How urgent is ‘urgent’?

by Judith Curry

I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change . . . no longer than a decade at most.James Hansen 2006

We have only four more years to act on climate change.James Hansen 2009

It looks like our time is already up, or maybe we have two more years, depending on whether you work from the 2006 or 2009 version.

If you are working from the 2C ‘dangerous’ target, Michael Mann argued recently that Earth will cross the danger threshold in 2036.

Now, today we hear from the Sunday TimesJust 16 years to avoid carbon calamity, say experts

AR5 Synthesis Report

This particular post is triggered by today’s release of the IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report and Press Release and Press Conference.  A good summary of what has been going on is given by this BBC article Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC.  The highlights:

  • CO2 emissions must be reducedby almost half by 2030 or global temperatures will eventually rise by between 2C and 5C.
  • Humans must pump no more than a further one trillion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere if temperature change is to be kept below 2C.
  • To keep warming below 2°C, the world will have to cut greenhouse gas emissions between 40 and 70 percent by 2050—and then keep cutting until they’re essentially zero by 2100.

Tweeted comments from Ban-Ki Moon’s press conference:

  • “Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side.”
  • “When your child is sick with a high temperature, you have to take all the medicine”
  • “Synthesis Report gives major push for Paris, mobilise action to 2C pathway”

How long do we have to act?

Lets accept for the sake of argument that there is a risk that adding CO2 will eventually cause undesirable climate change.  Further, there seems to be broad agreement that it is in everyone’s long term interests to move away from fossil fuels as a primary energy source (these resources are finite, at some point they will become very costly to extract, and there are pollution/health issues associated with burning fossil fuels).

But how urgently do we need to act in terms decarbonization, even if you buy the 2C danger limit?  The 16 year deadline comes from the business as usual emissions scenario, whereby climate model projections state that the 2C threshold would likely be crossed in 2040.

Here is why it is increasingly unlikely that that we will reach the 2C danger limit by 2040:

  • the ongoing surface temperature hiatus, which may continue until the 2030’s or even 2040 if the increasing number of hypotheses about AMO, PDO and natural internal variability are correct.
  • the growing number of observation-based climate sensitivity studies that find lower values of transient and equilibrium climate sensitivity (e.g Lewis & Curry, WSJ op-ed).
  • unrealistic scenarios of future coal burning by the IPCC (see Dave Rutledge’s previous posts)
  • underestimate by 16% of plant CO2 absorption [link]

So how much do these factors individually and collectively delay the warming, beyond 2040?   Well, the hiatus one is pretty straightforward.   It has been estimated that Lewis and Curry TCR estimate delays the warming by 10 yrs.  No estimate that I ‘ve seen re delays associated with carbon budget scenarios.

What does 10 years buy us?

For the sake of argument, lets play it conservative and assume that these factors buy us 10 more years (personally, I think much longer), beyond the IPCC’s time scale.  What difference does 10 years make?

Lets look back 10 years ago, to 2004, or even to 2006 when Hansen made his first proclamation:

  • fracking wasn’t on the radar screen
  • there was very little penetration of wind and solar power
  • there was optimism about cap and trade policies
  • the pause was less than 10 years, and not yet identified as such
  • the U.S. was the leader in CO2 emissions
  • the massive Chinese modernization was just underway
  • devastating hurricane landfalls in the US in 2004/2005
  • others?

Things look pretty different now than they did 10 years ago.  What can we anticipate in the next 10 years?

  • the pause will continue, or surface temperatures will resume warming.  If the latter, then climate models are demonstrated to be not fit for purpose for projecting 21st century climate change and climate sensitivity, and the IPCC’s attribution conclusion will become unsupportable.
  • greater clarity on the role of the sun in 20th and 21st century climate variations and change
  • longer historical perspectives on sea ice, ocean temperatures, etc. and refinements to paleo climate analyses of the last two millennia, which will clarify detection of anthropogenic climate change relative to natural variability
  • continued growth in emissions, particularly from the developing world
  • continued strains on food and water associated with growing populations, unless effective plans for dealing with this are implemented
  • growing vulnerability to extreme weather events associated with population and property increases in hazard-prone zones, unless effective plans for dealing with this are implemented
  • new advances in energy technologies
  • continued regional experiments with new and renewable energy technologies
  • others?

Business as usual, or implement UNFCCC policies?

As described above, business as usual on decadal time scales can be associated with unanticipated surprises – science, technologies, and societal changes.  Should we let economic development and other policies play out, perhaps with some climate informed decision analysis, or implement the UNFCCC policies and drastically decarbonize the economy?

Well 10 years (or even 5 years) will provide substantial clarity on the relative importance of human-caused and naturally varying climate change, and how rapidly humans can be expected to change the climate in the 21st century.

The solutions to decarbonizing the global economy are more likely to come from technological advances rather than from global UNFCCC treaties.  Does it make any sense to push the decarbonization policies faster than they can be supported by technology?

The UN seems to be playing a game, which is aptly described from this tweet by Rupert Darwell:

  • There’s one thing you will never hear #ippc say:”It’s now too late to act.” That way, IPCC can live on forever. 

 

Slide1

344 responses to “How urgent is ‘urgent’?

  1. You omitted “100 months to save the planet”, of which only 25 are remaining. Or as Prince Charles calculated in 2009, 96 months.

  2. “There’s one thing you will never hear #ippc say:”It’s now too late to act.” That way, IPCC can live on forever. ”

    I made this same point to my poor, suffering, endlessly patient wife the other day during another of my dinner time climate rants. It’s always the very edge of night in climate change circles. “cli-light”

    • nottawa rafter

      Luckily my wife has a sense of humor. Climate rants replaced rants about the incompetence of the Detroit Lions over the last 45 years, so she is used to it all.

      • Me too, n.r. Only I have the Red Sox, at least until 10 years ago when they pulled a fast one and won the World Series. So needing something, I switched to climate. She loves me, thankfully, but sometimes I can;t fathom why.

      • Pikers. I was born and raised a Chicago Cubs fan. (Grew up 5 blocks from Wrigley Field.) Last time they won a World Series was in 1908; last time they even appeared in the World Series – 1945.

        The Cubs are almost as bad at winning championships as the IPCC is at predicting future temps.

      • Oh that’s funny, Gary. I’ve actually considered becoming a Cubs fan. Something in me needs to be rooting for the underdog. I can’t understand being say, being a Yankees fan. It’s like rooting for IBM.

    • I never rant about climate change but I do laugh a lot. Does anyone else realize that if we stop EPA, which a lot of people in Congress want to do, then the climate issue is basically dead in the US? It is so polarized that serious legislation is impossible and likely always will be. There are a number of permanently deadlocked issues and climate change has become one.

  3. Thank you. Good sane post.

  4. I’ve never understood why two degrees of warming should be some absolute “limit.” Practically any effect on humans by global warming can be counteracted if we are willing to put enough effort into it. That means the question of how much warming we are willing to allow can be viewed as a continuum of the cost of preventing warming vs. the cost of mitigating damages. A continuum such as that does not have any absolute limits save those at the far extremes (e.g. we can no longer mitigate damages nor adapt to them).

    I don’t understand how people could believe 1.9 degrees of warming would be tolerable but 2.1 degrees would not be tolerable. It would take a huge coincidence for the cost-benefit analysis to have an inflection point at the nice, round number of two degrees, but such a coincidence would still not mean two degrees is some absolute limit.

    Moreover, I don’t get why the total amount of warming is what we discuss. Surely the rate of warming matters too. A two degree rise by 2100 is very different from a two degree rise by 2050 or a two degree rise by 2200. Who’s to say we need to completely stabilize temperatures at one specific temperature? Couldn’t it just be we need to limit the rate of warming?

    • Richard Betts wrote that he considers the 2 degree figure as analogous to a speed limit. Not a cutoff of “safe” vs. “dangerous”.

      On the other hand, it’s reported as a sharp dividing line. For example, Roger Harrabin of the BBC said just yesterday on radio, “The UN’s identified 2 degrees as a danger point which we shouldn’t cross.”

      • If people stuck with what Richard Betts says, it’d sound reasonable. Whether he’s right or wrong, what he says is understandable.

        But as you point out, people don’t stick with his view. That’s why the two degree limit just sounds stupid (to me).

      • Heh, once we cross two degrees we can always shoot for the next two degrees.

        So we’ve had almost two degrees change since the Little Ice Age and twice twice two degrees since the Big One, and of course, the Once and Future Ice Age.
        ============

    • @ Brandon Shollenberger

      “I don’t understand how people could believe 1.9 degrees of warming would be tolerable but 2.1 degrees would not be tolerable.”

      That perspective would seem obvious to me, but is apparently inconceivable to those proclaiming the 2 degree brick wall limit. But I have more basic questions:

      Two degrees of warming relative to what PERFECT ‘Temperature of the Earth (TOE)’?

      Who or what body established the accepted procedure for measuring the TOE, which would be used to track TOE anomaly?

      Who or what body established the ideal baseline TOE, from which the TOE must not be allowed, at ANY cost, to rise more than 2 degrees?

      What criteria were used to determine the ‘ideal TOE’?

      Which year was the ‘exemplary’ year, from a TOE perspective?

      Who or what body established the two degree ‘brick wall’?

      Using what criteria?

      Who or what body selected the criteria?

      Under what authority?

      Who or what body determined that controlling ACO2 through taxation and/or regulation of ‘carbon signatures’, as measured by the governments collecting the taxes and establishing the regulations, was the optimum method of stabilizing the TOE?

      What evidence do we have that controlling ACO2 would have any measurable effects on the TOE and that those effects would on be on balance preferable to the ‘consequences’ of ignoring ACO2 and producing our energy by the most expedient and cost effective methods available?

      Ad infinitum.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Bob
        I believe TOE is also “theory of everything” in theoretical physics
        I heard a presentation by Stephen Hawking many years ago in which he confidently proclaimed that science was only a few years away from the TOE

        then nature failed to cooperate and threw accelerating universal expansion right in our unsuspecting faces… oops, there must be dark energy and dark matter out there

        now scientists toil in search of dark stuff
        and missing heat

        Also, Tonyb has been asking, in his usual gentlemanly manner, this very question for a long time
        to no avail
        they ain’t got no perfect “temperature of the earth”

      • Bob Ludwick @ 2.31 pm asks;

        Two degrees of warming relative to what PERFECT ‘Temperature of the Earth (TOE)’?

        Who or what body established the accepted procedure for measuring the TOE, which would be used to track TOE anomaly?

        Who or what body established the ideal baseline TOE, from which the TOE must not be allowed, at ANY cost, to rise more than 2 degrees?

        What criteria were used to determine the ‘ideal TOE’?

        Which year was the ‘exemplary’ year, from a TOE perspective?

        Who or what body established the two degree ‘brick wall’?

        Using what criteria?

        Who or what body selected the criteria?

        Under what authority?
        ____________________

        It is always of interest to myself that the actual origins of the two degree target and the scientific and political rationale behind that two degree target are rarely ever questioned.
        It is also a puzzlement to this street level layman why there seems to be this almost complete blank amongst the climate science profession on the origins of the two degree target as to the Two Degree targets actual origins which are never ever mentioned in any of the climate science sources I have followed over most of the last decade.

        [ My apologies for the monotony of the printed word below as I don’t know how to highlight and bold in this blog ]

        I quote from the German “Der Spiegel’s” news magazine’s “Spiegel Online International ” 8 part series
        “Climate Catastrophe; A Superstorm for Global Warming Research”

        Part 8: The Invention of the Two-Degree Target;
        Dated; April 1st 2010.

        [ http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/climate-catastrophe-a-superstorm-for-global-warming-research-a-686697-8.html ]

        [ quoted ]
        Climate models involve some of the most demanding computations of any simulations, and only a handful of institutes worldwide have the necessary supercomputers. The computers must run at full capacity for months to work their way through the jungle of data produced by coupled differential equations.

        All of this is much too complicated for politicians, who aren’t terribly interested in the details. They have little use for radiation budgets and ocean-atmosphere circulation models. Instead, they prefer simple targets.

        For this reason a group of German scientists, yielding to political pressure, invented an easily digestible message in the mid-1990s: the two-degree target. To avoid even greater damage to human beings and nature, the scientists warned, the temperature on Earth could not be more than two degrees Celsius higher than it was before the beginning of industrialization.

        It was a pretty audacious estimate. Nevertheless, the powers-that-be finally had a tangible number to work with. An amazing success story was about to begin.

        ‘Clearly a Political Goal’

        Rarely has a scientific idea had such a strong impact on world politics. Most countries have now recognized the two-degree target. If the two-degree limit were exceeded, German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen announced ahead of the failed Copenhagen summit, “life on our planet, as we know it today, would no longer be possible.”

        But this is scientific nonsense. “Two degrees is not a magical limit — it’s clearly a political goal,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “The world will not come to an end right away in the event of stronger warming, nor are we definitely saved if warming is not as significant. The reality, of course, is much more complicated.”

        Schellnhuber ought to know. He is the father of the two-degree target.

        “Yes, I plead guilty,” he says, smiling. The idea didn’t hurt his career. In fact, it made him Germany’s most influential climatologist. Schellnhuber, a theoretical physicist, became Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief scientific adviser — a position any researcher would envy.

        Rule of Thumb

        The story of the two-degree target began in the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Administration politicians had asked the council for climate protection guidelines, and the scientists under Schellnhuber’s leadership came up with a strikingly simple idea. “We looked at the history of the climate since the rise of homo sapiens,” Schellnhuber recalls. “This showed us that average global temperatures in the last 130,000 years were no more than two degrees higher than before the beginning of the industrial revolution. To be on the safe side, we came up with a rule of thumb stating that it would be better not to depart from this field of experience in human evolution. Otherwise we would be treading on terra incognita.”

        As tempting as it sounds, on closer inspection this approach proves to be nothing but a sleight of hand. That’s because humans are children of an ice age. For many thousands of years, they struggled to survive in a climate that was as least four degrees colder than it is today, and at times even more than eight degrees colder.

        This means that, on balance, mankind has already survived far more severe temperature fluctuations than two degrees. And the cold periods were always the worst periods. Besides, modern civilizations have far more technical means of adapting to climate change than earlier societies had.

        Since the first rough estimate was made, many other good reasons have emerged to support the two-degree target, says Schellnhuber. At the same time, however, the constant appearance of new studies has also made the picture significantly more complex.

        Coral reefs, for example, could already be doomed if the oceans heat up by 1.5 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, crop yields in agriculture are likely to rise at temperature increases of up to 2.5 degrees Celsius — good news for the world’s growing population.

        Completely Speculative

        But what good are all the predictions? It’s difficult enough to calculate exactly how far temperatures will rise in the coming decades. It becomes completely speculative to predict in detail how warming temperatures will benefit tourism or harm biodiversity.

        “Of course, the conclusions of climate impact research are not as reliable as we’d like them to be,” Schellnhuber admits. “But we can’t exactly drop 10,000 studies from Science and Nature on our political leaders’ desks. That would obviously be too much for them. Instead we, as experts, must attempt to condense the large number of analyses into plausible scenarios.”

        Critics say that the climate impact researchers have gone too far with their brand of political advice. “The two-degree target has little to do with serious science,” says Hans von Storch. Many of his fellow scientists, he adds, now see themselves too much as political activists who want to get something done. This, in turn, harms the credibility of science as a whole, he adds, and it is also a more deep-seated cause of the Climategate affair and the sloppy work on the IPCC report.

        “Unfortunately, some of my colleagues behave like pastors, who present their results in precisely such a way that they’ll fit to their sermons,” says Storch. “It’s certainly no coincidence that all the mistakes that became public always tended in the direction of exaggeration and alarmism.”
        [ more ]

      • Bob, your question was answered several years ago in Der Spiegel, linked at Notrickszone. (I can’t find my copy.) The 2C figure was plucked from the air by a prominent German climate scientist because the IPCC (or pollies) wanted a simple figure or concept as a basis for selling their scare stories. The scientist admitted to Spiegel that there was no basis for 2C, in terms of thresholds, irreversible change, level of damage or any rational criterion, it just seemed to do the job requested. Anyone who gets agitated about the 2C target obviously doesn’t know this (or wants to hang on to a handy scare-mongering tool).

      • Oops, redundant, I should have read ROM’s post first.

    • Steven Mosher

      “I don’t understand how people could believe 1.9 degrees of warming would be tolerable but 2.1 degrees would not be tolerable.”

      you dont understand why people would have a view THAT THEY DONT HAVE. its your mistake

      the argument is that by staying below 2C we avoid the worst.
      there is danger below 2 and danger above 2.
      limiting to 2 avoids the worst.

      Nobody argues that 1.9C would be “tolerable.”

      the actual danger line is 1C, so above 1 the danger increases. By staying below 2C we avoid the worst.

      pretty simple is your start by trying to understand rather than starting by misunderstanding

      • SM, you wouldn’t have a link to a good justification of the 1°C and 2°C dangers would you?

        I’m sort of dubious that 1°C is problematic but am open to factual arguments.

      • Because the world was intolerable during the Holocene optimum when it was over 2 degrees warmer. Also during the MWP and the time of the Roman Empire. Earth burned up. Ceased to exist.

      • Sorry Mosher you didnt make me feel any better. It is still an arbitrary number and since history is replete with all sorts of numbers and this magical mystery tour is no more magical than any other. Why cant an honest answer be that we really dont know what the ecological and human impacts will be. Some times brevity and humility serve us well.

      • Is that 1.0 C total since 1880? Or 1C from now? And why do you say with such certainty that 1C is problematic?

      • David Springer

        The earth was green from pole to pole in the past. There is no credible basis behind the belief that 2C of warming is undesirable.

      • David Springer,

        Strongly agree! How about that, eh?

      • “you dont understand why people would have a view THAT THEY DONT HAVE. its your mistake”

        wrong.
        Not ALL do, but quite a few policy makers certainly appear to be espousing it as such. Politics is preception, so it’s therefore deliberate (even if not based on honest belief)

      • Danger Will Robinson, Danger!

        Unlike Mosher, the robot would occasionally expand on that to describe what the danger was.

      • Steven Mosher

        PA

        “SM, you wouldn’t have a link to a good justification of the 1°C and 2°C dangers would you?

        I’m sort of dubious that 1°C is problematic but am open to factual arguments.”

        1. Google is your friend.
        2. read more.
        3. comment less.
        4. Show, dont tell us about your open mind.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Sorry Mosher you didnt make me feel any better. ”

        perhaps if I changed your diaper you would feel better.
        My purpose was not to make you feel good. The purpose
        was to clarify what the 2C means.

        “It is still an arbitrary number and since history is replete with all sorts of numbers and this magical mystery tour is no more magical than any other. ”

        1. No its not arbitrary.
        2. Arbitrary would be something like 1.345876
        3. It’s grounded or rather bounded by our best knowledge

        Why cant an honest answer be that we really dont know what the ecological and human impacts will be. Some times brevity and humility serve us well.

        of course we cant know. you cant know that the sun will come up tommorrow. you cant know that physical laws wont radically change tommorrow. you cant know that monkeys wont fly out of your butt.
        But you can apply the information you have to make the best estimate.

        What our best understand says is that around 2C dangers get qualitatively more problematic.

        Pretty effin simple: 70mph is an arbitrary speed limit. why not 72?
        why not 71.05. why not 75? hell in germany there are no limits..

        so a limit is selected. the limit is not CALCULATED.. it is selected
        and yes there is wiggle room. and yes its uncertain. But in general our best information says we cross a bridge at 2C.. and dragons on the other side.

      • Now, now, the one’s as arbitrary as the other. One is just rounder than the other.
        ===========

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: the actual danger line is 1C, so above 1 the danger increases. By staying below 2C we avoid the worst.

        Danger to what and to whom? Have you decided that your “nihilism” toward bad and good does not apply to “dangerous” and “non-dangerous”?

        We have already had a nearly 1C increase since 1850, and the evidence that any danger has increased is slim to none. Starting now, the evidence that a further increase of 1C will also increase any danger is likewise slim to none.

      • Mosher says:

        1. No its not arbitrary.
        2. Arbitrary would be something like 1.345876

        ======================
        For someone who preaches about the precision of one’s words, this is about as hypocritical as it gets. Both 2.0 and 1.34586 are arbitrary numbers Mosher, as there is no validation that either will cause any level of danger.

      • Oh, and by the way, isn’t it convenient, Mosher, that danger starts at 1 C (another arbitrary number) and becomes, what, catastrophic at 2 C?

        Any credibility you had on the subject was gone, imo, when you asserted that these nice, round numbers were somehow “special”.

      • “and dragons on the other side”

        And clowns on this side.

        Andrew

      • Mosher,

        “What our best understand says is that around 2C dangers get qualitatively more problematic”

        Whose best understanding? Based on what?

        To date most of the claims of impact just haven’t shown up. Other than Arctic ice melt, what evidence is there for a warmer world being problematic? Would you perhaps be referring to modeling of species? The ones which say that fish are not swimming fast enough to reach cooler waters or that birds are doomed because they refuse to mimic what the models say they should be doing?

      • Mosher responded to P.A.

        “SM, you wouldn’t have a link to a good justification of the 1°C and 2°C dangers would you?

        I’m sort of dubious that 1°C is problematic but am open to factual arguments.”

        1. Google is your friend.
        2. read more.
        3. comment less.
        4. Show, dont tell us about your open mind.

        P.A., you may not know that Mosher has admitted he knows nothing about impacts and is not interested in the subject. However, he has demonstrated he flies into a rage, followed by a prolonged repeated attacks if he’s asked even a simple,innocent, non-loaded question about “what are the impacts’. His response was to the effect “who are you to ask the great Mosher a question? How dare you. Back in your box, You don’t have the fright to ask me questions”.

      • Yes, we avoid the modern day apocolypto where we need to sacrifice entire cultures to appease the global warming gods. Why don’t we just sacrifice a virgin or two first to see if that works.

        The lunacy of the 2 degree target defies description especially when you understand the origin.

      • SM: why are you so prickly? Why so instantly on the offensive? Do you have conversations with others who disagree with you in this way?

        The blogosphere is a series of monologues, for sure, but we are not in a race to shut down the tit-for-tat. We speak with more certainty, perhaps, than we really believe, in all conversations, and then listen to the replay and moderate – in the reply – what we might have said. The blog removes the immediate response and counter-point, by its nature; we have no reason to remove in-your-face civility.

        Why do you antagonize as though on purpose?

    • John DeFayette

      People are pretty foolish when it comes to numbers. New Year’s Eve and millennial celebrations, jubilees and such I find hilarious–they all are based on completely arbitrary counting systems and signposts placed arbitrary distances from arbitrary starting points, yest we are supposed to find great natural significance in these dates.

      On climate we have the mental climax here in Europe of the 20-20-20 goals (http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/package/index_en.htm), apparently for the simple reason that our numerologist leaders (largely unelected, I might add) find a warm satisfaction in magical combinations of multiples of ten. Don’t know yet if I’ll make it to the party, probably to be held on the 20th of January at 8:20PM.

      These same wise motivators love the 2°C limit, as well (http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/brief/causes/index_en.htm).

    • I don’t really understand this complaint. Obviously there is no real cut-off at two degrees. Pretty much everyone feels that too much warming is going to be really bad, less warming less bad, still less not too bad or maybe even good. They have to draw some kind of cut-off, and it’s going to be arbitrary. What should they do instead?
      It would be nice if they had a nice simple goal like “Make sure asteroid does not hit the earth. Hits earth = extinction event. Misses earth = no problem”, but it’s not available in this case.

      • Too much or too fast. We can’t do either one.
        ===============

      • miker613, the two degree limit has been presented as a limit we must not cross, not merely a goal we should strive for. If people are doing what you claim, their presentation has been completely dishonest.

        Picking a somewhat arbitrary goal is fine so long as you are clear about what you are doing. Picking an arbitrary goal and pretending science proves it is an necessary limit is not fine.

      • How about we keep moving down the spectrum, using your logic? No warming is really really good and negative warming is the best of all.

      • “pretending science proves it is an necessary limit” – Meh. Welcome to the world of politicians and their lies.

      • miker613, I find it strange you place all the blame on politicians for this. Plenty of scientists and scientific organizations are happy to push the same message. Almost none oppose it.

        And heck, when I pointed out the silliness of the message, you didn’t criticize the people for the message. You defended them. I’m not getting the impression anyone actually minds the message.

        That is, not anyone except those people pointing out it is stupid.

      • “And heck, when I pointed out the silliness of the message, you didn’t criticize the people for the message.” That’s because you did two different things, and you’re trying to get me to agree that they’re the same. They are not.
        If a goal must be set, it is bound to be some number which is bound to be fuzzy. There isn’t any other reasonable way to set such a goal.
        On the other hand, if someone claims that 2 degrees is a hard cut-off determined by science, they are probably lying for political purposes.
        Different issues.

      • miker613, you claim I “did two different things,” but I did not. I spoke only of one thing, people acting as though two degrees should be viewed as some sort of absolute limit. You came along and brought up a different issue, that two degrees could be some abstract goal.

        It is cheeky to respond to someone with a non-sequitur then claim their continued discussion of the original point is conflating the non-sequitur with the original point.

      • Mike,

        “If a goal must be set, it is bound to be some number which is bound to be fuzzy. There isn’t any other reasonable way to set such a goal.”

        This is not necessarily true. Our company sets multiple performance targets and goals. Number of lost time accidents, number and duration of customer outages. The numbers are in no way fuzzy but hard goals we get tracked against.

        I would argue that anyone setting a “fuzzy” goal is motivated by some other purpose or is simply incompentant.

    • We could use the very large amount of available “Cold” in the deep Ocean to control temperature. That cold is scary really, because if the Ocean gets mixed abruptly, it is an instant ice age.

  5. “devastating hurricane landfalls in the US in 2004/2005”

    Yes, and ten years later we see a decrease in number and strength of hurricanes. Also tornados. The only thing that really seems to be increasing on the “extreme weather” front is snowstorms, which as we all know, were a sure bet to become rare and exciting events.

    • Yup. Yet we have the Obama administration asserting the opposite in its National Climate Assessment 2014. My new ebook was delayed months just writing an essay to discredit the 2014NCA opening chapter in a convincing fashion. See essay Credibility Conundrums. Prof. Cliff Mass of UW did a much better job on his blog concerning the Pacific Northwest portion. Well worth a separate read, since not covered by the ebook.

    • Yes, Al, nobody would argue that Katrina, a cat 3 which probably ranks third for intensity among named US hurricanes, was devastating. Wilma was also a real wrecker. But Labor Day 1935 was a cat 5 with greatest intensity for US. Camille in 1969 was a cat 5 of greater intensity than Katrina, though no match for Labor Day. Of course, nothing killed liked Galveston 1900 (cat 4), and Okeechobee 1928 (cat 4), though the 1780 Great Hurricane was the biggest killer for the Atlantic region.

      You’d think it would be the primary job of prominent “climate scientists” to point these things out. Just as they might have pointed out, during the shocking 2013 US heatwave, comparable and even more lethal events in 1980, the 1950s and 1930s. Those who are always accusing us of not thinking seem very casual about us not knowing. Odd to have thought in the absence of knowledge. Must be some post-modern thing.

  6. James E. Hansen said,

    >>Thus our calculations indicate that the gap between current climate and the equilibrium climate for current atmospheric composition may grow rapidly in the immediate future, if greenhouse gases continue to increase at or near present rates.

    >>As this gap grows, is it possible that a point will be reached at which the current climate “jumps” to the equilibrium climate? If exchange between the mixed layer and deeper ocean were reduced greatly, the equilibrium climate could be approached in as little as 10-20 years … . Bold added, Hansen et al., Climate Sensitivity: Analysis of Feedback Mechanisms, Climate Processes and Climate Sensitivity Geophysical Monograph 29, Maurice Ewing Volume 5, 1984.

    We’ve been a t minus 10 years and holding for 30 years, one whole climate cycle.

  7. In another 10 years we will have full scale demonstration of the next generation of nuclear reactors.

    Acting now is necessary if one owns stock in windmills and solar panels.

  8. Al Gore urgently needs a few more million and the Democrat party urgently needs to spice up the alarmism to generate votes and academia has proven they’re only in it for the money no matter how much it killing the country and the economy so the urgency to justify its existence has never been greater.

    • I think it’s a loser for the Dems, though they don’t seem to realize it yet. Look for Hillary Clinton to exclude “climate change” as a big rallying cry in her quest for the Presidency, though I’m sure she’ll pay it lip service. The only people who can afford to spend much time fretting about a slightly warmer world, are wealthy liberals and their clueless children. Everybody else is too busy trying to earn a living while trying not to catch Ebola.

  9. George Kominiak

    Nice job! Perfect reading for a gloomy, cool, rainy Sunday!!

  10. Judith

    The BBC have been leading on this report all day. In the 6 o clock evening news just finished, nic Lewis , ‘ independent climate scientist’, was approvingly cited by roger harrabin.

    He gloated that nic’s research showed a warming from 1.3 to 3 degree c for a doubling of co2 concentration, which was ‘ within the limits set out by the ipcc, showing that even sceptics are now coming round to the ipcc science ‘ ( I paraphrase but that was the essence.)

    Tonyb

    • Each time this kind of article comes out, they treat it as some real news, rather than a regurgitation of a report that has been released in innumerable iterations in the last 2 years. Enough already. We get it. I still remember specific things that adults told me 65 years ago. What the IPCC told me a year ago I have retained. The public will be getting numb hearing the same thing over and over without any real new developments.

    • Tony, as Nic posted in an email to BishopHill, Harrabin confused concentration with emissions, and ECS with TRC. Still amd all, media progress. Steady on with your important historical research on natural variation. Disproving the hockey stick is crucial to the grand scheme.

  11. Whenever anyone discusses the melting Arctic ice, I want to ask about the record ice at the Antarctic!

    If the earth ever faces a real threat, I don’t think the history of ‘climate change’ suggests we will cope – it will just play politics with the issue.

    • Climate-Troll

      There is a paper of D. Steel published in J. of Cosmology 22(3), 2013(“Perihelion precession, polar ice and global warming”) which provides a (natural) explanation for the difference between Arctic and Antarctic.

    • The Antarctic ice spread is from the new larger amounts of easier-to-freeze fresh water on the surface due to Antarctic glaciers melting according to some studies. Not such good news, if true.

      • So what? What’s the relevance of all these bits and pieces for policy analysis?

      • That larger amount of fresh water from the summer melt then just happens to not only remain on the surface until it refreezes in winter, in the midst
        of some of the roughest seas on the planet, but it also manages to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to where it can increase the ice extent?

        Sounds very iffy to me.

      • Exactly my point. These kinds of things can even be misleading when not understood in the proper context. We certainly hear a lot about the Antarctic in congressional testimonies, and it just misleads them because they can’t comprehend regional feedbacks.

      • JIm D is saying hotter weather creates more ice.
        Higher temps make more ice.
        Heat causes ice to form.
        This is not physics and it is not real life JIm.
        There is a simple explanation for more ice at the South Pole.
        The South Pole is colder at the moment , JIm.

      • Without getting into novel effects, it kinda looks like the temperature trends of the SSTs are different. But that doesn’t matter as much as the actual temperatures.

        Depending on how much confidence you have in the data, one end is cooling while the other is warming. But with the temperature of freezing limited by the salinity, it is easier to go up than it is to go down.

        What is important at both poles is surface winds. What would be important for “average global temperature anomaly” would be whether the sea ice is treated as ocean or land, since winds as well as temperature have an impact on sea ice.

        So if you get rid of that bit of confusion, temperature seem to be wandering along without much of a warming or cooling trend while the models tend to “project” a pretty steady trend.

        And if you look at just the Antarctic,

        Observations and post/pro-jections don’t seem to be for the same planet.

      • Jim D, oh yes of course, I just don’t understand the fine details – must be, can’t be anything else!
        Tell you what, why don’t you explain the minute details – in your own words?

  12. the ongoing surface temperature hiatus, which may continue until the 2030’s or even 2040 if the increasing number of hypotheses about AMO, PDO and natural internal variability are correct.

    It’s plausible that natural variability remains on the cold side until 2030 or so, but at the same time we have a stronger and stronger forcing from added CO2. The kind of variability we have seen in the past is not strong enough to keep the net effect near zero (or negative) that would require something much stronger, and is therefore highly unlikely.

    For this reason I do not think that the argument of Judith is supported by anything she has brought up.

    • Pekka Pirilä, given this position, when would you say we must see warming resume? There are about 15 years between now and 2030. Our hostess says we could go those 15 years without warming resuming. If she’s wrong, how many years could we go?

      In other words, are you saying we should believe the hiatus will end by 2015? 2020? 2025?

      • I cannot give any precise predictions, but assuming that the variability follows sinusoidal behavior with a period of around 60 years, we are now at a point, where warming should start to gradually accelerate and reach the maximal rate around 2040. The slow start would still allow for a few more years with so little warming that short term effects could easily hide it or allow for interpreting possible warming as short term variability.

        The variability is certainly not as regular as assumed above. That adds again several years to the uncertainty in the moment when it’s possible to say that the hiatus is really over.

        My main point is that I could predict the timing, it is that I see Judith’s argument as false.

      • My argument isn’t ‘false’ since it is about future, which we don’t yet know.

      • Pekka Pirilä, you say the “slow start would still allow for a few more years with so little warming that short term effects could easily hide it.” You then say other variability “adds again several years to the uncertainty” meaning the apparent hiatus could last even longer.

        So that’s what, 2022? 2024? You’re saying our hostess is wrong, but you’re making it very difficult to tell who is right. When might we be able to judge which of you was correct? If the apparent hiatus lasts until 2025, will that be enough?

      • Judith,
        We don’t know the future, but you presented the justification for your argument, and in my view the conclusion cannot be drawn from that justification. The logic is wrong, IMO.

      • “the logic is wrong, imo.”

        No Pekka. Her logic is fine, based on her assumptions. So what you need to challenge are her assumptions, but so far I’ve seen nothing of substance for you in that regard. Just assumptions of your own, and misguided attacks on her “logic.”

      • I don’t see where the prediction of Dr. Curry and Pekka Pirilä is a lot different. PP seems to expect more warming sooner.

        I’m not convinced that the temperature won’t decrease. From what I can tell that would invalidate Pekka Pirilä’s prediction since he doesn’t seem allow for a reduction in temperature.

        I’m not sure why people are taking the 2°C limit seriously. A recent paper suggested an ECS of 1.64°C. The CO2 level is going to top out at 550-577 PPM. Assuming 577 PPM with a 1.64°C ECS the earth will get a maximum of about 0.8°C warmer.

        If the temperature (raw data) is lower in 2030 than today, the case for even 0.8°C becomes dubious.

      • How strong the forcing, and where does it cause effect? You don’t know nor does anyone else.
        ============

      • Kim – looking through the IPCC forcings – the uncertainty in aerosol and cloud forcing is greater than the total net forcing.

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/figure-2-4.html


        It isn’t clear to me that the IPCC forcing attributions are all that accurate. About the only thing the IPCC knows about clouds is that they are puffy things that float around in the sky.

        I’m really interested in what the 2020 temperature is. More hiatus would put CAGW off the table.

      • pokerguy:

        No Pekka. Her logic is fine, based on her assumptions. So what you need to challenge are her assumptions, but so far I’ve seen nothing of substance for you in that regard. Just assumptions of your own, and misguided attacks on her “logic.”

        Sadly, this is pretty common. I’ve had a lot of exchanges with Pekka Pirilä where he states some opinion as fact then refuses to discuss any contrary views. It makes conversation pointless.

      • Yup, that’s the modus operandi of arrogant dogmatists like Pekka. He just ‘knows’ he’s right, so he never needs to offer any empirical, observational evidence to back up his a priori assumptions about how the Earth system works at all. He just states it and it’s fact. Only ever needs his own words to prove to all that he’s correct, dismisses and ignores any suggestion he might be wrong. A laughable character.

      • Kristian, the strange thing is I’ve had a number of good conversations with him as well. It seems when he is willing to discuss a subject, a useful discussion is possible. You just don’t know when he’ll be willing to discuss a subject.

        I experienced the same thing recently with Jim Bouldin. I don’t get it, but it seems surprisingly common.

      • Brandon Shollenberger, 11/2/14 @ 1:36 pm asks:

        >>Pekka Pirilä, given this position, when would you say we must see warming resume? There are about 15 years between now and 2030. Our hostess says we could go those 15 years without warming resuming. If she’s wrong, how many years could we go?

        Shollenberger wants a prediction of when the warmists are going to be able to make valid climate predictions. He is looking for a scientific model for the conversion of the warmists into scientists.

        The answer is when the warmests (1) wean themselves off of anthropogenic CO2, and (2) learn to model the Sun, and model the transfer function of solar heat into the ocean, and thence into the atmosphere. Then, if they are still preoccupied with CO2, model its flux into and out of the ocean according to Henry’s Law.

        Because of the lags in the climate system, enough has already been done to make a scientific prediction for perhaps another half century. A longer prediction requires predicting the behavior of the Sun. The weaning, though, requires predicting a couple of US elections hence. The one next week is a gimme.

      • The sixty year cycle should turn to warming, but, it is a sixty year cycle and after that it will turn back to cooling. These are little blips in the long term cycle.

        That long term cycle goes between Little Ice ages and Medieval warm periods. We have warmed, we will stay warm awhile and then we will get cold again.

      • John DeFayette

        As I recall climate scientists don’t make predictions; they make projections. The difference being that the former can be validated, while with the latter is just a fairy tale. Try searching for “forecast” or “predict” in the IPCC AR5 SPM. Good, now search “projection”. See the difference?

      • Warming never ended Brandon. Warmest month just occured, warmest year just occured and warmest decade just occured.

    • “The kind of variability we have seen in the past is not strong enough to keep the net effect near zero (or negative) that would require something much stronger, and is therefore highly unlikely.”

      Can you see why this strikes some as phony? Or at least me. You write as though your suppositions are categorical facts. For all your brains Pekka, you’re just another climate bozo with an opinion. Nothing more.

    • It’s plausible that natural variability remains on the cold side until 2030 or so, but at the same time we have a stronger and stronger forcing from added CO2.

      Of course, it’s just as plausible that the warming from the ’70s through the 2000s got a boost from from natural variability on the warm side.

      • Yeah, that is about right.

        The natural cycle, solar insulation, and CO2 influences were all positive in the 1980-2000 period. This makes it difficult to make attribution for the late 20th century warming.

        Whether it warms or cools by 2030 will be instructive.

      • L,

        No, it’s not just as plausible. It’s far more likely.

      • Jim D, how many times do you need your mistakes pointed out to you before you eventually take notice?

    • Pekka, this is my guesstimate

      https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/f8.jpg?w=750&h=497

      https://judithcurry.com/2013/05/16/docmartyns-estimate-of-climate-sensitivity-and-forecast-of-future-global-temperatures/

      basically flat until 2040.
      Have a look at your numbers for the amplitude of a AMO style wave.

    • Recent seasonal averages are already back on the long-term trend line, and that is before an El Nino peak. People who thought there was a pause have to account for more recent data that portends a return to the normal trend. A continuing pause requires the temperature to be moving away from the upward trend line rather than towards it, so the current trend is not consistent with it, and should promote skepticism of the pause continuation that is being asserted.
      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:12/from:1970/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2013/mean:3

    • Matthew R Marler

      Pekka Pirilä

      The kind of variability we have seen in the past is not strong enough to keep the net effect near zero (or negative) that would require something much stronger, and is therefore highly unlikely.

      Why would it (the “something”) have to be “much” stronger, and why is it “highly” unlikely? The future response of cloud cover is actively debated in the peer-reviewed literature, and a small increase in daytime cloud cover would blunt any future warming. The physics of the hydrologic cycle are well understood (water to water vapor, to condensate to ice to rainfall) and a slight increase in the rate of the cycle could blunt the surface temperature effects of increased downwelling LWIR. Only by completely discounting those areas of active research and debate can anything be called “highly unlikely”.

      In light of all the evidence, the only thing that seems “highly unlikely” to me at this time is that current knowledge might permit accurate forecasts about when surface warming will resume and how much there will be. The most secure forecast is that the future climate and weather will be at least as variable as they have been throughout recorded history.

      • Matthew

        In 2005 Phil jones wrote an article in which he admitted that! after examining the extraordinary warmth of the 1730 decade which came to a screeching halt in the extremely severe winter of 1740 , that natural variability was much greater than he had hitherto supposed

        Tonyb

    • Eric, Funny how the satellites missed all that warming isn’t it..
      they still think the warmest year since they were looking is 1998

  13. @ Dr. Curry

    “Lets accept for the sake of argument that there is a risk that adding CO2 will eventually cause undesirable climate change.”

    Lets back up one step.

    Lets accept for the sake of argument that there is a risk that adding CO2 will cause climate change (an argument for which there is no compelling evidence, but which we will postulate).

    What justifies the assumption that the changes will be undesirable on balance and that we should take drastic action (Believe me, cutting fossil fuel consumption by 50% (or more) is DRASTIC ACTION.) to prevent them?

    So far, while there has been HUNDREDS of undesirable consequences (No widely ballyhooed GOOD consequences come to mind.) attributed to ACO2 with little evidence beyond the ex cathedra proclamation of attribution, the only empirical evidence that ACO2 has had measurable effect on the biosphere is reports of enhanced plant growth in general and some evidence that plants are encroaching on deserts. I have no personal evidence that either is true, but both are highly plausible, as commercial greenhouse operators routinely enrich their greenhouses with CO2 and it is apparently well known that increasing CO2 reduces the water required for photosynthesis. I would consider both of these ‘consequences’ of ACO2 to be positive rather than existential threats to be fought at all costs.

    • No benefits?

      1. The warming and increased CO2 has increased plant productivity over 50%.

      This is an annual benefit worth $ trillions.

      2. CO2 warming (or the warming attributed to it) is primarily a nighttime phenomenon that reduces net energy consumption.

      3. It will increase the amount of agricultural land.

      There are at least 10 benefits to global warming:
      http://listosaur.com/science-a-technology/top-10-possible-benefits-of-global-warming/

      I am not aware of any serious claims of harm from more CO2. I would actually like to see some of the serious claims of harm for what looks like about a 1°C increase. From the experience of the 20th century a 1°C mostly nighttime temperature increase driven by CO2 will just make plants grow more.

      The bottom line is there are many proven benefits to global warming worth trillions annually . The global warmers need to show $ trillions annually in proven harm before it makes sense to consider taking action on global warming.

      • This is all true even well beyond 5 degrees C., PA. I don’t believe there is an upper limit, certainly not one seen in paleontology. A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life. Adaptation might be strained depending upon the rate of rise of temperature.

        And then you stop and realize that we are not going to be able to exceed 2 degrees C. of anthro effect even if we tried.

        And then you stop again and realize further that pursuing nukes might stop any problem with anthroCO2, and quickly, were it in fact a danger.

        Madness, it’s really that simple. The globe is cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know.
        ======================

      • Kim, I’m in the past is prologue to the future camp and so far CO2 isn’t harming anything at 400 PPM. 400 PPM was supposed to be dangerous for some odd reason that doesn’t appear to pan out.

        However I haven’t seen a sensible analysis by someone knowledgeable that lays out a reasonable case for harm from CO2 at the expected level warming.

        Until someone presents the case for CO2 harm in a factual way I don’t have anything to go by.

        Back in 1988 at 350 PPM it looked like we could double CO2 levels and early models (according to wiki) said that the effect from doubling was around 2°C. We have better information and a longer record now and know that doubling CO2 is impossible and can hopefully bound the ECS a little better..

        A well respected climate scientist recently suggested in a paper that the ECS from IPCC forcings using respected historic temperature records is around 1.64. For the transition from 280 to 400 PPM that would mean there was 0.8°C of warming (not clear how long it takes to reach ECS). For the transition from 400 to 577 PPM there will be another 0.8°C of warming. So the 21st century should look like a 20th century rerun.

    • @ PA

      “No benefits?”

      Remember I said ‘no widely ballyhooed benefits’, not ‘no benefits’. The benefits that you mention would, in a great number of school districts, get a science teacher fired for mentioning them. That does not mean that they are not real.

      I’m with you, except that there has been so much ‘adjusting’ to the historical instrumental temperature record that it is unclear whether there has in fact been any ‘global warming’ (relative to what baseline, since it has clearly been both warmer and colder in historical times?) and it is at least plausible that the benefits you list are all from increasing CO2 above the near-starvation level that obtained prior to the start of our industrial civilization.

  14. “The solutions to decarbonizing the global economy are more likely to come from technological advances rather than from global UNFCCC treaties.  ”

    True, and we have no idea what those innovations will be. From pendulum to quartz to atom to quantum mechanics to transistors to ICs to CPUs. The technology of the future is an unknown unknown.

    “Does it make any sense to push the decarbonization policies faster than they can be supported by technology?”

    No. We need the cheapest energy we can produce to feed, house, cloth, heal, educate, and equip the 9 billion people and their 9 billion minds that will solve the problems of the future. The alternative is to impoverish billions while an elite class enjoys the gifts of modernity. Of course, the second option will not and cannot happen, because the social instability will have devastating consequences for us all.

    “The UN seems to be playing a game, which is aptly described from this tweet by Rupert Darwell:

    ‘There’s one thing you will never hear #ippc say:”It’s now too late to act.” That way, IPCC can live on forever’ ”

    As a famous US President once said, “…the closest thing to immortality is a government program.”

  15. Pierre-Normand

    Judith Curry wrote: “the pause will continue, or surface temperatures will resume warming. If the latter, then climate models are demonstrated to be not fit for purpose for projecting 21st century climate […]”

    Don’t you mean: “…if the former…”?

    • Peter Middleton

      Judith,

      Your post is apposite and timely – as such likely to be widely looked at.

      You should review the wording that Pierre-Normand has pointed out as it confuses the point you are making.

  16. “CO2 emissions must be reduced by almost half by 2030”
    “Humans must pump no more than a further one trillion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere if temperature change is to be kept below 2C.”

    Did the IPCC really say these things?
    If so, they have broken their own rules, which specify that the IPCC is “policy neutral” and “never policy prescriptive”.
    If not, the BBC is making things up.

    • Having looked at the IPCC SPM, it looks like its “six of one and half a dozen of the other”. The IPCC is coming very close to breaking its own guidelines, and the IPCC statement has been hyped up by the journalists at the BBC.
      For example the word “must” does not appear in the IPCC report.

      • Paul

        Hyped by the BBC? whatever are you talking about. Its only been the lead story all day with them getting gloomier in each bulletin.

        Surely that’s not hype-merely ‘objective reporting’ for which the BBC are famous

        tonyb

      • climatereason Surely that’s not hype-merely ‘objective reporting’ for which the BBC are famous

        You missed the /sarc tag.

      • Catweazle

        I thought the sarcastic tag was automatically redundant when praising the BBC

        Tonyb

      • Heh, tb, with a cold winter and Bryony Blackouts, that 97 million pound climate modeling computer for the Met will seem like a bargain. You’re a probably taking a billion pound hit or more this winter, not to mention the deaths and the suffering.
        ===================

      • Kim

        If it turns cold this winter I will be ensconced in the met office library delighting in the irony. I will be there this Wednesday and will reserve my winter position.

        Tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Tonyb
        :)

      • Ton, the best place to be will be behind the ducts leading hot air from the super-computer.

      • Will that be the supercomputer behind the curtain?

  17. Pingback: Judith Curry: How Urgent Is ‘Urgent’? | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  18. @ Dr. Curry

    “the pause will continue, or surface temperatures will resume warming. If the latter, then climate models are demonstrated to be not fit for purpose for projecting 21st century climate change and climate sensitivity, and the IPCC’s attribution conclusion will become unsupportable.”

    I guess that future COOLING is NOT one of the possible options?

    • future cooling would fall under the broader pause category (i.e. no warming)

      • As one of the first people to mention the pause back in 2007, it does not mean “less than cooling” but a stop. I’ve recently put a figure on that and said a pause is anything closer zero than the lower IPCC estimate in 2001 which was 0.14C/decade.

        So, my definition is
        > 0.07C/decade = warming
        -0.07 to +0.07 /decade = pause
        <-0.07C/decade = cooling

        I might be persuaded to change that to 0.05C.

      • “So, my definition is
        > 0.07C/decade = warming
        -0.07 to +0.07 /decade = pause
        <-0.07C/decade = cooling"
        _____
        With this as a definition for the pause or "hiatus", short of a major volcanic eruption or two, it is more likely than not that the "hiatus" will be a distant memory by 2025– and that's probably being generous. While the "hiatus" has been great opportunity for learning about the roots of natural variability in TROPOSPHERIC surface temperatures, what seems to be lost is that the climate system has continued to steadily gain energy throughout the hiatus, equating to at least 0.14C/decade of tropospheric temperatures. Annoyingly (to faux-skeptics) our ability to measure this energy, which is mainly going into the ocean, gets better and better, and with Deep ARGO just now coming on line, is set for a major upgrade.

      • But if you qualify it with the uncertainty has to be less than the trend, why the pause disappears.

        Kinda helps if you can tell the difference between warming, cooling and pausing.

  19. daveandrews723

    Believers in CAGW say it is a proven theory… that the impact of CO2 levels on global temperatures is certain and there is a direct correlation between the two. I say it is an unproven hypothesis. I don’t mind being called a “denier.” I just wish the believers weren’t so arrogant in their belief. It will take a lot more facts and observations to convince me that they are correct. So far their batting record is very low.

    • The most successful lies generally contain a grain of truth. CAGW is a successful lie because it contains a GHG – its grain of truth. That the GHG in question, CO2, is proven to be a GHG in the laboratory is not disputed. That the climate sensitivity (CS) to a doubling of CO2 of the order of 1 deg C has much scientific evidence behind it, and is fairly well accepted but is definitely not well established as there is a similar amount of scientific evidence that it is actually rather less. But a CS of 1 deg C is not enough to be in any way dangerous, in fact it makes CO2 beneficial pretty well right across the board. The big lie – and it is a very big lie – is that CS is above 3 deg C. Without its grain of truth, this lie would have had an extremely short life indeed. The extraordinary thing about the human brain is how even when the whole make-up of the lie has been exposed and understood, those who have espoused it will still cling to the grain and remain in denial about the rest of the equation.

      I had a depressing ongoing conversation with a scientist some years ago, in which we went through all of the science repeatedly, and they eventually conceded that they did not have a valid scientific argument. But their closing words were that we still have to act (to cut CO2 emissions).

      • daveandrews723

        Good points. Dr. Patrick Moore of Canada is one of my “go to guys” on this issue. I like his common sense views.

      • “CO2, is proven to be a GHG in the laboratory”

        Do you have a link for this?

      • Mike Jonas,

        What do you mean when you say that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas (GHG)”? Do you simply mean that it absorbs IR within certain bands of the EMR spectrum? If so, you’re absolutely right, of course. If, on the other hand, you mean that more CO2 in the atmosphere will therefore make the surface of the Earth warmer, and that this makes it a “GHG”, then you have absolutely NO observational support from the real world. This is a much bigger claim and one which definitely demands some empirical verification from the real Earth system. Could you please present some consistent, unequivocal observational evidence from nature itself that +CO2 >> +T? Meaning, any signal anywhere of increasing atm CO2 causing gl T_sfc to rise. Locally, regionally, globally …

        Where and how do you see in the data that CO2 is a “GHG” (in the sense of ‘warming’ the surface of the Earth)?

        The whole notion that more CO2 in the atmosphere somehow MUST make the surface warmer has no basis in observed reality. It is purely a theoretical conjecture …

      • Mike, I had several such depressing conversations when I demonstrated that large-scale government-backed projects had no possibility of success and would be a significant net loss to the community. My arguments were never refuted, almost all projects went ahead, all failed. Rational beings? Where, where, show me one!

        Well, those involved where rational in knowing that getting projects up would benefit them, and that when they failed, their responsibility would be ignored.

      • Dave Andrews, I’ll be at a talk by Patrick Moore in Brisbane in 57 hours time.

      • Edim | November 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        “CO2, is proven to be a GHG in the laboratory”

        Do you have a link for this?

        Absorption spectrum of the atmosphere.

        Even N2 and O2 absorb parts of the spectrum – but the amount is pretty limited. When the water vapor content is high CO2 has little effect.

      • PA, it doesn’t follow (non sequitur). CO2 warming the surface does not (necessarily) follow from its radiative properties (absorption/emission spectrum). Most of the Earth’s surface heat (absorbed solar) is removed by non-radiative means (evaporation and convection) to the atmosphere. This energy is then radiated to space by the so-called GHGs (and clouds).

      • Exactly, Edim.

        And this appears to be the simple fact that no “lukewarmer” out there seems to get. They swallow whole – without the slightest hint of any critical thinking – the completely unsupported insinuation by the warmist crowd that you can somehow automatically and directly extrapolate the known absorption/emission characteristics of the CO2 molecule into a necessary warming of the Earth’s surface; that these are somehow two sides of the same coin. And so, they can all go on to claim that the rGHE – by extension – is “proven in the lab”.

        Well, it’s not. The two claims (“CO2 is a ‘GHG’ because it absorbs and emits IR within certain bands of the EMR spectrum” and “more CO2 in the atmosphere will therefore make the surface warmer”) are not connected in the least. They are worlds apart. The first one is an experimental fact. The second one is nothing but a theoretical conjecture based on a set of simplistic and narrow assumptions that fail the test against reality.

      • ” Rational beings? Where, where, show me one!”

        I am reminded of Monty Python’s “Meaning of Life” “The Galaxy Song” :
        “… And pray that there’s intelligent life
        Somewhere up in space,
        ‘Cause there’s bugger all
        Down here on Earth.”
        ;-)

      • Edim | November 3, 2014 at 3:24 am |
        “PA, it doesn’t follow (non sequitur). CO2 warming the surface does not (necessarily) follow from its radiative properties (absorption/emission spectrum). Most of the Earth’s surface heat (absorbed solar) is removed by non-radiative means (evaporation and convection) to the atmosphere. This energy is then radiated to space by the so-called GHGs (and clouds).”

        Your third sentence is accurate.

        As to the non sequitur… let’s follow the path of the photon, sort of like the flight of the bumblebee. We will pick 15 µm (we could have picked 2 µm). We start at the surface and soar off into space bzzzzzzzz-smack, we have hit a CO2 atom and been absorbed. It only took about 10 meters.

        At this point deniers and other people start arguing about whether it reradiates or is transferred by collision to an N2 or O2 atom. Whatever. A photon has been absorbed by the atmosphere and it has more energy so it is “warmer” until the photon is reradiated..

        After some period of time at some thermal wavelength our photon reradiates in a random direction. There is about a 50% chance of going down and a 50% chance of going up. If the photon hits the ground on the second try or third try or fourth try, etc.the photon is absorbed by the earth and the process starts all over again. The surface of the earth is basically “black” in the infrared range and virtually all incident infrared radiation is absorbed.

        Any radiation that is emitted from the surface that comes back to smack it in the face makes it warmer.

  20. Curious George

    Urgent it is. Let’s start with an immediate ban of air travel for all IPCC personnel. Effective 1/1/2015 it should apply to all UN personnel.

    • Spot on. I would further extend your ‘leadership from in front’ example. From 1/1/15 all UN agency lighting and computer electricity will be provided soley by renewables. That includes the massive power to their GCM models. For surely they must have the intermittency/storage problem figured out.

  21. The solutions to decarbonizing the global economy are more likely to come from technological advances rather than from global UNFCCC treaties. Does it make any sense to push the decarbonization policies faster than they can be supported by technology?

    What makes sense to me is to push technology as fast as can be supported by the current economy. If people who don’t like “plutocracy” would work to change the IP laws to give bigger, longer-term rewards to small, agile innovators at the expense of the plutocratic IP monsters, this might have a bigger effect than all the tax-supported subsidies the economy could afford.

    OTOH, I (personally) can’t deny that the ongoing pressure by socialists and other anti-corporate fellow travelers has probably had a stimulating effect on energy innovation. For instance, IBM’s “sunflowers” might not ever have happened without the threat from the IPCC and other anti-business forces.

    • Curious George

      Sorry to disagree. IBM sunflowers look like a horrible idea. How much do you bet that more than one hundred will ever be built?

      • Perhaps. But if so, it’s probably because the technology is advancing so fast that they’ll never reach the point of being cost-effective.

        But they’re actually a great idea. IMO

      • For instance, IBM’s “sunflowers” might not ever have happened without the threat from the IPCC and other anti-business forces.

        Trees are vastly cheaper, cleaner and equally effective.

      • Trees are vastly cheaper, cleaner and equally effective.

        Actually, they’re somewhere between 1/100th and 1/1000th as effective, depending on how you measure their output.

    • AK, “What makes sense to me is to push technology as fast as can be supported by the current economy.” What makes sense to me is to remove unnecessary impediments to innovation and entrepreneurship and get out of the way.

    • AK, as an inventor/entrepreneur in this space let me add a small qualification. There is stuff that has a good chance of working, stuff that has some chance of working, and lots and lots of stuff that has no chance of working based on known fundamentals. As someone who has participated in multiple Fed energy grant research proposals, I can assure you that far too much of the last, and far too little of the middle, gets FEd funding (ARPAE, DOE). Been there, done that. They are apparently scientifically clueless. Several concrete examples in Arts of Truth, and also in Blowing Smoke, essay California Dreaming. None concerning my own experiences.

  22. “What can we anticipate in the next 10 years?”

    We are more or less guaranteed that the data will not agree with the IPCC estimates and that it will be ten years of constantly trying to excuse the latest failed prediction.

    However, now that I’m firmly in the “negative feedbacks dominate” camp (perhaps the first?) whilst the probability of the pause ending in warming is higher than it ending in cooling, there is still a really significant chance that the next movement after the pause may be a cooling period.

    If this happens, then I think we can more or less guarantee the wholesale rejection of academic science and probably calls for criminal investigations of the main people involved.

  23. How urgent is it that IPCC is reformed and Pachauri is replaced?

    Ban-Ki Moon is hitting his stride: “When your child is sick with a high temperature, you have to take all the medicine”

    • John Vonderlin

      Diag,
      Thanks for your “bolding.” While I hadn’t noticed the incoherency or coercive nature of Moon’s tweet, I did notice the bad medicine aspect of it. While a high temperature in a very young baby is something to be more concerned about, a high temperature in a child is something to only be watchful about unless other symptoms are present. Lacking those aspects, aggressive treatment of the condition to obtain symptom relief is as likely to have unintended and unpleasant consequences as doing nothing is. Aspirin can cause Reyes Syndrome in children and knowledge about the presently preferred acetaminophen’s dangers is growing with every investigation. Just as with Climate Change, a watchful attitude while waiting for things to develop naturally is likely to produce more positive outcomes overall.

      • Leeches are the key, bleed um, bleed um often and bleed um white. 1,500 years of medicine can’t be wrong.

      • Doc, I also noticed that the African ‘witch doctors’ who contributed to the present Ebola situation are referred to in the PC MSM as ‘traditional healers’. I far prefer you to them. As Reyes syndrome proves.
        Even tho life is in the end always fatal, you and your science based medicine have made it much more bearable in the interim. Soldier on with highest regards.

    • Ban-Ki Moon is hitting his stride: “When your child is sick with a high temperature, you have to take all the medicine”

      It’s not a mistake. It’s how those clowns think.

      Logically equivalent to “When natural variation results in a high temperature, CO2 has to take all the blame.

  24. A tatic of sales persons is putting an artificial deadline to close the sale ( Hurry, this is a limited time offer! So you don’t forget, order before midnight tonight! etc. )

    Urgency is a good adjective coinciding with those exaggerating global warming.

    The extent of the warming has been exaggerated ( less than the low end IPCC4 )
    The impacts of the warming are exaggerated ( and fanciful ).

    And corresponding with the late twentieth century warming ( LTCW ) is a global improvemnet in just about every measure of human well being.

    Urgency? Pl-ease.

  25. Regarding the claim that there is a “…broad agreement that it is in everyone’s long term interests to move away from fossil fuels as a primary energy source…”, I guess it depends on what the long term is. Four hundred years sounds about right to me, pending future discoveries and technologies of course. Should we also move away from steel, aluminum, copper, titanium, glass, plastic, etc? It may be hard to contain fusion with wood.

    • Should we also move away from steel, aluminum, copper, titanium, glass, plastic, etc? It may be hard to contain fusion with wood.

      For bulk construction, two-phase materials based on ceramic, graphite, or polymer fiber and epoxy, polycarbonate, or polyindoles fillers (depending on modulus of elasticity of the fiber) would probably be best. Micro-assembled into tensegrity structures.

      • These sound like non-renewable materials so we have to move away from them. Can you make something from moonbeams? That might be acceptable.

      • These sound like non-renewable materials […]

        You’re talking out your @@@ hat. Graphite and all the plastics can be made from organics, although today it’s cheaper to make them the plastics from oil (graphite can be made cheaply out of cotton fibers, sugar, etc.). Ceramics are normally made from rock, and while they may not be “renewable” they are so common that it doesn’t matter.

  26. It seems to be a hopeless situation at this point. The IPCC says we can’t pump more than one trillion more tonnes into the atmosphere. We currently pump 40 billion per year. China is increasing at an excellerated rate since 2000. If we held to the current rate it will only take 25 years to exceed the IPCC number. I’d like to know how they expect to make that happen.

    • Curious George

      Always trust IPCC! Can you please tell me why?

      • Well in this case they seem to be setting an impossible goal so I don’t know how trust would come into play? I guess it’s ‘trust me you must cut by X amount or Y will happen’. Y being the 2% threshold that I guess means Greenland melts? Regardless, I don’t know how the goal can be accomplished unless all countries go nuclear at a fast rate. Whether or not that is an arbitrary number @ 1 trillion and where they came up with that could certainly use some verification. I can’t imagine they took it out of a hat.

      • ordvic, taking a number from a hat would be much too daring for the IPCC, it might not provide the required scary number.

    • These are artificial lines in the sand drawn for political purposes. Fears of hitting some kind of tipping point have largely evaporated.

      • When the preacher says prepare for the end of the world on such and such a date and that date arrives what does he do? Well in the case of one he said he went back to the scriptures and found out he miscalculated and moved up the date. When that date came and went he made a further adjustment. I think in the end he died.

      • Lines in the sand, indeed. The world, that is, the BRICs, were not panicked with a forecast of 8-10 Degrees warming, and now we’re expected to panic at 2? Especially now since understanding is growing and spreading that 2 degrees of warming will be a clear net benefit.

        It’s desperate bargaining, but it’s their train that is leaving the station, at an ever increasing rate with each passing day of ‘Pause’.
        =======================

    • Is that one trillion tonnes each? cause I promise 150 million tonnes max on my part.

  27. https://mobile.twitter.com/nprnews/status/528995343199780865?p=v

    UN say must cut greenhouse emissions by 2100 or face irreversible damage.

  28. On ebit of good news that will actually put a stop to the whole AGW movement in the USA http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/republicans-win-senate-majority-tuesday-poll-article-1.1996471

    • Legislatively yes. We also have to stop EPA, which may take a new President as well. Winning the Senate will be a good start though. Vote early, vote often.

  29. unrealistic scenarios of future coal burning by the IPCC (see Dave Rutledge’s previous posts)

    If we aren’t not going to rely primarily on coal and other and other fossil fuels for energy how are billions of people of people in the developing going to move out of poverty into the middle class? Wouldn’t it be better to start transitioning from fossil fuels now rather than wait until resources peak or prices skyrocket.

    • Wouldn’t it be better to start transitioning from fossil fuels now rather than wait until resources peak or prices skyrocket.

      Already happening. You don’t see it because we’re still on the left side of an exponential curve. PV prices are coming down exponentially, and despite what many people claim, there’s no reason to suppose that it’s dependent on ” doubling of cumulative shipped volume.” As with Moore’s “Law”, the primary factors affecting PV costs/prices are technological, not based on “learning curve”.

    • It’s not enough. The private sector need more incentives to jump in and develop the next generation of more efficient technologies that are comparable in costs. Right now the big profits are in relatively cheap fossil fuels. Besides solar we also need better battery, offshore wind, nuclear, and biofuel technologies.

      • It’s not enough.

        It’s never enough. That’s because your agenda has much more to do with destroying capitalism than fixing the problem you’re using as a stalking horse.

        Besides solar we also need better battery, offshore wind, nuclear, and biofuel technologies.

        We don’t need “better battery”, although it would be nice. There are many other options for storage, some far better than batteries. As for “offshore wind”, or any sort of wind for that matter, if there’s enough to generate even a few per cent of what’s needed, it’ll be a much bigger threat to the “climate” than CO2. Don’t understand why? Then why not learn more about climate till you do?

        As for “biofuel technologies”, work is in progress. What we need are better better incentives for developing technologies with exponential (or better) growth potential, not complaints about “big profits”.

        If you don’t like the “big profits” in “relatively cheap fossil fuels”, why not work towards improving the IP laws so the companies getting those profits have to spend more of them on original R&D if they want to keep them, rather than expecting to steal the IP from the original developers once it’s been proven out?

    • AK, @ 3.29, I think that David is suggesting that you are being overly prescriptive. You’ll see from my earlier reply to you on innovation that I’m not fond of external prescription. Get the settings right and leave the rest to nature, in this case human nature.

      Re your discussion with Joseph, my earlier reply to you on innovation applies: “What makes sense to me is to push technology as fast as can be supported by the current economy.” What makes sense to me is to remove unnecessary impediments to innovation and entrepreneurship and get out of the way.

      You are both adopting the fallacy that what a particular body claims/or what you believe should be a basis for prescriptive action. It has been demonstrated time and again that such approaches, essentially central planning or ex cathedra-driven, are inferior to letting the world at large get on with it, with that vast uncentralised stock and flow of innovation and knowledge of needs and incentives. If you want something to happen on a regional, national or global level, you won’t achieve it by starting with imposing your view of what should happen.

      The private sector always has incentives, and these play out in the operation of markets. By seeking to distort incentives to your personal preferred end, you are seeking to bureaucratise a process which is the antithesis of bureaucracy. Even God doesn’t play god, he allows free will (or so I’ve been told).

      • The word ‘prescription’ triggers spam filter

      • There are no market incentives for the fossil fuel industries to account for external costs like pollution or the potential effects of climate change.Nor do they care whether demand grows rapidly and prices increase rapidly because supply is not meeting demand as long as there is demand. We don’t know for certain that the current rate in growth of the use of fossil fuels will continue. But with continued rapid growth in the developing world and the world population to increase by at least another 2 billion, I expect the growth in demand for energy to accelerate even more than it is now . Since we know we will have the situation of increasing demand and falling supplies of fossil fuels(peaks) sometime this century, why shouldn’t we put the incentives in place now and reduce that uncertainty by developing the next generation of low carbon technologies that can cost effectively compete with fossil fuels?

      • Joseph,

        why shouldn’t we put the incentives in place now and reduce that uncertainty by developing the next generation of low carbon technologies that can cost effectively compete with fossil fuels?

        Good point. However, I’d suggest changing “put the incentives in place” to “removing the disincentives and the impediments …”

      • Oy.

        “There are no market incentives for the fossil fuel industries to account for external costs like pollution or the potential effects of climate change.”
        This is basically true. It’s the argument for a CO2 tax, except that getting that right requires (among many impossible institutional factors, including international cooperation and eliminating a bunch of other taxes) correctly calculating the marginal social cost per ton of emissions, which is exactly what we’re arguing about here.

        “Nor do they care whether demand grows rapidly and prices increase rapidly because supply is not meeting demand as long as there is demand.”
        This is exactly wrong. Everyone in the fossil fuel business has a huge private incentive to find and bring online new sources if they expect future prices to go up. Historically, this has often been a self-negating prophecy, as each individual operator reacts to the high-price expectation and puts enough new supply on the market to keep prices from actually spiking, but of course there are always surprises on both the demand and cost sides. This is the fundamental mechanism of market behavior.

      • StevePostrel,

        regarding “including international cooperation “, did you see this:

        “Why the world will not agree to pricing carbon”
        Part 1: https://www.masterresource.org/carbon-tax/world-not-agree-pricing-carbon-1/
        Part 2: https://www.masterresource.org/carbon-tax/world-not-agree-pricing-carbon-ii/

  30. Our greatest urgency is honesty about the source of energy that controls the Earth’s climate lest we be surprised by an EMP, a burst of cosmic rays, or another ice age.

  31. In saving-the-planet circles, I always thought the S.I. unit of urgency was equal to Five Years.

    I propose naming the unit as 1 Bowie=5 Years left to cry in.

    “Newsman wept and told us,
    Earth was really dying…”

  32. “Let’s accept for the sake of argument that there is a risk that adding CO2 will eventually cause undesirable climate change. Further, there seems to be broad agreement that it is in everyone’s long term interests to move away from fossil fuels as a primary energy source…”

    Dude, where’s my skepticism? Where did I park that thing?

    So, is this our half-price New Deal? We may have some decades of moderation and uncertainty when lower-bling non-Kardashian models give us twice as long to build the same number of white elephants. Those out-there radicals who think that sun, cloud, orbits, inner earth etc influence climate may start getting more invites to functions, rather like when Black Panthers made it to Leonard Bernstein’s cocktail parties. The radical chic may even tinge the mainstream.

    But, as perennial as the Vicar of Brae, the klimatariat will live on, publish on.

    That’s the deal?

    • Mosomoso

      The question , at 9.30 pm on a Sunday night, is whether I should finish reading the ipcc report or watch ‘family Guy’?

      Tonyb

      • Tony, just don’t watch any Dubai sporting events.

      • Mosomoso

        As I’m in a generous mood I shall robustly adjust the details of the Dubai sporting event to demonstrate that Australia have won.

        You will recall the same robust adjustments meant that England trounced you in the last ashes series.

        The ipcc have managed to make illusory robust adjustments for Years so it’s only fair that the two biggest alarmist nations should follow suit.

        Tonyb

      • m & T, I try to post and am kicked to the start of the blog. I’ll try posting here as a test as I don’t think that either of you will abuse me for so doing. :-)

  33. There is urgency that we all read and understand Vladimir Putin’s concerns (whether real or propaganda) about the New World Order at the recent Valdai International Discussion Club

    http://eng.kremlin.ru/transcripts/23137

  34. Virtuallynothing

    I’m not a scientist. Not even close Just an observer of Newton’s organization and method. And an observer of all the shoulders he, and others stood upon.

    As for the truth? Hmmmm. Anyone who has ever built a bicycle wheel (well, let’s make that a pre-21st-century-thiry-two-spoke-wheel) will tell you that wheel will only operate perfectly, gyroscopically perfectly, if every single one of those spokes is absolutely true. All 32. No guessing. No postulating. No “wiggle-room.” Then, you attach it to the bike.

    Anyone can show you one, two, twelve, even thirty-one absolutely true spokes on a wheel. But unless all thirty-two are true, even Eddy Merckx doesn’t start, let alone finish Le Tour de France.

    As for the U.N.?

    Time to consult the Agenda 21 conspiracy theory committee.

    Postulate that.

    • Not at all, you only need to make the average spoke lengths for a large number of wheels the same length.

  35. Suppose the world took the message of the IPCC totally seriously, I wonder just what size of population could be sustained using energy derived from ‘renewable’ sources? Western countries like Britain just couldn’t cope – imagine what an intermittent supply of electricity would really do to a country where everything is computerised, and all food distribution requires refrigeration!

    I don’t believe any of this. Anthony Watts spent years doccumenting the ways in which the global temperature data is fudged to slant it upwards. Supposedly the temperature increases in the 1980’s/90’s supplied evidence that AGW was real, and yet the standstill ever since doesn’t prove anything. Half of me wonders if the standstill is wholly or partially caused by the fact that Anthony Watts exposed all the various tricks that were being used to simulate a temperature increase.

    Furthermore, the entire temperature rise over the late 20 century is barely greater than the precision of the measuring thermometers. Then there are the thermometers that are no longer used, but whose values are estimated by software….

    I don’t believe that the earth can possibly be so sensitive to a natural gas like CO2, otherwise it could not have remained stable for life to evolve. My guess is that extra heat causes extra cloud cover, which reflects heat back into space, and this acts as a very effective negative feedback process.

    • Of course it is not sensitive to CO2 – at least in an interglacial period.

    • David, I did those energy calculations in ebook Gaia’s Limits. You need to parse energy into two fundamental types first. The very long term liquid biofuel answer is about 6.3- 6.7 billion. Near term (say 2050), maybe 7.5 or more. The ‘absolute’ but fortunately soft food calory limited answer is about 9 billion by 2050, give or take a few hundred million people and a few decades. So resource shoes will eventually pinch, and could get ugly last half of 21st century. Now all my calculations might be wrong. But they are laid out in explicit illustrated detail for you to critique, with footnotes to underlying data sources. No computer models. Just simple logic and facts.
      Separately, A. Watts was right about bad surface stations and fudged temp homogenization. See essay When Data Isn’t in new ebook Blowing Smoke, foreward from our gracious hostess here. And for equivalent sea level measurements, see essay Pseudo Precision.
      As for CO2 itself, is a complicated and interesting story. For the cliff notes layman versions, see essays Carbon Pollution, Models all the way down, Unsettling science, Sensitive sensitivity, Cloudy clouds, and Humidity is still wet, all in the new ebook.

    • John DeFayette

      Schellnhuber tells us the Earth’s holding capacity is one billion. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/13/scientist-warming-could-cut-population-to-1-billion/?_r=0

      I’m going to do my best to see that my children make the cut.

      • If all of the sun’s energy which impacts the earth were dedicated to the sustenance of humans, at 100 watts per person, the theoretical maximum population of the earth would be in the quadrillions, approximately a million times as many people as the earth presently carries, or ‘holds’.

        Now this is an impossible ideal, of course, but it illustrates that only a tiny increase in the efficiency of our use of the sun’s energy, a la Norman Borlaug, can sustain many multiples of our present population in a style to which we would all like to be accustomed.

        What the Clubs of Doom, the eternally pessimistic Malthusians, primarily lack, is imagination. They’re doomed, alright. Doomed to the ash heap of history.
        ================

      • Good point, Kim. I’d never thought of it that way before.

  36. Why don’t we do what Jennifer Marohasy has found, that the Australian BOM has simply discarded the temperatures that don’t fit.Then we won’t have to worry about 1 degree or 5 degrees. We can just ignore them. I live in Sydney, my climate will be like Brisbane, I like that. Brisbane’s will be like Cairns and Cairns like Singapore. It’s just getting better and better. We could all go on holidays to Dubai, they have a huge ski resort, “Ski Dubai”.

  37. Virtuallynothing

    Addendum: I have been following Climate Etc. for several months with a keen interest, and have been most appreciative of its relative lack of politicization of the basic issue at hand. I stand at the sideline, waving in honor of you all, not unlike Le Tour de France, as you climb the Pyrenees. I don’t have the wheel, the bike (or the legs) but I’m learning quite a bit from the peloton.

  38. Berényi Péter

    A quick glance at data painstakingly collected by climate scientists evinces utter lack of urgency in this particular issue. The CERES_EBAF-TOA dataset, a particularly underutilized resource, nevertheless a treasure trove of climate information, shows beyond doubt that sensitivity of the climate system to greenhouse gas forcing is low, that is, net feedbacks are negative or neutral at worst. One does not even have to be too smart to arrive at this conclusion from said dataset, therefore policy-related side of the case is closed. That’s how science works. It only bends to verifiably true propositions, otherwise consensus guys are free to eat their hats.

    Currently we have 172 months of CERES_EBAF-TOA radiative flux data available at a 1 degree spatial and monthly temporal resolution between March 2000 and June 2014, it is edition 2.8.

    If we have a look at the Data Quality Summary, we can see that accuracy of average global net top-of-atmosphere radiative flux imbalance is abysmal, even after instrument calibration improvements. A value of some 3.4 W/m² is given, which is impossible. Therefore they have chosen to adjust it using an objective constrainment algorithm, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Anyway, the lesson to be learned here is that average radiative imbalance of the climate system is not measured by satellites in any sense.

    However, precision of this dataset is much better than its accuracy, therefore parameter gtoa_net_all_mon (Top of The Atmosphere Net Flux, Monthly Means, All-Sky condition) can still be used if we keep in mind that its offset is meaningless.

    This net radiative imbalance has increased by 0.15 W/m² during the 14 years and 4 months covered by the dataset (which proposition is independent of offset), while surface temperatures remained flat (a.k.a. “pause” or “hiatus”). During the same interval raw CO₂ forcing increased by 0.41 W/m². If other well mixed greenhouse gases are also added, this increase is at least 0.5 W/m². Therefore the greenhouse gas forcing amplification factor is less than 1, perhaps substantially less than that. It is an empirical fact which can’t possibly be denied by rational actors.

    And its validity does not depend on murky assumptions about heat storage in the climate system, neither time delays are involved, simply because energy is conserved.

    The net result is that warming due to an atmospheric CO₂ concentration doubling relative to a pre-industrial value (assumed to be 280 ppmv), which, at the current rate, is expected to occur by the year 2080, is less than 1 K. As most, if not all of this warming has already happened during the last century, we are most probably at the peak of a natural cycle so we may not expect much warming in the coming decades.

    If the IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report indicates otherwise, it is crap.

    BTW, by the end of this century huge technological changes are expected anyway. We shall switch energy production to nuclear for sure, simply because 1 ton of ordinary granite, the default stuff continents are made of, contains as much retrievable energy as 50 tons of coal. This resource is inexhaustible and sustainable indefinitely for all practical purposes.

    • Yes, the CERES ToA flux product is a very good source of information.

      For instance, it is claimed (basically stated as fact) that clouds globally contribute about 25% to the so-called atmospheric radiative greenhouse effect (rGHE). However, the presence of clouds in our atmosphere has a clear net radiative cooling effect (SW minus LW cloud effect) on the surface (-21 W/m^2 globally). CERES shows this to be the case all across the globe except over some of the driest land areas where the effect is neutral to slightly positive. What does this tell us? Radiatively, clouds don’t contribute to any warming of the surface at all, They cool the surface. Reduce cloud cover and, in purely net radiative terms, you produce warming of the surface.

      The rGHE is not supposed to be a partial effect (one side only of a two-sided effect). It’s supposed to be a net (final, average) effect, one of overall ‘warming’ of the surface. If clouds don’t end up warming the surface radiatively at all, but rather cooling it, well, then they don’t cause an overall ‘warming’ of the surface, do they? So how would they contribute 25% to an assumed net warming atmospheric effect?

      – – –

      CERES global LW ToA flux vs. RSS tlt:

      CERES global LW ToA flux vs. HadCRUt3:

    • Berényi, when you point out that these data are always modified one is told to read the fine print in Trenberth’s papers, where he states he gets his numbers from guessing and subtraction.

  39. How Urgent? With elections coming up everything in this science becomes “urgent”. (Don’t let the media and politicians continue to wreck the science.)

  40. Here is an incomplete list of tipping points after which it is too late to “save” the planet — that go back to the 1980’s!

  41. “or implement the UNFCCC policies and drastically decarbonize the economy?”

    The UNFCCC policies will NOT decarbonize anything. They are all empty talk, fantasy. No decarbonization is possible with currently existing technology. We don’t know, and CANNOT know when new technologies be invented that will make decarbonization possible. It’s not a matter of money or time. A technological breakthrough is needed, and this cannot be decreed by UNFCCC.

    The irrational, fantastic, absurdity of the “urgent decarbonization” talk is amazing.
    Ten or 12 years of intense decarbonization efforts (especially in Europe) and 2 trillions of $ spent in those years have achieved nothing, no emission reduction at all. Emissions are rising constantly, and nothing can stop them, not in a 10 years time frame and not in 30 years time frame.

  42. The IPCC, UNFCCC and Ban KI Moon need to get real.

    These CO2 emission reductions ain’t gonna happen, no country in their right minds would agree to bind themselves to them. Fossil fuels will be around for a long time. The alternatives at present just don’t cut it.

    IMHO, life will go on anyway and there will be no CAGW. Of course there will be a bunch of bureaucrats looking for other causes to bill their time to and climate scientists can go back to doing science.

  43. JC: Lets look back 10 years ago, to 2004, or even to 2006 when Hansen made his first proclamation:

    fracking wasn’t on the radar screen
    there was very little penetration of wind and solar power
    there was optimism about cap and trade policies
    the pause was less than 10 years, and not yet identified as such
    the U.S. was the leader in CO2 emissions
    the massive Chinese modernization was just underway
    devastating hurricane landfalls in the US in 2004/2005
    others?

    Yet again, I repeat that we have very little capacity to predict the future, that it will always surprise us, and that policies need to support our capacity to deal well with whatever unknown future arises, rather than be fixated on predictions and projections which we know from many hundreds of years of experience will not be accurate. As Judith’s comment supports. Surely this is something on which we can all agree? (Laughs despairingly.)

    • Beyond +10.
      But, there are directions we can take, research investments we can make based on general policy considerations, that move in ‘probably good’ no regrets directions. This IPCC abomination misdirects those to an imaginary immediate crisis.
      The core issue isn’t CO2 from fossil fuel. It is long term viable sufficient energy as fossil fuels deplete. (intermittent renewables are neither viable nor sufficient without non-existant grid scale storage beyond pumped hydro). Which energy issue takes more than one form. electricity may be a partial substitute for diesel (trains, nuc aircraft carriers) but NOT jet fuel. Searching for practical and economically viable solutions is not an immediate crisis. It is a matter of thoughtful multidecadal game plans on what and how to do. Nuclear, for example. Many essays in the new ebook.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Hi Rudd, You made a Steve Postrel type statement that piqued my attention as I browsed CE comments this morning:

        “intermittent renewables are neither viable nor sufficient without non-existant grid scale storage beyond pumped hydro”

        Quite frankly, I was surprised at your comment (as you obviously are very knowledgeable).

        Clearly there are inherent problems associated with integrating Renewables into an electric utility grid. In our dialogue here at CE, bringing up these problems is not only appropriate, its critical in understanding some “big picture” issues.

        But in discussing this issue, isn’t it important to discuss how Renewables are and have been addressing these intermittency issues? Gee, just off the top of my head, there are tons of very positive demonstrations and research on wind and solar addressing such things as:

        Voltage and VAR control and regulation, voltage ride-through, power curtailment and ramping, primary frequency regulation and inertial response.

        Under the Postrel black/white type statement, one would conclude that these demonstrations and research just don’t exist (or folks like NREL and EPRI are part of a “Al Gore conspiracy plot”).

        I’m not trying to pick a fight — I am bringing up the need for objective dialogue. I don’t believe that the ubiquitous type conclusion that Mr. Postrel makes is correct.

      • Rud,

        I just downloaded “Blowing Smoke” from Amazon.

        I am looking forward to reading it.

      • Stephen

        Your attacks on Postrel do not further objective dialogue; who is going to discuss with a person who disgusts?

        Also, I doubt Steve is opposed to “..demonstrations and research on wind and solar”. Where he might enlighten is on the tendency of some to be overconfident; after all the purpose of demonstrations and research is to explore, not to be a first step for production. Demonstrations and research often goes nowhere and when those phases are successful, it can be many years before reaching the production phase.

      • Stephen Segrest

        rls — Many of the things I touched on have moved well beyond R&D, and have been and are being routinely engineered today into Renewable Energy’s evolving technology.

        So your great big “Its just R&D” Gotcha! just isn’t correct. Many problems have been (and continue to be) addressed operationally.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Stephen Segrest: rls — Many of the things I touched on have moved well beyond R&D, and have been and are being routinely engineered today into Renewable Energy’s evolving technology.

        What do you think is the overall evaluation of wind and solar, in light of the experiences of California, Iowa, Germany, Denmark, Japan, China and others — that is, of the likelihood that alternatives can more quickly and thoroughly replace fossil fuel power plants than nuclear power plants can, in response to the call for “urgent” action. I have read all of your posts, or almost all, and in the end my overall evaluation is that nuclear power provides a faster alternative (again addressing the issue of “urgency”), that has a higher return on energy, money and labor invested, and a lower overall rate of death and pollution, when measured per gigawatt-hour of electricity produced.

        The case for “urgency” is riddled with serious flaws and liabilities, but if “urgent” action is required to replace fossil fuel use, what mix of nuclear and renewables do you thank can actually achieve a fast reduction?

        California is an instructive example, and they publish information daily at CAISO.com and elsewhere. Right now, renewables are supplying 6,000MW of power out of 25,000MW of demand. That’s something, but California has high electricity rates, that most Americans would prefer not to have to pay, and California has given up its status as the state with the highest GDP. Aggregate renewable energy supply seldom exceeds 16% for a day. As they go about trying to meet their RPS of 33% of energy use, it will be instructive to watch how citizens and businesses adapt. I think the message from CA to date is that renewables can not rapidly replace fossil fuels, and are better if there is no “urgency”, or if dramatic reductions in GDP are considered acceptable.

        That is just CA. Japan reduced power output from all of their nuclear power plants, and substituted electricity from coal-fired plants. Subsequently, they have restarted almost all of their nuclear power plants to reduce coal use and power costs. Germany has built new coal-fired plants and dramatically increased coal consumption to supply the electricity that formerly came from nuclear. Great Britain’s experiment with wind seems to be showing that wind power will be inadequate. China and India, like the US, get only small amounts of power from renewables, and are building up their nuclear power and fossil fuel economies.

        So, …, putting aside the black/white thinking that you abhore, what are the prospects for rapidly replacing fossil fuels with renewable fuels? It looks to me like renewables are the solution only in the “non-urgent” case.

      • Mathew R Marler,

        What do you think is the overall evaluation of wind and solar, in light of the experiences of California, Iowa, Germany, Denmark, Japan, China and others — that is, of the likelihood that alternatives can more quickly and thoroughly replace fossil fuel power plants than nuclear power plants can, in response to the call for “urgent” action. I have read all of your posts, or almost all, and in the end my overall evaluation is that nuclear power provides a faster alternative (again addressing the issue of “urgency”), that has a higher return on energy, money and labor invested, and a lower overall rate of death and pollution, when measured per gigawatt-hour of electricity produced.
        The case for “urgency” is riddled with serious flaws and liabilities, but if “urgent” action is required to replace fossil fuel use, what mix of nuclear and renewables do you thank can actually achieve a fast reduction?

        Excellent comment (the whole comment).

        From The CSIRO’s ‘MyPower’ calculator, the mix that has the least cost and cuts emissions the most by 2050 is:
        0% coal, 20% gas, 0% CCS, 10% renewables, 70% nuclear. (That happens to be about the same as France has proved to be viable and highly successful for the past 30 years,)
        If we reduce gas to 10% and increase nuclear to 80%, the emissions intensity would be reduce by 91% compared with now.

      • Denizens,

        I ask you to ignore the appearance that Stephen Segrest tried to set me up; I don’t believe it at all. And nevertheless it caused no ripples in my life.

        Please ignore that he started with the news of “very positive demonstrations and research on wind and solar” then followed up by saying “Many of the things I touched on have moved well beyond R&D..”

        Then the knife came out when he said “So your great big “Its just R&D” Gotcha! just isn’t correct.”

        It might appear to be a bait and switch but I give him the benefit of the doubt; probably unintentional.

        Regards,

        Richard

      • Richard

        I watched the Carson video . Nice guy. I pretty much agreed with everything he said. Whether he has star quality that will propel him to the PResidency is another thing though.

        Bearing in mind the mess made by Obama sitting next to him I wonder if in this case his colour and his inexperience will count against him? Ihope not, the US could do a lot worse.

        Tonyb

      • Stephen Segrest

        Hi Matthew — I’m going to break up my response to you up into two posts. First, is the definition of “urgency” in policy actions. Where my views are very different than what is most often discussed.

        I believe in: (1) Dr. Ramanathan’s advocacy for “Fast Mitigation” (basically air pollution from GHGs); (2) Jon Huntsman’s international trade strategy to create high economic growth in achieving carbon goals.

        In doing these two things, we take calls for urgent actions on “Liberal” policies (e.g., carbon taxes, Federal Renewable Energy Standards mandates, etc.) off the table — gaining time (Dr. Ramanathan says maybe two decades) to let our Scientists and Engineers try and better figure all this stuff out.

        I discussed all of this in one of my infrequent blogs last month: http://greenenergy.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-failure-of-conservatives-on-global.html

      • Rud Istvan,

        The core issue isn’t CO2 from fossil fuel. It is long term viable sufficient energy as fossil fuels deplete. (intermittent renewables are neither viable nor sufficient without non-existant grid scale storage beyond pumped hydro).

        +1. I mostly agree but do not agree that renewables can make a significant contribution to global energy supply even with cheap storage.

        Renewables are not even viable WITH cheap grid storage. There is virtually no chance renewables will ever be viable.

        Renewable energy is not sustainable and cannot power modern society

        The energy return on energy invested (ERoEI) in renewable energy is not sufficient to supply the energy needs of modern society.

        A short, excellent, short explanation of why renewables have no future is here:
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/. The EROEI needs to be at least 14 to support modern society. So, only fossil fuels and nuclear can do it.

        Below are some ERoEI figures for various electricity generation technologies. These including buffering – i.e. energy storage so the unreliable, non dispatchable renewables are properly comparable with the dispatchable technologies.

        Solar PV = 1.6
        Biomass = 3.5
        Wind = 3.9
        Solar CSP (desert) = 9
        Gas (CCGT) = 28
        Coal = 30
        Hydro = 35
        Nuclear = 75

        Source: http://festkoerper-kernphysik.de/Weissbach_EROI_preprint.pdf

      • Tony

        I share your concern about his electability, however his race is not a negative. Despite the headlines and accusations, racism in the US today is hard to find. He seems like a good honest person, is an excellent speaker, has a great biography, and has sensible ideas. Don’t know if that’ll be enough but we’ll see; the 2016 primary season will unofficially kick off soon with speaches and debates, and voting will start in January 2016, not far off.

        You wonder how we could elect poor presidents and I’ll give what I think is the main reason:

        Few voters make an effort to learn who the candidates are. They learn about them from friends and relatives, views often distorted by rumors and biased reporting. They will watch them on TV during debates but learn only who the best debater is.

        Hope your trip to Exeter goes well.

        Richard

      • Stephen Segrest

        Matthew — [Please put my following comments in context of my 1st blog response — e.g., “fast mitigation” & international trade].

        I believe your paradigm/model is incorrect comparing today’s Renewables (especially solar) to today’s Base Load nuclear units. I believe today’s decisions on Renewables should be looking for today’s “Right Fits” and always be driven by engineering economics (not locked-in-concrete mandates like a Federal REPS).

        Today, especially with Solar, these “Right Fits” are targeted towards “peaking load” not “base load” — as Georgia Power & the Georgia PSC openly discussed (500 MWs).

        If we made “Fast Mitigation” our #1 Policy action (giving us 10 to 20 years by reducing the GHG trajectory) — who knows where the technology will be in 10 to 20 years?

        While AK will probably get upset at me by my use of the Moore’s law analogy, advancements in solar have been breath-taking. Who knows?, in 10 to 20 years, there may be many solar applications that compete and beat base load fossil fuel and nuclear options (without any need for subsidies).

        Clearly, I am very pro-nuclear and am totally on-board with increased Federal R&D, tax credits, etc. I just don’t think this is as much a technology issue as a public perception issue. I think Obama was correct in trying to fund (loan guarantees) on ~16 new nuclear units here in the U.S. (which Congress stopped). If we had 15 new Georgia Power type Vogtle nuclear units (funded by the DOE loan guarantee program) spread out over the U.S. and operating safely — this could change public perception.

        I clearly support the use of coal in developing countries using high efficiency (hopefully) U.S. technology (i.e., Huntsman’s International Trade strategy). I blasted the Obama Administration on this topic in one of my blogs last year:

        http://greenenergy.blogspot.com/2013/11/where-obama-is-wrong-on-coal.html

        I’m just about “all-in” with about everything.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Stephen Segrest: As discussed in previous blogs (including criticism of the Obama Administration on coal use), the template of building low carbon markets is pretty straight forward:

        Developing countries would commit (with verifiable standards) to building low carbon intensity economies by purchasing high technology/energy efficient American products.
        In exchange, the U.S. would give Developing Countries unpreceded access into U.S. markets for their products.
        Simply stated, this Policy approach accentuates stuff we’re good at (high technology products) and stuff that Developing Countries are good at (low labor cost products).

        An example of this would be current U.S. efforts to create a large free-trade zone encompassing 11 other Pacific Rim countries (excluding China) — called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A good first-step would be for the U.S. to create some global “Enterprise Zones” with friendly developing nations (e.g., Philippines) to test the effectiveness of using trade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

        Specific Industries would be targeted to develop and implement “Low Carbon Standards” (LCS) using U.S. high energy efficient technology.
        In return, the U.S. would give special access into U.S. markets for these LCS products.

        Whatever else that plan might be, it is not fast-acting. You would have to start (after all of the diplomacy and financing arrangements) by building a large scale LCS energy infrastructure, and how to do that rapidly without nuclear power is the very question we are investigating. The US could do better (cheaper and quicker) by building a few hundred new nuclear power plants.

      • Matthew R Marler

        +1

        But they need to be SMR’s to be a suitable fit for most grids and to be economically and financially viable.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Stephen Segrest: I believe your paradigm/model is incorrect comparing today’s Renewables (especially solar) to today’s Base Load nuclear units. I believe today’s decisions on Renewables should be looking for today’s “Right Fits” and always be driven by engineering economics (not locked-in-concrete mandates like a Federal REPS).

        That looks to me like a “slow” program which does not treat fossil fuel use as an “urgent” problem. The rest of that post comes down strongly in favor of nuclear power in the near term — 16 new nuclear power plants. Not that that is wrong — it would be an improvement, imo, over what California is doing.

      • SS pulled a Beetlejuice by saying my name three times. So, OK.

        If the solar and wind stuff is privately economical and competitive with fossils, yay! We won’t need any policy and can just allow normal market forces to wipe out those inefficient gas and coal plants. I will happily marvel once again at the power of spontaneous order to advance civilization. I even enjoy the aesthetics of these technologies more than most.

        Unfortunately, unsupported (not even linked) claims about magic gizmos–developed by non-profit organizations whose budgets (NREL) depend on renewables or whose PR survival depend on them (c.f. Planning Engineer for the politics of EPRI), that somehow overcome the problem of nighttime and variable wind–aren’t credible. There are plenty of rapacious capitalists out there–including politically connected sharpies like John Doerr–who have tried to pounce on every renewable investment play out there, all of which got massive subsidies and still crashed miserably, so that the Silicon Valley guys quietly gave up. But hey, capitalist hope springs eternal (that’s why we still have a biotech sector, bless those animal spirits), so maybe some new trick will be developed. It’s just that these diffuse technologies are spitting up the rope of physics and economics and probably are going to end up with liquid back in their faces.

        There are extremely well-developed markets for unsubsidized solar power, namely those where grid attachment is impractically costly. It’s a killer technology there. But people feel the need to blow delusional bubbles about their potential as basic power sources and tie themselves in knots saying how they’re competitive but still need to be subsidized. Poor James Hansen is wandering around the green movement like Diogenes, but I don’t think his quest for an honest man is going to be more successful.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Matthew Marler’s Comment on International Trade: Matthew if I would have said only International Trade — your comment would be absolutely correct.

        But, I didn’t say this. It was a “packaged deal” of “Fast Mitigation” and International Trade.

        Dr. Curry has given kudos to “fast mitigation” as a policy action with no or low regrets here in the U.S. But, GHG emissions is a global problem (and something the U.S. and the E.U. really have no control over). This is where International Trade fits in to try and address this. It would sure be better than any international treaty effort (doomed to fail).

      • Stephen Segrest

        Reply to Steve Postrel: My comment on this thread was the continued statement by Steve Postrel that Renewables can not possibly overcome intermittency problems/challenges. This is just an incorrect engineering statement.

        As I stated above, there have been tremendous engineering advancements in Renewables’ Intermittency concerns/problems, such as:

        Voltage and VAR control and regulation, voltage ride-through, power curtailment and ramping, primary frequency regulation and inertial response.

        Steve Postrel and I agree that locked-in-concrete mandates, such as a carbon tax or Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (where politicians throw engineering economics out the window) is bad policy.

        Steve Postrel and I have a difference in opinion over tax incentives for Renewables (currently only solar, since the wind tax credit was allowed to expire). This is fine — he’s got his opinion/arguments, I’ve got mine.

        The problem continues to be Mr. Postrel’s continued ubiquitous black/white statement on intermittency.

        When we discuss intermittency here at CE, it should be a two step process: Step 1: Discussing problems is absolutely necessary. But in CE dialogue, there needs to be another step: Step 2 What are both the Utility and Renewable Industry doing to address these intermittency problems/concerns?

        Mr. Postrel’s ubiquitious black/white statement on intermittency argues that Step 2 is not needed.

        That’s the problem.

      • Segrest,

        Renewables can not possibly overcome intermittency problems/challenges. This is just an incorrect engineering statement.

        Your comments are damaging your credibility as an engineer, in my opinion. Your comments are frequently disingenuous, misleading and intellectually dishonest. An engineer should know you have to take cost into account. Renewables like solar and wind cannot provide reliable power supply without either backup or energy storage. Both are costly and make renewables not viable – except in niche markets and by and adding a small proportion of generation to existing grids using the existing reserve capacity margin in these grids and transferring some of their costs onto the existing infrastructure.

        You comments show no actual costs so they are comprised of loose, unsubstantiated assertions. Just waffle and belief. Not professional engineering quality.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Stephen Segrest: Matthew Marler’s Comment on International Trade: Matthew if I would have said only International Trade — your comment would be absolutely correct.

        But, I didn’t say this. It was a “packaged deal” of “Fast Mitigation” and International Trade.

        Could you quote me?

        Let me requote you: An example of this would be current U.S. efforts to create a large free-trade zone encompassing 11 other Pacific Rim countries (excluding China) — called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A good first-step would be for the U.S. to create some global “Enterprise Zones” with friendly developing nations (e.g., Philippines) to test the effectiveness of using trade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

        Specific Industries would be targeted to develop and implement “Low Carbon Standards” (LCS) using U.S. high energy efficient technology.
        In return, the U.S. would give special access into U.S. markets for these LCS products.

        However desirable that might be, which is at best disputable, it would not be “fast”: it would be resisted by all the members of the WTO that trade with the US.

  44. Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies. Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises ( 2002 ) – http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

    Tipping points are manifestations of the essential mode of climate operation. Dynamical complexity – deterministic chaos – abrupt climate change – are all descriptive of a system with multiple negative and positive feedbacks that is driven past a threshold and responds internally with a speed and to an extent determined by the system itself as tremendous energies cascade through powerful mechanisms. In the past decade we have realized that climate shifted around 1910, the mid 1940’s, 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 with abrupt changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation, cloud cover and surface temperature trajectories.

    As variable as climate naturally is – adding CO2 creates a spectrum of additional climate risk – from mild to extreme – that is indeterminate. It adds also to biological and hydrological risk in ways that are little understood. It seems a meme – for instance -that reduced evapotranspiration as a result of increased CO2 and reduced stomatal density is an unmitigated positive rather than a potentially problematic change to terrestrial hydrology.

    Nonetheless – there is an extreme urgency that has little to do with climate. It is humanitarian, social and environmental. The obvious need to increase wealth in the world, to encourage the spread in democracy and the rule of law in peaceful societies and to restore and conserve environments.

    Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun. Paul Ehrlich

    Au contraire – one of the clearest objectives for a benighted planet is ever cheaper machine guns for idiot children. We might even make them carbon neutral, utterly safe, able to clean up past waste legacies and commercial within a decade.

    http://www.ga.com/energy-multiplier-module

  45. Laws of Nature

    “When your child is sick with a high temperature, you have to take all the medicine”
    Hmm.. leave nothing for the poor kid.. sorry, I couldnt resist posting this

  46. Judith, came to this post late today. Magnificent. Spot on.
    Would add a small contribution on the energy side. You note David Rutledge (CalTech) on peak coal. Anyone here can google and get his coal papers and presentations using probit transform methods. But IMO more worrisome ( as guest posted here in previous years) is peak oil, which can be approached in various ways using logistic/gamma functions and Hubbert linearization (prof. Deffeyes three books), hard slogging geology (simmons, Twilight in the Desert, or my new essays Reserve Reservations, Matryoshka Reserves, Ice that Burns…), or combinations including hyperbolic creaming curves for as yet undiscovered reserves (laHerrere). And/or probit transforms.

    Reason is simple. Coal is used mainly to make steel and electricity. For the latter, we have already a ‘viable’ nuclear option. For the former, we have electric arc furnaces (plus direct reduction of enriched pelletized ore where necessary). But for liquid transportation fuels, we have few viable alternatives. Electrification (hybrid cars, some trains) wont solve trucks, ag, construction, and forestry equipment, most shipping, or airplanes. There is no conceivable way renewable biofuels (even with major advances in bioengineering) can provide sufficient substitute quantities. Just An obvious annual energy density problem given photosynthetic insolation efficiency– even if multiplied by some large bioengineered factor.
    So the IPCC wish to throttle (most) fossil fuels will automatically come true naturally no matter what in their 2100 time frame. Because these are truly finite fossil fuels. Arguments to the contrary confuse resources with technically recoverable reserves, or on ‘magical’ innovations overcoming the basic geophysics ofmporosity and permeability.
    But IPCC is still barking up the wrong trees. For example, the lack of urgency you point out means we can take 10 or 20 years to rethink nuclear beyond gen 3 AP1000 designs. Find something better and less problematic for baseload electricity. Essay Going Nuclear covers the present possibilities. All of these thoughts are covered in the energy (rather than the climate) portion of my new ebook, with your gracious foreward.

    • Maybe the IPCC will figure out how to run trains with solar panels.

      • Jim2, the IPCC cannot even figure out what the pause means for sensitivity using using their own data. (lewis and Curry, 2014).
        Even though Paucheri is supposedly a railway engineer, it is evident he has not been near a real train in a long time. Else would not have backed this drivel. Regards.

      • Jim2,

        Underground trains too? :)

    • > Because these (oil and gas) are truly finite fossil fuels. Arguments to the contrary confuse resources with technically recoverable reserves, or on ‘magical’ innovations overcoming the basic geophysics of porosity and permeability

      I agree with the comment on resource vs reserve, BUT:

      1) oil and gas won’t “run out”, just become too expensive for most people to afford

      2) on what exploration figures are your estimates of available oil and gas resources/reserves based ?

      This latter point is critical. I’ve spent over 40 professional years on this, so your sources are of more than passing interest

      • Ian, if I understand your question correctly, based on creaming curve estimates of yet to be discovered, plus official (EIA, IEA) estimates of discovered TRR. Read my stuff, then get back with specific questions.
        1. o&g will run out, and be very, very expensive before then. True somewhen, but Issue is not exhaustion. Is peak production and following annual production rate decline. Follows gamma distributions with a long tail. World will be hurting for sufficient liquid transport fuel long before exhaustion. My estimate, maybe 150-200 years minimum before exhaustion. But peak annual production about 2020. Including fracked shale, and tar sands.
        2. Exploration is based on reported discoveries, plus creaming curve future analysis by basin, grossed globally for yet to be discovered. My own estimates are within 1% of those from the US Gov. See new ebook and voluminous footnotes for details. Essay Peeking at Peaks is a starter.
        Way too much info to convey in a simple blog comment reply.

    • Rud Istvan,

      But for liquid transportation fuels, we have few viable alternatives. Electrification (hybrid cars, some trains) wont solve trucks, ag, construction, and forestry equipment, most shipping, or airplanes. There is no conceivable way renewable biofuels (even with major advances in bioengineering) can provide sufficient substitute quantities.

      I totally agree with you that biofuels cannot make any significant contribution to future energy supply. However, I wonder what your thoughts are on unlimited gasolene/petrol, diesel, and jet fuel from sea water using high temperature nuclear reactors to supply electricity and hydrogen. The US Navy is already making it on a small scale and they claim it could be made at industrial scale for $3-$6 using currently available industrial scale technologies. Have you looked into this and what are your thoughts. I found this post interesting and it has a link to the US Navy research paper: http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/

    • With ample electricity we can synthesis liquid fuels.

  47. Dr. Judith Curry stated:

    “Here is why it is increasingly unlikely that that we will reach the 2C danger limit by 2040…the ongoing surface temperature hiatus, which may continue until the 2030’s or even 2040…”
    ____
    Good for you Judith. With this as your #1 reason to doubt the 2040 estimate for 2C, you’ve at least set yourself confidently on the record to trust short-term natural variability being more predictable and your estimate of the “hiatus” continuing until “even 2040” as having less uncertainty than climate models running on the best super computers. Apparently you’ve got a good inside track on the behavior of the uncertainty monster. I would put myself on the record as suggesting we’ll more likely quickly “revert to the mean” and even jump well above the previous mean warming in the next 10-15 years. Linear thinking, or curve fitting to past natural variability, no matter how dynamically beautiful and well constructed (i.e. the stadium wave) is not appropriate with a chaotic system experiencing such extreme forcing.

    • I’d suggest – along with the quite inadequate models – a century decline in AMOC.

      Perhaps even abrupt shifts on multi-decadal time frames. And really the ‘forcing changes’ are very minor compared to annual, interannual and decadal variability.

      • “And really the ‘forcing changes’ are very minor compared to annual, interannual and decadal variability.”
        _____
        That part is true, and exactly why approaches that try to filter out all three of these (especially ENSO) to see the long-term trend are the most valid. Using decadal average tropospheric surface temperatures is probably the most honest approach. Granted, each decade will have a few years that set new records, usually those records will be set in El Nino years (though 2014 might well become the first exception). Overall, better to use decadal averages to see real trends. Faux-skeptics hate this, as the GH forcing starts to reveal itself from the noise of annual, inter annual, and decadal variability.

    • ‘Faux-skeptics hate this, as the GH forcing starts to reveal itself from the noise of annual, inter annual, and decadal variability.’

      Does it?

      It seems quite unlikely that CO2 is anywhere near the dominant factor in short or long term variability in the radiant budget. Certainly not for the next few decades.

      • Something is going wrong – other than Randy I mean.

      • The something that is wrong is wrong assumptions by “someone” as to why ocean heat content has grown so sharply over the past decade, whereas clouds fraction as measured by MODIS is essentially flat over the past decade. We also know that net SW actually entering the ocean is therefore flat (or even slightly declining over the decade). So what could be causing OHC to go up so dramatically? Fortunately, basic GH physics tells us exactly what it is as increased GH gases have allowed the system to retain more net energy. t

      • Does he know what data is?

        This shows changes in SW and changes in cloud from MODIS – there is of course a connection.

        There has been some variability in clouds and toa flux this century – but no trend over the period to date. This is very different to the radiative imbalance – for which Argo data is required. Loeb shows both equatorial and global anomalies – there is large variability in the equatorial region and more muted globally. Shortwave change is what has driven ocean heat variability in the Argo period.

        The Scripps Argo ‘climatology’ shows no trend in ocean heat – shown here as steric sea level rise.

        In the last few years input has picked up a little as the Sun peaked in the Schwabe cycle.

      • Looking further afield we find a substantial increase in cloud cover in the 1998/2001 climate shift.

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

        Frankly – it seems by all the available data – including at least one version of Argo – that the world is not warming in a way that is likely to persist for decades. Until the next climate shift. Which with a cooling Sun and declining AMOC seems likely as not to be to yet cooler.

      • “The Scripps Argo ‘climatology’ shows no trend in ocean heat.”
        _______
        Sadly misleading at best. Pitiful really that someone could post this without having extreme guilt. With the thousands of ARGO floats now taking measurements all over the world’s ocean to a much higher degree of accuracy than was possible a decade or more ago, with a very high degree of confidence every reputable ocean expert will tell you the oceans are warming. Posting such rubbish as the quoted statement above seems to have motives one can only guess at…but they have nothing to do with informing readers of the latest science regarding the warming of the ocean.

      • The Scripps Argo ‘climatology’ shows no trend in ocean heat – shown here as steric sea level rise.

        Did you miss that bit Randy? Or not quite the latest CERES and MODIS data but pretty good?

        You can plot CERES here if you like – http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/order_data.php

        Yet what is it that you sanctimoniously whine about? The use of slightly earlier data using 2 different methods?

        You are a clueless and dataless bore who specialises in wild and tendentious narrative.

    • What extreme forcing? Please show.

    • Gates
      Imo, when you write -“I would put myself on the record as suggesting we’ll more likely quickly “revert to the mean” and even jump well above the previous mean warming in the next 10-15 years. ”

      It shows that you are not relying on science for you beliefs, but only hope that you system of beliefs are substantiated. The oceans are a huge heat sink and the planets climate is not a closed system. We have much to learn BEFORE concluding that additional CO2 is beneficial or harmful over varing timescales.

  48. From the article:

    Oil prices dropped on Friday and were headed toward their fourth consecutive monthly fall as another round of monetary stimulus from Japan pumped up the U.S. dollar and pounded a crude market already suffering from robust supply.

    Further pressure came from monthly surveys showing the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries made almost no effort to curb production this month even as oil prices extended a months-long rout to four-year lows.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102139188

    • Jim2, be careful not to extrapolate immediate supply/demand price swings into the longer term–especially when the underlying commodity is quite price inelastic. Volatility around any trend is then inherent.

      • I’m didn’t extrapolate. But it seems to me that a lot of peak oil predictions have been nullified by the rapid increase in US production. This was obviously completely unexpected by the “experts” given witness by the gearing up by refineries to use heavier crudes.

        Fracking is spreading around the world and the improvements in technology so far, the technology responsible for the increased production, has no component of “magic.” Technology will continue to improve recovery of tight oil.

        I’m not trying to predict when economical oil will die out, but I do know that predictions so far have been way off the mark.

      • Jim2, fracking is a breakthrough for producing hydrocarbons from source rock shales. No doubt about it. But how much, for how long, under what circumstances has been grossly misrepresented by MSM and even some government reports. Let alone green media distortions. See for some basic simple facts the essays This Rock could Not power the world, Reserve Reservations, Matryoshka Reserves, and No Fracking Way in my new ebook. Way too much info to post here.

    • Futures contracts are trading below $80 out to 2019.

      My brother is very worried that this will have serious negative consequenses for the financial markets and economy. New production projects are on hold and 15% of high yield debt is based on capital for energy projects.

      I don’t know if he’s serious, but he suggested potential deflation.

  49. From the article:

    Drivers got good news on Friday, with the average price of gasoline in the United States hitting $3 a gallon.

    That’s exactly what Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, had predicted would happen by Halloween. Now he has a new prediction for prices by Thanksgiving.

    “We’re going to continue going down and by Thanksgiving I’m seeing $2.80 a gallon,” Lipow said in an interview with CNBC’s “Street Signs.”

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102142009

  50. If 2014 does in fact turn out to be the warmest calendar year (it is already the warmest prior 12 months of many regions) on record, does this constitute and end to the much beloved “hiatus”? What is the metric by wish the “hiatus” watchers will judge it to be officially over?

    • R. Gates, guess what, every time they redesign their algorithm’s the past gets colder and the present warmers. This is no record breaking year, i is quite boring, as you can see in any of the regions.
      Have a look at the actual CET data.

      • Doc,

        Suggesting that a “redesign” of their algorithm is a reason for 2014 being so warm is just plain silly. Globally 2014 is just barely behind 2010 as the warmest year, and this is without an El Nino. With a weak solar cycle and no El Nino, faux-skeptics have very little actual dynamical explanation for why 2014 will be near the top of the list in warmest years on record, other than relying on “natural variability”. Fortunately, basic GH physics and the continual energy gain the system has seen during the “hiatus” offers the rest of us a very good understanding of how 2014 could be so warm– without resorting to “natural variability” as the escape-clause answer. The planet is warming, and to very high degree of probability, it is humans that are doing it.

      • Doc, I did a rather more exhaustive documentation in the essay When Data Isnt in the new ebook. R Gates will be very hard pressed indeed to refute the referenced, illustrated, archived facts. The sudden change in Maine AGW as NOAA algorithms were ‘improved’ is a particulary damning smoking gun.

      • Gates, it is funny that all the warming is happening where there are so few people and stations. But don’t worry, it isn’t going to be record breaking, nor in the top five years. Going to get colder too.

      • “But don’t worry, it isn’t going to be record breaking, nor in the top five years. Going to get colder too.”
        _______
        Wow, it will certainly have to get much colder very very fast to knock it out of the running. Where is all the record high ocean heat content going to go so rapidly between now and Dec. 31st? Climate 101: Ocean’s drive the climate. Oceans saw no “hiatus”. The planet continued to gain energy just as basic GH theory tells us should happen.

      • Then again – how reliable is the hugely diverse short term Argo ‘climatologies’

      • @ R. Gates

        Interesting graph of total ocean heat content down to 2000 meters. It starts in 1957 and goes through 2013.

        Its scale is in units of 1e22 joules, which is a heap of joules and tells me that the heat content is growing at an alarming rate, some years multiple units of e22 joules, others actually going down, but the long term average is clearly going up at at a rate of nearly e22 joules/year.

        Based on the estimated mass of the upper 2000 meters of the ocean and assuming that the heat content continues to skyrocket at the current rate, that means that in a mere 300 years the temperature of the upper 2000 meters will have risen by approximately 1 degree.

        Actually, given that e22 joules corresponds to a temperature change of approximately 3 millidegrees C. in the upper 2000 meters of the oceans, I was quite surprised to learn that we have had an instrumentation system in place since the late ’50’s that was capable of measuring the average temperature of the upper 2000 meters of the world’s oceans with the accuracy and resolution that would make tracking millidegree shifts in the temperature anomaly meaningful over a 60 odd year span. After all, the heat content anomaly over the entire measurement period is only 30e22 joules, which represents a temperature anomaly over the same period of less than 0.1 C.

        I guess it really IS true: Modern science knows no limitations.

    • It simply isn’t the warmest year.

      ‘In September 2014, short-term global drought conditions fluctuated regionally. Asia saw drought intensify slightly in and around Mongolia and Northern China while conditions eased slightly in southern India. Parts of northern China are enduring their worst drought in 60 years. In Africa, drought eased slightly in the equatorial region while intensifying in the extreme north and south. In Somalia and Kenya, the drought has as many as 2.5 million people in need of food assistance. In North America, drought remains mainly entrenched in the American Southwest and intensified in the Southern Plains. In South America, drought remained consistent around the equator but improved slightly in southern Argentina. In Brazil, drought continues and Brazil’s Public Ministry acknowledged that the Sao Paulo water supply might only last another 100 days. In Europe, drought remains largely steady with some drying beginning in the British Isles. In Australia, drought is impacting most of the continent with the exception of the central East Coast. The drought has led experts to estimate that Australian cotton production will be cut by 29% for the 2014-2015 season. Areas of Oceana saw slight improvement in drought conditions again this month.’ http://www.drought.gov/gdm/current-conditions

      The reason for the difference in surface and troposphere records is surface water availability and the balance in latent and sensible heat.

      It remains an opportunistic claim by Randy that involves the surface record and denying science realities – but that’s Ok – he has a narrative to sell. Record temps is simply not true for the more inclusive tropospheric record.

    • An odd sort of way for a “hiatus” to continue:

      Sure to be warmest non-El Nino year on record. Wow, what if an El Nino actually developed?

      • 2014 – and September in particular – is not close to being the warmest anything.

        When making claims about surface records it is certainly more credible to account for latent heat. Not that Randy has a credibility problem – he doesn’t have any.

      • Gatesy, why no plot ‘average temperature’ and log([CO2]) on the same axis?

      • The problems with satellite temperature data and especially the plotting of surface temperatures has been so widely discussed on the internet that it is more than embarrassing to see it brought up here as a “proof” that 2014 is not among the warmest years for ocean and land surface temperatures. I have no response other than dismay at someone trying to insert satellite data in such an inappropriate way.

      • ‘In today’s world, approximately 99% of all observations used in weather and climate analysis come from remote sensing techniques and primarily from satellites. Satellite measurements of the Earth’s microwave emissions are a crucial element in the development of an accurate system for long-term monitoring of atmospheric temperature. Special sensors (microwave sounding units) aboard satellites have orbited the Earth since the late 1970’s allowing scientists to calculate temperatures of the atmosphere in the lower troposphere. While satellite observations are not without some of their own limitations, they provide nearly complete global coverage and homogeneous data quality at much higher densities than attainable with in situ observations. In situ observations also suffer from non-uniform temporal coverage and undocumented changes in the instrumentation used that can lead to local biases and increased uncertainty. Finally, satellite-derived temperatures don’t require the “UHI adjustments” often required with conventional weather station temperature measurements.’ http://beforeitsnews.com/weather/2014/09/hottest-august-ever-not-so-fast-take-a-look-at-this-2443674.html

        But the critical difference is in contamination of the land surface record by changes in latent and sensible heat as a result of changes in surface water availability.

        The use of the surface record for climate monitoring is an anachronism – but anything to save the narrative.

      • This is not the surface temperature – btw – but the tropospheric record and there is a difference of course.

      • Gates, are you disowning C & W now?

      • Nevermind, you specified non El Nino, my bad.

      • Rgates

        When much of the world was unexplored at the time perhaps you can explain how we know global ocean temperatures To fractions of a degree back to 1880?

        Tonyb

      • @ Tonyb

        “When much of the world was unexplored at the time perhaps you can explain how we know global ocean temperatures To fractions of a degree back to 1880?”

        Refer to my observation above: “Modern science knows no limitations!”

    • Gates

      Do you not love Ms Hiatus?

      Richard

      • Much has been learned by realizing there was much to learn. A great teacher…Ms. Hiatus…but not even close to being any sort of evidence that climate sensitivity to CO2 is lower than thought. I strongly suspect this will become abundantly clear in the next 10-15 years.

      • Gates

        Again I agree with most of which you say. The hiatus is not proof of sensitivity. However, if it continues for only a few more years, AFAIK, scientists on both sides agree that the models will have been proven wrong. Regarding the sensitivity, don’t you agree that nobody knows because the science is incomplete? In line with that question, please tell me, what do you think of the Berényi Péter comment? Berényi Péter | November 2, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Reply

        Do we now have data that better defines cloud feedback?

        Keep warm,

        Richard

      • “The hiatus is not proof of sensitivity. However, if it continues for only a few more years, AFAIK, scientists on both sides agree that the models will have been proven wrong.”
        ______
        There is no need to prove the models are wrong. There is not one scientist with a passing knowledge of models who will not admit quite freely that the “models are always wrong” if the gauge of being right is to match the evolution of reality exactly. The essential interest in models is whether or not they have the basic dynamics right and enough of the feedbacks to be useful in telling us something about the dynamics of the system. The best possible use of models is to reveal dynamics, not necessarily to match the exact evolution of a chaotic climate system. A best approach is to combined models and paleoclimate data using multiple proxies. In doing so, we still see that the 3C number for climate sensitivity is very solid.

      • Gates

        I don’t know enough about models to agree/disagree but almost sure that people on both sides have been saying a continuation of the hiatus would require a re-examination of the models, the models used by the IPCC in its climate predictions. By the way, got to believe the excitement about a possible temperature spike is in jest. Not characteristic of a thoughtful person.

        Regards

        Richard

  51. From the article:

    The industry backed canard of Hubbert’s Peak Oil has been proven wrong at every turn.
    Much of the LTO [light tight oil] produced from US shale formations fits the specifications for light sweet and what doesn’t is typically even lighter and lower in sulfur.
    Contrary to what most people believe, oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption.
    These developments could effect numerous automotive, transport, commodities and energy/oil related mutual funds, ETF’s and stocks.
    We posted on this topic the other day, and the ranting fulminations of the peak oil (hereafter PO) theorists are already upon us, in their usual modus operandi, with zealous attempts at validation through anecdotal means which misapply Occam’s Razor.

    Although our many Nattering’s on the subject of Hubbert’s PO theory have held up through the test of time, we thought it prudent to revisit with up to date empirical data.

    I feel as if I stand in the mausoleum of Hubbert’s theory muttering much like Michael Corleone… Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…

    In August 2005 based on OPEC reports, some PO theorists claimed a peak in OPEC Reveal Global Light Sweet Crude Peaked:

    Individual countries have peaked (America, Norway, Venezuela, UK, Indonesia etc.)
    Individual companies have peaked (Chevron, Exxon, Shell, Total)
    Individual grades of oil have peaked (Light sweet crude)
    The only thing left to peak is total all oil extraction rates for which the experts predict 2007/8.
    In 2009 some common sense in Peak Idiocy from Mike Monger: Of all the idiotic things that people believe, the whole “peak oil” thing has to be right up there.

    If we did start to use up the oil we have…(though, counting shale oil, we still haven’t used even 10% of the total KNOWN reserves on earth, and there are lots of places we haven’t looked)… but suppose we were on our way to using it up. Three things would happen.

    1. Prices would rise, causing people to cut back on use. Quantity demanded goes down.

    2. Prices would rise, causing people to look for more. Quantity supplied goes up.

    3. Prices would rise, making the search for substitutes more profitable. The supply curve for substitutes shifts downward and to the right.

    In 2012, PO theorists “authoritatively” replicated the claim of a 2005 peak in Peak oil: light sweet crude production has peaked globally:

    There is a finite amount of conventional light sweet crude in the earth’s crust. [Economics] are irrelevant to Hubbert’s point, which was strictly a geological one: The number of conventional deposits of light sweet crude in the US are finite, and the search for them has been more thorough than anywhere else in the world, and a documented decline in discoveries has led to a documented decline in production – of this particular kind of oil.

    There’s no real argument on this point, right? US light sweet crude production did peak, just as he [Hubbert] foresaw. That’s correct. And he [Hubbert] also predicted that in about 2005-2010, light sweet crude production would peak globally – and it has.

    In 2014, PO theorists contradicted their own theory in Did crude oil production actually peak in 2005? with a shred of truth regarding the economics of production:

    Worldwide oil production has been increasing in the last several years?” The answer, of course, is yes.

    The notion that oil is becoming abundant all over again is contradicted by the levitating price and by the evidence that actual worldwide crude oil production is either flat or growing at an infinitesimal rate. But the industry doesn’t want the public or policymakers to know this because the current belief in abundance tends to slow down an energy transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewables. That transition must come sooner or later. But the industry would like to see it come later.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2609555-peak-what-hubbert-was-wrong

  52. Two failed attempts to reply to AK @ 3.29 re David Wojick. I’ll try here:

    AK, I think that David is suggesting that you are being overly prescriptive. You’ll see from my earlier reply to you on innovation that I’m not fond of external prescription. Get the settings right and leave the rest to nature, in this case human nature.

  53. Why am I in moderation?

  54. stevefitzpatrick

    Making predictions is hard, especially about the future. The 2C or ‘bad things will happen’ prediction will be walked back, along with James Hansen’s and many other silly predictions. Betts is smarter, but if you substitute “it would be nice if” for “we are going to cook in our own juices”, there is some, ahem, loss of impact. Nothing is going to reduce CO2 emissions any time in the next 15 or 20 years. Predictions of doom (more or less shrill) are not going to make a bit of difference. The ‘climate concerned’ should hope Lewis & Curry are right about low sensitivity. ;-).

  55. They tell us that if we drastically cut back on fossil fuels, then we will avoid economic, environmental, and ecological catastrophe. But we can not run the counter-factual. There’s no way to know what the future will look like – whether we change how we live now via government force or not. It is entirely possible that the next 100 years could be like the last 100 years. That is, we become increasingly prosperous as a society if we allow competitive market forces to work and adapt to whatever the climate throws at us.

    I think many of the alarmists really believed the catastrophe scenario back in the late ’80s/early ’90s. But when the facts changed with the pause, they didn’t change their mind. That tells me it’s more about ideology and politics than science. They are so ideologically committed to the catastrophic outcome scenario that they can not renounce it now. Careers and money are at stake. Besides, there is no way to hold them accountable if the counter-factual scenario is the right one.

    • Technology has already confounded predictions of peak oil. There was no magic in the technology that has already increased oil production in the US, and there will be no magic in future technological development that will accelerate production of oil.

      Of course, at some point we will run out of economically producible oil. It’s just a question of when and so far peak oil predictions just haven’t worked out.

  56. David L. Hagen

    Incremental Decisions on Greater Confidence href=http://rankexploits.com/musings/2014/toy-math-vs-lew-math-toy-wins/>Blackboard, Lucia gives an excellent model and explanation for incremental decisions, deferring major expenses until later as we achieve greater clarity:

    Summary
    There is no mathematical reason a current, 2014, board needs to build a protections to levels required to protect citizens in 2100.
    There is no mathematical reason a current, 2014, board needs to build to protect to the upper uncertainty bound for sea level rise in 2100.
    If the board opts to schedule several many periods, the best estimate for the required protected height approaches the mean value for the projected sea level rise.
    If the board opts to build as required, they can come close to building “just the right” height protections.
    Other factors not discussed here become very important to the boards decision. These include: the discount rate which makes current expenditures more costly than future ones, incremental added cost of maintaining unnecessarily tall protections for 100 years, risk of unnecessary excess loss if the unnecessarily tall protections are destroyed by an earthquake sometime between 2014 and the time when the flood protection of that height might be needed and added costs when engineering projects start and stop. Most of these will tend to argue in favor of many builds; the final one argues in favor of a smaller number of builds. Careful calculations would be required to determine the optimum number of builds; it is unlikely to be 1.
    It is true that uncertainty results in higher costs. However, note for the case considered, the “Lew” method suggested the uncertainty meant one needed to build 1-m protections when the best estimate for required protections under certainty was 0.5 m. But by responding with sanity the expected value of build heights were (0.53 0.51 0.50 0.50)m for (2,3,4,5) builds respectively, with the additional height above the 0.5m required under certainty falling within rounding error. Admittedly, rounding down was required, but I think few boards would be impressed by the thought that ‘climate uncertainty’ adds horrific costs when the difference in cost is less than 0.5% of the expected costs, represents less than 1mm in height of a protection and this uncertainty is dwarfed by other uncertainties that affect board decisions.

  57. Your quote from Ban-Ki Moon’s press conference: “Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side.”

    Unfortunately Ban-Ki Moon is ignorant of science. Real science does not support the the idea that we are running out of time to act. That action he wants to take is based on a pseudo-scientific fantasy that putting carbon dioxide in the air causes global warming. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no warming now and there has been none for the last 18 years. At the same time, if you check the Keeling curve, you find that atmospheric carbon dioxide has been increasing all these years without causing any warming. According to the Arrhenius greenhouse theory, addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere must warm the air. There is even a name for this warming, enhanced greenhouse warming. But nobody has seen it for the last 18 years. If you are a scientist and your theory predicts warming but you get nothing at all for 18 years you know that this theory is invalid. It belongs in the waste basket of history, the same place where phlogiston went before. The only greenhouse theory that correctly predicts our climate is the Miskolczi greenhouse theory, MGT. When Arrhenius predicts false warming MGT predicts what we see: addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere does not warm the air. The two most important GHGs in the earth atmosphere are water vapor and carbon dioxide. According to MGT they form a joint optimum absorption window in the infrared whose optical thickness is fixed at 1.87 according to Miskolczi. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere it will start to absorb in the IR just as the Arrhenius theory predicts. But this will increase the optical thickness. And as soon as this happens water vapor will start to diminish, rain out, and the original optical thickness is restored. The introduced carbon dioxide will of course keep absorbing IR but the reduction of water vapor keeps the total absorption constant and no warming is possible. This is exactly why there is no warming today despite continuously increasing carbon dioxide. This fact is of great importance to climate science because it makes the enhanced greenhouse warming impossible. And since the enhanced greenhouse effect according to IPCC is the cause of anthropogenic global warming, AGW, it follows that AGW itself does not exist either. It is nothing more than a pseudo-scientific fantasy, dreamed up by an over-eager climate worker to justify the greenhouse hypothesis.

  58. Here’s a nice graph (lower one) showing decadal average temperatures, which is much better at giving a more accurate perspective on longer-term forcing from increasing GH gases. By using decadal averages, you tend to filter out natural variability. The steady increase in surface temperatures parallel the steady increase in ocean heat content and atmospheric GH gases:

    • ‘As for your question: at the end of the century we were sitting on the highest global temperature value of the modern record. Since then we have leveled off and we may in fact be cooling. “We have reached the top of the mountain”, therefore it’s not surprising that the last decade is one of the warmest on record. Think about it! The important aspect is that the warming of the 80s and 90s has stopped and the models missed it completely! The important issue is that we have entered a new regime in global temperature tendency. In fact, I find it very misleading that scientists will present “the warmest decade” argument to justify their beliefs (or failures).’ Anastasios Tsonis

      Warming over the last two regimes of cooling and warming in the 20th century – 1944 to 1998 – was 0.4K at a rate of 0.07K/decade. Some 50% was quite natural. So the anthropogenic warming was 0.2K and the rate is likely to decline further as the world cools from the 1000 year solar grand maxima and as amplified through terrestrial systems.

      But at any rate the non-warming – or even cooling – regime is likely to persist for decades just as they have for centuries past. .

    • That decadal graph shows how the “pause” is a nonexistent pause. Thank you for posting.

  59. Pingback: The Evidence Of Global Warming Is The Hot Words, Not The Temperature | PA Pundits - International

  60. Dr. Curry,

    You make the parenthetical statement “these resources [fossil fuels] are finite, at some point they will become very costly to extract, and there are pollution/health issues associated with burning fossil fuels.”
    This statement is so vague that your use of it is surprising. The driving forces behind replacing fossil fuels will be a combination of economics and politics. To the extent that politics weighs more heavily than economics, we all lose.

    Meaningful economic analysis of damage of a temperature rise, sea level rise, storm damage or any other factor is lacking as a function of CO2 levels. Evidence that these damages are connected to CO2 levels is lacking.

    And we are to dislocate our economy for fear of CO2 — for politics?

  61. Pingback: La industria de la alarma del clima está de campaña | PlazaMoyua.com

  62. What can we anticipate in the next 10 years

    >”continued strains on food and water associated with growing populations, unless effective plans for dealing with this are implemented”
    Disagree. The strains will become less as the world gets richer, more producting, better fertilisers, better technologies, crop improvements. I understand the land area required to feed the world’s population has been decreasing as the world gets richer.

    >”growing vulnerability to extreme weather events associated with population and property increases in hazard-prone zones, unless effective plans for dealing with this are implemented”

    Disagree. We’ll becomne less vulnerable as the world gets richer.

    >”new advances in energy technologies”
    Agree. But not a great deal will happen in 10 years – unless fusion makes big strides or the US leads the way in unwinding the impediments that prevent the world from having cheap nuclear power.

    >”continued regional experiments with new and renewable energy technologies”
    I doubt there are realistic prospects for renewables to be anything other than a minor contributor to energy supply but a major distraction and, therefore, major a block to genuine progress.

  63. Should we let economic development and other policies play out, perhaps with some climate informed decision analysis, or implement the UNFCCC policies and drastically decarbonize the economy?

    I’d strongly support: “Should we let economic development and other policies play out, perhaps with some climate informed decision analysis,” and strongly oppose: “implement the UNFCCC policies and drastically decarbonize the economy?”
    I expect 97% of the world’s population agrees with me. :)

    The solutions to decarbonizing the global economy are more likely to come from technological advances rather than from global UNFCCC treaties.

    Well, yes … AND .. from rational policy advances … such as appropriately deregulating nuclear power, led by the USA President and the IAEA!!

  64. Peter, + 1 for both.

    • I had several failed posts several hours earlier, one last try:

      AK, my reply to @ 3.29 hasn’t appeared, nor my attempted reply here. I think that David is suggesting that you are being overly prescriptive. You’ll see from my earlier reply to you on innovation that I’m not fond of external prescription. Get the settings right and leave the rest to nature, in this case human nature.
      Re your discussion with Joseph, my earlier reply to you on innovation applies: “What makes sense to me is to push technology as fast as can be supported by the current economy.” What makes sense to me is to remove unnecessary impediments to innovation and entrepreneurship and get out of the way.
      You are both adopting the fallacy that what a particular body claims/or what you believe should be a basis for prescriptive action. It has been demonstrated time and again that such approaches, essentially central planning or ex cathedra-driven, are inferior to letting the world at large get on with it, with that vast uncentralised stock and flow of innovation and knowledge of needs and incentives. If you want something to happen on a regional, national or global level, you won’t achieve it by starting with imposing your view of what should happen.
      The private
      sector always has incentives, and these play out in the operation of markets. By seeking to distort incentives to your personal preferred end, you are seeking to bureaucratise a process which is the antithesis of bureaucracy. Even God doesn’t play god, he allows free will (or so I’ve been told).

  65. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    It’s funny  that Climate Etc market-foundationalists persistently ignore what the technorati are actually saying and thinking about climate-change!

    It’s peculiar  that Judith Curry persistently quotes second-hand news stories instead quoting what published articles say about climate-change!

    The world wonders  why oddball scientific theories, simplistic economic theories, selective evidence-seeking, and moral obtuseness, all are prevalent among folks whose worldview amounts to “do nothing.”

    SlashDot readers speak-out

    Anyone not woo-woo anti-science — usually being the theistic types who worship the Invisible Hand — has already established:

    1. Climate change is mostly man-made;

    2. This doesn’t mean the world’s about to end, but we aren’t doing enough to prevent significant harm.

    To “worship the Invisible Hand” means to believe that the free market always comes up with the best solutions for humanity, i.e. that it is a silver bullet rather than a tool which — like any tool —sometimes is suitable and sometimes is not.

    ————-
    Hansen and science-colleagues speak-out

    Cumulative emissions of ,1000 GtC, sometimes associated with 2C global warming, would spur ‘‘slow’’ feedbacks and eventual warming of 3–4C with disastrous consequences.

    Rapid emissions reduction is required to restore Earth’s energy balance and avoid ocean heat uptake that would practically guarantee irreversible effects.

    Continuation of high fossil fuel emissions, given current knowledge of the consequences, would be an act of extraordinary witting intergenerational injustice.

    Reasonable questions  Isn’t it time for Climate Etc’s market-firsters to abandon their short-sighted woo-woo worship of the Invisible Hand?

    Isn’t it time for Judith Curry to read-and-quote the scientific literature, instead of twitter-feeds and news-reports?

    The world wonders! Climate-science students wonder especially!

    \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. I’ve looked through the figures at the back of the IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report and I can’t see any figures that are relevant for policy analysis. After three decades of climate science, there’s still nothing useful to inform policy analysis. Why would that be?

    I’d want to see the Probability Density Functions (pdf) of:

    1. time to the next abrupt climate change
    2. sign of change (to warmer or cooler)
    3. rate of change
    4. maximum amount of change
    5. Damage costs
    6. Mitigation costs and benefits
    7. Probability the advocated policy will succeed in the real world

    I’d want to see these seven pdfs for BAU and for every policy advocated.

  67. Two implication of the pause, some combination of: 1) climates sensitivity is much lower than believed. 2) Natural variability is much greater than believed, both in rate of change and duration of trends.

    This means that ecology is plenty adaptable and resiliant.

  68. The post says “Further, there seems to be broad agreement that it is in everyone’s long term interests to move away from fossil fuels as a primary energy source (these resources are finite, at some point they will become very costly to extract, and there are pollution/health issues associated with burning fossil fuels).”
    This is missing the point completely. The IPCC target leaves 80% of recoverable resources in the ground. It is not in anyone’s interest to get even close to a point when these start to run out. It is urgent precisely because changes have to be made before they start to run out, and that requires policy, not a laissez faire attitude.

    • Jim,

      Perhaps you should get out of your chair, step out of the salon and take a peak at how the real world works, not how political scientists like to think it works.

      Name a resource we have run out of and the disasterous results of that shortage. In the real world, when finite resource boundries are approached, one of two things happen. The price goes up, with the higher return driving new recovery techniques or technological changes that make use of alternate resources.

  69. “and that requires policy, not a laissez faire attitude.”

    This is based on the apriori belief that “policy” (i.e. political action, centralized, mandated, coercion based, action) can achieve anything and everything it sets out to, while “laissez faire attitude” is “do nothing” i.e. – can’t achieve our “goals”.

    This is pure ideology, and is also wrong.

    • @ jacobress

      “This is based on the apriori belief that “policy” (i.e. political action, centralized, mandated, coercion based, action) can achieve anything and everything it sets out to, while “laissez faire attitude” is “do nothing” i.e. – can’t achieve our “goals”.”

      I expect, based on the historical triumph of the government’s ‘Wars’ on Poverty, Drugs, and Terror, that within 10 years of the official declaration of the ‘War on CO2’ all animal life will be extinct via CO2 poisoning. But the plants will be thriving.

    • Jacobress

      +1

  70. As variable as climate naturally is – adding CO2 creates a spectrum of additional climate risk – from mild to extreme”

    Why are the risks “from mild to extreme”? Why not from positive to negative?

    That is from positive to negative consequences. Or, put another way, why do we exclude the possibility of net benefits of global warming and regional climate changes? Possible benefits of GHG emissions I can imagine are:

    1. A wealthier world, better health, longer life, better education, less conflict, less poverty, greater human well-being all round

    2. Greener planet and more plentiful food

    3. Delay onset of next abrupt cooling event

    4. Moderate the rate and total magnitude of the next abrupt cooling event

    The probability and consequences of these need to be offset against the probability and consequences of the next rapid warming event.

  71. Climate Researcher 

    Mankind cannot “deal with climate change.”

    In Roy Spencer’s October data just published there’s still no net warming, since 1998, and nor will there be until at least 2028. Everything in Earth’s climate pattern is still following the two main natural cycles which correlate beautifully with the 934 year and 60 year cycles in the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets. I hope some of the lukes and warmists live to see the start of 500 years of cooling after the next 60 year maximum in 2058. Carbon dioxide has nothing to do with it.

    OF VITAL IMPORTANCE:

    All the models calculate sensitivity based on the false assumption of “33 degrees” of warming from about 255K to 288K. That claim is clearly spelled out in the glossary on the IPCC website from which I’ve quoted in my book and you can read free with the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon. I have shown that the 255K figure is false for a nitrogen only atmosphere where the surface temperature would be around 290K to 310K for a realistic emissivity range for a rocky planet without water or vegetation.

    Incredible as it is, the IPCC discussion of the 255K figure “forgets” that about twice as much solar radiation would be reaching the surface because there would be no clouds reflecting radiation back to space and no absorption of incident solar radiation. This glaring oversight, if corrected for, leaves no warming to be done because the existing mean temperature of 288K is actually cooler than that for the nitrogen atmosphere.

     

  72. Apparently the word “pr*scrip t*on” triggers the spam filter, hence my aggravation 24 hours or so ago. DocMartyn, you have been warned, keep such doctorly activities off this site.

  73. Faustino,

    What makes sense to me is to remove unnecessary impediments to innovation and entrepreneurship and get out of the way.

    You are both adopting the fallacy that what a particular body claims/or what you believe should be a basis for prescriptive action. It has been demonstrated time and again that such approaches, essentially central planning or ex cathedra-driven, are inferior to letting the world at large get on with it, with that vast uncentralised stock and flow of innovation and knowledge of needs and incentives. If you want something to happen on a regional, national or global level, you won’t achieve it by starting with imposing your view of what should happen.

    The private sector always has incentives, and these play out in the operation of markets. By seeking to distort incentives to your personal preferred end, you are seeking to bureaucratise a process which is the antithesis of bureaucracy.

    + too many to count

    I agree 100%. If only the ‘Progressives’ could understand, accept and explain that concept to others, we could make better progress.

    • The only problem I see there is what motivation would there be to mitigate CO2 for an energy industry that does so well with fossil fuel?

  74. It seems completely irresponsible to base policy solely on the temps from 1 year, 1998.

  75. I haven’t had a chance to peruse this thread, but a search shows that no one has mentioned geoengineering. If it really were true that “we go over the cliff at 2 degrees C” and “we have to eliminate all fossil fuels by 2100 to achieve this with mitigation” then you could expect the SO2 cannons and bomb bays to be loaded up. I don’t see any will for the supermassive nuclear build-out that would be minimally necessary to achieve that beyond-heroic phaseout deadline.

  76. Nate Lewis is a Caltech chemistry professor who is a director of the department of energy’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis. He’s a very good lecturer with a number of lectures on YouTube. He’s working on making fuel from sunlight. While one might think him to be a bit of an alarmist, his lectures give an excellent realistic overview of energy and storage. He has an admitted agenda, more funding for his research, and I think the government could do a lot worse.

    Among his more interesting points is that the best large scale storage of energy is in chemical bounds. The energy in a gallon of gasoline is equivallent to 55,000 gallons of water pumped up Hoover Dam. Plant photosynthesis is limeted by, among other things, shutting down at about 10% of capacity to prevent internal molecular damage.

  77. Here’s Nate Lewis again with more than you ever wanted to know about solar PV energy. Starting at 1:20:00 he gives a very detailed description of the limiting factors in plant photosynthesis. Then he describes his own progress in making hydrogen from solar cells. I thought his Q/A at the end was pretty good. H/T to Rob Johnson-Taylor for posting this in the Myths and realities of renewable energy thread.

  78. Hansen models should be ignored, as also the IPCC sponsored models because they have bot been properly validated. There have only been two periods in history since 1850 when average global temperature increased at 0.15C/decade, 1910 to 1940 and 1970 to 1097. Neither has been properly explained by models or the IPCC, so how can the IPCC say they understand climate or their models are correct?

    The IPCC have ignored the vibration modes or CO2 which greatly affect the heat absorption of the so-called ‘greenhouse’ gas.. How can we have confidence in their predictions when they ignore such important physics.

  79. R. Gates | November 2, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    RG – you are working with fake temperature curves. To begin with, your lower graph shows the eighties and nineties separated by two tenths of a degree when in fact there is no separation between them. (If it got that way by including the super El Nino with the nineties, that is not allowed.) If you now compare these data to satellite data you will notice a distinct upward slope that does not exist. It is pure fake and I discovered that when I wrote “What Warming?” I even put a warning about it into the preface but nothing happened. To see how the data line up you must know enough to recognize El Nino peaks with La Nina valleys between them. They are present in all global temperature curves if someone did not wipe them out. The halfway point between an El Nino peak and its neighboring La Nina valley is the global mean temperature. Mark them with dots and fit a straight line to them. I suggest first outlining the temperature trend with a magic marker before you do that.The line connecting the dots in the eighties and nineties is horizontal, not leaning up or down. It tells you that you have another “hiatus” region here that has been hidden by that fake warming. Next, take a look at the super El Nino of 1998. The valleys on two sides of it are of unequal depth – bottom of the right one is a tenth of a degree higher than the bottom of the one on the left. Comparison with satellite curves shows that they should be of equal depth. What this temperature record says is that global temperature increased by a tenth of a degree in only three years, the width of the El Nino peak. They continue this exaggerated upward slope into the twenty-first century. Fakery there is very obvious because now they show the El Nino of 2010 as higher than the super El Nino of 1998. That is nonsense. What is more, there are also add-on fake peaks present, like the one at the beginning of the year 2007. These are testimony to computer processing of these temperature data that they screwed up because they did not know that the computer left traces of its operation in their output curve. I am not basing this one on an out of place peak in one temperature dataset. I have determined that all ground-based temperature curves have these spikes in them. At least ten of them are easy to locate by comparison with catellite curves that are free of this mess. They are located at the beginnings of years and they are in exactly the same places in GISTEMP, NCDC, and HadCRUT data sets. A cross-oceanic data massage perhaps? Or is it more like Phil Jones homogenization? I don’t know but somebody knows. My advice is to give up using ground-based data and use only satellite temperatures when available. I as a private individual can do nothing but point to it but surely among the legions of climate workers there should be some who would like to know what to believe about their global temperature curves

  80. As I understand it, you are using ~1850 as the starting point for your 2C increase reference. Why do you insist on doing this?
    The climate right now is wonderfull…the earth has not been as physically “green” in the last 100 years …plants love it…extreme weather is at a 50 + year low….and most warming will occur at night, in winter, and in the higher latitudes, which is exactly where we need it…Why do you insist on taking pre-industrial as climate perfection? At the current rate of CO2 increase, CO2 doubling (from current levels) will not occur for ~200 years!!!… and the sensitivity for CO2 doubling is certainly less than 2C…perhaps much less. Even if we double CO2 emission rates, this leaves less than 2C temp increase in a century, as a certainty! Why did you not state this in your commentary?! There is a “certain” inanity in this alarmism, that you seem not to acknowledge…at least not in your writings. It is a puzzlement.

    • …”you are using ~1850 as the starting point for your 2C increase reference. Why do you insist on doing this?”
      End of the Little Ice Age.

  81. Send money. A coin for the headsman.

  82. “Things look pretty different now than they did 10 years ago. What can we anticipate in the next 10 years?”

    The colder part of this solar minimum, giving a sharp increase in negative NAO/AO, increased El Nino and positive Indian Dipole episodes. Giving persistent drought in the US Great Plains, Australia, India and Indonesia, and lousy wet summers in NW Europe. It’s a farmers nightmare all over. And we will be completely unprepared for it as those who thought they knew best, were all looking in the wrong direction.

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