of climate that will require us to adapt in order to survive and that’s a political “no sale”.

    • ” People have understood climate for hundreds of years without requiring any input from scientists of any description.” – fasutino

      What an amazing co-incidence – that’s just when scientists started talking about past climates.

      Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

      Enjoy your flounce.

  22. Generalissimo Skippy

    ‘Buhr disagrees with efforts that allow kids to make their own decisions about established scientific conclusions. “We don’t ask students in science class to make up their own minds over whether they believe in photosynthesis or if the earth is round,” she said. “Why would we be doing that here?”

    Of course they don’t. One can’t go very far in the climate war without meeting intractable views that have no place in science or teaching.

  23. From the article:
    Obama’s Russian “reset” was the first fatality in this week’s Crimean crisis. But another reset could transform Obama’s failed and forgettable administration into a foreign- and domestic-policy success. Liberating America’s energy potential could cure the multiple ailments that lately have fatigued and enfeebled the U.S.

    • Obama immediately should approve TransCanada’s privately funded Keystone XL Pipeline and speed permits for other fuel conduits. For lack of pipelines, natural gas from North Dakota’s oil fields must be burned upon capture. Instead, it should be transported and harnessed.

    • He should authorize oil production in a corner of Alaska’s 19-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This abundant 2,000-acre parcel is the size of Washington’s Dulles Airport.

    • Obama should boost fossil-fuel development on federal lands. This does not mean oil derricks in Yellowstone National Park. It does mean environmentally responsible oil-and-gas extraction from, perhaps, a fraction of 1 percent of the 42.3 percent of Wyoming or 84.5 percent of Nevada that the federal government owns.

    This “drill, baby, drill” approach will increase oil and gas supplies and decrease their domestic and world prices. Merely announcing these steps will cut prices on futures markets. Delivering the goods will slash them even further.

    This means sliding revenues for Russia as the value of its chief products — oil and gas — plunges. The Kremlin’s imploding income will become the leash that Vladimir Putin lacked around his neck as he invaded Georgia and Ukraine. U.S. gas exports also would reduce Europe’s dependence on Russia’s pipelines and curb Putin’s capacity to blackmail his neighbors.

    • jim2

      It is apparent (and this is not meant as sarcasm) that you are a helluva lot smarter than President Obama.

      He could become the big hero, by ushering in a new economic boom for the USA based on energy independence following your “drill baby, drill” approach.

      But is he astute enough to grasp this?

      Or is he too politically indebted to his fuzzy-brained green supporters?

      He’s got 1049 days left to do it.

      (Otherwise it will be done by his successor.)


    • Max – I’m just trying to put fossil fuels into perspective. It is imperative the the CAGWers understand their importance before they tax or otherwise regulate this globally important resource. Fossil fuels mean prosperity, both in discovery and extraction, and with the concomitant cheap energy boost to other sectors of the economy. Also, please note that I don’t write most of what I post here. Reason being, I’m not on the front lines of the fossil fuels business and am not a business analyst. I leverage other sources. This keeps me out of a lot of the petty arguments as it brings facts to the fore in the debate.

  24. Generalissimo Skippy

    Officially* the greatest band in the universe.

    *Hitchhikers Guide endorsed

    “Black Flowers”

    You can take what you can get
    I forgive but I forget
    You can never sleep enough
    And your alarm is going off

    You wake up and you can’t pretend a dream was just a dream again
    Won’t you dry your eyes?
    But it doesn’t matter anymore, you did just what you did before
    Until you realize the words go la la la la la

    You can dip your brain in joy
    When you find the real McCoy

    When some pretty boys with skinny ties, black flowers and Valentines
    Try to take you home
    Do you recognize that I have stopped before you get too high
    On your own supply, singing la la la la

    You want it, you got it, but you can’t take it home
    You’ve got a long way to go
    I wait forever to say that you will
    You have a heart to show

    Honey, you don’t have to stay inside, don’t have to run, don’t have to hide
    Come and dry your eyes
    You know you can always change your mind, maybe I will too in time
    Once we understand no one understands at all

    Singing la la la la
    Singing la la la la

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      With the greatest album title – ‘I am not afraid of you I can beat your ass’ – IANAOYICBYA.

  25. “Consensus Theory tells us that Climate is flat without CO2.”

    Does this mean that without anthropogenic CO2 the alarmists would be climate change deniers?

  26. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    In keeping with all my previous comments on the subject, it seems that indeed, a planet being warmed by increasing GH gases in making it harder for energy to escape the deeper ocean, adding to increasing heat content there:

    This is a very interesting bit of research which might change the way a few people think about the way increasing GH gases alter the flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘Evidence is presented for the notion that some contribution to the recent decadal trends observed in the Southern Hemisphere, including the lack of a strong Southern Ocean surface warming, may have originated from longer-term internal centennial variability originating in the Southern Ocean. The existence of such centennial variability is supported by the instrumental sea surface temperatures (SSTs), a multimillennial reconstruction of Tasmanian summer temperatures from tree rings, and a millennial control integration of the Kiel Climate Model (KCM). The model variability was previously shown to be linked to changes in Weddell Sea deep convection. During phases of deep convection the surface Southern Ocean warms, the abyssal Southern Ocean cools, Antarctic sea ice extent retreats, and the low-level atmospheric circulation over the Southern Ocean weakens. After the halt of deep convection the surface Southern Ocean cools, the abyssal Southern Ocean warms, Antarctic sea ice expands, and the low-level atmospheric circulation over the Southern Ocean intensifies, consistent with what has been observed during the recent decades. A strong sensitivity of the time scale to model formulation is noted. In the KCM, the centennial variability is associated with global-average surface air temperature (SAT) changes of the order of a few tenths of a degree per century. The model results thus suggest that internal centennial variability originating in the Southern Ocean should be considered in addition to other internal variability and external forcing when discussing the climate of the twentieth century and projecting that of the twenty-first century.’

      Yeah – not so much.

    • Generalissimo Skippy


  27. D o u g   C o t t o n   

    Of course the models “don’t agree with empirical nature” because Mother Nature hasn’t been listening and learning about The Second Law of Climatology. Climatologists, it seems, recognise the need to teach Mother Nature how to perform.

    You see, the second law of thermodynamics states that “Every process occurring in nature proceeds in the sense in which the sum of the entropies of all bodies taking part in the process is increased.”

    So climatologists are telling Mother Nature to cross out the words “every process” and replace with “any combination of independent processes” and delete “proceeds” and somehow explain that all that matters is the end “net” result. Nothing has to proceed continuously in the direction of increasing entropy, according to what these weather folk are telling Mother Nature. Mother Nature needs to learn that water can run uphill into a lake, provided it “knows” it will flow further down the other side of the hill.

    But wait! There’s more.

    They also need to tell Mother Nature that if she finds isothermal conditions in a vertical column of something, which thus has more gravitational potential energy per molecule at the top (though equal kinetic energy per molecule) then Mother Nature should ignore the fact that there are unbalanced energy potentials that could still do further work. So, Mother Nature, you need to learn that this is a very special climatology limitation of the Second Law which means things have to stop right there and not gain the extra entropy that they could of course still do.


    • D o u g C o t t o n,

      I am quite curious as to how your vertical column of something managed to have more gravitational potential energy per molecule at the top without any work being done to lift stuff to the top.

      Mother Nature has taken this all into account, and seems to have proclaimed that perpetual motion machines just won’t work.

      All this nonsense about columns of stuff, and gravity induced warming in some sorts of stuff – but apparently not others – ignores a couple of basic facts. One, if talking about gases, by definition energy has been provided to the system. If not, the gas ceases to exist, and becomes a solid with zero temperature.

      Two, matter above absolute zero radiates energy. This is how we know it is above absolute zero.

      An isothermal column of gas subjected to gravity will merely radiate excess energy away until it freezes, if no additional energy is provided. As it freezes, it will fall, and the energy initially provided in the form of work to elevate the gas molecules against gravity will be radiated away. Result, solid gas at absolute zero. This is the natural order of things.

      A nice thought, tapping gravity fields to get a free lunch, but it won’t work. I will change my mind, of course, if you ever manage to do so. Irrelevant analogies, models, and such, do not count.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      In reply to some comments above, the sensitivity calculations are wrong because the assumptions are wrong.

      Planetary surface temperatures are determined primarily by the autonomous thermal gradient (aka lapse rate) which evolves spontaneously at the molecular level in their tropospheres. This gradient does not require any surface warmed by direct solar radiation, or any upward rising advection, or any internal energy generation or energy release through cooling.

      If the height of Earth’s troposphere were, say, 10Km more than it is, then the mean surface temperature would be in the vicinity of 30 to 40 degrees warmer than it is. You will not get that “answer” using GH radiative forcing conjectures, so they are wrong. Yet you need look no further than Venus and Uranus to see examples of temperatures at the bases of their tropospheres.

    • DC, would it still be that warm if you had a planet where the sun don’t shine? What does your theory say about that? Everyone knows how the lapse rate is defined by physics and gravity, but your idea doesn’t define the absolute value at all, which is a crucial missing piece. A gradient is no good without an absolute value to anchor it.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      Jim D

      You haven’t a clue what mu hypothesis says. To save time, I’ll just copy a paragraph from my book the text for which was finalised over a month ago.

      The 19th paragraph of Chapter 5 of “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” reads …

      We are now getting close to understanding why radiating molecules have an overall cooling effect, not a warming effect. We have seen that they reduce the magnitude of the gradient and this causes the whole temperature plot for the troposphere to rotate about a pivoting altitude and intersect the surface at a lower “supporting” temperature. The plot must rotate like this in order to maintain radiative balance with the incoming solar radiation. When a planet’s troposphere warms during its sunlit hours and cools at night, the whole temperature plot rises and falls whilst maintaining the temperature gradient. As none of this has anything to do with any “lapsing” process involving thermal energy flowing out of the surface, we will not use the term “lapse rate” when discussing the temperature gradient.

    • DC, it appears you don’t believe in convection that connects the atmospheric temperature to the ground temperature via the convective lapse rate.

  28. D o u g   C o t t o n   

    Mike Flynn has no understanding of the process described in the Second Law of Thermodynamics wherein it is entropy that always increases – at least as much as the constraints of the assumed isolated ideal gas system allow such entropy to increase.

    If the gas were isothermal, work could and would be done because it is not isentropic, and so entropy could increase. Entropy does increase until it is isentropic, which, with obvious assumptions, means (PE+KE0 is homogeneous, and thus the gas exhibits a thermal (KE) gradient. The evidence is easily seen on other planets and even in the outer crust of Earth’s surface because the same process occurs in solids.

    When the thermodynamic (isentropic) equilibrium state is disturbed by the addition of newly absorbed incident solar radiation (or any other new source of thermal energy) then that new energy will spread out over the (sloping) thermal plane in all accessible directions (including downwards) and this explains how the required thermal energy gets into the surface of Venus to raise its temperature by 5 degrees – a fact which simply cannot be explained with GH radiative forcing concepts because such concepts are wrong.

    • Doug,

      First start with your gas at 0K. Let me know how that works for you.

      Now form your quantity of isothermal gas – up, down, sideways or whatever you like, without introducing energy.

      Or, having used magic to produce your gas above 0K, now stop it it cooling to absolute zero again.

      Now tell me how you intend to extract energy to perform work from a quantity of matter at absolute zero. No cheating by using magic to move your matter to increase its potential energy, or kinetic energy.

      If you discover that gravity is not capable of helping out, maybe you could try magnetism to create work from nothing, or tap the universal ether. Sorry, but like Graeff and others, you neglect the fact that energy is required to set up your initial conditions. All you can do subsequently is extract a portion of the energy initially provided.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      Mike Flynn and others

      I’m not discussing red herrings like impossible zero temperatures. Any gas would be solid at any temperature close to zero, but it is impossible to reach zero.

      There is no “extraction” or addition of energy. We are discussing a theoretical ideal gas in an isolated perfectly insulated system, such as Graeff got very close to achieving in over 800 experiments each with multiple concentric insulating cylinders left in place for several months, and we are discussing how kinetic energy interchanges with potential energy during free flight motion of molecules between collisions. Why do you have such trouble with basic Newtonian physics which, as Kinetic Theory states, can be applied to the dynamics of molecules, these molecules having mass and thus being affected by the force of gravity?

      Again, to save time, I will copy from the text of my book, where I wrote …

      The loss in PE will thus be the product M.g.H because a force Mg moves the gas a distance H.  But there will be a corresponding gain in KE and that will be equal to the energy required to warm the gas by a small temperature difference, T.  This energy can be calculated using the specific heat Cp and this calculation yields the product M.Cp.T. Bearing in mind that there was a PE loss and a KE gain, we thus have …

      M.Cp.T = – M.g.H 

      T/H = -g/Cp

      But T/H is the temperature gradient, which is thus the quotient -g/Cp.


    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Shouldn’t that be:

      dT/dz = -g Cp

      Of course it should – we are talking about the dry adiabatic lapse rate – the first approximation of the environmental lapse rate – not a terribly good one at that – the change in temperature with height based on hydrostatic and thermodynamic principles.

      It is not a mystery Doug – except to you it seems. And it has nothing whatsoever to say about IR absorption and emission in a greenhouse gas enriched atmosphere.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Whoops – dT/dz = -g/Cp

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      You’re not teaching me anything, Mr Anonymous Skippy.

      There is a paragraph in the book before the above wherein H is defined as the height difference. And, even in the quoted paragraph you apparently didn’t read that T was defined as the temperature difference – to keep things simple for readers who perhaps don’t understand calculus. I am obviously assuming a linear gradient.

      My point in showing the simple two line derivation from Kinetic Theory is to show that the gradient has nothing to do with pressure, density, rising advection, expanding or contracting air. Get it?

      After the quoted paragraph are the following three paragraphs in the book …

      This result is well known, as is the fact that the atmospheres of all planets exhibit a similar temperature gradient that can be calculated from the gravitational force on that planet and the mean specific heat of the gases in its atmosphere.

      However, there are small variations which reduce the magnitude of the gradient by amounts up to about a third in magnitude. This happens because of the temperature levelling effect of inter-molecular radiation which only ever transfers thermal energy from warmer to cooler regions.

      So the overall true state of thermodynamic equilibrium has to take into account the propensity for non-radiative diffusion processes to produce a temperature gradient which is then reduced a little by the opposing tendency for inter-molecular radiation to level out the gradient. This is why that gradient is reduced on Earth from a theoretical -9.8 degrees per kilometre to a mean of about -6.5 to -7 degrees per kilometre. The reduction in the magnitude of the gradient results from radiation helping energy to “leap frog” over the slower moving diffused energy.

      And no, Skippy my boy, it’s not due to latent heat release as you were incorrectly taught in climatology school.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Getting the formula wrong in such a simple thing is not a good look Cotton me boy – and it is derived from hydrostatic and thermodynamic considerations. Work and energy in the latter.

      It still has nothing whatsoever to say about absorption and emission of IR in a greenhouse gas enriched atmosphere.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I can neither confirm or deny my true identity – it is a secret of the climate war. I was in civvies both a hydrologist and an environmental scientist.

      You have just got the physics madly wrong – and the problem with mad is that they just can’t see it. The problem is not the lapse rate – let’s take that as a given.

      Your problem is with downward emission of IR from the atmosphere – which you by devious means see as a violation of the 2nd law. It isn’t. It just isn’t. The 2nd law is an animal of statistical mechanics. It doesn’t care if photons flow up hill or down dale. It only cares if it all adds up at the end of the day to increased entropy.

  29. Generalissimo Skippy

    Cold water pushes up the South American coast in the western arm – the Peruvian Current – of the South Pacific Gyre.


    The volume of water entering the Peruvian Current depends on the state of the Southern Annular Mode. A positive SAM sees winds restricted to high latitudes and more flow through Drakes Passage. A negative mode pushes cold water into the current displacing warm water and facilitating cold water upwelling and the emergence of La Nina.

    I have been looking at ways of quantifying this. SAM is a running average over 6 months – and NINO 1+2 is offset by a month.

    I get a correlation of 0.4 – not great but I have seen worse.

    The falling SAM suggests an emerging La Nina. In fact you can see cold upwelling in the eastern and central Pacific.

    The trend should be for a falling SAM for decades.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      I didn’t say I predicted ENSO. I just said your prediction appears to agree with mine at least for perhaps most of this year. My predictions were based on climate cycles, including other shorter term cycles apart from the ~1,000 year and ~60 year cycles. I have not gone into detail discussing the shorter term cycles, but that has been an integral part of my study of natural cycles. Once again, I just wanted to keep it simple for my readers. There have, after all, been over 36,100 hits on this first website, over 53,400 hits on my second website (climate-change-theory dot com) and over 1,400 views of my 10 minute video since Christmas Day, 2012.

    • Doug: I would be much more impressed with your numbers if you didn’t have to thread bomb JC’s trying to add to those (rather low IMHO) numbers. I got more than that number of hits in a few months when I last did some personal commercial work.

  30. On the fervent wish for an El Nino in the latter part of the yea to give a rise in temps. How could this in any way invalidate the pause?
    The pause can only be invalidated if global temperatures rise without an El Nino.
    No one could claim that an El Nino rise in heat is proof of global warming , could they?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ENSO is basically a lottery in terms of annual heat – it all depends on how many warm or cool months in any year. Any possible El Nino this year and next is not going to beat the early 1998 record temp.

      But hellonwheels – I’m a callin’ a La Nina. The odds are in favour and the auguries are good.

      If anyone recalls – I did call American drought.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Frankly – it weren’t that difficult.

      The red area is the big dry.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      Good – stick to your weather forecasts, General. My climate forecast was archived two and a half years ago on my website earth-climate dot com and several climate blogs. Your La Niña prediction for this year agrees with my prediction of a slight increase in the rate of cooling this year, as I wrote in 2011. The archived prediction reads …

      From 2003 the effect of El Niño had passed and a slightly declining trend has been observed. This is the net effect of the 60-year cycle starting to decline whilst the 934 year cycle is still rising. By 2014 the decline should be steeper and continue until at least 2027. (This statement was archived 22 August 2011.)

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      It staggers me that people will be celebrating if the climate warms and, they think, proves them right. You might think it would be human nature to celebrate the news as to why it’s not carbon dioxide after all. But I guess there are too many with vested interests in maintaining the GH hoax, and of course money talks louder than altruism.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Doug – you stray too far from rationality to be taken seriously. There is no sense in which ENSO is predictable with any confidence 3 months ahead – particularly at this time of year – let alone years ahead. If you look above – I am looking for ways to understand what initiates La Nina. This is a sort of big picture thing – but by no means certain. There would seem to be a number of intermediate feedbacks between NINO1+2 upwelling and a full blown La Nina. Although SST seem to be falling that way – it is still a problematic call.

      We may get decades of cooling as I have said many times. We may get cooling as the solar energy declines from a 1000 year high and it is amplified through – I think – the Pacific system. We may get a hundreds of years of intense and frequent La Nina as we have seen since the MWWP. But all this is so far from predictable in a coupled non-linear climate system that any attempts to confidently do so can only be dismissed as laughable.

      Climate is wild and our emissions are the actions of savages poking sticks at it – with little notion of consequences it is little more than the chatter and bravado of monkeys.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Medieval Warm Wobbly Period – MWWP.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      General: My reply somehow appeared here upthread.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      Well if I had been working on it during my nine years of university education in the 1960’s and 1970’s I believe I could have predicted back then that there would have been steep warming rising to a maximum in the 1998 to 2003 period, as well as the current 30 years of slight cooling, to be followed by 30 years of warming (by about half a degree) between 2030 and 2060.

      If you read the Home page of my first website (not updated much since 2011) you’ll see a plot of the angular momentum of the Sun and nine planets which correlates well with Earth’s climate since the year 500.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Climate is a system of control variables and multiple negative and positive feedbacks at all scales of small changes propagate through the system.

      Things such as UV/ozone interactions may initiate change but the behavior of the system is emergent.

  31. A misconception that needs correcting is the oft repeated fact that El Nino brings hotter water to the surface and that this heats the the atmosphere up. Also applies to that TOA stuff that is given as heat in and out is 378 odd watts/sm. on average.
    The sea surface is not hot enough to heat the air. What it might do is help the air warm up from the sun more as it is slightly harder for a slightly warmer sea to absorb as much energy.
    The areas we are talking about are equatorial where the full heat of the 1300 Watts /sm is hitting the air and the sea surface. The warm spots we see were heated by the sun probably in the preceding weeks, not currents from 100’s of months ago. That is why by definition we see El Nino’s later in the year and La Nina’s early in the year. The heating up and cooling down of the earth are directly related to the power input [sun] in which we are doing a poor job of assessing properly.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Angtech – there seems quite more error than fact here.

      Vaguely – energy in must equal energy out. Energy in is about 340W/m2 – half the planet is in darkness and the planet is round. So divide the incoming TSI of about 1360W/m2 by 4. The outgoing energy – both SW and LW – is about 340W/m2.

      Here is something I wrote on ENSO some time ago.

      Here is a fantastic animation series from Duke University –

      However – warm water in the mixed surface layer is constantly being turbulently mixed. There is no magic store of warm water below the surface. What happens instead is that the warm surface water piled up against Australia and Indonesia flows eastward across the Pacific. This very much increases the exposed surface area of warm water and energy is transferred to the atmosphere radiatively and by evaporation.

      But La Nina is the ‘normal’ state and is far more interesting.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist


      Your knowledge of both actual ENSO activity and physics seems quite weak. The eastward flow of both mass and energy in the equatorial pacific during an El Niño is pretty well observed. As the thermocline lowers in the Eastern Pacific, the upwelling then brings up more heat from above that lowered thermocline. The general flow of energy during an El Niño is toward the east and upward from ocean to atmosphere, including from deeper ocean layers of some of the heat that had once been stored in the IPWP.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Robert Ellison said:

      “But La Nina is the ‘normal’ state and is far more interesting.”
      Well, that’s certainly a very subjective opinion related to it being more interesting or not. El Niños occur less frequently but represent a major mass and energy shift in the ocean which has effects that ripple across the entire global climate system. Many people find this extremely interesting.

    • Angtech – there seems quite more error than fact here.
      thanks for filling in, what I was trying to say is that the models equate the heat in to heat out as equal but do it over 24 hours ignoring the fact that in comes in in 12 hours but takes 24 hours [night included to go out]
      Hence there is a lot more heating directly under the sun than the simplistic models show. Basically we are on a rotating spit and this movement of the heat source around the world stirs up surface currents in an unpredictable way that is 1360W/m2 and goes out at a slower rate over a longer time.
      R Gates care to comment on the actual temperature values of your thermoclines?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Basically we are on a rotating spit and this movement of the heat source around the world stirs up surface currents in an unpredictable way that is 1360W/m2 and goes out at a slower rate over a longer time.”
      An interesting way to think about it. The oceans do indeed absorb solar radiation and release it over a longer time, but climate change is about the oceans either releasing a bit more energy than they absorb (a cooling period) or a bit less energy than they absorb (a warming period). The atmosphere of course holds very little energy relative to the ocean and would cool far more rapidly without the oceans to act as a source and the IPWP is the single largest ocean source for energy.

    • angech: These are the tropics where we get two heating pulses a year, not one.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      La Nina is sometimes referred to in the literature as the ‘normal’ state – e.g. – because this is where the system starts. With upwelling in the eastern Pacific, normal trade winds and feedbacks that pile warm surface water up against Australia and Indonesia.

  32. I have been thinking more about a question I have been asking for the last year or so–is climate sensitivity one and one only value?

    I think that sensitivity is perhaps controlled by the actions and interactions of the larger carbon sinks. Changing properties of these sinks could presumably affect climate sensitivity.

    If the amount of forest cover changed dramatically, for example, or the amount of topsoil, or their chemical composition, it is easy to see that this would affect their ability to take up CO2. But beyond that, could it also affect the sensitivity of the climate to concentrations of CO2?

    Any takers?

  33. Washington (AFP) – US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on American ambassadors around the world to make the fight against climate change a top priority ahead of new UN talks next year.

    In his first department-wide policy guidance statement since taking office a year ago, he told his 70,000 staff: “The environment has been one of the central causes of my life.”

    “Protecting our environment and meeting the challenge of global climate change is a critical mission for me as our country’s top diplomat,” Kerry said in the letter issued on Friday to all 275 US embassies and across the State Department.

    “It’s also a critical mission for all of you: our brave men and women on the frontlines of direct diplomacy,” he added in the document seen by AFP.

    He urged all “chiefs of mission to make climate change a priority for all relevant personnel and to promote concerted action at posts and in host countries to address this problem.”

    The clarion call comes ahead of key UN-led talks in Paris next year when the international community is due to try to set new emissions goals for greenhouses blamed for global warming.

    The emission levels will be applicable to all countries, not just the developed world, and will come into effect in 2020.

    The new agreement will replace the Kyoto treaty which is due to expire in 2015.;_ylt=AtoA79c3izqXRUDeQzt6JADQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTBsaGVqY3E0BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHNlYwNzcg–

  34. From the article:

    Even with chilly tensions this week on the political stage, the cooperation between the U.S. and Russia in the energy industry is large and growing.

    The topic of Russian “tight oil” (or shale oil) highlighted intertwined relationships at the annual IHS CERAWeek energy conference, and a Rosneft executive said that he wants more contracts with U.S. companies as the world looks to Russia’s vast shale reserves as a future field of bounty.
    Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images
    An oil storage tank at the Salym Petroleum oil fields near the Bazhenov shale formation in Salym, Russia.

    So far, industry executives say they have seen no impact on business since Russia moved troops into Crimea last week.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration has called Russia’s shale reserves the largest in the world, and one Russian oil executive at the conference said they were “somewhere between huge and humongous.”

    The U.S. and Russia are now neck-and-neck in energy production. The U.S. produces more natural gas than any other country. Russia is the world’s biggest oil producer, but the tight oil reserves show much more promise.

  35. The recent decision by Occidental Petroleum to move its headquarters to Houston from Los Angeles, where it was founded over a half-century ago, confirms the futility and delusion embodied in California’s ultragreen energy policies. By embracing solar and wind as preferred sources of generating power, the state promotes an ever-widening gap between its declining middle- and working-class populations and a smaller, self-satisfied group of environmental campaigners and their corporate backers.

    Talk to people who work in the fossil-fuel industry, and they tell you they feel ostracized and even hated; to be an oil firm in California is like being a pork producer in an ultra-Orthodox section of Jerusalem. One top industry executive told me that many of his colleagues in California cringe at the prospect of being attacked by politicians and activists as something akin to war criminals. “I wouldn’t subject my kids to that environment,” the Gulf Coast-based oilman suggested.

    What matters here is not the hurt feelings of energy executives, but a massive lost opportunity to create loads of desperately needed jobs, particularly for blue-collar workers. The nation may be undergoing a massive “energy revolution,” based largely on new supplies of oil and, particularly, cleaner natural gas, but California so far has decided not to play.

    In all but forcing out fossil-fuel firms, California is shedding one of its historic core industries. Not long ago, California was home to a host of top 10 energy firms – ARCO, Getty Oil, Union Oil, Oxy and Chevron; in 1970, oil firms constituted the five largest industrial companies in the state. Now, only Chevron, which has been reducing its headcount in Northern California and is clearly shifting its emphasis to Texas, will remain.

  36. reinder281165

    A positive attutude towards a possible warming of our planet:

  37. “How to Reverse the Graying of Scientific Research”

    A fascinating op-ed in the Wall Street journal by two card carrying members of the government/scientific/research complex.

    “Youth will be served, as the saying goes, but increasingly that’s not the case in scientific research. The National Institutes of Health reports that between 1980 and 2012, the share of all research funding going to scientists under age 35 declined to 1.3%, from 5.6%. During the same period, the number of NIH awards going to scientists age 35 and under declined more than 40%, even as the total number of awards more than doubled.

    Nevertheless, history has shown that it is often the youngest scientists who defy orthodoxy and shatter paradigms. We must recalibrate our research policies to fuel the promise of the most talented individuals of all ages, with solutions on three fronts: re-investment, re-examination and re-imagination.”

    The fact that younger scientists are those most likely to “defy orthodoxy and shatter paradigms” is precisely the reason they are not going to be funded in the era of government sponsored “post-modern” science.

    But kudos to these two brahmins from Johns Hopkins for treading the dangerous ground between the government trough and the establishment “scientific research” community. (Good thing their op-ed appeared in the WSJ, where their peers will never see it.)

  38. This is the best explanation of warmista theory that I’ve ever seen. Even though it doesn’t derive a sensitivity number, the astute reader can ascertain from the narrative the value.

    From the article:
    Climate Change is the new political-manufactured definition that solves the limitation-imposing name of Global Warming. The name Climate Change has the flexibility of covering cool temperatures as well as warm, instead of only warm with Global Warming. Ultimately, Climate Change allows world governments to blame their climate ills on their people whether the Earth’s average temperature rises or falls.

    Carbon Dioxide (molecular formula: C666O2) is both a naturally, unnaturally, and supernaturally occurring gas emitted from angry volcanoes, the natural emission of flatulence from the sea floor, and sarcasm. Since roughly the time of the industrial revolution, mankind has been burning dinosaur blood at an alarming rate to power his machines, and make his snacks. This burning has risen the amount of C666O2 in the atmosphere which has blocked out a measurable quantity of the happy light spectrum from the sun, making the Earth angry… in a heated way.

    In condensed form, C666O2 can retain heat exponentially. Many have reported that if one were to breath into a flask and close it quickly, the flask would become red hot and eventually melt. C666O2 has also been shown to be extremely deadly; at just 10cc of pure C666O2 administered intravenously into newborn babies, lethality can reach as high as 50%. It is believed that within 30 years, this terroristic gas will cause a climapocalypse.

    Work Group 1 cover of the official report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    In 1995, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released it’s second and most influential propaganda report. Broken down by three sections known as ‘Work Groups’, the book contained simplistic diagrams which were mostly pictures and few words. Between each work group was a coloring section followed by stickers. The useful information in the report came from the simple diagrams which explains, by way of pictograph, how weather phenomenon works and how it is influenced by man. By following the pictures (after completing a few connect-the-dots activities) it can be determined that the smoke produced from man’s camp fires, car exhaust, and evil cigarette smoke, raises, sits in the atmosphere and puts hand-cuffs on the sun-rays, holding them in the atmosphere. When a buildup of sun-rays occur, rabbits and trees will begin to cry, and the Earth will become sad. The saddened Earth will then produce hurricanes and tornadoes, how exactly is unclear however; the Earth is seen as angry at such time with the words “Hot Head” printed above.

  39. More from that article. Model runs …
    Climate Model of 1990
    Hanz Ooooohhhh addressing Zombie Nation at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

    In 1990, a secret climate model run by an anonymous group of politicians has shown that the Earth will either get warmer by at least 0.01°F within the next 500 years or warmer by 500°F within the next 0.01 years. The complete findings of the group after eight years of research and 154M dollars was distributed nation wide on orange post-it notes with the words “Human are cause” (sic) written on it. Since the release of the note, inquires from prominent scientists worldwide for the group to expand upon their findings have been met with silence.

  40. From the article:
    Hector Gallegos sits in the cab of his pick-up enjoying a few hours of calm. A day earlier, workers finished carting off the huge rig that had drilled three new wells beneath this small patch of south Texas farmland and he’s now getting ready to prime them for production. He reckons that about three weeks from now each will be producing 1,000 to 2,000 barrels a day. “That’s money!” he exclaims with a broad smile.

    It’s also power, and not in the combustion sense. Thanks to the success of engineers like Mr Gallegos in pushing the frontiers of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, to access reserves of oil trapped in shale formations, notably here in Texas and North Dakota, America is poised to displace Saudi Arabia as the world’s top producer. With that could come a hobbling of Opec and unforeseen shifts in US foreign policy.

    So rapid has been the change in its energy fortunes that even some experts, as well as policy-makers in Washington, are struggling to keep up. Nor are we just talking oil. So much natural gas is being released by the shale also that for now outlandish quantities of it are simply being burned off into the atmosphere.

    Even predicting future oil output isn’t the precise science you’d expect. “We keep raising our forecasts, and we keep underestimating production,” Lejla Alic, an analyst with the International Energy Agency noted recently. Last year US production reached 7.4 million barrels a day, an increase over 2012 of 15.3 per cent. A jump that large hasn’t been seen since 1951. This year the US should produce 8.3 million barrels a day.

    • Palin predicted the Ukraine and now this. Two for two!

      More from the oil article:
      As vivid as the gas flares in the Texas sky at night, however, is America’s new-found love affair with fracking. Environmentalists warn loudly of water contamination disasters and some home owners speak of being rattled by man-made earthquakes, but there is no giving it up now. It’s a whole different world to 2008, when US oil production was at a historical low and Sarah Palin was drawing liberal ire declaring that “Drill, Baby Drill!” was the answer to all of America’s problems. Suddenly she seems to have been right.

  41. Crude oil could easily drop to ~ $80.
    From the article:
    U.S. crude futures fell below $100 a barrel in early Asian trade on Wednesday, dropping below the level for a second day as a higher-than-expected rise in inventories in the world’s biggest oil consumer revived demand growth worries.

    Concerns of a slowdown in China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, after recent weak data also weighed on prices.

    U.S. crude dropped 64 cents to $99.30 a barrel by 0034 GMT, after settling $1.09 down at $100.03, its lowest since Feb. 11. Brent futures declined 27 cents to $108.28 after ending 47 cents up.

  42. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    I hope that some of you are still open minded enough to consider this new report just out on Antarctic sea ice growth:

    It includes some new analysis and makes for very interesting reading, answering the question as to how increasing GHG concentrations can lead to increased sea ice growth in Antarctica.

    • Rgates

      I have done my sceptical duty and read the document.

      Did you read the chapter about models and their deficiencies? Also that more research is needed. And their time scale of research is very recent and does not mention the past at all.

      In the earlier part of the last century there was huge ice loss. They really should have mentioned that which would have provided context.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist:

      Thanks for the link. We already knew from Liu and Curry, 2010 (cited in the article) that warmer weather in the Antarctic could cause increased Antarctic ice. It is a shame that had not been realized before scientists began to warn about (and Steig et reported, later disconfirmed by McIntyre et al) Antarctic ice loss. The “maybes” predominate in this debate, and it is really unfortunate that Hansen and others began to warn of catastrophic changes at a time when so little was known of the complexities of perennial and regional climate changes that occur independent of CO2.

      Here is a quote that gives the flavor of that report: A key factor affecting the dramatic changes in sea ice extent in the West Antarctic sector has been the deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low (ASL), which is a recurrent
      low atmospheric pressure anomaly in the South Pacific, due to the increased intensity of westerly winds and the geographical configuration of the Antarctic continent [Turner et al., 2013a]. Resultant stronger and/or more persistent southerly (colder) winds along the western flank of the ASL have generated more extensive sea ice in the Ross Sea, while northerly (warmer) winds in the Bellingshausen Sea have led to less extensive ice there. Proxy information on historical sea ice extent which can be obtained from ice cores from the Antarctic Ice Sheet [Curran et al., 2003] and sources such as whaling data [de la Mare 1997, 2008] are crucial in terms of extending the satellite data record back in time (before the 1970s) – to place recent change/variability into longer-term context. For example, ice core data from the Antarctic Peninsula suggest that sea ice decline in the
      Bellingshausen Sea since 1979 is part of a trend that has persisted since the early 1900s due to a progressive deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low [Abram et al., 2010].

      Whatever any of that has to do with either increased CO2 or increased local or global warming is purely conjecture.

      Here is a reference to subtle insolation effects: While the interplay between large-scale atmospheric patterns (like SAM and ENSO) to
      some extent explains sea ice variability in the South Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean, it does not explain regional changes observed elsewhere around Antarctica. Moreover, it fails to account for the potentially important role of ocean forcing and feedbacks. The observed magnitude and timing of seasonal/regional sea ice changes in fact point to involvement of strong positive feedbacks. For example, a strong relationship between spring sea ice retreat and subsequent autumn advance observed in the AP-BS (and WRS) regions is consistent with an earlier (later) spring retreat leading to increased (decreased) solar heating of the upper ocean, which then results in a later (earlier) sea ice advance in the following autumn [Stammerjohn et al., 2012].

      The paper is a thorough summary of what isn’t known well enough to help decide whether anything happening in the Antarctic is related to CO2 changes at all. It’s a shame anyone got caught up in the AGW bandwagon enough to claim that a few recent, poorly understood, hardly documented changes in the Antarctic were related to GHGs.

      I follow most links, and that paper is a good read.

  43. Rgates

    Some historic context on Antarctica taken from one of my recent articles.

    “This 1932 article demonstrates that, unlike the modern era, the warming affected both poles whilst highlighting the continued retreat of the glaciers generally and in Greenland and Alaska specifically;

    “Some great world change is taking place on the Antarctic Continent. Its glaciers are shrinking. L.A. Bernacchi, who visited the South Polar land 30 years ago, says that the Great Ice Barrier which fronts the continent with a wall of ice for 250 miles has receded at least 30 miles since it was first seen and surveyed. Sir James Ross…on the earliest Antarctic expedition of the nineteenth century, and those who followed him, left clear descriptions of this tremendous ice frontage and its position. It was a cliff 150ft. high and 1000ft. thick. But now it appears to be continuing its century-long process of shrinking; and that process may have been going on for centuries. It might imply, unless it is offset by some increase of ice in another less explored part of the Antarctic, that the climate of the South Pole is changing and becoming warmer. The shrinkage of the Alpine glaciers of Europe is a well-known and carefully measured fact. Professor Buchanan, of. Edinburgh, drew attention to it twenty years ago, and showed from old and accurate drawings of (many) that they were retreating rapidly.

    This led to the continuous measurement of the Swiss glaciers (and) examination of other glaciers of the Northern Hemisphere, Greenland, Alaska, and elsewhere. Prom these measurements many geologists concluded that the northern part of the globe was still recovering from the last of its Ice Ages, of which the more southerly of its glaciers in Europe were a relic. If all the glaciers of the Southern Hemisphere as well as those of the Northern are shrinking, the geologists would have a new problem to examine. It would be whether, instead of areas of cold and ice having shifted on the earth, the whole globe is growing warmer. Even if that could be shown the change might prove to be temporary.”

    Historical note on Louis Bernacchi
    “Bernacchi studied astronomy, magnetism, meteorology and physics at Melbourne Observatory and made significant contributions to science during his two Antarctic expeditions.”


  44. The US government is corrupt and dangerous to freedom.
    From the article:

    EXCLUSIVE: FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
    Agents quietly working with Utah prosecutors to make case in DOJ absence
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
    By John Solomon
    The Washington Times
    Thursday, March 13, 2014


    FBI agents working alongside Utah state prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have uncovered accusations of wrongdoing by two of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent figures — Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Sen. Mike Lee — but the Justice Department has thwarted their bid to launch a full federal investigation.

    PHOTOS: Assault rifles: The best and the baddest

    The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News.

    But the Justice Department’s public integrity section — which normally handles corruption cases involving elected figures — rejected FBI agents’ bid to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine whether the accusations are true and whether any federal crimes were committed by state and federal officials.

  45. Is there, anywhere, a collective database of information re: forcings AND potential forcings, AND any existing measurement, estimated magnitude, potential cross relationships? You know a climate model. But a fluid, evolving one, and not in control of the IPCC, because it has not shown itself to be exhaustive. I would especially love it, if it were visually based. A 3d mockup, with imbedded write ups and pictorals (or a database PLUS 3d model, with the ability to flip back and forth). But in a public context, where any and every crackpot and serious scientist, can offer up potentially related material for consideration. Then for each piece of the puzzle, have an upvote, downvote, or nudge in a direction. Like a WikiPedia climate model, for public contribution. I know on the well researched items, there would be too much information and too much debate. But since I think the current models are SO off the mark, I think the answer(s) that finally unlock the whole mess are going to be non-mainstream anyways.

  46.  Doug. Cotton    

    Wikipedia as it should read at last …

    The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases in the course of every spontaneous (natural) change.

    In other words: over time, differences in temperature, pressure, and density tend to even out in a horizontal plane, but not in a vertical plane due to the force of gravity. For example, density and pressure do not even out in a vertical plane, and nor does temperature because gravity acts on individual molecules, and this means molecular kinetic energy interchanges with gravitational potential energy in free path motion between collisions.

    Entropy is a measure of progression towards the state of thermodynamic equilibrium which has the greatest entropy among the states accessible by the system. In a vertical plane in a gravitational field, thermodynamic equilibrium exhibits a non-zero gradient in pressure, density and temperature, each being less at the top of a planet’s troposphere.

    The most common wording for the second law of thermodynamics is essentially due to Rudolf Clausius:

    “The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.”

    There are many statements of the second law which use different terms, but are all equal. Another statement by Clausius is:

    Heat cannot of itself pass from a colder to a hotter body.

    This, however, is strictly only correct in a horizontal plane where the state of thermodynamic equilibrium has uniform temperature. When that state exhibits a thermal gradient in a vertical plane, then temperature inversions can occur in which the upper, cooler region is warmer than normal, even though cooler than lower regions. In such instances there can be heat transfers from cooler to warmer regions because such transfers are increasing entropy and restoring thermodynamic equilibrium. This is how energy absorbed in the cooler Venus troposphere is transferred into (and warms) the surface.

    An equivalent statement by Lord Kelvin is:

    A transformation whose only final result is to convert heat, extracted from a source at constant temperature, into work, is impossible.

    The second law is only applicable to macroscopic systems. The second law is actually a statement about the probable behavior of an isolated system. As larger and larger systems are considered, the probability of the second law being practically true becomes more and more certain. For any isolated system with a mass of more than a few picograms, the second law is true to within a few parts in a million.[1]

    A simple stylized diagram of a heat pump’s vapor-compression refrigeration cycle: 1) condenser, 2) expansion valve, 3) evaporator, 4) compressor.


    In a general sense, the second law says that temperature differences between systems in contact with each other tend to even out and that work can be obtained from these non-equilibrium differences, but that loss of thermal energy occurs, when work is done and entropy increases.[2] Pressure, density and temperature differences in an isolated system, all tend to equalize (in a horizontal plane) if given the opportunity. A heat engine is a mechanical device that provides useful work from the difference in temperature of two bodies.