Open thread

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

424 responses to “Open thread

  1. Can we all talk to each other as equals? Can we really do this without slur or preconceived notions about whether we are right and the others are wrong?

    • Nope

      • David Springer

        Ha. Perfect answer TJA.

        I haven’t had an equal since superman died.

        Just sayin’.

    • Pokerguy (aka al neipris)

      What do you think, peter…I!m not even sure what your question can someone with an opinion not have the preconceived notion that the opinion is right?

    • Its all about having an open mind PG, you may believe something but what evidence do you really have? The other side of the debate may also believe something else but on what evidence?

      Why not just just go through the evidence and see if there is common ground upon which we can agree and then lets see where it (the evidence) will take us?

      I honestly believe that the difference between a warmist and a sceptic is our perception of what the evidence is telling everybody, when in fact the evidence is not really there at all.

    • Peter, sane people agree trees are not thermometers.

      Insane people think trees are thermometers.

      There is no common ground.

      • David Springer

        I think trees are thermometers. Anyone who says no one thinks trees are thermometers his mother is a gerbil and his father smells of elderberries.

        If that’s you then please respond.

    • Steven Mosher

      Nobody thinks trees are thermometers.
      To have an open mind you have to

      A) understand your own limits
      B) understand that your knowledge of other peoples beliefs is your largest
      source of ignorance

      In short. You dont understand what using tree rings as a proxy for rainfall or temperature means. You actively try to misunderstand it. You actively try to misrepresent it.

      A good critic has to learn how to think from the other persons perspective.
      There are disciplines you can study to teach you this

    • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

      Peter, your question “Can we all talk to each other as equals?”: has, in science, an easy answer. No, we can’t. Because, in general, people do not have the same level of scientific understanding.
      In many other areas, (politics, films, food, …), we could be equal: what you like/think could have the same “weight” as what I like/think. But not in science.

      There is a special case, though: climate science.
      In this special case, I (a simple physicist, no phd, no educator no academic) can be equal to, for example, Dr. Thomas Stocker (a phd, educator and co-chair WGI AR5 of the IPCC).
      Do you know why, Peter?: because climate science is a rookie science and with only a few months of research anyone can notice the weakness in IPCC’s “physical science basis”. In fact, I have sent an email to Dr. Thomas Stocker explaining him why, in my opinion, he must either rectify or scientifically justify IPCC’s claims on climate change.

      • David Springer

        Is anyone here arrogant enough to say that Antonio doesn’t have an open mind? Speak up if so.

    • Steven Mosher

      Antonio demonstrates that he doesnt have an open mind yet

      “A) understand your own limits
      B) understand that your knowledge of other peoples beliefs is your largest
      source of ignorance.

      Im sure Stocker will be impressed with your knowledge.


    • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

      Steven, before telling your opinion, you should have read the new version of my “Refuting …” document I have sent Dr. Stocker.
      I hope we can discuss version 2 of my “Refuting …” in this blog. But I have to get, first, some legal issues sorted out. Keep tuned.

    • “understand that your knowledge of other peoples beliefs is your largest
      source of ignorance”

      We understand better than you think.


    • Matthew R Marler

      Steven Mosher: “A) understand your own limits
      B) understand that your knowledge of other peoples beliefs is your largest
      source of ignorance.

      Personally I try to focus on shared evidence and written statements without considering other people’s beliefs, except perhaps as they express a “belief”.

      I don’t think I understand my own limits, but I try to test the limits of my knowledge by writing propositions for other people to dispute.

      Nobody has an open mind about everything. I doubt I truly have an open mind about the laws of thermodynamics or the measurements/estimates of the latent heats of H2O or the absorption/emission spectra of H2O and CO2.

      But the scientific case that human produced CO2 has caused or is causing climate change is full of holes. It could be true, but “belief” in it looks to me like a sort of religious belief, the result of a neuropsychological process than turns ideas into beliefs, that all of us are subject to at times.

    • Matthew Marler, it is not just ‘belief’. It helps to explain a lot of things that would have no explanation otherwise, not just regarding warming, but regarding a stationary climate and paleoclimate. If it didn’t explain anything, CO2 wouldn’t be worth much, but it is deeply involved in the current understanding of how the atmosphere works, and that cannot be ignored.

    • Keith Kloor has a nice post about the ugly “mob” mentality.

      This is, unfortunately, a tried and true tactic of environmentalists- anti-nukes, anti-GMO, etc etc etc. The good news is that the internet makes it more difficult to succeed. When the only sources of news were the big three and your local monopoly paper, the tactic worked well.

    • Mosher,

      I think I have at least some idea of how trees are used as a proxy. And even with that knowledge, I find it difficult to believe that they are anything other than MAYBE a possible clue to what temperatures they were exposed to.

      To say we have a good idea of temperatures going back a thousand years based on tree ring data is, to paraphrase a line from a movie, “Bold words from a gotee wearing fat man.”

      • David Springer

        When people who vote find it difficult to believe something or another that “scientist” say is “data” are not accorded the respect and common courtesy of polite dialog the winning of hearts and minds is lost.

        Someone who disrepects the layman’s opinion has a gerbil for a mother and a father who smells of elderberries. I challenge all who believe that lay opinions don’t matter to say it now and expose themselves as a massive boob.

        Ready, set, expose!

    • Steven Mosher

      “I think I have at least some idea of how trees are used as a proxy. And even with that knowledge, I find it difficult to believe that they are anything other than MAYBE a possible clue to what temperatures they were exposed to.”

      You finding it difficult to believe is not data. it is not method. it is not reason.
      It is not important what you find easy to believe versus difficult to believe.

      You lay out the theory.
      You lay out the assumptions
      You do the calculations.
      And you get what you get.
      “Belief” has nothing to do with it. It is merely an operation.

      You can then argue about the assumptions.
      You can try to test the assumptions.
      you can try different assumptions.
      you cannot avoid assumptions. EVER.

    • “You lay out the theory.
      You lay out the assumptions
      You do the calculations.
      And you get what you get.”

      …and then you make post facto adjustments, to get the answer you want.


    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: but regarding a stationary climate and

      You are not claiming, are you, that climate is stationary, or that CO2 explains why it is stationary?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Mosher, tree rings are thought of as thermometers.
      They call the extracted information temperature data, same as with thermometers.

    • I believe that successful science cultures harness the motivated reasoning bias to improve creative and critical thinking in a dialectical process. “Disinterested is uninterested” is the slogan of this perspective. It’s a lot easier to pull some complicated piece of analysis apart when you are motivated to find something wrong with it, and it’s a lot easier to come up with creative ideas to support a hypothesis when you’re motivated to defend it. The danger, of course, is that abandoning oneself too strongly to one’s motivated-reasoning reward system can lead to fooling oneself. The check on this is that opposing dogmatists will find your errors for you.

      A sophisticated analyst can internalize the “opposition” perspective, putting it on and taking it off in order to identify and correct some of the flaws in his own reasoning while avoiding public embarrassment. The presence of somewhat competent non-motivated audiences who will make their own judgments of the issues (and the people debating them) incentivizes this type of sophistication–you look better to third parties if you catch more of your errors yourself. Good science education, pursuant to engendering such sophistication, inculcates the habit of asking “how could I be wrong?” and gives students examples of how smart people were fooled in the past. But asking for a neutral, judicious state of mind at all moments seems counterproductive. If nothing else, some dogmatism is needed to motivate a researcher to pursue a risky line of research over long periods where it hasn’t paid off (yet).

    • Where’s the reliable data on the behavior of tree ring growth
      that ‘s linear with temperature? Some divergence issue, I dunno.

    • Mosher: “Nobody thinks trees are thermometers.”

      Don’t you feel like a clown when you say that?

      Thermometer: “an instrument for measuring temperature”

      IPCC: “Tree-ring records of past climate are precisely dated, annually resolved, and can be well calibrated and verified (Fritts, 1976). They typically extend from the present to several centuries or more into the past, and so are useful for documenting climate change in terrestrial regions of the globe. Many recent studies have sought to reconstruct warm-season and annual temperatures several centuries or more ago from either the width or the density of annual growth rings (Briffa et al., 1995; D�Arrigo et al., 1996; Jacoby et al., 1996; D�Arrigo et al., 1998; Wiles et al., 1998; Hughes et al., 1999; Cook et al., 2000). Recently, there has been a concerted effort to develop spatial reconstructions of past temperature variations (e.g., Briffa et al., 1996) and estimates of hemispheric and global temperature change (e.g., Briffa et al., 1998b; Briffa, 2000). Tree-ring networks are also now being used to reconstruct important indices of climate variability over several centuries such as the Southern Oscillation Index (Stahle et al., 1998), the North Atlantic Oscillation (Cook et al., 1998; Cullen et al., 2001) and the Antarctic Oscillation Index (Villalba et al., 1997) (see also Section 2.6), as well as patterns of pre-instrumental precipitation and drought (Section”

    • Jim D | April 3, 2014 at 1:52 pm said: ” If it didn’t explain anything, CO2 wouldn’t be worth much, but it is deeply involved in the current understanding of how the atmosphere works, and that cannot be ignored”

      Jimmy D, first of April is over, Jimmy…

    • “Tree-ring records of past climate are precisely dated, annually resolved, and can be well calibrated and verified (Fritts, 1976).

      Yep, they know when the rings were grown and how much they grew, but they really suck at telling us all about all the reasons why the rings grew as they did. This part, they can make fit the theory they are trying to promote.

    • Peter Davies | April 3, 2014 at 7:26 am |

      We can read each other as being equal; that is up to the reader.

      Where a reader sees inequality, one commends the age old remedy: READ HARDER.

      Can we accept slur on our written opinions or criticism of the opinions of others we admire or accept without feeling personal slur? That too is a matter for the reader, and a matter of READ HARDER.

      Of course we all may tend to entertain the notion of our own views as right, most especially the views we most cherish (who would cherish more what they know to be most wrong?), and the maturity to accept that the world is full of diverse views and the odds of any one person holding a monopoly on rightness is far lower than our own sense of righteousness is very rare.

      So can we?

      We ought anticipate that we might not, or may not seem to, however courtesy demands we always strive to better ourselves in this regard.

      For me, one way to better ourselves is to not think in terms of slur or equality, inequality or personalities at all.

      After all, discussions of Science aren’t social claques dependent on feelings and reputations, gossip, tact and such, but data and fact; the height of discourtesy in Science is putting such things ahead of data and logic.

    • Bart R suggests we as individuals should read harder if you believe you are in the right and all the others are in the wrong. +1

  2. David L. Hagen

    Uphold Excellent Stewardship, Civility, and Freedom
    Os Guiness: The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It

    Influential Christian writer and speaker Os Guinness makes a passionate plea to put an end to the polarization of American politics and culture that—rather than creating a public space for real debate—threatens to reverse the very principles our founders set into motion and that have long preserved liberty, diversity, and unity in this country. . . .
    Always provocative and deeply insightful, Guinness puts forth a vision of a new, practical “civil and cosmopolitan public square” that speaks not only to America’s immediate concerns but to the long-term interests of the republic and the world.

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    “Instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination. . . .
    A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. . . .
    Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise heaven but deliver hell. For them, the promised end justifies the means. . . .Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. EPA officials have commended us for our “commitment to a cleaner environment” and called us “a model for other companies.” . . .
    Koch Industries was the only major producer in the ethanol industry to argue for the demise of the ethanol tax credit in 2011. That government handout (which cost taxpayers billions) needlessly drove up food and fuel prices as well as other costs for consumers—many of whom were poor or otherwise disadvantaged. . . .
    Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people’s lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.

    • Rob Starkey

      Gate- It is unfortunate that your bias get in the way of reviewing information. How is your behavior different from others views of the IPCC? Don’t many claim the same thing about them?

  3. Still trying to get the idea across of how long it will take to be realistically certain of AGW climate change occurring. Judith’s last post included two small but relevant ideas from RP jun and And Then Theres Physics on anthropogenic signals in tropical cyclone changes.
    This is one of the few times that a real method of detecting the so called anthropogenic fingerprint has been discussed.
    Both of them addressed the time span to show that extreme events may be due to global warming if they increase in severity over time.
    RP was castigated for daring to suggest that this was not able to be seen in the data from the last 30 years and would take, if present , hundreds of years to show up.
    ATTP was also castigated for doing an analysis that showed exactly the same thing,specifically taking 200 years to reach the 90 percent confidence level. Trends that might exist at 20-50 years are only 10% likely to be accurate, that is 90% likely to be wrong.
    This is exactly the same as our recent anomaly of a heat rise from the 1970’s to 1998. It was only ever likely to be 10% correct.
    That is, 90% likely to be wrong.
    Now taking big decisions when you are 90% likely to be wrong is a big jump into the dark and puts some of the usual commentators here under the pump.
    Those are very bad odds indeed .

    Others who argue that any risk is too much and needs preventative measures [you know who you are] are asked to abstain from commenting as there is a risk of repetitive strain injury if you touch your keyboards.

    • Decompose the problem. If what you mean is falsify climate model predictions, then there are a number of papers to turn to (NOAA 2008, Santer 2011, Fyfe et. al. 2013, Von Storch 2014,…) and the answer is about now.
      If you mean actual AGW induced change of some sort, then it depends on the specific change. Hurricanes not the same as Artic sea ice not the same as species extinctions. For this last, the answer will generally be never (no time period despite all the literature to the contrary) because of confounding anthropogenic factors like habitat loss to deforestation, over exploitation (hunting, logging, fishing, farming), pollution (e.g.siltation from runoff), invasive species (including things like Mosquitos carrying avian malaria responsible for bird extinctions in Hawaii, or chrytidiomycosis causing amphibian extinctions in Central America), and so on. Even ‘pure’ cases like polar bears aren’t, sine the ‘specie’ cross breeds with browns ( aka grizzlies) and began to diverge genetically about 1.3 million years ago, surviving all previous interglacials. So even if they did go extinct (they aren’t) it would not be possible to attribute that to AGW. The Emmian peaked about 3C above present according to Greenland ice cores, the bears obviously survived.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Rud Istvan: Decompose the problem.

      That was a good, short focused post.

    • Rud
      true but I was hoping to focus on the time scale for proving or disproving AGW from “weather” changes ie temp rises, sea levels, Hurricanes, Antarctic and Arctic ice most of which would link together and be comparable to the CO2 rise.
      There should be about 13 different variables which could each be measured from 1970 on and given weightings
      Obviously current temp and Antarctic sea ice extent would go in different directions. Do all of them have the same predictive power as Hurricanes, that is we will have to wait up to 267 years for a 95% chance of AGW being right

    • You are wasting your time waiting for AGW to show itself. It simply does not exist for the simple reason that greenhouse warming is a pseudo-scientific fantasy. First, Hansen did not detect greenhouse warming in 1988. How do I know? He showed a temperature curve rising from 1880 to 1998 and told us that 1988 was the warmest point in the last 100 years. There was only a half a percent probability, he said, that this could happen by chance alone, hence the the existence of greenhouse warming was proved. But not so fast, James. Not even the IPCC has had the nerve to use the warming from 1910 to 1940 as greenhouse warming because there was not enough carbon dioxide in the air. Therefore, we must take that period off from your claimed hundred years of warming. This lops off 60 of your claimed 100 years of warming. The remaining 48 years is comprised of two sections on your graph. First is a cooling for 25 years, from 1940 to 1965. Second is warming for 23 years, from 1965 to 1988. That see-saw is all you have left to prove that greenhouse warming exists. No matter how you slice it, the probability that this cooling/warming segment proves the existence of the greenhouse effect is zero. But IPCC is taking you at your word and claiming that there was greenhouse warming. Checking twentieth century temperatures we find that yes, there was warming. It is possible to identify two warming periods, one from 1910 to 1940 that raised global temperature by half a degree, and a short three year warrming that started in 1999 and raised temperature by a third of a degree in only three years. Are these the greenhouse warmings the ones IPCC talks about? To my knowledge they have not specifically said so, but let us assume they do claim that. Now radiation physics tells us that to start any enhanced greenhouse warming like these two you must simultaneously add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. But did this happen? It is easy enough to find out by checking the Keeling curve and its extensions. When you do that you find that nothing happened. The Keeling curve is absolutely smooth except for its seasonal wiggle. It follows that under no circumstances can these two warmings be designated as greenhouse warming. This makes the twentieth century greenhouse free. Since the twenty-first century is already greenhouse free thanks to the pause we can say that there has been no greenhouse warming in recorded history. But what about the greenhouse theory of Arrhenius that IPCC uses to predict warming? It is plain wrong as you can easily deduce from the existence of the pause. The only greenhouse theory that correctly explains the pause is the Miskolczi greenhouse theory (MGT) that has been out since 2007. It is hated and insulted by warmist pseudo-scientists because it denies the existence of the AGW as a pseudo-scientific fantasy.

  4. Lawyers tell us in English Law, at least, that legally you can’t agree to agree.
    There is something I can agree with those who consider that CAGW is a threat to civilisation and that is it is right to protect and preserve the environment where possible and to prevent pollution. And that you can’t deny :-)

  5. The author leaves Alarmist climate science off the list in spite of meeting every criteria, defining pseudoscience;

    1. The use of psychobabble – words that sound scientific and professional but are used incorrectly, or in a misleading manner.
    2. A substantial reliance on anecdotal evidence.
    3. Extraordinary claims in the absence of extraordinary evidence.
    4. Claims which cannot be proven false.
    5. Claims that counter established scientific fact.
    6. Absence of adequate peer review.
    7. Claims that are repeated despite being refuted.

  6. Last week a Professor I know from Princeton sent me a newly issued paper (not yet peer reviewed) describing a new method of calculating the climate sensitivity value of Carbon Dioxide; I finished reading it last night and found it very insightful.

    The paper Advanced Two-Layer Climate Model for the Assessment of Global Warming by CO2 was written by Hermann Harde from the Helmut-Schmidt-University in Hamburg, Germany and it was published on March 14, 2014. As the title suggests Harde shows how he developed a method of analyzing the interaction of the Earth Atmosphere system (EASy) to determine the real sensitivity value of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Since the accuracy of this value is critical to determining what effect CO2 will have on the global climate the results of this paper should put the last nail in the coffin containing the corpse of the theory called Anthropogenic Climate change.

    The IPCC in all their assessments uses a climate sensitivity value of 3.0 degrees Celsius for a doubling of CO2. According to Wiki this value came from the 1979 National Academy of Science Report Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment Report of an Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate; Jule Charney chaired the study group and the report has since been referred to as the Charney Report. Also according to Wiki they took James Hansen’s high estimate of 4.0 C and added .5 degrees C to it and then took Syukuro Manabe’s low estimate of 2.0 C and subtracted .5 from it and then average the two which then gives us 1.5 C Low, 3.0 C expected and 4.5 C high which is what the IPCC is still using today as shown in AR5 thirty five years later. Whether the story is true or not those values are found on page 2 of the Charney report. Much if not all of this theoretical work was done in the mid 1970’s which makes it 40 years old now; so the question is, is it still valid.

    Since 1979 there have been a lot of studies made on this issue and I’ve looked at over 30 of them; and if a list is made from oldest to newest, one finds that the sensitivity vales in these papers have drifted down from the 3.0 C in the Charney report in 1979 to many in the last few years under 1.5 C and the most recent of .68 C last month. The average for the lot would be under 2.0 Celsius. In my work on Climate Change it was my belief that the lower values were the real ones and I had been using values around 1.0 degree C until the 2011 paper by Richard Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi showed that a value of .64 degrees C was the right one. Since then the published papers continue to drop the sensitivity value lower with none of them showing 3.0 degrees C as the right one. Yet the IPCC clings to this value still showing 3.0 C in AR5 for they know if it is lower than 3.0 degrees C that their climate models are wrong and the Anthropogenic Climate change belief is not valid.

    • @ Centinel2012

      It appears that as data accumulates the ‘sensitivity’ is asymptotically approaching zero.

      Jim Cripwell will be pleased and gratified.

      Meanwhile, Climate Science writ large seems not to have noticed. Absent the magical taxing and regulating that will snatch us back from the precipice, ACO2 driven catastrophe still looms.

      • Everyone that does not believe in anthropogenic climate change is automatically branded as being mentally defective. However, since even the model I developed (check the work on by blog under climate change) is orders of magnitude better than any of the IPCC’s I will gladly be defective if that means looking at whats real and what works matters.

    • Just make a Google search for Hermann Harde, and then try to guess which group of people might give any credence to his writings?

    • There was a similar thing by this author addressed by Rabett 3 years ago.

    • Steven Mosher

      “The IPCC in all their assessments uses a climate sensitivity value of 3.0 degrees Celsius for a doubling of CO2.”


    • Lindzen and Choi 2011 contains a questionable hidden assumption abut the timing of lags, which makes the result less than robust. Also, there is no comsensus exactly what ECS means, over how many centuries. The further outnyoungo (Hansen argued in 2012 for a millennium at least) the more dubious the implicit Ceterus paribus assumption in the very concept of ECS becomes.

    • It’s always entertaining to see a hobbyist dabble in applying math to something entirely outside his field of understanding and try to force it all to work from first principles without the necessary background study.

      Harde’s paper is a bit like watching someone apply the principles of Latin grammar to Mandarin, and with similar results.

      While a rigorous approach of this type is laudable, it’s also worth noting that this work has been done before, for decades, by others just as good at math, only with actual experiments and measurement, not just a preconceived notion and confirmation bias.

      Though the colored diagrams charting the progress of confirmation bias as study after study by those who just can’t stand the idea of Climate Sensitivity shows their increasing desperation to deny it.. that’s of interest. To sociologists. I suppose. Maybe Lewandowsky can make something of it?

  7. R Gates

    Repeat of a post I just put on the previous thread to ensure you see it;

    —- ——-

    Back to Volcanoes. I spent 5 hours at the Met Office archives yesterday looking once again at the references they have for the 13th century. In essence there are five independent sources which include monasteries, farmers, crop records, estate owners etc.

    As I have said to you before, the 1257/8 eruption clearly shows up in the records but none of the five sources note the effects as being any longer lasting than a few seasons. It certainly did not cause problems for years.

    The other very large eruptions also show a similar lack of impact other than for a season or two. I believe observations from people physically affected by adverse weather and resultant crop failures rather than ice cores or tree rings. I would suggest that this continual density of emissions from around 1200 to 1880 is an artefact of models, not reality


    • Thanks for the update Tony. As the 1257 eruption was S. Hemisphere, we see the impact much more severely in those records, especially in proxy data for heat content of the IOWP and IPWP. The really big N. Hemisphere eruption was of course in 1453. Few in the general public are even aware of this eruption, with the smaller Tambora eruption getting all the attention.

      Your historical research is amazingly helpful. I still tend to think the LIA was the result of volcanoes plus solar, with solar effects being felt unequally stronger in the N. Hemisphere due to UV/ozone effects on jet stream positioning.

    • Rgates

      1453. I am aware of that eruption but can not comment as I have not as yet researched the era.

      I have backtracked from 1659 to 1538 and my new research centres on 1200 to 1450 although it is such a huge amount of research I might truncate it at around 1400 and return to the missing gap at another time.


    • Related to my “volcanoes plus solar” argument for the LIA, this article might interest you: (and also those looking to find a pulse maker for the stadium wave)

    • Hi Tony
      There is some evidence that volcanic eruptions initially, for a short period move up and subsequently reduce temperatures for a longer period, this is then integrated (or smoothed ) by oceans, thus volcanic effect on continental mass of Eurasia is more pronounced than in areas directly affected by SST, e.g. England.
      On Met office, see:

    • Thank you for your research information. It is the kind of stuff that should be presented here. — and it is very helpful.

    • Hi Gates
      Around 1775 they change sign of volcanic forcing correlation; can’t have it both ways, either it is overall positive or overall negative.

    • “Around 1775 they change sign of volcanic forcing correlation…”
      I have no idea what this even means. Volcanoes can be tricky to be sure, as they can cool first, and depending on the size and amount of activity, actually warm as the CO2 they pump out can have a longer term effect on warming. But generally, the immediate effect of large volcanoes is to cool and this is shown in ice core records and other proxy temperature records going back thousands of years. Who is the “they” that change the “forcing correlation”?

    • Hi Gates
      They: Mads Faurschou Knudsen & Bo Holm Jacobsen.
      You are falling behind the times, that won’t do; more reading less blogging recommended.
      Now check my prediction for the CET winter
      against one of the bunch of scientists at the WetOffice.

    • Vuk,

      2 things:

      1) The research your referring to was related to the AMO, and not specifically to weather or not volcanoes warm or cool the climate as an actual external forcing. Though I might recommend that Dr. Curry read this (but probably has already) as it has some links to stadium wave behavior past LIA:

      2) I appreciate your encouragement to study more and blog less, and that’s good advice for many here, including yourself as you once recently insisted that volcanoes were the cause of SSW events- a theory that was strongly disproved over 2 decades ago.

    • maksimovich

      Why is the NP stratosphere so warm?

    • “Why is the NP stratosphere so warm?”
      There was an end of winter season SSW event that occurred. This downwelling air caused by planetary wave activity created both the warmer stratospheric temperatures as well as the higher pressure (obviously falling air and higher pressures and temperatures all go hand in hand). A great place to see this more impressively is…

      Here’s the temperature anomaly:

      Here’s the pressure anomaly:

      And here’s an animation of the planetary wave as it hit the N. Polar region at 10hPa and the air descends and warms the region:

      Of course, the upshot of all this is that polar vortex is of course completely broken and shattered for the season at the upper levels and the winds will now begin their summertime normal east to west flow in the Arctic upper stratosphere: (green in this chart is wind flowing from east to west)

      Here’s 2013’s full year wind chart where you can see the normal season change of winds that occurs this time of year:

    • R. Gates says| April 3, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
      2 things:

      2 things, yep.

      1) Indeed, but you as an expert on these matters surely know that the England’s climate –Tony’s subject of interest (and N. Atlantic basin’s, Knudsen et al make lot of this point ) are greatly influenced by the N. Atlantic SST, i.e.AMO. First thing our WetOffice shows on the BBC weather, is what is happening on the Atlantic’s map.
      Perhaps, living in the deep continental Denver has something to do with your lack of appreciation of the Atlantic’s SST on the islands and coastal areas.

      2) Sudden stratospheric warming (high latitudes and altitudes effect) is indeed caused by rise into stratosphere of warm gases (sulphur and carbon oxides etc) from Kamchatka volcanic eruptions, and for certain not by the Tibetan yaks stirring dust, in the too far south Goby desert. Dust particles are too heavy to get into stratosphere; if you were in the UK in the last few days, you would witness fallacy of your argument, where we got a lot of Sahara’s desert dust, it ended on ground not in the stratosphere!
      In addition, you may like to study this
      from your own NOAA, no burst of the SSW this winter, since Kamchatka has been relatively quiet. See also
      On the other hand I am engineer, I understand only thinks that could work but in contrast, the current crop of climate scientists often misunderstand thinks that can’t work.
      Have a nice day now.
      Enter your comment here…

    • Vuk said:

      “Sudden stratospheric warming (high latitudes and altitudes effect) is indeed caused by rise into stratosphere of warm gases (sulphur and carbon oxides etc) from Kamchatka volcanic eruptions.”
      Sorry Vuk, but your belief in this volcanic origin of SSW events is a testimony to some fundamental breakdown in your grasp of the well observed data over many years. Before satellites, this hypothesis was put out there by a few, but satellite data long ago disproved it and experts long ago discounted it (like decades ago).

      Planetary wave activity, the vertical motion of which can indeed be induced by the topography or high terrain of the Himalayas, are the source of the energy that result in SSW events. See the chart on this page for an excellent reference:

    • Gates
      All the factors in the image
      act on volcanic eruption hot gases as much as would on your dust, except that gases do end up in the stratosphere (possibly destroying some of ozone), but unfortunately the dust does not, btw. any high raising dust particles would end up as cloud seeding and will never get up as far as stratosphere. But even if they did, where is dust’s final destination, no precipitation in the stratosphere to wash it out.
      Observation, Observation, Observation!

      Observation tells us that every winter when Kamchatka erupts, SSW appears, so it was in 2013. In 2014 winter: no volcanic eruptions no SSW.

      Observation tells us that the S. Hemisphere has Andes, has Atacama desert, has warm south Pacific, but no, no no SSWs. Why? Because it has only one active volcano Mt Ereubus, erupted only once in the last 40 years, causing a single undersized SSW in the last 40 years.
      Why no SSW in 2014? Why no SSW in the Antarctic?
      Looking forward to read your view, till then it is useful to remember the Richard Feynman’s advice.

    • “Why no SSW in 2014? Why no SSW in the Antarctic?”
      Both wrong statements. There were indeed several smaller SSW’s in 2014 over the Arctic, as well as larger one here at the end of March that was an “end of season” SSW that rearranges the high level stratospheric circulation as the high-level winter stratospheric vortex is shattered and summer circulation patterns begin to set in.
      Of course there are SSW’s in the Antarctic, but they are much less common and not as severe as over the Arctic. This has nothing to do with volcanic activity, but more to do with the overall advection of energy from the equator to the poles at upper atmospheric levels (and really, all levels, both ocean atmosphere). Far more energy is naturally advected toward the N. Pole versus the S. Pole on this particular planet, and SSW’s and the advection of energy toward the poles via planetary waves are intimately related.

    • Gates
      My teacher would have said: “ your fluffing”.
      NOAA’s graph
      shows it clearly:
      Jan-Feb 2013
      SUDDEN winter stratospheric warming well above winters’ average green line.
      Jan-Feb 2014
      AVERAGE winter stratospheric warming, dead on green line, only in March it gets above the average, but as you say that is the end of this year’s SSW season
      Did you wander why? Well I help you out a bit there.
      Quote:“Karymsky (Kamchatka): The volcano continues to have strombolian to vulcanian explosions. Some of them are large enough to produce ash plumes visible on satellite imagery, such as one on 28 Feb (ash plume to 7,000 ft reported by VAAC Tokyo)” end quote.

      Gates says: “Of course there are SSW’s in the Antarctic”

      Of course there arn’t.
      Gates, do yourself a favour and go to the NOAA’s web page
      look up 30 hPa, 65S – 90S, all of 34 years 1979-2013, and you will find only one unique and tiny spike that occurred in 2002
      And what mt. Erebus was doing in 2002 ?
      Here is some help again: See Fig. – 4.1, page 26 of
      No eruption was recorded, but strong tectonic activity may have released underground gases, but even that, however significant and unique for the Antarctic, in the Arctic would have been ignored.
      There were two eruptions in the early months of 1984, the Antarctic summer, so no SSW.
      So please lets have no further unfounded claims such as: “Of course there are SSW’s in the Antarctic”, because NOAA says : there are not!
      Thanks for your contributions up to date, but I like to hear facts not opinions, unless opinion is in strong agreement with the available observations.
      all the best to you. Bye.

  8. Oliver K. Manuel

    There is good news. One technically educated politician is expressing doubt about the AGW story:

  9. Rob Bradley

    At MasterResource today, I make a case for dropping the hate speech ‘Denier’ using ‘reductio ad Hitlerum’ with the Climate Youth that James Hansen recently bragged about:
    Let’s see how the alarmist name callers react….

    • alarmist name callers

      I bet you didn’t even recognise the irony when typing that.

  10. A new poll conducted by Galaxy for the Institute of Public Affairs
    finds 41% of Australians are unwilling to pay anything to fight global warming. Up from 35% in 2010.

  11. Jim Cripwell

    BBC Newsnight.”[…] James Lovelock: Take this climate matter everybody is thinking about. They all talk, they pass laws, they do things, as if they knew what was happening. I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening. They just guess. And a whole group of them meet together and encourage each other’s guesses.”

    Now I have someone whose name seems to matter on my side.

  12. Jim Cripwell

    We now have HAD/CRU data for February 2014; in reference to the predictions of Smith et al Science August 2007. Smith et al. predicted that the 2014 average global temperature would be 0.30 +/- 0.21 above the value for 2004. The average for 2004 was 0.44. So the predicted average for 2014 was 0.74 C, with a lower limit was 0.56 C.

    February figure was 0.30. So if the predictions are to be true, for the next 10 months average temperatures need to be 0.81 C for the average to be right, and 0.56 C for the predicted value to be above the lower limit.

  13. I do recommend you this presentation.

    AGW alarmism — some psychological & sociological aspects: Pascal Bruckner – The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse: Save the Earth, Punish Human Beings [The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)]

    The coldest winter in Chicago history is proof of global warming,

    Yes? ___

    No? ___


    • Jim Cripwell

      As with all these sorts of things, the observed data cannot either prove or disprove that CAGW is a valid hypothesis. What it does show, IMHO, is that the IPCC claim that they can be 95% or 90% certain of things relevant to CAGW, is a load of scientific garbage.

    • nottawa rafter

      My back will not survive more warming. Shoveling snow every few days takes it’s toll.

  15. Adaptation rather than mitigation …

    Trickles of sanity starting to show now … this being an early sign that the IPCC has finally made its first move to start catching up with the vastly superior understanding of the layman.

    • It’s a con job. You know Western academia doesn’t care: keeping the argument going long enough as if that if the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance — just keep the funding rolling until we retire on our fat pensions — that’s all they really care about.

    • Don’t relax too much.
      IPCC’s WG3: Mitigation of Climate Change report is due out in two weeks.

    • Yes … I did say “trickle”. They are going to need many years to get down safely from their high horses. Best we not slow them down with lots of we-told-you-so s

  16. Dr. Curry (or others) –
    Any comment about the recent paper by Krasting et al. suggesting a TCRE range of 0.8 to 1.0 K/TtC? The authors provide some discussion here.

    While AR5 gave a likely range of 0.8 to 2.5 K/TtC for TCRE, their figure (SPM.10 or TFE.8 Figure 1) implied a value around 2.0 K/TtC. So the Krasting et al. range would be a significant reduction in sensitivity.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Sorry, I put it in the wrong place.

      Harold, as an “other”, let me point out that, once again, these values are nothing more than guesses, based as they are on the output of a non-validated model. Since no-one, and I mean no-one has measured a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph, it follows from standard signal-to-noise ratio physics, that there is a strong indication that the climate sensitivity of CO2, however defined, is indistinguishable from zero.

      And, as I noted above, James Lovelock seems to agree with me.

    • Jim Cripwell,

      Lovelock is obviously multi talented. He agrees with me too.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • ————-
      R. Gates | April 3, 2014 at 11:47 am |
      “Do you really believe that FOX news in the US is more biased than CNN or MSNBC?”
      I would put Fox and MSNBC at opposite ends of the spectrum, but both very biased, and CNN more in the middle. But to be sure, if you want to get the full story it is best to sample a broad spectrum of news sources (including international) to get a true “fair and balanced” overall perspective. Fox alone or MSNBC alone as your only daily source will leave you “fairly unbalanced” in your overall perspective.

      R Gates:

      You just [in your own words] explained one should read both the IPCC and NIPCC Reports…

      “sample a broad spectrum of news sources”

    • Jim Cripwell

      The robustness of Transient Climate Response to cumulative Emissions (TCRE) is tested using an Earth System Model (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory-ESM2G) forced with seven different constant rates of carbon emissions (2 GtC/yr to 25 GtC/yr), including low emission rates that have been largely unexplored in previous studies.


    • Jim Cripwell

      Sorry, Max, you have lost me. I cannot see what you are getting at. I read your bit in the summary of the report. Using a non-validated model does not add to the knowledge we already have.

  17. David L. Hagen

    NIPCC Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts 31 March 2014
    Jo Nova: Global warming, not so bad at all really: says NIPCC report and thousands of references

    Report Finds Global Warming Causes ‘No Net Harm’
    to Environment or Human Health
    Independent review of climate science contradicts “alarmist” views of United Nations report
    The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) on Monday released Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts. The 1,062-page report contains thousands of citations to peer-reviewed scientific literature — and concludes rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels are causing “no net harm to the global environment or to human health and often finds the opposite: net benefits to plants, including important food crops, and to animals and human health.”
    Click here to read the full report in digital form (PDF). An 18-page Summary for Policymakers is available here. Print versions of the full report and the summary will be released by NIPCC in Washington, DC the week of April 7. Individual chapters of the full report can be downloaded at the Climate Change Reconsidered Web site. (Look at middle of page and scroll down.)

    • Just as “Faux News” is an alternative to reality, so is the NIPCC.

    • nottawa rafter

      Gates is finally unmasked. .lol
      Skeptic? Really?

    • David L. Hagen

      R. Gates. At The 1,062-pages with thousands of citations to peer-reviewed scientific literature, I don’t think you have read any of it yet. Rather than illogical ad hominem fallacies, try constructive or scientifically “critical” comments, citing reference and countering evidence, articles or reviews.

    • Gates

      Do you really believe that FOX news in the US is more biased than CNN or MSNBC? As a former democrat (not independent) I find all three biased, but none any worse than the others.

    • Woops- meant now independent

    • “Do you really believe that FOX news in the US is more biased than CNN or MSNBC?”
      I would put Fox and MSNBC at opposite ends of the spectrum, but both very biased, and CNN more in the middle. But to be sure, if you want to get the full story it is best to sample a broad spectrum of news sources (including international) to get a true “fair and balanced” overall perspective. Fox alone or MSNBC alone as your only daily source will leave you “fairly unbalanced” in your overall perspective.

    • David Hagen,

      The scent of the rose lingers on the hand that cast it, right? Heartland has a history of un-science, supporting narrow perspectives to aid in the financial benefit or policy advocacy of funding sources. Heartland’s association or sponsorship alone makes the NIPCC report suspect, but admittedly is not a reason to discount the report in and of itself. I only have so many hours in a day to read the latest research. Why would I not want to spend that time reading published research versus a report that is sponsored by an organization that has a dubious past association with promoting policy protection of funding sources and un-science?

    • R. Gates – Why would I … want to spend that time reading … a report that is sponsored by an organization that has a dubious past association with promoting policy protection of funding sources and un-science?

      Exactly – noone should read the IPCC reports.

    • David L. Hagen

      R. Gates. For the reason you read ANY review – and several reviews. To see collective summarized evidence with links to the original research. Same reason for reading NIPCC as the IPCC reports. Both have biases of individual and collective authors. Its called SCIENCE!

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The NIPCC’s sponsor organization:

      Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

      • “We never discuss our funding”
      • … funding from Exxon-Mobil
      • … funding from the Scaife Foundation
      • … association to Western Fuels Association

      Conclusion No dispassionate scientist would have anything to do with a secretive organization pushing anonymously-authored “Truth Alerts” from CO2 Science Magazine

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: Why would I not want to spend that time reading published research versus a report that is sponsored by an organization that has a dubious past association with promoting policy protection of funding sources and un-science?

      That last sounds like the UN IPCC. But to answer your question, you might want an informed opinion instead of a pure bias. Just a guess.

    • Sorry, but Heartland just has too much biased baggage from the past for me to waste my time with anything they are associated with. If they produce some original research that is solidly scientifically based, a large group of mainstream scientists will take notice. As it is, the organization is poison to scientists and once a scientist gets associated with them, their career is tarnished forever. Not saying that is right…or wrong, just the way it is. Considering there are so many other sources for research, my personal choice is to not waste time with organizations that have a history of biased un-science.

    • David L. Hagen

      R. Gates
      I infer then that your avoidance of “bias” will result in avoiding all “IPCC biased” reports

    • “R. Gates
      I infer then that your avoidance of “bias” will result in avoiding all “IPCC biased” reports.”
      You could infer that, and you’d be correct. Again, I like to go right to the research and not the spin. I then have a better gauge by which to go back and read the summary and judge for myself what is solidly based conclusions and what is spin.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: Sorry, but Heartland just has too much biased baggage from the past for me to waste my time with anything they are associated with.

      Well then, don’t express an opinion about something written by or for them.

      Meanwhile, you don’t regard UN IPCC as free of “biased baggage from the past” do you? To me it is just a different bias with a lot of government funding.

    • “Well then, don’t express an opinion about something written by or for them.”
      You’re right, it should simply state that the NIPCC report, sponsored by the Heartland institute, who has history of being associated with policy motivated and un-science, is likely full of extremely biased material and that those who’d like to stick with real science would likely do better reading actual scientific research papers versus politically motivated and funded un-science.

    • ————-
      R. Gates | April 3, 2014 at 11:47 am |
      “Do you really believe that FOX news in the US is more biased than CNN or MSNBC?”
      I would put Fox and MSNBC at opposite ends of the spectrum, but both very biased, and CNN more in the middle. But to be sure, if you want to get the full story it is best to sample a broad spectrum of news sources (including international) to get a true “fair and balanced” overall perspective. Fox alone or MSNBC alone as your only daily source will leave you “fairly unbalanced” in your overall perspective.

      R Gates:

      You just [in your own words] explained why one should read both the IPCC and NIPCC Reports…

      “sample a broad spectrum of sources”

    • R. Gates

      That comment by you really surprised me.

      I thought you were a “skeptical warmist”.

      I’ve read both the 1000+ pages of IPCC AR4 WG1-3 and the WG1 “Summary for Policymakers” as well as the portions of AR5 that have been released to date.

      And I have also read the much shorter NIPCC “Summary for Policymakers”, but only portions of the full 1000+ page “Climate Change Reconsidered” report.

      Both are required reading for anyone really wanting to understand what is being debated here, Gates.

      In addition, I try to keep up with pertinent new papers on climate as they are published.

      I do not believe that you can be rationally objective unless you consider both sides of the story.


    • R. Gates,

      “I would put Fox and MSNBC at opposite ends of the spectrum, but both very biased, and CNN more in the middle.”

      MSNBC and CNN are indistinguishable politically. The only difference is tone. The closest thing to a conservative on either is progressive Republican Joe Scarborough on MSNBC.

      Fox on the other hand has progressives throughout their schedule: Shepard Smith, Bob Beckel, Kirsten Powers, Nina Easton, etc. The actual solid conservatives at Fox are in the minority, like Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto and Greg Guttfeld. The rest are liberaltarians or “moderate,” big government Republicans like Mike Huckabee.

      If you think CNN is in the political middle, it says more about you than it does about CNN.

    • R. Gates | April 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
      Sorry, but Heartland just has too much biased baggage from the past

      Oh, and governments – whose funding is many orders of magnitude bigger, and whose scientists are known to be corrupt through and through (remember the still unrepented and unpunished Climategate revelations ) – doesn’t?

    • Yet another pointless exchange of “You’re a motivated reasoner. I know you are, but what am I? Oh yeah well so’s yer momma.”

    • Fanny

      The NIPCC’s sponsor organization:

      Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

      The IPCC’s sponsor organization:

      The United Nations.



  18. Jim Cripwell

    Harold, as an “other”, let me point out that, once again, these values are nothing more than guesses, based as they are on the output of a non-validated model. Since no-one, and I mean no-one has measured a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph, it follows from standard signal-to-noise ratio physics, that there is a strong indication that the climate sensitivity of CO2, however defined, is indistinguishable from zero.

    And, as I noted above, James Lovelock seems to agree with me.

  19. David L. Hagen

    Correction: Summary for Policymakers; <a href= Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts; 2014 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). Alternate PDF

    Idso notes: FACE studies of CO2 effects on plants may be too conservative.

    “On the basis of these results,” in the concluding words of Bunce, “it is probable that plants in many CO2 enrichment systems have lower photosynthesis and stomatal conductance than would plants exposed to the same mean CO2 concentration but without pulses of higher concentration.” And this likelihood suggests that the positive impacts of the ongoing rise in the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration may be considerably larger than what has long been believed to be the case.

    Bunce, J.A. 2013. Effects of pulses of elevated carbon dioxide concentration on stomatal conductance and photosynthesis in wheat and rice. Physiologia Plantarum 149: 214-221.

  20. David L. Hagen


    James Lovelock: . . . the last [IPCC] report is very similar to the statements I made in my book about 8 years ago, called The Revenge of Gaia. It’s almost as if they’ve copied it.
    Jeremy Paxman: Sure. But you then, after publishing these apocalyptic predictions, you then retracted them.
    James Lovelock: Well, that’s my privilege. You see, I’m an independent scientist. I’m not funded by some government department or commercial body or anything like that. If I make a mistake, then I can go public with it. And you have to, because it is only by making mistakes that you can move ahead.

  21. The “Convective Adjustment” is one of the more fascinating and underappreciated aspects of climate science methodology. It was proposed by Manabe and Strickler (J.Atmo. Sci. 21, 361 (1964)) to circumvent unphysically large thermal gradients in the lower troposphere which appeared when calculating the thermal consequences of increased greenhouse gas absorption. The adjustment constrains the lapse rate to a limiting, pseudo-adiabatic value. A later review by Ramanathan and Coakley (Rev. Geo. Space Phys. 16, 465 (1978)) labelled the adjustment empirical, i.e. lacking a theoretical foundation, but useful for computer calculations. (In the 19th century W. Thomson (Kelvin) hypothesized that the adiabatic lapse rate might reflect a “convective equilibrium”, but Clerk Maxwell was quick to point out that whatever such an “equilibrium” might be, it was not thermodynamic, else a perpetual motion device would be possible.)

    Now, there’s nothing wrong with unrealistic constraints to facilitate calculations, e.g. square-well potentials and spherical chickens. But there’s something amiss when one fails to examined the consequences of such constraints. We might suppose that increased greenhouse gas IR absorption is responsible for additional heating in the lower troposphere. This excess energy accumulates until a new steady state is reached, with this energy removed by increased radiative and convective fluxes as quickly as it is appears. Convection is a thermal-gradient functional and, with a fixed lapse-rate constraint, we are limiting the rate at which convection may remove added energy, placing the burden on radiative mechanisms. Radiation calculations, e.g. MODTRAN, show the net radiative flux typically doubles on rising from the surface to the tropopause and one may infer that, near the surface, both convection and radiation are similar in their ability to remove excess energy. We might then suspect that our “adjustment” is going to double the task of radiative removal and requisite surface temperature rises.

    Feedbacks are mechanisms changing radiative flux through implicit thermal dependencies, positive feedbacks reducing this flux and requiring yet further temperature increases to restore a given flux level. Indeed, it is theoretically possible to imagine a constant-flux limit requiring extreme temperature increases. But this all remains contingent on the inability of convection to further contribute to energy transport to the upper troposphere. Given a hypothetically large positive feedback suppressing increased radiative transport, convection should still limit temperature increases to about twice their non-feedback level.

    It would thus appear that enhanced AGW and particularly CAGW are intrinsic artifacts of “Convective Adjustment”, a feature common to all models. But enough carpal gesticulation – perhaps fellow bloggers may find this a provocative subject for “Open Thread” persiflage.


    • Radiative effects alone do, indeed, lead to a larger negative temperature gradient than that given by the adiabatic lapse rate (and to much hotter surface than we actually have). That this leads to onset of convection and that this forces the lapse rate close to it’s adiabatic value is not lacking theoretical justification, it’s strongly enforced by solid theoretical arguments.

      What must be considered as an empirical adjustment is the replacement of the adiabatic lapse rate by an environmental lapse rate of about 6.5 C/km. This value is largely empirical. It represents an effective value that seems to be widely true when all atmospheric processes have made their imprint. Calculating that value is difficult, because it’s affected by all air flows, not only a simple vertical adiabatic rising or declining flow, but winds and everything as well.

    • Pekka, the concept of the moist adiabatic lapse rate gets you close to the 6.5 C/km. It is a lapse rate that can be derived theoretically from lifting air that saturates and releases latent heat, and is commonly used in meteorology. It is still called “adiabatic” despite the latent heat because the process is in theory thermodynamically reversible. The actual lapse rate is curved with height and also depends on the surface temperature. The tropical mean troposphere is convectively dominated and stays close to this lapse rate.

      • Here is my take on this!

        The IPCC climate models and James Hansen scenario B both show that Global Temperatures should be at least .5 degrees C more than they are. That is statistical significant which means there are bad assumptions in the models. This global movement in temperatures is in the opposite direction trending down. There is no way the assumptions in these models are correct I don’t care how many “peer” reviewed papers are sited. Facts are facts and I live in the real world …

    • I just didn’t list everything.

      The reason that I emphasized mixing and winds is that the value of 6.5 C/km seems to apply much more uniformly that one might expect looking only at clean cases for dry and moist adiabats and the prevalence of conditions that lead to each of those.

      It’s still only an average. Local momentary lapse rates vary widely. This adds to the difficulty of deriving the average regional lapse rates.

    • Pekka, yes, it holds well only in the tropics due to the convective dominance and lack of other things like fronts. In a warming climate, this is the reason for the expected hotspot over tropical oceans, because if and when they warm, the moist lapse rate reduces with warming, and this is known as the negative lapse rate feedback that the hotspot would provide.

    • Cent2012, the temperature rise since 1950 is about 0.7 C, and this is close to exactly what is expected from CO2, GHGs, and aerosols combined (see AR5 WG1), so at present it is on target. It is about 0.4 C warmer than your skeptics expected, because they confidently attribute less than half to CO2, but for some as yet unspecified reason.

      • You misinterpreted what I said. I’ll restate it; this year according to the IPCC climate models the global temperature should be about 15.0 degrees C it will be about 14.5 degrees C so the climate models are significantly off.

        Remember this as its a long range projection — between now and 2035 this Global temperatures will drift down maybe a quarter to a third of a degrees C. At that point +/- they will go back up for another 25 years or so but not as much as the past increase.

        The math for this is posted on my blog.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Pekka Pirilä: It’s still only an average. Local momentary lapse rates vary widely.

      Thank you for that. Do you have references, or links?

    • My main sources for that are descriptions of weather phenomena. On those I have read most from Wallace and Hobbs: Atmospheric Science, An Introductory Survey.

    • Hi Pekka,
      It’s been a while. To clarify, I’m describing a perturbation of the current atmosphere in which convection already plays an major role in determining energy transport and normal thermal gradients. Steady-state convective energy flux is always towards a lower temperature. For gradients above the adiabatic lapse rate, the atmosphere is thermodynamically unstable wrt convection. At this gradient, convective flux is finite, but theory has little to say about its magnitude or dependence on thermal gradients. For gradients less than adiabatic, hot air still rises.

      “That this leads to onset of convection and that this forces the lapse rate close to it’s adiabatic value …” seems ambiguous. Is this force of onset rhetorical or quantifiable? I would argue that increasing convection requires gradient increases, whether the gradient is greater or less than adiabatic.

      As I’ve noted, increased heat in the lower troposphere is removed by increases in both radiative and convective fluxes. The “Adjustment” constrains the gradients, asserting that convection maintains a given slope – and this can provide a useful result for the thermal profile. But what’s happened to all work required to sustain this adjustment? It’s energy drained from the radiative stream for increased convection – and not covered in the “Adjustment”. This flux bypasses most of the troposphere’s GHGs before dissipating near the tropopause.

      It’s irrelevant to me whether the lapse rate is 6.5 or 7.5 or whatever. What I do find a bit bothering is that around 50% of 3.7 W/m2 has been misplaced.


    • Quondam,

      Driving the convection requires locally a lapse rate larger than adiabatic. Telling precisely, how much larger is a question of fluid dynamics. Qualitatively it seems, however, obvious that rather small excess lapse rate is enough to induce strong convection. Thus it’s to be expected that the excess is always small, but giving numbers for that is not possible for me.

      The hydrostatic balance is far from exact, and deviations on that affect the lapse rate.

      All in all we are moving towards meteorology, and my knowledge of that is very limited. Thus it’s better that I stop here.

    • Pekka is correct on the meteorology, a lapse rate that supports convection is not exceeded by much before convection starts and restores it to the equilibrium lapse rate. The tropospheric lapse, while it varies with surface temperature, is limited largely by convection. This therefore ties the tropospheric temperature profile to the surface temperature quite rigidly when talking about annual mean values for climate, even if there is day to day variation.

    • The reason that I recommended reading atmospheric science from a book that covers also meteorology is that without some understanding of that it’s not possible to understand all really essential features of climate either.

      Arguments presented for a stationary averaged atmosphere are useful, but also highly limited in their power or impossible to justify well. Equations of physics are true for specific real states, but only few of then apply also to the averages.

    • The “convective adjustment” is symptomatic of the myopia that has afflicted climate modellers for decades. While numerous experiments have shown repeatedly that evaporation trumps all other mechanisms in transferring thermal energy from surface to atmosphere on an oceanic planet, they persist in their reliance upon academic radiative transfer theory as the backbone of their models, with other mechanisms relegated to a pesky afterthought.

      BTW, since water vapor is lighter than air, buoyancy forces alone are sufficient to sustain moist convection. Nor is an unstable atmosphere required for thermally forced dry convection; an unstable environmental lapse rate merely indicates conditions wherein convection takes place spontaneously until hydrostatic balance is restored. Interestingly enough, nearly a century ago Robert Emden showed rigorously that an absorptive atmosphere in radiative equilibrium is necessarily top-heavy; i.e., is not in thermodynamic equilibrium. Thus the pesky step-child of convection continues to bite the fathers of “climate science” in more ways than one.

    • Co-authors named Wallace and Hobbs? Too funny.

  22. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Wagathon froths “It’s [climate-change science] a con job. You know Western academia doesn’t care: keeping the argument going long enough as if that if the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance — just keep the funding rolling until we retire on our fat pensions — that’s all they really care about.”

    Wagathon’s brand of willfully ignorant anti-science hate-speech appeals mainly to aging white males … younger citizens hang out at venues like BoingBoing whose narrative is very different!

    House Science Committee: a parliament of
    Creationists, Climate Deniers (and dunces)

    At a recent hearing, committee member Randy Weber (R–TX) implied that science couldn’t really make claims about things that happened tens of thousands or millions of years ago, because it couldn’t directly observe them.

    It’s a terrifying position for a legislator who sits in a position of power over national science policy to hold.

    The members have zero interest in knowing the truth or understanding how science works.

    Sadly this rancor, ignorance and lack of respect for science and scientists is business as usual for Republican members of the House committee.

    The House of Representatives Committee on Science is turning into a national embarrassment.

     — by Cory Doctorow

    Needless to say, Cory Doctorow is a *YOUNG* person’s pundit, whereas geezers like Anthony Watts and Chris Monckton are *OLD*-person pundits.

    Judith Curry, is it prudent for you to link your personal scientific reputation to this perennially anti-science, willfully ignorant, out-of-date, cherry-picking, FUD-spreading, hate-speech-embracing, far-right political charade?

    The world ponders!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Steven Mosher

      “At a recent hearing, committee member Randy Weber (R–TX) implied that science couldn’t really make claims about things that happened tens of thousands or millions of years ago, because it couldn’t directly observe them.”

      creationists and cripwellists. go figure.

      you know we didnt directly observe people landing on the moon. we didnt directly observe the holocaust. I didnt directly observe the sun coming up this morning.

      The Funny thing is they don’t directly observe their own beliefs. They think they know what they believe, but they don’t.

    • ceresco kid


      My problem with climate science is an apparent unwillingness to accept that current theory and thinking could be wrong. In the social sciences,previously supported theories and thinking are rejected all the time when the data dont support them. When the social scientists see evidence that contradicts their assumptions then they accept their errors and move on to the benefit of their science. Not so in climate science. The conformists would rather go down with the ship than admit they dont have the answers.

      I can’t get the image out of my head of a group of climate scientists in the year 2121 looking at all the sacred thinking of today and shaking their heads and rolling their eyes at all the attitudes held in such high regard today.

    • a more honest reporting of the event- one that the dumb among the young will still be unhappy about:

      Anyway, FOMD is correct that the young have an interest in the AGW issue. Which probably explains why they reject the green message. The young- ultimately smarter enough to know when activist/academics are charging them $50k a year in college for half the story!

      “I don’t know where the idea that Millennials care about the environment came from—maybe it’s that they grew up at a time that the entire country started talking more about hybrid cars and climate-change superstorms?—but it’s a myth. Millennials don’t give a hoot about the environment.”

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Jeffn claims [bizarrely] “The young … reject the green message.

      Baseless denialism by Jeffn, verifiable facts by FOMD!

      Rising Waters  The accelerating rise of “green” conservatism and conservationism among young science-respecting voters!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Thats’s funny. I link to a report on a detailed study of the attitudes of the young conducted by one the largest polling firms in the country- Pew.
      Fan calls it bizarre “baseless denialism” and rebuts by linking to a speech by an intern.
      SOP for the warm I suppose. I’m sure it’s an appealing line of argument to freshmen, at least the political activists among them. What’s next? Forget Freeman Dyson, the warm have the backing of misinformed grade schoolers!

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Polls don’t measure commitment, do they Jeffn? … and in democracies, commitment is what counts … unsurprisingly, eh?

      Good on ‘yah, young science-respecting committed conservative conservationists!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: Polls don’t measure commitment, do they Jeffn?

      Changing your ground again, after evidence was supplied that your assertion had a slim-to-none basis.

    • Commitment is an interesting measure. Hare Krishna’s are committed. The rest of us are open to discovery. I don’t want my kids to be committed, I want them to think and I want them to understand that they don’t know everything just because they spent a semester with some politicized hack prof

    • “Randy Weber (R–TX) implied that science couldn’t really make claims about things that happened tens of thousands or millions of years ago, because it couldn’t directly observe them.”

      When a progressive obscurantist like Mosher “quotes” another progressive claiming a Republican “implied” something, the one thing you can be sure of is that the conservative said nothing of the kind.

      What Weber did was question John Holdren about the hilarious claims to certainty regarding paleo proxies by the globalclimatewarmingchange industry. With respect to paleo climate claims, he asked

      “[W]hen you guys do your research, you start with a scientific postulate or theory and work forward from that? Is that right?”

      I just don’t know how you all prove those theories going back 50 or 100,000 or even millions of years.”

      Weber didn’t imply anything about anything. He came right out and said he doubted climate scientists know what they think they know.

    • Re your last paragraph: You need to dial back your instructions to what others should or should not do before someone thinks you’re a Fan of More Discourse *I Like*..

    • Steven Mosher


      The people who went to the moon came back. That’s physical real evidence, if the pictures at the time didn’t convince you.

      The people who survived the holocaust saw it. Again, real evidence.

      There is no empirical evidence to support the IPCC CAGW premise, as outlined in its AR4 and AR5 reports.

      That is Cripwell’s point.

      And he’s right.

      Comparing CAGW with the moon landing or the holocaust is absolutely absurd, Mosh.

      And you know it.


    • Senses working over time, S.M. )

    • Steven Mosher

      I didnt directly observe the sun coming up this morning”

      Set your alarm clock earlier.


  23. “you know we didnt directly observe people landing on the moon. we didnt directly observe the holocaust. I didnt directly observe the sun coming up this morning”

    The real funny thing is that these items have no relevance to climate science, yet Mosher thinks he’s convincing someone that he’s made some kind of climate science related argument.


  24. Walt Allensworth

    Could we discuss the topic of how CO2 increasing from 3 parts per 10,000 to 4 parts per 10,000 causes a higher occurrence of extreme weather events? (or not).

    This appears to be a cornerstone in the media blitz, and ABC/Dianne Sawyer on the world news did a piece this week (again) where this view was presented as fact. I’m actually getting pretty tired of being lied to by the far-left media, EVEN if the mouthpiece in question doesn’t have the credentials to know the difference between a thermometer and a tree-ring.

    Even the politically & ideologically driven IPCC in it’s latest tome on Climate Change is highly reticent to tie extreme weather events on “Global Warming”

    To wit… from IPCC AT5 WHI Chapter 2,,,

    * “Overall, the most robust global changes in climate extremes are seen in measures of daily temperature, including to some extent, heat waves. Precipitation extremes also appear to be increasing, but there is large spatial variability”
    * “There is limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century”
    * “Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century … No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin”
    * “In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale”
    * “In summary, there is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms because of historical data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems”
    * “In summary, the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century due to lack of direct observations, geographical inconsistencies in the trends, and dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of drought has increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950”
    * “In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones since 1900 is low”

    So if the IPCC, who’s power and glory come from a earth about to fry, can’t even hang their hat on extreme weather being caused by Global Warming, how on earth can this idea still be reported in the media as a fact?

    • Well, the point is not the difference between 3 and 4, but the difference between 3 and 7-10, which is where we are headed.

    • Walt Allensworth

      My point IS ALL ABOUT 4 parts per 10,000, i.e. NOW.

      The left-wing media is claiming that extreme weather caused by global warming is happening NOW!!!

      As in now at 4 parts per 10,000 NOW.

      Hopefully this clears up any uncertainty in my earlier post.

      And yet, extreme weather is not increasing (NOW), but don’t take my word for it….

      Even the IPCC won’t even claim extreme weather is being caused (NOW) by global warming.

    • Walt, if extreme weather was obvious now, there would not be any skeptics. It is far from obvious when you have to extract it with statistics. Skeptics won’t believe in global change until it occurs in their back yard, I always say. You have to hit them over the head with it, otherwise it won’t sway them. Maybe you will agree.

    • Jim D

      Agree with you that “extreme weather”, which only exists in the figment of someone’s imagination (or climate model), is not “obvious” to the general public.

      It has to be real “extreme weather” for folks to notice it.

      And, since there really hasn’t been any evidence of a real increase in “extreme weather” events as a result of global warming (previous thread), folks do not notice any, either.


    • Jim D

      Well, the point is not the difference between 3 and 4 [parts per 10,000], but the difference between 3 and 7-10, which is where we are headed.

      Wrong on two counts, Jim.

      We are at 4 today and doing just fine (so forget 3 – that was back in the 18thC, when we were definitely doing worse).

      10 is the value that we could theoretically reach if we consumed all the inferred recoverable fossil fuels remaining on our planet today

      This ain’t gonna happen, Jim.

      7 is a worst case business as usual scenario for the year 2100 if we ASS-U-ME that no “climate actions” will be taken and no new non-fossil fuel energy sources will be developed over the rest of this century.

      Two rather pessimistic (and utterly silly) assumptions, Jim.

      So we are not “headed” from 3 to 7-10, but probably more realistically from 4 to 5-6, with an outside chance of approaching 7 some day in the far distant future.

      And that’s a helluva big difference.

      ln (10 / 3 ) = 1.2
      ln (6 / 4 ) = 0.4

      So you are exaggerating by a factor of 3X.

      Come back down to Planet Earth, Jim.


  25. I’m a newby to this site, so not sure if I’m starting a new thread or leaving a reply to last comment.. finding this format a bit more confusing than most…. sorry, if this comment winds up in the wrong place… At any rate, I am very happy that Professor Curry has established her blog, it is a welcome sign that perhaps the climate science community is finally becoming more open.

    I’m a PhD Physicist recently retired from a prominent national lab, so I have some understanding of large computer codes and their weaknesses. Climate science was and is not my area of expertise, but beginning about 4 years ago in response to the observation of the heated political debate I decided to start learning more about the field. One of the first things that struck me in this process was what appeared to me to be a paucity of good general review articles that described the assumptions made in the current model suite. I do have access to most journals (I retain an emeritus position at my old employer).

    The only general review that I was able to find initially was J.E. Harries, “Physics of the Earth’s radiative energy balance”, Cont. Phys.,vol.41, #5, pp. 309-322 (2000). While this article is pretty old, it at least outlined for me the uncertainty in the way the models deal with clouds.

    Which leads (finally) to my question for this community: Can anyone point me to more recent critical reviews of the physics contained in these models?


    • A 1-pager that seems OK as a general intro is here.

    • For a physicist an alternative would be to have a more thorough introduction provided a book like Washington and Parkinson: An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling.

      Chapter 9 of the new IPCC AR5 WG1 report discusses many aspects of the models critically (some may think that not critically enough, but that should not be the first worry). The FAQ box 9.1 Are Climate Models Getting Better, and How Would We Know? on p. 824-5 of the final version of the report is an example of that discussion.

    • ceresco kid

      At the risk of being attacked by some here, I know Roy Spencer Ph D has done some work on the influence of clouds and the feedback mechanisms involved. He has his own website under his name. Welcome to the site.

    • No official reviews but Pielke Roger Sr has two good books, mesoscale meteorological modeling 2nd ed 2007 and Human Impacts of Weathwr and Climate. Plus Dr Curry has one.

      Good luck. Lots of fun

    • As you have the library access, this special issue on Modelling and Simulation in the Atmospheric and Climate Sciences of Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics might also be of interest

      This article of Reto Knutti is free for all

    • Jim Cripwell

      Skeptical, you write “Which leads (finally) to my question for this community: Can anyone point me to more recent critical reviews of the physics contained in these models?”

      My guess is that such a paper does not exist. The reason for my suspicions, is that if it did exist, it would be a dagger pointed at the heart of CAGW. So the warmists have ensured that such a paper does not exist. I am afraid you will have to do like the rest of us, read the really skeptical blogs, and find the scientists who know what they are talking about, and ask them specific questions.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Scott: Plus Dr Curry has one.

      And another due out this Summer: Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Microphysics of Clouds by Professor Vitaly I. Khvorostyanov and Dr Judith A. Curry (Aug 31, 2014)

    • Matthew R Marler

      SkepticalPhysiker: Can anyone point me to more recent critical reviews of the physics contained in these models?

      You might like “Nonlinear Climate Dynamics” by Henk A. Dijkstra, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

      sorry for the repeat. incorrectly nested before.

    • Curious George

      SkepticalPhysiker – this happened when I pointed out wrong physics in a model:

  26. Matthew R Marler

    SkepticalPhysiker: Can anyone point me to more recent critical reviews of the physics contained in these models?

    You might like “Nonlinear Climate Dynamics” by Henk A. Dijkstra, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

  27. Wow. Many thanks for great responses. I will start digging into these as time allows. I had been thinking about buying some books and these book suggestions are a great place to start, and the other sites look interesting also… had seen the skepticalsience and spencer sites… those were OK, but the more technical stuff is what I’m after, geek that I am.

    • If you start reading books, I strongly recommend something more general on the atmospheric science including weather phenomena. My own choice was the book of Wallace and Hobbs, which I have found pretty good, but I have no idea on the relative quality of other books. For reference, I’m also a retired physicist who has read more about the atmosphere only in retirement.

  28. Another specific question for ya’ll. The most credible explanation for the so-called global warming hiatus, seems to be that the energy is going into the ocean system. But, if that were true wouldn’t you see an acceleration in the sea level rise, especially due to the thermal expansion component? Which I realize begs the question what is the relative heat capacity of the earth vs. oceans?

    • Curious George

      Was that option represented in models? Yes, as far as I know. Do you believe that the heat is magically teleported down there via a brand new mechanism?

    • The total heat capacity of the oceans is huge in comparison with other systems that interact significantly with the atmosphere. Even the upper layers, which are most strongly coupled have a heat capacity large enough to absorb typically 90% of all extra heat brought to the Earth system. That does affect sea level. Sea level has also risen more rapidly in recent past.

      All that is consistent, but all contributing factors are not known precisely enough for drawing strong conclusions from these observations.

    • Sea level rise got a start in the late 1700s, most of the biggest decadal rises all occurred before the 1860s. It’s pretty hard to buy a noticeable rise around Australian shores, but it would seem sea levels are still nudging upward a bit.

      Like the great variations in Arctic ice (which don’t seem to follow sea levels, go figure) known since the early 1800s, none of this is obscure or new knowledge. It is just ignored knowledge. Strange. post-Enlightenment times we live in.

  29. Hopefully, God willing and the creek don’t rise, we will slowly begin to put things in perspective. A little common sense is what’s called for until such time as we have wiser voters –e.g., we need to realize that even if the Earth’s atmospheric CO2 content were to increase to about 3% –i.e., a hundredfold from what it is now – the current atmospheric water vapor content would only need to increase by about 5% to maintain radiation equilibrium, which is exactly what does happen as described by Ferenc Miskolczi (the atmospheric optical density of the Earth is self-regulating).

  30. This is a request for enlightenment as well as a topic for discussion. I am curious about geophysical heat emitted under the oceans. This seems to me to be a tremendous source of heat and gases. The ocean is 70% of the earth’s surface and covers such phenomenon as the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, the “Atlantic Ridge”, the huge activity near Erebus in the Antarctic and now a volcano in the north Pacific the size of the state of New Mexico. I have no supporting data but intuition tells me that this dwarfs surface volcanic activity and perhaps greenhouse effects.

    Look for climate forcings and you will always find that surface volcanic activity is listed as one… but never have I seen reference to deep ocean geothermal activity. The climate relationships may be different but heat remains heat. And what about emitted gases? Recently we have heard a lot about deep ocean heat connected to atmospheric warming as an explanation for “missing heat”. My intuition again tells me that that heat is dwarfed by what must be coming from underwater geophysical activity. I also wonder if that activity has anything to do with climate oscillations or even the “stadium wave”? Might huge bubbles form and then periodically explode?

    I would appreciate learning from those who are knowledgable on this subject. Intuition may point the way but it isn’t science.

    Paul Chaxelle

    • ceresco kid

      I believe our hostess referenced some work being done in this area a few weeks ago but I dont remember the specifics. I hope someone can help you since I I have an interest in that as well.

    • Curious George

      The last time I checked (some years ago) an average heat flow through the Earth’s mantle was estimated at 70 mW/m2, but I suspect it is more of a guess than an estimate. Anyway, a far cry from an insolation of 1321-1412 W/m2.

    • The most recent estimate is probably presented in this paper

      The estimate is 47 TW to be compared with 174 000 TW of solar radiation that hits the Earth upper atmosphere.

    • Curious George

      Pekka – I had a cursory look at the article, could not find your numbers. Could you please quote something that I could search for?

    • I gave a wrong link. That link should be in another comment that I wrote. The right link for this is

      I made some searches of my own some time ago to verify that nothing essential has come out later and that other recent sources do not badly contradict this one. The same reference is presented also in Wikipedia

      which is also one source for the solar flux.

      A somewhat outdated but more detailed figure from Sorensen: Renewable energy is here

    • Curious George

      Pekka – thank you. A great link.

    • Mosh

      I saved the Korean link that you supplied me a few weeks ago.

      I was planning to put one of my large teams of researchers Onto the translation which would make 300 people I have out there in the field, over half of my resources . Us sceptics get so much funding it’s difficult to know what to do with it all.

      . 10 million is nothing. You are selling yourself much too cheap, please show a bit more ambition if you want a job in my global organisation…


  31. Argo ocean sensors don’t show the heat going to the oceans a MDMA no data below 2,000 meters. Observations and measurement critical

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Scott claims [bizarrely] sensors don’t show the heat going to the oceans.”

      Baseless denialist claims by Scott, Pacific-spanning hot-water bolus by FOMD!

      Rising Waters  The ending of the tropospheric “pause” portents crushing political losses for climate-change denialism.

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan

      When do you think we will reach the temperatures attained in the MWP. This year? 20 years?


    • tony b

      My handy-dandy magic 8-ball (using Webby’s amazing CSALT program with some minor modifications) tells me this will occur in the year 2053 (and will continue for the next 204 years to year 2257).

      You can write that down.


    • This is a test

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    • Max

      Written down.

      Can you also give me dates for when we will equal the Warmer Roman period and the even warmer Bronze age period?


    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      climatereason asks “When do you think we will reach the temperatures attained in the MWP.”

      TonyB, rigid insistence upon wrong questions is comparably pathognomonic of denialist cognition as rigid insistence upon wrong answers.

      Given the plenty of Hockey-Stick Blades already exceed the MWP, a first right question is Will the climate-change “Blades” continue to lengthen?”, and a second right question is What are climate change’s moral and economic implications?”.

      To which the one-word answers are “Yes” and “Profound”, eh TonyB?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • climatereason needs to provide global temperatures (perhaps on the GISTEMP scale) for those periods if he expects a sensible answer. I would expect them to have large error bars, and we could already be warmer with some probability.

    • Fan

      We have had this discussion before. The spaghetti replications use 30/50 year centres and do not begin therefore to replicate the annual variability we can see in the instrumental and written record. I explained it here.

      The greatest hockey stick was the 1690/1740 era. not the Mannian modern era when the hugely variable instrumental record is placed on the paleo records.

      If you are labouring under the delusion that we have already passed the MWP no wonder you get so worried about things.

      Now, what is your estimate for when we will pass the Roman and Bronze age ;periods? And they are not the WRONG question because they are the ones I WANT to ask.


    • climatereason, here is one reconstruction relative to HADCRUT. The MWP is the blip around 1000 AD, and the current value at the end of the red line is the HADCRUT global average. Answer: we are already likely warmer than the Holocene as a whole, according to Marcott.

    • Jimd

      You are using Marcott?

      Here is nick stokes’ take on it

      Btw I am working on a reconstruction back to 1250 to link up with my existing reconstruction to 1538 . To this end I spent another five hours at the met office archives yesterday.

      If you could just organise around 100 million pounds for research money, a fraction that is currently spent on climate matters, I could probably finish it in five years or so.


    • Stokes says the skeptics don’t like Marcott, and I can see why it doesn’t fit their worldview, but most of the complaints are about the lack of proxies at its modern end, which is barely visible in these plots. Do you have a preferred MWP temperature on the HADCRUT scale, or are you just saying it isn’t Marcott’s?

    • Jim D

      Roger Pielke Jr. has commented on the graph you showed, which spliced the modern HadCRUT4 temperature record onto the Marcott graph of reconstructed past temperature records.

      He points out that it is a bogus comparison to plot these two on the same graph (apples and oranges).

      Marcott et al. apparently agree, as evidenced in a FAQ following their study, cited by RPJ (bold type by me):

      Q: What do paleotemperature reconstructions show about the temperature of the last 100 years?

      A: Our global paleotemperature reconstruction includes a so-called “uptick” in temperatures during the 20th-century. However, in the paper we make the point that this particular feature is of shorter duration than the inherent smoothing in our statistical averaging procedure, and that it is based on only a few available paleo-reconstructions of the type we used. Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.

      Comparing temperature reconstructions averaged over longer time periods with modern records not averaged over longer time periods is obviously not a “statistically robust” comparison.

      So Marcott et al. does not provide any evidence that the current warming is greater than that seen in the MWP, Jim.


    • Jimd

      Having now looked through records covering 1000 years it is very difficult to see the modern rapid rise is any different to many similar ones in the past. If I looked merely at the past 100 years or just the satellite record i Might be more worried.


    • Max

      I am surprised that jim put the marcott study forward.

      Your penultimate paragraph echoes what I just said to fan in as much the mannian hockey stick is an artefact of the model, not a realistic interpretation of a sudden modern rise.


    • manacker, if Marcott’s scale is referenced to HADCRUT, why not use HADCRUT for the most recent part? Clearly Marcott’s Holocene Optimum temperature is lower than 0.4 C on the HADCRUT scale, and today we exceed that. The question was whether we are exceeding the MWP, and the answer is yes, the MWP was warm for a long time and can be defined by a mean temperature perturbation near -0.2, but that is cooler than we are now, and not by a little.

    • Tonyb, you have to be cautious about regional records that always show sharper variations than global averages. You would need to average two widely separated sites, and preferably a third to make something like a noisy global proxy, then you may be able to detect large global trends.

    • Jim D

      You ask:

      if Marcott’s scale is referenced to HADCRUT, why not use HADCRUT for the most recent part?

      Read Pielke’s post, especially the response by Marcott et al. to that specific question, and you’ll see why this is an “apples and oranges” comparison which is not statistically robust.

      You are comparing temperatures averaged over a long time period with annual averages.

      For example:

      Today’s 100-year trailing average HadCRUT3 temperature anomaly is -0.05C.

      The 70-year trailing average would be +0.04C

      Compared to an annual value of almost +0.5C

      So you see that such a comparison is bogus, as RPJ points out and Marcott et al. concede.


    • Steven Mosher


      Dont forget to look at the Joseon Dynasty Annuals. daily information.
      Interestingly King Sejong worked to get the first rain gauge created
      (circa 1400s)

      My Korean isnt good enough to help, but if you get an extra 10 million I’ll be glad to help

    • Mosh

      Planted my reply in the wrong place


    • manacker, but the question asked was when, at what date, the temperature was going to exceed the MWP. The MWP is represented by -0.2 on that scale, and the temperature now is +0.4 on the scale. We are exceeding it already on this date. This was the question. I know a lot of skeptics say, well, there could have been a hidden spike in Marcott. That wasn’t the question. The MWP isn’t a spike, it is a Warm Period with a characteristic temperature that is 0.6 C colder than it is now. Question answered.

    • Jim D

      Your question has already been answered by Marcott et al. on the Pielke post.

      You cannot compare past temperature reconstructions, which cover longer time periods, with actual annual measurements, because such a comparison is meaningless (Marcott says “not statistically robust”).

      Splicing one set of data obtained by one method with another set of totally independent data obtained by a totally different method is fraught with danger in any case. In this case its even worse for the reasons stated by Marcott (and Pielke).

      Let’s leave this one, Jim.

      It’s pointless to try to keep it alive, as it has already been laid to rest by the authors themselves.


    • tony b

      Just tweaked my magic 8-ball with Webby’s amazing CSALT model, and got two answers.

      If we implement a global carbon tax to triple the cost of energy for all human beings, including those who don’t even have any energy today, we will reach the Roman warmth by 2375 +/- 75 years (back to togas and sandals).

      If we do not slap this tax on humanity it will be 2375 +/- 75 years.

      Tried to get you an answer on the Bronze Age warming, but my handy-dandy 8-ball blew a fuse.

      Sorry ’bout that.


    • Max,

      You say

      You cannot compare past temperature reconstructions, which cover longer time periods, with actual annual measurements, because such a comparison is meaningless (Marcott says “not statistically robust”).

      That’s not what Marcott is saying, at least in the quote you cited above. He’s pointing out that indications of 20th century temperatures based on his paleoclimate date are not “statistically robust”, he’s not saying anything about comparisons with actual measurements.

    • In fact in the comments to the Pielke article you linked to it is pointed out that figure 3 of Marcott’s paper explicitly does make comparisons between past temperatures as indicated by his paleo data and the modern instrumental record.

    • andrew adams

      Read what he is saying again (bold type by me):

      Our global paleotemperature reconstruction includes a so-called “uptick” in temperatures during the 20th-century. However, in the paper we make the point that this particular feature is of shorter duration than the inherent smoothing in our statistical averaging procedure, and that it is based on only a few available paleo-reconstructions of the type we used. Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.

      Reconstructed data from the distant past has a lot of “inherent smoothing”.

      The modern HadCRUT record, which was spliced onto the reconstruction does not.

      Let’s pick 100 years of smoothing, as an example.

      Today’s 100-year smoothed HadCRUT3 average global temperature anomaly (compared to 1951-1980) is -0.05C.

      The annual value is +0.5C.

      Just an example, which shows why one cannot compare smoothed reconstructions from the distant past (oranges) with annual values measured today (apples).


    • andrew adams

      figure 3 of Marcott’s paper explicitly does make comparisons between past temperatures as indicated by his paleo data [apples] and the modern instrumental record [oranges].


      That’s what I wrote.


    • manacker, if you want to play the game of only comparing century averages to Marcott, what would be your estimate of the 21st century average. Somewhere near 1 C (very conservatively) on the HADCRUT/Marcott scale? What would 1 C look like compared to the Holocene and MWP? How about nearer 2 C, which is also possible? Skeptics are so impressed with the 1000 AD MWP bump, and LIA trough, so this should impress them even more, I would think. LIA recovery? I think not.

    • Max,

      I repeat, in your Marcott quote he is explicitly talking about the paleo data, not the instrumental record. You can’t use it to back up your argument about comparisons with the instrumental record and you can’t claim that Marcott supports your argument in general.

      Sure, we have to be exercise due caution when looking at the modern temperature record in the context of the paleo reconstruction and take account of the possible effects of smoothing on the latter. Marcott explicitly adresses this point in his paper, Tamino has a post on it here

      That doesn’t mean that it is invalid to do so.

    • A couple more points. Firstly, we can argue about the extent to which considering Marcott plus the modern instrumental record enables us to make a valid comparison between modern temperatures and the MWP, but that’s more evidence than has been offered so far by those who are asserting that the MWP was warmer than today.

      Secondly, even if global temperatures during the MWP were comparable to today’s that doesn’t necessarily imply a pronounced warming period of the kind we have seen since the start of the 20C because in the 5k years or so prior to the 20C there was a long term cooling trend, so the MWP was starting from a higher point anyway.

    • Jim D

      21st century 100-year trailing average?


      The 21st century is only 13 years old.

      But the 100-year smoothed average for the years 2001-2013 (HadCRUT3) are (degC anomaly compared to 1951-1980 average)

      2001 -0.126
      2002 -0.117
      2003 -0.108
      2004 -0.099
      2005 -0.091
      2006 -0.084
      2007 -0.077
      2008 -0.067
      2009 -0.057
      2010 -0.048
      2011 -0.038
      2012 -0.029
      2013 -0.025
      Ave. -0.074


    • andrew adams

      Forget the “yeah, but…” rationalizations.

      Comparing apples with oranges is bogus statistics.

      And that’s what you get when you splice annual measurements onto a graph of smoothed reconstructed data from the distant past in order to draw a comparison between the two data sets.

      It was a scam then.

      It is a scam now.

      End of discussion.


    • andrew adams

      Let me respond to your side track.

      Did you ever hear about the Dark Ages?

      And all those Germanic tribes that headed south to get away from colder climes, trashing the Roman Empire in the process?

      (It’s all in the history books.)

      And the MWP started at the end of this colder than normal period, just as the modern warm period started at the end of another colder than normal period called the LIA.

      Check Tony B for historical references – maybe he can enlighten you a bit.


    • andrew adams

      we can argue about the extent to which considering Marcott plus the modern instrumental record enables us to make a valid comparison between modern temperatures and the MWP, but that’s more evidence than has been offered so far by those who are asserting that the MWP was warmer than today.


      I have before me references to more than 30 independent studies from all over the globe, using different paleo-climate methods, which all point to a MWP that was slightly warmer than today:

      Loehle 2007 rev., Global, 0.15°C warmer than today
      Rosenthal et al. 2013, Pacific Ocean, 0.65°C warmer than today
      Dahl-Jensen 1998, Greenland, 0.8°C warmer than today
      Johnsen 2001, Greenland summit, 1°C warmer than today
      Zhang 1994, China, Henan, 0.9° to 1.0°C warmer than today
      Zheng 2003, Eastern China, 0.4°C warmer than today
      Honghan 1995, S. China, 1° to 2°C warmer than today
      Adnikari 2001, Japan, MWP warmest in 1300 years
      Kitigawa 1995, Japan, Yakushima Island, 1°C warmer than today
      Cook 2002, New Zealand, no temperature difference given
      Wilson 1979, New Zealand, 0.75°C warmer than today
      Newton 2006, Tropical Ocean. 0.4°C warmer than today
      Keigwin 1996, Sargasso Sea, 1°C warmer than today
      Lund 2006, Bahamas, 0.2°C warmer than today
      Richey 2007, Gulf of Mexico, 1.5°C warmer than today
      Lückge 2005, Coastal Peru, 1.2°C warmer than today
      Goni 2004, Venezuela, 0.35°C warmer than today
      Miller 2006, USA, Sierra Nevada, 3.2°C warmer than today
      Patterson 1998, USA, Lake Erie, Ohio, 0.2°C warmer than today
      Cronin 2003, USA, Chesapeake Bay, 0.15°C warmer than today
      Vare 2000, Canada, Barrow Strait, no temperature difference given
      Rolland 2009, Canada, Southampton Island, 0.9°C warmer than today
      Linderholm 2005, Sweden, 1.5°C warmer than today
      Weckstrom 2006, Finnish Lapland, 0.15°C warmer than today
      Mazepa 2005, Russia, Ural Mountains, 0.56°C warmer than today
      Kalugin 2007, Russia, Altai Mountains, 0.5°C warmer than today
      Schlüchter 2005, Swiss Alps, warmer – no temperature given
      Laroque-Tobler 2010, Switzerland, 1°C warmer than today
      Mangini 2007, Austria, Spannagel Cave 1.5°C warmer than today
      Patzelt 2009, Austrian Alps, warmer – no temperature given
      Martinez 1999, NW Spain, 3.4°C warmer than today
      Abrantes 2005, Portugal, Tagus River, 0.9°C warmer than today


    • manacker, no, I meant an estimate for the whole 21st century. 2000 is at 0.3 C, the 30-year rise rate is 0.5 C in 30 years, so we can conservatively linearly extrapolate to a century average of 1.1 C (as I said). This would be on Marcott’s scale with the MWP sitting at -0.2, and the Holocene Optimum high-point at 0.4 (here again for reference so that you can imagine 1.1 C on it for 2050).

    • Max

      My preliminary estimate would be that during the mwp Britain was for many periods lasting several decades, ( but not continually) around 0.5 centigrade warmer than the temperatures we briefly reached during the 1990’s

      For short periods, when hot summers and mild winters coincided, we were rather warmer than that, but the period was at times exemplified by summers much hotter than today and at times winters rather colder than we generally experience, which brought down the mean average. The generally warmer period lasted from around 800 to 1200AD but that is not to say that, just like today, it did not have colder interludes.

      The Minoan warm period, judging by the height of settlements on our uplands, was probably nearer to 1 degree warmer than the 1990’s in general although again there were colder interludes



    • Tonyb
      Missed u on the thread but wanted to refer u to a book. U said “nothing new under the sun” quote from the bible. Really with modern man there is lots new. Something new under the sun, history of 20th century world” by j.r. McNeil goes through impacts of dams, real toxics and nuclear weapons. Plus more. Nothing new in bible referred to thousands of years without substantial technology changes.

      Thanks again for your historical research

    • Scott

      Thanks, will look it up on Amazon


    • manacker, regional temperatures often have 1 C fluctuations. You only have to look at CET to see that, so presenting a list of regional fluctuations that may be uncorrelated with each other or neighboring regions, is something you could do with equally impressive lists in any century you choose. The key is that these are not global, and no one has found they are correlated in time, except to the extent that Marcott has which gives a signal of about 0.1 C.

  32. CuriousGeorge —

    There are several climate physics papers attributing the heat deposition to ocean current changes (El Nino and La Nna) one example is —
    “Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with
    observed temperature 1998–2008”
    Robert K. Kaufmanna,1, Heikki Kauppib, Michael L. Manna, and James H. Stock. 11790–11793 ∣ PNAS ∣ July 19, 2011 ∣ vol. 108 ∣ no. 29

    I have several others in my archives at this point, but they all pretty much rely upon turning knobs in those huge codes… having been a “knob turning” I am just a tad skeptical, so I’d prefer looking at real data sets myself :-).

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Skepticalphysiker , nowadays Everyone can feel that the bathwater’s getting hotter and hotter!

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    • Curious George

      Exactly. The physics was in the models all the time – except they did not “calibrate” them to predict it. As you clearly know, you can calibrate a sufficiently complex model (they all are complex) to obtain an amazing agreement with historical data. The trick would be to obtain an agreement with future data.

      The real problem is not models, but people. There are gray areas, like cloud physics or a handling of convection or turbulence, where progress will necessarily be slow, but it should not take two years to correct an assumption that a latent heat of water vaporization does not depend on temperature.

    • IPCC AR5 describes the problem with tuning as follows (from Box 9.1) (emphasis mine):

      Model tuning directly influences the evaluation of climate models, as the quantities that are tuned cannot be used in model evaluation. Quantities closely related to those tuned will provide only weak tests of model performance. Nonetheless, by focusing on those quantities not generally involved in model tuning while discounting metrics clearly related to it, it is possible to gain insight into model performance. Model quality is tested most rigorously through the concurrent use of many model quantities, evaluation techniques, and performance metrics that together cover a wide range of emergent (or un-tuned) model behaviour.

      The requirement for model tuning raises the question of whether climate models are reliable for future climate projections. Models are not tuned to match a particular future; they are tuned to reproduce a small subset of global mean observationally based constraints. What emerges is that the models that plausibly reproduce the past, universally display significant warming under increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, consistent with our physical understanding.

      I emphasized the most basic reservations. The rest of the text discusses, what’s left according to the IPCC authors, when these problems are noted.

  33. This book should be required reading by all involved in climate — especially those who only have cookbook statistics, those who have too much faith in statistics. Nassim Taleb:

    Using statistics to detect changes in trends is a fool’s errand. You can only hope to detect them after they are over — in common life, how can you distinguish fads and fashions from trends. Attribution, cause and effect, and many other ways to be fooled by the non-intuitiveness of probability.

    • Excellent points are made in the book, especially when taking a close look at what Western government scientists foolishly brought to field of climatology –i.e., eliminating extreme values from their sample… does not work when we study the physical properties of the weather — particularly when one cares about a cumulative effect.. (Ibid.)

  34. Pekka–

    I had gathered from some of what I read that the heat capacity of the ocean dominated, but had not seen a number, thanks. Any reference for that?

    Given that the heat capacity of the ocean dominates, then one would not expect to see a rise in sea level associated with thermal expansion during the “hiatus”, since that is where the bulk of the energy was going, both before and after the “hiatus”… and that is consistent in the satelite data at So, that at least seems to be consistent.

    The global sea level data seems to me to be the most unambiguous single piece of real data one can observe on this question…. what do you think?

    • Based on easily obtainable numbers I have calculated the following:

      – heat capacity of the atmosphere 5.3 10^21 J/K
      – heat capacity of the oceans 5.6 10^24 J/K
      – heat capacity of the top 1 m of the oceans 1.56 10^21 J/K

      An energy flux of 1 W/m^2 for the total surface of the Earth brought to the oceans raises the average ocean temperature by 2.9 mK/year.

      That energy left in the top 1 m of ocean raises the temperature by 10.3 K/year.

      From these numbers it’s easy to calculate other numbers that may be more relavant.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Skepticalphysiker claims [bizarrely] “Given that the heat capacity of the ocean dominates, then one  would not  definitely would expect to see a rise in sea level associated with thermal expansion during the [tropospheric] ‘hiatus'”

      Error by skepticalphysiker, correction by FOMD!

      Because  Sustained energy-budget imbalance implies sustained sea-level rise, sustained ocean-heating, and sustained ice-melting. The former is predicted by theory; and the latter three are observed without pause or obvious limit.

      Conclusion Three decades of theory and observation agree that James Hansen’s 1981 climate-change worldview — which is thermodynamics-based and energy-balance audited — is broadly correct.

      Corollary The ending of the tropospheric pause portents the political demise of ideology-driven, willfully ignorant, personally abusive, slogan-shouting, astro-turfing, anti-scientific, climate-change denialism.

      Which is GOOD, eh Climate Etc readers!

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    • On the sea level one problem is that it’s influenced significantly also by variations in the water reservoirs of continental areas (both on ground and underground). Another complicating factor is that the shape of the Earth keeps on changing both slowly and abruptly. These changes have also an effect large enough to make direct conclusions difficult.

    • skepticalphysiker

      The sea level data has a number of shortcomings, the least of which is the very short time scale it covers.

      It also bundles all data together and misses the obvious fact that the water levels in some ocean basins are dropping whilst in others it is increasing rapidly as are the relative rates of change.. Also that it doesn’t measure the sea level round coasts. Also it doesn’t measure the elasticity of the land, with some rising and some falling,often at a faster rate than sea levels.

      So it is not unambiguous. Tide markers are more accurate to determine what is going on in any specific area, although they are still subject to the rise and fall of land.


    • tony b

      You make several good points regarding sea level changes.

      Tide gauge records of sea levels at several selected coastlines (where humans live) are more meaningful for humans than satellite altimetry records of the entire ocean except polar regions and coastlines (which cannot be measured by satellites).

      Since tide gauges provide a continuous long-term record they can also be useful in comparing current trends with past trends (which satellite altimetry cannot).

      For example, the tide gage record over the 20thC (Holgate 2007) showed that the average annual rate of rise over the first half of the 20thC was around 2.0 mm/year, while it was around 1.4mm/year over the second half (so there was clearly no observed acceleration in the average rate of rise over the 20thC.

      In addition the record showed that there was large decadal variability in the rate, from +5 mm/year to -1 mm/year. These are acknowledged by IPCC “in the fine print” with the note (bold face by me):

      Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year over 1963 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003: about 3.1 mm per year. Whether the faster rate for 1993 to 2003 reflects decadal variability or an increase in the longer-term trend is unclear.

      Then there is the problem of large errors (error bars greater than the rate itself) in the satellite altimetry method itself, which was raised by Carl Wunsch and by the NOAA scientists themselves.

      So sometimes “new technology” is not necessarily better than old “tried and true” methods.

      Your thoughts?


    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Max wonders “Sometimes ‘new technology’ is not necessarily better than old ‘tried and true’ methods. Your thoughts?”

      Damon Runyon answers “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.”

      Question by Max, answer by Runyon!

      Conclusion  Science-smart money bets Hansen’s 1981 climate-change world-view is right

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    • Max

      We have had this conversation many times. It is very difficult to see anything extraordinary going on in sea levels or temperatures and the longer time scale you examine it becomes even less exceptional.

      People would do well to read the relevant ipcc chapter on sea levels, especially the small print.


    • Fan

      Bearing in mind your apparent belief that the pope is some sort of climate and relgious expert, I would have thought you would have known that Damon runyons quote was adapted from the bible

      You will also remember the bible saying that there is nothing new under the sun. We have seen it all before fan.


    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Tony claims [wrongly] “You will remember the Bible saying that ‘there is  nothing  something new under the sun.’ We have seen it all before fan.

      Error by Tonyb, correction by FOMD!

      Scientific/Biblical/Historical Fact  Present-day CO2 levels are unprecedented in Biblical history.

      Heck, the *LAST* time CO2 levels were this high, ordinary citizens can see for *THEMSELVES* that Florida/Carolina/Washington DC/Gulf States were submerged megalodon shark breeding-grounds.

      Ain’t that plain ordinary citizen-science common-sense, TonyB?

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    • Fan

      My quotation was of course correct

      We have seen it all before


    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The error is the Bible’s statement “there is nothing new under the sun”, not yours TonyB!

      `Cuz present planetary CO2 levels are entirely unique in both Biblical history and human history, ain’t that absolutely scientifically right?

      And so are the moral and economic problems that these CO2 levels present!

      That’s the common-sense moral reason why this guy regards climate-change science very seriously, eh?

      As should we *ALL*!

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    • Bob Ludwick

      @ skepticalphysiker

      When you read about sea level rising 1-3 mm/yr, thus confirming that anthropogenic CO2 is causing catastrophic global warming, perform a little mental experiment. It doesn’t require that you be an expert in any particular thing, just think about the problem.

      First a datum: Based on the published area of the oceans, and if I didn’t hose the math to badly, a one mm change in sea level corresponds to a net change in ocean volume of around 360 km^3.

      Now, sit down and start listing everything that you can think of that affect the volume of the oceans, such as melting ice, plate tectonics, change in temperature, undersea discharges of magma and whatever, organic ‘rain’ from the upper ocean, etc.

      Having done that, convince yourself that the climate experts have considered every physical process that affects ocean volume, can quantize them with at least tens of km^3 precision, can back out the contributions of all non-temperature related processes, and are able to detect the signal of anthropogenic CO2 in the changing sea level.

      Good luck.

    • skepticalphysiker said: “The global sea level data seems to me to be the most unambiguous single piece of real data one can observe on this question…. what do you think?”
      Sea level data combined with measured and proxy ocean heat content combined with measured and proxy ice mass loss tell us one consistent message: the climate system is gaining energy and has done so without pause for many decades. Unfortunately, up until about 10 years ago, the easiest and most convenient way to get a proxy measurement for this gain in energy has been to measure sensible heat in the lower troposphere despite the fact that this an exceptionally poor proxy at anything less than decadal average levels. The flow of latent and sensible heat form ocean to troposphere provides the bulk of the variability in tropospheric temperatures and as we all know, ENSO rules this flow at sub-decadal scales.

    • “We have seen it all before.”
      Well, in terms of where our climate may be headed, our Australopithecus ancestors saw it.

  35. Climate change is presented as a huge deal, end of world stuff. So why aren’t the best and brightest, the theoretical physicists, the Edward Wittens of the world, working on this? During WWII physicists worked on the Manhattan Project, now their counterparts are pining for multiverses.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      FreeHat wonders “Why aren’t the best and brightest, the theoretical physicists, the Edward Wittens of the world, working on this?”

      The world’s top scientists and mathematicians *did* work on climate-change. Dozens of them. For decades. And they finished.

      Their scientific conclusion was simple-yet-sobering Climate-change is real, anthropogenic, serious, and accelerating.”

      As 97% of present-day scientists (approximately!) agree.

      That’s why, nowadays, responsible organizations are asking, “What’s to be done?”

      Thank you for asking your sensible question, Freehat!

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    • Climate science is APPLIED physics and chemistry, with a bit of biology. Most hotshots try their hand at fundamental physics research, e.g. particles and gravity, which in many ways is a lot simpler. Climate science is probably too messy for most.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The good news is, plenty of the 21st century’s world’s top science-savvy inventors, building on the 20th century’s climate-change science, *ARE* working on carbon-neutral energy economies.

      Good on `yah, 21st century inventors!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • In WWII the scientists realised that nuclear fusion could be used to build a massive bomb. They started with this scientific possibility and persuaded governments to fund the research to make it happen.

      These days politicians imagine a world powered by windmills and solar panels. They take this dream and throw money at the science community saying “make it possible”. And the scientists do a quick back of the envelope calculation and raise an eyebrow; and the clever ones walk away.

    • Ian H +10

    • Ian H

      and the clever ones walk away.

      The real clever ones line up at the taxpayer funded government trough and get their slice of the pie while the “gettin’s good”.


    • Fanny

      Good on `yah, 21st century inventors!

      It’s very rare that I agree with you, Fanny, but you got this one right.

      That’s why the pessimists like Jim D here (or James E. Hansen) are totally wrong in their doomsday predictions.


    • “Good on `yah, 21st century inventors!”

      Right and in the 22nd century there will be wailing over lithium mines and Galliumosis. Humanity is perfect in their imperfection.

    • “So why aren’t the best and brightest, the theoretical physicists, the Edward Wittens of the world, working on this?”

      Working on what exactly? Cold fusion?

      If they accepted the catastrophic view, they know mitigation is not feasible and adaptation is more of an engineering problem.

  36. Pekka —

    Thanks much for your response. I probably won’t be looking at this site for a while, but will try to check back periodically (one of my other hobbies cry for my attention, long-distance ocean sailing and the requirements of working on the boat).


    I guess I was not clear in my post. If the ocean heat capacity did NOT dominate, then the proposed extra heat going into the ocean during the “hiatus” (~2000-now) should be reflected in an acceleration of the ocean rise from pre-hiatus to hiatus. This acceleration is not seen in the data, but that is consistent with the ocean being the dominant resoirvoir. Therefore, one is not able to refute the hypothesis that the warming during the hiatus is going into the oceans not the atmosphere.

  37. Pekka, ClimateReason, manacker–

    All good comments on the sea level issue, thanks. I will have to look into the satellite error thing. I guess I tend to focus on the sea level thing because I spend so much time on Mother Ocean… and intend to do a lot more.

    Looking on the bright side, I guess this means that my family may eventually inherit beachfront property… don’t know whether to :-) or :-(….

    Signing off for now…


    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’

      I would first of all understand what is known about the dynamic energy budget of the Earth. Then how this translates into what is and can’t be known about steric sea level rise.

      ‘Due to its global span, the Argo global observing system clearly opens
      up new scope to observe climate related changes. Comparisons of global steric height trends based on different gridded fields of Argo in situ measurements show a range of 0–1mmyr−1 which can be lead back to data handling and climatology uncertainties. Our results show that GOIs derived from the Argo measurements are ideally suitable to
      monitor the state of the global ocean, especially after November 2007, i.e. when Argo sampling was 100% complete. They also show that there is significant interannual global variability at global scale, especially for global OFC. Before the end of 2007, error bars are too large to deliver robust short-term trends of GOIs and thus an interpretation in terms of long-term climate signals are still questionable, especially since uncertainties due to interannual fluctuations are not included in our error estimation.’

    • Robert I Ellison

      Then you need to ask yourself why ocean and atmosphere circulation shifts.

      And what implications this has for the likely persistence of the hiatus.

      And – as an aside – what implications dynamical complexity has for models.

  38. Robert —

    Thanks for all those links and comments… I had run across some of the Noriss stuff, but not this one.


  39. @mikkey

    ‘Climate science is probably too messy for most.’ seems like an odd excuse with so much on the line. You’d think this would be an ‘all hands on deck’ situation.

    Any bets on if the temperature does start tracking the worst case scenario these theoretical guys will make the switch to applied physics?

  40. This is probably a silly question. However:
    How fast does greenhouse-gaslight travel through our atmosphere?

    A photon of light in an infrared band (say the 667/cm CO2 band) progresses from surface to space in a series of steps (strictly, its energy does).
    There will be a delay between absorption and (re-)emission. Simplistic physics (such as mine) suggests this may be short ( 1 day) to equilibrate.
    The direct experiment for this would be to transmit pulses of appropriate monochromatic IR light up through clear air, and time their arrival at a satellite or high balloon.
    As yet, I’ve found no information that this has been done (or proved impossible).

    The significance is that if the velocity is low, assumptions such as adiabaticity hold; but if high, an air column is radiatively-coupled, and the rules change.

    Can anyone suggest good search terms or links?

    • Search for convective-radiative equilibrium. Convection wins in the troposphere. Radiation is fast, but relatively weak because the atmosphere is not an efficient emitter and absorber.

    • Curious George

      An excellent idea for an experiment! The situation is a little more complex – e.g., the re-emission will be in a random direction, and sometimes an excited CO2 molecule will not radiate but dispose of (a part of) energy in a collision, but I don’t see a reason why it could not be attempted.

    • Peter,

      I would offer as a starting point that you read all parts of this excellent (though rather technical at times) posting about the CO2 and its “greenhouse” properties:

      Take your time, there’s some excellent material here.

    • Peter Shaw,

      The NASA LADEE lunar lander used an infrared laser to transmit high speed data back to Earth, in order to enable higher data rates with higher reliability than conventional radio systems. The system achieved expected results, and operated even when the Moon was low on the horizon, meaning that the infrared was travelling through the maximum thickness of atmosphere. Additionally, the system proved useful even when cloud blocked the line-of-sight.

      I believe the time from Earth to the Moon, and vice versa is around 1.25 seconds or so.

      Obviously, any wavelength that is totally absorbed will not be perceptible at the intended target. If one is talking about energy, then the effective energy transmission time will vary according to conditions, including the transmissivity of the atmospheric gases, the amount and type of suspended solids and liquids, the amount and type of clouds, the temperature, and the thickness of the atmosphere.

      The rapid drop in a tropical desert under clear sky conditions after the Sun sets indicates that energy escapes to space quite rapidly, regardless wavelengths involved.

      There are plenty of variables, so a simple answer is unlikely, without specifying the parameters more precisely. For example, the term infrared covers a wide range of frequencies.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Everything related closely to radiation within the troposphere is extremely fast. Energy absorbed by a molecule is transferred to kinetic energy of the molecules in a nanosecond. There are no larger delays than that at any step.

      Longer time scales enter when temperature changes and convection are considered.

      Science of Doom is, indeed, a place where this kind of questions are discussed. Part of the discussion there may require good background of physics, but an attempt is mostly done by both the host and by others writing there (including myself) to give answers also to questions presented by people with less background in physics. All sincere science questions are welcome, less polite answers are common only when people think that someone is trolling (or after 100 answers that have not led anywhere).

    • Curious George

      Pekka – gives a half-life for a spontaneous emission by CO2 at 667/cm as 0.45 sec. I am not sure how many collisions an excited CO2 molecule survives, or if a collision can trigger an emission, but it seems that an experiment might be useful.

    • During that lifetime the molecule would have been de-exited by a collision about one billion times. The life-time based on spontaneous emission becomes significant only at altitudes beyond 100 km. Only there is the atmosphere rare enough for that.

  41. Why does the Left hamstring homegrown productivity and self-sufficiency at every turn and purposefully expose the economy to the artificial shortages and vagaries in the prices of conflict minerals? The answer is pretty simple: they love Marxism and want to see Americanism destroyed. The Left and the right can never have a reasoned discussion about AGW theory because the Left’s infatuation with global warming has nothing to do with science; it is based on its value as a tool for social change.

  42. From Columbia University, an example of a statement given as fact, no doubt true and accurate, and possibly totally misleading.

    “Over the past 5000 years the average rate of sea level rise was much less than 1 meter per millennium (1 mm/year), as shown by geologic markers on coastlines. In the past century tide gauges at coastal cities reveal a larger rate of sea level rise. The second chart below shows that sea level rose about 2 mm/year during 1920-2000.”

    The author seems unaware of plate tectonics, or, at the very least, assumes that all the geologic markers and tide gauges were situated at locations which exhibited no lateral or vertical movement over the past 5000 years.

    If you think that lateral plate movement does not affect the rise and fall of tides, there are some tidal specialists who might choose to disagree. At present, horizontal plate movement beetles along at over 50mm per annum in many places.

    Vertical motion is more difficult to measure. However, Mt Everest is rising at around 10 mm per annum or so. Recent satellite measurements indicate the Australian plate may be falling at around 1 mm per annum. It is still too early to be certain.

    In any case, recording sea level rises of 1mm per annum on a plate which is sinking into the sea at a rate of 1 mm per year is completely pointless.

    What about the rest of the world, you ask? My point exactly. If you want to leave scientific work to climatologists, you might might as well expect to buy your meat at the bank, and do your banking at the butcher.

    Drawing a chalk mark on a ship, and measuring the sea level against it might be just as accurate as the billion dollar burblings of the climatological crew. At least you don’t have to worry about extreme tides, and you might even get the right answer! How good is that!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Curious George

      My numbers are probably obsolete now, but they are easy to remember:
      13,000 years ago the seal level was 130 m lower than now.

    • Curious George,

      That’s an awful lot of seals!

      But seriously, on the other hand, marine fossils have been found at depths of around 6,000 meters under the surface, and also at elevations of 6,000 meters above sea levels. Presumably, in between as well.

      What it all means, I have no idea. Nor, I imagine does anybody else, except to arrive at the conclusion that the present doesn’t seem to reflect the past.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Flynn

      You’re right. Vertical tectonic movement can be much larger than SL change itself.

      But what counts for us landlubbers is the sum of tectonic movements (lift or subsidence) and increase in water level itself at the shorelines – as has been measured by tide gauges for centuries.

      The total level of the entire ocean (except at shorelines) as is measured by satellite altimetry, may be of interest to some scientists, but is of very little interest to most of us terrestrials.

      The net change occurs very slowly, measured in mm per year, so (like the Dutch have been doing for centuries) we have the time and ability to adapt to these challenges if and when it appears that they might occur.

      As the Dutch say, geen paniek (no panic).


  43. The cross currents of fossil fueled economic growth and the desires of CAGWers to throttle it back is striking. Countries all over the world are starting to see fracking as potential salvation. Here’s one.
    From the article:
    Spain could drill and frack its way out of sky-high unemployment and a struggling economy, according to a report this week by consultancy Deloitte.

    The Iberian country holds hefty natural gas reserves, including shale gas, which could open up a 44 billion-euro industry ($60 billion), according to the report.

    “The development of oil and gas exploration and production in Spain would have a significant impact on the national economy in terms of gross domestic product, employment creation and the balance of trade,” said Deloitte in its report on the impact of hydrocarbon production on Spain.

    In common with other peripheral euro zone countries like Greece and Ireland, Spain has been hard-hit by the region’s sovereign debt crisis. While the rate of contraction in the Spanish economy slowed in 2013, to 1.2 percent, unemployment has continued to rise, hitting a record 26.4 percent.

    However, exploration and production of Spain’s natural gas reserves – estimated at some 2.05 trillion cubic meters – could create up to 755,000 jobs by 2033, claimed Deloitte. This would amount to 4.7 percent of current national employment.

  44. Stephen Segrest

    I’d like to see some “objective, science based” discussion of Dr. Arrhenius’ Greenhouse Theory — specifically the parts per million. How do today’s Climate Scientists view what Dr. Arrhenius was saying? Is the overall theory relevant today as to ppm? Do skeptics argue that ppm is just irrelevant and doesn’t matter?

  45.  D C   


    It’s just so easy to smash the Venus greenhouse:

    (1) The Venus surface (and all its troposphere) cool by about 5 degrees during the 4-month-long night. So Venus could easily have cooled right down, and is not producing enough internal energy to keep it as hot as it is. (The same applies to Earth)

    (2) The surface and troposphere rise in temperature by 5 degrees during the Venus day. Physics tells us this requires energy input.

    (3) If that energy input were totally from radiation, then a flux of about 14,000 to 16,000 W/m^2 would be required and would have to come from a hotter source, namely the Sun.

    (4) The Russians dropped probes and estimated the incident solar flux to be a mean of 10 to 20W/m^2. This is because our vegetation’s friend carbon dioxide is absorbing at least 95% of incoming solar energy and radiating it back to space, thus preventing it warming the surface.

    (4) Now if you think back radiation is raising the temperature, then you need to explain how you are getting far more radiative flux out of the base of the troposphere than the Sun is putting in, even at the top of the Venus atmosphere before most gets reflected or absorbed and radiated back to space.

    So go tell Wikipedia administration that their Venus article should not talk about a greenhouse effect thereon. I tried, as you can see in the “Talk” pages, but their bias was obviously apparent, to say the least. Trust Wikipedia? Sure can’t”

    • DC,

      I agree. A distinct lack of back radiation causing elevated temperatures would seem to be in evidence.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • -It’s just so easy to smash the Venus greenhouse:

      (1) The Venus surface (and all its troposphere) cool by about 5 degrees during the 4-month-long night. So Venus could easily have cooled right down, and is not producing enough internal energy to keep it as hot as it is. (The same applies to Earth)

      (2) The surface and troposphere rise in temperature by 5 degrees during the Venus day. Physics tells us this requires energy input.

      (3) If that energy input were totally from radiation, then a flux of about 14,000 to 16,000 W/m^2 would be required and would have to come from a hotter source, namely the Sun.-

      I don’t think you saying that half the atmosphere becomes 5 C warmer over period of 4 months, but rather there is temperature swing of 5 C. So difference hottest compared coldest day vs night is 5 C. As measured by someone [I don’t have reference of this].

      But for fun I will calculate how many joules of heat is required to warm half of Venus atmosphere by 5 C:
      “Total mass of atmosphere: ~4.8 x 10^20 kg
      Average temperature: 737 K (464 C)”
      At 700 K CO2 has 1.126 kJ/kgK:
      So 1.126 kJ per kg times 5 is 5.63 KJ per kg. And half atmosphere is
      about 2.4 x 10^20 kg. Times by 5.63 KJ is 13.512 x 10^20 KJ
      Or 1.35 x 10^24 joules

      Now, how joules a second reaches Venus?
      Something like 2700 joules of sunlight per second per square meter.
      The radius of Venus is 6051.8 km or 6,051,800 meters. So the disk of
      Venus is 1.15 x 10^14 square meters area. So total of 3.1 x 10^17 joules per second of sunlight intersects Venus.
      And number of seconds to equal 1.35 x 10^24 joules is 4.3 x 10^6
      4.3 million seconds.
      And 60 days has 5.184 million seconds.
      So roughly in the realm of possible.

      -(4) The Russians dropped probes and estimated the incident solar flux to be a mean of 10 to 20W/m^2. This is because our vegetation’s friend carbon dioxide is absorbing at least 95% of incoming solar energy and radiating it back to space, thus preventing it warming the surface.

      (4) Now if you think back radiation is raising the temperature, then you need to explain how you are getting far more radiative flux out of the base of the troposphere than the Sun is putting in, even at the top of the Venus atmosphere before most gets reflected or absorbed and radiated back to space. –

      Well, if CO2 were absorbing 95% of incoming solar energy, this would explain it. But CO2 gas does not absorb sunlight. And have this idea the Venus clouds are reflecting some huge percentage of sunlight- like 70% or something.
      What can absorb sunlight is droplets of sulfuric acid which comprises the clouds of Venus.

    •  D C   

      (a) Carbon dioxide does absorb some of the Sun’s radiation in the infra red range just above 2000nm. Google “solar radiation spectrum absorbed by atmosphere” to see the red and yellow graphic.

      (b) With over 96% of the Venus atmosphere being carbon dioxide, I suggest those molecules hold over 96% of the thermal energy in the atmosphere and play a significant role in radiating energy out to space. One way or another, the Russians estimated that less than 20W/m^2 reaches the surface. If it is radiation that increases the temperature, then at any time in the process there has to be an input flux from a hotter source and that flux has to be of the order of 14,000 to 16,000 W/m^2 to increase the temperature of the Venus surface. You cannot get there with 20W/m^2 even in a billion years. If you don’t understand why, then you don’t understand what Planck and Boltzmann explained.

    •  D C   

      Here’s the link for the graphic showing absorption of incoming solar radiation in Earth’s atmosphere:

    • It’s called the greenhouse effect. Due to backradiation you can get a very high upward surface emission which is far lower than the input at the top of the atmosphere.

    • -(a) Carbon dioxide does absorb some of the Sun’s radiation in the infra red range just above 2000nm. Google “solar radiation spectrum absorbed by atmosphere” to see the red and yellow graphic.-

      The Sun emits all wavelengths excluding gamma, so all kinds of gases would adsorb some of the Sunlight’s full spectrum, but most of sun’s energy is emitting at shorter wavelength than 2000nm [and longer wavelength than X-ray or ultraviolet]

      +(b) With over 96% of the Venus atmosphere being carbon dioxide, I suggest those molecules hold over 96% of the thermal energy in the atmosphere and play a significant role in radiating energy out to space….-

      Above I say 5 C of temperature difference of mostly CO2 and half the atmosphere would be about 1.35 x 10^24 joules. So all the kinetic energy of CO2 in Venus would be something like than 1000 times more than this.

      In comparison:
      “1.7×10^17 J total energy from the Sun that strikes the face of the Earth each second” and:
      “2.1×10^17 J yield of the Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear weapon ever tested (50 megatons)”
      And I said above at Venus distance it was about:
      “3.1 x 10^17 joules per second of sunlight intersects Venus.”

      Roughly if times 1.35 x 10^24 joules by 1000 you get: 1.35 x 10^27 joule
      Or roughly 2 x 10^10 seconds of sunlight being absorbed would change a frozen CO2 Venus into the present hot Venus atmosphere.
      A year has 3.1 x 10^7 seconds- so roughly 1000 years of sunlight or
      the energy or about 1.5 x 10^10 [15 billion] exploding Tsar Bomba type nuclear bombs would also heat a frozen Venus atmosphere to present temperatures.
      And I would agree that CO2 gases of Venus are radiating most of energy
      of Venus into space, and why Venus does radiate much heat, considering how hot it is.
      The planet Earth has been hotter than Venus [for instance when [if] the moon was created from impacting Earth, Earth would been hot enough to have metallic iron as gas] and Earth would have emitted much more heat per second at Venus type atmospheric temperature as compared to Venus.

      Or if take two 50 km diameter space rock and impacted one on Earth and one on Venus- each at same velocity [say, 30 km/sec]. The Earth would cool far quicker.
      Or say if you had two **huge** volcanic eruption [say size of Canada] on both Venus and Earth.
      Earth would cool quicker. And from Earth orbit one see [and feel] this heat- and from orbit around Venus one would hard time trying to detect such vast areas of surface which are very hot [though it should affect Venus weather- it might evaporate a lot of the Venus clouds in the region or maybe create more clouds- but it should cause some kind weather effect which could be seen from orbit. But heat leaving Venus would not change much.
      Now if Earth had 100 times more nitrogen in it’s atmosphere- it would be like Venus in terms not radiating much heat. And you could not see Earth surface from orbit. Nor would much sunlight reach Earth’s surface.

    • Gbaikie,

      Well done. May I call on you when I need some calculations to back me up?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Doug. Cotton    

      Yes, the Wikipedia block was expected and engineered.

      My point is that Wikipedia has a responsibility of due diligence to check the information it propagates. It is naïve to imagine that the only truth in this world resides in the sources which they selectively choose to call “peer-reviewed scientific papers.” For example, I have had published a peer-reviewed scientific paper (which you can see under ‘Radiated Energy’ on the P S I site) but they would of course reject such.

      The points I have made were supported by mainstream physics in a very direct fashion. For example, mainstream physics tells us energy is not created in simple thermodynamic processes, and WP editors must know at least that much physics. It is not hard to confirm that even all the solar radiation reaching the top of the Venus atmosphere is less than a quarter of what would be required to raise its surface temperature by radiation alone. So the atmosphere obviously is not multiplying energy by four.

      Yet, despite my pointing out matters like this, I just get responses about my “theory” which I have never claimed to be anything more than a hypothesis, and which was not what I was writing about anyway.

      So I maintain that Wikipedia is indeed playing a significant role in fraudulently promulgating the hoax that carbon dioxide supposedly causes warming of Venus and Earth. As a result, public and private enterprise, and individuals paying for power and taxes are all incurring costs directly resulting from the fraud.

      Someone has to pay for the lack of due diligence, and my purpose in registering with Wikipedia, and deliberately incurring their arrogant responses (as anticipated) and their blocking action was primarily to obtain evidence (retained in screen captures) which may well be helpful if large companies initiate class action against the IPCC, Wikipedia, universities and maybe some individuals.

  46.  D C   

    This is the thin edge of the wedge, guys. You need to see that Earth is supposedly operating under different laws of physics than Venus is. Supposedly, according to climatology, that is.

    Soon we will be reading about the Zeroth, First, Second and Third Laws of Climatology:

    0: Listen to zero physicists

    1: Remember you are number one authority

    2: Radiation transfers thermal energy two-ways even if it only goes one way itself, like the Sun’s radiation heating the ocean thermocline.

    3: The Earth’s atmosphere multiplies the Sun’s energy by three.

    •  D C   

      Mike writes “to my satisfaction” Well Mike, you are too easily satisfied. You need to ask “Why is it so? Why, for example, Is the temperature plot from 9Km to 5Km below the surface “pointing” to the right surface temperature. Then that surface temperature is the “right” temperature to produce just the right thermal gradient so that the troposphere gets down to the right radiating temperature where it should.. On Uranus it takes 350Km to get down to the right 60K radiating temperature where it should do so near TOA, so how does it “know” it has to be 320K at the base of the Uranus (nominal) troposphere so that the thermal gradient (badly named a lapse rate) is the right -g/Cp value for about 350Km? Is all this just a coincidence, or do you suppose that the g in the numerator might have something to do with it?

    • DC,

      Curious George pointed out that a hot spud doesn’t need to know how hot you want the surface to be.

      The Earth doesn’t know how hot you want it to be, either. It just started off molten, I believe. At the moment, it’s not too hot, not too cold, just about right for us, in fact. That’s probably why we manage to exist across wide swathes of the globe.

      I agree I’m easily satisfied. I am healthy, I want for nothing, and I lead a quiet and contented life. What’s not to like? Why go out of my way to be unsatisfied?

      You ask why the temperature gradient from the core to the surface is what it is. Without wishing to sound trite, it is what it is. As an example, measure the temperature of the outside of your hot potato, and ask yourself why a temperature gradient exists from the core to the surface, and why it is what it is at a particular moment in time, if you desire.

      As Pekka Pirila has pointed out in response to someone else, the effect of gravity on the thermal gradient of a cooling body is zero. Turn your hot potato around, and see if the temperature gradient changes due to gravity.

      So yes, the thermal gradient you find on Uranus is coincidentally the same as a calculation you made, and no, gravity has nothing to do with it.

      Thermal gradients of various types occur on the ISS, in a zero gravity field.

      I take the simplest explanation that fits the observed facts. Give me some new facts, and I’ll think about a new explanation. I can explain the origin of the Universe to my satisfaction, without the involvement of a Creator, but I doubt you would agree. It doesn’t bother me. It’s not important to anyone else, is it?

      On the other hand, global warming seems to excite some people. I just enjoy the discussion. I intend no offence.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    •  D C    

      Sorry Mike, but if Pekka Pirila has pointed out in response to someone else, the effect of gravity on the thermal gradient of a cooling body is zero, then Pekka is mistaken

      Ask Pekka to explain the effect of a force of 5 million times the acceleration due to Earth’s gravity applied over a distance of 5mm. Will it form a temperature gradient in that distance? Or will it do nothing?

      Go on, ask him.

      Then, when you and he have really thought about it along the lines of what happens when entropy reaches a maximum, then you can ;look up the results of a real world experiment which gives you straight from the thermometers’ mouth just what will happen here. Then, check the calculations for the dry adiabatic lapse rate -g/Cp and hey presto you get the observed result, this time straight from your trusty calculator.

      You see, there’s a lot more to all this than you ever dreamt of. It even took me a few thousand hour of thinking to work it out.

  47. Open thread, so a couple or three observations.

    Any body that claims that they can derive a specific temperature at time of growth by examining a dead piece of tree, is either a fool, a fraud, or delusional. Anybody who believes that temperature alone governs the rate at which the cambium is laid down – see previous.

    Anybody who makes unverifiable assumptions about other factors apart from temperature is probably reciting the Sacred Warmist Manntra, with their fingers crossed behind their back, if you take my meaning.

    Heat energy.
    Atmosphere has some.
    Aquasphere has more.
    Lithosphere has more again

    The mantle and core have lots and lots. So much, that it keeps leaking away, day and night. It even heats the bottom of the Vostok ice to about 6C more than the ice a few hundred meters above.

    Experimental verification of the Warmists’ greenhouse effect.
    Nil, none, nought, nothing, zero . . .

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    •  D C   

      Actually, Mike, your statement “The mantle and core have lots and lots. So much, that it keeps leaking away, day and night” calls for further discussion. Have you ever wondered why the thermal gradient in Earth’s outer crust is at least 20 times steeper than in the hot regions of the mantle? It doesn’t look anything like a linear conduction plot all the way from the core, now does it? Why is it so?

      If you look at data from the 9Km deep German KTB borehole you’ll see they measured 270C at 9Km depth, which really surprised them. Furthermore, if you consider just the data from 9Km to, say, 5Km and extrapolate it to the surface you do indeed get close to the mean daily minimum temperatures of the surface. How does it “know” down there what temperature to aim at? There must be a feedback mechanism, and indeed there is as I have explained in my hypothesis for all planetary atmospheric, surface, crust, mantle and core temperatures.

      Does the core of the Earth really “know” how to generate just the right amount of nuclear energy or whatever to get the “right” surface temperature, which then gets the “right” lapse rate to get down to the radiative temperature at the right altitude?

      I can explain what happens, but can you?

    • Curious George

      D C. – the KTB Borehole was drilled in a volcanic region (a real surprise, as Gaius Julius Caesar recorded a noise of a volcanic eruption there).

      A hot potato “knows” hot to cool down its exterior so that you can hold it in your fingers while the inside is still really hot. On a larger scale, consider a lava flow couple of days old.

    • DC,

      Curious George has pretty much encapsulated my thoughts. Thanks.

      The Soviets drilled the deepest hole below the surface ever, around 12,260 meters, and had a temperature of around 180C at that depth. So your 270C at 9,000 meters may not be representative.

      There’s a song called “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”
      Even if it’s a bit warm in the Libyan desert bit, and a bit chilly in the Antarctic -85C bit, with hands that big, you wouldn’t be able to notice the fact that you were really holding a white hot molten blob.

      So yes, I can explain what happens, at least to my satisfaction. Like the hot potato, or anything else really, hot on the inside doesn’t necessarily determine the temperature on the outside.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn

    •  D C   

      Yes, the Soviet Kola borehole data in this refers to 600F (about 315C) but it would be in a colder region anyway. There is better data available for the KTB (including a graphic of the temperature plot) so I usually refer to it.

      The thermal gradient depends upon the weighted mean specific heat of the matter that it passes through. Either way, these thermal gradients are far steeper than the gradient in the hottest parts of the mantle where it seems to be less than 1 degree per kilometre. This is because the specific heat increases greatly at those temperatures and it is Cp in the denominator of the thermal gradient (aka dry adiabatic lapse rate) -g/Cp.

    •  D C    

      I am not really interested in the above naïve attempts to compare hot potatoes with Earth. In fact the outside of the potato is usually significantly hotter than the ambient temperature because it can’t cool fast enough.

      Of course I am aware of temperature gradients in conduction processes, like when your hand gets hot if you hold the other end of a long metal rod in a fire. Immerse the handheld end in far colder water and the temperature gradient becomes steeper. Why is it so? Why does it normally adopt a linear profile, but vary the gradient as the end temperatures vary, as if it “knows” what the temperature is at the cold end and the temperature plot “heads for” that temperature, except when the temperature gradient is too steep already. What is the feedback mechanism?

      You see, it’s more complex than you imagine. So too is it within Earth’s crust and troposphere. Why, for example, does convection sometimes stop altogether in calm conditions in the early pre-dawn hours, even though there is still a temperature gradient?

  48. Just got this sweet email message from the California Public Utilities Commission:


    “Look for a Climate Credit from the State of California on Your April Utility Bill

    “This month your electricity bill will include a credit identified as the “California Climate Credit.” Twice a year, in April and October, your household and millions of others throughout the state will receive this credit on your electricity bills.

    “The Climate Credit is a payment to Californians from a program designed to fight climate change by limiting the amount of greenhouse gas pollution our largest industries put into the atmosphere.

    “This program is one of many developed as a result of landmark legislation called the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which puts California at the forefront of efforts to battle climate change. Other programs under this law increase clean, renewable forms of electricity, promote increased energy efficiency in homes and businesses, and require cleaner fuels, and cleaner, more efficient cars and trucks.

    “Together, these programs will aid in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere – helping to clean the air and protect our food, water, and public health, as well as the beauty of our state.

    “The Climate Credit is designed to help you join with California in its efforts to fight climate change and clean the air. You can use the savings on your electricity bills however you choose, but you can save even more money by investing the bill savings from your Climate Credit in energy-saving home upgrades, including more efficient lights and appliances. You can find more information and receive rebates for these and many other energy efficient choices for your home at

    “California’s greenhouse gas reduction programs provide a range of powerful solutions to help slow climate change, one of the greatest challenges facing society. By gradually reducing emissions each year and moving to cleaner forms of energy, we are taking an important step to preserve the health and prosperity of our state for generations to come.”


    It’s all upside! Win! Win! Win! I’m such a lucky golden state citizen!

  49. Ethics? We don’t need no stinkin’ ethics!

    “The EPA followed applicable regulations when it exposed 81 human study subjects to concentrated airborne particles or diesel exhaust emissions in five EPA studies conducted during 2010 and 2011. However, we identified improvements that could be made to the EPA’s policies and guidance to enhance protection of study subjects.

    The EPA obtained approval to conduct the five human research studies, including approval from a biomedical Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the EPA Human Studies Research Review Official (HSRRO). However, the EPA’s policies and guidance do not address when HSRRO approval is needed for significant study modifications. Developing guidance for when HSRRO must approve significant modifications would ensure their independent review.

    The EPA obtained informed consent from the 81 human study subjects before exposing them to pollutants. While the consent forms met the requirements of 40 CFR Part 26, we found that exposure risks were not always consistently represented. Further, the EPA did not include information on long-term cancer risks in its diesel exhaust studies’ consent forms. An EPA manager considered these long-term risks minimal for short-term study exposures. We believe presenting consistent information about risks further ensures that study subjects can make the most informed choice about participating in a study.”

    What does “exposure risks were not always consistently represented” mean?

    “Only two of the five studies’ consent forms included the risk of death from exposure to high levels of selected air pollutants such as PM and diesel exhaust, and only one study’s consent form included the upper limits of exposure levels.”

    Ahh, the wonders of progressive (aka post modern) “science.”

  50. UN Tells Fuel Producers to Abandon Reserves Amid Record Output
    In a world that has never produced so much oil and gas, the United Nations is seeking to persuade producers they need to leave three-quarters of their reserves in the ground and explore cleaner energy to combat climate change.

    “The fossil fuels we do use must be utilized sparingly and responsibly,” Christiana Figueres, UN climate chief, said in the copy of a prepared speech to the industry. “Three-quarters of the fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground.

    Oil industry can be ‘solution’ to climate change says Figueres
    Top UN climate official calls on fossil fuel executives to lead transition to cleaner forms of energy

    Exxon: Highly unlikely world limits fossil fuels
    NEW YORK — Exxon Mobil says that global policies to combat climate change won’t be strict enough to stop the company from selling all of the oil and gas it has found — and all that it will find in the foreseeable future — because the fuels are too important for global economic development.

    Exxon issued a report Monday on the risks that climate change policies could pose to the company’s assets and future profitability in response to contentions of some shareholders and environmental activists that the assets that underpin the value of Exxon and other fossil fuel companies will be worth less as society restricts consumption of fossil fuels to fight climate change.

  51. Manacker,

    I’m far too indolent to scroll to where you said this –

    “tony b

    Just tweaked my magic 8-ball with Webby’s amazing CSALT model, and got two answers.

    If we implement a global carbon tax to triple the cost of energy for all human beings, including those who don’t even have any energy today, we will reach the Roman warmth by 2375 +/- 75 years (back to togas and sandals).

    If we do not slap this tax on humanity it will be 2375 +/- 75 years.”

    I have to take issue. I have just been fortunate enough to obtain the services of the noticeably nifty Nepalese necromancer Rajendra Gajendra Pachendra, and he says namaskar, (a deferential form of namaste) to all.

    You forgot to allow for the effect of the Moon’s libration, and subsequent libations to correct this most egregious error. Rajendra Gajendra Pachendra tells me that the error is really +/- 75.01 years.

    I trust you will take suitable steps to adjust your calculations, before your credibility is impugned.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Thanks for tip, Mike.

      Will rework Webby’s amazing CSALT model input to my magic 8-ball accordingly.

      Thanks for saving me from seriously embarrassing myself in front of the learned denizens of this most erudite blog site.


  52. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Manacker asserts “We have the time and ability to adapt to these  climate-change  liver-failure challenges if and when it appears that they might occur.”

    Manacker’s climate-change/carbon-addiction denialism transposed to liver-failure/alcoholism denialism by FOMD!

    Patterns of denialist cognition are universal, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  53. “The major UN report on the health impacts of the Fukushima accident concluded that any radiation-induced effects would be too small to identify. People were well protected and received “low or very low” radiation doses [2 April 2014]

    Overall, people in Fukushima are expected on average to receive less than 10 mSv due to the accident over their whole lifetime, said UNSCEAR, comparing this to the 170 mSv lifetime dose from natural background radiation that people in Japan typically receive.

    Health issues from radiation only become apparent in people known to have received 100 mSv or more in a short space of time. This criteria does apply to a group of 160 plant workers, who are to be monitored in the long term.

    Despite the evacuation’s success in minimizing radiation exposure to a level where, “No discernible increased incidence of radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members of the public or their descendants,” the mass movement of people had repercussions of its own, including the deaths of some vulnerable people and social effects of the relocation. UNSCEAR said, “The most important health effect is on mental and social well-being, related to the enormous impact of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, and the fear and stigma related to the perceived risk of exposure to radiation.” “

    Read the full WNN article here:

    The point I’d make (again) is that our over reaction to radiation releases is not justified by the likely health consequences of radiation leaks. The overreactions are what is causing the huge cost, not the actual damages caused by the leaks of radioactive materials.

    Therefore, we could greatly reduce the cost of nuclear power (over time) if we were to respond in a scientifically justified manner to radiation releases in future.

    A step we could take to reduce the cost of nuclear power is to raise the acceptable radiation exposure limits to an evidence based limit (this simple brochure explains: )

    Another step would be to change the IAEA’s super conservative, over-the-top regulations that recommend evacuation when they are not justified.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Peter Lang cherry-picks outrageously “Overall, people in Fukushima are expected on average to receive less than 10 mSv due to the accident over their whole lifetime”

      Uhhh … “people in Fukushima” … ???

      There are no “people in Fukushima.”

      Just like Chernobyl, Fukushima is evacuated.

      For decades to come? Or even centuries? No one knows.

      At a cost of (at minimum) two hundred and fifty billion dollars.

      Your argument’s hilariously vivid exhibition of cherry-picking, quibbling, faux-conservative, childish-libertarian, denialist cognition is appreciated, Peter Lang!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • FAN,

        I previously provided you a referral to a medical specialist to assist you. I suggest you need to get stronger mediaction.

    • AFOMD,

      I don’t know about Fukushima, but here’s what happened after intentional release of nuclear energy in 1945 intended to kill as many as possible – as of 2012.

      “One of the most immediate concerns after the attacks regarding the future of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki was what health effects the radiation would have on the children of survivors conceived after the bombings. So far, no radiation-related excess of disease has been seen in the children of survivors, though more time is needed to be able to know for certain. In general, though, the healthfulness of the new generations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki provide confidence that, like the oleander flower, the cities will continue to rise from their past destruction.”

      Believe or deny as you choose. I believe both Nagasaki and Hiroshima are occupied by humans, these days.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Fan

      Serious question. What do you propose we use as a cheap and reliable energy source in a modern highly developed society and of course those still developing ? There may be all sorts of as yet undeveloped sources in 50 years time, but what do we use in the meantime if oil/coal/gas/shale etc are frowned on?


    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Mike Flynn claims [utterly falsely] “[Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were] intended to kill as many as possible”

      Utterly wrong.

      Both bombs were airbursts that *MINIMIZED* ground-contamination.

      Unlike Fukushima, where core-on-the-floor has (in effect) *MAXIMIZED* ground-contamination.

      Scientifically speaking, even with “clean” air-bursts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the adverse radiation-related health effects have been severe.

      Mike Flynn, your vivid exhibition of denialism achieved through willful ignorance and thoughtless contrasts notably with Peter Lang’s exhibition of denialism achieved through true-believer embrace of juvenile political ideologies!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan,

      You appear to be in disagreement with
      your favorite climate scientist.

    • AFOMD,

      Your unproven assertion about the reasoning behind the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan is at odds with the purposes stated by the US Government of the day, both in the design and construction phase, and subsequent to the explosions.

      You may be right, and have access to the Secret Warmist Government documents that nobody knows about.

      As to your assertion that I follow juvenile political ideologies, you are correct.

      I see, at least in the case of the USA, the results of big boy adult policies.

      Military success? Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan – ragtag, poorly equipped untrained locals versus the mightiest military the world has ever seen. I won’t even mention Somalia, or some of the others.

      Economics? Bankrupt cities, poverty increasing. Economic dominance waning, although still probably the largest economy in the world. Big boy policy – print more money! How’s that working for you?

      The US space program? Ask Mr Putin nicely, and for $70 million he’ll sell you a round trip ticket to the space station. Or, since the US can’t build rocket engines any more, he might sell you some more Russian rocket engines.

      Culture? Mahatma Ghandi was once asked what he thought of American culture. He replied that he thought it would be a good idea.

      I do not wish to offend any US citizens or residents of that great country. I have good reasons, as anyone who knows me realises.

      So, AFOMD, if you choose big boy adult political ideologies, you live with yen consequences. I hope you enjoy them.

      Future, hopefully might happen, pseudo facts from FOMD, reality from Mike Flynn.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  54. AFOMD asserts –

    “Patterns of denialist cognition are universal, eh Climate Etc readers?”

    Indeed. Phlogiston, the luminiferous aether, caloric, magical properties for CO2, the indivisibility of the atom – I deny them all, and more besides.

    Call me recalcitrant, a denialist, an unbeliever, or what you will.

    Possibly, you can make the Earth warmer with the power of your convictions, or by chanting the Sacred Warmist Manntra, but I deny even that possibility. Nature appears to deny that the globe is warming. The pattern of denialist cognition appears to apply to Nature.

    Maybe you can resort to petulantly insisting that the future has revealed itself to you for reasons that are not clearly understood. Does the world wonder when you will release the location of the hidden heat?

    Maybe not.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  55. Buffalo running from Yellowstone a feared sign of pending eruption

    Videos have been showing up on YouTube and across the web showing animals seemingly fleeing the park, leading to speculation that the animals are using their animal instincts to flee the park ahead of a possible volcanic eruption.

    And so on. Plenty of people seem to be panicking over this.

    A more careful look shows that most of the movies of buffalo “fleeing” along the road were filmed weeks ahead of the earthquake. One co-worker told me that a relative who lives in the area says right now there’s 10 feet of snow on those roads.

    But that hasn’t stopped many people from panicking over a super-eruption that experts all say is extremely unlikely. Now, what if they’d formed a “consensus” that such a super-eruption will be more likely to happen unless everybody stops using automobiles anywhere near Yellowstone?

  56. This should interest those who are following research about the longer term effects of AGW on ENSO:

    Summary: No permanent El Niño from AGW, but the IPWP can get much warmer than it has been trending already.

    • Don Monfort

      Thanks for the link, gatesy. It’s real nice when one journal paper can dispense with any hint of uncertainty and give us the unambiguous good news and bad news on future climate woes. This one should be the last paper we need to wake us up to the need for a policy of world energy poverty.

    • I wonder what proxy selection techniques these geniuses used in their “reconstruction” that overturned conventional wisdom. Most likely the usual methods:

      No, I can’t be bothered to read the paper.

  57. Global warming leaves us a stark choice – fracking or nuclear power

    The director of ‘Noah’, Darren Aronofsky of ‘Black Swan’ fame, would have had a big problem on his hands if he made a movie about Noah that was completely faithful to the Bible version. Would a modern audience accept a movie in which God wipes out mankind for sinning against Him? Definitely not.
    But would a modern audience accept a movie in which mankind is wiped out for sinning against nature? Absolutely.
    Several films in recent years have had exactly this theme. ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ is one. In that, the climate changes all at once and almost everyone in the northern hemisphere is wiped out, the guilty and the innocent alike.
    The remake of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ is another. In it, aliens decide we’ve made such a mess of the planet we deserve to be exterminated.
    Fortunately for us, at the last moment they decide to show mercy and strip us of all our technology instead. Or maybe not so fortunately because if we lost all our technology, hundreds of millions of us would die anyway.
    Rolling back the industrial revolution like this is more or less what some of the more extreme environmentalists would like us to do. The industrial revolution happened because we learnt to release the Earth’s stored energy from coal, gas, oil, etc. That’s what’s causing manmade global warming and it’s what has the authors of the latest UN report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) so hot and bothered (excuse the pun).
    IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri warned: “If the world doesn’t do anything . . . the very social stability of human systems could be at stake.”

  58. And this bit of new research about new atmospheric “hole” discovered in the Western Pacfic which has potentially global effects:

  59. Uh oh, seems someone we all know and love is beating up on Dr. Curry’s Uncertainty Monster:

    • That’s not a scientist, Gates.

      It’s a psychologist

      Big diff.

    • ” the researchers investigated the mathematics of uncertainty in the climate system and showed that increased scientific uncertainty necessitates even greater action to mitigate climate change.”
      Seems Judith should look into this. However, being that Lewandowsky is someone the denizens like to attack, maybe they will use this as a basis to continue.

    • I wonder, what new they can tell on that very well known issue, on the first look – nothing.

      Everyone who has ever worked with symmetric uncertainty combined with risk aversion knows all that. No specific model calculation is likely teach us anything significant.

      The conclusion may change or remain the same, when uncertainties in the mitigative actions are taken into account, but again simple model calculations can only confirm this qualitative observation.

      These questions have been discussed many times also on this site.

    • Robert I Ellison

      “We can understand the implications of uncertainty, and in the case of the climate system, it is very clear that greater uncertainty will make things even worse. This means that we can never say that there is too much uncertainty for us to act. If you appeal to uncertainty to make a policy decision the legitimate conclusion is to increase the urgency of mitigation.”

      Read more at:

      There is a great deal of uncertainty – something that is very slow to be recognised in certain circles. It extends to the liklihood of non-warming for decades and the imponderability of climate shifts beyond that.

      It has been argued explicitly and repeatedly that uncertainty is a better reason for action than a highly improbable certainty. The real and effective policy response is – however – pragmatic rather than ideologically driven.

    • When we have only one change of acting, uncertainty of outcome adds to the reason to act. The most common influence of more complex uncertainties is that it’s best to postpone the decision. There are numerous situations that fall between these cases.

      In case of global warming the main argument for early action is that it’s too late to act, when the knowledge is much better. This is a valid argument. There are, however, also valid arguments that have the opposite influence. No toy model can help in deciding the net outcome. More serious models like DICE of Nordhaus (or the models of Tol and Hope) tell more, but even their results leave much open. What Nordhaus concludes is finally a subjective judgment supported but not dictated by the model results. (His conclusion is to start at a limited level, but build up the incentive rather fast thereafter.)

    • Curious George

      Let me paraphrase Jim D’s point:

      The less we know the more urgent an immediate action becomes.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Not at all. As in the Breakthrough Institute document linked to – the opportinity is then to broaden the mitigation response to include trade and development, health and education, provision of safe water and sanitation, the conservation and restoration agricutural soils, conservation of ecosystems and investments in energy innovation. Broad approaches with multiple objectives that do not rely on expensive, ineffective and growth destroying policy. Many of these can be integrated into existing aid and trade frameworks in a comprehensive multi-gas strategy.

      But effective responses require removing the ideological blinkers.

    • CG, I’m skeptical of this one as I have not seen their assumptions yet. In mathematics, there are always assumptions.

    • The papers of the Harwell group as well as those of the Breakthrough institute contain many valid points, but they contain also much that’s at least controversial. They are worth reading, and should not be dismissed outright, but neither can we expect that they provide the full solution nor that they present all relevant arguments.

    • Curious George

      Jim D – I accept your skepticism. Next time, don’t quote Prof. Lewandowsky (yes, he is a lead author of this gem) too rashly.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Utter nonsense. The only thing controversial is that it eschews taxes at penalty levels and caps entirely.

      The intent is not far removed from the Copenhagen Consensus or the Millenium Development Goals. And if you can’t see how population restraint and development works to mitigate grennhouse gases by now I can’t really help you.

    • The part I am most skeptical about is that the uncertainty is high enough to have any effect on the action that is needed based on what we know already. At this point the choices realistically are between action and more action, not action and no action.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’

      And I am more than a little bored with the lack of understanding of the source and extent of uncertainty.

  60. Robert I Ellison

    The origon of NH SSW seem to be orographic lift over the Tibetan plateau.


    A source of stratospheric air over the Papua New Guinea tectonic uplift zone is interesting.

    • Steven Mosher

      Yup. I wish that area were better instrumented

    • That interesting picture comes from which is written by Randall Gates Simpson. Would that be our intrepid “skeptical warmist”?

    • Robert I Ellison

      I didn’t make the connection – the unfortunate style – much of which I passed over – should have tipped me off.

    • AK

      Yes it is. He has made no secret of it and we have made several references here to his article over the past year and I have forwarded him several historic references. The MET office are increasingly interested in SSW’s.

      I can’t see that they are at all affected by AGW but Rgates may believe differently. It was an interesting article I thought.


    • Randall Gates Simpson

      Regarding SSW’s: certainly the Tibetan Plateau is one of the major sources of orographic lift that causes planetary wave breaking behavior in the atmosphere. When these waves break and the air descends over the N. Pole the descending air of course compresses and warms, leading to SSW’s, polar vortex disruption, the AO going negative, etc. The unequal advection of energy on this planet, with far more being advected toward north from the equator than the south, the lack of similar orographic features in the Southern Hemisphere to the Tibetan Plateau, etc. lead to the greater amount of SSW activity in the Northern Hemisphere. Volcanoes are not causal factors.

    • Randall Gates Simpson

      “I can’t see that they are at all affected by AGW but Rgates may believe differently. It was an interesting article I thought.”
      This potential for AGW to increase both the frequency and intensity of SSW’s is an interesting question. There is some physical basis for thinking that it could, related to both the enhancement to the Brewer-Dobson we are seeing as well as the increased advection of energy toward the North Pole from the equator at upper atmospheric levels.

    • David Springer

      Gates must be his maiden name. ;-)

  61. Moving, advancing climate? As per =>

    Have you seen this yet? Climate moving south, advancing?

  62. Wikipedia watch out! An attitude of “we don’t care” may warrant a legal opinion.

    When Wikipedia talk pages are edited with comments based on valid physics, which point out errors in their various articles, they take a “we don’t care” attitude. They deliberately introduce greenhouse talk, even in an article about Venus, where the surface temperature cannot possibly be raised by the small amount of radiation reaching it. All they do is cite 1980’s literature which contains nothing but assertive assumptions that the carbon dioxide atmosphere is “obviously” the cause of the high temperatures.

    I’m just making a suggestion as to what I believe Wikipedia administration ought to find out for themselves from their lawyers, because I don’t think they can hide behind the cover of an encyclopedia (in the eyes of the law) and excuse the propagation of fictitious propaganda about the greenhouse effect, now disputed by hundreds (if not thousands) of scientists and academics. But I’m not a lawyer and I’m not suggesting that I would be involved, unless called to address some committee investigation or court hearing.

    Just suppose, for example, when the truth comes out about the carbon dioxide political hoax, that large companies (affected by elecricity and carbon tax costs) pool their funds to mount a global class action against those parties who have contributed significantly in the promulgation of biased “information” likely to be read by voters and politicians alike, and likely to have led to corruption in numerous ways pertaining to research funding, and also likely to have wasted many billions of taxpayer funds.

    The radiative greenhouse conjecture is false. It is a part of a sinister political agenda. It does not stand up to the rigors of valid physics theory, such as (ironically) WP does also publish. Nitrogen and oxygen hold about 98% of the energy in the Earth’s atmosphere, and they slow the surface cooling. But the cooling stops at night where the gravitationally induced thermal gradient supports the surface temperature. Carbon dioxide and water vapor cool by radiating energy (mostly from nitrogen and oxygen) out of the atmosphere, and also lowering the gradient so that lower surface temperatures result. The key fallacy in the radiative greenhouse effect is assuming that all the radiation from the surface is transferring thermal energy out of the surface, when in fact most of it is just scattering the back radiation.

  63. Robert I Ellison says | April 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
    A source of stratospheric air over the Papua New Guinea tectonic uplift zone is interesting.

    Yes indeed it is, but I would suspect it may be related to frequent volcanic eruptions in the area.

    The origin of NH SSW seem to be orographic lift over the Tibetan plateau.

    There are two possible sources of SSW: terrestrial or Solar.
    I did some elementary research on the terrestrial side of the argument. Logically if it is of a terrestrial origins, than the effect development should be followed in time from lower to higher altitudes.
    In that respect the image you referred for the 10hPa (link above) where the critical point is, starts about 24-25 of December
    is cherry picked to suit authors hypothesis.
    But let’s take a look what happened few days earlier around 20th of December at the lower altitude at 50 hPa:
    Whole process appears to start over Kamchatka were there were two volcanic eruptions going on the time (
    It is contrary to any sane logic that the effect would propagate back in time .from 24th to 19th December from 10hPa down to 50hPa.
    R.Gates initiated the SSW issue over possible nature of the terrestrial source, so we had a bit of ‘fierce’ argument up the thread:
    ending on:
    Gates “Of course there are SSW’s in the Antarctic”
    vukcevic: “Of course there arn’t. …..NOAA says : there are not!”
    but many climate scientist do make all sorts of claims.

    I am out of the US at the moment, so I will miss this program on Sunday night. Ann Curry is no relation to Judith, of course.

    • JImD

      The report says;

      ‘Curry will travel to areas high and low in the world, from the Arctic to the Florida seas, and speak to eyewitnesses of the devastating consequences of climate change, NBC News announced Thursday.’

      ‘She pointed out that she will not attempt to put her narrative into any sort of historic context nor mention that extremes are nowhere near as bad as during the LIA’

      Well. I might up that last quote of course but if the Congres/Senates hearings don’t get any historic context I am sure little attempt will be made to provide context in this programme.


    • Jim D & climatereason
      Apologies, I ‘posted’ in the wrong place.

    • Jim Cripwell

      From the report “that “there is virtually no debate among climate scientists”–climate change is real and “largely caused by human activity.” ”
      “”If climate scientists are right, we could face a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions,” ”

      I wonder when the MSM and our politicians will wake up to the fact that this sort of logic is plainly and simply NOT PHYSICS. The whole point of The Scientific Method that has been used as the fundamental basis of physics for around 350 years, is that one NEVER uses OPINION to support a hypothesis.

      As Richard Feynman so aptly remarked, and is now quoted ad nauseum, “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”. It just demonstrates, Jim D. that you clearly do not understand the fundamentals of The Scientific Method, and I am becoming more and more convinced that the warmists don’t understand basic Physics 101. If they did, they would not be emphasising that the only basis for believing in CAGW is opinion; the very antithesis of physics

      The mind boggles.

    • Steven Mosher

      Feynman was an expert, and Ignorant

    • Science is the belief in evidence. I don’t know what context he said that in, but it doesn’t generally work.

  65. Re Antarctic: NOAA’s web page
    30 hPa, 65S – 90S, all of 34 years 1979-2013, show only one unique and small spike that occurred in 2002
    No Erebus eruption was recorded in 2002, but there was strong tectonic activity according to Fig. – 4.1, page 26 of
    Tectonic activity may have released underground gases or
    may be the tectonic uplift, as you mentioned in your original post, may be to do with the cause, if so it may equally apply to Erebus, PNG-Solomons or Kamchatka.
    2002 Antarctic SSW, however significant and unique for the Antarctic, its intensity in the Arctic would have been ignored.
    There were two Erebus eruptions in the early months of 1984, the Antarctic summer, so no SSW.

  66. Also from HuffPost wind energy is cutting emissions at an increasing level with 4.4 % of 2013 emissions saved by changing over. From their graph, the emission reduction due to wind replacement appears to have doubled in 4 years.

    • Curious George

      That is one strange article. It operates with an installed capacity in megawatts – but of course an installed turbine does not save any emissions when it stands idle. The savings come from megawatt-hours, and those numbers are sorely missing. It reads like an advertisement for a wind energy industry association.

  67. Randall Gates Simpson

    Excellent quote:

    “My view is the net radiation at top-of-atmosphere (TOA) energy flow is the most fundamental measure of global warming since it directly represents the accumulation of excess solar energy in the Earth system. The lack of correlation between global surface temperature and TOA over ten years or so tells us that temperature trends are not a good indicator of how much energy is accumulating in the Earth system over the same period. This means that the recently observed “pause” in surface warming may tell us nothing about longer-term global climate change.” Dr.Matt Palmer


    Conclusion: climate sentivity studies based on the “pause” are likely to come to unjustified conclusions.

    • Curious George

      Is the TOA measured by CERES with an unexplained 5W/m2 imbalance, or by other means?

    • Mickey Reno

      I agree that perfect TOA measures of outgoing radiation, subtracted from perfect measures of incoming radiation would give us a reasonably good momentary assessment of the rate (+ or -) of retention of flight of energy from within the Earth’s atmospheric shell.

      But what Dr. Palmer suggests as a conclusion is a pointless tautology. Except it’s not quite pointless. It’s clearly meant to imply that the realist/skeptical side of the global warming debate is wrong, and that the alarmist/catastrophic side is correct. And that is only opinion and unscientific propaganda. Which is so damn typical of the alarmist side of the debate.

  68. For something very different – this is an article that forecasts how difficult it will be to achieve a political consensus around global CO2 reduction targets that will actually be adhered to.

    “The trouble is, deals like Bali and Kyoto include just about every country in the world. To get everyone to agree to something potentially costly, the something they actually agree to must be neither very demanding nor very costly. If it is, many will refuse to join because for them the costs are greater than the benefits, or else they will join while free-riding on the costs paid by the few who are willing to bear them.”

    “To get people to sign a universal agreement and not cheat, the deal must not ask them to change their behavior much from whatever they are already doing. It is a race to the bottom, to the lowest common denominator. More demanding agreements weed out prospective members or encourage lies. Kyoto’s demands weeded out the United States, ensuring that it could not succeed. Maybe that is what those who signed on — or at least some of them — were hoping for. They can look good and then not deliver, because after all it wouldn’t be fair for them to cut back when the biggest polluter, the United States, does not. Sacrificing self-interest for the greater good just doesn’t happen very often. Governments don’t throw themselves on hand grenades. ”

    The author is Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, a game theorist from NYU and Hoover Institute – he has a good track record at forecasting the outcomes of complex political scenarios.

    For me, politics will beat science, so the scientific evidence will need to be very good indeed for countries to sign up to, and enforce, CO2 reduction regulations that impose significant costs on their economies.

    • Curious George

      “To get people to sign a universal agreement and not cheat…” Don’t worry. Russia proudly signed a 1994 agreement guaranteeing a territorial integrity of Ukraine.

  69. Okay. Lets make this as simple as possible

    All of the global warming 1970 – 2000 (0.48 deg.C, per NASA) was a side effect of the Clean Air Acts, and similar efforts abroad

    According to EPA estimates, due to the Clean Air Acts, 10 Megatons of SO2 were removed from the atmosphere (plus >33 Megatons in Europe).

    The settling out of 17 – 20 Megatons of SO2 from the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption resulted in a temperature rise of 0.3 – 0.4 deg C.

    Thus, the removal of >43 Megatons of SO2 from the atmosphere easily accounts for all of the warming that occurred. In fact, so much SO2 (and other pollutants) have been removed that it appears that temperatures have plateaued. Otherwise, it would be even warmer.

    Thus, the “pause”.

    Cleaner air is desirable, but society needs to accept the fact that it has the side effect of warmer temperatures.

    Can ANYONE refute the above analysis?

  70. Fine. It’s just a theory, put out for serious objections–if any.

  71.  D C    

    gbaikie Go and learn about Planck functions and the resulting integrals in Stefan-Boltzmann equations. Then try to understand what is being said. You don’t have a radiative flux from a hotter source (the Sun) with a magnitude of about 14,000 to 16,000 watts per square metre striking the Venus surface at any time. Hence direct radiation striking the Venus surface is not what is causing its temperature to rise. Radiation from the colder atmosphere cannot raise the temperature either. Nor is Venus still just cooling off. It could have done so within just a few hundred years if there were no Sun warming it back up each Venus day – by the same 5 degrees that it cooled the night before.

    • 15,200 watts per square meter will heat to about 720 K. Venus surface temperature is about 737 K.
      But if in a vacuum and say 20 km from one 1 gee planet, and drop a can of air, what velocity does it achieve?
      Distance equals 1/2 acceleration times Time squared.
      20000 divided by 4.9 is 4081. And square root of 4081 is 63.8 seconds
      63.8 second times 9.8 m/s/s is a velocity of 624 m/s [1395 mph].
      What happens when can of air hits the surface?
      Say there is 100 kg of air. What is it’s kinetic energy from falling?
      KE = 50 times 624 times 624 which is 19.4 million joules.
      How chimneys work
      Clouds suck:

      What goes up, must come down.
      Cloud on Venus:
      ” At around 60 kilometres altitude is a very thick cloud layer – a 20 kilometre-deep blanket surrounding the planet. It marks the limit between Venus’s lower and middle atmospheric layers. It is this yellowish layer that prevented for a long time Earth-based observatories and previous orbiter missions to see through.

      It is known today that the upper part of this layer is mostly composed of tiny droplets of sulphuric acid, but what is happening chemically in the lower clouds is still unknown. For instance, what is the origin of the large solid particles floating in the lower clouds observed by Pioneer-Venus? ”
      Venusian clouds are thick and are composed of sulfur dioxide and droplets of sulfuric acid. These clouds reflect about 75% of the sunlight that falls on them, which is what obscures the surface of Venus from regular imaging. The reflectivity of the clouds causes the amount of light reflected upward to be nearly the same as that coming in from above, and a probe exploring the cloud tops could harness solar energy almost as well from below as above, enabling solar cells to be fitted just about anywhere. Because the clouds are reflecting almost all of the sunlight that hits them, Venus has a higher geometric albedo than the other seven planets in the Solar System.

      The cloud cover is such that very little sunlight can penetrate down to the surface, and the light level is only around 5,000–10,000 lux with a visibility of three kilometres. At this level little to no solar energy could conceivably be collected by a probe.”

      Wiki: Lux:
      1000 lux Overcast day; typical TV studio lighting
      10000–25000 lux Full daylight (not direct sun)
      32000–100000 lux Direct sunlight

      So it can be brighter than TV studio lighting.
      Anyway the energy of sunlight at Venus is in and above the clouds. And cloud region much larger than Earth:
      “52.5 kilometers above the Venusian surface turns out to be in the middle of the Venusian cloud blanket which is made up largely of sulfuric acid droplets. (The cloud bottoms are estimated to be 30 to 35 km above the surface and the tops are estimated to be from 60 to 75 km above the Venusian surface.) ”
      At 52.5 kilometers it’s about 37 C. And 49.5 km is about 1 atm pressure
      And at top clouds is about 240 K [-33 C].
      So at around sea level earth pressure, and in Venus atmosphere you have clouds about 20 km [65,000 feet] below you and about 20 km above you.

    •  D C    

      So what’s your point, gbaikie? Don’t you think I knew about what you wrote? My book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” is indeed talking about gravitational potential energy converting to kinetic energy. As explained therein, it really doesn’t matter which gases absorb the incident solar radiation in the troposphere. The energy is absorbed – over 95% of incident solar radiation is reflected or absorbed. So what’s your point?

      My point is that you need to explain just precisely how, in accord with the laws of physics, some of that energy gets into the far hotter surface and actually raises its temperature with a net energy input. The mere 20W/m^2 from direct solar radiation is immediately lost by radiation and conduction back into the atmosphere. As I said, try to understand what Planck was on about, because you don’t. You think radiative flux can somehow be accumulated over 4 months and build up the already hot temperature. It can’t. The energy does not get there by radiation, as peer-reviewed papers explain. So just precisely how does it get there? You won’t know until you read and understand my book. It’s only in one other book that I have been able to find out about after writing mine.

    •  D C    

      What was measured by the Russian probes was about 2 to 5W/m^2 at a latitudes well away from the equator. They then used this to calculate a semi-global mean for Venus of between 10 and 20W/m^2 for the sunlit hemisphere.

    • -My point is that you need to explain just precisely how, in accord with the laws of physics, some of that energy gets into the far hotter surface and actually raises its temperature with a net energy input-

      What prevents hotter stuff from falling?

      Generally the answer is buoyancy.
      But a molecule has zero buoyancy, but a molecule’s velocity could be said to have a selective process, and having air packet are an example of what I mean by selective process, and an air packet is buoyant.
      Another aspect of this selection- is, fast things go where fast things can go.

      So hot air rises because it’s behaves as air packet. If hot air not an air packet, it has no buoyancy.
      And If all the gas has same temperature/heat- it’s not a air packet..
      Though if on planet with gravity, one another selection process is due to gravity. So all matter tends to goes in one direction- down.

      A packet of air which goes up leaves the gravity well or falls down. And like how a single molecule does *not* go up, but it’s averaged packet of air, it’s not a single molecule which is falling.

      So that would be one mechanism, but with molecules in general, gas will equalize their energy of their velocity- so given time enough time, there no possible hope that molecules with less less energy of their velocity could remain in existence in the lower in atmosphere.

      So as general matter if given enough time, how could it be possible for a colder gas to remain near the surface of Venus?

      Or if all gas has same kinetic energy, and if one is in gravity well, gravity will causes more density of gas at bottom of gravity well,
      The increased pressure and density makes gas have more energy per some volume- say cubic meter, and so, a thermometer would indicate the gas is hotter.
      So not more energy per molecule, but more molecules in some volume area.

  72.  D C    

    Mike Flynn There’s a letter for you, too up thread here..

  73.  D C    

    None of you will ever understand what’s really happening until …
    you think about why, throughout the Solar System, does every planet exhibit just the right thermal gradient all the way from the core to the tropopause. Is it a fluke that this gradient is always close to the -g/Cp “adiabatic lapse rate” even in the crust and mantle, for example?

    It is a complete fallacy to imagine these planets are still cooling off after billions of years. The Sun is keeping all planets and satellite moons at the temperatures they are at, right down to their centres.

    Live well and enjoy the slight cooling till 2028.


    •  D C    

      If the planets were still cooling off, then what will happen to those “correct” thermal gradients in the next 4 billion years? Don’t forget, the temperature level is not set at the core – it’s set with radiative balance somewhere near the top of the troposphere. For Uranus it’s about 60K near TOA.. Then the temperature builds up from that base, literally following the calculated thermal gradient quite closely in fact. You see, everything about this is the exact opposite of what you’ve been taught.

      PS – I’m sorry my book has been delayed in production a bit because I missed getting an email with a cover proof I had to approve. But it should be sometime late May or June. It will explain what I’m saying in more detail.

    • DC,

      I don’t know what will happen over the next 4 billion years. Nor do you.

      When you say the temperature level, to what do you refer?

      If you have a hot baked potato in your hand, or somewhere else, what will its temperature level be in a little while?

      Hotter? Colder? No change?

      Pretty awful example of the inability to measure a future temperature, I know, but that’s my point.

      You can’t do it any better than I can, as far as I know. I don’t care anyway, but it’s fun arguing the toss about irrelevancies. I wish Big Oil or Big Coal would slip me a few dollars for not believing in Global Warming.

      Do you have the same desire?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  74.  D C    

    If the Sun keeps shining with the same intensity, and if Venus, Uranus etc remain at the same distance and don’t vanish for some reason, and if their atmospheres remain the same height and composition, then their mean temperatures will not change. Yes, I do know that.

  75.  D C    

    Just as we know Venus cools by 5 degrees at night, we also know that the Sun raises its temperature by 5 degrees (back to where it was) the next Venus day, but it does not do so primarily by radiation to the surface, but by non-radiative heat transfer which is complying with the process described in modern statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The planets in our Solar System are not experiencing significant net cooling, any more than Earth is. Nor is there significant long-term warming over thousands or millions of years.

    That’s physics. I make no apology for the real Second Law of Thermodynamics being different from the Second Law of Climatology.

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium a state with maximum entropy.’ Wikipedia

      ‘Since entropy gives information about the evolution of an isolated system with time, it is said to give us the direction of “time’s arrow” . If snapshots of a system at two different times shows one state which is more disordered, then it could be implied that this state came later in time. For an isolated system, the natural course of events takes the system to a more disordered (higher entropy) state.’

      An isolated system is the universe itself evolving towards a uniform temperature close to zero Kelvin. Climate is not an isolated system so we repair to other expressions of the 2nd law – the equivalent Kelvin or Clausius expressions – heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time.’

      Doug applies that to individual photons – i.e. a photon can not pass from a warmer body to a cooler. A better idea is that more photons are emitted from a warmer body than a cooler – the statistical nature of the 2nd law. No one has misunderstood the 2nd law but Doug. Although arguing with monomaniacs is a waster of time. Cue long winded rant about Venus and correct physics of temperature and gravity.

  76. Any thoughts on the new climate change “explainer” from (the “data-driven” news venture from Ezra Klein et al that went live last night)?


    • A rapid look on that resulted in very positive impression. The main issues are expressed clearly and avoiding overstatements.

      The presentation appears to be among the best (if not the best) for its coverage and level of detail.

      A more careful look might reveal some problems, but the author is probably prepared to improve on such points.

    • blueice2hotsea

      Vox appears to be a political activist site which refreshingly cautions viewers on “How [reading their stuff] makes us stupid”.

  77. That’s just a rehash of the standard dogma, Pekka. Equate climate change with smoking tobacco, 4C, it’s gonna be bad, it’s our fault and we are damn sure about it. Ho, hum.

    • How could a short presentation like that deviate essentially from “standard dogma”. The standard dogma is after all based on the best present understanding, but it is often presented in an unbalanced way. My impression is that this presentation has succeeded in avoiding such problems better than most.

    • It’s the standard alarmist propaganda:

      “Climate scientists say they are 95 percent certain that human influence has been the dominant cause of global warming since 1950. They’re about as sure of this as they are that cigarette smoke causes cancer.”

    • That comparison with tobacco and cancer is not, what I would write, but one sentence does not change much the overall judgment.

    • blueice2hotsea

      Don Montfort –

      The great European famines ended with the end of the LIA, the last being the Finnish famine of 1866–68. A 3C sensitivity implies that current temps in Finland would still be at 1860’s levels. It means that if not for human caused global warming, many people would not be here to complain about it.

      However, vox’s stance on global warming seems to be: the world is too hot, getting hotter and humans are to be BLAMED. It is an inversion of moral altruism. I find it obscene, not ho-hum.

      A discussion of the potential reversal of warming’s benefits is needed. Indeed, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. But that discussion is derailed yet again by a perverse world-view; a perspective that interprets increased longevity and prosperity as an evil and one for which humans are to be blamed and punished.

    • Comparing recent past with the time 150 years ago in Finland very much has changed. The vulnerability to climate is greatly reduced. Finland can now import easily grain for both human consumption and for farm animals. There are also large reserves in country. Years like 1866-68 would cause some economic losses, nothing more.

      Problems of inland transportation and distribution were a major factor, and so were diseases that were spread by weakened people moving around in search for food.

    • blueice2hotsea

      Finland can now import easily grain for both human consumption and for farm animals

      Yes, of course that is true now. And the ’70s the Soviet Union was importing 25 million tons of grain per yr from the U.S., until Pres. Carter cancelled the exports.

      But, without human caused global warming, there would have been be NO excess available U.S. or Canadian exports and the USSR AND Finland would have faced a much worse crisis than 1868.

      You are looking a gift horse in the mouth and saying not good enough.

    • 1) There’s actually a rather wide (but not full) agreement in Finland that even significant further warming (like 2 C warmer than present) is economically beneficial for Finland excluding all effects of changes elsewhere, which might reverse the effect as Finland is highly dependent on foreign trade.

      2) CO2 concentrations have already risen to 400 ppm and keep on rising. Thus comparing to a situation without any AGW is not relevant for long time. If it turns out in distant future that detrimental cooling is occurring, and if there are still fossil fuels left, a new assessment can be made on the best way of using them for benefit.

    • Ella

      Back in the 70’s I made a number of visits to Finland and what struck me were the vast birch forests and that so much of the population lived in large apartment blocks. This clustering together of the human population with very little urban sprawl at the time left lots of space for the vast afore mentioned birch forests.


    • Pekka

      Sorry, my iPad mysteriously turned your name into Ella. Sometimes it has a mind of its own


    • Tony,
      There are birch forests, but spruce and pine dominate.

      A major part of the birch forests grew as a the consequence of the old farming practice of slash-and-burn. All appropriate areas of Finland have been burned several times for that reason and birch grows rather well on many such areas. Without human intervention spruce takes gradually over most birch forests.

      A major part of the present Finnish forests are seeded or planted choosing the species based on its suitability for the local conditions and on the economic value of the growth.

    • Don Monfort

      Yes Pekka, a lot has changed in 150 years. Life is far less precarious in places like Finland, because of the fossil fueled Industrial Revolution. Our peeps of old had been hanging on by their fingernails through flood, famine, perpetual pestilence, ice ages etc. for millions of years. Now, the climate cognoscenti are hollering that the good life we have been enjoying for a brief moment is going to wipe us out. Revenue neutral carbon taxes and silly green energy subsidies will save us! etc. etc. etc.

    • Don Monfort

      Seriously, Pekka. This is a lie:

      “Climate scientists say they are 95 percent certain that human influence has been the dominant cause of global warming since 1950. They’re about as sure of this as they are that cigarette smoke causes cancer.”

      They have framed everything else they say about climate with a lie. The whole piece is just propaganda.

    • Of course it’s all a lie, because natural cycles control climate – not mankind.

      Standard physics tells us why carbon dioxide has no warming effect and water vapour has a significant cooling effect, because it reduces the thermal gradient and thus lowers the supporting temperature at the base of the troposphere.

      The Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube confirms what physics tells us, namely that the force of gravity produces a state wherein the maximum entropy (at thermodynamic equilibrium) has both a density gradient and a temperature gradient, because of the effect of gravity acting on molecules when they are in free path motion between collisions.

      Hence, since the whole greenhouse conjecture starts out from an assumption that the Second Law of Thermodynamics can be ignored and so (they think) isothermal conditions would apply if you removed all the “pollutants” like water gas, droplets and vapour, carbon dioxide and its colleagues from the atmosphere.

  78. Don Monfort

    OK Pekka, I agree. It’s not as bad as some of the other alarmist propaganda.

    • Don Monfort

      I agree with you also, blueice. It’s not ho, hum. It’s obscene.

    • blueice2hotsea

      Ok Don. And I agree with you and Pekka. It’s not as bad as some of the other alarmist propaganda.

    • Don Monfort

      I am gratified that we all agree now, blue. I try to be the peacemaker around here.

  79. Robert I Ellison misquoted me above and I think my reply is worth repeating here …

    (1) “The concept of an isolated system can serve as a useful model approximating many real-world situations. It is an acceptable idealization used in constructing mathematical models of certain natural phenomena …” We can treat an imaginary column of air in the troposphere of a planet as an “isolated system” in the sense commonly used in Kinetic Theory and thermodynamics..

    (2) “So we repair to other expressions of the 2nd law – the equivalent Kelvin or Clausius expressions:” Do you just? Take yourself back to the 19th century, do you, ignoring all the physics research since? If you wish to argue using the Clausius statement in a gravitational field then I reject your argument, outright, because you cannot then have any explanation as to how the required energy gets into the surface of Venus in order to raise its temperature 5 degrees.

    (3) . “Doug applies that to individual photons – i.e. a photon can not pass from a warmer body to a cooler.” Of course it can. Don’t misquote me, thanks! Read my peer-reviewed peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” published on several websites in March 2012, and easily found on P S I. That explains what physicists in the 21st century now realise what happens when photons pass from cold to hot objects.. It also explains why infra-red frequencies in sunlight penetrate into ocean thermoclines, whereas IR frequencies from a colder atmosphere don’t. And it explains why microwave ovens don’t heat those plastic bowls, but the Sun’s rays do, and why back radiation does not melt frost in the shade of a tree, but frost in sunlight does get melted.

    (4) “No one has misunderstood the 2nd law but Doug.” Well you’ve just proved you have, because you think what you started out explaining correctly can then somehow be whittled down to the old, outdated and restricted Clausius statement which relates to non-gravitational systems, or only in horizontal planes in gravitational systems. If you don’t understand why, then it is you, my friend, who doesn’t understand thermodynamic equilibrium. And if you disagree, then you have no explanation for the gravitationally induced thermal gradient in a Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube.

    And if you still think you do understand the Second Law, then explain how on Earth you could have two different states of maximum entropy – one for thermodynamic equilibrium and one for hydrostatic equilibrium..

    • dougie, dougie

      You would have been happier, if you had stayed on Venus. You can’t fool anybody, on this planet.

    • What colors do those Ranque-Hilsch vortex tubes come in, dougie? My wife recently broke my lava lamp. I think it was on purpose.

  80. “But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

    —Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

    An isothermal state in a gravitational field has unbalanced energy potentials, because mean gravitational potential energy per molecule increases with height (or altitude) and so it is not a state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Hence it is not the state towards which the Second Law of Thermodynamics states that a system like the troposphere will evolve.

    In other words, the reference [2] in the new text added in Wikipedia this week is wrong.

    [2] Bailyn, M. (1994), Section 71, pp. 254–256

  81. How it ought to read …

    Second law of thermodynamics

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    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.

  82. Robert I Ellison

    No misquoting at all Doug – in fact no quote. If you are going to make more silly assertions well …

    Climate is far from isolated as there are both inputs and outputs of energy. Within the climate system itself IR is emitted and absorbed from both atmosphere and surface in the relevant frequencies.

    Your made up physics are as silly as webby’s. Here’s how it actually works – including Venus.

    • Rupert Ellison has trouble discriminating good and bad science. So he teams up with his Aussie buddy Dug Coton to create ever more FUD. Nice teamwork by Team Denier, the down-under division.

    • Robert I Ellison

      webby are Doug are two sides of the same coin – fringe blogospheric nonsense that is divorced from any reasonable understanding of actual science.

  83. Your concept of entropy being “disorder” is discussed here, and I quote …

    “In actuality, as opposed to being in a state of complete disorder upon achieving maximum entropy, the universe has instead homogenized and become more uniform. In very simple terms, maximum entropy ≠ disorder, get it? It is on a basis similar to this that scientific educators have recognized that the disorder terminology, while simple and easy to comprehend, is an oversimplification at best, and a misleading false analogy at worst. As a result, disorder terminology has been largely phased out; most chemistry textbooks, for example, have removed (or at least heavily edited out) the disorder terminology.[2] Of utmost importance, entropy is an energetic phenomenon, and only tangentially has to do with the distribution of matter in a system.”

  84. (1) Pierrehumbert’s paper has many flaws easily rebutted. In any event, he does not discuss the issue I spoke about regarding how the necessary energy gets into the Venus surface to raise its temperature by 5 degrees. What’s your answer? You won’t be able to cite any explanation.

    (2) 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 that state there are no unbalanced energy potentials. So the increase in PE per molecule at the top must be balanced by a decrease in KE per molecule.

    Continued above here.

  85. You Robert I. Ellison need to study more carefully what I write and look up references such as what an isolated system is in physics. Otherwise you’ll never improve your understanding, which you might have done if you’d actually read ..

    “The concept of an isolated system can serve as a useful model approximating many real-world situations. It is an acceptable idealization used in constructing mathematical models of certain natural phenomena .. “ For example, if you imagine a 10Km diameter cylinder of air between Earth’s surface and the tropopause in calm conditions at night, then what happens with the infinitesimal proportion of molecules around its circumference is irrelevant and the cylinder of air is good enough to be considered an isolated system. It will develop a temperature gradient as sure as it develops a density gradient, as happens even in the 350Km high troposphere of Uranus which has no surface at its base, but is hotter than Earth’s surface down there.

    Now there are many issues which I have raised which you obviously cannot respond to with any valid physics yielding contrary results. You can start with explaining the warming of the Venus surface and the gravitationally-induced thermal gradient in a Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube. Remember, there are silent readers watching this debate.

    • Robert I Ellison

      There are hundreds of pages of detailed description of the physics of planetary climate in the link provided – including that of Venus and the other planets. Going back over correct physics – as far as this physics goes – is of no avail with people like you.

      You have so little idea of what an isolated system means or indeed of the
      way the 2nd law works that your contributions – always the same points – are merely another worthless exposition of confused science. Monomania masquerading as rational discourse. It will never be anything other than nonsense – and you may never be able to understand that. C’est la vie.

    • And in all those hundreds of pages there is just an assertive claim that back radiation from the cold Venus atmosphere warms the surface. Well it cannot raise the temperature of the surface (requiring a net energy input) because entropy would decrease if it could. Do you see how gullible you have been to be impressed by the sheer volume of hundreds of pages in a book? My peer-reviewed paper knocks Pierrehumbert for six, because radiation obeys the Second Law of Thermodynamics, just like all other natural processes. The Venus atmosphere cannot magnify the incoming energy from the Sun up to about 14,000 to 16,000 watts per square metre, as would be required. But the Sun is the only source of the new energy that is in fact getting into the Venus surface, not by radiation, but by non-radiative processes.

      You can’t make the gravito-thermal gradient go away, my friend, no matter how much you try to side step the issue.

      Why is there a huge temperature difference in the cross-section of the vortex tube? No other correspondence will be entered into until you discuss this obvious example of a gravitationally induced thermal gradient in a Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube, just like Roderich Graeff also found in over 850 meticulous experiments.

    • Robert I Ellison

      Your claims to peer review are utter nonsense – as is all the rest.

  86. You fail your exam R.I.E. because you could not explain the temperature difference of 250 degrees in the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube.

    The explanation of the vortex tube and the computations are here:

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics explains how a state of thermodynamic equilibrium evolves and has maximum entropy within the constraints of an isolated system. In a gravitational field (such as in Earth’s troposphere) thermodynamic equilibrium is also hydrostatic equilibrium because of the fact that each is the state of maximum entropy. When molecules are in free path motion between collisions, kinetic energy (KE) is interchanged with gravitational potential energy (PE). Temperature is based on the mean KE per molecule, as explained in Kinetic Theory. This means that gravity sets up both a density gradient and a temperature gradient. (The pressure is then a corollary, being proportional to the product of density and temperature, and it also has a Pressure-gradient force at hydrostatic equilibrium which is the same state of maximum entropy that is thus also thermodynamic equilibrium.)

    Now, by equating KE gain with PE loss, we deduce that the thermal gradient is the quotient of the acceleration due to the gravitational force and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases, as derived under lapse rate. For the vortex tube, the effective gravitational force is between about 10^6 and 10^7g, so let’s say 5 * 10^6. The approximate distance (internal radius) is about 5mm. The above quotient gives 9.8 * 5 * 10^6 degrees per kilometer, and that reduces to about 250 degrees in 5mm, as is observed according to the article. If a particular tube only generates 10^6g we would expect 50 degree temperature difference. So the hypothesis appears to be well supported by the data in this article.

    • Robert I Ellison

      You have failed long ago Doug. The lapse has a gravity component because it is related to the hydrostatic force. But a parcel of air at Earth temperatures will both absorb and radiate IR photons. More greenhouse gases means IR being absorbed and emitted in all directions. The surface will likewise absorb photons that are moving down from whatever source – Sun or air. This is a fundamental reality of atmospheric physics. One you are utterly convinced cannot be so. Thus there is a fundamental disconnect with reality.

      Repeating your ideas over and over doesn’t mean they get less wrong – or that you convince anyone at all – only more tedious.

    • Yep. Radiation is emitted at random in all accessible directions. Did I ever say otherwise in my paper Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics published over two years ago?

      Could we just have this understanding between us please: what is said in my papers, articles (like this) and my book is what I am saying. In general it is not what you appear to think I am saying and perhaps deliberately mislead silent readers into thinking is what I am saying. If you want to discuss the physics, fine.

  87. So here’s a brief review from someone who, unlike yourself R.I.E., understands thermodynamics …

    “Essential reading for an understanding of the basic physical processes which control planetary temperatures. Doug Cotton shows how simple thermodynamic physics implies that the gravitational field of a planet will establish a thermal gradient in its atmosphere. The thermal gradient, a basic property of a planet, can be used to determine the temperatures of its atmosphere, surface and sub-surface regions. The interesting concept of “heat creep” applied to diagrams of the thermal gradient is used to explain the effect of solar radiation on the temperature of a planet. The thermal gradient shows that the observed temperatures of the Earth are determined by natural processes and not by back radiation warming from greenhouse gases. Evidence is presented to show that greenhouse gases cool the Earth and do not warm it.”

    John Turner B.Sc.;Dip.Ed.;M.Ed.(Hons);Grad.Dip.Ed.Studies (retired physics educator)

  88. The above review gives a very brief outline which should be read in conjunction with the explanation (above it) of the gravitationally-induced thermal gradient in the vortex tube.

    The greenhouse conjecture assumes water vapour warms Earth’s surface by at least 25 degrees. That’s crap! And it’s so easy to prove with real world data that is doesn’t. You are backing a losing horse.

  89. Robert.

    My physics gives the right answers.

    You cannot explain the gravitationally induced thermal gradient in a vortex tube.

    You cannot explain how the extra energy gets into the Venus surface to raise its temperature with what has to be a net energy input. There cannot be a net energy input brought about by radiation from a colder atmosphere as that obviously would violate the Second Law.

    The Venus atmosphere cannot magnify the incident solar radiation at TOA up to 14,000 to 16,000 watts per square metre that would be needed if radiation were adding energy to the surface to raise its temperature 5 degrees during the Venus day.

    Oxygen and nitrogen molecules in Earth’s troposphere absorb thermal energy by conduction and diffusion processes. They do most of the slowing of surface cooling because there are 2,500 times as many of them as there are carbon dioxide molecules..

    I can explain why surface cooling slows right down and upward convection sometimes stops altogether in calm conditions in the early pre-dawn hours, even though the thermal gradient is still there.

    I can explain why hydrostatic equilibrium is the same as thermodynamic equilibrium, because there can be only one state of maximum entropy.

    Of the incident solar radiation entering Earth’s atmosphere, NASA net energy diagrams showed 19% absorbed on the way in compared with only 15% absorbed on the way back up from the surface. What does that tell you about how the atmosphere gets warmed? It’s like on Venus – more solar energy is absorbed on the way in.

    I can explain why real world data (which I will publish in an Appendix to my book) proves with statistical significance that water vapour cools. The IPCC wants you to believe that it warms by a staggering amount of the order of 10 degrees per 1% of moisture in the atmosphere. That’s simply not what it does, and only the most gullible of people would believe that to be the case.

    I can explain why planets are neither warming or cooling significantly.

    I can explain why the core of our Moon is kept hot by the Sun, as is the case for the cores of all planets and moons.

    I can explain the temperatures in the Uranus troposphere where there is no surface and no significant source of insolation or internal energy.

    I can explain all known and estimated temperature data above and below any surface on any planet or satellite moon. You can’t.

  90. Jim Cripwell

    You are of course right in saying “I am becoming more and more convinced that the warmists don’t understand basic Physics 101.”

    Below is a similar comment from my book …

    “We have already mentioned that the concept of “radiative forcing” referred to in IPCC documentation clearly does not function on other planets such as Venus, where even all the solar energy reaching the top of its atmosphere would be far less than would be required to maintain its surface temperature solely by radiation.

    “How have so many scientists been so misled by this conjecture that radiative forcing supposedly warms a planet’s surface well beyond any temperature that direct Solar radiation could achieve? Perhaps it is because of a growing mentality that all we need is a bit of First Year university physics to grab a formula and that, without understanding the limitations and prerequisites, we can just plug values into that formula and get right answers.

    “At the centre of all the pseudo “science” associated with the greenhouse conjecture is just such a misapplication of the Stefan Boltzmann Law (SBL) which relates to so-called blackbodies and the temperatures they can reach when subjected to a given flux of radiation.”

  91. Now for the physics R.I.E. in more detail …

    You wrote: “The surface will likewise absorb photons that are moving down from whatever source – Sun or air.”

    Well, referring to the 70% of the surface which is deep or fairly deep water and referring to radiation from cooler/colder air …

    Q.1: When you say “absorbs” do you mean that the electromagnetic energy in the radiation is converted to thermal energy which could subsequently be conducted elsewhere, or cause evaporation? YES / NO

    Q.2: What depth of this surface “absorbs” (in your undersatnding of the word) radiation from cooler air?

    (a) Only the first layer of molecules
    (b) Only the first million of so layers of molecules
    (c) Only the first 1cm of the water
    (c) Only the first meter of so of the water
    (d) Only the first 5 to 10 meters of so of the water
    (e) The whole ocean thermocline (as is the case for Solar radiation
    (f) If none of the above, then what happens?

  92. Can anyone else answer the questions which Robert I. Ellison (Chief Hydrologist) can’t?

    More will be explained here.