Open thread

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

Here are a few things from my twitter feed this past week:

An Explosion of Alternatives – Considering the Future of Science Journalism:

Why a new green pork blowout would do more harm than good

Caribbean Coral Reef Die-Off Not Caused By Climate Change After All

#IPCC Co-Chair Edenhofer calls for a clear distinction of roles: scientists as mapmakers, policymakers as navigators

@sciencemagazine announces a Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors to help vet appropriate use of stats in papers

John Holdren’s influence seen in Obama’s climate policies

National Geographic: Data deleted from UN climate report highlight controversies

Georgia shows the way on meeting climate regulations

New research shows staggering levels of volcanic CO2

Five weird and wonderful ways your dinner is adapting to climate change.

Malcolm Gladwell on Criticism, Tolerance, and Changing Your Mind

IPCC authors discuss how science meets politics in the latest report’s summary for policymakers

Bill Gates highlights @BjornLomborg ‘s argument: fossil fuels can fight poverty

From the IRI: Eight misconceptions about El Nino and La Nina

Scientific Confusion: The CO2 Mystery-Somewhere on earth..our carbon emissions is disappearing

234 responses to “Open thread

  1. I’ve bee reading about climate change and AGW and how the Earth is going to fry and die at some point in the future according to the doom merchants.
    But is not the most immediate problem that people face in both the developed nations and the developing ones access to water?
    At the moment the UK seems to be getting more than its fair share (I am just experiencing another major downpour), but I understand that, and someone can correct me if I’m wrong, that there are major water shortages in the USA, I know there is in Spain, Malta and I suspect most of the westernise Mediterranean countries, and that’s before we start to think about Africa, the Middle & Far East etc.
    Yet inordinate amounts of resource is put into Climate research in to something that may or may not be a problem, when not having water is well known and understood.
    Sorry that todays little rant for me.

  2. This should be interesting to everyone interested in climate:

    Advanced Green House Theory

  3. Bad Andrew

    Is the Global Warming phony scare over yet?


  4. John Holdren’s Influence Seen in Obama Policies –

    The article mentions the following – “Compulsory control of family size is an unpalatable idea, but the alternatives may be much more horrifying,” the book said. It continued, “A far better choice, in our view, is to expand the use of milder methods of influencing family size preferences, while redoubling efforts to ensure that the means of birth control, including abortion and sterilization, are accessible to every human being on Earth.”

    It is the “3rd rail” and only by grabbing it and holding tight do we have any chance of dealing with climate change impacts the rest of this century.

    Arguing about data network temperature and GCM accuracy is time and money that could be better spent on educating the world’s population about population impacts on this finite world we inhabit.

  5. I thought the “war on climate change” was a ludicrous notion, but lamer yet is the lunatic “climate justice.” I think part of the problem with the batty alarmists is they just can’t hear themselves.

  6. re – State Senator Brandon Smith of Kentucky on Overconfidence(?)

    How utterly precious to be so completely ignorant and clueless (and so overly overconfident in this cluelessness and ignorance) when making stupid pronouncements on a topic on which he has absolutely no knowledge or understanding. (Or perhaps he was only trying to make funny as a comedian.)

    For the record, the atmosphere on Mars, while roughly 1% as massive as that on Earth, is by composition about 96% CO2. Because of the low atmospheric pressure and the virtual absence of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere, the Martian greenhouse effect can keep the Martian surface temperature only about 9 degrees F warmer than the warming by absorbed solar radiation (compared to the 60 degrees F greenhouse effect on Earth).

    If that same column amount of Martian CO2 were to put into the Earth’s atmosphere (the atmospheric CO2 concentration would increase by about a factor of 50), the global-mean greenhouse effect of Earth would be increased by a further 40 degrees F.

    The present global-mean surface temperature of the Earth is about 60 degrees F. The existing life on Earth is not well prepared to cope with a global-mean surface temperature of 100 degrees F, thus making survival for most terrestrial species precarious if not impossible.

    That is why pretending that global warming does not exist, or that it is not a serious problem, is just plain stupid. The basic facts and physics of the global warming problem are all well understood. There is a recent paper of mine that shows just how atmospheric CO2 affects the global climate

    • In the linked abstract you claim:

      “The problem at hand is that human indistrial activity is causing atmospheric CO2 to increase by 2 ppm/yr, whereas the interglacial rate has been 0.005 ppm/yr”

      Where did you get that figure from? Even in the ice-core records which are averaged over long periods change rates ten or even a hundred times faster occur, and in stomatal index records they are the rule rather than an exception.

    • We should send Lenar Whitney and her mercury thermometer to Mars and Venus so she could check the temperature for herself:

      • Keeping in mind that on Mars, CO2 is a condensible gas, it does appear the poles are losing CO2 ice!! OMG! What’s next? Martian polar bears will become extinct!!!

        Evidence for recent climatic change
        Pits in south polar ice cap, MGS 1999, NASA

        There have been changes around the south pole (Planum Australe) over the past few Martian years. In 1999 the Mars Global Surveyor photographed pits in the layer of frozen carbon dioxide at the Martian south pole. Because of their striking shape and orientation these pits have become known as swiss cheese features. In 2001 the craft photographed the same pits again and found that they had grown larger, retreating about 3 meters in one Martian year.[90] These features are caused by the sublimation of the dry ice layer, thereby exposing the inert water ice layer. More recent observations indicate that the ice at Mars’ south pole is continuing to sublime.[91] The pits in the ice continue to grow by about 3 meters per Martian year. Malin states that conditions on Mars are not currently conducive to the formation of new ice. A NASA press release has suggested that this indicates a “climate change in progress”[92] on Mars. In a summary of observations with the Mars Orbiter Camera, researchers speculated that some dry ice may have been deposited between the Mariner 9 and the Mars Global Surveyor mission. Based on the current rate of loss, the deposits of today may be gone in a hundred years.[89]

        Elsewhere on the planet, low latitude areas have more water ice than they should have given current climatic conditions.[93] Mars Odyssey “is giving us indications of recent global climate change in Mars,” said Jeffrey Plaut, project scientist for the mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in non-peer reviewed published work in 2003.

    • Time For An Ob

      There are some that deny the radiative forcing of increased carbon dioxide.

      They do a dis-service because they allow those such as Lacis the opportunity to repeatedly immolate the straw man that CO2 leads to warming, without having to answer for the exaggerations and fear mongering, implicit or explicit, from those supporting ‘the cause’.

    • It don’t work that way. CO2 on Earth, long ago, was 7000 ppm and the temperature rightly did not follow. If you cannot explain the historic disconnect between Temperature and CO2, don’t try to scare us with modern Chicken Little stunts.

    • Two sayings your what ifs made me think of:
      The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
      If a frog had proper legs he wouldn’t bump his bottom hopping.

    • Past data does not support this Alarmism. There was high CO2 in the past and temperature did not go along with it. Look at Actual Data and throw away the Alarmist Model Output that has ALWAYS been wrong.

      If that same column amount of Martian CO2 were to put into the Earth’s atmosphere (the atmospheric CO2 concentration would increase by about a factor of 50), the global-mean greenhouse effect of Earth would be increased by a further 40 degrees F.

      The present global-mean surface temperature of the Earth is about 60 degrees F. The existing life on Earth is not well prepared to cope with a global-mean surface temperature of 100 degrees F, thus making survival for most terrestrial species precarious if not impossible.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Whenever I cast my ballot I understand that a lot of ignorant, crazy, etc people are voting with me. That is true when I vote for the Democratic candidate, and when I vote for the Republican candidate, other party candidates, and even (I expect) on the rare occasions when I write in a name.

      Andy Lacis: The basic facts and physics of the global warming problem are all well understood.

      Yes. It’s just the details of effects of changing CO2 that are not known, such as the possible increase in cloud cover (as well as other changes in the hydrologic cycle.); or the nature and duration of the “pause”; or the size of the errors entailed by the equilibrium assumptions.

      The basics and lots of details of nuclear fusion are also known, but all we can make are bombs, energy-consuming test devices, and energy-consuming medical isotope devices — a device that can reliable power a home refrigerator or tv has not been demonstrated yet. Knowing the basics is seldom sufficient to making successful technological innovations.

    • Don’t worry AL, we’ll all die well before CO2 hits 96% on Earth.

      • CO2 centred climate theory is like the marketing of a miracle non-stick cooking surface or a miracle fabric protector. It can all be demonstrated and certified beyond dispute…except for its real effects in real life in a real world.

        So much climate “science” is an attempt by outrageous complicators to simplify outrageously.

    • Very good points Dr. Lacis. Not completely falling on deaf ears here. Keep up the great work. Regarding the CO2 control knob, are you aware of this recent paper?

      • R.gates, Fig 1c in Gleckler et al clearly indicates that the heat anomoly of the ocean continues to persist 120+ years after the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. Those cooler waters have yet to be felt. How does this help produce the LIA?

    • Andy

      It’s good to see you back again.

      Judith has referenced a number of interesting items, I have picked this one

      It concerns the interesting facts that volcanoes are now thought to emit 600 million tons of co2 per year, up from An estimate of only 100 million tons per year in 1992

      It shows once again that our knowledge of the natural world is still very fragmentary.

      Some three years ago I was at a dinner at Cambridge university and was sat next to a volcanologist who said that the latest thinking was that there were 10000 times more underwater active volcanoes than previously believed.

      If co2 does stay around in the atmosphere for many centuries it would appear that the background emissions over the last millennia from this source alone is likely to have been considerably understated.

      I wonder if you had any thoughts on the likely contributions from sources, such as volcanos and soil which might mean that the carbon budget may need revising?


      • nottawa rafter

        I would like a reconciliation between statements that increased volcano activities contributed to the LIA and the findings of greater CO2 emissions by volcanoes. At first glance seems to be inconsistent. The underwater hydroventing with possible CO2 emissions is intriguing, especially with so little known about the magnitude of the activities.

      • Nottawarafter

        As I have posted here many times in response to Rgates, I can see no evidence from contemporary observations that the climate changed Significantly according to known volcanic emissions. For example there was a massive volcanic eruption in 1257 which was claimed to have a multi decadal effect on climate and helped to precipitate the LIA

        The problem is that the climate had already turned down several years before 1257 and returned to normal within a year.

        That the volcanic emissions seems to have been wildly understated in the past seems to suggest that they have little impact


      • nottawa rafter

        As recently as today on Jo Nova, Gates was attributing volcanoes for the LIA. Beliefs die hard I guess.

        My hope is that some research is done on hydrovents in the oceans for assessing not only heat but the CO2 emissions.

      • nottawa rafter

        I have tried to get Gates to admit there are no data about ocean heat trends before 1950 and whatever trends may exist now does not demonstrate that the same or greater heating was not happening before 1950.

      • Until it became necessary to find explanations for things lacking explanation (eg past climate and its many evolutions) most thought there was a short term climatic effect from volcanism and no very long term effect.

        It would still be better and safer to know more about such events as the Laki eruption (especially) to prepare for serious short-term effects on aviation, agriculture etc. (Think Eyjafjallajökull 2010 and multiply many times over, think stupendous tonnage of hydrogen fluoride and sulphur dioxide.) Instead, we ignore the reality to promote a fantasy about past climate – while directing climate billions you-know-where.

        Selective ignorance and wild extrapolation are about as useful as solar panels after a dirty basaltic eruption on the scale of Laki-Grímsvötn. It wasn’t so long ago, and something that severe is due every few centuries. It won’t change the climate for long, but we’ll certainly wish it away.

        Instead of using volcanism as a facile explanation for the LIA it might be a good idea to know more and prepare more. But where’s a climate dollar when you actually need it?

      • Tony et al,

        Aerosols from large volcanoes seem to affect the climate far longer than just a year or two:

        And understanding how this can come about is a key to understanding how the rapid increase in volcanic activity during the period of 1200-1300 really set the stage or was a doorway for the LIA. We must keep in mind that during the MWP, there was very little global volcanic activity as evidenced in volcanic dust samples from ice cores taken in both Greenland and Antarctica. As I’ve pointed out to Tony before, it was not just the mega-volcano of 1257 that was the source of cooling, but a very active global period of volcanism from about 1225-1275 (again, evidenced in ice cores) that pumped more aerosols into the atmosphere than had been seen for the previous 500 years. Not only were there immediate effects on tropospheric temperatures, but the more important effects were in ocean heat content and sea ice (as the first article above gives a good dynamic explanation for).

        So, if you believe the research referenced in both articles above, then then mega-volcano of 1257 (much much larger than Krakatoa by the way), could have still been having some lingering effects on ocean heat content and sea ice extent when the even larger volcano of 1453 erupted. Together, these two volcanoes were by far the largest in the past 1,000 years.

        Finally,as I’ve also stated many times, I think there is reasonable cause to believe that the Maunder and Dalton minimums in solar output certainly played a role in LIA weather, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, as there are very legitimate reasons why solar output might affect the jet stream positions and cause more cooling in the NH (especially over N. Europe and N. America) than it does globally. Especially in regards to the Dalton minimum, it is in some regards unfortunate that it coincided with a burst of volcanic activity (, as it is harder to identify solar versus volcanic aerosol effects. And even though the “year without a summer” was definitely related to Tambora during this period, we must not forget then the longer term effects on ocean heat content.

        I’m am not quite sure why so many “skeptics” are opposed to thinking that volcanoes could have played a role in the LIA cooling. More and more solid evidence points towards it, there is solid science behind it, and this evidence comes from multiple sources.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: I’m am not quite sure why so many “skeptics” are opposed to thinking that volcanoes could have played a role in the LIA cooling.

        Who opposes thinking that volcanoes could have played a role in the LIA cooling? The “opposition” (if that is the correct set of words) is to the conclusion that volcanoes actually did play more than a minor role.

      • Matthew,

        Tony believes that the big volcano of 1257 or 1453 only affected the climate for a year or two, despite the fact that the thermal inertia of the ocean is far greater than the atmosphere, and such big dent in the solar input to the ocean would linger for decades at least, as the article on Krakatoa speaks to. Having the two largest volcanoes (1257 and 1453) in the past 1500 years so close to each other with the large impact on ocean heat content and sea ice that they would each have is a very plausible mechanism for at least part of the LIA cooling. For some reason, Tony is completely against this notion.

      • Rgates
        As regards the 1453 volcano I think I have said to you that I hold no position on it because as yet I have not researched that period in any great depth.

        As regards the 1257 volcano and those a few decades later cited by giff miller as precitating the LIA I would repeat that I can see no observational evidence from several parallel sets of observations and crop records.

        The evidence from these sources is prior cooling for some years before the event, then a recovery soon after the large volcanos cited.

        Until I see evidence to the contrary I prefer observations over models. That is not to say I don’t read and appreciate your links to papers on the subject just that they are not convincing compared to accounts from those actually there at the time.


      • Tony,

        One thing that you seem to be stuck on (as many others are as well) is thinking that tropospheric conditions are the best proxy for what is going on in the climate system overall. Ocean heat content is a far better proxy as it is so much larger in terms of energy and has a much higher thermal inertia. I know you seem reluctant to think the ocean calls the shots overall in terms of climate, but it simply is a matter of physics. As goes the ocean, so goes the climate. Related to that, the largest single energy pool in the global ocean is of course the Indo Pacific Warm Pool. Here’s a reconstruction of the past thousand or so years in this pool. I’ve circled the point in time that the 1257 and 1453 volcanoes went off, so you can note how the IPWP cooled rapidly at these two points in time. The effects of these two large volcanoes lingered in the IPWP for quite some time.

        Now i know you somehow think that the CET is the best metric we have for historic global climate, and though it might have some proxy value, the IPWP would be far better.l

      • Rgates

        I am very well aware of the importance of the ocean. However you are arguing against yourself here as the warmth or coolness of your graph does not always translate into a land temperature, which after all is where we live.

        . If you fear the oceans warming in the modern era because of the effect that will have on the land temperatures there does not seem to be much evidence for that in the graph you post. Btw thanks for taking the trouble to circle the dates in question.

        What proxies have been used in order to derive the temperatures shown in the graph?


      • Seems that Andy’s response to “Yes, but volcanoes” was misplaced:

      • Tony,

        Source for IPWP graph:

        Again, the IPWP is a far better global proxy for both tropospheric sensible heat (temperature) and net energy in the global climate system then is the CET record, as explained in the article referenced above.

      • Willard

        Thanks for tying together Andies answer to this on the other thread


      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: For some reason, Tony is completely against this notion.

        I think it is fairer to Tonyb to say that he considers the notion seriously and finds on the whole that the evidence doesn’t provide much support.

    • David Springer

      Andy the surface temperature over the open ocean doesn’t get over 30C. That’s because warmer water makes more clouds and the negative feedback from them stops further warming. Get a clue.

      • Where’s the math? I am sure you can supply the math, right?

      • WHT – It’s in the data. THE DATA! OK?

      • Where does this weird 30 claim come from that i see Springer and others trot every now and then??

      • I think it is from Willis Eschenbach.

      • Michael – papers (actual peer reviewed ones) have been written on this. There are some links to papers here:

      • David Springer

        Check ARGO data Webby. I’d get a Nobel for the first theory of clouds if I had the math. It’s an empirical observation.

      • Yes, 30C will be the limit until it is no longer the limit.

        That’s the way it usually pans out.

      • David Springer

        Is that how you do science now, Webby? Panning? That explains a lot about how your formulate explanations, actually.

        The way it’s supposed to be done is you take an observation, like the fact that something odd happens very close to 30C sea surface temperature such that frequency of that observed temperature is very high then at 31C frequency drops like a lead sinker and hardly any observations ever top it.

        This is where the math and science comes into play. Explain why we observe the phenomenon I just described. May the best explanation win. I’m going with that being an equilibrium point where solar heating of the ocean cannot rise further because evaporation and cloud formation reaches a point where shade from the clouds stops any further ocean heating. Classic negative feedback thermostatic control. Classic.

      • Webster, “Yes, 30C will be the limit until it is no longer the limit.”

        What is going to cause it to change?

        While you are at it, will the 4 C thermocline temperature change?

      • David Springer

        An open ocean limit temperature is observed at 30C. The math burden is on you to show how the observed limit may be exceeded.

        While you’re at it show the math for why cloud cover is ~70% of the globe vs. say 50% or 90%.

        And the math explaining why, with a practically infinite amount of water for evaporation there has never in the earth’s history been a runaway greenhouse caused by water vapor.

        Thanks in advance.

      • What is going to cause it to change?

        If we had 10X as much CO2 in the atmosphere than we do now it will increase. Anything in between means that it will change proportionally less.

        I like how we we have to talk to these deniers as if they knew zilch.

      • It would interesting to know if the GCMs use any 30 C sea surface temperature limit? If they did, the models would exhibit in a limited way, emergent behavior.

      • webster, “If we had 10X as much CO2 in the atmosphere than we do now it will increase. Anything in between means that it will change proportionally less.”

        Possibly 10X but a lot more than 2X is probably required.

      • Ragnaar, “It would interesting to know if the GCMs use any 30 C sea surface temperature limit? If they did, the models would exhibit in a limited way, emergent behavior.”

        One paper that used actual ENSO region surface temperatures got very different results and more variability. That could be a good post topic.

      • More on the 30 C limit with hockey stick scatter plots:
        I am reminded of my search for regime change scatter plots that found none until now. The handle of the stick is one regime, and the blade the the other.
        I have to admit, Eschenbach has hit a few out of the park.

      • captdallas:
        I recall that one:
        I don’t know if a typical GCM can get sea surfaces temperatures greater than 30 C?

      • And the math explaining why, with a practically infinite amount of water for evaporation there has never in the earth’s history been a runaway greenhouse caused by water vapor.

        I like to do atmospheric sciences homework problems. This is the solution I worked out:
        It reaches a stable state depending on the amount of CO2.

        Next question?

      • Possibly 10X but a lot more than 2X is probably required.

        Why do you say that? Is it because you like pulling things out of your ….

      • ragnaar, according to A. Lacis for the 4C upper end atmospheric water vapor would increase by about 30%. That should require about 26Wm-2 of “surface” evaporative cooling which would offset quite a bit of “surface” warming if you remember the Kimoto paper. Kind of a catch 22 situation for the alarm team.

      • I have to admit, Eschenbach has hit a few out of the park.

        Not really. What would you know anyways? I think you admitted to being an accountant. Are accountants that swayed by fast typers?

      • WebHubTelescope’s above link:
        “This post describes an interesting derivation that ties together the climate sensitivity of CO2 and water vapor along with the 33° C discrepancy between the no-GHG earth and our current average global temperature.”
        I think was have something here. Sea water freezes at -2.0 C. There is an apparent 30 C sea water upper limit. A difference of 32.0 C. Is the fact that the difference matches the greenhouse effect of 33.0 C give or take 1.0 C a coincidence?

      • webster, “Why do you say that? Is it because you like pulling things out of your ….”

        I believe that you mentioned that the lapse rate is virtually “fixed”. So CO2 wouldn’t have much impact on deep convection. There would actually be an increase in deep convection with an increase in lower density water vapor in the atmosphere. You would need enough CO2 radiative forcing to greatly reduce poleward advection.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: I went to your link and got this: From the differential Clausius-Clapeyron

        with the standard dT for CO2 doubling given by Lacis [1] of 1.23°C. Then dC/C = 0.072 at T=289°K, which gives a sensitivity

        for the water vapor rise carried along by the CO2 doubling.
        To get to the 3.0° C value we add together 1.23° C from CO2, 1.05° from H20, and approximately 0.7° C from other GHGs (see The NOAA Annual Greenhouse Gas Index) and albedo positive feedbacks.

        Why the assumption of a positive feedback from albedo changes? Surely with more water vapor rising to the clouds each day there would be more clouds, decreasing albedo? It has been observed that hotter weather produces more cloud cover, on average, than colder weather.

        The C-C relationship has dubious applicability to the summer thunderclouds and thundershowers that occur all over the world; when exactly is the weather “stable”?

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Not really. What would you know anyways? I think you admitted to being an accountant. Are accountants that swayed by fast typers?

        Willis Eschenbach’s analyses show more cloud cover in hotter weather, overall. That may account for the seeming max temp of 30C over water. Has somebody shown his empirical analyses to be wrong?

      • Going off on my own tangent here, during a glacial the sea surface temperatures are going to less often run into a 30 C limit. Meaning less clouds and more solar uptake when it is needed.

      • David Springer

        At the beginning of each interglacial, according to ice core proxies going back half a dozen cycles, temperature shoots up like a rocket then hits a ceiling temperature that is almost the same temperature on each cycle. That temperature is never again reached until the beginning the next interglacial. I believe that as the melt progresses SST reaches a certain point where max cloud cover is attained and that stops any further melting. The atmosphere, now moist, then begins to generate a slight excess of snowfall each year and the glaciers gradually come back until the next tipping point is reached where a melt begins. CO2 plays little if any role is simply dragged higher and lower by changing ocean temperature allowing the ocean to hold more or less CO2 in solution.

      • Matthew Marler, there is a study or two by the GFLD discussing the Convective Triggering Potential over land based on soil moisture content. The rough average triggering temperature is 27.5 C at the atmospheric boundary layer. Give that the average land elevation is around 700 meters, the ocean “surface” would be a few degrees warmer. Amazing don’tcha know.

      • There is paleo evidence that the equator-pole gradient gets flatter in warmer climates. This is likely due to the lack of any ice albedo. The poles may warm ten times more than the equator.

      • The 30-31 C limit is evidence for the iris hypothesis. Pure and simple.

      • Jim D | July 5, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        There is paleo evidence that the equator-pole gradient gets flatter in warmer climates.
        However it seems the jet stream slows down while gaining amplitude or reach Southward from the North pole. To me this seems consistent with equator to pole heat transport.

      • Sea surface temperatures regularly exceed 30 deg C; as for example today 6 July 2014 it is 33.2 deg C at Port Mansfield, Tx; 32.7 deg C at Galveston, Tx — both in the Gulf of Mexico. Water is warmer still around the South China Sea and nearby areas. see and

      • David Springer

        *Open* ocean, Roger. Read harder. Gulf ports aren’t open ocean.

      • Ragnaar, more meandering of the jet stream is consistent with a weaker gradient. The strength of the mean jet stream is proportional to the gradient. More meandering also means more stationary (known as blocking) situations, long cold winter or hot summer spells.

      • Argo temperature plot form Eschenbach

        Seems during the NH Summer, you are going to get most of the high outliers.

      • Jim D:
        Tsonis et al 2007,
        “One of the most important and mysterious events in recent climate history is the climate shift in the mid-1970s. In the northern hemisphere 500-hPa atmospheric flow the shift manifested itself as a collapse of a persistent wave-3 anomaly pattern and the emergence of a strong wave-2 pattern.”
        I think it was Jennifer Francis who indicated we are now at something like a wave-3 anomaly pattern. My interpretation being at about the time of the 2001 climate shift:

        Another guess of mine is that a strong wave-2 anomaly pattern segregates the equator from the North Pole as far as heat transport goes. I may have rose colored glasses on, but as Tsonis indicated above, it looks like a regime change.
        And I think it was

      • Is the fact that the difference matches the greenhouse effect of 33.0 C give or take 1.0 C a coincidence?

        Coincidences are not science.

      • David Springer | July 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        “An open ocean limit temperature is observed at 30C. The math burden is on you to show how the observed limit may be exceeded.”

        No maths required.

        Just obs- in northen Australia we regularly see sst’s of 31 deg C in the summer.

        So what’s with the 30C thing????

      • David Springer

        There are exceptions to every rule. Open ocean rarely exceeds 30C. There’s plenty of solar power to raise it much higher. In fact in a few rare instances ARGO finds temperatures as high as 35C which in fact is the record high mean annual land surface temperature. There isn’t enough mean annual solar power at the equator to get any higher.

        It’s often revealing to run these temperatures through a blackbody calculator and compare the power required to reach that temperature at equilibrium to the solar constant.

        35C = 511W/m2

        After atmospheric losses that’s the average daily insolation at the equatorial surface for cloudless sky. Daily max at high noon is about 1000W/m2 which is a rule of thumb for solar power collection. Ocean has too much thermal inertia to have much diurnal temperature variation.

        This is simple enough that even you should be able to understand.

        Therefore when we talk about global warming from greenhouse gases we are talking about tropics remaining the same temperature and temperature rise increasing more and more towards the poles where the sea surface limit is not regularly obtained. In the distant past the poles have been warm enough to support temperate forests. If there were an unlimited supply of fossil fuel to burn AGW would lead to a greening of the earth from pole to pole and, due to atmospheric fertilization by CO2, it would be uber-green. Given green plants are the primary producers in the food chain this would behoove everything higher up on it. So if you’re really concerned about the earth supporting as much life as possible then drill baby drill.

      • Jim D, if more meandering of the jet stream is consistent with a weaker gradient, then we should expect to see huge seasonal differences – far larger than that caused by the relatively tiny long-term gradient changes.

      • So look at how 30 C is no longer the limit. That took a few hours, just like I said.

      • Well that was interesting’.

        This is where we started;
        “Andy the surface temperature over the open ocean doesn’t get over 30C. ….. Get a clue.” – David Springer

        “An open ocean limit temperature is observed at 30C. The math burden is on you to show how the observed limit may be exceeded.” – Springer

        Not too hard, given that observations already tell us that the “observed limit” is exceeded.

        Which drew this;

        “There are exceptions to every rule. Open ocean rarely exceeds 30C” – Springer.

        “doesn’t” goes to “rarely”. Progress.

        But then,

        “ARGO finds temperatures as high as 35C ” – Springer.

        Thankfully, Springer reassures me that ,”This is simple enough that even you should be able to understand” .

        OK then.

        Kudos to WHT for picking it very early on;
        “Yes, 30C will be the limit until it is no longer the limit. That’s the way it usually pans out.”

      • Roger Sowell | July 5, 2014 at 9:44 pm |

        Sea surface temperatures regularly exceed 30 deg C; as for example today 6 July 2014 it is 33.2 deg C at Port Mansfield, Tx; 32.7 deg C at Galveston, Tx — both in the Gulf of Mexico
        Roger – the papers discuss the tropics – that’s where the iris effect lives.

      • David Springer

        Dingbats Michael and Paul say: “Nothing to see here at 30C folks. Move along now.”


        You two clowns don’t have an honest bone in your bodies, do you?

      • Matthew R Marler

        MRM: more clouds, decreasing albedo?

        oops. Obviously more clouds would increase albedo.

      • phatboy, “if more meandering of the jet stream is consistent with a weaker gradient, then we should expect to see huge seasonal differences”. Yes, last winter in the north-east US had exceptionally long-lasting cold conditions as a result of Arctic air not only more freely moving south, but the pattern becoming quite stationary. This was an effect that a weak jet-stream might produce.

      • Jim D, no, that’s not what I meant.
        If, as you say, the jet stream gets stronger with an increasing equator-pole gradient, then it should be far stronger in winter than in summer, as the gradient is far greater in winter.
        You’re now contradicting yourself by associating a weaker jet stream with winter conditions.

      • phatboy, no, it was weaker than the normal winter with more meandering than usual as a result. Usually the meandering periods are confined to spring and fall, but now it extended into the winter when the jet stream would normally be more straight keeping the really cold air to the north.

      • Jim D:

        More meandering also means more stationary (known as blocking) situations, long cold winter or hot summer spells.

        Jim D (a bit later):

        Usually the meandering periods are confined to spring and fall

        Do you not see the contradiction?

      • phatboy, sorry that you didn’t understand. Winter used to not meander, but this last one did. This was possibly from a weaker jet stream which was from a weaker pole-equator temperature gradient. This might happen more in future winters. Read what I said. It has been consistent.

      • Sorry, can’t help you more

      • Jim D | July 6, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        Yes, last winter in the north-east US had exceptionally long-lasting cold conditions as a result of Arctic air not only more freely moving south, but the pattern becoming quite stationary.

        When we were throwing pots of boiling water into the air, hey it’s Minnesota, I saw a weather map with the mid CONUS cold and both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans at latitude 45, warm. Looked like a slow meander. The chance of similar weather in the coming years, that is bouts of cold in Winter I think have increased for the time being.

        The winter of 2013-14 from December-February in the Twin Cities was the coldest Meteorological Winter in 35 years. The average winter temperature in the Twin Cities was be 9.7 degrees (F), or nine degrees below normal. – MN DNR

      • Actually, the reason that deep convection occurs in the tropics at a certain SST threshold is well-understood, and the fact that such a threshold will change in a warming climate is also well known. It’s all basic atmospheric convection stuff that Willis, David Springer, or several others just don’t know.

        It’s just tied to the fact that horizontal temperature gradients are weak in the tropics above the boundary layer. See Adam Sobel’s work on this.

      • “It’s all basic atmospheric convection stuff that Willis…”

        A 30 C SST limit is something I got from the WUWT site. This raises the question of who is hitting their target? He reached a certain target of readers with that post. If this limit is factual, he reached some skeptics with knowledge which ought to be helpful to the debate.

        I’ll agree that this limit will raise without really knowing exactly why, but the question would be in one year, or ten years, or twenty? Does it display resilience to change?

        And I’ll just throw an idea out there I’ve been thinking about. If the number is then 31 C ten years in the future, the GHG effect has now gained 1 degree. That new 1 degree would a greenhouse degree seemingly tied to the oceans.

      • Ragnaar,

        There is nothing magical about sea surface temperatures in kicking off deep convection. What matters is some measure of the buoyancy controlling where deep convection occurs (whether you like to think about entropy gradients, CAPE, etc). This is all atmospheric thermodynamics 101. Convection sets in when boundary layer air is buoyant with respect to the free troposphere.

        If we start with the simple picture that the free troposphere temperature is uniform throughout the tropics, then it is readily apparent that patterns of convective onset will follow patterns of high SST (and since upper-tropospheric warming is nearly uniform in the tropics, the gross moist instability is dominated by spatial variations in SST change). Thus, the observation that SSTs peak at some sharp value is simply an expectation of tropical dynamics, not evidence for an operational thermostat to forced warming.

      • David Springer | July 6, 2014 at 10:34 am |
        “Dingbats Michael and Paul …..You two clowns don’t have an honest bone in your bodies, do you?”


        Funny how this claim,
        “An open ocean limit temperature is observed at 30C”
        evaporated so quickly.

      • Perhaps the most important of these parameterization uncertainties is that due to moist convection. Dynamical upward transport by convection removes excess heat from the surface more efficiently than longwave radiation is able to accomplish in the presence of a humid, optically thick boundary layer, and deposits it in the upper troposphere where it is more easily radiated to space, thereby affecting the planetary energy balance. Drying and moistening of the atmosphere by convection regulates the vertical profile of atmospheric water vapor and thus determines how much is transported horizontally. Furthermore, convection influences where clouds form and dissipate, thus affecting the planetary albedo and potentially giving rise to cloud and water vapor feedbacks that determine the global climate sensitivity to anthropogenic forcing.

        Mapes et al. (2006) argue that moist convective variability can be understood in terms of three basic convective structures, or ‘‘building blocks’’ (Fig. 1). During suppressed conditions when the boundary layer is capped by a significant inversion and/or the free troposphere above is dry, shallow and midlevel-top (‘‘congestus’’) convective clouds that
        heat and moisten the lower troposphere are most common. As the atmosphere humidifies and destabilizes, deep convection is eventually triggered, heating the entire column, while shallow clouds continue to be present. Finally, under the right environmental conditions,
        individual deep convective cells organize into mesoscale clusters with extensive stratiform rain regions and anvils that primarily heat the upper troposphere through mesoscale updrafts and latent heating but cool the lower troposphere as falling rain evaporates.’

        It is evident that the transition to deep convection has significant energy implications for the planet.

      • Chris Colose | July 6, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        Thus, the observation that SSTs peak at some sharp value is simply an expectation of tropical dynamics, not evidence for an operational thermostat to forced warming.

        I am following what you said above, but stepping back from his apparent thermostat claim, what is it then? Atmospheric thermodynamics 101. His scatter plots: show a non-linear response, hockey sticks. But I don’t know if we could agree that the climate and daily weather often times show non-linear characteristics? And if we did, on what time scales?

        I am not claiming this sharp value is immune to the effects of added CO2, but it seems to be a negative feedback with some strength.

      • Chris Close, “Actually, the reason that deep convection occurs in the tropics at a certain SST threshold is well-understood, and the fact that such a threshold will change in a warming climate is also well known.”

        Like that well known tropical troposphere hot spot I presume?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Chris Colose: Actually, the reason that deep convection occurs in the tropics at a certain SST threshold is well-understood, and the fact that such a threshold will change in a warming climate is also well known.

        Where can I read about that well-understood reason and the fact that such a threshold will change in a warming climate. I am finding that some “well known” facts are conjectures derived from dubious assumptions.

        Notice the assumed “in a warming climate”, which actually assumes that which we do not yet know, namely that extra CO2 in the future will necessarily produce a warming climate in the future.

      • maksimovich

        Actually, the reason that deep convection occurs in the tropics at a certain SST threshold is well-understood,

        indeed a slight decrease in sst seems to be sufficient.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Chris Colose: If we start with the simple picture that the free troposphere temperature is uniform throughout the tropics, then it is readily apparent that patterns of convective onset will follow patterns of high SST (and since upper-tropospheric warming is nearly uniform in the tropics, the gross moist instability is dominated by spatial variations in SST change). Thus, the observation that SSTs peak at some sharp value is simply an expectation of tropical dynamics, not evidence for an operational thermostat to forced warming.

        The rate at which maximum insolation is approached in the daytime summer, and the rate at which maximum evaporation from the non-dry ground is approached, and the rate at which the surface and lower troposphere heat is carried by convection to the upper troposphere (thence to warmer upper troposphere air and higher rate of maximum radiation out to space), are what limit the near water surface temperature to about 30C. the evidence from empirical analyses of cloud data further show that the warmest surface temperatures produce the greatest subsequent cloud cover, further limiting the rate of radiant heat transfer. This non-equilibrium analysis is at least as compelling as any equilibrium based analysis, though incomplete.

        The “simple” picture that you started with is probably inadequate to address the effects of 3.7W/m^2 increased downwelling long wave infrared radiant energy on the hydrologic cycle, cloud cover, and potential change mean temperature.

        I bought two books that you recommended. If you have papers on these topics, give links or references, and I’ll read them.

      • Matthew R Marler

        maksimovich, I followed the link to this: Vertical mixing and coral death in the Red Sea following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo

        Amatzia Genin*, Boaz Lazar* & Stephen Brenner†

        * The H. Steinitz Marine Biology Laboratory, The Hebrew University, PO Box 469, Eilat, Israel
        † Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, PO Box 8030, Haifa, Israel

        THE eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines led to a cold air-temperature anomaly throughout the Middle East during the winter of 19921. Here we report that the vertical mixing in the Gulf of Eilat (Aqaba) that winter was unusually deep—extending to >850 m—resulting in increased supply of nutrients to surface waters, which fuelled extraordinarily large algal and phytoplank-ton blooms. By spring, a thick mat of filamentous algae covered broad sections of the underlying reef causing extensive coral death. Branching colonies and solitary mushroom corals were most severely affected. This sequence of events, in which a short-term atmospheric cooling leads to a remarkable ecological response, is made possible by the unusually weak water-column stratification of the Gulf of Eilat. The depth of local vertical mixing during winter is determined by the net heat loss across the seaá¤-air interface, so that anomalously cold winters drive the deeper mixing that can lead to increased phytoplankton blooms. Records of such events in fossil reefs may provide useful indicators of past variations in regional air temperatures.

        I can only read the abstract. My questions: (1) was the change in the vertical mixing predicted by the theory alluded to in the post by Chris Colose? (2) how does this address the question that: with insolation and vaporization dynamics as they are, is the 30C high temp limit a relatively well-fixed limit?

      • Ragnaar,

        I don’t dispute the data Willis shows (I’ll assume he downloaded and plotted it all correctly for the sake of discussion about mechanisms). But actually, it’s quite apparent from the plots that convection occurs at surface temperatures much lower than 30 C as well (in the extratropics and high latitudes) and the mechanisms forcing ascent in the tropics are different than in mid-latitudes (tropical and mid-latitude dynamics are often taught as entirely different courses or treated in different textbooks).

        But in the tropics, the free tropospheric temperature is quite uniform everywhere as a consequence of the smallness of the Coriolis parameter near the equator, which strongly constrains fluid dynamic processes. In a warming climate, the whole troposphere warms, not just the surface. So in order to force ascent, you’ll need to kick SSTs to higher values than before. This is all consistent with paleo-evidence for much higher tropical SSTs during ancient greenhouse climates. Johnson and Xie have provided some observational evidence of this (; this effect is borne out in all model studies looking at the problem (e.g., Dutton et al., 2000; and Sud et al 2008 ( and Williams et al. discuss some of the theory (

      • maksimovich

        Colose’s argument would not hold as the troposphere is clearly not symmetric ie it is affected by topography such as mountains etc in this case and the positive phase of the AO.

        As we can quickly suggest there is a problem (an inference to sign for example) ie ubiquity does not hold.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Chris Colose: I don’t dispute the data Willis shows (I’ll assume he downloaded and plotted it all correctly for the sake of discussion about mechanisms).

        What do you think of the possibility that the increased cloud cover at the higher temps (possibly caused by the higher temps) effectively prevents insolation from increasing to a rate that would produce temps higher than those observed?

      • Chris Colose | July 6, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
        Thank you for taking the time to reply. I see what you’re saying. Seems like there is not much lag as SST effects what’s above it in the tropics. They both slide in the same direction at the same time. The first linked found about a 0.1 C per decade rise over a 30 year period. Which I might interpret as stability but others may not.

        From the fourth Colose link above: “The results underscore that the typically skewed appearance of tropical SST histograms, with a sharp drop-off above some threshold value, should not be taken as evidence for tropical thermostats.” It seems others have gone down this path before Eschenbach.

    • Curious George

      Dear Mr. Lacis, I agree that we can model with a high degree of confidence an atmosphere of CO2 plus N2 plus O2. But add that horrible pollutant, H2O, and we are clueless. Too many combinations. Clouds. Or maybe you know how to handle them? Models that actually predict the next 5 years? Or the next 5 days?

    • Talk about clueless. I once heard of a guy who actually believed in the CO2-Control Knob Theory. Hmmm.

    • Dr. Lacis — Just a quick “thank you” for participating in this blog. That you take the time trying to help us understand this complex topic is greatly appreciated.

    • How utterly precious to be so clueless to posit a 96 % CO2 level for the earths atmosphere in the context of human activity.
      If that comment is supposed to be scientific from a scientist I
      am flabbergasted.
      Perhaps Dr Lacis could explain how many billion years and how many factories and cars and power plants running non stop not to mention where we could possibly find the fossil fuels to use to build it to that level.
      Yes it would be hard to live at 100 degrees. Can humans cause that sort of level to arise in any way shape or form, is a rant dressed up with a fig seed of science.
      Needless, thoughtless scaremongering, mate.

    • Time For An Ob

      I’m on board all the way until:

      “This is causing the global warming that threatens the global environment.”

      The problem with being well educated is believing one’s self to be above emotional motivation. But statements such as “threatens the global environment”, beyond being vague and not defended by observation, indicate an irrational dedication to something other than understanding.
      It is similar to the nonsensical advocacy that Hansen utters ( “half of all species will go extinct” or “death trains” ). Or the late Schneider – I hope I don’t have to lie, but if that’s what it takes.

      Being an advocate immediately makes one an hostile witness in the court of science.

      Yes the warming we observe is consistent with RF theory.
      So we know to what extent by observation.
      And the rate of warming ( around 1.4 K per century ) is small.

      It is small compared to diurnal range.
      It is small, on a local basis, compared to annual range.
      It is small compared to synoptic variation ( that’s cold fronts for the non-meteorological ).
      And it is small compared to orbital variance.

      The Holocene Climatic Optimum experienced much sunnier northern summers ( and of course, darker northern winters ). This will recur as the good doctor knows. We do not reflect back on the HCO as a period of “threatened global environment”. It was, of course, a period of advancement for human civilization.

      Stick to radiative physics, but don’t peddle unfounded, imagined doom.

    • Andy,

      Have the last ten years made you revise your views at all? If not, why not? Do you think the heat is hiding in the deep oceans? Do you think the 60 year climate cycle may cause the Arctic to recover to some extent now? What is your median estimate of TCS? Do you think (as I do) that the ECS may not be reached for thousands of years? Especially if the heat is mixed into the deep oceans I would think.


  7. Prof. Curry should enjoy this.
    Scientists as Prophets: A Rhetorical Genealogy
    Introduction and important concepts to be covered in the discussion:
    Link to full podcast:

    At several points during the discussion the topic of climate change, scientists and the use of rhetoric were covered in depth.

    * Thanks to Willard for alerting me to this website
    Jack Smith AKA Sparrow

  8. Most of the people on the different sides of the climate debate are spending time and/or Money on more and more research that deals with CO2. CO2 is about 400 parts per million. Manmade CO2 is about 100 parts per million. That means that these people are spending a huge amount of time and/or money on almost nothing.

    Water is abundant. Study Water, in all its phases. Study the Polar Ice Cycles. Study the data of the past ten thousand years. Study the data of the past million years. Study the data of the last 600 million years.

    All the answers we need are in the past data.

    CO2 is a trace gas. Manmade CO2 is a fraction of that trace.

    You cannot control the Temperature and Sea Level of a Massive System with a fraction of a trace of anything.

    • AGW skeptics have so much enjoyed winning the battle they lost sight of the goal – to win the war and restore integrity to government science.

  9. Fossil Fuel Review.

    There are now 422 fracking bans in the USA and more are being proposed everyday.
    Apache Corporation is successfully testing a process that could eliminate the earthquake danger from fracking.
    Political and legal battles over fracking are heating up in a number of states including Colorado.
    Fracking will be a major issue in this year’s political campaigns in a number of states.

    Future long-term energy demand is set to grow substantially, thanks to emerging economies.
    Seasonal short-term demand effect: US vehicle miles are on the rise, driving US gasoline prices higher.
    Short-term risks: While oil production in troubled Libya, Syria, Nigeria is already suffering, Iraq is the big risk now (today the 2nd-largest OPEC producer).
    The Oil & Gas sector (Integrated, Exploration/Production, Services, Infrastructure e.g. MLPs, LNG shipping) continues to outperform stock market.
    The Powershares DB Commodity Index ETF (50% in oil-related commodities) is a cheaper hedge over time than the VIX.

    The headaches in North Dakota continue for the drillers up there, namely EOG Resources (EOG), Continental Resources (CLR), Exxon Mobil (XOM), and Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG). Residents and some regulators in the state are upset that the industry continues to flare a good portion of the natural gas from the wells they drill instead of collecting and processing that production. Having followed the industry for years, we recognize the issues, which are preventing a large buildout of infrastructure, which could alleviate the need to be wasteful of a nonrenewable resource.

    There are numerous parties at fault here, from the companies themselves, to regulators and even agencies of the federal government. New laws are helping to get the newest wells connected to infrastructure, which can transport the natural gas production to processing facilities but it will take years to get the needed collection/gathering systems and midstream assets in place to fully correct the problem.

    • The relatively obscure fuel source, derived from the light, sweet oil being that’s churned out domestically, is used mainly by chemical companies and refiners. Condensates were thrust into the spotlight this week, after the U.S. granted approval to two companies to export limited quantities of condensates

      At this point, analysts say the Commerce Department’s authorization to ship the light, gassy fuel abroad is more symbolic than substantive. However, the move is being interpreted by some as a sign that a lifting of the domestic ban on most oil exports is less a question of if than when.

      BH: We sure do. I’m not quite sure about energy independence, but we are certainly making inroads in that direction. Within our portfolio, we are investing heavily in the shales through upstream oil and gas companies, oil services companies and equipment companies. Shale is transformational; it is really changing the energy landscape. Almost overnight, companies are developing resources that are long-lived and repeatable. Remember, only five years ago we were talking about peak oil. Now, we’re producing roughly 8.4 million barrels per day [8.4 MMbbl/d]. That’s the highest we’ve seen since the mid-’80s. It is a trend that is going to continue.

      At present, the Permian Basin is developing just as the Bakken and the Eagle Ford did a few years ago. The Delaware Basin, in particular, could be larger than what we’ve seen in the Bakken and Eagle Ford combined. It looks like we will be able to unlock millions of barrels of reserves, and increase production from that historic base. The Delaware is a very exciting example of how technology, innovation and investment have changed the conversation over the last five or six years.

    • From the article:
      The U.S. will remain the world’s biggest oil producer this year after overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia as extraction of energy from shale rock spurs the nation’s economic recovery, Bank of America Corp. said.

      U.S. production of crude oil, along with liquids separated from natural gas, surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels in the first quarter, the bank said in a report today. The country became the world’s largest natural gas producer in 2010. The International Energy Agency said in June that the U.S. was the biggest producer of oil and natural gas liquids.

      “The U.S. increase in supply is a very meaningful chunk of oil,” Francisco Blanch, the bank’s head of commodities research, said by phone from New York. “The shale boom is playing a key role in the U.S. recovery. If the U.S. didn’t have this energy supply, prices at the pump would be completely unaffordable.”

      Oil extraction is soaring at shale formations in Texas and North Dakota as companies split rocks using high-pressure liquid, a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The surge in supply combined with restrictions on exporting crude is curbing the price of West Texas Intermediate, America’s oil benchmark. The U.S., the world’s largest oil consumer, still imported an average of 7.5 million barrels a day of crude in April, according to the Department of Energy’s statistical arm.

    • From the article:
      A “very small number” of disposal wells are behind a swarm of earthquakes that have plagued Oklahoma since 2009, and embroiled fracking in a new controversy, according to a study released on Thursday.

      In new research conducted by geologists from Cornell University, the University of Colorado and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the surge in Oklahoma’s tremors may be linked to “a small number of exceedingly high-rate” wastewater injection wells. These repositories are the primary method of dumping water used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and are seen by scientists as a force multiplier behind an exponential increase in quakes across the country.

      The study used geological models to show how migration of wastewater from key wells in the state may be the culprit behind the largest swarm of earthquakes.

  10. How much money would it take to convince some professional alarmist to take part in a debate? If we could get 1000 skeptics put up 100 bucks each, would that do it? How about 2000 skeptics. Bill Mckibben versus Mark Steyn? How sweet would that be? I like the idea of non-scientists. Think it would be more entertaining.

    My father used to call such things “pipe dreams.”.

    • Bill Nye has been doing some debating on climate, lately. Since he wrote the forward to the new paperback version of Michael Mann’s The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, it will be interesting to hear what he has to say on the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial.

    • PG – I’m a little late here, but hopefully you will see this. Bill McKibben debated Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress. While the debate was based on the benefits of fossil fuels (Epstein) vs. the evilsps (McKibben), the subject of cclimate change was unavoidable.

  11. Jakehearts the accountant

    Dr. Curry,
    You’ve listed some great topics for discussion. As a layman trying to research the vast domain and subsets of climate science, I would love to see this question answered.:

    What present asssertions /conclusions rpertaining to climate science has been actually observed or are a result of interpreting climate models?
    Examples I can think of is heat transport to the deep oceans and the growth of omega blocking patterns in the weather due to AGW.

    Thank you.

  12. Commenting on one of the Twitter links. Is John Holdren really the best physicist ever? What has he done that’s so great?

  13. The volcanic CO2 article is interesting. Looks like we don’t really have a lot of data on the black smokers’ CO2 output.

  14. An excellent and appropriate place for the Monckton to be interviewed. Like follows like…

    • Does that apply to those who follow your comments?

    • It is a shame they removed the Alex Jones interview with Monckton because it is a textbook example of the conspiracy ideation that Lewandowsky was talking about, and that the skeptics have denied is present in a large part of their following.

      • From that video, Monckton reveals to Alex Jones how he singlehandedly stopped the last attempt at world government at the Rio conference with the aid of a Youtube video. Fabulous stuff.

      • Jimd

        Sounds interesting. Is there any other link or transcript available?

        Lord M certainly does not talk for me.


      • Tonyb, I couldn’t find the exact 35 minute one, but searching for Alex Jones Monckton gives a lot of 2+ hour videos. The 35 minute one must have been a greatest hits compilation. It seemed post July 4th from some context.

      • Tonyb
        Did you make a comment that Max is off line?

        I assume you mean Max Mannaker in Switzerland?

      • Scott

        Not sure which comment (if any) of Tony’s you are referring to, but sadly, Max Manaker of Switzerland died about a month ago.

        He is much missed by readers of the blogs he commented on.

      • This is interesting too.

      • David Springer

        No, it really isn’t at all interesting.

      • David Springer

        No, it isn’t interesting.

      • The fact and the thing about climate change is that it is an excuse for doing nothing. You know if it’s all those goddamn gringos in the north that made things bad, then I don’t have to do my job.”

        – See more at:

      • “What [Jeremy] Jackson hopefully realizes is that with just a fraction of the money that is spent on the bogus problem of climate, it would likely be enough to solve all the Caribbean coral reef problems.” – P Gosselin

      • > Coal Rollers” are diesel trucks modified with chimneys and equipment that can force extra fuel into the engine causing dark black smoke to pour out of the chimney stacks. These modifications are not new, but as Slate’s Dave Weigel pointed out on Thursday, “rolling coal” has begun to take on a political dimension with pickup drivers increasingly viewing their smokestacks as a form of protest […]

      • Cool. Liberals going half-track. What race you in.

      • It a time when wearing a flag on your arse is protected freedom of speech, purposefully belching out black smoke to protest the hypocrisy of Leftist and liberal Utopian political correctness is fighting for the right to be free of state-sponsored religion.

      • OK, here it is. Alex Jones and Monckton, the short version (30 min).

      • OK, it was Copenhagen where he foiled the plot, not Rio.

      • Apart from world government, which will come up again as the main topic for Paris according to him, his other main thesis is that Obama is going after coal, and using climate change as a made-up excuse to do that, because they are the main funders of the Republicans, so by shutting them down (over a few decades) they won’t be able to fund the Republicans anymore. Seems in the meantime they would fund the Republicans even more, so this doesn’t add up. I think Alex Jones fell for it.

      • Time For An Ob

        A little goofy because a lot of coal producing states are blue or toss-ups ( Illinois, Pennsylvania, West Virginia ).

        A lot of coal using states are blue as well.

        Like any good political move, the rules don’t take effect until after O is out of office.

        Probably doesn’t matter all that much – natural gas is waging a lot bigger war on coal than the government can.

        But the irony that D.C. is power by one of the oldest and dirtiest coal plants is a little much.

      • Walt Allensworth

        Trouble is … coal/oil is the main funder of alternate energy schemes. Eliminating one eliminates the other.

      • Jim D. I’m not impressed with your standard of proof. On second thought, that begins to make some of your statements make more sense.

    • Monckton is always entertaining. A knee-slapping good chuckle for sure.

  15. The congressional testimony by John Christy is all we have to know about the IPCC and some of the leading scientists of the IPCC. The incompetence and despicable behavior is unbelievable.

  16. Can anyone find anything significantly wrong with Bjorn Lomborg’s analysis of energy subsidies?

    I know a couple of green lobbyists that continually spout the party line about fossil fuel subsidies. Unfortunately they have the attention spans of crickets and wouldn’t be able to read this piece anyway.

    • One number often overlooked is the huge amount of money the US spent on oilpatch wars which were mainly about protecting the oil from supply disruptions. The US economy has depended on the petrodollar ever since the end of the Bretton-Woods agreement and it has been a nice little earner because the rest of the world subsidises the US by having to buy dollars to buy oil. Some sources also say that much of the quantitative easing found its way into shale gas/oil exploration, thereby causing the boom. As QE is just devaluation by another name then it would be another subsidy.

      • Not exactly what I had in mind JamesG. However this is helpful in the sense that it gives me a better perspective on the warped thinking of the fossil fuel haters.

      • Perhaps not limited to fossil fuel hating. Sounds like one of those “Occupy” boys.

      • I think he meant real subsidies and policies that other businesses may not also have benefited from (or suffered from). And certainly monetary policy affects every person and business in the country. There is a tendency for some to think that government policies always have the effect the congress-creatures say it will even if economic theory (rightly) predicts the opposite. Minimum wage laws are a good example. The only way a minimum wage has no effect on creating unemployment is if it is a small one and does not raise the wage over the market wage. However, considering that the market wage changes over weeks and months and should be different for different types of jobs and will vary a lot in different regions around the country, having a single minimum wage at the federal level is the height of stupidity. But it makes people feel good and they can delude themselves into thinking it helps the little guy (even when it is hurting the ones who are now unemployed) and so their good intentions and emotional responses trump reality. Sorry for the digression but if I had stopped after “minimum wages are a good example” I was afraid I would get deluged by stupid replies.

        A subsidy or set aside or a tax break for specific industries is what we are after here. Oil has had some special tax loopholes over the years as have many industries. It’s called cronyism or corporatism. I don’t think it is fair to call it crony-capitalism as it could equally as well be called crony-socialism so maybe crony capito-socialism but corporatism is shorter. I think there used to be counter productive tax breaks so that if you drilled and found an empty hole, you got a tax break. Many are in favor of getting rid of loopholes (including most running for office) but somehow very few ever go away and more are added. I believe that both Bush and Obama said they would get rid of loopholes, simplify the tax code. Obama-care is regulated primarily through the tax code so it has and will continue to complicate it. Hmmm, another semi-digression.

        In addition to “favors” that industries get, one should also look to see if they have any special penalties and the oil industry has been subject to a few of those over the years as well. Green energy, on the other hand, has had many subsidies and special tax breaks to the extent that many of the businesses have failed even with preferential treatment in US and around the world. Many of the “investments” would not have taken place without government largesse and the “businesses” were just excuses for opportunists to make a buck at the expense of the ordinary citizen. We can certainly do with less of that.

  17. Since the “triple point” phases of H20 are pivotal to climate, people might want to take a gander at Gerrald Pollack’s “fourth phase of water / Exclusion Zone” paradigm. Pollack (Univ Wash) has a decade plus of **empirical lab work** re-examining behavior of water at a table top and micro scale.

    Bottom line is that water takes on an “ice-like” hexagonal form at hydrophilic surfaces and in response to light and infrared – a “hydration shell” that can extend out thousands of molecular layers, millimeters, centimeter maybe even meters (?!) under some conditions in open ocean. Charge separation and free energy results, with the ordered water being mainly negative and the normal bulk water mainly positive. Also, as the sheets grow or build around a hydrophilic surface they progressively exclude solutes (thus “Exclusion Zone” or “EZ”). According to Pollack most water inside cells is in this highly ordered state (supporting earlier work by Gilbert Ling).

    A few quick refs:
    Chai B, Yoo H, Pollack GH. Effect of radiant energy on near-surface water. J Phys Chem B 113(42):13953-13958 (Oct 2009).
    Zheng JM, Chin WC, Khijniak E, Khijniak E Jr, Pollack GH. Surfaces and interfacial water: evidence that hydrophilic surfaces have long-range impact. Adv Colloid Interface Sci 127(1):19-27 (Nov 2006).

    SO, how does this connect with the climate change science?

    1. What if H20 is not just a heat store (brownian motion-style), as typically described. But also stores radiant energy as molecular **order**? Pollack devotes an entire chapter of his book The Fourth Phase of Water to unpacking classical definitions and assumptions of how heat, temperature, brownian motion and entropy all work, by looking more closely at what is happening as water shifts in and out of the bulk and the “fourth” ordered state, how radiant energy and ions are released, absorbed, etc. This may help explain why water has anomalously high heat storage compared to other elements. And/or, it may also add another factor on top of the known heat capacity of water. Exclusion zones form over time, and in relation to other substances. So a theoretically calculated heat capacity of pure water may be different from the heat capacity of buffered water (w/minerals, organics etc) exposed to radiant energy over long periods of time.

    2. Pollack suggests that exclusion zone “vesicles” (coined generic term for both drops and bubbles) could be meters deep at the top of the ocean. Obviously much climate debate revolves around what happens at the sea/air skin – CO2 moving back & forth, absorption of IR & light, heat insulation etc. If ocean water is much more highly structured at the surface, it would affect all these dynamics & estimates.

    3. Cloud nucleation is touched on by Pollack also.

    4. Intracellular water may be mostly EZ-format, but newly absorbed water may be continuously converted in critters with incoming light/IR. This is a form of solar energy absorption **in addition to** photosynthesis (and, Pollack speculates, may actually help to support the photosynthetic pathway). So calculations of biomass absorption of TSI and resulting “heat” may be off, since they only factor in photosynthesis and generic heat absorption and albedo effects.

    This is probably just scratching the surface. There’s a ton of stuff on ice, and how EZ’s are actually more important than cooling for ice formation (!!). Pollack doesn’t try to draw links to climate change debate. Hopefully I haven’t mangled his ideas too much here in my crude attempt at such linkage.

    You can order his book here. Loads of papers are findable online, not to mention many Youtube videos. Very curious how more expert people on this blog would view this stuff, and whether the implications for climate science are negligible or maybe major…?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The consensus of the Chemistry StackExchange topic EZ-Water – Fraud or breakthrough? amounts to “the claims that are scientifically strong are not breakthroughs, the claims that are breakthroughs are not scientifically strong.”

      Summary  Few (if any) young scientists are convinced enough to bet their own research energy on proving that Prof. Pollack’s stronger claims are correct.

      As for convincing an elderly scientist that his/her cherished-yet-unusual theoretical ideas are substantially flawed, pretty much *NO ONE* cares to tackle *THAT* job!

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    • Looks like someone re-discovered polywater. This should be interesting.

      • jim2 – RE polywater, yes. Pollack retells the polywater debacle in his book. I won’t try to summarize. He also comes down in support of Benveniste in the Memory of Water scandal. Which puts him beyond the pale for establishment science.

        But yes, he supports the original claims of Derjaguin.

        FAN – Hadn’t seen that forum thread before.

        It’s true that Pollack doesn’t mention all the other phases of water, such as what your link mentions, and which one can find mentioned on Wikipedia as well. I was just re-reading his tome today and I don’t remember that anywhere, but it’s a big book. He may mention them in passing somewhere.

        However he does exhaustively inventory the anomalous behavior of water under various conditions, such as the fact that it can stay liquid at temperatures way before O C under some circumstances.

        So he’s highlighting the ‘commonsense’ 3 phases to also foreground his ‘discovery’ – which he doesn’t claim exclusive dibs on, BTW. He cites a whole historical lineage, starting with Ling, who predicted these effects without having direct observational data, going back to Szent-Gyorg, ditto, and a whole inventory of early 20th century water research categorized by Hennicker that found similar effects, but which have been subsequently ignored (at least, the way he tells it). You can probably tell I’m a fan of this stuff, no pun intended. I think he’s laying claim to the first coherent theory and coherent body of lab work on a set of related phenomenon that most other people have ignored or read differently.

        Also true that Pollack happily associates with many alternative health advocates that many call quacks. He contests many accepted dogmas of physics and chemistry. He thinks his work has revolutionary implications for biology & health, not just for physics & chem, and since he’s largely ingnored (censored by?) the mainstream, he probably figures why not connect with a lay audience that is interested in practical implications. He was just on Coast-to-Coast the other night next to a telepathy guy, so there you go! Plenty of reason to ignore.

        However the main guy commenting on the forum thread didn’t seem to make much effort to check out all the studies Pollack has had published in peer-reviewed journals.

        Note that yes, Pollack also self-publishes a lot – which will get major marks against him from some quarters. His Water journal is self-published. His annual Water conference is self-organized. His books are published via his own small press.

        Yet, Pollack claims the basic evidence of EZs has been replicated in over a dozen outside labs, plus within his own hundreds of times in many variations. I’m pretty sure this is true, but have been meaning to contact these other groups to find out exactly which aspects they claim to have replicated. Pollack doesn’t have a neat cheat sheet anywhere showing that. His work involves a few different key observations and a few different principles derived from those observations.

        True, you won’t find him in either Nature or Science. Decide for yourself if that is a plus or a minus. Philip Ball, kinda sorta the H20 gatekeeper at Nature & New Scientist, knows of his work, has spoken alongside Pollack in person @ UCLA, but has studiously ignored commenting on it. (Ball’s book & blog give the bleeding edge of consensus POV on H20.)

        The only formal critique of Pollack I’ve found is from Schurr @ U Wash (different lab, not from Pollacks’ own group) who only took issue with Pollack’s “long range ordering” interpretation but not the underlying phenomenon. That probably says something. (Note that there are a number of other approaches to structured water phenomena, Martin Chaplin, Rustum Roy, DelGiudice have others, not necessarily exclusive of one another.)

        “Phenomena Associated with Gel–Water Interfaces. Analyses and Alternatives to the Long-Range Ordered Water Hypothesis”
        Pollack response to Schurr:

        Closest thing Pollack’s had to mainstream coverage is a piece in Chem & Engineering News. Oops paywall alert:

        I’ve been following this stuff for 20 years, Pollack made many similar claims in his 2nd book Cells Gels & the Engine of Life (late 90s) but didn’t have the lab research to back it up. Now he does.

      • Water memory is about the stupidest thing I have ever heard of. Saying that concentrations of a substance so low that you can’t detect it caused the water (which is a fluid, thus in constant random motion) to “remember” those low concentrations and have a biological effect is ridiculous. Especially when the concentration would be so low as to not have a biological effect in the first place. A far simpler explanation of any “result” would be either 1. random chance 2. simple contamination of the buffer with a higher concentration of the compound (by accident of on purpose) or 3. fraud, possibly by a student (maybe from a different culture?) who just wants to please their mentor. I have heard of at least 4-5 cases of this kind of thing during my career and also heard it was “a problem” in general. In fact, at each of the places I have worked during my graduate work, my post-doc, my visiting professorship, at one place I interviewed, at my current position, and with a collaborator at a nearby university I have heard of cases of fraud and/or malfeasance by graduate students or postdocs, mostly from different cultures, that come to US and for whatever reason, behave in ways that are not what one would wish.

      • Bill –

        Your view is obviously shared by the vast majority of chemists & biologists. There are some variant theories of how it might work, but won’t bother you with those unless you’re interested.

        You might find these two books interesting reading, opposite POVs on the same story:

        Michel Schiff, The Memory of Water

        Philip Ball, A Biography of Water

        Benveniste’s basic finding has been supported and extended by Luc Montagnier, in even more shocking directions. Some Russian researchers have had parallel or similar findings (Vladimir Voiekov). Some small private labs carry on variants of his work. Certainly after Nature Mag sent in a team including magician James Randi to debunk the claims, no mainstream science outlet will touch subsequent research in this area. So now Nobelist Montagnier is consigned to the untouchable loony bin as well.

        Curious little detail that no one mentions though: Nature insisted as a condition of publication of Benveniste’s original paper that the work first be replicated by three outside labs. They reported positive results. So Nature editor Maddox published the paper, outrageous as it was. Whatever happened to those results? No mention in Philip Ball’s book, which is the “gatekeeper” study for this topic. (Great book in other respects tho.)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      For further examples of fringe-science/denialism see the Small Comet Theory example below.

      It is a pleasure to enhance your appreciation of fringe-science, Rhyzotika!

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  18. The big joke about the Caribbean die off was that all anyone had to do was look at the pristine coral off Cuba because the Cubans didn’t allow fishing boats near it. Exactly the same comparison could have been made with the coral on the West of Australia which was pristine (for the same reason) and the barrier reef. This meme about warmer oceans affecting coral may have been a sign of infectious stupidity or just a reflection of how scientists have to link everything to CO2 in order to get any decent funding.

    The original satellite data evaluation which showed that the planet was happily greening up was defunded. They had to come up with a new fudged algorithm that purported to show deforestation was still important after all in order to restart the program. After all money is only given for problems.that need solved. Honest science this surely isn’t!

  19. The emperor has no clothes would make a good title for discussing USHCN.
    The blurb for the site states that they started in the 1980’s with 1219 reduced to 1218 but only used 138 stations for the first few years then slowly filled it up to 1218 incorporating the other stations . At the same time due to station closure the number of original stations was dropping out due to poor maintains nice poor wages and worker fatigue and age. Nick Stokes has a great graph up at his Moyhu site.
    This shows a logarithmic parabolic decrease in the number of sites dying. If one gets the latest graph the figure seems to fall under 900.
    But it comes with steak knives as well (gets much worse) new stations have been constantly added but these are dropping out as well. The graph may actually represent the total number of new and added stations.
    The number of stations reporting dropped to 833 in March and April but lower in May possibly due to station failures or late data coming in, hard to see the latter in this electronic age with all stations using hourly automated electronic sensing.
    Some suggest lower than 650.

    Yet no one will give a figure on how many real original stations are present in that 1218.
    Is it actually down to 138 ? Do any of the original 138 still exist?
    Does the emperor have any clothes?
    Please put your best guess and reason underneath.
    If anyone really knows could they put the right answer in

  20. Just remember, it’s for the children.

    “It therefore appears that although Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the responsible party at the CFPB who approved the ‘decision to renovate,’ the design, and the cost “Scope and Justification for Estimates,” all documents regarding her decisions have vanished.

    The CFPB retained the “prestigious Chicago-based architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, for $7.2 million” for the remodel. The firm creates extravagant designs such as Dubai’s luxury Cayan Towers and Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on earth.

    The OIG reported that CFPB is adding a seventh story on top of a thirty year old building. The Heritage Foundation blog revealed, ‘Some of the building’s extravagant features include a four-story glass staircase, two-story waterfall and a sunken garden.’ Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) of the House Financial Services Committee compared the CFPB headquarters higher renovation cost with the $334 a foot for Trump World Tower and $330 a foot for the Bellagio Hotel and Casino.”

    It’s all about social justice, Taj Mahal style..

  21. Tony: Out of curiosity, read about Monckton and understand your feelings about him. You are selective in choices, much more so than those who worship the GORE. And just wondering, does the very wise Prince Phillip have a following among the alarmists?

  22. Why the C in CAGW? Simple, without fear there would just be apathy. 2 degrees warmer? Oh, that’s nice.

    There’s a shortage of things to fear. Generations after the war had The Bomb to fear. The population bomb was also a dud. The environment was saved, all the way from whales to snails. Ozone is passé. We only had five years to save the climate…. oops! another dud.

  23. David L. Hagen

    Should EPA be allowed to impose rules and garnish wages for fines it decides without Congress or court order?
    Roy Spencer links to EPA Harasses Americans

    . . . Chantell and Michael Sackett of Idaho were similarly threatened by the agency with fines of $75,000 per day for seeking to build a home on a small lot situated between two other lots that already had homes, an action the EPA claimed the couple could not even challenge. The Sacketts challenged it anyway, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where they won a unanimous verdict. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the court’s decision stating that, “In a nation that values due process, not to mention private property, such treatment is unthinkable.” Scalia went on that “there is no reason to think that the Clean Water Act was uniquely designed to enable the strong-arming of regulated parties into ‘voluntary compliance’ without the opportunity for judicial review—even judicial review of the question whether the regulated party is within the EPA’s jurisdiction.”
    While the Supreme Court may have found that the Sacketts and, consequently, folks like Johnson, do have some recourse to challenge administrative compliance orders from the EPA, those who fall into the agency’s sights may now face a new and crushing hurdle: wage garnishment. Just how many people could endure challenging the EPA’s regulatory actions—no matter how indefensible—if they faced fines that the agency could garnish from their wages? How many can be coerced into “voluntary compliance”? .. . .

    See Detailed letter opposing the EPA by the Heritage Foundation

  24. Here they attempt to raise questions about Lomborg:
    I’ve looked at their form 990 at GuideStar.
    The one thing that stands out is Lomborg’s annual compensation for 2012 which is North of $700k. However, no compensation was paid for the years 2010 and 2011. When the 2013 return is available it will be interesting to see if his compensation stays the same?
    At the Lomborg link at the top of this post I thought he’s done a good job of getting Bill Gates to go along with him, and communicating his message. If the question is, what is a climate moderate supposed to be doing, one answer is to keep in mind people like Gates.

  25. From the article:

    Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

    Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.

    Many of them were Americans. Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or “minimized,” more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans’ privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents.

  26. And then there’s this. I guess this is really scary to Scotts.

    REDHEADS could become extinct as Scotland gets sunnier, experts have claimed.

    The gene that causes red hair is thought to be an evolutionary response to the lack of sun in Scotland.

    Redhead colouring allows people to get the maximum vitamin D from what little sun there is.

    Only one to two per cent of the world’s population has red hair but in Scotland the figure is about 13 per cent, or 650,000 people.

    However, the figure could fall dramatically – and even see redheads die out completely in a few centuries – if predictions that the country’s climate is set to become much sunnier are true.

    Dr Alistair Moffat, boss of genetic testing company ScotlandsDNA, said: “We think red hair in Scotland, Ireland and the north of England is adaptation to the climate. We do not get enough sun and have to get all the vitamin D we can.

    “If it was to get less cloudy and there was more sun, there would be fewer people carrying the gene.”

  27. Robert Redford in a July 4th comment on climate change. Basic message is “Yes we can, and are. Don’t wait for Congress”.

  28. Time For An Ob

    Is this El Nino a bust?

    It started with promise, but wind anomalies have faded as has the subsurface heat anomaly in the Pacific.

    I planted trees counting on a wet fall.

    If this ENSO’s a bust I will not be pleased.

  29. Matthew R Marler

    @sciencemagazine announces a Statistical Board of Reviewing Editors to help vet appropriate use of stats in papers

    I am sure that will help, but I do hope that they make provision of the data and code, as used, a requirement for review. It is nominally a requirement for publication but they allow many exceptions, apparently ad lib.

  30. David Wojick

    The so-called Social Cost of Carbon may now have unlimited Federal power:

    SCC goes out hundreds of years for its damages, based on hot climate models, then uses economic growth to offset an already low discount rate. Quite a trick.

  31. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Space scientist Lou Frank has died. And with him, his anti-consensus theory that Earth’s Water Comes from Small Comets will likely pass away too. Because at the end, Lou Frank himself was the only person that still believed it.

    The innumerable forms of Cold Fusion too, nowadays exist only as fringe science that tries again-and-again to become mainstream … but somehow always fails.

    Gerry Pollack’s “EZ-water” theory (mentioned above) is passing through these evolutionary stages too.

    Conclusion  Scientific world-views that fail to attract talented young scientists — but do attract cranks and/or ideology-driven special interests and/or outright crooks — are very probably wrong … and certainly are destined to pass away … when their advocates die and/or are exposed as delusional and/or self-interested.

    And these examples show us plainly the psychological and social mechanisms by which climate-change denialism is wrong, eh Climate Etc readers?

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    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: And these examples show us plainly the psychological and social mechanisms by which climate-change denialism is wrong, eh Climate Etc readers?

      Independently of those examples, I am sure that people who deny climate change are wrong — well, almost sure. Should Paul Ehrlich be added as an example of the psychological and social mechanisms entailed in being wrong all the time? How about people who cite him without irony?

      Whose idea was it to fund Solyndra? Have they been generally successful in other economic developments, including other solar schemes? Do you think their record of success in those ventures does, or ought to, inspire confidence in their judgment about global warming economics going forward?

      I doubt that the world wonders, but who knows?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Individual cranks perish, and their pet theories perish, and their extremist parties and religions perish … and yet new scientific understanding prospers and new economic sectors prosper and the 21st Century Enlightenment prospers.

      These facts lend us hope for the future of a world in which the oceans are heating, the sea-level is rising, the ice-caps are melting, CO2 is increasing, and ‘the pause’ is ending.

      Young scientists and young voters especially appreciate these insights.

      Thank you for reminding us of these close-coupled trends, Matthew R Marler!

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      • Time For An Ob

        “and ‘the pause’ is ending.”

        Probably begs actually running the numbers, but the last time I checked, most temperature data set trends since 2001 were still negative.

        Were you pinning your hopes on this year’s fading El Nino?

    • Yeah, well… I guess time will tell. Right now it looks more like Pollack is presiding over a growing network of researchers who seem to share his “delusions.” Sure, a lot of their stuff is waaay out there by consensus standards. But some of them are pretty established academic guys. And he doesn’t seem to have trouble attracting students to his lab.

      I guess by your logic any non-consensus view is almost assured to be wrong, in any area. One can find plenty of examples in the history of science where the opposite turned out to be the case. Wegener’s tectonic plate drift theory is the one always mentioned (personally I think the Expanding Earth model was dismissed too early, but I’m just a *crank*). Epigenetics is proving out Lamarck, after all these years.

      As for cold fusion, the problem is that they are all hung up on producing energy-generation devices. I’ve been following CF for 20 plus years, from the sidelines. There are clearly new phenomena there that don’t map well to existing physics models. But whether they can convert any of that to industrially usable energy is another thing entirely. Jury’s out on that one.

      • I’m planning a post on this topic for later next week

      • Oh, add to the list of minority theories later proven out:

        Lynn Margulis’ endosymbiosis. First paper rejected by over 20 journals. Now enshrined in college textbooks.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rhyzotika wonders whether  “any non-consensus [scientific] view is almost assured to be wrong, in any area”

        Damon Runyon answers  “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s how the smart money bets.

        FOMD claims a finders fee!

        Conclusion  Folks whose worldview is “longshots generally come through” cannot reliably pick fast horses *OR* strong science.

        That’s plain common-sense, eh Climate Etc readers?

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  32. I wonder if the NSA has Michael Mann’s (or Lois Lerner’ “missing”) emails? They seem to have everyone else’s.

    “Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

    The material spans President Obama’s first term, from 2009 to 2012, a period of exponential growth for the NSA’s domestic collection.”

    Exponential growth in domestic surveillance by the NSA of US citizens under Obama? Why is this a big deal for the Washington Post and the targeting of conservatives by the IRS a non-story?

    (That’s rhetorical question. If you don’t know, you probably get your filtered news from WAPO and its “journalistic” comrades in arms.)

    Need I say it? It’s OK because it’s about social justice and it’s for the children.

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil – as the Constitution is shredded.

  33. “One of the favorites in the climate blame-game is… [insert catastrophe here] due to global warming from man-made CO2.. But that is turning out to be false, too…”

    – See more at:

  34. Walt Allensworth

    One thing if love to see debated here is “How global was the Midieval Warming Period?”
    It seems that the answer to this is critical to the CAGW debate.
    Peer reviewed references that support the existence of a global MWP are powerful ammunition!

    • So far efforts to find coincident warming in both hemispheres have not been convincing about the MWP. This from Neukom et al. (2014).

  35. From the article:
    Do Americans understand the scientific consensus about issues like climate change and evolution?

    At least for a substantial portion of the public, it seems like the answer is no. The Pew Research Center, for instance, found that 33 percent of the public believes “Humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time” and 26 percent think there is not “solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades.” Unsurprisingly, beliefs on both topics are divided along religious and partisan lines. For instance, 46 percent of Republicans said there is not solid evidence of global warming, compared with 11 percent of Democrats.

    As a result of surveys like these, scientists and advocates have concluded that many people are not aware of the evidence on these issues and need to be provided with correct information. That’s the impulse behind efforts like the campaign to publicize the fact that 97 percent of climate scientists believe human activities are causing global warming.

  36. From the article:
    Saving our skins might be surprisingly cheap. To avoid dangerous climate change, the world needs to boost spending on green energy by $1 trillion a year. That sounds scarily large, but we could cover a lot of it using the subsidies currently handed to fossil fuels.

    Governments have agreed to limit global warming to 2°C, because more than that may be impossible to adapt to. “We need to drastically transform our energy system,” says David McCollum of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. “It is high time we thought about how much capital is needed.”

    McCollum’s team plugged that gap by analysing six different models that combine data on greenhouse gas emissions, energy scenarios and investment costs.

    The numbers work like this. Investment in low-carbon energy is currently $200 billion a year. But that isn’t enough. For a 70 per cent chance of keeping below 2°C, the investment will have to rise to $1.2 trillion a year.

  37. Madison on why there is a right to bear arms.

    The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. That the people and the States should, for a sufficient period of time, elect an uninterupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should, throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism.

    Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it.

    • That was in the days before air forces, drones and WMDs. How things have changed? Militias armed with just guns these days have no hope against a national military.

    • Yup. The Iraqi militants and Afgans just fell like dominoes, eh?

      • Maybe you are for extending the right to bear arms to having grenades, machine guns, bombs, mortars, missiles and anti-aircraft weapons, or maybe you haven’t thought it through. What does a “well regulated militia” mean to you?

  38. On July 7th Watts, using USCRN data, showed a cooling trend over the last 9+ years. Haven’t heard much about that until reading an article in the Drudge Report today. Is there any significance to Watts’ trend line?

  39. Looks like the PDO is finding its way back to cool I hope:

    Tisdale comments on the El Nino strength at WUWT.
    Anyone know when PDO June number will be out?

  40. 32 C Total GHG effect
    30 C Seawater maximum
    17 C Average Sea Surface Temperature
    15 C GAT
    4 C Average Ocean Temperature – full depth
    -2 C Seawater freezes
    -17 C Temperature if there was no Greenhouse effect

    Question: What is the Greenhouse effect of the Oceans?
    If the above is greater than zero explain how both the Oceans and Atmosphere integrate in achieving the Total GHG effect.

    If my numbers are off by a degree or two, I don’t think that’s the point.

    • One fluid is compressible, the other isn’t.

      • How about I say, the heat release delay effect of the oceans rather than greenhouse effect?

      • I read you other reply about compression. I am just interested in how the oceans and the atmosphere work together. When we have an average SST of 17 C which I will call the interface between oceans and atmosphere we are in pretty good shape to maintain a 15 C GAT. We just need to keep that heat around long enough.

  41. I don’t know if this is right or not, but if so, I bet the CAGWers will have to have a good cry.
    From the article:

    Peru says El Nino threat over, waters cooling and fish returning
    July 4, 2014 7:23 PM

    LIMA (Reuters) – The worst of the potentially disastrous weather pattern El Nino is now behind Peru and cooling sea temperatures are luring back schools of anchovy, the key ingredient in fishmeal, authorities said on Friday.

    Temperatures in Peru’s Pacific peaked in June, rising 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 Fahrenheit) above average levels, but have since retreated and will likely return to normal by August, the state committee that studies El Nino said.

    “The possibility of us seeing an extraordinary Nino is ruled out,” said German Vasquez, the head of the committee.

    Peru is the world’s top fishmeal exporter, producing about a third of worldwide supply. The industry is concentrated along the South American country’s northern and central coast.

  42. This paper makes the Climate Models look like a joke – 100% Error Per Century on Temperature Forecasts?
    The Backcasting of Climate Models
    “However it is not true that the accuracy of the climate models cannot be tested without waiting 50 years or so. The climate models can be run backwards just as well as forward. Instead of a forecast they would give a backcast of the climate characteristics of the past. Another term coined for this process is retrodiction, in analogy wit prediction. Patrick J. Michaels in his book, Meltdown, gives the backcasting of two climate models from about 1993 back to 1905. One is the first Coupled Global Climate Model(CGCM1) from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis and the second is British, from the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research. The data were scaled from the Michaels’ graph.” …
    “Although the model gets the shape generally right the timing is off and that shape had to have come from inputting the sulfate aerosol estimates which may not have been independent estimates but values chosen on the basis of the known observations of global temperature. Nevertheless the backcast change in temperature was 96 percent higher than the observational change of the eighty eight year period. That is nearly a 100 percent error per century.”

    The Need for Honest Backcasting of Climate Models
    “The validity of climate models must be established by their use in explaining the past climate data, the so-called backcasting of the model. However this backcasting must be honest; i.e., the independent variables must be independently known and not surmised from the past climate data. For example, global temperatures after rising for decades took a downturn from 1940 to about 1955. Climatologist speculated that downturn was due to increased levels of sulfate aerosols. If measurements of the average global sulfate levels were available and higher levels did in fact coincide with the downturn in global temperatures then that would be a validation of the model. However if the investigators had no independent measurements of sulfate levels or anything correlated with sulfate level to test the speculation then that is not a validation of the model. The term that is used for this process is tweaking. Worst yet than tweaking is if the investigators asked what would the sulfate level have had to be to produce that downturn and found out the values by trial-and-error and presented that information as though it were an actual measurement of sulfate levels. This would be simple dishonesty.

    Furthermore, the backcasting that is relevant for validation of models for the projection of future climate is the backcasts based upon no more information than is available for the future projections. This means volcano erruptions and such should not be used because they are not available for the future projections.”

    Interesting that a search for “Backcasting of Climate Models” at Google Scholar finds NOTHING!

    Google Scholar also has NO hits for “Backcasting Climate Models”! Puzzling that no one has written a peer reviewed paper doing Backcasting of Climate Models as this teacher did????

  43. So, is the climate data really bad, or is this paper bad?

    Pattern of strange errors plagues solar activity and terrestrial climate data
    “The last decade has seen a revival of various hypotheses claiming a strong correlation between solar activity and a number of terrestrial climate parameters. Links have been made between cosmic rays and cloud cover, first total cloud cover and then only low clouds, and between solar cycle lengths and northern hemisphere land temperatures. These hypotheses play an important role in the scientific debate as well as in the public debate about the possibility or reality of a man-made global climate change.

    Analysis of a number of published graphs that have played a major role in these debates and that have been claimed to support solar hypotheses [Laut, 2003; Damon and Peristykh, 1999, 2004] shows that the apparent strong correlations displayed on these graphs have been obtained by incorrect handling of the physical data. The graphs are still widely referred to in the literature, and their misleading character has not yet been generally recognized. Readers are cautioned against drawing any conclusions, based upon these graphs, concerning the possible wisdom or futility of reducing the emissions of man-made greenhouse gases.”

    Full paper available here

    Either way, it doesn’t reflect well on the competency of Climate Science?

    • Either way, it doesn’t reflect well on the competency of Climate Science?

      It is the skeptics that stand by those incorrect graphs.

      • Oh, really? So all of these peer reviewed papers were written by Skeptics?
        Go to Google Scholar, and search for ‘solar cycle length and climate’

        Length of the Solar Cycle: An Indicator of Solar Activity Closely Associated with Climate
        “It has recently been suggested that the solar irradiance has varied in phase with the 80- to 90-year period represented by the envelope of the 11-year sunspot cycle and that this variation is causing a significant part of the changes in the global temperature. This interpretation has been criticized for statistical reasons and because there are no observations that indicate significant changes in the solar irradiance. A set of data that supports the suggestion of a direct influence of solar activity on global climate is the variation of the solar cycle length. This record closely matches the long-term variations of the Northern Hemisphere land air temperature during the past 130 years.”
        Full Paper

        Variability of the solar cycle length during the past five centuries and the apparent association with terrestrial climate
        “Solar data have been used as parameters in a great number of studies concerning variations of the physical conditions in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The varying solar activity is distinctly represented by the 11-yr cycle in the number of sunspots. The length of this sunspot period is not fixed. Actually, it varies with a period of 80–90 yr. Recently, this variation has been found to be strongly correlated with long-term variations in the global temperature. Information about northernhemisphere temperature based on proxy data is available back to the second half of the sixteenth century. Systematic monitoring of solar data did not take place prior to 1750. Therefore, a critical assessment of existing and proxy solar data prior to 1750 is reported and tables of epochs of sunspot minima as well as sunspot cycle lengths covering the interval 1500–1990 are presented. The tabulated cycle lengths are compared with reconstructed and instrumental temperature series through four centuries. The correlation between solar activity and northern hemisphere land surface temperature is confirmed.”

        Variation of spring climate in lower-middle Yangtse River Valley and its relation with solar-cycle length
        “The relatively large number of historical records originating from the area of the Middle and Lower Yangtse River Valley in the late Ming dynasty and the Qing dynasty allows an estimation of the long term fluctuations of phenological dates. Dates of blossoming of plants, found in personal diaries and other documents, and used in this reconstruction are available, with some gaps, for 1580–1920. Independent estimates of spring conditions during the 18th century using data on last day of snowfall, and during 20th and late 19th centuries using accumulated temperatures in Shanghai are also presented. The results show that the spring weather in this region was colder than present in the 17th century and during 1790–1820 and 1870–1920. Spring temperature warmer than the present prevailed during 1720–1770 and 1840–1860. This variation agrees in its broad outline with that of the solar cycle length presented by Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991).”;jsessionid=7778D4D3E6B0DE093D49CAA44B49ACF0.f03t04?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

        A statistical study of the relationship between the solar cycle length and tree-ring index values
        “We have determined the correlation coefficient between tree-ring index values and the sunspot cycle length for 69 tree-ring data sets from around the world of greater than 594 years duration. A matrix of correlation coefficients is formed with varying delay and smoothing parameters. Similar matrices, formed from the same data, but randomly scrambled, provide a control against which we can draw conclusions about the influence of the solar cycle length on climate with a reasonable degree of confidence. We find that the data confirm an association between the sunspot cycle length and climate with a negative maximum correlation coefficient for 80% of the data sets considered. This implies that wider tree-rings (i.e. more optimum growth conditions) are associated with shorter sunspot cycles. Secondly, we find that the climatic effect of the solar cycle length is smoothed by several decades and the degree of smoothing is dependent on the elevation and the geographical location of the trees employed. Thirdly, we find evidence for a cyclic variation of ∼200 years period in either solar cycle length or tree ring index.”

        Solar cycle length, greenhouse forcing and global climate
        “THE recent rise in global-mean surface air temperature is widely thought to be the result of increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases1–3, but there are discrepancies between the predicted response of the atmosphere to this radiative forcing and the observed temperature changes1–5. Solar irradiance fluctuations have been proposed as a possible explanation for these discrepancies, and various solar properties (for example, radius6, smoothed sunspot number7 or cycle length8) have been suggested as proxies for solar irradiance variations in the absence of direct data. Here we model the effects of a combination of greenhouse and solar-cycle-length forcing and compare the results with observed temperatures. We find that this forcing combination can explain many features of the temperature record, although the results must be interpreted cautiously; even with optimized solar forcing, most of the recent warming trend is explained by greenhouse forcing.”

      • And these papers were also written by skeptics?
        Go to Google Scholar, and search for ‘Solar Wind and Climate’

        Effects on winter circulation of short and long term solar wind changes
        Limin Zhoua, Brian Tinsleyb, Jing Huanga

        Indices of the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation show correlations on the day-to-day timescale with the solar wind speed (SWS). Minima in the indices were found on days of SWS minima during years of high stratospheric aerosol loading. The spatial distribution of surface pressure changes during 1963–2011 with day-to-day changes in SWS shows a pattern resembling the NAO. Such a pattern was noted for year-to-year variations by Boberg and Lundstedt (2002), who compared NAO variations with the geo-effective solar wind electric field (the monthly average SWS multiplied by the average southward component, i.e., negative Bz component, of the interplanetary magnetic field). The spatial distribution of the correlations of geopotential height changes in the troposphere and stratosphere with the SWS; the geo-effective electric field (SWS∗Bz); and the solar 10.7 cm flux suggests that solar wind inputs connected to the troposphere via the global electric circuit, together with solar ultraviolet irradiance acting on the stratosphere, affect regional atmospheric dynamics.”

        The role of solar forcing upon climate change
        B. van Geela, O.M. Raspopovb, H. Renssenc, J. van der Plichtd, V.A. Dergacheve, H.A.J. Meijerd

        Evidence for millennial-scale climate changes during the last 60,000 years has been found in Greenland ice cores and North Atlantic ocean cores. Until now, the cause of these climate changes remained a matter of debate. We argue that variations in solar activity may have played a significant role in forcing these climate changes. We review the coincidence of variations in cosmogenic isotopes (14C and 10Be) with climate changes during the Holocene and the upper part of the last Glacial, and present two possible mechanisms (involving the role of solar UV variations and solar wind/cosmic rays) that may explain how small variations in solar activity are amplified to cause significant climate changes. Accepting the idea of solar forcing of Holocene and Glacial climatic shifts has major implications for our view of present and future climate. It implies that the climate system is far more sensitive to small variations in solar activity than generally believed.”

  44. Jon Warren

    Al Gore recently stood by as leader of Australian political party who has the most power in Australian Senate as the holder of the balance of power between majors agreed repeal carbon tax! Suggest you research and go figure! Good luck!

  45. RobertInAz

    Given the high precision and fine temporal resolution claimed for paleoclimate proxies, I would think there would be numerous high resolution regionally relevant proxies for the United States since 1880.

    This topic might be worthy of a post.


    From the link:
    There’s no doubt the high-elevation range of wolverines is getting warmer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Noreen Walsh said. But any assumption about how that will change snowfall patterns is “speculation,” she said.
    In the recent memo, she expressed the opposite view: “Due to the uncertainty of climate models, I cannot accept the conclusion about wolverine habitat loss that forms the basis of our recommendation to list the species.”
    Walsh, also a biologist, said she reached that conclusion after reviewing the latest science on wolverines and consulting with other agency officials.
    Panelist Audrey Magoun, a researcher based in Alaska, said shifting weather patterns could mean more snowfall, not less, in the mountains where most wolverines den.

  47. Ingvar Warnholtz

    Now that we are so brilliant in nailing CO2 in the atmosphere to 400ppm, what gases make up the remaining 999,600ppm and what conditions apply? If we don’t understand the basics here, how is the public at large going to know if they are in danger. I think it is time to pull up the socks.

  48. Is the cool phase of the PDO strengthening?

    Some anchovies may think it is:

  49. Interesting post on WUWT:
    “Haapala referenced the Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, who asserts progress in scientific knowledge is not linear – but occurs in spurts. Up to the 1970s, most understanding of climate change was limited to geologists. It is normal and natural, and sometimes abrupt.

    Kuhn states that often significant progress occurs when one concept (or mind-set) used in viewing a puzzle of natural science is replaced by another concept that better explains the puzzle. He calls the concepts paradigms. The paradigms include the way in which data and experiments are conducted and interpreted. For example, when the paradigm of a static surface of the earth was replaced by plate tectonics, our ability to explain the earth’s history expanded greatly.”

    Science imitates nature.