Adaptive problem solving: Integral approaches to climate change

by Judith Curry

I (and others) have characterized climate change as a ‘wicked problem’ – systemic, self-fuelling tangles, which are multidimensional, hard to define and generate new problems when one tries to solve the old ones.

The UNFCCC, President Obama, etc have been treating climate change as a ‘tame problem’ – whereby the source of the problem is understood and the solution is clear and widely agreed upon.

The failure of the UNFCCC policies is about to come to a head: New Security Beat states that “If Paris witnesses scenes of discord and high drama anything like those of 2009, and if there is no clear outcome, it is hard to see that faith in the UN’s ability to hold nations together on this issue could survive.

Integral ecology

A way forward through the morass of wicked environmental problems is suggested by integral theory as applied to integral ecology.

The Integral Ecology Center has an article World Leadership Crisis: Exhibit A – Climate Change. Excerpts:

You can probably feel the difficulty of the whole situation. Time is short, uncertainty is high, and the stakes may be even higher. Competing business and political interests collide every day. The tensions run deep, driven by conflicting values and differing needs. This is the nature of the hard problems of our time: they are densely interconnected, emotionally-charged and complex. They also change rapidly, often without warning. In effect, these are what scientists call “adaptive problems” (or “wicked problems”), where the problems may actually evolve by the day. Climate change is immensely difficult because it is an adaptive problem, and requires adaptive leadership to address. Confronting an adaptive problem takes more than a bag of tricks, it takes a whole new way of being with a broader and more complex mindset on the world—a way of being that is naturally able to:

  • Step outside one’s ideology and value system in order to re-craft a more complete view of a situation
  • Understand the evolutionary nature of the people, culture, behavior and systems that contribute to complex problems
  • Quickly grasp the complexity of a situation
  • Build trust between diverse interest groups
  • Stay grounded amidst the constant demands for change
  • Find the confidence necessary for courageous action

An Overview of Integral Theory is provided by Sean Esbjorn Hargens [link]

Michael Zimmerman

Professor Michael Zimmerman at the University of Colorado is one of the leading thinkers on Integral Ecology, particularly in its application to climate change.  From the Integral Ecology Center article:

According to Dr. Zimmerman, there is an untold story behind climate science that we ignore at our own peril. His years of research have lead him to an urgent concern that climate science is falling under the sway of political forces and is not being recognized as the adaptive problem that it is. Michael critiques the fairness of its peer review processes and the low diversity of viewpoints it publicizes, leading us to a disturbing question: has the scientific community’s focus on funding and influence compromised the pursuit of truth?

Zimmerman has an article on Integral Ecology: A Perspectival, Developmental and Coordinating Approach to Environmental Problems [link].

An integral approach to climate change

The main focus of this post is Zimmerman’s paper Including and differentiating among perspectives: An integral approach to climate change [link].

Abstract. Among the principles of Integral Ecology, two are parcularly important: 1) include mul- ple perspecves not only in regard to characterizing and proposing remedies for environmental problems, but also in regard to determining what counts as a serious problem in the first place, and 2) differenate from one another the domains studied by various methods (e.g., natural science vs. policy formaon). I use these features of Integral Ecology to examine crically the contemporary debate about climate change. Even if Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios about rising global temperatures are plausible, an important issue remains: should resources be directed to adapng to coming climate change, or should they be directed to efforts to cut drama- cally anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, especially C02? How are we to know how billions of different people with many different perspecves would answer this queson?

From the introduction:

In part one of this essay, I examine whether the consensus view of climate change has been sufficiently inclusive of alternative scientific views, including skeptical ones. In part two, I examine an instance of how Left- Hand perspectives, especially values, worldviews, and beliefs, are often elided or ignored in climate change discourse. Scientific facts about climate change—the way things “are”—are routinely used to justify eliminating political discussion about what ought to be done by people faced with climate change. Failure adequately to differentiate between is and ought, fact and value, is a characteristic tendency of modernity, which often tends toward technocracy, in which “experts” are invited to devise binding public policy. Even some environmentalists  who are otherwise critical of techno-industrial modernity, have embraced technocratic attitudes when it comes to climate change. In part three, I address another question pertaining to inclusiveness: Who had a seat at the table when it was decided that the defining issue of the 21st century is climate change? Why must there be only one defining issue? What competitors are there for urgent issues? Finally, in part four, I discuss briefly how an integral ecologist might answer the question, “What ought to be done in the face of global warming?”

Part I Is the Current Scientific “Consensus” Sufficiently Inclusive?

When I began research for this article, I initially assumed that AGW was largely validated, but the more I read, the more I began to conclude that something was amiss. Too many credible scientists strongly object to the AGW hypothesis and to the IPCC as the agency responsible for promulgating evidence in its favor. Knowing that a minority of scientists can disprove a view favored even by a large majority, I began investigating in more detail the ideas of those critical of AGW, the IPCC, and related proposals about what to do about climate change.

Scientists are not immune to downplaying findings that contradict the hypothesis that they have spent years investigating. An integral scientist, however, would insist that such findings be included in the debate, even at the high cost of having one’s own work superseded.

Part II:  Differentiating Between Science and Politics

So far, I have argued that—according to Integral Ecology—climate science should include as many substantial and plausible perspectives as possible, develop the protocol needed to show what would invalidate aspects or all of AGW, and remain open-minded about the validity of alternative, data-supported hypotheses and explanations. Because of the stakes involved in the consequences of climate change, however, the debate has become increasingly politicized, in a way that threatens the very integrity of science.

In the context of post-normal science, however, a question arises: “When do scientists become so involved in politics that they end up undermining science as a neutral source of information and options for policy makers?” In The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics (2007), Roger Pielke, Jr., offers what amounts to an integral view of science and science policy. Scientists can provide important information about what a particular problem is, but go astray when suggesting that such information dictates what policies ought to be promulgated to deal with the problem.

Part III:  Who decided that AGW Is the Central Issue of the 21st Century?

Many environmentalists proclaim that climate change in coming decades is the central issue of the 21st century. I question this proclamation, not so as to dismiss the potentially destructive and/or expensive consequences of climate change, but rather to call to mind enormous problems currently facing humankind and the biosphere on which we all depend. Integral Ecology maintains that many different perspectives are needed to identify an environmental problem, much less to characterize it and to propose remedies for it. What counts as an environmental problem depends on the perspective that frames the issue that is under consideration. Moreover, even if people operating from several different perspectives can agree that there is an environmental problem, they may nevertheless disagree about how to rank that problem in comparison with other pressing needs.

Part IV What is to be done?

If the AGW hypothesis were to prove invalid, that is, if human C02 production turns out not to be driving global warming or is playing a relatively insignificant role in that process, such a development would not be a permission slip for business as usual. There are major social and environmental problems that will become only more pressing as population increases, habitats come under pressure, and ever scarcer resources become trigger points for political tensions and warfare. Moreover, even if AGW were to be proven invalid, planet Earth may continue to warm, with the current halt to warming possibly turning out to be a 20- to 30-year lull akin to the cooling period that took place from the 1950s to about 1980. What, then, is to be done?

Today, the economic-political establishments in developed nations propose to introduce costly cap-and-trade schemes and/or carbon taxes with the aim of dramatically lowering anthropogenic C02 production.

Bjørn Lomborg (2007) has gone so far as to compare the close ties among regulatory agencies, private equity firms, and many corporations as akin to what President Eisenhower once warned against, namely the untoward influence of the military-industrial complex. Lomborg is not alone in arguing that the “climate-industrial complex” has in effect co-opted the climate change debate, with the aim of representing the only possible solution as one that happens to be compatible with the interests of the organizations who stand to benefit from costly and still-speculative schemes to reduce carbon emissions.

Coping with climate change (whatever the cause) and energy needs requires comprehensive, integrative strategies that pay attention to a host of different, but interrelated, issues ranging from the personal to the technological, from humanity to habitat. Focusing on a single issue, such as AWG, fails to grasp the magnitude and complexity of the problems that confront us, including the fact that what inhabitants of wealthy countries regard as “problems” may not even show up as problems for people trying to eke out a living in difficult circumstances. I conclude with a passage from New York Times blogger Andrew Revkin, who has for decades offered some of the most thoughtful and even-handed commentaries pertaining to energy needs and climate change. In 2008, he made the following comments at Columbia University upon accepting the John Chancellor Award for Sustained Achievement in Journalism:

Climate change is not the story of our time. Climate change is a subset of the story of our time, which is that we are coming of age on a finite planet and only just now recognizing that it is finite. So how we mesh infinite aspirations of a species that’s been on this explosive trajectory—not just of population growth but of consumptive appetite—and transition to a sort of stabilized and still prosperous relationship with the Earth and each other is the story of our time.

JC reflections 

Integral ecology seems to be a framework that is well suited for dealing with complex environmental problems/challenges.   The ideas put forward here seem roughly consistent with the so-called eco-modernists – Shellenberger, Nordhaus, Pielke Jr., Revkin, Hulme, Nesbit – many of whom are cited in Williams’ article.

Williams’ article takes a first step at applying these ideas to climate change.  While I agree with much of what he says, I don’t see a concrete way forward here. Maybe that is just reflective of the wicked nature of the climate change problem, which needs to be more fully acknowledged with a broader and more complex mindset.

I think these ideas are worth examining and developing, I look forward to your comments.

387 responses to “Adaptive problem solving: Integral approaches to climate change

  1. Typos: Some characters have been lost, especially the letter sequence “ti”. E.g. “multiple perspectives” became “mul-ple perspecves”, “policy formation” -> “policy formaon”.

    • ...and Then There's Psychics

      I sense a nuclear energy cheerleader coming through the door.

      • What a cunning way to get your comment at the top of the pile. Me too!

        Todays ‘climate change’ fanatics have the same stamp as yesterdays globalization fanatics. The so-called ‘problem’ is self-solving because at some point, when it is no longer tenable to keep ignoring reality, they will resurrect another anti-capitalist zeitgeist and be fanatical about that instead.

      • TTP,
        He seems to be making a reasonable point, “Many environmentalists proclaim that climate change in coming decades is the central issue of the 21st century. I question this proclamation, not so as to dismiss the potentially destructive and/or expensive consequences of climate change, but rather to call to mind enormous problems currently facing humankind and the biosphere on which we all depend”.

        The CAGW claims since late 80’s have not materialized. Zimmerman is is logically taking an objective assessment of reality. He never says, ecologist’s should stop considering ecological remediation’s because it is obvious that this type of planning benefits the planet. The question is can we weight the remediation’s in such a biased political environment.

        Maybe there is no choice to working in the latter political environment but as Dr. Curry has noted on numerous occasions “climate science is complicated” and the alternatives of choice are nearly limitless unless you ask each nation to mandate birth control. The plethora of scientific opinions and papers trying to explain the climate observations of the last 15 years validates her warning on the climate side?

        Zimmerman’s positions are reasonable to the extreme.

      • ATTP, How do you propose we replace fossil fuels in a timely manner without a large reliance, at least in the near term, on nuclear power?

      • Impuissant to slam the door, Ken Rice sneers. Powerlessly, heh.
        ==============

      • Environmentalists have closed the door to a solution to global warming themselves by banning nuclear. No Chinese or Indian middle class person will accept compulsory energy poverty as the current favoured “solution”.

  2. Pareto Principle (also called the ’80:20 rule’) says we should focus efforts on the 20% of items that cause 805 of the problem. Or put another way, sort out the 20% that are causing most of the problem and we will solve most of the problem.

    If we want to cut global GHG emissions, need to focus on emissions from fossil fuels. We can have by far the greatest effect, initially, by substituting low cost, low emissions electricity generation for fossil fuel generation, So, that is where most of our focus should be (I’d say 80% of our focus initially).

    I am persuaded that there will be only slow progress on reducing global GHG emissions until nuclear power is cheaper than fossil fuels. The way to achieve that is not by trying to raise the cost of fossil fuels. That will not succeed, IMO. Instead, we need to remove the impediments that are causing nuclear to be far more expensive than it could be.

    The USA has the capacity to enable large GHG emissions reductions 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 power by a factor of four up to 1990 and probably doubled that since – to a factor of eight increase. There are some 50 small modular (factory build) nuclear power plant designs. But it costs about $1 billion and 10 years delay to get licencing approval. This causes huge risks for potential investors. It is irrational that the safest way to generate 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) for not doing enough. 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 could progress quite rapidly. Then the costs can come down. The USA is by far the most knowledgeable and influential country in nuclear engineering and could lead the way to make it a reality.

    Once nuclear is cheaper than fossil fuels and its safety is recognised, there will be no need for UN agreements to reduce global GHG emissions. Low emissions will be rolled out across the world, just as happened in France starting in the 1970’s (without any UN agreement forcing it).

    For nuclear power to make major cuts to global GHG emissions, does not require nuclear be implemented in the least developed countries for decades. Developed and developing countries contribute over 80% of global GHG emissions. The countries that contribute 80% of the world’s emissions are all (except Australia) nuclear capable already or planning to build plants. Therefore, nuclear’s proportion of electricity can be ramped up in countries that already have or are planning nuclear generation. But this will only occur rapidly if nuclear is cheaper than fossil fuel generated electricity. If nuclear’s proportion of electricity ramps up to that of of France (i.e. 75%-80%) over the next 5 decades, emissions intensity of electricity could be cut to around 10% of Australia’s (as France achieved 30 years ago). Furthermore, more emissions will be saved as cheap electricity will displace some gas for heating and some petroleum for transport (both as electric vehicles and by producing low emissions liquid fuels).

    Nineteen countries contributed 80% of global emission in 2013. Of these, only six don’t have nuclear power, and all except Australia are planning to get it.

    Country and cumulative proportion of total global GHG emissions in 2013:
    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

    The key to making faster progress is to focus on cutting the cost of nuclear power by removing the legislative and regulatory impediments that have driven the costs of licencing, security and investor risk to many times higher than it should be if regulation was on done on the basis of rational and objective analysis of risks and benefits.

    • Peter Lang | March 12, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Reply
      If we want to cut global GHG emissions, need to focus on emissions from fossil fuels.

      Although there may be reasons to quit using fossil fuels, global warming isn’t one of them. The US EPA has proposed a program costing tens of billions of US dollars which, from their own announcements, will reduce global temps by 0.01 deg. Perhaps you can identify a credible source that claims manmade reduction of CO2 will have any significant (0.01 is not significant) effect on Global Warming. Although nuclear power has a PR problem, it is the only option for reliable and affordable power.

      • PHMinSC,

        Although nuclear power has a PR problem, it is the only option for reliable and affordable power.

        I agree. This explains the evidence in support of your point:

        Perhaps you can identify a credible source that claims manmade reduction of CO2 will have any significant (0.01 is not significant) effect on Global Warming.

        That’s not necessary, because it’s not important. What’s important is that there are powerfully lobby groups that influence voters to believe it. They elect politicians that support action and then you get governments lik Obama, the EU and Australia’s previous government who legislate to save the planet by making fossil fuels prohibitively expensive. You are wasting your time arguing about the science. you need to focus on the politics, propaganda and policy analysis.

        My point is that we need nuclear power for many reasons. For some people, GHG emissions reduction is important. If they want to reduce global GHG emissions then they should be leading the charge to, first, learn and understand costs, risk and benefits of nuclear power and, next, educate their mates and advocate to remove the impediments they and their predecessors got imposed on the nuclear power insdustry.

      • PHMinSC,

        Although nuclear power has a PR problem, it is the only option for reliable and affordable power.

        I agree. This explains the evidence in support of your point:

        Why renewables are not sustainable:
        John Morgan, ‘Catch 22 of Energy Storage’: http://bravenewclimate.com/renewable-limits/

        John Morgan’s response to serious critiques: http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/#comment-350520

    • I think the focus on power generation is short sighted. Whatever to pros and cons of nuclear power generation are – there are many issues with implementation of nuclear power where it matters most: in the developing world.
      The buildout of transmission grids, for example, is not something nuclear power can materially assist with. In the same vein, the buildout of infrastructure in developing nations is equally not amenable to nuclear power.

      • c1ue,

        I think the focus on power generation is short sighted.

        On what basis do you make that comment? It is the only known available energy source that is sustainable for the long term (thousands to millions of years). Therefore it is far sited. It is also by far the fastest way to make massive reduction to global GHG emissions. France’s emissions intensity of electricity is 10% of Australia’s and they achieved that over a period of about 30 years, (most of their nuclear power plants were commissioned over a period of about 20 years). They now have near the cheapest electricity in EU. So it is the opposite of short sited. It is by far the most rational solution to many problems.

        there are many issues with implementation of nuclear power where it matters most: in the developing world.

        You missed the main point of my comment. 80% of global GHG emissions are from countries that already have nuclear or are in the process of getting it. They have the capability to run nuclear power and if it is allowed to be economic, they can roll it out over time to replace fossil fuel electricity generation.

        The buildout of transmission grids, for example, is not something nuclear power can materially assist with.

        The transmission system is required no matter what generation technology is built. Transmission is far more expensive for renewables than for nuclear.

        But most importantly, with fossil fuel generation, you need ships, ports railways trains, natural gas pipelines and LNG production lines. The amount of fuel that needs to be shipped for nuclear power is 1/20,000th that of fossil fuels. That’s now. When fast reactors are economically viable, the ration becomes 1/2,000.000th. Think of all the savings involved. And think of the energy security when every country can store decades of fuel for their whole country in a few wharehouses.

      • “The IAEA’s radiation limits are about a factor of 100 too stringent on the basis of objective evidence.”

        The limits for plant steel scrap are a factor of 1000 too high. So stipulating that the

        http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/natural.htm
        A 1 square mile, by 1 foot deep piece of the earths surface has on average of 653 gigaBequerels of natural radioactivity. The ocean has 12300 Bequerels/m3 of natural radioactivity. The claims of any hazard to the US from Fukushima were simply wrong.

        The earth and presumably the rest of the solar system is very hot radiologically since it was formed from supernova remnants. Overly stringent regulation doesn’t improve safety and is a useless and unnecessary impediment to implementation.

        http://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/data-cancer-frequency-country
        The cancer rates of Belarus and Ukraine (home of Chernobyl) are 2/3rds and less than 2.3rds of the US cancer rate and these are the #2 and #6 smoking countries (the US is #51). Old women are living in the exclusion zone which makes the Fukushima exclusion zone look like a California beach.

        There is no basis for the current overly stringent regulations, since the effects of low level radioactivity have been field tested.

      • c1ue | March 13, 2015 at 3:28 am | Reply
        I think the focus on power generation is short sighted. Whatever to pros and cons of nuclear power generation are – there are many issues with implementation of nuclear power where it matters most: in the developing world.

        Well, gee.

        I looked at the map. The countries that don’t have power are in the middle of the map (the equator?) where most of the solar is.

        If civilized countries implement an entirely nuclear power system, we can send the equator countries our coal (for urban power) and our solar panels (for rural power). Solar isn’t very useful in the temperate zone anyway.

        These countries have little power now, so the global emissions would be much less (they don’t have the infrastructure to use a lot of power). CO2 levels will be limited to under 500 PPM,(a safe level) and they can burn the coal that we have to get rid of anyway.

    • Peter, I don’t understand what is shown in the table of “cumulative proportion of total global GHG emissions in 2013.” Please elucidate.

      • Faustino,

        CO2-e emissions by country for 2013, Mt CO2-e (from GlobalCarbonAtlas: http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org/?q=en/emissions ):
        The columns are: country; 2013 emissions; cumulative emissions; proportion of total; cumulative proportion of total. (columns are separated by semi colons, so you can copy it to Excel and pars it if you want to, or better still go to GlobalCarbonAtlas and investigate).

        World; 34,092 ;;;
        China; 9,977 ; 9,977 ;29%;29%
        United States of America; 5,233 ; 15,210 ;15%;45%
        India; 2,406 ; 17,617 ;7%;52%
        Russian Federation; 1,812 ; 19,429 ;5%;57%
        Japan; 1,246 ; 20,675 ;4%;61%
        Germany; 759 ; 21,433 ;2%;63%
        South Korea; 615 ; 22,049 ;2%;65%
        Iran; 611 ; 22,660 ;2%;66%
        Saudi Arabia; 519 ; 23,179 ;2%;68%
        Canada; 503 ; 23,682 ;1%;69%
        Indonesia; 494 ; 24,176 ;1%;71%
        Brazil; 482 ; 24,658 ;1%;72%
        Mexico; 466 ; 25,124 ;1%;74%
        United Kingdom; 462 ; 25,586 ;1%;75%
        South Africa; 448 ; 26,034 ;1%;76%
        Italy; 353 ; 26,386 ;1%;77%
        France; 344 ; 26,730 ;1%;78%
        Australia; 341 ; 27,071 ;1%;79%
        Thailand; 327 ; 27,398 ;1%;80%
        Turkey; 325 ; 27,723 ;1%;81%

        This shows that the top 3 countries produce 52% of global emissions, the top 5 produce 61%, and the top 19% produce 80%.

        My point is that all the top 20 emitters either have nuclear power already or are in the process of getting it (except Australia). If the impediments that have been imposed on nuclear power and are increasing the costs enormously were removed, then, over time, the costs will come down massively and nuclear can replace baseload electricity generation in the countries that contribute 80% of global emissions. Therefore, nuclear power can make a very significant reduction in global GHG emissions and provide large economic benefits as well – i.e. no economic cost (once the cost of electricity from nuclear plants gets below the cost of new fossil fuel plants).

        A common question posed by anti-nukes is “would you want to allow countries like Eretria to have nuclear power plants?”. These figures show why the question is irrelevant now and probably will be irrelevant for many decades.

      • “My point is that all the top 20 emitters either have nuclear power already or are in the process of getting it (except Australia). If the impediments that have been imposed on nuclear power and are increasing the costs enormously were removed, then, over time, the costs will come down massively and nuclear can replace baseload electricity generation in the countries that contribute 80% of global emissions.”

        What is actually important is China [and possibly India] and both don’t have these problems- really only country which has this problem is the US. The problem in China is incompetence of political system in general rather than their political system restricting itself.
        Or nuclear power in US involves the private sector- which US government has overloaded with restriction regulations.
        If anything China and India need more restriction regulations- though this assumes a government actually follows it’s own laws- which would a foolish hope.

        Or one simply can’t remove restrictive and unnecessary laws to solve the problem in China. You need the government to want to have more
        nuclear power and the Chinese government already have this desire and are they doing it. So Chinese are going full steam towards getting more nuclear power, but nuclear power is a lot harder to do than Coal power plants. Chinese simply lack the ability to go faster, but willingness to make nuclear power makes the country which developing more nuclear power than any other country in the world. Or both India and China going as fast as the government can do it.
        That Europe and US is against building nuclear power plants is somewhat irrelevant to global fossil fuel CO2 emission, because their total CO2 emission is essentially irrelevant as is their use of coal [or wood- which is stupidly being promoted as measure to reduce CO2 emission {because burning wood is not considered a problem- because they are idiots]].

      • gbaike,

        “really only country which has this problem is the US. ”

        I disagree. Read the literature on how regulatory ratcheting raised the cost of nuclear power. This began in US, Europe, Canada, etc. But the fear and loathing of nuclear power that was propagated by anti nukes and organisation like Greenpeace, caused the US and EU standards to strongly influence the standards in all other countries. The IAEA’s radiation limits are about a factor of 100 too stringent on the basis of objective evidence. This is enormously raising the cost of nuclear power all over the world.

        I’d urge people to look into these matter. The cost of nuclear is not caused by physical or technical constraints. It’s caused by unjustified impediments, regulations and the risk premium demanded by investors to offset the risk of popular revolt and legal challenges leading to delays in construction or early closure of plants.

        All this can be overcome. Nuclear can become 100 times more efficient at using the recoverable energy in its fuel (and in the once used nuclear fuel, often thought of as ‘waste’). Therefore, there is the potential for the cost of energy from nuclear power to come down enormously (over decades). We just need to get people to start researching this objectively.

        I’ve posted a number of easy to read background information here: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=17160&page=0

        I’d urge readers who are interested to copy that list of references and keep it for future reference.

      • –gbaikie,

        “really only country which has this problem is the US. ”

        I disagree. Read the literature on how regulatory ratcheting raised the cost of nuclear power. This began in US, Europe, Canada, etc. But the fear and loathing of nuclear power that was propagated by anti nukes and organisation like Greenpeace, caused the US and EU standards to strongly influence the standards in all other countries. The IAEA’s radiation limits are about a factor of 100 too stringent on the basis of objective evidence. This is enormously raising the cost of nuclear power all over the world.–

        Well everyone knows coal burning emits more harmful radiation than than nuclear power.
        So nuclear power is clean and low radiation means of making energy.
        And Nuclear can easily win this argument and at very low costs- compared to anything thing else.
        Fear is a problem. Yes. But Chinese are current killing their citizen will pollution and we continue to do this. And anyone can give reasoned argument that nuclear energy would save Chinese lives and improve their health.
        And idea that Greenpeace has any effect on Chinese policy is just silly.

        The problem in US is an unwillingness to have a standard way of making the nuclear reactor which can be build without endless delay.
        So In US the answer is modification to existing nuclear powerplants- and activist aim is to get rid of nuclear sites [so can be modified] but mere modification of nuclear plants can not be path to increasing nuclear energy use in the US. What you really needs is competition- which is thwarted by legal means [and nuclear power lobby- fairly happy to have less competition- nuclear energy competition].
        So for example France doesn’t have the US problem. France’s problem is they have leader who is not very bright and they lack competition as general rule. If anything, France probably has more nuclear energy than a country should have. Or I think 50% nuclear power would a good mix- because nuclear power is geared towards a base electrical load.
        But in sense France has nuclear power for the other European nations- it exports the electrical power. And basically Germany has made a mess of Europe’s electrical export market.
        One could say french policy was to exploit the incompetence of European countries, but Germany vast incompetency has sort of threw wrench in the works.

    • ciue

      Over about 50 years nearly all existing fossil fuel power stations will be replaced. They will be replaced by the technologies that are expected to supply electricity to meet requirements at least cost. If we (led by the US President and leaders of the countries that have nuclear power, as well as the IAEA and NRC) remove the impediments to nuclear power, it can become the least cost option and then it will be the technology of choice for new capacity and capacity replacements. Thereafter, the replacement of fossil fuel plants at the end of their economic life will give a net economic benefit, not a cost – and that’s without even including the benefits of lower externalities (like reduced fatalities per TWh).

      Allowing nuclear to be cheaper than fossil fuels, would mean most fossil fuel electricity generation would be replaced by near-zero emissions nuclear in the 19 countries that contribute 80% of the world’s GHG emissions. Assuming this reduces emissions intensity of electricity by say 80% (France’s emissions intensity of electricity is 90% less than Australia’s), and assuming electricity and fossil fuels for heat and transport displaced by electricity over the period avoid 50% of total emissions in the 19 countries, then this deregulation policy alone would reduce global emissions by 80% x 80% x 50% = 32% over 50 years. Nuclear would be the cheaper option in other countries too, so they would also convert to nuclear later in the period.

      Those who are concerned about human caused GHG emissions are urged to give serious consideration to the deregulation approach as an alternative to the regulatory approach. Regulation that raises the cost of energy or damages economies has virtually no chance of succeeding. It will not get sustained support and even if temporarily implemented it will not be sustainable for much the same reasons as carbon pricing has little chance of success (explained in these two posts):

      Why carbon pricing will not succeed, Part I: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/26/cross-post-peter-lang-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed-part-i/

      Why the world will not agree to pricing carbon, Part II: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/

      • Curious George

        Peter, I am uncomfortable with those percentages adding to (I guess) 800%. I just don’t understand it, I hope you do. Please help.

      • Curious George,

        Which percentages are adding to 100%. Total global emissions are 100% of total global emissions. 19 countries emit 80% of total global emissions. In my response to Faustino I provided emissions per country in 2013, cumulative emissions of countries ranked from highest to lowest emissions, each countries proportion of global emissions, and the cumulative proportion of total global emissions.

        For example, Thailand is the 19th highest emitter. It contributes 1% of global GHG emissions. The top 19 emitters including Thailand emit 80% of global emissions.

        What don’t you understand? Be specific. State the numbers that are confusing you. Nothing totals to 800%.(unless you are totaling the cumulative percentages.

      • Curious George

        Peter – thank you for an explanation. So when you provide a data point, e.g. Thailand 80%, it tells us nothing about Thailand as such. To learn anything about Thailand, I have to subtract the preceding line. What a way to present data! Are you a climatologist?

      • Curious George,

        That’s a pretty petty criticism. All you had to do was read what I wrote in the introduction to the table of data. I assumed readers of CE would understand what “cumulative ‘ means. If you wanted to explore the data why didn’t you go to the source I linked? Or why didn’t you read my reply to Faustino where I listed the emissions per country, cumulative emissions by country sorted in order of highest to lowest emissions, each countries proportion of total GHG emissions, and their cumulative proportion of emissions.

      • Curious George

        Peter, more petty criticism: Your data shows
        Country; 2013 emissions; cumulative emissions
        China; 9,977 ; 9,977
        USA; 5,233 ; 15,210
        Do you actually believe that China did not emit any CO2 prior to 2013? Do you believe USA emitted 1/3 of their total CO2 in 2013? Do you understand what “cumulative ‘means?

      • Curious George,

        ‘I am sorry I have confused you. But I don’t understand why you are confused.

        9,977 is China;s emissions in 2013. The second colum is the cumulative emisisons. China is top of the list, so the cumulatrive emisisons are the same as its emissions. However, USA is second, so the cumulative emissions for China + USA is 5,233+ 9,977. Surely this is clear enough. if not, why haven’t you gone to the source and worked it out for yourself?

      • Curious George

        Peter, my apology. A basic misunderstanding. For me, cumulative emissions are 2015 emissions plus 2014 emissions plus 2013 emissions and so on. I did not realize that all that fuss was just an analysis of 2013 emissions.

      • Curious George,

        Thank you. And my apologies for not bearing clearer in my initial post. Clearly it wasn’t clear because Faustino asked me to clarify too.

    • Peter, what happens when we start running out of uranium? And do you expect to see nuclear power plants built all over? I mean places like Somalia and Venezuela look very unsafe and will probably stay unsafe for decades….

      • Fernando, Nuclear fuel is effectively unlimited. Sufficient uranium to supply all the world’s energy needs for 10 billion people consuming the same per capita as the USA consumes now for 1000 to 1 million years. That’s just uranium. There’s 4 times mkore thorium than uranium and we haven’t even considered fusion. So you can set that concern aside. Nuclear is sustainable indefinitely. Read “A life time of energy in the palm of your hand” http://bravenewclimate.com/2010/04/22/ifr-fad-4/

        I addressed your question about roll out of nuclear power to countries beyond those that already have or are in the process of getting nuclear power in my reply to Faustino above: https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/12/adaptive-problem-solving-integral-approaches-to-climate-change/#comment-683152

      • I guess we’ll just have to help Iran, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Mexico and Pakistan build a few dozen nuclear power plants to help them reduce emissions. And then there’s that 20 % which hopes to have better lives and tend to reproduce at a faster pace. I’ll get on a preliminary layout for nuclear plants in Nigeria, Kenya, Congo and Ethiopia.

    • Thailand 80%
      ===========
      evil Thailand, responsible for 80% of the world’s cumulative GHG emissions.

    • Regulatory and legislative rules were induced by stupid management. The ones who bought lower cost bolts that hold the pipes together and lower cost pipes “because they looked the same”, when they weren’t. ( Among a garden variety of other problems to cut costs) The other side of nuclear is the amount of money needed, remember when bond yields were 18%? You remember those days? It drove up everything that needed to be financed, like housing and business. Did you do any research around 3 mile island? Have any idea on how to make 5 leaf clover or marigolds that are a foot in diameter? If you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, you shouldn’t be talking about nuclear.
      Want to buy a ‘hot’ table from , let’s say from Mexico?

      • rishrac

        I am afraid you come across as neither understanding anything much about why the costs of nuclear skyrocketed by a factor of about 4 to 190 plus )(my guess) another factor of two since. You are repeating the usual anti-nuke talking points which is a telltale sign it is you that hasn’t done any objective research.

        The bolts issue applies equally to other industries, like air transport, but it doesn’t cost the aircraft manufacturers 1 billion and 10 years to get a licence for a new plant and similarly exorbitant costs and time delays for every design change and new version.

        I guess you don’t know that nuclear is the safest way to generate electricity (safer then renewables) and replacing coal with nuclear for electricity generation would avoid over 1 million fatalities per year, right? And since you don’t know that, you don’t recognise that anti-nukes like you are causing greater hazard and externalities by your irrational scaremongering and by advocating against it.

        If you want to learn a bit (I suspect you don’t) you may like to copy these links and save for future use (when you are interested to check something you have read or someone has said): http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=17160#302948

        Here Professor Bernard Cohen explains why nuclear power costs escalated by a factor of four up to 1990.
        ‘Bernard Cohen, 1991, Costs of nuclear power plants – what went wrong’ http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html

        There are many other references explaining why the learning curve for nuclear is negative whereas all other electricity generation technologies have experienced positive learning rates for over 100 years.

        You have a hell of a lot to learn – but you’d need to open your mind and tackle it objectively. Your initial comment doesn’t suggest you are likely to be interested to do that.

      • Correction:

        “I am afraid you come across as neither understanding anything much about why the costs of nuclear skyrocketed by a factor of about 4 to 1900 plus, I guess, another factor of two since.

      • I understand a lot… simple answers that brush off these problems is naïve You don’t have a clue as to how complex this issue is.

      • Well, your initial comment suggests you don’t know much (apart from misleading information you’ve picked up from anti nuke sites). If you do understand a lot as you claim, post a comment that demonstrates you do know a lot and support your statements with authoritative sources.

        “simple answers that brush off [the relevant issues and facts] are naïve”.

        What exactly do you disagree with that I have said? Provide evidence from authoritative sources to support your assertions. I’d like you to answer a few basic question to demonstrate a basic level of knowledge of what is important:

        1. Do you understand that nuclear power is about the safest way to generate electricity?

        2. Do you understand that learning rates (rate of cost reduction per doubling of electricity sent out), has been negative for about 40 years whereas all other electricity generation technologies have had positive learning rates.

        2a. Do you understand that replacing coal with nuclear for electricity generation would avoid over 1 million fatalities per year?

        3. Do you understand the main reasons why nuclear learning rate has been negative while all other technologies have been positive?

        4. Do you understand that nuclear fuel is, for all intents and purposes, effectively unlimited?

        If you answer “No, you do not agree” then provide evidence from authoritative sources.

        Let’s find out how much you really understand.

      • The point of finding a 5 leaf clover is that a friend of mine could find them with ease in Carlisle, PA. Before the accident at 3 mile island, years before. Additionally, the cleanup in Japan has attracted the criminal element. To think that things are okay doky in running nuclear is naïve at best. The people involved are not always the best, brightest or have anyone’s interest at heart except how much money can I make out of this. And if something goes wrong, I’ll be living in some other part of the world. Much like the arguments on CAGW, they want to shut skeptics up. Why is that? If you have concerns about the quality of steel in a nuke plant, and others say, oh we need to do away with that regulation, exactly what are they trying to say? If radioactive steel is dumped on the street, who’s going to know? Who’s going to know if it gets recycled into steel beams for building? Management? You don’t think there isn’t political infighting to get the top positions? Their interest is usually to make sure that they get a rate of return on their investment. Even the best people in the industry make mistakes. We can’t even control the spread of nuclear weapons. With the amount of material available, it’s not a matter of if, but when. They don’t have to make a pretty bomb, a low yield crappy one would do an enormous amount of damage. Then you have human trafficking in some countries, who’s working in these plants? What kind of information are you getting? I’ll go in and talk to the operators? Tampered gauges and dials? What are they going to tell me when their families are held hostage? No problems here.

      • Professor Cohen’s data makes sober reading. Ratcheting
        regulations and escalating time and labour costs. The
        political fear campaign achieved its ends. Yet if the
        warmists genuinely feared CO2 warming they’d have
        welcomed nuclear energy in place of inefficient, land
        consuming wind and solar. Say, when has it ever been
        about the weather?

      • “The political fear campaign achieved its ends. ”

        This tactic will be endlessly repeated unless it is addressed.

        The solution is an “honesty in environmentalism” law that allows companies and individuals to sue environmentalists and environmental groups for making factually incorrect statements (scare mongering).

        The other side is hounded by the press but no one appears to be watchdogging the environmentalists.

      • PA and BeththeSerf,

        Excellent points by both of you. Did you see the excelelnt article by Matt Ridley here:
        “Fossil Fuels Will Save the World (Really)” http://www.wsj.com/articles/fossil-fuels-will-save-the-world-really-1426282420

        It includes this paragraph:

        “Nuclear’s problem is cost. In meeting the safety concerns of environmentalists, politicians and regulators added requirements for extra concrete, steel and pipework, and even more for extra lawyers, paperwork and time. The effect was to make nuclear plants into huge and lengthy boondoggles with no competition or experimentation to drive down costs. Nuclear is now able to compete with fossil fuels only when it is subsidized.”

  3. Had this been the approach taken all along, many, if not most of the problems associated would have worked them selves out to the satisfaction of a majority of people concerned about this issue on both sides. Alas, it was more about money and power than about solving a problem (or actually identifying it, in this case). The bad blood will take at least generation to dissipate and real progress made, I fear.

  4. A lot of good stuff there. But it’s depressing how even the very balanced and rational thinkers fall into traps:
    “Climate change is immensely difficult because it is an adaptive problem, and requires adaptive leadership to address.”. Well, it isn’t just an adaptive problem, because enormous effort has been put into enforcing mitigation. It is there that the major problem llies.
    “Moreover, even if AGW were to be proven invalid, planet Earth may continue to warm, with the current halt to warming possibly turning out to be a 20- to 30-year lull akin to the cooling period that took place from the 1950s to about 1980.”. There is still an inbuilt bias towards warming in that statement. What if it isn’t a lull and the warming is over, period? What if Professor Abdussamatov is right, and we have an extended period of severe cooling?

  5. I think the focus should be on solutions. Even if AGW turns out different than expected moving over to different energy types will probably be necessary someday anyway since it is finite. It has also been said that even if we stopped pumping CO2 now it’s too late. If it is really urgent then nuclear is the only viable path to rapidly give up fossils. No one seems interested in taking on the ‘Greens’ there and seem to be just ignoring Hansen and others. Playing gotcha politics and not making energy needs the focus of public debate will see that business as usual will continue with feckless policies as still the norm.

    • You only need solutions if you have correctly identified and evaluated a problem which needs to be addressed. Still waiting.

      • Digging up huge quantities of fossil carbon, burning it, and dumping the result into the atmosphere/ecosystem represents a significant risk. (Not “significant” in the technical statistical sense.) The risk is that it will destabilize the system. Since we lack any sort of predictive science of how such changes might effect the hyper-complex non-linear system our climate/ecosystem represents, we have no way to evaluate the actual extent of that risk.

        Therefore, it is desirable to reduce the process of dumping fossil carbon into the system as quickly as possible consistent with other high priorities, as well as encourage the development of technologies capable of dragging it back out and putting it back into the ground if future science discovers it to be needed.

        The problem, then, might be stated as such: How do “we” incent the development and rapid growth of technologies capable of providing fossil-neutral energy and removing CO2 from the system without impacting energy costs/prices, economic growth, or individual liberty?

      • Faustino: we ARE running out of oil, gas and coal. I realize this is a little hard to believe when oil and gas prices are so low in the USA, but we have a pretty ugly shortage looming over the horizon. Fossil fuels ARE finite, and we do need to fill the growing energy demand with something else. And please take note: I was in the oil business for almost 40 years. I’m not joking.

      • Fossil fuels ARE finite, and we do need to fill the growing energy demand with something else.

        Methane Hydrate (clathrate)s

        Carbon dioxide can also form hydrates and this has become a very promising line of research for both carbon sequestration and for energy production. It is a well-documented phenomenon that injecting CO2 into a methane hydrate will release the methane and the carbon dioxide will take its place in the ice. Supercritical CO2 has been successfully used as a production fluid for releasing the methane, but only limited experimentation has been done to try and use hydrates for large scale CO2 sequestration.

        With appropriate subsidies for R&D using a fossil-neutral, or even (fossil-)negative, use of ambient CO2 for “releasing the methane”, this might turn out to be a medium-term solution to both the fossil-fuel shortage, and fossil CO2 dumping.

        And note: this process will serve to support a major market for CO2, which if extracted from sea-surface water, using e.g. the process developed by the USNavy, would provide a mature and low-cost method of extracting CO2 for direct sequestration, allowing the extra fossil carbon we dump into the system over the next few decades to be pulled back out.

      • AK, as I wrote, I was in the oil business for a few decades. I think the methane hydrates aren’t a feasible source. That’s very science fictiony. We CAN store CO2 by dumping it on the sea floor. In really deep water it’s a dense liquid and it should seep down into the bottom sediments. But this needs to be investigated because it will cause a dead zone. I suppose the debris of dead creatures falling into liquid CO2 at 3000 atmospheres won’t rot very easily.

      • That’s very science fictiony.

        Like the Internet?

    • This is why the politicization is so important.
      If you focus on the solutions (which we would do if we cared about AGW), you will quickly discover two things:
      1. AGW “advocates” are not proposing any functional solutions.
      2. If nuclear is the answer, the political left and environmental movements (I know, same thing) fought it and as a consequence forced everyone to build coal plants over the last 45 years. If AGW is a serious problem, they contributed more to it than any “fossil fuel industry” rep did. After getting economics wrong for the whole 20th century, the left might not be able to survive having people discover they got the environment wrong too.

      Funny, isn’t it, how nuclear disproves all the advocate’s shibboleths? In the ’70s, the power industry was ready to switch away from coal with innovative new sources that had larger initial expense (nukes), the Republicans were supportive of the move, the “fossil fuel industry” stayed out of the fight (unless you want to suggest they funded Greenpeace et al). Today, we’re told that alternatives are prevented because the power industry is afraid of innovative alternatives with higher initial costs and the fossil-fuel industry owns Republicans. AGW movement = if you’re going to lie, lie big.
      And by the way, switching from coal doesn’t just impact power generation. Electric cars need electricity too. Cheap, reliable electricity.

    • Well, the AGW crowd has basically been lying and refuses to come clean, so the assumption that CAGW will occur is probably as likely as an asteroid strike. This takes AGW off the table as an energy consideration.

      There is nothing wrong with fossil fuels. If you stipulate that GHGs aren’t pollutants (and CO2, methane, etc. are released in massive quantities naturally so they aren’t pollutants) renewable technologies aren’t a big improvement from a pollution standpoint. The cleanest technology is nuclear.

      Given this energy technology should be driven by cost only since this provides the greatest benefit to society.

      In 2050 China plans to have almost as many commercial power reactors as exist on the planet today. They are aiming for $1000 /MW construction cost. The current cost is about twice that but they are early in the learning curve. The current US cost is about $7000/MW for new nuclear. It is obvious that some regulatory impediments to nuclear power need to be removed. For example: steel from nuclear plants 1/1000 as radioactive as gas pipeline (which is recycled) have to be treated as hazardous waste and buried. With regulatory reform and more frequent construction we should be able to cut nuclear plant costs in half.

      At the current time in the US nuclear is between coal and gas in cost. Gas is the cheapest energy.

      With some regulatory reform (or a Liquid metal or liquid salt plant design) nuclear would be the cheapest power source hands down. Dispatchability makes it about twice as valuable as renewable energy on a per delivered KW/h basis.

      Nobody sensible expects that we will burning fossil fuels in current quantities much beyond 2060. Market economics argue against it. New fossil resources are more expensive to exploit.

      Until renewables clean up their act nuclear is the best alternative.

  6. daveandrews723

    Do other scientific disciplines have to deal with all of this psychological and social baggage? It seems to me, a layman, the climate science is breaking the mold when it comes to the scientific method… for all the wrong reasons.

    • This seems the most self-conscious branch of science since sociology. that this might be so in no way suggests that there aren’t serious thoughtful investigators within it

      • Throughout the history of science there have been many relatively new sciences with dynamic leaders who were just plain wrong but didn’t let that get in the way of their work. The younger the science, the more likely it is to be dominated by a few charismatic *ssh*l*s who are riding the wave of novelty out to make a name for themselves. It’s very hard to do that in old well established fields so those tend to not attract the *ssh*l*s. I will never forget reading about Louis Pasteur was not permitted to belong to the chemical science society of France because every just knew spontaneous generation was real and it was all settled science and he was wrong to not agree. The more viciously the *ssh*l*s attack dissenters, the more likely it is they are wrong. That is the yardstick I use to measure an idea. By that measure, the climate scientists are the wrongest of the wrong out there. Only time will tell if my little hypothesis applies.

    • “Do other scientific disciplines have to deal with all of this psychological and social baggage?”

      Oh yes; examining brain and genetics, brain and gender or brain and any phenotype is fraught will difficulty.

    • Dave Andrews I think the problem arises because this particular group of people has identified a problem, they lack the tools to quantify it properly to justify the actions some people want to take, and to make matters worse the left sees the energy discontinuity as a Troyan horse they can use to introduce their favorite isms. This is clearly seen in the writings of individuals like Amy Goodman..

  7. > What, then, is to be done?

    Existential angst …

    Try this simple-enough thought game (no hidden gotchas, no trickie-dickies)

    Imagine time-travel is available, completely safe but limited. The actual limit is that one may choose to go forward or back in time and then return with complete safety, but only one* choice – forward or back – is available. You cannot choose both

    Which would you choose ? Which would the majority of people choose, do you think ?

    And then, of course, why* that choice ?

    [The choice actually says something fairly deep about one’s “existential angst”]

    • I would, of course, go back to the days before climate ever changed. To that happy time when the whole world was like Goldilocks’ porridge…neither too hot nor too cold, but just right. When the sealevel was exactly where it should be, the ocean’s pH was at its perfect setting and the lands flowed with milk and honey.

      Just one problem..which year do I need to dial up on the Tardis’s control panel to get me to the Garden of Eden? Somebody remind me please….

  8. The electric car appears to be a maladaptive approach compared to clean diesel (see, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x/full )

    We’ve come face-to-face with the possibility that a belief in global warming theory is more than a symptom of a small, culturally and socially disordered subgroup of society. The anxiety, fear, hypochondria, hysteria, phobias and quixotic societal maladaptation to challenges in the world around us can no longer be treated by simply throwing more money at the specter of climate change.

  9. It may be that Zimmerman has a similar perspective on climate “skeptics” as he has on alien abductees, that they are a “manifestation of the soul realm” from a “different dimension of reality”.

    Very much some “ideas are worth examining and developing”, no?

    http://tulane.edu/news/tulanian/the_z_files.cfm

  10. The past historical climatic data as I have pointed out and shown many times does not support AGW theory. Future data is going to show the same results which should put this absurdity to rest once and for all.

    • Salvatore, I don’t know about the details, but when I look at satellite data and it shows a slight warming at the bottom and a slight cooling at the top of the atmosphere I start getting the idea that something’s blocking energy from getting through.

  11. “time is short, uncertainty is high.” An oxymoron if there ever was one.

  12. How you deal with AGW proponents is to present as much data as possible showing them how their absurd theory does not even support the data but actually runs counter to it.

    http://www.c3headlines.com/are-todays-temperatures-unusual/

    In the above is data from may sources all showing the same result
    more or less.

    • Well, in the past we had tried to fix problems after we proved they were problems.

      The AGW proponents want us to fix a problem that they haven’t measured via observation.

      If the AGW proponents can’t measure CO2 caused warming effect to within about 10-20% (IE with some precision) there is no problem to solve. It is either causing a measurable effect or it isn’t a problem.

    • Salvatore Del Prete | March 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm |
      How you deal with AGW proponents…

      The lack of empirical data must give even lukewarmers pause (pun intended). A some point, as it becomes more and more obvious the physics is incomplete, the “science made me do it” defense cannot be sustained. Sounds like a bumper sticker is in there somewhere: “I believe in incomplete science.” In the case of our hostess, being a “lukewarmer” does give her creditable on the world stage.

  13. “According to Dr. Zimmerman, there is an untold story behind climate science that we ignore at our own peril. ”

    Sorry, I don’t see any untold story here. I see nothing new in identifying the nature of the climate debate, the flaws in the consensus, or how to deal with it.

    The fact that Dr. Zimmerman only recently became aware of these issues just means he has finally stepped out of the dominant progressive bubble of academia. It is good to see the sales fall from the eyes of another academic, and any contribution against the green blob is welcome. But it would be nice if each person who finally has his eyes opened did not act as though he is the first to notice.

  14. Hopefully, that Michael Zimmerman is a different dude – not a dude who moved from Tulane to U of C.

  15. ==> “The UNFCCC, President Obama, etc have been treating climate change as a ‘tame problem’ – whereby the source of the problem is understood and the solution is clear and widely agreed upon.”

    Hmmm.

    Please specify which sources you’re referring to who talk of how “the problem” is “understood” and that the “solution is clear and widely agreed upon.”

    I see scientists associated with the UNFCCC speaking of policy-making in the face of “fat tails” of risk and uncertainty. Does that = “the problem is understood” and the “solution is clear and widely agreed upon?”

    What is the evidence that they describe climate change as a “tame problem?” (I love the use of single-quote marks, btw – nice rhetorical technique for quoting without quoting).

    Or is that merely how you choose to describe their views? Perhaps with a good faith attempt at describing the spectrum of views, you might just find that there is space between your view of a “wicked” problem and a view that the problem is “tame?”

    Binary thinking, Judith is…well…er….um…uh…binary.

    • “Please specify which sources you’re referring to who talk of how “the problem” is “understood” and that the “solution is clear and widely agreed upon”

      Good ‘ol Josh.

      • Yeah,

        It is hard to tell if he’s faking st*pid or comes by it naturally.

        So Josh, you really don’t know the answers to your own questions? Have you forgotten”The science is settled.” and ” The debate is over.”? That pretty much tells us the problem is understood.

        And what rock have you been hiding under that you haven’t about how we have to dramatically lower Carbon emissions? Are you claiming that isn’t a solution?

    • Josh. You failed to specify what scientists associated with the UNFCCC speak of policy-making and also failed to provide links to back your claims.

    • Curious George

      Are you saying that the science has not been settled?

  16. ...and Then There's Psychics

    Cancer is a wicked problem.

    Climate change has yet to proven problematic.

    • Why do you say that?
      Cancer is relatively easy to understand, in overview and on a single cell level. Treating cancer is a knotty problem, mostly because we lack sophistication in both diagnosis of an individual patient and our drug compounds are a little crude. We are at the same stage in cancer as we were with infectious diseases in the late 30’s. We have a lot of failure, however, we blood cancers we have gone from >90% death to <5% death in 20 years or so.

      • Here’s why.

        https://www.wickedproblems.com/1_wicked_problems.php

        A wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems.

        Cancer comes in very many forms from a great many causes. It is largely unpredictable in who, when, and how it occurs and prognosis is often unpredictable as well.

        – incomplete knowledge – check

        It is now the number one cause of death in developed countries killing hundreds of millions.

        – many people involved – check

        Cost of care is enormous. Lost productivity is enormous.

        – large economic burden – check

        Aside from effecting individuals it causes extreme stress on families and a huge economic burden to society already strained by other problems. Lifestyle choices influence statistical incidence. Pollutants in air and water influence statistical incidence. Food additives and drugs to treat unrelated illnesses effect statisitical incidence.

        – interconnected nature – check

        Seems to meet all the criteria for “wicked problem”, no?

  17. This tidbit from Michael Zimmerman’s essay indicates how little he actually understands about what is actually going on with Earth’s climate system, and it also shows how successfully the pseudoscience nonsense has been at infecting even what one would hope would be more knowledgeable people:

    “Moreover, even if AGW were to be proven invalid, planet Earth may continue to warm, with the current halt to warming possibly turning out to be…”

    The big fallacy here is of course that there was or is a “current halt to warming”. This myopic and twisted perspective, the current favorite meme of the pseudoscience blogosphere, seems to both neglect the larger Earth climate system energy increases going on for the past 60+ years, the extremely small role the troposphere plays in overall energy storage, the changes that energy in other parts of the system can impart to the planet, and the fact that the past 12 calendar months have been the warmest on record, the past 5 years the warmest on record, the past 10 years the warmest on record, the past 20 years the warmest on record – so even if one wants to neglect the bulk of the climate system and focus on the troposphere, one still finds no evidence of a “current halt” to warming.

    But Mr. Zimmerman seems to not understand this. Score one for pseudoscience.

    • davideisenstadt

      “…..and the fact that the past 12 calendar months have been the warmest on record, the past 5 years the warmest on record, the past 10 years the warmest on record, the past 20 years the warmest on record”
      Please illuminate us all…just how long is “the record”?
      and you write about pseudo science.
      geez.

    • Danny Thomas

      R. Gates,

      So it’s psuedoscience when warming occurs then plateaus for some time, associated effects take place all while tempertures are maintained at a high level?
      From NOAA:”Except for a leveling off between the 1940s and 1970s, the surface temperature of our planet has increased since 1880.” So the first part of that sentence is psuedoscientific? Interesting perspective, and maybe part of the problem that Mr. Z is trying to overcome via alternative thinking.

      • Curious George

        Speaking of pseudoscience, I contribute the following from Wikipedia:

        Integral Theory “seeks a synthesis of the best of pre-modern, modern, and postmodern reality…. It initially started as a theoretical transpersonal psychology.”

      • I have a question: that ocean energy content curve gates is showing (the one with the pretty blue colors) has a pretty good kink around 1975. Right? So does the sea level rise curve kink the same way around 1975?

      • Danny Thomas

        Fernando,
        I’m not versed yet in how to do one of those cool graphic overlays of sea levels/temps. but can offer this:

      • Danny

        The problem with the splicing of satellite and tidal gauges as practised by the Ipcc, is that the Colorado figures do not really reflect coastal sea level changes whereby the tide gauges are designed to show exactly those. Both records also don’t show the changes in land levels, often greater than the sea level changes.

        Lastly the tidal gauges have very few historic records further back than 1900 and even virtually all of those have moved locations. There are very few in the SH. Church and holgate wrote on these but the ipcc ar4 showed this in the sea level section, but somewhat hidden away after the appendices. If you can’t find them I will hunt them out but that won’t be until tomorrow, it’s bedtime over here.

        Tonyb

      • Danny Thomas

        TonyB,
        Got this: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch5s5-5-2-3.html

        When I looked in to the Hay adjustments I’d found pretty much everywhere the SLR was an “average” 1.6-1.9mm/yr in papers and IPCC. Still amazed at the algorithm adjustment to over 90 years of historic tidal gauges being considered more accurate (and of course leading to alarm over the “sudden” increase in SLR). Some makes sense due to melting Arctic ice, but I have no idea how to calculate the volumes. This and groundwater would cause one to expect some SLR.

      • Danny

        The tide level data is carried on the very last page of this document

        http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter5.pdf

        Good night.

        Tonyb

      • Danny

        Here is a paper indicating the groundwater contribution to global SLR at about .8mm/yr which the paper estimates to be 25% of total SLR to 3.2mm/yr.
        http://www.un-igrac.org/publications/422

        I think you have already seen this chart from the Hay paper:

        I assume that the groundwater contribution of .8mm was not present 100 to 120 years ago and thus represents a portion of the increase in the rate over that period which gets the Satellite Era rate, (adjusted for groundwater increase) back into the 2.2 to 2.5mm range. If you compare that number to the Hay chart for the 1910-1940 period, there is not much of an increase in the rate.

        I think you meant to say Antarctic instead of Arctic since the latter is only Sea ice and should not be adding to SLR. I have seen a couple of places recently that the contribution to SLR of the Antarctic Ice Sheets is only .3mm/yr. That amount is 22% of the thickness of a 1.35mm US dime (23% if it is an old dime). Not much of a contribution.

        I hope this helps.

      • Danny Thomas

        Ceresco Kid,

        Indeed it does help. Thank you for the link.
        When I stated Arctic I was thinking Arctic and Greenland, but the correction on Arctic is appreciated. Mind is a bit numb with a persistent head cold.

        Interesting to me in the Chart provided is the cyclicality. Chambers has postulated a +/- 60 sea level cycle. And if the Hay adjustment of 90 years (1900-1990) of tidal gauges from 1.6mm/yr down to 1.2mm/yr the SLR is even less. All is very much appreciated.

      • Danny

        This is taken from Page 25 of the AR5 Summary for Policy Makers relating to Sea Level contributions from Greenland and Antarctica

        “In the RCP projections, thermal expansion accounts for 30 to 55% of 21st century global mean sea level rise, and glaciers for 15 to 35%. The increase in surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet will exceed the increase in snowfall, leading to a positive contribution from changes in surface mass balance to future sea level (high confidence). While surface melt- ing will remain small, an increase in snowfall on the Antarctic ice sheet is expected (medium confidence), resulting in a negative contribution to future sea level from changes in surface mass balance. Changes in outflow from both ice sheets combined will likely make a contribution in the range of 0.03 to 0.20 m by 2081−2100 (medium confidence). {13.3−13.5}

        Note the reference to Antarctica “resulting in a negative contribution to future sea level” . I had not picked that out when reading it last year.

      • For Antarctica, it is not the surface melting but the outflow of ice sheets that contribute to sea levels. This is also aided the break-up of grounded ice shelves.

      • Danny, it was a trick question. The sea level rise curve doesn’t show that kink in 1975. The pre Argo data isn’t good enough for deep water. I understand the reanalysis doesn’t include geothermal heat. This leads me to conclude the ocean energy content curves are a bit iffy. I use sea level rise as a cross check all the time.

      • Jim D

        I understand what you are saying but the section was very poorly written if your interpretation is correct. Here is another section that supports my statement. Please read the following section in the Summary for Policy Makers AND the accompanying Chart above the section.
        “13.SM.1.5 Antarctic Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance”

        This whole section was devoted to establishing a budget for the entire sea level rise from all sources, not must Antarctica. I saw no distinction between your definition and mine. They were all related to the Antarctic Ice Sheet.
        The verbiage in this section seems to confirm my point, especially the last sentence. If you can cite something that explicitly supports your view, please link it.

      • Jim D

        This is from Chapter 13 WGI AR5:
        “In all scenarios, thermal expansion is the largest contribution, accounting for about 30–55% of the projections. Glaciers are the next largest. By 2100, 15–55% of the present glacier volume is projected to be eliminated under RCP2.6, and 35–85% under RCP8.5. SMB change on the Greenland ice sheet makes a positive contribution, whereas SMB change in Antarctica gives a negative contribution (Sections 13.3.3.2 and 13.4.4.1). The positive contribution due to rapid dynamical changes that result in increased ice outflow from both ice sheets together has a likely range of 0.03–0.20 m in RCP8.5 and 0.03–0.19 m in the other RCPs. There is a relatively small positive contribution from human intervention in land-water storage, predominantly due to increasing extraction of groundwater.

        From the charts in Chapter 13:
        By 2100
        RCP4.5 Antarctic Ice Sheet SMB -.02 M
        RCP4.5 Antarctic Ice Sheet Rapid Dynamics .07

        This is shown to be contribution to the Sea Level Increase by 2100 in Meters.

        I saw no other references to the contribution from the Antarctic Ice Sheet toward GMSL by 2100

    • Who knew the IPCC and Met Office were part of the “pseudoscience blogosphere?”

      “The rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012) [is] 0.05.”

      “Global mean surface temperatures rose rapidly from the 1970s, but have been relatively flat over the most recent 15 years to 2013.”

      Oh wait, you must mean the un-measuered, interpolated, WAG regarding the hidden heat in the oceans.

      Score a big one for pseudoscience.

      • Whoops, you used an outdated (and carefully cherry picked) timeframe (1998-2012). Why not use a broader measure or longer timeframe? Oh yeah, it would show there has not been a “current halt” to warming. The pseudoscience part is the clear confusion (intentional or out of ignorance) of natural variability with a “current halt” to warming, even though of course with 2014 at least tied for the warmest year on record, that is an odd way for a “halt” to occur. This is probably the most important chart in looking at surface temperatures and natural variability of the past several decades, though it seems the pseudoscience crowd hate it:

      • Danny Thomas

        R. Gates,
        Extremism is part of the challenge which needs to be overcome. “even though of course with 2014 at least tied for the warmest year on record, that is an odd way for a “halt” to occur.” Says whom? Based on what? Confidence levels? (BEST-tie, MET-no, NASA/NOAA-yes, but more unlikely than likely if using standard scientific terminology, C & W- 2nd {Sks site}).
        Now using the defintion of psuedoscience, how should one evaluate those results scientifically?

      • Yes, I cherry picked the AR5.

        Brilliant come back.

      • Danny,

        Stating that 2014 is at least tied for the warmest year on record is “extremism”?

        Now that’s funny!

      • Danny Thomas

        R. Gates,

        Come on. That’s not what YOU said: “and the fact that the past 12 calendar months have been the warmest on record,”

        You brought up the subject of “psuedoscience” defined here (wiki):”Pseudoscience is a claim, belief or practice which is falsely presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status.”
        From my view, it’s not the relative warmth in relation to a 5 or 10 year span, but it’s the word choices of “the warmest on record” w/o defining the record. Then, please note that the chart you provided in response to GaryM when you called him out for “cherry picking” shows a dip in temps recently.

        So is your statement of “warmest on record” (this is the extremism part) or my presentation of multiple sources and closer to the definition of psuedoscience?

        Thank you for the modification to +/- tied. That, from my view, is closer to a scientific and honest evaluation. I’ve asked folks from all sides to give “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” not just the parts that suite a need of theirs. In this case, I don’t perceive that has occurred in your original offering and it’s part of the issue. How do you see it if you sit back and give it an appraisal? What if a “skeptic” had put forth an argument framed as was done originally here?

      • It is telling that up till now warmest years have always been El Nino years, but 2014 wasn’t even one, and still came close. It is a very clear sign of an underlying trend continuing when an average year reaches the levels of previous El Nino years. Skeptics should take note and think on what this means because I get the impression that they don’t.

      • Well, R. Gates, what caused all the pre-1940 warming?

        Why did all the WWII CO2 cause the temperature to decline?

        Most of the emissions increase happened between 1940 and 1979. Why wasn’t it warming?

      • Jim D: “It is telling that up till now warmest years have always been El Nino years, but 2014 wasn’t even one … ”

        Get with the program … NOAA says it was http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/05/noaa-claims-elusive-el-nino-arrives-the-question-is-where/

      • Of course no official El Nino occurred in 2014, and even now, it is the new El Nino “Modoki” flavor, without the traditional elements of an El Nino. Of course, the bigger issue is not the Pacific at all, but the fact that globally, the oceans are just getting warmer and warmer, and have been doing so for quite some time:

        Of course, this warming is most likely related to some anthropogenic forcing, and this just causes much consternation in the faux-skeptic camp.

      • Jim D. said:

        “It is a very clear sign of an underlying trend continuing when an average year reaches the levels of previous El Nino years.”
        ____
        Indeed! The higher latent and sensible heat flux from ocean to atmosphere that occurs naturally during an El Nino year causes the spike in tropospheric temperatures. Usually this spike happens a few months after the El Nino has peaked. The 1997-98 monster El Nino is a perfect example, as the El Nino peaked in Dec. of 97, but it was 98 that had the higher temperatures. What we’ve seen the past few years is that even the La Nina years are higher than previous La Nina (usually these are cooler years.) 2014 was a ENSO neutral year, but the warmer oceans globally, including the Pacific, saw lots of latent and sensible heat flux from the ocean to atmosphere, pushing 2014 to record territory. With the El Nino Modoki of 2015 occurring, once more we could see higher latent and sensible heat flux and potentially see another record warm year in 2015.
        All this means that the decades of general ocean warming will have an impact on the atmosphere in higher and higher temps in La Nina years, ENSO neutral years, and El Nino years– all in keeping with the general climate forcing going on from the highest GH gas levels in millions of years.

    • @ R. Gates

      “…… the fact that the past 12 calendar months have been the warmest on record, the past 5 years the warmest on record, the past 10 years the warmest on record, the past 20 years the warmest on record …”

      When I first read of ‘2014 warmest on record’, the record referred to began in 1880, and the occasion for the headlines was that 2014 ‘smashed’ the previous record. By 0.02 degrees.

      From that I conclude that the organization that provided the ‘warmest on record’ press release understands that its press release implies that since 1880 we have had a planetary instrumentation system in place that allows the years subsequent to 1880 to be placed in rank order of ‘annual temperature’ AND that the ‘smashing o f the record’ by 0.02 degrees implies that the instrumentation system has the precision and accuracy required to make an anomaly of 0.02 degrees statistically meaningful.

      You in fact may believe that such is the case.

      I don’t.

    • r. gates, The “current halt in warming” or the “pause” was coined by David Rose in reference to the Hadley Center HADCRUT4? product.

      Hadcrappy as JCH calls it does interpolate long range so it doesn’t include the Arctic winter warming.

      GISS temp without the poles isn’t much different than hadcrappy pre-C&W.

      That has a running 17 year linear regression to show the changes in trends. Even with a 30 something percent chance that 2014 was the warmest year evah, the trend for the past 17 years is not all that impressive.

      It is kinda interesting that the Arctic temperatures have a pretty high standard deviation and that the January 2015 temperature anomaly is about the same as the January 1980 temperature anomaly. Seems to be pretty noisy up there.

      • captn,

        The very dates used in that report should be the first clue in this pseudoscience pablum. Could we find a better date range to cherry pick? Probably not, but it sure makes the faux-skeptics gleeful. Sadly, it only confuses the unsuspecting, and causes policymakers to feel empowered to ban words like “global warming” or “climate change”. What a wicked mess indeed!

      • r. gates, David Rose picked those dates, Ben Santers picked the 17 year time frame for a minimum trend, GISS, BEST and C&W picked interpolation/kriging the high Arctic winter warming in order to get a “true” “global” average. I believe Dr. Curry just mentioned that the observations were on the extremely low side of 90% confidence interval of the models. And I believe you have mentioned a few times that “global” average surface temperature is a poor metric.; Given that a very small percentage of the global surface with highly variable temperatures seem to be needed for there to not be a “pause”, “hiatus”, “Slowdown or “Standstill”, I am kind of surprised you are whipping out data to defend it.

      • “…causes policymakers to feel empowered to ban words like ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change”’.

        Now I’m getting worried about R.Gates. It’s one thing to peddle pseudo science. But now conspiracy theories about “policy makers” banning words?

        I know we’re not supposed to ask questions about the hyperbolic assertions of warmists around here, but I’d love to see a citation to one example of even the lowest level policy maker imaginable trying to ban the words ‘global warming’ and/or ‘climate change’.

      • Danny Thomas

        GaryM,
        One article to which Jim 2 alluded:”http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/10/floridas-ban-of-the-term-climate-change-is-straight-out-of-the-bush-playbook/”

        When I chased this squirrel, I found it started under G. Bush Jr. Not a good look.

      • Danny Thomas

        GaryM,
        Sorry, it was JimD, not Jim2.

      • GaryM probably missed the one about Florida that was in the news the last couple of days.

      • “r. gates, David Rose picked those dates…”
        _____
        I figured that much. An unbiased opinion he is not. Smart man, but a man with a certain “slant’ on the cherries he likes to pick.

        Regarding the poor metric that surface temperatures represent owing to their dependence on ocean cycles and very low thermal inertia – even at that, there has not been a “current halt” to warming of the troposphere. This meme is particularly powerful in the pseudoscience circle. But you’re right, the ocean is by far the best single metric for changes in Earth’s climate system energy, with more and more evidence that that energy is in no way be “safely” sequestered away from impacting the global climate, cryosphere, etc.

      • Of course it was not just in Florida that we’ve seen the push to outright ban certain word that aren’t acceptable to the political tastes of those in power. We’ve seen other states doing similar things, and interestingly of course, it seems to be red southern states. Wonder of wonders…

      • Rose did not “pick those years”, he set out to do the statistical test of seeing how far back you needed to go to produce a statistically significant trend. Not an unusual statistical test. The number of years he found was not a cherry pick, but the answer from the test. You can argue if the test has any value, but you are a serial misinformation psuedo science con artist for misrepresenting the nature of the test. How about trying to be accurate? No matter how much you hate the fact, it is valid to point out you have to go back X number of years to reach a statistically significant trend. Your just in denial. Try being a bit less anti-science.

      • Except, it’s a particularly silly test. As Richard Telford points out in this excellent blog post, it’s essentially a recipe for a hiatus. You can try this yourself. Choose any start year and then work back in time until the 2 sigma uncertainty interval is smaller than the trend. I think you’ll struggle to find a start year for which the required preceding time interval is less than 15 years.

      • I am not surprised that the Washington Post accused Florida Republicans of wanting to :ban words like ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’”.

        I am also not surprised that WaPo could not substantiate the story, or that the warmists around here nevertheless took it as established fact. That does mean rational people have to.

        I do love the way they refer to opposition to the politicization of science by CAGW acolytes as…you guessed it…the politicization of science.

      • Danny Thomas

        GaryM,

        Unfortunately, it goes much further:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/us/politics/rick-s-piltz-firebrand-on-climate-dies-at-71-.html?_r=0
        If you google search, you can find much about Mr. Piltz and his resignation letter detailing the constraints put on his organization w/r/t CC and associated. It’s not a pretty picture.
        Should have included this with my note to you about Florida. Seems the politics is deep and strong……….on both sides.

      • “Rose did not “pick those years”, he set out to do the statistical test of seeing how far back you needed to go to produce a statistically significant trend….”
        ___
        Really, you don’t need to try to defend Mr. Rose’s cherry picking with this kind of film-flam speak. Intelligent and informed people know exactly what they get with Mr. Rose and his point of view.

      • Gary M.,

        Good on you to try and defend your tribe. Quite expected, but staff members and scientists who used to work with the state of Florida all confirm the “word cleansing” that occurred. We know the far right of the Republican party is particularly opposed to the notion of anthropogenic climate change. Again, good on you to defend your brood.

      • Danny Thomas,

        Sorry that’s no better. Those responsible for the final reports issued by government having input into those reports (to make them less political), is not an example of “policymakers [banning] words like ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’”.

        You progressives try to ban words, ideas and books on a regular basis.

        If you want to show that some conservative somewhere tried to do that to the words ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’, feel free to post a quotation. Not to another fellow progressive making the same charge, but an actual quotation from an actual conservative.

        I ran into this shoddy thinking at Keith Kloor’s blog several years ago. He kept blithely commenting about the racist comments of prominent conservatives. When I asked him to actually post a single quote from a single conservative that matched his ridiculous charge, he kept posting quotes of fellow progressives who made the same charge that conservatives are racist. Yet nary an actual quote that matched his claim.

        Group think is a difficult addiction to kick.

      • Danny Thomas

        GaryM,
        “You progressives”. Um, socially you bet, fiscally not so much. If you’re gonna try to label me at least be reasonably accurate.

        I chose to not use my time today to convince you (or not) and only offered the least likely to be considered “liberal” source for substantiation of the words of a “whistle-blower”. When I googled “Bush banning climate change wording” and “Florida banning climate change wording” a bunch came up for each. Chose to accept the abundance of perspectives, or not. But at least make the effort and go look for yourself. I provided a link to get you started and chose not to do all the work for you.
        As you stated:”Group think is a difficult addiction to kick.” So I suggest you use your own “lying eyes” as opposed to my “lying eyes”. The first time I saw the Florida article, I went looking and was led to a similar accusation under the Bush administration. I shared that with you earlier. Use (or not) how you wish. (Just to be clear, I look at both sides with equal jaundice as from my view I see no clean hands anywhere). Got me labelled correctly yet?

      • r. gates, “I figured that much. An unbiased opinion he is not. Smart man, but a man with a certain “slant’ on the cherries he likes to pick.”

        Well of course he does. The UK MET has had quite a string of awful climate forecasts.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/weather/11202650/Millions-for-the-Met-Office-to-carry-on-getting-it-wrong.html

        It is one of those free speech things, if a government agency screws up they tend to hear about it in the main stream media or late night TV.

        ” A particular triumph, in October 2010, was the prediction that our winter would be up to “2C warmer than average”, just before the coldest December since records began in 1659.”

        “In November 2011, the computer forecast global temperatures rising over the next five years by up to 0.5C from their 1971-2000 average, a prediction so embarrassingly off-beam that, a year later, it was quietly removed from the Met Office website, replaced with one showing the flat-lining temperature trend as “likely to continue””

        It doesn’t take much cherry picking when long range forecasts are that bad. And let’s face it, everything running smoothly isn’t really News.

      • Danny Thomas,

        “But at least make the effort and go look for yourself.”

        You make an accusation, can’t back it up, and then blame me for not doing your research for you?

        Yep, par for the progressive course,

        Oh, and if you are progressive on social policy, you are, unwittingly or not, a supporter of the progressive agenda in general. The reason progressives claim to be ‘progressive’ on social policy is that the undermining of the conservative institutions that made this country great, primarily the family and religion, is central ti increasing dependence on the state.

        ‘Social progressives/economic conservatives’ like you, together with ‘moderate’ conservatives, liberaltarians, RINOs, amd other similar muddle headed thinkers, are the useful dupes of the movement progressives. The progressives will support such destructive policies, until they gain the political and economic power they seek. Then their true nature will reassert itself. We are starting to see this already on college campuses, where the progressive take over is complete.

      • Danny Thomas

        GaryM,

        This political name calling/labeling is not why I’m here. I have no fight with you. I provided two articles (not scientific as it’s not a “scientific” issue) and that’s where I’ll leave it as I don’t really care about it. If you chose to not look for yourself, so be it. But you still have my label wrong. If you’re rant at me is over, I hope you feel better. Happy Pi day!

    • Gates, based on the best available long term temperature record, CET, climate historian Tony Brown (who got a mention in The Australian today) said on CE recently that ““In Europe at least … the likely hottest summer [was] 1540.” Do you have a better long-term temperature record which demonstrates that 2014 was hotter than 1540? (No need to answer that.)

      • No one was taking the temperature in the summer of 1540 sorry major fail. Space additionally of course we’re not talking about global temperatures with Tony’s anecdotes.

      • Rgates

        Check out 1540 and 1541 here

        https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/long-slow-thaw-supplementary-information.pdf

        There are numerous references in the appendix. Lamb noted that there was an eight month bathing season in the Rhine and they were still swimming in January. There are various scientific papers on the extreme heat in this period with the 1530’s decade being possibly the hottest ‘ever’.Crop records also show this.

        The met office and knmi amongst many others agree that CET is a reasonable proxy for Europe and the NH and possibly global.

        Tonyb

      • Tony,

        As wonderful as your local weather historical information is (and I do find it very interesting) I would not suggest anyone rely on it for general climate reference. Better to use something more detailed such as:

        1540’s? Probably nothing too terribly remarkable.

      • Danny Thomas

        R. Gates,
        Serious question w/r/t the reconstructions you offered. How were they created? Were they ice cores from a single location? Would you offer the source? I’ll look to see if you don’t wish to.

      • Steven Mosher

        Excessive drought rivers dried up ‘in other places (All over the country?) hottest and healthiest year in the memory of man (Short)
        Summer exceedingly hot wof
        Fine weather and heat Feb to Sept 19th mid harvest on June 25th grapes ripe in July, rain fell only six times exceedingly early spring cherries
        ripe by end may . Extreme drought at end of summer Baker
        This year was remarkable for the abundance of corn and fruit Lowe
        Very cold winter
        1541 Dry and hot wof
        Hot and dry. A remarkable drought (Nottinghamshire area) Baker
        The river Thames so low that even at ebb, extended beyond London bridge Lowe
        1538-1541 These four years apparently experienced drought, with 1540 & 1541 particularly dry – in both these latter years, the Thames
        was so low that sea water extended above London Bridge, even at ebb tide in 1541. Three successive fine / warm summers from 1538-
        1540: the weather in 1540 was so fine that picking of cherries commenced before the end of May and grapes were ripe in July.
        General warmth over Europe during the spring & summer of 1540. For England, there are several references to a hot summer, with great
        heat & drought; also many deaths due to the ‘Ague’. (The next warm summer of equal worth is possibly that of 2003!)
        (also noted in usw via Holland .. ” 1540 is described in contemporary chronicles as the ‘Big Sun Year’; the lower part of the Rhine from
        Cologne into the Netherlands is ‘dry’ – it didn’t rain over Italy, with Rome dry for something like 9 months. Forest/city fires, with many
        people dying of heat stroke, heart failure etc.”)
        1541: as indicated above, another drought year with rivers drying up (must have been quite extreme given that the previous year was
        notably dry). Cattle / other livestock dying for lack of water: dysentery killed thousands. Booty
        Good harvest according to Lamb chmw, citing Hoskins wheat harvest survey

      • Rgates

        Can you provide a link to the source of that reconstruction? Thanks.

        Tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        danny. google image search

        http://www.wsl.ch/dendro/study_sites/climate_worldwide_EN

        a better question is how does tony get from words about 1540-41
        to 10.5C?

        I get 9.8

      • Danny Thomas

        Steven,

        Okay. How’d you do that? I did “inspect element” and found:http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n5/images/nclimate2174-f2
        and that led me to images where I found the one Gates posted. But not the study. Gonna go look at that and see about your temp question. You guys didn’t have much to work with to start, but I am learning.

      • Danny Thomas

        TonyB and Steven,

        Found this then below the image in Steven’s find:”In the upper panel, reconstructions of Northern Hemisphere temperatures are shown in orange and a new ensemble of Southern Hemisphere temperature reconstructions in blue. The lower panel shows the same for model simulations.
        Note that both the models and reconstructions show warmth during the most recent decades is unprecedented within the past millennium. (Source: Neukom et al. 2014 Nature Climate Change). Click on picture to enlarge.

      • Danny Thomas

        Steven,

        Got it. Right click image and google search from there. Duh.
        Thanks. Another new thingy to play with!

      • Danny Thomas

        And after all that fun, the paper is paywalled.

      • steven, “a better question is how does tony get from words about 1540-41
        to 10.5C?

        I get 9.8”

        What’s your margin of error? If you both have +/- 0.35C, no blogger is left behind :)

      • Steven Mosher

        Danny google image search

      • Steven Mosher

        Danny,

        the better question is how does tony get to 10.5 C for 1540 and 10.2C
        for 1541.

        In his linked paper you will find a few words describing 1540 and 1541.

        here is method description

        “The mean average temperature or each year has been calculated as follows. Where no information-or too little information- was available,
        an ‘average’ for that period has been calculated (which has been amended as trends emerged). Some notably cold winters were balanced
        by exceptionally hot summers so mean averages for some of the frost fair years, for example, are not as cold as may be expected. Subject
        to revision as new evidence is found.”

        The problem is you cannot read his evidence and derive the same numbers that he does.

        with a climate reconstruction you at least have a debatable method.
        you can at least see HOW they did it.

      • Danny Thomas

        Steven,
        Your point is received and taken. Gotta give a little back to ya where you said you got 9.8 (how?) :).
        Of interest to the Albedo discussion the study from which R.Gates graphic came has an interesting discussion about the “asynchronicity between Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere temperature fluctuations” quite opposite of the albedo. Link to abstract:
        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n5/full/nclimate2174.html

        So far off topic for this post………………..

      • mosh

        Over the last three years I have four times posted or emailed you sent you the full method if calculations based on that used by Van Engelen et al and referenced by Jones. You also need to look at the hundreds of background references I quote.

        Try swimming in the Rhine in January when the year mean was 9.8C. That temperature makes no sense whatsoever.

        tonyb

      • Thought fer Today, compliments of Nassim Taleb,
        – ‘Antifragile:’

        ‘Nevah try ter cross a river that is, on average,
        four feet deep.’

        Say, Tony, I’ll check out that reference to yr work
        in ‘The Australian’ Newspaper.

      • Beth

        Nassim Taleb,– ‘Antifragile:’

        ‘Never try to cross a river that is, on average, four feet deep.’

        What a great quote which sums up this irritating modern habit of averaging everything and thereby missing the extremes and nuances of such things as Land and sea temperatures and sea levels. Worse of course is when an algorithm is applied which muddies the four foot average depth river so you can’t even see the bottom.

        tonyb

      • Oh that Gaussian curve, Tony, hoverin’ around the mediocre!

      • I believe Climate Audit has a discussion about Neukom 2014.

      • > The met office and knmi amongst many others agree that CET is a reasonable proxy for Europe and the NH and possibly global.

        “Agree” seems a bit stronger than what was said in the last post:

        The Met office, KNMI, Mike Hulme, Hubert Lamb and Mike Lockwood were amongst those believing CET had a wider significance as a reasonable (but not infallible) temperature proxy that might reflect European Wide, Northern Hemisphere or even some sort of Global proxy. However, it is not the intention of this paper to claim that its findings and observations are relevant to any region other than Britain, although this is obviously a topic that warrants further examination at some point..

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/19/the-intermittent-little-ice-age/

        The paragraph above that one refers to The Long Thaw article, but all I found is that what the Met’s and TonyB’s posirions have yet to be reconciled.

    • Even the British Met Office disagrees with Gates. And his claim is not even dealing with the manifest mismatch between model predictions and global surface air temperatures.

    • The pause denier strikes again.
      If the past 20 years were not the warmest on record Mr Gates you would not have to argue about the existence of the pause, in fact you would be in hiding because if they were anything but warm then we would be in a fall, not a pause, already.
      Even if the earths temp falls for the next 20 years by 0.40 degrees, a genuine fall, the temperatures will still be at the warm end because that’s where we are.
      A pause can only occur at the top or bottom of a trend.
      To pretend that because it is hot that there is no pause is to be so obtuse you are unable to be argued with, only at.

      • angech,

        Help me find the “pause”.

        Last 20 years warmest on record.
        Last 10 years warmest on record.
        Last 5 years, warmest on record.
        Last year, warmest on record.

        Hmmm, now where is the pause?

      • Nice cherry pick on the the graph ATTP! The slowdown in the rise in tropospheric temperatures following the 1998 super El Nino is quite clear as are the causative dynamics of what has been going on with the IPO over many decades:

        It is only through understanding the dynamics of what causes the variability in latent and sensible heat flux from ocean to atmosphere that one can attempt to intelligently talk about cycles of slower or accelerated latent and sensible heat flux from ocean to atmosphere. Prattling on about a pause or hiatus without putting it in full perspective (i.e. using the above graph) with the addition of looking at overall Earth climate system energy balances, i.e. this graph:

      • fine, but ocean heating has nothing to do with CO2

      • but ocean heating has nothing to do with CO2

        Huh? Did you mean to say that out loud?

      • R Gates
        from Wikipedia, the green bible itself [caution cherry picked]
        “A global warming hiatus,[1] also sometimes referred to as a global warming pause[3] or a global warming slowdown,[4] is a period of relatively little change in globally averaged surface temperatures.[5] Compared to the long term trend, such periods are common in the surface temperature record The current slowdown period began in about 1998.”
        It exists.
        Perhaps you try cherry picking your time frames differently and see what everyone else sees.
        Try 1998 to 2008 for 10 years
        or 2000 to 2010.
        Try 1998 to 2014 for over 17 years of pause.
        Or continue denying a pause exists by picking a time period which goes from a low temp to a high temp as you have just done

      • From Skeptical Science discussion,
        For Mr Gates read and weep
        What has global warming done since 1998?

        “That the rate of warming has recently slowed down is well known. Not so well known are the reasons for this, although several lines of evidence suggest that it combines cooling impacts from reducing solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere, increasing reflecting aerosols in the stratosphere, and decreasing tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures”
        “The inconsistency between observed and simulated global warming is even more striking for temperature trends computed over the past fifteen years (1998–2012). For this period, the observed trend of 0.05 ± 0.08 °C per decade is more than four times smaller than the average simulated trend of 0.21 ± 0.03 °C per decade (Fig. 1b). It is worth noting that the observed trend over this period — not significantly different from zero — suggests a temporary ‘hiatus’ in global warming.”
        John C Fyfe, PhD
        Senior Scientist, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis
        Environment Canada

      • Yes, ATTP, that’s what I said, and I’ll say it again.

        Ocean heat content and flux and is huge, and the temperature of the oceans changes. However, in comparison to the size and variations of the other forces at work – solar heating, radiation, evaporation, condensation, circulation, sea ice and so on – any changes in flux or temperature due to ACO2 in the atmosphere are immeasurably tiny. (~0.002°C?)

        A small change in the albedo of the SH stratosphere would, on the other hand, likely be a big deal.

        Until the entire ocean heat system is well understood and the temperature of the oceans quantified to within a couple of thousandths of a degree, I shall regard any attribution of ocean heat content changes due to our ACO2 as speculative at best, and diversionary at worst.

        If you think that you can make a good case that I’m wrong, I’ll listen, but I haven’t come across anything convincing on this one yet.

      • KenW,

        Yes, ATTP, that’s what I said, and I’ll say it again.

        You appeared to state that it has nothing to do with CO2. That seems remarkably definite and completely at odds with what most (if not virtually all) experts think. The oceans have, by far, the largest heat capacity of any component of our climate system. That the ocean heat content is rising – as it is – tells us that the system is out of energy balance. In other words, there is a top-of-the-atmosphere radiative imbalance, with more energy coming in than going out. Disputing this would seem to be disputing energy conservation, a fundamental law of physics.

        So, what could produce such an energy imbalance. Well, an increase in atsmospheric CO2 could certainly do so. In fact, if increasing CO2 did not do so, it would be remarkably surprising and would require rewriting much of radiative physics. So, we have atmospheric CO2 increasing and we have ocean heat content increasing, largely in line with what would be expected based on the increasing atmospheric CO2. If you want to argue that the rising ocean heat content has nothing to do with CO2, not only do you have to find a plausible alternative, you also have to work out why the increasing atmospheric CO2 is not doing what would be expected from basic radiative physics.

      • “KenW | March 13, 2015 at 4:48 pm |
        fine, but ocean heating has nothing to do with CO2.”
        ______
        Now that wins the Pseudoscience Badge of Excellence!

      • Chic Bowdrie

        ATTP,

        How can you or other experts be certain the system is out of energy balance? The atmosphere is certainly quasi-stable and recent evidence (Liang et al. 2015) suggests that warming of the ocean surface may have come from the deep ocean. Has anyone more recent than Stephens et al. 2013 showed energy budget estimates of imbalance significantly different from zero?

      • Yet on they trudge, certain, blessed, wounded. For Gaia’s sake, ’twere a mercy to allow a little rest.
        ===========

      • Chic,

        How can you or other experts be certain the system is out of energy balance?

        If the total energy is increasing, then it’s out of energy balance.

        The atmosphere is certainly quasi-stable

        What does this even mean?

        and recent evidence (Liang et al. 2015) suggests that warming of the ocean surface may have come from the deep ocean.

        This doesn’t make any physical sense. How can the cold deep ocean warm the much warmer surface?

        Has anyone more recent than Stephens et al. 2013 showed energy budget estimates of imbalance significantly different from zero?

        Yes. Just look up papers on ocean heat content.

      • Anders –

        ==> “This doesn’t make any physical sense”

        Although better than “That doesn’t make sense” in that it is slightly qualified, it is also very close to the same thing, and thus very close to something that I among others, give certain folks a hard time for saying.

      • Joshua,

        Although better than “That doesn’t make sense” in that it is slightly qualified, it is also very close to the same thing, and thus very close to something that I among others, give certain folks a hard time for saying.

        Okay, fair enough :-) The temperature of the deep ocean is much lower than the temperature of the surface. This means that the amount of energy per cubic metre of water is much less in the deep ocean than at the surface. Water is largely incompressible, which means that if you bring a cubic metre of water from the deep ocean to the surface it will still be roughly 1 cubic metre of water. This means that if you replace a cubic metre of water at the surface with a cubic metre of water from the deep ocean, you will actually cool the surface (i.e, the cubic metre of water from deep carries less energy than the cubic metre at the surface that it has replaced). So, you can’t heat the surface by simply bringing water from the deep ocean to the surface. Alternatively, you could transfer energy from the deep ocean to the surface (there is certainly a lot of energy in the deep ocean) but this would violate the second law of thermodynamics. You can’t have a net transfer of energy – via conduction – from a cold body to a warmer body. Therefore, it is physically implausible that the upper ocean could be being warmed from the deeper ocean.

      • Danny Thomas

        ATTP,
        Pardon the interruption of your discussion w/Joshua, but re:”Water is largely incompressible” then how can we be discussing the “thermal expansion” as a portion of SLR? If one removed heat, would not the water then re-compress? (I don’t speak physics so write slowly, please) (Actually, while thinking about this I normally equate an increase in temps due to compression……..)
        “But, squeeze hard enough and water will compress—shrink in size and become more dense … but not by very much. Envision the water a mile deep in the ocean. At that depth, the weight of the water above, pushing downwards, is about 150 times normal atmospheric pressure (Ask the Van). Even with this much pressure, water only compresses less than one percent.” http://water.usgs.gov/edu/compressibility.html
        (While I don’t profess to understand the entireties, it helps me to chew on the smaller pieces. And I did note you stated “largely” uncompressable)

      • Anders –

        Thanks.

        Although perhaps Chic will offer a description of Liang et al.’s suggestion that “warming of the ocean surface may have come from the deep ocean..”

      • Chic Bowdrie

        ATTP,

        That the total energy of the planet has increased is a supposition that makes your argument circular. Don’t you and your sources assume total ocean heat content has increased, despite measuring capacity beyond our present means? If the deep ocean was warmer hundreds of years ago, is it unreasonable to imagine that some amount of that heat contributed to recent surface warming through redistribution resulting in a colder deep ocean and net heat transfer towards the surface?

        If the net ocean heat content is immeasurably changed and the atmospheric changes are minuscule in comparison, where is the significant energy imbalance?

        I cited two papers that support my case. Where is your evidence?

      • Danny,
        Well, there is slight difference between thermal expansion and compression. Water is largely incompressible, but it does expand if heated. All I was reallt getting at there was that there are two ways in which energy could come from the deep ocean to the surface. One is simply the actual movement of the water itself. However, since 1 cubic metre of water in the deep ocean carries less energy than 1 cubic metre at the surface, if you replaced surface water with water from the deep ocean it would actually cool the surface. The other way to transfer energy would be via diffusion (conduction) but this can’t bring energy from the deep because you can’t transfer energy in this way beause it would violate the second law of thermodyamics.

      • Danny Thomas

        ATTP, JIM D, TonyB, JCH et al,
        Here’s my rookie thinking. If SLR is increasing deep pressure then even if sea water reaches it’s max. “compressibility” then would there not be some heat generated energy and then passed thru the system towards the surface via circulation and/or conduction? (Then I wonder if measurable/substantial)
        ATTP specifically, if water thermally expands, once that heat is removed wouldn’t that water then return to the “unexpanded” state?

      • The Liang paper says that the ocean has motions with time scales of hundreds of years and was not in a steady state even prior to global warming. The fact that the deep ocean may be cooling is part of longer term trends on those time scales. None of this opposes the rather significant increase of ocean heat content in the whole ocean, which has to come from external sources.

      • Chic,

        That the total energy of the planet has increased is a supposition that makes your argument circular. Don’t you and your sources assume total ocean heat content has increased, despite measuring capacity beyond our present means?

        No.

        If the deep ocean was warmer hundreds of years ago, is it unreasonable to imagine that some amount of that heat contributed to recent surface warming through redistribution resulting in a colder deep ocean and net heat transfer towards the surface?

        No, because even if it were warmer in the past, it could never have been warm enough to have allowed for net energy transfer from the deep to the surface.

        I cited two papers that support my case. Where is your evidence?

        No, you cited one that I can’t find and one that supports what I’ve been saying.

      • JimD –

        So if I understand, it would be fallacious argue that Liang et al. “suggest” that “deep ocean” could explain recent surface warming in the context/time scale of AGW?

      • Danny

        You said this in response to a comment by Mosh, who gave misleading information on my CET temperature reconstruction.

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/12/adaptive-problem-solving-integral-approaches-to-climate-change/#comment-683349

        If you want the background please met me know by responding at the foot of this thread. Then keep an eye on it for my response as there will be a number of links that will need to be moderated which might take some time. Hopefully Mosh will read it as well

        tonyb

      • Danny Thomas

        TonyB,
        I have no specific questions at this time, but so much appreciate your offerings and his (less cryptic ones). If you respond to Mosher I will read with interest. My comment to him was w/r/t his commentary on methodology and I wanted him to know that I received that message. If you’ll note, I even chided him a bit as he gave differing values than what he cited from you w/o showing his work (that was too much fun). Sounds like you and Steven still have some things to work out, but somehow I “believe” that you will do so.

      • Yes, that is not what they claim. Their claim is that the deep ocean may still be cooling due to long-term circulations. Nothing about missing heat there despite the lead-in here, and Tisdale made a hash of misrepresenting the paper at WUWT too.

      • JImD

        By saying that the deep ocean is cooling, are you referring to the abyssal deep? If so, the claim is that it is warming.

        tonyb

      • tonyb, the abstract says this ” The global integral of vertical heat flux shows an upward heat transport in the deep ocean, suggesting a cooling trend in the deep ocean.” This is possible because the deep ocean is much less affected by the rise in ocean heat content coming from the surface energy imbalance, so maybe they can spot such trends there.

      • Good Gaia, let these alarmist pray at the shrine of the thermodynamic gods. They are ancient and implacable, and so sadly neglected.
        ==================

      • Purkey and Johnson said the abyssal ocean is warming, but by a very small amount. Wunsh says it is net cooling, but by a very small amount. Wunsch found significant warming in the southern abyssal oceans, which is interesting given Stephens just found that the energy imbalance is currently accumulating in the southern oceans.

      • Sorry, I’ll just deny this for the third time. Maybe the cock will crow now.

        The forces that drive heat through the oceans are huge. The missing heat is hopelessly smaller than the error in any measurement of ocean heat flux. Any supposed “missing” heat could easily be somewhere else or be caused by something completely different.

        The sun drives the ocean and the ocean drives the atmosphere. A supposed effect of excess CO2 in the atmosphere on the ocean temperature is indistinguishable from zero. The citation of such appears to be just a weak alibi for a failing theory.

      • Wunsch was part of the Liang paper and had a paper with similar suggestions of abyssal cooling last summer. There were some misleading articles in the press about that too, and he wrote an unpublished response to an editor which probably applies here too.
        http://wwwf.imperial.ac.uk/blog/climate-at-imperial/2014/08/04/ocean-warming-in-the-media/

      • Chic Bowdrie

        When did all those measurements of the temperatures of the abysses happen?

      • Danny,

        If SLR is increasing deep pressure then even if sea water reaches it’s max. “compressibility” then would there not be some heat generated energy and then passed thru the system towards the surface via circulation and/or conduction?

        Firstly, it’s not really compressible, so there isn’t – AFAIA – much energy generated in this way. Even if there was some energy generated in this way, there’s no reason why it should then be passed to the surface. Also, the oceans in a steady state with respect to any kind o compressibility.

        ATTP specifically, if water thermally expands, once that heat is removed wouldn’t that water then return to the “unexpanded” state?

        Well, yes, but the point is that the reason that there is thermal expansion of the oceans is that energy is being added because there is a planetary energy imbalance driven by increasing anthropogenic forcings. So, yes, if this heat were removed then it would return to the unexpanded state. That it is not doing that, but is instead continuing to expand, tells us that we still have a planetary energy imbalance and that we continue to accrue energy via anthropogenic global warming.

        I’ll add that the thermal expansion of the oceans is consistent with the measurements via ARGO floats, for example. So, there is more than one set of measurements that confirm the rising ocean heat content.

        KenW,

        The sun drives the ocean and the ocean drives the atmosphere. A supposed effect of excess CO2 in the atmosphere on the ocean temperature is indistinguishable from zero. The citation of such appears to be just a weak alibi for a failing theory.

        I keep getting told that there aren’t really any people who deny anthropogenic global warming and then along comes someone like yourself who says things that make me think that this can’t be true.

      • Danny Thomas

        ATTP,
        Thanks for your response. I’ll have to keep working on this as there are things with which I’m not quite comfortable but in the scheme of things I may just be off track (wouldn’t be the first time). Just to detail those, first water is compressable only to a small extent (1%), but that doesn’t mean that adding more water doesn’t increase pressure or else why would deep water be at so much higher pressure than shallow? As far as the statement that “there’s no reason why it should then be passed to the surface”, the more I think about that it should be passed all directions that are not in equillibrium so that terminology makes sense.
        I’m not trying to make a case for anything other than wanting to expand my understanding and even tossing out thoughts (hypothesis) for potential that deeper water could be warmed while again questioning magnitude.

      • Chic Bowdrie

        ATTP,

        Before you make the case for AGW,. you should try finishing making your case for global energy imbalance.

      • Danny,

        As far as the statement that “there’s no reason why it should then be passed to the surface”, the more I think about that it should be passed all directions that are not in equillibrium so that terminology makes sense.

        All I meant by this is that if for some reason you were to add more water to the oceans (quite where this would come from is another issue) so that it slightly compressed and heated the water in the deep ocean, the deep ocean would still be much colder than the surface and so there’s no reason why this energy should – or could – be passed to the surface.

        Chic,
        If you think that there’s is convincing evidence that there isn’t a planetary energy imbalance, then I can’t help you. If you think that the rise in ocean heat content is not evidence for a planetary energy imbalance, then I can’t help you. If you think the rising sea levels aren’t evidence for a planetary energy imbalance, then I can’t help you. There’s only so much that I can do. If you want absolutely and uncontrovertible certainty, then your demands are impossible to meet and you should assume that all past scientific advances are purely a consequence of chance and that we’re just lucky that we have the technology that we have today.

      • Chic Bowdrie

        ATTP,

        I’ve learned you can’t help. I’m trying to help you understand why many of us are skeptical about AGW. Making judgments based on incomplete evidence is just as unreasonable as insisting on absolute proof, but I’d rather seek the latter than settle for the former.

      • ATTP, right now the water in the Aegean is about 17°C. When I go down there in August it will be around 27°C. That’s a lot of joules gonna be added by then. By next March those joules will have moved on elsewhere.

        Now, it might be that on account of ACO2 the actual temperature will be 27.002°C or maybe it’ll only be 26.998° because of something else, but I doubt that I’ll notice because we only know the temperature to around +/- 0.5° anyway. That’s a lotta joules of uncertainty.

        Nobody said ACO2 didn’t warm the air, but its effect on ocean temperature is indistinguishable from the random digits on the right end of your calculator display.

  18. Well…

    1. Inclusive.

    Doesn’t matter. The recent albedo paper illustrates the problem. Climate isn’t well understood enough to make informed predictions about the future.

    A consensus of scientists on global warming has about as much value as me predicting the Cubs are going to win the pennant next year.

    2. Science and Politics. If liberal think it warming and conservatives don’t, it isn’t science – its politics.

    3. AGW as the central issue.

    This has to be a joke, they can’t prove the warming will be harmful. Past warming has been provably beneficial. CAGW may be as likely as an asteroid strike.

    Something that isn’t provably bad and may only be as likely as an asteroid strike is a central issue? Really? Do tell.

    4. What is done.

    This is absolutely incorrect. If AGW is wrong we should conduct business as usual if for no other reason than to punish the environmental activists for lying to us.

    There is a serious question here though. If we can’t explain the LIA to 1940s warming, how do we know it is going to continue?

  19. I suspect that the only reason you think climate change is a “wicked probem” is that you are approaching it from a top-down frame of mind. But every problem is wicked when you try to solve it that way – by leadership from the UN or some other authority. Real problems only ever get solved by bottom up, decentralized systems. Markets, democracies, scientific communities, etc. In the IPCC language this is adaptation – people making the most of the beneficial climate changes and coping/adapting to adverse impacts. Of course the problem could be solved by new energy technology or geoengineering tech. But once again, these solutions will come from decentralized systems – markets and scientific research.

    • + won austrartsua.Top down ‘problem’ solving is
      the problem.

    • To be fair, the use of carbon taxes or marketable discharge rights is intended precisely to allow bottom-up responses to a policy-created “scarcity” of the right to emit CO2. If this were implemented cleanly without any of the technology standards and other redundant policies and if it were enforced uniformly and globally the mitigation would take place according to the usual market incentives. But that is a blackboard solution that deviates significantly from what would actually happen politically and institutionally if such taxes or licenses were imposed. And there would still be an unsolved technocratic “top-down” problem of setting an appropriate emissions price.

      • Carbon markets, by definition, distort the market, and are a heavy handed top-down imposition on people’s freedom to choose. If you are going to try to impose that on the global population you better have your ducks in a row. I hope carbon markets fail, and I think they will, spectacularly.

      • It is a top down solution if imposed by the government. I understand your point that the tax will influence prices, but while that is a market phenomenon, it isn’t a FREE market phenomenon and is in fact just regulation imposed in a somewhat indirect manner.

    • Yes. I’m confident that 7 billion educated and enabled minds will be able to solve whatever problems they face, though there is no guarantee that it will be easy. The best way forward is to make sure the next generation is educated and enabled.

    • I also disagree with the description of AGW as a “wicked problem”. The issue has been defined as a “problem” or “potential huge problem” based solely upon models and projections that have generally been shown to be unreliable.
      What will TCR be over the next 50 years? Under 1.6 imo.
      How will the climate change as a result? Unknown, but it sure does not seem that anything is occurring that humans can’t adapt to easily. Many places will most likely benefit. Some places will be negatively impacted….just like has always been occuring.
      What is it that leads a reasonable person to conclude that AGW is a “problem” that justifies the use of extensive additional resources to “solve” now?

  20. “the wicked nature of the climate change problem”

    It is wicked only if you suppose, or believe, a-priory, that it is – i.e. that some catastrophic climate developments are imminent.
    We do not KNOW that there is a problem at all. Sticking the tag “wicked” to an unknown problem is unjustified alarmism.
    The use of the term “wicked” is a sign of bias. We just don’t know. It is perfectly possible there is no problem at all (wicked or straight).

    • @ Jacob

      “It is perfectly possible there is no problem at all (wicked or straight).”

      It is perfectly possible–and likely–there is no problem at all (wicked or straight).

      • All sides of the climatentsia want us to believe that this is really a big potential problem that needs lots and lots of gov’t money to study and never really solve.

      • I’m not sure that a lot government money is a solution for any problem.

        If that is the solution for this one then it probably isn’t a problem.

    • ...and Then There's Psychics

      ++++

  21. Pingback: Adaptive problem solving: Integral approaches to climate change | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  22. I’d like to see work done in areas that would likely have wide based support and/or positive environmental implications.

    Modernized storm defense and dike systems – These are massively neglected at least across Canada and the US. New Orleans was only the city unlucky enough to get walloped. In my location the high tide deposits seaweed and driftwood within a foot of the top of the dike system that defends massive amounts of local farmland and essential transportation infrastructure. We happen to be one bad storm at high tide (and we do get hurricanes very occasionally) away from destroying entire swaths of cropland and highways and few if any people are talking about it.

    National or NAFTA wide railway system – Rail is massively neglected as a form of freight transport in North America. It’s made worse by tax payer funded road systems which bear the majority of the costs related to infrastructure trucking would otherwise have to pay. This has distorted the market massively over the years. Rail pays for it’s own line. International airports and ports are completely/largely government . A modern railway system that connected at least Canada and the US for freight purposes would reduce wear and tear on our highways, reduce congestion and is much more efficient from a fuel perspective then long distance trucking. Truckers even like it because they can work on intermodal hauls that get them home to their families. Added bonus, when the National Defense Highway System was created the Army Corp of Engineers did extensive testing to see what material could be bombed then repaired fastest. They did a variety of materials, including rail and rail cleaned up. They built highways instead because at the time every American wanted a car and that made it an easier sell to build highways. Railways are already demonstrably better for national defense.

    Modernized road systems – Congestion increases time spent idling in traffic. Modern traffic control and a realistic strategy would reduce a variety of passenger vehicle emissions and you’d spend less time in traffic.

    Robotic manufacturing – It’s picking up now. With robotic manufacturing landed costs for goods is less in North America then paying someone in a sweatshop to do it. It reduces the transportation tail on a given good and removes manufacturing from countries with poor human rights and environmental records. It also brings back jobs, not all or even most of what was originally lost, but more then otherwise would have been here. It’s also good from a national defense perspective.

    So these suggestions basically boil down to bring manufacturing home, keep my house from getting destroyed in a flood, reduce my morning rush hour, make our roads safer and national defense. They all have the added benefit of being net environmental positives or essential projects long overdue. They have the additional bonus of being effective no matter what the dominate cause of Climate Change is, because they have benefits beyond reduced Greenhouse Gases. They should be fairly politically tenable as well. Why harp away at a Carbon Tax which is a political non-starter and only effective at reducing CO2, one contributor to Climate Change, when there are better more easily implemented options available?

    /Rant Over

    • Danny Thomas

      AL,
      Please don’t stop the rant. In fact, go further. There are so many things we can do in the U.S. and worldwide to meet issues head on with potential side benefits to “climate change”.
      If I may, I’ll add a few.

      Improved urban planning to address the traffic issues you discuss and reduce urban sprawl and leaving land open.
      Improved ag practice to reduce soil erosion and increase production and biomass.
      Continued alternative energy research. FF won’t last forever.
      Reduced packaging for our consumer society.
      Alternative roofing coloring to reduce UHI.

      Just a couple that politically should not cause much angst.

    • Construction and maintenance of robust infrastructure is the best method of protecting humans from the damages of adverse weather regardless of the cause.

      It is also an excellent investment for a nation’s ecomony. Unfortunately, most nations make it a low priority and this is not a problem that the US can solve

    • “It’s made worse by tax payer funded road systems which bear the majority of the costs related to infrastructure trucking would otherwise have to pay”

      Yea, it’s not as if road users pay tax on fuel or anything, out of the goodness of its heart the Federal and State governments fund the road network and don’t tax its users

    • I agree with Danny. Apartment living is quite nice once you get used to it. But it really helps to have a nice view.

  23. I’ve tried to find examples of problems solved by Integral Theory, but so far all I’ve found is a lot of bloviation, books, pep talks, and other non-performance material. Is this something like graphene – it can do anything except get out of the lab?

  24. And then there’s this:
    “They also change rapidly, often without warning. In effect, these are what scientists call “adaptive problems” (or “wicked problems”), where the problems may actually evolve by the day. Climate change is immensely difficult because it is an adaptive problem,…”

    The problem with climate change is that is isn’t.

    • Do you mean it isn’t a problem or it isn’t adaptive?

      The ocean inertia does mean the global temperature change in the range of a degee celcius occurs on centennial time scales.

  25. David L. Hagen

    Accurately modeling oil production
    Last year the world discovered less than 1/3 of the oil it consumes and consumption is growing!
    The IPCC oil projections are wildly unrealisticaly high.
    Dennis Coyne adapts WebHubTelescope’s Oil Shock Model to:
    The Oil Shock Model with Dispersive Discovery- Simplified

    Briefly, an average hyperbolic well profile (monthly oil output) is combined with the number of new wells completed each month by means of convolution to find a model of LTO output.
    In the Oil Shock model the maximum entropy probability distribution is analogous to the average well profile and the annual oil discoveries are analogous to the number of new well completions in my LTO models.

    Fuel shortages are biting far harder and far faster than anthropogenic global warming. We need war footing development of sustainable cost effective fuels.

    • I’m fine with sustainable energy (we will have to use it eventually) as long as we burn every drop and kilogram of fossil fuel.

      Sustainable energy – particularly nondispatchable energy is a poor substitute for fossil fuel.

      • China has about 1200 GW, of which 760 GW is coal.

        They have something around 20 GW of nuclear and are planning 400 GWe by 2050. Their based design is AP1000 derived. So they are building or planning 380 reactors. That is about 11 per year.

        Your article claims a 50% increase in power by 2040. That is mostly China, Russia, India, etc. The west consumption has been slowly increasing and the US has been stagnant.

        So the real question is what the developing countries are doing. China is basically going to increase nuclear power by 20x over current capacity.

        Their announced plans to taper off new coal appear to be based on massive new nuclear. At 11 reactors per year they are going to get very good at building reactors and have a cost that renewables (the current style) can’t touch. If we chopped our nuclear regulatory burden there is no question what we would be deploying. The US regulatory burden is said to be 8X and infrequent construction makes projects much more expensive.

        China taking the sensible approach – going nuclear until a better alternative (perhaps organic solar) is deployable, and garnishing with renewables.

      • David L. Hagen

        PA
        Why spend 10-100 times as much by “burn every drop and kg of fossil fuel”?
        The challenge is developing cost effective sustainable fuels. Then economics will drive commercial penetration.
        Offshore w\ind in Norway is projected to cost between 5.20 € and 106.10 € per kg hydrogen. Since kg H2 ~ gal gasoline, we need to find more cost effective options.

  26. “Who had a seat at the table when it was decided that the defining issue of the 21st century is climate change? Why must there be only one defining issue?”

    The defining issue for the 21st century is:energy; inexpensive and widely available.

    In my wanderings, Burma last Spring and Costa Rica this Winter, the available of energy defined the issues of state. Costa Rica has hydroelectric and geothermal for 95% of their energy, Burma is mired in post-Soviet energy poverty. Costa Rica, once a Central American military state and now standing alone amongst the military states, is prosperous for its brief time at energy abundance, now with fiberoptic high speed internet and cellular phone communication, vs literally an oxen-cart economy.

    The defining problem for the 21st Century is energy and the climate concerned folks are distracting the whole dialogue as a wicked problem rather than the obvious: energy for all world citizens.

    The seat at the table has been by invitation only. You couldn’t ask Obama about that could you?

    • I mean climate hasn’t been changing much of late. This “integral” approach seems to have some memes that we’ve seen before. Multi-disciplinary studies taken to the max, it seems. Traditionally hard sciences have gotten the bulk of the money. This approach includes artists and the soft sciences. Climate may be wicked, but I think it will still take the application of the hard sciences to make headway understanding it. I don’t believe having an artist render his or her “concept” of climate change will help one iota. Although it will move some “change” to the artist’s pocket.

    • RIH, Burma was never a part of the Soviet empire. They had a military dictatorship practicing socialism with a North Korean touch. Did you visit their wooden ship shipyard?

      • Fernando Leanme

        Burma has buildings in villages along the Irrawaddy River with Soviet stars on the facade, and infrastructure that acknowledges Soviet medicine with signs and symbols of Soviet presence. When the British were thrown out by the Japanese, the subsequent military were Burmese and the way to Socialism dominated by the Burma Socialist Programme Party. The constitution is of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma. Soviet era and made trucks remain in the cities belching their diesel fumes. The diesel generators that merchants use 1 hour a day are Soviet made. The diesel engines for the larger boats ferrying goods up and down the Irrawaddy are Soviet era. I am not sure what you are talking about. The electrical power system is Soviet era; i.e. the wires, the power posts, the oil fired electrical generators are… Soviet era. When the Soviet empire collapsed, and East Germany pulled out along with the Russians, Burma descended into its pre-British Empire state; ox-cart, labor intensive, women loading 49 Kilogram rice bags on their heads over 8 inch gangplanks onto shallow bottom river boats. This was last year March. I doubt there has been a remarkable improvement in life-style since then.

        Shallow bottom boats were being made along he banks, like I saw in China three years ago.

      • RIH, I must confess I used to work in Burma. They sure didn’t impress me as being very attached to Soviet mania. But since I’m a refugee from a communist dictatorship I wasn’t really looking for glowing examples of Soviet contributions to Burmese society. I did notice thngs like the corruption, the little towers they built to allow soldiers to fire at crowds, and I found a bunch of barbed wire across the street in front of Suu Chi’s place. The country has a very quaint gulag atmosphere, but the pagodas are nice. And the wooden ship shipyard is worth a visit.

  27. David L. Hagen

    Short Term Memory
    Walter Williams raises issues of short term climate/social memory and definitions.
    Global Warming

    At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.” . . . Ehrlich forecasted that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980 and 1989 and that by 1999, the U.S. population would have declined to 22.6 million.

    Note government Climate Change definition vs political usage!

    GlobalChange.gov defines climate change: “Changes in average weather conditions that persist over multiple decades or longer. Climate change encompasses both increases and decreases in temperature, as well as shifts in precipitation, changing risk of certain types of severe weather events, and changes to other features of the climate system.” That definition covers all weather phenomena throughout all 4.54 billion years of Earth’s existence.

    Contrast political intentions:

    In 2010, German economist and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official Ottmar Edenhofer said, “One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.” The article in which that interview appeared summarized Edenhofer’s views this way: “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. … The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

    • “… an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.” Or not, as the case may be.

    • Curious George

      “If human CO2 production turns out not to be driving global warming or is playing a relatively insignificant role in that process, such a development would not be a permission slip for business as usual.”

      This from a guy advocating an adaptive problem solving. The business as usual has been so far the most adaptive mechanism at hand. IPCC et al have been doing their best to disrupt it. I agree that the population explosion is the real problem; but so far the UN and its agencies have been singularly unsuccessful in handling it.

      • Right Business As Usual has meant declining emissions in the developed world, so, contrary to the socialist underpinnings of “the cause”, capital and human development have led to both:

        1.)reduced CO2 emissions ( which are not necessary, but reflect efficiency ):

        and

        2.)falling population ( and the precursor fertility rates ):

        Why on earth wouldn’t we want these trends to continue with the less developed world? They will, of course, but largely due to free markets.

  28. Pope Francis is reportedly working on a document about “integral ecology” (with emphasis on “human ecology”) that may be published later this year. I hear it will not make any “scientific” statement about climate change, but suggest it may be due to either climate fluctuations, or human activity, or a combination of both; and will recommend some form of human response that integrates all dimensions of the “etc.” part of “climate, etc.” I think it will be very much in line with the integral approaches mentioned in this post.

    • I think that Pope Francis should stick to his knitting, he’s way off beam when he ventures into other fields such as economics. Help people to discover “The Kingdom of Heaven within them,” Frankie, and you’ll make a far bigger contribution to human and planetary well-being than by involving yourself in global politics et al.

    • Curious George

      Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake in 1600. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences was established in 1936.

  29. I was born in mid 1938.
    As a science layman and somebody who even though still only a kid and teenager saw the end results of a real conflict, that of WW2 and who as an adult has read much of history of that terrible conflict, Zimmerman is talking utter crap about a supposed current problem that is theorised to exist but has never so far been proven to exist in real life or has been substantiated by any hard proven evidence of any sort.

    Zimmerman is talking about a supposed problem that if there wasn’t a few hundreds of millions of publicly funded dollars chasing the problem, it would never even warrant his or others of his academic ilk, their attention.

    Comparing the situation facing not only leaders of nations but the people of entire nations over most of the Earth’s surface at the end of WW2, the supposed, unproven hypothesised problem of global warming / climate change [ or what ever other name it is currently known as, sarc / ] is mere kindergarten stuff.

    The most recent example of a genuine and a real “wicked” and immensely complex utterly chaotic situation at the end of WW2 included such items as 70 to 100 million dead, some hundreds of millions of refugees, “displaced persons” they were called streaming across former international borders that had to be fed and housed. Millions of POW’s of the opposing combatants returning home to disrupted families and lives all of which had to be accommodated very rapidly in some way.
    Former colonial occupied nations across Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Africa starting armed conflicts to become independent of their former colonial masters.
    The industrial and societal infrastructures of most combatant nations almost destroyed or looted by the victors and for those still operating including the victors, were geared almost entirely to making weapons and the combat support material. All of this industrial and societal infrastructure had to be rapidly switched over and changed to produce the consumer goods that were so desperately needed in the non war economy and to get a peacetime economy up and running again as rapidly as possible to ensure employment for all the millions of discharged servicemen.

    The “wicked problems” of end of WW2 were further complicated by former allies, that immediately the surrender terms were signed became themselves ideological and low level combatants and opponents, still all armed to the teeth with all the latest weapons of the just concluded conflict.

    The many tens of millions of refugees were housed and were voluntarily and peacefully dispersed across all the allied combatant nations almost without regard to their former status as combatants or allies.
    The catastrophe of the destruction of food production was met by 1948 with only a few cases of starvation in the devastated Europe.
    The survivors set too and in an incredible effort guided by a leadership that only wanted an end to conflict and a better world for all, rebuilt the industrial ,and societal infrastructure of the former combatant nations by the end of the 1950’s.
    The former allies and now ideologically opposed nations co-operated more or less in the talk fest of the new UN summed up by Churchill’s “it is better to jaw, jaw than war, war”.
    The independence movements in the former colonial occupied nations fought on for another decade until they too achieved their independence.

    And it all happened because men of good will and in their own interest saw that it was to both their own good and their nations good that they co-operate and try and reverse the terrible mistakes of the past and the utterly urgent need to create a better life for their own and other peoples and nations of our Earth.

    That was the truly “wicked problem” a real “wicked problem” and not some unproven hypothesized quite minor problem if it actually even exists, that was solved by the leaders and peoples of the earth’s nations back in the decade after the end of WW2 in 1945.

    It didn’t need a Zimmerman or his ilk in their lavish ivory towers with their grossly over hyped, over funded earth destroying catastrophe ideology to come down the holy academic mountain and hand the holy tablets to the leaders demanding “This is what shall be or else”!

    • ROM, as someone born a few yards away from a backyard bomb shelter, I have to agree. The absence of historical perspective among hysterics is a major problem.

      • ‘The proper study of history is man,’ somebody said, and I
        agree. History revealing us in all our variety and diversity
        is a rich and chastening experience. If even the papery
        whisperings of fictional characters mimicking real life,
        admittedly created by real men and women, extend our
        understanding of human behavior, how valuable then,
        contextual, problem situation analysis of actions of real
        protagonists and observers of events, filling in gaps, that
        without this illumination, would be a vacuum in the record.
        The alternative ? Let’s clean -slate into a fuchure without
        regret, without memory.Nothing to compare to, as though
        new born and jest as unaware. A serf.

      • I hate it when the lines jump! Tsk!

  30. It is a difficult thing to change one’s predisposition (mindset).

    I was very concerned about climate and the human influence for many years.

    I became very relieved when the Hockey stick was deconstructed, but at the same time, I felt cheated in a way.

    That event created a desire to verify all that I heard, read, witnessed related to climate information, and to my dismay, not much stood up to further inspection.

    When Climategate happened, that was it. My mindset, not only changed, it flipped completely.

    Our current climate change industry, and it is an industry, became very visible to the naked eye. Just look around and the similarities flow out.

    -Climate models creating energy policies, but yet not able to hindcast
    observations.

    -Scientist making broad proclamations and lots of money, but yet will not share code or data.

    -Mysterious adjustments to past records without much in the way of justification or explanation that can stand up to an indisputable statement.

    -UN documents for policy makers that doesn’t align with the actual detailed report data.

    -A president in the US that is actively demonizing anyone who doesn’t think his way or who disputes a fictitious 97% consensus. Check his tweets.

    -A compliant media that doesn’t investigate anything well any longer.

    That is a small piece of the mindset we face today.

    Unlike my period of enlightening, accurate untarnished information is no longer easily and readily available. It has to be sought out.

    I don’t think things will get any easier with the FCC injection of internet regulation or Google’s newly announced Truth Rankings.

    So how do you actually alter a mindset now days?

  31. I’m really sorry, but I’m not buying it! I didn’t buy it when it was said that the earth was on the cusp of the next ice age, and that’s where I am now.

    I think that AGW is nothing more than a poorly designed SCAM to force more taxes on something everyone needs, leading to the biggest wealth and prosperity redistribution ever observed in human history…

    And to think that if all the world were to shut down all industry and energy use, that we as a species could ever effect or influence the outcome of the earths climate is just insanity.

  32. John Smith (it's my real name)

    “When I began research for this article, I initially assumed that AGW was largely validated, but the more I read, the more I began to conclude that something was amiss.”

    Good to know Professor Zimmerman had the same experience as me and a gazillion others.
    More everyday.
    The way forward?
    I am reminded of one of the Nixon tapes.
    Nixon asked one of his cabinet ministers for economic data.
    Said minister made the mistake of sending the actual data.
    In an expletive rich rant, Nixon excoriates said minister for not “not thinking politically’ and sending BS data that would support the politics.
    He thought the guy was stupid for thinking that someone was interested in the actual facts.
    Let’s not make the same mistake.
    ‘Climate Change’ is Gaia’s gift to political football.
    I think I’ll watch the game with her.
    She likes surprises.

  33. michael hart

    If one doesn’t buy into the “time is short” spiel then the problem of not seeing a concrete way forward evaporates. Carbon dioxide sinks are still growing rapidly, which is bad news for the time-is-short brigade.

  34. Matthew R Marler

    With thinking like that, not a single project to enhance irrigation and reduce flood damage would ever be constructed. As Prof Curry noted, it proposes no way forward.

    • I don’t think we are going to get informed assessments of the climate situation from philosophers any more than from economists, and therefore don’t expect good solutions from them either.

      • Just choose your economists better, Jim D.

      • And we’ve seen the “valuable” input from sociologists to the climate debate. Worse than useless. It will take physicists, chemists, biologists, the subspecialties of same, and ESPECIALLY PROFESSIONAL STATISTICIANS and other mathematicians to crack the climate code.

      • The climate ‘stiuation’?

        Perhaps global average temperature and its slow rise just aren’t that significant to climate?

        Doesn’t seem so.

  35. Site sensibly; engineer solidly; improve, upgrade and modernise critical infrastructure such as coal power gen, just like you do with your car or mobile phone…

    But DON’T try to change or “tackle” the weather or the climate and DO avoid conference cliches, management speak and buzzwords. The answer is not in your navel, Grasshopper.

    The various flavours and branches of the climatariat – especially bodies with Superman comic names like Integral Ecology Center – need to go. Maybe they can get back to us when they actually know a bit about likely causes of the Younger Dryas, the Bond Events, the LIA, this warming and the ones before it. That would be handy knowledge to have.

    But for now, just go.

  36. Don’t want to always be singing the same note, but I think we work hard to make climate change a ‘wicked’ problem.

    We not only have a solution in hand (nuclear), we have alternatives and supplements. The ‘problem’ has been quantified within a range of impacts, the worst of which is within our capabilities to adapt to.

    Where’s the wicked? https://thelukewarmersway.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/wicked/

    • Exactamundo. Climate change is not a problem.

    • I don’t think you’re conceiving the use of the phrase.

      The problem of predicting climate is wicked.

      That is is not a statement that climate change, ‘ natural’ or ‘anthropogenic’,
      is posing a problem, at least not one that hasn’t been experienced since life first began on this planet.

  37. {ntegral is just postponing the physics ptoblem. People weill stil want to know what they are supposed to adapt t0.

  38. The integral theory thing looks a bit abstract to me.
    All good and well but what follows in practice from it?

    I personally found the early case study in environmental policy development from Clark/Jones/Holling quite interesting:
    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/223859243_Lessons_for_ecological_policy_design_A_case_study_of_ecosystem_management

    Different topic and much smaller problem but about the real thing, devising actionable policy recommendations.

  39. Predictions.
    On the Climate Summit in 2015.
    Obama is a good motivator on causes and this fits his views of doing good for the world.
    The UN wants to do good for the world and this fits their views.
    The Climate Science is dominated by people with similar do good for the world views.
    2014 was warmest on the produced figures [non satellite]
    CO2 is increasing.
    “The cause ” will win out in the United Nations.
    Obama will commit America to it despite the Republicans.
    I live in a world of petrol cars and computers and fast food and love it all.
    But when I was young I had nothing and still had a good time.
    A world of carbon restrictions and hair shirts should hold no fears, just regrets for us.
    At least we can say “I told you so”.

  40. I take the more adaptive position that climate science isn’t a science but a sociological construction.

    Individual little problems can be done scientifically but they don’t tie together into a field. It’s just individual little problems.

    Read some old issues of the JGR or something to see what science used to look like in the field, which then was not a field but a source of things to be curious about.

  41. The “adaptive” rhetoric is there to keep the field from being torn apart in spite of the forces reminding you that it’s not a scientific field.

    Adaptive rhetoric is adaptive, you could say, to political developments.

    • Sorry, but that sounds like BS. Climate science has nothing to do with sociology. At least, not when it comes to the way climate works.

      Adaptive rhetoric is used to tie real climate science to politics. Just as you do here.

      • I used to cringe when some friends would drag socialism into the discussion of climate change – I wanted to be scientific about the processes and ignore/rise above politics.

        But then I did read about Maurice Strong and the Club of Rome and the founding of the IPCC, and yes, also Thatcher using the issue to bust the coal strike.

        To be sure, Fourier Arrhenius, Callendar – lots of folks have advanced the understanding of GHGs and radiative balance.

        But the exaggerations pushed by the IPCC and its syncophants is all political.

      • Post-Arrhenius science, done by scientists practicing the hard sciences, will eventually determine how climate works.

    • ‘Climate Change’ is not about science.

      Margaret Thatcher and Maurice Strong ripped the issue away from scinec a long time ago.

  42. A true picture of ocean heat content trends of late. It is no longer increasing.

  43. The animation does support the data R. Gates posted at 10:17 am Mar.13

  44. R. Gates ,the data shows very clearly that warming has come to a halt post 1998 and guess what the future trend is going to be ? The answer is down.

    Solar variability correlates much stronger with recent global temperature trends when refined with PDO/AMO /ENSO /VOLCANIC data then does CO2.

    If one goes back to the Holocene Optimum, this even becomes more apparent.

  45. You can probably feel the difficulty of the whole situation. Time is short, uncertainty is high, and the stakes may be even higher. Competing business and political interests collide every day. The tensions run deep, driven by conflicting values and differing needs. This is the nature of the hard problems of our time: they are densely interconnected, emotionally-charged and complex.
    ————————————————

    Nonsense.
    This is typical of what passes for thought courtesy of those whose sense of history extends to the last Big Thing on Twitter.

    Every era of human civilisation has had hard problems – in many cases much harder than the ones we face, buffered as we are by wealth and technology.

    These people need to get over themselves.

  46. Read what our Secretary of State just said about Climate Change:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/john-kerry-what-right-do-people-dispute-climate-change_884371.html

    Maybe Drs. Curry, Zimmerman, Webster, etal could post an open letter to President Obama signed by 47 (hopefully more) notable climate scientists explaining to him that the science is far from settled and that he needs to better understand how the scientific process works.

    • Nice article at WUWT about APS Dr Steve Koonin lead review of APS statement from over a year ago.

      Would be a good thread

      Not much progress on revising the statement to reflect what the participants discussed and concluded.
      Scott

      • Judith posted on it shortly after the event itself, with links to the presentations and the transcript. I took Koonin’s WSJ piece to mean APS was not going to budge, so he broke ranks with them.

      • I don’t think this is the correct interpretation of why Koonin resigned from APS committee. Not sure what is going on now with APS committee (i did have an email exchange with Koonin at time of his WSJ editorial).

      • Danny Thomas

        Here’s the link to the transcript (so folks don’t have to search) and I for one find it to be a very interesting read. Scientists speaking with and learning from scientists (love that concept—only wish it was videoed as body language would have been interesting): http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/upload/climate-seminar-transcript.pdf

      • Rud
        Yep,
        Back to the Hal Lewis APS resignation letter and the climate conspiracy to silence skeptics.

        Hard to fight through
        Scott

  47. Because of the stakes involved in the consequences of climate change, however, the debate has become increasingly politicized, in a way that threatens the very integrity of science. …Scientists can provide important information about what a particular problem is, but go astray when suggesting that such information dictates what policies ought to be promulgated to deal with the problem.

    Reminds me of the resignation letter of Hal Lewis:

    “How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society. …Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst.” https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/hal-lewis-resignation-letter-american-physical-society

    and the comment of Richard Lindzen:

    “The field is corrupt, without any question. I would say most scientists don’t believe this and didn’t believe it 20 years ago. But the young scientists know they have trouble if they say it, and so they don’t.” http://notrickszone.com/2013/01/11/richard-lindzens-presentation-on-the-climate-hysteria/

    Is this a real problem or not? If so, can progress be made without addressing it, and in what direction is the solution?

  48. Not very impressed by Zimmerman. Integral ecology theory sounds like a high fallutin fancy academic way to say ‘big picture’. If as an ecologist he just discovered there are major problems with ‘the settled science’ of CAGW, he needed to get out more.
    OTOH, I am very impressed with Revkin’s comment in this post. Wrote Gaia’s Limits concerning my own journey toward that same #1 concern.
    Energy is an important part of that big picture, but CAGW’s focus on coal is barking up the wrong energy tree. We already have (at some cost, with issues that improve with technology over time) a nuclear alternative for electricity that can supplant coal generation. We don’t for most uses of liquid transportation fuels (aviation, agriculture, forestry, mining, fishing, local goods distribution, long range affordable personal transportation…). The world produces insufficient sustainable biomass for natural biofuels. A Blowing Smoke essay on that. Insufficient concentrated CO2 for bioengineered biofuels. An essay on that, also. Even if Siluria’s new OCM and ETL catalysts scale (they well might), we will eventually run short of natural gas feedstock for that hopeful new process. Methane hydrate won’t prevent that. Essay on that, also. Siluria’s invention may mean the food calory soft carrying capacity limit would have been reached before the hard liquid fuels limit it pushed off. Unfortunately, that reversal of timing order means the liquid fuels hard limit would eventually have much harsher consequences.

    • Rud,

      Nice summary. “Blowing Smoke” provides an excellent analysis of the issues and has many good insights on how to address them.

      Thanks for your work and ongoing interest.

  49. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    “Wicked problems” versus “wicked governance”:
    historical perspectives on climate-change
    science and climate-change policy

    Looking back in history, it is striking how often “wicked governance” has sought to disguise itself behind “wicked technical problems”

    COUNTDOWN
    (14)  anthropogenic climate-change
    (13)  regulated health-care
    (12)  ozone-layer depletion
    (11)  persistent pesticide toxicity
    (10)  tobacco-cancer association
    (09)  equal rights amendment
    (08)  social security
    (07)  votes for women
    (06)  public sanitation
    (05)  public education
    (04)  freedom of religion
    (03)  freedom of the press
    (02)  rule of democracy
    (01)  equality under the law

    Observation I  NONE of these moral reforms have ever been unwound by modern democratic societies.

    Observation II  ALL of these moral reforms were opposed by the faux-conservatives of their era.

    Observation III  INCREASINGLY in the modern era, these reforms are grounded *EQUALLY* in science and morality.

    Conclusion  Modern “wicked” governance is grounded equally in futile opposition to scientific advances, futile opposition to progressive education, *AND* futile opposition to moral reform.

    Nowadays, the bankruptcy of “wicked” governance is increasingly evident to pretty much *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Where will humanity’s journey of transcending “wicked” governance carry us?

    Even FOMD doesn’t know!

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

    • Brother Fan be testifyin’ ’bout our wicked ways with see oh two. Amen bro!

    • “(09) equal rights amendment

      Observation II ALL of these moral reforms were opposed by the faux-conservatives of their era.”

      Civil Rights Act of 1957

      Senate
      Republicans 43–0
      Democrats 29–18

      House
      Republicans 167–19
      Democrats 118–107

      Civil Rights Act 1964

      Senate
      Democratic Party: 46–21 (69–31%)
      Republican Party: 27–6 (82–18%)

      House
      Democratic Party: 153–91 (63–37%)
      Republican Party: 136–35 (80–20%)

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn summarizes “[history-as-voting record]”

        Robert Caro’s history of those “wicked” civil-rights votes is commended to the attention of history-loving Climate Etc readers, as a case-history of how “wicked” problems really get boiled down to vote-counting!

        What will climate-change policy look-like, when it boils down to vote-countung?

        Not even FOMD knows!

        Summary  DocMartyn, your “wicked problem” perspective and Caro’s each illuminate the other.

        For which contribution, thank you DocMartyn!

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

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse | March 13, 2015 at 2:14 pm |

      Will Rogers is credited with saying “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” A lot of things are said in these comments as if they are true, and they are not. People like
      DocMartyn | March 13, 2015 at 6:22 pm
      “(09) equal rights amendment

      end up spending their valuable time refuting statements that are glaringly inaccurate. It just wastes everybody’s time and is a distraction. I wonder if that is not the purpose of many commenters.

    • — Nowadays, the bankruptcy of “wicked” governance is increasingly evident to pretty much *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?–

      I don’t know. The War of Poverty and Drugs seems to be a strong desire which has little to with do evidence which show how useless these wars have been.

      — Where will humanity’s journey of transcending “wicked” governance carry us?

      Even FOMD doesn’t know!–

      Well there is a lot unknown about our solar system.
      And having humanity leave Earth gravity well is another wicked problem.

      I would note that once one understands that religion has little to do with church buildings and going them. And so one realize everyone is religious- eg including atheism and Marxism. And you have the believers/practitioners of the government- which do, happen to have the buildings and places of weird worship.
      Then one doesn’t have use term: “faux-conservatives” and so government is typically [or must be] conservative.
      It’s very nature is conservative.
      Whether the religions would be 150 year faith in Marxism, 1000 year or 3000 year religions, or “new age witchcraft” [ kind of a reformed witchcraft which is as old as Judaism].
      Or things never change- despite the ever changing science and it’s technology.

      Of course there also the religion that science will save us, which more of cult rather the more established traditions. Or rather than the term of cult, one could say it’s sort of nebulous, due the changing nature of science and pseudo science. And we have science will save us, and the belief that science which will be our doom. It’s following same pattern as all religions- all have the hope and the doom.
      This sort of in Marxism [it is entirely pseudo science- but I mean the idea that science will save us] and clearly it’s in other types of religions in a structural way [or more clearly delineated manner].

      I tend to think science will save us, mostly due to the lack of any other available option- or other way of stating it simply. Of course such things as the internet [or the printing press] is a result science and it’s technology “saving us”. Or there is some evidence of science saving us and there is no evidence of government or religions doing this.
      Unless one mistakenly counts promoting Hope and Doom as something saving us.

  50. Danny Thomas

    And then there are always the known “unexpecteds”: http://www.smnweekly.com/sun-releases-massive-x-class-solar-flare/21249/

  51. Frankly, I think this “decoupling” has to do with low economic growth, low natural gas prices, and more energy efficient devices; and very little to do with wind and solar energy.

    From the article:

    But for the first time in nearly half a century, that synchrony between economic growth and energy-related emissions seems to have been broken, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency, prompting its chief economist to wonder if an important new pivot point has been reached — one that decouples economic vigor and carbon pollution.

    Mindful of such trends, the peak fossil-fuel study suggested that the most dire scenarios contemplated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its most recent assessment of global warming science and economics are unlikely to be realized, given changes in energy consumption patterns in various countries and the status of ultimately recoverable fossil fuel resources globally.

    “In a business-as-usual situation, it is unlikely that fossil-fuel-depleted industrial economies in Europe and parts of Asia will strategically position themselves to be dependent on fossil fuel imports,” said Gary Ellem, a biophysicist and lecturer at the University of Newcastle and a co-author of the study. “Rather, as part of business-as-usual, they will seek to accelerate the development and installation alternative energy generation technologies to improve their energy and economic security. There is clear evidence of this already occurring in Europe and China especially.”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomzeller/2015/03/13/in-historic-turn-co2-emissions-flatline-in-2014-evan-as-global-economy-grows/

  52. Svend Ferdinandsen

    The first “problem” is that it is defined as a problem.
    It is like all accept that the ever changing climate is a problem, just because it is called a problem. The worst is that so many think we must do something to change the climate instead of learning to live with it, as mankind has done in centuries.

    • @ Svend Ferdinsndsen

      Exactly!

      That ACO2 is causing the planet to heat rapidly AND that the heating will prove catastrophic unless governments take action to mitigate ACO2 is not a theory; it is an axiom according to the following definition:

      “An axiom or postulate is a premise or starting point of reasoning. As classically conceived, an axiom is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy.”

  53. Judith,

    Interesting post. You asked for comments and have received many very good ones from the denizens. What is your take on the comments?

  54. an important issue remains: should resources be directed to adapting to coming climate change, or should they be directed to efforts to cut dramatically anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, especially C02?

    The pause (the decoupling) from economic growth of ghg emissions is now a constraint on the models who extrapolated integer growth.

    http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2015/march/global-energy-related-emissions-of-carbon-dioxide-stalled-in-2014.html

    • Dunno if I believe that figure. I distrust chinese figures. They may be faking their numbers before they show up in Paris. Commies do that.

      • In high stakes games,one should be skeptical of all arbitrary numbers eg {Marland 2006]

        The two estimates for the United States differed by only 0.9%, but the absolute value of this difference was greater than total
        emissions from 147 of the 195 countries analyzed

    • @ maksimovich

      “….an important issue remains: should resources be directed to adapting to coming climate change, or should they be directed to efforts to cut dramatically anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, especially C02?”

      I suggest that those making the decision would do well to keep in mind that while directing resources toward adapting to the so far elusive climate change will produce tangible, measurable benefits, while there is no evidence that efforts directed toward cutting anthropogenic greenhouse gasses will have ANY objective, measurable impact on the planetary climate, regardless of the amount of greenhouse gas reductions, over the range of 0% to 100%, inclusive, that are achieved by the efforts.

  55. Danny Thomas

    “As the storm bore down on Vanuatu on Friday, aid officials warned that poor construction could put thousands at risk from flash floods and buildings collapsing.”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/13/us-weather-vanuatu-cyclone-idUSKBN0M92NJ20150313

    These poor folks. Seems one should start with the basics and go from there.

  56. Why do we humans enjoy such mental machinations over subjects where the real answer is — we don’t know.

    Certainly there is politics in climate science, that is literally all that it is these days. Not that some of the work doesn’t have some relation to actual climate but wow! — time is short?!!!
    come on!

    We must have a little realism before intelligent discourse can begin. Time is far from short. Time is long, careers are short. The environment is powerfully stable even for CO2. Certainly far more stable than pseudo-intellectual morons with easy degrees, and easier papers would have us believe.

    Look around, the doom didn’t happen so we DO have time to decide what needs to be done with energy production. Michigan has seven coal plants shutting down in the coming years due to EPA (non-voted on) regulations. What will we do in a decade for power? Will our 40 year old nukes ramp up 800% to take up the load? This isn’t some classroom problem anymore, people are actually going to die from this left-wing nonsense.

    It won’t be me though because I’m an evil business owner. And I have money, so like health insurance, I’ll throw some otherwise unnecessary cash at it and have all the juice I need. A shoulder shrug really. What will the rest of you do? What will my employees do? Why is it ok to consider that shutting down our electricity MIGHT be ok?

    Bunch of stupid people thinking they are smart is all I see.

    • Sorry, I’m a little grumpy about it today.

    • See Jeff Id post on ocean heat – Been some acknowledgement
      over at real Climate that we can stuff 100% of global warming
      into the ocean for a millennia with literally zero consequences.
      Jeff Id calculates in his post, 700 years heating to produce one
      degree of warming.
      https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/something-new-under-the-sun/

      • Warming oceans immediately effect the climate as the oceans are the driver of the global climate. Heat capacity of the oceans is high, but that fact is irrelevant to constant effects that ocean heat content has on the daily weather and long-term climate.

        The idea that energy just accumulates in the ocean without effects on weather patterns, cryosphere, atmosphere, etc. is nonsense.

      • R Gates:

        The idea that energy just accumulates in the ocean without effects on weather patterns, cryosphere, atmosphere, etc. is nonsense.

        The issue isn’t whether there is an effect, but the magnitude of it.

        It’s well recognized that if more heat energy was sequestered in the deep ocean, the net impact of anthropogenic forcing would be significantly ameliorated.

        This rests on the fact that the deep oceans are colder than the above waters and have a much larger thermal mass..

        Since you can’t transfer heat energy from a cold object to a warm object without work being done on the system, any heat energy transferred to the deep oceans is basically lost to the surface climate system.

      • At this very moment, it’s unlikely that very much heat is accumulating below 700 meters. Because England’s anomalous wind has stopped blowing.

      • JCH

        The real answer about heat being accumulated below 700 meters is — we don’t know. Our instruments have a great deal of trouble recording 0.01C of change over the volume of the ocean. Actually, they cannot.

        By various chemical mixing studies, the oceans are expected to be well mixed in about a millenium. That indicates that perhaps 500 years is a good timeframe for surface heating to vanish into ocean water.

      • The Meridional Overturning Circulation (aka thermohaline circulation, or great ocean conveyor) transports deep ocean heat to the poles. The return current is regulated by the temperature of polar sea ice.

        Therefore in order for whatever heat that leaks from the mixed layer across the thermocline into the deep ocean to have any significant impact on abyssal temperatures it must first melt the polar ice. I would therefore expect negligible heating of the abyss until the polar ice is gone, unlikely in this millennium.

        The rate of trans-thermocline leakage downwards is unlikely to change significantly over the next century. Hence whatever is going on in the deep ocean can have little bearing on projections for 2100 that are based on the past century and a half of global climate.

      • Hmmmm, Vaughn shows a valve.
        ==============

      • With perfectly functioning seals. I suspect reality leaks around it short of complete melting of polar sea ice.
        ==========

      • The Meridional Overturning Circulation (aka thermohaline circulation, or great ocean conveyor) transports deep ocean heat to the poles. The return current is regulated by the temperature of polar sea ice.

        Therefore in order for whatever heat that leaks from the mixed layer across the thermocline into the deep ocean to have any significant impact on abyssal temperatures it must first melt the polar ice. […] The rate of trans-thermocline leakage downwards is unlikely to change significantly over the next century.

        Enhanced vertical mixing within mesoscale eddies due to high frequency winds in the South China Sea by Yuley Cardona, Annalisa Bracco Ocean Modelling Volume 42, 2012, Pages 1–15

        The South China Sea is a marginal basin with a complex circulation influenced by the East Asian Monsoon, river discharge and intricate bathymetry. As a result, both the mesoscale eddy field and the near-inertial energy distribution display large spatial variability and they strongly influence the oceanic transport and mixing.

        With an ensemble of numerical integrations using a regional ocean model, this work investigates how the temporal resolution of the atmospheric forcing fields modifies the horizontal and vertical velocity patterns and impacts the transport properties in the basin. The response of the mesoscale circulation in the South China Sea is investigated under three different forcing conditions: monthly, daily and 6-hourly momentum and heat fluxes.

        While the horizontal circulation does not display significant differences, the representation of the vertical velocity field displays high sensitivity to the frequency of the wind forcing. If the wind field contains energy at the inertial frequency or higher (daily and 6-hourly cases), then submesoscale fronts, vortex Rossby waves and near inertial waves are excited as ageostrophic expression of the vigorous eddy field. Those quasi- and near-inertial waves dominate the vertical velocity field in the mixed layer (vortex Rossby waves) and below the first hundred meters (near inertial waves) and they are responsible for the differences in the vertical transport properties under the various forcing fields as quantified by frequency spectra, vertical velocity profiles and vertical dispersion of Lagrangian tracers. [my bold]

      • Vaughan Pratt | March 15, 2015 at 1:13 pm |
        ” I would therefore expect negligible heating of the abyss until the polar ice is gone, unlikely in this millennium.”

        Even if the ice is gone, you can expect negligible heating of the abyss. It simply has too much heat capacity to change significantly from a few trillion watts. These circulation mechanisms are highly dominant drivers of tropospheric temperature. Someday, even real climate scientists will recognize the fact that CO2 can be overwhelmed by the oceans.

    • Jeff, I think one factor is that in many countries the academic sector has expanded far beyond the point where there is significant work to do and competent people to do it. For many academics in many fields, CAGW alarm has been a godsend, allowing them a new focus for mindless waffle which somehow gains traction.

      • In support of my comment, here’s a recent reference from the Centre for Independent Studies:

        “I know at WasteWatch we go on about the Australian Research Council grants but they keep giving. Now we love it when people get along, but a $179, 700 tax-payer funded investigation into being friendly is pushing it. Especially when the friends being investigated died 500 years ago and are from the Apennine peninsula. The grant gave one lucky researcher the chance to examine “concord among humanists, philosophers, theologians, poets and political writers during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in the Italian peninsula”. A true motley crew!

        “But fear not, the ARC are also looking out for you and me. To help us understand, they have invested in compassion too. A $397,900 grant to “test whether empathy relies upon us simulating the emotion of others in ourselves” will be completed in 2018.”

        As it happens, I challenged Australian “public intellectual” and Human Rights commissioner Tim Soutphommasane’s nonsensical take on empathy recently on ABC online. He claimed, inter alia, that empathy “is deeply political. Little wonder then that it is so frequently resisted and so difficult to realise.”

        My reply included: “Of course, the “true test of empathy” is not whether you say the right thing, it must be a genuine concern with and for the object of your empathy. Again, this is not political; and to say that it is about “acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what you can see” is bizarre (even if he actually meant perceptually), it adds no value or understanding. … Empathy is spontaneous and unselfish, it is a quality almost all have and which we can develop further, and it is likely that it developed in humans living in groups long before politics existed.”

        I suggested to CIS that I could answer the ARC-supported question on empathy with a one-pager, and save them a lot of money.

      • An overview by Pointman of the weaponisation
        of pure reseach. Strong essay.
        https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/the-weaponisation-of-pure-research/

  57. Anyone care to comment on the RS and NAS report that states that the mitigation of CAGW is a BIG problem? Here is their point twenty where they state that if all co2 emissions were stopped today there wouldn’t be a reduction in co2 levels or temp for thousands of years.
    BTW warmists Trenberth , Solomon etc are the authors of this report, so please tell us where they’re wrong? Perhaps they remember that there was a lag from co2 levels by at least 6,000 years when temp dropped going into the glacial period at the end of the Eemian IG. That’s about 18,000 years ago I think, but Petit et al thinks that maybe 8,000 years passed before co2 levels started to drop. And the drop then was from about 280ppm not the present 400ppm.
    So if Trenberth etc are near correct we could spend thousands of trillions $ for thousands of years for a zero return. It makes Madoff’s ponzi scheme look like real amateurism? Surely he wasn’t really trying?

    https://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/question-20/

    • Here is their point twenty where they state that if all co2 emissions were stopped today there wouldn’t be a reduction in co2 levels or temp for thousands of years. BTW warmists Trenberth , Solomon etc are the authors of this report, so please tell us where they’re wrong?

      They’re assuming no contribution from Humans removing it. We put it there, we can pull it back out. But all the “thousands of years” BS is predicated on assuming that we dump it but don’t/can’t pull it back out.

      • So AK how do we pull it back out? And do you accept the ice core record or not? Just asking.

      • Here is some of their point twenty, just so there is no BS on my part. They state that the current warming is essentially irreversible on human time scales.-Also note that they think we should return to conditions of the late LIA, or perhaps 1750 to 1800.———————–

        20. If emissions of greenhouse gases were stopped, would the climate return to the conditions of 200 years ago?

        No. Even if emissions of greenhouse gases were to suddenly stop, Earth’s surface temperature would not cool and return to the level in the pre-industrial era for thousands of years.

        fig9-small

        Figure 9. If global emissions were to suddenly stop, it would take a long time for surface air temperatures and the ocean to begin to cool, because the excess CO2 in the atmosphere would remain there for a long time and would continue to exert a warming effect. Model projections show how atmospheric CO2 concentration (a), surface air temperature (b), and ocean thermal expansion (c) would respond following a scenario of business-as-usual emissions ceasing in 2300 (red), a scenario of aggressive emission reductions, falling close to zero 50 years from now (orange), and two intermediate emissions scenarios (green and blue). The small downward tick in temperature at 2300 is caused by the elimination of emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases, including methane. Source: Zickfeld et al., 2013 (larger version)

        If emissions of CO2 stopped altogether, it would take many thousands of years for atmospheric CO2 to return to ‘pre-industrial’ levels due to its very slow transfer to the deep ocean and ultimate burial in ocean sediments. Surface temperatures would stay elevated for at least a thousand years, implying extremely long-term commitment to a warmer planet due to past and current emissions, and sea level would likely continue to rise for many centuries even after temperature stopped increasing (see Figure 9). Significant cooling would be required to reverse melting of glaciers and the Greenland ice sheet, which formed during past cold climates. The current CO2-induced warming of Earth is therefore essentially irreversible on human timescales. The amount and rate of further warming will depend almost entirely on how much more CO2 humankind emits.

      • So AK how do we pull it back out?

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/12/adaptive-problem-solving-integral-approaches-to-climate-change/#comment-683321 just for example.

        And do you accept the ice core record or not?

        I’m highly skeptical. Salby has raised some cogent issues, that seem to have been “dealt with” through bureaucratic hooliganism.

        Not to mention that there’s no reason to suppose that just because the “cause→effect” process works in one direction at one time-scale (e.g. 10,000’s of years), doesn’t mean it doesn’t work in the other direction at other time-scales.

      • Curious George

        There is a solar-powered system which pulls CO2 out of the atmosphere. It is called a green plant. If you subscribe to the notion of fossil fuels, you should be aware of it.

    • @ Neville

      “Here is their point twenty where they state that if all co2 emissions were stopped today there wouldn’t be a reduction in co2 levels or temp for thousands of years.”

      Great! I can’t think of any empirical data that supports the idea that a reduction in either is desirable.

      Other than a plethora of ex cathedra declarations from the ‘climate experts’ that we need to set our atmospheric CO2 to a level that asymptotically approaches plant starvation level and reduce the temperature of the planet (to what ideal?), just what evidence IS there that our lives would be improved by a colder climate and an atmosphere with a lower percentage of CO2 than we enjoy today?

  58. Sorry above should read 118,000 years ago, not 18,000 years. Grrrrr.

  59. blueice2hotsea

    JeffId’s EPA comment points to a wicked issue with no apparent solution – the influence of disingenuous agents.

    Some television producers pre-screen with lie detectors to establish whether or not their guests actually believe their own stories. Pathological liars are not always welcome in the entertainment business, nor should they always be welcome in the climate business.

    My advice is to pre-screen climate policy analysts and science advisers for traits of dishonesty and psychopathy. We want good people of good intent to establish trust on the basis of shared human values and then work out solutions that are the least evil for all concerned. Right?

  60. Danny Thomas

    Okay folks. This is so far off topic, but so necessary. Get your appropriate beverages ready and enjoy: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/pi-day-2015-celebrating-one-of-maths-greatest-numbers-20150313-1422ay.html

  61. John Vonderlin

    Danny,
    You’ll be late to the party if you start blowing your kazoo at 9:27. We’ll all be celebrating at 9:26 and 53.59 seconds. Don’t be late or the pie will all be gone.

  62. From Prof Zimmermann above:

    In the context of post-normal science, however, a question arises: “When do scientists become so involved in politics that they end up undermining science as a neutral source of information and options for policy makers?”

    The simple and unsettling answer to this question is: “Right from the start!”

    Post-normal science is a delusional type of mental disorder, not real science. Its primary proposition is that politically correct values may be substituted for the results of objective scientific observations and measurements and treated as scientific facts whenever and wherever it is desired to do so. This irrational founding proposition is utterly inimical to real science and honest reason alike and no-one who practices post-normal science can possibly be practicing real science or lay honest claim to being a real scientist by virtue of practicing it. It is a pernicious and aggressive form of intellectual cancer against which world society apparently has no effective defences because it has already taken over world academia and is dictating social policy-making globally through the leverage of the academically-manufactured mythology of “climate change”.

    The “context of post-normal science” is thus itself the original cause and primary source of all the “wicked problems of climate change” to which Prof Zimmerman refers. Indeed, in normal (i.e. real) science, there are no problems of climate change to be seen! From the intellectually-honest standpoint of normal science there is no actual evidence that the world is even warming at all at the moment, let alone that the imagined warming is being caused by human activity. The “wicked problems of climate change” only ever appear in the post-normal context where the yawning voids in our knowledge of what the climate is really doing have been filled-in with untested conjectures and preconceived dogmas that originate in the idiosyncratic worldview of a pseudo-intellectual social movement which bears all the hallmarks of an apocalyptic doomsday cult.

    Through the global climate doomsday cult, post-normal science is destroying world civilization in the same way that an aggressive cancer destroys its host-body, i.e. in an intelligent, predatory and parasitic way that cannibalizes the body’s resources as it conquers them, cell by cell, organ by organ, relentlessly, casually and ruthlessly, all the time growing stronger and more aggressive as the host grows weaker until the final moment of death comes. Similarly post-normal science is consuming normal science by covertly and systematically usurping and replacing its well-founded principles and well-tried findings with its own irrational, pseudoscientific ideology. But real science is one of the main supporting pillars of world civilization. Covertly replace that with the faux-pillar of post-normal science and the whole structure is liable to collapse.

    This pseudoscientific cult is the equivalent on the intellectual plane of what Islamic State is on the physical plane – self-confirming, self-righteous, aggressively self-imposing, a law unto itself and intent upon the annihilation of all that opposes it or stands in its way to ultimate global sovereignty over everything without limit. As the members of the cult are usually quick to remind us, it has already taken over virtually every scientific institute on the planet. And to that undeniable conquest we may also add the conquests of the global political establishment, the mainstream media, the financial-economic establishment, our educational systems and latterly even the mainstream religious organizations too! Is there any basic vital organ or institution of global society that it has not yet penetrated, corrupted, subverted and co-opted into the service of its own self-inspired agenda for world revolution on all levels of human and non-human existence?

    When the rot has gone this far I think there can be little hope of a quick and easy return to global health and sanity and a prompt restoration of real science to its rightful place as a pillar-institution of civilization. Before this recovery could happen the man-made global warming cult would have to be disempowered and this would require it to be publicly discredited first. This has begun to happen but the cult’s resistance is strong and it still has possession of the political and other organs of society, including the mainstream media, so it is able to mount propaganda counter-offensives quite easily and is doing so with energy and zeal. However, although the cult may win the odd skirmish here and there the ultimate outcome of this war is a foregone conclusion: the cult will be progressively discredited by its own public statements and actions as these are revealed to be false and dishonest. But whether or not its fall from grace will come in time to save our tottering civilization is beyond my powers of prophecy to foretell.

    Anyway, the discrediting and disempowering of the global climate cult is only the first half of the remedial treatment that I envisage being required. The second half is the reinstallation of real science as a fundamental pillar of civilized society and that is a far more rigorously demanding exercise than the first half. It would entail removing all the delusory ideological clap-trap with which the minds of generations of miseducated students of climate change have been brainwashed and teaching them how to do real science in its place. That is a slow, generational process in itself. But it cannot be avoided if science and civilization are to be restored and advanced.

    Society has fallen victim to the post-normal mind-virus precisely because it could not tell post-normal science from real science and so has accepted the counterfeit article as the genuine one – to its untellable cost. The only way that I can see for it to avoid falling victim to the same, or a similar mind-virus in future is to learn what real science is and how it differs from all the duplicitous forms of pseudoscience that ingenious pranksters and fraudsters will invent to plague us with to further their personal ambitions and for their sadistic ego-gratification. Thus it will develop the appropriate adaptive immunological response to such mind-viral threats not so much from “a more complete view of a situation” as Prof Z proposes, as from a more truthful and intellectually-honest one.

      • Jim D, are you sure you know what “Psychobabble” means? A search of John Power’s essay did not turn up even one instance of “business management”, “motivational seminars”, “self-help”, “folk psychology”, or “popular psychology”.

        On the other hand, there was this interesting paragraph from Wikipedia’s Psychobabble entry:

        “The allusions to psychobabble imply that some psychological concepts lack precision and have become meaningless or pseudoscientific. Science demands the testing of ideas in experiments whose results are repeatable. In this context and since the scientific method is generally replaced by inductive reasoning in psychology, it does not qualify as a science.”

        Just replace “psychological” and “psychology” with “climate science” in this paragraph.

    • “Through the global climate doomsday cult, post-normal science is destroying world civilization…”
      ____
      Ah, so the climate doomsday cult thinks that CO2 will destroy civilization and for others, it is the post-normal science that will destroy civilization. So both groups are doomsday cults.

      • “So both groups are doomsday cults.”

        I don’t think so, R. Gates. The climate doomsday cult is not a doomsday cult just because it thinks civilization will be destroyed by CO2 but because the thinking and behaviour that it expresses exhibit the characteristics of one.

        On the other hand those people who observe the climate doomsday cult actively attacking and destroying the basic cultural institutions that support our civilization, of which real science is one, do not exhibit those characteristics as a rule and so they cannot be classed rationally as a doomsday cult.

      • ==> “On the other hand those people who observe the climate doomsday cult actively attacking and destroying the basic cultural institutions that support our civilization, of which real science is one, do not exhibit those characteristics as a rule and so they cannot be classed rationally as a doomsday cult.”

        If only those poopyheads would stop calling us poopyheads, we could get on with the business of feeding all those starving children in Africa.

      • Joshua,

        If we really were poopyheads I would not object to those poopyheads calling us poopyheads. But to call us poopyheads when we are not is illogical and false.

        Likewise for calling us doomsday cultists.

    • davideisenstadt

      In defense of our host, I dont think she means to imply that the consequences of global warming are wicked, just that any attempt to model climatic behavior is wickedly complex…

      • Jack Smith, TX

        Wicked implies emotive attributes, bad-evil-devious.
        Why not words like hard-difficult-perplexing?
        Judith picked that word for a reason.

      • Heh, it’s wicked enough without the evil which seems to have adhered and to progressively accrete. Ooh, extra points for using that special adverb, the better me to sustain me.
        ===============

      • Jack Smith, TX

        Every time I read “Wicked problem” I have to mentally translate wicked=perplexing. Perplexing is a more accurate and descriptive adjective.
        I looked up synonyms for ‘wicked’:
        Wicked (adjective) abhorrent, abominable, arrant, bad, baleful, baneful, base, criminal, crude, damnable, dastardly, debased, despicable, detestable, dissolute, dreadful, evil, evildoing, evil-minded, hateful, heinous, hideous, horrible, horrid, ignoble, incorrigible, infamous, iniquitous, invidious, loathsome, malefic, maleficent, malevolent, malicious, malignant, monstrous, noxious, obnoxious, opprobrious, pernicious, perverse, perverted, reprehensible, repulsive, revolting, satanic, scurrilous, unseemly, unspeakable, vicious, vile, villainous, vulgar, wanton

        Here’s Perplexing (adjective) puzzling, complex, confusing, complicated, involved, hard, taxing, difficult, strange, weird, mysterious, baffling, bewildering, intricate, enigmatic, mystifying, inexplicable, thorny, paradoxical, unaccountable, knotty, labyrinthine.

        Is Climate Science wicked?

      • nottawa rafter

        If you’re trying to understand climate and it defies explanation and you keep being baffled by it, I identified about a dozen words that could come to mind after burning the midnight oil and you feel there is no answer. In my case, the listed words are a bit tame compared to what I would use.

        Some of the above words are entirely suitable in describing the convoluted and disjointed writing style of AR5. Never have so many words been used to say so little.

      • @ Jack Smith, TX

        “Is Climate Science wicked?”

        Yes.

        Based on the behavior of ‘Climate Science’ writ large over the past 20 odd years, it would appear to be a textbook example.

    • CAWG, taking an anthropological view, looks like a religion to me.

      1. Challengers are labeled as heretics. Consider Scientific American’s article on Judith and the use of the “d” word.

      2. There is an end-of-days myth complete with predictions of war, famine, and disease.

      3. It has a code of behavior which cannot realistically be followed so there is cultural subterfuge. For example, it’s ok for Father Gore to fly around in his private jet, the acme of hydrocarbon burning, and for environmentalists to drive around in their SUVs or live in mansions because they are doing the sacred work – spreading the word.

      4. The tenets are closed to experience (data or the lack thereof).

      5. The world is divided into followers of the word and unbelievers.

      6. Any challenge to the word is met with a passionate retort.

      7. Unethical behavior is justified in the name of the religion – the end justifies the means. Consider the actions of Peter Gleick.

      8. Apostates will be excommunicated or shunned – there are too many to name.

      Add your own to the list …

      • Cult, more apt, ‘cuz even the insufficient present manifestations of spirituality have a great deal more mercy and hope in them.

        Alternatively, most of the religious descriptors applied to this social phenomenon of ‘Catastrophe’ can be recast as social pathologies, metaphorically as sickness of the mind politic, a maddened herd.

        Fortunately, though contagious, it’s not infectious, thus fairly easily recovered from.
        ===========

    • @ John Power

      Maybe the best post that I have read on this or ANY OTHER climate/generic science related forum.

      Thank you.

    • John Power –

      But whether or not its fall from grace will come in time to save our tottering civilization is beyond my powers of prophecy to foretell.

      What makes you think that our civilization is tottering? As far a climate change alarmism is concerned public opinion seems to be moving against them.

  63. Doug Proctor

    If stepping outside one’s ideological box is a necessary part of solving the climate “problem”, I ask for examples where such a thing may be found for review.

    I am not being cynical here. Pragmatic. We need to understand how to achieve this. The eco-green seem to have the same limitation as the Christian, right-wing “denier”. Have we evolved socially enough to do this as a group? Is this failure not why we rely on regulatory coercion even for the most banal of things?

    I think a new ideology allows new behavior. We are stuck inside boxes; we have to change box culture before we can expect behavior “outside the (old) box”.

    The first requirement better be unnecessary, something to develop along the way as “success” becomes obvious. A collateral result, not a necessary precondition.

  64. Danny

    Mosh scathingly said it was not possible to reproduce my methodology for reconstructing CET and misrepresented how I calculated it. Article here.

    https://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/

    Data etc here

    https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/long-slow-thaw-supplementary-information.pdf

    Mosh continually makes this comment about lack of replication and I continually correct it. You will appreciate It is impossible to insert reams of information on methodology and the pages of relevant calculations into articles such as ‘The Long Slow Thaw’ as people already complain my articles are far too long.

    I cite hundreds of references-each one of which is read- and its data taken into account. it is clearly impossible to lift thousands of pages of detail from all these studies and insert them into the requisite year of the supplementary information, so the data here needs to be limited to succinct and representative comments.

    I had explained numerous times to Mosh how the temperature calculations were made in order to amplify the bare bones abstract comment (below) but he never seems to take any notice.

    Abstract;

    ‘The mean average temperature or each year has been calculated as follows. Where no information-or too little information- was available, an ‘average’ for that period has been calculated (which has been amended as trends emerged). Some notably cold winters were balanced by exceptionally hot summers so mean averages for some of the frost fair years, for example, are not as cold as may be expected. Subject to revision as new evidence is found.’

    On March 13th 2015 he commented

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/12/adaptive-problem-solving-integral-approaches-to-climate-change/#comment-683347

    On March 14 2015 I again explained methodology.

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/12/adaptive-problem-solving-integral-approaches-to-climate-change/#comment-683424

    Previously I had explained to him here on Feb 2015

    ‘I have told you at least three times that I follow the van engelen, buisman and Unsen formula of splitting years into various categories of cold and warmth which was detailed in Phil jones ‘ book ‘ history and climate’ page 105 . I also emailed this information to you several years ago.’

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/31/week-in-review-41/#comment-671263

    I gave a similar reply on August 6 2014

    https://judithcurry.com/2014/08/04/is-the-road-to-scientific-hell-paved-with-good-moral-intentions/#comment-615309

    On July 30 2012-comments before and after this comment showed Mosh saw my detailed reference to how reconstructed CET was compiled

    https://judithcurry.com/2012/07/29/a-new-release-from-berkeley-earth-surface-temperature/#comment-223914

    I like Mosh and respect his work, even though I may not agree with all of it. Why he persists in believing I pluck figures out of the air I don’t know. He obviously dislikes ‘anecdotal’ historic information in text form but his historic numerical data are just as ‘anecdotal.’

    tonyb

    • Danny

      My comment is in moderation so please look out for it at the foot of the thread

      tonyb

    • Danny Thomas

      TonyB,
      I’ve read your Long Slow Thaw, but will admit to not having gone thru in detail the supporting documents. For some reason, I cannot seem to catch up and I’m putting in a fair amount of time.
      My impressions are there’s an ‘analogue’ method and a ‘digital’ method and the interface between is complicated. But eventually, you’ll get it done. I, for one, appreciate each of you two and my take away is there is good solid hard work involved and the result is and will continue to be imperfect and complex.
      But please understand how important it is! I’ve learned much from you both.
      I do think I’d hold Steven’s feet to the fire whereas he didn’t show his work when he arrived at the 9.8C. It’s only fair both ways. Hoping he’ll respond and provide something of much higher value.

      • Danny

        The main point was, as demonstrayed in the links, that I have shown my methodology at least 4 times, which Mosh has seen but then seems to forget about, and then claims I don’t have a methodology.

        As for his 9.8c comment, he is relating that to the link he provided which was of some mythical European temperature. CET is a specific central England temperature. It will bear no relationship to some manufactured average European temperature in the same way that the temperature in your home state is likely to bear no relationship to an averaged US temperature.

        1540 and the years around it were very hot.

        If you have Hubert lambs, ‘climate, past present and future’ ( essential reading) I will quote you the page number where he quotes this. 9.8c is a wild underestimate.

        Tonyb

      • Danny Thomas

        TonyB,
        I do have Lamb’s work (about 1/2 way through it). The only link I found in the note where he stated 9.8C was about the dendrochronology but I couldn’t tease out that figure from there. And don’t think I should have to, it should be apparent.
        I followed the discussion about showing several times about the methodology, and am not sure what his concern is with a lack of understanding. Hoping he’ll chime in and address the apparent lack of communication.

      • Danny

        In my copy of the book the reference to the hot years round 1540 is under chapter 13 page 386. There are lots of other references to this hot period in the supplementary info link.

        The period from 1700 was also intensely interesting as It marked the rapid rise in temperatures that came to a crashing temporary halt in 1740 .

        The world has been generally warming from 1700 to this current era. It would be good to have an explanation for this long slow thaw.

        As for the 9.8 claim by mosh, he just doesn’t like ‘anecdotal’ information. Which is a shame as his work and mine should complement each other . It’s not a competition is it?

        Tonyb

      • Danny Thomas

        Tonyb,

        Much of the climate discussion is a competition, but this should not be. In fact, I can see where when backtesting is done specifically in your region of research your work would be a most valuable comparison. If his work cannot recreate yours then as with GCM’s future projections one would know to look for an issue.
        And I agree fully that to broaden our understanding the reasons for the long slow thaw should be of utmost importance. If we understand the baseline as it’s causes then extrapolating out the anthro causes, magnituted, and effects should be more definitive.

    • tonyb,

      Don’t hold your breath waiting for mosher to admit error, on anything. His primary goal at any given point is to win the debate of the moment. Which is why he so often ends up arguing both sides of an argument, depending on his goal of the day. I once chronicled a series of them, it was hilarious.

      His goal long ago stopped being moving the debate forward. He chose sides long ago, and all the rest is irrelevant to him. He does forget, because the substance is not what he cares about, winning the debate is all that matters.

      It is hard to argue with someone who sees no categorical difference between a lie and the truth, who sees no categorical difference between “ground truth” (as it is defined by the rest of the world), and computer generated data.

      That was one argument on which he once took both sides. First arguing that models were validated against “ground truth”. Then when questioned, he admitted that the “ground truth” he was talking about was other model generated data. On a later thread, he denied that there was any such thing as “ground truth”.

      Mosher used to have a ratio of about 50-50 wheat to chaff. I think if is now 95%+ chaff. Virtually all of which is obscurantist argumentation.

  65. >> There are major social and environmental problems that will become only more pressing as population increases, habitats come under pressure, and ever scarcer resources become trigger points for political tensions and warfare.<<

    This assumption needs to be challenged. In America, emissions in the U.S. peaked in the late 1990s. Our GDP is now about $5 trillion larger than it was then and we have about 50 million more people living here. Environmentalists ought to be screaming from the rooftops about that success.

    Jesse Ausubel gave a fantastic presentation a couple of months ago at the Long Now Foundation in which he uses data to demonstrate that we are now using fewer ores and other "natural resources" per capita as the physical economy is largely built out and more economic activity is centered around digital applications, services, etc. In his presentation he makes the case that the world has already reached "peak farmland" as farmers have gotten so efficient. He thinks that by 2050 the world will return to the wild an area the size of the country of India because we are so improving the output yields and efficiency of farming and people choose to live in highly densely concentrated areas. Bjorn Lomberg has tweeted a couple of the slides from the presentation recently, however, I recommend watching the whole thing. Here it is:

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02015/jan/13/nature-rebounding-land-and-ocean-sparing-through-concentrating-human-activities/

  66. Berényi Péter

    “Adaptive problem solving” is not the business of science, it belongs to the domain of politics. Also, “wicked problems” are not problems for scientists to solve.

    In general, true scientists are not interested in real life problems. Important problems in science are those which promote scientific understanding. Their importance has nothing to do with their significance concerning life.

    Of course, in their pursuit of scientific truth scientists may accidentally tame some wicked problems. With deep enough understanding of laws governing phenomena, they can even make inventing extremely useful gadgets possible.

    But that’s not what a true scientist seeks.

    During the last two centuries our daily life was transformed completely by tiny spinoffs of the scientific endeavor, which creates a misperception, namely that this is what science is about. It is not.

    The question of “climate change”, not to mention “climate disruption” is utterly meaningless for a scientist.

    On the other hand, rate of entropy production in the climate system is an outstanding scientific issue. More specifically, there is an ongoing debate whether thermal radiation power flux to space should be divided by 0.75T or T to get entropy flux. That’s how a significant question looks like.

    It is significant indeed, the difference is 30%.

      • Berényi Péter

        The Kleidon paper (Open Access) is indeed an important one. He calculates a global average rate of entropy production of 865 mW/m²/K, which is in the correct ballpark, because he dismisses the bogus 4/3 multiplier pushed by others, unfortunately for the wrong reason.

        According to him 94% of entropy production happens when incoming solar radiation gets absorbed and thermalized, 3% is due to scattering solar radiation back to space and another 3% (26 mW/m²/K) is produced by dissipative processes in the climate system, including those mediated by life.

        From this it is clear, his claim, that Earth is in a MEP state hinges on the assumption its planetary albedo can’t be decreased by any means. Any deviation would generate either more ice and bare land or more clouds.

        Unfortunately the MEP principle is only proven rigorously for reproducible non equilibrium thermodynamic systems, which class the terrestrial climate system does not belong to.

        A system is reproducible if for any macrostate A, it either always evolves to macrostate B or never. Earth does not behave like that, for microstates belonging to the same macrostate can evolve to different macrostates in a short time due to its chaotic dynamics (butterfly effect).

        Theoretical treatment of MEP is lacking for such systems, because the very definition of Jaynes entropy fails for the non reproducible case.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Berényi Péter claims [with inexplicable disregard for the literature] “the MEP [Maximum Entropy Production] principle  is only  has NEVER been proven rigorously  for reproducible  ANY non equilibrium thermodynamic systems.”

        Mistaken claim by BP, correction by FOMD.

        Recommendation  The consensus of climate-change rests not upon MEP (or any other single idea), but upon a well-verified theoretical triad: (1) radiation transport theory (the greenhouse effect), (2) the First Law (of energy balance), (3) and the Second Law (of entropy increase) — adjoined with a well-verified observational triad: (4) paleo-data (including boreholes), (5) heating land and oceans (energy balance), (6) melting ice-mass (both poles, Greenland ice-cap, and mountain-glaciers worldwide).

        As for large-scale computational models, James Hansen (and his colleagues) are correct to remind their younger colleagues that global-scale dynamical modeling is a side-show that serves primarily to amplify our scientific appreciation of the climate-science circus’ six main rings.

        Common-sense Young scientists (especially) appreciate that the six-legged support of consensus climate-science has proven to be mighty sure-footed in the “wicked terrain” of scientific uncertainty!

        Good on `yah for multiply-redundant scientific practices, climate-scientists!

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

  67. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #172 | Watts Up With That?

  68. Although I advocate living greener to prolong my life and your life, on a local basis….I believe that all we need is a good Pinatubo or Krakatoa eruption (again) to wake you APG’ers up to the concept of how small and unimportant we are to our environment and what greenhouse gasses can do on the greatest of natural scales. Remember our friend, SOL??? >>> I would’ve loved to see the Climate-Crisis [idiots] crying about the onset of warming with the beginning of the melt-out/creation of the U.S. Great-Lakes after the Late Glacial Maximum. What is it about the last 50 years of human waste and fossil-fuel dependence that has ‘us’ thinking we’re above the forces that be?? Please. Stop. Just work to live green and pray for climate change to be kind to us, while we endure the stupid weather, as we always have.

  69. The alternative of Nuclear Energy has been trashed, primarily by fearmongering. (Note that breeder reactors can mitigate the problem of running out of fossil fuels.)
    FYI:
    In the United States, there have been 9 nuclear reactor incidents since 2003, inclusive, through the last update Feb 21, 2015.
    Of these 9:
    – Four have been mechanical or electrical equipment failures without release of radioactive material, with 1 fatality from a non-nuclear construction accident.
    – Five released radioactive material into the environment, primarily tritium, strontium, and one report of spillage of 35 L of highly enriched uranium. This is about 0.5 per year, with no fatalities.

    “While tritium has several different experimentally determined values of its half-life, the National Institute of Standards and Technology lists 4,500 ± 8 days (12.32 ± 0.02 years). It decays into helium-3. … The major source is cosmic rays.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium

    The following are lists of all incidents:

    Wikipedia contributors. “Nuclear Reactor Accidents in the United States.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, February 21, 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nuclear_reactor_accidents_in_the_United_States&oldid=648161768

    Wikipedia contributors. “List of Nuclear Power Accidents by Country.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, January 31, 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_nuclear_power_accidents_by_country&oldid=644767173

    • Note that tritium is used in emergency lighting in public places. It works without electricity.