Week in review

by Judith Curry

Some things that caught my eye this past week.

Raymond Pierrehumbert responds to Stephen Koonin’s WSJ essay;  thinks “climate science is settled enough” and  thinks Koonin’s argument in @WSJ stems from surfing willfully ignorant skeptic’s blogs   [link]

In cause you are dying to find out how my exchange with Greg Laden turned out, over the favorited Mark Steyn tweet, see this synthesis by twitchy. The best tweet from my perspective was Euphonius Bugnuts: Well, you gotta admit, Greg’s attribution logic for you being a denier is tighter than IPCC’s for AGW.

Dinner at Nic’s.  Nic Lewis hosted a dinner for skeptics and climate scientists, that made the Guardian.  Tamsin defends her host in the comments:  “Nic Lewis is quite literally a gentleman and a scholar”.  Both scientists and skeptics in the UK seem much more civil than in the US.

Let’s not Reinvent the Flat Tire – smart, adaptive thinking from the World Bank  [link]

California drought – linked to human-caused climate change? [link]

Politics isn’t just about manipulating people, its about learning from them – a review of Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind  [link]

New York Magazine: How to convince conservatives on climate change [link]

How biased are scientists? Great post by @jonmbutterworth on Bayes and belief [link]

Antarctic sea-ice hits new high as scientists puzzle over the cause [link]

How the #oil and #gas boom is changing America – really great interview with Michael Levi [link]

Not just a problem for alligators – Climate Change Could Alter the Human Male-Female Ratio [link]

Bigger surge than Sandy – The freak 1821 hurricane,why it should worry coastal residents [link]

James Annan responds to Lewis/Curry paper: Why not try the Lewis/Curry climate sensitivity method on a GCM? [link]

Talking sense about climate in India [link]

Chip Knappenberger tweets:  Cargo Ship Makes 1st-Ever Solo Trip Through NW Passage [link] “Thru fuel savings,GHG emissions reduced by 1,300 tons ” Hmmm.

The PAGES2k group rediscovers the medieval warm period.  ClimateAudit

Nassim Taleb: My (civilized) debate with Sornette: diverging views of risks,but not on science/probability: [link]

China’s one-word anster to Obama’s climate plan [link]

Oliver Geden:  Now even the @guardian posts reflections on Plan B for int #climate policy [link]

JustinHGillis on attribution of climate & weather extremes (read past the headline) [link]  …

Joke of the week:

Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio led a Global Warming awareness march. You’d think he’d be ok with fewer icebergs.



454 responses to “Week in review

  1. Anyone who thinks that skeptics are willfully ignorant has opted out of science.

    • David L. Hagen

      The review of Lewis’ dinner was remarkable for the Guardian:

      >“When people say the science is settled, they mean there is such as thing as anthropogenic climate change. Where it’s not settled is the rate of change, how much it’s going to warm, how fast it’ll warm under different levels of CO2 and exactly how it will affect different regions,” says Ted Shepherd, a climate scientist at Reading University and Grantham Chair in Climate Science. . . .
      A survey of the table at the end of the meal revealed that the views of scientists and sceptics on the level of “transient climate response” – or how much the world would warm should levels of pre-industrial CO2 be doubled – differed only by around 0.4C, recounts journalist David Rose.

      • Sounds like they did not have any skeptics at the table. If the IPCC mean estimate is 3 degrees C does this mean that the supposed skeptics estimated 2.6 degrees? Or that no one at the table guessed 3 C? Does he say what this 0.4 C range was? This is certainly not the range in the general debate, which is more like from 0 to 6 degrees C.

        Notice the bogus distinction between scientists and skeptics.

      • David L. Hagen

        avid Wojick
        Nic Lewis and Judith Curry just posted a paper calculating the mean ECS as 1.64 K.
        Lewis N and Curry J A: The implications for climate sensitivity of AR5 forcing and heat uptake estimates, Climate Dynamics (2014), PDF

        using 1859–1882 for the base period and 1995–2011 for the final period, thus avoiding major volcanic activity, median estimates are derived for ECS of 1.64 K and for TCR of 1.33 K. ECS 17–83% and 5–95% uncertainty ranges are 1.25–2.45 K and 1.05–4.05 K; the corresponding TCR ranges are 1.05–1.80 K and 0.90–2.50 K.

        Curry posted: Lewis & Curry Climate Sensitivity, Uncertainty
        The implications for climate sensitivity of AR5 forcing and heat uptake estimates

        Ted Shepherd is coauthor of the presentation showing climate sensitivity range down to 2:
        WCRP Grand Challenge on Clouds, Circulation and Climate Sensitivity
        This summarizes the IPCC models.

        Thus, I surmise that the 0.4 C range is from 1.64 to 2.04.

      • David Wojick

        Thanks DH, but most alarmist warmers estimate CS at well above 2 so I guess there were no alarm-warmers there. And lots of skeptics think it well below 1.6, including 0 (or in my case that CS is an scientifically incoherent concept which therefore has no value), so it seems there were no skeptics there either. Looks like a table full of lukewarmers. Perhaps the Guardian should have said that.

      • David L. Hagen

        Note under the Chatham House Rule

        “Lukewarmer” doesn’t sound like “bad news” that “sells”!

  2. “Chip Knappenberger tweets: Cargo Ship Makes 1st-Ever Solo Trip Through NW Passage “Thru fuel savings,GHG emissions reduced by 1,300 tons ”

    It’s natural climate system adaptation.

    • The Nunavik is a Polar Class 4/ice class ICE-15 ship.

      “MV Nunavik the newest icebreaker to hit Arctic waters ”

      Armored cargo vessel. Not overly impressed.


      The wooden ship St. Roch did it a couple of times in the 1940-1944 era with a best time of 86 days.

    • CO2 makes green things grow better with less water. Anything that reduces GHG emissions is a very bad thing for life on earth.

    • “It’s natural climate system adaptation”
      Yet another example of a negative feedback.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Among the small (VERY small!) vessels who accomplished the Canada-side Northwest Passage this year are Novara, Arctic Tern, and Altan Girl (none required icebreaker assistance).

      The Russia-side Northern Sea Route has been wide open for weeks, with hundreds of vessels transiting.

      It is a pleasure to supply Climate Etc readers with accurate information regarding the melting Arctic sea-routes!

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

      • Fan

        I know you have problems with arctic maritime history so this article might help with the northern sea route which was opened in the 1930’s and reached its peak in 1987 before declining due to the demise of the USSR.


        The route was open most years in the 1930’s and was of course used by Allied convoys during word war two when people such as my brave neighbour sailed through the arctic to deliver oil and supplies to Russia for which he got little thanks from them at the time.

        I hope to visit the Scott polar institute in Cambridge shortly to follow up my previous research there which seemed to indicate the Northern sea route could have been open for around fifty years or so during the 16 th century. That is of course anecdotal at present but interesting nonetheless



      • 22 boats tried to get through the Northwest Passage. 6 succeded (plus 2 who had wintered and made it through in the second year). This is ane even lower success rate than last year.

  3. David L. Hagen

    Trained Physicist?
    Could Dr. Ben Santer rise towards the standard of a trained Physicist and begin to understand models and uncertainties like Physicist Steven E. Koonin?

  4. The Knappenberger link goes to the 1821 hurricane story.

  5. “Cargo Ship Makes 1st-Ever Solo Trip Through NW Passage”

    Misleading news articles fail to note that the MV Nunavik is a Polar Class 4 vessel, “capable of year-round operation in thick first-year ice.” The ship did not need an icebreaker escort because it IS an icebreaker.


    The passage of this ship does not depend on an arctic ice death spiral.

    • Furthermore the plan is that Nunavik is to make ONE passage per year through the Northwest passage. In September when ise is at minimum. With a 36,000 ton displacement, 40,000 horsepower and Icebreaker bow it can handle ice up to 5 feet thick. They had no real problem this trip, but the captain blogged that they had to force an ice barrier in Prince of Wales Sound that would have stopped virtually any other merchantman.
      What I don’t understand how they plan to make any money the rest of the year with such a grossly overpowered ship. There isn´t really that much demand for icebreaking ore-carriers. The only other runs I can think of are Noril’sk-Murmansk and Luleå-Rotterdam.

  6. Computer modeling of complex systems is as much an art as a science… global climate models describe the Earth on a grid that is currently limited by computer capabilities to a resolution of no finer than 60 miles… 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 modelers)… For the latest IPCC report (September 2013), its Working Group I, which focuses on physical science, uses an ensemble of some 55 different 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 that I have described… 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. ~Steven Koonin, WSJ, Climate Science Is Not Settled

    The clinker is, we’re just not that big a deal. The left refers to CO2 as a poison or a climate pollutant to make humanity’s contribution to the ecosphere nothing more than a big and dirty activity that nature is powerless to deal with. The Left demands that we must assume that, human influences could have serious consequences for the climate, whereas Koonin says, “they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole,” even when looking down the road 100 years.

    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% to 2%. 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. (Koonin, Ibid.)

  7. Pierrehumbert’s demolition of Koonin is worth reading. The link was to only page 2. Page 1 is here.

    • “The idea that Climate science is settled,” says Steven Koonin, “runs through today’s popular and policy discussions. Unfortunately, that claim is misguided.” The Left’s problem with Koonin is not the message but the messenger who must now be branded, “denier.” The computational physicist credentials of Koonin who served as a professor and provost at Caltech, nor being green and a fan of renewables, are in question. Rather, his DOE job as undersecretary of science in the Obama administration lands Koonin squarely in the camp of Leftist global warming defectors −e.g., a voice of reason that’s not easily silenced and will be reckoned with by all but Democrat partisan extremists who will do whatever they can to suppress skepticism and legitimate climate science.

      • Willard’s boy believes there exists someone who understands climate science. That make’s Pierrehumbert look pretty ignorant.

      • What greater falsification of AGW theory could there be than to see liberal fascists label skeptics, “deniers?”

    • What Pierrehumbert doesn’t get is that Koonin took a very hard look at the evidence in the IPCC (he largely wrote this document), then listened to present ions by myself, held, collins, santer, linden, christy and questioned us at length (see this transcript). And his conclusions are in the WSJ.

      Dismissing Koonin’s remarks as plucked from skeptics blogs misses the whole point – a highly regarded physicist (a democrat to boot) takes a serious look at the evidence in the IPCC and ends up, well pretty much agreeing with moi.

      • Matthew R Marler

        curryja: present ions

        I like that. I can imagine listening to “present ions”. So 21st century.

      • I suspect there’s more to it than that: the phrase “evidence is incontrovertible” hardly belongs in a statement by any scientific society.

      • While it may be true that present ions have electrifying conversations, I’d really like to know what they’re saying when they’re out of earshot.

      • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

        “Dismissing Koonin’s remarks as plucked from skeptics blogs misses the whole point –”

        Well, yes, but “misses” implies some sort of unintentional error. I find myself saying the same thing over and over these days, that this is not about the science. If nothing else is clear, that should be.

      • “the phrase “evidence is incontrovertible” hardly belongs in a statement by any scientific society.”

        Why one might go so far as to say it’s,,.oh what’s that term the alarmists are so fond of…oh yes….”anti-science.”

      • Political Junkie

        Are you sure she said “ion:” Positive!

      • Not only are skeptics to be ignored, but those who read or listen to them are to be culled from the herd as well.

        We can’t have our sheep paying attention to banned thought.

      • Their 2007 statement was “The evidence is incontrovertible. Global warming is occurring”. I think today this is less incontrovertible, even by skeptics who disagreed back then, so it could appear in the new statement too. Koonin says “We know, for instance, that during the 20th century the Earth’s global average surface temperature rose 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit.” So it is still incontrovertible, but the difference is that the skeptics have shifted since 2007 to allow this to be said.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Their 2007 statement was “The evidence is incontrovertible. Global warming is occurring”.

        Believers continue to disparage the distinction between “has warmed” and “is warming”. The evidence for “global warming is occurring” is definitely controvertible.

      • Jim D, in 2007 it was already obvious to anyone who wanted to see that global warming had stopped. Hence the statement was incorrect.

      • OK, so now for skeptics, it comes down to the meaning of “is”. Interesting. Perhaps it is better to phrase it the way Koonin did, even including a number.

      • JimD:
        “Their 2007 statement was “The evidence is incontrovertible. Global warming is occurring”. I think today this is less incontrovertible, even by skeptics who disagreed back then, so it could appear in the new statement too. ”

        Fine. Show me some scientists that will bet their paychecks that 2020 will be warmer than 2014 (by UAH or RSS – the untampered temperature standards, or raw data temperature).

      • UAH is showing a robust rise rate of over 0.1 C per decade despite the “pause”. I really don’t know what the skeptics are talking about.

      • That’s the problem with this issue. Too many charged particles.

      • > Dismissing Koonin’s remarks as plucked from skeptics blogs misses the whole point – a highly regarded physicist (a democrat to boot) takes a serious look at the evidence in the IPCC and ends up, well pretty much agreeing with moi.

        If that’s the point, then I’m not sure Pierrehumbert is that far off the mark:

        Steve Koonin is the answer to a troublesome question facing the Journal’s opinion page editors: What you do if you want to continue obstructing progress on global warming pollution, but your usual stable of tame skeptics is starting to die off (Fred Seitz), retire from active research (Dick Lindzen), or discredit itself through serial scientific errors (John Christy) or by taking fanatical and manifestly untenable positions (Heartland Institute)? That puts the editors in quite a pickle. The Wall Street Journal evidently has high hopes for promoting Koonin as a prominent new voice for inaction, having lavished on him 2,000 words and front-page Saturday exposure outside the Journal’s paywall.


        An interesting plan B might involve megaphones like Twitchy.

      • Pierrehumbert may be right, Willard. So what?

      • Yes, Koonin is either right or he’s wrong.
        The fact that the warmists have to dig up the dirt appears to be a tacit admission that he’s right.

      • Even better:

        Koonin has constructed a narrative that is calculated to make people take notice even if they wouldn’t ordinarily trust anything the Wall Street Journal published on global warming: I’m a physicist bringing my brilliance and outside perspective to the backwater of climate science! (He was a professor of physics, and later provost, at Caltech.) I’m green! (He was chief scientist for BP, the oil firm that likes to tout itself as the “beyond petroleum” company, and he was involved with renewables there, among other things.) I’ve got true-blue Democratic credentials! (He was undersecretary for science in the Department of Energy during Obama’s first term.)


        The “whole point” indeed.

      • Steven Mosher

        nice double game that Ray plays.

        if you lack credentials, then attack the lack of credentials
        if you have credentials, then attack the ploy of using someone with credentials.

        In the end Koonin is not a TRUE climate scientist.

        nice. self sealing

      • …but our Willie just can’t see it

      • The “whole point” may be a narrative:

        But there are flaws in this narrative. Being a smart physicist can just give you more elaborate ways to delude yourself and others, along with the arrogance to think you can do so without taking the time to really understand the subject you are discussing. Freeman Dyson is a famous example. Koonin’s role in the Department of Energy was marginal and largely powerless, leading ultimately to his resignation. BP’s “beyond petroleum” vision evidently includes tar sands (both extraction and refining) and petcoke (arguably the worst fossil fuel of all). And anyway, how green can you be if you’re the company that gave us the Deepwater Horizon disaster?


        No double bind there.

        Nice try, though.

      • horse … dead … a … flogging
        Rearrange the words!

      • Even if Lindzen never writes another paper, he will still be a force in climate debate. As to Christy, a problem was found in the sat temp calcs, he fixed it. Isn’t that what scientists are supposed to do?

        Unlike Kaufman who has had problems with his paper pointed out with precision by SM, then “corrected” it, but alas, it still has problems.

        So, Willard, the hack doesn’t hold water.


      • JimD “UAH is showing a robust rise rate of over 0.1 C per decade despite the “pause”. I really don’t know what the skeptics are talking about.”

        For the last 10 years (since September 2004) the change is approximately 0 (zero).

        Most people start from 1997 for the pause since the strong 1997/1998 El Nino was followed by a strong La Nina.

        I don’t see the robustness of 10 years of zero (or 17 if you go back to 1997).

        Personally I believe in 2024 we will have 20 years of zero, since I’m sort of convinced CO2 has some sort of effect.

        But some solid cooling could persuade me otherwise.

      • PA, 10 years is never robust. You can get downward trends with other carefully selected 15 year periods such as 1980-1995, but the overall trend is there, and the deviation from that is as small as ever and getting smaller, if anything.

      • > Rearrange the words!

        All the words follow one after another in the op-ed.

        The first quote was the second paragraph.

        The second quote was the third.

        The third quote was the fourth paragraph.


        Pierrehumbert does not appear to miss what Judge Judy claims is the “whole point.” Some might wish to restrict this “whole point” to the fact that Koonin agrees with her. But even then Pierrehumbert may have covered this possibility.

      • I had read good things about Pierrehumbert over the years. The Slate piece undid that effectively at the character level–the absurd, insinuative, ad hominem approach makes him untrustworthy in anything he writes on this topic, no matter how technical it appears. If he’s willing to play by these rules in public communication, where he’s easy to catch, then there’s no reason to trust him on more-opaque technical issues where more trust would be required absent a detailed analysis of each claim.

        Koonin hasn’t always covered himself with glory in his own public dealings with those whose claims he disputed (see cold fusion), but two wrongs don’t make a right (and Koonin’s intellectual position, if not his behavior, had very strong grounding). Pierrehumbert’s thinly disguised resentment of the higher status of scientists such as Koonin and Dyson is as unbecoming as was Koonin’s disdain for mere chemists treading in physics years ago.

    • How has Ray been coming along with cloud forcing? I haven’t heard much since the Statute of Liberty buried in the sand presentation.

    • Page one may have been omitted by accident. But I can understand why it may have been intentionally omitted. The first page of the rant was several paragraphs of verbiage intended to discredit Koonin by attacking his character, where he used to work, motives, and the medium in which he chose to publish his essay. Pretty prototypical left wing stuff that isn’t relevant to the scientific arguments he made.

      The second page had some actual criticism of WHAT Koonin actually wrote about.

    • More Wall Street Garbage

      When the science gets settled “enough”, climate model output will look like real climate data. They are not there yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Climate Model output does not agree with real earth data.
      Climate Model output does not resemble real earth data.
      The climate alarmists, and their followers, do not appear to know or even suspect that this is a serious problem with consensus theory and models.

      It will only get worse for them as the model output and data diverge, more and more, every year.

      On the Skeptic side, we have more than one theory. As more data becomes available, it will support some theory above the others and something better will likely come soon. Soon could be days, weeks, months or years. I really suspect it will not take decades more. The data is getting better, resisting consensus based corrections, all the time.

    • The self-inflicted demolition of jimmy dee’s credibility continues.

    • Mr. Pierre-Humbert has a lot of respect in the circle of those who are most alarmed about climate change and his arguments need to be taken seriously.

      However, this piece suffers from the most common of Alarmist fallacies, that attacking the reputation or standing of your opponent is more important than countering his/her arguments.

      Mr. Pierre-Humbert spends over one page of a two-page article trying to deligitimize Mr. Koonin. When he finally gets around to Koonin’s arguments, it’s easy to see why. They basically amount to ‘Koonin’s measuring A instead of B’ or he’s counting from Date A instead of Date B.’

      But Koonin didn’t do the measuring or counting. He (exactly like the IPCC) is assessing the measuring and counting done by others.

      As a brief aside, Pierre-Humbert notes a doubling of the rate of sea-level in the century before AGW is thought to have started and seems to think that’s an effective argument on the issue because the rate of sea-level rise ‘doubled’ in the century afterwards.

      The Alarmist Brigade would rather call their opponents senile or out of touch with the mainstream literature than engage with the (best of) their arguments. A lot of foolishness is put forth by skeptics (Iron Sun, Sky Dragon, etc.) But the best of their arguments need to be considered seriously. After all, a similar amount of nonsense issues forth from the Alarmist camp as well.

      One of the reasons for their ad hominem attacks is that the best of the skeptic/lukewarmer arguments are extremely tough to counter.

      All the more reason for Mr. Pierre-Humbert to save time and energy by abandoning his attacks on Mr. Koonin’s reputation and qualifications.

      • All the more reason for Mr. Pierre-Humbert to save time and energy by abandoning his attacks on Mr. Koonin’s reputation and qualifications.

        Maybe he just doesn’t have anything else.

        I find it funny how many alarmists, here and in general, dismiss the types of arguments Koonin made as “talking points”. But why are they talking points? Because they were gotten from real scientists who do real science, and they are “extremely tough to counter.”

        The fact that they’re “talking points” doesn’t mean they’re wrong, it’s the fact that they’re so “extremely tough to counter” (i.e. probably right, at least in context) that makes them good talking points.

        I’m reduced to repeating myself trying (probably without success) to get my point across. Sigh.

  8. “Greg Laden @gregladen

    This tweet is simply more proof that you are not interested in civil conversation. UR a liar and UR dangerious to the future. @curryja
    1:23 PM – 2 Oct 2014 Coon Rapids, MN, United States”

    Surely this is actionable?

    • Why an atheist radio station would want to interview the prophet of a millenarial cult like Mannatollah Mike is a mystery to me. ~Mark Steyn (Mann is an island)

    • “Surely this is actionable?”

      I don’t think so. I believe there is some legal issue, mens rea?

      Wasn’t it Steven Mosher that said that if you trust the models you need your head examined?

      • ‘UR a li@r’ is a bit specific.

      • Perhaps he meant ‘lair’, but misspelled it

      • Doc, there is a pretty good chance that Greg’s cheese slipped off his cracker. Taking “action” against someone that confuses bookmarking with actual “favoritism” is a waste of time or has an emotional meltdown at the AGU conference is not going to do much good. Just try to remember him back in the good old days when he worn his jester’s hat proudly.

      • Steven Mosher

        Trust the model for sensitivity was my exact position

      • Wheel is spinning, but the hamster is dead.

    • She may well be dangerious, whatever that means.

    • I think he means HIS future.

      • ….”dangerous to the future.”

        Why is it that just about every one of these guys is borderline illiterate. Such drudges.

    • Theo Goodwin

      This tweet is simply more proof that you are not interested in civil conversation limited to consensus climate scientists. UR a liar and UR dangerious to the future of consensus climate science. @curryja
      1:23 PM – 2 Oct 2014 Coon Rapids, MN, United States”

      Fixed it.

  9. Matthew R Marler

    Here is an interesting comment from the ClimateAudit post on the pages2k revision:

    They show the following diagram of changes – all in the direction of increasing MWP warmth relative to modern warmth in their reconstruction. These are large changes from seemingly simple changes in individual proxies – a longstanding CA theme.

    It is “well known” that PC estimation is “unstable”, meaning small changes in data produce surprisingly large changes in the obtained PC coefficients. It is one of the reasons why the selection of time series for inclusion/exclusion is so important. I put “well known” in quotes because the effect can be surprising in actual cases even to people who know of the problem, and Mann and others in their writings show what might be called an inconsistent awareness of the problem.

    • Er, yeah, but PCA wasn’t used for this. Why talk only about the effect on a methodology which wasn’t used?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Brandon Shollenberger: Er, yeah, but PCA wasn’t used for this. Why talk only about the effect on a methodology which wasn’t used?

      It just seemed interesting.

  10. Nick Lewis has a plot of Arctic Sea Ice which he posted on Lucia’s Blackboard this last September:


    The graphs are updated daily and show this year (2014) and the current nadir and recovery of Arctic Sea Ice. Also graphed are other years of Arctic Sea Ice so one can compare the current 2014 with other years.

    In reading the Curry link regarding Antarctic Sea Ice the tone of the writers was that while the current record Antarctic Sea Ice extent still needed some work to explain, that the scientific understanding for the Arctic Sea Ice extent was already a known: (AGW) natch.

    Nick Lewis supplies a lot of data that is useful, but for the life of me, I can not understand why this year’s Arctic Sea Ice extent is greater than five previous years during the satellite era.

    Has anyone seen a plausible explanation why there has been a recovery of Arctic Sea Ice Extent? This is especially perplexing to me in the face of 2013 being the hottest year ever due to global warming which made it so hot that an Australian tennis tournament had to be postponed for a day?

    • That would be Nick Stokes.

      • Capt’nDallas

        Of course you are right! My fault of perseveration on names.

        My apologies to both Nick Lewis and Nick Stokes.

    • When the Arctic Sea Ice sets a low record, that causes a lot more snowfall that prevents the next few years from being warm enough. The new low record will likely be set, but it needs a few years to recover from the more snow fall that happens after the record low years.

      You can look at the data. Sea ice gets lower, lower, lowest and then a lot higher. It snows more when the oceans are more open.

    • “Has anyone seen a plausible explanation why there has been a recovery of Arctic Sea Ice Extent?”
      Some surface and near surface regions of the Arctic ocean have cooled promoting sea ice formation. That’s how I read what Wyatt writes:
      As the Arctic ocean loses ice, more heat should transfer from that ocean into the atmosphere. If that sea ice comes back, it should cool the local atmosphere in the short term.

      • Ragnaar

        Thank you for the link to Marcia Wyatt’s explanation of the “stadium wave”. I do need to read and re-read explanations of a scientific publication stated in slightly different ways for me to slowly comprehend what is being said.

        Are you saying that the explanation why the Arctic Sea Ice Extent appears to be recovering is that the various indices captured in the stadium wave hypothesis are cycling back to have Arctic Sea Ice recover? Would the prediction then be: Arctic Sea Ice will recover to what it had been some, say 40 or 50 years ago?

    • RiHo, an Australian tennis postponement does not necessarily indicate historically extreme temperatures, but a different attitude to demands on players and attendant health risks. Cf sliding roofs on courts.

      • Faustino

        Said somewhat tongue-in-cheek: a brief sports interruption has the same scientific weight as utterances from consensus gurus.

    • Some say the world will end in fire,
      Some say in ice.


      IPCC say, ‘ t’ is a puzzle.’ Say, if the IPCC
      is puzzled, that’s a first!

      • Beththeserf

        I tried to open the link and got a message that there was no application to open the link. Do you have another avenue to this source?

      • Riho
        Jest google http://www..carbonbrief.org then click on ter thread,
        ‘Antarctic sea ice hits new high’

      • Beththeserf

        Found it.

        Dontcha know there is always a “yes…but” in the Climate Change lexicon? It tumbles off their lips like a melt pond draining.

        “But overall, the Arctic sea-ice loss is over three times greater than Antarctic gain.”

        We don’t know why there is sea ice gain down south BUT we can discount our ignorance of such things by pointing to the other pole with sea ice loss.

    • http://psc.apl.washington.edu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/schweiger/ice_volume/SPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrentV2.1.png

      Well, everyone is looking at the wrong chart. Sea ice volume is the only measure that really matters. The other measures are a combination of luck and weather.

      The sea ice volume started to recover in 2007. The volcanoes in 2010 and 2011 hammered the sea ice with ash and caused major sea ice loss. Since the dirty ice melted the volume has been increasing steadily.

      This winter should get two standard deviations above the trend – breaking the trend.

      • PA

        You may be right about looking at Arctic Sea Ice Volume instead of Extent. Do you have a suggestion as to why Arctic Sea Ice Volume may be recovering? I have been told, by very reliable IPCC consensus sources that Arctic Sea Ice is in a death spiral and not to recover until I end my sinful ways…SUV and all that. (SUV…new tires, new brakes, new windshield wipers at 125,000 miles, getting ready for this winter’s snow and ice.)

      • Ice is very sensitive to soot/ash. Ice has an albedo (reflection coefficient) of 0.9 which means it only absorbs 10% of incoming energy. Soot/Ash is around 0.1. So dusting ice with soot/ash is the same as making the sun 9 times brighter. Chinese soot, volcanic ash, soot from Canadian forest fires, and dust from where ever are all to blame.

        So in general – if the ice melts faster it is a combination of more dirt/higher temperatures. If it melts slower either some of the dirty ice has melted and the newer ice is cleaner or the temperatures are lower

        If the ice freezes more (increased volume) the temperatures are colder.

        The albedo has been increasing lately. The summer temperatures have been lower. For arctic temperatures see link below:


      • I’ve wondered also if the record warm northern pacific and a potential el nino might interact with the weak polar vortex/wavey jet stream to recharge ice.

  11. I looked a little further into Milankovitch cycles and finally found what I was looking for, sort of. The Eemian interglacial lasted from about 130,000 bp to about 115, 000 bp or about 26,000 to about 28,000 yrs. I originally thought that the eccentricity must kick in to take temps down. Now I see the interglacial occurs entirely in the round orbit. The predominate factor driving temps up and down appears to be axil tilt as Milankovich surmised. The elipital orbit lasted from 115,000 to younger dyas or to about 20,000 to 15,000bp. Temps again rose into the Holocene Maximum starting about 11,500 bp. During the entire glacial period temps went up and down at a lower level as determined by axial tilt combined with precession. They say the average interglacial is about 12,000 years but that Eemian and the present one look to be about 28,000 yrs long. So the 28,000 seems too match up with axial tilt but not 12,000. If the average is true it must be how tilt and precession work together? Anyway, we are at peak now on the beginning of the down slope that would hit bottom about 17,000 years from now if it is like Eemian. So I would imagine it’ll be at least 5000 before the colder times start to show up. That is unless of course CO2 somehow mitigates that into some kind of 100,000 yr goldilocks climate as some scientists suggest.



    • Where did I go wrong?

    • Currently the tilt and eccentricity favor northern ice because the northern summer is furthest from the sun, so we are well into the cold Milankovitch phase already. However, instead of increasing, the Arctic ice cover is now decreasing due to other bigger factors.

      • How do you explain the Antarctic ice then?

      • Wiki says we are at 0.017 eccentricty that is closer to 0.000055 low eccentricity than to 0.0679 high eccentricity. So wouldn’t that indicate it is still fairly round?

        Also we are at 23.44 axil tilt that is half way between 22.1 and 24.5. I guess you are right as that would indicate we are half way from peak heat at 24.5. That would have to coorespond with a shorter interglacial period though since we’ve only been in it for 9000,00 to 10,000 years. If we are past peak it would mean this one will only go another 8,000 or 10,000 for a total of about 18,000 to 20,000. That is 6,000 to 10,000 short of Eemian although still nearly twice the average.

      • supposition

      • I get mixed up easily. The temps started to go up rapidly about 15,000 bp and peaked in the holocene maximum btw 8,000 to 4,000 bp. If that is correct then the cycle would complete in 7,000 to 11,000 yrs

      • So that would mean from 8,000 bp peak we’d already be 1000 past a complete cycle and if it were 4,000 bp peak we’d still have 7,000 to go.

      • ordvic, the roundness is a mitigating factor which may explain why we don’t expect an Ice Age in this tilt cycle, but the cooling after the Holocene Optimum is consistent with the precession forcing.

      • When I said “tilt” I meant precession, not angle.

      • Phatboy,

        You have a good point because both the axil tilt and the apisidal precession (in combination with CO2) should have the Antarctic completely melted by now. Go figure!

      • The Ice Ages don’t spread from the south, and there is a good reason for that: no significant continents within range to glaciate.

      • The Ice Ages don’t spread from the south

        Um yes they do eg Vandergoes.

        The evidence for early onset of maximum glaciation provides
        renewed support for a Southern Hemisphere ‘lead’ into the LGMand
        some indication of its cause. Strong cooling in the south commences
        during, or soon after, the phase when perihelion occurs during the
        Austral winter (30–35 kyr ago), which means that the local insolation
        budget was at its lowest level for the entire precessional cycle (Fig. 2).
        At the same time, insolation in the Northern Hemisphere was still in
        a positive phase, giving a local radiation budget higher than that at
        present. The northern ‘driver’ is therefore an unlikely trigger for the
        onset of maximum glaciation in the south and cannot have been
        directly responsible for a Southern Hemisphere lead.

      • Jim D – Arctic ice has been in a pause of its own since about 2007.


      • phatboy “How do you explain the Antarctic ice then?”

        When it gets really cold water hardens.

        ” I originally thought that the eccentricity must kick in to take temps down.”

        My understanding of Milankovitch is a little different. It takes a Milankovitch maximum to take us out of an ice age – but the peak is short and thereafter things are metastable until the climate drops back to stable icy mode. I saw somewhere a statement we are about 2 W/m2 from glaciation.

      • “However, there are two important sources of heat for surface heating which results in “basal sliding”. One source is geothermal energy. This is around 0.1 W/m² which is very small unless we are dealing with an insulating material (like ice) and lots of time (like ice sheets). The other source is the shear stress in the ice sheet which can create a lot of heat via the mechanics of deformation.”
        “Once the ice sheet is able to start sliding, the dynamics create a completely different result compared to an ice sheet “cold-pinned” to the rock underneath.”

        “..Moreover, our results suggest that thermal enabling of basal flow does not occur in response to surface warming…”

        “…Our simulations suggest that a substantial fraction (60% to 80%) of the ice sheet was frozen to the bed for the first 75 kyr of the glacial cycle, thus strongly limiting basal flow. Subsequent doubling of the area of warm-based ice in response to ice sheet thickening and expansion and to the reduction in downward advection of cold ice may have enabled broad increases in geologically- and hydrologically-mediated fast ice flow during the last deglaciation.
        Increased dynamical activity of the ice sheet would lead to net thinning of the ice sheet interior and the transport of large amounts of ice into regions of intense ablation both south of the ice sheet and at the marine margins (via calving). This has the potential to provide a strong positive feedback on deglaciation.”
        Looks like Marshall and Clark

        What I think they’re saying to some extent that it’s a function of mass which is a function of time. Given enough cold time and transfer of liquid water from the oceans the to the ice sheets we will get a mechanical collapse. A slow motion avalanche to an interglacial.

        Are we collapsing the ice sheets now? If we are, there would be a reduced weight and insulation of ice which would reduce basal sliding and push in the direction of ice sheet stabilization.

      • PA,
        Since the axil tilt is a 41,000 yr cycle that would leave only the apisidal precession of 21,000 years to coorespond with the short interglacial period. It seems to be how the combination of all three line up to make it happen? I’m just trying to figure out where they are now. I know the tilt and eccentricty approximately and supposedly the apisidal is north pole faces at furthest eliptical distance and south pole at closet right now. But this still doesn’t tell me how far we are from peak on the downside. The apisidal is mainly what is throwing me off right now.

    • It snows more when oceans are warm and then, after hundreds of years, it gets cold. It snows less when oceans are cold and then, after hundreds of years, it gets warm.

      Milankovitch cycles work with this sometimes and work against this sometimes, but Milankovitch cycles do not start or stop the snowfall.

      Warm oceans with no or low sea ice cause the snowfall.
      Cold frozen oceans stop the snowfall.

    • If more summer sunshine means less Arctic sea ice, then we can see that there will be a continued decline in Arctic sea ice for the next 100,000 years, regardless of how much more CO2 there would be:


  12. Has The Global Warming Alarmist Marketing Campaign reached it’s end date yet?


  13. From the oil boom article, linked in main post, from Vox:

    4) The fourth, is the slight flagging of the natural gas boom. Careful market watchers expected 2012 to be a high point, when gas was ridiculously cheap and pushed out enormous amounts of coal. But coal clawed back a bit last year. That shouldn’t have been a surprise — gas prices were unnaturally low in 2012 — and it’s not an indication of long-term weakness in the idea that US gas production can keep growing. But it’s a useful corrective to the idea that the gas boom would take care of country’s climate problem all by itself.

    (end quote)

    I think this guy may be wrong about the price being “unnaturally” low, at least in the medium term. There are real worries now that the price will stay so low that companies will have to start shutting in higher operating cost nat gas wells. Pipelines don’t yet exist to deliver all the gas being produced, so gas is being flared. Once those are in place, it will mean even more supply to market. This does not add up to a higher nat gas price scenario.

    • This is where a lot of my commenting here has been pointing:
      What is one of the big risks investors in gas infrastructure face? That exponential growth of solar. Sure, it might not happen, and even if it does, they’ll get a decade or so of ROI.

      But how can their bets be hedged?

      If a working prototype bioconverter of hydrogen and CO2 to methane could be demonstrated, with good expectations that the cost could be brought down along with solar. In that case, solar energy (e.g. panels) would be competing with only the wells, instead of the whole industry.

      The trade-off for solar would be between solar (e.g. panels)+inverters+long distance transmission vs. solar(e.g. panels)+electrolytic hydrogen+bio-conversion to methane+long distance pipes(+gas-fired combined turbines).

      And, AFAIK, carrying equivalent amounts of methane thousands of kilometers (miles) is orders of magnitude cheaper than carrying electricity. Which would often make up for the lower efficiency of the electrolysis/bio-conversion steps.

      • David Wojick

        However, AK, there is no reason to believe this graph, which I would describe as preposterous. Capital intensive infrastructure penetration cannot happen this fast.

      • Capital intensive infrastructure penetration cannot happen this fast.

        UK Mobile Phone Subscriptions per 100 people; note that there are more subscriptions than inhabitants in the UK. This is because many people have more than one phone, or SIM card [13]. (Fig.2 from Mobile phone infrastructure development: Lessons for the development of a hydrogen infrastructure by Scott Hardman and Robert Steinberger-Wilckens International Journal of Hydrogen Energy Volume 39, Issue 16, 27 May 2014, Pages 8185–8193.)

        I suppose you think mobile phones are cute little toys you buy in a store? Don’t forget the towers, data transmission, and software/protocols necessary for those phones to talk to one another, and the land-line system.

        Or the data infrastructure (hardware, software, and protocols) the Internet also depends on (I’m not going to provide links for that).

        From the article linked above:

        Previous studies use the example of how internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle infrastructure was developed in the late 1800s and early 1900s [5] and [6]. […] One reason for the success of the ICE was due to there being an existing petroleum supply network. This network supplied petroleum for lighting and for stationary petrol generators, as well as the farming industry [5]. This meant that ICE outcompeted BEVs and steam engine vehicles precisely because infrastructure was already present. The availability of infrastructure was a compelling reason to purchase an ICE vehicle over competitive vehicles.


        The mobile phone was a disruptive innovation; this can be confirmed using the 3-point disruptive technology criteria. The criteria states that innovations are disruptive innovations if they require new infrastructure, are produced by new market entrants and not incumbents, and provide a greater level of service to the end users [7]. […W]ith economies of scale and technological improvements handset unit costs were continually reduced and in around 30 years the mobile phone went from high cost low volume series in niche markets to occupying the whole landscape and achieving an enormous mass-market share (see section 1.2). [my bold]


        Mobile phone use would not be possible without the development of infrastructure. Consumers would not purchase a device that could not be used. As with FCVs there was a need to make a decision to invest in infrastructure before the market entry of the product could begin. The decision to invest is not an easy one, as the economic incentives to develop an infrastructure that currently has no customers are hard to identify. Nevertheless, without the development of infrastructure any technology reliant upon it will surely fail. Mobile phone infrastructure has been continually developed over the past 4 decades. An overview of the increase in network capabilities can be seen in Fig. 5 as measured by download rates, also know as band rates.

        A parallel logic can be applied to solar power. Both the options I mentioned above depend on mature infrastructure: electrical grid, and gas storage/distribution/use. Solar power, like Cell towers and data transmission infrastructure, would have to be built, bought, and installed. But the economics around such infrastructure change are no more “preposterous” than those of the Internet, or cell phone infrastructure.

        “Capital intensive infrastructure penetration” DID happen that fast. TWICE!

      • David Wojick

        AK, I used the term capital intensive infrastructure precisely to distinguish solar power installations from small consumer items like cell phones. Buying a cell phone and putting a $30,000 solar system on your house are very different sorts of investments. Most people can afford the former while few can afford the latter. I think solar will be a niche technology for a long time, unless its use is mandated of course.

      • Buying a cell phone and putting a $30,000 solar system on your house are very different sorts of investments.

        But what about the infrastructure?

      • AK if you plot the number of Ebola cases in the USA, extend the curve, you will note we will all be dead before the end of the year.

      • @DocMartyn…

        Really small sample there: One case. (Not counting the ones who already had it and knew it before they returned from Africa.)

        OTOH we have decades of experience with the exponential growth of solar PV.

      • David Wojick

        Absent massive storage capability, solar (and wind) cannot replace fossil capacity in large scale power systems, due to intermittency. What they can do is reduce fossil fuel use but that makes the system as a whole more expensive because the fossil plants earn less. It is very expensive to have a fossil plant sitting there just to run in the dark or when the wind does not blow. Governments do not seem to know this.

      • The big risk everybody faces is all the solar panel owners expecting a subsidy because they can’t generate electricity on a steady basis.

      • They could use it to buy battery backup.

      • AK: Your faith in the exponential advancement of technology is shared by me. However, unlike the mobile phone industry at its beginning, the power industry infrastructure is established and will change only over time, perhaps generations of time, as demand increases and existing facilities become uneconomical.

      • […] unlike the mobile phone industry at its beginning, the power industry infrastructure is established and will change only over time, […]

        I suppose that’s what most people thought about the land-line phone system, too.

      • I have an idea. Instead of pylons, let’s suspend the electric grid main lines using drones. Attached to the lines, they could be powered by corona discharge through a small spike. That way, we could direct power wherever it is needed!

      • Better yet, scrap the big long-distance grid entirely, and replace it with cheap gas-fired generators feeding local micro-grids.

      • AK: Mobile phone got it start, not as a replacement for land lines, but as an extra source of communications. Also I’m uncertain regarding the envisioned future of solar. Is it going to be a consumer product or an industrial product? My original comment assumed that the customers would be the power companies.

      • The drone idea will help you get power from the Patagonia Desert to NYC.

      • Also I’m uncertain regarding the envisioned future of solar. Is it going to be a consumer product or an industrial product?


        I’ve actually been spending a good deal of my free time trying to understand the (potential) future economics of solar power, and some of the arguments I get here help to stimulate my thinking (much as it may sometimes appear otherwise).

        There are several important points that must be kept in mind:

        •       The energy situation is very different in different places: you can’t assume that the US, or Western Europe, works as a model for, e.g., India, Central Asia, China, or, especially, Africa.

        •       There’s a vast array of potential technologies, even looked at carefully and critically. For instance, I’m totally skeptical of anything having to do with hydrogen for vehicles, or for major energy storage and/or transport. But, after taking a similarly critical look at, e.g. panels and concentrating PV, I see many potential problems, but none that don’t look solvable.

        •       There are huge potential synergies that don’t seem to have been looked at. Desalination and pumping come to mind immediately. These could probably be made cost-effective near-term, without the need for (energy) storage, inverters, or distance transmission. Maybe not everywhere, but many places.

        •       There’s a variety of technologies “in the pipeline” that could (IMO will) serve as “enabling technology” for innovative solar development. I would include:

              •       cheap, mass-producible inflated structures,

              •       “static robots” where robotic technology (sensing and control) is used to stabilized a structure in a single shape against distorting forces (e.g. wind pressure),

              •       floating buildings and other structures,

              •       cheap sunlight collection via “light pipes”,

              •       and cheap, mass-produced tracking mechanisms, suitable for concentrating PV and even enhancing the value of panels.

        •       “Moore’s Law”. The exponential decrease in cost/price of information technology (IT) will serve as enabling technology for the items listed above, as well as others not thought of yet.

        So which technologies will grow rapidly for which markets? I can only guess, as do the industry “forecasters”. Africa will probably see a much larger focus on local, small-scale development than the US/Europe. India and China may use some mix of small-scale and large (i.e. more like the US). But that’s only guessing.

        In projecting, I start with the assumption that people like Ray Kurzweil are right about the exponential growth, although I predict that any specific technology will follow a more “yeast growth” pattern. (Thus the picture above, where I overlaid an actual yeast-growth curve over Kurzweil’s exponential curve.)

        There’s little or no difference in the curves during the early growth stage, but as the technology matures the growth tapers off.

        The question is: what technologies will contribute to that growth, and how? To grow as the curve predicts in developed areas, solar will have to be connected to the grid. According to the standard paradigm, this will require inverters (to convert DC from the PV cells to AC suitable for long-distance transmission), and transmission from mostly remote sites to appropriate grid connections.

        The alternate paradigm I’m pushing would involve converting it to methane (or oil) right at the collector, and using equally mature gas technology for storage, transport, and generation. Yes, there would be some efficiency losses, but the cost of transporting gas is (AFAIK) orders of magnitude cheaper than electricity, and all the technology could be made small-scale: hydrolysis and bio-conversion for a small collector area could probably be fit into a Coke bottle, only a few feet from the actual cells.

        Economies of scale could be achieved by simply making millions, or billions, of such units. Improvements in sensing and communications technology, following “Moore’s Law”, would mean that each unit could keep track of itself, and defective units could be replaced by automated systems, perhaps supervised remotely by engineers.

        The exact same technology could be used on a more “one-off” basis for distributed power in, e.g. African villages. Small scale gas compression, storage, and perhaps even distribution (to homes) could allow the result to both power generators and replace wood or dung for cooking and heating.

      • I propose something as magical as Chlorophyll.

      • The problem with chlorophyll is the very large number of life-forms adapted to eating it, and the life-forms that deploy it. Not to rule out Joule, Unlimited’s efforts…

      • AK: Thank you. You have obviosly given this much thought and work.

        Are you familiar with the work of Vaclav Smil? He writes that “Perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of energy transitions is their speed. Substituting one form of energy for another takes a long time.”. He believes it will take generations to transition from our existing fossil fuel infrastructure to a renewable energy infrastructure.

        I tend to agree with him and don’t see the growth of computers/mobile phones as comparable to the power industry. Those were new markets and did not involve abandoning a huge existing infrastructure.

        Here is an example:

        A few years ago I invested in a 95% efficient gas furnace and it is still going strong and saving me money. It will be many years before I buy a renewable energy device for my house. My electric company has up-to-date gas turbines and a nuclear facility and, I believe, more nuclear in the planning stages; it would be foolish for them and costly to me to abandon those facilities and switch to renewable, especially faced with increased energy demand. However, it would be acceptable to meet increased demand with reasonably priced renewables; in that case it will take the generations that Smil writes about.

      • @rls…

        This is exactly why I’m pushing the electrolysis/bio-conversion to methane approach. You keep your gas furnace, your power company keeps its gas generators, but all that cheap solar is used to generate gas to put into that system, in place of what comes from wells. Individual wells, AFAIK, tend to last less time than all the infrastructure for storing and transporting gas. For that matter, they could put solar power/gas installations on the land used for wells, and feed the resulting gas into the same pipes used for the wells.

        I know I need pictures. I’m working on it. In my free time.

      • AK: Got it, please forgive my neurons, not my fault, I wasn’t informed.

        Have you seen this:

        Washington D.C. — The Department of Energy has issued a draft solicitation that would provide up to $12.6 billion in loan guarantees for Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects.


      • @rls…

        Thanks. Seen it now.

        Like I said, smart money won’t invest in nuclear without guarantees.

        Still, it’s probably worth it for strategic reasons, as well as a fallback if solar doesn’t keep up its gallop towards the price floor.

      • Answering Vaclav Smil Watts Up, Vaclav? Putting Peak Oil and the Renewables Transition in Context by Chris Nelder June 5, 2013

        I’d like to pick out some blockquotes, but I’m going to be away from my computer for most of the rest of the day. Have other things to finish.

      • AK, you might have noticed that I am very sceptical about any attempts to predict the future. In this context, considering potential technological advances and pricing, I recall a 1985 assessment at Australia’s Bureau of Industrial Economics. In 1975, BIE (or its parent department) forecast which ten industries would grow fastest in the next decade. In the event, none of the industries which grew fastest from 1975-85 (all in microelectronics) were on the list, as they did not exist in 1975. I say again, I say again, we must pursue policies which enhance our capacity to deal best with changing circumstances, whatever they may be, rather than putting unwarranted faith in projected and possible futures, particularly those predicated on technological change (or, of course, imperfect modelling of possible temperature rises). Peter Lang has asked me (below) to look at some work on discount rates, if I manage to comment, it might be relevant to this sub-thread.

    • A higher natural gas price scenario is reasonable. The number of rigs drilling for gas us down because the price is too low. Companies drill for condensate, and light oil with associated gas but the stay away from dry gas. Eventually the reduction in the number of wells being drilled is reflected in a lower gas production capacity. The lower capacity leads to price increases. It’s a cyclic phenomenon.

      Eventually the industry shakes down, the weaker companies are bought at distress prices and the competition streamlines the number of players. New players appear to operate as cheaply as possible, and the cycle moves on. But the prices continue to rise.

      Also, the Obama administration is allowing some gas exports. This in turn should increase prices.

      I don’t think the USA has enough gas to make an impact supplying the vehicle fleet.

      • What’s relative is the sense of tine spans. Drilling for gas is uneconomic at this time. One reason is the over investment by mullets buying gas funds. Over the next 30 years the prices will rise.

      • Natural gas won’t last forever, that’s for sure. But there’s more there than anyone knows, I’m betting.

      • Looks like industry agrees with you, Fernando.

        From the article:
        White said he supports the Keystone XL, but also noted that despite the political hurdles facing that project, the American pipeline sector overall is booming.

        “We’ve seen more pipeline construction in the U.S. over the last seven years than in the history of the history of the United States,” White said.

        “I’m not saying this to minimize the significance of Keystone or anything,” White said, “but by historical standards, we’re moving pretty fast on midstream.”

        Pickering said he doesn’t expect the boom in production from shale to slow in the near future. “The next big thing is the current big thing,” Pickering said. “We’re 10 years into the shale story… and it’s probably a 20-year or 30-year thing.”


      • Don’t forget sea-floor methane hydrates. The robotics needed to operate on the ocean floor aresubject to “Moore’s aLaw”. And if there aren’t any people present, the very high pressures aren’t really a problem.

      • I think many of you who dismiss the difficulties getting the unconventional hydrocarbons don’t grasp the details. Working offshore in deep water isn’t subject to Moores Law. Go read about Petrobras and their project to produce the presalt fields. And tell me, do you think methane hydrates are found in a nice little pile on the sea floor? Do you visualize something we can suck up with a vacuum cleaner?

  14. Alexej Buergin

    “China’s one-word anster to Obama” reminds me of this:
    A man orders “flied lice” from a Chinese waiter. The six-word anster: “It is fried rice, you plick.”

    • Funny. I actually go around to reading that article because of this joke.

      But more seriously, I suspect the key is:

      –Western countries also need to remove “obstacles such as IPRs [intellectual property rights]” to “promote, facilitate and finance the transfer” of “technologies and know-how” to developing countries in advance of any future climate deal;

      They’ll drop all the other demands to get free access to the patented technology.

    • Well, until the CAGW people can show significant warming in the raw data for this century, it is just a game and China wants to win as much as it can.

      Without actual (raw data) warming, unless someone pays you to clean up there is no incentive.

      The pause is predicted to go on until 2030 so we have some time to kill.

      If the pause goes to 2030 CAGW has a hard time justifying any action. China will be at peak coal and there won’t be a another big player to keep emissions rising.

      It is hard to defend predictions of more than a 1°C temperature rise if temperatures are flat for a third of a century. A 1°C temperature rise by 2100 doesn’t justify taking any action.

  15. From The Carbon Brief article on the Antarctic:
    But at the North Pole the decline of Arctic sea-ice continues to accelerate. Scientists haven’t yet been able to pin down why the opposite is happening in the Antarctic.
    (end quote)

    Are these guys looking at the same charts as the rest of us?

  16. Pierrehumbert has been a lead author on the IPCC Assessment Reports and was a co-author of the National Research Council report on abrupt climate change. His field of specialization is developing idealized mathematical models to solve problems in climate science. He is also a frequent contributor to RealClimate. Pierrehumbert is the last person in the world and one of the people with the most to lose by giving a fair and balanced perspective on climate science. Any more questions?

  17. Another consensus bites the dust:
    “Was Ebola Behind the Black Death?”

    Controversial new research suggests that contrary to the history books, the “Black Death” that devastated medieval Europe was not the bubonic plague, but rather an Ebola-like virus.

    The details in the article are quite convincing. Maybe in a thousand years someone will write an article like this about climate science.

    • “If you look at the way it spreads, it was spreading at a rate of around 30 miles in two to three days,” says Duncan. “Bubonic plague moves at a pace of around 100 yards a year.”

      Pneumonic plague

      [I]s more virulent and rare than bubonic plague. The difference between the versions of plague is simply the location of the infection in the body; the bubonic plague is an infection of the lymphatic system, the pneumonic plague is an infection of the respiratory system, and the septicaemic plague is an infection in the blood stream.

      Typically, pneumonic form is due to a spread from infection of an initial bubonic form. Primary pneumonic plague results from inhalation of fine infective droplets and can be transmitted from human to human without involvement of fleas or animals. Untreated pneumonic plague has a very high fatality rate.

    • Thanks for the info. After reading the Wikipedia and CDC pages the article doesn’t look convincing at all.

  18. California drought:

    “To test their theory, the Stanford team applied advanced statistical techniques to a large suite of climate model simulations.”

    In 1994, when the NY Times was not the climate campaigner it is today, it noted that droughts in the California region were much, much worse in the past.

    “BEGINNING about 1,100 years ago, what is now California baked in two droughts, the first lasting 220 years and the second 140 years. Each was much more intense than the mere six-year dry spells that afflict modern California from time to time, new studies of past climates show. The findings suggest, in fact, that relatively wet periods like the 20th century have been the exception rather than the rule in California for at least the last 3,500 years, and that mega-droughts are likely to recur.”


    Data trumps models.

  19. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Explaining Extreme Events of 2013
        from a Climate Perspective

    American Meteorological Society goes all-in
        for James Hansen’s climate-change worldview!

    AMS Summary and Broader Context

    This report contributes to the growing body of evidence that human influences on climate have changed the risk of some extreme events and that scientists are increasingly able to detect these changes.

    effects of human-induced climate change, as found for the Korean heat wave of summer 2013.

    These individual examples are consistent with the broader trends captured in the latest IPCC (Stocker et al. 2014) statement, “it is likely that the frequency of heat waves has increased in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia.”

    Beyond the science, there is an ongoing public dialog around climate change and its impacts.

    It is clear that extreme events capture the public’s attention. And, indeed, they should because “people, plants and animals tend to be more impacted by changes in extremes compared to changes in average climate”

    The World Wonders  What will Rome say?

    Because isn’t it the poor and disenfranchised who suffer most, from heat and drought and rising seas?

    As for denialism’s “usual suspects”  Don’t we *ALREADY* know what their frothing ideology-driven response will be? “The freedom-destroying commie/green/liberal climate-science conspiracy extends even farther than we ever dreamed!”

    \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}

    • More bafoonery Fanboy, the “conspiracy” straw man has been shot down a thousand times before. Left-wing group think such as AGW is conspiracy idealization by definition; “big oil” etc. etc. It is you ranting conspiracy theory with the largest tinfoil hat in history.

    • Humans do cause heat waves in cities. They buy air conditioners and pump very humid hot air out of their homes and apartments into the city causing the temperature to rise even higher and then they need more air conditioning.

      It has nothing to do with CO2.

      “Studying the impact of air conditioning on the heat island of Paris, another team led by Cecile de Munck and French colleagues observed that air conditioning increases energy demand and the cooling systems themselves release heat onto city streets.

      “It’s a vicious circle,” said de Munck, “temperature increase due to air condition will lead to an increasing air cooling demand.””

    • Fanboy, no one of the slightest scientific orientation cares about “What will Rome say?” Why do you insist upon spouting irrelevancies that only annoy people? If you ever get out of mama’s basement you will be surprised at how interesting the Real World turns out to be.

    • Fan of more discus I was wondering if the paper on tornado frequency I coauthored with Dr Abruzzo was discussed at your committee meeting? The prepublication draft is at


      It fits the context of anti climate denial required by the committee. It predicts increases in tornado frequencies when global warming resumes.

  20. Consider that we are not even aware of all the natural phenomena that take place around us — as we look back in time at past weather to tease out future trends — all of which are involved in climate change that we only understand, after-the-fact.

  21. I have looked at ENSO from various angles, and find classic view not entirely satisfactory.
    Mr. Bob Tisdale an enthusiastic researcher of ENSO suggests that start of Kelvin wave, i.e. donwelling at the east longitude is underway.
    I propose:
    Atmospheric pressure at Port Moresby 142 East should be able to tell us something about the ENSO.
    – change in the atmospheric pressure is caused by downwelling or
    – downwelling is initiated by the atmospheric pressure
    Waveforms of two are similar but not identical
    Spectral composition is almost identical for periods up to 8 years or so, then two diverge.
    What follows is plain and simple:
    Port Moresby atmospheric pressure has two dominant components:
    Sunspot cycle at 11 years
    Lunisolar tides period 18.6 years
    I suggest that the way the ENSO index is calculated inadvertently conceals the true cause of the ENSO. Of course, I do not expect many or even anyone to agree.

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

    NYT on Australian 2013 heat “record” high

    “when we look at the heat of 2013 across the whole of Australia … virtually impossible without climate change”

    ugh … no kidding

    I, for one, could become less skeptical if they would come up with better language (I know what they mean, it just sounds so dumb)

    “climate change” the perpetual motion machine of propaganda labeling

    eternal … never to be resolved

    record heat in Australia but new high in Antarctic sea ice?

    • John

      Australian records are relatively short and only those from Stevenson screen days are accepted, this is very roughly from 1900 or so, depending on the stations.

      There are interesting records from Watkins who describe many of the ‘unprecdented’ things happening today including birds falling out of the sky due to the Heat Watkins predate stevenson screens by well over a hundred years.

      A good flavour of the often savage climate of Australia can be seen in the poems of Dorothea mackellar , particularly this one


      The first part of the poem is, I believe, a reference to her origins in the UK.


      • Tony, that is probably the best known and most often cited poem in Australia. I loved the Australian landscape and light when I accidentally emigrated in 1979, a friend from Essex who’d emigrated three years earlier still found it alien and unsettling.

      • Faustino

        Deservedly so, it’s a very evocative poem which illustrates that the harshness of the climate is not restricted to this year. Are the Watkins diaries much publicised over there?

        Hopefully John will find the references interesting.


      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Thank you
        the poem kinda made my day
        wish I could buy you an espresso or a pint
        espresso for me, I don’t drink (former professional – had to retire)

        One thing that bugs me about AGW folk is the “global citizen” one world government stuff

        as you know, the passage from feudalism to nation states was a bloody go
        these “one world” folk are misguided and ignorant of history
        (and some I fear might be hiding their true motives)

        the poem just reminded me of love of country, something I of late have gained new appreciation

        Yeah, dubious of the “record heat” stuff

        you are a gentleman and a scholar

        PS … one thing I haven’t yet been lucky enough to see is the Southern Cross

      • Tony, I’ve never heard of the Watkins diaries, so either no or not to my demographic, which seems to prefer CE.

      • Tony,
        I remember seeing the Watkin’s Diaries at Readings’
        Book Shop a while back

      • Dorthea’s piece was read by every Aussie kid in the 50s. Many years later, living on the land and waiting for spring rains, I find myself aching for that “drumming of an army” after weeks of “pitiless blue sky”.

        More essential reading on the nature of Oz is this little short story by Henry Lawson;

      • Beth, Faustino and Mosomoso

        Here are two short extracts;


        Watkin Tench
        The Settlement at Port Jackson (Part of) Chapter 17

        “The difference can be accounted for only by supposing that the woods stop the warm vapours of the sea from reaching Rose Hill, which is at the distance of sixteen miles inland; whereas Sydney is but four.* Again, the heats of summer are more violent at the former place than at the latter, and the variations incomparably quicker. The thermometer has been known to alter at Rose Hill, in the course of nine hours, more than 50 degrees; standing a little before sunrise at 50 degrees, and between one and two at more than 100 degrees. To convey an idea of the climate in summer, I shall transcribe from my meteorological journal, accounts of two particular days which were the hottest we ever suffered under at Sydney.”

        “But even this heat was judged to be far exceeded in the latter end of the following February, when the north-west wind again set in, and blew with great violence for three days. At Sydney, it fell short by one degree of what I have just recorded: but at Rose Hill, it was allowed, by every person, to surpass all that they had before felt, either there or in any other part of the world. Unluckily they had no thermometer to ascertain its precise height. It must, however, have been intense, from the effects it produced. An immense flight of bats driven before the wind, covered all the trees around the settlement, whence they every moment dropped dead or in a dying state, unable longer to endure the burning state of the atmosphere. Nor did the ‘perroquettes’, though tropical birds, bear it better. The ground was strewn with them in the same condition as the bats.”


      • Thx fer the Oz licherachure, Tony and Moso. I’ll add
        the Watkins ter me reading list.The Lawson, lol, moso,
        so laconic.

      • Contrast the early painter John Glover and the impressionist Arthur Streeton. It took a while before Europeans were capable of even seeing the landscape. Mackeller was a similar vintage to Streeton and was at the transition between harking back to England and an emergent nationalism.



        But of course the quintessential Australian poem of extremes is – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Said_Hanrahan#The_Poem

      • ‘I’m longin’ to let loose on somethin’ new.
        Aw I’m a chump!
        i know it; but this blind ole springtime craze
        Fair outs me on these dilly silly days.’

        C J Dennis down under.


  23. Political Junkie

    Steyn is good! Here’s his tweet to Greg Laden (in reference to Laden starting a silly pi$$ing contest with our hostess)

    Maybe she’s hiding the decline just to torment you?

  24. State of Energy: Enough Gas for 100 Years

    There is enough energy in the ground right now to supply the needs of the U.S. for the next 100 years, and we can get to it economically.


    • I have been looking at Exxon Mobil’s performance, and noticed they are purchasing large amounts of their own shares. Their oil and gas production trend down, but look fine on a per share basis. My guess is their production will rebound over the next few years but the medium term looks grim. EM looks a bit more difficult to study than say Chevron Texaco. CT has been losing oil production and they don’t look likely to make a turnaround in this trend over the next 5 years. CT seems to be turning into a little oil big gas company.

      • have you noticed much movement in gas to liquids?
        Not having much in the way of diesel must be holding the US back.



        The Israelis will be completely energy independent in five years.

      • Doc Martyn, I worked on gas to liquids in the 1990’s. It requires a cheap gas price to be feasible. That pathway meets a barrier when gas can be marketed as LNG to the Far East and Europe.

        Thus what we see are increasing LNG trade flows and very little GTL. Also, do this exercise: find the gas reserves for a large player (use Russia), convert them to liquids using 30 % of the gas to fuel the process. Then compare those reserves to the Saudi Oil reserves. What you’ll find us that gas isn’t that plentiful if it’s used to replace oil.

        Question: do you guys want me to show you the figures?

      • Of course, show us the figures.
        I have never understood why there is no coal + natural gas => liquids route.
        2 CH4 + C -> CH3CH2CH3
        CH3CH2CH3 + CH4 + C ->CH3(CH2)3CH3

        And so on

      • I have never understood why there is no coal + natural gas => liquids route.

        Probably pretty wasteful (of energy) without targeted catalysis. Of course, with the right enzymes, it might be feasible to drive it with partial pressure.

      • Doc, the gas to liquids processes tend to focus on FT technology. When I looked into gas conversion I became convinced it was much more practical to convert the methane to dimethyl ether (DME) and try to use it as a diesel substitute. A DME conversion unit makes methanol as a side stream, and its a lot cheaper. I also tried to sell the use of ethane as feedstock, but I could never get anybody interested because there wasn´t that much ethane in the world. If the USA ethane surplus were to last it would make an excellent candidate to be made into DME (ethane can be fed into a much cheaper reformer).

        But I don´t think that would allow the development of an infrastructure. We seem to run into the same issues all the time.

      • DME is horrid; it has highly flammable creeping vapours and reacts with water and oxygen to make shock detonation peroxides.

      • Fernando. I second what Doc said about DME. DME is a gas, not a liquid. Maybe you meant diETHYL ether. Even that is highly volatile and would not, even physical property-wise, work as a diesel substitute. It is the culprit in many a lab explosion and fire. It produces peroxides spontaneously within its bulk if not inhibited. Needless to say, this is not a good thing.

      • Doc. Russia has the world’s largest gas reserves. If those reserves are ALL converted to syncrude they would be equivalent to 192 billion barrels.

        Now take the USA gas reserves, set them at 25 % of Russias…that’s 48 billion barrels. Assume USA liquids consumption rate is reduced to 12 million barrels per day, that’s 4.38 billion barrels per year. That’s 11 years’ worth of supply. So even in the USA with the infrastructure and relatively low prices it seems like a poor bet at this time.

        Many years ago I lived in Russia and was trying to investigate how to move those giant gas reserves to liquids. When I put the pencil to it I learned that gas was useful as a supplemental source of liquids. But it wasn’t a game changer. Eventually we realized the Europeans paid a very nice price for the gas, so we gave up the russian gtl idea.

        Did you notice the way Qatar markets their gas? LNG. I hear their GTL project with Shell isn’t working out very well. Maybe some day we will have a better technology?

  25. I predict a barrel of laughs from this one.
    From the article:

    Scientists are to challenge the climate-change sceptics by vastly improving the speed with which they can prove links between a heatwave or other extreme weather event and man-made changes to the atmosphere.

    It typically takes about a year to determine whether human-induced global warming played a role in a drought, storm, torrential downpour or heatwave – and how big a role it played.

    This allows climate sceptics to dismiss any given extreme event as part of the “natural weather variation” in the immediate aftermath, while campaigners automatically blame it on global warming.

    By the time the truth comes out most people have lost interest in the event, the Oxford University scientists involved in the project say.

    They are developing a new scientific model that will shrink to as little as three days the time it takes to establish or rule out a link to climate change, in large part by using highly accurate estimates of sea surface temperatures rather than waiting for the actual readings to be published – a process that can often take months.


    • just say yes

    • David Wojick

      Yet people will believe this Cullen nonsense. Presumeably they are defining normal using available data then measuring the statistical distance to the extreme as a probability or some such. Reminds me of the garbage of determining the 100 year flood using 100 years of data.

    • Being able to crank out BS faster isn’t necessarily a benefit.

      Have them cry wolf on a daily basis doesn’t change the fact they are crying wolf.

  26. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    DocMartyn finds his happy-place  “There is enough gas-energy in the ground right now to supply the needs of the U.S. for the next 100 years”

    Market fundamentalists appreciate what this means, DocMartyn: NO SIZE RESTRICTIONS AND SK*RW THE LIMITS!

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  27. That today’s Conservatives can no longer support the rights their predecessors saw as conservative safeguards is a mark of their extremism. If Cameron wins the next election, that extremism will drive a majority Tory government. His supporters will not allow him to play the PR man once again and dress up our existing rights in new clothes. They will force him to abolish or restrict them. No doubt they will scream with pain when the state threatens them. But to repeat the old gag that a conservative is just a liberal who hasn’t been arrested and predict that they will change their minds is to miss the source of rightwing anger.

    In a celebrated speech in 2009, the late and much missed Lord Bingham listed the liberties the European convention protects. The right not to be tortured or enslaved. The right to liberty and security of the person. The right to marry. The right to a fair trial. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Freedom of expression. Freedom of assembly and association.

    “Which of these rights, I ask, would we wish to discard? Are any of them trivial, superfluous, unnecessary? Are any them un-British?”


  28. Biodiversity is declining in both temperate and tropical regions, but the decline is greater in the tropics. The tropical LPI shows a 56 per cent reduction in 3,811 populations of 1,638 species from 1970 to 2010. The 6,569 populations of 1,606 species in the temperate LPI declined by 36 per cent over the same period. Latin America shows the most dramatic decline – a fall of 83 per cent.

    Habitat loss and degradation, and exploitation through hunting and fishing, are the primary causes of decline. Climate change is the next most common primary threat, and is likely to put more pressure on populations in the future.

    Terrestrial species declined by 39 per cent between 1970 and 2010, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. The loss of habitat to make way for human land use – particularly for agriculture, urban development and energy production – continues to be a major threat, compounded by hunting.

    The LPI for freshwater species shows an average decline of 76 per cent. The main threats to freshwater species are habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution and invasive species. Changes to water levels and freshwater system connectivity – for example through irrigation and hydropower dams – have a major impact on freshwater habitats.

    Marine species declined 39 per cent between 1970 and 2010. The period from 1970 through to the mid-1980s experienced the steepest decline, after which there was some stability, before another recent period of decline. The steepest declines can be seen in the tropics and the Southern Ocean – species in decline include marine turtles, many sharks, and large migratory seabirds like the wandering albatross. http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/living_planet_index2/

    The contribution from anthropogenic climate change is certainly over estimated.


  29. I would blame fishing fleets.

  30. Now this is interesting. I have been wondering how to reach the younger generation with regards to the climate debate. Lets face it: the prime demographic at Climate Etc. is over 55, white and male.

    Of my 3000 twitter followers, there is a growing number of young people. This exchange with steyn and laden has been picked up by Twitchy, who has 167,000 followers (primarily a young demographic). There has been huge discussion of the laden episode on twitter as a result, all of which has gone against laden. This tweet sums up the sentiment:

    Up jumped the climate change true believer >>> @gregladen <<< & member of the wuss generation

    Clearly they don't like being told what to think. I think this needs more investigation, it is pretty interesting.

  31. The time that passes between when a CO2 molecule absorbs a photon until it emits one is about 10 microseconds.
    The average time, at sea level conditions, between molecule impacts (which, among other things, conduct energy away from a molecule) is about 0.1 nanoseconds.
    Thus photon energy absorbed by CO2 molecules near the surface (i.e. tens of meters) is essentially all thermalized, i.e. conducted to non-CO2 molecules that outnumber CO2 molecules 2500 to 1. Thermalized energy carries no identity of the molecule that absorbed it.
    Discussed further at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com

    • http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/05/co2-heats-the-atmosphere-a-counter-view/

      Maybe. Or maybe not.

      Doesn’t look like there is going to be a lot of transference.

      However, a well designed experiment (instead of guessing by physicists) should settle the issue.

      If the energy from CO2 isn’t transferred but reradiated it acts like a time delay which would still produce some warming..

      Has anybody done a well designed experiment to measure the degree of temperature transfer from CO2 to N2 and O2?

    • A fraction of the CO2 molecules are in the vibrational excited states even without being excited by infared, so it takes energy from the other gases and radiates in all directions, some of which make it to the surface warming the earth.

      The more CO2 the more warming

  32. Here is my response to Raymond T. Pierrehumbert desperation:

    1) “but your usual stable of tame skeptics is starting to die off” this is terminal move for raypierre, and is no more than an appeal to authority cloaked in argumentum ad hominem. Incorporating two fallacies in one is impressive, but shows that the interest in objective science is zero.

    2) “committee did not include a single physicist who was actually doing work in the area of climate science.” This reads like if one is not a “climate scientist” (whatever that is anyways), your opinion is of no consequence. Yet raypierre later describes the unsettled nature of the problem, which is only exclusive to his domain? Raypierre is an expert in the history of climate science, unfortunately it seems he has glossed over the history of science itself.

    3) raypierre notes that rate of sea level rise is around 3mm per year. It’s a pity someone doesn’t infer climate sensitivity from such a robust indicator of change.

    4)raypierre cites the APS meeting where Collins noted “”It is virtually certain that internal variability alone,” because just heating the ocean alone will not produce this dipole, “cannot account for the observed warming since 1951.”
    Such pseudo scientific statements represent the level of ignorance which has come to dominate this obscure field of study. How on Earth would a warming ocean NOT produce massive amounts of water vapor which would warm the troposphere in exactly the same way the models produce the hotspot? But the fun doesn’t stop there, more bizarre claims are made by Santer, when he compares what he calls “natural internal variability” with the hotspot. In actual fact it is simply his idea of internal variability, which in reality is actually trendless whitenoise.

    Stop the presses! Whitenoise has no trend! Such dishonesty in science is rare. These guys make it into an art form:


    Next up is Held, whose beautiful description of negative feedback is ruined by his stubbornness to actually allow it to work:


    In summary, it’s unlikely raypierres essay will elicit any sort of professional response. As Dick Lindzen has noted, if there is little substance to the claims, then don’t bring attention to them….

    • Wow, they still think that GCM control runs are a good basis for assessing internal natural variability? Astonishing!

      GCMs demonstrably do not capture the autocorrelation properties of the climate system and therefore are completely inappropriate for use as a null hypothesis.

      This type of incestuous testing has no merit or value whatsoever beyond self-delusion.

  33. Oddly – the science is settled sufficiently. The obvious approach is to get some environmental goals on the board – restore soils and ecosystems – and to foster energy innovation.


  34. How biased are scientists? Great post by @jonmbutterworth on Bayes and belief [link]

    Best analysis of the global warming community ever:
    “…there is a massive plot by huge multinational environmental corporations, academics and hippies to deprive you of the right to drive the kids to school in a humvee…”

  35. “Although climate scientists update, appropriately, their models after ten years of evidence, climate-science communicators haven’t,” said Dan Kahan, a professor of law and psychology at Yale who studies how people respond to information challenging their beliefs. Luckily, social and political psychologists are on the case.”

    Stupendously conceited mullahs of scientism like Dan Kahan from stupendously conceited institutions sell soft waffle as scholarship. It’s what they do for a living and we must be used to that by now. They’re in the pay of Big Smug.

    But the NYMAG article is starting to sound like a lead-up to re-education camps. Of course, they’ll try convincing conservatives by appealing to their self-interest first. Perhaps we can become shallow and brittle replicas of our New Class betters. But if that doesn’t work…

    • Monomoso – “They are in the pay of Big Smug.”

      Big Smug? That is pretty funny! Did you invent that?

      Regarding sticking to old beliefs, especially involving numbers, that is called “anchoring”. The persistence of anchors, once introduced, is amazing. Big Al got way out in front with his sci if movie. Those old CAWG ideas are dug in deeper than an Alabama tick.

      We already have re-education camps, aka sensitivity trainIng.

      • South Park – “Smug Alert”

      • Ah, yeeeeze… born only to pursue knowledge.

      • Kahan spends his time studying why people disagree with Kahan and how they can best be cured of this infirmity with firmness but compassion.

        I get how juveniles can be entranced by his self-satisfaction and twaddle, but this guy and his ilk get taken seriously by people of adult age. Maybe not adults, but certainly of adult age.

      • “Big Smug” – good one, Mosomoso. :)

        A while ago I wandered over to Kahan’s site and read a few of his articles and the subsequent comments. What a load of twaddle! He is your classic academic obfuscationist, never uses a short word when a long one (or phrase) will do; regards disagreement as a failure of communication instead of a genuine disparity of viewpoints; and has brought the art of condescension to a whole new level.

        He’s a fairly successful con artist who is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is. Hilary Ostrov shredded him a few times while simultaneously trimming her cat’s toenails and cooking dinner.

    • When somebody in the backseat chants “we going to drive off a cliff just ahead”, for 17 miles (or chants global warming for 17 years) … you stop, chuck them onto the shoulder, and continue on.

  36. What if we’ll never know?

  37. stevefitzpatrick


    I think you are mistaken. I followed the link to the Guardian blog; same venemous accusations, especially on the left. As a climate scientist, you are, at least tangentially, part of a political cabal that is focused only on implementing a specific set of green policy goals. The disturbing part of the story is that even among obviously qualified climate scientists, the scientific analysis is subservient to the political calculus (think Linzen versus Santer).

    The field is not well. IMO, only political intervention will fix ‘the science’ in the short term. Whether that intervention is politically possible will depend in large part on the November elections for the US Senate. In the long term, nature will laugh at those who insist on high sensitivity; sometime thereafter, so will everyone else. The only important
    question is how much economic damage will be done before everyone is laughing at high sensitivity.

  38. David L. Hagen

    Fixing the World, Bang-for-the-Buck Edition:
    How can we do the greatest good?
    See: Bjorn Lomborg’s New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

    Here’s $2.5 trillion. You have 15 years to spend it. How do you distribute this money in a way that will achieve the most good for the world?”
    I just did a podcast with Freakonomics on my think tank’s “Post-2015” project on the Sustainable Development Goals. It is the podcast for the #1 selling Freakonomics book, a #1-ranked podcast, with more than 5 million monthly downloads.
    One of the comments the listeners left reads: “FASCINATING Freakonomics podcast this week. With so much bad news lately, it was heartening to hear that people are spending so much time and effort to fix things, to fix things right, and to make the most impact possible.”
    I hope you enjoy it too


    • There is no end to the good ideas for spending some else’s money.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Wagathon: There is no end to the good ideas for spending some else’s money.

        There are at least as many bad ideas. The point of the exercise is to weight the alternatives, and their likely outcomes, and their likely costs and benefits. California, for example, has rushed into massive spending projects that are not likely to produce benefits exceeding their costs in the next 40 years, while neglecting its water control infrastructure. There ought to have been more debates about the costs and benefits of these alternatives.

  39. In California the entire government-education complex is a bridge to nowhere.

  40. Ben Santer shows up to make a critical comment at WUWT (it does appear to really be him, judging from the detail in the comment and the specific anecdote related):

    Ben Santer comment at WUWT

    • The last thing anyone should ever do is misrepresent the air of certainty and urgency that all on the Left have tried for years to cultivate by knowingly providing false, incomplete, misleading and sometimes simply made-up facts and information to create public alarm.

    • ah, the large number of volcanics eruptions over the last 17 years and dim sun is to blame.
      How low can you go Ben?

  41. Professor Curry, as Czech President Klaus concluded several years ago, “It’s about freedom.”


    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Let’s pull the pieces together!

      A woman in the eye of the
      political storm over climate change

      “Curry and the other scientists agree on the basics of the science. They are quibbling over the uncertainties.”

      Belief, bias and Bayes

      Cohort I  If you have a prior assumption that modern life is rubbish and technology is intrinsically evil, then you will place a high prior probability on carbon dioxide emissions dooming us all.

      Cohort II  If your prior bias is toward the idea that there is a massive plot by huge multinational environmental corporations, academics and hippies to deprive you of the right to drive the kids to school in a humvee, you will place a much lower weight on mounting evidence of anthropogenic climate change.

      Cohort III  If your prior was roughly neutral, you will by now be pretty convinced that we have a problem with global warming.

      FOMD allies with Cohort III … along with an overwhelming majority of the world’s STEAM professionals *and* common-sense citizens.

      Pretty much *EVERYONE* appreciates these POLITICAL realities, eh Climate Etc readers?

      Meanwhile  The seas keep rising, the oceans keep heating, and the polar ice keeps melting … all without “pause” … all without obvious limit … all showing us a Hansen-style reality of sustained energy imbalance.

      Pretty much *EVERYONE* appreciates these SCIENTIFIC realities, 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}

      • FOMD, nice but your “Cohort III” is mis-described. Plenty of us had priors (me for instance) that ranged between neutral and “there probably is a problem since there is so much noise about a problem” — yet do not end up in your camp that there is evidently any (serious) problem that can and must be dealt with by concerted state actions. In other words, your set of cohorts form a “straw man” type of analysis…. but the comment is entertaining, I’ll give you that.

      • Well, the cohort three (III in roman numerals is three) definition was written by someone who is somewhat biased.

        Around 2000 when I started looking at this – it looked like AGW had some game. After 14 years:
        1. The AGW crowd has to puff up surface temperatures,
        2. The AGW crowd has to puff up sea level (adding GIA to the sea level rise is outright lying).
        3. The arctic sea ice volume is expanding. The 2014 minimum is over twice the 2012 minimum volume.
        4. The antarctic sea ice extent is at record levels.
        5. The amount of East Antarctic land ice (which is mostly land locked and unmoving) is increasing. East Antarctic land ice is basically permanently removed from the climate system. At some point the East Antarctic accumulation (90% of land ice) will offset the West Antarctic and Greenland melting. The Greenland core is also landlocked and getting thicker.
        6. The GCM models have been consistently wrong for the entire 21st century.

        Don’t know.

        If we see some real raw data warming by 2030 maybe they have some game, but right now CAGW (catastrophic global warming) appears to be dying as a theory.

        AGW (a little man-made warming) really doesn’t justify taking any actions. We will move away from fossil fuels gradually and that is just fine. Let nature (or economic forces) take their course.

        Demonizing CO2 seems to be some sort of religion.

      • It’s an opiate to ease the pain of absolutism.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        PA reminisces “Around 2000 when I started looking at this – it looked like AGW had some game. After 14 years …

        record global heat and accelerating ice-mass loss (affirmed by multiple independent studies and measures), all precisely as climate-scientists predicted.

        Your insights are appreciated PA.

        Hypothesis  Perhaps the global commie/green/liberal conspiracy is more vastly corrupt than even “Cohort II”s market-fundamentalist stalwarts foresaw?

        The world wonders!

        \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}

      • Lithium isn’t just for batteries don’t ya know.

    • Thanks, Skiphil, for the link. In my opinion, Professor Curry is the hero in the Climategate story.


  42. 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

    It is difficult to imagine that climate is at all predictable against a backdrop of vigorous natural variability – and it is not as if the rate of warming is all that striking. I am inclined to take the high point of the early century warming – 1944 – as a starting point and the late century high point – 1998 – as the finish. This accounts for both a multi-decadal cooling and warming period. Surely – there is an obvious rationale there. We may even assume that all of the warming between 1994 and 1998 was anthropogenic – unlikely as that is – to give a warming rate of 0.07 C/decade. Well short of 2 degrees C anytime soon – especially as the oceans are contributing to surface cooling for decades seemingly.


    I am inclined to just move on entirely from the rhetoric of catastrophe. There are plenty of things to be getting on with. Trade, development, progress and and ecological and soil conservation all bring environmental benefits – but are clearly not the prime objective. Targeting greenhouse gases would send entirely the wrong message. We might also for economic reasons encourage energy innovation. We might then see more progress on social and economic development and some on biodiversity.

  43. Antarctic sea ice increasing.

    There are more people and more industry in the N hemisphere, hence more waste heat. But total global heat output is roughly in equilibrium with total heat from the sun, so as the N hemisphere gets warmer, the Southern gets colder.

    • David Wojick

      I do not see why waste heat in the NH would cool the SH. By what mechanism might this happen?

  44. Global warming? i’m still waiting for the Millennium Bug.

  45. That Carbon Brief link….
    Seems CB dedicated to blinkered alarmism – any comment not in that vein is just deleted.

  46. thisisnotgoodtogo

    The nonsense article “Psychologists Are Learning How to Convince Conservatives to Take Climate Change Seriously”
    By Jesse Singa, says

    “…in practical, apolitical contexts, many conservatives already recognize and are willing to respond to the realities of climate change. “There’s a climate change people reject,” Kahan explained. “That’s the one they use if they have to be a member of one or another of those groups. But there’s the climate change information they accept that’s just of a piece with all the information and science that gets used in their lives.” A farmer approached by a local USDA official with whom he’s worked before, for example, isn’t going to start complaining about hockey-stick graphs or biased scientists when that official tells him what he needs to do to account for climate-change-induced shifts to local weather patterns.”

    However, in an article called “Why Don’t Farmers Believe in Climate Change? And does it really matter whether they do?
    By David Biello, we see an entirely different story to Kahan’s rubbish:

    “Take, as an example of skepticism, Iowa corn farmer Dave Miller, whose day job is as an economist for the Iowa Farm Bureau. As Miller is happy to explain, it’s not that farmers in Iowa don’t think climate change is happening; it’s that they think it’s always been happening and therefore is unlikely to have much to do with whatever us humans get up to down at ground level. Or, as the National Farm Bureau’s spokesman Mace Thornton puts it: “We’re not convinced that the climate change we’re seeing is anthropogenic in origin. We don’t think the science is there to show that in a convincing way.” (Given the basic physics of CO2 capturing heat that have been known for more than a century and the ever-larger amounts of CO2 put into the atmosphere by human activity, it’s not clear what “science” he’s holding out for.) The numbers back that up: When Iowa State University sociologists polled nearly 5,000 Corn Belt farmers on climate change, 66 percent believed climate change is occurring, but only 41 percent believed humans bore any part of the blame for global warming.

    It’s not just the Corn Belt: Farmers across the country remain skeptical about climate change. When asked about it, they tell me about Mount Pinatubo and weird weather in the 1980s, when many of today’s most established farmers were getting their starts. But mostly I hear about cycles in the weather, like the El Niño–La Niña cycle that drives big changes in North American weather. Maybe it’s because farmers are uniquely exposed to bad weather, whether too hot or too cold. Almost any type of weather hurts some crop; the cereals want more rain, but the sweet potatoes like it hot and dry.

    Year-to-year variability in the weather dwarfs any impact from a long-term shift in the climate. Consider this: A farmer in Iowa might deal with a 10-degree-Fahrenheit shift in average temperatures from year to year, so why worry about a 3- or even 4-degree shift over 100 years? As the old saying goes: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change.

    The long-term prediction for the Corn Belt in Iowa says that the weather will get hotter and drier—much like western Kansas is currently. Yet, over the decades of Miller’s farming career, conditions have been increasingly wet. “If I had done what climate alarmists had said to do, I would have done exactly the wrong thing for 20 of the last 25 years,” Miller says.”

  47. An interesting comment over at . . . and Then There’s Physics. In reply to this comment by Rob Painting,

    Steve Bloom says:

    October 5, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Tipping points, Anders, not in the models.

    Rob, that model finding for the Amazon was recently overturned by observations, [edh bold]

    Explains a lot. All calculated model results are apparently considered to be true findings prior to Validation. While at the same time completely skipping over all aspects of Verification.

    Love the wording, tho, overturned by observations, I’ve got to work that into a sentence sometime. A long version of, wrong.

    • David Wojick

      Indeed, modeling results are merely conjectures but they are treated as established facts, or even as observations. This is how modeling has come to dominate the science.

  48. Stephen Segrest

    Tony B — You previously asked for some links of incendiary statements being made by Republicans (i.e., Conservatives) on AGW. A while back, I created a jpg picture of things being said to a general public audience (“Fraud, Hoax, Scam, Junk Science, God tells us it can’t be true, etc.”):


    In the “context” of the general public debate, how should advocates of AGW responded to these incendiary statements? It is in this context of responding to a message of “Junk Science, Hoax, etc.” that the phrase of “scientific consensus” has been mostly used.

    Anybody following my comments here at CE know that I don’t think much about Wagathon (and many others like him). They are not true Conservatives, but radical Ideologues — wanting to re-fight the American Civil War.

    For true Conservatives, the problem isn’t junk science from liberals (per Wagathon), its the “Junk Thinking” by people like Wagathon. From the Get-Go, GW was hi-jacked by liberal ideology in command/control policies like Carbon Taxes or Carbon Trading. Conservative Leadership has never developed a clear and consistent pro-active message and push hard with conservative principled policies to approach AGW.

    Two examples of “No Regrets” approaches reflecting Conservative principles could be (1) Fast Mitigation of reducing methane, black soot, smog, etc. and (2) using international trade for high economic growth to encourage low carbon economies (e.g., exporting U.S. technology to developing countries in exchange for them having greater access into our markets).

    • Hank Zentgraf

      Stephen, advocates of AGW might consider responding to “incendiary statements” by opponents the same way skeptics respond to AGW advocates who say the science is “settled”. Try respectful reasoning with evidence that follows the rules of science and statistics.

    • The defining element of the global warming hoax has always been the pretense that enlightened governments acting through the auspices of the UN under moral authority of Western science, can and should throttle-back modernity to prevent future climate change. Who shall decide our individual fate – government scientists on cell phones in ivory towers, sporting laptops and clouds full of phony data and pushing an evergreen buttload of public-funded research proposals about saving the Earth from human depredation?

    • Stephen

      I don’t think I agree with any of the statements around your central circle other than that I would observe that alarmists can push their beliefs with messianic fervour, so in that respect it is akin to religion. Peter Lilley one of the few sceptics in the UK parliament wrote this in the Huffington post.


      Basically, the belief seems to be stronger than facts.

      Generally, our politicians don’t have the fervour some of yours do.

      I mostly agree with your 1). As regards your 2) regarding International trade, most developing countries want to export agricultural products and the US has been at the forefront of refusing deals that might impact on your farmers so not sure how that would work out. In any case high tech products tend to need hi tech people to supply install and run them and those are often in short supply locally.

      Having said that, improving a peasants standard of living generally reduces their need to have a large family and improves their overall health and wealth and perceptions. So I am all in favour of improving their lot, however I think that it will be a long time before fossil fuels can be genuinely replaced in developing countries.


  49. Stephen Segrest

    Wagathon is advocating playing a very dangerous “High Stakes” “Winner Take All” game. If Conservatives don’t develop a pro-active leadership position of AGW with conservative principled policies the outcome will be catastrophic if public opinion turns demanding action.

    Without pro-active conservative leadership (with definitive policies), the only thing out there are the liberal policy approaches (e.g., carbon taxes).

    Conservative principles: Bottom-up, De-centralized, Flexible, Reward Based.

    • Given that CAGW is an intrinsically liberal policy there is no way for conservatives to be “pro-active,” rather they are anti-active. This is why the policy is stalemated for now.

      • Just to refine the point, Stephen, your argument seems to be that this is going to happen whether conservatives like it or not so they should work to get it done their way instead of fighting it. Your premise is false.

      • Yes, David, I’m afraid these people will have to establish their case. I don’t want to be pro-active or on-board with agendas others have cooked up. I want to wholeheartedly oppose agendas with which I disagree.

        “No regrets” is just a lure. I don’t like soot, smog or poverty. I do like kittens and warm mugs of cocoa. That’s got nothing to do with believing in hockeysticks or in ruinous toy technologies offered as “solutions” to confected problems. Before another hurricane whips across Leyte I’ll happily see western aid money go to pinning more roofs on Leyte. I don’t want to respond by sending Australian money into a carbon scam run by Goldman Sachs or the European Union in the hope of dialling up a stable climate which has never existed.

        To be a true conservative is to be a serial appreciator: tto appreciate when the flick of a switch makes light, without smoke, flame or noise, to appreciate wealth, industry, chemicals and coal as much as the natural world (eg this Australian bush I live in and love).

        So, enough fetishism, waste and white elephants, okay?

    • Well, lets apply the 3.5°C IPCC average for 2100 to how much the temperature should have increased in 2014.

      14/100 * 3.5 = .49°C.

      The danger level is 2°C
      14/100 * 2 = 0.28°C

      The level by 2020 for 2°C is 0.4°C.

      We aren’t going to get close to any of these numbers.

      The AGW crowd needs to explain why we should be solving a non-problem. Discussing solutions of a non-problem is premature.

    • Your argument a non-starter from the get go in defining conservatives as Republicans and using the moniker, “Tea Party,” more as a denigrating ad hominem than a convenient and informative generalization. The Tea Party isn’t even a party.

      To put more denotative authority into your language, it would be more accurate to equate the Tea Party with neither the Democrat nor the Republican party. But, even when you get past the shallow thinking you argument is more proof than a challenge to the fact that society is fundamentally dishonest. Your point 1) for example: the first step in

    • “Sigh”.

      SS, the problem the AGW crowd has is they aren’t rational.

      Rational people prove there is a problem before they start devising solutions.

      The AGW crowd regards proving there is a problem as a “pro-forma” step that can be skipped. This allows them to dive right into solutions.

      It is not a pro-forma step. AGW advocates must prove there is a problem, and they haven’t made their case. Before we destroy our economy and waste our money the AGW crowd has to prove the CO2 forcing is as high as they predict. Right now the evidence isn’t on their side.

      • True, true, to get beyond the obvious fact that global warming is nothing more than a Left versus right issue and therefore has nothing to do with science, you must explain how self-described “conservatives” can be comfortable with the fact that belief in AGW theory represents a celebration in the abandonment of the scientific method as if it has no societal implications at all beyond the global warming debate.

  50. … mitigating black soot would be for the Left to agree that natural gas is a boon to all humanity.

  51. From the article:

    This week saw the 18th anniversary since the Earth’s temperature last rose – something that Dr Benny Peiser, from the Global Warming Policy Forum, says experts are struggling to understand.

    He explains that we are now in the midst of a “crisis of credibility” because the global warming – and accompanied ‘Doomsday’ effects – that we were once warned about has not happened.

    Scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) once predicted a temperature rise of 0.2 degrees per decade – but are now baffled by the fact our planet’s temperature has not increased for almost two decades.

    Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Dr Peiser said: “What has happened is that the public has become more sceptical because they were told we are facing Doomsday, and suddenly they realise ‘Where is the warming that we were promised?’”

    “They say we can predict the climate and the reality is that they can’t.”

    Because of this so-called “global warming hiatus”, Dr Peiser says climate change is not as pressing of an issue as it once was, a fact that should be embraced by the scientific community.


  52. At Revkins Dot Earth, Victor replies to Romulus and Remus regarding his Nature essay on the 2-deg limit.

    This is an excellent example of adult behavior.

    Victor versus R&R

    The oening says it all. The rest are all the bloody details. An eyeopening read. Along with the Great Ramanathan, it appears that UCSD is the center of the Sane Climate Policy World.

    First, before digging into the substance, I think it is deeply disturbing that both these posts use the same tactics that are often decried of the far right—of slamming people personally with codewords like “political scientist” and “retired astrophysicist” to dismiss us as irrelevant to the commentary on a matter that is for climatologists. Other scientists, by contrast, are “internationally renowned” (quote by Joe) implying somehow that we are peripheral thinkers. People can say what they like about us, but we have not been irresponsible unqualified hacks weighing in on this matter. Getting serious about goals requires working across disciplines—especially between the natural sciences and the social sciences, which are about human behavior (which is what, ultimately, these goals are trying to change). The failure to do that effectively is one of the reasons why climate science hasn’t been more directly linked to policy.

    • I doubt that Victor’s distinction between “before substance” and substance cuts any ice, Howard, but that’s a prety damn good example of how unnecessary roughness can turn against a ClimateBall ™ player.

      Thank you.

      INTEGRITY ™ – We Code Words

  53. One of the central political questions of our time (posed over 150 years ago), by way of NRO:

    “In his magnum opus, The Law, Frédéric Bastiat wonders about the nature of the bureaucrats responsible for onerous regulation: ‘If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do the legislators and their appointed agents not also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?’”


    Vanity, the belief in one’s own superiority, is the core of progressivism,

    • + 1,000!

    • Gary, as one who has worked for UK, Australian and Queensland governments, I am well aware of the failings of bureaucrats (and politicians), my experience over 50 years is the main reason I argue for smaller government. I have met some ministers and public servants who have a genuine interest in community well-being, and the nous to pursue sensible policies. But they are in the minority, and rarely prevail. The majority are self-serving jobsworths. What amazes me is how few people are prepared to accept this, they cling to faith in governments against all the evidence. I think that almost all (at least) indicators of well-being would improve with smaller government, which would help to foster self-reliance, initiative and entrepreneurial skills. Too often these critical skills are crushed or discouraged by government, only winding back government can change that.

      • Faustino

        I am the president and only member of the ‘plague on all your parties,party’

        Increasingly we are lumbered with self serving career Politicians who often go straight from university to their party and have little experience of the real world. Many of them have little common sense or are particularly brigh which all becomes a potent brew when combined with their ideology


      • Thank you Faustino

        Some months ago I argued this very line, but you then disagreed

        Please don’t tell me you were being disingenuous earlier on – it would destroy my naive faith in the goodness of the Public Service

        BTW, the dream of smaller government is as a sword to Don Quixote

      • Yes, less is more, Faustino, less guvuhmint that is.
        Innovation and productivity while the leaders are
        otherwise engaged, like in China pre the Ming and
        the beginnings of commerce with Constantinople by
        those wily Venetians out in the marshes long ago.
        No Venice, perhaps no growth of Italian cities or
        the Renaissance.

      • Ian, you must have misunderstood me, I have been consistent in this for many years.

        I recall I did undertake to respond to you on another issue, sorry I haven’t, I will if I can.

      • Yes, Tony, I posted at NRO and added: ” Increasingly, apparatchiks dominate.” It seems to have got worse in recent decades in Oz, the UK and the US; no need to mention the leviathan EUreaucracy.

    • Garym and Faustino

      +1000 each

      ianl8888, Faustino has been presenting this point consistently since I first noticed his comments. I suspect you may have misunderstood what he meant in the previous comment you referred to.

    • The problem in the US is there is no “small government” party.

      Both the main political parties are basically big government parties, the difference is which hogs feed at the trough.

      The more the Tea Party pushes at least the Republicans toward small government the better.

      I don’t see any tendency or influence that will push the Democrats toward sanity.

      • The problem in the US is there is no “small government” party.

        Actually, there is: the Libertarian Party. I haven’t been associate with the Libertarian Party since the ’70’s, although I consider myself a libertarian.

        The relationship between Libertarians and the Tea Party is complex.

  54. But, it has become, harder and harder to misinterpret the signs – as Al Gore would say – that these climate priests high up in Western academia’s ivory towers are really bad at math. The amount of government involvement and money that is going into to underwriting the added expense of alternative energy is ruinous much like chewing off your arm to get more protein in your diet. Mark Steyn in ‘The Spectator’ likened the mindset of global warming alarmists to being in first-class staterooms aboard the Titanic and rooting for the iceberg.

    • That is why “Manbearpig” (South Park) was so funny. They used climate activist math.

      ALGORE’s introductory statement on the topic: “It is a creature which roams the earth alone. It is half man, half bear, and half pig. Some people say that Manbearpig isn’t real. Well, I’m here to tell you know, Manbearpig is very real, and he most certainly exists. I’m serial.”

      Half man, half bear, half pig? Oh really?

  55. Physicist with 50 years experience

    People should heed the work of the brilliant 19th century physicist who was first to determine the size of air molecules. Josef Loschmidt was also first to explain (indirectly) through his gravito-thermal effect the answer James Hansen et al sought as to why planetary surfaces are hotter than radiating temperatures. We don’t need Hansen’s hypothesis about back radiation and the consequent (but necessary) garbage about the Second Law applying to a combination of independent processes. What is in this comment has profound consequences. Think on it!

  56. From the article:

    In conclusion, below-average nuclear power outages throughout the shoulder season will likely contribute to lower natural gas demand despite record high production. While their overall contribution to natural gas demand and direct impact on price is relatively small, it comes at an inopportune time for the bulls and is one less source of demand that the natural gas longs can count on to correct the present supply/demand mismatch.


  57. Stephen Segrest

    Wagathon, Jim2, David Wojick, PM, and Others:

    Since much of the CE blog community is not from the U.S. — spend a little time with non U.S. viewers on (1) the U.S. Supreme Courts decision to uphold the Environmental Protection Agency’s Authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; (2) How our Political System works (e.g., especially how our Senate works on majorities between 60% and also 66% to overturn a Presidential veto).

    Talk about how the EPA is taking a Regional approach to greenhouse gas emissions — and tell us why you believe that things like regional cap and trade (financial derivatives) can not possibly come out of EPA Regs.

    • Given the Supreme Court’s willingness to “overlook” the Constitution, just about anything can happen. That doesn’t mean it should happen or that it’s right.

      •  The EPA concedes that following the proposed rules would have no more than a negligible effect at most on climate change and the amount of atmospheric CO2. But, the compliance costs and disruption to the economy could be huge. Will global warming continue to be a plank in the Democrat platform when it’s obvious AGW isn’t about CO2 and the climate but really about the Left’s belief capitalism is a disease?

      • That’s why power corrupts, Jim

        For a longer or shorter period, it (the exercise of power) has no accountability. Voting a change every 3-4 years cannot undo the careless damage done before

        There is no sensible answer for any of this, it’s the human condition

      • Stephen Segrest

        Wagathon — Your argument is exactly why Conservatives need to develop pro-active policies on AGW — and not simply have a strategy of, or be viewed as obstructionists.

        Without doing this there is a great big void, of no conservative alternatives — only liberal options (e.g., regional cap & trade financial derivatives).

        There is nothing wrong is saying “We believe AGW is occurring — but our scientists are telling us they are unsure of how much or how quickly”.

        Fast Mitigation policies are an example where we can “add time on the clock” before decisions on things like carbon taxes, cap & trade have to be made. Dr. Ramathan says maybe 20 years can be gained to let our scientists and engineers “catch up” with this Wicked Problem.

      • The fishing/forest/agriculture sector, just the producer prices for products sold,, at GDP, not GWP, is about $ 3 trillion dollars a year. The.retail price level, using GWP, capturing the fact that for most of world which is at a subsistence level personal consumption (instead of producer sales) is very high, the number goes north of $ 9 Trillion.

        The 50% increase in plant growth since 1900 due to CO2 represents 1-3
        trillion dollar benefit. More CO2 (up to about 1000 PPM) will increase this benefit.

        The AGW proponents should be asked point-blank why they are trying to starve people and reduce the standard of living. They should be forced to demonstrate sufficient harm to offset the benefits of increased CO2.

        This analysis doesn’t include the benefits to wildlife that a richer more vibrant CO2 enhanced environment provides. More plants means more food for all the animals on the planet.

      • Stephen Segrest

        PA — As the EPA develops rules on greenhouse gas emissions (which the Supreme Court said they have the authority to do in 2007) — how effective do you think your arguments will be as they do this?

      • Reality-challenged people are not open to rational arguments.

        Anyone who claims CO2 is pollution has a seriously delusional viewpoint.

        All that can be hoped for is that congress can restrain the administration for 2 years. The next administration will hopefully downsize the EPA and some other government agencies and remove the bureaucratic drones that are causing problems.

      • Stephen Segrest

        PA — “HOPE” is not a gameplan.

      • SS…


        The EPA has no evidence of net harm, It has 17 years of evidence the problem is greatly exaggerated.

        Don’t have a good game plan for dealing with agenda-driven people who lack common sense and good judgment.

        The only solution is to fire them and that isn’t likely in the current environment. All we can do in the meantime is slow them down and endlessly point out the absurdity of the baseless damaging polices that are being proposed.

      • Stephen might be right. Perhaps people should be sueing the EPA over it’s attempts to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.

      • Stephen Segrest

        PA, Jim2, Aaron — The EPA certainly isn’t delusional in regulating CO2 and neither was the U.S. Supreme Court in upholding this authority in 2007 (before Obama was even elected).

        The Clean Air Act defines pollutant agents (in terms a only lawyer would love) and their impact on either weather or climate.


        Nothing wrong with your disagreeing in the interpretation on CO2 regulation — but AGW Advocates and SCOTUS opinion that Congress intended it to be regulated is not simply delusional left wing liberalism as you argue.

    • Wagathon,

      Do you have any good, authoritative estimates of the compliance cost of carbon pricing, and of GHG emissions monitoring that would ultimately be required for commerce in the commodity CO2-eq?

      I’ve been playing around with this a bit, but have no reliable estimates to work with.

    • Stephen Segrest ,

      Thank you for EPA the link. However, it does no deal with the compliance cost. It covers the benefits and abatement costs assuming compliance costs are nil, as do the widely used IAMs.

      I suspect the compliance cost of emissions monitoring would become huge as smaller and smaller emitters are included.

      EPA once estimate that EPA’s costs (not the cost to businesses or to all the other public and private sector organisations that are involved in compliance and who analyse and use the data) an $21 billion per year (budget increase) to monitor 6.1 million emitters. That is how many emitters would be included if the Obama legislation was applied. EPA tailored it down so they now monitor 8000 emitters. 8000 emitters covers just 49% of USA emissions.

      I don’t know what proportion of emitter would be included by 6.1 million emitters (all emitters more that 250 tonnes p.a.).

      It seems to me that even at 1/10 of the EPA’s estimate, the compliance cost of emissions monitoring would greatly exceed the revenue from carbon tax – and the social cost of carbon.

      And we haven’t included the effect it would have on global economic growth. Inevitably, there ill be disputes over who’s cheating and who’s not measuring sufficiently accurately and precisely and who’s not properly including the cost in the price of traded goods and services. Inevitably that will lead to trade disputes (e.g. EU’s attempt to make everyone flying into EU pay for the EU’s carbon price). Will Puttin pay? there will always be a Puttin somewhere.

      Has any one seen reliable estimates of the compliance cost of GHG emissions monitoring as the world approaches monitoring 100% of GHG emissions?

      • Stephen Segrest

        Hi Peter — Here in the U.S. we have a requirement that at a minimum, cost/benefit must be a break-even. So, you would at least have a boundary.

        Also — I thought I saw where the EPA said while they had not evaluated the cost of a carbon tax, they had evaluated cost under a cap & trade system. I thought I saw a number of $20 per ton?

        What Liberals never really address:

        1. Any way you package a carbon tax, it would be a regressive tax — hurting the poor.

        2. What about the competitiveness impact on domestic manufacturing? Would a carbon tax result in increased imports — where CO2 emissions are just being outsourced to a developing economy (like China)?

        3. A Cap & Trade System is just a financial derivative and would be a new play toy of Wall St. We saw what financial derivatives did in bringing down World economies.

      • Stephen,

        You are talking about the abatement cost and benefits of carbon pricking. You are not talking about the compliance cost of measuring, reporting, enforcing compliance, disputation, etc. These should be added to the Abatement Cost, but they are not included in the abatement cost.

    • I have these questions:

      • What is the compliance cost of GHG emissions monitoring?

      • What would the compliance cost become in the future as participation increases (As Part 1 explained, near full participation is essential for carbon pricing to succeed and be sustainable; full participation means all human caused sources of GHG emissions in all countries are measured and priced)?

      • What would be the ultimate compliance cost of near full participation?

      • What would be the real cost to society of emissions monitoring?

      • Is there an alternative policy approach that would not require emissions monitoring to the standards needed for commerce, trade?

      EPA’s estimate of an additional $21 billion per year to monitor 6.1 million emitters doesn’t include businesses’ compliance cost to monitor and report their GHG emissions. Nor does it include the cost to all the other public and private sector organisations that would be required to monitor and report compliance and have various roles in policing, accounting, routine legal services, dispute resolution, litigation, court time, penalty enforcement, etc. Nor does it cover all the organisations that would be involved in analysing the data, reporting to clients and stakeholders, maintaining data bases, and updating legacy systems forever. Nor does it consider the costs involved in international disputation and conflict resulting from countries not complying with the global rules – e.g. there will inevitably be other world leaders like Puttin, sometime somewhere; what’s the total costs to everyone else when a Putting refuses to participate? The estimates do not include the cost of trade disputes, trade barriers, and reduced global economic growth caused by trade disruption and barriers to free trade.

  58. So Pierrehumbert asserted that Koonin had only read skeptic blogs when Koonin in fact reached his conclusions by interrogating a wide range of climate scientists. This is either serious disinformation or lazy bloviating by Pierrehumbert. His blinkered attitude speaks volumes about the merit of his opinion. The biggest skeptic, alas for him, is mother nature!

  59. Stephen Segrest

    Wagathon — As Mosher repeatedly says, its always more productive to be “sitting at the table”. EPA greenhouse gas regulations are going to be developed with or without Conservative participation.

  60. Stephen Segrest

    Wagathon — Last year in testimony directly to the U.S. Congress, EPA Administrators from every Republican President said that AGW is a serious problem and Congress should take action (Ruckleshaus under Nixon, Thomas under Reagan, Reily under George H.W. Bush, and Whitman under George W Bush.

    This just doesn’t “fit” under your ubiquitous liberal conspiracy theory arguments. These EPA Administrators certainly don’t stand alone — similar views are voiced by many Conservatives such as “The American Conservative Magazine”, Michael Gerson (Washington Post), David Brooks (N.Y. Times), etc.

    • It is not a conspiracy anymore than ISIS is a conspiracy. The Left hates everything America stands for. What is going on in today’s classrooms goes beyond propaganda; and, it’s more than condoning fraud and verbal assaults: it’s harassment, intimidation and indoctrination. Climatism represents a danger to the safety of all in society who refuse to adopt the anti-capitalism and anti-Americanism embodied in the global warming credo of those on Left who have genuine socio-political and ideological interests at stake in the acceptance of global warming that have nothing to do with an average climate of the globe.

    • Your table has a couple of screws loose. We are looking at an example of cause and effect. We don’t need the scientific method to know that fear of global warming is a Left vs. right issue. Do we, however, just write off the relationship of party affiliation and political ideology as simply enigmatic, and fail to see the real causes underlying attacks on America from jihadists to climatists? A copy of a Sept. 9, 2014 letter from 15 Republican governors concerning the EPA HERE, provides –e.g., as follows:

      “Given your Administration’s opposition to make use of the Yucca Mountain repository, will you bring forward a viable, long-term solution for [nuclear waste] disposal that would win public support and the necessary votes in Congress? … If not, does your Administration expect the states with bans on new nuclear facilities [California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, West Virginia, and Wisconsin] to revise their laws, despite the federal government’s failure to adequately address the waste issue?” (See, ibid.)

      • Stephen Segrest

        Boy — you Ideologues have a short and selective memory. Why wasn’t Yucca Mtn. resolved when Republicans were in power (Federal executive and legislative)?

        Also, the first nuclear plant being build in decades is coming under Obama’s watch (Georgia Power’s Vogtle units) — which is being done under your so called liberal/socialism agenda of the DOE loan guarantee program (which has funded in equal parts of solar, nuclear, and automotive).

        And anybody can file law suits — what is the track record in overturning the EPA in Court challenges?

      • You must be using blue-state logic.

        Has the federal government conducted an analysis to determine the environmental impact of building renewable energy systems at the scale envisioned in the proposal? For example, one nuclear plant producing 1,800 MWs of electricity occupies about 1,100 acres, while wind turbines producing the same amount of electricity would require hundreds of thousands of acres. If such an analysis exists, please provide detailed information related to that analysis. If such an analysis does not exist, please explain why the analysis was not performed. (Ibid.)

    • Calling the EPA administrators conservative is disingenuous.

      At least 3 if not all 4 are from the RINO wing of the Republican party which isn’t very conservative. They picked administrators that penned a joint opinion piece.

      Robert Fri
      Russell E. Train
      Steve Jellinek
      Walter Barber, Jr.
      Anne M. Gorsuch
      Marianne Lamont Horinko
      Michael Leavitt
      and Stephen L. Johnson, didn’t testify.

      So… about 33% of Republican EPA administrators and none of the last 3.

      • Stephen Segrest

        PA — OK, I’ll bite on this. Please provide us with links where each of the Republican EPA Administrators you cited have come out in criticism of regulating greenhouse gases.

        Seems like Congressional Republicans would have had them testify to counter Ruckleshaus, Reily, Thomas, and Whitman.

        From what you presented, one can not conclude anything on their beliefs — silence doesn’t mean agree or disagree.

      • http://leavittcenter.org/2013/10/22/global-warming-fact-fiction-or-both/

        I would say Michael O. Leavitt is skeptical.


        Marianne Lamont Horinko is pro-fracking and doesn’t mention AGW at all (she IS interested in REAL pollution).

        Stephen L. Johnson got flamed for denying California stricter emissions standards. He seems to be keeping a low profile.

        From what I can tell it was just RINOs

  61. Stephen Segrest

    Wagathon — Here’s your problem (and others) in being an Ideologue — refusing to even acknowledge any possible validity in another point of view.

    Lets take policy completely out of the dialogue — asking you a question: “Do you think Nobel Prize winner Dr. Molina is just NUTS and IRRATIONAL in his views?


    Sure sounds like you (and others) do.

    All your rantings are not about pro/con dialogue about a specific aspect of science — everything you post is about labeling anyone who disagrees with you (like Dr. Molina) as crazy liberal socialists.

    • A subset has frightened and foraged themselves into a quandary. So fearful of imaginary consequences, they’ve panicked themselves into an impossible corner, global and severe autocracy.

      A madness, I’m sorry.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Kim — Its a madness from the Ideologues on both sides. In who is worst — I’d have to give the edge to the CAGW crowd (personally Oppenheimer drives me crazy). But, on the flip side, politicians like Inhofe are pretty close.

      • Bread turned into roses in his basket.

    • Well…

      The problem Dr. Molina’s viewpoint has – is only 1/3 of energy leaves the surface via radiation.

      About 1/6 of the energy is removed by convection and about 1/2 (more at the equator) is removed by evaporation. You can dance about and scream radiation laws all you want – but that isn’t the primary way energy leaves the surface.

      In fact any increase in “back radiation” whatever that is, will face negative feedback because convection and evaporation will increase. At the equator tiny changes make a big difference – 5°C increase from a 30°C base temperature increases evaporation about 35%.

      Lets assume the ocean at the equator is evaporating 90W/m2 of energy and 20W of CO2 forcing is applied giving us 5°C higher temperatures (in theory). 90*.35 = 31.5 W/m2 of evaporative energy loss.

      I’m not including the increase in radiation or the increase in convection. About 1/4 of the surface energy from the temperature increase will leak out as radiation since about 1/4 of radiation leaks out directly anyway or about 5W. We’ll make a crude estimate of 2.5 W/m2 increased convective heat loss as a placeholder.

      So if we subtract 31.5 + 5 + 2.5 from .20W, 20 W of CO2 forcing leaves the surface about 19 W/m2 cooler.than it started. Since this is nonsense and the feeback is proportional more or less to the temperature increase, it means there is about 50% negative feedback and the surface will warm about 2.5°C

      • Stephen Segrest

        Well — Dr. Molina (a Nobel Prize winning scientist) would disagree with you. But again, its fine to disagree — what’s not fine is to label scientists who agree with Dr. Molina as being driven by a left wing socialist agenda. That’s the problem.

      • I didn’t know if it was Dr. Maria C. Molina, Mario J. Molina, or one of a couple of dentists…

        I’m going with Dr. Mario J. Molina, he’s a chemist. Seems to be an Ozone guy. Seems to have gotten a lot of mileage from the environmental movement for pushing the CFC ban.

        If that is the guy, he seems kind of like Hansen who is pretty sincere.

        Sincerity doesn’t alway mean you’re right though.

      • ‘A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

        S-B can’t be used to calculate the surface temperature of the Earth – but merely an effective radiating temperature. This is compared to surface temp measurements to give a mooted ‘greenhouse effect’.

        The essential problem arises from the failure to move beyond 100 year old physics to the true complexity of climate in ways and for reasons that undermine real prospects for mitigation and adaptation. This arises from cognitive dissonance – a psychopathology linked to groupthink – which in this case almost universally derives from a progressive mindset.

  62. Meanwhile, the Left is fighting what it feels is wrong with wrong-headed socio-economic policies, based on climate science that is demonstrably wrong, all while ignoring wrongs in the world that we could do something about if not driven over an economic cliff. The insanity of the Left’s plans have not gone unnoticed, as follows:

    Given the amount of land required by renewable energy systems, has your Administration considered that federal land permitting requirements may preclude or stall the development of renewable projects? Also, expanding the deployment of wind and solar farms could readily conflict with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Indeed, one can easily envision the plausible scenario whereby the ESA, operating as federal law separate from the CAA, could prevent state compliance with EPA’s emissions targets. How does your Administration propose to avoid these conflicts? (Ibid.)

    • Stephen Segrest

      Wagaton — Your last post illustrates the 2nd problem I have with your posts — You are a “Hog Blogger”. When CE has sometimes +600 posts, you made it very difficult to scan, getting through your tremendous amount of rantings.

      Are you so egotistical to believe that someone couldn’t post equally as long or numerous posts refuting your rantings? Cutting and pasting is pretty easy. Do you want a War, forcing Dr. Curry to moderate?

      If you have something important to say then say it — but the sheer volume and number of your postings, Geeez.

      • Christian Schlüchter recognizes the real problem today: “many scientist are servants of politicians and are not concerned with knowledge and data.” And, as in the 1975 article above, Schlüchter also wonders about whether today’s, “complex and spoiled society” may face circumstances that, “brought the Roman Empire to collapse.”

        …you don’t need to be a trained climatologist to smell danger when someone says, Anthropogenic greenhouse gasses are warming the planet, so we need to ramp up taxes, institute a command-and-control economy, stop industrial development in the developing world, and, y’know, just maybe, suspend democracy and jail people who object… If Greens were simply raising money to support research into clean energy and carbon capture and the rest of it, there would be no problem and no objections. If they were to simply try to fix the problem, instead of trying to bully the rest of the world, if they were donating 100 million to solar panel research rather than pissing it down the drain of elections and ‘awareness raising,’ then there would be no problem… ~Prussian (What is Mann that thou art mindful of him?)

      • Stephen, if you have something important to say then say it — but the sheer volume and number of your postings, Jeeez.

      • Wow.

  63. David L. Hagen

    Climate Policy Implications of the Hiatus in Global Warming Ross McKitrick, Fraser Institute

    . . .In a low-sensitivity model, GHG emissions lead only to minor changes in temperature, so the socioeconomic costs associated with the emissions are minimal. In a high-sensitivity model, large temperature changes would occur, so marginal economic damages of CO2
    emissions are larger. . . . warming has actually slowed down to a pace well below most model projections. Depending on the data set used, there has been no statistically significant temperature change for the past 15 to 20 years. . . .
    One implication of these points is that, since climate policies operate over such a long time frame, during which it is virtually certain that important new information will emerge, it is essential to build into the policy framework clear feedback mechanisms that connect new data about climate sensitivity to the stringency of the emissions control policy. A second implication is that, since important new information about climate sensitivity is expected within a few years, there is value to waiting for this information before making any irreversible climate policy commitments, in order to avoid making costly decisions that are revealed a short time later to have been unnecessary.

    • This has relevance to the (in my view wrong) argument for applying lower discount rates to very long term assessments of costs and benefits on the grounds of intergenerational equity, whatever that might be.

    • David L. Hagen

      McKitrick’s evidence indicates that Climate Sensitivity to CO2 is much lower than IPCC’s models. Consequently, the benefits of rising CO2 will extend much longer beyond 2070. That also indicates that the projected harm will likely be much lower, later, – and more uncertain.

  64. These papers are free-access available online until January 2015 at http://www.annualreviews.org/toc/statistics/1/1:

    Statistics and Climate,
    Peter Guttorp, Department of Statistics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195

    For a statistician, climate is the distribution of weather and other variables that are part of the climate system. This distribution changes over time. This review considers some aspects of climate data, climate model assessment, and uncertainty estimation pertinent to climate issues, focusing mainly on temperatures. Some interesting methodological needs that arise from these issues are also considered.

    First paragraph of Introduction:
    This review contains a statistician’s take on some issues in climate research. The point of view is that of a statistician versed in multidisciplinary research; the review itself is not multidisciplinary. In other words, this review could not reasonably be expected to be publishable in a climate journal. Instead, it contains a point of view on research problems dealing with some climate issues, problems amenable to sophisticated statistical methods and ways of thinking. Often such methods are not current practice in climate science, so great opportunities exist for interested statisticians.

    Climate Simulators
    and Climate Projections
    , Jonathan Rougier and Michael Goldstein
    Department of Mathematics, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TW, United Kingdom;
    Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Durham, Durham, DH1 3LE

    We provide a statistical interpretation of current practice in climate modeling. In this review, we define weather and climate, clarify the relationship between simulator output and simulator climate, distinguish between a climate simulator and a statistical climate model, provide a statistical interpretation of the ubiquitous practice of anomaly correction along with a substantial generalization (the best-parameter approach), and interpret simulator/data comparisons as posterior predictive checking, including a simple adjustment to allow for double counting. We also discuss statistical approaches to simulator tuning, assessing parametric uncertainty, and responding to unrealistic outputs. We finish with a more general discussion of larger themes.

    Our purpose in this review is to interpret current practice in climate modeling in the light of statistical inferences about past and future weather. In this way, we hope to emphasize the common ground between our two communities and to clarify climate modeling practices that may not, at first sight, seem particularly statistical. From this starting point, we can then suggest some relatively simple enhancements and identify some larger issues. Naturally, we have had to simplify many practices in climate modeling, but not—we hope—to the extent of making them unrecognizable.

    Climate: your distribution of weather, represented as a multivariate spatiotemporal process (inherently subjective)

    Weather: measurable aspects of the ambient atmosphere, notably temperature, precipitation, and wind speed.

    • Dan Hughes,

      Interesting but …

      I want to know how they address these issues:

      1. climate changes abruptly, not as long continuous curves as the IAMs assume

      2. If not for human’s GHG emissions, the next abrupt change would probably be colder not warmer (e.g back toward Little Ice Age temperatures) (because we are passed the peak of the current interglacial period).

      3. Warming and increasing CO2 concentrations have been net beneficial for the past 200 years.

      4. Why should we expect that this trend will not continue with more CO2 emissions for some considerable time to come?

      5. What is an unbiased pdf of the impacts of continuing GHG emissions?

  65. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Science rules, ideology drools!

    The September sea-ice minimum is 5.02\times 10^{6}\ \text{km}^2, which matches the median scientific prediction (in June) of 4.7\times 10^{6}\ \text{km}^2 within 6%. Good on `yah sea-ice scientists!

    The June WUWT prediction of 6.1\times 10^{6}\ \text{km}^2 was a high-side outlier. Boo on `yah, ideologists!

    \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}

  66. The dip near 15 microns in TOA spectrum demonstrates that thermalization of terrestrial radiation energy absorbed by CO2 molecules exists. The delay would make no difference in the intensity. All of the surface radiation would eventually make it to TOA.

    The tiny increase in absorption lines due to a 100 ppmv CO2 increase (water vapor has 465 absorption lines in the range 5-13 microns compared to 1 at 15 microns for CO2), about 1 in 100,000, is insignificant.

    Reverse-thermalization to CO2 molecules at high altitude and S-B radiation from clouds provides the observed comparatively low TOA radiation at 15 microns.

  67. David L. Hagen

    Pointman probes: Tell Me Why

    Don’t they know that switching from growing food staples to growing biofuel crops for cars only the rich can afford has more than doubled prices of basic foods? Don’t they know about the people killed in the food riots? Do they actually know anything? Do they care anyway? . . .

    I highly recommend this.

    • David L. Hagen “Don’t they know that switching from growing food staples to growing biofuel crops for cars only the rich can afford has more than doubled prices of basic foods? Don’t they know about the people killed in the food riots? Do they actually know anything? Do they care anyway? . . .”

      I’ve been trying to make this point for a while and the answer seems to be:

      Apparently not. It really looks like they don’t give a damn.

    • David L. Hagen

      Malaria 8X worse than Global Warming

      “Malaria threatens more than 40% of the world’s population and kills up to 1.2 million people worldwide each year. Many of these deaths happen in Sub-Saharan Africa in children under the age of five and pregnant woman. The estimates for clinical infection is somewhere between 300 to 500 million people each year, worldwide.”

      Thus Malaria kills about 8X more people than “”climate change” aka “majority anthroprogenic global warming”. Lets focus priorities on where it matters. http://www.rdmag.com/articles/2014/09/taking-big-bite-out-malaria?et_cid=4191706&et_rid=219918439&type=headline

  68. Faustino,

    Do you have anything to say about this EPA note on discount rates?


    And the Socialist’s Cost of Carbon?

    • Taken on notice.

      • Faustino,

        Two points come to mind:

        1. the 12 economists who attended the EPA workshop on discount rates are all from inside the climate change orthodoxy. I don’t see any well know conservative economists represented. McKitrick is not on the list, nor your friend who critiqued the Stern review. Why not?

        Nordhaus and Tol are both included as are some of the extreme alarmists economists. I’ve noticed that Nordhaus has become progressively more alarmist since 2007. I get the impression he has been influenced by the continually badgering and criticising by the climate alarmists and he is no longer as objective as he once was.

        2. I don’t understand how economists can argue to use discount rates that are equivalent to and less than the long run average risk free rate of return if we recognise that the decision to mitigate GHG emissions is far from risk free. It seems to me that mitigating GHG emissions could be beneficial or it could be damaging. How can it be concluded that reducing GHG emissions is risk free?

      • Faustino, I want to change the wording on point 2

        2. I don’t understand how economists can argue to use discount rates that are equivalent to and less than the long-run average risk free rate of return if we recognise that the decision to mitigate GHG emissions is far from risk free. It seems to me that implementing policies which will forces huge investments to mitigate GHG emissions is a high risk strategy. As you have pointed out many times the best strategy is to build our capacity to deal with whatever problems occur and remain highly flexible (one of the best ways is to build wealth) . Forcing us to commit to high cost strategies that are hugely economically damaging for all this century, on the belief we are going to improve the lot of people centuries from now, is high risk. It seems to me the\ the discount rate should be that used for a high risk investment.

        Another risk is that we don’t know if GHG emissions are net beneficial or net damaging.

        Another risk is it is very expensive to change strategy once it has been implemented. If the world implemented a carbon tax and later realised it won’t succeed (as many people already realise), it would then be difficult and costly to stop it and implement a different policy. Australia provides an example of those difficulties now.

        Given all these investment risks how can it be concluded that policies requiring massive investment in GHG emissions reduction should be justified on the basis of a risk free discount rate?

  69. After their primaries, Republican senate candidates are becoming more moderate on climate change. For those outside the US, primaries are battles within their party to become the November candidate. Being moderate on climate change is a killer within the Republican Party, but having passed that hurdle they can pivot, and some are, to try to be competitive in the state race. It’s all politics with them.

    • Jim D said “It’s all politics with them.”

      I am sure that eco politics (green politics) is also all politics with Democrats.

      Politicians are political creatures – and that includes most politicians from both major parties.

  70. Stephen Segrest

    As the Tea Party labels folks like me, I am a RINO (Republican in name only). Suffice to say, I don’t like the Tea Party which is highly comprised of Ideologues.

    My opinion was formed through my brief volunteer work for Jon Huntsman (2012 Presidential campaign). Gov. Huntsman (who had a voting record a whole lot more conservative than McCain in 2008 or Romney in 2012) made his “chops in international trade.

    Huntsman had a lot of creative ideas in how to approach AGW using conservative principles — focusing on policies to achieve high economic growth of exporting U.S. high tech products (which we’re good at) to developing countries .

    But he was stopped at the start gate by the Tea Party and literally booed off stage (and I was there) — labeled as an Al Gore clone. If Huntsman came into this CE blog, he’d get the same treatment.

    • The money in that party is on the right wing, and money is everything in elections unfortunately. They have no tolerance for independent thinkers like Huntsman, that I even respected, and I am not at all Republican.
      Like the Supreme Court said, money is speech, with the corollary that if you have no money you have no speech when it comes to elections.

    • Speaking of politics, Democrats are campaigning on the promise that they won’t do anything about global warming. And hoping folks like you and JimD assume they’re just lying to get elected.
      Now, this must be puzzling to you: seeing as how the Republican position is so far out of the mainstream, why would Democrats think the only way to get elected is to adopt the Republican position?

      • That’s about local policy, not science. It’s very different, although blurred for some. I expect he has not denied the science that humans are causing global warming.

      • Local policy? There is no local policy on coal in the US Senate that Grimes is running for. She’s promising she will oppose federal policy that would reduce the use of coal.
        And hoping that you won’t think she’s anti-science, just anti-truth.
        Why would she do this? You aren’t suggesting AGW policy would be economically damaging, are you?

    • “I don’t like the Tea Party which is highly comprised of Ideologues….”

      I don’t like ideologues, meaning those holding opinions contrary to my own ideology.

    • I’m basically a Libertarian. Living the DC area – it is pretty obvious that government is the problem and neither party seems horribly interested in downsizing it.

      I’m fine with an politician who wants to downsize the non-constitutionally-mandated parts of government.

      Huntsman is sort of moderate. I could see where a more liberal Republican would like him. Some of his positions give me heartburn but he is vastly better than a failed community organizer.

      Most people that get involved in politics are ideologues of some flavor.

  71. @Stephen Segrest | October 6, 2014 at 8:52 am |
    Wagathon — Your argument is exactly why Conservatives need to develop pro-active policies on AGW — and not simply have a strategy of, or be viewed as obstructionists.
    SS – obstructionism is sometimes entirely appropriate. If one can prevent the implementation of destructive policy, then that is a win. I would go so far to suggest that when we have a scenario when the science is suspect and some of the suggested policy is highly destructive and when the entire subject is highly political – then tribalism is an appropriate tactic. Tribalism arises naturally in social groups. Given that fact, I surmise it probably serves a good purpose.

    So, I guess you can see I don’t cotton to this idea of conservatives crafting a “conservative way” to achieve the goals of the lefties.


    • Stephen Segrest

      Jim2, I start from a known fact: Nobody on the face of this Earth knows how the science of AGW will eventually play out. How it plays out in science is not conservative or liberal. How the Earth will respond in an incredibly complex climate system will determine this.

      By Conservatives not being objective that we just don’t know and opposing almost any AGW policy actions, there is just a great big void — where almost all proposed policy actions are liberal ideology approaches (i.e., carbon tax, cap and trade, etc.).

      Jon Huntsman was trying to change this paradigm through something he made his chops on — International Trade. It was kinda a “China in your face approach” with other developing economies/countries.

      Paraphrasing Huntsman (as best I can), he was saying “In international trade, reciprocity reigns supreme. No country eliminates/lowers/gives incentives to its trade barriers without reciprocal and meaningful concessions from trading partners“.

      In Huntsman approach, the U.S. would give free market developing countries special trade status for selected products into U.S. markets IF these developing countries committed to building a low-carbon economy using U.S. high-tech products (which are often not the lowest capital cost option). An example could be a highly efficient coal power plant.

      But the Tea Party didn’t want to listen to potential conservative approaches to AGW — he was labeled an Al Gore clone.

      If we get stuck with a carbon tax or cap & trade system, Republicans will have no one to blame but ourselves.


      • Stephen Segrest

        Lets create some “Enterprise Zones” and see how this works. I’d start in the Philippines. According to a Pew International poll, the Philippines has the highest favorable rating of the U.S. within the World. Lets do business with folks who like us and we like them.

      • To paraphrase: “I will only allow you to sell products to my voters if you buy these particular products from my cronies.”

      • 1. Curry has from what I can tell bounded the CO2 doubling to about 1.6°C.
        2. The current linear CO2 growth in the face of geometric emissions growth means it will hard to even acheive 600 PPM.
        3. For the plant growth/water conservation effect of 600 PPM we want to hit 600 PPM.
        4. The AGW crowd has not proved positive feedback. They haven’t disproved the null hypothesis that doubling CO2 causes a 1°C or less temperature change (the simple effect of the forcing alone).

        So I do propose a policy:
        1. Criminalize (felony) burning food for fuel.
        2. Criminalize (felony) sequestering CO2.
        3. Criminalize (felony) executive branch officials restricting CO2 emissions in anyway.
        4. Allow liberal allowance for arctic methane exploration. AGW keep using this as a threat – it is time to pull the teeth of the arctic methane threat.

        See – a counter policy as requested to deal with CO2. I’m not willing to starve future people because of low CO2 plant growth just to be AGW stylish.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Aaron — Yea, just like Obama funded Georgia Power billions of dollars to build the first nuclear power plant in decades in the solid Blue State bastion of Liberals in Georgia to get them to continue voting solid DEM.

      • So, you want to perpetuate the model of driving up costs to the point that they are financially uneconomical and then subsidize them when supply becomes dangerously low…

      • Stephen Segrest

        Peter Lang — Peter, I can not critique your paper in like 5 minutes. I said at first blush, it appears that you are not looking at the load shape increment supply side decisions in generation planning.

      • Stepehen Segrest,

        Peter Lang — Peter, I can not critique your paper in like 5 minutes.

        I agree. You shouldn’t have made any comments at all. You should not have misrepresented the analysis since you haven’t read it or haven’t understood it. You should not have made disingenuous, misleading, unsupported, baseless, wrong, statements about the paper. To do so is a clear indication of intellectual dishonesty. And if you demonstrate it once, it is likely you do it continually. That seems to be the case as evidenced by previous your previous comments on this thread I’ve replied to.

        I said at first blush, it appears that you are not looking at the load shape increment supply side decisions in generation planning.

        Which just shows you haven’t read or haven’r understood the paper.

        Take you rime. read the papers. Read the comments on the first paper “http://bravenewclimate.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/lang_renewable_energy_australia_cost.pdf” and read the comments here: http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/
        Take your time. Consider it and then come back with questions, not baseless assertions.

    • Jim2,
      The claim that Republicans obstruct AGW policies is a myth that partisans like Segrest use. The GOP does not stand in the way of increased use of natural gas (it, in fact, supports it) and does not stand in the way of nuclear power.
      The fact that the GOP supports the only alternatives to coal that both reduce CO2 emissions and provide power cost-effectively is telling. No Republican would opposed the construction of cost-effective wind or solar by private energy firms. The only things the GOP “obstructs”: ineffective, expensive policies the left wants for no other reason than partisanship. May that long continue!

      • The GOP obstructs the pilfering of the public treasury by people that want to reward their political friends. I want more nat. gas and nuclear power to generate electricity. If someone wants to put a PV panel on their roof they can go ahead and do it, but they need to pay for it themselves – no tax credits, no utility buy backs at max prices, no tax credits for $80,000 electric cars.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Justin Wonder — You need to get outside of the echo chamber once in a while. This is not the one-side picture you paint. I live in Florida and Duke Energy is billing us $4.5 billion for a botched effort to repair nuclear units (which they couldn’t repair and are shutting the unit down) and nuclear units under construction which they now have cancelled.

        Also —
        The tax credit on wind energy is basically the same as for new nuclear units — but nuclear has two additional goodies: Price-Anderson; a federal guarantee to electric utilities to cap the construction costs of new nuclear units.

        Also —
        In what you probably describe as cronyism socialism — the U.S. DOE loan guarantee program has been evenly split (1/3, 1/3, 1/3) between nuclear, transportation, and solar.

        Also —
        I seriously question whether you know what an integrated electricity grid is and what base, intermediate, and peaking load means. If you did, you’d know that solar has beaten the costs of fossil fuel options for peaking load for decades.

        Also —
        I could go on and on countering your cherry-picking with cherry-picking of my own.

      • 1. Current solar panels are $1/W (I just priced them).;
        2. 2000 Megawatts of solar (8000 MW nominal) is $8,000,000,000 dollars. This is more than a nuclear plant.
        Comparison for 2019 power generation.
        3. Solar is 60% more expensive than a 4th gen nuclear power plant.
        4. The solar plant is only good for about 25 years (power degraded 50%).
        5. Nuclear doesn’t need an expensive backup plan (it is dispatchable).
        6. Gas and conventional coal are cheaper than Solar.- and are dispatchable.

        The EIA lists solar as “nondispatchable” so the cost of the backup plan is not included.

        And these are 2019 costs. So the statement that any installed solar is “cheaper than” basically anything in terms of Total System Levelized Cost of Energy is simply a lie.

      • Stephen Segrest

        PA — Like Justin Wonder, it looks like you don’t understand the basics of electricity engineering economics either (integrated grid, dispatching base, intermediate, peaking load). Go read up on this and show some good faith in demonstrating knowledge on this and I’ll have dialogue with you.

        Hint: The key is cost per kWh hugely driven by capacity factors.

      • Echo chamber?


        Look, when you’re handing out a quarter-million dollar grants to Senator’s spouses, it makes no sense to compare that favorably to any effort to support nuclear power. Republicans favor the latter, for some reason climate campaigners favor the payola.

        “pilfering” is actually an understatement.

        Also, claiming your debating opponent must be ignorant of energy systems for failing to understand the awesome economic benefit of solar power is just plain wrong. There is nobody – not one single solitary person anywhere on this globe – preventing you or anyone else from building your cost-effective solar power. There is a group preventing the type of bogus, wasteful boondoggles we see in North Carolina, as well as all of Europe.

      • Stephen Segrest

        JeffN — You continue to show your lack of basic understanding of the engineering and politics of U.S. electric utilities. Changing “net metering” laws has been and continues to be a long up-hill battle. Retail selling of electricity (other than by electric utilities) under franchise laws is flat illegal.

      • The Duke Power situation is interesting. PEF and Duke power both planned nuclear plants at the same time. The PEF was basically a clone of the Duke plant and had strings attached by Crist that they had to shutdown coal fired plants. Given the $3 billion cost of running power lines to the site, the Duke plant was cheaper. Duke bought PEF.

        Given that the PEF due to plant siting/strings was more expensive – Duke shuttered the plant.

        The Crystal River plant was gross incompetence by PEF and not Duke’s fault.

        So to some extent environmentalism killed the Levy plant (the coal plants can stay open).

      • Matthew R Marler

        Stephen Segrest: If you did, you’d know that solar has beaten the costs of fossil fuel options for peaking load for decades.

        That depends on time of day of the peak. When peak demand comes later than peak solar output, as in California solar power requires backup:



        note: California has gotten as much as 16% of total electricity from renewables, but yesterday it was only 10% because we have had consistently below average wind.

        If the backup is included in the cost of the PV installation, then PV loses its price competitiveness.

        PA quoted a price of $1 per watt for PV. Where I live, the cost of an installation is about $10,000 for 2kw, or $5 per watt for a roof-mounted system; large installations run at about 80% of that. The materials that PV panels are made from are considered toxic waste; per MW-hr of electricity produce, PV panels produce more toxic waste than nuclear power plants. Nuclear has a PR disadvantage because people would rather get cancer and birth defects from PV waste (and high altitude exposure to ionizing radiation) than from nuclear waste, so they don’t mind the larger total exposure from other sources than nuclear.

        The cost of government subsidies for power is much lower for nuclear when you compute the cost per GW-hr of electricity actually produced. The US has had reliable electricity from 100+ nuclear power plants for decades. If you add in 5% or so as the bill for the failures of TMI and San Onofre, the cost is still much lower than the cost of electricity from solar.

        Even if you think that PA and Justin Wonder are arguing from ignorance and bad faith, remember that a lot of readers will appreciate any reliable information that you can provide them.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Stephen Segrest: I could go on and on countering your cherry-picking with cherry-picking of my own.

        Sure, but that is not the only alternative. You could aim for an overall evaluation of all costs and benefits.

        Another detail about pricing. Costs of manufacturing PV panels are decreasing (perhaps 10% per year over long time spans, with short-term spurts much greater), but the costs of installation are declining more slowly. Once they reach price parity on a wide scale, bidding and the scarcity of the resources will probably act to retard the rate of price decline.

      • Another cost besides installation is O&M.


        Fixed panels (less efficient) are $50/kW-y. Tracking panels are $60/kW-y.

        The EIA lists 0 (zero) variable O&M cost and that isn’t correct.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Matthew Marler — Of course you are correct that solar doesn’t always beat the cost of peaking fossil fuel alternatives. My wording should have been better — that in many applications solar can be the least cost economic dispatch option.

        I’ve been home sick with the flu since last Friday. I took this opportunity to ask Wagathon (and others like him) to stop all this liberal rating day after day, week after week on daily posts.

        I primarily come to CE to try and learn some science — and with sometimes +600 posts, scrolling through/following the blog becomes really difficult because of the sheer number and volume of Wagathon’s repeated liberal rantings.

        If anybody wants to rant about anything — they should do it in “Week in Review” as Dr. Curry asked all of us to do — and stay “on point” with her other blog posts.

      • D o u g  C o t t o n  



        If you’d like to learn what is by far the most relevant science in the climate debate I suggest this comment


      • Stephen Segrest,

        Justin Wonder — You need to get outside of the echo chamber once in a while. This is not the one-side picture you paint. I live in Florida and Duke Energy is billing us $4.5 billion for a botched effort to repair nuclear units

        Your first comment on this sub-thread demonstrates YOU are the cherry picker, Your comment is disingenuous. It shows you have little understanding of what you are talking about. And YOU should take your own advice “You need to get outside of YOUR echo chamber once in a while.”

        You quite meaningless figures like $4.5 billion repair and don’t put that in perspective of energy supplied or to be supplied over remaining life in $/MWh. Until you tell us what the $/MWh cost is, it’s totally meaningless. You should also get out of your echo chamber and learn about the cost impediments that have been added to nuclear power over the past decades as a result of 50 years of misleading, disingenuous, mostly dishonest anti-nuke propaganda by those who call themselves “Progressives” (what a joke).

      • Stephen Segrest

        PA — Like Justin Wonder, it looks like you don’t understand the basics of electricity engineering economics either (integrated grid, dispatching base, intermediate, peaking load). Go read up on this and show some good faith in demonstrating knowledge on this and I’ll have dialogue with you.

        Hint: The key is cost per kWh hugely driven by capacity factors.

        Once again, this comment applies to YOU, not P.A..

        You demonstrate clearly it is you that doesn’t “understand the basics of electricity engineering economics”

        You blurt out a pile of words and motherhood statements but are clearly unable to actually apply them yourself. (integrated grid, dispatching base, intermediate, peaking load). ”

        Here is a simple of capital costs, cost of electricity and CO2 abatement cost for a mostly renewables versus mostly nuclear powered Australian National Electricity Market grid. The costs of the additional grid requirements are included in the estimates. The costs included the estimated costs in Australia with Australia’s WACC, labour productivity and labour rates. http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf

        Happy to take your questions on this. if you want to know more about the renewables options, see this preceding paper: http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/ Download the pdf version to see the appendicies and footnotes. You can also download a simple spreadsheet and change the inputs.

      • [REPOST to fix formatting]

        Stephen Segrest,

        PA — Like Justin Wonder, it looks like you don’t understand the basics of electricity engineering economics either (integrated grid, dispatching base, intermediate, peaking load). Go read up on this and show some good faith in demonstrating knowledge on this and I’ll have dialogue with you.

        Hint: The key is cost per kWh hugely driven by capacity factors.

        Once again, this comment applies to YOU, not P.A..

        You demonstrate clearly it is you that doesn’t “understand the basics of electricity engineering economics”

        You blurt out a pile of words and motherhood statements but are clearly unable to actually apply them yourself. (integrated grid, dispatching base, intermediate, peaking load). ”

        Here is a simple of capital costs, cost of electricity and CO2 abatement cost for a mostly renewables versus mostly nuclear powered Australian National Electricity Market grid. The costs of the additional grid requirements are included in the estimates. The costs included the estimated costs in Australia with Australia’s WACC, labour productivity and labour rates. http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf

        Happy to take your questions on this. if you want to know more about the renewables options, see this preceding paper: http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/ Download the pdf version to see the appendicies and footnotes. You can also download a simple spreadsheet and change the inputs.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Peter Lang — As an engineer, you dog-gone know what I’m talking about with bell shape load curves. Your ubiquitous comment on solar (peaking) versus nuclear (base load) is highly inappropriate and just plain wrong. No electric utility designs their portfolio of power plants with only base load units. If they did, costs per kWh would be out the roof because of low capacity factors.

        I’ll read your paper and comment — but at first blush, it looks like you are comparing apples to oranges.

      • And this from Peter Lang,’ Renewables or Nuclear Electricity
        for Australia – the Costs.’ (April 2012.)

        Peter Lang has undertaken comparative studies of four
        renewable energy scenarios with nuclear energy. The
        nuclear scenario is roughly 1/3 the capital cost, less than
        1/2 cost of electricity and less than1/3 CO2 abatement
        cost of the other scenarios. (Figure 6.)


      • Stephen Segrest,

        As usual baseless, disingenuous, misleading and unsupported statements.

        but at first blush, it looks like you are comparing apples to oranges.

        What are you referring to. What are the apples and oranges? Be specific. make your comment clear so I an anyone else can understand what you mean and answer your critique. And be sure to show that your are not just making nit-picking irrelevant comments. Show that your criticism is significant and changes the conclusions.

        Your ubiquitous comment on solar (peaking) versus nuclear (base load) is highly inappropriate and just plain wrong. No electric utility designs their portfolio of power plants with only base load units.

        What are you referring to that you say is “is highly inappropriate and just plain wrong”. Quote the part and explain what it is inappropriate and just plain wrong?

        It seems you haven’t understood the analysis. Do you understand the modelling that was done to match the generation to the demand curve at every half hour through the year 2010? I suggest it is you that just plain doesn’t understand what you are talking about.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Beth — What is the cost of solar versus say, a combustion turbine running on oil used for peaking in Australia ? This would be an example of an apples to apples comparison.

      • Matthew R Marler | October 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        “PA quoted a price of $1 per watt for PV. Where I live, the cost of an installation is about $10,000 for 2kw, or $5 per watt for a roof-mounted system; large installations run at about 80% of that. ”

        Well, the raw panel cost is about $300 for a 280W panel basically $1/W.

        2010 Cost
        $3.80/WP DC – 187.5 MWP DC fixed-axis utility-scale ground mount
        $4.40/WP DC – 187.5 MWP DC one-axis utility-scale ground mount.

        2020 Evolutionary cost vs Sunshot program target:
        $1.71/ WP DC – 187.5 MWP DC fixed-axis utility-scale ground mount (SunShot target: $1.00/WP DC)
        • $1.91/ WP DC – 187.5 MWP DC one-axis utility-scale ground mount (modified-SunShot target: $1.20/WP DC).

        There is a 20+% benefit to a tracker.

        So, a 2010 installation of utility solar just for the installed panels of the equivalent of a Westinghouse Electric Company AP1000 twin installation (2200 MW) at Cherokee River, given there are only about 5.62 kw-h of average available solar.

        The installed cost for a tracker system assuming 100% available solar is $41 billion for a nondispatchable system vs about $14 billion for the nukes (Duke says 6 but I’m a pessimist)..

        I haven’t mentioned some other factors.
        DC to AC Derate factors are .77 under good conditions.

        Further: Florida is clear (less than 30% cloudy) only 70% of the time..

        I am dubious about the claim that any installed systems are competitive with conventional sources..

      • Stephen Segrest,

        Beth — What is the cost of solar versus say, a combustion turbine running on oil used for peaking in Australia ? This would be an example of an apples to apples comparison.

        Now you are demonstrating simple mindedness and ignorance. not even the capacity to think logically. How can you think that “solar versus say, a combustion turbine running on oil used for peaking in Australia” Are comparable. The combustion turbine is fully dispatchable. It can be brought on line quickly and ramps quickly at any time of day and night, in any climate (even Antarctica in winter) has 98% availability and used as the emergency back up system for hospitals and military installations. How can you think that solar power can be comparable to that.

        You demonstrate a total lack of understanding of energy. I’d suggest you go to a blog site where your ignorance is not so obvious.

      • Stephen Segrest – “I could go on and on countering your cherry-picking with cherry-picking …”

        You win, you are a much better cherry-picker than me.

        Why all the hostility? Why not state your case without rancor and be a gentleman about it? I’m actually interested in reading what you have to say.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Stephen Segrest: My wording should have been better — that in many applications solar can be the least cost economic dispatch option.

        Schools, for example, which operate almost exclusively in daylight hours. Pumping water for agricultural purposes. And in some foreign nations where all sources of energy are intermittent. In CA, homeowners who spend a lot of money on air-conditioning can profitably install PV panels, though the more economical choice is to go without A/C.

        But large scale solar and wind farms? I don’t see those being economical for a very long time.

      • Matthew R Marler

        PA: I am dubious about the claim that any installed systems are competitive with conventional sources..

        You and I are mostly in agreement. I have lost the link, but I read of a school near Phoenix, AZ, that covered over its parking lot and roof with PV panels, and reduced the cost of its electricity. But that was strictly a daytime operation and their need for A/C was proportional insolation, as was the electric power produced. Niche uses like that look promising in the US.

      • Matthew R. Marler

        But large scale solar and wind farms? I don’t see those being economical for a very long time.

        I suspect they’ll never be economically viable for providing a significant proportion of world electricity supply. “The Catch-22 of Energy Storage” explains why

      • Peter Lang | October 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm |

        ‘I suspect they’ll never be economically viable for providing a significant proportion of world electricity supply. “The Catch-22 of Energy Storage” explains why’

        Peter – I believe you are wrong – and not for a good reason.

        The greenies have us headed for “grid control in reverse”.

        The US grid has three parts: generation, transmission, consumption (load).

        Traditionally the vast majority of the control was via generation. Consumption (load) was what it was and generation was decreased/increased to match the load.

        Where the grid is headed is the reverse: the generation is variable and load shedding is used to match generation. If you can turn off enough refrigerators, air conditioners, and industrial users you don’t need significant standby generation for green energy sources.

        It is dumb and expensive but then again it is a “green” idea so that is to be expected.

      • P.A.

        Thanks you. I suspect your comments is tongue in cheek, right?

        Did you read John Morgan’s post:
        “The Catch-22 of Energy Storage”

        I think you and other readers would find it interesting. It’s getting a lot of publicity. It’s been reproduced on many other web sites and generates lots of discussion.

  72. From the article:
    Where does the world’s energy go? The 10 guzzlers


  73. Ocean heat content:
    From unimpeachable sources. Seems a fair amount of uncertainty to me.

    • You should warn people it’s a 5000 TB down load and takes a week on Australian NBN :)

    • I am sorry. It’s a 72 page pdf with many color graphics. Many of the big names were involved with the document.

      • No need to apologise. My comment was intended as Aussie humour. I know that often doesn’t arrive in US as sent from down under. :). It very interesting and I’ve already forwarded the link to some friends.

  74. Thanks for not calling attention to Uranus this time, dougie. We don’t find that amusing.

  75. We are actually paying for this research.


    “Mounting evidence demonstrates that weight influences intimate (i.e., dating and sexual) relationship formation and sexual negotiations among adolescent girls. Obese girls consistently report having fewer dating and sexual experiences, but more sexual risk behaviors (i.e., condom nonuse) once they are sexually active.”

    I am outraged by the sexism here! Why is our government not funding research into the statistically significant phenomenon of fat guys getting fewer dates with cheer leaders and super models? Does no one care about Al Gore?

    And where’s the link to globalclimatewarmingchange?

  76. Energy Futures Price
    OIL 88.50
    BRENT 91.75
    NAT GAS 3.926
    RBOB GAS 2.3458

  77. Stephen Segrest

    Peter Lang — I did read through your paper, and started to compile at least an initial set of questions — then I saw your above post about my total lack of understanding and ignorance.

    I have degrees in engineering and economics — including work at the prestigious University of Chicago. I developed a leading U.S. Industry standard on engineering economics modelling for project evaluation (PROVAL) which is probably used in Australia. I’ve testified before the U.S. Congress several times.

    Depending on how you answer my first set of simple questions — I may or may not choose any further dialogue with you.

    (1) Did the Researchers at CEEM peer review or provide any type of critique on your paper? Has any professional organization provided any peer review?

    (2) Did you have access to, and run the CEEM load shape model in your analysis?

    • Which CEEM?

      • Stephen Segrest

        Peter said he used a study by the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM) — which I know nothing about — I assume its part of an University?

    • Segrest,

      Your comments on this post have demonstrated you don’t bother to read nor try to understand what the person you are responding to says. You’ve demonstrated that clearly. You’ve also demonstrated intellectual dishonesty http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/. You are not worth wasting the time on. A person who has the experience you claim, would not be making such comments. And they would read the paper and the references to find out the answer the questions you asked, without making a fool of yourself.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Seems like a simple yes/no to:
        1. Did CEEM or any professional organization peer review your work? Yes or No.
        2. Did you run the CEEM load shape model in your analysis? Yes or No. (you just can’t do what you tried to do without running a load shape model).

      • Same answer, twit. Read it, like any professional or trained researcher would do.