Open thread

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

240 responses to “Open thread

  1. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Rud Istvan claims [at odds with the evidence]  “FAN, usually I just skip your stuff”

    Lol … lots of folks claim that Rud Istvan!

    Heck, with the help of a 12-step cling-to-ignorance program …

    …`yah can hope to skip the scientific literature entirely!

    The Science Says:  Brace for a whopping acceleration of sea-level rise-rate.

    \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}

    • Willis Eschenbach

      A fan of *MORE* discourse | January 28, 2015 at 10:40 pm

      The Science Says: Brace for a whopping acceleration of sea-level rise-rate.

      Funny how “The Science” has been saying that for thirty years now, without any acceleration … you’ll have to stand in line with that doomsday prediction, Fannie, and it’s a long line.

      And yes, before you bring it up I did read the recent paper where they substituted models for sea level observations, and the models showed acceleration in sea level rise … not impressed.


    • Fan

      I seem to remember that you got very excited about an imagined ‘whopping acceleration in sea level rise rate’ a couple of years ago which hasn’t come about.

      Still, knowing that you prefer the satellite version of history I expect you will henceforward use the Satellite temperature records rather than James Hansen’s version that he borrowed from Callendar’s 1930’s estimates?

      BTW I nearly skipped this as the iceberg looked uncomfortably like a depiction of a tooth and I have just had root canal work…

      • Hi tony

        I left this question for Mosher a while back but got no response. I don’t know how familiar you are with BEST or if you even reviewed the report but it seems the variance between locations in the warming trends are beyond reasonable. Can you think of a physical reason for the data shown in the paragraph below. Thanks. If any of the other denizens want to weigh in, that would be great. Even Mosher.

        “On the BEST page “City Selection” there is a list of cities with their warming rate C/cent since 1960. Three cities interest me. Guangzhua, China warming rate since 1960 of .72 C. Karachi, Pakistan 2.31 C. and Mashdad, Iran 3.71 C. Mashdad is warming at more than 5 times the rate of Guangzhu. The rates of warming vary so much I am not able to rationalize what the reasons might be. The latitudes are not that different while the elevations might be.
        To what do you attribute what appears to be significant variance in their rates of warming since 1960?”

        Any thoughts on what appears to be significant differences in warming trends?

      • By that graphic, there is a rather tiny amount of ice supported by land, above sea level which could end up in the ocean.

      • Ceresco kid

        I make no bones of the fact that I don’t like global averages whether sea level rise or temperatures. They disguise all sorts of nuances of climate which would otherwise be exposed and discussed.

        For example, with regards to sea levels, some ocean basins show a rapid rise some places record falling sea levels. All need to take into account whether the land is rising or falling.

        The same goes for temperatures. Station change, urbanisation, changes in wind direction causing a change in local climate all mean that examination of local or regional temperature is more instructive than a globally averaged one.

        Dr Muller and Mosh have confirmed that one third of stations show cooling but that this is largely for technical reasons. However, it is interesting.


      • tonyb, you say:

        Dr Muller and Mosh have confirmed that one third of stations show cooling but that this is largely for technical reasons. However, it is interesting.

        While I believe there is a caveat to this that stations with cooling trends tend to have shorter lengths, what I find more interesting is there is pretty much no part of the entire world BEST says is cooling. Since 1960, there isn’t a single grid cell in the BEST (land) data set which shows cooling. I demonstrated this about six months ago:

        The same is true if you pick a starting point earlier than 1960, whether it be 1930 or 1900. There is just no cooling in the BEST results. I had to move the starting point up to almost 1980 to find any parts of the world had a cooling trend, and even then, it was only ~2% of the world.

        I compared BEST’s results to GISS’s in the comments on that post. GISS shows a far greater amount of the world has had cooling trends. In fact, GISS shows most of southeast United States has cooled. BEST shows the opposite.

        Southeast United States is about a third the size of Europe. BEST changes a cooling trend across that large an area to a warming trend. Perhaps people should be concerned?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Dr Muller and Mosh have confirmed that one third of stations show cooling but that this is largely for technical reasons. However, it is interesting.”

        I wish people would read that more CAREFULLY.

        one third of stations DO NOT show cooling.

        Stop repeating that. I have explained how it is misleading many times to you.

        Let me do it again.

        1. Raw station data was collected for all the stations.
        2. The stations were binned according to their length.
        3. a simple straightline trend was calculated.

        The purpose of this was to get a sense of the spread in trends.
        The importance of that is as follows: If there is a wide dispersal of
        trends, then finding a UHI sign in trends will be hard. it’s a power
        problem in testing.

        Things to note.

        A) some stations are only present ( only have records ) during cooling phases. So a station that is present from 1875 to 1900 will be counted
        as a COOLING TREND.
        B) As you increase the length of stations beyond 70 years the number
        of cooling stations diminishes.
        C) If you look at the entire record they vanish .
        D) this is for raw data with no accounting for station moves
        see figure 4 of out UHI paper for example. ALL of those cooling
        stations in the US are “cooling” as a result of station moves
        or TOBS.

        for the Nth time.

      • Brandon

        Well over 4 years ago I wrote this with a colleague

        (I think there is one brief comment by Mosh in there)

        Before writing it up I contacted Richard Muller and told him of our findings. He agreed and said that as a preliminary figure he had found 29% (I think) of stations cooling in the BEST data, which at that time was still a work in progress.

        Mosh has several times acknowledged our work but put in some serious caveats about cooling which he would need to reiterate himself.

        I think an average global growth of GDP is useless as it hides those countries booming and those countries in recession. I have much the same view of average global temperatures as the overall warming signal (for whatever reason) overwhelms the cooling or static picture, which does exist..

        I have suggested to Mosh several times that the subject would be worthy of a paper by BEST but he always says he has too many other more urgent things to do, so it is a bit of a stalemate as the data needs to be examined by someone like him who knows the ins and outs of the BEST data.


      • Mosh

        Your reply must have come in as I was composing mine so they have crossed.

        I am only interested in stations cooling long enough to be called a trend i.e 30 years or more, finishing now (or 2011 when I was doing the work).

        Dr Muller was quite unequivocal in agreeing that by that criteria the one third figure was approximately correct but with caveats.

        The BEST data as still being created so perhaps the end data ended up in a different form to the preliminary version that was the subject of our correspondence.


      • Thanks to tony, Mosher and Brandon for weighing in. This is not to be a criticism, rather to understand both the technical and the actual physical on the ground dynamics of the climate. My specific question was cited above relating to what appears to be dramatic differences in the warming trends for the 3 locations cited in my comment. I am trying to understand what forces are at work that would explain one trend being 5 times as much as another. Since Steve has commented I hope you will just give me your thoughts on what might be going on. I assume it is not a technical issue with the records themselves. Just trying to get an education. Thanks

      • Steven Mosher

        “I don’t know how familiar you are with BEST or if you even reviewed the report but it seems the variance between locations in the warming trends are beyond reasonable.”

        For us there is no apriori notion of what is ‘reasonable’
        There is simply a best fit to the data.
        That is it in a nutshell.
        There is the data, and there is a best fit to that data.
        That’s it.

        The ‘city’ you refer to is actually an AREA.
        when you search by city you get the AREA average for cell that contains that city. See the coordinates in the URL. thats one corner of the grid.

        the average for this AREA ( not city ) is .72

        You want to look at locations . the average for this location is. .78

        the average for this location is .54

        The average for an AREA is based on the nearest stations.
        note that all these stations have a similar dip in the end of these series
        that leverages the trend.

        Some areas warm faster than others. If you collect the data and fit the data this is what you find.

        Analyzing why some areas warm faster than others might be a fun project for folks, but it’s a sideline.

        There other thing is that it is a mistake to try to evaluate global records by looking at local detail. You can of course do that, but it doesnt tell you anything interesting. All gobal approaches tacitly create predictions for local details. The way to test them is by out of sample approaches.
        Just comparing them A versus B is misguided.

      • Steven, Tonyb, Ceresco,

        Not sure if this is bad form, but there’s a brand new post at WUWT about BEST and the methodology and uncertainties. Brandon’s on it also.

        Please let me know if it was inappropriate to post this here.

      • Steven Mosher

        “The BEST data as still being created so perhaps the end data ended up in a different form to the preliminary version that was the subject of our correspondence.”

        I dont believe the end date restriction you suggested was ever done.
        The data analysis that lead to 1/3 was done on unsliced data
        and only 36,000 stations ( a preliminary dataset)

        Local detail isn’t very interesting. Further if you are interested in local detail you really dont want to using a product that AIMS AT minimizing the error
        in the global answer.

        The goal of a global product is to SIMULTANEOUSLY minimize the error in local records. When you do this you will have some local areas with errors in one direction and other local areas with errors in the other direction.
        but for any random location you will minimize the error.

        And we test this.

        If your study purpose is to pick a given area and do the best estimate for that area, then you’d not use a global product. Why? because the global product is trying to minimize all errors over all areas.

        You will also find differences in global products at the local level. This has confused more than few folks. GISS is the bbest example.

        In the GISS approach the longest record is trusted without question.
        Its the reference stations ( see mcintyres criticism of this approach) stations that are close to the reference station are aligned with the reference station. It is the standard. Our approach is different. No station
        is trusted. a surface is fit simultaneoulsy to all stations in a region.
        This surface gives you what amounts to a ‘majority’ vote. In short we are
        skeptical of the whole lot. So if a long station were at odds with many surrounding shorter records the shorter records would be given more weight.

        one effect of this is that we tend to have a more smooth surface.
        in GISS the trend can change on latitude/longitude lines. North of
        35 say at 35.001 the trend can be X, and at 34.999 the trend can be
        X-y. There are discrete unphysical jumps. Conversely our approach
        gives you a smoother result, perhaps too smooth ( see our homogenization study )

        Deciding the appropriate ‘smoothness’ can’t be done by simply comparing two products using the same data. So, we look at alternative products

        this is a comparison of GISS, NCDC, MERRA, NARR, UHA, and RSS and PRISM with Berkeley.

        Now look at the CONUS averages. What do you see?

        1. All sources use different data.
        2. All use different methodologies.
        3. The AREA averages are identical.
        4. the local detail is WILDLY different

        they agree globally and disagree locally.
        which local detail is correct?
        none of them.
        put another way there is no perfect reference to make this decision.

        for studies of CONUS? it just doesnt matter. CONUS is warming any way you choose to cut it. put another way all approaches to calculating the areas average will do violence to the local detail. Different methods do different violence. Some methods create unphysical cooling zones.
        Other methods create sharp unphysical switching zones. Some methods over smooth. The take away is this. If you want to study florida.. dont use ANY of the global products. Go to the source data and create a florida specific version. ( for example of course ) So when the state of california comes to me and asks what data to use, I’d point them at our 1/4 degree product and then give them caveats– coastal areas will be off and cold drainage areas will be off.

      • Thanks to all. I have a better understanding of the methodology.

      • Danny Thomas, I don’t think there’s anything inappropriate about your comment, aside from the fact you didn’t provide a link to the post!

      • Brandon,

        Thank you. Due to lack of knowledge of the ettiquette, I didn’t wanna double down. I’m still a learning!

      • Danny Thomas, no prob. As a rule, there should never be anything wrong with providing a link to a relevant discussion. Letting people know what discussions there are should not bother people.

      • Danny

        As Brandon said, it was perfectly ok to point out the thread at WUWT. As he also says it would be appropriate to post a link to it.

        I have been over and made a passing comment so we will see what develops.

        I recommended Mosh’s book to you and I have every regard for him, although we don’t always agree. I follow Hubert lambs maxin that ‘ we can understand the ( temperature) tndancy, but not the precision.’

        I do not believe in the accuracy or value of a global average temperature as i believe far too much precision is given to the temperatures. However in very general terms we can see the ups and downs through the centuries via CET and think that gives a reasonable approximation of the temperature tendency of many, but not all, parts of the world.


      • There’s an active Earth plot here of GHCN/ERSST trends over fixed periods. Negative trends are quite common, even over 60 years.

      • Danny

        You should not worry about something being inappropriate here. Based on a lot of comments, you can see this is an etiquette free zone. I think we are all in search of greater knowledge, and sharing information furthers that. The only breach of etiquette for me is coughing in my backswing.

      • Ceresco Kid,

        Thank you. As Dr. Curry is kind enough to allow me to post in her “home” I would not want to do so rudely. I’ve commented to others regarding tone as good words with poor tone leads to lower quality communication. As an advocate of good tone and form didn’t wish to be hypocritical. I’m still a learning! And much more so, thank you for coughing in your backswing and not mine. Achooo! :)

      • Steven Mosher

        ” left this question for Mosher a while back but got no response. ”

        In general I’ve been dialing back the time I take to respond to everything I read on blogs. If people write me mail, then I can put them into my que.
        Otherwise the payback for engaging on blogs is pretty low or negative.
        But there are certain folks who have a genuine interest and I will respond to them regardless.

      • Steven,

        Tonyb has an entire staff standing by to address his whims. Maybe he can offer a whim. :)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      TonyB, here are two suggestions for you and other skeptics:

      Suggestion 1  Start askin’ better questions, and

      Suggestion 2  Start thinking deeper into the future.

      It’s easy! Here’s an example of a good question:

      A good question  If “the pause” is real, why didn’t sea-level rise pause (as denialist weblogs confidently foresaw)?

      A good conclusion  The “pause” ain’t real.

      As for longer-term thinking, here’s what it looks like!

      The Most Terrifying Papers I Read Last Year

      It will probably take a few centuries for the Amundsen Sector to fully disintegrate. But that 1.2 metres of global sea level rise is coming eventually, on top of what we’ve already seen from other glaciers and thermal expansion, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it (short of geoengineering).

      We’re going to lose a lot of coastal cities because of this glacier system alone.

      Terrifying Paper #2, by Mengel & Levermann, [namely, Ice plug prevents irreversible discharge from East Antarctica] examines the Wilkes Basin Sector of East Antarctica. This region contains enough ice to raise global sea level by 3 to 4 metres. Unlike the Amundsen Sector, we aren’t yet committed to losing this ice, but it wouldn’t be too hard to reach that point. […]

      It turns out that the only thing stopping seawater getting in the troughs is a very small bit of ice, equivalent to only 8 centimetres of global sea level rise, which Mengel & Levermann nickname the “ice plug”. As long as the ice plug is there, this sector of the ice sheet is stable; but take the ice plug away, and the whole thing will eventually fall apart even if the ocean stops warming.

      Simulations from an ice sheet model suggest it would take at least 200 years of increased ocean temperature to melt this ice plug, depending on how much warmer the ocean got.

      200 years sounds like a long time for us to find a solution to climate change, but it actually takes much longer than that for the ocean to cool back down after it’s been warmed up.

      This might sound like all bad news. And you’re right, it is. But it can always get worse. That means we can always stop it from getting worse. That’s not necessarily good news, but at least it’s empowering.

      The sea level rise we’re already committed to, whether it’s 1 or 2 or 5 metres, will be awful. But it’s much better than 58 metres, which is what we would get if the entire Antarctic ice sheet melted.

      Reminder  Folks who reside atop ultra-permeable karst geologies — like everyone in Florida, yikes! — appreciate that sea-level rise of “1 or 2 or 5 metres” will be utterly unstoppable by any known technology of dikes, levees, or berms.

      TonyB, it is a pleasure to help you to ask better questions and think farther into the future!

      Folks like you — who diligently look far into the past — are well-suited to look far into the future!

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      • “A good question If “the pause” is real, why didn’t sea-level rise pause (as denialist weblogs confidently foresaw)?.”

        William of Ockham would postulate that as we have information of both changes in sea level and temperature, that we recognize that the two are poorly correlated, we should conclude that the temperature is not driven by ocean levels or are ocean levels driven by temperature; on the observed timescales.

      • “A good question If “the pause” is real, why didn’t sea-level rise pause (as denialist weblogs confidently foresaw)?.”

        Perhaps there is a 20yr lag between GMST and SLR rates? If so, in 20 years there might be a “pause” in SLR.—hadcrut4

      • I’d be worried on sea level rise, if it happened. So far I see a fabricated ultrastraight linear trend with no real-life consequences. No millions of climate refugees so far. But surely it is accelerating any time soon. Must be.

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: Suggestion 1 Start askin’ better questions, and

        Suggestion 2 Start thinking deeper into the future.

        If the surface warms by 0.5C, on average, what will be the changes in the rates of surface cooling by advection and evapotranspiration?

        You may recall that Romps et al computed a 12% increase in the rate of cloud to ground lightning strikes in the US east of the Rockies for a 1C increase in mean surface temp, but somehow without an overall increase in the cooling rate caused by the speed up of the whole process generating lightning. They assumed that the water vapor remained a constant fraction of each kg of air lifted by convection, across the whole range of temperatures and specific humidities from Denver and St Paul in the winter to New Orleans and Tallahassee in the summer; if the water vapor fraction of air is constant (at least to a first degree of approximation), what is the amount of change in the energy transfer rate by the process if CAPE*PR increases 12% (where PR is precipitation rate)?

        According to Wentz, Ricciardulli, Hilburn and Mears, (Science, 317:233-235, 2007), each 1C increase in global mean temperature will produce a 7% increase in annual rainfall. This is at the high end of reported estimates. What is your best estimate of the rainfall change with mean global warming? If rainfall increases, will cloud cover also increase? A 5% increase in rainfall represents approximately an increase of 4 W/m^2 increase in the rate of transfer of latent heat from surface to upper troposphere: what increase in rainfall rate do you think will completely balance the surface warming effect of a doubling of CO2 concentration?

        According to your best estimate, what will be the rate of sea level change 100 years from now? 6 mm/year? As you know, Venice is subsiding and New Orleans is below sea level; what multibillion dollar infrastructure projects are most likely to protect those cities throughout the rest of the 21st century? As you most likely know, the Indus Valley is subject to alternations of destructive flooding and drought: what multibillion dollar infrastructure projects should have the highest priority for protecting lives, property and agriculture in the Indus Valley throughout the rest of the 21st century? (repeat question for California, US and Queensland, Aust.)

        Take your time and think through the answers — if CO2-induced warming is occurring at all, it is happening slowly. Also, the real “hiatus” is in global warming worry, with nearly all large projects on hold or in reverse (e.g. Germany.)

      • Fan

        I will ask the questions I want to ask, not ones that suit your end purpose, thank you.

        Speaking of glaciers, you are privileged to be present at the unveiling of my revised NH glacier graphs that reach back 1000 years. These are drawn from thousands of observations complied by E Roy Ladurie and other notable experts such as Pfister.

        On to it has been superimposed extended CET as well as the hockey stick. This latter sails on serenely at much the same temperature level as glaciers advance and recede. Curious..


      • Tonyb,
        Since you seemingly have nothing else on your plate…………are you by chance tracking snowfall during the glacial growth periods? Is the supposition that warming–>increased precipitation–>glacial growth? On the opposite side, any offerings as to why the glacial recession during “cooler” periods?

        Thanks for sharing those charts!

      • AJ, nice graphs!

      • Danny

        Since I am well paid by big frack and big oil I am able to maintain a large team of researchers to carry out my every whim so it is no trouble to output articles and graphs…I don’t need to put ‘sarc’ do I?

        Gordon Manley created the central England temperature to 1659 which I am attempting to extend.

        He was one of the old breed of very diligent researchers as was Hubert lamb. This is Gordon manleys take On glacier formation which I think probably answers your questions.


      • Tonyb,

        Are you hiring?

        Thanks for the link, and your continued patience!

      • FOMD,

        This struck me as entertaining: “Suggestion 2 Start thinking deeper into the future.”

        I see an offering for suggestion #1, but lacking mind reading and a crystal ball to view the future…………………………..

    • Perhaps you can firstt explain how record sea ice fits into this scenario, then we might consider looking at the rest of your nonsense?

    • Fan,
      If increased GHGs are causing Basel Melt then please tell me how many degrees has the Circumpolar Deep Water been warmed by CO2 and how did this occur? Also, why does it not melt the Sea Ice first?

      Or are you trying to say that increased sea ice is hindering evaporation, thereby reducing snowfall on Antarctica?

    • “The Science Says: Brace for a whopping acceleration of sea-level rise-rate.”

      Yeah yeah. The “science” also said to brace for a whopping acceleration in global warming….. which never happened.

    • “The Science Says…”

      No it doesn’t.

      Stop making stuff up.

  2. As with any cult, once the mythology of the cult begins falling apart, instead of saying, oh, we were wrong, they get more and more fanatical. I think that’s what’s happening here. Think about it. You’ve led an unpleasant life, you haven’t led a very virtuous life, but now you’re told, you get absolution if you watch your carbon footprint. It’s salvation! ~Richard Lindzen (See–e.g., …Global Warming Believers a ‘Cult’)

  3. Joseph Stalin himself probably designed “The Great Social Experiment of 1945-2015” to save himself and the rest of the world from nuclear annihilation by prohibiting public knowledge of the energy that destroyed Hiroshima.

    Despite seventy years of success, tonight Big Brother is going down!

    Our challenge now is to:

    1. Retain the benefits* of, and
    2. Eliminate the deception in

    “The Great Social Experiment of 1945-2015”

    We must not get side-tracked trying to punish those who used grant funds to deceive the public for the past seventy years.

    *Reduced racism, nationalism, xenophobia, sexism, etc.

  4. I wonder what the actual data is for Aspen snowpack by year.

    What is the definition of a “shorter winter”?

      • Justen

        Our EPA chief: repeating last weeks scientific dip “2014 was the hottest year on record”. The poor misguided woman.


      • On January 28, 2015, Gina McCarthy Said:

        There are a lot of small businesses in Aspen that can’t survive without tourists coming into town, and I sat down for a chat with them in the afternoon. If we fail to act, Aspen’s climate could be a lot like that of Amarillo, TX, by 2100. Amarillo is a great town, but it’s a lousy place to ski.

        Does anyone realize how impossible that would be? Ask the people in Boston and much of the rest of New England, how much less snow they get in these warmer times. Warm times bring more lake effect snowfall and more ocean effect snowfall. Warm times are when ice on land is replenished.

        After hurricane Sandy became tropical storm sandy and hit land, ski resorts opened the earliest ever, as far down as in North Carolina. It would have snowed less if it was colder. Google Search “Snow with Sandy” and look at all the snow stories.

        Warmer Climate brings more snowfall, that is why warm periods end.

      • I don’t even know where to start with this one.
        Besides F Aspen and the billionaires, why is someone who obviously has zero understanding of climate at the helm of the EPA.
        I’m gonna puke. Not just a little, a lot.

      • Ha ha ha. Just checked the EPA facebook site. There is, of course, the inane post about ‘save the winters’.
        Then, not two or three posts down is an article about how snowfall actually increases with warmth.

        When exactly did it become ok to take an important institution like the EPA and put a BA in social anthropology at the helm and then start spewing a bunch of non scientific nonsense.

        It really isnt ok to destroy the credibility and the meaning of these institution in this way. How did our country become a joke?


      • Oooops. Wait. I did not realize that Ms. McCarthy had done a very serious scientific study of the Aspen winter crisis before taking her stand:

        “Gretchen, who’s local to Aspen, told me they’re seeing more winter rain here in January,”

        my apopletctic’gies.

      • Oh Blimey, oh Blimey, the snow!
        Well stymie, just stymie, with snow.

      • Nickels

        The awarding of “political plums” like the job of head of the EPA makes government an unlikely source of intelligent solutions to any problem. The cream does not rise to the top in government. Instead, it’s a Machiavellian free-for-all where anything goes and winning elections is everything.

      • “Oh Blimey, oh Blimey, the snow!
        Well stymie, just stymie, with snow.”

        If I understand Aspen, no worries, whatever they lose in snow they’ll easily make up for with blow…..

      • I guess what really bends me iut of shape over Obama and this EPA undergrad is that I worked around climate scientist and went to their conferences and they absolutely did not claim the connection with extreme weather and warming was anything but a theory. At least 10 years ago when I was in the biz. So hiw do these bozos claim to be on the side of science with this acne of a concept? Its a swindle. (Have scientist started to claim mire bold cirrelation in 10 years).

  5. Where is the climate debate headed? Certainly it will not continue endlessly. How will it end and when will it end?


    • All predictions are dodgy, but here goes : It will end the same way as DDT, the ozone hole, etc. IOW, no-one will ever admit to having been wrong, no-one will ever correct the science, it will just sink slowly from public view while the ringleaders transfer seamlessly into the next campaign.

      • With all you know why do you want to be a fifth wheel?

      • Mike Jonas

        You are probably right, but I also hope that the science progresses; that we learn more about the climate system.


      • Spot on, Mike.

        When the Royal Society invited serially failed futurologist Paul Ehrlich, best known for predicting that most of us commenting here today would be extinct, to join them as an Honorary Fellow, the game was up.

        What in the real world is abject failure is perceived by the True Believers as “taking one for the team”, and rewarded with high honours.

        Ehrlich is just a poncier version of the sad case in the street with a sgn saying “the end of the world is nigh” in one hand, and a receptacle for donations in the other.

        His pending Armaggedon message has been utlilised by a variety of groups and causes over many decades, and he has been richly rewarded.

        Inconsistencies are of no import or consequence whatsoever.

      • Planning Engineer

        I think you are on point Mike Jonas. I wonder if their are some parallels with the level of alarmism for US around HIV/AIDS in the 1990s. (Oprah projected 1/5 of heterosexuals in the US would die of AIDs). The alarmism grabbed public attention and provided needed support for programs that otherwise would have been neglected. I’m not sure what the review of that is in hindsight but I’ve heard CDC people advance we were fortunate, argue the precautionary principle and deflect to what’s occurring in Africa. While the economic impacts here are much larger, if warming does not rise to forecast levels or consequences are less severe, actions undertaken won’t be seen as inappropriate by advocates.

        Just came across one of the first papers I’ve seen addressing the over-predictions.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Planning Engineer wonders “if their are some parallels with the level of alarmism for US around HIV/AIDS in the 1990s?”

        One parallel is strikingly evident … scientists with beards!

        Good on `yah, plain-talkin` C. Everett Koop and James Hansen, for bravely “bearding” political powers with “inconvenient” scientific truths!

        \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}

      • Planning Engineer

        FAN – This article argues that Koop was on a moral crusade. Seems to be at least once scientist who blurred some facts to fit an agenda.

      • Planning Engineer

        This one calls him one of the worst perpetrators of AIDs mass hysteria. Not sure about plain talking or addressing any truths that were inconvenient for his agenda.

    • Endlessly on-going, power-game – only the narrative
      changes. Guilt and sacrificin’ maidens goes waaay

      Re pokerguy’s Mencken quote on the previous thread,
      apropos keeping the prols in a state of alarm, serfs
      would argue … if we dared … that it was ever thus:

      Jungle Docktors, Priest Controllers of the Nile Flow,
      Divine Right of Kings, Church Building Programs
      offering good value absolution from sins fer sub-
      scribers, Tyrants Against the Enemy Within or
      Without, doesn’t really matter much regardin’ the
      ‘Other,’ Tenured Climate-Modellers, IPCC, Sub-branch
      of the YEW EN, Empire-Building-Guvuhmints needing
      lotsa’ funds, say, centralized authority don’t come
      cheap but yr payin’ protection money, it’s worth it!

      • Your are right again Mike (and Beth). For me it most resembles the sale of indulgences by the Borgia popes; sin, guilt, purgatory and then, redemption – at a price.

        It is now becoming obvious that the usual criteria based on evidence and reason, have gone by the board. Maybe these old methods will survive in obscure little labs and university departments. It’s like the apocalyptic novels I read as a teenager (e.g. A Canticle for Liebowitz) only in this real version Western Civilisation is not being destroyed by a disease or a war or a bomb but by an idea, by a myth – Climate Change, the foundation myth of the emerging global technocracy. Instead of teaching these new savages how to make a bow and arrow (as in Earth Abides), maybe we should just teach them the Scientific Method.

      • And don’t forget divestment. Just in case carbon taxes and economic collapses aren’t enough.

        It works thus: Australian serfs are squeezed out of mines so overseas serfs can manufacture wind turbines…maybe made with the coal dug by those Australian serfs because you can’t run heavy industries with pea-shooters even if you make ’em…which is one reason why Denmark uses lots of imported coal…and the wind turbines are then sent to Australia…and because those landscape gobblers are pathetic as mainstream power, the serfs who have fewer mining jobs find their power supply is more expensive…though the power supply still relies absolutely on coal because coal actually works and Australian value-adding is mostly energy intensive…but there’s less of it available domestically and the coal power plants are old because they don’t deserve modernization, only tax and divestment, so they burn more…I think that’s called waste or something technical like that…so the value-adding is increasingly done elsewhere no matter how much iron or bauxite we have…

        Oh, just let the bien-pensants work it out! John Hewson will explain, now he’s into divestment consultancy. He puts it in simple terms for serfs.

        How divestment works: Imagine you have this birthday cake…

      • mosomoso

        So, are you saying that Beth the Serf is an out of work coal miner? Well at least it will give her the time to work on her ‘thought for the day’ but who will pay me for her franchise?

        BTW that was a clear exposition of the reason why renewables are expensive and less effective than what they are supposed to replace.

        Australia is backing the wrong horse for your particular energy course, whereas here in sunny Blighty our Govt is obviously wise to go for solar power. Now, if we can just solve the trivial problem of lack of sun and light levels, especially in the winter, and the little technical difficulty with nights, and we will be quids in, but I expect that physics will have a solution.


      • moso, the issue with coal-fired plants is that the government and govt policies have long been antagonistic to them, putting up costs and rendering their future uncertain. You can’t get finance to refurbish CFPs, nor to build new ones. Effectively, coal-fired power stations have been blocked from expansion or new development. At the same time, governments bias selection of available power towards “renewables.” So the renewable power supplies get priority when available, but the baseload stations must keep running – without getting paid – so as to be available when the renewable fail to deliver. So we increasingly depend on ageing, poorly-maintained plants, and one of our most valuable assets – low-cost, plentiful energy supply – is denied to us while we continue to ramp up coal exports so other countries can have coal-fired power stations.

      • Great Cunn, the real gem of the carbon tax was that massive hike in refrigerant gases right when Labor was banging on about us becoming a vast food-basket servicing Asia from our tropical north. They didn’t want live animal trade, so they must have intended pickling millions of tons of produce.

        Maybe Labor was in the pay of Big Salt.

      • Great comments by the Aussies here.

        I am particularly interested in Faustino’s remarks about coal-fired power stations.

        In Europe,they have been almost driven to extinction by a combination of “renewable” mandates and regulatory fetters.

        Ho, ho, ho! said the gas plants, till they were caught in the same trap.

      • ‘Guvuhmint’s bias,’ Faustino? What do they know,
        those who have nevah had to innovate, pay ter keep
        small businesses afloat, pay overheads, holiday pay,
        insurance, all the multitude of costs and messiness
        that underpin the livelihood of nations, reference Thanks
        be ter the tinkerers of the Industrial Revolution and
        Ol’ King Coal, that rescued serfs from physical
        slavery, increased life expectancy and ended famine
        in the West. Those tenured ivy league philosophers,
        exempt from Hammurabi Code feed backs wouldn’t
        have a clue. Time ter make them accountable fer
        their expert – oh – so – costly predictions costly ter
        others but not ter themselves (Think Joseph Stiglitz
        and Fanny Mae.)
        A ranting serf. (

      • Editing glitz. Try again. Reference, “Jane Jacobs,
        “The Wealth of Cities.”

      • Mosomoso @ 3.33am: You are hereby awarded the
        ‘Thread Longest Sentence Award.’ Congrats.

      • Mosomoso

        You make a key point right here:

        “…you can’t run heavy industries with pea-shooters even if you make ‘em…”

        Early in the Industrial Revolution people marvelled that “coal hauled itself out of the mines”. Wind turbines and PV solar panels cannot generate the power to manufacture themselves – it is the old power density problem. In fact, you need to burn even more fossil fuels, and emit more CO2, to manufacture, install, integrate, and operate them.

    • Climate is only a pretext, a diversion.

      The real Plan is to have international bodies to enforce this:

      On Collective Ownership of the Earth

      When divestment and legislation fail to keep the carbon in the ground – they will call for expropriation.

      The struggle will continue.

    • The quick, ugly death of Obama’s plan to tax 529 college savings accounts is a good indicator. Given that Nancy Pelosi lobbied the administration against it, nobody can blame the GOP congress. The libertarian has it right, people like stuff until they get the bill.

    • Warmer Climate brings more snowfall, that is why warm periods end.

      The debate will end by being snowed out. I mean that is exactly what will happen. The Roman and Medieval Warm periods got more snowfall and then the Ice Advanced and took the Climate into little ice ages.

      If you doubt this, look at ice core data on NOAA’s Website.

    • I am trying to get this

      to post after this by rls

      it has gone in the wrong place, twice.
      rls said: How will it end and when will it end?
      I said it will be snowed out.

      As to when, it will end when they actually look at and understand the data of the past and realize that too many of us have already figured it out and that they will not be able to continue to promote theory and models that show no skill.

    • rls

      The climate debate will wither on the vine, pushed aside by real economic issues and made irrelevant by now unimaginable technological innovation.

      • Justin

        You make sense. Just hope true climate science doesn’t wither also. Dr Koonin, in his WSJ article last Septmber, laid out some areas where scientific knowledge needs to be improved. Perhaps we’ll see him and Dr Curry leading the effort in the near future.


  6. Thomaswfuller2 said on a previous thread:

    If the problem is human emissions of CO2 then the answer is well within our grasp–nuclear and hydro buildout, with natural gas as a bridge until it is complete.

    I agree. That is what needs to be done.

    The next question is how can it be achieved? It won’t happen unless electricity from nuclear becomes cheaper than from fossil fuel. That is the key point that many people haven’t yet accepted or if they have they haven’t acknowledged it, clearly and unambiguously.

    Once that is acknowledge it, then we can move to addressing how this can be achieved.

    Reducing the emissions intensity of electricity will have to do the early lifting if the goal is to substantially reduce global GHG emissions. Emissions from electricity will have to be reduced by some 80% to 90% if we want to reduce global emissions from all sources by around 50%.

    There is limited capacity for more hydro, so hydro’s share of global electricity generation will fall over time, not increase. So it is not where our focus should be. Non-hydro renewables will have only a relatively insignificant role. They are very expensive and not stainable.

    Nuclear power will have to be a major part of the solution. It seems will have to reach about 75% of electricity generation (similar to where France has been for the past 30 years), and electricity will have to be significantly larger proportion of total energy than it is now, to reduce global GHG emission by 50%.

    To achieve that, the cost of electricity from nuclear power will have to become cheaper than from fossil fuels.

    Here’s my suggested way to achieve it (to reduce emissions from electricity by around 80% to 90%).

    1. The next US Administration takes the lead to persuade the US citizens nuclear is about as safe as or safer than any other electricity source. US can gain enormously by leading the world on developing new, small modular nuclear power plants; allowing and encouraging innovation and competition; thus unleashing the US’s ability to innovate and compete to produce and supply the products the various world markets want.

    2. The next US President uses his influence with the leaders of the other countries that are most influential in the IAEA to get their IAEA representatives to support a process to re-examine the justification for the allowable radiation limits – as the US has just announced (last week) it is to do over the next 18 months.

    US study on low-dose ionising radiation

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) and National Academy of Sciences have been directed to work together to assess the current status of US and international research on low-dose radiation and to formulate a long-term research agenda under a bill approved by the US House of Representatives. The Low Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015 directs the two organisations to carry out a research program “to enhance the scientific understanding of and reduce uncertainties associated with the effects of exposure to low dose radiation in order to inform improved risk management methods.” The study is to be completed within 18 months.

    The Act arises from a letter from a group of health physicists who pointed out that the limited understanding of low-dose health risks impairs the nation’s decision-making capabilities, whether in responding to radiological events involving large populations such as the 2011 Fukushima accident or in areas such as the rapid increase in radiation-based medical procedures, the cleanup of radioactive contamination from legacy sites and the expansion of civilian nuclear energy. The aftermath of the Fukushima accident has boosted concern that unduly conservative standards may have large adverse health and welfare costs.

    WNN 20/1/15. Radiation health effects

    3. Once the radiation limits start being raised this should have a catalytic effect on reducing emissions: 1) it will mean radiation leaks are understood to be less dangerous than currently thought > less people will need to be evacuated from effected zones > reduced cost accident of accidents > reduced accident insurance cost; 2) the people of the world reconsider the evidence about the effects of radiation > they gain an understanding it is much less harmful than they thought > fear subsides > opposition to nuclear declines > easier and less expensive to find new sites for power plants > increased levels of support from by the people in the surrounding areas > planning and sight approval costs come down over time; 3) The risk of projects being delayed during construction or once in operation declines > all this leads to a lowering of the investors’ risk premium > thus reducing the financing costs for all of the plants life; 4) Increasing public support for nuclear allows the NRC licensing process to be completely revamped and the culture of the organisation to be changed from “safety first” to an appropriate balance of all costs and risks, including the consequences (e.g. higher fatalities per TWh) if nuclear development and rollout is made too expensive to compete as well as it could if the costs were lower.

    4. NRC is revamped – its Terms of Reference and its culture are changed. Licensing period for new designs is reduced, e.g. to the equivalent of the design and licensing period for new aircraft designs.

    5. Small modular reactors are licensed quickly. New designs, new versions, new models, and design changes are processed expeditiously. This will lead to more competition, more innovation, learning rate continually improves so that costs come down.

    6. The efficiency of using the fuel can be improved by nearly a factor of 100. That gives some idea of how much room there is to reduce the cost of nuclear power over the decades ahead.

    7. Eventually, fusion will be viable and then the technology life cycle starts all over again again – but hopefully the anti-nuke dinosaurs will have been extinct for a long time by then.

    • Why would you wish to reduce emissions?

      Anthropogenic emissions today are only 3% of total emissions, the remaining 97% being natural emissions from the biosphere. 3% is well within the range of natural variation and it’s effect has not and cannot be measured.

      What was the percentage 20 years ago….. 50 years ago? Much lower.

      • That 3% does accumulate over the years. The evidence looks pretty overwhelming, although I will change my mind if I see the Keeling curve reverse direction. Whether it is a problem or anything can or should be done is not all that clear. The most effective action I can see is building more nuclear plants.

      • the backslider,

        I am not arguing for or against reducing emissiosn. I am argtuing to make energy as cheap as possible for everyone. That is the best way to improve human well beings – something the Left demonstrates they don’t understand or don’t care about.

        If the Left and CAGW alarmists want to cut global GHG emissions they need to understand they only way they are going to achieve it is by allowing nuclear power to be cheaper than fossil fuels.

        They don’t get that and they haven’t got it for the past 25 years while continuing to advocate for dead-at-birth policies.

      • @Perter Lang – I can only agree re. the nuclear, just not that there is a dire need to reduce emissions.

      • @Canman – “That 3% does accumulate over the years.”

        That 3% is WITHIN the range of natural variation. If that alone would raise atmospheric CO2 levels by 30% then natural variation has done it, not anthropogenic emissions.

        Try some science instead huh?

        The planet has warmed as it has come out of The Little Ice Age. This includes warming of the oceans, which according to Henry’s Law means that they will release CO2 into the atmosphere.

        Plant stomata studies show that comparable warm periods during the Holocene have had similar CO2 levels.

        Ice core studies can only show that CO2 has risen or fallen, but not by how much. This is because the sample degrades over time/pressure and later cores will always show significantly higher CO2 levels.

  7. Frequent commenter Hank Roberts has been awarded the 2014 Climate Commenter of the Year. As Judith was awarded Blogger of the Year, it seems appropriate to announce it here. Congratulations Mr. Roberts. – See more at:

    • A BS award to a BS commenter. So what?

      • You may not like the award, but I’m interested in why you think Mr. Roberts is BS, other than the fact that you disagree with what he says.

      • Oh, that’s quite easy, let me quote:

        “Working out these kinds of details is the process of science at its best, and many disciplines, not least mathematics, statistics, and signal processing, have much to contribute to the methods and interpretations of these series data. It is possible too much is being asked of a limited data set, and perhaps we have not yet observed enough of climate system response to say anything definitive. But the urgency to act responsibly given scientific predictions remains.”

        Can you see what is wrong with this?… or do I need to explain?

      • Yes. I don’t agree with his comment. But it’s a legitimate point of view. He’s just on the other side of the aisle.

      • “But it’s a legitimate point of view. ”

        If I agreed with that I wouldn’t say it was BS.

        If somebody wishes to live by the precautionary principle they are perfectly [not] free to do so. However to demand it from others, to demand that others give up their freedom is BS and always will be.

      • Read it again – that’s a quote from another article. The italics sort of gives it away.

  8. If the globe does not warm up nor cool down synchronously during Glaciations nor during Deglaciations, why should it be expected to do so for the Medieval Warm Period (MWP)?

    Deglaciation occurred on different time frames on different continents, separated by up to 7,000 years

    Search for ‘asynchronous deglaciation’ at Google Scholar

    Time-transgressive deglacial retreat of polar waters from the North Atlantic
    “A 9300 yr-old zone of disseminated volcanic ash in North Atlantic sediments between 45° N and 65° N provides a time-synchronous reference layer against which we have compared the stratigraphic level of deglacial warming of ocean surface waters. In the Atlantic north of 45° N the most prominent feature of this warming is the replacement of low-carbonate glacial marine sediment containing only a single species of polar Foraminifera by calcareous oozes containing a diverse temperate fauna and flora. The local terminations of glacial conditions marked by this change are not synchronous at these latitudes, but range from 13,500 yr B.P. or older in the southeast near Great Britain to 6,500 yr B.P. or younger in the northwest near Greenland. Regionally, these local warmings trace the progressive westward and northward retreat of polar water from the North Atlantic. Since the withdrawal of polar water from the North Atlantic coincides with the northward shrinkage of temperate-latitude continental ice sheets, it is the best oceanic analog to continental deglaciation.

    Faunal, floral, lithologic, and isotopic parameters showing evidence for a sudden deglacial warming may not be time-synchronous; those parameters are subject to a range of environmental controls and may thus respond differently to the causal mechanism for global warming.”

    Glaciation on different continents occurred at different time frames, separated by thousands of years

    Search for ‘asynchronous glaciation’ at Google Scholar

    Lots of interesting papers like this…
    Asynchronous glaciation at Nanga Parbat, northwestern Himalaya Mountains, Pakistan
    “We present a new glacial chronology demonstrating asynchroneity between advances of Himalayan glaciers and Northern Hemisphere ice-sheet volumes. Glaciers at Nanga Parbat expanded during the early to middle Holocene ca. 9.0–5.5 ka. No major advances at Nanga Parbat during the last global glacial stage of marine oxygen isotope stage 2 (MIS-2) between 24 and 11 ka were identified. Preliminary evidence also indicates advances between ca. 60 and 30 ka. These periods of high ice volume coincide with warm, wet regional climates dominated by a strong southwest Asian summer monsoon. The general lack of deposits dating from MIS-2 suggests that Nanga Parbat was too arid to support expanded ice during this period of low monsoon intensity. Advances during warm, wet periods are possible for the high-altitude summer accumulation glaciers typical of the Himalayas, and explain asynchronous behavior. However, the Holocene advances at Nanga Parbat appear to have been forced by an abrupt drop in temperature ca. 8.4–8.0 ka and an increase in winter precipitation ca. 7–5.5 ka. These results highlight the overall sensitivity of Himalayan glaciation to orbital forcing of monsoon intensity, and on millennial or shorter time scales, to changes in North Atlantic circulation.”

    Chris Shaker

  9. Thermodynamic discussion has been a too infrequent visitor to climate blogs, and peculiarly so, for its origins lie in energy transport via thermal gradients. I’ve been intrigued by what it might tell about contested matters in climate science, and have put together some notes which may be of general interest. Most realize that the troposphere is a nonlinear dissipative system far from equilibrium and pretending otherwise is but a fool’s errand. What properties might exist for such systems amenable to thermodynamic description?. Explorations have been restricted to steady states with only energies transiting systems and focused on rates for entropy creation and free energy dissipation without knowledge of a functional correlation of fluxes and potentials beyond that required to assure steady-state existence. (discursions) (mathematics)

    • Matthew R Marler

      Quondam: (discursions) (mathematics)

      I read the pdfs. I am glad that you get away from the “equilibrium”, but you still restrict attention to “steady-state”, whereas the Earth climate system is clearly not in a steady-state either, but each region displays large fluctuations related to the shape of the Earth, its rotation, and the tilt of its axis of rotation relative to the plane of the revolution about the sun; it might be stationary, or “approximately steady-state” with the deviations from steady-state alternating within bounds. None of the work relates specifically to the Earth climate system, at least not yet — I expect that you are working on it..

      I think that you might be interested in the books by Henk Dyjkstra: Nonlinear Physical Oceanography, and especially Nonlinear Climate Dynamics. Also, by James Holton, An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology. I think you’ll appreciate the level at which they are written.

      What do you say to this? The Earth receives energy input continuously from the sun, and the energy maintains large scale structures such as the ocean currents and powers photosynthesis: therefore you can not assume that, within the climate system, entropy does not always increase. (considering the Earth and sun together, of course, that assertion would not be true.)

      Please do stop by some more. New voices are always welcome.

      • Matthew,
        Thank you for the time spent wading through my notes. I’ve perused several articles by Henk Dyjkstra and have tagged them for more thorough reading. I would translate the model you propose as a steady-state object receiving 240W @5600K and emitting 240W @200K. One might also add an additional nonthermal input from a slowly relaxing internal rotational degree of freedom as well as fluctuations from a host of internal modes. It’s a basic thermodynamic calculation to find the rates of entropy creation and free-energy dissipation given the two temperatures.

        Dissipation implies that work is being performed at a constant rate, but what work? The system is definitely far from equilibrium. It’s internal configurational entropy must therefore be less than that of an isothermal or equilibrium configuration and work must be continually expended to prevent relaxation towards equilibrium. Some might call this stirring the pot – convection? Suppose structures appear such as thermal cells. Formation of structures will further reduce configurational entropy moving the system yet further from equilbrium and require yet more effort to counter relaxation unless the structures themselves facilitate stirring.

        I haven’t a clue for reconciling time’s arrow with exact differentials, the essence of thermodynamics. It would be neat to show that nature always finds the quickest path, but that might require more than the 2nd law. A lot of effort has been already spent in unsuccessful searches for entropy extremal principles in nonlinear thermodynamics. I’ve offered arguments for dissipation extremals. How they bear up under closer scrutiny, twt, but the real point is that thermodynamics should be playing a much larger role in climate science. period.

  10. Climate is not the Average of Weather

    The climate at a location is fundamentally determined by the radiative energy output of the Sun, the relationships between the geometry of the earth, the geometry of the revolution of the earth around the Sun ( the yearly cycle ), the relationship between Earth’s axis of rotation and the plane of Earth’s orbit ( the seasons ), and the rotation of the earth about its axis ( the daily cycle ).

    The climate at a location is determined to first order by these factors and the latitude and altitude of the location. The climate also can be influenced by significant, more-or-less thermally stable, bodies of liquid or solid water, primarily near the oceans but including also other large bodies of liquid or solid water.

    Meso-scale ( larger than local, smaller than global ) topology of Earth’s surface can also affect local climate. Mountain ranges that significantly affect specific regions relative to precipitation are an example; rain shadows, monsoons.

    Weather at a location is the time-varying thermodynamic and hydrodynamic states of the atmosphere. Weather can be viewed as perturbations, deviations from some kind of norm, in the local climate. In this sense, one could argue that climate is some kind of temporal average of the weather at a location. Note, however, the descriptions in the previous three paragraphs of the basic factors that determine the climate at a location. These factors are independent of the temporal variations of the states of the atmosphere.

    The climate at a location is not determined by the weather. Local climate is determined by factors outside the domain of the states of the atmosphere.

    Weather and Climate are Local
    Climate and weather are both local and neither is global. There is no need to focus on any aspects of “global climate”: such averages are useless for decision support. Primary focus should be on the advantages and dis-advantages, if any, of the status and changes in local weather. It cannot be over-emphasized the extent to which focus on global-average changes in the “global climate” is mis-guided. Local decision support demands solely local information. It also cannot be over-emphasized that the complete lack of focus on local states is a major failing.

    The hour-by-hour, day-to-day, and month-by-month variations in local weather are determined by the effects of the net of the radiative energy into the physical phenomena and processes occurring within and between the thermodynamic and hydrodynamic sub-systems. All phenomena and processes, ( thermodynamic, hydrodynamic, chemical, biological, all ), occurring within the Earth’s systems of interest are driven by this net energy. Basically, weather is the distribution, and internal redistribution, of the energy supplies of sensible and latent thermal energy within Earth’s thermodynamic and hydrodynamic systems.

    The solar-system and Earth’s geometric relationships, and local altitude/latitude, are the primary reasons that we can know that the temperature, and the weather in general, at a location will be different, for example, at January and July. The degree of differences between the seasons primarily is determined by the local latitude and altitude. The degree of differences over the seasonal / yearly cycle is a strong function of location. Variations over the seasonal cycle are more or less distinct; the variations are either small or large depending on the location.

    Weather and Chaos
    Weather is thought to be chaotic. And the numerical solutions of the mathematical models for both weather (NWP) and climate (GCM) are classified as ill-posed, in the sense of Hadamard, initial-value problems; lack of continuous dependence on the initial data. The average of a chaotic response is itself chaotic. Thus, if climate is the average of weather, then climate is also chaotic. Again, the descriptions of climate given in the first three paragraphs above preclude the chaotic nature of weather being a part of chaotic climate. It is the Earth-Sun geometry and the axis of Earth’s rotation that determines that January and July are easily differentiated. That differentiation is independent of, is not a function of, the chaotic nature of weather.

    Chaotic is not random. Chaotic is the antithesis of random. Random fills phase space, whereas temporal chaotic trajectories are limited to the attractor and so by definition, cannot fill phase space. Weather is not random and is not noise; neither pink or white. Especially not white noise which has equal power at all frequencies. Averaging the trajectories from multiple runs of a single GCM, or one or more runs from several GCMs, does not in any way ensure that the so-called noise will be ‘averaged away’. The averaging is instead an averaging of different trajectories. Additionally, there is no way to ensure that the different trajectories are associated with ‘an attractor’ for the real-world case of spatio-temporal chaotic response, which is the case of finite-difference approximations to partial differential equations.

    If it is insisted that climate is the average of weather, then projections of the climate into future times demands that weather be correctly simulated by mathematical models that are used for the projections. The statement that, Weather is chaotic and can’t be projected with high fidelity to the physical domain, but climate can be, simply makes no sense.

    GCM Validation
    Validation, fidelity of simulations relative to the physical domain, of GCMs thus firstly requires that the calculations be shown to be correctly simulating the distribution and internal redistribution of the internal variations that are responsible for the local weather. Validation relative to effects of increasing concentrations of CO2 must then require that the GCMs are correctly simulating how the distribution and internal redistribution of the internal variations have been altered by the increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is a very difficult problem.

    A first major difficulty will be in devising and development of procedures and processes that can be used to determine that changes in the phenomena and processes that are responsible for changes in local weather are in fact due primarily or solely to changes in CO2 concentration. A third order delta that will be exceedingly difficult to (1) observe and (2) model and calculate.

    The case of extreme weather events requires the same series of accounting if climate change is invoked as the fundamental cause. Extreme weather events are generally very localized. Thus if the invoked driving source of the event is a significant distance away from the observed occurrence, the effects of changes in the composition of the atmosphere are required to be shown to obtain over the distance of the course from the source to the location of occurrence. If the event is a mighty downpour of rain and the source of the rain is said to be the Oceans far away from the location of the downpour, it must be shown that the changes in the composition of the atmosphere are directly related to the fact that the water vapor survived its path from the Oceans to the downpour location, and that the previous composition of the atmosphere would have prevented the water vapor from surviving its journey. Sounds very difficult to me.

    Global Metrics are Useless
    Global metrics for assessing GCMs fidelity to the real world are of no use whatsoever relative to assessing the correctness of simulations of local weather. The changes in local weather are required for decision support. Additionally, none of the fundamental laws describing weather and climate can be usefully expressed in terms of global quantities. The state of the atmosphere and the state of liquid and solid phases of water, and changes in these states, are determined by local conditions. No physical phenomena and processes, governed by the fundamental natural laws, have been demonstrated to scale with global averages of anything.

    The temperature of the atmosphere, which has been chosen to represent changes in climate due to increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, on the other hand, is determined by the path of the thermodynamic processes that the atmosphere experiences at the locations of interest. As the initial states are different, and the changes in weather are different, so will the temperature be different. Again, no dependency on the global-average state.

    Climate is local, weather is local. Weather is the variations in local climate. For decision support, the variations in local weather are what must be correctly simulated by GCMs. The models are required to be able to correctly simulate the changes in the weather variations due to changes in the concentration of CO2.

    Based on my comment here.

    • David Hughes

      This summation was very helpful to me at my stage of understanding. I did, though, have to read it twice, which for me is an improvement in carrying in my mind’s eye, i.e., visualizing the process.

    • Dan Hughs

      You have an interesting blog!

    • Steven Mosher


      “The climate at a location is determined to first order by these factors and the latitude and altitude of the location. The climate also can be influenced by significant, more-or-less thermally stable, bodies of liquid or solid water, primarily near the oceans but including also other large bodies of liquid or solid water.”

      THANK YOU.

      people who understand this will understand what BerkeleyEarth does.

      you tell me the altitude and latitude of a location and I will tell you the temperature. And I’ll be damn close as 93% of the variance is explained by these two factors.

      • What absolute HUBRIS.
        tell me the temperature at 51.6N elevation 90-100ft?

        And to state that how temperature trends vary so much between places is a “sideline” shows a stunning lack of wanting to actually understand how climate and temperatures work.

      • Within 1 degree c will do.

      • Steven Mosher

        The error for a given month is around 1.6C

      • But what is the temperature for the location I provided for January seeing as you did not originally specify a month or for that case that you were talking about an average either.

        If you think 93% of the temperature variance from place to place is made of those 2 variables you don’t appear to know as much about Climate & Temperataures as you think.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      Dan Hughes
      “If it is insisted that climate is the average of weather, then projections of the climate into future times demands that weather be correctly simulated by mathematical models that are used for the projections. The statement that, Weather is chaotic and can’t be projected with high fidelity to the physical domain, but climate can be, simply makes no sense”

      thanks for that…emphasis on ‘makes no sense’
      but I’m afraid it’s not going to stop them

  11. Stephen Segrest

    When Climate Scientists talk about the possibility of breaking through some GHG thresholds that may significantly accelerate warming, what are some of the “major things” they are referring to and studying?

    • Whatever nonsense they can imagine.

      Let’s begin by looking at the effect of GHG’s since The Industrial Revolution.

      There is in fact no statistically significant difference between the warming rates of the late 1800’s, early 1900’s and between 1978 and 1998. Thus we can see no “signature” for CO2 “forcing” in the temperature record. It does not exist, at least to any extent which can actually be measured. Empirical evidence falsifies the AGW/CO2 hypothesis.

      While many alarmist bloggers argue that all of the warming since The Little Ice Age is due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions, you will in fact find very few, if any, scientists who would support such a notion. Most will say that CO2 became influential after the 1950’s however we find problems with this also.

      The planet actually cooled between 1949 and 1975, while anthropogenic CO2 emissions were accelerating, again falsifying the AGW/CO2 hypothesis.

      1/4 of the total of anthropogenic CO2 emissions since The Industrial Revolution have occurred since 1998, yet the temperature trend has remained flat since 1998, again falsifying the AGW/CO2 hypothesis.

      We had a period of 20 years where the planet saw a slight warming of 0.3 degrees between 1978 and 1998. The evidence is that this warming, as in earlier warming periods, was perfectly natural as the planet has recovered from The Little Ice Age. Any study of the Holocene period will show you similar warming and cool periods.

      There is no such thing as a “tipping point”.

      • Another “skeptic” to throw under the bus.

      • The planet actually cooled between 1949 and 1975, while anthropogenic CO2 emissions were accelerating, again falsifying the AGW/CO2 hypothesis. …

        Udder cowpies.

      • @Joshua – “Another “skeptic” to throw under the bus.”

        Your inability to refute anything I have to say is telling.

        Watch that you don’t blindly step under that bus yourself.

      • @JCH – “Udder cowpies.”

        And you people have the nerve to call skeptic “deniers”. Why don’t you take the time to look at the data yourself and see the undeniable facts?

        Your inability to refute what I say is also telling.

      • Exactly.

      • backslider –

        ==> “Your inability to refute anything I have to say is telling.”

        Hopefully what you’re “told” by my inability to refute anything that you have to say is that I have no interest in doing so (although I suspect that you think that you can see other things based on fantasy or perhaps supernatural or mindreading powers?).

        Actually, your arguments seem to be logical to me.

        But I don’t know anything about the science. So I wouldn’t put much stock in my assessment of your scientific arguments.

        My comment was because I’m interested in the reaction you’re getting from “denizens.”

      • There is no such thing as a “tipping point”.

        Why should any sensible person waste time “refuting” somebody who makes a statement like that?

      • @AK – “Why should any sensible person waste time “refuting” somebody who makes a statement like that?”

        Because you cannot, so out you come with your straw man.

        Go ahead, show to us all historically at what level of atmospheric CO2 the planet has ever reached a “tipping point”.

        You cannot.

      • Because you cannot, so out you come with your straw man.

        Of course I can. “Tipping points” have been observed in a number of complex systems. Indeed, you don’t even need a very complex system: take two pieces of Uranium 253 (that are big enough), and as you move them closer together, you’ll reach a “tipping point” where the neutrons from spontaneous fission are multiplied enough (between the two pieces) to create a positive feeback chain reaction. This actually occurred “at approximately 08:15 (JST) August 6, 1945.” (Little Boy).

        They have also been observed in a variety of model systems intended to represent the climate. Of course, the question of whether the model is an accurate representation of reality is a perfectly valid scientific question. But the statement that “There is no such thing as a ‘tipping point’” is so far removed from science as to render the speaker unworthy of attention.

        Go ahead, show to us all historically at what level of atmospheric CO2 the planet has ever reached a “tipping point”.

        Talk about “straw man”!

        Anyway, I was actually addressing Joshua, explaining why more informed skeptics (usually) don’t waste time with this sort of denier.

      • @AK “Of course I can. “Tipping points” have been observed in a number of complex systems. ”

        No, you cannot. You cannot show any kind of “tipping point” historically due to atmospheric CO2.

        CO2 levels have been higher than 9000ppm without any dire consequences for the planet.

        You cannot even show any kind of theoretical hypothesis for a CO2 “tipping point”.

        It is pure alarmist guff!

  12. Here is one they worry about but I haven’t found any evidence other than model output that CO2 affects ocean heat transport:

    • Again more nonsense.

      It is the sun which warms the oceans. It is impossible for CO2 “back radiation” to warm the oceans.

      The “back radiation” from CO2 can only penetrate the skin of the ocean by a few microns. This “skin” is the evaporative layer and is in fact cooler than the water immediately below it. The flow of energy is from a warmer ocean to a cooler skin to a cooler atmosphere. Were “back radiation” to warm the “skin” of the ocean, then this would cause further evaporation and convection, thus having a net cooling effect, much in the same way that an evaporative cooler functions.

      Simple science which is easily shown by experiment, no modelling required.

      • No, if CO2 causes the skin layer of the ocean to warm it does not have a net negative effect. It may have a negligible effect but that isn’t the same thing. I would consider that simple science.

      • Steven – you are proposing that the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not apply. Please take the time to study how an evaporative cooler works, then you will understand what happens on the skin of the ocean.

        More evaporation/convection === more cooling…… trust me on that one if you don’t care to study it.

      • Sell me one of your magic evaporative coolers that can cause more cooling than the energy applied to it would have caused warming. I think with enough thought I can make it into a perpetual motion machine.

      • “Sell me one of your magic evaporative coolers that can cause more cooling than the energy applied to it would have caused warmingSell me one of your magic evaporative coolers that can cause more cooling than the energy applied to it would have caused warming”.

        Clearly you do not understand anything about this. It is about WHERE the energy goes. In the case of the ocean, it is the ocean to the atmosphere, to space.

        Now, if you are going to argue that the atmosphere warms the ocean, rather than the sun warms the ocean >> warms the atmosphere, then you can change your name to Robinson Crusoe, because you will find yourself very alone.

      • I think you may be on to something. All I ask is that you explain how you relocate more energy through the evaporative process than you put into it so that I might make my billions.

      • “All I ask is that you explain how you relocate more energy through the evaporative process than you put into it so that I might make my billions.”

        Nah. I’ll just ask you why the oceans are not boiling, then you will know.

      • I think you are confusing a negative feedback by calling it a net cooling effect. Clearly it is you that wishes to violate the laws of thermodynamics until you adjust your wording.

      • thebaskslider,

        “It is about WHERE the energy goes. In the case of the ocean, it is the ocean to the atmosphere, to space.”

        I have heard this argument now several times. I fail to see what difference it makes which direction the energy flows. Just for the sake of argument I will accept your premise above. Not sure if it is true, because one simplified way to state the 2nd law of thermodynamics is that energy flows from hot to cold. I am not convinced that the atmosphere is colder than the ocean. However, I am going to accept that premise for the following argument.

        For the following argument I am going to assume that the ocean and atmosphere start out in a steady state since over time that needs to be the case. If the atmosphere warms then the ocean will be able to release less heat to the atmosphere. As we know the ocean does not constantly cool (if it did it would freeze) therefore the ocean must be receiving energy from somewhere else if in your example it can not receive energy from the atmosphere. You state elsewhere it comes from the sun. I accept that premise as well. So in the above example, it still receives the same amount of energy from the sun, but now can not release as much heat to the atmosphere as the atmosphere is now warmer. It is the differential between the two that allows energy to flow and we have decreased that potential since we started out with the premise that the ocean was warmer than the atmosphere and we have raised the temperature of the atmosphere. The ocean has to warm up in this case since it is receiving the same amount of energy and able to release less.

        Just for the sake of argument say that the opposite is true that the atmosphere is warmer than the ocean. Not sure how you are going to get the energy to flow in the direction you say it does without violating thermodynamic laws. Can you explain how you can?

        The problem with the “missing heat” comes when you consider that in order to be missing it has to be missing from the atmosphere as far as I know. So it somehow skipped the atmosphere where warming by greenhouse gasses do the warming and found its way into the ocean. Not sure how this happens, but if someone has an explanation I am willing to listen.

      • Ramanathan has clearly shown this possibility of this warmer atmosphere reducing the rate of ocean cooling, but this possibility requires a warmer tropical troposphere somewhat absent in the data.

      • @ATAndB – ” So in the above example, it still receives the same amount of energy from the sun, but now can not release as much heat to the atmosphere as the atmosphere is now warmer. It is the differential between the two that allows energy to flow and we have decreased that potential since we started out with the premise that the ocean was warmer than the atmosphere and we have raised the temperature of the atmosphere.”

        This is false. Please take the time to study ocean atmosphere coupling, here is a start:

    • The Backslider>thoughts>nothing found

      • A most notable inability to refute what I have said. Well done!

        Next please……..

      • What’s to refute? There isn’t a thought in your pretty little Texan head :)

        If you are going to use an evaporative cooler as a reference you should consider the efficiency of an evaporative cooler.

        A more humid atmosphere would reduce efficiency, so you have the greatest reduction in efficiency where there is the greatest increase in humidity. “Backradiation” would increase “temperature” but unless it increases humidity by the same general ratio, the efficiency would increase.

        Unfortunately, “Global” average temperature anomaly doesn’t provide information for either absolute temperature or actual wet bulb temperature. So there has to be a number of assumptions (SWAGs), like constant relative humidity, questionable, and a uniform proportional increase in temperature differentials, more questionable.

        Increasing air velocity through your evaporative cooler would increase efficiency. The uniform proportional temperature differential assumption implies that surface air velocity remains constant. If there is increase conductive heat transfer (stronger more turbulent air velocity) there would be an increase in efficiency.

        Another consideration is shading. Direct solar radiation increases efficiency, since clouds are a response to increased evaporative efficiency, they would produce clouds, shade, that reduce efficiency. That is a regulating response (or feedback if you like).

      • So Capt D is saying this is David Springer. LMAO.

      • @captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 – “If you are going to use an evaporative cooler as a reference you should consider the efficiency of an evaporative cooler.”

        Stupid is as stupid thinks……..

        I the Australian Outback we use what we call simply “water bags”. These are a canvas bag, filled with water that we normally strap to the bullbar of our 4WD.

        Now, I can park my ute out in the sun all day and always rely on my water bag for a nice cool drink.

        Yes sonny, all of that “back radiation” has done what?

      • back slider, “Stupid is as stupid thinks……..”

        No doubt. Evaporative coolers have plenty of applications limited to areas where there is a significant dew point depression, i.e. low relative humidity. That would exclude the oceans. Unless CO2 “backradiation” increases Tdb more than Twb, i.e. reduces relative humidity, the evaporative cooler is a piss poor analogy for the global oceans.

        Since the tropical oceans are close to 100% RH, it would be clouds and deep convection that would be the negative feedbacks to any warming. CO2 has very little impact at the ocean surface.

      • I happen to have a picture of a water buffalo used by the 28th Regiment, 5th Marine Division as they trained at Camp Tarawa, Hawaii for the invasion of Iwo Jima.

        You know these jarheads.

      • @captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 – “CO2 has very little impact at the ocean surface.”

        CO2 has very little impact on anything, period.

        It’s not a piss poor analogy at all, you are justr piss poor at underatnding anything, which is understandable considering up where your head is.

      • slid back, “CO2 has very little impact on anything, period.”

        CO2 has a solid 0.8C per doubling impact, all things remaining equal. Evaporative cooling is still a piss poor analogy. Evaporation from one location would produce warming in another along with precipitation. The net is a regulation of temperature to ranges with in the water phase sweet spots.

        A desert is a good example. Add water and it doesn’t get as hot or as cold. Dew point temperature limits the down side and evaporation the up side. On the net is warmer, but more productive. The heat lost due to evaporation has to go some place, so evaporative cooling a piss poor climate analogy.

      • @captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2 – “CO2 has a solid 0.8C per doubling impact, all things remaining equal. ”

        Spoken like a true believer, however you cannot show this experimentally, nor empirically from the temperature record.

        There is no statistically significant difference between the warming rates of the late 1800’s, early 1900’s and between 1978 and 1998. There is no “signature” for CO2 “forcing” in the temperature record. It has not and cannot be measured.

        1/4 of the total of anthropogenic CO2 emissions since The Industrial Revolution have occurred since 1998, yet the temperature trend remains flat since 1998. The planet cooled between 1940 and 1975 while anthropogenic CO2 emissions escalated. No warming. The hypothesis has been well and truly falsified.

        The slight warmimg of 0.3 degrees between 1978 and 1998 was caused by the PDO, nothing more, nothing less.

      • Heh, ‘religious’. Psst, he keeps electric fish.

      • slid back yet again,

        “The slight warmimg of 0.3 degrees between 1978 and 1998 was caused by the PDO, nothing more, nothing less.”

        The PDO is a response it is not a cause. As for your high tech wet canvas bag, If you put is in an enclosure, there is no net cooling. The waste heat and moisture has to be transferred somewhere else for there to be a net cooling of your water jug. The wet canvas just reduces the rate of warming, it doesn’t produce cooling. If you have dry air with ventilation, then you have evaporative cooling. Evaporative cooling is a piss poor analogy for the oceans.

        The slight warming from 1910-1940 and 1978-1998 where both “caused” by recovery from previous ocean heat loss due to volcanic and solar variation. There is a slight difference in the rate of the warming over land due to a combination of natural and anthropogenic amplification of the warming.

        The warming has been fairly stead since 1700 AD.

    • You go Steven.

  13. Agree with Steven even after reading the article Backslider.
    It is not that back radiation warms the oceans, the sun does that for the top layer at any rate.the heat in the ocean has to spread out during the day. Some is lost in evaporation, some in infrared and some in conduction.
    Infrared is 24 hours a day, Lower output at night.
    conduction possibly more at night? As higher differential between warmer sea and colder air but then the total amount of heat is less as there is no solar input to the surface. Less evaporation at night as less solar input as well.
    The evaporative cooler is working in equilibrium, more heat in more out but the temperature of the air and sea still go up during the day as the sunlight comes in.
    The back radiation is what keeps the air warmer at the surface, day or night than it would be if it did not have water and CO2 in it.
    It keeps the surface of the ocean warmer as well.

    • You miss the point entirely.

      The argument is that “back radiation” warms the ocean, which you yourself admit is false.

      If “back radiation” cannot warm the ocean, which indeed it cannot, then all arguments such as “the missing heat” hiding in the deep dark oceans are also false.

      The oceans are warmed by the sun and the sun only. No amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will change this and the empirical evidence is that is in fact the case, ie. the rate of global temperature rise has flatlined since 1998 even though 1/4 of the TOTAL of anthropogenic CO2 emissions since The Industrial Revolution have occurred since 1998. The AGW/CO2 hypothesis has been well and truly falsified by empirical evidence.

      • Each day the sun drills energy into the oceans to varying depths, where it is entirely absorbed. For the oceans to remain at the same heat content, and equal among of energy has to come back out. If more comes back out, the oceans cool. If less comes back out, the oceans warm. If there is less back radiation, the oceans cool; if there is more, the oceans warm. When there is more CO2, the surface warms.

      • “When there is more CO2, the surface warms.”

        Which has a net cooling effect. Sorry sonny, you just do not understand the physics.

        You think that the surface warms, which must warm the rest of the ocean. You do not understand that this would entail a complete reversal of the flow of energy which IS: Sun >>>> ocean >>> atmosphere >>> space.

        If the surface of the ocean is warmed the energy flows only one way >>> to the atmosphere >>> to space.

      • No, you don’t understand net.

      • JCH, you forgot ‘all else being equal’, for shame, it’s a religious chant, after all.

    • What? Do you think that a tax can change climate? By how many THOUSANDTHS of a degree do you predict that your tax will change the climate?

    • A “revenue neutral carbon tax” does not seem like a good idea for the USA.

      The “revenue neutral” portion of the proposal has several significant drawbacks.
      1. It adds to the cost of the immplementation of the idea since there is an additional administrative cost to keep it “revenue neutral”.

      2. Such a proposal eliminates the single major verifible benefit of such a tax and that is that it would help balance the US budget.

      3. Such a “revenue neutral” tax has a lesser impact on reducing CO2 emissions than would a straight tax.

      4. Such a tax would have a tiny impact on the rate of global emissions growth

      5. There is no reliable evidence that such a tax will have any impact on making the weather/climate better in the US or for US citizens

      • Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Rob. But:

        1. Aren’t there going to be administrative costs no matter what you do with the revenue? (And BTW administrative costs are small… and there are also administrative costs associated with the taxes that we’re reducing.)

        2. Most economists agree that a revenue-neutral approach is better than using the revenue to balance the budget.

        3. I’m not sure what you mean by a “straight tax” or why a revenue-neutral approach would have a lesser impact on reducing CO2 emissions.

        4. The point of a state-level carbon tax is of course to influence national and international action, so this point is moot.

        5. I don’t know what you mean by “reliable evidence”, but in any case I’m not all that interested in getting dragged into the same old tired argument about AGW. (Most of what I have to say on that topic is in my Cartoon Climate Change book.) Beyond that, I’m happy to focus on this proposal purely as a tax reform measure.

      • “There is no reliable evidence that such a tax will have any impact on making the weather/climate better in the US or for US citizens”

        This is the key point.

        Professor James Hansen showed us back in 1999 that USA temperatures had only declined from 1940 up until the date of his article:

        He neglected to recognise that perhaps there were problems with the global temperature calculations, however that’s beside the point.

        If you compare the graph he used back then, taken from the GISS data set, and compare that to what GISS gives us today you will quickly see just how much that data set has been manipulated since 1999 to show a false warming for the USA also…..

      • thebackslider: No, that’s not the key point. The key point is that you called somebody with German Jewish ancestry a “fascist” for advocating a revenue-neutral carbon tax policy like the one that British Columbia has had since 2008. Not good.

      • Yorman

        Think through what needs to be done to maintain such a proposal as “revenue neutral”. Lots of actions would need to be taken by government employees over a long term basis.

        “2. Most economists agree that a revenue-neutral approach is better than using the revenue to balance the budget.”

        Wrong. You are reading, or listening to those motivated to implement such a proposal becasue they fear what will happen as a result of AGW. Such a tax would not be efficient economically.

        A straight tax would be one without the revenue neutral provision.

        “The point of a state-level carbon tax is of course to influence national and international action, so this point is moot.”

        If your justification to implement a tax is to influence others go hold up a sign somewhere and do not add to the cost of administrating the government.

        “I don’t know what you mean by “reliable evidence”

        That seems obvious- Why do you want to implement actions that take away resources that could be used to achieve measureable benefits?

      • The revenue neutral BS is a Gruberism. They can’t sell a tax that is admittedly a tax. They have to pretend that all the money get’s refunded and nobody gets hurt. They will not get the allegedly revenue neutral BS carbon tax implemented, except in a few jurisdictions that are run by left loon greenies. There is no way a carbon tax will pass the Congress, in the foreseeable future.

        The handful of states that are imposing costs on their citizens to reduce CO2 emissions will lose jobs to the states and countries that don’t fall for the greenie scheme. Texas and China thank you for the business, left loon greenies.

      • Hey wait, Mussolini and some sort of Italians picked up that kind of fascism long before the German Jewish did. So don’t get all huffy.

        That ‘zap’ you heard in the background was some poor squirrel getting it in the transformer. I wonder if that physical phenomenon inflates or deflates balls.

      • “That ‘zap’ you heard in the background was some poor squirrel getting it in the transformer. I wonder if that physical phenomenon inflates or deflates balls.”

        As someone who has worked with aerial utilities for over three decades I can’t say much about the testes but I can absolutely certify that just about every squirrel who “completes the circuit” between transformer posts dies with a raging woody.

      • The males, that is.

      • OK, that squirrel’s been poked enough; smoke no longer rises.

    • Yoram

      I have just looked at your resume and I also did post grad work at the U of Washington. You should know economics better than to write what you did about a revenue neutral tax. Do you accept that you do not know that the climate will be any more favorable to humans at 500 ppm of CO2 than 550ppm

      • Hi Rob: Tell me what kind of postgraduate work you did at UW (I got my Economics PhD there in 2003, with a focus on environmental economics and public finance) and then we can talk more about what the literature says. Or you can just go ask the PhD economists at the think tank RFF: “A carbon tax could lead to overall economic growth, if the tax revenues are used in a way that promotes economic growth, such as cutting other taxes or reducing the deficit.”

      • So Yoram, in the course of your Phd studies in economics, did you ever encounter the economic theories of Angelo Oliviero Olivetti? Little before his time, I know, but I’m kinda thinkin’ ol’ Angelo would be “on board” with your carbon-tax B. S. deal, if he were still with us. But maybe not. Thoughts?

      • Yoram, how about taxing oxygen? That could lead to a lot more overall economic growth than taxing CO2. Tax sunlight and darkness. We could really clean up on that stuff. We can trust the gubmint to use the revenues wisely. Lot’s of Phd economists say so. Hell, they gave Paul Krugman a Nobel Prize.

      • Yorman

        I was doing a program called advanced aerospace industrial management at U of W but I do also have a masters in economics.

        With all due respect, you know you are being misleading to anyone reading your comments. There is nothing in the link you provided that conflicts with what I have written. The link appears to be hosted by individuals that are convinced that AGW will result in substantially worstening climate conditions for humans over the long term. There in nothing showing the probable costs to administer a program that would keep such a tax revenue neutral.

        There is no reliable evidence to support this conclusion (imo).

        BTW- what is the long term per capita usage of fossil fuels today (or 2014) in BC vs. in the rest of Canada?

      • But Rob, this character has a Phd. So he should know better. Any honest economist would advise any state considering a so-called revenue neutral carbon tax to drop the BS immediately. It will disadvantage the state in the world market and it will not reduce emissions. A factory that closes down in clean burning California will open up in smokey China. Yo-ram is a cartoon environmentalist pseudo-economist.

      • Don
        To be fair the “revenue neutral” proposal probable does lessen emissions slightly, but not much over the long term. A pure gas tax would do more to reduce CO2 (not that I see this as a great immediate benefit) and would raise revenue (which are surely needed since we seem not willing to cut expenses).

      • Rob,

        “A pure gas tax would do more to reduce CO2 “. Do you mind sharing the threshold you’d consider a gas tax would prove effective. Asking as we’ve just witnessed such a large change in the cost of fuel here in the U.S. from around $2/gal. in approx. 2007, then the “financial crisis” hit and costs approximately doubled, and of course have now returned to that $2 range.

        This was a short term phenomena, but cars and truck sold and ran all through this time. The pinch was felt elsewhere in the economy.

      • Rob, slightly is the operative word. And it will reduce energy use most among the lower income population. It’s a regressive tax. It causes all sorts of problems that the cartoon environmentalist pseudo-economists will forget to mention. Here is one:

        How are the gas stations in B.C. near the U.S. border doing?

      • “Do you mind sharing the threshold you’d consider a gas tax would prove effective.”

        Danny, I am not trying to be obtuse, but the answer depends upon what definition you apply to “effective”.

        What is the goal? If the goal is to reduce gas comsumption you need to define how much you want it reduced and then somewhat guess on the level of tax to achieve that goal. If the goal is to raise revenue it is a bit easier.

      • Rob,

        Not obtuse at all, but a fair desire to frame the context. Not sure the threading worked as intended but this was my reference: “To be fair the “revenue neutral” proposal probable does lessen emissions slightly, but not much over the long term. A pure gas tax would do more to reduce CO2 (not that I see this as a great immediate benefit) and would raise revenue (which are surely needed since we seem not willing to cut expenses).” If we added $2/gal. in tax (as we just bought fuel at those costs for several years) I’m not sure it would result in less fuel use, but would only affect the economy in other directions especially once fuel prices rise once again.

        So my thinking was “effective” for either/both reducing CO2 and/or raising revenue. As we know, once a tax become ensconsed, “neutral” tends to disappear and repurposing becomes the norm which leads me to be less oriented towards an application of “neutral”.


      • =>> “but the answer depends upon what definition you apply to “effective”.”


      • That’s the way to do it, joshie. Since your comments are meaningless tripe anyway, it’s best to go with the brevity of the one word style.

      • To cut emissions just 14% Harvard found that gas needed to be $7/gallon- about a $4 gallon increase in the gas tax in the US.
        Of course, to save the world, you need an 85% cut in emissions, so….$20-24/gal gas tax?
        By all means, Joshua, the Democrats should propose this.

      • forgot the link:

        The updates and comments were amusing. the upshot was that climate campaigners where outraged that anyone thought they actually wanted to do what they said they wanted to do. And, surprisingly, they haven’t introduced an effort to do what they want to do ever since.

    • From the article:

      Before getting on the carbon tax bandwagon, which already has dropped the pretense of revenue-neutral income tax cuts, it is worth remembering a few important points. First, carbon taxes need to be hefty (“damaging” as bluntly stated by the University of Colorado economist Keith Maskus at a recent conference) to be effective, especially when energy prices are plummeting. Minor tinkering won’t have much impact, but high taxes will produce negative net overall benefits.

      Third, as concluded by University of Guelph economist Ross McKitrick, “energy consumption is a limiting factor in economic growth.” The idea that you can curb energy consumption without slowing economic growth is a fantasy, akin to believing Santa Claus delivers economic growth.

      Gasoline consumption in B.C. soared 6% after 2012, overwhelming the 4.8% drop between 2008 and 2012 (see the nearby graph).

    • Cheap energy for the masses; anything else is folly.

  14. The NYT today has a story on an influential environmental group coming out against most biofuels including the wood pellets. Clear thinking at last.

  15. The names were changed to protect the innocent!

    One of the major issues this neophyte sees is a bit of a personality disorder in the discussion. By that it’s intended indicate that if “this” personality submits anything it’s accepted almost automatically “here”, and rejected “over there”.

    I suggest “peer review” and fame (or infamy) leads to jaded discussion.

    Others suggest anonymity is counter to good science (one should stand behind what they say). Lacking evidence to the contrary my question is how do we know?

    New approach. Submissions are assigned a “tracking number” which refers back to the author. The submissions are processed as usual including “peer review”. But the names are removed for some time, say two years post peer review and public publication. This would allow an extended peer review in the public format (such as this blog and other venues) which addresses only the content and removes the personalities. The tracking allows feedback to occur and questions can still be raised towards the author.

    At the end of the review time the names are made public allowing the appropriate credit to be awarded, no matter which way it falls.


    • When a committee is tasked to design a horse, one gets…..a camel.

      • RIHO08,

        No doubt.

        Honestly, Willis Eshenbach is the reason for my thinking. I’m aware that he likely reads nothing I post, yet I agree completly with his suggestion that attacking the person occurs and the science gets left out.

        Were a submission by him to be posted at an AGW site, for example, it would likely be pooh-poohed as invalid due to his skeptical reputation. Yet he shows his work and one has to admire that. My thought took that further to, for example, Dr. Curry being consider a “skeptic” yet I’m not so sure that’s an appropriate description. If Dr. Hansen, Dr. Schmidt, Dr. Mann submitted “anonymously” via the suggested method then it could ONLY be about the science. Yet we all see that the originator’s name when connected to any submission comes with an inherent “groupthink” bias from “the other side”.

      • Danny Thomas

        Author anonymity is but one issue in the peer review process and presumes the rest of the processes are correct, which they aren’t.

        Before the paper is written, one has to decide who is the target audience of the proposed research. An observation, a speculation, a detail in a vast web of tangled and cross purposed theory? I haven’t seen myself a silver bullet in anything I have read in science.

        What we do have today, is the blogosphere which, like when panning for gold, on rare occasions, one comes across a nugget, and even then it may not have the value you think it has.

        The blogosphere seems to be an evolving forum where critique and science value context can be rapidly assessed. By all means, do research, submit to a journal (Judith’s scale of high value journals) and carefully scour the blogosphere for critiques; expect ad hominem and junk rhetoric. Look for suggestions on improving your thought process, adding to and subtracting from the hypothesis you are currently working on.

        As for which journal? The journal that will accept your work. Before you start your research, have some external source suggest to which journal you may direct your eventual paper. The gray haired people seem to have had the good and bad experiences that you just as soon skip. Wise counsel has meaning here.

      • RIHO08,

        No quarrel with your perspective, but not all “good science” originates in academia. Again, I’m thinking of folks such as Willis (and Tonyb, Capt. Dallas, Steve Mosher, Matt Marler, Peter Lang, Jim D, Thomas Fuller, et al) who are willing to put forth different perspectives and thought processes. Yet, due to a “label” (IE skeptic/AGW’er) they’re offerings are considered invalid by the “other side” before the offering itself is even considered.

        Now I’m only just developing a foundation from which to evaluate science to any substantial level. But I can read. And following a thread can be challenging once the orientation is such that the person is the center of critique and not the substance. But were the thread to address just the substance they tend to evolve to a reasonable conclusion.

        Willis says put your name on it. And from what I’ve seen of Willis, I’d say he’d agree that focus on the science (content) is what really matters. So looking for an alternative approach which is more receptive to that goal. If it’s not been tried, then we have nothing against which to evaluate. Maybe it’s been tried and I’m just not aware. If not, it’d be an interesting experiment.

      • Danny

        Your comments are interesting and undoubtedly the perspectives of those seen as partisan over the subject of AGW will often be dismissed out of hand by the ‘other side.’

        However, this works at several different levels. In attempting to be even handed about the work of Dr Mann and Phil Jones and incorporating them into my own work, I have been savaged (and I mean savaged) by Willis regarding Dr Mann over this article

        And in his usual more cryptic manner by Mosher on Phil Jones.

        I don’t think Dr Mann is a great scientists but he is not a bad one, but his name and any reference to his work immediately puts some sceptics into cardiac arrest. Phil Jones I think is actually a pretty good scientist, but again his relationship to climate gate raises passions. Dr Hansen has produced many good pieces of work, although many appear to be over alarmist.

        So I therefore sometimes run into the strange situation where by quoting such as the three scientists I mentioned I will get it in the neck from both sides, firstly for being who I am from the warmists AND from sceptics for quoting those scientists who are most disliked by them.

        I take the view there is no overall hoax or conspiracy (but much activism and politics) and most climate scientists are at the least pretty good and some are brilliant.

        It is arrogance on the part of sceptics to believe we always know best.. However this science is dogged by the uncertainty monster but many of those practising climate science fail to recognise this.

      • Tonyb,

        This:”It is arrogance on the part of sceptics to believe we always know best.. However this science is dogged by the uncertainty monster but many of those practising climate science fail to recognise this.” is what I see from a newbie’s perspective. And it points a finger at both sides. If the wrong name is tossed into an arena it will be assailed. And, being the naieve one, I cannot help but imagine that occurs in peer review. The term I see on blogs is “pal review”. That’s painting with too broad a brush lacking evidence to the contrary. So, to remove even the possibility of “pal review” anonymity would solve this taking one issue off the table and leading to more analysis of the “nuts and bolts”.

        If there are those who live in the world of academia willing to provide a point of view on this I can’t see how it would hurt to discuss.

      • This is interesting, using an adversarial collaboration approach to studies:

        I particularly like the “what would change your mind” question. This might work best in evaluating alternatives to fossil fuels.

      • JeffN,

        Outstanding. An alternative approach for those willing to collaberate. Anonymity for the unwilling.

        Much of what is witnessed, at least in the blog-o-sphere and “the media” is a seeming desire to keep the debate polarized and politically imbeded. Actual solutions need not apply no matter how mutally acceptable. If the preponderance of particpants have reached the conclusion that the planet is warming (or cooling), then what would be wrong with man/woman attempting to geoengineer a “control knob”. That’s a bit of spooky consideration, but woman/man { :) Dr. Curry} has and does modify it’s environment in many ways. An arrogant thought? Perhaps. But if we have a knob it doesn’t mean we have to make use. It would, though, indicate a more thorough understanding.

  16. Maybe the following book would make for a good discussion:

    Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter – by Cass R. Sunstein

    Why are group decisions so hard?

    Since the beginning of human history, people have made decisions in groups—first in families and villages, and now as part of companies, governments, school boards, religious organizations, or any one of countless other groups. And having more than one person to help decide is good because the group benefits from the collective knowledge of all of its members, and this results in better decisions. Right?

    Back to reality. We’ve all been involved in group decisions—and they’re hard. And they often turn out badly. Why? Many blame bad decisions on “groupthink” without a clear idea of what that term really means…

    Interview with Jon Stewart:

  17. Compared to Iceball Earth, anything else is either a return to normal or departure it.

  18. NEWSFLASH — now coming over the grapevine: The NWS (National Weather Service), once known as the “Weather Bureau,” may soon be renamed. A secret WH Climate Executive Action Committee proposed that the new name for the agency would be the CCRC (Climate Change Response Center) and that it would to be headed by a new Climate Czar to be appointed within a few weeks. This move follows on the heels of actions taken by climate scientists last week who set the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock at 3 minutes to midnight to warn us that we’re ever-closer to the apocalypse. The WH Climate Executive Action committee also proposed that as a more definitive exegesis of our impending fate, the clock’s “Judgment Day” minute hand should be moved to 2 minutes and 59.98 seconds. The urgency of this undertaking was hinted at when Obama spoke for the Democrat party at the State of the Union message last week, stating: “And no challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Insider, John Kerry also commented that global warming was, “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

  19. Context matters, and here’s why the current context in the USA makes a carbon tax unlikely.

  20. Any “scientist” who studies temperature anomaly charts showing:
    (1) Random temperature variations,
    (2) Of very rough measurements of Earth’s average temperature,
    (3) Over very short periods of time (only 134 years of Earth’s 4.5 billion year history),
    (4) In tenths of a degree C.,
    (5) And says the average temperature has increased from 56.5 to 58 degrees F. from 1880 to 2014, without mentioning 1800s thermometers were +/- one degree F. accuracy,
    (6) And claims those small random variations are definitive PROOF, with 105% confidence, that ‘life on Earth will end as we know it’ from climate change,
    (7) … must have a good sense of humor!

    Full article here:

  21. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Open-Thread Question  Why is pesticide-toxicity denial — in institutions and individuals alike — commonly associated to AGW denial?

    Scientific Background

    pesticide-toxicity  First affirmed observationally, then verified by molecular physics.

    AGW  First affirmed by molecular physics, then verified by observational studies

    See for example:

    Molecular Mechanisms of Pesticide Toxicity

    Pesticides that induce receptor-mediated toxicity
    Receptor-mediated toxicity is induced by a number of pesticides. In contrast to genotoxic substances that are directly carcinogenic by inducing DNA damage, the receptor-mediated effects are versatile and often more subtle, and thus more difficult to identify. In this section, we give examples of pesticides inducing receptor-mediated events that can ultimately lead to toxicity to the organism. 127 pesticides were identified as having endocrine disrupting properties, including the 91 listed by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) (2005).

    These pesticides have been used widely over the last 50 years, and the incidences of the diseases linked to them have increased markedly over the same time period and has led many scientists to suggest a connection, despite the inherent difficulty in proving any connection using epidemiological data (Mc Kinlay et al., 2008).

    Many of these pesticides are structurally related to steroid hormones and may thus act on the respective hormone receptor. Actually, the first man-made chemicals identified as estrogen receptor (ER) disruptors were pesticides. Symptoms in men working with the manufacture of these compounds led to the identification of dichloro-diphenyl- trichloroethane (DDT) as an ER agonist. Other examples of pesticides that activate the ER are the DDT metabolite dichloro-diphenyl-dichloroethylene (DDE), methoxychlor, and dieldrin (Lemaire et al., 2006).

    Answer  Short-sighted market-fundamentalists — both institutions and individuals — experience cognitive dissonance that elicits denialist cognition, in regard to cumulative long-term market-failures associated to persistent pollution of the global commons … by pesticides *AND* by CO2.

    In plain language Short-sighted market-fundamentalist ideologies tolerate — even reward! — devastating (even irreversible) degradation of the global ecological commons.

    *THESE* common-sense realities are evident to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

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    • A book from a decade ago from someone who appears to be an obscure luddite.

      • I looked the author up on Amazon and Google. I listened to one of his YouTube presentations. The book is from 2004 and he sounds like a McKibbenesque luddite.

    • Poured DDT on the mango trees and myself many times from 3 years old to 15 years old from old buckets with no gloves onto bare feet as a child on the family farm.
      3 children, all healthy. On no pills, no diseases plan to live to 130 plus.
      One parent still alive in her 90’s. Brother and sisters alive well and healthy.
      What’s DDT Fan but another scam?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Canman claims [bizarrely and wrongly] “A book [Pesticide Detox: Towards a More Sustainable Agriculture] from a decade ago from  someone who appears to be an obscure luddite  thirty-one prominent agricultural scientists.”

      Canman, your claim was based upon exactly zero knowledge, wasn’t it?

      \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}

      • See above. I hit the wrong reply button.

      • I can’r be bothered even contemplating this. I assume it is the usual nonsense from FOMBS. Is it as wildly over-egged as Silent Spring?

        ‘There was a strange stillness. The birds, for example— where had they gone? Many people spoke of them, puzzled and disturbed. The feeding stations in the backyards were deserted. The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly. It was a
        spring without voices. On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices there was now no sound; only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh.

        On the farms the hens brooded, but no chicks hatched. The farmers complained that they were unable to raise any pigs— the litters were small and the young survived only a few days. The apple trees were coming into bloom but no bees droned among the blossoms, so there was no pollination and there would be no fruit. The roadsides, once so attractive, were now lined with browned and withered vegetation as though swept by fire. These, too, were silent, deserted by all living things. Even the streams were now lifeless. Anglers no longer visited them, for all the fish had died.’

        Oh please. Let’s hear from a more balanced source.

      • I’ll concede he is not as bad as he seemed from my first impression. I sort of listened to him in the background and heard a lot of words like “Rachel Carson” and “sustainability” and whining about food being transported. He also described his work causing controversy.

    • From the article:

      In the most dramatic split, 88 percent of the scientists surveyed said it is safe to eat genetically modified foods, while only 37 percent of the public say it is safe and 57 percent say it is unsafe. And 68 percent of scientists said it is safe to eat foods grown with pesticides, compared with only 28 percent of the general public.

      What to do about climate change is another issue. Nearly two-thirds of scientists favored building more nuclear power plants, but only 45 percent of the public did. But more of the public favored offshore drilling for oil and fracking than scientists did.

      Well, what can I say. I agree with building more nuclear plants, man-made global warming or no.

  22. New Pew survey just out:

    “Compared with five years ago, both citizens and scientists are less upbeat about the scientific enterprise. Citizens are still broadly positive about the place of U.S. scientific achievements and its impact on society, but slightly more are negative than five years ago. And, while a majority of scientists think it is a good time for science, they are less upbeat than they were five years ago. Most scientists believe that policy regulations on land use and clean air and water are not often guided by the best science.”


    Since this is an open thread I have a question about feedback in the water vapour system. Before I ask my question and get trolled to death may I point out that I have inorganic chemistry and engineering degrees including control systems and make no pretence at being a climate scientist or of having studied the matter in any great depth at all. My question is this. I have heard the climate system described as a water vapour system having positive feedback such that the greenhouse effect of CO2 added to the environment is amplified by water vapour added to the atmosphere. At some point in my wanderings in this group I seem to have encountered an article by Judith Curry to the effect that this positive feedback might be as much as a factor of 3. I can make a pretty good oscillator with a factor of 3 I might add. So: on to my question. CO2 influences water vapour in the atmosphere by adding heat which then drives the water vapour content. However, the water vapour content doesn’t know about the CO2 it only knows that heat has been added which drives the feedback function. So: what about the heat that goes into this feedback vapour driving function that comes from the sun or the earth’s rotation. Positive feedback means that a small disturbance travels around the loop which amplifies it and feeds it back and around one goes until even with a small noise input the system with positive feedback is happily oscillating until an amplitude is reached where the feedback goes negative. If that doesn’t happen the system with positive feedback ramps either positive in temperature or negative in temperature, driven by noise until it clamps.

    I will add that the nature of the thermal noise from, say, the sun, does not require any sort of ramp to it, if the system is really described in the way I have read about. The average thermal noise could quite happily average around a fixed temperature. All one needs is that the power of the noise function, in other words the average of the square of the noise function integrated over time, be positive. Of that I am sure because I’ve noticed that it is colder at night than in the daytime.

    In summary, if the water vapour system does see positive feedback in terms of temperature, the presence of natural thermal noise sources such as the sun should have it oscillating without the benefit of added CO2. It would then oscillate to saturation ie to where the feedback became negative or it would clamp regardless of CO2 contributions.

    So: it’s just a question. Don’t slag me cause after all I’m just an engineer these days, messing with my DFTs and cross correlations and such. Just remember that what goes around comes around. Answers will be presented and discussed at the lunch table amongst the physics PhDs and such. Chris Kurowski: or as they say on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ an Ooompa-Loompa in the physics world.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Chris Kurowski wants “Answers [that] will be presented and discussed at the lunch table amongst the physics PhDs and such.”

      Chris, you had better plan for a long lunch! Because there are at least four independent lines of evidence to be discussed:

      Evidence Line 1  Energy-balance physics (radiation transport theory and the greenhouse effect).

      Evidence Line 2  The paleo-record (CO2 + climate + Milankovich cycles + stellar evolution).

      Evidence Line 3  Present-day global energy-balance and pH-balance (ice-melting + sea-level-rising + ocean-heating + waters acidifying)

      Evidence Line 4  Large-scale numerical models

      James Hansen: We are
      on the verge of creating climate chaos

      Skeptical question  Our stories often receive comments from climatesceptics, who say that such statements are just based on unreliable computer models and climate science is not robust enough to compensate for the economic cost of decarbonisation …

      Hansen’s answer  In fact, we base our understanding more on observations of how the Earth has responded in the past to changes in the boundary conditions, including the atmospheric composition.

      I’m using models less and less — although they are very helpful in confirming our understanding — but it is not correct to say that these assessments are based on models.

      Summary  Each line of evidence is individually strong … the aggregated evidence is sufficiently strong as to convince the overwhelming majority of scientists.

      Good on `yah, James Hansen and his climate-science colleagues … for relying upon climate-models as tertiary foundations for verifying an understanding of climate-change that derives primarily from energy-balance analyses and observations, and secondarily from the paleo-record.

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    • Chris, “In summary, if the water vapour system does see positive feedback in terms of temperature, the presence of natural thermal noise sources such as the sun should have it oscillating without the benefit of added CO2”

      Yep. In the tropics the oscillation is about 1.25 C around 28 C degrees +/- a touch. At the top of the atmosphere, the range of the annual oscillation is about 10 Wm-2. The feedbacks are tropical cloud cover and deep convection. The bear though is high latitude response to the propagation of the oscillation which is a bit confused.

  24. David L. Hagen

    Poll Shows Giant Gap Between What Public, Scientists Think

    . . .In eight of 13 science-oriented issues, there was a 20-percentage-point or higher gap separating the opinions of the public and members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, according to survey work by the Pew Research Center. The gaps didn’t correlate to any liberal-conservative split; the scientists at times take more traditionally conservative views and at times more liberal. . . .
    Eighty-seven percent of scientists said global warming is mostly due to human activity, while only half of the public did. The figures for scientists are slightly different than past academic studies because of wording of the question and the fact that AAAS members include many specialties, but they tell the same essential story, said Pew associate director Cary Funk.

    What to do about climate change is another issue. Nearly two-thirds of scientists favored building more nuclear power plants, but only 45 percent of the public did. But more of the public favored offshore drilling for oil and fracking than scientists did. . . .
    Pew polled 2,002 adults in August and did an online survey of 3,748 AAAS members in the fall. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for the public and 1.7 percentage points for the scientists.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Note that anyone who subscribes to Science magazine is an AAAS member, which is a most curious definition of “scientist”… and that the actual “scientists” polled were selected “with the assistance” of the AAAS leadership. Funny, I’m a AAAS member and they didn’t ask me …

      When the subject is climate, you always need to watch the walnuts and the pea very, very carefully …


    • Conveniently left off by the reporter was that the sample size of 3,748 AAAS members who were the scientists included those in the fields of Bio/Medical and Social Sciences as well as “policy” and other. The total in those fields made up nearly 2,300 of the respondents. There were 598 in the “Earth Sciences/Physics/Astronomy fields.

      I fail to see how the 2300 scientists have better knowledge than the public on climate issues. A more important, but missing number, is how the 598 scientists polled.

      But, what the hey. Seth the Reporter got his slanted story so that is all that matters.

  25. "PlanetaryPhysics" Group of physicists


    It is instructive to consider an “ideal” perfectly calm (wind-less) region on Earth that is above a calm ocean at a mean latitude of 45° on March 21st when the Sun is above the Equator. We will assume there is a non-transparent layer of cloud covering the selected region and beyond and that region. The cloud is at an altitude where the temperature is the mean effective radiating temperature of 255K.

    Now, the cloud layer will reflect solar radiation, and we will assume no reflection goes downwards. Hence all solar radiation can only raise the temperature of the clouds (to 255K) and regions above the clouds. The radiation can do so on its way down to the clouds and also on its way back up, because it still has the same frequency distribution and intensity after reflection. Any back radiation from above the clouds will of course not go down below the clouds, and will not raise the temperature of the clouds above 255K anyway.

    Based on mean temperature data for locations at such latitudes in ocean regions I think you will find that the annual mean temperature is about 9°C as it is for Invercargill near the ocean at the southern tip of New Zealand. I seriously doubt the IPCC estimate of 14°C to 15°C.

    Why is it so? Why is the surface that much warmer than the clouds when no solar radiation gets through the clouds?

    Firstly, I have proved there hat the environmental temperature gradient (aka lapse rate) is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium which the Second Law says will evolve.

    Secondly, I have proved from the Second Law that, if that state is disturbed by the absorption of new thermal energy at the top, then downward convective heat transfer is possible.

    So the ocean surface temperature is raised slightly by day by the downward convective heat transfer from the clouds and that temperature is supported long-term around the 9°C mark due to the gravitationally induced temperature gradient which enables heat transfer over the sloping thermal plane in all directions away from a new source of energy.

  26. Fan

    I see two of your friends are getting together-President Obama and Pope Francis


  27. The year-out contango is still around $10, so the pressure on WTI price is down.

    11/27. 10:42 ET.
    NAT GAS_____4.22___-0.1357
    RBOB GAS____1.91

    12/30 10:37 PM ET
    NAT GAS______3.099
    RBOB GAS____1.4495

    NAT GAS____3.127
    RBOB GAS___1.3588

    NAT GAS___2.986
    RBOB GAS__1.3479

    NAT GAS____2.684
    RBOB GAS___1.3641

    • Wow, at the end of the trading day, the rig count came out. The number of rigs stacked (taken out of service) was more than expected. This scared the shorts who didn’t want to be short oil over the weekend. They covered and a huge short squeeze ensued.

      But, this is just temporary. Oil will continue down next week.

      NAT GAS____2.691
      RBOB GAS___1.4788

  28. Today is the birthday of FDR!

    What was FDR’s contribution to conservation? 
    Franklin Roosevelt acquired a keen interest in the environment, conservation, and forestry when he was a boy on his estate in Hyde Park, New York, and throughout his life he considered himself a “tree farmer.” Conservation was a major issue for Roosevelt when he campaigned for Vice President in 1920 and during his two terms as Governor of New York (1929-1933). He believed in the superior virtue of rural living, and as Governor he tried (without much success) to place unemployed workers on subsistence farms and to develop the St. Lawrence River as a public power producer. He also put the jobless to work on forest improvement through the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration.

    As President, Roosevelt continued his conservation policies, and he saw the unemployment brought on by the Great Depression as a way to emphasize environmental planning and projects. The Civilian Conservation Corps, the Farm Security Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and other agencies employed thousands of people planting trees, preventing soil erosion, and building dams for flood control and generating public power. He also added millions of acres to America’s national forests, national parks, and wildlife refuges. Through all of these projects, he adhered to one overall philosophy: that the nation must be responsible and preserve the world we live in for future generations.

    10 fascinating facts about young Franklin D. Roosevelt

  29. SHARYL ATTKISSON: In 2013, Reporters Without Borders downgraded America’s standing in the global free press rankings, rating the Obama administration as worse than Bush’s. It matters not that when caught the government promises to dial back or that [FOX News’] James Rosen gets an apology. The message has already been received. If you cross this administration with perfectly accurate reporting they don’t like, you will be attacked and punished. You and your sources may be subjected to the kind of surveillance devised for enemies of the state.

    For much of history, the United States has held itself out as a model of freedom, democracy, and open accountable government. Freedoms of expression and association are of course protected by the constitution. Today those freedoms are under assault due to government policies of secrecy, leak prevention, and officials contact with the media, combined with large scale surveillance programs. The nominee if confirmed should chart a new path and reject the damaging policies and practices that have been used by others in the past. If we aren’t grave enough to confront these concerns, it could do serious long-term damage to a supposedly free press. Thank you.

  30. Maybe this explains the upside-down world we now inhabit.
    From the article:

    “The billionaires I know, almost without exception, use hallucinogens on a regular basis,” Ferriss said. “[They’re] trying to be very disruptive and look at the problems in the world … and ask completely new questions.”

  31. Peer reviewed paper on the impact of the closure of the Isthmus of Panama on thermohaline oceanic circulation. I have been looking for something like this for quite some time. If anyone finds anything similar – the impact of continental change on paleoclimate – it would be great if you would share it somewhere on Judith’s blog.

    Role of Panama uplift on oceanic…