An unsettled climate

by Judith Curry

I’ve been invited by several venues to write an op-ed related to my recent presentation at the National Press Club.

Versions of the op-ed are starting to appear, below is the full text with my title.

An unsettled climate

In a press conference last week, UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon stated: “Action on climate change is urgent.  The more we delay, the more we will pay in lives and in money.” The recently appointed UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio stated “The debate is over. Climate change is happening now.”

These statements reflect a misunderstanding of the state of climate science and the extent to which we can blame adverse consequences such as extreme weather events on human caused climate change. The climate has always changed and will continue to change. Humans are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the climate. However, there is enduring uncertainty beyond these basic issues, and the most consequential aspects of climate science are the subject of vigorous scientific debate: whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes, and how the climate will evolve in the 21st century due to both natural and human causes. Societal uncertainties further cloud the issues as to whether warming is ‘dangerous’ and whether we can afford to radically reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

At the heart of the recent scientific debate on climate change is the ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming – the period since 1998 during which global average surface temperatures have not increased. This observed warming hiatus contrasts with the expectation from the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report that warming would proceed at a rate of 0.2oC/per decade in the early decades of the 21st century. The warming hiatus raises serious questions as to whether the climate model projections of 21st century have much utility for decision making, given uncertainties in climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide, future volcanic eruptions and solar activity, and the multidecadal and century scale oscillations in ocean circulation patterns.

A key argument in favor of emission reductions is concern over the accelerating cost of weather disasters. The accelerating cost is associated with increasing population and wealth in vulnerable regions, and not with any increase in extreme weather events, let alone any increase that can be attributed to human caused climate change. The IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation found little evidence that supports an increase in extreme weather events that can be attributed to humans. There seems to be a collective ‘weather amnesia’, where the more extreme weather of the 1930’s and 1950’s seems to have been forgotten.

Climate science is no more ‘settled’ than anthropogenic global warming is a ‘hoax’. I am concerned that the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified. Deep uncertainty beyond the basics is endemic to the climate change problem, which is arguably characterized as a ‘wicked mess.’ A ‘wicked’ problem is complex with dimensions that are difficult to define and changing with time. A ‘mess’ is characterized by the complexity of interrelated issues, with suboptimal solutions that create additional problems.

Nevertheless, the premise of dangerous anthropogenic climate change is the foundation for a far-reaching plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Elements of this plan may be argued as important for associated energy policy reasons, economics, and/or public health and safety. However, claiming an overwhelming scientific justification for the plan based upon anthropogenic global warming does a disservice both to climate science and to the policy process. Science doesn’t dictate to society what choices to make, but science can assess which policies won’t work and can provide information about uncertainty that is critical for the decision making process.

Can we make good decisions under conditions of deep uncertainty about climate change? Uncertainty in itself is not a reason for inaction. Research to develop low-emission energy technologies and energy efficiency measures are examples of ‘robust’ policies that have little downside, while at the same time have ancillary benefits beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile. The hiatus in warming observed over the past 16 years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales. Even if CO2 mitigation strategies are successful and climate model projections are correct, an impact on the climate would not be expected until the latter part of the 21st century. Solar variability, volcanic eruptions and long-term ocean oscillations will continue to be sources of unpredictable climate surprises.

Whether or not anthropogenic climate change is exacerbating extreme weather events, vulnerability to extreme weather events will continue owing to increasing population and wealth in vulnerable regions. Climate change (regardless of whether the primary cause is natural or anthropogenic) may be less important in driving vulnerability in most regions than increasing population, land use practices, and ecosystem degradation. Regions that find solutions to current problems of climate variability and extreme weather events and address challenges associated with an increasing population are likely to be well prepared to cope with any additional stresses from climate change.

Oversimplification, claiming ‘settled science’ and ignoring uncertainties not only undercuts the political process and dialogue necessary for real solutions in a highly complex world, but acts to retards scientific progress. It’s time to recognize the complexity and wicked nature of the climate problem, so that we can have a more meaningful dialogue on how to address the complex challenges of climate variability and change.

Related essays

In the midst of preparing my essay, Steve Koonin’s WSJ op-ed was published Climate Science is Not Settled.  Most of Koonin’s points are very similar to what I have been saying, I would say the main difference is related to decision making under deep uncertainty.  Koonin states “We are very far from the knowledge needed to make good climate policy.”  I argue that there are strategies for decision making under deep uncertainty that can be useful for the climate change problem, particularly if you are not trying to solve the problem of extreme weather events by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.  But overall I am thrilled by Koonin’s op-ed — since he operates higher in the scientific and policy food chain than I do, his voice adds much gravitas to the message that I think needs to get out regarding climate science and policy.  I would also like to add that Koonin chairs the APS Subcommittee that is reviewing the APS climate change policy statement (see my previous post on the APS Workshop, where I met Koonin).

In the midst of the ‘mad crowd’ in New York City attending the People’s Climate March, sober people are trying to figure out ways to broaden the policy debate on climate change and do a better job of characterizing the uncertainty of climate change (both the science itself and the media portrayal of the science).  There is concern that the institutions of science are so mired in advocacy on the topic of dangerous anthropogenic climate change that the checks and balances in science, particularly with regard to minority perspectives, are broken.

Richard Lindzen’s CATO essay Reflections on Rapid Response to Unjustified Climate Alarm discusses the kickoff of CATO’s new center on rapid response to climate alarmism.  Anthony Watts has announced the formation of a new professional society The Open Atmospheric Society for meteorologists and climatologists, with a new open access journal.  Both of these efforts emphasize public communication.  I’m not sure what kind of impact either of these efforts will have, but I wish them well.

My thinking is that we need more voices from influential scientists like Steve Koonin, along with a more mature framing of the climate science problem and decision making framework that allows for dissent and examines a broader spectrum of solutions and approaches.

 

763 responses to “An unsettled climate

  1. daveandrews723

    I would love to see a debate between someone such as yourself and one of those leading climatologists (you pick him) who claim that “the science is settled.”

    • Not going to happen David. Can you guess why?

      • Because no climate scientist of any significance has ever said it.

      • > Can you guess why?

        Judy c. Leonardo is way more interesting.

      • Leonardo Chariglione? I wish you luck…

      • I suppose Richard somerville is a scientist of no significance then……

        https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/1726
        “Richard Somerville, a distinguished professor emeritus and research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, issued the following statement in response to a recent request to address claims recently made by climate change denialists………..1. The essential findings of mainstream climate change science are firm. This is solid settled science. The world is warming. There are many kinds of evidence: air temperatures, ocean temperatures, melting ice, rising sea levels, and much more. Human activities are the main cause. The warming is not natural. It is not due to the sun, for example. We know this because we can measure the effect of man-made carbon dioxide and it is much stronger than that of the sun, which we also measure.:”

        For those who don’t know, in fact all of those observations of minor warming are consistent with long, slow, cyclic, natural warming from well-identified oscillations. The canonical dominant contribution from man was only ever derived from the comparison of climate model outputs with and without an assumed manmade CO2 component with high CO2 sensitivity (A), an assumed declining natural component (B) and a manmade aerosol cooling component (C) that is derived from the 20th century observations (D) thusly; C=D-A-B. This obviously circular argumentation is the entire foundation of the dogma of dominance. But all you have to do is assume nature is dominant (as the hiatus indicates) and aerosols are not that significant (as recent studies find) then the same facile argumentation leads to insignificant manmade warming. The error margins are so wide you could even assume that the manmade cooling matches or exceeds the manmade warming (both from fossil fuels) which was what led to the ill-fated ice age scare in the 70’s that modern pause-deniers also like to deny even happened. Warmists say the expected warming is masked by the cooling. Occams razor however says there is no missing heat because the postulated manmade warming has been vastly overstated just like the previous acid rain and ice-age scares.

      • “No scientist of any significance ever said it.”

        Yet we hear it from the media over and over and over.

    • A public debate between Professor Curry and the Nobel Prize winners promoting AGW dogma would be a great public service.

  2. I particularly like Lindzen’s closing thought: Belief seems to inevitably trump objective reality when one is free to choose one’s narrative.
    ===================

    • Me too, Kim. Linden’s a brilliant man whose moral gravitas is undeniable. Too rushed to reread his essay, but he wrote something to the effect that it takes a troubling obtuseness not to appreciate the suffering any supposed war on climate change will inflict on people in developing nations, not to mention the poor in the west as well. I don’t see anything about this in the New York Times, for all their smarmy moralizing. It’s really quite remarkable.
      I wish one of you fevered alarmists would explain your thinking in this regard.

      • “Linden’s a brilliant man whose moral gravitas is undeniable. “

        Lindzen paradoxically says this :


        “I’ve asked very frequently at universities: ‘Of the brightest people you know, how many people were studying climate […or meteorology or oceanography…]?’ And the answer is usually ‘No one.'”
        And – warming to his theme:
        “You look at the credentials of some of these people [on the IPCC] and you realise that the world doesn’t have that many experts, that many ‘leading climate scientists'”.
        Was Lindzen suggesting, asked Tim Yeo at this point, that scientists in the field of climate were academically inferior.
        “Oh yeah,” said Lindzen. “I don’t think there’s any question that the brightest minds went into physics, math, chemistry…”

        http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100257206/climate-science-is-for-second-raters-says-worlds-greatest-atmospheric-physicist/

        So does that make Lindzen as stupid as the scientists he criticizes? After all, that is the discipline he selected.

        #OwnGoal

      • ‘Lindzen, you rather felt, has really had quite enough of trying explain to id..ts why it’s perfectly possible to “believe” in the existence of anthropogenic global warming without feeling the urge to bomb the global economy back to the dark ages in order to mitigate it.

        This is – and always has been – the position of all the climate sceptics I’ve ever met. We take our cue from Lindzen because no scientist with expertise in the relevant field makes this point quite so eloquently or persuasively.’

        How do you explain to brainless dolts like webbly?
        .

      • Web, you are climate scientist material, as Lindzen defines it.

      • whut,

        Everything Lindzen said on the topic of credential overstatements as a rule in climate science is extremely accurate. It’s a softer, abstract field at best closer to a humanities subject then a hard science field. Nothing is manufactured, proofed, there is no right or wrong within the range of discussion. Small wonder it’s packed with existentialists, political wannabes and has general appeal to those on the left. With declining opportunities in the humanity academia and media markets it’s a go-to career option. So Dr. Lindzen has watched it go from a tiny enclave field into mass academic inflation filled with hipsters and hucksters. Of course it’s annoying.

        I don’t see any paradox at all, he’s being completely honest and self deprecating at the same time. Passing off “climate science” and mentioning Newton or Einstein in the same paragraph as is often the case is pathetic as it is funny. Consider Bill Nye “the science guy” who has basic teaching credentials and how that gets passed on to the public. Have you heard him smear Dr. Lindzen academic status?? I have, can you imagine the chutzpah involved?

      • That’s where Lindzen and Curry get into deep water with no ability to swim. Public Policy and politics. Makes them come across as know it alls when in fact their domain is a niche. A topical niche, but a niche nonethelless.

    • Kim, I am certain this comment will not be properly threaded. No matter.
      His adaptive iris hypothesis explains why CMIP5 models fail, why there is a mythical upper troposphere hotspot, and much more.
      Beautiful theorizing from a former front line scientist that I had the privilege of knowing for a day by flying to Boston, including buying him lunch at the famous but leaking MIT faculty cafeteria.

  3. “My thinking is that we need more voices from influential scientists like Steve Koonin, along with a more mature framing of the climate science problem and decision making framework that allows for dissent and examines a broader spectrum of solutions and approaches.”

    Many scientists in a broad range of tangentially related fields roll their eyes at the unjustified hysterics extrapolated from tenuous-at-best model results. Most of us simply choose to spend our time working in other areas. If the threat of serious, quality-of-life-changing regulations/taxes became politically viable (at the national level), I predict more scientists would indeed turn attention toward these issues. Unlike you, I’m betting many of your colleagues would not welcome this new focus from professionals.

  4. I took the time to watch your national press club presentation, and Q&A. Thought the content was great, and enjoyed the way you were able to give solid, steady and respectful answers to some who were skeptical of your message.

  5. From the article:
    A new study released Monday found that warming temperatures in Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of North America over the past century closely followed natural changes in the wind, not increases in greenhouse gases related to global warming.

    The study compared ocean surface temperatures from 1900 to 2012 to surface air pressure, a stand-in for wind measurements, and found a close match.

    “What we found was the somewhat surprising degree to which the winds can explain all the wiggles in the temperature curve,” said lead author Jim Johnstone, who did the work while a climatologist at the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_PACIFIC_WARMING_STUDY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-09-22-15-40-23

    • I love how the same old arguments are just carried over to this new thread. What about the temperature depends on wind idea?

  6. From the article:

    Bastardi said that people are not causing climate change and expects scientific data to eventually back that up.
    “The debate on what is going on is over. It is over. Now we just have to see what happens when the Atlantic flips into its cold cycle and the cyclical nature of the sun, whether we return to the temperatures we were in the late seventies as measured by objective satellite readings.”

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/09/22/chief-meteorologist-at-weatherbell-analytics-organizers-of-peoples-climate-march-were-prostituting-the-weather-and-climate/

  7. At some stage you need to make the crossover from an unsettled climate to one that is dynamically sensitive.

    The converse of ideas of a predictable climate is not ideas that climate is predictable in the some other way. It is that climate is unpredictable – and as people keep saying – a chaotic climate implies a certain dynamic sensitivity and rationally suggests that making changes to a system that is a priori unpredictable carries some risk.

  8. “These statements reflect a misunderstanding of the state of climate science…..”

    30 years ago describing it as “misunderstanding” was a long stretch of the truth. Today it’s known as a willfull Green agenda meme to rationalize more Statist authority and socialist idealized thuggery. Describe it as it is without the apologist Pollyanna would be a good start to showing Dr. Lindzen and many others the respect and debt they are owed.

    The farce of 1400 left-wing organizations up to the Communist Party itself coordinating the event is rather irrefutable yet the politically correct deference of ignoring or mitigating AGW agenda motives remain a constant.

    • Calling this thing the “People’s” Climate March is somewhat disturbing as things that are called the “People’s” Thing have a tendency to be associated with totalitarian socialist states, although it does help identify it as unabashedly left wing.

  9. I am guessing the essay itself ends just before “Related Essays?” If so, I think your tone is very effective–very calm and reasonable, slightly wry, and approachable, and free of any whiff of sulfur. This will be the first time a much larger audience reads you, so I say excellently done.

  10. Good post Judith, as was the previous related post on your recent NPC presentation. This is IMO the correct tone and position to take on the subject of climate change and whether or not human activity is a major contributing factor, or if indeed, whether CO2 emissions need to be the subject of special policy considerations in future.

    • “This is IMO the correct tone and position to take on the subject of climate change and whether or not human activity is a major contributing factor, or if indeed, whether CO2 emissions need to be the subject of special policy considerations in future”.

      Yes, this is really a good post. Dr. Curry got right to the point, the absence of the 2 centigrade temperature increase per decade. What a good starting point to have a discussion? Some knowledgeable people go off on wild tangents to put this prediction under the rug. The absence of significant temperature increase by decade at this moment should keep everyone humble.

      • WebHubTelescope


        Yes, this is really a good post. Dr. Curry got right to the point, the absence of the 2 centigrade temperature increase per decade.

        Who said anything about a “2 centigrade temperature increase per decade” ?

        Where does Team Denier find these people?

      • “Who said anything about a “2 centigrade temperature increase per decade” ?”

        1. Assume he forgot or dropped the decimal point.
        2. Kindly suggest that he did and see what he says.

        When you do that other people will be less inclined to poounce on your performance errors.. but it will take time to remediate your reputation.

      • Your problem, lacking charity, is that you cannot read it as it is meant to be written. So where’s the 0.2 degrees C/dec.?
        ==================

      • it will take time to remediate your reputation.

        Not to mention direct experience.

      • I give what I get. Better clean up your act duh-niers.

      • It would be best if everyone remains humble about extrapolating short term weather phenomena into long term climate trends of a time series that have existed for millions of years. Satellite observations may have resolved many of the spacial/temporal resolution issues surrounding proxy measurements of earlier periods there is a long way to go before we have sufficient data suitable for prediction.

    • Ah, and they let the unsufferable demeaning impolite jerk out of the burn unit. I was wondering how long it would take for Webby to be back to his former self after that enormous burn.

  11. The trends since 1998 are just not good enough to pick between no trend (a pause) and continued warming at the 0.2 C per decade rate.

    That is what the uncertainty monster says

    • So the trends since 1998 are just not good enough to pick warming at the 0.2 C per decade rate?

      You’re getting there.

      • you forgot the important between, I mean without a defendant and the prosecutor, so many lawyers would be on the street.

    • But Dr. Curry says unequivocally that temperatures have nt increased since 1998. No uncertainty in her statement.

      Dr. Curry, why ignore the uncertainty monster in this case?

    • Temperatures have not increased since 1998. Uncertainty exists as to attribution and prognostication – not as to simple metrics repeated half a dozen times.

      • You say that Rob with complete certainty. No uncertainty monster at all. August 2014 was warmer than August 1998 so certainly temperatures have increased since 1998.

      • Sorry to burst your bubble Eric but there has been no warming. Just because one month in 2014 was hotter than the same month in 1998 doesn’t make it so.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/trend

      • The most recent data point says there has been warming. Where is the uncertainty?

      • Laugh now – we get our innings during the La Nina next year.

      • Within the limits of precision for data – there is no uncertainty.

        Nor is there any real doubt that we are in a cool decadal mode and that these persist for 20 to 40 years in the records.

      • Rob,

        The limits of precision are the uncertainty

      • Another thing Rob,

        The trend by UAH since 1998 is 0.060 +/- 0.223 C/decade

        is that cooling?

      • Cool decade mood? The last decade was the warmest on record. 2010 the warmest year on record. The cool mood is not working.

      • ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an
        increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the
        global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly
        constant global mean temperature.’ http://www.leif.org/EOS/2008GL037022.pdf

        Precision in data means that you are certain within statistical limits – there has been no statistically significant warming since 1998. The cool mode refers to cool SST in the Pacific especially – these are 20 to 40 years regimes and the last one started in 2002.

      • No statistically significant warming is not the same as no warming. Thank you Rob Ellison.

      • How cool were SST in the Pacific in August Rob Ellison? If this is considered cool…

      • It is the same statistically speaking. We are usually talking about annual periods – in which the warmth is a function of the persistence of El Nino in the year. We are also talking about surface records in which the balance of kinetic and latent heat changes with available surface moisture – rainfall and drought.

        Nonetheless – the warmest month was February 1998. The important thing is the regime change at the turn of the century – which seems associated with cloud change.

        ‘Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.’

        There are changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation – and cloud – at multidecadal scales. For instance.

      • ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/abstract

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        We expect this pattern of cold upwelling in the eastern Pacific to continue. Recent work is identifying abrupt climate changes working through the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Southern Annular Mode, the Artic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and other measures of ocean and atmospheric states. These are measurements of sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure over more than 100 years which show evidence for abrupt change to new climate conditions that persist for up to a few decades before shifting again. Global rainfall and flood records likewise show evidence for abrupt shifts and regimes that persist for decades. In Australia, less frequent flooding from early last century to the mid 1940’s, more frequent flooding to the late 1970’s and again a low rainfall regime to recent times.

        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

        Here’s how it expresses through ENSO – blue (La Nina) dominant to 1976, red (El Nino) to 1998 and blue again since. See for yourself.

        This is the science Eric – and not just one month that is relatively warm but nothing to write home about. Cold upwelling – and cooler global temps – is likely to persist for a while yet.

      • nottawa rafter

        Eric & Bob
        You are engaged in a semantics game. Tell the IPCC there is not something different in the 15 or so years. You look silly arguing an issue that has already been acknowledged by the IPCC. To add more silliness, why don’t you start denying the ever widening divergence between dozens & dozens of models and the observational data. The graphs are starting to look like crocodile jaws. If you want to advance your cause why don’t you document how these indicators are unprecedented in the last 1000 years. Go ahead and show us on any of the following:
        Arctic Sea Ice Extent
        Antarctic Sea Ice Extent
        OHC
        Sea level Rise Rate
        Global Temperature
        Drought Incidence
        Hurricane Activity
        Tornado Activity
        Glacial Melting
        Like my mother use to tell me “Do something useful”

      • No semantic games on my part. My concern is that scientists are honest about uncertainty. Dr. Curry said with no uncertainty temperatures have not increased since 1998. As Rob Ellison confirmed, Dr. Curry’s level of certainty on this is unfounded. She overstated what is known. Ignoring uncertainty “retards scientific progress”. I want to help avoid retarding scientific progress.

      • Go to my NPS presentation, look at slide #16, where i discuss uncertainties in the global surface temperature record.

      • Rob Ellison, you are all over the place. First it was no warming since 1998. Your last post now claims cooling since 1998. You first claim the cool mode started in 2002. You now claim it was 1998. You claim cooler surface temperatures for the oceans but the warmest month for SST has just occured.

      • ‘What happened in the years 1976/77 and 1998/99 in the Pacific was so unusual that scientists spoke of abrupt climate changes. They referred to a sudden warming of the tropical Pacific in the mid-1970s and rapid cooling in the late 1990s. Both events turned the world’s climate topsy-turvy and are clearly reflected in the average temperature of the Earth. Today we know that the cause is the interaction between ocean and atmosphere. Is it possible to successfully predict such climate shifts? This is the question that scientists, under the auspices of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, pursued. Using a coupled model of the ocean and the atmosphere, they were able to successfully replicate these events.’ http://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/klimavorhersagen-ueber-mehrere-jahre-moeglich/

        Temperatures have obviously not increased since 1998 – but if you had any sense at all you would understand the significance of climate shifts and realize that as per the synchronization quote the new regime started after 2001. Real science Eric – but obviously I have wasted my time on another idiot.

      • ‘What happened in the years 1976/77 and 1998/99 in the Pacific was so unusual that scientists spoke of abrupt climate changes. They referred to a sudden warming of the tropical Pacific in the mid-1970s and rapid cooling in the late 1990s. Both events turned the world’s climate topsy-turvy and are clearly reflected in the average temperature of the Earth. Today we know that the cause is the interaction between ocean and atmosphere. Is it possible to successfully predict such climate shifts? This is the question that scientists, under the auspices of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, pursued. Using a coupled model of the ocean and the atmosphere, they were able to successfully replicate these events.’ http://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/klimavorhersagen-ueber-mehrere-jahre-moeglich/

        Temperatures have obviously not increased since 1998 – but if you had any sense at all you would understand the significance of climate shifts and realize that as per the synchronization quote the new regime started after 2001. Real science Eric – but obviously I have wasted my time on another fool.

      • As for notaclue – it is rare to see such absolute slack jawed nonsense parading as would be semi-rational comment. I am trying to educate – heaps of actual science and not merely a litany of half understood factoids with zilch basis in anything resembling reality. Obviously a lost cause.

      • No semantic games on my part. My concern is that scientists are honest about uncertainty. Dr. Curry said with no uncertainty temperatures have not increased since 1998. As Rob Ellison confirmed, Dr. Curry’s level of certainty on this is unfounded. She overstated what is known. Ignoring uncertainty “retards scientific progress”. I want to help avoid retarding scientific progress.

        What I confirmed was that there has been no warming of any statistical significance since 1998. There are reasons for this that involve fundamental climate mechanisms that suggests non warming – or even cooling for decades yet. But let’s not get too deep – it is obviously a problem. The former can be said with a great deal of certainty because it relies on and a reality of scientific measurement and the statistical analysis of error bounds. It is in the past – it doesn’t get more certain than that. It is very odd that the temperature record is suddenly so uncertain.

        Don’t worry Eric – I want to help you avoid being a scientific retard.

      • Stay tuned for a forthcoming post (maybe later today) on the ethics of communicating scientific uncertainty

      • Judith –

        Please be sure to discuss referring to surface temps as global warming, failre to discuss how uncertainty w.r.t. economics runs both ways because of the uncertainty off economic modeling, and the potentially misleading nature of characterizing the “consensus” scientific opinion as saying that “the science is settled “

      • …and maybe choosing 1998 as a starting point for the ‘pause’.

      • Rob Ellison, it is obvious you have become angry and now are resorting to name calling instead of discussing science. No need to continue such a discussion. SSTs at record levels and yet claims to a cooling mode. Stange.

      • Eric, if you think CO2 is warming the earth, then what the heck is cooling the earth to produce such a flat record lately?
        ===============

      • Michael, you know perfectly well that the 1998 start date of the ‘pause’ is obtained from working backwards from the present day. To imply it is cherry picked demonstrates you are being deliberate disingenuous.

      • The cool Pacific mode refers to a regime of increased frequency and intensity of La Nina.

        You are a time waster Eric – an odd little person putting words in my mouth interested only in trivial points scoring about an uncertainty that doesn’t exist and making silly little statements about retarding science and similar. Take it elsewhere twerp.

      • Rob,
        You reach into the bag of insults, you lose the argument.

        thanks for playing though

      • Only if imagine that there is some contest between discussion of the issues in some considerable detail referencing a variety of relevant, high quality sources with some twerp who insists that the temperature record is both precise enough to show warming this century – at least in one month – and uncertain enough to make statements that it hasn’t warmed a case of deliberately distorting and retarding science. I am afraid this person crossed the line into perfidious bad faith and quite evident disparagement.

        I just don’t put up with fools past a point of bad faith and open disparagement . You lose Bob.

  12. I notice that a lot of climate activists and intellectuals are in California. They had better be especially careful about restoring some good old climate that used to be. California has spent many centuries being horribly dry. The Medieval Warming Period which didn’t happen (except that it did) was annihilation for the American West.

    Fortunately, Californians can’t tax and regulate themselves back to mega-drought any more than they can tax and spend their way out of the present drought. Conservation – aka as commonsense and thrift – can offer some imaginative remedies, but when Big Green gets together with Big Oil and Big Government conservation gets very small.

    As for Eastern Australia, we were short of rain for fifty years after 1895 (though, being Oz, we still managed some catastrophic flooding). The amount of rain that didn’t fall in 1902 gives me the shudders.Recent droughts – which have been terrible – only seem worse because they were recent.

    What climate are the klimatariat aspiring to? Sure, I’d enjoy the drenching we got here from 1950 to 1958…but that was the very same period which baked and shrivelled Texas, was it not?

    So instead of restoring or stabilising my climate, how about we stop wasting stuff? I’d suggest that Big Green and the UN would be the first people NOT to ask about that.

    • The notion of battling climate change is loony on its face. We might as well declare war on time. Or gravity. Obama said “this is the day the oceans stop rising and the planet begins to heal”. This is something one would expect to hear in a nut house, not the white house. It’s evident to me that climate alarmists suffer from a kind of tone deafness. Trying to explain why they’re all half way to nuts, is like trying to explain why something is funny to a person lacking in a sense o. It can’t be done.

    • My prediction for California – I have been a resident for 40 years – is that it is going to frack, frack, frack to pay all those state, county, and city pensions (all CALPERS) and the teacher’s pensions (CALSTRS) and to finance desalination. Once the fiscal denial – sorry – is over the powerful unions and most of the rational populace will be all in for fracking California’s vast hydrocarbon reserves. There will be protests, of course, and the nation will find that amusing.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Justin Wonder: My prediction for California – I have been a resident for 40 years – is that it is going to frack, frack, frack to pay all those state, county, and city pensions (all CALPERS) and the teacher’s pensions (CALSTRS) and to finance desalination.

        My expectation is that won’t happen in the next 20 years. I hope that I am wrong. Beyond 20 years, maybe.

      • It will happen as soon as the bill is past due and unpayable. When, I don’t know. Right now the payments into pension funds are crowding out funding for services, but most people don’t pay any attention to that. Eventually it’s going to hurt, when there are too many 51 year old retired cops and firefighters making 120,000 $US. We can lookup the salary of any public employee, thanks to the FOIA. There will be blood…

      • Justin I have some bad news for you. California’s Monterey shale can be fracked, but it cannot be horizontally drilled first. It is folded and faulted. So almost no oil,produced per 10000 foot deep well. That is why EIA reduced its Monterey TRR estimate to almost zero. As Director Seiminski said in announcing the drastic downward revision, “The rock is there. The technology is not.”

      • Rud – “…bad news…”

        Then we are in deep deep doodoo.

      • Frack what? In the oil business it helps to have some idea of where the stuff is found and how to get it out. California isn’t as prospective as many think. Maybe they can try geothermal?

      • Maybe they’ll have to learn how to mine sea-floor methane hydrates.

      • Some interesting news on the Monterey shale.
        From the article:

        A top official with the California Department of Conservation addressed the county board Tuesday about enhanced oil recovery practices – in light of Measure J on the coming ballot – while noting about half of oil production is from extraction methods targeted in the proposed ban but that smaller petroleum companies are slow in reporting required well data.
        Jason Marshall, chief deputy director of the state conservation department, spoke to supervisors Tuesday upon request from Supervisor Margie Barrios. She publicly opposes the measure on the November ballot – aiming to ban fracking, cyclic steaming and acidizing countywide and all petroleum activities in rural residential zones near the two cities – and asked for a presentation to the board and public.
        Marshall pointed out that his agency oversees regulation of oil and gas operations in the state and does not advocate for the industry. He talked about the state’s unique geology and how it affects industry practices; San Benito County’s current level of production; current restrictions from the state on such matters as water monitoring and disclosure of chemical use; coming, similar restrictions as part of an approved senate bill; the history of fracking in the state; and the potential of the Monterey Shale.

        Marshall said as things stand, 51 percent of all oil production in the state is through “tertiary” mechanisms, or enhanced recovery methods targeted in the proposed ban as opposed to conventional forms of extraction. Those enhanced methods are needed due to the state’s faults and a need to fracture the shale vertically and not horizontally like in other places.

        http://www.sanbenitocountytoday.com/news/agriculture/state-rep-enhanced-extraction-common-oil-companies-slow-to-report/article_272abca4-4351-11e4-a82c-0017a43b2370.html

      • No need for shale resources. CA has a lot of decently accessible offshore oil that has been kept unavailable by environmental concerns.

    • Matthew R Marler

      mosomoso: I notice that a lot of climate activists and intellectuals are in California. They had better be especially careful about restoring some good old climate that used to be. California has spent many centuries being horribly dry. The Medieval Warming Period which didn’t happen (except that it did) was annihilation for the American West.

      Fortunately, Californians can’t tax and regulate themselves back to mega-drought any more than they can tax and spend their way out of the present drought. Conservation – aka as commonsense and thrift – can offer some imaginative remedies, but when Big Green gets together with Big Oil and Big Government conservation gets very small.

      I hope that Californians are taking in the lesson that most of their lives and economies are occurring in pretty dry regions that regularly become extremely dry. San Franciscans are well off because they get their water from a large water project and they have enough political clout that they do not have to share their water. Everyone else south of UC Davis is experiencing a water shortage this year that might have been considerably ameliorated had California completed the California Water Project (and valued that little fish a little less.) I am interested to see what lessons Californians in the majority take from this experience.

  13. This one shows that while solar forcing (blue), that may account for the mid-century rise, is on its way down, another forcing, CO2 (green), has risen in its place and shows no sign of changing soon. The 10-year-average temperature is just following the 10-year average forcing. It could not be more plain.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:120/plot/esrl-co2/offset:-330/scale:0.01/mean:120/plot/sidc-ssn/scale:0.01/mean:120/from:1850/offset:-0.7

  14. We should listen to Leonardo DeCaprio who says: “The debate is over climate change is happening now.” After all he spent four years at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies that is a Los Angeles school district college preparatory school. He surely knows when a debate is over and when climate change is happening. He prepared to go to college for four years and when the debate was over he never went.

  15. John Smith (it's my real name)

    “At the heart of the recent scientific debate on climate change is the ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming – the period since 1998 during which global average surface temperatures have not increased.”

    Dr. Curry,
    from my reading, Ban Ki Moon and most other advocates of
    CAGW simply refuse to accept the “hiatus” exist

    if this is the “heart” of the issue, how can you have a debate?
    apologies … rhetorical question
    to get at wicked problem, don’t we need some agreement on basic facts?

    I admire and support your efforts, and thank you for them

    entering the public arena is not for the faint of heart

  16. Uncertainty in itself is not a reason for inaction. Research to develop low-emission energy technologies and energy efficiency measures are examples of ‘robust’ policies that have little downside, while at the same time have ancillary benefits beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile.

    I don’t see how one can read that and not conclude that you are advocating for a no regrets policy response over other mitigation alternatives like reducing CO2 emissions.

    • Also Koonin has almost identical words “That uncertainty need not be an excuse for inaction”. Note the use of the double negative. They don’t say that there is positively a need for action. This is the fundamental difference between the sides’ attitudes. Most often if you have uncertainty about the effects of what you are doing, you slow down until you know more about it, yet neither advocate slowing down except as a by-product of looking for energy efficiency and reduced emissions that they suggest would happen anyway without the motivation of their unknown climate change effects. They should use the uncertainty as a motivation for action, but choose not to. Others do, however, and that seems to be working, probably because at one end of the uncertainty is extreme impacts, and people have realized that the biggest potential mistake is not doing the best to reduce emissions while we can.

      • Well then why don’t YOU take action to limit worldwide emissions, instead of sitting here slagging people off for not doing so?
        Too difficult, huh?

      • “Most often if you have uncertainty about the effects of what you are doing, you slow down until you know more about it.” No, I make a decision on best available evidence and/or, at a policy level, increase capacity to deal with the future (pro-growth rather than stop-growth policies), so if there is more downside than anticipated, there are more resources to deal with it; if not, we can use the resources for other purposes.

    • Joseph, that is so, and not for the first time. But in practice “no regrets” policies are very hard to find, if they were worthwhile someone would be likely to have adopted them. Some energy efficiency measures do have a downside, e.g. people in better insulated homes keeping them warmer as the cost of maintaining a particular temperature has fallen, rather than using less energy. (I’ve known of better examples but can’t recall them OTTOMH.)

      • The point is she claims that scientists should not be engaging in policy advocacy (stealth or otherwise) and questions their integrity when they do so

      • Faustino – “…efficiency…downside…”

        There has never been a net reduction in power consumption in the USA. People just use the power saved to do more things. If their car gets better mileage they drive further, if it costs less for HVAC they buy a bigger house, etc. Conservation and efficiency are good ( my bias as an environmentalist) but there is no historical evidence that it reduces net power consumption.

      • Energy consumption in the USA is falling over the last 5 years. I expect it to continue to fall as people adjust their lifestyles. My own household uses 30% of the electricity we did 10 years ago due to efficiency and conservation…. and the kids got jobs and moved out. ;)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_States

      • Justin, yes, sorry if I seemed to imply otherwise. Although there has in fact been a fall in power consumption in Australia, due in large part to massive electricity price hikes, largely due to greenhouse-gas emissions reduction policies (some from poor regulation). This has not only led to reduced domestic consumption, it has forced the closure of some high-energy-use businesses. We now have the situation where we are committed to continue heavily subsidising renewable-energy projects at a time when excess capacity is increasing and prices to non-subsidised power stations (but not to users) are falling. The Abbott government’s efforts to wind back some of the the subsidies are blocked either by a recalcitrant Senate or by long-term contracts entered into by the previous government. Worst of all possible worlds.

      • There’s also the non-accounted energy, which is not the flameless and smokeless energy from electricity. You can strangle the output of an Australian coal plant ( though it might be smarter to modernise the plant) but you won’t stop people burning every combustible thing they can get their hands on, every day and right across the world, to cook and stay warm.

        And when massive and unnecessary bushfires rage – thanks to a combination of mad green policies and lack of resources and will for genuine conservation – you can expect a smudge or two of carbon from that. (Some whisper 30% of Australian “emissions”, but it’s not a welcome subject. I dare say that 30% could be smoothed and homogenised to a triviality if necessary.)

        Ah, but it’s never really been about the carbon, has it?

  17. “Despite the statements of numerous scientific societies, the scientific community cannot claim any special expertise in addressing issues related to humanity’s deepest goals and values. The political and diplomatic spheres are best suited to debating and resolving such questions, and misrepresenting the current state of climate science does nothing to advance that effort.”

    This is one of the most important quotes from the Koonin piece. It does not matter where the science leads, this remains true.

  18. These types of essays never talk about the real question. If the technology could be developed over the next 50-100 years to ramp down CO2 emissions to zero on those time scales, while providing the world with all the energy it needed, would they choose to do this? In stark terms, stabilize nearer 400 ppm or 800 ppm, given equal costs? Without addressing the preferred option, these essays miss the main point. If it was at all possible to reduce emissions efficiently, would they support that route. The talk of uncertainty does not get to what the ideal solution would be in their minds.
    Are your economic assumptions getting in the way of what you would choose to do, or is there another reason not to choose a lower CO2 level? Take a look at ideas such as those proposed in the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project for the major emitters, and discuss those instead of saying it is just too impossible to be worth any effort. Think forwards and engage in the ideas being proposed, rather than throwing your hands in the air and saying it is hopeless to even try. Disengagement from the decarbonization ideas only makes sure your voice is not going to be heard. Take part.

    • We don’t have to wait 50-100 years. We have nuclear right here, right now.

      • But if climate is less sensitive, we don’t have to go with Gen 3 AP1000 like designs, and can spend a decade piloting the several Gen 4 design proposals, most of which also deal with rad waste and lower cost more abundant fuel sources. Unfortunately those are not things the present administration supports, since the anti carbon environmentalists are also rabidly anti nuclear for the most part.

      • Jim2 – “We have nuclear … Now.”

        The CAWG subscribers will not accept nuclear, even though one of their most respected and beloved climate scientists, James Hansen, and his colleagues have written a letter in support of nuclear energy that also debunks the notion that alternative sources exist. To me, this is evidence that the CAGW movement is less about science and more about politics and culture. The cynical warmists want power, money, and control over the global economy and CAWG is a great narrative for them. The rest of the followers are useful idiots. If it was about science they would embrace James Hansen et al and increase the use of carbon-free nuclear power, but they don’t.

        QED

        Here is the Hansen letter from an arguably middle-of-the-road news source, CNN:

        http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/03/world/nuclear-energy-climate-change-scientists-letter/

      • Wow, I earned my first moderation. I’ll try again with the taboo words removed:

        The REDACTED will not accept nuclear, even though one of their most respected and beloved climate scientists, James Hansen, and his colleagues have written a letter in support of nuclear energy that also debunks the notion that alternative sources exist. To me, this is evidence that the REDACTED is less about science and more about politics and culture. The REDACTED want power, money, and control over the global economy and REDACTED is a great narrative for them. The rest of the followers are useful REDACTED. If it was all about science they would embrace James Hansen et al and increase the use of carbon-free nuclear power, but they don’t.

        Here is the Hansen et el letter:

        http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/03/world/nuclear-energy-climate-change-scientists-letter/

      • We have nuclear right here, right now.

        That big nuclear reactor in the sky. No neutrons to worry about.

        But if climate is less sensitive, we don’t have to go with Gen 3 AP1000 like designs, and can spend a decade piloting the several Gen 4 design proposals, […]

        Or we can wait for solar panels to come down to 1/8 their current cost. And for storage technology to mature.

      • @ AK

        “Or we can wait for solar panels to come down to 1/8 their current cost. And for storage technology to mature.”

        If installed solar cells were free, how long would it be before they were supplying base load power for the country and powering the electric motors that replaced all those IC engines that are currently powering our transportation infrastructure?

      • AK | September 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
        …Or we can wait for solar panels to come down to 1/8 their current cost. And for storage technology to mature.

        Really?
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage

    • If and when the technology exists and the economics make sense the transition will occur over a decade, give or take. 50 to 100 years is forever.

    • In stark terms, stabilize nearer 400 ppm or 800 ppm, given equal costs?

      Personally, I’d stabilize under 400ppm. Given equal costs.

      But having looked at the “Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project” documentation, I find it worthless in practical terms, although it might make good cover for somebody with a socialist agenda.

    • I think everyone would prefer closer to 400 ppm than 800 ppm even if uncertainties in the science are considered. Why doesn’t everyone therefore put forwards ideas on how to put the brakes on? Nuclear is a good stop-gap solution. It is a quick cost-effective replacement for coal. France has shown it is possible and now are planning to transition to renewables as that becomes more economical. Put forwards solutions for China and India and how they can develop, as the DDPP is doing, for example. Think about Africa who can’t afford fossil fuels now or especially in the future as its price goes up. What do they do long-term? Biofuels, biomass, solar? These are the questions that such op-eds just side-step, making them irrelevant and pointless.

      • How much does a nuke plant cost? How long do they take to build? How many coal plants are there? Good stop-gap, quick cost effective? Talk about irrelevant and pointless.

      • France did it, and it didn’t take 50 years, nor did it cost them a fortune. Interestingly the US is already the largest nuclear power country by capacity, just low as a percentage of its needs (20%). France is at 73%.

      • Jim D @ 12.32, Judith is a climate scientists, not a policy work. Although she has moved more towards policy comments, it is not her main focus or forte. She gets plenty of help from policy wonk posters though, listen to us rather than require Judith to go beyond her area of expertise.

      • I think you have to ask yourself do they really want a solution or have they fallen in love with the problem? Rubbing the dogs nose in the problem will show whose boss. As far as nuclear, we are all aware of accidents and nuclear waste. Is that preferable to CO2 emissions? So far the answer appears to be no.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: France did it, and it didn’t take 50 years, nor did it cost them a fortune. Interestingly the US is already the largest nuclear power country by capacity, just low as a percentage of its needs (20%).

        Further in support of that idea: the US built about 100 nuclear power plants in about 25 years, and that was before the more modern approach of standardizing designs. About 1% failed catastrophically (three mile island) and 1% due to poor quality control in manufacturing replacement pipes (San Onofrio), which made big headlines. If you were to anticipate a failure rate as high as 5%, you could include that in insurance policies and cover it in rates; that is not as high a cost as brownouts and PV power in most places at the present time.

        I think everyone would prefer closer to 400 ppm than 800 ppm even if uncertainties in the science are considered.

        400 ppm is what we have now, and I doubt you could get majority support for any policy to keep it at that level. How high it would go under “BAU” was discussed here a few day ago, and most likely the concentration would not go above 650 for a very long time. The case that the costs associate with 650 outweigh the benefits associate with 650 is very poor, to repeat my main message; whereas the costs associated with uncontrolled alternations of drought and flooding are very great and obvious.

      • @ dennis

        “How much does a nuke plant cost? How long do they take to build?”

        Infinite and forever, given the costs and delays involved in obtaining the permits necessary to build and operate one.

    • The talk of uncertainty does not get to what the ideal solution would be in their minds.

      The ideal solution is an energy source that produces energy but that doesn’t change any property of Gaia, is inexpensive (free), safe, and usable whenever and wherever you want it. Unfortunately, the ideal doesn’t exist. I’m not sure about all greens, but I think for most rational people that would do it. Certainly, solar doesn’t work in airplanes, and it’s impractical at present in cars in the world-wide sense.

      European solar/wind/wood isn’t going to solve the problem either, so there needs to be something new, that’s closer to ideal than solar/wind/wood, and close to coal/natural gas costs.

      • Do we hear Judith talking about the need to find such a path? Never, as far as I have seen. This op-ed is not at all forward-looking in that way. How can you talk about the future without mentioning the conflict between fuel, energy and climate? Somehow she manages not to have a position on this.

    • “…only makes sure your voice is not going to be heard. Take part.”

      Indeed Jim – cuts both ways you know. Part of the “kick-back” is the refusal of the AGW crowd to engage in the first place – looks like “bad faith” right from the start (“debate is over”, “denier!” etc)

      • As I mentioned above, Judith hasn’t even asked the difficult questions yet? How do we balance fuel, energy and climate (food, water, other impacts)? She needs an opinion on this. It is the most relevant question of this age.

      • Why does she need an opinion on this? It is not her area of expertise. Defining the climate problem is difficult. What type of changes will we see over what time scale, will those changes be positive negative or neutral? Will there be winners and losers? The better we do on answering these questions, the better we can do on figuring out a path forward.
        Of course there are solutions that we could put in place now like nukes, but we need a lot of them and it would cost a lot and take a very long time. I recall John McCain proposed building 30 or more nuke plants as part of his 2008 campaign, but America rejected that. We elected the guy who could stop the seas rising with the strength of his personality.

      • Judith is a couple of steps behind. She doesn’t know if there is a problem yet, so she can’t say anything about solutions. This is a very understandable position, and she needs to state it clearly. It might mean she gets sidelined in the solutions debate, but I guess that is OK with her. She has to keep trying to get people away from coming up with solutions, right?

      • Why would she bother to try to keep people away from finding solutions, when all the brightest and best, like you, ignore her efforts and manage to come up with highly workable solutions all the time? /sarc off

        You’re just projecting your own beliefs.

    • “If it was at all possible to reduce emissions efficiently,” then at that point we could make a decision. Pie in the sky at present.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: If the technology could be developed over the next 50-100 years to ramp down CO2 emissions to zero on those time scales, while providing the world with all the energy it needed, would they choose to do this?

      How serious are you about this 50-100 year time frame? It seems to me that if that is the appropriate time frame, then what is called “business as usual” is the best strategy. On that time frame, the costs and inaccessibility of fossil fuels become extremely important to the free market, as continued R&D drive down the costs of the renewables.

      • These timeframes are for a linear ramp down to zero emission rates. If you delay it, the timescale actually becomes shorter to achieve the same target, not only from when you start, but shorter from now. [It’s the integral area under the ramp-down that matters.] Fifty and a hundred years are the critical ramp rates for 450 and 500 pm, starting now.

  19. There seems to be no seat at the table for curiosity.

    Just well funded big climate science and well funded political policy makers are planned for.

    Without curiosity there is no science. All there is is funding.

    Sociologist Joseph Gusfield pointed out that a popular route to power and influence is

    1. Discover a new “public problem”;

    2. Take ownership of it.

    That seems to be happening here.

    • I thought that the issue with the climate change debate seemed to be that there is a solution (decarbonisation) that is looking for a problem!

    • Bingo.

    • Yes. But when scientists talk to the public that way (e.g. “i can’t think of anything more interesting than the questions I try to answer”) they don’t sound so hot.

    • “1. Discover a new “public problem”;

      2. Take ownership of it.”

      Hmm, sounds like ‘climate-gate’ , ‘CRU-gate’ etc.

    • Especially the ownership part. The problems are defined as we define them. The climate works as we define it except for when that doesn’t seem to work, but fear not it will. A fight for influence on the field. Hopefully to be fair, the skeptics in their unorganized way and making mistakes are trying to take some ownership. I’d guess 70 years ago, outside people didn’t care so much about science and if they did, they didn’t stick with it. Normal people see things possibly being taken from them. Higher gas and electrical prices and the cascade effects that more expensive energy has on industry and jobs.
      So maybe it’s that the scientists are trying own their field and the rest of us are trying to own our bank accounts, our jobs, our kids futures.

  20. Judith
    An excellent summary.
    Conventional analyses underestimate natural fluctuations, mistaking them for “accelerating warming” etc.

  21. “Can we make good decisions under conditions of deep uncertainty about climate change? Uncertainty in itself is not a reason for inaction.”

    Yes and yes.

    Said it before and will say it again…if there is no uncertainty there is no decision.

    Nice op-ed.

    Koonin’s statement, “We are very far from the knowledge needed to make good climate policy.” is a step in the wrong direction in a decision process that has been formed in an ad hoc manner and looking at a potential time constraint. The question is not necessarily. “How will the climate change over the next century under both natural and human influences?” but something more like what decisions am I looking at and what are the alternatives.

    Clarity on the decisions to ne made will naturally lead to those facets of climate change science that are important. This is not to say that many of those facets have yet to be identified–they have. The hazard is more one of an ad hoc approach to date. Decision analysts would say that we have an inclination to do what we know to do and not what we need to do. I have an uneasy feeling that such an inlination may be reflected somewhat in Koonin’s statement. Dr. C is pulling on the right thread.

    • mwg said “we have an inclination to do what we know to do and not what we need to do. ”

      Sounds a bit like the proverbial drunk looking for his keys under the light! Its overdue for a paradigm shift in respect of the way we are currently dealing with climate change. We need to focus more on improving weather forecasting on longer time scales than the current 7-8 days so that vulnerable communities have more time to prepare for adversity.

  22. Judith Curry

    “Oversimplification, claiming ‘settled science’ and ignoring uncertainties not only undercuts the political process and dialogue necessary for real solutions in a highly complex world, but acts to retards scientific progress. It’s time to recognize the complexity and wicked nature of the climate problem, so that we can have a more meaningful dialogue on how to address the complex challenges of climate variability and change.”

    I agree whole heartedly with your assessment.

    The question I ask: to whom are you speaking? If it is to our President, or Mr. Holdren, then the the message is lost as these men are the true believers. These are evangelists who at time populate a certain time and space that perform much harm to society in general. In remote Christian times; the flagellants; remnants of whom still observed today.

    If, as I hope, your statements are a clarion call for others whose voices, like Koonin can escalate the rhetoric and authority, then I wish you God’s speed. I may be able to see what is happening, and put some perspective upon the proceedings, but your voice, it is clear and articulate. I hope others will hear what it is you have to say.

  23. The UN has put a lot of faith in their climate science and has been urging world leaders to take action to reduce dependance on fossil fual which they say produce greenhouse gas and raised the world’s temperature. However they failed to realise that Global warming is an on/off phenomena and sp had no answer to the current constant average temperature, They failed to understand the 1940 singularity, so they did not have a clear view of the processes at work.

    Now there is a growing view that climate science is not ‘settled’, so those of us who disagreed with their science can look forward to the new science that will result.

  24. Jim D | September 22, 2014 at 11:21 pm |

    Do we hear Judith talking about the need to find such a path? Never, as far as I have seen. This op-ed is not at all forward-looking in that way. How can you talk about the future without mentioning the conflict between fuel, energy and climate? Somehow she manages not to have a position on this.

    Not taking a position is code for not endorsing carbon taxes. Yes we have decided on fundamental economic theory that we are not in favour of carbon taxes. This is taking a position.

    There is no conflict – fossil fuel costs will continue to rise – capitalism will provide the innovations to substitute energy sources cost effectively and anthropogenic climate change is ultimately irrelevant if not a distraction from the real issues.

    The real focus of progress this century is elsewhere in social and economic development. ..

    • There is this hope that we will drift into a low-carbon energy/fuel system without all the available fossil fuels, together with more to be found, being burned first. The problem with this approach is not seen.

      • “There is this hope that we will drift into a low-carbon energy/fuel system without all the available fossil fuels, together with more to be found, being burned first. ”

        Huh? CO2 is beneficial, why would we want to stop producing it?

        Realistically we will only harvest about 1/2 to 2/3rds of reserves before fossil fuel gets too expensive. Assuming we find an equal amount of new reserves – the current reserves are a good guide to how much we can burn before other energy sources are cheaper. The “we will burn every last erg of fossil fuel” claim fails even a basic reality check.

        There isn’t any problem with burning fossil fuels until they become uncompetitive, we have a lot of experience with fossil fuels and are good at burning them. Current renewable technologies damage the environment as much as fossil fuels – it just happens in China. Current renewable technologies are clean only if you have an “out of sight, out of mind” perspective on life.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: There is this hope that we will drift into a low-carbon energy/fuel system without all the available fossil fuels, together with more to be found, being burned first. The problem with this approach is not seen.

        It only looks like “drift” to people who strongly prefer command economies to market economies. All real economies are mixtures, but the US mix includes some government supports to novel technologies like solar farms, as well as market-developed novel technologies like fracking. Entrepreneurs are at least as good as government agencies and universities at responding to the information that is available.

      • Matthew, “Entrepreneurs are at least as good as government agencies and universities at responding to the information that is available.” I would say better, because their incentives are more powerful and making decisions in a risky environment is their forte.

      • Matthew Marler, the economies don’t automatically go in the direction beneficial to the world as a whole. We are at the point of increasing climate change because of the way the economy has operated, and there is a need, as with pollution regulations, to do things that aren’t necessarily the cheapest route forwards for the industries themselves, but are for the common good. The market left alone drives the wrong behavior very often.

      • PA, no, unregulated coal will remain cheap, and that is the main problem. It may work to let oil and gas run out or price themselves out of the energy market, as long as we don’t go looking for more, but coal has to be left in the ground, tempting though it is to use it, or some way has to be found to clean it of CO2 emissions.

      • Jim D: “PA, no, unregulated coal will remain cheap, and that is the main problem. ”

        We have a basic philosophical difference and might have to agree to disagree.

        I am desperately worried about maximizing food production and avoiding an ice age. I want the CO2 level to hit 600 PPM. 280 PPM is absurdly almost dangerously low. The 280 “warm period” CO2 level caused a photosynthesis crisis before the current interglacial when “cold period” CO2 levels dropped below 180 PPM. This could have been a contributing factor to some of the extinctions and human migrations..

        “Warm Period” CO2 levels should be much higher than 280 PPM.

      • PA, you could look into a group called 350.org who would agree that 280 ppm is too cold, but optimal is 350 ppm. They may take sea level into account in deciding what is best, which you clearly don’t. 350 ppm permits Greenland’s glacier to persist, for example. With 600 ppm, Antarctica may also be melting into the sea, based on the last time it was at that level.

      • Jim D, I just went to 350.org, I didn’t see anything about building nukes now. In fact I didn’t see anything about engineering real solutions. There was lots of lets get involved, lets march , lets protest. Oh, and t-shirts for sale. what a crock.

      • 350.org took their number from Hansen. If they are not pro-nuclear, they have not followed Hansen. Perhaps you have more in common with Hansen then.

      • My opinion is that Hansen exaggerates the problem in a way that is not helpful. However, I can find some common ground with him on nukes. But, he has no expertise in building power plants or producing energy, so, he is really a non-factor. I would look to someone like Charles Forsberg.

      • True, Hansen is just a scientist. His scientific rationale for 350 ppm can be found here. Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?
        http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0804/0804.1126.pdf

      • guessing or wishing for some theoretically ideal level of CO2 in the atmosphere is a waste of time. The level is what it is and it is increasing as a by product of our high standard of living. And our high standard of living is coveted by billions of people on the planet.
        If we want to stop the increase we need to develop different means of producing energy. Then we need to design and build. And the things we build need to actually work And someone will have to pay the people who design and build and pay for the raw materials.
        So you can wish for whatever level of CO2 you’d like, but remember what they say about wishing…

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: , the economies don’t automatically go in the direction beneficial to the world as a whole. We are at the point of increasing climate change because of the way the economy has operated, and there is a need, as with pollution regulations, to do things that aren’t necessarily the cheapest route forwards for the industries themselves, but are for the common good.

        Market economies work for the common good at least as well as govt requirements. But you missed the main point: if 50-100 years is the correct time frame for switching from fossil fuels to everything else, there is no strong case that government intervention is even necessary.

        If 50 – 100 years is the correct time frame for switching from fossil fuels to everything else, then government intervention is only necessary if something else is the goal.

        We are at the point of increasing climate change because of the way the economy has operated,

        You seem to be claiming that 50-100 years is not the appropriate time frame. If so, why did you bring it up?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0804/0804.1126.pdf

        Thank you for the link.

        Given that we have 400 now, I think the case that we were better at 350 or would be better at 350 is slim to none. On the whole, do you think that we would be better at 350?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D, from the Hansen article that you linked: Paleoclimate data show that climate sensitivity is ~3°C for doubled CO2, including only fast feedback processes. Equilibrium sensitivity, including slower surface albedo feedbacks, is ~6°C for doubled CO2 for the range of climate states between glacial conditions and ice-free Antarctica.

        There isn’t much of a case for those sensitivity figures, given the state of the climate as it is now. Is there?

    • Nuclear power is not cost competitive.

      Small, modular designs may change the energy equation within a decade.

  25. “… whether we can afford to radically reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” – JC

    Increasingly the picture is that the costs associated with CO2 mitigation are modest, even small.

    The argument of economic catastrophe that Judith alludes to, is lacking in evidence, or very seriously out of date. Even the IMF report linked below, that shows co-benefits cover the costs of carbon-tax based mitigation, is out of date. It uses 2010 costs for solar/wind etc, which have dropped dramatically even over that short period. Re-done now, it might well be a ‘no-brainer’.

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2014/wp14174.pdf

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/report/2014/09/18/96404/green-growth/

    “Deep uncertainty beyond the basics is endemic to the climate change problem, which is arguably characterized as a ‘wicked mess.’ A ‘wicked’ problem is complex with dimensions that are difficult to define and changing with time. A ‘mess’ is characterized by the complexity of interrelated issues, with suboptimal solutions that create additional problems.

    Nevertheless, the premise of dangerous anthropogenic climate change is the foundation for a far-reaching plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions….” – JC

    No, not “nevertheless”.

    The literature on ‘wicked problems’ identifies mitigation, co-operation, long-term approaches and early action (as opposed to delay) as the preferred response.

    “Even if CO2 mitigation strategies are successful and climate model projections are correct, an impact on the climate would not be expected until the latter part of the 21st century. Solar variability, volcanic eruptions and long-term ocean oscillations will continue to be sources of unpredictable climate surprises.” – JC

    Huh?

    So, if we are right that temps would begin to increase ‘dangerously’ towards the end of the century, mitigation would do its job, as planned, to limit this. But…..volcanoes.

    ???????

    • Matthew R Marler

      Michael: The argument of economic catastrophe that Judith alludes to, is lacking in evidence, or very seriously out of date.

      You mischaracterize the alternatives. In any time frame there are many problems to address but finite resources of time, energy, manpower, capital and attention to address them. It will be very costly to postpone major water projects in flood and drought-prone parts of the world while functional energy-producing technologies are replace by more-expensive alternatives that might not even have any net benefit to the climate. Surely some part of the “precautionary principle” advises against wasteful expenditure of valuable resources on poorly tested plans when the resources may be needed later for better plans.

      • Matthew,

        Maybe you didn’t look at the links – but the very premise of “costly…more expensive alternatives” is looking very shaky.

        It may well be that the “wasteful expenditure of valuable resources” will be incurred in the ‘do-nothing’ scenario.

      • And it may well be not. It’s not hard to show that it is more likely to be not. Where’s the Precautionary Principle when we have something concrete upon which to apply it?
        =================

      • > Surely some part of the “precautionary principle” advises against wasteful expenditure of valuable resources on poorly tested plans when the resources may be needed later for better plans.

        Only if by “wasteful expenditure” we’re begging the question at hand, and on the contrary otherwise, unless by “better plans” we need perfect solutions. And even then: the best way to get those perfect solutions is to tune an evaluation function, which usually entails lots of tests.

        Mr. T does not always bet, but when he does he starts to build his martingale early.

  26. I think we need more Steve Goddards, McKyntires, Jean S ect to bring these people to court see latest Climate Audit posting on the decline. If Steyn doesnt completely nail Mann with this, i would be very surprised

  27. My letter to The Australian, which ran Koonin’s article today:

    An excellent contribution to the climate debate from Steven Koonin (“A degree of uncertainty,” 23/9). The crucial questions are: will warming resume – we don’t know; if so, will the impact be positive or negative – we don’t know; if there might be dangerous warming, what policies should we adopt? On the last question, Koonin stresses, as I often have, that that there are many uncertainties, including in projecting the future, and that climate science can not yet answer ”the difficult and important questions.”

    We know that reducing emissions will be costly, might have little effect, and is unlikely to be undertaken by the major emitters. We also know that there are many existing great problems, such as poverty and lack of clean water, sanitation, health facilities and education. Pro-growth policies will both address existing problems and provide a stronger basis for dealing with future problems, whether or not warming proves to be one of them.

    • Here is the article in full for anyone interested:

      Inexact science makes it impossible to accurately predict future climate
      • STEVEN E KOONIN
      • THE AUSTRALIAN
      THE idea that “climate science is settled” runs through today’s popular and policy discussions. Unfortunately, that claim is misguided. It has not only distorted our public and policy debates on ¬issues related to energy, greenhouse gas emissions and the environment, it also has inhibited the scientific and policy discussions that we need to have about our climate future.
      My training as a computational physicist — together with a 40-year career of scientific research, advising and management in academe, government and the private sector — has afforded me an extended, up-close perspective on climate science. Detailed technical discussions during the past year with leading climate scientists have given me an even better sense of what we know and don’t know about climate. I have come to appreciate the daunting scientific challenge of answering the questions that policymakers and the public are asking.
      The crucial scientific question for policy isn’t whether the climate is changing. That is a settled matter: the climate has always changed and always will. Geological and historical records show the occurrence of major climate shifts, sometimes across only a few decades. We know, for instance, that during the 20th century the Earth’s global average surface temperature rose 0.8C.
      Nor is the crucial question whether humans are influencing the climate. That is no hoax; there is little doubt in the scientific community that continually growing amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, due largely to carbon dioxide emissions from the conventional use of fossil fuels, are influencing the climate. There is also little doubt that the carbon dioxide will persist in the atmosphere for several centuries. The impact today of human activity appears to be comparable to the intrinsic, natural variability of the climate system itself.
      Rather, the crucial, unsettled scientific question for policy is: how will the climate change during the next century under both natural and human influences?
      Answers to that question at the global and regional levels, as well as to equally complex questions of how ecosystems and human activities will be affected, should inform our choices about energy and infrastructure.
      But — here’s the catch — those questions are the hardest ones to answer. They challenge, in a fundamental way, what science can tell us about future climates.
      Even though human influences could have serious consequences for the climate, they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole. For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1 per cent to 2 per cent. Since the climate system is highly variable on its own, that smallness sets a very high bar for confidently projecting the consequences of human influences.
      A second challenge to knowing future climate is today’s poor understanding of the oceans. The oceans, which change across decades and centuries, hold most of the climate’s heat and strongly influence the atmosphere. Unfor¬tun¬ately, precise, comprehensive observations of the oceans are available only for the past few decades; the reliable record is still far too short to adequately understand how the oceans will change and how that will affect climate.
      A third fundamental challenge arises from feedbacks that can dramatically amplify or mute the climate’s response to human and natural influences. One important feedback, which is thought to -approximately double the direct heating effect of carbon dioxide, involves water vapour, clouds and temperature.
      But feedbacks are uncertain. They depend on the details of processes such as evaporation and the flow of radiation through clouds. They cannot be determined confidently from the basic laws of physics and chemistry, so they must be verified by precise, detailed observations that are, in many cases, not yet available.
      Beyond these observational challenges are those posed by the complex computer models used to project future climate. These massive programs attempt to describe the dynamics and interactions of the various components of the Earth system — the atmosphere, the oceans, the land, the ice and the biosphere of living things. While some parts of the models rely on well-tested physical laws, other parts involve technically informed estimation. Computer modelling of complex systems is as much an art as a science.
      For instance, global climate models describe the Earth on a grid that is currently limited by computer capabilities to a resolution of no finer than 100km. But processes such as cloud formation, turbulence and rain all happen on much smaller scales. These critical processes then appear in the model only through adjustable ¬assumptions that specify, for example, how the average cloud cover depends on a grid box’s average temperature and humidity. In a given model, dozens of such assumptions must be adjusted (“tuned”, in the jargon of modellers) to reproduce current observations and imperfectly known historical records.
      We often hear that there is a “scientific consensus” about climate change. But as far as the computer models go, there isn’t a useful consensus at the level of detail relevant to assessing human influences. Since 1990, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has periodically surveyed the state of climate science. Each successive report from that endeavour, with contributions from thousands of scientists around the world, has come to be seen as the definitive assessment of climate science at the time.
      For the latest IPCC report (September last year), its Working Group I, which focuses on physical science, uses an ensemble of about 55 models. Although most of these models are tuned to reproduce the gross features of the Earth’s climate, the marked differences in their details and projections reflect all of the limitations I have described. For example:
      • The models differ in their descriptions of the past century’s global average surface temperature by more than three times the entire warming recorded during that time. Such mismatches are also present in many other basic climate factors, including rainfall, which is fundamental to the atmosphere’s energy balance. As a result, the models give widely varying descriptions of the climate’s inner workings. Since they disagree so markedly, no more than one of them can be right.
      • Although the Earth’s average surface temperature rose sharply by 0.5C during the last quarter of the 20th century, it has increased much more slowly for the past 16 years, even as the human contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen by 25 per cent.
      This surprising fact demonstrates directly that natural influences and variability are powerful enough to counteract the present warming influence exerted by human activity. Yet the models ¬famously fail to capture this slowing in the temperature rise. Several dozen explanations for this failure have been offered, with ocean variability most likely ¬playing a major role. But the whole episode continues to highlight the limits of our modelling.
      • The models roughly describe the shrinking extent of Arctic sea ice observed across the past two ¬decades, but they fail to describe the comparable growth of Antarctic sea ice, which is now at a record high.
      • The models predict that the lower atmosphere in the tropics will absorb much of the heat of the warming atmosphere. But that “hot spot” has not been confidently observed, casting doubt on our understanding of the crucial feedback of water vapour on temperature.
      • Even though human influence on climate was much smaller in the past, the models do not account for the fact the rate of global sea-level rise 70 years ago was as large as what we ¬observe today — about 30cm a century.
      • A crucial measure of our knowledge of feedbacks is climate sensitivity — that is, the warming induced by a hypothetical doubling of carbon dioxide concentration. Today’s best estimate of the sensitivity is no different, and no more certain, than it was 30 years ago. And this is despite a heroic research effort costing billions of dollars.
      These and many other open questions are in fact described in the IPCC research reports, although a detailed and knowledgeable reading is sometimes required to discern them. They are not “minor” issues to be “cleaned up” by further research. Rather, they are deficiencies that erode confidence in the computer projections. Work to resolve these shortcomings in climate models should be among the top priorities for climate research.
      Yet a public official reading only the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers would gain little sense of the extent or implications of these deficiencies. These are fundamental challenges to our understanding of human impacts on the climate, and they should not be dismissed with the mantra that “climate science is settled”.
      While the past two decades have seen progress in climate science, the field is not yet mature enough to usefully answer the difficult and important questions being asked of it. This decidedly unsettled state highlights what should be obvious: understanding climate, at the level of detail relevant to human influences, is a very, very difficult problem.
      We can and should take steps to make climate projections more useful across time. An international commitment to a sustained global climate observation system would generate an ever-lengthening record of more precise observations. And increasingly powerful computers can allow a better understanding of the uncertainties in our models, finer model grids and more sophisticated descriptions of the processes that occur within them.
      The science is urgent, since we could be caught flat-footed if our understanding does not improve more rapidly than the climate itself changes.
      A transparent rigour also would be a welcome development, especially given the momentous political and policy decisions at stake. That could be supported by regular, independent, “red team” reviews to stress-test and challenge the projections by focusing on their deficiencies and uncertainties; that would certainly be the best practice of the scientific method.
      But because the natural climate changes across decades, it will take many years to get the data needed to confidently isolate and quantify the effects of human ¬influences.
      Policymakers and the public may wish for the comfort of certainty in their climate science. But I fear that rigidly promulgating the idea that climate science is settled (or is a hoax) demeans and chills the scientific enterprise, retarding its progress in these important matters. Uncertainty is a prime mover and motivator of science and must be faced head-on. It should not be confined to hushed sidebar conversations at academic conferences.
      Society’s choices in the years ahead necessarily will be based on uncertain knowledge of future climates. That uncertainty need not be an excuse for inaction. There is well-justified prudence in accelerating the development of low-emissions technologies and in cost-effective energy-efficiency measures.
      But climate strategies beyond such “no regrets” efforts carry costs, risks and questions of effectiveness, so non-scientific factors inevitably enter the decision. These include our tolerance for risk and the priorities that we assign to economic development, poverty reduction, environmental quality, and intergenerational and geographical equity.
      Individuals and countries can legitimately disagree about these matters, so the discussion should not be about believing or denying the science. Despite the statements of numerous scientific societies, the scientific community cannot claim any special expertise in addressing issues related to hum¬anity’s deepest goals and values. The political and diplomatic spheres are best suited to debating and resolving such questions, and misrepresenting the current state of climate science does nothing to advance that effort.
      Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future. Recognising those limits, rather than ignoring them, will lead to a more sober and ultimately more productive discussion of climate change and climate policies. To do otherwise is a great disservice to climate science.

      Steven E. Koonin was undersecretary for science in the US Energy Department during President Barack Obama’s first term and is director of the Centre for Urban Science and Progress at New York University. His previous positions include professor of theoretical physics and provost at the California Institute of Technology, as well as chief scientist of BP, where his work focused on renewable and low-carbon energy technologies.

    • Faustino –

      =>> “..We know that reducing emissions will be costly,…”

      How do we “know” this? Based on unvalidated and unverified econonomic modeling? You’re an economist and you proclaim total confidence in economic modeling some 2,3,5,1o,15 years out? Is there some other way that you derive your confidence? Divine intervention?

  28. A very sensible, rational approach. Thank goodness there are a few climate scientists who are taking it and arguing for it.

    What we are seeing at the moment in New York is one of those episodes of hysteria to which our species is subject. It happens in villages, on the stock market. It leads to the most terrible mass behaviours – the great genocides of the 20th century, the crazed salvationist political movements which swept large areas of the globe, the joyful stampe to wars. Even in the deeply personal domain we are subject to mass delusion, unexamined conclusions drawn from incorrect and unsubstantiated premises.

    With the Internet its happening globally on the climate issue. We find the same characteristic mechanisms at work. People get caught up in a movement, whose objectives are only distantly related to the theories cited in defence of them. The extremes come to dominate as the movement strengthens. The evidence starts to come in that the whole thing is a delusion. But the paradoxical effect is to strengthen the ultras position in the movement and to reinforce their belief.

    Finally the whole thing collapses, leaving small bands of the faithful scattered in isolated groups. Read ‘When Prophecy Fails’. Or read about the endless failed millenarial predictions by the Jehova’s Witnesses of the coming end of the world. When this mania ends it will do so surprisingly fast, and it will turn into yet another episode in ‘great popular delusions and the madness of crowds’.

  29. Hard to say what Koonins is up to. A back down on APS policy statement would be “damaging” to both APS and all the other respectable organisations that are pro AGW (and there are a lot of them), so perhaps that’s not going to happen -APS will maintain alarm, and Koonins op-ed is a bone thrown to the “deniers” to keep us happy.

    Or perhaps the science of climate change (which has been the most politically manipulated science in living memory), will finally be based on literature that encompasses all view points, rather than just the “fast and convenient” 97% junk literature currently being mass produced at an unprecedented rate.
    Either way, reputations (and therefore money) are at stake.

    • John DeFayette

      I smell a backdown in the works. I imagine that the APS membership, which we don’t normally hear from in public, is raining down on Koonin’s subcommittee. The quiet majority must be quite fed up with the lunatic APS fringe. How else can he save the Society?

      Besides, an intelligent leader would be more than happy to seize the current wave and be the front runner in turning the situation around. It would be a huge win for APS.

      • Hard to say who is doing the raining down now. My guess is the warmists will mobilise and attack Koonin (the rest may not care about global warming- they’re sensible).

        I smell a comment/ reply to Koonin- fashioned by warmists, rebutting various aspects /highlighting weaknesses in his essay- they’ll talk about the hotspot- there maybe multiple authors. The desired outcome is to pressure the APS policy statement to fall in line (with the other 100+ organisations, NASA, etc) by including authors from these institutions.
        So if there is a back down, essentially APS will be saying “NASA is wrong, etc”
        Thats how they roll…..by intimidation.

  30. Were there any scientists at the climate march?

    • John DeFayette

      “In the midst of the ‘mad crowd’ in New York City attending the People’s Climate March, sober people are trying to figure out ways to broaden the policy debate….”

      Prof. Curry, where were you? Marc Morano couldn’t find you in the crowd, apparently.

      Or am I reading you too literally? ;)

    • The question is why so many “scientists” refuse to acknowledge left-wing, pro-statist agendas in the name of a non-empirical theory condradicted by real world evidence?

      It’s because they share the same political culture and Social ID. It’s the same reason Dr. Curry speaks equivocally about “politics” in climate science that under serves the public debate. That’s the sad power of authoritarian political correctness and a cultural ID. She knows directly as most rational people here do but can’t utter it directly: CS is a leftist enclave at the “science” as well as popular political levels of the social schism. If that isn’t directly included in the debate you validate irrationality as Joshua, Fanboy and Angry Michael for example and they like the Gorian mob exist in the
      intellectual weeds. In good part to a partisan or fearful (gutless) CS academic community playing by whose protocol specifically??? Explain the motives of their appeasement or worse their support for the blood lust seen in NYC Sunday?

  31. I agree with most of the op-ed, except that the ‘hiatus’ would be at the core of things, where I instead find the ‘known/unknown’.

    From the abstract of Engels & van Geel 2012, The effects of changing solar activity on climate: contributions from palaeoclimatological studies. J. Space Weather Space Clim. 2 (2012) A09. DOI: 10.1051/swsc/2012009 :

    “There is a large body of evidence from palaeoclimatic reconstructions that shows the influence of solar activity on a centennial to millennial timescale.”

    An influence not incorporated in models in that its workings are not established.

  32. I just watched the presentation on Youtube. That made it very clear, where our ways of looking at the issue deviate. To me the original framing of UNFCCC is the only logical one. That consists of the following elements:

    – CO2 concentration is rising due to human activities
    – Added CO2 makes the climate warmer.
    – Warmer climate is going to cause damage in several ways.
    – We need climate science to tell, how strong the warming is likely to be, and what kind of other changes in the climate, oceans and the natural environment are to be expected.

    The presence of natural variability makes the task of the science much more difficult, but that does not change the basic question, which is about AGW, not about natural variability.

    Judith frames the question as if it would be one of explaining the historical behavior. To me understanding historical behavior is only a tool in answering the real question, Judith implies a different way of thinking.

    My concerns are similar to those discussed starting around 47 min on the video. I couldn’t catch with certainty the name of the man, who presented the lengthy question, but I think that he is Michael MacCracken from the Climate Institute.

    Similarly I don’t agree on the way Judith introduces the idea of a wicked problem. To me the basic problem of climate change itself is not wicked. I agree that it’s complex, and that there are major gaps in the knowledge, but I don’t agree that the issue of climate change is wicked as a problem of the physical Earth system. I do. however, think that wicked problems are really present, when we take the next step of discussing, what to do to mitigate the consequences of the climate change. At that stage some choices made can very well be counter-productive, parallel actions can work against each other, etc.. Misdirected actions can, indeed, cause more damage than good.

    To me understanding of the physical climate side of the issue appears to be in a rather stable phase. We know that the uncertainties are large, but we do also know a lot of what’s likely. The situation has not changed much for years – even for a couple of decades. We must base the policy decisions on science that’s likely to remain close to the same level for years to come. Climate science must continue to search for improved understanding, but we cannot rely on the expectation of fast progress.

    Where significant progress is more likely is in judging alternative policies. This problem is really wicked, but improving understanding significantly is possible on the time scale from years to a couple of decades. At the same time we can expect major improvement in some of the crucial technologies, but foreseeing what those changes are going to be is much more difficult. We know from experience that technical development brings regularly major positive surprises, while some foreseen developments fail to materialize.

    • Pekka Pirila,

      – Warmer climate is going to cause damage in several ways.

      That is an assertion and your belief. It’s not a fact. It is highly uncertain.

      Even using ECS = 3.2 C per CO2 doubling and a high damage function, the abatement cost greatly exceeds the projected benefits for all of this century for any reasonable assumptions about achievable participation rates.

      • Peter,
        I formulated that sentence in a way that allows me to believe in it beyond reasonable doubt. I could propose many other expressions about damages that I would not be nearly as certain about, but the logic I’m discussing is based on this formulation.

      • Pekka formulates sentences while a warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life.
        =============

      • “– CO2 concentration is rising due to human activities”

        Well, some of it is due to the warming and some from land bio-residues but I tend to think it is “mostly due to human activities” until we actually get a better accounting.

        Japan lofted an environment satellite to identify CO2 sources and sinks.
        Canada is a big CO2 sink, the US is a moderate CO2 sink,
        most of the first world is weak sinks, and the 3rd world is major sources.

        “– Added CO2 makes the climate warmer.”

        In theory this is true. However this is like saying it rains, it may be true but it isn’t useful information. It may rain a little, as in a desert, or it may rain a lot like in a rainforest, the amount is crucial. Most people agree that in theory CO2 causes some warming. The evidence and agreement doesn’t go a lot further.

        – Warmer climate is going to cause damage in several ways.

        Well, this is an opinion. The 20th century has featured increased plant growth of at least 30-50-77% (pick your number there is a study to support it, 11% since 1982 according to CSIRO). Since we lofted satellites global foliage has increased, the statement that growth is increasing isn’t in contention. So warming and CO2 makes plants grow more.

        Fishing/Forestry/Agriculture production is somewhere in the $9 trillion per year range or higher (I’m open to better numbers). 25-33% more or less is due to warming and CO2. That is a benefit not a harm.

        Warming doesn’t seem to be harming anything at the moment.

        “– We need climate science to tell, how strong the warming is likely to be, and what kind of other changes in the climate, oceans and the natural environment are to be expected.”

        Yup. Having a climate version of a weather man would be nice. But the weather services regularly mispredict the winter season, el nino, etc. so I am not optimistic. The weather service predicted an average to mild winter for the mid-west (Michigan), they got arctic cold and record lake ice. People were picnicking on an iceberg in Lake Superior on July 4.

      • PA, @ September 23, 2014 at 9:47 am

        Thank you for this and many other informative, relevant, succinct and clear comments.

        Can you post links for these statements from you comment:

        1. Japan lofted an environment satellite to identify CO2 sources and sinks.
        Canada is a big CO2 sink, the US is a moderate CO2 sink,
        most of the first world is weak sinks, and the 3rd world is major sources.

        2. The 20th century has featured increased plant growth of at least 30-50-77% (pick your number there is a study to support it, 11% since 1982 according to CSIRO).

        3. Since we lofted satellites global foliage has increased, the statement that growth is increasing isn’t in contention.

        4. Fishing/Forestry/Agriculture production is somewhere in the $9 trillion per year range or higher (I’m open to better numbers). 25-33% more or less is due to warming and CO2. That is a benefit not a harm.

      • 1. CO2 Source/Sinks
        伊吹 (IBUKI – meaning “breath”) or GOSAT is a Japanese environmental satellite has been the source of a number of quasi-humorous articles:
        http://joannenova.com.au/2011/11/co2-emitted-by-the-poor-nations-and-absorbed-by-the-rich-oh-the-irony-and-this-truth-must-not-be-spoken/
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/05/the-revenge-of-the-climate-reparations/

        2. Plant Growth
        Lots of good numbers on CO2 in link
        http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm
        “Figure 22 shows the 40% increase in the forests of the United States that has taken place since 1950. Much of this increase is due to the increase in atmospheric CO2 that has already occurred. In addition, it has been reported that Amazonian rain forests are increasing their vegetation by about 900 pounds of carbon per acre per year (113), or approximately 2 tons of biomass per acre per year. ”

        http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/study-global-warming-makes-trees-grow-faster.html
        Actual german study referenced in article.
        Beech has grown 32% faster since 1960.
        Spruce has grown 77% faster since 1960.
        http://www.csiro.au/Portals/Media/Deserts-greening-from-rising-CO2.aspx
        In findings based on satellite observations, CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU), found that this CO2 fertilisation correlated with an 11 per cent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa, according to CSIRO research scientist, Dr Randall Donohue.”

        3. The CSIRO article above addresses foliage cover as seen from satellites. The models predicted 5%-10% increase.
        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/LAI/
        NASA had been working on measuring foliage.
        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalGarden/
        ‘“Between 1982 and 1999, 25 percent of the Earth’s vegetated area experienced increasing plant productivity—a total increase of about 6 percent,” says Ramakrishna Nemani, the study’s lead scientist. ‘
        It is unlikely NASA will release more glowing news on this subject. This study dates from 2003 when NASA was still shifting into full “Global Warming” mode.

        4. Agriculture, fishing, wood chopping etc.
        Total value at a producer price level is about $3-4.5 trillion GDP (justifying this number is a full post). GWP is higher. Retail value is higher. This doesn’t reflect that most of the world is subsistence agriculture/fishing/wood chopping for personal consumption (I grew up on a farm and we did a lot of personal consumption which didn’t make it into the GDP). For example: in Cambodia 73% of production is personal consumption. Retail value of total GWP consumption is arguably north of $9 Trillion.

        A 50% growth increase since 1900 for $3-9 trillion is worth $1-3 Trillion of benefit.

        The value of the sector relative to GWP/GDP is declining because of productivity increases. http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2011/05/corn-yields-have-increased-6x-since.html
        The sad fact is productivity has made food practically free. Corn yields have increased 6 times since 1940.

      • P.A,

        Thank you. Much appreciated.

        PAL :)

      • You’re welcome.

        I got distracted by real life. Please forgive the delay.

      • PA,

        I forgive you because 66.7% of your initials are correct.

        PAL

    • Pekka Pirilä | September 23, 2014 at 3:57 am | Reply
      – CO2 concentration is rising due to human activities still debatable
      – Added CO2 makes the climate warmer. No Pekka, there has been no recent temperature rise. It is disconnected, dead, not respiring but it has beautiful plumage.
      – Warmer climate is going to cause damage in several ways. No No No
      go live in an Ice Cave and see if warmer is better.

      • My answer to Peter applies to you as well.

        In my lengthier comment I did not discuss conclusions, I discussed only the way the question should be framed IMO to apply logically to the policy question rather than to science considered as separate from the policy questions. IMO Judith’s approach is perhaps right for the science, but not for the policy discussion.

      • Yes, the less the science informs policy the better.
        ===========

    • Pekka,

      I accept that you believe it. But that’s not really relevant, is it? People hold a wide range of beliefs and they all feel they are right and have the evidence to support their beliefs. The point is that it’s not fact, it’s highly uncertain. The evidence is weak. And the claims of damaging future are diminishing all the time. The Climate scientists are involved in group think as has been discussed many times.

      The present value net benefits of carbon pricing are negative for almost all this century. At a more realistic, but still unlikely particpation rate, the benefits are negative for 300 years. (derived from Nordhaus DICE-2013R Copenhagen scenario. Column 1 is Copenhagen scenario and column 2 is with half the participation rate assumed for Copenhagen.

      Net Benefit (Benefit – Abatement Cost) (Trillions)
      through 2050 -3.45 -12.68
      through 2100 -5.47 -32.59
      through 2200 10.99 -24.66
      through 2300 17.71 -18.36
      through end 17.81 -18.26

      • Peter,

        My problem with Judith’s recent presentations is that she makes in reverse the same error she sees in others. She does not like people speaking certainty to power, but her way of presenting uncertainty has grown to speaking lack of knowledge to power. What’s needed is presenting the whole range, and not only presenting it but interacting further to answer the more nuanced questions that the decisions makers should present, when they realize the limits of both too much certainty and too dominating uncertainty monsters.

      • Pekka,

        The policy analysts need the information that goes into formal decision analysis (and/or robust analysis). With the far more common and widely accepted method, decision analysis, the policy analysts need the projected costs and benefits, the probabilities that the costs and benefits will be achieved given the real world constraints, and the uncertainties on the inputs.

        Nordhaus, Tol and others have estimated the Benefits (i.e. reduced climate damages), the Abatement costs and the optimum carbon price. However, the assumptions are for an academic exercise. They are totally unrealistic. Although they estimate the cost penalty of less than 100% participation, they have not gone the next step and used in their calculation the probability of achieving different levels of participation at different times. That’s what I’ve done in the second column above.

        It’s really clear to me that no policy will succeed if it involves increasing the cost of energy on the short and medium term.

        You say:

        What’s needed is presenting the whole range, and not only presenting it but interacting further to answer the more nuanced questions that the decisions makers should present, when they realize the limits of both too much certainty and too dominating uncertainty monsters.

        I agree in part. But where is the relevant information? Where are the uncertainties on the probability of the climate damages. Where are the probabilities that costly carbon restraint policies can be implemented globally and survive for a century. I say they don’t exist. If you think they do exist, can you point me to them, please?

        BTW, I don’t agree with your last sentence “they realize the limits of both too much certainty and too dominating uncertainty monsters”. Firstly your choice of adjectives demonstrates your bias. IMO, the climate alarmists have had the running, got all the research funding and dominated the media for 20 years. There’s been nowhere near sufficient balance. Scientists have not been doing what they should. They should be challenging the hypotheses, not trying to justify them and advocate for them using scaremongering and exaggeration.

        So. back to my question to you. Can you point me to where I can see the information needed for policy decision analysis? Importantly, what is missing, is the analysis of the probability that a chosen policy would deliver the projected benefits for the projected abatement costs.

      • Peter,

        I wrote

        What’s needed is presenting the whole range, and not only presenting it but interacting further to answer the more nuanced questions that the decisions makers should present, when they realize the limits of both too much certainty and too dominating uncertainty monsters.

        to indicate that definitive answers do not exist. Real interaction is probably the best way of transferring knowledge, when it’s as incomplete as understanding is presently on many important points.

        This is an issue where I agree on what Judith has written. The “linear model” does not work. Interaction, which is the opposite of linear approach, is needed. While she has written that many times, I don’t think that her presentations really support that approach as both sides of the policy dispute seem to understand her message as the linear advise to avoid strong action.

      • Pekka

        Real interaction is probably the best way of transferring knowledge, when it’s as incomplete as understanding is presently on many important points.

        I don’t understand what you are talking about. What do you mean by “real interaction”? How do you translate the data from ‘real interaction’ to the inputs needed for policy analysis and decision analysis – which is what is required. Or are you suggesting we re educate the whole world on how they should do policy analysis?

      • Linear model works, when the state of knowledge can be explained well through concise documents that every reader understands in the same way. That does not work, when uncertainties are large and issues complex. Direct interactive contacts between decision makers and various specialists, including but not restricted to climate scientists, have a much better change of working in such situations.

      • Yes, don’t ever put it in emails. Direct and undocumented will rule.
        ===============

      • “she makes in reverse the same error she sees in others. She does not like people speaking certainty to power, but her way of presenting uncertainty has grown to speaking lack of knowledge to power.”
        +100. Outstanding way of describing what’s been bothering me too.

      • […] both sides of the policy dispute seem to understand her message as the linear advise to avoid strong action.

        Maybe because “both sides of the policy dispute” understand that “strong action” has very high costs?

      • Pekka,

        Judith is not preaching lack of knowledge. She is pointing out deficiencies in knowledge on those issues where the certainty has been oversold. You may see this as one-sided, but Judith is not obligated to make both sides of the argument.

      • Don,
        She is not obligated to make both sides of the argument, but then I’m not obligated to like the message she presents or to leave my view hidden.

      • Pekka,

        “This is an issue where I agree on what Judith has written. The “linear model” does not work. Interaction, which is the opposite of linear approach, is needed. While she has written that many times, I don’t think that her presentations really support that approach as both sides of the policy dispute seem to understand her message as the linear advise to avoid strong action.”

        I understand her message as advice to figure out what’s up, before taking strong action that may be unnecessary and do more harm than good. That’s the counterbalance to the precautionary principle. I see Judith as serving as a counterbalance. The alarmists don’t want to interact with a counterbalance. They call it false balance. They would like Judith to lose her credibility and her job. Wake up, Pekka.

      • I’ve long said we should apply the Precautionary Principle to the Precautionary Principle. Koonin and Curry are just following my advice.

        Heh.
        ====

      • Pekka,

        You didn’t answer my question. That’s frustrating because it seems to happen in every discussion we have.

        I asked what do you mean by “real interaction”. What’s its technical definition. It seems you are making up terms. If you are going to use or introduce new terms can you please provide a link to their definition.

        Linear model works, when the state of knowledge can be explained well through concise documents that every reader understands in the same way. That does not work, when uncertainties are large and issues complex. Direct interactive contacts between decision makers and various specialists, including but not restricted to climate scientists, have a much better change of working in such situations.

        That seems like the arguments for appealing to peoples values instead of evidence. The evidence for dangerous climate change is lacking so now you’d prefer to argue that we should make extremely costly decisions based on people person values – which have been influenced by the catastrophic climate change propaganda. Of course, the next step is that the correct values we must all agree to are those of the ideological Left, right?

      • ==> “now you’d prefer to argue that we should make extremely costly decisions ”

        So much for respecting uncertainty, and instead being certain based on unvalidated and unverified modeling of complex phenomena that project out into the future.

        I would like to offer a general question to all SWIRLCAREs, like my friend Peter, here, as to what evidence they’ve “observed” that gives them so much more faith in the economic models that ground their confidence in the “extrem[e] cost” of policies that target ACO2 reduction.

        Although you wouldn’t know it from her Op-ed or her recent talk for the Marshall Institute, but even Judith has expressed uncertainty about the economic modeling (kind of an odd coincidence that she left that out during her recent advocacy, isn’t it?).

        Which economic models are the ones that the are so sure will get the economics correct going out two, three, ten, fifteen decades?

      • Peter –

        BTW,

        ==> ““now you’d prefer to argue that we should make extremely costly decisions ””

        I missed the part where Pekka said “that we should make extremely costly decisions.” Would you mind pointing that out?

      • Peter, mini-Pekka wants your attention. He says he’s a friend of yours.

      • Yes. But no point responding to trolls it only encourages then follows months of bating comments, vitriol, abuse, snide remarks, mini-Pekka is a clear case of extreme motivated reasoning. He knows ful well that big Pekka has been advocating carbon pricing, renewable energy and fossil fuel taxes for years. So mini-Pekka knows big-Pekka has been advocating for the policies that have very high cost and would deliver no reduction in ‘climate damages’. Motivated reasoning prevents mini-Pekka miss or ignore the relevant information. His motivated reasoning causes him to divert discussion to arguing about how a point is phrased, what words are used and where commas are placed.

        That’s trolling. In mini-Pekka’s case its driven by a chronic case of motivated reasoning.

      • Pekka @ 8.56, correct on linear and interaction, but there seems to be some failure to connect in this non-linear sub-thread. There is an issue though as to whether the apparently sensible multi-disciplinary approach would work in practice. Australia tried it with an environmental body in the 1980s. Several economists I knew went to work for it with good intent and high expectations. But the environmentalists refused to listen whenever the economists sought to bring the tools of our trade to bear, they just flatly rejected any concept of bringing in rational economic techniques to environmental issues. The economists left, the initiative collapsed. I personally was abused in large public fora when I suggested a role for economics in environmental issues, including alleged CAGW. Would that it were not so.

    • – CO2 concentration is rising due to human activities

      This isn’t certain, and it’s even less certain just how much our fossil carbon emissions are responsible.

      As an excuse for not addressing the issue of fossil carbon, I’d admit the uncertainty is too small. But when it comes to how, it’s much more important. Then we include the risk that, even if emissions are responsible, stopping them might not result in the situation returning to what it was, due to non-linearities in the natural carbon system.

      This, IMO, tilts the incentive strongly towards remediation that starts with diffuse CO2, probably from the ocean surface as it’s fairly close to equilibrium with the atmosphere and the bi-carbonate concentrations are much higher. Given equal costs (to “society”), remediation seems the better choice.

      Not to mention that it doesn’t have to happen right away to have the needed effect.

      – Added CO2 makes the climate warmer.

      It makes the atmosphere warmer (by comparison), all other things being equal. But it certainly changes the parameters of weather, and probably climate. There are also other risks associated with the higher pCO2, as well as the build-up of fossil carbon wherever else it’s going.

      But the “gradualistic” issues the IPCC concentrates on aren’t any problem before the end of the century. The real risks are all of sudden changes due to the non-linearity of the system(s).

      Where significant progress is more likely is in judging alternative policies. This problem is really wicked, but improving understanding significantly is possible on the time scale from years to a couple of decades.

      Actually, a greater recognition of the risk that higher pCO2 isn’t due to fossil emissions might simplify the policy issues. At least for anybody more interested in solving the problem rather than using it as a stalking horse for some other, ideological, agenda.

      At the same time we can expect major improvement in some of the crucial technologies, but foreseeing what those changes are going to be is much more difficult. We know from experience that technical development brings regularly major positive surprises, while some foreseen developments fail to materialize.

      Technological development isn’t certain, of course. But there are two issues I see with your statement:

      •     There’s a big difference between actual “breakthroughs” that depend on changes in theory, and easily extrapolated development of current technology, that doesn’t need any real theoretical advance. An example of the former would be the advances in materials technology needed to support the “space elevator” concept. An example of the latter would be applying near-term solar power technology to floating desalination.

      •     The likelihood of any particular advance can be influenced by targeted incentives for appropriate R&D. While certainty can’t be achieved, high probabilities can, especially for advances that don’t require major theoretical changes. And R&D almost always pays for itself, societally, in spin-off technology. Or, from a national perspective, the ability to build up a larger pool of educated and experienced researchers.

      • – CO2 concentration is rising due to human activities

        This isn’t certain, and it’s even less certain just how much our fossil carbon emissions are responsible.

        Seriously?

      • Seriously?

        Well, nobody’s pursuing it right now (AFAIK), except Salby, who seems to be mired in academic/political sabotage. (Or so he says.) But the carbon system is also a hyper-complex non-linear system, and there’s a great deal unknown about it.

        True, the amount of CO2 increase in the atmosphere appears to be around half the total emitted. But why not all? Why any? The assumption that “Nature” is an elastic “carbon sink” is hardly warranted.

        If the costs/risks/benefits involved in mitigation were wildly superior to remediation, it would probably be worth ignoring. But they aren’t, IMO. Given the right approach, remediation could well be cheaper and simpler than mitigation, could certainly wait for appropriate technology to mature, and also has the benefit that it addresses the risk that fossil emissions aren’t the reason, or at least the only reason, for the rise in pCO2.

      • Similarly for the craven expectation of catastrophe.

        Seriously?
        ========

      • There are open questions and uncertainties in the details of carbon cycle, but not at a level that would change anything in near or intermediate term. The uncertainties are much more significant when long term development (over 100 years or so) is considered.

        The short term behavior is with high certainty described approximately by noting that other reservoirs that share the additional carbon rapidly have a total size roughly equal to the capacity of the atmosphere in absorbing additional CO2. These reservoirs are in the near surface oceans and in the combination of biosphere and soil. When CO2 is added, half stays in the atmosphere, while the other half goes in these reservoirs. That explains the share of one half.

      • When CO2 is added, half stays in the atmosphere, while the other half goes in these reservoirs. That explains the share of one half.

        No. It doesn’t explain why it’s “half”, rather than, say 1/10, or 9/10. For that matter, there are other factors, also roughly correlated to the rise in pCO2, that could easily have a dominant influence on absorption. Whaling/overfishing, land use changes (esp. swamp drainage), etc.

        All, admittedly, low-probability factors. But we don’t know how low.

        The precautionary principle…

      • You should realize by now that there are many seriously deluded would-be scientists such as AK who comment on this blog.

        The half sequestered is easy to explain first-order. Diffusion is a random walk problem, and random walk of CO2 into the ocean means that 1/2 travel down and 1/2 travel back up. That is random walk in one dimension, the other dimensions are irrelevant. This is a slow process so it hovers around 1/2 for a long time, due to the fat-tail of the diffusive process.

      • Diffusion is a random walk problem

        Complicated by the non-linear behavior of oh, so many living species.

        And ad hominem is the resort of the incompetent.

      • What I wrote does certainly provide an explanation for the observation, but an explanation is not a prediction.

        It’s, however, not difficult to figure out that the explanation does also make it clear that the ratio must be of the order of one half. Sizes of the reservoirs and what’s known reliably about carbon fluxes between various reservoirs make it clear that the factor cannot be much less than 1/2, certainly not anything like 1/10. A similar argument applies also on the other side, i.e. it’s clear that the share of the atmosphere cannot be much larger than 50%.

        One part of that argument is based on the depth of mixed layer in the oceans in combination with the known chemistry of CO2 and carbonates. The other part is controlled by the variability in the total amount of land-based biomass. That’s not known precisely, but the limits are not too far apart.

      • It’s, however, not difficult to figure out that the explanation does also make it clear that the ratio must be of the order of one half.

        Or perhaps it’s a Just So Story

        Come to think of it, adaptation by marine life to higher pCO2 could well produce hopeful monsters.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Totally delusional by AK.

        Anybody that has worked diffusional problems and has done slab calculations knows about the 1/2 ratio.

        Like with the Bose-Einstein statistics fiasco, these deniers don’t have a clue about statistical mechanics, continuity equations, or transport theory.

      • Speaking of just so stories

        Or maybe hopeless monsters.

      • “closed vs open [systems] is a “crutch for the weak-minded”” – WHUT

        Wow, now that’s a result you should publish Web! Knock down that pesky Naomi Oreskes paper once and for all!

        Verification and validation of numerical models of natural systems is impossible. This is because natural systems are never closed

        Or you could explain why your CSALT model is not a crock.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Invoking chaos is a crutch for the weak-minded.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Pekka,
        “These reservoirs are in the near surface oceans and in the combination of biosphere and soil. When CO2 is added, half stays in the atmosphere, while the other half goes in these reservoirs. That explains the share of one half.”
        I don’t think this is exactly right. The vertically integrated inventory of human emitted CO2 in the oceans is (not surprisingly) much greater in areas of cold deep convection, especially in the northern Atlantic (the falling leg of the thermohaline circulation), and much less in the tropics where the ocean is strongly stratified; absorption in the tropics really is more in the near-surface waters. But a very large portion of the total sequestered inventory is not in surface waters, but rather in very deep waters.

      • Steve,

        Ocean circulation does transfer gradually more and more of the added CO2 to deeper ocean. The vertical distribution does certainly vary from an area to another, but considering the global total, the situation must still be essentially in agreement with what I wrote.

        The balance has changed everywhere, and the source regions of the subsiding circulation are a small fraction of the whole. The Atlantic annual formation of deep water has the volume of about one meter layer of surface water of the oceans based on a rapid calculation I made.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Pekka,
        I am not convinced; the deep oceans seem to hold a substantial portion of the total inventory. Look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solubility_pump#mediaviewer/File:WOA05_GLODAP_invt_aco2_AYool.png
        Rough calculations of thermohaline circulation volume are closer to ~4 meters per year vertical upwelling (on average, if I remember correctly), not 1 meter peryear.

      • “Invoking chaos is a crutch for the weak-minded.” – WHUT

        So there is no middle ground between a closed experiment in a lab on a tuning fork and an open system like the planetary climate?

      • AK, “And R&D almost always pays for itself, societally, in spin-off technology.” Not convinced of that, the concept of externalities is often used as a justification for government subsidies to R&D, industry studies have shown that R&D is most effective when the innovator works closely with the end user, and that they tend to capture the gains. I was very across the literature at one time, and dealt with a lot of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists et al, and did not find much to justify subsidies. In general, firms will undertake R&D to the point where the risk-adjusted expected rate of return is the same as on other uses of funds, if they increase R&D because of subsidies, the real rate of return is lower. I also found that when government funds were available, the result was often creative accounting to identify more work as R&D rather than a real increase.

    • Thanks for the link, Pekka.

      Here’s a gem:

      Summary of the Key Findings: The most important findings on climate change science can be summarized in six statements that are each supported by multiple lines of evidence (and so not put at risk by questions about any one set of data). There are of course many additional details about climate change and expected impacts to be worked out, but the six points alone are so well established and serious that it is clear that action to reduce emissions is needed to moderate the very significant, and quite possibly irreversible, impacts that lie ahead. The six key points, each of which is further elaborated on in a few paragraphs in a succeeding section, can be briefly summarized as follows:

      1. Emissions from human activities, particularly the combustion of fossil fuels, are changing atmospheric composition, especially by raising the concentrations of climate-warming gases;

      2. These higher concentrations will intensify the natural greenhouse effect, leading to global warming and associated changes in climate that will persist for centuries;

      3. Changes in the climate are already evident and consistent with a human influence becoming the dominant influence in the late 20th century;

      4. Future climate change is projected to be substantial if emissions continue to increase without restriction;

      5. Both the environment and society will be impacted in significant ways as a result of both climate change and the rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration; and

      6. Slowing the ongoing changes in atmospheric composition and climate will require substantial reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over coming decades in order to limit anthropogenic interference with the climate system and avoid the most harmful environmental and societal consequences.

      The first two findings are very well established; the second two findings are becoming increasingly well established; and the last two findings address the challenge society faces in dealing with the issue. The supporting evidence for these findings is presented briefly in the following sections, both to help in your understanding, and so that you can help explain climate change and its importance to others—not by assertion, but by reasoning.

      http://www.climate.org/topics/climate-change/science-in-six-findings.html

      And then Denizens will claim grown-up talk does not exist.

      • Heh, weasel words, models, and insubstantial fears. Adults, bah.
        =============

      • To me these six are not substantial at all. Society has many pressing issues, and limited resources. Without numbers on amount of climate change (currently uncertain by a factor of four or so), size of impacts (totally uncertain), and relative costs/benefits of mitigation/adaptation, there is no way to decide if mitigation is more important than many other things we need to do. All these six could be true, and Bjorn Lomborg could still be right that mitigation is a terrible waste and misdirection of our limited resources.

      • > Without numbers on amount of climate change (currently uncertain by a factor of four or so), size of impacts (totally uncertain), and relative costs/benefits of mitigation/adaptation, there is no way to decide if mitigation is more important than many other things we need to do.

        Does it mean you’re unwilling to accept Judy’s plea for anything but mitigation without numbers, miker?

      • “Does it mean you’re unwilling to accept Judy’s plea for anything but mitigation without numbers, miker?” Don’t understand the question. My normal inclination is not to support major interference in global business. My strong inclination. Convince me first.

      • > Don’t understand the question.

        I wanted to know if your default position was based on what you’re asking from those to who you seemingly oppose. That is, numbers about stuff. It seems not.

        Your challenge is tempting. I will consider it.

        Please note that Bjorn might need to spend some of his 750k per year to eradicate Gremlins:

        Here’s the point. In his 2002 paper, Tol found a positive economic effect of a small increase in temperature. But, assuming he still stands by his 1995 paper, he finds a big drop in economic performance as temperature rises still more: the estimated effect (compared to no warming) is plus 2.3 percent of gross domestic product for a 1 degree increase, and then drops to minus 1.9 percent for a 2.5 degree increase. So there’s some major nonlinearity in his model. This could well be correct, but I think it would make sense for him to explore what in his model is driving this result.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/05/23/the-gremlins-did-it-iffy-curve-fit-drives-strong-policy-conclusions/

    • Leonard Weinstein

      Pekka,
      You have made some assumptions that are not valid. Your list:

      – CO2 concentration is rising due to human activities
      – Added CO2 makes the climate warmer.
      – Warmer climate is going to cause damage in several ways.
      – We need climate science to tell, how strong the warming is likely to be, and what kind of other changes in the climate, oceans and the natural environment are to be expected.

      is probably valid on the first point. However, the second point likely would be valid if all else remains the same, but we do not know if all else necessarily stay the same. In fact feedbacks are postulated that were claimed to increase the warming more. The feedbacks may in fact mostly cancel the CO2 effect. We simply do not know yet. You claim warmer climate causes damage in several ways. NAME ONE. In fact the increased CO2 plus warming (which may be a natural warming) has done nothing other than increase crops and tree growth, improving the human condition. No known bad weather effect can presently be blamed on the warming, human caused or natural. While hotter weather can harm some people, it is never as much as cooler weather does, so the comparison has to be made, not just one side of it. Last, models have shown no skill at all yet, and likely will be limited or of no value for the near future. They are looking at many variable non-linear factors, with limited data input, and worthless for predictors.

      • Spouting off to somebody from Finland about how terrible cold is. Lol. Why do people from Minnesota live longer than people from Florida?

    • It is interesting how believers dismiss natural variability.

      Here are two extremes: (1) natural variability’s contribution to global warming is negligible compared with the heating from increased CO2, and (2) the effect of increased CO2 is negligible compared with natural variations in the earth’s surface temperature.

      It would appear from his post that Pekka Pirila accepts (1) above. I would be interested in his rationale for that.

      There is a clear reason to think that (2) may be true. That is that the range of estimated temperatures for the earth over, say, the last 100,000 years, greatly dominates both the observed changes supposedly caused by CO2 over the last 150 years and the changes projected by the CAGW believers by the end of this century. That is, I must emphasize, a reason, not an explanation, that can and should be questioned and analyzed.

      The problem for me is that there is are no reasonable causal explanations for the large range of temperatures the earth has clearly experience, from the depths of the ice ages to periods that appear to be much warmer than now.

      There is some notion of “cycles”. But not all variations of time are cycles. And the mechanisms that could cause these changes have not been explored in the depth necessary to be convincing science. Perhaps volcanoes, sunspot variations or other changes affecting isolation, etc., are important (in the sense of being actual causes of large temperature variations), but those cases have yet to be made. I find it hard, for example, to take some of Vaugh Pratt’s ideas about cycles seriously when there is no convincing explanation for them. And I am doubtful that we will find simple explanations. (Not to pick on Pratt – others are proposing cycles, which is ok, but cannot provide strong arguments for them, which is the problem that bothers me.)

  33. “Uncertainty in itself is not a reason for inaction.”

    Science does not need to be “settled” for us to start some of the “no-regrets” actions, as another commenter put it. I think we know enough to start implementing these.

    “Regions that find solutions to current problems of climate variability and extreme weather events and address challenges associated with an increasing population are likely to be well prepared to cope with any additional stresses from climate change.”

    Good argument for adaptation policies. *Vulnerabilities* to extremes are not dependent on the frequency or intensity of these events being attributable to anthropogenic climate change. You could believe climate change has nothing to do with humans and still support adaptation.

  34. The article is clear advocacy for not following mitigation policies.

    climate scientists should avoid advocacy related to public policy related to climate science research findings.

    https://judithcurry.com/2013/12/22/rethinking-climate-advocacy/

    Hypocrisy

  35. Editorial note: “acts to retards scientific progress” should read “acts to retard scientific progress”.

  36. Geoff Sherrington

    About half of the first 100 comments here rely upon an assumption, namely –
    there is a connection between more CO2 in air and a warming climate.
    This hypothesis has been partially tested and it has partially failed.
    ………………
    If an experienced scientist entered this climate field from new, a common question would be “Who is the author of the authority paper that supports this contention?” and “How well is the connection established?”

    Despite billions of $ and 20 years of research, there is no single, definitive, replicated, quantitative paper that links CO2 to climate in any useful way. An author of such a paper could claim some fame, so the incentive is there; but, the paper is not.

    It is indeed a “wicked mess”. But simply putting that label on it does not allow policies to be made as if there was a link. No link has been demonstrated. The science has not progressed far from the truism that “CO2 is a greenhouse gas.” Sure, it is. The question is, does this greenhouse effect or any physics related to it, allow a quantitative link?

    The closest I have seen is the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity type of approach. We know from IPCC AR5 that no single ECS figure is agreed. We know only of a broad possible range of values, say 0.5 to 9.5 degrees C, if you include conventional uncertainty estimates. This is of little use to underpin further study.

    When will reality begin to take hold and make an alternative hypothesis, “That the greenhouse heating effect of CO2 is not evident in climate?”

  37. At the heart of the recent scientific debate on climate change is the ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming – the period since 1998 during which global average surface temperatures have not increased.

    (1) This is simply false. Of the two main surface temperature indices (Hadcrut4, GISS) both show a positive trend 1998-2013. Of the satellite series which measure tropospheric temperature, UAH shows positive and RSS negative
    (2) As well as being false, this is transparent attempt to cherry pick a record breaking hot year and walk down the up escalator

    Disinformation

    • The escalator is disinformation.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      as I stated above
      the CAGW camp will “deny” the hiatus
      if Judith Curry argues that the hiatus is the “heart” of the debate
      Mann and Schmidt will just produce counter articles dense with charts and graphs, “proof” there is no pause
      just as vtg has here

      this is a political fight
      the tribes have chosen their Alamos
      the science will continue, ignored by the combatants
      until the facts overtake one side or the other

      the non-committed lip service paid to this issue by the various governments around the world is a clear hint that the case for CAGW is not persuading policymakers

      the march in NYC was about upcoming elections in US
      where was this great concern for “climate justice” 5 years ago?

      good luck Judith Curry, I’m not sure the “pause” is a good pillar for your case

    • “As well as being false, this is transparent attempt to cherry pick a record breaking hot year and walk down the up escalator”

      Remind me again why 1950 is such a great year to start calculations from. I’m sure it has nothing at all to do with it being a couple of tenths cooler than 1940 because we went from a warm pdo to a cool pdo in that time frame. Speaking of which there have been two papers posted on this blog. One claiming the PDO could account for 0.1-0.2c of the warming and another claiming the AMO could account for about half of the warming since the 70s. Well the PDO went back to where it was in the 1940s in the 80s and the AMO went positive. Between the two you can account for about 0.5C of the warming. Both from published papers. That is over half and over half before arguments over long term trends in natural variaibility are even taken into account. I suppose it isn’t fair of me to combine papers so lets suppose the are both completely wrong and lets suppose they are both underestimating by 100% That seems fair. We now have ~50% +/- 50%. By attribution we can now claim with some amount of certainty that the warming since 1950 was between 0 and 100% anthropogenic.

    • VTG, the problem I see is the reluctance to acknowledge the red line you like to draw leads to a lower climate sensitivity. A lower climate sensitivity does have a large impact on decisions to be made.

      If we couple it to the expected market driven increases in fossil fuel prices over the next 86 years global warming is much much easier to solve. If that line stays flat (and your arguments about whether it’s 0.02 degrees per year are irrelevant) then the inflection point to additional surface temperature increases is a huge factor.

      Given the amount of distorted information, cherry picks, and political mumbo jumbo such as the 97% CANARD….I’m for checking things over for a few years before taking ANY actions other than research funding and data acquisition.

      • Fernando,

        obviously, if temperatures don’t rise then the upper bound of sensitivity is constrained.

        Note the words.

        If. Upper bound. Constrained.

      • VTG

        There is another very reasonable way to look at it.

        Since warming is not occuring at the predicted rate, any changes that do occur can be adapted to by humans more cost effectively and with lower risk than through CO2 mitigation activities.

      • Rob,

        to be honest, I’m fine with adaptation as a policy as long as it acknowledges the likely impacts.

        The problem is, any argument for adaptation always *starts* with cherrypicking the science.

        The reason is simple – if you take the laws of physics as we best understand them, it gives the wrong answer for you.

    • vtg – Wouldn’t ‘realists’ just look at the data, with some error estimate, rather than fit it to a linear response?

  38. “Lewandowski not to blame for Bayern struggles”, Gee and I didn’t know he played soccer as well. Should someone tell them?

    • This Lewandowski is the Polish striker who replaced Mandzukic. You are in the wrong blog.

      • Fernando.
        No, in right blog just having a little fun. He’s everywhere this Lewindowski, kicking goals for climate deniers though funnily enough he apparently is not scoring goals for Bayern.
        Own goals maybe?
        Can we have a new post on his activities or an update?

      • The footballer is terrific, even if experiencing a hiatus. The so-called academic at my local university is a disgrace.

  39. The hiatus in warming observed over the past 16 years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales.

    No-one ever said it was.

    Rhetoric

      • I can’t find the word “decadal” in that document, Edim. It does mentions “control knobs” though, with an s. The methane knob, for instance.

        Please advise.

      • “Co2 control knob”

        If they’re going to go that way, they ought to at least make it a remote control so you can alter the climate from the comfort of your own bed.

    • AGW is pure rhetoric (and cargo cult science).

    • OK, fine, it isn’t a control knob. Isn’t it about time someone says it is, to justify all the absurd proposed mitigation?
      ==================

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        also …
        where do we set the dial?

      • 1. CO2 isn’t a control knob it is a slider – a different type of ActiveX control.

        2. SM: “the argument goes that if you want to understand long term climate change ( see paleo ) then you need c02 in the explanation.”

        People keep mentioning paleo.

        The current ice age is due to:
        1. Antarctica at the south pole.
        2. An almost enclosed north pole.
        3. The joining of the Americas.
        4. The emergence of the Himalayas.

        Antarctica took pole position about 30 million years ago, the cooling started the other things took place and about 2.6 million years ago the Americas joined isolating the oceans.

        I suppose if someone were ignorant of historic physical geography they might need CO2… But that just means they are ignorant.

      • PA, good reasons for not getting our kickers in a twist (Pommie expression) about events over a piddling 30 years or so.

    • VTG, stop telling lies.
      Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob
      Governing Earth’s Temperature
      Andrew A. Lacis,* Gavin A. Schmidt, David Rind, Reto A. Ruedy
      15 OCTOBER 2010 VOL 330 SCIENCE http://www.sciencemag.org

      • Could you excerpt the the reference to decadal scale, Bob?

      • Bob.
        the C02 control knob is just one knob.
        the argument goes that if you want to understand long term climate change ( see paleo ) then you need c02 in the explanation.

        Now, that has NOT been made clear by all the popularizations of the science.

        That is the issue that VTG and others wont adress.

      • Steven makes a good point:

        ==> “Now, that has NOT been made clear by ALL the popularizations of the science. That is the issue that VTG and others wont adress.

        (emphasis mine)…

        Because it is VTG’s responsibility to address ALL “popularizations of the science” just as it is Judith’s responsibility to address ALL popularizations of the science.

      • (sorry, wrong spot above).
        “Co2 control knob”

        If they’re going to go that way, they ought to at least make it a remote control so you can fiddle with the climate from the comfort of your own bed.

        By the way Joshua, what are your 2 projects you mentioned earlier?

      • Come on, Bob. It’s quite clear that when Judy says:

        > The hiatus in warming observed over the past 16 years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales.

        it’s about pop-science or folk science, not science.

        Science rocks.

      • Mosher says, ” the argument goes that if you want to understand long term climate change ( see paleo ) then you need c02 in the explanation.”
        Question Steve, how’s that working out?

      • Ole Willy says, “The hiatus in warming observed over the past 16 years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales. ”
        Do you recall the mutterings of one Ben Santer?

      • Bob –

        No about that queston i asked you above….

      • Joshua, “I’m not going to go chase your squirrels until you weigh in here.”

        I’ll way in when VTG admits his lie.

      • Bob –

        You can run, but you can’t hide.

      • Joshua and Ole Willy,
        “The LLNL-led research shows that climate models can and do simulate short, 10- to 12-year “hiatus periods” with minimal warming, even when the models are run with historical increases in greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosol particles. They find that tropospheric temperature records must be at least 17 years long to discriminate between internal climate noise and the signal of human-caused changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere.”
        https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2011/Nov/NR-11-11-03.html

        Seems Santer refers to 1 &7/10 decades.

      • “Control knob” is just another oversimplification/slogan designed for the weak-minded. It’s poetry. Again.

        Andrew

      • Joshua, since you and Ole Willy imputed, without knowing, VTG’s interpretation of Judith’s “decadal” comment, are you satisfied that you both took the the discussion down this silly rat-hole? The point is that there are numerous “CO2 Control Knob” afficionados with and without the decadal nuance.

      • Joshua do you know who vtg is and why it would be
        Important for him to address this publicly?

    • vtg – if you google – co2 is a control knob – you will find that many people have said it including some scientists that sometimes comment here. Although some may think the metaphor simplistic, it does seem to succinctly summarise their theory.

      • Could you excerpt the the reference to decadal scale, Dave?

      • Centuries are made of decades Joshua, so unless you expect the effects of CO2 to manifest suddenly at the end of some time period, then a signal that is not infinitesimal should be apparent at the decadal level – and I seem to recall one particular decade where there was quite a bit of handwaving. But if this is just a bit of juvenile baiting, then sure, if the next ten years are warmer than average, I’m willing to agree that you can’t infer anything from it and anyone who claims you can it not a scientist.

      • Accentuate the decadal at your pterodactyl.
        ===============

  40. Please push on with the public discourse, Dr. Clarity is needed.

    • This is Mann’s argument:

      LOL, eh Climate etc readers? :)

      • Edim, you forgot a sarc tag. If you are serious, then please read my two guest posts on Marcott et. al. (2013) that Judith posted last March. Marcott committed scientific misconduct in that paper, and the posts prove it two different ways.
        And Steve MacIntrye has spent years showing how Mann fabricated his hockey stick via short centering, upside down Tiljander varies, erroneously relying on strip bark bristle cones.
        Surely you are not unaware of these things?

      • Rud, I’m serious. That’s how pathetic is AGW ‘science’.

      • Now I understand. Serious sarcasm. Btw, there is a chapter in the book that takes on Shakun Co2 before warming. Second author on Marcott. buddies from OSU, home of the shell game oyster fiasco.

    • Prof. Curry…

      Dumbunny tried is trying to start a scurrilous lagomorphous rumor:

      Eli has it now from three sources (although they may overlap) that he [Steve Koonin] has resigned from POPA. Given that he was/is still listed the chair elect, take this as it is, but the WSJ article is a sure sign that the statement he ramrodded through has met considerable opposition. The APS response will be indicative.

      Do you have any info you can share?

    • Apparently the rate of change is Mann’s core concern.

      The 17+ year period of no change is apparently too fast for him.

      Perhaps he will be happy after 20 years.

      He might be right about it being unprecedented – climate usually changes faster than it has lately.

  41. the most consequential aspects of climate science are the subject of vigorous scientific debate: whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes…

    I’m not aware of any vigorous scientific debate on this – indeed there seems to be a clear consensus on the point. Blogospheric debate maybe. Perhaps someone could reference a paper claiming anything other than >50% anthropogenic on this timescale?

    This seems a straight from the tobacco denial handbook attempt to make the certain seem uncertain. “Doubt is our product..”

    FUD

    • I propose that the cause of the plateau for nearly the last two decades has been dominated by humans.
      ====================

    • VTG, on the other hand as the current period with an absence of warming is extended there would be a need to re calibrate the models. I’m not a climate modeler but I have run very complex 3d cell dynamic models. My experience tells me that if the calibration period isn’t representative of the extended dynamic regime then the model parameters aren’t appropriate for the “forward mode” predictions. If you are right and there is no ongoing debate this by itself tells me the whole field of climate modeling has been politically subverted and their current long term model work isn’t worth that much.

      Climate models have a very demanding set of objectives. They need a lot of work, improved workflows, beefier hardware…and they had better get their tuning done with the latest data. The way they use the CMIPS as data mining objectives just reflects the field seems to be wandering in the desert.

      • Fernando, the right question on the significance of the hiatus is to ask is to what extent a single decade’s observations constrain or bound climate sensitivity.

      • Each successive decade of non-warming bounds the upper limit, ever more tightly, and lower.
        =================

      • but quantification, Kim

      • frenando.

        no climate modeler dares to touch the knobs that control sensitivity,
        unless turning that knob raises the value.

        most modlers will fiddled with all the knobs they can.. you know test stuff.

        watch what never gets tested.

    • VTG, wrong. You would benefit from reading my next book, especially the essay An Awkward Pause. In 2009, NOAA’ State of the Climate report said starting on page 22 that a 15 year pause would falsify the climate models, and thereby their predictions of things like sensitivity. In 2011, Ben Santer published a paper saying 17 years. And now we have a peer reviewed paper using the most sophisticated statistical methods to say that (depending on which data series) there has been no warming for 16, 19, or 26 years.
      The models are falsified. Period. Deal with that fact, which is not FUD.

      • Rud,

        pause defined how would be a good question to ask. The word “pause” is bandied around a lot without a definition. How you define it depends on how long you need for it to be significant. Deal with it.

      • VTG, in the sense defined precisely by Ben Santer in 2011. No statistically meaningful rise. Read up on it. It appears you haven’t. But now you can. Santer et. al., separating signal and noise…, J. Geophys. Res. 116: D22105 (2011).

      • ‘How you define it depends on how long you need for it to be significant.’

        VTG encapsulates climate science in a nutshell.
        ===========

      • > You would benefit from reading my next book

        An interesting extension to the Honest Broker’s “read all that I’ve written” move.

        Interesting for obvious reasons.

      • VTG

        On this link are the three papers on the pause written by the met office.

        http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=met+office+the+recent+pause+in+global+warming&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

        They specifically reference it as the pause and called it the pause when I was there last year.

        Personally I think it is interesting for a number of reasons but not yet long enough to be defined as a significant trend

        Tonyb

      • For what it’s worth, here’s S11:

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011JD016263/full

        No hit for “pause” nor “no warming.”

        Here’s he abstract:

        [1] We compare global-scale changes in satellite estimates of the temperature of the lower troposphere (TLT) with model simulations of forced and unforced TLT changes. While previous work has focused on a single period of record, we select analysis timescales ranging from 10 to 32 years, and then compare all possible observed TLT trends on each timescale with corresponding multi-model distributions of forced and unforced trends. We use observed estimates of the signal component of TLT changes and model estimates of climate noise to calculate timescale-dependent signal-to-noise ratios (S/N). These ratios are small (less than 1) on the 10-year timescale, increasing to more than 3.9 for 32-year trends. This large change in S/N is primarily due to a decrease in the amplitude of internally generated variability with increasing trend length. Because of the pronounced effect of interannual noise on decadal trends, a multi-model ensemble of anthropogenically-forced simulations displays many 10-year periods with little warming. A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal. Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.

        For obvious reasons, Sir Rud relies on paraphrase.

  42. Judith, for what it’s worth:

    While your speech at the Press Club was highly, highly effective, this op-Ed has a bit of the feel of just repeating talking points. Perhaps you might start by quoting the questioner who spoke of seeing the retreating glaciers with his own eyes, andwrite in terms of the low-key, reasonable, non-confrontational way you replied. Then go into some of the talking points, and close with the first few line you have written, re Mr Moon.

    Rick

    • Writing op-eds is something I have little experience with.

      • For an op-ed I found Koonin’s piece overly long, and far too weighted down with evidence. AFAIK effective op-ed’s have to summarize their points in quick bullets (<140 characters?), with a paragraph or two of justification easily understood by less informed readers. An arm-wave to the evidence is all most people will pay attention to (AFAIK), and when it’s on the Web it can hyperlink to something with more meat, for those who want it.

        One place where some expansion might be needed has to do with “talking points”: Koonin “repeated the standard ‘denier’ talking points”. It’s worth pointing out (IMO) and hammering home the fact that these are talking points because they’re based on the real science.

      • It’s documentation of the validity of some of the skeptics’ standard talking points. Who is denying what, here?
        ======================

      • Dr C yours is going to do well. But it may lead to all sorts of personal attacks. I’ve seen the response to Koonin’s oped….there was a huge ruckus over the sea level comment. It was so intense I downloaded and checked the data. As it turns out Koonin was right but they keep on distorting his actual statement.

      • AK, “For an op-ed I found Koonin’s piece overly long, and far too weighted down with evidence.”

        The WSJ audience would likely appreciate the detail. When you write an oped for a publication, it should blend in with the publication’s format. I don’t know what journal Judith is writing for, but most would have word count guidelines.

      • AK,

        “The Australian’ is by far the highest quality and best balanced news paper in Australia. It’s circulation is growing while all other mainstream news papers are disappearing. As Faustino printed out there are numerous shorter Op-Eds by authorities in their field. Clearly the readership like the high quality articles and the variety of opinions and experts who write them. It’s a pity it was too long for you. I think it is an excellent article. You can get a trial subscription for “$3 PER WEEK FOR THE FIRST 12 WEEKS THEN $6 PER WEEK†”
        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/

      • It’s a pity it was too long for you. I think it is an excellent article.

        It wasn’t too long for me, I thought it was too long for the typical reader in its audience.

        I’m not surprised you found it “excellent”, but are you the typical reader, even of the WSJ?

        Personally, I’m almost never convinced by op-ed’s or anything like that. When it comes to scientific questions, I want hard references to peer-reviewed science, or equivalent. Something I can read, and critique.

        But I’m not the target audience for op-ed’s.

      • AK,

        I thought the article in the Australian was ideal for the audience that reads the Australian. The letters that responded to it and the many comments strongly suggest it was excellent for the readership of the Australian.

      • I was reading the one in the WSJ. Did you notice the comments there?

    • > Perhaps you might start by quoting the questioner who spoke of seeing the retreating glaciers with his own eyes,

      Leonardo was used instead, to fill up that rhetorical niche.

    • To AK, consider this friendly, because it is:

      “Weighted down” with evidence? One man’s weighted down can be another’s “buttressed with.” On a subject like this, it seems to me that you have to demonstrate your points with science, or the climate activists will pillory you, try to make you a laughing stock.

      • The readership for op-ed’s isn’t the same as for blog posts here, much less peer-reviewed papers.

      • Well, since the null hypothesis is that CO2 doesn’t have a significant impact there are a number of points that CAGW enthusiasts have to defend with factual information:

        1. The claim of 800+ CO2 in 2100. Currently the trend is going asymptotical between 2 and 3 ppm. Emissions are running about 2.5 times the atmospheric CO2 increase. Since the available reserves are less than the CO2 in the atmosphere, 600 PPM (the current linear trend is 620) looks vaguely possible.
        CAGW has to show that the sinks will saturate or that 2.5 times the current reserves can be economically extracted or revise down their number to something realistic. Total reserves isn’t good enough – it has to be reserves that are economically extractable.

        2. Water vapor feedback.
        At this point since there are papers out there that suggest a negative feedback and the 2.5+x positive water vapor feedback from the IPCC is clearly a non-starter in view of the pause, CAGW has to demonstrate via real atmospheric studies what the actual feedback is. No GCM modeling please. The IPCC range for values of the feedback parameter yields 110% loop feedback at the high end which isn’t physically realizable.

        3. CO2 cost benefit analysis.
        CO2 at 600 PPM is going increase fishing, forestry, and agriculture yields 30-50%. This is trillions of dollars annually. The CSIRO study that shows 11% plant growth from 1982-2011 indicates this is a realistic assessment. The reduction in plant water consumption and the greening of the deserts indicates the IPCC plants-will-wilt-and-die assessment or statements from AR5 like:
        “Based on many studies covering a wide range of regions and crops, negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts (high confidence)” are clearly incorrect.

        A realistic cost benefit study is needed.

        4. CO2 lifetime.
        Most studies (30+) peg CO2 lifetime at 5-15 years with a recent study at 5.6. The IPCC claims 100+. If the lifetime of CO2 is short there won’t be the big backended warming late in the century. A realistic number for CO2 lifetime needs to be incorporated into projections.

      • John, I agree. The Australian each day carries 4-6 op-eds on a broadsheet page (and two columns of Editorials opposite). It also carries one longer article, almost a full-page. Koonin had that spot (pasted above by Peter Lang). (And there are several long-form op-eds in the weekend edition.) There is clearly room for both, particularly on a long-running, contentious issue on which people often ignore or misrepresent the data. I think that Koonin’s article might give pause to some people who have not pursued the issues in depth.

      • Previously posted in wrong place.

        AK,

        “The Australian’ is by far the highest quality and best balanced news paper in Australia. It’s circulation is growing while all other mainstream news papers are disappearing. As Faustino printed out there are numerous shorter Op-Eds by authorities in their field. Clearly the readership like the high quality articles and the variety of opinions and experts who write them. It’s a pity it was too long for you. I think it is an excellent article. You can get a trial subscription for “$3 PER WEEK FOR THE FIRST 12 WEEKS THEN $6 PER WEEK†”
        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/

      • P.A.

        Do you have a source for this, please?

        I’ve been using Nordhaus’s limit of 6,000 Gt C in fossil fuels.

      • P.A.

        Do you have a source for this, please?

        “Since the available reserves are less than the CO2 in the atmosphere, 600 PPM (the current linear trend is 620) looks vaguely possible.”

        I’ve been using Nordhaus’s limit of 6,000 Gt C in fossil fuels (converts to 22,000 GT CO2, ~50%.to sinks and remainder to atmosphere adds 11,000 GT CO2 to atmosphere.

      • @Peter Lang…

        See here.

      • http://www.carbonvisuals.com/work/do-the-math-supporting-a-350-dot-org-tour

        2795 gigatonnes

        http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140213/climate-change-science-carbon-budget-nature-global-warming-2-degrees-bill-mckibben-fossil-fuels-keystone-xl-oil?page=show

        “Carbon Tracker discovered that the world’s top 200 fossil fuel companies have 2,795 gigatons of CO2 trapped in their fossil fuel reserves. And that figure didn’t include unconventional sources like tar sands, oil shale and methane hydrates”

        So the “Global Warmers” are using 2795 gigatonnes from Carbon Tracker as the gold standard for CO2 from existing reserves. If the opponent is going to hand you a researched number there is no reason not to use it. This is gigatonnes of CO2 and not the roughly equivalent 1000 gigatonnes of carbon (oxygen is not stored in fossil fuel reserves).

        6000 gigatonnes of CO2 (2200 gigatonnes of carbon) is a fine number for the extreme limit on available fossil fuels. That allows for 100% more CO2 from unconventional, improbable, deranged, found by chance, and/or extracted by technology fossil fuel sources.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=41
        An asteroid strike that incinerates the surface of the planet will add another 2000-3000 gigatonnes or so of CO2. However at that point there will be little concern about CO2 induced global warming.

  43. Overall the thrust of the piece is that we should not take action until the events we seek to avoid have already taken place

    little evidence that supports an increase in extreme weather events that can be attributed to humans…

    …an impact on the climate would not be expected until the latter part of the 21st century.

    Yet by waiting we make further impacts inevitable.

    Catch-22

    • A little selective in a your quotes verytallguy…

      To me

      “Uncertainty in itself is not a reason for inaction”

      and

      “It’s time to recognize the complexity and wicked nature of the climate problem, so that we can have a more meaningful dialogue on how to address the complex challenges of climate variability and change.”

      are the take-way–not your editorial distortion. So it goes.

      • Speaking of selective quotations, mw, you forgot to complete your “not a reason for inaction” with the sentence that shows how much low hanging fruits there is out there.

        As if research to develop low-emission energy technologies and energy efficiency measures never turn out to be futile. Most of research is, as a matter of fact.

        Mr. T hides everywhere, including low-hanging fruits.

      • No Willard. You are making hay where there is no field. The existence or lack of low-hanging fruit has little to do with determining and structuring the decision to be made. Indeed jumping at low-hanging fruit may present more problems than solutions, e.g., by taking focus away from what fruits are needed, by squandering precious resources. For better or worse uncertainty shapes the decision; it does not push it away.

        So, the basic point made is very simple–uncertainty does not preclude action. Note that above I also did not include the lead-in sentence that is clearly the question* being answered by my original quote,

        Can we make good decisions under conditions of deep uncertainty about climate change?

        Why? Because“Uncertainty in itself is not a reason for inaction”, i.e., the answer to the question, says all that needs to be said and says it without qualifications. Take away the uncertainty and there is no decision to be made–assuming one is being rational.

        Finally,

        Good decisions do not assure good outcomes and bad decisions do not assure bad outcomes. All we can do is to do our best to make a good rational decision. Then the dice are rolled.
        —–
        Did you miss that or where you a little selective in your own comment?

      • > The existence or lack of low-hanging fruit has little to do with determining and structuring the decision to be made.

        And yet all kinds of fruits were planted in the bit you omitted right after “Uncertainty in itself is not a reason for inaction,” mw. Here:

        Research to develop low-emission energy technologies and energy efficiency measures are examples of ‘robust’ policies that have little downside, while at the same time have ancillary benefits beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile.

        Should we call the second kind the forbidden fruits?

        Recalling that any decision entails some kind of uncertainty does not help you dodge Very Tall’s point, mw. In fact, once we establish that any decision entails uncertainty, Mr. T becomes omnipresent. God and Chuck Norris may not appreciate the competition.

        We could even go as far as to use your argument to reject the whole “but uncertainty” clap trap. But that’s unnecessary for the point I wanted to make, which was that Judy’s argument goes a beyond your own interpretation of it. That will have to wait for another time.

      • Willard, I did not dodge his point–I stated it was a distortion.

        As far as the text that concerns you so much…

        Research to develop low-emission energy technologies …
        to be futile.

        It is precisely because, as you say, “Most of research is [futile],” that I do not and did not have a problem with the text. I look at it and can perceive a bias in the presentation–an early judgement regarding likely research outcomes. But when push comes to shove this text is secondary, nothing more than examples or qualifiers that should have been indicated in a neutral manner. Hence I stress the important part–Uncertainty in itself is not a reason for inaction. It is a comment about recognizing the approach taken to decision-making and not specific content about the current ad hoc unstructured mess called the debate.

        Now regarding…

        ‘We could even go as far as to use your argument to reject the whole “but uncertainty” clap trap.’

        Wow! That would be a great! I too have no use for “but uncertainty, clap trap.” After all, “Uncertainty in itself is not a reason for inaction”. Oh, nevermind, I just did it. Pretty useful, huh?

      • mwgrant,

        Very Tall underlined two conflicting stances, which seems to amount to a catch-22. You jumped on his “we should not take action” because Judy said that uncertainty did not prevent action. This makes sense, but only if you disregard which actions Judy considers. Picking low-hanging fruits looks a lot like what Very Tall’s might consider as “doing nothing”.

        Picking low-hanging fruits does nothing specific regarding AGW. It’s what you’d play whatever the game state might be. That’s why we call them hanging fruits, after all. The catch-22 is still there if you replace “we should do nothing” by “we should pick low-hanging fruits”

        I doubt there are much fruits available right now, or else there would be a market for it. I also doubt that these hanging fruits are trivial to implement. But that’s irrelevant for now.

        ***

        The analogue for picking low-hanging fruits in Chess would be playing “useful moves”. If you don’t know which plan to implement, just play a useful move and improve your position. In manoeuvrings, this is good, as it activates a long-term strategy that can be beneficial: secure your King, prepare for the endgame transition, improve your pawn structure, etc.

        This kind of moves are deadly against threats. This kind of moves are makes you lose the initiative if your opponent has active piece play. This kind of moves are just losing if the situation requires concrete plans.

        I’m using this analogy because it can help show a limitation to your definition of action as uncertainty. Consider a position where you see two mates in two: which one should you play? In that case, you have a decision to make, and yet the outcome is quite certain indeed.

        Anyway.

      • Willard

        Yeah. Anyway. Regards

      • willard, low-hanging fruit survives only in the land of pygmies lacking long sticks.

      • mwgrant and Faustino,

        + 1 … each!! :)

      • Uncertainty is no reason to pick low-hanging fruits only.

        Mr. T hesitates to say which fruits are forbidden.

      • “… dodge Very Tall’s point.”

        Very Tall Guy had a point? I must have missed it. From what I have seen vtg emulates Jane Fonda by focusing the nearly impossible like the China Syndrome and RCP8.5 plus. He probably has a different pseudonym for the anti GM and “processed” foods websites.

      • Since policy can easily be likened to a stick, Faustino, I’m not sure you want to go there. After all, your sense of objectivity would lead you to preach for no stick at all for everyone (?).

      • Very Tall had many points, Cap’n:

        http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/curry-for-dinner/

        In the specific comment on which you’re supposed to be commenting right now, he was talking about a Catch 22.

        Making it about Very Tall won’t help you against that point, Cap’n.

      • willard, “Making it about Very Tall won’t help you against that point, Cap’n.”

        I hate to break this to you but there is no “Very Tall Guy” just a pseudonym that attempts to make points. Its catch 22 is a red herring, a non issue.

        “little evidence that supports an increase in extreme weather events that can be attributed to humans…”

        That is a true statement, it is not possible at this time to accurately attribute extreme weather events to AGW.

        “…an impact on the climate would not be expected until the latter part of the 21st century.”

        By the end of the century, it should be possible to attribute this to that, but the statement he picked out didn’t imply doing nothing, but instead doing responsible things “low hanging fruit” if you like, that can prepare for whatever eventually happens.

      • verytrollguy

      • Cap’n,

        You restated Judy’s catch 22 even more clearly:

        By the end of the century, it should be possible to attribute this to that[.]

        I believe requiring that we wait until the end of the century before doing anything more than picking low-hanging fruits is the Catch-22 Very Tall has in mind.

        Uncertainty does not caution that we pick low-hanging fruits only. On the contrary, in fact. I don’t mind picking the lowest hanging-fruit there is. Right now.

        Please, Denizens, bring a deck chair to our Capt’n!

      • willard, “I believe requiring that we wait until the end of the century before doing anything more than picking low-hanging fruits is the Catch-22 Very Tall has in mind”

        Then you would not be using the mind you have left. Business as usual is anything but a straight line. It (vtg), uses the most unlikely of scenarios to stimulate urgency, RCP8.5. That is like Jane Fonda using the “China Syndrome” to block nuclear power or parents blaming McDonalds for their fat kids. What is low hang fruit today might be something else in a decade. Whether you like it or not, technology evolves to fill needs. That is business as usual.

        And if it does take until the end of this century to accurately attribute extreme weather to AGW, AGW would be much less of an issue that Its claiming it might be, doncha know?

      • parents blaming McDonalds for their fat kids.

        Well, I suppose someone must be to blame. Who is it capn? Are parents different to they used to be? Why?

        Tell us the answers Cap

      • It (vtg), “Well, I suppose someone must be to blame. Who is it capn? Are parents different to they used to be? Why?”

        Parents are still parents. They start without a clue what they are getting into and somehow muddle their way through. What has changed is the extended family, most often unrelated, with tons of free advice on how they, the parents, should be doing a better job.

        Kids also appear to be pretty much kids, but “normal” kid is difficult to keep up with.

      • What has changed is the extended family, most often unrelated, with tons of free advice on how they, the parents, should be doing a better job.

        I see now. Too much advice causes obesity.

        Nothing to do with McDonalds at least.

        Phew.

      • It (vtg), “I see now. Too much advice causes obesity.

        Nothing to do with McDonalds at least.

        Phew.”

        A typical It kind of response. Sitting on ones a$$ is a common “cause” of obesity. Being able to sit on ones a$$ can be linked to prosperity as can be “eating out”. If you want to get into statistics there is probably a better link between internet access and obesity. If you don’t like wheat products, you could find a link there. Then Coke and McDonalds may be in cahoots!

        Better yet, it’s the Koch brothers, Coke and McDonalds in league with big vegetable oil! Oh, the humanity!

      • You’re ranting Cap. I suggest ridding yourself of some advisors, that should help.

      • Don’t mention McDonalds. The verytrollguy is boycotting McD. McD forces young kids with no work experience and no detectable skills to work for minimum wage. The training is brutal and the uniforms are so last-century.

      • Looks like VTG made the patently stupid comment that we can avoid “climate change” through mitigation. That is just crazy. Climate will continue to change no matter what we do.

      • > What is low hang fruit today might be something else in a decade.

        Appealing to some unknown low-hanging fruit in a decade is not a reason for picking up a low-hanging fruit now, Cap’n. Ignorance is not always strength, although Wagathon is making good efforts to prove that one false. Appealing to ignorance is just another way to create a Catch-22.

        Tell me, Cap’n: what would be a reason for not picking a low-hanging fruit now? The only reason I can think of is that it’s a forbidden fruit. But then how do we know if a low-hanging fruit is not a forbidden fruit?

        Beware your answer, Cap’n. Mr. T’s watching.

      • It is interesting that today Willard (https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/21/an-unsettled-climate/#comment-632329) wrote:

        I believe requiring that we wait until the end of the century before doing anything more than picking low-hanging fruits is the Catch-22 Very Tall has in mind.

        So this is what it comes down to. Willard tells us what he believes what VTG has in mind. This is superb closing bookend.

        The equally superb opening was kim’s early exchange with VTG:

        kim| September 23, 2014 at 9:10 am |

        There’s a catch in ‘should not take action until the events we seek to avoid have already taken place’. Who has suggested that besides VTG?

        verytallguy | September 23, 2014 at 9:13 am |

        Implications, kimbot

        Implications, indeed.

        Anyway…

      • Idol-a-try.

      • one ‘/’… sorry about that…

        It is interesting that today Willard (https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/21/an-unsettled-climate/#comment-632329) wrote:

        I believe requiring that we wait until the end of the century before doing anything more than picking low-hanging fruits is the Catch-22 Very Tall has in mind.

        Willard, the gift that keeps on giving. Willard tells us what he believes what VTG has in mind. This is the closing bookend.

        The opening was kim’s early exchange with VTG:

        kim| September 23, 2014 at 9:10 am |

        There’s a catch in ‘should not take action until the events we seek to avoid have already taken place’. Who has suggested that besides VTG?

        verytallguy | September 23, 2014 at 9:13 am |

        Implications, kimbot

        Implications, indeed.

      • Willard, “Appealing to some unknown low-hanging fruit in a decade is not a reason for picking up a low-hanging fruit now, Cap’n. ”

        Appealing to an extremely unlikely scenario is not a reason not to pick either. What to pick would depend on how much you trust your pickers. I have no trust in a pseudonym’s discretion.

        Shale gas and oil are now low hanging fruit that didn’t exist a decade ago. I expect more surprises, good and bad in the future, that will shape the way we respond. I also expect pseudonyms to over react to the unlikely while dismissing the obvious along the way.

      • > Willard tells us what he believes what VTG has in mind.

        Indeed I did. I could have said “according to my reading of Very Tall’s argument”. Very Tall can correct me if I’m wrong. mw could too if he could. Getting stuck on “requiring” does not work quite well.

        Requirements, implications, presuppositions. Whatever. What’s dog whistled by this Catch-22 is negotiable.

        ***

        First, mw get stuck at “doing nothing.” Then, it’s “in mind” and “implications”. Does not take much for mw to get stuck.

        Whatever.

      • > Appealing to an extremely unlikely scenario is not a reason not to pick either.

        Quite right, Cap’n. We’d need to take the whole ballpark into consideration. Some might be less lukewarm than me about this proposition.

        But wait: how do you know what is extremely unlikely? Sometimes, Mr. T’s appearance fees can be quite steep:

        Increasing uncertainty (for any sensible definition of “increasing uncertainty”) will generally lead to an increase in the expected cost.

        http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2012/06/costs-of-uncertainty.html

        If we’d know what the future will be, insurance would be cheaper. At least if the insurance business can be considered led by “rational” decisions. If we could simply buy an insurance, that would certainly be nice.

        ***

        Oh, I must correct my question you did not answer: what would be a reason for not picking a low-hanging fruit now? That’s not exactly what I had in mind, and Denizens could get stuck on that wording. My question was related to the decision to pick the low-hanging fruit, not the picking up itself. I have plenty of reasons already for not picking up a low-hanging fruit: it does not exist, it’s that low-hanging, picking up a fruit is not trivial, etc.

        So, what would be a reason for not deciding to pick a low-hanging fruit?

      • willard wrote

        “Requirements, implications, presuppositions. Whatever. What’s dog whistled by this Catch-22 is negotiable.”

        Apparently so, because it is a piece of fiction still being written. [ctrl-d]

      • Willard, I don’t decide what fruit gets picked. I am looking at arguments. It (vtg) uses an extremely unlikely case to influence those that do control the pickers. It(vtg) avoids committing to a limit himself, goads others into committing, then condemns them for having committed. It’s a nasty little troll, it is. So your real question should be who is more qualified to control the pickers?

        Do you think you should be king of the picker pickers?

      • You’re again trying to make it about Very Tall, Cap’n, so I doubt you look at his argument at all. And now you’re trying to make it about me.

        Using the lowest estimates justified disingenuous can buy to “influence those that do control the pickers are” is no better than your caricature of Very Tall’s argument. In fact, one can argue that it’s even worse. Appealing to Mr. T looks so reasonable. But Mr. T costs money. The more important Mr. T is, the more it costs, however we might try to lukewarmingly dispel that fact.

        Removing the extremes gets us mainstream science. Removing the riskier bets gets us mainstream science. If you want the most likely, go with mainstream science.

        Betting under is not more rational than betting over.

        ***

        Here are circumstances under which one can expect to find low-hanging fruits:

        Because AGI [Artificial General Intelligence] safety is so under-researched, we’re likely to find low-hanging fruit even in investigating basic questions like ‘What kind of prior probability distribution works best for formal agents in unknown environments?’

        http://intelligence.org/2014/08/04/groundwork-ai-safety-engineering/

        If you see something that is under-researched, low-hanging fruits are more likely. But then you get to research something that may justifiably be under-researched. After all, Artificial General Intelligence is just to good old AI program, which has yet to produce anything as ground-shaking as Judy’s latest contributions. It might also explain why Judy’s going where she’s going, but nevermind.

        So picking up all the low-hanging fruits just because we can can leave us no more time for picking anything else. We may need a very big basket. We may end up eating so low-hanging fruits that we’d develop diabetes.

        Humans thrive on veggies, Cap’n. Most of them are low-hanging.

        Thanks for playing,

        w

      • willard, “You’re again trying to make it about Very Tall, Cap’n, so I doubt you look at his argument at all. And now you’re trying to make it about me.

        Using the lowest estimates justified disingenuous can buy to “influence those that do control the pickers are” is no better than your caricature of Very Tall’s argument.”

        Well it is all about Its <b?catch 22 and your assuming that it is a real catch 22. It is a red herring, nothing more.

        The object shouldn’t be to use the lowest or the highest, but the mean, then determine reasonable uncertainty. The lowest is zero which would be about 1 C below no feedback sensitivity. The highest would be infinity. There is really no “unrealistic” low estimate but It(vtg) can produce lots of unrealistically high estimates. Based on observation, zero is much closer than anything It has tossed out there. It(vtg) can keep playing excessively high cards as long as he likes because sooner or later he will paint himself in a corner. As it stands right now, zero is a much better guess than anything It has to offer.

      • > The object shouldn’t be to use the lowest or the highest, but the mean, then determine reasonable uncertainty.

        The catch-22 is not about the lukewarm gambit, Cap’n. It’s about the decision to do something else than to pick low-hanging fruits, which either applies trivially or degenerates into a fruit-picking orgy. It was brought against your “but alarmism!” card, which was itself a red herring to make it about Very Tall.

        One does not need to be a decision theorist to see that postponing decision until we know with more certainty and harping about uncertainty and low-hanging fruits creates what I call a Procrustean bed and what Very Tall calls a Catch-22. More than that, actually: it goes against any kind of risk-based decision model, where Mr. T costs money. Read again what James said on that. Then read Carrick’s comments.

        You could try to “dynamicize” your model, like Richard did recently, but that never removes completely the Catch-22. It only hides it using more sophisticated equations.

      • Two comments:

        Nothing I said implied any number for sensitivity; Caps zero is an argument that turning off the sun does not affect the temperature.

        If Willard had misrepresented me I would have said so.

      • VTG, “nothing I said implies sensitivity”

        Really? You use RCP8.5 and the range of ~2C to 7.5C and didn’t imply sensitivity? To achieve RCP8.5 using CO2 equivalent we would have to burn about twice as much coal as there is known to exist in an exponentially increasing manner. In other words, all the fossil fuel “coal equivalents” would have to be economically easy to access, plus we need to scrub all aerosols along the way.

        Since nothing you said implies “sensitivity”, you are just throwing crap out that looks good to you but you have zero clue what it might mean, obviously.

        Now tell us all cousin IT, why use the RCP8.5 and what exactly is your informed estimate of “sensitivity”? Do you have one? Do you have any clue what you are implying? Are you just a faulty version of the Kimbot?

      • Cap, RCP8.5 says nothing about sensitivity, just the emissions.

        Sensitivity range is included in the temperature range quoted by WG3. The TCRs are given, I can’t be bothered looking them up for you, you’ll have to do your own homework; I recall 1.0 to 2.5 or similar. It’s really not controversial.

        Don’t like 8.5? Look at the others. The conclusions don’t differ, unless radical mitigation is employed.

      • vtg, “Cap, RCP8.5 says nothing about sensitivity, just the emissions.”

        It is an unrealistic “projection” of BAU. RCP4.5 or RCP6 are a more realistic “projection” of BAU. Regardless of what sensitivity might actually be, by using the unrealistic RCP8.5 you are implying more damage than is likely possible.

        Now for your catch 22, if it was obvious that whatever sensitivity might be that is was now having an indisputable impact on climate and extreme weather, there would be no reason to that a no/low regrets pathway. As it stands, a no/low regret pathway is quite reasonable since it “COULD” be the end of the century before indisputable evidence of damaging climate change is available. There is no catch 22 one logically follows the other.

        So show us some informed evidence that there is catastrophe in the offing by taking a less extreme approach to avoid an impossible scenario.

        We can all use a good laugh.

    • There’s a catch in ‘should not take action until the events we seek to avoid have already taken place’. Who has suggested that besides VTG?
      ===================

    • That’s just too sloppy. Why not step back and consider the potential costs of your “actions” vs the range of possible climate effects of anthro C02. The trouble with your catch 22 scenario is that it doesn’t consider that the “cure” could well be worse than the “disease.” (disease is worthy of quotes in that climate effects could actually be a net benefit).

    • Maybe I should have used “verytallcuban” for my name? I guess the debate is over how fast and how much needs to be done by next year? Or is the time window the coming blackouts in the UK?

    • What he said.

  44. Before there was climate change there was something else that looked an awful lot like it.

    Americans probably don’t need to be reminded of the Great Flood of 1913 (although some might wish the unpolitical date away). In the aftermath of those horrific and multiple catastrophes, nobody worried about whether extreme events were getting more extreme or more frequent. They just concluded that what happened once might happen again so flood legislation and engineering projects got underway in Ohio, Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania etc. The man behind the superlative Dayton project was later to apply his expertise as chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

    Of course, when New Yorkers dumped rubble into the Hudson from the Twin Towers construction to expand Battery Park real estate, they showed amazing forgetfulness of the hurricane of 1938. (Maybe they were too engrossed in reading the environment section of the New York Times.)

    Like I’ve said before, you need adults. You know you’re going to get floods, droughts, heat, cold, storms, quakes – the lot. Prepare, build and engineer for them. For that you need money and will…and a better historical memory than some climate “experts” are willing to display.

    • mosomoso, more commonsense, more pertinent facts. So boring! How could we have food fights if everyone adopted your approach? Talk about a wet blanket! :-)

  45. Regions that find solutions to current problems of climate variability and extreme weather events and address challenges associated with an increasing population are likely to be well prepared to cope with any additional stresses from climate change.

    Yet the most vulnerable regions are the same which are least able to do this, and those most able to adapt are the highest emitters accruing most benefit from fossil fuels.

    Moral bankruptcy

    • stevefitzpatrick

      Your series of comments suggests that you look only at risks, not benefits. The public benefits of fossil fuel use are immediate and obvious (just ask the Chinese) while the risks are poorly defined, uncertain, and far in the future. I wonder if you can appreciate that different people can rationally draw conclusions which very different from yours….. even those who are not morally corrupt, evil, selfish, generally contemptuous, or in the pay of fossil fuel companies. I am guessing you can’t. Grow up.

      • “Your series of comments suggests that you look only at risks, not benefits.”

        Which bit of “highest emitters accruing most benefit from fossil fuels.” did you misunderstand?

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Which bit of poor people using fossil fuels brings them benefits do you not understand? There is room for honest disagreement about risks, costs, and benefits. There is no justification for using words like ‘moral bankruptcy’ or claiming certainty of future harm when there is no certainty. What part of that do you not understand?

      • The last refuge of a moral bankrupt is projection.
        ====================

      • Good ol’ mirror, mirror.
        Koldie’s a terrorizing debator.

      • Which bit of poor people using fossil fuels brings them benefits do you not understand?

        Rermind me when I said that Steve?

      • Verytallguy: :Which bit of “highest emitters accruing most benefit from fossil fuels.” did you misunderstand?”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/05/the-revenge-of-the-climate-reparations/

        The IBUKI environmental satellite tracks CO2 sources and sinks.

        The highest net emitters are 3rd world countries. The permanent coal seam fires in India and China are just icing on the cake.

        I don’t believe Verytallguy was misunderstood, I believe he made an incorrect statement.

      • vtg @ 9.10. The vast improvement of billions of people worldwide over the last 60-70 years has come about because of the developments in the “high-emitting” countries since the Industrial Revolution, particularly through the dissemination of innovations and trade and the provision of markets. The rich countries have not made gains at the expense of the poorer, their success has provided the means by which poorer countries have developed. And the high emitters are now China and India, two of the beneficiaries of this process representing about a third of the world’s population – far more than the rich-world population.

      • The rich countries have not made gains at the expense of the poorer, their success has provided the means by which poorer countries have developed.

        Reading this, I suddenly realized one of the big reasons the whole “global warming” thing has caught on:

        For many people, this statement is simply unbelievable. They are psychologically incapable of conceiving of somebody benefiting without somebody else losing. They have a “locked in” zero-sum mind-set. “Global warming” is only the latest (or so) rationalization of how all the benefits of the Industrial Revolution “must have” been balanced by “bad things for somebody”.

        Maybe the best way to communicate with these alarmists is to go after their fundamental zero-sum mind-set. And anyway, even if you don’t convince them, maybe more objective readers will start to discount their Chicken-Little alarmism once they understand the real delusions behind it.

        Zero-sum economics is a dangerous delusion.

      • Yet the most vulnerable regions are the same which are least able to do this, and those most able to adapt are the highest emitters accruing most benefit from fossil fuels.

        Psychologizing doesn’t rebut that point.

    • veryangryguy

    • Which are the most vulnerable regions? Why are they vulnerable? I’m interested in your answer because I suspect we may be onto an interesting debate point.

    • I find it hard to believe the best way to help Bangladesh with its sea level rise problem is to erect windmills in Minnesota. We could reduce our emissions so we wouldn’t feel so guilty, but what would Bangladesh want us to do? Appease our own guilt while they drown because of China’s coal burning? Morality as saying to Bangladesh, it was China’s fault. To set them adrift without guilt. Windmills in Minnesota to help Bangladesh is so unfocused it misses the target for the most part.

  46. stevefitzpatrick

    I think Mike Mann is not going to like Judith’s op ed piece. (Words like ‘disinformer’ may be used….. again.)

    But I wonder about the influence of someone like Koonin. The advocates will of course denounce him as unable to understand ‘the science’, a tool of the Koch brothers, or some similar tripe, but people outside of climate science may not be so quick to dismiss his views. Perhaps if we are lucky the views of people like Judith and Koonin will help move the public debate towards where it should always have been: a grown-up discussion about values, priorities, costs, benefits, and risks, not endless shrill pronouncements about what ‘the science demands’ from extreme green advocates….. many of whom are, unfortunately, climate scientists.

    Each year that does not warm as projected by climate models (with BAU ~ 0.2 – 0.26C per decade) will reduce the credibility of model calculated high climate sensitivity, marginalize the extreme advocates like Trenberth, Mann, Rahmstorf, et al, and make a reasoned public discussion of the current and future need for energy, and the best ways to produce it, more likely.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Ragnaar,
      Except that the sea level change was the same before and after that cursed CO2 rose so alarmingly.
      There is NO demonstrated causal link between sea level rise and CO2 over the last 100 years of adequate measurement.
      Please explain why you think CO2 should be in the equation.
      We need more than a weak ‘correlation without causation’, which is the failed past excuse to demonise CO2.

  47. Hi Judy

    Excellent, right on the mark Op-Ed! My son’s work including his book “The Climate Fix” provide a detailed discussion of the issues you raise.

    I have also had some experience with Op-Eds. One I wrote in 1994 relevant to your perspective is at The Christian Science Monitor

    http://www.csmonitor.com/1994/0824/24192.html

    titled

    “Don’t Rely on Computer Models to Judge Global Warming”

    It reads

    “SCIENTIFIC controversy over “global warming” continues. The great global-warming debate has taken shape around those who say the science is too uncertain to justify action and those who warn that we cannot afford the luxury of waiting for science to answer all our questions. Such controversy need not block sensible actions, however.

    One area of controversy has to do with the reliability of computer models of the global climate system. Can they accurately predict future climate change?

    At this point, the answer is no. Predicting the climate of the next century with precision is impossible. Scientists and the news media must take care to better educate policymakers about the process of science, and in that effort, scientists must also be careful about the words they use. Policymakers must beware those who talk about “climate predictions;” no one knows how to accurately predict climate.

    Computer simulations of the climate, referred to as “general circulation models” (GCMs), can be used to assess the sensitivity of climate to changes that might result from increased greenhouse gases. However, because physical feedbacks between Earth’s atmosphere (including clouds), the ocean, and the biosphere remain incomplete in the models, their use as a tool is limited.

    For instance, T. Palmer, a scientist at the European center for medium-range weather forecast, writes in the journal “Weather” that climate predictions using GCMs could be grossly misleading because the computer simulations may be unable to accurately predict long-term changes in the frequency of weather patterns. A separate report in the Journal of Climate by Australian atmospheric scientist J. Garratt found significant errors in GCM estimates of incoming solar radiation. The errors were four times larger than the assumed impact of man-made greenhouse gases, a fact that seriously compromises the integrity of the computer model.

    While GCMs provide a powerful and valuable scientific tool to improve our understanding of climate physics, they have not demonstrated an ability to accurately predict long-term climate changes.

    The overselling of climate predictions can result in less funding for more-immediate concerns. Some of these include urban air pollution, indoor air pollution, and toxic and hazardous waste disposal. The preservation of wilderness areas as a means to promote species diversity and regions of pristine air and water is also vital. The allocation of financial resources toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions could significantly reduce the number of dollars available to remedy these other threats to environmental health.

    ATMOSPHERIC and other climate-change scientists need to meet regularly to discuss and debate what is known and what remains to be discovered about climate change. Atmospheric scientists need to better communicate their concerns and needs with policymakers. Policymakers need to use the knowledge from the scientists to develop programs that benefit the environment and economy.

    For example, we could prepare for both short- and long-term changes of weather and climate while we continue to investigate the ecological and societal effects of atmospheric fluctuations, both natural and man-caused. Droughts, floods, hot spells, and cold waves will continue to occur irregularly. Over longer time periods, global warm and cold cycles have naturally occurred and undoubtedly will again.

    The current state of knowledge of atmospheric science leaves us with uncertainty about the future. But this does not mean that effective policies to meet the challenges of global change cannot be formulated. Effective policies in the face of scientific uncertainty need to be decentralized, small-scale, and short-term.

    Decentralization allows for different responses in various contexts. Policies that are small-scale limit the costs of being wrong about what’s going to happen or what to do about it. Short-term policies also allow for rapid feedback into the policy process. In this manner, society can avoid placing all its eggs in one basket based on a scenario that may or may not occur.

    Similarly, effective policies on greenhouse gas emissions should emphasize using fossil-fuel energy more efficiently and cleanly. We also need to make effective use of solar and wind energy. These practices would be beneficial on their own. We need not rely exclusively on predictions generated by GCMs in order to justify sensible actions.”

    • > The current state of knowledge of atmospheric science leaves us with uncertainty about the future.

      It would be interesting to know which knowledge state would leave us otherwise. A formal specification would certainly be nice. It would not be necessary to posit Mr. T’s existence anymore.

      Sometimes I wish scientists that self-avow entertaining skepticism open up their Hume. At least once. Or twice.

      • Hebrews 11
        By Faith We Understand

        11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

        “The best theologian he ever met, he used to say, was the old Edinburgh fishwife who, having recognized him as Hume the atheist, refused to pull him out of the bog into which he had fallen until he declared he was a Christian and repeated the Lord’s prayer.”

        Makes one wonder why she was there at the right moment.

      • Welcome friend.

      • Wee wiilie specializes in pretentious drivel masking a profound lack of an ability to think rationally and to communicate. Winning the thread consists of insisting that the English language be used to convey meaning and not just an underlying impression of a supercilious disdain for the rest of us.

      • The future is always uncertain, Chief. It will always be. To require that we be certain about the future goes against the very questioning that started modern skepticism. As a wise guy once said, the Humean predicament is the human predicament. Or something like this.

        My hypothesis about your recurring thread winning differs from yours.

      • The future has been portrayed as converging to an inevitable path. As does wee willie.

    • Heh, twenty years ago. A measure of the madness.
      ================

    • Dr Roger that’s what I call having a really good crystal ball.

      Since I don’t get to gab with you I’d like to point out the climatologists do need a better sense of the inputs they get from other fields. I sense there’s insufficient integration. This leads to climatologists getting into the policy arena, something they aren’t really trained to do very well. Your son is one of the few people I see working hard to “integrate upstream”.

    • Roger, such a shame that your op-ed could be justly repeated 20 years later!

    • In 20 years time will Judith’s and Koonin’s papers still be ignored by the mainstream climate science community as, apparently, the above paper by RP Senior has been?

  48. Climate change… …may be less important in driving vulnerability in most regions than increasing population, land use practices, and ecosystem degradation

    A failure of vision. AR5 WG3 reports that without mitigation (RCP8.5) by 2100 temperatures will be between 2.5 and 7.8 degC above preindustrial, and rising rapidly. Under even the midpoint of that scenario, climate change will overwhelm all other impacts and transform the planet.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      And if you believe WG3 then I have a bridge in New York City that I would like to sell to you. WG3 is by far the least credible part of the IPCC, making speculative predictions of consequences based on warming calculated by models with no demonstrated predictive skill.

      • And if you believe WG3

        What do you believe, Steve?

      • stevefitzpatrick

        I believe that GHG’s must cause warming, how much is uncertain. I believe the weight of the non-model evidence suggests a most probable sensitivity of somewhere under 2C per doubling, and very unlikely over 2.5C per doubling. I believe climate scientists are far more ‘green’ than scientists in other fields, and that this biases the work done in the field. I believe there has been zero progress since the Charney report in better defining climate sensitivity, in spite of hundreds of billions of dollars of public funding since then. I believe this lack of progress is a direct consequence of overwhelming bias in the field…. no evidence is ever adequate to remove ‘catastrophic sensitivity’ from the plausible range. I believe the most of the hysteria about climate change will eventually subside when reality refuses to conform to model projections. I believe the kinds of accusations you (and most climate change advocates make) make about people who disagree with your judgment and priorities ensure that reasoned public policy on long term energy supply will not happen any time soon…. accusations of bad faith (and worse) are inconsistent with forming a broad public consensus.

      • Since it is unknown where the future weather will be more vs less adverse for humans, and since it is unknown whether or how higher levels of CO2 will impact this; the most sensible response is to build and maintain robust infrastructure.

        In times of very limited financial resources, funds need to be spent wisely. Infrastructure is the only means of providing protection against severe weather-regardless of the cause.

      • Quite a creed there, Steve.

      • Rob,

        the problem, other than the morality which I’ve outlined, is practical. Our modelling is not good enough to know where exactly the impacts will be per region, so we don’t know what infrastructure to build.

        So practically as well as morally, mitigation is the only show in town.

      • VTG writes– “Our modeling is not good enough to know where exactly the impacts will be per region, so we don’t know what infrastructure to build.
        So practically as well as morally, mitigation is the only show in town.”

        My response- I do agree that the models upon which you base your fears are unreliable. That being agreed upon, your approach still seems quite illogical.

        You do not know when or even if the mitigation actions you support will make conditions better or worse for any specific region. How can it make sense to use very limited resources when you do not know that their use will have a positive outcome?

        Also, we most certainly do know what infrastructure to build to lower the probability of humans in a specific region from being harmed as a result of adverse weather. It is simply that some “progressive thinkers” support the “sexy solutions” vs. implementing “ practical approaches”. Infrastructure is build to last somewhere between 2 to a dozen decades (a generalization). It is known what needs to be done in specific regions (infrastructure wise) to lessen the potential of humans being harmed by adverse weather. VTG- look at SW Asia as an example. Many people are killed each year do to flooding. This could be prevented if it was a priority in their culture.

      • Rob,

        that’s the thing – you don’t need models (or at least not GCMs) at all to predict the overall magnitude of change.

        But the models aren’t good enough to focus adaptation.

        Plus there are many things that are simply not adaptable to.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        VTG,
        “You don’t need models..”
        The problem is that is just not accurate. Starting with the Charney report in 1979 (http://web.atmos.ucla.edu/~brianpm/download/charney_report.pdf) projections of warming due to GHG’s have been almost exclusively based on GCM’s, and while those models disagree with each other rather wildly in diagnosed sensitivity, the ‘hottest’ models (near 4.5C per doubling) are still claimed to be credible, even while they grossly over-predict warming relative to measurements. Basing public policy on the ‘hot’ models makes no sense. Heck, basing public policy on any model which does not show predictive accuracy makes no sense.

        By the way, why not use your real name when you comment?

      • VTG- So in summary your position seems to be:
        a. that although you have no reliable information to determine that a world with higher levels of CO2 will be better or worse for humanity and,

        b. despite not knowing if the CO2 mitigation actions you support will make conditions better or worse and,

        c. despite your knowledge that there are very scarce economic resources, you still support CO2 mitigation .

        Good luck with that.

      • > why not use your real name when you comment?

        Just in case this is not a rhetorical question:

        https://www.eff.org/issues/anonymity

        And in the case of Very Tall, it’s more pseudonymity than anonymity.

      • Steve,

        GCMs are indeed the *best* way to integrate our knowledge, but they are not necessary to make predictions. Far simpler models can do that.

        btw when the comment policy precludes anonymity I’ll comply. If you want it changed, ask Judith

      • He’s field testing ‘We never said that’, and is ashamed of himself.
        =============

      • Rob,

        a) no

        b) no

        and

        c) no

        You’re welcome.

      • ==> ” believe the weight of the non-model evidence suggests a most probable sensitivity of somewhere under 2C per doubling, and very unlikely over 2.5C per doubling.”

        Do you disagree with Nic Lewis’ sceince, that puts 3.0°C within the 90% CI? Yes, his works shows “most likely” at @1.6°C – but does that translate to a “very unlikely” for 3.0°C?

        Do you think that even “very unlikely” events should not be considered when developing policies? If not, then how should they be considered? How should we plan policies for events that might be “very unlikely” but have a high impact? Should we incur costs in such situations? Surely, in your life, you create plans that incur costs in order to hedge against “very unlikely” but potentially high-impact events, do you not?

        The biggest problem I have with this new tack of putting the memes of “hoax” and “settled science” in opposition is that it is unproductively (and unscientifically simplistic). It may be effective rhetoric (at least in helping to confirm the biases of SWIRLCAREs), but it isn’t a methodology that is consistent with the “wickedness” of the problem.

        If you respect uncertainty, then you account for the potential risk of high impact from ACO2

        If you respect uncertainty, then you account for the possibility of net economic benefit from ACO2 mitigation rather than rely on imperfect and unvalidated and unverified modeling that shows a net cost – particularly since those models don’t provide a “full-cost accounting” of externalities,.

      • The old time simple models predicted net benefit to mankind from CO2 emissions. Where have all the flowers gone?
        =================

      • Nice

        “Many people don’t want the things they say online to be connected with their offline identities. They may be concerned about political or economic retribution, harassment, or even threats to their lives.”

        They also may be concerned with liability for the libelous things they say.
        They may also be concerned that the may make a mistake that would hurt their career. In short an own goal.

        Absent any evidence that the Anonymous person is under any threat, Readers are free to hypothesize that the psuedonymn is used to permit
        the speaker to not be held accountable.

      • Steve,

        no problem with you ignoring me or getting Judith to change the policy.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        GCMs are also the very best way to fudge away obvious discrepancies between reality and diagnosed sensitivity using kludges like unconstrained (and purely assumed!) historical aerosol influences.

        What non-GC models do you consider credible and why?

        WRT to anonymity: I would be ashamed to anonymously accuse people of bad faith (and worse). I find it puzzling that you appear to have no such qualms, and I wonder if you think your anonymous accusations are consistent with acting in good faith. Perhaps you think the ends justify the means?

      • Rob Starkey hits the nail on the head.

        US infrastructure is not ready for a return to 1950’s weather, let alone anything unprecedented.

      • Steve,

        I’m puzzled if anonymity is a big deal to you why you’re here, where anonymous insults are commonplace.

        I’m puzzled that you feel a scientist (a scientist FFS) pushing the 1998 cherrypick to a naive audience can possibly be in good faith.

        Puzzlement abounds.

      • VTG, “I’m puzzled that you feel a scientist (a scientist FFS) pushing the 1998 cherrypick to a naive audience can possibly be in good faith.

        Puzzlement abounds.”

        And pushing a RCP8,5 on that same audience?

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Joshua,
        I do consider uncertainty. I have for a long time paid for life insurance to help protect those I care for. That does not mean I would pay an unlimited amount for that life insurance. At some cost, it is just not worth it.

        The issue is not so simple as saying we must consider uncertainty. We must consider the credible range of uncertainty, the cost of doing something to account for that credible range, and whether or not the expenditure will actually make any difference. When I look at the case for drastic reductions in fossil fuel use I see the cost as large, the risk as small, and the effectiveness of the proposed expenditures as minimal.

        Most of all, we need to consider if waiting for better information about the probability/plausibility of future risks is a more prudent course of action. I think in the case of GHG driven warming, it makes more sense to have a better definition of the risks (say a credible narrowing of the Charney sensitivity range by 50% or more) before moving beyond ‘no regrets’ type policies.

        I expect you disagree with my analysis, and that is OK with me, even though I believe you are mistaken. What is not OK is anonymous comments accusing people of bad faith…. and worse.

      • ==> “What is not OK is anonymous comments accusing people of bad faith…. and worse.”

        Not sure why you bring that up in a comment to me.

        Regardless – just to deal with that aspect of your comment: I fail to see what anonymity has to do with it. Accusations of bad faith can sometimes have consequences. If they do, then there should be a high bar of evidence met before an accusation is made. Failure to assure sufficient evidence when accusing someone of bad faith, when it might have significant consequences in the real world, I would agree is “‘not OK.”

        So what matters is not anonymity, but whether the accusation might have real-world consequences and be justified (or not) by evidence. Anonymous accusations of bad faith run throughout these threads on a daily basis. They are made against me on a daily basis – often by those who then turn around and weep uncontrollably when someone accuses them of bad faith.

        In the vast majority of cases, such blogospheric accusations of bad faith are nothing more than juvenile drama-queening. They have no real-world impact.

        Sometimes they might have real world impact, but I find it hard to imagine such a case where the accuser is anonymous. Maybe you can think of an instance?

        So, again, the attribute of anonymity is of no real importance. If you really think that someone accusing you of bad faith has some significant impact, and it really upsets you, then I would suggest that you pursue legal recourse. I would think that identity could be proven through a legally approved procedure.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Steve Mosher,
        “the psuedonymn is used to permit the speaker to not be held accountable.”
        Indeed. Though I would suggest also that ‘the courage of your convictions’ may be lacking among the anonymous.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Joshua,

        Too bad you didn’t address the main point of my comment.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick –

        Do you think it is “OK” for “denizens” to accuse me of bad faith in these threads? What would be most relevant to your determination of whether it is “OK.”

        1). Whether they are anonymous?
        2) Whether they have evidence to prove bad faith on my part?

        If they use their real name and there is no evidence, is that “OK” in your book?

        If they are anonymous and they do have evidence of bad faith on my part, is that “not OK?”

      • ==> “:“the psuedonymn is used to permit the speaker to not be held accountable.”

        Heh. Right. So much “accountability” for all these accusations of bad faith in these threads made by the non-anonymous.

        Indeed. Because juvenile Jell-O flinging is sooooo important.

        This notion of an “accountability” police is quite hilarious.

      • “Do you think it is “OK” for “denizens” to accuse me of bad faith in these threads?”

        Joshua,

        In your case it would be an observation, not an accusation.

        Andrew

      • Capt

        And pushing a RCP8,5 on that same audience?

        By all means have a look at the figures for the other RCPs. Find a level of AGW you think we should be happy to accept. Report back how much mitigation it requires.

      • When suing for defamation, how would the steps differ in proving the identity of any commenter?

        Say I am thinking about suing (I’m not) both VTG and SM. Assuming SM is a real name and VTG is a pseudonym, how is my lawyer’s job different for VTG versus SM?

      • Open for interpretation.

        http://webtv.un.org/

        Ezekiel 1:21

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Joshua,
        “Do you think it is “OK” for “denizens” to accuse me of bad faith in these threads? What would be most relevant to your determination of whether it is “OK.” ”

        I think it is not OK without a clear argument showing why it is true; it’s just not productive to have food fights. In your specific case, since you remain ‘safely anonymous’, nothing anyone says about you can likely have consequences for you beyond blog comments.

        But the VTG is saying very negative things about people who are not anonymous (like Judith). Different situation. Certainly not productive, but neither very fair to those folks. I do wish Judith would require people to use their real names if they comment. I think it would eliminate most of the food fights, make the threads more readable, and eliminate most non-constructive comments that are little more than personal attacks, like some made on this thread by VTG.

      • VTG

        With all due respect- you seem to avoid honest straightforward answers.

        You wrote- “you don’t need models (or at least not GCMs) at all to predict the overall magnitude of change.”

        What are you relying upon to determine that any specific location will suffer harms that can’t be avoided?

      • VTG, “Find a level of AGW you think we should be happy to accept. Report back how much mitigation it requires.”

        It would be more rational to find a level of AGW we are equally unhappy with, if happiness is your measure.

        Currently, the observations indicate a business as usual scenario of 4.5 or 6.0.

        The “cherrypicked” 1998 super El Nino just indicates that higher scenarios are less likely. What is your estimate of TCR again?

      • Who stole joshie’s big boy pants off the clothesline? Please return them. His whining is pathetic.

      • Rob

        What are you relying upon to determine that any specific location will suffer harms that can’t be avoided?

        That’s the point – you can’t. What you can determine is (within large uncertainty)

        – the overall change to the global heat balance climate from basic physics bounded by paleo observations (over time increasingly constrained by modern observations)
        – the probable overall patterns of regional change at a large scale
        – the range of impacts.

        The answers at this level are clear. And bad. Uncertainy monsters merely make adaptation even more difficult and increase the benefit: risk of mitigation as opposed to adaptation

      • steve fitzpatrick –

        Not much time…in the middle of a couple of projects.

        Basically, I find quite a bit in your response to me to be a non-sequitur.

        For example:

        ==> “When I look at the case for drastic reductions in fossil fuel use I see the cost as large,”

        My comment referenced uncertainty w/r/t cost. You simply state that you “see the cost as large.” You didn’t address my points as to why I see such a statement to be unscientific, an over-simplification, and not sufficiently respecting uncertainty.

        ==> “The issue is not so simple as saying we must consider uncertainty

        Basically a non-sequitur. I wasn’t saying it was “simple”

        ==> “We must consider the credible range of uncertainty, the cost of doing something to account for that credible range, and whether or not the expenditure will actually make any difference.:

        Basically, a non-sequitur. I wasn’t suggesting that we not consider the credible range of uncertainty

        ==> “Most of all, we need to consider if waiting for better information about the probability/plausibility of future risks is a more prudent course of action.”

        Basically a non-sequitur. I wasn’t saying that we shouldn’t factor in trading off future harms potentially locked-in for the benefits of reducing uncertainty.

        ==> ” I think in the case of GHG driven warming, it makes more sense to have a better definition of the risks (say a credible narrowing of the Charney sensitivity range by 50% or more) before moving beyond ‘no regrets’ type policies.”

        Not a non-sequitur – and worthy of discussion. Don’t have time, but briefly, I question the in-depth rationale behind many of the “no regrets” arguments – as I think that it’s easy to say that you favor “no regrets” policies but the implementation of them is problematic. Where will the money come from? What costs (opportunity costs or accrued future cost due to continued ACO2 emissions) are associated?

      • Steve Fitzpatrick –

        OK, one more comment before I go to buy a gross of tissue boxes, because I’m still weeping uncontrollably because of Bad Andrew’s accusation against me of bad faith.

        ==> “. In your specific case, since you remain ‘safely anonymous’, nothing anyone says about you can likely have consequences for you beyond blog comments.

        But the VTG is saying very negative things about people who are not anonymous (like Judith). Different situation. ”

        Do you think that VTG, or anyone else, accusing Judith of bad faith in a blog comment (without evidence, in at least your opinion) will have some real world impact? Really? Seriously?

        Anyway, have a nice day.

      • “Anyway, have a nice day.”

        Have fun at the kickball game. Try not to hurt yourself.

        Andrew

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Joshua,
        “Do you think that VTG, or anyone else, accusing Judith of bad faith in a blog comment (without evidence, in at least your opinion) will have some real world impact? Really? Seriously?”

        Mostly I think they are engaging in an unfair but feeble attempt at doing harm.

        In any case, this exchange with you has been instructive. From now on, I won’t exchange comments on this blog with people who refuse to identify themselves. Adeus Joshua.

      • “Do you disagree with Nic Lewis’ sceince, that puts 3.0°C within the 90% CI? Yes, his works shows “most likely” at @1.6°C – but does that translate to a “very unlikely” for 3.0°C?”

        Gee. I keep seeing these computations for doubled CO2.

        1. Please identify the carbon sources for this “doubling”? About 3100 gigatons of CO2 is in the atmosphere – all fossil fuel reserves burned to the last erg would add about 2795 gigatons. We can’t reach doubling.
        2. Please explain why atmospheric CO2 is increasing linearly when emission is increasing exponentially? This will result in fossil fuels being consumed long before the CO2 level rises significantly.

        There are a couple of problems with the global warming scenario:
        1. We can’t hit the high levels of CO2 that CAGW requires.
        2. The sensitivity is far less than CAGW scenarios require.

        620 PPM is about the highest we can drive CO2. Sensitivity is less than 1/2 of the IPCC estimate (perhaps much less than half).

        We get to 1°C if we burn everything we can get our hands on. But that is pretty much the limit.

      • Stay tuned for a new climate sensitivity paper by nic and myself, coming next week

      • > They also may be concerned with liability for the libelous things they say.

        “They” may not comprise Very Tall, since Judy has his IP and email.

      • > I’m puzzled if anonymity is a big deal to you why you’re here, where anonymous insults are commonplace.

        You should have seen how the awful things were said at Steve’s because Bender and UC were using pseudonyms.

      • https://www.eff.org/issues/anonymity

        Yep. I mean if you want everything you’ve ever said on the internet searchable by future employes, future acquaintances etc etc… then you shouldn’t have any issue with the NSA recording everything you say in real person and posting it on a searchable database as well.

        Its one thing to have your intended audience know who you are, its a whole different ball of wax to open your entire extistence to a google searchable database.

        Hackers love people who expose lots of private details about themselves. They make a living on them.

      • Steve Fitzpatric –

        That’s too bad..you were one of the few SWIRLCAREs I’ve encountered that can share in discussions from differing perspectives without resorting to insults…anonymously or non-anonymously, of course.

        Oh well..guess it’s back to weeping uncontrollably again…

      • If, as you say, natural variation (such as cycles) could account for up to 50% of the warming in the last 60 years, then don’t you need to accurately characterize the natural variation physically and quantify the effect before you can determine CO2 sensitivity?

  49. Judith, you op-ed is well done. Brava!!

    Cheers.

  50. kimbot,

    opacity and profundity are not synonymous. Rinse and repeat.

  51. Dr C. The oped is really really good. We need to start thinking about the most appropriate location for your bronze statue.

  52. I believe if the dimensions of the problem appear to be “wicked”, it is not solvable in a practical or political context. In order to solve a problem, you have to reduce it to fairly simple dimensions.

    A couple of examples of what appeared to be wicked problems. 1. Cost push inflation of the early 70s. I remember how intractable it seemed when wages were rising and the cost of raw materials were rising. As the cost of necessities were rising, it was clear that workers wages had to rise. However, the rise of wages appeared to create an unending cycle of rising prices. The answer to what appeared to be a complex problem was simple as explained by Friedman — To control inflation, you must manage the money supply.

    Second explaining the mechanism for evolution and genetics appeared to be very complex until the role of DNA was discovered.

    Also, I would add that a prominent physicist was discussing the attempts to unify Einstein’s theories with quantum mechanics, and he stated that he didn’t know what the answer would be, but he expected that it would be simple.

    JD

    • The solution to this ‘wicked’ problem will be simple once it is recognized the warming will be a net benefit, to the extent that man is capable of warming. That leaves entirely to the side, dessert so to speak, of the greening effect of CO2.
      ==================

    • The 70s stagflation lead to those 18% annual yield government bonds. It was such a train wreck that President Carter served only 1 term. While the oil shock was part of it, I tend to have faith in the markets reacting well in the case of a reduced oil supply. What we probably had was a combination of the best economic scientists (with some scientists disagreeing) and politicians trying to solve the problems, with differing politicians favoring different scientists. We can assume that President Carter’s scientists were not reelected while Reagan’s got to move to D.C. I’ve voiced my disapproval of Keynesians before and I’d ask where were their effective solutions when President Carter needed them? The President may have asked them, why isn’t your science working? There were things the economic scientists could not do, despite the long history of the profession. Perhaps the economists realize our past is littered with recessions and market bubbles which in theory could’ve been avoided. Economics might be the study of past bad decisions that caused financial harm, the inefficient use of resources and explanations of how this or that theory is about to finally prove itself as a reliable enduring truth. Perhaps they are humbled by these repeated failures. Perhaps some are not. What to say about Greenspan who had conversations with Rand. I’ll say he was the least worst of them. Maybe he was lucky, maybe he inspired confidence. He may have had the least worst theory of government’s role.

    • A simpler way to make my point is to compare two questions. A commonly asked wicked question in the past, was: What came first, the chicken or the egg? This was obviously very difficult to answer or solve. However, if you consider the science of evolution, you can pose an answerable question: One can ask what animals preceded the chicken in evolution and led up to what we now call the chicken.

      Kim, We are coming from the same place.

      Ragnaar, thanks for the reminder about how bad it was in the 70s. Forgot about the 18% bonds.

      JD

    • I hardly think that genetics turned out to be “simple.” What with all the discoveries about epigenetics, RNA silencing, the functional importance of introns, etc., the picture has become increasingly complex and messy. As Craig Venter pointed out, we can’t even use genetic analysis to predict human eye color, one of the classic student exercises in pre-Watson & Crick genetics.

  53. I think that your summary of the issues is excellent. Prof. Lindzen has also made several fine summary statements on the issue, but his association with Cato is unfortunate: inevitably, they will start grinding their political axes, hard! Same is true for many of the “wingnuts” who comment on and contribute to Watts’ site, which is a great source of hard information nevertheless.

    I agree with you on the need to hear from scientists more! Speaking AS scientists!!

    • A “wingnut” post Lichanos. Only one side is right and isn’t the mob in NYC over the weekend. They were wrong during the Cold War, traitorous at that. They’re wrong on just about everything in fact. After a banking crisis, failure rooted in their own free-lunch, Keynesian excess the radical dressed in “Post Partisan” drivel managed to ascend to the WH. It capped off a 50+ year trend of transforming the Democratic Party into the Socialist Party of America.

      What is the point of your smearing ad hom dressed as advice to Dr. Lindzen suppose to mean? By “they” you mean the armchair communists and spoiled ungrateful hipsters ready to overthrow the Constitution in the name of authoritarian leftism which is what the dog whistle “Climate Change” actually is??

      I can imagine the personal pain Dr. Lindzen, a former left-wing democrat himself has gone on in the past 30 years. The fact remains the general politically correct social structure is 10x worse in climate science which is one reason you aren’t going to get dissent to come forward. We have sunk to Soviet levels of professional coercion. Your point is totally head in …….sand……to be kind.

      • Speaking of “wingnuts”…

        But notice the scare quotes.

      • AK,

        “Climate Science” and the politics it was invented to cover for are the new Soviet Science in broad U.N. idealized form.

        Without this basic honesty the debate is largely meaningless. Ready to make deals with the likes of Fanboy or Joshua under any convoluted “science” premises in the narrative??

        Climate Science is 3% actual science, 97% green political narrative regardless of how it is concealed or repackaged.

      • “Climate Science” and the politics it was invented to cover for are the new Soviet Science in broad U.N. idealized form.

        I don’t believe that. I think it’s just their (socialists) latest bandwagon. And the ACLU’s support of Steyn suggests, to me, that they’re throwing the whole “climate” thing under the bus along with Mann.

      • AK, it was born out the 60’s….Paul Ehrlich…..”Zero Growth” movements. Do the history, it’s right there.

  54. A fan of @MORE@ discourse

    cwon14 denies compromise  “Only one side is right and isn’t the mob in NYC over the weekend.”

    James Hansen’s latest communication “Speaking Truth to Power — and to Friends” persuasively argues the *OPPOSITE*

    Speaking Truth to Friends

    Conservatives are not the @@@@ of the planet. Historically they are its best friend. Conservation and creation care are in the @@@@ of most conservatives.

    The political divide occurs because conservatives fear that liberals will use the climate issue to increase taxes and government intrusion. Policy prescriptions proposed by liberals stoke those concerns and provide fertile ground for anti-science @@@@ to flourish.

    Most conservatives I have met are thoughtful. They do not want to go down in history as being responsible for blocking effective action to stabilize climate.

    Gaining their support for a rising revenue-neutral carbon fee, which is in fact a conservative approach, is possible.

    Approval of a rising carbon fee during the next few years is crucial. It is also feasible.

    Climate events should help. Although the U.S. has been cool this year, global temperature in 2014 is likely to be the warmest year in the data record. And 2015 should break that record. Extreme climate events are likely to become more noticeable during the next several years.

    Most marchers tomorrow will be liberals. The truth they must face is the fact that prescriptive liberal policies have no chance of solving the global climate problem.

    Good on `yah, James Hansen, for helping to heal the understanding of climate-change denialists, and for building bridges between rational conservatism and liberalism!

    If nothing else, Hansen-style scientists — who occupy the middle political ground — are denying anti-science denialists even the *POSSIBILITY* of electoral victory.

    Good on `yah, middle-ground scientists!

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    • As if taxes are ever “revenue neutral”!! What a joke!

      Show me one such tax Fanboy?? In all of human history?

      This is 70’s tripe redux……”even if it doesn’t change the climate there will be benefits……blah blah blah”.

      All these lies have been figured out Fanboy, people are sick of the academic left, their preaching and deal making among themselves. Hit the road, you get nothing! This blog isn’t where the substantive dissent is at all. Go to Climate Depot or the improving WUWT at least.

    • Fan once again brings the news that I can use:
      “I could not find anyone in his administration to even deliver my letter to him.
      Who does he listen to? It is not pleasant to blame anyone. However, the fact is that Big Green, ~$100M/year environmental organizations, has ready access to the President. Big Green, heavily staffed with lawyers and public relations people, has political clout because they can deliver votes. Unfortunately, Big Green has demonstrated little understanding of the global energy and climate matter and has become one of the biggest obstacles to solving the climate problem.“ – James Hansen
      Big Green has had many at bats.

      “The truth they must face is the fact that prescriptive liberal policies have no chance of solving the global climate problem.”
      Is he saying he needs the conservatives?

      “Founder Marshall Saunders espouses respect and love for political opponents of a carbon fee, and repeated engagement.”
      Heretic James Hansen. That makes two. Thank you James Hansen.

      Hypothetically, here was the plan. All climate scientists will be liberals. The liberals being roughly half the population will then convince the conservatives they are right. The liberals will prove they don’t need the conservatives and they will protect the planet as they change most everyone’s behaviors and situations. The magnitude of the goals while great, only requires a bare majority to accomplish. If the plan takes longer than expected the liberals will further cast aspersions not at their own but at the conservatives so as not to lose sight of the fact that they don’t need the conservatives help. If the plan does fail people will realize why it failed. It was the conservatives fault and not the approach the liberals chose nor their administration of their approach.

      Hansen’s move, if that’s what it is, reminds me of Bengtsson’s.

      • Reflecting on what Hansen wrote above, what a sad state of affairs. “I could not find anyone in his administration to even deliver my letter to him.”
        Politicians can be fickle. One of the greatest climate scientists seeing apparent indifference from the White House. I hope I am not misunderstanding this.

  55. If you think Climate Fascism is isolated or counter trend, think again;

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/09/23/the_end_of_civil_rhetoric_124065.html

    It’s a symptom as it turns out.

  56. A fan of @MORE@ discourse

    cwon14 vehemently denies even the possibility of compromise  “Only one side is right and isn’t the mob in NYC over the weekend.”

    James Hansen’s latest communication Speaking Truth to Power — and to Friends persuasively argues the opposite.

    Good on `yah, middle-ground scientists!

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    • A fan of @MORE@ discourse

      Hansen speaks (links by FOMD):

      Most conservatives I have met are thoughtful

      They do not want to go down in history as being responsible for blocking effective action to stabilize climate.

      Gaining their support for a rising revenue-neutral carbon fee, which is in fact a conservative approach, is possible.

      Approval of a rising carbon fee during the next few years is crucial. It is also feasible.

      Climate events should help. Although the U.S. has been cool this year, global temperature in 2014 is likely to be the warmest year in the data record, and 2015 should break that record. Extreme climate events are likely to become more noticeable during the next several years.

      Most marchers tomorrow will be liberals. The truth they must face is the fact that prescriptive liberal policies have no chance of solving the global climate problem.

      Good on `yah, James Hansen, for building effective bridges between rational conservatism and liberalism!

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      • Can’t wait to see how many are marching when their electricity bills “necessarily skyrocket” to quote Obama.

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of @MORE@ discourse: Most marchers tomorrow will be liberals. The truth they must face is the fact that prescriptive liberal policies have no chance of solving the global climate problem.

        There is an ambiguity in the wording. I would add that they have no chance of solving the global climate problem even if adopted in the nations that support them somewhat (US, EU, Canada.) They have little chance of solving the global climate problem even if adopted by all countries.

        It is not all that clear, considering all the evidence, that warming to date since 1850 is a problem, and the CO2-induced warming, if any, is occurring at a very slow rate. The case that CO2 is causing the ocean to rise is risible at best.

        It would be interesting if he elaborated on all the reasons why the prescriptive liberal policies have no chance of solving the global climate problem.

        Extreme climate events are likely to become more noticeable during the next several years.

        There is a certainty, almost, that selected extremes will be well-reported, and others will be ignored, depending on the political orientations of the news organizations. There is also a near certainty that totally unanticipated events will be retroactively “predicted” by revising the models; prime examples being the retroactive predictions of the “hiatus”, the last unusual N.American cold winter, and the Antarctic ice accumulation.

        Last of all, there is the near certainty that global warming activists will continue to burn fossil fuels at an extremely above average rate.

      • Can’t wait to see how many are marching when their electricity bills “necessarily skyrocket” to quote Obama.

        He’ll be gone by then…

    • Speaking of the Hitler Youth, case in point.

      • He has his “Climate Youth” Fan is always bragging about, but since that is all part of the “new Enlightenment” it will work out differently this time! Eh Climate Etc readers?!?

      • I’m sure there were campus punks, grifters, aging hippies, hipsters and other assorted comic characters of the American left. Don’t forget how nasty the goal really is;

        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/388595/robert-kennedy-jr-aspiring-tyrant-charles-c-w-cooke

      • One of the peculiarities of a proper CO2 tax is that it places a price on emissions equal to the estimated incremental social cost of that emission and then lets the market system rip. That presupposes a) that other policies and regulations allow the ripping to occur and b) that if the “answer” thrown up by the market is that at the true social cost people still want to emit a lot then so be it. I don’t think the green activists would countenance either a) or b), so most of the policy advantages of the ideal CO2 tax would be lost even if it somehow passed globally..

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of @MORE@ discourse, the Hansen letter is interesting:

      California is one place that could have demonstrated an
      approach to the energy & climate problem that could have a huge
      national and global impact. There is a crying need for some place, preferably a place that is reasonably large, to demonstrate an energy & climate approach with the potential to go global, an approach designed to allow amplifying feedbacks that lead to rapid phase-out of fossil fuels as the price of fossil fuels becomes honest . The only proposed system with those characteristics is a simple transparent revenue neutral carbon fee/tax. For the sake of spurring the economy and broad public support, he funds should be distributed 100% to the public, an equal amount to all legal residents.

      As Hansen goes on to point out, the Obama administration declined to push such an approach when the Democrats had large majorities in both houses of Congress, principally because the perceived the fee/tax on carbon would cost them in the next election. No idea for reducing fossil fuel use has majority support in the U.S. today.

      He does not say exactly why he dislikes the California plan (a mandated renewable portfolio standard that has the effect of raising electricity costs), but the most obvious limitation (inferring from his other comments) is that it does not raise the price of transportation fuels.

      Also note that, in California, there would be pressure (I expect successful) to distribute the tax rebate to everyone, not merely legal residents. Expecting that, and with high fuel taxes already, I suspect that Hansen’s plan would not have majority support even in California.

      He does not even mention enhanced water control projects for a state that is at best relatively dry in the best crop-growing areas and areas of high population density. A plan that might reduce global mean temperature 50-100 years from now but won’t improve water supplies in the next 2 decades is a bit much, I expect, even for California.

      Aside: I don’t know whether Californians in large numbers regret that the state did not continue with the expansion of the California Water Project, but I hope they are aware that they are paying the price during this drought. There is a water project on the November ballot, and I am interested to see whether it will pass.

  57. John Smith (it's my real name)

    Judith Curry
    I’m a little worried about you
    you are venturing ever deeper into the world of pop politics

    in that world emotion and symbols dominate
    science and reason may put you at a disadvantage

    for example “mitigation”
    for most of us it means specific policy proposals

    for much if the public “mitigation” is a symbol for atonement ..
    we must atone for the sin of western affluence
    the public tunes out when you get to specific policy

    emotionally, CO2 is more like saturated fat and sugar
    CO2 is not “natural”
    the people using this issue as a political tool know this, I think
    “climate justice” has no meaning except as vague (but effective) emotional symbolism

    perhaps you have trusted friend in the political “science” department

    faustino probably has good stuff in this regard

    • John, I’d merely echo your caution. Judith, your forte is climate science, as (one of) mine is economic policy. I think that you should be cautious about commenting much on policy as opposed to pointing out the flaws in the IPCC’s etc claims which have been used as a basis for policy. For example, I indicated at 1.49 above in response to vtg why there may be in fact no “no regrets” policies. Note that I rarely engage on climate science, in which I have no expertise, but on policy issues. (Of course, the policy background gives me experience in dealing with claims and data in many fields.)

      (I’m trying hard not to bring Edith Piaf in here.)

  58. While not the most popular here, Paul Krugman says “…the Chamber is telling us that we can achieve major reductions in greenhouse gases [40% below 2005 CO2 emissions] at a cost of 0.2 percent of GDP” from now until 2030. A MIT study indicates there’s a good chance at least some, if not more than, the economic cost will be recouped via benefits unrelated to any climate projections. Even reducing certainty to whatever reasonable percentage of warming Dr. Curry attributes to human emissions, it seems like policy action aimed at this level of reduction is at least rational. Why am I wrong?

    • You are right.

      • It’s called a No Regrets policy. This is why I spend zero time arguing about this with deniers.

      • Webby, once again: I think that “no regrets” options are very hard to find. They can only be no-regrets if the risk-adjusted rate of return is at least equal to that from the best available use of resources. If it were, than that action would have superior returns to some other investments being made, and someone would have undertaken it. That is, if a so-called no-regrets option is identified, it is an indication that the returns do not justify its selection. I think that the concept of n-r options should be set aside.

      • There are some $2.5 trillion dollars in aid funds available to 2050 – as well as whatever national funds are available for various things. Land conservation in Australia is a good example. There are various emission benefits to be had from various disparate projects – including in an overall sense health, education and economic development and resultant reductions in population pressure. The economic definition of no regrets is that benefits exceed costs without considering costs and benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation. The best return on investment is the one that has the best cost benefit ratio – but is usually best realized across a policy portfolio. This is commonly a calculation by governments – the ruling impetus for business investment is quite different.

        It is a matter of allocation of scarce resources.

      • That’s $2.5 trillion to 2030.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      John M wonders “Why am I wrong?”

      You are wrong because:

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then Ayn Rand is wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then Rush Limbaugh is wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then the Tea Party is wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then market fundamentalism is wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then strict libertarianism is wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then Biblical inerrancy is wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then the Heartland, CATO, Competitive Enterprise, and George C. Marshall institutes all are wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then WUWT, Mark Steyn, and Anthony Watts all are wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then BP, Duke Energy, and Koch Industries are wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then carbon-asset valuation is wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then shoreline-property valuation is wrong.

      •  If climate-science is right,
          … then Putin and OPEC are wrong.

      Conclusion  Ideology-guided denialists cannot even *IMAGINE* a world in which climate-science is right … and *THAT* is how they know it must be wrong.

      This non-rational cognition is evident to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

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      • If Climate Science is right then the Climate Marchers are wrong!

        Reasons:
        1.) They left a heavy carbon footprint behind
        2.) They left a massive pile of trash behind
        3.) They don’t care about the climate or the enviorment, they only care about left wing symbolism.
        4.) They are hysterical wingnuts and hypocrites perfectly personified by their leader Al Gore
        5.) They need to get therapy or schedule more visits.

      • Talk about anything but the specific “science” you vaguely refer to, Eh FOMD?!?

        This is the new Enlightenment folks! Discussion always goes to the motives of those who disagree! Because members of the new “Enlightened” cognitive elite are free of bias or corrupt motivations such as the unshakable belief that they alone should decide how the world lives because Koch Bros!

      • Andrew Russell

        And WHT and Fan continue to slander skeptics of their global catastrophe fantasies by comparing them to Holocaust Deniers. Is there any more evidence needed that they are not the least bit interested in honest debate or honest science?

      • Say, ordvic,

        Marching
        back
        ward
        ter
        the
        Millenarian.
        Oh miasma!
        Oh Malthus!
        Oh malnutrition!
        Oh Mann!
        Brought
        forth
        in
        misery!

    • John

      Is it sensible to rely on a study that claims that if you do something today then harms will not come in the future? Perhaps if the basis of the study was build on a solid foundation.

      Do you believe that the MIT study meets that description? Will there be lower rates of asthma if less CO2 is emitted? Really???

      • I don’t have any specific reason to doubt their conclusions. It seems like they attempted to carefully assess other impacts, though I only said “indicates” because I didn’t dig deep. Do you believe there are no other benefits to cutting emissions?

    • “surprisingly small economic costs”

      What a load of bureaucratic BS. For the rich yes, and those who push it (one-percenters) would even profit. The poor will just suffer (see Germany and its Energiewende or Kyoto in general). And no CO2 emissions will be reduced significantly! What a waste!

    • John M, The US spends about 2% of GDP on energy infrastructure as it is and the current business as usual energy policy has been towards cleaner and more efficient energy production and distribution for many decades. Most of the health cost savings are related to emissions other than CO2 which are much easier to reduce than CO2. So a 0.2% of GDP in the US case is already part of the ~2% of GDP. If there weren’t so many special interest law suits, the savings would be more than the 0.2%and could speed the implementation of more improvements.

      • Where did you get 2%? My Googling brought me a figure closer to 8%, though nothing was terribly straightforward. Either way that the low hanging fruit may have passed is an interesting point, though I’m not sure how you substantiate it.

      • John M, All energy would be higher. What I noted was energy related infrastructure which the US doesn’t spend much on compared to the ROW..

        You can build wind mills, but unless the energy gets to where it can be used, they are a waste. So you need some new energy storage capability or a better way to get it where it is needed. So a smaller investment where it is really needed can have a bigger impact than some futuristic fantasy.

    • Matthew R Marler

      John M: Why am I wrong?

      What is the opportunity cost of that 0.2%, or do you believe, as Krugman always seems to believe, that extra money can always be spent at no cost? It takes time, $$$, labor, attention and a lot of paper work to do anything, so there is a cost of directing that much money out of other projects. Should California invest that money in more, larger and better water control projects during the next 20 years?

      the other problem is the rather abstract case that CO2 reductions will produce any benefits at all. I think that the case for benefits from rapid CO2 reduction (as contrasted with a gradual “BAU” shift away from fossil fuels as they become more expensive) is full of holes.

      Have those MIT writers ever actually run a successful project like a few pizza stores, construction of a housing project, or the construction of a road? How stuff gets done is a lot more messy than toting up a bunch of pluses and minuses based on a lot of other accounting. Krugman, you’ll recall, was such a big fan of the stimulus that he advocated that it consist of a lot more money; but the stimulus did not in fact have a good record.

      • Well in this case Krugman did a rather straightforward calculation of net present value of GDP projections, so I don’t have any reason to doubt his conclusion except insofar as the projections may be overly optimistic. I think that the Chamber’s study is if anything pessimistic on costs balances this to a degree. Opportunity costs should also account for the MIT study which suggests people/government expenditures related to emission based health issues would be lower. This is of course the overall economic perspective rather than specific entities/individuals. I think actual policy implementation would have to take into account regions more heavily reliant on heavy CO2 emission based energy, though it would be doable if we could ever get to talking policy rather than the name calling that seems to dominate our discourse.

    • Maybe because you are quoting a left wing economist whose track record regarding the “Great Recession” has been abysmal?

    • There is of course no empirical data linking human co2 to climate change. Only models, narratives of like minded people and “theory’.

      Wrong enough right there.

      A cargo cult for an overcrowded and unproductive research/academic culture hooked on a similar political central planning appeal. That’s it in a nutshell.

    • Because asserted economics are wrong. As bad as Lord Sterns. Prof. Tol has already deconstructed Sterns latest foolishness.
      Go to the sources. Work out the numbers youself. EIA/IER Levelized cost of wind about half of what it really, because the system costs of covering intermittency are omitted. And that is assuming 20 year life when bearings are failing in less than 10. No real CCS anywhere, but the few foolish subsidized projects are coming in at $7 to $8k/kw of capacity. Today’s nuclear is 4, so CCS would double electricity cost from the most expensive of today’s base load options. Read my guest post here, Clean Coal, for details.

      • Are you speaking of some association IHS (organizational author of the CoC paper) has with Sterns? I figured if anything they’d be biased toward inflating costs given who asked for the study, though I don’t have any good reason to believe this is the case. For the MIT paper I can see the references, though don’t plan to shell out for the paywall. Lots of EPA stuff: ozone, fine particle, something called BenMAP to help with benefits mapping, mercury. Nothing on wind from what I can tell. Maybe one of the folks here from the ivory tower can peek behind the paywall.

        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2342.html

        Anyway all I’m getting at is there seem to be lots of reasons to believe moving away from CO2 emissions wouldn’t be the catastrophe that some would claim. Maybe these MIT authors are part of the “groupthink” Dr. Curry often refers to?

        PS Whatever link you’re using when you post is being deleted.

      • What Krugman accepted was the projection of a cost of $50.2 billion a year with some vague promise that it would reduce emissions 40% (off of 2005 numbers!). That’s $167 per man, woman, child, per year ($668/year for a family of four if you assume poor people in this country don’t get exempted from paying).
        $50 billion a year (for 16 years, don’t forget) would – as Krugman also notes but disagrees with somewhat, mean 224,000 lost jobs a year.
        It also wouldn’t accomplish the goal. How do I know, but that’s about in line with what Germany is spending on a per-person basis with their suite of global warming energy prices (just counting electricity!) and it’s doubtful they’ll get 40% reductions out of it. Here’s some detail on costs: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/high-costs-and-errors-of-german-transition-to-renewable-energy-a-920288.html

        Finally, if you are an AGW true believer, 40% reductions means certain death of the planet- anything less than 85% does if you believe the warm message. And that first $50 billion is for the easy stuff. You need to double at least, probably triple the annual cost. For giggles, let’s say you only need to double it. $100 billion for 16 years is $1.6 trillion, about the cost of Obamacare.
        Why do you think that’s cheap?

      • John, whole comment did not post due to device used. My bad. Krugmans economics are as bad as Sterns. A bunch of WAGs input into a net present value calculation results in a NPV WAG. Learned that at business school, and have seen many bankrupt companies that relied on same.
        ItnismKrugmans starting assumptions that are faulty. Thatnismproven by the experiences in Great Britain since 2007, by the German Energiewende, and by Spain. Take the mitigation costs up–a lot. Take out some of the dubious benefits. Example,,in themIS the direct medical,costs of obesity (diabetes,,hypertension, decubitus ulcers…) now exceed the total,cost of treating cancer. Reduced health costs? Only in some model whose assumptions predetermine its conclusions.

    • That’s 2030 – not 2050.

  59. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    angech among many is increasingly embracing broad-spectrum denial [from recent posts]:

    * “No Pekka, there has been no recent temperature rise”

    * “Warmer climate is going to cause damage in several ways … NOT!”

    * “I would be saying grace and a lot of other prayers if people [gravimetry scientists] had anything useful to say.

    * “Gravimetry scientists determined to make a right finding […] buckle under pressure.”

    Science-and-engineering background  Climate Etc readers are invited to verify for themselves that GRACE satellite interferometers achieve remarkable strain sensitivity; measuring distance changes to a few parts in 10^{-11}.

    GRACE interferometry is sufficiently sensitive that many skeptics (angech for example) believes that ice-mass loss inferred from gravimetric interferometry can’t be real!

    Healing climate-change understanding  Angech, it may heal your understanding to learn, that the land-based LIGO gravimetric interferometers routinely operate with strain sensitivities of order 10^{-21} or better … which is 10,000,000,000 times better sensitivity even than the GRACE space-born interferometers!

    Integrity in gravimetry  Moreover, despite immense peer-pressure to report gravity-wave detection, through 20 years and more of research, the LIGO scientists have never buckled under pressure to report bogus findings.

    The good news  Can conspiracy-centric ideation ever be reversed?

    Yes it can!

    Skeptics like angech and Peter Lang can take comfort in appreciating that (1) the tools of science suffice to detect the physical reality of global warming, and (2) the integrity of science suffices to report that warming accurately.

    Further reading  James Hansen’s latest communication Speaking Truth to Power — and to Friends is worth reading (as usual)!

    Good on `yah Jim Hansen, for patiently and politely speaking truth to friends!

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    • A fan of *MORE* discourse | September 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
      “The good news Can conspiracy-centric ideation ever be reversed?
      Yes it can!”
      And I will help you Fan,
      Put a red hat on for hope and understanding and follow your creed
      Three simple steps to understanding.
      1. Repeat Hot weather makes ice grow in the Antarctic
      for 30 years.
      2. Corollary, hush cold weather makes ice shrink, like in the Arctic.
      3. Measuring the distance apart and speed of 2 satellites in space orbiting the earth to the width of a human hair with no margin for error [damn those drift recalculations], and taking into account unknown factors with respect to the true values for water depth, water weight at different salt concentrations, ice depth magma flows, volcanic activity etc [ie making a lot of guesses], plus taking human motivation on board [like CO2 increase must melt ice surely] can give you an accurate measurement of the volume ice in Antarctica.
      Got it? welcome to the ideation free side, Fan.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Science-minded Climate Etc readers may wish to verify for themselves that GRACE satellites travelling at a velocity $\latex v\simeq 10^8\ \text{km/s}$, above a mass-concentration of total mass m, experience a relative spatial shift \delta that is of order

           \delta \simeq Gm/v^2

      where G is Newton’s gravitational constant (note that in leading order the orbital height of the satellite does not enter).

      Plugging in numbers (try it!), we find that a 100×100 km sheet of ice, one meter thick, induces a satellite separation of order 10 microns.

      Well hey! That’s a large-enough gravity-induced separation that (over many observations) the GRACE interferometers can observe it plainly.

      No wonder NASA is planning further GRACE missions that will use laser interferometers to observe ice-melting with even *higher* resolution.

      Good on yah, NASA!

      Conclusion  By circling the earth 15 times per day, for years on end, observing constantly, the GRACE satellites *can* do see plainly what some denialists claim is impossible to see at all: gravitational shifts from melting ice-caps.

      Angech, it is a pleasure to help illuminate your physical comprehension with simple mathematical calculations.

      Good on yah for pointing Climate Etc readers toward good calculations, angech!

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      • Does a gif work?

        ‘To sense gravity in free-fall, GRACE will deploy a pair of identical satellites in the same orbit — one satellite 220 km (137 miles) ahead of the other. As the pair circle Earth, regions of slightly stronger gravity will affect the lead satellite first, pulling it slightly away from the trailing satellite. By monitoring the distance between the two with extraordinary precision (the satellites can sense a change of separation of one micron — about 1/50th the width of a human hair), GRACE will be able to detect minute fluctuations in the gravitational field.’

        Yes you might like to check as FOMBS is typically so incompetent at technical thingies.

        The point really is that g is not constant.

        ‘Beginning in 2002, researchers looking at sea level rise led by Dr. Burt Wouters used satellites to take monthly measurements of Greenland and Antarctica’s glaciers–the largest potential sources of rising tides–in an effort dubbed Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).

        The study found that the two land masses lost about 300 tonnes of ice to the ocean each year of the study.

        However, the 9-year length of the research was insufficient to determine if the melt-off was part of an accelerating trend (ie caused by humans) or part of an ebb and flow of natural processes.

        The study found it had almost enough data to conclude Antarctica’s ice sheets are melting as part of an increasing trend with a ‘reasonable level of confidence.

        However, Wouters’ team said another decade of data is needed before the same is true for Greenland.

        Since current ice melt data could indicate variable climate trends and aren’t necessarily part of an accelerating trend, the study warned that predictions of future sea-level rise should not be based on measurements of glacial loss’ Daily Mail.

        Almost enough – GRACE is a fantastic system for tracking water resources.

      • Thanks, Rob.
        Should thank Fan for bringing up ice-mass loss “inferred” from gravimetric interferometry. His words. As you mentioned gravity changes due to many causes, also orbital drift and large guesses with potential biases make the estimates of total ice volume have very large error bars.
        The notion that as sea ice extent has been increasing for 30 years, showing to all that the Antarctic is getting colder, should somehow mysteriously cause ice to disappear from the top of the continent over that time is like the missing heat in the ocean.
        Unbelievable. Inconceivable and yes Fan I know what that word means.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Ellison accepts that “GRACE is a fantastic system for tracking water resources.

        Thank you, Rob Ellison, for reminding Climate Etc readers that polar ice-mass is just one of *MANY* water resources!

        Thank you angech, for inspiring *SIMPLE* calculations that allow Climate Etc reader to verify for *THEMSELVES* the simple physical principles of by which GRACE acts.

        Conclusion  Good on all of `yah, for helping to diminish humanity’s climate-change ignorance, Rob Ellison, angech, and the international community of GRACE scientists!

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  60. Matthew R Marler

    Judith Curry: I’ve been invited by several venues to write an op-ed related to my recent presentation at the National Press Club.

    Of course I have an opinion, because I am an opinionated person, but you didn’t ask so I’ll shut up. I am sure that no one else wants to know either.

  61. Well done Judith.
    The science of CO2 is pretty well understood. The science of global climate change is pretty well misunderstood at this point in time. Too many variables, and far too little data to draw long term conclusions. Currently we have mixed signals including a very warm N.Pacific, fizzling El Nino, record polar ice, solar activity heading for the basement, and Canada bracing for another polar vortex winter. The next 20 years don’t look so hot in spite of rising CO2. I think we can safely reject GCM projections as lacking in predictive power.

    Projections of dire consequences due to manmade warming overlook the historical evidence that warmer times were quite beneficial to plants, animals and man (Climate Optimum Period), while cold periods (LIA) were extraordinarily harsh. Maybe time for a fresh look at our future climate with all known variables under consideration.

  62. The hypothesis of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a narrative of fear with no merit.
    i) fear of man made rising temperatures
    ii) fear of melting ice cap’s
    iii) fear of rising seas
    iv) fear of acidic oceans
    v) fear of extreme weather
    vi) fear of species extinctions
    vii) fear of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s)
    viii) fear, fear and more fear

    oop’s item “vii)” was meant for another political thread but you get what I mean.

    Fear is a very effective political tool and very hard to dispel as the big lie of WMD’s demonstrated, their are still many people that chose to believe that porky.

    Isn’t cAGW just another WMD’s designed to scare the sheeple into stampeding into another ridiculous war, this time a global war on climate change.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Your narrative inspires poetic reflection, SunSpot …

      Cold Denial

      Uncertainty for mistress Curry — FUD for the Donna-maid
      Kaczinsky for the Heartland, cunning at its trade.
      “Abuse!” spews the Steyn-man, obeisant to the Kochs,
      For distilled ideology — denialists look to Tony Watts.

         — with apologies to Rudyard Kipling

      This pome’s for you, Beth!

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

      • Fan

        Fortunately another stanza of the poem has excitingly come to light

        Corals are for the desperate-many colours for the bold!
        Boreholes and power for mighty men who dare to take and mould!
        “Nay!” said the President kneeling in his hall
        but rings -tree rings- is master of men all!
        tree rings out of Yamal is fooling great men all!

        tonyb (aka Rudyard Kipling)

      • The pome is fer u fan. Compliments of
        Robert Frost.

        …I felt my stand point shaken
        In the universal crisis,
        But with one step backward taken
        I saved myself from going…

        http://allpoetry.com/One-Step-Backward-Taken

      • An everlasting story, so it seems,
        maunderings of global warming
        till the cows come home or pigeons
        return ter the loft. Black swans aloft,
        episodesof Armageddon, or worse,
        tipping points,typhoons and other
        things adverse, in each episode,
        each new infilling of missing records,
        some new high, seas rising,
        (land subsiding edited out,
        it’s deux ex machina in this story.)
        Heh, fear and guilt make a good read.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      That is a fine poem Beth, for which many thanks are given.

      Here is one that accretes new meanings decade-by-decade … sadly … as again this week warriors bleed upon oil-rich sands:

       EASTER HYMN 
      MARKET FORCES

      If in that Syrian garden, ages slain,
      You sleep, and know not you are dead in vain,
      Nor even in dreams behold how dark and bright
      Ascends in smoke and fire by day and night

      The hate you died to quench and could but fan,
      Sleep well and see no morning, son of man.

      But if, the grave rent and the stone rolled by,
      At the right hand of majesty on high
      You sit, and sitting so remember yet
      Your tears, your agony and bloody sweat
      ,

      Your cross and passion and the life you gave,
      Bow hither out of heaven and see and save.

      Verses by A. E. Houseman, graphics by FOMD.

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    • Sun Spot, I’ve remarked several times that warmists seem to be those who fear life rather than embracing it. There are proportionally many fewer people living in fear today than erstwhile as a result of the worldwide economic development triggered by the Industrial Revolution and its consequences.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Here’s one for Faustino *AND* Beth!

        Poem 324

        Some keep the Sabbath going to Church —
        I keep it, staying at Home —
        With a Bobolink for a Chorister —
        And an Orchard, for a Dome —

        Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice —
        I just wear my Wings —
        And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
        Our little Sexton — sings.

        God preaches, a noted Clergyman —
        And the sermon is never long,
        So instead of getting to Heaven, at last —
        I’m going, all along.

            — Emily Dickensen

        Question  What *is* the market-value of a Bobolink?

        Answer  Emily Dickenson perceives a living reality that Ayn Rand cannot value (or even conceive).

        *THIS* home-spin reality is evident to *MOST* folks, eh Climate Etc readers?

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

  63. I sure like your Op-Ed Judy – it is very polite and civil and yet says what needs to be said. Of course there is more to be said that may not be the style in academic mainstream. Well, I am not an academic, I do not belong to a pressure group if you don’t count Anthony’s startup, I have no sponsors, academic, industrial, financial, or charitable, and I have to thank Al Gore for getting me into climate science. I was already retired when he showed a movie and claimed that a twenty foot sea rise was on the way and would wipe out Florida. I knew this was complete BS and did some research on it. It was quite true that sea level was rising – at the rate of 2.46 millimeters a year or just under 10 inches, not 20 feet per century. And then he gets a Nobel Prize for that garbage. This made me mad and I submitted a paper both to Science and to Nature. It got turned down without even a peer review. I had done considerable research for that, I did some more, and published it all as a book called “What Warming?” There is much in it still that is far ahead of the so-called “climate” scientists who babble on about the greenhouse effect. I want to tackle that because the greenhouse effect is currently being touted as the cause of anthropogenic global warming or AGW. And stopping AGW requires emission controls or whatever will stop that greenhouse warming that they want to impose upon us. Going back a little. James Hansen told the U.S. Senate in 1988 that he personally had proved the existence of the greenhouse effect. There was a100 year warming, he said, that culminated in the warmest temperature ever recorded. There was only a 1 percent chance that this could happen by accident. His conclusion was that the earth was warming by an amount which was too large to be a chance fluctuation, hence the “…greenhouse effect has been detected, and is changing our climate now…” But if you check his temperature curve in the Congressional Record you find that thirty of these 100 years were definitely not greenhouse years and an equal number showed cooling, not warming. That of course nullifies his claim of having spotted the greenhouse effect in that temperature curve but he was accepted at face value and still claims the greenhouse effect as his own. In atmospheric physics the greenhouse effect was most distinctly introduced by Svante Arrhenius. He found that carbon dioxide in his laboratory absorbed infrared radiation and became warm. He made a rough calculation and announced that doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would raise global temperature by four to five degrees Celsius. With better measurements today this Arrhenius warming comes out as 1.1 degrees Celsius. We are talking of course about the greenhouse effect from added carbon dioxide or the enhanced greenhouse effect. 1.1 degrees, however, is not threatening so the brains at IPCC decided that water vapor feedback should increase the original Arrhenius warming by a factor of two or three. And that is how we arrive at the danger level predictions of two to three degrees from doubling of CO2. There was no way of arguing with that until nature intervened and stopped global warming in its tracks. According to whose source you use this hiatus or pause of warming has lasted either 15, 17, or 29 years by now. I will go with 17. This in itself would not be a big deal except that the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide did not stop and has kept on increasing until this day. The Arrhenius greenhouse theory requires that a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide should be accompanied by a parallel rise in global temperature but this is not happening. If you are a scientist and your theory predicts warming but nothing happens for 17 years you are justified in assuming that the theory is false and and belongs in the waste basket of history. There is a spot for it there, right next to phlogiston, another failed theory of heat. The only greenhouse theory left standing now is the Miskolczi greenhouse theory or MGT. It came out in 2007 but was immediately blacklisted by the IPCC. That is why you have not heard of it. It predicts what we see: addition of carboin dioxide to the armosphere does not warm the air. It differs from the Arrhenius theory in being able to handle more than one greenhouse gas simultaneously absorbing in the infrared. Arrhenius can handle only one, carbon dioxide, and is incomplete. According to MGT the two major greenhouse gases, Carbon dioxide and water vapor, establish a joint optimum absorption window in the infra red. Its optical thickness in IR is fixed at 1.87. If you now add carbon dioxide to air it will start to absorb just as the Arrhenius theory tells us. But that will increase the optical thickness. And as soon as this happens, water vapor will start to diminish, rain out, and the original optical thickness is restored. The added carbon dioxide of course will continue to absorb but the reduction of water vapor will keep total absorption constant and as a result this absorption by CO2 is unable to cause any warming. This is why we have no warming now despite a constant increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This is of great importance to climate science. First, it makes a runaway greenhouse effect impossible. That is why extremely high carbon dioxide in geologic history never caused any runaway warming. It also makes Hansen;’s threat that burning fossil fuels will lead to runaway greenhouse warming futile. Secondly, it also makes the enhanced greenhouse effect impossible. And since the enhanced greenhouse effect is currently said to cause AGW it follows that AGW itself does not exist either. It is nothing more than pseudo-scientific fantasy, dreamed up by an over-eager “climate” scientist to justify their greenhouse hypothesis.To summarize: Hansen did not discover the greenhouse effect; anthropogenic global warming is a fantasy; all measures to suppress the imaginary greenhouse warming must be stopped.

    P.S.: Since huge savings follow, I want ro be rewarded for making this possible.

  64. VTG
    LOL @ you attempting to claim it is physics that tells you how conditions will be as a result of additional CO2.

    VTG writes- “The problem is, any argument for adaptation always *starts* with cherrypicking the science.”

    My response- Physics is really telling us little about how the system will act over timescales important to humans making policy decisions. You are not being honest when you write that “adaptation” always starts with cherry picking the arguments.

    The opposite seems to be the truth. In order to make a reasonable case for (most) mitigation actions it is necessary to make unsupportable claims for high probability events that will come about at higher CO2 levels. When these disasters simply do not occur, the alarmists claim that they will occur….just be patient.

    What science have I cherry picked? I have asked what is the basis for your concerns about future conditions when you have acknowledged that GCM are unreliable. What IS your reliable information?

    How much will temperature rise over the next 15 years?

    What areas of the planet will be harmed vs. benefit?

    You want people to incur additional costs but you have a difficult time in being specific regarding why.

    • Rob,

      like Judith’s op-ed, you seem to be confusing the present and the future.

      The predicted temperature rise at 2100 under RCP8.5 is 2.5 to 7.8 degrees above preindustrial. Average. Even the lower bound is a very big deal.

      Only by concentrating on low ball cherrypicks and short timescales can you put a case for adaptation.

      • The higher the sensitivity, the colder it would now be without man’s input.
        ================

      • VTG

        RCP8.5 is hardly a reliable projection of future temperature rise.

        Lets assume that it was and a 2.5 degree temp rise from preindustrial occurs–so what is your largest worry?

        It is not the temp change that is of great importance. It is the supposed other changes that somehow all seem to be negative. I suppose your largest fear should be a rapid increase in the rate of sea level rise, but somehow there is ZERO evidence of an increase in the rate since we have has reasonably reliable means of measurements. Why is that do you think???

      • Wow imagine if someone had invented a RCP 120.78

        Yes, if your butt falls off it will be hard to sit down.

        RCP 8.5 and monkeys might fly out of your butt

    • The following quote from Koonin is profound and elegant:
      “But feedbacks are uncertain. They depend on the details of processes such as evaporation and the flow of radiation through clouds. They cannot be determined confidently from the basic laws of physics and chemistry, so they must be verified by precise, detailed observations that are, in many cases, not yet available.”

  65. ‘Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space.’ (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

    We are unable to separate vigorous natural variability from anthropogenic change and the tools with which a pretense is made of projecting changes forward are ludicrously ill suited for the purpose. Deterministic chaos is at the core of both models and climate. Climate shifts unpredictably at multi-decadal scales producing extreme variability at centennial to millennial scales.

    The arguments for adaptation are not to anthropogenic extremes – the limits of natural variability of droughts and floods far exceed what was seen in the 20th century. With high certainty.

    Moy et al (2002) present the record of sedimentation shown above which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability. It is based on the presence of greater and less red sediment in a lake core. More sedimentation is associated with El Niño. It has continuous high resolution coverage over 12,000 years. It shows periods of high and low ENSO activity alternating with a period of about 2,000 years. There was a shift from La Niña dominance to El Niño dominance some 5,000 years ago that was identified by Tsonis (2009) as a chaotic bifurcation – and is associated with the drying of the Sahel. There is a period around 3,500 years ago of high ENSO activity associated with the demise of the Minoan civilisation (Tsonis et al, 2010). The red intensity during the time of Minoan decline exceeded 200 – compared to 99 in the 97/98 El Nino.

    Building resilience to climate variability that will happen regardless remains a central objective of rational policy. Economic development is the core of building long term resilience. Fast mitigation is not merely possible with reductions in population pressures and emissions of black carbon, tropospheric ozone, methane, CFC’s and nitrous oxide – but are outcomes of health, education and economic development strategies. We may also reduce carbon emissions by building soil fertility and conserving and restoring ecosystems. There are practical and pragmatic approaches that provide real no regrets pollicy options.

    Significant mitigation through changing energy systems prior to 2030 seems unlikely however. This shows some increase in renewables – always questionable – but ever increasing use of fossil fuels.

    This is not likely to change unless the underlying economics change. The only way to do that is with accelerated energy innovation. Small modular nuclear reactors should change the energy equation.

    In the US the argument is about accelerating the retirement of coal powered generation in favour of gas. The shift to gas generation seems pretty much business as usual and the new rules a grab at political relevance.

    Neither the science or the policy from the extreme progressives seem at all rational – it is what appears to be a millennialist psychopathology. More of a problem than a pragmatic policy option.


  66. WebHubTelescope | September 23, 2014 at 11:57 am |

    Totally delusional by AK.

    Anybody that has worked diffusional problems and has done slab calculations knows about the 1/2 ratio.

    Like with the Bose-Einstein statistics fiasco, these deniers don’t have a clue about statistical mechanics, continuity equations, or transport theory.

    Why are putting up with this monster of misinformation?

    The carbon cycle is not a diffusion problem – it simply is not.

    And the Bose-Einstein fiasco is webnutcolonoscope. He insists he knows something but of course refuses to define and was MIA – presumed incompetent – in the relevant post.

    • Delusional?

      Floating City

      It is a true amphibian half aquatic and half terrestrial city, able to accommodate 50,000 inhabitants and inviting the biodiversity to develop its fauna and flora around a central lagoon of soft water collecting and purifying the rain waters. This artificial lagoon is entirely immersed ballasting thus the city. It enables to live in the heart of the subaquatic depths. The multifunctional programming is based on three marinas and three mountains dedicated respectively to the work, the shops and the entertainments. The whole set is covered by a stratum of planted housing in suspended gardens and crossed by a network of streets and alleyways with organic outline. The goal is to create a harmonious coexistence of the couple Human / Nature and to explore new modes of living the sea by building with fluidity collective spaces in proximity, overwhelming spaces of social inclusion suitable to the meeting of all the inhabitants – denizen or foreign-born, recent or old, young or aged people.

      The floating structure in « branches » of the Ecopolis is directly inspired of the highly ribbed leave of the great lilypad of Amazonia Victoria Regia increased 250 times. Coming from the family of Nympheas, this aquatic plant with exceptional plasticity was discovered by the German botanist Thaddeaus Haenke and dedicated to the Queen Victoria of England in the 19th Century. The double skin is made of polyester fibres covered by a layer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) like an anatase which by reacting to the ultraviolet rays enable to absorb the atmospheric pollution by photocatalytic effect. Entirely autosufficient, Lilypad takes up the four main challenges launched by the OECD in March 2008: climate, biodiversity, water and health. It reached a positive energetic balance with zero carbone emission by the integration of all the renewable energies (solar, thermal and photovoltaic energies, wind energy, hydraulic, tidal power station, osmotic energies, phytopurification, biomass) producing thus durably more energy that it consumes! True biotope entirely recyclable, this floating Ecopolis tends thus towards the positive eco-accountancy of the building in the oceanic ecosystems by producing and softening itself the oxygen and the electricity, by recycling the CO2 and the waste, by purifying and softening biologically the used waters and by integrating ecological niches, aquaculture fields and biotic corridors on and under its body to meet its own food needs.

  67. Dana: “Climate scientists Michael Oppenheimer and Kevin Trenberth also took issue with Koonin’s assertion about the impact of human activity, saying,
    Warming is well beyond natural climate variability and projected rates of change are potentially faster than ecosystems, farmers and societies can adapt to without major disruptions. Many details remain to be settled, and weather and natural variability will always mask some effects, especially regionally. But economic analysis of these risks supports substantial action beyond “no regrets” strategies. To argue otherwise as Koonin does is to ignore decades of research results.”
    —–

    Here’s a story about Richard Feynman, he’s on the way to a lecture, he walks thru a car park, and notices a licence plate ARW 357, he then tells the students “You know, the most amazing thing happened to me tonight… I saw a car with the license plate ARW 357. Can you imagine? Of all the millions of license plates in the state, what was the chance that I would see that particular one tonight? Amazing!”
    (h/t Dick Lindzen)

    Feynman recognized that statements concerned with probability and chance, such as those made by Oppenheimer and Trenberth (and the IPCC for that matter), can be fallacies.

    The probabilities are CONSTRUCTED, that is to say, they are dependent on the boundaries from which they are created. Koonins piece reflects climate sciences’ high degree of uncertainty, which is another way of saying we don’t know where the boundaries lie.

    Pick a number between 1 and 10, and ask yourself if that number is random?

    • X –

      ==> “Koonins piece reflects climate sciences’ high degree of uncertainty,”

      Does it really reflect the high degree of uncertainty as to whether ACO2 emissions might cause harmful climate change?

      • Joshua said: Does it really reflect the high degree of uncertainty as to whether ACO2 emissions might cause harmful climate change?

        What does “uncertainty as to whether something might cause harm” even mean?

        But yes, if you had bothered to read the editorial, you would see that he is very explicit about showing that modeling does an extremely poor job of making specific predictions about the impacts of climate changes.

        Certainly any set of changes will include both positive and negative effects from the viewpoint of those being affected. However, the claim that the current climate is “just right” and any change will be catastrophic is not supported by the science.

        That doesn’t mean it’s not true; it’s just that we don’t know. The conservative crowd (to which you belong) fears any change and attempts to maintain the status quo at all costs. That fear, though, is the fear of the unknown, not the fear of something well-understood scientifically.

      • ==> “However, the claim that the current climate is “just right” and any change will be catastrophic is not supported by the science.”

        Although that is how many SWIRLCAREs characterize the arguments of the “consensus” climate scientists, that isn’t actually the argument I see being made very often by climate scientists. Characterizing one side of the debate as saying that is roughly the equivalent as saying that all SWIRLCAREs say that there is no GHE.

        So it is an empty argument. It leads nowhere other than same ol’ same ol.’

        Here, allow me to quote mwgrant:

        mwgrant | September 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        IMO t purpose of the debate should have been to identify and characterize the issues and arrive/move toward a resolution (in the sense of actions/no action). The debate has failed because ‘minds are settled’ — sides are entrenched, lines between the science and the politics are blurred, the issues have not been characterized much less resolved, and rigor mortis has set in. Rational decision making is off the radar.

        Bingo!

        ==> ” The conservative crowd (to which you belong) fears any change and attempts to maintain the status quo at all costs.”

        Funny how a group to which I belong, based on my beliefs, has a set of beliefs that I don’t agree with and I don’t know anyone who does.

      • Joshua says, “Does it really reflect the high degree of uncertainty as to whether ACO2 emissions might cause harmful climate change?”

        Of course not, because all of the data suggests otherwise. A little more CO2 is good for the soul, as well as for mankind. Historically, we are in a CO2 drought. Don’t you agree, Joshua?

      • Bob –

        I’m not going to go chase your squirrels until you weigh in here.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/21/an-unsettled-climate/#comment-632047

      • Here is what he said:
        “But feedbacks are uncertain. They depend on the details of processes such as evaporation and the flow of radiation through clouds. They cannot be determined confidently from the basic laws of physics and chemistry, so they must be verified by precise, detailed observations that are, in many cases, not yet available.”

      • Good move, joshie. Don’t answer bob. He is trying to trick you into committing more of your trademark unintended irony. Actually, you should leave now. Bart had the good sense and decency to stop the foolishness. Emulate Bart. You are killing the cause.

      • xanonymousblog

        If you make a big song and dance about global warming being important, then wouldn’t low climate sensitivity be just as disastrous (from an alarmist viewpoint) since as Koonin states “climate is always changing”, and they’d be sweet f-all you could do about it if sensitivity was low.

        People often confuse low sensitivity being equal to low change. That’s only true from an external forcing perspective.

        For every argument there is an equal and opposite argument.

        I don’t have a problem with people taking “climate change” seriously, as long as they don’t force such behaviour on to others. The science is not settled enough for this type of authoritarian governance

  68. Climate Scientist

    Why are the tropical oceans still cold in the depths? Why don’t they become isothermal like you think the troposphere would have been without that most-prolific of all greenhouse pollutants, water vapour sending all that warming back radiation back to the surface to warm it to a higher temperature than it was when it sent the original radiation and cooled in doing so.

    Well the tropical oceans are colder in the depths because the poles act as a heat sink. Isothermals (such as 4 degrees C) are deep down in the tropics, but break out at the surface in the polar regions.

    So too would the atmosphere be colder at the base for the same reason. If the whole globe were paved in black asphalt the surface would be about 235K – nearly 40 degrees below freezing. You can work it out yourself with an on-line Stefan Boltzmann calculator using solar radiative flux of 161W/m^2 and emissivity 0.93.

    So there is a lot of thermal energy entering the ocean surface in non-polar regions, moving downwards through the thermocline and exiting in the polar regions.

    But why is the thin transparent ocean surface so hot? Before you say it’s the back radiation, I have to tell you that radiation from colder regions does not penetrate the warmer ocean surface more than a few nanometres. It is “pseudo scattered” because it merely raises electrons to higher energy states and then those electrons immediately drop back and emit an identical photon. The electro-magnetic energy is not converted to thermal energy, and so it does not raise the temperature.

    In fact there is a gravitationally induced temperature gradient (aka lapse rate) in any planetary troposphere, and thermal energy absorbed from solar radiation in the upper troposphere can flow up that sloping thermal profile restoring thermodynamic equilibrium as it does so, and even entering the oceans. Water vapour reduces the temperature gradient (fortunately) making the surface about 10 to 12 degrees cooler. Carbon dioxide makes it another 0.1 degree cooler for the same reason.

    • “So there is a lot of thermal energy entering the ocean surface in non-polar regions, moving downwards through the thermocline and exiting in the polar regions.”

      As long as “climate scientists” insist on indulging in fantasies that have thermal energy moving down to abyssal ocean depths and then following a cold isotherm to exit where it rises near the surface, science will never be done–let alone be settled!

    • Hi Doug – back to your nonsensical best I see. Doug is another monster of misinformation – just not as brash as webnutcolonoscope.

    • Climate Scientist

      There’s not a word of valid physics in your responses, John S and Rob Ellison. Give me one good reason why the ocean surface at, say 18C would not transfer thermal energy to colder regions below. The temperature gradient in the thermocline is quite steep you know – not too hard for thermal energy to slide down to colder regions. And how could it come back up to warmer regions? In fact, because over 90% of the solar radiation passes through the thin transparent surface layer of the oceans, you should use less than 10% of that 161W/m^2 in Stefan-Boltzmann calculations.

      Oh well, there’s still that $5,000 reward for the first person to prove me wrong with valid physics and prove with empirical evidence that water vapour at a level of 4% warms the surface about four times as much as it does in regions with 1% water vapour as the IPOCC in effect claims it would. To do so, you’d need a study such as mine which shows water vapour cools and more moist regions have lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures than drier regions at similar latitudes and altitudes. But you’d need to show the opposite.

      It’s been six months now since my book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All” was published and no one in the world has been able to present such a study of real world data, even though it would only take a few hours of work to claim the $5,000. I rest my case, because the Second Law of Thermodynamics can be used to prove that “heat creep” occurs.

    •  Climate  Scientist

      (continued)

      Pour a jug of boiling water into the middle of a bath tub with shallow cold water in it. Doesn’t the thermal energy spread away from the source moving from the warmed region to all the cooler regions? Thermal energy moves this way you know, restoring thermodynamic equilibrium as it does so. But in a gravitational field in a planet’s troposphere, the state of thermodynamic equilibrium (with maximum entropy) has a thermal gradient which is reduced in magnitude by inter-molecular radiation, mostly between water vapour molecules. In water itself, such radiation eclipses the gravitationally induced temperature gradient. But in the case of the thermocline, we are talking about a far steeper temperature gradient, hotter at the top, because there is a continuing supply of new thermal energy from the base of the troposphere in sunlit hours.

      The solar radiation cannot possibly raise the transparent surface layer of the oceans to the observed temperature. If you use S-B calculations, the flux is less than 10% of 161W/m^2.

      So what kind of world do you two live in – one in which there is no Second Law of Thermodynamics?

      “The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

      —Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927).

      • Agreed. The dominance of negative feedbacks over the millions of years that comprise the climate time series is surely the main reason that we all exist today? The idea of a runaway positive feedback happening to the Earth’s climate seems contrary to the 2nd Law of TD.

    • Jimmy Dee grabs the wrong end of the stick as usual. Stephens puts SW surface flux at 165W/m2.

      Not even close and no cigar Jimmy Dee.

      • Why don’t you add the 345 W/m2 longwave? It is the wrong input for a temperature calculation unless you do. Does the temperature drop to absolute zero at night? What is this BS?

      • Well SW was mentioned – the difference between a SB calculation and temperature measurement gives the greenhouse effect. You can’t do a valid temperature calc. assuming no atmosphere.

        But you can’t neglect the terms of the equation Jimmy Dee without showing how dumb you are. Doug is BS – but not for the reason you stated.

      • He does a temperature calculation without the longwave input. That’s his error right there. Where’s my $5000? How does he account for the South Pole not being at absolute zero after six months of darkness?

      • Making up nonsense scenarios doesn’t help your credibility Jimbo – it is zilch at any rate.

      • You want to defend his use of 161 W/m2, go ahead.

      • I defend nothing – Doug is BS. But he did specify solar flux – which makes you what Jimbo? A serial dissembler with pretensions to understanding Bose-Einstein statistics? LOL.

  69. ‘The recently appointed UN Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio stated “The debate is over. Climate change is happening now.”’

    Leo di Caprio recently flew (super long-haul from Oz) to celebrate New Year twice in the same day. Really.

    Now this from the Murdoch press:

    ‘Apple chief Tim Cook, days after launching the iPhone 6, travelled to New York to pledge that the tech giant would prioritise low-carbon growth.’

    So Tim Cook would rather make a jet trail than email – though he does have access to a number of electronic devices. But I can’t say for sure that he made a jet trail this time because even Murdoch journalists (most of whom have as much green sludge on the brain as their Guardian counterparts) have at last been trained to say “travel” instead of “fly”.

    As part of the struggle to save the planet thingy, it now seems there’s going to be a Peace Offensive on unflattering language.

    • Anyone else notice the uncanny resemblance of di Caprio to a squirrel?

    • ‘In a move that would likely make Jordan Belfort say, “Whoa, that is absurdly extravagant, bro,” Belfort’s Wolf of Wall Street portrayer, Leonardo DiCaprio, has reportedly taken over the fifth-largest super-yacht in the world for World Cup partying purposes. According to the Daily Mail, DiCaprio and 20 of his friends are going to be staying on the $678 million, 482-foot yacht—named Topaz—during the weeks-long sporting event.’
      Vanity Fair

      Of course you have to fly in 30 women and a copious supply of squirrel food – er – cocaine.

      • A jet setter being the poster boy for global warming, is like a big game hunter shooting an ad for animal conservation while standing on his latest quarry.

      • It’s like a Borgia pope relaxing with his mistress after a hard day’s piety. Pope Alexander had his plenary indulgences, Leo has his carbon offsets.

        Each time Leo takes to the skies I’m sure there’s a tree planted somewhere…or at least a plan for a tree somewhere…or discussion of a plan for tree somewhere. But we mustn’t sweat the small stuff. It’s about the planet, dude.

      • @ mosomoso

        >It’s like a Borgia pope relaxing with his mistress after a hard day’s piety

        I quite like that :)

  70. Climate scientists Michael Oppenheimer and Kevin Trenberth also took issue with Koonin’s assertion about the impact of human activity, saying,
    Warming is well beyond natural climate variability and projected rates of change are potentially faster than ecosystems, farmers and societies can adapt to without major disruptions. Many details remain to be settled, and weather and natural variability will always mask some effects, especially regionally. But economic analysis of these risks supports substantial action beyond “no regrets” strategies. To argue otherwise as Koonin does is to ignore decades of research results.”

    Uncertainty is ubiquitous – but this does extend to simple metrics. The rate of change across natural climate regimes is some 0.07 degrees C/decade. The projected rates of change are less than or equal to zero for decades from 2002 in the current cool decadal mode. Kevin (surely it isn’t decadal) Trenberth continues to deny the most obvious scientific reality. It is decadal. This is not science – it is cognitive dissonance. .

    And the objective is to take all of the no-regrets options more or less immediately – once we can get a critical focus on the real issue here. Including accelerating technology development. The alternative is higher energy costs, lower productivity and relatively more marginalized poor. Without much progress on emissions as there are no cost effective zilch carbon technologies ready to slot in on a big enough scale. We will now when there are – they will be deployed.

    • … does not extend…

    • Warming is well beyond natural climate variability

      Except the warming from 1910 through 1945 was about 1.5C per century.
      And the warming since 1979 through today is about 1.5C per century.

      Other than that, sure, well beyond natural climate variability.

  71. It is curious that warming believers so cavalierly dismiss natural variability.

    Here are two extremes: (1) natural variability’s contribution to global warming is negligible compared with the warming from increased CO2, and (2) the effect of increased CO2 is negligible compared with natural variations in the earth’s surface temperature.

    It would appear from his post that Pekka Pirila (comment 9/23 3:57 am) accepts (1) above, as do many in the climate science community. I would be interested in their rationales for that.

    There is a clear reason to think that (2) may be true. That is that the range of estimated temperatures for the earth over, say, the last 100,000 years, greatly dominates both the observed changes supposedly caused by CO2 over the last 150 years and the changes projected by the CAGW believers. That is, I must emphasize, a reason, not an explanation, that can and should be questioned and analyzed.

    The problem for me is that there is are no credible causal explanations for the large range of temperatures the earth has clearly experience, from the depths of the ice ages to periods that appear to have been much warmer than now. In that sense, we do not understand natural variability.

    There is some notion of “cycles”. But not all variations over time are cycles. And the mechanisms that could cause these changes have not been explored in the depth necessary to be convincing science. Perhaps volcanoes, sunspot variations or other changes affecting isolation, etc., are important (in the sense of being actual causes of large temperature variations), but those cases have yet to be made. I find it hard, for example, to take some of Vaugh Pratt’s ideas about cycles seriously when there is no convincing explanation for them. And I am doubtful that we will find simple explanations. (Not to pick on Pratt – others are proposing cycles, which is ok, but cannot provide strong arguments for them, which is the problem that bothers me.)

    The argument for action fundamentally depends on assumption 1, a very weak reed indeed.

  72. Climate Scientist

    I still stand by my prediction which was archived over three years ago and reads (on my website earth-climate.com) as follows …

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

    Also (as you can see at the foot of the Home page on that site) natural climate change is very strongly correlated with the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and nine planets.

    Within 100 years that plot (calculated from planetary orbits) shows the world will enter another period of 500 years of long-term cooling. So keep a copy of this comment and pass it on to your great grand-children.

  73.  Climate  Scientist

    I still stand by my prediction which was archived over three years ago and reads (on my first climate website) as follows …

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

    Also (as you can see at the foot of the Home page on that site) natural climate change is very strongly correlated with the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and nine planets.

    Within 100 years that plot (calculated from planetary orbits) shows the world will enter another period of 500 years of long-term cooling. So keep a copy of this comment and pass it on to your great grand-children.

    • In my view, both sides are guilty of ignoring a very important maxim: Correlation does not imply causation.

      Do you have a sound, and scientifically accepted, mechanism for your 60 year and 934 year cycles? I probably won’t keep track of predictions that are based merely on correlation.

      • But does causation imply correlation? Hmmmm …

      •  Climate  Scientist

        Yes – a good point normally, but hardly the case when it is so obvious that it can’t be the other way around. I rather doubt that Earth’s climate is affecting planetary orbits. –

      •  Climate  Scientist

        I can give you a possible reason for the (roughly) 100,000 year glacial cycles. Jupiter’s gravity affects the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit, and there is a cycle in that eccentricity that is about 100,000 years. Variations in eccentricity can be shown mathematically to cause variations in the annual mean distance between Earth and Sun, and of course the solar intensity reaching Earth varies with the square of that distance.

        Regarding the shorter term cycles, that is obviously a field for potential research. I suspect it has something to do with the effect of planetary magnetic fields on the Sun. The 60 year cycle appears to correlate with the Jupiter-Saturn resonance cycle which is about 59 years and 8 months, and obviously affects the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and nine planets. See earth-climate dot com

  74. ‘Since irradiance variations are apparently minimal, changes in the Earth’s climate that seem to be associated with changes in the level of solar activity—the Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice age for example—would then seem to be due to terrestrial responses to more subtle changes in the Sun’s spectrum of radiative output. This leads naturally to a linkage with terrestrial reflectance, the second component of the net sunlight, as the carrier of the terrestrial amplification of the Sun’s varying output.’ http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Goode_Palle_2007_JASTP.pdf

    You have to look for an amplifying mechanism. I’d suggest a solar UV/ozone interaction modulating the polar annular modes with an impact on both Pacific and Atlantic sea states and climate. For ENSO in particular we have the millennial pattern.

    More salt in the Law Dome ice core is La Nina.

    I predicted non warming a decade ago very publicly – and have suggested that the next climate shift in a decade to three is likely as not to be to yet cooler conditions as the Sun cools from the modern grand maxima. But these are chaotic shifts between attractors rather than cycles. A control variables changes and pushes the planet past a threshold and the planet responds with abrupt shifts as components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation.

    In the words of Michael Ghil (2013) the ‘global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere – each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.’

    Doug’s weird atmospheric physics aside – the ‘predictions’ are closer to reality but he has failed to identify the essential internal, chaotic mechanism. Chaos make long term climate prediction intrinsically impossible – and this comes with a risk of dynamic sensitivity at tipping points. Like it or not.

    • Thing is, we don’t want to deploy catastrophic remedial measures based on what is basically miasmic fear.

    •  Climate  Scientist

      Go back to this comment Rob.

    • Good find! Invariant TSI has been claimed to eliminate solar influence on climate.

      Lean, Dr. Judith. “Solar Spectrum, Variability, and Atmospheric Absorption.” Scientific. NASA – Science@NASA, April 6, 2011. The web page below is no longer available.
      http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/images/sunbathing/sunspectrum.htm.

      Note definition as integral over entire spectrum.
      Note concession that extreme UV and x-ray variation > 1%. If these are absorbed by atmosphere, what happens to their energy? Oxygen -> Ozone -> Oxygen

      “This image, courtesy of Dr. Judith Lean at the US Naval Research Laboratory, shows the spectrum of solar radiation from 10 to 100,000 nm (dark blue), its variability betwen Solar Maximum and Solar Minimum (green) and the relative transparency of Earth’s atmosphere at sea level (light blue). At wavelengths shorter than about 300 nm, there is a relatively large variation in the Sun’s extreme UV and x-ray output (greater than 1%), but the Earth’s atmosphere is nearly opaque at those wavelengths. For Earth-dwelling beach-goers there is no significant difference between Solar Max and solar minimum.”

      Note step-wise spectral irradiance below 10^2 nm. Sparse data?

  75. From the article:

    Naturally occurring changes in winds, not human-caused climate change, are responsible for most of the warming on land and in the sea along the West Coast of North America over the last century, a study has found.

    The analysis challenges assumptions that the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been a significant driver of the increase in temperatures observed over many decades in the ocean and along the coastline from Alaska to California.

    http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-pacific-warming-20140923-story.html

  76. And then there’s this juicy tidbit, from the article:

    India, China ignore UN climate change summit

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-china-ignore-un-climate-change-summit/article1-1267288.aspx

  77. One graph we probably would never see in a presentation by Judith would be one that shows how temperature has been varying with CO2 in the last 55 years. It’s a simple plot. A line goes through it at a sensitivity of 2.33 C per doubling. This gradient is a transient sensitivity somewhat in line with central AGW estimates. You don’t need models. You only need to look at what is happening. Skeptics are trying to say the real gradient is half that, and there is a lot of uncertainty in the gradient anyway. This view would look like motivated thinking, rather than cold objectivity to most.

    • Judith wouldn’t want to make a fool of herself, as you have jimmy.

    • ‘Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC AR4 3.4.4.1

      This one shows most of the late century warming was cloud cover changes.

      This one shows it in the oceans.

      This one shows a residual rate of warming assuming the last cooling and warming regime zeroed out.

      Ignoring reality can only take you so far.

      •  Climate  Scientist

        There’s no such thing as cloud radiative forcing. Water vapour causes lower supported surface temperatures, as I have shown in a study of real world temperature records over 30 years from three continents.

        If you have, say, 72 hours of continuous cloud cover blocking all solar radiation to that region of the surface, the surface temperature (in calm conditions) still rises in the mornings and falls at night. I can explain why, but I doubt that you can with valid physics.

        Radiation from cooler regions can only slow down that portion of surface cooling which is itself by radiation. It cannot slow evaporative cooling, conduction or convection. That’s physics.

        But, what raises the surface temperature in the first place so that it has some high temperature to cool from? What happens in those 72 hours of total cloud cover? Calculate to what temperature 161W/m^2 of direct solar radiation would “warm” an asphalt paved Earth – using emissivity of 0.93 you get 235K – nearly 40 degrees below freezing.

        Then, remove the asphalt from the oceans and most of the solar radiation passes through the thin transparent surface layer, so you have hardly any flux to bung into your Stefan Boltzmann equation, the prerequisites for which you apparently don’t understand. Actually of course it’s reflected by the frozen surface anyway.

    • Jim D “Skeptics are trying to say the real gradient is half that.
      temperature has been varying with CO2 in the last 55 years. It’s a simple plot. A line goes through it at a sensitivity of 2.33 C per doubling.”

      If it has logs in it it is not a simple plot, is it. Where did you get it from? SS?
      What year does it go to?
      Judith, along with most other discussion proponents, has certainly discussed normal graphs of CO2 to temperature change. It is a moot point with regard to Climate sensitivity which incidentally is proving to be very low the last 17 years, one could even say close to zero using one cherry picked but real temp series.

      • The log is because the theory says T should be a straight line with log CO2. I found it as one example from Google images. You can probably do it yourself with Mauna Loa and HADCRUT data too, just annual averages in both cases. The period covers at least up to 2012. The high point above the line was 1998, so you can see that the “pause” is no further from the line than any other point, debunking the idea that the pause disproves the CO2 effect, as is the basis of skepticism these days, and another reason Judith will not show this. They are trying to fool people by hiding this kind of information. It looks dishonest, but it might just be an oversight in checking things properly before saying things.

      • It is simply wrong – Jimmy Dee is a serial dissembler with pretension to understanding Bose-Einstein statistics. Absurd of course – as is his graph for reasons of multicollinearity. The motivation of both delusions seems to be solely to whine about sceptics and Judy especially.

      •  Climate  Scientist

        Wow, Jim found it in Google images.

    • Seriously? That would look impressive if it weren’t time-series data where higher CO2 is always later. Time trends, ARIMA processes, spurious correlation, etc,?

  78. WebHubTelescope | September 23, 2014 at 11:57 am |

    Totally delusional by AK.

    Anybody that has worked diffusional problems and has done slab calculations knows about the 1/2 ratio.

    Like with the Bose-Einstein statistics fiasco, these deniers don’t have a clue about statistical mechanics, continuity equations, or transport theory.

    Why are putting up with this monster of misinformation?

    The carbon cycle is not a diffusion problem – it simply is not.

    And the Bose-Einstein fiasco is webnutcolonoscope. He insists he knows something but of course refuses to define and was MIA – presumed incompetent – in the relevant post.

  79. At this point alarmists need to bite the nuclear bullet like Hansen finally and grudgingly suggests as the amercan people wont go back to horse and buggy. Anything less is just a convoluted argument with themselves while CO2 just continues to rise. The rest is just insincere posturing and hate mongering. Time to poop or get off the pot.

  80. Once in a while Putin likes to remind Castle Europe that he owns the thermostat of that castle and when he’s displeased he threatens to turn it down. The political elite in the US would like to own the thermostat to Fortress America for the same control it would give them. The UN which has no tax base would like to be the keeper of the global thermostat and for a fee will turn it up here or turn it down there.

  81. Western US temps respond to patterns of natural variation? This has been obvious for some time with the now familiar decadal pattern showing up.

    In the US more generally.

    In Alaska and the Arctic as well and a more muted signal globally. It links to the patterns of ocean and atmosphere changes seen in the indices. The beat of global change.

  82. Pingback: Curry for dinner | …and Then There's Physics

  83. Physics Today: Physicist Steve Koonin impeaches scientists’ climate consensus http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/news/10.1063/PT.5.8071

    • Marvelous framing.
      ==============

      • Koonin is pretty thin soup for actual skeptics in the broader debate even if he is setting off conniptions for true believers in the mob fired up for the election purpose which is why it has been so orchestrated;

        “The impact today of human activity appears to be comparable to the intrinsic, natural variability of the climate system itself.”

        There is absolutely no evidence (scientific, empirical) to support this. “Appears”??? Spare me and the world. There’s all sorts of similar rubbish for believers yet one obvious statement against the Party Line and “settled science” and he may have to join the witness protection program.
        AGW believers are emotionally unhinged and will tear themselves to pieces as their ship goes down. The watershed moment is the end of the circa 2006 power rise built largely in reaction to the unpopular Iraq conflict. It peaked in 2008 with Obama’s election, was largely invested in AHCA and now is in remission and rejection phase. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if a fake “split” civil war in the democratic party were to emerge against Hillary, whose letters to Alinsky divulge as deep a left-wing ideologue as could be imagined, yet will not be adequate to the Greenshirt left in particular. Elizabeth Warren seems the symbolic leader of the fullmoon wing which includes Occupy the Climate and the Neo-Fascist Greens. That’s the underlying calculus of focusing on “climate change” at this time by Obama crew. One last drink at the bar, memory lane and empty promises to the base.

        The Greens go under the bus next year and the smarter ones start focusing on other topics for their own political futures. AGW is a played out loser of the first order. So it’s all about moving the goal posts in the broader debate, making Hillary seem moderate in comparison. If the GOP puts up more panderers like John McCain and George Bush the farce will go on for generations more on climate policy. AGW statism will die on it’s own weight just as the Soviet fell, but really, the costs were all tragic and unnecessary to the world. Millions die due to underdevelopment imposed by socialist rationing philosophy, colonialist in design, which is the net undertone of “climate policy”.

      • You must have watch the movie Noah.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Natural questions for Judith Curry:

      Q1  Isn’t every single of Steven E. Koonin’s uncertainties as likely to point to anthropogenic climate-change that is *WORSE* than IPCC projections, as better?

      Q2  Isn’t the *MAIN* action-item of Steven E. Koonin’s essay, an urgent mandate for *MORE* global-scale observational programs — good on `yah, Deep Argo! — and *MORE* global-scale climate-modeling and dynamic-simulation research?

      Q3  Isn’t Steven E. Koonin’s essay calling for a research program that is *MORE* closely allied with James Hansen’s climate-change worldview, and with Pope Francis’ sustainability worldview, than *ANY* of the willfully ignorant short-sighted self-serving ideology-driven (and unrepentantly abusive) “no action” programs of anti-science think-tanks like the Marshall Institute, the Heartland Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the CATO Institute, and National Review?

      The world wonders, Judith Curry!

      And surely, your young students are wondering too?

      Conclusion  The “Willful Ignorance Monster” is far more to be feared than the “Uncertainty Monster” … and the urgent need to fight harder against the “Ignorance Monster” is the *MAIN* climate-science advocacy of Steven E. Koonin’s well-reasoned essay.

      Good on yah, Steven E. Koonin!

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

      • Sick framing.
        ==========

      • Q3 really captures (even more than usual) the moonbat conspiracy idealization and fantasy rather well.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Kim complements FOMD  Sick framing.”

        Thank you, kim … framing is a kinetic process!

        Please let me acknowledge too, that nowadays the accelerating “sickness” of denialist cognition is appreciated by pretty much *EVERYONE*!

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

      • Eddy Turbulence

        “anthropogenic climate-change that is *WORSE* than IPCC projections”

        Except for those pesky observations which exhibit around 1.5K per century warming, about the same as the 1910-1945 rate, less than the 1.8 ‘low scenario’ rate, less than the promised 2 rate and certainly less than those higher fantasies littering the literature.

        ‘Worse than expected’ may indeed cause death – the sane will die laughing.

      • Fan: Koonin is not urging for more global scale observational programs and more global scale climate modeling programs; you misread him in a profound way.

        Koonin is urging “improved” observational capability (some of which is not yet on the drawing board) and “improved” computer modeling (because current modeling lacks sufficient skill)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      cwon14 froths  “ AGW statism  market fundamentalism will die on [sic] it’s own weight just as the Soviet fell,”

      Golly cwon14 … ain’t anti-scientific market-fundamentalism *ALREADY* perished in most of Europe?

      And even in the USA, ain’t market fundamentalism just barely strong enough to carry political candidates through their primary elections … and no further?

      Ain’t the reason simple? Namely, market fundamentalism (like Marxism) looks OK on paper, but in practice, Romney/Clinton/Obama-style hybrid economic systems just plain work better?

      These common-sense 21st century scientific, economic, moral, and practical realities are evident to *EVERYONE* nowadays, eh cwon14?

      Everyone *EXCEPT* old-fashioned market fundamentalists, that is!

      Conclusion  Market-fundamentalists are rallying their troops … and finding that they ain’t got many troops left to rally!

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

      • Somewhere, somehow Fanboy the food you eat, your residence, your computer screen were paid for by “market fundamentalism”. You might have ended up leeching off a parent, private employer or tax-payer but you wouldn’t exist if it weren’t created or as likely in your persona drained off someone else’s “market fundamentalism”.

        You or your parents should be embarrassed by your rantings on this blog.

      • “You or your parents should be embarrassed by your rantings on this blog.”

        Today it’s known as a willfull Green agenda meme to rationalize more Statist authority and socialist idealized thuggery….

        …We have sunk to Soviet levels of professional coercion…

        …“Climate Science” and the politics it was invented to cover for are the new Soviet Science in broad U.N. idealized form…

        …AGW believers are emotionally unhinged and will tear themselves to pieces as their ship goes down…

        Seems a fair comment

      • VTG;

        “Extremism in pursuit of liberty is no vice”.

      • Correction;

        “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice”

      • Most people want peace and prosperity – some fringe extremists want other things.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/03/21/growth-versus-sustainability/#comment-502318

        It is why they will never be anything but a mad fringe despite FOMBS misrepresentation of the market economy.

      • For the zombies everywhere (That means you Fanboy);

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/09/24/the-color-of-the-climate-social-movement-zombie-says-red/

        It’s actually taken a long time for Watts to wake up on the topic but it’s better then the obtuse indifference found in the academic community at large. No names will be mentioned here. Should we call them “careerists”??

    • Judy,
      Thanks.

      Plus Roger Sr and the others who pursued the science at great costs to comfort and funding.

      Slowly the Titanic turns from the iceberg, hope the gash in the hull does not sink the ship of state. In the meantime, Ebola, ISIS, Afganistan, hnger in the world, potable water, electricity other priorities are not addressed while we fight the imaginary mythical 2*C impacts in 2100.

      Scott

  84. John Smith (it's my real name)

    from Politico yesterday …
    “most interesting thing about President Obama’s climate change speech at the United Nations is what he didn’t say”

    dire warnings, lacking in specific policy with which US could “lead” on this issue

    US will soon be world’s leader (if not already) in fossil fuel energy exports,
    not CO2 mitigation

    is this not strong evidence that the “consensus” has failed to convince policymakers to take decisive action

    However, President Obama is happy to use “climate change” fear mongering to organize his base before November

    • He wasn’t going to get anything through Congress anyway so firing up the minions with “Climate” which is really little more than old time class war, soap box populist ranting of “Progressives” found throughout the early half of the 20th century was tactically sound.

      Obama himself is an ideologue as well as a narcissist. He never tried to govern toward the center and the actual total “base” of the country is very different then the agenda he has shoved down the public’s throat. The Climate focus reflects that rather well.

  85. Credibility of author destroyed when she praises the launch of the new CATO center — a Koch/big energy publicity machine. Really professor Curry, that’s shameful. How about some disclosure about how much YOU are accepting from Koch/Cato or other related big energy groups? Sorry to see Lindzen also appears to have fallen in line. Under no imaginable scenario is Koch a credible and objective source of information on this issue.

    • The possibility of Brian providing credible information is remote in the extreme. Shame – Brian – shame.

    • Cato has criticized President Obama’s stances on policy issues such as fiscal stimulus, healthcare reform, foreign policy, the war on drugs
      while supporting his stance on
      the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, liberal immigration policy
      Cato was 6 for 6 and reminds us, there still are some libertarians.
      The Koch Brothers/Cato probably aren’t as one dimensional as made out.
      “In 2003, Cato scholars Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren blasted the Republican Energy Bill as “hundreds of pages of corporate welfare, symbolic gestures, empty promises, and pork-barrel projects”. They also spoke out against the former president’s calls for larger ethanol subsidies.” – Wiki
      The biggest problem with the libertarians is they aren’t loyal to the Republicans, but to their own ideas. They exist in a small niche between the two parties. They might even be grateful that people like brian even notice them.

  86. It’s not about me. It’s about Cato and Prof Curry. Try and stay on topic. Maybe you think Cato and Koch funded “Science” is hunky dory. Some of us don’t feel that way.

    • Stop whining about yourself and framing the discussion around the usual silly and irrelevant talking points. Read harder Brian – shame on you.

      • okay so in other words you guys see no conflict of interest? How can you separate Koch business interests with this issue? Think a sane jury would? Yes you absolutely DO dismiss positions branded by CATO/Koch. They are not disinterested parties.

      • Should we expect Brian to be objective and disinterested? More likely he is a progressive activist with membership in good standing of the Borg collective AGW groupthink. Funny as hell. Shame – Brian – shame.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      brian
      do you approve of opera and classical music?

      much Koch funded

      if you decide to support some area of research or the arts I shall not dismiss those products simply because they were funded by you
      I hope to judge the quality of the message on it’s own merits, the messenger may be as prejudiced, frail, and human as me

    • “Maybe you think Cato and Koch funded “Science” is hunky dory.”
      I thought BEST is hunky dory. The Koch Foundation helped with that. I haven’t been able to find anything on the science research Cato funded. Could you enlighten me?

  87. What’s the argument, Koch funds opera, opera is good, therefore they’re credible when it comes to their position on climate change? Koch is an energy company. The same would hold if Kock was a green energy company.

    • They are an energy company as well as doing a few other things. Are we counting them out of the political process now? Who decides that they are counted out?

  88. John Smith (it's my real name)

    sir
    do question the credibility of the Kochs
    or Judith Curry?

  89. John Smith (it's my real name)

    do you question

  90. I question mainly the credibility of Koch on the issue. They are in the fossil fuel business. I won’t even get into their unsavory reputation. All we need to know is they are the oil industry and are not a credible source for dispensing facts and information on climate change. Do I really have to explain this? That Curry so blithely mentions Koch (and Lindzen) as a source of knowledge is damning and does by extension red flag everything she says.
    Regarding “counting them out of the political process”, another Orwellian statement. Who ARE you people? People like the Koch brothers OWN the political process. They write the checks. Further, your statement is the ultimate tell, that’s precisely what this is about, politics and power, NOT science — more damnation and disgrace for the good professor.
    Raganaar, need to a little connecting the dots between Koch, Cato, and Lindzen. It’s right there in the Curry’s article. Science for hire, Oil industry, capitalism, and think tanks forming an alliance. Bad.

    • A moment to mention privileged speech.
      =================

    • It’s not about me. It’s about Cato and Prof Curry. Try and stay on topic. Maybe you think Cato and Koch funded “Science” is hunky dory. Some of us don’t feel that way.

      Apparently, Brian, you “feel” too much and think too little. Based on your comments, it appears you feel that fossil fuels are the root of all evil and should be eliminated immediately, but maybe not. Just one challenge for you – name me one thing in your life that you eat, wear, use, or otherwise consume that is not in some way dependent on energy that comes from fossil fuels.

    • brian, what if you substitute Monsanto for Koch? In my neighborhood, Monsanto is a greater devil than Koch since Monsanto is creating and patenting genetically modifies organisms. What if you substituted Starbucks or Smuckers? Would you trust their nutritional science more than Omaha Beef Association or Bacon Eaters United?

  91. Barnes, nope, didn’t say that. Find another strawman please.
    Capt, Monsanto doesn’t seem much interested in climate change, That’s part of my point and why I think Curry is either tone deaf or corrupt.

    • Monsanto is very interested in science and climate change. They are one of the main corporations “designing” crops that will grow in various climates. It appears you are a bit more biased than you think. Not a problem, everyone has their biases that is why you should view things with a skeptical eye.

      Since you think Dr. Curry has to be either tone deaf or corrupt, you might think of a little introspection from time to time.

      • Played, with the thinnest of lines.
        =====

      • Big Oil is a major investor in wind, solar, biofuels etc. Nothing noble. It’s because of subsidies and money fiddles; and because those things suck and will have to be massively supplemented by the products of…Big Oil! Big Green (with some cooking and mellowing) is Big Oil’s favourite vegetable.
        I like oil and gas producers, couldn’t imagine life without them; but I think it’s important to see that their green posturing is for requisite PR but also for a deadly serious commercial war with coal and nukes. Just with Bazhenov and Bakken shale coming on stream there is going to be an awful lot fuel to sell around the world, and viable competition is the last thing Exxon, Putin etc will need. On the other hand, lots of dopey wind turbines going whoosh-whoosh would be ideal “competition”.

      • Actually I’m not really interested in Monsanto and don’t see it as relevant to Curry’s article. Hang on, I’m going to do introspection right now, just like you advise…Okay. There. I introspected. Wow. I feel much better. Thanks Captdallas! Next I’ll work on skeptical eye!

  92. The Heartland Institute. Yet another non partisan bastion of scientific and public policy integrity. Why don’t you just post Exxon’s official rebuttal?

  93. Brian seems to think that the validity of an argument depends on who makes it or what that person’s motivation is. The N*z*s were anti-smoking pioneers but that doesn’t mean all good people should puff on cancer sticks.

    • That’s because it does. If the Nazi’s published a scientific paper on alleged inferiority of Jews woudl tha be credible? Was the tobacco industry’s research on the health benefits and later harmlessness of smoking credible? You cannot ignore the human element. Well, you can, but you won’t get to the truth. Vested interests. Vested interests. Don’t be a sucker.

  94. Coming to theater near you, the Koch Brothers freak show. Associate producers Lindzen and Curry. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/inside-the-koch-brothers-toxic-empire-20140924?page=5

    • brian,

      Is the Koch Brothers freak show on the same bill as The Bearded Balding Buffoons presenting their latest Juggling with Figures, and Marvellous Upside Down Hockey Stick Waving acts?

      I believe Dr Fraudpants will be in support, with his Katastrophik Klimaktik Klimatologikal Klown Karavan, starring the Bearded Bumbling Bollywood Buffoon, Narendra Gajendra Pachendra, shouting “Choo choo! The glaciers are melting!” while trying to flog copies of his latest failed pot boiler to the suckers.

      Let me know if I’m wrong, please.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • Wrong and racist too. Congrats on showing you libertarian “colors”.

      • brian,

        You are correct. Dreadfully racist. Anti – Warmist. I am not sure what a libertarian is, but thank you for your congratulations. If you are sincere, send cash – Judith Curry will forward it, I am sure.

        If you have any evidence to the effect that I actually care about your opinions, I would be most grateful to receive it.

        In the meantime, I am sure that, given appropriate effort on your part, you might eventually aspire to rise to the level of a fourth rate debater.

        Please accept my fulsome apology in advance, should I be wrong in my assessment of you potential. I am occasionally wrong, I admit.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flymn.

      • If you have any evidence to the effect that I actually care about your opinions, I would be most grateful to receive it……..

        What a freakin’ ego maniac. Were you an only child?
        Interesting though, for a guy who claims not to care, you sure spend a lot of time responding to me. Please stop, you have no interest in the issues, only in feigning superiority. That’s not worth anyone’s time. Go away. Really, get lost.

      • That racecard was so far up brian’s sleeve it has deodorant on it.
        ===========

      • cliche much kimmy?

    • Brian fails to address any actual issue related to AGW and tries to make it a purely political issue.

      Brian–what do you actuall advocate related to AGW and why? Being anti Koch is not a viable policy

      • Rob Starkey
        True, I don’t have answers and solutions. I also have no interest in armchair quarterbacking the science — as so many amateurs in this forum feel compelled to do. I’m only interested in pointing out the folly to relying on data and argument from scientists on the payrolls of big business — particularly the fossil fuel industry. Anyone who has ever done consulting or worked in management knows why.

      • You don’t have answers or solutions, you just want them adopted now. And you think the Kochs prevent this.
        How?
        As you ponder that answer, recall that the Kochs spend less on the politics of this issue than Tom Steyer.
        Then examine who opposes nuclear power as a solution to AGW, and who supports it. You will be surprised. That’s assuming you will read and think.

      • Rob, you are naive to think the source of information is irrelevant. Sorry but you can’t pretend that the MBA writing the checks to Joe the climate scientist isn’t influencing outcomes. Companies act in self interest. They hire scientists to help them act in self interest — not to reveal universal truths.

      • Brian writes-
        “I’m only interested in pointing out the folly to relying on data and argument from scientists on the payrolls of big business — particularly the fossil fuel industry. Anyone who has ever done consulting or worked in management knows why.”

        My response- Your premise is deeply flawed. Try evaluating the actual information vs. the source of the information. There are people biased on all sides of the AGW debate and it is important to access the basis for their positions and draw conclusions accordingly. Is seems you are blindly ranting about the bias on only one side of the debate.

        Isn’t that in itself telling of your personal bias?

      • jim2 Nicaragua is an ice place actually. Quit being such a xenophobe.

      • Brian
        Again, I suggest you examine your own biases and try to read more closely for a better understanding. I never wrote that writers do not have biases. I pointed out that you seem focused on a source of funding for messages vs. the scientific quality of the actual message. I also pointed out that you only seem concerned about one side that is putting out biased information.

        Your overall premise would seem to be that the Koch’s are capable of putting out propaganda so compelling that those that disagree (say like Soros) are unable to show the general populace that their propaganda is scientifically flawed. Imo, that is nonsense.

        Brian, at the end of the day the truth of the science will prevail. BTW- I am not a republican

      • Rob, yes, I have a bias against those that have a bias — especially those with such transparent biases such as Koch. I don’t know much about Soros actually. Can’t comment on that. There is no shortage of great academic institutions doing climate research. There are government agencies, and NGO’s, why would anyone turn to Koch or Exxon for data when there are some many more pristine sources? As has been stated, there is a lot of white noise surrounding the issue. the smart thing is clear your work area. A good place to start is dumping *science* funded by private entities who have financial exposure to the issue. Koch is a classic example. A good business wouldn’t fund research that hurts their bottom line. That’s not what business does. In a perfect world, one could trust energy companies to produce objective data, unfortunately the world is not perfect. Fossil Fuel companies, green bio-solar-whatever companies, they can all go fuck themselves on this subject. They care about share prices and bottom line and not much else. To believe otherwise is naive.

  95. Brian, Big Money (Banks, Oil/Gas, Corporations, Bureaucracies) is on the AGW bandwagon/hysteria. You have been misled.

  96. kim, Kock is in the oil business. Sorry I’m not able to read Edim’s mind on this one. How do YOU view the Koch’s? Snide, unfunny one liners aren’t working for you.

  97. You don’t have answers or solutions, you just want them adopted now. And you think the Kochs prevent this.
    How?
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    You’re not making any sense. Want what adopted now?

    • I was paraphrasing you. See if you can think for a minute.
      Why are you upset with the Kochs? It’s because they prevent “action” on AGW, right? That’s the stated reason of the people interested in AGW anyway. But you have no idea what action is.
      So, again, how are the Kochs preventing you from getting something when you don’t even know what it is you want?
      How do you know, in fact, that they aren’t giving you exactly what you want?

      • You weren’t paraphrasing me because never once did I say I wanted a specific action vis a vis AGW. You seem confused. Get back to me if you want when you’ve got a handle on the conversation. Good luck.

  98. Dr. Curry – Thank you for the tremendous effort you invest in hosting this valuable site. I have learned much here from many contributors. The sentiments you express in your fifth paragraph I find compelling. I have been stuck on the “simple-minded” notion that a costless transition to fission electricity, as the French did, made sense on climatic grounds since 1988 when I helped to save one plant from what I regarded as post-Chernobyl hysteria. I believe petroleum to be self-limited, and therefore not to merit political suppression, in the current context.

    No one of us can reasonably desire the “oversimplification” you admonish us against in your concluding paragraph, most especially advocates of a nuanced policy response such as myself. Nevertheless, I have written the following drastic oversimplification in an attempt to assist a fellow pause-denier from our warmist tribe, precisely because I believe that your third paragraph above is a howling oversimplification. Please forgive the undertone in this. I could not agree more, that millions in NY & CA are currently being harmed by poor collective choices.

    1996 – 2000: .. 32 ,,, 71 … 96 … 55 … 53

    1999 – 2013: .. 89 … 98 … 73 … 81 … 88

    Re: Lynn, @ XXX asking about responding to the “hiatus / pause” claim.

    Why is it, that 97% of seven year olds have no difficulty identifying the bottom data string as “bigger,” while opinion and professional engineering journal comment threads are loaded with folks who made it over the hump of Methods of Integration, and profess advanced degrees in quantitative disciplines, yet have emotionally dug in on the notion that those data demonstrate the absence of warming for those intervening 15 years? (The “units” above, are akin to “cents”, as we depict the HadCRUT4 surface thermometer measurements in the degrees of Fahrenheit, for the same reason Honda salesmen don’t list their new cars in yen, and things will be more familiar to the common folk if we consider a single such F. degree as one buck,)

    Now, you’ve got your Apple-lovers (aka: warmists or hysterics) who seek to discern the “signal” of combustion’s consequence in warming a planet between 2/3rds & 3/4ths covered by oceans whose mixed layer is some ten times as massive as its air. Because, a quarter millennium ago Watt gave its people steam power so that coal could be mined for warmth and wrangling iron, a century and a half ago Rockefeller standardized oil to give them lamp light and then mobility, and a century or so ago Edison gave them electricity. And the question is, do these fabulous gifts impose a burden upon our descendants, a century or more off into the future?

    The Apple-lovers point out that that 32 cent value for 1996 measures the warmth signal, as an anomaly when compared with a 30 year interval which concluded only six years earlier. And that were one to slide this reference window backwards in time, so as to figure out just how much total warming we have already achieved to date, it would just attain equipoise, with mid-point in 1907. If one were to slide the reference window any further back in time, it stops getting cooler and in fact starts getting warmer again, maybe all the way back to when Plato communed with Socrates, and Jesus trod the route to Jerusalem. Or maybe half that long. In any case, most evidence we tease from paleo-inferences indicates that temperatures fluctuated between a tenth or twentieth as fast, in preceding centuries, as they do in that first Carbon Century, once fossil fed fire got roaring, big-time.. And warmists draw the inference that the obvious explanation for the great inflection that creates that transposed checkmark pattern in our millennium-scale thermal record, is this appearance of such consequential combustion, and attendant exhaust. Further, enough thermometers were around to confidently measure the moment when this iconic hockey stick’s handle-era is joined with its blade-era. And it measures 66 cents worth.

    We now have the “signal” of the true Apple, in hand. Big Apples, from before the warming hiatus set in, are measured by the average from the first string above, which is 61.3 cents. The sum from 1907 is 61 + 66 = $1.27, and it took 91 years, so big ones are a penny and four tenths, per year. Little Apples are measured by including the pause, and are found to measure a penny and a half each year. Wait a minute. They got bigger during the pause? Well, no matter, an Apple is the signal, and it is near a penny and a half each year. Each year the people keep digging up coal and drilling up oil and gas and burning it, and each year, on average, the world, since 1907, has warmed by half more than a hundredth degree Fahrenheit.

    Orange-lovers (aka minimalists, luke-warmers, & deniers) are an entirely different breed, obviously. They absolutely hate this “signal” and all it stands for. Hence, they delight in finding noise. You can tell this about the Orangers, because they all flutter about one particular bit of noise, moths about a flame style, but we’ll look at that up close in a minute. An obvious source of natural variation could come from our sun, since if it sneezed or snoozed, we’d either fry or freeze. But though it does vary across an eleven year cycle, it only dims by a tenth of a percent while cycling, so it’s signal in our thermal trace is lost in other noise. Not noise itself. Volcanoes are noisy, and the biggie in the instrumental era was 1883’s Krakatoah. By annual global averages, it cost forty cents for a few years, though Bradley (yep, the MBH one, about ten years before he teamed up with Dr. Mann) found that it depressed summer temps in our hemisphere by a whopping $2.20, one summer. Orange lovers however don’t seem much interested in nature cool—they favor natural warmth. So, the oceans, unless they practice cold fusion on the sly, can’t “make” energy. About the most they can do is store it up from somewhere, and selectively cycle it to the atmosphere, when they are so moved. And they are good at it and do so in sundry patterns. El Nino is one such rhythm, and we’ve had about twenty since 1950, mostly dime-ante stuff. Exclusive of the event registered as such a standout by that upper data string above, 17 Ninos have averaged a bit less than 17 cents each. The name derives from baby Christ, because Peruvian fishermen observed the oscillation to appear most frequently in late December. The late nineties event not only piled up nearly forty-cents worth of heat gain in late 1997, the carry over into the new year boosted the Earth’s temperature by an added quarter across 1998. Sixty-four cents. In its most powerful twelve months, running from September of ’97 thru August of ’08, El Nino Grande added, year over year, both a half dollar and a nickel to the Hadley trace.

    Back to the big question: Is it fair to future generations, to look for, select, and stand upon that most extraordinary moment, Grande being about a Krakatoah and a half only reversed in sign, and to peer out towards posterity with the inevitable aftermath of such a fleeting, cyclical phenomenon occupying the foreground? For if Apple-lovers count their penny and a half each year, for some periods maybe 3 cents for decades, and for others near nothing for a few decades, but the Orange-lovers employ a heat spike nearly forty times as large, what can be expected other than that decades might elapse, before enough Apples can be accumulated to match their one Orange? Yet in seven of the most recent twelve months, that is precisely what the globe has done. True, the Earth has not warmed, relative to that absurdly placed challenge of a sudden, forty-fold spurt, but it HAS equaled that mark, and in only fifteen years. Far from a pause, this can only result from an acceleration of the annual heat gain, relative to that of our entire history with warming. Orange-lovers are quite correct, however, that relative to the final couple decades of Century Twenty, the heat gain has diminished—but that gets into cherries, and is a whole other fruit best left for another day.

    There is one final comment that cannot wait. Many Orange-lovers have a keen comprehension of the implications for humanity, of attempting to turn its back upon the sundry gifts which are gained with combustion. The intensity of this conviction animates the search through which they found their Orange, their El Nino Grande. To assume that they participate in the dialogue with unfeeling hearts, with non-relevant experiences, or with corrupted minds, or to assume that their concern with humanity either now or in the deep future is in any way of a lesser nature, does both them and the dialogue itself great, great disservice.

    ’51–11 ’53-13; ’57—23, ’58—9, ’63—9, ’65—8, ’69—25. ’72—10, ’77—51, ’83—32, ’86—6, ’87—25, ’91—neg7, ’94—21, ’97—39, ’98—25, ’02—10, ’04—17 ’10–19

      • +1 I made it to para4 and got lost. I think its about bias and lack of true dialogue in the AGW debate but the last string of digits don’t seem to have any basis in reality.

      • I thought the last strings of digits were lotto numbers. No? Great. Just dropped 500 bucks on quick picks at the Stop n Go.

    • That was pretty long-winded, but you still didn’t eliminate the pause. We all (I’m pretty sure) understand what the temp reconstructions show, so your musings on this are nothing new here. There have been step-wise increases, yes. And this proves what?

    • Dayem. Never seen a thread killing WMD before. To quote Green Goblin, impressive!

  99. jim2 — You are quite right, in one respect. My “climate time” is disproportionately allocated to opinion threads, as opposed to this more technical one. My speel developed there, and I dropped it here to see what kind of a substantive refutation it would meet with. There is obvious condescension in asserting that seven year olds can perceive evidence, which some mathematically trained observers are inclined to contest. The collection of opinion-makers on the American right, such as Gigot, Will, Stossel. Krauthammer, Barone, and Krtstol have all frequented the Grande watering hole. Limbaugh of course, asserts that the Academy is peopled with fraudsters, and manages to cow the entirety of the Republican Congressional delegation into virtual denialsm.

    When Dr. Curry stands before the National Press Club, to address “misunderstanding(s) of the state of climate science,”…”at the heart of which”..lies “this warming hiatus,” I can tell you the contextual setting which she does NOT mention. And that is that it begins with the single greatest aberration we have ever measured–a, negative 1.5 Krakatoah. Which, to my mind, although not “eliminating the pause,” certainly lends to it a character or interpretation different than what unsuspecting reporters would carry away from her talk.

    • Dave

      I haven’t been following this thread the last couple of days so excuse me if I misunderstand you, as yours was a very long and involved post.

      I wrote this last year;

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/16/historic-variations-in-temperature-number-four-the-hockey-stick/

      Please look at figure 2 in which paleo proxy reconstructions are compared to annual and decadal temperatures as represented by CET.

      It is clear that because of the way paleo information is measured (and we can ask why such things as tree rings should be considered reliable thermometers) that real world annual and decadal weather completely passes paleo reconstructions by. The climate is far more variable than the Met office, for example, claimed until recent years.

      If you add an orange -instrumental temperature- on to the end of an apple -paleo proxy reconstructions- it will immediately become more variable as that is the nature of instrumental readings.

      As far as the pause goes, the Met Office have written three articles admitting to it and talked freely about it when I had a meeting with senior scientists there last year.

      As far as the heat disappearing into the ocean without being measured by such as Argo; I was at a climate conference in Exeter just a couple of months ago chaired by Thomas Stocker in which he confirmed we do not have the technology to measure the deep oceans. The average depth of the oceans is 4000 metres.

      tonyb

  100. My thinking is that we need more voices from (fill in the blank)

    I agree, BUT:

    A huge problem is that many qualified scientists and others are skeptic of the Consensus Science, but they work for Alarmist Media or Government Agencies or Schools, that would get rid of them in a minute if they express their Skeptic Views.

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