Week in review – science and technology edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Siberian craters aside, @nature paper finds permafrost CH4 flow likely to stay steady. [link]

Warm blog in ocean linked to weird weather across US [link]

The Last Time Oceans Got This Acidic This Fast, 96% of Marine Life Went Extinct [link]

Fracking’s earthquake problem and how to tackle it [link]

Critical appraisal of assumptions in chains of model calculations to project local climate impacts [link]  …

New paper finds climate models fail to accurately predict clouds over the ocean “critical for climate projections” [link]  …

Ocean ‘dead zones’ are spreading – and that spells disaster for fish [link]  …

New paper: Tree-rings “overestimate…early-19th century summer cooling by ~1.5 °C” Thus,20th C warming overestimated [link]  …

New paper: “In summer, these [climate] models exhibit a substantial warm bias with particularly high daytime temps” [link]  …

Anesthetics may be knocking out Earth’s climate in addition to hospital patients [link]

Climate: The Unsettled Science http://ift.tt/1HMNRTj

“200 Years Ago This Week: Tambora’s Eruption Causes a Planetary Climate Emergency” [link]

Climate blogs

Nic Lewis at ClimateAudit:  1st of a 3 part series on his climate sensitivity talk at Ringberg [link]

Isaac Held: Addicted to global mean temperature [link]

Victor Venema: Series on not-much-talked-about reasons why raw temp data may underestimate global warming.[link]

.@wmconnolley writes about the new microwave satellite estimates of the temp trend of the tropical hotspot. [link]

The Resilient Earth:  Climate: The unsettled science [link]

Sociology of science

Experts are better at controlling their political biases than ordinary people, @cult_cognition finds [link]

I read this post about turning down interviews on research thinking I’d disagree, I didn’t. [link]

Reading science stories skeptically[link]

The Sun goes dark: @SouthernCompany won’t pay Willie Soon for any more ‘deliverables’,[link]

Nature: #Climate science is not attracting top shelf scientific talent—after all, who wants to work on “settled science?” [link] …

Science has suffered a downturn in credibility in recent years. Now, a bunch of economists are coming to its rescue [link]

@DrKateMarvel’s brilliant blog post on scientific publishing. Check it out: [link]

How certain is ‘certain’? … the use of calibrated language in the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report [link]

Communicating controversial science in context.[link]

192 responses to “Week in review – science and technology edition

  1. The AGW debate is over. Now we need to identify a sane way to restore sanity to society, integrity to science and civilian rights to citizens.

  2. Oh, no, now there’s a warm blog in the ocean (RealClimate?). Maybe that’s the source of the missing heat?

    • Yes blob vs blog, JC should correct the typo. Please.

    • “Warm blob in ocean linked to weird weather across US [link]” Interesting that the story (and presumably the authors of the papers cited in the “Science Daily linked report) states that the blob is NOT due to “climate change”, but the authors had to say (in so many words) “this is what is coming with climate change”. Never let a good crisis (or a warm blob) go to waste…..

  3. Warm blob in ocean linked to weird weather across US …
    Bond coined the term “the blob” last June in his monthly newsletter as Washington’s state climatologist. He said the huge patch of water — 1,000 miles in each direction and 300 feet deep — had contributed to Washington’s mild 2014 winter and might signal a warmer summer.

    Some get incensed when weather patterns are ascribed to ocean temperature.

    Did the blob cause mild winter?
    Or was a big ridge and fewer frontal passages cause both the blob and mild winter? And Cali Drought as well?

  4. I love this line:

    “Science has suffered a downturn in credibility in recent years. Now, a bunch of economists are coming to its rescue.”

    It would also work as follows:

    “Astrology has suffered a downturn in credibility in recent years. Now, a bunch of phrenologists are coming to its rescue.”

  5. Pingback: Week in review – science and technology edition | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  6. The Sun goes dark: @SouthernCompany won’t pay Willie Soon

    Typical environmentalist misinformed hit piece.

    Southern company generates more power from natural gas then from coal and the natural gas mix is increasing. and is building 2.4 GW worth of nuclear that will replace coal.

  7. David Springer

    link to Nature http://ln.is/www.nature.com/news/is2hE%20 about lack of talent is broken

  8. Kate Marvel’s essay (is she any relation to Captain Marvel?) is delicious!

  9. 2nd line down Judith .blob not blog

  10. ” controversy surrounding revelations that Soon failed to divulge that fossil fuel interests were a primary source of funding for 11 studies published in nine scientific journals beginning in 2008.”

    Why is there never controversy due to the 97% failing to divulge that political interests are a primary source of their funding?

    Especially as the scale of money, power, and vested interest in politics are all orders of magnitude bigger than with fossil interests.

  11. http://mashable.com/2015/04/07/anesthesia-global-warming-gases/

    Some of the most commonly used anesthetics may be
    doing more than putting people ter sleep.’ Oh, oh –
    you guessed it, zzz contributing ter globull warming! !

    Nuthin’ for it, as part of the UNFCCc back ter golden
    age primitivism program, hafta’ do amputations w/out
    anesthetics, you know, the old way- ouch!

  12. Last week, a user here recommended the book Climate Change: the Facts. After reading a preview of it, I concluded the book denies global warming and concluded it was a bad book. A bit later, a user gave me a free copy of the book so I could read the whole thing. Now that I’ve done so, I can say it is as bad as I thought. This book which has people like Anthony Watts, JoAnne Nova, Mark Steyn and Ross McKitrick as authors goes so far as to say we can’t even know global warming has actually happened!

    I wrote a bit about it in a post. I figured I’d post a link here since I was given a copy of the book because of my discussion here.

    • David Wojick

      Thanks for framing what sounds like a great book.

    • So Brandon is on the internet declaring books ‘bad’.

      I’m not sure what he thinks that means, but it sounds like a complete waste of time.


      • I took a brief look at the post. My basic impression was that it’s Brandon being Brandon.

        The brazenness of him not recognizing that you own the word “bad” on the Internets!

    • Captain Obvious

      So you’re saying you had a preconceived conclusion, and only after badgering were you willing to go hunting for specific decontextualized anecdotes most agreeable to your prejudice? Somehow, we’re not surprised by this.

  13. David Wojick

    The headlines illustrate the debate very nicely.

    • David Wojick

      I mean the headlines for today’s post, not Brandon’s book. The conflicting headlines demonstrate the debate. One need not read the articles to see this.

  14. The “Resilient Earth” link, in turn, references an article in Nature: Climatologists to physicists: your planet needs you, Which, in turn, contains this:

    Although climate scientists agree on the basics — for example, climate change is primarily the result of human activity — large uncertainties persist in ‘climate sensitivity’, the increase in average global temperature caused by a given rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide.

    Prof. Curry, is this true in your experience? “primarily? And not even “most climate scientists”, just “climate scientists agree”, which to me implies (that they mean) all climate scientists. Is this true? Bad Nature!

    • @ AK

      Hi AK

      I like your selection of quotes: “Although climate scientists agree on the basics — for example, climate change is primarily the result of human activity — large uncertainties persist in ‘climate sensitivity’, the increase in average global temperature caused by a given rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide.” and share your surprise.

      If the word ‘surreal’ hadn’t been around for so long, we would have had to coin it to describe the contents of that quote.

      Do Climate Scientists REALLY agree that climate change is primarily the result of human activity? If so, do they also believe, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that the ‘planetary climate’ (however defined) was STATIC prior to the meddling of us pesky humans? And is the belief that climate change is an artifact of human activity REALLY ‘basic’ to Climate Science?

      The rest of us have obviously lost so much of our minds that we have willingly put these folks in charge of essentially EVERYTHING?


      • Bob Ludwick — Boy, people play word games on this. Significantly?, Primarily?, large part? The “framing” I’ve seen is Dr. Curry says ~50% and Dr. Schmidt says ~100%.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Bob Ludwick +1
        ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’
        let’s not play word games, those silly little things don’t matter
        it’s settled science after all and ‘primarily’ is close enough

        Gaia, bless us with thine pure self before thy erred and created ‘man’

  15. Nature article:
    “Talented physical scientists are needed to help resolve mysteries that are crucial to modelling the climate — and, potentially, saving the planet”

    With newcomers being herded into a firmly geocentric model of the climate, they won’t even notice the main mysteries . The only thing we need saving from is cold, and if the task was set to investigate how the Sun does it, then the science would attract more physicists.

  16. Read the article about turning down interviews, pretty much agreed. Then, partway through,

    This reaching of a personal threshold had first happened to me 13 years ago when I published my first big paper, in Nature, on “Tyrannosaurus was not a fast runner.” After ~3 weeks of insane amounts of media coverage, I was exhausted and pulled the plug, refusing more interviews. It felt good to exert control over the process, and I learned a lot from learning to wield that control. I still use it routinely.

    I remember reading that story (and I use the word advisedly) years ago, and deciding it made a perfect example of real garbage published as science. Shame on Nature.

    A Tyrannosaur was not a 6-ton chicken. It had a tail, which chickens don’t. The entire skeletal-muscular system of a chicken has been evolving for 60-90 million years for a body size measured in kilograms (or fractions thereof). The Tyrannosaur had a substantially different hip structure than birds. As well as that tail, to balance momentum of moving legs. Which almost certainly would have been lost (as it was in birds), if it hadn’t been worth its metabolic (and genetic) cost.

    Using a “scaled-up chicken” to model a Tyrannosaur is as f00lish as using a GCM with toy cells dozens of kilometers across to model the real climate.

    Come to think of it…

  17. Ocean dead zones are a big problem, as in the Gulf of Mexico: The article you link on the topic contains this howler, a fine example of your “availability cascade.”

    Climate change caused by human activity has already caused significant environmental damage over a relatively short time – the vast increase in pollution, ocean acidification, overfishing and deforestation in just the last 50-100 years, for example.

    • John Robertson

      Aside from the whole Climate Change aspect, the ‘dead zones’ in the ocean are (to me at least) a real and serious threat to life in the oceans. These are shown to be caused by human agricultural practices, with fertilizer over use leading the pack of causes. Climate Change is the least of our worries as far as I can tell, we need to keep the oceans alive (I am not concerned about the so-called acidification, this is a chimera IMHO), but I am very concerned about human pollution and poisoning of the oceans, rivers, and the air we breath. This is by far the greatest threat to our childrens survival.

      • Pretty much agreed!

      • Water used for agriculture in the Midwest and elsewhere, pulled from aquifers filled ages ago, should be re-injected into said aquifers. This is especially true of municipal water water leaving treatment plants. Aquifer water should no longer be considered disposable; it’s going to be needed again, sooner than we think.

  18. The Last Time Oceans Got This Acidic This Fast, 96% of Marine Life Went Extinct

    It drove the CO2 too low to sustain life.
    Too cold and not enough CO2 is likely our greatest threat.

  19. My argument with AGW theory is not that a GHG EFFECT does not exist but rather it is a symptom of the climate not the cause. It is a result of the climate. It does NOT govern the climate.

    I think the data from all the various sources supports this line of reasoning.

  20. Ocean acidification going from 8.25 to 8.14 pH — it’s in wiki so it must be correct — and, pretty much what’s expected given net warming since… 1751. Here we go, slouching toward doom again.

    • Forgive my ignorance on this but if oceans are warming does this not mean that CO2 becomes less soluble and is emitted as gas, so how come that it is possible for CO2 to causing the oceans to become more acidic, shouldn’t they become more alkali? Assuming oceans are warming. If they are cooling I could understand them becoming more acidic with increasing CO2 concentration.

      • For a fixed total amount of CO2 in the ocean/atmosphere system, what you say will be true. However, we’ve added about 500Gt C, so the equilibrium between the oceans and the atmosphere is that the oceans have absorbed some of our emissions (about 1/4), even though the oceans have warmed, and so the amount of CO2 in the oceans has gone up and the pH has gone down.

      • David Springer

        ATTP is denying physical facts that are contrary to his beliefs. Again.

      • David Springer

        In Ken Rice’s imaginary universe a glass half full of beer doesn’t go flat overnight. The amount of dissolved CO2 increases. Global warming hysteria is worse than we thought. LOL

      • David,
        That’s not an experiment I’ve ever tried. I’ve never left a glass of beer half full overnight :-)

      • In the linked article, Wood is quoted as saying (“The Last Time Oceans Got This Acidic This Fast, 96% of Marine Life Went Extinct”) as saying, the oceans have become less alkaline between, “1751 and 1994,” and says the amount is as follows: “surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.25 to 8.14” (a pH 7 are alkaline).

        What is particularly interesting about 1751? Nothing except that it is towards the end of the LIA (Little Ice Age), said to have ended about 1830. However, 1645–1715 marks a period called the Maunder Minimum which occurred in the middle of the LIA. This period was characterized by very few sunspots, a sign of decreased solar activity.

        Accordingly, there has been global warming since the LIA. Global warming alarmists blame global warming on humanity release of CO2 into the atmosphere during the last half of the 20th century. So, when he says ocean pH has changed since 1751, inferring that the cause is global warming, Wood must be understood as giving us hes belief that the change in ocean pH is related to global warming. And, since the depths of the LIA, most of such warming must have had zero to do with modern man’s release of CO2 in the last half of the 20th Century. Therefore, nothing is really being said about humanity’s CO2 being the cause of ocean “acidification.” There’s only an erroneous inference to the fact that humanity somehow to blame or that such change is anything other than natural.

  21. A quote from the NYT in the linked article on “Fracking’s earthquake problem … ”

    But nowhere have they approached the number and scope of Oklahoma’s quakes, which have rocked a fifth of the state. One reason, scientists suspect, is that Oklahoma’s main waste disposal site, a bed of porous limestone thousands of feet underground, lies close to the hard, highly stressed rock containing the faults that cause quakes.


    Faults don’t cause earthquakes. From Wikipedia …

    An interplate earthquake is an earthquake that occurs at the boundary between two tectonic plates. Earthquakes of this type account for more than 90 percent of the total seismic energy released around the world. If one plate is trying to move past the other, they will be locked until sufficient stress builds up to cause the plates to slip relative to each other. The slipping process creates an earthquake with land deformations and resulting seismic waves which travel through the Earth and along the Earth’s surface.

    It may be that fracking related injection wells result in release of stress via a series of small quakes rather than the one big one that would eventually occur naturally.

    An excellent 2012 NAS overview titled Induced Seismicity Potential in
    Energy Technologies states, “Hydraulic fracturing to date has been confirmed as the cause for small, felt seismic events at one location in the world.”

    • In Iceland they inject water into Hengill volcano to heat Reykjavik buildings. It works well, but makes for lots of small earthquakes that do no damage.

    • I investigated this. There is strong evidence that less than 200 massive new injection wells from shale production are causing the change. (32000 Injection wells from conventional production are not a problem, because reinject into the reservoir to maintain pressure.) The situation is peculier to Oklahoma, the only CONUS state east of the rockies other than Arkansas (New Madrid fault system) to experience regular earthquakes (30/50 per year), including an r5.5 in 1952 and an r4.6 in 1969. These arise in its Arbuckle fault system which arose 300mya. The injection well issue is limited to the massive new injection wells near those Arbuckle strike slip faults oriented perpendiculer (northish southish) to the main stress strain (eastish westish). Oklahoma has made public the analysis and three solutions that will be tested. 1. Closer seismic monitoring, as an increase in harmless R1 microquakes predicts an increase in R2; the goal is to prevent R3 and up by slowing/stopping injection if the warning signal is there. One well has been shut using this criterion 2. New injection wells only near ‘locked faults’ trending nw/se or sw/ne. 3. More smaller capacity injection wells.

      • > … Oklahoma has made public the analysis …

        If the report release is unexpurgated, one can only wish such a release becomes standard

  22. Was reading Vanity Fair and in a questionnaire for actor Timothy Hutton was this gem:

    Q) Which living person do you most despise?
    A) Climate change deniers.

    How comforting it musty be to have such a shallow worldview.

    • The “d” word… is that politically correct insensitivity toward scientific skeptics?

      • The “d” word: Skillfully chosen to invoke guilt-by-association.

      • liberal fascists branding scientific skepticism as anti-Semitism. That’s when people are supposed to be smart enough that we’re no longer talking about science. And yet, how many still refuse to concede the obvious fact that global warming is a Left vs. right issue that has zero to do with legitimate science?

  23. Though the media wants to focus on the western warmth and drought, the bigger story has been the cold and snow to the east the last two winters. ~Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

  24. Joshua,
    Of course I’m going to ask your thoughts on the cultural cognition link. What do you make of it? Time to cut Judge Judy some slack? ;)
    I’m dubious about generalizing from judges to experts in general for my part, but it’s still interesting.

    • Mark Bofill –

      I left some comments at Dan’s blog on that topic. I am inclined to think that Dan gives more deference to the ability of “experts” to withstand the influence of cultural cognition within their field of expertise than I am. This has been a bit of an ongoing discussion with him at his blog (with a few “skeptics” even more dubious about Dan’s views on that than I am).

      Dan has always said that the way to investigate the question is to study it empirically and have the discussion be evidence-based (he’s kind of big on evidence and gets bored with speculation w/o evidence).

      So the study is interesting – and it does lend some weight to his perspective as the questions apply to other domains (such as climate change).

      • But yes, as you’ll see in the comments…the question of generalization is a natural place to go… and generalizing from the study would clearly be territory filled with land mines.

  25. Anesthetics may be knocking out Earth’s climate in addition to hospital patients [link]

    I read Andrew Freedman’s synopsis and his added editorials to the halogenated anesthetics paper by Martin Vollman and colleagues appearing in the March 2015 Geophysical Research Letters. The original article is paywalled and I can not assume that Andrew Freedman payed for the article because the article does not wax eloquently about the future of the earth as Freedman does.

    I have only a few questions:

    Do the researchers demonstrate that the inferred (their word for the calculation of tons of emissions) global accumulation of these compounds is impacting Stratospheric ozone?

    Did the researchers acknowledge the current anesthetic gas scavenger and reclamation systems now being increasingly employed?

    Did the researchers account for the substantial decline in use of N20, (laughing gas) which was first used in 1844?

    Did the researchers mention that the use of halogenated ethers has evolved to those whose residential life-times are 1 to 3 years and are degraded?

    The scavenging and recycling of halogenated ethers literature has been around since 2009 and bares noting since the recycled gas is 99% pure and can be reused. The reclaimed gas is cheaper to recover than it is to manufacture these ethers in the first place.

    It seems that technology is being applied to the issue of inhalant anesthesia gas emissions even though these gases are not part of the Montreal Protocol. Price is driving the reclamation of these gases.

    Ah. The earth may be saved after all, through market forces.

  26. David L. Hagen

    Solar PV is unsupportable as too Inefficient
    Book review of “Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution. The Energy Return on Investment”, by Pedro Prieto and Charles A.S. Hall. 2013. Springer. Reviewed by Alice Friedemann

    Prieto and Hall conclude that the EROI of solar photovoltaic is only 2.45, very low despite Spain’s ideal sunny climate. Germany’s EROI is probably 20 to 33% less (1.6 to 2), due to less sunlight and less efficient rooftop installations. . . .
    To kick start the solar revolution, the Spanish government promised massive subsidies to solar PV providers at 5.75 times the cost of fossil fuel generated electricity for 25 years (about a 20% profit), and 4.6 times as much after that. Eventually it was hoped that solar power would be as cheap as power generated by fossil fuels.
    Financial Fiasco
    The gold rush to get the subsidy of 47 Euro cents per kWh began. . . .
    Only 66% of the nameplate, or peak power, was actually delivered over 2009, 2010, and 2011. The expected amount was 1,717 GWh/MWn but only 1,372 GWh/MWn were produced.

    Contrast: What is the Minimum EROI that a Sustainable Society Must Have?
    Charles A. S. Hall * , Stephen Balogh and David J.R. Murphy
    Energies 2009, 2(1), 25-47; doi:10.3390/en20100025

    Thus any particular being or system must abide by a “Law of Minimum EROI”, which we calculate for both oil and corn-based ethanol as about 3:1 at the mine-mouth/farm-gate. Since most biofuels have EROI’s of less than 3:1 they must be subsidized by fossil fuels to be useful.

    • David L. Hagen

      Compare Hall et al. 2014 EROI of different fuels and the implications for society

      For nations examined, the EROI for oil and gas has declined during recent decades.
      Lower EROI for oil may be masked by natural gas extracted/used in oil production.
      The EROI trend for US coal is ambiguous; the EROI for Chinese coal is declining.
      Renewable energies lack desirable fossil fuel traits, including often higher EROI, but create fewer pollutants.
      Declines in EROI of main fuels have a large impact on economies.

      The declining EROI of traditional fossil fuel energy sources and the effect of that on the world economy are likely to result in a myriad of consequences, most of which will not be perceived as good. . . .
      The decline in EROI among major fossil fuels suggests that in the race between technological advances and depletion, depletion is winning. . . .

      Increasing prices, thought by most economists to negate depletion through increasing incentives for exploitation, cannot work as EROI approaches 1:1, and even now has made oil too expensive to support the high economic growth it once did.

      • Wow, nice to see some Net Energy stuff on here. I’d been wondering why there’s so little of it. Read the whole blog post, its a great updater on state of play of EROI research… which badly needs real funding. Ironic as the blogger pointed out that Steve Chu keynoted the Stanford Net Energy meeting but declined to fund Ted Patzek’s proposal to sort out some of the big kinks.

        Of course should be no surprise – Net Energy data so far represents bad news for both sides – rapidly declining EROI for fossil fuels, and marginal net energy for renewables. Which maybe explains why we hear so little about it.

    • David L. Hagen

      Unsubsidized Levelized Cost of Energy Comparison
      Detailed comparision of the numerous issues involved including Solar PV, Tower, Wind

      EIA Provides
      Updated Capital Cost Estimates for Utility Scale Electricity Generating Plants 2013

  27. RE acidic oceans on the US West Coast. This appears to be a natural, not man induced, phenomenon. From the article:

    These characteristics of the upwelling water masses have consequences for both the carbon cycle and ocean acidification along the West Coast. The nutrients in the upwelled water stimulate intense primary production in the nearshore areas where upwelled water reaches the euphotic zone. In addition, upwelling brings more acidic water with lower carbonate saturation states to the surface, which may have deleterious consequences for marine organisms. The interplay of ocean acidification and natural carbon cycle processes make the coastal ocean along the U.S. Pacific coastline an interesting and complex region to do research.


    • See my guest post here some time ago titled Shell Games. Has all the details. You are correct, and this sustains the US West Coast fishery.

  28. The Connelly link was a waste of time. Nitpicking RSS and UAH corrections of known satellite issues still did not produce the model predicted tropical troposphere hotspot, nor erase the pause. It changed the sat record by a whopping 0.01C/decade from what UAH and RSS show.

    • It’s funny how some people will discuss at length the various lapse rates, but then claim the pause in sat temps isn’t relevant to 3 meters above the ground. The rate of change is less in the sat temps and the rate of change varies with altitude, but the sign of the change, increasing or decreasing, will be the same.

  29. The Motherboard link on the great Permian extinction is also a waste of time. The headline talks about rate of ocean pH change; the paper being commented on contains no information on rate whatsoever. And that papers ocean change mechanism, the Serbian Traps, is implausible on two counts. First, those are basaltic eruptions rich in SO2 not CO2. CO2 rich eruptions are along subduction zones where sedimentary carbonates get recycled. Second, the Siberian hydrocarbon deposits (Bazhenov shale source rock) began forming 250mya to the west ofmthe flood basalts (possibly where yhe massive magma chamber caused subsidence), after this event at 251mya. Acid rain from SO2 caused ocean acidification, not CO2. No different than the Bubble Bath, essay Shell Games in Blowing Smoke. Pure junk MSM reporting.

    • Rud, Thanks for this information. Do you have a primary source for the SO2 dominance? This seems to be a common “disaster’ myth among activists, namely, that ocean acidification will lead to mass extinction.

      There is even a paper by Varon in Coral Reefs claiming the same thing, that CO2 will kill all corals soon cited by some ignorant activists.

      • Google the difference between rift (Iceland) or hotspot (hawaii) and subduction zone eruptions. Many papers on the compositional and other differences that can arise.
        As for CO2 ocean acidification (with references and more junk science) see essay Shell Games in Ebook Blowing Smoke. One certain and one probable case of academic misconconduct in making that catastrophy claim.

    • You have pleasantly surprised me – accurately discussing aspects of geology. Quite rare, actually

      • Ianl8888, everything I write strives for accuracy. Always. May not always acheive–the world is complicated and subtle. No one can check everything.
        But am disappointed that you would be surprised a lukewarmer skeptic would not strive for scientific accuracy. In my three books over last 6 years of writing, always have. At great effort and cost.

    • Rud Istvan,

      Thank you Interesting.

      Is it true that the Great Barrier Reef almost died out during the ice ages and thrives as the seas warm? Is it true that coral reefs thrive in hot waters (like New Guinea and the Red Sea)? Did coral reefs thrive in much warmer waters in the past when global temperatures were much warmer than now?

      • PL, I am hardly a coral expert. But one who is notes that the present coral genera are in the paleontological record since 15mya, and that all current genera (I cannot speak to species, aa he did not) have thrived throughout the Peistocene. See essay Shell Games for scientific references.

      • Thank you. I will read that.

  30. I read an interesting study this week on Environmental Regulation (including AGW): Should Companies be accountable in telling Congress or Regulators one thing in direct testimony; and then saying something different (even the opposite) in their 10-k filing to Investors?

    In State and Federal Hearings (e.g., EPA, Congress), should Companies be required to also provide what they have said in the SEC 10-k filings and answer any descrepancies/contradictions?

    • Congress and the Federal government should butt out of business except for obviously needed regs – like regulation on mercury or other heavy metals, for example.

  31. Quick note on oil. WTI is at 51.77. This despite the fact that the inventory build was expected to be 3 million bbl and was 11 million instead, for the week. Also, Saudi Arabia pumped even more oil lately. So, WTI appears to defy fundamentals. Some believe we are in the middle of a short squeeze. I think WTI in the 30’s or even 20’s is still on the table.

    • Forgot to add, the year out contango is about $8, down from $10 or so. Still, downward pressure on oil prices, but not as pronounced as in the last couple of months.

    • Jim2,

      Do you know about or do you have access to the international agreements that state how much oil reserves countries are supposed to maintain. I understand there is an IEA agreement that says Australia is supposed to maintain about 90 days supply – but it declined to about 56 days under the precious (Labor-Greens) government and still has not recovered. I understand wer are in breach and have to pay an enormous fee (~$1000 per tax payer) or we must forfeit our membership of the IEA. Do you know anything about that?

      • https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/26472227/call-to-stockpile-oil-for-insurance/



        This is another case of the incompetence and/or dishonesty of the socialist Labor-Greens government

        4.2 Australia is not currently complying with its obligation, as an International Energy Agency (IEA) member country and net oil importer, to maintain 90 days of oil stockholdings.[1] It has been argued that non-compliance could affect Australia’s ability to access international stockholdings in the event of a large-scale global supply disruption. The Australian Government is currently considering options to address Australia’s non-compliance with the 90 day stockholding obligation.

        4.3 In its Energy White Paper 2012 (EWP), the Australian Government concluded that Australia’s energy system is meeting national needs and ‘is expected to do so into the future’.[2] It is anticipated that the current market arrangements, import supply diversity, and emergency management strategies will serve to address Australia’s liquid fuel needs.

      • Thanks for that. I knew the US held reserves in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but didn’t know each country had agreed to do this.

        In link 2, arrows point to the US, but not from the US. This could change because shale oil companies are proving more resilient and cost competitive than formally believed. Technology improvements and strategic financial management has resulted in total cost/bbl in the $30-40’s for most shale companies. Most are sailing through this $50 oil period, but of course some higher cost producers aren’t doing so well.

        If oil does get into the 30’s there will be widespread pain for a while, but most shale producers will survive.


      • Australia imports around 90% of it”s oil (I think). What we most need is a fleet of submarines to be a credible threat to any country that wants to disrupt our oil supply. It’s really scary how vulnerable we are. Far more scary than climate change.

      • What are the prospects for nuclear Down Under?

      • Nuclear power or nuclear powered subs? Both are not likely for a loooong time. Australia’s population hates nuclear. We have possibly the most rabid anti-nuke and pro-renewable zealots in the world. Many people just like AK.

      • Unfortunate, that.

      • How did the Australian populace come to be so anti-nuclear?

      • Peter, you can find an old ANU paper from the seventies discussing the problem Australia has with so little onshore petroleum. A relative left me a copy.

      • Kim,

        I could try if you give me the details of it.

        The situation changed significantly in the 1970’s and 1980s with development of oil in Bass Straight. Unfortunately, that has largely been depleted.

        Australian oil production declined by 12 per cent in 2012–13, with new capacity not sufficient to offset the continued decline in ageing fields.


      • Peter, that researcher analyzed the three thousand wells already driven in the most promising formations without finding a major field. His conclusion was that it was a waste of money to look in the next three thousand locations.

        He was arguing against the Australians’ need for national security from energy self-sufficiency. They were then still acutely aware of how vulnerable Japan, a strong and coherent community, had become during WWII for lack of onshore petroleum reserves. Hell, some of them even remembered the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity sphere, which started the whole Pacific mess.

        So now we have a Greater Chinese Co-Prosperity Bank. Heh.

      • Hi Kim,

        I remember a lot of that too. And I am very familiar with the blockade of Japan’s access to oil. Japan did what any country woulds do if it’s energy supplies are threatened – fight for it’s life.

        The Australian Greens argue we should stop exporting coal because it’s evil. They are either ignorant of history or don’t care. If Australia stopped exporting coal it would be only a matter of time before China would invade us and take it.

      • @ Peter Lang

        > … If Australia stopped exporting coal it would be only a matter of time before China would invade us and take it

        You do need to differentiate between thermal and coking coal here

        China has enormous internal Resources of thermal coal. It imports very little thermal from Aus, somewhat more from Indonesia

        BUT coking coal is a different story. China has very little coking coal Resource and what there is, is of mediocre quality. The Central Q’ld coking coal deposits are world-class in quality and production costs, with East Asia (including China) as the major customer group

        I’m unsure if the Greenies know this, I’m sure some of the smarter ones do. The point is that coking coal exports to China, while not staggeringly large by volume, bring in very large amounts of hard currency to Aus (ie. not the paper-print kind of money) – I haven’t heard even rabid Greenies wanting to kill this trade, just the power station thermal coals

      • ianl8888,

        My point was that a country of 23 million people doesn’t refuse to sell it’s energy resources to a willing purchaser of 1.3 billion people who desperately need to build their country and lift people out of poverty. History has demonstrated the eventual consequence. We’d lose (initially in trade wars and eventually in military conflict. Australia has 59 days of oil supply. How long do we survive if China sends a few subs to cut off our oil supplies in retaliation to us cutting off their coal supplies.

        Arguing about thermals versus coking coal is a distraction from my point.


      • > Arguing about thermals versus coking coal is a distraction from my point

        Nope – it reduces the risk of hypothetical invasion that you are expounding on. The Chinese certainly want the coking coal, but are not at all concerned with the thermal deposits. You say you are a geologist – you should know this stuff

        However, I have my own doubts on whether even the most rabid of the Greenies would contemplate the backlash from arbitrarily reneging on export coal supply contracts. The potential global mess that makes is overwhelming to try and even imagine

      • ianl8888, sorry, on this you either didn’t understand my point or are out of your depth on this issue. Your point is down in the weeds, and irrelevant. Never mind. Let’s just leave it.

      • > Never mind. Let’s just leave it.

        Condescension doesn’t work either, Peter

        I’ll leave your point in the weeds, as you say. My initial view of you as naive seems accurate

      • ianl8888,

        the feeling is mutual. You’ve demonstrated you may know something about geology and not much else – certainly not about policy analysis.

        And as for your hypocritical comment about condescension given your comment first comment stating your humble belief I am naive on energy policy matters and then this:

        You say you are a geologist – you should know this stuff

        nuff said!

      • PL, so far as I know, there are NO international agreements on stockpiled reserves. US acted after 1973 oil embargo. Congress mandated 1bbl at a pumpable rate of 8mbpd, equivalent to 180 days then consumption. Result is 750mbl, and at a pumpanle rate of 4 mbpd. Meanwhile, US consumption has doubled. ‘strategic petroleum reserve is now a mosnomer. See ebook Arts of Truth.
        China IS building a strategic stockpile at present, using current ‘low’ prices. Where and how much is VERY HARD to determine, except by net imports exceeding official (fudged) demand estimates. Very smart, IN MY OPINION. And very dangerous for Europe and Australia.

      • Hi Rud,

        Thanks you. Did you read the links in my comment? Are they incorrect?

      • CHAPTER
        These events alerted policy makers in the industrialised countries to the extent of their
        dependence on oil imports – and to the inherent vulnerability of this dependence. The
        countries belonging to the OECD had very limited control over one of the commodities
        most vital to their economies, with no system in place to counter the potentially serious
        economic and political consequences of an oil supply disruption. These governments agreed
        to create the IEA and in November 1974 signed the Agreement on an International Energy
        Program (I.E.P. Agreement). This treaty laid the foundation for a multi-faceted system aimed
        at helping member countries cope with short-term oil supply disruptions in a co-ordinated
        and unified manner

      • Thanks Beth

      • IEA countries are obliged to hold stock levels equivalent
        to at least 90 days of their net imports. Ref p 22 and p 27.

      • Wow! Serf’s Up. Tankers very much.

        Cheney built up our reserve, Obama corrupted it away to cronies.

      • Bush and Cheney also gave the US cheap plentiful oil and gas. US Citizens should be for ever grateful. At the next US presidential election US citizens should remember that Republicans mostly facilitate real progress, while Democrats mostly thwart real progress.

      • Scientists Outline Research Wish List for Nuclear Energy

        ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Engineers and researchers from national laboratories and universities around the country said Thursday that the United States needs to develop a proving ground where the latest innovations in nuclear energy can be put to the test instead of losing designs to China and other countries.


        D.V. Rao, a staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory, said scientists have no way to persuade investors to jump on board without a way to test new ideas on a small scale.

        “There’s frustration, and we need to break that paradigm,” he said in an interview. “We need to go through these cycles of advancement, just like SpaceX has with their rockets. They don’t keep sitting in the lab designing and designing. They take their rocket out and test it.”


        But given the intermittent nature of renewable energy and the lack of storage, nuclear power will have to be part of the equation as regulators look to curb pollution, said Kevan Weaver, director of technology integration at TerraPower.

        “It’s the only non-emitting source that we can build at the terawatt level,” said Weaver, who participated in the workshop in Albuquerque.

        TerraPower, a Washington-based company chaired by billionaire Bill Gates, hopes to build a next-generation, prototype reactor by 2025 and have commercial plants ready a decade later.

        IMO Bill Gates will discover another technology that “changes everything”, but we’ll just have to see.

  32. John Vonderlin

    After reading the article on the Bicentennial of the Tambora eruption and related articles on the ‘Year without a Summer” and its devastating effects on crop production, I’m thinking of upping the number of my planned first printing run of “Cannibal Cuisine.” CE denizens can get a 20% discount on it by also ordering at the same time, “We’re Screwed…50 Ways to reach Hell in a Handbasket.” Get your copies before those damn hoarders buy them all up.

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

    blob causes weird weather…
    we’ve now left post war affluence behind and entered full on ‘Camelot’
    anything less than congenial weather is now caused ‘primarily’ by unnatural human activity
    we must be constantly vigilant and look for signs
    the sins of impurity will consume us
    the King is a cuckold
    there is a sorceress somewhere and she’s responsible for that blob
    she may be in Georgia

  34. Danny Thomas

    One more request. Anyone know how to get a non paywalled of this?: How certain is ‘certain’? … the use of calibrated language in the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report [link]

  35. The Sun goes dark: @SouthernCompany won’t pay Willie Soon for any more ‘deliverables’

    “ The company has confirmed that it will (no) longer finance Soon’s work, which promotes the discredited theory that the sun is a primary driver of climate change.

    W. Soon may be only ‘slightly’ wrong, it could be that the Earth’s core oscillations (of which one happens to be identical with the sun’s periodic oscillations) are primary drivers of the climate’s natural variability.
    ( graphic link and info link )

  36. John Vonderlin

    Dr. Curry,
    In regards to: “Warm blog in ocean linked to weird weather across US.” While I’ve noticed a lot of hot air at warmist blogs, I’m kind of skeptical they have anything to do with our weird weather.
    On the other hand, the warm blob of water off our coast might be linked to a slew of oddities I’ve noticed during my regular coastal monitoring in the last year. The saddest is the tidal wave of abandoned, starving or starved-to -death pinniped pups I’ve been finding. Last Fall I found a Spiny Lobster molt, a species whose range is generally limited to several hundred miles south and has never been reported locally. Finding a number of dead Wolf Eels, (a fish) over a few week period last Fall was also unique in my personal(but extensive) experience. As were the two clusters of beached Pyrosomes (think French Ticklers) that I encountered this Spring. Last week’s landings of millions of Velella Velella, (By-the-Wind Sailors) while not unique, are rare along the Bay Area’s coast. The beaching of a few squid egg cases is also rare, but the regurgitation of untold thousands at Neptune’s Vomitorium yesterday is unique.
    Whether it’s the loopy wind patterns of the jetstream, a lack of coastal upwelling, the unusually warm surface waters,(think 57 degrees, not actually warm) the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge squatting on top of us, God’s Wrath for our liberal ways, or warmist blogs’ hyperventilation, I can’t say, but there can be no doubt that Nature has offered up a strange stew of events for us to ponder the cause of.
    I personally wouldn’t mind the coming of a “supercalifragilistic” El Nino event, even if it meant sacrificing the best weather I’ve experienced in California in the half century plus I’ve been here, and the sense of wonder I feel when I observe these rare oddities.

  37. Is there a connection between climate and the total charge-level of the Earth System? Does the Earth have a negative, positive or neutral charge in relation to surrounding space?

  38. I thought the dead zone piece was some typical scare stuff. Really.

    • Blah, missed the comment above by not linking to it.

      I was referring to this:

      Ocean ‘dead zones’ are spreading – and that spells disaster for fish  …

      • Deadzones are real, and growing with pollution including agricultural runoff that ‘fertilizes’ oceans adjacent to river mouths like the Mississippi. (Nothing to do with climate change). Overfertilization results in algal blooms. These die and sink, and their subsequent decomposition uses up the dissolved oxygen. Not so much a problem for pelagic fish–they can swim away. Problem for bottom dwelling ocean creatures that are not as mobile.
        BTW, all marine sediment derived hydrocarbon was formed in deadzone (anoxic) conditions. Largest in the world at present is the Black Sea below mixed layer (about 100 meters there.) Completely natural. Give it a few million years and there might be another oil basin where the Black Sea now is. Geological carbon capture and sequestration.

  39. From the article:

    Sector PMI™ data from Markit signalled a further marked rise in global food production in March. The sector remained at the top of the global rankings for a second successive month, with the rate of growth reaching a record high. Furthermore, growth of new orders also hit the highest since the series began in late-2009. The record rise in food production occurred despite the sector seeing only a marginal gain in employment, suggesting that producers continued to achieve impressive productivity gains.


  40. Thank you for the links. I especially liked this one, which documents underestimation in the latent heat flux of the models in summertime:

    New paper: “In summer, these [climate] models exhibit a substantial warm bias with particularly high daytime temps” [link] …

    Underestimation of latent heat flux produces overestimation of daytime surface temperature in the summer. Whodathunkit?

    I shall be alert to disconfirmations, should they be published.

    • Do you take Salby seriously? I really have some difficulty in swallowing the bait. If yes, I’d suggest trying to write a summary on his claims.

      • I haven’t had time to dig in, have been collecting info. I take Salby seriously as a scientist; no judgement at this point on his CO2 argument

      • Hugh, I looked into this after his Hamburg lecture was posted on line. Posted details on why there is not much substance to his arguements over at WUWT earlier today. Since 1990, station Aloha (north of Hawaii in barren ocean, not much biological influence, not much temp change) shows an increase in surface water (mixed layer) pCO2 paralleling the atmospheric increase. A sink predicted and governed by Henry’s law. Satellite observation of NPP, checked by groundtruthing, shows that biological activity is a net sink for about half of the observed annual increase. There is a seasonal dependency for seasonal NH temperate terrestrial vegetation. The planet is greening; greening means a biological sink. Rising temp inducing rising CO2 (Salby’s theory) needs temperature dependent sources, not sinks.
        Finally, if Salby was right, then the 18 year pause should have by now slowed or atopped the MLO CO2 measured rise. That has not happened. Despite the erroneously estimated IEA PR about 2014, MLO shows CO2 rose right on trend. Salby’s CO2 theory is falsified in several ways over multidecadal time scales.

      • Hugh –
        Salby is the author of a very popular textbook: Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics, which was recently revised. Apparently in the revision he added some sections that fail to pay homage to climate change alarmism. I wonder how that has impacted his sales.

    • Here are some of the points that Murry Salby made in his lecture. For his explanations you need to watch it.

      • After 2002 fossil fuel emissions increased three times faster but the CO₂ in the atmosphere increased at exactly the same rate as it had been. The growth of fossil fuel emission thus increased by a factor of 300% but the growth of CO₂ didn’t blink.

      • Humans put 5GT CO₂ per year into the atmosphere. The natural sources and sinks are each around 150GT/year, according to the IPCC. The natural sources and sinks are 95% of what determines atmospheric CO₂, and an imbalance there is more likely to be the cause of a net increase than a perfect balance there and the increase caused by anthropogenic sources.

      • Net global emission varies more than 100% from year to year. Since the human part remains constant, this can only be caused by variations in natural sources and sinks. There is a correlation of 0.93 between changes in CO₂ emission and changes of surface properties. 0.8 is due to temperature.

      • Within observational precision the evolution of observed CO₂ and its thermally induced contribution are indistinguishable .

      • CO₂ has a residence time of five years, but absorption, which is highly variable, is not observed, and so residence time is a guess.

      • CO₂ lag behind temperature leaves unambiguous which is the horse and which the cart.

      • The more CO₂, the faster it’s absorbed. The first order Taylor Series for absorption, wherein CO₂ absorption is proportional to CO₂ abundance is close to exact. c = .996.

      • If mankind had been obliterated as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis and there had been no further anthropogenic emisssions, by 2007 the CO₂ level would have reached 360ppmv instead of 380, but would have reached 380 ten years later.

      • The fossil fuel component will never reach 50% of overall emissions. Before it can, fossil fuel reserves will be exhausted.

      • All fossil fuel will be exhausted by around 2122, when the ppmv will be 690, which will further increase surface temp by 0.6K.

      • In 2014 the anthropogenic contribution to increased CO₂ is less than 30%, and the anthropogenic portion of the increase from 280 to 400 ppmv has been responsible for a temperature increase of 0.18K.

      • Over the 20th century as a whole, temperature exhibits no systematic change except for two periods. In the 80s and 90s CO₂ was at 350 and there was a rise. The 30s and 40s also showed warming just as long and even faster but the CO₂ then was less than 300ppmv. The three decades prior to 1910 showed a 0.7K reduction, so what was CO₂ responsible for here?

      • He doesn’t talk about ocean acidification that defeats his argument. In fact emissions are about twice the atmospheric CO2 growth rate with a large amount going into the ocean, hence the acidification. He has some net flux arrows the wrong way around especially between the ocean and atmosphere. This is probably why he hasn’t gained any traction. You should be skeptical.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,

        Theory, please. According to my understanding of your understanding we’ve been warming as a result of anthro CO2 since +/- 1950 (before, but attribution issues). CO2 has continued to increase yet sometime shortly after 1998 the associated heat was shifted to predominately the oceans. Can you account for that shift?

      • This is about where the extra CO2 is coming from. What is your opinion of that?

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        One thing I’ve come to know about your approach, and to be clear I respect your passion, you avoid questions. If you have no theory or explanation (no one can know all) then please just say so.
        Yes my question interrupted a thread, but it’s still a valid question.

      • Your answer on Salby’s idea tells me what level I am going to answer at. In fact, if you agree with Salby, it is hardly worth my answering your question, because it won’t make any difference to a mind that is already made up.

      • Danny Thomas

        I’ve not read Dr. Curry’s link yet. Started work today at 8 am and it’s now 10 pm. Had time to check in a bit at lunch and that question struck me while reading so I posted it. There’s my answer.
        Yours? (I’ll read in the am if there is one). But I can’t imagine how if Salby exists or has a discussion out there, it would address my question but maybe it does. If so, just say so. Or you could answer.

      • You will be disappointed in my answer. Two words: natural variation. It can’t warm all the time. The last 15 years have been warming, and the next El Nino will probably be the warmest yet, the same way the La Ninas during the “pause” have been the warmest yet.

      • Danny Thomas

        Not disappointed at all. What was the trigger and the dynamics behind?

      • There are several candidates, possibly a sum of solar slump, PDO phase, Chinese aerosols, but it now looks like CO2 is starting to prevail again as it always wins on the longer term due to being relentlessly there in the background.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,

        I’ve read a few times comments aimed at skeptics asking “what would it take for you to accept the AGW theory (or reject skepticism)”. Believing that’s an abundantly fair question I would like to pose same to you in reverse. What would it take for you to reject the AGW theory or become skeptical? (I see a lot of “maybe this or that” in your answer but falling back to “warming’s coming” {presuming you mean back to land} and this leads me to ask).

      • At this point every decade is warmer than the previous and this is consistent with the forcing change. If you get a decade where the forcing is stronger, but it is cooler than the previous decade or vice versa, that is what it would take. I am also sure that won’t happen.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Thank you. It sounds like you’re comfortable that correlation is sufficient to causation and in fairness that’s the hurdle I’ve not been able to bring myself to get over yet. Any correction or modification is welcomed.
        I cannot get past (yet) that warming has been occurring on a longer time scale than the current (defined) anthro warming. I keep evaluating why that is and also rely on “long term trends” and historical evidence as precedent. It sounds like loggerheads over the (ever present) time vs. risk issue. A shift in the pause or contributory definition for/against is that which I seek.

      • It is not just correlation, it is a quantitative energy balance, dF=dN+lambda*dT. Note that there are cases where an increase in forcing does not lead to an increase in dT due to the dN term. This is the imbalance, which is typified by a rise in ocean heat content even when the surface temperature doesn’t rise. However, this holding term is unlikely to stave off all the warming for a decade when the forcing increases. Anyway, as the equation shows, it is actually the First Law of Thermodynamics that I believe in, and my statement was just that in words.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Okay. Assist, please. “However, this holding term is unlikely to stave off all the warming for a decade when the forcing increases.” Has not CO2 concentration increased since at least measurements began in earnest at Mauna Loa circa 1958? Have we not seen a “pause” in surface temperatures for almost twice a decade time scale. How long can oceans hold heat, why was it diverted there, and when will it be released? Is the Ocean heat equal to the measurements of IR minus expected surface temps? (I’ve not researched this yet?) Are there any measurements of AGW vs. natural variability? Are they repeatable? In other words (and above may be poorly worded) the First Law is a law so why is there a question about attribution based on first law for anthro vs. natural? I don’t think there is for totality but until the attribution is nailed down it’s correlation all around.
        I’ve heard no one challenge the First Law nor Greenhouse theory, it’s the application that’s in question.
        You’d mentioned earlier: ” There are several candidates, possibly a sum of solar slump, PDO phase, Chinese aerosols,” ……….we can measure solar output. We can measure aerosols. PDO is defined by location of temps so obviously measureable. (Apologies for all the questions. I learn as much by formulating often times as having them answered). Gotta give it a rest for now.

      • Yes, everyone including most skeptics believe the equation I posted, possibly even you. The forcing change since 1950 has been about 1.7 W/m2 according to the IPCC. The imbalance and temperature vary on decadal scales, but have also both increased and are positive in response to the forcing. Everyone agrees that a positive forcing will lead to warming. I am not sure why the skeptics don’t want to say that the warming is just a response to the forcing. The positive sign of the imbalance tells you that the temperature is following the forcing, not leading it, making it a forced change, not a free change. Understanding the equation is somewhat key.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        I don’t think :”I am not sure why the skeptics don’t want to say that the warming is just a response to the forcing.” I think it’s more broad than that. What caused the “forcing” (nature/man attribution still). What will be the ramifications, and what to do about it. C’est la vie

      • It is just the case that a positive imbalance means the whole ocean is warming. If the whole ocean is warming it is net receiving the heat (from forcing), not supplying it which is contrary to what the natural variation people think in terms of the energy direction. They have therefore tried to discredit the observation that the ocean heat content is increasing over the last decade at least, because it does contradict them in a fundamental way. So if you seen them not liking Argo, this is why.

      • Jim D,

        not only warming, but of course at an accelerating rate, according to some scientists.

        It’s true, it was in the paper


      • Here’s Hansen on a committee panel with that same question

      • It’s actually more hilarious than Brawndo.

      • JimD,

        In fact, if you agree with Salby, it is hardly worth my answering your question, because it won’t make any difference to a mind that is already made up.

        Yes, that’s been my experience too. There are mulltiple lines of very obvious evidence as to why Salby is wrong and that the rise in CO2 since the mid-1800s is anthropogenic. It’s easy enough to find if anyone was keen enough to do so.

      • Danny,

        According to my understanding of your understanding we’ve been warming as a result of anthro CO2 since +/- 1950

        No, this is not correct. 1950 is simply the date from which an attribution study was done and which indicated that more than 50% of the warming since 1950 was anthropogenic. This didn’t indicate that there was no anthro warming prior to 1950, simply that it is has dominated since 1950.

      • Danny Thomas

        I understood that but for sake of discussion wanted to frame the conversation as I understood Jim D understood (or at least stated) it leaving it open for correction.
        So I have the same question for you. Why did the warming shift from “global” to water? What was the cause, and dynamics behind?
        The theory (as I understand it) is that anthro CO2 “overwhelmed” natural variability starting +/- the “industrial age”. In order to separate the dynamics we must have an understanding of the natural portions. If not (h/t Capt.D) are we not W.A.G. (wild ass guessing)?
        Not intended to be a challenge, but I don’t recall this being differentiated. I’ll admit to being waaaaaay behind in the lit. but haven’t seen it.

      • And of course, attribution is the critical question. Ken has his attribution beliefs, others have their attribution beliefs, but the fundamental underlying all of them, is that no one is very sure. We must distinguish ersatz confidence from confidence vere, here.

        And that’s another trick worthy of Wang, the court juggler.

      • Danny,

        The theory (as I understand it) is that anthro CO2 “overwhelmed” natural variability starting +/- the “industrial age”.

        No, this isn’t the theory. The idea is that anthro overwhelmes natural variability on long timescales (many decades). On short timescales (1 – 2 decades or less) natural variability can be substantial. You can see this in the temperature record itself. Palmer & McNeall also have a paper that tries to quantify this. On short timescales (decade) the natural variability can be as high as 0.3K/decade which can easily mask the anthro signal.

      • Danny Thomas


        I do see the variations in the temperature record. One example is the current “hiatus”. My issue is there must be one (or the other?) understanding of the transition from the natural warming dating from the LIA to the anthro and the changes in between. All of the propaganda is “man bad” with no accountability for the natural portion that has been occurring for a much longer time scale than our industrial age. What is the reason for the switch? What is the dynamic behind? (I’ve not read Palmer so thanks for that)
        Based on my impression from your distinction had man not contributed the “anthro portion” (whatever amount that is) we’d all be needing jackets.
        The heat has moved. Land was warming. Now it’s not (as much) but theoretically the “anthro portion” has moved to water. Why?
        I’ve seen several theories on “missing heat” yet don’t recall even the question being asked along the lines that it’s not missing but it’s in the oceans? How does the GHG theory transfer in this fashion? Mathematically (above my pay grade) has there been sufficient loss of albedo (seems it’s still +/- .3)? And if albedo why would that energy not manifest globally and not only 70% of it when before it was a greater area?

      • Danny Thomas

        Palmer is an interesting read. Reaffirms that oceans dominate (I coulda told ’em that), and that nature’s the boss. After all is said and done I get “we have no idea” other than it’s nature in charge.
        “However, the spatial patterns and ultimately the processes
        controlling this internal variability warrant further attention. In
        particular, understanding of the spatial patterns and associated
        mechanisms from model simulations would promote greater
        insight into processes behind the recent pause in surface
        And if we could figure it out, modeling would improve:”. Consideration of these spatial patterns may also help to account for deficiencies in model simulations by the scaling up or down of model signals to match observed amplitudes. Ultimately, we would like to understand the mechanisms for
        ocean heat rearrangement in the models (e.g. Meehl et al 2013) and relate this back to quantitative statements about the real world.”
        For me, not a lot of meat on them bones.
        So at this point I’m still suggesting not that: “The idea is that anthro overwhelmes natural variability on long timescales (many decades). On short timescales (1 – 2 decades or less) natural variability can be substantial.”
        but instead “that on long time scales natural variability is substantial and lacking further evidence anthro affects pieces of the natural world on short time scales.” Nature has been (and still is) in control. Even 160 years seems a bit to short for me to yet accept that man is in charge to the extent that is being put forth. After all, AGW is still a theory. And there are at least 3 hiati? not covered in this paper (https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.metoffice.gov.uk%2Fnews%2Freleases%2Farchive%2F2012%2Fglobal-temperatures-2012&ei=xL4tVe3uK8iYNpKNgZgF&bvm=bv.90790515,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNEskZ05cStAINbeTleEpZeyUo2vew&ust=1429147613545259)

      • The idea is that anthro overwhelmes natural variability on long timescales (many decades).

        Unfortunately this is a very recently rewarmed idea. In 2005, the warming was told to be overwhelmingly anthropogenic, still in 2010 the graphs of Krazy Konsensus™ were abusing the 1998 El Nino for claims of acceleration. Some torture the data to get ultra straight linear fits of several decades. But nice to hear that you actually are of the opinion that natural variability dominates up to decades.

      • Danny, the dark horse, coming up in the backstretch. He’s running like a machine!

      • Salby says that this current work is derived from some prior work of his that is being withheld from him. In early 2013 Salby had a messy falling out with his employer, Macquarie University in Australia, and was fired. They must be holding his research files. Salby says that this work will not be published until after he recovers his research files and has been “reinstated in the field.” Seems rather odd – almost as if he is holding the new work hostage in an attempt to force a release of his prior work. One would think that he could re-create the prior work if necessary. But what could “reinstated in the field” mean? Until he is hired by another university? Why would he make that a prerequisite to his publishing this work? If the study based on this work holds up it would seem that his chances of being “reinstated” would be better after the study is published. Some of what appeared in the lecture is based on specific studies and could be independently verified, but I get the feeling that we should not be expecting Salby to be publishing anything any time soon.

      • I started predicting this in 2012.

        The PDO has flipped. Regime change.

        As I have tried to get people to realize, AMO = pansy.

        March GISS is .84C. 1st 1/4 of 2015 is .79C. 2015 is for the marbles, and it looks like a total surprise as to who is going to be doing the stadium wave.

        Woo-hoo warmunists!

      • JCH –

        Wait. Hold on one minute. Climate scientists NEVER say anything like this:

        “Naturally, people would ask the question: if the models cannot simulate the current global warming rate, how can we trust their projections of future climate change? This is a very reasonable question that deserves a satisfactory answer from the climate science community,” said study lead author Aiguo Dai, an associate professor at the University of Albany. “The global warming hiatus has also been used to dismiss climate science entirely by some deniers of global warming. Thus, explaining the warming hiatus has become an urgent task for climate scientists.”

        That article you linked is obviously some kind of hoax.

      • Danny,
        That’s a rather odd interpretation of Palmer & McNeall. Almost the opposite of what I took from it. You do realise that all the models were unforced (i.e., no external forcings) and that figure 4 shows that for time periods greater than 20 years, internally driven temperature trends are typically lower than about 0.1K/decade?

      • Danny Thomas

        I’ve not been able to self evaluate to being A) Pinheaded B) Dense C) confirmationally biased D) All. But my read was this study was a discussion of the near term temp trends and I’m still not comfortable that this applies to the previous hiati (?) within the “industrial age”. So I took myself a step further and asked: okay, this indicates a shift from land to water and evaluates the energy transfer within oceans so oceans being predominate in volume on our planet it follows that they are the dominate feature. But then, what caused the land portion +/-30 to then reject further heating (the other half of the equation) and found nothing in the paper. Jim D postulates (http://judithcurry.com/2015/04/10/week-in-review-science-and-technology-edition-2/#comment-693643) the shift being caused by aerosols/PDO/solar slump yet how that combo within a non linear chaotic system would managed to selectively leave out dirt leaves me confused. And I’m confused a lot. The paper focusing on such a short time frame when the industrial age has been substantial longer left me wanting.

      • Danny,

        But my read was this study was a discussion of the near term temp trends

        If I understand what you mean, then I don’t think so. Most (if not all) climate models have pre-industrial control runs. These are runs without any anthropogenic influence. What Palmer & MacNeall did was to take a large number of these pre-industrial control runs and look at what sort of temperature trends you find for different time intervals. Since there are no anthropogenic influences, these trends have to be internally forced.

        What they found was that for periods of 10 years or less, the trends could exceed 0.3K/decade. For periods of 20 years or more, they quickly drop below 0.1K/decade. Therefore, if you have an anthropogenic influence that would drive a temperature trend of 0.2K/decade, it can quite easily be masked by internal variability for periods of 10 years or less. However, for periods of 20 years or more, this is unlikely since the internally driven trends quickly become too small to mask the externall forced trend.

      • Danny Thomas

        I need to reread when rested, but largely took it from this as being extrapolated:” In the context of the recent pause in global surface temperature rise, we investigate the potential importance of internal climate variability in both TOA and ocean heat rearrangement. The model simulations suggest that both factors can account for O (0.1 W m−2) on decadal timescales and may play an important role in the recently observed trends in GST and 0–700 m (and 0–1800 m) ocean heat uptake.”
        Your patience is appreciated as I don’t have the science background that most here do and much of this is laborious. I’ve saved your posts to re-evaluate. (Amongst about 100 others I’ve yet to research).
        Still no comprehension of why the land stopped while the CO2 concentrations continued to increase, and to me this discussion only covers part of the equation. Should you have anything further to offer in regards I’d be happy to look in to it.

      • Danny,

        Still no comprehension of why the land stopped while the CO2 concentrations continued to increase, and to me this discussion only covers part of the equation. Should you have anything further to offer in regards I’d be happy to look in to it.

        A few things to bear in mind. As Palmer & MacNeall are showing (and as the temperature record itself shows) the internal variability is large enough that for short timescales (decade or less) it’s hard to extract the underlying trend due to the level of internally driven noise. You only really start to see a trend emerging for timescales of maybe 15 years or longer. On that basis, if we consider the period from about 1999 to now, the warming hasn’t stopped. It’s probably around 0.1K/decade. The coverage bias illustrated by Cowtan & Way is probably also real, so it may even be higher (0.15K/decade). This is slower than maybe was expected, but not stopped.

        Also, as Palmer & MacNeall are illustrating, internally driven trends can be quite large for short (decade) time intervals. These can also be positive or negative. Therefore, if internal variability would have produced a decade of cooling, that can mask the anthropogenic signal for 10 years or so. So, periods of slower (and then faster) warming are not all that surprising given the kind of effect that internal variability can have on these relatively short time intervals.

        Given that we have had a period of slower warming, and given that we’ve continued to build an increasing anthropogenic forcing, it would not be at all surprising if we started seeing much faster warming. That’s what basic physics would suggest. I may live to regret saying this, though :-)

      • Danny Thomas

        Given the AGW theory:”Given that we have had a period of slower warming, and given that we’ve continued to build an increasing anthropogenic forcing, it would not be at all surprising if we started seeing much faster warming.” is a reasonable assumption given the level of understanding. It’s the level of understanding that’s proving to be the bug-a-boo. Nature is so very good at surprises. Therefore, discussions on heat not being where expected, sensitivities, aerosols, albedos, oceans, ice, clouds, and POLICY, eh?

      • Danny,

        Nature is so very good at surprises.

        Sure, but we are pushing it quite hard, so the surprises could be things we haven’t experienced before or, if we have, they’ll be things that we experienced rarely but now experience more regularly.

        Therefore, discussions on heat not being where expected, sensitivities, aerosols, albedos, oceans, ice, clouds,

        Sure, but these are largely details. The basic understanding is pretty sound.

        and POLICY, eh?

        Not science and – I would argue – the most difficult aspect of this topic.

        There are two things that I think are pretty clear. The more we emit, the bigger and more damaging the surprises are likely to be. We can’t know for certain what will happen, but it becomes more likely that there will be severe and damaging impacts if we choose to follow a high emission pathway. The other thing to bear in mind that whatever changes do take place are likely to be irreversible on human timescales. If we make the wrong decisions (well, we’ll almost certainly make the wrong decisions, but I guess I mean “very wrong”) there will be little we can do once we realise that we should probably have done something else.

      • Danny Thomas

        Do you have a link to a location (possibly on your site) which discusses that which you see is the appropriate policy(ies) under the uncertainties?
        Being that I consider myself a “middle of the roader” and pragmatist I’d be interested in your views. Sometimes, it seems, we find ourselves in debate (as this format tends) with those whom we’ve not asked the right questions.

      • Danny,

        Do you have a link to a location (possibly on your site) which discusses that which you see is the appropriate policy(ies) under the uncertainties?

        No, not really. I try to avoid discussing policy on my site if I can. I am just a scientist. I think I understand the topic reasonably well. I think I can explain our current understanding. I, however, don’t really have a good sense of what we should do or how. In my view we’re already at the point where we probably can’t avoid experiencing some – possibly severe – negative impacts due to climate disruption. In my opinion, we should probably stop arguing about the science and start discussing how we can address this in a way that minimises the risks without causing too much economic disruption. As I said above, though, I think this is extremely difficult and – in some sense – is much harder than the science itself. It would really surprise me if what actually happens differs greatly from what we expect today. I think the next decade or so will see us improving our knowledge of the details of climate science, but without any major changes to our basic understanding.

      • Danny Thomas

        Those disruptions being?
        Steve Mosher made about as reasonable a comment as I’ve seen when he stated here we should “prepare for yesterday’s weather”. Since we’re obviously not yet ready to address the more extreme events which have occurred w/r/t hurricanes that’s a locational issue. Tornados and flash floods cannot be forecast nor fixed (some flooding can be diverted). Drought, no idea. SLR is suspect w/r/t policy. Much of this leads me personally to “land use” being key. Even heat, heck today a town like Houston wouldn’t exist if not for A/C (thank you Mr. Carrier). Just for my personal fun I get to say I’ve stood in the single largest rainfall event ever in the USA (some 43″ in 24 hours) which cannot (or is not worth as a singularity) be addressed. So emissions?

      • Danny – you’re not even remotely a middle of roader.

      • Danny Thomas

        How so? I don’t accept fully CAGW, I do believe AGW theory (though not focused strongly soley on FF emission), I’m for wildlife and beauty preservation, I’m very socially liberal, and quite fiscally conservative. I voted for GW and BO (4 strikes and I’m out?). How should I describe myself? Confused?

      • ATTP said: “I, however, don’t really have a good sense of what we should do or how.”

        Well said.

        My sense is that no one has a good idea of what we should do or how.

        All I hear is keep warming to less than 2C or lets get back to 350 ppm.

        There is no plan on how we (I mean all humans) can achieve warming of less than 2C or how we can get back from 400 ppm to 350 ppm.

        Frankly – other than a 100% nuclear approach for energy (which would be quite expensive) we don’t have any technology which can generate all the baseload power we need now (much less until 2100) without emitting CO2.

        Without some pretty major invention, we don’t have a solution.

        So you are not alone.

        No one who is advocating for mitigation has a clue how to actually achieve mitigation.

    • Thanks everyone.

    • Salby said in his lecture that the decline in ¹⁴C0₂ following the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963 followed a pattern that was almost perfectly exponential, showing that the absorption of C0₂ is proportional to the abundance of C0₂. He also supplied this graphic contrasting the absorption of ¹⁴C0₂ with the rate at which the Bern Model (used by the IPCC) says that CO₂ is absorbed. Is he overlooking something?

      • Willis Eschenbach says that Dr. Salby is comparing apples and oranges.

        The 14C bomb test data (blue line) shows how long an individual CO2 molecule stays in the air. Note that this is a steady-state process, with individual CO2 molecules constantly being emitted from somewhere, staying airborne in the atmosphere with a time constant tau of around 8 years, and then being re-absorbed somewhere else in the carbon cycle. This is called the “airborne residence time” of CO2. It is the time an average CO2 molecule stays aloft before being re-absorbed.

        But the airborne residence time (blue line) is very, very different from what the Bern Model (violet line) is estimating. The Bern Model is estimating how long it takes an entire pulse of additional CO2 to decay back to equilibrium concentration levels. This is NOT how long a CO2 molecule stays aloft. Instead, the Bern Model is estimating how long the increased atmospheric concentration from a pulse of injected CO2 takes to decay back to pre-pulse conditions.

  41. There is no water shortage in California.
    From the article:

    A dilapidated city park was remodeled with cisterns below, as were medians along broad boulevards that were themselves underwater during heavy rains. The result was a system, using ancient Roman technology (see photo above), that captures 8,000 acre feet of water each year, about twice what the entire city consumes, solving the flooding problem and creating a source of fresh water for thousands of residents. The investment also gave the city a new park with ball fields and picnic grounds and higher adjacent property values.

    But could something this simple be the solution for a thirsty state that is getting hotter, growing faster, and producing more food crops than ever before? According to the National Weather Service, the average annual rainfall in Los Angeles for the past 100 years is about 14″, more than enough to serve the needs of the region and then some.

    During the decade from 2003 to 2012, we had wet years of nearly 38″ of rain and dry ones of less than 4″, but the average was still just under 14″, meaning there is no drought in the most populous region of the state.

    So what’s the problem? For the past 150 years, the goal was to address the same challenge that Sun Valley faced: not a lack of water, but too much water during the brief, intense rainy season. So Southern California built storm sewers and concreted the rivers to efficiently carry all that fresh water into the ocean.

    The answer to the drought, therefore, is to stop wasting this valuable resource. If we captured and used the water that already falls here, we could turn off the tap from the north and leave that water for farmers. Just as we discovered in California that sunlight falling on every rooftop can be harnessed to generate energy, right at the place it is used, we can capture the water that falls on those same landscapes for use where it’s needed. In fact, the Los Angeles nonprofit TreePeople has been demonstrating for years that every type of building or land use can do what Sun Valley has done, or what solar panels do for energy generation — decentralize.


  42. Now this is interesting, scientific american has an article about the APS statement on climate change.

    Their spinning of the impact of Curry, Christy and Lindzen doesn’t quite hold up, viz Koonin’s editorial

  43. Group of Physicists


    I’ve shown below, using the AGW conjecture, that we should expect some areas on Earth to reach temperatures of over 100°C when the flux from the atmosphere is added to the Solar flux in Stefan Boltzmann (S-B) calculations. Hence the whole concept that such flux can be added is obviously false, and so too are the rest of the energy budget diagrams (K-T, NASA, IPCC etc) and of course the computer models.

    It is obvious that in climatology physics courses they brainwash students who end up like Joel Shore and Roy Spencer being adamant that we must add the back radiation to the solar radiation. That is shown to be wrong in my March 2012 paper and also by a professor of applied mathematics in Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation written towards the end of that year.

    Let me explain it simply:

    The AGW proponents correctly estimate the mean solar radiation being absorbed by the surface as 168W/m^2. They then add 324W/m^2 of back radiation and deduct 102W/m^2 to allow for the simultaneous losses by evaporative cooling and conduction, convection etc. This gives them the “right” 390W/m^2 that coincides with 288K that they claim is the mean surface temperature. (Personally I think it’s closer to 10°C than 15°C.)

    Now we need to understand that this 168W/m^2 of solar radiation is a 24-hour annual mean for an average location at a latitude of 45°(S or N) that is half way between the Equator and the relevant Pole. Even that location will receive a mean of twice that in 12 hours of average daylight with average cloud cover. Locations such as this in the far south of New Zealand have mean annual temperatures around 9°C or 10°C.

    You need to remember that we start with the solar constant of 1360W/m^2 which is what the one location on Earth where the Sun is directly overhead would receive if there were no atmosphere. But, again on average, there is about 30% reflection and 20% absorption which reduces that to about half. So, on an average day with average cloud cover at noon where the Sun is directly overhead, that location would receive half of that 1360W/m^2, namely 680W/m^2. But on a clear day there is only about 10% reflection, not 30% because two-thirds of the albedo is due to clouds. So that location receives about 70% of 1360W/m^2, namely about 950W/m^2.

    However, the AGW proponents claim that an average location at 288K receives back from the atmosphere 83% (324/390) of the radiation it emits. I don’t dispute that. But the electro-magnetic energy in that radiation from a cooler source is not converted to thermal energy in the surface. The AGW proponents say it is. Hence they add it to the solar radiation in S-B calculations.

    Now, the solar radiation does not achieve the S-B temperature we might expect for two reasons, the first being that there is simultaneous energy loss by non-radiative processes and the second reason is because there may not be enough time in the day for the solar radiation to reach the maximum temperature. However, if we deduct 200W/m^2 from that 950W/m^2 as a reasonable estimate for losses by non radiative processes (that are only half that amount at 288K) the resulting 750W/m^2 does explain the observed temperatures which have been recorded in the forties and fifties °C. But let’s just use 600W/m^2 (which has a blackbody temperature of 48°C that is realistic) thus making an allowance for the limited time in the day.

    But, if we were to now add 83% back radiation (that is, 83% of something like 600W/m^2 that would be emitted by regions like this on clear days) we get about 1100W/m^2 which of course gives ridiculously high temperatures in the vicinity of 100°C.

    Hence it is obviously wrong to add back radiative flux to solar flux and use the total in Stefan Boltzmann calculations. And so the whole GH radiative forcing paradigm is wrong, as are those models, and that’s why you need to consider the totally different 21st century paradigm here that is based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  44. Pingback: Global Warming in Hot Water | Parker County Blog