Week in review

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.


Very good article on the forthcoming Paris climate talks [link]

EPA Chief Gina McCarth races to finish landmark climate rules  [link]

EPA Chief Gina McCarthy Can’t Answer Basic Climate Questions  at Senate Hearing  [link] [video]

Ag secretary: “I wake up every morning, I say my prayers and I’m thankful I’m not the EPA administrator”  [link]


What #China must do to fix its #airpollution problem  [link]

President Obama visits @georgiatech Tuesday. [link]

U.S. Presidential candidate Jeb Bush in the Wilderness – an Everglades saga  [link]


Excellent article in Foreign Affairs on efforts to tackle energy poverty:  [link]

How much does the US spend on energy research? Not a lot.  [link]

Big first for China – energy intensity cuts now with major development goals. Low carbon growth. Massive scale.  [link]

Nature Climate Change: “Coming Clean: Renewable energy companies need to disclose their heavy reliance on mining.”   [link]

Myth-busting, inspirational review of Energiewende: Addressing the myths of Germany’s energy transition   [link]

“Peak coal in China? Not so fast”, warns @carboncounter [link]

Science and research

El Niño is here, but is unlikely to have a big global impact [link]

Given all models wrong, we hope new model is more useful than predecessors & value add exceeds devel cost  [link]

“Nearly all climate-conflict work is problematic right now, even in peer review”   [link]

“Physicists find link between Sun and #ElNino cycles ”  [link]

“IPCC sea-level rise scenarios not fit for purpose for high-risk coastal areas”  [link]

Resilience in the age of complexity  [link]

Psychology Journal Bans Significance Testing  [link]

Climate Wars

.@merchantsdoubt — touted as the new must see documentary about climate denial and the fossil fuel spin machine  [link]

NRO review:  Merchants of Smear [link]

In reviewing Merchants of Doubt, LAWeekly calls Marc Morano “a magnificent antihero” — wish the enviros had someone comparable, but they don’t   [link]

Lindzen in the WSJ: The political assault on climate skeptics [link]

Strong statement from Nature about Rep. Grijvala’s “fishing expedition” [link]

Huffington Post now goes after the American Meteorological Society. “Scientific Society Objects to Investigation of Its Anti-Science Members” [link]

Targeted by crusading Congressman, Pielke speaks out on conflicts, climate, and controversy [link]

Climatologist Lennart Bengtsson Calls Out Spiegel On Climate Gloom: “Wrong…Hopelessly Naïve…”   [link]

Physics Today traces science war to Nature’s 2010 call for taking on tactics of a “street fight” [link]

.@RichardTol: “in the last five years, we have become less pessimistic about the impacts of climate change” [link]

If you have been riveted by Pachauri’s romantic adventures, read this [link]





349 responses to “Week in review

  1. Typo: Value add exceeds devil cost, instead of devel cost.

  2. daveandrews723

    “The science is settled” will go down in history as one of the most ignorant comments among supposedly learned people.

  3. In October 2014 NOAA forecast the North East would experience above average winter temperatures. They did not just get this forecast wrong. They got it 100% wrong. The North East and Mid-Atlantic experienced some of the coldest winter temperatures on record. Should not NOAA be held to account for this terrible forecast? What does this failed forecast say about the value of ANY long range weather / climate forecast?

  4. “EPA Chief Gina McCarthy Can’t Answer Basic Climate Questions at Senate Hearing”

    Nor can Barak Obama who instead of taking the time and effort to get educated, has surrounded himself with loony climate zealots. Be funny if it weren’t so frightening.

    • I’d say rather than “can’t answer”, she didn’t want to answer. That would dilute the narrative. Climate is messy — a “wicked problem” — but it’s important to have a simple and straightforward “we have a problem / here’s the answer” presentation in order to garner public support. Even if it’s not accurate. There is no place for nuance in politics.

    • “Barak Obama who instead of taking the time and effort to get educated, has surrounded himself with loony…”

      …(start list of loony groups here)


    • PCR talks about executive branch dictatorship and the special interest groups that both political parties are now dependent on, after union busting and jobs offshoring. I found it a good read.



      This week I was invited to address an important conference of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Scholars from Russia and from around the world, Russian government officials, and the Russian people seek an answer as to why Washington destroyed during the past year the friendly relations between America and Russia…

      • Something to do with the Ukraine & murder of those opposing Putin?

      • Was that part of the reset?

      • May ‘flexibility’ after his second election meant whatever whimsy he or his advisers might delight in.

      • Good wsj article on how Greeks see themselves as victims and therefore not responsible for the economic mess they’ve created.

        Victimhood is part of Russian DNA. They have no problem seeing themselves as victims, even as they occupy another country.

    • Why should McCarthy or Obama waste their time learning about climate science? They don’t care. If someone woke up tomorrow and published an irrefutable proof that AGW has a virtually zero chance of being C, it would not change their policies one iota.

      CAGW is a political movement, the ‘science’ (with respect to the inflated claims of certainty and severity) is, and always has been, just PR.

  5. You didn’t spot my article proving that recent climate changes are likely natural?

    I find the CET data rejects the hypothesis of ‘climate change’ (>58%) & current ‘global warming’ (>72%) and that overall global temperature has not changed significantly more than would be expected.


    • Scottish Skeptic wrote: recent climate changes are likely natural?

      Yes, Climate does change and it is all natural.

      If you look at the Climate Cycles of the past ten thousand years, Climate is doing exactly what should be expected now. Climate has changed and it is changing again, just exactly the same way within normal tolerance.
      A roman warm period was followed by a cold period was followed by a Medieval Warm period was followed by Little Ice Age was followed by this Modern Warm Period. A little Ice Age will naturally follow this, after a few hundred years of the more snow that is falling now.

      The snow is falling NOW! This is what happens every time Earth gets WARM! After this more Snow, Earth will get cold again, it always does!

  6. “Myth-busting, inspirational review of Energiewende: Addressing the myths of Germany’s energy transition”
    This article is a pack of lies and propaganda.
    For eg.: “Germany produces 25% of energy from renewables” – true, but this includes hydro (built before the AGW scare) and boifuel (wood). These sources are exhausted and incapable of increasing. Wind and sun produce only 15% of energy. The fast increase of (theoretical) wind and solar capacity does not result in increase in wind-solar production. The sun produces only 10% of the time (capacity factor 10%), while wind produces some 15-25% of the time – depends on the year (if it was windy).
    Emissions have decreased from 1990 to 2000-2005 maybe due to closing of East Germany’s obsolete factories (nothing to do with energiewende). Since 2012 there is a steady annual increase in emissions, despite very massive addition of wind and solar “capacity” (this is theoretical capacity, the true capacity is, as mentioned, 10 to 15% of this).
    No matter how much solar and wind capacity you install – you can’t increas much their share of produced energy, and that energy, coming in bursts when it is least needed, is mostly exported at great loss.

    The energiewende in Germany is a “dirty failure” – a very expensive illusion.

  7. “Physicists find link between Sun and #ElNino cycles”

    The proposed solar forcing makes no sense as equatorial solar heating is strongest at the equinoxes, and the greater solar forcing would bias ESNO to La Nina and not El Nino. More likely is that El Nino peaks in December because of northern westerly atmospheric circulation moving south in the winter and inhibiting the trade winds, while the southern jet stream has moved poleward, possibly reducing cold upwelling off the west of south America.

  8. As I mentioned yesterday if you superimpose Milankovitch Cycles, Solar Variability, Earth Magnetic Field Strength,Land /Ocean Arrangements, Land Mean Elevation, Mean Temperature Gradient( Pole to Equator), Initial State Of The Climate (how far away from the glacial /inter-glacial threshold the climate is and or the Ice Dynamic ,which your stadium wave theory gives MUCH attention to ), and further incorporate all of this into your STADIUM THEORY, I think this line of thought is on the correct path in not only solving the climate puzzle, but being able to predict where the climate may be heading.

    This is indirect contrast to the IPCC theory on climate change or for that matter why the pause has been occurring, according to the various absurd explanations they have been putting forth.

    In addition, I suggest CO2 is in response to the climate , forestation , and biological processes, rather then the other way around. I have yet to see data that shows CO2 leading the temperature trend, which makes my case.

  9. I forgot for further refinement the phase of the PDO,AMO and ENSO along with Volcanic Activity must also be superimposed upon all of this.

  10. Ulric , El Nino events perhaps but with prolonged solar minimum conditions being constant lower overall sea surface temperatures on a global basis will be superimposed on those El Nino events. That was my point..

  11. Judy, You may already have this bbut I thought I’d mention it anyway. You said you had a hard time converting science symbols from Moncktons paper. Donald Knuth, the famous mathematician from Stanford, developed software that enables science symbols to be displayed. In fact Vaughan Pratt worked on an algorithm with him and Morris later on. You can get the software from TUG TeX Users Group:


    Here is a link to Vaughan Pratt that has a link to an explanation of the algorithm:


  12. Wasn’t it almost a hear ago that the American Physics Society sought input on their climate change position. Has that ever been resolved and will a position statement even be issued?

    • I expected something by now; I have heard nothing about this.

      • Why do I smell a rat? Hope I’m wrong, but how long should this take?

      • I think they forced Dr Steve Koonin out because he seemed too interested in the evidence. Too bad but should be expected. AGU seems to have the PC more in line with the 51% consensus.

      • Say, Judith – how’s that promised Salby post coming along?

        And was that post that was tangentially-related to that attribution discussion between you and Gavin going to suffice as a response to his detailed response to your post? Please don’t forget, “skeptics” get very, very upset because they think its extremely unfair when folks like Gavin won’t debate them. It would seem to me to be odd, accordingly, for you to not respond in-depth to his (at least mostly) good faith engagement with you.

      • Curious George

        They don’t want to be “called out” on http://www.barackobama.com.

      • It appears the politicians in the APS have thwarted an attempted coup by real scientists.

      • Or Koonin was not able to persuade anyone else with his own personal view that he wanted to be the new APS statement.

  13. If you look at the pics on the China pollution page linked above, you will see what real pollution looks like. We in the US don’t have significant air pollution.

    • Interesting that here in the state of the automobile – California – I haven’t seen real smog very often. Most recently I saw significant smog over a large agricultural area. We also have tremendous pollution in quasi-rural areas, like mine, due to wood stoves. It is very obvious, egregious even.

  14. Judith, I assume that Obama has sought a private audience with you. Will you agree? :-)

  15. Well it looks like McCarthy had a few problems with some simple climate questions, but don’t worry I’m sure she can get some answers from Pachauri. I believe she sees him at church every Sunday.

  16. What Denizens can learn from hipsters:

    The skinny jeans, the progressive politics, the Instagram photos: Hipsters, like goths and punk rockers before them, have become a cliché. And we’ve all become more like them as well.

    Now math has shown the reason why. A new mathematical model shows that our collective strivings for individuality end up accomplishing the opposite, even if we’re aiming toward different points of “weird.”

    It’s just math, says, Paul Smaldino in a paper just published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. Smaldino created a model of how human behavior adds up into collective conformity, precisely because we want to be individuals. Yet the takeaways contain a morsel of hope for how radical individuals can still change the broader society.


    • I’m not seeing that it’s a plus that radical individuals change society. But, given the inroads of rap, it appears that is unfortunately true.

    • Personally, I like tattoos as an example.

      I was traveling in Asia and the South Pacific when I first noticed their resurgence among young people, as an expression of individuality, and I felt a kind of expression of kinship with cultures that were being extinguished by the global export of monoculture. I’d see European backpack during their gap year, with tattoos, hanging out with Maori with tattoos. Or maybe with Fijians, passing around the Kava. Kind of made sense, in a way. And I tried to look past the aversion I had to the refrains of Hotel California serving as a kind of anthem.

      And now, it seems to me, that tattoos are much more a reflection of global exportation of monoculture. But at least, fortunately, it’s been a while since I’ve heard Hotel California.

      • John Carpenter

        Everybody seems to have a tattoo today. The individuality aspect of it is losing ground. The unique people will be the ones without. Ironic ain’t it?

      • > Ironic ain’t it?

        Hipsters are the masters of irony. Denizens should leave that mastery to them. However, I seem to recognize many Denizens over there:

        Source: http://dadsaretheoriginalhipster.tumblr.com/post/105274220683/your-dads-scars-are-trophies-from-kicking-lifes

      • John Carpenter

        Willard, great link, thanks for the laffs. BTW, wrt joshua, I still like to hear Hotel California every now and then.

      • When I was a little boy I showed my Grandmother some pictures of Africans in a National Geographic who were covered with tattoos. I’ll never forget this. She said, “White people will never do that.”

      • There are some professions that are not tolerant of tattoos. If you know what you want to do for the rest of your life, and in that field tattoos are ok, and you do want to do this, go for it. If you don’t know what you will want to do for the rest of your life, don’t get a tattoo that you can not cover up with the clothing you can wear in that profession. There are Houston Police Officers who must wear long sleeve shirts in the Houston Summer because they have tattoos on their arms. There are some really good people who do want to be a Houston Police Officer and they are disqualified because they have one or more tattoos that cannot be covered up.The choice is yours, but you must make it before you know that you may have made a mistake.

      • Josh,

        If you are not already, you should be on drugs.

        Do you have a clue on tattooing in US culture? Even my nephew who until recently was commanding a company of airborne infantry in Afghanistan wears tattoos. So your monoculture hypothesis is crap. Young folks are getting inked. If anything, there is a large degree of borrowing going on from other cultures, with Polynesian ones leading the way.

      • I lived near Camp Lejeune in the early 1970s, and there were tattoo parlors in the little town by the base. I don’t think I had ever seen one before. I asked Dad about it and he said they were there during WW2. Same with San Diego, Camp Pendleton, and Pearl Harbor. He said the corpsmen and surgeons discouraged it, but it was commonplace. He was in the Navy for 5 years and never got one.

      • Thanks for that photo, JCH. With a baseball cap, this would be sooo hipster!

        What is it you’re objecting to again, timg? I suggest you reread Joshua’s comment, if you have not already.

    • Steven Mosher

      if you want to be unique the best way is to copy someone.

      personally, i’m waiting for gats to come back in style

  17. It seems odd that even though nat gas prices have gone down, electricity prices continue to go up. We know coal prices are in the dumper, so increased coal prices aren’t the problem. Could it be due to green energy and more regulations? Hmmm …




  18. I think McCarthy’s answers reflected the state of climate knowledge very well, and the Senator was just putting out factoids with little context of the bigger picture or uncertainties associated with them. They covered a wide range of skeptical memes: droughts, hurricanes, models and warming, and McCarthy had a hard time putting the Senator straight on his facts, or just figuring out what he was talking about. She had the big-picture view and he had his talking points, and there was very little in common. Clearly an exasperating experience for her, as these things usually are.

    • Heh, the bedevilment was in the details.

    • Yep. EPA administrators don’t need to understand the science, just the politics.

    • The questioner always has the advantage in this type of exchange because he can bring up obscure factoids that have been dug up from somewhere, and then claim that the respondent has no answer to them. Generally McCarthy did well in guessing what general information he had distorted into his own factoids, but it really is a defensive position against unpredictable shots.

      • Yep, when you don’t really know much about the topic you make your best defensive guesses. When you don’t know much about the topic, every shot is unpredictable.

    • So you consider ground truth to be “obscure factoids?” Seems to me the head of the EPA should know the answers to those specific questions as they pertain to the alleged effects of global warming.

    • You and Josh are politically motivated.

    • For example, one of the Senator’s factoids, to counter the idea of increasing droughts, was that global soil moisture is increasing, which he claims came from the IPCC. McCarthy had never heard that one before, and neither have I. Is he counting thawing permafrost as increasing soil moisture, or what? Is this a new skeptic talking point, and/or was he misinterpreting something?

      • Jimd

        It’s a new one on me as well. But NASA are starting to collect data


        Soil moisture is a very tiny component so how relevant it all is I don’t know


      • Jim D: The Drought Alarmism is way out of bounds.

        This is simple stuff. When Earth is warmer, more water is exposed to the atmosphere because it is not covered with ice and there is more moisture for rain and snow. That does cause more soil moisture. This comes from all “real” Climate Scientists, no matter which side they are on. The alarmists say that some places will have more drought because weather patterns change, but none of them say there will be less rain and snow overall. When you can have lake effect snow and ocean effect snow because the water is not frozen there will be more rain and snow and more soil moisture. AGAIN, this is simple stuff.

      • Ulric Lyons

        In fact many regions that were wetter in the 1970’s with a cold AMO have dried since the mid 1990’s with the warmer AMO. The IPCC makes no reference to the effects of the AMO but does mention reduced rainfall from El Nino. Drier soils make a *considerable* difference to land temperatures.

        Modeled precipitation with increased greenhouse gasses for less summer rainfall are the right sign for maritime regions, but the reverse of continental interiors such as the U.S. great plains, where rainfall would increase with increased forcing of the climate (positive NAO).

      • Jim D. Can you list one of the problems the Senator asked about where there is statistically significant evidence consistently across studies that higher CO2 levels have made the problem significantly (at least 20%) worse based on historic data?

        If there aren’t any significantly worse I will settle for a problem that is provably aggravated.

      • PA, the Senator from Alabama is one of the people who won’t do anything until the climate disruption has started to be so obvious that even he can’t deny it, which would be, of course, too late. He prefers to talk about models, but doesn’t say anything about the fact that they have the 60-year trend correct which portends the kind of changes that the IPCC talks about in the future. He didn’t say anything about uncertainties in projecting sea-level rise rates. His is not a view consistent with informed planning for the future. At least he didn’t bring a snowball in.

      • Jim D. I understand that he was making a political point and is probably not at the forefront of environment advocacy.

        However, is there proof that CO2 is causing a significant problem in any of the areas he cited using historic data?

      • PA, I think that Gina McCarthy accurately reflected the IPCC view on the current status of climate change, and made no unsupported claims either. Everyone agreed that the climate is changing, at least.

      • That’s one of “those” claims.

        I’m part of the 97%. CO2 causes something around its nameplate forcing. The recent study seemed to indicate 2/3rds of the nameplate forcing but what the hey – aim high.

        I just can’t foresee a scenario where the forcing would be significant or cause enough harm to outweigh the badly needed benefits.

        For example, one of the Senator’s factoids, to counter the idea of increasing droughts, was that global soil moisture is increasing, which he claims came from the IPCC.
        As far as the projected changes in soil moisture WG1AR5 in general shows wet getting wetter and dry getting drier but has “low confidence”.

        WGIIAR5 says

        “Since 1950 the number of heavy precipitation events over land has likely increased in more regions than it has decreased.”

        “In many regions, historical droughts (last 1000
        years) and historical floods (last 500 years) have been more severe than
        those observed since 1900.


        The EPA chart for the US looks wetter in recent years.

        The world looks wetter. Since it has gotten wetter he will probably have a source somewhere stating this.

        I’m guessing that it will get wetter.

      • The increase in global average soil moisture, which presumably comes from a model that the Senator actually chose to believe, does not guarantee that droughts are not getting worse. He conflates these. People in the UK would agree that flooding is getting more frequent. Australia has had both extremes, as has the US. People in the Philippines may not agree that hurricane threats have decreased.

      • Jim D

        Lets just stipulate that on average CO2 is not making a significant difference. If the precipitation extremes were worse in the 400 years before 1900 and the precipitation trend if anything is increasing about the worst you can say is not much changed.

        Unless you can find a couple of solid studies that show CO2 is on balance causing harmful changes to precipitation based on historic data with a 120 PPM CO2 increase, the Senator won this point.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D :People in the UK would agree that flooding is getting more frequent. Australia has had both extremes, as has the US. People in the Philippines may not agree that hurricane threats have decreased.

        No amount of mere evidence can establish that threats are not getting worse. How many people in the Philippines know what the global trends in typhoon frequency and intensity are?

      • Jimd

        Is flooding becoming more frequent in the UK? Debatable but if so what is the reason?

        Has it got anything to do with a growing population many of whom want to live next to the water often in houses on the flood plain or on the coast where Victorian sea defences are not maintained?

        Or on places like the Somerset levels where rivers and ditches are not maintained or the rural population is allowed to flood in order to protect the new housing estates in the big towns upstream?

        It’s a complex situation wth little Evidence that man made climate change is to blame


      • Jimd

        You say Australia has had both extremes..

        If mosomoso was here I am sure he would be sighing at this point and say what’s new and cite numerous examples from history where both conditions were juxtaposed.

        This poem from around 1905 illustrates that drought and soaking rain are the norm in Australia not exceptional



      • tonyb, this was in response to the Senator’s attempt to counter droughts with soil moisture. Even if someone said that global soil moisture is increasing, which I don’t think is proven, that does not say droughts can’t get worse any more than that flooding can’t. The predictions say extremes get larger in both directions under future climate. The Senator was expecting this to have already happened, which is just his error in interpreting what the IPCC actually said. Same with hurricanes. If he wanted data for climate change he should have discussed the mean temperatures, or Arctic sea ice, or the major glaciers, or sea level, but he stayed away from those topics. Maybe the fact he didn’t discuss those can be counted as a retreat because those used to be topics they would talk about when they had doubts.

      • Yes UK precipitation has increased since the late 1990’s. Mostly associated with increased negative North Atlantic Oscillation conditions, and probably also the warm AMO.
        There is a near consensus amongst IPCC models for increased GHG forcing to increase positive NAO.

    • McCarthy’s answers reflected the state of climate religion very well.

    • The WashPo title for the Sen. Sessions video was rather different from Judith’s. “The GOP’s climate change skepticism, in one groan-worthy video”.

    • I say la la … la la la la la la.

      PS – you can pull you fingers out of your ears now Jim.

      • If Inhofe and his snowball was a 10 for the climate skeptics in Congress, where would you put Sessions on that scale?

      • I try not to pay too close attention to Congress. They tend to talk mostly to hear themselves talk.

        Sort of like Josh.

  19. Lol!

    So I typed in Judithcurry.com in the URL bar and saw the following in Judith’s twitter convo box:

    Global warming might be real, but the Democrat’s solutions are not

    And I thought that might be in interesting read…so I clicked through on the link. And then I read the following:

    The bottom line in the report is that taking into account the trajectory of global demand for energy, predicted population growth and our current energy mix, by 2035 we won’t be anywhere near where the global warming alarmists…”

    And I says to myself, “Self, this might be yet another input into the climate change discussion that’s much more about identity politics than it is about science or serious discussion of climate change-related policy development.”

    And then I read on:

    tell us we must be with regard to CO2 emissions. In other words, the gratuitously misguided, punitive efforts that liberals are taking today and that they have planned for the next couple of decades will do nothing to “stop global warming” and prevent the environmental near-apocalypse they are always railing about.


    Just more tribalism, identity-defense, and identity-aggression.

    sameolesameole, folks.

    • Just more inconvenient science from our hostess.

    • What, wait, so now they are not doing enough? Which is it, too much or not enough?

      • Why choose when you can have both? Kind of like how you can think that there’s no such thing as global mean temps and yet the increase in global mean temps as “paused.”

        Try to remember, logical coherence is not an obstacle.

    • John Carpenter

      So what would you have her say to make the point that unprecedented climate change hyperbole does not square with the way the world is going wrt to the need for more energy and the link to increasing human population? Maybe you dont like the words used, but is the idea wrong?

      • John Carpenter-

        Was that question for me about the tweet? I have no problem with the tweet in and of itself.

        My point was w.r.t the article (which is classify as dreck). Was that not clear?

        If you had to choose, would you say the article was about science, policy, or tribalism/identity politics? I’d go for the latter.

      • John Carpenter

        my bad Joshua, I should have vetted my comment better. Those are not Judys words, so I misunderstood. Carry on.

    • I think its great that you are so active across multiple blogs by skeptics – I can automatically discount all posts by the troll-bot known as Joshua.
      I did have a question though: are you paid to do this or is this a hobby?

      • C1ue –

        ==> ” are you paid to do this or is this a hobby?”

        Paid. And paid handsomely.

        I get triple bonuses any time someone asks me if i get paid. The question sums up the “skeptic” take on logical reasoning so perfectly.

        Steak dinner and a nice bottle of wine tonight because of your comment, my friend.


      • Joshua

        I expect that Big Wind pays me far more for my comments than Big Gaia pays you. So there. However, Big Gaia would not be pleased at you eating planet destroying steak.


      • TomJorgensen

        Hi Joshua, I’d be curious who pays your salary as a poster to skeptic websites. I know you argue it shouldn’t matter, but I’m wondering if you’re values match your funder’s and whether you would call out your funder if not. For example, if you are paid by Greenpeace, would you call them out for going after Soon for taking fossil fuel money? Or would you keep quiet to make sure the money keeps flowing? Just an example of how knowing about funding sources can be important. Will you tell us?

      • So you say you’re paid, and paid handsomely.
        Great! So now we all know you’re a liar as well as a blog-troll.

      • Joshua, if I am not mistaken you said once you worked for an super secret organization of wealthy elites known as the “The Green Syndicate.” Have I got that right?

    • Joshua

      The comments that seem to bother you so much appear to be factually correct. Is that what bother you the most?

    • Joshua | March 7, 2015 at 11:56 am | Reply

      So I typed in Judithcurry.com in the URL bar and saw the following in Judith’s twitter convo box:..

      Just more tribalism, identity-defense, and identity-aggression.
      sameolesameole, folks.


      Were any of the quotes you cited factually incorrect (ignoring the tribalism, identity-defense, and identity-aggression.)?

  20. The three first articles: by Fiona Harvey, Laura Lopez, and an editorial can be lumped into the category of: The Race To Paris of the Reluctant Participants. It seems to me that putting one’s best foot forward, in science, leadership, and organization would be a priority to get the desired outcome. With the UN member states relying upon the climate science of IPCC AR5, which conspicuously omits the reality of 15 years of observation, i.e. the “pause/ hiatus/ plateau”, proclaiming the past is prelude to the future seems a bit strange to me.

    President Obama’s skill at deal making and getting things done in the past and now into the future is evident to all political observers. The stability and integrity of IPCC could never be more visible than it is today. The character and credibility of the climate scientists themselves provides reassurance that the science is settled.

    What possibly could go wrong in Paris?

    What possibly could go right?

    The POTUS in his leadership role has delegated the implementation of the US’s commitments to carbon reduction to his EPA head Gina McCathy, who, as a former assistant EPA administrator will provide continuity to the implementation agreement. A fine example of a knowledgable and effective leader from a Governmental agency. Her frank and lucid responses to Senators in her request for 8+ Billion dollars to implement specific regulations are informative.

    The romance novel unfolding about the now resigned head of IPCC provides a reflection on his commitment to the religion of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Warming and the Nirvana that awaits the IPCC’s disciples.
    Billionaire financiers are fully behind the global efforts to acquire subsidies necessary for carbon credit offsets. Their investment skills are observed in the banking and venture capital funds who are benefiting from such subsidy acquisition strategies.

    All-in-all, I believe the scene is set for success in Paris: the right leadership at the right time. A science foundation without equal. And of course, the whole process is being viewed from the moral high ground.

    Read and weep.

  21. Dr. Judith Curry, I have a question on the stadium wave wheel.

    What does EIE stand for and WIND? Everything else I know. Thanks

  22. The Pembina article on the “success” of the Energiewende was a fantastic example of spin.
    Germany has the 2nd highest electricity prices in Europe – only behind Denmark. This is a direct result of the Energiewende – and incidentally, Denmark also has invested extremely heavily in alternative energy. Germany’s electricity price is nearly 3 times that of the US – and is over 4 times that of China.
    For a supposedly technologically superior economy and energy technology, this is a severely damning economic result.
    Not only was none of this mentioned – the only oblique reference was that Germany’s economy hasn’t been harmed by it (with no attribution), but the massive spending on the Energiewende was also avoided – the exact amount is disputed but no one disagrees that it is hundreds of billions of euro. Annual consumer additional fees paid for electricity produced via renewable energy is around 17 billion euro per year alone.

  23. The US only spends $5 billion on energy research…

    …if you only count Federal government expenditures and ignore corporate and private and state government spending on research.

    …and if you only count government spending specifically for “energy research,” and not spending that also includes research on energy sources and conservation.

    …and if you exclude military energy research.

    …and, apparently, if you exclude the actual Department of Energy itself, which spends about $10 billion a year.

    They also exclude spending and loan guarantees on “experimental” power plants (like the Mojave Solar Project), which would be included on the “research” side of the ledger in pretty much every other country in the world.

    • If the money spent on energy research only includes research that is is productive and throws out the research on Renewable Stuff that is wasteful, then much less than 5 billion is still spent on the productive research.

  24. I know what it is Eastern European Ice Shelf . EIE

    I wanted to make sure.

  25. John Vonderlin

    In reading the article on the German Energiewende I was surprised at the sloppy mischaracterization of the actual circumstances I believe are happening there based on having read more technical articles previously. Take this quote: “Renewable energy capacity has increased seven-fold since 1991 while GDP has grown 28 per cent over the same time.” Gee a 28% rise sounds pretty good to me. Oh wait, that’s over a 24 year period or about 1% a year, a truly pathetic number. In the United States we went from about 9.02 trillion real GDP to over 16 trillion in that timeframe, almost 3 times the German rate.
    There are numerous other instances of the author making bad seem good or distorting the facts to seem to make a tasty pie out of a steaming pile of moose turds. Be skeptical. Be very skeptical.

  26. Bill Brockman

    When our President speaks at my alma mater Tuesday, do you expect a shout out, Dr. Curry, for standing up in the face of intimidation?

    • Bill, I would imagine that he will address the issue of climate change, will be interesting to hear what he has to say. Not sure how this invitation materialized?

  27. Today I have studied the stadium wave theory in detail. My two cents worth is, this is 1000x superior to what the IPCC ,has to offer for the climate pause.

    I think it is a combination of this with other internal and external outside influences which I have talked about in many of my earlier post, on this thread.

  28. I thought this post that may have missed your eye by Tom Fuller was pretty good:


    The Klimate Konsensus is underhanded, goes for cheap shots and never admits error. They slime scientists on the other side. They insist that those in opposition are funded by fossil fuel interests. When that is shown not to be true, they change the argument and say opponents are using tactics and strategies stolen from the tobacco wars.

    • Yes. Thanks for linking that.

      How much poorer we’d ask be without yet another blog post full of name-calling.

      And so witty, what with those k’s and all. S

      uch a valuable contribution to the literature on climate change. The world will never be the same.

      • Strike a nerve there Joshie?

      • Are you suggesting Joshie stroke a nerve every time Denizens piled on against his comments, Mark?

      • Mark’s so dang insightful. He saw right through my bravado.

        In reality, I’m just devastated. A nervous wreck. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for all those k’s.

      • Tom fuller used to be on the warm side of Luke warmer now he’s more of a cool hand Luke on the subject. Is he following Judith on the scepticism route?


      • Willard, it’s not up to me to comment on what Joshie should or shouldn’t do in private.

      • I have noticed no change in Tom’s general quality or character of discourse w.r.t climate change in the couple of years that I’ve interacted with him.

      • I worried once
        His voice might still
        But all the rest
        Would fill the bill.

      • Did Tom F “jump the shark” when he set up a petition at WUWT to nominate JC to take Pachauri’s old job?

      • This witty piece is also a valuable contribution to the literature on climate change:


      • During prohibition trucks filled with booze would cross from Canada into the US along back roads would be stopped by rival mobsters who would say to the driver
        “Hi Jack”

      • If there is a nerve for predictably boring, then yes Willard, josh strikes it on a regular basis.

        If one has a dislike for dishonesty, then josh bats close to 1.000 as is possible for striking that nerve.

      • Joshua underlines underlines that Groundskeeper’s piece is based on labeling, timg. Considering the constant reprobation of labeling at Judy’s, especially the D word, this pegs the irony meter to 11.

        You got something against that or you’re only willing to play squirrels by whining about Joshua?

      • Willard the only wining I am doing involves the glass I’m sipping from.

        Josh is an annoying clown and if you want to rise to his defense, don’t point the finger at those who have to hold their nose.

      • Joshua, has it really been a couple of years that we’ve been interacting? Seems like so… much… longer….

    • The Klimate Konsensus Klan? Surely not another supremacist group?

  29. “All Models Are Wrong, but Some Are Useful” is well worth a read. As well as showing how modelling develops from a more mature discipline the analogy between earthquake and climate forecasting on a wider front is also worth more consideration.

  30. re “Sea-level rise scenarios and coastal risk management” Hinkel et al if you prefer to see your forecasting/projections done in a more robust statistical fashion (and to get useful commentary on some of the issues at play) “Statistical prediction of global sea level from global temperature” 10.5705/ss.2013.222w available from https://www.statmos.washington.edu/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sea-level-predictions.pdf will be more help.

    I’d have to add that not having read the Hinkel contribution (paywalled) I’d approach it with care if he is happy for PR to go out in his name suggesting the two-tailed probability derived from IPCC author assessments (“likely”) is an appropriate estimate of the higher sea level rise (one-tailed) actual probability of the event.

  31. Interesting to contemplate these three facts.
    1. The temperature rise rate in the last 30 years is twice the average rise rate in the 20th century.
    2. The sea-level rise rate in the last 30 years is twice the average rise rate in the 20th century.
    3. The CO2 rise rate in the last 30 years is twice the average rise rate in the 20th century.
    Just saying.

    • Jimd

      1. The current Temperature rate rise is less than that between 1690 and 1740

      2. The high level water stand of around 1600 then led to sea level fall during the coldest periods of the LIA which started rising again when glaciers started melting in around 1750
      3 co2 levels were presumably static

      Just pointing out


    • Jim D –
      More here: http://www.tylervigen.com/

      • Popesclimatetheory

        I am not alarmed in the slightest, but then again I like to view the present era in its historic context and not merely judged on the standards of the last century.


    • Note that none of the responses is a direct denial, mainly because these truths are self-evident. I would challenge a skeptic to start their Powerpoint presentation or op-ed piece or Congressional testimony with these three measured facts of the last 30 years and 20th century and dig themselves out. Normally they won’t mention any of this, just models and their behavior during the pause, but this is important background knowledge, and the public needs to hear it.

      • > Note that none of the responses is a direct denial, mainly because these truths are self-evident.

        Then would Denizens reject them as some kind of spurious correlation you’d be trying to bring on the table, Jim D?

      • Then why would &c.

      • Jimd

        Even more urgent is for the public to be able to view the modern era in a better historic context to past climates

        A century is a blink of the eye.

      • tonyb, things get very fuzzy as you go back beyond a century or two, and then you can argue equally in both directions, so it doesn’t help. Better to focus on what is known.

      • Those willfully myopic backwards are regretfully myopic forward.

      • Willard, that’s why I phrase it as take these facts. Discuss what it means. Vote on them in Congress, etc.

      • Jimd

        But then you lose context and perspective.

        If modern day climate is unusual in a historic context that is important information. if modern day climate is NOT unusual in a historic context that is even more important information


      • Poor old Jeff Dog, the dog what had four eyes.
        Two in front the ordinary way,
        Two in back reviewing his past way.
        Nothing surprised him
        Fooled or comprised him
        Til rabbits started and darted
        Fore and aft; Jeff Dog parted.

      • tonyb, there is a lot of context in paleoclimate over the last few hundred million years, but the skeptics don’t want to talk about that.

      • Jimd

        I don’t think jeff dog or anyone else can look back hundreds of millions of years with any certainty whatsover but he can look back several thousand years.

        Jeff dog for new chairman of the IPCC


      • Tony, all eyes in favor.

        The overriding lesson of paleontology is that the upper limits of the benefits of warming have never been tested, and the detriment of cooling vividly and consistently demonstrated.

      • tonyb, you seem to be selective when you ask for context. Paleo tells us that the last time we were at 700 ppm, there were no glaciers and sea level was 70 meters higher. It also tells us that the earth warmed up significantly in a couple of geological volcanic periods that added CO2 to the atmosphere in significant amounts, and there was gradual cooling as the CO2 was geologically sequestered in the last 50 million years. There is a lot of relevance there.

      • Tony B wrote:
        If modern day climate is unusual in a historic context that is important information. if modern day climate is NOT unusual in a historic context that is even more important information.

        The past ten thousand years has had bounds on temperature that were often 1 degree above and below the average and sometimes 2 degrees above and below the average, but never more than the 2. We are now 0.8 above the average and not rising. We have no historical reason to be alarmed at this time.

      • Jimd

        I think looking back hundreds of millions of Years is highly speculative looking back a few thousand years is more achievable.

        Did you see the link I posted for you on the new NASA satellite to measure soil moisture?


      • From a few hundred years of data we see the LIA and volcanoes where even subtle changes in forcing can have noticeable impacts on surface temperatures. It is a very sensitive system on that evidence, and we are knocking it with a big forcing hammer compared to anything in the last millennium.
        Yes, satellites are now measuring soil moisture and also glacial mass. These are going to be very interesting trends to monitor. The expectation is that dry areas get drier and moist areas get moister, and so theglobal mean change won’t be the most important metric for droughts.

      • Jim D, so take the same metrics and apply them to the 30 year period from 1940 to 1970. Let me know how that works out for you.

      • Jim D, are you referring to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum when you write this?:
        ” …the last time we were at 700 ppm, there were no glaciers and sea level was 70 meters higher.”

        During the PETM, it’s estimated the temperature rose 5 degrees in 20,000 years. That’s an average of 25 millidegrees per century. I’m pretty confident we would have plenty of time to take effective action if we discovered we were indeed causing the same sort of temperature rise now. I’m also pretty confident we would have begun our decent into the next glacial period long 20,000 years has passed. Also, isn’t there some evidence that the temperature rise during the PETM actually pre-dated the rise in CO2 by several thousand years?:
        Sluijs A. et al, “Environmental precursors to rapid light carbon injection at the Palaeocene/Eocene boundary”

      • willb, no, most of the Eocene was above 700 ppm, which was tens of millions of years. The PETM was a short extra blip in the warming. The Eocene finally ended with declining CO2 below 700 or maybe 600 ppm, and the first Antarctic glaciation.

      • steven, CO2 is now rising 4 times faster than it was from 1940-1970. What was your question? The temperature and sea level are also rising much faster than then.

      • maksimovich

        The rate of change of CO2 (the SH lag) to obtain unity with MLO,has increased in the SH mid latitude stations in the 21st from around 18 mths to 4 years.

      • Jim D, there is no question really. We both know you can’t say the same thing for the 3 data sets in other 30 year periods so now you are engaging in special pleading.

      • steven, this last 30-year period is the most extreme in terms of the forcing change rate. If any were going to show the effects of climate change, it would be this one. Maybe you don’t expect forcing increases of 0.4 W/m2 per decade to have noticeable effects on temperature and sea level, but most scientists do.

      • Jim D, like I said, special pleading. If you used the same 3 factors which are the only 3 you bothered to list, they should all match up between 1940 and 1970. Now you want to argue the amount. How would your argument go if this was 1970 and you were comparing 1940 to 1970 with 1910 to 1940? You’d probably come up with a few more features of the climate than you did for the last 30 years. Or perhaps you would insist that co2 cooled the world since that is where your logic would take us if we were using it in 1970.

      • steven, as I mentioned, these 30-year rates are special. They all exceed the 20th century averages by a factor of two. If other periods in history did this, those would be equally interesting. The more interesting thing about this one is that it is the last 30 years.

      • Jim, in 1970 the 1910-1940 trend was the only warming during the previous century. That makes it much more special.

      • steven, there was a cooling trend prior to 1910 too, so that warming was partially a recovery from a weaker to a stronger solar activity, and only partially CO2, while the latest warming corresponds only to a decrease in solar activity, making it somewhat easier to see the cause.

      • Jim D, the sun wasn’t in your original list of 3 things. I guess you can’t just list 3 things and claim that explains it. Just saying.

      • The CO2 rise rate is what is exceptional for the last 30 years. I wasn’t talking about previous periods until some people tried to change the subject. The sun didn’t do anything significant except decline lately, and I could have added that too to save confusion.

      • If you are going to insist that this period of time is special isn’t that by default indicating you have to compare it with previous time periods? So when did solar come to equilibrium with the climate and start being a negative influence. Lets try and figure out what you think the TS/ES would be time wise. I suppose you could go with the IPCC chart that shows just one solar cycle is long enough. Too bad that makes for a very large TS/ES indicating no warming in the pipeline.

      • I was comparing with the whole previous century. It shows an acceleration of all these factors coincidentally. Lots of people were upset by having this pointed out to them because I think they never realized until now that it was so obvious, which makes it a threat to their worldview. I expected some pushback, and the beauty of it was that I didn’t even have to make an attribution statement.

      • nottawa rafter

        Jim D

        Tell again me how the 1910-1940 rate of SLR is nearly identical to the last 20 years. Even the IPCC puts that in the AR5 report. Yes, keep telling me that, since it shows the effect of natural variability. I always like to have the IPCC show how adept it is in scoring an own goal.

      • jimd

        the earth was utterly different 300 million years ago with continents unformed and in different locations to today and its resultant effect on ocean currents, jet streams, atmospheric composition, plant life and more active volcanos .


        It is impossible to reference that period as being a template for our own.

        Surely much better to stay within the Holocene and see how today compares?


      • Jim, you don’t have to make an attribution statement each time you comment. I’m not a goose. I don’t wake up in a new world every day.

      • We always get the ..but 1910-1940… argument, and they don’t say that the sun had a well known dip in 1910, while at the beginning of the current rise in 1980 it was as active as ever, and now by 2010 it was in another dip. It is a completely different 30 years from the perspective of what the sun was doing.

      • If you can’t say when the earth reached equilibrium with solar forcing, then you can’t rule out that it is still warming the world. If you can then please do. I want to experiment with the TS/ES ratio you derive.


      • steven, the anthropogenic forcing has been about 2 W/m2. What is your guess about how much the solar forcing has changed over the same period. Which one dominates the last century?

      • Jim, as I have pointed out to you before ocean heat transport models indicate that a change in ocean heat transport could have caused all the warming. If ocean heat transport is a feedback to forcing and if it is only a feedback to short wave forcing, then there is the possibility that the vast majority of warming of the 20th century was solar forced. If ocean heat transport is not forced there is still the question of how much warming was just the result of internal variability.

      • steven, given that the CO2 forcing change is about ten times as large as the largest estimates of the solar one, how much of the ocean warming would you attribute to CO2?

      • I’ll let you know in about 10-15 years when we see what two weak solar cycles in a row and a negative AMO do.

      • Meanwhile you can see the current IPCC view of this in the global ocean plot I posted below to c1ue. It is very hard to account for the continuous ocean warming over the last few decades without manmade influences. the sun and volcanoes (natural trend) just don’t cut it.

      • Yeah Jim, I have seen it before. See how it drops mid century after one strong solar cycle? These are the same people that argue for a small TS/ES ratio. Go figure.

      • > See how it drops mid century after one strong solar cycle?

        More here: http://www.tylervigen.com/

      • Willard, good arguemnts. About as good as saying there is a small TS/ES ratio and claiming that it only takes one solar cycle to reach equilibrium.

      • Here’s what you’re supposed to beat, steven:

        It is very hard to account for the continuous ocean warming over the last few decades without manmade influences. the sun and volcanoes (natural trend) just don’t cut it.

        Pointing at the correlation Jim D says doesn’t cut it is pure contradiction.

      • Willard, pointing out a problem with his supporting material and his assertion doesn’t cut it? How much supporting evidence do you need to counter a poorly supported assertion? I assert there is a good posibility he is wrong. Thank you. (taking bows)

      • Jim D, steven makes a very good point when he says:
        “If you can’t say when the earth reached equilibrium with solar forcing, then you can’t rule out that it is still warming the world.”
        The only reason you can say this:
        “It is very hard to account for the continuous ocean warming over the last few decades without manmade influences”
        is because you are simply ignoring steven’s point.

      • Where is the 2nd act of 1910 to 1940? It’s called 1940 to 1970, only it never happened.

        In the act that never happened, GMT dropped back to levels seen around 1910 to 1920. That’s what cycles do. Seems to be forgotten.

        Why did the 2nd act get interrupted?


      • willb and steven, whatever solar forcing occurred between 1910 and 1940 has been overwhelmed by an order of magnitude more CO2 forcing in the meantime. The response to forcing is initially quick then slow. The response is first and most to the more recent forcing, especially also since that is so much larger. The longer term response will only appear as the recent forcing disappears, which only happens after that has stopped rising. This also means that almost all of the response to the solar change between 1910 and 1940 already happened by 1950, and the ongoing much larger GHG forcing is what we have been seeing since.

      • > Willard, pointing out a problem with his supporting material and his assertion doesn’t cut it?

        What problem have you pointed out, steven?

        All you did is to handwave at two curves.

      • “…the ongoing much larger GHG forcing is what we have been seeing since.”
        The forcing from GHG increases are now easily overwhelming all other forcings on the climate system. About the only thing that can make a significant counter-forcing would be a few very large volcanoes or period of increased volcanic activity cutting insolation. Even a Maunder-type minimum would only shave a few tenth of a degree off of increases to surface temperatures this century at the very most.

      • Danny Thomas

        R. Gates,
        “The forcing from GHG increases are now easily overwhelming all other forcings on the climate system. ”
        I then ask myself why then aren’t temps rising in conjuction with the forcing for some +/- 18 years. Of course the answer is “heat is in the oceans”. So then I ask why aren’t the more frequent and severe tropical cyclones occurring? (In case image doesn’t show:http://models.weatherbell.com/global_major_freq.png)

      • Jim D, since solar forcing exceeds 1,000 watts/m2 every day at high noon, I think it’s somewhat misleading for you to claim ” …whatever solar forcing occurred between 1910 and 1940 has been overwhelmed by an order of magnitude more CO2 forcing in the meantime.”
        And the only reason you can make this claim:
        “The response to forcing is initially quick then slow”
        is because you are simply ignoring another one of steven’s very good points:
        “If ocean heat transport is a feedback to forcing and if it is only a feedback to short wave forcing, then there is the possibility that the vast majority of warming of the 20th century was solar forced.”

      • Plot is worthless, because the world has been warming since the 1600 and the Little Ice Age.
        Furthermore, simply showing some warming is pointless because the actual subject for discussion is whether the climate models, upon which all the doom and gloom are based, are in any way accurate. The climate models fail to replicate even past behavior, they’ve failed to replicate ongoing behavior literally since their inception and now we’re all supposed to believe they will be accurate going forward 100 years?
        I’ve watched you post link after link – all attempting the same sleight of hand: that since it is warming, therefore the models are correct.
        Climate doom is based on 3 major precepts: that mankind has affected the climate/world, that added CO2 will increase temperatures AND that feedbacks will be highly positive. Few people disagree with the first precept or 2nd precept, but the third is both highly speculative and completely unvalidated by any form of empirical data.
        Manmade warming due to surface albedo and vegetation mix effects – not changeable via CO2 emissions mitigation. CO2 emissions which only increase temperatures 1 or even 2 degrees by 2100 – meh.
        Only with all 3 is catastrophe possible – and like all con artists, the pea is snatched out from under that shell lest the mark catch on.

      • The CO2 forcing change has been about 2 W/m2, while the solar one has been up to 0.2 W/m2 mostly before 1940, then down again. If there are papers on the solar influence alone, such as it was back then, still now driving ocean currents, while CO2 has no effect on ocean temperatures, I have missed them. To me this looks like just another typical ABCD way of thinking that comes up with multiple of these various science fictional ideas.

      • Willard, I’ve pointed out the problem of people with inconsistent arguments. I assume you understand that is a problem even if you haven’t understood the argument up to this point.

      • Jim, you assert that solar has been overwhelmed. So explain the variation of the Gulf Stream in Lund 2006 that I have posted so often. Lack of CO2 forcing cause it to decrease into the LIA?

      • steven, none of those have attributed the recent warming to solar cycles, and one is even predicting a dramatic local cooling that we should be half way through already. To summarize, since 1950 there has been a global warming of near 0.7 C, much of it in Arctic areas or on land. The sun hasn’t done much but decline recently, while CO2 and GHG forcing have risen rather a lot. Yet, counter to facts, you seem to want it to be the sun doing something in the North Atlantic portion of the world.

      • > I’ve pointed out the problem of people with inconsistent arguments.

        Sure, steven, just like this:


      • steven, the global ocean heat content is increasing because of CO2, not the sun. The sign of the sun’s variation in the last decade has been just wrong to explain any of it. Looking for dominant forcings in this period, I would go with the CO2 emissions.

      • Jim, perhaps you are one of the few that hasn’t noticed the drop in ocean heat content in the north atlantic for the last decade.



      • Sorry Willard, your thought process is just too deep for me. If you find something wrong with my argument perhaps you should address it directly instead of just assuming the sight of hamburger will show me the errors of my ways.

      • Jim D, I am interested in knowing if you can address steven’s arguments more directly than you have been. Is it your understanding that the earth was in equilibrium with solar forcing (or close to it) in 1940? Is it your understanding that short wave forcing is not in fact the main driver for an ocean heat transport feedback effect? Knowing that the GMST is 16C, the temperature of the upper mantle is 500C or more, and the oceans (sandwiched between the two) are at an average temperature of less than 4C, do you consider it science fiction to speculate that the oceans are heating up and likely have been heating up continually since the beginning of the Holocene, driven mainly by solar forcing?

      • steven, why are you obsessed with the North Atlantic? Given the global average increase, I could probably find an equal area somewhere where it is warming just as much to offset this, perhaps even the Arctic Ocean(?). It is the nature of regional climates to have trends that cancel each other on decadal time scales, which is why it is a distraction.

      • > If you find something wrong with my argument perhaps you should address it directly instead of just assuming the sight of hamburger will show me the errors of my ways.

        Inhofe held a cheeseburger, steven. His line of argument is of the form “how come you can’t explain X,” which is a loaded question. It implies the inconsistency you beg in what you call your argument.

        What you call your argument amounts to a bunch of citations where you show nothing more than the sun’s influence on climate. Since Jim D’s argument is not inconsistent with that, I fail to see the “problems” it creates for his explanation, which means I also fail to see how these problems have been promoted into inconsistencies.

        If you don’t like people simply offering links as arguments, may I suggest you go first?

        Thank you for your concerns,


      • Jim, the AMO has been associated with weather all across the world. A long term increase in ocean heat transport would behave in many similar ways to a positive AMO. That is why my fixation on the N Atlantic. BTW the Arctic ocean would be a very bad choice since decreases in transport to the N Atlantic will eventually have to reduce the temnperatures in the Artic also.

      • Willard, my argument was already clearly stated. If you argue for a low TS/ES ratio you are contradicting yourself by claiming one strong solar cycle means anything after that cycle is causing a negative forcing. I’m not sure how that can be explained any easier. Now perhaps you can tell me how that is not cobntradicting in nature.

      • willb, the mantle idea is science fiction, and I am sure steven can help you with that. If the sun warms up from 1910 to 1940, by 1950 there is not much effect left, and what remained would have been overwhelmed by the CO2 forcing change through that period and after. CO2 emissions forcing now adds 0.3 W/m2 per decade, which is large. By comparison, the total solar change in the whole century is at most 0.2 W/m2. You have to just look at the numbers to understand quantitatively what the dominant effects are in any time window.

      • Jim, what constitutes the dominant effect would rely on the feedbacks. You know the argument already. Have you disproven ocean heat transport changes as a viable alternative yet?

      • But AMO just lags land temperatures CRUTEM4. What would be the mechanism for that? External forcing.

      • > I’m not sure how that can be explained any easier.


        (1) Show where Jim D argues for a low TS/ES ratio;

        (2) Show where Jim D claims one strong solar cycle means anything after that cycle is causing a negative forcing;

        (3) Show how these two ideas are incompatible.

        If you can show all of this by using quantifiers, you get bonus points, for then it’ll be more difficult to commit composition fallacies.

        Clarifying (2) might also be of help, for usually expressions like “anything” and “causing” are big tells for sloppy arguments.

        Best of luck!

      • Jim, it doesn’t matter if the AMO follows or leads since nobody claims that SSTs cause themselves. It only matters that there is a fluctuation in tempertaures that appears to have global impacts, as you just stated.

      • Willard, he posted the IPCC chart. They argue for a low TS/ES. They show the natural forcing going down after one strong solar cycle mid century. If one strong solar cycle could cause the forcing from solar to go down even though the century long trend of solar strength was still positive it would mean that equilibrium or near equilibrium had been achieved in only 11 years or so. That would require a very lrge TS/ES ratio.

      • steven, the global impacts lead AMO. I would argue that CRUTEM4 is the leading wave and the global ocean, not just AMO, lags it. This is a consistent response to an external forcing with the ocean thermal inertia causing its lag. The AMO temperature is therefore an effect and not a cause. Its phase is the same as the global HADSST3.

      • steven, the response to volcanoes is even more immediately obvious in these models.Think through what that means.

      • Jim D, “willb, the mantle idea is science fiction…”
        You don’t believe there is a mantle? Or you don’t believe the upper mantle is at 500C?

      • Jim, we all know the AMO is an effect of something. What we don’t know is of what.

      • > [JimD] posted the IPCC chart. They argue for a low TS/ES.

        In a discussion with another commenter, I believe, and in response to c1ue’s dismissal of these facts. In other thread, after he offered three facts:

        1. The temperature rise rate in the last 30 years is twice the average rise rate in the 20th century.

        2. The sea-level rise rate in the last 30 years is twice the average rise rate in the 20th century.

        3. The CO2 rise rate in the last 30 years is twice the average rise rate in the 20th century.

        You followed this up with “but what about 1940-1970” and “but the sun” and more of the “what’s up with X?” kind of argument, just like Inhofe’s cheeseburger.

        Was a low TS/ES JimD’s point in posting the IPCC chart? I thought he was showing that one could contemplate a “longer term trends with and without CO2,” to refute c1ue’s “but teh modulz.”


        > [IPCC chart] show the natural forcing going down after one strong solar cycle mid century. If one strong solar cycle could cause the forcing from solar to go down even though the century long trend of solar strength was still positive it would mean that equilibrium or near equilibrium had been achieved in only 11 years or so. That would require a very lrge TS/ES ratio.

        Thank you for stating your argument, which seems to rest on the counterfactual expressed in the second sentence. If my reading is correct, then the inconsistency you surmise relies on you precondition being true. Therefore, unless you assert the mouthful “one strong solar cycle could cause the forcing from solar to go down even though the century long trend of solar strength was still positive,” you have no case.

        Even I would have difficulty to beat the prolixity of that counterfactual, BTW.


        I hope this convinces you I can read arguments and that in the future, you’ll refrain from self-defeating dismissiveness.

      • Willard, if it seemed I was dismissive of your comments it’s because they didn’t present an argument that contradicted anything I said. As far as I can tell they still don’t. Since I had told Jim that I would be arguing the IPCC chart he posted was indicative of a very large TS/ES before he actually posted the chart, I don’t really care if he posted it at someone else. If you’d like to make a contribution to the conversation perhaps you can tell me what part of any of my arguments you disagree with and supply references as to why they are in error. I’m always willing to learn new and exciting things. As far as the solar and ocean circulation links go, there are scientists claiming a positive correlation between solar and poleward ocean heat transport. Where are the similar papers claiming such a correlation between CO2 and poleward ocean heat transport and which hypothesis is better supported by the data?

      • > Willard, if it seemed I was dismissive of your comments it’s because they didn’t present an argument that contradicted anything I said. As far as I can tell they still don’t.

        That’s bogus, steven.

        First, you said very little, and mostly linked to stuff.

        Second, that stuff was of the form of Inhofe’s cheeseburger.

        Third, what you said amounts to present the possibility that Jim D might be wrong, which does not even contradict what he said.

        Fourth, that Jim D might be wrong follows from the fact that he makes empirical claims.

        Fifth, if I’m to follow your mansplanation, the third point allows me to dismiss your comments.


        There is a difference between an inconsistency and a possible inconsistency. The first doesn’t require Inhofe cheeseburgers. The latter requires Inhofe cheeseburgers.

        Why do you think Tony’s called WUWT?

      • Willard, I’m well aware of the difference between a possibiity and an inconsistency. So tell me why an 11 year solar cycle above the century trend should cause anything after that to cause cooling in a low TS/ES scenario since that was the thing I stated was inconsistent. Jim agreed with me that you can’t explain climate using just co2, temperature and slr so I don’t see that as a focus of contention. That leaves us with the TS/ES ratio. Want to try or do you have a nice picture of a chili dog you would like to share?

      • steven, I don’t know what you are talking about with TS/ES. Part of the transient response is almost immediate, but with longer sustained forcing the ratio could stabilize to lower values like 2/3, which is typical of the one related to how CO2 is growing. Low values mean that the forcing is sustained long enough that the deep ocean circulation slows down the response. The time constant of the response depends on how deep the effect goes into the ocean. For short periodic forcings like the daily or annual cycles, this is not deep at all. For CO2 it gets deeper with time, and this one is not reversing, so it won’t stop until the ocean reaches its final equilibrium temperature profile.

      • Jim, I think you are making my point for me. In a low TS/ES ratio scenario there is no way that one 11 year solar cycle could have reached anything near equilibrium. Please continue.

      • steven, periodic forcings never can reach an equilibrium by definition because the forcing keeps changing. What do you mean?

      • I mean if you have a 100 year trend of increasing solar strength and wish to argue for a low TS/ES ratio, it is inconsistent to argue that one solar cycle above that trend about 50 years in caused anything after it to be a negative influence.

      • > Jim agreed with me that you can’t explain climate using just co2, temperature and slr so I don’t see that as a focus of contention.

        Me neither:

        Here’s what you’re supposed to beat, steven:

        It is very hard to account for the continuous ocean warming over the last few decades without manmade influences. the sun and volcanoes (natural trend) just don’t cut it.

        Pointing at the correlation Jim D says doesn’t cut it is pure contradiction.


        That natural trends don’t account for the ocean warming does not preclude that they are absent.

        They just don’t cut it, regardless of the number of Inhofe cheeseburgers to show that natural trends may, perhaps, one day, possibly, plausibly, do.

      • Willard, ok. so you disagree that ocean heat transport can explain warming


        or you disagree that the reconstruction of the gulf stream supports solar much better than co2 as a driver of ocean heat transport?


        or perhaps you just don’t like the idea that there may be alternative reasons for the warming and should probably have just played with your chili dog pictures instead? Which is it?

      • > That natural trends don’t account for the ocean warming does not preclude that they are absent.

        Present, that is. That CO2 explains everything does not mean it explains it alone.

      • Willard. I don’t recall ever stating that CO2 should cause no warming so it seems your point is pointless.

      • > so you disagree that ocean heat transport can explain warming

        Fabricating Inhofe cheeseburgers ain’t enough anymore, so you’re gonna shove them in my mouth, steven?

      • I’m just trying to figure out what your argument is, Willard. So far it seems you don’t have one. Talk real slow so I understand.

      • > I don’t recall ever stating that CO2 should cause no warming

        More Inhofe cheeseburgers suffing, steven.

        Which part of Jim D’s:

        It is very hard to account for the continuous ocean warming over the last few decades without manmade influences. the sun and volcanoes (natural trend) just don’t cut it.

        you do not get?

      • > I’m just trying to figure out what your argument is, Willard.

        My argument was that you were producing Inhofe cheeseburgers. You still do.

        My new argument is that you’re trying to shove them into my mouth.

      • What part of I just did it don’t you get?

      • Super-size the whole order. And double it with the other as take-out, one for the road.

      • Willard shivers with attribulations and the fever of fryablitis. It’s just a virus, kiddo. Rest, fluid, & vitamins, or if you prefer herbis, verbis, et mineralis.

      • steven, you are asserting that just because there is a background CO2 trend, we should not be able to see other short-term trends on top of it. This is plain wrong because we see volcanic effects, aerosol changes, and we can detect the 11-year solar cycle, and other solar lulls, such as now, against this background rising forcing. Between these, you get a complex forcing growth of the type that the IPCC estimates. The black line here.

      • Jim, I’m not asserting any such thing. I am asserting that there are legitimate questions regarding the secular trend attribution.

      • steven, have you got as far as conceding the secular long-term forcing change from GHGs?

      • > What part of I just did it don’t you get?

        You mean there’s a part that don’t involve Inhofe cheeseburgers?

        Perhaps I missed it. Remind me.

      • > I am asserting that there are legitimate questions regarding the secular trend attribution.

        This could easily become an Inhofe cheeseburger:

        If there’s a secular trend attribution, then why are there this list of legitimate questions regarding it?

    • Despite your very diligent cherry picking – these facts are actually totally irrelevant because the issue at hand is real world behavior vs. modeled behavior. If CO2 sensitivity is truly that high – we should have seen far higher temperature increases than the actual 0.7 even in the 130 years leading up to today. CO2 was in the 270 ppm level in 1880, and it is around 400 ppm now. Whether using linear, logarithmic, or whatever – the implied sensitivity (with the IPCC assumption of CO2 being the almost all the cause) is well under 1.2 degrees.
      This in turn clearly implies that the alarmist crap making the rounds is seriously flawed.
      The ongoing hiatus doesn’t help either.

      • You can use the longer term trends with and without CO2, as in AR5, and contemplate this kind of picture.

      • > these facts are actually totally irrelevant because the issue at hand is real world behavior vs. modeled behavior.

        Ze issue, again.

        Having a real world model instead of a model model would be nice.

      • You try and try, but you STILL fail to answer my question: the temperature increases are NOT matching the IPCC/climate model predictions – only after said models are manually tuned are they able to even approximately match past behavior.
        A model fails not just in the form of the graph it makes, but also in its relative output: a model which is too hot or too cold is no more likely to be accurate than a model which shows fundamentally skewed behavior vs. reality – and the climate models are both too hot AND skewed.
        Peddle your simplistic and wrong arguments elsewhere.

      • The models match the observed rise over the last 60 years. And they only match if you have more going on than solar and volcanic forcing, otherwise they are too cool by easily more than 0.5 C. Even with the so-called pause, the 30-year temperature rise rate doubles that of the 20th century.

      • No, the models do NOT match the observed rise – each generation of models is hand tuned once data comes out. Prior to this process, each generation of models has been inaccurate: i.e. 1995 models prior to tuning did not match the actual temperature behavior from 1990 to 1995, 1997 models didn’t match 1995 to 1997, etc etc.
        There’s nothing wrong with this tuning process except when foolish people think that the models have been right since 1990. They’ve been consistently wrong at each major IPCC iteration – only being brought back to consistency via tuning. The problem with this last generation is that the hiatus is so protracted that the tuning process would screw up the later anthropogenic CO2 catastrophe results, thus the “hide the decline” this time has been a search for hidden heat in the deep ocean, under beds, in closets, and so forth.
        Please at least try to be familiar with the long and sordid history of the IPCC – the bad as well as the good.

      • ciue, that is where the skeptical view is very confusing. On the one hand the models are wrong for the last 15 years, but on the other they say, of course they are right for 60 or 100 years that includes those 15 years and accounts for most of the warming. If they can account for the warming, why would they be wrong? This is just very tangled logic. Sort it out.

      • Jim D – I can easily create a y = mx + b model that accounts for the warming. No big deal. The Devil is in the details.

      • JimD, “of course they are right for 60 or 100 years”

        What is your definition of right?

      • captd, see the figures above for example. They account for the observed warming, some too much, some too little, but they account for it only with the anthropogenic effects active, otherwise they are all too low. This is a standard IPCC result that has surprised no one so far.

      • JimD, ” They account for the observed warming, some too much, some too little,”

        +/- 0.35 C for the oceans that have warmed about 0.7 C is a pretty large spread. “Natural” variability is only supposed to +/- 0,1 C.

      • The IPCC has a misleading habit of ‘reseting’ their predictions every report ( reseting the clock so no predictions are ever held to account ).

        They learned their lesson after the failed AR4 predictions ( of actual rates and actually for the present – the 0.2C per decade for all scenarios ).

        I need to update this but here is the chart of observations versus Hansen testimony ( 1988 ) for the Satellite Era ( 1979 ):

      • captd, the spread of uncertainty includes the forcing uncertainty, especially from aerosols which, even with specified amounts, have different forcings in different models (see the IPCC report or papers by Forster that derive the forcing from the models).

      • JimD, “captd, the spread of uncertainty includes the forcing uncertainty, especially from aerosols which, even with specified amounts, have different forcings in different models (see the IPCC report or papers by Forster that derive the forcing from the models).”

        The spread I am talking about is for the instrumental “known” period. That 1910 to 1940 that the models don’t emulate at all.

        That part that happens to fit Oppo et al 2009 so nicely.

        Which happens to agree with pre-Mannian Paleoclimatology.

      • captd, the models underestimated the 1910-1940 warming. Why don’t the skeptics ever talk about that, or is it because that would be an own goal? It happens both ways because of forcing uncertainties, but in the mean it is fine for the century trend.

      • JimD, “captd, the models underestimated the 1910-1940 warming. Why don’t the skeptics ever talk about that, or is it because that would be an own goal?”

        Actually the models underestimate the cooling :) 30S-30N tos model mean is one of the few regions that CMIP5 gets actual surface temperature close. Since the cooling starts prior to the next volcanic event it is most likely related to that pesky weakly damped recovery oscillation. Notice how the model totally screw the volcanic forcing pooch when it comes to sst?

        See how the amplitude from 1700 decreases? If it wasn’t for all the herd mentality it would be a smoking gun of sorts.

      • JimD, Here is the same spreasd but with real temperatures instead of an arbitrary baseline.

        With real temps you can tell if they miss warm or cold. With anomaly you can fudge things a bit.

      • captd, you are saying that the models have too little sensitivity? Interesting.

    • Jimmy,

      Are you referring to the difference between tidal gauge and satellite data?

      If so, (and ignoring for now the fact the people who collect that data can’t really explain the difference), why don’t you tell us what rise in sea level we can expect by then end of this center?

    • There's reality ... and then there's physics.

      20th century warming is yin to 17th – 19th century cooling yang.

      Just longer term cycles balancing out. Get grip.

    • Ulric Lyons

      Jim D | March 8, 2015 at 5:27 pm |
      “But AMO just lags land temperatures CRUTEM4.”

      Reduce the smoothing from 20yrs to 2yrs and you’ll see a very different picture:
      In its warm mode, the AMO tends to move inversely with land temp’s, and in its cold mode, in unison with land temp’s.

      The AMO functions as an amplified negative feedback to solar forcing, largely plasma variability, which declined from the mid 1990’s, from when the AMO and Arctic warmed strongly. So a large proportion of the warming since the mid 1990’s is a negative feedback of increased poleward ocean transport raising the mean surface temperature, and increased continental interior drying. The opposite of forced warming. The corollary of that is that the 1970’s cooling was dominated by increased solar forcing cooling the AMO by reducing poleward ocean transport, and increased land rainfall cooling continental interiors.
      The models have hugely overestimated forced warming for the late 20th century.

      • Ulric Lyons

        Maritime land temperatures like the UK are in phase with solar cycles when the AMO is in its warm mode, while the AMO itself is out of phase with solar cycles in its warm mode:

  32. WTI crude is still around $50. The year-out contango is still ~$10. Inventories continue to build. The price may be supported by hostilities in Libya and the fact that ISIS set fire to some oil wells in an oil field they control. The Saudi oil minister also attempts to jawbone the price up by saying demand is growing. This, as the US undergoes a tepid recovery, China is using less energy, and Europe is enacting QE in an effort to jump-start the moribund economy there.

    As soon as storage for oil gets tight, we could see $20-30 WTI.


    NAT GAS_____4.22___-0.1357
    RBOB GAS____1.91

    NAT GAS____3.127
    RBOB GAS___1.3588

    NAT GAS____2.684
    RBOB GAS___1.3641

    NAT GAS____2.686
    RBOB GAS___1.6192

    NAT GAS___2.734
    RBOB GAS__1.9779

    NAT GAS___2.839
    RBOB GAS__1.8819

  33. Was the Energyweenie link a news article or an advertisement? It sure reads like an advertisement. It was posted on the green NGO PEMBINA website.

    From the PEMBINA website:

    “The Pembina Institute is an organization unlike any other working to protect Canada’s environment today. We combine the research and technical capacity of a think tank with the values and advocacy of an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) and the entrepreneurial and business sense of a for-profit consulting firm. This equips us with a unique ability to employ multi-faceted and highly collaborative approaches to change.

    Pembina’s 50 staff in B.C., Alberta, Ontario and the Northwest Territories use research, advocacy and consulting as tools toward our goal of leading Canada’s transition to a clean energy future.”

    • Went and took a look. Political advert. A lot of what the article asserts is simply not true, or grossly slanted and out of context. The situation is so bad that large utility EON announced a few months back it is divesting its conventional German generating asserts into a ‘bad bank’ company because no longer commercially viable. Forced to ramp cause wind and solar have absolute priority. Speculation is the Merkel government responsible for Energiewende will have to step in and buy the thing then subsidize the ongoing loses, in order to keep the grid up. The subsidized large offshore near Hamburg is bankrupt because the High voltage converters needed to run the power to land didn’t work as planned, and because maintenance was higher than planned. Nationalmgrid operator is officially warning about possible nationwide blackouts since the required additional transmission corridor between the north and south has been delayed 7 years by NIMBY protests. Over a hundred small to large, private and public solar companies (mostly installers/operators) have gone bankrupt in the past two years; Germany simply does not have enough insolation for solar to be viable even with the present subsidies. This is especially true in winter, even in Germany’s south. (I lived in Munich for 6 years, speak fluent German, and keep up by reading about all this auf Deutsch.)

      • Rud

        I vividly remember a train journRoma couple of years ago from geneva to Zurich that wound through the mountains. There were hundreds of pretty chalets with ugly solar panels clamped firmly on them.

        The valleys they were in didn’t see sun from early November until late february. So they were producing no power at all at just the time they were most needed. Expensive green gestures


      • Hi Tony. Looks like we both have iPad typing challenges. I flew over/ drove through some of those same valleys on a recent business trip- Zurich to Frankfurt to Strasburg to Salzberg to Graz, then back to the US via an overnight in Frankfurt. By my count, about 2/3 of the wind turbines were still. Whether no wind or failed bearings, dunno. Looked awfully expensive and useless. Again by my count almost all the reflecting rooftop solar would be useless during the entire winter. Lots of ski resorts, snow, … And cloud. Frankfurt in January is dreary.

      • I see that all these sleek new wind turbines have shiny new coats of paint on their steel towers. I wonder how much priority that will get when they start peeling and getting streaked with rust?

  34. I think if a male blogger had referred to Pachauri’s adventures as “romantic”, there would be howls of protest. Perhaps “lecherous” may have been a better word.

  35. Apparently, the linked article on Germany’s energy transition is all made-up BS if you believe the this:


    The supposed growth in renewables turns out to be just another form of ‘hockey stick’ statistics. And, my guess is, it’s probably costing jobs in Germany, despite what the linked article says: Mercedes’ SUVs are made in the US and now the C-Class cars for the American market are made in the US as well.

    So, Germany’s supposed transition to renewables has been good for jobs in the US, not Germany. Meanwhile the US’ carbon footprint has been going down while Germany’s production is actually rising.

    It’s always been a pack of lies. From the beginning, the CO2 game envisaged by the Eurocommies was nothing but a sting on the US. Germany was always positioned to meet whatever commitments it signed up to meet because its rational, cost-effective replacement of the inefficient coal-fired power plants in E. Germany that dated back to days when USSR ran things would have brought down their CO2-numbers. And, France was always escaping any liability because most of its energy comes from nuclear.

    We know from the example of Spain what the truth really is. Does the Left really believe their own lies?

    • Wag, your link was to 2012. The German situation has deteriorated further since.
      As for Spain, where the renewable subsidies are no longer possible fiscally, the current estimate is that $20 billion worth of Spanish renewable investment (shareholders, loan financing) will go belly up in 2015. Completely unrecoverable. Wiped out. Just to emphasize the point you already made. Hopefully EU Greenies hold much of that investment.

    • Wiki was showing that the best German solar PV plants were averaging 13% capacity factor. That’s only less than 1/4th of a moderately stressed coal or natural gas plant, and nearly 7 times less than a nuclear plant.
      And therein is the scam: the promoters push very hard to equate installed generation capacity vs. coal/natural gas/nuclear knowing full well that actual delivered power – even disregarding the lack of consistency for base load – is a fraction.
      The sad part is that solar PV can do better. At present prices, even the best case technologically improved solar PV won’t quite reach actual parity, but it would be a lot closer, which in turn would make it truly economical for a lot more use cases.
      As it is, we’re spending up our relatively cheap power now to install crap technology from which we won’t recoup materials, energy, or spending for literally decades.

      • Unlike America, which has benefited from a boom in shale gas development, Germany is not extracting significant amounts of natural gas from shale. Instead Germany is building new coal capacity at a rapid rate, approving 10 new coal plants to cope with the high costs and unreliability of renewables. (ibid.)

  36. When our Green Betters squashed Tasmanian hydro in the 1980s, the visionary measure was accompanied by a new coal proposal. (If urban mainlanders feel like going green for a bit they often get Tasmanians to do it for them.)

    When Germany cancelled nukes after Fukushima (more a weather disaster than a nuke one, but, what the hell, shouldn’t put nukes in wrong places), there was a new coal deal.

    The trick is, never spoil a good upwelling of green emotion by mentioning the coal deal which underpins it.

    You keep your coal in a discrete cage out the back, like the dog man in that Jet Li movie, avoid talking about it…and depend on it utterly.

    Phase 2 of the Energiewende has actually been a Brown-coal-wende. But you just don’t mention it and it’s all good.

    Clever, Pembina. But I’m sure you always clever.

  37. I was struck this week by the way CERN physicists discuss uncertainty in their own topic, and how it compares with some climatologists:


  38. Nickels – did you write nicol-o8?

  39. “Myth-busting, inspirational review of Energiewende: Addressing the myths of Germany’s energy transition”

    As a person living in Germany’s neighborhood I feel need to add a few things.

    It’s true that Germany is not encountering constant blackouts. But it’s not as much thanks to german ingenuity as it is thanks to reliability of its neighbors. There are vast amounts of electricity flowing to other states every time wind is blowing and sun is shining, and there are vast amounts of electricity flowing from these states back to germany every time renewables decide to take a breather. It’s largely thanks to the fact that other states don’t rely so heavily on renewables yet that germany is not experiencing blackouts.

    Also the main reason why electricity prices did not drive industry from germany is because there are two prices of electricity in germany – original, pre-energievende low prices for industry, and higher prices for the population. Many germans are rather envious about it but as a pragmatic decision to keep industry home it certainly worked.

    In general, I understand germany’s energievende as an impressive, large scale experiment attempting to prove an age old enviromnentalist claim that if we build enough renewables, they will become reliable because every given time, wind is blowing and sun is shining somewhere. For what I can see so far, it is also impressive failure. If all countries in Europe implemented renewables on the same scale as Germany, the Europe’s electricity network would collapse.

  40. Judith –

    You must have made a mistake with the link to the Energiewende article. Thanks to the much beloved “denizens, ” I have learned that Energiewende has caused economic ruin in Germany, and that article seems to suggest otherwise. You must have linked to a communist party propaganda site by mistake.

    • “You must have linked to a communist party propaganda site by mistake.”

      Well, that isn’t a fair characterization. The Pembina Institute are environmentalist hell hounds.

      They recently were excluded from the review process on a an Alberta oil sands project. They sued and won the right to apply to be included. The application process was streamlined but toughened – so they may not be able to participate even though they won.

      The fact that they try to actively interfere with projects would indicate they are more than just a think tank but are an advocacy organization. It is sort of the Greenpeace/WWF view of the German electric grid. I guess the good doctor was just being fair and balanced.

    • Nah, thanks to brown coal all is well with Germany. Expensive, what with the expensive decor of solar panels at 50+ degrees north. Still, the Germans can afford a bit of green fluff and nonsense, and Angela has that special appeal to get the show across to the target audience of Guardian perusers. Meanwhile…

      The brown German stuff doesn’t compare with lush Sydney Basin Black. Still, when you have a green economy to run, you burn whatever you can.

      • Nor with export value thermal Bowen Basin in terms of coal qualities, but the German grid is feeling the width, not the quality

        These new coal-fired stations (I’ve inspected a couple on the east side of the Rhine near Cologne) are very state-of-the-art. About as efficient as peat-burning installations can be, although they still use C + O2 –> CO2 + heat of course, plus a lot of water both sides

        The leftoid meeja just pretend they don’t exist. It’s easiest for them, and one never interrupts leftoids when they’re being stupid

      • There’s a general unwillingness to mention coal. It’s like using the bathroom. Do it, because you must, but don’t talk about it. And best if visitors don’t hear the flush.

        Just as the toilet came to be described as the naughtiest room in the house, maybe Germans could refer to the Ruhr as their “naughtiest valley”. Basil Fawlty might warn his staff under no circumstances to mention coal to German guests.

      • mosomoso

        coal is a dirty word, lets call it ‘progress’ instead.

        I would have bet good money on Sri Lanka losing, but they are making a good go of getting that mammoth total


      • Sanga can bat like this after keeping. What a guy.

      • + 10 to all in the sub-thread. + 2 for funny to boot.

    • Planning Engineer

      Joshua – surely you can give credit where credit is due. Judith points to articles representative of divergent viewpoints across the spectrum. (She often links to her own severest critiques.)

      I think the Energiewnend article is pretty weak, but I support and appreciate her linking to differing perspectives, unlike others who just want to parrot an whatever supports the accepted truth.

      Probably too complex for a comment here, but all the talk on reliability in Germany is off-point. Don’t know if it is deliberate misrepresentation or if they just don’t know better. Reliability is a term used in discussion of related but different concerns. Whenever I’ve used reliability (and the concerns I’ve heard about renewables) have to do with avoiding system voltage collapse, cascading outages, islanding, loss of synchronism (basically MAJOR outages). These are rare events and metrics on such are not readily agreed upon or available. Reliability also means how well you prevent smaller (non-serious from the bulk system point of view) isolated outages from happening. These include your SAIDI, SAIFI and MAIFI measurements by which accounts Germany has good stats (They should they are a population dense, well connected system).

      Having good numbers for SAIDI, SAIFI and MAIFI doesn’t really address the risks of collapse. In fact efforts to bump up SAIDI, SAIFI and MAIFI with automated switching for example, can make your system less reliable from a major Bulk perspective. (Shedding load is a good tool for managing risk-but it looks bad on the other numbers so utilities often make trade-offs between the two).Trying to keep your system so you never lose load, or you quickly bring it back, can be an invitation for disaster. It’s kind of like comparing one airline which rarely delays flights for potential mechanical problems versus another one which delays for any risk. The later will have worse reliability stats as far as delays for mechanical problems, but the first may be at more risk of a major problem.

      Bottom line – it’s good to post dissenting views, but one “challenging” article does not overturn the group wisdom. In any case you should be thanking her and perhaps asking others if we find the article challenging.

      • Danny Thomas

        Welcome home (assuming you are). This is OT from you discussion w/ Joshua but I wanted to ask your thoughts and maybe AK’s and others about this: http://www.woai.com/articles/woai-local-news-sponsored-by-five-star-cleaners-119078/cps-energy-plans-innovative-rooftop-solar-13238039

        Seems it would give consistency, control, design, and implementation to the utility vs. piecemeal as it stands. I understand installers don’t care for it but can see that the bid process would rule out most.

        Thanks and apologies for the interruption.

      • Planning Engineer

        Thanks Danny. It’s good to be home. As regards the CPS approach, if it works with proper cost allocation, I like the concept. I expect there are some advantages to having them centrally planned, sited, owned and maintained versus having individual ownership responsibilities.

        I think these approaches will have to work successfully (with equitable cost allocation) in places like Arizona (and Texas?) and see cost improvements beyond that before they move north and westward.

      • Danny Thomas

        Makes sense to me. I’ve been a minor advocate of this kind of process in lieu of unattractive giant farms which reduce land use, plus existing infrastructre can be used in large part but I can see where even with net metering a homeowner’s best interests would be to produce pretty much what they use and offset retail and not give much back wholesale leaving the utility out of the benefit side of the equation. Plus, once storage improves folks won’t need the utility at all (or much) via the current methodology.

      • Danny

        Not sure if you are merely asking if renting out your roof for solar is a good idea or not but am assuming that is your question.

        This sort of arrangement has been done in the UK for a decade or more.

        Here is a report on it from the UKs leading consumer magazine


        Basically you may lose control of your roof and there may be difficulties in someone getting a mortgage if you sell your house. They also may not like taking on the 25 year lease you will have signed in order to get the ‘free’ power.

        If you are in a sunny location it may be beneficial to install your own roof panels using a local contractor as panel prices have come down substantially, always assuming you are getting some sort of guaranteed payment for the power produced (as you do in the UK)

        . I would say that renting out your roof has declined in popularity over here in recent years due to these legal concerns and that prices have come down

      • Danny Thomas


        In my mind I was picturing the more contemporary houses being mass produced in our ever expanding urban areas in the US where dark asphalt/composition shingles are the norm (seems lighter would be better at least in the southern US). However, even in commercial applications where leases typically (?) travel with the sale of commercial/industrial properties the panels can be hidden from view so I can still see a market segment that would be an improvement over a remote land under/misutilization.
        Just returned from visiting a friend whos’ installed 10Mw of panels at out of pocket +/- $11k, but subsidies of +/- $22k between local utility funds and fed (my money and I reminded him of that so they treated us to dinner:). Payback looks like about 7 years, value will increase +/- $10k and he’s adding 6 more panels with hopes to just about break even. He’s paying about .08/Kwh and get’s paid .02/Kwh so it makes no sense for him to put out his money for such little return. His is done as you suggest where he own’s, but I can see how there is no benefit to the utility except to not have to build more capacity. In effect, I look at this as him having prepaid his electric bill, but in 7 years or so he’ll be smiling methinks.
        The main issue is those less fortunate most certainly don’t have the same opportunity to take advantage of the benefits being offered so was thinking this plan might be a fit for such as they. Do you see financial “position” as contributory there?

      • Danny

        One of the big problems I have with solar on roofs is that the panels can look very ugly. We have a lot of nice looking old houses here that are being ruined by these panels. Thought you might be interested in the concept of solar slates which replace the traditional slate roof covering we have on many houses over here.

        Seems a good idea always assuming you get enough sunshine to make it cost effective (we don’t over here)


      • PE –

        That comment of mine wasn’t criticism of Judith, but directed at tweaking the doom and gloomers here at Climate Etc. who like to portray Energiewnend as an unmitigated disaster.

        Obviously, the article was not a comprehensive treatment of Energiewnend. But it is interesting to note that the strong effort towards increasing renewables in Germany has been concurrent with economic growth and reliable energy supply. A causal linkage there is obviously difficult to make – there are many factors that affect economic growth and energy supply; but at least what’s happening in Germany shows that (at least for now) people who argue that increasing renewables necessarily = “economic suicide” are not sufficiently accounting for the uncertainties in their own analysis. .

        ==> “The later will have worse reliability stats as far as delays for mechanical problems, but the first may be at more risk of a major problem.”

        So are you arguing that energy reliability in Germany is fragile? If so, are you arguing that the fragility is attributable to Energiewnend?

      • Planning Engineer

        Joshua – I might be too sensitive in generally thinking you should give our host more credit. My thoughts on Germany – I would need to read a bit more to really believe that the higher costs for energy were consistent with healthy economic growth. Overwhelmingly what I’m reading and subsequent policy directions say not. In terms of reliability my suspicion is that high levels of renewables increase the risk of catostrophic outages in Germany all else equal. The reliability discussion in the article is comparing apples and oranges. Fine oranges, but it doesn’t address the catastrophic apples. Touting the oranges in multiple places does not address the apples. In Germany’s case this is mitigated because they are not a stand alone grid. They are tied to considerable conventional resources in other nations. Another factor is that they probably invested a large amount of additional money in the grid. Grid costs are a fraction of generation costs and from all I read, Germany upped grid investment as well. If your power cost is four timeother places you can beef up the grid, but most of these help the oranges more so than the apples.

      • PE –

        =>> ” I would need to read a bit more to really believe that the higher costs for energy were consistent with healthy economic growth. ”

        Of course, it might be true in one context for one reason or another, if not universally true. Interestingly, i have read that higher energy prices in Germany does not necessary translate to higher end user costs.

      • Danny

        I tend to dislike these subsidised schemes as basically it is the rich who own their roof who are subsidised by the poor who pay high prices for electric because of the relative high cost of solar renewables and the subsidy involved.

        If the benefits can be cascaded down to those who don’t own their own home or can’t afford the installation in the first place that sounds good but someone is still subsidising the process somewhere as solar is not genetally a cost effective means of power.

        But the economics may be different in the States, although with your very low energy costs it’s difficult to see how solar can do anything but force up Electric prices.

        I see great potential on commercial roofs where the installation size is likely to be much greater and the overall costs will be proportionately lower


      • Danny Thomas


        I’ve come to the conclusion that solar is gonna happen here in a “damn the torpedos, full speed ahead scenario” so under that thought process I’ve been seeking as equitable a process as possible. This, interestingly, is something I’d suggested to a friend and turns out that as usual I’m late to the party as it’s being put out for bids in San Antonio, Texas (so obviously thought about before I) which as far as sun energy goes appears appropriate.

        I also suggested we look at light color asphalt composition shingles at the appropriate lattitude and hear that’s been a topic for 6-7 years. Guess I need to read more and think less.

        Here in the states, we have numerous “homeowner’s associations” in which one accepts the rules and regulations about what one can do with their homes (improvements, pools, sheds, condition, landscaping, etc.) so thinking along the lines of that acceptance the hurdle of the long term lease may fit the bill in a similar fashion. Kinda a “if you don’t like the rules of the association” then buy a house that doesn’t have one. They can certainly be a blessing and a curse. Finding equity in the climate conversation can be a chore at times.

      • Danny

        I have always been mystified as to why the panels have to go on the roof with all that implied instead of in the gaRden area where it could be connected to a motor to follow the sun, would not have the same installation problems, would not look unsightly and could be taken with you when you move.

        The big problem with solar is that you have to export surplus power instead of storing it. Domestic solar batteries would be useful therefore that could store a few days power but suspect that is beyond today’s technology.


      • Danny Thomas

        For my friend who has 40 panels +/- 4’x6′ (eyeballing) the roof was the only place for that volume. But I asked also about the sun tracking capability but he didn’t know. He’s adding 6 more panels and promised to ask.

        With you on the storage issue. Once that occurs to a good level the utility will not be needed and they don’t want to plan themselves out of existance so the “rental” concept fills their needs. Interesting times.

  41. Hey everybody, chill! Read and enjoy this from Mark Steyne today.


    Not you Joshua.

  42. I posted a comment on the first link above – ‘Everything you wanted to know about the Paris climate conference’

    The USA has the capacity to enable large GHG emissions globally over the next four or five decades. USA could reduce the cost of nuclear power massively for the whole world. Regulatory ratcheting raised the cost of nuclear generated electricity by a factor of four up to 1990 and at least doubled that since – to a factor of 8 increase in nuclear’s electricity cost. There are some 50 small modular (factory) build nuclear power plant designs. But it cost about $1 billion and 10 years delay to get licencing approval. This causes huge risks for potential investors. It is ridiculous that the safest way of generating electricity by far is prevented from being rolled out to the world. The USA is best placed to lead this. But Obama has done next to nothing other than blame others (like India, and Australia). The first step should be to get IAEA started on raising the allowable radiation limits for the public. This would lead to major cost reductions (of accidents and insurance) and also be a catalyst to get the public rethinking the nuclear power option. Once the public realises how much safer nuclear is than any other form of electricity generation, the culture change should progress quite rapidly. Then the costs can come down. The USA is by far the most influential and could lead this.

    Once nuclear is cheaper than fossil fuels for even small electricity grids, and people realise it is much safer, there will be no need for centrally controlled, top down UN agreements. Low emissions will be rolled out across the world, just as happened in France starting in the 1970’s.

    • ‘Yes’, Peter,to your opening lines. Sadly, the Climate/
      Guvuhmint Politbureau have little interest in reducing
      the costs of Nuclear generated electricity or informing
      the publici of its safety. It don’t suit their political aims.
      They’d sooner keep the public in the dark.

    • Nuclear is the best current solution. Funding inherently safe technologies would allow a reduced regulatory burden and be a wise investment. Cheaper more abundant energy from a clean technology really doesn’t have a downside..

    • Nineteen countries contributed 80% of global emission in 2013. Of these, only four don’t have nuclear power, and three of them are getting it. Guess which country is the laggard. And guess which ideological group is blocking progress … that’s right, those who think they are ‘Progressives’.

      China 29%
      USA 45%
      India 52%
      Russian Federation 57%
      Japan 61%
      Germany 63%
      South Korea 65%
      Iran 66%
      Saudi Arabia 68%
      Canada 69%
      Indonesia 71%
      Brazil 72%
      Mexico 74%
      UK 75%
      South Africa 76%
      Italy 77%
      France 78%
      Australia 79%
      Thailand 80%

      Source: Global Carbon Atlas: http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org/?q=en/emissions

      • I should have clarified my point. My point is that nuclear’s proportion of electricity generation can be ramped up in the countries that contribute 80% of the worlds emissions. They are all (except Australia) nuclear capable already or soon will be. If nuclear proportion of electricity ramps up to the equivalent of France (75%-80%) over the next 5 decades, emissions intensity of electricity could be cut by around the same as France (emissions intensity of electricity is 90% less than Australia’s).

        Furthermore, cheap electricity will displace some gas for heating and some petroleum for transport (both as electric vehicles and by producing low emissions liquid fuels).

      • Nuclear can definitely contribute, but the green NGOs have entirely succeeded in driving up the cost so high that it is hardly worth the effort anymore. This has occurred both via political lobbying and via outright lawyer-based obstructionism – it is no coincidence that a law firm is one of the largest green NGOs these days (NRDC).

      • There is absolutely no doubt that we will return to nuclear, because that is where energy (E) is stored as mass (m).

  43. The late great Christopher Hitchens:

    Might be, might contain, a grain of historical truth. Might in any case give people to think about why do they know what they already think that they know? How do I know that I know this, except that I’ve always been taught this and never heard anything else? It’s always worth establishing, first a principle, saying “What would you do if you met a flat Earth society member?” “Come to think of it, how can I prove the Earth is round?” “Am I sure about the theory of evolution? I know it’s supposed to be true. Here’s someone who says no such thing, it’s all intelligent design”. “How sure am I in my own views?”
    Don’t take refuge in the false security of consensus and the feeling that whatever you think you’re bound to be okay because you’re in the safely moral majority.[emphasis mine]


    • Tell you what steven, stop the over the top subsidies for solar in the form of government payments to solar panel manufactures, and, more importantly, the tax credits consumers receive for installing solar panels, and, most importantly, stop the practice of effectively paying homeowners retail rates for putting electricity back on the grid. The problem you refuse to understand, and I say refuse purposley, is that there is a cost to providing and maintaining the grid, and when you allow a subset of customers to not only avoid paying their share of that cost, but to effectively PAY them to use the grid to distribute power, there will be a negative economic impact on the operators of that grid, even before they hit the “duck curve”. You need to remove your ideological blinders.

  44. From the article:

    In the middle of the Left’s big witch hunt against climate-change “skeptics” whose work is supposedly invalidated by tenuous financial connections to the fossil-fuel industry – facts and data matter less than where your money comes from, because that’s how SCIENCE! works – liberals are still doggedly trying to raise money with debunked global-warming mythology.

    The truth is that the big money is in Big Climate, everywhere from billion-dollar crony-capitalist business models that profit from government regulations imposed in the name of global warming, to raising funds from people who don’t know any better by telling them the Angry Sky Gods will smite them with hurricanes unless they pay up.

    The latest example is a fundraising letter from Obama For America… no, wait, I’m sorry, they’re “Organizing for Action” now, certified non-partisan by our good friends at the IRS even though Barack Obama still ostensibly signs their fundraising letters… which invites donors to sign up for the posse they’re organizing to gang-muzzle “climate change deniers.” Modern “liberalism,” you see, is all about suppressing dissent and treating the resulting silence as “consensus.”


  45. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection has become even more optimistic than Richard:

    DEP officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports, according to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

    The policy goes beyond semantics and has affected reports, educational efforts and public policy in a department with about 3,200 employees and $1.4 billion budget.


    • It’s a real shame some group or another politicized those terms. Unintended consequences, eh?

  46. Congratulations, Professor Curry, on getting Obama to visit Georgia Tech.

    Will he come to admit defeat?

    There is no doubt the AGW tale was defeated by skeptics, with a little help from the weakest record of solar activity (sun-spots produced when deep-seated magnetic pulses penetrate the photosphere) since 1750.

  47. There's reality ... and then there's physics.

  48. Sceptical Sam

    Any report that says:

    “The research embodied in that report (AR5) put it beyond doubt that the climate is changing under human influence, and warned of the dire consequences – in the form of widespread droughts, floods, heat waves, and other weather extremes – if greenhouse gases are left unchecked” ..

    can never be described as a:

    “Very good article on the forthcoming Paris climate talks [link]”

    Care to reword it Judith?

  49. “For decades now the AMS has looked the other way and pretended this fundamental conflict within its ranks does not need to be resolved.” – Brad Johnson, HuffPost.
    How would we know resolution when we see it? When some members split off and form their own new AMS? What fundamentally is wrong with two differing points of view?

    • Brad Johnson is wrong here. This one is nothing to do with supporting denial. It is to do with government interference in science, and both sides agree on that. Whether it is muzzling government scientists, censoring reports, defunding inconvenient lines of research, or putting a chill on testifiers, it is not good, and best to stay out altogether.

  50. David L. Hagen

    Green Electric Car Myth
    Bjorn Lomborg writes:
    Electric car benefits? Just myths

    In the public conversation, electric cars are seen as the new uber-green. But they’re nothing of the sort. If we had 25 million extra electric cars rather than gasoline cars on the road in 2020, they would over their lifetime avoid 75 million tons of CO2 at a market value of more than half a billion dollars.

    However, at present-day subsidies, they would cost a phenomenal $188 billion while creating more pollution than gasoline cars, costing about $35 billion in lives cut short by poor air quality. For every dollar of cost, the electric car does less than half a cent of good.

    For the next decades, hybrids are the way to go, while we innovate cheaper green energy that hopefully over some decades will make the electric car worthwhile.

    • Hybrid heat engine/electric is good technology, and has been used in
      trains and ships for several decades. Unfortunately most of today s
      hybrid cars, are parallel hybrids, which are more complicated, not
      less. Ships and trains are serial hybrids, the advantage being
      they do not have any transmission. The heat engine has no physical
      connection to the drive wheels/screw, but only provides electricity to the
      electric motors.
      As to the green energy, the only viable path forward I see,
      is man made hydrocarbon fuels.
      They can be carbon neutral, and the energy companies already have the infrastructure in place to distribute.
      It would take about 55 Kwh of electricity to make a gallon of gasoline.
      It helps to think of man made fuels as a storage mechanism.

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks johnB for the Navy link.
        Any ref on your 55 kWh/gal? At 114,000 BtU/gallon, that 55 kWh/gal sounds like ~60% efficient. That sounds high. Electrolysis alone is typically only 65% efficiency. Is that from electricity or does it include the primary energy going into the electricity?

      • David L. Hagen

        Renewable Fuel Costs
        echno-economic analysis for the synthesis of liquid and gaseous fuels based on hydrogen production via electrolysis
        From the abstract:

        The economic feasibility of synthetic natural gas (SNG) production suffers from the low product price of natural gas as a benchmark, but its technical score is high. Methanol production is identified as the synthesis technology that achieves the highest overall score.

      • I would like to post some technical retort, but the reality is the
        cost curves for making our own hydrocarbon liquid fuels
        has yet to cross. The paper brings up some valid points,
        but misses the overall mark. We did not have a viable
        replacement for our organic hydrocarbon fuels, until now!
        Ground transport could be handled by electrical power,
        but tractors, ships, and jets, need high density fuels.
        The first target for replacement would be the the most
        expensive fuels.
        The paper talked about public acceptance, whereas I
        see the change as being transparent to the end user.
        The change would be in the feedstock of the refinery.
        If the organic oil feedstock is cheaper they will use it,
        It the synthetic has a lower cost of goods it will get
        chosen. As the oil gets more difficult and expensive to
        extract, it will be phased out.
        The trick will be the source for all the energy to be stored
        in the man made hydrocarbon fuels.
        I envision lots of solar panels on roofs, It will require
        some legal changes, and net metering laws will have to
        go away. A unit of energy will have value but it’s value
        will not be tied to it’s source.
        If the Government has a roll in this it could be to encourage
        energy companies to rework the refineries to produce
        olefins from ether natural or man made sources.

    • I have been following this technology since I first heard
      about from a coworker from Germany in 2010.
      There was a article from Fraunhofer that had the 60% number.
      I know this is for the natural gas production, but we already have the technology to reform natural gas into olefins to make liquid fuels.
      Audi, changed over an old refinery to make e gas with the
      same process.
      This really is a game changer, because the thing that was
      lacking with the alternate energy forms was storage.
      The problem with wind and photovoltaic, was the sun
      and wind are low density energy, that is not always available
      when needed.
      Storage means the energy can be captured and accumulated
      for later use.
      If we ever get to a point where say 25% of the homes in the US
      have solar roofs, we will need some place to put all the surplus
      energy. Electricity not used becomes waste heat fairly quickly.

  51. I have been thinking about the diurnal asymmetry in the observed temperature record , and what could be causing it and the error in the models.
    I think it could be possible that during the daytime, sunlight excited nitrogen
    is creating a CO2 population inversion. The Excited daytime CO2 cannot absorb the ground based 15 um emissions.
    If I am correct the blue sky IR spectrum should have both 9.6 and 10.6 um
    lines present, and these could not come from a 14 um pumping source.
    The models could be off, because CO2 indeed slows down exiting
    IR photons, but mostly during the night.