Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

In the news

How rivers regulate global carbon cycle [link]

New research finds that tidal lagoon energy can provide large amount of #renewable energy. [link]

US significantly raises odds of El Nino continuing through Fall. [link]

Knappenberger: For libertarians etc. pondering a carbon tax, we devised a tool to help determine how effective it would be: [link]

The Certainty of Uncertainty in Medicine [link]  …

New papers

Told ya so: new paper proves that coral atolls keep up with sea level rise [link]

Soil & human security in the 21st Century. [link]

Dynamical systems on networks. Excellent tutorial article [link]

New paper shows the oceans have significantly cooled over the past 500 million years [link]

Is there any need for a dike to save Melbourne from the rising seas? [link]

Review paper on Chemistry, Air Quality & Climate Change [link]

“all climate models have parameters in their cloud/convection schemes which which they tune their energy balance” http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/2015/05/13/59-how-not-to-evaluate-climate-models/

Isaac Held blog on the spread of global mean temperature and model evaluation [link]  …

Ross McKitrick:  Risk management, not risk avoidance [link]

Climate science wars 

Richard Betts responds to the Lewandowsky and Oreskes paper [link]  …

Lewandowsky responds [link]  …

Bjorn Lomborg: The Honor Of Being Mugged By Climate Censors [link]

@BNerlich on rise & usage of word “lukewarmer” [link]

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240 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Pingback: Week in review – science edition | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. How seriously do climatologists take Atmospheric Electricity ?

  3. The oceans were hotter 500 million years ago. Not surprised, the Earth was hotter then. The evidence of the ability of corals, forams and so on to cope with much higher temperatures in the past might surprise some.

    Also unsurprising is the ability of corals to adjust to local sea levels. That’s what they do.

    I’m surprised that many choose to completely ignore observations, basic physics, and experimental verification.

    • human1ty1st

      Dont you try to control my right to freak out about $h*% ;)

      • I’m actually surprised by this paper that oceans were warmer 500 million years ago. This means oceans were warmer during the Ordovician ice age that would have occurred roughly at the beginning of this range. The most widely accepted reason for the Ordovician ice age attributed to low solar output during this period, yet oceans were warmer?

        Juxtapose this paper to work that has been published that states oceans have been getting warmer, and the threat that they are losing their ability to serve as a heat sink. So are we to presume they’re now cooler today then the Ordovician ice age when solar output was less and CO2 was 10x higher than today?

        No wonder skeptics are skeptics. Several convincing papers I’ve read believe we’re heading into a solar cooling period.

    • jungletrunks,

      Yep. If the Earth started off in a molten state, the original seas were at their boiling point as they condensed. I suppose they must have cooled, otherwise they would still be boiling.

      The Earth has cooled really slowly. In some places the molten rock actually comes through the surface. On average, the crust is maybe 30 km thick. Pretty hot underneath.

      Ice sheets in Antarctica are generally warmer underneath than on top. The oceans’ abyssal depths are not frozen, and generally around the same 3-4 C.

      This indicates something to me. Maybe not to you.

      • I have no reason or qualification to question the amount of gradual cooling or the veracity of the paper, my surprise was based on the remarkable aspects of the cooling per the way the paper describes it, and that the variability of the graph showed warmer oceans than today even during the early ice age period, so that’s why I was surprised. It wasn’t intended to question your reasoning. I just find that there’s a lot of incongruity during the Ordovician period to today’s scientific reasoning while acknowledging the apples and oranges nature of the period to today. As a simple truism however, just because there’s high CO2 it does not mean warming will ensue. During the Ordovician period there was high CO2 and now we understand even warmer oceans than today, yet solar conditions still trumpted them all.

  4. The Certainty of Uncertainty in Medicine [link] …

    “More appropriate statistical methods;”

    Collaborate with a reputable statistician during the formulation process of your question. Then develop your methodology, especially, how one is going to collect data and establish one’s sample size. Then set about identifying the population/molecules one is studying, and then collect the data.

    The work in science investigation is preparing to collect data. When the data comes in as a jumble, which it usually does, difficult for data analysis, identify the weakness in the formulation of your question, methodology, and data collection helps plan the next experiment to try to answer your question.

    It is a real bummer when one has spent much time an treasure to set up a research question, collect data, and have nothing to show for it except spent time and treasure. The temptation is to try to recover something from the mess in front of you and all sorts of manipulations ensue; usually in the form of unique statistical applications and data analysis. Michael Mann must have faced this dilemma when the tree rings after 1960 he was studying started their downward trajectory.

    Your Department Chair, the College/University Provost really don’t care to here that you have not succeeded. If you want promotion and tenure, do something. And so, some scientists… sometimes.. does something, only not legit.

    Moving on to the next process, publication, enumerating all the “ands, ifs, & buts” gets the manuscript rejected. Rewriting the manuscript without the uncertainties, i.e. really, making errors of omission, send to another journal, and voila, a publication.

    Now really; was it that hard?

    • Steven Mosher

      Observational science. You don’t get to design experiments. You get the data nature offers.
      It’s not a lab science. You can’t go back in time and plant trees where you want to. You don’t get to repeat 1200-1800ad with more sunspots. There is no planned ab testing.

      • True enough. You can’t do a controlled experiment with the climate. But you should be very cautious when you see two variables closely correlate not to conclude causation before studying the other significant variables that could impact the conclusion.
        One might also admit that GCM ‘s are running hot and are no longer suitable for projections.

      • “You don’t get to design experiments. You get the data nature offers.”

        That’s why Al Gore is so smart and skeptics should be more skeptical.

        Or something like that.

        Andrew

      • Steven Mosher

        “Observational science. You don’t get to design experiments.”

        Actually you do have control over the design of estimating what is happening in nature. Firstly, you choose the right statistician; the question: what are the limits of what I can say about the data? The statistician will ask you: how reliable are your measuring tools and are you measuring what you think you are measuring? Then there is a period of back and forth between yourself and the statistician and either he/she says: get back to me when you serious about your science, or, we can do this if we scale back expectations to taking a baby step. Now we can proceed.

        Then there is serendipity, an event that catches your attention because it doesn’t quite make sense. The observation gives you the impetus to call the statistician to help design the experiment yaddy da…

      • Curious George

        You don’t get to repeat 1200-1800 with more sunspots, but you can change a 1900 temperature reading, by as much as 4 degrees F.

      • Observational science. You don’t get to design experiments. You get the data nature offers.

        Wrong. It’s not that hard.

        In properly-designed observational science you do get to design experiments, using the data that nature offers.

        Think a little harder.

      • How about this idea? I have a hypothesis that one can use sophisticated techniques to generate a “global mean temperature” metric by combining data from multiple sites that are poorly distributed and poorly sampled. Can one design an experiment to test this hypothesis Mosher?

      • Can one design an experiment to test this hypothesis Mosher?

        They (BEST) already have.

      • Independent sub-sampling gives you the uncertainty measure. They have talked about that. There are enough surface stations that you can get a good global temperature from a fraction of them.

      • Really AK, where did the place the new thermometers? How many of them? Over what geography? How frequently were they sampled? Where’s the report?

        You see, AK, using possibly compromised date to validate hypotheses isn’t really the way to go. Yet one could easily design an experiment with thermometers placed on a equally spaced grid, sampled continuously, etc. Why is it that BEST, Mosher, et al never propose to do this?

      • Oh, and AK, you seem to contradict what Mosher himself says. So which is it, either one can design experiments and BEST is an example or one can’t, as Mosher says, and BEST isn’t an example? The logic of your reply fails me.

      • You see, AK, using possibly compromised date to validate hypotheses isn’t really the way to go.

        What I see is that you don’t see.

      • What I see is you refuse to see AK. Prospective experiments could be done, but aren’t. Everything is retrospective. Wonder why that is? Torturing the same data others already have seems a bit redundant to me. How doing something novel like setting new sensors to truly study variation?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Really AK, where did the place the new thermometers? How many of them? Over what geography? How frequently were they sampled? Where’s the report?”

        You miss the obvious:

        1. you can build the average from very few stations, hold out samples
        and test the prediction.
        2. Data recovery gives you access to old stations, never seen before
        There are thousands of these.
        3. Some new stations have been added in certain regions.. waiting on
        that data.

        Further points: geography is already over sampled, Adding stations in new areas will improve the local prediction and leave the global mean unchanged. As it stands 93% of the variability of the data is explained by latitude and elevation. Improvements from this wont change the global mean.
        Frequency of sampling is a non issue. Most data sources are daily which is compiled into monthly.

      • Or, one can do a prospective study where the thermometers are well controlled, well placed, well calibrated and the desired result is unknown. Call me crazy, but that’s the way much research is done in the world but for some reason climate research seems immune. Wonder why that is?

      • Oh, and to say that geography is already over sampled… is that naïveté or hubris? I can’t tell the difference. Your proof of that is if we use subsets of poorly sampled geography and poorly sited stations and poorly sampled time of day we don’t see a change in the average we compute. Well color me unimpressed. Perhaps one *should* expect to see a difference, eh? Seems many never consider that a possibility.

      • Steven Mosher

        fiizzy

        “Wrong. It’s not that hard.

        In properly-designed observational science you do get to design experiments, using the data that nature offers.

        Think a little harder.”

        here you go, please design the following experiments.

        1. Double c02 while holding everything else constant.
        2. hold the number of sunspots constant for the next 20 years.
        3. Hold the wind constant in the arctic so we can isolate the effect of other factors.
        4. Grow a few thousand year old trees and keep nutrients unchanging
        so we can better isolate the effect of temperature.
        5. Stop all pm2.5 release so we can measure the impact on life span.
        6. Stop c02 release for 30 years so we can see what happens
        7. Stop all volcanos for 30 years.

        you get the idea.

        In short, many of the critical experiments you would like to do cannot be done. You might find certain “natural” experiments, but repeating them might be difficult or impossible. You might design experiments on the margin of the science. A good example would be side by side testing of thermometers. you might find a few areas ( mostly testing observational systems) where you can design tests relative to your collection of observations, but testing central or core questions ( like doubling c02) cant be done in a controlled fashion.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Oh, and to say that geography is already over sampled… is that naïveté or hubris?

        1. No that would be a fact.
        2. A simple way to tell is to compare with global satellite
        surface records. like AIRS

        I can’t tell the difference. Your proof of that is if we use subsets of poorly sampled geography and poorly sited stations and poorly sampled time of day we don’t see a change in the average we compute. Well color me unimpressed. Perhaps one *should* expect to see a difference, eh? Seems many never consider that a possibility.
        ###########################################
        The simple fact is that latitude and elevation explain 90+ % of the variance in the data.

        1. The geography is not poorly sampled
        2. the time of day is not poorly sampled. you’ll get the same
        trend whether you use, 1 time, 2 times, 6 times, or 24 times.
        3. Poorly sited sites match well sited sites in trend.

        another way to see the point is to consider the following work by a skeptic.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/05/14/the-temperature-field/

      • Steven Mosher

        “You see, AK, using possibly compromised date to validate hypotheses isn’t really the way to go. Yet one could easily design an experiment with thermometers placed on a equally spaced grid, sampled continuously, etc. Why is it that BEST, Mosher, et al never propose to do this?”

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

        1. That experiment is ALREADY on going. it’s called CRN
        10 years of data show that “poor” sites are no worse that
        than “gold standard” sites.
        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/comparisons-ground-based-observation-networks-uscrn-and-coop

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/national-temperature-index/

        2. Personally, I’ve proposed the same. But your suggestion that they be equally spaced shows you know NOTHING about the problems.

        3. You dont need continous sampling.

        A) since the past wasnt continously sampled you want to compare
        apples with apples
        B) the Trend ( which is what we care about) is unchanged regardless
        of your time sampling. See CRN 5 minute data and do the test
        yourself. Go grab all the hourly stations and do the test.
        go grab all synoptic stations. same answer. go grab 1 minute ASOS data.

        4. There are a couple of on going new data collection efforts going on.
        Thankfully smarter people than you are on the job.

      • Steven Mosher

        ###########

        Call me crazy, but that’s the way much research is done in the world but for some reason climate research seems immune. Wonder why that is?”

        here is what is crazy. While climate science has done these types of tests of observational systems ( see CRN), skeptics have done nothing.

        Just think, you could all go plant a few thermometers, disprove the theory, and collect your nobel prize.

        you wont.

      • David Wojick

        Jim D, you say “Independent sub-sampling gives you the uncertainty measure. They have talked about that. There are enough surface stations that you can get a good global temperature from a fraction of them.”

        Can you point us to a sampling theory textbook that explains this? My understanding is that no inference can be drawn from a convenience sample, no matter how large. How does sub-sampling a convenience sample change this? Suppose I pick a sub-sample that cools, as many samples do. What then?

        Moreover, these are not statistical averages. They are area averages, or in BEST’s case continuous field (artifact) averages. I find no foundation for this form of averaging in the statistical literature. What have I missed? Please cite.

      • David Wojick

        By the way, Jim D, given that there are no surface stations for most of the globe, what are you saying?

      • Steven Mosher

        “here you go, please design the following experiments.”

        You propose the impossible and wonder why you are being castigated.

        Start at the beginning. What is it you want to say? global surface temperatures are going up? easy peasy. Easy except for the question, by how much? Will the GST continue to rise?; i.e. a prediction? Now you need the statistician to help give you the estimate and its range.

        The statistician will ask, how many balls in the air do you want to keep track of? If its one, you are sh%t out of luck. The more balls you keep track of, the better your estimate and range, unless of course you hadn’t figured on abrupt climate change as one of the balls in the air. Keep track of many balls in the air and you get the spaghetti graphs the 104 GCM construct and they are all likely predictions if you haven’t left anything out like low ball guesses which I am told, has been done.

        Your statistician will tell you that your predictions out to 2100 have a very large range, from hothouse to icehouse. Not very useful as an executive summary to influence policy holders which is maybe the reason why we have the current skewing of the narrative.

        Including more variables gives you more spaghetti. More precise variables gives you more wavy spaghetti. At the end of the day, when one is making predictions a long way out, one should realize one may not be looking at the right variables or giving emphasis to these various variables and their combinations.

        And then you have the: who really cares?

      • The simple fact is that latitude and elevation explain 90+ % of the variance in the data.

        Yep. The figure below from a yet different perspective than willis’ images shows the effect of external drifts–primarily latitude and elevation–on a USCHN for 2010 lower 48 states’ station annual temperature anomalies. (The variogram or semivariogram exhibits a somewhat inverse relationship with the correlation function.) As an aside the detrended variograms [correlation functions] will play nicer in the kriging step.

      • Those asking me questions, see Mosher’s answers. He’s done these types of tests. If you take independent sub-samples and they each give a global temperature trend, you can tell the error bars from the difference. Remember that these datasets are done to give a trend pattern. The trend pattern is a smooth field compared to the surface temperature itself, and so does not need a lot of stations to sample it.

      • Jim D. Please give us your explanation for how a field magically gives you very small error bars.

      • jim2, if you use 10000 stations to give you a global temperature trend of 0.16 C per decade and a different 10000 stations gives you 0.165 C per decade, your error bar is very small, of order 0.005. You repeat this multiple times to get the variance. The actual case may be even smaller.

      • “The simple fact is that latitude and elevation explain 90+ % of the variance in the data.”

        This one I love when it is cited as proof that we have enough samples rather than as proof that there may be something wrong with our measurement and analysis techniques, i.e. That we’ve smoothed so much of the variation out of the data that indeed 90% is solely due to elevation and latitude.

      • In truth one addresses the drifts over latitude and elevation not as a proof of anything; instead you do it for a much more subtle reason–there are constraints on a variogram or correlation function used in kriging, i.e., you to varying degrees have to do it. If that last phrase sounds fuzzy, good! I mean to. Them’s the cards.

        Oh yeah, for the record at the global and continental scales low order polynomials make for pretty crappy regression fits.

      • crappy fit — here, excellent statistics, e.g., p-values, but potentially awkward distributions of the residuals.

      • Mosher: “Just think, you could all go plant a few thermometers, disprove the theory, and collect your nobel prize.”

        Wow, you’ve changed your tune from the early days @ CA!

        Perhaps you might answer more along the lines of:
        1) “please see paper [insert ref here]” (doesn’t need to be anything more than, eg “Mosher et al, 2009, Science”, but more info is always nice)
        or
        2) “That’s a good question, which as far as I am aware, no-one has answered. This is because ” and then insert something like:
        a) we don’t have the data to answer it
        b) no-one is interested in funding it
        c) we can’t think how to test for it
        d) we didn’t think of it

        In case you think this is asking too much, perhaps you could remember back to your early days at CA where you would ask similar questions to those now being asked of you, and recall your obvious distaste at getting exactly the same sort of answers you are now giving, and how much that raised your suspicions that “something was wrong in the state of Denmark” – at least the original repliers had an excuse, but you, Sir, do not, having “been there”.

        Just sayin’…

      • In short, many of the critical experiments you would like to do cannot be done. You might find certain “natural” experiments, but repeating them might be difficult or impossible.

        Then you’re not doing the science right.

        There are lots of experiments in physics we’d like to do but can’t be done. Not much different for direct experimental science than for observational science.

        What you do in an observational science is to build a model that allows you to design an experiment that is sensitive to the effect you want to measure. Example from astronomy: you can’t directly observe black holes so you look for telltale indirect effects. Lots of modeling done there, with a long history of results that were wrong leading to better models.

        Now let’s look at climate science: models are used to predict global temperatures and all fail in the same direction.

        Normal scientific response: what’s wrong with the models?
        Climate science response: what’s wrong with the data?

      • Forget statistics. Here is Ernest Rutherford: “…If your experiment needs statistics you ought to have done a better experiment”

      • Arno…really? What are you wanting to get at or imply with such a vague comment and canned authority? Or do you just want to grumble? Ernest Rutherford?

    • RiHoo8 wrote:

      “Collaborate with a reputable statistician during the formulation process of your question. Then develop your methodology…”

      Yes, that is basic. Also whether one is talking about laboratory science or observational science or a combination, the statement holds. [Clarified in his response to Mosher.] Working from memory on BEST I agree with AK’s assertion,

      “They (BEST) already have.”

      noting that he did not assess how well they performed and documented the task. [No need–no foul.]

      RiHoo8’s comment includes ‘the formulation process of your question.’ Formulation and statement of the goal(s) is key here. BEST aims to reconstruct an estimate of the historical temperature anomaly over time. BEST attempted to make this estimate better in a number of ways than those that preceded—and one can say the same of Cowtan and Way and even those using proxies.

      Establishing relevancies of these estimates of the historical anomaly to policy is actually a more difficult question. Clearly the estimates of the anomaly—a devised temporal metric—support the idea of an increase in ‘global temperature’ over the past century. But perhaps its main use is simply to call attention to the more important problem: Extension of the perceived warming trend into the future may lead to extraordinarily large consequences—so large that policy decisions, taken in the near timeframe, may result in responses that carry their own extraordinary risks.

      Arguing over the various presentations of the historical record is an interesting sidebar but still a sidebar. Whether one likes it or not time is of the essence to a climate change decision process. While possibly leading to better understanding of the processes at work research results in delay and hence, carries its own risks. Delay for whatever reason, science, politics, etc., is in effect a policy. To delay without systematic consideration of all of the known risks is stupid policy. After all it is a safe bet that there will plenty of additional opportunities for decisions in the pipeline.

      • mwgrant, and the reason for not designing prospective studies to test analysis techniques and hypotheses is what?

      • Ken,

        I am not advocating and did not advocate proceeding such studies. There are plenty of good reasons to design such studies and and they actually could figure into a current decision process. The studies are not the problem, but are a in fact sideshow. Time is the problem when one considers decision-making and more than just the science. You may not like that, you may ignore that, but that does not the reality that delay has risks that must be considered.

        I repeat:

        “To delay without systematic consideration of all of the known risks is stupid policy.”

      • mwgrant | May 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Reply

        Arguing over the various presentations of the historical record is an interesting sidebar but still a sidebar. Whether one likes it or not time is of the essence to a climate change decision process.

        Well, no.

        If CO2 is just a harmless beneficial gas (and it hasn’t been proven otherwise), we have all the time in the world until global warmers can produce convincing evidence using properly measured real world data. Once they can prove that:
        1. The temperature will increase significantly (+2°C or more from current temperature).
        2. It is caused primarily by CO2 (more than 50%).
        3. The CO2 can actually rise to the claimed level needed for dangerous forcing.
        4. The result will be more harmful than beneficial.

        Given that the last interglacial was about 2°C warmer and it didn’t kill anybody the global warmers have their work cut out for them.

      • I am not advocating and did not advocate against proceeding with such studies…

      • No, you didn’t argue against the studies, just that we should act before they are done. To me that is semantics.

      • I agree in principle with most of what you wrote.
        The likely essence of disagreement is likely to be the extent which is covered in the “consideration of all known risks”.
        To me, it is a known risk that *all* present alternative energy and emissions schemes which will avoid a 2 degree C temperature increase under the AGW consensus view constitute a ridiculously expensive proposition.
        It is a known risk that the extent of net feedbacks in climate are *not* highly positive.
        It is a known risk that the type of worldwide agreement to achieve emissions reductions is very likely unachievable.
        Given these risks, it seems much safer a policy to work towards a series of smaller, cheaper, and safer short term goals since the “tipping point” has already been exceeded such as adaptation studies, net feedbacks research, increasing alt-e efficiency to be fully unsubsidized cost parity with medium cost fossil fuels, etc.

      • PA

        You persist riding down a sidetrack. CO2 has nothing to do with with my comment. My comments on the historic record of the anomaly stand without the need to drag in causality. Here CO2 is of no matter.

        Also your first item to the effect that ‘warmers’ must prove that the temperature will significantly increase does not recognize that prospect as a risk.

      • Ken,

        Most people recognize that policy is an own going process and I get to that point explicitly in my very last sentence. So yes we should act. I am pleased that you have that perception. However, I suspect that my sense of what ‘to act’ means and your sense of what it means are very different. To me ‘to act’ entails the initiation of one or more rational decision processes. This is very different than and well before jumping headlong in to any alternative-like action. Also keep in mind that as expressed my concern over the timeframe should not be confused with clarion calls to immediate mitigative actions. It is a simple recognition that risks arising from time factors are important in all considerations.

      • ticketstopper

        “Given these risks, it seems much safer a policy to work towards a series of smaller, cheaper, and safer short term goals …”

        That is indeed a plausible strategy that should and I hope surely would be considered. After all decisions on strategy precede implementation. And I think it is reasonable to expect considerable bootstrapping and iteration. This requires not getting lost on the way.

      • mwgrant – you also have to factor in the cost of the corrective action. Once that action is decided, a pretty good estimate of cost can be attached. The problem is, for some mitigation scenarios, we have a high cost that is certain vs no mitigation of a fuzzily defined threat and possible but similarly fuzzy set of consequences – and some of the consequences are probably even beneficial. That’s the meat of the matter.

      • Jim2,

        I do not think that my comments preclude such considerations and indeed prescribe them. I think that your synopsis is fine–even better than that because you succinctly describe that which make decisions in the present very difficult. Working backward from that we can start to figure out what is important and what are the priorities. BEST isn’t a problem. The ‘pause’ isn’t a problem. etc.

      • mwgrant | May 17, 2015 at 2:57 pm |
        PA

        You persist riding down a sidetrack. CO2 has nothing to do with with my comment. My comments on the historic record of the anomaly stand without the need to drag in causality. Here CO2 is of no matter.

        Also your first item to the effect that ‘warmers’ must prove that the temperature will significantly increase does not recognize that prospect as a risk.

        Well, let’s chew through your post paragraph by paragraph to see what I was missing.
        1. Best is gooder than other estimates… Whatever.
        2. a. “Estimates of the historical anomaly” might be irrelevant,… ok I agree with that.
        b. “Extension of the perceived warming trend into the future may lead to extraordinarily large consequences” ….
        Extension of the short term trend of a system with large long term sinusoidal components into the future is the act of an idiot. The climate system has never monotonically increased into infinity and until the Death Star arrives never will (and we will have plenty of warning because Alderaan will go first).
        3. “is an interesting sidebar but still a sidebar.” etc. etc. To spend more than a trivial amount on a highly unlikely outcome is stupid and you should take all the time you want until you bound the risk.

        “does not recognize that prospect as a risk”. The only “risk” in a warming increase is that if it doesn’t happen we should be able to sue global warmers for fraud.

      • PA

        Well, let’s chew through your post paragraph by paragraph to see what I was missing.

        Meh, don’t choke. You missed most of it.

        1. Best is gooder than other estimates… Whatever.

        I wrote: ‘BEST aims to reconstruct an estimate of the historical temperature anomaly over time. BEST attempted to make this estimate better in a number of ways than those that preceded—and one can say the same of Cowtan and Way and even those using proxies.’

        Well, that is nor ‘BEST is gooder’.

        2. a. “Estimates of the historical anomaly” might be irrelevant,… ok I agree with that.

        I wrote: ‘Arguing over the various presentations of the historical record is an interesting sidebar but still a sidebar.’

        That is not the same as saying they are irrelevant—a divisive term that I intentionally avoided.

        b. “Extension of the perceived warming trend into the future may lead to extraordinarily large consequences” ….
        Extension of the short term trend of a system with large long term sinusoidal components into the future is the act of an idiot. The climate system has never monotonically increased into infinity and until the Death Star arrives never will (and we will have plenty of warning because Alderaan will go first).

        I have neither asserted nor predicted future events, in particular how the temperature anomaly will evolve. I have noted that risks exist. Please tell me that you understand what risk is. There has been no reference to infinity and no reference to periodicity. Nada. Ничегою. Nichts. Death Star? Running out of steam?

        3. “is an interesting sidebar but still a sidebar.” etc. etc. To spend more than a trivial amount on a highly unlikely outcome is stupid

        Yes. The trick however is assessing the likelihood of the outcome. Let me be clear–I do not think that your belief does not constitute certainty–at least for many people. In any event such questions are best handled as a part of the formal process. If it is trivial by significant agreement then it is easily handled.

        and you should take all the time you want until you bound the risk.

        Why do you need any time is there is little or no risk? What if the risk is constrained by time–uncertain time?

      • …Let me be clear–I do not think that your belief does constitutes certainty…. [well the original certainly was anything but clear :OP mwg]

        …Well, that is not ‘BEST is gooder’….

  5. johnvonderlin

    “New research finds that tidal lagoon energy can provide large amount of #renewable energy.” Hmmm. Is this different than the old research that fancifully showed tidal energy could provide a large amount of renewable energy? The same problems that made it unfeasible decades ago still exist today, i.e. anything that touches saltwater will require a relatively greater initial capital investment, endure greater maintenance costs and experience a shorter lifespan when exposed to that universal solvent. Even more problematic, the understanding of the unintended consequences of these projects and the legislation to prohibit you from causing them, has increased greatly in the last few decades.
    For instance here in California, we have the Iron Fist of the California Coastal Commission, ready to stop you from building even a seawall or jetty that serves your purpose, but redirects wave or current energy to the detriment of the nearby coastline. Right behind them are the Monterey Bay and Farallones Marine Sanctuaries that have an ironclad devotion to managing the already highly-stressed oceanic environment of our coastal shelf. And behind them are the large majority of people, voters and taxpayers who don’t want any development near our coastline, onshore or offshore.
    If the billions of dollars worth of oil just off our coast aren’t going to be exploited, why would any rational person think chasing the will o’ wisp of tidal energy is the way we’ll go? If other countries or coastal states want to finance this costly snipe hunt, more power to them. I don’t expect it will turn out to be a “No Regrets” policy for them.

    • Curious George

      I checked the tidal link, they list successes, in the form of a project up and running. Not a word about the price of electricity produced.

  6. Another new paper on not-so-good news about Antarctica’s ice shelves
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/15/antarctic-ice-shelf-disin_n_7291782.html

    • LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The last intact section of one of Antarctica’s mammoth ice shelves is weakening fast and will likely disintegrate completely in the next few years, contributing further to rising sea levels, according to a NASA study released on Thursday.

      Huff Post does tend to run these silly stories that claim collapsing ice shelves (sea ice) raises the sea level. Huff Post doesn’t do well on sciency issues.

      • It tends to run science studies. This one was by NASA who have the satellites that you can see these things with. Skeptics prefer not to look, so my posting of this kind of thing makes them a bit uncomfortable with their position.

      • Jim D,

        Where I live, the tidal range is about 8m. How much will this change after the mammoth ice shelf melts, if at all?

        Should I be concerned? What action should I take, if any?

      • Huff Post does tend to run these silly stories that claim collapsing ice shelves (sea ice) raises the sea level. Huff Post doesn’t do well on sciency issues.

        That’s not really what it said. It said when the ice shelf breaks up, the glaciers it is holding back will dump into the ocean at a faster rate and cause seal level rise.

        And thanks to Al Gore, skeptics have learned a lot about sea ice. He was obviously a great teacher.

      • JCH,

        There doesn’t seem to have been much global warming for the past 18 years or so.

        Seeing as how the ice shelves are floating, they don’t actually appear to be holding anything back. Brightly coloured arrows labeled “hydrostatic pressure ” pushing the ice back up the hill, are disconnected from reality.

        Notwithstanding the above, how much will the sea levels rise if the Larsen ice shelf melts completely? Against this, how much will sea levels fall as the Himalayas rise at about 10mm per year? As they rise above sea level, there has to be an equivalent fall of mass somewhere else.

        Where, how much, and what is the impact on local sea levels? I pay attention to potential disasters, but I don’t want to waste a good worry.

      • Keep in mind IPCC AR5 projects Antarctic’s contribution to GMSL rise by end of century to be 2 inches. All laid out in chapter 13.

      • These Antarctica stories seem problematic.

        There is record sea ice caused by cooler than usual water, yet we are told that the land ice is flowing down hill and charging through the record sea ice at record speed.

        It doesn’t make sense that the land ice is colder at its base, facing more resistance (sea ice), and is speeding up.

      • Mike Flynn, you are correct to be concerned. Check into the science on what it says about this. The first 1% of Antarctica gives you 2 feet of sea level, but initially Greenland is on a faster rate.

      • The anomaly for the first four months of 2015 is .79C, and then the Australian Bureau of Meteorology declared we’re in an EL Nino.

        18 years ago the anomaly was .62C.

        I know you will want to hang onto being wrong until the bitter end of 2015, and that’s fine. It’s okay to be a dead ender. They don’t put it on you tombstone, so it won’t be in your permanent record.

    • It tends to run science studies. This one was by NASA who have the satellites that you can see these things with. Skeptics prefer not to look, so my posting of this kind of thing makes them a bit uncomfortable with their position.

      Posting: good. Understanding: better.

      Snowfall over Antarctica is not great, but what does fall is mostly around the perimeter:

      Since Antarctica doesn’t get a lot of melting, if this continued, the ice would grow until the oceans were gone. But accumulating ice moves. Ice flows downhill, at nearly 1kilomerter per year around the periphery! Of course shelf ice is periodically breaking away:

      • Note that at the scale of the maps you provided, the Larsen B ice shelf cannot be seen. If you squint at the second map you can possibly detect the remaining “B” ice that lies just north of the far larger Larsen C shelf (which is the unnamed blue and purple Bay near the tip of the Antarctic pennisula). Both Larsen A and B have long since broken up and it seems to me that the media reports are are simply responding to (you guessed it) press releases from the researchers’ institutions. http://www.wdcgc.spri.cam.ac.uk/news/larseniceshelf/LarsenIceShelf.pdf

    • “Antarctica has dozens of ice shelves – massive, glacier-fed floating platforms of ice that hang over the sea at the edge of the continent’s coast line.”

      “Floating platforms…that hang over the sea?”

      That which floats is by definition already in the sea, not hanging over it. Unless it is floating in the air, then somebody needs to call the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, ’cause we got us a miracle!.

      And somebody want to explain how the melting of floating ice will raise sea level? Glaciers “held in place by the ice shelves” are supposed to then ‘slip’ into the ocean, thus raising sea levels?

      Oops, after stating it as a simple fact in the opening paragraph, this PR hack explains in the second to last paragraph (which 95% of readers never get to) that floating ice prevents glaciers from advancing? Uh huh. It’s all that friction between the floating ice and the sea, dontcha know.

      “The last intact section of one of Antarctica’s mammoth ice shelves is weakening fast and will likely disintegrate completely in the next few years….”

      What this phrasing tells me is that this is one of many ice shelves, that it has been ‘disintegrating’ (Really, disintegrating? Not melting or breaking up? Disintegrating. That’ must be really bad right? Like some alien ray gun pointed at our precious, limited ice?) for some time already.

      This isn’t science. This is really poorly written PR. Except that poor writing is the only was to disguise the truth in CAGW PR. So I guess for progressives it is excellent writing. (See the hilarious Mosher contribution to the meaning of ‘useful’ below.)

    • @Jim D

      I’m sure the fine scientists sounding the alarm that a piece of the Antarctica ice shelve is about to calve off calculated how large the sea resulting sea level rise was going to be and elected ‘not’ to include it in the press release.

      When they talk about Antarctic calving they always leave out the resulting sea level rise. When they talk about Greenland Ice Melt they leave out ‘it will take thousands of years’.

      Alarmist propaganda aimed at low information voters always leaves out some piece of critical numeric data needed to evaluate the appropriate level of alarm.

      • There is a lot less certainty about how quickly this progresses than you think. It is also a continuation of a pattern of losing 10k-year old ice shelves at regular or accelerating intervals that brings Antarctica more into focus. Skeptics should not take their eyes off this continent thinking there is nothing to be concerned with there when this type of thing just shows an unprecedented progression.

      • Jim D

        No one should take their eye off the geothermal activity either since there appears to be some interesting correlations with what is going on in the Antarctic.

    • These collapses are partly a function of ice mass. With more mass the flow should be faster.

  7. The Knappenburger and Michaels link to the MAGICKK program is great fun, but they should include the total increase in temperature, so one can compare the reduction achieved as a fraction of the total. (Of course, seeing that the reduction is always on the order of 0.1 degree C is pretty good in itself, but it is fun to also state that the total increase is, say, 3 degrees so you are reducing that to 2.9, or about a 3% effect.)

  8. Regarding libertarians and a carbon tax, I’d agree a good guess of its effect would be – 0.01 C after 20 years. A revenue neutral carbon consumption tax could accomplish more tangible benefits. Saving just a bit more of oil and natural gas for the future. Depending on what tax is cut, we could improve our companies ability to compete internationally. Small shifts towards alternative forms of transportation. Small increases in energy prices send a signal, artificial in this case, but a broad signal that may not favor any one company such as Solyndra. The income tax code can be a patchwork of favors. Certain heat pumps and solar can get you material credits. When you compare that to a carbon consumption tax, some might say the latter is more equitable.

    • What does revenue neutral carbon tax mean exactly? And what amount is the Federal government trying to raise?

      This is how it would work stripping out euphemism; in plain speak: Government taxes a company that produces above x-carbon footprint, this means more than oil companies, but all companies producing above a described carbon footprint. The company taxed passes on the cost to the consumer in the form of product or service inflation to maintain profit margin; this effects all products that a taxed company produces. The inflation hits all income demographics from the poor to the rich. The government uses all tax revenue for climate change initiatives. This would include any fees paid into a global fund. The U.S., being the top economy, or second to China, would pay a larger percent of this fund. The revenue pie the government brings in would be divided by whenever method they deem appropriate. Bottom line is that citizens cost of living will go up proportional to the amount of “revenue neutral” dollars brought into the government through carbon taxes.

      • The United States federal excise tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. As simple as a 5% increase of the above rates. Targeting oil, which is not coal but it’s worse than natural gas. It seems that fuel taxes are about 1% of federal tax revenues. Corporate income taxes are about 10% of federal revenues. That would be about a 0.5% decrease in the corporate rates. I agree that consumption taxes increase the cost of living, as do corporate tax rates. I am not talking about any new save the planet spending. If anything we need less overall spending to lower the budget deficit.

      • A carbon tax is not limited to the oil industry. Also, before you can determine what would be passed on to the consumer you would have to know how much revenue the government intends to generate from such a tax, anything less sets up a disingenuous proposal to the American people. And when considering that that any corporate tax would get passed on to the consumer then what’s the incentive for industry to change their footprint? I can answer that I believe.

        Many corporations today are cutting CO2 emissions in front of potential punitive legislation, it enables them a known quantity for rate of change. But more importantly, because of the sensitivity to CO2, most evolution in industry both in equipment and process as technologies become obsolete comes with a mindset of good stewardship and a natural progression towards a lower carbon footprint. The point is that in the course of 50 years (time for the sake of argument), that the natural evolution of technology will mitigate the need for punitive legislation that ultimately the citizen pays for anyway, in a time of stagnate wage increase and global economic problems.

        Lastly, part of the intent of this tax is for a contribution towards a global fund. This is fraught with corruption possibilities, I would argue it’s a guarantee, not a risk. Also the U.S. would pay a higher share as the larger economy. These dollars once transferred outside the U.S. are gone forever instead of used in the U.S. economy.

  9. Regarding rivers transporting C to shining sea.

    ” They estimated that the world’s rivers annually transport 200 megatons (200 million tons) of carbon to the ocean. The total equals about .02 percent of the total mass of carbon in the atmosphere.”

    Whooboy, .002 Gt or Pg is sooo lunch money. Silicate weathering at .2 is a couple of orders more significant and it barely makes the radar in a +-200 Gt cycle.

    This written as this is an active area of investigation. The Carbon cycle can be constrained by a net increase to the atmosphere of something like 5 Gt; a measured d13C to the atmosphere of about -.02; a measured d13C to the mixed layer of the oceans of about -.16; measured fractionation of ocean atmosphere exchange of about 10 for water to air (- to air, + to water) and 2 from air to water (+ to air, – to water).

    This is a lot of constraint. A work in progress, but the days of pulling numbers out of hindquarters are over.

  10. Climate models are useless.

    “…I would argue that calling these models ‘close to useless’ is generous: IAM based analyses of climate policy create a perception of knowledge and precision that is illusory, and can fool policy-makers into thinking that the forecasts the models generate have some kind of scientific legitimacy.

    http://papers.nber.org/tmp/77673-w21097.pdf

    • Pindyck writes “I have argued that the best we can do at this point is come up with plausible answers to these questions, perhaps relying at least in part on consensus numbers supplied by climate scientists and environmental economists.” The argument is fine, but the suggested possible data sources are highly dubious.

    • Steven Mosher

      Nonsense. I use them every day. And they work for my purpose.

      • Curious George

        I thought your purpose was a honest one.

      • Right. Climate models are useful, just not for prediction.

      • Oh, I stand corrected. Climate models absolutely work for their intended purpose, once you acknowledge what their actual intended purpose is. Like all other progressive programs (eg. education, welfare/transfer payments, government ‘stimulus’ spending, AMTRAK) they are completely incompetent at achieving their stated purpose.

        But once you understand that the real intended purpose of all progressive programs is the maintenance and expansion of progressive government’s power, they are all resounding successes. So progressive education policy transfers massive amounts of tax payer money to the Democrat Party in the way of campaign contributions, and salaries for Democrat foot soldiers, while keeping millions of poor uneducated and therefore dependent on government. Transfer payments likewise are excellent at keeping poor people dependent on government. Stimulus spending funds progressive local governments, despite the false stated purpose of funding ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects. And AMTRAK, well, it gives Joe Biden the chance to claim to be one of the great unwashed, and the passengers be damned.

        So by the correct metric of ‘useful’, from the Mosher/progressive perspective, climate models are resounding successes. They can’t predict the temperature worth a damn, but they are perfect, content free generators of propaganda supporting all the government intrusion progressivism demands, while having the added benefit of feeding the egos of the progressives who support them.

        So yeah, ya got me. Climate models are extremely successful for the purpose you have for them. My bad.

      • GaryM | May 16, 2015 at 12:07 pm |

        So yeah, ya got me. Climate models are extremely successful for the purpose you have for them. My bad.

        Sadly, +1.

      • Don Monfort

        The little progressive in libertarian clothing, Mosher, can’t fool Gary. Because everybody knows that the purpose of climate models is to keep people poor and dependent on progressive government. Parking meters, public parks and libraries, STOP signs, roads and bridges, seaports and airports, air traffic control system, sewers and the alleged NASA moon missions and other space stuff are all part of the well-funded progressive plot to keep the people poor and dependent on da gubmint. Right, Gary?

      • If I hadn’t promised to ignore you, I would point out that, as usual, you failed to address anything I actually wrote, and instead set up a series of Mosherite straw men, which you proceeded to huff and puff til you blew them down. (Mosher is at least better at it than you.)

        But since I promised to ignore you, I won’t embarrass you by pointing that out.

        Oops, too late.

      • Don Monfort

        I didn’t expect you to keep your promise, Gary. The overwrought, off-topic tirade that you wrote is not an argument against the usefulness of climate models. Can’t you see that? Calling Mosher a progressive is not an argument against climate models.

        You are a one trick pony, Gary. A small pony. Lightweight. And you obviously don’t know the difference between progressivism and totalitarian socialism. Your simplistic and wrongheaded characterization of progressivism is a strawman. You can’t defeat your enemies without knowing them, Gary. Hyperbole and hysteria are not effective weapons. Get a grip on yourself.

      • So your ‘argument’ was vapid on purpose? Got it.

      • Don Monfort

        Poor Gary. I didn’t argue anything. What I did was to parody your self-parody. You said that climate models are useless. Mosher replied that he found them useful for his purposes. You launched into a goofey tirade about how Mosher is a progressive and everything that progressives do is to keep people poor, shoeless and under progressive control. WTF does that have to do with the argument on the usefulness of climate models? Make a case for the connection, Gary.

        You trot out this foolishness day after day on every thread. According to you, there are about 9 genuine and infallible conservatives in the U.S.A. and the rest of the population are progressives, or mindless drone under the control of progressives. And you think that progressives are the same as totalitarian socialists. You have obviously never dealt with totalitarian socialists.

        You are an armchair warrior, Gary. Stay at home in front of your keyboard where it is safe. You are not equipped for the real fight.

      • Steven Mosher

        sorry my purpose is business related. and yes they are useful for prediction. and yes people pay. I’m a free market type. if people pay, it has value. maybe GaryM knows better than the market.

        It’s silly to say that something that is used is not useful.

        if you have something more useful come and compete. let the market decide. its smarter than GaryM.

      • Don Monfort

        One more thing, Gaaary. If you look over on the left of the political spectrum you will find your mirror image. The fools who present a caricature of conservatives as knuckle dragging Neanderthals, who want to deliberately poison the environment, starve the poor and turn them out into the street , bring back slavery etc. How you like that image?

      • Don Monfort

        Steven, please tell us who buys climate model predictions and what do they use them for?

      • Steven Mosher

        GaryM

        ‘They can’t predict the temperature worth a damn’

        they do just fine for my business related purpose. later on more tests to how how far I can extend their usefulness.

        The weird thing is this. even a bad prediction can be useful.

        My distance to empty model said I had 20 miles to empty last night, so i stopped for gas. Turns out I really had about 50 miles to empty. So the prediction was really wrong. But it was useful. I didnt run out of gas.
        never have. That stupid always wrong model protects me.

        back in the days of reagan we had models of global conflict. they always predicted war. And we always lost. When you looked at the assumptions, the total lack of real data, the short cuts, the curve fitting, the fact that None of them could hind cast, you had to wonder how people could use them. But, we used them to build crap to protect our freedom. yup bad models protected our freedom. bad models told us we had to increase our defenses. So we did. bad models did pretty good. they supported policies that brought the evil empire to its kness. That’s cause reagan knew the usefulness of bad models.

        real conservatives love models, even bad ones.

      • Don Monfort

        It looks like Gary has wisely gone back to his strategy of pretending to ignore me.

      • catweazle666

        Steven Mosher: “Nonsense. I use them every day. And they work for my purpose.”

        Doubtless they do.

        We all have to earn a living, I suppose…

      • Steven Mosher,

        Astrologers use models every day to produce their results, from which they make a living. They sell to a wide range of people including heads of state.

        Since you have not indicated the models you use every day, I assume that they might fall into the same category. Used, paid for, useful to those who pay for them.

        To the rest of us, maybe nonsensical. As it is with climate predictions based on models. I’m unaware of any useful result from climate models, (apart from demonstrating they don’t seem to be useful), but I’m sure you will be able to point to specifics.

        Modelling, particularly in the hands of experts, unless based on experimentally verified physical fact, should be treated with a grain of salt. Even models of dams, aeroplane flight characteristics, FEA, and so on, need to checked before lives are placed at risk.

        It’s only after things fail that you realise what your model was lacking. That’s how we improve them.

        Climate models are useless, but paid for and used. Odd.

      • Steven Mosher,

        Yes, you filling your gas tank is exactly like decarbonizing the global energy economy. Which is the “use” for which the GCMs are sold to, and financed by, the taxpayers.

        Keep up the bait and switch. Keep defending the GCMs and temp records which are the centerpieces of the progressive CAGW political campaign. Then pretend you are all about free markets.

        At least your mini-mes are buying it.

        Al Gore, James Hansen, Thomas Friedman – the world is full of people who are happy to make money off the free market they are doing so much to undermine. Glad to hear you are joining their ranks. I didn’t know that obscurantism was such a profitable career field.

      • “Make a case for the connection, Gary.”

        I did. The fact that you did not grasp it is of no consequence to me. I will now vacate the residence I have apparently taken up in your head, and go back to ignoring you.

      • > Astrologers use models every day to produce their results, from which they make a living.

        Astrologers also use computers. Right I am, right now, like all Denizens.

        That explains everything.

        PS: Some astrologers refuse to make a living out of what they consider a sacred art, BTW.

      • It’s silly to say that something that is used is not useful.

        You could be right.

        Hansen used these model predictions to whip up a frenzy.

        The predictions weren’t correct, of course, but they were useful:

      • sorry my purpose is business related. and yes they are useful for prediction. and yes people pay. I’m a free market type. if people pay, it has value. maybe GaryM knows better than the market.

        So, since the implied context is general circulation models, and since the ‘rule of thumb’ duration for climate trends is thirty years, I’m guessing you aren’t looking at predictions from thirty years ago, because, as above, those predictions were incorrect.

        Most of the IPCC predictions, are of course, for the year 2100, which is safely far enough in the future to avoid ever being invalidated by any adult living today.

      • Don Monfort

        Aren’t you supposed to be a lawyer, Gary? Is this how you argue cases in court?

        You said:”Climate models are useless.”

        Mosher , who is a lot smarter and trickier than you are, replied:”Nonsense. I use them every day. And they work for my purpose.”

        You can’t argue with that, as is. How you gonna prove they don’t suit his purpose? You don’t even know what he is talking about.

        It’s like if you made the categorical statement: “Chocolate ice cream tastes nasty”.

        Mosher says:”I like chocolate ice cream. It works for me”.

        And then you think you prove he is wrong by ad homming him and hollering about some progressive plot to keep poor people shoeless and dependent on da gubmint. He said it works for him, not that it works for you, or anybody else.

        Your hysterical yammering is irrelevant and immaterial, Ga-a-a-ry.

        You need to gain some heft. You are not filling your own shoes.

      • Don Monfort

        You are right again, willy. I can testify that I donate my services as an astrologer to the Zen Baptist Church of Southwest Detroit.

      • OK, one last response, because you are terminally confused. And your hero worship of Mosher is hilarious.

        “You can’t argue with that, as is. How you gonna prove they don’t suit his purpose? You don’t even know what he is talking about. ”

        This blog is about the climate debate, one of the central political issues of our times, precisely because so much is at stake. It is hard to think of anything less important to that debate than what is or is not useful to Mosher in his personal life. No one knows what Mosher is talking about here, because he doesn’t want anyone to. His goal is not to make an intellectual argument, it is to prevent one. That is what obscurantism is all about.

        Mosher knows this. He is an obscurantist at his very core, and is just playing with words as he usually does to confuse the debate. It is apparently how he passes his time when he is not running the commerce department or state department.

        GCMs are the center piece of the progressive CAGW movement that seeks to use decarbonization of the global energy economy as the means of centralizing control of that economy in the government. That is what the climate debate is about. It is the only aspect of the debate that matters, until the drive to decarbonize is actually defeated.

        It matters not at all that you don’t get that. It matters not at all that Mosher does, and still defends the GCMs and reported temp records as holy writ.

        “All models are wrong” is supposed to be some sophisticated rejoinder to the attacks on models’ inability to predict future temps AS GROUNDS FOR DECARBONIZATION. The point is not the trivial truth of his comment, it is that his comment is designed to obscure the actual heart of the debate.

        I can’t help it if you get suckered by his obscurantism. But don’t p*ss and moan at me because you don’t get it.

        Mosher at least knows what he is doing, which is why it is so much fun pointing it out when he takes both sides of an argument; redefines words into meaningless; engages in moral relativism to a degree that would make a real nihilist blush; etc. It is fun lighting a match to his straw man armies. Your attempts at wit, however, are juvenile and boring. Which is the real reason I ignored you before, and will again.

      • Don Monfort

        (Poor guy can’t help himself.)

        You are obsessed with Mosher, Gary. Try to ignore him, like you ignore me. He only causes you pain. I am trying to help you. Mosher is using the Jedi mind trick on you, Gary. Run away!

      • Don Monfort

        My conservative comrade Gary, I know that you are in the defensive posture of pretending to ignore me, but I thought of something easy that might help you with the heft problem. Try progressively (ugh!) smaller shoe sizes, until you fill them.

  11. Enough with the martyrdom thing! If Lomborg thinks it’s hard for mensheviks and moderates, he should try being ancien regime.

    Anyway, quantifying and theorising beyond one’s powers (yep, he’s an economist!) to institute some kind of global mass-welfarism is hardly moderate. I know Lomborg is what they call a thinker or public intellectual, but lately there’s been a tendency to go from bright idea to mainstreaming while skipping the whole trial-and-error bit. Something to do with models and so on. Whoops!

    Let him think and write, by all means. You don’t have to be right unless people are investing billions based on your claims. (Then you have to be right.) Lomborg won’t starve and, in any case, a Perth university is not the kind of place people attend in order to think. Count the theses with the words “gender”, “climate”, “Marxian”, “Derridan” or the prefixes “neo” and “post”. I’m told it’s about 97%.

    Really guys, we don’t need a better klimatariat. We need no klimatariat. No matter how earnest or rational, moderates support an industry that now needs dismantling.

    Then we get back to actual conservation and generally not wasting and wrecking stuff.

    • Although Lomborg wrote ” The Skeptical Economist,” I think that he was more of a statistician at the time – as a CAGW believer, he set his graduate students some related statistical tasks, and was astounded by the results, which contradicted the CAGW story. Having met him, I don’t think that he would see himself as a martyr at all, though he’d probably roll his eyes at the pettiness of the alleged academics at UWA.

      You may be interested to know that we have been curtailing tall bamboo today, one of them which I brought down onto the roof for cutting had a rather surprised ring-tail possum on board.

      • It’s my primitive dread at work, genghis. I guess the only thing that scares me more than a climate expert is an economist. But we’re no doubt all part of God’s plan – even those irritating brushtail possums which force me to give my roof space to smelly pythons.

      • Our brushtails prefer under the house, fortunately.

      • I think he wrote The Skeptical Environmentalist.

      • > as a CAGW believer, he set his graduate students some related statistical tasks, and was astounded by the results, which contradicted the CAGW story.

        Sounds like an adaptation of the litany.Another one:

        In many ways, Lomborg´s book is a repetition and extension of Julian Simon´s ideas, not a critical testing of Simon´s assertions. Lomborg writes on p. xix that when he and his students examined Simon, they found that “not everything he said was correct”. However, not a single place in “The Skeptical Environmentalist” are we told where exactly Simon was wrong. Instead, there are several places in Lomborg´s book where he uses Simon as a source for his own assertions – which of course is completely against the purported idea of testing whether Simon is right. This is the case in chapters 11, 16 and 20 of Lomborg´s book. Also, many parts of his biodiversity chapter (chapter 23) are taken uncritically from Simon.
        In conclusion, when Lomborg declares in the preface that he wants to examine if Simon is right, this is not true. Nowhere in his book does Lomborg mark any disagreement or dissociation vis-a-vis Simon, and instead he repeatedly rests on Simon and even uses Simon as a source.

        http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/Preface.htm

    • I think I read that the university in Perth housed one of the world’s leading labs for high-precision lasers that are incorporated into gravitational wave detectors. So Lomborg missed out on proximity to that, at least.

  12. Comes early morning, resident brushtails.eschewing
    nocturnal habits, arriving at the bird feeding-centre fer
    a diurnal treat.Caused by that ol’ global warming no doubt.

  13. Noisy creatures gorging at others’ expense due to global warming? I think they call that COP 21.

  14. But is it sustainable?

  15. “Is there any need for a dike to save Melbourne from the rising seas?”
    I live in Melbourne, so I was interested. I to have speculated that I dike isolating our Bay might work, if needed. And A Parker is claiming that that is actually proposed (cost $10B – seems cheap?) by Dep’t Environment. But I looked through his documents and could not see any such proposal. And I have not heard of one.

  16. From the article by Richard Betts

    ‘However, the truth is very different ­ natural variability was always of interest to scientists as part of understanding how the climate system works, and Climate Services and the ambitions for short­ term forecasting are now major research drivers. ‘

    I note that Willard has referenced this paragraph in another place. I have a great deal of time for Richard Betts who seems to have less of a closed mind than others, who display their biases openly.

    However, I have mentioned here several times that the Met Office themselves maintained until recently, that until man took a hand, climate variability operated within very tight bounds. Also in 2006 Phil Jones wrote an article on the rapid and substantial thirty year warming that ended in 1740 and noted that natural variability was greater than hitherto expected.

    If anyone-such as Willard-wants the precise quotes, I will dig them out.

    What Dr Betts PERSONALLY believes about natural variability may be a different thing. Without wishing to put words into his mouth, on the two occasions I have met him and discussed past climates I think he is fully on board with the idea of substantial natural variability and that past climates such as the MWP and the LIA demonstrated this.

    However, that is a different thing to what the officially sanctioned or approved position might have been until recent years.

    tonyb

    • One reason climate experts have been forced to look away from extensive scholarship on past civilisations is the likely connection of major drought and cooling. Climate will only ever be one factor in civilisational collapse, but it can be a big one. The Old Kingdom wilted under Bond Event drought, the pre-Hyksos Egyptians had big problems from destructive flooding in succeeding centuries (so it’s not just drought/cooling you have to worry about). It’s a different story for Harappans, Mesopotamians, Myceneneans etc, but climate change is in the mix. Cooling does different things to different parts of China, but none of it is negligible. I’m happy to be told I don’t know much about these things, and that others only know a bit more…but I can’t figure out why they’re not front and centre in climate studies. (Or maybe I can figure it out.)

      There are lots of other reasons for decline and collapse, and “natural” climate change has to get in a queue. It’s highly unsettled scholarship. But for modern climate experts to assure us that they have always been interested in “natural variability” is a bit like your mechanic telling you he has always been in favour of steering wheels. We kind of assumed!

    • In reading the Betts piece, it was easy to see who is wearing the Big Boy pants.

    • Tony, that’s what’s so troubling about Betts’s post re Lewandwosky – his historical revisionism about the practice of climate science. He writes as if IPCC FAR, SAR, TAR, AR4 and AR5 never happened, as if all the Met Office and BOM and NOAA pronouncements and attendant media coverage didn’t happen, as if there hasn’t been a plethora of papers late in the day explaining the pause (which is Lewandowsky’s entire point).

      Betts writes as if we can’t see the actual progression of his “science” in public.

      The whole ‘we were never surprised by the pause, we’ve always known about pauses, so we’re suffered no seepage from climate skeptics ergo Lewandowsky is wrong’, is chronologically challenged.

      How many papers now explaining the pause? 60? Lewandowsky is right about percolation of pause research coming up from climate skeptics. Like a good cup of coffee, climate skeptics get climate alarmists going.

  17. Lewandowsky complains that not enough was written re 1992 to 2007 warming compared to the pause. This period, ’92-’07 is climate change. Almost everything written,discussed and funded is due to this period. It’s the mothership. It’s the science is settled.

  18. Anyone care to take over/under bets on how many MSM stories will focus on the coral atolls study?

  19. NATURAL VARIABILITY
    Richard Betts:
    ‘… natural variability was always of interest to scientists as part of understanding how the climate system works,…”

    Natural variability: what is it, where does it come from?
    Why it is different in the Atlantic from the Pacific?
    Another look at the North Atlantic’s SST trend lines could open a path to resolution of the enigma.

    Ideas to the further understanding start HERE

  20. ulriclyons

    “Soil & human security in the 21st Century.”

    Sustaining soil health and reducing soil erosion should be the main environmental concern rather than AGW. Increased forcing of the climate may increase some regional flooding, but overall continental interior rainfall is increased, so exposed soils are kept more stable overall. What would exacerbate soil loss most is solar minima, when there’s a sharp increase in El Nino conditions and episodes, and a warmer AMO. This solar minimum through the next ten years will help show what to expect from a much deeper and longer solar minimum starting in the 2090’s.

  21. Apparently the budget cuts have already kicked in. Can’t get through to the GFDL/NASA links.

  22. WRT the McKitrick article:

    I am occasionally struck at the way commentators within the church use the term “stewardship” when what they are actually describing is secular environmentalism.

    Personally, I was struck a long time ago by the fact that when you start hearing the word “stewardship” in sermons, pledge time’s coming up.

  23. It’s interesting to see the different analysis dynamics of forecasters — and their approach to dealing with conflicting signal — of, “the climate phenomenon known as El Niño,” compared to climate change, in general. For instance, for the El Niño, there’s a lot less hubris involved: they see positives and negatives of the event; and, there’s a sort of inevitability involved, irrespective of whatever humanity does. The official, climate change establishment sees only negatives and believes climate can be controlled by changing human behavior.

  24. The tidal lagoon feasibility link omits cost. The proposed Swansea project is asking for a guarantee of £168/MWh for 35 years. The troubled Hinckley Point nuclear project was subsidized by £90/MWh. The artifical Swansea lagoon makes no economic sense whatsoever–except to its developer if it can get such a huge subsidy from the new Tory government.

    • Rud

      There are other factors at play here.

      Firstly, this would be seen as ground breaking so tick a box for innovation

      Secondly it is renewable energy so tick another 35 boxes for being green

      Thirdly, it would provide jobs for British workers using British products

      Fourthly, it would actually provide power, something we are going to desperately need.

      Fifthly, politically it would be useful for the Tories to be seen to be providing something in largely Labour held Wales, rather than in Scotland all the time.

      http://www.tidallagoonswanseabay.com/

      It makes no financial sense whatsoever, but I do not think that is by any means the key factor.

      tonyb

  25. The Knappenberger calculator doesn’t really say much about a carbon tax, but it does emphasize that the US can’t go it alone and international agreements are needed. I am not sure that this was their intended message, but that is it if you need a translation.
    I am also not sure why they are complaining to libertarians.
    Some business-minded people, however, do support alternative energy industries to break into the fossil fuel monopoly in the energy sector. They see the growth opportunities there that are ripe for a ground-floor investment. The energy sector is at a stage where computing and internet businesses were in previous decades, where good investments made many people rich. I think conservatives notice these kinds of things, and always look for the next big thing. Fossil fuels aren’t it.

    • jimd

      I am an advocate of green energy derived from wave and tidal for Britain’s circumstances, surrounded as we are by water, much of which moves frequently…

      I would be in favour of some trial schemes to develop this resource if they are likely to lead to large scale real world schemes providing inexpensive electricity. I don’t think this is it though (Swansea lagoon) and regrettably at present the development of realistic wave and tidal power projects takes very much a back seat to highly inappropriate solar and inefficient and ugly wind farms
      tonyb

    • What business people, like warren buffet see, is an opportunity to manipulate naive or just plain stupid politicians into providing them with tax breaks for green energy initiatives, like wind farms, that as buffet stated, would make no sense without the government subsidies. If fossil fuels are so evil jimd, why don’t you just stop using them? Oh, I forgot, without fossil fuels, the manufacturing of green energy solutions like wind and solar would not be possible.

    • I am not talking about the Warren Buffets. I am talking about young investors looking at where to put their money for the next few decades. Green is trending up. Black is trending down.

  26. Looks like a 1997/1998 style jump might be on the cards

    • Nebakhet

      Hadley shows the same

      Tonyb

      • 2015 spike in SLR is yet to be explained. It is most likely steric.

        The difference between 1998 and 2015 is the PDO. In 1998 the PDO cycle was nearing that bottom of its cycle. In 2015 it has likely just begun its positive phase. So it is possible the next decade will see a dominance of El Nino, and 30-year trends in well in excess of .2C per decade. Right now it’s .164C.

        As for the AMO. Lol. Sit AMO. Now roll over. Now play dead.

      • So it is possible the next decade will see a dominance of El Nino, and 30-year trends in well in excess of .2C per decade.

        So, you know that’s never happened once in the record, right?
        Got very close for the thirty years after 1975, which was the last year of the mid-twentieth century cooling ( above ). But thirty year trends have been declining since:

      • Land temperatures have been rising at 0.3 C per decade.

      • Land temperatures have been rising at 0.3 C per decade.

        That sounds about right, though I haven’t looked at the running trends.

        On the other hand, the RAOB and MSU data are probably less than the land-ocean index.

      • Just a small note of caution, pointing out how averages can appear silly. The graph provided by JCH has a slope of 3.29 mm/yr. I just want to say that 0.01 mm is less than half one thousandth of an inch.

        Possibly an excess of precision.

        Sea level rises in general with an accuracy of 0.5 mm. Again, this is a very small amount. If is possible to measure the average sea level around the Earth to within a range of 40 thousandths of an inch, given tidal movements, changes in the geoid, vertical movements of the continents, changing evaporation, ground water depletion, river inflows and all the rest, I would be surprised.

        The interpretation of the distance of an object from a satellite requires modelling of atmospheric effects which affect the transmission of the EMR through the atmosphere. There’s much more of course. Sub millimetric accuracy is impossible. Averaging of a sea surface in constant motion may give the appearance of accuracy to thousandths of an inch, or even hundredths of a millimetre, but is nonsensical.

        Climatologists are in dreamland if they uncritically accept some of the figures provided. One might just as well claim they are capable of measuring the average surface temperature of the Earth to one hundredth of a degree. Improbable enough to appear silly to anyone of reasonable intelligence.

      • I did not say 30 years; I said a decade. To be dominate, El Nino has to happen about as often as La Nina.

    • but the North Atlantic temperature is on the down cycle

      Data from:
      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/correlation/amon.us.long.mean.data

      • This is such a small area. It cannot push around the rest of the globe, which is why 2014 was a record year despite a minuscule to nonexistent El Nino, and why 2015 is likely ring the bell.

        The AMO will obediently go up with it.

  27. An alternative Bjorn cartoon

    • Nebakhet

      You can see the slight drop much better in the original Colorado graph

      http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

      It’s a shame he didn’t say all that in 2011 when the drop was much more noticeable

      Tonyb

    • Could be because you’re taking too long in the shower:

      • Outstanding chart. I have been looking for something like this. Is there a link to a source or did you prepare it? This kind of information needs to be reconciled with the Hay paper since some went bananas over its findings and this information should put a damper on the enthusiasm for the Hay conclusions.

      • The chart is actually from this Real Climate discussion of SLR.

        I’d seen the Konikow paper before.

        Seems as if the early IPCC assessments underestimated groundwater extraction.
        Could be as much as 1mm/year now and could account for up to 1mm/year of acceleration in the trend over the last cenury.

        Dam building was also a factor, though with evaporation and farmers sucking the dams dry, not exactly clear how much is being sequestered.

      • Too delicious for words. Made my day. Thanks

      • Uh, what on earth makes you think that?

        Abstract

        The global mean sea level (GMSL) was reported to have dropped 5 mm due to the 2010/11 La Niña and have recovered in one year. With longer observations, it is shown that the GMSL went further up to a total amount of 11.6 mm by the end of 2012, excluding the 3.0 mm/yr background trend. A reconciled sea level budget, based on observations by Argo project, altimeter and gravity satellites, reveals that the true GMSL rise has been masked by ENSO-related fluctuations and its rate has increased since 2010. After extracting the influence of land water storage, it is shown that the GMSL have been rising at a rate of 4.4 ± 0.5 mm/yr for more than three years, due to an increase in the rate of both land ice loss and steric change. …

      • Provide the link.

      • Dam building peaked about 45 years ago, so too did the rate of sequestration. Once a dam is in place, farmers, golfers, and shower takers tend to drain the capacity – water which finds its way back into the ocean. And even water that doesn’t get used right away is still subject to evaporation and ultimate deposition back into the ocean:

        I happen to live in a desert community that receives irrigation from a dam, but those irrigations are fewer and fewer because of all the competition for the now rarely filled reservoir.

    • From geologically stable, long and carefully observed Sydney Harbour…the trouble we’re not in:

      That’s how SLR looks without subsidence, post-glacial rebound etc. This time around it seems to have started globally in the late 1700s.

      I think it was the Jevrejeva study some years back which suggested things might have risen a bit quicker prior to the 1860s. I really can’t care.

    • Csiro

      So Hay 1900 to 1993 would be 1.2mm/yr; Csiro 1993 to 2008 would be around 2.7mm/yr, post 2008 around 3.8mm/yr. Seems to agree to the CO2 control knob.

      • Neither your link nor Hay address the real issue here. Until the 1970s construction of impoundments had a net negative effect on sea level change. Then the cessation of such construction eliminated that net negative effect. Hay et al showed no evidence of any analysis of that effect. Additionally the growth of groundwater abstraction over the 20th Century had an increasingly positive impact on the GMSL numbers. Your link shows no evidence of considering that increase.

        The bottom line. If Hay did not account for the impoundment reversal of contribution from negative signs to neutral and did not account for the positive sign for the growth of groundwater abstraction then the conclusions are incomplete. The link by Turbulent Eddie infers that groundwater abstraction has a larger than acknowledged impact on the rate over the last 100 years.

        For this discussion the issue is how to budget the pieces of the GMSL rise rate. It appears groundwater abstraction has a larger role in the increased rate than is generally accepted.

    • Melbourne’s sea level terror.

      • I’d give yer an up – tick Moso but there ain’t any.
        One of the Melburnite serfs. )

      • Just warn all your periwinkle-picking serfs not to scavenge the Port Phillip mud on the rising tide, for it is said by scholars that a great sea will come. If need be they can shelter in the Melbourne Desal. It’s very quiet and dry in there.

      • We serfs do not trust top – down -authority initiatives…
        (from long qui – bono experience.)

  28. At the McKitrick link, he discussed a carbon tax tied to temperatures observed and a futures market. “In effect the futures market would become the world’s most accurate climate model. With billions of dollars at stake, investors will ruthlessly sift information sources for an edge in predicting the value of tax exemption certificates, thereby bringing all the world’s knowledge to bear on the future path of climate.” I’ve said before, The money knows the answer. His idea seems to me, reasonable and middle of the road.

    • The cap-and-trade carbon markets have all been failures, and I speak as a former supporter of the concept. These attempts to create robust markets for carbon offsets/emission reductions did not produce more informed climate prediction models but they were textbook perfect rent-seeking models.

      If the goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, a tax is more efficient to implement than competing regulatory schemes and that alone probably makes it superior. However, much of that efficiency will inevitably be lost in efforts to mitigate the impact of a carbon tax on various people and industries.

      And it’s hard to imagine a US Congress imposing a significant carbon tax (defined as one high enough to reduce consumption) when the federal gasoline tax (used for transportation funding) has remained stagnant for years despite the decay in the nation’s infrastructure.

      • If the goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, a tax is more efficient to implement than competing regulatory schemes and that alone probably makes it superior.

        Look at the developed nations’ emissions since 1990 ( the green and blue swaths ).
        Notice the trend? Down?

        The developed nations are already reducing emissions without really much of anything done by governments. That’s due to a lot of factors ( population slowing, ageing, energy use efficiency, technology in natural gas, renewables, and the general trend for business to wring cost out of products which includes energy costs ).

        Now consider that this is all the developed nations, so the undeveloped nations are likely to follow this path, once they develop.

  29. Among the many comments on the thread at AT’s, there’s one dedicated to Don Don:

    Anyone who doesn’t use the D word has a clear case of seapage. The plateau is not a C-meme: it’s a D-meme. To fail to properly identify those who pull your vocabulary strings are getting the better of the C users.

    This matters because otherwise the pause will kill the cause. Talk of Cs when we should talk of Ds has risks. Think of all the African schoolgirls who were killed or worse.

    Thank you.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/guest-post-climate-variability-research-did-the-sceptics-make-us-do-it/#comment-55863

    This comment was a Poe of this paragraph:

    [T]he legal aftermath of the earthquake in L’Aquila, which embroiled scientists in charges of manslaughter for their alleged failure to warn the community, vividly illustrates the legal and moral hazards that are incurred when the public is not informed (or misinformed) of the full envelope of identifiable risks arising from scientific findings.

    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskySeepageII.html

    • catweazle666

      The verdicts against the scientists were quite rightly overturned on appeal, of course.

      Curiously, you seem to have omitted that rather important fact.

      I wonder why…

      • > I wonder why…

        Read harder, then wonder.

      • catweazle666

        Because it was totally misconceived, of course.

        For what it’s worth, it is my opinion that if anyone ends up in court over AGW, it will be those who have cooked the temperature data for political purposes. That day is coming rapidly closer.

      • > Because it was totally misconceived

        Which “it”?

        ***

        > [I]f anyone ends up in court over AGW, it will be those who have cooked the temperature data for political purposes. That day is coming rapidly closer.

        So the day is coming rapidly closer to the counterfactual you entertain?

        How interesting. Please report to Lew, and then continue.

      • catweazle666

        Nah, i’ve got enough Loo paper to be going on with.

        In any case, I prefer a much higher quality than Loopy peddles.

  30. Something to check out – Scripps workshop on Pacific Anomaly (aka “Blob”), just passed… presentations and agenda still online…
    http://sccoos.org/anomalies_workshop/

  31. PS – @Judy please encourage Bart & Ferdinand to both submit posts.

    • Perhaps Ferdinand could address issues of migration, and diffusion during compaction, in light of the new borehole in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide, study linked in the Week in Review here a couple weeks ago.

      The stability of terrestrial carbon reservoirs is thought to be closely linked to variations in climate[1], but the magnitude of carbon–climate feedbacks has proved difficult to constrain for both moder[2, 3, 4] and millennia[l5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13] timescales. Reconstructions of atmospheric CO2 concentrations for the past thousand years have shown fluctuations on multidecadal to centennial timescales[5, 6, 7], but the causes of these fluctuations are unclear. Here we report high-resolution carbon isotope measurements of CO2 trapped within the ice of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core for the past 1,000 years. We use a deconvolution approach14 to show that changes in terrestrial organic carbon stores best explain the observed multidecadal variations in the δ13C of CO2 and in CO2 concentrations from 755 to 1850 CE. If significant long-term carbon emissions came from pre-industrial anthropogenic land-use changes over this interval, the emissions must have been offset by a natural terrestrial sink for 13C-depleted carbon, such as peatlands. We find that on multidecadal timescales, carbon cycle changes seem to vary with reconstructed regional climate changes. We conclude that climate variability could be an important control of fluctuations in land carbon storage on these timescales.

      Application to decadal-scale variation, and its actual magnitude as opposed to concentrations actually observed in ice bubbles, would make an interesting topic for conversation.

      IMO.

      • Compare with this chart of “Global Carbon Emissions” (from SkS, so it must be right)

        Notice (top charts) how the CO2 fractions become exceptional around 1800-1850: just about the time human emissions of fossil carbon start to take off, long before they’re substantial enough to matter.

      • AK, That newer study is a better fit with the Oppo et al. 2009 IPWP.

      • AK:
        Interesting. Things took off around 1700. World population is estimated to be a 1/10 of what it is now back then.

      • @captdallas2 0.8 +/- 0.2…

        The way the Oppo et al. 2009 IPWP becomes exceptional around 1500 might (very possibly) involve the population collapse in the Americas due to European diseases.

      • AK, “The way the Oppo et al. 2009 IPWP becomes exceptional around 1500 might (very possibly) involve the population collapse in the Americas due to European diseases.”

        I don’t have a clue. I do know that paleoclimate is going retro

      • Here’s the same figure as above, except I’ve put vertical lines at 1800 and ~1850.

      • AK, nice graphs…

        What they clearly show is that the 700-1700 changes were the result of changes in vegetation: the CO2 and δ13C changes are opposite to each other. If the oceans were the cause, the CO2 and δ13C changes would parallel each other.
        The “Caribbean mixed layer” comes from coralline sponges, which live in shallow (0-200 m depth) waters and deposit carbonate at the same δ13C level as the surrounding ocean waters. The oceans are much higher in δ13C than the deep oceans (0 to +1 per mil) or the atmosphere (~-6.4 per mil over the Holocene, currently below -8 per mil) as there is a lot of bio-life in the ocean surface which uses preferentially 12CO2.

        If temperature was the main driver of the changes (possibly until 1700 or 1750) or land use changes due to humans like more rice cultivation (CH4 levels increased somewhat earlier) is difficult to separate. My impression is that temperature is the main driver, as the overall ppmv change until ~1750 is about what the CO2-T ratio was over glacial-interglacial periods (and what Henry’s law for the solubility of CO2 in seawater gives).

      • What they clearly show is that the 700-1700 changes were the result of changes in vegetation: the CO2 and δ13C changes are opposite to each other. If the oceans were the cause, the CO2 and δ13C changes would parallel each other.

        You mean it wasn’t outgassing from the ocean. OTOH, couldn’t it have come from the organic pool, which would be depleted like land vegetation I suppose?

        If temperature was the main driver of the changes (possibly until 1700 or 1750) or land use changes due to humans like more rice cultivation (CH4 levels increased somewhat earlier) is difficult to separate.

        Actually, my first guess for anthropogenic would be drainage of peat bogs. Which, AFAIK, could also have lead to increased methane.

        But can we really demonstrate a significant difference from prior (ancient) activity as early as 1800? Outside of Europe (and a small strip of American coast)? That’s a pretty small area to be having that much influence.

        More importantly, your assumption that the extra levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are due to fossil burning remains unwarranted. True, that amount has been added to the system. All of it depleted to organic levels. But that simply doesn’t mean it’s the cause of higher atmospheric levels.

      • Here’s the kicker Ferdinand: something caused these curves to go outside the bounds they’d been inside of for at least a thousand years, assuming the curves given actually represent atmospheric concentrations. (Which latter, with Salby, I’m highly skeptical of.)

        If it was carbon from some vegetative source, it must have been quite a bit, to overcome the buffering effect of the ocean, as well as the tendency of some sinks to respond to higher concentrations with higher uptake.

        If the cause had to do with a change to the stable equilibrium point, between sinks and sources overall, then that same cause could be responsible for the whole thing. Or some major part of it.

        Why didn’t the sinks that react strongly to pCO2 simply absorb all the extra from fossil combustion? They absorbed some. Why, besides circular reasoning, are you assuming that their behavior is unchanged?. Especially when something changed prior to the beginning of burning coal for steam power.

      • What they clearly show is that the 700-1700 changes were the result of changes in vegetation: the CO2 and δ13C changes are opposite to each other.

        Take a closer look. The dip in δ13C is almost exactly at 1500CE, that corresponds to roughly the start of a curving plateau in ppm extending to ~1560CE, by which time the δ13C is halfway up to its peak at ~1600CE. And at that time, the ppm is about halfway down to its bottom at ~1670CE.

        I also notice some interesting differences between the “Caribbean mixed layer” and δ13C. Looks like there’s a good deal of signal attenuation (damping) in the latter. (Compare especially from ~1750CE to ~1850CE.) I would expect it the other way around, given the huge buffering effect of the mixed layer. I would attribute such damping to diffusion in the ice, in the first few centuries after closing, reducing the gradient between nearby peaks and dips.

        Also, the entire ice core signal looks as though it’s been progressively damped going back to 700. I wonder if the peaks at 1100CE and ~1170CE might have been as high as 300-310ppm while the dips at ~790CE and ~930CE might have been down around 250ppm. And similar, if not so pronounced, for ~1520CE and ~1680CE.

        This would be roughly in line with Salby’s proposals.

      • AK

        I don’t know if it has any relevance to your observations but the period between around 1490 and 1560 was mostly very warm according to my reconstructed CET. It included possibly the warmest three year period in the entire record at around 1540.

        According to the archives at the Scott Polar Institute it appears there was a very substantial melting of the arctic at that time during which the Northern Sea route around Russia might have opened up.

        Around 1560 we then had the first of the brutal LIA winters.

        tonyb

      • When European heat shocks like UK 1976, France 2003 and Russia 2010 occur, it would be handy if we had more voices like Tonyb to recall and emphasise events like those of 1540 and surrounding years. When the Rhine and Elbe are at 10%…you have a climate problem. That 1540 scorcher – covering the whole continent from England to Russia, Sweden to Spain – may well be without equal in the history of Europe, yet it was hardly an indication of future climate “by the end of the century”.

        By the end of this century there will be two zeros at the end of the date. The rest is unknown.

      • AK,

        In general one can say that the biosphere (everything alive and what rests of it) reacts quite fast on temperature changes. That is seen in huge seasonal changes and quite huge, but short living changes during an El Niño.
        The ocean surface also reacts quite fast on temperature changes, but has a limited capacity in uptake/release.
        Thus I suppose that almost all changes are from land plants uptake/decay.

        Drainage of wetlands is a possibility, but the Law Dome CH4 record doesn’t show much variation before 1750:

        As the CH4 is in ppbv, that gives some continuous input of 0.07 ppmv CO2 (pre-industrial) by the oxidation of CH4 with an average lifetime of ~10 years in the atmosphere, not directly the huge quantities one need to explain the variation in CO2.

        About the quantities: the drop in δ13C and the rise in CO2 since 1850, if that was from vegetation decay/burning/land use change is equivalent to destroying 1/3rd of all land vegetation. Seems quite unlikely that happened in the past 160 years. As human emissions were about twice the increase in the atmosphere and show the (diluted) “fingerprint” of either recent or fossil organics, one need no other source to explain the increase…

        The ocean surface does follow the levels in the atmosphere quite fast, but has a limited capacity: about 10% of the change in the atmosphere. The deep oceans have a much larger capacity, but that needs a lot more time, as the exchange rate with the atmosphere is limited.

        BTW, Salby was completely wrong about ice cores, which is clearly not his field of expertise: what he said is physically impossible and implies negative CO2 values during glacial periods… He didn’t repeat that in his last lecture in London.

      • BTW, Salby was completely wrong about ice cores, which is clearly not his field of expertise: what he said is physically impossible and implies negative CO2 values during glacial periods… He didn’t repeat that in his last lecture in London.

        I don’t believe he said anything that “is physically impossible” or “implies negative CO2 values during glacial periods”. I think you misunderstood what he said. He might well have been unclear.

      • […] the drop in δ13C and the rise in CO2 since 1850, if that was from vegetation decay/burning/land use change is equivalent to destroying 1/3rd of all land vegetation.

        It doesn’t need to be “from” anything, in the sense of determining attribution from source. What matters is why the extra quantity is there.

        I don’t think anybody’s denying that the carbon from fossil fuel, with its depletion of δ13C, has been added to the general pool mediated by atmospheric CO2, and had its effect on the δ13C of that pool. That’s not the point.

      • BTW, Salby was completely wrong about ice cores, which is clearly not his field of expertise: what he said is physically impossible and implies negative CO2 values during glacial periods…

        I’m reminded of a quote from Dune

        The banker picked up his water flagon, gestured with it at Bewt. “None of us here can surpass Master Lingar Bewt in flowery phrases. One might almost assume he aspired to Great House status. Come, Master Bewt, lead us in a toast. Perhaps you’ve a dollop of wisdom for the boy who must be treated like a man.”

        Jessica clenched her right hand into a fist beneath the table. She saw a handsignal pass from Halleck to Idaho, saw the house troopers along the walls move into positions of maximum guard.

        Bewt cast a venomous glare at the banker.

        Paul glanced at Halleck, took in the defensive positions of his guards, looked at the banker until the man lowered the water flagon. He said: “Once, on Caladan, I saw the body of a drowned fisherman recovered. He–”

        “Drowned?” It was the stillsuit manufacturer’s daughter.

        Paul hesitated, then: “Yes. Immersed in water until dead. Drowned.”

        “What an interesting way to die,” she murmured.

        Paul’s smile became brittle. He returned his attention to the banker. “The interesting thing about this man was the wounds on his shoulders–made by another fisherman’s claw-boots. This fisherman was one of several in a boat–a craft for traveling on water–that foundered . . . sank beneath the water. Another fisherman helping recover the body said he’d seen marks like this man’s wounds several times. They meant another drowning fisherman had tried to stand on this poor fellow’s shoulders in the attempt to reach up to the surface–to reach air.”

        “Why is this interesting?” the banker asked.

        “Because of an observation made by my father at the time. He said the drowning man who climbs on your shoulders to save himself is understandable– except when you see it happen in the drawing room.” Paul hesitated just long enough for the banker to see the point coming, then: “And, I should add, except when you see it at the dinner table.”

        Or, I should add, except when you see it in a pseudo-scientific blog comments debate.

  32. Climate Feedbacks workshop at Royal Society, audiofiles at each researcher’s link – https://royalsociety.org/events/2014/feedback-climate-system/

  33. Dr Curry

    Did you actually read this article?

    “Review paper on Chemistry, Air Quality & Climate Change [link]”

    These authors are crap, mixing some science with conjectures with plain un-adulterated speculations. Mixing PM1.0 with CO2 as pollutants made me cringe. Listing Dockery 1994 as a reference for particulates; i.e., occupational exposures of diesel mechanics to diesel fumes for a generalization on particulates in general, is, well…crap. PM1.0, that is, particulates 1.0 microns or less have NO residence time in the lungs. These particulates are breathed in, and then breathed out within the same respiratory cycle.

    Taking apart this article line by line is not worth my time. This article belongs in the rubbish bin.

  34. Thank you, Peofessor Curry, for heeding George Orwell’s warning:

    http://wchildblog.com/2015/05/16/george-orwell-a-final-warning/

  35. On the “I didn’t see that coming” technology front — enter blade-less windmills.
    I can’t wait until they have the yard version doing the hula.

  36. The Warmists appear to be abandoning Warmism for the more general Alarmism.

    Alarmed at the pause, they concentrate on the rising CO2 levels. CO2 levels of 350 ppm! Doom! 400 ppm! Despair! 450 ppm! Woe, thrice woe!

    My query to the reborn Alarmist is simple. What is the danger of CO2 levels rising? Continuation of climate change? Plant growth? War, famine, and pestilence?

    Of course, they will try to conflate all sorts of pollution from incomplete combustion with rising CO2 levels. Just look at the correlation! Alas, the suckers have a need to believe. A CO2 tax is just what they need. Once the Alarmists have reduced us all to poverty, living the simple life without any CO2, we’ll find we no longer have worries.

    Without CO2 we will all die. Grand.

  37. Hate to reignite the attribution thread, but this talk from the Royal Society workshop on “Feedbacks on Climate in the Earth System” is relevant, covering temperature induced CO2 level changes, from an IPCC lead author. Note this line in particular, which seems to support the basic point Bartemis was trying to make: “During warm El Niño years, atmospheric CO2 shows larger than average growth rate, indicating reduced storage in land and/or oceans; the opposite being observed during La Niña years. ”

    Professor Pierre Friedlingstein, University of Exeter, UK
    Carbon cycle feedbacks and future climate change
    Abstract:
    Climate and the carbon cycle are interacting on every timescale. On short, inter-annual timescales, there are numerous observational evidences revealing the strong response of the carbon cycle to climate variability. During warm El Niño years, atmospheric CO2 shows larger than average growth rate, indicating reduced storage in land and/or oceans; the opposite being observed during La Niña years. Multiple lines of evidence point towards tropical land ecosystems as main drivers of this variability. On such short time scales, the ocean shows much lower variability in its carbon exchange with the atmosphere.

    On multi-millennial timescales, such as over glacial-interglacial cycles, ice core data clearly shows a strong correlation between climate and atmospheric CO2, with again, warm/cold climate being associated to higher/lower atmospheric CO2, i.e. lower/larger storage in ocean and land. Here, the ocean, probably the Southern ocean, is the main culprit for these changes.

    On the centennial timescale of interest for the anthropogenic perturbation, there are indications of similar behaviour during warm/cold periods over the last millennium but no direct observations over the historical period. This is primarily due to the unprecedented input of CO2 in the atmosphere due to fossil fuel burning and land use change that dwarves any natural response of the land and ocean to the current warming. However, modelling studies unanimously show, again, a reduction of carbon storage both on land and ocean due to global warming. This induces, as during glacial cycles, a positive feedback in the climate system, a warmer world leading to larger atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    The talk will review the observational and modelling evidence of a positive feedback between the climate system and the global carbon cycle, highlighting the implications for 21st century warming and cumulative emissions compatible with a given climate target.

    [audio src="http://downloads.royalsociety.org/events/2014/feedback-climate-system/friedlingstein.mp3" /]

    • Rhyzotika,

      The response of tropical forests on temperature changes is acknowledged by the whole scientific community: that is a temporarily response, as after months to 1-2 years, the “fuel” (decaying litter at the ground) is used. The net result is a far less uptake, even more release of CO2 during an El Niño and more uptake as the tropical forests regrow after too high temperatures and drought (due to changed rain patterns). See:
      http://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/co2conference/pdfs/tans.pdf
      Form slight 11 on.

      It is a response function of vegetation with net zero to negative result after 1-2 years. Where Bart goes wrong is that he attributes not only the variability to temperature, but also the offset and slope of the CO2 increase, which thus is not from the same process…

  38. Related paper by same guy, Recent trends and drivers of regional sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, Biogeosciences, volume 12, no. 3, pages 653-679, DOI:10.5194/bg-12-653-2015.
    http://www.biogeosciences.net/12/653/2015/bg-12-653-2015.html

    • It is to be hoped that Prof Friedlingstein will not be the subject of any personal attacks as a result of his work.

    • Rhyzotika,

      The paper shows that both land plants and oceans are sinks for CO2, land plants an increasing sink and oceans near constant.
      The main cause of the increase in the atmosphere is from human emissions and both land plants and oceans are the main sinks, where the variability of the land plants uptake is the cause of the variability in increase rate in the atmosphere.
      It is the variability in sink rate which is discussed, not in source rate…

  39. Listening to the Friedlingstein talk, Nic Lewis lobs a couple skeptical questions. Dr. F reiterates the correlation between T and CO2, affirming that co2 drives a positive feedback, … but never comments on which comes first when.

  40. “We could solve much of the wrongness problem, Ioannidis says, if the world simply stopped expecting scientists to be right. That’s because being wrong in science is fine, and even necessary—as long as scientists recognize that they blew it, report their mistake openly instead of disguising it as a success, and then move on to the next thing, until they come up with the very occasional genuine breakthrough. But as long as careers remain contingent on producing a stream of research that’s dressed up to seem more right than it is, scientists will keep delivering exactly that.”

    From The Atlantic magazine.

    Might have relevance to climate scientists.

    • Mike Flynn – good point. I think the science progresses by being less and less wrong over time, but missteps should be expected. We learn by trial and error. Error is appropriate in some places but not so much in others.

      Understanding there is a lot of overlap and crossover, but commonly people say science deals with understanding nature and engineering with applying that knowledge.The freedom to be wrong given to scientists is not as appropriate for engineers. If engineers are wrong they know it had better be withing very limited parameters.

      Scientists are generally (and I would expect climate science to be an exception) not trained in making trade-offs between competing values (cost-benefits). Going from identifying a problem to proposing major or especially global solutions is not anything they have experience in or training for. Combining scientists with just policy makers does not correct for the shortcomings.

      We don’t let PHd electrical engineers have complete control of the power system. Thinking purely in terms of the electrical system other important components and values would get overlooked. Their concerns are balanced with others. Similarly even if you have skillfully identified the nature of the climate problem, it does not mean you are the driver of the climate solution.

  41. WTI front month oil price remains around $60. The Saudi’s have declared their war on shale and heavy oil a success. But if they let the price of crude go up from $60, the shale oil producers will ramp up production again. So $60 may stick around for some time to come.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102677623

    The contango is still around $4, an incentive to put oil into storage to sell later, but nothing like the ~$10 it was for the past months.

  42. From the article:

    Although U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with electricity generation have fallen from the 2005 level, they are projected to increase in the coming decades, based on analysis in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2015 (AEO2015) that reflects current laws and regulations, and therefore does not include proposed rules such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

    http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=21252

  43. From the article:
    I like the way the Aussies dealt with the states here. We in the US could take a page from their play book with regards to a nuclear waste site.

    A nuclear-power boom in Asia that’s set to drive up uranium prices is triggering a resurgence in mining in Australia, home to the world’s largest reserves.
    Almost $800 billion of new reactors are under development in the region, driven by China and India where demand is climbing for the emission-free energy.

    China will need the equivalent of about 1,000 nuclear reactors, 500,000 wind turbines or 50,000 solar farms as it steps up its fight against climate change. The country in March approved construction of its first nuclear power project since Fukushima brought the program to a standstill.

    India also views its push for new power plants as part of its effort to curb global warming. Cameco agreed last month to sell uranium from its Canadian mines to India.

    Exports from Australia are forecast to rise at an average annual rate of 8 percent, according to government estimates. The country supplies about 11 percent of global output and has about 31 percent of the world’s reserves.
    The expansion of new mines in Australia has been dogged in the past by government prohibitions and opposition from environmentalists. The Labor Party dropped its more than two-decade long ban on new uranium mines in 2007, while leaving state governments with the power to reject mining proposals.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-07/asia-s-800-billion-nuclear-splurge-to-unlock-uranium-motherlode?cmpid=yhoo

  44. And still nothing from the Alarmists on the detrimental effects of a bit of additional CO2.

    Odd that.

  45. I notice some commenters saying that experiments are essentially impossible relating to climate change.

    However it is certainly not impossible to experiment on the infrared absorbing qualities of gases, and such things.

    Professor John Tyndall did many such, and I have no great argument with his results, or his conclusions. I cannot say what he might think about the current global warming due to CO2 conjecture, but I can certainly read what he wrote.

    Rather than quote verbatim at length, I would refer anyone interested to Tyndall’s work –

    Heat
    A mode of Motion
    by John Tyndall, D.C.L, LL.D., F.R.S etc etc

    Sixth Edition

    New York D Appleton and Company 1905.

    Some people mistakenly think that Tyndall’s experiments support global warming. If you are interested, you might like to dip into the book at page 317, where Tyndall explains why the back radiation theory of the Alarmists doesn’t hold water, although in a somewhat roundabout way, using a glass fire screen analogy, and personal experience. If you care to read the rest of Lecture XI, and the next few lectures, you will see that Tyndall is often misquoted by some.

    The whole book is worth reading, and Tyndall’s comments on having to discard weeks of intense experimental work giving consistent results, because one result didn’t fit in with what went before, remind one of Feynman’s opinions. Sometimes great minds think alike!

    If you disagree with Tyndall’s experiments, his methods, or his conclusions, please quote the passage, and provide some facts in rebuttal.

    I realise Tyndall believed in the universal ether, the meteoric origin of the Sun’s heat, and a couple of other things. I am interested more in his experimental work, and reproducible results.

    • Here’s the book if anyone is interested.

      https://archive.org/details/heatamodemotion03tyndgoog

    • If you like Tyndall we could experiment

      We could shutdown all nuclear and go to coal fired for 5 years to see if we can break the pause. The goal should be to hit 20 GT/Y (double current emissions).

      I would be in favor of this. There is nothing like fresh data from the field.

      • PA,

        I’m not sure what the point of your proposed experiment would be.

        CO2 levels have risen. Temperature hasn’t. Are you saying that burning a lot more coal will produce enough heat to be measured?

        I can demonstrate that by lighting a match. More CO2, more heat. Or vice versa.

        I guess that’s not what you are trying to say. I’m happy with Tyndall’s experiments, but there seem to be a lot of people who claim that model results trump observed reality.

        What are your views?

        Thanks.

  46. Farm in a box produces an acre’s worth of crops in a shipping container

    Along with “exponentially higher” yields, the CropBox promises that their complete growing system also uses 90% less water and 80% less fertilizer than conventional agriculture does.

    The shipping containers, which can fit 2800 planting spots in the 320 square feet (~ 30 square meters), are outfitted with grow lights, planting racks, a heating and ventilation system, all of the necessary hydroponic components (reservoir, pump, control & monitoring system), and a complete suite of 18 sensors for monitoring just about every environmental condition inside the container. Additionally, the networked computer system that runs the CropBox can be accessed and managed from a smartphone or web interface, and provides a complete log of records for analyzing the unit’s performance.

    […]

    While the price of a CropBox isn’t exactly pocket change (about $43,000), the company is offering them on a lease-to-own basis to interested parties, and depending on the crops, the market, and the experience of the grower, the payback time on a unit could be as quick as 7 months (using basil as the example) or up to 3 years (growing salad mix).

    […]

    Currently, the units are said to use twice as much electricity as a traditional greenhouse does during the winter, so they aren’t necessarily a low-carbon shipping container farm, but CropBox is said to be working on an LED lighting option, which could lower lighting electricity use by 60%, as well as reducing the cooling costs of the units by producing less heat.

    • What a wonderful product. I am all supportive of this sort of innovation (presuming it works of course).

      Pump it full of CO2 and watch them plats grow!

    • Well… pretty obvious the prime user of these (once they switch to LEDs so you can’t track them with infrared), is a crop that has rope as a potential byproduct.

      Which is an interesting point. The switch to LED lighting is going to complicate drug enforcement.

  47. stuck in moderation, oh well…

  48. ‘The bearing of this experiment upon the action of planetary atmospheres is obvious … the atmosphere admits of the entrance of the solar heat, but checks its exit; and the result is a tendency to accumulate heat at the surface of the planet (Tyndall, 1859a).’ Tyndall J. 1859. On the transmission of heat of different qualities through gases of different kinds – Proceedings of the Royal Institution 3: 155–158.

    ‘The differential radiative absorption properties of the gases and vapours revealed by Tyndall’s interrogation of nature 150 years ago this month – a suite of gases now expanded to include a group of artificial gases unknown to Tyndall, the halocarbons – remain central to the idea of anthropogenic climate change. Subsequent work has established the global warming potentials of each of these gases with some level of precision (Foster et al., 2007), calculations that are pivotal in efforts to quantify the extent of human influence on the world’s temperature and in efforts to reduce and manage those consequences. John Tyndall’s experimental work in 1859 in the basement of a renowned London scientific institution may not be remembered in the same way as is Darwin’s masterpiece On the Origin of Species. Yet in its own way the legacy of Tyndall’s work is just as significant for contemporary cultural and scientific debates.’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wea.386/pdf

    I noted yet more aggressively anti-scientific rhetoric above – such as critically undermines rational discussion of these things on this site. Tyndall provided the experimental basis for the atmospheric greenhouse effect 150 years ago. Science has moved on in the interim however. The following is from the US Academies of Science in 2002 – from doyens of climate science – and can be taken at face value.

    ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.’ Richard Alley, Jochem Marotzke, William Nordhaus, Jonathon Overpeck, Dorothy Peteet, Raymond Pierrehumbert, Roger Pielke Jr, Thomas Stocker, Lynne Talley, J. Michael Wallace.

    It is how the terrestrial climate system actually works – small changes in control variables such as greenhouse gases push the globally resonant system past a threshold at which stage the components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation. Abrupt climate change – every 20 or 30 years and as much as 16 degrees C in a decade – provides serious added impetus to mitigation of destabilising pressures in an inherently unstable system.

  49. From or related to the recent Francis paper I think:

    Looks like a blob aiding jet. Could this jam the California current and push the PDO positive?
    “One of the most important and mysterious events in recent climate history is the climate shift in the mid-1970s. In the northern hemisphere 500-hPa atmospheric flow the shift manifested itself as a collapse of a persistent wave-3 anomaly pattern and the emergence of a strong wave-2 pattern.”