Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

From my twitter feed:

Ensia:  Heads up: Geoengineering could make climate change’s impacts worse http://shar.es/LjZaL

Robert Stavins: Why benefits of EPA’s CO2 rule outweigh costs for USA — just not by as much as you’ve heard http://to.pbs.org/1ADKrjQ

Matthew Nisbet:  Study: Health appeals, not #climate appeals, persuade conservatives to limit GHG pollution http://goo.gl/CK1XNX 

Senate MinorityReport: Left-Wing ‘Billionaire’s Club’ Using Environmentalism to Control US Economy, Subvert Democracy http://bit.ly/1lW8BMw 

Andy Revkin: Hoping #EnergizeAfrica Act builds steam as Obama turns focus to Africa & electricity. No need for carbon fights here. [link]

Warming won’t swamp Pacific Islands.  Coral reefs will rise in tandem with seas. http://goo.gl/f8RRg9 

Hockey Schtick:  New paper finds another potential solar amplification mechanism http://feedly.com/e/GyIWEzCh 

Andy Revkin: Obama cost/benefit math on climate action & federal coal leases challenged by friends/foes. http://wapo.st/1uCbknN

David Chandler:  Resilience Governance – “Don’t Forget Governance: Risk of Tunnel Vision in Chasing #Resilience for Asia’s Cities’: http://ow.ly/zHgHm 

Richard Tol:  A neat summary of the last 25 years of climate economics [link]

Danny Bloom:  Will Cli-Fi change how we react to climate change? NYTimes [link]

There’s Physics:  Michael Mann:  Public opinion critical for climate change fight [link]

Quotable warming hiatus quotes [link]

Need a laugh?  A new element Governmentium has been discovered [link]

Kirk Englehardt:  If scientists had their own logos ow.ly/zQ0kD 

Keith Kloor interviews Roger Pielke Jr about why he no longer writes for Nate Silver’s 538 [link]

Mark Steyn:  Hi-ho, Silver, Away! [link]

Modern science operates in an environment where questionable practices and misconduct can be winning strategies http://blog.pubpeer.com/?p=164 

And finally, Ruth DIxon tweeted the following image:

curry on

200 responses to “Week in review

  1. There is little discussion of the real issue: whether and to what extent temperature is driven by CO2.

    • That isn’t the real issue. The real issue is what kind of risk, and how much, there is in continually digging up fossil carbon and dumping it into the climate/eco-system when we don’t even know where all of it’s going, much less how much, if any, damage it does along the way.

      Climate is a red herring.


      • Figure 1. (page 5)
        Best estimate (thick line) and high and low limits (thin lines) for the percent of photosyn- thetically fixed carbon retained during fuel generation and extraction. The final value in each panel is
        the equivalent of a recovery factor (RF) for the fuel type

        Natural sequestration plus our recovery of Fossil Fuels is very inefficient.
        Even converting biomass to transportation fuels which we can do via a number of methods can be seen to be much more efficient than what we do now, once one normalizes both processes to either biomass or insolation.

      • ron hotchkiss

        The real issue is how much is the AGW scam going to cost us. CO2 is rising but the temperatures are steady and even declining here in the U S. There are less hurricanes, less tornadoes, less heat waves and crop production is up. It makes no sense to spend billions if not trillions on technology that is failed. Everyone is for clean energy and in time we will get there with innovation in the free market. The middle class and poor will be hurt the most by this scam. We simply cant afford to spend tax dollars we dont have and shut down coal fired power plants without reliable and affordable back up.This hysteria has to stop.

      • @AK

        Climate isn’t a real issue
        A real issue is that we badly need to think through and openly analyze and discuss our energy future in light of HC Depletion
        Note Hofmeister comments 3min to 4min 30secs

        Doug Proctor has an excellent and insightful post here
        IEA Facts and Fictions
        Rud Istvan

        We badly need to address our energy future DIRECTLY and stop trying to implement energy policy through the backdoor via PROXY touting MYTHOLOGY AND DOGMA of CLIMATE CHANGE

      • Thanks, Brent, for posting the link to “Burning Buried Sunshine.”

      • Being the greedy, mindless entities they are, plants et all the CO2 out of the earliest saturated atmosphere, right down to starvation levels. Animals were totally unable to keep up with the need for replenishment by respiration, and indeed some species laid down massive carbonate deposits, very hard to recycle.

        It is the least we can do to sustain the cycle to re-combust the pure carbon and burnable hydrocarbons to pump plant food back into the air. At least a couple of doublings of current levels would be desirable.

      • We know where you stand on Carbon. Now I would like to know where you stand on Nuclear Power. When the lights go out, I can still harvest deer for food.

    • PMHinSC and AK,

      There is zero likelihood that carbon extraction and combustion will be abated, except by exhaustion of the reserves. The ‘climate’ fight is about who, in the population, gets what advantage.

      As AK says, the real issue is environmental protection and preservation. That we not deplete and destroy the biosphere is what is most important.

    • There is zero likelihood that carbon extraction and combustion will be abated, except by exhaustion of the reserves. The ‘climate’ fight is about who, in the population, gets what advantage.

      Not really true. There’s a good chance that carbon-neutral technology will become cheaper than digging up fossil carbon. Even without massive subsidies.

      In addition to that, in the long run, demand for carbon will probably lead to its large-scale extraction from the air/ocean surface. IMO within a century, whatever technology policies are implemented, it’s very likely that the real problem will be keeping people from drawing down the CO2 in the atmosphere too far.

      Efforts to minimize the risk from fossil carbon, then, would logically focus on speeding up such for-profit extraction, as well as encouraging R&D into synergies that reduce the use of fossil carbon while reducing costs as well.

    • Changing temperature is about all that is discussed in the blogs, yet no one mentioned changing temperature as the “real issue.” Interesting!

  2. Curious George

    Hypotheses dress as conclusions these days. Good work, IPCC, EPA.

  3. Tol or Shelling below? By THOMAS C. SCHELLING

    Richard Tol: A neat summary of the last 25 years of climate economics [link ]

    • Tol is the one who tweeted on this, which is what the name to the left of the colon implies.

      • Danley Wolfe

        This paper was written by Schelling as published in American Economic Review (AEA) March 1992. Schelling’s real expertise and the subject which won him the Nobel prize was game theory. On climate science he refers to the tragedy of the commons of John Stuart Mills and Rawls without really questioning the assumptions in the prediction of future global warming; rather just accepting this as a given. I would much rather see him question the basic assumptions on the extent of manmade forcing of climate and apply game theory to look at outcomes. Being an economist he must realize that the prediction models are deterministic and should require validation by backcasting history, rather they are scenario models to look at what if this what if that.

  4. Numerical data (since 1860s) show that there may be causal relationship between the major N. Atlantic events

  5. Yet another failed analogy that has been invoked to reduce climate process modeling to exceedingly simplistic, and incorrect, terms. The analogy uses the, Weather is an initial value problem, climate is a boundary value problem ( BVP ), approach. The boundary value problem argument is invoked so as to ensure us that climate process modeling is very straight-forward relative to numerical weather prediction ( NWP ). One important aspect of the argument is that the chaotic nature seen in NWP does not negatively impact climate calculations. These arguments are attempts to reduce climate process modeling to the steady-state/stationary case.

    Here is the concluding paragraph:

    ” We cannot predict what the weather will do on any given day far into the future. But if we understand the boundary conditions and how they are altered, we can predict fairly accurately how the range of possible weather patterns will be affected. Climate change is a change in the boundary conditions on our weather systems .” [ bold by edh ]

    The analogy in this case is especially flawed because a very limited fluid flow condition using a “system”, the balloon, that is more correctly described as a problem with a constraint, and not a BVP. The presented argument is meant to ensure us that the boundary conditions for the climate system process modeling solely and completely determine the solution of the IBVP-formulation of the climate process models.

    The boundary conditions at the top and bottom of the Earth’s climate systems include specification of the in-coming SW radiative energy from the Sun, plus energy transport considerations at the interfaces between the atmosphere and the material on the surface of the earth. Note that the out-going radiative energy at the top cannot be specified. Note, too, that the energy fluxes at the interfaces at the bottom cannot be specified. These both are calculated by the process models in the GCMs. The out-going radiative energy is an out-come from the process-modeling formulations. In this sense, the boundary condition at the top does not, because it cannot, specify the steady-state/stationary conditions at the top. Relative to energy, the climate systems are an open system.

    It is very important to note that the out-going energy is determined by the process models that are used to calculate the states internal to the Earth’s climate system; especially including the energy interactions between the sub-systems of the complete system. The balloon, in contrast, is constrained by the string to which it is attached, and cannot affect through feedback the hydrodynamics of its environment. This constraint, very roughly, maybe is supposed to allow representations of the effects of processes internal to the Earth’s climate systems. In this sense the constraint does not model the important effects of the processes internal to the system that cause changes in the radiative energy balance at the top of the atmosphere.

    The BVP assumption requires that balance between in-coming and out-going radiative energy at the top not be affected by the energy exchanges and internal processes that occur within the climate system. I think that the assumption requires that energy exchanges at all the interfaces within the complete system also be in balance. At least to the extent that these processes are not significant relative to the balance at the top. It is difficult for me to

    Finally note that, in contrast to the characterization in the final paragraph quoted above, the effects of CO2 in the atmosphere are not boundary conditions at the top of the atmosphere and thus are not altering the boundary conditions. They instead cause effects internal to the systems that are included in the climate process modeling, and these effects alter the radiative-energy transport state at the top. The balloon cannot be an analog for the energy content of Earth’s climate systems.

    Finally, really this time, because processes internal to the systems affect states at the boundary of the systems, it is impossible for modeling of Earth’s climate systems to be a BVP in the classic sense of the term for which the conditions at the boundary determine completely the states within the systems.

    In addition to the blog post discussed in the above, the concept was presented at a TEDx meeting at the University of Toronto, which is given in this blog post. The presentation is complete with a physical realization of the analogy.

    Corrections for incorrectos will be appreciated.

    • Curious George

      This approach assumes a constant albedo of the Earth – in other words, that the proportion of clouds will never change. (Clouds reflect incoming solar energy back to space, thus cooling, but at night they have a warming effect). That is quite an assumption, with nothing to support it, to my knowledge.

    • Past climate tells us that the primary way the earth responds to these changes of a few percent in the forcing is though its polar ice amount leading to a local positive feedback, significantly altering the pole-equator temperature gradient, and sea level of course. It doesn’t take much above 700 ppm to get to the ice-free, high-sea-level state that we had in the Eocene. Increased vegetation also leads to lower albedo and more methane from the vegetated area expanding into what is currently a passive Arctic tundra.

      • Curious George

        Not sure how you talk to past climate. Ice cores seem to suggest that the minima of CO2 correspond to maxima of atmospheric dust, implying that a decrease of CO2 leads to desertification.

      • CG, yes, very low sea levels and Ice Ages too around 200 ppm. How do you think this is relevant? It is the other extreme from the one that is relevant to the future.

      • “Curious George | August 2, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        Not sure how you talk to past climate. Ice cores seem to suggest that the minima of CO2 correspond to maxima of atmospheric dust, implying that a decrease of CO2 leads to desertification.”
        This correlation between low CO2 and a drier atmosphere is related to a cooler atmosphere and a slow down of the hydrological cycle associated with a cooler atmosphere (and cooler oceans). There are both biological reasons and carbon cycle reasons, with CO2 sequestration by both playing a key role.

      • “Jim D | August 2, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        CG, yes, very low sea levels and Ice Ages too around 200 ppm. How do you think this is relevant? It is the other extreme from the one that is relevant to the future.”

        Probably most relevant to the future is the climate during the mid-Pliocene, or the last time CO2 was at 400 ppm or higher.

      • Curious George

        Jim – I consider it extremely relevant. One of most plentiful organic compounds, RuBisCO – an enzyme taking part in photosynthesis – binds to CO2, and also eagerly to O2, in the first case facilitation photosynthesis, in the second case inhibiting it. That suggests that plants developed in an environment with a generous supply of CO2. I am not calling it a paradise, but you should not call it a catastrophe, either. Maybe consulting an article on C4 plants would help.

        You have a point regarding polar regions, but .. they look huge only if you use a Soviet era cylindrical projection maps. Yes, thawing of all of the Greenland and Antarctic ice would increase the seal level – but, first, it won’t happen overnight (unless you live in Hollywood), and, second, a plenty of habitable new land – like today’s tundras, or Antarctica – would appear.

      • David Springer

        Curious George | August 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm |

        “Yes, thawing of all of the Greenland and Antarctic ice would increase the seal level”

        Killer whales eat seals. Would it then follow that increasing seal level increases whale level?

      • Ice cores seem to suggest that the minima of CO2 correspond to maxima of atmospheric dust, implying that a decrease of CO2 leads to desertification.

        …”[I}mplying that a decrease of CO2 leads [may lead] to desertification.”

        There. Fixed it for you. Correlation isn’t causation. Higher levels of atmospheric dust making it to icy regions imply higher levels making it to the vast, infertile regions of the oceans, fertilizing them and producing heightened levels of CO2 extraction. This might be a positive “feedback” on an existing process, an independent result of desertification from other causes, or both.

      • It doesn’t take much above 700 ppm to get to the ice-free, high-sea-level state that we had in the Eocene.

        AFAIK the Eocene didn’t have C4 grasses, at least not in significant quantities, especially adapted to arid climates.

        Thus, it’s not a valid comparison.

      • “…significantly altering the pole-equator temperature gradient…”
        We could look at the pole-equator oceans temperature gradient. If the tropical waters heat up, what is the temperature of the oceans under and close to sea ice? Wouldn’t it be constant for the most part? The gradient would steepen. The hydrological cycle speeds up.

      • Curious George

        AK – thank you for fixing it for me. May I suggest you look up a word “imply” in a dictionary.

      • Ragnaar, the poles warm up much more, so the gradient reduces.
        Others, I don’t know how the type of grass helps with climate change. There would probably be more tree-type plants replacing grass especially towards the Arctic continents, but that is if the humidity rises with the temperature as indicated by the Eocene, otherwise drier grass-favoring conditions may persist where there isn’t desert. It is just hard to know which way the ecosystems will tip: deserts, savannahs, or forests. There are some self-reinforcing effects. The greening and then drying of the Sahara in just the Holocene shows how vegetation can respond in complex ways.

      • Increased vegetation also leads to lower albedo and more methane from the vegetated area expanding into what is currently a passive Arctic tundra.

        Which is a negative feedback on pco2 eg (Charman et al 2013)

        Opposite to expectations, our results indicate a small negative carbon cycle feedback from past changes in the long-term accumulation rates of northern peatlands. Total carbon accumulated over the last 1000 yr is linearly related to contemporary growing season length and photosynthetically active radiation, suggesting that variability in net primary productivity is more important than decomposition in determining long-term carbon accumulation.
        Furthermore, northern peatland carbon sequestration rate declined
        over the climate transition from the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) to the Little Ice Age (LIA), probably because of lower LIA temperatures combined with increased cloudiness suppressing net primary productivity.

      • Yes Jim D. I am in the oceans for the moment. There is a set point, something like -2.0 C for ocean water. Ignoring freshwater melt effects, this number is anchored. When SSTs rise, they increase their difference from the set point. I think this diagram is showing ocean heat transport:
        It stops at about 80 degrees North. If the ice recedes, I am suggesting the ocean heat transport goes further North than before. And that this -2.0 C set point roughly follows the sea ice. If the Northern sea ice is growing, that would be consistent with conserving heat in the lower latitudes. While the atmospheric transport is 2 or 3 times that of the oceans, which is the more steady and has the most sustain?
        Nigel: The sustain, listen to it.
        Marty: I don’t hear anything.
        Nigel: Well you would though, if it were playing.

      • “Opposite to expectations, our results indicate a small negative carbon cycle feedback from past changes in the long-term accumulation rates of northern peatlands.”
        So, peat is formed mostly during glacials or interglacials?

      • So, peat is formed mostly during glacials or interglacials?

        Interglacials as it warms,the oceans emit and the peatlands form large sinks.Spagnum mosses having a supply contract with Methanotrophic microbes to fix nitrogen.

  6. Matthew R Marler

    This paper might be of interest. Sorry about the paywall.


    Ann. Appl. Stat.
    Volume 8, Number 2 (2014), 649-673.

    Fast dimension-reduced climate model calibration and the effect of data aggregation

    Won Chang, Murali Haran, Roman Olson, and Klaus Keller


    How will the climate system respond to anthropogenic forcings? One approach to this question relies on climate model projections. Current climate projections are considerably uncertain. Characterizing and, if possible, reducing this uncertainty is an area of ongoing research. We consider the problem of making projections of the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). Uncertainties about climate model parameters play a key role in uncertainties in AMOC projections. When the observational data and the climate model output are high-dimensional spatial data sets, the data are typically aggregated due to computational constraints. The effects of aggregation are unclear because statistically rigorous approaches for model parameter inference have been infeasible for high-resolution data. Here we develop a flexible and computationally efficient approach using principal components and basis expansions to study the effect of spatial data aggregation on parametric and projection uncertainties. Our Bayesian reduced-dimensional calibration approach allows us to study the effect of complicated error structures and data-model discrepancies on our ability to learn about climate model parameters from high-dimensional data. Considering high-dimensional spatial observations reduces the effect of deep uncertainty associated with prior specifications for the data-model discrepancy. Also, using the unaggregated data results in sharper projections based on our climate model. Our computationally efficient approach may be widely applicable to a variety of high-dimensional computer model calibration problems.

    • Curious George

      Paywalled it is. It uses principal components – isn’t it a technique that made Dr. Mann famous?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Curious George: It uses principal components – isn’t it a technique that made Dr. Mann famous?

        It’s a technique for optimally summarizing a large number of correlated variables into a small number of empirically orthogonal variables. Mann was the first to use it in his field, making some judgments that have been criticized, and getting a result that was not subsequently confirmed (the original “hockey stick”, that adorned the IPCC web page for a while before they took it down.)

  7. Kloor is hilarious:

    “I am in no way excusing or rationalizing the behavior of climate bloggers and others who have previously used slanderous language in an attempt to discredit you. But I guess what I getting at here is this: Do you feel in any way responsible for provoking the deep-seated anger directed at you over the years, which seems to have culminated in this mob-like attack on your reputation after publication of the 538 piece?”

    Translation – I am in no way excusing their behavior, but isn’t it really your fault?

    I am in now way blaming you for being raped, but didn’t you instigate it by wearing a short skirt?

    I would also be interested to know the details behind this from Pielke, Jr.:

    ” Last month, after 538 showed some reluctance in continuing to publish my work….”

    What was the work, how precisely was this “reluctance…to publish” shown, and by whom?

    When progressives claim to air all sides of the debate, they mean all progressive sides of the debate.

    Two cases of post-modern journolism at its very best.

  8. “Geoengineering could make climate change’s impacts worse ”
    Who’d have dreamed it?

    “Will Cli-Fi change how we react to climate change? ”
    Most assuredly not, unless it’s to make the whole notion that much more risible.

  9. “Left-Wing ‘Billionaire’s Club’ Using Environmentalism to Control US Economy, Subvert Democracy ”

    Yet another major scandal to be assiduously ignored by the so-called MSM.
    They’ve gotten so good at it. Practice really does make perfect

    • The MSM elite live in the same closed super zips and go to the same dinner parties as the left wing billionaIres.

  10. “Warming won’t swamp Pacific Islands. Coral reefs will rise in tandem with seas”

    Waiting for the NYT’s to dutifully report this bit of encouraging news.

  11. “Hi-ho, Silver, Away! ”

    Steyn, as usual, nails it. Silver folded like the proverbial cheap suit.

  12. David Wojick

    Discussion and debate aside, I here invite the denizens to submit real comments on EPA’s proposed CO2 control regulations:
    http://www.coalblog.org/2014/07/30/how-to-comment-on-epas-proposed-coal-killing-co2-control-rules/ Enjoy.

  13. Fascinating stuff, especially peer pub. Thank you for putting it together.

  14. What popped into my head this week:

    Working on one of my farms this week the temp was 275 degrees with a thousand % humidity (at least it felt that way).

    Suddenly a lone cloud passed over giving me a minute or two of some relief — and I thought:

    Dr. Curry promised to teach us about clouds on her blog and she hasn’t gotten around to it yet.

  15. Nothing on the newfound holes on the Yamal peninsula that are causing so much alarm/disagreement?

  16. Jim Cripwell

    I would like to pose a question to all warmist denizens of CE, and particularly our hostess


    If anyone wants to claim the answer is YES, would you provide the numeric value and accuracy, together with a reference describing how the measurement was made.

    If no-one can provide this can we establish that as of July 2014, no-one has measured CS.

    This question requires a simple yes or no answer, Will the warmists be scientifically honest, and agree with me that the answer is NO?

    • **Yawn** heard it before.

      BTW, did you know “chaos” comes from a greek word that also means “Yawn”

      • Jim Cripwell

        AK, you may have heard it before but Jim D is the first warmist to admit it.

      • The question is a straw man, because no scientist would say that climate sensitivity has been measured. They would say that they have estimates always with error bars, from multiple independent lines of evidence.

      • Steven Mosher

        Jim D we’ve tried to explain that to cripwell 100s of times
        he doesnt get it.

    • Yes, estimated, not measured. There is a difference, and in this context measurements per se are not even possible.

    • Where measurement isn’t possible, neither is science.

      • That is a very limiting view you have set for yourself. Estimates abound in science. Estimates arise when you have accounted for the primary observed effects with a theory, but some secondary effects may still not be fully quantifiable. The heat output of the sun is an example. The fall speed of an object is another. Cosmology has other examples. Science works by looking for the primary mechanisms to explain things, but usually there is more than one thing in play. Everything is not an ideal gas. Radiative effects are not fully quantified. Cloud properties are not fully predictable. Each on its own is a science and estimates can be made from theories within those sciences.

      • We don’t need no stinking measurements, and that goes for thermometers too.. Just ask Obama who recently proclaimed that the world had warmed more in the last decade than the most alarmist predictions. Of course in a sane world you would expect that President of the United States of American would be criticized for lying to the American people. Unfortunately we’re living in deepening dystopian nightmare that’s becoming positively Orwellian in its dimensions..

      • Sorry, JimD. In science, a hypotheis has to be verified against the final arbiter: Mother Nature. This involves making a measurement. There is no other way.

      • Yes, verification turns a hypothesis into a theory. There are theories in science. They only explain parts of Nature. In the earth sciences, you rarely have a closed system where the theory can predict an exact measurement. The sun-earth system is one example of a rather large set of intersecting sub-systems, each with its own theories.

      • Without measurement, climate studies can’t be called a science. You can call it climate religion, climate philosophy, climate art, climate tea leaves, climate juju, climate Taro cards, climate … well, you get the idea, I’m sure.

      • There is measurement: temperature and CO2 for two. Not only that but a theory explaining how these are changing together, which also explains why past climates were so warm. All the components of the theory are long-standing physical science fields; radiative transfer, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, cloud physics. It is just physics as Lacis keeps saying.

      • ==> “Where measurement isn’t possible, neither is science.”

        Oh boy – another estimate vs. measurement argument. How exciting.

        You do realize, jim2, that you don’t get one without the other don’t you?

        No measurement of a physical entity can be entirely accurate. Which is where error analysis comes into play. Which implies estimation.

      • Joshua, “No measurement of a physical entity can be entirely accurate. Which is where error analysis comes into play. Which implies estimation.”

        Absolutely right Joshua. Like where Kevin Trenberth and crew “estimate” the global radiative imbalance to be 0.9 Wm-2 +/- 0.18 Wm-2 and Stephens and crew estimate the “surface” radiative imbalance to be 0.6 Wm-2 +/- 17 Wm-2, there is no controversy since they are only estimates right?

      • ===> ” there is no controversy since they are only estimates right?”


      • Joshua, “===> ” there is no controversy since they are only estimates right?”


        Since there is no difference between measurement and estimate, in yor opinion, there should be no controversy over climate sensitivity, Earth’s radiant imbalance, the carcinogenic effect of charbroiled GM fed beef burgers or the influence of pork fat on flavor. The jims seem to believe that some form of measure is required before guesses can be called science.

        The speed of light has been estimated to 9 significant digits, gravitational constant to 6 significant digits and climate sensitive to almost one whole significant digit. H&H estimated climate sensitivity by averaging the qualified SWAGs to about 3C. They did note that some of the “qualified” SWAGgers may have intentionally over estimated sensitivity which is the real difference between measurement and estimate. A measure is based on a known or knowable reference and an estimate not so much. So a measure is just a way of validating an estimate.

        The reason I use Trenberth as an example is in their energy balance paper they used a Hansen model to estimate the radiant imbalance to +/- 0.18 Wm-2 indicating a very high level of accuracy and precision. It is likely that the actual radiant imbalance lies outside of their estimated range and uncertainty. THAT is a nono in real science. If nothing else, a scientist needs to be certain about their degree of uncertainty. That requires a reference for them to be measured against.

      • ==> “Since there is no difference between measurement and estimate, in yor opinion, there should be no controversy over climate sensitivity, ”

        I’m not sure I said that “there is no difference between measurement and estimate.” What I said is that it is fallacious to argue that you can have the one without the other. Maybe they’re the same thing. Not sure why it matters as again, my point is that you can’t have the one without the other. If you want to take issue with that I’ve said, please explain how you can have the one without the other.

        But as to your silly comment – If I quantify how much bacon I have I necessarily estimate within a range of error. You might very well come up with a slightly different measurement either because of a different measuring methodology or because of a different range of error or a different estimate within the same range of error.

        Why should there be no controversy if there are: (1) different measuring techniques or, (2) different estimates used to quantify a measurement? People can argue about methodology or implementation of methodology. That has nothing to do with whether or not one can quantify a measurement w/o some estimation (or whether one can estimate w/o some form or measurement).

        Speaking of bacon – there’s some afry right now. Time to make the espresso.

      • Climate Sensitivity is a number devised by climate scientists to ease the dialogue between them. It is based on the doubling of CO2 and is therefore an arbitrary number. It is not, IMHO, a scientific number subject to the rigors of science.

    • Jim,

      Supposedly there is an answer to your question in the affirmative. This article suggests that the measurements are not accurate in the short term as all the transient responces require a long term answer. He says 100 years. Just off hand it seems to me it would take longer as solar forcing is in longer term cycles such as the De Vries 200 year cycle or really long Milankovitch cycles. Now you would think that if this is the case one could accurately measure late 20th century warming by using prior variability data but at least according to projections coming out of that it doesn’t seem to be the case? My best guess is that the answer could be yes but that it hasn’t been demonstrated so far. The article:


      As you probably know I am not a scientist so you can take this with a grain of salt. I’m just relaying that information for you to ponder as I am. If you have better imput please inform me; I’m pretty opened minded (or at least think so, sarc).

      • Correction: the author didn’t say 100 years (I must have read that somewhere else) He said: “Among other complications, you have to pick the time frame your interested in. The climate system is sluggish in some ways, so the longer you give it to respond, the greater its response will be.”

    • I don’t think CS has been measured, Jim. I am not sure I qualify as a warmist, though. Should I ask Vaughan to come here and tell you the same?

      Speaking of whom, here’s an interesting discussion about the definion of CS:


      Be well,


      • Thanks for the link Willard. Looks like the brainiacs don’t like jefferys prior.

      • A far as I can see, ordvic, appealing to an uninformed prior rests on the same trick econometrists use to pretend they don’t analyze datasets before devising their criteria. Covariance is nice; common sense, as Radford Neale recalled to Neil, is better.

      • > as Radford Neale recalled to Neil

        That’s Nic, not Neil.

        Since I now have a keyboard, here’s where he did:

        That the “objective” Bayesian method using Jeffreys’ prior will produce perfect probability matching is most easily seen as being due to the general fact that an analysis using the Jeffreys’ prior is not affected by applying some monotonic transformation to the parameter (and then interpreting the results as transformed, of course). Standard frequentist tests of a null hypothesis based on a Gaussian observation are also unaffected by such a monotonic transformation. So in both cases, one can construct a confidence/credible interval for the carbon-14 age by well-known methods (that exhibit perfect probability matching), and then simply transform the endpoints of this interval to calendar years using the calibration curve (which I’ll assume is known exactly, since uncertainty in it doesn’t seem to really affect the argument). The result will also have perfect probability matching.

        But it doesn’t follow that these intervals with perfect probability matching actually make any sense. As you seem to realize, the posterior probability density function obtained using Jeffreys’ prior is both bizarre and unbelievable. In particular, calendar ages where the calibration curve is almost flat have almost zero posterior probability density, even when they are entirely compatible with the observed data. The posterior probability that the true calendar age is in some interval over which the calibration curve is almost flat is also close to zero, so it’s not just a case of some funny problem with interpreting what a probability density is. There’s just no way this makes any sense […]


        Nic should beware his posterior, or else he’ll get kicked, again.

    • Jim Cripwell and Jim2 — Nic Lewis isn’t following “sound science” in his conclusions?


  17. Your picture just made me spend $20 on indian carry out.

  18. David Springer

    Steyn update a great read. Thanks.


    • Steyn’s a treasure, not a word I use much, if ever. He’s a brilliant writer for one thing, which is exceedingly rare in the climate realm. But more than that, he’s highly principled, willing to go all the way down the line to show the world what a pathetic charlatan Mann is.

      Any skeptics who’ve not contributed to legal defense should do so now, or be forever ashamed..

      • Anyone who believes in free speech – whatever your opinion on climate change – should contribute, or be forever ashamed. This case goes beyond the pseudo-scientific squabble into a much more fundamental realm. I may be a lukewarmist, but I fervently hope Mann goes down.

      • Good to hear John. Of course you’re right, something like this should rise above politics. But so many things should these days. The IRS scandal is a prime example of something that should scare the hell out of everyone. Imagine if it were G. Bush in the W.H. and the IRS were found to be targeting progressive groups. Can you imagine the howls of editorial outrage from such outlets as the NYT’s?

        Or how about if it were G. Bush’s “pen and phone?”

      • > I may be a lukewarmist, but I fervently hope Mann goes down.

        I may be a ninja, but I fail to understand this “but”.

      • ==> “Anyone who believes in free speech – whatever your opinion on climate change – should contribute, or be forever ashamed.”

        Here we have a perfect test.

        If you don’t send money to Mark, you don’t believe in free speech (or are shameless or feel shame for not doing so. Forever).

        It doesn’t matter how you might view the situation. Perhaps you don’t support Mann, but you think that Steyn is a political blowhard who undermines legitimate scientific discussions about climate change by playing personality politics. That doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how you view the situation

        You haven’t sent mark money you say?

        Feel ashamed. Forever.

        Or it is clear that you “[don’t] believe in free speech.”

      • David Springer

        Joshua doesn’t believe in free speech. There’s a shocker.

      • Joshua believes in free speech – just as long as he has no disagreement with what others say.
        The freedom to express an opinion is the very essence of freedom of speech, even if that opinion appears to go against Joshua’s view of what freedom of speech should be.
        And, of course, Joshua has the freedom to express his opinions, just as the rest of us have the freedom to ignore him.

  19. David Wojick

    Stavins fails to mention that EPA had to go out a preposterous 300 years to get the climate benefits.

  20. David L. Hagen

    Should the EPA/Administration be bound by the Rule of Law?

    On June 26th, the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming filed legal documents calling the EPA’s actions “nothing short of extraordinary” and asking for the rule to be withdrawn.

    No. 14-1112


    The President expressly “direct[ed]” EPA to “use [its] authority under section[] . . . 111(d) of the Clean Air Act” to require the States to regulate CO2 emitted from existing coal-fired power plants, even though Section 111(d) specifically prohibits such regulation. EPA thus issued the Proposed Rule under Section 111(d). Despite a letter from West Virginia informing EPA of the illegality of its proposal, 3 EPA published the Proposed Rule and committed to completing the rule making by June 2015. EPA’s assertion of authority denied it by Congress imposes real harms on the States now: States have to undertake huge amounts of burdensome work now to develop plans to meet the anticipated rule and cannot wait for the final rule and still have any chance of meeting the indicated deadlines. Only this Court’s prompt intervention can stop this ongoing harm.
    Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7411(d). That provision grants EPA certain authority to require States to regulate existing-source emissions, but it specifically
    excludes the regulation of any air pollutant emitted from a source category that EPA already regulates under Section 112 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7412. As even EPA concedes,a “literal” application of this carve-out prohibits the proposed regulation because the agency has already regulated coal-fired power plants under Section 112.

    • David Wojick

      This will be an interesting case because it centers on a legal technicality that the Courts will be comfortable with.

      • Curious George

        The Courts do whatever they like to do, comfortable or otherwise. CO2 is a pollutant. Stella got a million because she was served a hot coffee.
        A difference between a federal judge and God: God knows he is not a federal judge.

    • David W. and H. — What’s unique/different in this case your citing versus the U.S Supreme Court decision a few years ago that said the EPA did have authority to regulate CO2 as a pollutant?

    • Interesting. I looked into this and this is what I found. A 2005 EPA conclusion was that 111d only could conflict with pollutants listed in 112b which lists hazardous materials, of which CO2 isn’t one. This interpretation was used successfully to defeat an attempted EPA mercury measure under 111d in 2009 because that is also in 112b. To succeed, the opponents would have to show that CO2 is a hazardous pollutant controlled by 112, but unfortunately those are explicitly listed in 112b.

      • David L. Hagen

        Jim D
        Appearances can be deceiving under SCOTUS decisions.


        “An agency may not rewrite clear statutory terms to suit its own sense of how the statute should operate,” Justice Scalia wrote. “We are not willing to stand on the dock and wave goodbye as EPA embarks on a multiyear voyage of discovery” about how it wants to regulate greenhouse gases.
        It was “patently unreasonable — not to say outrageous — for EPA to insist on seizing expansive power that it admits the statute is not designed to grant,” the opinion said.  It accused the agency of “laying claim to extravagant statutory power over the national economy.”

        Despite that and despite there being no mention of CO2 in the Clean Air Act, SCOTUS went on:

        Third, EPA does have the power, if it is already regulating a specific source because it emits other kinds of air pollution, to require that source to use the best available technology also to control greenhouse gases.

        Lyle Denniston, Opinion analysis: EPA mostly wins, but with criticism, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 23, 2014, 2:07 PM),

        With SCOTUS just ruling that the EPA HAD the authority to control CO2 of power plants already regulated under Section 112, how is the EPA going to claim that it is NOT regulated under Section 112 so that it can regulate under Section 111d?

      • I suspect what they regulated for power plants under 112 were the hazardous pollutants like mercury and arsenic, not CO2 which is not listed as hazardous. So there is no overlap because 111d only deals with reducing CO2, while other hazardous products like soot and sulfates would only be reduced as a by-product.

    • There is a problem with the lawsuit in that the clean air act has two 111(d) versions that conflict with each other. One version, passed by the Senate, supports the new EPA rule and the other version, passed by the House, does not. There was a conference committee that was suppose to resolve the two versions but did not; I’m not sure how both versions got into the law.

      This will probably go to the supreme court where the decision is uncertain. Some justices may defer to the EPA interpretation and others may not. In past opiions Roberts distinguishes between ambiguous language in a law and conflicting language and has said the an agency cannot interpret a law when it is conflicting language; 111(d) appears to have conflicting language. He has also written opinions showing his concern of agency overreach and stating that agencies have no inherent authority to interpret laws, that they must get that authority from the court.

      • Their interpretation is that just because power plants are already regulated by 112 for toxics, you can’t add any state regulations under 111d for non-toxics because these also affect the same “sources”, i.e. power plants by their interpretation. That was not the intent of the law and the general term “sources” is deliberately confused in search of a loop-hole. They would make it so you have to choose whether to regulate something for toxics or non-toxics, but you can’t do both which is senseless.

      • David L. Hagen

        Another legal review: Freeman, Jody, and David B. Spence. 2014. Old Statutes, New Problems
        Regulatory Policy Program Working Paper RPP-2014-02. Cambridge, MA: Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University.

      • David: In your reference “EPAs 111(d) Authority…” Konschnik relies heavily on a 1984 majority opinion (Chevron) that gave deference to an agency when the law is ambiguous. Chevron however is not a strong precident. Courts are now saying that there must be limits on Chevron.


    • David L. Hagen

      The 12 Coal States directly filed against the EPA for raising coal power plant regulations under sect. 111(d) after the Supreme Court said that it could not. See pg 3.
      State of West Virginia et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency

  21. Comments, corrections or criticisms would be appreciated on this paper under review:


  22. Can anyone point me to a comprehensive table of climate feedbacks? Not a box diagram, not a flow chart of a few big feeedbacks. Positive feedbacks lined up against negative feedbacks, in a literal table or spreadsheet.All known feedbacks ranked from biggest temperature impact or most global to smallest or most local.

    (Third and last time I’ll post this request. Just testing a hypothesis that it doesn’t exist, because the research bias is in favor of logging positive feedbacks.)


  23. David L. Hagen

    What can men do against such climate corruption?
    Ride out and meet them . . .and look for the coming at dawn.
    Pointman hosts Blackswan’s expose of high climate crimes and misdemeanors in Who is this Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

    As you might be aware, the new administration in Australia has abolished the Carbon Tax and is currently engaged in the arduous task of cutting off the heads of the green Hydra that is government spending on climate alarmism. . . .While the article covers political and union corruption, an important thing to note is that most of it was unearthed by a handful of investigative bloggers, citizen researchers and refugee journalists who’d decamped to the blogosphere. . . .
    In 2011 Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard introduced a Carbon Dioxide Tax, despite a pre-election promise of … “There’ll be no carbon tax under the government I lead.” . . .
    an unprecedented record $AU100 million grant was made to the University of Adelaide in her home state of South Australia in the last weeks of her administration, and the grateful university Dons accorded her an honorary PhD,. . .
    members of the Labor Party, Gillard having been a member since the age of sixteen. The Socialist Forum adhered to the strategy “that power transformation could be facilitated through communists gaining control of the levers of power: i.e. Marxist infiltration of trade unions, educational facilities, cultural associations and political parties.” . . .
    with a lifetime parliamentary pension and benefits in excess of $300,000 per year, Prof Dr Gillard joined the Washington DC based Brookings Institute . . .
    she unaccountably contributed $US303 million Australian taxpayer dollars to Global Partnerships for Education (GPE), . . making Australia the world’s most generous donor equivalent to the combined sum from the USA + Russia + France + Italy + Ireland + Japan + Switzerland . . . .
    . . .assured her appointment as Chair of the GPE Committee . . .controlling distribution of a record $US28.5 billion donated dollars. . . .
    Royal Commission lifting the lid on a cesspit of corruption would never have happened without the groundswell of outrage born and fostered on internet blogs where citizen researchers, lawyers, businessmen and women, and investigative journalists of every stripe, found the only forum for their voices. Denigrated as irrelevant “internet nutjobs” by Gillard and her sycophantic Media lapdogs, blogosphere journalists are set to change the future of our nation, and the nature of our public administration. The Commission will hear evidence till the end of the year.
    People are going to prison. . . .

    • This is BS. The allegations against Gillard have been made and investigated for 20 years. The allegations against Shorten are just that. Both are entitled to the presumption of innocence especially while not even charged.

      No expenditure occurs without oversight and an appropriations bill. Education is one of the critical expenditures identified by Lomberg and $303 million is not out of keeping with either the quantum of aid or aid priorities.


      We make about $14B from selling education to the region. It is very much a 2 way street involving foreign students here and Australian students scholarships overseas building links to the region. It is very good for business – and we have the world’s fastest growing regions at the doorstep.

      • Kudos.

      • The labor party is a shambles and member after minister has been going down for corruption. Just not Gillard yet – although she may. Shorten has been accused of rape of a 16 year old in the 80’s – if true he deserves all that he gets.

        The rule of law is a central value for an enlightenment liberal.

    • The claims made on Pointman’s blog are on the record.

      • yes – again and again and again – for 20 years – all without charge. They must still be innocent.

      • Why bother getting charges (let alone a conviction) when you can make the charges again and again and get folks like David, pointman, and beth to clap every time they’re made?

        It’s all a conspiracy, don’tcha know. Conspiracies are much more conspiracyish if you don’t have changes or convictions because then you can say that the lack of charges or convictions are part of the conspiracy!!!! Much more fun that way!!!!

    • David L. Hagen

      For someone expert is exposing such corruption, see President Václav Klaus on Climate. E.g.,
      Climate Change: The Dangerous Faith (Sydney speech)

      – I don’t see any real climate threat connected with global warming in a meaningful time horizon;
      – I do see measures – already introduced or planned for the future – which substantially endanger our freedom;
      – I do see a very irrational, wasteful allocation of scarce resources which endanger our prosperity. Extremely costly mitigation measures are undertaken instead of addressing more pressing needs, especially connected with poverty in many parts of the world;
      – I do know that the fight with the climate has no meaning because it can’t be won.

  24. David Springer

    Quotable hiatus quotes links to wrong place.

  25. Obviously Professor Stephen Gardiner believes there will be big negative effects from CO2 in future. This kind of comment means that the IPCC must provide a more balanced view of the likelihood of of extreme climate change from future increases in CO2 concentration. There is a lot to be learned from the on/off natiure of climate change, while despite all the evidence to the contrary, some still believe the Al Gore fiction.

  26. The Committee’s research demonstrates that oftentimes EPA contributes to the bottom line of green groups through grants. Accordingly, a grant from EPA or another government agency is particularly valuable to a 501(c)(3) as nonprofits are required to obtain one-third of its funding from the public to maintain its tax-exempt status. A grant from EPA contributes to that goal, without limitation.~Left-Wing ‘Billionaire’s Club’ Using Environmentalism to Control Economy

  27. David L. Hagen

    Why the 17 year “pause” while CO2 is rising?

    Global Temperature Update – Still no global warming for 17 years 10 months

    Introducing the WUWT CO2 Reference Page

    We have been told by NASA “that carbon dioxide itself is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG)” and by NOAA’s UCAR that “the current spike in carbon dioxide is sure to result in a rapid increase in global temperature”. Anthroprogenic CO2 emissions have increased by over 60% since 1990; . . .“That is about a quarter of all the CO₂ put there by humanity since 1750. And yet, as James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, ‘the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.’”

  28. Well blow me down, every day a new discovery in the climate
    change chronicle. ‘Coral reefs will grow and rise in tandem with
    the sea.’ writes Christpher Pala.

    Er, didn’t Charles Darwin make that observation in his first
    monograph on his journey on The Beagle?


  29. An interesting article on the future of wine. If the French wineries are buying property in southern England, they are seeing convincing signs of long-term change already. Wine is a sensitive indicator.

    • JimD

      As you know the Domesday book lists wineries in England.(i.e Viking times)

      I have an interesting book that describes the wine growing area around Exeter-home of the Met Office -during Roman times.

      Tacitus the Roman Historian describes how on conquest the climate was too wet and cool for wines but within 80 years they were widespread.

      Many wineries were destroyed during the Reformation by which time wine from British possessions in France had long been popular in Britain and cheaper.

      With better viticulture methods wine growing in a country such as ours that is periodically well used to wineries becomes ever more feasible. The current vogue is undoubtedly driven by a run of better years climatically but also by the relative cost of land. In prime French wine growing regions land is often very expensive or has already been used by established growers.

      Sorry, but you are barking up the wrong tree in seeing anything out of the ordinary happening that hasn’t been happening here for several thousand years.


      • Massive decline in German production in LIA, red grapes just about eclipsed, though they’d been major part of the industry. (Interestingly, one contemporary mention of German red wine in the 6th century.)

        The single most amazing thing about climate change expertise: authority and certainty about change which has not happened yet, ignorance (or ignoring) of climate change which has actually occurred.

        How do you get climate change experts interested in climate change? Beats me, tonyb.

      • Mosomoso

        I am pleased to announce a compulsory ‘Climate change through the ages’ course for ALL climate scientists.

        I have the exclusive contract and would like to offer you the lucrative Australian franchise. Be prepared to become VERY rich.

        The course will then be made mandatory for all commenters on blogs from 2015.

        Exciting times as sceptics make money from climate change for the first time (obviously apart from the huge funding from Big Oil)


      • Man has successfully reversed the Holocene trend that was previously downwards due to Milankovitch cycles that now favor Arctic ice. This diagram indicates the time scales involved.

        The MWP and Roman Warm Period show up in this larger context. No wonder the wine is coming back to England, and fast, I would say.

      • Jimd

        Not marcott, surely. He has he same problem as dr Mann in as much splicing an instrumental record onto a suspect proxy record is comparing apples and oranges as the instrumental record shows the substantial annual and decadal variability whereas the 50 or 100 year centred proxies smooth natural variability away.

      • Tonyb, so you are not sure about the Holocene decline that included the warm periods you were talking about, and is also consistent with Milankovitch in addition to the paleo records. The only questions about Marcott were with how it tied into the modern instrument record, which was not its main thrust. The paper itself mostly just presented this interesting 11000 year reconstruction. The press about it put the instrument record in for context, and then the skeptics complained that the instrument record was used instead of paleo data for the 20th century, which was a stupid argument to make, as though Marcott had to prove that the 20th century was also warming with his paleo data when too little of it ran that far to make it statistically robust, and why would you need it anyway when you have actual thermometers?

  30. Andrew Revkin says about EnergizeAfrica:

    No need for carbon fights here

    The description he links to:
    contains an unclear summary with bullet points, the first two of which propose to do something or other in order “to increase electricity access and reliability“.

    Will Africa be allowed to follow Germany’s shining example and build new coal plants?

    • Good question, Canman.

      Of course, we can still do feel-good tweets, concerts for Africa, celebrity adoptions…the stuff that really matters.

      • I went through a few pages of tweets to find out if EnergizeAfrica had anything to do with building or blocking coal plants. I still don’t know.

      • At least Andy gets to feel deeply about Africa, and think only the choicest thoughts on the subject. No need to break the enchantment with talk of carbon. Surely those people have plenty of dung and twigs to tide them over till green energy arrives.

  31. Scott Basinger

    Yeah. I don’t follow 538.com anymore mainly for this and their brutal World Cup coverage. When they started this ridiculous Burrito Bracket thing I figured they’d completely jumped the shark. No courage, terrible stories, no integrity to stand by one of their own when he’s right.

  32. Ahh, Lil El Nino finally hits SoCal. Rain at last!! Very refreshing.

  33. Nat gas infrastructure is getting put in place at full blast.
    From the article:

    By 2020, we expect some 24 billion cubic feet/day of combined Marcellus and Utica production. Where will all this shale gas go?

    We have identified 51 pipeline infrastructure projects that originate in Marcellus or Utica including: backhaul, bi-directional flow, reversals, expansion of capacity, extension of market reach, and greenfield projects.

    The total capacity for all projects identified is approximately 30 bcf/d. This represents new capacity that has been or will be completed in 2014, and projects proposed through 2018.


    • It’s not just the building of this infrastructure, it’s the learning curve.

      This pipeline is constructed for exporting of gas from the Norway’s Ormen Lange, one of the largest natural gas reserves of the world to the national Transmission system in the United Kingdom. Built at a total cost of 1.7 billion pounds ($2.6 Billion), the pipeline is about 725 miles (1,166 km) in length and has a carrying capacity of 26 billion cubic meters per year.

      That works out to 10¢ for each cubic meter per year capacity.

      As in any other project of similar grandiosity, construction of this pipeline presented some unique challenges. One particular hurdle was the drilling conditions which comprised of rocky and uneven seabed beneath the North Sea. These conditions, coupled with the ever-present tectonic movements, ridges and existing pipelines also added to the factor of disadvantage. To access the gas reserves in the Ormen Lange, ground breaking work was required with developer having to use unmanned modules and building equipment to place the platform on the ocean floor. With a projected output of 70 million m3, the gas extracted from the Ormen Lange is entirely for transport, mostly through a network of seabed pipelines laid in rugged seabed terrain.

      10 years from now they’ll do the same thing for a penny a CM/Year.

    • I wonder how Putin will feel about Norway undermining his primary tool for blackmailing Europe? Maybe we should send John Kerry over to negotiate an annexation treaty.

  34. “Left-Wing ‘Billionaire’s Club’ Using Environmentalism to Control US Economy, Subvert Democracy”

    Another ‘Well, DUUHHHH!’ moment.

  35. Name the chemical … from the MSDS sheet:

    Section 7: Handling and Storage
    Keep locked up.. Do not ingest. Do not breathe dust. Avoid contact with eyes. Wear suitable protective clothing. If ingested,
    seek medical advice immediately and show the container or the label. Keep away from incompatibles such as oxidizing
    agents, acids.

    Engineering Controls:
    Use process enclosures, local exhaust ventilation, or other engineering controls to keep airborne levels below recommended
    exposure limits. If user operations generate dust, fume or mist, use ventilation to keep exposure to airborne contaminants
    below the exposure limit.
    Personal Protection:
    Splash goggles. Lab coat. Dust respirator. Be sure to use an approved/certified respirator or equivalent. Gloves.
    Personal Protection in Case of a Large Spill:
    Splash goggles. Full suit. Dust respirator. Boots. Gloves. A self contained breathing apparatus should be used to avoid
    inhalation of the product. Suggested protective clothing might not be sufficient; consult a specialist BEFORE handling this

    Toxicity to Animals:
    toxicity (LD50): 3000 mg/kg [Rat.]. Acute dermal toxicity (LD50): >10000 mg/kg [Rabbit]. Acute toxicity of the dust (LC50):
    >42000 mg/m3 1 hours [Rat].
    Chronic Effects on Humans:
    MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells. Mutagenic for bacteria and/
    or yeast.
    Other Toxic Effects on Humans:
    Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation.
    Special Remarks on Toxicity to Animals:
    Lowest Published Lethal Dose (LDL) [Man] – Route: Oral; Dose: 1000 mg/kg
    Special Remarks on Chronic Effects on Humans:
    Causes adverse reproductive effects in humans (fetotoxicity, abortion, ) by intraplacental route. High intake of (molecule X) ,
    whether from occupational exposure or in the diet, may increase risk of TOXEMIA OF PREGNANCY in susceptible women
    (Bishop, 1978). Hypertonic (molecule X) solutions have been used to induce abortion in late pregnancy by direct infusion
    into the uterus (Brown et al, 1972), but this route of administration is not relevant to occupational exposures. May cause
    adverse reproductive effects and birth defects in animals, particularly rats and mice (fetotoxicity, abortion, musculoskeletal
    abnormalities, and maternal effects (effects on ovaries, fallopian tubes) by oral, intraperitoneal, intraplacental, intrauterine,
    parenteral, and subcutaneous routes. While (molecule X) has been used as a negative control n some reproductive
    studies, it has also been used as an example that almost any chemical can cause birth defects in experimental animals
    if studied under the right conditions (Nishimura & Miyamoto, 1969). In experimental animals, (molecule X) has caused
    delayed effects on newborns, has been fetotoxic, and has caused birth defects and abortions in rats and mice (RTECS, 1997).
    May affect genetic material (mutagenic)
    Special Remarks on other Toxic Effects on Humans:
    Acute Potential Health Effects: Skin: May cause skin irritation. Eyes: Causes eye irritation. Ingestion: Ingestion of large
    quantities can irritate the stomach (as in overuse of salt tablets) with nausea and vomiting. May affect behavior (muscle
    spasicity/contraction, somnolence), sense organs, metabolism, and cardiovascular system. Continued exposure may
    produce dehydration, internal organ congestion, and coma. Inhalation: Material is irritating to mucous membranes and upper
    respiratory tract.


    • You think this is a joke, but it isn’t.
      Many of my junior colleagues now have to ask the old-farts like myself if a particular reagent is nasty or not, as the MSDS have suffered threat escalation. We are in a similar position whereby all mammals were treated as hungry tigers and people were required to take he same precautions in dealing with mice as with tigers.

    • Yep, Doc. I’m a “retired” chemist. Retired to programming, that is. ;)

  36. Of interest is the lack of interest in El Nino which has dissipated having never occurred. Current anomaly is down to 0.1 degrees and we never had 3 consecutive months > 0.5 positive.
    Conditions favor a new slight upsurge but the likelihood has reverted to 52% ie toss of a coin more or less.
    Arctic sea ice extent is rather funny at the moment as well Large extent melted but thick ice and low SST suggest further melting should be rather slow. Here’s hoping for a quick stop and early rise.

  37. In the NYT this morning, in an article on “climate myths,” Robert K. Frank asserts that
    “Each new climate-change study seems more pessimistic than the last. This May and June, for example, were the hottest ones on record for the planet. Storms and droughts occur with increasing frequency. Glaciers are rapidly retreating, portending rising seas that could eventually displace hundreds of millions of people.”

    The article is graced with a photo of a marina on Lake Shasta, noting that the lake level is at 35% of capacity.


    While the Shasta water level is about half of what it normally is on this date, it is currently greater than it was following the dry winter of 1976-77.


    • The claims of more frequent, stronger droughts are simply not true for the US.

      From Judith Curry’s January 16, 2014 Senate testimony-

      “Extremes in precipitation (drought and heavy rainfall events) are shown in Figure 6. These data reflect NOAA’s Climate Extreme Index, which is calculated as the percentage of the U.S. being falling in the upper or lower tenth percentile of the local period of record. Drought is represented by the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) and heavy rainfall events are characterized from extremes in 1-day precipitation.

      “Figure 6a shows that the most extreme droughts were observed in the 1930’s and 1950’s.”


    • Isn’t there a correlation between NYT readers/writers and depression (pessimism)?

      • IIRC – there’s a fair amount of research that shows that libz are less happy than conz. I’m skeptical, but even if it is true, the question of causality is interesting and not necessarily favorable towards conz. And then we wouldn’t want to conflate findings on happiness with assumptions about depression and/or pessimism.

      • It is difficult to know if being on the political left is likely to increase the risk of mental illness or if you are mentally ill you are more prone to become sympathetic to the messages and beliefs of the left. Be that at it may, the short answer is yes.
        Curiously, people on the left are more likely to conclude that people who hold contrary beliefs are either evil or mentally ill.

      • Joshua and Doc: Thank you. I also remember a report that broke the population into about five political groups and analyzed each group. The group most on the left were the least self confident and may have been, don’t remember for sure, the most pessimistic about the future.

  38. U.S. Energy Department to make researchers’ papers free

    DOE is responding to a February 2013 memo from the White House directing federal research agencies to come up with a plan for allowing free access to taxpayer-funded, peer-reviewed manuscripts within 12 months after the paper appears in a journal. That would put agencies in line with the National Institutes of Health, which since 2008 has required its grantees to submit their accepted manuscripts to its PubMed Central archive for posting within 12 months of publication.

    Many publishers dislike PubMed Central—they say it infringes on journal copyright and diverts readers from their websites, cutting into advertising revenues. With those concerns in mind, in its 2013 memo the White House didn’t mandate that agencies establish a central repository but instead allowed them to devise their own plans for providing access to papers.

  39. I see story after story cataloging the myriad ‘social costs of carbon’. Based on the press, it appears that there isn’t a corner of our lives that is not negatively impacted by carbon.

    On the other hand, I see NO stories about the ‘social benefits of carbon’. Apparently there are none.

    It would appear to me that the solution is obvious: Simply halt the emission of ‘carbon’ by decree, and make it stick. Social costs would go to zero, by definition, and all that would be left is benefit. If I can believe the pronouncements of ‘the experts’, who understand such things.

  40. The cost of renewable energy

    The Economist has an article on the cost of renewable energy. It compares the cost of wind, solar, nuclear and gas in the USA. The explanation may be of interest, especially to those who quote the LCOE costs without realising that the LOCE of renewables and dispatchable generators is not comparable.


    … But whereas the cost of a solar panel is easy to calculate, the cost of electricity is harder to assess. It depends not only on the fuel used, but also on the cost of capital (power plants take years to build and last for decades), how much of the time a plant operates, and whether it generates power at times of peak demand. To take account of all this, economists use “levelised costs”—the net present value of all costs (capital and operating) of a generating unit over its life cycle, divided by the number of megawatt-hours of electricity it is expected to supply.

    The trouble, as Paul Joskow of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has pointed out, is that levelised costs do not take account of the costs of intermittency.* Wind power is not generated on a calm day, nor solar power at night, so conventional power plants must be kept on standby—but are not included in the levelised cost of renewables. Electricity demand also varies during the day in ways that the supply from wind and solar generation may not match, so even if renewable forms of energy have the same levelised cost as conventional ones, the value of the power they produce may be lower. In short, levelised costs are poor at comparing different forms of power generation.

    To get around that problem Charles Frank of the Brookings Institution, a think-tank, uses a cost-benefit analysis to rank various forms of energy. The costs include those of building and running power plants, and those associated with particular technologies, such as balancing the electricity system when wind or solar plants go offline or disposing of spent nuclear-fuel rods. The benefits of renewable energy include the value of the fuel that would have been used if coal- or gas-fired plants had produced the same amount of electricity and the amount of carbon-dioxide emissions that they avoid. The table summarises these costs and benefits. It makes wind and solar power look far more expensive than they appear on the basis of levelised costs.

    Mr Frank took four sorts of zero-carbon energy (solar, wind, hydroelectric and nuclear), plus a low-carbon sort (an especially efficient type of gas-burning plant), and compared them with various sorts of conventional power.

    But the most cost-effective zero-emission technology is nuclear power.

    The carbon price would have to rise to $185 a tonne before solar power shows a net benefit.

    At the moment, most rich countries and China subsidise solar and wind power to help stem climate change. Yet this is the most expensive way of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Meanwhile Germany and Japan, among others, are mothballing nuclear plants, which (in terms of carbon abatement) are cheaper. The implication of Mr Frank’s research is clear: governments should target emissions reductions from any source rather than focus on boosting certain kinds of renewable energy.

    See the chart at the top of the article for a comparison of the costs of the five technologies investigated.

  41. Yeah Peter. that intermittancy its a …well u know.

    Say, everybody knows that the turbines turn
    when the wind blows, and when it don’t
    they cease, everybody knows. And
    everybody knows with solar energy when
    the sun don’t shine there’s none,
    yeah everybody knows

    That’s how it goes,
    everybody knows.

    H/t Leonard Cohen.

  42. Some of the most significant aspects of Western democracy originated in medieval England. It is hard to discover this in the Australian education system. The IPA notes that:

    “… some of the most important aspects of Western history are no longer taught at university let alone at school. …

    “There are 39 universities in Australia. Of these, 32 offer a history major as part of their Arts degree. Overall, we estimate that these universities together offer over 750 history subjects. Out of these, only 36 subjects on medieval history are on offer this year.

    “Out of those 36 subjects are sweeping overviews of most of the medieval period – like this one at Monash University – and subjects on more specialised subjects – including the University of Melbourne’s ‘War, Plague and Heresy’ (its only medieval history subject) or the University of Western Australia’s subject on ‘The Vikings’. Fourteen of them are about heresy, witchcraft, women, and other very nuanced aspects of medieval culture. But there are no subjects specifically about medieval England.”

    Fourteen of 36 courses on medieval England cover heresy, witchcraft and women. Few if any focus on how in that period many foundations of modern civilisation were laid down. There are often complaints at CE about the lack of attention paid by climate scientists to historical records, even mid-20th century ones. Perhaps they tool earned nothing of history.


    • Faustino

      May I recommend a book that can be downloaded free via amazon/kindle entitled ‘The History of England Volume 1’ by David Hume.

      it seems pretty old-which is probably why its free-but it covers England’s early history and the medieval period very well and the evolution of many of the anglo-sphere laws and customs can be seen


      • “‘Tis evident, that all the sciences have a relation, more or less, to human nature.” – David Hume.

      • mosomoso

        that’s a great quote. So the book is some 250 years old. It takes a bit of reading as the language is a little archaic (some might say literate)

        Strange to think he was born around the time the Would started warming over 300 years ago.


    • Context’s the thing whereby
      we may unearth the problem
      situation of the king and troops.)
      Situation analysis is able ter
      transcend the myopia of
      point of view and opacity
      of time and space.

      The study of History is valuable for its own sake. … I think of
      the chilling scene in Orwell’s ‘1984’ where in the the distopia
      of the Ministry of Truth, the records shredded and cast down
      the memory hole so that myth may prevail. ‘So now you must
      be told about the past that which you need ter know.’ Then
      there’s another against-the-record alternative, life with no record.
      ‘Let’s clean-slate into a fuchur without regret, without memory.’
      Hmm … nothing ter compare to … as though new born, and
      jest as unaware.


  43. Global groundwater depletion leads to sea level rise
    “Large-scale abstraction of groundwater for irrigation of crops leads to a sea level rise of 0.8 mm per year, which is about one fourth of the current rate of sea level rise of 3.3 mm per year.”
    I haven’t seen much of this subject. Is there a problem here that has an answer? Farmers causing sea level rise with most of them have the good sense not to live a meter above sea level, however they are drawn to flooding rivers as if bewitched by Sirens. Here’s a picture that makes an irrigation equipment dealer smile:

  44. Electrify Africa Bill Short Circuits Over Global Warming Concerns

    Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons told The Washington Post that while he believed the Senate version of the Africa electrification bill would eventually reach Obama’s desk, he warned that any bill dealing with global warming issues would be a hard sell.

    “Any bill that touches on energy, on power generation, has become very difficult to get passed in this Congress because of the issues around coal and climate change,” said Coons, who cosponsored the Senate version of the bill with Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

    One reason the House bill got so much support from environmental groups is that it left in place rules that force the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to consider the global warming impacts of the projects it funds. The rules come from language that was attached to a 2009 Senate appropriations bill and required the OPIC to dramatically reduce the carbon dioxide emissions emitted from its projects — making it hard for OPIC to fund fossil fuel projects.

    “This move essentially bars OPIC from supporting traditional energy infrastructure throughout Africa, making it much more difficult for US firms to help bring Africa on the grid quickly and cost effectively,” wrote Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe in The Washington Times.