NARUC Panel Discussion on Climate Change

by Judith Curry

At its recent Winter Meeting, The National Associated of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) asked the following question: You’re Still Not Sure Global Warming is Real?

Last week, I participated in a Panel Discussion at NARUC.  I hadn’t previously heard of NARUC. For some context:

Founded in 1889, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners is a non-profit organization dedicated to representing the State public service commissions who regulate the utilities that provide essential services such as energy, telecommunications, water, and transportation.

Our mission is to serve the public interest by improving the quality and effectiveness of public utility regulation. Under State law, NARUC’s members have an obligation to ensure the establishment and maintenance of utility services as may be required by law and to ensure that such services are provided at rates and conditions that are fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory for all consumers.

As it turned out, my flight was cancelled owing to heavy snow on the east coast, so I participated by phone.  It turned out to be pretty interesting, so I’ll reproduce as much as I can here.

Here is billing for the Panel:

You’re Still Not Sure Global Warming is Real?

Many news reports state that nearly 97% of climate scientists agree that manmade greenhouse gases are changing the world’s climate. Despite this, it isn’t difficult to find stakeholder organizations providing seemingly contradictory information about climate change and whether it is happening at all. Although NARUC members are economic regulators, recent federal initiatives to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants are placing this issue on our desks. With these rulemakings bringing new kinds of influence into State utility decision making, this seems like a good time to hear from the experts. We’ve invited two scientists to explain the latest scientific thinking about climate change and to answer the hardest questions we could put to them.

  • Moderator Dr. Rajnish Barua – Executive Director, NRRI
  • Panelist: Dr. Joe Casola – Staff Scientist and Program Dir. Sciences &Impacts, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
  • Panelist: Dr. Judith Curry – Professor, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, GIT, and President, Climate Forecast Appl. Networks

For some background on Joe Casola, see his biosketch.  I met Joe last fall at the Workshop on the Ethics of Communicating Uncertainty.

After some discussion with the moderator and Panel Organizer, we converged on 7 questions.  We were each allotted 10 minutes for an opening statement, then a max of 2 slides to respond to each question.

In the interests of keeping this post manageable, I provide links to the ppt slides, but do not reproduce any of the figures in the blog post.  Rather I focus on the narrative aspects of the discussion.

Opening statement:  Joe Casola

The power point presentation is found here [NARUC Casola].  Excerpted below are the main narrative points:

The big picture:

  1. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases make the planet warmer
  2. CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere
  3. The planet is warming
  4. Warming is best explained by humans’ emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases
  5. Future warming should be expected

 Warming is best explained by our emissions: 

  • Magnitude and rate of warming is large (warmer than in last 400 years, at least; ice ages only +/- 5°C)
  • Spatial and vertical pattern of warming matches what greenhouse gases “should” do
  • Changes in other factors that drive climate (like the Sun) don’t explain warming
  • Models can only replicate 20th century warming when greenhouse gases are included

What does this mean for regulators and the electricity sector?

  • The BIG PICTURE is not a subject of debate within the scientific community
  • There ARE many aspects of climate that are not completely understood, but do not undermine the BIG PICTURE understanding
  • Best translation into a policy context = RISK MANAGEMENT approach
  • Compared to other business and environmental risks, we actually have lots of information about climate change!

Opening statement:  Judith Curry

The power point presentation is found here [NARUC curry].  The verbal narrative is provided below:

In my brief opening remarks, I’m going to focus on areas of uncertainty, disagreement, and confusion in the debate about climate change.

Confusion. Climate science is complicated and can be confusing. But the confusion is exacerbated by politicization of the science and also misleading communication by the media. The recent Sense of the Senate Resolution illustrates the problem.

  • “Climate change is real and not a hoax” (98-1)
  • “Climate change is real; and human activity significantly contributes to climate change.” (50-49)

The senate resolutions highlight the differences and confusion between the scientific versus the political definitions of climate change. The scientific definition states that climate change can be due to natural processes OR persistent human caused changes. The political definition is that climate change is caused by humans. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change established the political definition in the 1990’s.

The political definition effectively defines naturally caused climate change out of existence. However, natural climate change versus human caused climate change is at the heart of the scientific debate. My remarks today will be directed at pointing out the importance of natural climate variability.

Disagreement. So, what do climate scientists agree on? Scientists agree that

  • Surface temperatures have increased since 1880
  • Humans are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere
  • Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the planet

However there is considerable disagreement about the most consequential issues:

  • Whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
  • How much the planet will warm in the 21st century
  • Whether warming is ‘dangerous’
  • And whether we can actually do anything to prevent climate change

Why do scientists disagree? There are a number of reasons:

  • Insufficient observational evidence
  • Disagreement about the value of different types of evidence
  • Disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence
  • Assessments of areas of ambiguity & ignorance
  • And finally, the politicization of the science can torque the science in politically desired directions.

Uncertainty and disagreement drive scientific progress. However, when a scientific issue becomes politicized, and scientists attempt to speak consensus to power, then a scientific discussion of uncertainties is regarded as an undesirable political act.

Wicked vs tame problem. Another source of confusion is oversimplifying both the climate change problem and its solution. The UN Framework Convention and the Obama Administration seem to view climate change as a ‘tame problem’, where we clearly understand the problem and have identified the appropriate solutions.

I view the climate change problem very differently, as a ‘wicked mess’. A wicked problem is complex with dimensions that are difficult to define and changing with time. A mess is characterized by the complexity of interrelated issues, with suboptimal solutions that create additional problems.

You find what you shine a light on. The politicization of climate science, and effectively defining natural climate variability out of the public dialogue, has had a very unfortunate impact on the progress of climate science. Have you heard the story about the drunk searching for his lost keys under a streetlight, since that is the only place where he can see anything? Well something similar has been happening with climate science. You find what you shine a light on.

Motivated by the UN Framework Convention and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and government funding, climate scientists have been focusing primarily on greenhouse gases and to a lesser extent other anthropogenic factors. Other factors important for understanding climate variability have been relatively neglected, I have highlighted long-term ocean oscillations and solar indirect effects, since I think that these are potentially very important on decadal to century timescales.

Global surface temperatures. This figure shows the global surface temperature anomalies since 1850. We see a substantial temperature increase from 1910-1940, then a period of weak cooling from 1940 to the late 1970s, then a sharp increase since the late 1970’s until the 21st century when the temperatures are flat.

So what is causing the warming? The recent IPCC AR5  concluded: It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by [humans]. The best estimate of the human induced contribution is similar to the observed warming over this period. The IPCC does NOT have a consistent or convincing explanation for the large warming between 1910 and 1940, the cooling between 1940 and 1975, and the flat temperatures in the 21st century. Until the IPCC is able to explain these variations, I find their high confidence that humans have caused virtually all of the warming since 1950 to be unconvincing.

Last 350 years. So, how unusual is the warming since 1950? The longest temperature record in the world is the Central England Temperature, that goes back to 1660. You see a long term warming trend, but according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, only the warming since 1950 is attributed to humans. Note in particular the sharp warming from 1690 to 1740 and 1820-1840. We can’t infer anything about global temperature variations from one location, but the Central England Temperature record serves to illustrate the magnitude of natural climate variability.

Last 2000 years.  Using paleoclimate proxies such as tree rings and ice cores, attempts have been made to reconstruct the hemispheric temperature record for the past 2000 years. Unfortunately, these proxies can’t resolve variations shorter than 50 years. You may have heard of the hockey stick, made famous by Al Gore’s movie, which showed that climate for the past 1000 years was essentially flat, until the 20th century. However, recent research shows much greater variability and uncertainty in these paleoclimate reconstructions. Since 1600, you see a general warming trend. A warmer period around 1000 AD is evident, the so-called medieval warm period. There is a great deal of uncertainty in these analyses, leaving open the question as to whether the warming since 1950 has been unusual.

Hiatus. Lets take a closer look at the recent flat period, which is referred to as the warming ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’. There was a big warm spike in 1998 from a super El Nino; since then the temperatures have been pretty flat. 2014 was a warm year, tied with several other years for the warmest in the record. Clearly there is a lot of year-to-year variability; why does this pause since 1998 matter? Well, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 stated that surface temperature was expected to increase by 0.2C per decade in the early 21st century. This warming has clearly not been realized.

Significance of the hiatus.  The growing divergence between models & observations raises some serious questions:

  • Are climate models too sensitive to carbon dioxide?
  • Is modeled treatment of natural climate variability inadequate?
  • Are model projections of 21st century warming too high?

Consensus view The issue of greatest concern is how the climate will evolve during the 21st century. There are two different perspectives on this. The first perspective is that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This figure is from the recent 5th Assessment Report, which projects continued warming. The IPCC cites ‘expert judgment’ as the rationale for lowering the projections (indicated by the red hatching), to account for the apparent oversensitivity of the models. With regards to the ‘pause’, the IPCC expects that it will end soon, with the next El Nino

Natural variability. The other perspective emphasizes natural variability, with the following implications for the future:

  • Our understanding of circulation regimes in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans suggest that the ‘pause’ will continue at least another decade, perhaps into the 2030’s
  • Climate models are too sensitive to human forcing; 21st century warming will be on the low end of IPCC projections (or even below)
  • Solar variations & volcanoes are a wild card. Some scientists are predicting solar cooling in the near term
  • And finally, we can’t rule out unforeseen surprises. An example of an unforeseen surprise was the warming hiatus in the early 21st century.

Time will tell which of these two views is correct.

Implications. Some implications for utility regulators

  • There is a great deal of uncertainty in our understanding of what has caused the 20th century warming and how the 21st century climate might evolve.
  • • We need to prepare for surprises – including ‘cold’ ones
  • • We need to stop treating climate change as a ‘tame problem’, and need to adopt a decision making framework, suitable for conditions of deep uncertainty, that seeks flexible, robust and anti-fragile policies

Questions

The powerpoint responses, along with my narrative response, are linked to following each question.

Question 1: Oceans rising?  When the ice ages ended, sea level rose substantially over several thousand years.  Is the more-recent resumption in sea level rise caused by human-caused global warming?  Has human-caused climate change increased the threats to our coasts?

  • .ppt response [Q1]
  • Curry narrative [Q1n]

Question 2:  Extreme weather events.  Were recent extreme weather events made worse by man-made climate change? e.g, Hurricane Sandy.  Is vulnerability to extreme weather events increasing because of human-caused climate change?

  • .ppt response [Q2]
  • Curry  narrative [Q2n]

Question 3:  Sea ice melting?  Since satellite records began in 1979, Arctic sea ice at the end of summer has been retreating. But in Antarctica, the extent of the sea ice has been increasing recently. Are these changes due to human-caused global warming? Do scientists understand what is going on and why?

  • .ppt response [Q3]
  • Curry narrative [Q3n

Question 4:  Is the Earth warming or cooling?  Some assert that the earth has not warmed in the last 16 years  According to NOAA and NASA data, 2014 was the warmest year on record. How should we interpret recent temperature, relative to longer-term trends?  Is the earth entering a cycle of global cooling due to a slowing in solar activity?

  • .ppt response [Q4]

Question 5:  Glaciers melting?  Many (but not all) glaciers are melting, including Greenland and Antarctica! How confident are we that humans are causing some glaciers to melt?

  • .ppt response [Q5]

Question 6:  Are there benefits to CO2? Doesn’t CO2 help crops grow?  How well do scientists understand the sources and sinks of CO2 in the atmosphere?

  • .ppt response[Q6]
  • Curry narrative [Q6n]

Question 7:  Consensus? How much consensus exists in the scientific community that man-made greenhouse gases are changing the earth’s climate?  What area of climate science would most benefit from additional research?

  • .ppt response [Q7]
  • Curry narrative [Q7n]

JC reflections 

Overall I’m very pleased with the way this panel went.  In terms of audience reaction, the panel organizer emailed this comment:

He and I have been to many, many NARUC conferences, and we agreed afterwards that your panel was the first time we saw the entire audience riveted and not having side conversations or working on their phones. One east-coast commissioner made a point of thanking me for organizing it and said it was the best session on the topic that he had ever heard.  Finally, I must say that XXX was very pleased and commented that your panel was an example of what NARUC should encourage — thoughtful, smart discussion of important topics.

Another take on the Panel is described in this Climatewire post.  I’ve also received a number of emails and tweets from people that were in the audience.

Preparing the 10 minute opening statement was quite a challenge.  For a previous reference point, see these 10 minute presentations from Curry vs Trenberth.  My own 10 minute presentation has evolved substantially (in a favorable direction I think).

A few words about Joe Casola’s presentation and responses to the questions.  He gets very high marks from me.  The presentation used figures from the IPCC (no indefensible alarmism such as Trenberth provided).  Appropriate nods were given to uncertainty.  And, as noted by Climatewire, his presentation included some effective metaphors.  Further, he stuck to the science and gave no signs of ‘partisanship’ or advocacy.

I have to say it was a great pleasure to participate in this Panel with Joe Casola and the moderator and organizer from NARUC.  It gives me some hope that an actual grown-up dialogue can be held on this topic.

 

198 responses to “NARUC Panel Discussion on Climate Change

  1. Congratulations on your selection to participate in this panel discussion.

    I deeply that the President of your university was drug into the AGW debate.

  2. Global warming (and cooling) are real. They’ve been going on for billions of years.

    I am not sure how much human activities are contributing to the current warm period.

    It may be doing more good than harm – reducing the risk or delaying the onset of the next abrupt climate change which, other than for humans activities, would probably be a cool change rather than a warm change. An abrupt cooling would be much more damaging than an abrupt warm change.

    I am not convinced that AGW is a major issue that justifies the policies advocated by the likes of the EU, UK and Obama..

  3. “However there is considerable disagreement about the most consequential issues:

    Whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes…”
    —–
    Define “considerable” and define “dominated”.

    True or false: The majority of climate scientists (greater than 50%) would say it is likely the majority (greater than 50%) of the warming since 1950 has been anthropogenic.

    • So much for climate models.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/24/are-climate-modelers-scientists/

      You mean ‘consensus’, gatekeeper climate scientists who ignore contrary evidence, hide data and code, bully colleagues, editors and journals if they don’t support ‘the cause’?

      • The person got 9/10 rejections for an erroneous statistical analysis. I assume this is a joke piece.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: The person got 9/10 rejections for an erroneous statistical analysis. I assume this is a joke piece.

        It wasn’t “erroneous”; it explored the uncertainty in prediction that is added to the uncertainties of the model forecasts when uncertainty in the expected forcing change is added to the uncertainties in model choice and parameter values.

      • Jim D,

        If 100 models give 100 different answers, then at least 99% are in error. Running the 99% erroneous models thousands or millions of times, in the mad hope that somehow you will arrive at a correct answer is just silly.

        And what if 100% are wrong? I will bet you are not prepared to wager one cent of your money with me on any of the results of these toy models actually being useful in any measurable sense.

        Bizarre self appointed scientism devotees, demanding alms from the gullible to play with their toys in comfort. And you support them? Good luck to you. You will probably need it!

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Matthew Marler, so you think his claim that the model spread in the next century should be 20 degrees is reasonable and would accept the paper? He seems to know nothing about models, and complains that modeler reviewers, who know much more than him about them, rejected his paper. He seems to have treated climate models like a random walk which is just a clueless assumption leading to an answer that he doesn’t seem to recognize as plain wrong. Over a century models, like climate, only deviate according to forcing and internal variation. The uncertainty spread is not 20 degrees, and this is the only person (and you, perhaps) making that claim.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Matthew Marler, so you think his claim that the model spread in the next century should be 20 degrees is reasonable and would accept the paper?

        I said that the calculation was not erroneous. It was the judgment of the reviewers not to accept the paper. The decision is equivalent to treating the forcing as “known”. What led you to conclude that the author knows nothing about modeling?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D, how would you like to take a stab at my conjecture? Note rewording in response to FOMD.

        assume for the sake of argument that “heat transfer from the surface due to evapotranspiration will increase 5% per 1C increase in surface temp. Assume Stefan-Boltzmann law is reasonably accurate. Assume that DWLWIR increases 4 W/m^2 and that the temperature warms up. When it has warmed 0.5C, evapotranspiration heat loss will have increased by 2W/m^2, and radiative heat loss by about 2.8W/m^2 — implying that the DWLWIR increase of 4 W/m^2 can not raise the Earth surface temp by 0.5C. Obviously these are approximations (based on flow rates by Trenberth), but there is no justification for ignoring the change in the evapotranspirative heat loss rate.

        That 5% per 1C is within the range of estimates reported by O’Gorman et al “Energetic Constraints on Precipitation Under Climate Change”, 2011, Surveys in Geophysics, DOI 10.1007/s10712-011-9159-6, one of the papers recommended to me by Pat Cassen. The range is 2%-7%, with the lower estimates based on GCMs and the upper estimates from regressions of rainfalls vs temperatures in various regions of the Earth.

        Much of this has been published: Trenberth et al and Stephens et al energy flow diagrams; 288 K as base mean Earth temp; Earth surface as homogeneous and obeying appx Stefan-Boltzmann law; 4 W/m^2 as radiative effect at surface of doubling CO2 concentration. All I “added” was:
        2 + 2.8 = 4.8 > 4.

        Possible avenues of attack:

        2% instead of 5% increase in rainfall.

        Take into account the distributions of rainfall and rainfall change, instead of working with global aggregates.

        Include changes in advective/convective changes in surface cooling.

      • Matthew Marler, if he is considering a model as a random walk, he clearly knows nothing about them. His error growth rate is based on that false premise. Models do not diverge like a random walk. The climate has constraints, and things like energy budgets, that limit the behavior within a window. A random walk says nothing about such constraints. Pat Frank has previously tried to say the global average surface temperature is no more accurate than about 1 degree which is his error for a single thermometer. He seems to have his own brand of statistics where more measurements do not reduce a mean error in proportion to the square root. Check his papers. He is a statistics wannabe, but is not even close. He guessed the rejections were all from modelers, but my guess would be that many were statisticians.

      • Matthew Marler, increased evaporation also means increased rainfall which comes via increased condensation, so even though the heat leaves the surface as evaporation it ends up warming the atmosphere through condensation. All of this is part of the water vapor and lapse rate feedback that are accounted for. Unless you are proposing that the lapse rate will change in other ways, you don’t have anything new here.

      • Jim D:

        …so even though the heat leaves the surface as evaporation it ends up warming the atmosphere through condensation.

        And what do you imagine then happens to that heat?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: increased evaporation also means increased rainfall which comes via increased condensation, so even though the heat leaves the surface as evaporation it ends up warming the atmosphere through condensation.

        Of course it warms the upper troposphere! That is why it is a net heat flow away from the surface.

        You said this is not new. Where previously have you seen a calculation of how the rate of flow of latent heat from the surface to the upper troposphere increases in response to a 1C increase in surface temperature? I would like to cite the predecessors in my formal write-up.

      • Matthew Marler, look up how that lapse rate feedback to surface warming works. Essentially it is the effect of the additional latent heat on the lapse rate.

    • R. Gates,

      True or false: Climate is the average of weather over a nominal period.

      Question: Which is more likely to be of use –
      Climatology, phrenology, astrology, or garbology?

      I was tempted to throw in vexillology, but the moderator may have thought I was just being vexatious.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • R Gates:

      True or false: The majority of climate scientists (greater than 50%) would say it is likely the majority (greater than 50%) of the warming since 1950 has been anthropogenic.

      Let’s see: >50% of scientists say it’s likely (>50%) that >50% of the warming is anthropogenic, so, overall, that’s >50% of >50% of >50% = >12.5%
      And if you add the >50% true or false, that brings it down to >6.25%.

      If it doesn’t work like that then how does it work?
      When you start doing things like conflating the truth of something with the number of people who say so, and confusing the physical with the abstract, then you soon find it’s equally logical to say pretty much anything.
      It cuts more than one way.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: The majority of climate scientists (greater than 50%) would say it is likely the majority (greater than 50%) of the warming since 1950 has been anthropogenic.

      Do climate changes caused by land use changes imply that reductions of CO2 will reverse those climate changes?

      • @ Matthew R. Marler

        “Do climate changes caused by land use changes imply that reductions of CO2 will reverse those climate changes?”

        An argument can be made that if we reduce our CO2 signature by 90+ %, as demanded by the ‘Climate Experts’, we will no longer be able to sustain the land use changes that ostensibly contributed to climate change, the land will revert to its formerly pristine state (undisturbed by human activity such as farming, logging, mining, building cities, ad infinitum) and so yes, reducing CO2 CAN plausibly reverse those climate changes, if any, caused by the land use changes that made modern civilization possible.

        Of course, if the 90+% reduction in ACO2 is actually implemented and enforced, there will be around 6e9 folks who will not be around to enjoy their newly stable climate. (omelettes and eggs, you know)

    • Of course most climate scientists say most warming is anthropogenic. That’s what government hired them to conclude.

    • Gates writes: True or false: The majority of climate scientists (greater than 50%) would say it is likely the majority (greater than 50%) of the warming since 1950 has been anthropogenic.

      I would estimate the answer to be false but it would probably depend on who was defined as “climate scientists”.

      Would you agree that there is a bias amoung a large percentage of “climate scientists” who initially believed that GCMs reasonably accurately represented the system and now a growing percentage is coming to doubt those beliefs?

      Would you agree that the percentage of “climate scientists” who would answer yes to that question 5 years ago is less than today? Would you agree that the percentage will continue to be reduced if the “pause” continues for another decade?

    • He definitely did not get his sea level rise estimates from the IPCC AR5. Ch 13, Table 13.5:

      Global mean sea level rise in 2100:

      RCP2.6: 44 cm – Range 28-61 cm
      RCP4.5: 53 cm – Range 36-71 cm
      RCP6.0: 55 cm – Range 38-73 cm
      RCP8.5: 74 cm – Range 52-98 cm

      I think it is important to note that the more likely medium emissions scenarios have best estimates of about 21 inches by 2100. It is bit misleading when the distribution of the modeled estimates are toward the low end and the range is shown as a monolithic block.

      It is also important to note that these SLR models are “running hot” and their current modeled estimates are 15% higher than today’s observations. This suggests worst case predictions are less likely.

      His presentation showed a maximum of 4 ft, when the IPCC’s worst case prediction of its worst case emissions scenario is ~3 feet. I have no idea where the 6.6 foot estimate came from. I suppose some scientist said this somewhere, it’s not very credible IMO.

      Apparently he got his info from the National Climate Assessment. This particular report seemed a bit alarmist.

      But let me be clear, I have seen much worse presentations of sea level rise estimates almost everywhere else. At the minimum he presented:

      1. The range of estimates
      2. The time frame of these estimates.
      3. The source of his information

      I would say that 95% of the time the media reports none of the above and simply goes with an “up to 7m” or something equally misleading. Stating only worst case numbers without a range or time frame is a common tactic for those who want to avoid the actual estimates for unscientific purposes.

  4. Kudos on such an excellent presentation. This is a model for how reasonable public discussions of climate issues should be conducted. Therefore, it will produce much angst and gnashing of teeth from the usual suspects.

    • Seconding that kudos’

      Hey it’s a mantra, ” Ninety- seven per cent of climate
      scientists agree that man made greenhouse gases
      are changing the world’s climate.”

      And like any other mantra it’s supposed to come to us
      intact, can’t be adding words, to whit, ‘ Nearly ‘ ….It’s
      ‘Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree, ‘ fer god sake,
      like ” Two legs bad!”

  5. Climate change should be the topic for high school debate so that students can see the issues involved.

  6. Kudos to NARUC for organising it, and to all participants. Having been involved in organising similar (but much more modest) events in 2013 and 2007, I understand how appallingly difficult it is.

  7. Well done, thank you for my daily dose of clarity and rationality.

  8. “You’re Still Not Sure Global Warming is Real?”

    Sorry, not enough to allow dissenting or doubting points of view.

    People who are serious and on the level in debate will first seek clear, specific terms and eliminate manipulative language from foundational questions or propositions. First they will do that. First.

    So, NARUC…clearly not serious, not on the level.

    • I agree, first of all where is the Anthropogenic on the front?
      Also where is the Catastrophic on the front?
      Second what time period?
      There should not be a single person of any education that does not believe in the term “Global Warming” (or Climate Change for that matter) as if there wasn’t any the world would still be deep in an Ice age.

      Definitely a trick question.

      • And it’s surprising how stubborn they are in wanting to hijack a common English term to mean whatever they want it to mean. Pick them up on this deliberate laxity and you are deemed petty. Buy into their trickiness and it’s: “How may we help you better understand this phenomenon you say you accept?” Gotcha. Or “So you actually think the world hasn’t warmed at all?” Gotcha.

        It’s a bit like muddling “clean air” with CO2 reduction. We’re all for clean air, right? We all hate pollution, right? And someone somewhere has decided CO2 is a pollutant. Therefore…

        Really, I’d rather take up mud wrestling with eels.

  9. With respect to the Mullah Nasrudin story about a drunk, a lost key and a street light, the idea that many of Sufi stories have multiple meanings is suggested by another story about a boatman –i.e.,

    The Mullah was earning his living by running a ferry across a lake. He was taking a pompous scholar to the other side. When asked if he had read Plato’s Republic, the Mullah replied, “Sir, I am a simple boatman. What would I do with Plato?” The scholar replied, “In that case half of your life has been wasted.” The Mullah kept quite for a while and then said, “Sir, do you know how to swim.” “Of course not,” replied the professor, “I am a scholar. What would I do with swimming.” The Mullah replied, “In that case, all of your life’s been wasted. We’re sinking.”

    In the story about the drunk, perhaps we only see what we shine a light on. But perhaps the story also shines a light on the limits of practicality. Additionally, there is a question as to whether knowledge leads to wisdom.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Wagathon: With respect to the Mullah Nasrudin story about a drunk, a lost key and a street light,

      The problem with the metaphor in this debate is the implication that we are looking for something that we used to have that has been lost. Instead we are looking beyond the limits of what we have been able to illuminate so far.

    • Looking for the keys of someone else’s car to steal?
      (= excuses for more taxes )

    • Wagathon,

      Agreed, they’re all thoughts for meditating. What if Certainty was what we had? Even when we shine a light under the street light, we can still only see dirt. Once you let that chink of light /doubt into your mind, life gets so much more difficult. In some cases, very dangerous. e.g. you’re in a war zone, maybe that shadow’s the enemy etc etc.

      • Sure, we see what we shine a light on; but, these stories also shine a light on the limits of human nature. Perhaps we’re missing a lot in life because we do not actually know what we’re looking for and fail to fully appreciate the beauty that is right if front of our eyes.

    • Wagathon

      “Additionally, there is a question as to whether knowledge leads to wisdom.”

      That sounds like an interesting topic. There may be too many examples of knowledgeable people who are not wise; too many to conclude that knowledge leads to wisdom.

      My guess is that knowledge is a necessary but not sufficient ingredient to wisdom. I can think of two others; humbleness and the ability to communicate complex thoughts with the simplest of words. Many poets and fiction writers might be considered as wise men. As were many religious leaders.

      Richard

      • ” I can think of two others; humbleness and the ability to communicate complex thoughts with the simplest of words.”

        And, honesty (trustworthy) –e.g., having behaviors exhibiting truthfulness, a sense of honor, integrity and moral courage.

      • Wagathon

        Agree. Looks like the introduction to my US Army Basic Leadership Training Course.

  10. Good presentation.

    You said –

    “Scientists agree that –

    Surface temperatures have increased since 1880
    Humans are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere
    Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the planet . . . ”

    However, I wonder about the consensus definition of ” Surface temperature.”

    A quote from the NASA website –

    “Land surface temperature is how hot the “surface” of the Earth would feel to the touch in a particular location. From a satellite’s point of view, the “surface” is whatever it sees when it looks through the atmosphere to the ground. It could be snow and ice, the grass on a lawn, the roof of a building, or the leaves in the canopy of a forest. Thus, land surface temperature is not the same as the air temperature that is included in the daily weather report.”

    You see, even NASA points out that the surface temperature beloved of climatologists is not the surface temperature at all. Trying to splice the historical near surface – usually – temperature data, and the probably more accurate remotely sensed recent data, is akin to Mike’s Nature trick.

    It is likely that measured air temperatures have increased since 1880, due to increased heat released continually into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels, which heats the atmosphere, and also the thermometers that measure the temperature of the atmosphere. Multiply the global population in 1880 by a factor of 5 or so, and factor in increased energy consumption per capita over the last 130 years or so, and it appears logical that a thermometer network will, indeed, show an increase in the temperature of the atmosphere over this period.

    How could it not?

    As to greenhouse gases warming the planet, one might as well claim that perturbations in the luminiferous aether warm the planet. Nobody has ever warmed anything at all by surrounding it with CO2. In fact, experiments designed to show a GHE, invariably show that the effect has vanished. Must an effect that only shows itself in the absence of unbelievers. Maybe it depends on paranormal physics, rather than normal physics.

    Finally, facts trump scientific agreement every time. Is there even such a thing as climate science? Can playing with demonstrably toy like models be considered in the same league as the intellectual achievements of someone like Richard Feynman?

    Try to pin a climate scientist down, and ask what the climate of, say, California, is, in a scientific sense. He will very quickly discover he has to leave to attend to a very important research grant funding matter!

    I thank you, Professor Curry, for pointing out some of the silly assumptions used by the consensus to prop up the charade. Keep it up!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  11. Casola’s Q4 and Q5 slides, with no response by Judith, seem to indicate that he has some sensible objections to skeptical talking points. Q4 indicates that during the “pause” the ocean heat content continues to rise, and also not to lose sight of the big temperature trend picture when looking at short-period trends (nice illustrations). Q5 is about accelerating sea-level rise, and accelerating contributions from Greenland and Antarctica (another nice illustration).

    • Jim D,

      Which slides are you referring to? I can’t find Casola’s Q4 and Q5 slides.

      Just as a matter of interest, his initial slide supposedly explaining the GHE is nonsensical, requiring the use of paranormal physics. He states that GHG’s absorb and re emit radiation back to the surface – which of course they do – but he forgets to mention that when the surface emits the radiation in the first place, its temperature drops.

      This is real physics, as opposed to paranormal physics, which allows a surface to emit radiation without a concomitant drop in temperature. Paranormal physics also allows bodies to heat up by absorbing excessive radiation from cooler bodies, allows bodies to keep absorbing heat until they reach immense temperatures – and so on.

      The oceans’ heat content may well rise, depending on the number, extent, and heat output of thermal vents on the sea floor. Of course, this will result in an increase of temperature of the oceans, if the energy from the thermal vents takes a finite time to be eventually radiated from the water to the cold sink of outer space.

      As Professor Curry has pointed out, using rising sea levels as a measure of supposed global warming is just silly. One might as well infer rising sea levels from a ship settling into the water as it loads cargo. Once again, paranormal physics is used to confuse the issue in the pursuit of making the impossible appear real.

      No global warming due to CO2. None. Not a jot, iota, or smidgen. Zero.

      Of course, if you can actually introduce a fact to support the mad GHE theory, which cannot be explained by the application of normal physics, I will smartly change my mind!

      Obviously, I’m reasonably sure you can’t, but go ahead – just don’t be too unhappy if you are unable to find experimental verification of the GHE.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • Sections Question 4 and Question 5. These slides are fundamental pieces of additional information that help with the larger context. Skeptics tend to focus in on little parts and forget the big picture. The slides are labeled C2ES which is Casola’s affiliation, so I assume they are his.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Skeptics tend to focus in on little parts and forget the big picture.

        Focus on details is to ascertain whether the “big picture” has been painted from “artistic license”.

      • Jim D,

        The biggest picture is that the surface of the Earth was molten, and has since cooled, in spite of the composition of the atmosphere.

        You may cherry pick all you like, and dismiss or ignore definitions and the scientific method to your heart’s content. The facts don’t change. Global warming due to the GHE is purely preposterous.

        Well intentioned nonsense is still nonsense. Fervent belief unsupported by fact is still just belief. It means nothing. Believe all you want, if it brings contentment. I hope you won’t get upset if I decline to participate in the AGW fantasy.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • Jim D,

      gee I wish you guys would come off that “ocean heat content” thingy. The CO2 contribution to that is measured in thousandths of a degree at best. Natural fluctuations are in the range of tenths of a degree. Factor 100.

      The “big picture” is the amount of sunlight reaching surface of the tropical oceans, (which depends on solar intensity and cloud cover), evaporation, condensation, and circulation patterns.

      Does ACO2 warm the oceans? Sure it does. About as much as peeing into Niagara Falls warms Lake Ontario.

    • Q4 indicates that during the “pause” the ocean heat content continues to rise

      This would be the ocean heat content for which our data is scanty at best.

      • @ Muon

        “This would be the ocean heat content for which our data is scanty at best.”

        This would be the ocean heat content for which the anomaly is shown graphically in units of heat that REQUIRES that we know, and can track and assign on an annual basis, the average temperature of the worlds oceans with milli-degree resolution and less than a milli-degree standard deviation. And, based on the ocean heat content anomaly charts, have HAD that capability since at least the 1950’s.

        Some folks may believe that we have that capability; I’m not one of them.

    • The rise of the ocean heat content during the so-called pause is an inconvenient measurement to the skeptics who wish it had paused too. They need to embrace the facts and see where it leads them.

  12. “However, when a scientific issue becomes politicized, and scientists attempt to speak consensus to power, then a scientific discussion of uncertainties is regarded as an undesirable political act.”

    I have to say it again. CAGW is not about anyone speaking anything TO power. It is all about the government funded scientific and NGO communities speaking FOR power.

    This formulation shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the real problem. It is not that the climate debate is politicized in some general sense in which it is simply a matter of some intellectual feud between the consensus and skeptics.

    It is about Big Climate. The confluence of interest among government and those who benefit from expanded government, scientists, NGOs, crony capitalists, etc., joining to push a common political message, dressed up as science.

    CAGW is a political message, delivered by politicized scientists, on behalf of politicians, to achieve a political end. And don’t expect those in the utility regulatory area of government to be any more open to dissent than the rest of the green blob.

  13. Yours was a really first-class exposition,and I will deal with it on my website, alerting all readers to the original. I can’t properly summarise it in a thousand words!

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  15. Matthew R Marler

    That looks like a pretty good interchange.

  16. This is interesting. Perhaps the catastrophic climate warnings were necessary in order to push the agenda for crisis managment forward. A bit like over-shooting and under-shooting when solving differential equations. Although I cringe when I hear polticians state with such certainty that climate change is real, the effect is to persuade people to start paying attention. I see that the involvement of the NARUC as a positive step.
    Rose

    • “Perhaps the catastrophic climate warnings were necessary in order to push the agenda for crisis management forward.” Rose, I can’t accept that. If you have a case, make it, don’t pretend that you have a far stronger case. The outcome here has been massive waste of resources for no benefit, a huge diversion of energy from useful activities which actually enhance well-being.

      • No, I’m that way about white elephants.

        I scream too loudly about unused desal plants, sinking wave generators, Geothermia which never was, pea-shooter renewables which cost billions and do little, deliberate neglect of coal infrastructure (which we will continue to rely on) while we assemble toy projects, carbon monies sent off to the villains we neglected to lock up after ’08…all that sort of thing. I keep shrilling about how white elephants are coming to squash your economy. I need to scare you.

        I feel if I scream loudly enough it will stop people like NARUC buying into gigantic white elephant breeding programs. Who knows? They might even go back to doing their job of regulating things which actually work. (Pace purist libertarians, but potent technologies always needs regulating. Because they’re potent, duh.)

        In short, I’m pushing forward my agenda of white elephant prevention. Wait a minute…

        All those white elephants are real! They’re in the crops right at this moment!

  17. Models can only replicate 20th century warming when greenhouse gases are included

    In spite of 32 free parameters? With 32 free parameters it could be proved to have been caused by polar bears.

  18. The ‘Billing’ in the form of a question is interesting for what it implies: “You’re still not sure global warming is real?”
    I take it that is directed at the panel and implies they are collectively not sure. It would seem to me that they either don’t know there is a scientific consensus or choose to ignore it. I would have to believe they are aware of the consensus and don’t consider that to be evidence of anything. Since they are in an important position of public policy with a lot of politcal pressure, it seems they have taken a very conservative approach. I wonder how long that will last and what kind of pressure they are under?

    • I should have pointed out that the first two sentences directed at the panel seems to confirm what I pointed out.

  19. Dr. Strangelove

    “The recent IPCC AR5 concluded: It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by [humans]. The best estimate of the human induced contribution is similar to the observed warming over this period.”

    Talk about science fiction. To remove UHI warming bias on land, which may be as high as 0.7 C since 1960, look at ocean temperature data (HADSST2) The warming in 1910-1940 is equal to the warming in 1970-2000. In fact the 1951-2010 warming trend is less than the 1910-1940 trend.

    Let’s look at the lower troposphere where the greenhouse effect is supposedly happening. Cooling trend of 0.12 C per decade in 1958-1979 according radiosonde data (HADAT2). No warming trend in 1979-1997 according to satellite data (GISS). Super El Nino in 1998. The world warmed by 0.4 C in 1998. Then back to no warming trend in 1998-2014. Where’s the greenhouse warming?

    According to IPCC AR4 the radiative forcing (including uncertainty) of CO2 since 1750 is 1.83 W/m^2 while aerosol is -2.7 W/m^2. They should say the aerosols may have cancelled the greenhouse warming effect of CO2.

    • You forgot to mention that half of the 0.7C from 1960 ie 0.35 comes from TOBS adjustments, as presented by Zeke & Mosher the other day.

      So at least half of it is “Man Made”.

    • Dr. Strangelove

      Correction: the satellite data are from RSS not GISS

      Even using land surface air temperature (CRUTEM3) the warming in 1910-1940 (0.2 C/decade) is higher than warming in 1951-2010 (0.17 C/decade) or perhaps equal given regression error

    • Dr. Strangelove,

      They did (53% of it): Half of warming to date masked by aerosols… IPCC 2013 Summary for Policy Makers (SPM), page 13, C. Drivers of Climate Change, bullet 7. Up to (-)1.9 Wm(-2) masked by aerosols out of 2.29 Wm(-2) (bullet 1) = 57%. http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

  20. In Casola’s presentation slide 11, there’s the famous picture of pteropod shells dissolving in acidic waters. Neither of the two links appears to lead to the actual paper so I was unable to verify, but what I have heard about particularly this experiment, the water acidity was adjusted using hydrochloric acid which is not how conditions are projected to change under influence of increased CO2 concentrations.
    Looking for references to the topic I found this recent paper:
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0105884
    and it does not appear nearly as conclusive as the presented photos are suggesting. I was also surprised by amount of related research the paper is referring to, there are many much more recent experiments than the 2007 experiment from which the photo comes.
    And that’s all still assuming pteropods will not undergo any evolution in changing environment.

  21. Judith

    The Met Office used to believe the climate was flat for the last 1000 years and until two years ago had a bold statement on their website asserting this. It has now been removed and I understand I may have had something to do with that.

    Phil Jones remarked on the unexpected amount of natural variability in his 2006 paper. Borehole reconstructions show temperatures rising since the 1600’s. CET shows this as well. The Hockey stick shows a gentle decline however..

    All of these can be put into context with my reconstruction of glacier movements over the last 1000 years taken from thousands of observations referenced from E Roy Ladurie and supplemented by research from modern researchers such as Pfister.

    It represents NH glacier movements. It can not show all the nuances such as that from a year or a decade of warmth or cold that might result in some changes, but it does give an overall generalisation.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/i9qkeglbck7h2fc/revised%20glaciers.docx?dl=0

    The second graphic on this link shows CET AND the Hockey stick. The CET appears to have some sort of correlation with glacier changes. The Hockey stick continues flat whilst glaciers advance and recede.

    The Hockey stick view of the past-still prevalent in some circles- is surely refuted by the Met Offices and Phil Jones realisation that natural variability is greater than thought.

    It appears to be the overwhelming driver of climate, as within this record its been as warm as today with well documented heat waves in the 16th and 17th century and its been much colder than today.

    . It would be good to ascertain WHY the climate varies so much and WHY its been warming for the last 350 years, but we seem to have become fixated on the last couple of decades and can only see one culprit.

    Its difficult to see too much room for a huge anthropogenic effect
    tonyb.

  22. was Gina McCarthy in attendance?

  23. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry’s serious [but notably one-sided] questions:

    • Are climate models too sensitive insensitive to carbon dioxide?
    • Is modeled treatment of natural climate variability type II errors inadequate?
    • Are model projections of 21st century warming too high low?

    Judith Curry, it is concerning that your analyses consistently depict “the Uncertainty Monster” as having only *ONE* head … when there is abundant strong evidence that the Uncertainty Monster has *TWO* heads … and the “HOT HEAD” has a savage bite.

    The world wonders … where’s the *HOT* monstrous head?

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    • AFOMD,

      You ask, [stupidly], where’s the hot monstrous head?

      Obviously, it’s in your trousers, and you have been playing with it far too frequently!

      That is, of course, a joke. Rather similar to most of your bizarre insertions, and reversals of reality. Oh well, your purpose in life is clear.

      Jokes need a butt, and you are obviously mine.

      Excellent. Keep it up!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Fan

      There is a missing beast called the ‘I just don’t know the answer to that monster’. Its the biggest in the family and a half brother to its small and mealy mouthed relative the Uncertainty monster.

      It is surprisingly reticent however and isn’t very often seen in its natural habitat of academia. It is said to hide when research grants are being discussed.

      tonyb

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      TonyB asserts [shockingly!] “There is a missing beast called the ‘I just don’t know the answer to that monster’.”

      TonyB, yours is the most rending criticism of Judith Curry’s views that has ever been pronounced: that those who willfully deny the Unvertainly Monster’s “Hot Head”, willingly espouse the Ignoramus et Ignorabimus

      It was David Hilbert who spoke in 1930 for the overwhelming majority of scientists and physicians in asserting the opposite:

      “We must not believe those, who today, with philosophical bearing and deliberative tone, prophesy the fall of culture and accept the ignorabimus.

      For us there is no ignorabimus, and in my opinion none whatever in natural science.

      In opposition to the foolish ignorabimus, our slogan shall be: Wir müssen wissen — wir werden wissen! (‘We must know — we will know!’)”

      Alas, in the 1930s the German people chose to ignore Hilbert’s science-respecting sage advice, and instead foolishly embraced a politically convenient and psychologically comforting ignorabimus … with dire consequences for the German nation and the entire world.

      Conclusion  Good on `yah, Joe Casola, for a survey that wisely spurned the climate-change ignoramus et ignorabimus! Boo on `yah, Judith Curry, for inexplicably, unscientifically, and unconscionably turning a blind eye to the Uncertainty Monster’s savagely hot head!

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      • Fan

        Could you provide one of your nice illustrations for the ‘I just don’t know the answer to that monster’?.”

        There are some-like at the Met office-who are aware of this beast, even though it is so elusive. I am sure you are not saying that the science is settled, because if its not, it follows the beast must exist. Its very very big.

        Perhaps its hiding at the Royal Society, whose motto until recently ‘Take nobody’s word as final’ surely nods to the existence of the beast?

        Come on Judith. We need a post on this ‘I just don’t know the answer to that monster’.” whilst conceding a snappier name would be useful in popularising it..

        Perhaps we could nickname this Beast ‘the Rumsfeld’ in honour of his perceptiveness in realising it co-existed with the uncertainty monster?

        “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Lol … TonyB, it’s far to say that 97++% of scientists rank David Hilbert (“wir werden wissen”) as among the very greatest mathematicians in all of history, while 97++% of military historians already rank Donald Rumsfeld (“unknown unknowns”) as among the very worst SecDef’s ever to blight a nation!

        Your comedy is appreciated, TonyB!

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    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: Perhaps you would like to take a stab at my conjecture.

      Assume for the sake of argument that the rate of heat loss due to evaporation will increase 5% per 1C increase in surface temp. Assume Stefan-Boltzmann law is reasonably accurate. Assume that DWLWIR increases 4 W/m^2 and that the temperature warms up. When it has warmed 0.5C, evapotranspiration heat loss will have increased by 2W/m^2, and radiative heat loss by about 2.8W/m^2 — implying that the DWLWIR increase of 4 W/m^2 can not raise the Earth surface temp by 0.5C. Obviously these are approximations (based on flow rates by Trenberth), but there is no justification for ignoring the change in the evapotranspirative heat loss rate.

      That 5% per 1C is within the range of estimates reported by O’Gorman et al “Energetic Constraints on Precipitation Under Climate Change”, 2011, Surveys in Geophysics, DOI 10.1007/s10712-011-9159-6, one of the papers recommended to me by Pat Cassen. The range is 2%-7%, with the lower estimates based on GCMs and the upper estimates from regressions of rainfalls vs temperatures in various regions of the Earth.

      Much of this has been published: Trenberth et al and Stephens et al energy flow diagrams; 288 K as base mean Earth temp; Earth surface as homogeneous and obeying appx Stephan-Boltzmann law; 4 W/m^2 as radiative effect at surface of doubling CO2 concentration. All I “added” was:

      2 + 2.8 = 4.8 > 4.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Matthew R Marler issues an invitation “Assume for the sake of argument that the rate of heat loss due to evaporation …”

        • “Heat” not being a conserved quantity, the initial assumption is imprecisely stated.

        • Substituting “energy loss” for “heat loss”, we are still left to grapple with global conservation of energy … in what sense is energy “lost”?

        Conclusion  The model’s postulates are sufficiently imprecise, and the ensuing analysis is sufficiently non-mathematical, as to render rational inference infeasible.

        Advice  (1)Embrace standard thermodynamical formalism and (2) seek coauthors Matthew R Marler!

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      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: • “Heat” not being a conserved quantity, the initial assumption is imprecisely stated.

        good catch. Substitute “heat transfer from the surface due to evapotranspiration”. “Heat” is the word to use because it is the latent heat, and “shows up” in the upper troposphere as heating.

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: seek coauthors Matthew R Marler!

        That is what I have been doing.

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: Judith Curry, it is concerning that your analyses consistently depict “the Uncertainty Monster” as having only *ONE* head … when there is abundant strong evidence that the Uncertainty Monster has *TWO* heads … and the “HOT HEAD” has a savage bite.

      Where is the “abundant” evidence that the hot head has a “savage bite”? Evidence (summarized by O’Gorman et al “Energetic Constraints on Precipitation Under Climate Change”, 2011, Surveys in Geophysics, DOI 10.1007/s10712-011-9159-6) is that warming since 1850 has produced a slight increase in rainfall (perhaps up to 7%. Other changes due to warming have been benign — at least since the Dust Bowl era, when America’s rainfall seems to have gone to China instead. Increased CO2 itself has increased the growth of all the vegetation that has been surveyed.

      • Matthew R Marler

        oops, should be: (perhaps up to 7%)

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Matthew R Marler wonders “Where is the evidence that the hot head [of the Uncertainty Monster] has a “savage bite”?”

        The climate-change “hot heads” of the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum and the Late Triassic Mass Extinction alike bit savagely!

        It is a pleasure to answer your question, Matthew R Marler!

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      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: The climate-change “hot heads” of the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum and the Late Triassic Mass Extinction alike bit savagely!

        that is a good comeback. Is that what has been predicted by the sound science of James Hansen? And was that principally caused by “heat” or by changing rainfall patterns?

  24. Judith
    I’m not a scientist, but one doesn’t have to be a scientist to know that an “hiatus” can only be identified, or differentiated from a halt, or in this case perhaps a decline, when seen in retrospect. We cannot know, in the present, if the current temperature stasis is an hiatus or not.
    Calling the current stasis an hiatus, implies an impending return to warming, (no doubt why the warmists chose to use this terminology) which on some time scale as yet unknown, would doubtless change to a cooling, even if further warming has not indeed already terminated.
    Time will tell, and ONLY time will tell. Certainly not Mr Pachauri and his colleagues.
    Bobski

  25. “my flight was cancelled owing to heavy snow”

    Oh, the irony….

  26. Dr Curry says, “Well, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 stated that surface temperature was expected to increase by 0.2C per decade in the early 21st century. This warming has clearly not been realized.”

    Since 2007, the warming may be on pace to be over 0.2C per decade. You clearly are wrong to be so certain Dr. Curry.

    • Eric,

      I may be wrong, but I assume you are of the Warmist persuasion.

      This would explain why you write –

      “Since 2007, the warming may be on pace to be over 0.2C per decade. You clearly are wrong to be so certain Dr. Curry.”

      Only a Warmist would acknowledge the future is uncertain, and then proceed to lambaste Professor Curry for pointing out a fact which has already occurred. The future has not yet occurred. You appear to be quite certain that the past can be changed, but that the future is fixed and known.

      Global warming seems to be noticeable by its absence at present. I cannot see into the future, and I would doubt your ability in this regard. You might consider a small wager if you sincerely believe you have the ability to perceive the future. I’m fairly confident that the finest climate scientist in the world can predict the climate no better than my four year old grandson, and most probably worse.

      May, might, possibly, are all weasel words, when used by Warmists. An honest scientist admits he is wrong, when faced with facts contrary to his elegant theory. Self styled climate scientists do not suffer from this perceived handicap, and merely keep repeating their nonsensical theories, regardless of contradictory facts. You might care to point me to some experimental verification of the GHE, if you know of any.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • Dr. Curry’s “fact” has not already occured. Decades have not passed since the 2007 report.

      • But several hemi semi demi decades.
        =====================

      • Decades have not passed since the 2007 report.

        Ya – the IPCC keeps resetting the forecast so that it’s not held to account.
        ( They learned what I did as a meteorologist: If you must forecast, forecast often ). Fortunately, we still have some of the old forecasts.

        Hansen testified to Congress in 1988 on the basis of now decades old model runs. Here’s what they look like:

        All trends less than Scenario C. Remember, Scenario C was the one in which CO2 emissions went to zero in 2000. Since emissions have continued since then, we can conclude that:
        doing nothing has been better than doing everything,
        at least as far as the model would put it.

    • Eric –
      Despite the shortness of the your suggested period, I “did the numbers”. From Jan 2007-Dec2014 inclusive, the OLS trends are, in K/decade:
      GISS: .098
      HadCRUT4: .094
      NCDC: .132

      Since Jan.2001 (the start of the the AR4 models’ forecast)
      GISS: .044
      HadCRUT4: .023
      NCDC: .030

      At the risk of pointing out the obvious, none of these numbers are as high as 0.2 K/decade.

    • “Since 2007, the warming may be on pace to be over 0.2C per decade.”

      Eric, go here:
      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/global

      And not the trend 2007-2014: 0.127C per decade.

      A brief period with noisy statistics, but still a trend that represents a deceleration of the longer term trend and less than AR4.

    • Eric,

      My apologies. You are correct. A decade has not passed since 2007.

      As the Earth cannot warm due to any amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, my wager is still on offer, if you care to avail yourself.

      Four and a half billion years of history shows that a large molten ball of rock in space has cooled. The interior is still molten, so it continues to cool, paranormal physics of the climatological variety notwithstanding.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  27. nottawa rafter

    I can understand why the audience was so attentive given how succinct your presentation was. When viewed in its totality, I don’t know how anyone could have left the meeting without a few more questions and a little more doubt than when they went in, if they thought the science was settled.

    Just a little doubt can go a long way.

  28. Judith,

    Is there any chance you could stitch together a single document consisting of your opening statement and your answers to the questions, with diagrams? It would be a very handy short reference for the sceptic-but-not-a-nutter position.

  29. daveandrews723

    My general takeaway from your very cogent remarks, Dr. Curry, is that the science of “man-made global warming” is not settled. Any logical person would have to agree with you on that. In my opinion that is a WIN for the “deniers” and a loss for the “warmists.” Let’s get the scientific community away from the politics and back to the science. Nothing good can come of the dogmatic, alarmist positions coming from so-called experts like Hansen, Mann, and Schmidt. They should not be referred to as scientists anymore, in my opinion, since they have closed their minds to the scientific method and the uncertainties of the “CO2 as climate driver” hypothesis. Anyone without an axe to grind can clearly see that there are dozens and dozens of uncertainties surrounding what influences th earth’s climate.

    • +1 daveandrews 7,2,3 on yr points 1, 2, 3 and 4 and more.

    • They are not the ones you should be worrying about, it is Obama, Holdren, Cameron, Clegg and just about every EU& UN Leader.
      They are dictating “Policy” based on the Concesus and the most outragous lies about the future.

      • And nowin the USA they are “going for” anybody who has made any contradictory remarks to Congress, including our Host.
        Macarthyism at it’s worst.

  30. Using paleoclimate proxies such as tree rings and ice cores, attempts have been made to reconstruct the hemispheric temperature record for the past 2000 years. Unfortunately, these proxies can’t resolve variations shorter than 50 years

    paleoclimate reconstructions for Antarctica are most certainly a problem in search of a question.

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n7/fig_tab/nclimate2235_F1.html

    As are the trends in the instrumental age for east Antarctica such as Vostok.

    http://www.aari.ru/resources/plot/plot.php?slope=0.0016454014633309082&inter=-55.71231458047595&h=250&w=400&d=vos/ttt.txt&m=12&mt=annual%20period&s=Vostok%20station%20(89606)&p=Surface%20air%20temperature%20(C)

    .

  31. I think this fits in with the politicization of climate. This Slashdot post links to articles that allege climate change played a part in the Black Plague. But it also implicates giant gerbils. The link between climate and gerbils isn’t made clear in any of the links I read. I’m wondering if the gerbils weren’t being imported from Asia as food? I’m thinking people back then wouldn’t keep giant gerbils as pets, but as noted there’s not a lot of explanation in the links.

    http://science.slashdot.org/story/15/02/24/2331234/giant-asian-gerbils-may-have-caused-the-black-death

  32. “Many news reports state that nearly 97% of climate scientists agree that manmade greenhouse gases are changing the world’s climate”

    Do the reports also mention that nearly 97% of climate scientists are employed by the state – an institution whose interests clearly lie in creating alarm over climate, thereby justifying expansion of the state in the form of more bureaucracies and taxes?

    No, didn’t think so.

  33. Gavin’s RC blog is currently discussing aspects of Dr. Willie Soon’s scientific and other probity regarding global warming.
    My comment is currently in moderation and may take some time either to approve or despatch it into waste bin.
    vukcevic says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. 25 Feb 2015 at 7:32 AM

    N. Hemisphere climate is under control of polar and sub-tropical jet-streams, whereby the long term zonal-merdional positioning of jet streams depends on the extent and strength of three primary cells (Pollar, Ferral and Hadley).
    Since the equatorial temperature changes little, it is the Arctic temperature which moves jet streams latitudinal location. It is true that the Arctic temperatures are not particularly accurate, but trend along the polar circle (where Pollar & Ferral cells meet) is an acceptable representation, in that respect it is correct that Dr. Schmidt draws attention to the Arctic temperatures.

    Strong correlation between the Arctic temperature anomaly and averaged strength of the geomagnetic field (R2>0.8) is not necessarily proof of causation, but it is stronger than what Dr. Soon proposes, on the other hand Dr. Schmidt (and a certain Dr. Svalgaard solar scientist – Stanford University) may wish to discredit it.
    A ‘little’ matter of mechanism
    Solar magnetic activity reaches the Earth’s poles in form of geomagnetic storms. NASA: “a two-hour average sub-storm releases total energy of five hundred thousand billion (5 x 10^14) Joules. That’s approximately equivalent to the energy of a magnitude 5.5 earthquake”
    This is in form of the electric current ionising upper layers of the atmosphere, whereby the atmospheric flow is affected by the strength of the magnetic field (Lorentz law). Assuming that the sun varies little over centuries, the Earth’s field (i.e. magnetospheres shielding) is not constant (currently loosing its strength); weaker the magnetic field, stronger the solar incursion, stronger the effect on the climate. The above can be clearly seen in the graph linked above.

  34. stevefitzpatrick

    Hi Judith,
    Interesting post; thanks.

    The graphic of global CO2 concentration got me thinking about an explanation. Seems to me the relatively high CO2 levels over tropical land are likely due to three significant factors:

    1) There are no significant CO2 sinks in the tropics; tropical oceans mainly outgas CO2 continuously due to thermohaline circulation, in spite of higher CO2 levels in the air. And tropical plants do not have a strong seasonal growth cycle…. closer to equilibrium uptake/release than elsewhere.

    2) Hadley circulation tends to somewhat isolate tropical air from air outside the tropics (not truly isolate, just slower equilibration).

    3) CO2 released over land from fossil fuels and land use shows up more clearly over tropical land than much larger releases outside the tropics (with much more fossil duel use!), since there is substantial net absorption by high latitude oceans and net plant sequestration due to higher CO2 and longer growing season. These tend to minimize the extra-tropical increase in CO2.

    • Ignorant question, is diffusion or convection more important for CO2 distribution?
      ============

      • Hmm, atmosphere or ocean, and elsewhere, all the little curlicues in the carbon cycles.
        =========

      • Eddie Turbulence

        Ignorant question, is diffusion or convection more important for CO2 distribution?

        Advection is a lot faster than diffusion ( the cold CO2 molecules that were over Siberia moved quickly to Florida to send the manatees looking for warmth ).

        But both processes tend toward CO2 being ‘well mixed’.

      • Thanks, how about CO2 stratifying in the ocean?
        ===========

      • Eddie Turbulence

        Solubility due to temperature is important for ocean concentration:

      • Eddie Turbulence

        As well as chemical and biological actions:

      • Thank you, ET. kim’s phoning home for instructions and another sack lunch.
        ==============

    • Remember the November distribution is opposite to the May distribution when the highest values are over the northern hemisphere. The earth has a large annual vegetation cycle of 6 ppm seen in these monthly graphs. It is therefore very misleading to just show November and infer general emissions from it.

  35. They are clueless and in denial when it comes to what governs the climatic system of the earth. Hint it is not a trace gas with a trace increase.

  36. The historical climatic record shows quite clearly that CO2 does not govern the climate of the earth while solar variability does when superimposed upon slower moving climatic cycles such as Milankovitch Cycles which have been heading the climate of the earth in a slow overall cooling gradual trend since the Holocene Optimum.

    The data shows this to the case which AGW enthusiast choose to ignore.

    I also believe that thresholds are out there and if not crossed ,although that force is having an impact on the climate it will often be lost to noise in the climate system.

    I also believe the impact of solar variability upon the climate at a given time with given solar variability will differ due to these items.

    Land /Ocean Arrangements

    Elevation Of Land

    Initial State Of The Climate- how close climate is to
    glacial/inter-glacial phase.

    Mean State Of Climate – temp. gradient equator to pole.

    Milankovitch Cycles -where earth in respect to this cycle.

    Random terrestrial/extra terrestrial events.

    Geo Magnetic Field Strength

    The sun will always have an impact but can vary due to the items I have mentioned which can enhance solar variability or oppose it.

    I am confident however, that the prolonged solar minimum is intact and the moment of truth is right around the corner. I fully expect a more definitive downward trend in global temperatures overall going forward from this point in time.
    I also predict AGW theory will be obsolete by 2020. Not that it isn’t already as far as I am concerned.

    I am watching those S.H. sea surface temperatures which have been showing a cooling trend as well as the N. Atlantic of late to name two areas of the globe that stand out.

    AMO -now in negative territory.

  37. Every one of those points can easily be refuted. The data testifies to this which AGW scientist refuse to accept.

    The big picture:
    1.Carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases make the planet warmer
    2.CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere
    3.The planet is warming
    4.Warming is best explained by humans’ emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases
    5.Future warming should be expected

    Warming is best explained by our emissions:
    ◾Magnitude and rate of warming is large (warmer than in last 400 years, at least; ice ages only +/- 5°C)
    ◾Spatial and vertical pattern of warming matches what greenhouse gases “should” do
    ◾Changes in other factors that drive climate (like the Sun) don’t explain warming
    ◾Models can only replicate 20th century warming when greenhouse gases are included

  38. The real picture is since the Holocene Optimum , Milankovich Cycles have been driving the climate of the earth in a gradual cooling trend while solar activity has also been in a slow decline with the exception of spikes in solar activity (most notable 1920-2005) which are superimposed on the slow gradual cooling climatic trend ,which have resulted in counter climatic trends (warming periods) since the Holocene Optimum.

    The data however, clearly shows that each successive warm period those being the Minoan, Roman, Medieval, and Modern Warm Period have not been as warm as the previous period. In addition the colder periods have been colder culminating with the recent Little Ice Age.

    This trend is still intact and will exert itself in a more forceful way going forward from this point in time..

  39. Eddie Turbulence

    Magnitude and rate of warming is large (warmer than in last 400 years, at least; ice ages only +/- 5°C)
    1. NCDC ( http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/global ):
    1975-present: 1.58C/century
    1910-1945: 1.50C/century
    1979-present: 1.47C/century

    Warming is not significantly greater than 1910-1945 which is majority ‘natural’

    2. Ice Age temperature variation is being misused in this reference.
    The glacials did NOT occur because global temperature varied.
    Global temperature varied because the ice ages occurred.
    The incoming global average solar was much the same throughout.
    The REGIONAL incoming solar was lower during the Arctic summer, allowing ice to accumulate. To be sure, after the ice age matured, there was reduced albedo in the Arctic, but global average temperature did not cause the ice ages.

    Further, the glacial/inter-glacial cycle is a great reminder that ALL SPECIES evolved with climate change! Evolution takes place over millions of years and it is in our genes ( and the genes of nearly all species ) to survive variations.
    Of course, most human evolution took place in Africa, so we’re probably somewhat more suited to a warmer climate to begin with.

    Spatial and vertical pattern of warming matches what greenhouse gases “should” do

    That’s a gross error.
    The hot spot and decrease in lapse rate have NOT occurred and in fact, the opposite has occurred ( LESS warming where the Hot Spot is supposed to be and an INCREASE in lapse rate ):

    The Arctic DOES indicate warming, which is consistent with models of CO2 forced warming. But we should remember from the Manabe 1980 paper that the mechanism of this warming is via reduced Arctic sea ice. Arctic sea ice ( as evidenced by the seasonal temperature pattern ) has evidently waned and waxed, presumably naturally (stadium waving?):


    How is one sure that 1975 to present Arctic warming is not a repeat of the same pattern?

    Changes in other factors that drive climate (like the Sun) don’t explain warming
    a.) What factors explain the cooling from 1880-1910?
    b.) What factors explain the warming from 1910-1945?
    c.) What factors explain the cooling from 1945-1975?
    CO2 may well be the majority cause of recent warming, but applying it because nothing else explains it, when nothing else really explains past multidecadal variation sounds anthropocentric to the explanation.

    Models can only replicate 20th century warming when greenhouse gases are included
    Like the drunk in the dark, focusing on what we assume we know, how about thinking about what we don’t? Like how albedo may have varied? or how well the parameterizations of convection actually capture the sub-grid scale which the models don’t include?

    These point by points come across as debate, not experiment,
    but I had to get these points of my chest.

    • Up to quite recently, we humans knew very little about the physical laws underlying our universe. Hundreds and thousands of years ago, my ancestors were dancing around a fire and sacrificing animals to ensure a good harvest, triumph in war, or freedom from pestilence. The rationale went, “We don’t understand, therefore God.”

      Eddie Turbulence, you have made what seems to me to be a very good point when you comment that “applying [CO2] because nothing else explains it” comes across more as anthropocentric superstition than logic.

  40. Some of the questions- Is extreme weather increasing? Answer is no according to the data..
    Is Sea Ice decreasing?- Antarctic Sea Ice is at record highs or near record highs and global sea ice is around average.
    Is the earth warming or cooling- depends on the start date, post 1998 there has been no further warming.

  41. Data supporting my analysis.

  42. More data supporting my contentions. I rest my case.

  43. Judy,
    Thanks so much for the information and fascinating blog.
    Scott

  44. Judith , is approaching this subject better then any well known climate scientist I have come across. I for one like her approach.
    I wish I could be so level headed.

  45. Judith Curry in the grubby arena of climate debate, the position you have taken is exceptionally honest. Although you do not always say what I would like you to say (!) I admire your total lack of rhetoric and determination to stick to the science.

  46. Judy,

    Congratulations on what sounds like an unusually (for the subject) rational debate. We could do with more of the type. There are two aspects that don’t often feature in these discussions:

    Firstly, that AGW hypothesis is not wholly driven by CO2 concentration. As I understand it, it relies on triggering a H2O-driven greenhouse thermal runaway. This begs the question of why there was no thermal runaway when CO2 concentrations reached about 3000ppm many times in the distant past.

    Secondly, I understand that satellite data showed a reduction in low level cloud cover during the 1980s and 1990s coincident with a reduced solar magnetic field. This would explain the warming and the subsequent pause.

    There is, of course a lot more detail in both of these issues and I don’t suggest that either is conclusive. However, they they do both seem very pertinent. The first is an issue that pro-AGW needs to answer and the second potentially provides an alternative theory that explains the evidence rather better than the ‘consensus’.

  47. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    Ken Trenberth tackles head-on the
    HOT-HEADED UNCERTAINTY MONSTER !!!

    Dog Days of Winter?
    Alaska’s Lack of Snow
    Forces Change in Iditarod

    A lack of snow in the Alaska community where the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race traditionally begins has forced organizers to move the starting line about 300 miles (480 kilometers) north, to Fairbanks, for the second time in the event’s 43-year history.

    Baked Alaska  This year’s poor snowfall fits with a trend of rising temperatures in Alaska, whose rate of warming was twice the national average in the past 50 years, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    During that time frame, the state’s temperatures have increased by an average of 3.4°F (1.8 °C). Winter warming has been even greater, rising by an average of 6.3°F (3.5°C).

    Kevin Trenberth, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said by email that “we always experience some regions with below normal temperatures and others above normal, as comes naturally from weather patterns.”

    “But on top of that is a global warming component. Under the right circumstances it can boost snows, as in New England, but in other circumstances, the snow melts and some precipitation even falls as rain.”

    This winter has hit New England particularly hard-six feet (1.8 meters) of snow has buried some areas of Boston, Massachusetts, for instance.

    “Perhaps,” Trenberth quipped, “they should move it [the Iterod race] to Boston?”

    Good on `yah, Ken Trenberth … for solid climate-science, graceful good humor, responsible public discourse, *AND* for showing Climate Etc readers how to tackle the “hot-headed uncertainty monster” head-on!

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

    • Interesting. Snowfall hasn’t been that low in Anchorage since 1986 and, of course 1958. Prime AGW years, right?
      The folks in Alaska blame ocean patterns. Who else says ocean patterns play a larger role than first thought? Why… it’s Judith Curry, right here in the post at the top of this comment thread.
      Good on you, fan, for supporting her work!
      http://www.adn.com/article/20150211/anchorage-snowfall-so-far-winter-2nd-lowest-record

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        • That weather fluctuates annually and locally, there is no rational ground to doubt.

        • That ocean-currents fluctuate decadally and hemispherically, there is no rational ground to doubt.

        • That anthropogenic CO2 warms secularly and (in its “hot head”) perhaps savagely, there is no rational ground to doubt.

        • That we should not dismiss these concerns ignorantly, no responsible citizens doubt.

        Thank you for helping to make these points, JeffN!

        \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}

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: That anthropogenic CO2 warms secularly and (in its “hot head”) perhaps savagely, there is no rational ground to doubt.

        If rainfall increases 2%-7% per 1C increase in global mean temp, will cloud cover also increase? .

    • Fan

      Periods of warm weather in the Far North? Unprecedented. Wait! It seems to have happened before

      “ this (growing warmth) is reflected in this intriguing reference from the records of the Canadian Horticulturist monthly of 1880 (page 7).

      “I do not know whether or not the climate of Ontario is really becoming permanently milder than formerly, but I do know that for the past 18 years or 20 years we have not experienced the same degree of cold as the seven years preceding.”

      http://www.archive.org/stream/canadianhorticu03stcauoft#page/6/mode/2up

      Or how about this for the mountain areas from the US Monthly weather review?

      ‘Feb 1888 . In the gulf states and Missouri valley, Rocky mountain and Pacific coast districts-except Southern California where the temperature was nearly normal-the month was decidedly warmer than the average, the excess over normal temperatures amounting to more than 4degrees f over the greater part of the area embraced by the districts named, and ranging from 6 to 10f in the northeast and central Rocky mountains region, Helena mountain being 11f above normal.’

      tonyb

    • FOMD,

      Regional? Thought we were talking “global”. Check for the snow in Boston, might be ripe for a dog sled run.

  48. tonyb,
    who are you going to believe, historical records or the models?
    Scott

    • Scott

      Its funny how alarmists always bring in screeds about tobacco as if that is some sort of refutation of centuries old historical data.

      In answer to your question, obviously, being a citizen scientist, I go with models every time.

      You cant trust the thousands of lying farmers, priests and officials making wild claims about the weather they experienced every day. Because of course, accurately recording weather didn’t matter at all to agricultural communities. Its not as if crop failures would be any sort of problem hundreds of years ago. They would just order their food online from Walmart.

      tonyb

  49. “Oceans suggest that the ‘pause’ will continue at least another decade, perhaps into the 2030’s”

    With a 69yr AMO signal, the global mean surface T would be lowering in the mid 2030’s, and reach its next lowest point in the mid 2040’s.

  50. Hilarity is:

    97% of climate “scientists” unable to convince 3% of the public that climate change is a problem more important than people having lack of respect for each other. I schit you not. It’s right here in a recent Gallup poll asking what’s the biggest problem facing the world today:

    :

    • Where’s climate change? Why hasn’t it been mentioned at all? All that press, all that money, all that consensus science, and yet this topic remains oblivious in the minds of this sample group!

  51. Planning Engineer

    Judith – thank you so much for addressing NARUC. Those who want to do the right thing need some credible backing from someone like you. I missed this earlier as sometimes China lets me see Climate ETC and sometimes not. Traveling the cold north west By train I’ve seen at least a thousand coal plants, maybe 25 rooftop solar panels, and one small wind farm.

  52. Planning Engineer

    Peter and Judith – yes. Acting smarter and/or benefiting from central planning – they are putting solar in where it makes more sense and wisely avoiding applications with poor payback.

    • In the sunny south, solar panels might produce electricity about 20% of the time, vs. 10% of the time in Germany (for example). This does not mean that solar makes sense in the south, or that it is cheap, or useful. The solar panels can never become an important source of energy as long as they produce so little energy and need always 100% backup…

      • Planning Engineer

        Jacobress – I agree completely, but note that there are smarter and dumber ways to go about doing things that don’t make sense. Putting lots in Germany is a dumb approach to a bad idea. Forgoing north China and focusing on south China is a smarter approach to the bad idea. (Saying anything that could be interpreted as critical of China while in China, knowing they monitor the Internet, is pretty dumb as well.)

  53. The above chart is an excellent representation of showing CO2 concentrations do not correlate to the climate.

  54. Why is the climate change problem “wicked” ??
    It is wicked only if you believe that a catastrophic outcome is probable. In this case 1. we can’t disprove the catastrophe, 2.we can’t prevent it – so it is a wicked situation.

    On the other hand: if you don’t believe in catastrophe – and there is no good reason to believe – then there is nothing wicked about climate change. True: we don’t fully understand or control climate – but – so what? We don’t understand everything – we have limitations, but there is nothing wicked about it.

  55. I think Juliua’s attempt to bridge the scientific gap on climate was very good and very fair’. However the gap is still there and will persist until it is accepted that climate is an on/off phenomena, not a continuous process at least in the 20th century. See my theoretical model underlined above.

  56. This link did not work for me (asked for a log in):Another take on the Panel is described in this Climatewire post.

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  61. I do like the irony of how Judith couldn’t attend due to her plane not being able to take off due snow and was cancelled. It sure does seem that cold snowing conditions is worse for people due to the hazards it causes and yet the alarmists are against a warmer world where more people live in a tropical climate than a tundra climate, which makes a mockery of the alarmist view of catastrophic global warming when warming is better for everyone overall.

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