Follow-up questions re my recent House testimony

by Judith Curry

Some interesting follow-up questions from the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology regarding my recent Congressional testimony.

For reference, my previous blog post on the Hearing, along with my testimony, can be found [here].

I received questions from two Members (both Republicans).  The questions and my draft responses are provided below.

1.  President Obama has warned that, “for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.” He said we must “choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it is too late.”

A.  Is there an overwhelming judgment of science or any science, showing that the President’s regulatory actions will prevent the threat that he is so concerned about?

If you believe the climate models, then President Obama’s INDC commitment (total of 80% emissions reduction by 2015), then warming would be reduced by 0.11 degrees Centigrade, a number that was provided to me by Chip Knappenberger of CATO using the MAGICC model with an equilibrium climate sensitivity of 3.0oC http://www.cato.org/blog/002degc-temperature-rise-averted-vital-number-missing-epas-numbers-fact-sheet.   If the climate models are indeed running too hot, then the warming would be reduced by an even smaller number. 

2. We have heard a lot of doomsday scenarios about what will happen if we do nothing on climate change. However, there has been less attention to what the results of any actions we take to combat climate might be.

A. Suppose we cut all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Would this avert the supposed catastrophic impacts?

Eliminating all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 would reduce the warming by 0.014oC (as per the EPA MAGICC model).   This is an amount of warming that is much smaller than the uncertainty in even measuring the global average temperature.

 

3. Dr. Curry, what happens to academics who step out of line on climate change?

A. Why would experts be afraid to question climate change orthodoxy?

The censure of scientists disagreeing with the IPCC consensus was particularly acute during the period 2005-2010. As revealed by the Climategate emails, there was a cadre of leading climate scientists that were working to sabotage the reviews of skeptical research papers (and presumably proposals for research funding). Further, scientists challenging climate change orthodoxy are subjected to vitriolic treatment in news articles, op-eds and blogs, damaging the public reputation of these scientists. I have heard from numerous scientists who are sympathetic to my efforts in challenging climate change orthodoxy, but are afraid to speak out or even publish skeptical research since they are fearful of losing their job.

Since 2010, things have improved somewhat especially in Europe; I think this has largely been due to reflections following Climategate and the fact that disagreement about climate change is not as starkly divided along the lines of political parties (i.e. the issue is somewhat less politicized). In the U.S., with President Obama’s recent pronouncements about climate denial and climate deniers (as anyone who does not agree with the consensus) has increased the toxicity of the environment (both academic and public) for scientists that question the IPCC consensus on climate change.

4.  Dr Curry, have climate models been in the same as actual, observed temperatures?

A.  Does the failure of climate models matter?

B.  Have the U.S. climate models ever been run with lower sensitivity? If so, have these results been archived for public access?

Particularly for the past decade, climate models have been running too hot, predicting more warming than has been observed (refer to the figure on page 6 of my testimony http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/comparing-cmip5-observations/.

The discrepancies between observed surface temperatures and climate model simulations indicates that climate models are not useful for predicting climate on decadal time scales (out to 20 years) or for regional spatial scales. If the so-called warming hiatus continues for another few years, then the observations will be completely outside of the envelope of climate model predictions.

I have argued that climate models are not fit for the purpose of simulating decadal scale and regional climate variability. Climate models are mainly useful for scientific exploration of mechanisms in the climate system. Whether they are at all useful for projections of century scale climate change remains to be seen, but I am doubtful.

For the main climate models used in the CMIP5 simulations for the IPCC AR5, climate sensitivity is an emergent property and not one that is easily tuned. For simpler climate models, such as MAGICC http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/wigley/magicc/, climate sensitivity can be tuned, see http://www.cato.org/blog/002degc-temperature-rise-averted-vital-number-missing-epas-numbers-fact-sheet

5. The input to the models is the aggregate emissions, not the annual emissions. Do you have any estimate of the aggregate emissions of China, India, and Russia between 2005 and 2030?

A. How does this compare to the aggregate emissions REDUCTIONS claimed by the Obama Administration for the U.S.?

This is sufficiently outside of my expertise that I am respectfully declining to answer this question.

6. Dr. Curry, you mention uncertainty and the importance of understanding natural climate variability better before inferring sensitivity to greenhouse gases.

A. What are the current key gaps in our understanding of natural climate variability?

  • Solar impacts on climate (including indirect effects).  What are the magnitudes and nature of the range of physical mechanisms?
  • Nature and mechanisms of multi-decadal and century scale natural internal variability.  How do these modes of internal variability interact with external forcing, and to what extent are these modes separable from externally forced climate change?
  • Deep ocean heat content variations and mechanisms of vertical heat transfer between the surface and deep ocean.
  • The strength of carbon cycle feedbacks (both land and ocean)
  • Climate dynamics of clouds: Could changes in cloud distribution or optical properties contribute to the global surface temperature hiatus? How do cloud patterns (and TOA and surface radiative fluxes) change with shifts in in atmospheric circulation and teleconnection regimes (e.g. AO, NAO, PDO)? How do feedbacks between clouds, surface temperature, and atmospheric thermodynamics/circulations interact with global warming and the atmospheric circulation and teleconnection regimes?

B. What are the most glaring or problematic uncertainties, ambiguities and areas of ignorance at this state in our understanding of climate change?

 There are two overarching issues:

  • Whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
  • How much the planet will warm in the 21st century

In addition to the points in A above I would add:

  • Sensitivity of the climate system to external forcing, including fast thermodynamic feedbacks (water vapor, clouds, lapse rate).

C. What might happen if we miscalculate the atmosphere’s sensitivity to greenhouse gases and incorporate this miscalculation into global policies and strategies that are not flexible and adaptive?

 We risk damaging our economy and current energy infrastructure

D. Would you characterize any of the policies discussed in the U.S., such as major industrial CO2 restrictions, as flexible and adaptive?

Among flexible and adaptive policy responses, I would include the following:

  • Energy conservation and efficiency measures
  • Elimination of methane leaks
  • Management of air pollution issues (ozone, small particulates)
  • Reducing vulnerability to extreme weather events

7. In October 2014, you co-authored a paper that discussed climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity is a simple metric for estimating how much warming should occur from a doubling of CO2. The IPCC has bounced around in the last 3 reports, being unwilling to provide a “best estimate” in the latest report.

A. How important is it to understand how sensitive the climate is to changes in greenhouse gases like CO2 (climate sensitivity) to determine actual impacts from the “national commitments” made by the Obama Administration and other governments?

Climate sensitivity is a direct input into the EPA MAGICC model, and into impact assessment models used to calculate the social cost of carbon. Therefore, climate sensitivity is a key input into policy making.

B. How well do we understand or “know” what the climate sensitivity is? What does the IPCC think the best estimate of climate sensitivity is?

Since the IPCC AR4 in 2007, both the upper bound (at the very likely level) and lower bound (at the likely level) to climate sensitivity have been lowered. There is a dichotomy between climate model estimates (higher) and observation based estimates (lower).

C. What do actual observations (vs. models) suggest about climate sensitivity?

The most recent estimates from observations suggest a transient climate response of 1.05 to 1.45 oC and equilibrium climate sensitivity of 1.2 to 1.8 oC [17-83% range]   https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/19/implications-of-lower-aerosol-forcing-for-climate-sensitivity/

8. In the next 50 years (or 100 years), how much projected climate warming is expected to be the result of humans and how much is expected to be due to various natural causes?

The IPCC does not even attempt to project future climate change from the various natural causes.

A.  What is our confidence level in these estimates?

Under the Business As Usual Emissions Scenario (RCP8.5), the IPCC AR5 projects a likely increase of global mean surface temperatures for 2081–2100 relative to 1986–2005 to be 2.6°C to 4.8°C (RCP8.5). The likely confidence implies that there is a 34% chance that the increase could lie outside this range. Personally, I think the IPCC is overconfident in their estimate; I would expect the warming to lie below this range.

B. When we hear projections of climate impacts, how much of these can we avoid with modest actions, and how much of this is basically unavoidable?

C. Can we stop hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes – “mother nature” with the actions that the president is promising?

Extreme weather and climate events have always occurred and will continue to occur. Further, sea level has been rising since the last ice age. Even if you believe the climate models and the IPCC assessment and we are successful at eliminating CO2 emissions, we would not expect to notice any significant difference in extreme events at the end of the 21st century. Measures to reduce our vulnerability to weather and climate extremes make sense whether or not humans are influencing climate in any significant way.

9. Are the current global temperatures running above or below that has been predicted by computer models? Why?

For the past decade, global surface temperatures have been running cooler than the model projections. The lack of recent warming appears to be caused by changes in ocean circulations in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, with perhaps some contribution from the sun.

10. Setting aside the uncertainties surrounding the science of climate change, some have argued that climate mitigation policies are like an insurance policy. Some claim that this “climate insurance policy” would protect us from the most severe consequences of climate change.

If we are to view climate mitigation policies as an insurance policy, the cost of the policy needs to be commensurate with the possible damage, and the policy has to actually be effective at shielding the policy holder from losses.

A.  Would taking these emission reduction steps, like those outlined in the President’s INDC, actually mitigate the potentially severe impacts activists are pointing to?

The President’s INDC is not a good insurance policy, as per the above criteria.

B. When people talk about potential economic consequences of inaction of delayed action, are they only counting what the actions they are advocating would prevent? Or is there some fuzzy math going on here?

The concern about inaction comes from concern about passing the 2oC ‘danger’ threshold, possibly by mid-century. This concern relies on a very weak assessment that 2oC of warming is actually ‘dangerous’ and that we can believe the climate models (which seem to be running too hot).

————–

1.  In the past decade, and more predominantly in the past eight years, the federal government has spent a great deal of financial resources chasing the idea that humans are the primary cause of climate change and global warming.

2.  Are there other areas of federally supported critical scientific research and development that have suffered of fallen behind due to the heightened focus on climate change?

I will restrict my comments to funding allocation WITHIN the field of climate change. Too much funding is being allocated to climate modeling and climate impact assessments, and not enough funding for observing systems and understanding natural variability – in particular the sun and ocean circulations. 

3. Have we seen improvements in environmental factors related to climate change in the past several decades? For example, have we seen growth or resurgence in tropical rainforests or growth of ice caps and glacial areas?

Satellite observations show that the planet has been getting greener for the past two decades, in terms of vegetation growth. This is attributed to an increase in CO2 and also a generally warmer, wetter climate http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=1804

4. Is there potentially a negative impact of overbearing environmental regulations? For example, would higher energy prices force more Americans to use their fireplaces as a source of heat, which might product more CO2 per household than the ratio generated by power plants?

Energy regulations that push premature implementation of technologies (e.g. wind and solar) risk diverting resources away from genuine energy technology innovation.  Energy regulations that raise energy prices will be a disproportionate burden to the poor. I have heard anecdotal evidence in the UK of people burning more wood to avoid high energy costs.

 JC note:  I invariably find these questions to be very interesting, provides significant insight into what the Congressional Representatives find important.  Please keep your comments relevant to these questions, I hope to obtain some useful feedback from your comments.

 

263 responses to “Follow-up questions re my recent House testimony

  1. Peter Lang

    5. The input to the models is the aggregate emissions, not the annual emissions. Do you have any estimate of the aggregate emissions of China, India, and Russia between 2005 and 2030?

    A. How does this compare to the aggregate emissions REDUCTIONS claimed by the Obama Administration for the U.S.?

    The Nordhaus RICE 2010 model can answer that question. A Denizen who can run the model, or interpret the outputs in the Excel version, could answer that question:

    • Peter Lang

      Download the RICE 2010 Baseline version from here: http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/RICEmodels.htm

    • Peter, the RICE model provides an educated guess. It doesn’t have the capability to provide a useful number. If I were a congressional staffer working for the committee I would A) get the IEA 2015 outlook broken down in detail to make sure the biofuels and NAtural Gas liquids are broken out. B) ask a neutral government outfit to estimate a similar forecast using the pledges received to date by the UN bureaucracy. Assume those countries failing to deliver pledges will change emissions as per the average of the pledged countries’. C) have the same outfit deliver a total emissions and greenhouse gas atmospheric concentration estimates (use high, base, low estimates to account for carbon cycle uncertainties). D) NOAA and ask them to run at least five different models with variable initializations and prepare the temperature anomaly forecasts for those models as well as the ACTUAL average surface temperatures for a) the world, b) the Antarctic peninsula. c) North America land from Mexico to Ellesmere, d) EU nations e) China excluding the Gobi desert.
      E) Compare model temperatures to actual over the last 50 years.
      F) Compare the temperature by 2050 for Christianaclimate versus IEAclimate.

      I did my own rough estimate and estimated 0.2 degrees C by 2050 using an IPCC climate sensitivity. This of course excludes solar forcing. A lower climate sensitivity puts it in the 0.1 degree C range. But the Christianaclimate scenario is only achievable if fossil fuels do start running out. In which case fossil fuel prices and scarcity become a much more pressing problem.

      • Peter Lang

        [Repost is correct place]

        Fernando Leanme,

        Peter, the RICE model provides an educated guess. It doesn’t have the capability to provide a useful number.

        Why do you say that? It seems to me it answers the questions asked, and furthermore allows the user to change the input parameters to run sensitivity analyses on the key inputs.

        I did my own rough estimate and estimated 0.2 degrees C by 2050 using an IPCC climate sensitivity.

        Why didn’t you simply download RICE 2010 and extract the answers from an authoritative source?

        The Excel version has separate spreadsheets for US, Russia, China and India, projections every 10 years of emissions, concentrations, temperature, damages and abatement costs for various policies. You can compare the results for the Baseline with other scenarios.

      • Peter I like writing models. It’s a learning method. Plus my models are much simpler. But please focus on the work flow. It’s meant for a congressional staffer who has the ability to lean on the EIA and NOAA. I saw a portion of the committee session and it seemed to me the committee members were ten miles apart. The best way to get them to improve their game is to have their own staff suggest and carry out something like I propose above.

  2. Judith, I’m curious about what you think about the EPA classifying CO2 as a pollutant. The change doesn’t get talked about much and doesn’t come up in the questions discussed in this post or your testimony. Regardless of whether one believes it contributes to warming or not, it seems that considering it a pollutant is a different issue. Can you provide your thoughts on the matter? I can’t recall a post on the issue.

    • David Wojick

      Unfortunately, one of the definitions of pollutant in the Clean Air Act includes causing climate change. My guess is that this language was part of the 1990 amendments. In any case under the consensus view CO2 fits the definition, as the Supreme Court ruled. Pollutant is here a technical term defined by the Act, not the ordinary word.

      • The Clean Air Act does not mention carbon dioxide as a pollutant or climate change as a risk factor. The original definition of “pollutant” was intended to control substances that could directly harm public health or welfare.

        Several States and municipalities sued EPA to force it to regulate CO2 from tailpipe emissins, largely on the basis of the risk of sea level rise to citizens in those jurisdictions. The US Supreme Court ruled in their favor in Massachusetts v. EPA back in 2007. Under Court order, EPA then determined that several greenhouse gases threatened public health and welfare and were subject to regulation.

        Once greenhouse gases were established as “polltants” under the Clean Air Act, EPA later tried to walk back this decision by “tailoring” its rules to apply only to the largest emission sources. The Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Scalia, (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-1146_4g18.pdf) held that EPA could not arbitrarily increase the thresholds necessary for regulation and must follow the unambiguous language of the Act. In practice, this was a further expansion of EPA’s power.

    • I think classifying CO2 as a pollutant was a mistake, and trying to regulate the CO2 under the EPA is the wrong approach. I agree that this is a good topic to discuss, and I think one of the essays that I linked to in week in review had a good legal discussion of this (maybe Richard Epstein)? I will try to dig something up that would work for a post

      • David Wojick

        It is certainly true that the CAA is unsuitable for regulating CO2, but the definition of pollutant is pretty clear. It is a huge mess that probably only Congress can fix.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        I don’t think that it was a mistake. Sloppy, lazy writing is a possibility. Progressivism is more likely. The political nature of “AGW” (or “CAGW”) has been dimly visible from the outset. When Obama first declared “Global Warming” as a crisis requiring governmental intervention (11/03/2008), it became clearer that the impetus was political. The threat must be countered by governmental taxation, control and allocation.

        “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” – Obama

        Pooh. “The Politics of ‘AGW.’” Forum. Solar Cycle24.com Message and Discussion Board, October 28, 2008. http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/thread/192/politics-agw

        The first six pages of this forum contain the main argument and responses. Discussion continues through page 178.

        Note that original images and illustrations had been stored on my internet provider’s website. They were deleted by that provider in 2014. For example: http://mysite.verizon.net/cache.22/UN_Actions(Pg6).jpg

      • People who are intensely anti-regulatory suffer from a delusion that people propose regulation just for fun, or to make the anti-regulatory folks unhappy, or something. It would be amusing if it weren’t so widespread.

      • mtobis (@mtobis) | May 5, 2015 at 11:06 pm |
        People who are intensely anti-regulatory suffer from a delusion that people propose regulation just for fun, or to make the anti-regulatory folks unhappy, or something. It would be amusing if it weren’t so widespread.

        I live outside the beltway. I wish they were doing it for fun.

        The bureaucratic minded are intensely afraid of anything they don’t control. The idea of someone exercising their free will, in a way that the bureaucratic minded don’t want, makes the bureaucratic minded wet themselves.

        The fact that it is fun for them to make free and independent people desperately unhappy is viewed as a pleasant bonus.

        The only solution is to downsize government . The regulatory minded are mentally ill and there isn’t any alternative but to remove them from positions of authority in the government.

      • PA, it is different if someone is acting out their free will on your air, water, food or lawn, isn’t it? You might want someone to regulate that for you.

      • Judith,

        What about N? – that’s plant food too, maybe we should stop trying to regulte that as well.

      • Jim D | May 5, 2015 at 11:49 pm |
        PA, it is different if someone is acting out their free will on your air, water, food or lawn, isn’t it? You might want someone to regulate that for you.

        Fine. Let’s do it your way.

        The government should compel by law the global warmers to pay the power companies for the net benefit from more CO2. The power companies should get $10 dollars from the greenies for every metric ton of carbon they emit. The carbon dioxide is beneficial and there is no evidence there is any harm in the quantities that can be emitted until the end of time. There simply isn’t enough fossil fuel to create a problem and low CO2 has provably created a problem in the past. The planet was dying from low CO2 before man got here.

        The reality is the environment is pretty good in the US. We have some areas that need improvement, but the greens aren’t smart enough to focus on them and prefer to whine about non-problems like CO2.

        The fact that the greens are focused on CO2 and not real problems indicates that their agenda is more important to them than the welfare of Americans.

      • Excellent reply to JimD, PA. As noted in other comments, the regulatory burden also adds costs which adversely impact the poor disproportionately. Greens tend to be progressives, who also tend to claim that we should be helping the poor, yet work to enact policies and regulation that hurt rather than help. Individual liberty with access to abundant, reliable, and affordable energy enables people to lift themselves out of poverty, not dependence on government handouts coupled with an unnecessarilly burdensome and costly regulatory environment.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        Sorry, Mtobis (May 5, 2015 at 11:06 pm)
        Not for fun, not to spread unhappiness.
        For pay and points. For employee objectives and performance reviews. It is a bureaucracy. Its product is regulation.

  3. Peter Lang

    Excellent questions and excellent answers.

  4. Excellent.

    Here’s detail on a lesser point above: There’s a back and forth about wood burning. In many circles it’s considered carbon neutral because the carbon it contains is already available to the atmosphere, not sequestered. There are those who consider it better than neutral due to how it’s produced and the relatively low carbon overhead of harvesting it. And of course there are those that consider it a tool of Satan used to stoke the fires of Hell…or at least the CO2 part thereof.

    It will of course be shocking to learn that statistics supporting any position you care to align with are readily available from all sides.

    Personally, I find the technological advances in this area of the last 15 years allay any concerns I might have. Modern wood burning stoves continue to improve efficiency and have radically reduced particulate exhaust.

    • If you get paid for growing a tree because it sequesters CO2, then when you burn a tree it should be an addition to the cagw CO2 release.
      If you don’t burn a tree that CO2 remains sequestered.
      If the tree falls over and rots…
      it doesn’t count because that’s the natural cycle.
      Their problem is how do they know how many people made tree burned CO2 and how many trees burned up just to keep warm?
      This is opposed to burning to clear the trees and scrub area for the ethanol and palm oil crop.

  5. Judith,

    Great answers with great clarity.

    BTW, Does the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology have a staff member who is a bonafide, degreed climate scientist?

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

    • David Wojick

      Probably not, George, but the staffers certainly talk to such scientists. I used to spend a lot of time with staffers. Given the technical nature of these questions I am fairly sure that scientists helped draft them.

  6. David Springer

    “If you believe the climate models, then President Obama’s INDC commitment (total of 80% emissions reduction by 2015),”

    Correction: 80% by 2050 not 2015

  7. Mike Jonas

    6.A. Could changes in cloud distribution or optical properties contribute to the global surface temperature hiatus? — and to the warming 1970-2000?

    I would like to see more emphasis on the question of whether warming is harmful or beneficial.

  8. “Energy regulations that raise energy prices will be a disproportionate burden to the poor. I have heard anecdotal evidence in the UK of people burning more wood to avoid high energy costs.”

    Exactly. The poor and middle class have to make allocation choices with limited resources all the time. Any governmental action which reduces discretionary funds will make it less likely that a family will buy a new cleaner running car in the US or replace a dung cooker with natural gas in India.

    • Peter Lang

      Absolutely! Those want want to reduce global GHG emissions should put all their effort into arguing for cheaper low-emissions energy.

      Consequently they should stop advocating for high cost, useless technologies like renewable energy.

      • Peter, renewables do have a role to play as fossil fuel extenders. And in some locations they are very viable if coupled to pumped storage. I’m thinking of locations in southern chile, for example. The wind blows all the time, they have mountains and it’s fairly easy to build a storage reservoir. The key is to make it earthquake proof.

      • Peter Lang

        Fernando,

        I disagree. Intermittent renewables like wind and solar can have only a negligible effect on reducing global GHG emissions. They have miniscule contribution to global electricity generation, are not economically viable and not sustainable: http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/

      • Peter, I suppose you haven’t lived in Southern South America. The wind blows so hard we had to use steel cables for clothes lines, and the clothes had to be clamped down. Cars have to be parked facing up wind (if they face down wind the doors can be damaged when they are opened). My guess is the wind turbines have to be built with tiny blades or they tear apart. This makes wind a no brainer. Buffering it with pumped storage is relatively cheap, the Andes provide the topography, and the alternative for Chile is importing coal from the USA or unreliable gas from Argentina.

        On Argentina’s side they have some natural gas, but the wind works very well as an extender. The key is to focus on the site specific resources and needs. As it turns out southern South America is one of the best places I’ve seen for wind/hydro combinations. I imagine New Zealand’s southern island would be a viable site as well. But I never consulted for anybody in NZ. I did consult for companies in Argentina, and I discussed the Chile market with them.

      • Peter Lang

        Fernando,

        I have worked in South America – on hydro – but not in Argentina or Chile. But your points are not relevant. My point is that for 30 years, populist discussions about long term solutions for electricity supply have been dominated by wishes and hopes for renewable energy (like wind and solar). But that’s been an enormous distraction and caused a massive waste of resources and a massive delay to progress. Solar generates 0% of global electricity and wind about 3%. They cannot provide a large component of electricity generation and therefore we shouldn’t be continuing to be distracted by those who want to talk incessantly about them while avoiding talking about viable solutions.

      • Come on Peter, I wrote fossil fuel extenders. If we can get wind and hydro to pick up an incremental 10 % of the total I’ll be a very happy dude.

      • Peter Lang

        Come on Fernando, stop playing word games with pedantic points. We need to discuss where our efforts and resources can produce the biggest gains – think big picture, not down in the weeds. Apply the ‘Pareto Principle’ (also called the 80/20 rule).

        Wind and solar are insignificant contributors and unsustainable so they are irrelevant. Hydro’s share of global electricity supply will decrease, not increase over the decades ahead. So, it cannot help to reduce global GHG emissions.

        Energy use per capita will increase massively over the decades ahead and electricity will increase its share of global energy consumption. So, electricity consumption will grow indefinitely. If we want to cut global GHG emissions from electricity we need to switch from fossil fuels to low emission alternatives. For this to be achievable in the real world the alternative must have a distinct economic advantage over the conventional generation technologies.

        France’s electricity CO2 emissions intensity is 10% of Australia’s and has been for over 30 years. They achieved the fuel switch over a period of about 20 years and virtually completed it 30 years ago. It is about the cheapest electricity in EU. 75% to 80% of their electricity is generated by nuclear power.

      • Fernando:
        The south of Chile has indeed a lot of wind. What it doesn’t have is a lot of population. The electricity is not needed there, and transporting it thousands of kilometers to the center through difficult terrain is a big problem.

      • Peter Lang

        +1

        For a rule of thumb assume $1500/MW.km for capital cost of transmission. Transmission lines have to be sized to carry the peak output from the plants. For wind this is around 3.3 times the average output. The lines will be much longer on average and around three times the capacity to carry a TWh of electricity per year from a remote wind farm than from a nuclear power plant sited near the demand centre. Transmission cost for wind farms in Patagonia to demand centres might be 10 times the cost of transmission from a nuclear power plant located near demand centres (as they usually are).

      • hacobress, the country is about 2000 km long for practical purposes. I think the grid instability caused by wind power in a place like Chile is a much bigger problem. But I suppose if oil goes above $150 per barrel it will drag other fuel prices along. Thus will justify for nations like Chile to invest in high voltage DC, pumped storage and other remedies. Energy is going to get pretty expensive in 25 years.

      • Peter Lang

        Wasting time debating on irrelevancies. It’s a distraction. This sort of distraction has been responsible for retarding progress for 50 years.

    • I am always interested in alternative forms of energy, energy use and electricity supply, including things that are very out-there. Though too much of a klutz to make or design, I’m a bit of an alternative freak.

      This is why I am uninterested in tired old things like wind, solar, geothermal which, in their present formats, really suck as mainstream power.

      Remember: all the money, resources and good will which are being sucked up by expensive fetishism are actually strangling alternative tech.

      Spending trillions on mainstreaming stuff which is known to suck…Why not just send every household a platinum and diamond encrusted bust of Al Gore instead? The money’s down the drain, but at least you’ve got the reliable if ageing power supply you started out with.

  9. Pingback: Follow-up questions re my recent House testimony | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  10. Peter Lang

    JC,

    I still think your reply to this question misses the most important overarching issue

    B. What are the most glaring or problematic uncertainties, ambiguities and areas of ignorance at this state in our understanding of climate change?

    There are two overarching issues:

    Whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
    How much the planet will warm in the 21st century

    It seems to me the most important overarching issue is: does it matter?

    – What’s the consequence?
    – What’s the damage function?
    – Is higher GHG concentration a net benefit or net cost?
    – Does higher GHG concentration increase or decrease the probability of negative consequences?

  11. Clean air act is a US initiative and it has taken aerosols as sulfur out of the air.
    The impact of this is often neglected. Why?
    It is responsible of some warming that might bee mistaken for CO2 warming.
    Is this just rubbish?
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00074.1

  12. Those two republican congressmen politely asked Judith whether President Obama had the power to prevent earthquakes. Why didn’t Judith respond? Now, they will remain ignorant.

    • Indeed, here is Bill McGuire, professor emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards, University College London proclaiming that global warming causes earthquakes.

      http://europe.newsweek.com/nepal-earthquake-could-have-been-manmade-disaster-climate-change-brings-326017

      (not that hillside deforestation for fuel might not be worse?)

      The endless droning of ridiculous doomsday scenarios in the MSM probably damages the credibility ALL science more than anything else.

      • That’s a very good point KenW. Earlier in this thread the two extremely knowledgeable energy experts Fernando Leamme and Peter Lang were debating the viability of combining wind power with pumped storage in Patagonia. Chile is located right on the Ring of Fire earthquake line and building a dam containing a few gigatonnes of water (slight exaggeration for effect) would surely stress the earth’s crust exactly where it is not needed.

      • oldfossil, Exactly. And even if the dam and lake don’t directly cause the earthquake, they had better be built to withstand the big one!

        There are always risks and downsides which need to be soberly measured against the benefits. Unfortunately, the garish politicization of the science makes it very difficult for voices of reason to be heard.

        JC’s message, for me, boils down to:

        “Just Use Some fr###g Common Sense!”

        It’s tough, but I think she’s making headway.

  13. Brian G Valentine

    I think it is high time for some denier push back with force and stridency.

    Nazis had a “perfect plan” and nobody spoke up. Then we had to spend the next 80 years in sorrow

  14. There were probably Polish kids playing with lead soldiers when the Wehrmacht and Red Armies moved in on Poland in 1939. I guess the kids learned the difference pretty quickly between models and real things.

    Now, in the face of a climate which, as far back as we can trace, has never been consistent or predictable or convenient for long, we are staring at models (often confected by people who are incurious about or bored by the physical world), our backs turned to the real thing. And we don’t have the excuse that we are kids, and that we are just playing.

    Believing in impregnable defences is one kind of folly – our industrial infrastructure, fossil fuel based wealth and modern tech can’t defend against everything. But pulling down defences because you’re certain which direction trouble will come from, that’s a higher kind of folly.

    I’d invite policy makers to have a think about what a bit of cooling has meant to China and Africa in times past, and what a lot of cooling did to just about everybody some four millennia ago.

    Be ready for everything, because everything is ready for you, little humans.

  15. Excellent exchange, Judith, I’m glad that there are at least two interested House members. Let’s hope that they have some influence.

  16. Your responses are succinct and straight-forward. I like that, and at the risk of straying, I would suggest the following:

    Perhaps a glossary or an appendix would be appropriate, but for laymen reading your response it is important you explain many of your acronyms, which are esoteric to those outside this issue.

    1A Reduction over what period? How do you assess its significance regarding prevention? Inconsequential?

    2. A. I like this answer, but somewhere it might be useful to mention the percentage of CO2 that is natural and the percentage that is anthropogenic that government policy is directed toward affecting.

    3A. Very good! Consider adding an example of a personal experience or that of a colleague.4

    4 A. ?

    4B. Simplify and clarify. What is a hiatus? What are decadal and regional spatial scales? How does regional differ from global and who cares? What is a projection vs a prediction? What do you mean, “can be tuned”.

    6B. I see the response to this question as being very important. Please elaborate and clarify attempting to bring it to a laymen’s level of understanding.
    Additionally, it seems to me the most glaring and problematic uncertainty is the level of uncertainty, the “Uncertainty Monster”, at all levels and subjects of analysis in “climate science”.

    6C. I think I like this one sentence answer!

    6D. The question is looking for a No answer. Your answer is too literal.

    7B Excellent, but can you put it in simpler, laymen’s terms.

    7C Also, put the answer in simpler, laymen’s terms and what that means to us.

    8B Perhaps discuss uncertainty regarding warming and climate impacts? Your response to 8C deals nicely with this.

    2 Briefly elaborate as to why it would be helpful to reallocate funding.

    Dr. Curry, I can recall when you first began posting and questioning at Climate Audit. Wow! You have come a long way! Very impressive!

  17. Dr Curry,

    These are excellent responses, but in my opinion they could sometimes be couched with less certainty.

    In questions regarding appropriate policy responses, it might be worth mentioning those who have shaped your thinking eg. Lomborg, Tol, or Nordhaus perhaps.

    I think 6 C is deserving of being fleshed out somewhat. For example, climate change, warming or cooling, natural or anthropogenic, involves some costs and some benefits. It’s possible that mitigation is the riskier option – but the debate is rarely framed in this way.

    Lastly, I think it worth pointing out that mitigation to reduce anthropogenic affects on climate is supposed to be a world wide effort. Just because US mitigation efforts would have an insignificant effect on its own is not justification for not doing it. That would be a tragedy of the commons. IMO you should include figures that demonstrate mitigation effects if US efforts were adopted worldwide.

    It’s likely that that they would not be terribly significant either, and arguably unnecessary, but it is the fairest way to look at it.

    • Agnostic – in just to a rough estimate based on the by country chart found here: http://climatechangeconnection.org/emissions/world-ghg-emissions-by-source/#country, it looks like China and the US together make up maybe 50% of all GHG emissions, so, if that estimate is accurate, and we estimate that the US is responsible for between 20 and 25% of GHG emissions world-wide, would having 4-5 times the impact be much more meaningful, e.g., eleminating all GHG emissions world-wide there-by improving temp reduction estimates by 5 from .014 to .07. While my estimates may be far from accurate, I think it is safe to say that the US does emit a large percent of world-wide GHG. Even if you multiply by 20, you still only come up to .28, and what would the costs be to eliminate all GHG emissions?

      • The USA can only eliminate all emissions by committing mass suicide. Don’t count on Republicans. And I think most democrats would prefer to dress in cotton shorts.

      • I have long been convinced of the veracity of this argument (that mitigation is essentially futile and probably unnecessary) but I still think that it’s worth retaining the context of mitigation being a common global goal when pointing out its deficiencies.

      • Agree with both Fernando and Agnostic. I did not intend to be argumentative, just attempted to extrapolate the potential impact on Temps if all countries totally eliminated ghg emissions, which is irrational and if my extrapolation is even remotely accurate, would do little to lower temps. Yet this is the position many green groups advocate while also advocating against nuclear.

  18. As a resident of the UK I would list the reasons for burning wood fuel as:

    High FF prices till recently, compared with wood fuel, which is now rapidly increasing.
    Fashion for green energy.
    Technology. Modern burners have increased the efficiency of wood burners, making the process far cleaner.

  19. A couple of comments:
    Q8A
    I think it is a mistake to characterise RCP8.5 as the “business as usual” scenario.

    RCP8.5 is described in Riahi et al 2011 “RCP 8.5—A scenario of comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions” as “the upper bound of the RCPs” and “a relatively conservative business as usual case” (emphasis added if WordPress understands these things). The term “business as usual” isn’t used to describe RCP8.5 in either of the relevant IPCC AR5 WG1 (Chapters 1 or 8).

    Also RCP8.5 isn’t the likely scenario and as I understands it we are currently tracking approximately on the RCP4.5/6.0 pathways, while temperatures from the models are below the RCP2.6 scenario.

    I also think there is some confusion on what the IPCC said. We have scenario based projections of which the IPCC said they thought the total range (2.6-8.5) was likely. I’d be inclined to use the the IPCC wording – you leave the impression that the model projections are something more than the sum of the assumptions and the models, about which the IPCC expressed a view on their likelihood.

    Q10
    I think this offers the chance to say something more about risk, and risk management that addresses a key issue that is widely ignored by those that present the policies as insurance. This is the risks and associated costs in too early a response and overly enthusiastic response. A related issue is the extent to which these costs and responsibilities are individual or should be socialised.

    • Thx, this is helpful

    • > I think it is a mistake to characterise RCP8.5 as the “business as usual” scenario.

      Agreed. One mistake is to presume that there’s one scenario that is ze BAU. Another is to omit the fact that people choose scenarios as BAU.

      Here are NG’s choices:

      If one uses RCP8.5, as Prof. Dessler did, to estimate temperature change, one gets 4.7 F to 8.6 F over this century. My corresponding range, 3.2 F to 7.8 F, is lower because it is centered around the bulk of business-as-usual scenarios and it is broader because it includes the uncertainty associated with the choice of scenario. My central value, 5.4 F over the century, is near the low end of the RCP8.5 range.

      http://climatechangenationalforum.org/what-is-business-as-usual/

      Mentioning Dessler might have been nice.

  20. 8A: “Under the Business As Usual Emissions Scenario (RCP8.5), the IPCC AR5 projects a likely increase of global mean surface temperatures for 2081–2100 relative to 1986–2005 to be 2.6°C to 4.8°C (RCP8.5). The likely confidence implies that there is a 34% chance that the increase could lie outside this range. Personally, I think the IPCC is overconfident in their estimate; I would expect the warming to lie below this range.”

    How could this (or any other percentage ever) be falsified?
    That the eventual outcome had been attributed a low probability doesn’t invalidate the forecast or the model used to create the forecast.

  21. ‘What are the current key gaps in our understanding of
    natural climate variability?’

    Solar impacts, mechanisms of natural variability, ocean
    heat, climate feedbacks, cloud dynamics … gaping
    maws of a one-eyed climate consensus.
    http://ithaka.wikispaces.com/monsters

  22. Dear Judith
    As a long-term very interested scientific layman, and not qualified to comment on much of your paper, I can perhaps only usefully raise the following question.
    If globally connected governments had concluded between them, unannounced, that because of the inescapable imperatives of human population growth and resource diminution, the game is up for the western economic model and only the time frame is un-knowable, might it be that such governments had concluded that fairly soon drastic energy decisions were inevitable?
    Were that the case, the populace would need to be motivated to accept them. History suggests that politicians’ default strategy in such cases is the employment of scare tactics., rather than lucid explanation. Again, were this supposition to have any merit, a strategy applicable to the people of the entire globe would need to be found. It would need to be heavily promotable. It would need to be opaque. It would need to be possible of the scariest interpretation. Ideally it would need to have a semblance of “authority” and not to be understandable by the hoi poloi.
    All groups seeing this as an opportunity – religions, NGOs, media such as the BBC, academics, politicians etc – would need to be able to benefit from it.
    I will no doubt be accused of paranoia, but it seems to me that what is happening now fulfills pretty much all of those criteria.
    Th Hell with science when you have Mr Nurse and the Royal Academy promoting your thesis. How could it possibly be wrong?
    Bob V T

  23. Re: questions re testimony, 5/5/2015

    … a number that was provided to me … using … an equilibrium climate sensitivity of 3.0oC …

    A better response would be to state that IPCC defines the ECS parameter as the rise in Global Average Surface Temperature following a doubling of atmospheric CO2. In order to measure ECS, a scientist needs to determine which parameter leads and which follows. That has yet to done by IPCC’s climate scientists. Science requires this be done to establish causation — which might be a cause and which an effect. The paleo record shows that CO2 follows GAST by about a millennium. As a matter of à priori science, this is a consequence of Henry’s Law of Solubility for CO2 in water of all types. That law has yet to be included in the analysis of the IPCC scientists. Henry’s Law implies that the AGW model in general puts the cart before the horse.

    So ECS measurements, which have been shown to fit the GCMs at about the GCM-established 1% to 3% level of confidence, invalidating AGW and validating the contrary model that temperature is the cause and atmospheric CO2 the effect. This is equivalent to the observation that the sign of ECS measurements is wrong. The economies of the western world, the only part of the world affected by the AGW movement, have been quite lucky that the measured ECS was just between -1 and 0ºC. For if it had proved to be say -5ºC, for example, a panic might have ensued to cut carbon emissions immediately as a combined result of the Sun’s history and a sign error.

    This problem of the ECS is a fatal flaw in the AGW model, but it is not the only fatal flaw. For example, the fact that temperature causes CO2 in the paleo record is a natural response, which IPCC nullified in its GCMs as of about 1750, along with natural warming. The result of these nullifications is that the natural CO2 increase and the natural warming are not only reversed as to cause and effect, but that the investigators wrongly attribute both on-going natural effects to human activity.

    What are the current key gaps in our understanding of natural climate variability?

    • Solar impacts on climate (including indirect effects). What are the magnitudes and nature of the range of physical mechanisms?

    IPCC’s best model for solar radiation accurately predicts the entire record of surface temperature since the advent of the thermometer. See SGW, http://www.rocketscientistsjournal,com. This SGW model includes an amplification of the Sun, which had been reported in at least two peer-reviewed climate publications, a phenomenon which is known à priori from the burn-off effect of clouds. However, IPCC models do not include dynamic cloud cover, so they miss both the dominant feedbacks, one positive with respect to the Sun and the other negative with respect to warming from any cause. The failure to include dynamic cloud effects is another fatal flaw in the climate science of AGW.

  24. “I invariably find these questions to be very interesting, provides significant insight into what the Congressional Representatives find important.” – JC

    ” I have heard from numerous scientists who are sympathetic to my efforts in challenging climate change orthodoxy, but are afraid to speak out or even publish skeptical research since they are fearful of losing their job…- JC

    Yep, very interesting.

    Anyone lost their job??

    • Bullstuff sells in River City.

    • Presumably none of them are tenured. One might also suggest a certain lack of moral fibre if they are putting their jobs before publishing what they believe to be correct. Seems like a somewhat catch-22-like argument to make. Maybe there is a large group of integrity-challenged scientists who are too afraid to publish what they believe to be correct because it might negatively influence their careers. If so, it’s probably best that they’re ignored since you can’t really trust them anyway. Or, there isn’t such a group and we can ignore them by default (since they don’t exist). I can’t see a plus side to making such suggestions.

      • If you have a mortgage and several kids, the income from your job is pretty important. This is why you see emeritus professors speaking out, and retirees from govt agencies. I have been especially surprised to hear these same sentiments from several individuals employed in the private sector.

      • I agree that the income from someone’s job is important and I do appreciate that some may feel uncomfortable speaking out. However, if there really are active scientists who are not publishing work that they regard as credible simply because they fear a backlash, then that doesn’t speak highly of their scientific credibility.

        On the other hand, if you’re referring to people who work in academia but don’t publish in climate science, then maybe they do exist and simply would rather not speak out for fear of what their colleagues may say. That I could understand, but that seems different to there being active climate scientists who are avoiding presenting contrary results because of how that might impact their careers.

      • Its a matter of not publishing your work, or selecting to work on less controversial problems.

      • Don Monfort

        Ask Judith what happened to her chair, kenny.

      • Don Monfort

        Ask the BEST people why they couldn’t get their papers published in a pal reviewed journal and they had to go with the journal of last resort, kenny.

      • “ignore them by default”

        IPCC Founders:
        “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…. All these dangers are caused by human intervention… The real enemy, then, is humanity itself,”

        Hansen:
        ‘death trains’,
        ‘half of all species extinct’,
        “Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate-forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic under current conditions.”

        Schneider:
        “So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

      • ‘Club of Rome’

        Eddie, come on man, you are getting in that conspiracy territory with that one. If only Al Gore was in the Club of Rome or is he ha ha ha

      • BEST was essentially redundant. I believe several people tried to tell them that. Paul Barton L, a longtime commenter at RealClimate, cannot get his “dire warning of the collapse of civilization” paper published.

        The anti-alarmists have taken control of the journals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Don Monfort

        Ah, the redundant excuse. It couldn’t have been that they hate Muller for telling the truth about their Nature tricks. The redundancy of a million hockey sticks based on the same proxy BS doesn’t stop them from running out a “new” one to “confirm” the original BS, every few months. You people have a lot of nerve showing up here with your lame BS. You are redundant.

      • If only Al Gore was in the Club of Rome or is he ha ha ha…

        Yep.

        Al Gore, Maurice Strong, Anne Ehrlich ( married to famed neo-malthusian Paul Ehrlich ), Stephen Schneider ( of infamous ideology ), Ted Turner ( ‘global warming will turn us into canibals’ ), Timothy Wirth ( he knows the important earth thermostats are in Congress ).

        Obviously, Manabe, Calender, Arrhenius, Fourier all well pre-dated the IPCC.
        The theory of radiative changes is sound.

        But also obviously, political movements attempt to use ‘the cause’ ( whatever cause is handy ) to motivate emotionally, not rationally. The IPCC is not to be trusted.

        But we shouldn’t trust any organization or person, only the veracity of their postulates.

      • ATTP

        There does not have to be any real threat to those scientists. They need to only Think there is some kind of threat. Their own situation might be perfectly secure and they could be just aware of what others have confronted. Perhaps their perceptions are wrong. But if those perceptions impact their actions, the result is the same as there being actual threats. Don/t underestimate the social psychology within the institution of climate science or any other kind of science. Sub-cultures are as tangible as any other forces at play in organizations.

      • …and Then There’s the Real World

      • There is a reason why in the arenas for professional lying the professional liars have a hearsay rule.

        Because with hearsay, you could even crucify Jesus.

      • Don Monfort

        This ain’t a court little dude. And you are apparently unaware that the hearsay exclusion has more than two dozen exceptions. Generally, hearsay evidence is admissible if it bears satisfactory indicia of reliability. Judith is reliable. Case closed.

      • ATTP, your naïveté is very refreshing. Fear of writing or publishing politically incorrect material is widespread. And whistle blowing erroneous or distorted work by others can ruin a career.

      • OK, let’ summarise – no one has lost their job.

        Judith was just fear-mongering.

        More broadly, this is an error Judith keeps making – noting some general truth and seemingly ascribing it to Climate Science per se.

        Scientist aworking in any feild can claim the same pressure, in fact anyone working for any orginsation or business can do so.

        ATTP has it exactly right. It’s about moral fibre and scientific integrity.

        And Judith, as often, has it completely arse-about; instead of some whining about “cadres” and “censure”, this answer should be Judith giving those “afraid to speak out” a swift kick in the nuts, and reminding them that the job of scence isto question and explore and that they should stop cowering in the corner, frigthened of their own shadows..

        No one has lost their job.

        Some may find it more convenient to continue fear-mongering.

      • John Robertson

        Where does ATTP put Dr. Willie Soon on the list of people possibly about to lose their job? Seems to me that a few people are trying to get him fired…

      • Michael

        No one lost their job? Talk about naive. How could you possibly know that was true. People get fired without headlines blaring they were fired. It happens every day . Some get “fired” and they don’t even know it. An adept leader leaves no fingerprints. There are a million ways to effect change euphemistically. A couple of people in the inner circle may be the only ones who know what really go on with personnel actions.

    • John Carpenter

      “Anyone lost their job??”

      If the folks who have confided in Judy ‘came out’ about their non consensus AGW views, it could be a possible outcome for them. It’s not a matter of integrity-challenged scientists, as aTTP says and you parrot. There could be a real fear of reprisal for these people. You and aTTP are very confident these folks don’t exist, based on no evidence to the contrary. Of course, you have to take Judy for her word, which… surprise… you don’t. Maybe think of it this way, would you say that gay folks who are afraid to come out have no integrity? They are not to be trusted because they live a lie about their sexuality to the outside world? Or try this example, how about people who use pysdonyms when expressing opinions on blogs or don’t use their whole name, Michael. Do those people lack integrity and are not to be trusted? After all, we don’t really know who they are or that they even exist at all. Maybe aTTP got it right, we can by default just ignore them.

      • John Carpenter

        Oh wait, we should just them a swift kick in the nuts, yeah, that’s the ticket… When all else fails, resort to violence.

      • John,

        Pelple can say that they are afraid of all sorts of things, it’s another thing for those threats to be realised.

        And your gay example is ineffably stupid.

        Scientists….gawd, do i need to explain his????……do science. Saying they won’t do science because of how they percieve it might be received, is just, well, pathetic.

        Where’s the Integrity?

      • John Carpenter

        “Scientists….gawd, do i need to explain his????……do science. Saying they won’t do science because of how they percieve it might be received, is just, well, pathetic.

        Where’s the Integrity?”

        In non political situations, that is true. climate science has become politicized with staked out positions.

        still, we should just kick them in the nuts. nice.

      • Somebody is using hearsay evidence to kick people, possibly innocent people, in the nuts.

        Is it despicable? Yes, it is.

    • Uh, Bjorn Lomborg in Australia UWA?
      These other guys don’t actually have to get fired, you know. They just need to notice that the last guy to stick his head up drew fire. You and ATTP can diss the ones who decide to keep their heads down, because you are always doing dangerous things that might risk your own positions.
      You have a choice, you know, if you’re honest. You can either strongly protest the cancellation of Lomborg’s position because of political pressure, and try to get it undone, and try to make sure that such things never happen again. Or you can acknowledge that people can and do lose their jobs and you’re fine with it.
      Pretending that you didn’t notice it isn’t a choice that will make the rest of us trust you.

  25. ulriclyons

    “Nature and mechanisms of multi-decadal and century scale natural internal variability. How do these modes of internal variability interact with external forcing, and to what extent are these modes separable from externally forced climate change?”

    From what I can see, the oceanic modes function as amplified negative feedbacks to solar variability and are not merely internal. Meaning global mean surface temperatures cannot be directly related to forcings even at interdecadal scales.

  26. jhprince2014

    Thanks for the clarity again with your answers. (Are you interested in the questions because it is -plausibly-hard to believe Congress. Representatives could actually come up with such?) I am most wowed with the answer that scientists are afraid of loosing jobs by speaking out. Great psychological expose.

  27. David L. Hagen

    Recommend Clean Cook Stoves, not to Control Climate
    Great responses. Please try to state answers in very clear and blunt sound bites rather than demure academic understatements. e.g., recommend restating 10A as:
    The President’s INDC policy is a very bad insurance policy. It costs far more than its saves, and cannot deliver its promised benefits. Every dollar spent on clean cook stoves for the poor gives $10 of good, per Nobel Laureates in the Copenhagen Consensus.
    See: Bjorn Lomborg The Nobel Laureates’ Guide to The Smartest Targets for the World 2016-2030. April 20, 2015 The Copenhagen Consensus ISBN 1940003113

    Recommend prioritizing spending according to public cost/benefit analyses. The Copenhagen Consensus shows that climate control is among the least effective expenditures, while clean cook stoves in developing countries are among the highest.

    1. Air Pollution: Better Stoves Can Reduce Indoor Air Pollution p 23

    “. . .air pollution . . .kills 7 million people each year, or one of every eight deaths globally. . .because 2.8 billion people still use firewood, dung and coal for cooking and keeping warm, breathing polluted air inside their homes every day. . . .typical indoor air in the developing country dwelling with an open fire is many time more polluted than Beijing, Delhi, or Karachi. That is why indoor air pollution kills 4.3 million people every year, making it one of the world’s leading causes of death. . . .the health and non-health benefits are estimated at about $52 billion per year . . .providing improved stoves for 50% of those cooking on unhealthy, smoky, traditional ones would cost about $5 billion per year. So for every dollar spent on better stoves would do $10 worth of good.

    3. Climate Change – It’s time to give up the two degree target p 31
    The UN Secretary-General argues that [climate change] “is an existential challenge for the whole human race. On the other hand, when five million people were asked by the UN what they saw as the most important, climate change came at the bottom of the list of 16 issues: way below healthcare, education, corruption, nutrition and water – and even below phone and internet access. . . .
    Economist Isabel Galiana concludes that: . . .present policies designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases are failing and cannot be effective until better technology is available. . . .
    “there is no realistic chance of keeping to this limit with current trends in fossil fuels use. . . .pursuing this 2 deg C target is very costly and not guaranteed to be successful.

    • David L. Hagen

      Freeman Dyson: CO2 benefits, get rid of poverty

      Carbon dioxide is what we’re producing in big quantities and putting into the atmosphere,” Dyson said. “It happens to be a very good fertilizer for all kinds of vegetation, good for wildlife, good for agricultural production. . . .
      When asked what he thinks should be addressed to help the planet’s future, Dyson said climate change is not something that is the most urgent problem facing the planet and life on it.
      “I would say one of the first things we should try to do is to get rid of poverty – human poverty,” Dyson said. “When people are poor, they can’t take care of nature around them.
      “They just have to survive as best they can, so that some of the poorest people are actually the most destructive,” Dyson said. “So I would say if we can deal with poverty, that’s something very positive which we should be doing.

    • Does concern about climate change corruption count as concern about climate change or corruption?

  28. David Wojick

    Saying that an overarching issue is warming by 2100 is inconsistent with policy analyses like the social cost of carbon, which goes out 300 years to get the damages from today’s emissions. I recently saw an article in a climate modeling journal that matter of factly asserted that the policy relevant modeling time frame is from 100 to 300 years into the future. The raw absurdity of this kind of analysis needs to be pointed out.

  29. Hi Judy – An excellent set of answers!

    My only comment is to further emphasize that the concept of “climate sensitivity” [which is really “global average surface temperature sensitivity”] obscures that it is changes in the patterns of regional climate that matters much more.

    For example, see my post

    “What is the Importance to Climate of Heterogeneous Spatial Trends in Tropospheric Temperatures?” https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2005/07/28/what-is-the-importance-to-climate-of-heteorgenous-spatial-trends-in-tropospheric-temperatures/

    I wrote there that

    “regional diabatic heating due to human activities represents a major, but under-recognized climate forcing, on long-term global weather patterns. Indeed, this heterogenous climate forcing may be more important on the weather that we experience than changes in weather patterns associated with the more homogeneous spatial radiative forcing of the well-mixed greenhouse gases..”

    One way forward for the Congress to better inform themselves on climate issues includes the Executive Summary [and text] in the NRC review

    National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp. http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309095069/html/

    Roger Sr.

  30. The questions on the impact of unilateral U.S. actions on greenhouse gases are so manipulative and show bad-faith. Following the logic/argument of these questions, the U.S. probably wouldn’t have implemented a host of other environmental regulations, such as:

    (1) Ozone Depletion: What is the impact on the ozone hole of only the U.S. reducing emissions of HFCs? Heritage and Cato still argue that implementing this Reg was based on “bad science”. Can you imagine the GOP reaction if Obama was trying for the first time to address this issue? The GOP would be making the same type of arguments.

    (2) Lead: What is the Global impact by only the U.S. unilaterally reducing its lead emissions?

    We could go on-and-on here in using this type of logic/argument that the U.S. should never have implemented a host of other environmental initiatives with global impacts.

    • Stephen, I struggled a bit reading US specific global impacts for reasons similar to what you have articulated. But I do think the question and answers convey useful information. It would be nice to know the global costs and the global impacts of all potential reducing participants and for various scenarios of likely reducing participants. Those are challenging numbers to develop and comprehend. We can perhaps better grasp the cost and impacts of the US as a single participant and maybe generalize as to whether the cost and benefits for others be similar. Aggregating a bunch of nations with small benefit to cost ratios will not result in abundant benefits for all.

    • Stephen Segrest, True unilateral impact estimates don’t reflect “global” impacts, that requires a little more information. Like if the US unilaterally reduces emmissions by x percent it has a y “global impact” so it would take 10 US size impacts to produce 0.14 C of temperature mitigation by 2050.

      Since the plan is to reduce US power sector emissions by 30% and the US power sector emits about 30% of total US emissions, the plan will reduce total US emissions by about 10%. That isn’t very much is it?

      Now suppose the plan was to improve overall efficiency, which is already in the works with CAFE standards in the vehicle sector, a 10 percent improvement in efficiency would do the same thing in the US, but since the world tends to borrow US ideas that work, that would have a larger “global” impact. Or say the plan was to improve US coal power plant efficiency by 50%, that would have the same impact, you could probably sell that idea to the ROW and get a larger “global” impact.

      So the unilateral impact estimate should be used as a unilateral impact estimate so the US can determine its best bang for the US buck. Now you compare estimated costs of the plans.

    • Except that when you look at the share of US GHG, it is a large share, roughly 20% (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/global.html#four), so, multiplying the impact of preventing warming by .014 degrees by 5 gets you to preventing .07 degrees of warming by eliminating GHG emissions completely. Something tells me that even a perfunctory cost/benefit analysis would not support any action to reduce GHG based on the predicted impacts.

    • Don Monfort

      You could go on and on, Stephen, but it would be silly. The environmental regulations put in place in the U.S. were almost always to benefit the U.S. environment and did not rely on international agreements. Ozone is the one example you came up with that involved international agreement. The fact that you are missing is that there has not been and there very likely will not be a binding and enforceable international agreement that will significantly reduce global CO2 emissions.

  31. Thanks everyone, these comments are very helpful

    • Judith,

      I agree with Steven Segrest. Your answer should put the reductions in global context; i.e. if everyone did their share in reducing CO2 output, the benefit would be 0.XXX degree. If they are not careful, the argument that us going it alone is not effective is going to loose these republican representatives their credibility. The argument should be that this must be addressed as a global partnership. However, neither we ourselves nor our global partners should be railroaded into premature action.

      Will

  32. On economics, you are quoting anecdotal evidence — Huh???

    This is like Dr. Oppenheimer quoting anecdotal evidence on Agriculture (an area clearly outside his area of expertise) after the release of the latest IPCC Report.

    Since this economics question is coming from Congress, it has to be put in context of “Federal” actions (enacted or proposed). What “Federal” actions are they talking about? Issues like “net metering” and “renewable energy portfolio actions” are State, not Federal initiatives.

    The only significant “Federal” actions are Tax Credits for Wind and Solar. Are you saying these “Federal” tax credits are diverting resources away from genuine energy technology innovation, or disproportionately hurting the poor?

    • Stephen wrote:

      “The only significant “Federal” actions are Tax Credits for Wind and Solar. Are you saying these “Federal” tax credits are diverting resources away from genuine energy technology innovation, or disproportionately hurting the poor?”

      Both.

      Federal policy has a huge impact on the poor and middle class. Ponder the probable cost to the rate payer of the latest push to reduce carbon output from electrical utilities over the next few years.

      Take the Solyndra fiasco as another example, impacting innovation. If you understand how venture capital works, you understand that this was not just a waste of the Federal coffers. By funding one startup to the tune of hundreds of millions, before the technology was proven superior, the Feds discouraged private investment in many potential competitors investigating alternative approaches. One of the first questions asked by any venture capital investor will be “describe the market space and your potential competition”. When a PV startup mentions that Solyndra has been given a virtually bottomless credit card backed by the Feds, any sane investor will walk away. Who wants to compete against 300 million “investors” and the entity which ultimately makes up the rules of the game?

      • sciguy54 — The problem I have with your type of argument (not you personally of course) is the selective memory and cherry-picking. Conservatives (like U.S. Senator Grassley) talk about this all the time — of having discussions in a vacuum.

        You mention Solyndra but make no mention of the +billion dollar loan to the (uncompleted) Georgia Power Vogtle nuclear units under the same DOE loan program. You want to talk about wind and solar tax credits, but don’t want to mention almost identical tax credits available to new nuclear. You don’t want to mention other nuclear subsidies like caps on construction cost guarantees or liability insurance (Price Anderson). You never want to discuss comprehensive tax reform and oil subsidies (specific only to the oil industry that have no sunset provision).

        Just be consistent in your arguments.

        P.S.: If you historically followed my comments, you will see that I’ve always supported nuclear power subsidies. My problem is the selective cherry picking with Renewables. And no, I don’t think tax credits should be forever — maybe the wind credit’s time has come, like it was for ethanol. As long as solar keeps doing what’s it’s doing on cost reductions, I’m for it.

      • Stephen

        Any area of disagreement is subject to cherry-picking. My point is that an entire field of endeavor can be poisoned for a generation of ambitious entrepreneurs (or scientists) by the clumsy intervention of masses of politically motivated (pick any direction) Federal money.

        And moving up the ladder from investigation to innovation to mass production, the stakes grow larger and political ideology potentially more damaging. Using a small percentage of GDP to stimulate real scientific investigation is usually a great idea. Providing an increased pool of first-level money to allow for more start-ups in innovative technologies may also be beneficial. Before subsidizing masses of workers in an industry, however, the work must be productive. If not, then the net result is that the wealth of a nation is consumed and the first to feel the pain will be the poor. And the number of poor will increase as wealth continues to be consumed.

    • Stephan writes– “The only significant “Federal” actions are Tax Credits for Wind and Solar. Are you saying these “Federal” tax credits are diverting resources away from genuine energy technology innovation, or disproportionately hurting the poor?”

      My response- You seem to miss a significant federal action in directing climate research into propaganda like impact assessments of climate change in order to promote fear of CO2. The tax credits to wind and solar are probably (imo) helping the economy (and the poor) by employing people in tasks where jobs would not be available otherwise

  33. Dr Curry, in discussing priorities in new funding you identified the sun and ocean circulations but nothing about cloud dynamics which is 1st on my list. Is there a huge amount of effort today studying clouds? If so why am I not finding it?

  34. Dr. Curry must be perceived as a “Good Faith Skeptic”, a “Good Umpire” that everyone can respect. One does not have to agree on every enacted or proposed environmental issue to have trustworthiness.

    If Dr. Curry is not perceived as that “Good Umpire”, God help us — we will just have more of this Blue State versus Red State stuff.

    • Dr. Curry must be perceived as a “Good Faith Skeptic”, a “Good Umpire”

      And that’s when you blast others for being “advocates” and they have no integrity. When we host a number of article that represent renewables in a negative way and advocate for “no regrets” solutions to policies. Yeah I question the “even handiness” being displayed here. But nothing is certain.

  35. ” A. What are the current key gaps in our understanding of natural climate variability? . Deep ocean heat content variations and mechanisms of vertical heat transfer between the surface and deep ocean.”
    There is imo no believable mechanism to warm 4-5 km deep oceans from above. The deep oceans are warmed from below, continuously by the 100 mW/m^2 geothermal flux, but more importantly by major geologic events like the Ontong Java event, responsible for 100 million km^3 magma erupting into the Pacific. Small wonder the DEEP oceans were 15 -20 K warmer in the Cretaceous then at present.
    Once you realize that the deep oceans have been warmed solely by geothermal since their boiling hot creation, it becomes possible to understand why the average surface temperature on Earth is ~ 90K higher than on our moon.

    • The deep oceans are cooled by the sinking of high salinity cold water at the poles. This cooling could be reduced by global warming leading to warming of the deep ocean.

      • If there was no heating of the deep oceans at the bottom, they would have been filled with high saline cold water long ago. On the contrary, it took the deep oceans ~ 85 million years to cool from ~ 290K to the current ~ 273K .
        How do you see global warming (air temperatures?) to warm the deep oceans?

      • Wkernamp, my guess is that a steady 0.05 to 0.9 watts per m2 aided by massive heat flux from spreading ridges and hot spots in isolated events seems to keep the system turning over at an extremely slow rate. The thermohalyne circulation is an added plus which serves to jazz up the circulation rate.

      • @Fernando Leanne
        I think the warming of bottom water by geothermal is NEEDED to maintain the thermohaline circulation, otherwise the oceans would just fill up with cold, dense water and become stagnant.

        Almost all bottom warmed water seems to surface around Antarctica, cool down and start a new cycle.

    • Ben

      This whole area is intriguing to me. Do you have links to studies about the geothermal events that could be warming the oceans? I have seen very little about the possibilities of this being a major source of OHC. Any help about the studies would be appreciated.

  36. Captain and Planning Engineer — It’s context, it’s context, it’s context. Dr. Curry has to be very careful that her comments don’t end up in a simplistic 10 second “talking point” by a GOP Member on the House or Senate Floor, or in the Media.

    I make the analogy that Dr. Curry needs to be like Chief Justice John Roberts of the SCOTUS but for AGW. While Conservative, Justice Roberts is respected as a “Good Umpire” — certainly not like Justice Thomas (from the Right) or Justice Ginsburg (from the Left).

    • Stephen – I don’t mean to take issue with what you said, just point out their is some wheat in that chaff.

    • Stephen, In its context it implies that the plan won’t do much. The plan won’t do much. Now if she were an expert in some other field she could go into more detail. Would you like a context that makes the plan look s e x i e r?

      • Captain — A constructive context is needed. The last part of Senator Lindsey Graham’s talk is the kind of dialogue (from Conservatives) that piques my interest:

      • Stephen Segrest, A constructive context would be one that contained more effective methods. Focusing on Black Carbon, energy efficiency and land erosion would have a larger initial impact and most likely an as large longer term impact on reducing problems. So far the kill coal to reduce CO2 has created a new world bank for infrastructure, a good thing but not exactly part of the game plan. Those should be first steps. For some reason the climatocrats would rather jump the gun and go for CO2 and PM2.5 right out of the gate.

      • Captain: You have to know that I agree with you.

        The dialogue should be in trying to find some “common ground” here — where I feel things like Dr. Ramanthan’s Fast Mitigation (methane, ozone/smog, HFCs, black carbon) and Wins/Wins of International Trade (which is a whole lot better than any CO2 Treaty) hold promise.

        Lets give Developing Countries like Vietnam “favored trade status” into U.S. and EU markets for producing lower carbon products through purchasing Western energy efficient goods and services (yes, including state of the art coal electricity generation). Lets lift the U.S. ban and sell them natural gas as a carrot — lots of it as they transition their economies.

        Shoot, lets do something simple like promoting Western investment in Vietnam and favored trade status on rice — getting them to change how they flood fields (methane release). The list of this type of stuff is probably endless.

        Where are the GOP Ideas? instead of wanting just to fight all the time.

        Remember, I’ve consistently stated (A) I hate a U.S. Carbon Tax (a regressive tax any way you package it) that would likely just outsource U.S. CO2 emissions; (B) Cap & Trade (another potential Wall St. Derivative play-toy); (C) A Federally mandated Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (that puts decision making in the hands of Politicians in Congress rather than our Engineers).

      • Don Monfort

        This is just crap:

        “Where are the GOP Ideas? instead of wanting just to fight all the time.’

        That’s what they always say. The Dingy Harry mantra. “The Repubs have no plan for fixing immigration, no plan for health care, no plan for blah…blah…blah.” The people are not that naive. That’s why they threw the bums out.

        Are you being disingenuous in implying that the Republicans are against LNG exports and the sale of U.S. clean coal technology to Vietnam or whoever wants to buy it? Do you have the Republicans confused with the Lefty Greeny crowd?

    • While I don’t blog much, I do have a blog. Two statements that I’ve made that I really like are:

      (1) The Problem isn’t “Junk Science” of liberal scientists, its the “Junk Thinking” by Conservatives. The “True Problem” for is that from the get-go, the issue of Global Warming was hi-jacked by Liberal Ideology policy proposals. Conservatives have never developed meaningful and consistent policy alternatives based on their principles to pro-actively tackle this issue.

      (2) If Climate Change is to be truly treated as serious on a global stage, pragmatic lessons must be drawn from international trade — where reciprocity reigns supreme. No country eliminates its trade barriers without reciprocal and meaningful concessions from trading partners.

      I briefly volunteered in the Jon Huntsman campaign and he tried to bring up these above points — and I saw him booed off stage.

      • Don Monfort

        What you are missing, Stephen, is that the Republicans don’t have to propose actions to counter alleged problems that are defined and promoted by leftist ideologues.

        Let’s take immigration. The leftists define the problem as too many illegal aliens getting deported and those unfortunates who find themselves in the U.S. don’t have a path to citizenship. Never mind that they are citizens of some other country. Well, the obvious, simple and humane leftist solution is to make them legal. What do you expect the Republican counter proposal to that foolishness to be, Stephen? Or are they supposed to go along with a plan that they know is crazy and will only result in more illegal immigration?

        The leftists define the climate problem, as “we are going to burn up if we don’t take immediate and drastic actions to curtail CO2”. What do you expect the Republicans to say to that, given that they are not convinced there is a problem?

        Huntsman was running in the wrong party, Stephen. You people should have known better.

      • I can see nothing wrong with what Steven Segrest is saying. The idea is to convince those American people that are not yet convinced to steer a more moderate course. This requires calmly addressing the issues in detail. Ranting about immigration has no place in that discussion. (That is the same as bringing up smoking.)

        Will

      • Stephen Segrest, “(2) If Climate Change is to be truly treated as serious…”

        Climate change is too broad a subject to be treated seriously, that is the wicked problem. Air pollution, i.e. black carbon, sulfates etc. can be treated as a serious subject. If you want a “globally” impact, you would set minimum standards that should be “globally” attainable and goals that may not be obtainable currently, but something to be shot for. Right now carbon sequestration isn’t viable, could be in the future, but it would be insane to “mandate” carbon sequestration.

        At one time, Republicans were ready to start working in that direction.

      • Don Monfort

        You are obviously wrong, Will. Stephen is trying to make this a “Republicans got no ideas” issue. So we got to go with what the left has dreamed up, or something just a little bit lighter. Same old BS. Convince those who are not convinced blah..blah..blah. What is that supposed to mean, Will? What is your more moderate course? Is the moderate/compromise course the best course, by definition? Do you think this crap makes you sound level headed, will?

      • The maximum atmospheric CO2 level is likely to be about 473 PPM, 44 years out and decline thereafter.
        1. The CO2 increase is going to be beneficial.
        2. The 21st century warming is going to be less than the 20th century warming. It isn’t clear that 2100 will be warmer than 1998.

        Until the “warming” advocates can prove with real measurements in the real world that there is a real problem, they should really be ignored. A problem that only occurs in models is a virtual problem in the virtual world, not a real problem in the real world.

        We don’t have enough money to spend on real problems left alone virtual problems.

      • Just reiterating the point re: developing policies to tackle the issue – you assume that that co2 induced global warming is a problem that needs to be solved. As PA states, increased levels of co2 may in fact be net beneficial, a position you apparently refuse to consider or may just dismiss out of hand despite compelling evidence.

        Re: you also incessantly demonize republicans yet fail to acknowledge the role dems like dingy harry and the media play in what has become little more than political charade.

        Republicans do deserve to be demonized, not because they lack ideas – contrary to your belief, they do have many, maybe too many – but because they are becoming too much like democrats and worry more about politics than real solutions. They fear the political fallout from taking a principled stand on a controversial issue, less they be demonized by a leftist media. As one example, look at the reporter’s response to Loudermilk’s op-ed, and in fact your own mischaracterization. Loudermilk penned a very reasonable article based largely on Dr. Curry’s testimony, yet gets labeled as a Koch supported denier making baseless assertions. Where is your outrage at that?

  37. 4. Dr Curry, have climate models been in the same as actual, observed temperatures?

    A. Does the failure of climate models matter?

    B. Have the U.S. climate models ever been run with lower sensitivity? If so, have these results been archived for public access?

    Since all of the climate models run too hot, and given that climate changes and accurate predictions more than 5 days out are impossible, and knowing that models can only run too hot or too cold, we now know that monkeys throwing darts would have demonstrated more skill at predicting no global warming over the last 17 to 26 years (depending on how it’s measured) than did Western science.

  38. he policy needs to be commensurate with the possible damage

    Dr Curry do you know what the possible damages are from climate change?

  39. Craig Loehle

    Ironically, it seems to me that some of the best research challenging the model forecasts and model quality is from Russian and Chinese scientists, places where you can easily get in trouble with the government.

    • http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2015_rel2/sl_ns_global.pdf

      When is the frigid breath of the KimiKamikaze coming back?

      • JCH

        Did you post the link to confirm that there is no relaible evidence of a dangerous increase in the rate of sea level rise?

      • Lol. What would one look like? Do you even know?

      • JCH

        Yes–your silly nonense comments do not mean there has been or will be a significant increase in the rate of sea level rise.

      • JCH

        You’re gonna ride that pony now till it collapses, aren’t you. And for a puny, measly, anemic and sickly .1 increase. I hope that pony is healthier.

        What should be happening is for the true scientists to be putting on their Colombo trench coat and sniffing out what is happening on the ocean floor. The unknown unknowns may be a bridge too far, but everyone knows the known unknowns and some of them lie beneath the deep blue sea.

        Enjoy…..while it lasts.

    • Dr. Curry — I read the Loudermilk OP/ED, where in the paragraph he was quoting you he said:

      “The clear and honest answer, scientifically speaking, is that we don’t know the extent human activity is having on climate change — if any at all.”

      You’ve (never to my knowledge) said “if any at all”.

      In following your blog, I’ve gotten the impression that this can be framed from ~50% (your statements where you use the word “guess”) to 100% (Schmidt).

      Rep. Louderermilk is making a point of extensively quoting you and then throws in a zinger that I don’t think you’ve ever said.

      This is the problem.

      • yes, if any at all, is definitely not something I’ve said.

      • Since we are picking at nits, let’s see exactly where the quotation marks were placed in said quote:

        Cut and pasted directly from the article:

        According to Dr. Curry, the Earth’s climate has been warming since the 1700s. But to what extent have humans contributed to this trend? She says, “It is very difficult to separate out the impacts of human caused climate change from natural climate change and from other societal impacts.” The clear and honest answer, scientifically speaking, is that we don’t know the extent human activity is having on climate change — if any at all.

        Loudermilk provides a direct quote from Dr. Curry, then adds his interpretation/opinion. He is not attributing any part of the sentence – “The clear and honest answer…if any at all” comment to her, those are clearly his words alone and his interpretation of what Dr. Curry did say. You and Dr. Curry may not agree with his interpretation, but it is not far fetched.

        His comments are not the problem, your mischaracterization of them is.

      • The Loudermilk OP/ED was great.

        Judith, I think I remember hearing you say “if any at all” in your testimony. Am I wrong? Did you mean to say it? I see nothing wrong with saying it if you did, unless you are worried about the flaying the Team will give you for saying it.

      • I really don’t think i said this.

      • I have tried to review the archived webcast, but can’t get it to play on my computer. It would be good to review the actual webcast before accusing Loudermilk of intentionally misquoting.

        I take it that you don’t think you said it and that if you did then you misspoke.

      • they sent me a transcript, i’ll take a look.

      • transcript is 77 pages, not searchable

      • David L. Hagen

        In his OP/ED, it is Loudermilk who made the comment “if any at al” at the end of his following sentence, AFTER closing the quote from Curry.

        According to Dr. Curry, the Earth’s climate has been warming since the 1700s. But to what extent have humans contributed to this trend? She says, “It is very difficult to separate out the impacts of human caused climate change from natural climate change and from other societal impacts.” The clear and honest answer, scientifically speaking, is that we don’t know the extent human activity is having on climate change — if any at all.

      • Don Monfort

        Stephen Segrest is on a roll today. He got the freaking quote wrong. Take a break, Stephen.

      • Mark Silbert — In numerous venues over the years, I’ve understood Dr. Curry to say her “best guess” is that human influence is probably about 50%. This has helped me “frame” this issue, with Dr. Curry saying ~50% and Schmidt saying 100% (actually greater than 100%).

        This is what raised my attention in Rep. Loudermilk’s OP/ED comment of “if any at all“.

        Now Rep. Loudermilk is not a scientist. In his OP/ED, Dr. Curry is clearly the centerpiece of his arguments. He cites no other scientist.

        Just for my own edification/education though — Do you know of any mainstream scientist(s) who is/are making the “if any at all” statement that Rep. Loudermilk could be referring to?

        Thanks.

      • Don Monfort

        Whoa! stephie! You said that he quoted Judith saying that. Don’t you have the basic minimum decency to admit that you got it wrong? Do you really want to keep arguing about an issue that you completely made up? Have you no shame, stephie?

      • Stephen Segrest | May 5, 2015 at 10:43 pm |

        Just for my own edification/education though — Do you know of any mainstream scientist(s) who is/are making the “if any at all” statement that Rep. Loudermilk could be referring to?

        Umm. Well…

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

        There are a number of scientists who are not enthusiastic endorsers of the consensus.

        The statement “mainstream scientist(s)” is the nub of the issue. The campaign of harassment by the CAGW forces has included attacking the careers of skeptics and kicking them out of the mainstream “boat”.

        If you define mainstream as CAGW (cult of anthropomorphic global warming) does – anybody who is an acolyte of CAGW – then by definition, there are no mainstream scientists that believe rising CO2 has a relatively minor effect on global temperatures.

      • Pa,

        Ummm….any of those climate scientist who are saying it’s 0%???

      • Well, aside from Steve trying to slither out of admitting he made up an issue where none existed, it appears he also believes a politician, or maybe anyone, is not allowed to pose their own interpretation or opinion on a quote from an authority in an op-ed article. Interesting that he picks at this nonexistent nit, yet fails to acknowledge the overall reasonableness of the article, which imo, reflects Dr. Curry’s testimony well.

      • PA: Thanks for the list of Deniers — I had not seen a comprehensive list before.

      • You people defending Rep. Loudermilk are too much. When Dr. Curry says things you like, you “love” her. But when she says things you don’t like you either (1) don’t respectfully disagree with her, you “attack” her (e.g., her statements on Fast Mitigation are a case in point); or (2) just choose to ignore/deny what she has said (e.g., probably 50% human influence).

      • Stephen,

        Your last comment is really ludicrous. There are plenty of cases where denizens that generally agree with and respect Judith have challenged her on specific positions she has taken.

      • Mark Silbert — Then you should be very well aware of statements that Dr. Curry has repeatedly made over the years about “probably ~50% human influence”.

      • Don Monfort

        stephie, stephie

        The little bit of faux credibility that you have built up masquerading as a reasonable middle-of-the-road non-partisan (I supported John Huntsman for a few days) is gone. Everybody knows that you made a mistake and you are too silly to admit it. We have some standards of behavior around here, stephie.

      • Don Monfort: YOU want to talk about credibility, YOU (with your track record of being sent to moderation)?

      • Michael | May 6, 2015 at 3:03 am |
        Pa,

        Ummm….any of those climate scientist who are saying it’s 0%???

        There is a school of thought supported by a NASA study that the CO2 absorption and reradiation into space at the top of the atmosphere is a greater effect than what CO2 does at the bottom of the atmosphere (which would imply 0% or -%).

        I’ll see if someone reputable has voiced this thought…

        http://klimat.czn.uj.edu.pl/documents/pdf/02Stratosphere/UpperAtmosphereMoreUnit2.pdf
        “We now know that stratospheric cooling and tropospheric warming are intimately connected and that carbon dioxide plays a part in both processes. ”

        This from some Max Planckers.

        It is what it is. There seems to be enough confusion and ambiguity on the topic to provide cover for Loudermilk’s statement (sometimes all that uncertainty and wiggle room works against the CAGWers).

      • Don Monfort

        You are shouting, stephie. I never got put in moderation for pretending to be something I am not, or for failing to admit a mistake, or for being disingenuous. I get put in moderation for being too rough with little jokers like you.

        Tell us some more about the Republican deniers with no ideas. The ones who are against selling LNG and clean coal technology to the Vietnamese. The Repubs who are against the trade agreements that Obama is negotiating but the poor guy is facing stiff opposition from his pal Dingy Harry and the few Democrats left in the House.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-05-05/obama-s-trade-bill-gets-boost-as-senate-chief-vows-vote-soon-

        You don’t know which end is up, stephie.

      • Stephen Segrest,

        I am, of course, aware that Judith has state many times that she thinks that maybe 50% of the recent warming is human induced. Others have stated they think it’s more and others have stated they think it’s less. The important thing is that most reasonable people agree with what she said: “The clear and honest answer, scientifically speaking, is that we don’t know the extent human activity is having on climate change”.

        Move on!

      • Don Monfort

        This is a little off topic, but it fits in the theme of these clowns who claim the Repubs got no plans to fix things. The Repubs aren’t even in favor of raising the minimum wage willy nilly to fight poverty. We have had this discussion before. And from progressive Republic of the Workers Paradise of San Francisco:

        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417763/when-minimum-wage-hikes-hit-san-francisco-comic-book-store-ian-tuttle

        Poor wittle progwessive businessman can’t pay the new minimum wage he voted for. He whines:

        “Why,” he asks, “can’t two consenting people make arrangements for less than x dollars per hour?”

        Indeed, comic book businessman. Because it’s the law that you voted for, you little low information whiner.

  40. That was a good post, and good questions on the whole.

    Reducing vulnerability to extreme weather events

    You followed that up with the reminder that extreme weather events will recur with or without global warming, and with or without CO2 reductions.

    • Would have also been worth reminding them that a lack of preparedness for natural disasters existed before AGW and will continue with or without action on CO2 emissions.

      Seems we’re slow learners.

  41. I have heard from numerous scientists who are sympathetic to my efforts in challenging climate change orthodoxy, but are afraid to speak out or even publish skeptical research since they are fearful of losing their job.

    Could you give us hints as to numbers and credentials, without revealing identities (or institutions that might hint at identities.) Is there any reliable information on the effects on grant proposal success?

  42. If we really want to help people, whether they live in Third World countries or in Baltimore Maryland’s, impoverished west side, – and, no matter whether we’re dealing with systemic socio-political issues in a culture war effecting the health and wellbeing of the people or addressing supposed scientific-based concerns of an entrenched, Leftist-thinking establishment about the looming disastrous effects of global warming on all species on Earth – we’d all be well-advised to heed this simple reality and pragmatic advice:

    Where ethnic conflicts have eroded trust, we should encourage decentralization. Ideally, “good enough” governance would include providing some public services such as healthcare and primary education that would not threaten the local elite’s ability to extract resources and stay in power. Some degree of economic growth might be possible provided we recognize that these rulers always require their cut of profits. ~Stephen D. Krasner (“Why we aren’t winning wars”)

    • Is that the same guy that said sea level would rise 100 feet?

    • This is wrong.

      Comparing current times to the Eemian is not valid because the shape of warming was so much different and the duration was so much longer.

      The Eemian occurred because of much greater ( ~ 50 W/m^2 ) summer insolation on the Arctic for millenia:

      No such thing is happening today.

      You can talk about sea level rise, but if you wander too far from observations ( ~3 mm per year, an uncertain amount of which is from AGW ) we’re going to have to call the nice men for more sedation.

      “Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time”
      Sounds like Jim may have forgotten when appropriate is again.

    • eli rabett (@EthanRaptor): Jim Hansen explains why 2C is a prescription for disaster

      Are you serious?

  43. Dr. Curry, do you feel comfortable answering questions on energy and economics wrt to the potential effect of climate policies?

  44. khal spencer

    For the question (C.) What might happen if we miscalculate the atmosphere’s sensitivity to greenhouse gases and incorporate this miscalculation into global policies and strategies that are not flexible and adaptive?

    There has to be a two tailed answer to this question. Your response, that we could damage the economy and present energy infrastructure, presumes we overreact to high estimates of sensitivity. There is also the possibility, not popular on this web site, that we could underestimate sensitivity and under-react. Granted your recent posts on further constraining aerosols and via that, CO2 sensitivity, we tighten the screws on the “fat tail” of sensitivity estimates, but I would not have been so restrictive in my answer.

    Agree with your suggestions on the flexible approach. Would also continue to fund renewable and nuclear. Fossil fuel is, after all, fossil fuel, and we use it much faster than the bugs and plants make it.

  45. Steven Mosher

    “C. What do actual observations (vs. models) suggest about climate sensitivity?

    The most recent estimates from observations suggest a transient climate response of 1.05 to 1.45 oC and equilibrium climate sensitivity of 1.2 to 1.8 oC [17-83% range] https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/19/implications-of-lower-aerosol-forcing-for-climate-sensitivity/

    ####################

    hmm. that is a little short of the facts. I would not expect dissertation here,
    but focusing on one “most recent” isn’t really a balanced picture of the evidence.

    • Well it is. in terms of observationally based methods (which is what the question asked for), nic’s is arguably the best, no one questions that (that I no of). The key issue is that the reduction in aerosol forcing drastically reduces the sensitivity, and nic is the only one that has done this calculation.

      Not sure it would be useful to cite older studies that used unrealistic aerosols or had methodological problems

      • > which is what the question asked for

        A leading question made Judy do it.

      • Implausible deniability again carries the day.

      • Don Monfort

        Well, little willy and the wittle wabbette have nothing substantive to contribute. Just the usual inane sniping. We will have to wait for Mosher.

      • Steven Mosher

        well, that is what I always did as an analyst.

        1. A brief characterization of the range of answers across the field.
        2. A charcterization of the latest research.

        you dont have to get into the nitty gritty of course.

        #2 would include the fact that the latest estimate of aerosol forcing has not had time to be challenged, and that nics latest work has not had time to be challenged.

        its fully fair to cite the most recent stuff, BUT we all know that some time elapses before the latest work can be fully digested.

        So the mosh pit way of doing this would be to say something like

        “the latest re estimate of sensitivity based on the latest re estimate of aerosol, shows the following number, HOWEVER , the community has not had time to fully digest and respond to these latest findings.

        so trying to make folks aware of the uncertainty of recent results.
        Just because no one has published a response yet doesnt mean that Steven and then Nic are the last word.

      • I discussed much of this in my original congressional testimony, including the closing statement:

        Research continues to assess the methods used to estimate climate sensitivity. However, the reduced estimates of aerosol cooling lead inescapably to reductions in the estimated upper bound of climate sensitivity.

      • Steven Mosher

        and to be really complete you add things that might influence your opinion.

        “some however have suggested that observational estimates may be as much as 30% too low. The field of estimating sensitivity from observations is extremely unsettled and while the latest work appears to be the best, we can hardly conclude that it is decisive”

        hehe.. analyst CYA. and more money please

      • Steven Mosher

        needs more weasel words

        “Research continues to assess the methods used to estimate climate sensitivity. However, the reduced estimates of aerosol cooling lead inescapably to reductions in the estimated upper bound of climate sensitivity.”

        more weasels:

        Research continues to assess the methods used to estimate climate sensitivity. However, the reduced estimates of aerosol cooling,should they hold up, lead inescapably to reductions in the estimated upper bound of climate sensitivity.

      • AR5 reduced the aerosol forcing considerably since AR4. The trend in everything that has been coming out lately is for less aerosol forcing. Reduced estimates of aerosol cooling do lead inescapably to reductions . . .

      • Steven Mosher

        I got bags o weasels.

      • I got bags o weasels.

        Here’s AR4,
        Direct Sulfate: -0.4 W/m^2
        Cloud Albedo Effect: -0.7 W/m^2

        Now AR5,
        SO2: still -0.4 W/m^2
        Aerosol Cloud: now -0.4W/m^2

        Lots of uncertainty, however, since SO2 emissions peaked around 35 years ago, I’m not sure how significant aerosols are to the satellite era temperature trends

      • Maybe Mosher can give Dr. Curry a more concrete example. For instance, how would he describe the various BEST temp sets to Congress? Show us your weasels, Mosher!

      • I tend to side with Mosher on this one. All the uncertainties that affect models have some influence on this semiempirical method. My opinion is that it is better than the model estimates, but I think that scientifically it is too early to say for sure.

        Evidence for both high and low sensitivities should be held to the same standards.

      • Lewis is in the habit of choosing the peak warm decades in the past record as starting dates to assure low sensitivity (1940 and 1870). This is not unbiased, and significantly reduces the sensitivity compared to less biased choices or just using the whole record.

      • angech2014

        Judith, Steve is on record as being a lukewarmer, which means he accepts a lower Climate Sensitivity.
        Furthermore he has said that if the pause continues Climate Sensitivity would have to be lowered as a result.
        This was about 4 years ago so however low his CS was it must be lower now.
        In response to Steven I would just point out that it is your response that was asked for and given.
        He can give his response anytime he wishes but he will undoubtedly put up his usual very broad range without a central figure.
        Easy for the pot to call the kettle black when he will not commit to an average figure, especially one lower than the average of his guessed range 4 years ago.

      • Brian G Valentine

        Could someone explain to me why “aerosol” “forcing” does not provide a correction to satellite temperature measurements in the IR compared with ground based measurements?

        I’m an idiot. I need a phenomenological explanation to “aerosol forcing” outside of an “escape hatch” to explain things that “aren’t observed”

      • Steven Mosher

        Judith

        AR5 reduced the aerosol forcing considerably since AR4. The trend in everything that has been coming out lately is for less aerosol forcing. Reduced estimates of aerosol cooling do lead inescapably to reductions . . .

        ########
        That is no different than saying the most recent study shows lower numbers. And doesn’t acknowledge what you don’t know. You don’t know that the results will hold up

        When time passes when more people use and rely on the most recent results when people spend time challenging the results when they fail to find issues
        When they move on and accept it.. Then you have something.

        When it becomes part of the operational consensus.. You got something.
        Note the term operational

        Put another way is denying the latest aerosol results allowed

      • Sure, denying the latest aerosol results are allowed (better yet – continuing to challenge them with more/better research). Based on my reading of the literature (and I have written a number of paper on aerosols and aerosol indirect effect), I’m going with the lower estimates.

        Consider the italian flag: in 2007 the white part of the flag was pretty big for aerosol indirect effect. in 2015, the white part of the italian flag is much smaller, with growing evidence in the box for a relatively modest aerosol indirect effect.

        By the same token, observational-based estimates of climate sensitivity have improved since 2007, notably with better estimates of forcing and their uncertainties but also in the statistical methodology. The white part of the flag (for observational estimates) has shrunk considerably, but there remains a hard core part of the white area related to structural uncertainty

      • Jim D: This is not unbiased, and significantly reduces the sensitivity compared to less biased choices or just using the whole record.

        The “whole” record includes the evidence of natural fluctuations in global mean temp in the Holocene with a period of about 950 years. If you include that you get a low estimate of climate sensitivity to CO2 increase. The whole record includes estimates of climate change due to deforestation and other land use; if you include those the estimate of CO2 sensitivity is reduced even more. And the whole record even includes estimates of surface energy flux change that results from surface temperature increase, and if you include those the sensitivity to CO2 decreases even more. Only by ignoring much published evidence can you reach a conclusion that the sensitivity of global mean temp to a doubnling of CO2 is more than 0.25C. And even then you have to first reach an unwarranted conclusion about the net effects of cloud change.

      • Willard: A leading question made Judy do it.

        It was straightforward respect for the question, as posed, and for the questioner. That is more honest, as well as respectful, than to evade the question.

    • davideisenstadt

      Mosh:
      If during the period of time when physicists were honing their estimates of the mass of an electron, gradually reducing the initial estimates of that mass over a period of years, consistently getting closer to reality, you were asked about the mass of an electron, would you continue to cite estimates which were older and less exact?

      • Steven Mosher

        False analogy.. But yes I would mention it

      • Steven Mosher: False analogy

        What makes that analogy false?

        How is it worse than the analogy of Earth climate with a system in equilibrium, or potentially in equilibrium?

        How does employing that “false” analogy lead to worse conceptual results than ignoring the changes in all the energy fluxes at the Earth surface?

        I think the analogy is reasonable: after much work refining estimates, one should cite the most recent estimates, or else make a thorough, evidence-based case that the most recent estimates are in fact less accurate than the starting values. This is especially so when large sums of money ride on the outcome and investments will be informed by the estimate.

    • Judith mentioned the highest which is the RCP-8.5 which is the highest projected warming and she mentioned the lowest which are the most recent observational estimates. Rather than mention five different ranges she could just add “As low as” in front of what she wrote for Nic’s latest using new aerosol numbers and I think that is fine, Mosh.

    • Steven Mosher: I would not expect dissertation here, but focusing on one “most recent” isn’t really a balanced picture of the evidence.

      Because the “most recent” are in fact improvements (perhaps you want to argue otherwise), the “most recent” are the most relevant for policy, which is the responsibility of the questioners in this context. We here can discuss history and Kuhn and true science and true skepticism endlessly, but Congress needs the best current estimates.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Because the “most recent” are in fact improvements (perhaps you want to argue otherwise), the “most recent” are the most relevant for policy,
        A) saying they are improvements Assumes that the known unknowns
        turn in your favor. the greatest known unknown is how the results will hold up.. that is are they ACTUALLY an improvement. By asserting they are in fact an improvement you are in essence begging the question.

        “which is the responsibility of the questioners in this context. We here can discuss history and Kuhn and true science and true skepticism endlessly, but Congress needs the best current estimates.”

        Another assumption. Congress could look at the current estimates and conclude that more time is needed to ascertain whether they are the best or not. Most recent does not equal best. you will have more confidence that they are the best after people have had an opportunity to challenge them through the peer review process.

        see my essay on post normal science and rushing results.

        The job of the scientist is to state everything that could make his view untenable. Like so: The most recent analysis shows this. However, time will tell if this result hold up.

      • We’ve had this discussion before. My testimony is about why we should question the IPCC’s results, which have become the ‘null hypothesis’. I am raising issues that should convince people to question the IPCC’s hypotheses. I am raising reasonable doubts. I am not suggesting in testimony to reverse the null hypothesis to my own analysis.

  46. Pooh, Dixie

    I, for one, would like to add a requirement for publication of papers supporting the CAGW concept. This additional requirement would identify the consequences of the proposed remedies.
    – Identify each consequence
    – Identify each of the proposed remedies
    – The direct cost to citizens of the remedies (money, jobs, etc.)
    – The indirect cost to citizens of the remedies (regulation, limited opportunity, loss of liberty)
    – And the effect upon the economy

    If, by chance, the remedies enacted have little or no benefit, then recover the loss from the advocates. Easily done from the bureaucracies; amend the “Clean Air Act” pertaining to CO2 as a GHG, eliminate the culpable organizations, rescind their budgets. Repay the citizens by lowering taxes.

    There is no free lunch.

  47. Thank you, Professor Curry, for having the ability to see and the courage to communicate the wide discrepancy between reality and the AGW dogma.

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  49. Curious George

    Democrats did not (dare to?) ask a question.

  50. The questions show the deliberate mixing of climate and temperature.
    A mixing that IMO is far out. Climate is what you have where you live, and it is not proved in any way, that it should depend on the global average temperature alone. Climate is so much more than temperature that it is a tragedy that most have been convinced that it should depend on a global temperature change. By the way, how to combine all the parts of “climate” to a single result to compare with. What is a better or worse climate?
    The questions give some hope for the future.

  51. Don Monfort

    This is the kind of argument the alarmists love, Svend. No need for them to construct a strawman. Even willy could take advantage. Come on willy, let’s see what you got.

  52. “Is there potentially a negative impact of overbearing environmental regulations? For example, would higher energy prices force more Americans to use their fireplaces as a source of heat, which might product more CO2 per household than the ratio generated by power plants?”

    “Respiratory Hazards of Wood Stoves – Pediatric House Calls
    pediatric-house-calls.djmed.net/respiratory-hazards-of-wood-stoves/ March 20, 2014”

    CO2 is really the least worrisome issue with wood burning stoves. As true in 1972 with the first OPEC oil embargo forcing financially marginal families installing wood burning stoves, and as recently as 2014, the modern wood burning stove is a major source of indoor air pollutants simply because one has to open the firebox door to throw another log in to keep the fire going. Opening the firebox spews pollutants to whatever environment the wood burning stove is located; indoor or outdoor.

    There are @ 7000 chemicals from wood burning stove combustion producing indoor air pollutants of which 70+ are carcinogenic. If there is a popular move towards retreating to grandma’s day use of wood burning stoves for heat and maybe even cooking, not only will we see more respiratory illness especially in children, more likely than not, “consumption”; i.e. tuberculosis, will make an epidemic return. The wood burning stove indoor air pollutants overwhelm the respiratory first line defense system, providing a permissive environment for casual exposure to a whole host of respiratory pathogens including tuberculosis. If you think that Obamacare is expensive, just wait until drug resistant tuberculosis organisms takes hold of a portion of our population.

    As Beth may say, the em-fa-sis is on the wrong syl-lable. CO2 is the minor diversion. Indoor air pollution from wood burning stoves is the health real risk TO BE AVOIDED.

    You have my permission to tell the EPA to focus on the front end of the wood stove and forget about regulating the back end.

  53. One question was “Suppose we cut all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Would this avert the supposed catastrophic impacts?” The correct answer would be: No, that is why there has to be an international agreement. If everyone cut emissions like the US proposal, CO2 levels by the end of the century would be stabilized at levels several hundred ppm below where they are headed without such agreements. These can make a difference of degrees and can also affect the sea-level rise rate by then.

    • Except that, if you simply extrapolate the most extreme measure of eliminating ALL ghg emissions, you come up with a temperature mitigation of maybe .2 degrees. What does your cost/benefit analysis say we should do with that, and be sure to include in such analysis the potential benefits to the biome of increased levels of co2 and the benefits of a warmer world to humans as well.

    • Jim D | May 5, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Reply
      One question was “Suppose we cut all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Would this avert the supposed catastrophic impacts?” The correct answer would be: No,…

      This highlights the problem of trying to solve a virtual problem with a real solution. Solving virtual problems (like CAGW) with a real solution fails, much like solving real problems (like the economy) with virtual solutions (whatever Obama thinks he is doing now), is doomed to failure.

      The real impacts of CAGW have already been averted (ECS ~ 1°C, CO2 PPM < 500, problem solved). The supposed catastrophic impacts of a 4.5 °C ECS with a 940 PPM atmospheric CO2 level can't be solved or even dented badly, but that is a virtual problem so who cares?

    • Jim D,

      Where is the evidence that increased CO2 will affect the sea level more than, say, the Himalaya rising at 1cm per annum? Will the net effect be neutral, positive, or negative, and for whom?

      If you don’t know, why do you assume that extra CO2 in the atmosphere will not be beneficial?

    • Pooh, Dixie

      “The correct answer would be: No, that is why there has to be an international agreement. If everyone cut emissions like the US proposal, ….”

      “And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

  54. Ms. Curry,

    I am not a scientist but follow very closely the debates on CO2, climate change, global warming and the “science” of Climatology. I have never seen such a group of self-important, self-promoting bloviating clowns-of-science as inhabits this hideous science. The word humility and restraint are obviously words that never cross the lips of many of these so-called scientists, and the idiotic, illogical predictions these fools make have worked their way into public policy and will cause immeasurable harm, especially to the developing Third World.

    How did we ever get to the the point where computer models, that are always wrong, shape the conversation is beyond stupidity, it is criminal. This gibberish is Nirvana for the wackos and zealots: An imaginary crisis that requires massive control of energy and society in general, a claim of success no matter what happens( more storms, less storms, more heat, more cold) and an endless hyping of perfectly normal situations where they are never required to account for their stupidity.

    I feel sorry that you and other sensible scientists waited so long to confront this cancer that has turned your science into a farce. For my own mind, I don’t think the climate can ever be modeled to the point of accurate predictions, but I am not a scientist, only a lover of Logic. The scientists of old must be rolling in their graves when they see the rascals that now pose as objective scientists.

    Henry Johnson
    secondstreet417@aol.com

    • Well stated. An injection of common sense would be most helpful. Unfortunately, too many have been inoculated against common sense by emotionally driven scare tactics, an MSM hyping the story thru one sided reporting, an educational system that has become little more than indoctrination camps, and a political party that has seized this issue as an opportunity to impose yet more government control.

      Dr. Curry is in fact doing a great service, but she is given scant attention in the MSM or by dems except to demonize or assassinate her character. The debate has been far too one-sided for far too long, and the advocates are far too invested in their position to give an inch in the debate, which keeps this issue extremely polarized. It will likely take at least another generation or two before this fad fizzles and is replaced by the next irrational fad. The real tragedy is that by the time our decedent’s figure this out, they will likely find themselves in a real energy crisis if fossil fuels do in fact become scarce as many are predicting. We will have likely spent trillions on unworkable renewable solutions like wind and solar while failing to invest in research for real workable solutions, or maybe, in educating those in power about the relatively low risk of nuclear. Few on this blog are likely to be around to see the real damage we are likely to face if we continue on our current path.

      • “but she is given scant attention in the MSM” With the honourable exception of The Australian, where Judith is the most cited climate scientist. Lomborg also gets a lot of coverage.

      • That’s good to know and maybe one explanation for what I perceive as some rationality returning to the policies in oz. I hope you, moso, Peter, beth, and others keep up the good fight.

  55. I think one of the foundations of this madness is the “sustainability” movement. It is that critically flawed concept that makes the idea of mitigating CO2 sound viable.

    The problem is that sustainability IS NOT an issue at this point. As soon as they pointed toward any type of electrical generation for energy…currently available wind/solar had already lost. And there is enough readily available nuclear fuel to last the entire population of the planet about ten thousand years. And that’s without fusion.

    And while fossil fuels may indeed become prohibitively expensive to extract, minerals that could be used to create ceramics (as a plastic replacement), concrete, metals, etc are essentially inexhaustible, so long as we don’t magically move continent sized chunks of the planet into space.

    • Loyd, I’ve often remarked that everything changes, nothing is sustainable, that is one of the most fundamental aspects of existence.

  56. Dr. Curry, I suggest you might improve your answer to 6.A. by elaborating a bit on your terms — e.g., what solar impacts specifically, what indirect effects — a small list suffices; what modes of natural variability, what time scales — again a few examples to illustrate; carbon cycle feedbacks examples other than vegetation growth.

    I suggest you eliminate jargon from your mention of issues with clouds.

  57. Dr. Curry, your answer to 6.C. should examine two sides of the miscalculation issue. I offer the following paragraphs as illustration only, not to suggest specific content.

    If the current estimate of sensitivity corresponds to physical reality, temperatures will rise by two+(?) degrees C by 2120. Current Obama mitigation strategies will reduce this rise by less than 0.1 degree.

    If the current sensitivity estimate is greater than or equal to reality, then We risk damaging our economy and current energy infrastructure for no useful effect on temperature with Obama’s policies.

    If the current sensitivity estimate is substantially less than reality, say by 30%, then Obama’s policies will . . . .

  58. Dr. Curry, I suggest you note that Obama’s policies are intended to engineer the climate, not to do science. To do engineering successfully, a different standard of understanding of nature may be required than for scientific study.

    Perhaps, you might comment on the current knowledge base’s suitability for engineering the climate itself, vice engineering for some possible effects of climate change.

  59. Dr. Curry, your answer to 8.C. contains a statement that might confuse me less if instead of saying “Measures to reduce our vulnerability to weather and climate extremes make sense whether or not humans are influencing climate in any significant way” it said “Measures to strengthen structures, infrastructure, etc. aimed to reduce our vulnerability to weather and climate extremes make sense whether or not humans are influencing climate in any significant way.”

    The intent is to clarify that you are not recommending engineering the climate here.

  60. Q3)

    Record level of sea ice around Antarctica.
    No temperature increase at Antarctica since measurements began.

  61. Q3 cont)

    Arctic not warmer than in 1930s write Euan Mears:
    http://euanmearns.com/record-arctic-warmth-in-1937/

    As co2 was not an issue in the 1930s, it means that the current climate in the Arctic can have entirely natural causes or a mix. Together with the lack of warning in Antarctica it means that the theory of polar amplification decreased in likelihood.

    Some other thoughts:
    How is it with observations of humidity in the atmosphere and a high climate sensitivity?
    Has the tropical hot spot been spotted?
    What does the balloon and satellite datasets tell of the lack of warming of the globe?
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/04/version-6-0-of-the-uah-temperature-dataset-released-new-lt-trend-0-11-cdecade/

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