Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Latest IRI El Nino briefing – weak SSTs but no shift of rainfall into central Pacific [link]

Mark Lynas: India’s coal conundrum: which comes first, the climate or the poor?  [link]

The enduring legacy of Obama’s worst-ever environmental decision: [link]

Michael Levi: The US-China climate deal won’t save the world. Who cares? My piece for the Washington Post: [link]

Nature:  Its time air pollution got more attention at the international level [link]

Interesting article on Agriculture Renewable Energy blog: The Failure of Conservatives on Global Warming [link]

Responsible innovation and irresponsible stagnation [link]

The Quadrant: Partners in pointlessness. How U.S. and Australia can meet their CO2 emissions targets [link]

Why google stopped R&D in renewable energy [link]

10 million child deaths attributed to a lack of toilets

Believe it or not but mining companies might be the Arctic’s best hope

With still rising, starts modifying 2°C gap concept, slowly shifting the benchmark from 2020 to 2030 [link]

Superb post by Matt Briggs on the bogus use of statistics on temperature series.  Don’t use statistics unless you have to [link]

Keystone falls short in Senate, cable news battle continues

Meta analysis: Scientists Witness Plagiarism Often. [link]

Cass Sunstein: How groups fail. From my forthcoming book Wiser (with Reid Hastie). [link]

The Arctic Is Turning Into The World’s Newest Geo-Strategic Battleground [link]

‘Innovation: managing risk, not avoiding it’: ‘s is now online [link]

What it would really take to reverse anthropogenic climate change: today’s renewable technologies won’t save us [link]

NASA Shows How CO2 Circulates Around The World:

Can we ‘solve’ ? India gorges on coal. The real world spirals on in its Tragedy of the Commons. [link]

Replication in science: issues and challenges – an interesting discussion – [link]

Nice short primer on how to compare the cost of renewable energy with the cost of traditional sources: [link]

The new science of group decision making [link]

Germany retreating from 2020 climate goal.

Nate Silver on herding: tendency to produce results that closely match one another [link]

China’s incentive to limit fossil fuel use: air pollution [link]

Nigerian Echo: US-China deal perpetuates climate injustice [link]

Will GOP put climate science back on trial? [link]

Cogent analysis of Obama’s green cred – The greening of Barack Obama [link]

 

644 responses to “Week in review

  1. The very survival of humanity depends on reliable information about Earth’s heat source:

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/23jul_superstorm/

  2. Dr. Curry, Nice short primer on how to compare the cost of renewable energy with the cost of traditional sources has a problem with the link.

    Might this be it? http://www.wri.org/blog/2014/11/weighing-options-how-do-you-compare-costs-renewable-energy-traditional-electricity

  3. Solar-Climate Link Since Mid-20th Century

    By Girma Orssengo, PhD

    In this essay, I demonstrate the 11-year solar cycle signal in the HadCRUT4 dataset for the global mean temperature since mid-20th century shown in Figure 1, confirming the result of Camp and Tung ( 2007), which was done for the NCEP dataset.


    Figure 1. Correlation between sunspot number (sidc-ssn) and global mean temperature (hadcrut4gl) since mid-20th century. Source: http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/isolate:300/mean:48/offset:0.08/from:1954/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1954/compress:12/scale:0.001

    The most important point to note when trying to extract the 11-year solar cycle signal from the global mean temperature data is that they describe different quantities. The solar cycle is an instantaneous energy input into the earth but the global mean temperature represents an accumulated energy in the earth stored in its land and oceans. As a result, to find the solar signal in the global mean temperature data, its secular trend (accumulated energy) and its multidecadal oscillation (due to redistribution of heat within the ocean) must be removed. If these data are not removed, they give spurious divergence between global mean temperature and sunspot numbers after the 1970s.

    The secular trend and the multidecadal oscillation in the annual global mean surface temperature data can be represented by the 25-year moving average as shown in Figure 2. The 25-year moving average curve has a coefficient of determination of 80% with the annual global mean surface temperature, which means it explains 80% of the variation.


    Figure 2. The climate signal (secular trend and multidecadal oscillation) can be represented by the 25-year (300 months) moving average of the annual global mean surface temperature. Source: http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:300/plot/hadcrut4gl/compress:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:300/offset:0.2/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:300/offset:-0.2/plot/hadcrut4gl/scale:0.00001/offset:1.5

    The data left after removing the 25-year moving average of the global mean temperature is given by the “isolate” function in WoodForTrees and it is in this data that the 11-year solar cycle signal is expected to be found. Figure 3 shows the global mean temperature data after removing its secular trend and multidecadal oscillation. Figure 3 also shows an interannual variability of ± 0.2 deg C in the annual global mean surface temperature since 1860, which indicates that ranking them based on variations less than 0.2 deg C is statistically meaningless. Figure 3 also shows that this variability was greater in the late 1870s than in the late 20th century.

    To obtain the solar cycle signal, in addition to the secular trend and the muldtidecadal oscillation that must be removed from the global mean temperature using “isolate:300”, we need also remove the short term oscillation of ENSO variability, which has an average period of about 4 years. The ENSO should be removed because it is due to the distribution of heat within the earth system. This can be done by using the 4-year (48 months, “mean:48”) moving average of the data shown in Figure 3 to obtain the sought solar cycle signal in the global mean temperature shown in Figure 1.

    Note that in the years with strong volcanic activity in the early 1990s in Figure 1, the global mean temperature decrease leads the decrease in solar activity. Note also that part of the increase in global mean temperature in each solar cycle shown in Figure 1 warms the oceans and the accumulated heat gives the globe its secular mean temperature trend.

    How the increase in sunspot numbers indicates increase in solar energy has been described in Lean et al (1995):

    Solar irradiance varies during the Schwabe cycle because bright solar faculae and dark sunspots modulate the Sun’s radiation. Both faculae and sunspots are magnetic phenomena that occur more frequently during times of high solar activity. At the visible wavelengths that dominate total solar radiative output, facular emission near solar activity maximum exceeds the corresponding sunspot deficit by a factor of 1.5, causing a net total irradiance increase.


    Figure 3. The global mean surface temperature data after removing its secular trend and its multidecadal oscillation. It is in this data that the 11-year solar cycle signal is expected to be found. Source: http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/isolate:300/compress:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/scale:0.000001/plot/hadcrut4gl/scale:0.000001/offset:0.2/plot/hadcrut4gl/scale:0.000001/offset:-0.2

    Figure 1 shows the sun-climate link since mid-20th century that the IPCC claims the warming was anthropogenic. However, as this figure shows, the global mean temperature changes in PHASE with the 11-year solar cycle. In addition, the magnitudes of the global mean temperatures are approximately proportional to the sunspot numbers as indicated by the simultaneous peaks in the two variables. For example, both the peak global mean surface temperature & solar activity for solar cycle 20 in the 1970s were less than their corresponding values for cycle 19 in the 1960s. The probability of finding the correlation shown in Figure 1 by chance between the two datasets for the full five solar cycles 19 to 23, from 1954 to 2008, is about 0.1%.

    As global mean surface temperature changes whenever solar activity changes, Figure 1 shows solar variability explains all of the 20th century warming. Note that this warming of the earth’s surface by about 0.12 deg C in each 11-year solar cycle is roughly cumulative (roughly because heat is lost from the surface to the colder water and land underneath and is used to warm the arctic), so instead of giving the cumulative 1.1 deg C in the nine solar cycles of the twenty century, it gives the observed secular global surface warming of only 0.6 deg C.

    A convincing evidence for anthropogenic global warming would have been to see in Figure 1 a divergence between the global mean surface temperature and solar activity. However, this hasn’t not been the case. As a result, we may conclude that the cause of the observed global warming since mid-20th century was solar, not anthropogenic.

    References:

    Camp and Tung, 2007, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS. http://depts.washington.edu/amath/old_website/research/articles/Tung/journals/GRL-solar-07.pdf

    Lean et al, 1995, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS. http://www.geo.umass.edu/faculty/bradley/lean1995.pdf

  4. I’m happy to see Google has hit the wall of reality when it comes to renewables. They recommend the no-regrets policy being proposed by Jim Hansen and many skeptics, something we already have and that we know for sure works well as a 24/7 base load: fission nuclear power.

    Here’s another article on it from IEEE. From the article:

    A balanced energy R&D portfolio proposed by the authors would allocate the bulk of resources to proven technologies like hydro, wind, solar photovoltaics, and nuclear; devote 20 percent of funds to related technologies like thin-film solar PV and next-generation nuclear fission reactors; and keep a pot of money for “crazy” ideas like cheap fusion.

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/what-it-would-really-take-to-reverse-climate-change

  5. Thanks for the IRI El Nino link. I have been searching for an authoritative source on El Nino updates and this appears to be it.

    I could not reconcile, though, the statement of 75% probability of an El Nino in one paragraph and then followed up with a statement that an El Nino starting at such a late date would be highly unusual. It seems highly unusual would not warrant a 75% probability. Maybe I am missing something.

    • 1953 El Nino started around January.

      • And it was a weak one.

      • A weak El Nino event may not reduce OHC, so that would be welcome. Right now GISS and NOAA have January thru October 2014 as the warmest Jan thru Oct in the thermometer record, and that’s in a year that started with the polar-vortex winter of 2013-2014. ONI at -0.6, and land at 44th place in February.

        Not having an El Nino, which was my stated hope for 2014, and a weal one in 2015, are just what the doctor ordered.

      • “A weak El Nino event may not reduce OHC, so that would be welcome.”
        —–
        Not sure why that would be “welcome”. Warmest oceans on record continue to alter weather patterns globally.

      • When the El Nino talk started up this year there was a lot desire shown for a super El Nino. I do see that as a desirable thing. If there is to be an El Nino, I would prefer a weak one. What I would prefer the most would be one more year of neutral conditions, only this time with several months with positive ONI. There have been very few of those since 2010. The period has been dominated by La Nina and negative ONI, and the SAT has largely recovered regardless.

      • JCH | November 22, 2014 at 11:20 am said:
        … Right now GISS and NOAA have January thru October 2014 as the warmest Jan thru Oct in the thermometer record, and that’s in a year that started with the polar-vortex winter of 2013-2014. ONI at -0.6, and land at 44th place in February. …

        That may be true, but frequently the relative temps proffered by GISS do not comport with RSS or UAH, which I like better due to the much more thorough coverage and consistency in data rendering.

      • Which indicates there are problems with UAH and RSS. I believe RSS has already acknowledged this. They hop around like a cat on a hot tin roof during an El Nino, and steal all the covers in a La Nina. That’s a hint.

      • Other than “natural variability”, those who doubt the long-term effects of increasing GH gases on the climate system have no answers for why 2014 may turn out to be the warmest year on record. Nice to see we can turn away from their pseudoscience to real science which does give us solid reasons why the past 10 years have been the warmest on record with the end of that period as the warmest of all.

      • Below are hemispheric and global averages from CRU

        Looks like this might be the warmest year in the short reliable record, but interestingly the pause or decline continues.

        tonyb

      • tony

        After reading hysterical headlines in an NBC article of “Boiling 2014” I dug into the details for the record breaking October and it was hotter than October 1998 and October 2010 by .04 C degrees with a margin of error of .11 C. So in 16 years it is .04 degrees C warmer.

        I wonder how many gyrations they had to use just to make sure it was not .05 C cooler than it was. Of course then NBC would not have had their headline.

      • This is what Tonyb’s graph is actually showing. The pause in the SAT is not 17 years. The slope thru 2005 rounds to the IPCC number: .2C per decade. After the back-to-back La Nina vents of 2011 and 2012, it had dropped to .17C per decade. HadCrut4, through September 2014 rounds to .17C. No El Nino was required, and kiss your paws goodbye:

        thru 2005 – slope = 0.0196745 per year

        thru 2010 – slope = 0.0182956 per year

        thru 2012 – slope = 0.0170852 per year

        Thru September 2014 – slope = 0.0166382 per year

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/to:2006/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/to:2011/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/to:2013/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1975

      • The skeptics have fooled themselves by not fully taking into account natural variation, specifically the positive one starting around 1998, but the temperature has since returned back to the long-term trend after that positive deviation and a smaller negative one following it. We are now back on the trend line.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/mean:3/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/trend

    • Given that 2014 is very near going to be the warmest year on record, even a mild El Niño beginning anytime could push it over. The highest ocean temps (both SSTs and deeper) on record coincide precisely with the warmest troposheric surface temperatures.

      • Given that 2014 is very near going to be the warmest year on record

        http://realityversiontwopointzero.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/8f188-6a010536b58035970c015433ac485d970c-pi.png?w=779&h=734

        Well .. the lower troposphere temperatures (RSS/UAH) don’t show that. The raw temperatures don’t show that. Only temperatures given the milk treatment (homogenization and pasteurization) show that.

        Further we are still below MWP sea levels about 6 inches from what I can tell.

        Since sea level is mostly steric (thermal) that would mean we aren’t as warm as the MWP and that current sea levels are in the natural range of variation. So according to sea level we aren’t at record levels yet.

        What is interesting is NASA is trying to increase the solar variation in its TSI reconstructions. Without more variation you need a larger solar effect multiplier.

      • PA,

        Seems you are going to great lengths to explain away some very simple facts– the system is accumulating energy and this year is going to be at or near the warmest year in the warmest decade on record. The only reasonable external forcing to explain all this is the steady increase in GH gases.

      • Gates says “Ignore the man behind the curtain.”

      • “jim2 | November 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
        Gates says “Ignore the man behind the curtain.”
        —-
        Pseudoscience always needs to see vast conspiracies everywhere when the data does not support their world view. SOP.

      • R. Gates | November 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        PA,

        Seems you are going to great lengths to explain away some very simple facts– the system is accumulating energy and this year is going to be at or near the warmest year in the warmest decade on record. The only reasonable external forcing to explain all this is the steady increase in GH gases.

        Well, the ocean takes a long time to come into equilibrium with a step change in forcing (impulse response). The 0.7-0.8 change in 20th century solar forcing took a while to warm the ocean. Claiming CO2 is the “only reasonable external forcing” is just dishonest.

        There is room for a small CO2 forcing effect up to the nameplate value for CO2 alone forcing. CO2 (369 PPM in 2000) might have had up to a 0.27°C influence on global temperature in the 20th century.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: Seems you are going to great lengths to explain away some very simple facts– the system is accumulating energy and this year is going to be at or near the warmest year in the warmest decade on record.

        Was there anything in PA’s post that you thought was in error? The plain fact, if not simple, is that all the evidence taken together does not support the idea that the system is accumulating energy or that there is any ongoing temperature rise. What we have are a collection of 15 years, more or less, of nearly flat lines with approximately random upward blips and downward blips.

      • “The plain fact, if not simple, is that all the evidence taken together does not support the idea that the system is accumulating energy or that there is any ongoing temperature rise.”
        —-
        Is this wishful thinking or just more pseudoscientific nonsense? The best data we have tells us the system continues to accumulate energy quite robustly.

      • barn E. Rubble

        RE: R. Gates
        “Given that 2014 is very near going to be the warmest year on record,. . .”

        Where? Perhaps those in Buffalo can take some solace in that. You mean globally (by however you get that average) as meaningless as that is, yes? It’s been colder and wetter than average here in S. Ontario in 2014. Not counting the all the recent snow in November.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: Is this wishful thinking or just more pseudoscientific nonsense?

        Climatereason’s and PA’s graphs, among many others.

      • Do you actually trust any of the temperature series anymore?
        Seriously?

      • The highest ocean temps (both SSTs and deeper) on record

        SSTs have little change ie an absence of increased warming in the last 1.5 decades.

        The subsurface T increase is not in the upper surface layers,but in the lower and is constrained to a limited geographical area of the worlds oceans ie the southern ocean.

        As it is not global,or as a diffusive response in the upper surface layers, heat transport is undoubtedly ballistic and a response to wind forcing in the SO with ENSO fluctuations eg Palmer and Roemmich 2014.

        Increasing global ocean heat content is the dominant component of the Earth’s climate system energy imbalance (Rhein et al., 2013). In the past 15 years, the ocean surface layer and lower atmosphere mean temperatures have fluctuated on interannual timescales but without the warming trend evident over longer records (Foster and Rahmstorf, 2011). This much remarked “pause” in surface temperature contrasts with the heat content of the oceans, which has continued to rise unabated at a rate of 0.5–0.7 W m2. Unprecedentedglobal ocean observations from the Argo Programme (Gould et al., 2004) in the period 2006–2014 enable the depth dependence and spatial structure of 0-2000 m ocean temperature variability to be described. The warming of the oceans follows different patterns in the upper 400 m than deeper in the water column. Surface layer temperature tracks interannual El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) fluctuations (Roemmich and Gilson, 2011), but with the 0– 100 m surface layer variations partially offset in heat content by opposite variability from100–400 m. The deeper layers have a steadier decadal warming trend with maximum at about 1000 m. In the most recent observations from 2013-2014, the upper layers’ compensatory variability has given way to warming over the entire water column from 0–2000 m. The spatial distribution of the 2006–2014 warming indicates that all of the heat content increase during that period is in the southern hemisphere ocean (60°S to 20°S), withno significant trend in the tropics (20°S to 20°N) or the northern hemisphere (20°N to 60°N).

      • Matthew

        That graph i posted was directly from CRU and unchanged by me in any way

        Tonyb

      • Well, the ocean surface accumulated energy from 1950 to 2014 at a rate of around 0.3 W/m2 (200 zettajoules since 1950). The total heat capacity of the ocean to 700 m per m2 is roughly 700 m * 3990 W*s*kg-1*K-1 * 1027 kg/m3 = 2868411000 W*s*K-1*m-2 or about 91 W*y*K-1*m-2 (Watt years per Kelvin per meter squared).

        The period from 1950 was about 0.5°C warmer. It would take roughly
        0.5C * 91 / 0.3 = 151 years for the ocean to hit equilibrium more or less (I do welcome less cursory analysis).

        The solar insolation change in the late 20th century was about 0.7 W/m2 above the 1900 level. Given the above analysis there isn’t a chance in hell the ocean was in equilibrium in the 20th century.

        So it is hard to tell if the 20th century warming was just solar (solar + significant positive solar feedback) and solar redistribution (natural cycles) or if there was a significant CO2 component.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Ian Wilson: I am not looking forward to the 2015-16 El Nino

        Strong el Ninos have been predicted for several years in a row now. Here in California, we could use some sustained heavy rains.

      • Strong El Ninos may bring rain to California and that is good news for those who are caught in the current drought. However, Strong El Ninos also produce terrible droughts heat waves here in Australia. So some lose and some win from these events.

        Why not read the reason’s for my prediction(s) for the sequencing of El Ninos over the next 20 – 25 years, it may help you to plan for future.

      • Here is my ~ 9 year year cycle in each corresponding 31 year tidal epoch:

        A. Full Moon Epochs
        1st FULL MOON EPOCH [1870 to 1901]
        1877-88 –> 1888-89 –> 1896-97 –> 1905-06 with 1899-1900 as a half cycle

        2nd FULL MOON EPOCH [1932 to 1963]
        1940-41 –> 1951-52 (weak) –> 1963-64 (weak) with 1957-58 as a half cycle

        3rd FULL MOON EPOCH [1993-94 to 2024-25]
        1997-98 –> 2006 –>. 2015-16 –> 2024-25 with 2019-20 as a possible half cycle.

        B. New Moon Epochs
        1st NEW MOON EPOCH [1901 to 1932]
        1902-03 –> 1911-12 –> 1918-19 –> 1931-31 with 1925-26 as a half cycle

        2nd NEW MOON EPOCH [1963 to 1993-94]
        1965-66 –> 1972-73 –> 1982-83 –> 1991-92 with 1987-88 as a half cycle.

        3rd NEW MOON EPOCH [2024-25 to 2055]
        Only accurate to +/- one year and only a heightened chance of occurring.
        2027 –> 2036 –> 2045 —> 2054 with a 2049-2050 half cycle.

    • JCH – How can you trust the GISS algore-rhythm? The surface sampling of the globe is very spotty and requires too many hail Mary corrections.

      Sat temp calcs are tame compared to that.

      How do you justify your statement that there is some problem with UAH/RSS temps? Just curious really.

      • NOAA is warmer than GISS. It’s possible 2014 could fail to be the warmest year on GISS. NOAA looks like it’s almost in the bag.

        Because they appear to be incapable of capturing record warmth in ENSO neutral conditions. To remain accurate, they overreact to EL Nino and La Nina.

      • GISS is public. People have gone through it thoroughly.

      • The warmth of 2014 brings about considerable hand wringing among the pseudoscientific crowd, as it has not been an official El Niño even. But this warmth during an ENSO neutral period is right in line with the warmth we had during the last La Niña period with it being the warmest La Niña on record. All this is very much in keeping with the general accumulation of energy in the system, and putting the “hiatus” in proper context.

      • JCH – the sat calcs are published in peer reviewed papers. I don’t know if you count that as public or not, but the methods are available to those with money for subscriptions – meaning available to scientists.

      • The 2011 and 2012 La Nina events loom very large on RSS. Since 2012 the SAT has warmed significantly, but RSS cannot reflect that until there is an EL Nino. Then it will magically “correct” its error in presentation. This product is bordering on being worthless.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2010/trend/plot/rss/from:2010/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2010/plot/rss/from:2010

      • http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1998/trend/plot/rss/from:1998/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1998/plot/rss/from:1998/plot/gistemp/from:1999/trend/plot/rss/from:1999/trend

        From 1998 RSS shows a negative trend. Gistemp shows a positive trend. So does HadCrap4. So does NOAA.

        If you add a trend from 1999, a La Nina year, the Gistemp trend increases a bit. That is to be expected.

        RSS reverses from negative trend to positive. That’s nuts. It’s too sensitive to El Nino and La Nina, and it is insensitive to ENSO neutral. I think it’s borderline space junk.

      • JCH, “RSS reverses from negative trend to positive. That’s nuts. It’s too sensitive to El Nino and La Nina, and it is insensitive to ENSO neutral. I think it’s borderline space junk.”

        Nah, Satellites are measuring something different than surface stations. It’s all good. When you compare with GISS or HADCRAPPY.C&W, which interpolates Arctic Winter warming which is really “not the Arctic winter cooling”, you are including heat loss as if it were retained heat. Remember though that both have some uncertainty which should be considered before declaring “trends”. For example a GISS/HADCRAPPY.C&W high latitude temperature anomaly is actually a small energy anomaly getting full “global” weight. The larger the range of temperatures that the anomalies represent the less indicative they are of energy. Has something to do with the zeroth law of thermo, big swings in temperature aren’t very much like the “equilibrium” conditions the physics are based on. It’s a thermo 101 thingy.

      • JCH – can you prove your assertion that RSS correct temperature AFTER an El Nino has occurred? I have never heard anyone make that accusation. Any evidence at all?

      • Also, GISS, Hadcrut, NOAA all use pretty much the same base temperature measurements – they just slice and dice differently.

      • “The larger the range of temperatures that the anomalies represent the less indicative they are of energy.”
        —–
        Crazy talk. It’s all about energy. Every last bit of it. Energy flowing in and out of the climate system and within the system.

      • capt dallas – RSS and GISS use different temperature measurements, but they are both trying to measure the global temperature of the atmosphere. The sat measurements for lower trop have the same trends as surface temps. But for sats, the lower trop trend is less than surface. At a certain altitude, the sat trend flattens, above that it is reverse of surface trend.

        So, I’m not seeing where JCH proved RSS has a problem with El Nino and your comment seems not to have anything to do with that question.

      • As a data scientist, I am among the first to acknowledge that all climate datasets likely contain some errors. However, I have a hard time believing that both the satellite and the surface temperature datasets have errors large enough to account for the model/observation differences. For example, the global trend uncertainty (2-sigma) for the global TLT trend is around 0.03 K/decade (Mears et al. 2011). Even if 0.03 K/decade were added to the best-estimate trend value of 0.123 K/decade, it would still be at the extreme low end of the model trends. A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets (they certainly agree with each other better than the various satellite datasets do!). So I don’t think the problem can be explained fully by measurement errors. – Carl Mears, VP and Senior Research Scientist, RSS (bold mine)

      • jim2, they are both “trying” to measure the same thing, but they are not measuring the same thing. The RSS group is measuring lower troposphere with an average temperature of about 270 K and a much smaller standard deviation and the “surface” temperatures are a combination of averaged Tmax and Tmin air temperatures that range from ~-75 C to +50 C combined with ocean sub/surface temperatures with very small standard deviation and a range from ~32 C to -2 C.

        For the “surface” air temperatures, the Wm-2 per degree ranges from, 1.8 Wm-2 for very cold dry air to greater than 8 Wm-2/K for hot humid air. An average with that large of range has to be carefully considered or conclusion jumping will occur. That is why I generally avoid the higher latitudes when making energy related estimates.

        Surprisingly, the difference isn’t as large as I would have expected, but then the area with the super low temperature and humidity is pretty small. However, during a glacial period that would not be the case, the error would get to be much more significant.

      • JCH, ” A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets (they certainly agree with each other better than the various satellite datasets do!)”

        Perhaps Dr. Mears should become a Climate Etc. regular :)

      • I said it had a problem with El Nino, La Nina, and ENSO neutral.

        It cannot reliably sense surface warming and cooling during ENSO neutral. To be even in the ballpark, it overreacts to both El Nino and La Nina.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/trend/plot/rss/from:1985/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1979/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1985/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1980/to:1999/trend/plot/rss/from:1980/to:1999/trend

        Therefore, it will not see 2014 warming until, or if, there is another El Nino, to which it will overreact.

      • Mears needs to read up on how sat calcs are done, apparently. I don’t see where he did that.

        As I said earlier, the TREND measured by sat is less than that measured at the surface. This is at least in part due to the lapse rate.

        But when the surface temp goes up, so does sat. You can see it in the annual temp variation – NH summer hotter – due to more land in the northern hemisphere.

      • JCH, “I said it had a problem with El Nino, La Nina, and ENSO neutral.”

        ENSO is an “oscillation” based on the temperature/pressure variation of currently 4 ENSO regions. It is an “oscillation” because there is an estimated mean for it to oscillate around. You are comparing an artificial climate index to “global” as best we can estimate temperatures that do not always accurately represent energy and are surprised things don’t meet your expectations. Welcome to the real world.

        If you could build your own energy reconstruction, possible with the satellite data, you would find things are closer to what “should” be expected, which might not be what you expect.

        That is the estimated OLR for the tropical Pacific (well, most of it anyway) from Climate Explorer, just a tad more information than Wood for Tease.

        That is RSS for the same area. Unfortunately, the OLR is not updated completely, but this is what you get when you normalize anomalies and invert the OLR.

        Notice how close they are, but because of the volcanic influence pre-1998, they diverge more early and are very close later. Volcanic aerosols and the indirect impacts they have on the atmosphere are part of what RSS is measuring. I personally think they are doing a fine job, but they are not measuring “surface” temperature, they are measuring lower troposphere temperature.

        All ENSOs have not and never will be created equal since the system is dynamic. I guess the best thing you can do is contact the Webster since he thinks he has ENSO figured out.

        In any case, if you see my first comment, you are comparing apples to something else.

      • Lol, he’s one who does them.

      • JCH, “Lol, he’s one who does them.” Yes he does and I believe he is still searching for a tropical troposphere hot spot which has to exist since the models told him so. He “Trusts” the “surface” temperatures more because they tend agree with his “thoughts”. Kind of weird I would think for someone seeing observation diverging from the Model world “reality” he assumes exists. Most folks would have started thinking more about model issues by now. As I said, He might want to considered visiting Climate Etc. from time to time.

      • You’re fooling yourself. He knows his product. He knows its presentation of the SAT is inaccurate.

      • JCH – I stand corrected, then. So, do the other team members agree with him that RSS does not yield an accurate product?

      • JCH, “You’re fooling yourself. He knows his product. He knows its presentation of the SAT is inaccurate.”

        I am not fooling myself one bit. RSS is not measuring “surface” temperature and “surface” temperature is not an accurate indication of “surface” energy. You have what you have. All the products are about as good as they can be under the circumstances.

        If Mears “prefers” GISS 1200 km or HADCRAPPY.C&W, he is assuming that Arctic Winter Warming is indicative of retained energy, not the case. They most likely matches his “beliefs” based on models.

        Which data set do you “prefer”? How far off do the models have to be for you to consider that AGW was grossly over estimated?

      • JCH – Is Mears the only satellite temp scientist who believes the sat temp is wrong due to the missing hot spot? BTW, I appreciate you bringing this to my attention. I didn’t know any sat scientist thought the product was bad – only know of a few minor questions about it.

      • Satellite-derived temperatures suffer from cloud contamination that would have a tendency to mute trends that you try to derive with them. I saw a paper on this recently about UAH, but can’t remember the details.

      • JCH, lest’ see, Carl Mears, ” He is best known for his work with Frank Wentz in developing a satellite temperature record from MSU and AMSU. Intercomparison of this record with the earlier UAH satellite temperature record, developed by John Christy and Roy Spencer, revealed deficiencies in the earlier work; specifically, the warming trend in the RSS version is larger than the UAH one.”

        So I guess Wikipedia should be updated to show there is a deficiency in his work? Like that’ll happen.

        Carl Mears comment on the TT Hot Spot from Cliamte Dialogue, “I think all three of us agree that the observed temperature changes in the tropics (and globally) are less than predicted over the last 35 years. John uses this fact to argue that there are fundamental flaws in all climate models, and that there results should be excluded from influencing policy decisions. This goes much too far. First, many imperfect models are used to inform policy makers in many areas, including models of the economy, population growth, environmental toxins, new medicines, traffic flow, etc. etc. As pointed out by a commenter in this thread, policy makers are used to dealing with uncertain predictions. If we throw out all imperfect models, we will be reduced to consulting the pattern of tea leaves on the bottom of our cups to make decisions about the future. Second, as I argue below, there are many possible reasons for this discrepancy, and only a few substantially influence the long-term predictions.”

        One of those possible reasons that would impact long-term predictions is that some portion of the current warming isn’t related to atmospheric “forcing”. That would be a possible longer term persistent trend likely due to LIA recovery and/or orbital precession. With a much lower sensitivity to atmospheric forcing due to CO2, there would be a much smaller TT Hot Spot.

      • JCH and Jim D. You may know that UAH compares well to radiosonde data. I suppose Mears believes the radiosonde data is also wrong – well , it stands to reason he must believe the radiosonde data to be wrong.

        I think that would make him wrong.

      • Excellent last paragraph in your 7:21 from Carl Mears, Cap’n.
        ==============================

      • JCH and jim2,

        That is a plot of the temperature difference between ERSSTv3b and RSS LTL for the nino3.4 region. The average temperature of SST is ~300k and the average temperature of the LTL is ~279K, let’s call the SST apples and LTL apple juice. Climate Explorer doesn’t have the plain RSS lower stratosphere, but the shape of that temperature difference plot is very similar to the shape of the stratospheric cooling during the satellite era. In case you were wondering, the approximate energy difference between SST and LTL is 116 Wm-2. There is energy constantly flowing in and through the atmosphere. The energy flowing through the surface of the ocean isn’t always in synch with the energy flowing through the TLT. If you are using “surface” temperature as your frame of reference, the RSS data indicates a “Pause” in “surface” warming that coincides with the reduction in atmospheric sulfates. The oceans basically have shifted into an uptake mode. Isn’t that neat? You can compare two different measurements of two different things and get some information out of it!

        Of course there are other satellites doing more direct measurements so you don’t really need to use MSU data as your personal atmospheric Wattmeter.

        There have been satellites estimating OLR since 1974 which do a pretty good job.

        If you do though, the old RSS and Reynolds oiV2 SST data ( with lower stratosphere inverted) anomalies looked like this. You could even use
        the limited AQUA data to calibrate your Wattmeter. It would be nice if more of the data sets were available in absolute temperature instead of homogenized anomalies with absolute temperature guestimates of +/- a degree or three. .

        Pretty good for Government work I think.

        Now JCH, if you don’t like the “pause” remember that relates to the lower troposphere which is RSS and UAH’s turf. If you are concerned about OHC and changes in uptake, that would be SST and ARGO’s turf. If you really want to confuse yourself, use “surface” temperatures which are 70% ocean stuff and 30% lower troposphere stuff.

        And since Nino has 4 regions and likely will need another one or two, you might want to think about the actual data instead of the “oscillation” based on a limited time frame since there appears to be a longer term trend that the keepers of the Nino will need to adjust here pretty soon.

        The longer term trend, likely due to the grossly underestimated ocean bulk layer lag time, doesn’t produce the same atmospheric response that say over estimated 3x(2xCO2) forcing would produce. Aren’t you glad we gots lots of data to play with?

    • Tony,

      We are certainly not seeing a decline in temperatures, so please show some self respect and stay away from this pseudoscientific jargon. You cannot have the warmest decade capped by the warmest year on record and talk about declining temperature. Really, I give you more credit than that, but perhaps that is misplaced.

      • Rgates

        Excuse me, but please look at the CRU graph I posted. What are they showing? They are not my figures.

        Are you saying CRU and the MET Office are pseudoscientific? Some here might agree. I coudn’t possibly comment. Apology required.

        tonyb

      • Tony, the get to “declining temperatures” you have to carefully define a beginning and ending point and use a specific averaging technique that does not pass the honesty test– specifically you need to use the 1998 El Niño year. 2010, and now very likely 2014 will be the warmest years out of the warmest average decade out of the warmest average 20 year period on record. How, in any way can you suggest that we are cooling?

      • Science says: “2014 could very likely become the warmest year on instrument record.”

        Pseudoscience says: “The globe is cooling, and those who say it is not are fudging the numbers…so there!”

      • “Are you saying CRU and the MET Office are pseudoscientific? Some here might agree. I coudn’t possibly comment. Apology required.”
        —–
        Tony, it is you who put the term “cooling” out there. It is pseudoscience to suggest the planet is in a “cooling” period. That would be pseudoscience spin. The hiatus, represented or represents a flattening to the rapid rise, but as we’ve seen this year, that flattening in no way translates to cooling.

      • Rgates

        I said that on the basis of the figures there was a pause or decline in the anomaly ( I am sure neither of us would claim anything based on one years)

        I did not use the word cooling. Look at the charts again and tell me based on the trend line you see as to whether they are accelerating, remaining broadly static or am marginally declining? This latter very slight and we are best to talk of a pause I think.

        If you see anything else in the data please clarify what it is and then confirm on what basis the CRU date is pseudoscientific?

        Tonyb

      • In HC4 the strongest trend is probably 1975 thru 2005. The trend from 1975 to present on HC4 is less, but not by much.

      • Tony said: “Looks like this might be the warmest year in the short reliable record, but interestingly the pause or decline continues.”
        ——
        Are you going to suggest that “decline continues” is not exactly the same meaning as “cooling”? Really Tony, in Britain declining temperatures don’t mean cooling? Must be a nuance thing.

      • Gates
        As noted above, October was .04 C degrees above October 98 and 10. Are you getting in a lather about that? Wow. When watching Popeye cartoons did Olive Oyl get your magic twanger going too?

      • Rgates

        You are being evasive.

        Please Look at all three graphs and tell me what the trend line of each of them are doing. Thank you.

        Tonyb

      • Rgates

        To save you the trouble of scrolling up, here is the chart again. See how helpful I am?

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/22/week-in-review-36/#comment-649662

        Now, put it up on your iPad make it it larger and tell me what the trend line of each are doing. Then please explain why CRU/Met office are pseudo scientific?

        Tonyb

      • Tony,
        Please tell me what that “trend line” represents? How was it calculated (what average period was used?). What it is telling us is that there were several warm years (but not record warm years) in a row at the beginning of the trend line period, even though the warmest years of the period (2010 and 2014) came at the end. This is the danger of reaching too far with a trend line, since the period of the trend line is crucial to defining a trend.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: Tony,

        We are certainly not seeing a decline in temperatures, so please show some self respect and stay away from this pseudoscientific jargon.

        Could you please quote some of this so-called pseudoscientific jargon so we can know what you mean?

      • Rgates

        I repeat that they are not some figures I invented on wood for trees or something.

        They are from CRU/Met office who have many years experience, hundreds of scientists and a new 100 million pound computer

        http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

        You accused them of pseudoscience and me of claiming something you Then scoffed at.

        I am merely pointing out there is a pause or decline and that none of the three graphs show temperaturs accelerating. Do you see something different to me? We can both agree I am sure that any decline is so minimal that it has No statistical merit and that the bigger story is of a pause or hiatus.

        If you want to ask one of the most famous And best funded climate organisations a question About their Suspect data please pose it and I will forward it to Phil Jones or Richard Betts

        In the meantime please acknowledge that what I said at the start of this exchange was correct even If best viewed on an iPad where the graph can be expanded

        Tonyb

      • “In the meantime please acknowledge that what I said at the start of this exchange was correct even If best viewed on an iPad where the graph can be expanded.”
        —-
        What specifically would you like me to acknowledge?

        2014 likely to be the warmest year on record? Acknowledged.

        The two warmest years on record have been in the past 5. 2010 and 2014. Acknowledged.

        The warmest decade on record will be the past decade. 2005-2014. Acknowledged.

        A hiatus in the rate of rise in temps does not equal declining temps. Acknowledged.

      • “You accused them of pseudoscience and me of claiming something you Then scoffed at.”
        —-
        Never ever accused them of pseudoscience. It is interpretation of data that becomes an opening for pseudoscience. The trend line is the point of departure. There is no trend line in the data. How you draw the curve and then interpret that curve is where pseudoscience rules. What averaging period you select and then what dynamics you apply to explain the resulting curve is key.

      • Tony, it is obvious that Gates is a highly accomplished scientist – probably on par with Einstein. Argument with such a towering intellect is a fools errand, dontchaknow.

      • Rgates

        It is unlike you to be so evasive. If I made this song and dance about Giss figures you would rightly accuse me of being a science denier, but you are doing exactly this. The CRU data is what it is, the trend line is what it is. if you have any queries about their accuracy I am sure CRU and the met office will be pleased to answer your specific query.

        The data is what I described at the outset of this conversation.
        Tonyb

      • Jim2

        Did you see my reply to you about historic blizzards?

        Tonyb

      • Thank you, Tony. Looking now.

      • I will state this:

        Tony is an honorable man who is quite knowledgable about climate history. His interpretation of CRU trend lines is correct – it shows a declining trend line in temperatures.

        What is crtitical to note is that trend lines do not exist in the data, and thus are added as metadata later, and nearly any trendline can be drawn based on an averaging period and selected begin and end points and thus subject to pseudoscientific interpretation. The actual data do not show declining temperatures, but a flat 15 year period of little rise, with the warmest temps at that end of that period. 2010 and 2014.

      • Here’s another trend line you could apply to the CRU data:

        And you could create lots of pseudoscience and real science around these trends as well. But the point is the period chosen for the trend, and what meaning (dynamics) you apply to explain the trend.

      • Rgates

        When you next see those like Jimd who insist the temperatures are still rising rapidly perhaps you can mention to them about this flat 15 year period .

        You are back on my Christmas card list. If I sent Christmas cards that is.

        Tonyb

      • ‘The subject of decadal to inter-decadal climate variability is of intrinsic importance not only scientifically but also for society as a whole. Interpreting past variability and making informed projections about potential future variability requires (i) identifying the dynamical processes internal to the climate system that underlie such variability [see, e.g., Mantua et al., 1997; Zhang et al., 1997, 2007; Knight et al., 2005; Dima and Lohmann, 2007], and (ii) recognizing the chain of events that mark the onset of large amplitude variability events, i.e., shifts in the climate state. Such shifts mark changes in the qualitative behavior of climate modes of variability, as well as breaks in trends of hemispheric and global mean temperature. The most celebrated of these shifts in the instrumental record occurred in 1976/77. That particular winter ushered in an extended period in which the tropical Pacific Ocean was warmer than normal, with strong El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events occurring after that time, contrasting with the weaker ENSO variability in the decades before [Hoerling et al., 2004; Huang et al., 2005]. Global mean surface temperature also experienced a trend break, transitioning from cooling in the decades prior to 1976/77 to the strong warming that characterized the remainder of the century.

        Extension of this analysis to the entire 20th century as shown in Figure 1 (bottom) reveals three climate shifts marked by breaks in the temperature trend with respect to time, superimposed upon an overall warming presumably due to increasing greenhouse gasses. Global mean temperature decreased prior to World War I, increased during the 1920s and 1930s, decreased from the 1940s to 1976/77, and as noted above increased from that point to the end of the century. Insofar as the global mean temperature is controlled by the net top-of-the-atmosphere radiative budget [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007], such breaks in temperature trends imply discontinuities in that budget. Such discontinuities are difficult to reconcile with the presumed smooth evolution of anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol radiative forcing with respect to time [Hansen et al., 2005]. This suggests that an internal reorganization of the climate system may underlie such shifts [Zhang et al., 2007].’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL037022/full

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2002/trend

        It suggests that the true believers like Randy the video guy are quibbling about the edges hoping against hope that the fundamental dynamical mechanism at the core of climate is not.

      • R Gates, let’s assume you looked at the chart supplied by Tony. Here’s how you can tell if the chart indicates a declining temperature. If the line on the chart moves from the upper left to the lower right, that part of the chart indicates a declining temperature. No need to pick points or any of that, just believe your own eyeballs.

      • Jim2

        “R Gates, let’s assume you looked at the chart supplied by Tony. Here’s how you can tell if the chart indicates a declining temperature. If the line on the chart moves from the upper left to the lower right, that part of the chart indicates a declining temperature. No need to pick points or any of that, just believe your own eyeballs.”

        Well said. Gates couldn’t see the trend without a trend line. There’s probably a description of the malady in the psychology books.

        Richard

      • If you looked at HadCrut4 on Wood for Trees, I mean really looked, you would see it’s up datedly only to 2014.5.

        GISS to present is slightly positive.
        UAH to present is slightly positive.

        So what? It’s from 2002.

        If HADCRAP4 were updated to present, it would probably still be negative. So what?

    • Exactly. The wordsmithing/play on words of the subject of probilities in this whole discussion is mind-numbing.

      • barn E. Rubble

        RE: rls | November 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        Jim2
        ” . . . There’s probably a description of the malady in the psychology books.”

        Paging Dr. Lewandowsky . . .

  6. “This is not an ‘either-or’ decision: coordinated action on both climate change and air pollution is necessary,” according to a recent Nature article. They follow that up with the inane example of ride-sharing. You would think Leftists would appreciate the opinion of a global warming skeptic that pollution exists and that we can, should and have done much to prevent it in America; but no, not if you do not also buy into the fiction that CO2 is a pollutant too.

  7. lemiere jacques

    but how many people die because of toilets?

  8. Google’s accurate summation of the conumdrum we’re in:

    “We decided to combine our energy innovation study’s best-case scenario results with Hansen’s climate model to see whether a 55 percent emission cut by 2050 would bring the world back below that 350-ppm threshold. Our calculations revealed otherwise. Even if every renewable energy technology advanced as quickly as imagined and they were all applied globally, atmospheric CO2 levels wouldn’t just remain above 350 ppm; they would continue to rise exponentially due to continued fossil fuel use. So our best-case scenario, which was based on our most optimistic forecasts for renewable energy, would still result in severe climate change, with all its dire consequences: shifting climatic zones, freshwater shortages, eroding coasts, and ocean acidification, among others. Our reckoning showed that reversing the trend would require both radical technological advances in cheap zero-carbon energy, as well as a method of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestering the carbon.”

    Hence, the big push to geoengineering for carbon sequestration.

    • RGates

      A better question, which I asked 10 leading scientists, is what temperature reduction would be achieved if we dropped back to 350ppm

      tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Mr. Gates
        google it?
        don’t need to
        prediction for ‘ya
        extinction inevitable
        source: fossil record
        reminder from the Black Prince…
        “as you are, once was I, as I am, so shall you be”

        you don’t believe Gaia answers our prayers?
        we are “responsible” to Her, are we not?

        It is interesting that you believe in the dominion of Man, yet claim there is no one to hear my prayers

      • Noting that we haven’t reached an equilibrium for 400 ppm, 350 ppm would keep temperatures at something like today’s temperatures. If you like the climate the way it is, you would ask for 350 ppm. What is more important about that is that it somewhat preserves sea levels too, so if you like sea levels the way they are, that is another reason to opt for 350 ppm.

      • I can see an entirely new and equally entertaining topic for debate here: “If you like the climate the way it is, you would ask for 350 ppm.”

        If I have money, and own lots of property inland, I might opt for a higher amount (presuming CO2 does as modeled) :) in order to increase the sea levels. And conversely should you have a lot of money and own a lots of property over there………………this has all the elements………….ah, yes, yet another can of worms.

    • Good question to ask Tony, and very relevant if Anthropocene geoengineering efforts proceed in the coming decades. What is the optimum CO2 level and do we dial it up or down to counter other forcings as needed? In essence , can we keep our planet always in a optimum state if geoengineering advances to that point?

      • Nope, but we can argue over ‘optimum’ forever.
        ===============

      • I might just add that ‘climate optima’ has long been the term for the warmest portions of our temperature history.
        =============

      • No doubt warmer is better but it is always relative to warmer than what? There is always a Goldilocks point which is not to cold and not too warm. Future Anthropocene management practices might be geared to keep us in that condition. Really depends on if we can get the HCV under control.

      • Goldilocks dwells well beyond our capacity to reach there. It’s a Human Carbon Cornucopia, until we empty it.
        ===============

      • “What is the optimum CO2 level and do we dial it up or down to counter other forcings as needed? In essence , can we keep our planet always in a optimum state if geoengineering advances to that point?”

        You guys have no clue how scary you are.

      • Put on your big boy pants pokerguy and face up to the challenges ahead. Humans need to own up to the responsibility of dominating this planet so extensively.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Mr. Gates, you say

        “humans need to own up to the responsibility of dominating this planet so extensively”

        I shall don my hair shirt immediately, and chant prayers on my knees the night through, for the sin of heating my house

        may Gaia forgive me

        but, it’s been really cold here, I mean, for the warmest year on “record”

        those dinosaurs never took any responsibility either, and look what happened to them

      • If we can’t stop global warming, we have two options. We can panic, or we can adjust. Personally, I think we should begin work on flood control, storm water management, coastal erosion, watershed management, building practices, etc. Another angle is global trade in agricultural products as a risk management strategy. All this tussle over whether it is or isn’t happening and absurd expenditures on dubious renewable energy projects is a waste of time and money. In contrast, flood control planning is always valuable, whether it warms or not.

        Where are the adults in the room?

      • “I shall don my hair shirt immediately, and chant prayers on my knees the night through, for the sin of heating my house.”
        —-
        That’s a nice jesture, but there’s no one listening to your chant. If we figure out how to deal with our local entropy we survive and if we don’t we go extinct. Probably has something to do with the Great Filter and the Fermi Paradox. Google it.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Mr. Gates
        reply above
        flubbed thread
        :)
        don’t know about pokerguy, but I don’t like big boy pants

      • The Google report says – apart from the ubiquitous claims of impending cataclysm – that high cost and intermittent renewables are utterly incapable of shifting the trajectory of emissions. Well duh – people have saying this for many years. The obvious solution is energy innovation. Nor does this seem much of an issue. Proven technologies are available and are on a fast track to accelerated commercialization.

        The human race is nowhere near extinction. We will continue into the future expanding and refining democratic institutions, growing economies and creating new and better technologies.

        Although there do seem to be a core of wildly fanatical fantasists with millennialist delusions. Bizarre little twerps for the most part.

      • Not that you need me, but:”The human race is nowhere near extinction. We will continue into the future expanding and refining democratic institutions, growing economies and creating new and better technologies.”

        Hear! Hear!

      • “Mr. Gates, don’t know about pokerguy, but I don’t like big boy pants.”
        —–
        Well, you can always stay in your diapers then.

      • John Carpenter

        “If we figure out how to deal with our local entropy we survive and if we don’t we go extinct. ”

        Where is Joshua when we need him?

    • If we start building small and large nuclear plants as fast as possible, we would spread out the burning of fossil fuels over more time. This is an important point since the CO2 cycle is dynamic. There are sources and natural sinks that sequester CO2. If CO2 generation is spread out over a longer time span, the sinks have more time to work.

      • Independent of CAGW, nukes are a reliable method of producing power no matter what the circumstances. You won’t see nat gas, diesel, wind turbines, coal, or solar panels driving an aircraft carrier. It ‘s all about power density. It’s time to grow up.

    • “So our best-case scenario, which was based on our most optimistic forecasts for renewable energy, would still result in severe climate change, with all its dire consequences: shifting climatic zones, freshwater shortages, eroding coasts, and ocean acidification, among others.”

      Severe climate change, eh?
      1. More CO2 (with lower plant water consumption) mitigates the “drought” issue. A win for more CO2.

      2. Shifting climate zones. So far on (since 1982) average the earth has gotten a lot greener on average, despite a lot of forest burning. Seems like a win.

      3. Fresh water shortages. As Jim Steele loves to point out – it doesn’t take a lot of tinkering on the ground to mess up hydrology and man is pumping a lot of ground water. At least they won’t need as much water for irrigation.

      4. Eroding coasts. This is a complex issue with a number of man made causes. Will making the ocean less alkaline affect affect it significantly? This one we’ll leave on the table since the amount change and the reason for the warming contribution wasn’t quantified.

      http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/decline-in-ph-measured-at/ome01/image_original
      5. Acidification of the Ocean. It will get less alkaline – but it won’t become acid. PH is one of those log function thingies and it is going asymptotic. It appears to be impossible to drive the PH below around an 8.04 average but if you want to claim 8.02 by 2100 go ahead. Still alkaline.

  9. All of these articles coming out about the burning of wood an coal for mundane human activities is the latest fad –e.g., the linked article: ◾ Bloomberg: Cheap electricity squeezes out solar in India bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-1…

    It’s a transparent attempt by the Left to conflate humanity’s production of CO2 with pollution. CO2 doesn’t kill millions of people a year, pollution does. It’s time science learned the difference.

    This new sort of phony science reminds me of Michener book Journey, which was chopped out of the book Alaska to help size it down a bit. The characters wanted to go to Alaska during the gold rush but couldn’t bring themselves to cross America — because they were so… English! — but, to accomplish they could only get there by crossing Canada. Michener killed them all off except for the Irish servant, and so, the only character that gets the gold.

    • I can’t support burning wood – a precise of necessity for the third world poor to survive and a luxury for first world elites.

      Forests protect watersheds, reduce flooding, fortify stream-banks, maintain food producing fisheries, provide valuable wildlife habitat, stabilize soils, provide shade, reduce heat, remove and store CO2, and produce oxygen. To cut forests down to burn them is a bad idea – I would prefer to keep the forests and burn the coal, and I don’t like coal either.

      I love Michener’s books. A great read about Alaska is “Coming Into the Country” by John McPhee, especially the story about “the last pork chop” – a poetic description of the prisoner’s dilemma.

      The Irish are tough, as most of the weak were sorted out of the gene pool by the famine, immigration, and English domination. Those of us that survived created the USA. Not a bad legacy. I’d take Ronald Reagan over BO on any day.

      • Nonsense, future generations of scouts deserve to have smores not microwaved or over fires with catalytic converters. Industrial wood burning though is just plain nutz. We should have evolved a bit further than that by now. I guess the UK is going through a second industrial childhood.

      • Cap

        Not nonsense but I support a campfires – they have minimal impact and lots of benefits. My sons are scouts. It makes no sense for first-worlders To burn the local trees all day all winter when they have access to and can afford to buy energy from the local utility which burns relative clean nat gas. We have serious air pollution problems here due to the incomplete combustion in luxury wood stoves operated by careless and thoughtless amateurs.

        I was looking to buy land in Brazil but was deterred when I saw that the poor locals were hacking, with machetes, every sapling to burn to make charcoal. The forest, already clear cut and overgrazed, had no hope of recovery. You won’t see that story in the happy talk MSM articles on the state of the rainforest. It would be better to give those people free propane or butane, but the cultural preference for charcoal would persist. You have to consider cultural practices when trying to change things, and that is a tough nut.

    • I forgot to say, the English turned to coal, which they hated, when they lost all of their trees to coke production.

    • It is impossible to say that US air quality isn’t better than in 1970. It isn’t clear how far back into the first half of the 20th century you have to go to find similar air quality. There are some problems left to nibble at but air quality is pretty good in the US.

      And then there is CO2. Anyone who conflates CO2 with pollution is trying to support a weak argument with deception.

      CO2 emissions are NOT pollution. CO2 is NOT a pollutant.

  10. Will GOP put climate science back on trial? [http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/e2-wire/224275-will-gop-put-climate-science-back-on-trial]

    Well, this is actually good news. The data has been adjusted for various reasons (models, “homogenization and pasteurization”, etc.) and the changes invariably make the data more “global warming” friendly.

    Forcing the adjusters to cough up their data and methods and justify them is a useful exercise. The adjusters might have legitimate reasons that are well supported. If the adjusters don’t congress can cut off their funding and eliminate the problem.

    • Sadly, the far right reactionary elements of the GOP will likely continue the rapid pace of American decline in science overall. Not a good time to be a real scientist, but pseudoscience should have a golden age.

      • IOW, business as usual.

      • Yep. The dumbing down of ‘Merica continues.

      • To be clear, I know many lefties that will believe anything. Most were deselected from a STEM career path by fractions and will believe anything as long as it is consistent with their values, like global warming.

      • To be clear…many “righties” will believe anything as well, as long as it fits their world view. This is a human trait, not a politically determined one.

      • My wife is a lefty. When I first met her in the student union I was carrying textbook called Archery. She was carry a textbook called Combinatorics. When her mother died we cleaned out her house. I found my wife’s IQ test from grade school. She scored higher than Feynman. A lot higher. Me, I hit a bullseye.

      • Common Core, a leftie concoction, is decimating public school curriculum all over the country.

      • nottawa rafter

        RG
        A Yale professor did a study that found Conservatives scored higher on scientific literacy than Left Wing Extremists. There goes another Liberal myth down the drain.

      • Where did independents fall?

      • R.Gates

        “To be clear…many “righties” will believe anything as well, as long as it fits their world view. This is a human trait, not a politically determined one.”

        We are in agreement there! I raise my cup of coffee to you! BTW, almost all my friends are lefties, but I love them anyway. :)

      • Some people will believe anything. Sign the petition.

      • John Carpenter

        “Yep. The dumbing down of ‘Merica continues.”

        Legalizing the ganja will help too.

      • Gate’s Human Carbon Volcano (TM) having failed to gain any traction, he now tries a new game of calling anyone who fails to agree with him a pseudscience practitioner.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: Sadly, the far right reactionary elements of the GOP will likely continue the rapid pace of American decline in science overall. Not a good time to be a real scientist, but pseudoscience should have a golden age.

        The claim that some elements of the GOP have contributed to the decline in American science is insupportable. At worst they have slowed the increase in govt support in a few fields.

        As to pseudoscience, who has pushed the diverse and mostly bogus “alternative medicine” “research”? Who is pushing the extreme alarmist view of CO2 and warming? “The science” is full of holes, and what is solid supports a small increase over a long period of time, that might not be harmful ever and certainly not any time soon. A yard of sea level rise? Every year with multiple Katrinas? The end of snow in Great Britain and New England? Ice free Arctic summers by 2013? Propaganda films with exploding heads? Advocacy of arrests of skeptics for “crimes against humanity”?

        As you wrote later, pseudoscience is bipartisan.

      • “The claim that some elements of the GOP have contributed to the decline in American science is insupportable.”
        _____
        The party that consistently proposes big cuts to science research is the GOP– especially research that might go against their cherished (and patron backed) interests. Sadly, that would be most science research.

      • Rgates

        Science research in general is vital.

        Any idea what percentage of GDP America spends on such research and how that compares globally?

        Tonyb

      • “Gate’s Human Carbon Volcano (TM) having failed to gain any traction, he now tries a new game of calling anyone who fails to agree with him a pseudscience practitioner.”
        _____
        The HCV is doing just fine…erupting more vigorously than ever, and adding to already record rise in GH gases.

        As far people not agreeing with me–nope both real scientists and pseudoscientists disagree with me at times. I simply ignore the pseudoscientists, which gives me a lot more time to try and understand the points of disagreement with real scientists, which ultimately expands my knowledge base as I have much to learn.

      • I give you more credit than you give you. You’re here, plodding it out, and if you like it or not you’re taking in differing perspectives. It works for me, and if you’ll consider it I’d bet you’d say it works for you too.

        Those on the AGW side may be convinced they have sufficient evidence to overcome any/all issues but they don’t, and neither does the “skeptical side”. I evaluate “denier’s” a bit differently as much is ideology and not science.

        Those that support all your goals have much less reason to evaluate honestly, and those in opposition have every reason to do so.

        And besides that, R. Gates, I think you like it just a little bit.

      • “Rgates

        Science research in general is vital.

        Any idea what percentage of GDP America spends on such research and how that compares globally?

        Tonyb
        _____
        That is an excellent question Tony, and one which would be interesting to know if you could get a completely accurate number. Since the research is divided up into so many different categories, with a lot being “dark” Department of Defense contracts as well, it is hard to do an overall total. But for pure (non Defense Related) scientific research in certain categories, the GOP being in control of the budget will see some PhD’s going to work at Walmart or Home Depot.

    • “Forcing the adjusters to cough up their data and methods and justify them is a useful exercise. The adjusters might have legitimate reasons that are well supported. If the adjusters don’t congress can cut off their funding and eliminate the problem.”

      all the code is open
      all the data is open
      the methods have been tested in double blind studies.

      go get the code, test for yourself

    • This maturity diagram shows the changes made to historic data after the fact.

      Note: there were about 93 years to correct the 1915 data before 2008 and they just didn’t get it done in 93 years that were available.

      If we had shut down the NOAA and NASA climate departments in May 2008 28% of the temperature increase between the year 1915 and the year 2000 could have been averted.

    • Matthew R Marler

      PA Forcing the adjusters to cough up their data and methods and justify them is a useful exercise. The adjusters might have legitimate reasons that are well supported. If the adjusters don’t congress can cut off their funding and eliminate the problem.

      Lots of that is available, if not all of it. Do you have concerns about particular “adjusters”, data, or methods? If so you should name them.

  11. Climate “Grubering”, the essence of the orthodox left-wing academic “consensus” will be a main focus of Chairman Inhofe. The tide turns.

    • Yeah, cwon14, it looks like Inhofe is going to play whack-a-mole with global warmers for the next two years. Don’t know if it will be enlightening but it will be entertaining.

      • “Yeah, cwon14, it looks like Inhofe is going to play whack-a-mole with global warmers for the next two years. Don’t know if it will be enlightening but it will be entertaining.”
        _______
        We can hope this new Golden Age of Pseudoscience and Witch Hunting doesn’t last too long. The longer it lasts, the further behind the rest of the modern world our country will be in terms of science literacy…and we’re already pretty far behind.

    • Inhofe lost his job of oversight gov oprns so what committee does he lead now?
      Scott

      • He is the ranking member (and incoming chairman) of the Committee on environment and public works. He is going to have loads of fun.

    • “Climate “Grubering”, the essence of the orthodox left-wing academic “consensus” will be a main focus of Chairman Inhofe. The tide turns.”
      ____
      Oh, you mean the witch hunting commences.

      • Okay. I’ll be the first to admit I’m naieve and polyanna at times. But should not any congressional scrutiny either establish credibility or blow it out of the water entirely and move us forward. Look at the results of the Benghazi review. Turned out in the heat of things some errors were made, but they were PR in nature and not the substance which the MSM used to sell. That evaluation came from a GOP committee. I, for one, would welcome an appropriate evaluation of “the consensus”. If we stay mired in minutia we’ll never progress. We can’t eat the entire pie at once so let’s start with one bite. What’s the concern?

  12. From the article:

    The key to their process is genetic engineering. The microbes they grow were genetically tuned to consume carbon dioxide and secrete specific molecules, such as ethanol or diesel. The carbon dioxide would be supplied from the flue gases of a power plant or other polluter.

    Not only is it a radically different approach, it’s a big financial bet. The company has raised $160 million, led by Flagship Ventures.

    Joule has been operating a demonstration plant in Hobbs, New Mexico that produces ethanol, and says that in recent months, the results of its tests show that the company is nearing commercialization. “We know it works,” says Tom Einar Jensen, the head of corporate development at the company. “We are getting close to commercial levels of productivity, not taking into consideration subsidies.”

    In July, the company got approval from the EPA to use its genetically modified microbe for biofuel or chemical production—a significant requirement to commercializing its technology and the first time the EPA has approved this type of GMO for commercial use.

    http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2014/11/20/biofuel-survivor-joule-lands-new-ceo-plans-larger-co2-to-fuel-plants/

    • I think microbes, archea and bacteria, including the GMO versions, are going to play a big role in the future. That said, predictions are difficult, especially about the future. :)

    • Great if it really works. Not holding my breath for it to be economic.

    • steve – I’m not sure if it will work, either, but it’s an interesting attempt. My question has to do with the same boogie-men that haunt every solar project 1) large amount of acreage needed and more importantly 2) the plant will only make fuel when the Sun shines – less than half the time.

      Politically, it has going for it that it could take the waste stream of a cement or coal plant, the CO2, and utilize it to make fuel. Also, the plant can use sea water instead of scarcer and scarcer fresh water. The plant does not need bagasse or the remains of crop plants after harvest, when those can be put to better purpose. Bacteria, Sun light, CO2, and seawater – the last two are cheap. The Sunlight requires acreage.

    • I think the German catalytic process has a better shot – and if it was sited at a coal fired power plant where it had concentrated CO2 and waste steam it should be very cost effective (it would need less solar power or power of any kind).

    • Splitting water is expensive. No matter how you do it.

    • Matthew R Marler

      jim2: http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2014/11/20/biofuel-survivor-joule-lands-new-ceo-plans-larger-co2-to-fuel-plants/

      The field has been making steady progress. The key will be engineering, and economically sound upscaling.

  13. The Left is dedicated to Gruber-think in betting the public is too stupid to both walk and chew gum. The Left believes us folks cannot be for fighting pollution while at the same time have a clear understanding that AGW theory is nothing more than a political tool that Leftists Climate Change propagandists use to take over the American economy and grow government at the expense of wealth-creating free enterprise in particular and in general, at the expense of Americanism, which is a socio-political system based on respect for individual liberty.

    • Wag – that’s actually a good bet. As evidence I give you exhibit “A” – Barack Obama.

      Alex. De Toq. predicted this would happen as soon as Americans discovered they could vote themselves bennies out of the public treasury, like, for example, “free health care”. You can read about the power of free in Dan Ariely’s book “Predictably Irrational”.

      Let the race to the bottom begin, where everyone finishes last!

  14. I just love the “Week in Review” – it’s a magazine within a blog. We get tossed intellectual bones over which we can duke it out! We have reading material for a week! Thanks Judith!

  15. Joseph O'Sullivan

    The last article “The Greening of Obama” from Politico touches on Obama’s record on the environment. It is mixed according to many environmentalists, including me. He has been dragging his feet on pollution regulations and has taken a step back on endanger species protection.

    The Center for Progressive Reform identified 13 areas that were in need of regulations and found Obama was late or not taking action on 11 of them.
    http://www.progressivereform.org/13RulesHome.cfm

    The Center for Biological Diversity is currently suing the Obama Administration for weakening the Endangered Species Act.
    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2014/endangered-species-act-06-27-2014.html

  16. Matthew R Marler

    The enduring legacy of Obama’s worst-ever environmental decision: [link]

    A seeming paradox: Obama’s EPA prepares to clamp down on CO2, at the same time that Obama has for years stifled the new EPA regs on ozone. That seems paradoxical, because ozone clearly poses a more imminent danger. My first suspicion is that the WH suspects that the new EPA regs would have negative electoral consequences in the large mostly Democratic-voting urban areas.

    • Matthew, everything makes sense if you take the view that it is all about getting money and creating coalitions to win elections. To restate a modified version of Bill Clinton’s credo, “it’s about the elections, stupid”.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Justin Wonder: Matthew, everything makes sense if you take the view that it is all about getting money and creating coalitions to win elections.

        Yes, but not everything that makes sense turns out to be true, especially conjectures about other people’s motives. Our knowledge of other people’s motives is less reliable than we generally are aware of, or acknowledge.

      • Matthew, yes, you are correct. My guess about motives tells you more about my bias than about the truth. That said, I still think I am correct about BO, but I would say that, wouldn’t I? :)

    • Joseph O'Sullivan

      Matthew R Marler your suspicion is largely correct. Another issue to consider is that environmentalists do not think it goes far enough while the right says it goes too far. It was announced Thanksgiving week to make sure it wouldn’t get a lot of press coverage.

  17. Matthew R Marler

    I have always wanted to write a letter to the editors of Science Magazine, and this past week I finally wrote one that I thought had sufficient merit actually to email it to them. Here is is in full. If anyone can find errors, please let me know — so far, the few people who have read the letter have not disclosed any errors to me. Note that the letter does not criticize Romps et al, either their general approach or specific details.

    Comment on Romps et al
    by
    Matthew R. Marler

    According to Romps et al, (1) an increase of 1C in global mean surface temperature is calculated to increase the rate of cloud-to-ground lightning discharges by 12%, +/- 5%. They say that this amount is directly proportional to the rate of energy transfer from the surface by evapotranspiration. They get the rate by multiplying the energy available times the rainfall rate. Essentially, their causal analysis, or narration, is that increased temperature produces faster evaporation and rainfall, and the increased rate of energy transfer in that speeded up process is what raises the lightning rate by 12%. Notice the implication of the proportionality assumption: according to the energy flow diagram published by Trenberth et al (2), the average rate of transfer of energy from surface to upper troposphere by evapotranspiration is 80 W/m^2, 12% of which is 9.6(range 5.6 to 13.6) W/m^2. The effect of doubling the CO2 concentration is to increase downwelling LWIR by 4 W/m^2. (3 p. 48) It must be obvious that a doubling of CO2 concentration does not provide a sufficient increase in power both to raise the water temperature by 1C and to increase the lightning flash rate by 12%. If the entire 4 W/m^2 were invested in the evapotranspiration/cloud/rainfall process (if the increased radiation is added to the surfaces where evaporation is already occurring), the maximum rate increase would be 4/80.0 = 5%, and that would produce no temperature increase at all. These calculations work in reverse as well: if Romps et al are accurate, the increase in CO2 since 1850 has not provided a sufficient increase in the rate of radiant energy transfer to the Earth surface to have warmed it 0.9C.

    I look forward to more refined calculations from others.

    References

    1. Romps, D. M., J. T. Seeley, D. Vollaro and J. Molinari, 2014: Projected increase in lightning strikes in the United States due to global warming. Science, 346, 851-854.

    2. Trenberth, K.E., J. T. Fasullo, and J. Kiehl, 2009: Earth’s global energy budget. Bull Amer Meteor Soc, 90, 311-23.

    3.Randall, D., 2012: Atmosphere, Clouds and Climate, Princeton, Princeton University Press.

    • Matthew

      I assume the figures you quote are accurate so will not query those.

      A comment about layout in that it is In effect one very long paragraph. Might it read better if it were split into three paragraphs?

      Also you make a statement ‘that it must be obvious’. This is a bit wooly and would merit a little amplification just in case ot isn’t obvious to everyone, or are you assuming all those reading this will be experts in this field, in which case it’s fine.

      Other than that I have no comments.

      Tonyb

      • Matthew R Marler

        Tonyb, thank you for your comments. Should Science decide to publish at all (they get way too many letters to publish more than a small fraction), I expect they’ll want revisions, and I’ll remember your suggestions.

    • Matthew – You continue to misinterpret Romps et al. Here is my response (awaiting moderation) to your comment at RC:

      As Romps et al. state, the convective available potential energy (CAPE) is defined such that “…the product of CAPE and P [the precipitation rate] is the theoretical maximum rate at which kinetic energy is imparted to ascending water condensates…”. This is not the same as “the rate of energy transfer from the surface by evapotranspiration”, which is controlled to a large degree by the radiative state of the atmosphere.

      You can get some idea of how non-radiative energy transfer responds to changing CO2, and why the the Romps et al. study is peripheral to this subject, from Held and Soden and The Atmospheric Energy Constraint on Global-Mean Precipitation Change, by Pendergrass and Hartmann, available from Hartmann’s publications page.

      (Also, see my response to your questions on the “We are all confident idiots” thread.)

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen thank you. I did find an error in my letter. The authors wrote that the lighting strike rate is directly proportional to the energy transfer rate , not that the 12% increase is directly proportional to the lightning strike rate.

        “…the product of CAPE and P [the precipitation rate] is the theoretical maximum rate at which kinetic energy is imparted to ascending water condensates…”. This is not the same as “the rate of energy transfer from the surface by evapotranspiration”,

        Is the actual energy flow rate independent of the “theoretical maximum rate at which kinetic energy is imparted to ascending water condensates”? If so, why is the lightning strike rate proportional to the “theoretical maximum etc” instead of the actual energy transfer rate? Is it possible for a 4W/m^2 increase in power sufficient to power a 12% increase in the “theoretical maximum etc”.

        Or is the actual flow rate at least a monotonic or proportional function of the theoretical maximum? If not, how does an increase in the “theoretical maximum” produce an increase in actual lightning strike rate and fire rate, as the authors conclude?

        I agree that the “theoretical maximum” is not exactly the same as the actual “rate of energy transfer”, but unless they are strongly related then the authors have concluded something irrelevant to actual lightning strike rate, and the change in that rate.

        According to Trenberth et al, the rate of transfer of energy via evapotranspiration is, globally averaged, 80 W/m^2. Based on the paper by Romps et al, and the disparity between the “theoretical maximum etc” and the actual energy transfer rate, how much does the rate of energy transfer via evapotranspiration have to increase in order to power the 12% or so increase in the lightning strike rate? Is a 4 W/m^2 increase in downwelling LWIR sufficient to power both a 1C increase in surface water temperature and a 12% increase in lightning strike rate?

        My questions are not rhetorical questions. I think that you have highlighted a technical gap in my letter that does not undermine the basic thrust of my letter: the 4 W/m^2 increase in downwelling LWIR is not sufficient power to increase water temp by 1C and increase lightning strike frequency by 12%.

        Here is what the authors say about CAPE in the supporting online material: As the parcel is lifted to different pressures, its temperature, vapor mass fraction, and condensate loading are obtained using a root solver and an expression for equivalent potential temperature that accounts for the latent heat of fusion and the parcel’s varying heat capacity
        [1].

        P x CAPE produces an entity with units of J/m^2/sec. To me, those and other of the contents of their papers make me thing that P x CAPE is very close to the energy transfer rate, even if not exactly the same.

        The authors also write this: The efficiency h [eta] is the ratio of power per area dissipated by lightning to the CAPE per area per time available to condensates.We do not propose here a specific charging mechanism, but we note that most charging mechanisms are consistent with the notion that higher updraft speeds and water contents should yield higher flash rates

        Whatever the mechanism, it must include an energy transfer, and they show that the relatively simple proportionality of lightning strike rate to (P x CAPE) accounts for 77% of the variance in actual lightning strike rate in the Eastern US. In order for their overall argument to make sense, actual energy transfer rate must be at least monotonically related to (P x CAPE), and nearly proportional in the range of applicability here.

        Thank you again for your interest.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Matthew R Marler: not that the 12% increase is directly proportional to the lightning strike rate.

        My “correction” created a new error: that is supposed to read ” not that the 12% increase is directly proportional to the energy transfer rate. “

      • Matthew –

        Think of CAPE as a measure of the available kinetic energy for a parcel of air in an unstable situation, i.e., the convective instability of a thunderstorm. Lightning is caused by charge separation in moving air; rapid motions promote greater (or more pervasive) charge separation. But the kinetic energy of convective motions is still far less than the latent heat associated with evaporation/condensation. The latter is constrained energetically by how the atmosphere responds to the imbalance at the top.

        That is, one cannot simply compare the imbalance at the top of the atmosphere to any single component of the atmospheric energy transport because the radiative state within the atmosphere changes in response to the external forcing. Because the total energy content of the atmosphere changes little, small changes in the latent heating, sensible heat tranfer and radiative heating/cooling adjust to nearly balance.

        “On time scales longer than a year, atmospheric energy constrains precipitation. Latent heating of the atmosphere must be balanced by atmospheric cooling, which is primarily radiative.” (Pendergrass and Hartmann, DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00163.1). I recommend that you read that paper to get an idea of what is involved. Don’t be put off because it uses GCMs to make the quantitative arguments; the basic principles can be elucidated with simpler models.

        To summarize, I think that you made three errors:
        1. The increase in lightning rate is proportional to the “theoretical maximum rate at which kinetic energy is imparted to ascending water condensates”, which is not the rate of energy transfer from the surface by evapotranspiration.
        2. The change in latent heat relative to the Trenberth et al. baseline is only 1 – 2 %, not 12%.
        3. One cannot simply compare the imbalance at the top of the atmosphere to any single component of the atmospheric energy transport.

        Nevertheless, I applaud your composing a letter to Science. Perhaps you will receive a response less critical than mine; in any event that beats just relying on blog science. In the future, you might consider contacting the appropriate scientists directly. Most are quite willing to respond to well-thought-out, specific questions.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen: The increase in lightning rate is proportional to the “theoretical maximum rate at which kinetic energy is imparted to ascending water condensates”, which is not the rate of energy transfer from the surface by evapotranspiration.

        the lightning strike rate is proportional to (P x CAPE), not CAPE itself. That is what Romps wrote. I take that as at least close to an accurate proxy for the rate of energy transfer by evapotranspiration (the label given to the process by Trenberth et al.)

        If it isn’t, what is the source of energy that is transferred to the lightning strikes, that increases sufficiently to increase the lightning strike rate by 12%.

        I think that your comment can be rewritten, should you care to, into a critique of Romps et al.

        “On time scales longer than a year, atmospheric energy constrains precipitation. Latent heating of the atmosphere must be balanced by atmospheric cooling, which is primarily radiative.”

        That seems to me not to have any strong implication for either Romps et al or my comment. That is, whatever it is that can warm the surface can increase both the rainfall rate and the rate of energy transport, if it is powerful enough. Romps et al claim that an increase of 1C can produce a result that they describe; my comment is that the doubling of CO2 does not provide enough power to do what Romps et al claim, if their calculations are basically accurate. The whole point of the CO2 warning is that extra CO2 increases atmospheric energy, which changes the “constraint”.

        Go at it the other way: if the evapotranspiration process summarized by Trenberth et al can only increase a maximum of 2% (1.6 W/m^2), where does the energy increase come from to raise the lightning strike frequency 12%? Do you posit a “conversion” rate from kinetic and latent energy to lightning higher than what they describe?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen: In the future, you might consider contacting the appropriate scientists directly.

        I have sent my letter to a few climate scientists, including Prof Romps.

      • Matthew –

        Romps et al. conclude: …1% of the CAPE that could be theoretically extracted by water (i.e., CAPE times the processed water mass) is converted to electrical potential energy that is then discharged by CG lightning.

        A typical value for CAPE in a thunderstorm is a few thousand J/kg. Compare that to the latent heat of 334 thousand J/kg. So one percent of an amount small compared to the latent heat is released in lightning. Think about it.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen: So one percent of an amount small compared to the latent heat is released in lightning. Think about it.

        You seem to be agreeing with me that Romps et al have not justified the claim that there is enough power in 4 W/m^2 of increased LWIR to power a 12% increase in the lightning flash rate.

        The lightning flash rate is proportional to the product of P and CAPE; GCMs provide estimates of the changes in P and CAPE, from which the percent change in (P x CAPE) per 1C of surface temp increase is computed. The fixed proportionality of lightning flash rate to (P x CAPE) gives the 12% increase in lightning flash rate.

        Now, a 1C increase in temp produces approximately a 7% increase in water vapor pressure (http://intro.chem.okstate.edu/1515sp01/database/vpwater.html), hence approximately a 7% increase in the vaporization rate, other things being equal, implying an approximate 7% increase in the rate of heat transport by evaporation. Is it not fair to conclude that the rate of increase of (P x CAPE) and the rate of increase evaporative heat transfer are closely related, and that a 1C increase in temp increases them each somewhere in the vicinity of 7% – 12% (+/-), to produce the increase in the lightning flash rate computed by Romps et al? That is what I asked earlier: Is it not reasonably to assume that the increase in (P x CAPE) and the increase in heat transfer rate via evapotranspiration are monotonically related, and approximately proportional over the anticipated temperature increases?

        It seems to me that you have done more to show that the Romps et al estimate of an increase of 12% in the lightning strike rate per 1C of temp increase is inaccurate than you have done to show that I have misinterpreted Romps et al.

        Putting my questions a different way, if 4 W/m^2 can cause a 1C increase in the global mean surface temperature, and that 1C increase causes a 12% increase in (P x CAPE) and the lightning strike rate, then what is the corresponding % change in the rate of transfer of heat from the surface by evapotranspiration?

      • Matthew – You seem to be agreeing with me that Romps et al have not justified the claim that there is enough power in 4 W/m^2 of increased LWIR to power a 12% increase in the lightning flash rate.

        No. Romps et al. have no need to argue whether or not a 4 W/m^2 increase in LWIR powers a 12% increase in the lightning flash rate, as the increase in lightning flash rate requires only several orders of magnitude less energy than the 4 W/m^2.

        Now, a 1C increase in temp produces approximately a 7% increase in water vapor pressure … hence approximately a 7% increase in the vaporization rate, other things being equal, implying an approximate 7% increase in the rate of heat transport by evaporation.

        No. Still wrong. The 7% increase in water vapor pressure does not imply a 7% increase in the vaporization rate. Please read Held & Soden and Pendergrass & Hartmann.

        Is it not fair to conclude that the rate of increase of (P x CAPE) and the rate of increase evaporative heat transfer are closely related…

        No. P x CAPE is a small fraction of the evaporative heat transfer, and the energy required by the increase in lightning rate is only 1% of P x CAPE.

        Is it not reasonably to assume that the increase in (P x CAPE) and the increase in heat transfer rate via evapotranspiration are monotonically related, and approximately proportional over the anticipated temperature increases?

        Monotonically related perhaps, but not approximately proportional. The two quantities in question are governed by different physical conditions. (P x CAPE) depends on deviations from the moist adiabat; the evapotranspiration rate is modulated by the radiative state of the atmosphere. In any case, the TOA imbalance cannot be directly related with either rate.

        Thanks for the duscussion, but I give up. Please tell us what response you get from your letter.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen, h ere is my first superficial response to Pendergrass and Hartmann:

        The Atmospheric Energy Constraint on Global-Mean Precipitation Change

        ABSTRACT
        Models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) robustly predict that the rate of increase in global-mean precipitation with global-mean surface temperature increase is much less than the rate of increase of water vapor. The goal of this paper is to explain in detail the mechanisms by which precipitation increase is constrained by radiative cooling. Changes in clear-sky atmospheric radiative cooling resulting from changes in temperature and humidity in global warming simulations are in good agreement with the multimodel, global-mean precipitation increase projected by GCMs … . In an atmosphere with fixed specific humidity, radiative cooling from the top of the atmosphere (TOA) increases in response to a uniform temperature increase of the surface and atmosphere, while atmospheric cooling by exchange with the surface decreases because the upward emission of longwave radiation from the surface increases more than the downward longwave radiation from the atmosphere. When a fixed relative humidity (RH) assumption is made, however, uniform warming causes a much smaller increase of cooling at the TOA, and the surface contribution reverses to an increase in net cooling rate due to increased downward emission from water vapor. Sensitivity of precipitation changes to lapse rate changes is modest when RH is fixed. Carbon dioxide reduces TOA emission with only weak effects on surface fluxes, and thus suppresses precipitation. The net atmospheric cooling response and thereby the precipitation response to CO2-induced warming at fixed RH are mostly contributed by changes in surface fluxes. …

        I like the part about upward radiation increasing faster than downward radiation. iirc, I posited that a few years ago in a discussion of the Graeme Stephan et al flow diagram, and I was told that the opposite would be true. I did mention radiative cooling of vapor as it ascends, though only in passing.

        Is it realistic to assume either a fixed specific humidity or a fixed relative humidity if the global mean surface temperature increases 1C? no need to reply. I am sure that we’ll come back to this topic eventually.

      • mattstat, “Is it realistic to assume either a fixed specific humidity or a fixed relative humidity if the global mean surface temperature increases 1C?”

        Doesn’t appear to be realistic. The problem is which humidity, RHice or RHwv? That really depends of the type of clouds that are present.

        http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~gc903759/phd/ABarrett_Thesis.pdf

        That is an extremely complete book er.. thesis that focuses on the issue of mixed phase clouds. When you have super cooled liquid layer topped clouds, the “surface” reference changes to the clouds. According to Barrett, changing the cloud parameterization to account for the effect would reduced modeled “:sensitivity” to around 1.6 C per doubling. I have had a running feud with a number of folks about reference “surfaces” and C-C, this thesis pretty much backs up my case.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Capt Dallas: That is an extremely complete book er.. thesis that focuses on the issue of mixed phase clouds.

        Thank you for the link.

    • Curious George

      On November 17 I sent Dr. Romps the following email. No answer so far.

      Dear Dr. Romps,
      I read a synopsis of your (et al) article on “Projected increase in lightning strikes in the United States due to global warming” in the IEEE Spectrum. Unfortunately, the article is paywalled, so let me ask you directly: Did you do any comparison to available historical lightning data? I know that the data is available for at least 15 years back – my daughter did some research on sprites. I would be specifically interested in a correlation between atmospheric CO2 and lightning strikes, instead of using more complex proxies.
      Regards

      • Matthew R Marler

        Curious George, I recall you asked that of me a few days ago. I expect Prof Romps has had a lot of inquiries.

        I did not answer because my understanding of Romps et al is that the effect of the increased CO2 is due entirely to the effect that CO2 has on temperature; they only had 1 full year in which all of the variables used in estimating their model had been recorded. So I would not expect the analysis that you asked for to reveal much.

      • Curious George

        Matthew – thanks. I too suspect that 0.04% of CO2 has almost no direct effect on a lightning frequency. I think Prof. Romps had an idea that a lightning strike frequency may increase with temperature; that looks like a sound assumption. He designed an ad-hoc mechanism to support that idea. So far so good. But why would the mechanism be limited to the United States? He wanted it to be supported by data. If, as you suspect, a correlation with CO2 or surface temperature “would not reveal too much”, he should have just said so – instead of ringing an alarm bell.

      • From “Avoiding Static Ignition Hazards in Chemical Operations”, By Laurence G. Britton pg 37.

        The electrostatic breakdown voltage of major air components (except for oxygen and carbon dioxide) is pretty much all the same. Oxygen and carbon dioxide have 85-90% of the breakdown voltage of dry air. Dry air has a breakdown voltage at a 10 cm length of 27 kV/cm.

        Lightning strikes only require a field strength of 4 kV/cm (from wiki). The average (rule of thumb) number for average air is 10 kV/cm and the number for 80% humidity is 1.4 kV/cm.

        So… since the total oxygen+CO2 to air ratio hasn’t changed… lightning strikes could be due to more humidity, more convection, more atmospheric particulate contamination, dryer stratosphere (more charge storage) or some other cause but from a casual analysis CO2 per se shouldn’t have a direct measurable influence on lightning strikes.

        Vacuum has breakdown voltage in the 10E18 range. Vacuum tubes have a heater that causes thermionic emission from the filaments (free electrons) or they wouldn’t work.

      • Matthew R Marler

        PA: So… since the total oxygen+CO2 to air ratio hasn’t changed… lightning strikes could be due to more humidity, more convection, more atmospheric particulate contamination, dryer stratosphere (more charge storage) or some other cause but from a casual analysis CO2 per se shouldn’t have a direct measurable influence on lightning strikes.

        Romps et al say that the increased lightning strike rate is due to the increased temperature of the Earth surface and changes in the rainfall rate.

    • Matt, you might start with the intent of your letter – that will give people more reason to read it. For example:

      If Romps et al’s assessments of increased lightning discharges are accurate, then current assessments of CO2-induced warming are inaccurate: the increase in CO2 since 1850 has not provided a sufficient increase in the rate of radiant energy transfer to the Earth surface to have warmed it 0.9C.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Faustino: Matt, you might start with the intent of your letter – that will give people more reason to read it.

        I don’t think that fits as well with the usual style of letters to the editor of Science.

    • Matthew Marler, you seem to have overgeneralized the Romps paper. They apply statistics to the US area in presumably specific regions and seasons where lightning may occur, and you somehow generalize some percentages they produce, unrelated to water, to a global water budget. I am not sure how you make this jump from a local seasonal phenomenon to a global annual one.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Matthew Marler, you seem to have overgeneralized the Romps paper.

        As I wrote my letter, that is true. To more properly address only that region of the US covered by their paper I would need to know the rate of evaporative heat transport over that region, which is different from the global mean of 80 W/m^2 given by Trenberth et al.; and the increase in downwelling LWIR is different from the global mean of 4 W/m^2.

      • You could get their changes even without increased evaporation, if more heavy enough rain events are interspersed with compensating dry periods, as is often said will happen in future climate. The frequency of lightning doesn’t have to correlate with increasing annual evaporation in a region at all.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: You could get their changes even without increased evaporation, if more heavy enough rain events are interspersed with compensating dry periods,

        I don’t think you can get more total lighting without more total energy flow in the rain-making system, and I don’t think you can get more total energy flow in the rain-making system without more evaporation, since that it how the energy transport occurs.

        Assuming that water mass and energy are conserved throghout the evapotranspiration – cloud formation -rainfall process, it is hard to come up with an explanation how (R x Camp) can increase 12% without a correspondingly large increase in the evapotranspiration energy transfer rate.

      • Matthew –
        …it is hard to come up with an explanation how [P x CAPE] can increase 12% without a correspondingly large increase in the evapotranspiration energy transfer rate.

        Au contraire. A change in P x CAPE of 12% would be .12 kJ/kg x P (for a typical CAPE = 1 kJ/kg). The evapotranspiration energy transfer rate is P x L = P x 334 kJ/kg. So a change in the evapotranspiration energy transfer rate of .03 – .04 % could account for the change in P x CAPE.

      • Oops. I used the latent heat of fusion (334 kJ/kg) where we should be using latent heat of evaporation (2,260 kJ/kg). Makes accounting for the 12% change in P x CAPE even easier.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Casson: Makes accounting for the 12% change in P x CAPE even easier.

        Your comments are informative and challenging. Consider the whole process, what Romps et al estimate in it, and what Romps et al say about the response to a 1C increase in surface temperature.

        1. Water evaporates, rises up into the troposphere, condenses, freezes, and then falls back to Earth as rain. Water mass is conserved, so over time the rainfall total closely equals the amount that evaporated. (slight transient disparities as cloud cover increases and decreases.)

        2. That process transfers latent and sensible heat from the Earth surface to the upper troposphere, whence it is radiated to space. Mean Earth surface temperature changes little over time spans of a few years, so over each time span of a few years all the radiant energy that went into warming the surface water gets carried to the troposphere and radiated out. (There is a complication here because the water vapor itself radiates and absorbs energy as it is rising.)

        3. Romps et al estimate a portion of the rate of energy transfer process over short time spans by computing (P x CAPE.) They have this quantity twice per day, over a year, for a portion of the US, from which they compute yearly total P x CAPE; they also have concomitant lighting flash rates measured near the sites where they have P x CAPE (actually, they have a lot of gridding going on, but that’s one reason for the wide confidence limits on the final estimate); from this series of paired data they estimate the proportionality constant between lightning flash rate and P x CAPE. Their estimated relationship explains 77% of the variance in the lightning flash rate. That makes eminent sense causally if
        P x CAPE is at least proportional to an actual energy transfer rate.

        4. Romps et al take the output from a set of GCMs as estimates of changing mean temp and changing rainfall, and from those estimates compute the resultant values of annual total P x CAPE, from which they get the claim that a 1C increase in regional mean temp produces a 12% increase in regional total lightning strikes.

        5. Trenberth et al have a different estimate of the rate of transfer of heat from surface to upper troposphere by evapotranspiration, 80 W/m^2. That is a spatio-temporal average, not a day-to-day estimate such as Romps came up with, and surely is not directly comparable to the daily, or seasonal aggregates computable from the Romps et al result, but the annual total may be comparable to the annual total computed for P x CAPE, say annual variations maintain approximately the same proportion. This is the weakest assumption in my letter.

        6. Exactly how the rate computed by Trenberth et al responds to a 1C increase in Earth mean temp has not been calculated by anyone yet, to my knowledge, something I have been harping on for a few years now. Water vapor pressure increases by about 7% for a 1C increase in temp, in the usual temperature ranges found on Earth; Isaac Held on his blog finds a total vapor increase of about 7.5% per 1C increase over a range of temperature increases. So it is a reasonable inference that the rate of evaporative heat transfer from surface to upper troposphere increases about 7% per 1C increase, at the lower end of a direct extrapolation of the Romps et al P x CAPE result to the Trenberth et al energy flow result.

        7. So the question is: can a 1C increase on the regional mean surface temp produce a 12% increase in the energy flow rate represented by P x CAPE without producing a 12% increase in the energy flow rate represented by the Trenberth et al evapotranspiration process with its flow rate mean of 80 W/m^2? By what possible mechanism can a 1C increase in the surface regional mean temperature increase one by 12% yet increase the other by a mere 2%? (Recall the complication I noted above that the water vapor acts as a greenhouse gas during its ascent; that should not affect the comparison of the two energy flow rate measurements, should it.)

        You showed that the energy transferred to lighting is a small fraction of the energy available in the total energy flow. My question was: Given the proportionality asserted by Romps et al, how can the one indirect measure of the energy flow increase 12% due to a 1C increase in surface temperature without the other indirect measure of energy flow increasing about the same amount?

        And my overarching question: Does a doubling of the CO2 concentration provide enough extra power for that much of an increase in the energy flow.

      • mattstat, I thought Raypierre did a fair job with 6). If I remember correctly, about 80% of ocean surface warming would be offset by evaporative cooling. Of course that SST cooling would result in upper troposphere and higher latitude warming, more higher latitude especial land area than upper troposphere it would seem. That probably doesn’t include accurate cloud feedback though.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Capt Dallas 0.8 (+/- 0.2): I thought Raypierre did a fair job with 6). If I remember correctly, about 80% of ocean surface warming would be offset by evaporative cooling.

        Thank you. Do you have the exact reference? Is it in his book?

        You see how that leads to my question: Does a doubling of CO2 concentration provide enough power both to warm the surface by 1C and increase the lighting strike rate by 12%?

        also, there is another commenter somewhere who calls himself “mattstat”, which is why I dropped that moniker — at least that contributed to my decision.

      • Matthew –
        We agree on your description of what Romps et al. did: points 1 – 4.
        5. Trenberth et al have a different estimate of the rate of transfer of heat from surface to upper troposphere by evapotranspiration
        Trenberth et al. are estimating something different than Romps et al. Trenberth et al. are estimating the first order term P x L, where L is the latent heat. Romps et al. are estimating the second order term P x CAPE, whuch is very small compared to P x L. The quantity P x L is a first order term in the sense that its contribution to net energy btransport is comparable to the other terms (sensible heat transport and radiation). Its effect on the thermal structure is essentially to maintain the moist adiabat – almost. The quantity P x CAPE contributes very little to the net energy transport, but it is plausibly the primary source for producing lightning. Remember: CAPE is the source of kinetic energy (which is small compared to the terms that dominate net energy transport). The Mach number-squared of the convective flow (updrafts) is a measure of the ratio of kinetic energy to, say, internal thermal energy, and that number is small. CAPE is derived from the deviations from the moist adiabat, which are generally small.
        6. Exactly how the rate computed by Trenberth et al responds to a 1C increase in Earth mean temp has not been calculated by anyone yet, to my knowledge, something I have been harping on for a few years now. So it is a reasonable inference that the rate of evaporative heat transfer from surface to upper troposphere increases about 7% per 1C increase….
        But it doesn’t. Please read the papers I recommended above: Held & Soden and Pendergrass & Hartmann; they deal with exactly this issue. Note that as long as P balances evaporation, the content of the reservoir (that is, the humidity of the atmosphere) does not directly constrain the fluxes, which net to zero.
        7. So the question is: can a 1C increase on the regional mean surface temp produce a 12% increase in the energy flow rate represented by P x CAPE without producing a 12% increase in the energy flow rate represented by the Trenberth et al evapotranspiration process with its flow rate mean of 80 W/m^2?
        Yes, it definitely can. All you need to know is that P x CAPE is
        tiny compared to the first order energy transport terms. Refer to my numbers above. So 12% of CAPE has virtually no effect on total net energy flow, despite its (hypothesized) effect on lightning production. This is why the Romps et al. result is peripheral to the question of evaporative enregy flux, net energy flux and the effect of CO2 on surface temperature.
        Matthew, I have tried to make these points throughout our conversations, apparently without sufficient clarity. I hope the above helps, so I shall now try(!) to refrain from further discussion…
        Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen: Matthew, I have tried to make these points throughout our conversations, apparently without sufficient clarity. I hope the above helps, so I shall now try(!) to refrain from further discussion…
        Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

        Excellent post. I shall now read the papers that you recommended.

        Happy Thanksgiving, and thank you for the posts and the references.

    • Romps has the unfortunate constraint that there are two alternative papers published in the same week,with external mechanisms from the suns magnetosphere in the dock.

      http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/5/055004/

      http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/11/115009/

  18. Notice how hydro and nukes get bundled with solar and wind to make the latter look like they don’t suck? Hydro in Norway or BC or Paraguay becomes proof that “renewables” are up-and-running and functioning well. Nukes show that “low emissions” technology works – so go buy those whirlygigs from Vestas.

    Yes, if you can’t terraform to get your own Norway or Itaipu you can still have your “renewable”. It might be a multi-billion dollar turkey like Ivanpah…but it’ll be renewable! (Until you have to renew it, of course.)

    Clever. But I’d still rather we had adults in charge,

  19. …turkey like Ivanpah…

    No pun intended? :)

  20. Since it is a Week in Review hows about a review of the issues one might confront switching from “surface” temperature to ocean heat content as the motivational metric of climate doom?

    http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-problem-with-changing-your-frame-of.html

    Here is the meat of the post.

    A basic reconstruction of tropical SST which should show that ignoring Milankovitch orbital cycles, especially precessional when guestimating causes of increased ocean heat uptake might not be a great thing to do.

    • For the few that have notice this, here are 11 of the tropical reconstructions used in the Marcott et al. Holocene reconstruction. They are all the same type of proxy reconstructions, Mg/Ca (G. Ruber) and they all have real temperatures instead of anomalies.

      looks a bit different don’t it?

    • R. Gates, If you happen to pop by this way, the Holocene tropical oceans have a hockey stick by for some reason it seems to have started around 1700 AD? Darnest thing.

      That is just using the original researchers temperature and dating, sticking to similar proxies instead of throwing in everything and digging up the 300 to 2000 year reconstructions that would complete the longer Holocene instead of letting regions drop out and generate spurious hockey sticks at the end. I believe most of that was mentioned at Climateaudit during the Marcott review.

      Looks like a lot more fun ride that this.

  21. Obama against Australia (encore):

    Greg Sheridan: The US embassy, under the leadership of ambassador John Berry, advised the President, through his senior staff, not to couch his climate change comments in a way that would be seen as disobliging to the Abbott government, sources have revealed. When The Weekend Australian put this information to the US embassy, a spokesman said: “As is the case with all presidential speeches, President Obama’s remarks at the University of Queensland in Brisbane were prepared by the White House.”

    It is normal practice when the US President makes an overseas visit that the ambassador in the country he is visiting is consulted about the contents of major speeches. It is unusual, though not unprecedented, for an embassy’s advice to be ignored.

    The Obama speech in Brisbane was added to the President’s program at the last minute. During his extensive talks with Tony Abbott in Beijing at APEC, Mr Obama did not make any mention of a desire to make a speech, or of any of the contentious climate change content of the speech. … Despite repeated Australian requests, White House officials refused to provide a text of the speech to their Australian hosts in advance, and did not provide a summary of what would be contained in the speech.

    Mr Obama’s repeated references to the climate change debate in Australia, his accusation that Australia was an inefficient user of energy and his repeated references to the Great Barrier Reef, which has figured heavily in the climate change debate, have led observers to conclude that the speech was a deliberate swipe at the Abbott government. Historians of the US-Australia relationship are unable to nominate a case of a visiting president making such a hostile speech for the host government.

    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has accused Mr Obama of speaking in ignorance about the joint plans by the federal and Queensland governments to act to preserve the Great Barrier Reef. She sent a briefing on the reef to the White House after Mr Obama’s speech was delivered.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/in-depth/obama-ignored-embassys-warnings-on-climate-change-speech/story-fnpebfcn-1227131290194

    Paul Kelly: … Yet the irony was provided by Obama. When Abbott first met Obama in the White House this year, he came with a message: under my leadership Australia will assist America. For Abbott, such support was to be measured in deeds, not just words. He wanted to back the US and he did this in Iraq.

    Abbott’s thanks came last weekend when Obama delivered his assault on Abbott over climate change. Issued on Australian soil, it was indulgent, unnecessary and gratuitous. The effect was to damage Abbott in political terms and assist his opponents.

    Has any US president visiting this country ever spoken in such a fashion? No. Has any Australian PM visiting the US ever delivered such a domestic critique? No. This was not the action of a political friend. It was devoid of loyalty or respect for Abbott. This was Obama promoting himself at Abbott’s expense and Labor loved it. It is an insight into the reasons for the hostility towards Obama in the US political system.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/behold-abbotts-erachanging-pivot-to-our-asian-future/story-e6frg74x-1227130142925

    • Ghengis

      ” It is an insight into the reasons for the hostility towards Obama in the US political system.”

      True.

    • Seems Obama likes ter indulge in self indulgent acts of
      by-passing constitutional authority and advice.

      http://americanactionforum.org/daily-dish/november-20th-editiion

      • Advice, maybe. But apparently he has the authority for “selective enforcement”. If he should, is an entirely different question. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2014/1121/Is-Obama-s-immigration-action-legal-A-Q-A.-video

        We were traveling in Georgia a few years ago after the state passed laws to restrict access to schools. This turned out to have an impact on those who came for harvest choosing to leave. So farmers hired lots of folks from cities for around $10/hour (if memory serves) and that was higher than what the harvesters were normally paid. Folks took the job, worked a day, and never came back.
        Anyone near there that can update?
        It’s quite a pickle (bad pun intended)!

      • Danny, a pad bun diet leads to Spoonerisms (non-runcible).

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        Environmental laws are written with trigger clauses that don’t give the president leeway in enforcing them or making regulations. These sections are worded clearly.

        The recent immigration pronouncement, according to the panel of mostly conservative legal scholars put together by the conservative Federalist Society, is constitutional because Congress wrote the law too vaguely. From one panelist: “Write the statute tightly so that it will be actually administered the way you want it administered.”

      • Danny Thomas,
        Thx fer link with constitutional context.

      • Pleasure.
        You all give so freely so nice I could offer something back. CSM usually does a pretty good job so when I have to go to MSM I look for them.

        Plus, helps balance the energy a bit.

      • Hmm, a powerful executive’s
        kinda like divine right
        of kings. (

      • “The question is,” said Alice, ” whether you can make words
        mean so many different things.”
        ”The question is,” Humpty Dumpty said, “which is to be master
        – that’s all.’
        http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/11/the-weak-argument-defending-executive-amnesty/382906/

      • Guess it depends on who is the king? And no matter who the king is, some peasants are not happy. +/- :)

      • Beth

        The legal opinions we are hearing today regarding O’s executive order are mostly off the cuff. It will take time to develop a strategy that will effectively counter what he did. Also, we hear a lot about prosecutorial discretion; but there may be more to the story. Can an illegal immigrant deemed not to be prosecuted be then deemed to be legal, and can that person be deemed to have rights that heretofore only legal immigrants had?

        Richard

      • Full disclosure. I’m no attorney. I’m not sanctioning what our President has done. But in the CSM article: “Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush all used their executive authority to defer immigration enforcement against a class of non-citizens. But unlike Obama, each of those presidents was acting with the support of Congress rather than in defiance of congressional leaders.”

        So the all things being equal does not apply as this action was taken vs. a Congress that apparently does not agree with the action. But this action in no way stops this congress from taking action.

        As an independent, I am personally fatigued by the brinksmanship. Current leaders staked out turf before action was taken without knowing for sure what action would be taken. Just posturing. Immigration is one of the toughest to handle. The left is likely pandering, and the right cannot come down too hard as it can cause political damage. So each side does as little as possible. And they wonder why “We the people” seem dissatisfied when we know they’re just planning for the next election to save their own jobs. Don’t we pay them to handle the tough work?

      • Say, Richard and Danny,
        serfs are disposed ter be wary.
        goes with the territory,
        or more usually
        with the lack of it.
        bts.

      • Took a minute to stop laughing at how incredibly accurate I found that to be. Sage, Beth. Sage! Thanks for that! It is how it should be.

      • How Eisenhower handled illegal immigration:

        On May 17th, 1954 command teams of 12 Border Patrol agents, buses, planes, and temporary processing stations began locating, processing, and deporting Mexicans that had illegally entered the United States. 750 immigration and border patrol officers and investigators, 300 jeeps, cars and buses, and 7 airplanes were allocated for the operation.[32] Teams were focused on quick processing and deportation, as planes were able to coordinate ground efforts more quickly and increase mobility. [33] Those deported were handed off to Mexican officials, who in turn deported them into central Mexico where there were many labor opportunities.[34] While the operation would include the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, its main targets were border areas in Texas and California. [35] Overall, there were 1,078,168 apprehensions made in the first year of Operation Wetback, with 170,000 being captured from May to July 1954.[36] The total number of apprehensions would fall to just 242,608 in 1955, and would continuously decline by year until 1962, when there was a slight rise in apprehended workers.[37] During the entirety of the Operation, border recruitment of illegal workers by American growers continued due largely to the inexpensiveness of illegal labor and the desire of growers to avoid the bureaucratic obstacles of the Bracero program; the continuation of illegal immigration despite the efforts of Operation Wetback was largely responsible for the failure of the program.[38] Despite the decline in apprehensions, the total number of Border Patrol agents more than doubled to 1,692 by 1962, and an additional plane was also added to the force.[39] In terms of apprehensions, Operation Wetback was immediately successful. However, this success would be short lived, as the program would fail to limit the number of workers entering the United States from Mexico illegally.[40] The program would also result in a more permanent, strategic border control presence along the United States – Mexico border.[41]

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Wetback

      • Seems it comes down largely to what we’re willing to pay for food, and if we can find folks here that will do the hard work of harvest. If we haven’t since 1954 on the second part, I’m not sure how much the first part comes in to play.

        It’s still a pickle, huh?

      • Beth

        Doesn’t the bible say “Blessed are those who are wary”? Should be a rule for everybody.

        Richard

      • beth, I could say that your posts today are wary, wary good. But I won’t.

        In response to you and Richard (Louis Stevenson?), I would say that I’ve never been wary, it’s a quality (or a burden) that I lack. Makes life more interesting, although not always without cost. I couldn’t be a shopkeeper or stallholder, when people asked me “Show me your wares,” I’d be empty-handed.

      • You are wary unique Faustino in so many ways
        a boundary crosser.

        Buddha’s last words to his disciples,
        ‘Walk on.’

        H/t Bruce Chatwyn ‘The Songlines.’

      • The surf winds a wary way to the river.
        =====================

      • Beth, I think that the Buddha’s last words were along the lines of “All compound things decay. Be an island unto yourself, and pursue the path to enlightenment with diligence.” But perhaps my memory is failing after more than 2500 years. :-)

      • “All compound things decay. Be an island unto yourself, and pursue the path to enlightenment with diligence.”
        —–
        If only it were possible to “be an island unto yourself” in this universe, eh? Alas, all things are intimately connected and affect each other in obvious and subtle ways.

      • Beth and Faustino

        Perhaps there are two aspects of wariness; wariness of one’s own limits and excursions, and wariness of external advise. The first makes us powerless and the second tricks us.

        Richard

      • “As an independent, I am personally fatigued by the brinksmanship. Current leaders staked out turf before action was taken without knowing for sure what action would be taken. Just posturing. Immigration is one of the toughest to handle. The left is likely pandering, and the right cannot come down too hard as it can cause political damage. So each side does as little as possible. And they wonder why “We the people” seem dissatisfied when we know they’re just planning for the next election to save their own jobs. Don’t we pay them to handle the tough work?”
        —-
        I too am an Independent, decidedly left leaning on social issues and far more centrist to right on monetary ones. Both sides pander and both sides are caught in the game of constant fund raising for the next election cycle. The system is broke. Fundamentally broke, and only We the People can fix it, but it does neither of the current two parties any good to help us fix it.

      • Gates

        I am also independent and my vote primarily goes to the candidates that agree with my conservative economic ideas. I believe your frustration with congress is merely the result that it reflects the views of the electorate; the electorate is deeply divided and the congress is therefore deeply divided. In the 70s many people were frustrated because there were no differences between the two parties.

        I believe the stalemate on immigration is for two reasons. Republicans want the border secured before dealing with illegals, and the Republicans don’t trust the president; what he says is not always what he does and laws signed by him are often changed by him.

        Richard

      • rls – the Pubs have been for at least high-tech immigration for a good while and also would not mind rewarding businesses in general with cheap labor. If conservative voters weren’t against immigration, I think we would already have it. If the 15 million illegals are allowed to become citizens, you can kiss the Pubs good bye. And I’m not convinced the Pubs understand it. This past election was relatively good for Pubs since about, IIRC, 40% of latinos voted for Pubs according to exit polls. That number is higher than usual. 15 million more hispanics more than likely would do the Pubs in.

        Blacks will be even more marginalized than now, and some realize that. Almost every day now, I see more and more conservative blacks on news channels and on the web. That is encouraging.

        Hispanics could see a shift to the conservative side, but right now that’s an if, not an actuality.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joseph O’Sullivan: The recent immigration pronouncement, according to the panel of mostly conservative legal scholars put together by the conservative Federalist Society, is constitutional because Congress wrote the law too vaguely. From one panelist: “Write the statute tightly so that it will be actually administered the way you want it administered.”

        I have been reading about that problem for a long time. Conservatives criticize a lot of laws for “ceding legislative authority” to the Executive Branch. Supposedly the REIN act will address the problem, by requiring Congressional approval of administrative regulations before they are in force as law.

  22. Appell made this comment on W. M. Briggs site:

    “David Appell
    19 NOVEMBER 2014 AT 12:19 PM
    “Science is prediction, from theory to new data. If prediction falters, then theory (or more realistically models) are useless.”

    In climate science you can’t “predict” anything — climate models aren’t capable of predicting, because no one can read the future. Climate models “project,” based on a set of assumptions.”

    That is as good a description as to why modeling in climate ‘science’ isn’t science. It does not generate a falsifiable hypothesis. Sending a space craft on a planetary ballet and have it reach a rendezvous with a comet occurred because someone could read the future.

    • “Sending a space craft on a planetary ballet and have it reach a rendezvous with a comet occurred because someone could read the future.”
      —–
      Completely incorrect. It was nail biting all the way. If you could read the future there’s be no point, as you’d know if success was assured.

      These kinds of missions, which represent the absolute extrem margin of human technical capability, succeed because known laws of physics are known well enough to be confident we can place a small craft on a small chunk of rock millions of miles away. But nothing of this complexity is ever ever ever because we can “read the future”. It’s still a probabilistic crap shoot.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: These kinds of missions, which represent the absolute extrem margin of human technical capability, succeed because known laws of physics are known well enough to be confident we can place a small craft on a small chunk of rock millions of miles away. But nothing of this complexity is ever ever ever because we can “read the future”. It’s still a probabilistic crap shoot.

        Yes.

        And consider the quantum mechanical laws and Schroedinger’s cat. The laws model the mean and variance of the states of the system, but not the actual state. Yet the laws are considered valuable, accurate enough for applications, insightful and eminently “scientific”. The GCMs are not there yet, but there is no reason that they can’t be, with more work.

    • Doc, they didn’t know the position of the comet to better than 100 km before launch.

      There are things that you cannot predict that affect the climate.

      It is like modeling a series of coin flips, you can model it, but you can’t predict it.

      But the house almost always wins.

    • The Appell comment I liked best was where he stated that Mann’s hockey stick paper had been repeatedly been upheld by later studies and then he lists Marcott, PAGES2K and Gergis papers, all of which have been shredded.

  23. Two posts on Mark Lynas’ page:

    1. “the biggest unanswered question now in climate change is this: what will India do?” Modi answered that question in Australia last week: India will go for growth, primarily driven by (increasingly Australian) coal, also by nuclear (Australian uranium). Anyone who knows India, as I have since 1972, would know that this is the only sensible and humane approach.

    China limiting its emissions? It’s planned annual growth in GHG emissions up to 2030 equals Australia’s annual emissions; yet in Brisbane, Obama panned Australia after praising China. By 2030, China’s urbanisation push will be largely over, the population is expected to decline. Renewable energy will be almost all hydro, other will be about 2% of total emissions in 2030, coal stations are powering ahead. Modi will do what China is doing.

    2. Hi Mark, a good article, I’m pleased to see your take on India’s situation.

    When you say of India’s prospective coal-burning that “the resulting emissions will undoubtedly push the entire planet towards a hotter future than would otherwise be the case,” there are some doubts as to whether rises would be as great as you suggest, e.g. the “pause” in warming since 1998 and the attendant re-evaluations of sources of warming, and recent studies which suggest that equilibrium climate sensitivity is in the order of 1.3-1.7, significantly less than the IPCC’s projections assume.

    Even if warming does resume, I have often argued (I won’t go into detail here) that the future is always uncertain, our capacity to predict it has always been poor, and the best response to suggested CAGW is to increase our capacity to deal with whatever unknown future eventuates. This means pro-market, pro-growth policies, policies which increase flexibility, self-reliance, innovation and entrepreneurship, rather than the GHG emissions-reduction which have high costs for little, if any, apparent benefit. Most proposed remedies to potential CAGW involve heavy centralised government control and direction, which is anathema to an innovative, self-reliant, productive society.

    The prospect of high reliance on non-hydro renewables seems very remote. There were two good articles which explain why on Judith Curry’s blog recently – well worth a read if you haven’t seen them. They are by “Planning Engineer,” who has over 30 years’ experience in the electric utility industry and has overseen generation planning and transmission planning. He is a registered Professional Engineer with a Masters in Electrical Engineering and graduate training in Policy Analysis. He has served and continues to serve on a variety of regional and national committees in the power supply arena. (PE adopted a pseudonym to avoid the hassle and delays associated with getting clearance for his articles if he used his real name.)

    https://judithcurry.com/2014/10/22/myths-and-realities-of-renewable-energy/#more-17092
    https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/05/more-renewables-watch-out-for-the-duck-curve/#more-17149

  24. Levi’s piece for the Washington Post appears to assume there is commonality between China and the US on pollution. One has only to watch news footage from Beijing to see that is not so. Beijing has a big soot problem requiring its people to wear face masks to keep the soot out of their lungs. The US thinks it has a carbon dioxide (CO2) problem, but since CO2 is an invisible non -noxious gas, protection by face masks is impossible, even if it were thought to be necessary. So there are two different problems. there only commonality is that both are associated with the burning of coal.

    Most of the world’s power stations are required by law to have built in soot precipitators. Apparently that has not worked in Beijing. Only the otherwise clever Chinese can fix that. If the Chinese wish to join the UN IPCC drive against CO2, they need to produce convincing evidence that CO2 is the evil that the UN thinks it is.

    • My understanding is that many Chinese coal plants have installed scrubbers but some of them aren’t used because of urges to efficiency.
      ==============

    • China has a perfect understanding with the US. It pretends not to be pretending that it pretends. The US pretends not to notice China pretends not to be pretending that it pretends. Or something like that.

      It’s very well done for an era when neither climate experts nor WaPo journalists are likely ever to put their heads out of a window to check anything.

  25. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    A radical view of climate-science, straight from the faux-conservative website RedState

    What would God say to us
    if we asked Him about climate change
    and our role in it?

    You silly humans think you can have so much influence on the global climate just by burning fossil fuels?

    I’m all-powerful and all-knowing, so don’t you think I factored that into the equation when I created the Earth?
    I knew you guys would need to burn fossil fuels to survive and even thrive, so I made sure the Earth’s climate could withstand fluctuations in various gasses and substances.

    I would never have created the Earth if I didn’t make sure it could handle the end products of normal human activity that was necessary for modern civilization to be as it is today.

    So get over yourselves and start focusing on more important things like your eternal salvation.

    After all, once you die it won’t matter what shape the earth is in cause you’ll no longer be on it.

    http://o.onionstatic.com/images/25/25853/original/700.hq.jpg?2709

    So take care of your soul and the souls of others first, and if you spend enough time and energy doing that, then you can use what’s left over to improve the environment.

    Ouch. This is *NOT* what scientists — or *ANY* freethinking citizens — want to hear from their government.

    That’s obvious to *ALL* scientists and freethinkers, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Summary  It’s time that we heard about climate change from other voices!

    \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}

    • So you think that one person who interprets what sky-faeries say is superior to a different person who interprets what sky-faeries say?

    • +1 FOMD. I’m all about slammin the religious nutjobs.

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: What would God say to us
      if we asked Him about climate change and our role in it?

      Well, you got your right-wing Gods and your left-wing Gods, maybe even centrist Gods and Gods who swing between the parties and sides. I hear from Wiccans occasionally, and Mormons and Catholics (they seem to be divided), and I hear from Jews of all parts of the spectra.

      Meanwhile, the science of CO2-induced climate change is still full of holes, and the believers, “alarmists”, have made a bunch of false predictions of their own.

  26. The UNEP report noted is very, very interesting. The “required” reduction in total CO2 release doesn’t have to change relative to 2010 until approximately 2023 – there is an approximate 2.5%/year reduction after 2023 relative to 2010 through at least 2050 to meet the 2C target as they model things.

    So the “plan” being supported really requires nothing at all until perhaps 2025 (“missing” the target by two years would be of no concern to them). The UNEP have, as noted above just given themselves another 11 years to achieve their first goal. Up to then there is neither failure nor problem. Just “raising awareness” and talking towards solving the “problem” will be considered success.

    Sounds like GM’s plan of operation: keep doing what you are doing while smiling, until somebody bails you out AND says it wasn’t your fault anyway.

  27. Pierre-Normand

    Judith Curry wrote: “Superb post by Matt Briggs on the bogus use of statistics on temperature series.”

    His first rule is *never* to use homogenization. Do you agree with this? It seems an astounding thing for a statistician to say (and a former BEST team member to agree with) without proposing an alternative way to deal with bias that are bound to result from temporal changes in the spatial distribution of weather stations (and other causes of discontinuities in the individual time series).

    • Pierre-Normand

      I would recommend this post over Matt Briggs’s, or, at least, as a sound counterpoint to it:

      https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/07/understanding-adjustments-to-temperature-data/

    • Pierre-N +1. The papers by Zeke Hausfather and Matt Briggs represent two sides of the same coin and need to be properly understood by readers.

      The time scale of climate is way too long for much of the adjusting to current temp data that is going on in climate research. The presence of bias and the uncertainties inherent in climate studies have rarely been properly specified.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Peter Davies, homogenization is a method devised for removing known sources of bias. It is one thing to criticize methods or propose better methods, and it is another to advocate for *not* removing known sources of bias. Briggs seem not to be aware that the splitting method that he advocates produces results that are essentially indistinguishable from homogenization in cases where all the breakpoints are documented. Automated break point detection methods that are part of homogenization algorithms never have been shown to introduce bias, and the fact that splicing discontinuous time series has essentially the same effect as splitting them (which Briggs advocates) explains why that is so.

      • Pierre-Normand, you state “homogenization is a method devised for removing known sources of bias”. However, if there is a systemic reason and not random reason for ‘station breaks/moves’ then this may not apply. If stations that are encroached by urbanization are MORE likely to be moved than stations which are not, then you will embed an urban heat island effect in the record; you convert a saw-tooth wave form into a slope.

      • Thanks for responding Pierre-N. I understand what you are saying about homogenisation but reiterate that such adjustments seem unneccesary when we look at the length of the climate time series and attempt to make predictions/projections about its future course.

        My preference is for more work to be done on weather forecasting and extending its range. Such work would be of more practical benefit to vulnerable communities than the academic fixation of climate scientists on AGW and the seeming need for western economies to decarbonise.

      • Pierre-Normand

        DocMartyn, in that case homogenization would have worked as intended since the purpose of the procedure is to retain the warming signal that isn’t an artifact from station moves (and of other causes of discontinuity). If the continuous warming signal is partly a result of climate change and partly a result from continuous urbanization, then some other method would be required for isolating the climate signal. It’s not the purpose of homogenization to remove putative continuous UHI effects. (And if homogenization would remove discontinuous UHI effects, then that’s something you ought to be happy about).

        Advocating not to homogenize is equivalent to asking for retaining a known bias just because it might partly compensate for an unknown bias of a different nature. One had better deal with them separately. Lastly, I expect that it would be testable whether stations that have more discontinuities warm faster than nearby rural stations that haven’t moved. We ought to ask Steven Mosher about that.

    • Many simply dont understand that technically speaking BEST doesnt homogenize. Technically we dont adjust individual time series.
      You can download an “adjust series” but mathematically this is nothing
      more than the fitted values of the expectation. It represents our PREDICTION of what would have been recorded at the location if the station there was homogeneous with the surrounding stations.

      1. As briggs suggests we break time series where the meta indicates
      a change in observation practice. Note. Briggs misses that this decision,
      the decision to TRUST the metadata, has an uncertainty. metadata
      can be wrong
      2. We then use break point methodology to identify other break in the data
      and slice the time series there. This also reflects a decision to not naively
      trust the meta data as the metadata can often fail to record all changes.

      3. Because metadata can be wrong, because it can miss changes AND record false changes, its important to test what slicing does to various metrics. In the first place it doesnt change the global average in any
      appreciable way. It DOES however change the smoothness of the field at smaller spatial scales. such that if you turn the slicing knob from insensitive
      to breaks to sensitive to breaks you will see pattern changes at small scales, but the global answer doesnt change.

      Having sliced the time series we next create a field that represents the best estimate ( minimizes the error) for all areas. This field will differ from
      the actual records at the given data locations.

      You can then extract the FITTED VALUES for every location. For simplicity these fitted values are referred to as “homogenized” data.
      But in reality its not. It is quite literally the fitted values of the regression.
      When we compare these values to values created by homogenization methods, methods that EXPLICITLY true to adjust times series with
      say an adjustment factor for moves in elevation, we find that the answers are effectively the same. Whether you explicitly adjust series for changes in instruments, location, etc.. OR whether you minimize the error in fitting a surface to all the stations in an area, the answers are effectively the same.
      The difference is that in explicitly adjusting series people tend not to propagate the errors.

      To some extent of course we havent helped issues by labelling data as “homogenized” that is more a function of having to publish in a field that already has an accepted terminology. However, for those who care about the math and methods.. once they understand that by “homogenized” we mean the fitted values of the temperature model, then they usually break through the conceptual roadblock. partisans dont break through their conceptual roadblocks. meh

      • Might work with raw data, data that matches the originally recorded at stations, but that isn’t what BEST uses. The data you use has already been adjusted.

      • Doc we use daily data for almost everything.
        Daily raw.

        Now a couple years back zeke and I did a global series using daily raw. No adjustments. Rural only.
        We matched best.

        Then we were asked to join the team.

        Daily raw. No adjustment. Non urban using a skeptics method.

        Every damn thing skeptics wanted done we did.

      • “Every damn thing skeptics wanted done we did.”
        —–
        Pseudoscience is beyond pleasing. They are true believers.

      • Mosher claims that raw data produces the same result as the adjusted data.

        Who would possibly go to the trouble of adjusting data that doesn’t need adjusting?

        Mosher is not telling the truth.

      • I’ve read Mosher’s posts for many years, and if he says that treating the data in various different ways or not treating it makes very little difference to the temperature series, I’m happy to accept that. If someone can clearly demonstrate that that is not the case, then I’ll reconsider.

      • No the extra work improves the fidelity at small spatial scales. So adjustments will nudge the USA up
        In specific areas for example but the global impact is small.

        Do the math. The land is only 30%. Of the total.

        Change or adjust the land by . 5c.

        Guess what? The global metric moves by. 15c

        Decrease the US record by 1 c.. Increase it by 1c..

        Guess what the impact on global temperature is??

        Do the math.

      • It is very regrettable to see Mosher attacked in this way, with anonymous insults. He and Zeke have convinced me over the last few years that the adjustments that are done to the raw data are justifiable. Before that I was very suspicious.
        (I still think the quality of a lot of the raw data is much worse than advertised, but that isn’t Mosher’s problem.)

        He has defended himself again and again from the same tired attacks and I am yet to see anything remotely substantial stick. He’s right. Check the code, do the maths and post up a proper critique or shut up. I disagree with a lot of what he says about climate in general, but he has absolutely put his balls on the line on this. That is admirable and an example more of us should follow.

      • Jonathan

        I agree with your post. Mosh has worked hard to provide a temperature record and he shouldn’t be attacked anonymously for using his best endeavours.

        However your comment here is pertinent;

        “(I still think the quality of a lot of the raw data is much worse than advertised, but that isn’t Mosher’s problem.)”

        Many of the historic records that constitute the temperature raw data are little different to the anecdotal written accounts of the weather that Mosh is so suspicious of.

        We can basically say that in this modern era of warming that temperatures have been rising for some 300 years or so. At times they rise (and fall) at a faster rate than other times. It is doubtful if modern temperatures are any higher than the MWP, the Roman warm period or the Bronze Age.

        tonyb

      • I, too, think BEST is a legitimate reconstruction, or whatever you want to call it, of surface temps.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jonathan Abbott: It is very regrettable to see Mosher attacked in this way, with anonymous insults. He and Zeke have convinced me over the last few years that the adjustments that are done to the raw data are justifiable.

        I agree on both counts.

  28. John Vonderlin

    Dr. Curry,
    Thanks for the wide-ranging collection of links as always. One more item you might want to check out is in the Nov. 14th issue of Science Magazine. There is a paper titled, ” Did Antarctica Initiate the Ice Age Cycles.” Perhaps, you could link to it in next week’s review, as I would enjoy the denizen’s analyses of their methodology and conclusions. Is the rapidly expanding sea ice around Antarctica going to be the tipping point for the initiation of the next Ice Age as they seem to think has been the case for the last several million years? Or should I have spent more time reading it?

    • Curious George

      I don’t believe in tipping points in systems which are only poorly known. Let me paraphrase: For mysterious reasons, sea ice around Antarctica is growing instead of shrinking. When it reaches a latitude 45S .., or maybe 55S .. it will cause a new ice age.

  29. Dr. Curry,
    I can’t get this link to work:Interesting article on Agriculture Renewable Energy blog: The Failure of Conservatives on Global Warming,

    but I found this one: http://greenenergy.blogspot.com/search/label/Global%20Warming

  30. Lisa Heinzerling: “President Obama’s reasoning for this edict was as surprising and disquieting as the order itself. Explaining his decision, the President cited “regulatory burdens,” “regulatory uncertainty,” and the economic downturn. The trouble is that the Supreme Court has held that such considerations may not lawfully be taken into account in setting national air quality standards under the Clean Air Act.”

    That is, America’s environmental laws should not be subject to cost-benefit analysis! Totally bizarre.

    • Joseph O'Sullivan

      The Clean Air Act has a section written in it that only the harm to human health and welfare is considered when triggering mandatory pollution control. The EPA does use cost benefit when determining how to regulate.

      • Joseph, I’m pleased that the EPA uses CBA. That is my point – the CAA section seems an absurd approach. Re “The Clean Air Act has a section written in it that only the harm to human health and welfare is considered when triggering mandatory pollution control:” there are always trade-offs, the costs in addressing a particular harm may be so high or so directed as to cause other harms elsewhere. And a level of control which removes 100% of a harm might cost many times one which removes (say) 80%, while having little added benefit. I’ve read of some regulations which cost trillions per life saved (i.e., no deaths were likely, but high costs were imposed on industry), at a time when many road safety improvements which were not implemented were assessed as $200,000 per life saved. To ignore consequences and alternative uses of resources makes no sense. If the regulation is worthwhile, it would proceed if subject to a CBA. If a CBA is banned, there is likely to be a sub-optimal allocation of resources.

        Perhaps I’m ignorant here – e.g., is the CAA referring here to, say, a threshold which might be reached and would require certain polluting activities to be curtailed/ceased until threat levels drop? E.g. high pollution level days in LA?

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        Faustino, no you are not ignorant. You have the big picture right.

        The first step is the EPA makes an Endangerment Finding. This is when they use science to determine if a substance released into the air is detrimental to human health or welfare. If the result is that the substance is harmful, the CAA requires the EPA to regulate the things that have been deemed pollutants. The regulations attempt to control emissions and bring them underneath what are considered harmful levels.

      • Thanks, Joseph. An Aussie example makes me cautious. Two small areas of Sydney were found to have airborne lead levels associated with motor traffic which were dangerously high for children. Lead-free petrol was mandated in new cars nationwide from, I think, January 1986. You could have argued that a highly-localised problem didn’t need continent-wide restrictions (and two lead smelter towns at Port Pirie SA and Mt Isa in Queensland still have far higher lead levels than those found in Sydney). However.

        State governments continued, for no obvious benefit, to further tighten petrol emission levels at fairly regular intervals (not for GHG reasons). My research at that time showed that through the 1980s and into the ‘90s, the petrol refineries return on capital was generally about 2%, none had a viable rate of return. The governments, which constantly expressed concern about the price of petrol and have had more than 40 inquiries into it (none showing any problems requiring action), forced the refineries to make investments in further emission reductions on non-viable refineries, leading to higher petrol prices. More recently, ethanol blends, which virtually no one buys, were mandated. Result, almost all refineries have closed, the two remaining are under threat and we, an oil producer, are now heavily dependent on imported refined fuels.

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        Faustino, under the Clean Air Act most pollutants that trigger regulations are in areas where the pollutants exceed the levels that are deemed harmful. For example, ozone is generally an urban problem, so only urban areas are required to meet the regulations. For example, certain gasoline blends are required in large cities with ozone problems.

        I am not familiar with Australian air pollution laws, but in the US regulated parties could have challenged the enactment of regulations in court if they were outside areas that had lead problems. The US regulatory system, particularly the environmental sector, has many opportunities for public involvement.

  31. All,

    Something that jumped out in this article: http://greenenergy.blogspot.com/search/label/Global%20Warming

    Would it be wrong of me to presume that if a “renewable energy like, subsidy” was in place for voluntary installation of carbon scrubbers that Exxon might be the first company in place to jump on this as a marketing tool?

  32. Climate Corruption — Blame Gauss

    In the article “Netherlands Temperature Controversy: Or, Yet Again, How Not To Do Time Series,” (http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=14718%C2%A0 ) William Briggs makes a strong case against data processing statistical techniques used in climate analysis. He shows how data can be “tortured” and regression applied to conclude different results from the same data.

    But he doesn’t discuss the history of regression involving it’s inventor, Carl Friedrich Gauss, who used the method to discover the orbit of the planetoid Ceres. As discussed in “Gauss and Ceres,” Leorah Weiss (http://www.math.rutgers.edu/~cherlin/History/Papers1999/weiss.html ), Gauss’ succeeded where others didn’t by using a good physical model of the motion (from Kepler) in his fitting process. this model came from physics and was external to the regression technique Gauss had developed.

    It is precisely this connection between physics and math (regression) that is missing in climate temperature analysis. Gauss gave us the idea of regression, but did not warn us that people might misuse it to “justify” models with no underpinnings in physics.

    So, I blame Gauss for the current climate corruption, well, not really.

  33. .atmospheric physicist

    And Australia’s PM Tony Abbott this week had a big disagreement with Obama over climate change. Tony must be starting to heed the book and emails I have sent him.

    Climate change is all natural and quite beyond mankind’s control. Carbon dioxide does not warm at all, but it does improve agricultural production.

    And warm air is not necessarily rising just because there is a temperature gradient. Do you see clouds continually rising with such air pushing them up? Why is there still a temperature gradient within the cloud?

    In his “Gold Standard of Climatology” book Principles of Planetary Climate Raymond Pierrehumbert quite specifically stated that, in the absence of all greenhouse gases, the troposphere would be isothermal. But an isothermal state would have unbalanced energy potentials with more gravitational potential energy at the top.

    Thus Pierrehumbert throws the Second Law of Thermodynamics out the window,

    Because of this fundamental error, the greenhouse conjecture is smashed.

    Who do you believe?

  34. Jim D

    We are now back on the trend line.

    Here is the apple to apple comparison for two 30 year periods:

    1974 to 2004 => 0.2 deg C per decade
    1983 to 2013 => 0.166 deg C per decade

    Here is the graph that shows the above result:

    Source: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/mean:3/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1974/to:2004/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1983/to:2013/trend

    The above result shows a deceleration in the global warming rate from its maximum of 0.2 to 0.166 deg C per decade in the last nine years.

  35. .atmospheric physicist

    There is no CO2 warming because you cannot “excuse” a ray of radiation from the colder atmosphere supposedly dumping thermal energy into a warmer surface as being OK just because some subsequent independent process (like evaporative cooling) sends more thermal energy back to the atmosphere.

    If you wish to cherry pick those two independent processes, then I will cherry pick two independent rays of radiation each supposedly doing what the first one did.

  36. Energy prices. Oil up somewhat. Coal up.

    OIL 76.51 0.66
    BRENT 80.36 —
    NAT GAS 4.266
    RBOB GAS 2.0565 0.0289
    DIESEL 2.4045 0.0245
    ETHANOL 2.06 0.112
    URANIUM 38.25 -3.25
    COAL 53.03 1.43

  37. .atmospheric physicist

    When will you all stop being so gullible as to be bluffed by the “fissics” of Hansen and Pierrehumbert from Climatology Carbonland? The electro-magnetic energy in radiation from a cooler troposphere to a warmer surface is not converted to thermal energy in that surface. Never was. Never will be.

    You can’t explain how a planet’s surface temperature is maintained at observed levels unless and until you can explain the necessary energy flows. It’s no use just arguing that the radiative altitude increases by 1 metre from 5,000m to 5,001m (when adding 0.04% carbon dioxide) because the temperature gradient can also change, as we know it does with increases in water vapour. None of this argument explains the energy flows. You cannot add back radiative flux to solar flux and use the total in Stefan Boltzmann calculations, and nor does the surface act like a black or grey body anyway, because it does not meet the definition of such.

  38. Warm pacific for many months but not enough to lift satellite records over 1998 as the warmest year. The current heat in the pacific will shortly cool and 2015 should be the start of a prolonged global temperature downslide. If a near El Niño cannot produce a huge jump in global temperatures then the only way forwards is downwards.

    • “The current heat in the pacific will shortly cool and 2015 should be the start of a prolonged global temperature downslide.”
      —–
      Pseudoscience Alert: this claim has no basis other than wishful thinking.

      • If it gets extra windy again, he’ll be right.

      • The pseudoscience community needs to look at the narrowest slice of the climate energy system over the shortest time frames to support their views. Troposheric temps or sea surface temps fit this bill over certain time frames. Cooling during La Niña or cool PDO periods are the perfect foil for this. Net energy in the climate system has been steadily increasing for over 50 years, only pausing briefly from volcanoes. The current “hiatus” is the perfect “look squirrel” moment for them, and of course a warm 2014, which should cause them cognitive dissonance, only brings out talk of data manipulation. Sad, but predictable.

      • The pseudo science warming community needed to look at the narrowest
        Slice of the climate energy system over the shortest time frames to support their views. Well explained Mr Gates.
        Taking an incredibly short period of up going temperatures, tropospheric were they? Over a cherry picked, sorry, “certain” time frame, assumptions all out of keeping with real science were made by the warmists.
        When it stopped, paused or went into a hiatus long enough to show the claims were bogus using such short time frames warmists had the gall to say the pause interval was too short!
        The current near El Niño conditions provide the perfect “look squirrel” moment for them.
        A warm 2014 on the backdrop of no major temperature rise despite these near El Niño conditions should cause them cognitive dissonance but of course only brings out the squeal of, look , a high temperature as if temperatures cannot be allowed to be high or low naturally.
        Sad but predictable? Too true.

    • .atmospheric physicist

      Slight cooling only, my friend, from 1998 to 2028, then 30 years of warming followed by 500 years of long-term cooling with superimposed 60 year cycles regulated by planetary orbits as explained in other comments.

  39. ‘This paper provides an update to an earlier work that showed specific changes in the aggregate time evolution of major Northern Hemispheric atmospheric and oceanic modes of variability serve as a harbinger of climate shifts. Specifically, when the major modes of Northern Hemisphere climate variability are synchronized, or resonate, and the coupling between those modes simultaneously increases, the climate system appears to be thrown into a new state, marked by a break in the global mean temperature trend and in the character of El Niño/Southern Oscillation variability. Here, a new and improved means to quantify the coupling between climate modes confirms that another synchronization of these modes, followed by an increase in coupling occurred in 2001/02. This suggests that a break in the global mean temperature trend from the consistent warming over the 1976/77–2001/02 period may have occurred.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL037022/full

    They excel at not actually getting it. And to imagine that data exists that shows ‘warming’ in the Argo period – especially ‘warming’ due to greenhouse gases – is delusional.

    • Perfect example of my point above:

      “The pseudoscience community needs to look at the narrowest slice of the climate energy system over the shortest time frames to support their views.”

      Look broadly in the data and time frames and pseudoscience collapses.

      • The ‘pseudoscience’ is actually published science in both cases. I am not in fact remotely ‘skeptical’ – but what science suggests is the potential for the hiatus to persist for 20 to 40 years from 2002. As opposed to ‘The Science’ from warming cataclysm cultists. The hiatus is the result of a climate shift and involves a step shift in cloud cover – verified in couple of ways.

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

        There is not a chance that Argo is reliably showing continued warming from greenhouse gases.

        For instance – a ‘steric’ sea level rise of 0.2+/-0.8mm/yr.

        Randy the video guy is utterly predictable but has not the slightest clue.

      • O – we are creatures of the light, of enlightenment,.
        Drawn to the light flickering on the river,
        The riffling silver thread disturbing its opacity,
        Drawn to the litter of stars that spark
        In the dark abyss of the night, to the harvest moon,
        Palpable as global fruit, forgetting Its light’s
        reflected from the sun and earth-shine.
        Shine on O shine, harvest moon,
        Seeking through poetry and science, to probe
        The secrets of the heavens and deep abyss,
        We yearn for for honey from the golden hive,
        Enlightenment – O.

        (… and that’s about enuff from a serf.)

      • Converging ‘climatologies’? Didn’t happen here.

        Here’s the Scripps climatology.

        Against a background of huge natural variability?

        They just don’t get either the point about the inability of Argo ocean heat data to say anything meaningful over short periods – i.e 10 years. Or especially regime theory of any sort. This latter suggests the potential for the hiatus to persist for 20 to 40 years from 2002.

        So forgive me for not holding my breath for warming to resume any time soon.

      • Beth

        Seems to me the serfs around here are getting a bit uppity. You haven’t been talking with that Wat Tyler again have you?

        tonyb

      • nottawa rafter

        JCH
        Your link shows that the deep sea should be deep sixed for proving anything.

      • So what? Why is that significant?

      • JCH,

        I’m not on the scientific level of most here, but I was kinda thinking the same thing.

        CO2 = evil seems like a pretty small slice of the pie, and how much total energy can be applied to .04% of one ingredient of that pie?

        R.Gates, it’s your frame of reference so if you could help me out here………….

      • This notion that warmer oceans don’t matter, or even, in the extreme pseudoscience fantasy, aren’t happening, simply goes against every known thermodynamic principal, and seems one more rationalization created by the pseudoscience crowd to rationalize away the effects of the HCV. Our very best data and proxy data tell us the oceans are at their warmest ever, and down to 2000m the warming over the past many decades looks something like this:

        Now, it’s okay to be skeptical of this data, as any good scientist should be. I do not believe this data represents the exact path OHC has taken over those decades, but I do accept that it is highly likely the general trend is correct.

        Finally, the presumption among the pseudoscience crowd that warmer oceans don’t affect weather and climate is of course physically absurd. This is a water planet and the warmer the oceans the more dynamic the weather patterns. A perfect example among dozens is the formation of super typhoons. These form by churning up heat from deeper ocean layers. They can’t form if the heat is not there. We have seen several of these the past few years in the very warm western pacific. One of them remained potent enough as an extratropical cyclone to alter Rossby wave activity, and bring the early cold outbreak to the U.S.

      • “Our best data” cover a time period that in geologic time is a billionth as wide as a neutrino. I’m sure it means a lot.

      • nottawa rafter

        Gates
        Your graph starts 1950. You said warmest ever. Since 1950 is not ever. I am not one denying role of ocean heat content. But I am one who has not been shown the OHC trend is greater than the trend since we came out of the LIA. This point is very much in line with myriad examples by Tony. Unprecedented Gates. Unprecedented is the gold standard.

      • “jim2 | November 23, 2014 at 10:15 am |
        “Our best data” cover a time period that in geologic time is a billionth as wide as a neutrino. I’m sure it means a lot.”
        —-
        As much as human existence itself I suppose since that would be how long humans have existed if you want to use geological time as a reference for whether something is meaningful or not.

        Consider a more meaningful frame of reference. The last time GH gas levels were this high, our Austalopithecus ancestors were roaming about and the Arctic Ocean was ice free.

      • Regarding the current state of ocean heat content versus what has happened in the past, it is probably best to look across the entire Holocene. We’ve had this conversation many times here in CE, but the current best data would tell us the oceans are warming at their fastest in 10,000 years:

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131031-climate-ocean-temperatures-years/

        For this kind of large swing in ocean heat content, which forms the majority of climate system energy, one must look for an external forcing. The rapid rise in GH gas concentrations is the most likely source for the majority of that forcing.

      • R.Gates, “Regarding the current state of ocean heat content versus what has happened in the past, it is probably best to look across the entire Holocene. We’ve had this conversation many times here in CE, but the current best data would tell us the oceans are warming at their fastest in 10,000 years:”

        Funny you should say that :) I am slowly putting together a tropical ocean temperature reconstruction which should be more indicative of OHC since that does represent the bulk of the ocean heat source.

      • Gates

        At least you tried. Kudos. The article suggests the trend but when going to the study nothing in the abstract discusses trends, only temps. If someone has access to the study behind paywall, I would like to see the precise language the authors use in the trend for the last 10,000 years. Until then, thanks. They speak of a bump in MWP and drop in LIA so those amounts would be of interest as well.

      • Capt

        Are you familiar with the study gates linked to? It is paywalled and I think it would be of interest for this discussion.

      • That’s exciting Captn. We know it all becomes proxy, and so multiproxy is best, but I’d be very interested in seeing that, and comparing it directly to known short term and long term forcings, like volcano, Milanokovitch, GH gas, etc.

      • R. Gates, I just throw that together and avoided the Rosenthal, Oppo et al. data for the IPWP which I will compare to later.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-problem-with-changing-your-frame-of.html

        That is my cheeky write up with the reconstructions used so far. Basically though, if you want lower troposphere you don’t want OHC reconstructions and vice versa. Mix them all together and you get this.

        As usual though I believe that K. Lawrence and crew have something similar in the works showing the “Seesaw” that is related to precessional cycle.

      • “Basically though, if you want lower troposphere you don’t want OHC reconstructions and vice versa. Mix them all together and you get this.”
        ——
        True., if improperly mixed, but mixed correctly and they tell us the history of the Holocene climate and the accurate perspective on our current warming period.

      • It was so what to whether or not the abyssal ocean is warming a tiny amount or cooling a tiny amount, and it should obvious that if it is cooling a small amount, which is what recent work indicates, that is good for warmers and bad for koolers.

        Your graph starts 1950. You said warmest ever.

        Good grief, the earth has been a hot house and it has been a snowball. When somebody says warmest ever, or coldest ever, it sounds dumb as hell to point this out.

      • ceresco kid

        “Are you familiar with the study gates linked to? It is paywalled and I think it would be of interest for this discussion.”

        No, if fact I am avoiding that study for now. Warming “unprecedented” in ~10000 years would be consistent with the precessional cycle which has a roughly 20,000 year cycle with minimal wobble. Ocean warming and lower troposphere warming are not all that directly related since high 65N solar insulation helps melt glaciers, but reduces the rate of ocean heat uptake. If you get the right paleo reconstructions, they should show precessional impact on average ocean temperature.

        When you have a higher average ocean temperature you have the energy required to dump a kilometer or three of snow on the midwest which should start another glacial cycle. I doubt the midwest volunteer to end “global” warming though.

      • Scroll down to the paper:

        10,000 years

      • “When somebody says warmest ever, or coldest ever, it sounds dumb as hell to point this out.”
        —-
        There are so many different qualifiers that one could add after “warmest ever” that it all must be taken in context of the conversation, and polite and reasonable people know the context and don’t expect constant qualifiers, such as:

        Warmest of the year
        Warmest in the decade
        Warmest of the century
        Warmest on instrument record
        Warmest of the Holocene
        Warmest in the past 3.2 million years

        Etc etc etc.

        If we say it was the “warmest October ever” , well reasonable people know we mean instrument record. Can we get past this pedantry?

      • Note that this one is no longer getting linked. Lol.

        Getting harder and harder to find graphs that end in 2008, 2011, and 2012.

        Current warming rate is .58C per decade, and there is no let up in sight.

      • R. Gates, “True., if improperly mixed, but mixed correctly and they tell us the history of the Holocene climate and the accurate perspective on our current warming period.”

        What is the “proper” mix can be debated. If you are looking at precessional cycle OHC, lower SH insolation and increase glacial growth should cause a reduction. There would be a tricky trade off between the two.

        CK, No I am avoiding that paper for now as mentioned in a comment I have in moderation.

      • “Getting harder and harder to find graphs that end in 2008, 2011, and 2012.”
        —-
        But it won’t stop the pseudoscientists from looking for them or creating them. When that eventually reaches the limit of absurdity, they claim the data has been heavily corrupted by the vast climate warmist conspiracy.

      • Beth

        Thank you for the moment of peace. Reminded me, in a conversation with a retired seaman, his love of the sea, amplified by the stars.

        Richard

      • JCH, I use 0-700 meter all the time, but I do use temperature not bazillajoules.

        See, it shows the “unprecedented” warming trend of around 300 years. Largest warming trend in the Holocene by golly :), at least it should be.

      • “The comparison suggests that Pacific OHC was substantially higher during most of the Holocene than in the past decade (200 to 2010), with the exception of the LIA.”

        So Gates and JCH are skeptics now?

      • 200 should of course be 2000. My typo not their’s.

      • The topic was the hiatus – yet again – and not the ocean heat over the past several decades or in deed the Holocene.

        Here’s Argo – graphed from the
        Global Marine Atlas.

        The most obvious feature is an increase in the past few years. The most obvious cause is the increase in total solar irradiance in the Schwabe cycle. Shall we call it natural variability?

        Regime theory still suggests that the hiatus is likely to persist for 20 to 40 years from 2002.

      • I note in the study linked by JCH that most of the Holocene OHC was substantially higher than the studied decade 2000 to 2010. So i guess we are just reverting to the mean eh?

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        R. Gates
        rails on and on about pseudoscience
        then declares “oceans warming at a faster rate than in the last 10,000 years”
        total unsubstantiated conjecture
        extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
        distant reconstructions, no matter how clever
        cannot be verified to be stated as fact

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: “The pseudoscience community needs to look at the narrowest slice of the climate energy system over the shortest time frames to support their views.”

        Can you point to any “community” that has consistently held to a standard definition of “warming” and a consistent approach to using all of the data instead of select short series? James Hansen became an alarmist on less than 10 years of surface temp data. It seems to me that the best “community” consists of the “lukewarmers” like Spencer, Singer, Curry, the Pielkes, McIntyre, McKittrick, and some others who are demonized by the “alarmists”: Hansen, Ehrlich, Holdren, the late Schneider, Schmidt, Mann and a bunch of others.

        On this point: the current disputed “pause” is longer than the warming had been (e.g. recovery from global cooling) at the time Hansen raised the alarm in the overheated Congress. OHC became important after the pause had become too obvious to ignore. The two earlier warming epochs since 1850 are ignored in favor of 1978-1998. Examples of inconsistency and selection bias jump out at you whatever direction you look. They have been present in the debate ever since “global cooling” was popular.

      • Matthew

        For those interested here is hansens original 1988 testimony.

        http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Environment/documents/2008/06/23/ClimateChangeHearing1988.pdf

        The original global temperature graphs at the very foot of the testimony are especially interesting and seem to have evolved over the years as Giss developed

        Tonyb

      • .atmospheric physicist

        R Gates

        How about you “look broadly” at the implied assumption by Hansen, Pierrehumbert et al that the supposed 255K surface of an Earth without water vapour or other GH gases would still have clouds reflecting 30% of solar energy back to space. Take out the clouds and don’t multiply the radiation by 0.7 and you get 278K not 255K. Bit of a difference I suggest.

        Regions with more water vapour have more clouds and a comprehensive study of 30 years of real world data from three continents proved that more moist regions have both lower daily maximum and minimum temperatures that drier regions at similar latitude and altitude. Fact, R.Gates, facts! Where is your counter study of real world data?

        Yes the world will warm but only by half a degree by about 2058 when 500 years of cooling will start. It’s all governed by planets whose magnetic fields affect the Sun and cosmic rays. You cannot prove with valid physics that carbon dioxide can do any significant warming.

    • Tony, yer told me not to have anything to do with Wat, and wishing
      ter heed the lessons of history, I obeyed. )

  40. I agree with Mark Lynas:

    “On the other hand, if India decides not to burn much coal in future in order to limit emissions, development could be slowed and hundreds of millions would remain in poverty longer than otherwise.

    Climate activists try to resolve this dilemma by insisting that India could move straight to renewables, and indeed India already has a substantial solar programme. But solar is still much more expensive than coal, and is unproven as a reliable source of electricity for entire countries: to put all energy eggs in the renewables basket would clearly be a massive risk for India’s leadership. Climate campaigners 350.org recently had an ‘India Beyond Coal’ day of action, supported by assertions such as this:

    Our excessive dependence on coal threatens a future where we can pull millions of Indians out of poverty. Rising costs of coal, reduced availability, excessive deforestation, negative health impacts and the climate crisis are strong reasons to begin the transition towards renewable energy and energy efficiency.

    I really don’t think this is true. The costs of poverty – which includes millions of preventable deaths of young children, lack of access to water and sanitation, reduced livelihood prospects, large-scale hunger and malnutrition, and so on… are clearly much greater than the direct costs of coal burning, and this equation probably still holds even when the future damages from climate change are factored in.

    The proof of this is right on India’s border in the shape of China’s coal-based development miracle. China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in recent decades, and made such immense strides in its development index that it alone has helped the world achieve most Millennium Development Goals – all based on a manufacturing boom almost entirely fuelled by coal.

    Indeed, I would go so far as to suggest that the best way for poorer countries to protect themselves against future climate change might not be to reduce their emissions, but to use as much energy as possible – including from coal – in order to develop richer and more resilient societies.”

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Peter Lang believes the best way for India to prepare for the future is to pollute as much as possible. Peter, have you lost your mind?

      • No Max, he simply thinks that more energy, regardless of source, even if that source is coal, means more ability to improve our lives, and the cheaper the energy, the more of it we can have, meaning, the better our lives can be. It’s a positive way of thinking, a thought process unfamiliar to most liberals. Here is something else to think about From the book “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”
        ” The Gambia, June 2006: At 4 PM on a Saturday afternoon, I was startled when the lights came on: the lights never came on after 2 pm on the weekend. The adrenaline really kicked in when I was invited to observe an emergency c-section – a first form. When the infant emerged,I felt my heart racing from excitement an awe! But, no matter how many times the technician suctioned the nose and mouth, the infant did not utter a sound. After 25 minutes, the technician and nurse gave up. The surgeon later explained that the baby had suffocated in utero. If only they had had enough power to use the ultrasound machine for each pregnancy, he would have been able to detect the problem earlier and been able to plan the c-section. Without the early detection, the c-section became an emergency, moreover, the the surgery had to wait for the generator to be powered on. The loss of precious minutes meant the loss of a precious life….

        The narrator goes on to say that electricity is at the forefront of every staff member’s thoughts. With it, they can conduct tests using electric powered medical equipment, use vaccines and antibiotics that require refrigeration, and plan surgeries to meet patients needs. Without it, they will continue to give the best care they can, but in a country with an average life span of 54 years, it’s a hard fight to win.

        So tell me, Max-OK, do you think the folks in Gambia would give a rat’s arse if they had a coal fired power plant that provided them with affordable and reliable energy? The arrogance of the leftist elitists in the western world is simply appalling – their thought process is that because they FEEL that fossil fuels are bad, no one in the developing world should be permitted to use them, even if it means lifting them out of abject poverty and helps to save and improve lives. After all, we got ours, so who cares about them?

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        The book “The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels” is a must read for Fossil-Fuel Luddites and anyone who believes in pollution for profit. Readers who just want a good laugh also might enjoy it.

      • Not surprised by that response there max-ok. Indoctrinated, lobotomized fools like yourself are too invested in warmest scarism to face the reality that the benefits of using fossil fuels are multiple orders of magnitude greater than any downside risks. Name me one thing in your life there MO that is not in some way dependent on fossil fuels. And by the way, you did not answer the question re: the folks in Gambia. Something tells me they have a greater grasp on the realities of having acces to abundant, affordable, and reliable energy sources than fear mongering warmest fools.

      • As I remarked in response to Lynas:

        “the biggest unanswered question now in climate change is this: what will India do?” Modi answered that question in Australia last week: India will go for growth, primarily driven by (increasingly Australian) coal, also by nuclear (Australian uranium). Anyone who knows India, as I have since 1972, would know that this is the only sensible and humane approach.

        [I have had Indian friends since uni days, I spent two years in and around India 1972-75 and have been back several times, most recently 2009-2010.]

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Barnes sez on November 24, 2014 at 4:47 am
        “Not surprised by that response there max-ok. Indoctrinated, lobotomized fools like yourself are too invested in warmest scarism to face the reality that the benefits of using fossil fuels are multiple orders of magnitude greater than any downside risks…. ”
        _____

        At one time you could have said the same thing about horses and mules. But time doesn’t stand still.

        As a mineral rights owner I benefit from the sale of two fossil fuels, natural gas and oil. As a consumer I benefit from the use of these fuels as well as coal. At present, renewable sources of energy (i.e., solar and wind) do not account for enough of the energy market to affect me one way or another. I would be a fool, however, if I did not see renewables gradually accounting for an increasing share of the energy market at the expense of fossil fuels in the long term. And for future generations, I think that will be a good thing.

        As for your comment about Gambia, I would agree the Gambians would benefit from electric power, but I believe renewables would be a better long term solution to their needs.

      • .

        And for future generations, I think that will be a good thing.

        One problem is the tendency for people to wait to act in a comprehensive way to solve problems only when there is a crisis or the impacts are so widespread they can’t be ignored. In the US a good example is how we are we dealing with Medicare. We know that the system is unsustainable in the long run without major changes, but the public and our politicians postpone the inevitable because it isn’t yet affecting us directly. Waiting until there is a crisis or on the precipice of a crisis often leads to costly and not well thought out solutions. I think being proactive is often the most effective way of dealing with many problems.

      • Joseph | November 24, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        “One problem is the tendency for people to wait to act in a comprehensive way to solve problems only when there is a crisis or the impacts are so widespread they can’t be ignored.”
        Here: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2014/no-lew-we-dont-need-that-level-of-flood-defenses/ Lucia has a flood defense example using a measured approach. We are doing in something now. Minnesota is around 10 percent wind power we are told. Money spent has been significant. Coal may be on the decline. We have time. When you say comprehensive, do you want a more or less complete solution now?

    • Sulfate emissions cooled the planet – don’t you want a cooler planet?

    • Good ol 350.org, from it’s fearless leader, Bill McKibben who in 1998 endorsed a scenario of outlawing 60 percent of present fossil fuel use to slow catastrophic climate change, even though that would mean, in his words, that “each human being would get to produce 1.69 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually— which would allow you to drive an average American car nine miles a day. By the time the population increased to 8.5 billion, in about 2025, you’d be down to six miles a day. If you carpooled, you’d have about three pounds of CO2 left in your daily ration— enough to run a highly efficient refrigerator. Forget your computer, your TV, your stereo, your stove, your dishwasher, your water heater, your microwave, your water pump, your clock. Forget your light bulbs, compact fluorescent or not.” That was 1998, today Bill McKibben endorses a 95 percent ban on fossil fuel use, eight times as severe as the scenario described above!

      Now, imagine applying those types of restrictions to farmers, food processors, other manufacturers and the supply chain overall.

      Warmists are pessimists by nature – they see only negative impacts of the energy source that makes the kind of lives we lead possible while totally ignoring the benefits. They see only harm in the possibility that our climate may get warmer, totally ignoring that history shows otherwise. They totally ignore the possibility that more Co2 in the atmosphere may actually be a good thing, that more co2 means a greener planet. They advocate for “renewable” energy sources like wind and solar, which have so far proven to be far inferior sources of energy for providing our needs.

  41. .atmospheric physicist

    Yes Rob Ellison, and the variations in cloud cover may be caused by variations in cosmic rays. It is planetary orbits which regulate Earth’s natural 934 year and 60 year climate cycles, and carbon dioxide has nothing to do with any of it, because you cannot present me with valid physics that shows any reason why it should have a significant effect. I challenge you to do so, but don’t link me to Pierrehumbert’s garbage which I have shown to contain two fundamental errors which demolish the whole argument – see other comments of mine. Give me your own explanation with appropriate calculations, thinking carefully about what you are claiming, step by step. Then I’ll show you where your argument is faulty and violates the laws of physics. Water vapour cools, not warms.

  42. “Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible. Koningstein and Fork write: “At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope … Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.”– Lewis Page, The Register, 21 November 2014"
    GWPF Newsletter

    • Peter

      I am not against renewables per se, it is just that I am against hugely
      expensive unreliable and unsightly renewables.

      I am not sure that they can begin to be effective until some sort of cheap
      battery storage technology can be developed.

      We also need to accept renewable horses for courses. Solar might be
      marginally cost effective in California at some point, but in England?? I
      still think that wave/tidal has merit, (in our circumstances) but too little resources have been devoted to them.

      The trouble is that those controlling the purse strings have a deaf ear as
      regards criticism of renewables. They aren’t going to admit the enormous
      resources devoted to them have been largely wasted.

      Tonyb

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Tony,

        The first transcontinental US railroad, completed around 1860, was very expensive to build, so expensive the government had to give a vast amount of land to railway investors as an inducement to invest. Free-market purists were outraged over this extravagant subsidy by the government, and insisted if the railway was worth building, it eventually would have been funded entirely by private capital. What “eventually” specifically meant was anyone’s guess.

        The building of the transcontinental railway in the US created an enormous number of jobs for immigrant Irish laborers, who otherwise would have been sneaking into England and taking jobs away from the locals, perhaps even your great grandfather’s job. With no means to support a family, he might not have married your great grandmother, and you wouldn’t be here. You should think about that before before objecting to expensive subsidies.

      • Max

        Good to have you back.

        Where did I object to expensive subsidies? However there is a limit as I am sure you will agree. . It is fine for pump priming or to maintain a viable system until better days, but there comes a point where you realise that it is a wasted effort.(see subsidies of British Leyland)

        Until a storage device is created-aka superior Batteries-we are unlikely to make headway as much of the renewables technology is premature and needs working on as part of a well funded CERN or Apollo type Govt project until it is ready.

        Converting our largest UK power station to wood pellets sourced from America and destroying large tracts of land in our finest uplands to accommodate wind farms that work for 30% of the time benefits no one except those receiving the subsidy.

        tonyb

      • It was easy to see that the railroad would bring a large and immediate benefit. Not so with renewables.

        Some here deride me because I advocate a subsidy for nuclear and not for renewables. They say I’m not “consistent.” Well, it’s true that I’m not in the sense I want a subsidy for one energy source but not others. And my rejoinder is “So what?”

        The consistency argument is a fallacious one. If I rigorously apply consistency, then I would advocate that taxpayer money be spent to fund a group of scientists to develop that holy grail of energy – a perpetual motion machine. Or fund a group of chemists to discover the Philosophers Stone. We could fund any number of idjitiotic ideas, but that would be a waste of money.

        The bottom line is that nations posses limited resources and those resources come at the expense of the citizens. Therefore, we must discriminate. Nuclear is a concentrated, tried and true source of baseline power. It can power mankind for thousands of years when managed properly. Wind and solar, even after a century of effort, are still just bit players.

        http://solarenergy.com/power-panels/history-solar-energy

        After all, our ancestors judiciously opted to build a transcontinental railroad – not a transcontinental bicycle path.

      • jim2

        It should tell us something that after 500 years of windmills, as soon as something better came along they became redundant until we started to believe that throwing money at them would somehow eliminate their problems

        tonyb

      • One of the most important things about those subsidies is what the government gave away was essentially free: land that had little value before there was a railroad nearby. Let’s take a look at how an analogous subsidy might work:

        There’s recently been a surge of interest in underwater compressed air storage. Although the technology currently envisioned “will be deployed at a depth of 80 meters, and they should be able to supply about a megawatt of electricity for 3 hours or so”, greater depths are feasible:

        At depths greater than 500 meters, says Garvey, “the cost of the containment becomes negligible compared with the costs of the power-conversion machinery.”

        So here’s what could be done: anybody who creates a prototype underwater compressed air system can be granted a large plot of ocean bottom, for future development. To keep it (analogous to homesteading in the 19th century US) the grantee must show progressive development of energy storage using the underwater area granted. As with the railroad subsidies, the underwater rights will only acquire value when the technology develops.

        Ideally, IMO, the grants should specify energy storage depending on the pressure at depth, without going into details whether they use compressed air or pumped hydro using underwater spheres, or any other technology.

        For instance, rather than spheres, smaller horizontal tubes might be cheaper per energy stored. And for compressed air, perhaps a giant cylinder/piston system with insulating capacity, so the air could be stored at the adiabatic compressed temperature (~200°C for 80 meters), rather than having to be cooled and re-heated. Such a system would be pressure-neutral, although an insulating material capable of withstanding the compressive force would be needed. With good insulation, only tiny amounts of heat would be needed to keep it hot (making up for leakage), and perhaps that heat could be gotten directly from concentrated sunlight.

        Such a subsidy system would cost the government almost nothing (immediately, although it would detract from later income selling off useful sea-bottom once the technology is mature). But as long as the technology is close enough to mature to attract investors, it might well be highly workable.

      • Curious George

        AK – there are two numbers sorely missing from your otherwise nice outline of compressed air energy storage: efficiency and cost. I agree that we should support the idea if someone comes with a potentially workable proposal – meaning, better than alternatives.

      • @Curious George…

        As the article states, pumped hydro can get round-trip efficiencies around 80%. For their stored-heat design, they hope to get efficiencies of 60-70%.

        The fully adiabatic (but low-pressure) system I described would probably be capable of 80-85%, same as pumped hydro. It would be a matter of which was more economical.

        All those efficiencies are suitable for market- (profit)-driven operation. And, of course, if the subsidized operation failed to continue development, its grant would be vacated, so nothing would be lost.

      • If pumped hydro or this stored air scheme is workable, someone will do it without subsidies.

      • If pumped hydro or this stored air scheme is workable, someone will do it without subsidies.

        I’m sure there were ostrich-types who said the same thing about the transcontinental railroad.

      • Tonyb,

        I am not sure that they can begin to be effective until some sort of cheap
        battery storage technology can be developed.

        Come on Tony. Put on your rational, objective, research hat. Not only do we need cheap energy storage we also need to reduce the cost of the generators and transmission by a factors of 2 to 10. It’s just ridiculous and not going to happen.

        And it’s never going to happen. The ERoEI of renewables precludes them from ever being sustainable. Please read this very short but very well written post on BraveNewClimate about the ERoEI comparison of renewables, fossilo fuels and nuclear. Andy one who reads it will be thinking very carefully about the sustainability of renewables:
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/

        Solar might be
        marginally cost effective in California at some point,

        I doubt that is true. Certainly the solar thermal plants are uneconomic by a factor by an order of magnitude, and PV, when all costs are included are totally uncompetitive too.

        But picking California is cherry-picking anyway. We need to be considering what technologies can supply a large proportionf for the world’s current and future energy demand. Renewables cannot!

      • Curious George

        AK – thank you. You appear to be an optimist. There are at least four elements losing energy: motor, compressor, turbine, and generator. With all of them at 95% efficiency you get a whole cycle efficiency of 81%. I consider that an extremely optimistic number.

      • Land grants for nuclear power stations will be way cheaper than land grants for solar and wind farms. Just sayin’.

      • AK

        There is more to the story.

        The transcontinental railroad was a proven technology and it’s construction was partially motivated by the Union’s Civil War strategy:

        “The first concrete plan for a transcontinental railroad in the United States was presented to Congress by dry-goods merchant Asa Whitney in 1845. Whitney had ridden on newly opened railway lines in England and an 1842–1844 trip to China, which involved a transcontinental trip and the transport of the goods he had bought, further convinced him that the railroad was the future of transport. In 1862, Congress passed the first of five Pacific Railroad Acts that issued government bonds and land grants to the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad. The act, based on a bill proposed in 1856 that had been a victim of the political skirmishes over slavery, was considered a war measure that would strengthen the union between the eastern and western states.”

        Keep warm,

        Richard

      • Interesting comments on underwater compressed air storage.
        Energy Cache gravel storage battery:

        It’s a sky lift with the gravel being dropped from above the bin, or out of the bin to the buckets below. Looks like rock is about 2.5 times as dense as water. I wonder about its efficiency?

      • Ragnaar,

        I can’t imagine there’d be any efficiency losses in that contraption pictured.

        I wonder if they have considered a way it could store more energy. They could replace the gravel with gold to increase the density.

        Or depleted uranium. :)

        AK should go for that, since cost is no object and irrelevant as far as he is concerned

      • More gravel: Company Stores Megawatts of Energy In Gravel-Filled Tanks
        http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2011/05/05/phes-isentropic-gravel-energy-storage/#.VHJcbMlNfIp
        What has this got going for it? Rocks can store heat pretty efficiently. Heat pumps are proven technology.

      • Peter Lang:
        Rather than bin storage of gravel, how about smart bowling balls that would hang out on a large level platform and could be told to get onto the lift as needed?

      • rls, tonyB and others,

        Re railroads, Grubler’s 1998 paper on learning rates is interesting. Compare the learning rates for US and UK canals, railroads, cars and roads in Figure 9 here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421598000676

      • Ragnaar,

        Yes. I like that idea :)

        And what do you think about this one. A cylinder of granite a mile wide and a mile deep (or something like that) cut out of a mountain and raised and lowered by water pressure. it would store all the energy needed to make solar PV viable in Germany! :)

        Designed by solar advocates and clearly never got a reality check from any engineers, let alone geotechnical engineers http://www.solarserver.com/solar-magazine/solar-energy-system-of-the-month/hydraulic-hydro-storage.html

      • Tony,

        “Solar might be
        marginally cost effective in California at some point”

        There is a reason we in the US hinterland call California the Left Coast and The Land of Fruits and Nuts. And there is a reason people and businesses are leaving in droves.

        California has the population and economic problems of Tokyo and a government as incapable as that of Detroit for the last 50 years.

        The future of California solar depends more on the future of California than on the future of solar technology.

      • Anyone care to give me some help evaluation this:
        http://www.greenchargenet.com/power-efficiency-products/
        I am the volunteer treasurer of a 501(c)(3) non-profit park. We have 4 lighted ballfields that cause us to pay Xcel’s demand charge pricing for the whole year, each month and into the foreseeable future. I am guessing we would need 150 kilowatt hours of storage to avoid demand charge prices. Additional problems are, we use the lights only about 100 hours a year. Our energy usage is low when it’s cold. 5 months of snow on the ground shuts everything down but we stay on the grid and use minimal power during the Winter. Our energy usage beside field lights is a walk-in cooler and numerous reach-in coolers for our concession stand. We do pump water for fields irrigation from a pond and we sometime have to replenish that pond with well water. Our annul electrical bill is from $5,000-$6000 with at least half of that being demand charges. Xcel has told me that we get the demand charges when we draw an average of 25 kilowatts for a 15 minute period. Our park serves a number of youth and adult baseball and softball leagues with the youth ones typically being non-profits. It also has a playground and picnic area. We work with our local school district and I think the case is, they can never have enough fields for their various teams.

      • @Curious George…

        With all of them at 95% efficiency you get a whole cycle efficiency of 81%. I consider that an extremely optimistic number.

        According to Wiki

        Pumped storage is the largest-capacity form of grid energy storage available, and, as of March 2012, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) reports that PSH accounts for more than 99% of bulk storage capacity worldwide, representing around 127,000 MW.[1] PSH reported energy efficiency varies in practice between 70% and 80%,[1][2][3][4] with some claiming up to 87%.[5]

      • Peter

        “Re railroads, Grubler’s 1998 paper on learning rates is interesting. Compare the learning rates for US and UK canals, railroads, cars and roads in Figure 9 here:”

        There appears to be a paywall, or I just do not know how to get to the article. But is it related to this below?

        Allan Bloom in Closing of the American Mind (1987) said that first year university American students simply had not read as much as students in the UK.

      • Peter Lang:
        About gravel storage batteries, I do think ski lifts for people are efficient using more elegance than brute force. They are able to use cables and pulleys but with gravel, there would be added weight and added friction. The video suggested high maintenance would be required.
        “A cylinder of granite a mile wide and a mile deep…” I would not trust the seal or that the granite will not crack.

      • Curious George

        AK – you keep citing numbers for a pumped hydro, while recommending a compressed air. A submarine has different parameters than an aircraft.

      • AK – you keep citing numbers for a pumped hydro, while recommending a compressed air. A submarine has different parameters than an aircraft.

        What I’m recommending is no-cost subsidies for anybody who actually produces any type of storage that depends on water pressure at depth. Not money, but ocean bottom real-estate that they can make valuable by developing the technology. IMO compressed air, adiabatic and otherwise, has the potential to be competitive, as does pumped hydro. LightSail claims to be able to get 90% efficiency (I’m skeptical that it’s round-trip though), and if they, or anybody else, can get that kind of efficiency, why not give them a grant of off-shore sea-bottom? One big enough that they can make a lot of money if it pans out.

        And if it doesn’t? The land ocean bottom grant reverts and nobody’s lost anything except the investors.

      • Curious George

        AK, I am with you on a no-cost subsidy. Actually, it should be offered for any desirable technology – energy storage, spaceport, hyperloop …

      • AK – The enviro-not-zees will never go for compressed air storage in the ocean. That will cause sea level rise and we know some islanders are only millimeters away from going extinct.

      • The enviro-not-zees will never go for compressed air storage in the ocean. That will cause sea level rise and we know some islanders are only millimeters away from going extinct.

        I have a feeling you’re right…

        Southern California has huge opportunities for pumped hydro storage using sea water and cheap “turkey nest” dams in the hilly lands west of the Colorado river. But my guess is the very idea would touch off a huge outcry by “environmentalists”.

      • @Curious George…

        AK, I am with you on a no-cost subsidy. Actually, it should be offered for any desirable technology – energy storage, spaceport, hyperloop …

        Certainly! Including asteroid mining.

    • Bill Gates was checking out a fundamentally different approach on Monday Nov 17.

    • Trans-continental railroad of 1860 justifies Solyndra. Get real.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Some here sure have a strong dislike for new ways of generating power. I’m not one of them. I can, however, empathize because I dislike some new ways too (e.g. Facebook and CVT’s).

      • Not a strong dislike of new ways of generating power, a strong dislike of government mandates requiring the use of electrical generation from systems proven to be unreliable and more expensive while at the same time burdoning proven technology with unnecessary and harmful regulation, and at the same time as providing subsidies to the intermittent, too expensive technologies. A little run on, but you should get the point.

      • Yes, there appears to be no support for making the new technologies efficient either. Usually they cheer up in their posts when things are not succeeding, which gives them away a bit.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Yes, Barnes I get your point. Your thinking is shaped by anti-government free-market ideology. IMO, your ideology is as rigid and impractical as communist ideology.

      • Jim D,

        There is strong incentive for making both new and old technologies more efficient. It happens all the time.

        There is also something called law of diminishing return. At some point the cost of achieving the next amount of efficient is greater than whatever savings you gain from it.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Max
        you point at the 500 pound gorilla
        this a political cultural values debate
        you declare
        “some here have a strong dislike for new ways of generating power”
        patently false
        go back a couple of posts and read the detailed debates about alternative sources

  43. From the article:

    The head of the International Energy Agency this week called on Japan to keep using nuclear power in order to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

    Japan’s CO2 emissions would increase by 14% by 2040 if none of Japan’s currently idled 48 reactors comes back online, said Maria Van Der Hoeven, executive director of the Paris-based body, which advises member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

    The proposal, made at a government panel discussion, was somewhat more direct in its policy advice than heads of international bodies typically offer.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2014/11/19/head-of-energy-body-wants-japan-to-restart-nuclear-reactors/

  44. WRT to the CO2 circulation map referenced in a link in Judy’s post, it looks deceiving due to the color legend.

    I saw Bill Nye on Bloomberg TV on Friday. They put up the map. Due to the red part of the legend is a bit lower than 50% of the scale and that red dominates the top of the chart, if one isn’t cognizant of the color code, it appears the northern hemisphere is the area with the highest CO2 emissions. The red color really pops out. Most map scales that use color put red at the highest end of the scale. That along with the high contrast of red against the darker colors higher on the scale is what makes the map look deceiving.

  45. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Warmer is better.

    After a record snow, a warming Buffalo braces for flooding.

    Flooding is better ?

    • I see you love yourself some cherries.

      • It beggars belief. November gales (Witch of November) which have been a dangerous feature of the Great Lakes since people began to make records (at least 25 major events since 1847) are now posed as a novelty and proof of CAGW. Get cold air coming south over lakes in autumn, with maybe some warm stuff going the other way, and you have to get Lake Effect. Abolish cold air and huge lakes and abolish autumn (with extra fines for November) and you won’t get Lake Effect. Is there a tax for that?

        And while Buffalo’s snow dump has been spectacular, check out November 1913 for some real Lake Effect. Hurricane winds, lashings of snow and a huge maritime disaster.

        Lake Effect. About as new as Polar Vortex. Good try, warmies. (Actually, it wasn’t a good try.)

    • If the snow never melts, that means we have an ice age, so yes, flooding is much better than the alternative.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Right, and before Buffalonians start whining about the flood, they should remember the flood will save Buffalo from an ice age.

        I’m not sure people from Buffalo are called “Buffalonians.”

      • “Dick Hertz | November 23, 2014 at 9:48 am | Reply
        If the snow never melts, that means we have an ice age, so yes, flooding is much better than the alternative.”

        True, but that ain’t gonna happen. Based on their geographic location, what the region should prepare for is some extreme swings in weather fir an extended period, as Elongated Rossby waves alternate rounds of warmth and cold at the limits of historic records.

      • Living near water has costs and benefits. Humans have in generally located themselves near water, because the benefits far outweigh the costs. If you live near the ocean, you get food and a moderated climate, you risk an occasional deadly storm If you live near a river, you get food and transport and you risk floods.

        Buffalo is where it is because of the huge advantages associated with its location. One of the downsides is what is know as lake effect snow. It happens because of geography. It has a name because it happens on a regular basis. The most recent event is a big one, but should not be unexpected.

        The strange thing is that humans have always had a tendency to blame themselves for these natural disasters. They have often gone to extraordinary lengths to try to please the gods to stop what we now know are natural disasters. They have built idols, sacrificed their wealth and in some cases sacrificed some of their own citizens in a vain effort to control nature. A wise person would recognize this long standing human tendency and make some effort to rise above it.

      • “They have built idols, sacrificed their wealth and in some cases sacrificed some of their own citizens in a vain effort to control nature. A wise person would recognize this long standing human tendency and make some effort to rise above it.”
        —–
        It’s called science, Dick. Have you heard of it? It rises above superstition and pseudoscience quite nicely.

      • R. Gates – it appears your view of science is analogous to a modern day Apocalypto. We need to sacrifice a few cultures and maybe a few virgins along the way to satisfy the Co2 Gods so that we can avert any future climate catastrophes.

      • Imagining that a lake effect snow storm in Buffalo is a “result of a warming climate system” has nothing to do with science. Pretending that a November snow storm followed by rapid melting in Buffalo is a “result of a warming climate system” has nothing to do with science.

      • Of course, nowadays we have science, which tells us that every extreme weather event is caused by CO2.
        Which, of course, implies that if you remove CO2 completely then the weather will always be just right – never hot, cold, windy, still, wet nor dry.

      • Dick said: “Pretending that a November snow storm followed by rapid melting in Buffalo is a “result of a warming climate system” has nothing to do with science.”
        —–
        Taking things to extremes and out of context is a perfect example of pseudoscience. But hopefully you understand that if there was no CO2 in the atmosphere that the lake effect snow would go away as there would rather soon once more be a large ice sheet covering the area. You do understand this, right? So, as the system gets more energy, we get more lake effect snow, then, as CO2 goes really high, snow stops and we have Miocene II.

      • nottawa rafter

        Gates
        You are really shameless. Lake effect snow has been around forever. Talk about a scientific illiterate. You take the cake.

      • So if the CO2 levels were a perfect 280ppm, how much snow would have fallen in Buffalo? Or would it have happened a little earlier or later in the year? And another question, how many people would have died without fossil fuels to heat homes and dig out the city?

      • “Gates
        You are really shameless. Lake effect snow has been around forever. Talk about a scientific illiterate. You take the cake.”
        —-
        Of course it most decidedly has not “been around forever” but requires a rather precise set of weather circumstances which disappear when the climate is outside that range. You can make my cake chocolate– with sprinkles.

      • “So if the CO2 levels were a perfect 280ppm, how much snow would have fallen in Buffalo? Or would it have happened a little earlier or later in the year? And another question, how many people would have died without fossil fuels to heat homes and dig out the city?”
        —-
        Would be wonderful to be able to conduct experiments and get answers to these kinds of thoughtful questions. Suppose we reduced CO2 to glacial advance levels of 180ppm. Well, then humans would not be heating their homes there because there would be a thick ice sheet would cover the region. Suppose we take CO2 to 2000ppm. Likely there would be few humans living there either as civillization my well have collapsed. Somewhere between those two there probably is a peak frequency of lake effect snow hitting that region. Giving the close association with planetary scale Rossby waves, which in turn are associated with ocean heat content and sensible and latent heat flux…well it would be an interesting experiment to run.

      • “Gates
        You are really shameless. Lake effect snow has been around forever. Talk about a scientific illiterate. You take the cake.”

        ###############

        In AR4 they made a prediction. more warming will lead to worse lake effect snow.

        pardon them for doing science and getting it right.

        We shouldnt excuse getting it wrong or ignore getting it right

      • I agree. Seems like we sometimes get caught up in “the game” and stop looking for “answers”. One side or the other is not going to be the “winner” when the answers are found and it’s my impression we don’t yet have all the answers.

      • As this little discussion shows once again, AGW alarmism is the perfect liberal cause since you can blame almost anything on it while providing no way of proving it one way or the other. So, gatesy gets to make all kinds of wild, scary assertions, mosh gets to point to one prediction out of who knows how many that the IPCC got right, and voila, we have sufficient “proof” to decarbonixe the economy and cause real harm. Let’s see how well those electric or solar powered vehicles work to help those in Buffalo dig out.

      • nottawa rafter

        Mosher you blew it too. Their projections assumed warmer Great Lakes for longer periods into winter and springs. This year the lakes were colder than normal but the arctic cold was much earlier than usual thus no ice. When iced over, Great Lakes cut down on the Lake Effect snow. If the lakes are ice free for longer periods during the winter then the IPCC is right. To use this unusual event to prove AGW is absurd. Come live in the Great Lakes region for 70 years and you might catch on. The lakes are almost never frozen over before Thanksgiving.

      • nottawa rafter

        More For Mosher

        In the 1970s the Keweenaw Peninsula had 390 inches of snow one winter. Houses that are 100 years old have 2nd floor entrances for the heavy snows they occasionally get. In 1967 we had snow over the doors. Heavy snow is a way of life in the Great Lakes. Each Lake is different and the conditions to create lake effect snow on each lake are different. Numerous dynamics have to come together to create the Buffalo experience. The same dynamics on each of the other lakes would have had different results.

        At some point theoretical science has to get in touch with real experiences and observational data. The mentality exhibited above is the same mentality that denigrates the work of Tony B. Why? Because apparently it is not science. It doesn’t fit the equations. In the end , it will be the anecdotes accumulated over the next 100 years that will determine the final verdict.

      • Matthew R Marler

        nottawa rafter: Mosher you blew it too. Their projections assumed warmer Great Lakes for longer periods into winter and springs. This year the lakes were colder than normal but the arctic cold was much earlier than usual thus no ice. That and the subsequent comment as well.

        Good on you. This event was not predicted by anybody, and does not conform to anyone’s expectation of global warming — a large region of the US is experiencing near record cold weather for this time of year.

    • “Warmer is better.

      After a record snow, a warming Buffalo braces for flooding.

      Flooding is better ?”
      —-
      Both the snow and flooding result from a warming climate system. Real science can connect the dots, pseudoscience writes it off as “natural variability”.

      • Lake effect snow is due to geography. It happened in the past and will continue to happen in the future. You can connect all the dots you want, but remember, seven bright stars may be a big bear or a big dipper, but in reality, they are seven random stars and they simply exist.

      • Real science can connect the dots, pseudoscience writes it off as “natural variability”.

        Occam’s razor slices many climate delusions to shred’s with natural variability.

        CO2 is increasing and is likely causing warming, but the orbit, shape, rotation and orientation of mountains and oceans of earth determine most climate aspects, and those factors aren’t changing much at all.

      • The problem is that the dots aren’t numbered and they frequently connect them incorrectly.

      • PA – + as many as you like. Great response!

      • “Both the snow and flooding result from a warming climate system.”

        Yes, because we all know there is never snow or flooding in a cooling or static climate.

        Oh well, it sounded sciency.

      • “Spencer points out that the Great Lakes are unusually cold this year, and that the storms were driven by a very cold air blast from Siberia.” With colder Great Lakes, we’d expect earlier ice in and less lake effect snow. As Spencer pointed out, we have 2 cold things. The Great Lakes should be worrying the warmists. They’re storing solar and apparently haven’t been doing a lot of that lately, as they are colder.

      • nottawa rafter

        Five years ago the warmists were using low lake levels in the Great Lakes as evidence of global warming due to high evaporation rates. Today they are above the long term mean over the last 96 years. With another iced in winter forecasted, the evaporation will be further reduced and the lake levels will grow further. Add that one to the low level of hurricane activity in the Atlantic. And so many failed projections.

  46. From the article:

    The Minerals Council of Australia says Australia’s uranium industry is set for a boost as Japan moves to restart nuclear reactors for the first time since the Fukushima meltdown.

    Two reactors at Japan’s Sendai nuclear plant in the south west of the country are due to restart next year after receiving approval from local governor Yuichiro Ito.

    This is the first time a reactor will restart since an earthquake triggered a tsunami in 2011, causing a meltdown at the Fukushima facility.

    All of Japan’s 48 nuclear plants were shut down in response, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pushing for their reopening as the cost of importing oil and gas hurts the Japanese economy, BBC reported.

    http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/japan-s-nuclear-restart-to-boost-australian-uraniu

  47. Total sea ice has regained an extent not seen since about year 2000. Why aren’t we hearing about this in the lame-stream media?

  48. The linked article on the creative value of staying loose: MacArthur geniuses on the art of ‘connected irrelevance’ seems like an interesting way to think about the old truism, necessity is the mother of invention.

  49. To me, this article seems to suggest something I’ve said a few times here at CE before – if we want to improve the lot of many in the developing world, we would first have to implement regime change, something we know from experience to be very expensive in terms of blood and money, and even after that expenditure, fails.

    From the (long) article:
    Stop Trying to Save the World
    Big ideas are destroying international development

    By 2007, less than two years after the grants came in, it was already clear these aspirations weren’t going to be met. A UNICEF report found pumps abandoned, broken, unmaintained. Of the more than 1,500 pumps that had been installed with the initial burst of grant money in Zambia, one-quarter already needed repair. The Guardian said the pumps were “reliant on child labour.”

    Let’s not pretend to be surprised by any of this. The PlayPump story is a sort of Mad Libs version of a narrative we’re all familiar with by now: Exciting new development idea, huge impact in one location, influx of donor dollars, quick expansion, failure.

    Over the last year, I read every book, essay, and roman à clef about my field I could find. I came out convinced that the problems with international development are real, they are fundamental, and I might, in fact, be one of them. But I also found that it’s too easy to blame the PlayPumps of the world. Donors, governments, the public, the media, aid recipients themselves—they all contribute to the dysfunction. Maybe the problem isn’t that international development doesn’t work. It’s that it can’t.

    So international development sucks, right? I’ve just spent thousands of words telling you all the ways the incentives of donors, recipients, and NGOs contradict each other. Why not just scrap it altogether?

    Because I don’t think that’s the conclusion these examples suggest. I think they suggest something much less dramatic: It’s not that development is broken, it’s that our expectations of it are.

    If we really want to fix development, we need to stop chasing after ideas the way we go on fad diets. Successful programs should be allowed to expand by degrees, not digits (direct cash payments, which have shown impressive results in Kenya and Uganda, are a great candidate for the kind of deliberate expansion I’m talking about). NGOs need to be free to invest in the kinds of systems and processes we’re always telling developing countries to put in place. And rich countries need to spend less time debating how to divide up the tiny sliver of our GDP we spend on development and more time figuring out how to leverage our vast economic and political power to let it happen on its own.

    As Owen Barder, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development (from whom I stole many of the ideas in this essay), puts it:

    If we believe that trade is important, we could do more to open our own markets to trade from developing countries. If we believe property rights are important, we could do more to enforce the principle that nations, not illegitimate leaders, own their own natural resources. … If we believe transparency is important, we could start by requiring our own companies to publish the details of the payments they make to developing countries.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120178/problem-international-development-and-plan-fix-it

    • Interesting article, thanks for the link

    • Let’s hope they haven’t bitten off more than they can chew regarding regime change:

      Lavrov accuses West of seeking ‘regime change’ in Russia

      (Reuters) – Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West on Saturday of trying to use sanctions imposed on Moscow in the Ukraine crisis to seek “regime change” in Russia.
      His comments stepped up Moscow’s war of words with the United States and the European Union in their worst diplomatic standoff since the Cold War ended.
      “As for the concept behind to the use of coercive measures, the West is making clear it does not want to force Russia to change policy but wants to secure regime change,” Tass news agency quoted Lavrov as telling a meeting of the advisory Foreign and Defense Policy Council in Moscow.
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/22/us-ukraine-crisis-idUSKCN0J609G20141122

    • Nicholas Wade has some relevant comments in his (much-maligned) book “A Troublesome Inheritance: genes, race and human history.” In a chapter on societies and institutions, Wade writes:

      “In tribal societies, people very rationally look to their relatives and tribal groupings for support, not to central government, whose usual function has been to exact taxes or military service while giving back little in return. European or American institutions cannot easily be transported to tribal societies like those of Iraq or Afghanistan because they presuppose a large measure of trust toward non-kin and are designed to operate in the public interest, not to empower the officeholder and his tribe.

      “Variations in human social behaviour and in the institutions that embody it have far-reaching consequences. Developmental economists long ago learned that it is not just a lack of capital or resources that keeps countries poor. Billions of dollars’ worth of aid have been poured into Africa in the past half century with little impact on the standard of living. Countries like Iraq are rich in oil, but their citizens are poor. And countries with no resources, like Singapore, are rich.

      “What makes societies rich or poor is to a great extent their human capital – including the nature of the people, their levels of training, the cohesiveness of their societies, and the institutions with which they are organised. As Fukuyama notes, “Poor countries are poor not because they lack resources, but because they lack effective political institutions” (Francis Fukuyama, The Origins of Political Order, 14).

      “The same conclusion is reached in the recent book “Why Nations Fail” by the economist Daron Acemoglu and the political scientist James Robinson . “Nations fail economically because of extractive institutions, they write, meaning institutions that allow a corrupt elite to exclude others from participating in an economy (WNF 398). Conversely, they say, “Rich nations are rich largely because they managed to develop institutions at some point during the last 300 years (WNF 364).

      “[A & R ] and Fukuyama have independently concluded that institutions are central to the success and failure of human societies. Less clear is why institutions differ from one society to another. These differences became most evident during the profound shift in the structure of human societies that culminated in the Industrial Revolution.

      “There have been two major steps in the evolution of human societies, both accompanied by changes in social behaviour. The first was the transition from the hunter-gatherer existence to that of settled societies. The settled societies developed agriculture but then stagnated for hundreds of generations in what is known as the Malthusian trap: each increase in productivity was followed by a growth in population, which ate up the surplus and brought the population back to the edge of starvation. The trap could not be escaped until human social nature had undergone a second major transition.” Wade goes on to explore this second transition, from an agrarian to a modern society.

      In the CAGW policy context, the moves for large-scale transfers of funds to poorer countries are bound to fail (if their aim is to raise standards of life in the target countries) because they do not understand those poor countries.

      • Faustino

        Very interesting. During the Iraq war I read about tribal societies, trying to understand what we were dealing with. One thing of interest in that reading was that tribal leaders come to power only by acceptance of the tribe and only stay in power by continued acceptance. Another thing I read was that the study of tribes was (inexplicably) frowned upon by many academics.

        Richard

      • Faustino – interesting article. I would think that our escape from the trap was also aided more than a little by our use of machinery to perform many/most physically labor intensive tasks thereby freeing us to use our newly found free time to innovate further. Of course, those machines were powered by energy that came from burning fossil fuels, so in the end, I guess that was not such a good thing.

      • Barnes, Wade et al look at how the productivity-enhancing developments were related to institutions. Particular elements in the development of English society and institutions were conducive to what became the Industrial Revolution, and the IR was picked up by countries with institutional/societal similarities.

  50. Shell boss hopes US-China climate deal will “reinvigorate” UN talks

    Ben van Beurden calls for gas and renewables to replace coal, argues Shell wants to be part of solution to climate challenge
    Shell’s chief executive has branded last week’s US-China climate pact as “historic” and has written of his hopes it will “reinvigorate” efforts to secure a UN deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
    In an article in the Times newspaper Ben van Beurden, who took over as CEO of the oil and gas giant in January 2014, said a proposed 2015 Paris climate deal was “desirable” and “achievable.”
    “Why should we care? Well, if anyone were still complacent about the scale of the problem that climate change poses then the recent report by the IPCC will have come as a stark wake-up call,” he said.
    Van Beurden added his backing to US efforts to decarbonise, arguing the country was now moving “farther and faster than ever before.”
    http://www.rtcc.org/2014/11/20/shell-boss-hopes-us-china-climate-deal-will-reinvigorate-un-talks/

    Energy groups face ‘existential’ climate threat, says ex-BP chief

    Energy and mining companies are ignoring the “existential threat” from climate change and must change the way they operate, the former head of BP warns.
    The intervention by Lord Browne, one of the energy world’s most influential voices, comes as coal, oil and gas companies face mounting investor criticism that they are too complacent about the risk of tougher action to curb global warming.
    He told a seminar in London on Wednesday that the scientific evidence of global warming should be treated as settled but “this conclusion is not accepted by many in our industry, because they do not want to acknowledge an existential threat to their business”.
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102200922

    Green Blob.. BP and Shell and Grantham Institute
    Global Energy Governance Reform and China’s Participation
    http://tinyurl.com/ndxqy34

    Global energy cooperation needs urgent reform, say researchers
    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_10-11-2014-16-41-47

    A Big-Oil Man Gets Religion When John Browne broke ranks on global warming, he did more than shock the industry–he began to convert it.
    https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/09/laframboises-new-book-on-the-ipcc/#comment-378231

    BP as well as Enron were at forefront lobbying for Cap and Trade

    Their mission that day? As revealed in the August 1, 1997 Lay briefing memo whiih I was later provided — having left a brief dance with Enron after raising questions about this very issue — it was to demand that the White House ignore unanimous Senate instruction pursuant to Art. II, Sec. 2 of the Constitution (“advice”, of “advice and consent” fame), and to go to Kyoto and agree to the “global warming” treaty.
    Oh, and to enact a cap-and-trade scheme.
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2010/06/15/BPs-Excellent-Oval-Office-Adventure

  51. AGW theory, as it came to be — an accepted science among Western academics — is an example of celebrating divergent thinking that lacks verification. Hence, there is to genius in the idea of global warming. At this stage in its development of the science of global warming, the value of skepticism in the search for knowledge has been vindicated.

  52. re: Obama’s worst ever environmental decision:

    “A central question for the proposal to be issued by December 1 is whether the current air quality standards for ozone, set at 75 parts per billion of ozone in the ambient air, adequately provide such protection.”

    The standard: 75 ppBILLION ozone is based upon…”expert opinion.”

    The science, in part performed in environmental chambers with volunteers with heart & lung disease as well as elite athletes (during the 1984 Los Angles Olympics) used 0.3 and 0.4 ppMILLION ozone which translates to 300 and 400 ppBILLION. Ozone concentrations had to be increased from 300 ppb to 400 ppb in testing to see an effect that was measurable; i.e. to differentiated exposed and non-exposed groups.

    The EPA, under the former leadership of Lisa Jackson, declared that the new standard should be 70 ppBILLION a difference of 5 ppBILLION from the current standard. EPA scientists declared that such concentrations and differences make a health difference, based upon….their interpretation of….?

  53. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    DocMartyn  “[abusively mocks Pope Francis’ moral worldview]”

    LoL … it’s mighty imprudent, DocMartyn, for anyone to discount Pope Francis’ moral worldview … or its powerful female advocates!

    “Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force” (Dorothy Sayers)

    Ursula K. LeGuin
    Accepted Lifetime Achievement Award
    From Neil Gaiman Last Night;
    Can Still Give a Speech
    Like No One’s Business

    Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art.

    We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings.

    Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art.

    Salut et fraternité … from FOMD to all Climate Etc readers!

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

    • three cheers for old women :)

    • I guess kings and capitalists are people too, so they can resist and change any human power as well?
      They seem to win out in the long run over ordinary people which is why ordinary people are, well, ordinary.
      The more things change the more they stay kings one could say.
      Not that Ursula didn’t have stories of ordinary people becoming kings with the help of dragon king events.

    • So, does her freedom come without capitalistic benefits, or is she saying that she has no need for monetary reward because her art is reward enough?

    • Also, if she does not like the current paradigm, and, I would agree that there is something to dislike, let her and he fellow artists risk their capital in forming a business to promote the arts the way they see fit.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Barnes “If she [Ursula K. Le Guin] does not like the current paradigm, and, I would agree that there is something to dislike, let her and he fellow artists  risk their capital  VOTE

      Barnes, yah somehow forgot that America’s a democracy … not a corporation!

      \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}

      • Fine, let her vote with her own capital, You are apparently a very confused individual. Somehow you think voting is equivalent to putting up your own hard earned cash to start a business. I vote for representatives, if they exist, who will not hinder my ability to invest my capital in ventures that will give me a positive return. You seem to think that government should be the final, if not only, arbiter in determining such ventures.

      • FOMBS somehow forgot we are a Democratic Republic – not a democracy.

      • I believe Benjamin Franklin described the new government by saying, “a republic, if you can keep it”. So the artists can vote, and do what, exactly?

      • I fear the influence of corporations and greedy wealth might be past the tipping point which only revolution and decline can reverse….time will tell…. sucks.

  54. Fan

    “Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.”
    ― Milton Friedman

    Keep warm,

    Richard

  55. Increased crop yields adding more carbon dioxide to atmosphere

    WASHINGTON: A steep rise in food production to meet the demands for rising world population accounts for as much as 25 per cent of the seasonal increase in carbon dioxide (CO2), according to a new study.

    It is not that crops are adding more CO2 to the atmosphere; rather, if crops are like a sponge for CO2, the sponge has simply gotten bigger and can hold and release more of the gas, researchers said.

    […]

    With global food productivity expected to double over the next 50 years, researchers say the findings should be used to improve climate models and better understand the atmospheric CO2 buffering capacity of ecosystems, particularly as climate change may continue to perturb the greenhouse gas budget.

    “This is another piece of evidence suggesting that when we (humans) do things at a large scale, we have the ability to greatly influence the composition of the atmosphere,” said Chris Kucharik, a co-author of the study, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    The study was published in Nature: Direct human influence on atmospheric CO2 seasonality from increased cropland productivity by Josh M. Gray, Steve Frolking, Eric A. Kort, Deepak K. Ray, Christopher J. Kucharik, Navin Ramankutty and Mark A. Friedl Nature 515, 398–401 (20 November 2014) doi:10.1038/nature13957

    Ground- and aircraft-based measurements show that the seasonal amplitude of Northern Hemisphere atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations has increased by as much as 50 per cent over the past 50 years[1, 2, 3]. This increase has been linked to changes in temperate, boreal and arctic ecosystem properties and processes such as enhanced photosynthesis, increased heterotrophic respiration, and expansion of woody vegetation[4, 5, 6]. However, the precise causal mechanisms behind the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 seasonality remain unclear[2, 3, 4]. Here we use production statistics and a carbon accounting model to show that increases in agricultural productivity, which have been largely overlooked in previous investigations, explain as much as a quarter of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 seasonality. Specifically, Northern Hemisphere extratropical maize, wheat, rice, and soybean production grew by 240 per cent between 1961 and 2008, thereby increasing the amount of net carbon uptake by croplands during the Northern Hemisphere growing season by 0.33 petagrams. Maize alone accounts for two-thirds of this change, owing mostly to agricultural intensification within concentrated production zones in the midwestern United States and northern China. Maize, wheat, rice, and soybeans account for about 68 per cent of extratropical dry biomass production, so it is likely that the total impact of increased agricultural production exceeds the amount quantified here.

    I have to admit to some questions: the article talks about “0.33 petagrams”, but the total annual variation appears to be around 8 PPMV, equivalent to about 15 petagrams at a conversion ratio of 2.13

    • The curious would also ask what is it that that causes carbon sinks to rise at least as fast as emissions, if not faster, after allowing for a delay which could easily be attributed to mixing time.

  56. “Superb post by Matt Briggs on the bogus use of statistics on temperature series. Don’t use statistics unless you have to [link]”

    Absolutely, Judith. It sometimes feels like a “Steve Foyer” moment:
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ffa_1315097278

  57. The wordsmithery and imagination of Our Green Betters is an endless fount. Really, we are never going to beat these Guardian perusers at their word games.

    The present weather/climate events in the northern hemisphere are being reported in Australia as “flood risk”. So there you have it: because of your CO2 there will be polar vortices and lake effects leading to flood risk.

    Blizzards and snow are so 1888.

    • It’s nice that the entire sequence of events that led to both the polar weather outbreak and now the rapid thaw is well documented. Pseudoscience will of course look toward natural variability, as they have nothing else, but for the rest of us…there’s actual science.

      • Of course R. Gates. there is only one possible explanation – we are burning fossil fuels, and if we stop, then all natural disasters will also stop and we will live in a perfect climate utopia!

      • Curious George

        As you indicate, it is weather, not climate. (Only warm events qualify as climate.)

      • Yes, this tendency of early white precipitation in solid state (formerly called autumn snow) to melt and turn to water…it needs a new terminology. Maybe post-lake effect something-or-other.

        Actual science, doncha know.

    • Confining oneself to November blizzards alone in the US, one really has to wonder how the Great Appalachian storm of 1950, the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 and the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940 did all that damage just with “natural variability”. Look ma, no climate change!

      • nottawa rafter

        And no doubt countless other storms pre-settlement. To some like Gates, ancient history is when Ringo joined John and Paul.

      • How completely uninterested in climate some Americans must be not to have extremes like the Great Flood of 1913 (yep, same year as the Great Lakes Storm) and Chicago-Peshtigo 1871 imprinted on the conscious. I’ve never been to the US, but these events matter greatly to me.

        Do these people seriously think the causes were not as extreme as the effects? (Hint: they were).

        Uttering the word “science” multiple times as an incantation won’t help.

  58. From link in JCH post https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/22/week-in-review-36/#comment-649752 from Dr. Mears:

    Also, a philosophical comment — often, we are predisposed to the position that a given effect is due to a single cause. Part of the reason for this is probably human nature. We like to distill complex things into simple stories or parables. The other part is that for most of the science courses we take in school, simple experiments are presented that demonstrate the fundamental ideas in the topic under study. Single causes are often the case in laboratory experiments — these experiments are usually designed to isolate a single causative effect. In “real-world” science, such as the study of Earth’s climate, things are very unlikely to be as clear cut. Instead, each observed “effect” will be due to the combination of numerous causes.

    What is most comical about this quote is that Dr. Mears is suggesting that we not attribute the failure of MODELS to any single cause, but goes on to say, in essence, that the only possible explanation for climate change is human burning of fossil fuels that contribute to the increase of Co2 – in other words, he is predisposed to to the position that a given effect is due to a single cause. I love his closing statement:

    “I’ll conclude by reiterating that I do not expect that the hiatus and model/observation discrepancies are due to a single cause. It is far more likely that they are caused by a combination of factors. Publications, blog posts and media stories that try to pin all the blame on one factor should be viewed with some level of suspicion, whether they are written by climate scientists, journalists, or climate change denialists”.

    Yes, I am a “climate change denialist”, not because I don’t believe that the climate changes, as it has done for something like 4.5 billion years, but because I do not believe that human burning of fossil fuels has any measureable, much less catastrophic effect on climate. What I do believe is that the political position taken by the alarmists and too many politicians is that the actions advocated will have serious negative consequences to our well being by making every form of energy more expensive, thereby making EVERYTHING we eat, wear, walk on, or otherwise consume more expensive, which limits our freedoms and our ability to innovate.

  59. From the article:

    An advanced piece of malware, known as Regin, has been used in systematic spying campaigns against a range of international targets since at least 2008. A back door-type Trojan, Regin is a complex piece of malware whose structure displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen. Customizable with an extensive range of capabilities depending on the target, it provides its controllers with a powerful framework for mass surveillance and has been used in spying operations against government organizations, infrastructure operators, businesses, researchers, and private individuals.

    It is likely that its development took months, if not years, to complete and its authors have gone to great lengths to cover its tracks. Its capabilities and the level of resources behind Regin indicate that it is one of the main cyberespionage tools used by a nation state.

    Regin infections have been observed in a variety of organizations between 2008 and 2011, after which it was abruptly withdrawn. A new version of the malware resurfaced from 2013 onwards. Targets include private companies, government entities and research institutes. Almost half of all infections targeted private individuals and small businesses. Attacks on telecoms companies appear to be designed to gain access to calls being routed through their infrastructure.

    The infection vector varies among targets and no reproducible vector had been found at the time of writing. Symantec believes that some targets may be tricked into visiting spoofed versions of well-known websites and the threat may be installed through a Web browser or by exploiting an application. On one computer, log files showed that Regin originated from Yahoo! Instant Messenger through an unconfirmed exploit.

    Regin uses a modular approach, giving flexibility to the threat operators as they can load custom features tailored to individual targets when required. Some custom payloads are very advanced and exhibit a high degree of expertise in specialist sectors, further evidence of the level of resources available to Regin’s authors.

    There are dozens of Regin payloads. The threat’s standard capabilities include several Remote Access Trojan (RAT) features, such as capturing screenshots, taking control of the mouse’s point-and-click functions, stealing passwords, monitoring network traffic, and recovering deleted files.

    More specific and advanced payload modules were also discovered, such as a Microsoft IIS web server traffic monitor and a traffic sniffer of the administration of mobile telephone base station controllers.

    http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/regin-top-tier-espionage-tool-enables-stealthy-surveillance

  60. From the article:

    HONG KONG—China’s largest nuclear power plant operator is raising up to US$3.16 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, setting to become the first listed pure nuclear play in the city.

    CGN Power Co. is planning to sell 8.83 billion shares in an indicative price range of HK$2.43-HK$2.78 each Monday, when it will start taking orders from investors, people familiar with the situation said Sunday. It is unclear immediately the valuation of the firm in term of forecast earnings.

    At the US$3.16 billion size, the IPO would be Hong Kong’s biggest since Chinese lender China Everbright Bank ’s US$3.2 billion IPO in December 2013 and it would be also the first pure nuclear plant operator to list anywhere in the world since British Energy Group, since delisted, went public in London in 1996, according to Dealogic.

    State-owned CGN Power, which is scheduled to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Dec. 10, declined to comment.

    Because of its uniqueness, the offering has already attracted about 40% of the offering from 18 cornerstone investors, who will buy and hold the shares for a certain of period once the firm has listed, one of the people said.

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/cgn-power-to-raise-up-to-us-3-16-billion-in-hong-kong-ipo-1416750383

  61. John Robertson

    Bad link: Interesting article on Agriculture Renewable Energy blog: The Failure of Conservatives on Global Warming [link] the link should be
    http://greenenergy.blogspot.ca/2014/10/the-failure-of-conservatives-on-global.html

    • You could just as easily say the lefties failed on global warming. What is it about uncertainty these people don’t understand???

    • From the article:
      Probably 99% of Climate Scientists can agree on a core of basic beliefs that does represent “a consensus on settled science”:

      CO2 is a Greenhouse Gas;
      Adding CO2 will have a warming effect on the Planet;
      CO2 levels have risen dramatically during the Industrial Age;2 3
      In the past ~200 years, the Earth has warmed.
      For the past 60 years, the bulk of this warming is human driven.

      “Did CO2 cause almost all of the warming for the past 60 years?”

      This question is the only important one and is NEVER asked by consensusers. This is the strong warming position. The IPCC says 110% causation (aerosols etc. supposedly blunted the effect).

      The question representing even the moderate-to-weak position wasn’t asked either:
      “Did CO2 cause at least 1/2 of the warming for the past 60 years?”

      The consensus surveys never ask the question the “consensus” is supposed to be about: “Is the 21st century warming going to be catastrophic (3.5+°C temperature increase)?”

  62. This is what real or actual scientists contributing to IPCC literature say –

    “The energy that is not reflected back to space is absorbed by the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. This amount is approximately 240 Watts per square metre (W m–2). To balance the incoming energy, the Earth itself must radiate, on average, the same amount of energy back to space. The Earth does this by emitting outgoing longwave radiation. Everything on Earth emits longwave radiation continuously. That is the heat energy one feels radiating out from a fire; the warmer an object, the more heat energy it radiates. To emit 240 W m–2, a surface would have to have a temperature of around –19°C. This is much colder than the conditions that actually exist at the Earth’s surface (the global mean surface temperature is about 14°C). Instead, the necessary –19°C is found at an altitude about 5 km above the surface.

    The reason the Earth’s surface is this warm is the presence of greenhouse gases, which act as a partial blanket for the longwave radiation coming from the surface. This blanketing is known as the natural greenhouse effect. The most important greenhouse gases are water vapour and carbon dioxide. The two most abundant constituents of the atmosphere – nitrogen and oxygen – have no such effect.”

    So now we know. The greenhouse gases act as a partial blanket (whatever the heck that is), and the surface somehow does not reduce its temperature when it emits long wave radiation.

    This must explain why this effect has never been demonstrated or experimentally verified. Just as with ESP and other paranormal effects, the presence of doubters or unbelievers causes any scientific investigation to fail.

    What a load of unadulterated tripe! Anybody who believes this garbage obviously needs a reality adjustment. A measure of the ludicrous nature of this nonsense is the number of politicians who believe it. The same types of people who believe in peace through war, and that you can borrow your way out of debt.

    Nature proceeds along her erratic and unpredictable path, regardless of our demands to the contrary.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Now now Micky Flynn, that partial blanket is a good analogy and a part of the story. But it is really a tale of two greenhouses. Light also gets into the oceans, is converted to heat, and takes a while to get back out by convectin’, evaporatin’ and radiatin’ away. Some folks just forgot that we live on a water world and jumped the gun a bit. Probably a bunch of A$$trophyicists that got a bit full of themselves and thought they were climatologists. :)

      .

  63. Not sure if I missed this one in the thread, so thought if I did maybe others did also: http://online.wsj.com/articles/does-clean-coal-technology-have-a-future-1416779351

    • For carbon capture to gain traction three things have to happen:
      1. We need proof that CO2 causes strong forcing. For 14+ years that claim has been blowing in the wind. It seems to have some effect at the North Pole (where there is little water vapor). Haven’t seen any evidence of much effect at the equator where the high concentrations of water vapor and large areas of ocean (high sensible and latent heat removal) will bury any CO2 effect. Moderately weak CO2 forcing (at the level of the direct theoretical CO2 forcing effect) is hard to distinguish from natural warming let alone take seriously as an issue.
      2. We need proof that the CO2 level will double (without some immediate action). It is hard to make a convincing case CO2 can hit 600 PPM and that is only if we burn all the fossil fuel by 2100.
      3. It has to be cheap.

      There are some things like catalytic fuel generation from smokestack emissions that might make sense from a cost standpoint. A huge CC infrastructure probably doesn’t make sense unless you can prove both #1 and #2.

      Right now the average case with no change in current plans is mid to upper 500s. That means a replay of the 20th century. The 20th century warming and CO2 was beneficial, which is not a big motivation for carbon capture.

      • PA,

        All we really need is: 3. It has to be cheap. (or at least profitable).

        We use CO2 in any number of commercial applications. I’m not coming at this in an angle that we need to remove it as it causes warming as I’m not (yet) convinced of that. But the technology, if profitable, why not? We’re making baking soda off of cement plants, so why not this? Heck, maybe we can use all that baking soda to offset acidification of our oceans? (lil’ climate humor)

        I see your point on #2, & #3, but the thinking seems to be somewhat oriented against the AGW argument. I’m looking at it as a stand alone. And I’m all about the technologies, and get the impression you are also. I thought it was an interesting discussion, if not yet feasible.

      • DT you are spot on.

        Any idea up to carbonating beverages or making dry ice at power plants is fair game.

        What really is troubling is the activist idea that if we don’t lose money making the world better we are doing it wrong. That sort of thinking is crazy.

        Sensible people (that is most of us) would find a “killer app” that uses CO2 for fun and profit.

      • I know, they can use it for fracking!

      • Yup. It’s discussed, if briefly, in the WSJ article. Got a kick out the circular irony in that one.

  64. New climate study causes fear and trembling: How bitter-cold will winter be?

    The polar ice is melting. And so the jet stream is changing. Result: Lots of bitter cold winters – also in Germany. Excuse me? This US climate study has just been published by the magazine ‘Nature Geoscience’ and it is causing fear and trembling. But what is really behind this? BILD asked climate pope Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif: ‘That’s indeed just an old story. It could be so. But not necessarily. The jet stream can change because of natural reasons. I’m really skeptical.’” – See more at: http://notrickszone.com/2014/11/19/ipcc-scientist-mojib-latif-on-claim-warm-arctic-causing-severe-cold-winters-old-story-im-really-skeptical/#sthash.mCBfaRrW.dpuf

    Is this not an old study? But I’m a bit skeptical that the jet stream isn’t naturally variable.

    • I read an article while back written by an atmospheric chemist (sorry, I didn’t keep the source) that recounted a piece of George Washington history in the war against the Brits. It seems George was in a bit of strife with his army under constant harassment by advancing English forces and churned-up muddy roads and fields bogging his retreat with his cannon and other heavy equipment. But a polar vortex saved the day as it were, overnight freezing the mud and allowing an orderly retreat so he could fight another day

      I doubt that change of jet stream orbit was caused by burning coal …

      • steven

        Very interesting paper.

        I noted this in an article I wrote several years ago regarding my looking at British weather back to 1538

        ‘Due to its geographical location British weather is often quite mobile and periods of hot, cold, dry or wet weather tend to be relatively short lived. If such events are longer lasting than normal, or interrupted and resumed, that can easily shape the character of a month or a season. Reading the numerous references there is clear evidence of ‘blocking patterns,’ perhaps as the jet stream shifts, or a high pressure takes up residence, feeding in winds from a certain direction which generally shape British weather.’

        We can see in all sorts of accounts apparent SSW’s/Polar vortexes and jet stream activity.

        Someone needs to demonstrate that todays climate with regards to these events is being influenced by man..

        tonyb

      • Tony, it doesn’t seem likely to me they will be able to do that. I suggest they drop the polar vortex argument and go on to the next weather event since climate trends don’t appear to be cooperating.

      • Steven

        The trouble is that everything is seen as either unusual or unprecedented. However when looked at in context with the historic record it doesn’t appear to be
        tonyb

      • It’s hard to make the polar vortex argument, but the skeptics seem to buy short-term statistics (aka the pause), so it is worth putting to them.

      • tonyb, “The trouble is that everything is seen as either unusual or unprecedented. However when looked at in context with the historic record it doesn’t appear to be.”

        Yep, weather amnesia plus selective interpretation of “projections” tends to make things more “unprecedented”.

      • “We can see in all sorts of accounts apparent SSW’s/Polar vortexes and jet stream activity.

        Someone needs to demonstrate that todays climate with regards to these events is being influenced by man.”
        —-
        There are solid physical reasons why increased energy in the system would influence these phenomena and solid physical reasons why human activity is adding more energy to the climate system. It does not mean that these did not occur before, but what the data would need to show is an increase in severity and frequency as net energy in the system increases.

      • There are solid physical reasons why increased energy in the system would influence these phenomena and solid physical reasons why human activity is adding more energy to the climate system.

        This statement represents a fundamentally flawed understanding.

        The energy of motion in the atmosphere is determined in large part by pressure gradients.
        Pressure gradients are determined by temperature gradients.

        It is not the thermal energy of the planet as a whole that determines atmopsheric motion.

        Indeed, if hypothetically, the temperature of the earth were 10 degrees warmer, but the same temperature everywhere, there would be no motion.

        The formation of temperature gradients is a natural consequence of the spheroid earth orbitting the sun and rotating about a tilted axis.

        While CO2 warming might impact gradients, particularly gradients around 500mb, it would appear to be marginal compared to the more important factors.

      • Rgates said

        ‘It does not mean that these did not occur before, but what the data would need to show is an increase in severity and frequency as net energy in the system increases.’

        Ok, prove this then.

        tonyb

      • “It is not the thermal energy of the planet as a whole that determines atmospheric motion.”
        _____
        What increasing energy in the climate system does do is enhance the hydrological cycle, and as the energy is rising in the system, we’ll get less meridonal thermal gradient difference, and thus, an elongation of Rossby Wave activity. That in turns means more extreme weather north and south, more severe cold at lower latitudes and more warmth at higher latitudes as the cold and warm stay around longer as systems get “stuck”.

  65. .atmospheric physicist

    Nikolov & Zeller came close, but they are wrong in assuming high pressure causes high temperature. Temperature and density gradients are formed by gravity. Pressure is a corollary. Robinson and Catling may well get a rough relationship between pressure and temperature, but the physics tells us the temperature gradient is related to the quotient g/Cp reduced a little by inter-molecular radiation. I don’t see these guys explaining the necessary energy flows – as I have done.

    Judith why don’t you save your time and spend an hour reading my book, and you’ll then understand energy flows on Venus and probably agree with the two physicists who wrote positive 5 star reviews of the book. Email me a postal address to its.not.co2@gmail.com and I’ll post a free copy.

    • “Judith why don’t you save your time and spend an hour reading my book…”

      Her eyesight and time is too valuable to waste on pseudoscience.

  66. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand are dead, aren’t they?

    Their ideas have perished, that is.

    Time marches on!

    \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}

  67. Keeling et al (1995):

    …the decadal variations in temperature,
    and possibly in precipitation, almost directly correlate
    with the CO2 concentration itself. If these decadal correlations
    are significant, it seems evident that the onset of a climate
    change, such as a warming trend, has a measurable influence on
    the atmospheric CO2 concentration

    Environmental factors appear to have imposed larger changes
    on the rate of rise of atmospheric CO2 than did changes in
    fossil fuel combustion rates, suggesting uncertainty in projecting
    future increases in atmospheric CO2 solely on the basis of anticipated
    rates of industrial activity

    http://cio.eldoc.ub.rug.nl/FILES/root/1995/NatureKeeling/1995NatureKeeling.pdf

  68. Judith –

    You need to update your Week in Review list of links. There’s a hugely important thread up over at WUWT. We finally have the explanation for why climate scientists think that ACO2 will warm the climate:*

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/23/people-starting-to-ask-about-motive-for-massive-ipcc-deception/

  69. Reminder:

    China is now hitting the wall, and will be experiencing CO2 emissions decline, not because of government action, but because they’re getting old and aging slows economies. So, India will now be the focus, until they too follow suit.

  70. World bank to focus future investment on clean energy
    The World Bank will invest heavily in clean energy and only fund coal projects in “circumstances of extreme need” because climate change will undermine efforts to eliminate extreme poverty, says its president Jim Yong Kim.
    Talking ahead of a UN climate summit in Peru next month, Kim said he was alarmed by World Bank-commissioned research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, which said that as a result of past greenhouse gas emissions the world is condemned to unprecedented weather events.
    “The findings are alarming. As the planet warms further, heatwaves and other weather extremes, which today we call once­-in­-a-century events, would become the new climate normal, a frightening world of increased risk and instability. The consequences for development would be severe, as crop yields decline, water resources shift, communicable diseases move into new geographical ranges, and sea levels rise,” he said.
    “We know that the dramatic weather extremes are already affecting millions of people, such as the five to six feet of snow that just fell on Buffalo, and can throw our lives into disarray or worse. Even with ambitious mitigation, warming close to 1.5C above pre­-industrial levels is locked in. And this means that climate change impact such as extreme heat events may now be simply unavoidable.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/23/world-bank-to-focus-future-investment-on-clean-energy

    • “We know that the dramatic weather extremes are already affecting millions of people, such as the five to six feet of snow that just fell on Buffalo…”

      I like the bit where they skip the condescension about how “this may be counter-intuitive but…” and go straight the assumptions about polar vortices and Lake Effect as if they were laws of nature as familiar as gravity. Were now in the post-counter-intuitive phase and everything proves anything – provided it’s a New Class dogma or value.

      To help the trough-swillers of the World Bank push their creepy fictions we have, of course, The Guardian and the world’s most counter-intuitively titled rag, Business Insider. Think they’ll mention a “dramatic weather extreme” if the dates are wrong? They know their craft!

      But don’t think that a mild winter in North America was ever going to get you naughty emitters and Bambi-hurters off the hook. They’ve got all exits covered. Just send money or there’ll be more devastating “statements”.

      And don’t think an “ageing population” means they’re going to let adults run anything, especially the World Bank and The Guardian. Studies have shown that adults spoil all the fun and will want you to get a real job.

    • @mosomoso
      Sometimes the propaganda is so brazen, all one can do is laugh at it.
      Climastrophy is the modern version of Grimm’s Fairy Tales!

  71. World Bank: ending poverty might become impossible because of climate change
    Lifting the world’s poorest out of extreme poverty may become impossible because of climate change, according to the World Bank’s new Turn Down the Heat report.
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2014/11/world-bank-ending-poverty-might-become-impossible-because-of-climate-change/

    World Bank: No Matter What Governments Do — Big Climate Change Is Coming
    http://www.businessinsider.com/r-some-climate-change-impacts-unavoidable-world-bank-2014-11

    Rwanda: World Bank Releases Damning Report On Climate Change
    http://allafrica.com/stories/201411240180.html

  72. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    WHAT SCIENTISTS THINK
    ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

    The case for climate-change action is not abstruse or technical; it’s something anyone can understand: much more CO2 implies much more trapped sunlight implies big disruptions to the kind of climate that humans have been used to for the last 10,000 years, and that our current civilization is built around.

    And we know this because

    (1) basic chemistry and physics predicts it, and
    (2) we actually see it in the world right now, consistent with the basic physics and chemistry.

    At this level, computer models simply never enter the argument. The models are needed only if you want to try to answer more detailed questions—if, so to speak, as your car is racing toward a gas tanker, you want to know the exact sequence in which things will happen, which parts of the car will explode right away and which will last a few more seconds.

    Building detailed computer models of the climate, and then improving them when they’re wrong, is exactly the right thing to do scientifically.

    It’s only a mistake politically, to let anyone get the idea that the case for action on climate hinges on the outputs of these models.

    Aye, Climate Etc lassies and laddies … the consensus view of scientists amounts to plain scientific, economic, and moral common-sense!

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  73. Matthew R Marler

    Superb post by Matt Briggs on the bogus use of statistics on temperature series. Don’t use statistics unless you have to [link]

    OK overview of standard stuff. All phenomena and data sets full of measurements on them have random variation of diverse sorts. That is why you always have to use statistics to draw inferences.

    “random variation” is the variation that is not exactly reproducible or predictable. For centuries scientists and philosophers have tried to distinguish “metaphysical random variation” from “empirical [or epistemological] random variation”, but with empirical random variation omnipresent, the conceptual distinction has no operational importance. You’ll recall the debates among Einstein, Schroedinger and others in the first half of the 20th century.

  74. Fan

    You are consistent and there is an element of sympathy we need to feel for you; the sympathy we had for the original cargo cult, religiously believing that cargo would be arriving on their island. We should sympathize for you because you’ve been duped and lied to by the likes of Mann and Krugman.

    Richard

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

    It is actually a lot more dynamically complex than some dimwitted interpretation of what scientists supposedly think. The sensitivity here is a dynamic sensitivity.

    Ghil, 2013, explored the idea of abrupt climate change with an energy balance climate model that follows the evolution of global surface-air temperature with changes in the global energy balance. The plot below originates from work for Ghil’s Ph.D. thesis in 1975 and was reproduced in a 2013 World Scientific Review article to illustrate a dynamic definition of climate sensitivity in a climate system that exhibits abrupt change.

    Ghil’s model shows that climate sensitivity (γ) is variable. It is the change in temperature (ΔT) divided by the change in the control variable (Δμ) – the tangent to the curve as shown above. Sensitivity increases moving down the upper curve to the left towards the bifurcation and becomes arbitrarily large at the instability. The problem in a chaotic climate then becomes not one of quantifying climate sensitivity in a smoothly evolving climate but of predicting the onset of abrupt climate shifts and their implications for climate and society. The problem of abrupt climate change on multi-decadal scales is of the most immediate significance.

    The theory suggests the potential for a lack of warming – or even cooling – for 20 to 40 years from 2002. Nor is it guaranteed that the next shift will be to yet warmer conditions as the Sun cools.

    As Swanson et al 2009 say – the problem then becomes one of a lack of warming over an extended period – but with an inherent climate dynamic instability. The political dynamic involves cataclysmic scenarios in support of overweening ambitions to transform economies and societies – contrasted with classic liberal and conservative impulses to slow, evolutionary change bolstered by a lack of warming. The old culture war in a new guise. There is no rapprochement possible. They are fringe extremists with millennialist, cataclysmic fantasies and an authoritarian impulse. We are the mainstream.

    There are solutions to emissions – and land use mitigation – that are fairly obvious. Reduction in emissions of black carbon, nitrous oxide, methane, sulphide, CFC’s and tropospheric ozone. Take up of carbon dioxide in agricultural soils and in restored terrestrial ecosystems. Energy innovation for accelerated commercialization of low-cost, low-carbon technologies. We reject utterly the old, failed approaches.

    The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

    The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization. http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

    The human race is nowhere near extinction. We will continue into the future expanding and refining democratic institutions, growing economies and creating new and better technologies. There’s a triple bottom line for you.

    • “The human race is nowhere near extinction.”
      ____
      This is of course a completely unknowable item. In fact, just prior to our extinction, whenever that might occur, the times might seem the very best for our species. Our extinction will certainly be a Dragon King event, and as with any such event, it will be a rapid reversal of fortune, not unlike the Turkey’s fattest day, when grain is to be had in plenty and everything is going so well…there is sudden and rather dramatic reversal of fortune…chop! Good for us…bad for the Turkey.

      • Right.

        Of course, we can say from observation, that there is a high degree of correlation with rising global temperatures and nearly every measure of human well being, including longevity and nearly everything else, for the last half century.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Ellison proclaims  “The human race is nowhere near extinction.”

        Ma Nature sez (`an scientists agree) 

        We’ve heard that claim before!

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      • FOMBS,
        as I’m sure you know, Monckton suffers from Graves Disease…. to mock him with an exaggerated “eyes” photo in juxtaposition with ape photos is contemptible…. showing us once again that you are a disgusting person. What depths will you sink toward next?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Skiphil opines “You [FOMD] are a disgusting person.”

        LoL … your regard for primatologists Jane Goodall

        and Frans de Waal

        … must be even lower!

        (no disrespect toward Chris Monckton’s appearance was intended; indeed the laird’s silvery pelt makes him a singularly attractive specimen of a senior male hominidae!).

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      • nice try, FOMT, you know that you intended mockery…. I have high regard for Goodall and de Waal, but only contempt for you.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Skiphil opines “I have high regard for Goodall and de Waal.”

        Your high regard is shared by many (including me!).

        Conclusion  Climate Etc should heed the sage science of Jane Goodall and Frans de Waal more … and Chris Monckton’s discordant ramblings less!

        Goodall  We’ve just been stealing, stealing, stealing from our children, and it’s shocking”

        de Waal  Primate building blocks of human moral psychology

        Good on `yah, Jane Goodall and Frans de Waal!

        Boo on `yah, faux-conservative denialists and amoral market-fundamentalists!

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      • Homo sapiens neanderthalensis is not extinct; I am about 4% neanderthalensis.

      • “Of course, we can say from observation, that there is a high degree of correlation with rising global temperatures and nearly every measure of human well being, including longevity and nearly everything else…”
        ____
        That is nearly always the case with Dragon King, reversal of fortune events. Think of the Turkey. Times are great…all the food and water it could want. Tom Turkey is at the happiest, fattest moment of its life…a “well being” rating right off the top of the charts…then CHOP! Such has been the fate of millions of species on this planet. But who knows…perhaps we’ll dodge the extinction bullet…or perhaps, the Great Filter is close by:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Filter

      • “Homo sapiens neanderthalensis is not extinct; I am about 4% neanderthalensis.”
        ____
        Love the optimism. You have some of the material from the star before our sun that went supernova and allowed the heavy atoms to exist. That star still lives!

      • “That is nearly always the case with Dragon King, reversal of fortune events.” Such as the reversal of warming. Look at it as a positive feedback collapse. The more one believes the Earth’s climate is inherently unstable, the less linear it is, and trends do not continue but reverse. You can hold an airplane’s stick back and keep moving it back, and find your instability as the controls get mushy. Eventually the smallest perturbation will drop the nose and you’re heading towards the ground. As they say, back is up. Too far back is down.

      • The old sword of Damocles sounds more like a modern turkey event. As dragon-king happens at bifurcation points. Sometimes known as noisy bifurcation – it a the instability at tipping points that results in extreme fluctuations. It is not the new state into which the system settles. Randy is such a clueless little video guy – yet he pretends so much to prescient knowledge.

        Frans de Waal on the other hand is fun and interesting.

        But the moral pillars of empathy and reciprocity means little in terms of practical and pragmatic economic management in the ways that have evolved in the scientific enlightenment. Indeed – in a very real sense these moral pillars are more the practice of conservatives and classic liberals than progressives. The former have both a greater regard for spreading economic well being through growth and a higher rate of philanthropic contributions. The latter are characterized by moralistic and supercilious posturing that bears little relation to the real world.

        The essence of enlightenment economic policy is government at some 22% of GDP – for optimum economic growth – and management of interest rates to prevent asset bubbles. Within this anything is permitted as negotiated through the give and take of democratic process. Beyond the minimum laws required to protect people and society – free markets are critical to continued social and economic development.

        None of this is remotely a ‘market fundamentalist rant’ but merely the uncommon sense of the mainstream informed by history, culture and the scholarship of freedom. .

        His world needs rationally focused philanthropy and aid and optimum economic growth.

      • Gates & Ellison: Perhaps with some imagination, you can see a dragon king here:

        You bring the stick back and go upwards, depending on your engine speed (This is the safer low power stall). You keep bringing the stick back to the stop, the laminar flow separates near the base of the wing first by design so the ailerons near the tips still work but that control can be dicey and stall one tip first. The nose drops when the flow separates too much. You bring the stick forward and recovery is usually easy with sufficient altitude. Pilots learn to recognize the impending dragon king and avoid non-training stalls. Any thoughts on this being an example of synchronized chaos Ellison?

      • Boldly wandering forward with a cartoon climate model tangent, each piece of yarn in the above video is an oscillator a la Milanovic’s infinity of local oscillators. In straight and level flight they are in sync. As the stall approaches, some of the oscillators break sync or start a different sync. After enough break away, the whole wing and the airplane drops (transitions) back to a stable state, and in at least 99% of the cases, this is a lower altitude. Tsonis talked about failed synchs or words to that effect when a regime change did not occur. One can approach a stall and simply let the stick come forward preventing the stall. One of the most satisfying experiences in flying it getting right next to a full stall, six inches above the runway, and softly landing.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Denialism’s increasingly bizarre rants have become entirely divorced from what scientists know about climate-change …

      … and the warming world that citizen-naturalists nowadays see plainly with their own eyes.

      Pretty much *EVERY* thoughtful citizen appreciates *THESE* evident truths, eh Climate Etc readers?

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      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: Denialism’s increasingly bizarre rants have become entirely divorced from

        Cite specific quotes from specific people! We talked about this.

        … and the warming world that citizen-naturalists nowadays see plainly with their own eyes.

        The climate “has warmed” since 150 years ago, but for 15+ years there has been no “warming” plainly visible, even in well-curated data sets. TOA imbalance and OHC increase (both of which you have mentioned before) are practically invisible hypothetical constructs.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Matthew R Marler requests “Cite specific quotes from specific people  … for 15+ years there has been  no “warming”  strong warming plainly visible”

        Request by Marler, response by FOMD!

        Matthew R Marler, the good citizen-scientists of Audubon are pleased to slake your thirst for first-hand climate-change knowledge!

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      • Ahhh … I see FOMBS is wheeling out the children and animals. It figures.

    • The population is still growing – most societies are getting richer and more peaceful through capitalism and democracy – technologies are evolving in leaps and bounds. Yet according to Randy the video guy – some unspecified sword of Damocles is poised to chop off our collective head. The reality is that Homo sapiens sapiens extinction is not even remotely on the horizon.

      http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/free-markets-and-civil-peace.pdf

      As an aside – ‘the concept of
      “dragon-kings” corresponding to meaningful outliers, which are found to coexist with power laws in the distributions of event sizes under a broad range of conditions in a large variety of systems. These dragon-kings reveal the existence of mechanisms of self-organization that are not apparent otherwise from the distribution of their smaller siblings. We present a generic phase diagram to explain the generation of dragon-kings and document their presence in six different examples (distribution of city sizes, distribution of acoustic emissions
      associated with material failure, distribution of velocity increments in hydrodynamic turbulence, distribution of financial drawdowns, distribution of the energies of epileptic seizures in humans and in model animals,
      distribution of the earthquake energies). We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of René Thom), or a tipping point.’ – http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0907/0907.4290.pdf

      So I suppose he means a collapse in population at a bifurcation. Essentially pompous gobbledegook – a superficial use of jargon to disguise a trivial message while pretending to profound knowledge to impress himself.

      The lesson to take away is that they are really not interested in actual science or solutions – but are more a distraction from reality and rational policy.

      • .atmospheric physicist

        It is you Rob Ellison who is not interested in learning about the “actual science” of planetary tropospheres and how thermodynamic equilibrium implies density and temperature gradients. You are not interested in removing Hansen and Pierrehumbert’s 0.7 fudge factor for an Earth without water vapour or clouds and thus getting 278K rather than the fudged 255K figure that is based on clouds without water vapour.

  76. Judith, the link is missing in your RT, don’t know if it was there previously:

    RT @nationaljournal: John Podesta is driving the White House’s climate strategy, but will any of it stick after Obama is gone? http://t.co/… 2 hours ago

  77. It’s her world to FOMBS.

  78. .atmospheric physicist

    Rob Ellison

    I predicted the hiatus over three years ago …

    From 2003 the effect of El Niño had passed and a slightly declining trend has been observed. This is the net effect of the 60-year cycle starting to decline whilst the 934 year cycle is still rising. By 2014 the decline should be steeper and continue until at least 2027. (This statement was archived 22 August 2011 here)

    • “I predicted the hiatus over three years ago …”
      ____
      Awesome…10 years after it started. Nice retro-prediction.

      • There were of course a lot of people a lot earlier – all of them deniers apparently.

      • “From 2003 the effect of El Niño had passed and a slightly declining trend has been observed.”

        a) no start date for calculating his decline
        b) end date of 2003? dec 2003? dunno

        By 2014 the decline should be steeper and continue until at least 2027.

        a) “the” decline is still not calculatable cause we have no start date
        b) “by” 2014.. by jan 2014? by oct 2014? by dec?
        c) “steeper” a lot steeper? significantly steeper?

        Jeez, I love it when skeptics complain about climate science not making predictions and then they show is their past predictions that rival nostradamus in obscurity

      • John Carpenter

        “….whilst the 934 year cycle is still rising.”

        934 years!…. talk about certainty on a long range cycle… Three significant figures. Heh, So what is the uncertainty? +/- 96 days?

      • ‘This paper provides an update to an earlier work that showed specific changes in the aggregate time evolution of major Northern Hemispheric atmospheric and oceanic modes of variability serve as a harbinger of climate shifts. Specifically, when the major modes of Northern Hemisphere climate variability are synchronized, or resonate, and the coupling between those modes simultaneously increases, the climate system appears to be thrown into a new state, marked by a break in the global mean temperature trend and in the character of El Niño/Southern Oscillation variability. Here, a new and improved means to quantify the coupling between climate modes confirms that another synchronization of these modes, followed by an increase in coupling occurred in 2001/02. This suggests that a break in the global mean temperature trend from the consistent warming over the 1976/77–2001/02 period may have occurred.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL037022/full

        Actual science starts it at 2002 – after the 1998/2001 ENSO ‘dragon-king’. These decadal regimes persist for 20 to 40 years in the long proxy records – and have considerable variability over much longer periods.

        I don’t call it ‘cycles’ – it is chaotic bifurcation at multi-decadal intervals. The change in mean between regimes may be little or small dependent on which internal processes come into prominence.

        ‘The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems — atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere — each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem,moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.’ https://www.academia.edu/3226175/Mathematical_Theory_of_Climate_Sensitivity

        It is not quite denial – but actual science that the mad, naked Emperor Moshpit overlooks entirely.

  79. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    As Snow Fades, California Ski Resorts
    Are Left High and Very Dry

    “I don’t know of anybody in the industry who is saying that climate change is not an issue for us,” said Bob Roberts, president and chief executive of the California Ski Industry Association.

    Hmmmm … mebbe these California folks ought to stock up on Anthony Watts and Bob Tisdale’s full-bore denialist brand of climate-change reality.

    Oh wait … that would make zero business sense.

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    • Sh_t happens – every few decades in the 20th century.

      ‘More than half (52%) of the space and time variance in multidecadal drought frequency over the conterminous United States is attributable to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). An additional 22% of the variance in drought frequency is related to a complex spatial pattern of positive and negative trends in drought occurrence possibly related to increasing Northern Hemisphere temperatures or some other unidirectional climate trend. Recent droughts with broad impacts over the conterminous U.S. (1996, 1999-2002) were associated with North Atlantic warming (positive AMO) and northeastern and tropical Pacific cooling (negative PDO). Much of the long-term predictability of drought frequency may reside in the multidecadal behavior of the North Atlantic Ocean. Should the current positive AMO (warm North Atlantic) conditions persist into the upcoming decade, we suggest two possible drought scenarios that resemble the continental-scale patterns of the 1930s (positive PDO) and 1950s (negative PDO) drought.
      —McCabe (2004) http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oceananddrought.html

      The 20th century saw nowhere near the limit of natural variability.

      Moy et al (2002) present the record of sedimentation shown above which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability. It is based on the presence of greater and less red sediment in a lake core. More sedimentation is associated with El Niño. It has continuous high resolution coverage over 12,000 years. It shows periods of high and low ENSO activity alternating with a period of about 2,000 years. There was a shift from La Niña dominance to El Niño dominance some 5,000 years ago that was identified by Tsonis (2009) as a chaotic bifurcation – and is associated with the drying of the Sahel. There is a period around 3,500 years ago of high ENSO activity (red colour intensity greater than 200 – by comparison the 1997/98 event was 98) associated with the demise of the Minoan civilisation (Tsonis et al, 2010). It shows ENSO variability considerably in excess of that seen in the modern period.

      Everything is anthropogenic warming? Perhaps not.

  80. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Ocean warming picks up speed,
    hits warmest temperatures ever recorded

    The North Pacific has warmed far beyond any recorded value and has shifted hurricane tracks, weakened trade winds and produced coral bleaching in the Hawaiian Islands.

    This is one of the most extreme weather patterns ever seen. And, at least for the time being, there is quite literally no end in sight.

    Pause? What pause?

    The world wonders! Plain citizens, especially.

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    • For the moment, oceanographers and atmospheric scientists don’t see a link to human-caused climate change, but also say what they’ve seen doesn’t match other recognized patterns in ocean conditions.

      They believe the severe warmth may well be the result of poorly understood natural variability — in this case a ridge of high pressure that kept the normally stormy Pacific unusually calm through two winters. That helped prevent cold water at depth from churning up and cooling the ocean surface.

      “I don’t know that there’s much to make of this, other than you’ve got a really unusual two-winter pattern of weather that left a huge imprint on the ocean,” said Nate Mantua, with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in California. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024932135_warmpacificxml.html

      Some like Trenberth are seeking signs and portents of a turnaround in the PDO and hence the ‘hiatus’. Others – like FOMBS – are even more cluelessly thrashing about seeking validation of a meme on the flimsiest pretext.

      • Danny, “So I’m not allowed to chose myself purely outta selfish reasons?”

        Sure you can pick yourself. Not a particularly bright move most of the time, but allowed. You can also have more than one skeptic if you are into fantasy climate. :)

        I pick myself, but that just because I cheat using KISS. That is a long forgotten law of thermodynamics where you pick stable frames of reference instead of the most chaotic locations on the planet.

      • KISS? I’m not sure if I ever told you I was the namesake. On a different level than you I practice similar methodology. Mine sometimes involves a razor.

      • Just kinda wondering out loud if this is ALSO what AGW is supposed to look like:”Satellites have documented trends in Antarctic sea-ice extent and its variability for decades, but estimating sea-ice thickness in the Antarctic from remote sensing data remains challenging. In situ observations needed for validation of remote sensing data and sea-ice models are limited; most have been restricted to a few point measurements on selected ice floes, or to visual shipboard estimates. Here we present three-dimensional (3D) floe-scale maps of sea-ice draft for ten floes, compiled from two springtime expeditions by an autonomous underwater vehicle to the near-coastal regions of the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Wilkes Land sectors of Antarctica. Mean drafts range from 1.4 to 5.5 m, with maxima up to 16 m. We also find that, on average, 76% of the ice volume is deformed ice. Our surveys indicate that the floes are much thicker and more deformed than reported by most drilling and ship-based measurements of Antarctic sea ice. We suggest that thick ice in the near-coastal and interior pack may be under-represented in existing in situ assessments of Antarctic sea ice and hence, on average, Antarctic sea ice may be thicker than previously thought.
        http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2299.html

        I, for one, don’t know. But I’m just guessing that no one else did either.

        Two in this column, one in that one, another here, two there. Maybe Steven can help me here, but I’d venture to say the numbers say “we don’t know” (yet).

      • Danny Thomas, “I, for one, don’t know. But I’m just guessing that no one else did either.”

        But it is entertaining watching everybody pretend they know :)

        .

      • True! If I’m being honest, I’m rooting for skeptics. But from what I see it’s about halftime, and the score is really close. There’s still time for good coaching to make a difference but one hail Mary and who knows………….

        Think I’ll get a beverage. While I’m up ya’ll need anything? Anyone willing to share some of that popcorn?

      • nottawa rafter

        Fan
        October was .04C degrees over 1998 and 2010 with a margin of error of .11 C degrees. I’m sure at this plateau playing around with a couple hundredths of a degree every year will get the desired headlines of new records for years to come. That will allow media outlets to lead with “Boiling 2014” as NBC did the other day. There is a sucker born every day.

      • Danny, “True! If I’m being honest, I’m rooting for skeptics.”

        You can’t just root for skeptics. Its kinda like golf, you have to pick a player. Believers is more a team sport. There you got GFDL versus GISS and Hadcrappy versus Best plus college games like UAH versus UW. GT seems to be moving up in the college ranks :)

      • So I’m not allowed to chose myself purely outta selfish reasons? I like it a bit warmer, but it’s 37 outside right now. I prefer that 65-70 and sunny but breaking it up with a bit of rain is nice. And snow is fun, too, but not to live in for long periods of time. That may be different if I was in the mountains. My luck, I’d probably pick someone like the Tennessee Titans. Perennial underdogs. Take you to the show once, and lose by a yard.

        I like “skeptics” (and count myself as one but that’s as I’m not qualified to know better just yet) as I’d prefer the outcome based on the “team play”. Too soon to know if I’m right, and loyalty is subject to change. Man, this is a really poor analogy! ;)

      • That ol’ black magic,
        not ter mention
        that ol’ confirmation bias
        has you in its spell
        such phrasing .. .
        so melodic ter the ears …
        so alluring…
        )

    • So that’s wot ya got? October?

      “Any fool can make a rule
      And any fool will mind it.”
      ― Henry David Thoreau

    • Fan

      please link me to the research that shows how such pin point accuracy of temperatures in the North Pacific was achieved in 1880. Thanks.

      tonyb

      • Tonyb, one of the most compelling arguments against modern climate exceptionalism can be summed up in four numbers: 1878.

        How someone can be a climate expert and indifferent to or ignorant of such important dates and global-scale climate events is one of those mysteries of our post-Enlightenment.

        One thing is not a mystery: if we got a repeat of the late 1870s now, we wouldn’t hear the end of it from those same climate experts.

      • mosomoso

        Presumably you are referring to the El Nino of that year which had devastating impacts in many places?

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-008-9470-5

        I would remind you in that case that 1878 is pre history and therefore anecdotal. We can safely discount it therefore and keep looking a climatic impacts only since 1980 when we can safely say ‘everything is unprecedented.’

        tonyb

      • Sorry. Forgot about the cut-off. Nothing prior to the Captain and Tennille. Won’t happen again.

      • Which climate expert is indifferent to a paper written by climate experts?

      • Oh, none of them are indifferent to papers.

      • nottawa rafter

        Tony
        Thanks, looks like a fascinating paper. But behind payroll?
        We don’t want widespread distribution due to potential impact on mental health. Cognitive dissonance disorder.

      • Tonyb, any breakers of the Captain and Tennille Law might be tempted to reflect on how, while Brazil, Asia and Oceania were reeling from the conditions of the late 1870s, the opposite extremes were afflicting England and Western Europe.

        Interesting also is that Australia’s year-from-hell, 1902, was counterbalanced by what some Swiss researchers regard as the coldest summer for Europe (though not England specifically) in the post 1500 instrumental record. I imagine that instrumental record is a bit rough around the edges, but it’s interesting. Maybe the Martinique explosion, which was huge, had a part in that. England did set its record high atmospheric pressure in 1902. Also interesting!

        I often wonder what is the golden period of normalcy or stability to which we are meant to return. But in view of the Captain and Tennille Law I am trying to limit my reflections and keep my mind on the hockey. (Did you know there is a climate expert who can read temps from bristlecone pine rings, in defiance of natural law. These are clever fellows!)

      • Mosomoso

        Read the runes through bristlecone pines? Are they a shaman?

        When you see all the things going on in that era from droughts to floods, cold to warm periods it really does make me wonder how useful a global average is as it doesn’t see the numerous nuances that make up the real world but smooths and homogenises everything into a non typical average.

        curious how the GISS temperature started in 1880 and missed out on all the fun prior to that.

        but I am fearful the history police might swoop on us so we need to change the subject.

        tonyb

      • I think we can all agree that there are exceptional El Nino years like 1878 and 1998, and that it is statistically bad practice to start or end trend lines in their vicinity. Right?

      • It depends on your objective. My objective has been to compare with the assertion from climate model simulations that a pause > 15 yrs is highly unlikely under AGW forcing, no matter what the start end date. So in this context ANY long pause, regardless of start/stop date is relevant

      • Thanks to steven for providing the paper. Extremes, extremes where have we heard that before.

      • An anomaly of 0.3 C like 1998 had, does tend to distort any trends you may start from near there, when the trend is about 0.15-0.2 C per decade. This distortion to the trend can last a couple of decades for that size of anomaly. An objective solution is to only use decadal averages to average out ENSO and solar cycles, not individual years when constructing climate trends, and there is no pause when you take the last 20 years as two decadal averages.

      • Hell, does anybody know the precise stats of 1791-2? The main thing is that while millions died in the Doji Bara monsoon failures, Sydney could have been wiped off the map before it got started. What got Gilbert Walker interested? The aftermath of deadly monsoon failure in India which also clobbered Australia as the Federation Drought.

        You can draw all the creative graphs you like, picking all the cleverest startpoints – hey, that 1979 startpoint for sat is beyond lucky, don’t you think? – but actual climate change is awaiting our consideration.

        Waiting…waiting…

  81. Speaking of totally unjustified histrionics, this just in from the Arctic … notice how Williams admits “we were biased towards thinner ice” but doesn’t really explain why that was. Could it be it made for more dramatic histrionics? Could be, I’m thinking.
    From the article:

    “Sea ice is an important indicator of the polar climate but measuring its thickness has been tricky,” said Williams, the report’s co-author. “Along with the satellite data, it was a bit like taking an X-ray of the ice, although we haven’t X-rayed much of it, just a postage stamp.

    “The key thing is that this is a game changer because it was previously very challenging to measure ice depth. We were limited to visual observation from the decks of ships or ice cores and take measures.

    “It was a lot of hard work and quite crude, which means we were biased towards thinner ice. It was a bit like a doctor diagnosing a condition by prodding the skin.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/24/antarctic-ice-thicker-survey-finds

  82. Ok. If WP is going to do this nesting, banner, and other $#!T, then they should also make comments filterable by date and time.

  83. David L. Hagen

    Mark Steyn to DC Court for Defamation Hearing (You won’t want to miss this)

    If the defamation lawsuit against writer Mark Steyn keeps chugging forward toward the courtroom, grab the popcorn. It may be among the most crucial First Amendment cases to affect freedom of speech for decades to come. Not to mention entertaining as hell.

    Steyn comes to Washington Tuesday for a hearing at the D.C. Court of Appeals. Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Penn State, filed the lawsuit against Steyn, National Review, space policy and tech analyst Rand Simberg and the Libertarian-bent Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in 2012. . . .

    Still procedural, but Steyn gets his comments in via an Amicus Brief against Mann.

    • From Steyn: “I shall be in court (in my amicus capacity) at 9.30am at the DC Court of Appeals tomorrow for oral arguments between Big Climate’s serial litigant Michael E Mann and my co-defendants National Review, Rand Simberg and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.”

      Would love to be there.

    • The Daily Caller should have filed that piece under Entertainment.

      • David L. Hagen

        Yes – thus:

        ” grab the popcorn. It may be among the most crucial First Amendment cases to affect freedom of speech for decades to come. Not to mention entertaining as hell.”

  84. Just to sum up: you can’t have a US climate without polar vortices, Lake Effect, severe California drought etc etc. If someone has evidence that events of eg 1888, 1913 and 1934 were markedly milder or without causation and just kinda happened, he/she needs to spend a lot of time establishing that. We know that recent blizzards, floods, droughts etc have been brutal and that there has been more than one of each. But if it was ever thus…then what is your point?

    Look, I know this harping on past events is a downer, but I don’t see the point of allowing comparatives and not allowing points of comparison. It’s manipulative stuff and, dare I say, a touch juvenile.

    If you want to dismiss past climate as unknown or under-researched that’s fine. Provided you then make no comparative pronouncements on the subject of climate. Don’t say “more frequent” and “more extreme” or “more whatever” when you yourself have dismissed the possibility of solid points of comparison. It’s all your own work!

    Don’t be a little trickster.

    • No, it’s on skeptics to prove the past was just as bad according to some here. That burden appears to be symmetrical to me. The warmists need to prove their contention this is the worst in a few centuries.

  85. .atmospheric physicist

    it is not correct to say “The convection > radiative forcing principle only applies to the planets with thick atmospheres” because physics is universal. Radiation between a warmer surface and a cooler troposphere is cooling the surface. Only radiation from a hotter source can raise the temperature of a cooler target, and only to a maximum as per Stefan Boltzmann calculations. Even those calculations become irrelevant if that target does not meet the definition of a black or grey body that does not gain or lose thermal energy by non-radiative processes, only by radiation. But you can work out the maximum mean surface temperature that radiation could support, and, for 163W/m^2 of solar radiation reaching Earth’s surface that mean temperature is around 35 degrees below freezing.

    The whole concept of “radiative forcing” has absolutely no basis in physics. Radiation from a cooler source can only slow that portion of the cooling of a warmer target which is itself by radiation. Radiation from a colder troposphere does not slow the rate of evaporative cooling or conduction across the surface/atmosphere interface. (See my March 2012 paper.) These non-radiative processes can and will accelerate to nullify the reduction in radiative cooling. In any event, one molecule of carbon dioxide in 2,500 other molecules has absolutely minuscule effect on the rate of radiative cooling of Earth’s surface. It does not affect the maximum which must be explained by another process in a completely different paradigm that does indeed operate throughout the Universe.

    Radiation from the cooler troposphere cannot be added to solar radiation and the total used in Stefan Boltzmann calculations. Even those calculations overstate the temperature because the surface is simultaneously losing energy from some of the solar radiation by non-radiative processes. You need to explain how the necessary thermal energy gets into the surfaces of Earth, Venus etc. And you need to do this in keeping with the laws of physics, as I have done successfully and in agreement with empirical data.

    • Come on Doug, why don’t you see if you can find some help.

      Forget about the black body versus gray body, there is no such thing as a gray body, that is Physics speak for FIIK. There are body bodies and black body cavities. The shell of the black body is the radiant layer everything below that point is part of the black body cavity. If you change the composition of the radiant layer, you change the location of the radiant surface. Nothing particularly Earth shattering. Inside the radiant shell, all means of heat transfer take place in search of some equilibrium, but at the shell there is only radiant heat exchange. If you think you can figure out what happens inside a complex radiant shell to a few tenths of a degree, you need new medication.

      The Stephens et al. energy budget I have shown you a few times shows that realistically, there is around +/- 17 Wm-2 of uncertainty at the “surface” since you can’t really be sure what “surface” is going to change and about +/- 0.5 Wm-2 of uncertainty at the top of the atmosphere where only satellites live. You should just chill out and enjoy the show, it is going to get entertaining. Yes, Matilda, there is a greenhouse gas effect and yes it is over estimated at the “surface”.

    • .atmospheric physicist

      Planetary temperatures are not primarily determined by radiation into any surface. At the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus there is no solar radiation and no surface, yet it’s hotter than Earth’s surface even though the only source of thermal energy is the 60K methane layer near TOA that is in radiative balance with the Sun – a black body “shell” if you wish to call it that. I can understand (and have explained in my book) how and why the necessary thermal energy gets to the base of the troposphere (and further down) but I doubt that you can. My calculations led to an estimated temperature of 329K, and I note that Wikipedia says 320K which is close enough for me. What’s your calculation give you? Can you explain the energy flows that gel with the observed temperature?

      • So Youranus estimate is in the ballpark of a wiki guestimate which you have no doubt chronicled in your self published tome that no one cares a ratsanus about, Mr. dot space.

        I can predict climate all day long with +/- 9 degrees or so to play with, heck with enough smoothing I can get that down to +/-1.5 C without even having to invent novel metaphysical effects.

      • .atmospheric physicist

        So you, Captain, can’t explain how the required thermal energy gets from the 60K region to the 320K region on Uranus, or how the required energy on Venus gets from the 400K region to the surface in order to raise the temperature from 732K to 737K. That’s because you don’t understand the physics pertaining to thermodynamic equilibrium and the consequent corollaries. Hence, because you have a personal interest in maintaining and promulgating the hoax, you continue to claim, in effect, that the surface of Earth would have been 255K without greenhouse gases even though there would not have been any clouds, and thus not have been a reduction of 30% in the solar radiation. So you are promoting a fraudulent claim that there would have been 33 degrees of warming from an imaginary dry rocky planet with zero albedo from its atmosphere. You know where people who deceive and commit fraud belong, now don’t you Captain?

  86. “The largest group, dubbed the “Believers” (46 percent overall), said global warming is a fact and they lay the blame on human activity. They were most likely (74 percent) to be very or somewhat concerned about climate change.

    Sympathizers (25 percent) saw the Earth as heating up. However, they attributed this to natural causes or said they were uncertain why global warming was happening. Fewer of them (42 percent) expressed concern about climate change.

    Skeptics (26 percent overall) say “there is no solid evidence” of the Earth’s temperature rising in recent decades. Neither does it worry them: 82 percent say they were somewhat or very unconcerned about climate change.”
    http://www.sltrib.com/lifestyle/faith/1868048-155/were-awestruck-about-earth-unsure-about
    Sympathizers and Believers.

    Three Factions of Americans: Climate Change Believers, Sympathizers, and Skeptics
    http://publicreligion.org/research/2014/11/believers-sympathizers-skeptics-americans-conflicted-climate-change-environmental-policy-science/
    Now why did they pick the word Sympathizer? Is the middle sympathizing with both sides equally? Here’s something, and attack the source if you must, I like:

    A framework one can use to view people. Sympathizers don’t rate so well.

    • Shoot. I’m messing up again. Based on this, I’m sorta a sympathizer as I can see evidence for warming, but can’t pin down the cause. And, I’m here because I am concerned about it. Now what? Thanks Ragnaar, I’ve got yet another dilemma. :)

      • I see what you mean about pinning down the cause. This might help:
        http://www.aip.org/history/climate/timeline.htm
        Not sure if the AIP is being purely objective above. A number of have said when asked for conclusive proof, see the IPCC’s fifth assessment report. As I think I’ve said, I think there’s some reliance on expert assessment given that precise effects are hard to know.

      • Ragnaar,

        Thanks again for your assistance. I’m still working my way through this site but appreciate the specific reference on timelines!

    • .atmospheric physicist

      Ragnaar.

      I am not concerned at all about the world warming.

      It will do so (by about half a degree) until the next maximum in the 1,000 year cycle (around the year 2058) but then it will cool for 500 years. Carbon dioxide has nothing to do with it because valid physics proves that. Water vapour cools (as real world data proves) by radiating energy out of the atmosphere and giving us clouds that shade the surface as they reflect 30% of solar radiation back to space.

  87. Obama’s climate change envoy: fossil fuels will have to stay in the ground
    The world’s fossil fuels will “obviously” have to stay in the ground in order to solve global warming, Barack Obama’s climate change envoy said on Monday.
    In the clearest sign to date the administration sees no long-range future for fossil fuel, the state department climate change envoy, Todd Stern, said the world would have no choice but to forgo developing reserves of oil, coal and gas.
    The assertion, a week ahead of United Nations climate negotiations in Lima, will be seen as a further indication of Obama’s commitment to climate action, following an historic US-Chinese deal to curb emissions earlier this month.
    A global deal to fight climate change would necessarily require countries to abandon known reserves of oil, coal and gas, Stern told a forum at the Center for American Progress in Washington.
    “It is going to have to be a solution that leaves a lot of fossil fuel assets in the ground,” he said. “We are not going to get rid of fossil fuel overnight but we are not going to solve climate change on the basis of all the fossil fuels that are in the ground are going to have to come out. That’s pretty obvious.”
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/25/todd-stern-fossil-fuels-ground-climate-change-obama

  88. BBC: Scientists have produced what they say is the most accurate space view yet of global ocean currents and the speed at which they move.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30191584

  89. Into the new week, and the Michael Mann case is before the DC Court of Appeals…. except that apparently Mann is a no-show for his own case….

    Steyn has some interesting comments on the first day. He emphasizes that Mann does not show up in court for his own case as plaintiff. Does that matter? It seems to indicate a remarkable detachment, for a case that is supposedly all about his reputation. I don’t know how often plaintiffs don’t show up in court but I would have assumed he’d be there:

    Steyn on the first day at DC Court of Appeals

    p.s. It is great to see the list of media entities listed as amici. One hopes that they will exert salutary influences upon the court.

    The absence of the NY Times in that list is an utter disgrace, particularly considering their historic role in the development of US defamation law (New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)). Current NY Times officials passed over the opportunity to stand up for an important part of citizen freedoms in the US.

  90. .atmospheric physicist

    In my book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All” I put forward an hypothesis which correctly explains temperature data throughout the Solar System and no doubt beyond. There is no scope for any additional warming by so-called greenhouse gases, and in fact I show why these gases cool rather than warm. Empirical evidence in a study I published therein also confirms that the main greenhouse gas water vapour certainly cools. This completely debunks the greenhouse conjecture. All global warming is natural and will end around the year 2058 after which nearly 500 years of cooling will commence.

    In applying my hypothesis to Venus I allowed for the variation in specific heat of carbon dioxide, so we get a curved temperature profile. It still works, just as it does on Uranus. There’s little point in discussing a planet like Mars with an insignificant atmosphere, but the hypothesis still works.

    But I don’t use barometric equations because pressure is irrelevant. Pressure is proportional to the product of temperature and density. High pressure does not maintain high temperatures. Temperature and density cause pressure, not the other way around.

    The state of thermodynamic equilibrium (which the Second Law of Thermodynamics says will be approached) has a density gradient and a temperature gradient. The pressure gradient is merely a corollary. Until you all understand this, you understand nothing about atmospheric physics.

    And that is why calculations based on barometric equations give only approximate results. Those who think temperature is caused by pressure are mistaken. Where does the required thermal energy come from? That’s the whole point of my book wherein I’m one of only two authors to explain (independently) the energy flows from valid physics.

    None of you understands how the energy gets from the cooler regions (<400K on Venus) where it is absorbed from Solar radiation to the hotter Venus surface and raises its temperature from 732K to 737K over the 4 months of sunshine. To raise a temperature you need net input of thermal energy, and that does not come from radiation into the Venus surface. Nor does pressure magically supply energy.

  91. The ebola threat has never gone away. From the article:

    We are in the midst of the worst Ebola outbreak in human history. After four decades of confining outbreaks of this disease to small areas, experts acknowledged in an October 9 New England Journal of Medicine article that “we were wrong” about the scope of the current situation. And the co-discoverer of Ebola, Peter Piot, told The Guardian on October 4 that until this year he thought that Ebola was never “much of a problem because the outbreaks were always brief and local.”

    The present Ebola outbreak is like a slowly exploding atomic bomb in Africa: Each Ebola patient infects an average of 1.5 to 2.0 additional people. To shut down the Ebola epidemic in West Africa means getting that number—known as the “transmission rate” or reproductive number—to below 1.0. To give a sense of what those figures mean, at the present rate, the number of Ebola cases in West Africa doubles every two to three weeks.

    And there are several complicating factors. For one thing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 60 percent of all Ebola patients remain undiagnosed in their communities. For another, there is some evidence that organizations such as ISIS are interested in acquiring biological weapons; Ebola is listed as a bioterrorism agent by the CDC, and this uncontrolled epidemic is giving terrorists a virtually unlimited supply of Ebola virus that they would otherwise have had to produce with much greater effort, risk, and expense. And if terrorists do manage to expose a large number of people in public locations, Ebola becomes that much harder to control, because each infected patient caused by such a terrorist attack would be likely be unknown or untraceable, along with all of his or her contacts.

    http://thebulletin.org/ebola-slow-motion-atomic-bomb7825

  92. Looking over some old notes I came across this:

    What we’re looking for is what happened in 1998-2001?
    “One of the most important and mysterious events in recent climate history is the climate shift in the mid-1970s. In the northern hemisphere 500-hPa atmospheric flow the shift manifested itself as a collapse of a persistent wave-3 anomaly pattern and the emergence of a strong wave-2 pattern.”
    The late 70s on the graph also look good for agreeing with what Tsonis 2007 said. It looks like we are back to a wave-3 anomaly that I think agrees with a cooling due to increased atmospheric meridional heat transport. River meanders exhibit such transitions based on time, soil composition and gradients. So perhaps with the polar jet, a gradient slope was exceeded reforming the meanders. A tipping point.

  93. Oil awaits OPEC tomorrow. Already close to 70.

    OIL 72.86 -0.83
    BRENT 76.65 -1.10
    NAT GAS 4.344 -0.011
    RBOB GAS 2.0122 -0.0229
    DIESEL 2.37 -0.0265
    ETHANOL 2.10 — UNCH
    URANIUM 40.00 -0.50
    COAL 54.00 0.07